Friday Lyric Quiz, No. 476 (The “Take Another Little Piece” Edition)

075eWell, it’s Valentine’s Day, everybody!  And it actually falls on a Friday this year, so restaurants are even MORE impossible to get into.  I was never one of those gals who got severely down in the dumps or angry at those in love when Feb. 14 rolled around and I was without a “special someone.” And quite frankly, I’m surprised by this, because any alumna from my (all girls’) high school should be saddled with a decades-long case of PTSD based on how Valentine’s Day was handled there.

Picture it: Chattanooga, Tennessee. The early ’90s.  

At the center of the school is an open, airy “rotunda.” For the occasion of Valentine’s Day, seemingly by magic,  it is filled with lengthy wooden tables. Those who receive flowers will have them displayed here. For the entire day. Those that don’t will keep checking — in vain — throughout the day to see if a secret admirer (or … sigh … one’s parents) came through with a bouquet.

Even those with boyfriends were set up for abject disappointment: “What did you get, Cindy?” I remember pathetically asking the most beautiful, popular girl in my class, who ALWAYS had an (older) boyfriend.  “Oh … just a dozen roses.”  Because, Bob-Vance (Vance Refrigeration) style, other guys would think above and beyond THAT traditional gesture.  In my four years of high school, I had a boyfriend on Feb. 14 exactly once, and yeah, it felt quite good to have something delivered to those tables.  But quite frankly, it seems a little shaming and antiquated, right?

Hashtag whatever.

Today’s lyric quiz fits with the theme of the day, as all song titles include the word “Heart.”  Good luck, and have a great day, whether you’re headed out, staying in, celebrating with the love of your life, or enjoying some quality time with yourself or your friends. And hell … Earth Day is right around the corner.

Friday Lyric Quiz #476 [scroll down for last week’s answers]

1. “Love can touch us one time, and last for a lifetime” (late ’90s)

2. “I’m here with my confession, got nothing to hide no more” (early ’00s)

3. “If you gave me half a chance you’d see, my desire burning inside of me” (mid-’80s)

4. “You are the move you make, take your chances win or lose her” (early ’80s)

5. “We took what we had and we ripped it apart, now here I am down in Kingstown again” (early ’80s)

6. “You’re the right kind of sinner, to release my inner fantasy” (late ’70s)

7. “Never break a sweat for the other guys, when you come around, I get paralyzed” (early 2010s)

8. “Walking on the water, walking on the air, that was the heart of the love we shared” (late ’80s)

9. “This prison has now become your home, a sentence you seem prepared to pay” (mid-’80s)

10. “I’ve been drawn into your magnet tar pit trap” (early ’90s)

Answers to Friday Lyric Quiz #475 [Potpourri]

1. “A willow deeply scarred, somebody’s broken heart, and a washed-out dream” (late ’80s)
Man in the Mirror, Michael Jackson

2. “My thoughts are with you, holding hands with your heart to see you” (late ’70s)
September, Earth Wind & Fire

3. “I will hold it back again, this passion inside. Can’t run from myself, there’s nowhere to hide” (early ’90s)
I Have Nothing, Whitney Houston

4. “Sweet 16, ain’t that peachy keen, now it ain’t so neat to admit defeat” (early ’80s)
I Don’t Like Mondays, The Boomtown Rats

5. “There’s no ice in your lover’s walk, you don’t look twice, ’cause you move so fast ” (early ’80s)
The One Thing, INXS

6. “Moon appears to shine and light the sky, with the help of some fireflies” (mid-’70s)
Baby I Love Your Way, Peter Frampton

7. “I’m trying keep my hands off, but you’re begging me for more” (early 2010s)
I Like It, Enrique Iglesias f/ Pitbull

8. ” Is it d-d-destiny, destiny. Or is it just a game in my mind” (late ’70s)
My Sharona, The Knack

9. “And after I’d wipe away the tears, just close your eyes, dear” (mid-’90s)
Possession, Sarah McLachlan

10. “I don’t ever want to play the part, of a statistic on a government chart” (early ’80s)
Invisible Sun, The Police

My Karaoke Life in 17 Pictures (In Which I Question Some Former Hairstyles)

I greatly enjoy cooking, reading, (very) (occasionally) jogging, playing trivia, writing, watching the MLB, and partaking in a number of other rather passive pastimes. But when it comes to pure unadulterated fun, there are few activities I like more than karaoke. And it’s not a phase, ladies and gentlemen. I’ve been on the karaoke circuit (if there is such a thing) for more than a dozen years, have more than 100 different song attempts under my belt, and am always in search of the newest venue or the latest song to challenge my meager pipes.  Now that I don’t having a driving commute, however, I’ve lost my practice venue, so some of my song attempts are totally on the fly.

