Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Kinky Kollege - Chicago

Good Evening Everyone,

I spent last weekend in Chicago attending Kinky Kollege. It is sponsored by Leather Sins and a pansexual event. I had an incredible time attending the event. Once again, I was able to see so many of my friends and make new ones!!

I arrived on Thursday and was able to spend the afternoon completing many of my school projects. Then I went to dinner with Mark, Rob, dak, Joey and Adam. Great meal!!

That evening I stayed at Master Z's (Chicago) home. We had to get up early the next morning, as he is the Event Director. The classes started on Friday, and I gave my first class to Kinky Kollege.

My class centered around my journey to International Mr. Leather and the plans I have during and after the title year. I thought it went well. I had joked with my good friend Master John that I didn't think I'd have more than 5 people, and if that were the case, to bring the mixers and I'd bring the alcohol and we'd just sit around and talk and cut-up. I had 15 people attend and was very pleased. At the end of the class, we had an open Q&A session. I actually had fun with the class and found it interesting the questions that were asked.

Afterwards, they held the opening ceremonies. At the Meet and Greet, my friend Mark Frazier introduced me to Guy Baldwin (IML 1989). It was an honor to finally meet him!

That evening, I turned in early; however, I did not get much sleep. I have had problems lately sleeping. I am tired but have problems getting to sleep. Not sure what that's all about . . .

Saturday morning I attended Mark's class on Breathe Play. It was a packed class and, as always, mark gave an interesting, informative and amusing class. Then it was off to the Vendor mart. I then met up with Rob and dak. Rob was tired (as he had worked the evening before) so I let him take a nap in my room so he didn't have to drive all the way home. dak and I went off to eat lunch. It was wonderful to finally meet dak and spend some time with him. He is an incredible man and everything that Rob had said he was/is.

That evening I had dinner with George, Master John and Mark Frazier. We sat at the restaurant for a few hours and discussed many topics. With my schedule and Mark's schedule, it is rare that we are able to sit and speak candidly about the community, our lives, and so on. Mark is a great friend of mine, as well as a mentor; so I value his opinion greatly. Needless to say, we had an incredible dinner.

That evening, I did something I had never done before. I used a single tail whip on a real person. I've always had a mental block about using one on someone, as I have felt my technique was lacking. However, Master John worked with me and before I knew it, I was using it on George. I did very well (if I say so myself) and only two of them went astray. And for those of you wondering: George lived to tell people about it!

I also used sounds and eletro-play with George. He was a true spot and Master John was an incredible instructor. Thank you to both of you for allowing me to learn.

Sunday I attended Mark's class on carotid play. That was a very interesting class! I had seen it performed before; however, I have not had it done to me personally. (And it still have not.) But again, Mark's deliver in a class is exceptional!

After that class, I attended a class on Watersports. Very good class. Alot of basic information and I would highly recommend it for anyone that is just getting into the fetish and wanting to learn the basics, as well as some intermediate things.

On Sunday, most people left town. I stayed until Monday. This allowed me some downtime before heading home on Monday. I was also able to spend some time with Rob. He and I hadn't seen each other since the last time I was in Chicago, so we were able to catch up and spend some time together. Always nice to spend time with Rob. He's a truly remarkable young man.

On Monday, I flew home and, as always, it was incredible to see my husband, our boy and the puppies. Sleeping in my own bed is always a great thing!!

Next up: San Francisco for ILSb. I leave Thursday.

Your Leather Brother,


Monday, October 26, 2009

2010 International Mr. Leather Calendars

Good Evening Everyone,

The 2010 International Mr. Leather #31 Calendars are in and ready to ship. All proceeds from the sale of the calendars will support the Leather Archives & Museum, National Coalition for Sexual Freedom (NCSF) and "Hearing from the Heart" (a program designed to assist those persons within our community with hearing impairments).You may order online at www.IML2009.com (click on SSC Fund and scroll to the bottom of the web page).

Online orders are processed through Paypal. If you would prefer to order your calendar(s) with a check, please mail a check made out to the "Sharon St. Cyr Fund, Inc." to:

Sharon St. Cyr Fund, Inc.
2641 Heatherwood Drive
Dallas, Texas 75228

The cost is $20 for the calendar, or $25 for an autographed calendar. Please stipulate where the calendar(s) should be mailed. Shipping within the 48 contiguous states is included in the purchase price; however, if shipping outside of that area, please add $5.00. If you are ordering an autographed calendar, please let us know how you would like the autograph to read.

