Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Work In Progress

It would appear that I have been neglecting this little chronicle lately, haven't I? Well then, then time has come for an update.

This is a photo of me and my buddy Kevin taken in New York in 2006. I talked to him last night for the first time in more than two years(!), and it was super fun. We communicate pretty regularly via email, text message and even Facebook, but we realized we hadn't actually spoken in a very long time when I didn't know that he has a new girlfriend. Um, he's been with this "new" girlfriend for... well, two years. Okay, then. One of the best things about Kevin is that he and I have known each other since sixth grade and have been good friends since high school. So whether the topic is girlfriends or boyfriends, work, music, the death of a parent, whatever, Kevin is a person I can talk to about it.

It's really nice to have old friends.

You know what else is nice? Working on recordings with your little cover band. As I mentioned in my last post, Sober Nixon has been doing some recording, and the process is going well. Here is an early mix of our version of Blondie's "Dreaming." It's not done yet; Kenn, our guitarist, still needs to record his part, and then we'll likely remove some of the more karaoke-esque sounding instruments that are part of Ryan's recording program. I will say that I'm pretty happy with my singing on this one, although I always can find something I don't like about my vocal performances.

Is it wrong that at 41 years old, with a successful career that I love, I still secretly wish I was a rock star?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Music and Movies

Just a very quick update this afternoon, gentle readers. I trust you had lovely weekends. Mine was quite relaxing; almost a little too mellow for my taste. However, I did some very fun things, most notably starting another batch of recordings with Sober Nixon. We laid down the vocals (including harmony!) and bass line on our version of Blondie's "Dreaming," and so far, it sounds fantastic. Our drummer Ryan is producing the recordings, which makes sense, given that he has pretty much become our music director. He has made me sound like a real singer or something. I can't wait until these recordings are done. Yippee!

Last night, I wandered down the street to my local cinema to see Super 8. I enjoyed it, but I didn't love it as much as I expected I would. Basically, if you imagine what might have had happened had E.T. been befriended by the Air Force instead of Elliot, you have Super 8. A very decent film, but you needn't go out of your way to see it, unless you already were planning on doing so.

Okay, that's all from here. I am off to sing songs, like I do every Monday. So until the next time we speak (or you read)...

(photo courtesy of the blog at

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Tales of My City

Last week I had the pleasure of seeing the stage production (a musical, no less) of Armistead Maupin's classic Tales of the City at the American Conservatory Theater, and it was a delightfully entertaining time. I even got party favors with my program, including a condom, but I'm not sure that's standard.


I read the first three books of the Tales series back in 1993 or 1994, before I had any intention of moving to San Francisco. By mid-1996, however, I had decided to take on the City by the Bay. I can't remember exactly what I expected... probably something along the lines of a late-'90's intelligentsia-laden Bohemia, complete with dinner parties populated by Doc Marten-donning inter-racial couples sipping Chardonnay and Cab while discussing elaborate plans to save the world. Or something like that. Whatever it was I specifically had in mind, San Francisco isn't really anything like I expected. After all, I had outgrown my own Doc Marten phase and was shopping almost exclusively for Steve Madden platform heels by mid-1997 (I eventually would outgrow those, as well). It's been a lovely ride, though, and as I much as I love Hawaii and occasionally imagine returning to Southern California, where I grew up, I feel lucky to live here.

So the Tales of the City musical inspired me to wander around after work on this rare warm and sunny afternoon (one thing San Francisco doesn't do well is weather; it's usually foggy and cold in the late spring and through the summer) and snap some photos.

Not exactly the America's Cup (that's not for a couple of years), but sailing was not a bad idea this Wednesday afternoon. And most people probably still were stuck in offices while these people enjoyed the Bay.

Ferry Building

This is my favorite building in North Beach.

Several houses in my neighborhood; none of them mine.

The evening sunlight streaming through rose curtains in my own humble abode.

After most of these pictures were taken, I took in a happy hour at the Burritt Room organized by my friend Andre. While sipping a Critical Mass cocktail I just may have persuaded a guitar and saxophone playing gentleman to join Sober Nixon. Maybe. I can't say whether he was truly interested or simply being polite, but time will tell.

You just never know what might happen, as we San Francisco denizens write our own tales of the City.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Sunday Cocktails

My friend Christine and I have a little Sunday tradition: cocktails and conversation. The conversation usually revolves around boys, and the cocktails always are delicious. We're both busy girls, but we try to make time for a cocktail Sunday at least once a month. Once the imbibing is done and the giggling about whatever silly boys we're discussing has been exhausted, we end the evening with a little dinner.

This past Sunday, we hit one of my very favorite bars downtown, where we enjoyed drinks with names like Blushing Monk. Then we got fancy and treated ourselves to gourmet burgers at Burger Bar. It was all a delightfully yummy fun time, but would you expect anything less from the two of us?

Empty glass, sad face.

Big eyes, small sips.

The symbol of some mighty fine cheeseburgers.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Evening Song

Happy Saturday night, gentle readers. I hope you have had as a pleasant a day as I have. I slept in this morning, as I am known to do on weekends, and then snuggled comfortably under my comforter watching old "Sex and the City" episodes on DVD while some very rare June rain fell outside (it usually stops raining by late April or early May in San Francisco). I then spent a couple of hours chatting on the phone with my friend Jenny, whom I hadn't talked to in I don't know how long. Jenny and I used to take San Francisco by storm quite regularly, meeting boys and generally being fabulous gals about town, until she moved to Boston in 2003 to get a Masters degree. Once she finished that, she worked in Boston for a few years before migrating a few hundred miles south to work on her PhD at Johns Hopkins. Jenny is just a little bit smart.

This evening saw me singing a little number in an Evening of Song organized by a musician I know. It was kind of like a high school talent show, but for adults (mostly) and with more developed talent. I sang Matthew Sweet's "I've Been Waiting" (which Sober Nixon also covers, by the way), complete with back-up singers providing harmony. Other songs performed tonight included ditties by Burt Bacharach and Ashford and Simpson and several original pieces. My aunt and uncle drove up from Los Gatos to take in the show, and several of my friends came, as well. I felt quite supported, and I'm sure my mother would be at least a little bit happy I had a reason to go into a church.

After the songs had been sung, my friend Mary Beth and I went to Hukilau, a remarkably authentic Hawaiian restaurant nearby, for snacks and cocktails. In addition to our nibbles, we were able to enjoy more music as a couple of ukulele players entertained the crowd (along with one very awesome and precocious 7-year old on a couple of songs). So it really was an entire evening of song.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Singing Habit

I write about my singing habit on this space quite a bit, gentle readers, so tonight I thought I'd offer you a pictorial history. Mercifully, I have chosen to shield you from photos of all the high school talent shows and musicals I performed in...mostly because I don't have any. This is a chronicle of my singing habit once I revived it in late 2006. It begins with the band I was briefly in with some co-workers that year to Daydrinker to the Sub Rosas to open mic performances to Sober Nixon...with a few karaoke shots thrown in for good measure. These pictures were taken at Bimbo's, Cafe Royale, Encore, the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Blondie's, the Napper Tandy, a Cole Valley sidewalk on a sunny morning, Joxer Daly's in L.A., Doug's old house and the Rockit Room.

Singing makes me so incredibly happy; sometimes I feel like I don't want to do anything else. So here's to hoping my singing habit revival keeps going strong for many years to come.

(Some, if not all, of these pictures may have been posted on this space before. Please indulge any repetition.)