:: WHY WE BE ::

Boo to false, self-imposed limits, we say. These champion oracles want to live enthusiastically. Follow our trip through projects that challenge, frustrate, and/or scare us. In the end (which is really the middle) we want to live like big bright free and authentically awesome people.

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Monday, January 17, 2011

the yodeling goat sets a date. (patresa)

I'm going to be brief. I think. (I'm kind of crabby and want to go to bed with my book.)

Goal Progress:

1. Practice 10 hours.


2. Practice The Gambler and No One is to Blame until they are fluid and memorized.

Practice, Yes. Fluid, No.

3. Pick a 3rd cover song.

Oh, I don't know. I can't decide. There's a reason I make up my own stuff: I'm not good at playing other people's stuff. The Gambler is cool, but that's for a select audience in a specific mood. I can't just walk in and play that anywhere anytime. This goal makes me want to make a lot of guttural noises and stomp around.

4. Attend an open mic.

Yes, thanks to Super Becky, who managed to prod my butt off the couch at 9:00 p.m. 9:00 p.m. start time! On a school night! Don't they know my sleep schedule? And the first act didn't even go on until 9:30. So I sat there next to Becky--who knew 500 people at the bar--nodding into my beer.

That's a lie. I wasn't nodding into my beer. And Becky didn't know 500 people. Just 3. I was rubbing my sweaty palms on my pants. Just being there and thinking about it made me want to hide. We stayed long enough for 2 people. 2 man people. They were both good. And they both had confidence and didn't seem to actually care any of us were there. I found it intimidating. I feel okay about my voice (although it gets pretty flimsy when I'm all yodeling goat nervous), but I am a really really clumsy guitar player. Really clumsy. Not clean at all. And I have absolutely no clear perspective on whether or not my songs are stupid. Sometimes I play them, and I think, "Hey, look at you! These aren't bad!" And other times I feel riddled with embarrassment that so much corn casserole is in my soul.

I play them for Chris and try to read his reaction. Which isn't really fair. I have never cared whether or not he likes my hair or the clothes I'm wearing. Don't care if he likes something I painted or a poem I wrote. And I have never ever asked him if my butt looks big. But music? That's where I get weak and snively. He knows how uber-sensitive I am about it, how insecure. What's he going to say? Wow, you suck ass, sucker sucka! Of course not. He will point out the things about it that he liked, and then I will infer all the things about it he didn't like (and that the compliments were LIES! all LIES!).

On that note, when it comes to something I feel genuinely insecure about, I have a painfully hard time with compliments. (I cannot think of one single thing that I feel more insecure about than making music in front of Other People. Not one single thing.) If I feel insecure, no matter what you say, I will think you are lying. If I win an award, I will think 99% of the audience watching me win the award is thinking, "I can't believe trash like that won an award." If you compliment me on something very specific ("Oh, I like what you did with that one note there."), I will think you had to work really really hard to find something good to say. It's a no-win situation, really, so most of the time, I wish no one would say anything at all. (And then when you say nothing at all, I will think, "See? They're not saying anything at all! It was so horrible, they probably feel awkward and embarrassed for me!" and I will wish that you would say something.)

Summary: You, as the one tasked with being supportive, are screwed.

5. Scratch out vocals and lyrics to a 4th and naked guitar line I made up a long time ago.

Check! And I like it. It's kind of fun and means nothing. It's about 3 friends at a bar on a Saturday night.

Or is it stupid and worthless? Maybe it's horrible. Ask me tomorrow. Ask me 10 minutes from now. I've already changed my mind.

6. Set a due date. I can't drag this thing out forever. Maybe February?

Thursday, February 3. Lunar New Year. Seems fitting.

I've decided to rip this thing off like a bandaid. I will rip the lid off my soul, strip my psyche naked, fly my freak flag, and several other metaphorical acts that represent vulnerability and possible humiliation. Also, I may barf (not a metaphor).

My goal for the next 14 days is to breathe and not barf and to practice until I suck less.



Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Yes, rip it off like a bandaid! I cannot help but say something therapy like here too. Feelings are so connected to thinking so maybe really REALLY addressing your ERRONEOUS thinking when it comes to your music, you know, like really challenging your negative constructs of self defeating thoughts like "suck it stupid thoughts because I am friggin' good and most of America wouldn't do this in a gagillion years!" ALSO, change it to if you were in front of an audience having just won an aware, it would actually be 99% of those people would be like "HOLY CRAP, she's awesome!" and 1% would be negative self absorbed low self esteem jealous a-holes and thinking "whatever, I could do that (but not really)."

Okay, you rock, and no matter, NO MATTER, I will keep thinking this and YELLING it. Yes P, I will YELL!

Also, I can't believe you've never asked Chris anything about your ass. I don't think I've ever been able to refrain from asking the stupid ass question. Man, you really are awesome. Rock on ass lady.

Much love sister. Can't wait to visit. Let's karaoke.

Tanner May (Tanya) said...

Make that "award" not aware, but you're probably aware of what I meant. I should proof before I hit "publish" more often.


