Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Presents’

October Country, that country where it is always turning late in the year.  That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain…  –  Ray Bradbury

My 2011 essay “Moondance” was mostly an examination of the psychological and philosophical consequences of modern people’s disconnection with nature, but it also included the following:

October usually enjoys a particular sort of cool weather, a crisp breeziness quite unlike that one might experience on an early spring day or a comparatively warm winter one; this is October Weather, my name for that special atmospheric condition I associate with turning leaves and the imminent arrival of my birthday. In New Orleans I was often cheated of it…but when [it] did arrive I was filled with a sort of wild, witchy joy; I wanted to stay out late, to suck the fragrant air into my lungs and fly through the night under the harvest moon with my hair streaming behind me. As a young teen I often sneaked out in the middle of the night to enjoy such weather, and after I arrived at UNO I would wander about the campus on such evenings or ride my bicycle to midnight movies…And though as I age my reaction to October Weather isn’t nearly as strong as it was in my teens and twenties, on clear, cool October nights I still feel the urge to go out and dance in the dry leaves under the moon.

I’m now a decade further from those days than I was when I penned those lines, and my days of dancing under the moon are long gone; each October takes me still further, and now my reaction to October weather is less euphoria and more blessed relief from the discomfort and anxiety produced by the excessive light and heat of summer.  October is more than just my native month; it is my native country, and the time in which I have always been most at peace and (paradoxically for a time associated with haunts, dying vegetation and the dying year) felt most alive.  I’ve always had a taste for the weird and macabre, for spooky tales and shadow-shows, for rain and dry leaves and pumpkins, for black cats and the imagery of wild woods, sunless seas, and catacombs; I was “Goth” long before either the term or the subculture existed.  So it should be no surprise to anyone that I gravitated first toward a profession associated with musty books, and later toward one associated with the night, nor that as I aged I moved my habitation westward (the direction historically associated with death) to finally settle in the region of this continent with the least sunlight and the most rain.  These days, I mostly celebrate this Month of Months with the watching of horror movies, culminating in my birthday; if you’d like to help me celebrate by sending a token of your esteem, I’d very much welcome that.  And as you’ve probably already guessed, many of the selections are very much in keeping with the season.

Read Full Post »

Brazen Solicitation

A little over a year ago I published “Generous Gents“, in which I expressed my appreciation for the many lovely presents my clients, admirers, readers, and fans have bought for me.  As I explained then, practical gifts “…may not be the stuff of male fantasy like fancy lingerie and expensive jewelry, but they mean far more to me: they are allowing me to create the comfortable home I plan to spend the rest of my life in.”  And as I wrote in another column a few months earlier, even small thoughtful gifts from my Amazon wishlist mean a lot to me.  Well, my birthday is coming up in just under three months, and tomorrow some gentlemen from my new gas provider will be coming to install a new 500-gallon propane tank to serve as the fuel reservoir for my new standby generator, running a new line to the gas heater in the process so we can retire the old tank completely.  And as you can probably guess, tank plus fittings plus labor plus a couple-hundred gallons of propane comes with a pretty hefty price tag.  So this is me being a brazen hussy and reminding everyone who might be feeling generous about all the free entertainment and enlightenment I give y’all 365 days a year, and saying that either monetary gifts or wishlist presents would be even more appreciated than usual for the next few months.

Read Full Post »

Diary #548

What a lovely Christmas I had!  Everyone at Sunset seemed to like their presents; most of mine had something to do with cooking, including kitchen tools, cookbooks, etc.  Big Bertha here was Grace’s gift to me; I’ve wanted one like it since I was in high school (the mother of one of my school friends had one), and it wasn’t two hours out of the box when I was rolling out pie crusts with it.  Then on Sunday, I spent the afternoon rearranging my kitchen drawers to accomodate the new tools & utensils (#TheSexyNeverStops), and managed to get everything neater and more accessible than before.  In fact, I think I may at last have my kitchen the way I want it, and that gives me hope for my office.

Read Full Post »

Diary #547

I just love seeing a big stack of presents under the tree! Some of these are those we’ve bought for each other, and some for friends coming over on Friday; some were sent for us in the post.  Dr. Quest sent me a big order of barbecue for my family; Rick Pettit sent goodies as well, but sweet ones.  And Jeremy Dunn sent me one of Vincent Price’s cookbooks, so I can make goodies on my own.  A couple of my other gents sent money, which is of course always appreciated, and I’ll be finishing the last of my own Christmas shopping today.  Then tomorrow I’ll be heading back to Sunset for the rest of the year, during which time I plan to spend the holidays doing as little as possible.  And the ability to do that is probably the best present of all.

Read Full Post »

Every year on this day, the traditional beginning of the Yuletide season in the US, I remind my readers that the real spirit of the season involves giving to others rather than literally fighting to get more for yourself.  Children and whores are St. Nick’s two favorite groups of people; you can help the latter by donating to a sex worker charity such as SWOP Behind Bars, or you can help BOTH by booking a session with a sex worker you know has kids.  If you don’t know any, you can help by participating in my annual Toys for Tots special.  This year, I’m doing it differently because so many people are doing the social distancing thing.  From now until Friday, December 11th, everyone who donates $100 for me to buy toys with (you can send it via PayPal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or via Cash app to $MaggieMcNeill) will get any TWO of my books (your choice), autographed!  If you want a copy of The War on Whores as one of your selections, that’s fine as well!  And if you’re one of my regular gents, we can still do the usual deal (30 minutes extra per $100) if you prefer.  If you’re not hurting economically yourself, please consider donating (either to my drive or to one near you); the pandemic has taken a huge bite out of many people’s income, and some have lost their jobs or businesses entirely, so there will be less money for toys this year.  And while we adults can understand that, it can be heartbreaking for very young children to think Santa Claus has forgotten them or bypassed them because they were naughty.  Please help if you can, so together we can bring joy to needy children who might otherwise have nothing on Christmas morning.

