One month in one post and…GO!


Onstage for my plenary at AASECT…and I got a standing ovation! Squeek! [Photo credit: Dr. Ruth Neustifter]

When one falls behind in something, it is often difficult to catch up. Falling behind, feeling overwhelmed, and then getting hit repeatedly with One Thing After Another can leave a Negress feeling…well. Like there is no way to really do justice to everything, so why bother?

Well, that’s a shit attitude and the expectations I set for myself are sometimes high and sometimes foolhardy. I’ll go with the latter and do a bullet point synopsis of the past month as to catch y’all up and hopefully get my head on right in the process. Those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook know some of the sorry saga, so you can feel good about already having the jump on things!

I had a trip to Sweden and London in the works last I blogged. I can sum it up thusly:


Let’s cut to the bullet points, shall we? Yay!

  • I had (what I assumed to be) a minor sinus infection cranking up when I left NY.
  • I landed in Sweden feeling unwell, had about 6 hours to rest, and then teach a class.
  • Thanks to Ms. Rebecca’s Awesomeness, everything was as smooth as possible. Except my head was pounding and my ear was clogged.
  • I did my class anyway, and was reunited with some of my awesome Swedish Friends. (Seriously, y’all rock my world.)
  • After the class, a cute boy asked me out. This, like, never happens. And I was happy to take him up on that, so of course I said yes. Perhaps later that week, when I was feeling better…? (Cue ominous foreshadowing music.)
  • The next day I was feeling worse. But I had a full day’s work and taught three classes for the Stockholm Fetish Weekend event. Despite the fact that I was degrading hour by hour, everyone said the classes were great.
  • Sold some books, but the setup at the event wasn’t conducive to having much of a high profile, so the sales were pretty…well. Shite.
  • By the third day, I was in insanely excruciating pain and it was obvious to me I had a sinus AND ear infection. Several days’ worth of home remedies were for naught.
  • After succumbing to the fact that I was unable to function and was nauseous from the pain and dizzy and disoriented, I asked to go to an ER.
  • I discovered that Swedish Hospitals don’t dispense antibiotics unless your eardrum ACTUALLY RUPTURES and THEN they’ll see if MAYBE they’ll give you them.
  • I spent the next week only getting up to go to the bathroom or do the gigs I had booked. A class here, a storytelling event there. Most of the time I was lying in bed crying. But the reviews were stellar, and I gotta say, 39 years in the business helps.
  • Eventually my eardrum was somewhat breached…and started leaking NIGHTMARISH HORRIBLE SHITE.
  • Then I had to fly to London for several classes.
  • Those were fun for the folks who showed up, my hosts all around were WONDERFUL and I got to meet some new friends but for whatever reasons, turnout was dismally low so book sales, again, flat.
  • I went to the ER in London and after a cursory exam was cheerfully told I had an outer ear infection and given some drops. I was certain this was a bad call but what could I do?
  • I had a change of venue and stayed with a new friend a bit outside of the bustle of London, and she took me to another ER. I was finally given some antibiotics and a low dose of codeine. At this point I’d been in the worst pain of my life for two full weeks.
  • The play date I’d hope to have materialized fell through, which is probably all for the best because the antibiotics only took some of the swelling off. Things were still pretty bad, but yet another disappointment was emotionally crappy, you know?
  • I flew back to Sweden, where I had another week. More classes, a show. The boy who had asked me out (who, but the way, had been at all of the classes and events I’d done in Stockholm) came to see my One Night Stand of my solo show that I was doing in a lovely little theater.
  • I rocked it; just so you’re clear that nothing will fucking stop me.
  • With two days left, I finally had that date with the Swedish boy. And, of course, because yet another thing had to be frustrating and horrid on this trip…the date was fucking amazing.
  • Which is only frustrating and horrid when you remember I was leaving in a day and had 28 hours to develop a fucking stupidly dizzying crush on someone who is…well. There’s a laundry list of reasons it is an Improbable Situation. But it has been a while since someone cracked the shell I keep up to protect the squishy insides and when the ramparts are breached and quicksilver beads of “OMFG YOU ARE AWESOME LETS SPEND EVERY SECOND TOGETHER!!” come rushing out, there’s not much to do except enjoy it and then…kiss goodbye.
That's the cute Swedish buy. He's called Jonatan.

That’s the cute Swedish buy. He’s called Jonatan.

  • I found out someone who had been a very close friend of mine once died horribly and needlessly.
  • I flew back home to NY and, thankfully, The Evil Jewish Lesbian Landladies made sure I had a Doctor’s appointment and a safe landing.
  • The ENT specialist let me know that my ear, likely slightly ruptured previously, was healing even though the infection was still active and pretty bad.
  • More antibiotics, steroids, fistfuls of painkillers smuggled in from Canada, and yadda.
  • I had a week or so to take a deep breath before flying to Miami / Ft. Lauderdale to speak for the AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists) Conference.
  • Due to being sick as a fucking sick ass dog, I’d not really gotten my head around what the fuck I was gonna say to a bunch of Doctors ,Therapists, etc.
  • Got up in stage in Miami in front of a huge ballroom PACKED and SRO with…I dunno…like 400+ of these folks and FUCKIN’ ROCKED IT.
  •  Standing ovation and everything. It took me three hours and forty five minutes to make if from the stage to my hotel room because everyone wanted to talk to me, or take a picture with me. I felt kinda like a rockstar.
  • I got to spend the day with my Mom and my youngest sister, who I haven’t seen since the fall of 2007. This was, actually, kinda great. And I got to connect with a friend, and that was uplifting.

And so, here I am.

My ear isn’t all the way better. It still gurgles and I can’t hear so well. I’m fruitlessly pining over a boy in Stockholm who isn’t exactly great at the whole keeping in touch thing. But hey, it fits with my pattern of being mesmerized by men who pour dizzying amounts of energy and focus into our connections and then pooflia, vanish like the beam of a lighthouse in the gloaming. Despite my best efforts, I am a squishy Romantic in a brittle, cynical shell. And I know one of these days the energy and passion I have WILL be met by someone who gives a fuck enough to fucking maintain that shit. For now, I’ll remember the fun stuff and do that foolish girl sighing and pining thing, because that occupies my mind…or, at least, a few of the brainhamsters.

Today, I’ll be recording with Dan Savage for the Savage Lovecast. I am QUITE excited about that.

I have so many things I wanna do, I feel paralyzed again. But maybe writing this is a start.

That’s all I got.

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  1. Harper Eliot on June 15, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    So sorry to hear that the ear infection continued you to plague you throughout your trip. When I had mine it was possibly the most miserable I have ever been in my entire life, so you seriously have my sympathy!

    It was really lovely to meet you in London, and you’ve reminded me to take a look at the notes I took at your class, which was excellent, by the way. Hope to get the chance to sit and chat with you again some time, when you’re feeling a lot better!

    And I’m so excited that you’ll be on the Savage Lovecast! I am a huge fan of Dan Savage, and can’t wait to hear you both on there.