3/9/15 Chronicles

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  Monday 3/2/15

I know I keep complaining, but I'm still working hard to try to get up early (how many years have I been trying now?). So far I haven't been too successful. I got up today around 3, which is not good. It was partly because of being sick, though, with my usual problems. I was too tired to go exercise. I've been having a lot of itching lately in places no one should itch! Ha ha! Not funny, though.

I ended up staying up all night. I worked on learning songs and figuring out what songs to sing on Wednesday, when I meet with the new band at karaoke. I also recorded some songs. I was so tired, but they turned out okay anyway.

I finally got to sleep around 10:30am and then I slept for about 7 hours. What a wasted day!

  Tuesday 3/3/15

We had dinner at Murphy's....nothing too exciting happening today. I'm working on a duet with this guy who's on the karaoke sites SS and TIK with me. He has a good voice, but he had some throat surgery, so it's affected him a bit. Still, I think we'll do ok. He just has to learn the harmony a little bit. I hope he can do it... I enjoy singing duets, and so many of them are difficult, particularly the showtunes/musicals.  A lot of people have tried on the site Singsnap, but most of them either don't have a voice that can hit the notes, or they don't bother to learn it right. Usually the first.  I did a duet a little while back with this guy on SS and TIK. He has a fabulous voice, so I knew he could do the song. Well, it was a bit disappointing because he didn't bother to learn the notes, and he was a bit out of tune on some of them. In other words, he just recorded it quickly and didn't bother to put much work into it. I understand it's just for fun, and I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my singing and recording (or at least I try to be), but if someone asks me to do a duet, I at least learn the notes and try to sound on key. Thing is, I don't mind if someone were to then come back and say, "that's a bit flat, can you fix it?" but most people get mad if you say that, so I didn't bother to say anything to the guy. I mean, mostly we sounded fine, although he likes way more reverb than I do. I figure anyone who knows the song well or can hear the tonality can tell that I'm mostly in tune even if he's not. It's just a bit frustrating.  I'm not saying I'm always perfect, of course. I'm certainly sung and recorded my share of bad notes. I do try hard, though.

Tomorrow I get to meet my possible new band, at karaoke. Hope it goes well! I won't have my contacts, which is too bad. I ran out and they haven't arrived yet. Hopefully they won't judge my looks too harshly! Speaking of looks, I lost a few pounds! Yay!

  Wednesday 3/4/15

I tried going to bed before 1, but I only slept for about an hour and a half. Not tired enough, I guess. Drat!

Along with the second band, it looks like I'm finally getting started on this other web site project I'm doing with Thane, one of my site's past volunteers. It's about ranking celebrities and fame. We planned it last year and then various things came up. More info soon, I hope!

This is fun, take this quiz to see if you're a nerd, a geek or a dork. No surprise, I'm a geek! Proud of it, too. I think it's silly of course, there really isn't much difference AFAIK between those names. For the purposes of the quiz, it seems that a geek is someone who's very enthusiastic about something; a nerd is someone who's into science or academia; and a dork is someone who's clumsy or socially inept.

I was really annoyed Monday because I'd sent in my tax info 2/18, and I emailed to see if they got it. I got a vague reply that sounded ominous, which caused me to worry all night... well, not much, but a little. Anyway, it just turned out that my taxes were prepared and ready to be signed! Seems like they could have just said that, instead of "We've been trying to call you. Phone the office tomorrow." Sheesh. But he did apologize once I pointed that out :)

I went back to bed around 5am and slept until about noon. David and I went to the Indian restaurant for lunch. I always forget how spicy their food is! I could barely eat the chicken I ordered. Luckily, there was a salad with it, so I mostly ate that.

I was actually cold when I got out of bed, and then when I went outside, it was chilly (windy). Later, it was rainy, so I guess that explains it.

I had my audition in the early evening, so after lunch I had to get ready for that. I was pretty nervous at first. Any audition is hard, even if it's a low-risk one like this. I mean, I'm already in a band, and I know I can sing great, so if they don't want me in their band, that's their loss.

I took a cab over there to Blue Ribbon Bar & Grill; the cab driver was not a great driver, and there was a lot of traffic. Rush hour. Oops!  Anyway, it has free private karaoke rooms as well as public karaoke. This band is a bit smaller....there are four guys, basically, who play instruments, and one who sings, and the others sing backup. Then I guess they have a couple of other singers who sometimes join them. Anyway, the three non-singers showed up to hear me sing. It was a little weird, I admit, singing in front of three strangers in a private room! But they were very nice, and easy-going guys, and I've sung a lot in front of people, so it didn't go bad. Also, I had some drinks, so that helped. They were drinking beers, too, so I didn't feel weird about drinking.  The drummer's brother owns the place. I paid for my first drink, but they were kind enough to pay for my other two, and also David's beer when he arrived and joined us.

