Friday, October 2, 2015

You, the Sea and Me - A Poem by Patty Mooney

Photo credit: D Ramey Logan
I have put out to sea
with you in a 45-foot sloop.
It's 21 days before we sight other
humans on a ship that passes at dusk.
Four hours on watch and four hours off,
you and I share the helm but not the berth.
When you sleep I count the floating containers
shrugged off and left to bob like geometric icebergs,
a Pacific conundrum.
Hit one and we're finished.
My eyes are filled with horizon
and the ghosts of those phantom
crates as you rock in the arms of your mother
when a light
surfaces, advancing upon us.
Panicked, I rouse you, certain it is
some locomotive cruiser, bound to chop
our hull clean through, its light too bright to see us.

you join me
at the helm, gaze
toward our fate silently
and surely underway. You
grin like a cult leader.
Not to worry,
it seems we have
set a bearing toward Jupiter.
You return
to the star-lit folds
of your berth as I alone
await the brazen approach
of the planet and all its moons.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Happy Bowls - A Poem by Patty Mooney

Liquor in Jello cubes
at Fat Tuesday's.
Birthday girl
has four
between herself.
Policeman: "Blow,
blow, blow, blow, blow,
blow, blow, blow, blow.
Thank you."
She can barely stand.
She can barely talk.
21, so young to be so
consumed with
what's consuming her.

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Sex Positive Porn: Candida Royalle

This is a story that I wrote many years ago after meeting Candida Royalle at an Adult Video Show in Las Vegas. She and I, as "fellow feminists," sat down together and chatted about a topic near and dear to her, and to most men and women, should they choose to admit it - sex. I just learned that she passed away this past Monday after a long battle with ovarian cancer. It was a quite a shock. So as an homage to Ms. Royalle whom I remember as beautiful, forthright, and quite talented, I am re-printing my article, 

"Sex Positive Porn: Candida Royalle"

Candida Royalle was once best-known for making the kind of movies that women, particularly feminists abhor. But these days she's making what's she calls porn for women, the kinds of films even feminists can enjoy.

Her Femme Productions, which Royalle started in 1984, after a 25-film run as porn queen, produces X-rated films with sex-positive messages. These are movies in which the couples hold hands, look into each other's eyes and cuddle. There are no misogynist acts or "money shots" -- the man pushing the woman's face into his crotch so he can ejaculate on her face -- so prevalent in traditional porn. "I am trying to create a genre of adult/erotic movies that are sex-positive," said Royalle. "That make people feel good about their sexuality, that make women feel good about their desire and their sexuality, that women and men can share together, and that might enhance their sexual erotic lives. I hope to open the doors of communication a little, help men understand more about what women want. I want to show another perspective with a lot more artistry, sensitivity and sense of connectedness between the couples onscreen. "A big thing for me is validating a woman's sense of sexual self. One of the best compliments I got was [from] my 21-year-old cousin who was staying here at my house. She watched my films . . . .and she said it made her more accepting of her own sexual desire. She said that she felt more comfortable with her sexuality, and that the films had given her some new ideas. In fact, her boyfriend of four years had come to see her, they'd been apart for about two months, and she tried something new on him, and he said, 'I don't even want to know how you learned to do that!' And she thought to herself, 'What do you think? I'm staying at Candida Royalle's house.'"

One Royalle film, "One Size Fits All," begins in a vintage clothing shop where a strangely seductive dress shows up for sale and leads the viewer on a journey of sizzling sexual intrigue. Unaware of how this dress has played a role in each of their lives, a group of friends recount in hilarious detail their own adventures while wearing this provocative playsuit. The film won an award for safe sex without compromising eroticism from Adult Video News (AVN), said Royalle.

Her "Eyes of Desire" is a more serious look at voyeurism and excessive desire. It's about a young woman who feels dissatisfied with her life and then discovers the thrill of voyeurism by focusing on a mysterious man. She thinks she's spying, and discovers that someone else is observing her. The film's second part continues after she and the mysterious stranger meet up, and he pushes her to sexual limits. She comes to find she is losing herself, and has to make a painful choice.

Candida and I are conversing at a small table in the booth of Adam and Eve -- the nation's leading adult mail-order catalog and exclusive distributor for the Femme line of videos -- at the Adult Video Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The show is packed with big-busted scantily clad women signing autographs and posing for photographs.

Royalle looks like anyone's conception of a blonde bombshell: long blonde hair, strong, pretty features, a beautiful smile, and a royal air. She won't divulge her exact age, but says "In my 40's. I'm old enough to know and young enough to enjoy it. It just gets better. I find the older I'm getting, the more sensitive and aroused I'm getting. And I have read studies that came out in the last week or so, that women experience a lot more pleasure and comfort with their sexuality in their 40's and 50's than younger women, who actually feel pain in intercourse."

