Friday, May 30, 2008

Why it is so much fun to be me, reason # 812

It is Friday morning, I'm sitting naked reading e-mails and sipping coffee. On the table next to me is a fucking machine. A fucking machine that yesterday was located in my dominatrix girlfriend's dungeon but after a quick text message exchange that went something like this:
"Can I borrow the fuck-zal? Got a special request for one this weekend"
"Sure, I'll bring it tonight. U need attachments? I've got small, medium and a BATTERING RAM"
"Um, C. All of the above?"

Oh and I'm eating cold pizza for breakfast, too.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

While yes, this blog is mostly about me and the world I live in, you gotta give it up for my crew. The gang at the Abbey are just about the best bunch of employees a boss could hope for. I have a "we are all in this together" policy when it comes to my crew, so we are always working, together, to improve not only the product but also how we operate on a daily basis. On top of being very hard working and extremely creative in coming up with ways to make not only the product better, but also our daily life. They are also fantastically strange.

Maybe it was the coffee, or maybe it was our taste in music today,or maybe it is cuz they all just rock.

My crew, the Spork Avengers.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dude, where ya been?!

Pretty quiet as of late, not for lack of things to talk about, but rather lack of time! What few extra cycles of creativity I have I've been devoting to helping Tambo out with a much needed (and very cool) upgrade to the company website. Other than that it is all about busting ass and filling orders. Seems like everyone took their government checks and are looking to "stimulate" more than just the economy, if ya get my drift.

In the meantime, a couple of quick answers to some questions you have asked in the comments section as of late:

I just got off the phone with our suppliers, 8MM rope stock will be on our shores soon. We are targeting July 1 as when we will begin shipping stock out again.

The blade I carry is a Kershaw. Nothing too fancy as this is a working blade.

We do actually make HUGE batches of our color of the month. Enormous ones in fact. They are just that popular. Sorry.


Friday, May 23, 2008

The things I do for my customers.

The amazing and talented Midori joins me to teach a quick and easy rope harness, perfect for the "I'm too lazy to tie" folks.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Thursday Mornings

Normally, on the Thursday before the long Memorial Day weekend, I’d be waking up in some non descript Chicago hotel, having flown in the night before. After much stumbling about the room and bad coffee the day, the first of 5 bone crushingly long days would begin. Today we would setup the booth, of course this meant traveling all over the Chicago metropolitan area to locate the various items needed, retrieving the hundreds of pounds of stock pre-shipped, and working frantically to fix whatever might have been damaged, lost or forgotten along the way. Eventually the day will end, collapsing in an exhausted pile on the bed, the booth will be ready for the onslaught of customers to come, the only thing left to do is try and get some sleep before they arrive.

That, that I really do not miss.

Nope, this morning as I finish my coffee and listen to the minion joke back and forth as they go about the Abbey prepping rope and pile of orders I’ve set out for the day, I find myself missing the volunteer staff. The crews of folks whose job, quite frankly, is harder than mine. The nice folks who, upon seeing me lugging a crate into the show space, would drop what they are doing, hop on a radio and announce “Monk is here, can we get him some help loading in?” Next thing I know there are a half dozen smiling faces asking, “What can I do to help?” The security guys who kept a 4 day vigil making sure nobody bothered the show attendees and were always ready to provide an escort if needed should someone need to hike out to their car in the middle of the night.

These folks, the ones giving of their time and talent, they are the ones I’m missing today.

So to those of you who have yet to depart for the event and are reading this, do me a favor. First off, travel safe today. Second, when you get to the event make a point to say thank you to one of the volunteer staff and let them know that Monk sends his love.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Don't take my word for it...

Those nice perverts at Spankingblog and SpankingBethie just posted a review of their fun with my rope and the infamous Ass Hook... (insert ominous music here)

Monday, May 19, 2008

I told you I would get you a new Color of the Month by Monday!

Green is a tricky color to hit, due to the naturally occurring golden yellow tones in the raw hemp. Finding that "perfect" shade of hunter green is a process that I am still perfecting. In the meantime our experiments with various dye combinations resulted in a green shade that reminded me of Absinthe, that oddly unreal shade of bright, emerald green. I liked the shade so much that I devoted this month's color of the month to it. May's color of the month: The Green Faerie.

