27 July 2010

What's the weirdest fan encounter you've ever had to deal with? Weirdest you've ever witnessed?

Fortunately my fans are not too nutty. My fans buy me things like books or sex toys, but despite the intimate nature of such gifts, are very respectful about it.
I recently received a violet wand (Google it!) from a fan in Utah, along with a couple of books I had on my "Things I Want" list. We've never met in person, but several years ago he began turning to me for advice. We've slowly developed a friendship via emails and text messages.
Another fan contacted me and wanted to thank me for entertaining him with my stories by plying his trade...as a professional glassblower. That's a lot less dirty than it sounds, and you can read about it here: http://infamouscoatcheckgirl.blogspot.com/2009/03/thanks-youre-peach.html

I have an uncanny ability to make myself invisible (learned from years of photographing live events) so I am not often approached in public, but I have had a couple of amusing and memorable encounters with people who recognized me as the Infamous CoatCheck Girl.

One was my most "rock star" moment ever. I was at Dante's with a friend who is a bona fide celebrity, particularly with the crowd that was present that night. He was getting mobbed "Hey! You're So-and-So!" "Oh my god, you're So-and-So!" over and over, people continued to approach him as we chatted outside. Another young man approached us "Oh my god...you're the Infamous CoatCheck Girl!" he exclaimed, much to my surprise--- and my friend's amusement.

The other instance actually left my companion a little shaken. The Import was visiting and we were out for a night on the town. I had spoken to him of the blog and mentioned that I did occasionally get recognized while out and about. Ironically, during the earlier part of our evening a band of cougars had mistaken him for a TV celebrity. We were at Wanderlust Circus' White Album Christmas, and several women next to and in front of us kept looking at him and giggling like school girls as they whispered amongst themselves. Finally one got up the nerve to ask him and he coyly said he could neither confirm nor deny his identity. "Well we don't want to bother you or ask you for autographs or anything" one of them cooed. "It's quite alright...I get that all the time" he joked. More giggles.
After the show, we stopped by Dante's for a nightcap. As we prepared to leave, we retrieved our coats and chatted with the coat check girl.
"Are you the coat check girl?" a young man asked me.
"No, she is" I played dumb and pointed at my colleague.
"No," he insisted "Are you THE coat check girl, The Infamous CoatCheck Girl?"
"Well...yes, I am"
He then turned to my date "And you must be The Import. You live in San Francisco, right? Play bass? You met her while you were on tour through here with some band?"
"Uh..." The Import sputtered, backing away and trying to flatten himself against the wall behind him.
I wasn't blogging much those days---rather micro-blogging via Twitter--- but this fan rattled off every small tidbit of information I had ever posted about my handsome date.
I couldn't help but laugh. "See? And you didn't believe me!" I teased.

My readers tend to be pretty respectful and kind. Mostly I get private messages from readers thanking me for expressing things they have neither the words nor courage to express. Those are the most touching and humbling.

As for other people's fans...well I've seen things...things too numerous to recount. Slash fiction still has to be the oddest, most vulgar fan phenomenon I've witnessed to date, however.

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

Have any burning questions for the Infamous CoatCheck Girl? Ask me anything!

23 July 2010

Do you have any advice a la Dan Savage for protecting oneself from STDs? Aside from using condoms, how can you be confident that your partners are clean and safe if you never really know who else they're sleeping with?

I have advice á la Infamous CoatCheck Girl, certainly...
Your wording seems to presuppose that I don't know who else my partners are sleeping with. In the case of my primary partner, I do know, as we're very open about such matters. I also know he respects himself (and me) enough to be safe with other lovers.
That really is key: respect.
I can tell you from experience that respect and casual sex are not mutually exclusive, either.

Several years ago, I picked up a young man at a show, and we ended up back at his place. Before things got heated, he told me in a very forthright manner that, though he had never had an outbreak, he had tested positive and was a carrier of HSV-2 (most commonly referred to as genital herpes).
I ran through a mental check-list:

-No need to panic or ruin a fun night.
-Oral is out (for him).
-Oral is out (for me).
-Not going to risk intercourse even with a condom.

ok...

-Fisting it is!

We had a grand time.

Unfortunately he had a terrible habit of saying "I seen" instead of "I saw", which proved the grammatically incorrect death knell of our budding "relationship". But I digress...

"Casual" sex is never really casual. Every sexual act involving another person (or people) brings with it risks: from STDs, to pregnancy, to awkward "Hey...you. I explored every orifice of your body but can't remember your name" moments. Unless you're in a committed relationship and everyone involved is faithful and has been tested, you are taking a risk.
It is our responsibility as sexually active adults to educate ourselves, weigh those risks and learn to minimize them. Of course, there are the obvious precautions.
You mention condoms.

A friend once told me (many years after we had been lovers) that the sexiest, most memorable thing I'd ever said to him, was that I'd learned to like the taste of latex.

Nobody *likes* using condoms but with so many options---flavored, micro-thin, heat-transmitting, textured--- there's really no excuse not to use them. Faced with a choice between no sex at all, and sex with a condom...well, do you really want to be with the type of person who would choose the former?

