Not quite a month later... and I'm a WUZZIE! I wuz a current titleholder and now I am not. SCCLA's Leather Weekend came and went. A whole lotta activity... leather bar meet-n-greet socializing, some fundraising, a terrific community fair, a fun contest/show, and a low-key, very pleasurable brunch.
Our new Mr. Santa Clara County Leather is named Cujo and he seems a sweet man. I am looking forward to helping support him in his title year. I am a little sad that no women stepped up with enough interest to enter the contest this year. I have a little hope for next year as I am speaking with a few women who are interested, but need more information and clarification before moving toward jumping in.
Friday night's Meet-n-Greet at Renegades was a hoot. I was the first one arrested by Officer Trixie, for (can you BELIEVE this??) "Hogging the Microphone". But hey, I like the prison fantasy, so it worked out okay. Then Khol got arrested. Then the current Mr. North Coast Leather (who was also one of our esteemed contest judges) got thrown in the slammer with us. There were a few more arrests, but meanwhile I figured out how to do some leather go-go dancing in the makeshift jail. I'm sure there will be pictures surfacing of THAT. Eventually, we had Trixie arrested for false imprisonment. And we all got out of jail free while Trixie spent some time in the tank. And girl lee was there doing her seriously sexy and sweet bootblacking (when it got cold, she was kind enough to warm me up a bit... thanks lee!). Our new titleholder kept busy meeting and greeting and selling tickets for a 50/50 drawing (half to the winner and half to the titleholder's fund)... and the winner was kind enough to donate the winnings back to the fund!! Whoo hoo!
Saturday's community fair seemed very well attended. The BdF Center was ours for the day and the ballroom was filled with great vendors, including Domina, Kinky Bastards, Body Exotic, and Bruce Meisner among others. There was a good sized stage area for demos. I got to watch a few, including some cool bondage by Paul (who was kind enough to be our contest tally master that evening!). We had drawings for donated items including interesting DVDs with lube (how thoughtful a package is that?), impact implements, clothing, services (Chelsea auctioned one of her wonderful massage sessions and Body Exotic donated piercings!), and all sorts of goodies. Of course, I got to hog the microphone for a while doing some afternoon drawings. THAT was fun (as always)!
Saturday night was a magical kind of chaos, but our esteemed and luscious show producer, Phoebe managed to keep things on track, starting the show on time come hell or high water. You GO Phoebe!! Unfortunately, Jeff Tucker took ill and could not be one of the MCs for the night. Lucky for us, the current Mr. ACLC stepped in and worked with the adorable Lenny Broberg to MC the show with lots of fun and wit. And there were fantasies!! Oy! The ones I got to see were hot and major fun. Celeste, yours was WON-DER-FULL!! Speaking of wonderful, I must publicly thank Alan, Loren, Lynn, and Margaret for stepping up and supporting me in my fantasy (which was as fun if not more than last year's!). I know you all told me you enjoyed the experience, but I am always so blown away when I not only receive help, but that those who help actually get something and have fun with the experience. I am such a win-win slut! Namaste to all of you for your patience, support, and awesome energy.
The most touching part of Saturday night for me aside from watching Cujo's face beam when he learned he had won the title, was when people were calling for me to continue to serve as Ms. Santa Clara County Leather. Whoosh! How does one contain so much honor and awe? If I'd had a microphone in that moment, I would have said a very humble, very heartfelt thank you to everyone who is holding that level of positive regard for me and for what they've seen me contribute during this last year. AND, it is time for me to step down and play a slightly less visible role for a while, tend to my family, rest a bit, and enjoy supporting someone else as they experience the growth and power that being a titleholder can bring. It's awesome stuff and should be shared.
Sunday's brunch at The Cardinal was a warm and friendly way to taper off the weekend. Nice to chat with folks, share a meal, get and give some hugs, and just enjoy knowing that a bunch of individuals came together once again and provided a weekend of fun events for the leather/BDSM community.
