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Posts Tagged ‘Presents’

I promised I’d show y’all a photo of the lovely steel rose sculpture a gentleman gave me three weeks ago, but I’m afraid photography is not one of my strong suits and this was the best I could do (I decided to hold it in my hand for scale).  It’s one of several generous gifts I’ve received lately; another was a very fancy drill press for Grace, which I’ll be taking her when I visit Friday for her birthday.  Alas, unlike the rose I don’t know who sent the drill press; ever since Amazon started doing its own deliveries it has really dropped the ball on packaging, so the first I knew of the delivery was when one of my neighbors told me it was sitting outside my door, just as though it had been taken from a shelf at Home Depot, with no shipping carton or packing list or anything to let me know who sent it (other than the shipping label with my address on it).  I’ve mentioned it on Twitter several times, but no answer; if you sent it, please let me know!  And speaking of presents, it’s now my turn to give one to some of y’all:  Paul Johnson received our first shipment of DVDs late last week, so I’ll be sending those out to donors very soon!  If you donated at the $60 or $125 level, expect me to ask your address in the next few days.  In just over a week I’ll be flying to Florida for three screenings arranged by SWOP Behind Bars; thanks to all my donors for helping that to happen!  And thanks to everyone who kindness and generosity – in the past, in the future and every day – helps make my life just a bit easier and a whole lot nicer.

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Diary #465

As those of you who read this blog every day already know, a week ago today I flew cross-country to see a lovely and generous gentleman overnight; I returned the next day and on Friday rode out to Sunset for the weekend.  My gent gave me a lovely metal sculpture of a rose, and I would’ve featured a picture of it in this column had I been able to take a good one in time.  See, because of the metal “thorns” neither he nor I was willing to risk some TSA goon deciding it was a “weapon” and stealing it from me, so he instead shipped it and it arrived a few hours after I left on Friday, and my landlord kept it and gave it to me last night, when it was too dark to get a good shot.  Had my brain been operating at full capacity I probably could’ve figured out a way to take one, but as I explained yesterday I was just emotionally exhausted, so it’ll have to wait.  As a poor but interesting substitute, please enjoy this picture of an actual egg one of my hens laid on Thursday; when I first saw it I thought it was a goose egg (for those who don’t have a good idea of the size of my hand, the egg is over 3″ long and a typical large egg is about 2″).  Anyhow, I ate it for dinner last night and it not only had two yolks, but covered roughly the same area in my skillet as three eggs ordinarily would, so I’m guessing it’s from the same hen who used to regularly lay double-yolked eggs last year (maybe it’s something she does in warm weather?)  Anyhow, we’re just about finished expanding the corral, we’ve started on the bookcases and Jae is just about finished decorating my room, so I’ll share a pic of that soon; it’s so nice to have my canopy bed back after it was in storage for 17 years!

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Some of you may have noticed that for all my steel, thunder and rationality, I’m also a very sentimental person.  The top of my desk is cluttered with cards, small gifts and other mementos given me by people I love, and I have difficulty getting rid of things I’m used to having around even if they don’t actually work well anymore.  But a car is something that must be reliable to be useful at all, so when my mechanic told me that my automatic transmission’s shifting difficulty was a harbinger of its imminent demise (and that wasn’t even the only issue), I knew it was time to retire my burgundy-colored 2000 Honda Accord (just a few months after the premiere of The War on Whores, in which she has a small part).  Fortunately, another sex worker I know was thinking of getting rid of her 2002 Saturn; the car’s in very good shape (and very low mileage for an 18-year-old) but she rarely drove it, and didn’t feel it was worth the expense of maintaining any longer.  She gave me a very good price, and yesterday I sold the old one to a mechanic who’s going put a salvage transmission in it for his teenage daughter to drive.  All very reasonable and practical and for the best, and it wasn’t like I was really in love with the Accord, and she’s going to a good home.  But I was used to her, and comfortable with her, and I really dislike change.  So I’m sure you’ll forgive me if I shed a tear for the old girl, and thank her for getting me around dependably for the past three and a half years.