You may also read more about the Sharon St. Cyr Fund, Inc. at http://www.iml2009.com/.

Thank you for your continued suppport of the Leather Archives and Museum, the NCSF, and "Hearing from the Heart".

Your Leather Brother,


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mr. Marcus

Good Evening Everyone,

We have lost an icon in our community. I realize the word "icon" is often used to describe people and, in some cases, the word may be overused; however, in my mind and in my heart, this is the only word that truly describes this man. In my world and in our community, a void exists with his passing.

Mr. Marcus first came into my life by way of my good friend Mark Frazier. Before I ran for Mr. Texas Leather, Mark introduced the two of us via email and Mr. Marcus and I fast became friends. He was the first to put me on the international scene by putting my photos on his site and writing about me in the Bay Area Reporter. He was always a true gentleman with the sharpest of wit when we corresponded via email.

The first time Mr. Marcus made me laugh hysterically was when I sent him a handwritten thank you note (y'all know how I love to send handwritten notes). I was thanking him for covering the Mr. Texas Leather contest. Guess what he did in return? He sent me a handwritten thank you note thanking me for the thank you note I wrote to him. It was classic! I chuckled for days and thought I would "one up" him, so I sent him a thank you note thanking him for the thank you note that thanked me for the thank you note I had sent to him. Well, I got my first lesson in that you cannot "one up" Mr. Marcus. He sent me a thank you note for sending him a thank you note that thanked him for writing me a thank you note that thanked me for the thank you note that . . . well, you get the picture. I still have these handwritten notes and they are part of my personal archives. I cherish them immensely and still laugh about it.

The first time I met Mr. Marcus in person was at International Mr. Leather this year. I introduced myself and he was as pleasant and witty as a man could be. We spoke of the contest and the madness surrounding it. It was brief; however, he said at the end of the conversation (with all seriousness), "You know, I never did get a thank you note from you thanking me for that last thank you note I sent." He raised an eyebrow, waited five seconds and then smiled that mischievous smile of his and walked away. I laughed my ass off!

Later on that same day, my husband David ran into him and introduced himself to Mr. Marcus. Mr. Marcus did not miss a beat. He said, "Jeffrey Payne's husband? Mr. Texas? Well, he never told me he had a husband. Hum?" (Reread that quote and drag out the sound of "me" for about ten seconds. That's how Mr. Marcus said it!) And then got this huge grin on his face! David was speechless and y'all know my David; he is never speechless. Then as Mr. Marcus turned on a dime, he said, "Make sure to tell him I said that." David laughed all the way back up to the room to tell me.

After I was chosen IML, Mr. Marcus and I corresponded regularly. He was always attentive to what my schedule was, and wanted to know where I was going. He mailed every issue of the Bay Area Reporter to me (actually he started doing that right after I won Mr. Dallas Eagle). He was always interested in who I met along the way and gave me the names of those persons I needed to make sure to meet while on the road. He gave me many words of advice; words that I will always cherish. I remember him telling me the weekend of San Francisco Pride (at the Ms. San Francisco Leather fundraiser) that I needed to make sure I took care of myself; that it was a long year and to make sure I had some down time. "But you're still young and look pretty good. You'll do okay." And then that damn smile again!

