Riding Bitch

The daily musings of a writer.


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Discovering Disco Fever

Thanks for the lovely responses to Friday’s post. I ended up hopping online a little on Friday because I love checking on other people’s blogs and hate to fall too far behind. You people are so productive!! Friday night I went to dinner with my friend T, who was with Kaz and I for many important moments, including right after he passed. She was a rock for me/us and, other than my mother-in-law, I can’t imagine commemorating the day with a more appropriate person.  

The rest of the weekend was pretty tame except for Saturday night, when I attended a friend’s birthday party. All I knew from the invitaion was it was going to be disco-themed and I should wear an afro, bell bottoms and sequins. Well, I don’t own any bell bottoms or sequins, but I can certainely make my hair BIG like an afro. So, that’s what I did and told the puppy as I walked out, “Mommy’s going to get her groove on.”

A little known fact about me – I used to dance a lot when I was in my 20s and early 30s. Back in Philadelphia in the late 80s/early 90s, the predominant beats were hip hop, house music and trance-hop. I used to go to black clubs, straight clubs, gay clubs, tranny clubs, wherever they had the best DJs. Sometimes I’d go with friends. Other times I’d go alone, wearing sneakers and comfortable clothes (not heels and dresses) because my sole purpose was to dance my ass off. And dance I did. For hours. Until I was a sweaty, slimy mess with runny mascara and frizzy hair.

But that was a lifetime ago, maybe more than one. I haven’t been out dancing in a LOOOOOONNNGGGG time.

Boy, was I in for an eyeful. Not only was this club packed, not only were there half-naked male go-go dancers, a disco ball, strobing lights and a freakin’ wind machine, but also everyone was dancing. Like, REALLY dancing. Men were twirling each other, stomping their feet, swishing and swaying around and around. One woman wore a gold sequined mini-dress with caped sleeves which billowed as she twirled.

I was so overwhelmed at first, I had to stand to the side for a while and take it all in. “You need to catch disco fever!” a man yelled at me over Donna Summer’s Last Dance. It took me a little while to catch it… but then I was on fire. And it felt really good.

Now I want to share some disco fever with you. Here’s the beautiful and incomparable Gloria Gaynor singing her world-famous hit “I will Survive” in a floor-length, gold sequined dress in some hot Latin country in English and Spanish (hence the 9 minute clip). Click play and turn it UP! And if some part of your body doesn’t move while listening to this, call a doctor because you may not be human. 🙂


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“Love life. Dream Big. Be positive.”

Last night I ventured out into Hollywood-land to attend a fundraiser for an organization that helps sick children make small ‘legacy’ films. I’ve been volunteering with them as a film mentor ever since Kaz died. It just so happens this is the second industry fundraiser I’ve been to in a week. The first one (last Saturday night) was for a friend’s short film, took place in her backyard and I brought my puppy. Last night’s was at the Writer’s Guild Theatre in Beverly Hills and there was a red carpet. Naturally, I came late to avoid the red carpet and sneak inside while the lights were off.

One hour into the show of comedians, singers, speeches and short film clips, there was an intermission. I walked into the bright lobby to join other attendees searching for refreshments. A filmmaker acquaintance I haven’t seen in a long time flagged me down and struck up a conversation. “How are you? What’s the latest? What are you working on?” I managed to stumble through my answers. I’m directing a play this spring, I’m writing a book, I’m trying to get out more… Then he asked about my late husband and how I’m doing now emotionally.

When I answer these types of questions in a crowded setting with only a few minutes before the listener’s attention drifts, I sometimes experience the sensation of leaving my body and watching myself give the answer. What I hear myself saying always sounds ridiculous.

“I’m doing better. You know, one day at a time.”
“Are you dating again?”
“No,” I responded. “I tried last year, but it didn’t feel right.”
“That must be so tough, to come back from something that intense.”
“Yes, it–.”

The lights blinked on and off signaling Intermission was over. The acquaintance said a quick goodbye. I turned to look for a traschcan for the coffee I didn’t get to drink, and to ponder if anyone would notice if I left now. I decided against this and returned to my seat.

In the second half they showed a trailer for a film recently made in honor of Rina Goldberg, who had Mitochondrial disease. Rina wrote this short film before she passed away at age 15, and this organization made the film a reality. The clip is amazing and beautiful. After it ends, a slide remains on the screen while they tell us Rina’s mantra: “Love life. Dream Big. Be positive.”

I begin to cry silently in the darkness. I want to hug this little girl and thank her for the message. I want her to know that I hear her and appreciate her and she will never be forgotten. We are all sitting in the dark listening to her weak voice say repeatedly, “Be positive, be positive, be positive.”

Other sick children went up on stage. One sings an Adele song. Another plays Bach on the piano. We give them standing ovations.

When the program ended and the lights came up, I headed over to the founder of the organization to give her a big hug. Several goodbyes later, I paid my valet ticket and drove back home to let the puppy out of her crate. In her groggy state, she stumbled around the apartment like a drunken sailor before collapsing in bed for the night. It was much later than I expected, but I was grateful that I had gone out. I fell asleep thinking of Rina Goldberg.

Rina Goldberg and her mother

Rina Goldberg and her mother

If you want to learn about Rina and her film, check out http://www.rinasmovie.com/PublicPages/Home.aspx