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Hello all,

Many of you know that just over two years ago, I started an event known as The Aviary, an alternative lifestyle event housed at The Arts Garage in Philadelphia. The event started in the smallest of the venue’s spaces, and eventually grew to the point of renting out the entire, 8,000 square foot, venue each month. In the meantime, I have acquired some other events and have others in mind that I would like to try out.

However, I am now at the point of having completely outgrown The Arts Garage, and am hunting for a new venue. I find myself with two options. In option one, I find a new nightclub that will give me the second Saturday of each month at a reasonable rate, that has 9,000+ square feet. If anyone is connected to a club that has that sort of opening in the greater Philadelphia area, I’d love to meet with them and talk to them ASAP. Option two, which seems more likely at this juncture, is that I try to attain a space of my own, in which I not only run my own events, but also work with many of the other promoters I have been fortunate enough to get to know over the last decade. If pursuing option two, I have a list of criteria that are necessary, preferred, and nice, as well as the appropriate zoning codes.
Details behind the cut )
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So someone asked me recently why I've been posting a lot of kickstarters, indiegogo's, and other crowdfunding projects. The inherent assumption in their question was "why should I spend money on this?". While I was tempted to go into a long ramble about the economics of such things, and about how this allows a lot of projects to be aimed specifically at communities that would appreciate them that might otherwise be passed on by bigger companies, a far more basic reason struck me.

Fundamentally, in my mind, there are two ways to improve the world. The first, and, I will admit, more important in many ways, is to reduce harm. When we do disaster relief, when we try to reduce the pain in the world by stopping bad things from happening, when we try to relieve inequity and iniquity, we are making the world a better place.

However, the second way of making the world a better place is also important, and that is about increasing joy. While the amount of joy in the world is finite, the capacity for it is not. We can always create more joy. When I put on an event for a community, or when I put out a link for a crowdfunding project, or when I try to promote a project that someone is working on, my goal is to increase the joy in this world. And it is my hope that others join me, because the more joy we create, the better the world is.
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This is a post I should have made a while back.

Every year, in accordance with Jewish tradition, between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we are to make atonement with those we have wronged. The idea, which I approve of, is that while prayer and repentance can erase sins between one and one’s deity, forgiveness for out transgressions against other human beings can only be undone by the forgiveness of the humans we have wronged. Thus, each year, I ask forgiveness for those I have harmed, by word or by deed, intentionally or unintentionally, and in return, I forgive all those who have harmed me.

This year, I cannot do this. There are those who have hurt me, people who I trusted, who I cannot forgive, no matter how I try. There are those I hurt, whether intentionally or not, who I cannot ask for forgiveness from, because I truly do not regret my choices, my actions. In some cases, I wish I had hurt them more. Thus, I find myself in a bind. How does one forgive when one is still too full of rage to forgive? How does one ask for forgiveness when one does not wish forgiveness, not because one does not believe one does not deserve it, but because one does not wish for the forgiveness, only the pain, of the other? These thoughts will not leave my head, and thus, I do not know what to say for this year.

I will merely say, I hope all who read this are inscribed for a good year, and my prayer is this, for those who I am not full of rage at, know that I have nothing but love in my heart for you. For those for whom the rage is the only thing left, I pray that you make use of the services of a good proctologist, to remove the cranium from your rectal cavity.

7 years

Jul. 3rd, 2012 12:02 am
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7 years ago today, I got my new heart. It has been a wild and strange journey, and I am grateful to you all for being there with me.
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Hello all!
So first off, this is not a health-related update! Yay! This is a thread about pursuing dreams, though.
Let the dreams begin! )
Thank you all in advance for reading this, and for being around for this amazing journey.
Best,

~Gil
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So the clinic results are in, and they are mostly good.
Now for the nitty gritty details )
Anyway, that's the health and life update from Gil. Now tell me, how are *you* all doing?
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So seven years ago, I had congestive heart failure, I'd bailed for the first time on a stage performance, and was feeling pretty craptastic about life. Thankfully, the hospital I was at at the time brought me a cake. A few days later, it thawed enough that we could eat it, and from what I recall, it was an excellent cake.

