Aug 19

A Musical Interlude

I ran across this video last night. It’s another performance video from 2009 when we did a little side project that didn’t have a name.

It’s an acoustic version of Melissa Etheridge’s “Like the Way I Do.”

My neck and shoulders were incredibly sore the next day, I realize now that it’s because I was channeling Joe Cocker and Stevie Wonder’s love child.

Also – I’m spending the day over at OurBigGayborhood.com where I’ve put out my list of Things I Have Learned from Watching Porn.

Enjoy!

Aug 26

Guest Post: That Sounds Dirty

Hey gang, Karl here from SecondHand Tryptophan. A couple of weeks ago, Jester did a nice little guest post for me, so I thought I’d return the favor. While I’m pulling out what little hair I have, trying not to smoke, I’ve been using lots of swear words. And it occurred to me that there are a lot of words that sound offensive, but aren’t.

Here now, are some of those words:

  • Scrum
  • Pianist
  • Shuttlecock
  • Titular
  • Uranus
  • Cockamamie
  • Coxswain
  • Pussywillow
  • Masticate
  • Cumberbund
  • Penalize
  • Cockpit
  • Titicaca
  • Kumquat
  • Niggardly
  • Vacillate
  • Angina
  • Shittake
  • Caulk
  • Rectify

How about you? What words can you come up with?

Aug 12

Summer of Love

I’m posting over at Karl’s today. Obviously, since I am so busy, I’m just going to point you over there to read it.

You think I could manage to write two posts today? Not bloody likely.

Read it now!

 
Jul 15

Guest Post: Can a Good Girl Gone Bad Get Back to Good?

[From Jester: Every so often, I find myself in possession of a story that comes to me from a source outside of my normal circle of blogs. (Shut up, I do too know people outside the PRB!) It happens on occasion that someone I know even tangentially feels the need to get something off their chest in a place where no one knows them or where whatever judgment is cast upon them doesn’t seem as terrible. Today’s post is one of those occasions. Don’t ask me who wrote it, because I won’t tell you. Don’t ask me any questions about it, because I don’t know the answers. I do know that I will pass along any responses should the author wish to reply to comments.

If anyone else out there reading this would like a place to post something anonymously, you can contact me via email on my contact page, Instant Messenger as JesterNCal (yahoo or aim), twitter, or telepathically if you have the means to do so.]

Okay. Not sure where to begin with this. I’ve never really told anyone about this mostly because I suppose I didn’t want anyone to know what a hypocrite I am. And a loser. And all the other bad things I can possibly think of myself. But now that I have royally fucked up my life (and yet hardly anyone knows…interesting…) I need to talk about it with people who have no clue who I am. So here goes my post….

He was larger than life. When he smiled at you, your knees became jello and you suddenly couldn’t remember your name. In the moment it took you to recover, he would walk up to you, slide his hand around your waist and say hello, sending you right back into your former state. Handsome, rugged and charming, I knew exactly who he was and what his game was, regardless of what he did to my undergarments. No sir, I wanted nothing to do with this player.

He had been married a long time. Married, I suppose, was really a loose term, though. Each of them had freedom to pursue whatever options they wanted as long as they returned to their shared bed at the end of the day. I found it ridiculous. Preposterous that people would live that way. Cheapen their love and dedication. Cheapen the institution of marriage. I clung to my husband whenever they were around so that there were no misconceptions about our interest in such games. We all became good friends and during a frank conversation, they let us know that they were well aware that we were not interested. Whatever their personal habits, they were good friends and it was nice to feel part of a group again. I found it easy to be my conservative faith-driven self and be accepted for who I was. They all knew I didn’t judge. How could I? Then someone might look at me…and even then, I knew I was no example of a spirit-filled life. My heart believed, but I often made the wrong choices. Probably like most of us.

About a year into our friendship, something happened one evening that made me begin to question everything.

