Sunrise on a run

Sunrise on a run

Friday, September 30, 2005

My guide to Karaoke

Last night was the fourth time in my life I have indulged in Karaoke. I'm not the world's best singer, but I'm not the worst. I tend to save my bouts of singing for the car and for playtime with Isha. As my time in Philadelphia draws to a close, a few of us decided to use that as an excuse for an evening out. It was fun. My guide to Karaoke success follows.

Tip 1 Know whether you're a singer or a trier

Karaoke singers fall into two groups - those with fantastic singing voices, those who are prepared to try their best regardless. Make sure you know which category you come under and select your song accordingly.

Tip 2 Know your crowd

I chose to sing that Britpop classic, "Parklife" by Blur. It was a hit in 1994 and I have fond memories of my first term at University walking across our college quad (not as grand as quads in other colleges but a quad nonetheless) bellowing "Parklife" in a Mockney accent that Dick Van Dyke would have coveted. Alas, I'm not sure that anyone in the audience had heard of Blur let alone this timeless singalong classic.

Tip 3 Know your precarious balance between Squiffy and Slurry

Some people are natural born extroverts and will get up and sing/ dance/ perform at their first opportunities. Some people need a little squiffinss first. However, if you're too squiffy it's not going to be easy to navigate your way from your seat to the stage, let alone read the lyrics and ennunciate them the way your chosen songwriter intended. At the point when Karaoke has descended into all round singalong, the balance does not matter. At any other time of the evening, this balance is crucial.

Tip 4 Know the audience's precarious balance between Sq and Sl

A stone cold sober audience is a hard crowd to please. If you're too good, they'll hate you for singing so well, if you're bad they'll hate you for wasting their time. If they don't know the song, they'll hate you but they won't know why. If they know the song, they'll hate you because they wanted to sing it.

However, if the balance is tipped too far the other way, they'll be too drunk to listen.

You want them drunk enough to applaud anything and appreciate you whether you're a tryer or a singer.

Tip 5 Try it in a bar in a city in a country that you about to leave

It worked for me

Thursday, September 29, 2005

First Words?

Isha has always been something of a burbler (like her parents, Suze and the blither badger.). As a very little baby she would frequently lie in her crib and burble to Whoozit- usually a surprised sort of burble.

Now she can burble in full sentences. Sometimes her burbles almost sound like real sentences. To her soppy parents anyway.

One morning she was happily sitting with us on our bed when she came out with something that sounded like "Real, Wow, Man" - I think she's been watching too much Easy Rider.

The other evening, we were walking along the street when someone in front of us said to their friend: "how you doing?" Isha promptly replied: "how you doing?" It honestly sounded like this!

The other night she woke up and was burbling away to herself. I was semi-awake but trying to keep this from Isha as she seemed happy enough and I wanted her to go back to sleep rather than have an added reason for staying awake. The next thing I hear is Isha, with a questioning tone in her voice saying: "Mama?" as she kneels up in her crib. Even at 2.30am I had to respond.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Message for Chelsea Boy:

Please can you direct all Spurs-related abuse to badgerblither. At least I assume it was you who posted the anonymous comment :)

Sunday, September 11, 2005


We went to Philly Zoo today - a good zoo, well run and laid out and the right level of focus on conservation.

One of my favourite exhibits are the tortoises. They are unusual-looking creatures and for a moment I wondered where Berilia, Tubul, Great T'Phon, and Jerakeen were. I then realised that I wouldn't find them since Discworld is carried by a turtle and not a tortoise. However, other people seemed to be confused and insisted on calling them "Toidells".

TURTLES and TORTOISES are different. OK so they're both members of the same family and I accept that the word turtle is sometimes used to describe various members of that family but why can't people read the sign and call them by their correct name? I mean, no one was admiring the Zebras and saying "look at the horsies" and yet they're both members of the same family. Maybe they were calling them horsies.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Why isn't it a pair of Diapers?

While getting ready to take my daughter for a paddle in the pool, it crossed my mind that while we wear a pair of pants, babies wear a nappy (or a diaper). Why isn't it a pair of diapers or a pair of nappies? Come to think of it, why do we wear pants rather than a pant. Why is it pantaloons and not pantaloon?