Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I need a forensic accountant...

Financially I'm a complete mess.

I blame myself, of course, because deep in my heart I'm a lazy son-of-a-bitch. Seriously lazy. And closer to my surface I'm at best moderately lazy. I've already mentioned my herculean ability to put off home repair and yard work. But it also extends to financial planning and monitoring.

All I want to do is work, have the money dump into my accounts, and then the bill people swoop in and take the money they need. I really want to have nothing to do with the entire transaction. This creates problems for the bills that aren't on auto-draft, as I tend to forget to pay them.

I'm so bad I don't even balance my check book.

The good news is that I'm cheap so I don't tend to worry about emptying my bank accounts. I don't have cable, or internet, or home phone service. I cut my own hair. I keep my house at like 60 in the winter and 80 in the summer. And I don't buy a lot of frivilous items as I'm not into clutter. I do spend on iTunes, food, piano lessons, and thrift store clothing... but that's about it.

Unfortunately, after all my bills- I don't ever seem to have much operating capital left. Which is a complete mystery to me (and I'm delving into it).

I'm also woefully bad on the longer term financial crap. Like adjustable rate mortgages, 401K investments, etc.

Except for today. I actually looked up things like the balance left on my mortgage, where my money was getting invested in my 401K, how much of my paycheck was being taken, etc, etc. And then I did some adjustments.

I rearranged my entire investment portfolio this morning after seeing the poor returns on my investments. Let me tell you, it was kinda scary shifting my money about. I decided to maximize my earning potential by moving things to higher risk / higher yield investments. (Le Yipe!) I'm also looking at different mortgages, courtesy of my mortgage broker person- who called yesterday and whom I blame for getting me in this mindset.

What it all boils down to is that I hate this type of shit. It makes me want to sell my car, get a clunker that's paid for and get myself further off the debt grid. I also want to sell my house, get rid of having property taxes and a mortgage, and move into a tiny, utilities included apartment.

Is it wrong for me to want to emulate the lifestyle of Ted Kaczynski? Minus the manifesto and the bombings of course.

Monday, October 30, 2006

More NZ pics

In honour of my newest addition to my blogrole, I'm going to post a few more pics from my trip to New Zealand.

This first pic is my favorite from Milford Sound. Naturally it was misty and rainy that day- shit the place gets several METERS of rain a year. Its insane.

This picture was taken from the mountain above Queenstown lake. I love the colors in it.

Outdoor Band Concerts

I participated in an outdoor band concert this past Saturday. To say that it was an unmittigated disaster would probably be unnecessarily harsh...

But not entirely inaccurate.

Outdoor concerts pose lots of problems for musicians. Its difficult to hear outdoors as there can be a lot of ambient noise. Plus you don't get your sound reflected back to you, so its difficult to play as an ensemble. Then there are the elements: wind, sun, temperature, etc. Windy conditions not only rip your sound away, it also tends to blow things over- like music stands, percussion equipment, etc. Facing the sun is never good, as it makes the conductor a bit difficult to see. When its hot outside, instruments go sharp and cold weather makes them go flat (ah, physics!)

This past Saturday we faced all of the above issues. And then some.

It had rained all Friday night, so the ground was soggy. But Saturday dawned bright and clear... and WINDY! It is almost never windy in this area of North Carolina due to the mountains, the geography of the piedmont, etc. Seriously, the days are almost always incredibly calm. But on Saturday. It was blustery, in fact.

It was also in the low 60s at concert time- although the sun was warm. Tuning became a little bit of an issue. So did the sun, which was right in our faces for the concert due to the position of the venue.

Then there were the intangibles: tempo changes, page turns, difficult musical passages, etc. These all add to the performance difficulty for any band, but when you put them outside, these issues get amplified.

During the concert, there were multiple incidents of blown over stands, losses of music, percussion cymbals being blown over, etc. My favorite moment was when we were playing Shenandoah, the wind capriciously changed direction with a vicious gust. It had been coming from behind our right shoulders-- only to change to coming from directly in front. Several musicians ended up with their music and stands in their laps.

It was horrible.

Also, during Autumn Leaves, there was a beautiful clarinet passage that neatly destroyed by the crash cymbals being blown onto the ground.

Any piece requiring a page turn was a disaster, due to the sheer volume of clothespins being used to keep the music in place. Try doing a one measure page turn while having to undo all of the clips, and then trying to get them back in place.

The pieces with the metrical changes were a mess, mainly because the director was having to hold his scores down with one hand while maintaining his conducting. It made it difficult for him to communicate with us. Plus we were concentrating on the music so much as the gusts were flipping and folding pages with regularity. Our rendition of Pirates of the Carribean sounded like the pirates were drunk on grog and trying to stand on the heaving deck of a ship. And when we played Ride of the Valkyries, the poor valkyries sounded like they weighed 400 pounds and were riding flying dachsunds.

However, in the midst of all this chaos, there was actually one very beautiful moment in the concert. It was during Shenandoah, when most of the band has dropped out and just a flute trio and some clarinets remain. The flutes are passing around the theme in a pseudo-round while the clarinets form the base. It was during this moment when the wind died down to a bare breeze. You could hear this lovely passage, with just a hint of rustling leaves accompanying the whole thing. It had a synergistic effect and given what song it was... well, the moment was goose-pimply for sure.

But then that dastardly gust caught the music stands and tossed the music into our laps.

That one moment nearly made the whole concert worth it, though. I play for those moments, however brief they are.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Update on Curt

Curt didn't get the job.

It was pretty obvious from the lack of communication that it just wasn't going to happen. In this case, silence was NOT golden. Curt did eventually get some feedback on the whole endgame and this is what he told me:

His recruiter went back to the company with his counteroffer which consisted of his same salary requirement, but a reduced (but minimum) amount for relocation of 6,000 dollars. He conceded the vacation and the mileage for his car and any temporary living expenses.

