Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A Ski Bum

is what I'm going to be. I just got hired as a full-time waitress at Keystone Resort in beautiful Colorado. Now I just need to find a place to live, buy some black clothes and shoes, get some skis, and go crazy.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

OUCH!

My body, heart and mind are aching. And I've done it to myself. OUCH.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Growing Up

I am shy. So seems to be most of the world these days. I think back to seeing children running around the playground, loud, demanding of their wants and needs, liberal with their acclaim. That was never me. Even as a baby my mother says i did not cry. When I suffered, it was in silence, and when I knew joy only the quiet smile of contentment, that makes so many people turn towards me twice and wonder who I am, would show it. So now I am growing up. I am becoming a woman and part of that, methinks, is to shed the layer of shyness. I want to express to the man I love that I want him, and want more of him than he has given so far. I want to be able to make demands on my friend's time. I want to be able to say- this is what I want. I do not want to get what i want all the time, but i want to express it, and i want more than just my terrified eyes to betray my needs.
The difference between a boy and a man seems easy to feel. Within a conversation you know whether you are talking to a little boy (who is endearing and special and great) or a man (with confidence and concern) but I wonder what the layers are of girl and woman. It seems much more difficult for me to seperate the two. Some days i feel like a little girl, lost and scared and joyously childish- then hours later i feel the power of my womanhood come upon me and i wonder what prompts the change. It is not just demanding what you want- spoiled little girls do that, but it is a certain peace in taking control of your own life. So maybe the two are not related at all, but for some reason it is more painful to be shy when i am a woman than when i am a girl.
So I wonder- do I want to be a woman... or am I content being a girl? And how, oh how, to I blend together the best of both worlds?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Censored

Elliotte here.

I just wanted to let you know I have had an attack of privacy and decided to censor parts of the posts made by Kevin. He's wonderful, and I care about him deeply. I love what he wrote on this blog, and I kept a complete copy for myself, but the more I thought about it, and the more concern from friends I received, I started to think I don't want the world to know all of my business.

I know Kevin meant no harm from the posts, and was writing how he feels, and I didn't want to censor anything on here, but I have to consider my name - my real and full name - is on this.

I'm not ashamed or embarrassed, I just want to keep aspects of my life a little more private than a post on a public blog that strangers read, future employers can google and find, and that might cause my grandmother to have a heart attack. I am going to censor as little as possible in the future, and I hope it doesn't discourage my guests. I'm not a prude. Not at all, if you read the uncensored versions of his posts. But I do have some boundaries that make sense.

Thanks to everyone who contacted me. I appreciate your comments, and I love you.

~Elliotte

p.s. I'm in Boulder, CO having a wonderful time. I went to the Rocky Mountain National Park and drove up to the tundra, saw some elk, and enjoyed the ride with a friend. I also went on a cruiser ride through the streets of Boulder with about 100 other bikers - all dressed in funky costumes. And last night I went to a bar happy hour with a bottomless glass of wine for $5 and got sloshy and had a wonderful time and met a lot of nice new people. All in all, it's a great time here in the mountains, although the altitude hurts after a month at sea level.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Seducing Elliotte by Kevin Gilmore

Delicate.

The situation was so very delicate. Subtlety would be required. Despite my overwhelming hunger for her, I would have to play it very calmly. She was staying for a while. I had a little time.

First Step - get more time.

I had two tickets to a Dead Can Dance Concert I had been given as a thanks from a grateful friend. I think I had built them a computer or something similar. I don't really keep track of these things I do. In any case, I had an extra ticket. I offered it to another friend who let me know she was going to Hawaii instead. Perfect. I didn't even know if Elliotte had ever heard of Dead Can Dance (turns out she hadn't). She said she would love to go, and that's when I know I had her for two more weeks.

Second Step - Find out more about her and charm her outrageously.

I made sure there was lots of time to talk, laugh, and be light. I put my life on hold to spend as much time as I possibly could being with Elliotte. She may not have known how much I said no to or pushed back to make time for her. She will now, but I think she knew that I was making her my priority. At least I hope she did.

In those days we packed, talked, and generally just connected, deeply. By day, I would work, when I wasn't playing hookie to spend time with her. By night we would snuggle. Sleep was an excuse to wrap my arms around her and feel her against me. She nestled in to me far more than a casual friend, and I knew that. (private, censored)

Time was my ally. So, I created more time.

