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Diary #369

Ireland was absolutely amazing, better than I could ever have hoped.  We flew into Shannon airport early last Monday morning and immediately set out for the Cliffs of Moher, also visiting St. Brigid’s Well, a dolmen out in the Burren and the beautiful St. Colman’s Oratory, staying for the night in Ennis.  On Tuesday we drove down into the Dingle peninsula, visiting a collection of Ogham stones and beehive huts, and finally locating a ruined church with a well sacred to Saint Gobnait which Lorelei found in a pamphlet; it wasn’t in any of the guidebooks and there were no signposts pointing to it, so we found it purely by inspiration and questioning the locals.  And since there wasn’t a soul around but us, I’ll leave it to your imaginations to figure out how we paid our respects!  That night we stayed in Killarney, and the next day visited the Church of St. Gobnait, with a lovely walking path on which we spent some time.  Later we went to the stone circle at Drombeg on the south coast, and soon after that another, unnamed collection of standing stones only a few kilometers away.  That’s one of the things I found most amazing and refreshing about Ireland: in the United States, every site that could vaguely be considered “historical” (usually a few decades or a century or two old at best) is fenced off, plastered with signs and loomed over by “authorities”.  But in Ireland, monuments many hundreds over even several thousand years old are just sitting in sheep pastures, and all one need do to visit them is hop the fence and walk over, often without anyone else around!  Take a look at the pictures I posted on Friday, and I think you’ll get an idea of what I mean.

After a night at a lovely AirBnB in Cork we visited Blarney Castle and kissed the famed stone before moving on to the ruins of Hore Abbey, at which we had a tremendous amount of fun climbing into nooks and crannies and generally being irreverent.  We visited St. Brigid’s Cathedral in Kildare and had a pub supper there before driving into Dublin, where we stayed at a hotel Thursday and Friday nights.  On Friday we split up: Ghost Rider went to visit a couple of distilleries, while Lorelei & I went shopping in downtown Dublin.  We then all met for afternoon tea, and went pub-crawling until quite late.  And I managed to make all of the flights without vertigo except for the last 15 minutes coming into Seattle on Saturday, probably because I forgot to take my second Valium.  Ah, well, nothing’s perfect!  But this trip was as close to it as anyone could hope for, and I’d be overjoyed if some generous reader were to book a 24-hour or more appointment with me so I could justify going back!

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Diary #368

Last week was a mad scramble of all-over-the-place for me!  After a lovely but busy weekend with Lorelei, my week was spent trying to get as much ahead on the blog as possible (and succeeding through this coming Saturday, hurrah!); packing; preparing for the trip in other ways (such as making sure I had enough drugs and alerting my credit card provider to the fact that I might do that thing which 21st-century banks seem to find “suspicious”, traveling); selling a rental house I owned in Oklahoma; switching various accounts from my old Oklahoma address to my new Washington one; giving two interviews; and doing that thing which pays for it all, i.e. spending a lot of time on my knees and back.  Lorelei & I flew out late Saturday night on a redeye, arriving early Sunday morning in Philadelphia and spending the day in a hotel with Ghost Rider before heading out to the airport.  The flights were as good as I dared hope (which is to say: thank Aphrodite for Valium, Zofran and booze) and we arrived at Shannon airport early yesterday morning, just in time for breakfast (we decided to fly in there and out at Dublin rather than vice-versa).  Today, and every day this week, I’ll surrender myself to the desires of Lorelei & Ghost Rider regarding where we go and what we do; I don’t want to make any decision more important than “What do I want to eat from this menu?”  And on Friday, keep a look out for a bunch of pictures!

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Diary #367

Late Saturday night, Lorelei Rivers and I will be getting on a redeye flight to the East Coast, where we’ll meet up with the gentleman I call Ghost Rider; on Sunday evening we’ll get on another plane together, and disembark the next morning in Dublin.  Yes, a generous client is taking my girlfriend and me on a week-long vacation to Ireland; that is seriously living the hooker dream, my friends!  Oh, wait; clearly I’m suffering from false consciousness, because we all know that the lives of prostituted women are unending cascades of suffering and degradation.  What I really mean is that an evil, exploitative “john” is going to “traffic” two helpless, innocent “victims” across international borders to satisfy his carnal lusts 50 times a day each.  No doubt we’ll be forced to use drugs to survive the violation; oh, woe is us!  Actually, in all seriousness I will need to use drugs to survive the flights, but those drugs will be my good old Valium and Zofran combo, plus as much booze as the air hostess will give me.  So much has changed in the last year and a half; at that time I couldn’t have even hoped for a trip like this.  But now my vertigo is more manageable (though that still requires a lot of planning), I have my passport again, and a generous gentleman is subsidizing my flying!  And that means this is really a kind of dress rehearsal; in the future, I’ll be able to travel to any place a client needs me to go, provided he’s willing to book me for enough time to justify the travel (at least 24 hours to the UK, Ireland or Western Europe and 2 days for anyplace farther than that).  Take a look at your budget, international fans!  And in the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for photo hijinks with Lorelei & me in the Emerald Isle!

