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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

End-of-year craziness

I have to say 2008 HAS been a pretty good year, overall (20 more days of the Bush Administration!). A few events have taken place recently to put a damper on things. Yesterday my mom broke her leg and was taken to the hospital. At first they thought it was her hip. She simply slipped off the edge of a curb and fell. Luckily, she had just left church and some ladies were nearby to help her; they called the ambulance. Today she has to get surgery to put a pin in. I'm happy it wasn't her hip, but it is her femur and sounds fairly serious. Because she's older and has diabetes, I worry what this means for her future health. She's a very active lady and I hope she can stay that way. We will see her tomorrow morning, probably.

Secondly, both of my cats' health seems to be failing. I took Fat Orange Kitty to the vet last Friday because of what looked like a small tumor on his tail. He also has bad teeth. They did blood work because he was due for it, and found kidney issues. We had to take him back for an ultrasound and other tests on Monday. It's not as bad as they thought, but he probably has a bladder infection (I'm shoving an antibiotic pill into his mouth twice a day now -- those of you who have cats know how it is administering pills).

My other cat, Skinny Black Kitty, seems to be getting skinnier, plus he acts crazy a lot (kitty dementia?) and can't jump that well anymore. He goes to the vet next week for a checkup. We spent a lot of money on Fat Orange Kitty over these two vet visits, and I don't think we can now afford the removal of the small tumor (doc says it's benign) and the dental work. Skinny Black Kitty's visit will set us back another hundred or two, I'm sure. Rad is helping me out with these costs but it's getting crazy.

However, before anyone asks why I'm spending so much on my cats, please know that these have been my "kids" for the last 15 or 16 years. They have been with me through numerous relationships and painful breakups, when I had no one to come home to, and through some very dark times (cats seem to have a way of knowing when you need comforting). They are a pain in the ass, yes. They shed a lot and often leave disgusting messes for us to clean up. But they provide us with hours of affection and amusement (Rad and I like to make up dialogue for them -- strange how they are as cynical as we are). One of my favorite things is to sit on the couch, reading or watching TV, with Fat Orange next to me and Skinny Black on my lap.

I'm sure they will be with us for a while longer, but not too long. I honestly don't know how much we can afford to spend on their health care, in the long run. We'll make each decision as it comes.

I have some New Year's resolutions brewing in my head, which I may blog about later, or tomorrow. I weighed myself today and I lost another 2.4 pounds, so I have just over 5 lbs to go to reach my goal weight. That's not really a resolution, since I've been working on it since October. Tonight we are getting together with a small group of friends to ring in 2009.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Non-sequitor = spanking?

Yesterday Rad was online looking at gadgetry, cell phones specifically. I wasn't paying attention to what he was doing until he complained: "Why is it that the Europeans get all the best stuff and we Americans get the crap?" There was a picture of some fancy cell phone on his computer screen.

Not knowing anything about this issue, and therefore having no intelligent answer, I simply "bratted" him with a complete non-sequitor.

"It must because there aren't enough tummy farts!" I said, quickly yanking up his shirt and blowing a raspberry on his belly. He HATES that. So he gives me the mean daddy look. "Uh oh," I said, but of course I was still laughing.

He grabbed me and bent me over, spanked me really hard over my jeans, then said, "Go stand in the corner!"

I did. Then he came over, grabbed the back of my neck and positioned me so my butt was sticking out more. Then he spanked me again. It got me really turned on...

OK, just thought I'd share.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas passed

So Christmas 2008 is now over. It seemed like a whirlwind two days. Rad and I drove to South Jersey to go to my brother's Christmas Eve party, slept on the sofa bed at my parents' house, visited there for a while Christmas morning, and then went to my other brother's house for brunch. We got back to Queens early yesterday afternoon. (Our cats were alone and needed our attention).

My mom seemed very happy with the necklace I bought her. I got Godiva chocolate-covered popcorn for my dad, plus restaurant gift certificates for both of them. I didn't spend a lot of money this year, but I did bake cookies for all my brothers and sisters. The cookie packages seemed so small after all the work I put in. But that's okay. You do what you can.

Rad bought me a new jewelry box and a beautiful pair of onyx and gold earrings. I bought him the new Ron Suskind book The Way of the World, and a new shirt. We had set limits for each other and we stuck to them; we have to watch our money.

Being with my family was nice. I got to play a few games of ping-pong in my brother's basement, something I hadn't done in a long time. The kids and some of the adults were playing "Guitar Hero," which involves pretending to play along to a music video using guitar, bass, or drums, with one person singing. It was all very loud and sounded pretty bad, but everyone was having fun. I joined in at one point and tried it, singing, "Don't Fear the Reaper" by Blue Oyster Cult. Not a pretty sight. Ping-pong was more fun. That's actually a pretty good workout -- especially if you're chasing the ball around the floor, as was frequently the case.

I ate things I wasn't supposed to eat. The diet didn't hold up very well. Upon our return to Queens, I walked for almost an hour and then did some weight training. Today, I ate in moderation (healthy stuff, no junk) and walked and worked out again.

Now I'm going to relax and take a bath, one of my favorite things to do.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Time flies!

It was our second wedding anniversary today. Won't write too much about this, as my hubby Rad beat me to it earlier. I had a busy day at work and couldn't write till now. Also, sadly, I have caught a cold, so now I'm exhausted.

But, briefly -- after work tonight we went out and had a lovely meal at the Water's Edge restaurant in Queens. Food was delicious, service was fantastic, we had lots of privacy and elbow room. There was a piano player offering up medleys of standards and Christmas tunes, and (maybe the best part) there was a gorgeous view of the night skyline of Manhattan across the East River. I had lamb shank, Rad ordered the sirloin steak, and we allowed ourselves dessert. I worked out earlier today, and will do a longer workout tomorrow to make up for the overindulgence.

It was a very happy evening. I can't believe it has been two years. I really can't see how so much time has gone by since we stood on the altar and exchanged vows. I love that I've finally found someone I can be myself around, someone who makes me laugh almost every day at least once, someone who wants to take care of me as much as I want to take care of him, someone who tolerates my cats AND my mood swings.

Later, back at home, Rad spanked me, and then he gave me a taste of his belt.

Tomorrow we go do family Christmas EVE stuff in Jersey.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bonus blog -- Crunchy Caramel Apple Cream Pies


To all my dieting friends: I just had to share this recipe -- Crunchy Caramel Apple Cream Pies (second recipe down on the page), from Hungry Girl. I put some together just a little while ago (that's my photo above) and they are delicious, incredibly simple, and only 75 calories for four of them! I highly recommend bringing some of these treats to any party where you're going to be tempted by dessert. Just stick a bunch in your host's freezer until dessert time.

The Hungry-Girl website, by the way, is fantastic. I found out about it after seeing its creator, Lisa Lillien, featured in the January Better Homes and Gardens; Lillien also wrote a recipe book for people who like to eat without gaining weight.

Try it and let me know what you think. Feel free to share your own low-calorie snack and/or holiday survival tip.

A marked woman

I was supposed to go to the doctor's Friday morning for my second post-surgery check-up. I had been worried about some lingering marks from the caning I'd taken almost two weeks ago. The marks were fading. On Wednesday night I checked and I had a few small, light bruises; I don't think anyone would be able to tell what caused them, and I still planned to see the doctor and pretend nothing was up. Still, I didn't REALLY want my doctor seeing anything. So I said to myself, maybe Arnica will help. I have some in the medicine cabinet.

I've used Arnica in the past. It's supposed to help prevent or minimize bruising after a scene. But I haven't been very consistent with using it, so I can't say with any certainty that “yes, it works,” or “no, it doesn't.” I have heard that you should use it right away, but I figured even this late in the game it couldn't hurt -- it would either help, or I'd still have the small marks. I applied some on Thursday morning.

Midday Thursday, I go into the single-stall ladies room at work and check my rear view in the mirror. No way! On each thigh, suddenly I'm seeing four distinct cane lines (yes, you can tell they are lines from a cane -- or something else long and thin). Up to that point they had practically disappeared.

“Great!” I thought. “This is not good!”

There's no way. I simply can't go to the doctor looking like this. I went back to my desk, called and said, “I have to postpone my appointment. We're going to be swamped at work tomorrow.” (It wasn't a lie -- we were going to be busy.)

They gave me a choice of rescheduling for Jan. 8 or 12. I almost picked the 12th, but then I realized, oh no, the Delaware Valley Spanks party is on the 10th. Let's not go through this again! I'm being a good girl and seeing the doctor first before I go play.