Seven years later, I'm stuck in a holding pattern, which is why I haven't been updating as frequently.

So I'm currently done with plan A of the special treatments. At the end of the month, I'm going in for a biopsy, echocardiogram, ecg, bloodwork, and a partridge in a pear tree. Shortly thereafter, I get my results, which will either be good or bad.

If they are bad, then we go to plan B, which is like plan A, but with more aggressive drugs with more fun side effects. If that doesn't work, we go to plan C, which is like Plan B, but even more so. If that doesn't work, the doctors get creative.

Needless to say, I'm hoping plan A works.

That said, if the results are good, it does not mean I'm out of the woods. It means that while my immune system will continue to be extra-compromised, in about five months, it will start coming back, and continue coming back for the six months after that, so I will need to be hyper vigilant. Again, there's a good way and a bad way for things to go.

The bad way means going to plan B, plan C, etc.

The good way means that I get to keep going on my current regimen of immunosupression, without any other changes. At that point, I am "back to normal", for whatever that means for me. It definitely means that I need to not strain myself as much as I have over the last year. I have been told in no uncertain terms that I need to relax more, or I will end up giving myself other problems. On the other hand, I've been reminded again that every moment I have is a bonus, and as such, I want to make every one count. That said, I'm going to be going ahead with my various projects, but probably modifying how I do them, and doing a lot more of that crazy thing called delegation.

In the meantime, I still get tired very easily, which means that I can't do as many things as I'd like, and I'm not online as much as I seem. I tend to leave my computer logged int to various accounts so I can use it as an "answering machine", but remember that I'm spending fewer hours on here, and it takes me a bit longer to respond to things. Please don't take it as a lack of love, it's just me trying to respect my own limitations a bit more than I have been doing.

That said,I'm hoping my next post, which will be coming fairly soon, will be full of exciting announcements about projects, events, and other fun things, rather than more health stuff.

With thanks and love,

~Gil
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Hello all!

So, as I believe I mentioned before, I'm in here for a while. Two weeks inpatient, two weeks outpatient, and then 6-12 months to get back to normal, assuming *everything* works out right. A lot of people have asked what they can do for me, so this update is really about that.

First off, every comment, every post, every message, is being read. I unfortunately have very limited energy right now as my body goes through hell, but I promise I read and appreciate each and every message you all send, and I'm doing my best when possible to respond. That helps.

Second off, visiting. Those of you who can visit, are welcome to, and it's great, with three very big caveats.

CAVEAT THE FIRST. If you are sick in any way shape or form, or think you might be, or think you will be, please do not visit. My immune system is being shocked into non-existence, and even a passing infection may very well kill me. I mean this in all seriousness. I appreciate the love, just not the death.

CAVEAT THE SECOND. If you do visit, before entering whatever room I'm in, after touching anything, etc, use those funky gel dispensers on the walls on your hands. I realize they dry out your skin and smell awful, but again, I need to be super paranoid while my system recovers.

CAVEAT THE THIRD. I may pass out on you. It's not because I don't love you, but it's because I'm putting my body through hell to try to fix it. Please do not take it personally if I put the bed down and fall asleep, or if I fail to wake up. It doesn't mean I don't appreciate your visit, it means that I'm trying to take care of my physical health and respect my own limitations, something that I have in the past not been so good about.

On the financial side (and I hate doing this). It's likely that, even with my inusrance, this hospital stay is likely to wipe out what's left of my finances. I'll be making deals with the hospital, and doing what I can to set up payment plans. That said, it's still going to be a tough few months. I know a few people are doing donation drives, auctions, etc, for me, and I'm hoping that they'll pitch in on all the places this is cross-posted, so that if you have cash to spare, and want to send it this way, it will go to me. Now with that said, I have worked with this hospital before. Even if I have to set up something where I send them a monthly payment for twenty years, I will be able to eventually pay this off. Do not feel obligated, if you are currently under any form of financial stress, to chip in here. If you do, I'll obviously apprecaite it, but I will find a way to survive without it.

