Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Sometimes things happen that make my job really fun. As weird and even cruel as it may seem to associate a natural disaster with fun, it can be. And let me just say that tonight's earthquake (okay, technically, last night's earthquake) was moderate, and as of now, there have been no reports of major damage or injuries.

So I was able to enjoy the adrenaline and remember why I do what I do for a living. The Little Girls* would be so proud.

*My fondest admiration will be yours if you get that reference.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Gourmet Girl

I am not a cook.

Perhaps it's a good thing I'm not married because if I were (and I'm about to employ traditional marriage role stereotypes merely for the sake of comedy), my poor husband would starve to death. But every once in a while I branch out from the land of fresh fruit and vegetables paired with frozen entrees and attempt to create food from a list of ingredients. Traditionally, those occasions have been a handful of Thanksgiving holidays.

But then last year, I joined Gourmet Group, the lovely members of which are pictured above. My friend Denise introduced me to the group, and so far, I have managed to fool them into thinking I can cook. Well, it's not so much that I fool them as it is that I often can't make it to the "meetings" (also known as pot luck lunches/dinners). So I have been able to access my limited repertoire and show up with "expertly" prepared delicacies.

Unfortunately, as of this weekend's get together, I have officially exhausted the list of things I can cook. Well, technically, I can make pumpkin pie, but I buy canned pumpkin, which is probably cheating.

Anyway, this time around the Gourmet Group theme was "Family Recipes;" so I decided to bring lemon meringue pie. At the holidays my mother always made several desserts: sweet potato pie, apple pie, lemon meringue pie, chocolate cake and pound cake. For the record, I come from a large family, so it made sense for my mom to cook that much. Anyway, not only was lemon meringue pie probably my favorite dessert growing up, but it is sinfully easily to make. At least the recipe I know makes it sinfully easy to make.

That did not stop me from having drama as I tried to prepare my Gourmet Group lemon meringue on Sunday morning. First, I kind of misjudged how much time I would need, so from the get go I was running behind. Then I messed up the eggs. How does one mess up eggs, you may wonder. Well, does it really matter? I managed it, and since I had only purchased the exact number of eggs I needed, I had to go to the grocery store for more.

Once back home with my extra eggs, things went fairly smoothly. Until I realized/remembered I don't own measuring spoons. Did I mention that I don't cook? I managed without the spoons and finished the pie, which, as you can see, turned out okay. It was pretty, and it tasted pretty good, too.

Gourmet Group was fun and delicious, and all the other women seemed impressed with my pie. Poor foolish things. We had lots of other tasty treats, too. I ate way too much, but it was totally worth it. I'm not sure what I'll do when the next Gourmet Group comes along since I've already worked my way through all the recipes I know. All four of them. Well, we'll see.

Maybe I can start bringing drinks to every gathering.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Music That's Making Me Happy Today, vol 33

Sinister Dexter at Grant and Green

It takes a lot to get me to go out in North Beach on a weekend evening these days. What is one of the City's most delightful neighborhoods on, say, a Wednesday afternoon is downright horrifying on Friday and Saturday nights. But the lure of my friend Kate and a little live music did the trick, and last night I found myself out and about. In North Beach.

Kate and I became friends a couple of years ago when she dated my friend Brad. For a while in 2005 we were all kind of a buddy threesome, with Kate even telling me once she thought Brad and I would end up together because of our strong friendship chemistry. (No offense to Brad, but I laughed at that one.) But then Kate and Brad broke up, and a few months later, he and I drifted apart. So I've only seen Kate once or twice in the last year and a half or so. Well, she and I have decided to make a concerted effort to hang out more, and she suggested taking in her friend Josh's band, Sinister Dexter. Between being intrigued by the description of Sinister Dexter as a swing/funk/brass band and always being up for live music, I readily agreed, and we were off and running.

Kate and I began our evening with a few cocktails at Tony Nik's, a bar I used to frequent quite often until the night-time North Beach crowds and some subtle changes in TN's vibe drove me elsewhere. But I still go there every once in a while, and Kate and I spent at least one epic night there in... again... 2005. So it made sense as our starting point. After sipping a few cocktails meticulously crafted by the fabulous Darin, we took the party a few blocks away to Grant and Green, where Sinister Dexter was playing.