Also in that time, I began to provide the subtle clues that I had feeling for her. Small things said. Blog entries I knew she would ferret out. Once a journalist, always a journalist. All I had to do was make sure the posts were not too much over the top. I couldn't let on how much I liked her, just that I did. Once I was happy that the posts were honest without being too cloying, I made sure Rainie had access to them. Rainie is the most honest creature I know. She couldn't help but let on that the posts existed. And Elliotte would find a way to read them when she found out about them. She actually asked to read my livejournal. I stalled long enough to make sure she would read them before I gave her access. Then I gave her access, but not to those posts. It was a funny moment when I honestly told her I didn't give her access to ALL my posts, especially not the ones about her. I had to make SURE she would read them after all. I left lots of clues and made sure she knew how I felt about her. Over time, I was rather forthcoming about it. I just needed to ease her into the idea.

The Dead Can Dance tickets were fortuitous. An excuse. When Elliotte found Apocolyptica tickets online, that was god-damned serendipity. I had played some Apocolyptica for her and Rainie. I am very fond of their music, mostly because of the raw power and beauty in their music. It speaks to something primitive and passionate deep inside. Some of their arrangements actually bring tears to my eyes. I wanted to share that with both of these amazing women. But, the extra week it would buy me was the clincher. I bought those extra days for the bargain price of $18/seat.

And since she was staying for the Apocolyptica, we got her to agree to stay for the Beach Burn Camping trip the following weekend. But, I knew that was the limit of my ability to make her stay. After that would depend on her.

In those extra days, I kept the attention on her and continued my subtle campaign against her better judgment. She continued to struggle with her emotions, so I was supportive and kept things as stressless and easy as I could. (private, censored)

Barely. I somehow knew the concert would be a turning point.

And what a concert it was. My body and mind were exhausted from the emotional exertion of that music. They were as entertaining to watch as they are to listen to, and their performance of Nothing Else Matters drew so many tears that I gave up wiping them away. The opening band was truly dreadful, and out of courtesy, I will not provide their name. At one point Elliotte suggested I make out with her to provide distraction from the mental assault of the opening band. It worked quite well, actually. Her attempts at distraction by kissing Rainie were successful, as well, but in a completely different way. Both of them erupted into a fit of giggles. It was the sweetest failed kiss I ever have been witness to.

After the concert, we wandered in a daze out to grab a cab. Once the daze of awe and emotion left us, we were left with a new sensation. We were all incredibly horny. Powerfully so. Elliotte and I finally got Rainie to call her City Bootycall boy within seconds of having to ride away on the train. Rainie had to practically throw my phone back to me as the doors closed on the train and she turned to meet the train that would carry her in the opposite direction where her boy roused himself to meet her. Poor boy probably had no idea what was about to happen to him. That girl is dangerous when horny.

(private, censored)

And just as soon as I had Love, Elliotte left.

I had my sons to distract me, but once they went home to Sacramento, I resigned myself to catching up on all the things I had set aside while working on my campaign to catch the perfect girl. I had so much to catch up on. And I knew it would be a good thing, too. I would need the distraction.

So, imagine my surprise, and chagrin, when Elliotte came back. Now I had booked myself solid for an entire week. And Love had returned.

The universe has a cruel sense of humor...

On Not Being a Writer

Meaning no disrespect to prostitutes, but storytelling is surely the oldest human profession.

And why not, since good whores are consummate storytellers: they need something to tell their clients, something to tell their friends, and something to tell themselves.

Indeed, it's entirely possible that storytelling, and writing, evolved as the mechanism by which human beings justify their constant whoring. What are you doing when you go to work every day from nine to five but selling your body for money? And how do you justify it except by telling yourself a story about the way the world works? Storytelling is thus the engine of all human progress because it enables us to be better prostitutes.

Dr. Johnson summed it best when he said: "Nobody but a blockhead ever wrote but for the money." Notice he said it: he never wrote it down. One of his literary whores did that.

No one who's ever been a professional writer can deny that writers are intellectual prostitutes. But somewhere along the line storytelling picked up a nobler visage: we discovered that stories convey the deepest aspects of human life better than anything else. Storytelling is the way we tell each other we have looked upon the face of God.

