Shake Your Pants

I like the way you dance.

Cameo – Shake Your Pants – 1980

One of the favorite tunes of my life’s soundtrack. It’s from my days in high school and we tore up that dance floor with this one. May it help you cut your Saturday Night Dance Party rug.

Dance floors of my past

To say that uncertainty rules my head today is an understatement.

I decided it’s best to pause and escape to a place of bliss, a place I’ve spent many enjoyable hours, a place where I can feel life living itself through every muscle fiber and sensation of my being, a place where I can truly escape.

I’m escaping, if only for 5 minutes, to a dance floor of my past.

Round and Round – New Order – 1989

How about joining me for a twirl?

Gay Anthems!

Sylvester rocked my disco dancing world back in the late 1970s. My friend Cheryl Ayers and I tore up the Copperfield’s (a local disco in my hometown back in the day) main dance floor for every Saturday afternoon’s teen disco. We also entered any disco contest we could enter …being we were underage.

This is an American Bandstand appearance of Sylvester and Two Tons of Fun (AKA The Weather Girls). This classic must not be missed!

Sylvester – Disco Heat & You Make Me Feel Mighty Real – 1978

When I Think of You

You go Janet!

It was another of my regular Saturday nights out at the local gay disco in 1986, a disco called The Park. That cute guy I had met last weekend was out with me. His name you ask? Well like most really cute one, two or three weekend stands from that era of my life his name escapes me. However he was hot, or at least my memory says he was. One thing I do know for sure is that he was just slightly taller than I, he had dark hair and he could dance.

The mix of familiar pulsing music had us sweaty from a seemingly endless twirl on the dance floor. We took a break and stood in line to grab a couple cold draft Budweisers (it was the 80’s after all) when the pulse of music paused and the first few percussion beats of this new tune followed by those now familiar twinkle notes enveloped us. He screamed in his best queen for that moment voice “Oh my god, we have to get back out there! It’s Janet’s new song!” And the beers were forgotten as we lost ourselves back out on that dance floor to what would become one of may favorite all time Janet tracks.

What happened to that cute guy I’ll never know, but when I hear this tune I think of him…and when I think of him I smile.

Rhythm of Life

There is a rhythm to life. A rhythm that moves, changes, comes, goes, returns and revolves. Whatever rhythm we are in, we must never forget that “This too shall pass”.

This too shall pass, whether it’s bad or good. That’s the rub. Good things pass as well.

We choose to which it is we focus our attention.

Sammy Davis Jr. in Sweet Charity. Bob Fosse is genius.

Somewhere in the southern Caribbean

Many a moon ago aboard Dolphin Cruise Line’s SS Sea Breeze we found ourselves anchored just off the coast of Aruba. Fearsome was in remission at the time as I had developed a bad habit called shaving, but he was there in spirit as he always is. It was an early morning under the searing southern Caribbean sun and not a good morning for the hangover from last evenings heavy drinking dance floor adventures.

We found ourselves amongst  many other bleary eyed hungover gay men searching for that perfect spot on deck of this RSVP cruise from which to observe that days total solar eclipse. We were anchored just off the coast of Aruba for a reason, we were in the path of totality in a spot calculated to have the longest time in actual totality, about 3 minutes 40 seconds to my recollection. That sun was hot and all I wanted was a place to sit down, drink my coffee and nurse this hangover. A friend handed me a Bloody Mary. Life was suddenly better.

A passenger affectionately known as The Chicken Lady passed by pouring creme in anyone’s coffee who needed it. She was carrying her trademark chicken purse and the creme flowed on demand into awaiting coffee cups out of an artificial breast that she wore under her bikini top. The Chicken Lady wasn’t known to be reserved nor inhibited in any way imaginable.

The ship’s crew worked feverishly to make sure all 800 passengers were well taken care of and comfortable. They made sure we all had our beverages of choice as well as our solar eclipse viewers. Morning cocktial music played, we laughed, the scent of sunscreen permeated the air and we waited.

The searing heat of the tropical sun started to diminish. A quick check with the solar eclipse glasses confirms that the moon has begun it’s journey between us and our sun. It seemed as if someone had found both the dimmer and the thermostat as not only was the light becoming more appropriate for a party, but the heat had been turned down a notch. We continued our wait laughing with our friends, checking the moon’s progress through the viewers and ordering more cocktails.

Suddenly it all changed.

