No One Leaves the Table

Dinner started out fine.

He’d made lasagna and I’d helped with the salad and made the table. When dinner was served, he sat at the head of the table, and I was on his right.  The young one sat on my other side, and the elder one on the other side of the table.

The older one seemed tense, sitting stiffly in his chair, and picking at his food instead of eating it, which was not normal for him.  Those kids wolf down their food–I’d forgotten how much teenage boys can eat.

Dad was talking a little bit about his day, and didn’t seem to notice his son looked uncomfortable.  He was talking about his experience in court.  He thinks having to swear on a Bible is hilarious.

Then, the kid dropped the bomb.  And he said it in English.

Let’s just say that he’d gotten himself into a problem.  He’d committed a sexual impropriety that could get him into major, major trouble at school.

Everyone froze, and it was only by the skin of my teeth that I avoided bursting out in nervous panic-laughter “Wow! Better you than me, buddy!”  There is no way in hell I’d admit this to his father in person.  In fact, I wouldn’t even tell him this bad news when we were both on the same continent.  I’d tell him from someplace safely far away, like Antarctica.

You could have heard a pin drop.  The boys and I were frozen, heads down, staring at our plates.

He put his silverware down, not looking at his son, and said, “Tell me: is this a girl from school, or some random bar slut from the village?”

“School.”

I sneaked a glance at him across the table, and he looked so anxious and miserable that I felt sorry for him.  What he did was stupid, but it wasn’t bad.  It wasn’t predatory.  He was definitely in a fucked-up situation that needed to be diffused, but it wasn’t the worst thing ever.  People make mistakes, especially young people.  Frankly, if I was a parent, I’d be considerably more upset if he’d committed a horrible act of bullying or violence, or was caught cheating on his college applications.  I’d be more upset if I found out it was drugs, or he drove drunk and killed someone.

I tried to be supportive, because he seemed scared (can’t say that I blame him.  I was scared just being there).  I said, “Well, that’s bad news, but I don’t think it’s anything that can’t be dealt with. It’s not the end of the world.  I’m sure your family can help–“.

“Be quiet, Margo,” said Dad.

I shut up and returned my eyes to my dinner plate.

“Why are you such a disappointment, (Older boy)?  I’m glad your mother is not here.”

Well, that’s just plain cold, I thought.

“Uh, this is a family matter, so I think I’ll give you some privacy and go to my room,” I said, my voice a little high and screechy.

(It did not occur to me until later that the reason the older boy chose to break the bad news at the dinner table, with his brother and me there, in English, instead of behind closed doors with his father, was that he was hoping our presence–mine, specifically–might help keep his father on his best behavior.  I could be wrong about that, though.)

I pushed out my chair, stood up, and started walking out of the room.

Behind me, he brought his hand down on the table so hard it made all the plates and silverware jump.

“No one leaves the table!” he yelled.  And this is not a man who raises his voice often.

I jumped, immediately turned around and returned to my seat.

You could cut the tension with a knife.  It was terrible.

The young one on my left reached out and grabbed my hand.  His palm was cold and sweating.  I carefully avoid any touching after the incident where he picked me up after my stupid decision to play thumb wars, but I did not take my hand away now.

“Well?  Answer my question,” said Dad.

I looked up.  Dad was tense but otherwise unruffled.  The son was twitching…probably a mixture of fear and rage.

Incredibly, he picked up his dinner plate, and, I swear, was about to chuck it right at his father’s head.  It would have hit, too, because he was sitting only a few feet away.

At the last second, he changed his direction and threw it against the wall behind him.  The food went everywhere.  I actually screamed.

“I hate you!” The kid yelled, getting out of his chair.

Oh boy I really don’t want to be here right now, I thought.

“Sit down right now,” said the father, and his voice was serious as a heart attack.

Or what? I wondered. He’s bigger than you now!  How can you force a teenager to do anything?

He stood there, red-faced and panting…and then sat back down.

“Margo,” said Dad, softly: “Get a new plate from the kitchen and pick up the food off the floor.”

I immediately got up to do it.  I washed my hands and got out a spatula and some big serving spoons.  The lasagna was not in one piece, but its remains were in one location. T salad had scattered all over the floor.  There was tomato sauce on the wall and on the floor.  The plate was broken.  If it’d made contact with Dad’s head, it probably would have knocked out a tooth or split his cheek open.

