NotBlueAtAll

I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Covering Our Tracks, Not Our Rolls!

July8

^ Photo by Lisa J. Ellis ^

This past weekend was the annual Big Moves Bay Area dance show by emFATic Dance. It was the seventh year that Tigress & I have performed as a duo, and her eighth as a solo performer. The name of the show was Covering Our Tracks, as most of the songs performed by emFATic Dance were cover songs and they were fantastic! Tigress & I spent months trying to find a perfect cover song that just fit us and well, we didn’t. In the end we went with a song I came across randomly down a YouTube rabbit hole one day, Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy”. We called our piece, “We are the ones your mother warned you about” and went with a vampy-vibe.

Tigress flew in last Saturday night and stayed with me throughout the week, diligently working on costumes and the choreography for her solo number. We had tech and dress rehearsals in the evenings and it’s almost a 2 hour drive at this point to Oakland from San Jose (Bay Area traffic is no joke!). Any other free time we had we worked on our number together and drank to our heart’s content! She also made our fascinators! So fun!

A lot of this year’s performance, at least for me, felt very chill or almost routine. I didn’t even get nervous once! Wild! We kept our choreography a bit loose and uncomplicated due to the short amount of time we had to practice, as well as the additional stress of her having to travel and stay with me during this time. We looked great, though, for sure! We worked our sassy lil’ outfits and smoked that audience right in their damned seats! It was a blast! I wish you could have seen us! And you really wish you could have seen Tigress solo number, it was electric!

I had watched some YouTube hair style tutorials last year on a simple up do and gave it another shot, despite the fact that I didn’t have all my usual tools for this. It worked out awesome! It’s basically a “pull through braid” at the back, or just a bunch of overhand knots that you keep adding the last set to as you move forward up the back of your head. When I got to my forehead I simply created a fat braid that I then fluffed up and bit before pinning in place.

I like the back to look a bit messy. I’m not a fan of an overly “done” look, ya know? But I really dig how the front turned out!

^^^^ I mean?!?! ^^^^

Oh! And this dress?!?! This dress is Calvin Klein, jersey knit in a size 24 (I’m a 26/28 usually but yay stretch!).

I bought it second hand from one of the dancers in the show and I am in love with it!

It just hugs the right places and feels extra sassy-sexy!

In case you couldn’t tell from my pics alone! Ha-ha!

And then the very next day I receive a package from my bff Mychii in Ohio with a custom made light-up nameplate for my desk at work and this lovely rose gold coffee thermos with “Fierce Fat Femme World Treasure” on it and I am just so blown away!

I needed to re-sync with my fat community. I needed to be surrounded by radical fats. I needed to see all our fat bodies on that stage lit up for the world to see our inner sparkle! It was and always is an incredible experience. To share space with such talented artists, friends, and badasses is like nothing else in this world, I promise you. And every time I think I am done or I can’t go on, one of these shows comes up and for the last 7 years it reminds me why I do it, why we all do the work that we do, for the show and in the world. It is so special.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I don’t post much, I have been trying to: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Walkin’ in the Sunshine…Whooooah!

April12

One of the things that I have struggled with in the past has been taking regular walks with my puggo. In his youth, he’s now 9, he would get 4-7 walks a day and went to work with my ex-husband everyday. In my last two dwellings there was a big yard and another dog for him to run around and play with. In my new place, while I do have a tiny yard, I knew this would be a big hurdle for me to get over. He does just fine on his own during the day, sleeping being his main hobby, but I worried about the walks. I am happy to report that this has been mostly a non-issue for me. I love my apartment and my neighborhood is pretty chill. There are a lot of dogs, but most (or their owners) are not friendly so we keep to ourselves.

