A few months ago now, I posted the notice that the site would be going away. Right about the same time, I reworked my email, so that I no longer have (quite literally) several thousand spam emails per week to scour for real messages.

Since then I've had so many messages wishing me well, and thanking me for the site, that I've been very touched, and I've been trying to decide whether I can leave it online after all.

Unfortunately, explaining the problems that the site would cause / has caused me isn't something I can go into here. One of the reasons I stopped maintaining it was that I knew that I'd have problems talking about it, and I'd rather not write than censor myself. And I can't make that any less cryptic now than when I first mentioned it.

Well, there's another reason, too. The design is way overdue for a revamp. In 1997 it wasn't such a big deal. In 1999, I was one of the early "bloggers" - that term didn't exist. Much of what I did the hard way, first with FrontPage, then with my own scripts, is now trivial in WordPress. And so there are hundreds of thousands of highly-polished websites, and my crude little story place. I feel like I really need to update it, to justify keeping it online, and I don't have the time.

What gives me the most pause, though, is the number of people who've asked me to find a way to keep the stories online, even if I don't maintain the site. That's something I don't want to do. I have varying degrees of pride in my writings, and I don't want some pay-for-porn site taking them for redistribution. So either they have to be gone for ever - or I need to leave the site online.

Now I'm wondering - with the number of people who are obviously still getting enjoyment from them, maybe I should just leave the site up, with as little maintenance as possible. And really, it's the journal more than the stories that I don't want to keep around. That and the maintenance effort. Since I've stopped writing the journal, and I'm no longer deluged in spam, maybe I should leave helen.org up.

So, maybe, if I can convince myself that I can update the site slowly, and not worry about its appearance for now, I can leave it around with a low effort.

There's another reason to leave it up. I've been thinking about writing again. In fact I've written one story, though it still needs rework, and I have another one pretty much thought through.

The one I've almost finished - no, it isn't in response to demand, but I'd have to say that there has been a demand, and one that I hoped that Jill would meet, one day... for something other than a conventional hetero relationship. In "Roomies," when I post it, we have two bi-curious girls learning more than they'd intended.

Over two years after my last entry, I'd like to give a few more updates, who / what / where.

Brian's still in London. Or nearby, anyway. He and the singer broke up a long time ago. We trade email occasionally. I think we both have a lot of regrets, but I guess there's more to life than love. His career is going well, but from comments he's made, I think that if he were ever to believe that I could become the settling-down kind, he'd be looking for a way back.

For my part, as much as I once loved him, I'm not a settling-down girl. That's going to be harder for others to accept as I get older, I know, but I'm not. I'm thirty-six now. It's hard to believe that it was eight years ago now that I first started dating Brian, but it was. It has been five years since we were officially not a couple, and though I've had some difficult periods over those five years, I really have relished my freedom.

A single woman of my age is usually seen as career-centric. At least that stereotype is better than "spinster" or "old maid," and there is some truth to it - my career is progressing very well. I'm the senior project manager in the company now, responsible for three major projects worth - well, a lot. More than I'd have anticipated when I started down this path. I'm working on my MBA.

But in my case, it's largely a useful fiction. Career women are acceptable. Hedonists with an active love life are not. So if the world sees me as a career woman, unwilling to make time for husband and family, that's fine. I know what's important in my life.

It probably sounds bad, but I miss Clarice more than I miss Brian. However, she and Rob have started talking about moving back here. Now that the job market has improved, it's a possibility. Rob would have to change jobs, but Clarice was doing quite well for herself before the marriage, and she's been talking to her old employers. Mara Helen is at school, and there's good after-school care available here. Her job could be extremely stressful, but it paid well, and she was very good at it. It seems that it wouldn't take long for her to come up to speed with the last few years' changes.

Plus Rob could get work here; if not at his current level, between the two of them they'd still be much better off than they are with the California cost of living. Both of them would prefer for Mara Helen to grow up in Texas. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but I think I may get my brother and my sister-in-law / best friend back.

I re-read my entire journal today. Some parts aren't easy for me to remember. There are some horrible spelling and grammar mistakes, too. I really do need to tweak it, if I'm not taking it offline completely.

