Tags: hope


PiNk SaTuRdAy!

 Pink Saturday is tonight! Jovino and I will be DJing on Castro Street, out in front of the BofA, at 18th! (It's where they have the tree in december.) Please come on by!

Music starts at 6pm and goes til 11. I'm bringing the disco and rare groove and he is bringing some amazing '80s!

This is my 13th year doing this and I am very grateful and honored, and super stoked!!!

My Big Fat Gay Wedding

so, back in the '80s, I met this amazing guy.  we moved in together, and eventually got married.  

no, he wasn't gay, although I did have a (still much beloved) gay bf, before that.  we were married for 14 years, and together for a few years before.  eventually we grew apart and decided to go our separate ways.  (awesomely, we're still friends!)

after this experience, I decided that I was too modern (or something) for the concept of marriage.  nobody owns me!  it's not necessary!  etc.

a few years later came the Valentine's Day weddings of the same sex couples in SF.  I think it is ridiculously obvious that everyone should have equal rights (I support gays in the military too, even though I myself would never join) so of course I was totally supportive and thrilled!  (the link is to a photo gallery I shot of some of the happy couples on the steps of city hall on that amazing day in 2004.)  going back through it has brought tears to my eyes.  we WILL nail this!

anyway, the equality angle got me really thinking in a serious way about the whole concept of marriage and what it all meant, and eventually I gained new perspectives on why anyone would want to get married in the first place.

and now, I am getting married, to my beloved partner Jovino.

why?  in some significant part, it is because of the struggle for same-sex marriage.

so, don't you try to tell ME that same-sex marriage is in any way detrimental or deleterious to opposite-sex marriage!  (I suppose I ought to disclose here that I'm actually bi, although it hardly matters.  these days, I'm a one-man woman. yeah, I know, whoda thunk it?)

I also want to say that I do feel guilt for doing this while the struggle for marriage equality continues.  all I can say is that I will continue to fight and that I know we will win this one.

I hope you are warm and dry!


- M

SF Pride 2010 (my traditional long update)

another pride weekend has come and gone, and I have to say that while they are all the same in many ways, it is also very true that no two are ever quite alike.

this was my 12th(!!!) time spinning out in the street for Pink Saturday, and I have to say that the party people at this event do NOT disappoint!

last year, they'd reassigned me from my familiar spot in front of BofA on Castro at 18th to a block down 18th towards the Mish, in the intersection next to Moby Dick's bar. this was kinda unforchers at the time, since the gate was very close and most people coming in rushed past us to get to the party. it was quite a challenge to get and keep a dance party going so close to the egress (although we did manage, especially later on - mostly I think we managed to grab folks who had been intending to leave and got them to stay longer as opposed to getting anyone to stop right after coming through the gate).

*this* time the gate was a whole block down, so we had little trouble getting people to stop and dance. perfect! and we didn't have any sound bleed issues either.

I have a tendency to be extremely critical of my own DJing (in case you hadn't noticed, lol) but this year I really cannot complain! shocking, because in between being injured yet having to keep working and just the general insanity of this time of year, I really did not get a chance to practice. the last time I really even touched my mixer was the memorial day weekend campout several weeks ago, and then I was not really up to snuff having just been injured (fell off a zipline at speed and banged the hell out of my ribs on the right side). I've been really sore and running at reduced capacity ever since.

I actually went so far as to consider cancelling but the thought of that was even more depressing than the injury itself. instead, I sucked it up and (much as I hate to) actually requested help loading the gear. we did get help unloading and reloading onsite but for a variety of reasons we ended up having to do everything on our end by ourselves. which was suboptimal but ultimately turned out ok - we were both tired and sore the next day, but not to the point of being re-injured.

I am SO GLAD I didn't cancel! somehow, my sets both went really well (I open and close, and Jovino has a segment in the middle). I really love the closing disco stuff, and I also don't think it's fair to him to make him open for me and be done while it isn't even dark yet (I'm not *that* big of a princess) so that's how we do it. also, I have to say, he freakin' SLAYED 'em this year! he has every time I've had him spin for PS but this year he decided to do an '80s set and people were absolutely mad for it. I'm never eager to follow him, I must admit.

before we got together, I used to take the whole thing myself - and BITD it was often 6 or 7 hours instead of the scant 4 and a half we got this year. considering how tardy they were closing the streets it might actually have been less - of course they are always on time or early to shut us off! but enough about the cops. this year, I was really happy with my set, despite not having ANY time to practice. I did spend a couple of hours organizing my case and sorting music the night before, but that was it.

and, it worked! I landed some mixes that even I couldn't find fault with - I mean, they weren't long housey stlye fades, but they were spot-on short mixes. I was very happeh! in fact, this is the happiest I can remember being about a set in quite some time.

