Monday, March 31, 2008

It has been 4 long, exhausting days but I think we did it.

While I have long since given up hope of ever being fully "caught up", there is that point where the backlog of orders is at a semi sane level, a place where you don't look at the work queue and wince at the sheer volume of work still left to be done. After ditching all my weekend plans and all but locking myself away in the Abbey this weekend, we are *almost* to that point.

So while I am relived that we are out of the woods, as it were, for the moment and proud of the crew for pulling together and getting the job done I'm pretty grumpy about having to cancel on not only seeing my friends at Kinkfest, a pro rigging gig and of course all the tales that come with such hijinx.

Yeah, this "being responsible" thing sorta sucks, but such it the case when you are the guy in charge. At least I did get to cut loose a bit and enjoy some much needed down time with a few of my favorite peoples. On that thought, I best finish this cup of coffee, hit the gym for a bit and then get my ass back to work.

We still have a metric-fuckton o work left to do before calling this day done.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I knew I should not have said anything...

Soon as I post how exited I am about getting to go to a convention for the first time as a tourist, what happens? All hell breaks loose and I find myself having to cancel my weekend plans, disappoint my friends and spending the weekend working.

Sorry friends, no Kinkfest for me this year.

Color me one unhappy Monk.

Monday, March 24, 2008

So kinkfest is next weekend and I’m guessing that most of you long time readers are betting that the lack of updates here are due to me being up to my ass in pre-show preparations. Well you are half right.

While I will be making my annual trek to Portland to commune with my fellow kinksters in the Rose City, I will not be vending. Yep, you heard me we are going to a convention as, wait for it, tourists.

Pretty radical idea I know, I’m still not sure if I have my brain wrapped around it myself.

Normally, as a vendor, you show up before the event opens. Set your booth up and pretty much live in the vendor space till after the event closes. If you are lucky you might get to take in a class or maybe, just maybe make an appearance in the dungeon, but not too late because some Sunday morning you have to be up and vending at the freaking crack of dawn.

This time, for the first time EVER, Tambo and I get to just be tourists. Take classes, hang out with friends, play late, eat whenever we like (as opposed to wolfing down food brought in for you when there is a lull in customers) , and best of all not have that constant, nagging worry of *having* to sell. This is a really radical development for us, one that we are just giddy at the prospect of and I really have all of you to thank for it.

I was quite worried when I made the call to not apply as a vendor, taking on faith that despite all the negative economic news blaring at us everyday that yes, the customers were there and the orders would continue to come in and I would not have to put myself and my crew though the grueling slog that is a pre-show death march. Online sales continue to grow and grow as you all keep telling your friends about us. So thank you.

Right now we are busier than ever as new orders keep pouring in from both returning customers as well as new customers, many of whom found us from a recommendation from a previous customer.

Of course, old habits die hard so don’t be surprised if I stash an extra book or choice piece of steel in my luggage, should anyone find themselves in the need. Otherwise, approach with a bit of caution as I try to get accustomed to this new idea, not working an event.

I may require some hand holding at times.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Another one from the “gee my life is odd some days” file. Recently I was approached by a reader asking if she base a character on me. She is a writer of fan fiction, CSI to be exact. As she rattled off her idea and the characters involved I had to confess that I’d only seen the show maybe once. Aside from catching the occasional Project Runway with Tambo, the TV and I are not much of a couple. However I’m always game to help out someone in a creative endeavor and after outlining my personal limits as to what my “Character” would do (gotta always play safe, sane and consensual even when in a fantasy context) I gave her the go ahead.

Well it was just published.

Upon reading it I found myself laughing my ass off. See what I failed to realize when she pitched the idea to me was that the story was involving two MALE cast members of said show. So while my “character” is not an active participant, I am now a supporting character in gay porn. Yup, mom said that if I kept up this life of deviance that I’d end up doing gay porn eventually.

So now I guess I can add, “Supporting Character in Gay Fan Fiction” to my list of jobs.

My life is very strange, but pretty freaking amazing.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

You call this new media?!

So here I am, swimming though piles of high def footage trying to assemble another video blog. The rule of thumb they taught us at film school was 8 hours of shooting will net you 5 minutes of usable footage after it is all said and done. Thankfully the blog’s shooting ratio is a bit more forgiving, but still it takes me a big hunk of time to assemble something that I think is worth watching. As it sits right now, it takes me about 3 weeks to conceive, write, shoot, edit, and post a video blog. Now if I were not also running a large and successful rope company full time, co-staring in my partner’s podcast and trying to keep a fairly entertaining written blog too they would take less time, but as my grandmother used to say “If frogs had wings they would not drag their asses on lily pads either”… I never really understood what she meant by that, but anyway I digress.

As I import footage and cull out the dull bits on afternoon, my darling Tambo shares with me her latest youtube find. “My brother showed it to me, it is all the rage and getting mad traffic”, She tells me. Now I’m all about stealing, err I mean taking inspiration, from another so I take a view in hopes of gleaning some ideas on how to improve my own product. Here is what I saw; the clip opens with a close-up of a young Asian girl, maybe 17 or 18, very pretty with high cheek bones and unnaturally large, almond eyes. Sitting alone in what must be her bedroom, all we see is her neck and face framed for the camera. She silently stares at you, tilts her head now and again and blinks for about 45 seconds.

