January 20, 2006
Communism is like one big phone company. ~ Lenny Bruce
Vonage: A Loving Hate Ballad
Phone company evil.
Switched to Vonage.
If you can't get me. This is why.
That or I'm avoiding you.
January 05, 2006
A Year Dead For Tax Reasons
Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. ~ Dr. Carl Sagan
There is always that hulking burden of expectation after going a long period without updating a blog. There’s the implied betrayal of your reader base, the whispering guilt of shrugged-off responsibility, etc. It’s like not paying your taxes for a couple of years and then suddenly wondering where and how to pick up again. Except with the lapsed blogging there’s none of that pesky hauling off to jail for tax evasion, so it’s possible that parallel is a little less than accurate.
So, anyway, I’m officially blowing off any “What I Did on my Blogging Vacation” entries. There were holidays. There were friends. There was flu and cold season. There was phone sex. It was all very eventful and very boring at the same time.
Being as the hangover has nearly worn off I will be semi-responsible in this, my first entry back from the void (as well as continuing the tax theme of the previous paragraphs) and talk briefly about Tax Grrl.
A few months ago I got a rather snippy email from my accountant. In said email, he asked me to remove his name and contact information from the tax advice section of my website. It seems my Google juice was more powerful than any other page on the web which included his name and several of his clients had raised eyebrows.
The snippy tone of the email bothered me because I had told him when I became his client that I would be happy to promote his services if he wanted me to, but that I wasn’t sure how much of his company information he wanted on my website. His replay was a scoff and a smile and words to the effect of “what care I for the affairs of such close-minded mortals?”
I don't blame anyone for covering their own ass. I do blame them for trying to make me out to be the big bad wolftress in the process.
I removed his information that same day and e-mailed him back with a copy of our previous correspondence in which he specifically asked for his full company info to be listed on my site. I decided at that stage that it wasn’t enough to just list professionals that “accept” adult-industry clients, but that whenever possible I wanted to tout those genuine professionals who go the extra step in accommodating we naughty vixens of the wicked ways.
While my Phone Sex Tax Help Resource Page has listed Taxgrrl for some time now, I haven’t addressed it here directly in the blog. I’m also going to add her to my blogroll thru April (and possibly after). Generally I shy away from professionals that claim to “cater” to the adult industry (because often they say “cater” but mean “exploit) but Taxgrrl is a good egg and I’ve heard great feedback from others about her.
Located in Vermont, Taxgrrl handles all taxes (local, state, federal) for all 50 states (some states don’t have local/state taxes – there has to be some benefit to living in FL). She is a former Phone Sex Operator and has been doing adult industry returns off and on for several years. She has many PSO clients, but confidentiality is a tax preparer's (legal) obligation, so put aside all those cat-fighting instincts and recognize a good thing when you see it.
Taxgrrl doesn’t charge by the hour, but by the complexity of a return. Additional services, depending on how complex are quoted on an individual basis. She is also a teaching professional who will take the time to explain as much as you want to learn – her goal is that PSOs should not be beholden to a tax professional, but should be able to at least verify their own returns, even if they don’t want to do them. She makes a decided effort to help PSOs (and all adult industry workers) to take control of their finances and empower themselves to be financially proactive.
In addition to tax returns, she’s happy to discuss second-level finance management as well, including IRAs, ROTHs, advice for first-time homebuyers, Heath/Medical savings accounts, etc.
The average PSO return tends to average between $160 and $240 depending on which state you reside in and how complex your situation is. Obviously, the more complex and disorganized your finances are, the more expensive your return will be.
The best way to prepare for tax season is to always be aware that it's coming. Death and taxes, people, hiding under the covers solves nothing. The more organized you are, the less frantic you’ll find your preparations and the less murky gray areas you’ll be worried about. Keep good detailed records, keep multiple business endeavor transactions separate and don’t get behind. Paying estimated tax and being ahead of the game is crucial. The easiest way to sink into a helpless pit of debt is by starting your own business and half-assing your taxes.
See? Back from the void and feeling all helpful-like. Aren’t you glad you didn’t delete me from your RSS feeds?
November 21, 2005
The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and these are ignorance, superstition and incompetence. ~ Elbert Hubbard
There are two televisions in my home -- a bedroom number and a living room number. The bedroom unit has begun to join the choir invisible and, since the "good" TV is over 10 years old and only 19" big, I decided to ask for one for the holidays. Keeping a sharp eye out for a model that can accommodate all my A/V needs at a good price, I recently stumbled upon THIS 27" BEAUTY at Amazon.com. I am not one of those PIP / HDTV / Must have all the bells and whistles people. The fact that I'm going from 19" to 27" sort of makes me have TV guilt, but I'm over it.
The person who pledged to give me said item for the holiday (okay, fine, it's my mother *sigh*) preferred to forward the money to me and allow me to do the purchasing because buying things on-line makes her "edgy." This sort of negates the whole gift thing (one of the nice parts about getting a gift is that you don't have to hassle with the purchasing part) but it's my MOTHER and at this point, I'd done the research and knew what I wanted.
The purchase process was fairly painless and Amazon's post-sales blather said it would have it here by the 23rd. Which seemed ridiculously optimistic, but I liked the idea.
This is when I noticed that on my order page, beneath the shipping date, the following disclaimer appears:
Your order is being sent to an area recently affected by Hurricane Katrina. We estimate that delivery of your shipment may be delayed up to 10 days or more.
Forgiving that "up to 10 days or more" is a frustrating nonsense statement, and taking into account that my area had NOT, in fact, been affected by Hurricane Katrina, I find it more than a little offensive that they're using it as an excuse to cover their ass on late shipping dates. It was mildly miffed. Then, I click through to the next page and get this message:
Last Updated: October 25, 2005
At this time, deliveries to certain areas have been delayed or suspended completely due to weather activity. We have listed the affected ZIP codes below.
Please be aware that even if your ZIP code is not listed below, deliveries to your area may still be delayed because carriers are prioritizing their transport capacity to deliver emergency response materials and first-aid support.
We currently expect shipments to affected areas to be delayed by up to 10 days or more. Our carriers have assured us they will deliver packages as swiftly as possible once it is safe for their drivers to do so.
We are very sorry for the inconvenience this delay may cause. We hope you will understand that occasionally shipments may be delayed by circumstances beyond our control.
Areas still Affected by the Hurricanes
(List includes those areas that are likely to be affected by Hurricane Wilma, as well as residual from Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.)
All Zip Codes with First 3 Digits:
329, 330, 331, 332, 333, 334, 339, 341, 342, 349, 700, 701, 706
So. Okay. ALL THESE areas might be affected by (insert hurricane here) and, oh, we might not even ship it at all because you know, UPS isn't shipping anything to Florida if suddenly medical supplies are necessary in Lousiana.
As a hurricane survivor who knows and understands how things work, I cannot begin to tell you how hugely offensive this is to me. This is intentional corporate falsehood to cover poor customer service practice because hurricanes give them the excuse to do so.
There isn't a single person who would be bothered if UPS or some other carrier experienced delays because they were working on getting shipments of needed supplies to storm victims. That is perfectly reasonable, and when an explination of such an occurance were to show up in my tracking, I wouldn't think twice about it. But UPS is a business and they don't just suspend all pickups and delay all shipments in entire states MONTHS after a natural disaster hits a region of that state.
I am writing a letter to Amazon condemning this blatant and shameful exploitation of storm victims for the comfort of a nice cushy excuse to give them extra delay time in their shipping buffers. I encourage everyone else to do so as well.
But back to my TV.
I wake up to an Amazon email in my box this morning. It says my TV has shipped via UPS ground and gives a tracking number: XXX-XXXXXXX-X.
Fabulous! My faith in Amazon is semi-renewed. The CYA blurb on their site is still offensive and requires addressing, but at least they aren't intentionally holding back items just because they think they can. Bad, but not beyond understanding. They notice is probably just outdated.
Except the tracking number is bogus. I'm unable to get a status on either Amazon's tracking or UPS's tracking with the number they've provided. A call to UPS and the rep tells me they've never heard of this tracking number and it's the improper format for a UPS tracking number at any rate. Of course, they cannot track a package based solely on the destination and recipient for "security reasons." In fact they cannot even CHECK to see if a package from Amazon to my shipping address even exists. Because even though I know all there is to know about this package and I'm only asking for a current status (or verification of existence) I could still, I suppose, mean the package harm and it needs to be protected from me. Out of morbid curiosity I ask if there are any areas where they've completely suspended shipments and/or pickups to entire states because of hurricanes. The answer is no -- although a few areas experience delays, those delays are reflected in the tracking when they happen ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS.
Also good to know.
Against my better judgment. Against all logic, I call Amazon customer service. No easy task. But I've had Cliche Ideas' Amazon Page bookmarked for quite some time. Helpful little Internet. Good puppy. Here, have a cookie.
