Category Archives: Kink Events

Sunday Evening

It was a busy, albeit fun, weekend.

On Friday night we were in the Gay Pride Parade, on our Leather Pride “float.”

Our Leather Pride float was the truck belonging to my current Master and slave couple, Steve and kim, with their car trailer attached.

We used bungee cords to secure camp folding chairs back to back down the middle, about a dozen of them.  People rode in the back of the truck, too.  We had a Fringe Elements banner, and signs for Bluegrass Leather Pride, and a Leather Pride flag.

We also had scented bubbles and cans of silly string.

We met in a lot behind one of the local gay bars, and waited for a bit, then moved into the sort of pre-staging area, which worked out really well for us because it was a very sunny day and could have been unpleasantly hot, but we were under an overpass, so it was quite pleasant.  It was a lovely day, clear and dry, plenty warm but by the time the parade was actually starting it had cooled down and the sun wasn’t so bright.

We had quite a few people who were on our float – Steve and Kim, Charles and jacki, Karen, Meg, Christie, Russ, Caile and Ms. Tammy and Ms. Tammy’s goldendoodle, Honey, and Kim’s 20 year old daughter and her friend.

In the truck we had Kody and Jessie and another couple of friends of theirs.

Walking beside we had Daddy Donald and Chris, slave drew, Bootblack Bella and Bootblack Astro, and Jay walking beside, along with Sir Charles part of the time, and his son, Nick, and Kenny drove the car.

All together, it was a pretty good turnout, nearly 25 people.

And, again, I assume because we were near the front, we were also what a couple of local stations lead off with in covering the pride parade.

As the newscaster says, “And it was the Gay Pride Parade in Kentuckiana today…”. you see Nick walking by the camera, then you see Ms, Tammy, and jacki and me and Charles and Kim and Steve.  Then the coverage moves on, but you can see us quite clearly.

I look incredibly domme-ly.  I have a can of Silly String I am apparently trying to understand how to use.

Not much earlier, they’d been playing with the silly string a bit, making sure that they were all open and caught the attention of a kid, mostly by spraying him accidentally and kind of scaring him, so we had to give him a can after that.

The first thing he did was spray us back, rightfully so, and I got a spotty sort of mist of green Silly String particles all over myself, face and vest both.  Poor Charles and jacki were nearly beside themselves trying to get it all off me, saying things like, “I’m sorry I’m touching your boob, Ma’am, I am just wiping off your vest.”

I saw an old lover at the parade, someone who was covering it for one of the local media.  I haven’t seen him in a long time, it was a pleasant enough encounter.  He still looks fabulous.

The parade had a few protesters, though the only ones I actually saw were a pair of men who looked like Mormon missionaries – short sleeved “dress” shirt, tie, conservative haircuts and dress slacks – with signs.

The signs were great, one had signs that said something like, “Don’t be pitching a tent around my cub scout,” and “FALSE Preachers + Teachers, There is a Hell, You’re on the HIGHWay!!”

The other had a sign that said, “Celebrating STRAIGHT NORMAL PRIDE 365 DAYS A YEAR.”  Actually, neither of them looked a bit like they were celebrating anything at all.

There were a couple other ones at the end of the parade, which was the Gay Pride celebration, but I didn’t get out there.  I stayed on the back with a few other people as we rode around a few city blocks to get back to the gay bar.

There was a Mary J. Blige concert downtown last night, so between them, us, and the drag queens, there were a lot of high heels than normal on the street last night.

 

A Real Post, Sort Of

All right, so I am here and more or less back to normal.

I haven’t unpacked, of course.  I’m still working on pictures, but I’m closer now.

I’m still processing, I think.

One of the things that was funny was how many people from Louisville were at International Mr. Leather.

We left for Chicago about 1 or so.  Chicago traffic is always challenging, though I was not driving, which is always a plus to me.

I went with Jay and Karen, my Leather SIR and Leather Ms.  Neither of them had ever been to IML before.