Lube is something that might not typically be listed under safer sex options, but I think it's very important. Friction can quickly dry and tear a condom, rendering it useless. A little drop inside the condom and plenty on the outside of it will keeps things nice and slippery.
But do stay away from condoms with Nonoxynol-9 "lubricant". Certainly, it kills some viruses, but it can also irritate tender membranes and tissues, causing small tears and making you more susceptible to infections. (I won't even use harsh detergents to wash my undies--- I definitely don't want detergents inside me!)

But we know all this stuff--- we've read the pamphlets, heard the PSAs, seen the horrible pictures at the clinic. We know condoms aren't 100% effective against things like HPV and herpes.
It's enough to make you never want to touch another human ever again...until a minute later when the libido kicks in and you get frisky.

I'd be the last person to recommend limiting sexual activity to the confines of a committed relationship. What I do advocate is an exploration and redefinition of sex. I find too often people's definition of what "sex" is, to be rather narrow and confining in scope. Your average person will define sex as genital-genital contact, a smaller number will include oral-genital contact in that definition.
I would question their lack of creativity.

I often write about fairly "casual" Misadventures, but not all of those encounters fit within the above-described definition of sex. These lovers are sometimes strangers, sometimes casual acquaintances and I don't necessarily know their sexual history--- but very little will deter the Infamous CoatCheck Girl when she's on a mission! However, that's no time to be careless...

I haven't met a man yet who'll turn down a good masturbation show... or turn down a nice expanse of flesh upon which to shower the seeds of his effort (just be sure to negotiate face-shots ahead of time!).
Everybody wins.
And you avoid the possible pitfalls of the bar hook-up---whiskey-dick is nobody's friend!

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl


All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

22 July 2010

How did Butterfly Boy get his nickname? It's not a very manly nickname lol Is he okay with it? (

Simply? He gives me butterflies--- he did from the start, and still does.
I'm pretty certain he's okay with that.
And it could certainly have been worse...

The tradition of nicknaming my suitors started long before the blog. Cory, my bff since high school, has a wicked sense of humor and an inability to keep names straight---or at least the long list of names I would always throw at him. In the course of conversations about these different boys, he would fixate upon some anecdote or perceived quality and name them accordingly. Back in those days, the names often leaned toward dog breeds, as the boys used to follow me around like little lost pups (oh, I do have some fond memories of Poodle!).
Some would say not much has changed in that regard, but perhaps because my suitors are older and more interesting these days, the nicknames reflect that a bit.
I've continued the tradition myself, and it has become even more important in trying to respect and protect the anonymity of people who make it into my blogs.

Cory and I don't see each other as much as we used to, so he gets 2 or 3 month's worth of stories at a time. If you know me, you know that might require flow charts and graphs to keep it all straight, so the tradition remains alive and well.
Recently I was recounting to him an invitation I had received. The young lad in question is a sensitive, sensual sort who had enticed me with promises of a relaxing hand massage and a movie. This amused Cory to no end...

The poor bloke shall forever be known as: The Hand-Job Guy.

So you see, it could have been much, much worse...

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

Have any burning questions for the Infamous CoatCheck Girl? Ask me anything!



All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

21 July 2010

Part 2 -- Do you lump all of said Diva's fans into the same mold? Some of us do have a grasp of reality - know he has (many) flaws, don't place his name in ink on our bodies..etc but appreciate the friends we have made because of a mutual interest.

I don't understand what causes people to go insane for another human they don't actually know.
I don't understand why people would travel to another state or another country to see a band play...
Perhaps I'm spoiled, because I have rarely paid to see a show over the last 15 years.
Perhaps I'm jaded.
I have an older brother who ran a music 'zine when I was a teenager. He was always meeting, hanging out with and interviewing bands, so it never seemed like something out of the ordinary to me. I've also been around musicians for a very long time. Many of my friends are musicians who have achieved varying degrees of success. Because of them, I know that record deals, tours, and awards are not the magical things they appear to be to the average person who doesn't understand how the music industry works.
Musicians are just people toiling away at their chosen profession, just as anybody else might. Most of them do it, not for fame or glory, but because if they didn't have that outlet for expression, their heads would explode---- ok, so a couple of them do it for the chicks...

Unfortunately it is the nutty fans, the ones who are completely out of touch with reality, with whom I end up interacting the most. They're the ones who follow me via social networking sites because I mention a few key words here and there. They don't stop to think that I may not even be a fan--- or worse, they realize that I have a personal and professional connection to that whole circus. Then I get requests to arrange meetings, or deliver anything from scripts to home-cooked steaks, and at worst to play the role of...I believe the polite term is "panderer".

I have, however, met and befriended some amazing fans, ones who just like the music and have a realistic grasp of the persona behind it, and are at the shows simply to have a good time. There is a group of ladies I met last year, two sisters and their niece, who have become very dear friends--- they are trying to return this year to help me celebrate my birthday. There is a couple I met this summer who was instrumental in my decision to get back together with Butterfly Boy after we took a break (I am forever in their debt!). I've met a few others here and there who are well on their way to becoming friends as well, after a somewhat rocky introduction.

I'm glad that there are people, such as yourself, who do realize that the best thing to come out of these shows are the friendships formed out of a shared interest; people who don't have unrealistic expectations of, or blind adoration for, the artists. There are some very kind, talented, and interesting souls out in that audience--- I'm glad you are connecting!
But the tattoo-getting, daydreaming, slash-writing, thinking-they-understand-his-soul, completelyout of touch with reality nut-jobs, will continually baffle and amuse me!

