123Valerie Strikes Again

Unprecedented Self-Indulgence.

Friday, May 22, 2009

'Shroom in My Heart

I signed up for a mushroom hunt/hiking extravaganza for Sunday! Sunday! Sunday!

I am all sorts of excited. It's a six-hour trek around Cleveland's nature bits, and at the end, we get to come back to the local nature center and cook up our catches. Tres exciting.

Our 'shroom leader, Nate, said we're going to be looking primarily for morels, which is funny because I will also be trying to locate my morals this weekend. See I've met someone, and it's likely there will be some making out of the teenage variety in my near future. Don't want to jinx anything, but I will relay all of my wild adventures later.

In the Comments section, tell me what wild things you're getting into this weekend.

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Busk a Move

So, I've been writing songs and playing my geetar for nearly 10 years now, and you'd think it would get easier to play in front of people, but it really, really hasn't. I mean, not for nothing, I'm a minimalist guitar player, but I sing pretty well and I like writing my little story-songs, though I have a hard time putting myself out there, as the kids say.

My dear Adelka Ann has told me that it's selfish of me not to share because my voice uplifts people. Megan Jane has graciously assumed the role of publicity manager, extolling my talents from coast to coast. Kirstin said I am every bit as good as Jessica Lea Mayfield, which I still think is a bit of a hyperbole, but the thought of that made me feel squishy inside.

In short, every single one of my fambly members and friends has stood behind me in support.

And still, I get knock-kneed and freaked out at the thought of playing music in front of people. It's not that I don't think I'm talented; it's that I get worried that other people won't think I'm talented and they'll walk away shaking their heads going, "What a hack. Poor thing actually thinks she sounds good."

I know, I KNOW -- I don't understand me, either.

So, this weekend, I decided enough was enough. I packed up my ax, yanked myself by the collar and headed to downtown Cleveland. I parked my guitar case about a block away from Jacob's Field (I'll never call it Progressive Field. NEVER!) and … just played. In front of strangers. Like they do in the movies.

So random.

There's an actual name for it: busking. To busk is to do street performances, generally music, but I've seen buskers who did back flips and puppet shows, so I think there's a lot of room for interpretation.

Even though the Indians lost, people were still so nice. And they stopped to listen and nod and give me compliments and drop monies in my case. I started to realize that I was getting paid to 1) conquer my fear and 2) practice. Yawesome!

I got $22 in a little more than an hour.

But, I still felt dumb the entire time. And awkward. And worried about what people were thinking of me. Those are the things I'm working to overcome.

So, I am going to keep taking to the street stage until I do, until I haven't an ounce of fear left, until I feel confident walking into a coffee shop or tavern or farmer's market and saying, "Hey, I'd like to play music here."

Because, seriously, who wants to work in financial publishing forever?

In the Comments section, tell me what you are afraid of. I am obviously not afraid of sentences that end with a prepositional phrase.

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