My neighborhood is mostly medical offices/buildings, which sounds boring, but we enjoy the landscaping they each have. Now that the weather has been warming up and the sun coming out more often, it seems everything is in bloom! Don’t worry, I started on my Flonase Sensimist in early February! Ha-ha! It’s gorgeous though! One problem, I’m allergic to sunscreen and burn in mere minutes. What’s a Morticia-life gal like me to do? Well, timing is everything, but I have a UV Parasol just in case, too. I prefer to take our main walk around 6pm and this has proven to be juuuuust right!

I talk a lot about my amazing group of friends and it’s no lie. They lift me up, they keep me grounded, they show me the light of my own shine sometimes when the grossness of the world dulls my ever perspective. They also give me one helluva hard time when it’s been “too long” since I’ve posted selfies or outfit photos. Ha-ha! I appreciate their love so much, y’all, I have no words to even describe it! The photos thing? Well, I’ve been workin’ on it. I no longer have my very own in-house cheerleader and personal photographer (Ash-Cat! *Hugs*) but I do have great lighting in my bathroom and the best camera on my phone ever (Pixel 3 for the win!).

Having the walk to give my brain a break after work but before I settle in for the night has been wonderful. And the changing season’s light has been very nice for my selfies. I do try to get good pics of my sweet lil’ pugtato, but he’s just not a fan of the cam, nothing I can do about that. Ha-ha! So here I present to you some pics from walks and selfies in my bathroom, because because because. Ha!

3-10-19 This was a post-Drunch selfie after I had finally found my beloved Madonna shirt I thought I had lost a few years ago. I was sober when I got home but then hit up that lovely Trader Joe’s prosecco I love so much to keep the party going! Ha-ha! (My BFF Michaela got a hilarious video that day of me dancing/lip synching “Little Red Corvette” as a result!)

3-17-19 St. Patrick’s Day I had a brunch date with a new person. It went well. We had lovely BBQ food.

This green dress is my newest from Eshakti and I love it so! I get custom sizing because you can also style it yourself. I added the puffed sleeves. 

Wish I’d gotten a full-length shot of this dress, it’s from H&M and the only thing that fit out of an order of 6 items. I get compliments on it a lot. I enjoy it’s floral pattern with fall colors (my jam!) and the midi length with not too high slits on the sides. It creates a neat-o swish when I walk.

Dorking it up, but what else is new?!

I wear these Doc Marten’s nearly every day at this point. They go with everything, are comfortable af, and are just my signature style thing!

Majestic pugtato, doing his darnedest to not look at the camera, ever! He was nice enough to climb up on this rock for after all. “Isn’t that enough, Mama?” *PuggySigh*

I have a thing for trees. In all seasons, really. 

I wish I’d gotten better shots because the colors are just glorious, but he wasn’t having any part of it. Just kept sniffin’!

This was my bombshell dress from Eshakti last year. I still love and wear it so much. It classes up any occasion and fuck yeah I’ll wear it with Doc Marten’s!

I so rarely think to take a side shot! I’m glad that I did. Double bellies to the front! 

The sun actually felt good to me that day. I can’t explain it, but I’m sure it is a normal feeling for most folks. I just rarely get the chance to actually enjoy it.

This is my favorite! Actual proof that I don’t burst into flames when in direct sunlight! Oh yeah! (Duffman voice! Ha-ha!)

Had to go to the dentist two weeks ago, this painting was in their restroom, when a fruit gusher (my first one ever) took out a crown. That one tooth will end up costing me $4600 out of pocket and that’s after my insurance pays their part. UGH!

This magnolia not two weeks ago was mostly bare branches with those big white and magenta blossoms falling from it everywhere. Now it is so lush with fresh leaves I couldn’t look away!

I never wear this top. It’s from Avenue, 3+ years ago. I always get compliments, but it’s not a favorite. The necklace, however, is a prized possession. It’s a sterling silver peace sign my father had designed/made for me when I was 12 years old. I’ll always be a hippie at heart…even if my heart is black now. 