I didn't keep a setlist, but here is some of what I played (in as close to order as I can recall):

Under the Rainbow - Saya Saito Trio (I always start off with this one for PS)
I Know You Know - Esperanza Spalding
Inside + Out - Feist (BeeGees cover)
Living for the City - Noel Pointer
Under the Influence of Love - Love Unlimited
Love Has Come Around - Donald Byrd
We Got the Funk - Positive Force
(Every Time I Turn Around) Back in Love Again - LTD (someone told me this was his all-time favorite song!)
More More More (Tom Moulton Mix) - Andrea True Connection
Hum Along and Dance - Jacksons
Let's Start the Dance - Bohannon
Love Pains - Yvonne Elliman
Victim - Candi Staton
Take Your Time, Do it Right - SOS Band
I Don't Want to be a Freak (But I Cant Help Myself) - Dynasty
and not sure what else.

then Jovino went on and just burnt the place down with two hours of '80s. he had them in his pocket! he brought his electrohouse skills (and sense of timing) to the '80s for a set that hung together well, was extremely danceable, and just went for it! I was in no hurry to follow that. he left his packed dance floor to me with Prince, which is quite a decent segue back into disco.

late (only an hour!):
Messing With my Mind - LaBelle
I Don't Want to Lose your Love - Emotions (feat. EWF - this is a HOTTT one!)
Born This Way - this one was produced by Tom Moulton and is PERFECT for pride
Feels Like I'm in Love -
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow - Bobby V white label remix! went over, too!
I Wanna Rock U - Giorgio
More - Carol Williams
If You Could Read My Mind - Viola Wills (disconet)
Dance with Me - Peter Brown (OMG this went over!)
Take Me Home - Cher
Last Dance - Donna Summer
Hold On to My Love - Jimmy Ruffin (I wish I had a better sounding copy of this but I got mine from the guy who actually did the rmx for disconet and even his sounds like it was mixed off an acetate - which, in fact, it was, so that's probably as good as it gets. it's SO good, I have to play it anyway!)
La Vie en Rose - Grace Jones

I timed myself down to the MINUTE this year, and so when they sent the officers around to cut me off, Grace was in her final measures. nevertheless, they impatiently made those throat-slashy motions, apparently unsatisfied at the rate I was fading out. at least this year I was EARLY so they didn't get to cockblock my last song.

stuff I want to remember to get to next year:
Where Love Lives - Allison Limerick (I know it's out of period but it's SO good!)
Free - Ultra Nate' (got to hear her sing it LIVE at SF Pride once - so fitting!)
Sylvester (his stuff is all either so fast to begin with, or it speeds up, or BOTH, but if anyone DESERVES to be played at SF Pride it is Sylvester! BTW there is amazing historical footage of Sylvester performing on Castro Street in the movie Milk - highly recommended if you haven't already seen it.)
Low Spark of High Heeled Boys - I used to have an awesome mixer trick for this one and need to figure it out again in time for next year.

the great thing about the new spot is that our van is parked *right* behind us, so we can keep stuff in there, and load-out is speedy. we were on the couch at home by the time we'd have just been starting chucking the gear into the van at the last place! apparently they had Big Sound (rental type) at our old location so it's looking like we are in this spot for good... (which is great!)

...at least until they move me again. the event has evolved over the years! my first years doing PS I was stationed out in front of that bank on Castro in between the sporty Rolo and Daddy's (leather) bar. this was rad because not only was I right on Castro street, being next to Daddy's meant that I had a steady supply of leathermen boogieing to my disco lusciousness! and ya can't argue with that.

as I have said many times to any Sister that will listen, I absofreakinglutely LOVE Pink Saturday, I am grateful to be included and I would PAY THEM to get to DJ, so I will set up anywhere they want! last year our spot was dicey but this year it was actually perfect for us.

and one more thing. my headphones are off to my disco buddies. I doubt any of them even know this blog exists but *I* know who *they* are... they are the DJs and producers who inspire and challenge me. some, through their music and some by befriending and encouraging me directly. (actually, one of 'em does, hi Droo!) it can be tough to try to avoid comparing my efforts to theirs (forgetting that many of them have years on me, that they are pros and I am just a passionate amateur, etc etc) and instead to take it as positive inspiration rather than a negative comparison. nights like Saturday really remind me of *why* I do this!

sewwious goggles


so I've just emerged from nearly an entire week of back pain - and let me tell you, I am going to the goddamn GYM just as soon as I feel back to 100%!