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

Have any burning questions for the Infamous CoatCheck Girl? Ask me anything!



All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

20 July 2010

part One Is there a specific action that has caused you to dislike the diva as much as you seem to -- or just said diva's general personality?

Yes and yes.

There are several specific actions and/or interactions I have had with him, both personally and professionally, which lead me to dislike "the diva". Would I write about them publicly? I told him a year ago he wasn't worth the space in my blog. That, and I respect his manager and my job enough not to feed material to the slash and fan fiction nut-jobs (a phenomenon to which I've only recently been introduced via his fans).

Both my personal and professional circumstances put me in direct contact with a lot of musicians and actors, some of whom are considered by many to be celebrities. I've met Oscar winners, Grammy winners and nominees; I know artists who, while not critically or internationally lauded, I would consider masters of their craft. I am even fortunate enough to call some of them friends--- and I mean REAL friends, not the "I waved after the show and he waved back so we're, like, totally soul-mates now" friends...

But, as I've written before, people need more than their profession to recommend them. I'm not impressed by titles or resumes--in any field. I've met enough truly gifted artists to know a diva attitude is not a requisite for the creative process (even if a little healthy ego is). It is often the smaller, less talented artists-- the ones who feel they SHOULD be superstars-- who have the biggest egos.

In a professional context, it is difficult to respect artists who don't show respect to/for the people who make their jobs possible or at least easier, let alone for the fans who put them in their privileged position.

In a personal context, well...there is no "personal context" if somebody is rude and disrespectful, either to me or somebody I know. People always know where they stand with me, no matter how many "fans" or accolades they may have. I'm not afraid to call a spade a spade, or call a diva a diva!

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

Have any burning questions for the Infamous CoatCheck Girl? Ask me anything!



All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

11 July 2010

What is the craziest request a performer has asked you to do? (no need to mention names) Like just totally off the wall shit like providing pure oxygen pumped into the green room or having only drinks that began with a R brought to them. :)

The music industry has changed a lot. I think the only performers, at least in the music business, who can get away with such antics without getting laughed out of town, are the bands playing stadiums. Even then, I would venture it's only the bands who have been around a while, since the days when that sort of behavior was almost acceptable or at least somewhat expected.
I don't handle the hospitality at the club where I work, but I haven't seen any outrageous riders come in, except one: the band has used for it for over 20 years, and they don't really expect it to be followed to the letter...anymore. Most are pretty standard: clean towels, water, beer, bottle of liquor, tea/coffee, veggies, fruit, cigarettes...

I guess the strangest request I have personally received is from one particular performer: he likes me to watch him masturbate in the green room bathroom. We're friends, and I'm a bit of a voyeur, so it works out alright.

Working in the film/photo industry is a little different. On a recent Nike shoot, the talent HAD to have Fiji water; no other brand would do. Viggo Mortensen has a preference for organic dark chocolate, so we always kept some on hand for him (on The Road). That's my particular weakness too---maybe that's why we got along? Well, that, and the chain-smoking...

Sorry I don't have better stories.

They just don't make divas like they used to.

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

Have any burning questions for the Infamous CoatCheck Girl? Ask me anything!



All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

06 July 2010

I almost got a tatt for my 40th bday. The next decade starts in a month and am again considering it. I want a nice claddagh. I have always battled weight and am still losing- where do I get a tatt that doesn't/won't sag?

Well, first things first: congratulations on being 50 years young!
I wish I could answer your questions about tattoos, but I can't speak from experience. I have gone the route of cuttings/scarification and piercings, myself.
Skin loses elasticity with age--- that's mostly unavoidable, unless you have a great diet (lots of vitamin C!) and exercise regimen, and good genes.
I'm sure any good tattoo artist could recommend good placement for your proposed piece.
As for your battle with weight...I'm a big fan of yoga, in particular kundalini yoga. There is a series of DVDs by Ravi Singh and Ana Brett that is absolutely wonderful. it works from the inside out: sure it will give you a toned body (and yoga booty!) but it works on balancing your endocrine system and helps moderate your weight that way.
Good luck and again, happy birthday!

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

Have any burning questions for the Infamous CoatCheck Girl? Ask me anything!



All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

05 July 2010

What are you afraid of?

Snow. Earthquakes. House fires. Heights. That pretty much covers it.

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

Have any burning questions for the Infamous CoatCheck Girl? Ask me anything!



All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

less of a question and more of a 'sorry if you felt that wishing your boy happy bday had anything to do w' being a friend.' I know that for me I hadn't meant to cause offense...had encountered you and him seperately n found you both to be cool. sorry :(

I appreciate the apology, but it is a matter of invasion of privacy, both mine and his. I use nicknames for a reason, and even my real friends who do know the actual identities, always respect the anonymity of my subjects. They would never have contacted Butterfly Boy based on something I wrote, even if it was for something like a birthday.

It's a matter of respect, not of any sense of "ownership" or jealousy, as you have implied--- on the contrary, I'm his best "wing-man" on the rare occasion there's an attractive fan who catches his eye.

