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www.lisagoe.com Too many miraculous, strange, hilarious things happen to me...so its about time you all experience it with me through the ups and down of lisagoe.com

Monday, February 14, 2011

A New Beginning?

I ran down the stairs early to find a note on the dinner table,

“Morning Lisa! Grandpa and I went to Palm Springs. We’ll be back in 3 days. Call if you need anything. Please feed the fish and birds. June-hi is with Joshua”

My grandparents were such adventurers. This wasn’t the first time I woke up to see a note on the table. The last time it was Vegas. I hope I’m as spunky as they are when I’m their age.

I went to the kitchen, and the oatmeal canister and dried cranberries were already set out on the counter for me. The packets of to go miso soup and red apples were also laid out for me, ready to go for work. There were definitely perks to being a starving artist and my grandparents living in Santa Monica. Not only was the transition easy considering I grew up in their house, but they made it even easier with taking care of everything else. My laundry was folded for me every morning, they thought it was silly for me to drive to work since it was just down the street, and because I worked till 6 most days, I was picked up and dinner was ready as soon as I got home.

The one argument we would come across every now and then, was why I wasn’t working every day. “You act like you’re retired!” My grandma would say...but it did seem that way I guess. I worked in retail, but I specifically worked as a personal shopper/ stylist. I worked off commission and for working 25 hours a week, I made as much as some of my friends made in 40 hrs of work..sometimes more.

Other than that, I came home before 2 and if it was later I’d call and stay at a friends. Every time I met a new friend, I’d put their name, number, sometimes address on an index card they had set aside for emergencies. It was all easy. I never really had anyone over though. A few friends but not more than one.

This specific morning, I really could have used a ride. I slept in a little later, and for me to drive myself meant I needed to find parking...which for the locals who knew the free spots...this was near impossible.

I fed the fish and checked the birds, thank God June -hi the turtle wasn’t home that would’ve just been one extra step. I threw on some clothes and ran out the door. As I searched for a parking spot, I turned on NPR. “That was Rachael Yamagata. This is Morning Becomes Eclectic.” A miracle!!! A spot a few blocks away. This was going to be a great day!

I checked the sign to make double sure this spot was truly available. It was. I was early so, I stopped into the coffee shop near sur la table for a smoothie. The line was too long so I hummed a tune and walked into work. This day was feeling great!....oops spoke to soon.

Put on those cartoon screech noises...someone switched shifts with Roberto Lopez...the other personal shopper. It wasn’t that I didn’t like Roberto..he didn’t seem to like me. Since the first day I began working at our location, I beat his sales. He wasn’t too happy about this, so I believe, out of jealous immaturity, he gave me the cold shoulder.

I always tried to “surrender” but he didn’t care to notice. You know those people who like to talk about events in front of you..and they know you are not invited..yeah..he did that a few times. “Oh, I love taco night, remember last week you guys? wasn’t it great?! “ (silent peripheral stare of ‘yeah..and you weren’t invited’) I just don’t have time for people like this, but it never made for a pleasant working day.

It was busy, but I felt like i wasn’t helping a soul. It seemed every time I tried to help someone Roberto had already taken the initiative. I just give up at that point, and try to give a helping hand when I can.

This woman had several clothes on a table. I couldn’t tell if they were put backs or purchases. “Excuse me are these your items?”

“Oh yes! I’m so sorry! I just can’t figure out what to wear! Can you help me?!”

After a quick 30 minutes we found some great outfits, packed them in bags, and she was off. About 10 minutes later she came back,

“Lisa you were so great, and I don’t know if you want to be here in this store forever but I think you’d do great at Seven Denim. I don’t work for them but I have a friend who does, and I know she would love you. Here’s her card give her a call, send a resume, we’ll set up a meeting it’ll be great. Thanks again!”

She was off...I stood there looking at the card, looking at the door, looking at the card. Was this my way out?!

I left work elated. Jumped in my car and went straight to Hollywood.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Excuse me, I'm shy, or maybe I don't believe in myself...

“Do you have any cashmere? Excuse me? Miss?”

I had zoned off into some outer space dream world, “la la land” When she said the word cashmere, I heard her, but the tangible item was not ringing a bell.

“ why yes m’am, right...” I stopped. I recognized this face. A sweet as apple pie face. Sissy Spacek, I had recently found her daughter Schuyler Fisk’s music, and I loved it. So of course out of everyone else in the store I would be helping her.