The Monday after Folsom Fair, I went to visit with Mr. Marcus. Randy, Alex, Loren, Rick and Brian were all there. (The photo is attached; PLEASE be respectful of the memory of Mr. Marcus, the photographer and myself by not reproducing this photograph or using it in any publication. In other words, it's copyrighted and unless you have written permission, you may not use it.) It was incredible to spend time with him. We had received a list of all of his favorite food items, and I do believe we got everything on the list for him. Tacos, a burger, fries, orange soda, coffee, etc. When we arrived, his 'normal' lunch had arrived, and he tossed it and ate what we had brought to him. You could tell he loved every bite!! But we were able to show him some photos of Folsom Fair, and share some of the stories. He asked about certain people and what they were up to.
Mr. Marcus was in prime shape that day. He was just as witty, humorous and sarcastic as ever! He made us laugh the entire visit. Then there was the "I-Yatollah" remark from Mr. Marcus (directed at me) that came as we were saying goodbye. I reached down to hug him goodbye and he said, "Good to see you, I-(dramatic pause) Atollah." I now have the nicknames of IML, I-Hop (given to me by a drunk girl at SF Pride and Randy), Mr. Intellect (given to me by a drunk man at Folsom and Randy), I-Poop (really - don't ask, but know that Randy was present when the name was given), and I-Atollah. Mr. Marcus was determined that he would give the last "I-" nickname to me, and he did.
I will miss Mr. Marcus for many reasons. Everyone will miss him for their own reasons; however, as a community we have suffered a great loss and yet I know Mr. Marcus would hate for all of us to get bogged down in it. He'd want us to continue moving forward and we will; knowing that we are a better community and a better person because he was a part of our lives.
There is a Celebration of Mr. Marcus' life being held on November 21, 2009 in San Francisco. I encourage everyone that is able to attend to go and be a part of this event. If you are not able to attend remember that November 21, 2009 has been declared a Day of Leather Celebration, in his honor. Wear your leathers or Levis and do something special to celebrate the life of Mr. Marcus.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend. Months ago, I had given my word to the Detroit community that I would attend their event that weekend. If there is one thing I have always stood by is that when I give my word to anyone, I stand by it. I know in my heart that Mr. Marcus would understand. We will celebrate Mr. Marcus' life in Detroit on November 21 and we will honor this great man, along with the rest of our international community.

I miss you, Mr. Marcus. I miss your ability to make my heart and soul laugh and smile. Thank you for being a part of my journey. We shall one day meet up again; and when we do, I'll have that thank you note I still owe you in hand.
Your Leather Brother,

Rio Grande Leather Weekend

Good Evening Everyone,

I spent this past weekend in Albuquerque for the Rio Grande Leather Weekend. I had an exceptional time and it was great to meet and mingle with the community.

I got in on Thursday and had dinner with Matthew. Friday morning I had to do school work (fun. . .) and then late Friday afternoon I registered for the event and we then attended the opening ceremonies. Saturday were the classes and I actually got a massage! It was freaking awesome! I am the one that always gives the massage, so receiving one was a real treat! Then we had some more classes and then had to get ready for the main show that evening.

The main show featured many performances, the handing over of the titles of Mr. and Ms. Rio Grande Leather 2010 (the contest had been held a few weeks prior), a speech by yours truly, and a jock auction. The main show was an incredible time. I was a part of the jock auction, and we auctioned off a pair of my Nasty Pig yellow and black jocks. Good times!!

Congratulations to Tyler and jayson in being named Mr & Ms Rio Grande Leather 2010. I know you will both do an exceptional job during your title year and beyond.

On Sunday, I toured Albuquerque with Matthew. We went to the top of some mountain that was in the area (the name escapes me at the moment) and walked for what seemed forever. There seemed to be a large lack of oxygen due to the altitude. I am in pretty good shape, but damn, I needed an oxygen tank!

I would like to thank Matthew, as well as producers, volunteers and the Leather Community for making my time in Albuquerque so wonderful. I appreciate everything each and every one of you did, not just for me, but the entire community!

Your Leather Brother,


Friday, October 16, 2009

The Importance of Being Prepared

Good Evening Everyone,

Before I begin, I want everyone to know that I cleared the writing of this blog with Master John before I posted it. This story involves him and I would never post something concerning someones personal life without their consent. However, he and I discussed it at length and feel that sharing this story would benefit our community. And isn't that why we are here?

