Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas in Los Feliz

I'm becoming either older, wiser or a complete wimp.

I've been spending the holiday weekend in Los Feliz, a little L.A. neighborhood nestled right next to Hollywood, and my partying prowess has not been up to snuff. On one hand, it's no big deal because this weekend has been more about family than nightlife. Plus, I've been getting over a cold that hit the day after my birthday, but still. On Friday night I went to Tiki Ti and was able to finish only one drink before needing to head home. Now, the tropical cocktails at Tiki Ti are very strong, and as I walked out of the bar at...oh, 9:30 or so... I remembered that the friend who introduced me to that place a year and a half ago said a person really should have only two drinks there. And this friend is a boy who can drink a lot more than me. Regardless, it was a poor showing on my part. Then last night I went to the Dresden Room and could finish only two seemingly normal potency cocktails before relinquishing my bar stool. I ended up returning to the Dresden about an hour later, but that was because my brother, sister and I decided that our former professional jazz singer mother absolutely had to see Marty and Elayne. And on my second pass I drank Pellegrino.

I fear that as I age, I becoming an amateur. Although truthfully, that's probably something I should be happy about.

Overall it has been a nice little visit to the Southland. Apparently, it has rained a lot in the City of Angels this month, but not a drop has fallen since my arrival on Christmas evening. I've hit Fred 62, as I always do when I'm here, and as my cold has waned, I've been able to exercise again, taking my famed run/walks down Los Feliz Boulevard.

However, all good things must come to an end, including mini-vacations. I'm heading back to the Bay tonight where a very early morning work schedule for the next four days awaits me, and I fear ants will be parading through my apartment (they've been seeking shelter from San Francisco's own rain). But soon it will be 2009, and the prospect of new projects and adventures, including the most excellent day of January 20th, is very exciting. I'm generally none too thrilled about January, also known as the most painfully boring and depressing month on the calendar, but I'm trying to look ahead. I have noticed during my travels through the Internet that a couple of my friends can't wait for the holidays or December to be over, and I think I agree. Not that I would ever turn my back on Christmas or my birthday month, but much like my friend Terry, I've been experiencing a few too many dramatic ups and downs lately.

So perhaps turning the page on a new year will be good for me, too. I'll just have to figure out a way to temper the January ennui.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Artist: Beatles, Album: White, Disc: Two, Track: One

Oh, yes. I say it's my birthday.

The shortest day and the longest night of the year also happens to be the anniversary of the day I was born deep in the Wisconsin snow. (Okay, I was born in the comfort of a hospital, but December in Green Bay? Surely someone was up to their ears in snow.) However, before I get to rambling about myself, I must apologize to you. I have been a serious slacker when it comes updating this little space, and I have no excuse. I think I've just become a busier person lately, and sadly, the Sassy chronicles have suffered as a consequence. So here's a little summary of what has been going on lately.

Last weekend was jam-packed. I met Carolyn at the Attic for Teenage Kicks on Friday night, and it was spectacular. Unfortunately, it was also Victor's last night as Teenage Kicks co-host. The music will continue, but it won't be the same without Victor's genius. Poop. On Saturday I went wine tasting in Napa with my old friend Bobby and his family. It was cold in Napa that day, but drinking red wine at 10:30 in the morning will take the chill out of the air quite handily.

On Sunday Jackie and I began our open mic holiday tour. All that really means is we wove a couple of Christmas songs into our regular set, but being the huge fan of Christmas music that I am, I was in heaven. I got to do my Darlene Love impersonation (like I could sing anywhere near as well as she does) on "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)" and her version of "White Christmas." We also were going to do The Waitresses "Christmas Wrapping," but we couldn't work it out in time. You kind of need bass on that song, anyway, and we haven't found a bass player yet. Andrey joined us at the Black Magic open mic, crooning his way through Elvis' "Blue Christmas" and "Last Christmas" by Wham. Yes, Wham. Live with it.

Now, the Sassy Birthday weekend began with me, Andrey, Mary Beth and my sister Fabulous Patti gathering on Friday night to go caroling. After a couple of cocktails at my neighborhood bar (which, by the way, whips up a fantastic chocolate martini), we took to the streets. Even though it was 9:30 and a tad late for caroling, we were very well received and even got free champagne at one house. That, my friends, is caroling 21st century style! Yesterday was all about my friend Laura. Her birthday actually is on Tuesday, but her husband organized an early surprise pub crawl and dinner for her. It was kind of loud, a little rowdy and a lot of fun.

And that brings us to this morning. The weather is rainy, but that will not dampen my spirits. Late this afternoon my friends and I are meeting in the Mission for the Sassy birthday festivities. Cocktails will be included. At the end of the day, though, all I really want for my birthday is attention.

So thanks for reading.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Good Weekend, Bad Day

I'd say any weekend that ends with cookies is a good weekend.

This is me with the Gourmet Group girls at Molly's cookie party on Sunday afternoon. Yum! Unfortunately for me, I'd had a little too much to drink on Saturday night; so I wasn't very hungry on Sunday. Meaning I only ate a fraction of the cookies I would have otherwise, and I didn't take any home.

Lame.

I drank too much on Saturday night because I went to my very fine musician friend Pat Johnson's birthday party at Cafe Royale. It was as much a concert as a party because Pat and some other musicians he knows did a round robin of performing, treating the rest of us to song after song for a good two hours. It was most excellent. As were the glasses of champagne and Chimay that accompanied me at the show. I didn't drink that much, but I'm old. So it had an effect.

Earlier in the day on Saturday, Jackie, Suzanne and I got together to practice for the next open mic. Nothing is more fun than belting Christmas songs on a Saturday afternoon. Well, some things are more fun, but this is a family blog.

So given all that, you may be wondering what bad day the title of this post refers to. Well, that would be today. It's the 28th anniversary of John Lennon's murder, and I think we all can agree that December 8, 1980, was a very, very bad day.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Sunday Open Mic Delight

The most enthusiastic man in San Francisco is Ray, the guy who hosts the Sunday evening open mic at the Black Magic Voodoo Lounge.

My guitarist Jackie and I made our third appearance at the Black Magic hootenanny last night, and you'd have thought we were the second coming of the Beatles (or at least the Monkees), given the way Ray greeted us and introduced us to the crowd. Apparently, in the eyes of Ray, we're talented, mesmerizing, incredibly engaging and other such flattering adjectives.

Whether we're really that good or not, last night's performance went very well, thank you very much. We got to play seven songs, and the bar was filled with my friends (thank you Irina, Tom, Roland, Suzanne, Denise, Carolyn, Dima and Aisha!). So it was kind of like a mini concert. We ran through tunes by the Beatles, Nick Lowe, Marshall Crenshaw, Blondie, Fairground Attraction, Petula Clark and Darlene Love, and the other musicians at the open mic were very gracious about the fact that we only play covers. One day I'll write a song. Honestly...

Anyway, it was super duper fun. Jackie and I currently are looking for a bassist to join our little project, and Andrey and Suzanne may sing with us on occasion. (Andrey already sang with us once, but it's been hard to pin him down for more performances.) Next up: our Christmas tour. We're working on several Christmas songs, one of which we debuted last night, and we'll be doing a little open mic tour in two weeks. We'll start with the Black Magic and move on to others throughout the week. Yay!

I love singing. It's very therapeutic for me.

As I look to the current week ahead, I mostly will be writing Christmas cards and planning my birthday party, which is fast approaching. Aside from that, I'm meeting Denise at the Fancy Gym tomorrow night for a farewell workout/cocktail evening. I love, love, love the Fancy Gym, but I hardly have gone since I moved across town. So I've joined a facility closer to my new abode and have to bid the Fancy Gym farewell. Sadness. I'll also be celebrating my friend Beth's birthday this weekend and practicing for the open mic Christmas tour.

Ah, 'tis the season for songs, exercise and parties.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Living Large In L.A.

Well, I probably didn't really "live large," but I certainly had a great mini-vacation. The only drawback was that I fell ill Friday morning. I get throat/tonsil infections every three to five years, and one set in late Thursday night. However, I certainly wasn't going to let a colony of tiny microbes stop me; so after a quick trip to urgent care for antibiotics, I was good to go. And on Friday, that meant going to Disneyland. Armed with four free passes, I met Emily, Domenica and Corey at the Magic Kingdom, and we ran the place. Disneyland is all decked out for the holidays right now, and Emily and I couldn't resist snapping the above photo in front of a very thoroughly lit Small World. I imagine Disneyland will have one heck of a PG&E bill this season.

On Friday night, I joined Emily and her friends, along with my sister Fabulous Patti, at Hollywood Park for a concert by Dave Wakeling of the English Beat. Dave lives in Southern California and tours all over the state with studio musicians filling in for the rest of the Beat. Even though I've seen him at least eight times over the last seven years, I never get sick of his music. We all skanked and sang through Dave's hour and a half long set, and it's possible I knew all the words to every song. During a little post-show chat, we got Dave to pose for this photo with us. Needless to say, he was more than willing to allow himself to be flanked by a group of pretty girls.

Saturday was a little more mellow. I spent the afternoon shopping in Silver Lake's Sunset Junction neighborhood. Then Fabulous Patti and I went to the Griffith Observatory before heading to South Pasadena to visit our nephew Mikey Jet (oh, and his parents). On Sunday, I met Bill and Irina for brunch where we were served by a rather hot waiter who was both a pretty good flirt and willing to take this commemorative photo for us. And that pretty much ended my visit. The weather was great all four days I was in town, which is a really good thing since it's raining in L.A. this week.

