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Posts Tagged ‘Presents’

I’m starting to run back and forth to Seattle more often again.  Back in April and May I spent most of my time at Sunset, and I still do; however, instead of staying there for weeks on end, I’m usually returning to Seattle after about 4 to 10 days, accomplishing whatever it was I needed to do (clients, beauty appointments, etc), and then heading back to Sunset after perhaps three days in town.  When I returned to my apartment a week ago today, my blue girl surprised me by having burst into flower during the week I was gone; I also found a DVD waiting for me, sent by a kind reader for my blog anniversary.  That’s how I plan to keep things for a while; since there’s not much reason to be in Seattle most of the time, I’d rather be working on my house than fighting traffic and enduring half a dozen sirens a day.  And because I’m not in Seattle as often, it’s a pleasant little change of pace when I visit.

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Generous Gents

Nearly every established sex worker I know has had generous clients buy big-ticket items for her, and I don’t mean frivolities like designer handbags and 500 pairs of shoes; I mean substantial items, like a central air conditioning system, furniture, a car, that sort of thing.  In my case, the most outstanding example is my farm at Sunset.  I was able to buy it outright thanks in part to a generous parting allowance from my wasband Matt, and another of my gentlemen bought me the truck Grace and Chekhov used to haul everything we own from Oklahoma to Washington.  Once it was no longer needed, I used the truck itself as barter to pay a hired man who has done a great deal of work for me, from setting up the jacks to level my floor, to digging drainage ditches, to helping me rebuild my chicken yard, to helping Chekhov and I build the guest cottage.  And of course Chekhov himself has been incredibly generous; not only did he buy both guest cottages and all the lumber for the bathhouse project and the bookshelves, he’s also bought me a number of new appliances and tools.  And of course he’s not the only one who’s bought me tools; many of my readers have purchased them for me from my wishlist, and this one in particular has seen very heavy use!  Another of my gents tips me with a Home Depot gift card every time I see him, and those have purchased many more tools and supplies.  These kinds of gifts may not be the stuff of male fantasy like fancy lingerie and expensive jewelry, but they mean far more to me: they are allowing me to create the comfortable home I plan to spend the rest of my life in.  And every time I look at my bookshelves or use my hot tub or just walk on the deck built with gifts from my gents, I cannot help but be reminded of their generosity.

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The Magic of Gifts

I’ve written before about how nice it is to receive gifts from readers and friends, and how much it means to me that I touch the lives of people so much (even when I haven’t met them in person) that they want to bring a smile to my face and/or make my life easier and more pleasant.  The gifts take all forms; sometimes people help me with things I need, such as my friend Winnie doing my nails this week or Chekhov buying all the lumber for my various building projects (not to mention an extra guest cottage!)  Other times, readers send me things from my Amazon wishlist, such as a Sonos speaker system for Sunset I got from Derek Ashworth last week; I appreciate all such gifts, and even have some very inexpensive ones on there for those on a limited budget.  And sometimes, readers send me nice things that they just thought I’d like, such as this six-months-early birthday present from a reader (who prefers discretion around his name) who was concerned he might not have the cash on hand by autumn.  But whether the gifts are practical or aesthetic, expensive or inexpensive, requested or spontaneous, I appreciate them all, and that’s why it’s so important to me to acknowledge each and every one so the senders – and everyone else – knows that.

