Category Archives: mi familía

Favorite Board Game: Advent Blog Day 18

scrabble
Another quick blog post made at the end of the day.  🙂

As the weather gets colder (okay, it’s Santa Monica, but we’ve got the heater on and all) I tend to want to curl up and cocoon a bit. This makes me think of sipping hot beverages and playing board games.  And when I think of playing board games I mostly think of my very favorite (and my family’s favorite too) which is Scrabble.  We all play, sometimes in bursts where we do it every night, with various styles and skills. Sometimes I play a tight defensive game.  Other times I go for the high scoring words, regardless of leaving the board open in a kind of “catch me if you can” kind of play.  Paul didn’t play when we first met, but he took to it well and, after years of my almost always winning, he now routinely trounces me. (Damn!)

I have some wonderful Scrabble memories.  Some of my favorites are of traveling on trains in Britain with Paul and playing our travel Scrabble game.  The games themselves were a fun way to pass the time, but it was also great fun to watch the nearby passengers slowly get sucked into watching the game while they pretended to read.  We’ve even played on transatlantic flights, a huge advantage for me because Paul is a tense flyer.

That said, I haven’t gotten into Words With Friends, partly because I’m not on Facebook enough and am worried about the time suck, but mostly because I take huge pleasure in the feeling of the wooden tiles in my fingers.  There’s nothing like sticking my fist in the bag and hoping not to pull out more than one letter “i”.

All this said, I wonder why I don’t play more often.  Maybe more Scrabble will be my resolution for the 2012.

 

Such a Manic Sunday: Advent Blog Day 11

This was not a quiet day. I'm not sure how it ended up being so busy, except that my dad was home all day and we seemed to move from task to task.  Still, it was a good day in that I feel I got a fair few things done.  

The most impressive of these is that I changed the lock on the front door. It needed to be done because my purse (which had my keys and our address in it) has not yet been returned. It's a little scary to think of someone we don't know having keys to our door. So I went to the hardware store and bought a lock that looked a lot like the one that was already on it. I did think of maybe calling a locksmith to have the place re-keyed, but then considered that having them come out would cost more than doing it myself, plus, worst case, I'd have to have a locksmith come out and do the install.  Might as well give it a go.  Anyway, Casey was sure I could do it.  It also gave me an excuse to use my Hitachi (power drill), something I find very exciting.

It was all much easier than I expected and took, total, less than 15 minutes. I made my dad and Paul come and admire it and preened about it on Twitter. Clearly, from this post, you may have gleened I'm still proud. 

I spent most of the rest of the day working on materials for the course I'm teaching next semester. Sadly the book I most want to teach, This Bridge Called My Back, is out of print. Happily, a couple hours worth of work and I've found all but two chapters on the web as PDFs.  It's not as good at them having the actual book, but at least the students will be able to read it. Also in preparation for teaching, Paul did heroic work and divided up my academic domain so I can have mutiple WordPress blogs on it, which means I can construct a website / blog for the course. So I spent the second half of the day working on that. I swear the hardest part (for me) about using word press is figuring out what theme to use and then how to make it do what I want.  I'm not good with too many choices.

Purse-aftermath-update (no, it's not over)

Okay so now I've changed the lock and have begun to replace credit cards and the like. I'm still hoping it comes back in the next week or I'll have to go in and get a new driver's licence (ugh!).  I've also talked with my therapist about how to be more mindful when I'm stressed out — basically I need to be aware that when I'm stressed my ability to do things on auto-pilot is diminished. Paul's been really wonderful about not making me feel bad for being careless, but we talked about it a bit during our scene yesterday. Today we talked about it a bit more and he's offered to / said he's going to be aware of me being aware. 

That's not as good as having my purse back, but it's a help. 

