WOOF! Philly & New York

2 December 2008 14:47

PersonalWOOF! Philly & New York (Bonus)New York, NY – Okay, it’s been a crazy few days. I’m sitting in a Starbucks in Chelsea trying to recap the flurry of happenings before catching the train to Newark for my flight home.

Catherine Opie’s exhibit at the Guggenheim was amazing. Catherine Opie is a talented documentary photographer who explores notions of communal, sexual and cultural identity through portraiture, landscape and urban street photography. She’s also a pervert and her work includes imagery of kinky queers and dykes. I won’t go into detail about the mid-career survey of her work, but I will point out two of my favorite pieces. Both are self-portraits. The first, Self-Portrait/Pervert features a permanent cutting of the word ‘pervert’ across her chest. The second, Self-Portrait/Nursing is a photo of her breast feeding her son with the scars from the cutting still visible years later. I can summarize the collection in its entirety in two words: fucking brilliant.

On Sunday, I got a very special treat. Derek and I did a Photo shoot with Joe Oppedisano. Derek had done a couple of shoots with Joe and is featured in his new book, Uncensored, but I had never met him. I was beginning to get a little envious; it seemed like I was the only one of my close friends in the ‘art film’ industry not to have done a shoot with Joe. I’ve always loved Joe’s work and everyone speaks very highly of him. Now I know why. Joe is really quite awesome. I totally enjoyed the shoot and can’t wait to share the photos with you.

WOOF! Philly & New YorkThe event in Philadelphia was a lot of fun, although I think the cold, rain and holiday weekend burnout played against attendance. The boy and I sold raffle tickets in traditional ‘Boots-to-Balls’ fashion, did an impact play demo and some performance rigging. I also got a chance to have a nice chat with boy Sharky, who to my surprise was working the door. Sharky is the current Mid-Atlantic Leatherboy. I met him and his Sir, Andy, while judging the International Leather Sir/boy contest in San Francisco this year. I was impressed by their ‘Get Out & Get Laid’ initiative that encourages people that connect on the internet to meet up in person at local bars. I was happy to hear that it is still going strong and that he and Andy are both doing well.

WOOF! Philly & New York (Extra)Derek had to fly out early Monday morning so I was sans-boy for the final event at the View Bar here in New York. It was a much larger event than I had expected for a Monday night. I signed autographs and did pictures with fans most of the evening. For my ‘set’ Max got me a shirt, tie and slacks to cut off on stage with my knife as a tie-in to Folsom Undercover. Since I’m not much of a go-go dancer, I pulled a cute Dominican boy out of the audience for a little rope work and teasing (photo left). In an effort to raise some extra cash for the charities I agreed to let Travis cut my hair into a half-hawk like the one I’m sporting in Funhouse if we raised two-hundred dollars in a bucket we passed around. The bucket came back with almost three-hundred so I’m sportin’ the hawk again (photo top). Toward the end of the evening I got to do some rigging with go-go boy, Mike Dreyden as well (photo right). Woof!

I want to offer my special thanks to Max Scott and his crew for pulling these events together in the tri-state area and to Titan Media for their support in helping us raise money for the Aid for AIDS Foundation and other local AIDS organizations this past weekend.

Spanksgiving

28 November 2008 0:38

MonsignoreSpanksgiving35,000 ft — It’s times like this I truly thankful for keeping most of my flying with Alaska Airlines. This morning I was upgraded to First Class for my flight to New York. This was especially welcome because last night was a late one. After dinner at brother Panther’s all the Dragons that were in town worked the Spanksgiving fundraiser for GLPW and CLAW Nation charities.

This was the first CLAW Nation event in Seattle. I had volunteered to host an event in my home town while my boy Derek and I were at CLAW earlier this year as presenters. I took the idea to brother Odie, he handed it to Josh to organize and bada-bing, bada-boom…

Josh did a phenomenal job producing the event. Brother Hugh and his boy Gabe put on an extremely entertaining demo with Gabe dressed as a nerdy, school boy studying for his “oral exams.” The whole skit was so funny. Then Brother Hugh and sister Mercea doled out spankings for a buck a swat for the rest of the night. We raffled off a few of my Titan DVD’s and Calendars I donated in addition to a paddle, riding crop and RECON membership with boy Danny selling tickets and measuring inseams in chaps and a harness. Now as most of you know, I don’t do the dress-up thing, but fuck did that boy look good last night. Holy fuck, that ass… he had me hard all night just looking at him. Oh, and I played master of ceremonies, ever the front man on the microphone.

Spanksgiving (Bonus)For those that are not aware, Cleveland Leather Alliance Weekend or CLAW has become one of my favorite national leather/Sm events. The event features great hotels, fetish bar parties, silent and live auctions, BDSM art show, entertainment, vendors, a second hand gear store, warehouse play parties, educational forums, demos and presentations, rock and roll, a major league baseball game, a playhouse square matinee, big hotel banquets, a trolley fleet, a kinky carnival and a leather community music and comedy review. It really is remarkable. Did anyone notice what wasn’t mentioned in that list of activities?

