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Archive for the ‘Biography’ Category

Diary #360

A lot of last week was spent overnighting papers and moving money around as we draw close to the completion of my super secret project.  Alas, there was a slight hitch, but it looks as though everything should be finished this week, so next week I should be able to lift the lid and let you know what I’ve been up to.  And speaking of lifting the lid, last week was the official launch of my dear friend Matisse’s new product:  Velvet Swing, a cannabis-enhanced water-based lube that has been found to enhance orgasms in 80% of women.  I haven’t tried it myself yet because I’m waiting for the right opportunity, but I’m sure that will present itself in the next couple of weeks; as y’all know I respond very well to cannabis edibles, so I’m really interested to see how I respond to this!  In the meantime, I was on hand at the launch so you may see me on video soon talking to Matisse about Velvet Swing at Diego Pellicer, the fancy pot shop where the launch was held.  That’s not where this picture was taken, though; this is just me in line at Starbucks, picking up a latte for a friend who was jonesing for caffeine but couldn’t get free to run over there & buy one.

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Last week was quite busy, in a good way; I was working, writing, getting the last stages of the secret project done (I might even announce it next week), planning future trips and otherwise imposing order on the chaos which dominated my life for more than two years.  In a very real way, the release of my new book was a symbol of that; it demonstrates that I’m at least as functional again as I was three years ago, and in some ways even more so.  Speaking of the book, I’d like to remind you that it is indeed out, and to ask you to buy one (pretty please) and review it (pretty please with sugar on top); if you want an autographed copy directly from me, just use the links in yesterday’s column (and be sure to tell me how you’d like it inscribed), and I’ll send you one from my own shelf here.  And if you want me to visit your area, now’s your chance:  write me about helping set up book readings and/or speaking gigs, and while I’m there you can get around the usual minimum time requirement for hiring me!  That’s what I call a win-win situation.  If your situation doesn’t lend itself to assisting me in that way but you’d still like to show your appreciate above & beyond buying & reviewing the book, you could send money via PayPal or Google Wallet to get Lorelei & I dinner on Sunday night.  Also, I’ve just added some new goodies to my Amazon wishlist; lovely fans keep buying me lovely things like Joe Satriani discs.

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Last week was another busy one, full of good things!  On Tuesday I went with Lorelei to see a performance of The Secret Garden, one of her favorite stage musicals; I was very pleased with the music and extremely impressed by the proficiency of the staging.  Then on Wednesday I gave my annual telelecture to a human sexuality class at OSU Tulsa, and spent the evening relaxing with a dear friend who is now retired.  On Thursday I took a different dear retired friend to dinner, and that afternoon a box of copies of my book arrived!  So now if you’d like an autographed copy, send $26 to me via PayPal ($31 if you’re in Canada, $36 anywhere else in the world) with your full mailing address and I’ll send you a copy from my personal stash.  In the next few days I’ll get a page up where that information can be found more easily, and I soon hope to have a commercial site going where the process is automated.  But since I’m juggling a number of things in my personal life as well (including the last stages of my secret project), please be patient with me; I promise I’ll get it together, with any luck by the end of the month.

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To the casual observer, I seem to be a remarkably healthy specimen; I’m well-formed and well-proportioned, with above-average muscular development, excellent bone density, good skin and exceptional looks.  My cognitive  functions and reflexes are far above the norm, my memory is nothing short of awe-inspiring and as long as I don’t get stupid about it, I can pretty much eat what I like.  Some of that came naturally, some was the result of years of work on my part and some of it was the combined result of medical science and money (lots and lots of money).  But what’s invisible to the casual observer is that I also suffer from a number of neurological disorders, including chronic depression (since the age of 9), ADD, mild OCD, insomnia, orgasmic dysfunction, a host of anxieties, and vertigo so debilitating that I literally get dizzy if my head isn’t at least a pillow’s height above my heart at all times (if you’re ever around when I put on my shoes, watch how I do it).  Some of these (such as the insomnia & anxiety) have worsened due to the whips and scorns of time, while age has taught me tricks and workarounds for dealing with some of the others (such as the ADD).

But “workarounds” is all they are; they no more mean the problem is “solved” than a limp means the limb one favors is “cured”.  Take my vertigo, for example; in everyday life I can avoid triggering it as long as I don’t make any sudden motions, spin, look down while moving, lie flat on my back, go to see an IMAX movie, watch images that flash or jerk quickly, try to move in any way but very slowly & carefully while drunk or high, ride in the back seat of a car, ignore the warning signs of a sinus headache, fly in an airplane, or remain vertical when I start feeling even the slightest symptom of dizziness.  Sometimes it happens anyway due to some sickness or mold spores or whatnot, but for the most part I can avoid the dizziness, vomiting, temperature dysregulation, hives, tunnel vision and other exciting and glamorous effects by simply avoiding the things that I know will precipitate them.  Of course, this doesn’t mean the vertigo is “cured” any more than a peanut allergy sufferer can be said to be “cured” because she made it through a week without dying of anaphylactic shock by avoiding anything which might have potentially contacted peanuts; the disorder is merely managed, not cured.  Naturally, having to avoid so many activities and movements other people take for granted is frustrating and annoying, so as I’m sure you can imagine I have over the past four decades tried every goddamned thing which has been suggested as a way to cure or at least mitigate the problem.  And you know what?  The same goes for everyone who suffers from any neurological, mental or emotional disorder.

