Monthly Archives: October 2009

Happy Halloween & A Story

Over on his delightful blog, Rad’s written about his Halloween costume — a priest’s Roman collar — for the party at Paddles tonight.  While I won’t be at the party, I got to see Rad wearing this costume for the Shadow Lane party this past Labor Day. At the same party, I got to finally watch,** curled up on our bed with Alex and Bailey, the DVD Spanking Confessional.  Great fun!

Rad and his collar looked great at the SL vendor fair — wish I was closer to Paddles.  I suspect that tonight he’ll get to hear a number of confessions.

My own confession is to cop to the priest fantasy as being one of my favorite and most sexual fantasies dating to my high school days. Along those lines, I’m posting an old story based on one of those fantasies.

Copyright 2001 to <mijita (at) thetreehouse (dot) net>. Please respect this copyright. Don’t distribute or archive this story in any way except for personal use without explicit permission. No, it’s not in the public domain. Ask first, okay? Thanks.


priestFirst Fridays

On first Fridays we have to go to confession. Every month we’re in school the nuns walk each class over one at a time. We kneel and reflect on our sins as we wait our turn in the box. A lot of girls think it’s boring, but I don’t.

Not with the thoughts in my head. Not this month.

I’m next for Father Damien. So cute. Totally wasted as a priest. Maybe I’ll give him a thrill. And me too.

“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned, by my thoughts, my words, my actions. It’s been a month since my last confession. These are my sins.”

My sins. My hands slipped beneath my skirt and I slid my panties down, letting my knees step over them so I could take them off. The kneeler squeaked and I wondered if he could guess what I’d done. The plaid pleated skirt felt rough against my skin, bare beneath it. I squirmed, pressed my knees together tightly.

“I – I’ve sinned grievously, Father. I don’t know where to start.”

I spoke the words softly, low and right into the screen, my voice catching just so. I imagined I could hear him sighing and shifting on the other side.

“Go ahead, my child. God can forgive you.”

“I’ve been wicked, Father. Done things I know are sinful, but I don’t know which sins they are.” I lifted my skirt with my left hand.

“Tell me your deeds, girl.”

“I – I touch myself, Father. Repeatedly run my hands over my body and, and between my legs.” As I spoke, my right hand brushed against my thighs and then up between them. I licked my lips and imagined him listening. Maybe even starting to sweat a little just above his lip. Running my tongue over my own lips I could taste the salt.

“I know it’s wrong, Father, but I can’t help myself, love the feeling of my own skin beneath my fingers.”

I moved my hand back and forth, stroking gently, quietly.

“My boyfriend touches me too. Under . . . well, you know, under my skirt, Father. Over my panties. And, and well, I touch him through his jeans.”

He cleared his throat as if to speak. I spread my knees wider and let my fingers push inside, more deeply and insistently. I breathed quietly, through my teeth, but my breath kept coming in faster gasps.

“At first I mean. And then he unzips and I feel him through his underpants. And he gets, um . . . he gets hard Father. And puts his hands inside my panties. Sometimes I let him take them off me.”

“You’re putting yourself in danger with these actions, child. Wanton behavior can’t lead to good. What would your family say?”

“Oh Father, they know! I mean, I think they do. Last week I left my panties in the car and my boyfriend’s father found them. And then his wife told my mother. Who told my father.”

My hand became more insistent and my body began to move in response. I covered the noise in my throat with a sob, not quite pretended.

“The next day, my father met me at the door when I got back from school. He had my panties in one hand and the paddle in the other. He threw the panties at me, telling me where they’d been found. And slapped me too. Then, right there, in the front hall of the living room he yanked me over his lap and began whacking me over my panties, telling me what a disgrace I was to them.”

My fingers moved quickly against my own wet slipperiness as I poured my thoughts out to him. I could hear his watch ticking. Hear his own breathing.

“He, he, he stood me in front of him and yanked down my underpants and told my mom to check to see if I was intact. I could feel her finger push inside me, Father. Because she had to know. I cried and felt like such a sinner.”

“As well you should, young lady. What if you found yourself with child? You’re putting yourself and your boyfriend’s souls in jeopardy – becoming a near occasion of mortal sin.”

At his words I moaned slightly. So bad – such a bad girl.

