the girl can sing

A straight man resembling Ewan McGregor sings “Patience,” but when he runs over the chorus, he becomes a “tough call.” His friends join in high-pitched vibrato, friends, I am certain appear on CD shelves, wearing ties and muscle shirts, beneath a thin font titled Gay Men’s Chorus. Ewan is now a tough call. He’s in a group of men at a St. Mark’s Place Karaoke bar. I know what you’re thinking… um, not that tough of a call there, Red.

The tattoo inside his wrist probably means respect, or maybe even patience. I was giving both a go. Dimples, mole, spiked hair, but he’s better looking when he looks as though he’s calculating the tip. I know before talking to him that I’ll hate his laugh. I know he prefers reptiles to monkeys. Men like this know they’ll snag more prospects walking around looking pissed, even if it’s feigned. He has flipped through stacks of photos on Sunday afternoons, and he pauses to study the ones he’s in. He looks common when he’s happy. When he looks miserably ticked, he’s all throbbing jaw and a squint—now that’s hot. Maybe this is the equivalent to the Parisian pout on high-heeled fashionistas who never smile. I thought it was the red lipstick on the teeth fear, but maybe they snag more men when miserable. They haven’t practiced the smile in years, but when impatient camera lady won’t squeeze the shutter/release button and demands, “You’re not smiling. Smile!” They force an unpracticed smile.

At Karaoke you learn that “with eyes like potatoes” is really, “with eyes like the desert.” You sing Madonna at the top of your lungs, and you stop caring about pitch and focus instead on just being heard. The more sweet and undeniably pure the song and lyrics, the more shady and on the verge B-porn the video is. “Homeward Bound” by Paul Simon brings new meaning to the word “bound”… the video features an Asian with ropes. There might have been a bubble bath.

Rockin’ out to “Sad Songs Say So Much,” you catch ‘em all singing with their eyes closed. You just can’t fake that; you can’t even practice it in a mirror. Everyone is happy at Karaoke, even when they’re trying not to be. You just can’t fake happy over Elton John.

View more of the photos >>



  1. This posting is very inspirational but not for the reasons that the other postings are inspirational or worthy of admiration. Maybe the person who claimed to be a male friend of Steph has been writing these latest postings. It is hard to believe that someone from a Jewish background would mock gays: both gays and Jews have been two of the most persecuted groups of people in the world. Or that someone who was mocked as a child by being called “moose” would mock someone’s appearance. It just doesn’t make sense, especially to me. My first and best friend growing up was a Jewish boy whom I learned 10 years later was gay. His parents were wonderful. The best job I had in the legal profession was on account of being hired by a Jewish gay partner at a prestigious firm. Last week I referred to him a former client—from another firm at which I worked—who was upset for having paid $4.2 million in just legal fees to former colleagues who had done a miserable job in defending the former client after I left: “[o]n account of having worked with you and knowing your expertise, diligence and ethics, I feel confident in making this recommendation.” I am who I am because of that partner having been an exemplary role model. I have also known some wonderful Jewish women. There is more reason to succeed now than ever. Somebody who is articulate and has a heart has to be at the forefront of fighting against prejudice and insensitivity. It’s not a matter of being politically correct, but it’s a question of having humanity.

    I hope it’s true that Steph isn’t doing the writing, because her appeal resides partly in being Jewish. You would imagine that someone with origins in a persecuted group would be more sensitive than others who have known the luxury of not being persecuted. However, the at times unreasonable and almost irrational animosity towards her ex makes you wonder: what's the not too insignificant probability that they will get back together? We need to stop thinking with our brains and start thinking with our hearts. Relatively developed societies used to excise the heart and preserve it thinking that the thought process resided there and threw away the brain. While they were wrong, our brilliance should start in our hearts before it appeals to our brains for help.

    Anyway, the coincidence between “reptiles” being mentioned in the above posting and what happened yesterday is too hard to believe, but on account of keeping the door open for my canine children to go in an out a not too small snake came in. I am indifferent about snakes, even big ones, so I said to myself keep working and we can share the office together or that it will eventually leave. (I have been accused of being ‘lazy,’ but it’s not true—given a choice between working and not being ‘lazy’ by throwing a snake out, I would rather work) Then I thought that my kids might harm it or kill it (they have the heart of a 3 year old human), so I took it to a nearby park and let it loose. I have been told sincerely and insincerely that I am “brilliant.” I am definitely not—and I should know—but I do have a heart.

  2. I suspect the previous respondent never heard of Lord Jakobovits. But with comments as lengthy as that, it might be wise to get a blog.

  3. It may be hard to fake happy with Elton John, but my God, some people try real hard.

  4. 1. The greatest KARAOKE moment of my life was watching UCH sing Lou Reed, actually thinking he was doing a good job.

    2. You're just too damn cute, aren't ya?


  5. So, Ewan McGregor huh? … Never got that one before. Flattering, I do appreciate it. I really enjoyed the recap of the night. You never said 2 words to me there though… and you never heard me laugh. You were too busy with pictures/friends/drinking/singing/laughing. It was a great time, the pictures don't reflect the experience… Where is the loud speaker behind my head, blaring, and the complete stranger trying to jump on the mic during my solo? Hope to do it again sometime, without the 'Patience'.


    PS. love the site.

  6. how silly to like someone simply for being of a jewish background.
    it's not exactly something she can help, now, is it?

  7. It's silly–yes and no. Many times people develop a strong cultural awareness or awareness of heritage, and often that leads to pleasant behavior. We often choose who we want to be; it's not just a matter of being from a certain culture or religious group. At 12 my dad told me I have to pick my own religion and cannot adhere to his simply on account of him being my father. I always felt that that was a license to pick the best qualities from whatever school of thought I come across. I guess that's all we can really ask of ourselves.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.