Thanksgiving Weekend Karaoke Pods

Thanksgiving weekend has been…um, okay. It’s been okay. It turned out that I greatly underestimated how much mashed potatoes eight or ten pounds of non-mashed potatoes makes. Three gigantic Pyrex bowls, is how much. Three heads of garlic was not nearly enough. Oh well. They were still good, as was the rest of the food Thursday and since. I have a report from my mom that she tried that thing where you use gigantic carrots and onions as your roasting rack (if you don’t have a real, non-root vegetable roasting rack, I guess) and she loved it. She roasted a chicken, not a turkey, but she’s confident it would work fine for turkey as well. It’s just going to be her and me for Christmas dinner this year and she’s promised to show me how to do it too. Very exciting. Also, I sustained a potato-mashing injury: I was peeling a potato and cut my finger and nail and it bled all over the place and I was all “We have a potato peeler DOWN! Repeat, a peeler DOWN! Medic!” I didn’t get blood in the potatoes though, don’t worry. It’s safe to eat at my house, really.

It was a pretty media-heavy weekend for me. I watched the extended version of The Two Towers plus all eighteen hours of the Appendices (“These tapestries that are seen for three and a half seconds during an interior shot at the big hall at Rohan, whatever the hell its name is, took sixty-seven man hours to hand-dye and embroider using traditional Anglo-Saxon embroidery techniques, which we feel better represent the culture of Rohan. We’re very pleased. Also, we are totally insane.”) and six episodes of The Sopranos. And I finally got to see Pirates of the Caribbean at the three-dollar theater too. I had dirty dreams about Captain Jack Sparrow last night. I hope to have them again tonight, because they were extremely nice.

Friday night was my high school reunion. I was puttering around when My Friend Manya’s husband Landy called. He and the other Key Girl husbands were all at the reunion just hanging out together, I guess, since they didn’t really know anyone. First thing Landy says to me: “Tom is stripping on the pool table. Help me talk him down.” I can see how they would think of me immediately in such a situation, can’t you? I talked to the Key Girls a little and they repeated a rumor concerning several of our classmates’ getting rich off porn. I’m sending them all an interview to complete in which I intend to get the whole story, to be printed here, of course. I also got to talk to my friend Phil, who is living the Entertainment Industry Lifestyle in LA. I dig Phil very much. He was the perfect person to talk to about this reunion. “Am I the only one living a life of quiet desperation, Phil?” I asked. “Am I the only person who’s poor and unsuccessful?” He said something along the lines of people who are intelligent and compassionate are doomed to be poor. I told him I wasn’t sure about that. I also told him I was going to come to LA and marry him and another one of our classmates who lives there now on whom I have always had a crush, and he said he supported me fully. Then he said he had to go, Marah’s water was breaking. It sounds like it was a pretty successful reunion, all told. I’m not sorry I didn’t go, though. I mean, it’s all fun and games until your friend’s water breaks, you know?

Anyway. Saturday I went to the yarn shop and to the Henry Art Gallery, where I saw, among other things, the greatest art exhibit ever. Ladies and gentlemen, I saw karaoke pods. Say it to yourself: Karaoke Pods. and not just any karaoke pods…these were special, minty-fresh Thanksgiving Weekend Karaoke Pods! The installation consists of three white upholstered pods, sort of shaped like puffy race cars, fitted up inside with a karaoke video and playlist and headphones and a microphone. You get in and get all comfortable and choose your song and put on your headphones and go to town. The song you sing is projected on the walls of the gallery but no one can hear you singing. It’s wonderful. It was so funny to see people getting really into it in their pods, like swaying and closing their eyes (okay, that was just me during Bizarre Love Triangle). I wanted to stay in there forever and sing every song on the list. I did the aforementioned New Order song and tried to do Nothing Compares 2 U, which was clearly a mistake in terms of my range. I ended up with Seven Nation Army, and it’s a curious fact of life that no matter how cool you think Jack White is and no matter how much you secretly think you can be him…well, you can’t, actually. It’s not your fault. It just doesn’t work that way, even if you try to sing really jerky like he does. It just doesn’t work, pod or no pod. That was a good lesson to learn, I thought.

This morning I’d just hopped out of the shower when Mrs. Roboto called to see if I wanted to go to the Fremont Sunday Market with her. Why, yes I did! She is, it turns out, the perfect person to poke around little vintage stores and cute boutiques and darling housewares stores with. We’d be talking about something serious, very intent on what we were saying, and all of a sudden one of us would see something really cute and run over to pet whatever had caught our eyes. Like this: “Yeah, can you believe she would even say something like that? Would you ever say something like…ooh, look! Silk shantung purse! Yeah, I know you’d never say something like that. I couldn’t believe it when she did.” I bought some Christmas presents and ate a vegan doughnut and generally enjoyed myself. I don’t tend to buy most of the beautiful things I love, but I always like to visit them, all the handpainted mirrors and cameo earrings and burnt-out velvet scarves and one-of-a-kind silkscreened shirts. Sometimes I treat the stores like museums…all my stuff is there for me, whenever I want to see them. It’s extremely important to have people in your life that understand this and who won’t make fun of you and won’t roll their eyes and huff when you want to go into one more little store. It turned out that was exactly what I wanted to do this weekend. I don’t know how Mrs. Roboto knew.

Yeah, so that was my Thanksgiving weekend. I’ve sort of lost track of time. I can’t believe I have to go to work tomorrow. I’m just about ready for my Christmas vacation now, thanks so much.

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