Tuesday, May 03, 2005

thoughts from the left

so i just got back from my vacation to the left, or west, coast. it was phenomenal. actually life changing. but then again i'm starting to come to terms with the idea that i think every moment is life changing (i know not a MAJOR discovery but for me a big deal). and i have been wondering how my experience in san francisco and LA have changed my perception. first of all, it was SO GREAT to get away for a while, see something new. it did tug at my dormant wanderlust and i was almost overwhelmed with a sense that i should move to san francisco - a city and a scene that i just fell in love with- but i realized that NYC needs me and me it. it fuels me and i need to stay. plus, i'm bad at commitment and if i can't stay in one city for more than 2 years well, how can i make a life for myself? it's like i'm training for the commitment olympics - if i can stick with one apartment and one city for a long while, then maybe someday i can keep a relationship going, right? right?! as it is, i'm getting out of the job i've had for almost 2 years now to move on to something else. but that's not commitment-phobia, its just good sense...but man, am i offtrack, california, right right. okay, so it changed me. it did help with the job decision actually. reminded me of the kind of life i want to be living. and i can live it anywhere, i just need to get a job that will allow for some downtime and for a lack of stress. and while the idea that being able to tool around on the internet all day is slightly satisfying, its not the "downtime" i need or am talking about. also i am not a morning person. so, god, get back on track: california. so i flew into SF on Saturday and got there about 7:30pm. i called luckydave's friend, charlie when i got in and he was like "well hey, what are you doing right now, lets do something!" so by 11:30pm, i was performing standup at the mock cafe in the area of sf called the mission. later on, we went back to charlie's and i hung with him, his roommate sam, and a comic i had met and who had gotten me the slot at the mock cafe, justin scales (or the scalesman, as he refers to himself in the third person). we hung out, smoked, drank, laughed - it was a good time. and then charlie (so nice) walked me home to my hotel (a practice that would continue throughout my stay). on the way there, we were stopped by a homeless man who attempted to woo us with a song "san francisco is the place to be/i like white folks and they like me." quality. the next day, i spent a low key and low cost day out sightseeing. and then i went to north beach to a music and poetry show hosted by charlie. it was on columbus at this coffee shop called Melt. it was a gorgeous day. the sun was shining, the guitar players were great and charlie's poems were topnotch. i was a little put off by the lack of respect that the patrons had for the performers but charlie was understanding, telling me it was okay and the nature of the space. near the end of the show and the afternoon, i went outside and sat in the sun. i watched the show through the open window outside. it was gorgeous. while outside, i met jane69, a poet who is planning a trip to NYC in july and will undoubtedly come visit the artstar scene. i also met monet, a lovely girl who calls herself a conceptual photographer and who is looking for places to show her work - again i told her to come here to NYC. such a great day. after the show, we all went together to the SFBC, the san francisco brewing company for a couple of pitchers of beer. but before we went that way, sam brought me to the park with a couple of his friends and we smoked and chatted. again, so beautiful. and i met a really fun girl named Ayoka (sp?). she was really great - a kindred spirit. i hope to cross paths with her again. according to sam, she is a brilliant singer. at the sfbc, i sat with this huge crowd of people. it was my insta-crowd courtesy of charlie and his intense hospitality. i met chad, another of charlie's roommates and a fellow portugue - we tossed around the idea that we might be related but i don't think so (hope not, he's hott). it was such fun having this crowd of people to hang out with not 24 hours after i had entered the city for the first time. i loved it. so after the park and then the sfbc, the crowd split into two: the ones who continued on to drink some more (mind you, at this point, its like 6pm and we're all pretty drunk) and those who went back to sam and charlie's apt to smoke. i chose to go with sam back to the apt. it was me, sam, ayoka and this guy who calls himself, the potholder. it was a good time, sitting, we turned the TV on mute and sam played us some guitar. it was nice. his guitar has 12 strings - uberimpressive. then, i realized something flirty was happening with sam. we had been chatting throughout the day and i enjoyed his company quite a bit. he is easy to talk to and, unsurprisingly totally my type, but i just thought he was being nice. it just didn't occur to me to do anything until it was blatantly obvious that something was, in fact, going on. and i was interested so i bit. and we had a good good time. yes we did. in the end, i think i fucked it up by being too blase about the whole thing, talking about how i was glad i got laid in SF and how i hoped to get laid in LA but you know, defense mechanism, hello? plus, if i'm good at anything, its putting the kabosh on anything good that might happen to me - i'm GREAT at that. anyway... the next day i spent wandering again and then i had a set at club deluxe at haight and ashbury. i was all proud of myself for getting there on my own on the bus and also for being lucky enough to get what seemed to be a pretty quality gig. i went up first and the audience were nodding and smiling at that point, no actual out loud responses. the other comics told me after, "they weren't ready," "great material," "sorry you had to be first." but no worries - i was just glad to perform. i mean, i performed in california. i was on my US tour - who CARES what happened with each set - i ROCK! ha. and jane69 came to see me perform, which was really nice of her, after the show, i went back to charlie's apt and while charlie and chad were playing the xbox that chad had won the day before, sam and i sat in the kitchen drinking tea, smoking and