Loco just like you

A Valentine to KOFY’s Dance Party

When I was fifteen, the best guy friend, Warrior, and I (or sometimes the best girl friends and I) had a Saturday night ritual. We’d begin our phone conversation  around 7:30ish and then make sure the TV was set to Channel 20. I could often be found in my parents’ bedroom because though the screen was only about 36 inches, I could sit or lie on the bed and talk on the preferred cream-colored rotary phone, its  long cord coiled around my arm like a snake.  At 8pm, Dance Party began. It was a local TV show featuring dancers of all ages and walks of life, dressed in their best 50s attire and swing dancing with palpable joy.  We would laugh at some of the outfits or dance moves, engage in running commentary, and state our wish to be on the show someday.  At least I did. 

I have always loved to dance. From four years of dance before high school to the five-plus years as a San Francisco club kid, dancing has been one of my passions. So when my brother texted me details for the inaugural taping of the returning KOFY TV’s Dance Party last December, I was thrilled. I literally gave a little shriek and started to review a mental checklist of local thrift stores.  Feeling guilty about leaving a then-two-year-old M for a full day, I changed my mind at the last minute and instead made plans to go in January.  Nine episodes later, I can proudly say I have made my wish to be on Dance Party a reality.

Recently, a young blogger from Uptown Almanac, a site with the tagline “Where 20-Somethings Go to Retire” (somehow my mind remembered that as “Where Hipsters Go to Die”), wrote a snarky blog publicizing the most recent taping. her piece, she calls the show’s dancers “morbidly obese, incredibly unattractive, or on MDMA of some type.”  As you can imagine, the Dance Party faithful on Facebook had several reactions ranging from outrage and indignation to disinterest.  As for me, blogger that I am, I reacted with both curiosity and annoyance. Curious because her thoughts were those of an outsider. Annoyed because I immediately began to evaluate myself on the three criteria she established. BMI unhealthy? Check.  Not cute?   Okay, I’ve been told my indigenous features render me non-photogenic, but that’s because the mainstream can’t handle my kind of beauty.  High on drugs?  Nope, not even when I was running around the Endup or 177 Townsend in the late 90s, have I ever partaken, at least not of any non-organic substance. 

Is being on KOFY TV’s Dance Party part of being in a “hilarious train wreck”?  My answer is HELL YES. I have no “delusions of grandeur.” I have never been interviewed or been a contestant in any of the games for prizes. I haven’t been to every taping like some of the regulars. I’m not on the show for the spotlight, though I love when my high school students refer to my appearances, and especially when M proudly cheers, “There’s my mommy!” The outfits, the dance moves, and especially, the behind-the-scenes behavior often make me feel like I’m on a mash up of a Fellini film and a reality show, all surreal weirdness and occasional drama. But that’s what makes it an only-in-San-Francisco experience. And most importantly, it’s dancing!

*Come join the fun! Details for the February taping: 


My job is hectic, emotionally draining, and just plain fun. Take this email for example:

R_______was assigned Saturday School 1/13/2008 for using the word “Fuck” and making crude gestures about a squirrel.

A new alter ego

“The world needs drama queens. That’s where you come in.” from a birthday card I received this year

“No one ever suspects me.” from a new pair of socks

I have a weakness for pop culture critters, especially if I can identify with them. Some are small and cute like Pikachu, Mr. Winkle, and various Sanrio characters. Others are precocious and sarcastic like Muttley and Meowth. Still others are both adorable and blessed with a twisted sense of humor like Greg the Bunny and my latest object of affection, Happy Bunny. As with others before him, Happy Bunny is my new phase.
Created by Jim Benson, Happy Bunny is a cute but sardonic rabbit. He makes mean-spirited one-liners with a smile. He is the star of stickers, girl tees, books, stationery, and birthday cards.he graces my fridge and will soon make up a percentage of the gifts I give for Christmas. He is a mammal after my own heart.

I have had less healthy fixations, right?

Mad props to my Cal Bear crew

To my bro whose schaudenfruede is hidden by his huge heart and rosy cheeked chuckle. To Watts and South Central for their Cheshire cat grins and homeboy loyalty(Watts is still dying to know what happened in Nashville this summer). To Beautiful for being fodder for gossip and for getting my cousin’s number the other night. To Babo and Q for being our glue. To my sister in law for standing in the rain with no coat. To Lisabet for the highfives and having my back. To Slim and his wife, Smiley, for leaving at halftime like we did so we don’t feel like suckas. To and for everyone in our crew.