Now that I've returned to the Bay, I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving, Arabian Nights at Berkeley Rep, boy shopping with Suzanne and another open mic performance. See why I needed a vacation? I had to rest up for all of this.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N... In the L.A. Sun!

I've taken today and tomorrow off work and am spending a long weekend in Los Angeles. I have to work through the holidays, so I figured I'd take a mini-vacation before the season kicks into gear next week.

And that brings me to Los Feliz, where I arrived last night. So far today, I've done as little as possible, lest I forget I'm supposed to be relaxing. After taking my usual run down Los Feliz Boulevard, I met my high school friend Alison for brunch at Fred 62. After that I did a small bit of shopping and hit Pinkberry, of course.

I then spent a little chunk of time working out the logistics for my trip to Disneyland tomorrow. I'm going with Emily, who is another high school friend, and Domenica and Corey, Bay Area friends who now live in San Diego. After Disneyland, Emily and I, along with my sister Fabulous Patti and some friends of Emily's, will be seeing Dave Wakeling at Hollywood Park tomorrow night. Saturday and Sunday are looking a little more fluid at this point, but I'm hoping to do some champagne tasting at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, on my friend Andrey's recommendation.

There was a moment this morning when I was feeling like the infatuation I felt for Los Angeles last fall and this past winter was starting to fade. I grew up here (in Pasadena, to be specific) and always have liked it, but it was like the promised land to me about a year ago. However, as this trip began, I was wondering if my love affair with L.A. had just been a fling. Then, as I was walking along Vermont Avenue this afternoon, I looked up into the hills to see the Hollywood sign and the Griffith Park Observatory, and that euphoric rush of love came back. San Francisco is my home now, but there never can be too much love for the City of Angels.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

La Vie Boheme

I have seen the musical Rent seven times: once on Broadway with the original cast, once in Boston, once in Los Angeles and four times in San Francisco. And that's not counting the evening I sat through that god awful film adaptation. I am aware that several members of original Broadway cast, who were also in the film, very much liked the celluloid version and were quite disappointed it wasn't better received. Well, I mean no disrespect to them or to director Chris Columbus, but that movie seee-ucked.

Anyway. While I have seen Rent seven times, until last Thursday night, I had never seen the Puccini opera upon which it is based: La Boheme. However, I rectified that situation by attending the final dress rehearsal of San Francisco Opera's current production of La Boheme. It is wonderful. The singing is, of course, amazing, especially that of the woman who plays Musetta. She is phenomenal. And the sets are beautiful. All in all, it was a very cultured and satisfying evening.

All of that said, I have an evil confession to make. I think I like Rent better. I know, I know. I fully expect Puccini's ghost to smite me anytime now. If one day I suddenly turn into a puff of smoke, you'll know why. It's just that I find myself very impressed with how well Jonathan Larson not only adapted the story but expanded it. He took the slightly dull supporting characters of Colline and Schunard and gave them a very significant story line in the 20th century version.

Plus, it's easier to sing along with rock songs than with opera. And I like that Mimi lives at the end of Rent.

Yep. Smiting to come any day now.

Not seeing cultural redemption on the horizon, I decided to move forward with my weekend. On Friday night Tom, Andrey, Olena, Berto, Indie and I hit the Attic for Teenage Kicks, which was quite the blast. And later this afternoon, Jackie and I will be gracing the Black Magic open mic with a few of our fabulous cover tunes. Andrey was supposed to sing with me, but the poor lad has been felled by a sore throat. I'm no opera or Broadway singer, but the cocktails will be flowing today, and it should be a good time.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Kids In America

Although the song isn't lyrically appropriate, overall, especially since I think it actually pokes a little gentle fun at The Colonies and those of us who live here, sometime back in March or April, I decided that a refrain from Kim Wilde's "Kids In America" would be the perfect theme for Barack Obama's presidential campaign:

New York to east California
There's a new wave comin', I warn ya
We're the kids in America
We're the kids in America


In case you haven't heard, last night Barack Obama was elected President of the United States. There are a lot of things I could say about this fact, but I'd be writing all night, and I have a show at Berkeley Rep to get to this evening. So I'll just offer a few tidbits.

First of all, it's not something I spent a lot of time thinking about, but if you'd asked me at any time prior to this year if I thought an African American would be elected president, my answer would have been, "One day, to be certain, but not in my lifetime." I'm 38 years old; born after the bulk of the civil rights movement and raised by a Caucasian father and African American mother in an environment where I never thought there was anything unusual about people of different races loving each other, as opposed to hating each other. But obviously I'm aware of racism because, despite my upbringing, I still never thought I'd see this day.

I've never been happier to be proven wrong. Not only has an African American been elected president, but a brilliant, well educated African American who, by all appearances, has the vision to be an excellent leader. Thank you for that, Mr. President Elect. (Plus, I'll share a little secret: I'm thrilled that Obama is bracial, like me. Yay!)

I went to sleep Monday night feeling like a child on Christmas Eve. I bounded out of bed in the morning and was at my polling place ready to vote at 7:05 a.m. So were the 30 other people in line ahead of me, and the many others who arrived during the hour it took me to complete my civic duty. Throughout the day I became so nervous about the outcome of the election that I felt nauseous. I finally let myself breathe at about 6 p.m. Pacific Time when it was estimated that Obama had won Ohio. Even though we knew what was going to happen by the time the polls closed in California two hours later, it was still an incredible thrill to see the announcement on CNN that Obama had been elected. I was at a party with Denise and Paul at the time, and we all let out a serious cheer and toasted the moment with glasses of Veuve Clicquot.

I called my friend Chris a few minutes later, and he was crying so hard, he couldn't speak.

After the speeches, Paul, Denise and I did a little party hopping and found ourselves in San Francisco's Union Square at about 11:00. The energy was electric, people were jubilant, and it looked like there had been a street party earlier (and by all accounts, I think there had been). It seemed that people of all races and ages were out, revelling in Obama's victory and the pride of being kids in America.

I'm generally cynical about politicians, and it remains to be seen if Obama can keep all the promises he's made on the campaign trail. I tend to doubt he'll be able to, but for now, it feels really wonderful to hope.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Music That's Making Me Happy Today, vol... oh, I don't know

She and Him at Bimbo's 365 Club

I have to admit I've grown bored with numbering the missives on this space in which I gush about music. Sorry. Anyway, last spring an email from All Music tipped me off to a new album by actress Zooey Deschanel and musician M. Ward. The pair had worked together on a film and decided to continue making music under the name She and Him. Deschanel sings, Ward plays guitar, and both write the songs.

Back in the day, if I may grossly oversimplify things, music lovers would hear a song on the radio, and if they liked what they heard, buy a 45-rpm single at their local record store. Often that purchase would lead to something bigger: namely procuring the full length album where the song could be found. Other songs from that album may make it onto the radio airwaves, they may not. It was a good system, and it worked for decades.

Well, this is 2008. I had not in the spring and still have not heard any She and Him songs on the radio. Admittedly, I don't listen to every radio station in San Francisco; I don't even listen to most of them. What I did on that spring day after reading the She and Him album review on the All Music website was head to Amazon. There I could preview every track of Volume One. It's a collection of country-flavored tunes, 60's girl group-esque ditties and a couple of covers.

I chose my favorite numbers, generally leaning toward the girl group sound, and that night hopped onto iTunes where I downloaded "Why Do You let Me Stay Here?", "Sweet Darlin'" and "I Was Made For You." No radio station necessary (scores of people I know will not be at all happy I just wrote those words), no album purchase required. The country-ish songs came off a little too sappy in their 30-second Amazon previews for my taste; so I stayed away from them.

Well, I may only own three songs, but over the last half year I have fallen in love with She and Him. So I jumped at the chance to see the duo perform at Bimbo's 365 Club last night (they've also got a show there tonight). Lavender Diamond, a band I had stumbled upon on MySpace last year, was the opening act. I invited Bill, Kim, Mary Beth and Kurt to come along, and we all gathered at the historic Bimbo's to take in some new music.

The show was phenomenal. The sap I'd heard within She and Him's country tunes was completely absent from the live performance, and every number sparkled. And of course, I was delighted to sing along... loudly... with the songs I already know well and love. Both Kurt and Mary Beth, who were not familiar with She and Him's music before last night, enjoyed the show so much they thanked me for inviting them. She and Him are just so good. They're so good, they're so good, they're so good.

I still haven't heard them on the radio, but after last night, I just may buy that whole album. You should do yourself a favor and do the same.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hey Look, It's Fall!

Yes, it's been autumn for more than a month, but I'd say we now have some pretty clear signs of the season change. First of all, Halloween is tomorrow. I know in my last missive I expressed my distaste for Halloween, but the party I went to on Saturday night was so much fun that I'm very much looking forward to my second Halloween party tomorrow evening. I'll be wearing the same costume and hanging out with many of the same people, but whatever.

Anyway, here's a photo from the last weekend's festivities that I nicked from Andrey's Flickr page. I like this picture because it's full of so much color. I don't know if that's us, the camera or the skill of the photographer, but I think it looks great. While my go go boots are obscured in this shot, you can see the ultra groovy pattern of my mod mini dress, not to mention the hoop earrings I chose to finish the look. (It should be noted that in the late 80's and early 90's, I wore big hoop earrings like this all the time... just because.) Pictured with me are Anne, Melli, Denise, Charlie (in the far back), Laura, Gigi and two women whose names I don't know.