Yeah, I know, I could maybe not go to a party for once; take a break. Ha ha ha ha. Right.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Big sloppy mushy day


My commute home took two-and-a-half hours tonight. Wet snow, rain, slush all over the city. The corner of 42nd and 6th was flooded; the puddle was huge and I think everyone had to plunk their feet in it. Not nice. As I was waiting for the bus I heard some over-dramatic little thing scream when she stepped into it. Ha ha.

It was our Christmas party at work, and, I did fairly well with avoiding the "bad" stuff. Naturally, we had temptations all week at the office; various people had sent us treats to share. I avoided the chocolate; did allow myself some crackers and cheese that were part of the gift basket.


At the party, among other things, I had THIS monstrosity to contend with. These were multi-colored chocolate cups, filled with chocolate mousse and decorated with white chocolate shavings on top. They looked SO pretty, so yummy. But I did NOT give in:


I was a good girl, had no bread, no pasta, only meat, veggies, and fruit for dessert. I am not being PERFECT by any means, but I really am trying, in this season of overabundance, to substitute higher-calorie snacks for lower-calorie ones.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rambling




Just about to head into the city for a doctor's appointment. Took the day off; my last vacation day of the year (still have one or two personal days for emergencies). I took the top photo while I was coming home from a walk yesterday; the sky just seemed so pretty and dark as it neared sunset. A crisp almost winter's day that reminded me of early winters of my youth, when I'd be coming home late after high school band practice, maybe to mom's homemade split pea soup with a big ham bone that had been simmering and thickening for hours. Maybe if I was lucky, a fire would be going in our fireplace. Maybe after homework a bunch of my brothers and sisters would gather and play a board game -- Monopoly, Risk, Life. Maybe it would be Friday and we'd be watching the Brady Bunch.

So, was feeling a little sappy and sentimental. Sometimes memories come up like that.

In another matter: When Rad was packing the toy bag for this weekend's party, he took out this little toy that Richard Windsor had donated as a door prize for last weekend's Strictly Spanking New York party. My number was called; I had the choice between a spanking video and this silly FAO Schwarz paddle. It was so cute I couldn't resist. I have enough spanking videos (well, for now). It has yet to be tested. Looks reasonably thick and solid -- may be one of those goofy-but-painful toys.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Gettin my spank on

My husband Rad and I attended a spanking party last night run by the Manhattan Spanking Association, a group that describes itself as "an accepting, non-judgmental group for those who share an interest in spanking," which, as far as I could tell, means that we're mainly into spanking but a lot of us like other play, too. And which further means that no one cared that I went topless for a very nice flogging from Rad.

Last week I played pretty hard, got nasty canings from Tony and Ian of Florida Moonshine, and a harsh strapping from Rad, and I didn't know I still would have marks a week later. I love my marks, love the mementos, but I have to go to the doctor this week and now I'm worried he will see them. That part of my anatomy will be exposed, unfortunately.

So, to make a long story short, I decided to top more than bottom at this party. I hadn't done this in a while because I hadn't been "in the right head space." I couldn't figure out HOW to get into the right head space, or why I was in the "wrong" head space, but I think I was being a little self-centered, wanting to get MY needs met as a bottom/submissive, and forgetting that I get OTHER needs met when I top.

Also, I was going through this phase where I thought I would be disappointing my bottoms. Can't say exactly where that came from. But I seem to be coming out of it, finally.

It's kind of a rush when a guy lets me take charge. They are all different, of course, but most of those who play are putting themselves under my control. I listen to what their limits are, their likes and dislikes, and then I begin and I assume authority. I don't ASK how they are doing; I spank them the way I want to spank them and I look at their reaction. I scold, and if they are bratty I take that as a cue to crank it up a notch. If they react a different way, and go "little boy/submissive" on me, I go into loving-but-strict mom mode.

I have a reasonably hard hand, and I'll spank for a while with just my hand unless I know up front the guy can take much more. This generally gives me a good feel for the bottom's tolerance. If he's squirming under just my hand I'll continue with just my hand for a while before escalating to something not-so-severe, like a leather paddle. But if he's barely reacting at all, I'll switch more quickly to another toy and eventually bring out a wooden paddle or the cane.

When I bottom, I enjoy being pushed beyond what I think I can take. I don't know if I always do this with the men I top (some are so stoic they are hard to read) but I try -- and I THINK most enjoy the challenge.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Sometimes things work out just right...

So, with all my regular bitching and moaning about the MTA (New York's public transportation system), something good actually happened tonight. I better give credit where credit is due. Not to mention, I'll need a record of this because I doubt it will happen any time again soon.

I was coming back from an appointment to donate blood. The Blood Center rejected me tonight because they said my iron was low. Strange ... and there I was thinking I'd eaten too much today. OK, guess I'll go eat some liver and ... pumpkin seeds, a good source of iron, according to the Blood Center handout. I love pumpkin seeds! I can deal with that!

The Blood Center is on 67th Street between 1st and 2nd avenues; my bus stop is at 57th between Lex and 3rd, so I figured I'd just walk it. I walked down 3rd, was almost at the intersection of 57th, and there was a red light. I looked over to the right in the direction my bus comes and, "F***, there's my bus!" I began to mumble entreaties to the gods of traffic lights: "Change! Turn yellow now! Now!" No luck, the bus still had the green light and I watched it go by. Dejected, I began to cross the street. How long a wait would I have now, I wondered?

But wait! Was this a mirage? There was another QM1A/Glen Oaks bus approaching the corner. How could this be? It was almost empty, and this was the last stop in Manhattan. Hm. Strange. Was there some problem? Were they not taking passengers? As I crossed the street the driver had already passed the actual stop and was waiting for the light to change, so I tried to get his attention and then I knocked on the bus door.

Here was the weird part. The part I really didn't expect to happen. He opened the door and LET ME ON THE BUS! I was subjected to a three-second lecture on the fact that he didn't HAVE to do that, but I didn't care; I was in! I thanked him profusely, slid my Metrocard into the scanner, and went and sat down in my luxurious, comfortable seat with no one squished up against me.

The bus ride took just over half an hour, a lot quicker than usual, because there were fewer passengers and fewer stops. I would have taken the guy's name and praised him to his superiors. But I didn't want him to get into trouble for being nice to a rider. He'd never live down that reputation.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Look at me! Okay, you can stop now

There's no way to write this without sounding obnoxious, I don't think. It's like the young chickies with the word "juicy" or "hot" splayed across the seat of their pants. They sashay down the street, then turn around and snap at some poor guy, "What are YOU looking at?" What do you think he's looking at? -- The walking billboard that is your ass!

Am I any different when I doll myself up, wear heels and a short skirt or dress -- sometimes with garters and stockings -- pick out nice jewelry, wear extra makeup to emphasize my eyes, etc., etc., before I go to a scene event? I want to look good (I've been working out and eating better for the same reason), I don't want to look demure, I want to look sexy, as much as I can pull it off. I'm forty-five. I wear glasses and look like a librarian. I still hate my cottage cheese thighs. But I suppose I can pull myself together and make a good showing of things at a scene party.

I like people looking at me. I'm an exhibitionist. I love the attention, more attention than I get in any other area of my life. And I get to play a lot, which is a pretty big reason I attend public parties -- to meet people and to play.

But there comes a point where I want to say, "Please stop looking at me." There will be some guy who won't stop looking or following a woman around, and he can barely start, let alone hold, a conversation. He may never talk to me at all, or, he'll ask me to play without an introduction or other preliminary talk. I have to look at him and say bluntly, "So, what's your NAME?"

There was a guy I had considered playing with on Saturday night at Paddles. We did actually have a brief conversation, so he was ahead of the game. I'd promised several others that I'd play that night, so I told him, "Let's see how things work out, time-wise." But as the night progressed, I kept catching him staring at me and hovering, and I started to feel funny. Maybe it's because he didn't seem to be doing anything else but stare, at least for a while -- he didn't seem to be talking to others; he was just sort of drifting around the club. I'm sure I wasn't the only woman he was looking at.

Later on, I did see him talking to more people, so he improved. I was still a little cautious and never went back to him to ask him to play, but I still may play with him later, if he appears to have improved his social skills somewhat. He was attractive, in good shape, and looked like he might be strong.

There have been other "starers" I didn't want to touch with a ten-foot pole. I feel really weird when it happens. I'm not used to it. I don't know how to ignore it and I don't know how to diffuse it politely. They're not "doing" anything to me, exactly, but it makes me feel uncomfortable nonetheless. I can't be the only woman who feels this way, right?

I really hope I'm not coming across as too much of a snotty princess here. Am I? I don't want to be! Maybe next time I'll wear a long-sleeved, floor length gown to avoid this issue. Men won't be staring then. They'll be running away.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Double teamed by Florida "VIPs"

I had some very interesting scenes this weekend, one of which left me flying for quite a while on Saturday night.

