Posts Tagged ‘Presents’

Diary #279

1030152107aSlowly but surely, I’m getting back into the swing of things in Seattle.  Last week I attended a lovely party at which I got to meet quite a few inhabitants and habitués of the Seattle demimonde, and to catch up with some friends and fans I hadn’t seen in a while.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do for my birthday; in a few days I’m going to be marking the occasion by getting together with a small group of friends, but I still wanted to do something on Halloween and Jae goes to sleep quite early these days.  She doesn’t like horror movies anyway, and since that’s my usual Halloween entertainment I was at a bit of a loss.  But Abby May came through for me by taking me out to Guillermo del Toro’s new release, Crimson Peak; it was a treat to see a Gothic on the big screen again, and since it’s been years since I’ve been to a theater at all that was already a treat in itself.  Late in the (rainy, spooky) afternoon I got a lovely flower arrangement from Grace, along with a card that had me crying like a baby.  And Jae displayed her knack for clever gifts by presenting me with the lady in the picture, who now occupies a place of honor atop my desk; if you don’t understand why this gift is appropriate, I call your attention to my book cover and several stories I published almost a year ago.  And if you know me in person, you might want to pay attention to a certain recurring theme in my wardrobe.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo here we are in “scramble” mode; I’m leaving two weeks from tomorrow and as I’ll bet you can guess, I still haven’t even thought about what to pack yet.  I did make one decision about that; I’m only going to take my favorite winter clothes and buy some more up there, because I honestly don’t have very much in the way of nice-looking winter clothes.  Those of you who have seen me in person may find that surprising because I have many lovely spring, summer and autumn outfits, such as this awesome new bathing suit I received from Daz late last week.  But since it never gets all that cold in New Orleans it’s hard to find really pretty winter outfits there, and as a result most of my winter stuff is, well, a bit on the utilitarian side.  But I’ll bet in Seattle I can find some slinky, sweatery long-sleeved dresses, or just heavy skirts to wear with some of the flattering sweaters I already have.  Ooh, maybe some gothy thing with heavy brocade!  And some new boots; new boots are always a winner.  And a motorcycle helmet, but that’s not quite in the same category as the other stuff.

Anyhow, you’ll be glad to hear the book is well underway; I made all my selections last week and I’m finishing up with the transfers today, and then I can start the intensive work of proofreading, turning links into endnotes and rewriting some parts that wouldn’t pass muster by my current standards.  As I’ve stated before, this book is really intended to allow new readers to catch up on my first two years of blogging more easily, without having to slog through so much old stuff about no-longer-current events.  But I still feel it would be a bit lazy on my part just to slap 100 essays in there and call it good.  Incidentally, the last six are important things I’ve published elsewhere, including my research paper “Mind-Witness Testimony“, so die-hard completists won’t feel quite so much as if they’re just shelling out cash for a lot of stuff they’ve already read.   Of course, you could buy it to give it to someone you feel would enjoy my writing, but doesn’t like blogs.  Just sayin’.  I’m not going to do a full-blown book tour this year because I’ll be very busy writing an all-new book in hopes of getting a mainstream deal; however, I will be leaving Seattle at least three times, and in the first (in April-May) I’ll be going down through California and then across on I-40 to New Orleans by way of Oklahoma, so if you’d like me to speak somewhere please let me know in the next 60 days.  One last thing:  I’m now offering my highest sponsorship premium, namely dinner with me, to anyone who wishes to sponsor my work in general (in other words, even when I’m not on tour).  If you’re interested, use this link to email me for details.

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Diary #235

What a wonderful Christmas this has been!  I picked up Jae from the airport last Tuesday, and she and Grace got along famously; as I tweeted on Boxing Day, it’s a good thing I had cooking to do because once they started talking about motorcycles it was essentially a foreign language to me.  Everything for the Christmas feast came out perfectly, and I received such lovely presents, including two vintage nightgowns and a vintage vibrator (yes, whores really do give each other presents like that, at least sometimes) and from Gumdeo, a copy of The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft (thank you!) As those of you who follow me on Twitter have probably already noticed, I’ve been as good as my word about taking more time off; I stayed offline for most of Wednesday & Thursday, and even after that I haven’t been working nearly as hard as usual.  I really am trying to lighten up and enjoy myself more; you may call that a New Year’s resolution if you like, but since I first made the shift in November I hardly think it counts.  That’s probably for the best, though; New Year’s resolutions rarely survive January, and I hope this shift in my life is a permanent one.

