Oh how I love to sing!

One of the tough things about living in Nashville is that everyone here is so damn musically talented. At the last company I worked with, two of the chicks in my department had demo CDs - and they were good!

See, I used to sing. I say "used to" because I can't really lay claim to being a singer here in Nashville.

But back in the day, I could belt out a reasonable Second Alto. Well, actually, until 7th Grade, I sang Soprano. Apparently my vocal range shifted down over the summer - probably as a result of my pack a day habit. No, no - it's just biology, folks.

In middle school, I did musicals - Oliver, South Pacific, and this piece of student written crap (I can say that, having been one of the student writers) called Jumpback - a decade-by-decade chronicle of a family that spanned 1940-Present (present being 1988). I also had a few concert solos. I was a pretty big deal at Crabapple Middle School, my friends.

I was in the women's choir in High School - the Chansons (French for "Let's Sing"), though I quit at the end of Sophomore year to pursue 4th and 5th year Honors French - a decision I have never regretted, as it paved the way for my French minor in college. It didn't hurt that I didn't much care for the director and I loved my French teachers.

My first quarter of my Freshman year at UGA, I took English with a TA named Deanna. I liked Deanna. Her enthusiasm, which bordered on dorky, was right up my alley. And to the same extent that I liked Deanna, I had a roommate, who we'll call K, who was a little less up my alley. In fact, I stayed the hell out of the room as much as possible to avoid said roommate. She wasn't a bad person, we just didn't bond.

So one day, Deanna cancelled class, unless you wanted to stick around and talk about a rewrite of a paper for a better grade. I made A's and B's on my stuff, but I didn't want to go back to the dorm room, and I was still too wet behind the ears to realize you there were other places on campus you could loiter if you didn't have a class. Like, I could have gone to a movie at the student center for a buck - but I went to class - it was me and this chick from Africa. Somehow, in the course of talking with Deanna, I found out she was in the UGA Women's Glee Club, and she convinced me to sign up to take the class - it was only a one hour credit, so it didn't bump my tuition, and it was always held late in the day, so it never interfered with my academics. For the rest of my time at UGA, I belted out a competant Second Alto. I auditioned for Noteworthy, the Women's a capella ensemble, but I got beat out by a girl that my sorority had cut during Rush the previous Spring. I had actually stood up for the girl, but I like to think that Karma took care of things ultimately.

I will say that my Freshman year, for the Spring concert, Deanna and I did a duet - "Leavin' on a Jet Plane". She played guitar and I sang. I think that maybe our director, Joan Bingham, sensed that I needed that solo - my boyfriend at the time had just dumped me via e mail (sent on a Friday and received on a Monday - ouch), and I was wounded. Wounded. As only a 19 year old can be. The solo, which I chose because the lyrics reminded me of my relationship with the ex, were a balm, even if only for five minutes.

Some of my happiest memories of college are attached to Glee Club. It was there I met Heather, a fellow Journalism major and friendly face in the crowd. There was also Kris, from South Georgia - she and I wrote parody lyrics to a great many of our songs - hers were superior in every way - her vocabulary was enormous and her ability to find just the right cutting words was inspiring. I got invited to her Halloween party several days after I turned 21. I remember buying alcohol for the first time before heading to her apartment, and not getting carded. I bought a six of PBR tallboys, which everyone made fun of. It was a fun party.

In Spring of my junior year, they brought in Yoel Levi - the conductor for the Atlanta Symphony. He conducted all the UGA choirs and symphony in Beethoven's Ninth. In German. If you were from Atlanta, the name Yoel Levi was a BIG DEAL. I remember walking by his score and seeing the German text, next to which his notes had been written in Hebrew. I remember that I mentioned this endeavor to two of my J-School classmates, who as it turned out, loved Beethoven's Ninth and came to the performance.

I heard a story on NPR about a year ago that said that performing in a choir produces endorphins in your body that make you happy - something about the vibrations of the human voice. I would agree with this wholeheartedly.

I like to sing so much that I will perform karaoke sober.

But living in Nashville, karaoke is more than just a way for the huddled masses such as me to blow off steam. Karaoke is a way for those people with talent to showcase their skills, leaving the rest of us to wonder - why aren't these people signed to a label? And what makes me think I should be getting up there and slogging through my half-assed rendition of 'Sk8r Boi"?

So I've taken to using the Karaoke on Demand that we can get through our cable provider. There's something kind of sad about chilling out on the couch, home alone, and attempting your best Smokey Robinson...therein lies the problem. I'm still (on good days) a Second Alto, and Smokey seems to be a half-octave up the scale from me.

But you know - why judge? Sing if you feel like it. Sleep when you're tired, eat when you're hungry. It's not rocket science.

I don't know - I was just kind of thinking about it and I thought I'd place those thoughts here.