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Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

Diary #381

Last week was one for cleaning up, fixing up and setting straight.  Grace spent it totally revamping the wellhouse (tank, plumbing and electrical) and repairing a water-pipe leak that had caused considerable damage to the bathroom subfloor; I made some long-delayed updates to my professional website and, as you saw yesterday, finally got around to adding a bookstore to this site.  Those of you who don’t know me personally may not understand how a woman who could build this cyclopean edifice of a website over seven and a half years could somehow be so intimidated by procedures that she could leave important tasks hanging for months or even years, but maybe it would help you to understand if I told you that I started thinking about doing this blog in 2007; it took me three years to actually start it.  And people who visit my Den of Iniquity will tell you that there have been no important changes in a year, and no major ones in two years.  See, I don’t really like change in my environment or procedures; once I get things the way I like them, they tend to stay that way until Doomsday.  That’s one of the reasons I was so upset by the move from Oklahoma to Washington; even though I knew it was the right thing to do, I’m just not easily able to cope with change on that scale.  And so Grace is in charge of putting things to right at Sunset; all I have to do is tell her what I want done, answer any procedural questions she has, pay the bills as they come in and throw fits about delays and cost overruns (and truth be told, Grace could probably do without that last).  If I were wealthy, I’d probably have a whole entourage of assistants to deal with stuff for me; alas, such is not to be.  And so I get to things when I get to them, unless a crisis forces my hand or someone I love prods me to deal with them before that.  And I guess that will have to do.

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Diary #380

Chekhov got back to Sunset on Sunday afternoon, which means the move is now officially complete; everything I own is now within a relatively compact geographical area of western Washington, as are most of my friends.  My cousin Alan will probably be up here within a few years, and even Frank and Olivia are considering a move to Portland.  That’s really incredibly fast considering that a year ago today, I hadn’t even thought of doing this yet; I asked Grace for her opinion about it around the first week of December, and my first text to my real estate agent on the subject was on December 13th.  We whittled down the list of available properties during Grace’s Christmas visit, saw the property for the first time on January 3rd, hashed out the details over the next few months, closed the sale of my Oklahoma property in late May and the sale of Sunset on May 30th, and the first load departed westbound on July 25th.  And after many problems, a lot of heartbreak and tremendous cost overruns, we’re done at last and one more source of stress is gone from my life.  Grace will be really busy fixing up the place; getting everything I want accomplished will probably take another year and a lot more money, but at least I no longer have a mortgage and Grace is close by.  And that is worth a great deal to me.  If you’d like to help fix the place, I’m running a very generous special until the end of the month; it’s open to both local clients and those I need to travel to reach, with different terms.  If you’re interested please email me, but please only if you’re serious! 

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I’m gonna free fall out into nothin’
Gonna leave this world for awhile.  –  Tom Petty

I know that seeing all one’s favorite entertainers die off one by one is part of aging, but damn, Tom Petty now!  His video for “Don’t Come Around Here No More” is one of my favorite short films, but this video is the one that first made me realize that he was great rather than merely good.  The links above it were provided by Jesse Walker (“fascism”, “happens” and “wrong”); Tushy Galore  (“correction”); and Kevin Wilson (“rules”).

From the Archives

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Instead of raising children in an adult world…we prefer to live much of our lives in a make-believe children’s world.  –  Hugh Hefner

R.I.P. Hugh Hefner 

The founder and embodiment of Playboy magazine died a week ago today at the Playboy mansion in Los Angeles; he was 91.  Love him, hate him or indifferent to him, it’s undeniable that Hefner and his magazine were among the most important driving forces of the sexual revolution and, to a lesser but still important degree, of the popularization of liberal (in the original sense of the word) political ideas such as LGBT rights; in a world where homosexuality was illegal Hef published Charles Beaumont’s “The Crooked Man“, and years before Roe v Wade he was bankrolling abortion rights activism.  Naturally, he was despised by narrow-minded feminists who think that a woman can be sexy or intellectual but never both (despite his support of female authors and thinkers), and he was even controversial among sex workers (including yours truly) for his rather odd home life with his playmate “girlfriends”, but by most accounts he was an ethical businessman whose legacy of support for both his contributors and for individual rights would have been more universally lauded had his magazine and life not featured sex in such a central role.