I will not tell you how long it took to get through the voice prompt system which is -- I'm convinced -- intentionally unhelpful to anyone that doesn't have a basic "one size fits all" inquiry. They are, at this point, looking to actively piss off people with unique problems and force them into email-only resolution. There is no other explanation for the complete lack of accommodation for problems their system does not foresee.
But I digress.
I am put in touch with "Kath." (and if Kathy is her real name, I'm the Queen of Argyle). Kathy manages with a somewhat difficult grasp of the English language to repeat back the Amazon Order Number I provided (after three tries). It is not Kathy's fault she barely knows English. It's not like she lives in a country where English is the primary language. It's not her fault she was hired by an employer who places zero emphasis on customer service. Kathy probably speaks at least two languages, so she's obviously a competent and intelligent woman in a bad situation. I refuse to take out my bile upon her. At least not right out of the gate. More flies with sugar and all that. Even if this has already consumed an hour of my morning.
Kathy accesses the system and asks for my billing address, my shipping address, my email address, and, the last 5 digits of my credit card along with my expiration date. All of this before I can even explain the concern I'm having. But, okay. It's not "Kathy's" fault. No reason to get upset with her. I provide the information pleasantly. After all, I'm only going to be asking for a tracking number. It's all quick and painless from this point on.
Once my information has been confirmed (which takes additional tries because Kathy has a little trouble with understanding me when I speak too quickly -- so defined as any speaking pattern above slow-mo) I then get the privilege of explaining my problem to Kathy. The UPS tracking number provided in the email Amazon sent me AND on my order page is incorrect. May I please have the real tracking number? Pretty please. With sugar on top? If I promise to be good? I just want to keep tabs on the package so that someone can be here to help me lift the 80lb monster when it gets here.
I am placed on hold because, you know, asking for a real tracking number is something a rep cannot possibly be expected to have at their fingertips. Poor Kathy.
Kathy returns to the line with someone, obviously speaking behind her. Fine. So she's a trainee. No problem. There's someone there with her, two heads better than one, etc etc etc.
Kathy explains that because this is an "expensive heavy weight item" she has to fill out a special form to expedite shipping.
I explain I wasn't looking to expedite shipping (although that would be nice). I just want the correct tracking number so that I can track the package myself.
Kathy then states that there is no tracking number.
I ask how on earth Amazon could ship out an expensive "heavy weight item" with UPS and not get a tracking number in return.
What follows is a transcript of the rest of my conversation with Kathy. I recorded my end of the conversation on my home computer in a wav. Kathy's responses are from memory and may be somewhat paraphrased.
K: "The heavy weight item did not ship UPS."
Me: "But your company sent me an email saying it shipped UPS. It provided me with a tracking number."
K: "That was a technical error."
Me: "No, Kathy. A technical error means that something didn't work correctly. This is a falsehood. There is a difference between providing the wrong tracking number and lying about which company you shipped with."
K: "It was a technical error."
Me: "Okay. It was a technical error. Did the package even ship?"
K: "Yes, the heavy weight item has shipped."
Me: "Fine. What company did it ship with?"
K: "I cannot provide that information."
Me: "The shipping company is a secret?"
K: "They do not give us tracking numbers."
Me: "But they exist?"
Me: "Okay. So, what company did Amazon ship this heavy weight item to me with?"
K: "I'm sorry?"
Me: "What shipping company is currently in possession of my heavy weight item?"
K: "It is the shipping company we use for heavy weight items."
Me: "What is the name of the company, Kathy."
K: "I cannot give you that information."
Me: "So, the secret company that has my heavy weight item cannot be revealed to me?"
K: "I will fill out a form for them, ma'am, so that they will deliver your item."
Me: "The act of giving it to them and telling them to ship it to me won't get that done?"
K: "I don't understand. I am filling out your form to get the heavy weight item to you."
Me: "Kathy, it's a television. We can say television, can't we? Or is the secret company afraid this will lend some clue as to their identification?"
(The person in the back is heard murmuring. Kathy says nothing)
K: "Yes, ma'am. I am trying to get this information so that I can fill out...so that we can tell the shipping company what it needs to deliver to you."
Me: "The secret company?"
K: "The shipping company."
Me: "That has a name you can't tell me."
K: "That is correct, ma'am."
Me: "But it's definitely not UPS."
K: "No, ma'am."
Me: "Is it Fed Ex?"
K: "I cannot say."
Me: "Kathy, do you not know what company it is, or can you noy tell me?"
(A lot of muttering behind the scenes)
K: "I cannot say. It is the company we use for heavy weight items."
Me: "And it doesn't give you an internal shipping number?"
K: "No, ma'am."
Me: "Okay. I give up. What do you need from me to fill out your form, Kathy?"
K: "Your email address."
Me "The one I gave you at the start of the call?"
K: "Yes. I have that."
Me: "Okay. What else do you need?"
K: "The order number and your shipping address."
Me: "Which I also gave you at the start of the call?"
K: "Yes, ma'am."
Me: "So, basically, you don't need anything else from me to fill out your form?"
K: "No ma'am."
Me: "Okay. To summarize where we are: my package has shipped with a company that needs a form to tell them to actually deliver the item you shipped to me. You can't tell me the name of the company and they provide no tracking numbers."
K: "I...no...I am going to fill out this form so that the item will get to you sooner, ma'am."
Me: "Sooner than what, Kathy?"
K: "I cannot say how much sooner."
Me: "Okay. Let's try this. At what point should I expect the package to get here?"
K: "I cannot say for sure. Soon."
Me: "Soon? Soon days or soon weeks?"
K: " Soon days. Maybe many days but hopefully less."
Me: "Enough soon days to equal weeks?"
K: "I will fill out the form. You will get it sooner."
Me: " I don't suppose you have a supervisor available?"
K: "No, ma'am, but if you want a call back I can fill out a form for a supervisor to email you or return your call."
Me: "Email me OR return my call? I'm guessing the odds are I'd be getting an email, isn't that right, Kathy?"
(Silence. More muttering in the background)
Me: "How about this -- can I speak to your training assistant, Kathy?"
K: "I'm sorry, ma'am?"
Me: "The person who is telling you what to say to the difficult customer you have on the phone. The one speaking with you in the background. Can I speak with them?"
(A pause, the muttering gets quieter)
K: "I cannot connect you with anyone else, ma'am. If you'd like to get a call back or an email from a supervisor I can fill out the form."
Me: "No, Kathy let's not create a glut in the form room. Go ahead and fill out the shipping form and I'll just consult my Magic 8 Ball each day for tracking information."
K: "Yes, ma'am. I'll fill out this form and your heavy weight item shipper will get the item to you. They will either send you an email or you will get the item."
Me: "They will either send me an email OR I will get the item?"
K: "Yes, ma'am."
Me: "Are they going to be asking for some kind of ransom in this email?"
K: "They will provide tracking information in the email."
Me: "Which they haven't given to you -- the shipper?"
K: "That's right, ma'am."
Me: "Will they be revealing their identity in this email? Will I need a code word or decoder ring of some sort to recognize them?"
K: "I don't understand." (pause - muttering) "You will not need anything to get the email."
Me: "Good to know."
K: "Okay. So I will fill out the shipping form for the heavy weight item and you will get an email or the item."
Me: "Right-o. Thank you, Kathy."
K: "Thank you for calling Amazon today. Is there anything else I can help you with?"
Me: "I don't think we should tempt fate any more today, Kathy, do you?"
K: "I...yes..no....is there anything else I can help you with, ma'am?"
Me: "No, Kathy. You have a good day and my condolences on your choice of employer."
K: "Thank you for calling Amazon."
For what it's worth, I believe "Kathy" was legitimately trying to help me. While my tone remained polite, it's obvious I lost my temper. I'm yet another example of the ugly, rude American snot nose. But, sometimes you really must laugh or else you go mad.
All I wanted was a new TV.
August 09, 2005
I Have a Note
If you start to think of your physical and moral condition, you usually find that you are sick. ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Summers are lazy days. Even for ADD "time to make the donuts" types like me, the urge to procrastinate and put off becomes nearly overwhelming. Traditionally I have planned my vacation time in Summer for just this reason. Also, "the biz" has lent itself to that cause, being as things get slow around the hotter months. Or, at least they used to. In recent years, there hasn't been the dip in Summer that used to be the norm.
This time, however, my long absence wasn't due to partying and travel and lazy days with novels by the pool. Instead I found myself dealing with the exhausting tasks of home repair and being ridiculously ill both lending to that delightful romp of weakness caused by mental and physical stress.
As for the home repairs I won't get too specific. There was rain outside the house and then, quite unexpectedly, there was water INSIDE the house (that's bad). Plus there was a horrific bout of air conditioning being broken, which meant that it was around 95 degrees in my living room. The walls were sweating. Satan was sending up people to my kitchen as punishment: "Get your asses in gear, Spawn, or you're going to Doxy's."