This is a limited, one time color run. As usual, I am giving you the loyal blog reader first crack at this one. Once the color has been sold out, it is sold out for good!

UPDATE: As of 9PM Wednesday 5/21, the color is sold out.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Yeah I suppose I *should* have worked today....
lord knows I have plenty of orders that need filling, but after having brunch with some fascinating customers I just had to say, "nope, enough work for one week" and spend the rest of the afternoon lounging in the sun, sipping some AMAZING 18 year old whiskey (thank you again P.P), listening to Gogol Bordello and rereading one of my film school text books for an upcoming documentary project.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Go Speed Racer, Go!
I now know what it would be like if I were to freebase meth and skittles. Oh the pretty colors! I think I need to go watch some old Fritz Lang films to reset the color balance in my brain.

I have to keep reminding Tambo that her VW beattle does not come with jump jets or wheel mounted saws....


Friday, May 16, 2008

Random Friday Morning Notes While I Drink Coffee and Listen to the Trains Rumble By...

  • The new color of the month is almost dry, watch for it on Monday. What is it? Here is a hint, think.... Absinthe.
  • It is FINALLY warm enough to start taking passengers on Boris with out me worrying that they will get frostbite sitting in the sidecar.
  • Speaking of warm enough, one of the Minion have convinced me to build a planter box under the massive windows that run the length of the Abbey. I've always loved having green, living things in the shop. Offsets the gray industrial feel of the place, now can we grow tomatoes here? Stay tuned to find out.
  • While I was not raised catholic and have spent less than 10 minutes total in a catholic church, nun themed erotica is oddly appealing as of late. Hmm....
  • Pondering doing an "ask Monk" video blog and would love to have folks submit video questions, ala the presidential debates. Still not sure the mechanics on how to pull that off, but start warming up your cameras.
OK, the Minion are starting to wander in, time to get the rope making machine re-started and fill these orders.... right after we have some coffee.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

My dad used to have this saying, “I used to complain about having no shoes till I met the man with no feet”

It is a pretty common site around the Abbey, small clusters of caravans parked in the shelter of the elevated highway that surrounds our building. Refugees from “Bush’s America”, men too beaten down with world worn lines on their faces, and the occasional family. About every 6 months it usually starts with a single trailer, then over time a few more will arrive. Aside from the occasional stranger in the hallways we seem to get along pretty well, a “We are all trying to survive so you don’t mess with us and we won’t mess with you” sort of policy I guess. Inevitably the small cluster will grow into quite an assortment of vehicles, tents and in the most recent cycle an open air workshop where folks were recycling crap steel all makes for some pretty colorful neighbors. At that point Seattle’s finest will intercede and force them all to move along and find a new, temporary refuge to call home.

Thing is, some of these rigs barley made it here under their own power and moving, even a few blocks down the road to the next open spot under the highway, is a dicey option. Last night, some poor soul in a desperate attempt to get his home moved tried to get the engine started by injecting either into the carburetor (a time honored hillbilly trick that I have resorted to in more desperate days myself) and well here you can see the results.

While the capitalist in me says, "better him than me" and the Darwinian in me says, "No shit Sherlock, what did you think was gonna happen" the human in me can't help but say, "What right do I have to complain about my tough week?"

It is has got to be hard enough being an economic nomad, the sum contents of your worldly worth stuffed into a aging RV. Then to have said RV reduced to a burnt out shell in a matter of minutes…

Today I was going to write about how busy I am, about how even with out gearing up for a show I'm still buried, complaining about the delays in getting stock and why the hell folks can't seem to say thank you... fuck that. My life is pretty damned fantastic, faults and all.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tonight while sprawled out next to Matisse, my head resting in her lap as she scratched my head and laughed and the way it made my eyes glaze over, we got to talking about an upcoming social event and the inevitable question arose.
"So, what do you think you will wear?"
Most folks look forward to events like these as an excuse to finally get to wear their favorite fetish attire. However, once you have a profession where you pretty much get paid to wear fetish wear all the time. Donning a pair of PVC pants and sweating down your ass crack for a social gathering just sorta looses its appeal. Now she, she has become legendary for dressing in some amazing, designer dresses. The kind that when she walks into the room, everyone stops talking and just sorta stares for a sec.