Sinister Dexter was just beginning their second set as we arrived, and within two songs I was in love with them. This 12-piece band has a 7-man horn section. That's right, two trombones, two trumpets and three saxophones. I love brass instruments and instantly developed crushes on all the horn players just because I could. The lead singer was the tiniest bit annoying because, as the only woman in the outfit, she seemed to be trying a little too hard to be sexy and draw attention to herself. That said, she also has a fantastic voice and sings better than I likely can even dream of singing. So I'm probably a little jealous.

Musically, Sinister Dexter's sound is exactly as Kate described it: a swing/funk/brass mix. Their original numbers were nestled alongside covers of everything from Louis Prima's "Jump, Jive and Wail" to Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" to the Blues Brothers' "Hey, Bartender" (a parody version of which I used to sing with Fake Band) to the Ike and Tina Turner version of "Proud Mary." They were so good and had so much energy. Kate, who went to Stanford, tells me that most of the guys are former Stanford band geeks, which makes me love them even more. Say the words "band geek," and you may as well be saying "Sassy's dream man." (A little sad but very true.)

Before I knew it, it was almost 2 a.m. and the staff of Grant and Green were ushering us all out the door. I have a very active social life and go out a lot, but at my advanced age, it is rare that I'm still at a bar at closing time. All in all, I'd give the evening an "A+." I had actually been feeling pretty low all day (stupid emotions!), but Kate and Sinister Dexter pulled me right out of that nonsense. After all, friends are great therapy, and as I've said on this space before, music never lets you down.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fine Art Afternoon

About eight years ago, I had a conversation with my friend Biraj, during which he lamented the fact that he had no girlfriend. Biraj often did that (still does), but I distinctly remember this particular exchange because Biraj said that without a significant other with whom to enjoy it, he was missing much of what San Francisco has to offer. Including and especially the museums.

With all due respect to the lovely and talented Biraj, I am nothing like that. Well, not that I don't occasionally whine about being single, but I do not let the lack of a boyfriend stop me from doing anything. Like treating myself to the Peter Max and the Summer of Love exhibition at the de Young Museum this afternoon.

Okay, in all honesty, this was the first time I'd been to the de Young. I've visited SF Moma, the Academy of Sciences and the San Francisco Museum of Arts and Crafts, but before today, not the de Young. But that's mostly because until recently, I never knew exactly where in Golden Gate Park I could find it. And then there was that whole de Young renovation, funding, parking drama that I never completely understood. Anyway, I stumbled upon the de Young a week and a half ago as I was making my way to Emily and James' Octoberfest barbecue in Speedway Meadow, and I made a mental note. I had been meaning to take in the Peter Max exhibition for several weeks, and it is closing on Sunday, so I knew I had to get on it.

I have to admit, I was a little underwhelmed by the de Young's Peter Max collection. Make no mistake, the pictures are fabulous; there just aren't very many of them. What the de Young does have an abundance of, however, is gift shops. A large one on every floor, as a matter of fact, with at least two small satellite shops that I noticed. I also meandered through the Nan Kempner American Chic exhibition, which was interesting until I realized that I basically was looking at the contents of a dead, wealthy woman's closet. That said, Mrs. Kempner did own a Pierre Cardin little black dress that I am certain would look fabulous on me. The only problem being that Mrs. Kempner's dress is probably at least three sizes too small for me, and none of the many de Young gift shops were selling any Pierre Cardin knock-offs in multiple sizes.


It may seem like I didn't like the de Young, but actually I very much did. And today I barely made a dent in all this museum has to offer. So I definitely will have to go back. I may even become a member; one fee entitles me to membership at both the de Young and the Legion of Honor. That wouldn't be bad at all.

On my way home from the de Young, I stopped by my version of a crack den: Borders. I simply cannot walk in that place without buying something, and today was no different. I was probably there for only ten minutes, but that was plenty of time for me to procure two paperbacks. Yes, two more books, even though I have literal stacks that have yet to be read. Not to mention my pile of New Yorker magazines that gets bigger and bigger every week.

I need serious help. Well, I suppose there are worse addictions than purchasing literature.

Tonight I am comfortably settled at home and switching between "Pushing Daisies" and Game One of the World Series (where the Red Sox are currently spanking the Rockies; yay) on my television set. Tomorrow I'm going with Valerie to see After the Quake at Berkeley Rep, and on Friday, Kate and I are going to see a swing/funk/brass band (whatever that may sound like) in North Beach.