We were staying a ways out because I had gotten a deal on a hotel room, thanks to a friend.  We were going to at least see how the train worked, and it did work pretty well for the first two days, though taking a train limits what you can do and wear, so the third night we paid exorbitant parking rates and it was worth it.

We got checked in and by the time we had gotten to the hotel and changed and figured out the trains and actually got to the hotel it was too late for me to get my press credentials, which was fine anyway.

We walked around the hotel for a few minutes, which is packed virtually to the rafters with hot gay guys who are, if not fully naked are somewhere between half and three quarters naked.

We had not eaten on the way up, so Karen and I went to dinner.  We walked a block or two to a grill and were having a very nice meal when Karen said, as someone walked by, “Isn’t that Chris?  Donald’s Chris?”

I looked up and indeed it was Donald’s Chris and Donald, too, and another friend or two of ours as well.

You have to come to Chicago to see your friends, I suppose.

We didn’t do a lot that night, we went back to the hotel for a bit after dinner, had a drink, talked to more hometown folk we saw, as well as some out of towners I don’t often see.

Eventually I will catch up on sleep.

More tomorrow.

Event Drop

I had a great time at International Mr. Leather.

I saw lots of people I knew, met tons of people I didn’t.

I laughed until I cried more than a few times.

I took the train by myself in Chicago, which if you know me makes you afraid for me.  I didn’t have any incidents, by the way.

I bought one new toy, nothing fabulous, but a long quirty thing.  It was from a vendor I have bought toys from for 15 years, I didn’t have anything like it and it was very inexpensive, particularly for IML.

I had great seats at the contest and took, literally, close to 500 photos, I think, and I need to get through them.

Tonight, I am dead tired, though, and I’m not even going to write a proper blog.

Look for me soon, I swear I will be back.

Shyness

I had a conversation tonight with someone about shyness.

When I was a teenager, I was painfully shy.  I know, hard to believe if you know me now.

Now, I will willingly take a stage, take a microphone, stand up in front of people, stand in the spotlight.

I know that it started after I got out of school.

I was astonishingly unpopular in school.  No movie dates or school dances or proms.

What probably won’t surprise anyone is that I was on the annual staff, about my only activity.

Then I got out of school and through a few coincidences and one of those horrible social programs, I got a job I’d never have gotten any other way, that lead me down a lot of paths.

I got a job through CETA, the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act.  It was one of those programs that Reaganomics thought had no value, although it was actually a continuation of the WPA.

Anyway, I got a job working for an arts alliance in the itty tiny town I grew up in.  I ran the office, typed up everything in the days when things were typed, scheduled classes, wrote grants, and generally did whatever needed to be done.

It was a great job for someone who didn’t have a lot of experience doing those things, and the woman who hired me, Colleen, actually had a lot of influence on me.

She was enough older than I was that it was easy for her to be a mentor, but not so much older that we didn’t have a lot in common.

I spent a LOT of time at her house as we got to know each other, and less at my own, and that was, no doubt, a real benefit to me, too.

Colleen was NOT shy.  She was six feet tall in her stocking feet and, in the parlance of the day, she owned it.  She stood tall, she didn’t slouch, she wore heels, and her husband was about 5’8″.

I learned a lot from Colleen, the most important thing being that you missed out on a LOT by being shy.  A lot.

I really didn’t want that to be the case.

I think I came to the realization that mild discomfort on my part was not a good enough reason to miss out on the things that I wanted to experience.

So I stopped.

I know, I know, if you’re shy, you’re saying, but how do you do that, how do you not stand there paralyzed and just get over it?

I don’t know, on one hand, on the other hand, I know exactly.  You simply do it.

You put one foot in front of the other and keep walking.

Shyness is really about being obsessed with yourself.

I know, I know, not the most popular view, particularly if you’re the one who’s shy.  However, shyness is about being sure that everyone is watching YOU.

They’re paying attention to themselves.

That’s the secret.

No one is paying THAT much attention to you, because they’re all obsessed with themselves.

The other thing I do know is that the best way to stop focusing on yourself is to focus on someone else.

I think, too, that having a job makes it easier.

