Thursday, August 27, 2009

Birthday, Numb Butt and Dinner

Good Evening, Everyone!!

I know! You are looking at the title and thinking, "WTF!?!?" I will explain; read on.

I arrived in Chicago after leaving Indianapolis on Sunday in time to make it to Chuck Renslow's "White Party" which was his 80th birthday party. Everyone was there! Had a great time and I always enjoy seeing Chuck. He is an icon in our community and someone to whom I respect with all of my heart. Happy Birthday, Chuck!!!!

David was able to meet me in Chicago and was able to attend Chuck's party as well. In fact, he had arrived the day before and was able to spend some time with Howie (Master Z Chicago) and his wife, Becky. However, David flew home on Monday afternoon.
I was to stay in Chicago due to a fundraiser at The Leather Archives & Museum; however, it was cancelled, and since I already had my plane ticket, I figured I'd stay the extra few days and have some down time.
However, Rob (whom I had met at GLLA) had different plans for me. (Rob is Great Lakes Leather Sir 2008 and 1st runner up at International Leather Sir 2008) He asked if I wanted to go bike riding in downtown Chicago. Anyone that knows me, knows that I do not like riding bikes. It's not that I fear the actual bike; it's more-so that I fear dumb ass drivers on the road that are more worried about texting and talking on their phones and running me over. The other element to this is the fact that I do not hear cars coming until it's too late. By the time I hear them running over me - well, they are literally running over me. Too late for any reaction on my part.

But I decided to do it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Besides, I needed to see if I could handle it before I buy David and I bicycles. I don't want to spend a few hundred bucks on bikes only to find out that I hate them and the bike sits in the garage collecting dust.

So off Rob and I went. We got on the L and rode the L downtown and then started from "Millennium Park" (I think) and started pedaling with the Lake on one side of us and the city on the other. It was truly incredible to see the city in this manner (although it was a little while before I relaxed enough to start looking to my left and right rather than straight ahead while clinching the handlebars for dear life; and we were on a bike path! I know - I'm so butch.) Before long, I was comfortable enough to even carry on a conversation as we biked. After a few miles, I realized that my ass was numb from sitting so long on the bike. It didn't matter how I sat on the bike, my ass could not get comfortable. Thus, the nickname Numb Butt came out of Rob's mouth and he refers to me as that from time to time now and laughs hysterically. Glad I could entertain him . . . LOL

Suddenly the bike path ended and we had to ride on the open roads of Chicago. Now I was back to clinching the handles, grinding my teeth and trying to find a priest to read me my last rites, as I knew I would be flattened by some Soccer Mom in her Expedition while she smoked her cigarette, yelled at the kids in the backseat, ate her left over french fries from McDonald's that she had bought for breakfast that morning, spoke on the phone about how shitty her hair looked due to the humidity, and checked her lipstick in the rear view mirror. Jeffrey was going down and he knew it.
But I made it! All the way to Jon and Ken's home for dinner. Thank God!!!!!!!!! I was never so happy to see a home in a long time.

Jon and Ken had Joey, RJ, Rob, Jason and I over for dinner and it was FABULOUS! I do not remember eating a steak that was so tender!! Best piece of meat I've had in my mouth in a long time! The conversation was incredible and went on for a while. I cannot share what was said at dinner as the motto of "What is said and done at dinner, stays at dinner!". But needless to say, it was an incredible dinner. Thank you Jon and Ken!

The next day I spent it with Howie and Becky and we went to dinner and then to Bill's Blues to listen to the music. I realize that this Blog is to be spent speaking about my travels as IML; however, I want to share this story. We started listening to the music, just as we had done about eight weeks ago when I was in town. However, there was a major difference this time for me. I could not hear the music. I could feel the music's beat (as to the vibrations); however, the actual notes, the tones, etc. - nothing. It was just this cluster of noise that didn't make any sense. I looked around the room and everyone was clapping, or swaying, or whatever to keep the beat, but I didn't hear it. I removed my hearing aids, thinking maybe my hearing aids were acting up, but this didn't help at all. The 'noise' was softened substantially; however, it was still just noise. For the first time, I could not hear the music. When I got back to Howie's that night, I put my I-pod on to see if it was the same thing. I could hear the words, but the tones, the notes are all scrambled. I realized that on my Ipod, I know the music so well that I rarely truly "listen" to the music. I usually have it in to just fill up the silence. But when I try to hear the tones and the notes, it's just noise. I've memorized how the songs that I've listened to over and over again should sound, and that is why I didn't notice it before. But when I hear music I've never heard before, it doesn't make sense to me.

