Thursday, September 29, 2005

Wow, so I guess it took me longer to recover from the Folsom experience than I though. We are finally all unpacked; stock put away, money counted and ready to get back to our regularly scheduled madness. However I think I could do with like one more night of really good sleep, and then all will be right in my world.

I’m working on the telling of the tale, probably post something later today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Home... SF to Seattle in just over 13 hours. Damn is my ass tired.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Post Folsom...
Quick post, the show was a HUGE hit. More on that later (yes there are LOTS of pictures and stories to be shared). Need to get the crew off to the airport and then it is back in the van for a nice 15 hour drive home.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Safe in SF

We pulled in LATE last night. The rest of the crew flies in tonight, till then I'm off to make some delirious and social calls... and perhaps drag nerdy around the Castro a bit.

Less than 48 hours till the show.

Edit: Nerdy pointed out my spelling errors. Ok, so maybe I was not as awake as I thought.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Folsom Bound

The rope is packaged, signs made, new t-shirts printed, rope made, and fresh coffee in the thermos. Time to get this show on the road and head to San Fran. This will be the largest, most ambitious Twistedmonk show to date.

I’m keeping a paper journal of the trip, much like I did last year, and Tambo is taking photos , like she also did last year, so watch this space for updates.

Till then, if you see a non-descript white cargo van speeding along I-5 south today with a driver who looks a bit fried but mostly harmless, wave.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

A matter of definition

Let's not talk about the big Folsom show today, ok? We are almost there, one more long day today and we will have it all. Rather, let's talk about music.

So the other day, while we were slogging though another long day of Folsom prep, I decided to pop in the new (well not so new, it’s like a year old now) CD by Loretta Lynn. Up to this point we, Nerdy Griffin and I, had all been jamming along happily to the likes of the White Stripes. Now I figured since Jack White had produced this album, we could continue along this musical tangent a bit longer before returning to our normal diet of heavy metal and Bollywood pop.

Less than 30 seconds into the CD and Griffin is calling out, “What the hell are we listening to?”
“Loretta Lynn”, I shout back from behind the giant dye kettle I’m stirring.
“WTF?! I’m invoking the NO COUNTRY clause in my employment agreement!”

Now, he has a point. You see, part of his work agreement is that I’ll never play country in his presence and he will never mention that whole “long weekend in Tijuana and the donkey” incident.

Now I’m really not a fan of country music. In fact I hate it. I however did not consider this to actually be “country music”, rather I tried to explain that this was actually “Americana” music.

“Americana? Like that album by the Offspring? Trust me, she sounds nothing like Dexter Holland”

While I tried in vain to explain that, no this was not to be considered strictly as “country western” music. But rather this was music that drew from several genres and crossed over the cultural boundaries to become part of a greater cultural expression of the American working class. Artists like Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan are great examples of this sort of music (also to some extent sub genres like Rockabilly, Swing and the Blues as well). When pressed for a concise rule of thumb by which one could determine if such music was in fact “Americana” and not “Country”. The best we could come up with was:
“If you can enjoy it and NOT have to be wearing a cowboy hat at the time, then it is probably Americana.

Just as luck would have it, the next album chosen my i-pod? Iron Maiden. Then it was Nerdy who protested, “No, anything is better than Butt Rock!”

Now it was Griffin and I who had to argue that no, Maiden should be considered “Classic Metal” and not “Butt Rock”?

When pressed for a one line rule of thumb?

Monk: “If the lead singer ever played Dungeons and Dragons and you can hear the influence of it in the lyrics of the music, then it’s classic metal”

Griffin: “If the said metal band has become so big and so pretentious that they, at any time in their history, ever performed live with a full symphony. Then it’s classic metal”

I would later pose this question to Matisse over dinner; her response I think is the most concise: “If I can walk into a strip club and hear the tune with in the first 20 minutes… then it is most definitely butt rock”

Monday, September 19, 2005

Folsom Count Down; 6 Days till show

Sorry kids too fried to write today. My hands are starting to cramp from all the whipping, we have 3000 more feet to finish before we leave on Thursday and I still need to figure out where I’m going to sleep on Thursday night after we depart from Seattle.

But there are so many fun stories to tell, like the human piñata or sticking needles in my buddy, The Loneliest Wookie. Ok, so let me get a couple things done here at the Abbey and then we will see how creative I feel. Till then, here are two comic strips that have zero, as in NO, socially redeeming content that make me laugh.