As NOT shy as I usually am, I can be at loose ends if I don’t have a role.

Give me a job, though, and I’m good.

It’s one of the best things about volunteering, because you have a job and that pushes you to focus on other people, on a task, and that’s helpful, I think.

Give me a job and I’m happy.

Put me on a stage and I’m even better.

 

Special Interest Groups

So we had our SIG meeting this afternoon and the topic, which had been requested in our topic listing, was Leather History.

I did a bit of prep for the meeting, which included going through the Leather Archives and Museum Leather History Timeline.  If you’re interested you can find that here.

I pulled out items that I thought were particularly interesting from that time line:

1954:    Satyrs MC founded in Los Angeles, the first gay motorcycle club.

1955, Sept. 21:    The Daughters of Bilitis, the first Lesbian organization in America, is formed in San Francisco.

1958:    Oedipus MC founded in Los Angeles, the second gay motorcycle club.

1958, June:    Chuck Renslow becomes manager of The Gold Coast in Chicago and creates the first Leather Bar.

1960, March 16:    The Gold Coast, Chicago’s first leather bar, (opened June 1958) is purchased by Chuck Renslow and Associates.

1960:    Warlocks MC, and California Motor Club formed in southern California and San Francisco respectively.

1963, Sept. 15:    Second City Motorcycle Club founded in Chicago.

1964, June 26:    Life magazine features “Homosexuality in America,” an article by Paul Welch that includes a two page spread on the Tool Box, San Francisco’s premier leather bar, and sparks a migration of eager leathermen to “Baghdad by the Bay.”

1964:    Empire City MC founded in NYC and holds first Empire City Christmas Party and Toys for Tots.

1964:    Recon MC founded in San Francisco.

1965, Apr.:    Second City MC founded in Chicago. The first such club in the Midwest.

1969:    Time magazine declares 1969 “The Year of the Newly Militant Homosexual”

1969, June 28:    New York City Police raid the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar on Christopher St. near 7th Ave. triggering riots that last several nights, and becoming the seminal event in public awareness of the fight for gay rights.

1969, June 29:    “Four Policemen Hurt in Village Raid” reported the New York Times, on page 33.

1969, July:    Reporting on the Stonewall riots, Time magazine says, “The love that once dared not speak its name now can’t seem to keep its mouth shut.”

1969, July:    The Gay Liberation Front is formed in New York City.

1970, June:    Celebrating the first anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the first gay pride parades/marches/rallies are held in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Cycle MC marches in the Christopher Street Liberation Day parade in NYC.

1971, Jan. 3:    First lesbian center in the US opens in New York City, sponsored by the NY Chapter of the Daughters of Bilitis.

1971, Feb.:    The Eulenspiegel Society is founded in New York City as North America’s first SM organization. It is open to all sexes and orientations.

1971, Apr.:    Bob Ross begins publishing the Bay Area Reporter, aka the B.A.R., in San Francisco. Mr. Marcus begins his leather column in this newspaper in August of 1971. As of this writing in Jan,. 1999, both the paper and the column are still going strong after 28 years!

1971, Aug.:    In Chicago: Thirteen men decide to organize a group specifically to hold gay male SM play parties and the Chicago Hellfire Club is created…

1972, April:    The (San Francisco) Bay Area Reporter newspaper begins publishing a column devoted to leather related news, gossip and information written by “Mr. Marcus,” (Marcus Hernandez.) The first, and longest running, column of its type, in 1999 it is still going strong!

1972, Oct.:    In a contest held at the Chicago Leather bar, the Gold Coast, John Lunning becomes Mr. Gold Coast. The FIRST leather title holder.

1974:    Bella Abzug and Edward Koch become the first members of the US House of Representatives to introduce legislation prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

1974:    The Society of Janus is started in the San Francisco Bay area by Cynthia Slater. It is an SM interest group open to all genders and orientations.

1974, Apr. 8:    Members of the American Psychiatric Association agree with its trustees to stop listing homosexuality as a mental disorder.