So once again, thank you to everyone who had a hand (or hands!) in making our Leather Bootcamp weekend a success. Lance, thanks for taking the helm on the committee. Wyatt, thank you for all the logistical hoop-jumping you always seem to do AND for your willingness to deal with the finances for the weekend. Bradaigh and Jim, bravo on Saturday's fair -- I heard nothing but positive feedback about it. Phoebe and crew, awesome setup, show, and takedown Saturday night. Dave & co. thanks again for stepping up to do sound. smO, thank you for your continued support at the fair and at the show (Chelsea, you are the cutest coat check girl!). Namaste to Mama, Robbie, Ronnie, Eric, and Lady Hillary for judging; and to Jim H. for being on call as the alternate. Thank you to The Marine and her snappy crew for setting the tone with the color guard. Ronnie, we do SO love your voice!! Khol, thanks for taking lead on Friday night's event and for getting those fabulous grand prizes for the Saturday night drawing. Elfin, I bow to your baking skills... Thank you for donating your kitchen magic to the weekend. God, there are so MANY who pitched in... ariel, The Brotherhood (Bill the Bear, we adore you!), Dave (thanks for loaning the shackles!), Bobbie (you green room security babe you!), Trudy, Yani (thanks for lacing me up!!), mor, Cygnet, Rod (aka Mr. "Donate to Second Harvest"), Trixie, ... so if I missed you by name, know that I thank you in my heart for showing up, lending a hand, being of service to create fun for everyone who attended. Abundant blessings on you all.
Two last little personal thank you's... First to Steve V. I am honored that you thought I might be a good titleholder for our county; thanks for encouraging me to go for it. And finally to my beloved Bob who totally supported me the whole year from helping me glue shit together to burning and mixing my fantasy music, to wielding my camera at events, to making space for me to zoom around in furious driver-driver mode, always providing a loving space to return home again. God, I love you.
With much love and gratitude to all of my community within Santa Clara County and beyond...
It's been MONTHS!! Where has the time gone? Last time I posted it was summer. Now, it's all rainy and gray, cold... no more summer.
What happened after the Pride days? It's all a blur. Well, not really. Mostly I was getting ready for my wedding which was mid-September. And we have been edging into our annual Leather Weekend which occurs November 5th-7th. It's going to be a doozy of a weekend. I just wonder why the few folks who mentioned interest in running for Mr. and Ms. Santa Clara County Leather haven't signed up officially. Where IS everyone? Has everyone else been as crazy busy as I have?
Well, I certainly hope we have contestants. The weekend is shaping up to be a whole lotta fun! Friday night is the Meet-n-Greet at Renegades. Then Saturday's Leather Bootcamp Vendor Faire promises major cool vendors, classes, demos, movies, and all sorts of cool goodies to possibly win... oh and there will be goodies to purchase and eat (protein as well as homebaked goodies too!)... all at the Billy DeFrank Center in San Jose. LOTS of space and LOTS of good stuff to see, do, and munch. Satuday night is the show at King of Clubs in Mountain View. Hopefully it will be a CONTEST show...
Both the current titleholders (that's me and Khol) will do "step aside fantasies" and we promise a very short and sweet step aside speech. You should come AT LEAST to see the fantasies...
The next Leather Schmooze is the Thursday before the weekend. We're doing a potluck (sort of Thanksgiving theme, I suppose) instead of the usual snackie-poos. If you've never come to a schmooze, COME!! The business stuff is fairly painless and it's a good opportunity to mingle with more leather/BDSM folks, network, and have a bite to eat. Maybe there'll be an opportunity for you to help out in some small way. There is NOTHING better to connect you in with community than to volunteer. And it doesn't take very much time or energy (unless you want to dive in and give a lot...). A little bit of pitchin' in goes a long way.
Sooooo Helloooo out there! Anybody up for experiencing titleholder-dom? Come on DOWN and fill out an application. Or at least email me with your questions at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bye for now...
My how time flies! Since my last post, a few events have occurred. On June 27th, I went up to SF Gay Pride and marched in one honkin' big parade. Fun! Afterwards, I helped at Leather Alley by being a stunt bottom. Evan, California Leatherwoman 2004 (2003??) was kind enough to tie me up in this fabulous rope harness/corset. I also got to experience the receiving end of a beautiful single-tail wielded by the same fabulous leatherwoman. Life is good good GOOD! SCCLA and smOdyssey shared a booth and we had lots of help and several folks come by to chat, pick up fliers, and get information. It was a lovely, memorable day.