All of this amid deliciously warm weather around the Bay. We need more days like this, my friends.

*Peter Max picture courtesy of

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Tearing Up Tinsel Town

Well, I didn't exactly tear anything up, but I did have a fabulous time down in the City of Angels. My trip began Wednesday afternoon with my usual run down Los Feliz Boulevard. That evening, my sister Fabulous Patti introduced me to my new favorite restaurant, Fred 62 (see previous post). After that, we went to The Brass Monkey, a karaoke lounge in L.A.'s Koreatown.

The Brass Monkey is unlike any other karaoke lounge. Well, that's not totally true. It actually seemed to be a very typical karaoke lounge, except that virtually no one there on Wednesday night could sing. And the place was pretty crowded. Talented singers or not, they were nonetheless the most attentive karaoke audience I've ever seen, with people singing along and cheering for me, an unknown tourist, when I finally got up to the microphone. See if anyone at The Mint pays you any attention if you're not a regular there. Plus, one woman at The Brass Monkey sang the theme song from "The Greatest American Hero." She didn't sing it very well, but it was still one of the most brilliant karaoke moments I have ever witnessed.

On Thursday night, FP and I met my high school friend Kristie in Silver Lake for dinner at the Edendale Grill and a post dinner cocktail at the Mixville Bar. Delicious food was consumed and enlightened conversation was had on the patio in front of the converted firehouse that is now the Edendale Grill. Yummy. That's a photo of myself with Kristie just before our feast began. Fabulous Patti and I decided to go to The Derby after dinner, and that was... well, just a little disappointing. The space is really cool with two stages of live music happening at once, but only one of the many bands playing Thursday night was any good. Some of the boys in the place were kind of cute, but they tended to hang on girls who looked like poster children for drug abuse. I'm not usually so catty when it comes to other women, but these girls were something else. Maybe I'm getting old because I seem to have missed the memo proclaiming the heroin chic look back in vogue.

Friday turned out to be somewhat of a lazy day, but who cares? I was on vacation, after all. After my run, I lounged around Fabulous Patti's apartment while she took a nap. We then ordered Chinese food from a delicious restaurant in Hollywood before heading out to Atwater Village to meet some other friends of mine from high school.

Emily and Dionne (pictured here with Fabulous Patti and myself) were part of this group of decidedly cool kids two years ahead of me in high school. They not only listened to all the good music, but they actually went to live music shows years before such a habit became a regular part of my life. I may have known the Three O'Clock, but Emily and Dionne were at the clubs watching them play while I was at home listening to them on Rodney's Sunday night show on KROQ. Emily now works for the city of Los Angeles; Dionne is a professor at Loyola Marymount University; and we all caught up on what has shaped our lives over the past twenty years. We met at the Big Foot Lodge and sipped girl scout cookie cocktails (that's really what they were called) while we dished on all things Poly (our little private high school in Pasadena), politics and L.A., in general.

Once back in the City by the Bay on Saturday afternoon, I had to get cute and scoot to my friend Anne's wedding in Berkeley. Hey, Anne is also a friend of mine from high school; apparently, it was an all-high school weekend for me. Anyway, Anne and her now-husband Stoycho were married at Cafe de la Paz near the U. C. Berkeley campus. They used the theme from "The Pink Panther" as their wedding music, and we all dined on delicious Argentinian food while the wine and sangria flowed at the reception. I was able to pin the bride down for a photo before I left. This is Anne (second from the left), along with Keri, me and their friend Stephen before Keri, Stephen and I made our exit.

Today, after laundry and a very long run/walk across almost the entire city, it was back to work. I suppose all good things must come to an end, including mini-vacations. Oh, well.

This is totally off the subject, but the Red Sox won the ALCS tonight and are going to the World Series. Yay.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Whenever You Want It

From the menu of my new favorite restaurant, Fred 62 on Vermont Avenue in Los Feliz:

Beer served from 6:30 a.m. until 1:30 a.m.

Just in case you were wondering.

(For the record, morning, noon and night beer service is not what makes the fabulous retro-cool but still modern diner that is Fred 62 my new favorite snack joint. I've yet to even have a beer there. But I can't say it hurts, either.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

From McGrath's to Mulholland

Sometimes life takes you from one extreme to another. Okay, we're not really talking extremes here, but nonetheless.

