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Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

We don’t often get much snow in Seattle, but when we do everything basically stops and absurdist-theater levels of hysteria ensue, complete with ridiculous terms like “Snowmageddon” for a few inches of accumulation, which I’m sure causes the eyes of folks from the Midwest to roll their eyes so hard they can virtually see their brains.  Now, part of the problem is that it just doesn’t snow very much here, and many Seattleites are transplants from much warmer places where it doesn’t snow at all, leading to the same sort of fear-of-the-unknown reaction one sees every time it drizzles in Los Angeles.  And another part of the problem is that Seattle is full of steep hills which become impassable under icy conditions, thus leading to traffic snarls as people who can’t navigate without Google Maps are detoured to alternate routes.  But another part is just Seattle being Seattle, which is why the only days I got in my car for the past week were Tuesday and Wednesday.  Once the snow stops (the weather report says tomorrow) I’ll probably start my car to let the heat melt off the snow, and throw a few pots of hot water behind my wheels so I can get traction to back out of my driveway.  But until then, I’ve got plenty of blankets, soup, supplies, booze, cannabis and writing projects, so I’ll be just fine right here in The Den.

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Diary #449

I haven’t made gumbo for a long time, and because it used to be the centerpiece of my Imbolc feast I decided to go out to Sunset over the weekend and make some.  I remembered to order the andouille from my favorite supplier, Bailey’s in LaPlace, Louisiana, on Monday so it would be sure to arrive on time, and prepped the chicken on Wednesday (see my gumbo recipe, linked above) so on Saturday all I had to do was chop up the sausage & onions, make the roux, combine the ingredients and wait.  Well, I also had to make potato salad, which many Louisianians (including Grace) enjoy plopped down right in the middle of the gumbo.  I did share my potato salad recipe on Radley Balko’s old Agitator blog years ago, but since that, sadly, is no more, here it is again: cook as many peeled potatoes as you like until soft, and hard-boil one egg per potato. I use small russet potatoes; you don’t want too little egg in proportion to potato.  Crush the eggs with a fork as one would for egg salad, then add the potatoes and mash it together with a potato masher.  Add 1 heaping tablespoon of mayonnaise per potato, then one heaping tablespoon of prepared mustard per two potatoes, then one heaping tablespoon of pickle relish (I use sweet relish) per two potatoes.  You are going to have to fiddle with the proportions a little to get it the way you like it; I usually end up adding more mustard.  You’ll note that south Louisiana style potato salad is much creamier than the styles from other parts of the country, which use much less thoroughly-cooked potatoes for a chunkier texture.  Oh, and most down there like it cold, though some (including a couple of my sisters) prefer it soon after it’s made, while it’s still warm.  Speaking of cold, I headed back to Seattle on Sunday, a day earlier than planned, due to the snow; Seattle drivers in snow are as stupid and dangerous as Los Angeles drivers in rain, and I had no desire to see the effects multiplied by an overnight freeze.

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This was quite a busy and pleasant week!  In addition to several new (and lovely, and generous) clients, this week saw the completion of The War on Whores (premiering at 7:30 pm on Saturday, March 2nd at The Rendezvous in Seattle); the paying-off of the last of my debt from my big move in 2017; the arrival of some really fab jeans from Peter Roman (you’ll have to wait for the pic!); some progress on monetizing this blog; a cosmetic procedure I’ve wanted for some time; and the time and opportunity to work on a personal project I really enjoy, I also recorded “The Politics of Sex Work”, the first in what I hope will be many video lectures for Thaddeus Russell’s Renegade University.  I love working with Thad; like my documentary producer Paul Johnson (who did the actual camera work for the lecture recording) he takes care of all the technical and practical stuff that tends to overwhelm me, so all I have to do is show up and be Maggie McNeill.  That’s the goal I’m aiming for this year:  I’m trying to make arrangements and get things to the point where I let other people who actually know what they’re doing handle the things I’m not good at, so all I need to do to earn a good living is be me, which I’m very good at.  The first half-century of my life wasn’t exactly easy, so I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I’m trying to make up for it now…especially if in the process I can actually increase my effectiveness as a proponent of the cause I care so deeply about. 

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Back Issue #67

[Platonic doctrine] conveniently meant that philosophers, scholars and priests could say whatever they wanted about female behavior and motives, and it would always be right even if women didn’t actually behave that way.  –  “The Myth of the Wanton

Introducing the new format of Back Issue columns…which, as I explained previously, looks a lot like my weekly Links columns (though without new material).  Over the next two years it’ll keep looking like this, though without the introduction; eventually, the featured links will all be from ten years prior (though right now they’re still largely from three years earlier, with a few from 2010).  I figure that since I’ve got almost a decade’s worth of material now, it’d be a shame to let the old stuff just sit there!

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Diary #447

Both Grace and Jae are good at finding great deals on Craigslist; last Tuesday Grace texted me and told me they’d found a camper-trailer for only $275, which she suggested we could use as a guest cabin.  So I told them to pull the money from petty cash and go take a look at it, and though it needs some work it was a steal at that price.  Once the roof is sealed and Jae redoes the interior, we’ll have a 24′ trailer that in a pinch can sleep five people, and Grace will run power and water hookups to it.  Slowly but surely, the compound is growing and improving; before too much longer they’ll start on the bookcases, and most of the posts have already been placed for the new perimeter fence.  As I’ve said before, deciding to move my operations to Washington state wasn’t an easy thing for me to do, though I know it was the right thing.  So when stuff falls into place and I see things shaping up and my little family happy, it not only makes me feel good, but confirms to my nervous mind that I really did make the right decision.   

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Things are definitely moving forward on my various projects!  My documentary, The War on Whores, will premiere at 7:30 PM on Saturday, March 2nd at The Rendezvous on 2nd Avenue in Seattle; after that I’ll be looking for sponsors for screenings all over the country, so if your organization (activist group, school, etc) would like to do that, let me know.  I’ve also been talking to Thaddeus Russel about some projects we’re going to do together, and he offered his graphic designer to help me finish the cover of The Essential Maggie McNeill.  My inability to complete it myself is the reason it has been delayed for several months, and I’ve been talking to Thad about ways to delegate stuff (like cover design) that I’m bad at, so I can be free to write, speak, interact with people one-on-one, be fabulous, and all the other things that I’m good at.  I’ve been working on cutting things that drag me down and annoy me out of my life, which is why I don’t answer cold voice-calls any more; my recording suggests sending a text, so when someone tries to call but doesn’t follow up with  text, I know that I just avoided another time-waster.  And that gives me more time to do things I like, such as writing and getting presents like these snakeskin leggings from Nattie Roman.  And meeting my fans by travelling around the country!

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Christmas is over and carnival has begun, which means my nails have gone from red to purple and my wardrobe from autumn & Yuletide to late winter colors (and once February arrives, that even includes pink).  Yeah, I’m pretty persnickety about seasonal colors; as a kid in New Orleans I always wished for seasons, and now that I have them I intend to observe them.  On a different subject, we’re just about done with the editing of my documentary, The War On Whores; we’re premiering it at this year’s SASS (less than two months away!) and then we’ll be opening up for screenings.  So if you have a group which might like to sponsor a screening in your city, you might want to start thinking about that.  And I might want to start thinking about getting off my derriere and putting the last touches on The Essential Maggie McNeill, which I’ve shamefully neglected since September for no reason I can adequately explain to my own satisfaction.  Such is the life of a neuroatypical writer sans externally-imposed deadlines; I’m trying to learn not to beat myself up about it.

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