Then, this past Saturday SCCLA put on an SM Tasting in the afternoon (thanks for coordinating this Jeff!!) and that night we put on our first play party! The venue, City Lights Theatre was just fantastic. Very accomodating folks and a nice-sized venue for a party. Also, I like the theatre seating for more comfortable and less obtrusive observing. We had a lighter crowd than I'd hoped, but I think at the next Leather Schmooze we can do a post mortem on the process and learn from what we could have done better... It seems our decision-making processes are weak with regard to nailing down dates and details early enough to promote our event(s) -- especially any event that requires dungeon equipment!
Still, though the party was "lite", the low key atmosphere was pleasant. Socializing was good. AND I got to play. We had wonderful volunteers working the door and DMing. Cleanup was fairly quick and painless. I think if we got our decision-making process cleaned up, we could pull off another party and have it better attended.
Other events that have occurred: a showing of Beyond Vanilla at the BDF Center in late June. I participated on a Q&A panel at the end which was fun. Wyatt has been busy giving BDSM 101 and Dungeon 101 courses. Unfortunately, I wasn't available to attend, but I heard there was a pretty healthy turnout of new folks looking for information. We had a Leather Night at Renegades on Friday the 9th with a 50/50 raffle, demos (Wyatt did a cool plastic wrap bondage demo with Allen as the (lucky!) stunt bottom... Oh, and I am selling white muscle shirts with the SCCLA logo embroidered on the pocket area. Several folks have purchased one. At only $12, it's a good deal. The embroidery is great. And, sales of the shirts and our cool new SCCLA pins (just $3 each) raise some funds for SCCLA's events.
Also, I was invited to speak about my experience of LLC8 at the last smOdyssey board meeting (7/13). I hope I stirred up some interest and excitement about LLC and have other south bay folks go to the next one (which I plan to attend!) in Arizona next year. I am hoping that more leather/BDSM folks take on one or more of the points on the Destination Proclamation which came out of LLC8. I'll be curious to find out if there was any significant movement on these issues at LLC9.
Well, I suppose our next major event will be this fall's Leather Weekend. I feel excited about the possibilities for the event as I believe we may have a few contestants interested in running for Mr. and Ms Santa Clara County Leather 2005. COOLNESS!
Meanwhile, the next "event" is Leather Schmooze for August... Hopefully, I'll have something interesting to post in a few weeks...
San Jose Gay Pride 2004 has come and gone. From my perspective, Leather Alley and the parade seemed to go well, despite some minor glitches. Unfortunately, Bootdog was feeling ill, so he only came to drop off equipment for Lee. Although I'm glad he's taking care of himself and getting rest, we missed having him there. But LEE looked so soooo hot in her leather shorts. YUM! Tres glad she came and bootblacked for the SCCLA booth. Our flogging demo almost got cancelled because Dave wasn't feeling well. But, Laughing Flower came to the rescue and did the demo with loaned floggers, bless her wonderfully sadistic soul.
The parade was mostly hurry up and wait. Once it was underway, it was fun waving to folks who waved and clapped for us. The closer we got to San Carlos, the thicker the throng of onlookers. And we were a decent-sized crew with SCCLA folks, some smO folks, a couple of wonderful ACLC folks, The Brotherhood (NICE banner and patch, guys!), and some awesome friends from out-of-town who came down to support the leather contingent. (Thanks Luke and Eric!!) The SCCLA now has some beautiful logo pins (Jeff T. pinned me with mine) and lots of folks were wearing them. Just $3.00 each. Not bad for a very nicely done pin.
The rest of the day was pretty easy going energy-wise. Several folks were available for booth duty. I was the lucky volunteer stunt bottom for Laughing Flower's spanking and (last minute!) flogging demos. I have some lovely marks to show for it too! I saw a little of Lady Hillary's caning demo (and her cute schoolgirl demo assistant!) and watched all of Jeff's bondage demo. THAT was a hoot. Eric, Luke, and Jeff's adorable boy Dan assisted in getting three LUCKY women from the audience trussed up in all sorts of cool ways from fast and simple to more complex and pretty to ingenious (using common kitchen plastic wrap). Wish I'd been one of those lucky audience members... But, I had a ringside seat and got to have Cygnet on my lap and Loren very nearby. A wonderful way to view the hot and fun proceedings.