Nobody was talking at the table behind me.

He’s going to make the kid eat it, I thought.

I stood up and stared at the floor and asked if I should throw it in the garbage or down the disposal.

“Bring it to the table.”

“Uh, where?  What?”

“It’s yours now, Margo.  (Older boy) has given it to you.  Have a seat.”

I sat down stiffly and pushed my first meal, barely touched, out of the way to make room for the second plate.

Bon Appétit,” said the father, who then had a drink of wine, picked up his silverware, and resumed eating his meal as if nothing had happened.

So did I.  Thanking God that the wooden floors were clean, aside from whatever polishes the cleaning crew used.

“How is (Older Boy’s) meal, Margo?  Does it taste good?”

I didn’t know how I was supposed to feel.  I just didn’t want the situation to get any worse.

“It’s fine,” I said, mechanically shoveling food into my mouth.  But nothing was fine.

“You know, (Older Boy),” he said, conversationally, “I am not the one who is doing this to her.  You did this to her.  You caused this.”

I looked at the younger one on my left, who was not eating and looked like he was going to cry.  I felt terrible for him.

“Don’t worry.  It’s okay,” I said, which was a lie, but I didn’t know what else to say.

The meal continued in silence.  Dad finished his portion and leaned back in his chair with his wine, master of his domain.

“The meal is over when Margo finishes her plate.  How do you feel about that, (Older boy)?”

“I’m sorry.”

So, now we have another problem: I do not eat as much as a growing teenage boy.  His portion was probably twice as large as mine.

It took the better part of an hour, and by the end I hoped I’d never see another bite of lasagna in my life…but I choked it down.

He told the older boy to clean the floor and wall and to clear the table: “I’d make Margo do it, but I think she might need to throw up.”

I did.  I did indeed.

Maybe the kid is onto something, I thought.  Maybe this guy needs to be killed in his sleep.

With that, he rapped his knuckles on the table and got up from his chair.

Class dismissed.

I went straight to the bathroom.  When I got out a few minutes later, after heaving and brushing my teeth, I saw the older boy still sitting alone at the table, staring straight ahead.

I went to his father’s bedroom.

When I got up in the morning, the floor, and the wall, were clean.

Meet the Boys

I’ll probably have to take this one down quickly.

He had two teenage sons, and I was nervous about meeting them.  I don’t have much experience with young people aside from my years teaching undergrads, and my students were, technically, adults.

I rehearsed it beforehand: be friendly and unobtrusive.  Convey the impression that you’re not trying to move in on the family unit in any way.  Nonthreatening.  Avoid PDAs with Dad.  Let the boys decide how much (or how little) interaction they want to have with you.

One thing that I was worried about was the age difference.  I’m not remotely attracted to younger men, and even if I was, I’d never so much as flirt with the children of a man who allowed me into his household.  That’s unspeakably disrespectful.

However, I’m in a weird Twilight-Zone age bracket right now: I’ve lost weight again and gotten really skinny, and I get gray hairs and botox on my forehead, but (I think) look younger than I am…?  My point being that I was concerned that the boys could be sexually attracted to me.  I didn’t want to send them that message.

I picked out the dress I was going to wear when I met them.  It was conservative, navy blue, and had a high neck and a collar.  It was an attractive dress, but it wasn’t sexy.  It was a dress that I could teach in, or that I could wear to a formal corporate office.

He went through my closet and picked out my favorite yellow sundress, and said, “Here, wear this.”

This is a beautiful dress, but it’s revealing.  It shows my back because it has spaghetti straps and it’s a little bit low-cut in front.  I couldn’t call it SEXY–it’s not something I would wear to a bar or nightclub–but it’s not conservative.  You can see a lot of skin.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Of course I am sure,” he said.  He’s always sure.

I met them and could see them taking glances of me during dinner.  I had to ask myself: what was the point of putting me in that dress?  Was he being competitive with his own children?  Was he showing off?

For my part, I was as demure as possible and mostly just looked at the table.

The next day, he told me to take out the younger one because he needed some “time alone to talk” with the elder one.

