Friday, August 31, 2007

Monk's Labor Day, Ouch I broke my f'ing collarbone sale.
Big Sale, Free Shipping, Go Look Now

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

This time I can't blame the pain meds...

I was just saying to someone yesterday how I thought that the bears were under represented in the gay disco market. To those of you who are thinking about going to Foslom in September, best get used to hearing this. It will be blaring out of EVERY cafe, disco, and boom box durring your visit.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Demands of Working for The Monk

I’ve gone on before about the strange and wonderful thing it is to have employees now. Most days I love having help in the shop and each one has transformed the company in their own unique ways. They can be a stressful nightmare some days. The worry about making sure there are enough sales to cover their payroll, the drive to provide a better, safer workplace can make me long for the simpler days when it was just me in my garage. Thankfully those days are rare.

Then there are days like today. I really like Tuesdays at the Abbey, we have our full crew in the shop today. When I came back from a particularly delightful lunch meeting, Nerdy (my long suffering and invaluable assistant) announces. “We need cupcakes and we need them now.” And proceeds to hand me a list.

“The Abbey worker’s union list of cupcake demands
Nerdy: Vanilla w/ Lemon Frosting
Ghetto Pony: Chocolate with Pepermint Frosting
P3: Chocolate with Orange Frosting
The Llaminatrix: Vanilla with Vanilla Frosting (how is that for kinky?)”

And what did I do? Me the triple booked boss? The guy with too many things to do today and not nearly enough time to get it all done? Yeah, you guessed it. I shrugged, turned heal and headed of to the nearest Cupcake Royal. Hey, what can I say? It is way cheaper than giving them a matching 401K!

Speaking of minion, one of my crew is finishing his demo reel and is looking for bands that want to get some professional studio recording done for free. In his own words, “I already have plenty of hard rock and metal for the reel, but need acoustic or more classical stuff to round out the mix. All the work will be done in a fully decked out, professional studio.” So if you are in Seattle and want to lay down some tracks, drop me a line and I’ll forward your info on.

It just occured to me that we have some new faces here at the Abbey you have yet to meet. Perhaps this is a good topic for another podcast? Hmm...

Labels: ,

Monday, August 27, 2007

Lame, Party of two…

So Alex and I were out about today in Seattle’s University District. Like most major colleges located within a large city, the area is a sort of mish-mash of stereotypes. Urban hippes, rub elbows young hipsters toting the latest tech to spring forth from Steve Job’s brain, aging folksters in their cardigans and Birkenstocks mix with the fresh faced young types sporting the latest goods from the Gap and all the while the occasional just strange looking type is sitting on the boulevards asking you for spare change. Our destination was a movie, Superbad to be exact, and afterwards we were in search of food. Now this neck of Seattle is jammed full of interesting places that cater to filling starving college kids’ bellies with food from all over the world. Our destination, a vegetarian restaurant that has sat at the same corner since, well since I was a fresh-faced sophomore many, many years ago.

Entering the near empty establishment, we wait patiently next to the “please wait to be seated” sign. The all of six people in the place lazily glance up and made sure not to see us, especially the two folks working behind the counter. They did that oh so special, “I saw you but I’m going to do my best to pretend that I didn’t” thing. Politely we stood and waited, one should not be a jerk in these situations (that is if one wants to get spit free food delivered to their table), and did our best to give the proprietors the benefit of the doubt. Who knew, maybe this particularly dead Sunday afternoon was some kind of holiday for arrogant, self-righteous vegetarians? After a good five plus minutes of being actively ignored to the point of a server looking straight at us and then turning 180 degrees and walking away. Ok enough is enough, I can get a clue. Sure, we could have made a scene inside the restaurant, but between our hunger, my busted collarbone and a general sense that these jackasses just were not worth our time, we opted to vote with our feet and exit the establishment. Disgusted, we took to the sidewalk expressing our indignation in (perhaps a wee bit too) loud tones. Then it hit me; Alex and I were both decked out in leather boots and our leather motorcycle jackets! I think combined we were wearing more dead animal flesh than all the upholstery, shoes and belts in the joint combined.

Odd, while there was a “no shirts, no shoes, no service” sign, the “We reserve the right to be assholes to you if we don’t like your choice in clothing” sign was strangely missing.

Have no fear; in the end we did locate good and proper non-meat based sustenance. A quick jaunt to the international district and Alex and I are now walking down crowded streets where we are the only white people for blocks. A dozen dialects float past us as we make our way to one of our favorite vegetarian dim-sum houses. Rather than turn their noses up at the dead animal flesh we wore, they cheerfully offered to hang them up before seating us at our table where we happily feasted and laughed with the proprietors as they tried to offer us yet more savory delights.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 24, 2007

From the inbox...
"Hi Monk,

I've often said that with enough rope, you have all the sex toys you need. Mentioning this to a friend led to one of those "Put your money where your mouth is" scenarios, which I'm proud to say I have won outright.