Last night, I made a triumphant return to the open mic at McGrath's in Alameda (pictured here... for the record, I don't know who those guys are) to sing with Rosa. Perhaps it's an overstatement to call my return triumphant, but it certainly was fun. Some of the regulars now know me and were very friendly last night, even though I haven't been there in two months or so.

Rosa sang "Fire and Rain" by James Taylor, along with two of her original songs. She was, of course, amazing. I just sent her an email offering my services as fan club president when she puts her real band together. I also told her I'd be her occasional back-up singer, if she wants one. As for me last night, I sang "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac and one of my old stand-bys, Keane's "Somewhere Only We know." Ironically, I was nervous about "Landslide" because last night was the first time Rosa and I had performed it together, and we'd had to spend a little time working out some kinks beforehand. But that number went really well. However, when we got to "Somewhere Only We Know," a song I've sang at McGrath's before, as well as several karaoke bars, I kind of forgot the words. I do that a lot with that song; I have know idea what my problem is.

Luckily Rosa pulled a major Wayne Gretzky and saved the song by playing the verse chords until I found my way back to the right lyrics. Actually, she thought she'd messed up and was trying to figure out where she was, but either way, it worked. I managed to remember what verse I was supposed to be singing, and we made it to the chorus unscathed.

There were some other good performances last night, too. One band was a duo that called themselves Peter and the Wolf. I think the singer/songwriter was named Peter, making his bass player the Wolf, I suppose. They were pretty good. Then, after Rosa and I had wowed the crowd, this guy who looked about 16 years old took to the mic. He sang "What I Got" by Sublime, "Under the Bridge" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, some song neither Rosa nor I had ever heard before about the vulgar manner of having sex, and "Bubble Toes" by Jack Johnson. He was my favorite not only because he looked so young and innocent and not only because he sang well, but because he forgot the words to all of his songs. If he even knew them in the first place. Let's just say I could relate to that.

So that was then, and this is now, and this afternoon I write to you from sunny Los Angeles. I'm not on Mulholland Drive at the moment, but Mulholland sounded better alongside McGrath's in this post title. Where I am is Los Feliz, happily looking out at the Griffith Park Observatory. I'm about to go jogging along Los Feliz Boulevard, and tonight, I'm dragging my sister, Fabulous Patti, to karaoke. Tomorrow night, I'm going to have dinner and cocktails in Silver Lake with FP, my friend Kristie and hopefully, my friend Debbie, who just moved here to work for Barack Obama's campaign. And on Friday, I'll be catching up with some high school friends, two of whom I haven't seen in 20 years!

Then on Saturday, it's back to the Bay for Anne's wedding in Berkeley.

I'm no fortune teller, but I'd say it's going to be a good few days. I'll say hello to Hollywood Boulevard for you.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Music That's Making Me Happy Today, vol 32

The Sweet Hollywaiians and the Frisky Frolics at the Make Out Room

I must tell you, dear readers, I was in a positively crap-tastic mood on Friday night. The reasons why don't matter (plus, it's possible I don't really remember them), but what does matter is that I was certain, absolutely certain, nothing could pull me out of my crabbiness. I actually considered calling all the friends I was planning to meet that evening to cancel so I could just go home and sulk.

And then, at about 7:45, I walked into the Make Out Room.

Remember a couple of posts ago when I told you that music never lets you down? Well, in case you needed more evidence, here it is. I had ventured over to the Make Out Room to see the Frisky Frolics and the Sweet Hollywaiians perform. The Frisky Frolics opened the show. They describe themselves as "Tin Pan Alley Troubadours," and two of the members are also in Tippy Canoe and the Paddlemen. So I knew I'd like them.

Needless to say, I wasn't disappointed. The Frisky Frolics are, in fact, quite a lot of fun. It also helped that the audience was populated by people who were on their way to some kind of crazy costume party, and they were decked out in powdered wigs, tights and platform shoes. Those people were as entertaining as the band. I was pretty sad to see them leave as they made their way to their party.

After the Frolics, the Sweet Hollywaiians took the stage. With completely stoic looks on their faces, the band members treated the crowd to tune after tune of 20's and 30's Hawaiian, swing, ragtime fun. My friend Tom showed up about halfway through the Sweet Hollwaiians' set, and he was instantly sorry he'd been late. Well, we bought cd's, so Tom only had to be disappointed temporarily.