Wyatt was SUCH a major mensch to bring LOTS of stuff for the booth and for the Leather Garden seating area. Rod, Lance, Loren, Emperor Kevin, and Electric Andy were also instrumental in making our booths, tent and surrounding area into a good-looking and comfy Leather Alley. Andy, thanks for helping put up the sign on the demo tent! Thank you ALL for your generous contributions of food, water, time, decorations, great energy...
We also had some very wonderful volunteers from The Brotherhood and smOdyssey come and support the information booth and demo tent from staffing the booth to tent-door duty and more. I applaud you ALL for your willingness to come out and help. I hope everyone had a good time! I know I did.
The only bummer for me was that I have a standing meeting on Sunday evenings so had to leave earlier than I would have liked. I saw the Maypole event start, but left while the lucky participants wound round the pole and tied up the lucky polesters (April & Hillary). I am hoping to see some good pix of that (as well as other good stuff!).
Well, now we're on to focusing on making a presence for SCCLA at SF Pride. Looks like smO and SCCLA will share signage and a booth space up there on the 27th. I have a few folks from SCCLA who plan to be up for the parade and SF Leather Alley. If you're interested in being part of the SF Pride Leather Contingent and/or helping out at Leather Alley, contact me at email@example.com. The more the merrier!!
Upcoming is a movie night at Billy DeFrank (Beyond Vanilla) and a Wyat is giving a SM 101 class. Next month is schmooze on the 1st and our SM Tasting and Down n Dirty play party on the 17th. LOTSA good stuff to come for a hot hot hot SCCLA summer.
So far, this title year has been a joy and an honor. I am so glad to be your Ms. Santa Clara County Leather 2004! Oh, and hey, if you're interested in possibly running for a Santa Clara leather title for 2005, write me and I'll be glad to answer whatever questions I can.
Well, less than a week before San Jose's Gay Pride Parade and Festival. SCCLA will host Leather Alley and march with a contingent of Leather/BDSM folks from ACLC, smO, and The Brotherhood (and any other interested Leather titleholders who want to march with us). Looks like Mr. North Coast Leather, Eric and his partner will be down for the day. It'll be good to visit.
I am "point" person for this event and it's required quite a bit of communication and coordination. I'm still waiting to receive email from the parade coordinator with specific logistics for the parade on Sunday morning. Looks like there will be enough folks stepping up to help. A few are doing more than their share (as usual). Wyatt has been a huge help (as usual) in putting together the demo tent and volunteering to take care of signage, bringing water and an ice chest, dealing with the flags and flag bearer assignments... Lance managed to acquire SCCLA club pins to sell. That'll be great too.
Just realized that Khol and I are already halfway through our title year (more so if we move the contest/Leather Weekend date to October). Time flies!
Although there's been planning and coordination galore, I don't feel like my life has been sucked away by the title. In fact, I am still glad I ran and won. Why? Well, it's certainly given me more visibility in my Leather/BDSM circles. And those circles have widened significantly. I've had the opportunity to meet some AWESOME people from all over the nation... and the world. I've had the opportunity to engage with people locally, educating receptive folks so they understand more about Leather/BDSM and aren't run by blind judgement and fear. I got to raise some money for charity and support other Bay Area groups in their efforts to positively affect society.
There is something tangible and significant about volunteering with others in this community to make events happen. There is a level of intimacy that occurs where connections can be made, be deepened. I get that a lot of the events are fun constructs for more of the "getting to know you" exercise that we humans do. Working side-by-side can produce tension and contention as well as insight and intimacy. And it's all good. The tension and contention can lead to some creative ideas and solutions... new insights. Getting through the tension and contention can lead to more intimacy. Yep, it's all good.
I wonder if there are other women in the South Bay who might be interested in holding the leather title for next year... I hope so. Now that I'm halfway through my experience, I am 100% grateful that Steve suggested I run and that Lance encouraged me and that all the folks who helped me with the contest supported me. It continues to be worth the effort.
Days just fly by, don't they? Last Friday night was Leather night at Renegades and we had Khol's sendoff to IML event. Major raffle goodies, jail-n-bail was a hoot with Officer Trixie in killer heels running around making arrests. Wheel of Torture kicked into gear later after I got the bright idea to ask Jeff Tucker to take the wheel. All of a sudden, several guys wanted to take a spin... fancy that! Mama came. Julian too. Bootdog was there, ever the fabulous support... Ronnie sang and a good time was had by all.