Two of the Florida Moonshine "VIPs," who were in town this weekend attending the Strictly Spanking New York party, also were at Paddles' OTK night last night. I've known Tony, from Florida, since I think my very first Shadow Lane party, a few years before I met Rad. At that SL party, I got to do a private scene with Tony and his then-girlfriend, and it was very hot. I hadn't played with him since then and I'd nearly forgotten what a good player he was.

His friend Ian, owner of the London Tanners (makers of some of the best straps out there), also goes to most of the Shadow Lane parties and of course the Florida Moonshine parties. He's a fun guy who still has his British accent, and is known for dishing out some pretty hard discipline.

I played with Tony first and he very quickly shifted into dominant mode. I'd told him that I wanted a serious scene, and that's what he gave me. He said he was going to cane me, and he asked me to stand on a wooden bench so that he could reach my bottom and legs more easily. I stood with my hands on the back of my neck, faced the side wall, and he proceeded to cane me.

It hurt like hell, and I cried out loudly after each stroke. He reminded me several times to maintain my position. I did my best; I stood as still as I could. It was only ten strokes, but each one was wicked, and he took his time with them. When we were done I felt high as a kite.

Ian had already promised to play with me. In fact, I was supposed to get caned by him first, but being a popular top, he was busy. When he found out Tony had caned me first, he said he was now going to show me how it was done!

We all laughed. Yeah, it was real funny -- until Ian took me into the back for round two. He, too, got dominant very quickly. He made me bend over and put my hands on a bench. Then he gave me twelve slow, harsh strokes across my bottom, then added eight additional lines to the ones Tony had already left on my thighs. Wow! I have nice marks today as a memento, and they will probably remain for at least a few days.

I do love the cane. It's unlike any other implement, and the physical and emotional sensation is always intoxicating to me. I also loved the one-right-after-another scenes from Tony and Ian. It made me feel very special, as well as sexy and desirable. Yeah, I know it's a weird way for people to show you they like you, but we're in a weird little world here, us spankos.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ahhh

(Cross-posted on FetLife)
Last night, after too long of a hiatus, I finally got to play at the Strictly Spanking New York (SSNY) party. People I knew from Florida, Maryland, California, Delaware, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and I'm not sure where else all converged in New York to play. There will be round two tonight at Paddles OTK night (come on out -- fun starts at 7 p.m.!)

I was recovering from surgery so wasn't sure how hard I could play, but I was well enough to start working out again over a week ago, so I figured I could take the risk. I started slow, and as there seemed to be no "pain in the wrong place," I continued. I was so happy to be able to get a strapping and spanking from my hubby (Radagast); a strapping, tawsing, and flogging from my friend Gary; a very hard hand spanking from BradMD; and a spanking, paddling, and severe strapping from my friend Scott (he's a pretty strict player so that was a nice way to wrap things up for the night -- that strap of his is mean!)

Also, Santa Claus showed up in the middle of the party, and somehow my name was on his naughty list (who ratted me out?). I took a spanking from him as well (he sort of looked like my friend Mike from Pennsylvania -- how odd).

Well, I'm sort of rambling and I keep thinking I'm forgetting to mention someone and if I did, it's just because I'm tired and sore and a little blissful from the activities, so please forgive me. Let me know! It was so good to see all my friends.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fantasies, urges...

In no particular order ...

* I want the kind of pain that I no longer want as soon as it starts.
* I want to be naked, wrapped in plastic wrap, and stood in a corner until he wants to release me.
* I want my panties stuffed into my mouth and covered with duct tape. Then to sit and watch TV or surf the internet like any other night.
* I want him to cut a switch from a tree, bind me with my arms up over my head, then switch my entire body relentlessly. I want him to gag me when I start to scream.
* I want him to tie my wrists to my ankles and leave me like that on the floor, helpless.
* I want him to cane me longer and harder than he's ever caned me. Yes, I want marks.
* I want him to slap my face and tell me to behave.

So I'm a greedy slut. It's that kind of morning.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Soliciting play

A week or so back, Erica Scott blogged about a hard spanking she'd received. It was a hot scene, she described it well, and it created some cravings in me: I posted a response to her blog saying I could probably use a good spanking myself. Nothing unusual there; that's what a lot of fellow bottoms do when they're trying to express camaraderie with each other. It doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to go crazy if I don't get spanked, that I have some unfulfilled ache in my soul. I am married to a spanker. Sooner or later he WILL spank me, or someone else will spank me, because I'm pretty active in the scene.

But when I write something like "I need a spanking," almost inevitably, a top whom I don't know will send me an email or a message and offer to come help me out. Why do I get irritated by this? Is it because I think they are assuming too much? Or because I don't want to do the work to get to know someone new? Or because I feel HE doesn't want to do the work? (Many times such propositions are from men with very little info on their profiles, so you don't get a good idea about who's contacting you.) Is it the old Groucho Marx syndrome -- "I refuse to join any club that would have me as a member"? -- meaning, is there something wrong with this guy and that's why he's contacting ME? (My own perpetual self-esteem issues rearing up, naturally).

I don't necessarily have to nip in the bud EVERY unknown dom who emails me. I'm a member of MySpace and FetLife so I can connect with people. And there are some very good tops out there. But maybe I need to make my rules more clear -- at this point in my life, I don't play privately with new people (except professionally, and that's something different altogether). I play privately with my husband and with a few friends. For new people, I ask them to look me up at parties and the local club.

That's the best I can do. I suppose one or two guys might say, "Well, don't whine about needing a spanking and then turn one down when offered." Um, it's not that simple.

Monday, December 1, 2008

But seriously...


Do I take my play "seriously"? I think there's a difference between taking it seriously and doing it 24/7. Even people who are "living" it 24/7 aren't doing it 24/7 -- there are times when you have to do other things, think about other things. The implication is that there are agreed-upon rules and if one is broken there will be a repurcussion at some point. So, while Rad and I may not have a 24/7 DD or TIH or HOH relationship, there are certain "rules" that I have and he doesn't have. For instance, being out the door by a certain time in the morning. If I didn't want to play and get spanked, I wouldn't have agreed to this rule. I'm also following a diet and exercise plan, and I'm supposed to be in bed by a certain time. All these things are good for me, but that's beside the point. There are things that are good for Rad that I don't impose on him. So is our relationship DD, then? I suppose, technically, although it's also just play.

Sometimes I submit to Rad. It gets very hard and intense. It's not "just play." It is also not just sex, although it's usually sexual (not when we're at a party or the club). Sometimes I submit to other people. Again, it is not "just play," and it's certainly not sex. I'm not a swinger. I'm not going around sleeping with others. Nor am I seeking just a "form of sexual pleasure." I expect there to be some pain, and usually some control. If I "brat," I expect to be punished. If someone ties me up, it's not just a physical thing. It may be "fun" sometimes, but I do tend to have an emotional reaction. I'm being held captive ... anything could happen to me ... what is this dom going to do to me?

So, "just play" vs. "serious"? Where's the line? I think it's probably crossed all the time.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Need to cleanse your Thanksgiving palate?

Rad and I were overjoyed to discover the local Starbucks just a block away from our hotel. This morning we got up ridiculously late (amazing how long you can sleep with no cats banging on your bedroom door), then headed over for our morning dose of the dark brew.

We had picked up the Rochester alternative newspapers -- and believe me, Rochester NEEDS alternative newspapers -- for some reading over coffee.

Here's a comic we found, Rehabilitating Mr. Wiggles by Neil Swaab, that gave us both a good laugh. Yes, I had seen it before, but thought that today's was particular poignant. Rad says he was thrilled to find a cartoon teddy bear that thinks just like him...

Enjoy!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

God and kink

We are in upstate New York this weekend, sharing Thanksgiving with my sister and her family. My parents and a few of my other brothers and sisters will be arriving tomorrow; we are all going to my niece's wedding on Saturday. I missed seeing my mom on Thanksgiving, and I was wishing more of my siblings were here today, especially my brothers, because they are irreverent and liberal and just fun to hang out with. We tend to get very loud and boisterous at holidays.

Instead, my sister's house was mostly filled with my brother-in-law's sisters, their husbands and kids -- a lot of people I didn't know very well. They are all rather religious, there were a lot of crosses hanging around necks, and there were a lot of prayers being said. A long grace was said before dinner, and after dinner, it seemed, no one was going to get any dessert until evening prayers were recited.

It all seemed very foreign to me. Yet, it shouldn't have been. I was raised Catholic, and I was very Catholic for a long time. Then my life and beliefs took different twists and turns until I evolved into who I am today: a former churchgoer, not entirely a nonbeliever, but not a follower of any organized religion at the moment; a seeker. I tend to think of a Higher Power as "the ultimate love," a guiding force, a perfect ideal to strive for. I'm still working on a more refined definition, and I still haven't figured out if I believe any real guidance or aid comes from a Higher Power. Some days I think I receive lots of help from above. Other days, I take any fortuitous occurrence as pure coincidence.

