Category Archives: la vida

Bryson and the Doctor

bryson2

For those of you not following me on Twitter, I’ve had an amazing time during April (and part of May) which explains the radio silence here and elsewhere.  Here’s my attempt to explain it all in one fell swoop though I suspect more news will come out as time goes on.

First, and honestly the most wonderful and exciting, after two months of being lost, Bryson Bear was returned to me twice over this past month.

He first returned via eBay where, once we had identified him as of the Wuzzy clan (many thanks to Doug of Doug’s Bears for his help in communicating with GUND to identify him), an identical “new” Bryson was located in Glasgow, Scotland (as some of you pointed out — many thanks to all of you too!).

My mom purchased him for me since it was important that Bryson came from her as you probably guessed from the LOST post, The new Bryson flew across the ocean, braving volcanic ash and the U.S. Postal Service to arrive with much fan fair and packing in a large-ish cardboard box.

excellent-defense
I was naturally very glad to see him — he was clearly the right bear with the right intelligent expression.  But as my Doctor Who friends will know, like the new incarnations of the Doctor, while I knew the bear I was looking at was Bryson, because he very much felt like Bryson, he also very much wasn’t Bryson. There was, however a difference.  I could hardly remember Bryson ever looking so new.  Bryson yes, but not yet my Bryson.

Still, he snuggled close in the night and talked to me in a comforting fashion as Bryson always has.  And I needed Bryson and a great deal of comforting because my life had become insanely stressful — more so than I’d ever experienced.  You see, I found out in mid April I had to finish and defend my dissertation before the term ended the second week in May.  If I didn’t, there was a good chance I might not get to finish at all.  I wasn’t sure if I could do it (in fact, I was pretty sure I couldn’t) but after ten-plus years of graduate school, I couldn’t quit without giving it a try.

bryson1

So, I dropped out of life in order to cope and do what needed to be done — Paul handled all things social, phone, email and Twitter related.  I just worked.  I worked at my university job and I worked on my dissertation, ultimately writing more than one hundred pages in less than four weeks.  Given that ten pages a week is my normal “working very productively” speed this is pretty amazing.  It was actually liberating though, as said, very stressful.  I don’t ever want to experience it again.
Less than two weeks ago, five days before my defense, I was writing my final chapter (or “coda” as my chair called i)t and I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize.  Though I hadn’t been taking calls from anyone, I took this one for some reason.  The call was from LAX Marriott’s housekeeping supervisor.  She believed had found my bear.

The picture I had sent to everyone at Marriott (or so it seemed) had worked.  He had been recognized, even though, as I was told, his “timeline” was off.  More than two months after he had been lost, my original Bryson had been found at another hotel, having been sent there from the laundry.

both-brysons
Or that was the story that made sense to the hotel housekeepers.  I had my own which involved travel across both time and space, but either way, his being found and returned was a very good omen.  Someone a week from her defense is looking for omens.

Anyway, Paul went and claimed the Bryson the next day as I prepared to print out my dissertation and give it to my committee. The distraction of knowing he was coming home kept me calm enough to compile the document (well, almost). So Paul brought him home, leaving me so overwhelmed I couldn’t stop crying.

Part of me was a bit worried about new Bryson.  Naturally he was insecure, because still having his tags his tags on some 15 years after he was made, he seemed a bit worried he was about to be put up on the shelf again now that Bryson 1 was returned.  I reassured him that there was always room in the bed for another bear and he and Bryson 1 shared a Coke and seemed to become friends.  That said, Paul did point out that the Doctor never gets along very well with his other selves.

What I Think Happened

It seems clear to me that somehow, during Gallifrey, Bryson did have the opportunity to travel in the Tardis.  It being a time machine, I’m sure he figured he’d be back in literally no time and never be missed from the bed.  In the manner of time travel though, the Tardis brought him back a month late. By then, the sheets had been through the laundry many times and were far from our room.  He ended up at the wrong hotel and it took him a while to both figure out what happened and make his presence known.

Thank goodness Maria recognized him from the picture.  Of course he felt terrible for having abandoned and worried me.  Just make sure you always take pictures of the ones you love best.

