7.28.2006

seriously?

2 comments
I don't like Justin Timberlake's new single, "Sexy Back." He does not sound human. It is not at all appealing to me. In fact, as a singer, I feel kind of offended knowing that crap like this is making countless recording artists lots and lots of money while I am desperately searching for somewhere my own natural voice can be heard and appreciated for all that it is. Bah.

And yes, I have heard that Lance Bass is gay. My friends seem to want to inundate me with the latest celebrity news because they know that as a teenybopping adolescent, he was my favorite member of *NSYNC. Being that I had chosen him as my favorite above all the other boy band heartthrobs all those years ago, I think can call myself a bonafide flame dame. Not that it really surprises me. Over the years, many of my friends have come out to me, and it has started to lose its shock value. So much so, that I have started to assume that men are gay until proven straight. Even then, you can never really know.

What is happening to the scene?

...

On Monday, I wrote about my loathing towards creepy crawlies. Yesterday, Karma decided to give me what I deserve and cover - literally COVER - my Rav4 with baby spiders, which I discovered during my lunch break. Dammit.

Okay, I get it. Be kind to all of Earth's living creatures.

But I'm still keeping my can of bug spray.

...

This is, without a doubt, the summer of love. So many people I know have recently gotten engaged and are on their way to wedded bliss. Several women in my office are pregnant, and everywhere I go, I see soon-to-be mothers with that prenatal glow.

The one thing on my mind: will that EVER be me?

...

My boss gave me the opportunity to review cover letters and resumes that prospective employees have submitted for my position. It felt kind of weird to have me pick and choose my successor among these faceless hopefuls, but she insisted that I would have a better knowledge of what skills are required for my position, especially since I have made it more technology-based during my short time here. I consented, mostly because I didn't have anything better to do and partly because I was curious to see what was out there. I found that some people were clearly over qualified, including a man who had several years teaching and counseling experience and a fellow Cal alumni who graduated with honors in Political Science. Others were ridiculously clueless, failing to complete their resumes or customize their cover letters. My favorite applicant was one I actually didn't review but that my boss told me about, whose materials she received via email. It was a Brazilian native looking for a job - any job - in the States. He insisted that he could bring an "international flair" to our agency and cited his years working on a Tobacco farm as his work experience. It did not even occur to the man to remove that bit of information from his resume when applying for Center for Human Development, a non-profit agency committed to anti-Tobacco education for youth. Brilliant, really.

A note to all job-seekers: please do your research. You're more impressive when you don't look like a fool.

...

Speaking of work, I received a phone call today from a satellite office requesting that I shred a misdirected fax. 90 seconds later, I received a phone call from the same office just to make sure I actually did it.

What?

I really can't wait to start my new job.

7.25.2006

i'm looking for attention, not another question

3 comments
About a week ago, I was driving in my Rav4 and listening to Star 101.3 FM. They announced a contest, titled "Kelly-Oke," which required entrants to submit a two-minute MP3 of themselves singing a Kelly Clarkson songs. Finalists would receive tickets to her upcoming concert at Shoreline Amphitheater and compete that day for an upgrade to front row seats and the chance to meet Kelly.

I am one of those finalists.

I received a phone call from Lisa Foxx yesterday around 3pm, and she informed me that I was the day’s selected Kelly-Oke singer. I was awarded two tickets to the show, the second of which is going to my roommate, and I will be receiving a handful of Kelly Clarkson memorabilia and a case of Glaceau Vitamin Water from their sponsor. She told me to tune in to 101.3 at 4:15pm to hear my name on the radio. I frantically text messaged my closest friends to tip them off about my big win.

I have never won anything from a radio station before. Hearing my name on the airwaves was exciting, to say the least. But my excitement quickly turned into mortification as Lisa announced, "Let’s listen to her!" I could feel myself blushing as I heard a 20-second clip of myself singing "Walk Away" being broadcast to the greater part of the San Francisco Bay Area. Immediately after the announcement, I was inundated with numerous text messages expressing my friends’ reactions, ranging from congratulatory to shocking. Surreal.