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Diary #234

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo here I am, down to the last few hours before Christmas; I’m writing this on Sunday morning, after making the dough for the pumpkin gingerbread cookies but before making the toffee bars and divinity.  Chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter fudge and one kind of Rice Krispies treats (the chocolate ones) are already done, and the pfefferneuse dough has been sitting in the fridge since yesterday (to let the flavors blend before making the actual cookies).  Tomorrow morning (yesterday by the time y’all read this) I’ll make the fruity Rice Krispies treats and then pack all of this stuff into boxes to bring to the businesses that we have a close relationship with, including the mechanic who’s getting my touring car ready for long-distance travel.  He is, BTB, one of the few people who lives in this area who knows my story, and even has a signed copy of my book.  Anyhow, in the process of inspection he discovered that someone had bypassed something in the electrical system, so he’s trying to figure out what that is; it shouldn’t be too expensive but if you want to give me a little Christmas present to help pay for it, I wouldn’t say no!  Just PayPal it to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net.  And speaking of presents, thanks to Daz for sending me a copy of Annie Sprinkle’s comic book (which I’ve always wanted to see), and to Gumdeo for the snakeskin pumps!

In addition to the treats, I still have two more columns to write today and three to post; some of that work could roll over into Monday and Tuesday, but there’s other stuff I have to do those days.  On top of that, I have to finish cleaning the house before Jae arrives Tuesday (tonight, from the time you read this) to stay through the holidays.  Yes, there will be pictures.  Oh, and speaking of pictures, subscribers and gift-senders should have received one from me yesterday; if you did not, it’s because I’m not yet used to doing mass mailings and accidentally left you off the list.  Please let me know so I can add you to the list and get your Christmas card sent out!

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Diary #233

I’m slowly getting my head back into the necessary space for catching up on my work, but it hasn’t been easy; Monday and Tuesday last week were largely occupied with car-buying tasks, Wednesday was dominated by shopping and Thursday and Friday involved a lot of long-overdue house cleaning in preparation for company.  One rather nice thing about the latter task is that I keep running into things I had either misplaced or forgotten about, including my long-lost nested screwdriver set, a nice coil of poly rope and a brand-new corset still in the bag from the lingerie shop (and purchased how long ago, I have no idea).  Maybe this will inspire me to clean up more often…but somehow, I doubt it.

Last Tuesday brought me two great pleasures:  the first was being my friend Rachel Mills‘ guest* on the very first episode of her brand-new podcast, Liberty After Dark; the second was discovering (after I got off the phone) a rather large donation from the ever-generous Dan O’Connell, enough to pay the taxes on my touring car and also have it fully checked out and tuned up by my mechanic.  Given that I had depleted my account completely, it was a great relief!  I also received two Christmas presents already; Kevin Wilson sent me The Kingdom (series one) and Daz sent The Omega Factor (which I want to see due to the presence of Louise Jameson, who played one of my favorite companions in Doctor Who).  Some of my readers have gently chided me for letting my Amazon wishlist become depleted; they’ll be glad to know I’ve restocked it a bit.  But if you’d rather not try to figure out which thing to get me for Christmas, a donation to my activist work is always nice!  Just PayPal any amount you like to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net, or you can subscribe using the buttons at right to make small, regular donations.

*I was Rachel’s guest in person when I visited North Carolina; it was she who took the cheesecake pictures I’ve been sharing in this feature lately.