On the other financial side, I do have one of those annoying amazon wishlists. I was really using it as a "things I should remember to get around the house and books I keep forgetting to get" guide, so as such, it's not the most useful, but I will gladly take anything people send. I anticipate a rather lengthy recovery, and will also happily take suggestions for things to add, not even for people to get me, but for me to remember to check out myself when I'm in a better place. For those interested, it's at http://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/33RROTCWNHPME/ref=topnav_lists_1

Finally, and in some ways, the most important, is my caregivers. This includes my partners, my family, my close friends, etc. If you know someone who's coming to see me regularly, who's helping me out, etc, see if they can use some help, some love, some support, etc. They're doing a lot to help keep me together through this difficult time, and this is not a time when I am able to reciprocate the work and attention they're putting into me, so I'm hoping that during this time, I can rely on others to help those who help me. They mean the world to me, and I appreciate anything that can be done to make their lives easier.

Again, thank you all for the outpouring of support and love. It has made the last few days infinitely easier to deal with.

With love and gratitude,

~Gil
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Hello all!

First off, allow me to thank you all for all the love. It's been helping me get through a time that is remarkably tougher than what I'd ever wanted to face.

Now, to fill you all in, here is the course of events from my point of view.

For the last few months, I've been feeling tired. Now, because of the lifestyle I lead, which can clinically be defined as "Gil is a batshit crazy person who's going to work himself into an early grave and laugh the entire way", this was rather hard to quantify, but there were some warning signs. Sadly, none of them translated into anything medically relevant.

Fast forward to this past Tuesday night. After class, coming up from Market East Station, I was winded, badly, after one flight of stairs. Thinking that this was a bad thing, I called the clinic first thing Wednesday morning, and got an appointment for Thursday morning. That night, at Nocturne, I was totally fine.

Going through the tests on Thursday, the doctors found enough wrong with me to say "we gotta admit you right away", which was not what I was expecting (for comparison's sake, the last time I had a problem, they upped my prednisone for five days and I hit a creative peak like none other in my life).

Now we get to yesterday, Friday, and my day of relative silence. After some false negatives, some false positives, and one partial diagnosis that had me actively contemplating going into a surgery that would remove the rest of my organs and give them to other people needing them rather than ever going through the Hell that is waiting for a new heart ever again, we were able to identify what I was going through as a humoral rejection (because if I'm going to do it, it's gotta be funny, right? Right?).

So the plan now is this. Every couple days, I go through aphoresis, which is kind of like dialysis in that they remove my blood, clean it a bit, and throw it back into me, and then run me through IVIG. Then they will run me through another medicine that I forget the name of. Then I sit on my ass for two days. Then we rinse and repeat. This will be my life for the next two weeks. Following that, I will continue to see them for another two weeks on the outpatient side for two weeks (assuming everything has gone well).

In the meantime, well wishes are appreciated, visits are appreciated, etc. I don't know exactly when I'm available, but if you cannot get a direct hold of me, grab a hold of my family, my partners, my close friends, etc, who might know better what's going on.

With lots of love,

~Gil
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Hello all!

Have you been to one of our events and gone “hey, this is really awesome! I’d love to help make this more awesome!” Or have you ever looked at one of our events and said “hey, this looks really awesome! I wish I could go!” Or have you ever looked at me and said “hey, Gil looks really exhausted, I wish I could help him!”

If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then Skola Events may want you (much like Uncle Sam, but citizenship is not a requirement here). We are looking to solidify our current events and get them to the point of being more self-sustaining. That means we need more people.

