Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Neil Diamond I Ain't . . .

Back in Indy, and that’s cool ‘cause I like it here!

Kind of mixed reviews on the passing front though. My first day was dedicated just to travel, so I had most of the afternoon to myself. Realized that I had once again left my camera on its charging dock at home and got mad enough to go buy a new one that can be charged directly from my laptop. No more charging dock = no more forgotten camera! I figured 'what the heck', it would give me something to do so I’d go get the camera as Kim.

Dana and I had been trading emails again and she was gonna be in the area too. She only had a few minutes so we figured we would just meet at Best Buy where I wanted to buy the camera. We pulled into parking spaces right next to each other at exactly the same time and so had a good laugh. Dana stood there with me at the counter and we looked at the options and chatted for about 15 minutes before she had to leave. So there I am standing at the camera section and no one would come to help. Several walked by me and smiled in a very nervous way making it clear they were not comfortable dealing with me. I stood there for probably 10 minutes before a gentleman in a wheelchair approached and offered to help. It was clear pretty fast that he was gay so I sort of chuckled to myself thinking about all of the SA’s frantically combing the store for a gay SA to deal with the damn cross dresser. I couldn’t help myself and so I did laugh and asked him if everyone was afraid to talk to the old drag queen (me). He laughed, asked how long I’d been waiting, and then apologized. No big deal – frankly I’d rather NOT have an SA that isn’t comfortable dealing with me. Found the perfect camera and headed back to the hotel to take lots of pictures . . . you know, just to test it out!

Got to the hotel and was getting out of the rental car (A Mustang!) still having mixed feelings about the way I was apparently read so easy at the store. I was getting my shopping bag out of the car when someone driving down the highway started to honk over and over. I looked up and I swear this guy was almost standing up in the driver seat staring straight at me while driving down the road and honking at me! OK, that helped my ego a bit. I did Karaoke later on that night and sang one song - it sucked so bad that I didn’t sing any more.

Thursday night I got a hold of my gal pal Gina. She is a great person to hang out with. She came to cross dressing very late in her life – I think she said in her mid 40’s. Despite that, she’s very confident and very comfortable with herself. She has also been married for many decades.

My job had not gone as well as hoped that day, and Gina owns her own company so she is always off work late, so we didn’t get together until after 9PM.

Oh – the phone call I was taking here? That’s my son telling me the car I just gave him has broken down leaving him stranded. We had just traded in his last car because it had so many problems. My wife and I got a used car with a four banger in it, and we gave him our car because it has been VERY reliable. Well, not anymore. He had it three days and it broke down.
We ate dinner at The Metro instead of our usual English Ivy because I figured out that this is the best way to get a seat for Karaoke that starts at 10. I figure Gina is gonna stop hanging with me when she tired of the nerd that likes to sing. Anyway, signed up for a couple of songs. I’d noticed that I was always singing the same songs and so I chose a couple I’d never tried before just to stretch my comfort zone a bit. AFTER I signed up for two songs I’d never sang, I discovered that this is not just karaoke but a contest! What the hell, I let ‘em ride and what do ya know? I think I did them well! I sang Neil Diamond’s “Play me” and BJ Thomas “Hooked on a feeling”. When your singing, you know right off if your gonna suck for the whole song or not, but I felt like I was in the groove and was pleased with both of them.

The bad news though, is that like American Idol, they judge you on more than your singing. They judge you on appearance, stage presence, performance, etc. When the contest started, one of the judges read off all of the stuff you would be judged on, and one of them was “is your appearance appropriate for the song you are singing?” I giggled when I got the Mic and told the judges I was pretty sure I was shit outta luck on that point. The judges told me I sounded great and seemed sincere – one even gushed! She told me that if she closed her eyes, she would have sworn it was Neil Diamond singing. Hell of a compliment to me as his music was the first I fell in love with. The bad news is they did rightly slam me on not getting the crowd involved.

Next song I followed a guy that sang “Stroke it” and when I got the mic I asked everyone “How the hell am I supposed to compete with a song about masturbation??!!” That got a good laugh but unfortunately that was the only crowd participation I got. I sing fairly well but have the stage presence of a rock.

It’s funny, I was actually scared! I haven’t been that scared singing in front of people in a LONG time, but my hands were shaking! Go figure! Well I didn’t win, but that’s OK. It would have been a bad thing as I couldn’t have come back for the next round the next week and I would have just taken the position from someone that could have.

There was this one cute blond girl that got up and sang “I will always love you” after the contest was over and she was just awesome. I couldn’t help myself – I told her “Before you sang I thought you were cute, after you sang, I think your beautiful!” It gave her a good laugh but I couldn’t wondering if maybe I was acting like a guy? ;-)

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