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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s Inspiration Project: What Inspires Me to Write

I write a lot about bisexuality and the inspiration comes from the fact that I am bisexual and have been for a large portion of my life… like over five decades. The other thing that inspires me to write about it is knowing that:

  1. A lot of people have no idea what bisexuality is.
  2. A lot of people don’t know how to be bisexual and that it’s not just a thing to do sexually.
  3. A lot of people have questions or concerns and there aren’t that many answers to them that aren’t couched in pie-in-the-sky nonsense and psychobabble.
  4. It’s a kind of legacy thing; I felt a great need to pass on what I’ve learned about this and I’ve learned a lot of shit about this
  5. It’s therapeutic to write. Years ago, I had a stroke that left my whole right side impaired. I had to relearn how to walk and relearn how to do simple things like pick something up with my right hand and other stuff right-handed people normally do and including, for me, being able to type as well and as fast as I could before I had the stroke.

I like to say that I’m “rabidly bisexual” which might sound weird but isn’t; being bisexual is the shit, not just because of the sex that can be had but because it proved to be one hell of an eye-opening thing that, almost right away, showed me the world and the way things really worked. I saw that what we believe about certain things is just the preferred way to do them… but has never been the only way.

Bisexuality liberated me from conventional thinking, beliefs and behaviors. It’s been likened to being blind… then being able to see and now a lot of the things that didn’t make sense started to make sense… and I embraced the hell out of it and, without any shame whatsoever, yeah – the sex is just fucking amazing. Once I started blogging – and blogging about this particular aspect – the thoughts that are forever bouncing around inside my head now had an outlet and if I had a regret, it’s that it took a long time for me to find this outlet and I probably wouldn’t have until a very dear – and now late – friend of mine told me about the blog she was writing and suggested that she thought I’d be good at blogging.

As it turns out, this month is my WordPress anniversary month. I wrote my very first blog on 28 May 2010… and I haven’t stopped blogging and, wow, I’ve had a lot to say about what it’s like to be bisexual and what it means as well as what I’ve observed from others on the topic. When someone asked me, “Why do you write about this?” my answer was, “Because someone has to… and someone has to be for-real about it. No sugar-coating it; no bullshit; tell it as it is and as I’ve experienced and observed it.”

While a lot of bloggers blog to gain an audience and can be all about the stats, eh, I don’t care about that so much; I’m inspired and “driven” to get the word out to anyone who cares to pay attention to it that bisexuality isn’t the non-existent thing everyone seems to think it is. It’s not all about the sex but the sex is just as much a part of it as the emotional aspects are. I’ve heard a lot of people ask, “Why do guys have sex with each other?” and I’m the guy who can answer that question and, nope, being gay has nothing to do with it… and I’m also the guy who is inspired to do some mythbusting and get down to the real and “dirty” answer to that question…

And then to let anyone who cares to read what I write know that the only shame in this is the shame we allow ourselves to feel or allow someone else to foist upon us. Stats aren’t important; the fact that few people ever comment on the things I write about this doesn’t mean a whole lot… but getting the word out there means everything.

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again.” Etienne de Grellet du Mabillier is credited with uttering these words and when I first saw this, I was inspired; if I can “set the record straight” about what it means to be bisexual and what it is, then I’ve done some good and, again, someone has to. If not now, when? If not me, then who? I’d not call my the expert in things bisexual… but I know some shit about it and, as one can see when I write, it’s a lot of shit that most people aren’t even aware of because few people ever really bother to dig down deep and as I did to answer a question I asked myself five decades ago: How can something that’s supposed to be so bad feel so good?

Because I know the answer, yeah… inspired like you wouldn’t believe. I know the good of it as well as the bad; I understand the science behind it and if being bisexual didn’t teach me anything, it taught me what it means to be human and no matter what the rules have to say about it. Some bloggers write to excite and stimulate and, well, when I write about, um, certain things, they can excite and stimulate… but that’s not the purpose or reason because if I really wanted to do that, I can and have written erotica and got published (and paid) for it. I am inspired to inform and to the best of my ability to do so and do it in a no-nonsense, no bullshit kind of way because I know, even if no one else does or cares to know, bisexuality is some very real and life-changing shit.

And I remain inspired to be the one to have the nerve and gall to write about it… because someone has to.

