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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!!!