John and John (Proof that the Dutch are really twisted folks)
The Rehabilitation of Mr. Wiggles (when you laugh at this, baby Jesus cries)

Friday, September 16, 2005

"Friday, I'm in love"

So here I am, lying naked on the floor next to Dancer as she sleeps. No, this is not some D/s thing, rather the power cable for my laptop won’t reach the bed and my batteries are about shot… sorry to disappoint you. She won’t wake for at least another hour so I’m getting some stuff done and trying to not wake her. Truth be told, I really like the carpet in her bedroom. I sometimes like to take my shoes off and sit on it and watch her dress before we go out.

Hmm, so what to blog about?

Now if you have read this blog for any length of time you have probably heard me rave on and on about how cool the Abbey’s neighbors are. The large industrial warehouse that is now home to dozens of artisans and rock bands is a great place for a rope company with dreams of world domination. There is however one dark side to the entire place that I feel I must share.

The reading material in the men’s room sucks.

Yeah, I know this is an edgy subject, but let’s face facts. If you are going to be in the bathroom for a while, you would like something to read. Not anything too deep or involved. If you are going to be there long enough to warrant reading War and Peace, well something is seriously wrong with you and you should go see your doctor. No, some light reading is best for this. Now you might think that having neighbors who bend steel, record indie albums, build custom Harleys and work with all manner of strange elements (would you believe some of these guys scrub their hands BEFORE they go do their business, one can only imagine what they have been handling all day!) would have some cool reading material for when you find yourself bored and need to kill some time?

Some small print run, made at Kinkos rock ‘zine perhaps? Or maybe a magazine that features scads of scantly clad women but everyone claims to read it for “the articles”? No, what do we get? Martha Stewart’s Living.

That’s right. Martha FUCKING Stewart.

The sad part is that I actually read the damn thing…

I think the time has come to dig out all those old issues of Playboy and Penthouse that I stole from my Grandfather back in the 70s and 80s and bring them in. What’s that? Why do I still have all those old magazines? Ask any guy, you can’t just throw away porn.

Now if you will pardon me, Dancer is stirring and I’m going to enjoy the rest of our date, this will be our last night together till after Folsom. Then I need to try and locate a Mexican themed prop for a party tomorrow. Why? Well that, dear readers, is a story for another day (hopefully one with photos too).

Thursday, September 15, 2005

5 things I want to do after Folsom (in no real order)
1) Start cooking for Tambo again
2) Devote one afternoon a week to artistic pursuits
3) Learn how to use a single tail
4) Long weekend away with Dancer
5) More cowbell

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Proceed with the happy dance!

Folsom is coming together! We just got our super secret-ultra cool booth giveaways delivered today. These are quite possibly the coolest item to ever bear the likeness of Abigail (the company mascot). Tambo is doing her final testing on our fancy new credit card machine, no more unreadable knuckle busters for us!

Ok so we have one last weekend push to get past, and then we hit the road.

Oh speaking of that, anyone care to host Nerdy and I on Thursday night the 22nd? We will be leaving from Seattle and would like to crash somewhere about midway between here and San Fran. Just Nerdy and I this trip, Griffin is flying out later with the rest of the crew. Something about how Nerdy has never seen that part of the country and that whole matter of it being illegal in Oregon for he and I to be in the same car together.

Ok, back to work.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Folsom Update

We just got out booth assignment for the fair. We will have a corner booth along Folsom St, in between 9th and Dore Alley.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Times like these

It’s Friday night, the end of a long but productive week at the Abbey. With less than 2 weeks to go before the Folsom Street Fair, I have been all but living in my shop. Days are not marked by the calendar, but rather by the number of feet left to make and days till show. In addition to being one of the largest events we will do all year, Folsom also marks the end of summer. Gone are the sweltering hot days of August, now replaced with that mellow, soon it will rain, warmth that is Seattle in September.

My motorcycle is parked under the giant covered loading dock that sits at the center of the old industrial space where our rope shop calls home. I stow my shop clothes, dirty and bearing (to the unknowing eye) suspicious looking crimson stains from today’s dye job. On top of them I pack away the fresh organic tomatoes that Peanut brought me earlier today. They will make a fine surprise for Dancer; I’ll be in her arms in a few hours. I give Nerdy a hug and thank her for all her hard work as she makes her way out of the building. We both laugh and agree that if Griffin gets any more efficient next week that he will be the death of us both.

David Bowie’s “Life on Mars” blasts out from one of the neighboring shops. The timing seems perfect to call Tambo; this is after all her favorite Bowie tune. Leaning against the dusty nose of my sidecar, I place a call to Tambo. We touch base, recount our day and make plans for what we will do when we re-connect tomorrow. Dinner? Movie? Naked snuggles? She giggles her signature giggle at the last suggestion.. She tells me that she loves me and to say hello to Dancer tonight when I see her. I thank her for trusting me so and that I love her too.