“After she finished checking me, told him I was a virgin, he pulled me back across his lap and paddled me more, this time on my bare bottom. I cried so hard I was screaming, Father. I swore to them I’d sin no more.”

“And pray to God for the strength to honor that vow, child.”

“But when they sent me upstairs, I lay on my bed in the darkness and ran my hands between my legs, feeling the heat rise. I – I can’t stop sinning, Father. Has God deserted me?”

My fingers touched my clit and I felt myself explode as the blood rushed through me, filling me with pleasure as I moved frantically against my own hand. But I lost track of my audience until the light blinded me and I dropped my skirt quickly but too late. He’d come around to my side, opened the door and saw me – well, you know what he saw me doing.

He said something I didn’t hear – but heard the anger in his voice. Did he call me harlot, sinner, Eve? Not sure. But then Father Damien grabbed my upper arm and yanked me to my feet, pulling me from the confessional. I could say nothing, could feel the shocked eyes of my classmates, my teacher, on me. As he pulled me toward the front of the church, my last image of the box were my white panties against the dark wood floor. I could feel my nakedness beneath my modest plaid skirt.

The priest’s finger tightened into my arm as he pulled me across the sanctuary to the sacristy behind. His voice was low but clear as he stood me in front of him.

“You’ve sinned most grievously, young woman. In a manner I’d have scarcely thought possible for one so young. What you’ve committed today is sacrilege. I wish I could violate the confessional and tell your teachers and family what you did while you were pretending to beg God for forgiveness. Ensure you’re punished as you deserve to be.”

I dropped to my knees before him in tears.

“Please, Father! I beg you, forgive me. I’m sorry, truly sorry.”

Father Damien’s hands were on my shoulders, shaking me as I cried harder.

“Beg God’s forgiveness, not mine. If you dare. You deserve to be punished, but I can’t say what you’ve done. The confessional is sacred, even when abused as you did.” His hands were at his waist, beneath his robe. For a second I feared violation but then his object became clear as he pulled his black belt from around his waist.

“Go across to that kneeler and stand before it. Good. Now bend over and place your hands on the pad.”

The wooden prayer book shelf dug into my stomach as I stood on my toes to reach the padded kneeler. My skirt rose up to my thighs on its own before Father Damien threw it roughly to my shoulders, baring me from my waist to the top of my knee socks.

“I suspect that your story of being spanked by your father for your wantonness was a tale to seduce me and yourself. Let’s see if you enjoy being thrashed in reality nearly so much.”

With that he cracked the leather across my bottom and I kicked and tried to rise, biting my sleeve to keep from crying out. His left hand pushed the base of my spine, keeping me bent over.

“Burns, doesn’t it? I promise you when I’m finished your hands will never even consider roaming your body without remembering this hell fire.”

The strap burned my skin again and again as I struggled and choked sobs into my arms. My thighs were lashed along with my bottom as I promised him never again and confessed my sorrow at offending him and God. Finally I could bear no more and my sobs broke through, echoing through the church, leaving my classmates no doubt as to my penance. . . .

I watch as the door opens and the red light turns to green. A girl kneels on the pew in front of me to begin her penance.

It’s my turn to confess before God and Father Damien.

“Bless me Father for I have sinned. By my thoughts. . . .”

** Paul had been at the filming last December, but I hadn’t been able to make the trip to Vegas, even though people I’m so fond of were doing such a long-standing fantasy. This definitely made up for not being there though. Almost.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gak/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Linking and Community

[This entry is inspired by the work Richard Windsor is doing in creating and maintaining his new Spanking Universe, blog of blogs site. If you haven’t been there, do go see.  It’s an impressive work in progress. Now that the Forth Bridge is almost painted, Richard has found the next endless task — blogging spanking blogs. Just so he can’t call it thankless though, I’m thanking him now for his time and effort.]

signpostLinks are real important — they’re how we find each other and thus are how community is created.  Links are hugely important when a blog is new and it’s hoping to find readers.  Because without readers we don’t need computers to do this, we could just keep a journal in a notebook.  At their best, they function as signposts for the ‘net, especially within the BDSM and spanking subcultures.