The relocation amount seems like a lot, but probably wouldn't cover his expenses of packing, storage and moving even with his plan to liquidate many of his treasured belongings (including his piano that he learned to play on). But Curt was willing to make some sacrifices in order to relocate.

The company flat out rejected the counteroffer.

In fact,the hiring manager for the position (Curt's would-be boss) told the recruiter, "If you want this deal to go through, you need to pay Curt's relocation demands out of your commission." Stunned by this, the recruiter was left sputtering. To which the hiring manager allegedly replied, "Ha, ha. Hit you right between the eyes with THAT one, didn't I?"

Evidently the negotiations didn't stop there, and the recruiter went to the HR manager. After a few more rounds (and after repeated phone attempts to speak with the hiring manager were met with silence) the HR manager finally informed the recruiter that, "The hiring manager had more time to think and decided that Curt was not aggressive enough. And because of the aggressive personalities involved in the business, it wouldn't be a good fit. So the offer was removed."

The recruiter gets some credit here for immediately replying, "I find it ironic that you site Curt's lack of aggressiveness as a reason not to hire him, when it is his aggressiveness on the relocation package that appears to be the major sticking point."

Evidently the HR manager conceded that this was an excellent point. But his hands were tied and that was that.

After having a beer with Curt, he admits he's ok with the way things turned out. He's disappointed, to be sure, but he has closure and that feels much better than being up in the air. Of course he's also a bit raw about it all, and feels majorly dicked around. The time from initial contact about this opportunity to offer on the table was less than two weeks total. Everything moved incredibly quickly and seemed really positve, only to completely unravel at the end over something fairly paltry. And part of him feels that he may have dodged a bullet, given the way things played out. But he also says he can't help but feel that he somehow fumbled the ball on the 1-yard line. He keeps doing 'instant replay' to see if his knee was down or not...

Curt is now trying to immerse himself back in his current job and east-coast life, knowing that he is going to have it all for awhile longer.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dear Abbey...

I have a friend who's been on an emotional rollercoaster as of late. For the sake of anonymity we'll call him "Curt".

Curt has been dissatisfied in his current job for quite some time. He hates it in fact, and complains about it incessantly to anyone who will listen... and even to those who don't want to listen. (Honestly, Curt, you're a bit of a broken record).

Its been a long, dark tunnel for Curt. But Lo! A light appears! A recruiter calls him and has an excellent opportunity in a company in a large Midwestern city. Curt was very excited by this news, because when he isn't dissing his job, he's talking about his desire to move to the Midwest. Curt does his homework and hopes for an interview.

Within mere days, the recruiter calls him and says the company wants to phone interview him... the next day ( a friday). Curt was a good boy and is already prepped so that isn't a problem. The interview goes well and lasts roughly an hour, which is a long time for a phone interview.

The following Monday, the recruiter calls again and says that the company would like to do another phone interview with a different manager and could Curt be available that evening? Indeed Curt could. This phone interview goes as well as the first and lasts another hour.

The next afternoon (now Tuesday) Curt gets yet another call from the recruiter who informs him that the company wants to fly him up for an interview. And they want him to come up that Thursday evening for a Friday interview. Curt's head is swimming as everything is happening so rapidly. But of course he agrees and the flight arrangements are made. Curt arranged the time off from work, and everything was set in motion.

The interview on Friday is scheduled to last between 3.5 and 4 hours... it ends up lasting six. Curt interviews with everyone and their brother at this company and feels as if the day went very well. At the end of the day he's exhausted, but happy- and also pretty excited by the opportunity at this company. He dutifully called the recruiter and goes through the debrief. Things sound very positive at this point and Curt says he's 95% confident that he'll receive a job offer (and would frankly be mystified if he didn't receive one).

The weekend passes uneventfully, and then Monday rolls around. Sure enough, the recruiter calls and asks Curt for his negotiation terms with regard to the usual stuff (salary, vacation, relocation expenses, etc). Because Curt is anxious to get to this area of the country, he makes his terms fairly minimal. He adjusted his current salary only to cover the cost of living increase, and asked for the company to pay for moving his things. The recruiter took these terms to the company.

And then Curt waited.

Tuesday Curt gets a call from the recruiter. The company may be able to meet some of the salary requirements, but not vacation requirements, and has basically rejected the relocation terms. Instead they countered by offering only a very small amount of cash to help with relocation expenses.

Curt is kind of stunned and hurt at this point. The company knew he lived in a house out East. They had to have realized that this would mean some moving expenses would be involved.

The recruiter asks Curt again what he needs from the company in order to make this deal go through. Could the recruiter chip in some assistance in order to seal the deal? Things like that. Some new negotiation levels were choses (salary about the same, but a minimum amount of money for relocation assistance was requested). The new levels would now mean that Curt would most likely have to pay for some of the move out of his own pocket. AND he would probably have to sell off quite a few of his things. The recruiter said he would take this back to the company.

And then Curt waited.

Wednesday passes with no word from the recruiter or the company. Curt feels that this is not a good sign given the speed at which everything has moved to date. Plus he's been in constant contact with the recruiter ever since the first interview was scheduled.

Curt's emotions have run the gamut of being anxious to hear news, sad that the company said no because of a couple thousand dollars, angry and resentful that he's come this far in the process only to run into a buzzsaw involving relocation which the company knew was part of the situation. He is also feeling a lot of self-doubt because he feels if the company really wanted him, then relocation would not be an obstacle. He thinks maybe the comany only 'sorta' wants him and could just as easily find someone else. And he's also started asking himself the question: if this company is so strapped for cash, then does he want to work there in the first place?

Curt has now basically resigned himself to the fact that he will not be getting the job and he's trying to work through his feelings on this. He is also struggling with what he should do if after all of this the company does come through with an offer he can live with?

Abbey, any advise for my friend Curt on this matter?