Yes, that's a piece of your 15" 4mm hemp rope. Yes, it's been macramed into a dildo. Get it wet to stiffen it and put a condom over it, and you're ready to go.

I swear, your rope can do anything except pass a bar exam.


Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Blessed Reunion

Got the bike back today, after the accident a friend who runs a bike salvage company rescued my fallen baby while I was being tended to in the ER. How is my vintage BMW? A lost cause you ask? So far gone that I’ll sell it for a song? I’m almost embarrassed to admit this but it is untouched. If I were not sporting a clavicle brace right now, you would not believe that this was the same bike upon which I went tumbling headlong over the handlebars a little over a week ago.

Like a not even a scratch.

Oh and to those who have asked me if I am going to give up the bike now that it has cost me a broken bone? To that I say, hell and no. This is not the first time I have dropped a motorcycle. While in the 14+ years that I have ridden them, this is the worst motorcycle related mishap I have had the displeasure of enduring, this one is not my first and probably not my last. Motorcycles are dangerous, every time you throw your leg over one you are consenting to possibility of injury or worse.

Truth be told, I can’t wait to get back on it and take what happened and learn from it. The goal is to continually improve upon your skills and work to reduce the potential risks. To do otherwise, to flee from it and deem it to be “too dangerous” would be, in my opinion, responding out of fear and fear, as all good nerds know, is the mind killer.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Yesterday I ate lunch with a pair of chopsticks and nearly wept with joy.

No, my spicy chicken bowl was not that good, rather I was overjoyed at the act of getting to use my right hand once again. For the past 8 days, since taking a tumble off my motorcycle, they have had my arm in a sling. My trusty right appendage, bound tight to my body. Hand resting uselessly along my left side.

Today my new specialist, thanks again to Mistress Matisse for working her vast network of spies and informants to score me a referral to one of the best shoulder guys in the country, upgraded my meager sling and replaced it with a new, high tech “figure 8” brace. While not quite a miracle cure, it gave me the use of my arm back.

You have no idea how good that moment felt.

Before I was dreading having to spend another 5 plus weeks one handed. Forced to not do even simple things like type with out pain and frustration, cut off from using the tools of my trade. My hands, the things that make me money, that allow me to share my stories, and that let me caress my lover’s form. This, this was a depressing outlook for me. I described it like cutting a Jedi off from the Force (we are talking old school “force” here, not this new microscopic organism BS). I’ve said it before, I experience my world through touch, to deny this was almost more painful than the shattered bits of collar bone grating away in my shoulder like so much ground glass.

While movement is still limited - it will be a few more weeks before I can move my elbow much more than a few inches away from my side, I can however move my forearm and hand. The new brace reduces the pain a great deal, but there are still moments when I have to grit my teeth and breathe through the sudden jolt of pain. These too will pass with time. I have a bruise that runs from the top of my shoulder down my right side that is a lovely shade of yellow and the bone is still very broken. If I am lucky I may be able to get in 4 hours at the Abbey before running out of steam. Again, this too will improve with time.

However as with all things, recovery is a process that takes time and the small victories must be celebrated.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Summer Flea?
Who went? How was it?

Friday, August 17, 2007

Greetings, gentle kinksters. It is I, Alex, Monk's Friday-afternoon service dog. (You can't see it, but I'm wearing a little yellow jacket that says 'Please Don't Pet Me, I'm Working.')

This one goes out to all you folks who'll be attending the Boston Fetish Flea this weekend, starry-eyed, heavy-pocketbooked, and looking for a way to make the Twisted Monk crew smile through the haze of their collective post-accident raincloud.

The fantabulous Scott of Big Head Studios has graciously offered to take over the task of selling some of our swag at the Flea. Of course, we've taken him up on his offer; and thus, the Big Head booth will be retailing a selection of our books this weekend. We're asking you all to please stop by, say hi to Scott, thank him for helping us our, and, of course, buy our, and his, swag. Why? Because it's awesome. Books about bondage! BOOKS! About BONDAGE! Tie people up! Hit them! Untie them, and hit them some more! It's ALL HERE!

Thanks for all your words of wisdom, threats of further bodily harm in the event of unwise recuperative behavior ("If you do anything dumb, I'll break yer OTHER collarbone!"), offers of baked goods, wit, humor, and general restorative tomfoolery.