Wendy said...

P, I'm proud of you for setting a date! That is super rad. You're gonna rock their socks.
You know, in a way, your compliment-skepticism is a good thing. Because even the best compliments are fleeting and leave you even more insecure in the long run. It's good not to let your opinion about yourself hinge on the words of others.

You may struggle with this in terms of music (which is tough for anyone, becuz music will always be SUCH a subjective thing -- nobody, not Jason Mraz, not Alanis, can ever KNOW they are awesome unless they've decided that for themselves... the collective world will never confirm this)... but in other ways, you are able to carry your confidence within yourself. This is one of your greatest strengths - Not asking Chris about if your butt is looking large? That's impressive. That's proof. I'm certainly not there.

So go on with your badass self and show 'em who's boss. Have a drink or 2, or 3.. and remember that this isn't a contest. Have fun and sing your ever-lovin, rootin'-tootin' heart out!

amy said...

Feb. 3! I bet Feb. 3 is a very auspicious, fantastic date for band-aid ripping off.

And I will continue to compliment you regardless of knowing you think I'm lying. Because Melissa seems to like your music (or "Treesa teekee guitar songs" as she would say), and 2 year olds are mentally incapable of lying. I'm pretty sure I read that in my Psych 101 and Childhood Development books in college.

I really wish I wasn't a tired mother and teacher and could go hang out at open mics on school nights. We have a Mexican restaurant here called La Frontera, and they hire a solo guitarist who comes in and sings lots and lots of cover songs. Whenever I've been at La Frontera and the soloist is playing, I always feel so renewed, and...artsy?

You have a good voice, goat girl, and I'm both jealous and in awe of your musical gifts, so barf all you want--I continue to support you. Goooo P!

Katie said...

You know, I wish I was half as wise as the fine ladies who have already spoken. Because they have nicely covered everything I was composing in my head as I read. Well done ladies!

I'm gonna quote another wise woman and say, the only way out is through, Sugar. And the best part is once you're through and mingling with your super supportive friends and husband you might think "ha. Didn't have a heart attack. Didn't get booed off stage. Didn't have things thrown at me. Survived." and when you are insecure about something like this, it FEELS like life and death. This Moment Defines Part Of Me. So of course you want it to be good and rockin out with clever guitar fingers and no warbly goat noises. You are gonna be great. It will be scary as shit until you realize you are actually DOING IT, you're PLAYING it, and fingers are going where they're supposed to and voice is smooth like musical water! Holy crap, I'm DOING it!!! And then it will be over in a blink.

So rip the bandaid and count the hairs that come off with it because they are trophy hairs.

That was weird. I mean to say, you're awesome, and you will be brave and acoustically gifted when the time comes. I know it. And I know your friends and husband will be recklessly supportive despite their screwed status. Because as you once said to me "this is the juice. This is the good stuff."

Juice it up baby!!

T-Free said...

I thought I was the only one who sulked off to bed early with a book when I'm feeling grumpilicious. My husband can always tell that I need some alone time when I retire to the bed with a book before 7 p.m. :)

Open mic nights are interesting. I am also fascinated by people who can just march up there alone and sing/play without inhibition. I can get onstage with a band, but alone, notsomuch. It's my guitar playing insecurity. Wrapped all snuggly-buggly in the safe, warm blanket of my band, nobody really noticed a botched note, or the fact that I can't SHRED on the git. But all alone... gulp. I forced myself to do a few acoustic gigs before I left Lawrence for Los Angeles, because I decided it was silly of me to be so scared (I'm sure this sounds familiar), but my knees were knocking every time. BUT... nobody booed me of the stage. I did it. They will clap for you and be nice. You can DO it, P! I also highly recommend that you start practicing with a beer or two in you, in the name of state-dependent learning. :)

No barfing allowed. No barfing!

It will be a Happy Lunar New Year! It will! You will ROCK. xoxoxoxoxoxo.

patresa said...

you know what? these comments have been genuinely inspiring and empowering and encouraging. thank you. thank you very much. sincerely. i've felt kind of bold and buoyant all day.

Steph said...

P, you rock my world. I DO NOT mean to be condescending here, but I am so friggin' proud of you right now! I am. I'm proud of you. You have done the work. You set a goal. You have practiced and written and played and enjoyed yourself. You set a date, and barfing or no barfing, you will do this thing. You will kick fear's ass.
I tried to copy & paste most of Katie's post, because I really don't think it could be said any better. And she's about 100000% right - all the way. So, best I got is this: WHAT KATIE SAID.
So wish I could be there on Feb. 3... so wish it. And so proud of ya, P-Diddy. Attachick!

blj said...

As you should, P! I'm so impressed that you've set a date and are going for it! And ditto to what everyone already said. As far as compliments go, I get where you're coming from, but as someone once said to me, no one's blowing smoke up your ass. I absolutely can't wait for Feb 3, not only so I can witness you boldly achieving your goal, but also to be thoroughly entertained by a talented musician and songwriter. Yay, you!!