Thursday, November 30, 2006

Safe in DC.

The thing I always forget when traveling to the east coast is the time difference. Right now the clock next to me says it is coming up on 1am, however my brain thinks that it is more like 10pm. Now this might not be a problem, until I have to get up 8am tomorrow and my brain starts screaming at me asking me why the hell we are waking up at 4 am?

I must say, all cities look the same from the back of a late night taxi. Bright lights just beyond the ribbon of concrete as you hunker down in the back of an odd smelling cab and wonder, I always wonder this, “so what will the hotel look like this time?”

Ahh the mystery of the hotel. Doing this job, I’ve stayed in lots of them. Some nice, some not so nice and many that were just too blah to remember. The thing is, you never really know for sure until you get there. Leather events have a terrible habit of changing hotels from year to year due to politics, budget or a management that wants nothing more to do with “those people”. I’ve stayed in swanky executive hotels, roach traps you would not dare walk barefoot in and one hotel that was going to be turned into low-income housing, the next week.

Thing is, as a vendor, the hotel will make or break you. If it is crappy, out of the way and with out amenities life can really suck. So far I really must tell ya that I like what I see. The host hotel for Black Rose is dead in the heart of the US capitol, I can see the capitol building from my room, clean, there is a Starbucks in the lobby (hey I’m from Seattle, I have more caffeine molecules in my blood stream than white blood cells) and the towels don’t smell of old men. Did I also mention that it was pretty expensive? Well expensive by convention standards, about 150 a night plus taxes. Yep, you pay more for a nice place to sleep, but so far the folks here don’t seem to mind. The event organizers are telling us that we have well over 1200 bodies in attendance this weekend and I’m guessing most of them are staying here too.

So will folks, after dropping more for a nicer hotel, spend more or less money on toys and other goodies in the vendor space? That, dear readers, is the question we do not yet have an answer for.

On that note, I should try and get some rest. Tomorrow will be a long, long day.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I have been meaning to do a post where I share some of the thank you notes we have gotten over the last couple of weeks. Several of you have tried rope for the first time recently and sent us notes to say thanks. This, this is very cool. Thank you. We love to hear from out customers and when they contact us and tell us that we are fabulous? Well that is even better.

So a bit of trivia, it hardly ever snows in Seattle. We might get ONE day of snow a year if we are lucky. On this day, the city freaks out, shuts down and the weather reports go something like this, “The state is reporting a class five KILL STORM warning for Puget Sound, citizens are advised to stock up on canned goods and shotgun shells…” Seriously folks, at the first site of snow you would think that you just stepped midstream into zombie movie by the way folks are acting. Anyways, these days are rare and never seem to happen when there is lots and lots to do. That is until I have to get ready to head out to a huge show on the east coast.

This week we have had three, count em, THREE snow days in a row. As I type this the freezing rain has turned slushy and with any luck it will be rain by morning and I’ll make it to the airport in time to catch my flight to DC.

Now what does this have to do with thank you notes from customers you ask? Good question. See, in addition to being a massive pain in the ass, snow days make for working in the Abbey next to impossible. Even on good winter days the place is pretty damn crisp. Drop the temp below freezing and it flat out sucks. In fact yesterday we were so cold that we picked up all the packaging work we could do and relocated to the house to finish packaging show stock, talk about coming full circle.. but I digress.

Today Nerdy and I were making the final load out when the mail came. In it was this. A box of fresh baked cookies and a hand written note from a customer.

The note reads:
”The rumors are wonderfully true- the rope you all craft really IS an orgasm per foot! Not only was my first curiosity kit great (paralleled only by the grin that spread across my boyfriends face when I gave it to him), but you guys are too. The website is informative eye candy and after lusting over rope for months, Nerdy could not have been more helpful when I placed my first nervous phone call. You all provided my lover and I with both a smooth first experience and a delicious product, so here’s something delicious in gratitude: sticky spice cookies.

Thank you from your newest converts,

Maybe it was just me, but I’m pretty sure it got a wee bit warmer in the Abbey after a couple of bites of those cookies. Nerdy and I kicked out the last of the pre-prep for the show and we just signed on a huge new customer that has been trying to pressure us for a deeper discount now for almost a year, finally giving in with a, “I’ve tried everywhere else. Even your competition says you are the best”.