I just love the fuck out of this meme. It’s 100% true, for me, too! I’ve had another date since that St. Pat’s one, and it also went well…and we’re meeting up for drinks tonight!!! In all honesty, though, cis-het-men are just phoning it in on the daily and I don’t have time for that bullshit. 

I hope you have enjoyed my ridiculousness. I know a couple of my BFFs will be texting me the moment they read this. Ha-ha! I love it! I love you! Thank you so much for reading my blog-a-ma-thing. I always mean to write here, to write more, to write at all, but my ideas get too big and I can’t get the words together. I’m still here, fatting it up, just doing my thing. I would love to hear from you about your life and interests or what you’d like to see here. Is there a topic you’d like me to dive into? Would you like to write a guest post? Share a Tank Top Tuesday pic? Haven’t done those in ages, but I miss it so! Wishing you all the very best in all that you do.

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I don’t post much, I have been trying to: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Going Back to Cali…I Don’t Think So!

April10

 

On March 3, 2019 I drove to SFO to pick up my BFF Michaela. You might know them from our awesome Fat As Fuck Podcast, or a bunch of other amazing things they’ve done (aka Dr. BadAss!). I was excited to see them and nervous about being a host to an out of town guest for a whole week for the first time. I had baked a cake in preparation, but ran out of time and didn’t frost it. Oh well. I put on what is now my new favorite outfit (and possible soulmate-look) I cleaned out the backseat of my car in anticipation of luggage needs and hit the highway headed north! I arrived in time to beat the line at the airport Starbucks (text her for their order) and waited patiently for their gloriousness to arrive.

I had a vague plan for each day of their visit with plenty of room to just chill out or shoot the shit or random distractions. We headed straight to Drunch with my BFF “P” from the airport and even had to push the reservation back a bit. Good food and plentiful mimosas were enjoyed by all! Then we got back to my place and I frosted the hell outta that cake! Ha-ha! I am a nervous host, but had read some articles about preparing one’s home for guests and how to make them feel more welcome.

The next day we hit up 2 different Ross (Dress for Less) and 1 Home Goods store and lemme tell you all right here and now: Michaela has hella good Ross luck! I found items I had been longing for and at incredible prices! We had yummy Thai food for lunch and laughed a ton! The next day, unfortunately, I was feeling like hot-soggy-garbage and had to pretty much stay in bed. We had made plans to visit their college friend and hit up the Alameda Pinball Museum together. Instead they came down to pick up Michaela and brought me a lovely and very unexpected bouquet of flowers. They spent the day together lunching and caught a movie while I rested and tried to feel human again. Win-win!

The next day they were feeling a lil’ crummy, so we took it easy and hit up Daiso that afternoon after enjoying a delightful Japanese BBQ place nearby. Daiso is a Japanese housewares store, only everything is $1.50 (unless otherwise marked). I friggin’ love Daiso! My BFF “Q” and I used to talk about starting a Vlog called, “Daiso Life” because we love it so much. I do not have any pics of our loot from that shopping trip, but just know that we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and found lots of fun home-y items. Ha-ha!

I had gotten us tickets to an experience thing in San Francisco as a surprise! I lucked out with a Groupon, too, or it would have been quite spendy! It was a 2-part thing in a venue called One Dome. One part was called Hidden Garden and was an augmented reality, interactive experience. You wear these VR-like things on your face, only it’s different and you can “interact” with and “unlock” things as you progress. It’s not really a game, but had that vibe. It was created by many digital artists and you could even unlock info about them as you went along. Since this was all in the headset thing I don’t have any pics to share except the one with our dorky visors, but don’t fret, the other part of this was pic-tastic!

The second part of this “experience” was called LMNL and was basically just 14 rooms with different stuff happening in each. Fun times! We took turns using my Pixel 3’s camera (because it rocks!) and gave each other direction in how to pose or evoke, if you will. We had a friggin’ blast! Their outfit was perfection for these purposes as you can plainly see! Ha-ha! I loved the striped room best I think, but we made use of most of the rooms. It was expected that you take pics and selfies, much like the Color Factory or Ice Cream Museum you may have seen pics of on Instagram.

