These pictures were taken a few weeks ago, about mid-March I'd say, but the weather this weekend so perfectly matched that of the day in the pictures that I wanted to be sure to post them before we truly began the summer season in San Francisco and these got lost in the shuffle. Let me back up. First, you should know, I have pretty severe stage fright. I used to take piano lessons in my younger years, and now matter how much I practiced, I always dreaded the twice-yearly recitals. In middle school when I incorporated singing lessons into the mix (I was a spoiled child, alright?), my fear increased three-fold. This wasn't aided by the fact that during one of the recitals I straight up forgot the words to the song I was supposed to be singing ("Impossible" from Rogers & Hammerstein's Cinderella.) Hello, that IS the fear about stage fright - messing up and looking like a doof! Clearly I have survived, but at the time, it sucked. So anyway, I have stage fright. Seeing as, in my adult twenty-something years, I don't have much cause to be on stage unless I so choose, this has turned more into people-fright. Not to an absurd level but it is still something in the back of my mind. Regardless of this mini-fear, I have always wanted to get better at playing the guitar. I'd heard the ukulele was not only a trendy plinky intrument but also helps you learn the proper chord and finger technique for playing guitar - incorporate the fun little noises you can make alongside, and I was sold!
My friend Lisa already had a ukulele and said she would help me pick one out. She convinced me to just take the plunge - it's fun, it's not so difficult to learn, and once again, it's fun. What is there to lose? Maybe a little plinky dignity, but no one really cares so much about that. So one beautiful sunny day (almost two months ago, shhh) she and I went to Haight Ashbury Music Center and I bought myself a uke. Why yes, I had just gotten my hair done the day before - so sweet of you to notice!
After we put down the cold hard cash, we got coffee to go and strolled (it probably was more a stroll than a walk, I'm not just being overly descriptive - we were carrying many things) over to the Panhandle area of Golden Gate Park and found ourselves a slightly secluded spot that I felt was appropriate for my learning curve. I got a tenor (I think?) ukulele because it's a little larger in size and has a slightly deeper sound than the stereotypical uke. I have strangely small hands for my size but my fingers individually are a little pudgy (it's fine, I've accepted that this is my lot in life) so it helped to have a bigger uke for my finger placement. Lisa, of course, looked super adorable and relaxed while we tried to figure out the chords for "Ho Hey" by The Lumineers. We were somewhat successful! And only a few people looked over at us. At a certain point it wouldn't have mattered though, which was nice... sometimes you just have to put yourself out there and not care so damn much about strangers. I mean sure, family, friends, be wary of their judgment at all costs - people I don't even know? Who cares! C'est la vie! Laissez-faire! Etc etc you get the picture. I have since tried to perfect "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" by Whitney Houston (including doing a self-recorded video which will never see the light of day) and "Wide Awake" by Katy Perry. I may try to go back to more traditional songs before I get too far ahead of myself here.
Regardless of whether I ever sound concert-ready or not, it was a great day. And it never hurts to be able to pick up your uke and plink a few chords now and then! Regardless of how faux-hipster it makes you look. Especially with those Ray Ban sunglasses I love. Hell, I should just go all the way with this hipster thing - watch out world, I've already got skinny jeans, the shades, and a uke. Maybe my next goal will be mastering the banjo...
Welcome to my vision of summertime: iced coffee, friends, and a string instrument in the park.