i'm sitting in a cafe called "beehive," in pittsburgh, pa, and the last time i was here was probably four years ago. at the time i was a bit scared/put off by the scene here, seemingly filled with crust punks and homeless people. i must have been really young, because now i look around and just seem like minded looking people and fairly cute girls. i suppose that's quite an upgrade. sitting here, relaxing, catching up on emails, signing up for ridiculous interweb applications, these are all good things. i'm playing a bar across the street tonight with the life and times (ex-shiner and dillenger escape plan, at least from what i understand) and i'm excited about that. even more so, i'm excited that things are good. well, i guess they're pretty great, actually. sure, i'm still scraping by, still without much direction, but i had a blast last night, and my good buddy scotty is coming here tonight to hop on for the ride for the next two weeks. that's going to rule.
yesterday turned out really well. i had a four hour drive from harrisburg to slippery rock and just put my ipod on shuffle and let it ride. lots of good music, feeling good screaming down the highway. when brian (the waltz) and i played in PA last month we took the same road, so it felt nice to see familiar things, like i wasn't far from home. i have a feeling this is going to start happening more and more. i love that feeling of being somewhere you don't live but knowing that one coffee shop or burrito joint that makes you feel like you're not completely nowhere. when i got to slippery rock i figured i might be a little early so i went shopping at the dollar store (which had many things for way more than a dollar. weird, but they had some cheap food) and bought a bunch of random canned and dried goods. i figured i'd hit the supermarket before i left the next morning, but if i could stock up on some good traveling food it'd be a good idea. i then made my way over to erik's and with good timing, as he had just returned home. just a little back story on erik:
about four years ago or so i played a show with my old band in grove city, pa, which is the town over from slippery rock. one of the dudes at the show happened to also go to rutgers, the university i was finishing up at, and he'd seen my band before. he came up and introduced himself and we got to talking. this kid's name is jacob, and he's since become one of my best friends, but at the time i knew little to nothing about him. we had spent the previous night at a house of some people jacob knew, and i suppose he knew the condition on the house, so he offered his parents place up if we wanted to stay somewhere else. where we were staying had some really awesome people, and we had a lot of fun, but it was incredibly hot, and next to a church that had ringing bells all morning, so going to a parents house with a clean shower and free food sounded great. that night we went to jacob/jake's house, swam in the above ground pool, turned it into a whirl pool, ate food and hung with new friends from the show. some of those friends were a band we'd played with earlier that night, and one of the band members was erik. erik is jake's best friend from home, so when i decided to tour PA i thought he'd be a great dude to catch up. and that brings us to now. oh, i neglected to say, jake has been in budapest, hungary for the last 9 months or so, so erik and i were happy to see each other, as we are both reminders of our mutual good buddy.
erik and i hung out and caught up for a few hours, and then i called my buddy to talk to him. the poor kid has been having a really rough time recently with love issues, and yesterday it all came crashing down upon him. it felt so terrible to know this guy i love and respect so much was in such pain. i fucking hate it, and it's things like this that make me want to not be traveling around. i feel so incredibly selfish in situations like this, and i hate it. but he's strong and he will be ok. still, my heart goes out to him. we talked for a while, and then when he reached a good friend's we got off the phone. i had a knot in my chest, but tried to pull myself out of it all. after i got off the phone erik and i walked down to pick up some beers for the evening. i then met some of erik and jake's other friends and we all headed over to sheena's house. erik had set up a living room show, and basically we just packed a bunch of friends into a living room, played songs, drank beers and hung out. they were all amazing, really kind people, they donated money for gas, bought albums, laughed at my stories and generally made me feel wonderful. i really appreciated it and felt like if i could do this every night, i could live amazingly well and happily.
after a good nights sleep and waking up to a hang out session with sneak, erik's cat, i went to pick up some groceries. i bought some fruit and vegetables, some baba ganouch, and prepared myself for a shrinking stomach and long days. i tried to fill up on coffee and water, but the water i bought from the dollar store turned out to have tons, and i mean TONS, of brown particles floating in it. i've eaten and drank gross stuff, but i figured this wasn't worth it. i mean, pizza off the ground in asbury park, sure, cookies in the street in new brunswick, of course, but sea monkeys in jug water? no thanks. i guess i'm getting conservative in my old age.
i then made my way down towards pittsburgh, listening to my brother's music the whole way. he's so insanely talented. brian bond. check him out. you'll love it. i wish so badly that he got the attention that he deserves. he constantly inspires me and pushes me to do better. he's also responsible for me having one finished album and one near completion. and, that brings you up to date. here i am, in the beehive in pittsburgh, waiting to meet up with garett (jake's buddy who i met last night but lives in pitts) so we can cook up a nice veggie dinner before i need to head over to the smiling moose. i just met some really nice people and invited them to the show, so hopefully they'll come by. i realize it's still really early in this trip, but it's been great, i've been living, loving and laughing. nothing crazy has happened, but while driving by myself i sometimes just laugh out loud or smile, realizing how ridiculous i am and how insane this whole jam is. i can only hope it gets better and more fun.
crap, i just realized i need to put money in the meter. you forget about things like this, but i really can't have them ticketing and towing my house. that would not bode well for me at all.
also, i wanted to recant something my good friend sam said the other day. he said that i should try to think of every day as the first day of this adventure so that i enter it with wide eyes, an open heart, and full zeal. that being said, he suggested that rather than counting up the days, i should count down the year. i really love the sentiment and appreciate sam for suggesting it. i suppose this would be 1 of 360 or something like that. feel free to look at it that way if you'd like.
by the way, i have no idea if anyone reads this, but if you do, i hope it finds you amazing and happy. say hello, let me know what you think and take care of each other. have fun and don't stop.