Hot Man Haiku #11

Hurricane Winger
Hockey Mullet lookin' fine
He scores and he shoots!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


I saw the film "Shortbus" this past weekend while in Minneapolis. The audience was small and mostly comprised of gay men. Although I would not classify this film as a 'gay' film. The gay content is pretty high, but its more a relationship film, with plenty o' straight relationships thrown in the mix.

I found the film to be quite charming and hypnotic. And you can tell it was done by the "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" guy. There is a very similar feel, complete with a musical number. And a lot of sex... real sex.

<<< SPOILER ALERT!! I may divulge too much about the film in this post, but I'm going to try to keep it pretty general >>>>

The film was definitely X rated and graphic when it came to showing sex. Gay sex. Straight sex. Fetish sex. Ejaculations. Orgasms. You name it. But really, that was a small part of the film-- the sex was sort of the glue in the storyline (tangential pun intended).

The film is poignant, and sad, and funny. There are laugh-out-loud moments. One part in particular that involved a character singing the national anthem into a part of someone's anatomy had me guffawing unabashedly. And it gave me some sterling ideas!

Mostly the film was about a group of people searching to fill the voids in their lives (happiness, meaning, acceptance, understanding, etc). And that shit always makes for good cinema. The sex was just part of the movie vehicle to transport them to what they were searching for.

I highly recommend seeing this film. It really does have an impressive storyline... in spite of the sex.

Or because of the sex.

Or because one of the male leads had an enormous penis (which he can autofellate).

Monday, October 23, 2006

Ghettotel 8

I took a little trip to Minneapolis this past weekend and made the mistake of staying at a Super 8 motel.

I know, I can hear the gasps and the pearl-clutching of all the gay blog readers out there. Why on EARTH would I subject myself to staying at a Super 8? I should be staying at a W hotel, or a Hyatt, or even a Paris Hilton (I hear she's very roomy). What was I thinking???

I was thinking that I needed to save money.

And I did save some money, as I stayed there one night only (Thursday), and then shacked up with nthwave (k-dog) from stageright-stageleft. He says he lives in "the hood" but I quite liked his place. Plus, it was nowhere NEAR the Super 8- and that was definitely the hood.

Let me tell you a bit about my motel experience.

I walked up to check in, and I was met by the young, motel desk clerk with intensely bloodshot eyes and the semi-giddy demeanor. I think that he was freshly stoned. He checked me in clumsily while two, pre-teenaged black girls ran about the lobby drinking free coffee and complaining of the bitter taste. They seemed quite interested in the goings-on of the check-in process. I saw no parental supervision for these girls (more on this in a minute).

I was given room 144. I grabbed my luggage, my briefcase, and headed down to my room. I slide the key in the lock, it opens, I swing the door inward... only to have it stopped by the chainlock.

Chainlock??? Why would my room be locked from the inside??? Then I see the lights on, hear the TV, and then hear the person IN my room say in a very loud, very angry voice "CAN I HELP YOU?"

CB: Oh. Sorry sir. The front desk gave me this key. I'll just.... yeah.

So I trot back to the desk, where I have to wait for a young couple to check in. The young couple consists of two black men in matching leather coats with statues of liberty embroidered on the back. Well, technically they weren't precisely matching, as one had the gold stitching, and the other had the silver stitching. They argued whether they needed one bed or two (one was evidently enough) and they paid in cash.

Once this transaction was complete, I politely asked if the hotel clerk could perhaps find me a room that wasn't already occupied by someone because I wasn't in the mood to bunk with a stranger.

The two girls from before are still running about and watching the proceedings closely. Its like 10 pm. Do the not have any parents? Or are they very young working girls?

While my room situation is being straightened out, I watch an elderly black gentleman decend the front stairway clad only in boxer shorts. He is holding a styrofoam takeout container. He stumbles up to the microwave in the lobby, opens up the container (it appeared to be buffalo wings or something) and proceeds to nuke it.

I get my new room assignment (room 254) and head on up. Let me tell you, it was a dream suite.

The room was small. No closet. No iron. No coffeemaker. No furniture other than the bed, nightstand, and a built-in desk/dresser. The TV sat on a metal pole and was of a vintage not seen since Reagan was in the whitehouse.

I think I liked the headboard best. It was a headboard in name only, as it was drilled and attached to the wall. Part of it was broken, too. I think I got a picture of that.

The entire time I'm in the room, I'm thinking of CSI- and what that black light might show. My guess is that there was semen covering every inch of the comforter. And probably the headboard as well.

K-dog shows up and is mystified by the room. He figures that Super 8's are supposed to be a step up from a Motel 6 (because of the numerical sequencing). I inform him that this would make perfect sense if this were a Motel 8. But I think the Super 8 is not affiliated with the Tom Bodette chain in any way.

He and I head out for burgers at a 24 hour diner place in his hometown. The burgers are good. But then, because its a school night and I have a big day on Friday, he takes me back to my motel.

Upon entry, there is a large group of men in hunting clothes all trying to check in. Other than that 'daddy quotient' of the group, they all appear a bit drunk and grubby.

The two girls are still in the lobby. I'm now convinced they were teen hookers.

I waited my turn, and then asked the new hotel clerk (female, not stoned) if I could borrow an iron so that I could iron my shirt. I had to sign out the piece of shit on a clipboard. I managed to iron it on the built in desk using a folded up towel as the ironing 'board'.

Trying to fall asleep that night was a challenge as the people having sex in the room next to me were somewhat vocal. Judging from the female quotient of the display, it was not the two black guys I saw checking in. Then there was the arguement which took place in the hall sometime around 2 am. The arguement was proceeded by some very loud door-pounding.

People were coming (cumming) and going all night in that place. I got very little sleep.

The best part of my stay was heading to the Denny's for breakfast. It was just across the parking lot, so it was completely within bullet-dodging distance. I headed over around 9 am.

