Tuesday, February 22, 2011

In which I meet two Elvises

In Canada, this past Monday was a statutory holiday recently added to the calendar by our government.  It's called Family Day.  I guess they figured that makes it sound nice; better than the "Civic Holiday" we get in August.  Yay random long weekend!

Knowing I'd be able to sleep in on Monday, I accepted an invitation from a friend to go to karaoke night at a dive bar in the east end.  My friend is a regular there, and was in fact a finalist in the seasonal karaoke competition on Sunday night.

We were warned that the venue was sketchy, that it's the type of place where people get thrown out for brawling as a matter of course on Fridays and Saturdays.  Sunday are supposedly quieter.

The place was pretty big, and looked like exactly what it was: a big, functional space for lots of people to do some serious drinking.  There was no decor to speak of.  It was dark.  There were no cozy, upholstered booths and no fake British pubby-type paraphernalia.  All the surfaces were made to be easily wiped down and disinfected.  There were rows of plain, dark tables flanked by plain, dark wooden chairs.  Everything was old and worn.

Val had arranged to meet a big group of friends there, so we pushed a bunch of tables together.  At the front, a large woman in a red satin shirt was setting up the karaoke stage, along with a single led lamp which cast multicoloured, moving patterns on the ceiling.  I got a can of ginger ale and sipped it all night.

There were only a couple of rowdy drinkers in the house.  There was a skinny guy wearing nylon warm-up pants and an old white sweatshirt with an oil pastel drawing of a dog's head in profile and the word "Rottweiler" arching over it.  He was sitting across from a woman dressed all in black with long black hair.  They had a parade of beer glasses marching across their table, some full, some empty.  From their behaviour I made a guess that they were also tripping on something stronger than beer.  The woman kept getting up to dance in this weird, drifty way, waving her arms very slowly in the air, and watching her own feet with intense concentration.  The guy was hyper as anything.  He could barely keep his butt on his chair.  Anytime there was music he was all over the dance floor, bashing into people and generally having himself a great time.  Eventually the guy became so irritating that he got kicked out, or rather dragged out by the neck of his sweatshirt by the big woman in the red satin shirt.

The karaoke contest was pretty awesome.  There were two ladies and two men up for the title, and both men were doing the Elvis thing.  They both had the longish black hair and lamb-chop sideburns.  One of them even had a full Elvis-in-Vegas costume: white with a gold cape, gold triangles inset into the flares of the trousers, lots of bling, and a belt buckle the size of a trade paperback.  In the end, the other Elvis won.  The judges had each contestant sing a song of the judges' choosing, and Brown Elvis (he was of east Indian origin) absolutely killed "It's Raining Men".

It was a lot of fun.  I cheered and clapped for the good singers and only slightly less for the terrible ones.  Yes I did get up and sing one song: Thorn In My Side by the Eurythmics.  I was mediocre.

We stayed out until the scandalously late hour of half-past midnight, and then took our time driving home in a thickening layer of slushy snow.  I was in bed before two and got eight hours of sleep.  Why do I mention this?  Wait for it.

Next day I went out with my sister for a healthy, vegan dinner.  I had a sore throat, but I had cheered a lot the night before, so I figured that was why.  I also felt tired, but that was jet lag, yes?  I enjoyed a nice, sisterly bonding time over good food (yay for vegan cheesecake!) and then went out into the frigid cold to wait for the streetcar and froze my butt for a while.

When I got home I felt achey and chilled.  Then my teeth started chattering - after I got indoors.  I took my temperature.  It was up, and kept going up.  It was one of those nights.  I layered on extra blankets and slept in a fleece jacket.  My body was shivering but I felt like my cheeks were going to spontaneously burst into flames.  I didn't sleep much.  (Medical note: no I can't take an Aspirin/Advil/Tylenol/[insert drug of comfort here] because they burn holes in my guts).  So, yeah.  Sick again!  For the love of Pete.   I missed another day of work.  We'll just have to see about tomorrow.  I'm still not sure.

I had not mentioned that I was going to a special doctor tomorrow to find out why I feel crappy 75% of the time.  He specializes in Chronic Fatigue and Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and the like.  I was all set to go, until I got sick again, and then I had to cancel, because it costs $500 for the appointment, and if you don't give them 24 hours notice that you're cancelling they charge you anyway, and I didn't want to risk that, so I cancelled first thing this morning.  In other words, I was too sick to find out why I'm "always" sick.  Honestly.  Anyway, it's rebooked for two weeks from now, and I'll let all ya'll know how it goes.


kenju said...

Oh, that stinks. I sure hope you heal quickly and that you are able to make that appointment in 2 weeks.

Jameil said...

Aw man! I need you to get well enough to find out why you're sick! But glad you had fun at karaoke!

DarcsFalcon said...

How cool that you found a specialist! How big of a bummer that you had to cancel! I would love to know what's making Spark lose her spark.

The karaoke sounds like fun and so does having the time with your sis. I'm so glad you got to do those things before getting hit yet again. I bet you caught something at that funky bar. It's all their fault! ;)

Saying a prayer that you're back on your feet, and finding answers, soon. :)

wigsf3 said...

There is always an Elvis at karaoke contests. ALWAYS! Not always an ethnic Elvis though. Brown Elvis, that's pretty cool. I tell you, there's a reason he's the King of Rock and Roll!

Lynn said...

I'm sorry you are sick and hope you are better soon.

That karaoke sounds so fun - especially the Elvis from India singing "It's Raining Men." How great is that?

San said...

What a cruel irony that your colorful evening with the two Elvises, not to mention the woman who watched her feet intently, was followed by sore throat and chills. This winter's colds have been harsh and lingering. I found that eating three cloves of garlic each morning knocked out the inflammation. Now, if Tylenol burns your guts, you may have a similar problem with garlic. Then there's the breath issue. If, however, you press it in a press and try to swallow it whole, it doesn't permeate your being the way it does when it's eaten in food. Go figure.

DarcKnyt said...

UGH! Lord have mercy, I feel so BAD for you. Sick so much. I'll toss a prayer up for you, hon.

Sparkling Red said...

Thanks everyone for your kind concern. :-)

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Hope you feel better soon and get to that doctor appointment. I'm working the hacking cough big time this week, lots of fun.

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Hevenly said...

I can definitely sympathise. Being too sick to check up on your health sucks ! I hope you can get some time and energy to get good doctorly advice soon. Hugs !