The Musings of a Self-Confessed Karaoke Queen Wannabe

Tuesday, January 28, 2014
At most Filipino parties and gathering I attend, even back in South Africa and now in Canada, one kind of entertainment that never ceases to be a favourite among the crowd is the karaoke machine.
 
I am certainly not one to shy away from this type of limelight. It’s an amusing, stress-releasing activity and for the most part, if done correctly, it is both encouraging and contagious. I always find that people are attracted to the karaoke, once they see that the “singers” are having fun. I, myself, certainly feel “invited to join in” when the surroundings are more supportive.
 
I always try to enjoy the song whilst singing. And even though I sing alone, I don’t feel that the karaoke is a solo act. There is always some discussion, loads of song choices almost to the point of indecisiveness, insignificant singing mistakes and tons of brilliant moments. You might say that because I carry a decent tune I’d feel like this – but I truly believe that there are no great or bad singers, only people who are brave enough to step up to the plate and take the mic.
 
It’s also a wonderful feeling to find your favourite songs on the karaoke. It is always hard to make that first song choice and a familiar tune can help a long way, almost like a comforting old friend. For my first song choice, I always, always dabble in my music collection of The Carpenters. Most notably, my preference always lands up between a toss-up between "Love Me for What I Am" or "Top of the World".
 
Most, if not all, Carpenters songs are a little low key for me but I love warming up to them as they slowly raise my pitch. I sound unrehearsed and slightly hoarse, certainly nowhere near the caliber of the legendary Karen Carpenter. But I know I’m gaining the confidence I need to tackle my next karaoke songs. I normally make my selections among Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Barbra Streisand et al afterwards. Quite a tall order but since my voice gets very shrill and high-pitched at times, this is where I’m most comfortable. Am I sounding like a diva already? :-)
 
So next time you visit a Filipino jamboree, watch out for that lady who starts off by singing a Carpenters song….who knows, that might be me!?

Skywheeling At Clifton Hills

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Don’t know when last I rode a ferris wheel but judging at the way I feel about it now, I definitely ain’t used to it anymore.
 
The Skywheel was in fact, just another giant ferris wheel that could seat 4-6 people in one enclosed cart. It was a mild ride, compared to carnival rides standard. We rotated 3 times before being let out and the ride in total lasted about 20 minutes.
 
My youngest really enjoyed the ride so much, even going as far as moving around inside the cart so she could see the whole of Clifton Hills. But it was definitely less than thrilling for hubby and me. We felt our stomachs turned as we jiggled and wobbled within the cart. I think age does that to you.
 
Regardless though, hubby still managed to snap a photo with the Niagara Falls in the background. Can you see the fear in my eye?
 
Grabbing the edges on the Skywheel
 
I have now put the ferris wheel as one of my “not-for-the faint-hearted” rides. Definitely won’t be hopping on one of these anytime soon.
 
So what are your fond and not-so-fond experiences with the giant rotating wheel in the sky?

Magically and Miserably Mine

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Forgive me. I'm having a bit of an emo moment right now. I just want to feel both magical and miserable at the same time and this is the song that's doing it for me at the moment.
 
On a recent trip to the local library, I've managed to get my hands on one of Taylor Swift's records and Speak Now is now playing on my car radio. Specifically, "Mine" is on repeat.
 
It's been 2-3 years now but I still get teary-eye every time I hear this particular song. This is definitely one song I will never be able to sing. I can't even mouth the chorus properly without choking up the words.
 
Not that it's my life story or anything...I've found that I relate to the song on a different level. I don't have a college sweetheart nor do I have a fear of falling as the song goes. But somehow, something about the chorus really hits my spot.
 
I remember how we felt sitting by the water,
And every time I look at you, it's like the first time
I fell in love with a careless man's careful daughter
She is the best thing that's ever been mine.
 
Suddenly, a newfound admiration for Ms. Swift's songwriting dawns on me. Evoke me some emotions, do you? And it feels real good. There's no water nearby but I am starting to feel like it's the first time. I am somebody's best thing. Boy, she's good. I hit repeat again. And the cycle begins.

Yes, yes, I can see it now.

So how does my emo song compare to the one song that affects you the most?

Blog Template Overhaul...Not!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Not just yet, anyway.
 
I noticed a few months back that my image slider on my blog header had stopped working. The pictures were still intact but sadly, the slider no longer flowed automatically like before.  This prompted me to comment on a previous post that I was thinking of, maybe, looking at overhauling my blog template once again.
 
I spent most of December trolling the internet, hoping to find something good. Ideally, something that I could use with regards customization and longevity. I even found my current blog template and several comments from bloggers who have likewise been experiencing the same problem.
 
There were many, many templates to choose from. The variety is really astounding. I've tried out a couple but have found that my limited knowledge of customization was blocking me from really experiencing the true greatness of the templates. It's always an issue that the uncomplicated designs don't appeal to me, and yet, they have the least maintenance, which is ideal.
 
In the end of my soul-searching blog template journey, I have found out that although it ain't the best, I (still) really like my current blog template. I haven't had it long enough and so it hasn't really gone stale on me yet. It was just the broken slider that was irritating me and so I set out to fix THAT problem.
 
There were a couple of suggestions but to make it short, I went with the simplest, which was just to take the slider out and replace it with a fixed header. Everything stayed the same.
 
So that's it for now. No big overhaul on my part. I'll probably think about changing the template in a year or two again. We'll see.