Let me tell you- Denny's does breakfast right. I'm not sure about their other food, but man... breakfast! Holy shit. For 6 bucks you can eat like a Biggest Loser contestant turned loose at the Golden Coral buffet.

Needless to say, after breakfast, I cleaned up in my room, packed up, and checked out never to return.

At least the rental car was still intact that morning.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What DID the Rake say to the Hoe??

Yesterday I experienced sort of a brain-chain, tangential thought pattern that led me to a childhood memory that I feel I must share.

When I was growing up in Central Iowa, we had a kids television show called "the Floppy Show". I think technically it was called Dwayne Elliot and Friends. Anyway, it was a cartoon/live action ventriloquist show that was a staple of the 11:30 to noon time slot on our NBC affiliate.

You better believe I had my ass parked on the carpet every day, PB & J sandwich firmly in-hand, glued to this 30 minutes of heaven. Mainly I was in it for the cartoons (usually 3 of them) and they were of the Bugs Bunny, Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry variety. But there was the added bonus of the live, all-children studio audience.

Each day, surrounding Dwayne and Floppy (Floppy of course being the crappy dog puppet in the box) was a sea of young children, probably ages 4 - 8 or so. These kids got to participate in the daily "One! Two! Three! WHERE'S FLOPPY!" chant as well as line up to tell Floppy jokes during the intermissions between cartoon segments.

It was a real coup if you could get your parents to take you and your friends to The Floppy Show. Really, it was. Birthdays were an especially popular time to visit the show. And everyone wanted to tell Floppy a damn joke- because then you got to be on camera. If you forgot your joke, you could sometimes beep Floppy's nose, which was very lame.

Every day was a new studio audience of children. A new influx of talent. But oddly enough, the jokes did not vary as much as one might think. I blame the fact that there is a real dirth of good jokes that a five year old can tell. That and the main staple of jokes was drilled into us Floppy Faithful over and over again on a daily basis. The top 5 jokes used (in order of popularity) were as follows:

1) Why did the man put the car in the oven? Because he wanted a hot rod.
2) Why did the man throw the clock out the window? Because he wanted to see time fly.
3) Why did the man throw the butter out the window? Because he wanted to see a butter fly.
4) How do you make a handkerchief dance? You put a little boogie in it.
5) Knock knock. Who's there? Boo. Boo who? Oh Floppy, don't cry...

And these five jokes were told every day, and not just once per day. Several TIMES a day. Sometimes children would tell the same joke back-to-back. My favorite times would be when a child would start off with one of the top 5, and then incorporate the punchline from another of the top five. Everyone knew which two jokes were being blended, but nobody cared. We got the joke anyway.

The most popular by far was #1 on the list. It far and away outstriped the others by a five to one margin. I think that particular gem was used 1,564,276 times during the run of the show. Sometimes it was the ONLY joke told on the show.

Dwayne was a patient man. I think the raging alcoholism helped a lot.

One of the special things that the Floppy show did yearly was go on-location at the Iowa State Fair. They would broadcast the show live every day during the entire run of the fair from the main stage. When I was five, my father took me to the State Fair expressly to be on the Floppy show. Evidently I had begged for this opportunity (what was I thinking??) and he indulged me. But not without a few stipulations.

My father was NOT about to let me tell a lame joke on local TV. A few days before F-day, he asked me about my joke.

Dad: CB, have you thought about what joke you might tell?

CB: Um, I was thinking... why did the man put the car in the oven?

Dad: No. You can't do that one. I have a BETTER joke for you.

CB: Ok.

My father's joke was indeed better than the run-of-the-mill crap spewed forth from the mouths of babes. His followed the same format, but was just enough different that it would stand out. My joke for the Floppy Show was going to be:

"What did the Rake say to the Hoe?"

I memorized this joke and practiced it with my father. It was going to be good. I was going to stand out from the other children and give Dwayne something he hadn't had in a long time. A different joke.

(So as to end the suspense, what the Rake said to the Hoe was "Hi Hoe!" But the Hi Hoe had to be delivered like Ed McMahon from Johnny Carson for full effect).

It wasn't until early adulthood that I realized just how twisted my father's plot had been. You see, this joke functions on multiple levels. First there's the kid's level. Two basic yard/garden implements talking. Innocent enough.

Then the Ed McMahon immitation level. Very topical and humerous given the fact that a 5 year old would be immitating a fat old guy on a very popular late night televison program.

THEN there was the raunchy level. Yes, if you use the old definition of a Rake (being a randy, licensious, dirly old man) and a Hoe (but the homonym version being the oft used 'ho) then the joke takes on an entirely different connotation.

The day finally arrived. I remember standing at the edge of the stage for the broadcast. I was very nervous and very shy. Suddenly I wanted very much to back out of this joke thing. The time came to tell Floppy jokes. When Dwayne asked if any children had a joke for Floppy, my father hoisted me up onto the stage.

I did my walk of shame to Dwayne and Floppy. I was so nervous I could barely breathe. When I got to center stage, it went something like this:

Dwayne: So, who was that man who lifted you up on stage?

CB: (whispering, barely audible) um, my dad.

Dwayne: And do you have a special joke for Floppy?

I nod my head. Dwayne thrusts the sweaty microphone toward me. I vividly recall the metal mesh surface of it. I think I could smell the alcohol on the mic as it hovered close to my mouth. I looked out at the camera. I remember seeing a man squatting at the edge of the stage with a big camera on his shoulder. The red light was ON, and I saw the big glass eye of the lens staring right at me. As well as all the people surrounding the stage...

I froze.

Dwayne: Cat got your tongue? Well, would you like to beep Floppy's nose instead?

NO! the nose beep was stricly for losers! Dammit, what was my joke? I had practiced it! I was fidgiting, trying desperately to remember. I look at my father and then...

CB: Why did the man put the car in the oven?

Dwayne: Why?

CB: Because he wanted a hot rod.