Not being an animal that can keep two complicated ideas in its head at once, Man got the two mixed up and created a mythic professional writer who acts like a prostitute but lives like a prince: a noble savage mystic who experiences hidden truths and brings them to others, much like Prometheus would be if fire had a "spell check."

My father once told me: "if you want to know what's really going on in high school, you should join the school paper." Ridiculous as that idea is, the premise behind it is the very misconception most of us have about writers: they're writing, so they must know something. They must have experienced *something.*

On the contrary. Prometheus never wrote a memoir - although "Your fire, my liver" is a great title.

A very wise and evil man once told me that "Language under represents reality." Later he wrote it down so that no one would forget.

But we do. All the time. We get caught up in storytelling and we forget that language and living are not the same thing.

They're not. And they can't be. The virtue most needed for writing is detachment: to represent life well, however futile a task, requires that one detach from it. You get perspective that way, but you lose camaraderie. You gain understanding but lose the milk of human kindness. You waste away as you know better.

This is why writers of quality tend to be failed human beings. Dante never got over a girl he met when he was 11. He might have written the most enduring work of literature in history but, if you were taking him out for dinner at Chili's you would, at some point before desert, have to tell him to get the fuck over it.

Nabokov was just nasty. The aforementioned Dr. Johnson was tormented his entire life by "impure thoughts about leg irons and restraints," a phrase which he inscribed - in Latin - in a journal. Were Dostoyevsky alive today he would doubtless be best known for his appearance on the Oprah episode about compulsive gambling. Hemingway killed himself and no one seemed to mind. Hunter Thompson is sorely missed, but, he was unquestionably better appreciated from afar. James Thurber beat his wife.

It's not universally true but it's close enough to be a dictum: great writers lead wretched lives.

Their talent didn't drive the greats to these pathetic states, but using it did. Writing talent is a monkey's paw. It depends on the id and the darker places of the unconscious in a way that, say, great accounting never will. When you invoke it, who knows what will come up? Writing talent depends upon clarity, which depends upon keeping your eyes open, which ironically depends upon not telling yourself stories. The strategies others use to justify the terrible things of the world, and the terrible things they do in it, are not available to you because you can't fool yourself if you're going to bring truth to others.

Look at what happened to Prometheus.

Worst of all is when you're getting paid for it, because then you're a tormented prostitute with no delusions. It's the worst of all worlds. The noble things you do are stained by commerce, and the commercial things you do are infested with nobility. You're whoring out the best of your self.

Mediocre writers don't have this problem. Their talent comes from a place much safer because it's much less insightful: you can't fall down in only two dimensions. You can't sell something you don't have. But who wants to be mediocre?

The only sensible way out, if you have any real talent, is to not be a writer. To dance to life's music instead of describing how others waltz. To taste of life's bounty instead of listing how it's prepared. To feel what you want to feel when you want to feel it, instead of coming up with a tear jerker on deadline that's no longer than 1100 words. To say what you mean instead of running it by an editor whose first concern is "will it offend?" To stop under representing reality by not trying to represent reality at all: reality doesn't need any representation. It never did.

- Rochefoucauld

Meeting Elliotte by Kevin Gilmore

My first encounter with Elliotte was fleeting and unimpressive. I had to get into work, but had stayed at the bar long enough to meet her, say hi, and bolt. And that's exactly what I did. She seemed sweet, but didn't make much of an impression on me in those five minutes.

I next encountered Elliotte at my best friend's birthday party a couple days later. I was actually not feeling very social. I ended up sitting next to her on the couch, both of us buried under a layer or two of drunken loadies. Pinned in by my inebriated friends, I watched her deftly evade the advances of our mutual friend's amorous and interested lover. She refused to kiss the boy, because she didn't want to hurt our drunken friend, who was, at that very moment, dancing topless to the very loud and great appreciation of the crowd.

This intrigued me. Integrity is a rare commodity in the city of perpetual indulgence. I began to jest and joke with her. I may have even kissed her chastely. I am never sure who I have kissed at the end of an evening. It seems like everyone in this town kisses their hellos, goodbyes, and excuse-me-I-have-to-get-by-you's. This town is a cold sore breeding ground.