I have no concept of the absurd sort of crazed devotion which makes you pursue the most remote connection to a mediocre actor/singer, to the point of following the minutiae of the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend of the object of your obsession.
I suppose one might say I even have disdain for it, and pity.
Granted, befriending me might get you closer to a meeting with your idols or, at the very least, a VIP table at one of their shows...but even if I were feeling that magnanimous (and if it were not part of my job to actually help keep zealous fans away), what would 5 minutes of conversation with these people grant you?
You put them on pedestals as if they were better than you or the people you know in real life, solely because you do not know them: they are blank canvases upon which you can project all of your beautiful idealized fantasies without risk of discovering any of their very real flaws.
Wake up ladies.
These people are no more interesting, intelligent, or less flawed than you and your friends are.
Why give them so much power?

And that, my dear was the ultimate cause of my irritation--- my contempt for your idolatry and the lengths to which it drives you.


xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

Have any burning questions for the Infamous CoatCheck Girl? Ask me anything!



All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

01 July 2010

In your various writings you consistently portray yourself as the object of desire. But do you have any good stories about your own unrequited lust and/or failed pursuits?

Darling, I only write what I know...What is this "unrequited" lust of which you speak? The ones who don't want to sleep with me are either gay or impotent. Right?

Alright, I jest. Mostly.

If it's pure lust we're discussing, how many men do you really think would turn me down? And I don't say this out of ego. Realistically, how many men are going to turn down ANY decent looking woman who is confident, interesting, and looking for no-strings-attached fun?
If I'm looking to satisfy my lusty desires, I don't pursue people with whom I don't already have some hint of chemistry or spark.
Indifference does not turn me on.

I can honestly only think of one man who has flat-out refused me; a room mate I had when I was 19 or 20. I crawled into his bed naked, very drunk, and quite frisky. He was a gentleman...or he might be gay.

Failed pursuits? I've been blogging for 6 years and I've blogged about how many "pursuits"? Some might say my entire blog is one long series of failed pursuits. I'm more about the journey than the destination, though. I see them all as, well, Misadventures... some more or less fun than others.

It's really a matter of perspective, my dear.

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

Have any burning questions for the Infamous CoatCheck Girl? Ask me anything!



All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

28 June 2010

Butterfly Boy, A Year Later...

I am a bad girl.
I don't just mean in a naughty-spank-me way.
I mean I seem to have missed out on some of the girly genes which most of the girls I know seem to have.
I mean the genes that make them keep a tidy beautifully decorated home, keep up with fashion trends, or remember significant dates.
I keep track of two types of dates: the "yay, time to buy tampons" and the "uh-oh, it should be time to buy tampons".
I'm not one of those girls who remembers the date of "our first kiss", "our first movie", "our first sleepover", etc.

Last week when Butterfly Boy asked me if I could take Monday (the 28th) off work I gave him a look of contempt.

"Why?"

What nerve, I thought, to ask me to take the day off to go gallivanting around with him just because he has Mondays off...and then it began to dawn on me that it was around summertime last year when we'd first met and that the second or third time we'd gone out was for his birthday, which was coming up again in about a week or so...Oh!

He'd been looking at me with a coy little grin on his face, waiting for recognition to sink in. He told me he wanted to take me on a little moonlight sailing cruise, the jerk.

"Our anniversary?" I felt like an ass.

I don't celebrate a lot of relationship anniversaries, if you hadn't guessed. I have a rather short attention span when it comes to romantic and sexual relationships. Some would say I get bored or impatient. I like to think of it as being able to see when things have run their natural course and not dragging things out. And I like variety.

In any case, I haven't celebrated an anniversary with somebody in about 5-6 years. I would have never guessed I'd celebrate one with Butterfly Boy.

He was a one-night stand, or so I thought.

He was playing a series of shows at Dante's last summer and I'd met him during the first show of the series. I found out he played in two other local bands I really like and had been trying to book there. I found it odd that we'd never met before, since I am friends with the singers from both bands. So much for my keen powers of observation!

We'd chatted a bit, but I ended up baby-sitting his very drunk singer that night, almost getting a chopstick in the eye for my trouble. Long story, for another time...

The second time they played, we chatted quite a bit more over drinks. It finally dawned on me that I had noticed him playing with one of those other bands! At a show two years before, a friend and I had watched him on stage and decided he was hot, but the type of guy who never went for girls like us. He seemed very sweet and serious.
But he was certainly showing an interest that night at Dante's!
We made a speedy exit and ended up back at his place.

It was terrible!
Just a drunken, fumbly hook-up before we both finally passed out.

In the morning, I opened my eyes to an unfamiliar room. I started to plan my escape...just as soon as the room stopped spinning.

"Uh, g'morning!"

Oh, this was gonna be awkward!

I wasn't even sure in which neighborhood he lived, or how I was going to get home...and then he was bringing me water and coffee, and being sweet and smart and funny. He even brought me breakfast in bed---eggs with runny yolks. I should have known then and there. I can't eat eggs with runny yolks. But I politely ate around them without saying a word.
We ended up staying in his room until late in the afternoon, redeeming ourselves for the previous night's disaster.

And we've been pretty much inseparable ever since.



The last year has not been all fun and games. I say "pretty much inseparable" because we did experience a rough spot. There was a month's period when I was so angry with him, I truly thought I hated him. I don't suffer neglect or disrespect lightly. A pattern had begun to develop, and I felt I either had to end it, or lose respect for myself, since discussing things was not helping.
That opened a big can of worms.

So, I seethed and hated. Then I began to pine and miss.