I have a lot to thank my Catholic upbringing for. I'd say it played a big part (as did my father's punishments) in creating this kink in me. When I first started having sex at the ripe old age of 20, not waiting until marriage like I was supposed to, I was so guilty that I couldn't enjoy it.

I experimented with sex for a year or two, still unable to enjoy the act -- until I learned that if someone "forced" me to submit, I would have "no choice" in the matter -- and if I was also punished for my crime, I could feel absolved. No, it wasn't a perfect system; I knew deep down I was still a "bad girl" and was doing bad things. But it turned me on, I started to feel better about sex, and I started enjoying myself, rather than doing it just to please the man I was with, which happened a lot in the beginning.

Eventually, I think the punishment (and the fear involved) became the main turn-on for me. This could take different forms, not necessarily spanking, but spanking was usually part of the ritual. I'd been titillated (it was more of a nervous excitement) by spanking for a long time, yet had never, until this stage in my life, identified it as a sexual turn-on.

Over the years, my "Catholic guilt" reared its ugly head repeatedly. In my twenties I did two purges of the kinky magazines and videos I'd collected. The self-acceptance was a long time coming. I think I've finally come to that point. Still ... still ... even after all these years, and the friends I've come to know, and the many events I've gone to ... there's still this feeling that tends to come over me at a party or a club.

I look at all the people spanking each other and having fun going from one partner to another, from one room to another, sometimes doing scenes with multiple partners, and I think, "Is this wrong? Isn't this just self-centered hedonism and lust? And now I'm a married woman -- is any of this cheating? Should I really be doing this?"

Honestly, if there is a God looking down and judging our behavior, I don't think my participation in this world of ours will be looked at as a very big deal. Still, when one has spent years fearing what was presented as a punishing God, it's hard to suddenly say, "Hey, it's all good!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Train anxiety

Today I was late. The R train was just pulling out of the station as I was coming down the stairs to the platform. When the next one finally came along, it was so packed I couldn't deal with it. My nerves were on edge; I was feeling very irrititated yesterday and today (it's that time of the month) and I felt I might hyperventilate if I had to be squished in there with that crowd.

I let that train go without me, praying the next would have more room. Thank God (and I was literally saying, "Thank you!" to myself), not only was the next one not crowded, there were plenty of seats! I sat down, jotted down a few personal thoughts, then pulled work out of my bag and hunkered down to reading some stories.

I've stayed late at work every night for at least three weeks, so I did not care that I was half an hour late this morning. I will probably stay late again today. Tomorrow, Wednesday, I HAVE to leave on time so I can go drop my cats off at the vet for boarding. We're going upstate, having Thanksgiving dinner at my sister's and going to my niece's wedding this Saturday.

Rad is stressed about it, too. Among other things, my brother-in-law is a creepy, conservative nutcase. He does NOT make us comfortable and, when I saw him at my cousin's wedding in October, I swear he was coming on to me. This has never happened before with him, and I hope I am wrong. And, I'm hoping we'll get along with the rest of the family and not have to deal with the BIL too much.

Maybe -- I'm hoping -- I'll feel recovered enough for us to take advantage of our hotel room this weekend, where we won't have to worry about noise. My sister is staying in the same hotel; I don't know about the other relatives. Let's hope we're not placed right next to anyone we know.

Monday, November 24, 2008

A little CVS moment

Not much to talk about tonight. I am a bit horny but can't do much about it. Rad used the tawse on my hands last night for two diet violations last week. I'm back on track today. I've been doing pretty well and I think I'm still losing weight. I can't do serious workouts for another few days, but I am allowed to walk and climb stairs, so I've been doing that.

After work we had to pick up syringes for my cat (my fat orange cat has diabetes and gets a shot twice a day) at CVS. I noticed that my cat's "last name" on the prescription was still my maiden name, which I'd changed when I got married. I asked the CVS pharmacy clerk if I could change it. I had to register my own information at the same time.

Rad is standing nearby as the employee is taking my information. The clerk says, "Any allergies?"

Rad starts laughing all of a sudden. I turn and say, "What? What are you laughing about?" He says in a low voice, "I'm allergic to wood."

I couldn't help it; I laughed out loud, too. Wonder what kind of look the clerk would have given me if I'd actually told him that...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chatterwailing

I was in a spanking chat room the other night where one woman, who identifies as a bottom, happened to say something "inappropriate." A man who identifies as a top (but was not her top) chided her. She wasn't "bratting" per se, but simply being herself, as far as I could tell. There were other bottoms and tops in the room participating in similar virtual exchanges. At one point another bottom was in a virtual corner with a virtual bar of soap in her virtual mouth.

A lot of people really like this back and forth, and sometimes I've engaged in it as well. But on this occasion I found myself getting mildly annoyed -- maybe because I was attempting to start a "real" conversation about something, and it seemed things weren't going that way.

On the one hand, the bratting and resultant topping are ways to break the ice, to connect, to try to make sure you have someone to play with in real life. (Many in this chat are planning to attend a upcoming local party).

On the other hand, it brings me no closer to knowing a new top than I did before I entered the chat room.

What I'd like to know is: Does this top have experience? Does he have a clear idea about what he likes to do when he plays? Does he have the confidence, the ability to take charge? If I see a top in a chat room scolding a bottom -- one he doesn't have a relationship with -- for her chat room banter, it doesn't sound authoritative. It sounds (to me) more like "Oh, there's a reason to spank someone -- I better jump on this!"

If it's a top I have an "understanding" with, that's different. If my top and I establish a rule that I'm not supposed to curse, and we're both in chat and I curse, he can certainly call me out if he chooses. But if he's not there, and some other top knows I'm not "supposed" to curse and I do, it's not up to the second top to jump in and claim authority. It feels silly. If feels opportunistic.

Why do I care? I guess because I'm in the chat for the same reason -- to meet people, to connect, to get an idea of who I'd like to play with at upcoming events. I appreciate a good top. We need them. In my opinion, there aren't enough of them! So how does a top distinguish himself in a chat room? That's tough. Maybe with a little humor: "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?" Maybe with a hint of what he's done in the past to other bottoms he's played with. Maybe, simply, with honesty.

Maybe for tops and bottoms, it's a matter of stepping away from cliches and getting a little more real. Instead of the old, "I'm allergic to wood!" a bottom could say something like, "Paddles really scare me and they're hard to take, but with certain tops I don't get a choice ... and sometimes that's a good thing."

Sorry for the mild rant.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I made u a cookie


I've been trying to write something meaningful about BDSM and/or spanking, but was unable to corral my thoughts into structured sentences. My creativity for the day was in the kitchen -- I baked cookies.

Tomorrow I go back to work; I'm not ready, but don't have much choice. My company has some kind of "bake-off" going on. I did not have to join in, but I had some free time so decided to give it a shot. Don't ask me if the recipes are supposed to be original; I stole mine from Rachael Ray's magazine. These are called "Jeweled Lace Cookies." Oh, they're supposed to have pistachios, but I already had walnuts in the house so I just used those. (That makes it my own recipe now, right?) The dark pieces are cranberries.

I was bad and ate two of the the cookies, plus some of the batter, plus.. uh.. some of the nuts... I'm going to be punished for my diet violations... Screw it, the cookies were yummy!

The day wasn't bad. I took a long walk, then went shopping for several hours. I managed to score a brand new pair of red shoes, on sale for $20! I have to go to a wedding this Saturday and the following Saturday, so the shoes will come in handy. They are comfortable, too.

I hope to write some tomorrow about scene issues. For now, off to la la land. I took one last pain pill; I don't think I'll be needing any more.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Updates, tidbits, shout out to friends

I learned from our friend Fireman Chris in California that we are both taking the same drug post-surgery -- yay, oxycodone! Hope you feel better soon, too, Chris. I have been taking the minimal dosage, at the exact times prescribed. I have no desire to become addicted.

I did sleep a lot, but felt well enough in the afternoon yesterday to get up and go online. There wasn't too much else to do; I watched TV for a little while but it was boring the shit out of me. And I couldn't concentrate enough to read.

I paid my Visa bill (isn't the internet awesome?) then started doing research into mobile blogging. Since I've now gotten a new cell phone with a QWERTY keyboard, this is one thing I'd been hoping to do.

It was confusing at first. I was IMing with my friend Kate at the same time, and she helped me figure it out. What you do is set it up on Google (this is if you have a Blogger blog) and then you write a text message and you send the text to an email address -- voilĂ , I was blogging from my cell phone. Yay! (I do admit I have become rather addicted to texting and emailing from my cell phone lately. At least I haven't jumped onto the Twittering bandwagon -- yet.)