I offered her a massage after someone commented on my massage ability. I am one of the best. I could waste time being modest about it, but it's a fact that is uncontested among my community, and frankly modesty would be futile. So, I like to do it. And I love to do it to new people.

It's always nice to have a regular or friend gush about my massages. But, when I get someone new on the table it's quite a thrill. I love getting to know people this way. Their body tells me a great deal about them, and in that hour or two, I get to form a bond with the person that is real, personal, and always positive. In short, I make a good impression that way. And that's always a good feeling.

Elliotte came over before I got home from work the next day to hang out with my pet, Rainie. Rainie was getting our friend, Sara to dread her hair for her. Elliotte came over and the girls were all in heavy girlie mode when I got there. We all hung out for a bit, gathered up Limbo, and went to Ethiopian. I ordered, as it was just easier than trying to get everyone to decide what they wanted in any sort of concrete way. I think people in this town are allergic to decisions. Dinner was fabulous, even thought they got part of the order wrong. Conversation revealed a very intelligent, and quick-witted woman in Miss Elliotte. I think we connected here first. Ice cream afterwards was delicious and silly. And then we hot-tubbed.

Our hot tub is a tiny little thing, with a capable, yet finicky filter/pump system. Detergents will chew up the filter quite quickly. So, we don't allow clothes in the hot tub. Elliotte has let me know since, that that was her first naked hot tub experience. Not that it was anything but a normal hot tubbing experience. I just think it was a first because we weren't barely covered with strips of colored cloth. I can't imagine people wanting to wear clothes in a hot tub or sauna. It's just an odd thought.

After the hot tub, I led Elliotte into the massage room, and Limbo left to go home and grab his USB Drive with the new Family Guy movie. I had no idea if she had had a full massage before, so I started in slowly. She was a mess. So, I went to work. I had to really work to get some of the really nasty knots out. She was in bad shape. I did some really good work that night.

Elliotte was however so into the massage that she stopped responding. At all. Not even when I talked to her. I just chalked her up as a sleeper and left her on the table when I finished up. I went out to join the others. It was just Limbo and Rainie at this point. We set up the movie, and got the bed arrainged for maximum snuggling when Elliotte emerged from the room.

(private, censored)

Lacking anything resembling rest, I opted to take the day off. Rainie and I persuaded Elliotte to stay a day and go out with us to see a few touristy places. We wandered across the Golden Gate Bridge and back. We visited Sutro Baths. We had too damned much Dim Sum. And we collapsed at home from exertion and over-eating. We watched movies and turned in early. It had been a lovely day, and I knew I was in real danger of falling for her.

Sleep came quickly and before I was ready, it was time to go to work in the morning. I knew Elliotte would be gone when I got home. So, with a slightly saddened heart, I went off to work. To my great surprise I received a Tribe message saying she had decided to stay. I rushed home that day all excited.

Thus began my courtship and seduction of Elliotte Bowerman.

More to follow.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

A new approach to posting

That's it. I don't want to write... at all. I have spent so much of my life as a writer that it began to define me, and I didn't like that limited definition. So, I am taking a break. An indefinite break.

If and when I want to write, I will. Until then, I am not going to write list-like posts about where I am and what I've been doing. I'm too busy LIVING. But I don't want this blog to die.

Thus, I am opening the blog up to people in my life - friends, family, random new aquaintances and strangers alike.

I am going to have my guests post here in lieu of me doing anything, and they can write what they want... about me, about them, about tofu... I don't care. It's going to be random, it could be complete fiction, and it's going to be fun.

Hopefully they'll remember to sign their posts with their name so I know who to buy a big drink when the censors red flag this site.

If you want to participate, send me an email at viragovagabond@excite.com, or leave a comment here with your email address so I can send you the username and password.

Giddyup!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Leaving

It's finally, really time to go. I've delayed and stalled and pushed back my departure more times than I can count, but now I am leaving the San Francisco Bay area to go to Colorado and then... I don't know.

I'm so excited to see my friends in Denver and Boulder, but that doesn't make it much easier to leave.

Part of me... a small small part... wishes I could stay forever and be okay with that. But I know myself too well, and I have too many things to see and too many adventures to have to be in one place permanently.