An Enormous Big Nothing

More hysterics who can’t tell the difference between adults and children:

The headline reads Spanish brothel’s “back to school” party sparks outrage in Andalusia.  El Bosque is a legal club de alterne where sex workers drink, dance and chat with customers with the option to retire to private rooms for paid sex.  The party-poster was called an incitement to paedophilia…despite the obvious age of women (and their clothing) in the poster.  The club’s owner removed the posters and cancelled the party…

Dirty Amateurs

Amateurs are a menace to public health; they should be licensed and heavily regulated:

In 2016, Americans were infected with more than 2 million new cases of gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia, the highest number of these sexually transmitted diseases ever reported…the…CDC’s…annual Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report shows that more than 1.6 million of the new cases were from chlamydia, 470,000 were from gonorrhea and nearly 28,000 cases were primary and secondary syphilis…While all of these can be cured by antibiotics, many [amateurs] go undiagnosed and untreated…When you include herpes and more of the dozens of diseases which can be transmitted sexually but which are not tracked, the CDC estimates there are more than 20 million new cases of STDs in the United States each year.  At least half occur in young [amateurs] ages 15 to 24…

The Lion and the Ox

Talking is now defined as “sex trafficking”:

Two people were arrested…after using Snapchat to recruit a woman into prostitution…she was contacted in January by [her] friend…Wynter Fowler…[who] told her that she “was pretty and could make a lot of money” if she moved to Las Vegas to work as an exotic dancer and escort…Fowler[‘s]…boyfriend, Ezekiel Gilbert…persuaded [the complainant] to work as a prostitute for him…she said Gilbert threatened her when she tried to quit in February…he…bragged that he “had already gotten away with murder” before…Gilbert [had been previously] arrested in Texas after an escort was shot and killed, but was later acquitted…Police arrested Gilbert and Fowler on Sept. 12…Both were booked…on sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking…

I can think of several better, less tyrannical things to charge the thoroughly-nasty Gilbert with than simply talking to someone.

So Close and Yet So Far

A good little article despite a truly stupid statement in the third sentence:

I am not a pimp or a trafficker.  I am neither a rape apologist nor someone who excuses violence against women.  I do not believe men have a right to buy sex, or that anyone, of any gender, should be forced to sell sex.  One might have thought these things go without saying, and yet they are examples of some of the vitriol levied at us – those that advocate for the decriminalisation of the sex industry.  In recent weeks…establishment media has provided…an “everywhere-you-turn” kind of platform…to anti-prostitution feminists.  Julie Bindel does, after all, have a new book to publicise. Underpinning the arguments of many anti-prostitution feminists is the idea that the purchase of sex ought to be criminalised and sex workers [cast] as victims of male violence.  They argue we should be doing more to eradicate the sex industry and rescue the sex workers within it…

Of course men have the right to buy sex from someone offering to sell it, just as women (or men) have the right to sell it.  Any claim to the contrary reflects the irrational and authoritarian mindset of a prohibitionist.