In addition to Halloween, the season is making itself known in other ways, as well. After our typical Bay Area October warm spell, the temperatures have turned colder, and the days are getting way shorter. It's so dark when I get up to go running in the morning that I'm actually looking forward to the end of Daylight Saving Time this weekend. I'm also starting to get that pre-holiday season excitement, when the glow of an upcoming Thanksgiving, Christmas and the most important holiday, my birthday, fills my heart. This is the fun part of the year, before the gloom of the ever-depressing January and February strikes at the onset of 2009.

Oh, and there's one other tiny event making its mark this season. That would be a little election coming up on Tuesday. I've become so addicted to all the election coverage that I don't know what I'll do come Wednesday when I have no reason to be glued to MSNBC. Well, I think I'll manage, especially if things go the way I hope they will (keep your fingers crossed).

Whichever way you're leaning, I certainly hope you vote!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween A Go Go

Halloween is one of my least favorite holidays.

I loved Halloween when I was a kid, and I still think highly of it as a children's holiday. After all, what's more awesome than trick or treating? But adult Halloween? That seems like just another excuse for people to drink to excess while women are dressed as scantily as possible. Don't believe me? Just try shopping for an adult woman's Halloween costume these days, and listen to the noise outside your window next Friday night. Plus, I never know what to dress up as, and the stress of figuring that out gives me a headache every year.

So usually I just try to avoid it altogether.

However, even though I don't like Halloween, I do like socializing, and I was invited to two Halloween parties this year. So I decided to bite the bullet and embrace Halloween as best I can. After much deliberation, I decided to be a go go dancer. Given my attraction to 60's music, not to mention my favorite 80's band, the Go-Go's, I'm surprised I'd never chosen this costume before. Plus, my penchant for wearing short(-ish) dresses and tall boots already lends somewhat of a go go style to my everyday look. But like I said, usually I try to avoid Halloween.

Anyway, the centerpiece of my costume is gold go go boots, like the ones shown here. I then bought a "mod swirl" mini-dress from one of those Halloween stores and finished the look with chunky costume jewelry purchased from Aldo Accessories. Add a little sparkly eye shadow, and I'm good to go.

The first of my Halloween parties was last night. It was thrown by Melli and her roommates at their apartment in North Beach, and I'd say it was a hit. The signature drink was a vodka punch our hosts called Vampire's Kiss. After two cups, however, I realized that it should have been called Vampires Kick Your Ass. So I stopped drinking and made quick work of the snack table to help avoid a hangover.

I also met a very nice zombie... excuse me, a fellow dressed as a zombie... who became my hero when he mentioned he had attended the Masque reunion show at the Echoplex last year. Now, I suppose I could have gone to the Masque reunion show, myself, but I didn't. And that fact that he did made him my hero instantly. I bet this guy never thought that watching a bunch of aging punk rockers perform would be a babe magnet a year later, but then, he'd never met me.

Except for two people, no one seemed to get my costume. In fact, people kept guessing flapper (what?), but that's okay. I actually had fun dressing up, and will break out my inner go go again for the Bradys' party next Friday. And just wait, those gold boots likely may become a mainstay of my everyday wardrobe.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Welcome to 1996

Why hello! I'm writing this little missive courtesy of a dial-up Internet connection. How late 20th century, no?

After an hour on the phone with Earthlink this morning, it was determined that the newly installed DSL at my new apartment is not working. I told the Earthlink technician that at the beginning of the call, but I do appreciate his troubleshooting efforts. Even if those efforts cut into my exercise time. Another technician called me tonight and asked me to do the exact same things I'd done this morning because, apparently, he needed his own confirmation that the line isn't working. I got a bit of an attitude at that point, given all the time I'd already spent testing my motem, but I did what he asked. And then he never called me back, even though he said he would.

I certainly hope this gets resolved sometime soon.

Aside from chatting with the lovely gentlemen at Earthlink, I split my time this weekend between lounging, socializing and running errands. The errands mostly involved buying more things for the new pad. Things like a flashlight, batteries, bug spray (I have a backyard, and sometimes the insects forget that they are outdoor pets), copies of my house keys and a P.O. box, which I am renting to keep the exact location of my new domicile off the Internet.

My lounging time saw me watching lots of MSNBC and DVD's. It also lead me to the mystery of why my new DVD player has decided repeatedly to tell me "Display Connected -non HDCP Compliant," even though it hasn't said that the other times I've used it. I even read the owners manual and still can't figure out how to stop the machine from flashing that reminder.

Then there was the socializing. On Friday I made a quick appearance at Sens for happy hour with Andrey, Carla, Olena, Lorena and several others. Then I met Carolyn at an art show in the Mission, after which we collected Dima and went to the Attic. I drank far too much on Friday night; so I stayed in Saturday night and then met Carla for brunch and, more importantly, mimosas this afternoon. Now it's Sunday evening, which means back to work tomorrow. Too bad weekends aren't five or six days long.

One more thing. Do me a favor and think good thoughts for Father Sassy. My dear old daddy is going through some rough times, and I don't think they are going to get smoother any time soon. Or at all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

And Breathe

After two months of stress and anxiety, I'm beginning to feel like myself again. My move is almost done; I'm just going to swing by my old apartment one last time to collect any mail that may have landed there, and then on Wednesday morning I'm turning in the keys.

At that point, I'll be completely free!

I'm all moved in at my new place, and I love it, love it, love it! The apartment is great, the neighborhood is even better, and so far, my landlords have been awesome. I just need to procure a dining room table and a couple of chairs, and I'll be done furnishing the place. Then the decorating can begin. This move cost me a hefty chunk of cash; so decorating will have to be a slow and measured process. I need to practice frugality for the next several months, but the move sooo has been worth it. I know I've been a little vague, but I'll cough up all the details of why I decided to move once I get the security deposit from my old apartment back.

Evidence that my life is getting back to normal was abundant this weekend, as I seem to be back to my socializing ways. On Friday night, I met Carla at the Attic for Teenage Kicks, which was, of course, awesome. And I learned something new this time around. Did you know that REM did not write the song "Superman?" I sure didn't. It's a cover of a Clique song, which Victor played on Friday. Pretty neato, huh? Well, I think it's neato, but you know that good music, in general, impresses me.

On Saturday I went to a Blue Angels rooftop barbecue after cleaning my old apartment. I missed the Blue Angels airshow but arrived in plenty of time for the snacks and drinks. A few hours later I met Joey for cocktails at the Latin American Club. On Sunday I went to Tony Nik's at about noon for mimosas and North Beach's annual Columbus Day parade. I had never been to that parade, and I must say, it was a sight. It's basically a small town parade that somehow finds itself in San Francisco every year. Too much. And if all that wasn't enough, my weekend ended with Carolyn and I enjoying fancy hamburgers and Burgundy last night in my new 'hood.

So now that life seems to be getting back to normal, I can focus on the important things: singing, boys and worrying about the upcoming election. (Honestly, if McCain and his crazy running mate win, I may have to hide under my bed for four years... or longer.) I also have to figure out what to be for Halloween. Any ideas?

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Beer With Their Bickering

If you're going to watch the presidential debates, and I certainly hope you are watching them, I recommend doing so with an adult beverage in hand. Not because Barack Obama and John McCain's polite sparring is necessarily difficult viewing, but simply because politics goes better with a drink.

Last night, Andrey and I went to a small bar in North Beach (the name of which completely escapes me) to take in the second presidential debate, and I must say: it paired nicely with our bottles of Chimay. The bar was not at all crowded, but the few North Beach characters who dotted the barstools provided some fascinating debate commentary. Those pundits on CNN and MSNBC have nothing on these folks.

After the debate, Andrey and I treated ourselves to pizza slices and then went to Tonic in Russian Hill to check out an art show that a friend of Andrey's was having. It was a great way to turn civic awareness into a night out.

In other news, I've moved into my fabulous new apartment! I have to deal with some furniture I've left in the old place, but that will be handled this weekend. I will admit my new pad is darker and somewhat cooler than my former home, which got lots of sunlight and had radiators that always seemed to be on. However, the new place is much bigger; seems not to feature any nuisance neighbors; and is, so far, vermin-free. All of those things trump light and heat any day. I can always buy lamps and turn up the thermostat.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Little Things

Sometimes it's the little things that make the happiest (or at least pretty darn happy). Cases in point:

1. The season premiere tonight of "Pushing Daisies," a cute, creative show starring my new TV boyfriend, Lee Pace.

2. And speaking of boys, the super hot guy who rode by me on his bicycle this morning and smiled. Attractive men are everywhere; so normally I wouldn't blog about such an ordinary occurrence. However, all the living space and moving stress I've been under lately has made me completely forget about boys. I may have to start remembering them.

3. One of the convenience stores near work deciding once again to stock Perrier after ignoring the vastly superior, in my opinion, bubbly water in favor of Pellegrino and poorly flavored Calistoga. This store will surely have my regular business again.

4. This is the very best one: the kindness of my friends who are helping me move. Specifically, Kurt for taking me to Bed, Bath and Beyond; Bill and Kim for taking me to Ikea; and Rebecca for taking me to Costo as I collect new stuff to fill my new apartment. Plus, Tom, Chris and Andrey for helping me carry the junk I already own over to the new place. I also think Bill and Kim may help me put together my more complicated Ikea purchases. That definitely will make me happy.