I'm 43. I don't feel old. nevertheless, I've thrown my back out twice in the past couple of years (although never before that). so even though this second episode isn't as severe as last time it's certainly enough to get my attention, and cause me to act to change this while I still can.

in case you've never had one, back injuries are awful. nearly everything you do, any move you make pulls on your back one way or another. waking up this morning and realizing it was only twingey and not excruciating made me want to jump for joy! (I refrained as I want to maintain this wonderful improvement... heh)

as soon as is feasible (I'm thinking Tuesday) I want to start going to the gym and working on core and back strength. it's really been a long time since I danced regularly (obviously, as this would never have happened to me then) and it is TIME for me to get back to it.

I'm really grateful that this is an option for me, and that I *can* do this. so, watch out, here I come!

Love is in the Air

so we're two thirds through the annual "The Holidays" trifecta, and in fact are about to head into the best part - our New Year's retreat! we'll join a group of friends and move into cabins at a place that is a nature camp for children in the warmer months. this place is right on the ocean and we have it all to ourselves! it's fabulous, four days of Awesome! a great way to start the year.

xmas this year was pretty sweet, I have to say. the business had a very nice little xmas boom. it was a real improvement from last year when our domain was being held hostage (and offered for sale even) by 1&1 Internet for the entire pre-xmas online shopping month. we also got our miracle tree, without which we probably wouldn't have even bothered to decorate. although I don't really believe in cutting down a tree for a temporary decoration, it's so beautiful and the room does smell lovely. oh, and the gift I got the Bunny? Went The Hell Over!

on Thursday we got dressed up and attended a fabulous xmas eve soiree where we saw so many old friends - it was truly delightful! then on xmas day, we went to a different home for a day of eating, laughing, drinking, eating, watching movies, drinking, eating, hanging out, and vintage cartoons sync'd through pure happenstance to amazingly perfect music from my ipod, which was playing because for some reason everyone suddenly decided they absolutely HAD to hear "Love is in the Air" RIGHT THEN, and guess whose ipod *that* was on?


so everyone jumped up and started dancing wildly to the glorious strains of "Love is in the Air" - it was one of those perfect moments I will never forget. yay, disco xmas! ;-)

then of course we got back to the eating and drinking. the food was delicious and varied - we all took turns making something (Jovino and I did grilled cheese sammitches). the cartoons were mostly from the '20s and '30s, all xmas themed and *wow* were some of them WEIRD! the way they matched up to the shuffled ipod music was really incredible, including some transitions that had us all stunned. then we watched JAWS, which was hilarious - but still pretty scary. I remember being a kid on Fire Island in the '70s and seeing the shark patrol, even being told to get out of the water right away when a (suspected) shark was spotted - of course, most of the time the "shark" would then fly away, revealing itself to actually be a gull.

after that we took a break and then watched the "Xmas" episode of Futurama, which I'm pretty sure I'd seen before. it was a nice changeup from Jaws. after this, everyone was pretty well done and there was one of those mass exoduses that you sometimes see at parties.

but basically, we sat around in our jammies ALL DAY (Jovino lent me his red fox and he was Christmas Bear). we all pretty much just ate and drank and sat around and fucked off for the entire day - it was AWESOME. very relaxing!

today, we did some sewing and I made us a healthy dinner as an attempt to counterbalance the wretched excess of the past couple days. we're chilling out as the rain falls on the roof. the tree is lit up (I'll probably take it down tomorrow; it has to go before we leave for New Years) and the Crackling Fire video is going on the little b/w tv. Bruce is snoozing under a blanket that also covers my legs (she just loves to be "Under Covers") and Jovino is by my side on his lappertron. I'm warm and happy, and ready for the last hurrah of 2009!

in other news, I'm back in touch with a couple of sweet friends from many years ago. it's been great catching up, though the whole timezone thing combined with my nocturnal tendencies has made chatting bit hit or miss. however, it's really cool to see how we're really all pretty much the same people, and it's super sweet to be back in communication with good friends. this would have never been possible without the internet. thanks, Internet!

I'm hoping for some F2F meetings in the coming year. <3!