Butterfly Boy is the only partner I've had who has truly ever accepted me for who I am, instead of the usual "you're great, but..."
He's never tried to "cure me of the poly", as others have either directly or by quietly hoping they'll be such wonderful boyfriends they'll convince me to forget ever wanting other lovers.

About two months into my relationship with him, I remember having a realization.
A friend had asked me about a year before that, what my ideal guy would be like. He'd laughed at my response, saying it would be impossible for me to find somebody who fit all of my criteria. Suddenly, laying next to my Butterfly Boy, I realized this was that guy, that combination of just the right traits my friend had deemed impossible to find.

A year later we are still challenging each other, learning from each other:
I teach him how to pick up on women, he teaches me how to iron and sew...
Together, we continually explore what it means to be in a completely open, functional relationship (he'd never explored polyamory before). We have a lot of fun, whether it's trying out new rope bondage ties, or cooking, or crafting (though he prefers the more manly term "making stuff"), or just hanging out being dorks. That last is something I really cherish. Beneath the cool, fabulous exterior of the Infamous CoatCheck Girl lies a very dorky silly side which few people ever see. Butterfly Boy, for better or worse, gets the full, glorious, dorky onslaught.

He says I'm giving him laugh lines.

I've noticed a pattern in the duration of my previous relationships. They tend to go in predictable increments. 2 weeks, 2 months, 6 months. If they go past the 6 month mark they usually make it to a year. The two relationships I've had which made it past the year, ended at 18 months. By that count, my dear Butterfly Boy has 6 months.

I have high hopes though. So far, he's managed to break every other relationship pattern I've experienced.

Why not a 2nd anniversary?


All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

23 June 2010

So have you hooked up with Christian Kane and/or Steve Carlson?

Haha... I like the "and/or"... No, deary, why would I? A man's occupation is not sufficient to pique my interest or incite my desire.*
I don't find either of them particularly attractive...and I'm not a star-fucker, not that I think either of them qualifies as a "star" in any case.

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

*The only exception to this seems to be my weakness for bass players. It's not like I see a man playing bass and just can't control myself--- I always seem to meet them in a non-musical context, but over the course of conversation, invariably discover that they are, indeed, bass players. It's almost a curse, this "bass-dar". It may be my undoing...

Now, if Steve takes up the bass, maybe then we can talk ;-)

Have any burning questions for the Infamous CoatCheck Girl? Ask me anything!



All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

03 June 2010

Rum O'clock

I have spent the last few months moving, working constantly, whether it's going to CoatCheck or the office, or a movie set or even just home to edit photos for hours, while also maintaining a very active social life...
All of that forward movement came to a grinding halt in Progreso and it took me a day or two to finally catch up, or rather, slow down, to the local pace.

The first day was spent hammock-hopping mostly; taking in the view of the beach from different angles on the veranda, and getting to know the other guests at the villa. I couldn't quite overcome the feeling that I should be doing something. Toward the afternoon, everyone seemed to get a bit restless so it was decided that we should go explore the malecón (boardwalk) and grab a bite to eat. The older folks would take the car, so GBF, his sister, M and I had to make our own way there.

The main form of public transport in Progreso is by combi, small white vans which run on loosely defined routes on no apparent schedule whatsoever. You walk to a corner and hope one passes by. Should you be so lucky, you hail one and hope it has room for you, that the driver feels like stopping, and that the stars are aligned in your favor (more on that later).
Fortune seemed to smile on us, and we hailed a combi within minutes. As it made a quick stop at the marina, we could see a festival with a large outdoor stage and a variety of vendors, and decided to take a look around there.
M introduced us to a favorite local snack, marquesitas (a crepe which is rolled into a tube and filled with cheese, or sometimes nutella).



The snack only reminded us of how hungry we were, so we decided to continue our journey to the malecón. Easier said than done...
We were finally able to hail a combi and get underway, when *sputter*...The stars were evidently not aligned in our favor. Or the driver forgot to put gas in the tank. We all sat, uncomfortably stewing in the heat while the driver made futile attempts to start the van. As a camión (bus) drew nearer, he gave up, handed us back our money and suggested we hop on that.
To call it a bus would be...generous. It was metal and plastic loosely held together by paint. Any springs/shocks it may have had were long worn down, and the slightest turn or bump would send us bouncing and hurtling about.
This bus in particular had certainly seen better days:



As M and I giggled nervously and held on for dear life in the back seat, she exclaimed "Who knew riding a bus could be an extreme sport?!"


The malecón is essentially the heart of the town, but also the most touristy. Progreso boasts one of the longest piers in the world (4 miles), and many cruise ships dock there. The town really comes alive when the tourists disembark, and every opportunistic scam artist, vendor, and strolling musician comes out of the woodwork. Everyone wants a piece. Even the many restaurants which line the malecón will try to pull some shady math (adding taxes and tips in sneaky ways) to take advantage of unsuspecting visitors.

We finally arrived at Buddy's, a restaurant which very obviously caters to European and North American tourists. But, they did have seating right on the beach, under little thatched-roof kiosks, so I wasn't complaining.

I sat quietly and observed our little group. What an odd collection of people. We ranged in ages from 14 to 70-something. I wondered if we'd have much to talk about.
As it turns out, I needn't have worried. As conversation progressed from social pleasantries into the more personal, it was apparent we all had things in common.


