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Diary #441

Today is the very last day of my annual Toys for Tots special; you can still claim it if you book and pay today, even if we can’t manage an actual meeting today (which we almost certainly won’t, since I’ve got several things to do).  This year I got over $1000 in cash donations and several toy donations; I’ve already made two drops at the collection center and plan to make my final one tonight (unless I get any last-minute donations, in which case the local coordinator assures me we can squeak them in tomorrow or the next day).  I really enjoy doing this drive every year, and I’m happy to help children in need; however, like so many good things it’s very energy-intensive, so I’m rather glad the program-imposed deadline is two weeks before Christmas Day.  That gives them time to organize distribution, and me time to finish the rest of my own Christmas shopping and other preparations.  As usual, you’ll notice my blog schedule bounce around a little over the holidays, but it’ll be back to normal by the end of the second week of January; meanwhile, I’m going out to Sunset a few days before Christmas, so if you want to schedule during the holidays you need to either be flexible or contact me well in advance (preferably both).  Because the thing I want most for Christmas is some much-needed rest.

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Diary #440

My “Toys for Tots” special started with a bang this year, with $500 in donations in the first couple of days.  The picture below was the result of spending the first $350, and this week I’ll be doing another round; I’ve discovered it’s more fun to take Jae with me on the shopping trips because she gets really excited and it’s good to have another viewpoint on what kids might like.  Last week we even turned it into an outing, with dinner afterward.  I’m also doing some shopping for my own Christmas presents and assisting Santa with stocking stuffers, and working out my schedule for my various commitments for the holiday season.  It’s a lot of work and juggling, but it always feels rewarding.  And come Boxing Day I’ll be able to put up my feet and relax without feeling guilty about it.  Anyhow, the special ends one week from today, so if you’re going to take advantage of it, don’t dawdle!  Remember, you only need to book the appointment and pay the toy portion of the fee by then; we can schedule the appointment for later if you like, and you can relax knowing you’ve helped needy children to have a little joy on Christmas morning.

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Back Issue #65

Stupidity, ignorance, prudishness, statism, control-freakishness and bigotry run deep in human society.  –  “Luck Has Nothing To Do With It

As I explained last month, I’ve decided to start shifting the way these back issue columns are done to include one week of columns from 2010, as the beginning of a shift toward eventually making this a “ten years ago this month” feature (yes, it’s been almost that long now).  The reason for that is because due to all the recurring columns such as news, links and diaries, there aren’t as many to talk about as there used to be.  For November 2015, we had holiday columns for The Day of the DeadGuy Fawkes DayArmistice Day, Friday the ThirteenthThanksgiving and Yuletide; also two guest columns (one from  Domina Elle and another from an escort telling the truth about Charlie Sheen’s escort-dating habits); plus a fictional interlude (“Boss Lady“); three Q&A columns (“Faithless“, “Connection“, and “The Gift of Sight“); and a rebuke to idiots who think I’m required to give them personalized synopses of my entire oeuvre for free (“Not Your Monkey“).  That leaves no other columns to describe specifically, so it’s good I can also mention several very old columns: my very first one introducing the blog, a debunking of myths about Streetwalkers, an examination of the line between paid and unpaid dating, and a refutation of the madonna/whore duality.

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Diary #439

Last week was really quite lovely.  Late Wednesday afternoon I drove out to Sunset with Jae, and the next day we feasted with Grace and Chekhov, and Savannah Sly and a couple of her friends joined us.  It was the first time I’ve been able to present a proper sit-down holiday feast in my own place since the early 90s; every other place I’ve lived since then hasn’t had an actual dining room, therefore no place to serve sit-down dinners.  That may seem a small thing to some of you; after all, I’ve owned relatively-large (compared to most people I know) parcels of land for 16 years now, so you’d think I could’ve had a simple dining room.  But somehow, it has never worked out that way; my attempts to build my own house resulted in failure, and my apartment in Seattle is cozy, but too small for a proper table.  So having one now is a kind of sign that I’m going in the right direction at last:  the house at Sunset wasn’t a dream home, but it’s serviceable and getting nicer by the week.  After the floor is leveled Grace will be building bookshelves, and Jae is working on the decor for me.  On Friday I walked the newly-cleared fence line and discussed the fencing project with Chekhov, and we even found a tree to bring inside for Christmas.  And every time I go, I get a few more of my books out of boxes and onto temporary shelving.  It’s not perfect, but it’s progress.  And that’s the most I’ve been able to say about my home in a very long time.

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Diary #438

Things are moving forward slowly but surely at Sunset.  Grace and Chekhov are very friendly with one of our neighbors, who as it turns out owns a tractor with a stump-pulling arm which is also equipped with a GPS; what that means when one puts it all together is a quick and easy way to clear a fenceline.  He gave me a very good price and did the work on Friday, which means we can now put a fence around the perimeter and Jonathan and Shiloh will have a lot more room to move around and graze in.  Jae is starting to decorate the house; any of you who have been to my incall know that she’s very good at it, and it gives me joy to see her taking frequent trips out to Sunset, employing her skills and playing with her pony.  Tomorrow we’ll be headed out there for Thanksgiving, and though I won’t be back in Seattle until Sunday I will be taking appointments for my annual toy drive; if you don’t know what that’s about, or you do but need a reminder, be sure to look in on Friday!

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Diary #437

It’s rare that I get to see Ghost Rider more than once in a month, but his visit this weekend was the penultimate in a series of social engagements starting at the beginning of last week which included celebrating the birthday of one of my friends on Wednesday (two days before her guest column posted), going to a play with Daedalus on Thursday, attending a dinner party at Savannah’s on Friday, then going with her and some other friends (including Lady Vi) to see Stormy Daniels on Sunday night.  It’s a good thing my brain has re-adjusted to the season, because otherwise I’d have been wiped out!  It was also one of those weeks wherein I was quoted in a number of articles, including this one by Stephen Lemons and another which will appear in Saturday’s news column.  I’ve also been asked when I’ll be traveling next, and to where; the holidays always make that problematic, but I’m definitely going to try flying out of Seattle at least a couple of times this winter before I expect the rate to increase due to movie screenings and speaking events early next year.  And that’s not even including Thanksgiving next week, which also means the start of my annual Christmas toy drive!  If you’re unfamiliar with this tradition (which I’ve practiced in one form or another since I was a stripper in the ’90s), take a look at this description from last year, and be ready to hit the ground running a week from Friday!

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Diary #436

I got a number of lovely gifts for my birthday last week. Angela Keaton described this flask (which I received from Jeremy Dunn, along with a smaller travel flask & an Alfred Hitchcock set) as “peak Maggie”.  Nattie Roman sent me a different Hitchcock set, and Daedalus gave me a sweater dress (and a grooming set for Shiloh!)  I also got some lovely things from my close friends (some of whom joined me for a small, quiet celebration Halloween night).  And I also received another, intangible gift:  birthday greetings from an online friend I haven’t heard from since I came to Seattle, but have often thought of quite often.  This was a little quieter birthday week than I’ve had for the past few years, partly because of the way things fell.  But it was good to have a few hours to visit with people I love, and to receive tokens of esteem and love from people I know both in person and online.  And when I’m in one of the dark moods that have been a regular part of my life since before puberty, it’s good to look at things like cards and gifts and remember that many people feel their lives are better for having known me.

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