Thursday, March 29, 2012

Time to Change My Tagline...

...Because in a couple months, the current one will cease to be relevant.

I’m movin’ to San Francisco, baby.

I spent several maddening, decision-oriented days going back and forth and back and forth and rationalizing staying and rationalizing leaving aaaand my brain tied itself in many knots.  But after a few days of hyperventilating at the idea of picking up and moving 3,000 miles, I realized – why the hell not? 

Your twenties are the time that you can kinda just… go.  And do something totally different. 

And my momma’s out there, along with the rest of my crazypants / wonderful family.

And my mom and dad lived out there for many many decades, and she still knows lots of people in the area… sooooo hello, Networking.  I’m Marty’s incredibly charming daughter.  Nice to meet you.  A job, you say?  Why yes, I AM in the market!

And so many good friends out there.

AND I love San Francisco.

So there are plenty of good reasons behind it.  But all those said – it’s still sort of a leap of faith.  I don’t have a job lined up.  I don’t know where I’m going to live yet.  I just had a gut feeling that it was time for a … I don’t know, a shake-up of sorts.  And after the panic phase simmered, I started getting super excited.

So, seem reasonable to everybody?  Yes?  Great.

My prediction is that the following two months will be a little bonkers… with three part-time jobs, lots of packing, and seeing all mah buddies so much that when I’m finally out of here they’ll go, “Thank GOD, I thought she’d never leave.  Like seriously, WHY was she sleeping on our couch for the last six days if her lease isn't up for three weeks?”

OOOH, good news though!  I JUST got an email with a totally exciting job opportunity from one “Coral Gilreath.”  Ready?

Good Morning.    [it’s 10:30 PM]
Don't miss superb career opportunity.   [I would never miss superb career opportunity.]
The Firm [sounds legit to me!]  is seeking for [close enough] self-motivated worker in United States to help us spread out our business in the North America area.  [Seems like a reasonable goal.  The North America area isn’t too hard to cover.]
Free instruction possible.  [Like… in anything I want?]
Admirable profit ability.  [Thank god.  I only accept jobs with admirable profit ability, so I’m glad we covered that.]

- 18+ age  [Hey, that’s me!]
- Only basic knowledge of Internet & computer.  [I have a blog, I can work a keyb oard oKayllksgjin0??;]
- 2-3 free hours per day  [Wait, does that mean I’ll be working 21-22 hours?]

Those who are interested must be fair and commerce motivated. Working only some hours per day.  [Now that’s just uncanny.  I’ve ALWAYS said that the best way to describe me is commerce motivated.]
Everyone living in the United States can be our representative.  [Well jeez, Coral, now I don’t feel so special.]
Thank you for your attention.  [You’re welcome.]

I think I’ve found my calling.  …In what, exactly, I couldn’t say.  But I have a good feeling about it, don’t you? 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Marika Goes Giggin'

A harrowing journey.  A raging stuffy nose.  A moderately enthusiastic group of 30 senior citizens.  A girl and her karaoke tracks.

That, in a few short sentences, sums up my gig last week – my 10-song set for the Military Officers Association of America’s monthly meeting.

Actually, it was pretty fun.  But before it got fun, I had to negotiate some treacherous territory to make it to the restaurant, which was in the damn boonies.  The hour spent on the T was fine.  The half-hour bus ride was where it started to get iffy… as the minutes passed, and as, one by one, my bus riding compatriots reached their destinations, there I still was – heading deep into the Weymouth wasteland – until finally, as the last one left on the vehicle, I reached my stop.  Which was literally an intersection in the middle of nothing.  As in, surrounded by dirt.  The end. 

Only moderately creepy.

So I got off the bus, looked around, pictured what I must look like standing in the middle of nowhere in my cute little dress with my makeup all done, and just started laughing… I mean I was like, 80% sure I wouldn’t get kidnapped.  I just started down the pseudo-sidewalk and hoped I was heading in the right direction.  God knows there weren’t any street signs to offer assistance (it’s still the Greater Boston area, after all).

Eventually it became clear that I was on track, but the best it got in terms of civilization along the way was a rather dingy shopping complex, which was actually sort of bumpin’ – apparently, it’s the place to be in Weymouth.  Fair enough, though – it had everything a hip, modern American might need!  A store called BLDG #19 – GOOD STUFF CHEAP, a Dollar Tree, a… uh… “restaurant” called “Frank’s Place,” and a rockin’ arcade that looked like it hadn’t been renovated since the mid-80’s.

