Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category

In Good Health

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Greetings and Salutations,

I went to get checked out the other morning for my annual breast exam. I couldn’t procrastinate any longer by my records and I’m pretty vigilant about these things. Besides, I’ve heard the horror stories and dare not take a chance. I scheduled my appointment for 8am in the morning so I could be first in and first out. My FIFO strategy seemed to work. I was out of there in an hour including in-take.

I was really dreading going this time. It’s usually fairly routine for me but the facility where I usually go closed or was merged into another nearby facility. The gist of it all is that the new place was undergoing re-construction and the whole place was a construction zone. It’s a wonder that they were allowed to remain open. I must say that I was concerned, but I really didn’t want to go elsewhere. The same doctors from the old place had moved over into the new place and it’s important to keep the same set up, if at all possible, for consistency sake.

I arrived at the place with doubt on my mind. I walked into the facility and there was no one is sight. The room was dark and yet I could here voices in the back. I pulled out my cell phone and called the facility while on the premises. The nurse came out to get me and walked me around this construction maze. I said to myself. Self, you must be mad for doing this in this space, but still I persisted.

Finally, I arrived in a well lit reception area with other patients. Drats, I wasn’t first but I got called in right away. The bathroom experience was dreadful but they were quick to remedy the situation. Needless to say, I didn’t do any tipping. And off in the distance I heard a raspy voice of a woman who called me in to get squeezed.

I followed this woman into the examining room and she gave me instructions. The sound of Regis blared on a dusty old radio in the corner of the room. I asked, what is that noise. She looks at me and kept fiddling with the machines. It was a whole 5 minutes before she introduced herself to me, but that was cool.

She went about about her work with the utmost confidence and ease. In order to make myself comfortable, I decided to strike up a conversation and introduced myself. She apologized and told me her name was Doris. I learned that Doris was in her 60s and had been fiddling with mammaries for 40 years. My comfort level went from nervousness to extreme calm. Fear not because Doris was in charge and she handled those controls as if she were a captain of a ship. Aye Captain.

I felt safe with Doris because she knew what she was doing. She made me feel comfortable. I was in and out of there in a flash. Holy compression! It’s all about compression……so sayeth the journal article on the wall. Compression has been her life, but I managed to get her to smile even if she seemed at the surface somewhat grumpy. Doris was cool in my book.

I smiled and said, you’re the best. And I sped off in my car with a thought of coming back next year. Can you believe that? Construction be damned. As long as Doris is there, I’ll be back next year and the year after. Now I get to go play poker in Boca Raton in August in association with a live auction for cancer prevention. More on that story later.

Stage Fright

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Stage Fright or ‘Fright Night’ as it sometimes feels like is something that I deal with constantly. It’s this little private war that goes on in my brain. The little grey cells deceive me. It’s similar to the nervousness that I get when flying in a plane but that’s whole separate conversation. It’s the fear of failure and/or high expectations. Somehow I manage to pull it all together, naked feelings and all.

When I’m on stage there are funny feelings in my stomach and I feel like one of those drones from George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. It lasts for about 10 seconds than it goes away. During those 10 seconds all hell breaks loose in my head. Am I going to forget the lyrics? Am I going to stumble and fall over my own feet? Will I stutter? What if they don’t like me? Will I be able to open my mouth? And it lasts for just 10 seconds. I wrote a song about it. It’s called Dark Caverns.

But alas, I take my brain out of the deep freeze and do the job that I was called to do at that critical moment. I stand tall…… okay not so tall, and deliver. When I am in my element, which is when I am singing I am totally connected because I am doing what I truly enjoy the most. La Voz (the voice) takes over and the spirit of the moment is seized.

Those 10 seconds of fear are inevitable and so my goal is always how can I be totally prepared so I don’t have it to think or worry about my performance. For me that usually translates into practice, practice, practice. I can practice like a demon on steroids. No, I don’t do or condone the use of steroids but I do believe in drinking locally roasted coffee and it has to be the very best. Perhaps its part of the problem but I support my local Roasteria.

The other aspect of Stage Fright is wondering who is going to bother to come out and see me any way. It’s a Catch 22 situation. Besides, with the price of gas inching up to $5 a gallon, it’s a wonder we can all afford to go anywhere let alone to a concert. In fact, there is correlation between increased gas prices and my Stage Fright.

You see, it goes like this. If Congress had better reigns over the U.S. oil barons, speculators and better solutions to long term sustainable and cleaner energy, we would be less co-dependent upon non U.S. resources.

Taking it a step further, if our government provided incentives for businesses to build an infrastructure for a green economy, legislation that spawned new manufacturing here in the U.S, permanent tax incentives for consumers who go green, it would create new jobs and ‘fuel’ the economy. People would have new job opportunities and our dependency on oil would be reduced U.S. auto manufacturers would have fewer lay offs. We would shift significantly to cleaner energy sources that were safe for the environment. Al Gore could then go play golf on the green.

Finally, people would have more disposable income and perhaps more leisure time and could afford to come see me perform. The awareness of a potential increase in audience attendance would ease my fears, thus reducing my sense of Stage Fright. So if I procrastinate, know that it is done in absolute protest or our staggering economy…..yeah!

You see, it all makes cents now. Don’t you think?