While relaxing over Christmas, I was looking through some Facebook photos, and realized that karaoke was a very consistent theme. Some of the pictures below are bittersweet for various reasons, but there are universal truths that haven’t changed. ‘Baby Got Back’ done expertly by a couple of white chicks will still impress the right crowd, ‘The Rose’ should NEVER be performed — EVER — and while you may think alcohol can help your skills, all it can do is make you sloppy.

Without further ado, here are some high- and low-lights of my karaoke life, in pictures. Please excuse the gap between the early 2000s (when everyone was getting married and had professional photographers on the scene) and 2010 (when everyone had cell phone cameras at the ready).

January, 2001.  Childhood BFF Amy (who will show up a lot) and I sing ‘Baby Got Back’ at fellow BFF Rebecca’s wedding. I was about 19 red wines deep at the time. I appear to have cornrows and may or may not be a vampire, if we’re using my skin tone to judge.  This song led into a solo rendition of ‘Baby, One More Time.’  In unrelated news, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me about 36 hours later.

April, 2001.  Amy and I at it (‘Baby Got Back’) once again at Amy’s bachelorette party.  Believe those are still cornrows, ladies and gentlemen.  And who wears a white shirt out on a night that involves drinking on a bus?  We won’t begin to discuss Amy’s outfit – it was a bachelorette party in 2001, am I right?!

October, 2004. My bachelorette party.  Believe I’m singing Duran Duran’s ‘Rio.’ And I appear to be slightly more into it than any of my friends and relatives. The Bud’s chubby in my left hang is clinging to my pinky for dear life. THAT?  Is passion, ladies and gentlemen.

April, 2005. Zapata’s Mexican Restaurant in Collinsville, IL.  Where once I entered a karaoke contest so unashamedly rigged it made Idol’s inclusion of Sanjaya in the top 10 seem entirely legitimate.  And speaking of Duran Duran, this is the first exhibit of me singing karaoke while wearing a Duran Duran tee shirt … 

May, 2005. … and here is the second. Simon & John & Nick & Andy (sniff) & Roger. With a jean jacket and a red SKIRT, and the DEVIL HORNS UP HIGH, everyone.  Rep-re-sent.  This was at Ole Morales Tacos in Alton, IL.  Because when you sing karaoke at a Mexican restaurant in suburban St. Louis, you must wear a tee shirt honoring one of the biggest British New Wave bands of the 80s. It’s a known rule.

July, 2006. Yes, that’s my Hanson tee that I still wear to this day.  And my faded jeans that may or may not have had a hole in the knee.  That’s also my karaoke machine on the fireplace, which brought joy to no fewer than two dozen high school friends at this impromptu lake house reunion one summer in Chattanooga.

September, 2007. Me and the lovely Dr. Christine belting out … I have NO IDEA.  ‘I Touch Myself,’ maybe?  I think?  No recollection of this happening, but I look vaguely terrified. And am so ready to run that I’ve brought my purse on stage with me. This was Molly’s pseudo-surprise 30th birthday party in Atlanta. What bar are we in?  No idea.  Probably a Mexican restaurant.

November, 2008. Back to Zappata’s.  Back to ‘Baby Got Back’ with Amy. I appear to be doing a Corona-enhanced jig.

March, 2010. At my friend Ken’s wife’s surprise 30th birthday party. I’m with Ken’s cousin Claudine here, scared out of my wits as (I think) I was just conned into singing ‘Party in the U.S.A.’ and had no interest in moving my hips like anything in a room full of relative strangers.  I sang roughly 75% of all karaoke songs performed that night.  Yeah, I’m that party guest.

May, 2010. With Cincy pals Kelly and Leslie.  Leslie is ROCKING. OUT.  Can’t remember what we were singing, but the KJ appears more interested in playing with a metal turtle than listening to us.