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By the time you read this I’ll be in Orlando, Florida visiting with Alex Andrews of SWOP Behind Bars; there are some things she is much better at than I am, and she kindly offered to help me with them so I wouldn’t either procrastinate in the forlorn hope that they go away, or else have an anxiety attack when I force myself to do them anyhow.  Of course, travel itself gives me anxiety, and modern airline travel even more so; though I finally broke down and got TSA Precheck, the airlines themselves have discovered so many ways to make the experience awful that the Precheck is at best a harm reduction strategy.  I mean, take Tuesday for example; overfull airplanes stress me out, but airlines also have a tendency to cancel flights that aren’t very close to full, so I spent three days dealing with low-level anxiety over that because I managed to find a flight that had a wonderfully large number of empty seats.  And since Seattle was unusually sunny last week, my pineal gland was screaming that IT ISN’T SPRING YET DAMMIT SO WHY IS EVERYTHING SO BRIGHT AND NOISY?  As it turned out, the travel itself was relatively uneventful, and I got to celebrate Mardi Gras on Tuesday with one of my favorite gents before going on to Florida, where I hope to relax and drink too much in addition to getting done with the stuff I came to do.  And though I was a bit on edge over the weekend, I also got to see a new musical with Lorelei and go to Lady Vi’s “house cooling” on Saturday, plus I’ve sent the necessary materials to Shannon Reeves so she can start on the cover for The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume II.   Geek Downrange send me a router from my Amazon wishlist (thank you!), and I got the very good news that the young man who’s going to help us wth the floor-repair project went under the house and discovered that the problem is actually less severe than we had initially believed.  It looks like they’re going to start working on it this week, in fact, and I’ll be going out there a week from today (maybe even as early as Wednesday) to help.  So all in all, it has been quite a good week despite my brain carrying on as though there really were something to carry on about.

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It’s kinda nice when I can keep things moving along for a change.  We’ve got the trim for the bookcases; I’m waiting for the proof of The Essential Maggie McNeill, Volume I; I’ve made my travel arrangements for this weekend; and I’m starting to figure out my schedule for February (about which I’ll say more later).  And in addition to all that I managed to read a novel and listen to a rather strange but very entertaining radio serial from 1972 named The Fourth Tower of Inverness, which Chekhov gave me for Christmas (he also gave me the sequel, Moon Over Morocco).  Normally it would be difficult for me to sit and listen to such a long series, but I’ve driven to or from Sunset five times since receiving it, and the car has a CD player, so ta-da!  If you’ve ever heard the series you’ll understand when I tell you I kinda wish I had listened to at least some of it stoned, but I’ll have a chance with the sequel (which I’m told is not dissimilar).  Learning to relax and let go of stuff that stresses me out has been a long, slow, laborious process, but I’m getting there, and it’s lovely when people give me gifts that help.

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I drove back from Sunset last Thursday to find a couple of gifts waiting for me; one was a book named A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder, sent to me by Jeremy Dunn.  I had a rather quiet weekend (except for going to a special Doctor Who screening on Sunday with Lorelei); aside from writing and getting stoned (because I believe in keeping Christmas going for the full twelve days if at all possible), I did a bit of planning for an upcoming overnight with one of my favorite gentlemen, and I finally got the cover art for The Essential Maggie McNeil, Volume I completed!  I originally planned to use a photo, because I wanted a different style of cover for my non-fiction books.  But we just couldn’t get any photos to work, so Shannon Reeves (who did the art for The War on Whores) did a sketch based on one of my photos instead.  I think it came out very well, and as soon as I’m finished examining the proof the book will at long last be ready for sale!  So I should be announcing that soon.  Because, as I mentioned last week, Grace has been in poor health, I decided to run back to Sunset for one night earlier this week so she wouldn’t have to be alone for such a long stretch; while I was there we did two more bookcase units, which completes the main work for that set of shelves.  Chekhov will be back tomorrow, so they’ll start on the finish work and staining, and before much longer I’ll have a real library again!  We want to do a few more sets of shelves for DVDs and CDs, then after that Chekhov is going to put new flooring down (the existing flooring is 90 years old and quite worn), and then Jae will do the rest of the decorating; by spring we’ll finally have the main room finished.  And after 25 years of waiting to have a nice place of my own again, that’s going to feel so wonderful I’m honestly not sure how I’m going to react to it.