From the third day on, our disparate little group started to gel. We'd all wake up in our own time and nibble on something for breakfast. Somebody had brought up yoga, so we started doing group yoga in the mornings. I would lead us through the The 5 Tibetan Rites and a meditation, and Peter would lead us through some Hatha yoga.

Peter and his wife have been married for about 45 years and do yoga together regularly. They met when she was 33 and hitchhiking across Europe, alone. I found their story very endearing. A Latin woman at the age of 33 is considered an old maid, and one who would go gallivanting about Europe alone in those days, must have been considered eccentric at best. She, herself, was resigned to a life alone until this charming Brit offered her a ride. The rest, as they say, is history.

After yoga, there would be more lounging until lunch. Most actual 'activity' seemed to revolve around food. The GBF's step-dad and the caretaker would drive to the Cocina Especial every day to pick up lunch. The Cocina (the name translates as 'Special Kitchen') is a loncheria. Loncherias are often run out of individual homes, usually just one cook: the lady of the house. They usually offer two options for the day. A quick phone order in the morning, and by lunchtime a delicious feast is ready for pick-up.

One thing that struck me about the eating habits of the other guests was that they didn't seem to eat any of the local fruit. That was one of the things I'd been most excited about! GBF'a parents are very much American's living in Mexico like Americans. They shop at Costco, Wal-Mart and Mega-Mart. They buy apples, kiwi and strawberries imported from the U.S.
It absolutely baffled me, when there was such an amazing array of tropical fruit to be had in any of the little fruit stalls in the market. On one of our trips to the malecon, I stocked up: papaya, pineapple, chico-zapote, guanabana. All throughout the day I would cut up fruit and set it out.

"What's that?" GBF's sister asked.

"Papaya with lime," I replied

She said she'd never seen or tasted papaya like that.

"That's what papaya is supposed to look and taste like! This is actually ripened on a tree, not gassed in a warehouse...real papaya is very sweet" I replied, feeling a little smug.
It was a little coup, getting everyone to try some of the local produce. Between M and I, we even convinced them to try some of the fruit growing in their own driveway, some of which they didn't even know was edible (tamarind)!

But it would not be fair of me to ask everyone to step out of their comfort zone without offering to do the same...so I faced one of my fears. We were at the beach after all. I had not been in the ocean in about 20 years.
Swimming in the ocean absolutely terrifies me.
Caribbean waters are fine, since I can see the bottom and see if anything were to approach, but recent storms had left the water there rather murky. The storms also washed up a lot of seaweed, which by now has become a sulfurous muck. Getting through this malodorous goo is easier said than done. I borrowed water socks, thinking it might help with my fears of stepping on unseen critters, but I almost lost both of them before I realized I'd have to try to float over it, shallow though it was.

The pier lies North (I think) of GBF's house. The original structure was built by the Dutch and is a true engineering marvel. The more recent addition, built by the Mexican government, is a disaster. The arches of the Dutch portion of the structure did little to disrupt the natural currents in the region. The Mexican addition is solid rock, and has affected the entire beach toward GBF's side. It's been a political and ecological disaster, but it does mean the water is a comfortable depth for quite some distance from the shore.
Of course, I wasn't really comfortable at any depth, but I had to face my fear. But, oh, what a sunset that was! As it grew darker, however, I gave up. I started to panic a bit and headed back to shore.




All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

01 June 2010

The Adventure Begins

I had to look at a calendar to determine the day this morning. I'm pretty sure it's Tuesday. But really, who cares? I'm lying in a hammock, smoking a cigarette, a nice ocean breeze is blowing, and it's 91 degrees.

It was a long trip, to say the least. I finally got to bed at 4:30 this morning, after having been awake since 11am on Sunday. But this is the first thing I saw when I walked out of my room upon waking:



All of those hours spent wandering airports, back and forth, trying to find the right gate, the right concourse; the squalling infants and contradictory directions at customs...all of that melted away as soon as I saw that view.

This winter has been especially difficult for me, with its never-ending rain that seems to seep into my very bones. When my Gay BoyFriend invited me to his villa in Mexico I knew it was exactly what I needed.
This is no romantic getaway incidentally...nor is my Gay BoyFriend actually gay. He has proven utterly immune to my charms so, naturally, I just assumed and the nickname stuck. He loves it, I'm sure.
Our trip was originally to include several of his band mates but they all dropped out, one by one. So, the two of us set out for PDX at 3:30am after my Sinferno shift in CoatCheck. (Thanks for the ride, Butterfly Boy!)

We were met in Cancun by GBF's ex, Mariana and her friend Paola, who kindly drove us to the ADO (bus depot). It's a good thing, too. Even well-rested I would have been overwhelmed. The moment we cleared customs the taxi drivers pounced. To say they are persistent is an understatement. One of them latched onto us, particularly when he realized I spoke Spanish. He chatted with us, even following us back into the terminal when we went to call Mariana...just in case our ride didn't work out.
But Mariana arrived with Paola in tow.

It was so wonderful to finally chat with somebody in Spanish, somebody who wasn't asking me for money, or a passport. I realized somewhere along the trip, I began to think in Spanish. I found myself having to search for the English words for things when speaking to GBF, who doesn't speak a word of Spanish.
I did, however, have a chance to practice flirting in Spanish before that, at Benito Juarez airport in Mexico City. Apparently it takes 6 cute boys to do a security check for one small Colombian girl, and they have to ask many important questions such as: what do you think of Mexican guys, do you find them handsome, and how would you rate them on a scale of 1 to 10? I even made one of them twirl for me. I gave him an 8.5. He pouted and said he would have rated me an 11.