Oh, a photographer from The Point was there and thought Mama and I made the cutest couple. He wanted pictures (and come ON with Mama in her corset, who wouldn't!?). The current Emperor of San Jose, our own Kevin Roche made a later appearance and kindly bestowed court titles upon my sash hubby and moi.
Later, while Kevin was getting a fabulous boot blacking care of Bootdog, we chatted a bit about the possibility of my attending IMsL... Now I really did not have it in mind to compete at that level as I believe my focus and energy really needs to be here, at home in the Silly Valley. However, my bud Mr. North Coast Leather has been planting ideas in my head about how an IMsL title could benefit the local area. Soooo, I decided to put my "definite NO" on hold, move to "maybe" status and send for materials.
They came this weekend...
Short story: I'm back to "definite NO". There's a $100 application fee for starters. The contestant itinerary is pretty full starting at 10 AM Thursday and ending late that Sunday with rehearsals, a field trip, dinner party, and press conference as just a few of the itinerary items. But the kicker is the requirements. IMsL must appear at 1) the next IMsL to pass on the title (fair enough) AND 2) the next IML, 3) the next ABW, 4) the next mid atlantic leather weekend, PLUS 5) at least two other national events, various prelim contests as invited and approved... PHEW!
Further, IMsL must personally organize fundraising events in accordance with IMsL guidelines. Then, under responsibilities and regulations, it says the title holder is responsible for and "must hold" a total of six fundraising events (3 to be completed within the first 6 months of holding the title). Why? Well 50% goes toward the IMsL travel fund and 50% toward the charity of the title holder's choice (which is fine). In addition, there are monthly reports and more record-keeping. AND "it is never guaranteed that the travel fund will cover all of the titleholder's expenses"!! All that fundraising activity and there may not be enough money to cover expenses!!? That makes me a bit nervous.
Okay, so WHY would anyone want this position? I guess women with a LOT of time on their hands might. And I can also see that there are women who have a major passion for the fundraising and travel... But from the looks of the requirements, I certainly do not fit the bill right now as I have neither time on my hands nor deep and passionate inclination toward fundraising. Thing is, my service-to-the-community strengths are not centered on raising money. I prefer to teach and to provide more personal outreach. My strengths are one-on-one communication, public speaking, education. And while I have the capacity to organize events and do fundraising, my experience is that the ROI is never worth the output of time and energy for me. AND, I know that others are much better suited to fundraising.
Anyway, for me the IMsL requirements are pretty steep given my current commitment load. As much as I like the idea of bringing more of a spotlight to Santa Clara Valley, I cannot see how that would translate into the goals I have for the local community. I don't see how national and international spotlighting contributes to the local community galvanizing in stronger numbers or how it can unite the obvious sub-groups further.
Right now, the local groups are working together as best they can. There is crossover between groups and when one group reaches out for help, folks from the other groups usually show up and it's enough.
Meanwhile, I realize that IML is just days away and I wish I could go... While I could probably find a decent price on a plane ticket and even crash in a friendly room, there is the matter of local logistics and other commitments... plus we are preparing for SJ Pride and Leather Alley. So, I'll just have to hear the highlights from others. To all of you brothers competing at IML this year, I wish you a wonderful experience, great connections, and lots of fun. Good luck to you all!
Got back from Santa Rosa last night. My friend Eric (Mr. North Coast Leather 2004) asked me if I'd come up to participate in The Human Race with him and others to form a leather contingent. Unfortunately, we were a small group and only Eric and I wore any leather (titleholder vests!). Mark and Pilar came up from SF, Graylin T. came up from San Diego, and a couple of local friends of Eric's also showed. I wish (and I know Eric also wished) that more leather folk had been willing to turn out. The walk was not difficult at all. In fact, the most difficult thing was getting up to a decent walking speed among the thick crowd of walkers. AND, I got to enjoy the weather, the walk, and great chatfest with my fellow walkers. I think Eric said his total raised within this group was somewhere near 2K (for the Lambda Legal Defense Fund and AIDS Emergency Fund -- 50/50). Not bad.
