Karaoke-dokey Day One
By Rachel Enger
It was an inauspicious start. I normally go to Boston’s (the ASU location) on Saturdays for karaoke. I like the regular crowd there, and I love the KJ, Alyssa (aka Trinity).
For those that don’t know the terminology a KJ is like a DJ. It stands for Karaoke Jockey, i.e. the one who “spins the discs”. Of course, everything is digital nowadays, and the KJs all have their laptops loaded with music files. Some though still go old school with karaoke CDs in binders. We have seen this. The KJs all sing during their “shows” as well. Most are really good singers, and personable, friendly people. They MC the show, keep it running smoothly, maintain good and balanced sound, and make everyone feel welcome and valued at their shows.
Alyssa is my favorite KJ, mostly I think because I’ve gotten to know her, and we’ve become friends, both through karaoke experiences and her activity on FaceBook. She’s only 22 years old, and she lives and breathes social media. It is true though that I’ve made a few KJ friends over the years, and I treasure them all. Please no one take offense. Alyssa is genuinely warm toward everyone and unassuming. She sings sweetly, and in many styles, not caring if she seems like a goofball. She seems to understand that it’s all in fun, and so we all feel comfortable too.
Back to Boston’s on a normal Saturday…except it isn’t exactly. I went alone, instead of with Suze or my bestie Teresa, as they both were otherwise engaged. Despite being such as extrovert, I really never feel entirely okay going it solo, but I figured there would be some of the regulars there to hang out with. And there were! It was amazing. First, when I arrived, Bosco warmly greeted me, and then I noticed a whole table full of people, most of whom I recognized. Several tables were already smashed together, and my pal Travis was there, with two of his brothers Clint and Patrick, and another friend. Staci, another regular, was there with her friend Bianka. There were several others I had met before, and some new friends to meet. Then Alyssa’s friends (Heather et al) came in and took up another table. We invited a new guy Nate, who was there by himself, to join our group. We regularly do this. Such a great practice! This was how we acquired Staci, after all.
It was lively, fun, and there was a fair amount of drunkenness that night. One new parlor game Alyssa had invented was for each of us willing to use nicknames in the rotation. I was (and am) RacHellion the lioness, so that worked out fine. And I dubbed Alyssa, Delisha. One newbie was given the moniker Danger. I know not why, but it’s just the kind of frivolity where random and weird add up to fun.
The rules hadn’t been imposed yet, and I hadn’t actually officially started the challenge. I didn’t take any notes, and didn’t begin journaling at the shows until the next day. I was just out for fun, and fun was to be had.
I can’t remember all the songs I sang that night, but I believe these were among them: You Know I’m No Good (Amy Winehouse), Born on a Bayou (CCR), Baby I love you (Aretha Franklin), including a duet with Travis – our signature tune Love Shack (B-52s), always well received.
And as usual, there was dancing involved. I really don’t need any encouragement in this area. Honestly, it would be much more difficult to follow a rule that banned me from any dancing than to require it. In fact, I wouldn’t ever agree to that.
The evening carried on into the night, and then early morning, as I reluctantly agreed to another shot. When it was past 1 am, Staci and I agreed we would walk each other out to the parking lot, and escape all the remaining drunken testosterone left gathered around the table.
The best exchange of the night: Travis’s brother Clint turned to Nate and asked him, “Hey, man, what’s your tribe?” To which Nate replied, “Tribe? I’m Japanese.” Clint then may have clarified that yeah, we all belong to tribes, for example, he’s Navajo. Although, that all may have been in my mind. So then Clint directs the question to me. “What’s your tribe?” and before I can think of an answer that’s both pithy and witty, Clint is sure he’s got it figured out. “Oh, I know. Viking!” and I’m like, yeah! You’re right. We all belong to tribes -not just ethnically – and we come together here at Boston’s – or wherever – to eat, drink, and be merry.
As far as this particular Saturday becoming Day One, I arbitrarily decided to just keep going. I thought, well, Suze can catch up, right? She can join me somewhere tomorrow night, for Day Two. And so on. I think it has worked out great, because it just so happens that Boston’s, my regular haunt, was the starting point, and will be the finish line as well, for Day 22. Which is awesome. We are planning a big blow out. However, I know if it’s just me, Suze, Teresa, and some of the regular crowd – with Alyssa as our KJ – it will be a blast, and a great end to a wonderful adventure.
Today as I post this Day One account, I am well aware that I am lagging a bit behind in chronicling my adventures. Tonight is Day 12, as I begin the second half. I will try to catch up, as time allows.