Yet I’ll admit to having a hard time deciding what to do when someone writes and wants me to link to them or suggests we do a link exchange. Part of my discomfort is that I’ve backed myself into a bit of a corner by even having links in my sidebar.  So if I’m linking to those people, why not link to this new one? Mainly it’s that I’ve always liked my links to mean something.  I’ve never felt comfortable linking to sites or products I don’t use.  Even more so with blogs, it seems like I shouldn’t link to sites I don’t read regularly. So there’s that.  Add to that, the nature of writing is that sometimes people do it for a while and then stop.  That’s fine with a website — The Treehouse is currently more of an archive than anything else, and has been for a few years now.  But blogs feel like they should stay relatively current (with posts within the last year or two) — otherwise they seem to have died. Even with my relatively short links lists, I generally find a few broken ones when I check them every few months.  I don’t want to do the work needed to maintain a longer lists (though I admire bloggers like Bonnie who do so), so I suppose that makes laziness my other reason.

So how do I decide to link to something?  Generally if I go to a blog and read through a few months worth of entries and then add them to Newsfire (that’s an RSS reader).  Then I’m pretty sure  I’m likely to keep reading.   At least in bursts.  Another way would be if I know the writer in person on some level. Again, then I know I’m more likely to become a consistent reader. My link list is one of blogs and sites I admire and enjoy.

Blogs I like tend to be text heavy and not present too idealized a version of life.  I’m more of text person than a picture one (old school, me) and am a sucker for introspection and good writing.  I always think / hope that if I enjoy reading something, someone who likes this blog will be interested in that one too.

So, I’m wondering, how do you decide who and how you link?   And, while we’re at it, what do you find useful in a link list.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/katemonkey/ / CC BY-NC 2.0

Commenting on the Third Eye

third-eyeFor more interesting discussions on comments and commenting on blogs, see these posts by Casey and Serenity.  This post is much less so, however I wanted to clarify something about commenting here.

Despite the language in the “Comments” section of this blog telling you to “sign in,” you don’t need to — that language is just bad wording on Typepad’s part. All you need to do is enter a name and email address (neither needs to be real) and your comment will post.  Personally I’m not very likely to comment on any blog where I have to sign in — Blogger’s blogs have been a special problem for me lately with my comments either not showing up at all, or showing up unsigned — so I understand why someone else might not want to either.

That’s all.  🙂

—-

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/goodnightdear/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Flash Fiction: Distant Thunder

Yesterday, over on her delightful website, Casey Morgan put up the week’sFlash Fiction challenge.  The brief is

 

Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday. Come write a 250-word story (erotic? tgi oriented?). Start any time Friday, finish by 6pm PDT Saturday. Post the link to your story in the comments below or on Twitter (@caseydamnmorgan). Try to include the wildcards. (Find out the wild cards by going to Casey’s site).

As ever, Copyright 2009 to mijita (at) thetreehouse (dot) net. Please respect this copyright. Don’t distribute or archive this story in any way except for personal use without explicit permission. No, it’s not in the public domain. Ask first, okay? Thanks.

thunder“C’mon, do the jigsaw, Lizzie.”  Bradley shakes the box, coaxing.

I turn away.

“C’mon, I can’t alone.  You know.”

I spin back, snapping, “I do know you can’t, you little shit. Get of out my room, now.”

“I’m telling,” wails the little shit, running for the door.

My mother raises her voice so I’ll hear, “Stay away from her. Your sister’ll get hers when your father gets home.”

When your father gets home. Her words make me feel sick, and I slam my door.

I’m alone with my thoughts.

If only I could rewind today, not have talked in class, not have talked back to Horrible Mrs. R. Most importantly, if only a letter hadn’t come home.

I close my eyes, trying to focus on tomorrow.  No.  Tomorrow is distant future, with too much between now and then.

I try not to think about him coming home, try not to imagine my mother showing the letter, telling him what a horrible
girl I am, finally crying to show her frustration.

I know he’ll open my door without knocking, eyes grave with disappointment, my own burning with defiance.

The lecture will go on and on before his hands unbuckle his belt and my father orders me to pull down my panties. Before I take a pillow and bend over the end of the bed. Before I feel his hands on my skirt.

My defiance will be stripped away. I’ll be left crying begging, promising, finally screaming.

I will hurt.

I squeeze my eyes shut tighter, trying to hide from the inevitable.

Like the far off thunder of an approaching storm, his car rumbles into the drive.

