Friday, February 02, 2007

missing genetic material

Last week was my first return to the Sunnyvale karaoke studio after last year's jubilant discovery of how to sing.

Standing in the karaoke room with Sha-mayn (middle), who sings like a pop star, and one of the engineers on her team:



I ordered a classic chinese song 明明白白我的心 ("Obvious is my heart"). I stood up from the bulky couch and walked over to the corner. Tom taught me that standing up allows deeper breathing, which is essential for singing.

Instrumentals swelled through the room. The karaoke screen displayed the first lyric, preceded by four vertical bars. Each bar became awash in purple, then the first word. I opened my mouth.

After the song finished, as I sat down glumly, I said into the microphone, "I'll say the things you're thinking, so that you don't have to say them. [in higher-pitched voice] It wasn't that bad, at least you tried! You have courage just for giving it a shot. We're here to have a good time anyway -- no one minds. None of us are professional singers anyway..."

My friends hunched over laughing, stealing a quick glance at me and then turning back to the karaoke screen.

Once again, I have returned to the land of people who cannot sing.

...

Lamenting to my brother a couple days later:

Me: I did the steps you taught me, even the standing up. It didn't work! I wish I'd taken a singing class like you did. By the way, what grade did you end up getting?

Tom: It wasn't graded. It was pass/fail only. The syllabus said, "If you can breathe, you can learn to sing, and you'll pass this class."

Me: Oh. ... Tom, my singing was so bad! I even tried a second song --

Tom: I failed the course.

12 comments:

Phill Midwinter said...

tom's right, but with more time ANYONE can sing. Don't give up and most importantly just have fun, if you enjoy it then screw everyone else and have a laugh. Their ears will recover.

Anonymous said...

聽多幾次首歌就會自然地唱得好 :)

Anonymous said...

渴望一份真感情...

Anonymous said...

will you marry me niniane?

Anonymous said...

Yes, but first you must prove your eternal, undying love for me; the price of betrothal is an office suite, authored entirely in Haskell. I await your tribute in the cold, starless vacuum that precedes the thermal death of the universe.

X's & O's,
-N

Pierre S said...

This guy that keeps asking for marriage each time in the comments is very funny. You should answer him no in your next Google product (Fensi anyone ?)

metal said...

I will never find another eggroll, sweeter than you, sweeter than you....

Anonymous said...

Niniane may not sound like Celine Dion but her stage presence at Google meetings more than make up for that.

http://www.shoutfile.com/v/HQ8WpgZw/Look_At_My_Ass

Anonymous said...

http://www.shoutfile.com/
v/HQ8WpgZw/Look_At_My_Ass

Anonymous said...

Niniane, please marry me. I will do anything for you and everything.

Robert said...

I love how you ended the story on a (dare I say it) perfect (comic)note!

Menghe said...

坚持看你blog的一大收获就是发现你也不会唱歌,我比你还差:)不过能看到同类的人,心里就自信多了。