I showed her to the cashmere, and hesitated a moment. “We can also order anything we don’t have here for you and have it shipped to your home, or if you feel more comfortable I can see about arranging it to be sent to our store for you to pick up.....and I love your daughters music”

Yep...it came out. the La in me would soon come out in me. Soon we would talk about how i heard her music, ‘and oh by the way I’m a musician too’ but instead, I just did my job.

“What do you think about this color dear? oh! but this one is nice too! Oh I can’t decide. Maybe I should just be basic” Well, if you need a basic, a lot of people go for the black, but I prefer the heather gray or navy.” “Well, alright then! I’ll take both”

I took her to the register and began to ring up her purchases. I can feel the pull inside of me, “Lisa..just do it. She seems really nice, I’m sure she wouldn’t be offended..this is your chance!!”

“Well, thank you so much for your help today, what was your name again?” “Lisa..uh..” “Thanks again, Lisa. Bubye now!”

“uh..bubye!” Dangit! Oh well. Maybe she’d come in again who knows. I went back on to the floor, arranging some denim, again zoning off into space. I looked around at my other associates. These people weren’t my friends. They were my work associates. We all had separate lives, separate agendas, and what was I doing here. Why! Was I here.

Before I knew it, it was time to leave. My grandparents usually would pick me up, but my friend Samantha and I were going to grab dinner and catch a show at Hotel Cafe. I leaped into her car, and took a deep breathe

“you okay?”

“yeah, i’m fine. Just needed to take in the fresh air..or as fresh as la air can be. Gah! I just get so....so annoyed!! I go into that store day in and day out, help people get dressed, and then what, go to shows and watch people do what I want to do? I need to get myself together”

“well, glad your day was a good one!” Samantha was always good about chearing me up, and speaking logically. Although she was a few years younger than me, she was always wise.

“Well, i think our production company is going down the gutter,” “well aren’t we a duo!” I replied.

We spent the rest of the drive venting about what was happening on our day to day, and then amping eachother up as far as what we could do about it. We both worked in the industry, and we were both..bored.

We got to Hotel Cafe, and waited by the bar. Sometimes Marco was there. He was always so cute. I had heard he had dated an asian girl. I had also heard he was cautious with who he dated as many would try and use him, so I always just looked from afar to keep things interesting.

As people began to fill the room, My arm was pulled forward. My crocheted sleave was tangled in a very tall slender womans handbag. “Oh I’m so sorry!! Are we going to have to cut it?” “ no no no, I think i can untangle it, I probably shoulddn’t be wearing crocheted sweaters to crowded places!” I was so caught up with untangling my sleave I didn’t look up at her till it was almost untangled...Mandy Moore. I didn’t think she was so tall! She towered above me! I looked down..no wonder. Not only is she already tall, she was wearing a tall heel.

We broke free from our entanglement, she apologized again with a smile, and then I just stood there....what the heck dude..really. Missed opportunities! The music began to play, and low and behold...Schuyler fisk was playing. I looked to the front and there sitting on the floor in the front was Sissy.

After Schuyler’s set, I said hello to Sissy, and with sweet open arms she hugged me and thanked me for helping her out. “Schuyler sounded amazing. I really enjoy her music” I commented. “Oh REaly!! oh you are too sweet! It is always so sweet to my ears to hear great things about my daughter. Thank you!”

Sissy was so elated I didn’t feel proper to talk about myself. Tonight was about her daughter....but I tried slipping a business card in her purse. Another friend of mine who was there, gave Sissy's manager one of her demo’s. Brave. What was my problem! As I began to leave, Sissy stopped me and handed me one of Schuylers Ep’s. ‘”Thank you Sissy. I’ll be sure to enjoy it”

I left with a bittersweet feeling. i was excited to be so calm and accepted by two celebrities, but I was disappointed in myself. Why was I so shy? Am I ashamed of my passion? no...so what is it...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Hollywood and Cahuenga

There are those rare finds of people, usually hanging around Hollywood, Silverlake, and Downtown. The ones that don’t need to compete. They just are who they are. Stealthily Brilliant. You’d never know they had won multiple grammys, and multiple other adorned awards. That is until you were invited to their homes, and even from the outside you’d think they lived humbly. Most of them did. These are the people I liked to hang with. Living on the westside of la had its advantages, but the rawness of the eastside is what drove me.

