santa's baby Back from a langourous lunch with friends. I only have a few things to do before leaving for a full two weeks off. Dinner tonight, cocktails tomorrow, and then, who knows. That's the beauty of this time of year; it's marvelously mellow.


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Who's Santa's Baby Now? I finally made my debut at Club Soda the day before yesterday. It went better than I could have imagined. I woke up Wednesday feeling kind of queasy, like I was coming down with that horrible flu everyone was talking about. I went to work, and then left at around noon for the sound check. Not everything was completely set up, so I wandered around Chinatown and had some soup, which made me feel better. I went back to Club Soda, and we ran through the set with the sound technicians, who would ocassionally shout very loudly into the microphones as they were troubleshooting feedback problems. I couldn't hear myself when I was singing, and was disappointed that we weren't going to have another opportunity to rehearse before the show--the club was so different from our rehearsal space at Softimage. I wasn't disappointed when I was told that we would be able to use the dressing rooms below the stage. Cool! Just like real musicians. There were some unused packets of Twinings tea, but no fruit platter. I wondered which musician had left behind the tea and how long it had been there. I walked back up the hill to Softimage, did a bit more work, and then went home. I still felt queasy. I fixed myself a light supper-salad and scallops--and then napped for half an hour. I got ready. I wore my lucky lacy top. I drove to the club and found parking nearby. I had a glass of wine. I had another. My song was in the middle of the second set, so as soon as it started, I retired to my dressing room. I made sure I still had a voice by singing in one of the bathrooms (check) and made sure I didn't have any lipstick on my teeth (check). I waited. I was ready when my turn came up and came through the back curtains when my name was called. I couldn't see the audience, but I could hear them. I could see the huge projection to my left, which showed what was happening on stage. "Hey! Lookit me. I'm on stage! Is my panty line showing?", I asked the audience while pointing to the projection and my derriere at the same time. The music started up and I could feel my legs shaking a bit. I closed my eyes, clenched my little fists and started singing on cue. I couldn't get over the audience reaction; they whooped and shouted as I hit every note. It was so cool and it encouraged me through the rest of the song. Happily, I could hear myself as well. The Showstoppers (Softimage's house band) did a great job supporting me, and my colleague "A" did an awesome job with his saxophone solo, which really leant to the torchlighted-ness of the song. I did some backing vocals on a couple of the songs that followed, and then made my departure. Friends and colleagues were really complimentary afterwards. Several made their way to the dressing room and just showered me with ... I think it was surprise. Only a few people had ever really heard me sing before, and I guess they were really taken aback. It was really encouraging to see them feeling so proud for me. I felt proud as well, but--and I can't believe I'm saying this--it was a little overwhelming to get all that attention. When I left the dressing room, pretty much everyone I knew made a point of coming over to me and saying incredibly nice things. The party continued. We danced. We drank. We finished all the dessert. We had a nite cap at Else's. I drove home singing Christmas songs. Fourty-eight hours later, I realize that I didn't have the beginnings of the flu, but "the jitters". I'm definitely not immune to a bit of stage fright: the first time I ever demoed for Softimage (at GDC this year), I threw up beforehand. Photos and perhaps even a video coming soon!


Geese and Tee Many Martoonis A certain stock I own has performed rather well lately, so I decided to sell some and splurge on something I've been wanting for a while--a 100% goose down duvet. Fortuitously, The Bay put theirs on sale on Friday, so on my way to work, I stopped off and checked them out. I found one with the right amount of loft and bought it. That night, I changed all the sheets on my bed and stuffed my new duvet in a clean, cat hair-free, cover. To test its effectiveness, I shut off the heat completely (impossible with my regular duvet, unless you like dreaming that you're naked and you can't find the thermostat to turn the heat up in your childhood home). Omigod. I was so toasty. Pratically roasting. Thank-you, geese. Thank-you. Unfortunately, on Saturday, I didn't get to sleep under my downy duvet. At my friend L's cocktail party, I had a few too many martinis. At around midnight--we'd been drinking since 6:00--I curled up on some cushions in her living room, but then decided that her bed would be much more comfortable. Bless her heart, she didn't boot me out; she slept in the guest room. When I finally got up, she handed me glass after glass of cold water and, when those decided they were going to stay down, cup after cup of good espresso and steamed milk. I slept like a kitten on Sunday night, reunited with my 45 ounces of downy softness and four purring kitty bodies who also approved of the newest member of the family.


It's December. Do You Know Where Your Hollyhock Is? Several hollyhocks grew in my front garden this year. I didn't plant them; they just grew. I think they were carried--by the wind or bird poop--from the rooming house up the road from me, where they only thing that grows in the scrabbly dirt in front of the rooming house is hollyhocks. Every year, the "guy on the bike" makes sure they're supported as they grow. Before the frost set in, my hollyhocks were still growing. I cut them down and brought them in as cut flowers. One of the branches is still in bloom. Amazing.