As you know, I went to Tulsa this a couple of weekends ago for the Oklahoma Mr. Leather 2010 contest. Master John, from Ft. Lauderdale, had also flown into town, along with Sir Jason and boy jason. Saturday night we arrived to the contest and were mingling with the crowd and I was taking photo's of everyone. I had just taken a photo of Master John and boy jason, when I asked John a question. He looked to his right and then back at me, and then to his right and then back at me. I could tell he was wanting to say something; however, he just could not say anything. It was almost like he had seen a ghost and was at a loss for words. I said, "John, talk to me. What's going on?" I honestly thought he was joking around and just could not find the words he was trying to say. Then I realized that was not the case. He grabbed my shirt and sash and started to go down. boy jason was standing behind him, and all I could get out was "jason, help me. jason, help me." John's eyes had rolled to the back of his head. He was passing out. boy jason literally carried him to the floor using his own weight as leverage. John was down. His body stiffened and he started to shake violently. I personally have never experienced this situation; however, there were suddenly five nurses in the house on top of the situation. Mark, an RN and Teddy, trauma nurse and three others (I think there was even a prenatal nurse amongst the group) were telling us what to do. Sir Jason was there and said he was diabetic. So we got some orange juice, thinking his insulin was off. But that did not seem to do the trick. Meanwhile, one of the patrons had called 911 and the paramedics were there in five minutes. They took him to the hospital and he has since been released and is home. The doctors could never say exactly what it was that happened to Master John that evening. Inconclusive.

Here is where Master John and I think our community can learn something. Sir Jason knew Master John well; however, he did not know everything about him as to his medical history. I know Master John very well; however, I know very little about his medical history. This was a wake up call for us because we are huge travelers and, although we travel with friends all of the time, very few people know of our medical history, including each of us knowing about the other.

Personally, I am out of town just about every weekend. Most people know that I am HIV positive, as I have been very open about the situation. However, no one knows if I take medications, or if I have any other medical issues.

And that is what happened with John. We all know him and love him; however, we did not "know" his medical history enough to share it with the doctors at a time when he could not share it himself. I know he is HIV positive and Sir Jason knows he is a diabetic (and yes, John has given me permission to share that information with everyone). However, we did not know if he had a heart condition other than to say, "Well, he never mentioned one".

So John and I have decided to share with you that it would be a great idea to take precautions; especially when you travel. That way if something does happen during your travels, someone else can speak for you when you may not be able to speak for yourself.

1 - Note Cards: Place a note card in your wallet of all medications you are on, the contact information of your primary care physician, other medical history and an emergency contact. At minimum, the names of a few contacts that know your history.

2 - ICE: In your cell phone, store a phone number with the name of ICE (which stands for "In Case of Emergency") of someone that knows your medical history and can speak for you. In fact, store two or three "ICE" entries in case the first person is not able to answer.

3 - Communicate: Communicate with the people around you. For instance, John and I have spent numerous hours speaking about all the handsome men that walk by us and all the "good" trouble we've gotten into in the past; however, we never took a moment to speak about our medical histories. It doesn't have to be a long drawn out conversation. Just share it with it with someone and keep them in the loop. One 60 second conversation could have saved alot of guessing on our part. I think John and I can spare 60 seconds to discuss our medical histories with one another.

If you have other steps you think would be valuable, please post comments to this blog and inform everyone.

I realize that not everyone wants to share their medical information across the world. I'm not asking that, so please do not interpret it as such. I realize that not everyone is going to stand on a stage at IML and tell the world they are HIV positive. I did it because I felt it was part of my journey to share it with others and hopefully someone will take that information and go get tested themselves. But today, I'm only asking that you share your medical information with at least one other person that is close to you and then provide a way to contact that person should a need arise.

At the end of the day, it truly could mean saving your life.

And a special thank you to the Tulsa Leather Community for taking care of Master John during and after the event. You showed all of us, once again, why your community is one of the best!!

Your Leather Brother,


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Update on my Hearing

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I went to the audiologist yesterday and, actually, had a good report, all things considered. As most of you know I am losing my hearing, and I recently I have started to lose more of the "understanding" aspect of my hearing than the actual "noise" level. The audiologist explained it like this: along the nerve path from my ear to my brain, I have these 'pot holes' where some of the sounds fall into and don't make it all the way to the brain. Thus, I lose those sounds. That is why I am so intent on being able to see someones mouth when they speak, because I can usually make out what they are saying by lip reading. I am also smart enough to follow a conversation and imagine what a person is saying because it "fits" the conversation at hand.

David has noticed recently that he changes topics on me mid-sentence (as he always has and I have always found that to be an endearing quality about him) but now-a-days, I get somewhat confused by what he is talking about. This is due to my not hearing what he is saying and in my mind, I am going one way with the topic at hand and he has switched topics. So I get this bewildered look on my face and say, "What are you talking about?" It's because I have to take what little I am hearing and put it with what my eyes see their lips saying and then use my brain to think about what you're probably trying to say and then try to put it all together into a coherent thought. When I don't get all three of those things working together, then I get lost in the conversation and have to try to pick up where I can.

