8:53 am - Thurs 9/6/07
With workshops last night, tonite, and Saturday, and a commercial audition (for Playstation) in a few hours, I've quickly jumped back into "L.A. Mode".
Tomorrow I'm back at work, which I could hardly be less enthused about. But I've been telling myself it won't be that bad (I have a phone shift Friday night, which is usually pretty chill).
All that said, my "vacation rundown" is seeming like very old news already, but I'm feeling a need to "complete the report", so here we go...
On Monday, I had morning coffee with Dave M. (Front man/harmonica player for the Uptown Band), then lunch with Kathy B., while the evening was once again spent hanging out with Tom and Mary (I'd planned on watching a run-through of the show Mark and Jane and Kevin are doing at The Ledges, but then Kevin B.--their director--decided they needed to do a cue-to-cue instead. And since cue-to-cues are deadly dull to participate in, let alone to watch, I decided to take T&H up on their offer of a mellow evening of watching The Closer & Saving Grave. But anyway...).
While the social outings themselves were really enjoyable--I spent about two hours with Dave at a local Beaners, and two-and-a-half hours with Kathy at Applebees--there were a couple little glitches in getting to them.
When I got close to the Beaners, but couldn't quite find it (It was on Cedar, just off the intersection of Cedar and Saginaw; I'd thought it was on Saginaw), I called Dave for further clarification. And when he told me how close I was, I thought I could shoot across Saginaw --which is a one-way--from the lot where I was parked, and go through the Burger King lot across the street to Beaners, which is right behind it).
Did I mention that the little, slightly diagonal jog across Saginaw meant I was, however briefly, going the wrong way on a one-way?
Happily the cop who pulled into the BK lot behind me was an understanding, agreeable sort who, after hearing my "I've been living in LA and have forgotten how to drive here in Lansing" story, and checking for warrants, sent me on my way.
Like I said, coffee with Dave M. was really fun; I'd worried that we might not have much to say to each other, but that really didn't seem to be much of a problem (He's a really good guy. And if I were a better harmonica player, I'd say he was my "Mentor" in that regard. He certainly was instrumental in me getting as far as I've gotten with the instrument).
Afterwards, it was an hour or so before I was supposed to meet up with Kathy, but when I drove by Claras, where we were supposed to meet, I saw it was closed for the holiday.
I tried to call her, but the cell number I had got me some floor covering place (I'd written the number down wrong).
While I pondered what to do next, I decided I should fill the tank, since I'd been driving around on Mark and Jane's dime.
I pulled into the Mobile across the street, and had gotten as far as taking off the gas cap, wondering why I couldn't get the pump to work, when I realized the station was closed too (A "Closed" sign might have been nice, but oh well...).
So I decided to go back to Mark and Jane's, where I thought Jane probably had a number on her rolodex that could help me.
I stopped at the gas station near their house, to get the gas I hadn't gotten at Mobile...and that's when I realized I'd driven off without the gas cap.
I wasn't very happy with myself about that; when borrowing someone's anything, you want to return it the way you got it, which I was now not going to be doing.
Eventually, after inadvertently calling Jeff E's ex-wife, Emily, I got Kathy's number, and we made arrangements to meet up at the Applebees near the Lansing Mall instead.
I wasn't really friends with Kathy before I left Lansing. I knew her, but that was pretty much it. It's really only been the years since that we've become close, via email and Diaryland and what-all.
But after we ate and chatted at Applebees, I found myself wishing, not for the first time, that I'd known her earlier--it was just very easy and fun hanging out with her. In spite of rather substantial differences in our circumstances, we seem like "kindred spirits" (I also think she and Jane would be the best of friends, given the opportunity).
Again, while hanging with Tom and Mary in the evening--Tom picked me up--I felt happy, and surprised, that they wanted to spend so much time with me.
And it made me realize that I have friends, real friends (M&J, Kevin K., Tom and Mary), for whom it's really true--However long we've been apart, we can just pick up like no time's passed at all.
I really like that.
And that was pretty much my Michigan experience.
I felt myself, at certain points, comparing my loneliness in L.A. with the social whirl of being back in Lansing, and seeing all these people that were excited about my being back in town.
But that's an "apples and oranges" comparison; a more reasonable one would be comparing my life living in Lansing to my life now in L.A.; while I had social things I did on a weekly basis in Lansing--lunch with Mark and Jane, Sunday breakfasts with Kevin, etc.--I was alone, and lonely, most of the time.
The other thing that occupied my thoughts a lot during my visit was the difference between what I think of what I've accomplished here in L.A., and what "the folks back home" think of it.
While I have to work to give myself credit for what I've accomplished, a lot of people in Lansing made no bones about it--they're impressed with the "guts" I demonstrated in making the move, and the success I've enjoyed since (i.e. They've actually seen me on tv).
And--and I found this interesting, fun, weird, and disconcerting all at once--I had the distinct impression that some people (Not everyone, mind you, but some people) were a little star-struck by me.
That seems a little silly, really. But I guess, to them, I represent "pursuing a dream" and far as they can see, having the dream come true.
And if I'm honest with myself, I like that, even if I do find it "silly" at this point (when I've only begun to make any kind of mark here in L.A.). I didn't think about it till I came out here, but now one reason I'd like to succeed is so people can say "Jim Hoffmaster did it. Maybe I can too...".
But speaking of "doing it", I've gotta get myself going--I've gotta get my car at ArcLight, then head to that Playstation audition.
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