I was there about an hour and a half, and we chatted a lot. I sang a song and then Jack, the guy I'd spoken to on the phone, kept suggesting songs, so I did the songs he asked for. I sounded good, so I'm not worried. Unless for some reason they don't like me, in which case, that's their problem, and too bad! :) David and I left after that, and we went back downtown. We were going to go to J.J. Dolan's, but it was too crowded, so we went next door again to the Tap Room. I tried their salad for the first time, and it was really good. I'll probably eat that from now on. I also tried this drink they have that's supposed to taste like a root beer float (it sort of did).

When we got home, I just did a lot of singing and recording for fun. I was "in the mood" at that point! I would have stayed and done karaoke, but David wanted to get home since it's a work night.

I hope I get my contacts soon....it's cool that I can order them through the mail now from Kaiser.

I was sick a lot today. It seems like I've been sick more lately, so I don't know if it's from the new medication I'm taking or if it's just from eating out too much.

  Thursday 3/5/15

It's so hard to find time to keep this updated.... I'm always thinking of things I want to write, but then finding the time is difficult!

I slept pretty late again. I did some more recording of songs. I was sick a lot in the afternoon. Same ol', same ol'!

We went to Epic for dinner. They had a seafood special that smelled delicious. It was definitely better-smelling than tasting! But it's always nice to try something different for a change.

I stayed up late, but I got a lot done. I cleaned up around the house a lot today, and I got a lot done on my site.

I had a really weird dream the other night, all about cream puffs. Then tonight I had a weird dream that the doctors had found out that I'm not really allergic to gluten, just to chocolate. Now, in real life, I would definitely not be happy about that! But in the dream, I was more positive. I thought, oh, good, now I can eat real bread again! And soy sauce, and so many other things! That would be very convenient when eating out...chocolate is much easier to avoid. LOL!

Not all of my dreams are about food...just sounds that way! I often dream about people on Facebook, especially the ones I've known in real life. I used to belong to this scifi club called S.T.A.R. San Diego, and most of them are on Facebook, so I often dream about going back to San Diego and seeing those guys, either at meetings or at Comic-Con. The other day I had SUCH a great dream about going to Comic-Con, that I was actually disappointed when I woke up and found myself still in Hawaii! So silly.

  Friday 3/6/15

Because of an experience earlier this week, I've been thinking about bigotry, prejudice, racism and sexism. We've lived in about 6 states, at least, over the years, and there isn't one that doesn't have people who've said bigoted things to us, whether it's about African Americans, gays, Latinos, women or others. I do like to blame the South, but actually, the most racist place we lived was in Illinois (however, Alabama also was pretty bad). It's just disappointing, though, to hear it here in paradise. There's such a multi-ethnic population here. You'd think that would make them more tolerant. I think, in general, they are, but there's always some A-holes no matter where you are...

It's funny... growing up, in Southern California, I heard a few racial epithets while in school. Well, kids say all sorts of terrible things, and I think it was particularly bad back in the 60's and 70's. My mother made sure we didn't say the N word or anything, but there were plenty of school kids that did say it. We used to have this chant, whenever two kids would get into a fight, "A fight, a fight, a (N word) and a white". I came from a very mixed-race school system, so we had lots of whites, Latinos, and blacks.  I also heard plenty of kids say "eeny meeny miney moe, catch a (N word) by the toe", but it was really rare. Later, in high school (which was way more white), we all used the F word for gay people. We were ignorant, young, and stupid. We didn't even know that we knew any gay people. It was mostly just a put-down that boys used against each other. I think it's kind of like what kids said later, like "He's so gay". Not really meaning that he was, but it was just a put-down, like any kid's put down other kids. My own dad was very prejudiced against gay people, which I found out when I had a bisexual friend for a short period. She was just my friend; it didn't matter to me that she was bisexual. It wasn't an issue. I never even gave it a second thought at that time. I thought my dad was being stupid and weird.

Then of course we all grew up and realized those words were bad, and hurtful, so we didn't use them, aside from a couple of idiot right wing acquaintances who still would sometimes make jokes, but I made it clear that they were not acceptable jokes.  In general, it had been my experience that Californians tend to be pretty laid back and don't bother about things. At least the ones I know!

When we moved to New York, people were basically the same way. It was a very diverse environment. We were on Long Island, and there were more Jewish people there than I'd ever seen in my life! And lots of Italians, too.  I don't recall anyone saying anything bad or bigoted. I guess in the back of my mind, to my naive brain, racism really didn't exist any more. Then we moved to El Paso for a year, and it was the same there. There were lots of Latinos, and I don't recall anyone ever saying anything bad about them, or anyone else. I'm not saying it didn't happen, just that I didn't hear about it.