Okay, that's all for tonight. Sorry, my life just isn't that exciting right now. I've been invited to two parties this weekend, and I'll tell you about them if I am able to attend. Unfortunately, however, I suspect moving will overtake my weekend, forcing me to give my inner social butterfly a rest.

I promise to be interesting again in a few weeks.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Perfect Day

If you find yourself needing the recipe for a perfect day, search no more. I stumbled upon the ingredients this afternoon.

After a morning run, I took a cab ride across town to the Portola Nail Salon where Carla, Laura, Frances, Olena and I got mani-pedis for Carla's 30th birthday. Yay, Carla! Mani-pedis are relaxing enough, but get your nails done at the Portola Nail Salon on a Sunday afternoon, and you know what you get? Free mimosas! Oh, that's right, my friends. Granted, their mimosas are made with really cheap sparkling wine and Sunny Delight, but for the bargain price of free with your nail service, they are delicious.

I had three.

After our nails dried, we headed over to the Beach Chalet for brunch with Andrey and Berto. That photo above is of us as we're digging in. Yes, Ocean Beach is cold and foggy, but it's wonderful to watch the waves while you dine. Or in my case, chow down. I hadn't eaten all morning; so by the time we sat down to brunch at 2:30, I was a little hungry.

Now, I'm very full.

Regardless, mimosas tossed with mani-pedis and blended with brunch cook up to a golden, bubbly, perfect afternoon. I'm still feeling the stress of moving and the bad living conditions that are driving me to move; so I appreciate any perfect afternoon I get. The good news on that front, however, is that I've started moving stuff into my new apartment! My goal is to be all moved in by October 6th or so. That would give me a week to clean my old place and throw out anything I don't take to my new abode. And then I will be done, done, DONE with my nuisance neighbors, bad apartment managers and the once lovely apartment building that in recent years has become nothing more than an overpriced, dilapidated tenement house.

And speaking of the move, I must scoot and get back to the packing and purging. My crap isn't going to just get up and walk over to the new place. It sure would be nice if it would, though.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Love Reminder

Do you ever find yourself questioning your love for something? I suppose, in general, love is a pretty irrational emotion. All I'd have to do is line up all the men I've ever loved/crushed on/been hopelessly infatuated with, and you'd see quite clearly just how irrational love is. But this post isn't about men.

In the nearly twelve years that I've lived in San Francisco, I've been pick-pocketed, mugged, had my identity stolen and, most recently, plagued by nuisance neighbors and the vermin they have brought into our shared apartment building. All of this has caused me to ask myself, in all seriousness, why I love the City by the Bay so much. My career has gone really well, but I have the kind of job that is in demand anywhere. So I give San Francisco precious little credit for any success in that realm.

But then last night, I was reminded why I love my little town. After a quick drink and giddy conversation at the Attic, my friend Carolyn and I went to a party for Rodent Records in a warehouse on Minnesota Street (by the way, prior to last night, I had no idea where Minnesota Street was, even though it's mere blocks from Tom and Chris' pad). We were there to see the Kirby Grips play a reunion show, which we caught and loved. But this party was so much more than the Grips' set. There was a whole parade of bands, and the warehouse was an artist space adorned with the artists' work.

As I watched the Kirby Grips blast through power pop number after power pop number while some very strange film was beamed on the wall behind them, my heart swelled, and I remembered why I love San Francisco. Sure, you can go to a cool bar and then see live music in a warehouse in New York, L.A. or Chicago, but there seemed to be something so San Francisco about the evening. And nuisance neighbors, vermin and crime be damned, I was happy to be there last night and to be in the City.

We'll see if that love can survive the stress of moving to a new apartment and the few more weeks I have to live with my idiot neighbors and pest control issues.

In other news, the Emmy Awards are tonight. You may recall me telling you that my brother Michael was nominated for an Emmy this year. He and his band mates were nominated for writing the main title theme to the animated Disney series, Phineas and Ferb. Well, that particular honor was awarded with the other Creative Arts Emmys last weekend, and... my brother and his band mates didn't win. The main theme for some reality show that lasted two episodes before it was canceled won. What's up with that?!? I suspect a fix, frankly. I know it's supposedly an honor just to be nominated, but since I wasn't the one up for the accolade, I don't have to be gracious or have a good attitude. However, all was not lost, Michael and his wife Maki were able to pose for this photo with Steve Buscemi at the ceremony, which I think is pretty cool.

So even though you'll never again hear the title theme that the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences deemed best this year, you can hear the song my brother co-wrote on the Disney Channel on a regular basis.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thank You, Rhode Island

I grew up in Southern California; the Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena, to be specific. I now live in San Francisco and am writing today from Honolulu, Hawaii, where my mother currently lives.

However, for a few years I was a New Englander. Well, not really. I attended Brown University, which I LOVED, and after graduation, I stayed in Providence, Rhode Island, for about four and a half more years, working in both Providence and Boston. I very much did not love living in Providence as a college graduate. In fact, I hated it. I worked with some rather unfortunate people, and while I had plenty of friends (most of whom also had attended Brown), I never felt connected to New England culture. By late 1996, I could not get back to California fast enough and high-tailed it to San Francisco in November of that year.

I pretty much have never looked back, save several trips back east to visit my friends. While I find New England to be beautiful, and I love to visit the area, there is no love lost between myself and The Colonies. I would never want to live there again, and I generally am not shy about saying so. However, this week, former Republican Senator (and fellow Brown graduate) Lincoln Chafee may well have redeemed the state of Rhode Island, and perhaps all of New England, in my mind. He showed insight, intelligence and frankly, common sense this week, and I, for one, and happy that he did not keep that common sense to himself. I usually keep politics off this space, but.... From the Associated Press via the CBS News website:

Former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee, who left the GOP after being defeated for re-election in 2006, called Sarah Palin a “cocky wacko,” but admitted to a Washington audience Tuesday that she has revived a “lackluster McCain candidacy,” the AP reports.

Speaking to the New American Foundation, Chafee was asked about Palin by an audience member and he responded by saying that her candidacy has “thrown this firestorm, this tornado, into the whole presidential election.” Chafee, who is supporting Barack Obama, said that her speech to the GOP convention also energized Democrats. “People were coming into my office, phone calls were flooding in, e-mails were coming in, ‘I just sent money to Obama, I couldn’t sleep last night’ – from the left. To see this cocky wacko up there.”

In an interview with the AP Thursday, Chafee said that he “found much of Palin’s convention speech objectionable, particularly her ‘mocking’ assertion that Obama was overly concerned with al-Qaeda terrorists getting” their rights read to them. That “got to the core of everything wrong with the last eight years,” said Chafee. “I consider that wacky, and certainly her tone was very, very cocky,” he added.

Cocky or not, that woman is a wackjob who scares the living daylights out of me. So thanks, Linc, and thank you, Rhode Island. I now am feeling like I didn't appreciate you enough while I was there.

Okay, all of that said, I only have 24 more hours left in Hawaii. So I'm off to the beach.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

... All I Ever Wanted

This post has nothing whatsoever to do with the Go-Go's. It's just that I am in dire need of a vacation; so I have been humming that Go's song to myself nonstop. Luckily for me, I am leaving for Hawaii on Saturday afternoon, and let me tell you, this trip is not coming a moment too soon.

Not only am I dealing with the home issues I alluded to in my last missive, but I have had the world's most frustrating day. I had to take a day off work to go to St. Francis Hospital for a medical test that, as it turns out, I didn't need. Let me repeat that: I was in the hospital at 9:00 this morning for a test I didn't need. Now, the responsible doctor at the hospital assessed that I didn't need said test; so he didn't do it. However, I did waste time there and had to get an expensive scan. And as for my primary care physician... the one who insisted on this unnecessary procedure even after I asked if I really needed it... well, he's getting fired. Just by me, but still. I've decided that his services are no longer useful to me.

What is wrong with people?

Forgive me, I usually reserve this space for happy musings, but I am so angry about what happened today. This situation has illustrated for me at least a few of the many problems with our health care system. Not to mention giving me a better understanding of the ridiculous, over-inflated costs. On the bright side, after I left the hospital in the same perfectly healthy condition in which I had arrived, I called work to see if they wanted me to come in after all. They said no; so my friend Chris, who had come to St. Francis to drive me home, and I enjoyed an outdoor mimosa brunch instead. I suppose that's a way to make lemons into lemonade. Or mimosas, anyway.

Another bit of good news is that Gretchie and I went to see a good play last night: Yellowjackets at Berkeley Rep. I will admit, the script could use some editing, but the acting in this show is phenomenal, as is often the case at Berkeley Rep. I even began to develop a teeny audience crush on one of the actors as I watched his work. However, the characters are all teenagers, and I highly doubt, based on his program bio, that the guy I was crushing on is much older than 18. So nevermind. But still, it's a pretty good play.

We'll talk again when I return from Hawaii, or perhaps while I'm there. I'd tell you I'll miss you, but I so need to get away that, in all honesty, I probably won't.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Missing In Action

Sincerest of apologies, gentle readers!

For more than two and a half years, I diligently have updated this space an average of twice a week. Now look at me: I haven't posted in 14 days. Forgive me, I've been a little busy dealing with a few teeny problems in my living space. I love my quintessential San Francisco home, but these are trying times for the Sassy domicile. Between the nuisance neighbors, bad maintenance on the part of my property manager and some uninvited guests, I've started seriously considering other options.

