Friday, November 6, 2009

Pounding the Pavement; Working the Loom

What a week this has been! Monday was one of those days that smacks you across the face, dips you in dirty water and then leaves you out to dry in a bitter wind.

It all started out so auspiciously. I got a phone call in the morning inviting me to interview/audition for an accompanist job at a Los Angeles Performing Arts College. I was told to "Bring myself and my fingers down to Hollywood," so I did. The interviewer had mentioned that there would be some sight reading involved, but I was not prepared for the magnitude of it all! There was a binder full of music that I played through and it took over an hour! Long story short, it was an embarrassing hour due to the fact that a great deal of the music was extremely difficult and a lot of it was material I had never played before. They said they'd call me.

Let's just say I'm not waiting by the phone.

So, that makes it two months that I've been unemployed. Thank God I've had artistic projects going on or I would be a man at the end of his rope! On Wednesday I thought I would try to take advantage of retailers hiring seasonal help (Deck the Halls, and all that) and went all over Los Angeles applying for jobs. I even walked from West Hollywood to Koreatown, the logic being that if I walked it would be easier to stop and apply if I saw a place that looked apt. While out on my adventures my dear friend Andrew Delman called me to see what I was up to. When I replied "pounding the pavement" he asked me why I was engaging in Lesbianic sexual activity. Maybe that expression is out of date.

The good news is that Julia Goretsky and I were able to book a night Upstairs at Vitello's! We're going to be appearing in a cabaret act with great songs and stories. I'll be at the piano and we'll both be singing and having a fabulous time. Make sure to come check it out if you are available! The cover charge is $7.00 with a two drink minimum. It's a great restaurant. I had my birthday dinner there last month! (And I have good taste)

And don't forget that Bare is November 14th and 15th. It's selling out pretty fast so if you want to come see it, you should get yo tix, girl. I'm not sure why I went ghetto while selling tickets, maybe it's a subconscious scalping ritual or something. Scalping like tickets, not Indians. Sorry. Native Americans.

That reminds me.

When I was six years old, my family moved in with my Grandmother who was battling cancer. This way my mom could take care of her and my Uncle who was only two years older than me. My grandmother was an eccentric woman.

In our small town of San Lorenzo, a suburb of Oakland, most of the generic, post World War II houses were filled with generic post World War II decor. But my grandmother's house was filled with Buddhas, Egyptian statues and countless other exotic artifacts. I distinctly remember her wearing jewelry that had fossilized beetles inside of it.

Now, Grandma died when I was eight years old, unfortunately I don't remember everything about her. I know she used to bring me in her room and make me watch hours of Star Trek Next Generation with her and I know she was in the newspaper when Star Wars came out because she saw it in the movie theatre thirty seven times. My mom tells me she was the third best rifle shot in the state of California. But one thing I never understood about my grandmother or her house was the use of her dining room.

Most homes feature a dining room table in the dining room. I mean, if the title of the room is in the title of the furniture, chances are the two go together like fire and smoke, Fred and Ginger, ginger and chicken. However, we didn't have a dining room table in our dining room. No, we had a giant loom.

Can you imagine explaining that on play dates?

Child Friend: Why's your table be lookin' all crazy?!
Me: It's not a table.
Child Friend: What is it?!
Me: It's a loom.
Child Friend: What the fuck's a loom?
Me: It a weaving implement.
Child Friend: Who weaves? You weave? What you weave?
Me: I've never seen anyone use it.
Child Friend: You're weird.
Me: Shut up. You suck. Let's do our Math homework.
Child Friend: Ok, you wanna use my calculator?
Me: That's cool. My grandma loaned me her abacus.
Child Friend: What the fuck's an abacus?

I realize it's cliché to describe how the eccentricities of one's childhood makes them a more well-rounded, interesting adult. But what I find fascinating is that I never think of that Loom. I never think of that environment that shaped me. It was just my Grandmother's house. However, I am certain the simple fact that there was a weaving machine in my dining room instead of a table, even though I never used it or gave it much thought, has surely made a profound impact on creating the man I am today.

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