August, 2010.  Ahhh … Four Trey’s.  The pride of Roscoe Village, Chicago. Note the Christmas lights.  In August.  And the trash can right by my feet, suitable for karaoke-induced vomiting.  My Chattanooga-turned-Chicago-turned-back-to-Chattanooga friend Amy (different Amy) and I used to enjoy wowing the crowd with little-remembered Wham! ditty, ‘I’m Your Man.’  This photo was snapped during her solo.

September, 2010.  Woo hoo!  Live band karaoke at the 10 High bar in Atlanta for Molly’s 33rd birthday. Bringing a bit of Illinois to the Peach State, I attempted some Cheap Trick – ‘Surrender,’ to be specific.  Kind of difficult with a key change right off the turnbuckle.

December, 2010. Okay, so this may look like a hot mess, or a party for nerds in someone’s basement circa 1993.  Neither conclusion is exactly wrong.  This convergence of attitude and outfits was at Lincoln Karaoke, the Asian karaoke stop north of Chicago that features private rooms, neon tambourines, overpriced draft beer, Solo cups (apparently), and more fun than should be allowed on any given evening. We are all wearing our 90s finest (I’m in a plaid-on-plaid-on-long-underwear tribute to Angela Chase) and if you look closely, the song we’re all singing is the Spice Girls “Wannabe.”  From left to right, that’s Molly, me, Suzanne, Taylor, some rando dude that was in our group somehow but didn’t get the dress-code memo, and Christine.

June, 2011. Jump!  For my love!  JUMP. IN. I shall, friends.  I shall.  This is at my friend’s Julian’s lake house, the best adult playground on the planet. Some like the jet-skis.  Others, the shuffleboard table. I prefer the less potentially deadly entertainment of the do-it-yourself karaoke roulette wheel of shame. Sometimes you discover songs in your wheelhouse that should be brought out for public consumption.  Other times (e.g. Fleetwood Mac’s ‘You Make Lovin’ Fun’), you grow to accept that some songs should be left to the original artists.

August, 2011. St Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.  One of two places I’ve done outdoor karaoke – the other was Vegas. Here, Leslie and I are attempting to rock right now with Rob Base (and DJ E-Z Rock’s) ‘It Takes Two.’ Was not the crowd for this attempt, folks.  Was not the crowd.

November, 2011. Alice’s, in a remote area in northwest Chicago.  Hipsters, bikers, and Bruno Mars enthusiasts, all friendly, all talented.  Karaoke Fred likes his singers talented, his crowd relatively sober (despite the bar being open until 4:00), and his inflatable instruments neon-colored.  This is a magical place, despite the trend of everyone getting just one chance per night to sing.  Here I’m doing a standby, JCM’s ‘Hurts So Good.’

December, 2011. The Blue Frog, a wee itty bitty, super classy, karaoke dive spot in Chicago’s Gold Coast.  In the right-hand side of the foreground, John and Lauren are intently reviewing the relatively pristine karaoke books.  I’m in the background in a silver skirt, rather dressy for the venue but it was my birthday (observed).  Later in the night, I would get my hair attached to those Christmas decorations you see behind my head there.  While singing Ke$ha. Not my proudest moment. The party don’t start till I walk in.

Thanks for indulging me in this trip down karaoke’s storied memory lane!  And this gallery, sadly, doesn’t even include shots of three of my karaoke mainstays – Lebo’s in Cincinnati (every Friday, 1998 – 2001), MLT (also Cincinnati, every Tuesday, same years), and Martini Bar (Chicago, many Thursdays in 2011).

And last but not least, I’d like to share  a photo of my pal Marilyn.  This is from a few weeks ago at Tostada’s (another Mexican restaurant!) in Cincinnati.  I first met Marilyn in the late 90s at Lebo’s, where she would sing anything from Reba McEntire to Joan Jett. She had her standard comfort-zone favorites, but also wasn’t afraid to add something new to the mix.  Everywhere she goes she makes fans and friends, and always has her supportive husband by her side, switching places at the table when she takes the stage  so that she can watch the singers the rest of the time but he can watch her when she’s got the mic. Marilyn has to be pushing 80 these days.  So as far as I can figure, and God willing, I’ve got at least 40 or so good years of John Cougar Mellencamp, Ke$ha, and Sir Mix-a-Lot ahead of me. Stay tuned.