"One thing I can tell you is you got to be free!!!" was the line that resonated with me yesterday while listening to the Beatles.

I can't imagine having furniture or a "real" job right now. I don't know when I will.

And that's ok. Because I'm leaving, but I can always come back. And I plan to. Soon.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Catching up

(Isn't this beautiful. It's an exhibit at the Exploratorium (see below) that demonstrates comets in space.)

Well, it’s been a long time since I posted anything on the blog. I actually had a nice long post ready to go, and then the computer monster ate it and I got mad and didn’t want to write anything for a while.

But that doesn’t seem to be working for you, and I now feel guilty. So, I am going to try and remember everything I have done since my last post, which was a few weeks ago.

Hmmmmm. Right. Well, I don’t remember any particular order of events, so I’ll just throw them out there as they come back to me.

I went to see Wedding Crashers with some friends. It was at this place called the Parkway, where you sit on couches and waiters serve pizza and beer. It was very cool. And the movie was so funny I laughed until my sides and face hurt. I missed about half the movie because I was laughing so loud, and so were my friends.
Best line - “You shut your mouth when you’re talking to me!!!”

Also went to see Corpse Bride - a very cool movie, but probably more of a rental for me than a big screen attraction.

Rainie and I had free tarot readings at a coffee shop in Oakland. I had never received a reading, but it was interesting. I’m skeptical, but it’s fun to play at. According to the reading, I am the wheel of fortune, with high points and low. My position is the lovers. In a minor position I have a hangman… which means I could be in an uncomfortable situation but if I relax and realize the snake isn’t going to bite me, I’ll be ok. And my outcome is the sun - which means that everything will be happy and great and I will feel like a little boy playing in the mud. This is what the tarot reader told us…. It might be why she was free. Oh well.

At Kevin and Rainie’s we have watched a lot of movies on his projector. It’s crazy - better than the movies because we can pause it, sit on the couch and eat out of the kitchen. A great movie we watched was the City of Lost Children, by the same director as Amalie.

Rainie and I also watched Requiem For A Dream. It’s so beautifully filmed, and then it sends you down a vicious spiral of despair and anguish without relief. I kept wanting some glimmer of light and hope to pierce the darkness, but it just keeps sucking you deeper and deeper into the gutter of life. Afterwards Kevin held me while I cried - really cried. Then he made me watch Family Guy until I could laugh and got sleepy.

This is what Rainie wrote in her blog about the movie:
The reason why I like that movie so much is the same reason why it hurts us all to watch it. It peels away that bullshit lie we are told from birth. It picks apart the Disney fairytale and lays the carcass on our visual dinner plate for us to examine, and what we see when we look inside that hollow shell is that it is a lie. We see that no matter what they told us to make us shut up and go to sleep at night- there is not always a happy ending. The movie is so beautiful, and then suddenly the curve starts towards tragedy and you want to turn it off but you were already so rapidly pulled into that downward slope and the momentum is swinging your guts at an appalling rate and to stop means certain regurgitation of whatever you consumed last. So you hold on and grip the blanket a little tighter around you and you HOPE. You hope that spring will come. You hope that the last scene will have a single ray of light to swing them back into life... but that is not the truth. Good does not always conquer evil because sometimes there IS NO good and evil. Sometimes there are no heroes and right and wrong. And so things may end badly. Things may end terrible. In fact, sometimes, maybe, a dream dies, and if the dream was kept alive by a dreamer whose whole sustenance was the dream, well, when the dream goes the dreamer dies with it. Maybe that is why people do not like us fluffy clouds- because we are balanced so precariously on the edge of certain death. When our dream is shattered there is no pulling us awake again. We are just a shell, just a drone. and maybe that is why some people do not get it- because they are not dreamers, and they can not see the shatter and the decimation. The first time someone sees this- they are sent into shock- what do you mean it ends like that? It got worse and worse and worse. In the end there is supposed to be some relief- please assure me that no matter how bad my life gets there will always be a release. But the answer is there wont. If you spiral- if you take the path down- if you let go to the momentum that sometimes pulls us all, there is a dark dark space waiting beneath all of our feet and it will pull you down willingly and eagerly and there will be no hope. That movie takes beauty and removes hope. What a terrible thing.
Hmm. Kevin, Rainie and I went to see Apocalyptica perform in San Francisco. It was INSANE. These four guys cover Metallica songs… on the CELLO. It’s wild and beautiful and they did things with a cello I never thought I would see. I mean, head banging cello players, and they played over their heads and then sawed at the strings while the cello was laying on the ground. It was an amazing show. Just amazing.