Maybe its the pain meds but.....

Damn this is catchy! I think I'll sing it while having unprotected butt sex with a gorilla in a public bathroom! (yes, the meds are opium based)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Word is in

“At this time, cross-country air travel is out of the question. To do so could extend your recovery time and possibly make matters worse, up to and including the need for surgical correction of any further damage from travel or show related stress.”

Yes, I’m frustrated and unhappy.

Getting hurt is every self-employed person’s worst nightmare, even more so when you rely on your body to make your living. I suppose I could ignore the doc and take the gamble, but I have more than just myself to worry about these days. Better I take the short term financial hit this weekend and miss a show than endanger my long term health or the futures of those who are counting on me for their daily bread.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Off to consult with a shoulder specalist to get the offical word on travel.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Question On Everyone’s Mind

First off, thanks to everyone who sent along well wishes yesterday. Yes this is Monk typing one handed. (I had a LOT of practice doing this back in the chat rooms in the late 90s) I’m sure Alex will be making some form of return visit to this blog, if in the form of surrogate hands at the least.

Now the big question on everyone’s mind, well at least on mine for sure, is am I still going to Boston? My flight out leaves Thursday night and as of now I’m torn. Insert your own tendon joke here. I’m already committed, the tickets bought, the stock shipped, etc. If I back out now, I’m out several grand, but that worries me less than the feeling that I will be letting folks down. The Abbey crew has been working double time to get ready for this show, I’ve been contacted by a number of customers who are eagerly looking forward to the event and I hate the idea of letting them down.

Between my traveling companion, Alex, and all the offers of help I’m fairly sure I could do the show and never have to use my damaged arm. The question is, can I travel cross country with it? Even if I never have to lift it, will my shoulder stand up to the trip? Will this further damage my shoulder and extend my recovery out past the already excruciating six weeks? If I miss the show, cab I recover any the money invested? Will my customers forgive my sudden absence? The Abbey crew is counting on me to bring home a serious wad of cash from this show…I’m not about to let them down.

I figure I have about 24 hours to make a final decision.


Monday, August 13, 2007

First thing’s first (hence why they call it the ‘first thing’) – this isn’t Monk. The Twisted Monk blog has become the unofficial fifteen-minute domain of me, Alex, the fourteenth- or fifteenth-coolest person in the greater Seattle area.

Why, you may be asking yourselves as you sip your lattes and muse upon life, is Alex invading Monk’s personal private blather-space? Because, ladies, gentlemen, and everything in between, I am possessed of two fully functional typing hands and a head clear of powerful painkillers – commodities that my dear Daddy is not possessed of at this particular moment.

I hope you’re in a comfortable, seated position, cause now I’m gonna tell you how it all went down.

Monk. Then Alex. Then the BMW. That is, quite literally, how it all went down.

Before you all start panicking and bolting like so many wide-eyed gazelles, let me assure you that we’re both still very much alive. (Oh, don’t look so disappointed.) The crash – it barely warrants the term, but it sounds so dramatic that I can’t resist – happened yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, and was the result of a very low-speed pop of front tire against protesting railroad track. Monk went over the front, I went off the side, and we hit the street like a couple of heavily-armored sacks of rock salt.

Note: heavily-armored. We were both donning full protective gear – leathers, boots, and full-face helmets. Had either of us not been, we might be sporting anything from facial road rash to skull fractures to broken backs. I for one skidded a good two feet on the side of my head; that’s enough to mess with anyone’s moneymaker. Message to the masses #1: wear your fucking gear when you ride.

Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes, we came off the bike. We both bounced up pretty quickly, exchanged “Are you OK”s, and Monk went to gather up the toppled bike. It was right around the time when he tried to lift the thing that we realized something was amiss in the vicinity of his right shoulder – a very important something that made him curse like a sailor when it was touched, and crackled like Pop-Rocks under my fingers.

I think at that point we both said, “Oh, shit.”

We paid Tambo the phone call that every motorcyclist’s spouse dreads, and she came running to gather us up and take us to the nearest ER. It took about an hour for the doctors to get their rears in gear, take Monk back, dope him, X-ray him, and declare that sure ‘nuff, sir, you’ve got yourself a broken collarbone.

I think at that point, all three of us said, “Oh, shit.”

(By the way, if you’re wondering after my so-called welfare, which I am one-hundred-percent certain you’re not, I came out of the crash with no worse than a couple of bruises. The clear explanation for my lack of injury is that I am, in fact, a ninja. Or Bruce Willis in ‘Unbreakable.’)