So from a mostly thawed out Monk, thanks. Twistedmonk customers are the best in the world.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

cuz I'm lazy and its funny

Swiped from my a friend's blog.
Movie Magic of Porn

Ok, back to work. 48 hours till we leave for DC and still lots to finish.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

And now, a story problem

Monk is on a train traveling at 10 miles per hour. Leaving for Black Rose in less than 64 hours as well as supplying rope for Max’s upcoming partial suspension class this weekend, he needs to finish a great deal of rope. In order to go from being “Astoundingly, frighteningly and overwhelmingly fucking behind” to just “really fucking behind schedule” he needs to finish the ends of 70 pieces of rope today. Knowing that Monk takes an average of 4 minutes per end, how many hours of will it take before he is done?

The Answer: 9 freaking hours. I’ve watched pretty much all of season 10 of South Park and a couple episodes of MST3K, but damnit they are done. Ah the glorious life of an international bondage rope mogul. Now if you will excuse me, I think I’ll go lie down, read some Agatha Christie, and see if some ice can do anything to reduce the swelling in my hands.

Friday, November 24, 2006

So I have a profile on Bondage.Com. While an ok site and I have met (and played with) a few interesting folks from the site, there are always some shall we say strange, folks who contact me via it. What follows is an unsolicited letter I got yesterday.

Hello Master
I was glad to meet with you, also I very careful read your profile and with great interest.
I'm 26 years old, and i living in city of Kazan.
I want to say you that my English not very good but i use translator when write letter and
hope that this not be problem for you. I search my true Master in life, and dream have versatile intimate life with he. I think we can find in each other the same feels, you search true slave and i search true Master. I can say that BDSM style this my life and i dream about this every day and night.
I tell you about me and my search. I like listen all type of music, go to sport club, i am like fitness aerobic, run, swim, dance, and take care my body. This important for me always. I am not smoke and don’t have bad habits. I not have children but in future if everything will be great, maybe. I enjoy films. I like comedy, adventure, music and many more. I live in Russia, in town of Kazan. My mother live not with me and sometime I visit her. Now i live with my friend girl in hostel. I for sure want say i very good feel about life and can say that people enjoy in company with me, but I feel sometime very alone because I not have here my Master and i miss life with he who do with me many interest things, kinky, investigate things, BDSM, who dominate, who punish me but can care and love.
Tell me about what you search and who you search. I not think about many time communicate and not have good situation for internet cafe about long time, all what I need to find him and relocate. I now wait when this day happen, I know that sometime people not believe and maybe somebody can think that this again lie, but I never lie and absolute serious. I ready for all that you be sure about my words and about my dreams and desires, I real and I nothing hide and my life wait change.
I am not looking for just Relationship and Chat, i am want to have my Master only in real life.
I am think about this very long time and don’t want that my years go away. We live only one time.
I have exited even from thought about how I give all me for my Master. That’s why I say straight that I not have many time for communicate and wait when my real Master take me from here and my body and soul will never ending for you Master. I have letters from many Master but I search only one and serious for all life, I have some letter that show only inside world, but I search Master who have good situation in life and who real can possible care and love his slave and take me from here, who ready care about me, my life and how I relocate to you, for this I ready for all, for what? For be thing, for be my Master property and never say no when you order to me, I enjoy this life, BDSM, water sport investigate body and pussy and ass and mouth, dildos, klismafilia, oral fixation, piercing, bondage, candal wax, discipline, nipples, enjoy spanking, fisting, anal, sadism, pain, for pain I have special feels, I can and want say that I love this, I say sincere that I not professional and that not have big experience, when I meet real man who need me and who ready for get me he can get what search many year, i ready for all for my Love and nothing hold me here, I independent, I am ready to start our serious relationship. If you think that we can be together i am wait your soon answer Master. You ready have me in your life? Your ready take me and get what you search?
How we can do this my Master?
I wish find true Master for my life.
slave ludmila.
p.s.I very much want to know more about you if your intentions are serious

Yes, this is obviously a form letter sent via a bad English translator. What adds to the humor is that when I was chatting with a few of my male top friends who also happened to have profiles, they too got the same letter.