So I had a moment. I truly had a stupid little self-pity moment right there in Bill's Blues. Not that anyone noticed; however, I had my moment in my head, which is where I usually have them. Thanks to my husband, David, for reminding me that one day they will be able to do something to change this and that is what we have to cling to for now. We have to have hope, right? And thanks to Rob, who at least admitted he wished he had something profound to say at that time, but he didn't. I appreciate you just giving me a hug when you saw me. That meant alot to David to know that someone was able to offer me a hug at that time.

So that was my 'moment'. I didn't cry or lash out or anything. It was just one of those moments in my head where I thought, "Fuck! Why me!!" I'm find with it now. I guess everyone has 'moments' every now and then.

The next day, I departed Chicago for Dallas, but not before Rob took me on a tour of Chicago. It was great to see more of the city and to see Wrigley Field (Bear went to see the Cubs!!). Rob, thank you so much for spending time with me and taking time from your schedule to show me Chicago. You were a delight to spend time with and I appreciate everything so much.

Okay, I leave for Berlin on Sunday for Folsom Europe. I am beyond excited about it!!! We will have a blast!!! I cannot wait to tell all of you about it!!

Your Leather Brother,


Great Lakes Leather Alliance 2009

Great Lakes Leather Alliance (GLLA) is held in Indianapolis each year and this was the 8th year they were holding the event. I was honored they asked me to judge the Leather Sir, Leather Woman and Leather boy contests. It was an even larger honor once I discovered who the other judges joining me were. My good friend Mark Frazier; my leather brother (and 2nd runner-up at IML this year) Alan Penrod; the 2008 International Leather boy Bill Hoepner; Ms. Olympus Leather 2009 Mistress Simone; the wonderful “mess” gloria; and Mr. Olympus Leather 2004 Daddy Mickey. An awesome group of individuals. It was a privilege to serve with all of them.

I arrived in Indianapolis on Thursday afternoon and met up with Lamalani, International Ms. Leather 2009, who arrived later that evening. We hung out with McG and gloria until late in the morning discussing everything from IML to Recon to SoCo. However, with staying up so late, and the hotel NOT calling us with our wakeup call AND the alarm clock not working, Lamalani and I didn’t wake up until 9 a.m. and I had to be at the first judging at 9 a.m.! I was late and y’all know how much I HATE being late! It is rare and I was not happy about this event. However, I got to the judging and everything still went off without a hitch. I will start traveling with my own alarm clock from this point on!

We judged the contestants in the interview portion of the competition and then we were pretty much free until later on that evening when the first installment of the formal portion of the contest began. So Lamalani and I drove over to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. I got a few photos of Bear at the Speedway for the book and then we stopped to eat. I then had my boots shined for that evening. Then it was back to the hotel to get dressed for the contest. The first part of the contest consisted of speeches, step-down speeches and introductions. It also consisted of on-stage impromptu questions. During that part of the contest, the contestant who selected me to give him his question (boy quill) called me Gregory Lane and then Gregory Payne. I had to laugh; however, I have been called worse. I didn’t count off for the mistake, but rather found it endearing. It takes a lot to be on a stage and sometimes the oddest things come out of our mouths. He still answered the question in a humorous manner and didn’t let it deter him from what he needed to do. And he apologized afterwards, which was unnecessary. But again, I did find it humorous.

The first part of the contest was now over, so we changed clothing and went out to the local bar. We had a great time and thanks to Chris for giving Lamalani and I a ride back to the hotel. We found out he liked to two-step, so I promised him at least one two-step dance the next time we all went out in exchange for the return trip to the hotel.

Saturday was a free day for the most part, as my only responsibility was to judge the second part of the contest that evening. So I attended the Fireside Chat with Mark Frazier (a filming for the Leather Archives and Museum) and then the auction by the pool. It was there I met Rob. He was/is an honorable man and it was a pleasure meeting him. I will speak more to him in my next post, as he ended up giving me a great tour of Chicago.

That evening we had the second portion of the contest, which consisted of the fantasy portions from the contestants and then the announcement of the winners. Congratulations to Bear (Great Lakes Leather Man), Christiana (Great Lakes Leather Woman), boy quill (Great Lakes Leather boy) and Kristina & fink (Great Lakes Master/slave). I know all of you will serve your community with honor and dignity.