Later, we went to Fife's and to the Russian River Resort where it was beautiful and sunny, folks lounging around the pool... Met the very nice owner of Fife's (who has an awesome sweet dog named Princess). At RRR, I saw (and got hugs from) Mama and Glen & Snatch. Eric got a picture with me lounging on Mama and Lenny B. That should be a hoot. Also chatted with Mr. Marcus. I guess I got it into my head that because he was upset with me and Khol during our photo session just after the November leather contest that he just didn't like me AND I made the mistake of going with that assumption instead of checking it out. Anyways, I got to apologize and to thank him for the (quite lovely) pictures he took of us that night.
After lounging and visiting a while at Fife's and doing some fun chatfest (oh and watching Eric and Lenny wrestle around!!) by the pool, Eric and I went to get something to eat (hadn't had anything since about 10:30 and I was famished) before we went back to his place so I could gather my stuff and get on the road home.
I am so grateful to Eric and his sweet partner Luke for letting me stay at their home overnight. I felt so totally taken care of. Luke is an awesome sculptor and he's got all this cool sculptures of marine life and dragons inside and outside (around a lovely landscaped area) their house. I was pleasantly surprised by a gift of one of his dragons. THANK YOU LUKE! Wow! We have a ledge at home with a collection of dragons and Luke's masterpiece will fit right in. So cool. You GOTTA see his stuff! I got a lot of talk time with Eric. That was really satisfying to my soul -- talking about social issues, how to deal with difficult situations, sharing titleholder experiences, playing wordgames, etc. He (and a few others) are really encouraging me to run for IMsL this year. I was clear that I didn't think it would be a good idea... but now, I am not so sure. I'm considering it, but I am really committed to making sure that my local area benefits as much as possible during my title year (and beyond, of course). Anyways, Eric got me to promise to consider running. I told him I would check out the requirements and so forth before even considering it.
Bottom line, I had a very satisfying visit up north. Totally worth the trip to be of service and to be in the company of some good, kind, and damned fun people. Namaste, Eric and Luke for your kind hospitality.
Sometimes words seem so inadequate to describe feelings of honor and gratitude... Like now.
Much as I would have liked to stay for the RRR contest and evening festivities (including a jock strap auction!), I couldn't. This afternoon, I am off to the airport for a VERY quick business trip to Vancouver. Sort of your basic wham bam meetings up the butt thank you mam trip. I'll be back Tuesday night though. I'll have the rest of the week to sort myself out and gear up for Friday's Leather Night at Renegades -- Khol's IML sendoff.
There will be a raffle for some EXCELLENT prizes (Khol got some awesome donations for that), entertainment, and I will be raising money to pay off our title vests by running Wheel of TORTURE (I just LOVE that game!).
Okay, off to pack... probably more bloggin' after the sendoff event.
Been a while since I wrote here... And, I want to write more on the leather community picnic. My last entry was kind of general.
Although I think the event would have been a little better attended had the weather cooperated more that day, it turned out to be a very fun event nonetheless. Here are a couple more details than my last post....
It started out cloudy and a little rainy, so I suppose that's why several people didn't show. But they MISSED OUT! We had excellent food, great tunes (dancing to show tunes!), fabulous company (folks from SCCLA, smO, ACLC, just to name a few). Bootdog and girl lee showed up with boot blacking gear and I watched them working on some very VERY cool leather armor. We had bubbles! Regular bubbles and those ones from a long time ago where they are more solid and plastic-feeling. Those make for cool pictures.
Also, there was voting on some pretty funny "titles" in the Ms. & Mr. Name-me-something, Anything-will-do Leather Contest. They voted me "Bottom Most Likely to Top"... MOI!? Loren and Cygnet did a great job on the very cool titleholder certificates.
So, at some point, I must have sat down in a blob of chocolate, because there was a blob of a stain on my ass. I tried to wipe it off with napkins and water, but it was in a hard-to-reach place. So, I asked Ronnie if he'd help... Well, I ended up bent over with Ronnie wiping the stain and LOTS of cameras going off... Mommy Tina decided to take advantage of the situation by pulling my head into her crotch... Oh the delightful horror of it all. Needless to say, there are now pictures (electronic!) in existance of Ronnie mugging for the camera, my ass in his face and my face between Mommy Tina's legs... I guess running for president is out of the question as I don't smoke cigars...
The SCCLA Annual Leather Picnic is lots of fun! If you haven't been to this event, I strongly encourage you to come next year (that will be our 3rd annual) - rain or shine. No matter what the weather, this event is a winner.