Almost everything has, to date, met with repair or a band-aid to hold it until repairs can be fully made. And, as anyone that deals with home maintenance knows, that's pretty much as good as it gets. Plus I have a new entertainment center in the bargain. Yay.
I'm going to be equally vague about getting sick. Because there's just no way to make sick sexy. Except there is a funny footnote about my being under the weather. When I run fevers I tend to get extremely randy. I have lurid licentious dreams (yes, more so than usual) and crave fruit and pasta. I used to think this was a whacked out part of myself until I read Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver and discovered another woman writing about vaguely the same quirk. It's an irony of sorts because in such a weakened condition I could no more fuck than fly, but the mind is oh-so-willing.
It seems to me that when you get sick in Summer it is always a more violent illness than other times of the year. The first Summer I spent in the Midwest, I was staying with friends and I got much the same sort of bug I had this time. It wasn't a sickness involved with any manner of disgusting, but merely physical and mental weakness that made any movement an exertion beyond contemplation. Back then I was nursed back to health by a dear friend who practically spoon fed me homemade soup and home canned peaches. I still say it was the magic peaches that finally got me well after two weeks of bone shuddering chills and feeling sleepy 24/7.
At any rate, I'm back to about 75% functioning within normal parameters. I may yet take it easy, which is a luxury I am grateful to be able to consider. That I have structured my life into the position where I can be sick and rest until I am fully well is something most people can't do. They have families, time clocks to punch, or just the obligations of everyday life that prohibit napping in the afternoon. Besides, who wants to get fully better when you've got incubus dreams, fresh pink grapefruit and pasta ala carbonara?
July 12, 2005
Is it raining, is it snowing
Is a hurricane a-blowing
Not a speck of light is showing
So the danger must be growing
~ Roald Dahl
And it started off as such a lovely month, really.
I'm going to let this post serve as a general FYI just in case this season turns into a rerun of last year. Unfortunately I live in an area where electricity, utilities, and cable all tend to be kept functioning by yokel ingenuity like bubble gum and duct tape. Things like strong winds and rain will often leave me without lights and phones. Hurricanes and tropical storms increase the odds of my going unwillingly unplugged for extended periods of time.
Moreover, the ongoing mental stress of "is it going to hit here" leaves me somewhat detached afterward.
So if updates are less frequent check the Tropical Prediction Center for details.
I would expect a great deal of escapism in updates to come.
Hurricane Season. It sounds like the title of some dime store thriller.
Blerg. Next week it probably will be.
July 01, 2005
Cheesy Retro Must-Have But No-Longer Funnies
Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he isn't. A sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is. ~ Horace Walpole
Yesterday while chatting with a friend, I realized I didn't have the DuckJob audio file anywhere on my current computer. It didn't seem possible.
If you have been on the net for a certain length of time, there are some files that you just have. You've had them forever. You're not even sure where you got them and the jokes wore out and/or stopped being funny years ago. But you have them. You keep them. They're as built-in as Solitaire and Minesweeper. They've been taking up space on your hard drive with old porn since back when using up those 15 mb actually meant sacrifice.
DuckJob, the exploding whale, 32 doh's, the stupid "ugachunga" dancing baby, that alien cartoon singing "I Will Survive" and a mess of Simpsons / Bugs / Star Wars / Star Trek / Ferris/ Ghostbusters / X-Files / Real Genius audio clips.
It turns out that moving new computers is something like moving in real life, at least for me. You look at things carefully and think "Do I *really* need this stuff? Is it worth the transfer hassle? And you chuck was doesn't make sense to carry. At some point cheesy retro silly audio clips didn't make the cut on my computers, although I have no memory of actually deleting these icons of funny weird and funny ha-ha.
So last night, I found THIS PLACE which has allowed me to refresh my supply. The quality sucks on a few, but that's not the point. Hell, I'll probably never listen to this stuff again anyway. It's a bizarre, unexplainable feeling of just needing them for historical context. Like keeping the tassel from your graduation cap on your car rear view mirror, or the Molly Hatchet album cover with all the razor blade cuts on it (damn seeds).
It even has my favorite Simpsons quote (Groundskeeper Willy teaching French). Although it is missing The STTNG Geordie TechnoBabble fused with Bill Murray's Ghostbusters "Just tell me what the hell is going on" line. If anyone finds that, please lemme know.
And yes *sigh* I'm aware my cool meter just dropped below freezing.
June 25, 2005
5 By 5
Willow: Don't worry, we're sure to spot Faith first. She's like this cleavagey slutbomb walking around going, "Ooh, check me out, I'm wicked cool, I'm five by five..."
Tara: Five what by five what? What does that mean?
Willow: See, that's the thing. No one knows.
~ Alyson Hannigan and Amber Benson (via Douglas Petrie)
5 Things You Feel Right Now
1. Chocolate cravings;
2. Guilt over blogging instead of working on projects;
3. The weight of my hair on my scalp;
4. Faint titillation hangover from a recent fantasy;
5. A strange combination of panic and excitement for no specific reason.
Last 5 Things You Bought
1. Pictures of Naked Women (subscription renewed)
2. Jar Pop (Cool Tools recommended)
3. Soapy Soles Elite 3 in 1 Foot Washer (it looks like a fun addition to any pedicure)
4. Tamarind Candy
5. MOM CDs
5 Objects of Lust
5 Things In Your Pockets Or Purse
1. Pilot Easy-Touch Medium Point Pens
2. Mini Maglite
3. My Notary stamp
4. Burt's Bees Lip Balm
5. Many, many scrunchies
5 Things You Collect
1. Vintage Playboys
3. Any and all things Henslee
5. Cute Shoes
5 True Statements You Can Make That Most People Can't
1. I survived being at or damn near ground zero during two different hurricanes.
2. My mother went into false labor while she was pregnant with me because of a close football game.
3. I spent more time at Walt Disney World than at my parents' house during many years of my childhood.
4. I can often quote from movies and television shows with bizarre accuracy, even after just a single viewing.
5. I remember most of my dreams after each sleep cycle and tend to have at least one or two explicit dream sequences per cycle.
June 17, 2005
Always a Mary Ann, Never A Ginger
Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels. ~ Faith Whittlesey
Sometimes all it takes is a photo or ad to get me thinking. Recently I spotted this photo ad for the horrid reality show The Real Gilligan's Island:
And, you know, it got me thinking.
I believe most little girls of my generation (and previous generations who knew what it meant) grew up wanting to be Ginger.
The sparkly dress – the Marilyn ‘tude, the fawning attention from the menfolk. These things made it more appealing to dress up and play “the movie star” instead of that other character who was referred to as “and the rest” in the original theme song.
Ginger was glamorous, slinky and pouty and treated like a prize. Mary Ann, on the other hand was pigtails and Pollyanna enthusiasm, and treated like just one of the guys. I don’t know what it was in my pre-pubescent mind that identified the advantages of being a Ginger and aspire during playtime to be her. What overpowering behavior signals, body language, or subtext could there possibly have been in a show that saccharine? Maybe it was enough that the producers obviously felt Ginger was the superior woman in a “what men want and women want to be” way. In fact, I can’t say that I remember a single plotline from a Gilligan’s Island episode except for the one where Mary Ann accidentally knocks herself on the head and wakes up thinking she’s Ginger so everyone puts on a sad charade of letting the poor little wanna-be parade about until it’s revealed she’s just plain old Mary Ann after all.
As I got older, it was clear I was more Mary Ann than Ginger. Sure I loved to play dress up in slinky dresses by myself, but I was mostly pigtails and Pollyanna enthusiasm. And, once I spent time with peers, I was far more tomboy and one of the guys than I was “don’t get my hair wet” prima donna. I retained my desire to dress up and wear frilly, pretty things in the right circumstance, but even in pretty dresses and stockings I wasn’t able to effectively masquerade as a bona-fide glamour girl. I was always just a Mary Ann in a pretty dress and I suppose I developed my personal balance with that.
I never made the connection regarding my comfortable (if gradual) acceptance of my inner Mary Ann until I was older and some beer commercial featured a group of guys around a pool table playing X or Y. The ad was likely part of the “tastes great / less filling” campaign, but I don’t remember. What I do recall is one of the guys tosses out “Ginger or Mary Ann” and after a pause they answer in unison “Mary Ann.”
And I thought: "Huh?"
A beer commercial, marketing to other guys was clearly inferring that a majority of men preferred Mary Ann. This bewildered me and I set about asking (okay, pestering) my male friends for explanations.
It turned out that their impression of Ginger was a high maintenance airhead who thought of herself as unattainable. Mary Ann was more girl next door cosy; the type my guy friends now refer to as “an MILF in training.”
Obviously, both Tina Louise and Dawn Wells were/are beautiful women. I don’t kid myself that even though Mary Ann was portrayed as “plain” that Dawn was anything but a plain young woman. Still, it’s fascinating to me that the transition took place socially as well as personally. Did I evolve as part of a personal journey or has American society evolved in general? It’s hard to tell sometimes. But I think it’s both.