That evening we stayed at the hotel and visited. It was great to catch up with everyone and make new friends. That is the best thing about being able to travel to so many events. I have made more friends during my travels and it’s such a great feeling. Also, whatever time I get to spend with Lamalani is always guaranteed to be an incredible experience!!! I also got to spend a lot of time with boy eddie. He truly has a good soul and it was great getting to spend some time with him and get to know him.

And once again, another event offered a sign interpreter!! Gabriel was incredible and signed for me during both sections of the contest as well as the majority of the auction at the pool. I want to thank GLLA producers for ensuring that a sign interpreter was available to those of us who needed it. Otherwise, we would not be able to enjoy the contest as much. My hats off to you!! Please continue this practice and spread the word to everyone that this is a necessary part of producing a contest.

On Sunday I flew to Chicago and will blog about that separately.

And again, thank you to the producers and sponsors of GLLA, as well as the many participants. Thank you for making me feel welcomed and thank you for an incredible weekend!

Your Leather Brother,


Monday, August 17, 2009

TIFLOL High Tea Party

David held his first TIFLOL High Tea Party and Fundraiser last Saturday night. It was a great success and I wish to thank everyone that attended the party. Photo's of the event can be seen at
TIFLOL stands for "The International First Lady of Leather". Some have said they think the title is an insult to David; however, David embraces it with all the passion he has and he owns it!! He tells everyone that he can think of no better title to have because that means his husband must be International Mr. Leather and he likes the idea of sharing this journey with him and it also means he gets to go to bed every night with him (well, every night he's in town . . .)! (I like that, too!!)
David did an excellent job at organizing the event on my behalf. We had auction items, a raffle, food and lots of alcohol. In fact, too much alcohol, as we had plenty left over. But the most wonderful thing about this party was the fact that I got to spend time with my local Dallas friends. I have been on the road so much (and will be on the road so much in the coming months) that I don't get to spend the time I used to be able to spend with them. It was so wonderful to just be able to sit back and talk and spend those precious moments with them. I miss them so much. But they support my journey to the n'th degree and I cannot thank them enough for that.
Love you all!!!! A special thank you to our friend Kyle who had the party at his home! We appreciate you so much!!
Your Leather Brother,

Portland, Oregon

Good Evening Everyone!

It has been over a week since I returned from Portland, Oregon and I'm just now able to blog about my trip. I apologize for the delay!!

I traveled to Portland for the Mr. Oregon Leather contest. I had an awesome time. I was able to stay with Thom and Dominic (Mr. Oregon Leather 2008). Talk about incredible hosts!!! They picked me up at the airport and shuttled my butt all around town for the entire trip. I cannot thank them enough for everything!!

I also had the chance to meet some of the most wonderful men and women. Many of whom judged the contest with me, or participated with the production of the contest in some way, shape or form or were just there to have fun and enjoy the moment. Everyone was incredible. One of the people that I met is in the attached photo. Andy is a great leader within the community and it was a joy to spend some time with him. This photo was taken at the Dirty Duck and Andy actually gave me my first "Voo-Doo" donut. If you are not familiar with Voo-Doo donuts, Google it. OMG! Sugar coma, but damn good! I was only going to eat the Captain Crunch pieces from the donut when I started and before I knew it, I had eaten the entire donut and was licking my fingers when I was done. Waste not - Want not! Thank you Andy! I also have to mention that I met Ronda (one of the Tally Masters for the contest.) She is an incredible woman and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with her! Thank you so much for making the weekend so awesome!!

Also, I want to thank Dan from Eugene, Oregon. He stayed with Thom and Dominic and I at the house and it was a sincere pleasure meeting him. It is rare that you find someone of his caliber, and I was honored to have been able to spend time with him and get to know him. You are a fine craftsman and an honorable man!

The contest in Portland takes place during Leather Pride Week. The first item on the agenda when I arrived in Portland was the Picnic held in one of several parks that Portland has to offer. (Beautiful parks, by the way!!) It was really good to see this potluck type of assembly happening within the community. I ate my weight in food, I'm sure . . . but damn it was good food!!! LOL So this event was my introduction into the community and I met so many wonderful people. Did I mention the food? Damn, the food was good!

The next night was the Meet and Greet and it was also great. They did a Vegas style fundraiser in conjunction with the Meet and Greet and I had a blast. Dominic and I played the Roulette table and we both walked away with thousands of dollars in fake money. Then we used it to purchase items during the auction. It was great fun and I can't remember laughing so hard as people were trying to 'borrow' fake money (okay, 'take' fake money) from other people so they could up their own bid for items. It was great fun and of all the Meet and Greets I've been a part of, this one has to rank as the best one yet.