Plus, my doctor is freaking out because apparently I'm a tad anemic. All this has taken all my energy for the past two weeks. I haven't even been exercising lately. You know that's not like me.

I have done hardly anything fun since my friend Emily's wedding in Napa on the 17th. I did go to Joan and Richard's going-away party last weekend, but that's it. Well, until last night, that is. Right after work, my friend Alison and I went to a party for Italian speakers at a fancy apartment building South of Market. No, I don't speak Italian, but Alison carried me.

There were no cute boys at the party, though; so after a few rounds of Italian (Alison) and apologetic English (me), we went back to Alison's place where we tried to make cosmopolitans. I say we tried because Alison had no cranberry juice, but we used fruit instead and created a whole new drink! I think we should call it "The Alison" and market it to bars around the city. We sipped our newly minted creations while watching several Sex and the City episodes on dvd. It was the perfect Friday evening for a Sassy girl who has been under a decidedly un-sassy amount of stress.

At least I'm going back to Hawaii in a week. Yay! That will take my mind off my poor, abused home.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tainted Knowledge

There comes a time, I believe, in every music fan's life when she realizes that she is stupid.

Okay, maybe "stupid" is too strong a word. Perhaps it's more accurate to say that, armed with limited information, she made an assumption that turned out to be incorrect.

When I was twelve years old, drinking in all I could from my local radio station KROQ, I heard a little synth-pop tune by Soft Cell called "Tainted Love." It enjoyed a fairly heavy rotation on KROQ, alongside The Go-Go's, Missing Persons, Toni Basil and other stars of the day. I liked the song, quite a bit actually, as did many of my fellow sixth graders. I especially liked the occasions when KROQ would play the 12" version, where "Tainted Love" was married to Soft Cell's cover of the Supremes' "Where Did Our Love Go."

The song made Soft Cell the perfect little one hit wonder band.

I am fairly sick of good old "Tainted Love" now, given that somehow it managed to endure and take a seemingly permanent position on just about every adult contemporary radio station out there these days. I hate that I am the target demographic of radio stations that also play Celine Dion.

Anyway, I was perfectly happy living with "Tainted Love" in the background of my musical tapestry until it was thrust front and center this morning... when I learned that Soft Cell did not write it, Ed Cobb did. Soft Cell's version is an out and out cover of the song, which was first released in 1964 by R&B singer Gloria Jones, pictured above. Of course, the Gloria Jones version kicks Soft Cell's collective ass, but that's really not the point.

How could I have thought for 26 years that Soft Cell wrote that song? Or at least that they sang it first? I don't claim to know everything about music, but I know a few things. I know "Twist and Shout" was a hit for the Isley Brothers before the Beatles covered it. I was very familiar with the La's version of "There She Goes" before Sixpence None the Richer turned it into a U-S hit. "A Message to You, Rudy," by the Specials? Cover. And all that said, I'm certain there are scores of cover songs out there that I don't recognize as such. But to walk around for a quarter century identifying "Tainted Love" solely as a Soft Cell song? That's just wrong.

My friend Wendell pointed out that nothing else in the Soft Cell catalog is nearly so good as "Tainted Love"; so that fact, along with the pairing of "Tainted Love" with "Where Did Our Love Go" could have, decades ago, given me a clue that it is a cover. He makes a good point. "It's A Mug's Game," for example, while a somewhat cute new wave nugget, doesn't even compare. However, Wendell also noted that perhaps I shouldn't beat myself up for not knowing the Gloria Jones version.

Okay, I won't beat myself up, but I now vow to pay better attention. The next thing you know, I'll learn that the Monkees didn't write the vast majority of their songs. Oh, wait...

(P.S. For the record, I know the Supremes didn't write "Where Did Our Love Go," even though I refer to it in this rant as a Supremes' song.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Welcome Back!

(Feel free to hum the theme to "Welcome Back, Kotter" as you read this.)

My co-worker Rebecca has returned to work.

The lovely and charming Miss Re broke her leg back in mid-May and has been out just a few days short of three full months. Now, there are many people at work who have known Rebecca longer or are personally closer to her than me, but she and I are going to be working very closely together from now on. So I am just as thrilled as anyone that she is back. Maybe even more thrilled.

To celebrate her return to work and our plan to take over the world (oh, yes, we have that plan), Re made me a warm blanket with music notes on it, should I get cold in our place of employment. I am not the one who broke my leg, but I'm not going to look a gift blanket in the mouth. And it was very sweet of her to sew it for me by her very own hand.

I marked the beginning of our world take-over by procuring a sacripantina cake from Stella Pastry in Miss Re's honor. I had heard carrot cake is her favorite, but this occasion deserved the sacripantina, which is known in some circles (i.e. mine) as the greatest cake in the world. Re jokingly asked me if I baked it myself, only because about an hour earlier I'd told her that the contents of my single girl refrigerator currently are limited to pickles, champagne, filtered water, butter and about a cup of most likely sour milk.

Anyway, the cake was delicious, and it is wonderful to have Rebecca back. If you notice a world takeover anytime soon, don't worry. It's just us, and we're very benevolent.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Butterfly

There are hundreds of types of butterflies in the world, and over the course of the last week, I did my best imitation of the social variety.

It began Monday night. After a full and moderately exhausting weekend, I still couldn't stay in. After work, I met the boys at the Knockout for Monday night karaoke. When Andrey, Eric, Berto, Tom, Chris and I had not had our fill by the time the Knockout microphones shut down at 9:00, we piled into Tom and Berto's respective cars and headed across town to keep the warbling going at Encore. I think a lot of regulars were at Encore that night because several really good singers took the stage. We held our own, though.

May I just take this opportunity to make a general plea? I'm sure people are very tired of hearing me belt out "Downtown" over and over again, not to mention "Different Drum," but can we all agree to ban "All That Jazz" from the musical Chicago from any and all karaoke performances? Everyone I've ever heard take on that tune sang it very well, but the song itself is just sooooo boring. If it was a short number, I might be able to deal with it, but it drags for and incredibly repetitious four... or eight... or what seems like thirty insufferable minutes. Good lord.

Okay, back to our story. I stayed in Tuesday night and got about nine and a half hours of well needed sleep. Then on Wednesday I met Kurt and a friend of his at Tony Nik's for champagne and Shellac Shack, a 78-rpm record listening party. And on Thursday it was happy hour at 21st Amendment with Carla, Berto, Olena and Jack.

Friday was my favorite night of the week because I was joined by Sheela, Tom and Andrey at the Attic for Teenage Kicks. I've gushed on this space too many times already about Teenage Kicks, but it is just so much fun. If you're not yet convinced, let me just tell you that Victor began the night by playing Nick Lowe, and one of the last songs he laid on the turntables before I left at about 1 a.m. was "Since Yesterday" by Strawberry Switchblade. Could any music party be better? Survey says: no. Teenage Kicks was a little bittersweet this time around, however, because Friday was my last night to see Sheela before she moves to London next week. Sadness. She'll be back every summer, and she may be here for a visit as soon as December, but it won't be the same.

It's sad when your friends move away. Especially a friend as fun as Sheela. Poop.

Last night was Kevin's 40th birthday party in Potrero Hill, featuring drinks, pizza, cake, dancing and Kevin's parents, who were in town from Pennsylvania. That was super fun. I left a little bit early, though, and hit Javier and Daniel's wedding celebration at their fancy, grown up apartment in Noe Valley. Javier is incredibly excited that he and Daniel now legally can be married. I'm happy about that, too, but mostly, I was just thrilled to see Javier. He is wonderful, and I don't think I've seen him in more than three years.

Today I took a lengthy walk to the west side of Chrissy Field for Heidi and her husband Adam's going away party. I know Heidi through Gourmet Group, and it was nice to bid her farewell. (What's going on? Is everyone fleeing the Bay Area?) After all these parties and nights out, you'd think I'd take some time off from socializing, but no. A more mellow week does face me, but I'll still be out and about beginning with more singing tomorrow night.

Perhaps they should rename the social butterfly the sassy butterfly.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

By Popular Demand

Okay, first of all, how did it get to be August already? I know everyone constantly marvels at how fast time flies, but seriously... August 2008? Wasn't it just 1985? I think it was.

Anyway. You may or may not recall that back in April I went to see the brilliant Nick Lowe at the Fillmore. The show was phenomenal, but the most incredible part was that the audience basically bullied dear Nick into doing a third encore. I had never seen such a thing before, but apparently it's not so unusual.

On Friday night I was back at the Fillmore to see the Alarm and the English Beat (also known as English Beat lead singer Dave Wakeling and the musicians he has hired to tour with him). The Alarm sucked because... well, it was the Alarm. I mean no disrespect to any Alarm fans, but that band stinks. Not to mention that the lead singer kept trying to coerce the audience into singing for him. Even when the band was playing a song that wasn't a hit. C'mon buddy, we paid to see you sing (unfortunately); don't try to get us to do your job.

The Beat was, of course, great, but they didn't play for very long. Perhaps I have been spoiled because Dave and the boys play in San Francisco all the time, and they usually play for at least two hours at every show. However, on Friday night, the set was only about an hour long. Sure, they played 60 minutes of great music, but there was no "Best Friend," no "Doors of Your Heart," no "Ackee 123." Drat. But after the second encore, when all was supposedly said and done, the audience wouldn't stop cheering. The lights came up, the roadies started disconnecting the microphones, and I, for one, figured we were done.

Then the band came back.