Today I felt even better; I emerged from the house. Rad and I went to Starbucks, then shopping, then laundry, and the pain wasn't so bad. It hurts to sit and to get up from a chair, but walking around is fine.

Later, I took out my guitar and strings and went back to the restringing fiasco. Thanks to my friends R. from Ohio and Eric from Canada for sending me how-to links and guidance on restringing, I was 60% successful. The first string was another disaster (ie, it broke!) but I did NOT get discouraged, I kept going and did the next four so I could learn the f'ing procedure. The last one -- one of the ones I'd attempted the other day -- also broke. It had been weakened by the earlier bending. So I have to go buy more strings, but at least I pretty much know how to do it now and I feel better about it. Looks a lot neater than the first time, eh?

Rad and I had a nice healthy dinner, then sat around and watched the Ricky Gervais special on HBO. Offensive but funny.

Maybe tomorrow, with all our chores already out of the way, I can finally get some real writing done.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Life is sweet


bondage 1 110108
Originally uploaded by sandy_radbabe
Yes, I'm still recovering, still in a bit of pain, but maybe the oxycodone is getting me all sappy and mellow. I've been getting nice emails and IMs and calls from friends wishing me well. Feels good.

While I was home I did some photo organizing. Here's a shot that was taken at a recent party. One friend, A., tied my ankles and knees. While he was deciding what to do next, a lady that I'd just met that night, S, asked if she could do some rope work on me. I believe this is called a bondage dress. It's not hard to do, and I'm hoping I can do it to someone else soon. The constriction of the ropes felt wonderful, as did the helpless feeling. Yes, I agree that I want this done to me and I go into it willingly. Yes, I can stop the scene or ask to be untied at any point. But I still feel helpless and a little out of control when this happens. And I like that...

Afterward they dragged me onto the couch, and Rad spanked me. No point in putting someone into bondage without punishing them, too, right?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Don't you just hate the "wrong kind of pain"?

I can't write too much tonight, had surgery earlier today, just took an oxycodone (I'm going to be just like Rush Limbaugh, whee!) and I'm going to go to bed. I'm hoping the pain won't last beyond a couple of days; it was a "minor" procedure, but not minor enough that I'll be jumping up and down and going back to work tomorrow. Won't be able to exercise for a few weeks, and probably won't be able to play for a few weeks, either. :(

We have some spanking parties and events coming up that I want to attend in Philly and New York, and I'll probably still go, but at this point, I may be just be a voyeur. I do hope I feel better before the Dec. 5 party that Jules/Strictly Spanking NY is hosting. There are a bunch of folks coming in from out of town and I'm really looking forward to seeing them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You could hear the whole damn city crying

I walk down into the Steinway station this morning, tired, dragging, not wanting to go to work -- dreading it, to be honest. I hope maybe I can hear some live music. Maybe Tony will be playing today. That always cheers me up. I've written about him before. He plays and sings sometimes down in that station, and he has a beautiful voice.

I don't hear any music, but I walk down the platform toward my usual train entry point and I see Tony sitting on the bench, his soft guitar case closed, held upright on his lap.

"You're not playing today?" I ask, surprised.

"No," he says, looking disgusted. "Cops just kicked me out."

"What -- you're supposed to have a license or something?" You are supposed to have a license as far as I know, but there are lots of wandering musicians. Better them than the obnoxiously loud panhandlers who shout on the train.

"It's supposed to be at the discretion of the stationmaster," he says. He looks like he doesn't want to talk about it too much, and the V is pulling in. He gets up to board. "You taking this one?" he asks.

"Nah, I gotta wait for the R." We say goodbye. Now I'm even more depressed. F'ing fascist cops!

I have a sh**load of work to do today, but I'm going to go run on the treadmill at lunch. I need the endorphin rush. I can't get my "other" endorphin rush during the day, so I'll do the workout.

On the train, what do I do? I've got a full-throttle New-York-Times-reading space hog next to me. Doesn't believe in properly folding the paper, apparently. Or in closing his manly legs. I take my first opening at Lexington and move across the car to an open end seat. I've got the i-Pod on as usual, with the voice of God in my ear. By this I mean, of course, BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN.

Seems that "Backstreets" has become my morning blues remedy. If you know the song, you know what I'm talking about. the intro is such a beautiful thing -- how it builds, and builds, Roy Bittan stroking the keys, until the full band explodes. "Trying in vain to breathe the fire we was born in..." Yeah, I know it's another f'ing Anthem for the Outsider, but that's how I feel a lot of the time.

Oh, and after "Backstreets," if you're playing the album in order, you get "Born to Run" -- New Jersey's official state anthem for the youth. That gets me even more pumped.

Time to get some coffee, and then to get to work.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

luv u long time

Bonnie of My Bottom Smarts (see link at left) informs us that today is "Love Your Lurkers Day" for bloggers -- is that INTERNATIONAL Love Your Lurkers Day? This is the day for all my wonderful, fabulous lurkers to come out of the closet and say what you really think of me.

I suspect that I don't have that many lurkers, but hey, if there ARE some tens of readers out there who haven't commented yet, I'd luv luv luv to hear from you. Do you like anything about my blog? Would you like to see something different? More, less of something? More dirty girl pics, fewer dirty cat pics? I need to write more; that's already something I'm well aware of -- but doing my best right now.

Obviously my whole life is not kinky so I don't write about that all the time. (Some do, including my husband, Rad -- http://radspace.wordpress.com/). For me, it doesn't always work out that way. My kink life gets interwoven into my vanilla life. I sometimes feel more passionate about my work life, and my commute, than I do about spanking. These things happen. I do seem to strike a chord when I talk about city life, so I guess I'll continue to blog about that on a regular basis.

My goal is at least 3-4 posts a week, which I'll make with this post, and to make the writing more interesting. I cheat with pics every once in a while; I get lazy. A lot of the pics are ones I've taken myself, so I can still call it original material.

Any other thoughts? You can still be anonymous. Let me know.

xxoo
Love,
Sandy


P.S. to all my blogging friends -- many of you have blogs that I can't open at work. I'll try to get lots of comments in when I get home later.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

No strings attached


This is the sad state I've gotten myself into. One of the things on my perpetually expanding "goals" list is to start playing guitar again. But my immediate goal, a couple nights ago, was "simply" to change the strings.

I've been putting this off long enough. The last time I picked up the guitar, I couldn't tune it. I knew I needed to put the new strings on, but (I'm embarrassed to admit) I have never changed them without help ... um -- I've never changed them myself.

How hard can it be? I thought. Just do one at a time, keep looking at the other strings and see how they they wind around the tuning head, follow that direction, snip off the end with the wire cutters.

How hard can it be? -- How hard?!! -- it simply was not working! The strings were not behaving; they were all over the place! I managed to get THREE into place before stopping for the night (and I haven't started up again yet). But look at this! Does this LOOK right? Look at how nice and neatly the string on the left is wound. Look at the one I did. Arggghhh.

Okay, Sandy. Calm down. It will be okay. I will try again today. I will ask for help. It's okay to ask for help. I know a bunch of musicians, any one of them would gladly pitch in with a lesson.

Sigh. I always think things SHOULD be easy, that I SHOULD simply figure how to do them, and if I can't, I have failed somehow. This seems to be the default my brain is set on. Why do I beat myself up like that? Why do I go in that direction? Stop ... before I start beating myself up for beating myself up -- that could get ugly. And besides, that's Rad's job, right?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Messy, but I like it...


This is the view from my new office, at least part of it. I moved in on Thursday, and it's complete chaos right now because I had no time at all to organize anything. But I'm in!

Naturally, this means more work, right? Truth is, there is more work to be done right now, regardless of where I'm sitting. Funny thing is I have no complaints about being asked to do more. I'm a little nervous that I won't have enough time to get everything done on time, but I'm working out some new, (personal) internal schedules to match our production schedule. Putting the current mess aside, I'm usually very physically organized at work. Time management, on the other hand, I'll admit is a weak spot I need to work on.

I did take work home over the weekend, and I got a nice chunk of it actually finished -- this leaves me a lot less anxious as I face starting the week tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"This is our moment. This is our time."




"It's been a long time coming. Change has come to America."
-- Barack Obama's acceptance speech, Chicago, 11/5/08




And a parting shot :

Bye bye Barracuda!


I will probably share a little more about my feelings on this tomorrow. We are exhausted and way past our bedtimes. I'm relieved, still a little awed at the results, and uncertain what to think. I believe Obama is concerned about the well-being of ordinary Americans and will do everything he can to not screw us. That, more than anything, sums up why I supported him.

pics courtesy of Daily Kos

Can it be true?