1976, Oct. 26:    The Mineshaft in New York City opens. This after-hours club allowed and encouraged virtually all forms of sexual activity among its hot male patrons. It was a Mecca for leather/SM types in the Eastern US and Canada. Closed in Nov. 1985.

1977, Feb. 7:    US State Dept. announces it will no longer automatically bar gays and lesbians from employment.

1978, Nov 27:    Harvey Milk, openly gay San Francisco Supervisor, assassinated, along with mayor George Moscone, by former Supervisor Dan White.

1989, May 28:    Tony DeBlase presents his design for a leather pride flag to the audience at International Mr. Leather, the first time the flag is presented to the public.

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We talked, too, about some of the “rules” of the Old Guard leather, which I also find quite interesting.  Let me say that there are those who disagree that there ever even was an Old Guard, but regardless, I still find the list an interesting one:

Always wear boots, butch ones, and preferably black.

Always wear a wide black leather belt plain, not fancy.

Never mix brown leather with black leather.

Never mix chrome or silver trim with gold or brass trim.

Long pants only, Levi’s or leather, and no shorts.

Chaps indicate more commitment than Levi’s, and leather pants more commitment than chaps, especially when worn consistently.

Leather Jackets must have epaulets (bike riders excepted).

Head gear is reserved for Tops or experienced or heavy bottoms only.

Bottoms may not own collars unless a particular Top has allowed that bottom to be the custodian of the Top’s collar. A bottom wearing a collar is a slave, and belongs to the owner of the collar who, presumably, has the keys. Other Tops are not to engage a collared bottom in conversation, but other bottoms may do so. Should such a relationship end, the collar must be returned to the Top.

Never touch the bill of a bike cap, including your own.

Never touch another man’s cap (or head gear) unless you are very intimate friends or lovers.

Keep studs and other decorations to a tasteful minimum unless they happen to be club insignia.

Never wear another man’s leather unless he puts it on you.

Leather, other than boots and belt, must be ‘earned’ through the achievement of successively challenging ‘scenes.’

Wearing gloves is reserved for heavy players, glove fetishists or bike riders.

Always indicate SM preference, only with keys left or right.

If you are cruising seriously, wear the keys out; if not seriously, tuck them in a back pocket.

Always indicate strictly leather sex or ‘rough sex’ interest by wearing no keys at all.

Those who ‘switch’ are second class players and not to be taken as seriously because they haven’t made their minds up. If you must switch, do so in another town.

‘Full’ leather is reserved for after 10:00 P.M. only and only with ‘our own kind’.

Respect the public by wearing less of it during the day–don’t frighten old ladies (l did once by accident), or anyone else for that matter.

About Socializing and Cruising:

Experience in the Scene determines social seniority (Top or bottom), not age, not size, not amount of leather worn, and not offices held in organizations, awards received or titles won.

Tops and experienced bottoms should be accorded higher respect and deference unless and until they behave rudely–all are expected to observe rules of social courtesy-bad manners are inexcusable and can lower one’s status in the Scene (thereby reducing access to the Knowledgeable People for information or play),

Real Leathermen keep their word: they do not borrow or lend money; they conduct their affairs with honor and integrity-they don’t lie.

Preliminary social contact should be on the formal side.

‘Senior Persons’ (Top or bottom) are not to be interrupted when in conversation.

Experience being equal, Tops lead the conversation.

Junior Tops defer to Senior Tops and Senior bottoms in social situations.

Junior bottoms defer to all others in the Scene but not to outsiders.

When walking together, bottoms walk half-a-step behind and to the left of Tops with whom they are involved or playing.

It is up to the Top or the experienced bottom to extend a hand to invite a handshake. (All touching is highly restricted during initial contact between strangers.) NEVER over-indulge in drugs or alcohol in public, or otherwise attract scornful attention to one’s self–to do so brings dishonor on the men in the Scene,

Tops should always have the first two opportunities to make verbal or physical contact.

The more submissive one is, the less direct eye contact one makes-glance frequently at or stare at His boots only when cruising; less so in non-sexual conversation. The more dominant one is, the more direct the eye contact is unless there is no erotic interest (cruising only).