When saying our goodbyes, (let’s call him) Jim wrapped his arms around me and gently bit my neck. I smiled and waved and went home, replaying that moment for the next few weeks. I knew he was “bad”. I knew his habits. I loved my husband and would never. Ever. But he wasn’t around much, and when he was, he was buried in a book or just not emotionally there. I was so lonely and it felt so good to feel that attraction. I tried not to think about it. I tried to just not participate in the flirting. But Jim always found me in the corner and put his arms around me, weakening my resolve.

The first time was almost silly. We had both had too much to drink and found ourselves alone. I berated myself for thinking I could do something like that. That I would jeopardize my marriage and my family by being unfaithful. I was sick at the thought of what my husband would think. But he didn’t notice any changes in me. He didn’t know. In fact, I don’t think he realized I was there most of the time. All justifications, I know. And so we continued. For a year.

His wife knew about most of it. In fact, she was involved several times. She approved the involvement until he began spending more time with me than with her. Then she cut it off abruptly. We tried to abide, but were unable to distance ourselves from one another. I think that’s when the countdown began.

The end came, as we knew it would, after a weekend away. We had managed to escape our families and spend a blissful four days alone together. This was to be a goodbye, in my mind. I would fade away and stop calling. Stop visiting. Stop being anything to him. Our relationship had deepened exponentially and we freely admitted loving one another. This might very well kill me, I thought. Neither of us would ever leave our spouses, however, and there was just no point to our relationship. I was so sure I would be a fling. Just another one of his women. It would have been easier. I begged him to get back to his regular games and break my heart so I could just be through with him. But he wouldn’t. He saw no one else the year he was with me. There were moments…only moments…when we almost spoke out loud what we might be willing to do in order to be together. But the reality was what it was and our time needed to end. Our drive home was quiet and tearful. We said goodbye, promising to be friends. Just friends.

I found myself unrecognizable. I had developed habits of lies and betrayal for no purpose other than to be devastated when it all (predictably) came to an end. The tragedy of forbidden love and the reality that I really didn’t like myself anymore have come together, bringing me where I am now-on my knees. I used to be the “good” one. The happy, friendly and non-judgmental person who loved everyone and believed that every person deserved respect and caring. I finally liked myself.

And now?

My dearest friend doesn’t understand why I can’t be at her home. Because I am in love with her husband. And he with me. I find myself trying to reconnect with my own husband and see in him all the things that Jim was to me. There are rumblings in our circle about the nature of our relationship. It’s quite possible they might get back to my husband. More than anything, I am a blubbering mess and can’t tell anyone why I am so crushed. Why I am so unworthy of any caring or respect. Why I should just disappear.

I know what I’ve done. I deserve what I get. I’ve lost a love. I don’t know where to go from here. I guess I’m just lost. Doing the right thing would have been much easier had I done it from the beginning.

-Unfaithfully Anonymous

Apr 29

Jester’s Not Here Man

He’s guest posting over at Miss Britt’s. You should totally click over and check out the story of his Little Grey Buddy.

Mar 30

Guest Post: Mom Sends a Forward

I received this via email this morning from my mom. I decided it was funny enough to count as a guest post.

I get to do that because it’s my blog and I’ll do what I want.

—————————————————

It was fun being a baby boomer… until now. Some of the artists of the
60’s are revising their hits with new lyric to accommodate aging baby
boomers.

They include:

Herman’s Hermits— Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Walker.

Ringo Starr— I Get By With a Little Help From Depends.

The Bee Gees— How Can You Mend a Broken Hip.

Bobby Darin— Splish, Splash, I Was Havin’ a Flash.

Roberta Flack— The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face.

Johnny Nash— I Can’t See Clearly Now.

Paul Simon— Fifty Ways to Lose Your Liver

The Commodores— Once, Twice, Three Times to the Bathroom.

Marvin Gaye— Heard It Through the Grape Nuts.

Procol Harem— A Whiter Shade of Hair.