Things went a little downhill after the show was over, however. The good news is that Carolyn and her sister joined us, but the bad news is that the Make Out Room went through an instant transformation the second the bands were done. For one thing, throngs of people poured in (Tom speculated they had been waiting for the moment they wouldn't have to pay the live music cover charge), and unfortunately, my dear Make Out Room suddenly became a frat party. We endured one drink before running for our lives; Tom went home, while Carolyn, Aisha and I went to a wine bar a couple of blocks away. The wine bar was much more sane.

It's sad when a good bar becomes a frat party. Even temporarily.

In other sassy happenings... I finished reading Valley of the Dolls this weekend, and I've decided it just may be the best book ever. Ever. Here's what I've learned from the Jacqueline Susann masterpiece: nice girls finish last. Dead last. Poor Anne Welles almost made it out unscathed; she came this close. Also, it's pretty entertaining to read a story featuring a character so obviously based on Judy Garland (that would be Neely). It wasn't even subtle. I'm tempted to read more Jacqueline Susann, but do you think any of her other books could be as good? I doubt it.

(And yes, a woman with an Ivy League degree in English and American Literature just wrote that last paragraph. Just goes to show, you never know what you'll find deliciously entertaining.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Is It Wrong...

... that I didn't dress properly for the weather today, and since I didn't have time to go home this afternoon as it was turning colder, I stopped into Banana Republic and bought myself a brand new coat instead?

Well, right or wrong, that's exactly what I did. Right between my singing lesson and my afternoon facial.

Now, I already had been eyeing this coat (pictured here), so it wasn't an entirely impulsive purchase. The reality, however, is that I don't need another new coat; I've bought three in the last seven or eight months. But as you can see, this one is green and just oh, so cute.

Apparently, I can never stop working. Someone has got to keep the financial tank full against all the spending.

Hey, you want to know a secret? In a couple of hours I'm auditioning for a band! I'm not sure I really want to be in this band, but it will be fun to sing with them this evening.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Creeping Toward the Dark Side

My little singing hobby is poised to turn me into a person I've always judged. A person I immediately deem a loser without even knowing him or her. A person I've never really wanted to know.

That would be a person who does karaoke on a regular basis.

And so loves their karaoke habit that they will swing by a karaoke lounge alone just to sing a song or two.

I'm not quite there yet, but I'm dangerously close. Now, I do think hanging out in a karaoke lounge alone is probably better than hanging out in a regular bar alone, but just barely. At least in a karaoke lounge singing, good or bad, is the focus, as opposed to just alcohol. And honestly, the last few times I've done karaoke, I've eschewed the liquor and just sipped sparkling water while I awaited my turn at the microphone.

Believe me, I have no delusions that my life has not taken a pathetic turn, but that's the way it goes sometimes, I suppose. Last night, Sheela and I went out for a karaoke evening. We have confirmed that they no longer feature karaoke at Julie's Supper Club (stinky Julie's!), so we were on the hunt for another good venue. Our quest lead us to Amnesia on Valencia, where they have Rock Out Karaoke on Tuesday nights. Sheela and I both love Amnesia and were excited about the possibility.

However, once there, we discovered that maybe that particular karaoke night isn't for us. First of all, the crowd was a tiny bit... um... okay, I'll just say it: scary. I have, at various times in my life, fancied myself a Mission hipster, but the Mission types who showed up for karaoke last night at Amnesia were nothing like me. It may be because I'm getting old. Or I'm not as hip as I believe I am. Or. I am hip, but these people really were just scary.

Any of those explanations are plausible.

If the crowd wasn't enough (and for the record all the people were very nice... well, except maybe the guy who took Sheela to task for supporting Hillary Clinton), when we sang, we learned that Amnesia's sound system isn't really that conducive to karaoke. We could each hear the music but not ourselves. Only when I really belted my notes out, could I hear myself. That may explain why everyone who sang before me seemed to be yelling; that's the only way the poor dears could hear what they were doing. Not to mention, the bathrooms at Amnesia are more frightening than the crowd. And I'm a girl who has been in plenty of bar bathrooms.

All of that said, however, I can't say I won't give karaoke at Amnesia another try one day.