This, unfortunately, has also resulted in what I call a 'bad' habit of mine. When I am around David or anyone that I know and call a friend, I have no issue saying "what", "huh", or looking at them like "I'm lost, repeat that". But when I am around folks I do not know, I feel as if I'm troubling them to repeat things, so I struggle if I miss part of the conversation. I realize that is not fair to them, so I am working on asking people to repeat themselves and to also make sure to look at me when they speak. The few times I have done that, most people do not seem to mind. Although there was one young man in San Francisco that I asked him to repeat what he said (we were in a crowded bar for God's sake) and he just said, "Never mind" and walked away. Ugh! I felt bad because I had to ask him to repeat what he said but I had no idea what he was saying . . .

So my hearing continues to deteriorate; however, they let me know that by wearing my hearing aids, I can actually slow the progression of hearing loss. It's been proven that if you use your hearing aids, and thus, use your ears, then the progression of hearing loss is slowed. It's a "use it or lose it" kind of mentality. Even so, I wear them all of the time, except to bed.

So that's the update on my hearing. Looking forward to seeing all of you during my travels!!

Your Leather Brother,

Oklahoma Mr. Leather 2010

Good Evening Everyone,

Oklahoma Mr. Leather 2010 was held in Tulsa, OK this year and it was awesome! I've been to Tulsa for two events now, and each time, I have had a magnificent time! Fortunately, David was able to make the trip with me!! Also, boy adam, Lamalani, Sir Jason, boy jason, Master John, Mark Frazier, Ron Todd, Sir David, a large number of Leather Knights brothers, and countless others made it into town. It was a great reunion of sorts, because most of these people are from Dallas and the only time I get to see them now-a-days is when I'm out of town at events they also attend! LOL

I flew in on Friday afternoon (David and boy adam drove up after work Friday evening) and Brad (OML 2009) picked me up at the airport. It was great to see Brad and I'd like to thank him again for sponsoring my IML 2009 website this year and serving as webmaster of the site as well. By his taking on this initiative, he has lifted a huge weight off my shoulders and I appreciate all of his work and creativity!

Friday night was the bar crawl. Lamalani had made it in time to Tulsa from Seattle to join us. I so miss her, but I get to see her again in two weeks in San Francisco! Back back to the bar crawl: It was alot of fun. There were five different bars that we were bused around to. I was able to meet up with so many people that I have met during my travels. David and boy adam finally made it in when we got to the Tulsa Eagle. Then we headed back to the hotel to the hospitality suite. Spent some time there and then crashed for the evening.

Saturday morning we held the interview portion of the contest. There were two contestants: Ron and Jonathon. Both of them did extremely well and both have truly grown in their journey just since the Tulsa Mr. Leather contest.

That afternoon we attended some classes. One class was on cigars, one on sounds and the other on sensory deprivation. Very interesting, all of them!

That evening was the contest. The contest was great and both of the contestants truly brought their game on and competed very well. I judged with Ron, Mark, Lamalani, Brad, Sir Jason, Michelle and James. It was indeed an honor to be a part of the contest.

I will say that it was also a great feeling when my husband presented the colors for Leather Knights and boy adam presented the colors of the DFW leatherboys. The Leather Knights had made a road trip to Tulsa and received one of the biggest applause's that evening. My LK brothers came out in force and it was incredible to see and hear them!!

Once the contest was over and the votes were tallied, Ron Harwood was named Oklahoma Mr. Leather 2010. Congratulations to Ron and I know he will make Oklahoma proud during his title year.

That night we headed back to the hotel hospitality suite and Bear came out for his own five minute meet and greet. Then boy adam and I headed back to the room and hit the hay. I was tired. David made it back to the room around three.

Sunday we got up and I flew home and David and boy adam drove home. It was a short weekend, but as usual, the Oklahoma community can pack alot of fun into a small amount of time! Thank you to everyone in the community for making the weekend so wonderful!!

Next up: Albuquerque, New Mexico for Rio Grande Leather.