Leo Sayer— You Make Me Feel Like Napping.

The Temptations— Papa’s Got a Kidney Stone.

Abba— Denture Queen.

Tony Orlando— Knock 3 Times On The Ceiling If You Hear Me Fall.

Helen Reddy— I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore.

Leslie Gore —- It’s My Procedure, and I’ll Cry If I Want To.

And my favorite:

Willie Nelson— On the Commode Again!

Sep 30

Jester’s Not Here Man…

I’m not here today. I’m actually guest posting over at Avitable’s place.

I’m happy I’m the last guest poster during Adam’s tiptoe through the gladiolas in his backyard. I am glad mostly because the presence of the other posters this week did a lot to dispel that musty-butt-funk smell hanging around his joint. Seriously, I hope that Mrs. Avitable or Britt can one day teach Adam how to clean that space under his balls. It’s rank.

I’ve sprayed some Oust, so it’s safe for all of you to click over and visit. Though, you might wish to do it when your boss or kids are not around. It’s not exactly safe for work.

Aug 01

Guest Post from Toby: Why I Can Love The Man I Hate

[My regular readers need no introduction to Toby, he’s been participating here for quite a while, and there are stories about him peppered throughout this site. This is his first guest post here at Jestertunes, and likely to be the most controversial.]

When Jester mentioned writing a guest post I had no idea what I would write about. I pondered rather or not I should share things that have happened in the past to me, something debatable (as I love to debate, regardless of my personal opinion, I will debate either side, just for the fun of it), or if I should write about something that truly means something to me.

I finally decided to write about something that entails all three.

For you to understand, you will have to keep a completely open mind. The journey you are about to go on is not for everyone. If you cry easily, don’t even begin, just stop now and never read the comments left. If you have a short temper, move everything spillable away from anything electronic and read on. You are about to get an emotional roller coaster that I’ve been riding for the last three years and am prepared to ride on until I’m forced to get off.

I have to start this from the beginning, jump to the end and then go back to the middle. If you need help following along, just ask Jester, he knows some of this story, and if you leave a comment, I’ll reply as soon as possible.

I am from a small town in Missouri that at the time I lived there, I thought I was the only gay boy around. Anyone else that was gay either lived in England, or California, or was the guy that got booted off of the soap opera for not stirring about enough drama. Never had I imagined that there were other gay people near me, let alone people that I already knew. This is just to give you an idea of how naïve I could be at times.

After a horrible marriage to a girl I knew in high school and a relationship with someone whom I thought I loved [Jester’s Note: He’s not talking about me.], I was sooo done with men and women both and just wanted to get my degree, get rich, and move on.

Then I met someone who was a total ass hole at first. He told other people that I walked around with my nose in the air and that I probably had always had everything handed to me. That was the first day we met. I had started working at this restaurant (one of the three jobs I had at time) only a few days before and he was only about two weeks ahead of me in training. I was oblivious to all of this so befriended him. He was funny, attractive, funny, witty, funny, and could quote every episode of Designing Women and South Park that had ever aired. Did I mention how funny he was?

Anyway, I casually mentioned that he should come over and that we should watch some of these movies that he was always quoting so that I could play along while at work. It worked!

A few days later he came over and we watched Bubble Boy, Scooby Doo, and a South Park DVD. That night, since it was so late, I allowed him to sleep in my bed, and I slept on the couch. Of course he had to wake me up the next morning to go to work (at one of my other jobs) because he had the alarm clock. I had to be at work by 7 and he knew that I had my first break at 9:15.

At 9:10 I got a voice mail that went something like this…”Hey, it’s me. Just wanted to thank you for letting me come over last night. I really enjoyed myself and had a really good time. The…um…only thing….um….that I wish was different…um…was that I wish I could have shared that bed with someone. I haven’t held anyone in a really long time and it got kind of cold. I really had a great time though. Anyway….um….I hope you have a wonderful day and I’ll see you tonight at work. “ That was May 23rd, 2003. Steve and I have been together ever since. I often joke that he came over to watch a movie and has never left.