Paola drove us through the streets of Cancun. I was disgusted: McDonalds, Dominoes, Burger King and some ghastly casinos litter the main strip. I am so glad that was not our destination!
We made it to the ADO with 15 minutes to spare. I was so glad to have Mariana with us. My brain was a jumble of English and Spanish at that point, and I was more than happy to let her handle the travel arrangements.
I hoped to sleep once we were on the bus, but instead ended up watching Transformers in Spanish, which was playing so loudly it was impossible to ignore. And no,the movie is no more entertaining in Spanish than it is in English.
GBF's parents met us in Merida, and drove us the rest of the way into Progreso and to Villa Tio Francisco, our home for the next few days.

And what a home it is! It's a bit rustic by American standards, perhaps, but I love it. It was once a boarding house for students, so it has 10 rooms with either private or connecting bathrooms. It reminds me so much of home, of places we stayed in a small beach town called Covenas.
Despite my exhaustion I only slept a few hours---I was too excited. Even as we came up the driveway in the dark I could recognize the outlines of trees I remember from Colombia: lime and tamarind. This morning's inspection revealed some other familiar flora: coralillo and besitos, nispero and zapote, and the ubiquitous coconut palms.

Though GBF's parents, sister, nephew and some friends of the family are also staying here, there's enough room (and there are enough hammocks) for everyone. Today started with lounging on the veranda watching the waves, a leisurely breakfast, followed by more lounging (and even a little telecommuting).


It's a rough life, this.




All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

17 May 2010

Have you ever had a really kinky experience with someone and then realized you couldn't be with them afterwords because of what you let them do or what they let you do to them?

No. Though, unfortunately, the same could not be said for some of my past partners.
A few months ago, I was in the CoatCheck cubby and saw a guy staring at me intently; a questioning look, seeking some sort of recognition. He greeted me by name, but I still couldn't place him. He offered his name and then it dawned on me...the last time I had seen him was a little over a decade ago, as he was running scared from my bedroom.
I hadn't even busted out the strap-on yet, just pinned him down and nibbled on him a little...!

Engaging in any sort of activities I consider "kinky", requires a certain degree of trust and communication. That's not to say I'm opposed to light kinky play with brand new partners, but there are conversations that need to happen beforehand to establish boundaries and limits. I have my own personal "checkpoints" that help me gauge and test the waters without having a cut and dry negotiation. There are plenty of indicators outside of a sexual context which reveal a lot about how a person communicates; how they respond when I express my needs or desires and how well they express their own, how respectful they are of boundaries and limits (again, both mine AND theirs).
As for heavier stuff: I only have a few trusted partners (who are friends first and lovers second), with whom I feel comfortable exploring more intense play. Trust and communication are already established.
That's how I avoid the awkward situation you describe.

Besides, your question implies shame or remorse over a chosen course of action---that's not my style, darling!

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

Have any burning questions for the Infamous CoatCheck Girl? Ask me anything!

11 May 2010

Anal sex. Must it always be planned? I mean, could it ever happen if there were no lube around?

Must it be planned? Not necessarily...

Could it ever happen if there were no lube around? Not if you want a repeat performance.

In general, I like my play nice and slick, though not *too* much--- I've always said "if you have to lay down a tarp, you've gone too far!"
But, I digress...
Personal preferences aside, if you have any amount of respect and regard for your partner's comfort and safety, use lube.
You're talking about very delicate (rectal) tissue which has no natural lubrication. Think: micro-tears which increase risk of HIV transmission, anal fissures, bruising, pain (the "not fun" kind)...these things are decidedly NOT sexy.

Darling, this is why single-use packets of lube were invented! Never leave home without one.

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

Ask me anything!

Do you have any piercings? If so, where? And are you still happy with them?

Why, yes, I do. As you may be able to tell from some of my photos, I wear a small hoop in my nose. As for the rest...well, what would be the fun in telling?

What I will tell you, is that I am still happy with them, and very happy I didn't have to get rid of them, as I once thought I might.

About 6 years ago, I was dealing with some health issues (which I've previously written about) and was under the care of an acupuncturist who suggested I remove them. I had tried almost everything else, short of surgery, so I removed the jewelry, if somewhat reluctantly. Several weeks later, I thought to myself "Metal allergy, harumph!" and I tried to put the jewelry back in. My body would have none of it---completely closed up. I resigned myself to the fact that those piercings were no longer a part of who I was, though I couldn't quite bring myself to get rid of the jewelry.
Well, about 6 or 7 months after that, a rather odd thing happened. I was sitting at my computer, much as I am now, and suddenly had a flash of an image of my former piercings. Each spot began to tingle and...it's difficult to explain, but it felt as though each piercing were calling out for its jewelry. I dug out the pieces and cleaned them, not really expecting much, since I *knew* all of them had closed up. But, surprisingly, each one slid right into place.
Just goes to show, your body will tell you what it needs (or doesn't) if you know how to listen to it!

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

Ask me anything!

06 May 2010

When and why did you appear on 20/20?