A bunch of Dragons are planning on heading to Cleveland for CLAW next year. I’m hoping Derek and I get asked back to present again. There was some discussion of that happening during ILSb this year but I still haven’t had anything confirmed. I should put the boy on that.

By the way, since I’m writing about Seattle here, I’ll go ahead and mention that the Seattle Daddy & Daddy’s boy contest scheduled for this weekend… has been canceled… for the second time in three years. So I guess now we know the answer to the question, ‘what happens if you throw a contest and no one enters?’ I’m not sure this is a reflection of a growing apathy toward leather titles in general or a lack of confidence in the sponsoring organization, Seattle Men in Leather. It is pretty clear however that SML isn’t going to pull its shit together until there’s a change in leadership, if then.

Hangin’ in My Home Town

23 September 2008 3:03

MonsignoreHangin' in My Home TownSeattle, WA – With all the travel and events I’ve engaged in lately, I’m enjoying a little down time here at home in Seattle. I’ve been catching up on work, taking care of some much needed house-keeping, spending some time with my family and missing the two boys I’m most connected to.

The training business is picking up a bit. I’ve been slamming a full month of sessions into two weeks because of my little Inferno vacation, revamping client programs for fall and networking to bring new clients into the pipeline. Work with the two non-profit boards I serve on continues. I’ve pulled out of helping to prepare our Northwest titleholders for the International competition because I’ll be judging the contest in San Francisco next month, but Generic Leather Productions of Washington has several other projects I’m involved with and our annual meeting for the Washington State Mr|Ms Leather Organization is coming up in a few weeks. And, last Friday I taught a class on single tails for Tribal Instincts, Seattle Men in Leather’s educational series.

Hangin' in My Home TownSide Bar: The class wasn’t very well attended. It might be that I’m just getting used to presenting to audiences of 50 (the needle demo Derek and I did at Inferno this year) to 100 (the class with Midori in Chicago), but I’m afraid it is more a reflection of SML’s floundering as an organization. I know a couple of months ago, the Dragon Clan (my leather family) were informed that our play at the leather socials, with all the whip cracks and noise from flogging scenes, was disruptive to peoples’ conversations. Give me a fucking break. SML has always been welcoming to both the leather/Sm and the leather/S&M crowds (go ahead, ask me about the distinction), but I’m getting the impression that the organization is losing its soul. This tears me apart because Dave Lewis, my Daddy in Seattle until he died, invested so much into SML and I don’t want to just walk away from the organization. We’re having another social at the Cuff this Wednesday. The Dragons will be there. Hopefully, other players will be too.

Speaking of the family, I met my brothers Gene and Odie out at the Cuff Sunday night. It was a pretty slow night, but a good opportunity to touch base and talk about the stuff coming up. And some of the boys were there too, including Danny (pictured above) a new boy to Seattle who was brought to my attention by my boy Derek. I got to meet Danny a few weeks ago during Northwest Leather Weekend and invited him to join Derek and I at the play party the Saturday night. Since then he seems to have found a comfortable home within the fold of our crew.

All in all, it’s been a good and productive period but I’m missing my boys immensely. Derek is home in Chicago and Jeff is on vacation in Hawaii. Both close to my heart and always on my mind but thousands of miles away. With busy days and close friends here in Seattle to occupy my time I shouldn’t feel so lonely but I do nonetheless. I’m looking forward to seeing Derek in San Francisco this weekend and thrilled that Jeff will be joining us at the street fair on Sunday. I’m going to be one very happy man.

Northwest Leather Weekend 2008

31 August 2008 17:28

MonsignoreNorthwest Leather Weekend 2008Seattle, WA — Yesterday was my thirty-eighth birthday. This weekend has also included the events associated with Northwest Leather. And while those of you who read my blog regularly may grow tired of reading it over and over, I must state again how truly blessed I am by the people with whom I share my life.

My boy Derek and his partner of twelve-plus years, Doug, came out from Chicago to be with me for my birthday. You can imagine my joy in having Derek with me; the connection we share is probably the strongest in my life right now. And my relationship with Doug has grown beyond my expectations. Although the relationship Doug and I have is not of the D/s variety, I still consider him one of my boys and the bonds we three share create a kind of family. While it may not seem familiar to many, it is my core.

Of course there is another boy I’ve been trying to court into this strange family of ours for almost a year now. Jeff and I have had some challenge over the past couple months but I am cautiously optimistic of the future. He’s out of town this weekend but we had a chance to reconnect before he left. I’m not sure how things will progress but I do know I am very much in love with him. It’s clear he loves me in return, too. I think this may scare him a little but with time we’ll figure out what to make of our relationship.