Specifically, to start off, we need promotional help. We need folks in Philadelphia who will be willing to go out and take fliers from us and put them all over, hand them to likely seeming folks, and generally try to make sure that our events become more well-known. In addition to that, we need a web team that will post about our events all over, make sure to mention us in their social networks, and put our press releases for Dorian’s and other events in specific places each month.

Now, you may ask, “what can I get from this?” I’m very glad you asked this, imaginary person I’m talking to while writing this note! In addition to our love and gratitude, people who do these lovely things for us will be eligible for discounted, possibly even free, admission to many of our events. If we can, we will also help you get into other events that we don’t run with the understanding that you’ll be advertising for us while you’re there.

If this seems like something you may be interested in, please e-mail hr@skolaevents.com and get in touch with us. If there are other things you wish to offer us, we’d be glad to hear!

Lastly, even if you are not currently interested in this, please do share/repost/pass this information around as much as possible.

Thanks and love,

~Gil Cnaan, C.E.O. Skola Events
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Alright boys, girls, and those who are in between, still deciding, or beyond the gender binary, have a seat. It’s time for another look into my brain when I put together events. This one goes beyond performers, so those of you who are not performers may find this halfway interesting.
FORMS!!!!!! )
Anyway, this has been another Insight into my Brain. Future topics will still include uniqueness or lack thereof (a.k.a. belly dancing burlesque erotic hypnotist contortionist stuntpeople), working for us, and more on scheduling, performances, etc. Perhaps we will even get a guest writer to help us with some insights into vending!
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Dear friends and colleagues,

I write today with happy news. Skola Events is growing as a company, and we are now at the point where we have enough recurring events that we are able to split our workload. Pursuant to that, I would like to start off with a discussion about Dorian's Parlor.
As most of you know, Dorian's Parlor is our flagship event, and the most well known of our monthly events. While I will remain the face, producer, and spokesman for Dorian's Parlor, I am turning over much of the day to day directing to Dr. Andy Lange, effective immediately.
Dr. Andy has been a member of the Dorian's Parlor Oversight Panel since the inception of the event, and has been instrumental in helping us improve the quality of our tech, as well as our connections with local media. He comes to this position with over a decade of experience in event management, and has been the Chief of Staff in a major east coast convention. Most recently, he has been a founding partner in Circuit Six and Mixenbord.
With Dr. Andy's ascension to directorship, the Circuit Six technical team at Dorian's Parlor will be run by Ms. Annelise Leonhart, who has been functioning as the stage manager since the early days of the Parlor.
I will still be at the events, and I will still be around to solve problems, but this takes a lot of the day to day work off my shoulders so that I can focus on other things to grow the company. While we do not expect any major changes for our November 26th show, Dr. Andy will be in touch with each of you to speak with you about what you are doing so that he can begin implementing positive changes for our January show.

Thank you all for your time, your help, and your support,

~Gil Cnaan
CEO, Skola Events
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So the one sentence synopsis is this: Buy the CD version of this album and treasure it.

Also, if you like the song Master of the House, from Les Miserables, then you want to buy this CD and listen to it and treasure it.

Full disclosure before I go into the rest of the review: I have been a fan of this band for a while, and I have been actively trying to promote them to everyone I know. I am in the album thanks, and am not a neutral source.

Review:
First off, this album is musically wonderful. I often thing of This Way to the Egress as a visual band, because their live performances are so full of excellent showmanship. When you go to an Egress show, you never know who might stop by, circus freaks, burlesque performers, a random European baron, or a mad scientist bent on world domination (or maybe two Jesus impersonators). I often have trouble describing them to people, though, because they are so varied, so I often just play a couple songs of theirs to friends, who usually then say "when can we see them live?". In this album, though, Egress gives a wonderful tour de force of the many sounds they can create, and most importantly, the album is crisp. Every single instrument is clearly heard, the sound is not muddy at all, and it pleases my inner audiophile. The attention to detail is prevalent throughout, not only in the music, but in the production of the physical album. Without further a do: a quick track by track review.

