Inspired by @aurora telling her BJ Novak story: [🙇🏻‍♀️] MY @bjnovak STORY
  1. So I'm in Hollywood, it's December 2014.
  2. The tail end of my trip to scatter my dad's ashes out west.
  3. I'm doing six weeks in my Airbnb spot in Topanga Canyon, and loving the opportunity to hang around long enough that it feels like I'm Living In L.A.™
  4. I've just stumbled out of Amoeba Records with a red cloth tote full of things - Criterion DVDs, records, an obscene amount of CDs because I still buy them like a fool. I think I'd paid something like $30 for an out of print Flying Burrito Brothers CD.
  5. It's late in the evening and I think, "Do I have leftovers in the fridge back at the guest house? Gelson's is closed by now. Maybe I should eat here before I make the drive back to Topanga."
  6. I breathe crisp air and gaze across the street and I know that I'm not gonna do In-N-Out or Jack In The Box. So I turn and cross the side street, heading towards the Arclight Cinema. Nestled between Amoeba and the theatre complex are a handful of mid-range, mid-fancy restaurants.
  7. The first one is Stella Barra. Pizza! I'm sold.
  8. I'm seated at a high table along the wall by the street, and I order something basic and leave my bag to wash the Amoeba dust off my hands.
  9. Coming back from the bathroom, I see a familiar face. It's @bjnovak - who, at that point, I know mostly just from The Office. Hey, my fifth celeb sighting this trip!
    (First four - The pop star who caught me scattering my dad's ashes at Chateau Marmont, Mayer Hawthorne also at CM, and both Brian Posehn and Este Haim 😍 at different trips to Amoeba)
  10. He's with someone. Not sure who it is. I get back to my seat and think of my sister's friend Marcia, who knows BJ.
  11. I think about when Marcia designed my very first website, when I had just gotten started with my music career. And when she mentioned that she'd done the sites for some big comedians at that time (the early 00's) and I ask who, the first she mentions is Zach Galifianakis and I go, "Who?"
  12. I think back to my first trip to Los Angeles, where my dad's back problems kept him confined to that room at the Days Inn Santa Monica, so Marcia very kindly offered to pick me up and show me around.
  13. I remember her very endearingly finicky order in the Taco Bell drive-thru. I remember the Halloween party in the Hollywood Hills where she was dressed as a member of Devo and I saw cocaine for the first time. I remember going to Swingers and having my first LA celeb sighting - Carmen Electra & Dave Navarro.
  14. And I remember the comedy club where we saw an amazing set by Hard N Phirm (Chris Hardwick & Mike Phirman) and they had this audio/visual setup where they sang their song El Corazon accompanied by hilarious images (early makeshift memes) and then it morphed into a Spanish version of Heart's Alone by the end.
  15. Mike Phirman was especially nice to me the couple times I saw him that trip - we kept in touch on MySpace (lolz) and he left a great review for my first album where he said I'd written melodies that were like "peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth - in a good way."
  16. So there I am, waiting for my average pizza while casting my memory back to that very first west coast trip, with my dad. Who is gone now. Who I'm memorializing with this trip. And right over there - there's BJ Novak from The Office.
  17. And I don't know to go over to his table and say, "Excuse me - sorry to interrupt you guys - but a year from now, in December 2015, are you gonna change my life?"
  18. "Are you and your friend from Topanga - which is incidentally where I'm staying right now - gonna create something that will allow me the chance to make like five check marks on my bucket list?"
  19. "Will I let life in again, even though right now it feels like life is over at the end of this trip?"
  20. "Will I make new friends? Some for life, some just for awhile? Will I make enemies too?"
  21. "Will I think I'm over all of this grief, because a few months is enough already, but then find out way later that it's gonna take much longer than that?"
  22. "Will I finally go into therapy?"
  23. "Will hundreds of people make lists about stuffed animals, and album tracklists, and stories from when they were half their age that range from inspiring to mortifying to hysterical, just because we all like each other a lot and want to read them?"
  24. "Will I, quite simply, carry on? Not because of you, or this thing you and your friend will make, but because it will just so happen - through the random magic of timing - that I'll find the thing you made at the very moment I decided and chose, myself, to carry on?"
  25. No, of course I don't know at that moment to ask or even think any of those things.
  26. All I think to myself is, "BJ Novak, huh. It's been a few years since The Office. I wonder what he's working on now."