Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April 8, 2014

April 8, 2014

Last night I made the decision to become a professional writer, instead of the amateur writer of the past.   Which means, I will now be paid in currency for my services for writing these pieces.  I have informed Facebook that they are now permitted to offer me a salary as a professional writer for Facebook.  I have just heard back from them, that they will hire me as their official Facebook columnist and therefore we agreed on a salary, which will also include health insurance, and paid vacation time.  I also request that they employ me an assistant, and that it needs to be a she, and she alone will work for me, with of course, Facebook paying for her wages, health insurance and paid vacation leave.   Once that was agreed upon, my new assistant showed up this morning at my home around 9:00 A.M.

When we met, she asked me where the office will be.  I told her that was a very good question, and I was seriously thinking of maybe having a nice outdoor work space right outside of the Richard Neutra office building on 2379 Glendale Blvd.  There is a parking lot there and close by is the Silverlake Coffee as well as the Ralphs market down the street.  Once we agreed we got two fold-up card tables, one for me to sit and write with my laptop, and one for her to use for business, as she is about be be sitting directly across from me.

The location was ideal, because I often write about music, and Rockaway Records is located on the same lot, that they share with the nails salon as well as the Silverlake Wine shop.  Location is extremely important when you set yourself for work.  In fact it can sort of make the day for you if you place all the right ingredients in, the magic works, and the writing comes quite natural.  I also brought a huge beach umbrella to protect us from the harsh California sun.

There is a perception of discipline in place when you work outside in a parking lot.  For instance we don’t have any power, so I have to depend on my battery on my computer which lasts exactly six hours.  So the work is equally using the computer to write for those six hours, but also the additional two hours, is working my thoughts on a series of MUJI notebooks that I brought with me on my recent trip to Japan.

So now I have my assistant, my work, and our two card tables, and the first thought of the day is the fact that we wished we had space in the Neutra Office Building.  That, was obviously not going to happen, due to the angry looks from the residents of that specific space.  Which is totally understandable, because even though I wear a suit, and my assistant is wearing an office skirt and blouse, designed by Vivienne Westwood,  the  make-shift office I have to admit is rather an eccentric set-up.  Nevertheless I started to work on my first column for Facebook.

My first thought of the day was the great Belguim songwriter and performer, Jacques Brel, and surely he would be a great subject matter for my initial official column for Facebook.  The thing is I know little of Brel and his work.  Mostly through the music of Scott Walker, and the great “Seasons of the Sun” by Terry Jacks, which is music by Brel, with his lyrics translated into English by the poet (and singer) Rod McKuen.  I asked my assistant to bring me any images of Brel she can find in Rockaway Records.  She came back within one hour with a 10” French album of his songs performed by the great man himself.  The only problem was that I couldn’t read the French liner notes, because I don’t read French, and two, we didn’t have a portable turntable at our make-shift office space.  It will seem I would have to improvise my thoughts and feelings for M. Brel’s work by the end of this workday.   I was looking at the front cover, and try to imagine what the record sounded like.  I imagine it was a tad dirty, perhaps even romantic, but not in the conventional way of romance, but more about the passion itself, and all of its murky after-effects.  I looked across from my card table and I noticed that my assistant was quite attractive. I went back to work, dated the column as April 8, 2014, and went to work.
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