12:15 PM, Tuesday, October 18th, 2005:
A funny thing happened last week. For the first time in my life, the thought of leaving LA felt like leaving home. Even if the city itself stands for nothing I believe in and even if in my mind I feel more at home on the east coast... I have created a home in Los Angeles. Basically, if you take "career" out of the situation - I'm happy with the life I've made for myself here. All the little things you could have anywhere (house, space, dogs, toys) I've pulled off in LA, and that's rare to be able to do that in an entertainment mecca. I have a situation and a house that I could easily raise a family in and a "day-gig" job that can support that.
So in the strangest case of irony I've ever had, I find myself in the same position I was in at the end of 1999. Giving up all the comforts of home to make it in a place that has a romantic allure to it, except this time I'm leaving LA - not going to it. Can I do that? Can I sacrifice all these comforts I've worked for simply because I identify more with NYC than LA? To grasp the real struggle here there's some universal truths you just gotta know:
-I would rather have a nice couch, than a nice car. I love big-ass comfortable places to sit, talk, watch TV, cuddle, wear sweat pants and wrap up in a big blanket 'cause it's chilly. My greatest memories lie in that situation. I am a homebody at heart, I think all artists are. That comfort makes me happy.
-I love having a car, and although I could be alright in NYC for a time...If I want to go to Lake Arrowhead or drive up the coast on a Sunday...I just do it. There is a bit of entrapment in NYC, but again this falls into the "comfort" level of things. If I'm in NYC for a purpose, to hell with comfort. But realistically, having that freedom makes me happy.
-I would rather have the latest technology to play and create with, than nearly anything in the world. The dot-com guy who stayed in his house for a year and did everything through the internet? That could've been me. I love all technology from the smallest gadget to the biggest TVs. A video game is something that allows me to be creative and explore, dream and imagine. Because of the extreme lack of space the majority of my techno-geek collections of games and DVDs could not make it in NYC. Luckily this handy laptop provides 75% of that need, but I'm not going to be able to geek out on the 3 new gaming systems coming out in the next year in a studio apartment in NYC. Again, if there's a purpose who cares - but realistically those toys make me happy.
-I have a connection with animals that means the world to me. When I play with my pups, I am a pup. I am on their level when we play, and they know when they look in my eye - that I'm one of them. Simply because of his personality type, Shizzle and I are more bonded than Roxy. Roxy is a very anxious and submissive watch-dog that always has to watch the door to feel comfortable. Shizzle is the opposite. He'll curl up on that couch with you and unless he hears something will be dead to the world. He wants to be with you every second and conversely is absolutely fearless. There was a thunderstorm yesterday and when the thunder cracked - Roxy ran inside, Shizzle ran outside...jumping and barking at the sky. This video is a good example. But even with Roxy, I feel a kinship that seemingly goes beyond most people's relationship with their pets. That relationship makes me happy, and simply won't be possible in NYC.
-I love the space I have right now. After 2 1/2 years, the house is most definitely a home. I have a basketball court, a nice backyard, a 400 square foot studio in the back, the living room, den, dining room...two bedrooms. It's wonderful. It's something I'm incredibly lucky to have in LA! That's obviously gone in NYC, but again it isn't crucial, it simply makes me happy.
Of course what makes me happiest is creating. You can literally throw everythingI just described above out the window - and if I'm somewhere creating something I believe in? Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. I'm happier than anyone you've ever seen. That is the one thing NYC provides for me: a new canvas, new inspirations - and quite honestly, a better "journey" on the site. There's also something insanely poetic about 500 entries in LA, and then going to NYC. I like stupid things like that. I like numbers, chronicling things, writing my life like a real-time book...my heart is attached to this project and it has now pointed to this new city in 29 entries. It's a type of life I talked about in April during "Minialaur". Going places simply for the ability to write about it. I love the romanticism of that. 501 in NYC makes me want to pee myself with glee...
...however this week was by all means the screeching of tires and a huge amount of soul-searching. Even adding to the happiness with my surroundings, yesterday I had lunch with Gary Helsinger of Green Jelly (the hit "Little Pigs" circa 1993) fame, now an A&R guy with Universal Music. Shades had introduced us over instant messenger a couple of months back and we finally got to meet. In what feels incredibly rare in this city, the majority of our time interacting over IM and on the phone seems to be non-work related. It's not "what can we do for each other" it's talking about the Beatles, music, our childhood growing up back east, the similiarities in our life from what he's read on the site...I just like him. I think he can sense my absolute lack of desperation to MAKE IT IN THE INDUSTRY NOW, and we can just sit and throw ideas around and seem to find each other interesting enough to do that with. He represents songwriters and can also sign acts. He really likes some of my stuff and seems to be even more excited by "The Journey" and just how unique it is. There's a feeling of finally someone sees just how intriguing the chronicling of the last 6 years with 470 videos really is.
