Thursday, December 22, 2005

Okay, I finally feel sure enough about this to reveal what all the mystery and busyness has been about lately: I’m closing on a house on Friday morning.

The act of actually buying a house for the first time feels strange. It’s such a grown-up, mainstream thing to do. And frankly, it's made me uneasy. I have strutted naked on stages in front of a crowd, I have made personal revelations to hostile audiences, I have done deeply intimate things with people whose names I didn’t know, I have looked into a stranger’s eyes and made a split second decision about whether or not I could trust them with my safety. None of those things make me particularly nervous.

Sitting across a desk from a mortgage broker made me nervous. That's why I've been unwilling to blog about the whole house-buying adventure step-by-step, because of my feeling that the mortgage process might very well go sideways at any moment. Max reassured me, and so did Roman. "These people want to give you a mortgage, really they do," they both told me. "When you get a mortgage, they make money." Well, that's a motivation I can certainly understand.

But still...I am not the kind of person banks like to lend money to. Don’t get me wrong, I pay my taxes and my bills. But my life simply does not fit into those little boxes on their forms. Dealing with banks makes me feel like Supergirl confronted with Kryptonite. The powers that serve me very well in most of my life do not work in the offices of financial institutions.

Except one – my ability to generate and save (reasonably) large chunks of money. Banks like that. Hence the recent hectic schedule.

I was on track to buy a house anyway – but I was thinking, oh, March of next year. Then in late October my landlord called and said “We want to sell the house – how soon do you think you could move out?” So my plans had to be fast-forwarded. I can do fast-forward, though, if I have to. So I did.

Of course, I had help. A lot of my guys were extra-generous during this period. But one particular guy - even more so than all my other really fabulous boys - was my angel in this matter, and for that, he merits special mention. He knows who he is so, thank you to him!

The other thank you goes to my terrific real estate agent, Ted Allison. I am not your average home-buyer, to put it mildly, but when I told Ted what I wanted, he listened without raising an eyebrow and got right into the spirit of it. He never tried to push me when I said, “It’s nice…but it’s not quite right”. And he worked really hard to get the deal I wanted on the house I wanted. He’s just been great, and I’d recommend him to anyone.

A point of clarification for my friends: I’m not moving out of Max’s house. The house that I’m buying will serve as the headquarters and private dungeon of Mistress Matisse, Inc. Note my use of the first person singular pronoun - I have always felt that in the same sense that good fences make good neighbors, having some separate financial investments makes for good relationships.

Now I have a new place for my dungeon, which I am looking forward to. And now I have to pack up the dungeon and move it, which I am not looking forward to. My new place isn’t far at all from where I am now, so those of you who know the way won’t have to learn a whole new route. Just go about half a mile further south, is all.

So now you know. I’ve always been something of a capitalist. But Friday, Mistress Matisse becomes part of the land-owning bourgeois.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Resistance Was Futile

Okay, okay, I give up. Everyone else has already read them, I’m way behind the cutting edge on this. (In fact, I think they've now become un-cool.) But lately I did at last succumb to the genre-novel pleasures of the early Laurel K. Hamilton “Anita Blake” books.

Notice I said the early ones. Because I’ve now read all of them, and my verdict is that the later ones? Are not so good. I think after book seven, Laurel’s agent came to her and said “Laurel, honey? Put in a lot more sex. Actually – put in a lot more kinky sex. We’ll make more money.” And Laurel did, and I’m sure they have made more money, but the books are not nearly as entertaining anymore.

You’d think I’d like kinky sex in novels, wouldn’t you? But you know, when you are kinky, it’s hard not to be really picky about the details. For me, it’s kinda like watching porn – since I’m a part of the sex industry, I cannot suspend my disbelief enough to not notice the shadow of the boom mike in the money shot. I don’t know if Ms Hamilton is a member of the BDSM community or not, but the way she writes about it – well, it just doesn’t feel like something she knows intimately. Maybe she does, and she’s just distancing herself from it a bit to keep from alienating the more squeamish readers. But it sure doesn’t get me wet. I usually find myself skimming quickly through the long (way too long) sex scenes, because they don’t ring any bells in my head.

