Living My Dream

Saturday night (October 12, 1996) I lived my dream. I became a rock star.

My buddies from Adobe started a band called the Monstertones many years ago, and since the first time I saw them perform I knew I had to be a part of the band.

At a party last November I was standing near Craig (the lead singer) during a band break when an Alanis song came on the radio. I knew this was my chance so I sang it to him.

Eight months later I got an e-mail from Craig. “Wanna sing at a party?” I danced a jig behind my desk before responding with an all-caps “WOO HOO!”

After learning 21 songs in three weeks I felt fairly prepared for the gig. It was Al’s (the drummer) birthday so we were performing at his place. I showed up early for a barbeque beforehand, and then went into his bathroom to transform myself from an average jeans-and-a-T-shirt gal to rock star in a short, tight, polyester, simulated-snakeskin-pattern dress.

The transformation was thorough and amazing.

Before transformation (BT), I was flirted with by two people and had spoken to eight others. I’d been asked to provide “the female opinion” of Mike Cooper’s cologne (Cool Water, clean yet sweet, very nice). After Transformation (AT), those who hadn’t spoken to me BT did, who hadn’t flirted with me BT did, and who had flirted with me BT flaunted themselves shamelessly around me (well, maybe not shamelessly, but M.C. did come up to me during the guitar jam of an Eagles song to put his arm around my waist, inhale the scent of my perfume (Sun Moon Stars) from the nape of my neck and then kissed me below my ear. I pushed him away with an exclamation of “Hey, I’m working here!”).

People perceive and act differently toward you when you’re fronting a band as the girl singer. It was astonishing. Even when the band messed up (Craig’s motto is “we’re not getting paid for this, so let’s have fun” and Al’s is “perfection sucks”) the party members cheered.

I’d only invited three people to my debut, and during the first break I searched for them. I found my buddy John first. He greeted me with a “Wow, where have you been?”

Once I was done (having sung songs that I both knew and didn’t know…) and the guys were well into their Van Halen set I toddled around the party and ended up sitting on a bench in the food room. The 19-year-old at the party sat next to me and then asked if he could close the door. “Don’t worry,” he said. No big deal.

But then I wanted to check my pager so I went into Al’s room. James from Boston was crashed out on the bed and Vince scooted over so I could sit down. I took off my shoes and he gave me a foot rub. Ahhhh, heaven.

Later, Todd (one of the guys who spoke to me BT) and I danced the swing and he ran me through some rigorous paces. I was thankful for the year of social dance I’d taken to fulfill my Phys. Ed. requirement at San Jose State. I mostly managed to follow.

We sat down and he told me how even BT he’d felt drawn to me. He was going to be in town for a couple more days and he invited me to join group in Santa Cruz/Capitola the next day but I begged off. I gave him my number and he said he’d call*.

He walked me to my car and kissed me a few times but on the first kiss he came at me with his tongue which really turned me off so I left him with a cheery “Call me,” knowing he wouldn’t but not minding that much.

Got home at 2:45 a.m. and after a shower and sleep made it to 10:30 church a bit early. The 70-year-old usher caught me yawning as I entered the sanctuary.

“You ought not to stay up so late Saturdays,” he admonished me with a twinkle in his eye.

I stepped in, conspiratorially.

“Do you know what I did last night?” I asked him. “I sang in a rock band.”

His face lit up. “I love that rock’n’roll music,” he said, imitating Chubby Checker in the aisle.

Me too, brother. Me, too.

*He didn’t, but I hadn’t expected him to.

Why I attend Trinity Presbyterian Church

Many people are often surprised when they learn I am a churchgoer. Actually, it isn’t that surprising.

When I was in high school I was very active in the youth group for Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church. I had a terrific youth pastor my last year at LOPC. His name was Tim.

My last semester of senior year was pretty rough. My parents announced their impending divorce and a week after that I got mono.

Yup. It pretty much sucked. But Tim was great. He visited me when I was ill and it really helped to know that he was looking out for me. He was a good friend, as a pastor should be.

I tried to stay in touch with him after I left for college, but shortly thereafter he left LOPC and I didn’t know where he’d gone.

Meanwhile, I searched for a church home in San Jose, but to no avail. None of the congregations were what I was looking for. So I shelved that idea and put God on the back burner.

Until autumn, 1996.

My boyfriend was moving to Seattle on a Sunday morning, and I figured that afterwards I’d need some spiritual support. After seeing him off, I went to Trinity Presbyterian Church, which was just down the street and around the corner from my San Carlos (CA) apartment.

I took a program and seated myself towards the back of the sanctuary. I opened the program to find out who would be giving the sermon.

Imagine my astonishment when it read: Tim Mooney, Associate Interim Pastor.

I joined with the subsequent Newcomer’s class. Now I’m also a youth group adviser for the junior high group.

Anne Lamott says that coincidences are just God working anonymously. I’m inclined to agree.