Ah, well, technically I did not "appear" on 20/20, or did so only for a split second---you see me looking at the other two girls with a combination of disbelief and amusement.
I will definitely write about this in more detail, because, well, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried... I was flown out to New York and interviewed on 20/20 (by a guy who, oddly enough, turns out to be from Beaverton). My answers definitely did NOT fit with the angle they were trying to take on presenting this story.

here's a link to the episode:

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/story?id=8364856

xo,

Infamous CoatCheck Girl

Ask me anything

05 May 2010

Seeking: Validation

Well hello again! Yes, I know it's been almost a year.
My last "real" post left me at a bit of a loss, not to mention a bit shaken.
How do you top a Hollywood moment?
So, I let time pass, and without really realizing it, I decided I'd given myself a year off. A year-long vacation for The Infamous CoatCheck Girl, so I could live out misadventures and fantasies and relationships outside of the public eye...more or less...some of you have followed what have become micro-blogs via my Twitter feed.

It's easier to be cryptic in 140 characters or less.

I got my wish, to some extent. I was able to experience relationships as a three-dimensional human being, without the infamy, without the expectations of the fabulous persona. I even wore jeans---if you know me personally, you know I grew up with the firm belief that you only wear jeans if doing menial labor or going out to the country!

I even found time to be a domestic goddess, see?



I also made it through almost an entire year without hearing the words "I can't believe you wrote that about me!" or "But, in the blog you said..."

And then, suddenly, a cry of "But you don't write about me!"

Heh?!

"Uno no puede ser monedita de oro..." My mother's words suddenly ringing in my ears.
It literally translates as "you can't be a gold coin to everyone", in other words: you can't please everyone.
And don't I know it.
And I've never tried.
Everyone I associate with knows about the blog.
Even during my hiatus, I know my friends and lovers always had the lurking thought "I'm gonna be the one who does or says the one dumb thing that's going to start her blogging again!".
It's always been a very real possibility, and everyone is duly forewarned, yet it still always takes them by surprise--- it's always funny 'til it's about you...

But to encounter such vitriol for not writing about somebody?

I am flummoxed.

I've always written for catharsis and, frankly, for practice--- continuously exploring and toying with a language not originally my own.
I've never taken the the criticism or validation of my stories too seriously. Unless it's in direct reference to grammar, spelling, or writing style, all of it is without context; merely commentary on a snapshot, my snapshot of a moment in time.
I've found people's comments to reflect more upon them and their experiences, than upon my stories or the characters therein. Nearly everyone can relate to love and loss, the humor and the tragedy of it all. That is my favorite part of this medium: connecting with people and hearing their stories.

Almost exactly a year ago (my, how time flies!), I had an exhausting day of phone calls, emails, IM's and text messages prompted by a simple Facebook status update:

"---- thinks the 'let's just be friends' speech should be stricken from the cultural record."

Within seconds, there were comments of commiseration: "Yeah, it sucks", "Whoever gave you that speech should be stricken", "Been on both sides of that"...

Then the maelstrom hit...

"I can't believe you're airing our dirty laundry in public!" (via text, from the speech-giver himself).

I tried to explain to him that nobody knew, let alone cared who the post was about.
He was, in fact, irrelevant.
The "villain" in that post (if there was one), was every person who had ever given that speech to all of those posting comments.

But would he listen? No!

He was much too busy listing the reasons we were a terrible match:

-he jogs, I don't
-he drinks tea, I drink coffee
-he's more Buddhist because he goes to the temple every Sunday, etc...

on and on, enumerating and reiterating the reasons why we weren't a good match.
I was agreeing with him more heartily with every passing minute, but it always came back around to "and I can't believe you made it public!".

So, another year, another maelstrom...but this time over an entire relationship reduced to a running tally of Facebook posts?

Oh, Facebook...a blessing and a curse! It is instant gratification taken to the extreme:

"I just made 5 new friends and I didn't even leave my house!", "They and 10 new friends from yesterday 'like' the blurry photo of a brick wall I shot and uploaded with my phone!", "Oh, only 2 people 'liked' my thinly veiled cry-for-attention suicide threat---fuck 'em, they're not really my friends. I'm deleting them."...

I've approached Facebook the same way I do blogging---not taking it too seriously--- but apparently not everyone takes this tack. My cryptic mentions (using nick-names and veiled references, as always) were not enough to placate and validate one particular individual, though all those closest to me knew he was special to me.
I tried to explain: after sharing so many intimate details for 5+ years with the world of the interweb, it's been nice to reserve a few special things, just for me.
This was interpreted as "keeping him a secret".

Sometimes a girl just can't win...and that's when it's time to cut one's losses.

Well, the secret's out, and he's got his wish...in a way.

Validation via blog.

You're welcome.





The Infamous CoatCheck Girl would like to thank the countless people who have encouraged (i.e. bugged the crap out of me) for the last year to write/blog again. Your pleas, threats, and exhortations have not gone unheeded---I just needed a little break. I would particularly like to thank the folks at Wideshot Studios (congrats on making it official!), Mr. Matt Love, Mr. David Walker, and dear sweet Casey for all of your kind, but firm lectures to "get back to work!"




All Content Copyright 2010, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

01 April 2010

formspring.me

All right kids, I know the blog has been sparse for months, but I'm gearing up to start posting again soon. Anything you've been dying to read about or know? My appearance on 20/20, Butterfly Boy, Punk Rock Boy, worst pick up line of 2009...? Ask me anything http://formspring.me/coatcheckgirl