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I think tv and movies cheat you. At least sometimes. They build up such great expectations for everything. And then, when you experience it yourself, you can't just be excited for what it is. No, you just wish it was like the movies.

I think a prime example of this is sleeping in dorm rooms. I like staying with my boyfriend. And I will continue to do so, but tv makes me feel like I'm missing out. On TV there is no morning breath, a roommate isn't having sex 5 feet away while you sleep, there are never the space issues that exist in real life with two people (each of us are skinny but he's over 6 feet tall and I'm 5'10") sharing a twin size bed.

Not really a huge deal, just something on my mind today. And that was just one example of this, others include: high school (Didn't they have fun on Saved by the Bell?), airplanes, roadtrips, the internet, and probably a million more things.

Another fast-n-furious London noder meet or...

Karaoke Kraziness in Klapham

Noders are, as we all know, a talented bunch, and so it was that we all ventured into the Slug & Lettuce, South London's finest Karaoke bar. Well, by "fine", I mean "only". About 10 of E2's finest made their way through the crowds of Japanese businessmen and Danish backpackers to pay homage to the classics. I admit, I had a lot to drink, but I think this is a pretty good guide to everyone's performance. And well done to all of them for giving it a go.

Frankie, as the organiser of the whole shinding, went first, with a storming rendition of Beautiful People. Well it would have been storming if the Karaoke machine had the backing music for Beautiful People. It didn't, but Frankie didn't let that deter her, so she sang along instead to the backing music of Save All Your Kisses For Me by Manfred Mann. Actually, it ended up sounding fanastic and the whole crowd were clapping along enthusiastically, until Frankie took her Marilyn Manson impression to far and strated trying to remove her trousers on stage. She was escorted from the building by security, and was last seen beating up a homeless guy outside Clapham Junction.

We all thought it would be hard to follow this act, but sure enough (darsi) rose to the occasion. (darsi)'s years in the Merchant Navy have left her with many valuable skills, including the ability to sing a rousing sea shanty. She gave us a loud, thrilling version of The Irish Rover complete with actions (you don't want to know how she enacted the line about the dog drowning). After that, she went to sit with some bikers in the corner, where she compared scars and tattoos, and arm-wrestled 16 men undefeated.

For someone of his age, Pandora sure can sing. He began giving us a heart-felt Bohemian Rhapsody, but sadly the tape snapped at the first "Mamma". We were disappointed and about to ask him to pick another song, but he bravely carried on, beating out the rhythm of the music by banging his zimmer frame on the stage. It was spectacular, and brought a tear to my eye. Well, actually, he disloged a chip of wood from the stage which flew into my eye, but dammit, there were still tears. Sadly, when singing the "devil put aside for MEEEEE" bit, he tried to wave his zimmer frame too high, keeled over packwards and suffered massive cranial injuries. He will be missed.

Spiregrain and sm597 duetted on Dead Ringer For Love, which was funny cause Spiregrain is a dead ringer for Cher. Sadly though, he sang the Meatloaf part, which just confused everyone. And then towards the end, the two began a very lewd, provocative "dance routine". A bit too provocative, as it resulted in both of them being escorted out by secuirty as well.

Tiefling really got into The Kink's You Really Got Me. His mikework seemed almost like that of a professional, although his constant pelvic thrusting was a little distracting. It was then that I finally figured out where I knew him from - Tiefling used to be the lead singer in Menswear. He's threatened to kill me if I ever tell anyone that. So, er, forget you read this bit.

ascorbic is a professional Elvis impersonator and arrived in full costume. So he says - some people thought he had just hired the costume for the night so that he'd win the coveted prize for Best Karoke Performance (prize : packet of crisps and a snog from heyoka). He began with a rocking version of Hunk Of Burning Love, although again, there was far too much pelvic thrusting. He followed it up with Are You Lonesome Tonight, during which he brought a pretty girl onstage and serenaded her. Unbeknownst to ascorbic, the girl was actually a girlfriend of one of the bikers. Ascorbic would have been lynched for sure, if (darsi) hadn't threatened to glass anyone who tried it.

The Alchemist can't sing. Sorry. But she did walk away with the prize after a squaking version of Groove Is In The Heart, because she is incredibly fit, wore a really tight top and a skirt which would have choked her if it was any higher. Most of the votes came cause people just wanna see her snog another woman.

Great Neb and jobby are wonderful. For a couple that have been together as long as they have, they still seem so much in love. Their rendition of Especially For You was underscored by a sense of real loving. Neb even wore a Kylie-circa-1987 wig to heighten the realism. Beautiful.

spinyNorm loveable Geordie that he is, launched into Fog On The Tyne with great gusto. Which was not only a joy, but a relief, as he'd been chanting "Get yer tits oot fer tha lads" at everyone who'd been on stage during the night.

call took a break from seducing the Swedish girls at the bar to take to the stage. He chose to give a very suave rendition of Leonard Cohen's Dance Me To The End of Love. The Swedish girls visibly melted, and soon after he finished, he left with his arms around two of them. Bastard.