He’s back now, living a quiet life among The Animals of the Bed.  But there’s an extra twinkle in his eyes.  You can tell he’s had an adventure.

Oh, and my defense went well.  A few revisions and I’ll be a Dr. Mija.  Imagine that.

Breakfast Conversation

huckleberryA snatch of conversation from over Sunday breakfast at Huckleberry’s (butternut squash with bacon and eggs for me, duck hash with eggs for Paul):

Paul: I have The Thick of It and Have I Got News.

Me: Ooo.  Very cool.  When can we watch?

Paul: Tonight if you’re good.

Me: I’m always good.

Paul: {No words, but a direct stare.}

Me: {sadly} I’m not always good.

I took the picture of baked goods with my phone as we stood in line waiting to order, it gets bigger if you click it.  Trust me, they look better in person.  Huckleberry’s sweets counter rocks.

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.

Windows, Prisms and Lenses

Thinking about blogging and being on-line, much as I haven't been lately, I wrote in response to something stumblingtaoest wrote about being judged on what he and his partner have been writing recently in their blogs as part of their poly-family breaks up and they're trying to pick up the pieces. Here's what I wrote, cleaned up a bit because I can:

I think I understand the point you’re making and try and bear it in mind where ever I read. There’s a tendency, especially via medium like a blog, to believe we know a person just from having read their daily writings. But even if they’re writing their true self, it’s at best only true for that moment.

P and I have experienced the other side of the looking glass of what you and Bridget are going through — neither one of us writes very much about problems our relationship has had over the course of its 12 years. And yet there have been problems its just we’re both quite introverted and when unhappy retreat into our own heads. But because the problems haven’t been written down though, they don’t exist on-line and we’re seen sometimes as having a frighteningly idealized existence and relationship. That’s a lot of pressure.

This was brought home rather starkly to me 6 or 7 years ago during a bad patch when I confided in a friend that I thought P and I might have reached the end (as it turned out we obviously hadn't reached the end, but rather an end) and they responded with "you can't. your relationship is the only thing giving me hope that I'll ever find someone."  

She meant well.  But ouch.  No pressure there.  Some fallout was that neither of us have felt great about writing real life stories for The Treehouse ever since, partly because we're both now conscious that it creates a falsely utopian view of our relationship.  The other reason being the site needs a redesign and there's just been too much going on for P to find the time or energy for that project. 

A good rule for life, I think, is to remember that no one knows what's going on in someone else's marriage (or sometimes even their own, come to think of it).  And likewise, knowing someone via their writing is a long way from knowing everything about them. 

Anyway, that's me on a soapbox. 

A Christmas Meme

A Christmas edition of a getting to know your friends meme.  🙂 

christmas-lights

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Wrapping paper with ribbons except where the gift makes it impossible.

2. Real tree or artificial? Can be either depending on the year.  Real the years we’re at home, fake for the years we’re traveling.
3. When do you put up the tree? Early to mid – December.
4. When do you take the tree down? Twelvth Night.
5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, but only the commercial kind, over ice and without booze.
6. Favorite gift received as a child? A Spirograph when I was 9.  I’ve never wanted anything so much before or since.  It was the most perfect gift ever.
7. Hardest person to buy for? Paul, not because he’s difficult but because I want the gift to be just right and that rarely happens.
8. Easiest person to buy for? My father.  He loves getting presents and is thrilled by everything he gets.
9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes — a creche which passed to me when my grandparents died.  I love it in all its chipped and glued-back-together glory.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?  Mail — about once every 5 years or so.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? You know, I’m so spoiled that I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a bad present.  Or maybe I just love presents!
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? Ooo… so many.  In order: “The Thin Man,” “Love Actually,” “Nightmare Before Christmas,” “A Christmas Story.”
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? The week before Christmas, finishing on Christmas Eve because  I love shopping on Christmas Eve (seriously). I can’t shop early because as soon as I have a present for someone I have to give it to them.  The idea of shopping a month or more ahead of time sounds like torture.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? See’s chocolate a few times.
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Tamales and homemade Christmas cookies.
16. Lights on the tree; colored or white? Colored
17. Favorite Christmas song?The Christmas Song,” “Baby It’s Cold Outside” “There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays” and “River” But I like almost all Christmas songs / carols.  Except “The Little Drummer Boy” — that one makes me want kill myself.
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I don’t care, so long as we get to be with lots of family and friends.
19. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer’s? Yes, though I need to sing the song in my head to do it.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Depends on the year.
21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas Eve, after Midnight Mass.
23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Red is a favorite color, but my favorite ornaments are the ones Paul’s bought for me over the years.
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Roast Beef and Yorkshire puddings with chocolate yule cake for dessert.
25. What do you want for Christmas this year? My mom’s total recovery from her surgery on December 8th.
26. Who is most likely to respond to this? Sentimental sorts like me.