I took out the younger one and I am happy to report that it was a success!  I had a successful interaction with an adolescent!  I wish I could write a lot more about it, but I have to respect his privacy.  We spent all day together!  He really liked me!  We played chess and lots of stuff.  I like him a lot.  He is a good kid; still sweet.

We came back to the apartment and I saw something that did not auger well: I saw the elder brother walking out of my room.

There was no reason for him to be in my room.

He didn’t see me, so I just hid and pretended like it didn’t happen.  Then I rushed in there and checked my stuff and my drawers.  Nothing looked rifled through.  But, he was in there.

Then, later, Dad had to go back to his office for a little while–this was after dinner.  I followed the schedule and went to take my nightly bath.

I did not close the door all the way.  I guess, for that, I have only myself to blame.  But it wasn’t very open.  The crack in the door was 2 inches at most.  And I would like to say that there was no reason for the kid to be in that hallway.  His bedroom is on the opposite side of the apartment!

So, I was laying in the water, and then I looked up into the mirror, and saw him looking at me through the crack in the door.

I was startled, of course, but I didn’t freak out.  I mean, I’m an adult, and it’s not like I don’t understand male sexuality. Furthermore: when you live with people, sometimes awkward things happen. I had platonic male roommates in grad school.  I saw them getting dressed once or twice and one of them told me he heard me having phone sex with the Surgeon. So–the awkwardness, it can happen…?!

But this kid (I guess he’s not a kid, he’s in his late teens) just hovered outside the door.  The correct, appropriate response if you spy someone bathing is to retreat and pretend like it never happened. He wasn’t doing that.

I thought, maybe he doesn’t know that I know he’s there. 

I carefully, slowly reversed my body in the tub so that I could look him in the eyes.  Now, there was no question.

He didn’t move.  I couldn’t see his entire face, because the crack in the door was so small, so I couldn’t read his expression.  He didn’t seem to be jerking off–I couldn’t see any movement.  But who knows.  He was definitely looking.

Well, I’m in this hugely vulnerable situation.  I know most of my readers are guys and probably won’t appreciate it.  I am naked in a bathtub and there is a boy who is spying on me and KNOWS that I know it and he’s not getting lost, which is VERY scary and hostile.

I wanted to stand up and walk over and slam the door in his face!  But I couldn’t, because if I got up from the water, then he would see me naked!

Well, I was still FURIOUS and I’m not going to be pushed around by a damn teenager! Sorry, guy, you don’t get to jump the social hierarchy!  I didn’t want to say “Wait till your father gets home!” because that would make me sound weak.

“Hey! John (not his real name)!  I see you!”  I made a gesture at my eyeballs and pointed at him.  “FUCK OFF!”

He retreated.

I didn’t tell on him because I didn’t want to provoke him.  Live and let live, and you know teenagers are impulsive anyway…

But then there was the following night…

Chromebook of Doom

He found the Chromebook.

The secret Chromebook.

I’d bought the secret Chromebook a few weeks previous because I was becoming very paranoid that he’d installed a keyboard logger and/or some of that software that records all the internet sites visited by the user on my regular laptop.

It’s not that I had anything to hide.  I wasn’t sneaking around or lying to him about anything.  But you don’t have to be hiding anything to not want someone monitoring your private email accounts without permission.  Nor did I want him reading this blog.  Because it’s…well, nobody in my private life knows about it, and that’s just how I like it.

So, I went to BestBuy and bought a little Chromebook and paid for it in cash.

Then I went to The Strand bookshop and shopped until I found a hugeass hardcover book that was the right size for my purposes…and that book wasn’t cheap.  Cost me $125.

I hollowed out the book with an X-Acto Knife and put the Chromebook inside, and then put the book in the bookshelf in my bedroom…and that is the computer I would use to check my private stuff on the internet when he was away, or to maintain my dream journal, or drafts of blog posts.

Well, I came back to his apartment and walked into my room…

…and found the book open on top of my bed, with the computer inside.  There was no note, no nothing.  Just the open book.

You can imagine my reaction: I froze in terror and felt all the strength draining from my legs.  It was all I could do not to collapse on the floor.  My face went numb.

I closed the book and put it back in the bookcase where I stored it.  I couldn’t think of anything else to do with it.  My hands were shaking.

