I have not always been the person you may see me as today. As a girl growing up I was much sweeter and sentimental and isolated. I suppose that is because i lived in a well grounded, well loved and well disciplined family out in the redwoods with little to influence me into bad things other than maybe being defiant or talking back. But, when you get grounded and can not watch tv or talk on the phone and live near no friends or civilization, (keep in mind that this was in the days of no computers, cel phones or hand held devices let alone more than 4 channels to watch on tv… no cable) one tends to stay in line pretty much. Plus i always wanted my parents to be proud of me and i felt terrible if they were ever disappointed in me. Psychological manipulation! Boy it sure worked like a charm on my brother and me.
I lived in this lush dark wonderland for the first 14 years of my life. By the time i had gotten to Junior High, i had gone my entire k-6 education in the same school and the last 2 years with the same teacher! (Hi Ms. Daniels!).
I had tried out at the end of 6th grade to be a cheerleader in 7th grade. I made the squad so that pretty much kept me busy after school after we moved into the big house in 8th grade.
I think i may have been the last generation of kids that lived their high school years closer to the way the movies in the 80’s portrayed. To give you an idea of how different things were back then, the first year i was in high school, we had a smoking section ON CAMPUS! The next year, they said they (the smokers) had to go down the trail to smoke. I only walked down the trail a couple times because my car was usually on the other side of campus since i lived a 20 minute drive from school. The trail was a side cut down into town, with no room for cars to pull over or park. I never felt weird going down the trail. I had friends down there too. I had friends in the library, in the Ag dept. In the quad, in the doughnut, and in the art room.
Everyone was friends with everyone. There was little divide by color. More by the sport (or activity but since it was a great weathered surf town, sports were everywhere) you chose to associate yourself with… Football player, Surfer, Drama crowd, Basket ball guys, WATER POLO guys (gosh i loved the water polo guys!!), cheerleader, student council etc. But it was ok to cross mix. We all mingled. if people did not get along, they did not on personal grounds not because they were mexican or in band.
We were able to come and go on and off campus at will. You could drive to lunch downtown or you could walk down to the mini mart across the street and down from the school. You did not ever even think about someone coming to school with a gun and kids were not having sex in 3rd grade. Not even 5th grade as far as my school went. (we all would have known! Trust me! It was school news if someone was seen kissing sans tounge!) We went roller skating on the weekend and went to school dances and pep rallies. We stayed late to make posters or watch swim team practice. We had REALLY good teachers and faculty for the most part. They were intelligent and challenging and loved their jobs and cared. And we showed up! We did the work for the most part as well. We liked and knew each other and it was cool.
The year after i graduated, i had heard that the school had gotten a lot rougher. They had a closed school policy and there were a lot of fights at lunch time… one time there were 10 fights one lunch, 6 of them being between two girls! Woah! that would have never happened while i was at school.
(i am third from the bottom second from the left.)
By the time i was in Jr. High, i had become one of those that would rather not make waves than rock the boat. It was just easier to just agree to do something that i thought was boring then make a big stink. I did not know how to say no either. People knew this and really used it to their advantage. This started as a pattern very early on.
Grad Night Party. 1992
By the time i had graduated, i was already practically more in SF than i was at home. I was a raver. Now this was the early 1990’s in San Francisco and there was something that was incredible that happened there at that time so i will never be ashamed of saying that i was a raver in the early 90’s.
I was not wearing day-glo paint on my face and blowing whistles and sucking on lolly pops. I was hiking over rock and sand to dance under the full moon on the beach on the coast of California. I was going to map point parties that would take several maps and destinations/hand off/ exchanges for new map point parties. I went to weekly’s on Thursday nights. I would go and hear the Hardkiss Brothers play in the basement of Coctails which is now Asia SF on the corner of 9th and Howard St. The basement club was called The Pit and its ceiling rained sweat on you. It was gross but amazing too.
I would go to Townsend and King Street and Big Heart City, Trocadero, DV8 and . as well as DNA Lounge (where they would lay grass out in front of the club on Sunday mornings for people to hang out on), and of course the EndUp. There were many others places and parties…(The Gathering, Bulletproof boat parties,Comeunity, Wicked, Love Garage, Groove kitchen, Pleasuredome, Martini Fridays, Spundae, Equinox, Osmosis, Universe… the list goes on and on and on). It was amazing.. Kinda like our own little version of our Woodstalk. So, to me, drugs were something that were experimented with not pushed on street corners and to little kids. It was fun and enlightening and i would have to say that that was maybe the best times in my life.
The music and the acceptance of diversity and warmpth from strangers was an amazing thing. Truly it was the music though that brought us all together, and has remained powerful enough to have kept a lot of us all still connected.
I digress. Fast forward 20 years and i have come around 180 degrees. I definitely know how to say no now. In fact, i will probably be the first and the loudest to say “Hell NO!! Have you gone lost your mind??” I know how to defend myself and others around me. Sometimes it feels like i am the only one who will stand up for someone. People dont want to get involved these days for the most part it seems. Which to some extent is smart, but if someone is being unfairly picked on or if some one is unfairly attacking someone eles i have no problem stepping in and telling them to lay off.
I suppose i have come so full circle that my nickname in the house is “The Hammer”! Hahaha. That is so funny to me i tell you. The Hammer!? Who ever would have thunk! Not me if you had paid me back in the day.
My bottom line here people, you can change and you do change as you get older. You slip into bad habits and you break out of others. You figure out who you really are and realize that that was not who you thought you were going to be. You become ok with yourself and you start being able to use your experiences to help you to avoid doing it again the same way.
You get over those things that you used to procrastinate so, because you realize that it takes up so much more energy stressing over trying to forget about it (but not) than actually just getting up and doing it. Your learn to appreciate some bigger things in life and thus life gets smaller and simpler. You dont feel the need for the same amount of attention from loads of strangers. You just want attention from those that you love. You enjoy time. You realize what time is and how if you have your health and your family and food and a roof then the rest is just toppings. You learn to want to enjoy life on simpler terms.
Photo with no makeup is proof that i have grown up!
Yet you still love your good house music!! …and always will!