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For the second time recently, I’ve received an email that, while it isn’t a question, is something I’d like to share with y’all.  This is from a gentleman I’ve seen several times since moving to Seattle; he’s not a regular because it’s usually a while between visits, but he is a repeat client (and has on a number of occasions asked for references from me for escorts in other cities).  We had an appointment set for this coming Saturday, but then yesterday morning I received this email (which I’ve edited slightly for discretion; I also asked permission to share):

Hello, Maggie.  I found out that I need to be traveling to a different city on Monday, which means I won’t be making the Seattle trip this weekend.  I know I have had to cancel the last two appointments, so I went ahead and sent a “full” cancellation fee since you would have only a short time for a reschedule.  I appreciate your flexibility and friendship!  I’m sorry for the inconvenience.

Just a few minutes before the email, a payment notification had popped up on my phone letting me know that my full one-hour fee had arrived.  Guys, THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT!  Let’s be honest; escorts are a luxury, and anyone who sees us with any regularity isn’t hurting financially.  But working escorts arrange our schedules around appointments, which means that a cancelled (rather than postponed) appointment represents a loss of income; we can’t usually just reschedule another appointment into that time slot (especially when, as this gent mentions, I’m leaving town for a week the very next day).  So if life happens and you have to cancel an appointment, a polite, respectful email like this one accompanied by at least some compensation (most guys send me $100 or a selection from my wishlist) goes a very long way to soothing the sting and staying on your provider’s good side.  And if you’ve had to cancel before (as is true in this case), paying the whole cost of the missed session demonstrates that you respect her time and are sincerely sorry for the inconvenience; repeated excuses without compensation begin to sound like “the dog ate my homework” after the second or third iteration.  The world isn’t a perfect place, and the best-laid plans of mice & men, etc.  But making a little extra effort like this gentleman did goes a long way toward keeping you in the circle of gold-star clients whom escorts are happy to see and happy to recommend to others.

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I’m happy to announce that the funds disbursement issue with the fundraiser for The War on Whores has been solved!  Those who don’t follow me on Twitter may have missed that for over two weeks, WePay (the payment processor for GoFundMe and a number of similar sites) kept cancelling my withdrawals, sending me emails which announced “Action required” in the subject line and yet not telling me what action was required.  And like many modern web-based businesses, neither GoFundMe nor WePay has a proper customer service phone number, pretending instead that in an age of instant communication emails that take them days to answer constitute adequate customer service.  Eventually, someone decided to finally tell me that WePay recently demanded that GoFundMe (and presumably, other crowdfunding sites as well) ban the rewards for different donation levels which have been a staple of crowdfunding since it was invented (I smell FOSTA’s baleful influence here).  A few days after I deleted the rewards from the GoFundMe page, their cstomer service told me that WePay was apparently satified and would stop playing “Mother May I?” with my readers’ donations; on Tuesday, the day of my Bay Area screening, the funds finally hit my account.  And now that’s done, I’d like to remind readers about the fundraiser and ask for your help again, and to remind y’all that even though I can’t list them on the donation page the rewards are:

$30 or more – Donor
Permanent inclusion in blog-supporter deals (free stories, etc).

$60 or more – Friend
Autographed DVD of The War on Whores (will be sent when DVDs are delivered to us, probably late spring)

$125 or more – Sponsor
Autographed copies both of my books, plus The War on Whores DVD when it comes out.

$250 or more – Patron
When I’m in your city, I’ll have coffee with you and hand-deliver the Sponsor-level gifts plus an autographed poster!

$500 or more – Angel
When I’m in your city, I’ll have a leisurely dinner with you and hand-deliver all the Patron-level gifts!

$1000 or more – Producer
I will make a special trip to the city of your choice and give a full screening of the movie, with Q&A session, to the group of your choice!  If you have no special group, I’ll give you the Angel package without your having to wait until I reach your city!

Paul Johnson told me yesterday that the closed captioning is done, so the movie will soon be available on Amazon; also, thanks to my generous donors I was able to send him the money for burning the DVDs.  Onward and upward!

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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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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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