Read Full Post »

Diary #542

I’m getting good at scheduling my appointments closely enough together to keep my trips to Seattle short and sweet.  I drove in on Wednesday, got my nails done, then on Thursday saw a new client I’ve known for some time online (he is an “out” client, but professional discretion still forbids my naming him unless he chooses otherwise) and found him both lovely and generous.  And speaking of generosity, I got three new presents: the DVDs for Thundarr the Barbarian from Brad Carter; a book of ghost stories from Nick Fowler; and a lovely snakeskin summer top from my friend Angela Keaton.  I also found out who sent the kitchen scale (RockyJimBeam) and the red cashmere sweater (Antonio Lorusso).  Jim will be glad to know that I already used the scale in preparing Saturday’s dinner, and Antonio asked for a picture of me in the sweater (I’m sure he won’t mind if I share it with everyone).  Thanks so much to all my wonderful, generous friends, clients, and readers; y’all have helped make this a very lovely birthday season!

Read Full Post »

Diary #541

It’s been lovely to get back to all the cooking I used to do in Oklahoma. For the past couple of weeks I’ve been making all manner of old favorites and trying new recipes, and last week I did another of my traditional canning tasks: cooking down my Halloween pumpkin.  It went well, and I got ten and a half pints in all; I’ve already used two, one for pumpkin pie and another for cream of pumpkin soup.  This week, I’ll probably do pumpkin bread, but I’ll likely wait for the weekend because I’m heading back to Seattle tomorrow and returning Friday (with all the birthday presents that arrived while I was gone).  Scheduling my appointments together is working out well; I’m able to spend most of my time out at Sunset, and that makes me happy.  I’ve kinda slacked off on finishing Ask Maggie, Volume II, but don’t worry; it’s on the way and should be available before Christmas.

Read Full Post »

Diary #540

I’m happy to say that I had a very lovely birthday week!  I was in an unusually good mood all week, and did a lot of cooking because I felt like it; for inner on Saturday I prepared three kinds of finger foods (deviled eggs, shrimp toast, and crab Rangoon) because I feel as though they’re kind of like adult trick-or-treat, and we watched several spooky shows.  An artist friend of mine was with us, and she gave me this paperweight she made from a stone from my property, painted with a lovely snake motif!  Jae also gave me a snake, a big plush one which I think I will leave to guard my bed.   And I got so many presents from readers and admirers:  Mike Siegel sent me Predestination and The Immortality Key; Jeremy Dunn sent me several of the “Shaver Mystery” reprint books and a Japanese horror film, Marebito, based on them; and two other readers sent me a lovely cashmere sweater and a digital kitchen scale, but since some Amazon sellers neglect to send packing skips, I don’t know who to thank!  If you sent one of those, please let me know.  On top of all that, several readers sent me cash gifts, which are always welcome!  All around, it was an exceptional birthday week, and thanks so much to everyone who helped make it so!

Read Full Post »

I’m starting to run back and forth to Seattle more often again.  Back in April and May I spent most of my time at Sunset, and I still do; however, instead of staying there for weeks on end, I’m usually returning to Seattle after about 4 to 10 days, accomplishing whatever it was I needed to do (clients, beauty appointments, etc), and then heading back to Sunset after perhaps three days in town.  When I returned to my apartment a week ago today, my blue girl surprised me by having burst into flower during the week I was gone; I also found a DVD waiting for me, sent by a kind reader for my blog anniversary.  That’s how I plan to keep things for a while; since there’s not much reason to be in Seattle most of the time, I’d rather be working on my house than fighting traffic and enduring half a dozen sirens a day.  And because I’m not in Seattle as often, it’s a pleasant little change of pace when I visit.

Read Full Post »

Generous Gents

Nearly every established sex worker I know has had generous clients buy big-ticket items for her, and I don’t mean frivolities like designer handbags and 500 pairs of shoes; I mean substantial items, like a central air conditioning system, furniture, a car, that sort of thing.  In my case, the most outstanding example is my farm at Sunset.  I was able to buy it outright thanks in part to a generous parting allowance from my wasband Matt, and another of my gentlemen bought me the truck Grace and Chekhov used to haul everything we own from Oklahoma to Washington.  Once it was no longer needed, I used the truck itself as barter to pay a hired man who has done a great deal of work for me, from setting up the jacks to level my floor, to digging drainage ditches, to helping me rebuild my chicken yard, to helping Chekhov and I build the guest cottage.  And of course Chekhov himself has been incredibly generous; not only did he buy both guest cottages and all the lumber for the bathhouse project and the bookshelves, he’s also bought me a number of new appliances and tools.  And of course he’s not the only one who’s bought me tools; many of my readers have purchased them for me from my wishlist, and this one in particular has seen very heavy use!  Another of my gents tips me with a Home Depot gift card every time I see him, and those have purchased many more tools and supplies.  These kinds of gifts may not be the stuff of male fantasy like fancy lingerie and expensive jewelry, but they mean far more to me: they are allowing me to create the comfortable home I plan to spend the rest of my life in.  And every time I look at my bookshelves or use my hot tub or just walk on the deck built with gifts from my gents, I cannot help but be reminded of their generosity.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »