About ten months ago, I wrote the following:

I put a new personal rule into effect last week: if I make my semi-regular trip to the Asgard for Wednesday night karaoke, I need to suck up my nervousness and make sure to sing at least one song. I kicked off this new policy with “Summer of ‘69″ and I think it went well. I had fun, so that’s all that matters.

It’s funny to see what a difference weekly trips to the Asgard – and regular turns at the mic – make. I was sucking up my nervousness again last night, but this time it wasn’t the prospect of singing one song that left me jittery. It was instead the prospect of tackling my “go for the gold” song, the song I never thought I’d actually try to do because I always feared I would butcher it.

It also happens to be one of my top five favorite songs of all time: “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder.

Now here’s the deal. You’d think it wouldn’t be a big deal, singing something at karaoke, where people have been drinking and it doesn’t really matter. But it’s important to know that people, by and large, bring it when they do Asgard karaoke. My friends are great performers – and I’m not saying this out of any sort of friendly bias. They have voices. They have presence. They rock the mic.

I hold my own, but I prep each week. For instance, as I got ready to go out last night, I was in my room, putting on makeup and brushing my hair, singing along with the song. Multiple times.

A lot of us prep so we’re ready for the magic to happen.

The beauty of karaoke is that magic happens often. Maybe not every week, but you never know when things are going to explode into something glorious. For instance, last night turned into 90s night, complete with rap, pop, grunge and swing. I was laughing and clapping my hands with delight almost every time people looked around the room and caught my eye. Otis Redding would have been honored with the version of “Try a Little Tenderness” that one fellow unleashed on the crowd. My dear friend Dana rallied hardcore to rock the place with “Tricky.” Kev made me smile, not only for dusting off Maroon 5’s “Wake Up Call,” but pointing out the fact that that damn band milked its early material for years. YEARS.

Each time I think about not going to karaoke – perhaps watching some television, curling up with a book or catching up on sleep – I realize that I very well might miss another magical night. And as I sit among friends and sing along with some of my favorite songs, I realize there’s nowhere else on a Wednesday night I would rather be.

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