I left my office at 6:30pm tonight to go to my adopted aunt’s birthday dinner. Which started to wind down around 9pm, and by which time, my adopted cousin and I were ready to escape and hit a bar. So we figured we’d check out the tail end of a mixer that was supposedly happening in the ‘hood at Canal Club. I rounded up my friend D and off we went.
Canal Club had people – but they were all far older than we were. And James’ Beach, across the street, was dead. As was the Whaler, Venice’s traditional surfer bar. So we checked out Hermanos, a really neat, cheap, dive bar – and then my cousin and D were nice enough to agree that karaoke at Liquid Kitty in Santa Monica was probably the answer.
We got there just in time to mock people. Like the group of girls getting up and pouring their hearts out at karaoke. Karaoke isn’t about pouring your heart out – it’s about having fun! I don’t get up and force people to sit through my emotional spewage. Besides, if I did, I’d be singing Tori Amos from my diaphragm, and not Evanescence through my nose. Few things are more painful than listening to a heartfelt cover of “Bring Me To Life”, knowing there is not a trace of irony – and having your ears pierced in the process. Ditto the guy singing “Found Out About You”. He was a terrible singer, and a total loser, and one could just tell he meant every word.
D, in a rare spell of cattiness exclaimed, “there’s a lot of dorks here!”. Usually, she sees the good in everyone, but really, after the second Fiona Apple song, yeah, that was the problem. And it got worse when I went to get water at the bar, and started getting hit on by an overly intellectual guy. Intellectual is fine when you do it by choice, and this was the type of intellectual where it was what he used to justify being, well, Not With It. He might have had weird hair and bad fashion sense, but it was OK because he was an intellectual.
One of my cousin’s friends showed up about now, and the Intellectual joined our party, and immediately started talking shop with them about computers. And not in a good way, but in the way that showed he wasn’t really doing anything but code jockeying. Meanwhile, I went up and sang a New Order song (“Bizarre Love Triangle”), using my usual karaoke philosophy: if you can’t sing it good, sing it with attitude.
And then D had to go home, and my cousin took her, and immediately, the Intellectual slid onto the bench beside me, and said, “I’m going to make time with you now.” I likely had a thought bubble at this point: GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF GET IT OFF. My cousin’s friend K was chuckling away. He thought it was funny. I just thought it was awkward, and hoped that the strange guy would get the hint and wander off. No such luck. He insisted he wasn’t hitting on me, but told K in the guys’ washroom that he was pouring his soul out to me. Which he was, talking about his acting career. My reaction was to smile and nod politely. I kept thinking, maybe if I acted shallow enough, he’d go away.
Despite this setback, there were many highlights to the night. One girl, in a dress and urban style hat, got up and rapped. She did “Bust A Move”, and two guys got up and danced all old-skool while she was doing it. Another guy did the best Springsteen, headband and all, I’ve ever seen. His buddy did a fabulous Violent Femmes song. Nothing is going to top the wannabe Jim Carrey who did a full-on physical rendition of the B-52s “Rock Lobster” last time I was there, but hey, Modest Mouse karaoke is pretty cool.
I eventually got to do “Kiss Them For Me”, because it is my favorite song, and I love being up on stage singing it. (I’ve changed my user info this week to those lyrics, because I think that they are apt for my life in L.A.). And K got up and sang “Devil Went Down To Georgia”. Which I thoroughly enjoyed. Despite his whole evening of self-deprecation (“I want to follow this guy. He’s terrible. It’ll make me look better”).
I’m realizing now that getting home at 2am on a Monday is not that smart. I have to be up in…five hours! Slightly less! But I actually ate sugar at dinner – cheesecake at dessert, and oh, have I missed cheesecake. I had energy to burn off. I think it’s burned now. I’m going to go collapse on my unmade bed and snuggle into the pile of laundry there.