Monk got his arm stuffed in a sling, got a few more well-warranted painkillers slipped into his bloodstream, and we all three got sent on our way with the healing instructions from hell: don’t use your right arm for six weeks.

Telling an ordinary paper-pusher not to use his right arm for six weeks is liable to get you a hissy fit. Telling Twisted Monk not to use his right arm for six weeks is like instructing Seattle clouds not to dump rain on us for six weeks, or informing the aforementioned paper-pusher that he’s not allowed to drink coffee for the rest of his life – in other words, are you for fucking real?

We keep saying “It could be worse,” because it really could be. I don’t even want to know the statistics for crippling or fatal motorcycle accidents, because knowing them will scare the bejeezus out of me. Monk may be sedated and bandaged, sleeping on the futon in an uncomfortable propped-up position, but he’s alive, and he can walk, talk, and he still flips me the bird when I get on his nerves. Six weeks without the use of an arm is a long time – but it could well have been the rest of his life if the cards had fallen differently.

A lot of things are still up in the air for us at the moment, but we’re doing our best to bring them down to earth as quickly and efficiently as we can. I can speak for the integrity and commitment of Monk’s support network, and not just because I happen to be a part of it – because I’ve seen it in action before, and it absolutely astounds me to watch everyone spring to his aid when he needs you most. I say ‘you’ because I know who’s reading this – friends, family, customers, and, in short, people who matter in Monk’s world. Telling you about this isn’t meant to scare you or set you off – you’re told because you deserve to know, and because you can handle it. Getting through this will be tough, but we’re fucking tough, so I know we can do it.

Monk’s got some mighty big boots, and I know we can’t expect to fill them completely – but we can keep them polished nice and shiny for six weeks, so that they’re ready to wear as soon as he’s ready to step back into them.

Labels: ,

Friday, August 10, 2007

And so this is me, turning 37 today.

No great revelations or declarations, just a sort of calm and happy Monk today. I think this next year will be very interesting, lord knows the last one has been quite a ride.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Very smart readers who want to get thier hands on this month's color of the month before it sells out would be wise to start checking the website later tonight... just say'n ;)

Tambo and Monk’s first dinner date

I’m cooking a surprise dinner for Tambo right now and while the salmon grills I’m reminded of a really awful story. Well not awful, more embarrassing really. So way back in the very, very early days of Tambo and my dating adventure, we are talking just say of the Mesozoic era here kids, I invited her over for “3 course meal prepared by me”. Now mind you, Tambo and I stared dating when I was fourteen and I really did not know my way around the kitchen all that well. Sure, I could make one hell of a pancake but I had yet to realize the full potential of pancakes… but I digress.

So on the appointed night, I set the dining room table with my mom’s best china. She arrived right on time and I ushered her into the candle lit dining room. Blindfolded, she sat waiting for the surprise meal that I had prepared in her honor. The surprise being that the meal was in fact a pair of hungry man TV dinners. Did I mention that my sense of humor back in those days was a bit, shall we say unrefined? Yes, it did occur to me, just as I was about to remove her blindfold and reveal the steaming aluminum tray of pre-made Salisbury steak that perhaps she might not think this as funny as I.

On the contrary, she let out one of her trademark squeals of laughter and announced, “Dude! I have not had one of these in years! My mom used to make them for me all the time!”

Disaster averted and proof once again that my wife is, in fact, the coolest girl in the world.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Just a quick note while I get the Boston pre-shipment out the door. This month's color of the month? One word, intense. Like iridescent. I'm very curious to see how you all respond to it.

I got a dye kettle that is ready to be pulled, back to it.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Swiped from the BBC News

"A huge Lego toy has mysteriously appeared on Zandvoort beach in Holland. Nobody knows where it comes from."

The week of birthday shenanigans seems to have offically started.

Tambo, Matisse, Nerdy, Alex and the rest of them are not giving up much, but there are plans in the works. What exaclty I am not sure. Everytime I ask they sort of giggle and change the subject.

I was feeling a bit aprehaensive about the upcoming day. Last week I was all introspective and a bit on the brooding side as I contemplated the whole," what does it all mean?" question. Then I got over myself, hopped on my motorcycle and took it for spin along the beach.

Nothing drowns out a boring internal monolouge like the roar of an old boxer twin engine.