Men in the Scene do not discuss (or write about the Scene with outsiders. All men in the Scene must be able to spot outsiders with the ‘right stuff’ and be ready to facilitate them into the Scene after they indicate sincere interest.

None of these rules are taught or explained to anyone except by innuendo, inference, or example.

Erotic technical information is only shared among peers.

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We talked about why people thought Leather history was important, and discussed the positives and negatives of both inclusion and exclusion within the community.

We spent some time specifically talking about Stonewall, an incident I find quite moving.  If you don’t know a lot about Stonewall, the Wikipedia entry here is well-written and interesting.

All in all, I think it was a worthwhile discussion and one that people enjoyed.  That’s always my hope, anyway.

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On another topic, my website is up and running and it’s now possible to get yourself registered for Bluegrass Leather Pride and the Kinky Bloggers convention by going here.  I look forward to seeing at least some of you there.

 

 

One of Those Days

Ever have one of those days?

It began with a LARGE dog mess that had to be cleaned up.  A mess that spanned two rooms.  First thing.

I’ve worked on laundry all day, which I honestly don’t mind, but it’s been a lot of steps up and down stairs, since the laundry is in the basement.  There has also been moving the clean clothes up to the upstairs, another flight.

I feel as though I’ve been doing a stair master all day, and while that’s not bad, my joints are beginning to protest.

I had another mess to clean up when the big plastic container of liquid laundry detergent somehow fell off the dryer, breaking the screw top, and spewing a certain amount of soap over the dryer, the washer, and some of the clean clothes.

Then there was the large pool of detergent on the floor.

I got it cleaned up, and now I have washcloths that are going to function as laundry drop-ins, since they are saturated with soap.

It has rained. ALL DAY.  I know, I know, we’re getting rain and I should shut the fuck up and be grateful, but it’s rained ALL day.  Drizzled.  Steady, drippy, boring rain.  Gray day, not a ray of sunshine to be seen.

Dogs can’t go out, or when they do, they track in astonishing amounts of mud.  There are puppy footprints on the floor where I swept up the puppy footprints yesterday from the rain yesterday.

I don’t know how much rain we’ve had over the last few days, but it’s been a lot.  The pool that we’ve never gotten around to draining for the winter because we’ve barely HAD a winter is about to overflow.

And for those of you who know about sub drop, let me tell you, event drop is just as real.

One is on and being all charismatic and upbeat and everything and it went well, but there’s a price one pays, too, in terms of the internal batteries, as well as external.

I’ve not done some of the things I wanted to do, and that’s ok, there’s time, but I feel unproductive, and that is never a feeling I like.  Bluegrass Leather Pride looms, GLLA is on the horizon, and Fringe Elements is always there.

I have had to do some bottoming for the community lately, and that’s not my favorite thing.  Sometimes we do things we find repugnant because it’s what’s required for the better of the community, and those are never the things that anyone notices.  One throws oneself on the sword at times.

I’m tired and probably hungry – dinner is bean soup I thankfully started this morning, and frozen biscuits.  I’ll survive, it’s not anything serious, but I would be much happier if tomorrow were a sunny day and the dogs could stay out longer than five minutes without bringing in so much mess that it feels like mud wrestling preliminaries.

I hope your Sunday is more cheerful than mine.

Post Party

Had I been smart, I would have written a blog post before heading out to the Fringe Elements Taster’s Choice party last night.

I thought of that about the same time I realized that I had forgotten the mascara.  It was too late to go back and do it by then.

So the party went well.  We had about 120 people, which is a good sized party.  Our class lineup was Rope Bondage by Robyn, Boot Massage by Bootblack Bella, Therapeutic Massage by Kristin, Intro to Canes by Ms Constance – yours truly – Intro to Flogging by GypsyPony, Hot Safe Sex by Leather Queer, Intro to Electrical Play by Sir Russ, Intro to Knife Play by Sir Charles, Rough Body Play by Walter Sobchak, Intro to Needles by Ms Tammy, Intro to Littles Play by Johnnie and Maggie, and Massage for Doms by Shawna the Dead.