Oh, the hot burning shame of it all! My father's brilliant plan dashed to smithereens. I crept back to the edge of the stage and my father lifted me down. We didn't talk as we walked away from the stage and away from the NBC pavillion.

When we were outside, he asked me what happened? I could tell he was disappointed. I tried my best to explain to him that I just froze and this was the only joke I could remember.

I didn't watch Floppy as much after that. I just couldn't without recalling the utter embarassment of telling that damn hot rod joke. Thankfully the show was already waning in popularity. I think most kids stopped watching as video games and better cartoon shows and cable TV started to take over our minds. Dwayne and Floppy were eventually relegated to a crappy timeslot on Saturday or Sunday. And then pulled completely.

I forgot about Dwayne and Floppy until the day I learned that Dwayne had been jogging on the track at my middle school and suffered a massive heart attack. He died there and the voice of Floppy was silenced forever.

You can't help but wonder if some kid had jogged past Dwayne and startled him with something like "Where's Floppy?"

Or better yet, "Why did the man...."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Showing my ass...

Dear Penthouse Forum,

I never thought that this would happen to me, but I swear that it did.

Many months ago, I went out dancing with a group of my friends. Well, to be more accurate, I went out dancing with a couple that I know, and they brought along several female friends. Because straight women, it seems, like nothing better than grinding with gay men at a fabulously gay nightclub with pumpin' dance music.

Its true.

So, on this particular night, I was wearing my best pair of Gap blue jeans, a black belt, black boots, socks and a black t-shirt. And that is the complete litany of my wardrobe for the evening-- nothing omitted. I had chosen these particular jeans this evening because they fit snuggly in the ass, but not TOO snuggly in the waist. They were perfect fitting jeans allowing for freedom of movement all while showing off the goods. After all, I knew we were going to the twink dance bar where I wouldn't be distracted by anyone I found remotely attractive and so I would be focused on dancing. The jeans would allow me to hit he floor and 'move with a purpose'.

Because I can motherfucking dance.

After getting myself properly lubricated with beer (and after the girls became properly shitfaced on cosmos and the like) we all hit the dance floor. The beat was thumping, the dance floor jumping, the booties bumping, the twink boys humping. In short, it was like a Ft. Lauderdale "Girls Gone Wild" video- minus the titty flashing. I was having a blast with the girls (and my couple-friends) grinding and dancing and goofing and throwing moves to the latest beats. We even took turns getting in the 'shadow box'. This was really just one of the platforms with a sheet draped in front (but with back lighting) so that you could only see dancer's shadows. Naturally I got in with the boys, dropped to my knees, and mimed giving head.

The howls of laughter from outside the box were all the encouragement I needed.

Another beer and 30 minutes more of dancing and I'm a sweaty, piggy mess. But we are having so much fun that nobody wants to leave the dance floor. Then the damn remix of Kelly Clarkson comes on and everyone starts going to town. Myself included. I start throwing my best dance moves about including my patented booty 'salt shaker', the pelvis popping, and then the dread 'dropping it like it was hot'.

That's when I heard the rip.

I completely froze in a semi-squatted position on the dance floor, while the action roiled about me. Then I quickly stood up, and turned around so my ass would be to the wall. I reached around to feel the back of my favorite jeans... and the damage was extensive.

I had successfully torn the entire ass out of my jeans. The tear was not one of the artfully horizontal rips under the pocket at the top of the hamstring. Oh no. The tear went vertically from the top of my left pocket all the way to about 3 inches below my crotch. And THEN there was a secondary tear starting at the top of the pocket (this one horizontal) so that the left cheek of my ass was almost completely exposed.

It was very drafty.

My friend Kevin had noticed that I had stopped 'getting jiggy with it' and danced up to me.

Kevin: CB, what's wrong.

CB: Kev- I just tore the entire ass out of my jeans.

Kevin: Oh. My. God. No way!

CB: Way.

Kevin: Let me see!

Kevin turns me around and bends down to look. I feel him grab the fabric. Then Kevin dissolves into fits of laughter on the dancefloor- all the while drawing more attention to my plight.

CB: Its not funny! I think I need to leave. Maybe I can go to a Wal-Mart or something to get a new pair and then come back.

(this is honestly how I was thinking-- a wal-fucking-mart)

Kevin: Where the hell are you going to buy a new pair at 1 am? Just fuck it and keep dancing.

Jay: Hey guys, what's up?

Kevin: CB tore the ass out of his pants.

Jay: (chuckles and shrugs) Lots of guys have torn jeans. So your underwear is showing- no big deal.

Kevin redoubles in laughter.

CB: Um, Jay? I'm "commando" tonight.

Jay bursts out laughing at this point and spins me around. Then he calls over the girls to check out my new look. The girls scream and titter and start feeling my ass. One girl (who is now hyper drunk) starts calling me "Assless Chaps" in a slurred, sorority girl sort of way. This bothers me on a fundamental level, not because my ass is hanging out, but because (a) jeans are NOT chaps, and (b) chaps are by their very design 'assless'. So saying 'assless chaps' is completely redundant.

All of this I explain to her after about her sixth use of the 'assless chaps' moniker. All to no avail because she continues to use it. Except when she says it she starts laughing so it comes out like "Assles Cha-ha-ha-ha-haps"!

I try to burn her face off with a glare.

I am now stuck on the dance floor, because it is sufficiently dark and crowded and there is less of an opportunity for people to see my shredded derriere. Kevin brings me another beer. I'm still threatening to leave.

Kevin: CB, look. They're ripped. Its done. Just have fun with it. Nobody cares. Its funny and hot. You are at a gay bar for Christ's sake! This is NORMAL!

After finishing my next beer, I'm in a better place mentally. I've come to grips with my pale ass hanging out for the world to see. And I've decided that I don't have a bad ass, so why not? Its then that the group decides I'm ready for a wee promenade around the bar.

