I'm moving on November 3, to a house that's in the hills/woods of Echo Park. My friend Alisa bought it and it's got a swimming pool and a killer view of Mount Washington. Yesterday I looked it up on Google Maps and the trees in the side yard look so majestic in the "Google Street View":
I'm really excited about the luxuriousness that's going to come with "being a self-employed person with a swimming pool in Southern California." I hope there'll be lots of days when I wake up, have some hot-saucy eggs and grains and tea, walk down to the stupid coffee place with the fucking "single-origin coffee" (OH MY GOD I DON'T CARE, I DON'T CARE, JUST GIMME MY GODDAMN DUNKIN DONUTS), buy myself a fucking "single-origin coffee," walk back home, get in the pool and then do a thing of swimming a little bit and then stopping to drink my coffee and swimming more and drinking more coffee and on and on till the coffee's done and it's time to get to work.
Also Alisa's having the pool drained and I'm really looking forward to when there's no water in the pool and I can sit on the floor of the deep end and take lots of pictures and Instagram them and stuff.
I have been obsessed with both meditation and David Lynch for the last few months(more on this soon). I've tried meditating on my own a bunch with minimum success. I've read books. I've even gone as far as emailing the TM center in NYC to find the TM teacher closest to me. I got added to the TM mailing list because of this and THANK GOD I did! On Sunday after an especially annoying laundry session I looked at phone phone and checked my email for probably the 400th time that day. "ALAN YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE THE E-MAIL I JUST GOT!!!!!!" - that is what I really said. The subject: Free screening of David Lynch documentary on Meditation. I was so excited I basically passed out. I immediately reserved tickets and they were really free. I went last night. Hey, guess who was there? DONOVAN! He was sitting in the row behind me eating popcorn!! He was awarded this award David Lynch made up for him - "The Transcendental Musician Award". David recorded a message to play about Donovan/the award and Donovan's face was SO excited and psyched while they played the message. Donovan also did a really great David Lynch Impression.
The movie was what I wanted it to be - David Lynch talking for like an hour. It was footage of his 16 country tour speaking to film students about meditation, creativity and peace. It's called Meditation, Creativity, Peace. He was totally charming. He doesn't do lectures, just Q&A's so the film is basically just people asking him questions/his answers/images of him drawing this chart with trees about how TM works/molecules. There were quotes and David Lynch Music. I was so into it. I'm going to my TM intro talk thing next week.
Another vaguely related thing of this week was I saw Ted Leo sing "Season of the Witch" while dressed up as Frankenstein. Donovan surrounds.
LJ'S THING OF THE WEEK: This Awesome New Version of Myself Who Listens Exclusively to Dub & Rocksteady
On Monday I was listening to the Clash in Nadine & Charlie's living room and Nadine was like "Your favorite Clash songs are all reggae-Clash-songs; you should listen to more reggae," and I was like "That's a really good point about me; I should," and then I plugged my iPod into Nadine & Charlie's computer and deleted the contents of my entire iPod (it's really freeing to do that- the Apple software keeps asking you, "Are you SURE you want to do this?" because it's obviously a pretty rare occasion that someone would want to delete the contents of their entire iPod and replace it with a stranger's but you're so cool about it and decisive), and made it so my iPod was just the Clash's entire discography, the Trojan Records Rocksteady box set, the Trojan Records Ska box set, the Trojan Records "Roots" box set, and then a couple other albums that don't really pertain to what I'm talking about so who cares.
Then I went to the airport. I'd had two bottles of an IPA entitled "Raging Bitch" and two glasses of Prosecco that I was drunker from drinking than usual, because Clash. I was sitting at Gate C3 reading a stranger's abandoned issue of People StyleWatch when I decided I needed my iPod on shuffle to answer some questions for me- I'm super-obsessed with playing "cosmic iPod" games with myself where I put my entire iPod on shuffle and then ask it questions and let the songs it chooses answer my questions, like the I Ching ("iChing"), but it was weird because my whole iPod was different now. I remembered that I'd put "Judy Is A Punk" on my iPod because I've been wanting to hear it all October, so I put my iPod on shuffle and while the first song was playing I was like "I have ten times to press forward on my iPod, and if 'Judy Is A Punk' happens to be one of the ten songs it plays then everything in my life is perfect and all of the life realizations I've recently had are true and this is the proper journey for me to embark upon," and then I pressed next and "Judy Is A Punk" came on and it BLEW MY FUCKING MIND obvs.
