I went out this weekend to the Rock Box in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to sing karaoke with the birthday girl and one of my favorite people in this world: Lana.

Despite the fact that there was nothing from The Misfits in their catalog (I’ve always wanted to sing Last Caress), I loved this Japanese-style set up. I’m not a fan of singing on stage in front of strangers. It reminded me of the karaoke sessions back on Saipan where my friends and I would rent out a room by the hour and sing. it. out.

Rockbox had a fancy set up with the hardcopy print out of artist and song titles but also an iPad that could make our song choice reservations digital. On Saipan, we just had the books of songs that were as recent as 1989 so we were like, “Shakespeare’s Sister? Okay!”

If my Korean classmates were there, they would force us to sing only the part we wanted, usually the chorus, and then move on to the next song. That made sense financially, pack in as many songs as you could. You could sing many more songs if you were belting out twenty second at a time. We were poor high school students who sneaked in soft drinks and chips into the room so we didn’t have to pay more than the $20 hourly rate.

One time I went out with a friend and I thought she was going to split the cost of the room with me, but twenty minutes into it, she said she had no money on her, forcing me to freak out, drive back home to beg my mom for more money. She wasn’t home, so I had to scrounge up all the change I could find until I had enough in an envelope to pay up. I didn’t sing with that friend again.

It was a fun night with fellow party-goers who paid up their tabs like adults do and celebrated a very special birthday by bellowing the requisite karaoke anthem by Journey:

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