We walk around the whole place- including the well-lit back deck and also the 'video bar' where I lean up against the barfront and order another beer. We are all laughing about my assless mishap and embracing it fully. And it was a good time. We spent the rest of the night in celebration of my ass- which I shook freely on the dance floor until last call.

It wasn't until I got home later that night and realized that other than our immediate group, NOT ONE PERSON touched, groped, or otherwise took advantage of my open for business booty.

What a pisser, huh?

Epilogue: Several weeks later I was out again with my friends, and I noticed something. There were quite a few guys in strategically ripped jeans, and the rips were showing skin, not underwear. I firmly believe I started (or at the very least, rekindled) a trend.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Hot Man Haiku #7

Hot Daddy Mark Spitz
Porn Star 'stache and seven golds
but does he swallow?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Pictures from Cedar Point

My friend K-dog is quite fond of taking purposely blurred photographs, most of which are quite evocative and pretty cool-looking. The most famous of which resides at the top of his blog stageright-stageleft. It is admittedly a different philosophy and mindset for me, as I am such an Ansel Adams pristine crisp absolute focus kind of guy. But I decided to give it a whirl at Cedar Point our last night there. These are some of the results.

Le Lumiere Plus Triste

I woke up this morning in kind of a sad mood.

This is my least favorite time of year. The time when the days are getting shorter, its dark out when I leave for work, the shadows are long even at 10 in the morning, and the sun fails to warm the air as it once did. The days down here are still fair but there is that unmistakeable tinge of death in the air. Death of the year.

The end of the year isn't a bad thing, of course. Circle of life and all. But this is that pregnant pause before all the trees go out in a fiery blaze of color. The trees still LOOK like summer trees, but they aren't. The green is fading- becoming dull and stretched. The light grows wan.

These are photographs taken this morning around 10 am, at my house.

Every weekend I like to go to 9th Street in Durham. It is my haunt. Notice the hustle and bustle of it all. Yeah, this picture pretty much sums up the amount of activity in Duke's CampusTowne area.

My routine consists of stopping at the first building on the right for a smoked salmon bagel sandwich. Then I either go two buildings down to Francesca's for capuccino and internet, or to the blue awning building further down for a red eye and internet.

I'm currently typing from a cafe table outside the blue awning place.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Spam me now, Bitch!

My blog has been the victim of a lot of spam recently.

I used to be a trusting soul who avoided using word verification security measures. For whoever would just spam crap to my eensy-weensy blog? And now that they have, who really is going to go to these links when the comments read something like:

"very sorry for this mistaken we occurred. View reasoning discovers new happy fun smile cloud lens cleaner. Guarantee you love long time"

or some such crap.

So I have enabled the word verification crap. I hope it works.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Coming Out...

Ok, Mr. Kelly Stern. You got me thinking about my coming out story. So I decided to post it here.

I knew at age 8 what I was-- when you have crushes on Superman (Chris Reeves) and Parker Stevenson from the Hardy Boys, you just sorta know. That and really liking a boy in my grade named Mike Schroder (boy was he cute!)

By age 10 I was messing around with friends and boys my age- especially my cousin. Most of the play was the innocent "sword fight" variety. Or the occasional touchy feely stuff. Except with my cousin whom I continued to mess around until age 17 or so. I also started messing around with my best friend at age 15. For about a year we had sleepovers where he would "pretend" to be asleep, and I would "pretend" to suck his dick. Then he would "pretend" to cum. Then we would fall asleep. Yeah, right... pretending.

Since I was a big nerd in high school (and not cool enough to work at any place as cool as Chess King) I never really had a girlfriend. I was also a late bloomer (no ejaculations until age 15) so was just sort of asexual- or at least viewed that way by most of my peer group. Inside however, I was a big sexual wreck. But I knew that as long as I lived in my crappy hometown with all the crappy kids in my school, I would be alone. Therefore I decided during my senior year of highschool that I just needed to wait for college. There I would get a girlfriend and then be normal and we would do it and it would be magical then then we would get married and have a huge wedding with a brass choir and organ and we would sing to each other....

Yeah- I should have realized sooner that I was a big 'mo.

College rolled around and not much changed. I had a couple girlfriends- nothing serious. I was in a frat, but I never messed around with brothers. Or ANY guys for that matter- not that I didn't have a couple opportunities. I lament those lost collegiate opportunites to this day. I lost my female virginity my sophmore year and it was awful. I decided that waiting to lose the big "V" didn't make sense any more so I just got it over with. It was a drunken fumble-fest with a rather heavyset girl from out of town.

I still maintained my 'straightness' even though there were persistent rumors and jokes about my being 'gay'. I'm not overly effeminate, but I am VERY outgoing and uninhibited. I love to be the center of attention. I was in the band in college and always a prankster and clown and sort of a 'leader' in the group. And as such a big target.

College ended uneventfully. I went to grad school and STILL maintained my straightness. I had two girlfriends in gradschool-- but during the last one (a long distance relationship with a girl in Chicago) I started to admit to myself what I really wanted.

I went to my first gay bar during that time. I got involved in some student activites and I met Craig. I fell deeply, madly, head over heels in love with Craig. I suspected he may be gay, but I wasn't sure. We hung out a lot, and I thought about him all the time. After Christmas break, he called me up and I went to his place. We sat around talking for hours, but then I took a chance. I told him how I felt.

It all came out in a huge blurry rush of words. I was so embarassed afterward that I just told him that I couldn't sit here any longer and I needed to go home. I got up to go to the door, but he grabbed me. He pulled me onto the couch and we made out. It was the first time I had ever kissed a boy.

Then we got naked and messed around (not all the way) but we did come. Then he threw me a towel, got dressed and said, "I hate to kick you out but I have class in the morning."