My father is home.

[Note: I wasn’t able to do it in 250 words — this came to about 287. Maybe next week.  I did, however, us all the wildcards.]

Archiving Ourselves

 

I include Niki and Amy’s anti-piracy video not because it’s entirely relevant, but because it’s my favorite YouTube video.

As many of you know, despite the blogging and online forums where I also play, I still read and post on usenet (yes, I’m that old) on soc.sexuality.spanking.  A recent discussion there prompted these thoughts.

Question: Why anyone (like me) would object to any free site archiving stories we’ve given away anyway. There are authors like John Benson that give their work to be reproduced and archive freely. Why won’t I do that?

It’s not about money. I’ve only written a couple of stories for profit and even then I was paid peanuts and the copyright reverted to me after 24 months. Those stories are also, with only a few exceptions, archived on The Treehouse and have been for more than ten years now. So why *would* I care if someone else puts them up on another free site? Is it as simple as a selfish “they’re mine”?

Not exactly, but sort of. They are mine. Moreover, they’re me. I post them, but I can’t and don’t let go.

These stories aren’t just closely linked or even the product of my explorations of my spanking fantasies — the act of writing them and they themselves were explorations. Some early ones are accounts of child abuse, remember and relived in fear, anger and pain. Some are accounts of scenes with other people or were written as gifts to them — statements of love and hope. Others are fantasies that were so secret I’d never dared write them down before this moment when I did. They were all written in part as a gesture of thanks to my beloved alt.sex.spanking and soc.sexuality.spanking for freeing me to embrace this part of myself.

It’s been a long time, but when I re-read them, I remember writing each one, sometimes crying, sometimes shaking and sometimes incredibly turned on, almost burning with a desire to tell someone what I was seeing and feeling behind my eyes. I remember my heart thudding as I wrote and then again as I tried to decide whether or not to delete the story, whether or not I could bear to post it. This is all just a long way of saying that my stories may or may not be very good (and some are worse than others) but for me and to me they’re all very important.

When I first started posting to the group, someone put some of my stories on their website along with some pictures and a bunch of other work. They didn’t ask, but when I found the site (or rather someone else did) I was stunned and flattered. It was a simple little site on a free server (Free Yellow? — can’t remember). Within a month the owner got dropped from their free server because of content and bandwidth (remember when we used to have to worry about that? Yeah? Then you’re old too!). They moved the site to another free server, but this one was an adult server. The site had xxx banners with very explicit sexual imagines of, well, sex.

This wasn’t what the stories I wrote were about. This isn’t what I’m about or turned on by. I didn’t want them to be somewhere I felt I had to avert my eyes from every time I surfed over. I was horrified and asked that they be taken down. The owner was annoyed with me, feeling I didn’t understand the effort involved in formatting my stories and the difficulties of finding free hosting. I pointed out I hadn’t asked him to do this, that, in fact, I hadn’t even given permission.

At the same time, a number of authors on ASS were struggling to get their stories off any number of pay-sites that were sprouting like mushrooms and using the stories as both content and to drive traffic. Those stories, hundreds of them, had to a significant extent been ripped off a free archive, created with good intentions but without the permission of the authors involved. This struggle went on for years. In fact, for all I know, it’s still going on.

In response to this, and so we could say to people who wanted our work archived that it already was, Paul built The Treehouse, registered the domain and gave it to me as what is still the absolute bestest Christmas present ever. Although the site could do with a facelift (do you know how long 10 years is in internet terms?), it was and is the way I imagined those stories being presented. Every part of the site was talked about between us both at the time and after. The space was supposed to be an expression of innocence. Not innocence shattered or parodies, but reclaimed. Not dark or sexual, but light and fun. Nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

We pay for the domain and the hosting — no ads or sponsors. The control of the space is important enough that even when we were broke the hosting fees for The Treehouse were always a priority. The control is that important. It’s why since then I’ve given permission for archiving only to good friends and only for a few stories here and there. I’m not alone in this — a number of story sites, both current and past, were started for the same reason. Others stopped posting stories altogether or only post them to their own sites — it was just too much work to explain Usenet isn’t public domain. I know at least one person who only sends out stories via email as PDF documents.

