Thursday, July 23, 2009

karaoke and a possible retirement

This Tuesday's karaoke was a blast as always. Several of my friends weren't able to make it out this week, but my friend Kelly came down from Northern Virginia for the night. Kelly and actually met when I worked at a karaoke bar, but back then she was more of an observer. Now, she has come into her own and apparently will sing on her own. I say apparently because this seems to have happened in the time since she and I stopped going to karaoke together. We stopped because my lifestyle has changed, and I don't go to Northern Virginia the way I used to. The last time she came down to karaoke was for my birthday despite feeling under the weather and didn't sing. So, last night it took some goading, but I finally got her to agree to sing as long as I sang with her. She felt like singing a man hating song. Thinking through my repetoire of usual karaoke songs, we couldn't do You Oughta Know by Alanis Morrisette since it had already been done. She didn't want to sing Goodbye Earl by the Dixie Chicks. So, I got her to agree to I'm the Only One by Melissa Etheridge. Imagine my surprise when we get to the mics and she tells me she has switched the song completely. She changed it to Hit Me With Your Best Shot by Pat Benetar. I don't sing Pat Benetar. Not that her songs aren't classics that I love. I am just wise enough to know that she is usually out of my range. Amazingly, it turned out pretty well; and we had a really good time on stage together. We realized it had been at least 7 years since the last time she and I even sang together, and it was most definitely the first time I ever sang with her sober. It was so much fun rehashing old tales with her even though we had seen each other just the previous day(a new record for us since recently we've been seeing each other maybe 3-4 times a year) to watch the new Harry Potter movie. Plus, I was so glad she got to hang out with my friends several of which she met for the first time.
Additionally for added fun factor, I wore a wig to karaoke. Now, there is a perfectly good reason for this; although after last night, I would be more than happy to do it again just for fun. I mentioned in a previous post that I've become quite active in the planning of this year's Pride festival. One of the annual events for Pride week is the boat ride. We usually have a theme and to coordinate with the tea dance that will follow the Pride Ride this year, we decided we wanted to do a tea party theme but not just any tea party; the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland's tea party. For full effect, several of us involved in the event will be in costume. I am ecstatic that I have been chosen to be Alice. As much as I would love to go blond again(trust me with it being summertime it has crossed my mind.), my work will not allow me to go blond since it would be considered too drastic a change to my appearance. Regardless of how I may feel about this, I am not going to go through the rigamoroll of dying my hair blond just for an event and having to change it back for work the very next day. Luckily, I have friends who have wigs especially blond ones. I, oddly enough, have never worn a wig. And, considering the stories I've heard about wig itch mainly from drag queens as well as my inability to stay still and not in constant motion, I thought it a good suggestion that I take at least one of the wigs for a test run. My friend, John, brought me two blond wigs to choose from. The first wig was more of a platinum blond and looked just fine when I tried it on, but the second wig was closer to my current hair length. I felt it might be amusing to see if anyone thought it was my real hair just in a new style and obviously different color. First reaction as I walked through the door was from the kj who happens to be a very old friend of mine. He was in shock and asked me what had I done since he has told me before I look better with darker hair. From a distance, I passed. Throughout the night, several friends took double takes not recognizing me initially which I'll admit was fun for me.
Finally, for the retirement which I alluded to in the title of the post. I know I have mentioned in previous karaoke posts that my friend, Chris, and I sing We Built this City by Jefferson Starship. We, actually, have been doing this duet together now for about 8 years give or take to the point I would think some people(ok maybe just my good friend Drew the aforementioned kj) would be sick of the song. We were such regulars at singing the song together that we even danced together as if choregraphed while singing many long moons ago. I don't entirely remember how this pairing started. I do know it was not my idea. I know that Chris wanted to sing a duet, however my voice tends not to lend itself to a lot of the usual guy girl duets though I have rocked out Summer Nights from Grease(in an almost falsetto for me) and Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meatloaf on numerous occasions. I have a deeper voice which tends to work better with slightly bluesy songs especially those by singers like Bonnie Raitt, Mary Chapin Carpernter, or Melissa Etheridge. So, somehow we got started doing We Built this City. As of late, Chris has begun talk that we should pick a new song to be our song to sing together. Last night, Chris announced on the mic that we will be retiring the song, and that was our last performance of it. Do I think it will be our last performance? Probably not since I'm pretty good at twisting his arm, but maybe.

John Lee making the finishing touches on the wig.

Richard and I cheesin for the camera.

Travis and I both faking being blonde

Travis belting it Broadway style with some Oklahoma.

Paul and John Lee chair dancing Oklahoma style while Trav sings
This doesn't look like retirement to me.
Kel and I are quite the dancing queens.

John Lee trying not to do his choir boy pose and now resorting to hands in pocket pose.

Janet rockin it.

I'm giving them Something to Talk About.

Kelly and I hitting them with our best shot.
Justin"I'm just here for emphasis." is always a ham.
Laura looking appropriately summery as she sings.
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