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I stayed rather busy last week, from walking with SWOP in the Seattle Pride parade on Sunday (because somebody has to speak up for sex workers, since Gay, Inc won’t), to spending an overnight in Portland with one of my favorite gentlemen (whom I’m going to call Ghost Rider, a nickname that he approves of), to going to see Wonder Woman on Thursday night with Jae.  I wasn’t really planning to see it, because as regular readers know I’ve been a major Wonder Woman fan since childhood and DC has been totally fucking up every single superhero film it has made in this century, from a dark, murderous Superman to a clownish Green Lantern, and I just couldn’t bear to see that done to the Amazon princess.  But Jae asked me to take her to the movie and I wasn’t about to disappoint her; as it turns out, I’m really glad she asked because I was extremely pleased with the film, which may well be the best DC superhero flick ever (including the justly-beloved Christopher Reeve Superman).  I’m not saying it was flawless, but I was easily able to overlook the flaws due to the superlative portrayal of Diana’s personality and character and the skill with which the director depicted her growing from a sheltered princess into a heroic, unstoppable champion of righteousness and compassion.  In the sequence where she truly becomes Wonder Woman, a charge across no man’s land (the film takes place in the First World War rather than the Second of the traditional story) to rescue a village whose plight has moved her heart, I literally cried out loud, sobbing at the beauty and power of the scene.  It was quite an experience, and I highly recommend the picture to anyone who enjoys superheroes or strong female characters, and especially to anyone who has an adolescent daughter to share the experience with.

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Last week was such a busy one!  On Wednesday I flew to Chicago, on Friday I had a reception at which I spoke and sold some of my books, and on Saturday I brunched (lightly!) with the people working on a brand new escort advertising site I’m very excited about (and will tell you more about as things develop) before flying home.  And in between Wednesday and Saturday, I visited with several gentlemen in private.  See, y’all, that’s how you can get me to visit:  set up a decent-sized event for me (or even a couple of smaller ones), give me the time to set up a few appointments, provide me with lodging & meals and I’ll fly out to your city, where you can also see me in private if you like.  Interested?  Let me know!  On Sunday I also marched with the SWOP contingent in Seattle’s Pride parade (somebody has to represent sex workers since the mainstream LGBT organizations won’t), and I’ll have some good pictures of that for you later.

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Diary #364

Some of you know that I’ve got practical reasons for distrusting the government as well as philosophical ones.  I hear phrases like “I’ve never seen this before” and “That’s not supposed to happen” with depressing regularity; that’s bad when the person saying it works for a corporation and the problem involves money, but it’s absolutely horrible when the person saying it works for an unaccountable, monopolistic bureaucracy whose mistakes can destroy one’s whole life (or at least make it incredibly difficult for many years).  For example, an error made by H&R Block on Matt’s 2001 income tax return (this was before we got married & I had my CPA do his taxes) triggered an ordeal which ended only last year, having outlasted the marriage by a year.  And a computer error made in Louisiana at some point during my marriage to Jack (1992-95) cascaded through the government records system, creating problems that were finally resolved when a DMV supervisor in Seattle actually made it his mission to track it down in April 2015 (partly because he’s a decent human being & partly because I cried in front of him.  A lot.)  But even though he told me there should be no problem getting a new passport now, I was still very gun-shy about applying for one; frankly, I was traumatized by the whole thing and felt as though I should just leave well enough alone.  However, a couple of weeks ago a very generous gentleman who wants to take me to Europe insisted that I apply; he offered to pay for expedited service and even enlisted Lorelei to his cause, and she cleverly researched every step I needed to take, giving me the exact locations and procedures so I’d have no excuse not to comply.  In the face of such loving pressure I could hardly resist, and two weeks ago today I steeled myself and walked into the office.  It wasn’t easy for me emotionally; I was literally texting four different people to calm my nerves during the process (Lorelei, my gentleman, Matt and my little sister), but I got it done and all that was left was to wait.  Well, on Friday I got an envelope from the State Department; what I expected to find within was a form letter and a bunch of documents telling me additional rigmarole I would need to go through, but what I found was my actual passport, the first one I’ve had in 25 years.  So all the stress paid off, and it’s good to know my 20+ year paperwork nightmare is over.  And most importantly, gents:  Europe is back on the table again, if any of you care to hire me for a long appointment.

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