Thursday, August 28, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
It was 20 years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play...
Hard to believe it, 20 years ago, a mere 10 days after my 18th birthday, this picture was taken. Tambo and I were married on this day, in 1988. As you can tell from my mullet and fashion choices, we were very much children of the 80's too. And children we were, so young and baby faced.. so full of hope and wonder at what would come next. Hard to imagine that those two kids would one day grow up to be us, or that we were once them. A lot has happened in the past two decades, so many changes and through it all we managed to stay together and more importantly stay in love and happy together.
What is our secret you ask? I wish I could give you a magic bullet for long term happiness, but when asked we tend to look at each other and sorta shrug and say "I dunno?" Call it equal parts luck, tenacity and the understanding that no matter how much we change and evolve as the years go by that in the end, she is my closest friend, ally and confidant. That no mater what the days may bring, we know that when the chips are down we can always count on the other.
Monday, August 25, 2008
So tomorrow is a very big day for Tambo and I. Now while I spend some time and creative energy writing about why tomorrow is so cool I should give you some backstory. This post is one of my all time favorites, the tale of how I met and started dating my dearest, most awesome wife. Originally Posted Monday, April 26 2004
Chapter 27: The tale of how I met my wife.
It never seems to fail. Once I get talking to someone for awhile, they always ask the same question.
“So, how long have you and your wife been together?”
To which I reply casually, “oh about 20 years now”
This is usually met with a stunned pause, a few blinks and disbelief.
“No way, you’re like what… 30? 35? What did you do meet in Jr. High?!”
“33 actually and no we met when I was a freshman in high school”
That is right dear readers. I met her when I was a nerdy young freshman, while riding the school bus no less. Ahh, the school bus, or as we used to call it, “The Looser Cruiser”, that dull yellow tool of social order. You remember the rules, stoners sat in the way back cool kids sat middle while the nerds sat in the very front. Your whole social standing was determined by how far back from the driver you sat. Oh and if you got to sit in that extra narrow seat, WAY in the back, you know the one I’m talking about, then you were the most bad ass of them all.
Me? Being the drama nerd that I was, I sat somewhere between the exchange students and the kid who wore the helmet.
One day as I sat on the bus, reading the graffiti on the back of the seat and wondering what halfway house the driver escaped from, she climbed up the bus’s stairs.
Sure I could say something about how the clouds opened up and a singe ray of golden sunlight poured down on her and how a chorus of angels began to sing…or how my jeans became suddenly very tight in the crotch. Simply put, she was amazing. Brilliant, talented and oh my god so beautiful the kind of girl that yearbooks name “most talented” or “Most likely to succeed”. I had seen her before. She was involved in everything, music mostly but she also did honors this and advanced placement that. Rumor had it that she was hand picked to play pro for the symphony next year.
Along with the usual school books and bags, she also lugged her cello. Now for those of you who don’t know it, a cello case is roughly the same size as a small person. Not exactly something that will fit neatly into the overhead compartment or under a seat. Unable to share a seat, she scanned the bus for an open spot for her and her large burden.
As destiny would have it, the seat in front of me was vacant.
Too awe struck to speak; I just sat there and admired her. For a girl so talented and so with it, she gave off an air of sweetness. Un-phased by the trends of the day, she had her own style. Part geek, part art chick yet all the time very centered and very real. As her stop came I managed an awkward “bye”, to which she smiled the kind of smile so warm you wish that you could bask in it like a cat on a summer day. I was smitten.
But how was I, a lowly freshman, ever going to have a chance with such a girl? I needed a plan.
I knew that she only rode the bus home from school, never to school. I knew that she had to take her cello home when ever she did ride the bus. I knew that due to the instrument’s size, she could not share a seat with anyone and had to sit in an open spot. And so I hatched my plan.
Everyday after the final bell rung, I raced down to the busses carry out my plan. Like a grand chess master laying out his pieces, I found the sweet spot. That seat not too far from the front yet always guaranteed to have an open seat in front or behind me. She would have to sit next to me again.
I did this for an entire school year.
It did not always work, some days she stayed late, other days she would find a different spot. But when it did work, oh my, what a great bus ride that was. We started with small talk, compared notes about the play we were both in (her in the orchestra and me in the chorus line), Monty Python, Mtv and so on. Eventually I did not have to dash to find the sweet spot. If she beat me to the bus, I would find her in our usual spot smiling and waiting for me.
It took me another year to build up the courage to ask her on a date, but that is another story.
After nearly 20 years her smile still makes me weak.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
ATTN Oregon Readers, I need your help!
Some good friends of mine were just struck by tragedy and I'm hoping that you, my readers in Oregon, can help out. They were en route from Seattle to Burning Man and well I'll let them explain it in their own words:
If you are in Oregon (around the Eugene/Springfield area), please be on the lookout for a STOLEN PICKUP TRUCK--the primary vehicle for the Pepper Conduit theme camp, containing all of our gear, half our food, all of our drinking water, and our shade structures (not to mention personal clothing and wine and tequila). It's a dark blue 1985 Nissan King Cab, with a tall, unusually shaped white canopy and a spare tire on the left rear wheel. Canopy extends pickup bed almost 2 feet in the back, and the canopy has its own taillights.