I was fairly devastated. The next day I called up one of Craig's friends whom I had met. I looked up his number in the phone book, and I was fairly certain he was gay too. I needed to talk with someone- ANYONE-- so I called and just started telling him about Craig and myself and how messed up I felt. He was very cool and we became friends. Through him I met several other cool, supportive guys in the area, and I eventually met my first boyfriend, Scott.

During this time, I'm still dating my long distance girlfriend in Chicago. So for a brief while, I was dating a girl AND a boy. It became apparent which I liked better.

Then things got crazy in my life. Finishing my masters but losing my grant, I had to move home to save money. I was also trying to find a job and was breaking up with Scott(whom I lost my OTHER virginity to) etc. I was sullen and depressed and a bit manic. My mother confronted me and asked me if I was on drugs. I tried to push her off, but she kept forcing the conversation. So I ended up yelling at her, "Mom, I'm not on drugs, I'm GAY! And Gay hours are midnight to 4 am, so THAT'S where I've been!"

She cried. Blamed herself. Lamented the loss of future grandchildren. All the usual crap. (Like she didn't know after that one time I had accidently left out one of her Playgirls when I was 13). Our talk was nearly 12 years ago. To this day we really don't talk much about my 'gayness'. Every so often she asks whether I have anyone "special" in my life. But I don't and I get tired of having to answer that i don't.

I told my father a month later- during a game of trivial pursuit. I had tried for a week to get him alone so that I could tell him, but there was never a good time. So as we were starting the game, I picked up the die to roll it and then said, "Um, before we start playing, I think we should discuss the fact that I'm gay." I'm nothing if not a bit dramatic.

He said he had known for quite some time, but was waiting for me to tell him. He was fairly cool about the whole thing, but was worried that life would be harder for me. I told him I was worried that people would throw my gayness at him to be hurtful, and that's what worried me most. We dont' talk about my being gay very much. He doesn't even ask if I have anyone in my life.

And now, I am not exactly 'out' but I don't hide it. If anyone asks me directly, I tell them honestly.

Thats my story.

Hot Man Haiku # 109

Dominic Purcell
Oh you hot motherfucker!
Give me prison sex

Monday, October 09, 2006

Other weekend delights

So to add to the wonderful band concert, there were a couple other bright spots this weekend.

1) I finished (mostly) a short story that had been in the works for awhile. Its called "The Life and Times of an Artist's Muse" and its a recount of life as the aging lover for a famous artist. Purely fictional of course, with no "write what you know" content.

2) I approached a guy at a coffeeshop and just started talking to him. I've seen the guy (jonathan) around at some of the same places that I haunt and I've always been mildly attracted. And my gaydar was going off, so I felt it safe to approach. Even though he's slighter of frame than the guys I like, he's got a shaved head, scruffy goatee, and a sharp nose. Now those features I like! As it turns out he is also a musician and an engineer. And lives very close to me- hence the same hauntings. We may have dinner some time this week.

3) I made some darn good chili last night, and have enough for leftovers for this week. Yum!

4) I got some good work done on my music composition. Its a piece that I'm writing for concert band that is a tribute to Aaron Copland. I am quoting snippets of many of his famous works, but mostly the piece quotes fragments of Fanfare for the Common Man. Other bits I'm 'borrowing' include "Billy the Kid", "The Red Pony", "Appalachian Spring", "Rodeo", and "Letters from Home". I hope it turns out well.

The President's Own...

This past weekend I got my geek on, and I saw a concert given by the Marine Corps Band.

I truly love the concert band idiom, and the Marine Corps band probably represents one of the finest concert bands in the world. All of the musicians obviously had to pass muster in their audition process as well as pass all the physical requirements to become a Marine. Fairly impressive for band geeks, huh?

The best thing about the concert was that it was free. When this band tours, all of their concerts are free for the public. This one was held in a high school gymnasium- and the place was completely full! I'm glad I got there when I did, because there really wasn't a bleacher seat left.

Of course they played the traditional marches and rah-rah stuff, which is some of my least favorite band music. But they play marches so bloody well! However, they also played some very difficult pieces that really showcased their talent.

Second on the program was a piece called 'American Overture for Band' by Jenkins. It is quite simply one of my all time favorite band pieces. I've gotten to play it before, and its tough- especially for the French Horns! They played it superbly, and at one of the more melodic parts I felt myself just smiling and tearing up a little because it was so goddamn beautiful.

They also played a whole series of jazz arrangements of Benny Goodman pieces and an arrangement of Tchaikovsky's 'Capriccio Italian'. Talk about difficult music!

But far and away the best piece of the night was a John Williams suite called "American Journey". It was everything that was most brilliant about his music- from the brass fanfares, to the percussive beats, to the delicate soul-wrenching ballads. It was such heroic music- on a scale equal to that of Aaron Copland. It even ended with one of those huge crescendos culminating in a huge, final note that just reverberated the gym for days.

Oddly enough, I think that this piece got the least crowd response of the night. Perhaps they were like me and felt transfigured and emotionally worn out by the piece. (Of course the largest ovation of the night came for Sousa's 'Stars and Stripes Forever'- shocker.)

This concert was probably the highlight of my weekend. And it naturally made me get off my ass and start composing again- so I spent Sunday at my computer writing.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Another Saturday of Work

God I hate work.

And when I say that, I'm not sure whether I mean ALL work, or just my present job. I must say, I'm not horribly fond of work in general. I'd much rather just play the day away. You know, be outside throwin' a frisbee or something. ANYTHING.

Maybe its my definition of work. I guess the word "work" for me would be defined as follows:

work: ('wurk) n. or v. 1. a task or job that one dislikes immensely that exists without the option of ignoring. 2. A chore. 3. generic term for a place of business that doesn't deserve a better description. 4. action of doing or being busy with a most disagreeable task or job. 5. looking fierce on a runway or other modelling venue.

Using this definition, I consider the following to be work: mowing, weeding, trimming, raking, making beds, washing dishes, vacuuming, dusting, quality engineering, metallurgy, managing others, finding a new job, etc.