Ok, enough goofing off for one day. I’m WAY behind in getting ready for Black Rose.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Just a quick note wishing folks a good holiday.

Yes, I am working today. Not to worry, it will be just for a few hours before meeting up with some wonderful folks for a great big meal. Tambo is baking her amazing bread and Alex will be showing off his dessert-making prowess as well.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

And so today marks the birthday of my lover and secondary partner Dancer - Beautiful, funny, brutally honest, gracious, sexual outlaw, talented writer, fearsome SM top and all around wet dream in thigh high boots. Now what can I say about her that has not yet been said?

How about this? You, dear reader, have no idea what beauty really is.

Like most of you, I was first attracted to her public persona, read her work and admired all she stood for. However, over the two plus years that we have been lovers I have seen something else, seen what lies beyond the tall boots and fierce wit. Seen her, tucked under the covers re-reading a dog-eared old novel before falling asleep. Watched her smile at the simple joy that is her favorite pizza delivered to her door when she was feeling less than spectacular. Stroked her knees as they poked through the holes in her favorite, well-worn jeans while watching politically incorrect cartoons and laughing herself silly. No, it is not until I looked at her while she slept next to me , stripped of all the myth and flash, that then did I being to realize just how amazing and unique she really is.

And so, to my friend, my confidant, my outlaw, my rock star, and my lover I celebrate the day you were born and thank the heavens for everyday I get to share with you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

…and now a list of new singles that Monk keeps playing over and over (much to the dismay of everyone around him)

The Who, Fragments
Oh how I want to like this new album. I mean its The Who, for fuck sake. I loved them, Pete Townsend was the influential musical artist of my youth, the voice that gave words to my mute frustration and the savage guitar that embodied all that was pure in rock music, play it hard and fast and don't stop even if your fingers bleed. Rolling Stone loved this album, gave it 4 stars. Me? Not so much, sure if I tilt my head just so and kinda squint my ears it sorta sounds like Babba O’Riley. But just sorta. Best to just put on my 1982 tour shirt and rock out to Whos Next really, really loud.

Placebo, Meds
I guess I’m a latecomer to the whole Placebo thing, but I like what I hear. Need to invest more time in this band.

DJ Shadow, Organ Donor
All manner of music can be heard around the huge building where the Abbey is located. From band practice spaces to former punks turned craftsmen, music seems to just sort of seep through the walls like so much rainwater. When I first heard the opening organ line from this song I honestly felt a chill and just had to obtain it for my own. Following the sound like hound following a scent I wandered from shop to shop, listening for the source, till I could find it and make it mine. I was recently asked to provide a demo for a large party that the building is hosting and I’m thinking about doing something involving this tune, it just begs to be used as part of a suspension bondage show.

Kelly, Shoes
I blame Nerdy for this, really I do. It is all her fault.

Ok, best get my things in order and finish my chores for the day. I'm spending the weekend with Dancer. Funny, after two and a half years I still get a sorta goofy, lopsided smile on my face when I think about getting to spend any period of time with her. Must be a sign.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Announcing November's Color of the Month

The holidays are historically a time of overindulgence. Too much good food, too many trips to the mall and of course a few too many drinks at the Thanksgiving diner table. I’m pretty sure everyone who has ever sat around a roast turkey with extended family has a horror story to share about some relative who “had a few too many” and passed out in the mashed potatoes, or worse tried to fondle the turkey in an inappropriate manner.

Well we are not sure what Monk had in his Americano when he came up with this color, but we are not ruling out the possibly eggnog. All we know for sure is that when we came into the Abbey on the morning in question, there he was, hunched over a dye kettle mixing colors at random and cackling. When asked what color he was making, his response? “I have no idea, but its gonna kick ass!”

And kick ass it does.