Then I walked stiffly out of the room and sat down on the couch, trying to calm down…but calming down was impossible, because now I had to look forward to the inevitable confrontation when he got home from work…four long, long hours from now.

It was uglier than anything I could have anticipated.

To Be Continued….

Deprived of the Warmth

I forgot the rule about clothes again.  I can’t explain it, really.  I know Freud says that there are no accidents, but, it’s just…wearing clothes is just default human behavior.  I never SLEEP in clothes, unless I’m menstruating or sharing a house with others (roommates or guests), but, usually, even if I’m being a total slob eating frozen yogurt out of the carton with Abe on my shoulder and reading the paper, I’m wearing a pair of underpants.

Last time, after the nightly sexual experience, he said: “I hate to deprive myself of your warmth and comfort, but if I didn’t enforce the rules, you wouldn’t respect me in the morning.”

Then he took out a rubber yoga mat and laid it by the bed.  He gave me a pillow and a blanket.  That’s where I slept.

He said, “Next time, you’ll sleep in the kitchen like Oliver Twist.  Do you want to be mine, or a wretched foundling like him?”

I forgot, again, and so I slept–or tried to sleep–in the kitchen, by the table.

When the sun started to come up, the rosy-fingered dawn, I got up.  I got up before my bird, and Abe’s an early riser (an early bird! Ha! Ha! lame joke).  I was going to feed him, but I left him alone to rest.  The travel is stressful to him.

(As an aside…I love Abe SO MUCH that I feel guilty about it.  This little bird is such an innocent and joyful creature.  I know I sound like a crazy parrot lady…but every day, he gives me love.  If I don’t double-lock his cage, he opens it, walks to me at night, and wakes me up grooming my hair and staring at me.)

I rinsed off in the shower and shaved my legs and armpits and slathered on the lotion.  Time to go back to entertaining.

He was up already, as usual.  Probably since 4:30 AM.  Lifting weights in the gym.  Almost all of the men I attract do this.  Superficially, they seem different…but they’re still the same, just reiterations.

Meet the New Wolf.  He’s like the last one.

Only more deadly.

 

In My Handbag

Work Cell Phone (“Mistress Batphone”): Pay-as-you-go burner Tracfone from Target

Private Cell Phone: Samsung Galaxy S6

Tin of Altoid Smalls, peppermint flavor

Hairbrush

Chapstick, cherry flavored

Mascara, Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume in brownish-black

Miniature travel toothbrush with case

Ballpoint pens, 4 (four), all from different hotels

Hotel room key-cards, 3 (three), all from different hotels

Naltrexone, 3 (three) pills, in a zipper compartment

Visine

Compact mirror purchased at Mauritshuis in The Hague , depicting Girl With a Pearl Earring (c.1665)

Tampons, 2 (two)

Crumpled Used Kleenex, 2 (two)

Lipsticks, 3 (three): nude (Victoria’s Secret), cool fuscia (Sephora), cool red (Wet n’ Wild)

B1 complex with Folic Acid vitamins, 4 (four), because my last alcoholic relapse wrecked my health and I need these vitamins to get it back.  Doctor’s orders.  I eat them like pez.  If you are an alcoholic, you really need to get on B1 with folic acid as soon as possible.

Condoms, 8 (eight): 2 Skyn Polyisoprene (non-latex), 2 good-ole-Trojan, 2 Skyn Polyisoprene “large,” 2 Kimono brand  All for clients on outcalls, alas

A shit-ton of heavy change that needs to go in the change jar and be taken to CoinStar.

My wallet, which is printed with  van Gogh’s Almond Blossom (c. 1890).  

ATM receipts, four (4)

Ticket to the Legion of Honor

Bandages to keep my still-healing burn wounds concealed

Kohl eyeliner, one (1), brown “espresso”

Whither thou, Weasel?

weaselridingwoody

 

Have you seen this image…?!  I can’t stop looking at it!  It’s a picture of a weasel riding around on a woodpecker!

When I first saw this, I told myself that maybe they were both having fun, although I couldn’t, for the life of me, imagine how this could be happening with the consent of both creatures.  I told myself, maybe it was a freak accident.  Maybe the weasel just accidentally fell on the bird’s back, somehow.