So I’ll be heading to Shoreline on August 3, with my roommate and good friends in tow for some encouragement and luck, and hopefully I’ll get to meet the American Idol herself. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

7.24.2006

over and out

0 comments
Karaoke Wednesdays are my new favorite thing. This past Wednesday, we arrived at the Captain’s Chest greeted by a large crowd of young and old crooners alike. Miguel and I put our names in right away to get into the rotation early, in the hopes of having the opportunity to perform more than once. But as the crowd continued to grow, it seemed unlikely that we would be able to perform two songs before 10pm. Though, with the energy that was quickly filling the room, we weren’t too disappointed. As performer after performer took their turn at the microphone, we began to utilize the space in front of the staging area as a dance floor. I did a modernized version of the Jitterbug with one of the bar’s older patrons, and Ratha and I salsa danced to the sounds of Santana. We clapped and sang along throughout the evening, and Miguel and I offered to help cheer for a nervous performer singing "Always Something There to Remind Me," one of our favorites. As we whooped and hollered, he shot a thankful glance in our direction and gathered up the confidence to finish the song with style. The rest of the evening progressed nicely, and a room full of strangers quickly became friends over their shared love of song.

I thoroughly believe that music is good for the soul.



The weekend alternated between being utterly exhausting and loads of fun. Friday night was spent in the company of the roommates and old and new friends over a rousing game of Apples to Apples, which I love love love, at Albatross. Nothing beats word association games in an alcohol-induced haze.

Saturday was my first full-day rehearsal for Aida, during which we did staging and music review. After doing a few run-throughs of the ensemble numbers, I began to get chills from the intensity of the music. It will surely be a great show.

I spent a warm Sunday afternoon in the city shopping for birthday gifts with Miguel, scoping out the Metreon, and stopping by the San Francisco Theatre Festival at Yerba Buena gardens. Sitting on the grass and watching performers on stage reminded me of the summer of 2004 when I visited my friends in New York and stumbled upon a band playing in a park somewhere between here and who knows where. It was lovely and reaffirmed my love for the performing arts. Later that evening, we met up with Maegan and Ratha to usher for the "adult night" performance of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. It was incredible. The production was flawless, and the adult humor had me laughing throughout the entirety of the show. Racial stereotypes, countless sexual references, and an Asian Jesus: what else could we have asked for? I’m interested in seeing the original version of the show for comparison. I might just have to volunteer again.



Living on my own equates with independence in all sorts of forms. There’s the good, like planning an evening schedule that accommodates all the things I want it to, having the time to learn new things like cooking and how to plant a garden, and generally learning how to be a productive adult. Then there’s the bad, like paying more bills than I knew existed, fixing things that I didn’t know could break, and getting rid of bugs.

I don’t like bugs.

I like to think of myself as a kind-hearted person. So having to become my own bug exterminator doesn’t agree with my personality. On the other hand, I am an extremely clean person. And having bugs around leaves the possibility of contamination.

Bugs are dirty and gross, and I hate things that are dirty and gross.

I know they do good things, like pollinate flowers and protect plants from other, more infectious bugs, but can’t they just stay outside where all their business is?

Over the weekend, a handful of bugs experienced my wrath. Or fear of infestation. One of the two. The creepy, crawly, multi-legged, winged, and generally unappealing creatures saw their bitter ends with the help of two types of bug spray, a fly swatter, a shoe, paper towels, and a vacuum. Okay, I might be more than a little vicious, and I’ll probably be attacked by a swarm of angry wasps someday because Karma’s a bitch, but I have to get the message across somehow.

To all bugs everywhere: Stay the fuck out of my house.



My cut in hours is proving far more difficult than I thought it would be. So much so, that I am predicting that I may have to live off my small supply of saltine crackers for the next few weeks. And that is only the tip of the iceberg. I ensure you that this is not at all an exaggeration.