At a loss to name the rich nut-brown rope, we did have lots of ideas. “Kinky Khaki” was a good one. So was “Tryptophan Tan”, in honor of the whole turkey thing. However in the end we just had to settle on “Monk’s Drunken Dye Batch”

As is the case with every color of the month, this is a limited- one time color run. When we run out of this color, the color is gone for good. Don't delay. The color of the month has sold out in less than 48 hours before. I'm giving you, my loyal blog readers, the first chance to get this shade.

I'm going to post the new Color of the Month later today. Till then, go wish the sexy, sweet Hannah a happy birthday. (Damn, another scorpio!)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Calls to the Abbey

Nerdy, my long suffering assistant and all around customer service goddess, and I were in the Abbey getting things assembled for an upcoming event one rainy Saturday afternoon when the phone rang. Now when the phone rings at the Abbey it is usually a good thing. Joking nicknamed, “the money phone”, because when it rings it generally means that someone is either placing an order or upgrading an order. In short, we like it when it rings.

This time was a bit different.

As I continued to load up rope, Nerdy took the call. Here is her side of the conversation.
“, this is Nerdygirl, how may I help you.”
“No, I’m sorry but we don’t pre-announce the color of the month. Keep an eye on Monk’s blog, he usually announces it there first.”
“The wetspot last Saturday night?”
“No, that was not me playing with Monk”
“No, he is my boss. We don’t play.”
“He plays with a lot of people. No, I don’t know who that was.”
“No, no I do not know if she is poly. Again, I don’t know who he was playing with”
“No, I’m sorry I also can’t tell you when he is planning on playing publicly with Alex again.”

Wow, just wow. 99.99% of the calls we get are from wonderful, fantastic customers that we love to hear from. However from time to time we get calls like this and they just make me sort of stare dumbstruck.

First off, I’m lucky to have a forum like this blog where I can write about my life and my experiences that come along with the job. However, the Abbey is where I work. It is my shop and place of business. Calling it looking for personal information about my play life is really inappropriate. Now if I write about something and you ask me a question in the comments or directly I will do my best (when appropriate) to answer as honestly as I can, but calling my shop looking for information about who I play with? Oh that is just tacky and inappropriate.

Secondly Nerdy is my assistant and while I joke that she “reminds me to wear pants”, please don’t assume that she holds the day timer of my personal exploits and will give them out to anyone who happens to call the shop. No, her job is hard enough just keeping your orders error free and wrangling the production queue so they get finished as quick as possible. Please don’t ask her to divulge personal information about her employer.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Welcome to the wonder that is my desk at the Abbey.
Happy Monday kids, I got way too much to get done today.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Stupid and funny

Pardon me while I recover a bit. Yesterday I was blindsided by the alien death cold. Thankfully my immune system, hardened by years of guerrilla fighting with such things and a near Death Star quantity of pharmaceuticals, seems to have put down most phlegm infused rebellion. However taking a day off to do nothing but sleep and watch Family Guy on youtube has put me a dye job behind and I owe several people phone calls and e-mails.

So today while I manage having a head that feels just slightly too large than it ought to be and try to get caught up, enjoy some random stupidity.

The faces of porn” I have always argued that humans look the dorkiest at the height of pleasure. Here is proof.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I just got this and had to share.

Hola Monk,

I saw this while in the UK on holiday. It is supposed to be announcing an art exhibit in New Castle, but I think they goofed on the printing.


In other news, we have 2 more dye jobs to knock out tomorrow (one of them will be the next color of the month) and the 10K in 10 day challenge will be complete. So it took more than 10 days, but I did have to do 2 re-dye jobs and I took a day off in the middle… however to make up for it I think the total foot count will be more like 10.5K.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dear Ted,

Ah the political shitstorm that is the Ted Haggard scandal. Today is Election Day and I won’t lie to you, I’m laughing myself silly watching the religious right try and wriggle their way out of this mess. Serves ‘em right, but this is not a political blog. The case and its implications have been discussed elsewhere and by far more politically savvy than I.

Nope, what gets me is the irony of it.