As we kiss our goodbyes and hang up, I spy another neighbor. A steel artist just back from Burning Man, he is dirty from a long day of work and enjoying a much deserved beer. In the back of his truck lay dozens of oddly shaped arches of steel. From my vantage point they look like a jumble of rust and jagged points, but in his hands they were a tower of light and fire that lit up the desert sky. Although younger than I, he sports deep crow’s feet. When he smiles his tanned face seems to squint into nothing but crow’s feet and teeth. He smiles and raises his drink in a toast, “And to think, dude, some people actually have to pay money to rent happiness?”

How easy it is to forget that. To get caught up in the toil and push for more, a few hundred more feet out the door or the stress of a huge show pressing down upon us. Sure this week we worked more hours than most would consider healthy. Next week will be even worse and in the end, sure we might make a huge chunk of money but that money will go right back into keeping the dream alive for another month or so. Ah... but what a grand dream it is.

I raise my diet coke in return and smile.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Damn, in 5 days we have made over 5000 of rope just for Folsom. Pardon me while I pause, reflect and enjoy this moment of victory... ok back to work. We need to do it again next week.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Couple of quick updates:
Red, that cutie from the red sneaker diaries, was supposed to come visit the Abbey today. This will mark the second time she has done the “Hey! I’ll be in Seattle on X day and would love to be your winch wench!” only to cancel. This officially makes her a “Rope Tease” in my book. Now Nerdy, Nerdy did pose this question in her defense.” Maybe she is doing this to ensure that when she does finally come to play you won’t go easy on her?”

Hmm... Good point, but she better bring some damn good treats. :)

In other news,
Echo is on the mend! We have spoken a couple of times since I first posted about her accident. She has a long road to recovery, but She is in good spirits and is beside herself with gratitude to everyone for all the love and support. Now I have received a number of requests from readers who wish to send her cards and whatnot directly. She would love this, however we would like to protect her (and her families) privacy. So what we will do is this. If you want to send her a card, contact me and I’ll have you send it to the Abbey where we will bundle them all up (with a few goodies of our own) and send them on to Echo.

Oh and someone asked how Peanut was doing too, she is great. She has really come out of her shell (ouch that was a bad pun, sorry) and has had all sorts of fun in the local SM community. The girl who once sat, back pressed against the wall, staring pie eyed in terror at a bondage party is now making connections, friends and exploring her kink. I for one am really proud and happy for her. Oh and I even got to stick needles in her too!

Ok, back to work for me.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

So how is this for mind bending?

Tambo and I just put our heads together and figured out that;
We have been a couple for over 20 years (the story of how we met)
We have just celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary (8/26)
We have been openly non-monogamous/poly for 10 years
We are crazy about each other.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Behold, everything I need to take over the world.

* Strong Coffee
* A Fresh Dougnut (Did you know that the dougnut is god's way of applogizing for cublicles?)
* +2 Fez of World Domination

I know, what is it with me and novelty headware anyways?

Monday, September 05, 2005


So today’s Labor Day, right. So what do self employed folks do on a holiday such as this? What else, we all went to work.

With Folsom less than 20 days out, the place was jumping. Griffin, Nerdy, Kitten, even Galahad and Tambo pitched in today to help get us ready for the big event. Sure we still have a massive amount left to do but thanks to their hard work, things are looking great.

Now in honor of it being Labor Day and all that, they did agree to form a union. The Intergalactic Brotherhood of Rope Gnomes, Perverts and Ommpa-Loompas. That’s right; the Abbey is now a union shop. As soon as they all agreed that a) they would form a union and b) that Nerdy was, in fact, not an oompa-loompa (she’s too tall and has never worn spandex while in the presence of Johnny Depp) they immediately went on strike.

Their demands are as follows;
1) Wireless broadband access throughout the entire Abbey
2) 50% increase in moral turpitude
3) 1 chocolate waterfall (but will settle for a krispy kreme hot icing fall)
4) More anti-fatigue mats
5) The immediate end to “No Pants Thursdays”
6) A piñata shaped like former president Jimmy Carter filled with mini cheese wheels.
7) Secret decoder rings
8) Payment in currency other than the giant stone coins of Easter Island.
9) I must never, ever, EVER talk in my “Mickey Mouse as a Leather Daddy” voice again.

Perhaps I should outsource the entire operation to India?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Go, Donate, Now
The folks devistated by katrina need our help. Rather than buy that latte and muffin this morning, donate that money to the Red Cross today.