Día de Los Muertos

[I’ve broken with my promise to blog every day this month. In my defense, I did start this entry last night, but I collapsed into sleepiness before I finished writing it. There will be two blog posts today.]

dia-de-los-muertos
Here in Los Angeles, people are starting to build alters for Día de Los Muertos — literally translated as “day of the dead”.  Day of the Dead is on All Souls Day, November 2nd. It’s a national holiday in Mexico where the dead are remembered and celebrated. Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, pictures and including their favorite foods, drinks and hobbies.  In Los Angeles it’s become something of an arts festival with artists making alters both to deceased friends and family and also to famous people who’ve died over the past few years.

My family didn’t really celebrate Día de Los Muertos in a traditional fashion, but my grandmothers always kept alters to the dead in their homes. Photos of their dead parents and siblings were always surrounded by flowers and watched over by candles and statues of Our Lady.  It was something I didn’t think about much — one of those things I saw without really registering an opinion. Looking back, I think I didn’t appreciate the value of Día  de Los Muertos because I hadn’t lost anyone close enough to me to understand the importance of celebrating memories.  You might say I was very fortunate in that respect, not losing anyone very close to me until quite recently.

As I’m getting older, that’s changing. My grandparents’ generation is gone on my mother’s side and disappearing fast on my father’s. These are people who’ve embodied family for me, who always made me feel valued and loved. Even more importantly, they clearly knew who they were and what they stood for. Through them, I knew myself.

I don’t think I’m going to make an alter this year — as I said, it’s not really a tradition my family held with — but I am going to buy some pan de muertos (yes, that’s bread of the dead), eat it with a cup of good coffee and remember some very wonderful people.

Caned Again (Again)

[This blog post has been written twice. The first draft got eaten by TypePad (boo!). I thought maybe this was a sign that this story wasn’t meant to be shared, but Zille and Paul convinced me that if I didn’t share the story here, pictures of my bottom and its cane marks could end up on Twitter. Since the last thing I want to do is show my bottom to the world for being caned for not going to the gym enough, and thus prove why I need to go to the gym more often, I’m busy re-typing this on the bus.]

As those of you who read at the Punishment Book and / or Spanking Blog know, I’ve asked Paul to help me make better use of my gym membership by giving me 49 strokes of the cane, that’s one for every dollar my membership costs, any week I don’t make it to the gym at least three times. Paul gets to pick everything about the caning except the number of strokes. He can choose the cane he wants, what I wear and what position I’m caned in. This week I only went to the gym once. My reckoning was last night (Sunday).

Now I wasn’t entirely sure I would really get caned for missing the gym this week. I had some very good excuses. First, my gym isn’t air conditioned and last week it was very hot several days. So I didn’t go to the gym for fear of getting over-heated. Then my mother showed up with all her loveliness and drama. I spent one whole day running errands with her. So I didn’t go to the gym that day either. Saturday was taken up with a family party. I couldn’t go to the gym Saturday. And Sunday I had to go out to brunch with a friend of my parents. And then I had to come home and get my writing sample ready. I couldn’t go to the gym on Sunday. Suddenly all the days were gone and a week had past with only one gym trip. But of course Paul would understand.

He understood and even agreed I had very good reasons for not having gone to the gym. But that didn’t matter. I hadn’t gone and I’d asked him to punish me, to cane me, if I didn’t go. I think if he had made the rule, he might have let me off this week. Maybe not. But because I asked for this and didn’t say “except for weeks when it’s really hot or I’m really busy” he followed through. And that’s right. My gym opens at 5:30 AM and is open until 11:00 PM. We make time for things that are important and getting good use out of my gym membership and spending some time on my body is important. Truth be told, for all that my excuses are good, I could have gone.

Paul let me know yesterday afternoon that I was going to be caned. I struggled a bit with the knowledge. I was in the midst of wrestling with the text of my writing sample and couldn’t quite make room in my head for the idea of being caned. So I buried myself in my work and didn’t think about it. Even as evening progressed (with me still working away) I was in denial. You see, not only is my dad with us this week, my mom is here as well. They sleep in the bedroom next to ours. And unlike my dad, my mom is a light sleeper.

