Another month, another chapter of my life.

The passport situation is getting weird. I'm now waiting on my surgeon to send me a letter indicating my intent to have surgery so that the passport agency will send me a "temporary passport" while I wait for the operation so I can get a "real" passport. I find it degrading that I have to prove I'm having surgery before they'll issue me paperwork, even if I can sit back and say, "yes, I see the rationale in not issuing passports in any identity but those on the original citizenship papers."

In the meantime, though, the California Bureau of Vital Statistics has sent me back my request for a birth certificate, saying that I didn't send them sufficient money with my request to have my birth certificate amended! Now, when I originally wrote them, I only requested to have a copy of my old birth certificate sent to me. I had no intention of getting them to change it yet; I didn't think they would without proof of surgery. That seems to be typical, unfortunately. However, they sent me back the proper form for changing my birth certificate and told me that if I want it altered, I have to send them more money. This may very well be a run-around to my passport problem if Dr. Kunaporn's letter doesn't arrive in time.

As an aside, this diary entry would've been done a few days ago, when I returned from my trip to St. Louis, but the day after I got home, I slept for nearly eighteen hours, and then I came down with a case of stomach flu, so I haven't really felt like myself. Today's the first day in several that I'm intending to stay at work until quitting time at

As mentioned above, I did just get back from St. Louis, visiting the annual TSA Bash. As always, it was a wonderful trip. Jessie, Tanya, Randy and I carpooled from Philadelphia to Columbus, Ohio, where we overnighted at Joanne's house. She then joined us from Columbus to Cincinnati where Mag added his car and we caravaned from there to Missouri. Sixteen hours in the car would have been miserable; I'm definitely glad that we chose to break the journey where we did.

The day we arrived, we spent it mostly in wandering about in confusion, trying to find where everyone was. The organizers contracted with the hotel to put us all in a block of rooms together, but when we arrived, we found that we'd been scattered all over the buildings! The internal conference room we were assured was actually over in the attached restaurant, which was not a Denny's despite the literature saying otherwise. This last is probably a good thing. 

The night desk clerk had no business running a shoe-shine stand, much less a hotel. He couldn't find our reservations. Then he attempted to charge me the full price of the room despite our having reserved it under a group rate. Later, when our toilet broke and flooded our bathroom, he told us only that maintenence had gone home and that he might have a plunger if we wanted it. Then, while we were discussing whether or not to move into one of the other open rooms, he proceeded to book every remaining open room out from under us! We did mention this fact to him, and he merely shrugged. I lodged a complaint with the manager, but she seemed to know
that he was a problem but couldn't get rid of him for some reason. 

We did ultimately have to leave a night early. By Saturday, the room had begun to stink from the water (thankfully clean) soaking into the carpet and mildewing. We simply could not put up with another night in that room, and the hotel was quite literally full; the night clerk had rented out the last two open spaces while Jessie and I watched. It was with regret that we packed up to leave, but we consoled ourselves that we would have had to go the next morning early anyway, and that we weren't really missing anything.

While we were there, though... I had a wonderful time. Jessie, Matthias, Ando and I played a few rounds of Mao, which is always good for my spirits if not my general sanity. We organized a mall-crawl, and who would've
thought that something so seemingly banal would be met with such high spirits? I did have ulterior motives, though. I had agreed some time back to help Joanne find a swimsuit to settle a dare with Jessie, that she would go out in a one-piece and swim if Jessie did the same. At the time I heard about this, I thought it childish and I said as much, but I wanted it as much as they did. Last year, the Bash hotel had a pool, and I kept looking at it longingly but I didn't have the courage to get a swimsuit and get in it. This year, even as I protested that I had nothing to prove, I wanted to participate.

Joanne did a lot more in the end than just get the swimsuit. I kept expecting her to say, "This is too much," and we had all agreed that if she did, nobody would think any less of her, but she went on to not only wear the suit but get in the pool and help me drown my mate! In actuality, we had been dunking each other and doing laps while Jessie clung to the side of the pool, and we conspired to drag zim out into the water, but we didn't know zie had a cramp in zir leg and so when we did, Jessie panicked. Things were a bit tense shortly afterwards, and I was very upset at what happened, but Jessie forgave me and I cried about it and everything was better very quickly.

Jo even bought a top and a pair of bras while she was at Lane Bryant, which I thought remarkable. I'm very proud of her. She's grown up a hell of a lot, even if it's in spurts that only happen when she's around family. I wish her parents treated her better. She deserves far more than she gets from them, in my opinion.

We did discuss writing; it was, after all, a writers' conference, wasn't it? Well, it was at one point. I think we've finally organized a reasonably decent event for next year, based on Chairman Foxley's suggestion of a public critique section. Everyone to be a part submits a written work, and everyone present agrees to read and then analyze everything submitted. I do have my misgivings; these sorts of things tend to be dominated by so-called Beautiful People, but I believe that it can be made to work. At least, I hope it can. I hate to think that something intended to help everyone will be forced into invite-only status because the group can't be trusted to read everyone's work.

Finally, I got my play-by-email off the ground at the Bash. I'd been building this for some time, working up characters and background, and it was good to finally sit down and role-play again. I was at one point part of a group here, but in the wake of three of the participants becoming heavily employed, it hasn't happened in several weeks and is, as far as I can tell, dead. It's a shame, really, but I can't say as it's entirely unexpected. My game, however, has just started, though it's facing a bit of a burp while one of the players goes on his much-deserved
honeymoon. Once he's back, though, I hope to see a long-time game running here. I've certainly planned for the future.

I hated having to leave the Bash. I especially hated having to leave early. I don't get to see most of these people but once a year, for a few days, and that's far too rare for my taste. Given my druthers, I'd live close enough to visit them all, but right now that's just not feasible.

Maybe one day.

Here I was going to discuss my mistress and the fact that I'd entered into a dom-sub relationship with someone not my mate, but I found that I'd already written another entry last month detailing it all, but that at the time I'd not posted it publicly. I'm still not sure why I didn't. I suspect it was nervousness at publicly confessing some of the things in it, and yet they're all true and things that, if asked, I will admit. I don't have to be ashamed of any of it, just honest.

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