Most classes ran about a half hour – the theme was Taster’s Choice, a chance to give people a taste of a skill or activity, and introduction to it.  A couple ran longer because there was too much to do in so short a time, but I was very pleased.

I actually did my cane class twice, and was surprised at the attendance both times.  I probably had about 30 people all together.

I’m always surprised at how many people are interested in canes.  I think it’s like anything else that people are afraid of, they’re also fascinated by.

I do a longer class on crops and canes both, and this was an abbreviated version.  I also caned probably a half dozen people who were interested in the experiencing how canes feel, so that was fun, too.

It was a good event, but the end result of such things is always that I am fairly exhausted the next day.  I actually didn’t stay as late as I usually do, because I wanted to check on slave drew, but I left for the party about about 5:00 or so and got home about 1:00am or so, so I was still gone about eight hours.

Now I need to really start focusing on Bluegrass Leather Pride, which will be my work this week.

If you were there, I hope you had a great time.  If you were not, and could have been, then you missed out. If you couldn’t make it due to distance, I forgive you.

Mostly.

 

Revelries

Tonight slave drew and I had dinner with aisha and her Sir, and that was lovely.  Dinner was fabulous, surpassed only by the conversation, and now we are home again.

I have goals for the next few days in particular.  I need to get my kitchen and dining room back in order after the festivities of the holidays.  I have a return or two to handle.

I have 89 unread messages in my inbox, and another 20 that are read but not responded to.  I need to go through that and get that cleaned up.

I need to finalize some things for the next Fringe Elements, here:  https://fetlife.com/events/139972

I need to do some work for Bluegrass Leather Pride, and also for Great Lakes Leather Alliance.  I need some desk time, basically.

There are two munches this weekend, so there’s that, too.

Maybe I’ll get those last couple cards done, too.

We’ll see.

For now, though, it’s past my bedtime.

Fast Away the Old Year Passes

Fa la la la la, la la la la…

It is passing fast away, isn’t it?

It’s the eve of the eve of the very last day of 2012.

I’ve been speculating, as we all have, on the upcoming year.

This will mark the 100th year since my mother’s birth.

I’ll be judging at least one international contest this year, possibly two, and that’s both gratifying and a little intimidating.

I want to do some organizing, lighten my physical load.  I have some kitchen cabinets to clean out, spices and oils.  I’ve actually cleaned out my main pantries over the last few months and kept them tidy, but there’s more to come.

I actually did a quick cleanup of that fabled hall closet today, looking for something I didn’t find anyway.  It’s not good, but it’s better.  I need to pull everything out and put it all back in order.

I have a bedroom closet that needs to be tidied so the upper portion can be better used.

I need to get some things in my basement under better control, sort and organize, tidy and consolidate.

The dining room is done, and that’s our big project for a while.  We’d like to do a small renovation in the downstairs bathroom this year, but that’s not pressing.  The carpet is wearing out, it needs to be replaced with tile or wood, wooden wainscoting, new paint, and a new sink, which we have.  It’s not a big room, but it’s a big enough job I’m not sure we’ll do it this year.

We need to paint the kitchen, maybe a new color, something not so pale, perhaps.

I want to have Fringe Elements in a physical location before too many more weeks, and I think we’re close.

I want to go through photos, which aren’t terribly poorly organized, but I know there are multiple duplicates I need to delete.

I want to revamp and reorganize my presentations, as I said before.

I have some other goals, the kind of ones that I rarely set forth in anything but my own mind, we’ll see if those pan out.

And, as of this moment, there are 25 and one half hours left in 2012.  And I plan to spend the next eight or so of them sleeping.

 

 

 

 

 

Winding Down

The year 2012 is winding down.

There are three days left and then this year will be over.  I can’t say I will be unhappy to see it in the rear-view mirror.

It hasn’t been a bad year, in many ways.