Six months later, I decided to do something special for him and got him a half dozen of his favorite flowers (that aren’t cheap by the way, cause they have to be special ordered) the white Calla Lilly and a huge balloon that said I love You. It was the first mention of love. Steve knew my past with my cheating ex-wife and identity stealing ex-boyfriend [Jester’s Note: Again, not me.]. He knew that I have major trust issues. When he understood that I loved him, he just cried…..

Ok, time to jump ahead.

A little over four years later, we’ve had only one argument. That’s right, one. And that argument was only a couple of months ago. Steve and I are the type of couple that when we go in public, other people usually are disgusted because it’s so obvious how much we love each other. I have taught him the meaning of Christmas and that it’s more that just a required visit to your family’s house and gift exchanging. He now gets excited for all of the holidays that are spent with family and actually puts thought and effort behind each one of his gifts and finds it enjoyable. He has learned that patience is a virtue that he’s never known because he had never been given it. I’ve learned that too much patience isn’t always a good thing. He’s learned that medicine isn’t a crutch, but something that is there to help you. He used to refuse to take any kind of medication. About the only thing he would take was ibuprofen and in large amounts when needed. In our four years, we’ve laughed, cried, had many nights together with nothing better to say but I love you, and still I’m not sure why I’m here.

This is where it get good.

Lets jump back to May 21st, 2004. One of those jobs I was working was at the hot spot dance club here. I had been bartending for a few years and rather liked the job. I could flirt with no commitments and didn’t even have to know their names. And they paid me for it! Who wouldn’t love to flirt for money? Anyways, we always had something going on and I usually participated in one way or another, whether that be the fundraisers, drag shows, or free tests for HIV.

On May 21st, 2004 I found out that I was HIV+. Keep in mind this is only 2 days from our 1st anniversary. I went through the most depressed day of my life. What did this mean? Was I going to die? What would Steve think of me? How did this happen? Who would have given me this disease and when did this happen. It had been almost 2 years since I had been tested and had slept with my share of partners.

Shamefully, I suspected a few right away. Why would I do this? Was it their reputation? Our experience? Did the condom break? I had always been pretty safe and besides oral sex a few times, couldn’t think of when I had not used a condom. Even Steve and I began using condoms for about the 1st 6-7 months. I was devastated. I knew that Steve and I would be over so I went straight to where I was working at the time and told them that I would not be in that afternoon and of course had to explain my hysteria. It was the first time I had to tell someone that I was HIV+ and it took me nearly 10 minutes to say it.

Luckily, the manager was very sympathetic and told me to take however long I needed and to just call when I wanted to come back. (I went back the next day afraid that if missed too much people would start asking why.) I then went straight home, pulling over twice to wipe the tears from my eyes, and called a select few people that I knew I could trust. These were people that not only weren’t from here, but had no ties to home town either. I guess subconsciously, I wasn’t ready or family. This was around 2 in the afternoon and Steve wouldn’t be home until after 9 so I had plenty of time to talk, cry, throw things, have thoughts of suicide, and laugh. Yes, laugh! I actually was amused that this was happening to me, don’t ask my why, I really don’t know. I guess you could call it emotional hysteria.

I was so scared of Steve coming home but just wanted him to hold me and tell me that I would be Ok, and that we would be Ok. It happened just like that…kind of.

After he made it home and I finally got it out why I was so horribly upset (it took longer to tell Steve than to tell my boss), I immediately felt relief, then frustration. You see, this is when I found out that Steve too was HIV+ and had been for the last (at that time) 12 years. Why did I not get upset about his not being totally honest with me? Why didn’t I turn those thoughts of suicide into murder? I can truly say that it’s love that kept me from those. To this day, I still am not upset about how this has played out.