talking. good times. it was a shame i was leaving the following day. but i did. my trip continued. after a bit of early morning consternation and a phone call from jessica delfino asking me if i would be meeting chittychattygangbang for our tuesday writing meeting ("uh, well, no, i'm in California right now"), i got a rental car and began my road trip to LA. it was a BEAUTIFUL drive. through the mountains and by the pacific ocean, i enjoyed it so much. and i love driving. so it was a great day. i got to LA and megan met me as i returned the car and we went back to her apartment. she lives in this gorgeous house that has been broken into 4 apartments. her front porch has a great view of the city and she has a big backyard where her dog, Ismene, plays often. that night, we decided to go out to this club where she knew a couple guys who were spinning. we got there and there were like 6 people in the whole place. but we made it fun. i talked to everybody and a couple guys asked me for my number but meh. the next day i spent wandering megan's neighborhood - i went down by some thrift stores and sat at this cafe to have a lunch of chips and salsa and read an article in the LA Alternative Press entitled "The Death of Cool." LA continued, from that point on, to prove its pretention. I did end up chatting for a couple of hours at the cafe with this guy, Bobby. He seemed nice, a bit young, he was good to talk to, i got his number but again, meh. I wasn't feeling LA at all so I was having a tough time giving in to the people. The next day, Megan had off from work so we went to Venice Beach and walked the boardwalk, had lunch at an outside cafe right on the beach (loved it), and then went home to have a quick dinner before heading out to see this band, The Vacation. This band rocked. In fact, when they come to NYC, I am SO going to their show. The lead singer knew how to work the audience incredibly well and he was so punk rock i LOVED it. the band was tight as well so the entirety of the live performance just rocked. it was my best time in LA. at one point, the singer took this cake out that someone had brought the band and showed it to the crowd. about 30 seconds later, the cake was all over him and all over the front of the audience. it was GREAT. the next day i went in with megan to her work so i could borrow her car. i went to the beverly center at one point (like the beverly hills mall) and after a bit of shopping, i was walking back to meet megan for lunch when who do i bump into but Logan Marshall-Green. An old friend from the days of Williamstown Theater Festival and my SMing gig at NYU, he is now starring on the OC. I congratulated him on the job and chatted with him for a moment - he said he was heading back to NYC that day and maybe we'd bump into each other again (uh yeah right). It was cool to see him and how funny that the only "celebrity" i really see while in LA is an old friend. ha. so the rest of the day i spent either driving around the area of Hollywood or hanging by the shops near where Megan works - the shoppers in LA and the clerks are kind of evil - there's such a fakeness and an intense blankness that it kind of killed me. I was exhausted by the whole experience. That night, Megan and I went to see Sin City, which was an AMAZING movie. It was visually stunning and really powerful. We were so completely fucked up by the experience of it that we had to go out for a beer afterward just to put something else in our minds before going to sleep. It was that good. The next day it was time for me to go home. I spent the morning collecting my things and preparing myself for the travel. Once I had that done, I was to go down the street to Millie's, the diner where she waitresses on the weekends (man, she has more jobs!). Before I walked down, I called Sam. to reconnect, chat, solidify the "let's keep in touch." i was, after all, leaving california and going back to the other side of the country. I just wanted to make sure I could talk to him again because every time I do, I want to again. Its nice and easy. Plus, its always good to have friends in San Francisco, in case I want/need to come back to the left coast...whatever, you know what I mean. We chatted right up until I got to Millie's and then we hung up. I went in and saw Megan, sat at the counter and had breakfast - it was delicious and it really hit the spot. We spent the rest of the day relaxing and then we had dinner at Machos Tacos before heading off to the airport. But we must have misjudged the travel time and what traffic might be like on a Saturday night because when I got to the airport, it was 30 minutes before my flight and apparently, they have a 40 minute rule - so I missed my flight. I was put on standby for all later flights to JFK and my suitcase was sent with the first flight there. I stoodby for the 11:30pm and didn't get on. The next one wasn't until 8am so Megan came back to get me and brought me to this party she was going to. It was at a mutual friend's house, Sonal, who we both met in Boston when Megan did the ART summer program. Everyone was pretty much drunk when we got there. It was kind of a lame party but there was one excessively drunk guy who ran around clapping and singing. Megan kept him at bay by talking to him for a while but it didn't take long for the other drunk guys to goad him into singing again. I tried to stay up all night. At one point, the whole party was gone, all the inhabitants of the apt were in bed and Megan was asleep on the couch. I kept myself awake by smoking all of my cigarettes. At 5:30am, I woke Megan up and she drove me to the airport, I figured it would be better for me to pass out there than anywhere else. I got to the airport and after standing by for 5 flights (and seeing Bex and Martin Short get on various planes before me), I caught the 1:15 out. It was funny too because there were so many people standing by for all of the flights that we all kind of chatted and when one of us got on a plane, people were like "congrats! have a good trip." so funny - an odd community. I slept the whole flight and took a cab back home. And it was surreal, has been surreal being back. It was a perfect vacation by all accounts. I learned alot about me and the adventures were just what I needed.


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