When I came out of the bathroom after doing all those evening things, the nursery cane was at the end of the bed. He was going to go through with it.

I thought about calling safeword on the caning. I mean, my mom.

But the thing is, part of me didn’t want to. I want to be held accountable. I asked for this. So I cowardly tried to slide into bed with the vague hope that if I fell asleep fast (all that writing and editing had made me tired) Paul wouldn’t cane me. After all, he’s always trying to get me to sleep. He sternly told me not to get into bed.

So I took a deep breath and stood next to the bed, after closing the door, and, rather sadly, pushing my bed stool up against it. I hoped that like last week, this week he’d be using the cane over the knee (thats’ what the nursery cane, which is short and thin, is made for). Sure enough, he sat down on the bed and had me pull down my pjs. I took them down and climbed over his lap. He spent a good amount of time adjusting my position, turning the top of my body closer to the head of the bed and my bottom further down his leg. What he was doing wasn’t clear to me until the first stroke landed.

He was giving himself more room to swing so the tip of the cane would land harder.

The first stroke landed like a cut. The thing is, the nursery cane is very very thin and really really stings. That was true last week, but from the start it was clear this caning was a lot harder than the one the week before before. But, my brain cried, as I considered screaming, my parents are in the next room. So I pulled my hands forward (my arms had been folded behind my back) and started counting off the strokes on my right fingers, one at a time, while on my left I kept track in groups of twelve.

The thing about the thin cane is that it really stings. When Paul used it on me it felt more like a switch than a cane. By the time he reached twelve I could feel the tip marks crossing. The sting was terrible and I fought with myself to lie still. Paul will probably say I wasn’t still, but I’m sure I mostly was. As I counted each one off it seemed an impossible number was left. When he reached twenty-four I started to panic and tears welled up in my eyes. I tried to keep my breathing slow and even because I knew if I started crying I might make noise. And making noise, being heard by my parents seemed much worse than even the hurt the cane was doing.

Strange as it may seem, at thirty-six I felt a sense of relief because it meant there were only twelve left. However much they might hurt, I could get through twelve more. Paul sped up and the strokes landed harder still and faster, making me gasp into the sheets. My feet fluttered as I tried hard not to kick. After quite a build-up of pain, it ended in a rush — an almost “is that all there is?” moment. Then the burn started to soak in.

Paul kept me over his lap as he rubbed some LUSH dream cream into my bottom. It stings, but in a soothing sort of way. It hurt enough that I teared a bit as we snuggled close but I expected all signs to be gone by morning. This is so not the case. Almost 24 hours later and I’m still sitting tenderly, the right side of my bottom is still hot to the touch. Yes, this is me pouting a bit.

But not too much. I did, after all, ask for this. And I’m sure this week I will make it to the gym at least three times. Why am I sure? First because I want to. Second because my bottom really hurts. And third, my parents will not be here next weekend. Paul has let it be known that should he have to cane me next week, I won’t be getting off with the nursery cane.

I’m going to be such a good girl. No, really.

Discussion, Disagreement and Discord

I was raised in a family that was both loving and, at the same time, abusive.  There was physical abuse from my father which left its marks on me, most of which are long in the past and have been healed by the consensual play I've engaged in with Paul and others.  The ones that left the most lasting scars have been my mother's anger.  Disagreements with her were fraught events.  She never argued fairly and would say anything in moments of heated anger, expecting all would be forgotten and forgiven when the moment had passed.

I wasn't like that and would burn inside at the injustice, thinking of what I should have said long after, never feeling good about myself because of the personal attacks.  At the same time, politics and religion could be discussed civilly with disagreements encouraged and fair debate encouraged.  Needless to say, by the time I reached adulthood, disagreements left me feeling frightened.  Even though I would hide that fear and take on issues that mattered to me, I still felt inwardly vulnerable, wanting proof that disagreement wouldn't mean dislike or abuse.  For the first few years after I came out in the scene I avoided all disagreements with anyone in the scene, carefully sidestepping issues.  This was not easy as we were on Usenet, but I knew with regard to spanking I felt too vulnerable, would be too easily hurt.