Originally uploaded by Blazenhoff
funny thing... I feel fatter in town than on the playa. I'm sure this has nothing to do with the general lack of mirrors, and everything to do with the high prevalence of friends and people who generally give a damn about me camped nearby.

now that I'm back in town feeling fat again, and packing for a camping trip next weekend, this just strikes me as schizo.

(photo by Rusty Blazenhoff, back tattoos by Marcus Pacheco, shorts by Hello Kitty, shoes by Crocs, stupid tan lines by me)
sewwious goggles


wow. so, I got to have dinner with my sister Amy (and her new husband Eric, and Jovino) this evening, and man oh man was it AWESOME! we had a great time catching up and laughing about this and that, but we also had some moments of really deep communication which I will always treasure. I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true.

we had a wonderful talk about our beloved dog Yankee (who I raised from a puppy, and trained - he was exceptionally smart and loyal and sweet, but I gotta say I did do a great job too.) we both (ok, all) still miss him, though he's been gone for years. we also talked a bit about other family members' lives, and she let me know that she really wants us to stay in contact and be a part of each others life - which touched me deeply and made me so HAPPY!

when Amy and her sister Beth (non-identical twins) were born, I was in 7th grade. my dad and stepmom already had a 4 year old boy, so as the oldest I was drafted into all manner of childcare/childrearing responsibilities. you know that thing they made you do in junior high, where you had to carry an egg around with you for a week (or until you - hopefully accidentally - smashed it) to impress upon you the immense amount of responsibility and, well, inconvenience that goes along with having children? well.. I kinda lived it, for reals, through being drafted into live-in (indentured!) childcare staff.

I must admit, parts of it were actually pretty cool. I learned a LOT. and the great thing is, they all still like me! so now they are getting married and having kids and I get to be the auntie (the freaky auntie, natch). ;-)

seems like a pretty sweet deal, from where I'm standing.


thinking a lot about music lately. the flow throughout history, how the various threads weave and unweave.

for the past few weeks I've been having a really hard time getting myself to do my theory show. partly it is a time issue - there is actual *work* that needs to get done that has a higher priority. but also, I am kinda not motivated to make the time, because right now I am in a state of change and growth, and I'm not "there" yet... so I just want to hide away and practice where no one can hear.

hopefully I'll get to a point where I feel like spinning in front of people again soon. we have a campout in about a week that I usually spin at so hopefully I'll be ready to do SOMEthing by then. wish me luck!
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turn the beat around

trying to nail this demo is kicking my ASS!

Jovino has been awesome, patiently listening to my bad attempts at mixes and offering great advice and a lot of encouragement. this is really not the way I like to spin. I want to be all spontaneous and improvisatory, but that just doesn't fly when you are committing it to a recording where it can be heard again and again. I certainly learned that lesson with my Theory sets - I've recorded many of them, and what may have sounded good in the moment often starts to fall apart on repeated listening. you hear ALL the snags, and it's painful!

I do know that all this PITA work is going to pay off nicely the next time I have a disco gig that does allow spontaneity, so I can't really bitch too much.

one interesting realization I have had through this process is that it has really pointed up the differences between early period, middle period, and late period disco in my mind - besides the obvious advances in synthesizers and sound technology, the tempo just got faster and faster and faster (kinda like that old joke about how can you tell when there is a drummer at your door) to the point where you kinda have to order your tracks somewhat chronologically or you're never gonna be able to mix 'em, because the tempos are just too far off. (it's also a lot smoother to get faster than to get slower - so you really do have to plan at least a little, or else have a lot of fast stuff!) I like to hang out around the mid 120s so I need to keep conscious of this.

this whole project is something that I have had in the back of my mind forEVER but have been putting off for a long time. part of it is that there is SO MUCH more available on CD now - it really would not have been possible very much sooner without me becoming a vinyl collector (and frankly I have a bit too much self-preservation instinct to ever let myself go there, lol) but another part is definitely that I have been srsly intimidated. spinning live is different - there's no record! the proof of the pudding is in the eating - and ya know, as long as there is a party going on out front, you are pretty well succeeding as a live DJ. making a recording is a whole other game. it takes a lot of time, and it has to be *right* or every little thing will bug you forever!

so, this evening I made draft #2. it was a VAST improvement over the last one! Jovino and I listened to it afterwards and his suggestions were all totally in line with how I felt. I have a few changes to make to the track lineup and then I think by the time draft #4 rolls around I should be solid with my track selections and then it's all about mixing.

wish me luck!