The next day were the interviews in the afternoon (or late morning; I can't remember). Interviews are always interesting to me because not only do I get a chance to learn about the contestants, I also get a chance to learn about the judges. Judges typically ask questions that pertain to subject matters that are important to them and their community, so it helps me in understanding the state of the community and getting a feeling for what is important to the community (at least through the eyes of the judges). I consider it a great learning experience for myself. The interviews went well and the contestants did well. You could see they had prepared. Then the judges and tally masters had lunch and then we chilled and then got ready for the contest.

The contest was very well put together and flowed without a hitch. The emcee, Sister AnNa Wreks-ya, did an incredible job. And I have to take the time to point out that I was THRILLED that Blackout Leather Productions took the bull by the horns and provided a sign interpreter for those of us who needed it!!! KUDOS to you!!!! They made sure that I and others in need of the service were positioned in a spot that we would be able to see the interpreters and my hat goes off to them for taking the step to ensure that everyone could and did enjoy the production. Wait, I didn't have a hat; so my jock goes off to them!!! They also made sure that the space was accessible to those persons with disabilities and, again, that is one of the signs of an incredible producer and an incredible community!! That, my friends, is honorable and I was proud to be associated with this production!

But back to the contest (and off my soapbox).

The contest really was great. The contestants did very well, and congratulations to Brent and Lesset on receiving your titles as Mr and Ms Oregon State Leather. I know each of you will serve your title year and your community with honor and make us very proud of you.

Then it was to the victory party at the Eagle. That was a great time as well. Met more incredible people and even played a video poker machine. I lost . . .

The next day was a luncheon and again, it was wonderful to spend some time with the community. Then we toured the Portland Rose Gardens (OMG! Fucking awesome!!!) Beautiful is the biggest understatement when describing them. Then back to the Eagle for a Beer Bust. For, I think, $10, it was all the beer you could drink and then some. The bargain shopper in me came out and I was all over that! Good times!!

To Val and Dominic, (Mr. and Ms. Oregon State Leather 2008) thank you for an incredible year. You both served your community very well. Dominic, it was an honor to be at your step down. I was (and still am!) so proud of you and the man that you are. To have gone through IML 2009 together and then to be a part of your step down, was a joy for me and I feel very privileged to have been a part of those moments with you. I look forward to many years of friendship with you and Thom. Oh, and thanks to both you and Thom for being my 'first' IML stalkers!! I can't think of anyone I'd rather have as stalkers than the two of you (and mighty good lookin' ones, too!!!) FYI to the world: There is a story here; they really didn't stalk me. I actually stalked them; but a good stalker knows how to turn the tables and make it look like everyone else is the stalker!! ;-)

And as if the weekend could not have been any better, I got to spend time with my sash wife - Lamalani!!! I LOVE HER!! It was so good to see her and I get to see her again in three days!! Thank you, Lamalani, for making my trip to Portland so incredible. I will go ahead and let you know that you have a tough 'selling' job on your hands as to why I should move to Seattle over Portland. I will await your PowerPoint presentation . . . LOL

So to sum up my time in Portland: it was incredible. I made so many new friends and met so many wonderful men and women. Thank you Portland!! You showed me what an awesome community you have and I cannot wait to return for more!! Thom and Dominic, you are incredible men and thank you for all of your time and energy in ensuring my time there was second to none!

Your Leather Brother,


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Good Afternoon Everyone,

The above photo and the attached photo were taken by Howard, who owns SylvesterQ photography. This, and other photos, were taken while I was in Ft. Lauderdale. The shoot came during the pool party, so he only had about six or seven minutes with each person, but in those few minutes, he did an incredible job and treated each person with the utmost of respect. His attention to detail and his insight into what best captures a person is second to none. He is a true artist at work and I highly recommend him!
Oh, and let me go ahead and put this out there: I am not a paid spokesman for Howard. I have received nothing in return for blogging (and bragging) about him. Good photographers with true talent are few and far between and when I work with one (such as Howard), I'm going to tell the world. He's an artist, through and through.
So if you are in the area (Ft. Lauderdale) or going to be in the area for any length of time, I HIGHLY recommend that you contact him for a full photo shot (and tell him Jeffrey sent ya!). You can check him out at There is a link to email him; however, you can reach him at And send me copies once you receive them!!
Your Leather Brother, Jeffrey