That Friday we had Drunch again but with “The Boys”, meaning both “P” and “J” (the usual Drunch crew, minus Tom) and had another grand ole time of ourselves! Michaela ordered the Chilaquiles and I think we were all envious!  After we went to Peet’s for some much needed caffeination and I snapped a pic of me and P (a rare one without my glasses!). Once sobered up (whew!) we headed to what I thought would be a fantastic photo op spot in Santa Clara where they have these huge spectacles made of recycled glass outside the museum. Well, it was fun anyway. Ha!

Later that evening we met up with a mutual friend and fatty dancer for pizza in Mountain View. I snapped the pic above of Michaela in the red jacket, so hot! Yet time flew by and the next thing we knew it was time to pack up and to head back to SFO again. It was hard to believe that we spent an entire week together, just fattin’ it up and doing our thing, but we did. And for that I am truly grateful! And this lil’ guy had a blast getting all kinds of love and attention from Mychii, his new BFF!

I cannot express in words the feeling of knowing, loving, and sharing intimate space and experiences with someone who is also a radical fat activist and bad ass. I’ve known Michaela for over ten years, first on Live Journal, later on all the things. They were my first guest on my own podcast, years ago, they popped my Skype cherry, were the first to call me a Bad ass ever, and now we have a podcast together! Life is nuts, but it is the people in it that make it so much better and brighter! (I love you, Babes. Five-Ever & Vadgie-D, Biiiiiiitch!)

Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S


P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I don’t post much, I have been trying to: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Live Longer Through Community