They are calling it for Obama!!!

God, can the horrors of the last eight years finally be over? Will that joke of a running mate finally be scurrying back to Alaska to get impeached?

Oh, please tell me it's true. I really really need some good news.

UPDATE: 11:20 p.m. McCain is giving his concession speech now. It's OVER!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hooray!

I think a nice, long, celebratory good-girl spanking is in order for this crazy cat. I'm moving into a real office! This will happen very soon, in a week or two, after others relocate. I will have a window, with a lovely 10th floor view of New York City, and a door! Yeah!

Now I'll have to work even harder and do additional work, of course, but hey, they wanted that anyway. The week isn't getting any less busy; tomorrow I have to waste time at a meeting when I have story deadlines to meet, and Friday there may be a lot of visitors coming through that I'll have to meet and greet. That doesn't bother me so much. Actually, I'm trying not to let any of it get to me this week.

In other news, I'm still craving a hard session, with bondage perhaps (rope? plastic wrap? duct tape?), and a severe strapping, or caning, or whipping. And perhaps some hair pulling. Or a gag. Or whatever other creative things the top comes up with. I've been working hard, doing too much. I'd like to let myself go and just "be done to." I think some of you know what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A glorious day off



I had comp time coming to me so I took off today. It wasn't a good day, as far as the office is concerned, but, no day's really a good day to take off when you're short-staffed so they agreed that I better use it now so we don't have to worry about it later.

I went shopping. I mean SHOPPING. I needed essentials for the house, like dish detergent and toothpaste, but then I started to look around. Dangerous, especially in Target where they were having lots of sales.

I bought: Huge containers of dish detergent. Sponges. Dryer sheets. Toothpaste. Cat food. New cat dishes. New scarf. Isotoner gloves. A new bike helmet and floor pump. A bed-in-a-bag with comforter and sheets for the bed. New throw pillows. New bathtub mat and curtain. And, I splurged on a slipcover for the couch. Yes, I decided to take that step instead of buying a new leather couch right now.

I'd bought foam for replacement sofa cushions ages ago, and had never finished sewing the muslin covers for them (you have to cover the foam with a light fabric before you add heavier fabrics). Today, I finally finished sewing the muslin! I dragged the old cushions (which my cat had ruined) to the apartment basement, then started putting the slip cover on. It wasn't too complicated, and I think it looks nice.

(okay, I need to iron a bit...)

Then I put the new sheets and comforter on the bed before going to pick up Rad. It was fun surprising him later.

On top of all that, I also did a wee bit of work (yes, I know, but I had to do an interview so I could make a deadline on Friday), scrubbed the bathtub, and exercised. Didn't get to walk because it was raining pretty hard; just did my weight training.

I'm feeling good right now because finally there's a glimmer of hope that we CAN get the apartment into shape. I'm not embarrassed to have friends over now! Next step: maybe I'll tackle the linen closet, and maybe after that, the bedroom closet.

Tomorrow I'll probably talk about how I am craving a really hard session, with bondage perhaps...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Office space

I guess I've been a bit depressed, and overwhelmed by work, and struggling to find something other than work to write about. (spanking? bondage? a good beating? I'm barely able to fantasize these days.)

Work felt more positive later in the week, but there's was still too much to do and I'm still taking it home with me. I met with my boss on Thursday. She wants me to be "on her side." (I feel that I AM on her side, but I get negative -- not about HER, but about the boss above her and the fact that they've laid people off and now want us to take up the slack). She says it's okay to say "no" to things that are not in my job description, but if I want to move up I should say "yes" more often. I say I'm willing to say "yes," but I don't want to always be saying "yes" with nothing to show for it. But this is the game they play. Okay, okay, I'm getting the message -- I'll go along for a while. I DO want to move up.

Then we discussed offices. In my opinion, there's no reason I shouldn't get an office. I've been in a cubicle since I started a year-and-a-half ago. They've let two people go recently, so there are two vacant offices, with doors and windows.

The top boss has this notion, apparently, that someone in my position should not have an office but "should" be in a cubicle. Let me explain that I've traveled to events for the company, given speeches and conducted a workshop; I represent the company when people come visit -- I'm pretty much doing the job of the person who "should" get an office.

Have I "earned" it? In my opinion, that's a dumb question. I've worked for over twenty years in the industry. Maybe I've "earned" it, maybe not, but I've been in larger companies where managing and executive editors sat in cubicles just because that's all that was available. But in my office, there ARE offices available, it's likely I WILL be promoted within the next year (to the job I'm pretty much doing now.)

So it's ridiculous to have to go through this. Later in the day, my boss comes back and says she's pushing to have me be allowed to move, at least temporarily, into an office. She's going to move into the larger office that was vacated and I'll probably get her office. Yay!

F'ing nonsensical office protocol. They would argue that they're not trying to keep people down, that they respect my work, yadda, yadda, yadda. I'm not even asking for a raise! (yet).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Guess I need a spanking or something

I'm feeling mentally and physically drained, but today, Saturday, is starting off well with a mostly blue sky, a three-quarter moon still visible to the west and a breeze through the window revealing a brisk fall morning. I ought to get my bike out and take it for a spin. I will do that, after coffee and breakfast.

Why so drained? The morale at work seems to be at one of its lowest points since I started a year-and-a-half ago. The Powers That Be chose to lay off a coworker two weeks ago, without a plan in place to handle her work. At the time they announced the layoff, they claimed they had a plan in place, and that this wouldn't affect any of our jobs. I didn't believe that, and, as I expected, this week I was asked to help with some of her work.

Meanwhile, all the articles I need to edit for the next issue are late -- over 10 days late -- because our top editor can't get her head out of her ass and make a decision. Naturally, that can't be used as an excuse: WE still have to make deadlines. My computer started acting up, not printing properly. Our friend who was just laid off might have helped with this, but, no more.

I'm working on a Mac (I previously only worked on PCs) and in InDesign (previously used Quark) and, while I'm all right with this technology, there are regular moments of frustration I come across. "Why isn't my cursor letting me edit text in this box? How many layers of boxes do we have here? Why are the proper fonts not appearing? What the f***?" etc. etc."

This wouldn't be so bad if we had a help desk person, but we don't. As a matter of fact, the last few companies I've worked at either didn't have a help desk person when I started, or his/her job was eliminated at some point in the name of cost-cutting.

I'm a word person. I've learned enough in modern publishing, over the years, to use these design programs -- as much as I've needed to. In other words, if someone else (ie, an art director) dealt with font maintenance, there was no reason (and usually, not enough time) to learn font maintenance. Why would I learn HTML code if my job is to provide copy to the web experts?

In my first publishing job, I worked on a newspaper with the printing press downstairs. The copy boy would run the sheets downstairs after each page was complete. I sometimes would go down after my shift, talk to the press guys and watch the first edition roll off the presses. (I used to LOVE that, especially when I had a byline on the front page.)

This doesn't mean that I knew how to work a printing press. I was a reporter!

If I'm doing the same job today -- reporting, editing, writing -- why is it that I'm supposed to suddenly be an expert in technology? And if technology is so advanced that it's supposed to be "easy" for everyone to use, why is it constantly frustrating and not doing what it's supposed to do? Why is it not more intuitive?

My company has finally agreed (after talking about this for over a year) to pay for me to take a three-day computer course. See, that's the other thing. Companies want employees to just ALREADY know how to do things, but it's rare when one offers to provide training. I'd like to know where this SUPER employee is who can interview, write, copyedit, proofread, write headlines, do research, answer correspondence from readers, read all the latest industry developments, design the pages, knows HTML codes, knows every nuance of Quark and Dreamweaver and InDesign and PhotoShop and Excel and god knows what else that's out there that I "should" know how to use -- oh, and would you mind getting me coffee while you're up?

Deep breath... okay, so that's my little work rant. All will be fine. On top of that, I'm also dealing with a troubled friend. Not going to go into too many specifics, but I THINK she's lying about her drug use... she asked me to lie to her boyfriend about something very minor; I said no. We are talking, I'm trying to "help," but don't know how much I can help.

So, yeah. A bike ride would help. A burst of exercise to elevate the mood. And perhaps a spanking later, if someone's willing to lend a hand?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

It all started with the oatmeal...


I promised yesterday that I'd try to have a good day, that I wouldn't get upset over anything, and would just let people go their merry ways without reacting. But it's so hard to stay nice, when your day starts off with crappy oatmeal.

I happened to make it my goal this week to eat oatmeal every day for breakfast. We left the house without eating breakfast, thinking we'd get something at Starbucks. Starbucks, which we LUV, has been advertising "Perfect Oatmeal," to which you can add raisins, brown sugar, or nuts. It looks good in the pic and comes in a decently sized cup.