Your Leather Brother,

Monday, October 5, 2009

Mates Leather Weekend - Provincetown

Good Evening Everyone,

I had just returned from Folsom on Tuesday and no sooner did laundry and kissed my husband hello before kissing him goodbye and flying out on Thursday to Provincetown for Mates Leather Weekend. Barry, Mr. Conn. Leather and my IML brother, had invited me to the event and it just looked like too much fun to pass up.

I arrived on Thursday afternoon and Barry picked me up and we drove the few hours to P’Town. We stayed at Barry and his partner, David’s, condo. We went and grabbed a quick drink once we arrived; however, we decided an early night was probably the best as the weekend was busy with events.

Friday we toured downtown and I logged onto to look at my school website only to realize that I had a paper due THAT day. I had already read the materials, books, conducted the research, etc.; however, I had not written the paper. So I sat at the internet cafĂ© in P-Town and wrote a 7 page paper. That blew the afternoon! We then went back to the hotel and got dressed for the opening reception. Ran into many friends and met more people. Barry is very involved in the community and was able to introduce me to many people. Gladly, I also ran into Loren and Alex. It’s funny, in the last two weeks I have seen more of them than I have of my own husband! LOL

We then went to the Uniform Party and then to this pizza place that gets packed as soon as they close the bars. The pizza was great, but damn it was salty. The next morning, I was so in need of water and I felt so dehydrated (and no, it wasn’t due to alcohol consumption).

Saturday we toured P’Town some more. I bought four pounds of salt-water taffy (David loves that stuff). It was rainy, so we had to maneuver through the rain to get places; however, it was still great to see the sites. I got some great shots of Bear. I know, everyone wants to know what has happened to Bear. Bear is still touring and has had little time to blog, Facebook, or anything else for that matter. However, he is still traveling with me and living the life of Riley. He’s thrilled that we are now Platinum members on American Airlines and he gets to board early and grab a good spot in the overhead compartment.

Saturday (late afternoon), Barry’s husband, David, joined us. We got ready for the Meet and Greet and the contest to be held that evening. Barry and I, along with Tim (Mr. Boston Leather and an IML brother), were serving as judges. The First Mate contest was a great time. I do not think I have ever judged a contest so quickly. Eleven contestants and we were done in 45 minutes. Congratulations to Addam for being selected First Mate 2009! Had a great time judging it!! I will tell you one funny story: I totally busted my ass walking up to the stage they had set up for the judges. I didn’t think couldn't see the first step and there was about a three inch step and I totally busted my ass. But I thought quickly and saved the camera from hitting the floor. Unfortunately, I had a drink in my hand and that went everywhere. Grace – at it’s best.

After the contest, we hung out at the party and then headed to pizza place again for more pizza. It was so good. Not as good as a hotdog from a hotdog street vendor at 2 a.m., but none-the-less, enjoyable.

Sunday was the BBQ. I got to enjoy more hotdogs (I love hotdogs!!) and spend some time with Chris and James. Chris was MAL 2008 and he is incredibly funny. I taught him to sign “Leather Royalty” and he has since learned to point to himself and sign “Leather Royalty”. Unfortunately, I taught his partner how to say “Mental Bitch”. You can imagine the scene. Chris signs “Leather Royalty”, to which James signs “Mental Bitch”. I have created a monster. LOL

The jock party was after the BBQ. I wore my yellow and black Nasty Pig jock. Had a great time. Lots of eye candy, to say the least!! We then changed into regular clothes and Chris, James, Barry and I went to eat at Bayside Betsy’s. Great food!! Make sure when you are in P’Town to go by there and eat. She supports our community and we need to pay it forward!!

After dinner, we went for ice cream (yeppers – I had Lemon Ice Cream!!!). Then Barry and I headed to the condo to clean it up and pack. We then drove to his mother-in-laws home where we spent the night. Monday morning we were up with the cows (had there been cows) and drove the three and a half hours to Hartford so I could hop on my flight back home to Dallas.

Thank you Barry and David for providing a place for me to stay and to Rick, for providing an incredible event for the entire community. I will most definitely make it again next year.

Next up: Tulsa for Oklahoma Mr. Leather this weekend.