Today (saturday) I am at 'work'. Much as I was last saturday. I don't like it here very much. And my plan of sitting on my fat ass in my office and working on my music composition is not panning out well. I have been inundated with requests and 'work' since arriving.

In short, it sucks being here.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Hot man Haiku # 51

Love those tree-trunk legs
Thanks for not shaving your chest
Nice package, Goldberg.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Mother has left the building...

Mom was taken to the airport at 7:30 this morning. She should be somewhere close to home by now.

She saw my new leg tattoo while she was here. It was an accident as I had kept it hidden successfully for 6 days. While we were sitting watching Gilmore Girls, my trouser leg pulled up and my socks had slumped down (damn elastic!).

She said, "What's on your leg??" To which I sheepishly replied, "Um, my new tattoo." She grimmaced.

She didn't ask to see it, so I didn't show it. I don't think she realizes it covers so much acreage.

I believe she also found a porn magazine. I had forgotten I had an old copy of "Stroke" magazine in a stack of crap at my bedside table. Last night when I looked down, I saw the entire stack had been reorganized and carefully placed UNDER the nightstand. I thumbed through the stack, and yup. There it was. A "Stroke" edition with the cover featuring Lukas giving a blowjob to a very sizeable uncut cock.


It was probably none too soon for her to leave. She doesn't need to see all that.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Porn Movie Titles

I love me some bad puns. My favorite involve either drag queen names, or adult film titles.

Here are some of my favorites:

Gilligan's Biland
Ordinary Peepholes
Harry Twatter
Harry Pooter and the Sorcer's Bone
... and the dungeon of secrets
... and the prisoner of Ass-kaban
Edward Penishands
Hard Max: Beyond Thunderbone
Shaving Ryan's Privates
The Beverly Thrill-billies
Flesh Gordon
Jurassic Pork
Muffy the Vampire Layer
Forrest Hump
In Diana Jones and the Temple of Poon
James Bondage
Sperms of Endearment
Weapons of Ass Destruction
Driving Miss Daisy Crazy
Crouching Hooker Hidden Pimp
Honey I Swallowed the Jizz
The Sperminator
Pulp Friction
Whale Rider
Schindler's Fist
White Men Can't Hump
You've Got Male... Genitalia
American Booty
Cum and Cummer
Romancing the Bone
Thighs Wide Slut
Titty Slickers

God this shit cracks me up.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fucked Up, Texas Style

Who knew that it was against the law to promote "obscenely shaped" sex toys in Texas?

Evidently, the laws in Texas are very clear about promoting sex toys in the shape of sexual organs. Sexual organs are evidently 'obscene'.

Who knew?

The case about a store worker being arrested by undercover cops for showing a penis-shaped dildo made it all the way to the Supreme Court before being rejected. Evidently the Texas law doesn't infringe upon anyone's right to enjoy said object.

I think the bigger question is why the fuck are there undercover cops working to bust porn stores for selling dildos shaped like cocks, when there are so many other crimes that need attending?

Texas- home of the most porous border to the US, is concentrating its law efforts on busting penis-pushers.

Get serious.

Family and Fish

I am decidedly NOT 'Southern' in the way that I deal with my family. I'm a firm believer in the old addage, "Family and Fish both start to smell after 3 days".

Southern boys tend to be much closer to their mommas and daddies than us Northern or Midwestern boys are. Its true. Every southern guy down here talks to his mother at LEAST once per day. Sometimes more than that. And visiting the family at least once during the week or on the weekends is a given.

Whereas we Midwestern guys are quite content to speak with the parents 'maybe' once per week. And since I live 1000 miles from them, I see them twice a year.


This week, however, my mother has been visiting me and it has been severely trying my patience. She arrived last tuesday around noon, and leaves this wednesday early in the morning. Now, don't get me wrong- I LOVE my mother.

Just not for eight days in a row.

I do feel guilty about not spending more time with her while she has been down here. But unfortunately I have had to work. Not even 'optional' working... I HAD to work. I also feel a tinge of guilt about not minding working to get out of the house.

She comes down just to visit and to get away from where she works. And because she is a bit of a workaholic, to keep boredom at bay she uses her vacation to clean my house from top to bottom. And while I do appreciate the cleaning, it is also a bit stressful for me.

Mom and I really don't talk much about my being gay. The fact that I am is sort of the elephant in the room. So I try to de-gay my house as much as possible before she gets there (i.e. the stress!)

Case in point, I have a newly framed print of a movie poster featuring Andy Warhol's work on two boys (one licking the other one's neck with a huge red tongue). It hides my fusebox and I didn't move it before her visit. Her comment was, "Ew. What the hell is THAT?"

When she first arrived her first chore for us was to go through all my drawers and closets and throw out everything that was old or not used anymore. The stuff would either go to Goodwill or to the dump. Now, in preparation for her visit I had already stashed my naughty porn collection and hidden my enema bulb. I also hid my harness inside some old sweats at the top of my closet.

But I had forgotten about a dildo in my underwear drawer.

As we are going through my armoir we eventually get to the undies portion. I am starting to go through the old boxers and pitching them when my hand comes in contact with the 'device'. I freak a little.

I had to stall going through the drawer until she went to do some laundry, then I quickly moved the dildo to behind my sweaters (we had already gone through the sweaters so it was a 'safe zone').

And next she wanted me to go through the top shelf of my closet and get rid of some more things (oh no, the harness!!) I just said no, that all of that stuff stayed. (Crisis avoided).

Now the only bad area left would be my nightstand drawer. I just hope she avoided it altogether as it contains condoms, cock rings, a few leather goods, lube, towels, etc. Where was I gonna put all THAT?

She has had me cleaning and picking up and sorting out and doing yardwork and housework for about 5 days now. I'm tired.

Is it wrong for me to have a countdown timer going for Wednesday?