April17
I’ve read a few articles lately about the one thing allows people to live longer and healthier lives and I was not at all surprised, though many have been. It’s feeling connected to community. I can honestly say without hesitation that without that connectedness, without my local fat community, I wouldn’t be here. Fat community keeps me alive when even I don’t want to be. That is the truth in it’s purest form, folks. I have gone through many big life events in the last ten years and fat community was there for me at each and every turn.
Your community may not be fat, it might be queer or feminist or all three of those things at once. Your community may be nature fungi foragers, only you know what your identities and people are. How does one find their community, though? Ultimately, that is something I cannot answer for you. I can say that you have to seek it out, that it may suck at first, you may feel more lost or unconnected, but you should definitely keep trying! My first several attempts at fostering fat community locally failed, but in the end I found my peeps and some lifelong friends, too.
My fat community finding/fostering began with setting up a meet up at a local mall. I think I posted on Fatshionista, a LiveJournal group that I adored and was popular at the time. It was more of a “Hey would anyone be interested in meeting up and going shopping together?” We met up at the Cheesecake Factory and it was my first time meeting folks of size outside of work/school/life things. I was still new to calling myself fat in a positive way. It felt radical to be meeting in public as fat people, we took up space and then some and it was awesome! We ordered our food without guilt, though other needs were discussed (for medical or other reasons). We chatted and relished stories of coming out as fat, so to speak. We had about 12 people, if memory serves me, from the entire spectrum of fat (babyfat to superfat, if you will).
After we ate we decided to hit up Torrid in the mall. I had only ever been to Torrid once or twice at that time, I didn’t really have a sense of my own style as I had spent my youth hiding beneath layers of baggy clothing to conceal both my fat body and my femininity. But I was soooooo stoked to be in a fat pack of awesome people cruising the mall together. Torrid didn’t know what hit ’em! One couple bought each other sexy things to wear and even modeled for us and it was so fun and empowering and visually dazzling! I bought two heart necklaces that I still own and wear regularly (I cherish them, even if they are plastic).
Next we headed to Lane Bryant, the only other option in that particular mall. At LB I did try on clothes and had fun with some of the other folks from the meet up in the dressing rooms. Just that feeling of, “Oh hey this is cool we all get that this is hard so let’s make it fun” sort of a thing. Like tossing each other things to try and others running to get each other different sizes. I recall a classic trench coat I had wanted badly, but even their 26/28 was ill fitting in how the buttons gaped. We discussed sizing bullshit and size-ist bullshit and it was a great time. I never really heard from or saw those folks again, save one.
I tried several more times and once I opened my own cafe I started a regular one on Saturdays there. It was great to have my own space and to host, something I’d never been able to before. Accessibility being a struggle, always, it was so important to me that my own cafe be open and inviting to all, but it was also a historic building where there were no ramps. My meet ups there were intermittent in attendance, but I was there and hopeful for every one we scheduled! More often than not, no one showed, but I shrugged it off and kept at it. Luckily I had also started this blog around this time and got to meet some of my readers this way. I made great friends at that time and some I still consider tried and true, though I’ll admit that others have come and gone, for better or worse.
I first realized that I had fat community, and that I was (am) fat community at a Big Moves dance show, the first I attended. It was also my first time going strapless in public and I was accompanied by my two bffs. I had chatted with Marilyn Wann online about something (honestly can’t recall) and we were to try to meet each other after the show. The show itself was a life changer! Never before had I seen such joy embodied entirely, start to finish. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much! After the show we waited outside, but Marilyn never showed. Through happenstance we asked a nice person nearby to take our photo. It just so happened to be one of the original Fat Lip Readers, former professional portrait taker, and the ever lovely and fabulous Carol Squires who supports Big Moves to this very day!
I did end up meeting Marilyn Wann at my cafe not long after. She signed my copy of her book, “Fat! So?” and even made me feel better about a haircut mishap I was feeling bad about (though the front was hella cute). Through these meet ups and Fatshionista and Marilyn, I was riding high on my fat activism and positivity at that time. It was 2011 and International No Diet Day was an epic event for me, still is. I met people at that “Flesh Mob” that I still call friends (I have written about it here).
Soon I was attending NAAFA and NoLose conferences, BBW Dance Clubs and a Bash and figuring out where I belong, if I belonged at all. The short answer is that I didn’t belong, at least not in those specific groups/conferences. So I started Fatty Affair, which was a fat positive event in San Jose, California, free to the public, that included performances, a clothing swap, a bake sale and vendor tables. It was intended to be a one-off event, but turned into two; the first in 2012, the second in 2013. I have had many people ask me about another (some downright demanding), but alas we outgrew our awesome venue and I have yet to find another suitable spot for our fabulousness.

It seems through all of the great fat things I was doing and attending, I gathered my own version of community close to my heart unwittingly. I began performing with Tigress in the annual Big Moves shows. I started to find power in my vulnerability and a strong sense of responsibility to do the very things for others that were such an inspiration to me before I was part of that world. That is what keeps me going. It’s a belonging, it’s a connectedness, but it’s also a community of misfits.
When you think about community as a basic word, we often think our neighborhood or schools, associations we may be a part of. When you think about what you truly feel connected to, when the chips are down as they say, what do you envision? Do you see your city council members or mayor? Do you see the PTA? Do you see your family and friends? What makes you feel most fulfilled and connected? For me that has been fat community, hands down.
I was recently out of work for a spell and not just down on my luck but truly heading towards dire straits. My blog’s annual hosting bill was looming and as the deadline drew closer I was afraid that I would have to lose it entirely. I didn’t want to ask for help, but didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t need to look far, my local fat community stepped up in a big way! I was so surprised and moved! It actually got me back into writing again, too! My blog saved and so many people wishing me well and sending good vibes and love, I felt connected and seen and humbled and inspired. You can’t put a price on that.
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

P.S. Check out and use the hashtag: #FatAndFree on Instagram & Facebook!

Check out the Fat AF podcast on your favorite podcast app for all things fat sex with me and my BFF, Michaela! (You can listen straight from the web, too!)