And the clip ends.

*blink* *blink*

The truly fucked up part, when we watched it the clip had already been downloaded 2.7 MILLION times. 2.7 Million and the bitch is not even topless? There is something seriously wrong with the universe when I’m practically crapping myself with glee as our “how to” clips break the 100K download mark and stunned that 9 thousand people watched a clip of me rigging, but damn 2.7 million for somebody staring mutely at the screen like some kind of defective android? Wow. The part that really chaps my hide, the bit that makes me weep for the future of humanity? She has dozens of clips like this. Each one, just her face staring vacuously into the unblinking eye of the camera and millions flock to her so they can watch her in rapt attention as she does something dramatic like, wait for it, drink from a soda can. I kid you not; I think I felt part of my brain commit seppaku after watching that particular bit of cinematic wonder.

Ya know, maybe I’m just putting the bar too high for myself. All this writing and editing and attempting to be entertaining. Perhaps for the next video blog I’ll just shave my pubes, take a sharpie marker and draw a set of big floppy ears and the glue some googly eyes on my crotch and film “The Mr. Elephant Show” and wave my flaccid cock at the screen for a good 40 seconds.

Nah, I think that one has been done already.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Unbelievably swamped today, check back tomorrow and I'll try for something witty. Right now I've got the pedal to the metal and got a lot of miles to cover before I can call it a day.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My Tambo, super nerd.

Some dear friends of our hosted a very special movie night. Seems some of our close friends had yet to see the epic zombie-romantic-comedy that is "Shaun of the Dead" In honor of this event, Tambo just had to make cookies. Specifically, gingerbread zombies. Complete with exposed brains and cricket bats.

Ain't she just grand?

Speaking of nerding out, tonight after I finish all my chores at the Abbey, we are going to take in that new sc-fi flick, "Doomsday". Now this looks like some fun, written and directed by the guy who did the brilliant, "Dog Solders" (like seriously, this is one of the best werewolf films ever made) and staring Malcom Macdowell (who is quite possibly the greatest cinematic whore since Tim Curry. I swear this guy would star in a tampon commercial if you paid him enough). How can you go wrong? Oh and there are hot chicks fighting with swords too. We are talking a cinematic masterpiece in the making here folks.

Best part? Tambo and I will be whooping and laughing our asses off though it and will only be disappointed if there are any attempts at social relevance or "messages" in the film. Commence with the big ass fireballs and half naked post apocalyptic warrior maidens!

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Thursday, March 13, 2008

It just may be a lunatic you are looking for

It takes a unique kind of crazy to want to work for me, a delicate mix of artisan and outlaw, if you will. My crew at the Abbey are each a bit crazy in their own fantastic way. Case in point, yesterday afternoon as we made our way through the massive pile of hemp that needed to become orders that day, Coffee Bitch (our resident barista) made with our afternoon caffeine fix.

Normally I, being the boss and all that, get the first cup poured. However this was not the case. No, first cup went to my shop manager, Lam the Wonder Dyke.
I jokingly shoot Lam one of my trademark scowls and she responds with a laugh, “Oh CB is just kissing my ass cuz she does not want to whip the rest of that natural today”
“But first cup? Damn, that’s like using her tongue.” I fire back
At this point my other crew member, the one we have all dubbed “The Prettiest Ghetto Pony” (or PGP for short), pipes up from where he was working quietly on sample kits and out of the blue delivers, in the most innocent of voices:

“You mean she was tongue punching you in the brown star?”

Lam and I stop dead in our tracks, turn to look at each other to just make sure we both just heard what we thought we heard.
Monk, “That was the most ..”
Lam “… fucked up…”
Monk “…wrong and yet so ..”
In unison, “BRILLIANT!”

PGP just smiles, shrugs his shoulders and goes back to work while the rest of us stare, jaws agape.

Yep, these would be my peoples.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

"So now I'm pray'n for the a time..."

This would be me, doing my best Meatloaf impersonation at the now infamous "Karaoke Birthday Party" last weekend. Picture if you will, a 20x20 private room, sparsely decorated with dull off white walls and a couple of futons. Now cram in 20+ of some of Seattle's finest kinksters and add champagne... lots of champagne.

Dangerous things happen, like this.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Join me in sending an e-mail to youtube

I just found out this morning that rope artists and educators, The 2 Knotty Boys, were pulled from for violating the terms of service.

This, dear readers, simply blows.

If you are like me, you have enjoyed their content, learned a ton of new ties and got exited about rope. Compared to so much of the crap that gets posted to that site, their stuff was a much welcomed change. Their approach to rope is fun, playful and incorporates some really astoundingly pretty knot work. As one who also uses the site for hosting bondage related content, I must confess that this worries me. I practice a very heavy hand when editing and considering content to post to our channel. From what I have seen from JD and Dan (the Knotty Boys) they also tried to err on the more conservative side as well.