What is handed to me is this, a soupy lukewarm mess that only fills up the cup half-way:


I try to eat it, like a good girl, but I can't do it. I finally go back up to the counter and ask the barrista if he can microwave it for about a minute. He takes the cup but, instead of microwaving it, he holds it under the hot water nozzle and starts to pour more water into the cup. "Oh, no," I say (and I'm being nice the whole time). "It's already too runny!" Apparently, they don't HAVE a microwave at this Starbucks. He offers to give me a fresh cup. He doesn't put as much water into the new cup so it's slightly thicker -- but it's still pretty crappy.

Since I felt gypped and dissatisfied, when I got to work I did an oatmeal "do-over." My building has a cafeteria where you can get breakfast and lunch. The oatmeal is always the proper thickness, and you can add raisins, nuts, or brown sugar for free. Cheap and hearty. This is more like it. Notice how the spoon is standing up to testify to the thickness of this oatmeal:


Now, entering the cafeteria, I'd had to walk around a guy who was talking on his cell phone in the doorway. Not too bothered by his cell phone usage -- the cafeteria is always noisy -- but WAS somewhat disturbed to witness him, a man in a business suit, in a very public place, reaching down to GRAB HIS CROTCH. Guess he needed to adjust something ... didn't think anyone would be looking his way? Not something one likes to see at work.

My junk email today included THIS gem: "Don't settle for a small tool in your pants."

I'm not saying the day degenerated from there, but my morning irritation took a long time to go away.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Back to work

I'm pledging to be calm this morning on the commute in. Will not get upset, no matter what. That means be prepared for SOMETHING to happen that I wasn't expecting to happen. I think that's why I get mad. I have expectations of how people should behave, and I have to keep lowering these expectations.

It was a long, busy weekend, starting with the wedding on Saturday morning and Paddles on Saturday night, with a bike ride in between. Sunday we went out for coffee, I rode my bike, went out with a friend who needed to talk, then went to a meeting of my support group. Yesterday, I went to the city for a doctor's appointment in the morning, shopped (bought two new coats, one for fall, one for winter!), came home and did laundry, rode my bike again, then went to another meeting. I've needed them lately...

While I was doing laundry yesterday I finally had time to watch Erica Scott's new video, "When Danny Met Erica." It has a really hard hairbrush spanking that had me asking, "WHEN is she going to apologize?" I would have been screaming my apologies if I got a hairbrush spanking like that. The belting scene was good, too. Erica's tough and doesn't react too quickly, but you could see in her facial expressions that Danny was getting through to her. I've played with Danny at Shadow Lane parties and it's fun seeing someone you've played with play with others -- who may or may not react differently. Go buy the video; the scenes are hot!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Diet rant

I just wanted to say I hate dieting. And I'm really not trying to "diet," I'm trying to "eat right," exercise, and "adopt a healthy lifestyle." But who's kidding who? I want to snack, I want ice cream, I want my "healthy" Sun Chips and Soy Crisps; I don't want to have to THINK about what I'm eating.

I don't want to have to take time out of my day to exercise, either. And it's a pain in the ass keeping up with clean workout clothes when you don't have a washer and dryer in your home. (Over the years, I think this has been my number one excuse for not going to the gym.)

Once I TAKE the time, I love exercise. It makes me feel strong, it gives me a nice endorphin rush. Yesterday the gym was closed in our office building, so I took a nice walk down alongside Morningside Park. It's a hilly neighborhood there, and there are hills in the park itself, so a series of stone steps lead down into the park from Morningside Drive. I walked for about 25 minutes and then ended by with going down a long set of stairs and back up; it was 137 stairs so at the end I was breathing pretty heavily -- but it felt good.

I always have this nagging voice inside me that says, "Yeah, you're doing good NOW, but you won't keep it up! It's only been three weeks." This doesn't feel natural for me. I was telling Rad, my weight seems to hover around a particular number no matter what I do. It's like my body will accept a weight loss, but then will eventually move back up to where it started. I know, I know -- it WON'T move back up if I keep doing what I'm doing. But I don't know if I can do this all the time. I don't have to say no to ice cream for the rest of my life, do I?

I guess there has to be a point where I look at it from a more practical side. I feel physically better if I don't eat fatty foods or sugary snacks. My digestion is better, my mood is better (I really do get depressed after I eat a lot of sugar, it changes my mood), and my energy level is higher.

Okay. That's all well and good, but, dammit, who am I kidding? I want thinner legs and more toned arms by the next Shadow Lane party! Having extra energy and being stronger, of course, won't hurt either.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Weary

Not much of a blog today. I feel a bit sad and worn down as the week comes to a close. I was listening to Joe Strummer earlier on my i-Pod, which helped my mood, but I've been listening to ANYTHING on my i-Pod these days just to tune out the world. There's nothing else I can do. I can't STOP other people's bad behavior. But in most cases I don't have to listen to it; sit there and stew.

There were a couple of guys talking trash to a woman on the downtown 1 train Wednesday, after I left work. I couldn't tell if she welcomed their attention or if she was frozen with fear. They certainly didn't seem like nice guys. They were over the top loud, spewing foul, occasionally misogynistic language (by this I mean very disgusting graphic sexual talk about what they'd do to her or some other woman -- this is a come-on?). They were shouting. The very next stop, I got up and moved to the next car. They frightened me. They were way too close, and acting way too crazy.

On the QM1A the bus driver got belligerent with me. I had politely requested he turn down his radio, which I could hear all the way in the back of the bus. He coldly said, "No. I don't want to." I was shocked. He started ranting that he didn't need to let me on his bus. I did get mad back and some words were exchanged wherein he accused me of giving him an attitude. I calmed down as much as possible, wrote his name and bus number down, and today I put in a complaint about him. It's one thing to put up with rude fellow commuters, but a nasty driver who's a bully? Turns out he was on break (so why was he letting people on the bus? And why didn't he say, "Sorry, I'm on a little break, I'll turn it down when we get moving.")

I hate NY right now. I KNOW I need to work on acceptance, and I am doing MUCH better. I have to pick my battles better. I simply thought I was making a legitimate request to someone reasonable, never expected him to fly off the handle at me.

Tomorrow we're going to a family wedding in Connecticut. No one in my f'ing conservative clan better say a word about politics. I might blow. Okay, I promise to try not to.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"I'll be good" vs. "OK, that's enough"

I mentioned yesterday that I played with J. (of J. and L.), and that L. was watching while we played on Saturday night. I had been watching them play earlier, because he's a hard player and they're fun to watch.

I think she can take it harder than me, but L. doesn't seem submissive to me. Maybe that's not something she displays much in public, or maybe she's simply not submissive. I tend to get submissive during some scenes, especially, of course, during harder scenes. I'll say, "Yes, Sir," and "No, Sir."

I might brat SOME, but if the dom takes the bait (as J. did on Saturday) and ramps it up a few notches, I'll go back to submitting. That strapping he gave me REALLY hurt. I tried to focus on my breathing and take the pain, but it was hard. He finally got me to the point where I felt like I couldn't take much more. In a submissive head space, I have a hard time asking a dom to stop. Instead, I'll usually start to babble, "I'll be good ... I'll be good ... I'll be good!"

The dom can then begin to wrap things up (he may tell me I have to take ten or twenty final strokes), OR he may choose to get really mean and say, "Oh, I KNOW you'll be good -- but we're not done yet, Young Lady."

I talked to L. afterward. She had commented that she couldn't "take" a flogging (J. had been using his flogger on my bottom pretty harshly), and that the strapping that followed looked very severe. (I thought what I'd seen HER take looked harder). But I told her it WAS hard, and that I'd finally had to tell J. "I'll be good." She said she never says that. She just turns around and says, "Okay! That's enough!"

It's funny how one bottom can take the same amount of pain that I do, maybe even more, but remains in control and simply decides when to stop. Oh, yes, I'll end a scene if it's going wrong. Or I'll push a top to go harder, if I need it. But in general, I don't like to be the one deciding when the scene ends.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Sore all over

I am feeling sore (in a good way) today. Part of that is from my workouts, I intensified things last week -- ran on the treadmill on Friday and today, did my push-ups and some reverse push-ups; and rode my bike Saturday and Sunday. And part of that is from the spankings, strappings, and paddlings I was given on Saturday night at Paddles.

I said I needed a good thrashing, and I got several. Rad started me off with a hard OTK hand spanking, but quickly switched to his straps -- he had several different kinds. The thin one is pretty hard to take.