We sat at Sushi yesterday throwing around ideas and his thoughts put me in an entirely different direction than I had been before. He also thinks it's possible to get signed with my original music if I focus it correctly. He sees me as a "Beck" type and believes that my wide genre of music is a plus nowadays. I've always felt my generation was sooooo eclectic musically that it begets a group of artists that are all over the place. The i-pod generation that shuffles everything from Sinatra to Eminem has no problem enjoying "Smiley Girl" and then "We Walk Today". It all emits emotion and is interesting and creative. He's also the first guy I've come across that gets the a capella stuff. There's a gritty street feel to "Confusing Love" that is something the mainstream public really hasn't heard before. It's original, and that's rare. The key now is finding that one song, that one melody, that one hook that makes everyone stop no matter what the genre. So this relationship is exciting, and I look forward to putting together the CD of music from this year with him in mind. He also asked me to put together a DVD of 20-25 clips of songs from the site that show range, and what I think are some of the best things I've done. More than anything, he likes sushi, we like The Beatles, and there's a good connection there. And if that's your worst-case, you're doin' good. ;-)
So as you can see, I am certainly happy with the surroundings of my life and in order to throw all of that away - there has to be a purpose. Strangely enough though, I still feel that purpose will be known in a few months. So believe it or not I've spent the last 4 days obsessively cleaning and packing away my entire life into my trailer for storage. Basically cutting down everything to the bare necessities of what I would take with me to NYC. It has taken every day, all day and I'm still not done. I have soooooooooo much shit. First off, try about 3,500 unsold CDs. LOL. At the time the argument: "they're cheaper if you make 1,000 instead of 500" made a lot of sense, now after 10 years of them being stacked to hold up lamps, monitors or televisions, they are an annoyance of immense proportion. I took 20 of each CD and packed the rest away along with boxes of videotapes, comic books, basketball cards, football cards, newspaper clippings, school projects, boxes of notes, trophees, awards - all those things you save until you have a house...up in my trailer. Allowing so much room I can rent out another room of the house and set-up for a smooth transition down the road.
I also started a new job today that I will basically LIVE at the way I did last year at this same type of job. In the mortgage business, what you put into it is what you get out of it, and I need to get a lot out right now. This new gig has some pretty nice perks. It's 9 minutes from home, I have my own office, a better commission split and walking distance to a subway (even though Jared screwed me, it's good shit). The distance will literally save me over 2 hours a day of driving time to work more or just relax. I am uber-motivated to make this work and want enough money saved that I can take 2 months subletting in Manhattan without even thinking twice about it.
Let me also stop a rumor before it starts. Cassie absolutely fits into the equation here even though I spent more time talking about my dogs than her. LOL. I haven't really mentioned her in all of this, not because I don't care - but simply because...she can move too. See, she's HUMAN unlike Shizzle. She has independent thought and opposable thumbs last time I checked. It is a foregone conclusion that if she wants to move as well, it'd be great - and if she's got some great things going with her career in LA, she's more than welcome to stay and continue to rent out the space and whatnot. As much as we love being together, she's not in LA for me...she's in LA for her. It's the one major difference between this relationship and with Jess - Cassie came out here for her own career that is completely independent from me. So basically, we'll cross that bridge if and when we get there - but I just had to make it known that the reason she hasn't been one of the reasons to stay isn't because she doesn't matter, it's because she's MOBILE. ;-)
So we're now to a point for the next several months where there aren't any big trips or big news planned per se. As usual, I'm only going to write if something happens and something always does. I mean look at this year. You really think I'm going to be able to slip under the journey radar for too long? I'm just not actively seeking it out right now the way I have been in September and October. As it was a year ago, I plan on conentrating on the bank account which will equal an immense amount of freedom for 2006, much like I've had for this year. And what a year. What a YEAR! I've never had the freedoms I have had this year and it's incredibly intoxicating. And taking the weight of "making it" off my shoulders has done wonders. I honestly don't care anymore other than I think my talents can do it. Because personally, this site has been more fulfilling than any record contract could ever be.
...but that doesn't mean I won't make that DVD for Gary.