NO COMPLAINTS AND NO REGRETS. I STILL BELIEVE IN CHASING DREAMS AND PLACING BETS. BUT I HAVE LEARNED THAT ALL YOU GIVE IS ALL YOU GET, SO GIVE IT ALL YOU GOT. I HAD MY SHARE, I DRANK MY FILL, AND EVEN THOUGH I’M SATISFIED I’M HUNGRY STILL TO SEE WHAT’S DOWN ANOTHER ROAD, BEYOND A HILL AND DO IT ALL AGAIN. SO HERE’S TO LIFE AND EVERY THE JOY IT BRINGS. HERE’S TO LIFE TO DREAMERS AND THEIR DREAMS. FUNNY HOW THE TIME JUST FLIES. HOW LOVE CAN TURN FROM WARM HELLOS TO SAD GOODBYES AND LEAVE YOU WITH THE MEMORIES YOU’VE MEMORIZED TO KEEP YOUR WINTERS WARM. THERE’S NO YES IN YESTERDAY. AND WHO KNOWS WHAT TOMORROW BRINGS OR TAKES AWAY. AS LONG AS I’M STILL IN THE GAME I WANT TO PLAY FOR LAUGHS, FOR LIFE, FOR LOVE…. heres to life shirley horn
being a child of the 60’s and 70’s, the mixtape was a part of my reality. it was a way of blending favorites memories together without all the b sides. hopefully you’ll humor me.
happy valenties day
in 1975 i was living in chicago, working as a dancer, and barely getting by. it was one of the most freeing time in my life. i was spending time (dating) a guy who worked in widnow display at carson pirie scott’s. i remember this song embedded as part of the soundtrack of the time we spent together.
a couple of years later i had become a bartender at a gay bar called “cheeks”. there was another bartender there named patsy who was one of the few women who ever worked there. there was a cast of “kookies” there – phil, steve allman, barry, baby cheeks, and vince the blind dj. he was actually myopic and always had a black spot on his nose from reading the labels of the vinyl. one night the music stopped as he halted the turntable trying to read.
next stop is the warehouse. frankie knuckles was the resident dj and ruled the roost. the term “house music” had not yet been coined. about the 4 th or 5th visit at about 5 am , frankie dropped this cut after an extended silence following a break. it was a game changer for me. i loved frankie knuckles like there was no tomorrow after that. and laurie anderson too.
i met some friends during those years that i remained close with for several years- mark stephens, blue, medusa, nealina, spider, bob anderson. before medusa opened his club, he was throwing parties around town build a following and keep his name out there. one halloween he rented an empty car repair garage. we pulled a few classics into some of the bays and called the party “pull up to the bumper”. that was hella fun night.
my years at medusa’s music hall from 83-87 were rich with music, laughter, and memories. the sadness was big too, but my life has always been accompanied by a spirit guide that loves to giggle. that gift has kept me from driving off many cliffs i am sure. the club was open 2 nights a week. saturday nights were commandeered by my great friend Mark Stephens. his light really began to shine during those years. it brought me great joy to witness. friday nights started with a northwestern university radio dj named kasey crabtree but then transition to the guidance of bud sweet. but had been a resident jock at a few alternative clubs and raised the bar on the edge that became medusa’s signature sound in chicago. i worked the light board-it wasn’t intricate as many of todays club lighting systems are. quite the opposite actually. the lights were bare bare bones but the fun came with a 16mm projector that i was able to show old films and documentaries with all over the walls. and i am including meeting billy miller here. billy was from the art institute of chicago, but he was so much more than that. he was a vanguard. he was very much like the fairy godmother of medusa’s. he waived his wand of inclusion and approval and the creative harmonic convergence that lived within those walls took hold.. billy, bud, mark, medusa et al created a new pattern in that windy city’s portrait. it remains changed.
i ran to hide and die in denver colorado in 1987. without my knowing and without my consent, i didn’t die. i sang in a mixed chorus for a while, i befriended a lesbian/gay spirituality movement based in boulder and ran with those drumming outcasts for a while. i met a guy djing at a warehouse party and sorta fell hard. having a relationship with drugs and/or alcohol and with another person is tough. at least it was too tough for me. those times reminded me of my left of center roots. i was also reminded how it felt to have my heart engaged again. i will treasure that time always.
i’m skipping the rest of the hiv denial years for now. i had tested hiv positive in 1985 and spent the next 12 years waiting to die. when that didn’t happen and the cocktail came out, i suddenly felt better than i had in over a decade. but i also got very angry because i felt pressure to suddenly have a life plan. i moved to san francisco for a bigger life. sadly- the “dot-com bust” and “9-11” happened just after my arrival and made it frigging challenging to succeed. i got kidney stones 3 x from one of the meds in the cocktail i was taking and my anger ballooned. meth erased most of that, but brought another set of issues for me to deal with. i encountered “dirty vegas” during that time. the break dancer continuing to relive old moves as a way to resurrect his past is a metaphor for addiction to me. i have been that break dancer. still would be if a higher force hadn’t intervened.
i was strolling down market street in the castro and heard shirley horn’s voice wafting from out of the doors of a record shop. this song has been a sort of theme song for my recovery ever since i returned to colorado. the rockies have been really good to me.
this weekend in 2016 has me reviewing quite a few changes coming down the pike. excited and scared only begin to scratch the surface of my feelings about it all. i know that i am fortunate enough to have lived through all these amazing moments in life. i have seem and felt more than i ever dared hope. i sometimes wonder if i chose this life or if it chose me. that one is still in the cooker. it’s a slow cooker and some things just take time.