Donate to this blog here: https://www.paypal.me/notblueatall

My blog’s Facebook page for things I share that aren’t on this blog (and updated daily): http://on.fb.me/1A18fAS 

Or get the same “shared” content on Twitter: @NotBlueAtAll

Are you on MeWe? I started a fat-feminist group there called, Rad Fatties Unlimited, look for it!

I also have an Instagram, though I need to get back into posting there: https://instagram.com/notblueatall/

And as always, please feel free to drop me a line in comments here or write me an email, I love hearing from readers. (Tell me your troubles, I don’t judge.): notblueatall@notblueatall.com

Beth or Bust!

March26

This past weekend was full of such fun, but such struggle for me, too. After a whirlwind of a week at work office manager-ing, there was a dance night in downtown San Jose: Madonna Vs. Blondie, that a bunch of friends were meeting up for. I was so excited for it! After work I went home to rest and unwind before getting ready to dance the night away. I just kind of spaced out completely for two hours as I was fucking braindead! I did finally get myself together and changed and made it to the club before anyone else. It was more new wave music than just strictly Madonna and Blondie, but it was great music over all. When I first arrived though it was like a bad junior high dance flashback with everyone clinging to the walls and the deserted dance floor looked haunted! Ha-ha! I grabbed a cider at the bar and people watched until my friends arrived. Once they played the first Madonna song folks started to flood the dance floor. Once my friends arrived we spent the next three hours solid on the dance floor and I could barely walk the next day! So fun, though!

