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Thanks for a helluva ride!

The final edition of Lipstick and Lust

by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

Is it any wonder the stars are all sparkly tonight, like little diamond earrings, and the sky (which is the color of the Fabulous Daughter's eyes) is clear as glass? And that the movie I watched before coming to my fave home away from home - The Online Cafe at 14th and Pine - was one I reviewed back in the day when I was pretty much the only reviewer at SGN? Good times, good times - and a few horrid ones, my babies, like the one time a certain wicked someone locked me in our shared office in the middle of one of several dust-ups over the 22 years I've worked at SGN. I got out after shooting him a "muthafucka, I will kill your ass" look, and we left the door open after that. But I'm glad to report that most of the times I spent working for the paper, which I now leave for other pursuits, were much better than that moment.

Thumbing through the coffee-table book my honey bunny and life partner got me for Christmas which chronicles Playboy Playmates over the years, I have to say being a sort of Transgender Hugh Hefner wasn't the worst thing I could have spent time on. And, yes, I know some of you stiffer-spined folks think that comparison makes me kin to any two-headed demon monkeys out there, but c'est la vie. I like me some hot women, no matter the size, the hair color, or how much or little clothes they're wearing.

So, what can I say on this momentous occasion as I sit here and feel my body start to relax after the mega workout I put it through to keep ahead of my holiday treat frenzies? Well, I have to say it's been fun, and I give many shout-outs to my fans, and I'll always miss the folks who passed through my life on the way to the "other side," especially all of "the Michaels," and my sponsor, a wonderful Gay men I met when I first joined SGN. These folks were without equal, and some of the best people I've ever known on this planet. And thanks to the publicists (especially a certain very busty lass who my partner and I ogled and wanted to bed - together if we'd had our druthers), who let me see some fun films over time. Hope we'll stay in touch, so this one doesn't strain an already strained budget just to see some flicks that'll make me laugh, cry and go "awww."

In the over five years I've written this column, I've interviewed some very special women, helped (I'd like to think) some of you get clearer about how sexuality is more than what the media tells us it is, and come all the way out of not one, but three stuffy closets. And I met the love of my life, not once, but twice, and even forgive the one who couldn't stick around, being that he gave his life to the U.S. Army before he met me and it destroyed our relationship. My current life partner is proof the second time's often a charm, and proof that there's life after a really crappy Christmas Eve (last year's awful snowy one), and no matter the age, one can really have a "normal" life and be happy - normal for us, anyway.

Oh, and to a certain female City Councilperson: Although we had some edgy moments, I wish you only the best, as I do to the co-worker (being quite the diva when this one first joined SGN in 1987) who said the dance community would never take to me, so I should just let her cover dance in Seattle and back off. "Ha!" I say, and "ha!" again. And hope things are great for ya, honey, I really do. I miss that Seattle, the one where The Vogue was downtown, and my tarot business was nearly paying my rent.

I miss all the loves lost and look forward to more wild times at The Wet Spot with my honey bunny and slave, who I'm planning to spend the rest of my life with, doing outrageous scenes both in public and at The Digs (which make my neighbors hate me even more).

So, what current stuff has this one been up to, now that a whole new year is about to kick off and this one is ready to step off the mountain (like that tarot card "The Fool")? Well, my baby and I spent a lovely Christmas Eve with that one's family exchanging gifts, then went back to The Digs and had our own personal exchange. You should've seen the sweet little kimono this one gave that one, and seen "zee" in zee's hot red panties, too! Hotcha, and then some! There was much moaning and writhing as things heated up in the bedroom after our gift exchange, particularly after we both drooled over the Playmates for a time.

This one also traveled to the Fabulous Daughter's for Christmas and got even more gifts that this one loves (though my faves are still that book of Playmates and the deliciously warm scarf this one got from life partner's mom). What's not to like about not only having a stocking full of yummy things to wear (I'm wearing the tasty lip gloss from Sally's Beauty right now, and loving how kissable I look), but more folks to give me gifts, thanks to my life partner's sibs, mom and aunts? Oh baby, life is sooo good it oughta be a banquet, and it is.

I also picked up some of that heavenly Buxom Lash and Caudalie Moisture Masque at Sephora (always and forever my fave place to get makeovers beside Nordstrom) and love them both. And hey, as my choice for "best new beauty find" this year, I vote for Blackbird's beauty counter (located inside Blackbird at 5410 22nd Avenue NW in Ballard). True, one of the sales guys is pretty clueless when it comes to customer service for customers of, shall we say, an older generation (this one, honeys, was not pleased being dissed that way, but bought stuff anyway!), but the dreaded guy there is so far my fave salesperson outside of Sephora and Nordstrom. The collection of Saint and Sinner lipsticks and glosses (this one bought Sinner/Wine and loves it to death) is worth the sketchy service at this little boutique, believe me. Let's hope they improve on customer relations and remember "old folks" know a thing or two, too, and have cash to spend.