Then I boarded the airplane, and someone asked me to trade seats with her and I said "I'm sorry, but I have a very strong preference for the aisle seat," and I was super-proud of myself for properly representing myself instead of just deferring. Plane windows fucking terrify me. I was drunk still kind of.
The plane took off and I read my dumb book and then it became the time when we were allowed to listen to electronic devices again so I put on my iPod and listened to the first four songs and they were all great/fine and then the fifth came on and it was one of those things that happen to you where you're like, "Oh, right. I exist. I was born for a reason. Everything has always meant something, and will continue to do so for as long as I'm alive. I will believe, again, that it doesn't, that it's all coincidence, and that'll be fine or whatever, but I'll be wrong, and this is me existing in a moment when I know that it all means so much, and I understand what a privilege it is to be an artist inside of this wildness. And I know why I was born."
My eyes were closed and there was crazy turbulence going down but with my eyes closed it just felt like rollercoaster swoops and I wasn't scared that I would die. I thought for a second how funny it is that I'd come back to Toronto and spend the next week of my life everybody asking me how New York was, what I did in New York, what New York was like, but once I lived that moment, it all got overshadowed- all New York, and even all my people. In that moment I learned that it doesn't matter how old you get or what things are like or anything, really, about you. I learned that music will always be capable of sounding the best it ever sounded. And then my life became a different thing.
I woke up the next morning and ate a gorilla granola bar from Lifethyme Natural Market and found the Trojan Dancehall box set I'd bought the first winter I ever lived in New York. When I was breaking up with my ex-boyfriend and we were separating all our material possessions he held it all pink in his hands and asked me if he could have it. "What? No. Why?" I said-asked, and he said "You never even listen to it," and I said "I listen to it as much as you would, and besides, it's mine," and he said "I see your point," and then I never listened to it again until last Tuesday morning when I added it to my iPod. Then I downloaded Action and This Is Desmond Dekkar by Desmond Dekker and added them to my iPod, deleted "Judy Is A Punk" and the Clash etc, everything except the four Trojan box sets and two Desmond Dekker albums, and my iPod, then, became complete. This all was happening in the middle of the afternoon and when it came to be the time when I needed to go put on mascara in the bathroom I freaked out because I didn't want to leave the reggae all by itself in my bedroom. I couldn't imagine doing anything without it.
I put on mascara with my iPod on listening to Desmond Dekker and then ran some errands listening to Desmond Dekker and everything in the entire world was GREAT because Desmond Dekker, oh my God, he GETS IT. It's only partly because I love it, though, to be honest. The other part is: because I wanted to snap myself out of my tired old safe-zone of Beatles-Sparks-Stones-Kinks and have music be something new for me. I wanted to recalibrate my entire brain and have beautifully and successfully done so. This is the first year of my life where I became an entirely different person over the course of it. And it's only October!
That night I went to work and asked Diamond the line cook- she's from Jamaica by way of Harlem- what "irie" means, and when she told me I realized that I believe in the concept of "irie" more than I've ever believed in any other concept, I guess. After work we got high and I told her all this wild shit about writing I've never told anyone I work with and she totally got it. I rode the subway home having my mind blown by King Tubby's "Shank I Sheck"-
and wrote down the sentence "I believe that through DUB I will unlock all the secrets of the Universe" as I felt this wild fullness come into my chest, like I would cry if I could breathe but couldn't because my lungs were all filled up with honey, and I didn't even think my lungs were all filled up with honey until I pictured my lungs and saw that there were bees hanging out inside of them, not biting me or anything, just swimming.