On any given evening you’d find me on Hollywood and Cahuenga, laughing loudly, singing softly, or drinking slowly. Behind mulitple bars, and a star encrusted street, is Hotel Cafe. Run by a very handsome man named Marco, anyone from Jon Mayer, to Joss Stone, to local starlets Ernie Halter, and then Katy Hudson (Perry) would play their hearts out. There has never been a need to check the roster at Hotel Cafe. It was always good music, a great vibe, and great people.

Before the renovation, there used to be a somewhat hidden room, called the Piano Room.
Inside was a beautiful black piano, a cigarette machine and high up near a small window a fan to circulate the air. As far as I knew, other than the cigar shops, this was one of the only indoor rooms away from the privacy of your home that you could enjoy a cigarette in CA. I loved coming to this room for late night jam sessions. Sal, a big red bearded man would brilliantly play the keys. I remember one instance an older black man, sloppy from drinking, tried to take over. Sals booming voice sent him to his place. And as we all watched, as soon as Sal hit the keys again, harmonies enveloped the room, and things were as they were before.

As the night continued, I decided to go into the main venue and listen to some music. Tony lucca was playing. It was my first time hearing him play. I had met him through my friend Ernie Halter, and knew his name sounded familiar, but didn’t really know why. Turns out...he used to be apart of the Mickey Mouse Club cast with Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. Tony is a gem. I loved that about these people. So humble. So talented.

Tony was playing his second to last song, and a buzz started to meander around the room. I had no idea why, so i ignored it. “ For this next song I’m going to ask Joss Stone to the stage” All heads turned and here comes Joss. This town was smaller than I thought!! The whole room was jumping up and down, stomping their feet, just enraptured by the music and this rare surprise. We asked Tony later about it, turns out he didn’t even really know her. He just saw her and thought...why not. I’ll see if she wants to come up. Music is so cool like that!

“ That was fun tonight. Are you heading back to the west side” Ernie Halter had encouraged me to make the big move to La from Santa Barbara after opening for me and this other amazing musician Tyrone Wells. Ernie is one of those people you meet andi nstantly just adore. Not only was he easy to befriend, he was a true friend. Someone you can count on, unlike the cliche, “oh nice to meet you, here’s my card, lets be friends cuz you seem like you’ll be famous”

“yeah, I think I am. I have to drive to Santa Barbara tomorrow, and start looking for another job. I’ll probably leave after this next set”

“Well, a group of us are hangin at my place on the roof, if you wanna jam a little bit?”

How could i refuse. Not only was Ernie the most generous, kind hearted friend I had made, he had some of the most amazing musician friends. His apartment was just around the corner. The rooftop was the most amazing view of los angeles other than the Griffith Memorial. The Hollywood sign was so close you could touch it, and on a clear night you could see the ocean. It was so inspiring.

After a few drinks, and a few rounds of passing the guitar, we all went back down to the street to enjoy some Greco’s pizza. Always a great late night snack.

“ One cheese and pepperoni! one whole pizza! mushroom and spinach!!”

“So Lisa. What do you want to do while you’re here in la” Ernie always tested me

“i don’t know. Play shows, meet people, Do what you guys do! I would love to play Hotel Cafe”

“Ok...well, lets make that happen”

and with my folded new york style pizza, I smiled. Even if my day to day was boring, I always had the night”

Friday, January 21, 2011

On the Promenade

I sat on the bench on 4th in the promenade, right outside Sephora. I was eating an apple, a piece of bread, string cheese, and had miso soup in my “to go” bowl. Every day on my break, I went outside and looked for a bench to sit and observe. If it was cold out, I’d go into the borders and find a place next to the windows upstairs, and read Anne lamott's Bird by Bird. I hated being in the back in the break room. So stuffy and awkward. Having to make friends with people i knew gave 2 stones about me. But I would try anyway.

During my breaks, I would try and think of what I was doing with my life, at least for the present. I wasn’t happy where I was. I enjoyed the nightlife, the people, the creative wind all around me, but I wasn’t settled yet. I wasn’t who I was used to being; a big fish in a small pond. I was the minnow now, avoiding the Sharks.

As I was finishing my lunch, I looked up and recognized a familiar grin, followed by two police officers. I stood up and stared a bit. The 68 year old women I had been speaking to about an hour ago in the lobby of the our store, was now being escorted out into the Sunny, scummy LA air. Her black shift dress and pearls, looked cheap as her wrists were now decorated with hand cuffs.

