So I’m back in Chi-town from Cali now. Man, last week was such a great trip. Every day I got up at like 8:30-9a. Practiced for a few hours. Then at like 12:30p I’d head over to Khansahib’s house, and he’d have bhelpuri ready for a snack for us. So we’d sit and chill for a little bit, then sit down for a lesson for an hour or two, then I’d be off to do whatever I wanted for the rest of the day. Most of the time, that was going back and practicing so my lesson the next day wasn’t going to be a total waste. But I did make some time to get out. Early in the week I made it out to a park and the ocean to practice a bit out there. The ocean was GORGEOUS out there. The weather was GORGEOUS out there, landscape that you drive through was GORGEOUS out there. Can you tell I’m jealous? :P I was talking to Khansahib about that one day after our lesson, about how I thought the weather was so nice out there. and he was saying that sometimes ‘it’s too much. You know, you’ll have like a whole month when you don’t even have a cloud in the sky, it can get to be just too much.’ I was like ‘Khansahib, last year in Chicago, it snowed in May. That really doesn’t sound that bad!!’ Lol. Wednesday and Thursday he had concerts with his group Ghazal, so those nights I just stuck around at his place after our lesson, hung out with him and some of his other students that were going to the show, checked out the show, then went back to his house for a dinner FEAST that his friends had prepared. All in all, it was such a great trip.

The hotel I was staying in was shady as hell though. It was called the Heritage Motel on Ventura Blvd. My first night there, I was sitting in my room listening to my tapes from the lesson i had earlier that day, and at about 9p, I heard and felt this big BOOOOOOOOOM outside. The floors shook, the walls shook. It was like a small bomb went off right outside my room. Crazy. At first I tried not to give it much thought, but then i heard all this craziness going on outside. So I went out to check it out—I was on the second floor overlooking the parking lot—and some lady was running around getting fire extinguishers, screaming ‘somebody call the fire department! What’s wrong with you people!’ Apparently, the hotel has some rooms with kitchens in them. And in one particular room there was a family there who had been LIVING in the hotel for SIX YEARS, with their kids, a dog and all. Hello… So in their room, there was a big GAS EXPLOSION. We (being me and the dude staying in the room next door who also came out to figure out what the hell was going on) tried asking the fire department people what the cause was, but never really got a solid answer. The next morning, the old guy at the front desk that I made friends with said something about it being a ‘grease explosion.’ I tried to hear him out, but come on, grease doesn’t explode, it just burns. That night was an EXPLOSION. My guess is there was a gas leak, or maybe they left the stove running gas unlit or something, and someone tried to light a cigarette or something, and BOOM. But all in all, it made for a fun little first night out in Cali. I also found a used crackpipe under my bed a few nights later. Yay.

So since that first night, I never really slept that well out there, go figure. But it was moreso because I didn’t have an alarm clock, and I was paranoid as hell of oversleeping. So I’d constantly wake up startled thinking I overslept, only to look at my watch and see it was only a few hours later than it was the last time I jumped up. So that made for some pretty interesting dreams. One night I had a dream that I was chilling with some friends at this small get-together thing, and this kid I haven’t talked to since elementary school comes walking in, Akaash Rami. He looked exactly like he did in elementary school, only bigger. Like, older-bigger. He still had a mullet, still had the same looking face, and still wore those technicolor plaid shirts. Lol. He walked into the room, and just started introducing himself to people, networking-style. When he got to me, he had a look on his face like he recognized me from somewhere, but didn’t know from where, but didn’t say anything. Just introduced himself and moved on. That was that.

Another night, I had a dream that I was walking down some yuppy street in Chicago on a rainy night with my bass guitar and my acoustic guitar, in their respective cases. I’m not sure where I was going, or where I was coming from, but I was trying to get SOMEWHERE. So I stopped on a sharp corner of a six corner intersection, and I left my equipment down for a sec and walked away somewhere, and when I came back, some dude picked up my stuff and was RUNNING OFF with it. Hello. I went chasing after him, he got to his car and while he was fumbling around with his keys, I caught up with him. He dropped his keys as I approached, and just froze, cause he wasn’t really sure what to do, and wasn’t sure what I was going to do. He just asked me, in an ‘oh crap’ sorta way ‘what are you gonna do?’ I grabbed my guitar and bass from him, gave him a few words and went back to that corner that my stuff initially got stolen from. I just stood there for a second collecting myself again, and then I see my DAD crossing the opposite street. It was like 3a, in the city, and my dad was crossing the street. So of course I was thinking ‘what the hell??’ So after taking a split second to decide to leave me stuff on the corner again, I went chasing after him. He was walking into a parking lot, so while I was catching up with him, I tried to keep an eye on my stuff from the cracks in between the parked cars that gave me an obstructed view of my stuff. After I finally caught up with him, he said he was just making a quick stop while he was driving to New Jersey. For some reason, at the time, that sounded to totally reasonable, so I said ‘cool, have a good trip,’ and headed back to the corner to get my stuff and get on my merry way, and low and behold, once again my stuff was gone. This time, a saw and ENTIRE BAND RUNNING down the street with all sorts of equipment - guitars, amps, speakers. So I had to decide if I was going to assume they took it—cause why else would they be RUNNING with what I know is some HEAVY-ASS equipment—or assume they wouldn’t have cause take my stuff cause they already have way more equipment than my measly little axes. After taking a quick glance around and not seeing any other obvious directions my stuff could have gone, I went chasing after them. They lead me into some warehouse FILLED with music equipment. I felt more like it probably wasn’t them who took my stuff, cause why would they? But at this point, going back wouldn’t lead in any other good direction. It was either here, or gone for good. I obnoxiously started rummaging through their stuff trying to find mine, and lying on the floor around a corner I saw the case of my bass guitar. Then I woke up, somehow content. Crazy, huh? The dreams were so detailed, and so random.