The Big 1-0-0
This is my 100th post, which feels like a milestone. I’ve enjoyed being on this journey with you and sharing small doses of myself each week!* I hope you’ve enjoyed it as well. See the end of the post for some fun facts about the past 100 posts. Since this post is about celebrations and numbers, I thought I’d write about a recent birthday party I attended.
Emily is a new friend of mine; we met through a mutual friend who knew we were looking to connect with interesting people in the Cities. Emily and I, a couple of other friends, and our sisters have formed the Trying New Things club (TNT for short). We’ve gone rock-climbing, attempted to walk around Lake Harriet (but it was bad weather), gone to The Moth, and most recently went swing-dancing.** It’s been great getting to know someone equally adventurous and willing to say yes, so when Emily invited me to her birthday party (at one of my favorite karaoke bars), there was no way I’d say no.
Otter’s Saloon (aka “You Otter Stop Inn”) is pretty popular, especially on a Friday or Saturday night, even in winter. They’re open 365 days a year, with karaoke every night, which sounds awesome to me but is other people’s nightmare. They were open on Thanksgiving and on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, they gave away a turkey every 1/2 hour. It’s that kind of place.
When I got there around 8, our group and another group were the only clumps in the joint; a sprinkling of singletons sat bellied up to the bar. A scattering of white slips of paper littered the table and Emily and her friends had already started signing up for songs, a binder full of titles splayed open on the tabletop. Emily aka “Carrie” informed me that we had chosen karaoke names for the evening, so Other Emily was Bianca, Claire was Clarissa, and Elizabeth was Betsy. I used my go-to alter-ego, Penelope.
A few minutes after I arrived, a man walked in with a ferret on his shoulder and paraded it around the room.*** The DJ sang both male and female parts, and the bouncer looked like Wolverine with a cowboy hat. “Wolfie” had a@$-kicking boots, handcuffs on his belt, and a utility knife.**** The regulars were in attendance and everyone sounded like rock stars. Our gang had some ringers, so I was a little nervous when I got called up to sing the first time, but somehow the DJ made my rendition of “If I Could Turn Back Time” sound, well, Cher-like. Betsy sang “Santa Baby” and “Hot and Cold.” I sang “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.” Carrie and Betsy sang “Goodbye Earl.” Clarissa and Carrie sang “Shoop” and I thought for sure Clarissa was secretly a man. Clarissa and I sang “Stay” and it was electric. I think I developed a few friend crushes. At one point, the first guy I ever went on a date with in college walked in the door and I nearly died.
I almost didn’t go that night: it had snowed, it was a Friday, and this year hasn’t been particularly lucky–or at least, I don’t need to tempt fate, ya know? But as I went over and talked to the guy (whose name is Mike, by the way), I remembered why I go out. You really never know what will happen. Weirdly enough, he transferred the year after we had class together (not because of me) and ended up going to Madison with Clarissa. It’s a small, small world. Mike sang “My Cheri Amore” and the room swooned (one of the reasons I went out with him was his voice). He was singing it to one person, though, and sadly, that was not me. The bouncer sang a duet and I did a double-take: I imagined he would sound like John Wayne and pick something by Johnny Cash; he went for a different Jo(h)n: Bon Jovi. “Wanted Dead or Alive” never sounded so scary. He brought the birthday girl a shot later, but she had cut herself off, so I took one for the team. Apparently, he’s into fruity drinks. Who knew?
Frankie, one of the regulars, sang “Over the Rainbow” and it was beautiful. We all gathered in a circle and sang along, arm in arm. As he hit the high note, someone bumped a beer bottle and it shattered at just the right moment. The pinnacle point, though, was when the birthday crew sang “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips and brought the house down. It was magical. And, now I have another story for the book…
Some things of note about the last 100 posts (for those of you who care about stats):
I’ve had roughly 12400 all-time views*****, 200 likes, and over 160 comments.****** My top 5 posts (view-wise) are: SO I Lied, All the Single Ladies (and Gents), Mawwige, Gettin’ Crafty, and Meet Me in the Middle. My top topics have been: Thesis, DIY, improv, weddings, and SPAM. I’ve had four guest-bloggers so far, and they’ve gotten quite a bit of traffic. In fact, in about a month I’m letting my parents take over my blog again. (!) Stay tuned for other guest bloggers and more interesting posts!
*Since I started shortly after the New Year in 2012, that means I’ve only missed four weeks worth of posts in that time. I’ve posted a few times in the same week and “reblogged” some previous posts, so if you really want to get technical it’s closer to 90 weeks. But still. In contrast, it takes most sitcoms at least four seasons to hit the 100 episode mark, so I feel like I’m ahead of the game.
**In a cave!
***Call me crazy, but I think it’s rude to bring a ferret to an otter bar…just sayin’.
****At least I hope it was a knife and not an ammunition clip…
*****That averages out to 17 views per day!
******Which doesn’t include the 117 comments/replies I’ve made.