I don't know if it was the crowd or the fact that the band realized they hadn't yet played "I Confess," but they treated us to two more songs. After the roadies reconnected everything, that is. Another third encore on demand. Good stuff, my friends.

In other news from my weekend, I began my Saturday with brunch with Britney, Denise, Molly and Molly's brand new daughter Riley. Then it was off to my singing lesson, and last night Kurt, his friend Alana and I went to see our friend Beth Lisick in her latest show, Getting in on the Ground Floor and Staying There.

This afternoon I wiled away several hours drinking beer and enjoying snacks at Jupiter in Berkeley with Angela, Diana and Tihanna. Tomorrow it's back to work, but before that I intend to turn on my radio where it will be 1997 again. What's old is new, as always.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!

I used to think I hated Las Vegas. The snob in me looked right down my nose at the tackiness, the gambling and the overall concept of the city. That all changed, however, in September, 2002, when the Go-Go's played the Las Vegas Hilton. Seeing the Go-Go's in Sin City was too hysterical an opportunity to pass up, so I corralled Daniel, Melanie, Sean and April, and we took a little trip to the desert. The concert was fabulous, of course, but more importantly, I fell in love with Las Vegas that weekend.

Everything I thought I'd hate about Vegas I loved: the excess, the tackiness, the sounds of the slot machines and roulette wheels. While I didn't gamble that weekend, I nonetheless loved the energy in the casinos. I then took three more trips to Vegas over the next six months. After all that, our love affair lost a little steam, and I hadn't been to Vegas in more than five years. Until this weekend, that is.

My friend Andrey (pictured here with me as the party was getting rolling) has celebrated his birthday in Las Vegas for the last four years, but for various reasons, this was the first year I could attend. The affair is about four and a half days long, and actually is still going on now, as Andrey, Tom, Chris and Eric, at least, are not planning to come home until tomorrow morning when they pile into their rented van and make the 10 hour drive back to the Bay. I couldn't take any time off work; so I joined the celebration only from Friday night through last night.

I didn't mind the abbreviated stay, however. In a city where 3 a.m. is considered early evening and sleep is for suckers, I figured I'd be awake for most of the 48 hours I was in town. And to a certain degree, that was the case (that just means I got less sleep than I do at home). It is said on commercials that was happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but I'll share some details of the trip.

As would be expected in the desert in July, it was very hot. 100 degrees, in fact, when my plane landed at 9:30 Friday night. It clouded up and rained a little bit Saturday morning, however, and the temperature dropped about 15 degrees, making Saturday afternoon quite pleasant. The mercury climbed again yesterday, but I just spent most of my time indoors.

I still don't really gamble, but I do enjoy the nickel and penny slots in Vegas. Here's the thing, though. Because I'm not a gambler, I tend to regard slot machines more like video games that happen to cost money. It never occurs to me to bet aggressively or strategize in any way because I like the game and am not thinking about cash. That said, I did win $7 on Saturday night and $5 in the airport last night as I waited for my delayed flight home. That may not sound like much, but keep in mind, I'm talking nickel and penny slots. My new favorite slot machine is the I Dream of Jeannie game, and yes, it's just as horrifying as you would expect.

Like the television show, which, for the record, was my favorite when I watched it in reruns at age 7 (I had a huge little girl crush on Larry Hagman's Major Nelson), this game is extraordinarily sexist. However, once you get past that, it's really very funny. Jeannie talks to you as you play, calling you Master and saying things like "I thought you'd be pleased!" and "I am happy here with you!" when you do well. Also, when her bottle pops up during a spin, she proclaims "YES!" in a tone of voice that really sounds like she could use a little privacy. The game is so ridiculous, it's nothing short of incredibly entertaining. All in all, I spent about $50 over the course of my stay to win 12 bucks, but given that I'm just interested in playing, as opposed to winning, I didn't mind dropping $38 for the privilege of participating in the game. I'm such a high roller, I know.

As for the birthday party itself, we revelers danced, drank, ate and spent a lot of time by the pool at the Mirage. On Friday night we went to a club called Revolution, which was created by the Cirque du Soleil people in honor of the Beatles and Love, which is playing at the Mirage. You'd think that I'd love a club like that, but except for the decor, there was nothing Beatles or 60's era about the place. The music was the same horrible techno, hip-hop nonsense you hear at any dance club these days, but I made the best of it.

After lots of pool time Saturday afternoon, the entire party gathered at the Paris hotel that night for Andrey's official birthday dinner. Toasts were made, wine and champagne were consumed and lots of delicious food was enjoyed at Mon Ami Gabi. Do we not look well sated in this post-dinner photo? Frankly, I think I'm still full. Not so full, however, that Patti, Kevin, Chris, Eric, Tom, Andrey and I couldn't go to the Bellagio for a three hour champagne brunch yesterday afternoon. Yes, three hours. We drank more than we ate and played games (Keno and non-gambling games the boys made up) at the table. I may not gamble, but I'm all about the Vegas indulgence.

The only part of my trip I didn't enjoy was the journey home. My 9:00 p.m. flight was delayed two hours, and when we finally did land in Oakland, we sat on the tarmac for 40 minutes until a gate opened up. I was sad my mini-vacation was over, but after all that, I was very happy to see the inside of my apartment when I finally got home.

Not only am I still full, I'm still tired. 48 hours in Vegas apparently is enough for me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sharing the Spotlight

I am one step closer to being in a band.

Now, if you have been a regular reader of the ramblings to be found here, you may, at this point, be thinking, "Um... Sassy, haven't you been in bands before?"

Well, yes, I have. There was Fake Band, which formed in the fall of 2006. In fact, it was Fake Band that gave me the confidence (some may say delusion?) to engage in my subsequent musical endeavors. After I left Fake Band in the spring of last year, I spent a few months as the second vocalist for Daydrinker. That was super fun, but Higgins' wife Jayn recently had a baby. Why does that matter? Higgins was the driving force of Daydrinker; so the birth of little Peaches meant the end of that band. At least for next 18 years or so.

Then there was the Sub Rosas, but we really were only a band for a few open mics, one party and one official gig. For the last few months, I have been pursuing my solo career via open mics with Jackie accompanying me on guitar and karaoke. There's nothing wrong with being a solo artist, but I've had band fantasies since junior high school, and I seem to insist on chasing those fantasies.

And that leads us to the present. Somehow, probably over too many cocktails and too many evenings at karaoke bars, I managed to convince my friend Andrey to sing with me. He has a great voice and excellent pitch. That puts him one up on me, as I have great voice but just pretty good pitch. I figure he can harmonize with me and provide the extra dimension of a set of male pipes.

So Andrey and I decided to take on the Blondie's Open Jam last night. We got together with Jackie on Tuesday and worked out renditions of U2's "The Sweetest Thing" and The Kinks' "Better Things." U2 is one of Andrey's favorite bands, and I chose "The Sweetest Thing" because the lyrics break down easily for two singers. I've wanted to sing "Better Things" for while because that is one of the happiest songs ever written, after maybe "Downtown" by Petula Clark and Pat Johnson's "The Very Last Time." I also planned to pull out "Perfect" by Fairground Attraction without Andrey, and Nick Lowe's (or Elvis Costello's, if you must) "What's So Funny About Peace, Love and Understanding."

Unfortunately, the open mic was a bit of a train wreck. The reasons why don't matter, but neither Andrey nor I were particularly happy with our performance. A whole mess of our friends had come to see us, and they all liked it, but that might have had more to do with Blondies' 16-ounce martinis than our musical prowess. I do think some people were genuinely impressed, though. My friend Carolyn is a huge Elvis Costello fan, and when I dedicated "Peace, Love and Understanding" to her, she said it was the best moment of her life. Obviously that was an exaggeration, but I don't think she lied about enjoying our version of the song. And Chris got three hot Frenchmen from the crowd to pose for a photo with me. Good performance or bad, that was a winning moment.

Despite this less than stellar outing, Andrey wants to keep singing with me. Our friend Eric wants us to join his band, which would just be the three of us harmonizing while he also plays guitar. Andrey and I think that idea may be a bit out of our reach, but we're willing to try. So I could find myself in another band before I know it.

In other news, today at work I was on You Tube scouring the collection of Schoolhouse Rock vignettes to be found there. No, I wasn't slacking. I actually have the kind of job that occasionally warrants hopping onto You Tube to find a Schoolhouse Rock song or two. Anyway, talk about happy. Those little ditties about multiplication put such a serious smile on my face that I may never feel sad again.

(But don't count on that.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Headed For the Red Carpet

Every family has a star.

For many years I arrogantly assumed the star in my family to be me. Not that I'm famous or anything, but I figured my overall fabulousness makes me a star. Well, apparently, arrogance doesn't mean anything because my brother Michael took full control of the family star power this morning.

When he was nominated for an Emmy Award.

That's right, an Emmy. It's all thanks to the animated gentlemen pictured here. They are Phineas and Ferb, and my brother, along with two of his band mates, wrote the main theme music for their show. I have to admit, I'm a little confused because I just hopped on to the International Movie Database and the title sequence theme seems to be a song written and performed by Bowling For Soup. Bowling For Soup does perform the song but written by them?

I'm guessing that IMDB is wrong, but does it really matter? No. Bowling For Soup wasn't nominated for an Emmy, and my brother was! I have been basking in his reflected glory all day long.

I also already have begun lobbying to go to the ceremony. Of course, my brother's wife Maki might have other ideas about who gets to go to Emmys, and even if I get by her, I'll probably have to wrestle my sister for the honor.