Countdown to London

After a weekend spent caretaking an elderly friend so his wife could have a bit of a break (they have a pool so it’s been fun as well as a bit challenging), Paul and I are off tomorrow for a trip to Britain. We’re leaving in less than 24 hours and I’m not even packed.  Though we’re only going to be their two weeks, the time seems packed with an almost disorienting combination of visits with relatives, scene friends and a trip to the Edinburgh festival.

It will be important not to mix the scene friends and the relatives up — I had a dream last night where in a jet lagged blur I absent-mindedly wore my new gymslip to a dinner with my inlaws. This  couldn’t really happen only because I’m not taking my gymslip. (It’s with me after all at the request of my beloved — so the danger persists.)  Otherwise I’m completely capable of such a mistake.  The only bright spot in the nightmare was the knowledge that Paul would be even more
embarrassed than me.  Trust me, that doesn’t happen very often.

hello-kitty-bikeI’m not planning on bringing my laptop — my mac powerbook is a creaky 10 this year and I can’t justify the 8 pounds of excess weight (maybe Santa will bring me a macbook air) so my internet access will be only as frequent as I can pry Paul’s laptop out of his selfish, hard and large hands.

It’s been a great weekend though.  My birthday present finally came. It’s a new bike — a hot pink Hello Kitty beach cruiser (picture here — you can click for a larger version).  This very special gift, even cooler in person  and speaks to my Hello Kitty desires which I will try and remember to write to you about another time.

Sadly, I’ve barely had a chance to actually ride it yet and only just around the block, but whenever he’s missing me, Paul goes into our friend’s garage and finds me stroking it in a loving yet slightly disturbing fashion.

Anyway, we’re about to leave for London as I write this.  I’m bringing a journal so with any luck I’ll be able to write some dispatches as computer and ‘net access allows.  In any case, if I go silent for a few weeks, you now know where I am.  If you miss me, tell Paul to share his computer.  (Note: he’s not selfish.  We share everything else.  But our computers seem to be a share too far.

When we get back it will be almost time for Shadow Lane in Vegas.  I’m
looking forward to getting together with some of PB authors (Iris,
sparkle and Bridget will be there) and (hopefully) getting to call the
others at the same time so we can all wish Iris much happiness in her
coming (and happily spanko) marriage.

August looks to be a very good month.

Talking With the Doctor

Even though I live in a big city, I used to have a lot of worries about talking to my doctors about my kink activities. How self-conscious was I? Enough that I even made sure to schedule pelvic exams around brazil waxes in case the lack of hair caused questions.

What changed all that was a bad scene that required me to seek medical treatment. I had to explain everything. As I was doing so, I realized that all any of these doctors and nurses wanted was to help take care of my body and get well. There was no judgement (at least none that I could see which is all that really matters), no embarrassment (from them, I was certainly embarrassed enough for three people), just care.

As time has gone on I’ve learned to take a deep breath and ask / talk about my kinks with frankness as though I don’t expect judgement or surprise. Thus far, there’s been none.

It’s helped to read about other people doing the same thing. Natty, a fellow Punishment Book poster with her own blog, has an especially good account of a conversation on her blog here.