Well, I was listening to NPR in my car en route to campus (yeah yeah yeah, what a cliche I am, I know), and the talk show host was interviewing the photographer.  The photographer said that the weasel was trying to kill the woodpecker.

All of a sudden, the photo stopped being fun to me.  It turned violent and spooky, like a picture of a bloody crime scene, or a car crash.

I’ve looked closely.  I don’t see any blood on the woodpecker.  The weasel doesn’t seem to be biting it.  Why would a weasel attack a bird that big?  Is a woodpecker its natural prey?

What I want to know is, what happened…?  Did the weasel kill the bird?  Did the woodpecker land on a tree, and the weasel jumped off and ran away?  Did the weight of the weasel cause the bird to fall out of the sky and crash?  How high up were they?

What the fuck…?

(22) How Porn Almost Wrecked My Relationship

Men and porn.

When I sat down to write, I spent more than an hour asking myself how to attack this subject.   I have political opinions about porn, but I’m disinclined to share them because I have nothing to contribute to the discussion (interestingly, these are the only political opinions I have that I don’t like to talk about).  Every critic with strong opinions about porn and a few brain cells to rub together has already written about it, and much of the analysis is superior to anything I have to offer.  My experience in the sex industry has also given me a perspective that I previously lacked.

So, I decided to ditch the analysis and spare you my tiresome complaining.  Instead, I’ll do narrative.  I almost never get grief when I write about my personal experiences, however unlucky or ill-advised they are.

This is the story of How Porn Almost Wrecked My Relationship (maybe “How I Almost Wrecked My Relationship Over Porn” or “How My Boyfriend Almost Wrecked Our Relationship Over Porn” would be more accurate, but, for the life of me, I still can’t decide who or what gets the credit for relationship-wrecking).

I was 23 years old when my then-boyfriend Michael gave me his old computer.

(That’s really all you need to know about the story, right?  All 8 of you readers know exactly where this is going, right?  Did reading that make the male readers groan and shake their heads in sympathy for my hapless boyfriend?)

He transferred all his data and scrubbed the hard drive before giving it to me, of course.  Alas, he didn’t get it completely clean.  A few days later, when I was setting it up in my apartment (CD-ROMS and FLOPPY DISCS!  Remember those awful, unstable pieces of shit?), I found… a cache of his porn.

If this happened today, I would delete it all and never say a word.  I wouldn’t even poke around in it out of curiosity, just to see what he was looking at, or to “make sure” it wasn’t pictures of his ex-girlfriend or men or god-only-knows.  I have matured out of my jealous tendencies, and I have also learned that snooping only causes pain.

But, this didn’t happen to me today.   It happened to me when I was 23.

I freaked out.

If you’re wondering: the porn in question was completely unexceptional.   It wasn’t gay, or about some threatening fetish, or something alarming like pictures of women who didn’t know they were being filmed.  Most of the pictures (yes, I admit: I looked at them all) didn’t even involve sex acts.  It was pictorials of naked babes, like Hustler or Penthouse.  Do they even make porn like that anymore?

I still freaked out.

All that I can say, is that my pain was real.  I was very hurt and upset.  The feelings were not rational, but they were legitimate: a lot of women have exactly the same reaction I did when they Find His Porn.   Why does he look at The Porn when he has me?  Is my sensitive, liberal boyfriend actually some galloping misogynist?  Am I being objectified or fetishized for my youth (I was ten years younger than Michael was)?

There was anger, too.  My male readers might take offense when I say this, but the picture of male sexuality one can discern from mainstream porn, is not exactly complimentary.

Another part of the freakout was that The Porn was concrete evidence that Michael had a private life and a life before & beyond me and our relationship, and that I had nothing to do with it and couldn’t control it.  I was very young at the time, and I had difficulty accepting this concept.  I felt that The Porn was somehow A Big Lie in the relationship.

I called Michael on the phone and instigated the first in a week-long series of confrontations we were going to have over The Porn.

Poor Michael.  I have to hand it to him: he handled it pretty well.  He was a little defensive, and he was miffed that he was being taken to task over a private issue, but he kept his composure and basically said that he didn’t think he’d done anything wrong.

Which is true.  He hadn’t done anything wrong, and he was exactly the same man that I thought he was before I found The Porn.  Buuuuuuut…I still had my feelerz, and I was still hurt and upset.