Maki might be a problem, but my sister? I think I can take her.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Mics Are Open

After a hiatus from singing due to bronchitis and just being busy... I made a triumphant return this afternoon when Jackie and I played the open mic at the Black Magic Voodoo Lounge on Van Ness and Lombard.

It was super duper fun.

At the Black Magic, you can play a bunch of songs, and we played six. Even though we haven't worked out anything new in weeks, we've never performed at the Black Magic before... So no one there yet had heard our overplayed version of "Different Drum." What's old is new, my friends. We also played the Beatles, the Bangles, Icicle Works, Fairground Attraction and Elvis Costello. In my opinion, I sang better during our rehearsal in my living room beforehand, but I'm getting better in front of an audience. And as always, our "set" was very well received. People seem to insist on thinking I can sing, and I like the idea of believing them.

If that's not enough, the drinks at the Black Magic are really cheap. So you can sing and get a good buzz on without breaking the bank. I don't know about you, but that sounds like the perfect afternoon to me.

Suzanne also came to fill her role as a Sassy fan, and after the singing, she, Jackie and I grabbed a little dinner at La Barca. We needed it. Did I mention that the cocktails at the Black Magic are cheap? Anyway, in between songs and bites at dinner, Suzanne and I talked about plans to spread our fabulousness around the City and share it with worthy boys. Those boys are going to be so lucky.

So that was my Sunday. Tomorrow it's back to work, but a bunch of us are planning to do karaoke at the Knockout tomorrow night. It's just one party after another here in Sassyland.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Get Your Kicks

Most people get their kicks on Route 66, but I'm talking about Teenage Kicks at the Attic. I've mentioned Teenage Kicks on this space before, but it has become my absolute favorite DJ night in all the world. So it deserves a little repeat coverage.

Teenage Kicks features 60's pop and 80's indie. In other words, it's a night of music seemingly designed for my pleasure. Every song is always better than the last, and they're all top notch, even and including the tunes I don't know already.

Allow me to back up a bit, though. Last night, Teenage Kicks capped off what was actually a rather long day. It began after just six hours of sleep with a morning doctor's appointment and continued with work. After work, I took my friend Phil out for a drink, as he left town this morning and is going to be gone for just over three weeks. Boo. How San Francisco will manage without Phil, I can't say. Anyway, he and I hit Tony Nik's for cocktails (me) and a beer (him).

Phil needed to get home early to pack for his trip; so he and I parted ways at about 9:00 p. m., and I beat a path for the Attic where Tom, Adam and I enjoyed drinks and the music. I bopped on my barstool to song after song, beaming with delight the entire time. Much to the amusement (and probably eventual irritation) of Tom and Adam, I proclaimed nearly every ditty to be my favorite ever, whether I'd heard it before or not. The highlight of the night, however, was when one of the DJs played "Jet Fighter" by the Three O'Clock.

Yes, the Three O'Clock. Needless to say, I was in heaven. Maybe it's just me, but in my opinion, there is no happiness quite as great as hearing a song you love as you sip Chimay in the Mission on a Friday night.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Star Spangled Three Day Weekend

Ah, the 4th of July, also known as Independence Day, also known as America's birthday. It's a time for barbecues, parades and of course, fireworks, like these pictured here. However, if you live in San Francisco, you didn't see anything like this photo this year because the City by the Bay was socked in by fog. As it is probably four out of every five Independence Days. The City sponsors a fireworks show each year, anyway, and I'm certain 2008's display lit up the fog quite nicely.

There were plenty of illegal fireworks to see, though. So no one really missed anything.

With the 4th falling on a Friday this year, lots of folks have been treated to a three day weekend. Okay, I'm not one of them, but I worked early on Friday and was done by noon. So it has felt like a three day weekend for me, and it's been full of good times.

After work and a power nap, the 4th found me at Anjolie and Dave's for a barbecue. There was so much delicious food: grilled skirt steak, chicken, corn on the cob, asparagus and burgers. Yummy. Plus, there were homemade desserts. I couldn't stay at the barbecue too long, however, because I had to make my way across town to Kevin and Valerie's for the home edition of Margarita Club. This Club meeting featured a grill your own quesadilla bar (which I skipped due to some slight over consumption at Anjolie and Dave's) and all the margaritas we could drink. Margarita Club is one organization I highly recommend you join, if you can.

Yesterday began with a mimosa brunch at Town's End with Katie and Teri, followed by a nap (yay!) and a trip to the gym. Then I met Gretchen at Tony Nik's, and after a while Katie, Steve, Bill, Kim and some other friends of Bill and Kim's joined us, too. That was ridiculously fun, even though I probably had one too many cocktails. Or two too many. Katie, Steve and I wisely stopped for pizza on the way home.

This morning was a bit slow with me snoozing until almost 11 a.m., but after a six mile run/power walk and an afternoon pedicure, I'm good to go. And I'm going with Carolyn and Andrey to see my musician friend Pat Johnson play tonight. Sheela and I were supposed to go to the Knockout tomorrow evening, but she just had to cancel. That's probably for the best, though. I may need some rest after my weekend, and I'm supposed to be practicing for my next open mic appearance, which is theoretically next Sunday.

Karaoke at the Knockout would only get me so far in that endeavor.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Belting Them Out At the Knockout

Pssst, I have a secret. The very best karaoke in all of San Francisco and maybe the world is at the Knockout in the Mission.

I'd heard about Krazy Karaoke, as they call it, before, but my former work schedule always forced me to miss it. However, now that I have more normal hours, I can do anything... including belt a tune at the Knockout. To that end, Sheela and I went last night.

Oh, my god, you have never seen a karaoke song list like this.

Want to sing "Stand and Deliver" or "Kings of the Wild Frontier" by Adam and the Ants? Done. How about "Hero Takes a Fall" by the Bangles? Absolutely. "I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass" by Nick Lowe? Easy.

If those numbers don't strike your fancy, you can choose from multiple tunes by the Beautiful South or the dozens of Jam selections. That's right, dozens of songs by the Jam. And the Beautiful South; I don't think I've ever seen that band in a karaoke song book. This is just the tip of the iceberg, my friends. So many songs by so many artists, including tons you never stumble upon in regular karaoke bars. Plus, it wasn't the least bit crowded last night; so I got to sing three times over the course of just two hours.

I definitely will be going back to Krazy Karaoke. In fact, it's likely I'll become a regular. This is the best thing to happen to karaoke in San Francisco since Julie's Supper Club stopped having it on Wednesday nights.

The Knockout was part of my weekend fun, as well. On Saturday night, Denise, Carolyn and I bellied up to the bar for beer and 60's music at Teenage Dance Craze. The music was awesome, but it was super crowded. So we left by about 11:30. Truthfully, I could have stayed all night, but when good music is in the air, I become oblivious to everything else around me. Including wall to wall people.

Other weekend activities included singing (of course) and watching Spain defeat Germany in the Euro Cup finals. I felt a little bad about the Germans' loss because I was watching the match with some Germany fans. Not to mention that my brother Peter lives in Munich, but, oh well. Only two years until the World Cup, right?

This coming weekend: margarita club, a mimosa brunch and some live music. Summer 2008 is shaping up quite nicely, my friends.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Girls Night, Great Idea

About a week ago I was feeling a little melancholy. Instead of wallowing, I decided to rally the troops and summon Suzanne and Zeina for a girls night out.

Given that we're all fabulous and busy women, it took a full seven days for us to get together. I'd shaken off my blues long ago, but a girls night out is a girls night out, right? So last night we began with cocktails and acoustic music at Blondie's and then moved on to Ramblas for snacks. The conversation was brilliant all night (what else would it be?), but it was at Ramblas that we took our brilliance to a new level. For some reason I can't even begin to remember, spin the bottle came up as we indulged in our small plates, and that's when the idea hit Zeina.

She wants to have a spin the bottle party this summer.

The idea itself is fabulous, but it certainly doesn't hurt that Zeina says her male roommates are hot. Is it wrong that I'm really looking forward to this party, whenever it happens? Probably, but if wanting to attend a kitchy party where I get to kiss hot boys is wrong... I don't want to be right.

Okay, off to sing. Carla, Andrey, Berto and I are taking over some karaoke microphones tonight.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Summer In the City

Summer 2008 has arrived and already has brought some good times.

Spring went out like a lion this year with a heat wave that began in the middle of last week. On Friday, the last day of spring and first night of summer, the mercury topped 92 degrees in San Francisco. In case you don't live here, I'll just tell you that the City rarely reaches such temperatures. The rest of the Bay Area was even hotter with fires breaking out all over the region.

My sister Fabulous Patti visited this weekend, and on Friday night, she and I went to the Latin American Club for cool beverages with Terry, Joey and Phil. I'm not sure I've ever been so hot in a bar, but we made the best of things as we sipped margaritas and pear ciders. The stagnant air and continued hot temperatures made the evening a little bit unbearable, but I love hot weather. So I'll take a heat wave anytime.

It was still fairly toasty on Saturday afternoon when Fabulous Patti and I took in Shanghai San Francisco, an interactive theatre piece my friend Valerie is in. Shanghai San Francisco is part walking tour, part play, and it begins at Coit Tower, marking my second visit to the landmark in the eleven and a half years I've lived here. Because San Francisco is the size of a postage stamp, I quickly learned that Valerie is not the only person I know in this show. My downstairs neighbor Jamie is also in it (who even knew she was an actress?), as is Glenn, a guy I took a very intense acting class with just under ten years ago. They say it's a small world, and if you live in San Francisco, you'll definitely believe it.

