A Newsy Post you can Sing Along With
The time between Halloween and New Year’s Day seems to go by faster every year. I’m doing less than I used to, on purpose, but it still feels like activities, responsibilities, even the passage of hours speeds up. The political signs have all disappeared, and the leaves have turned. I like the energy. It’s more positive than before. I believe better things are up ahead.
We’ve had fun parties at friends’ houses, and we even (gasp) hosted TEN people for a salmon dinner at our house. We happily over-ate, and didn’t drink too much, and our company was clever and talkative. That’s how we observe the holidays. We visit and eat and sing together. We don’t shop for material gifts, except to give some to members of a few families we help support through church and the Urgent Care clinic. Aside from that, our “gift” is to do more nice things for everyone we encounter, and make the time to do them a priority. Shower the people you love with love.
We had visitors from California in town for a week, a married couple, old pals, and her mother. One of Victor’s chief joys in life is singing Karaoke. He has a wonderful attitude about performing, and he’s fearless. Rather than being an artist in search of how to correctly express a message, his energy is primarily focused on understanding what his audience would enjoy, and maximizing his strengths. Vic looks over a crowd, and goes over what songs the DJs have backing tacks for, and matches his choices to the listener’s interests. If it’s an older, quieter crowd, he might choose jazz standards or blues. But younger folks want stuff they can dance and shout to. That’s what being an entertainer is. You maximize your chances of success by pleasing people. His trademark is carrying and playing hand-held percussion while singing, usually egg shakers. Here’s a typical crowd-pleaser that he sang:
Me, I’m terrified of solo singing, even with good background tracks. My solution is to always assume another persona besides my own, which is what I used to do as an actor to overcome my severe shyness. Each time I went to another Karaoke venue with Victor, I would sign in under a different name. By the time I was called up to sing, I had a whole backstory for “that guy”, and I sang as the character would. For example, at Sirens, an energetic pub of distinction, I was “Sparky”. I chose Joe Jackson’s “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” a bouncy, cheerful melody sung by a bitter, jealous loser:
And at the Hilltop Tavern, I morphed into “Dmitri”, who sang “Back in the USSR”, after dedicating it to “disappointed GOP voters, wherever you are.”
One seasonal leisure activity I engage in is quite indulgent. I TiVo holiday-themed episodes of old TV shows like Frasier and Mary Tyler Moore, and collect movies on the hard drive that I know will encourage me to cry freely. Once my on-call shift is over, I put my feet up and bawl contentedly for a couple of hours.
Spice, our 13 month-old guide dog puppy (in training), loves the new deck. She can run all along the front of the house now, and alternate between watching the outdoors (dog TV) and looking in the windows. She selects a toy to carry, and will run ahead of us trying to entice us to chase her and get hold of the toy, so she can play tug o’ war. I have never met another being who is so cheerful and satisfied with so little. All she requires for complete happiness is a couple of cups of water and dry kibble, the opportunity to go out back and pee once in awhile, and 4-6 hours of close interaction and activity per day. When the sun goes down, she gets cuddly and likes to fall asleep with her head on my shoe. I’m watching my dog to learn how to be simpler.