Track 1: Last Kiss. This is probably the Egress song I've heard most often, and it's a good one to hear. It has been remastered for this album to provide a longer, more majestic, intro, and it is totally worth it. It makes you feel like you are walking into an old theater, with a live band, chandelier, fully upholstered seats, etc. And as the vocals pick up, you realize that the theater has a darker side, hinting at some huge past tragedy that haunts it to this day, in a way that is, well, delicious.

Track 2: Turpentine. The strings on this song give it a special aura. Again, it is hard to define in words exactly what the aesthetic of the song is, but it is spectacular in ways that recall traveling carnivals of the 1800s.

Track 3: Chapel Hill. I will admit the first time I heard the song, I was a bit unsure about it, mostly because they talk about removing peoples' hearts and burying them in a hill, but once my little heart transplant self got past that, it was all good. I will admit, the horn work on this song in particular is a really great touch, it takes the duality of the song, of mixed mournful and joyful tones, and accentuates both, somewhat redolent of a New Orleans big brass band.

Track 4: On a 45. For those of you who were not previously familiar with this band, this song, as well as the closing song, Saint, were the two songs I'd use to introduce people to the band. The extra work on the vocals between the version I had, as well as the addition of the crackles and warmth, to make it feel like the song was actually being played on a 45 left me feeling the need to pull out my old record players and just listen to my old 33s and 45s.

Track 5: Flirtin' With Death. This song starts off very mournful, with beautiful female vocals, and then picks up an eerie life, like if Frankenstein's monster midway through a soliloquy on the futility of life was suddenly shot full of Prozac and Ecstasy and given a backing band. By the end of the song, I was dancing madly around the room like a moron, and very very glad nobody else was around to see me looking so silly.

Track 6: Gypsy Shoe. Picking up where Flirtin' With Death left off, this song continues with the strangely manic, almost electrified and reanimated feel that has been building through the album and is a purely solid track. Not much more to say other than go listen to it and enjoy it.

Track 7: So What So What. This song puts a sudden break on the build that's been coming, giving a release to some of the tension, and at the same time showing the variety of sound that Egress is capable of performing. The low, almost growling, vocals make one think of a demonic Louis Armstrong, tempting you to come see what he has behind a velvet curtain.

Track 8: We'll All Soon Be Dead. I had the rare opportunity to get a studio version of this over a year ago, when I was DJing the Clockwork/Big Brass Ball events, and it had a note that it wasn't to be shared yet, as it was one of the special surprises for the album, and I ranted to Egress over twitter late at night that I couldn't get it out of my head. The difference between the studio version and the album version, though, is night and day. I was singing along with the refrain from the start and gaping at how they'd taken a song I already liked and made it into such an amazingly powerful and moving piece.

Track 9: Swashbuckler. This song was new to me, but a good pirate song never goes amiss, and this one mixes creepy and fun in a way that is uniquely Egress. I'll be listening to it a few more times before I write even more about it.

Track 10: Delicious Cabaret. If you are not singing along to this song by the time it's done, you have no soul. Guaranteed. I still find myself randomly singing it while working. The little jazz-y bits give it an extra joie de vivre that really cannot be missed.

Track 11: Saint. This was actually the first Egress song I ever heard, and I fell in love with the band right away. And I will say that since then, the instrumentation has improved dramatically, turning a good song into a work of art. This is truly a fantastic closing song, and truly one of my favorites.

After all this,I wouldn't be surprised if many of you went to download this album right away, but I will tell you to wait, because the craftsmanship does not end there. The physical packaging of the CD, as well as the art on the disc itself, are stunningly gorgeous, and still fit the overall aesthetic of the band in ways that astound me. This is one of those discs that is truly worth physically possessing. So go to [LINK COMING SOON] and buy it, or, better yet, go out, see them live, let them rock your face off, then buy a CD and ask them to sign it for you.