Anyway.  On to the gig itself.  Everyone was very sweet, but apparently the turnout for this month’s meeting was about a third of what it usually is – according to the wife of the man in charge, “everyone is still in Florida!”  Which made me giggle.  Again – senior citizens.

So I chatted with everyone, they bought me dinner, and then Mr. In Charge introduced me – “All right everyone, this is Marika.  We met her when she was our waitress on the boat… the Boston— the Spirited— the Boston Spirit?  What was it?  Oh that’s right, the Spirit of Boston.  Anyway, she’ll be singing a few songs for us tonight.  And don’t miss next month, when we’re going to have Miss Massachusetts come and speak!”

… You know how sometimes you forget to think before you talk?  You know.  Like when you half-shout, “Uggggghhhhh REALLY??  I’m SO SORRY, everyone!!!”

To which someone responded, “At least you don’t have to follow that act.”  Fair point.  So, they may forget about me next month as they gaze upon the beautiful face of Miss Massachusetts, but what can ya do. 

In any case, I got up, stuffy nose and all, and did my little half-hour show.  Mostly jazz stuff (duh), but I DID throw in one of my mother’s originals (which was very well received) and closed out the set with the entirely incongruous choice of Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Want to Be With You.”  Which I decided to throw in because my father always said it was the greatest rock song ever written.  Out of place given the jazz-centric set, perhaps, but I dedicated that one to him. 

Overall, it was an entertaining experience.  And people seemed to enjoy it.  Always a plus. 

Also, upon reviewing the recording, I learned that:
1) Head colds and notes at the top and bottom of my range are enemies,
2) I make a lot of really awkward faces when I’m nervous, and…
3) I have no idea what the F*CK to do with my hands when I don’t have a mic.  Lots of weird arm movements, flapping fingers, opening / closing hands for no apparent reason.  Gotta get my stage presence together, that’s for damn sure.

But I did it!  First solo gig ever.  And I didn’t get kidnapped on the way there.  Two big wins in my book.

Just for funsies, here's my mom's original, "Serves Me Right."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Literary Failures and Musical Procrastination

Baahhh… EPIC fail on the reading-and-writing-more endeavor.

I mean, I wrote something every day... if, of course, you count talking to my friends on Gchat.  Sigh.  Other than that, it was a very lame attempt.  And I got about 5 pages into an incredibly old copy of A Farewell to Arms on the first day of the “challenge” and have not, as of yet, reopened it. 

SOMEONE save me from my computer addiction.  Any thoughts on kicking the habit?

I did make one (rather expensive) effort to tempt myself into reading more – a few nights ago in very sleepy, half-lucid haze, I thought it would be a brilliant idea to buy a Kindle Fire.  Like an iPad, but half the price (which, if you do the math, is still pretty pricey for someone who makes her living on tips). 

That said, I am very pleased with my new toy.  The first thing I did was download all the free books I wanted to read!

…And the second thing I did was install my email and download a bunch of useless apps.  We shall see which element proves more captivating.

This week I’ll read a book.  Cross my heart. 

Other than an expensive new gadget, the big news of the week is that I have a GIG tomorrow.  Yes, a gig.  Like, singing.  For people.  By myself.  For 45 minutes.  And they’re paying me.  What?

The elegant, high-profile event for which my talents have been requested iiissss…. ready for it?

One of the monthly meetings of the MOAA – Military Officers Association of America!  30 people!  70 years and older!  At a bar in Weymouth!  Just me and my iPod!

All right, so it’s nothing huge.  But I’ve certainly never done this before – a whole set of just me?  Ought to be interesting.  True to my procrastinatory (yes, it’s a word… or it is now, anyway) roots, I waited until abooouutttt 15 minutes ago to finalize my set list.  Standard.

I also, of course, woke up with a totally stuffed up head yesterday – so as of  now, my first song will come out sounding much like “Iiii’ve got by loooove to keep be waaarb…”

Luckily, one of the regulars at the Bistro gave me some advice as he watched me sniffle through my shift:

Rob:  You should make a drink, I swear it works – hot water, lemon, honey, and a lot of brandy.
Me:  So then what, I drink it and I’ll just feel better instantly?
Rob:  Well… you’ll be a little drunk.
Me:  But then I’ll wake up in the morning and feel better?
Rob:  Well… you’ll be a little hungover.  But THEN you’ll feel better.

Sounds promising.  Wish me luck tomorrow…