And that’s why most of us, especially those of us who are older, often get so irate when well-meaning and seemingly-reasonable people make “suggestions” about how to “get over” these issues.  If a disorder has obvious physical manifestations, like blindness or epilepsy, nobody thinks one can “learn” to “get over it”.  But if it’s something that results in changes to behavior, such as vertigo, insomnia or Seasonal Affective Disorder, suddenly they assume it’s all in the mind and can be learned away by the “right” kind of thinking, meditation, affirmation, health food or some other mumbo-jumbo woo; if the person they’re making these “helpful suggestions” to is older than a teenager, this is highly insulting to the sufferer’s intelligence as well as dismissive of their problem.  DON’T YOU THINK I TRIED ALL YOUR MAGIC PASSES & HAPPY THOUGHTS 30 FUCKING YEARS AGO?  And it’s even worse for those with mental illness; at least my vertigo produces tangible, observable puke.  But people with clinical depression or a personality disorder can no more “snap out of it” than I can “snap out of” an attack of dizziness and vomiting.  Even those who do understand that such issues aren’t merely bad moods often think that A) there’s a med for everything; and B) that side effects aren’t a consideration.  But neither of those is true; there isn’t a medication for every condition, not everyone responds well to meds that work for others, and side effects are sometimes so bad they outweigh the benefits and the sufferer decides it’s better not to use them.

What it all boils down to is this: unless you’re a medical or psychiatric professional skilled in the treatment of a particular condition, and a person who suffers that condition asks for your suggestions, DO NOT OFFER THEM.  Not even if the sufferer is complaining in front of you.  Not even if whatever you’re going to suggest worked for your Aunt Matilda.  Not even if you think that positive thinking can grant any power from telekinesis to survival in a hard vacuum.  Just don’t.  And if you refuse to take my advice and do it anyway, don’t get all butthurt if the recipient of your fucking Hints from Heloise blows up in your face.

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Diary #357

Last week was another busy one of travel.  I had to fly to San Francisco to give a speech at the convention of the Libertarian Party of California; I’m not really a party sort of gal (well, not THAT kind of party, anyhow), but I’ll talk to anybody who wants to hear about the importance of fighting for sex worker rights.  Anyhow, while I was down there I did a little paying work as well, and if you’d like to see me me on the next trip I know about (Chicago, probably the week of June 12th but that’s not certain yet) you should probably get in touch with me pretty soon.  The higher dose of Valium, coupled with anti-nausea Zofran & booze in a first-class seat (thanks to a generous patron), plus no food for at least 8 hours before takeoff, seems to have helped the vertigo dramatically; even if it starts getting too bumpy for the CNS depressants to fully cope with, there’s just nothing in my stomach to embarrass myself with.  This is another busy week, but it’s all things in Seattle and most of the activities are fun ones with people I love.  Anyhow, in case it had escaped your notice, my new book is out; I’d really appreciate it if as many of you bought it this week as possible, and even more if you review it after reading it!  If you prefer a signed copy, I’ll have those available in a few days as soon as my own order comes in.  And in the next few weeks, I’ll finally be revealing the secret project I’ve been teasing y’all with for months!

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Last week was a whirlwind of travel and other commitments; it seemed as though I just couldn’t stop!  This isn’t to say it was all unpleasant; far from it!  In fact, as I alluded to in Friday’s “Learning to Relax“, a lot of it was very pleasant indeed.  And this week is shaping up to be another good one.  The only really bad thing about last week was multiple rental-car company screwups which made what should have been ordinary tasks into multi-hour ordeals, but while I’d usually get very upset about those, this time they only barely ruffled my feathers.  My credit card company temporarily shutting off my card because they seem to think it’s suspicious for a person whose billing address is in Houston, and whose account was started in Tulsa, to be in Dallas is a different story; however, a few minutes of screaming, cursing and telling a customer service rep that I’m 50 years old and don’t need their permission to travel sorted that out quickly enough.  Even my flights were relatively stress-free now that I’ve doubled my dose of diazepam and added yet another precaution: eat absolutely nothing for at least 6 hours before takeoff time, so there’s nothing in my stomach to lose if I do get queasy.  I’ll be trying that again this week when I fly to San Francisco; I’ll be very busy Friday and Saturday, but if you can do an evening appointment on Thursday & can be a little flexible in case my flight arrives late, drop me a line.  Also, sometime in the next month or so I’ll be visiting Chicago to promote The Forms of Things Unknown; I’ll keep you posted!

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Learning To Relax

For many years, people have been urging me to relax; I always replied that I’d relax when I was dead, or something to that general effect.  But then I came to Seattle, and under the influence of some if the best, most loving women I’ve ever known, and over the past year and a half I’ve slowly, gradually come to accept that relaxation really is OK.  I’ve learned to set aside large blocks of time for just doing things that are fun and help me shed stress, such as getting high, reading for pleasure and my regular Sunday night Doctor Who binge with Lorelei Rivers.  And the practice seems to be therapeutic; though a number of things have gone very, irritatingly wrong in my traveling this week, I’ve simply taken it all in stride rather than having my usual conniption.  Now, I don’t think this is the beginning of some new general imperturbability, but even the occasional episode of calm in the face of chaos would be an improvement over my usual reaction to disruptions in my plans.  So here’s to relaxation; may Aphrodite grant I learn to do it myself as well as I promote it in others.

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