Candida Royalle is a native New Yorker who attended fashion school and City University. Moving to San Francisco, she became active in the avant-garde theater scene, performing with the infamous Cockettes, the Angels of Light and the late Divine. She later moved on to sing in jazz clubs and classical choruses. It was in San Francisco, in the more liberal 70's, that Ms. Royalle turned to X-rated movies "for additional income," as her official resume puts it. She isn't apologetic about it.

"I haven't been in a porn film since 1980," she says. "And I think it's perfectly fine and acceptable for a woman to use her sexuality and her figure to make a living, as it is for a man. I think that's freedom of choice. But it's very, very tough in a culture that buys and uses the material in record numbers while at the same time condemns the very women who perform in them. And of course, they're condemning them because it's a way of handling their own guilt and shame."

When Royalle came up with the idea to start Femme Productions, people in the industry were skeptical and she had to raise her own money. Now she calls herself an inspiration to the young women in the porn industry.

Her resume notes that she is also in demand as a speaker at sex conferences, the American Psychiatric Association and Ivy League universities. She also hopes to write a book on female sexual self-empowerment which will also be in part autobiography.

At the moment she is single and childfree. She was married for nine years to "a wonderful man I'm still friends with. I have been so free and indulged myself for so many years, I might be ready for a child.  I've done everything I've wanted to do. If I start dating, I tell the man right away, 'I'm not going to use birth control,' that is, I want a child. So if he's really serious about me and creating a family, we can continue."

At the moment she is thoroughly involved with a young industrial designer from Holland in creating a family of another kind: A line of "personal products" called Natural Contours. With a gleam in her eyes, she reaches under the table for her handbag and pulls out three vibrators, which she places in front of me. The little pastel-colored units, which could pass as cell phones to a man on horseback, are ergonomically designed to fit the contours of a woman's hands and body. They have three speeds. Based on her informal research, Royalle found that "vibrators are incredibly popular with women, except the quality is poor, they are crude looking and they break easily. Natural Contours are tasteful and discreet. A woman can throw one into her purse and she wouldn't be embarrassed to travel with it."

She laughs, thinking of her own experience at an airport security point traveling from New York to North Carolina. The man and woman running the x-ray machine asked her to open the metallic case with the Femme logo on it. When she did, they both looked puzzled.

Then the woman asked, "Massagers?"

Candida nodded.

"Very nice!"

Patty Mooney is a VP, Video Producer, Sound Technician, Video Editor and Teleprompter at award-winning San Diego video production company, Crystal Pyramid Productions.

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Kind and Gentle Man, My Dad - by Patty K Mooney

I now belong to that club whose members have lost their fathers and who will tell you to appreciate the time you spend with yours. Hopefully your father is (or was) a kind and gentle man, like mine. I know how fortunate I am to have had a father like that, someone who made room for me to be the person I am today.

Although he was a devout Catholic, he never complained that I stopped attending church at the age of 16. He never stood in my way, even when at the age of 19 I decided to pull up my roots, leave Michigan and hitchhike to California. And when I was making the stupidest mistake of my life at the age of 20 in living with a man who turned out to be less than stellar, my father never admonished me. I had all the space I needed to grow, learn, fail, and then succeed. Let me also note here that even on his death bed, I heard not one word of complaint from him, even when it was evident (through grimaces and groans) that he was in pain.

Many songs have been penned and sung about how you, the child, go gallavanting off into your own world, leaving your parents behind, but they are always there to catch you if you fall. My dad was indeed that constant presence, that rock of the family, who always greeted his six children with a smile and a bear hug whenever we returned to Michigan for a visit. And when our bags were packed to leave and we'd be heading out the door for the airport, he'd say, "You're leaving?! Why, you just got here!" The tables were certainly turned as I sat beside him, holding his hand, thinking a very similar thought. "You're leaving?! I just got to know you!"

It's a curious irony that sometimes you'll learn more about your dad at his funeral than you possibly knew in his lifetime. Two of his friends, both Catholic nuns, each told me (apart from each other) that "Your father was a saint. He should be canonized." I learned that Dad had been a faithful donator of blood to the Red Cross. Not every few years, no. It was many times each year. He also volunteered at St. Pat's Senior Center in Detroit for many years, assisting seniors with filing taxes, and other legal affairs.

