Monday, March 21, 2011

Surrounded In Light

I'm downing a cup of kashmiri chai at Townshend's Tea House. It's right in the middle of the Alberta district (which is infamous for being the gentrified, hipster-centric part of town), but it's got the best laid-back atmosphere around. Not to mention the best tea. And it's in a neighborhood other than my own, so it's the perfect place to sequester myself away in a corner and work on things without running into anybody.

I've got to go back to the commune at some point - it's cult movie night. We're going to set up The Fonz's TV in a central location and cram a bunch of people on the couch for the director's cut of "Donnie Darko." It's like my college experience all over again.

I'm not going to be able to afford this glamorous starving artist lifestyle forever. Which is why I applied to work at the restaurant that's opening up on the ground floor of my building. I'm not terribly enthusiastic about the job, but I have to work somewhere. Last night, there was a meeting for everyone that's going to work there. It was the strangest assortment of characters, including:

- The Fonz.
- The Fallen Nun, sporting her new vegan anarchist hairstyle.
- The woman who started the weird rumor about me. The minute I walked in the room, she apologized for the texts. Apparently she was drunk. Awkward sauce.
- Tweaked Out Elvis Costello, writing the hours he wants to work in crayon on a paper towel. He has a hard time making eye contact with me after the stove top incident.
- The cute boy I thought was probably gay. Apparently he's not and he has a new girlfriend now. Boo. Ah well, I'm over it.

These are all people I live with and now we are all going to work together. Forget "RENT." This is the part of the show where my life becomes "Cheers."

The restaurant opens in a couple of weeks. I predict that my life will reach a whole new level of hilarity when it does.

In the meantime, I'm trying to get my act together and record a little demo CD (if not a whole album). It will be a solo endeavor and I'm a little overwhelmed by the prospect of being in complete control of my music. I know I've vaguely alluded to this, but I should just come out and say it - Original Sound Trash is falling apart. It's been upsetting, but I'm moving forward. I've got a new "band" called "The Want Ads." The word band is in quotes because I'm the only real member. I'm hiring some guys to play bass, guitar, and drums for me on the recording. Still figuring out how all of that will work.

My neighbor's have been incredibly encouraging throughout this period of musical transition and uncertainty. The Fonz has offered to jam with me on various occasions and The Poet has even gone as far as to introduce me to various musicians he meets on the smoking corner. Last night, I had the privilege of jamming with the guy from New Jersey who lives in the smelly stairwell. It was all very impromptu. The Fonz and I were massacring David Bowie songs when this guy came over to see what was going on. He picked up a guitar and next thing I knew, the two of us were engaged in an hour-long musical conversation. His girlfriend did yoga on my floor and The Fonz read my library books. The world felt right.

It's been awhile since I've had a jam session that left me feeling that energized. We agreed to do it again soon.

"We all want you to feel surrounded by light here," The Poet said to me once. "We want to protect you and take care of you."

And in this moment, this hour, this day, this week - yes, I feel surrounded by light. Maybe it's just the chai tea talking, but I think I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

Anyway, that concludes today's installment of Mundane Updates From Lauren's Life. Tune in next time, amigos! I'm off to go watch "Donnie Darko" with my favorite batch of nutty artists.


  1. I like the way your Alberta district is gentrified hipster-centric when the *real* Alberta is the dead opposite. :)

  2. May you always be surrounded by light :)

  3. Sounds so comforting - to be surrounded by so many positive, like-minded people. Best of luck with "The Want Ads."

  4. Good luck with the restaurant job. I've never worked in a restaurant before. But I have had jobs that I wasn't too excited about but that I did anyway because I needed the money. And, more importantly, those paychecks helped me pursue my dream of becoming a professor (which will eventually come true, I hope, once I finally get out of grad school). And maybe you'll get some good songwriting material out of the work experience, you never know.
    If you make a CD, maybe you could sell it on or something and then those of us who read your blog could buy it. :)

  5. Want to send some of that light my way? Because I could really use it.


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