In February, my own Bluegrass Leather Pride contest went well, despite having lost two venues in the last month or so before.  We ended up doing it in a private home and the upstairs of a local restaurant, and while it wasn’t ideal, it worked.  My contestants didn’t end up competing at GLLA, but that happens sometimes.

I was also in Indianapolis in February for Beat My Valentine, an event sponsored by IMAS, Indiana Masters and Slaves.

In March I drove out to Dallas, to South Plains Leatherfest, to watch Charles and jacki compete for International Master and slave.

In April, we went to Fort Lauderdale for Beyond Leather, for the International Power Exchange contest.  I presented there, including a brand new presentation on crops and canes.  slave thomas also came and met us there, which was particularly nice.  We spent a bit of time in Sarasota, and in Sanibel Island, one of my favorite places on the planet.

In August, we had another very successful Great Lakes Leather Alliance, despite some curves thrown at the last minute.  One of my scheduled cocktail parties didn’t work out, but I had anticipated the possibility and made arrangements for an alternate plan.

I also presented there, one class that I always do, a class for newcomers to the event, and events in general, and another new class, So You Want to Be a Titleholder.  I also played more at that event – three times – than I ever have before all put together.

In September, I was in Atlanta to present at the International Transgender Leather contest.  I did a humor class there with Ms Tammy.

In October, slave drew and I went to Chicago for Kinky Kollege, and had a very good time there.  Chicago has never been my favorite city, but we had a better time there than I had before.  We really enjoyed it.

I worked to found the first Masters And slaves Together chapter in Kentucky, MAsT: Derby City.  It is running successfully now and I’m proud of that.

We started creating Fringe Elements, a 501C3 Queer Community Center.  We’re close to finding a physical venue, which has always been our goal.  I took the Executive Director position, and I’m comfortable there.  I’m good at running things, I like all sides of it.

I started this blog.  I wasn’t sure I’d keep up with it, but I have. I posted for the first time on May 26, which was 216 days ago.  This post is the 210th, meaning I’ve missed a total of six.

I’ve only really forgotten to post once, I know once was a power outtage issue, and I didn’t post for several days while I was at GLLA, but I think missing  less than 3% is a pretty good percentage.  I’ve seen the number of people who read, and comment, rise, too, and that’s been really gratifying.

It was the 15th anniversary this year of the Louisville Munch, an impressive run for any group.  I added three new people to my formal Leather family by presenting Earned Leather to Gabriel, to Cerrin, and to Shane.

We all lived through an apocalypse, or should I say, another apocalypse.  It reminds me of a line from my favorite episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a musical episode called, “Once More with Feeling.”

“What can’t we do if we get in it?
We’ll work it through if there’s a minute.
We have to try. We’ll pay the price.
It’s do or die. Hey, I’ve died twice!”

How many apocalypses have there been and, so far, we’ve lived through them all.

There have been the usual problems and challenges.  Issues with people, the usual things one encounters when one is involved in groups, the usual struggles there.

I’ve been profoundly disappointed in a few people this year, which is also part of living, I think.  People disappoint us.  Other people have stepped up, risen to challenges.

I’ve gotten closer to a few people, and that’s been nice.  I’ve met other bloggers, both face to face and virtually, and that’s been an experience as well.

I lost at least two awards this year, and was “presented” one on a stage in front of a couple hundred people that turned out to be for someone else, though I wasn’t made aware of it until the award handed to me had another person’s name on it.

I know, I know, you should be flattered to be nominated, and I was – one was a Pantheon Lifetime Achievement award, which is a very significant award in the Leather community.  The final result, however, was that I lost.

I turned 55 this year, and I have not liked that at all.  I know, I know, I’m aware of all the things that are good – experience, wisdom, a level of acceptance, my health is good, and it’s far better than any alternative, but I don’t like it.  I doubt I ever will.  It is, however, what it is.

So, three more days and it’s all just one more memory.  I suspect that our New Year’s Eve celebration will end up being a quiet one at home, us and the pups, probably one of those years in which we don’t even stay up late enough to greet 2013 officially until the morning.

And I’m ok with that.