I had experienced partial eclipses before. No. Big. Deal.

This was different.

In the distance it appears as if a very dark storm had formed. It was black out there. It was moving. It was moving fast and it was headed toward us. However there were no clouds but just darkness. Not just darker but black. This shadow was moving and there was no escaping it. That shadow of black was coming for us and fast. We adorned the viewers and looked up to find just a tiny pierce of the sun left and then it was gone. Nothing left but a faint corona and then a voice from the crowd, all on their feet at this moment, screamed “It’s safe now, take off your glasses!”

Our photos from Aruba’s total eclipse

Nighttime. Nighttime with all the stars out yet a faint light of dawn 360 degrees around us just at the lip of horizon. The birds, the songs of the birds as if it were daybreak. The lights, all the streetlights and lighted signs on the tiny island of Aruba had lit up. It was nighttime but it wasn’t. The horizon was beautiful. The colors of sunrise 360 degrees around us with all the stars out and this black circle above us. Tiny black, very black circle with a moving light shimmering around it.

Surreal.

Ouch! The light! Someone screams”Glasses on!”

The moon had moved on and the first pierce of intense light had broken through. The sun was back, although just a tiny corner. We looked down to realize that we were no longer in the dark shadow as a faint light of sun had encompassed us. The shadow was moving again. The darkness had left us and it was moving again, moving away from us. Moving away fast. We could see it’s circular edge moving across the sea as the light replaced the darkness in the water. The great storm of darkness moved on and so fast that we couldn’t follow it.

We watched as the wonderment of that total eclipse moved on for others to experience that day.

Then we danced.

Today I sit in awe and gratitude for all the gifts I have been blessed with thus far in my wonderful life. Thus far!

Happy Eclipse!

When you find yourself stuck in traffic…

…get out and dance!

It’s no secret that La La Land was our Fearsome pick for best picture of 2017. We’ve written about it HERE and THERE.

To me the opening scene was one of Hollywood histories best ever openings and one of  the best ever musical numbers. Why yes I think it is right there with both Gene Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain and American in Paris Ballet. It is simple, diverse and mesmerizing.

Today I found this:

Turns out it is no accident that I appreciate this scene.

I’ll  start with my childhood dreams…

This is something that I have never shared publicly and actually only to a couple very close friends. I always wanted to be a dancer. Not just any dancer. A chorus line dancer.

As a child I fantasizes about being in the line up, as you will, behind the star. I wanted to be part of a great team of dancers that functioned as a fine tuned, well choreographed group. We would be great and famous the world over as a troupe. I didn’t want to be a lone star out there by myself hogging the spotlight but sharing it with an incredible team.

I can still remember the day when I overheard my parents arguing and my dream was crushed. I had asked my mother for dance lessons. She and dad were having a horrible argument and the part that stands t was my father yelling back at my mother that he wasn’t having it. He wasn’t having it because dance lessons would make his son turn into a goddamned faggot. The words burned into my brain as my dream died. I secretly had news for him, I already was a faggot. I never had a dance lesson.

Life took me elsewhere. Although I never had the dance lessons and my dream of being  in a chorus line never materialized, my life has been and still is absolutely amazing.

To say that I lean toward Pollyanna isn’t an understatement. Don’t mistake me for perfect though, I have my down moments. Wow do I. The key is moving beyond the valleys in life and looking for the joy no matter where one is.  Be thankful, share, love, appreciate, laugh and dance. No …maybe we won’t all get out in the middle of a packed freeway and dance, but we can find a good song and sing it behind the wheel. We can smile at the person in the car beside us. We can let someone in front of us who maybe needs to get to their child’s school as they have a little one waiting.

I still have another 40 and maybe even fifty years ahead of me. I can take a dance lesson. I can encourage a child to follow their dreams. I can donate time or money to help someone realize a dream that would otherwise be lost. I can create beauty and share joy.

There is way to much adventure to be had and beauty in this world that I have yet to experience. Thus when I find myself stuck, be it stuck literally or figuratively, I can get out and dance. Life is just another day of sun!

Now for that complete dance scene one more time…

Tears of joy still flow each and every time I see it.

 

Talent

The youngest of Fearsome’s two godsons just posted this video to YouTube. He choreographed it and he is the he of the five performing.

Talented he is.

Markus Hallmark

Look for more from this talented young man. A lot more of him you will see.