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Diary #335

Last Thursday felt very strange to me.  I’ve spent Thanksgiving many different ways over the years: at home or at others’ homes, with people I know well and people I don’t, with small groups and large.  Most years in the past two decades I’ve prepared entire feasts singlehandedly, though sometimes I had help and there a few in which I returned to the custom of my younger adult years by preparing only one dish to bring to a larger, collaborative feast.  But this was, I think, the first year since the ’80s that I didn’t cook at all.  Not a casserole, not a pie, not anything, and though the company was good I couldn’t help but feel very weird and more than a little forlorn.  Cooking is one of the ways I show love, and though most days since I came to Seattle I only have myself to cook for, I still managed to do one dish for Thanksgiving, a whole feast for Christmas and a mini-feast for New Year’s Day last year.  I don’t think I care to repeat this no-cooking thing; there will be a feast for Christmas!  Grace will be here and we’ll have some friends over.  And it’ll be lovely and festive and not-weird.

Speaking of Grace, it was 19 years ago last week that we first met, which is coincidentally the same week my mother and I last spoke.  Well, really not so coincidentally; they both resulted from the same event, my starting stripping the last week of September, 1997.  As I’ve explained before, my mother and I had been arguing about it for weeks, and just a few days before Thanksgiving she told me I wasn’t welcome and that she wouldn’t be speaking to me any more.  That same week I was invited to a party at Dr. Helena’s, and there met Grace for the first time.  So I guess cue trite sayings about gods opening and closing doors and windows and such.

On a more positive note, I want to remind all those who may have missed Friday’s column of my “Toys for Tots” special: until Friday, December 16th, anyone who books with me for at least an hour at my normal rate and brings new, unwrapped toys will receive an extra 10 minutes per toy (maximum 60 extra minutes for 6 toys).  For just one short trip to a toy store or big-box store and a modest expenditure, you can double your time with me and bring joy to a needy child who might otherwise be cheated of a holiday gift.  If you don’t want a date but would like to meet me, for $100 and three toys I will have an hour-long coffee meeting with you anywhere in the Seattle area.  And if you don’t live near me, I’ll even extend that deal via telephone or Google Hangouts to anyone who will PayPal the donation & drop-ship me the toys via Amazon (I’ll add whatever you want to buy to my wishlist & you can immediately buy it).  It’s really a great offer, so please help me show some love to needy kids while giving yourself a gift at the same time!

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Back Issue: November 2013

Parrots in journalists’ clothing…mindlessly report…[news stories] with the high level of critical analysis one might expect from a toddler or a spambot.  –  “Why I Wait

Neil Gaiman's DeathNovember is the beginning of the holiday season, and that means a large number of seasonal columns: besides the obvious Thanksgiving and Yuletide kickoff columns, I also do regular ones for The Day of the DeadGuy Fawkes Day and Armistice Day, and “Maggie’s Kitchen” shared a few recipes for the holiday season.  Despite its name,  “Flaky Pastries” is not a cooking column but a Q&A; the others for this month were “Suspicious Minds“, “Let Me Help” and “Three in One“.  The Cliterati reprints were “Innocence Never Had” and “Shame, Shame“, the harlotography was “Hwang Jini“, the fictional interlude “The Other Side“, gold star for effortand the guest columnist Brooke Magnanti; in addition there was a special guest column, “Picture Out of the Past“, in which Aspasia answered a reader’s question about a piece of art he bought.  After all that, there were only four other columns: “We’re Number One!” ridiculed the weird pissing contest between US cities and states to be the largest “sex trafficking hub”; “Traffic Circle” examined signs of the disintegration of the hysteria; “Crumbling House” looked at the collapsing reputation of Somaly Mam and “Why I Wait” explained the reasons I don’t report on some stories right away.Gamera

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selfiecamera_2016-11-16-00-12-16-589Although I really hate Christmas displays and marketing going up before Thanksgiving day (tune in this coming Friday if you want to know how much I hate it), my behind-the-scenes preparations have already started.  I’ve ordered some presents already, bought Grace’s ticket to visit me over the last two weeks of the year, and have already set up for my annual Yuletide special (details on Friday).  All this despite the fact that I’m really still in a more Halloweenish mood, as evidenced by this recent selfie taken while I was very high and looking quite witchy.  That may have something to do with a lot of difficult personal stuff I’ve been dealing with lately, or the rereading of a number of my stories while compiling The Forms of Things Unknown, or even binge-watching Doctor Who with Lorelei Rivers.  As many of you probably realize, binge-watching TV shows is not my usual style.  But I’d never seen any of the post-revival episodes until now (though the classic series is one of my favorites), and I’d like to catch up.  Plus Lorelei is a major fan, and she is extremely persuasive (not that it actually takes a lot of arm-twisting to get me to cuddle on a sofa for hours with a beautiful young woman).  Anyway, I’m also starting to put together the sketchy outlines of my January tour down the West Coast, and it looks like I may (not certain yet) head down to Florida in March.  So keep your eyes on these diary columns and be sure to let me know ASAP if you want a date while I’m passing through your city.