Eventually, after a few days of fights and fight-y emails, we moved past it.  I ain’t going to lie to you, though: I never totally got over it.  The Porn took a huge piece of my naiveté and, I hate to say it, my idealism.  Losing it was tough.  It really hurt.

In the end, Michael said that he wouldn’t look at porn anymore, and I accepted that, and we put it behind us.  I knew that he was full of shit, but I said that I believed him, and after that, I sure as hell did not go looking for trouble: I didn’t snoop on his computer to try to “catch” him.  Both of us pretended that The Porn did not exist.  In my opinion, this is the very best thing that can happen in a relationship were one partner does not like The Porn: he keeps it locked up so that she never has to see it, and she gives him privacy and doesn’t try to find it.

I never fought over porn in a relationship again.  By the time I was 25 or 26, and had a little more life experience and experience with men, I became more pragmatic.  Men watch internet porn.   I don’t get upset over it for the same reason I don’t get upset over gun control: it will never, ever change, and there is absolutely nothing that I can do about it.  I completely capitulated on that issue, 1000%.

When I was prodomming, some clients used to talk with me about their relationships–their marriages, their divorces, their attempts at internet dating.  “My Wife Is Angry With The Porn” was a common story.  Guys, if you know that your SO doesn’t like porn, lock that shit up.  Don’t be a lazy jerk and leave it on your phone or your open browser.  Get Fort Knox with it.  Leaving it out is disrespectful.  Your half of the deal is pretending like you don’t watch it.  Her half of the deal is to pretend to believe you, and not pry around in your stuff or accuse you of watching.

“Miss Margo, what kind of porn do you like?  Favorite videos?”

–Random Internet Strangers

I’ve gotten this question several times.  I have zero clue why anyone would care.  With guys, is discussing porn like trading baseball cards, or something?  Like discussing favorite TV shows?  Like getting-to-know-you chit-chat?

Answer: I do not watch much porn.  When I watch it, I usually feel aroused and repulsed out at the same time.  I do not enjoy that particular combination of feelings.  If I am trying to get off, I would prefer to feel just aroused, or aroused and scared.  They don’t make porn for me.  I use my imagination.

I do have a few videos that I like, but I do not use them for masturbation material.  They do provoke strong emotional response, which is why I have them.  I study them.  They are fetish videos; sexual but not much sex.  James Mogul has done some excellent work–I’m a fan.  There are also some dommes who make good videos, and I watch those in admiration or to learn how to be better at my job. I really like Claire Adams.  I would hire her to dominate me.  Very impressed by her.

(15) Movie Review: The Salvation

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        I just watched an entertaining but completely forgettable Western called The Salvation.  I decided to blog about it right away, while I still remember a bit about it.

        I wanted to see this movie for two reasons: it is an ultra-violent Western, the only genre of film I give complete permission to be brain-dead, and it stars my boyfriend, Mads Mikkelsen.


           Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Wait…isn’t that ugly motherfucker some sort of European?”  

            You’d be correct!   Mr. Mikkelsen is, in fact, Danish…the country where they make the delicious Christmas cookies and my favorite client, Fortinbras.   All sorts of good things come out of Denmark.  

Courtesy of our Danish friends

         A Danish film film about a Danish cowboy.   American audiences might be skeptical, but I ask you: Why the hell not…?  The Western is one of our cinematic gifts to the world.  Can you blame other people for loving it and wanting to make it their own?  Of course not!  

            We can’t even rightly call it cultural appropriation when other countries borrow it, because the Western is essentially a fantasy genre.  Most Western books and movies bear only the faintest resemblance to American frontier life post-Civil War to 1900.   The Western has never been about historical accuracy.   It was fantasy when James Fenimore Cooper wrote The Last of the Mohicans and it’s fantasy today.   It was fantasy when the real thing was actually happening, which is very interesting.  Edward S. Curtis and Buffalo Bill were selling a fiction.  They had the real American West, and they sold the fantasy Western.   Crazy, right?  So you have a photographer who travels the West and makes it look like this:

You know it didn’t REALLY look like this

or this

            Now, you can argue–persuasively, even–that the fantasy Western was propaganda.   The people in the photographs above would probably have a lot to say about that.  Yes, it’s propaganda, but it’s more than that, which is what accounts for its universal popularity.  The Western is a sort of Rorschach test.   What does the American West symbolize?  A fresh start.  Opportunity.  Freedom from political oppression and the hypocrisy of society.  A chance to remake one’s image.  Paradoxically, spirituality in nature and triumph over it.  Equality, if you’re white.  Hope.  

