Email I just received

“Crystal,
My name is doug. I wrote you a few years ago about your house of the rising sun song you did. I told you that I would like to play guitar in a smokey bar while you sing it. And you put my email on your website with a nice comment. Recently, I was helping a friend of mine to learn guitar. I played her your version of house of the rising sun on my computer and she loves it! She says it motivated her to take songs and play them her own way and to be creative. See- you are still helping people in positive ways! I was wondering what you were up to, if you were still doing songs. I clicked on your link and it told me to write you at this address. Anyways, hope all is good. Send me your new website if you can.
Take care,
Doug in Chandler, AZ

Always nice to hear from people who like when I play music.

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Dream: Fear in my music

I like to write out my dreams in my journal just to go back and read later and figure out, so feel free to ignore them. This particular dream had me wake up in tears enough that I felt compelled to write about it immediately.

I don’t exactly recall how this started out, but I was convinced to go try out playing my music for some folks at a label that could help me create my album. There were a couple folks from high school there that I hadn’t seen in forever (and have no clue why they even showed up in the dream), and a few other people locally that I knew.

A lot of young girls were performing. It was very close-knit, almost like you’d picture someone’s basement lounge. They had a few amateur pieces of recording equipment there just to record all musical demonstrations for filing. Some of them sounded really beautiful, others very teeny-boppy. I was able to listen in on them and though, “Hey, maybe I’ll have a chance.”

I was very nervous though, almost like I was being judged right out the door. I’m no sure if it’s because I had my guitar with me or what, which seems like it’d be an odd reason, but there you go.

I decided to play my version of Folsom Prison by Johnny Cash because 1. He’s one of my favorite artists and 2. I thought I sounded good playing it. Immediately after I was told that it wasn’t the type of music they were looking for and that they were sorry.

I protested mainly under the pretense that they didn’t ask for a particular kind of music, I just played something I enjoyed playing and that I’ve played all types of music before. Oddly enough, after some convincing I was allowed another shot but in front of this whole “council” of judges and/or artists and/or people who have been in the “biz” a long time. Also oddly enough my old best-friend from middle school Nikki and Gwen Stefani were on the panel *boggle*.

Anyway, to sorta fit in with what I had heard earlier from girls that -did- get accepted, I completely made up a song on the fly (which I can’t do very well, btw) that went with that genre, which I think turned out really well (figures I can’t remember it now that I’ve woken up).

They each went around one by one and gave a yes or no, and their reasonings behind it. A few gave yes’s, but most seemed hesitant. The rest gave solid no’s, that I just didn’t have anything unique or any spark to offer. Which while I held my composure and thanked them all for their time and packed up my guitar to leave, was quite devastating.

As I was leaving, I woke up :P

I don’t quite have an explanation for the dream, obviously it’s a fear of rejection or for being subpar or just plain jane. I think that’s a big issue with me, that I really -don’t- have anything unique or interesting to offer. But even moreso is not having someone willing to give me a chance.

Like with my html/css work, I never had any college training for that crap, it was all self-taught, same with my music. I never thought for a second that anyone would give me a chance to prove myself, and for a lot of years no one did. But finally my current job let me jump in head first and I’m guessing they are okay with it so far since I’ve been there 3 years (even if time constraints make me feel like I am plateauing atm).

Granted I know more html/css than I do guitar :D

Either way, it’s a constant struggle to climb a ladder when you feel like you’re never given the skills and opportunities as other people, instead you have to do everything yourself. But honestly I sorta like it that way, having to work harder to get what I want, because I think it grows integrity, and I like the experience.

I blame watching the first half of “Ray” last night on this.

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Annual Review and Work Jamboree

Today was my annual review at work. It went well and I got a raise, but for some reason I get ridiculously nervous before these things. Fear of losing my job I think. People keep telling me that I shouldn’t be worried about that, but I look at all the responsibilities I have now and the thought of being unemployed just scares me to death. It’s a crappy pessimistic attitude, and I’m quite aware of that. If I were just supporting myself, I wouldn’t be so worried. But because I’m taking care of my father, my emotions are so strongly attached to anything that has to do with me being the supporter.

I guess to try and put it into perspective, here is a guy who for 40 years has worked a blue-collar job, had so many people screw him over financially (especially my mother), all because he’s just a nice guy. That’s all. I feel the need to protect him because -he- feels like he’s let me down as a father because he’s on disability, couldn’t afford to send me to school, and now has to ask me for an allowance.

I can only imagine how he feels. I’m certain he feels blessed to have a daughter so determined to take care of him, but at the same time I know he feels ashamed at himself. If he didn’t have me he wouldn’t have anything. He wouldn’t have his animals, he wouldn’t have anyone relying on him, he’d just be the third wheel.

My passion is to make sure that my father never feels stupid, unneeded, alone, scared, or abandoned. And I’d cut off my right arm to make sure he never did.

I actually got into this conversation with someone not too long ago when I told them I’d never put my father in a nursing home. Even if I had to stay home and take care of him while my “supposed” future husband worked. They argued that it would be too much for me and would burn me out, drive me nuts whatever. But I honestly don’t think it would. I don’t think I would personally allow myself to have a choice.

I just respect this man above all else, even myself. If I had to put my roles as a person in order (as in, spiritual leader, co-worker, daughter, pagan, woman, mother, sister, etc), daughter would be at the top of that list always. The world is a better place because -he- is in it.

So. When someone asks me……why do you upset yourself so much and worry about losing your job so much, that’s why. All of that is what rushes through my brain anytime it’s brought up. It’s not all the time, I don’t really think about it because I’m always focusing on the task at hand. I just want my dad to feel secure and to be proud of me.

Another thing I want to work on is diversifying my “skillset” as far as my job is concerned. Expanding into jquery, javascript, php, and a few other things. I think if I felt more comfortable with those that I’d feel more comfortable at my job.

In other news, work had their annual jamboree tonight, and my father went with me. I think he was tickled to see me up there playing and singing music with folks on a microphone. My fingers are blistered but I had a really good time. Another thing I want to do is to learn to read music. I still never have and I can’t keep putting it off as something I’m gonna do eventually.

My boss told me that if I ever do a duet with someone that he absolutely wants to be up there playing with us. I thought that was kinda cool. He said I should start playing music around locally, just for fun. But not to expect to make a lot of money doing it. I don’t really want to make a lot of money doing it, nor do I want to be on some big record label. I just want to play my own music, and have people that enjoy listening to it.

When I’m up there singing and my eyes are closed (usually to remember the words) I ignore everything around me and all the people listening in. It’s a pretty magical feeling to shut out the world and just enjoy the music. That’s what I’d like to do.

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