Thursday, January 31, 2013

Woman of Leisure

It's been about seven months now since I felt like I was physically capable of sustaining a phone sex call in a manner worthy of charging for it. My current neurological makeup seems to favor activities which provide a lot of joy, but require very little concentration, and if either of those aren't true, I run out of steam quickly.

Writing for this blog has been oddly difficult as well. There are stories I want to tell, but I haven't been able to figure out how to tell them here. I write things on FetLife, for my in-flesh kinkster friends who have become my community and local family of choice. Some day I'll figure out how to translate them here as well.

I was talking last night with someone who has also had an online "persona" which dropped off his radar when he got busy or overwhelmed. I don't think Galiana is a "persona" in the traditional sense, because Galiana is all honestly me (except the name), but Galiana is ... filtered me, focused me, a version of me that has been seen through a filter of "ready for the world and ready to please", and maybe that's the filter that I haven't been able to sustain lately.

Thankfully, though, in the midst of this season of not being able to focus on someone else's energy and match it consistently or for any predictable length of time, we settled my disability claim, which has provided significant financial breathing room for now. It would make me nuts not to do anything financially productive forever, unless I really couldn't come up with anything I can consistently commit to.

Also thankfully, I have ample opportunities to do activities which provide a lot of joy, but require very little concentration.

Indulge me, if you will, fine ladies and sirs, as I describe to you the life of Galiana Chance, Woman of Leisure.

Throwing Parties
There's an odd phenomenon with hosting a party. On one hand, yes, having a party requires a lot of concentration, especially with as picky as we are about the physical setup and the cheese selection. It's important. Don't judge.

But my home has the giant advantage of an easy escape to a comfy bed. It's unrealistic to expect other people to set up a separate vertigo station for me. The ability to take a break for an hour or two makes it much much easier to throw a party.

Also, our guests are good about helping clean up, bless their sweet hearts. I think it's a pity thing. And I'm okay with that.

So, every month, we've been throwing a shindig for 15-30 of my closest friends. And I've been attending a few shindigs that others throw, although I wish I could attend all of them.

Hosting a Meet n Greet
I felt like the local kinkster scene was missing a monthly event specifically geared for (a) people who get vertigo in crowds to have an escape hatch, and (b) to help newcomers feel welcomed and give them a way to meet other local kinksters. So I started one. It's a munch / meet n greet / open public meeting, whatever you want to call it.

It's extremely simple, and the layout is such that I can sit outside the room where the crowd is gathered, and I can talk with the few people at a time who are hanging out by the bar, under the auspices of "I'm watching for people entering so they can get a name tag". But really, it's way easier on my vertigo to be out by the bar. Shhhh. Don't tell anyone. We're averaging 30-40 people per month, which wildly exceeds my expectations.

When the Meet n Greet is on the same weekend as the parties we host at our house, I spend the whole week reserving energy for them. By the end of the night, I'm either sacked out upstairs with a cuddle buddy, or I'm endlessly grazing in the snack room, glassy-eyed, giving hugs and encouraging people to make fun of me. I'm useless for two days afterward, but it's fun, and it's worth it.

Halloween Season
We attended one kinkster costume-encouraged Halloween party, and we threw one. I went the lazy route with store-bought costumes from a local lingerie boutique / sex toy shop.
Referee Galiana
At home, I was the referee, where people kept offering to blow my whistle, and then offering to play me some horrible song about whistle blowing which I am clearly too old and grumpy to properly appreciate.

Major Tease Galiana

The one someone else hosted, I was "Major Tease" as it said on my name thing on my costume, but it was hotly debated whether I was a "tease" or a "slut" if I let multiple people grab my boobs. There was empirical testing done.

It was during this season of spirits that I decided my primary role at most parties is to be the best eye candy I can be, plus encourage my friends to grope me, and each other. Also, I engineer hookups for other people: play partners, smooching buddies, and cold girls with my eternally-warm-handed lover. I like the kinds of trouble I cause.


I know at least two people in St Louis who are going to be super mad to discover this information this way, but ... The week before Thanksgiving, I went to the StL3 Spanksgiving conference, where I changed outfits far more often than was necessary.

Galiana at Spanksgiving

I forgot to take pictures of at least two outfits at the conference. The costume changes were seriously out of hand. But super ridiculous fun. Cameras aren't allowed in the main area, so the pics were in side areas or bathrooms, but that was the best I had. I felt like a stripper about to go onstage all weekend, but people kept telling me they loved my outfits, so what was I gonna do, disappoint them by staying in one outfit? Pffff. Clearly not.

I spent a wonderful, affirming weekend learning, smooching, getting groped, getting spanked, and distracting the off-duty cops working security. It's not my fault one of them is 6'8" and gorgeous and has a British accent! What was I supposed to do, let him feel neglected? When he works so hard to protect and serve? Noooooo, clearly the right thing to do was to bring him women and let him whisper naughty things in their ear so he could watch them melt. And maybe offer to let all the cops grope me, including the woman cop. It's not my fault I was raised to be friendly and inclusive.

But seriously, the presentations were amazing, the company was spectacular (Devant also had an amazing weekend - she got her name cut into her shoulder with a scalpel! Yeouch! She loved it), and the energy was fantastic. By the end of Saturday, I was a loopy weirdo space cadet, but I was getting so much happy energy that I just kept wandering around soaking it up. Thankfully, nobody expected me to be coherent. Whew.