And yes, I do complain when my stories are on sites without permission. I won’t stop doing that — whatever the site’s intentions might be. But I am going to try and speak a little more softly when I do so remembering that there can be good intentions all around.

[edited 28/10/09]


iPhone: Kinky Apps

I’ve made a more serious post about how Paul and I use technology in our discipline / punishment scenes over on the Punishment Book including our more recent use of the iPhone in conjunction with Apple’s MobileMe. This blog entry is about the more fun and kinky iPhone apps I’ve discovered since Paul gave me one for my birthday this past July –I mention this in case there’s any doubt that Paul keeps me very indulged and spoiled. The screening process Apple uses hasn’t screened them out, at least not so far as I can tell.

ispankThe most obvious of the kink apps is iSpank. No really and for true, it’s there in the iTunes store, in both a free and $.99 version (you get more implements for the money). It’s fun — some of the sound effects are better than others. While the paddle is only okay, the belt or strap always makes me start a little even when I’m holding it. One danger of the app, however, is what I think of as the Wii problem — it encourages the spanker to swing their iPhone around. So make sure you have a tight hold. You then get rated on the strength of your swing. I rarely get more than 5/10, though Paul thinks I don’t need swing so much, that it’s all in the wrist.

But the kinkiest one I’ve found is called either iGrounded or UrGrounded. Its makers market it as a “parenting tool” claiming, “Kids need boundaries. This app helps parents set and enforce consequences.
-urgrounded games-makes grounding easier for parents and kids.” Nothing too kinky there (well, except the idea that punishment’s a game) — but then it goes on to say

igrounded

WE ARE A GENERATION OF WIMPY PARENTS…and we are creating a generation of kids that are lazy,rude, entitled and who show a lack of respect for RULES.

iGrounded is A QUICK POCKET GUIDE FOR PARENTS
When kids break the rules,they need immediate logical consequences.

wheel-of-consequences
iGROUNDED INCLUDES:

  •  UR GROUNDED WHEEL OF CONSEQUENCES GAME..
  •  THE MYSTERY DOORS CONSEQUENCE GAME!

Parents, YOU enter and edit the consequences in both games.

Guide to:

  1. LYING
  2. CURFEW BREAKING
  3. STEALING
  4. NOT CHECKING IN
  5. DRUGS /ALCOHOL
  6. SEXTING
  7. DRIVING ISSUES
  8. ATTITUDE
  9. POOR GRADES and more…

Parents, YOU enter and edit the consequences.

Keep track of who’s grounded in your home.
E -mail your child (and yourself) with the consequence as a friendly reminder.

Excuse me? Let’s just look at that last sentence. Are we talking about Girl’s Boarding School here?  I mean, I don’t have kids, but do most parents really need to have emailed reminders sent to themselves to remember which child has been grounded and for what?  How many teens are living in this “family” anyway?  The offenses also look like something out of video (or story) plot — parent scolding and punishing teen for breaking curfew, or better yet, catching them “sexting.”  Lovely stuff.  The app has scolding prompts to remind parents why lying is bad (seriously).

Keeping with this theme, I do find it odd that “not checking in” appears between “stealing” and “alcohol/drugs.”

Which brings me to the Wheel of Consequences.  As downloaded, the wheel, which spins with a flick of the finger does not have corporal punishments.  Insteadm, they start out with punishments like forced runs, losing game consoles, cleaning the cat box, losing pet (!!!) or having to stay home or in ones room (bliss!), but can be easily edited to fit a more CP turn.    The thing is, I can imagine this “spin and be punished” game being used at a Shadow Lane Party a lot more easily than I can by a parents as a means of deciding how to punish a teenager for a drug offense.

One last gem. The maker claims this app is “Recommended by Pediatricians”  — I’m  imagining a conversation a bit like this:

DOCTOR: Good Lord Sir / Madam!  Your child is clearly an out of control brat  who is both lazy and rude!  You are a wimpy parent!

PARENT: I know doctor, he/she has no respect for the rules. Maybe it’s because I can’t figure out what the logical consequences of their misbehavior should be. For that matter, I can’t even keep track of whether or not my son/daughter is grounded. Whatever can I do?

DOCTOR: I’ve no idea.  Your situation seems hopeless. Unless… I say, you wouldn’t happen to have an iPhone by any chance?