A few places you can see them
June 24, at the CD release party: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=202985989741141
July 16, at the Dorian's Parlor One Year Anniversary Show: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=117135848365529
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Hi all,

So as many of you know, I've been running a lovely event known as Dorian's Parlor, www.doriansparlor.com. Our event features drinks, hors d'oeuvres, DJs, bands, sideshow performers, vendors, and, most importantly for this post, a fashion show. We're actually becoming known in the city, and we're growing to be pretty big.

We started out this past June. When we started out, a few designers came out, basically taking a huge chance on us, and presented their designs in the fashion show. One of them, Alex London (www.alexlondondesign.com) now has a chance to premier in New York City's Fashion Week. I don't have words for how huge an opportunity this is for him, but I will say that this is what is spoken of when people talk about "once in a lifetime."

However, he does not have the funds required to secure that sort of space. http://fundtheartistsdream.tumblr.com/ was created to help him get that sort of money, and to help future artists also pursue their dreams. I try not to ask my friends for cash, as we're all fairly strapped in this economy, but every bit helps, so whether you have $200 or $2, please consider helping him out. He was good to me, and I wish I could be good to him back.

With gratitude,

Gil
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I’ve been working for the past couple of weeks on the Wicked Faire performance schedule, and it just went out the other night, and, as expected, I’m being buried in mail. I’d say about 65% of it is a very friendly “we got it, we’re good, thanks!”, which is great. Another 20% of it is “Hey, I hate to be a bother, but I’ve got an issue with thus and such.” This is also good. Communication is good. 10% of it is people being upset, but dealing with it fairly well. Then there’s the remaining 5%, which I can only really call hate mail.

I figured, in fairness to everyone who applied, and for the edification of anyone who is interested in how I approach my event programming, to explain where it is that I am coming from.
The first thing I do is break performers up into three categories. The first category is people who bring in so much business that they are worth the cost of bringing them. As a helpful hint, if you’re not Voltaire, you’re not in this category. The second category is people who I think bring value to the event. These are performers who I think are excellent and talented and unique. Again, as a hint, if you think that you’re the only person doing, say, erotic hypnosis, and write me an e-mail telling me about this unique and amazing thing, I will respond by telling you that we’ve had an amazing erotic hypnotist since our very first faire, and while we appreciate your e-mail, you should just fill out a performer application. On the other hand, if you write e-mails like Left Outlet, the performance team is going to look forward to all of your communiqués, and then find nice things to do for you when we can. The third and last category of performers we accept are folks who look cool, and we want to give them a chance to shine. We may not know them, we may have only what they’ve written, but everything starts somewhere, and we really want to be a place where lots of amazing acts get a break.

That said, no matter where you are in this pecking order, we can replace you with someone just as good, unless you are Voltaire. If you are not Voltaire, you can be replaced.
So the next question I usually get is along the lines of “If we’re performing for free, what do we cost you?” This is an excellent question, which I think speaks to the heart of the matter. Here’s a few things to think of. Every performer we accept is obviously getting free admission to the event. We have a cap on how many people we can have in the event, so every performer in there is someone who’s not paying admission. We also have a food budget, so every performer who comes in, I’ve allocated a certain amount of budget to feed them. There’s the time and energy it takes to create the schedule, which took, in addition to the three person performance team, a ton of volunteer work from a few very dedicated individuals who probably didn’t want to see me lose what was left of my sanity. Then there’s the cost of tech and such for most stages. There’s rental on the Wicked hotel. It costs us to use the space, and so the more space you take up, the larger the stage, etc, the more it costs us to have you on. The closer you get to prime time, the more the space is worth. This means that at the prime times, we’re putting on the bigger draws. This is why Voltaire gets Saturday night. This is why Wyck and Daniel Greenwolf go opposite Voltaire. They are all big draws and very talented performers. Also, there is the work and time and effort of our web people, our advertising people, etc.

Now we realize on the other side, artists have costs. In addition to simple transportation, lodging, etc, which sometimes we can cover, sometimes not, there are the costs of materials, instruments, etc, not to mention the time and effort it took them to develop their craft. We appreciate all of that, and since we’re not in a position to pay all, or even half, of our performers, we do our best to give them all chances to sell merchandise, pass the hat, etc.