But last night, Sheela and I bolted from Amnesia after one song each and went to.... yes... the Mint. It was crowded at first, but a birthday party soon cleared out, leaving all of 10 of us in the place. Perfect. It took forever for my songs to come up, and I would accuse the guy running the karaoke of pandering to the regulars, but honestly, I think he was just unorganized. As we were leaving, a poor guy in town on business from New York, tried to talk Sheela and me into staying and hanging out with him, but we declined. He was actually kind of cute, if a little cheesy (he'd been at the Balboa Cafe before coming to the Mint), but he was a stranger, and it was almost 1 a.m.

It was when he tried to persuade us to meet him there tonight that it happened. I came precariously close to the Dark Side. Sheela turned down the guy's invitation for tonight outright, but I am going to a playreading at a cafe somewhat near the Mint. So I took the lonely fellow's card and told him I'd call him if I felt like singing after my playreading. Now, I have very little, if any, intention of calling the New York business traveler, but the idea of swinging by the Mint for a song or two is actually very appealing. Even if I go by myself. Not to mention that Encore Karaoke (mentioned in a previous post on this space) is a place I imagine I'd feel comfortable going alone.

See, I'm on the verge of becoming one of those tragic karaoke people. The good news is that my work schedule, which has been a bit wacky for the past month, is about to get back to normal. So I'll be going to open mic in Alameda next Tuesday to sing with Rosa. The open mic we go to is a little pathetic in it's own right, but it's a step or 10 above karaoke.

I think I really just need to join a band. However well I do or don't sing.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Music That Always Makes Me the Happiest

The Go-Go's. All the time. They also happened to play at The Independent last night.

If you know me at all, you know that the Go-Go's are my favorite band. Yes, my very favorite. Above the Beatles, above Buddy Holly, above the English Beat and above a host of other musicians whom I love and will admit are more talented than the Go-Go's. But the music these five women write and play has made me incredibly happy since early 1982. At this point, I could launch into a review of last night's show, but it's a familiar story. It was a sold out club show; you know that goes. It was crowded, but the venue is small enough that you had a good view from anywhere. The Go-Go's looked great and sounded better (I think Belinda Carlisle has even taken some singing lessons recently) as they tore through their set.

Instead of all those details, however, I'll simply say this....

In 1992 Nick Hornby released his first book, the autobiographical Fever Pitch, about a man and his love for his football (or soccer, as we call it here in the Colonies) team. The book was made into a movie in England in 1997. That film was adapted into an American version by the Farrelly brothers in 2005. For the American film, soccer was replaced by baseball, with the Boston Red Sox serving as the team over which the protagonist obsesses. Ironically, the Farrellys had to re-work their script during filming when the Red Sox went to the playoffs and then won the 2004 World Series, but that has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

Anyway, in the American film, my incredibly clever fantasy husband Jimmy Fallon (yes, I know he's married to another woman in real life, but whatever) plays the hapless Red Sox fan at the center of the film, and at one point, he utters this line:

"... the Red Sox never let you down.... they haven't won a World Series in a century or so... So what? They're here. Every April, they're here. At 1:05 or 7:05 there is a game. And if it gets rained out, guess what? They make it up to you. Does anyone else in your life do that?"*

Well, the way Jimmy Fallon's Fever Pitch character feels about the Red Sox is the way I feel about music. Music never lets you down. Even if your favorite band breaks up, you'll always have their records. Plus, until the members start to die, there is potential for a reunion tour. And frankly, even death doesn't stop some bands (INXS, anyone?). There are so many things in life that can let you down: jobs, general circumstances, people, the weather. Hell, we even let ourselves down on occasion; at least I do.

But music. Music never lets you down. No matter what, your favorite songs, albums, concertos and symphonies will always be there for you.

And for the music, I say to the Go-Go's: thank you, ladies. Thank you. You may not be Buddy Holly, the Beatles or Marvin Gaye, but I still thank you for 25... well, 30, really, years of happiness. And counting.

*thanks to for the exact Fever Pitch line quotation

Friday, October 05, 2007

Angela Made Me Do It

Okay, perhaps it isn't nice to pass responsibility for my indulgent purchases onto someone else, but here's what happened.

Last week (or thereabouts) Angela told me she had ordered a fabulous pair of Cole Haan shoes online. They were perhaps a bit out of her budget, but they were so cute. Which, as you can see from the photo, they are. Being the excellent enabler that I am, I assured Angela that these shoes were, in fact, a worthwhile purchase.