Me? I'm nowhere as classy as she is, but I do however clean up well and like the idea of ditching the BDU/knee high boot combo in favor of something different as well.
"Dunno," I say mid scratch, "I was thinking about picking up one of those suits they wrote about in GQ last month. Maybe see if I can get it tailored in time? Its been years since I wore a suit, seems like high time to add one to the wardrobe."
"While I love the idea of you in a suit, I sorta miss those red velvet pants", she mused
"Ahh, my pimp pants. Yeah, those were sexy when I was 15 pounds heavier. Now they just hang and I can't seem to find a decent replacement for them"
"To bad, you used to dress much more flamboyant"
True, I once had all manner of outlandish outfit, a throwback to my actor days I think. however these days I seem to have settled comfortably into the more simple (some would say iconic) look of tight jeans, tighter white shirts and my well worn vintage black leather jacket.
"Hey, if you can find me a pair that look good and fit, I'd wear em" I respond.
"Sure, you know I've always wanted to do the velvet bell bottoms and platform heels look"
"Ohh how David Bowie of you!" she laughed while leering at me.
Yes, gentle reader, I happen to own a pair of 6 inch platform heels. I can even dance in them, thank you. Long time readers will remember me once dancing about Matisse's living room in them (and not much else) for her birthday a few years back.
"Like I said, I've never been able to find just the right pair of pants to pull it off, cuz you know it is all about the pants"
"..and if I can find said pants?"

Consider the fashion gauntlet thrown.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Today is my Mother In Law's Birthday.

Why should you care? Well besides being one of the sweetest and most awesome gals in the world, she is also the person who bought me my first book on the topic of rope bondage. It was from this book that I learned my first ties and found my first recipe for finishing hemp rope.

In short, the rope you hold in your hands today is a direct result to her.

So happy birthday to you, The Mom.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

On bottoming to the Mouse

Since returning from my all to brief vacation to sunny Florida, folks keep asking me, “So what did you think of Disney World?”
The best way I can describe the experience? “A lot like a scene actually”

Nothing is “real”, save for the experience you choose to have. The entire environment has been manufactured to create an illusion. Yes, some would argue that the illusion is a false one, a gentrified and “white washed” farce that glorifies so many of the things that are really wrong about our country. Yeah, I suppose you could say that and yes if you wanted to dig your heels into the dirt and grit your teeth while you were there, expressing your displeasure at the whole thing, then go right ahead and be miserable.

Or you can, like I did, accept that yes this is all one grand illusion (my apologies to Styx), relax, and sit back and marvel at how well the machine runs.

So how is this like a scene?

I recently had a client, a woman who sought out my unique brand of skills, who while pleasant and well behaved enough just could not let go. Through the entire scene, as I worked to create a mood and craft a memorable experience for her, she could not stop interjecting negative energy. My compliments would be responded to with small, negative snips. “Oh you are just saying that cuz I’m paying” and other such negative nonsense. Nothing overt enough to derail the scene, but just enough to keep her from really relaxing into the experience and forcing me to work extra hard to keep the illusion flowing.

So what does that have to do with Disney World?

Like traveling to the magic kingdom, she went out of her way to book my time, travel to see me and spent a pretty penny in the process yet the whole time she would not let her self enjoy it. Like the tourist who must constantly find fault, be it the lines or costs or the fact that Swiss Family Robinson tree house is actually made out of concrete (albeit very convincing) and not real wood. Why go to all the bother and expense if you can’t allow yourself the experience?

So yes, bottoming in a scene and going to a major theme park are quite similar. In both cases, you have to relax, let your guard down a bit and accept that yes, this is not real. At the end of the day, I’m still going to be the same person I was when I walked in so sit why don’t I just sit back and give myself permission to enjoy the illusion. Marvel at the craftsmanship that went into creating the moment and above all else, have fun.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Looking for something fun to do this weekend and want to get tied up by me?

It is my unique pleasure to be lending my skills to the 4th annual Kinky Carnival. For those of you who have never been this is a great event where you can sample all manner of kinky delights in a safe, non pressure, non icky environment. Think of it like going to The Bite Of Seattle, but instead of sampling food from around the globe you get to sample things like rope bondage, candles, play piercing and more.