 
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Posted by on 15 May 2021 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project II – Apple Music

Music is a big part of my life, as a listener as well as a composer and performer. There’s no such animal as too much music and to the point where there’s a pretty good portion of my mind that always has music playing, whether it’s something I’ve heard before or something I’m composing.

I have both an iPad and an iPhone and I always made sure that I had my music loaded up from my huge stash kept on my computer – which ain’t even close to speaking to all of the music I still have on CD that I’m too lazy to put on my computer and a project, due to my laziness, I have been putting off for years now.

To be honest, I wasn’t a fan of Apple Music or any of the other services that offers music, like Amazon, Spotify, etc., because, like most people, I have my favorite kinds of music and, at least in the earlier days, none of them had the music that might pop into my head at any given time. So if I didn’t have the CD already and it wasn’t on my computer, bleh – the various services couldn’t be that good and more so when they say they have the music you want to listen to… and then they don’t.

But when I upgraded my iPhone, they were offering a year of Apple Music free and I thought that, well, it’s free so why not? I’d taken a look at the other services and my son-in-law gave Amazon Music some props but, after checking them out, nah – I wasn’t feeling them. So I signed up for the free year, put an entry in my calendar to cancel it before the year was up, and we’ll see if Apple Music really does live up to the advertised hype.

In reality, there’s a lot of music I can think of that Apple Music doesn’t have, either because they can’t or haven’t obtained the rights or, in a lot of cases, the music is literally no longer available – it’s “out of print” and like a lot of books are. When I have music on my mind, it’s usually the music I grew up with; yeah, some of it I do have on CD but, again, I’m just too fucking lazy to pull out my stash of CDs and put them on the computer so I can upload them to my devices. It really is easier to think of a song, pick up my iPhone or iPad, tap the Music icon, and go looking for it and with the thought that, chances are good, they’re not gonna have it.

Then be pleasantly surprised that they do have it and, yeah, often finding new music to listen to. I don’t remember which iOS update changed the way Apple Music behave but I was quite upset to find, after updating, that my music apps – other than the one that came with the phone/pad – could no longer see the music I had painstakingly uploaded from my computer – it was now all in Apple’s cloud. Okay… my music was “safe” in that sense but let’s face it: Apple’s music app just flat out sucks. No EQ to speak of or any other way that enhances what you hear and a reminder of why Apple pisses me off so much given how fucking proprietary they tend to be and, as such, not allowing the apps that gives me the best listening experience to access Apple Music in the cloud.

And there are few apps in the AppStore that meets my needs… and the ones I often see there includes a lot of shit I’m just not interested in, like radio stations that are streaming music I’m very much not interested in: I want to listen to what I want to listen to and when I want to listen to it and how I want to listen to it, damn it to hell!

Still, um, Apple Music, surprisingly, hasn’t disappointed me all that much when I think of a song, search for it, and find it, adding it to my ever growing collection – did I mention that I have a shitload of music? All kinds of music that covers my tastes? The good part in this is that despite whatever Apple has to offer, I still have access to my favorite music to listen to even if it’s now hanging out in the cloud – and it’s still on my computer so I guess it’s really a win/win.

The thing is that, for me, I can’t imagine a life without music. One of my biggest fears, when I had my stroke, was whether or not my ability to play an instrument was going to be lost and if I’d even be able to remember any of the music I love so much. My ability to play an instrument was, sadly, impacted; while I regained a lot of the fine motor skills required, I didn’t get it all back and I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it is to know I can, say, sit down at my Korg workstation and I know what to do… and I have a problem doing it the way I know how to. It’s… muscle memory as well as being able to remember what’s called for to be able to play a given instrument… but the brain is mysterious: I know how to do it but my hands and feet – because I’m also a drummer – can’t get back on the same page with each other.

I need my music. Even if playing it poses a problem, I need to be able to listen to whatever I feel like listening to and in the moment I wanna hear it. Like, I was watching a movie – or, really, the tail end of it – and I heard Brian McKnight’s, “Back to One,” a song I hadn’t heard, oh, since it came out – and one I knew I didn’t have in my library or on CD. I had my iPad in hand, exited out of the book I was reading and a few taps later, the song is mine… and along with three more of his songs that also happened to come to mind.

It makes paying that $9.99 every month worth it. Oddly enough, I recently signed up for Amazon Prime – something else I wasn’t really feeling so much but Amazon had something I needed right away so, okay, I needed Prime and got it. It comes with Amazon Music… and I haven’t even bothered to check it out… because I don’t need to but maybe I should; they could have something that Apple doesn’t.