Sure there are the Paris Hiltons who still get attention just because they’re "beautiful" (or, perceived as beautiful -- I don’t get people that think she’s attractive, but then I don't get the Brad Pitt thing, either). But there are women who can embrace inner sexuality and be revered for other traits as well. Let's face it, being the awkward geek girl is offically cooler than being the perfect doll. It all depends on the company you keep.
Yes, there is still overwhelming aesthetic prejudice in society and the arts, but we’re human animals and I don’t know that we’ll ever get over that. I also don’t know that we should. Maybe that’s part of the evolutionary recipe that produces an Elenore Roosevelt every now and then. Maybe it’s the social hindrances that come with not being traditionally attractive that allow for occasional sparks of extraordinary humanity to move to the forefront.
Some of us will never be pin-up girls no matter how many pairs of sexy panties and high heeled shoes we own. And if that is the greatest tragedy of our lives, then they are charmed lives, indeed.
There will always be Gingers and Mary Anns for as long as some girls feel pretty and others don’t. But for the first time in my life, when I think of which one I am and which one I want to be, I realize it doesn’t have to be a war or a choice or a disappointment. I want to be a little bit of both and mostly neither. My inner pie-fight between the island gals is all cleaned up and put to rest.
Which doesn’t mean I don’t want to watch THIS COMMERICAL as often as possible (warning, ads prelude video which starts instantly). Just because my inner catfight is over doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy watching other gals work out their issues.
*sigh* That’s another mark against my getting that sisterhood membership, isn’t it?
June 16, 2005
A Porn Story
...If I die, please get the porn from under my bed before my mom cleans out my room. And also, if you look at it, keep an open mind. ~ David Shatraw as Tommy Shafter on the never fully appreciated "Titus"
This amazing entry from Rollertrain should be required reading as far as I'm concerned. It addresses our misconceptions about adult products and porn, and about how those misconceptions often begin when we are young and remain with us despite developing into reasonably educated and logical beings. Even people "in the industry" often seem to fundamentally operate out of a preconceived mindset that "people who like porn enjoy X, Y, or Z" without exploring what the market is actually interested in. This entry details a scenario where BBW models outperformed silicone porn staple models in a sales bet -- an outcome that only 3 out of 30 people in a meeting thought possible. But that's not the important lesson.
The important lesson is that porn SHOULD BE far more varied. But even when the subject matter and the cast of players is switched about, most of the basic content seems about the same. Admittedly, I am no expert. I only know what I'm exposed to and what others share with me.
I hear people say that the internet and other factors have made things more diverse than they were. But it always seems to me that the Long Tail of porn still has a long way to go. It really doesn't come anywhere close to delivering the kind of porn *I* yearn to be able to pop into my DVD player.
As for how my personal relationship developed (or didn't) with mainstream porn, you'll need to click through to the cut. This is another of those annoyingly long personal stories.
As a female of the species, I am not expected to like porn. For that reason alone, I've always sought to enjoy it more. I've developed a taste for erotic stories as a reader and writer, and for print/static porn, and for nasty cartoons and almost everything else. But porn in the traditional "porn movie" sense eludes me.
There are reasons for this. I was very little when I had my first experience with video porn, and it wasn't a positive experience.
For as long as I've been alive I've never really slept normal hours. The adult units in charge of me gave up trying to keep me in bed by the time I was able to speak in sentences so the rule of "stay in bed" was amended to simply dictate that I read in my room and not go wondering through the house. And mostly I was a good girl. Except that, even for a child who enjoys reading, books can get boring sometimes. So I would sneak out into the living room, turn the volume down low and watch shows like "Nite Owl Movies" or British comedies and old reruns. (Cable TV and VCRs weren't around yet.)
Then, one day the adult-type units installed this box on the television set that was called "ON TV." (I would provide a reference of some kind if I could find it, but YOU try Googling for "On TV")
"ON TV" consisted of a box with an On/Off knob that hooked into the back of the TV (we had to get a splitter so that I didn't have to unhook my Telestar Pong console). Every day after 2pm, you would put your television on channel 3 and then switch the magic box to the "on" position and viola! you had movies. From 2pm to 11pm movies aired, and as far as I knew, that's when programming ended.
Then we started getting "ON TV" guides in the mail and I noticed that there were other shows with funny titles listed as starting at midnight. The adult units were holding out on me! I swore revenge!
So the next time I crept out, and turned the TV volume down low, I also turned the dial to channel 3 and switched the "ON TV" box to "on." I have NEVER forgotten the next three or four minutes of what I saw.
A beautiful black woman with a Foxy Brown afro was completely naked (she didn't even have knickers on!) and laying on a large picnic table out in the middle of a field. The table looked like it was set to feed an army, and she was laid out like a yummy chocolate sculpture centerpiece. I was fascinated.
One minute later, fascination turned to shocked and repulsed as the lovely black woman started playing with her food -- literally.
Now, I was a pretty sexually savvy nibblet for a girl my age. I knew all sorts of birds and bees stuff, had read things I shouldn't have and had been informed by all the adult type units that sexuality was not bad, just private. I'd also discovered that I had certain little parts that felt good to touch and I liked touching them.
Foxy, however, was doing very messy, very dirty things with her picnic spread that I had never considered desirable or possible. I sat in bewildered horror as she rubbed a log of Summer sausage between her legs and got funky with a jello salad. At some point she actually cracked an egg on her bushy wide-open kitty and that was about all I could take. I turned off the television set, flipped the switch to "off" and ran back to my bed. That feeling of heart-pumping "what the hell was that?" childhood terror shuddered in me and I vowed to whatever God might lend an ear that I would NEVER EVER look at such things again provided no one ever found out about what I'd seen. I felt sure if ANYONE had the slightest idea about what I had seen Foxy doing, I'd have spontaneously combusted. I was in college the next time I saw video porn.
During that time, however, I would like to note that my self-imposed "shame" regarding hardcore video porn never tainted my softcore porn fetish. Magazines, comics, cartoons and other print images were fair game. I loved looking at dirty pictures. I loved dirty cartoons, dirty illustrations, dirty comics, and salivated over pin-up art. I also enjoyed softcore "Sinemax" style porn when I got a chance to watch it. I did then, and still do get tingles in tender places from looking at all that stuff and my hard drive is pumped with it.
Although my tastes have always run to the softcore I didn't have the slightest bit of embarasment about liking it once I was free of my awkward adolescent stage. I was still in high school when, one afternoon, my Dad came home from work to find me in my bedroom up to my knees in his old 70's Playboy issues. Without so much as a blush on my face, I looked up to find him turning green as I rambled on excitedly about interviews I'd been reading and retro articles I'd been enjoying. Playboy was, of course, completely different back then. Bless his heart, Dad muttered something about making sure my mother didn't see me with his magazines and I don't think I saw him for a week after that.
I would like, very much, to develop a relationship with hardcore porn, especially of the video variety. But I've never seen a porn movie that got me wet. I am not the target market, alas. Plus I've never seen a porn movie that didn't look unconvincing.
This is probably because I did things backwards. I learned about and started enjoying my sexuality way before being exposed to porn regularly. I knew how to give blowjobs men liked. I knew what got me and my partner off when we were all tangled up together. Sure, I had stuff to learn -- we all continue to learn about sexuality as we age and mature -- but I had the basics down. And what I saw in porn movies looked false. It had no heat, no creaminess.
Most people I know seem to have been exposed to porn before they actually got into having regular sex -- before they developed their techniques and personal sexual styles. They were influenced by what they saw and tried to mimic it. So porn sex doesn't look so false to them.
The first time I encountered porn without produce I was with friends. A group of us were sitting around at 3am with some recreational smoke and whoever was in charge of the clicker landed on a porn movie. Standard doggie style close-up in-and-out fake-tits-bouncing type drivel. The boys in the room let out a happy cry of "Porn!" while the women (myself included) alternately rolled our eyes and made "urgh" sounds.
As is often the case with intellectual know-it-all college kids who are high at 3am, we got into feverent discussions about our differing views. The boys loved porn, the girls did not. But we girls weren't prudes (trust me, we had the sluttiest minds south of the Mason-Dixon line), we just didn't like what porn had to offer. We were JEALOUS that the boys got the stuff they liked and no one seemed to care that it wasn't tailored to a female mindset at all.
For reasons I won't add to this already lengthy post, I was the sexpert of my clan. Not that they knew how or why (sex was not bad, just private...) I'd acquired such knowledge, but it was clear I was the one that knew things. And what I knew more than anything was that the sex depicted by the porn movie we were watching was fake.
My use of the word "fake" sparked further debate --
Friend: "It's not fake! He's fucking her!"
Me: "Well, yes, but it's not, like, real fucking."
