Turning a New Leaf

Finally!!! While I still don’t have high-speed Internet, I have a decent computer at my disposal and now feel able to write and work and get things back to normal again. Slowly but surely…..

I’m just going to write a few lj-cuts for now, snippets from my last couple of months.

This has probably been the roughest year I’ve had in 12 years. It hasn’t been all bad, but the fact is my personal problems had been affecting my professional life and since April I’d been living in desperation and unable to pull myself out of a huge rut. My escape route was handed to me when my old landlord offered a few of us a paltry sum of money to leave in early April. I scoffed at his offer at the time, but at the back of my mind I knew that leaving my home of 12 years was probably my only way out of a major hole. The amazing story in all of this is how quickly and easily it was for me to get a roomate, make a deal with the landlord that I could live with, find a place, and sign a lease. In a year where mostly everything went wrong for me (Alex’s Memorial Concert excepted), getting out of my old place went so smoothly it was as if I had help.

By late April, it became clear that moving was probably my only option. The day I’d finally decided to move, I went downstairs to see my friend and neighbour Kim (Barfly) to let her know that I would be making a deal with my landlord. A mutual friend of ours, Amy, was visiting and reminded me that mutual pal Scotty from Starvin’ Hungry was looking for a place and would probably need a roommate. Scotty and I were fast friends from the start, and I thought this was an inspired idea. That evening, Wednesday May 4, I found myself at the Korova bar and ran into Scotty and then and there we decided we’d be roomates. By Sunday, Scotty went on a scouting trip and got a whole bunch of numbers and one appointment to see an apartment on the following Wednesday. I made a few calls and got an appointment to see what turned out to be a dump on the Tuesday. Scotty’s Wednesday appointment turned out to be all we needed. He saw the place, expressed a strong interest to our potential landlord, and by Saturday got a call from her saying “It’s your if you want it”. All I had to do was see the place and fill out a form. I was so sure this was the place for us, sight unseen, I’d made a verbal agreement with the old landlord on Sunday May 15, saw the place on the 16th, signed a deal with the old landlord on the 17th, and signed my new lease with Scotty on the 18th. And this place we live in is the best apartment I’ve ever had. A big, bright, spacious, and clean 5 1/2 in the heart of the Mile End.

That done, the next couple of months I was stalled and living desperately most of the time, living on borrowed money, waiting for the day of my move when I would be given a chance to start over and get a fresh perspective.

I feel 10 years younger and 500 pounds lighter today as I write this. And very grateful for a fresh start. Now I just have to get a job. NOW!

Incredibly, moving day was a thing of beauty. I remember saying to a few people I was broken man the night Wilco played. It was 7 PM, the heat and humidity was killing me all day, I was flat broke, and I’d managed to pack a grand total of 3 boxes of books. Granted, I knew that I was leaving a lot behind since there were no incoming tenants, but things were not good at that point. By Thursday afternoon, a two woman cavalry (Amy and Kim) came to my rescue and really got things started. The two of them packed my living room in no more than 2 hours, as I began to sift through what I’d be keeping and what woiuld be staying. I continued to pack through the night, with a two hour interlude as Scotty and I went to pick up a living couch that was being given to us. The next morning, good pal Allan walked into my flat at 10 AM, woke me up with a coffee and a little surprise and we were started. Kim and Debbie joined us by 10:30-11:00, followed by Rebecca (Barfly), Chris, and Nick, Everything was packed and in in the lane and ready for the Starvin’ Hungry crew (the “A” Team) to move by 2 PM. At one point, around noon, it started looking like certain rain and I realized I needed a tarp to keep my stuff dry, with everything closed. Luckily, I ran into one of the guys at Logo-Sport in the “green building” who kindly loaned us the tar they use for the street sales and everything was dry all day. It came down hard but not for long so it all went smooth. Best move I was ever a part of. Thanks again to for all the help, folks! Don’t what I would have without you.

You find some, you lose some. I found my fanzine collection and some old singles, some interesting archival stuff, pictures, notebooks, and my maternal grandfather’s Scottish birth certificate (1910). I lost an irrplaceable Tony Albano drawing that I had kept safe over 14 years, a very cool Wilco poster Alice bought me as a gift when she went down to SxSW in 2003, and abandoned a computer I’d meant to keep. If I had done one last pass over the place, I would have found a cable modem that would be very useful to me now. The desk I inherited after my Dad died and have worked at for over twenty years was abandoned. It was a beautiful old exectuive desk, maybe 60 years old, but it was just too big to keep lugging around. Oh well. The most painful loss is without a doubt the late Tony Albano’s psychedelic and very colourful drawing. There were prints made, so I hope that one day I’ll have a chance to put it on my wall. That is, if I ever find anyone who has it.

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2 thoughts on “Turning a New Leaf

  1. Sure glad to hear you’re doing better, John. You looked a hundred times better when I ran into you last week, so I hope the good feeling is keeping up.

    With some luck, my next contract won’t be as intense as the present one, so hopefully we’ll get to hang out soon. Say a cheery hello to Allan from me if you see him!

  2. johnny, ah, the twelve year cycle! incredible and strange how potent that is!

    I tried to call you the other day, but maybe I copied your number down wrong….? I was away in the country last week, but would love to get together soon. Give me a call!

    xo

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