That would be the entire story, except... I saw the shoes in Bloomingdales last night. And purchased them this morning. The ones I got are slightly different than Angela's, but they're basically the same. The only difference is that mine are regular leather with just a patent leather toe, as opposed to all patent leather. How is it that I've never felt an ounce of peer pressure to do hard drugs or even smoke pot, but a friend of mine buys herself an expensive pair of shoes and I procure virtually the same pair mere days later?

Perhaps shopping is its own drug.

P.S. For the record, Angela is still mulling over the wisdom of spending so much money on shoes and may return her pair. I assure you, I'm keeping mine.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Listen to the Rhythm of the Gentle Bossa Nova

Well, I'm happy to report that I've had a lovely weekend. That may seem like a weird sentence to write on a Thursday night, but you may recall, gentle readers, that my days off from work are Wednesday and Thursday. I work during everyone else's weekend.

Anyway, yesterday began with a trip to the gym, and then I met my friend Beth at Zeitgeist for a some daytime adult beverages. Beth was one of the first people I met when I moved here almost 11 years ago, but we're not terribly close friends, so I hardly ever see her. To that end, it was nice to get together over Anchor Steam and margaritas and get caught up.

After a lovely Zeitgeist afternoon, I went to Julie's Supper Club with Rosa last night for a little karaoke. However, much to my horror and dismay, there was no karaoke at Julie's last night. The humanity! I haven't been to Julie's since late July, so I guess I'm a little out of the loop where their karaoke schedule, or lack thereof, is concerned. Undaunted in our mission to sing songs, however, Rosa and I left Julie's and met Chris at Encore Karaoke.

What a nightmare. At first, anyway.

A bunch of drunken employees were having some kind of party there, and while I don't deny anyone the right to a good time, they were really annoying. And none of them could sing. The good news is that they left soon after our arrival, and things got much better. Rosa and I got to sing all the songs we wanted, and by and large, we did quite well. What was left of the crowd loved us, and we were even the subject of debate among some of the boys there. Chris had gone home, so Rosa and I just sat at a table together and cheered each other on (while quietly making fun of many of the other "singers" who took to the mic). That apparently lead a group of heterosexual boys who were with some gay boys to speculate as to whether or not Rosa and I were a couple. We know this because as we were leaving, one of the gay boys flat out asked us and explained who had been wondering.

Not to buy into or perpetuate any stereotypes, but neither Rosa nor I are particularly butch or dyke-like. We're both very feminine, girly, straight girls. Yes, there are plenty of feminine lesbians, but I, for one, don't usually wonder if two women like boys or each other unless there are obvious signs. So the speculation about our sexuality struck me as hysterical and like the ultimate male fantasy: "Ooh, they sing well and are pretty.... I wonder if they'll make out when they get home. At least I hope they will." My friend Jack has always said that in his book girls get two extra attractiveness points for being lesbians, and I'm beginning to wonder if that's a common opinion.

Boys are just silly. Especially the heterosexual ones.

It was also at karaoke that I "discovered" my new favorite song: "Downtown" by Petula Clark. Now, it's not as though I've never heard that song before. In fact, in the mid-90's I used to hear it all the time as part of my job, and I loved it then. I was reminded of it earlier this year when I interviewed Petula Clark, and I recently loaded it into my iPod. However, a woman (who could actually sing) sang it last night, and I sang along with her (quietly at my own table). That's when I realized "Downtown" is written in a good key for me and is very fun to sing.

These days my definition of "favorite song" is a song that I can sing and sing well. Not to mention that if you actually listen to the words of "Downtown," you'll discover it's just the happiest song ever. Or at least one of them. To that end, this afternoon I spent part of my singing lesson working on "Downtown," and it was so much fun. It has now been added to my own karaoke repertoire.

In addition to my singing lesson today, I spent a lovely couple of hours at the gym and then did a little window shopping. I'm looking for new shoes and dresses for the fall, but I want to know what I want to buy before I bust out the credit card. It was a much more mellow day than yesterday, but fun nonetheless.

Tomorrow my work week begins, but that's okay because tomorrow night is the Go-Go's show. Think of me at about 10 p.m., Pacific time. I'll be in new wave/punk/pop heaven.