Sunday, November 28, 2010

2. Embarrassing youtube karaoke videos

A couple months ago we had an on-campus company party where two things were provided: booze and a karaoke machine, which is a fantastic combination because just in case drunk-you isn't quite loud enough, we can amplify it and set it to a soundtrack. Nevertheless, after hearing other people William-Shatner various other songs, I decided to give it a shot.

Like the Spanish inquisition, I decided to use the element of surprise, so I ascended to the stage to the guitar riffs of Slash. My co-workers looked confused. As I pulled the microphone up violently and screeched out "Welcome to the Jeee-ungle!!!" as loudly as I could, the crowd went wild. People started filming me with their phones. Everyone gave me high fives and for days afterward, everyone referred to me as "Axl Rose."

Of course, the next day, I saw the video that was posted. I could see how most people were surprised when a frumpily-dressed short girl started dancing, singing with hand gestures more associated with rap, and screeching one high, long, out-of-tune note into the instrumental break. It was a lot of stage presence that night. I was torn between the glowing reviews everyone had given me in person and the slightly dimmer review I gave myself.

I didn't think much about it until several months later. By then I was working on a new project with people who were mostly unaware of this video, and my new supervisor, who'd been slipped the video on the downlow, told me he had a treat. He sent me a link to a youtube video featuring one of our other co-workers singing an 80's love song at a karaoke bar. The intense passion of his voice and the slightly out of tune melodies weaving in and out of background noises made me laugh so hard that one of my co-workers had to check up on me because he thought I was crying.

It turns out this co-worker also has a love of karaoke, and many more videos of him, all which would have given me stomach cramps had I not paused the video. He has a great stage presence, but better than that, he knows how to make fun of himself, allowing him to lose himself in the moment and bring out gushing performances, complete with dance moves.

I started to feel a little guilty talking to him seriously about work while "Total Eclipse of the Heart" would be stuck in my head, so finally I broke down and in a work email, added a hesitant P.S. that mentioned I'd seen his videos. As payment for the immense joy they'd given me, I sent him the video of me singing "Welcome to the Jungle." I felt like a Stonecutter showing a fellow member his Stonecutter ring. It was like saying, "Look, I know about your karaoke double life, but it's okay! I have one too!"

My co-worker's never openly mentioned the video to me or commented on what he thinks of it. I used to wonder if he'd watched it. But then, in other people's presence, we will discuss karaoke as a general topic, and we'll give each other stealthy, knowing nods. And strangely enough, I'll feel pride in the three minutes, now being watched completely out of context, where I was a rock star.

Friday, November 26, 2010

1. Nerdy puns

What is a Chinese programmer's drink of choice?
Perl milk tea!!!

I came up with this because I've been confined to using a keyboard with a sticky "a" key. Now when I laugh, instead of saying "hahahahahaha" I just say "hhhhh," which makes me sound like some sort of perverted breather.

I love accidental jokes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1001 Awesomely Awkward Things: the beginning

A friend recently pointed me to the blog 1000 Awesome Things. The concept caught my attention, but when I started trying to evaluate my life through the somewhat sugary viewpoint of "let's appreciate all the great things in life!", I noticed how so many of said things are intertwined with other non-related adjectives. For me in particular, awkwardness was a prevalent theme.

I should mention that I'm a pretty weird person, a trait that I actually pride myself on. I say random things. I have giggle fits over jokes that no one else understands and then I laugh too hard to repeat the joke correctly. If you've watched the BBC show Coupling, I love Jeff Murdoch. So sometimes I wonder if it's some characteristic I possess that lures in awkward situations or if I have an average number of awkward encounters, I just am more amused by them as a coping mechanism. If I were to agonize over the embarrassment of them, I don't think I would sleep at night.

This blog is meant to be a look at life in general through a series of awkward, embarrassing, and hopefully humorous situations that I find myself in (and I'm sure I'm not alone in). Some of them are due to my character, some of them are interactions with other people whose personalities I don't quite know how to mesh with, and some of them are just random events that I didn't know what to make of. All of them awkward, but hopefully in an awesome way.