Monday, August 06, 2007

5 Questions as asked by the very cool (and way sexy) Hannah.

1. You seem a happy fellow...are you?
I would be a liar if I said that I was always happy, that everything was always sunshine and bunnies for me and that I was knee deep in cash and bondage babes 24/7. The truth of the matter is that this life can be so very overwhelming some days. Sure, when I started the company I said that I wanted to change the world, little did I understand just how much work that would be and what the demands were once you actually started doing just that. There are moments when it all feels so cripplingly overwhelming. Orders to fill, bills to pay, who’s ass do I kiss this week vs. who’s ass do I kick? The politics, what charities do I throw the company’s might behind, what events do we invest in vs. what events should I keep far, far away from? The whole time knowing that this no longer just impacts me, but rather a handful of loyal souls who now trust me to guide their company as well.

All this can make one pine for the simpler days when it was just my I-pod, my boundless enthusiasm and me. That said, I’m deliriously happy.
2. If the answer to that is NO, what would make you happy? If the answer is YES, what brings you joy?
This may sound corny, but you make me happy. You being all those people touched by this little revolution started in my garage. See, I remember introducing you to your sweeties at a rope event two years ago. You all took a gamble and trusted me when I said it would be a good time and that you should attend. There at said event, lives became interconnected. While the rest of the relationship is all in your hands, knowing that me, my rope and this little blog helped connect such wonderful people, well that makes these tired rope maker’s hands a little less sore.

I’ve been so blessed to hear stories like yours. New loves, relationships re-kindled or risks taken all because they saw one of my videos and got inspired, or came out to a convention for the first time just to say hello or thought, “hey if this guy can follow his dreams, why the hell can’t we?”

You inspire me, you drive me, and you make me so very happy that I can’t think of doing anything else in this world more fulfilling.

3. You're a very busy man, and I imagine you have to make hard choices on where to spend your time. If you had 10 extra hours in a week, to do whatever you wish, what would it be?
Alas, the great question. Now if I were a smart man I would say the safe thing and announce that I would dedicate the extra time to my loving (and long suffering) partners. Or perhaps I would say the predictable thing and say that I would spend it at work, getting caught up. However I think I finally understand that I’ll never be caught up, there will always be a death march in my future. The trick is to keep it from overtaking you.

No, I think that if I had more time I would devote it to the two things that have, sadly, fallen by the wayside as of late. The first being more time with my friends. I have so many great people that I love whom I just never get to see. Just recently I saw Galahad and it was almost painful, the simple joy of making each other laugh, I hardly ever see the guy anymore. This, this sucks.

The other would be to be creative. I miss the act of creativity just for the sake of it. Devoting time to this blog for the sheer joy of telling a good story. This, this I miss a great deal.
And then maybe an extra hour at the gym…

4. What would you never, ever, do in a scene? (either as a top or bottom)
Well, there are the obvious ones. Anything involving non-consent, minors, the dead… you know the drill. However the one thing that just seems to leave me cold is racial play. Disclaimer time, if this is your kink and it works for you, you go right on and keep playing in a safe, sane and consensual manner.

Me? No thank you, I’ll pass. Just not my kink.

5. What would you really like to do in a scene, but for whatever reason haven't been able to yet?
Wow, this is a hard one. I’m very lucky to have lovers and play partners who trust me so much that if I can dream it up, one of them will be game to give it a go. For me it is less about the particular activity and more about where do I want to take someone? (or where do I want to be taken). I like to look at my partner and ask, what kind experience would push a particular fear or fulfill a fantasy.

Now if you must have something that I have yet to do but really want to I would have to go with flesh hooking. It scares and intrigues me. I’m not sure just how or in what context I will do it (or have it done to me) but it will happen eventually.

So the rules of the game are that if you want to be interviewed, ask to be in the comments and I’ll ask you 5 questions in your comments. Based on how behind I am, I’ll probably pick one commenter and interview them.

Friday, August 03, 2007

What, it is Friday already?!

Where the hell did this week go? Too many late nights and too many deadlines this week makes for one tired and uncreative Monk. Yes, Hannah I will answer your interview questions soon.

Couple of items, August's color of the month will be released on the 10th. (Yes, my birthday)

I may need a helper body at the Summer Flea on the 18th. This will be an all day gig, interested parties should email me for more info.

Oh and go see the movie Sunshine. Freaking amazing film. As we always do, Tambo and I were lost in discussion about the movie. While we both loved it we could not agree on "what makes a good sci-fi film?" Since the director, Danny Boyle, also made the amazing 28 Days Later I argued as such. If a really good zombie film is not about the monsters outside, but rather what the monsters the survivors eventually become. Then a science fiction film is less about the thing the humans are exploring, but rather how frail and alone humanity really is when facing the vast, harsh and unforgiving nothing that is space.

One more thing. Last night while enjoying some late night pizza with Matisse at one of our favorite haunts, we heard the most amazing song that we must have. A German death metal cover of the Macarena. Too sureal for words... must have!

Labels: , ,