           America owns the West, but the Western belongs to everyone.  

           Which brings us back to the Danish cowboy!

            Mads Mikkelsen plays a Danish soldier who moves out West with his brother to (what else?) make a better life for himself after fighting the Germans (Austrians and Prussians).  

       After seven years, his wife and son make the journey to join him.  Alas, they meet a violent and untimely end.  Mikkelsen and his brother spend the next 70 minutes getting sweet, sweet revenge.  The #1 Bad Guy has a black hat, black boots, and a black mustache.  In addition to being an enthusiastic murderer, he extorts money from the decent townfolk and has sex with his sister-in-law.   100% scumbag, no ambiguity at all.   There is a jailbreak, a rooftop shootout, a sheriff with a brass star on his shirt, and a rich guy in fancy clothes from Back East who wants to buy up the town.  The plot contained zero surprises.  

          The action was fast and I was not bored.  Good music.  The town looked like a fantasy of a western town.  Mikkelsen delivers his 20 lines of dialogue convincingly.  So does the Swede who plays his brother.  Good job, guys.  

         I was hoping for a flashback to the Second Schleswig War, but it didn’t happen. 

          This movie is exactly what you’d expect.   I give it a B+.  

(12) Evicted

      Heinrich told me that this place needed a makeover.  I spent a few days looking for inspiration in well-formatted Blogspot blogs and poking around on WordPress, wondering what I was going to do, when Blogger sent me an email notifying me that Blogger TOS have changed.  Starting March 23, Blogger will no longer host blogs with “Adult Content.”  Or, as the Blogger statement posted in the user help forums says: “Porn Is Going Away.”  (note the interesting choice of words there.  It’s not “We’re effectively shutting down porn blogs,” but “Porn is going away,” as if the porn grew wings and decided to fly away all of its own accord, and Blogger has nothing to do with it.)  

        I try to keep my blog rated R.  To my mind, it’s not even a sex blog, much less a porn blog.  I’ve posted two graphic sexual descriptions in three years.  I think that anyone who gets aroused by most of my scene descriptions probably needs to get their head examined.  

        Nevertheless, it is “Adult Content,” and Blogger doesn’t want it anymore.  

       I have to move the shop.  

       I’ll keep blogging here until the new site is live.  I want to get it set up nice before I invite company over, so I hired a professional to help me transfer the blog and set it up.  Otherwise, with my website-building skillz, the new place will be the WordPress equivalent of a cardboard box with duct tape all over it.  

(4) Margo Receives Marching Orders

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Used to be his Avitar/profile pic on Fetlife.  He said I could post it.  And it’s gone now–you won’t find it there.

     I received some surprise packages in the mail today.   Heinrich sent them.  I could tell they were books when I picked them up, but I had no idea what they’d be.

Do you think he’s trying to tell me something?


         (He did not give me the daddy owl and owlet.  Owls were mine.  The heart-shaped box had something interesting inside of it, too, but I need to ask before sharing with the class.)

         The 30 blog posts can be about anything.  For this assignment, he doesn’t care what I write as long as I write it on time.  

         Following this, he wants me to submit two pieces of writing for (possible) publication weekly, or bi-weekly if the pieces are especially lengthy or require significant research.  One of those must be professional, i.e. for money.  

         If the attempts at publication are unsuccessful (rejected), there is no penalty.   Failure to submit work for publication will be penalized, however.*  In other words, Heinrich will give me an A for effort as long as I produce content on a regular basis and try to get it out there.  

        I wrote academic content on demand for many years.  Surely copywriting can’t be more difficult?

       Writing is my only significant talent.  I’ve never tried to do it for money.   I could at least try.   I am not going to be a professor.  I could still be a writer, though.   

        So.  Time to try.  NEW PROJECT!

       More daily blog posts first, though.  I’ve already received questions via email and comments!   Thanks!  Feel free to send more!
    
        *I have no idea what the penalty would be.  Should I ask?