This is a great fund raiser as well as a fantastic for those folks who have always been a little curious about the whole "kink" thing, but have yet to dip their toes in the pool. This is not a swing club, nobody will be pressuring you to do anything you don't want and there will be lots to see so even if you are not yet ready to try you will have LOTS of cool stuff to watch and talk about afterwards.

I'll be working the rope bondage booth from 8-11PM.

If you are still on the fence. I will have a very cool something for you if come to the booth, say hello and tell me that you are a blog reader.

ADDENDUM: As if you needed a reason to come out and support a tolerant, sex positive Seattle, here is a great one.


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

8-Ball In The Corner Pocket

So lets talk about that giant ass hook I have been seen brandishing as of late. You know this one, the one with the amazing 2 inch wide ball on the end? The one that most folks look at and sorta wince? Well it would seem that a fine young lady of my acquaintance, upon experiencing said hook up close and in the flesh (as it were) expressed her disappointment with said ball. In fact she went as far as to say to me, “Ya know, I sorta thought it would be bigger”

Let me tell you, no man likes to hear those words, ever.

So while I made a mental note to request a 4 inch version, I had to do something to save face. Hence the threat, a quick laughing off the cuff sort of thing really, of stuffing multiple pool balls into her ass next time I got the chance. This, this dear reader was the wrong thing to say. See, the sexy woman in question is rather proud of her backside and it’s, how shall I delicately put it, capacity.

Her response was to laugh and tell me that if I can figure out how to do it with out the scene ending in an emergency room, I was more than welcome to have at it.

Can pause and I just say how much I love my life?

Anyways, I had not put much thought into that exchange until last week when a box arrived for me at the Abbey. Inside, a brand new set of regulation pool balls with a little note that read, “The ball(s) in your court”. Yes, dear readers, the gauntlet had been thrown and my ego (and libido) were now firmly committed to the idea of taking her up on her most generous offer, of course the responsible top that I am still had yet to first answer some very important safety questions. I needed to consult an expert, namely a gay friend of mine who “flagged red”, if anyone knew the ins and outs of extreme anal play it would be him.

We discussed the various options for just how to secure said balls so that they could be safely retrieved and not run afoul of any of the delicate tissues and, most importantly, not send the girl into the hospital with a perforated colon. So after much conversation and weighing of the all the safety factors to be considered, he paused and asked one very probing question that I had yet factor into my planning.
“It would seem to me,” He said thoughtfully stroking his goatee,”that you have yet to answer one very important question.”
“Well… I thought I had the major ones down, but what am I missing?” I ask with concern.
“Stripes or solids?” He chuckles, “I mean are you playing 8-ball? Cut throat? What happens when you sink the cue ball?”

This gives the whole “Ball in hand” rule a whole new twist now don’t it?

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Thursday, May 01, 2008

Monk, we have not yet heard anything from you about Shibaricon. Are you going?

So I’m guessing by now since I have not said much on the topic that you have probably already drawn your own conclusions, but here is the “official” word. After giving the matter a great deal of thought, many conversations with those I trust the most and lots of consideration I have chosen to not vend at the event. I know, the biggest bondage rope maker in the world not attending the largest rope conference in the world, what gives? Politics, you ask? Bad blood, perhaps?

Nope, nothing so juicy I fear. In the end it came down to simple economics really.

The workload coming in via online sales have reached a point where diverting stock, labor, travel expenses and shutting down the shop for over a week just does not make economic sense at this time. Simply put, I have more orders than I know what to do with and going to a show, even a huge one, would in the end cost me more money that I would make by staying home and filling existing orders.

While I am very disappointed that I won’t get to see many of my good friends and customers at Shibaricon this year, but it would be unfair to the hundreds of customers who have placed orders, paid their hard earned money and are waiting patiently of their rope. I am trusting that those of you going to the event will understand that this is nothing personal, I adore you all and want you to have a great time.

Of course there is a silver lining to this, no death march for yours truly. Sure there is a ton of work to do, but it is more of a “Moderately Overwhelmed, Damn We Best Get Back To Work” march and not the “Bone Crushing, I Have Not Slept In A Week And There Is No End In Sight” march.

If you listen close you can hear a collective sigh of relief from my partners

So there you have it, the official work from the man himself. Sorry I could not give you better gossip fodder, but in the end it came down to the old saying “A bird in hand is worth two in the bush” and right now we have a lot of birds in our hands.