Saturday night, the Lovely Emily had arranged a sort of joint birthday cosmic bowling party for us--something like twelve people total, I think. I'm sort of a bowling idiot savant--this was maybe the third time in my life I've ever been, but I managed to bowl three or four strikes... and four or five utter gutterballs. I'm far better than I have any right to be--good enough to have fun, but not good enough to be, you know, good. So I came in at 82 for the first game and 86 for the second, had a frozen Coke, got a silver key trinket from a vending machine, good times.
Then the Lovely Emily, Brett the Vet, and one of the bowlers I just met, Beth, decided to go to Starz, this karaoke bar out on Valley. (Apparently there's also one out on 280.) En route, I forget what exactly happened, but I was in the front seat and someone pulled out in front of Em, she had to hit the brakes, and as I go plummeting towards the windshield, the last thing I see before I die is the license plate of the car in front of us:
Fortunately, I'm wearing my seat belt, because... no. Not the way I want to go.
So then we get there, and... people were really not bad enough. They were either goodish, or bad but not in a fun way. Nobody was really drunk enough yet, maybe that was the problem. Brett and I had been assured that we were just going to people-watch, so we're barely in the door when Em's like, "So what are you going to sing?" Yeah, no. We both managed to get away with keeping mum, although Em got up and sang some Nickel Creek, and then "Walk Like an Egyptian" with Beth, and they managed to get most of the bar Egyptian-dancing, which was awesome. And then this girl Alison--I think she was a friend of Beth's?--belted out Journey's "Don't Stop Believin,' " and it was the best karaoke performance that ever was or, most likely, ever will be. But then, then there was the performance that no one who saw it--or, indeed, heard tell of it--will ever forget:
She was mild, unassuming, bespectacled, mousy. She got up and mumbled the entire first verse of "Since U Been Gone." Then she hit the chorus, and in the loudest, deepest death metal voice you can imagine, roared out,
I GET WHAT I WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANT
I GET WHAT I WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANT
She kept this up for the whole four minutes. I have no idea how her throat didn't, like, burst into flame. Even the DJ guy was cracking the hell up. She finishes, she gets a standing ovation, and I get the feeling that she had done it before, because the DJ mutters into his mic, "People ask me why I like that song, and I always say, 'You wouldn't understand.' "
So then we go to Waffle House.
I stumble home at about 2:30 am--not because I had anything to drink, mind you; I actually nursed a bottle of water through the entire Karaoke Experience--mostly because it's 2:30 in the morning, and it's been a really, really long time since I've been out past midnight.
Sister Girl's birthday, meanwhile, went off without a hitch. I have no idea how, except that maybe we'd saved up enough birthday karma for a withdrawal this year. Edgar's made the cake she wanted from a random picture in a fashion photoshoot; she loved it. We got a second strawberry cake for general eating, and hardly spent any money on either of them. We gave her pajamas and a dozen martini glasses, and our cousin gave her fun-wobbly shot glasses, and she loved them. Her friends took her out to the Macaroni Grill and then came back to the house for cake and booze in the rec room. Two of her hard-to-lay-hold-of guy friends came as well. Everyone was gone by 11 pm. And she was happy. Seriously, I have no idea what happened. And she's been in a good mood ever since--and this is even considering that her boyfriend's been an utter dink who didn't call her or drive up to see her on her own birthday, and fed her yet another one of his straight-faced but extremely improbable excuses (previously: "I was working in a warehouse without a phone. Oh... what about my cell phone? Uh..." and "They're moving me to another store today, but I don't know where. But definitely not the one you know the number to"). I'm not one to look fair weather in the mouth, or... something. I just enjoy it.
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