There’s nothing I can see that’s serious about this app, but it might be a great help for spanking story writers or roleplay enthusiasts.  And what could be more fun than that?

Lurking the third eye


irisBonnie’s encouragement each year for those of us who maintain spanking blogs* to have a “love our lurkers” day is a wonderful tradition.  While stats can tell us we have readers, comments from friends and strangers alike are always a bit humbling. For me, it harkens back to how exciting and nervous-making each new bit of contact was, how hard it could be to step out of the shadows.  I’m grateful to you for taking the time to read here, especially give how random both my writing topics and blogging frequency is.  At the same time, LoL is also a reminde to those of us who have a ‘net presence to remember to take the time to comment on each other’s blogs. 

I certainly cop to reading and nodding rather than remarking much of the time.  

At the same time, it can be hard to figure out what to say.  So here’s a question (stolen from Typepad’s Question of the Week)

What was a favorite childhood toy and why?

Mine was something called a Lemon Twist (no, not a lemon drop, though they are delish).  It was basically a loop of black rubbery plastic that went around my ankle and then came out to end at a yellow lemon.  It spun in a circle so I could then skip over it.  All the while a rattling thing inside the lemon made a lovely rattle snake noise.  I remember playing with it all day, wandering the neighborhood, skipping and twisting.  

lemon-twistMine was something called a Lemon Twist (no, not a lemon drop, though they are delish).  It was basically a loop of black rubbery plastic that went around my ankle and then came out to end at a yellow lemon.  It spun in a circle so I could then skip over it.  All the while a rattling thing inside the lemon made a lovely rattle snake noise.  I remember playing with it all day, wandering the neighborhood, skipping and twisting.  

What about you? Or write about something else.  The toy question is just in case your stuck. And because I’m always looking for ways to be a better auntie.  

*I have to admit to feeling a bit of fraud sometimes participating from this blog in LOL — while I do write about spanking and fetish here sometimes, this isn’t really a “spanking blog” in the sense that so many of the other wonderful links from Bonnie’s site are.  Still, she’s kind enough to include me and I’m happy to play along.  But there’s definitely better kink content out there.

Being there

maliaA few hours ago, my brother’s first child, a beautiful baby daughter, was born. The experience was a first for me. Not because her birth made me an aunt.  This baby isn’t my first niece or nephew.   My sister has a son and Paul’s brother and sister both have families too. She is, in fact, our third niece. We’re fortunate in having 5 children altogether to call us “Aunt” and “Uncle.”  It’s a pleasure to be indulgent and (sometimes anyway) set a bad example.

And yet, her birth was a first. The other children have been born at a distance — my sister’s son in the midwest, Paul’s sibling’s children in the UK. By contrast, this time I was there to hear, in person, about the pregnancy less than a month after her conception. I got to attend the baby showers and even was able to throw one. Moreover, I’ve known my brother’s wife since she was 14 — they started going out in high school. Most wonderful of all, tonight, Paul and I got to be there at the hospital while this baby niece was born.  We heard my brother come out and call out that his parents and parents in laws were grandparents. Within an hour of her birth I got to stand next to her, look into her brown eyes and take this picture.

A minute later, those tiny, but long and strong fingers curled around mine.

Being there was such an honor.

When Worlds Collide: Part 3

tendenciesOver four years ago I posted my first academic world meets fetish world startle regarding a CFP email. Startling, but my field is lit and one happily grows to expect some BDSM study. It was only a week (or was it two now? I do blog slowly…) ago when I got another. I opened my email this week only to find another CFP startlingly titled:

Spanking and Poetry: A Conference on Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

No, really, that’s what it says. But I do think CUNY (yes, City University of New York again) is, as the British say, taking the piss. The first sentence of the call reads (how had I not remembered this Sedgwick quote?)

“When I was a child the two most rhythmic things that happened to me were spanking and poetry.” (Sedgwick, Tendencies 182)

And then goes on to say

Eve Sedgwick lovingly, if none too gently, slapped open the sphincter-tight boundary rings of critical scholarship on the sexual and affective relations between bodies.

Sadly the kinky stuff mostly ends at this point save a couple of paper suggestions (Fisting-as-écriture and Shame and Generic Discipline respectively). But hey, if you like Sedgwick and want to go, check them out at their blog.