Also amazing was meeting Tom Robbins. I was prepared for my hero to disappoint, as they so often do. But Tom --- we’re on a first-name basis after I told him he’s “the only author I would sleep with based purely on his writing” and he responded with, “That’s kind of a backhanded compliment. Don’t I have any other attributes?” --- lived up to my expectations. He read from his new book, and he told little stories, and he was just great. I am SO happy I got to meet him. That was a dream of mine since I first read Jitterbug Perfume almost five years ago.


I helped Kevin and Rainie paint three of their living room walls LIME green. It looks SO cool. Very bright and bold and energetic. They have a raspberry red couch, and they’re making raspberry red half-circle shelves to go on the walls. It looks awesome! Everyone who has seen it likes it, and is surprised that they do.

A bonus was Kevin bought Rainie and I these really cute overall painter outfits. We looked adorable, and decided to wear them to a party in Santa Cruz and take paint brushes and “paint” people. It was so much fun. I borrowed Kevin’s tool belt and had my brushes in it, and we went around and brushed people’s skin. They liked it, we had fun - a win win.

Speaking of Santa Cruz, I went down there with Rainie for a monthly Burning Man community party called RWB. It’s held at Red, White and Blue beach, a nudity-friendly beach a few miles north of Santa Cruz. I had a good time, and on Sunday I ran naked into the Pacific Ocean with my friend Eriko. It was SO cold. We were going to go swimming, but instead we went “dunking.” As in, my head went under, I was fully in the ocean, and then I turned around and RAN my bare ass out of that water. At which point the wind pelted us with sand. It was an experience.

Another experience was the Folsom Street Fair. It’s an annual fetish festival held in San Francisco that attracts a LOT of gay men in leather chaps and whips. And it raises money for AIDS charities. It was interesting, and I got a fun fishnet tan line on my shoulders from my outfit (that's it on the left). Rainie and I went around collecting stickers from the various booths, and we both got copious amounts of condoms and lube thrown at us. I’m not so into the fetish scene, so it was interesting but I’m not INTERESTED. Still, it was fun.

Rainie and I also had a TON of fun going to the Exploratorium on Wednesday. It normally costs about $15, but on the first Wednesday of every month it’s free. So, we and a million kids went to play with cool science-related exhibits. I actually understood some of the stuff we saw, and we acted like children. We also had a big picnic at the Palace of Fine Arts right next to the Exploratorium. Then we went thrift shopping and I found a bunch of cute things for Rainie and a few items for me.

Hmmm…. What else? Oh, a friend of mine - Doug - took me on a sunset motorcycle ride through the mountains - like the Saratoga region. It was exhilarating and I want a motorcycle now. But I have a large skull and the helmet started to give me a headache. L

I also went to Pacifica one morning and helped pick up trash along the beach in a clean Ocean effort. I really love the ocean, so I was happy to help keep it healthy. I think smokers who toss their butts into the sand should be forced to EAT every single one of them. I must have bent over hundreds of times to pick them up.

I found a new pair of tall boots to replace the ones I gave a friend. What could I do - he looked better in them than I did! But these new ones are HAWT. I am going to wear them out dancing tomorrow for a friend’s birthday celebration.

I’m trying to remember what other exciting things I have done… I got my oil and air filter changed. That was nice and exciting. Yippeee.

I am working on a cool costume for a party in Colorado I am going to on the 15th, and I need to think about Halloween. I’m going to a werewolf party. Any ideas?

Ok, well, I have written a LOOOOONG post for you to make amends for my lengthy lapse. I’ll try to be better when I am in Colorado next week and through Halloween.

In the mean time, I am still having a WONDERFUL time in San Francisco and find it really hard to leave. But I am also not ready to stop my exploring. I am still “home free” and want to be. And if I come back and want to settle here someday…. Well, I know I’ll have an AMAZING group of people to be with. How did I get so lucky?