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tow truckLast week I described my trip home with the few words “on Monday I drove home”;  however, as I said in the previous sentence, I wrote that on Sunday night.  As it turned out, the trip back was not so easy; when I tried to start my truck in Shreveport after returning the rental I had taken to New Orleans, it behaved as though it was out of gas despite having nearly a full tank.  None of Grace’s suggestions resulted in any change, so I found a garage which was willing to take me immediately;  unfortunately AAA took so long to arrive there was no way they could fix it that day, so I was stuck overnight.  Needless to say, I was not happy; I get very upset when my plans are disrupted, especially by machines.  I resolved to lessen the impact as much as possible by finding a new garage 100 miles closer to home and using my maximum towing allowance, so as to shorten my trip the next day; luckily, the tow truck driver and manager were both very sweet and helpful, and by the time we arrived I was in a much better mood than when we left.  I also think my professionalism had a lot to do with it; long years in sex work trained me to bury bad moods instantly when in the presence of strangers, so that I can be a charming and interesting companion and conversationalist.  Anyhow, the problem turned out to be a bad fuel pump (we had only changed it in September) and as soon as that was replaced, I was on my way and got home Tuesday afternoon.  At some point that same day, this article by Nathan Goodman was published on the blog of the Center for a Stateless Society; it’ll give you an idea of what I spoke about in New Orleans and how it was received by the audience.

Anyhow, I spent the rest of the week trying to get ahead on my work, but unfortunately other concerns got in my way (losing a whole day didn’t help, either).  One nice break from all that was the arrival of a birthday present from Kevin Wilson, namely a copy of Lewis Carroll’s “The Hunting of the Snark” with new illustrations by Mahendra Singh.  Thank you, Kevin!  Today I’m on my way to Kansas City, from which I’ll depart on a train tomorrow morning to speak at Loyola University in Chicago tomorrow night.  Then Thursday afternoon I’ll be boarding another train which will take me to Seattle, where I’ll be appearing Sunday night at the Foundation for Sex-Positive Culture.  I’ll tell you all about that next week!

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As I wrote in “Change Is“, most Tuesdays will now be diary columns bringing you up to date on what I did the week before and what I’m about to do in coming weeks.  I also think it will be a good place to share links to podcasts and  embed video interviews I’ve done, to tell you about articles I publish in other venues, and even to thank readers for presents and the like.  That means I’ll be retiring the “Maggie in the Media” and “Presents, Presents, Presents!”  headings from TW3 columns, but the tags will persist to enable location of diary columns with items that would’ve gone under those tags.  I don’t have any media for you this week, but I do need to mention a couple of presents I received in Washington, DC and forgot to mention earlier:  when I met Eddie Cunningham for dinner he gave me copies of Guns, Germs and Steel and The Boat of a Million Years.  Thank you, Eddie, and I apologize for not mentioning your gift earlier!

For the past couple of weeks I’ve been immersed in catching up on work I had to neglect in the last month of the tour; I was so busy with activities and writing new columns for August and early September that I had to neglect correspondence, plus indexing and other blog maintenance, and by the time I got home my normal one-month buffer was entirely gone.  However, you’ll be glad to know that my correspondence is fully caught up, that the buffer was restored by last Saturday, and that the indexing will be fully caught up sometime today; once I bring up the PAQ page and a few other little things I’ll be all done.  Furthermore, you’ll be glad to hear I didn’t have to run myself ragged to do it; my improved procedures are making things easier on several fronts, and that means now that I’m caught up I’ll have time to start working on a few other things.  One of them is increasing my mainstream presence by submitting articles to a few big sites you may have heard of; another is that essay collection I’ve promised y’all for almost two years now, and the other…well, let’s not say too much about it yet.

On the travel front, I’ll be back in New Orleans again the weekend of October 25th to speak at a convention of Students for Liberty, then on November 5th I’ll be speaking to the same organization at Loyola University in Chicago.  The following afternoon I’ll be leaving Chicago by train for my mini-tour to Seattle and Portland; there is no wi-fi on long-distance routes yet, so I will be out of touch all day Friday the 7th, all evening on Thursday the 6th and the morning of Saturday the 8th.  But don’t worry, everything will be set up to go, so those who don’t follow Twitter closely probably won’t even know I’m missing.  I want to get all of my activities for those cities planned before I leave, though, so if you would like me to speak or read anyplace in either Seattle or Portland please let me know by two weeks from today, three weeks at the absolute latest!

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