Then I played with my friend John, whom I hadn't seen in a long time, and he hand-spanked and paddled me. My friend Matthew was out at the club, too. I wanted to play with him, but I keep hesitating because he's such a hard player and I'm afraid I won't be able to take it. I need to talk to him about my fears -- one of those things where you want it but you don't feel ready... But soon. Definitely soon.

I did get a very satisfying spanking, flogging, and strapping by J. of J. and L. fame. They're a fun couple who come pretty frequently for the OTK nights and some of the other NY-area parties. L. likes to talk, and while J. was punishing me, I could hear her giving a running commentary to some others who were watching our scene. J. had already given me quite a bit and was going to stop, but I KNEW I needed more, so I just HAD to do it. I couldn't help it; I had to brat: "When is my spanking going to start?"

"Ohhhh!" he said, with an evil laugh. "That's it!" The gloves were off, he made me bend over a horse and he really gave it to me then. Oooooh!!! Wow. It was one of those "light-hearted-yet-strict" sessions.

Later, Rad punished me again. He got nice and nasty with me, too, which was hot. Grabbed my hair, slapped my face a little. Pushed me back down hard when I started to struggle. Damn!

I was not in the mood to top at all on Saturday night. The guys will have to wait for another night.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Just did my pushups...

And the bike is about to come out of the corner.


I'm back on track with exercise. I was up to 60 push-ups a day, plus 50 "reverse" push-ups (that works the backs of your arms) every day, AND running and/or serious hill walking on the treadmill, at least three times a week. I got off track after our car accident, where I suffered minor back and neck pain for several weeks. That was a long time ago, now. Almost five months. I've been better and feeling good for quite a while, and all I've done is some push ups here and there (a few times a week), walking several times a week, plus the exercise I get when I put a bad boy over my knee and spank him. That doesn't happen often enough, unfortunately.

There's no excuse now; I need to get serious.

The last two weeks, I've exercised half an hour every day except one, and have done 50 push-ups every day except one. I was on vacation do did not go crazy putting dietary rules on myself. But starting tomorrow, Sunday, I'm also back on track with my diet. Healthy breakfast, no sugary snacks, no fried foods, no snacking between meals except fruits or veggies, no eating after dinner, salads for lunch, no red meat. I think the hardest part is the snacking between meals. We already have pretty good habits as far as not eating at night.

I recently joined Todd & Suzy's diet group on Yahoo. I'm hoping this will help with motivation. Oh, and Rad has agreed to punish me for violations.

Okay, I was looking for a picture of a reverse pushup and found this crazy video. I don't think I'll be doing THIS workout anytime soon. It will wear you out just watching. She does the reserve push-up about halfway through:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ej_b-JQjLMM&feature=related

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

work angst, potentially dangerous train incident

I was back at work today, struggling with a head cold (and possible stomach flu -- I'm waiting and watching). All was going fine, I was a tiny bit tired but in an overall okay mood. I brought chocolates from Ghirardelli for the office (this is an unwritten office rule -- if you go on vacation you must bring back a treat. A coworker had been to Edmonton so she brought back maple cream sandwich cookies).

Next thing you know, a bit after lunch we're called into a sudden meeting. The head boss tells us our coworker has been let go. She's gone; already off the premises. This was for nothing she had done and (allegedly) nothing to do with the budget, but simply because they want our internet presence to go in a different direction and they didn't feel her skills were what they needed.

We were all in shock, and none of us had any clue this would be coming. It's a tiny office and another person had been let go two weeks ago. THAT one was expected; he had been here less than a year and was generally considered not up to the job. Today's layoff happened to a woman we all liked a lot, someone whom I considered a highly responsible employee, a hard worker, and just a very nice person. Guess that's just not enough when you need to make changes.

I went back to my desk, immediately called her cell phone to offer support. Sigh. Wonder what's coming next...

After work, the 1 train was already on the platform as I was descending the stairs from 116th Street. I rushed to the nearest open door, and the doors began to close as I pushed through. Somehow, my glasses got knocked off. The doors reopened just then, maybe because of motion of my arm trying to grab the glasses. They fell and skidded toward the gap between the platform and the car.

There would be no saving them...

Now, these are not just reading glasses; I am extremely nearsighted and would barely be able to see my way home, not to mention the cost of replacement.

I ducked and snatched at them. They were right at the gap. I snagged them! The door was closing again, and bumped my head as I was standing back up. But I was inside the car, standing back up, glasses in place, breathing a little heavy. People were watching. I think I'd heard someone mutter, "Oh my god." (But it might have been me). There was nothing to say. That was a close call. A trim-bearded gentleman across the car from me who had witnessed this debacle raised his eyebrows to me, as if to say, "You were damn lucky!"

I raised my eyebrows back at him, responding with an unspoken, "You're telling ME?"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Folsom Street Fair is insane!

A few photos from this afternoon:

sandy and les flogger
bound and tickled
zebra pulls cart
school girl paddling at folsom
sandy warm up at folsom
pony girl
male puppy

And a few mental images: An old guy, completely naked except for sandals, slapping sunscreen on himself. A lady in a suit holding a leash,leading a leather-clad man whose hands are cuffed to his sides. People, some partially naked, playing Twister on a stage. Men in chaps kissing. Lesbians of all types. A naked Elvis. Bootblacks at work. Public flogging, tickling, bondage, spanking, hair pulling. Pierced cocks. Men in frocks.

Did I forget anything? Oh, I'm sure -- there was too much to take in, let alone remember. Folsom Street is simply crazy.

You know me. I'm an exhibitionist and will try anything if it's legal (and sometimes not). Rad and I were dressed "normally" -- we weren't the only ones -- but I eventually found and bought a black tank top with a spoof on the M&M's logo ("S&Ms," it said, with a purple female M&M in corset). Cute.

I was spanked by Tatiana, flogged by a tough butch sporting a Mohawk, and finally strapped by Rad -- all for charity. I don't think I've played outside, in broad daylight with a crowd watching and taking pictures, before this.

Dolores, her friend Ralph, and Steffany from Shadow Lane with with us. We all had breakfast, along with Steve, also an SL member, who was a volunteer at the Fair. Stephanie Locke, Dana, and other SL'ers were supposedly there, but we did not connect.

The people were very friendly, but by 2 p.m. the crowd was getting rather thick. After Rad strapped me, we pushed our way out of there and walked back to the apartment.

We are done with our sightseeing; we're not planning on going anywhere else tonight except maybe for a little walk later to get dessert. Tomorrow, it's back to NY. Sigh.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Quickie

Dolores, our Shadow Lane friend, stopped by our studio after she left work yesterday (we are staying in a studio apartment while we're in San Francisco). I made us all dinner and we watched the debates together. That was a lot of fun. There was much cursing and shouting at the TV. Nothing like politics to bring friends together.

What do you think of this? One of the tackiest souvenirs I've seen in a long time!



But I bought it for my brother. He'll love it!

We are exhausted. I dragged Rad to the ocean today (we hadn't seen the beach here before today) but I felt bad afterward because he was very tired, yet didn't want me to go alone. It was nice, but too chilly even to want to dip our feet into the water. We sat on a towel and watched the surfers. All I did on the bus ride back was read the paper, to see what the San Francisco Chronicle thought about the pending financial bailout and the debates. Barely even looked at scenery. I think we're almost vacationed out. I do miss my cats and, not that I want to go back to work, but, I am looking forward to getting home on Monday.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Inpromtu play party

On Wednesday night our friend Shelayla from Shadow Lane hosted a dinner party for us and some other friends, in her house north of San Francisco. Bella, also of Shadow Lane, picked us up and drove us there. There were about eight people there, four men and four women.

Oddly, Rad was the only male top and Bella was the only non-switching female bottom. Shelayla played matchmaker and Ms. Cassandra was called upon to top three very different male subs. Meanwhile, since Rad and Bella know each other and have played before, he spanked her. Near the end of the night Ms. Cassandra closed up shop and let Sandy back out to play. Rad took me off into a bedroom, spanked me and flogged me, and then ended by picking up Shelayla's frat paddle and paddling me hard over my jeans. mmm. Very nice.

Our host cooked a delicious pork tenderloin with cous-cous. Guests Richard and Marie contributed a mixed greens salad fresh from their garden with homemade dressing (mmm). We brought crusty herb bread and olive oil we'd bought at the Ferry Building (an upscale waterfront shopping area) in our exploring on Wednesday, others brought drinks. Dinner and conversation were wonderful before the play began.

It was nice to meet interesting new people and hear new takes on play (Marie described some very elaborate role plays she's done in the past, such as one where she dressed as a nun and took confessions). And it was great to see Bella and Shelayla again, since they'd been unable to make the last Shadow Lane party.

Over the weekend, we plan to hook up with other Shadow Lane friends, some of whom will be our tour guides for the Folsom Street Fair on Sunday.