I commented earlier to a post on Jestertunes and said that I think everything happens for a reason, I’m just not sure what that reason is or who decides. More than once I have had to protect him to my friends, those that I choose to tell anyway. Most of my friends will never know, and my family? I have it specifically stated not only in my will, but in letters to my PCP and other important health care individuals that unless it is the disease that kills me, my family is to never know. Don’ t ask me why cause after I die, I’m not sure that I’m going to really care. But that’s how I feel and that’s what I’ve requested.

Almost everyday (well, maybe weekly is more like it) I’m reminded by my friends that Steve did something very shitty to me and I again have to say “I know, but I have always loved him and always will”.

Toby and SteveSo the next time you tell someone you love them, ask yourself…”If they gave me a disease that will kill me, will I still love them knowing that they could have prevented the whole thing with a little bit of communication?” I have and do ask myself that same question often. My answer is always the same.

Yes! It is that exact same love that gets me through everyday. You can say whatever you will, but know that in my house, love is a word not taken lightly and that when I say “I love you,” I mean it!

Jul 31

Guest Post from Avitable: I’m Coming Out

The Church of AvitableWhen Jester asked me to write a guest post, I realized that this was my chance to speak up for the straight male. Since, obviously, every member of Jester’s audience except for me is a gay male, I know that there are a lot of stereotypes and assumptions made about straight men, what they do, and how they think. And finally, I can set the record straight, as the unofficially appointed spokesperson for the straight American male.

So here you go, gays – a day in the life of the typical straight male:

I usually wake up to my iPod alarm playing one of my favorite bands, whether it’s ABBA, Concrete Blonde, Britney, Lindsay, Madonna, Gwen Stefani, Ani DiFranco, Indigo Girls, K’s Choice, Hillary Duff, or Avril Lavigne. I’ll lie in bed for a little while jamming to the music before waking up. Then, it’s off to the shower where I pamper myself with a nice pomegranate mango body wash, wash my face and hair with some Aveda facial moisturizer and Aveda rosemary mint shampoo, and moisturize with some excellent BBW vanilla and brown sugar body lotion.

My work takes up most of my day, but I spend some time on the web, reading The Superficial and Perez Hilton, talking about the Bachelor on a message board, and catching up on last night’s Oprah.

When I get home, I’ll make a nice cosmopolitan or a sour apple martini and watch a recorded show on the DVR. Whether it’s old episodes of Gilmore Girls or Six Feet Under, it will put me in a relaxing mood, and if I’m feeling particularly festive, I’ll put in a DVD – usually something by Pedro Almodovar or Sofia Coppola, or maybe watch Torch Song Trilogy, Chuck and Buck, or Priscilla again.

And then, after a normal night, I’ll go to bed and usually dream about Legolas, that middle Hanson girl, or that scene in All the Right Moves. And the cycle continues. Well, except for holidays, when I’ll have a nice spiced cider and sit around and rock out to Meredith Brooks while watching Tyra – she is such a bitch!

So, hopefully, after reading this, some of you insensitive fuckers will realize that us straight men are sick of being stereotyped and judged for things you think we do. Gay men like to lock us in the closet of prejudice and make snap judgments. Well, here’s one straight man who is asking – nay, demanding, to be let out.

Jun 16

Guest Rant: I Work With An Idiot

I received the following email today:

I have to get this rant off my chest, but I know some people at work read my blog and I can’t take that risk. Would you mind publishing this? You should identify that it is a guest writer, who wishes to remain anonymous but who must get this out.

If you don’t want to, that’s fine. I just thought I’d ask. I’m pissed about this and for some reason, want the blog world to know!

Thanks!

Friend Who Wishes to Remain Anonymous

Of course I want to publish it! I also encourage anyone else who wants to write a guest post to send them my way.