One of the individuals that you met so often is no longer with us, and I wish I'd added him to my last update.

Selky, my fluffy fat ex-tomcat, became ill again in mid-2001. I'd known he was on borrowed time; cats don't recover from kidney problems. Changing his food and getting him drinking gave him a new lease of life, but it was never going to be permament. I will always be grateful that his end came while I was not travelling, and while Brian was there to help me cope. Remembering Selky makes my eyes sting even after over five years.

(I see in reading the journal that I wrote about his "liver problems" at first. I was sure that's what the vet had told me about his test results, but it was the poor kid's kidneys that were failing.)

Maybe the most unexpected news, after my last update is about Yolanda and Laurel. Turns out that Laurel was completely wrong, there was a misunderstanding between the two which led to a huge shouting match, each of them blaming the other for cutting me out of their lives. They invited me out partying with them, and with Bev and her new girlfriend Paula (then-new, that is, they're still together, and seem to be doing better than Bev has in the past), and tried to explain the situation to me. Nobody really seemed to understand how the misunderstanding had started, and we ended up with all hugs and smiles - and me having as much trouble extricating myself from the twins' propositions as Brian had done in the past.

Not that I'm completely opposed to their offers - and, for that matter, not that I've always passed them up. Yolanda alone can be, umm, quite persuasive - and very energetic.

Charles is different. You have to catch him between his obsessions, which are usually plays and actresses, and which invariably leave him depressed for weeks. For me it's not generally worth all the walking on eggshells until the time is right, but the twins love him dearly. They're trying to persuade me to take a small part in a play he's planning to direct in a few months. I'm not sure either my schedule or my sanity would permit it.

As for Laurel, I'm truly glad that she's back in my life. If there's one thing I love, its to see peoples reactions when I introduce the tall, slender blonde as my date. I don't go out with her all that often, but when it works out for us, she's a fun date. Witty, pretty, and passionate - and on those few occasions where the evening doesn't end in bed, she doesn't get resentful like a guy would.

But then, knowing that there will be no recriminations, no demands, no drama, no expectations on each other if we do sleep together - well, there isn't much reason to deny ourselves the opportunity, and I have no regrets when she leaves in the morning.

Especially if she treats me to one of her incredible massages first...


Roomies is now online. I hope it is worth the almost three-year wait - and the almost ten year wait to be my first same-sex encounter.


Two stories in two days - you'd be forgiven for thinking that instead of taking the site offline, I've started writing again.

Well, maybe.

These two ideas have both been around for a long time. I must have started Mr. Right early last year, when I thought I might want to revitalize helen.org. Then I decided that I didn't really want it around at all, etc.

I still haven't reached a firm decision, but since I had the material sitting around...

I see as I re-read my journal just how many times I'd intended to take it offline, and I remember the reasoning for each one of them. Then the project that I couldn't talk about came along, and ending the journal seemed the right thing to do. Was the right thing to do, though in the end the project didn't happen, and my reasons last year were different. And I'd reached what seemed like a perfect place to finish the tale of my life.

Now, though, I look back on the time since April 2001, and so much changed - and I remember it, but not in the same way that I can recall the feelings of the previous two-and-a-half years. So many things come back to me. The ring. Clarice's wedding. How a night with Dale cured my long-term funk... I have none of that for the last five years, now, and I regret it.

I couldn't keep a diary. Not a private diary, because - what's the point? Well, yes, I know that this is exactly the point, that I could hold on to the memories - but unless I'm trying to be creative and play my would-be exhibitionist games, I can't keep up the interest, and my writing is dry and boring. My Outlook calendar would make better reading.

So I'm even thinking - maybe I should occasionally add an entry or two to the journal. Not in the same level of detail as before, I think, but a little more than "hey, I just wrote a story, check it out".

If I do, then instead of shuttering the site, or even freezing it, I'll probably look at redesigning it, getting the stories and journal into a more consistent form, maybe not as pretty as a blogging package would be, but I'm pretty much married to the freedom my own journaling scripts give me, and I don't believe there's a blogging package available that manages stories well. I've seen a few writers try.