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Diary #495

On Monday I drove out to Sunset, and the past few days have been lovely.  I’ve managed not to stress about anything this week, even when I was preparing our small feast (5 of us altogether) on Wednesday.  Oh, I had the usual low-level anxiety which is inevitable when trying to get several dishes prepared at the same time, but beyond that nothing.  Even the drive out on Monday wasn’t bad; I threaded the traffic in Tacoma pretty well, and got here in about 2 hours and 20 minutes.  And Christmas Eve…well, look at the picture and judge for youself.  And I’ve got almost another week here!  Sometime in the next few days I’m going to try to listen to the latest episode of the Trek Profiles podcast, featuring me; since most of the podcasts I do focus on heavy topics like human rights and police violence, it was rather nice just to talk about Star Trek for once.  If you’re a fan, give it a listen!

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Yuletide 2019

Every year on this day, the traditional beginning of the Yuletide season in the US, I remind my readers that the real spirit of the season involves giving to others rather than literally fighting to get more for yourself.  Children and whores are St. Nick’s two favorite groups of people; you can help the latter by donating to a sex worker charity such as SWOP Behind Bars, or you can help BOTH by booking a session with a sex worker you know has kids. If you don’t know any, you can help by participating in my annual Toys for Tots special, which for a small expenditure will allow you extra time with me while bringing a little bit of joy to needy children.  From now until Thurday, December 12th, book a session with me and bring up to six new, unwrapped toys with you, and I’ll add ten minutes per toy to your time!  If you prefer, bring an extra $100 and I’ll extend your time by half an hour (then use the hundred to buy toys). Please let me know when booking you want to take advantage of the special, so I can allow for the time in my schedule.  If you don’t want a full date but would like to meet me, for $100 and three toys (or $150 cash) I will have an hour-long coffee meeting with you anywhere in the Seattle area.  If you don’t live near me, please consider simply donating to my toy drive via PayPal (to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net) or Cash app (to $MaggieMcNeill) anyway; make sure you note what part of your donation is for toys and what part for me (it’s perfectly OK to tell me to spend it all on toys; I don’t mind).  And if you want to take advantage of the special but don’t have time to actually see me by the 12th, that’s OK too; you can prepay and schedule the appointment for later.  I want to make this as easy as possible for you, so together we can bring joy to needy children who might otherwise have nothing on Christmas morning.

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Diary #491

Unlike last week, which only seemed quiet, this week was genuinely quiet.  And you know what?  It was hard to be upset about that, and I didn’t really try.  Some writing, a couple of nice sessions with regulars, getting my hair and nails done, doing a fun podcast that I’ll tell you about when it drops, planning Thanksgiving, doing a little shopping and hiring someone to help me finish a long-delayed project; that about sums up the productive portions of the week.  Otherwise, I actually managed to do some light reading (!!!) and have made some new additions to my wishlist (if you’re considering getting me a Christmas present), and I did a bit of philosophizing while stoned that might make it into a future story or philosophy column.  Tomorrow I’ll be driving out to Sunset in the evening, and then the feast on Thursday and tree-trimming on Friday; with any luck, I won’t have anything more exciting than that to tell you about in next week’s diary.  Except for reminding you of my toy drive, which is always exciting.

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Diary #489

Early last week I received a number of birthday presents that were apparently just a little slow in transit; among them were a CD transcription of an old vinyl album featuring a Boris Karloff interview about the Universal horror classics (given to me by Jeremy Dunn) and this Lovecraft-themed cookbook from Bad Luck.  I’m always especially happy when readers send me the weirder things from my wishlist; I know most people prefer to go for the sexy or useful things, but I was a Halloween baby and, as regular readers know, it shows in my writing and my love for horror stories and movies.  So when people send me the weird stuff it’s like they’re saying, “You’re a beautiful woman, but you’re also a weirdo and I respect that.”  I guess you could say it makes me feel seen and accepted.  I’ve never been good at putting on a persona in sex work; I’ve always just been me, nerdiness and all.  And the fact that this has never impaired my ability to make a good living just goes to show once again that clients are nothing like the two-dimensional caricatures prohibitionists seem to enjoy fantasizing about.

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