Eventually, it was my turn. I had been preparing for this for weeks, learing the lyrics, perfecting each nuance. Finally, I was allowed to unleash my cration - my reworked version of MacArthur Park. Sadly, during the 18th verse, i noticed some people talking at the bar. I responded bby doing what any artist would do - I stormed off stage, locked myself in the bathroom and refused to come out for the rest of the night.

Somehow, in the absence of my greatness, they decided to carry on with the karaoke, giving Kidas a chance to sing Turning Japanese. Sadly, he insisted on making squinty Chinaman eyes throughout the song, much to the disgust of the Asian members of the audience. Still, he's only a kid, and has to be forgiven these things.

The_Oolong_Man man was in no state to sing after drinking six cups of his "special herbal tea", so it was up to insanefuzzie to send the crowd home on a high. Sadly, he chose to sing Flying Without Wings instead, which brought everyone down. It seems he was in the last 6 for Westlife and has never gotten over the pain of losing out to that Cian tosser, so now he haunts the London Karaoke circuit, singing Westlife songs and showing the world what it was missing. And to be fair, he is better than the guys in the band, but I must ask again - what's with all the pelvic thrusting.

So, was that the end of the night? Of course not. Right on cue, Gritchka staggered in the door, downed a double gin and tore into New York, New York. The crowd leaped to their feet, sang along, and at the end carried him off in their arms to a heroes party.

Or so I'm told. I was still in the bathroom. Still - a good night was had by all, and I can't wait for the next one. How about next time, we all find a comedy open mike night?


Please note - some events may not have occurred exactly a described above.

I couldn't say no to her.

She had told me to come before, and I felt bad about saying maybe, but now I even had better things to do. I was tired, and I had a party I was going to, and now she wanted me to go skating?? If she hadn't brought the other two girls to my room to “convince me” I probably wouldn't have gone. My friend decided that a brother in need is in need of a brother, so he came along.

I've never skated before, ice or roller. I've skied, but I didn't know if any of the skills would transfer. I was expecting to be the young wobbly newbie I see at ski areas, and I hoped I wouldn’t look like an idiot. The skates felt loose, they didn't fit right, and I could barely stand up on the rubber of the entryway floor, but I wasn’t going to admit defeat just yet.

I took a tentative step onto the ice, and slowly pushed myself off into the white expanse. "This is going to hurt" I told myself silently, and hoped that I wasn’t the only one who would hug the rails that night.

Slowly I skated, pushed off with speed, took to the icy lanes of the oval, and dodged figure skaters, hockey players, and sliding people on chairs. Each step was easier than the last, each lap a simpler experience, to the point I had no large difficulty keeping up with her. Slowly the skills came out, and I found myself at ease on the ice.

You could tell she was ecstatic that I came, and although she could skate better than me, she stayed with me most of the night. She has a boyfriend, and he was just as excited to have me there as she was. I felt like the adopted son, an upperclassman pair with their freshman child, teaching him the ways of the world. If I do as her boyfriend would have me, I would join his frat and he would BE my big brother. She is and will always be my friend.

Last night I wasn’t trying to impress anyone, as my coming impressed them enough. He wants me at as many rush events as he can muster, and I feel that if I want to join the fraternity it is basically my decision. But she has nothing at stake, nothing to gain, no honor won. Just for a friendship.

She was the reason I went.

It's that time of year again. The time that I hate more than almost anything, pledging. Nothing but stress. I'm the Head Educator for my fraternity. I get bombarded by problems with the pledges, the process, what they're learning, what they're not. Everyone in the frat feels so strongly about all this, and they all feel that their opinion matters a lot. Don't get me wrong, their opinions do matter but I'm the one they elected to be in charge. I'm the one elected to lead this process, and I tire of criticism. I tire of their nitpicking. "Why can't it be like this?" "Why can't we do this?" "Why are you doing that?" I thought my brothers had a sense of who I was and how I like to work, and here I am recieving flak about it. People have been saying things they shouldn't say. People have been doing things that they shouldn't do. All this does is make it that much harder on me.

My girlfriend isn't helping the situation either. I've always been one to go with the flow, to just be cool and be happy. She's in a sorority, and she knows that I'm in charge of my frat's process. She knows I'm stressed and yet all she seems to do is bug me. She does the same thing my brothers are doing now, just giving me more shit than I need to deal with. "Why don't you spend time with me anymore?" "I don't think you love me as much anymore." "How come all we do together is sleep and fuck?" I can't spend time with her, I'm busy making sure my fraternity lives on for another year.

I thought she'd know this. I thought she'd be supportive. This is the girl that I love, the girl that I want to marry. And she knows this too. I don't understand why she feels she can't believe these words. I've told them to her a thousand times, if not more. I don't ask for much out of our relationship, although soon I might have to start asking for peace. PMS can only cause so much bitchiness.

Needless to say, I can't wait for pledging to end. I cannot wait to get back into the normal swing of things. I want her to be happy. I want my brothers to be happy. It's like juggling nuclear warheads. It is a delicate balance and rhythm, and if you slip up a little bit, it means certain doom. I don't like walking the tightrope, but for the time being, I see no alternative.

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