Banishment

Remember:  these people have already served their sentences:

Scores of sex offenders ordered to live on a secluded island in Washington state say the often-cloudy, brown water there is making them sick…About 200 [inmates] of the Special Commitment Center have filed a federal lawsuit alleging that the facility is…forcing them to drink contaminated water that causes stomach pain and skin rashes and has been blamed for unexplained deaths.  The executive who oversees the center [claims] the water [which he needn’t drink] turns brown…when the pipes are flushed, and…the cloudiness is only an aesthetic effect that causes no harm.  But…Department of Health records shows that the water has repeatedly exceeded standards for various chlorine-related chemicals and has been cited for violations dating back to 2006…a former [treatment] plant operator told health officials in 2015 that the water’s cloudiness readings were being manipulated to make the water look cleaner than it was…The Special Commitment Center [imprisons]…sex offenders…[that] the state convinced a judge…were too dangerous to be released…

The Sky is Falling! (#415)

The Francophone world seems to be in especially deep denial about compensated dating:

Belgian ministers have said they will take legal action in an attempt to force a [sugar dating] website…to remove…adverts near the country’s universities.  Trucks bearing large posters promoting Rich Meet Beautiful…have appeared on the outskirts of campuses in Brussels in recent days…the Norwegian company behind the website says it hopes to recruit 300,000 Belgian registrations by the end of 2018…The site, however, has been accused of encouraging prostitution and playing on the financial insecurity of the young [by offering them an option to get out of financial insecurity.  Two pearl-clutching ministers]…have declared they intend to launch a criminal proceeding against the firm for inciting debauchery and prostitution, and to force the suspension of its campaign on public order grounds…

Feminine Pragmatism (#518) 

This isn’t “remarkable” or even “unusual”; women have done part-time sex work to supplement meager earnings at least since Roman times:

…after supplementing her career with tutoring and proofreading, the university lecturer decided to go to remarkable lengths to make her career financially viable.  She first opted for her side gig during a particularly rough patch…when her course load was suddenly cut in half and her income plunged, putting her on the brink of eviction.  “In my mind I was like, I’ve had one-night stands, how bad can it be?” she said. “And it wasn’t that bad”…Sex work is one of the more unusual ways that adjuncts have avoided living in poverty, and perhaps even homelessness…

Under Review (#733)

Escort advertising is already illegal in Ireland, which is why Irish sex workers have such limited advertising options:

The government is being urged [by prohibitionists] to ban a website that facilitates the advertising of prostitution services – and invites customers to review the women they hire…Over 7,000 [ignorant busybodies] have now signed a petition urging the Department of Justice to step in and [magically] remove the website [despite its being hosted in Spain] and ban others like it [again, but magically this time so the sex rays can’t cross into Irish cyberspace]…

I Saw My Brain (#773)

Authoritarian idiots will probably keep re-electing this lunatic no matter how much his antics cost them:

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd garnered widespread scorn for blathering and boasting on social media, threatening to arrest people with outstanding warrants if they sought public shelter while Hurricane Irma battered Florida…Now Judd has been hit with a lawsuit for allegedly denying entry to a man seeking shelter, saying he had to go through a background check first…Judd [doubled down on his moronic rhetoric, claiming the man] wasn’t denied shelter…[but] offered accommodations in jail…

Wise Investment (#775)

Sex workers, clients & everyone else harmed by “prostitution stings” needs to keep suing over them:

One year later, cases from the Euro Spa sting of June 2016 are still slowly making their way through Seattle’s Municipal Court.  Some men…have pled guilty to “sexual exploitation,” the city’s recently modified term for the misdemeanor of patronizing a prostitute.  Others have requested trials…But one accused john—we’ll call him John—adopted a different legal strategy…John’s lawyer, Bob Goldsmith, filed a motion in July challenging City Attorney Pete Holmes…[who] directed prosecutors to rule out pre-trial diversion…[and] instead…push for guilty pleas that will result in a criminal record…Holmes…[pretends] the policy…will reduce prostitution overall [and imagines that would be a good thing]…Anita Khandelwal, policy director for the Department of Public Defense, called Holmes’ tactic on sexual exploitation charges “unusual and illegal”.  While johns are often cast as sexual predators by law enforcement and the media, Khandelwal says the clients her office sees are “incredibly poor and marginalized and caught up in police stings.”  She added, “Mr. Holmes’ statement that criminalizing buyers results in changed behavior is not supported by the evidence.  The war on drugs did not reduce drug use but it filled prisons”…

