Friday, June 16, 2006

i've arrived

Lordy, I can't believe it, but I actually have internet access while I'm on tour! No way to upload photos, but who cares...I'm just so excited! It's really funny to me that this here girl who used to avoid computers at all costs is now totally addicted to email and blogging (both reading and writing), and it's also funny to me how much I use funny websites to keep my mental health nice and sound.

We completed the drive to LA in record time (6.5 hours, and we even stopped for a sitdown lunch). I think the car was in some kind of time warp. My travelling companions were "Stacz the Barbarian" and "Jim e Sparklpants". No. I am not making this up. It was highly entertaining, and made the drive time just fly.

A group of the performers arrived in town a couple days earlier, and a few more of us come next Monday. So when we rolled into town, we drove straight to The Electric Lodge, where our performances are taking place, and then we jumped right in with warming up and running a few segments. I haven't had time to trip around the neighborhood much yet, but I can tell you that when I stepped outside the performance venue I could smell the ocean (yay!) and that we are in a pretty hip neighborhood between Venice and Rose, maybe 3 blocks or so in from the beach (yes, mom+dad, you can bet I am hitting the Rose Cafe!). I can't wait to go explore in my off time.

Coming down here, I had some big concerns about my ability to withstand the demands of this trip. We have a whole lot of rehearsing and performing to do, and the plan was that we would be staying all together in a small home (the director's mom...we're on a budget).

It's a push, but I can handle long days of dance work strung together. And it's a push, but I can handle living in close quarters in an unfamiliar home (although I often don't sleep well, I get stressed when I don't have enough quiet time, and sometimes the disability/inaccessability issues of another's home exhaust me). But when I put those two things together--a demanding physical schedule mixed with a living space that isn't neccessarily regenerative--I often melt down pretty quickly.

Well...Hector saved the day.
When we broke for dinner between rehearals and show time, Hector, one of the other dancers, asked a few of us if we wanted to go cook up some dinner. As it turns out, he landed a gig house/pet sitting for the entire run of our tour, so he wasn't going to stay at the main house with everyone else. The house he's watching is about 5 minutes away from the venue. Eric's mom's is 25 minutes, and closer to 1 hour if there is traffic (and when isn't there traffic in LA?!).

Well, dinner sounds like a great idea to me, so I offer to chip in for ingredients, but he says he was told to use up anything in the fridge as it would go bad anyhow. Fair enough. Free dinner. I can live with that! But it keeps getting better. Besides being so close, it's quiet, there are several empty bedrooms, there is a disability friendly bathroom, there is wireless and permission to use any computer in the house, there is a housekeeper that will come through to the do the heavy cleaning, they left their pass to use the local video store, there's a farmer's market on Sunday just a couple of blocks away. I mean, I could keep going because there are more perks than that even, but I think you get the idea. And I think you know that it only took me about a minute to beg to stay here. When he said yes I pretty much threw my hands in the air and praised the lord.

I'm sleeping in one of the teenage daughter's room. It's early mornning and I'm here on her computer. It's unbelievable to me how much her room resembles my room at that age (not so much the look....but the feel. The feeling of being trapped between childhoold and adulthood).

I think she's probabaly just graduated highschool, as there are SAT books lying around. But let me see if I can list for you just a few things that are on the walls (I wish I could just show you---the walls are plastered with posters and things cut out of magazines):
A poster of The Breakfast Club. Posters of Kurt Cobain, The Beatles, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Pink Floyd, and Ferris Bueller, and Curious George.
There are photos of friends and family everywhere.
On the bedpost is a pair of cheap handcuffs, and on the wall next to the bed is a postcard of all of the Disney Princesses, right next to an ad for the Chippendales male review, John Stewart on the cover of Rolling Stone, a picture of James Dean, a photo of Aretha Franklin.
Her well loved stuffed bunny is laying on the floor.

Ahhh, yes. I remember.
Partially because I still have a bit of that time still in me. I dont have the wall of photos. It's been replaced with a small display of photos of my son, and the clipping go into my journals now. But I still have my stuffed bunnyman.

So, I'm awake because the housekeeper started banging around at 7am. Normally, I'm up at this time anyhow, but a bunch of us went out after the show last night and I didnt get to bed until about 2am. Actually, I am developing a pounding headache. I feel dehydrated even after a few glasses of water, and I could probably stand a cup of coffee...and I'm uncomfortable prattling around with people working here. I'm going to head out. Explore a wee bit. Knit socks. See you soon.


BeanMama said...

The Breakfast Club? Sounds like she left for college 10 years ago and no one has touched the room! LOL! So glad this fell in your lap, yay!

Sara said...

Ah, I misspent so much of my youth in that neighborhood. No, I take that back. I spent it there happily -- youthfully.

When I was in art school and after, when I didn't bicycle over, I would take a big blue Santa Monica city bus to Rose and walk down to a street whose name I've forgotten now -- was it Main Street? -- to get to the public darkroom where I would develop my photos. It was hip then, too, but also still a little seedy, just on the cusp of gentrification and commercialization. Walking on Rose, I would pass a small boutique that sold only soap, and I would often pick up a bar or two of those brightly colored glycerine-based soaps in the most delicious fruit scents. Next came Via Dolce with the best gelato I'd ever eaten, in flavors like cappucino or sweet cream, so dense, and yet so light and creamy.

I'm kind of amazed the Rose Café is still there, and yet also not. I guess it's a landmark now, but I always took it and everything I touched back then for granted as strictly of my life and times. Funny how we do that sometimes, and then find out how big the world is and how much of it other people think of as theirs, too. And it's funny what survives from one generation's experience to the next.

Oh, there's one other thing I remember particularly fondly about Venice: There used to be a huge Hare Krishna temple, I forget on what street, maybe Venice itself. Anyone could go there at meal time and eat a yummy vegetarian meal for free, no obligation. I wonder if that's still there, too.

The Hare Krishnas used to skeeve my suburban, Republican, Cold War aerospace culture parents out completely, but when I was spending time in Venice, I saw a lot of poverty and misery, which they actually seemed to be doing something about. They danced and sang and offered flowers. They cooked for the poor -- or the rich, whoever showed up. Geez. How wrong is that?

I wonder if the soap boutique or the ice cream place is still there. I wonder if anyone else remembers them. Let me know if you find them.

Oh, and merde, of course.