I got quite a shock after that, when we moved to Normal, Illinois, when David got his job at Illinois State University. We heard LOTS of racism there, particularly against African Americans.  It was very shocking. I was in a study group where a girl told a racist joke. David had another person in one of his classes start to tell one. That is particularly odd in a university, where people generally know that such behavior is not acceptable.

I had made the mistake that a lot of people make, thinking that just because we didn't see it, or people we knew didn't do it, it didn't happen. It didn't exist. Boy, was I wrong.

Now, after we moved back to California, we didn't see too much racism again for a long while. There were a lot more Asians and Latinos in Southern California by that time, and aside from some old people, and some idiot politicians, no one said anything bad about that. This was before the internet, though.  Most of the people we knew were at the university or in the public schools. However, even at the other working class jobs I had (where people were less educated), I didn't hear anything racist or homophobic.

Of course, there's always sexism, and I don't know how long it will take before people realize it's not okay to be sexist. I don't know why people think that it's okay to make sexist jokes or disparage women or put us down, especially since they all have daughters/sisters/wives/ girlfriends/aunts/mothers that are women! I had a very good friend in Riverside that worked in some corporate job, and she used to tell us some really shocking stories about men in the workplace, and I heard from a few other woman about it, too. I didn't really experience it, myself, but then again, if any boss had tried to touch me or anything, I would have quit or probably smacked him. LOL! I usually get along well with men (better than women, usually), so perhaps I give off some kind of vibe where the creepy ones know they have to leave me alone. Who knows?? I mean, I'm not ugly, but maybe since I don't wear makeup or dress in a certain way, they don't do that. I'm not saying it's the women's fault, of course, at all, or that it doesn't happen to ugly women. There's no excuse for touching someone without their permission, or harassing them, no matter what their gender, age, or how they act or dress.

Anyway, it wasn't until later that I read people in California were being much more prejudiced against Latinos. I don't get it because they've been there my whole life. Maybe some of the white racists just feel outnumbered, I don't know... they should remember that Mexicans were there first! Not only in California but also in Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. It was particularly disheartening to hear it on Facebook from people I'd gone to high school with. I guess not all of us grew up or were so enlightened. I had one friend that I really liked, from high school choir; we'd even met up recently for karaoke. She's become a right wing nut job and is racist against Latinos. Then again, she also thinks she saw a UFO, so who knows. She says a lot of anti-Obama stuff and that's why we're not longer Facebook friends.  I guess she didn't like my reply to her comments. I had another right wing friend also unfriend me because I disagreed with him on FB. Then again, he's Latino, so that wasn't about racism. People are so weird sometimes.

Of course, we saw some racism when we moved to Lubbock, and then to Alabama and Georgia, and also homophobia. So it's not too shocking, in a way, to hear it here in Hawaii. It's still a bit disappointing, though. And of course it's all over the internet.  But like I said above, there are A-holes everywhere. Even here in paradise!  Okay, that's the end of my soapbox.

It's been quite cool and chilly this week! We had a lot of rain and the wind has been fierce. I love it, though. It's nice not to be sweating for a change.

I haven't heard back from the new band, yet. Not that I'm all that worried...

This morning I had to get up really early for a conference call, and then I was hungry, so I walked over to Not Just Desserts to get lunch, but they were closed. That's the only problem with that place... they open when they feel like it. I sent them an email. I hope they're able to have more regular hours. I went to the Moroccan restaurant, Kan Zaman, and got take-out. The aroma as I walked by that place was too good to resist! They have one dish there, called a Merguez sandwich, that is really delicious. It's a type of lamb sausage, with some kind of sauce, and onions, and melted cheese. So good! Without bread, of course. It was super spicy, though.

I went back to sleep for quite a while and woke up around 5:30. David had a dinner thing to go to at Gordon Biersch, but afterwards, he and I went to Murphy's. I got more takeout for later because I'd already had some food. It was just nice to go out and have some drinks. We'd actually tried to go to another place, but it's First Friday, so most of the other downtown places were too crowded.  The first Friday of every month, they have stuff going on downtown.... the art places and clothing stores are all open and have events, street musicians etc. It's kind of fun, but it makes everything very busy.

Earlier in the week I'd figured out how to order more contacts online, so they arrived yesterday. Yay! I only wear them when I'm out singing, but I ran out, so I figured I'd better get more, in case I have more upcoming concerts. Or at least karaoke!

So far I haven't killed my plants. I'm very bad about remembering to water them, but I try to remember at least every other day to gather them to the sink and give them water. Thankfully, most of them are cactus or other succulents, so they don't require too much water.  I love the orchids I buy, but the flowers die too soon, and then you're stuck with this sort of ugly plant. I have two now. They're okay but not nearly as pretty as when they had flowers, of course. I now have 5 plants! Too many! LOL! Here are photos of them so you can see!