Without further ado…

***********************

Dwight SchruteThere is a man at work who reminds me VERY much of Dwight from The Office. You must also combine Michael’s passions for quoting, teaching people lessons they don’t need, and pointing out his commitment to diversity to have a complete picture of how annoying he is. Everything he does has a “canned” feel to it. He tries telling jokes. They’re all very old and they are very stale. I think they all came from Milton Berle as this man does not create. He steals. It’s bad.

I have not only been his target many, many times, but I have had people come to me and share their concerns about this individual and how he has interacted with them. I will present one of the lesser offenses. This one happened to me, but is a great example of how this individual communicates.

When I first started work at this office, I commented on how glad I was that it was Friday. This guy made a HUGE production about how I should not proclaim Friday as superior to any other day and how the vibe I’m sending out over my preferential treatment of Friday is unhealthy. He told me that people will sense how I feel and that no one is making me work there, so if I can’t treat Mondays and Fridays the same, I should go some where else to work. It was a HUGE deal. Huge as in the conversation probably lasted 5 minutes. Huge as in he blasted me, the new kid, in front of everyone in the office. Huge as in he made it into a major conflict. I was stunned. Wouldn’t you be?

This man is not all bad. Let me rephrase. This man is clever. He does a good job, for the most part. He is actually great to be around in small spurts, before you really get to know him. He says and does things that others in the company tell me about that are NOT good for our office, but whatever. Going through me isn’t really complaining. If you want action taken, you should go through my boss, right? In front of the bosses, he is a model employee. He is Jekyll and Hyde. Occasionally the things he’s done ARE alarming and I think if the boss knew he would have major concerns. No. I know he’d have major concerns.

Recently a group of men and one woman were on a flight to our headquarters. Icky was with them. When they landed, my boss said, “I have rented a van if you guys want to ride with us.” They all agreed. The woman got into the back of the van and men all started giving reasons they couldn’t ride in the rear. “I get car sick!” Ick said, “I have a bad back!” so John said, “I’ll ride in the back with Angela.” Once the van pulled out, John said, “I’m happy to be back here. I’m riding next to the best looking person in the van!” (Ha, ha… laugh, laugh) Then Ick replied, “She may be better looking, but I’m a better kisser!”

He is almost sixty. That’s just freakin’ weird.

He told us that the meeting we were in had better end quickly. His wife wanted to have another baby and if he wasn’t home by 5 she was going to start without him.

He is almost SIXTY. He has grandkids. His wife is his age. Weird!!! And not funny. Borrowing Henny Youngman jokes is simply NOT funny.

I get frustrated with shoddy work or with stupidity. I get frustrated when things aren’t done with consideration. Once I don’t “approve” of how you operate, my method of coping is to limit my contact with you. I’m not going to try and teach you a lesson; you’re grown and you’re not going to change because of me. I simply distance myself and limit our interactions. If dislike grows to distrust, I try to block you out completely from anything personal. I’ve never met anyone I couldn’t work with, but I’ve met several I don’t want to work with. There is a difference. I cope by not “turning on” until the topic is about work. Then, I’m all smiles. For reasons I cannot understand, some people can’t operate like this.

Now, he’s gone and made it personal.

Friday I parked in a reserved spot. You can receive tickets if you park in a reserved spot. This is, rarely but occasionally, a risk I am willing to take. Around the office on Friday we had a skeleton crew and no guests, so we had many, many unused reserved spots. I parked in one.

When I was leaving the office I was flagged down by a security guard who told me that I should watch out, someone is trying to get me. I said, “What?” and she explained that Icky had asked two different security guards to ticket “the car”- everyone knows it’s my car- that was parked illegally. He is ratting me out to the cops! I was livid. Wouldn’t you be?

This guy is the kind of guy they’re going to discover has bodies buried in the backyard. I’m not kidding. I know I am on his hit list. Also this week I was told about some extravagant story he told some co-workers about me- all with the point of making me look like I was wicked. I think it’s come to a head.

I will confront him on Monday. The confrontation needs to be professional and pointed. What are your ideas?