He looked a lot like Abraham Lincoln in his open casket, and I mean that he looked very statesmanlike. But he was far more handsome than poor old Abe. You should have seen us, his six children, all pallbearers. It was quite a feeling to lift that casket into the back of the hearse, and then to see that hearse pull away, with just a glimpse of the red rose bouquet in the back window as the vehicle disappeared.

It was gratifying to see that his funeral was well attended by his friends, even though at 85, he had outlived many of them. Each related their own tales about Joe Mooney, and it turns out that my tall and handsome father was a caring, compassionate and charming guy who will be missed by many. I am so glad I could be with him, look into his eyes, and be there when he said, "I love you" just one last time.

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Friday, August 28, 2015

Quotes About Mountain Biking - Collected by Bill Strickland

Cavorting after Rockhopper South Mountain Bike Race, Big Bear Lakes, California, 1987

“As a kid I had a dream—I wanted to own my own bicycle. When I got the bike I must have been the happiest boy in Liverpool, maybe in the world. I lived for that bike. Most of the kids left their bikes in the backyard at night. Not me. I insisted on taking mine indoors and the first night I even kept it by my bed. Funny, although it was important to me then, I can’t remember what finally happened to it.”
-John Lennon

“Great things are done when men and mountains meet. This is not done by jostling in the street.”
-William Blake

“The spirit of mountain biking is cool. I hope racing never dominates it.”
-Susan DeMattei

“You’re moving through a wonderful natural environment and working on balance, timing, depth perception, judgment…It forms kind of a ballet.”
-Charlie Cunningham

“From the age of four, when I got my first bike, riding was the main focus for me. Almost every day I was on the thing, and I just loved riding. It becomes a part of your body, and all the movements just become one hundred percent natural. When you get to that point on a mountain bike, then you’re a good rider.”
-John Tomac

“The thing about picking a good line is that you’re already feeling great about just being on a bike, just rolling along, and then something starts to feel special, something you can’t put your fingers on, but your just realize that you’re not overbraking, not oversteering, that the tires are carving like skates, that you come out of corners with momentum, and that it almost feels like that trail is controlling the bike and you’re just along for the ride. I haven’t a clue how to achieve it, but I know that I live for that: the perfect line.”
-Steve Casimiro

“You know right away in mountain biking if you’re on or not.”
-Alison Sydor

“Riding in snow is like learning to ski. There’s a definite learning curve, and an appreciation of freaked-out recoveries that comes with time. Sooner or later, you’ll gain a whole new admiration for funky moves.’
-Tom Winter

“Snow riding is a little crazy and, thus, good for the spirit. Your tires produce a musical crunch and artistic tread patterns. Anyone who says that mountain bikes are always occupied with speed and precision doesn’t have a clue.”
-Tim Blumenthal

“Riding trails with your dog restores a bond lost in some evolutionary belch. You travel at the same speed, over the same terrain, neither of you slowing to compensate for the other. You’re equal playmates with mud in your teeth.”
-Allison Glock

“Mountain biking helps people become environmentalists. A mountain bike is a vehicle to appreciate the backcountry.”
- Ned Overend

“To be a cyclist is to be a student of pain. Sure the sport is fun with its seamless pacelines and secret singletrack, its post-ride pig-outs and soft muscles grown wonderfully hard. But at cycling’s core lies pain, hard and bitter as the pit inside a juicy peach. It doesn’t matter if you’re sprinting for an Olympic gold medal, a town sign, a trailhead, or the rest stop with the homemade brownies. If you never confront pain, you’re missing the essence of the sport.”
-Scott Martin

“We all possess a predilection for lostness, some of us more than others. But lostness, like all talents, must be nurtured, developed and practiced in order to enjoy its benefits. Many of my friends know where they have been, where they are and where they are headed. How sad.”
-Marla Streb

*Quotes provided by "The Quotable Cyclist" - Great moments of Bicycling Wisdom, Inspiration, and Humor - by Bill Strickland*

Friday, August 21, 2015

Desert Canyon - A Poem and Photograph by Patty Mooney

When I get home
and peel
my clothes off
I see how the desert loved me:
random scratches, ocatillo kisses,
yucca piercings, my skin
dotted in angry reds,
no-see-'em bites.
On my thigh
in the shape
of a mirthful sun,
a bruise
inches from the palm-fringed
canyon, where my legs part
in the searing heat.

* As published in Red Cedar Review

Friday, August 14, 2015

His Spirit of Choice - A Poem by Patty Mooney

His spirit
of choice
is gin.
at letting
no one
in, "I
given it
any thought,"
he replies
to all queries,
to his den
where no
others enter
and the television
achieves its

As published in the Acorn Review