I'm also finding that I have more to say about my current situation than I expected. With the twins, for instance. I've either said too much or too little about them. Yes, I've spent more than one night with Yolanda now, and several with Laurel. But... together? No. And the why is something that I'm not sure I understand, and would probably take pages to try to explain, but I think it has more to do with what they are to each other than my own feelings about three-way sex (though that's a part of it, too).

And though I've had a wonderful time with each, I don't think I can call myself "bi," or even "bi-curious," (well, not since Clarice became off-limits, anyway :). I don't find myself attracted to Bev's friends. (Maybe some of the guys, but they're not attracted to me :). Yolanda and Laurel are Yolanda and Laurel, and I don't think there's a better way to explain it than that.

Recently I've been seeing a guy named Alex, who's very good to be with, and who has always claimed that he's not looking for a long-term relationship, but who has begun to sound like he wants to be in one anyway, so it's time for a talk. Tomorrow night we're going to a Valentine's party, so it might be good if we have the talk today, since Valentine's is about Eternal Love (And Candy!).

The twins will be there. I wonder if they would be willing to cure him of long-term thinking... hmmm...

By the way, I still work with Dale, as the account manager for one of my projects. I love working with him. I love him in a quite real sense, but we've never repeated that night. It wouldn't be the same, and Dale has never given me any reason to think he regrets either that night or that there have been none since.

Oh, and he and I are damn good dance partners, now. We've done a couple of showcase Western dances at company parties. He looks as good in boots and jeans as any of the younger guys.


Another thing I miss is the "storyboard" BBS. I liked the feedback that I received there. Even before I quit maintaining the site so many years ago that BBS software had failed.

I haven't seriously looked into replacing it with an up-to-date BBS. Now that they're ubiquitous, they're also heavily abused and spammed. I'm not sure I'd want to take the time to police one.

Of course, the storyboard was also the source of the message about "nothing more to see here" when I hadn't written anything for a couple of months, which upset me far more than it should have, and then that insane hoax about my dying of cancer. I still fail to understand the mentality of anyone who'd post a message like that. I know it upset a lot of readers.

Anyway, if you have any thoughts on whether I should try to support a BBS, please email me, especially if you have any suggestions on simple, secure BBS packages.

I'm completely caught up with email! There was a time when I didn't think that would ever be possible. I never even see most spam, now. This address is cleaner than my work email, maybe 5-10 spam messages per week, rather than hundreds per day.

Happy Valentine's Day, y'all! Please don't drink and drive, and if the day is as good as you want it to be, don't forget to practice safe sex!

(Remember that practice makes perfect...)


So, Alex behaved himself at the party. No protestations of undying love, or anything like that. Of course, we did have our talk the previous evening. He claimed we were "on the same page," and I don't really see a reason to doubt him, but we'll see. I'm beginning to feel a little restless anyway.

I found a reference to my journal online a while ago. I occasionally look for links to the site; mostly they pop up on the kinds of adult site that I would prefer not to be associated with, but once in a while I get a pleasant surprise. This one section described my journal itself, rather than my writing, as a chronicle of failed relationships. It also said that I'd been brutally honest about them.

Now, I have to say that this was at least second-hand, so I'm not really sure what the guy who visited was actually thinking, but I find it surprising that anyone would read my journal as being about "failed relationships." Or at least that I would see them that way. Maybe he does, but why would he consider me "brutally honest" if he recognizes that I don't consider them failures?

Either way, whether he believes that I'm cataloging what I see as failures, or whether he believes that I'm a pathetic individual who can't recognize her own failures, there's clearly a massive disconnect between my life and his experience. Which is neither wrong nor surprising, but does show how much we impose our own life experiences on our assumptions about others.

Which, I guess, is why I feel that I'm hiding behind the "career woman" label. It is a facade, but one that others can relate to, allowing them to overlook the fact that I'm not following any of the conventional social tracks open to women. I don't mind using my career this way, and as I've mentioned, I kinda like tweaking noses by breaking expectations, but I do wish I could be accepted as I really am, rather than as yet another track-follower.

It is interesting to see how others ascribe motivations and expectations to me, and I wonder how much I do that to them. Probably a lot more than I realize.