Last night I went out caroling with the Oakland Zion Missionary Position Ladies Glee Club. You will realize immediately that I didn’t make that up. They brought me a funny hat to wear: a Santa cap with a two-foot spring on top, surmounted by a fuzzy white pompon. Again, not something I would think of by myself.

We went and sang to some very old people. Many of them sang along. One told us all about his pancreas and spleen. One did a sort of interpretive dance with her arms. It was lovely. One looked down at her lap in her wheelchair the entire time we were with her, but I could see that she was singing along, so I kept singing the next verses till she seemed finished. She looked up at us then and smiled shyly. Some made moaning noises that could have been singing along or could have been what they normally did.

Or they could, I suppose, have been expressing a wish that we’d leave them alone.

We went up and down all the hallways. This is the situation in which you can enjoy songs like “Frosty the Snowman” or “Sleigh Ride.” At one point we started singing “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” but had to stop midway when we discovered that no one knew the tune for the bridge. Another time we were singing “The Christmas Song” (that’s “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”) and along about “turkey and mistletoe” somebody changed keys and we had to sing like Johnny Cash by the end. It was all fairly raucous, but very fun.

Afterwards, we went to a coffee shop near the arts center for Greek pizza and chocolate martinis (some) or tea (me and one of the other ladies). One woman had just come off jury duty for a murder trial. Another had just gotten divorced. A third has a kid who’s just been diagnosed with schizophrenia. Having gotten the serious things off their chests, they moved on to less serious topics.

It was fun and I’m glad they invited me.

The project list on my marker boards has gotten smaller. I finished the encyclopedia entry and turned it in, so it is added to the growing list of things that may be sent back for changes. If everything gets shot back for changes today, it’ll be a very busy day. If not, I think I can knock another couple of projects off the list, or at least move them to the “waiting” category. In fact, if it should happen that the house empties out this afternoon, I may spend the afternoon reading the last of the books I have for review. Or move on to the project I had scheduled for Monday.

The song of the day is “The Christmas Waltz.” That link takes you to a bizarrely transcribed set of lyrics, including Santa’s “slay,” and a midi file. Here are the real words, with guitar chords. This very pretty song is by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne, and was recorded by Frank Sinatra. You can hear it as a jazz instrumental piece here. I think it’s best sung, though, possibly with moody piano and bright red lipstick. If you are female. Otherwise, toy with a martini while you sing it. Or you can take it caroling.