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Diary #333

selfiecamera_2016-11-05-12-48-38-054I think my car will soon be able to get to the airport by itself; it drove there and back three times in as many days last week (the first time Sol Finer drove it to pick me up, and the next two times I took friends there), then yesterday I had to go again!  Other than that, the week kept me so busy with little chores, tasks and annoyances that I wasn’t quite able to catch back up, and the election didn’t help at all.  But that finally broke near the end of the week, and a dear friend invited me over to her house Friday for an evening of inebriated cuddling on the sofa, which was blissfully relaxing and put me into a lovely frame of mind for the rest of the weekend.  I’m beginning to get my schedule together, and pretty soon I’ll know my tour dates for January; tentatively, I’ll be stopping in Portland, San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas, Albuquerque and Denver, so if you live in any of those cities and would like to see me please keep your eye on this space over the next few weeks.  And with any luck I’ll be able to get my new book out by then, too!

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Diary #332

selfiecamera_2016-11-05-12-53-43-464On Friday I flew out to Oklahoma to speak at the #OKAnarchy2016 conference at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, and if you’d like to see what was going on there you can look at that hashtag on Twitter.  My talk on “The War on Whores is the New War on Drugs” seemed well-received, and my friend Angela Keaton kicked ass with her concluding talk on the problems with many “-isms”, especially “feminism” that serves the carceral state.  I got to meet some new allies in a group fighting for the rights of sexual minorities, and though the drinks in Oklahoma are far too watered-down to be effective I certainly gave it the old college try.  On Sunday Grace picked me up, and I spent a night at my ranch before she took me to Dallas yesterday afternoon so I could fly home.  Unfortunately, my new drug regimen failed me for the first time; the ride proved too rough for the meds to control, and I got very ill.  But fortunately, the diazepam kept from from having a panic attack when the sickness set in, and the ondansetron at least helped me from the attack much more quickly than I usually would.  I was also invited to speak at an event n Phoenix in January, and I’ve decided to drive down so I can tour along the way; watch this space for details!

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Diary #331

time-lady-maggie-10-27-16Last week was full of lovely distractions, mostly Halloween and birthday-related.  And I conveniently had a day of rest between each one to recover before the next!  On Thursday there was a fairly large costume party for the sex worker community; my costume consisted of a steampunk leather corset that Jae found for me at Goodwill (she has rather a knack for that) and a faux-suede skirt, with my snakeskin boots.  I declared that I was a time traveler; what I was thinking of is the way that Time Lords and Ladies in Doctor Who always seem to dress a bit out of synch, with clothes that don’t quite fit any particular time period.  On Saturday, the party came to me; I don’t think I ventured out of my door the whole day, but several friends dropped by to celebrate my birthday with me, bearing cake, candy and intoxicants.  It was just so lovely; the love and acceptance in the room was like a living force, and you may get some idea of what it was like by looking at this tweet thread.  And my hangover the next day wasn’t even that bad!  On my birthday, a portable DVD player arrived via post for me, courtesy of regular reader Ivan Dragomiloff; that’s going to come in handy considering I didn’t have any way to play the DVDs other readers and clients have given me lately!  I then spent the evening with the lovely Lorelei Rivers, who cooked dinner for me and indulged me by watching a couple of my favorite horror movies, The Black Cat and The Haunting.  Tomorrow I’ll be flying to Oklahoma City to speak at a one-day event on anarchism; if you would like to see me there, you need to let me know today (the only times I’ll have available are Friday and Sunday afternoons).  Since I’ll be so close to home, I’m having Grace pick me up for a one-day visit Sunday, then I’ll be flying back to Seattle on Monday.  Oh, and while we’re on the topic of my work:  remember, my readers-only special expires three weeks from today, so if you want to take advantage of that you need to act soon!

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Back Issue: October 2013

Death will claim us all soon enough; it’s both foolish and counterproductive to waste one’s life trying to escape the inescapable, and to suck all the marrow out of its bones in a futile attempt to delay the inevitable.  –  “Halloween 2013

Zombie Rising from the Grave by Diane DiederichMy natal month is, of course, dominated by my natal day, and besides the directly Halloween-themed “Trick or Treat“, the tangentially-related “Total Perspective Vortex” and “Book Review:  The Science of Fear“, and the strong influences on the harlotography (“Aileen Wuornos“) and fictional interlude (“Monopoly“), several of the titles of otherwise non-horror-oriented columns were horror-inspired (as were their illustrations).  It’s not hard to pick them out of the list of Q&A columns (“Your Move“, “It Takes All Kinds“, “All Clean“, “Buried But Not Dead” and “Horns“) and Cliterati reprints (“Dark Corners“, “Imaginary Evils“, “Sex Raysfeminist heretic burningand “Everything Old is New Again“), and then of course there’s “Torture Chamber“.  After the guest column (Sasha Castel on being a mistress), two stats columns (“Frequently Told Lies” and “Handy Figures Revisited“), and an extra news column (“Hysteria on Parade“), that leaves only two columns on prohibitionist tyranny: a look at Swanee Hunt’s “Vendetta” against whores, and a critique of the US government’s “Whimsical Notions” that men can be ordered to be asexual.Temptations of St. Anthony by Bernardo Parentino (c. 1494)

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