Then there's the character herself. In the beginning, Anita Blake, as a zombie-raiser and vampire hunter, was a charming twist on the Dashiel Hammett hard-boiled detective type. She was tough, she got pissed easily and mouthed off to people a lot, and if they fucked with her, she killed them. Whoo-hoo, big fun.

Then she started fucking the vampires, and werewolves, too. Which is fine with me, but she’s so damn angsty about it that she comes across as whiny. I mean, a little angst about sleeping with monsters for one book, maybe two – okay, fine, it’s a growth opportunity. But my personal stance is: you can complain about something once or twice, and I’ll give you sympathy. After that, I’m going to ask you what you’re doing to change the situation, and if your answer is “nothing”, then I’m pretty much out of sympathy for you. This applies to fictional characters as well as real life. So Anita, face it: you’re kinky. And since you have practically a whole stable of male lovers, you’re poly, too. And you really need to get over all the whinging about it, because I’m tired of listening to it. It’s a good thing you’re not bi, because I’m sure we’d never hear the end of that.

All that aside: yes, they’re fun to read, and I’ve turned Roman onto them too. I’ve been so busy lately that light stuff I can pick up and put down has been just the thing. Ms. Blake has got two more Anita books coming out in 2006, and I’m still game to give her a chance on them. Better late than never.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

I'm busy today, so just a PSA for now about the women's BDSM conference coming up here in Seattle next month... I'm a presenter, by the way, as are a number of my pervy friends. The conference is January 13-16, 2006.

From the press release:
The Wicked Womyn 2006 Conference is just around the corner and is expected to be a fantastic event. The mail-in registration deadline has ended but you can still register online between December 16, 2005 and January 7, 2006 and pay via PayPal. Go to to register on-line.

After January 7th you can register at the door for $130.00.

Out of towners, take note: The host hotel, LaQuinta Inn, is almost sold out. So make your reservations soon, before the rooms are all gone.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Well, I had a busy but fun weekend. Saturday night I went to the last hurrah at The Catwalk, a bar that’s been open and hosting sexy events since I was just a pup in this town. It’s kinda sad to know that it's closing down. But the final event was good - Max and I got to see Miss Candy shaking her tail-feathers in some of Imp Of Satan’s newest creations, Nerdygirl do her best carnival barker impersonation, and Silver demonstrating her equestrian training skills. Charming. And we didn’t reek of cigarette smoke afterwards, what a nice change. Want to see a few pictures from Malixe? Go here.

I wore my black latex pants to this event, and when I got them out earlier that evening, I paused and realized that while they aren’t quite as old as The Catwalk, I have indeed had them a number of years. They’ve held up very well. There’s no label in them, but I’m pretty sure I got them from latex designer Naughty Nancy, back when she was here in Seattle. It’s a shame she went back to Canada, I always liked her stuff.

But still, perhaps it’s time for a new pair. Oh, look, Syren seems to be having a sale – how convenient. I think a bit of shopping is in order.

The other latex thing I want is one of these: a vacuum bed. Yes, I think I’m going to have to see about one of these quite soon. I have tried them, and they’re quite intense. I'd have to have one custom made, though, as I would want certain special features.

And now it’s Monday, the closing week of pre-Christmas insanity. My mother and brother get here Christmas day, so in addition to everything else that’s happening – and that’s a lot – I have that to prepare for.

But I’m looking forward to the next two weeks. Lots of big changes and events. My life is many things, but dull is simply not one of them.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Silly story I stole from the AP.

It's Not the Pipes, It's a Naked Man in Your Basement
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - A plumbing problem at a Spokane home turned out to be a naked man. Police say a woman who thought she was having a problem with water pipes beneath the floor called the Water Department. Employees found the basement barricaded, and when they determined there was someone behind the door, they called police.

Police broke through the door, found the naked man and took him into custody. They searched the basement but found no clothing for the man. They also found that a pipe had been broken and repaired.

The 36-year-old was booked into jail for investigation of burglary.

Hey, at least it wasn't a dead rat.