Putting Down Roots

I had BigD snap this picture of me in our front yard next to the avocado tree he recently planted because we haven't had a goofy, "everyday" kind of photo here in the blog for awhile. I'm trying to remind myself daily that baby steps towards making ourselves feel like we are really home are better than no steps at all.

At the risk of sounding repetitive, I guess I didn't really understand what was going to be required of me to pull off this Return To California Living Thing. Throw in some serious situations like my mom having an emergency surgery to remove an intestinal blockage when we thought she only had food poisoning or stomach flu and then needing me to help her out while she was stuck recovering in the hospital for several weeks -- only to have BigD get sick the day after my mom was released. His illness wasn't anything near as serious as my mom's (his was probably only stomach flu) but I'd been running on empty for awhile and thought I was finally gonna catch a break. Today he felt good enough to go out to eat and drive around town with me for a few hours, so I'm sure I'll get to go back to a more normal (as in normal for me) schedule soon.

Speaking of schedules and the like, there have been some pretty major changes since I last blogged:

--I am no longer using CamZ/CamWorld to broadcast myself for my 1 hour weekly group webcam performances (that members of AmberLily.net & NymphFeet.com had access to) OR for my private one-on-one cam sessions. The new platform doesn't work for me, and so I've finally had to move on. Thankfully, for the time being, my PrivateCamz archives are still available for those continuing subscriptions to my sites but no new shows will be added. I have tried to take a stab at making a quickie update My Webcam Show Pages on AmberLily.net's free area but they haven't been fully fleshed out and are painfully incomplete. I'd been telling folks following me on twitter where to find me for private webcam sessions and after I figured out that my new webcamming home would be Streamate -- I thought it was time I let everyone know. It took me a couple of months to figure out how to use a system that is so different from what I was used to with CamZ/PrivateCamZ, but I can happily report that for my private/semi-private sessions it's working *extremely* well for me. The quality of their service is awesome, and so they're my #1 choice for webcamming.

I know that their HD system doesn't work for everyone so that's why I caved in and added the Skype Show Option (paying via XXXCamBabes or by Snail Mail if you're a member of my sites) but with everything that's been going on lately -- doing any indie-camming beyond the hours I'm already logged in for shows on Streamate has been near impossible. Plus, and I hate to say this, I'm too generous with my time with these type of shows, frequently running way over the time purchased, and I could probably stand to increase my rates because I priced them too low when compared to what I'm listed at on Streamate (and there is the issue of dealing with the additional headaches with scheduling and converting timezones and stuff). It's either that or do away with the option altogether, so stay tuned on changes for that. I really want to make a separate page on my site explaining how all of these methods work since it can be confusing.

--Not too long after those last blog entries I wrote complaining about my lack-of-reliable computer, I went out and purchased an iMac and now have the right equipment for broadcasting my webcam in HD and doing other stuff (once I get a handle on all of the different Mac-Only software since I'm not running a Windows sim on this machine) like video editing. I still need another computer and am going to figure out some kind of solution soon because on the adult webmastering front I'm sucking and would like to stop sucking and DO IT ALL, ALL THE TIME. Yeah, baby.

--I *did* do some gambling on a SoCal stripclub back in March and have discovered that being a stripper in Southern California is pretty shitty. Too shitty for me. I'm not even going to make a vague attempt to sugarcoat it. I shopped around the area and found that while they all looked different, and yes, there are a few that are pretty much brothels-in-disguise -- none of them work for me. The clubs here expect WAY too much in terms of house fees. At the one club and only club that I actually worked, the Bare N Legal in Pomona (right next to Cal Poly Pomona, so it wasn't as skeazy as some of you locals might be thinking) they took 40% of all of my lapdance money AND THEN expected me to tip out the DJ 20%, tip the manager/security on a sliding scale based on my original earnings (anything beyond $200 was $10, anything beyond $400 was $20 & so on), and then tip the waitress at least $5. The dance prices were listed on the wall so there wasn't any wiggle room (har-dee-har-har!) with trying to negotiate for more. All lapdances had to be paid in advance to the bar which was also weird. I would receive two tickets, one for me to keep to turn in at the end of the night and the other I had to go run to the manager BEFORE I could take my customer to the VIP area to dance. Lame, lame, lame. I guess if the club had been busier and had lots and lots of customers who were easy to sell to dances to then I'd still be there but it wasn't. None of the clubs here are near as active as the clubs in Memphis (even when clubs there were S-L-O-W). There's just a different perception about stripclub things here, and it's not that much fun or even remotely profitable.

I enjoyed hanging out with the girls and the management folks were polite, professional, and tried to be helpful, but sitting for hours bored in the dressing room does not a happy AmberLily-The-Stripper make. The thing that really put a nail in the coffin for me was the night that one of my regulars stood me up, and I kept waiting for him even when I wanted to desperately go home because it was dead --and I was tired of watching the wacko hardcore porn on the big screens. Yup, you read that correctly, the club's management routinely chose to show foreign porno on two big screens thoughtfully located on either side of the stage. (And I thought competing with football and NASCAR was bad... Jeesh!) In truth, they did run a few reality porn titles that were worth watching but most of what I was seeing was CREEPY BAD AWFUL. I don't enjoy watching porn where the performers aren't digging what they're doing or at least able to decently fake like they're having a good time and this stuff was blatantly of that "They Look Like They Hate Their Lives & Want To Die & So Do I If I Have To Keep Watching This!" variety. Blech.

So, while I might like to meet with the folks I've connected with via the interwebs in person and give them hot, steamy lapdances -- unless they're willing to pay me obscene amounts of money in advance -- I won't be dancing in Southern California. The Bare N Legal made it official for me: the exotic dancing portion of my life is over, I think, and I'm okay with that. I wasn't when we were living in Seattle. I was really just starting to have the stripper hustle down when we moved out of Memphis, but now, now I'm feeling as though I really have the webcam performer bit down. I'm glad for it. The way I see it, it can only get better!

And on that note, I see that I've spent a long time trying to get us caught up here, all rambly blogstyle. Appreciate that you made it all the way through! Whoo hoo! See ya back on over at twitter where with that 140 character limit, I can't go all out of control like I do here.


    To make the avocado tree really grow awesomely well - use the organic growth spikes and stuff two or three in the ground around it - and watch it really gain strength and produce. Stuff rocks.

    Appreciate the Avocado-Grow-Bigger tip! Will have to pass that along to BigD. :)