I literally spent Saturday just resting and recuperating from the previous night’s fun time. Everything was stiff and sore and I definitely over did it but no regrets! I had a blast and got to see my favorite people and hear awesome music all at once! Can’t beat that! I wish I had thought to take pics, but I also know that was the furthest thing from my mind at the time. I was so looking forward to that night for so long, ya know? But in the end I has to just sit at the bar until everyone was ready to leave. I felt really down for bit about it, too. But I know better and eventually snapped out of it. Aging bodies, injured bodies, require different things and can’t just keep going all night like the old days.
Sunday I had a ticket to see Beth Ditto at the Regency Ballroom in San Francisco, a favorite venue of mine! Only my anxiety was running mega high (for me) all day and because of this I didn’t think I would end up going. My bff Michaela text me encouraging things, even called the box office about ADA seating in an attempt to alleviate some of those anxious thoughts, too. In the end it didn’t matter, my anxiety was in charge and it was up to me to either just sit with it or push through. I did a bit of both, actually, but did manage to push through and mostly have a good time. I sort of talked myself through it as I would a loved one. “You can just get ready, you don’t have to actually leave the house. You can just look cute and take selfies, no one will be the wiser!” I told myself as I got out of the shower and started to get my eye makeup going. Then it was, “Maybe you won’t find parking and that’s okay, you tried, that’s enough, you can just go home.” as I was driving up there. Once I got there and ended up finding pretty darn great parking, I told myself, “You’re a grown up, no one is making you be here or stay, you can go home whenever you like and that is perfectly okay.” And so I went in!
Once inside I hit up the merchandise tables hoping for a 3x in a certain pink tee, but they had already sold out, as I gotten there just after the opening act started, so they had been open for over an hour already. I will get that shirt online, no worries. The merch lady was deeply sorry and insisted that Beth always has 3x in all her merch, and I know this to be true, but it’s also rare to get a not white or black t-shirt in a 3x ever, so that is why I’ll grab mine online for sure. After that I headed straight up this very long marble staircase (it’s a very old building) to the balcony area. If it’s a general admission show, and it was, anyone can sit up there. As I had partially torn my achilles tendon the week before, I needed to sit for this show, and really all shows going forward, no choice in the matter. There was also a bar up there, so I grabbed my vodka-cran and grabbed a nice aisle seat pretty close to the stage, but up above. I stayed in that spot the entire night, except when a couple wanted to get passed me to sit further down my row. I was worried a bit that if I got up for another drink I could lose my choice of seat and having the aisle meant I could stretch my poor Achilles nicely without bothering anyone. I also didn’t want to have to deal with the bathroom situation in such an old building that usually houses punk and electronica shows. Ha-ha! All in all it worked out great!
Honestly, this was my fourth concert flying solo, but my first as a single person. I had also never had anxiety that bad and pushed through for such a public outing. So while I enjoyed myself over all, it was really fucking hard and weird to be in the moment and get into the right state of mind. Luckily it was a Beth (motherfucking) Ditto show and she keeps it 100% real, always! She came out in shining silver sequins and just lit up the entire place with her effervescence! My love for and of her knows no bounds, obviously, as I did all I could to get there and see her. I bought my ticket months ago when I was out of work because I needed something to look forward to. I should have been excited, but anxiety was such a killjoy that entire day and night. I did enjoy the show, she is an incredible vocalist, and I couldn’t believe the show wasn’t sold out. She was very funny and candid, gave the band a hard time, even got some rimshots for her cornier jokes. She had an issue with something in her eye but she was so cute and funny about it and just kept talking and singing, like the pro that she is. This was a Beth Ditto show, not a Gossip show. That was apparent, as I’d seen Gossip play years ago when their album “Music for Men” came out, at this same venue. Different vibes, but honestly, her voice was better than ever! After her “last song” she came back out for the encore in a red lame` dress (with pockets!) and did her big solo single, “Fire” as well as some Gossip songs that she threw in some other sort of mashup-y things into; such fun!
I will say that going down that marble staircase was much more difficult (and honestly a bit scary) than going up, but I managed alright and took my time. Luckily I just missed the crowd when I hit the exit and saw everyone flooding in behind me. Whew! I’m super glad I went to the show, but I cannot believe I had to push myself so hard to do it! I do not think I will make an attempt to go to a show alone again unless it’s The Cure or Portishead or some other amazing and legendary concert that I have not yet seen and would be rare to catch on tour. Like last year I had to see TOOL and it was amazing!
I used to work in music, both as a promoter of new artists for an industry magazine (HITS), as well as manager of a music store for several years. I have been to hundreds of shows. I would get tickets from labels all of the time or just happen to get on “the list” or whatever. I feel like I have seen and done it all and honestly it is rarely worth the trouble anymore, not to mention the cost. My ticket for this show was $25 + whatever absurd service fees they tacked on, and I found great and free parking. I really do like the Regency Ballroom though, both for it’s size, as it’s not too big and still feels mostly intimate, but more so it’s accessible seating for me. I was comfortable and didn’t feel squished, though I know others wouldn’t feel accommodated at all and I’m certain that there must be an elevator in the building as the ADA seating is limited on the floor with more up in the balcony, too. I considered leaving early a couple of times due to the anxious feels, but I’m glad I powered through and got to see what was a really special show.
Beth Ditto is a personal hero of mine. I have read her autobiography (and even shipped it to a friend on the east coast when I was done, Hi Charlie!), have followed her career for many years (and through many of my own careers – Ha!), bought a crystal barrette from Fat Fancy (Portland, Oregon) that she once owned, followed her fashion lines and endeavors, and truly find much inspiration in how she has handled it all. To see someone close to my size (though for sure I’m bigger than she) look so confident and present is such a gift! Her vocal abilities never cease to amaze me, and believe me when I say that she is a big reason why I wanted to start singing again at all. Her realness, her whatever we’re fucking doing this thing – ness, is something missing from our western, over-curated experiences. I did see phones and lots of videos and selfies being taken, but most folks were really there in the moment, too. That is a rare thing these days. Even at a punk show last year I was distracted and irritated with phones surrounding my eye-line to the stage that I really struggled to even see let alone pay attention or enjoy the show. I hope the rest of her tour is just as amazing! I wish her the very best, as she has given me so much over the years!
Rad Fatty Love to ALL,

<3
S

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