While we continue to use this free service to promote our video content, we are at the mercy of youtube and their terms of service. As the old adage goes, “Their site, their rules”. This does not mean we cannot also exercise our right to free speech and express our displeasure at their decision to suspend The 2 Knotty Boys. If you also enjoyed their videos as well, please join me in sending an e-mail expressing your displeasure to the fine folks at Youtube and encouraging them to reconsider their decision to suspend said content.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Just taking a break in between dye jobs on a Saturday afternoon at the Abbey and thought I should snap a shot of my sidecar rig, Boris. Pictured here with his older, feistier, sibling my BMW, Natasha. She is way over due to get started and have the carbon blown out of her carbs so here they both are in the loading docks.

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Thursday, March 06, 2008

Somebody pour me a large glass of whiskey...

Its like what, the 6th of the month? Orders are through the roof! If this keeps up we will have our best month ever. As it stands right now, the order queue has hit an all time, record high and we simply can not make rope fast enough to meet the demand. Wow. Talk about great problems to have. It would seem that my "Be more selective about what shows you vend at, do fewer death marches, and make the best rope in the world" strategy is working.

On second thought, make mine a double and anybody got a clove cigarette I can bum?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Hello. I'm involved in a very long distance relationship. Both my partner and I have an interest in bondage, however our distance obviously makes it impossible to do. I've never done bondage of any kind before, and I wonder if you could give me some advice on self-bondage? My main interest is breast bondage. I don't want to do any of the risky self-bondage stuff. I've visited your site (which is great), but I noticed you don't have anything for those going solo, or at least I didn't see anything addressing this. I've tried google searches, but I came across hogties and more risky stuff... no breast bondage. So, do you think you can help me out or point me in the direction of someone who can? I'd very much appreciate it.

Thank you.


Ok, so this is where I put on my hall monitor vest and say, there is no such thing as “safe self bondage”. All rope play is edge play, it only takes a slip or a twist of the rope to turn a simple scene into something potentially hazardous. While most folks will never experience a bondage mishap, those of you who have know it when I tell you that it only takes a second for something to go wrong and it can happen in even the most “safe” of ties. Now add the fact that you are doing this alone and there is nobody armed with a trusty set of shears to cut you out if things go bad and I’m going to say, that this is probably a really bad idea.

Now this is not to say that folks don’t do this. I know that Lee Harrington teaches an excellent class on self bondage with an emphasis on safety.

Sorry to be a wet blanket, but perhaps there might be some other options to consider, My first idea would be to seek out a spotter or bondage buddy. This does not have to be a “relationship” but rather someone you trust who can be on hand, even if in the next room in case something goes awry and you need help. I do not know what resources and clubs you have in your area but doing this at a club or event where if something did go wrong you were not alone is also a possibility. I can’t think of a guy who, if asked, would not be delighted to keep a watchful eye while you had your fun. Yes, your partner is a long distance away and may not like the idea of his sweetie being watch like that, but I think compared to the possible risks and you getting injured, it would seem like a wise compromise.

I know there will probably be several readers here who disagree with me on this, but as an experienced bondage top I would advise against it.


Monday, March 03, 2008

Pounding some coffee before launching into the last day of filming (and the last day of my insanely busy weekend). Today I am shooting with the legend herself, Midori. I am profoundly honored too, her book "The Seductive Art of Japanese Rope Bondage" was the first place I ever saw rope bondage and provided my first recipe for finishing hemp rope. You could argue that all of this *makes grand waving gesture* is a direct result of that book.

Matisse has a pretty good wrap up of some of the madness (and photos) here.

Update 3:02PM PST: And that's a wrap! The 4 day media marathon is done! 6 new amazing how to videos in the can, but damn is I am not one tired boy. Oh well, it was worth it if for no other reason than to get footage of Midori tying me up and riding me like a hobby horse. Oh yeah, you are gonna love this. Now off to the editing decks...


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Note to self, don't schedule an all day video shoot for the day AFTER you do do a very physical photo shoot AND go to an event like the SEAF gala till the wee hours. I know, I know I tell myself this but you know I would still have done it. Way too much fun not to, besides my video editor and FX guy can probably CGI out my bloodshot eyes and puffy eye bags anyway.

But seriously, this is day 3 of Monk's long weekend of media. A full day of video shooting, some new how to content that I'm sure you are gonna love, and then another one tomorrow with one of my favorite bondage teachers, ever. Much like doing long shows, this sort of thing requires one to carefully monitor their energy and not push too hard too fast, for fear that you will crash too soon. I'm doing a good job of that, sorta. I got a bit carried away when shooting with Michele and spent the better part of 3 hours tossing, tying and generally manhandling Alex into new and pretty shapes. I love working with Michele, she so brings out the connection that Alex and I have when we play. One can't help but pull out the stops.

OK the watch on my wrist tells me that I have just enough time to hop in the shower and catch some breakfast before load in and lighting.


Oh and to all those who came out the SEAF gala last night, wow you all looked fantastic. I always get ADD at events like this, so many pretty people to see and hug and grope... so little time! Gawd I love this town.

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