So if you are inclined to hang out with me, I would request bringing a loaf of bread or some fruit to my house, since I cannot afford to buy my own at the moment and gas is too expensive to be spending on anything other than my commute to work. Either that or you’ll just have to wait until next month when my paycheck will be receiving a major boost thanks to my new job.

Mid-August can’t arrive soon enough.



Two weeks have come and gone. That means we’re over, right?

My friends tell me I’m doing the right thing, that I’ll be happier, and that it wasn’t worth it anyway. I tell myself they don’t know how it feels to be rejected too many times to know what acceptance feels like anymore.

I also tell myself that they didn’t know how to comfort me when my life fell to pieces. Surprisingly, you did by saying all the things I was thinking but could never fully articulate. They sometimes scoff at my sense of humor. You got it so well you finished all my jokes with me. They don’t understand my compulsive behavior. You didn’t leave until you helped put everything back neatly in its place, without asking, just knowing.

I guess you’ll never really know how happy that made me.

I love my friends. But sometimes they just don’t get it right.

7.18.2006

momentum

2 comments
I GOT THE JOB!

Beginning in August, I will be working for Kaiser Permanente's Department of Educational Theatre Programs as an Assistant Public Affairs Representative. Ask me about it because I would love to tell you.

This is the break I was waiting for. I'm all sorts of happy.

...

Rehearsals for Aida have begun. And though the musical process is much slower and much less complex than anything I have done with AiR, I'm overwhelmingly happy to be singing again. During those hours I spend in the studio, I forget about everything that's worrying me and focus on breath support, articulating lyrics, and infusing the music with emotion. It's just so wonderful.

I spoke with Andrew the other night, a fellow cast member who will be joining our rehearsals late due to the production of Guys and Dolls immediately preceding our show. He voiced his concern about having to learn the music in such a short time, especially because he is not a singer. I offered to help him learn on our nights off, allowing the Music Director in me some time to play. I also volunteered to give him some tips on vocal technique.

This could just be the start of Gina's adventures as a singing teacher. And that could just be a lot of fun.

...

Maegan, Ratha, and I volunteered to usher for Ray of Light Theatre's production of Seussical the Musical in San Francisco this past Sunday. I had never seen it before, and I was more than willing to stuff programs and show people to their seats if it meant I would get to watch for free. The ushering part wasn't so bad, but the show... Dear Lord. Not only am I not a fan of the musical, which lacks a coherent plot, but the music grated on my nerves and the production was shoddy, to say the least. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, unless you have children under the age of six and are willing to tolerate two hours of nonsensical rhyming.

I'm looking forward to next week's ushering adventure. Miguel will be joining us for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at the Post Street Theatre in Union Square. Moreover, we're ushering for the "adult night" performance of this award-winning hit, complete with dirty language and off-color humor. That should be entertaining.

The last weekend of July is devoted to Rent, my all-time favorite musical, which I'll be watching with Cathy, Sheryl, Danielle, and Jessica.

That's a lot of musical theater.

...

Wednesdays will henceforth be known as Karaoke Wednesdays, thanks to one of my co-workers who introduced me to a dive bar in Concord that has a superb collection of karaoke music and wonderfully cheap cocktails.

I think I'll break out the AiR stuff tomorrow.

...

Best 10-second home video EVER!

7.10.2006

best weekend ever

3 comments
It started off with a game of baseball. Let it be known that I am not a baseball fan. I don't have anything against the sport itself, but I'm not really a sports-going person in general. However, with four great friends and an ice cream bar in tow, good times are guaranteed. We laughed over random stories and sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh inning stretch. After an exciting home-team victory (the A's beat the Angels 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth with a home run after two outs), we sped over to In 'n' Out for some post-game grub. It was a fun night, overall.