See, I have chosen to construct my life and choose who I love in a very non-traditional fashion. I'll be the first to admit that this life is not for everyone, but in the end it is my choice to make. Some would say that it is a deviant, dangerous choice, a thing best left in the closet and never spoken of. Others really would not mind if only I were not to open about it and unabashedly proud of whom I love and how I choose to show that love. That openness, in the form of this blog, has made a few folks very unhappy with me. I dare say that some have gone so far as to attempt register my name and photo with their local school’s board as a possible “threat to the children”. Yes, I your humble narrator, branded as “monster”.

I wish I were making this part up, but alas this actually happend.

And now cast your gaze upon our dear Ted, the leader of a major religious organization. Followed blindly by millions of well meaning souls, I bet nobody thought of him as a "threat" to their children? Quite the contrary I’m betting. How it must burn to have someone so vocal in his bigotry of homosexuality turn out to be hiding his own sexual deviance and drug abuse.

Funny, the morally “right” consider people like me to be the danger, the threat to the polite society, only to discover time and time again that the ones that are “supposed to” be trusted, their leaders, teachers and priests, end up being the real "monsters" they fight so hard to protect thier loved ones from.

My grandmother used to say, “the ones who sing the loudest in the church choir usually have the most to hide”.

Go vote today

Monday, November 06, 2006

John Tesh is the erection killer

Will someone please tell me who sent the memo that reads, “when hosting a bondage event, play only world music” so I can go gouge his eyes out with the shards of a broken Kitaro CD? I go to a lot of rope events around the country and it seems like everyone got the same damn memo. I know, I know rope events tend to have a more “mellow” vibe to them and the music should reflect that. Yes, I know that everyone’s musical taste is different and trying to meet everyone’s musical needs is next to impossible. To this I also I agree.

However, this is my blog, its been raining sideways for three days straight and I have not had enough coffee yet so pardon me while I get on my digital soapbox this morning.

Look, rope bondage has deep roots in Asia but this does not mean that we are required to listen to something you picked up in the world music section of Pier One. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I find the nonstop droning of a bamboo flute (didgeridoo, Mongolian throat singers, or god help us Gregorian chant) is the musical equivalent of a cold shower. Total and utter erection killer, folks. I don’t take off my shoes and kneel contemplatively on a mat when I tie. Rather, I wear freshly polished boots and prowl like a cat around my partner.

The assumption that bondage, in order to be a “true” and “genuine”, must be performed to non-western music is just old and played out. I’ve had some amazing, powerfully connected scenes that were scored to the sounds of Type O Negative, NiN, and Muse.

Update your ipods folks, there is a time and place for the pan flute but would it kill ya to play something made by angry white men using machines once and while?

Update, Nerdy is trying to lure me away from the keyboard with promises of more coffee and the download of the new Who CD from I-tunes…

Thursday, November 02, 2006

For those in the literary know, November is “NaNoWriMo” or National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to see if a person can write a 50,000-word novel in one month’s time. While I know several folks who have taken this challenge over the years, I must confess that I’m not about to try it. Nope, I know myself too well. I enjoy the act of writing; this just sounds like way too much stress to pack into an already busy month.

Now my buddy Gray has taken up this unique form of masochism a few times over the years, but this year his genius wife (who I still owe a round of strong drinks and stronger flirtation) proposed a better idea to him this year. GLROMO, or “Global Rope Month”. The plan, 50,000 ft of rope bondage in one month.

Being the world’s largest bondage rope maker, it seemed natural that I just had to help sponsor the contest.

For all the contest details, check out Gray’s website and podcast.

Being the sponsor means I cannot compete for the prizes, but it does mean that I can help contribute to reach the final goal. Looks like I have an excuse to start tying and shooting again. Not that I really needed one, you see, but it always helps. I’m thinking less studio style work and grittier, low-tech stuff sounds like more fun. I’ve done my fair share of “fine art” style photography and think it should be best left to those with the time, talent and lighting budget.

In other rope related news, the “Can Monk Make 10K of Rope in 10 Days” challenge is cranking along. At of the start of day 4, I have just shy of 4K of dyed stock hanging my dry room and another 2K set to go into the dye kettles today and tomorrow. While there is still much left to do to the stock once it is out of the dye, so far it looks like we are ahead of the game (for once).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

About those pumpkins...
They belong as follows, from left to right
Nerdy, Alex, Tambo and Monk