As well as an entry with a great deal of information on what she’s learned about spanking and anticoagulants.

Yet another PB writer with her own blog, Dykk Grrl, and her wife W have had conversation about What It Is We Do with their therapists and have written about it here.

So all that said, what happened yesterday?

Yesterday I had my first appointment with a new psychiatrist. New to me anyway — the doctor himself is probably in his 70s. For the first 15 or 20 minutes, the questions were mostly medical (trying to see what medications I can and can’t take). Then they became personal.

But not too personal. Until suddenly, he asked:

“Do you experience hyper-sexuality or “inappropriate” sexual urges?”

Dead stop from me. Sexual urges? Since I don’t do vanilla sex, I don’t generally think of myself as even having sexual urges.

The doctor misunderstood my shock.

“That sounded like a value or moral judgement, didn’t it? I don’t mean it that way. Just answer as best you can.”

So I had a choice. I could either go into detail about my fetish or just answer the questions basically replacing in my head the spanking fetish for sex. It was tempting, but the problem with being cagey is that eventually truth always comes out and it only gets harder.

I took a deep breath, answered the question and then replied further that I have an alternative sort of sexuality.

He looked up from the notes he’d been writing. I swallowed hard.

“My husband and I met on a sexually oriented internet group.”

Pause. In retrospect it was easier telling him than it had been telling our immigration attorney. In both cases though, I sure was glad about the whole confidentiality thing.

“What sort of alternative sexuality?”

The word “spanking” suddenly regained the magical power it had had 11 plus years ago when I first de-lurked. Far too late, I tried to be vague.

“Um, BDSM, S/M sorts of things. Impact play based.”

The doctor nodded.

“And what are you?”

“Oh, um, I guess one would call it me a “spanking fetishist.”

One? Did I really refer to myself as “one” out loud for goodness sake?

“Yes, I understood,” he replied. “I meant, do you spank or get spanked?”

Oh.

“I’m, I’m a bottom, that is, I get spanked. I’ve had fantasies about it since early childhood.”

“And your husband’s interests?”

Oh. My. God.

“Okay. Well, he has fantasies about it being done to him but didn’t like the reality,. He spanks me.”

It’s odd, but I find it harder to talk about Paul’s interests than my own. Like I’m being disloyal or talking about him behind his back. Crazy, I know. But then that’s why I’m here in the first place.

“Does he enjoy spanking you?”

“He says he does,” I reply, trying for humor.

“What do you think?”

“I think he enjoys it too.”

And that was it. The subject changed, we went on with an equally embarrassing but not kinky line of questions. The interview ended and I walked to the shuttle stop to head back to Union Station.

I’m glad I told the truth. This doctor too just wants to keep me healthy and happy. That being the case, he’s not going to be down on me being spanked, right?

And finally, if you have the luxury of being able to choose a doctor and it matters for them to be kink aware, this is where the list is: Kink Aware Professionals.

Yes, I’m Back

I know, I’ve been gone forever with no word, nothing. I’m sorry.

But now forever is over. What’s been going on will probably emerge as the blog turns. Or not. Suffice to say the past 6 months has sucked, that they’re over now and the future looks bright.

Yes, I’ve missed a lot. Including anyone and everyone still reading here.

What do I feel?

This should be an entry to remind myself that at 40 I should know better than to try and set between friends who are either disagreeing or don’t like each other.  Especially when I don’t know what’s going on.  The only thing both people could end up agreeing on is that I should mind my own business.

Why I apparently don’t know better and keep making the mistakes the got me in trouble in junior high, why I need everyone around me to get along and to love me are questions that will probably take the next 40 years to resolve. 

I can’t muse on my crazy insecurities today. 

Today I’m at work, working in bursts because the mindlessness of my job makes it an easy place to hide..

Today I’ve turned off my phones and am ignoring my email.

Today I’m trying to find the courage to walk into my boss’s office and tell her about the call I just got from my mom.  But I can’t do it.  That call which I should have been expecting has somehow ripped a hole in me.   