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Diary #379

Early this morning, Chekhov left (or will leave, if you’re reading this within four hours of posting) on a plane for Dallas, where he’ll pick up a rental truck, drive up to Oklahoma, pick up the last few things and close the storage unit, then drive back to Sunset…all on his own dime, which I think is pretty damned wonderful of him.  When he arrives home (probably Friday evening), the move will be complete at last and I can start putting my money into fixing the existing house and building an addition that I feel is necessary for comfortable living.  And just in time; as I wrote last week, this has cost me a great deal more than expected, and it’ll be good to shift to expenses that aren’t on such a tight deadline as a move is.  We’ve already started on those; last week, Grace gave the plumbing a much-needed overhaul and she and Chekhov built a fence to keep the llamas in the barnyard until the whole area can be fenced later (here you see them awaiting release, with Lassen at his post).  The next project after the fence is a major repair on some damaged floor joists (related, as the handy among you may have suspected, to the damaged plumbing), and then we’ll start on the addition (which will be framed in steel and will contain an all-new bathroom, laundry room, hot tub, and fireplace).  I’m going to be working as much as possible over the next year to achieve all that; at this time last year I hadn’t even decided to move yet, so I figure if I can accomplish all this in a year, getting it to the state I want should be achievable in a similar time period.  But that means money, so to kick it off I’m running a very generous special all this month; it’s open to both local clients and those I need to travel to reach, with different terms.  If you’re interested please email me, but please only if you’re serious!

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Diary #378

And so the moving process is at long last nearly done.  Unless yet another thing goes wrong (as so many have already), Grace and Chekhov should be home tonight, with animals and the last of the cargo in tow.  I won’t have any more need for a 28-foot trailer after this, so I’m going to sell it and use the money to fix the house (as I mentioned before, I got an incredibly good deal because the place was vacant for several years and in need of several major repairs).  There are still a few things in a small storage unit in Oklahoma, but it’s little enough that we’re probably just going to fly Chekhov down, rent a small U-haul and let him bring it up sometime in October.  I might also decide to sell the big truck and replace it with a smaller one, but that’s Grace’s call.  In any case, I’ll be glad to see the bottom of this money pit; I knew moving my home base halfway across the continent was going to be pricey, but it exceeded my worst estimate by at least 33%.  So until the move is completely done (for the sake of specificity, let’s just say the end of October) I’m running an extremely generous special; it’s open to both local clients and those I need to travel to reach, with different terms.  If you’re interested please email me, but please only if you’re serious! 

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Diary #377

Grace and Chekhov left for their last full run to Oklahoma on Friday, and barring another delay will arrive tonight; for the next two days they’ll be preparing for the return trip, which will be a marathon because they’re going to have the animals with them and we don’t think it’s a good idea to have them cooped up in the trailer for more than two days, even with the ventilation windows.  After that, I can sell the big trailer to recoup some of my costs; everything remaining will be able to fit in the bed of the truck and the small trailer that’s currently sitting in storage.  It’ll be nice for my income to start going someplace other than petroleum companies, auto repair & parts businesses and tire stores (not to mention hotels) again, such as building-material stores and the like.  But when I’m finally done with fixing the place up, it should be a lovely little country retreat for Grace to live in and me to visit when I get the time.  For those of you who are thinking about this for the first time: yep.  I’m spending all this money and effort on a place where I’ll probably spend less than 40 hours a month, if that.  But Grace will be there full-time, and friends in need of a retreat will have a place to go, and I’ll have a place I can spend holidays in when the mood strikes.  Hell, maybe I’ll even get a license & let Grace grow cannabis there; I certainly have the room (and a dear friend who happens to have connections in the industry so I can find buyers).  Well, we’ll see; the important thing is that I’m finally putting down roots, as I’ve longed to do for over 30 years.  And that to me is far more precious than money.

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