I also picked up some eau de toilette from the Dyptyque line, Eau L'ente and Tam Dao in the men's line (more unisex, actually, so everyone can find something wonderful to wear and be fabulous in from this line). The boxes are cute, too. I love how clean and uncluttered these scents smell, unlike that awful fruity/flowery Paris Hilton and Britney Spears crap that I think is designed for those under the age of true knowledge - say, around 15. True dat, I did like La Paris' Just Me and will wear it again someday, but I like the new DKNY men's fragrance much more, thank you very much. Try it and you'll see why for yourself. Elegant, classy and not too overly flowery - all things I like. Finally, if you haven't visited Metro on an ever-changing Broadway, then you must get in there and pick up one of the line of pearlescent shimmer powders by NYX. Good for eyelashes, cheeks, and so much more. Wherever you want to sparkle, put some of this one yourself.

So, my personal best and worst experiences, moments, whatever in the last 22 years (including this year, particularly)? Meeting the Japanese director of In the Mood For Love about 10 years ago during a SIFF interview, and finding out through his translator (and the look in his eyes) that he was flirting with me. Meeting the late Cal Anderson, and having him ask my advice on how to be more accessible to his constituents (keep in mind I was "the new kid on the block" back then, in 1990). Falling for my first soldier after a night at The Wet Spot turned into so much more. Losing him to war fatigue bites, but hey, better to have loved and all that, eh? Being there at the right moment to see former vice president Al Gore give a speech at Oddfellows (when it was still just The Oddfellows Building), me in a poshy, hastily bought long evening gown. Creating a stir with a sister wild woman (who's left town, not to return - miss you forever, Andrea) at a SIFF gala almost 20 years ago when we arrived hand in hand, her wearing an outfit I can only call "risque" at best.

Worst moments? Things declining to screaming fights after I brought my then-soldier love to "meet the family" at SGN one Saturday afternoon. Losing my first Gay male friend to AIDS. Watching stores like The Cramp and restaurants like Andy's Diner give way to what's uglifying Broadway now. I miss those go-go folk that used to dance in The Cramp's window every time I walked down that street, which ain't much these days. Getting tear-gassed during the WTO, riots and nearly getting shot in the face by a battle-fatigued police officer, younger than my daughter, as I ran for home after all hell had broken loose downtown.

Getting bronchitis three times over the next two years because of the permanent damage from the tear gas and never having the city apologize to me or anyone else - still waiting for that one. Having another bout of bronchitis during Norweson one year, so I could only lay in my hotel room, hacking my lungs out, listening to my lame-assed then-boyfriend tease me about coming over (he never did, of course). Getting the swine flu this past year. Ick, ick, ick!

Still, babies, it's been one helluva ride, and I'll always love all of you who kept reading my serial stories, and those folks who waved a banner of praise for me, even as certain "haters" tried to knock me at every turn. To all the lovely ladies who giggled and then let me photograph them and give them their 15 minutes of fame, mwah, mwah, mwah! And to gorgeous ladies Angela Russell, Monique Ming Laven and Rebecca Stevenson, I'll keep imagining fun, naughty things about you and pillows. But seriously, more power to each of you, and keep that lamp of truth held high. To the family of the deputy who died, my heart goes out to you. Know he crossed over peacefully. Also, viva to all of the others we have lost this year, including the great Michael Jackson and talented Les Paul.

What am I going to do now that I'm leaving SGN? More helping those spirits, either to cross over peacefully, or make their way back home to those they love. That and write horror, fall deeper in love (if that's possible) with my honey bunny/life partner, and have more adventures of the erotic and laugh-my-ass-off kind.

So, that's it, my dahlings, and here's a big, honking hug and kiss for all of you out there and know that Lipstick and Lust, (like yours truly) isn't going away, just going through some transition toward a better, brighter, more cleared-out space. Look for some more adventures via Bloggerspot.com in the future, and check out future writings in The Seattle Sinner and St. Louis Sinner and someday at Dark Discoveries Magazine (we hope). Stay warm, love life, love each other, be kind to the planet we live on, defend animal rights, mount campaigns to keep Sarah Palin out of office in 2012, and to bring Gay marriage out of the closet and into a legal future. And smile at your bus driver, especially if she's black, 'cause she needs the love, trust me on that one, and sistuhs, remember not all of us are the scum of the earth, eh? Peace out, mwah, buhbye, and stay tuned for a rebirth in the future.

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