Kayla just recorded me in our living room performing a karaoke version of "How's It Going To Be" in the style of Third Eye Blind. It's available on our MySpace page, as well as on YouTube. Please check it out! In case you didn't know, Kayla and I met at karaoke. I had put in "Chop Suey!" by System of a Down to sing and was sitting at a table. She came in, went to the DJ and requested the same song. He pointed her in my direction and she came to my table. We agreed to sing it together with me taking Serj's parts while she sung Daron's parts. Without any practice at all, we got up and performed it like we'd been a duo all our lives! Early in our relationships I used to write songs about her and surprise her by singing them for her at karaoke. She was the envy of every woman in the bar. I also used to sing stuff like "Let It Be Me" by the Everly Brothers to her.
Ironically enough, it was some members of the church I used to go to who got me into karaoke. I had been a member of the choir, so I knew how to sing, but I wanted to challenge myself vocally. I had recently discovered Slipknot in early 2000 so I decided to try to teach myself how to scream. I practiced all the time in my car and found that I had a decent vocal range. I can sing Slipknot, Entombed, Cannibal Corpse, Hatebreed, Soulfly, Mushroomhead and Motograter.
Singing in my car was good because in those days, I was a pizza delivery driver. I used to call in to the oldies station in Tucson and dedicate a song like "Twilight Time" by the Platters to Kayla. Then I'd use my cell phone to call her at home and tell her to tune in.
The music we make together as Chief Loh is some beautiful stuff. She's usually the one who comes up with melodies and beats. I usually come up with the words and most harmonies. We like having multiple harmonies like in "Harmonize", "Make It Make Sense", "Because I Love You So" and "Really A Dream". We each have lots of different musical influences that we bring to the table. She knows a lot of 70's and 80's music. My musical window was between 1989-2003. Most of what I listen to comes from that era. Pearl Jam is one of my favorite bands, along with their extensive lineage (Green River, Malfunkshun, Mother Love Bone, Temple of the Dog, Brad, Three Fish and Mad Season).
I also like music that seems to be a contradiction in terms. Take, for instance, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, who do metal versions of classical music. I took Kayla to see them in concert. There's Apocalyptica who does cello versions of metal music. There's Richard Cheese who does lounge versions of rock (and other genres) songs, and Me First and the Gimme Gimmes who do punk versions of oldies and other genres. Another favorite band of mine is Living Sacrifice, which is a Christian death metal band.
I miss Tucson. I used to be a teacher's aide at an elementary school. I especially liked working with the Special Education students. They were taught a lot of skills that woul be useful in the workplace so that they could get a job when they got out of school. One of my favorite memories from that time was when they were learning how to wash cars. There was a boy named Rocky who was so proud to ask me, "Hey Mr. Paul (which is what they called me back then), you want your car washed?" His enthusiasm and heartfelt sincerity still touch me every time I think about those days.
Speaking of memories of school, my wife and I rented "American Gangster" from Blockbuster one day. During the film, I kept telling Kayla that the Puerto Rican woman reminded me of a girl I went to school with at the Northeast Christian Academy in El Paso, Texas. Her name was Lymari, but I couldn't remember her last name. After the movie was over, I watched the credit to see the name of the actress. She actually is named Lymari Nadal. That's either the biggest coincidence, or I really knew her. If it is her, I wonder if she'd like to portray any of my characters if any of my stories ever get made into movies.
Oh yeah, on the topic of actresses. I used to be a stocker/dog bather/cashier at Petsmart. One day when I was running a register, a woman came in with her two little gray dogs. She asked me about dog doors that would be compatible with a sliding glass door. She looked oddly familiar so I asked her if she was an actress. She said yes and that her name is Mika Boorem. I had seen her in "Hearts In Atlantis". She was attending the University of Arizona at the time. According to Wikipedia, she still lives in Tucson with her mom. I wonder if she'd like to act in my movies too?