Friend: "What the hell are you talking about?"
Me: "THAT is not the way people fuck."
Friend: "It's obviously the way some people fuck. They're doing it."
I couldn't debate that point and my argument stalled, but I knew I was right. I just couldn't communicate the difference between "false" and "not real." Besides, I had the munchies.
The blowjobs I've seen in porn movies are bad blowjobs. They aren't sloppy enough. They don't make enough contact. There's too much "bob your head up and down" and not enough slobbery, slippery tongue-mouth-hands-touch-it-everywhere-you-can. There's no ball-licking "I'm going to push my finger in your ass just before you come and get that prostate throbbing" action. It's all one lip-implanted twat in cheap red lipstick trying to swallow as much as she can and being terribly uncreative in the process. Not that it's her fault. She's only doing what she's told.
Moreover, the fucking I've seen in porn movies is pointless, unsexy, and mechanical. And why camera men feel the need to zoom in on Tab A being inserted into Slot B is beyond my understanding. Show me the face of a woman grunting as her whole body jolts from being plugged from behind. Show me wrists being held down hard. Show me fingers sinking in to grip a plump round ass that's about to get fucked. I'm not saying I don't want any in-and-out shots, but when that's all there is, there isn't much.
Plus, why isn't there SOME story involved? I don't need much. I'm not looking for international jewel thieves who fuck by day and steal by night. I don't need plot development or anything as complicated as a beginning, middle and end. I just want a set-up that isn't so contrived even the actors look bored. Sock Puppet Porn is more stimulating than most of what I've run across.
I've talked to a lot of people about porn my whole life, because that's what I do about topics I don't understand -- I survey and probe and annoy others to get their take. And the general consensus seems to be that most people have a handful of porn movies that they truly enjoy and the rest is just what's available and works for the moment. It's like the world at large is on one long bad blind date with porn.
Except people living in Asia who appear to get all the porn they want exactly as they want it and who generally bewilder and frighten me.
The Rollertrain article says it all. It's not that women like myself want to hate porn, it's just that we're JEALOUS that our tastes, wants, desires don't seem to be represented. But that's easy to understand. When guys only seem mildly pleased with what's out there and they are the focus of the industry, then someone is doing something WRONG. I'm not saying "all" but I am thinking that most porn producers need to stop delivering what they THINK the market wants and actually begin digging into researching and then producing what the market actually wants.
But, they're probably not going to start exploring any Brave New World of Porn frontiers while we've got fundies chomping at the bit to take porn to the mattresses.
I know that my tastes are likely too taboo -- too extreme and too hard to pull off convincingly. The old 70s Taboo movies are okay, but the character in the position of power is the one character I want to watch get exploited (which never happens).
And my tastes means that I don't really look around for amateur stuff on the web because I'm always afraid I'll find something real that will spook me. I want to see mild rape porn, but I don't want to accidentally find some sick fuck who videotaped a real rape. I want to see age-play and incest-play, but I don't want to find some file of a child being exploited. There used to be a few clips I guarded covetously on an old computer -- a few minutes here and there of well done (but obviously scripted) non-consent and incest, but I lost 'em all in a computer crash.
Bondage sometimes works for me as well, but I'm picky. Most bondage stuff out there is too extreme for my tastes. I like spanking and tie-me-up play. But caning and whipping and fuck machines and leather hoods do nothing for me. I used to have a nice little collection of spanking clips that got me wet, but, alas, they, too were lost.
Like most people I would love to make my own porn movie. My script. My directing. My editing. The talent of the cast would be a wild card, but I could edit around that. Still, I think there'd be a huge market for my ideas. Taboo subject matter. Lots of facial expressions shuffled in among the full-body shots. Hot, non-cheesy dialog that adds to the fucking and doesn't detract from it.
In the meantime I look at my softcore pretty pictures when I want to touch myself and think naughty thoughts and whisper naughty things.
Or sometimes I just fast-forward to *the scene* in Monster's Ball. Because, you know, I don't care what anyone says -- they WERE fucking.
April 29, 2005
The Late, Great Dennis Miller
I rant, therefore I am. ~ Dennis Miller
I happened upon Miller's Crossing today. It's as dead-on-balls-accurate now as it was when I first read it.
Once upon a time there was no man higher on my CILF list than Dennis Miller. He was smart and cocky and sexy and glib. He knew geeky references you can't look up in books. Even when his writing was obviously aided by others, he carried it off. When his rambling started to skew more smug than fun, that Cheshire cat grin of his just continued to work for me. His anchor time on the SNL news segments will never be equaled as far as I'm concerned. Hell, I was even one of the three people who enjoyed him on Monday Night Football.
He was never a true liberal, although many try to remember him as one. He was an equal opportunity ranter and his politics were down the center. That was okay with me. I am not above laughing at the liberal party. It's very laughable, more's the pity.
Then came 9/11. And something in Miller's demeanor started to go horribly astray. The angry-young-man turned smug-middle-aged-smart-ass was, quite, obviously, frightened by the world he was trying to mock. Because of that, his punchlines started sounding more like the American hate-mongering that was so prevalent at the time than the smart "don't try and bullshit me" smugster he'd once been. Yosemite Sam replaced Bugs Bunny in the Looney Toon of Miller's life.
I remember very distinctly watching an episode of the last season of HBO's Dennis Miller Live with Alec Baldwin as the featured guest. The topic was supposed to be "Truth in the Media" but Miller ended up, well, going off on a rant. In fact he was borderline psychotic, casting out ridiculous notions like nuking the Middle East ("sand and fire make glass"). It had never been more obvious that somewhere, deep down, what he was saying wasn't meant to be funny. He wasn't kidding. No, he didn't think we would really nuke the Middle East, but it was clear it would have been okay with him if we had.
Baldwin said something along the lines of "we really have to try to heal some of the anger people like you are feeling because it's scaring the rest of us." I've never been a big Alec Baldwin fan, but I think it was possibly the smartest sentiment he's ever voiced.
After 9/11 I was less afraid of terrorists and way more afraid of Americans. That remains true to this day. Terrorists can only take my life. What my fellow Americans can take from me is far more dear. It was clear that Miller's fears and mine weren't on the same wavelength any longer.
What followed was a horrible path of zig-zagging on his part. He embraced George Bush as a great leader for reasons I'll never be able to fathom. He began spewing GOP talking points as if they made sense. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I believe he grabbed a memo and told Karl Rove he'd suit up, exactly. I just think he was hanging out with too many people who say the same things to each other over and over. It infiltrated his dialog and invaded his sense of humor. His funny was no longer funny. It was just downright depressing.
I have never been a fair-weather fan (my football teams are the Dolphins and Saints for all that's holy. Trust me, I beg for the occasional bout of fair weather!), so, I held on as long as I could. But after an HBO stand-up hour where I didn't laugh but twice (and I think that was more out of sympathy than genuine humor), and a showing on Bill Maher's Real Time where he got served by Ariana Huffington of all people, I was starting to lose my respect for the man. The last nail in the coffin as far as I was concerned was the first episode of his CNBC talk show. Somewhere around the time he started blowing kisses at his pet ape, I felt ill. I made it to the end, and then decided to mourn what was gone and move on. I really haven't thought about him much since.
I couldn't help feeling pleasantly surprised recently when he popped up on The Daily Show. Of course, that "happy to see you" feeling was not to last. There was Dennis, riffing off old stock jokes, defending George Bush and explaining once again how he thinks global warming is a non-issue in one-liners that really do make sense if you're comfortable thinking in two-dimensional terms instead of the three that are required for complex issues. But what I found most interesting (and disturbingly piteous) in the interview was the almost apologetic way he kept repeating "Hey, I'm a libertarian." I don't watch his CNBC show, but I'm of the opinion that if you have to brand yourself two or three times over a five-minute segment, you're trying to make up for something. At the end of his appearance I couldn't help thinking, "I obviously haven't been missing much."
I must admit, I caught a glimpse -- just a glimpse -- of something familiar. It might have been hopeful thinking. It probably was.
Among with all else that was lost on 9/11, I have to say that it pains me just a touch to have lost Dennis as well. I continue to hope he heals enough to buy his soul back from whatever machine he sublet it to. Although, it's been my experience your soul is something that, once hocked, is damn hard to buy back.
Then again, I'm not sure Mr. Miller would give a fig about the opinion of your average everyday American phone slut ;-)
April 28, 2005
The Girl I Am
Girls have an unfair advantage over men: if they can't get what they want by being smart, they can get it by being dumb. ~ Yul Brynner
Why do I take such foolish pleasure in silly quizzes that cannot possibly measure the worth of a person or deliver any sort of real insight? Who knows. Well, I always take them twice and I always come out with two different results each time. So, I'm apparently somewhere between:
Think this is dumb? Blame Ray.
