June 21, 2005
which began early...
Friday night: Made a Whole Foods run before settling in to watch Calendar Girls. Garlic & chive hummus, sour cream & onion Kettle Chips, a liter of fizzy water, and a bit of spinach salad with gorgonzola. Oh, and a pint of some soy-based ice cream. It wasn't until the credits that I realized that the man who played Helen Mirren's husband was Ciaran Hinds(!?!). Captain Wentworth has gone all jovial and jowly and generally shapeless. *sigh*
Saturday: Tried to sleep in, but the cats insisted on being fed. (This includes the gray one outside, who knows the feeding schedule now.) Have been in nesting mode lately. Last weekend we rearranged the living room to better suit the loveseat/ottoman. Got caught up in a few episodes of Trading Spaces, then I went out and picked up a small desk and chair - my second Craigslist find. Another nice girl with a very helpful boyfriend helped me load it up in the Saturn.
One of the TS episodes mentioned that it was bad feng shui to have your back to the window, so I started rearranging the bedroom. Something I've picked up from my parents is to make sure that the head of your bed points east or north, never west or south. Those latter compass points are reserved for the dead. Maybe it doesn't mean anything really, but I feel better for doing it. Using towels and some padded plastic discs, I moved the bed and the dressers about the hardwood floor, kicking up dust and cat hair. I had to stop every so often just to sweep.
Eventually I had to stop the bustling and met up with some old and new friends for Thai food at Ma Li. We then did drinks at Mary's in East Atlanta to kill some time before heading over to our ultimate activity, seeing the band Hope for a Golden Summer over at eyedrum. Mary's happens to be a gay bar, and they have karaoke. Wayne got up to sing a couple of songs; the rest of us had absolutely no inclination. Or so I thought.
I flipped through the binder of songs out of curiosity (lots of Elton John, but only three Kylie songs and two Erasure songs?). There was a large Madonna selection, and while I looked over the list I suddenly felt jittery. What if I got up to sing? No way, I could never do this. Then a new, opposite thought: I should do this, just because it scares me. I filled out a paper slip as Lady Crumpet and waited distractedly for my name to be called. We were hanging out on an upper balcony, so I could see quite clearly that the bar had gotten quite crowded with its usual clientele.
After a few songs from other people, they called my name. My friends cheered me on as I clapped my hands to my ears and slouched over, walking downstairs to the lower level of the bar. I took a microphone off one of the stands and suddenly felt very small and close, too close to the crowd. "'Angel' in the style of Madonna" appeared on the screen. Oh god, I'm in a gay bar and I'm about to sing a Madonna song. I haven't even heard the song in forever, what am I doing here? My friends stood at the top of the stairs but I couldn't look at them, or anyone. I stared at the screen and waited for the music to start.
Why am I standing on a cloud
Every time you're around
And my sadness disappears
Every time you are near...
At first I wasn't sure the mike was working, because I couldn't hear myself. So I just kept singing and hoped for the best. In junior high my friends and I kept lyric books for our favorite songs and I just LOVED Madonna. I remembered how the song went.
Oooh, you're an angel (3x)
I can see it in your eyes
Without thinking, I started to sway in time to the music. I saw someone dancing. Finally, home stretch. Final verse, repeat chorus until end. I sang, pretending that no one else was in the room.
Now I believe that dreams come true
'Cause you came when I wished for you
This just can't be coincidence
The only way that this makes sense is that
Oooh you're an angel...
The song ended. There was friendly applause. Shyly I rejoined my friends, who told me they didn't know I could sing. I did pick a Madonna song, though, which is a good choice for doing karaoke for the first time.
We swooped out of the bar and went on to eyedrum, a multipurpose art space. It was midnight and the fashion show was still ongoing. We ran into the band and Wayne introduced us. They told us about their first tour, which went really well. In New York they weren't even headlining and the crowd asked for an encore, and the stage manager let them do one more song. An hour later the band finally got to play.
It's hard to explain the sound of Hope for a Golden Summer. It's really striking, raw folk-art music, with unusual percussion (like empty Coke bottles) and instruments like accordion, cello and one of those musical saws. The harmonies of the sisters, who trade off on vocals, is just wonderful. The music is haunting and gorgeous. They've got some mp3s on their site - check them out!
After dropping off one of our party, crawled into bed around 3 am.
Sunday: Slept in, despite cats. Introduced my friends Tessa and Dave to the miracle of brunch at the Flying Biscuit. Thankfully the cheese grits did right by them, and all was good. Then it was more nest-shopping - a trip to Lowe's and Target, followed by more furniture moving at home, until it was time to pick up Mr. Arkadin at the airport, who arrived just in time for dinner.