Sunday, July 19, 2015

10 things I learned while doing karaoke with my colleagues at our Christmas in July party

Don't worry: During our Christmas in July, clothing was not optional...thank God!
What I didn't learn: I work with a pretty cool group of people. I already knew that. Friday night just offered confirmation.

Now on with my learning curve...because there was no way I was walking a straight line after 10pm!

1. Waking up in bed alone, fully clothed, and not knowing for sure how you got there beats rising and not shining in the nude next to a not-so-beautiful stranger and not knowing for sure how he got there. Also, on the plus side, I somehow made it into bed without my shoes still on.

2. Nicki Minaj deserves our respect. I knew "Anaconda" was a great song, but I had no idea it could, in the immortal words of Destiny's Child, make me lose my breath. Rapping a few of Nicki's rapid-fire sentences left me gasping for air just as much as my Saturday runs from Kings Cross to the Sydney Harbour Bridge to North Sydney and back to KX via the Opera House waterfront route. OH MY GOD... Naturally, I skipped Saturday's run. I was still trying to catch my breath from Friday night karaoke!
3. I'm not the only one who finds Mick Jagger's chocolate queeniness in "Brown Sugar" kind of shocking. By the time I finished my first karaoke number (The Rolling Stone's "Brown Sugar," as planned for weeks), one of my colleagues looked at me, astonished and revolted. "I had no idea those lyrics were so racist," he said, having just read them in large, bold print on the karaoke screen. When I explained that Mick wrote the song about his black girlfriend at the time, he echoed a comment I made in my recent "Brown Sugar" blog post: "Well, I wonder what she thought about it." Indeed.

4. Rose wine is not your friend. Splitting two bottles with a co-worker is enough to leave you and your boss/Sydney BFF dancing around a pub that doesn't actually have a dance floor. Don't you hate it when people who do that?

5. Friday night might not be the best night for a work party, after all. Now I know why they're usually on Thursday night: Having to work the next day stops you from going full-on and casting all your inhibitions to the wind.

6. Inner Sydney is not nearly as massive as I thought it was. Walking from the Japanese restaurant in the CBD to the karaoke pub in Surry Hills took about a half hour less than I would have expected. Wait. Does that mean those weekly runs that leave me as breathless as "Anaconda" are shorter than they feel?

7. Japanese steak might be smaller than the ones you get in those pub-grub specials, but the one I had for dinner pre-karaoke might be the best red meat I've had in Sydney. I'm going to give credit to the soyed-up teriyaki sauce. My trip to Japan next month can't come fast enough.

8. "Cars" by Gary Numan might be my favorite song of the 1980s. Waiting out the extended instrumental coda is as awkward as Gary said it was in my BFF Lori Majewski's '80s music tome Mad World: An Oral History of the New Wave Artists and Songs that Defined the 1980s. (Karaoke is, after all, about singing, not posing through a never-ending wordless outro). Still, "Cars" now has a permanent spot on my future must-do-at-karaoke list.

9. The camera never lies, which makes the best Christmas in July party a Christmas in July party where not one single selfie is taken. In fact, I can't recall a single photograph being taken all night. That means I'll have to take my boss' word that I was "amazing" and in "top form." Who wants to see photographic proof? Not me.

10. Drunk texting doesn't always end in embarrassment. Just don't try it at home. It's best when there are friends around to work the edit button.

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