April 12, 2005
Tell your friend a lie. If he keeps it secret, then tell him the truth. ~ Portuguese Proverb
I'm not sure whether Post Secret is ultimately fascinating or disturbing, but it is often both for me. It reminds me somewhat of MTV's late "Love Line" where you had the impression 80% of the questions weren't legitimate, but were being asked to give the person what they thought of as their five minutes of fame.
But it's the other 20% that gets me. When you see confessions like:
"I liked myself better as a boy."
"I started shooting heroin again."
"Everyone who knew me before 9/11 thinks I'm dead."
"I haven't told my father that I have the same disease that killed my mother."
"For years I hurt myself so that he'd notice me."
And you think: "...if just one of those is true...."
Police say that the urge to confess has helped solve more cases than fingerprint identification.
So, I'm not sure. Is it more cynical to believe the majority of these are true, or to think of them as bogus, even when the potential "fame seekers" have little to gain attention-wise?
March 31, 2005
Burnt Out Ends of Smoky Days
"I have done that," says my memory. "I cannot have done that," says my pride, and remains adamant. At last, memory yields. ~ Nietzsche
Memory is a funny frickin thing.
In my first year of college I took a music appreciation class wherein I was exposed to a piece of contemporary instrumental music that made a lasting impression. I remembered that the piece had to do with Hiroshima, but not the title or the composition period. It wasn’t really important to me at the time, but a few years later I started wanting to lay ears on it again. So I began looking from time to time, or asking friends who I thought might have an idea. Each time, every piece I was exposed to in the quest never seemed familiar. Until recently when I was provided with “Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima” by Krzysztof Penderecki. The sequences about 5 minutes into the piece is exactly what my memory recalls. But the first 5 minutes is nothing at all of what I remember. In my mind the start of the piece was a lush, exotic mix of reeds and winds and bamboo all leading to an abrupt siren scream of strings.
Where on earth did that impression come from? Did I somehow mix Platoon’s “Adagio for Strings” and Haydn’s “Surprise Symphony” and this piece all together in my head? Where did this false memory come from and how can I remember my high school locker combination clearly while this musical piece is like overwritten hard disk space with ghosts of other data jumbling the stored files?
Bad medicine. Bart no like.
I have some comfort that the phenomenon is not isolated to either a single medium or singularly to myself.
While having a conversation not to long ago, I was discussing how sexual sequences in otherwise mainstream films are often played up in our memories. I had, for example, played up an attempted rape sequence in Clint Eastwood’s Pale Rider in my memory as something yummy. Upon seeing it again, it was so brief and non-erotic that I could hardly believe I’d even made room for it in my pre-teen hormonal storage banks.
A friend had a similar experience with Death Wish (the original). In his mind the rape sequence in the beginning (which is still deliciously filthy despite featuring Jeff Goldblum in a Jughead cap) had the hooligans spray-painting a bull’s-eye onto the behind of the daughter character during her rape. However, the spray-painting in question is all willy-nilly and not at all as organized as a bull’s-eye. Yet this had been a very specific memory replayed for erotic purposes in his mind’s eye many times.
Aside: I was shocked at the sequence when I saw it recently. For a film made in 1974 the language and violence were graphic (not “bloody graphic” in a Tarintino or Peckinpah style, but graphic none-the-less) and the content was surprisingly complex. Quite a contrast against the heritage it would eventually lend to.
But, anyway, back to memory. Where do these Frankenstein “I’m sure I’m right, I remember it clearly” false memories come from? How can something so vivid be nothing but phantoms playing tag with reality?
The human body is seriously flawed. I want root access. We need medical sci-fi geeks to pick up the fucking pace already.
March 20, 2005
The God of Cream Cheese
You can say any foolish thing to a dog, and the dog will give you a look that says, "My God, you're right! I never would've thought of that!" ~ Dave Barry
My puppy dog (and, constant companion) was not well. Sure, his vet appointment to update his shots, et al,l was only two weeks away, but after a sleepless night of listening to him barely breathing, I opted for the next-day emergency appointment. (Under the best of circumstances I am a nag to friends and family about being better safe than sorry -- for a creature relying entirely on my care, I'm a basket case).
When I spoke with vet reps on the phone I got that lukewarm response you always get when you try to explain symptoms over the phone to medical personnel. He had a bad cough, fits of reverse sneezing, and had to gasp for breath every time he moved or attempted to eat or drink. It turns out these were symptoms for everything from kennel cough to heart worms.
Being a little dog, my nibblet doesn't ask for much. I mean, sure, he is spoiled beyond comprehension, but that's his due. By and large, so long as he can snack with me and get his belly rubbed 15 hours a day, he's happy. Sure there is the occasional tendency to hump squeak toys when I'm on with clients, or bark at those silly passersby who don't understand the sidewalk is still considered his territory. But he's not a demanding, fidgety hard-to-please sort.
Infectious Tracheobronchitis in dogs is commonly referred to as "kennel cough" and it is a highly contagious disease of the upper respiratory tract that affects mostly the trachea and bronchi. It's viral and is either caught by contact with another dog who has it, or via some kind of bacteria. In my pup's case, I'm pretty sure patient zero was my housekeeper's dog. Since this was such a serious case of it, my pup couldn't even leave the vet's office via the waiting room, but instead was ushered out the back door. It was one of the worst cases the vet had ever seen, and while it is a somewhat common thing, it's dangerous to leave untreated.
Now, I was relieved that it was just a case of kennel cough (however bad) and so when I was given Clavamox (amoxicillin trihydrate / clavulanate potassium)and some other cough meds to administer, I didn't think anything of it. But, it turns out that spoiled dogs don't so much like the taste of medication. Go figure.
Enter cream cheese.
After wrestling for 20 minutes trying to force-feed a pill the size of a ladybug into my dog's mouth, I gave up and pressed the damn thing into a finger full of cream cheese. He sucked it down like it was the best thing in the world.
Now all I need is a doggie treadmill to help him work off those extra calories.
February 26, 2005
She Ain't Heavy, She's My Diary
A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves - a special kind of double. ~ Toni Morrison
Of two sisters one is always the watcher, one the dancer. ~ Louise Glück
I have issues with people who blog about blogging. Which is a trifle silly, being as blogging is about your life and the activities within that human subset. Naturally, given that blogging is one of those actions, you may, from time to time want to rant/talk/rhapsodize about it. But it gets all space-time-continuum on me. Like standing between two mirrors and looking to the side to glimpse the infinite reincarnations of yourself. A little narcissistic and dizzying.
But it occurs to me that while I'm still tinkering with the style sheet and trying out colors (yes, I picked these colors ON PURPOSE -- some colors were rejected and went away bitter) and agonizing over layout quirks I might want to explain why I am going to maintain both a Diary and a Blog. At least in theory.
Short answer: I'm too stubborn to give up Diary. Long answer isn't that simple (thus, it is the long answer).
Yes, I have an affection for Diary. In fact, when I started out Diary was php and used dynamic software (its software was intended for use with news sites, but that's neither here nor there). It just didn't work for me. From a business standpoint, straight HTML reads better in search engines. From a me standpoint, I could control every aspect of the html: I understood it and could manipulate it as I wished. I didn't ever have to rely on someone else for aid. But now, updating Diary is a hassle in comparison to dynamic blog software. And so, I've carved out this space -- for my day to day silliness. I can post pics or rant about politics, or flitter about the weather and it is nearly effortless. Besides, it will keep me off message boards were trouble breeds.
But I can't just do the same thing to Diary. First of all, many people have linked to individual entries and it feels disingenuous to change it all now. Second, well, the search engine benefits still apply business-wise. And, lastly, I just *want* it there. I want it to be hard work to update it. To be a deliberate act; my personal little ritual. To be there when I have something more to say than just the banter that pops into my head. Something I needed to stew over and delve into more deeply. And I'd like to keep the industry stuff over there instead of here. Sort of like separating my work space from my personal space. Though, let's face it, we all know I'm going to overlap. The tracks of my various trains of thought criss-cross diabolically, which is why there are so many collisions.
Who knows. Maybe I'll fall in love with straight-up blogging and retire the Diary. Or maybe it'll just be one more duality in a life already flush with dualities.
Anyway, I thought if I'm going to give this space its due, I needed to explain to it what made it different from its older sibling. Hopefully, it'll cut down on the hair-pulling.
February 23, 2005
I haven't fought a windmill in a fortnight
A little gossip, a little chat A little idle talk of this and that... ~ Joe Darion
Finally! A place to spew my daily insanity and dust out the bric-a-brac of my noggin.
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
January 06, 2005
These Are The Boobies In My Neighborhood
Site Note: Don't Miss My New DOMAI Gallery
It probably will come as no surprise to anyone that has read my blog for any length of time that I am a “breast girl.” I’ve known this for a long time. If I had been born to this earth in the male form, I’d be a “breast man.” It’s not that I don’t like legs or tight little bums or the curve of a hip, arch of a back, nape of a neck, or the sublimely pointed toe. I like all those things just fine. But I have an achingly tender attraction to female breasts. I like looking at them. I like thinking about sucking on them and committing other assorted perversions upon them. They’re just fucking yummy.