Friday marked the opening night of the Brentwood Cornfest. Although its title might lead the unwary to believe this is a ridiculously corny (hah) event, it is the highlight of the summer for many Brentwood area locals. The festival celebrates the town's claim to fame: its signature corn crop. My sister, my cousins, and I have henceforth decided to make our annual visit a tradition for years to come. This year's festival featured a slew of rides, ranging from tame to tremendous, vendor booths, live music, and of course, corn. We immediately purchased cobs upon our arrival and took silly pictures posing with the festival's keynote feature. We perused the streets, pausing here and there to investigate some interesting displays. As the evening drew to a close, we found a spot near the rear of the festival, right underneath the fireworks display. We craned our necks back as far as they could go to watch the show taking place in the sky directly above us. In my opinion, these fireworks are amazing, second only to the pyrotechnic wonders of Disneyland. I tried snapping some shots, but photographs of fireworks can never do justice to the real thing. I gave up after my third try and resolved to enjoy the rest of the show, and the rest of the evening, with my family.

On Saturday, the housemates and I hosted the long-awaited Housewarming party. I woke up early to clean and run errands, which proved to be quite enjoyable in the company of the roommates. We spent the sunny day together shopping, eating, preparing, and learning a lot about each other. As we finished prepping the house, our guests arrived fully prepared to eat, drink, and sing merrily along. The kiddie pool was a hit, as were the Jell-O shots, which disappeared in a minute. The views from the balcony and roof were spectacular, thanks to a sunny-skied forecast, and all of our guests got along wonderfully with one another. I was grateful for the opportunity to see so many of my friends, especially due to recent events which have caused me to keep to myself for the past few weeks. It was really nice to see my friends from Berkeley, some of whom I hadn't been in contact with since before the AiR Tour, and my friends from home, who came all the way out to the Bay to help break in the new pad and celebrate the endless possibilities of summer.


Me and my best friend, Danielle


Jeneille, the Fashionista, and me


Heidi, the Scene Queen, me, and the cool lighting effect of my mirrors


As the evening progressed, so did the general level of drunkenness. Though I had promised there would be no a cappella singing, I somehow managed to forget about that while under the influence and when my friends were requesting a song from me and my fellow AiR alumni. They seemed to enjoy it, particularly when I transformed "Hey Jude" into a sing-along. A few more "Wicked" and Kelly Clarkson renditions later, the evening was spent. Most people trickled out of our home around midnight, bidding their thanks and saying goodbye. The few of us that remained shared gossip over a late-night dinner of Domino's Pizza and endless glasses of water. Our first house party proved to be a success. It was a night I'm sure I won't easily forget.

Sunday morning found half of us in high spirits, myself included, and the other half hungover. I helped to rally the crowds for Thai brunch, a wonderful remedy for post-party illnesses. We ate to our hearts' content in the shade of a canopy at the Berkeley Thai Temple and contemplated what to do with our Something New Sunday. Miguel and I decided to venture over to Downtown Oakland and visit the Oakland Museum, a collection of artifacts dedicated to the history and culture of California and free on the second Sunday of every month. It was a lovely way to spend a few afternoon hours. The exhibits were well put together and very educational, and the outside sculptures were fun to look at.


"You feel so small sometimes"
- Miguel -


This one is called "Cartwheels"


Bears!

After we completed our visit to the museum, we stopped by Gregoire for dinner and introduced both Ratha and Joe to the amazing goodness of the Crispy Potato Puffs. So good. The weekend concluded with a 8pm showing of "X-Men III: The Last Stand" at the Parkway Speakeasy Theatre, complete with reclining chairs and couches to allow patrons to watch movies on the big screen while feeling like they're in the comfort of their own home.

Most definitely the best weekend ever.

7.05.2006

a perfect fit

4 comments
If you have seen me sing at any time during the past three years, then you will understand why I just HAD to buy this t-shirt.



The caption on top reads, "Hallelujah." A perfect fit, indeed.