My grandmother is dying.  She’s been going by inches for the past year, but her inches are running out.  At 101 her life is terrible — even the smallest acts of independence are being stripped away while her mind has stayed horribly alert and aware of every loss.  Over the past year, as it’s become clear my nana can never get well, can only decline, I’ve hoped and prayed for her to pass peacefully.  Dying peacefully is the right thing for me to want here and the kindest and most merciful outcome.  I know this.

But I don’t want it and so maybe I haven’t really prayed for either.  I’m selfish and I don’t want to let her go.  At the worst moments of my life, childhood and adulthood, she’s been there for me, making me feel loved as unconditionally as it would be possible for anyone to be.  Her very existence and love for me saved my life, not just once but repeatedly, including one time when I was 10 years old and she confronted my parents about their abuse of me and threatened to take me away from them. 

When I was a child and she was taking care of me, I worried often that she would die.  Back then, 70 seemed very old and she used to play a bit with guilt, telling me when I rolled my eyes at being told to push my bangs out of my face when I read or not to bite my nails that I wouldn’t have her to bother me much longer.  One summer when I was 11, the thought of losing her made me burst into tears and in comforting me she swore she would be here with me as long as I needed her. 

That’s right.  She loved me me so much and was so distressed at having hurt me by her teasing she swore not to leave until I was sure I could let her go. 

My nana is in Portland — more than a 1000 miles away from me.  Her weight down to 65 pounds.  She has cancer that’s spread throughout her body and for which there is no treatment.  Her younger sister and older brother are both dead now.  Last summer my grandfather, her husband of 70 years, died and left her alone to mourn him.  My mom told me today Nana can’t hold down food or water.

She has always been safety and home to me and soon  I have to travel north to say goodbye.  Somehow very soon I have to let her know it’s okay for her to go, that I’ll be fine.

But I don’t believe it.  And selfishly, in my heart, I don’t want her to leave me.

Returning to Normal

This blog is going to be about kink for a while.  That’s where my head is at the moment and I’m pretty happy about it.  As the delightfully sweet Natty would say, after three months off, I’ve got my spanking mojo back. 

Yesterday on the PB, I wrote about how my life is heading back toward normal.  Or at least that we’re trying to push it there.  I’m going to try and log the month to see how it goes.  In some ways these entries probably belong on the PB, but I’d hate for that blog to become all about me.  Well, mostly I’d hate it. 

So how did the first day go? 

Not perfectly.  The day involved some financial stress which understandably (even in P’s opinion) kept me from being able to start immersing myself in my work.  So the two pages I’d planned to write yesterday got tabled until Saturday.  I don’t really like having to work on the weekends, but that was the deal we made and I plan to stick to it.  What I didn’t do was pretend to work for a few hours before giving up.  Instead I went into the study and talked to him about it.  That sounds so grown up!

I did, mostly, wear my uniform.

I did write to a friend I’ve falled out of touch with and apologize (the breaking of contact in this case was totally my fault).  Whatever happens there, I feel better for having done it rather than just feeling guilty about not doing it.

I did track my food / eating on Fitday.

I didn’t get to bed until 1:30 AM even though I’m supposed to be in bed by 11 on weekdays.  The stress of the day and heat definitely contributed to this later bedtime.   P was understanding about that too. 

I did get spanked at bedtime.  Unexpectedly spanked, it turns out.  One of the reasons I stayed up kind of late was in what turned out to be a mistaken belief that if I did, I wouldn’t get a bedtime spanking as P’s energy for such things tends to fade as the night goes on.  Plus he’d had a long and stress filled day too.  But no, he made time for the spanking. 

How was the spanking you ask?  It wasn’t hard and I didn’t cry.  But it did sting enough for me to put both of my hands back and cover my bottom.  Rather than pinning them in the small of my back, something he usually does, P asked me in a far too amused voice, how long I intended to stay like that.  The answer I felt like giving "a long long time" reminded me of holding your breath moment in Creep Show

As I curled up in bed, listening to BBC radio,  I was surprised that the soreness stopped being painful and instead became a warm glow.  I haven’t felt that in a long time.

Time to refill my coffee cup.