Was stolen from Junction City, Oregon, sometime between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Thursday, August 21st, 2008. When last seen, it had Washington plates, a Burning Man symbol on the lower right rear canopy door, a small sticker of an octopus on left rear corner of canopy, and racks on top of the canopy.
The truck contains nothing of monetary value, but it does contain some items that are of extreme sentimental value to owners. Namely, our entire theme camp.
The theft has been reported, but it has destroyed our vacation plans. IF YOU SEE THIS TRUCK, please call local police
Now I know I have more than a few readers in that neck of the woods, I know this is a longshot, but please spread the word and if you see the stolen truck in question please call the police.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
So I twittered about this last night, seems that I was nominated to be part of the "Hot Male Blogger" calendar. Not sure what all this entails, just yet. I'm I supposed to ask you to keep nominating me or wait till the actual voting starts? To be frank, this week is one of those "if I have to juggle one more thing, I'm gonna scream" sorta weeks so I'm going to ask if anyone out there who knows the deal would be nice and give me the reader's digest as to what is expected of me, that would rock.
On the plus side, it is not everyday you get the opportunity to be in a calendar. That is pretty damned cool.
Edited to add: Upon sharing this info with the Minion one asked, "so will you be posing nude with just a lawn gnome covering your crotch?" Now this idea has some merit.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
squid platter extra tenticals please
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
If hell had a waiting room this is what it would look like. Dull beige walls with a duller off white pillars for "accent" boarder a dull carpet, one of those long wear jobs with dull geometric patterns in non offensive colors that makes you not want to stare at it too long and hides the occasional coffee stain. We sit in row after row of mildly uncomfortable chairs, all a dull yet non threatening shade of blue and wait...
Bad coffee, spotty wi-fi and court staff that, while trying to be accommodating and entertaining are just really, really boring. They drone in that monotone of someone who probably drinks heavily in order to forget just how many times they have given the same, exact speech tell us how important our civic duty is.
I opted for a more "conservative" look, all black, lug soled work boots and wrap around shades. Security took one look at me and gave me an extra pass thru the metal detectors AND a wand pass or two. I figured that if I had to pull out the big guns and really work to get tossed off a jury I'd save that for tomorrow. They have a job to do and it well so I can't be angry with them.
The crowd is an interesting cross section of humanity, bored professional types with expensive haircuts tap away on crackberries and look generally bored, lots of silver haired types reading large print versions of whatever is on the NYT bestsellers list and a few "scruffy" types as well. Like prisoners sharing the same fate, we make pointless small talk about non important topics, the weather, the coffee and of course the wait.
I'm currently watching the one attractive girl in the place get cruised by the various hopeful young(ish) men in the place. Even in hell, male hope (or just his libido) springs eternal.
Ok they just called my name. We are all given a laminated card with a number, robbed of my identity I'm now "Juror #3 of 45". Handing over the juror biography form, I take my card and wait.
I'm not sure how they will respond to the section where I list my profession as, "Alt-Sex Educator, Performer and Bondage Rope Manufacture" I was contemplating putting "Male Prostitute" but thought that might be too much.
And yet again, we wait.
Labels: non kinky life
Doing my civic duty
Today I am not in the Abbey, although I should be,. Nope today I'm stuck in jury duty all damn day. As I type this I'm sitting in the jury holding pen... er I mean "waiting area" watching a wide cross section on society shuffle in, take seats and wait. All the while, smooth jazz plays overhead in the vain attempt to keep us calm if not slightly sleepy.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for doing my civic duty. In any other situation I'd be happy to serve on a jury, however when one is self employed the whole "If I don't go to work today, I wont eat tonight" thing cuts pretty deep. Add the fact that part of my crew is also stuck back east due to a spectacular travel mishap and I'm not all that thrilled to be here.
But serve I will.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Post Birthday Recovery
Whew, I'm still sorta staggering a bit from all the festivities of the past couple of days. The Abbey party was a monster success, thank you to all who attended. Big thanks to my fantastic volunteers and crew for all the hard work they put in pulling it all together in spite of torrential rains the day of the event.
Of course, after taking a few days off to enjoy my birthday I return to the Abbey with a monster work queue. Looks like I'm not the only person with a birthday in August and some nice folks are getting some great BIG rope kits too. So pardon me while I bury my head in work for a bit.