Thanksgiving & The Formal Dinner

We had Thanksgiving dinner with several friends who did not have family-of-birth plans, and it ended up being a delightful family-of-choice time, with mind-blowingly delicious food and lovely conversation. I realized I was still recovering from Spanksgiving, which had ended four days earlier, when the spirited multi-way conversation going on around me no longer made sense, as if everyone was speaking gibberish.

That was when I understood for the first time that my vertigo crashes had adapted to stimulus of pleasant social overload by blocking my cognitive processes instead of giving me overwhelmingly unpleasant whirling sensations. Oh, silly Brain. Thanks for the adaptation. How about you work on adapting to not be dizzy at all? No? Okay, well then, I'll take "pleasantly confused" as a consolation prize.

A mere two days later, we had a Formal Dinner at our home, where people who wanted to be in service/submission for the evening literally served the rest of us, as if the ones being served were Victorian lords and ladies. I was asked? forced? encouraged? to step out of the limelight and let other submissives in the community organize and arrange everything. It was harrrrrrd! I kept wanting to help with stuff! But they were all mean to me and made me sit back and relax and be served! Crazy!

Formal Dinner Table

Our home looked amazing, with table linens and individual menus made especially for the event, and I honestly had to do very little in support. It was easily the most delicious dinner I have ever had outside of a fancy restaurant. And honestly, more delicious than some Zagat-rated meals I've had. Each of the four courses caused at least one foodgasm. And how do you top the memory of having flaming bananas foster in your house?!? It was so amazing that it felt like a dream. Was I really served ... in my home ... by a bunch of willing submissives ... exquisite pork loin and perfect mushroom risotto and creme brulee that brought tears to my eyes? In my home? I'll never forget it.

Then we went to someone else's home for a lovely play party afterward, where I got spanked a bit. It was a mild scene in terms of BDSM culture, but it was enough to melt me into a pile of useless vapid staring and giggles, so I became the after-care zombie cuddle buddy, which suited me quite well.

And More

That was just October and November. In December, I went to three kinkster holiday parties, one of which we hosted, and traveled back to Texas to see my awesome family. There were a lot of outfit changes. And I smooched a lot of girls. And I made my teddy bear servant cum without touching him (heh, that was fun). And my husband and I rekindled some mischievous energy. It was a fantastic month.

I got to confirm my growing understanding of my limits without the pressure of wanting to save energy for work, and the truth is that I can go a long long way socially, as long as nobody asks me to calculate a tip, remember the name of anything or anyone, or solve a puzzle involving rearranging objects in a limited amount of space. I would be utterly useless without my phone chirping reminders and storing lists for me, but I've figured out how to use it to manage around the lapses in my unfortunately spotty memory.

What I Can't Do These Days

Thank you for all the emails and twitters of concern over the past few months. The truth is, my vertigo isn't doing particularly well. I'm often confused. I often feel unable to drive safely, even short trips in town. I spend a lot of days on my own, snuggling with my dogs and limiting my sensory stimulation.

I thought maybe I'd be able to start up a podcast. I'm sure I would have a modest, loyal audience if I launched it. So for most of January, I slowed down my social calendar and tried to build enough juice to make it happen.

It turns out, I can't. It's not that I don't want to, I just can't. I can't sustain the concentration I need to do even short bursts of podcasting, because there are so many other technical pieces which go along with the podcast, other than just the recording, and I can't get myself from here to there. Not yet. I hope someday, but not yet. That's been understandably disappointing.

And clearly, I can't write blogs very often. This one took me two weeks. I'll keep doing it, as I can, because I like keeping in touch with the few readers who continue to pop in. And I like having it to return to when I get better again. Hi! Thank you for still checking here! Mmmmmmmwuh!

What I Can Do These Days

I am obviously finding ways to enjoy myself in this season. Clearly, I'm not suffering. I'm attempting to let go of the shame and sorrow of not feeling productive. I'm over-compensating by telling my friends on FetLife my opinions of their personal issues way more often than I probably should.

And sometimes, I have given people a different perspective on their situations in ways they have found helpful. Or at least they've told me it was helpful, which was nice. So I'm doing best to be an encouragement to my in-person friends and family here.

Since I can't figure out how to do financially productive work anymore, I have gone back to trying new anti-vertigo medicines. The first one was hopeful at first, but after 4 days, I had horrible rebound, so that was an unfortunate no. It made me go back and try a few fast-acting ones that had worked in the past, but they all had the same effects as before.

Today is Day 4 of a new medicine that needs to build up slowly in my bloodstream. I can't tell what it's doing exactly, but I did have the urge yesterday to talk like a hick all day. Really. This big, fat Texan twang kept coming out of my mouth. It was deeply amusing. It seems to be gone today, but it certainly counts as the most bizarre and hilarious possible side effect yet.

So I'm doing the best I can do with what I have in this season. It is good enough. I am extraordinarily grateful that if I have to be in a season where I can't be financially productive, at least I don't have to worry about bills being paid. It's a good life, and I'm glad I get to live it.

As always, feel free to drop me an email (see the Contact and Links page) any time to check up on me, tell me your good news, tell me your sad news, whatever. I'll write back when I can, but it often won't be right away.

First Stand Up

I happened to be at an open mic for stand-up, so I decided to try my hand. I've suspected I wouldn't be horrible at it, and sure enough, it wasn't horrible (except for about 45 seconds near the beginning, which I edited out).

Enjoy :)

And if anybody feels like transcribing it so I can have the whole text of it at the end of this blog post, please feel free to do so and send it to me.