PERFORMING IN MY LIFE

My friends have told me that they find my humorous writing enjoyable. That makes sense. Does anyone really care about my tears and the losses in my life?

I’m guessing that many people have experienced loss, and they don’t need to read about mine!

Therefore, I am going to heed their advice.

Below is a sign I made for my older son two years ago. I laminated it and had it hung near his bed. It is self-explanatory.

He ignores my sign!

A month ago, my nineteen-year-old son asked me to clean one of his retainers. He mentioned that our puppy had gotten a hold of it. While I was cleaning the retainer with a toothbrush, I forgot there were two of them. One of them went down the drain. I didn’t know that, or I wouldn’t have run the disposal. Rosa pulled the mangled wreckage out to show me the next day. The bill for a new one came to $200.

I am so happy – does it show? By the way, this “kid” doesn’t listen to me either!

Why, oh why, did I add this puppy to my list of caregiving responsibilities? He is giving me so much extra work, and now I have so many new things to ignore!

Ignoring has become my new coping mechanism!

Things I try to ignore:

stomach pains

bedtime

my crooked glasses that keep falling off

my dad’s stuff cluttering my living room

my mother’s phone messages where she sounds so worried

the laundry never being put away in the right closet

my kids asking for food

my filthy car

those god-awful noises my car makes

bills, bills, and more bills

any negative emails

Related to pets; I try to ignore:

tufts of cat hair everywhere

poops that are not in main traffic areas (otherwise, I know they’ll be stepped on)

torn up couches and carpet due to cats

cats making those horrible sounds before. . .

cat vomit

my parrot screeching – interpreted as, “PLEASE JUDY, I WANT TO TAKE A SHOWER WITH YOU TODAY!”

I try to ignore when our cats sit on my artwork. Recently, I’ve noticed that losing my smell acuity has a distinct advantage. There definitely is a silver lining to aging, after all!

The other day, Killer was once again eating something he wasn’t supposed to. I didn’t want to know what it was – it was something extremely unpleasant.

A moment later my husband came into my studio. He said, “Killer is eating the cat poops! We need a table to lift the cat litter box up off the ground. Can you pick one up?”

So now I have to go buy a table for our litter box! Oh my god, did you see the picture where Killer kissed me – how could I stand it, knowing what he’s eaten?

The magic of Photoshop – I erased all the poops! Either that, or Killer ate them.

“My life’s accompaniment”

Since last Saturday and my recording session with George, I’ve been bouncing through my days in musical ecstasy. Despite this, I must confess some doubting has crept in. I love my tunes, but still dislike my recorded voice. I’ve received both positive and negative reactions to my recordings. I guess I’m still “tender hearted,” so criticism does hurt.

Rosa said, “There’s a lady that works at Goodwill and she has an amazing voice. Why don’t I find out if she could sing for you?”

I am grinning as I acknowledge how refreshing it must be for people to know I had the courage to put my singing out on the Internet for anyone to hear!

Why not? I am definitely having a good time, and my time has finally come!

I’ve spent the last few days scanning old, art jobs to prepare for new posts on my art blog. My art blog is now linked to my illustration website – thank god, there is still some professionalism left within me.

I can’t imagine any art director hiring me after hearing me sing!

Most of the time, I am bopping around with earbuds, singing silently in my brain. My children hate seeing me with earbuds, by the way. Now my daughter knows how I feel about her text messaging all the time we’re together!

I’m hoping no one notices me when I’m singing loudly in my car.

KULAK’S WOODSHED – The decorator shopped at a head shop.

I have now performed in two venues. Both were “open mic” format, meaning I had the opportunity to get up and play one song.

Before I performed at Kulak’s Woodshed in North Hollywood, I wished I owned a glamorous outfit for my performance. However, once I was at Kulak’s it looked like it wasn’t important. I could easily fit in if I did any one of these things:

Performed barefoot.

Grew my hair three more feet, at the very least.

Brought a dog along.

This lady’s hair is amazingly long!

Another example of amazing hair at Kulak’s!

I was not too old!

“Woodstock alumni” surrounded me! What a cool venue this was. Sitting on a couch watching the other performers was so comfortable; it was fantastic. I had to be careful though. Since this was a live, webcast, I could not allow myself to be seen dozing off.

I apologize to anyone performing if my eyes were closed. Because it is new for me to stay up so late all the time now, sometimes it actually does “hit me” that I’m exhausted!

My poor husband was not able to watch me. He was reassigned on his job to a new location; he must now wake up at 4 a.m. every day for work. I was careful not to wake him up when I got home.

I left my childhood friend, Steve, a message that I was going to perform. I wondered if he could record the webcast. He wasn’t able to. He turned on the show after I’d performed. He sent me a text message that said, “I see you on the left side of the room and you’re wearing a yellow top.”

That’s how I knew I couldn’t doze!

There were actually some excellent performers at Kulak’s.

I was the third one on. I was told I was lucky to play, because usually fifty people show up and only 35 can play. Because of Memorial Day it was a smaller group.

I really don’t know how to describe my performance. I’ve realized that singing a song for me is like playing tennis. In tennis I start out pretty tentatively. By the end of the first set, I’m usually warmed up and playing better than when I started.

Well, that’s what happens when I’m singing! I start out soft and pitchy; I can hear it. Within a few lines, however, I begin to find my energy. I become totally focused as I play, and then I simply enjoy myself. I am aware that I am never going to be a great singer (Peaches don’t kill me for saying that).

However, I have so much pleasure expressing myself through my music and lyrics!

I was going to sing “You Are My Wings,” because I’ve really enjoyed the upbeat feeling of that particular song.

However, I decided to play “Beside Me Always.” Because performers need to go “swiftly,” talking is discouraged. I only introduced myself, mentioned my song’s name, and then I said, “This is for Jason.”

Performing my song was extremely meaningful. I played it the same way I always do in my bathroom. At times, I closed my eyes. I’m planning to take a “performance workshop” held at Kulak’s on Sunday to help me improve. The other performers seem to understand microphones a whole lot better.

When I was finished, I collapsed back onto the couch with relief. The friendly man I had chatted with earlier didn’t say one word to me. I wondered, was I that bad?

However, while I was putting my guitar away a young woman came over to me. She complimented me. I shared with her that I haven’t performed or played for thirty years, and she was very touched.

My performance was videotaped; for $20, I’ll receive a DVD next Monday.

I am going to perform again at Kulak’s next Monday. I’m planning to do my upbeat song next time!

The address for the show is under “webcast” on their site at:

http://kulakswoodshed.com/

If the DVD of my performance doesn’t cause me to cringe too much, I might share it. Stay tuned!

© Judy Unger and http://www.myjourneysinsight.com 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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