Then there is my foundation, the Dragon Clan. My brothers and our whelps form the base of what I consider my community. Gene and Odie (pictured above) in particular are sources of inspiration and support. I can’t count the number of times over the course of the past year the Dragons have offered their encouragement and compassion. These have been my first responders when I have sought counsel and comfort.

Northwest Leather Weekend 2008Expanding beyond this foundation is my broader community of family and friends. Having the Northwest Leather weekend coincide with my birthday gives me the opportunity to spend the time with them as well. Leather/Sm events in Seattle tend to attract the best players from throughout the Pacific Northwest, many of whom I consider among my closest friends. I got to see some of the women that contribute so much, including Lynnda, Alycyn, Tobin, Alyxx and Matisse. I had a chance to thank Malixe for all the photos he’s taken over the years (including those posted with this entry). I got to visit with guys outside the men’s community like Max and Monk in addition to the many gay and queer men I know from Seattle and Portland. I even got to play a little with my favorite girl from Toronto Gloria (pictured left) who came in to judge the contest.

All in all, it was a glorious weekend that also produced three new titleholders for the Northwest region: Rich Bryan as Northwest Leather Sir 2008, John Trueman as Northwest Leather boy and Shell Bishop as Northwest Community Bootblack 2008. Congratulations to each of them.

Next up on my schedule: Inferno XXXVII. I leave for Chicago on Wednesday then drive out with Derek. This will be my third Inferno and our second anniversary. To say I’m excited would be an understatement.

Upcoming Events in August

31 July 2008 19:23

MonsignoreUpcoming Events in AugustSeattle, WA –- It appears August is going to be a busy month filled with events at home here in Seattle and out of town.

First up on the calendar is Oregon State Leather Pride Week in Portland. I’m traveling down with several of my Dragon Clan brothers on Saturday for the Oregon State Mr & Ms Leather Contest on the 3rd and will be teaching a class on Interrogation Techniques subtitled Confession is Good for the Soul with brothers Gene and Odie for ‘Sunday School w/Bad Girls’. Click here for more information on this year’s Oregon State Leather Pride events.

On Saturday August 9th, I’ll be co-hosting the Queen City Cruise with (direct from Miami Beach) Marina Dennis. Marina and I will be introducing our lineup of performers for the Pre-Boarding Show including Poison Waters, Alexis Champagne, Chablis and Mark ‘Mom’ Finley. Then we’ll provide continuing color commentary aboard the cruise. I’ve been volunteering time to the cruise for several years now and always have a great time. The Queen City Cruise is produced by the Seattle Chapter of Tacky Tourist Clubs of America, an organization known for its imaginatively outrageous events and excursions. Since 1981, Tacky Tourist Clubs has donated over $275,000 to other non-profit groups. This year’s beneficiaries include Gay City Health Project, Gay World Series Organizing Committee and Action Northwest’s Backpack Project. I understand we still have some tickets left to this typically sold out event so you still have a chance to get yours now.

On the 22nd I’ll be heading to Indianapolis with my boy da Silva for the Great Lakes Leather Alliance Weekend where we’ll be presenting Shibari with Male subs. Fellow CHC brothers Rob and Joey will be stepping down as 2008 Great Lakes Leather Sir and boy (respectively) that weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing them and several other friends while I’m there. Brother Gene will be judging the contest and brothers Odie and Mark are planning to go as well so I’m sure the Dragons will find some trouble to get into.

Upcoming Events in AugustFinally, Derek and I are back in Seattle over Labor Day weekend for the Northwest Leather Sir/boy & Community Bootblack Contest. The Meet & Greet will be held at the Cuff Complex on Friday the 29th from 9pm to 11pm. The main event will be on Saturday the 30th at the Cuff starting at 7pm (doors at 6pm). It’s my birthday that day so I’m intent to have a good time that evening and at the play party afterward. To learn more about Generic Leather Productions of Washington (GLPW), the producers of these events, check out What We Do and Why. Yes that’s me, naked in Cal Anderson Park smoking a cigarette. I am a whore.

In Memoriam: David Caldwell

24 July 2008 18:15

MonsignoreIn Memoriam: David CaldwellSeattle, WA –- Shortly after my last past while in Chicago, I learned that David Caldwell had passed away. David was a beloved member of our leather/Sm community and had been serving as Northwest Leather Boy this year. He was also a regular client and dear friend. Without going into the details of his death, I will simply state his passing was a senseless tragedy that left many of us emotionally wrecked… myself among them.

I haven’t felt much like writing the last few weeks. Truth be told, I hadn’t felt like doing much of anything.

Last Saturday we held a memorial at the Cuff for David. It gave us an opportunity to come together, remember and celebrate his life. I can’t say I’m not still angry, but I must say it’s time to let go.