Mrs. Fever picked September for a music meme project… but for me? Every day is a musical meme for me; I pretty much live for music. It’s been an integral part of me since I was seven years old, having been bitten by the music bug when our church organist sat me down at the gigantic, four manual keyboard and showed me how I could make it do music. I could barely reach the lower manual but I managed it… and I was hooked after she taught me how to play “Chopsticks.” Today, I think she’d be proud to know that I learned how to play such a big organ and can play something other than “Chopsticks.”

I know music. I can read it. Perform it with and on various instruments. I can compose it, write it using notation that I trained hard to learn and, of course, I listen to it and hear it playing non-stop in my head.

How’s that for a meme?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 15 September 2020 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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Life, Living and Loving: Mrs. Fever’s September Song Project II: Two Songs

Since the passing of my mother, there has been two songs echoing through me. The first is Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” and the other is from the movie, “Avengers: Endgame” and entitled, “The Real Hero” composed by Alan Silvestri.

I don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t know the story behind “Tears in Heaven” and in case you didn’t know, Clapton wrote that song after the tragic death of his young son. I watched his MTV Unplugged performance when it aired and as he and his guys performed “Tears in Heaven,” I was… in awe of the man and that he could perform a song that so much reminded him of his son’s death and the Unplugged version had me in tears – you could feel the emotion in the song and in his voice as he sang.

This was the first song that popped into my head upon hearing of my mother’s death, followed by “The Real Hero.” If you’ve not seen “Avengers: Endgame,” the song actually appears twice in the movie, once – and in part – during the opening scenes and at the moment Tony Stark died after swiping the Infinity Stones from Thanos and snapping him and his army out of existence.

Had tears in my eyes seeing that part of the movie but the song itself speak of sorrow and hope as well as a sense of what it means to commit one’s self to the ultimate sacrifice. Dr. Strange had told Tony that there was one chance in 14 million to defeat Thanos and, at one point in the movie, he told Stark that if he told him what that chance was now, it would never happen.

Then everything comes to a head… and Dr. Strange looks at Tony and slowly raises one finger… and Tony knew what he had to do. And did what he had to do even though it was the one thing he didn’t want to do.

Pretty heroic stuff and the song by Silvestri embodies it… and is fitting as I remember the hero my mother was to me and even more so when I think about how she faced death with a strength, resolve, and utter fearlessness.

The musician in me loves these two pieces of music. I’ve always liked Clapton’s music and it’s fascinated me that a guy with a very British accent can sing without any trace of that accent in his vocals… and his skill and virtuosity with the guitar is unmatched by few. He performed on Phil Collins’ “Let It Rain Down On Me” and his licks, which opened the song, wow. Just fucking wow. Such emotion in those opening measures, followed by Collins’ vocals, the rest of the musical performance – the bass line is deep and the drum parts – which I took great joy in being able to perform myself – just adds to the soulfulness of the song.

And, yeah, it was the third song that flowed through my mind during this time of grief.

Silvestri and the London Symphony Orchestra performed “The Real Hero” – he did all of the music for all of the Avengers movies. Strings and French horns just reach out and tug on your heart right from the beginning – well, if you like orchestral music. The song starts playing in my head – or I open the playlist I have this song in (available on Apple Music if you got it like that) – and I see the ending scenes of the movie and the two of them together running in my mind just touches my soul – and that was way before all of this happened to my mother.

It’s the last song in this particular playlist and I placed it there deliberately even though I’ve added songs to this playlist; the playlist opens with Eugie Groove’s “In Love With You” and continues with an… odd collection of songs set in a particular and specific order to evoke differing emotions; love, happiness, thoughtfulness, and unabashed toe-tapping and dancing like no one’s watching – and singing. This playlist is a rollercoaster ride of musical fun and ends with the heart-rending soulfulness of “The Real Hero” and a reminder that while all things must end, there is still hope remaining and that the cycle of life continues on…

Plus that playlist is set to repeat itself. In this period of grief, these two songs are… fitting. The first – “Tears in Heaven” – speaks to how I’m feeling about all of this while the second – “The Real Hero” – speaks to my memories of my mother and how she faced the things in her life and stood tall and strong even when life threw a lot of bad things her way.

They are, in a way, my songs in the key of life.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 12 September 2020 in Life, Living and Loving

 

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