I've been thinking...if we're forced to move again in the summer, I might look into the suites at the Executive Center - see just how expensive they are, and how big. It's just a much better location, for one thing. Right downstairs we'd have the 7-11, the gym, the Starbucks, Long's et al. Not that it's far from here, but just less convenient. I might be willing, now, to give up my second bathroom for that. Also, there'd be less room in general, and those units are furnished. That's ok, though, since we need a new bed, anyway, and our couch and some of these chairs are not doing so well. That's what happens when you get cheap furniture! We'd be able to keep some of it, though. They have much nicer furniture, and a better pool, not to mention a restaurant/bar right downstairs! I would miss this place, though, and all of the nice people who work here. Well, we'll see. Maybe our landlord will let us stay. I hate moving, anyway.

I've been doing much better at keeping track of what I eat, and taking my blood sugar, so that's good! The numbers are still sometimes higher than I like, but I feel like it's better.

  Saturday 3/7/15

Last night I went to bed around 4am, but this morning I woke up at 11:45, so that's good! I'm trying to stay away and not succumb to a nap....

We went to Hooter's like usual...love their chicken salad. We stopped at this place we like, O'Toole's. The bartender there is very nice, and I talk to him about my band. Maybe one day we can play there! They have free snacks, too.  Then I went to Walmart and picked up a few things. I'm just working here...trying to stay awake!

I think I did have a nap and then later we went to Waikiki for dinner. It was a stressful night. Originally, I wanted to go to the Mai Tai Bar, which is in the Royal Hawaiian. David didn't want to, so I said, fine, let's just go to Kelly O'Neill's. We usually don't eat there, but I do love their corned beef sandwich. However, I've been trying to be more careful about what I eat, so I asked the waitress about gluten.

Well, first, they had a really loud band, so it was hard to hear at all. I was mostly asking her about the cole slaw, but she was concerned about all of the food. I was trying to get her to just go back and ask the cook, and then bring me whatever, but she kept running back and forth. Apparently their cook is new and didn't know anything. It was very frustrating and yes, embarrassing. I felt like such a freak. It wasn't her fault. Every restaurant in this day and age should know exactly what's in their food, and they should make the cooks and wait staff know it, too. This was not one of those places. So we just left, and we walked around, and I was very upset, and we were both hungry.  We were going to go to this one place, The Yard House, but it was crowded. Instead we just went to this little place across the street from it, Giovanni Pastrami. We've passed this place a million times but never went in. Turns out it's a pretty big place with a huge menu. Also, they do know about gluten! So we had an excellent meal there, and it didn't make me sick. Yay! They definitely saved the day for me.

We went to GS Studios for a little while and did some singing, just the two of us, for fun, then we went home. I went bed really early...I was very tired!

  Sunday 3/8/15

I woke up about 10....I'd had like 12 hours sleep! We went to lunch at Gordon Biersch. I had the usual fish tacos. It's always so beautiful down there on the harbor.  The water is so blue! It was not too windy, either, thankfully. I did dress warmly this whole weekend because it was colder than it has been. Not "cold", though. It's dropped down to the mid-60's at night. This is the best time of year to live here, when it's cool but the "windy season" has not yet started in earnest.

I dragged my cart with me to the restaurant so I could stop at the store on the way home and get some more groceries, especially Diet Pepsi and bottled water. I bought this little metal thing that is a cup holder for carts. Ostensibly it's for grocery carts, but I thought it might work on my little cart as well, so I stopped at Subway to get a large soda and test it out. It worked but...I hit a little bump and the soda fell over. So after that I just had to be very careful and watch it while I walked slowly. Kind of annoying, but it WAS a lot better than carrying the soda, particularly with my bad back. I still think there might be a better solution somewhere, though.

We went to dinner as always at Downbeat. Nothing too exciting going on otherwise. I'm still trying to get up earlier and not succeeding!

It's been so chilly that I've been wearing socks and mostly closing the screen doors. Wow! Great. I'm enjoying that.

I still haven't heard from the new band...maybe they decided not to hire me. Bummer. Well, I'll keep trying! Maybe I'll work harder at trying to get some women to join me in an all-girl band.

We haven't seen our friends much lately. I hope I didn't offend anyone. I always worry about that because sometimes stuff just comes out of my mouth before my brain has had a chance to process it.  Most of our friends know that I'm a very nice person, despite what my mouth sometimes says...but people who don't know us very well, might get offended. Not that I'm the type to worry very much! I leave that to certain other people who spend all of their time worrying.

My brother David is off to Turkey in a few days! He's going over there to teach English. I'll really miss him when we go to San Diego for our regular May trip.

Have a great week...

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