Previously I did an entry on the cock-worshipping whore part of myself. Many of my male readers found this to not be their favorite entry (more likely they didn’t appreciate the visuals) which I find amusing, but understandable. Although it is a social double standard that doesn’t make sense given the history of our species. Let’s face it, male homosexuality was far more standard than female homosexuality historically. So, why is it that I can look at breasts all day and find them alternately tuggable, suckable, and spankable with a sense of girlish glee? Why don’t I have the knee-jerk “ew, but that’s another GIRL” reaction society so trains us to have? I simply don’t remember ever having that feeling (barring the first time I ever saw a lesbian porn video, and that sense of aversion I’ve since maintained because most “lesbian” porn is so badly done, pathetically unrealistic, and entirely un-sexy).
THE BOOBIES IN MY HARD DRIVE NEIGHBORHOOD
(Click to enlarge)
Thus the breast entry. There are A LOT of breasts on my hard drive. A LOT of them. So many that I decided, upon doing this entry to put together a little collage of sorts. The above image is a mere scattering – a bare glimpse of the mad teacup party of breasts that are on my hard drive. But these give you an idea about my flavors. I was happy with myself to find a variety. While the breasts I like are overwhelmingly anglo, there are also a healthy representation of Latin and Asian breasts. Shockingly I don’t have many black woman represented on my hard drive and I’m not sure why this is. To be honest I think that it is just hard finding the type of “pretty porn” I like of black models. The porn industry tends to hone in on the “ghetto princess” angle of porn when they present African-American girls and that’s just not what appeals to me. I’m not pointing any fingers, I’m just saying I get excited looking at vintage-style playboy-esque shots, not booty-call stripperella nasty nitty gritty stuff and the proliferation of black models is on the opposite side of the platform than my train arrives upon. I know that does the job for a lot of guys and I’m not knocking it. I just don’t get it by and large. But then I’m much more the aural and not the visual expert.
I don’t think there is a single pair of implants among my pretties. And although they run the spectrum from puffy to flat, from tiny to rubenesque, the overall theme seems to be natural. Although I do like them when they hang pretty and have large dark bumpy areolas. I’m sure there’s some Freudian reason that eludes me, but looking at the ones I save for my personal pleasure, it’s hard to argue with the evidence. Speaking of evidence, I missed TWO on THIS QUIZ but that’s because I’m convinced the answers are incorrect. But, see how you do. Incidentally, if anyone can identify #12 it’s making me crazy. I know these:
Can You Name These Breasts?
It’s not easy to gather a collection like this anymore unless you are a serious porn surfer. These days if you do any kind of Googling to find breast sizes/shapes of any sort (other than coming up with a disturbingly highly ranked number of sites on gynecomastia) you’ll likely get a smothering of turn-key porn portals that don’t yield anything even remotely pleasurable to your kink. This is a great annoyance in the porn industry although I suspect there are those who feel I am as guilty as the next. Everyone has their level of what draws the line between fun and classless. The line between bawdy fun girl and outright whore, etc. It’s the lines between burlesque performer and showgirl and stripper. Most of us have a general sense of the line in the same place, but there are those who are far from the norm on both sides.
This is where the porn industry is its own worst enemy. Most porn industry pros are all about more money by any means necessary instead of focusing on being in touch with the market. And that’s when all the trouble starts. Most people think porn is fun, but greed and the tactics it employs will suck the fun out of anything. This current circle-jerk of fucking over legitimate search engine results to spew your sites all over the top spots is just…well, silly and self defeating. If I’m looking for puffy breasts and all I find in the top twenty pages of Google is the same turnkey piece of shit site, that isn’t serving the market. And, instead of tricking me into joining your site all you’re going to do is make damn sure I never join your site or anything related to your company name, ever. It’s the same error that spammers make. Misspelling CIALI$ might get you through my spam filter, but do you REALLY think that means I’d ever consider buying it? If I can’t sign into Google and find “puffy breasts” when I want to, there’s just something wrong with the system. And when there’s something wrong like that, money is almost always at the center of it.
Or maybe I’m just jaded.
It is this semi-exhaustion with the porn industry that has me scaling back from my customary phone slut schedule and slinking off to tinker with other projects and allow my attention to be drawn elsewhere. Which brings me to the pink elephant in the living room.
Those who keep track will note that my schedule is now “by appointment only” and they will react with, I’m sure, a mixture of smugness, interest, and/or indifference to the fact. It goes against all slut logic to do this. I’m first and foremost a beck-and-call-girl after all. How dare I make such an elitist gesture?
Well, the truth is, I need to. Sex workers have a shelf-life. I was told this when I came to the business and it became clearer and clearer as time passed. It became stunningly real to me when Sus turned in her boots (although the sneaky little minx has teased us by showing back up at her new PORN HAPPY PROJECT site. Do the world a favor and chunk out a donation to her cause. We fucking miss her and if she’s only going to come back to promote her books we want to make sure she keeps fucking doing it – umm kay?
There is a fact to face: I don’t want to be the all-out crazy phone whore anymore. It’s like growing up in driving distance of South Beach; there comes a time when your hardcore clubbing days are just behind you. It doesn’t mean you’ll never dress up in slutty clothes again and go party, it just means it will be the exception rather than the rule.
The irony, of course, is that I am not tired of phone sex. I’m still every bit the addict I always have been and, I’m convinced, always will be. I still fucking love phone sex. But I’m tired of doing phone sex that isn’t *ME*. There was a time I didn’t mind donning a vicious dominatrix persona and spinning tales about raping slaves with my spike-heeled boots and making them drink from bowls of water they’d just washed my feet in. There was a time that drawing the kink out of a reluctant john was just part of the gig. But my patience has been peeled to its limit. I don’t want to drag the fucking fantasy out of men who don’t know how to ask for what they crave. And I don’t want to continue to play the part of a dominant bitch when what really excites me is the perverse taboo of Daddy’s girl and non-consent and submissiveness.
It’s trickiest with the submissive callers, really. I don’t want to do hardcore dom, but I don’t mind sensual dom. But, like with spammers and porn greed, that line is drawn different for everyone.
Taking calls by appointment only means I can get a feel for what a client wants before they call. A man who is shy on the phone generally isn’t in email. It gives me a comfort zone. I don’t have to have those ungodly uncomfortable farces of “what do you like?” / “oh…uh…everything.” I would imagine it is the one aspect where prostitutes have it better than phone sluts. If a guy wants to fuck you a certain way all he has to do is SHOW YOU. There isn’t this square dance of hemming and hawing.
There are those of you out there reading this who have the biggest prick of a boss that are thinking “oh boo hoo – poor Doxy has to cajole men into talking about sex – how hard can that possibly be?”
I know. I know. I know I have the best job in the whole fucking world for me. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. So I’m moving into a new phase of my profession. Sure, it makes me a little nervous, but I think I need to put together a little distance so that I can miss it. Maybe I’m a wimp with no right to complain because I get to do what I love and I should just shut up and lump it. But we all make choices to make our lives more pleasurable and sometimes those are hard calls and/or risks. Maybe this is one of those. Maybe it’ll piss off my clients to have to make an appointment and I’ll have to return to schedules and woo and whimper and take some spankings for being a bad girl.
Or maybe this ends up best of all worlds. It could happen. The truth is, I’ll always love being a phone slut. I’ll never “burn out” on that. But I’m done with wankers and bozos. I’ve put in my time with the dregs. There are too many quality, respectful clients out there to put up with the grind anymore. I’ve earned the reprieve. And while it makes the work-ethic in me flinch, that’s just part of tailoring your job to fit you when you’ve earned the right to do so.
I’ve garnered a client list of kind, respectful fellows who might want to rape my ass while I’m bound and gagged in a fantasy, but they’re my kind of perverts and they draw their lines similarly to the way I draw mine. And that works. For now.
Let’s see…what else goes on? The SpankBlog Rules are getting a lot of coverage on the “sex blog” circuit. It’s not really a bunch of rules, but good advice from anyone looking to add adult themed blogging to their lives. It amuses me to no end that when I started doing this there were no other phone sluts to speak of blogging and I got tons of hate mail about “giving away industry secrets.” Now every little slut that puts up a site links to a live journal or some other blog access. Unfortunately I break most of Spank Boss’ kind advice, but I’m just ornery that way. Frankly it bewilders me as to why I still have any readership to speak of considering how long I go between updates. Incidentally, his is a great spanking site. It gets a little too rough for my kink needs, but it’s yummy 9 times out of ten.
And just to end on a funny, here’s some perverse car pleasure:
The Pussy Bug
I think he should have a sign on front saying “please don’t lick the hood” because she does look good enough to eat doesn’t she?