Yes, I got past it, kind of.  But the discussion this week here and on Indy's site with Ludwig and especially Kaelah has reminded me my childhood is long past.  That one can disagree with passion and civility.  I appreciated their honesty and their thoughts, even while wishing I could convince them to side with me instead.  We're not close friends (really we're more friends of friends) but I didn't feel there was discord or dislike, rather that we were hashing out our positions, looking at the common ground and the disagreements, marking where each point lay and why it was there.

This isn't much of a blog post except to say that's a big deal for me. And I appreciate it.

H8 – Keep ‘Em Out of Sight

h8
As many of you know, I’m not exactly white. I’m Mexican American or as I prefer to call myself, Chicana. My father and my grandparents were born here in Los Angeles, but my great-grandparents came up from Zacatecas, Mexico.  I grew up in Los Angeles where having a white mother didn’t make me anything but Mexican.  That said, I didn’t experience too much discrimination.  My parents were very careful, protecting my sister, brother and me from the hate and fear that my father’s face and skin color could evoke.  Still, up through the 1980s, they had a hard time moving into white neighborhoods.  Realtors refused to show them homes, tried to steer them to the browner parts of town.  And this was with my mother being white.

My uncle’s family experienced all that and much more. My cousins don’t have a white mother to temper their skin tone and that color’s effect on the neighborhood.  When they moved into a white part of town, a “welcome wagon” met them with a chicken casserole and a request that they keep their children in the backyard for fear the sight of these brown children would lower property values.

So what you say?  Sad, but these are different times, right?

I say wrong and I’m calling our spanking community out on it. What groups like Crimson Moon and Ms. Margaret’s SCONY are doing by not allowing M/M spanking in their groups, what SpankingTube is doing by not having M/M searches come up in their general search is the same damn thing as racial redlining was in a previous generation.  It maybe legally right, but it’s ethically reprehensible.

But, but, some people don’t like M/M spanking.  So what?  I don’t like oral sex.  I don’t ask that it be banned or shunted off into a corner so I don’t have to stumble upon it.  I just avert my gaze and look at something I do like.  For those of you who think you can’t learn to stomach M/M spanking, I urge you to free your mind and grow the fuck up.   If your arousal is so fragile that the sight or suggestion of M/M spanking can take it down, you may need some medical help.  Not everything in the scene has to exist specifically to get you off.

But, but, you agree with me.  Really. You wish these spanking groups or SpankingTube didn’t discriminate.  Then live your beliefs.  Don’t patronize them.   Don’t use their sites.  Don’t go to their parties.  And let them know why you’re not.  That you’d like to, but because of their policy toward M/M spanking in our scene, you can’t.  Then go places like Shadow Lane and SF-CP that are open to everyone whatever their orientation.

But, but, Mija, you’re ranting.

Yes. Yes I am.  Don’t hate. You know you don’t want to.  And don’t support people who can and do.

ADDED: For more information on what SpankingTube is doing and why it sucks see this post by PaulThe Problem with SpankingTube.com

For a less rant-y take on M/M spanking see this post by IndyHomophobia in the Scene.  And another one by Indy here: Homophobia in the Scene, Revisited.

—-

PS. What did my uncle do? He had his twin brother move in next door with his family.  And then two put up a basketball hoop so all the kids played outside in the street, property values be damned.

So what’s up lately?

Lately?  Lately hasn't been very kinky, but not in a bad way.  I've been caught up in getting ready to graduate — planning a huge party for next month.  It's not that I have that many friends, but my extended family, once I get beyond the nuclear, is very very big. Guess that's what happens when Irish and Mexicans marry and both stay in California forever. 