The sea breeze kicked in late Saturday afternoon, making for a very comfortable night. After swinging by Sebastian's birthday party at the Hi Dive, FP and I made our way to the Napper Tandy to join Valerie, her boyfriend and some friends of theirs for karaoke. Here is what I learned about doing karaoke when you're recovering from bronchitis: don't. However, if, like me, you are intrepid (read: foolish) enough to soldier on with a compromised respiratory system, I recommend picking a very low song.

Honestly, I wasn't planning to sing at all, but it took all of ten minutes for me to want to belly up to the microphone. So I chose "Stay" by Lisa Loeb, thinking I could handle such a simple melody that is free of any really belty notes. Well, not so fast. Normally I sing "Stay" quite well, but given that I currently am operating without an upper register to my voice, things went differently this time. "Stay" isn't even a terribly high song, but what remotely high notes there are just faded into an asthmatic wheeze. Having learned my lesson, I chose for my second number The Pretenders' "Back On the Chain Gang," which is just the teeniest, tiniest bit too low for me. I must say, I've sung that song dozens of times, including with Fake Band, but this was the best I've ever done. One mildly higher note during the key modulation was a little dicey, but otherwise, I pretty much nailed it. So I've learned not only to avoid high or even mid range songs while recovering from an illness but also to avoid imitating Chrissie Hynde unless I've recently had bronchitis.

Life is about learning, right?

The heat wave completely broke and the fog rolled back in just in time for me to attend an outdoor concert in Golden Gate Park today. Brr. I shivered the entire time, but the free snacks and drinks alongside the tunes kept me warm inside. I certainly found myself wishing every Sunday could include free music in the park. But now here I am back at home, where it's warm, and where I will snuggle on the couch in front of Oceans Thirteen before hitting the sack.

If every summer weekend proves to be like this, I'd say it's going to be a mighty fine season.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Stream of Consciousness

Okay, I was wrong. I'm not on the mend and will be heading to the doctor for my precious antibiotics tomorrow. Ah, well.

It's very warm today. I was able to walk to work this morning in my little dress without a sweater or a coat. That may mean nothing to you, but in San Francisco it is quite the coup.

I'm organizing a karaoke party with some of my friends next week, and last night I had a dream about all of us singing. Is that wrong? Don't bother answering that question; I know it is.

This weekend I'm going to "see" some interactive theatre piece taking place on the streets of San Francisco. My friend Valerie is in it, and we get snacks and drinks, too. I'm excited.

My love affair with Nick Lowe continues. I downloaded a few songs from iTunes the other night, and I want to hug him every time I hear him sing. Sigh...

Okay, I think that's all for now. More once I stop coughing.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

On The Mend

I seem to have stumbled upon a new cure for an old problem.

I have chronic bronchitis. I'm a lifelong non-smoker, but pediatric asthma and an allergy to cigarette smoke (among other toxins in the air, I'm sure) has rendered my weakened respiratory system susceptible to regular bouts of this ailment. I usually only suffer from episodes every 18 months to two years or so, and I just had one in December. So I was surprised on Monday evening to feel my chest tighten up. In fact, I wasn't so much surprised as in complete denial as to what was going on.

However, by early Wednesday morning, when I awoke at 4 a.m. with a chest that felt like lead, I had to acknowledge what was happening.

Here's how this disease usually progresses. It starts with a virus and over the course of the first week gets worse and worse with me coughing and trying to clear lungs that won't clear. Supposedly it's just a cold at this stage, but there are never any other cold symptoms. Mornings and late evenings are the worst, but I'm pretty much miserable all day every day. After about a week and a half to two weeks, I trot over to the doctor's office for antibiotics to treat the bacteria which, by that time, has settled comfortably into my lungs as well. Once I get my drugs, everything clears up in a few days, and I'm good for another couple of years.

I took Wednesday and Thursday off from work, suspended all exercise (in my opinion, the most painful part of having respiratory disease) and officially set up a sick bay on my couch. It didn't seem to be too bad this time, but that's what I kept telling myself back in December, and that turned out to be one of the worst episodes in a while. However, there were a couple of tiny problems plaguing my recovery. For one thing, after two days on the couch, I was bored out of my mind. For another, the weekend was fast approaching, and I had social engagements to keep. In particular, Teenage Kicks, my very favorite monthly DJ night at the Attic, was happening on Friday. Tom, Carolyn, Andrey and I had already planned to go, and I just couldn't wrap my mind around missing it.

So I went back to work Friday morning and took it all one hour at a time. By Friday night I did have the inclination to just curl up in bed, but nothing was going to keep me from the music. I doubted I was still contagious; so I figured I could be congested at home or be congested while Victor, the host of Teenage Kicks, and Pete, the guest DJ that night, played me some music. I wouldn't drink, and I wouldn't stay out too late.

Ah, famous last words. At 2:30 in the morning, after three Chimays and lots of tunes, I realized that I was feeling better. My lungs were relatively clear, and while I was coughing, I wasn't coughing too much. Yesterday, that guarded feeling of well being continued. I'd lost my voice, but I still felt better. I even went to the gym, and a spell in the steam room there did not produce the coughing fits that would have come if I'd been terribly congested.

Could it be that this little virus is clearing up on its own before becoming bacterial, thus saving me a visit with a physician?

Well, I'm not counting on anything, as I am still a little congesty. And I certainly hope I haven't jinxed my recuperation by writing this. But as I continuously knock wood and hope to avoid a course of Zithromax, I can't help but believe that the music and beer on Friday might have done the trick. I primarily credit the music. Everyone knows that music heals all, no matter what ails you.

Including, perhaps, an issue that has nothing to do with my lungs.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

These Are Days

Life is bubbling right along here in Sassyland, and it's all been quite lovely.

My new work schedule is great, although I am still getting used to it. It's amazing how much of an adjustment can be necessary when your days off change and you work when the rest of the world works. But I am loving it.

I made a return to the open jam stage at Blondie's on Wednesday night, and it was... okay. Actually, several of my friends came, which is always really fun for me, and I'm starting to accumulate other fans. Several people who attend this weekly jam seem to think I have a great voice and can really sing. They may be a bit deluded, but I'll take it. At one point during my little performance, the guitar and bass were playing in two different keys, which offered a bit of a challenge. However, as my friend Steve pointed out afterward, I merely had multiple keys to choose from.

That's about all the happenings from here. Last night I took advantage of having my Saturday evenings free once again and went to Solstice for snacks with Suzanne. We then took residence on a couple of bar stools at the Latin American Club and enjoyed many a cocktail with Joey and Phil, who caught up with us later in the evening. Very fun, but I must say I am remembering why I decided last year to cut my drinking to only two days a week. Sassy as I may be, my 38-year old body prefers sparkling water to vodka. Later today a bunch of my coworkers and I are going to a restaurant in Oakland to get together with our former coworker Tihanna, who is in town this weekend after taking a fancy job out of state a few months ago.

On a final note, I've learned something terribly unfortunate about some people I know. It really isn't my business to tell you, and I shouldn't even know, myself. However, for various reasons, this information has reminded me that trusting your instincts is a really good idea. About eight years ago, I did exactly that, and while I didn't regret it even then, I'm even happier about my decision now. I know I'm being cryptic, but that's all I can say.

Trust your instincts, my friends, and don't look back.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Black, White and Parties All Over

As is often the case in my life, all this weekend's parties happened at the same time. Last night my friend Michael threw some kind of (second) primary election primer party, Katya celebrated her birthday at Kell's, and San Francisco society gathered, along with us riff raff, for the Black and White Ball.

With my days of being able to do it all long behind me, I had to skip Michael's party. However, I made it to the other two affairs, beginning with with the Black and White Ball. My friend Tom (pictured above with Angela and me) was my date, and several of my friends from work attended, as well. Dressed to the nines, we sipped cocktails, nibbled snacks, and enjoyed the music. Unfortunately, it was typically cold in San Francisco on this late spring night, and I was positively freezing.

Although it was fun, nothing terribly earth shattering happened at the Ball, and at about 10:30, Tom and I began our search for a cab to whisk us away to Kell's. It took a bit of time, but we arrived soon enough and found Katya's party in full swing. The birthday girl did find time to pose with me for this photo (as well as several others), while playing the perfect hostess. Kell's is hardly my favorite bar in the world, but it was pretty fun to dance and sing along to the cheesy music with Katya, Andrey and the rest of their friends.

Sadly, I was somewhat over-served and at 1 a.m. made a beeline for my apartment. I realize now that I didn't even say goodbye to anyone, but they were all still partying at full steam and likely didn't notice my departure. Once home, I decided that ordering Juno from On Demand would be a good idea. Of course, I fell asleep on it, but since I never sleep well when I've had too much to drink, I woke up after just a few short hours and watched it again.

I would have loved to lay on my couch and simply recover all day today, but instead, I joined Katie at the ballpark to watch the Giants play the Padres. And the game was well worth it. Not only did Katie and I have a chance to catch up after not having seen each other for several weeks, but the Giants actually won the game. In the bottom of the 10th inning, no less. It was very exciting but not too much for my fatigue or hangover.

Tonight I need to practice for my upcoming open mic appearance, but needless to say, I'll be going to bed early. And hopefully, I'll sleep better and longer than I did last night. Um, I mean this morning.