January 28th

Well, yeah, I did sort of get y'all used to daily updates, even twice daily updates there for a bit. I was off work for ten days, guys. I do want to thank all the friends and strangers who have written in with supportive mail regarding my New Job. Let's talk about it a bit.

First of all, I plan on never identifying my new boss or any personal info on him, what sort of medicine he practices, or any of the specifics of the office. Any comments about patients - as has always been the case - will be only in the most general and unable-to-identify comments.

Given those professional caveats, the past week or so have been a ball. I had my predecessor with me last week from Monday through Thursday, and right from the gitgo I was in full running mode, carrying a full share of the load. After many many years of dealing with patients with either psychiatric or substance abuse problems as 99% of what I dealt with, I'm now dealing with a wide variety of challenging complications, virtually none of them psychiatric or drug related. That in itself is a refreshing change. What's even more wonderful is that all my assessment skills, verbal skills, interpersonal skills, and computer skills are being used and respected.

The doctor and I are the only two professionals in the office, with a few office folks and a couple techs that do specialized testing. Our patients arrive and I do a major portion of the exam and work-up. Then the doc comes in and fine tunes what I've done [which I type on a PC as I interview or examine]. He tweaks a bit of what I've said, adds a few things, tells me what prescriptions to write up for him to sign, and we send the patient on the way with a copy of our exam report in hand. Now, sometimes that all takes 15 minutes, sometimes an hour or more. I've found new and different challenges in the patients every day. The doc has been exceedingly complimentary of my work and has yet to have to totally throw out what I've written when he looks it over. They are scheduling a double patient load, and I'm expected to carry at least half the work.

The hours are good, the pay is good, the respect feels really good. Anyone who has read my comments over the past few years about my Other Jobs knows how little respect there has been. Yeah, I'm still in the honeymoon, but dammit, it's a good feeling honeymoon!

And on other subjects.

I'm glad to report that my #1 son, Catsy, is also now gainfully employed. He has been off from his last job in the Evil Empire way too long, and has been caught up in the ocean of out of work geeks. As of this morning, I'm happy to report, he is in training to take over Panther's job, which she has given notice on. It's nice to see that the apple does fall close to the tree, as his new job is working as a geek in internet smut. I'm so proud!

Kev and I got together Friday night last, and ordered in pizza and watched the DVD of U-571, just as we did recently to Tora Tora Tora. Anyone who knows Kevin knows that if you cut his arteries open, he bleeds History Channel, so continuing the trend we will probably do Malick's Thin Red Line next. We started this on the justification that I have a DVD player and he doesn't, but I'll tell ya - it just feels good to have a buddy you can get together with and bond with like this and it doesn't involve alcohol or sports.

Otherwise, life continues. Chloe and I have been chatting, trying to make things a bit better after a couple of rough months. I'm quite glad that we are able to do this now, and that we are both trying. It's healthy.

I'm trying to DM at the Wet Spot more to get myself out and about more - I like doing that work, and it's much better than sitting at home in a pity party.

Play really is starting to happen more and more is being planned in several directions. I've described some of it recently, and it's mostly good. I just had a disappointment in someone cutting off our embryonic start at play, but she and I both realized that she wasn't ready and had been overreaching herself, and it was best to just put a punctuation point in it. Damn shame - she is cuter than hell, and no, I won't tell you who she is. I really do wish more of my play was sensual - soft touch stuff - but I have to hope and work towards that happening. I used to feel fine being a stoic service top - a do-you queen, as Lydia phrases it. I mean piercing someone, or flogging someone, or fisting someone, more for them than for me. Getting satisfaction from a job done well, and from my bottom's pleasure. A year or two ago I started trying to negotiate for more balance, for some sort of satisfaction for me instead of simply 'being of service' That was all well and good, but even so it has lacked that something that here, for lack of better words, I am calling 'a soft touch'. Now - my stoicism having been cracked wide open up by falling in love last spring for the first time in many years, and then that becoming a void over the past few months - I'm finding myself with a need for soft touch, simple vanilla stuff, snuggling - you know - the kinds of sex that much of the world thinks is 'all there is'. In addition, of course, to my usual bondage and piercing and flogging and hanging from skin hooks and all that other happy horse shit. Surprisingly, though, I'm really feeling a deep need for that 'soft touch', for people actually wanting to snuggle with me, for people wanting to have sex with me, for people to want to spend quiet time with me. Not a one-and-only by any means - I'm not looking for An Ultimate Soulmate. But you can only be a Big Bad Top for so long. Then you have to put Big Bad Top in one hand and put a goodly quantity of this other stuff in your other hand and then call it a balance. I'm tweaking my sense of that balance, I guess. I know I'm looking forward to when it's simply "Oh, this is what I'm doing now" instead of my current need.

If anyone thinks it's easy to open yourself up with that sort of vulnerability, to write a paragraph like the one above, let me know.

Life is, nonetheless, quite good. We'll chat again soon.

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