I've also been doing some professional stuff, trying to get myself ready to go on the job market next fall. Fall seems forever away as it isn't even summer yet, but I know from last year how fast it all sneaks up. And then there's looking for a job to tide me over next academic year as my current job runs out in August. As my therapist remarks, who wouldn't be stressed out under the circumstances?  Therapy is going well too, though my therapist keeps remarking on my tendency to beat myself up, or "use a stick" which I always find a bit disconcerting given that she does know about my masochistic tendencies. 

In other news, my dad is still living with us. I'm not sure about Paul but I've made peace with this.  The truth is, as much as I miss our privacy, I love seeing him every day and will miss him when he finally is able to move out. He reminds me how much my family has always loved me, even when, at times, it's felt otherwise. 

So even without regular spankings, life is good.  And see, because of Paul, I live in a world where spankings are always possible even when they aren't actually happening.

This, in fact, suits me fine.  

Life is good. 

Holiday Stress

Don't get me wrong; I had a great day today.  I listened to Christmas music and did a good deal of baking (made oatmeal, chocolate chip and sugar cookies).  Wrapped all my presents and admired them under the tree.  But I also got some insight into how my family works. 

My mom was trying to finish up the last of her shopping online.  I made the mistake of suggesting she use my Amazon Prime account.  I logged her in on her iPad and started going about my business.  No, not good enough.  I had to be there to help her work through the menus (multiple presents going to multiple addresses that all needed to be entered).  My dad (who kept wandering away) had to be there to read her addresses from his ancient Palm.  We all needed to give input.  My mom started snapping at my dad for not staying nearby or for making phone calls.  And I was suddenly transported back to being a teenager.

My stress level went through the roof.  I was afraid of my mom suddenly lashing out at me (she didn't) and wanted to escape, wanted to make everyone happy, wanted us all to just relax and get along. What I didn't do was say anything about it.  As ever, once the shopping crisis had passed, my mom was lovely and nice again. I was relieved, but unsettled and insecure.  

But my cookies.  My cookies are amazing.  Wish I could share them with everyone who reads here. 

Holiday Meme: Question 5

baubles
When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?

Sad to say, but I think I stopped believing in Santa before I’d really started.  I know I’d figured it out by the time I was four but somehow didn’t want my mom to know I didn’t believe for fear of disappointing her.  Yes, I kept my non-belief in Santa a secret for fear of ruining the holiday for my parents.  This little detail probably tells you more than you want to know about my family.

How did I find out?  It was when I was taken to see Santa.  I knew he wasn’t the real Santa somehow and, it seemed clear to me that if he wasn’t real there probably wasn’t really one Santa at all.

My mom figured out that I knew the truth when I was five — I think I gave myself away during a “visit” to Santa.  She told me she understood, but that I was to keep the truth about Santa secret so as not to spoil things for my little sister.  What’s funny and a little sad is that Little Sister reminded me recently that I was the one who told her that Santa was our parents.  I didn’t remember doing that and felt terrible until she pointed out she was eight at the time and I’d saved her from social embarrassment.  Hmm.  She is the nice one.

 

Holiday Meme: Question 4

Do you open any gifts on Christmas Eve?

I come from a family with delayed gratification issues.  We open all of our presents on Christmas Eve.  And it's a struggle to wait that long.   Part of the reason this tradition of opening our presents Christmas Eve started is that generally my childhood holidays were spent on the freeways, going from one family event to another.  My mom and dad are both from large families and we tried to see everyone on Christmas day.  Later my parents hosted Christmas so Christmas Eve was time for our immediate family (including my grandparents) to hang out, open gifts and be together.

The other reason though is that my mom and I suffer from a desire to give gifts as soon as we buy them.  I've gotten a little better, mostly because Paul won't open his presents early even if I try and tease him into it, but it's still a struggle.  For years I did all my shopping and wrapping Christmas Eve day because it was the only way I could wait long enough.  I'm endlessly impressed by people who do all their shopping before Thanksgiving.  Not just because they're clearly more organized than me, but really because they're able to wait to give their gifts.  I just couldn't do it.

We do open one thing Christmas morning — stockings.  Because, you know, Santa doesn't fill them until then.