Oh one last, yer not gonna believe this, thing. I start jury duty tomorrow too. That should be interesting. Not sure what they are going to make of me.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
The infamous pants...
abbey party 1 new leather pants 0
Thursday, August 07, 2008
I've been mining my old photography archives and sharing some of the memorable ones as of late. Here is another, circa 2002
This image is why there is a TwistedMonk.Com
Back in the dark old days, those early days of digital photography when I made my first tentative steps away from my trusty film camera to the first clunky digital SLR cameras, printing was the bane of my existence. Getting good, rich black and white images from digital prints was nearly impossible. Most of us sent our images away to labs only to get images back weeks later that looked nothing like the images we had in our monitor's eye. Rich, velvety blacks were replaced by sickly greenish tones due to incompatible color maps and inconsistent color correction tools.
Out of frustration, and that I was egotistical enough to believe that if it was not in black and white it was not "art" photography. "Color is for holiday snapshots, not art", was what I told myself. Pardon me while I roll my eyes at myself. Anyways, I began experimenting with sepia tones and color replacement. My goal was to imitate the hand painted French post cards from the turn of the last century.
This image was my most striking and successful from that period. One of those magnificent flukes where you end up capturing an image that was unplanned and no matter how hard you attempt you can never re-create. It also inspired me to look for other things that I could photograph and do this process on. What about rope bondage? Having recently been given Midori's ground breaking book, The Seductive Art of Japanese Rope Bondage, by my mother in law I thought to myself. "Hmm, what if I took a photo of a girl tied up in colored rope?" Looking online for colored bondage rope found me a few sites, nothing interesting and nothing in my then limited budget.
Flipping through Midori's book I found her recipe for finishing hemp rope. I ordered a small spool from a local hippy store, cooked up a batch and tossed in a spare packet of RIT Purple dye that I had laying about from another project. Lo and behold, royal purple hemp rope.
The first of it's kind and little did I know then that it would be the first of many, many more batches of rope.
And so gentle reader, if you happen to have a hunk of TwistedMonk rope in your toy bag that you are fond of, raise it in salute to this image.
The one that started it all.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
Oh man, talk about a mind bender....
Yesterday I was asked if I would donate a print of one of my more "infamous" pieces from back when I fancied myself a "fine art photographer" (more on that later in the week). As I went through my archive DVDs I was really floored by both the amount of images I had amassed as well as the memories they held.
Since my birthday is coming up and, according to Alex this is my "Birthday Week" and I can do anything I want, I'm going to subject you to some of my artwork. This stuff predates the blog, pre dates the rope company and in many cases predates my exploration into kink (or in the case of some of the images, my fumbling steps exploring my kinky side).
But first, behold. Monk and Tambo circa 2001. This was shot while on a motorcycle trip we took just after my 31st birthday. This would be me at my heaviest and most unhealthy, 270 pounds, working for a major aerospace and defense firm, making mad cash and sporting a pretty hefty drinking and drug habit. Ironically, this was also when I was probably my closest to my biological family.
This image gives me chills and is a long, long way from this image. Taken by my favorite photographer in the world, Michele Serchuk, last April.
Me, at about 195 pounds, 14% body fat, diet and gym fanatic, successful sex business owner and 3 years since being disowned by my two greatest mentor figures (my Father and elder brother) for being a "degenerate pervert" .
Is there a moral to this story? Something to inspire and inform? A lesson to be learned? Not sure yet as I am still living the story and trying to figure it out myself.
If I have to close with a moral it would be this. To quote the bard, "To thine own self, be true"
OK, enough navel gazing! Tomorrow, the image that started it all.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
A funny thing happened on the way to the hard point last night…
It was Sunday night, the first Sunday of the month in fact. Time once again for the “Bondage is the Point” party, an event that Tambo and I have had a standing date together for the last, oh I dunno 4 years I think? We always look forward to this party, in addition to getting to see a lot of our friends, this is one event that no matter how insanely busy our lives get, we always can look forward to playing at the party. Be it elaborate or simple it matters not, just as long as it is with my Tambo it is all good.
But I digress, we had just entered the party and started saying hello to friends when an acquaintance we had not seen in several months all but leapt into our arms and exclaimed, “I am SO glad to see that you are here… TOGETHER!”
Tambo and I responded with odd looks at each other and pressed her to explain.
Seems that she at a recent event she was told that Tambo and I had gotten a divorce, not “were in the process of” or even “Were having some issues” but full on “Oh no, they divorced awhile back”
In light of the fact that Tambo and I will be celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary in a few weeks made this news both humorous and a little disturbing.
Living in the public eye as I do, you get pretty accustomed to rumors, lordy there have been some great ones in the past too. My favorite has to be the one where I supposedly sold the company for some obscene pile of cash and was moving to Europe to join of those infamous “Secret European SM Houses” as the resident rope master. Seriously, where folks come up with some of these are just beyond me. Also, being poly can be pretty confusing for some. Writing about the adventures I have with one of my partners does not mean that I’m not having any with my other. Some adventures are public and I share them here, some are not. Plain and simple.
So consider this a public service announcement. If I don’t say it here, then it is probably not true. And as for my childhood sweetheart Tambo and I? 20 years this month, I figure if she has not stuffed me into a wood chipper by now, she must either really love me or she has yet to find one big enough.