Your Leather Brother,


Folsom Street - San Francisco

Good Evening Everyone,

Folsom Street in San Francisco was an incredible time. I flew in on Thursday. When I got to the Dallas Airport, I was text messaging with Master John, who was flying into San Francisco through Dallas from Ft. Lauderdale. Turns out, his connection flight in Dallas was my flight, so we worked the ticket agent and were able to get three seats together for the trip AND free drinks! The three of us had the best time flying into SFO, and I don’t ever remember a shorter flight (time flies when you’re having a great time!!) Once in San Francisco, I ran for a bite to eat with Master John down on the wharf.

As always, I enjoyed spending some one-on-one time with Master John and getting to know even more about his history. Incredible man, to say the least. Afterwards, we took a cab ride from hell (I was getting seasick the cab driver was driving so fast up and down those hills) to Mr. S Leather. We did a little shopping and then we parted so I could go have dinner with Bob. Bob and I had a great time at dinner and it was wonderful getting to know him and learn about his journey. Sincere young man with a heart of gold. Truly an honor to have met him and had dinner. I then met up with Master John and Alan for drinks at Chaps and then the Powerhouse. Met up with Matt at Chaps and it was great to see him and spend some time with him. He looks great and he was promoting the release of his new video. That reminds me, I need to contact him as he has a copy for me! Had a great time, but I knew I needed to make it an early evening, as my time to rest during the weekend would be limited.

Friday began with brunch at Sears (not the retail store) with Master John and Alan. Incredible food!!! I was full to say the least! It is here that Master John presented me a t-shirt that had a photo of the Golden Girls (from the sitcom) on it with the words, “Stay Golden”. Hilarious! (Most of you know I am a huge Golden Girl fan!) The t-shirt however, had multiple meanings, I’m sure. . . We then took a cab to Mr. S Leather, Stompers, and Off-Ramp Leathers, as well as many other leather shops. The cab ride was actually nice; I did not get seasick this time. Master John bought plenty of new custom leather!! I can’t wait to see it all on him at ILSb!! We decided to go with yellow piping . . . I then ran down to see Brian and Rick, as they had just checked into their hotel. Talk about a sight for sore eyes. Always good to see them!

I then headed back to the hotel to wait on Randy’s arrival from Los Angeles. His flight was delayed (hey, it happens to other people, too!). Eventually, he did get into town and to the hotel. Very nice to finally be able to see him. It’s been since ABW in New Orleans that I had seen him. Once he got in, he cleaned up and we headed to the SF Eagle. Once there, we were able to catch up with everyone else that was in town. I cannot even begin to start listing everyone I saw. It was great though. There was only one thing that would have made it perfect – my husband, David, being there. Unfortunately, he could not make it.

Master John did buy some gauntlets for me from Off Ramp Leather that evening. There are incredible!! Absolutely love them! Thank you Master John!!

Friday night ended with two hotdogs from a vendor on the street. I don’t know about y’all, but there is nothing better than a hotdog from a street vendor at 2 in the morning! Okay, maybe there are better things on the street at 2 a.m. in SF, but when you are hungry, there isn’t!

Saturday started with brunch at Dim Sum’s, or Ding Sim, or Ding Dong, or something like that (I truly cannot remember) with Brian and Rick, Dr. Larry and William, Randy, Brandon, and Dave Rhodes. The food was very good and the company was great. We then headed to the Castro. We piled into the Edge and had a few drinks. That is where we ran into George Hester, George Wong, Frank and Lenny, Alex and Loren, and many others. (Photo’s of all of these events can be found at http://www.flickr.com/iml2009.) We then went back to the hotel and got ready for the evening. Then it was off to Joe Gallagher’s shop for a reception. It’s always good to see Joe and, again, was nice to speak with everyone, meet new friends and catch up with old ones. We then headed to the SF Eagle. Had a great time, as always. Gary works there and he is an incredible man. Make sure when you go to the SF Eagle to ask for Gary and have him serve you. He will treat you very well!

Sunday was the day of Folsom Fair. Funny story. As we were standing on the curb waiting for Lenny and Frank to pick us up, this intoxicated man came up to speak with Randy and I. Randy introduced me to him as International Mr. Leather. The guy says, “Wow! Mr. Intellect. I’m honored.” I just let it be.