Fun hangover

If there’s a bad influence within a 5 mile radius and he’s Latino, chances are I’ll get mixed up in some madness. Halloween 2007 was no exception. It was Thank God It’s Friday meets Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. Okay so there was no nudity or cheetah riding but there were a lot of hilarious moments, courtesy of my bro’s bros and yours truly. Stay tuned for the play by play…

Hilarious start to what would be a hellish Monday

As much as I hate to iron, I ironed flannel pajamas this morning. I didn’t want them to look too wrinkled for work.
It’s Hello Week at Alma Mater. Each day is a themed dress-up day and I’ll be darned if I let the newbie administrators show this star alum up.
Flannel is one of my favorite fabrics/textures, anyway.

And then the day went wrong…

"You know it, you tell the story…"

Forget a bum leg. I’ll brave the hundreds of stone steps to get into the Lair of the Golden Bear, Memorial Stadium, on any hot Saturday afternoon. Finish trudging up the hill and you push through the drunk white folks in the parking lot, haul your cute woman of color booty past the grease-painted kiddies and winking men. You can feel the energy as you hear the band play and the crowds roar. Yes, that’s testotorone and adrenalin and serotonin(and probably plenty of alcohol though this Bear is still clean.) You make your way to your bombass seats in the Young Alumni section(Row 22, y’all, better than anyone in the Crew). And the fun begins.

I love Cal Football. Christmas isn’t the happiest time of year. Cal Football season is. I’ve got sunshine, my Crew, my bff back in town, some new Cal gear. I’ve got no drama with any of the boys in the Crew(though Beautiful acted a fool Friday night and my bro got mad when I asked about Elbow and Mrs. Elbow yesterday.) Saturday’s opener against the Tennesee Vols proved to be a fabulous kickstart to what promises to another winning a season. More importantly, I’m sure to make more memories with my Crew.

The game was fun, despite the pain in my left leg and my still-sore right foot. As usual, a fight broke out next to us, this one between a drunken Bear and an angry Vol dad(the Bear took the daughter’s orange and white pompons and flung them down the stairs.) We were surrounded by our usual neighbors, Billie* and his wild Afro, baby Dorian* and her parents. DeSean Jackson continued to prove he’s our star but our boys(love the Cal Football Women’s Huddle!) Justin Forsett and Thomas “Dimples” DeCoud also contributed. Grr-rah!

Book Review: Mr. Darcy’s Daughters

“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a husband.”

Elizabeth Aston’s sequel to Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice was a fun escape. P&P is beloved by most strong single women and old-fashioned romantics. A recent Keira Knightley movie update was box office gold and the BBC miniseries that launched Colin Firth to fame sells well on DVD. Aston is now on her fourth installment and with good reason. This world of opinionated proto-feminists, dashing bachelors, gossip, and scandal continues to be fascinating, especially since modern writer Aston does a great job mirroring Austen’s distinctive irony and plot twist.

Don’t stop the beat: theatre/movie review


Tracy Turnblad rules! How girl power can you get? Big girl wins the cute boy, fame, and gets to effect social change. I recently took in both the Broadway and theatrical versions of the musical based on the John Waters film(say that as quickly as you can!) and have become a fan.
Hairspray follows high school sophomore Tracy(bubbly newcome Nikki Blonsky) who dreams of being a dancer on local TV’s Corny Collins Show. She is not the best student but a loyal friend to repressed Penny(played with wide-eyed aplomb by the adorable Amanda Bynes)and completely comfortable with her weight, her eccentric parents, and racial diversity. Tracy is all about self-acceptance and self-love so it’s no wonder she eventually wins a spot on the dance show as well as the heart of her crush, Link Larkin. Add in some great 60s style songs, campy co-stars John Travolta and Christopher Walken, and Broadway comes to the big screen.

Hairspray is playing in theaters nationwide
Hairspray can be seen at the Neil Simon Theater in New York City. It stars Ashley Parker Angel as Link Larkin, Jerry Mathers as Mr. Turnblad, Tevin Campbell as Seaweed, and Alexa Vega as Penny.

The tough go skating

Get me on roller skates under a disco ball and I’m high as a bat again. Last night, Izzy and I made our way to the Peninsula to Rainbow Skate, a weekly gay roller disco party. Suddenly, my blues were gone as I circled around and around on the hardwood to the tune of Donna Summer, SoftCell, and cheesy Top 40. Not only was it a good leg workout but it reminded me of who I am: funny, bubbly, and so cute strangers blow me kisses.