LA v. LA - I'm betting on LA
I'm in Ventura on a hot evening. Truly feeling good. I'm not sure what it is. I feel like I'm living the boho life - and I'm realizing that I"m a really good boho. I'm also a very happy artist/singer. I do not feel tortured, sad, regretful, unsatisfied - I just feel good. There is something going on inside me - like the freaky artist woman who has been coy in the past, just poking her head out every once in awhile has totally let herself loose. I just feel free! whahoooooo.
So Let's do a little updatesky, shall we? My parents skipped town and I got to work. I began writing songs again - including a little ditty called "A call from Ventura" - that's the working title(I couldn't figure out how to post the song on here...so ya'll are gonna have to wait. It's just a little fun song I wrote the other morning, but I'm definitely feeling inspired! Especially to pick my guitar up again. I need to be able to play for my video shoot tomorrow, so I've been practicing for atleast an hour each day. I already feel better than I was back when I wrote and recorded The Casio Tapes. It's insane what a little focus and dedication and enthusiasm will do to someones skill set. Holy geeze! I also have some awesome calluses working on my left hand. it feels good.
I've had some time to bond with some of the cutie film students living in Jesse's pad. I love creative young people. They have an infectious energy and it's wearing off on me. Here are my friends Jordon and Cory escorting me around Ventura for fish tacos and some beach time.
So I have begun the pain in the ass task of trying to find an apartment in LA. I am constantly on craigslist checking the listings for anything with a reasonable price and neighborhood. There is some freaky shit on there. Like rent for $1 if you clean house and...other things. My favorite is the line must be "420 friendly." No thank you! I'm steering clear of anything creeptastic, but I had a delicious experience with the first apartment I went to see in beautiful Marina del Ray.
Let's call it 'Fran's brush with Plastic."
I had recently spent a wonderful afternoon in the Marina del Ray area with my parents and Jesse - eating good food, enjoying the gorgeous sunshine and harbor. I thought, I could live here! Hell, anyone could live there. It's like the most chill, gorgeous beach community ever. So i found an amazing listing in the area and decided to go check it out. Although it was way on the high end of my rent budget, I thought it looked too good to be true. it was one of those Melrose Place communities - with the 8 pools, 6 jacuzzis, gym, parties, beach access, hot rich guys galore, etc. So I drove down to LA for a look. I was convinced that my first apartment viewing was going to be my last.
The view behind Mariners Village in Marina Del Ray, CA.
I pull up and am greeted by a gorgeously tan (too tan), skinny brunette in a pink summer dress. She has blue vacant eyes and looks me up and down with a faint smile as she greets me. No hand shake. The apartment is beautiful, of course. It's very...white. White couch, walls, carpet, even the art seems to be white. It's got a deck, fireplace, etc. Gorg. The girl is sweet and feigns interest in me. She is moving accross the way in the complex to live with her boyfriend who has bongs strewn all over his apartment. She's like, "We met in the jacuzzi. There are A LOT of hot guys here." I"m like, "Awesome! I love hot guys." ( I almost laughed at myself, and instead started to feel sick) I was trying to imagine myself living there. REALLY HARD. It was working, sort of. The nice woman wanted to show me around the complex and it got even better. Gorgeous pool just steps from the door, great gym with jacuzz, steam room, deli, library, turtle pond, movie theater, private deck on the ocean, and gorgeous people sunbathing themselves - at 1:20 on a monday. I was like, where am I? Is this LA? She started recounting the celebrity sighting she had there and I was like, awesome! This is totally rad. I should be jumping on this!
I had to drive out to UCLA (beautiful campus) to meet the woman who actually owned the place - who would be my roomie. She had huge lips and another vacant stare. I was creeped out. We ended up having a really lovely conversation about life and church and LA. She had decided it was so much nicer to live in a peaceful resort - far from the crazy, dirtiness of the city. She was like, "Some people really like to be in the mix, doing things all the time. ARe you like that?" I was like, "I dunno?" I was so confused. All of a sudden I felt like I had been knocked off of my orbit. Like for a solid hour the plastic LA sirens had totally sold me on this life with these priorities - beauty, luxury, hotness, wealth. I felt like, "Yep! Uhhuh. gimme gimme." I want to be a part of your plastic, hot beach community. I felt like I NEEDED to live there. Like I was a fool not to.
Both women weirdly hugged me at the end of our encounters.
On the drive home I cried.
I knew the woman was going to call me that night and tell me the place was mine. In plastic LA fashion, I had charmed both of them and made them believe I was crazy about the place. But I wasn't, I didn't think.
I came home and found Jordan, Jesse's roomate. I told him the story and he was like, "Wait a minute, why did you come to California? Was it to hang out in a cool resort? What do you want?" I was shaken out of the spell. WTF am I even considering? Spending way too much money to live in a place that has nothing to do with who I am as a person, my values, my needs - just because it's pretty and it makes me feel important! HELLO. That is not the LA I came out here to experience.
I wrote them an e-mail pronto, kindly thanking them for showing me around and wishing them great luck tenant hunting.
I resumed my craigslist search and sent out a few e-mails to good postings. That night, I received a call from one of the apartment owners. His name is Rob. He is a professional musician who played with Sha-na-na (the popular 60/70s band) for 15 years. He is from Australia originally and in his late 50s, has two recording studios in the house, is tuning up billy corgan's guitars from Smashing Pumpkins on Friday night, and loves loves loves music. The other roomie is a recording engineer. They are both very busy and important and lovely! Rob and I talk for over 25 minutes and it's as if we had known eachother for years. He asked me if the age thing threw me off, and I said, are you kidding! The coolest people I know are over 50! I just want to learn and play music. We had a good laugh and he said I should come check out the place next week. ( This will be the place if neither of these two fact are true 1. He is creepy. 2. The place is a bachelor pad of gross mess)
I hung up the phone feeling elated. Oh yes, I remember now. I remember who I am. I remember what I want. I want to be a singer. I want to write songs. I want to be creatively fed, inspired, and supported in my home. I don't want to lay out by the pool getting tan and shallow. And God just put an amazing chance in my lap to go for what I want and need. All I had to do was follow my heart and say NO to the plastic and NO to the material bullshit.
Plastic LA: Zip
Music LA: 1
Right now I am listening to the records I bought today at Buffalo Reocords. I went a little crazy. But hey, I'm celebrating. I'm celebrating the fact that no one is responsible for making this experience amazing other than me and God. My faith is rock solid, and I'm feeling very confident in my ability to spot the bullshit and go for the gold...records, that is. YAY!