Sunday, November 27, 2011

Deck The Halls

The Holiday Season has arrived, and I could not possibly be happier! This is my very favorite time of year, featuring the calendar's two best holidays: Christmas and my birthday.

Of course, the Holiday Season officially "begins" right after Thanksgiving, and I had a wonderful Turkey Day this past Thursday. I went to work early in the morning and afterward managed to hit the gym for a bit of cardio and get a load of laundry done before heading to a Thanksgiving dinner party. Dinner included good food, lively conversation and lots of sparkling wine supplied by me. I have so much to be thankful for in my life, like the people I love, a successful career I enjoy, singing, Hawaiian vacations, pretty dresses, high heeled shoes and handsome men (even if some of the men occasionally behave poorly).

Now that the Holidays are upon us, a bunch of good things are happening. There are parties every weekend; my own birthday party, which will feature lots of singing; and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in Los Angeles. I also have a super exciting project in the works, but I can't tell you what it is yet...lest I jinx it.

I'll be sad when January arrives, and all of this is over, but for now I'll just immerse myself in the joy that is the end of November and all of December.

(Yes, the two photos in this post are of the same thing. I was toying with the different flash settings on my camera and liked both shots.)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ladies in Red (and Pink)

My friend Christine turned 26 on November 4th (she is so young), and she invited a couple dozen of her best friends to celebrate last night at Chambers in the Tenderloin. Chambers fascinates me. For one thing, it's a hotel bar...well, a motel bar, really. It's in the Phoenix Hotel, which looks like a classic Southern California motel circa 1966. What an establishment like that is doing in downtown San Francisco circa now, I have no idea, but I approve.

Anyway, in the fifteen years that I've lived in San Francisco, the space that is now Chambers has had many previous incarnations, and I think I've been to all of those different bars at least once. What fascinates me about Chambers is the fact that, on the surface, it's not a place I should like. It's got a very trendy vibe and generally is filled with people ten to fifteen years younger than me who are so busy eyeing each other up and down, it's a wonder they don't trip over themselves. I'd regard the whole scene with a weary and condescending "been there, done that" sort of disdain, were it not for one thing. Well, two things, really. The first is the previously mentioned fact that it's in a motel, and the second is the music.

I've been to Chambers twice now, once on an early Wednesday evening in late September for my friend Carla's birthday and last night, when the joint was in full-on weekend party mode. Both times the music has been stupendous. No continuous boring beats or cringe-inducing rap for Chambers guests, oh, no. Early 80's alterna-pop seems to be the name of the game there, with some 60's pop thrown in for good measure. We're talking Squeeze, Roxy Music, the English Beat, early Cure and even the Monkees. The Monkees. Chambers has propelled me into auditory heaven during both visits.

Music aside, Christine's party was quite lovely in its own right. I chose to wear the fancy Kate Spade party dress that I got on super sale (60 percent off!) from Kate's website last week. It had just arrived yesterday afternoon, so I figured why not inaugurate it as soon as possible. My dress is pink, but in the dim lights of a hip night spot, it seemed to match the birthday girl's red dress perfectly, as well as the crimson frock donned by our other friend Megan. We were like three peas in a very stylish pod.

I think the photos say it all.

The bra-strap peeking out is a great look and really completes my outfit, I'd say. I'm classy.

Saturday, November 05, 2011


Some songs are easy to sing, some are a little harder, and then there are those I consider to be my "Everests". One such tune is Fiona Apple's "Fast As You Can," which I have been practicing at home and tried for the first time in karaoke the other night. It's not that this tune takes significant vocal ability, but the timing is a bitch. The lyrics move very quickly and if you pause or breathe in the wrong place, the song mercilessly will leave you behind. Plus, Fiona Apple has a very low voice, and even I, a card-carrying alto, may have to move the key up a bit before I sing "Fast As You Can" in public again.

All of this is to say that my first pass at it was okay, but I need to work on it some more.

Then there are my other "Everests". A week ago I started working on "Natural Woman" and "Goldfinger" with my voice teacher. We moved both of numbers down a bit to help the high notes fit my range, and they may well turn out okay with more work. A lot more. And once I really learn the melodies.

Finally, there is "The Man That Got Away," a song made famous by Judy Garland in A Star is Born. I probably don't need to say any more other than I must be crazy to think I'll ever be able to sing this. I have the music and a recording of Judy, though, so we'll see. I have no intention of even attempting to sound like her; I just hope the song doesn't beat me into a pulp while I try to master it.

I love my little singing hobby. One day I may actually become a real singer...or at least a reasonable facsimile.