Well, stick a fork in this entry. Suddenly I want to go have a nice little fantasy about being a bad girl with a spanking red bottom.
December 03, 2004
Upon Further Review: Holiday Spirits All Around
You ever get something off your chest and immediately feel better about it?
This is the benefit of having a blog – even one updated as rarely as mine. You bitch, you feel a bit better, mission accomplished. The bottom line, I suppose, is that I don’t know what the next four years will mean domestically. I don’t know how far this push on behalf of the religious right is going to test our civil rights and our sexual freedoms. I do know that they’re fighting against progress and if history teaches us anything, it’s that fighting social evolution is a losing battle. I’m not giving up any of my rights, or those of others quietly. And I will not tolerate it without making a little rumble of my own. All the FCC fines in the world won’t change the fact that we have advanced in our social behavior from the 1950s and trying to turn back the dial is dangerous and impracticable. So, you know, hope springs eternal and all that. If you feel like I do, join the ACLU. Write your congressperson. Don’t sit quietly and politely when someone chips away at things you hold dear. We’ve all been tolerating too long. Agreeing to disagree. It doesn’t work. Those of us that have the decency to live and let live have been losing ground to those who want to dictate morality. We’ve got some catching up to do. It’s easy to effect change by censoring and suing and fining. The hard work involves processes like education, treatment, communication. Yeah. It’s going to be an interesting four years. We’ve got our work cut out.
But for now, enough of that. I’m not Wonkette. My politics are personal and hardly the main thrust of my life. I’m just a phone sex slut, and what’s a phone sex slut going to do? Mope all thru December? Na.
Okay. So it’s the start of December. Salt over my shoulder. Black cats off my porch. Joy juju and happy thoughts engaged. I’ve decided to make an effort to get into the swing of the holidays. I’m flighty like that. Woman’s prerogative. Besides, it’s no fun being Ebenezer Scrooge. Sure, it’s been a wickedly twisted year. Between hurricanes and election results a little jingling of bells here and there is definitely due.
As I sort of muttered at the end of Tuesday’s entry, I’ve vented some of my frustrations in writing An XXXmas Karol. It’s sarcasm-laced political farce and full-fledged Daddy’s girl incest all rolled into one. Beat that with a stick.
For those of you looking for other holiday erotica there is my delightfully warped and somewhat cruel Boxing Day tale as well as a few selections on Satin Slippers that are top-notch. These include the roguishly semi-non-consent of Karl’s The Man With The Bag, Circe’s rompishly wicked non-consent Bringing Down Santa, and Kerrie O’Keefe’s sentimentally sweet The Nice Older Man. Hopefully there’s something there to offend and titillate everyone.
And, hey, what’s up with there being no Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Winter Solstice smut stories?
Oh. That reminds me. Yes, I decorate my site for Christmas, but that’s because it’s the flavor of holiday I celebrate this time of year. Please don’t waste time being offended or feeling left out if your culture isn’t represented by my sluttly little site. I just feel it’s hypocritical to try and be all-encompassing. You attempt to please everyone and you end up with hot water instead of soup (anyone else remember that story?). I’m not a Hanukkah girl (although I have friends that let me eat their food -- soofganiot and latkas are nummy). So, you know, it would feel white-bread offensive to toss a few dreidels here and there just for show. /political correctness disclaimer.
Speaking of the decor, some of you may have noticed the succulent window dressing draped on the home page and the logo area of PSD. My Doxy Toons are provided courtesy of Sinai Tendergal. I’m setting up a page for anyone else that might be looking for a little Custom Comix of their own, although to be honest I’d rather keep her all to myself.
Oh, and speaking of art: I WANT I WANT I WANT!
Jack Henslee has managed to get his print gallery back online for Christmas after payment problems earlier in the year forced him to shut down for a while (Do we hate PayPal? Oh, yes we DO!). And there is some major new eye candy to make us cream. I know many of you enjoy his pretty ladies and will likely buy for yourselves and loved ones. Anyone *ahem* wishing *ahem* to put a little tinsel on my tree can just select one of the below and instruct Jack to ship to Doxy – trust me, he knows the addy.
/end annual shameless pleading for mouthwatering masterpieces.
In other holiday shopping news, I’ve added some new reviews for My Pleasure items including the Micro Rocket and Forbidden Fruit. Because, we all need to buzz the ones we love (and don’t forget to love yourself!) ;-)
*sigh* I want some Farm Stores eggnog. God I miss civilization. Eggnog and homemade snickerdoodles. Ungh.
Okay. No more food fantasy moments. On to phonesex slut movie reviews.
Recently, I bought and watched three different movies based on Koji Suzuki’s book, The Ring. The American film incarnation of The Ring, the Japanese version, Ringu, and the Korean version, The Ring Virus.
I like foreign films. And, unlike other genres, mainstream thrillers in different markets really reflect interesting aspects of their respective cultures. Art films are often about a guise. Thrillers can encompass more nitty gritty everyday matter.
To start with, I re-watched the American version that most are familiar with. I consider it an all-around good film. Creepy in the right places, dreary and somber on the whole for a perfect sense of atmosphere. The jump-out-and-getcha parts were reserved for the right moments. Not quite horror, not quite thriller. Mostly compelling if not completely unique in style. The horse drowning element felt awkward to me and the middle of the movie lagged because of it, especially during some of the “put the pieces of the puzzle together” steps that came off as forced. But, I thought upon this viewing as I had when it first came out, that it pulled off what it attempted to accomplish. The sophistication of the character relationships was its greatest strength. Underplayed and developed at a slow boil.
In contrast, Ringu was the most disappointing of the three for me. The Japanese counterpart of the main female character played by Naiomi Watts in the American version is a very different woman. Reiko Asakawa is more a damsel in distress than a strong, single working mother and hard-edged journalist. Even her beyond-his-years son seems more respected than she does. As such, she comes off as much more dependant upon her ex-husband to walk her through solving the mystery. Apparently, being a smug, superior, absentee father still allows one to be a hero in Japanese cinema. It didn’t work for me. And when this culminated into a scene where the male character had the obligatory slap-the-hysterical-woman sequence I was annoyed out of any enjoyment I’d gleaned from the film. I’m not sure if that’s a statement about the Japanese culture or the lack of understanding toward it on my part, but the dynamic of the main character relationships suffered greatly because of this in my opinion. This version also incorporated the pseudo-science “ESP experiment” subplot that the US version abandoned. To me, I felt the US screenplay was better for getting rid of this clumsy ploy, but it did lose an interesting social element in the process. In the Japanese film, the relationship of man and water (especially the ocean) is far more intimate than the US version. You get a sense that this is a culture with a firm relationship toward the sea. Indeed, it is considered a force all its own to be respected and not toyed with – and there is punishment for taking pleasure in the water. The punishment in this case is a supernatural, arguably malevolent child that is implied to be of demon descent. This parallels the non-supernatural aspect of the story; the child that belongs to the main characters is a punishment of responsibility. However, in weighing the pros and cons of the subtext, I’d have to say that it was worth losing this in order to avoid the cheese factor of the ESP subplot.
The Ring Virus, the Korean take on this story, was surprisingly much more sophisticated than the Japanese version came off (although, as mechanics go, the subtitles were badly translated in areas on my DVD). The main female character, Sun-Ju, has a daughter instead of a son which was a nice twist since there is a very female focus within the story in all incarnations (the main character, the first character to die, the source of the supernatural events, etc). Also, the environment of this film was far more Westernized, which I wasn’t expecting. In one scene, two characters even meet at a McDonalds. Sun-Ju is far more complex than Reiko, but she’s sexually harassed in every aspect of her life. The film starts with her conducting an interview about ancient beliefs on sexuality at an art museum for reasons later explained in the film. Her partner at the newspaper office she works for is a sex-obsessed goofball. Her ex (who is not presented as the father of Sun-Ju’s daughter unless I missed something) is a sexually predatory “I’m so smart everything in life’s a game to me” asshat of the first water. She even has to deal with a creepy run-in with a sexually inappropriate coroner (yes, it’s as twisted as it sounds). All of this together manages to make a statement about the misogynistic slant of sexuality that still prevails in many modern cultures (especially Asian cultures), as well as offer poignant testimony regarding the danger of degrading and closeting those of alternative or minority sexualities (personified by incest and hermaphrodite subplots). Unfortunately, introducing these sexual subplots into the already clumsy mix of supernatural events, renders the overall storyline as overwhelmingly and unnecessarily complicated. On the plus side, this version also preserves the cultural relationship with water. In a choice between this one and the Japanese version, I’d take the Korean flick anytime.
So, if you’re considering placing one of these in the stocking of a movie buff pal, consider Korea’s The Ring Virus in lieu of, or in addition to the much-venerated Ringu. At least that’s my two cents ;-)
I guess that’s all for now. Glad I updated again. Would have hated to leave things on the sour note of my last entry. Ho ho ho and all that jazz.