The problem is, we’re human. At least two fantastic acts have not gotten what we planned for them, because we dropped the ball. Last year, we had a mixup with a dance troupe that was thankfully resolved. We’re trying to fix all the issues we can as fast as possible, but to answer the question which we get most often “Why am I not where I wanted to be?” It’s because you’re not Voltaire.
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I was having an exchange recently with a friend of mine, who was wondering why I was "wasting" my time on doing events. This happened to be a friend I respected greatly, so rather than lash out, I took some time, and I decided I wanted to share my answers with the world.

When I was young, the world was a lovely place. In elementary school, I had a generally good time. I had teachers who were on guard against things like bullying, and who were very good about encouraging students to explore anything and everything that interested them. It was a good time.

However, when I got to middle school, I learned very quickly about how scary the world could be when an entire system was set against you. I had a teacher who specifically singled me out for harassment to such a scale that I actually fled the school. My parents sent me to a Quaker school for a few years, which started off well, but ended with my name on a list given to teachers with instructions to harass everyone on the list until they left the school (now confirmed by four former teachers of mine, two of whom have asked my forgiveness for how they treated me).

By the time I reached college, I had realized a few things.
1. I am strange. I will always be an outsider in any mainstream group.
2. I am not alone. There are many other strange people out there.
3. I am extremely lucky. I have family and friends who have supported me throughout my life.
4. Not all of the people I care about are so lucky. Many people I cared about went through perils much worse than teachers trying to harass them. I had friends who were in physical danger on a daily basis. I had friends whose families did not support them, and at times, actively hurt them.
5. I could try to make things better.

For me, the guiding purpose of every project I have undertaken over the last five years has had the same underlying principle. Create a community to create a safe space. SPARC, which is still in process, and will be a magnum opus of this. But also events I go to and help with, and events I run. Dorian's Parlor is a safe space. Patrick Rogers has been running Nocturne and Dracula's Ball for over a decade in Philly, giving countless people of all ages a place to go to every week where they aren't mocked for being who they are, but instead, are safe. Jeff Mach has been running events for longer than he will admit to, and Wicked Faire for six years now. Wicked Faire is often called a home for everything not mainstream. Kali Morgan, by owning and maintaining a high quality store, first as Fetishes Boutique, and now as Passional Boutique and Sexploratorium, creates a safe space for people who want to explore their sexuality, and don't want bad porn videos on the internet to be their guide. Not only do they sell merchandise, but they run regular classes so people can safely learn about the things that interest them.

These people, all of whom I am very proud to have worked with, and many others, have created safe spaces for all of us who don't fit into tidy little boxes. My goal has been, and continues to be, to build communities, so that there will always be safe spaces in Philadelphia and beyond for people like us.

So, that's why I do what it is that I do.
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How )
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So it's been a long time since I've made a public entry (or just about any other entry). So a few updates.

1. I've got several part time gigs, but am still looking for full time work. In the meantime, I have health insurance and some income, so I cannot complain.

2. I am done with biopsies! This is the most exciting. I went to the clinic earlier this week, and they told me that I was done. So long as my blood pressure and ecg look good every six months, I'm free from being stabbed in the neck.

3. I'm not sure if I mentioned this on LJ yet, but I have officially been sworn in as an American citizen.

4. I'm now running the monthly Steampunk event, Dorian's Parlor. In addition, I will be running the Steampunk dance night at PhilCon, followed by Diabolique Ball, of which I am now on the board of directors, followed by The Anachronism, then the next Dorian's, then Frozen in Time. Needless to say, I'm going to be very busy, and I love it.

5. In connection to Dorian's Parlor, I do have some volunteer positions open if anyone wants to help us get press releases out. If so, shoot me a comment or a message and I'll share the details.
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Cannot cope. Off to Mordor Maine.
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