Five year anniversary

Today marks my five year mark at I've never done anything for that long in my entire life, other than grade school. Unbelievable, especially if you'd asked me if I'd still be there when I joined in 1997. Amazon will always be indelibly twined in my memory with my late twenties.
To commemorate the occasion, the creators of Sex in the City were kind enough to insert in tonight's episode. Charlotte is too embarrassed to purchase a self-help book in a bookstore so she heads home and orders it online from Amazon, only to have Amazon recommend a whole series of other embarrassing self-help titles.

I bet they kick ass at karaoke

Last week I saw two hot young singers live. Tuesday my parents stopped through for a surprise visit from Vancouver where they'd just completed an Alaskan cruise. We caught Jane Monheit at Jazz Alley. After hearing her live, I can safely say I'll never listen to her ">on a CD again, because a CD doesn't come anywhere close to doing her voice justice.
Monheit's a towering presence, both literally and musically. She's extremely tall, at least six feet tall in heels. Her voice is amazing live: full, rich, and commanding. The digital sampling of a CD sucks the life out of it. She has the voice of a veteran diva but the stage presence of, well, a happy go-lucky 23 year old girl. She giggles a lot between sets and is clearly one of those girls who loved performing as a child in talent shows or family gatherings. She's completely at ease in front of a large crowd and didn't seem nervous in the least. She just went for it on every song, accompanied by a three piece band (sax, drums, bass) and blew us all away.
In contrast, Norah Jones is extremely shy on stage. I saw her Friday at the Moore theater, where she performed all the songs from her CD and a few others, including one by AC/DC! Norah's sweet and smoky voice belies her shy personality. She smiled and nodded her head in mock celebration once when some guy shouted, "I love you Norah!" Cute. But otherwise, she just introduced each song and got to work, alternating between a grand piano and an electric keyboard.
Fabulous voice, and snazzy jazzy pacing on her piano playing. I'd like to see her again in a few years, after she's gained more confidence on stage and feels more comfortable interacting with the audience. Once she realizes how talented she is and lets loose a bit, she'll be even more popular a performer than she is now, which is saying a lot considering her show in Seattle sold out on the first day, and considering she's on pace to sell a million copies of her debut album.
Inspiring stuff.