Sunday, July 8, 2012

Just a bunch of showoffs ...

I come to you from a place of pure, 2 words-per-minute exhaustion, a living infomercial that explains why I tend to spend most weekends on my couch using a to-do list for a pillow. Cripes. Being in the world has swabbed my dry.

On Friday night I stole out after midnight to hang out in our friends' party porch, this great record lounge-y area for pleasant chit-chat with a fun crew.

On Saturday I cleaned the litter box, loaded the dishwasher, washed some clothes, finished a book, and shaved my legs, which had me feeling pretty high and mighty and a successful chore-and-leisure master. Chuck and I went to dinner, which included pickles wrapped in meat and cream cheese as an appetizer, and then took the show to Gary New Duluth to meet up with Chrissie, QT, Millsy and Nels.

We doubled the occupancy of the bar when we walked in.
"Are you guys a theater group?" the bartender asked Chuck.
"Nah, just a bunch of showoffs," he said.

It was karaoke night and the DJ was a true talent who a) played half a song of lead-in music to get the crowd ready for the genre the next singer was about to sing; b) announced the singer in a very exciting hype man voice. "For the first time tonight we have CHRISSSSS-TA. Let's hear it for CHRISSSSSS-TA."

The star of the show was Nels, who knocked everyone out with this perfect country twang that sounds record ready. It's unbelievable. It's not like he sits around and yammers on and on about karaoke and oh-I-love-karaoke, let's-sing-karaoke. He's just nonchalant, takes the microphone, busts out Hank Jr. or Garth Brooks or Randy Travis or Grateful Dead, strangers freak and want to put in requests.

Our table was loaded down with empty PBRs and this kid with a mohawk came up, pointed at the cans, showed us his arm, and smiled and nodded. He had a PBR tattoo on his forearm, turns out, and was complimenting our exquisite taste.

At any given moment, at least one couple in the bar was totally making out. "I didn't know we were going to an orgy bar," Chuck called it.

I attempted "Firework" by Katy Perry, which is super hard and requires a lot of endurance. Something I never noticed when singing it in the car.

A guy claiming to be a "professional photographer" liked the choreography for "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" that my friend Molly and I wrote in fourth grade to perform at a nursing home. I busted out a few moves from the routine and he snapped away.

"Now stand against that door and I'll take one so you have a nice Facebook profile photo," he said.
"I already have a lot of photos ..." I said.
Snap, snap, snap.

Chuck sang "Hit Me Baby One More Time" in his signature punk rock growl.
"He's a serial killer," Chrissie said to me. "I warned you. He might be inactive. But if you go missing ..."
But when he did "Word Up" by Cameo, one of the girls said: "I forgot that was (Chuck) singing and thought it was the radio."

Here Chrissie ingests a karaoke slip to avoid singing, I don't know, "Betty Davis Eyes" maybe?
I asked Chrissie if she needed another beer and she said: "I have a full beer and if I run out, I'll drink the stuff out of my shoe."

We tried the bar across the street for a change of scenery. There were only two customers and a bar cat inside, this fat orange tabby with a round head. So close to Garfield you could almost see the thought bubble: "Monday?!" "If you touch his stomach, he'll bite you," the bartender said. "He likes his drinks, too," a customer added.

Back to the original bar for more singing.

QT and Millsy bond while their spouses sing "Islands in the Stream." 
"Could you ask your friend Nels to sing more Hank Jr.?" this guy asked me. And then when Nels came outside he was swarmed.
The bartender leaned over the bar to make out with her boyfriend.
Two women, a couple, looked a lot alike and both sang really well. Except one kept singing the same Tracy Chapman song. At least twice.

Yes, banana clip; No, not sweatpants 
We closed the night back on the party patio and only one person made a pile of sick in the front yard in front of the paperboy.

Today Chuck and I were sleep-deprived and in dire need of pizza. We chased shit movies with more shit movies -- "Bourne Identity," "Beverly Hills Cop," "Spiderman 2" -- and one solid screening of "Caddyshack" which I think is, hands down, the funniest movie ever written.

Then I met JCrew and SeaDawg at Bayfront to see a local band that made it big play a flood benefit in the park. I ate pretzel poppers, these little bready nuggets that squirted a mix of jalapino and cheese.

I dare you to sit still when Trampled plays "Wait So Long." It's impossible. It looks like I'm wearing white tights.

"Lots of hairy legs here," JCrew noted.
"That's the least surprising thing you said all day," I told her.
"Oh, I smell pachouli," she said.
"That's the second least surprising thing you said all day," I told her.

JCrew, me and SeaDawg's shadow during the show.

Lots of hippies dancing, lots of bare feet, everyone recycled and wore stickers in favor of marriage equality. When we walked past the drum circle and bunches of people lit their peace lanterns, JCrew said: "This is a 'Saturday Night Live' skit."

When I got home, Chuck was watching "Legally Blonde."

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