Thursday, February 15, 2007

We Never Change.

I've been experiencing a bit of writer's block, so I'm resurrecting something from the past for some much needed inspiration:

Every morning I wake up, and the first thought (or word, rather) that enters my head is “shit.”* I find this rather troublesome. I am beginning what may potentially turn out to be a glorious, God-given day with “shit.”, which proclaims doom from the start. This is usually due to the fact that I oversleep every single day and am either (a) late to work or (b) waking up at an obscene hour at which I feel like a disgusting slob. I wake up in an utter state of panic and irritation, running around, stubbing my toe, hastily slapping together what is erroneously labeled a lunch, and proceed to skivvy on out the door, face the unrelentingly malevolent wind, and run into oncoming traffic, at which I then continue to mutter obscenities under my breath in a state of sleepy disillusionment. I'm really not sure if this is the best thing.

Somethings never change. I wrote the above during the quarter I spent in DC during my senior year of college, and three years later, here I am, still v. much the same person that I was back then. Only now I don't slap together makeshift sandwiches - I get gourmet ones for free at work.

I like to think that I have shed any and all vestiges of LA. A past life, I'd rather leave to compartmentalized boxes in mental storage, collecting dust as I move forward with this new chapter in life. As with anything else, life in a new city takes acclimatizing to. First the weather. I work in an environment where knowledge of the power of 2 is a fundamental. My work has crept up even into my wardrobe, as the number of outerwear hanging in my closet has grown exponentially. Then there is the local culture. It is no secret that I have wholeheartedly embraced a local sports team – the San Jose Sharks. Some time ago, I compiled of checklist of things I needed to do in order to become a bona fide San Franciscan. I became a fan of public transportation, moved into a pre-1920's Victorian flat, and the clincher: I purchased one black North Face denali.

The other day, I happened to meet both and James Taylor independently in the same day. One at Google, and the other while en route to my design class. I got off the early shuttle at Civic Center, and there, surrounded by fans, was a man I recognized from UCLA Spring Sing 2004: Mr. Country Road himself, James Taylor. And as much as I love his music, I hesitated. No self-respecting Angeleno would behave the part of the shameless groupie, so I simply played it cool and walked on by. It then occurred to me that this was James FREAKING Taylor (yes, little known fact: Freaking is indeed his middle name) that we were talking about here, so I proceeded to shed any and all dignity, pivot, and walk on by again. This was my chance! Shake hands? Take a picture? A signed forehead, perhaps? The possibilities were endless. And in that moment of hesitation, that fleeting need to play it cool, the security guard ushered him back into the theatre where he was to perform, to perform songs like Carolina on My Mind and Sweet Baby James.

And in that moment, it dawned on me. I will never get LA out of my system.

* Subject to change and directly correlated to number of minutes late. Variants include: 'shiiit' (not to be confused with Shi'ite), 'SHIT!', and the milder, 'oh dear'.


eubanks said...

ahh, spring sing 2004.
i did shake his hand on that evening, and he gave me something that nobody can ever take away.

you should have said hello. he's really nice, and is prone to random, life-changing public compliments of strangers :)

Navin said...

u can take da guy out of jersey, but u can never take da jersey out of da guy. I guess that applies for la too!

jinerous said...

what a great post! i love that we always carry a part of our former selves & our roots with us no matter where we go. it's a very comforting thought for me.

AJ said...

Did you know that my dad chose my name for me because he was (and still is) a huge fan of James Taylor? He claims "Sweet Baby James" also "inspired" him as well.
Ok... this overhyped stories remains between us. ;)

Raymond said...

How can you get KCRW out of your system?

Does Google allow you to stream at work? Or maybe Podcasts (such a silly term) are the saving grace?

Scott said...

that's funny. i am a fumbling mess in the mornings also.