The day started with a brunch at Donna Satchet's home. Frank and Lenny picked Randy and I up and brought us to the brunch. It was an incredible event and thank you, Donna, for welcoming us into your home, yet again. There was one notable difference this year and it was knowing that Mr. Marcus was not there to join us; however, we raised our glasses to you Mr. Marcus, so get better and get back out there!! We miss you terribly!

Then it was off to the fair. Holy crap! I was hot, as in temperature hot. I was in CHP gear and I was sweating my freakin’ balls off! However, we were doing the titleholder presentations on stage and I wanted to be in full leather for the presentation. Lamalani was there, and I so miss my sash-wife. But she had just as full a schedule as I did for Folsom, so our paths did not cross too often. However, we did the titleholder announcements together. We announced the titleholders from across America and had a great representation from all everywhere. Thank you to everyone present. Your continued support and the giving of your time and energy is appreciated by each of us within the community. And a bigger thank you to the partners of any of the titleholders. We could never do what we do unless we had your undivided support!

Then it was off to the hotel room to get out of all that leather and put on something more reasonable – as in a jock and chaps! Much cooler! Randy stayed with me the entire day, and made sure that I was hydrated and taken care of. Thank you, Randy!! We then had to get back to the International Mr. Leather booth at the fair. It was like swimming upstream, as the crowd was heavy. And, of course, it’s like being a kid in the candy store – and there was lots of candy – everywhere. Eventually, we did make it to the booth. Lots of photos were taken. Thank you RJ for working so hard to have the logistics of the booth run smoothly. It was awesome seeing you, too!!

After the fair, we walked down to the SF Eagle. We got there just in time, for we walked in and the crowd hadn’t made it down to the bar yet. It was here that I was able to spend a lot of time with Terry, International Mr. Deaf Leather 2009. What an amazing man! He was so incredible. He spent so much time teaching me various signs, and speaking to me about the deaf culture. I now know how to sign “mental bitch”. Hey! I have to learn the important signs first! That and “Where is the restroom”. I am now able to pee and talk about someone. Life is good. Thank you, Terry!!

We then left SF Eagle and headed to the party that Rick and Brian were having above Chaps. Unfortunately, Dr. Larry, William, Terry, Randy and I walked into the wrong home and thus the wrong party. We just walked in and looked for alcohol, before realizing it was the wrong party. Oh well, they should have had someone working the door. . . Eventually, we found the correct party. We stayed there for a while. Then Dr. Larry, William, Randy and I cleaned up and went to dinner. Thank you Dr. Larry and William for the great dinner and conversation. Then it was back to the SF Eagle. It was pretty calm at this point; as the night was winding down. So it was the perfect ending to a very busy day.

Monday started with breakfast with Loren and Alex. I so enjoy my time with them. They are both amazing and believe it or not, they each have a current title. I know it’s hard enough with one titleholder in the family, so my hat off to them for being able to swing two titles simultaneously.

Then Alex, Loren, Rick, Brian, Randy and I went to visit with Mr. Marcus. I’ll blog about the visit at a later time; however, one of the most hilarious things about the visit was when Randy told Mr. Marcus about calling me “I-Hop” and how the nickname came about. When we were leaving, Mr. Marcus and I hugged goodbye and he said, “Good to see you, I- (comedic pause) Yatollah.” I about peed my pants! He said it knowing good and well what he was saying and he was making sure that everyone in that room knew that he would not be outdone in nicknaming me. I now have the nicknames, “IML, I-HOP, Mr. Intellect, I-Boo, I-Poop (don’t ask), and now, I-Yatollah”. Anyone else want to add one to the pile?

That evening, Randy and I went to dinner with Bob. We had Afghan food. Randy loves it; however, I am not the biggest fan of it. I had never eaten it before, and I’m not sure when I’ll line up to eat it again. It’s just not my favorite. But the conversation was great and it was so good to send some additional time with Bob. Afterwards, Randy headed to the airport and headed home to L.A.

That evening, I stayed in and watched Steele Magnolias. I feel asleep and returned home on Tuesday.

In summary: A great time!! This was the second year in a row that I had been to Folsom Fair. Last year I went as a "jock and boot wearing non-titleholder". This year I went as a "jock and boot wearing titleholder". The more things change – the more they stay the same! Next year: I’m thinking I’ll wear a jock and boots. Hey, it works for me!

Next up: Provincetown for Mates Leather Weekend.

Your Leather Brother,