I threw away my brown bag, and held on to my soup bowl. “Excuse me officer, what happened? I was just helping this woman in my store” . He continued walking and looked down on me “shoplifting” I stopped following him, and with a wrinkled brow stood as they walked around the corner.

“Shoplifting?! Really Lisa? Well it was good that you spoke with her so long. You probably prevented any of our items from being taken” My store manager seemed to like me alright. All the managers did. It was nice to know that some one had my back, unlike some of the other associates. Sales. OI! Its as competitive as being creative. You always have to watch your back. I suppose it has given me tough skin.

I clocked back in, and with a deep breath went and braved the store. All these hollywood starlets, and wannabes. The movies really portray most La residents to a tee! And most of them can barely afford what they have. They are constantly competing with themselves.

“Excuse me..girl...EXCUSE ME! “ “Yes m’am” “ Yes I would love that skirt on the mannequin in the window. “Let me make sure its available, I believe someone is about to try it on. “ This petite over done up woman with hips as wide as her height, would try and squeeze into the size 2 skirt, probably rip it and either 1) ask for a discount or 2) complain about the quality, make a scene forcing us to do what any place with great customer service would do...give her an award for her tantrum.

“m’am, I do apologize but there is someone who is about to try it on. If you like I can make sure if she doesn’t want to purchase it to get it to you, or we can order one for you”

“I don’t have time to wait for it to be delivered. Is that who’s trying it on? Oh she won’t fit in it. are you kidding. You might as well just let me purchase it”

My face got beet red. I felt all eyes in our direction. Her high pitched voice magnified, as she cut down this poor woman. She should have been yelling at herself for her negligence to find something till the last minute for her event. All i wanted to do is ask her to leave and point out her awkwardly shaped body..but instead I just stared at her in disbelief. It wasn’t even worth my time.

I looked over at the patient client, and gave her an apologetic smile.

“ We have a few other skirts that could..”

“NO! no.. that is the one I want”

“Let me see what I can do”

I went behind the register and as I was speaking to Kim, one of my managers,

“I’m ready! She ran out. Probably best”

I looked at Kim, she replied “M’am were you able to try this on? It may be too big for your petite frame”

“Oh! you’re too kind. It should fit perfectly”

Two days later, I found the skirt on the desk in the office with a note “ Lisa, please return this. Lady was dissatisfied with the quality. Also, please send her a $25 rewards card”

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My story: New Years Resolution

I’ve always wondered what a television show or movie would be like, about me. Its not uncommon for me to get caught up in conversation, and then realise the only one conversing is myself. And it is often said afterwards, “Lisa, you are such an interesting person.” Whether or not I’m supposed to take this as a compliment, I do, and it wasn’t until this recent New Years, I made some pretty major decisions, all based off of one idea. Have Less, Do More.

How am I supposed to have less and do more? Well, for one I’ve stopped drinking...as much. I’ve also decided to have less friends, and less....intimate friends as well. And because of these less indulgent activities, I’ve been able to indulge myself in a lot more for me. At first I felt a bit selfish, when really...its the best selfish thing i could do for myself.

As a creative person, I tend to be unfocused. I start projects, and rarely finish them. I jump between music, both writing and singing, to creative writing, to managing, to fashion. I had a “bitch sesh” as we like to call them with my friend Joel. “Lisa, you need to focus. Write a list of writers you’d like to write with and do it!” I completely agree with Joel, but the distraction to write other than songs, is too fun..or maybe I’m just jumping onto another distraction again.

Here I go again... Jumping around topics, and ideas. All of this to say is...I’m going to tell a story. Parts of my story. A “live” book. I hope you come a long and I hope to keep you on your toes, as my toes once were on their tips.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lets try this again...

Its been a long time.
Here is my attempt at saying hello again...
I am HOPING! to release a live album before Christmas..Here's the album cover

Sunday, May 16, 2010

again and again

looks like i'm starting yet again.

Head first on the track into something great, now a carpet pulled from under me. I've been completely motivated lately with multiple projects, recording a few songs, getting together a press package, starting a new band...and then suddenly out of the blue, within not but a few hours..SMACK gone.

I've lived in Nashville a year now, and every time i seem to get back my inspiration, it all disintegrates into tiny little pieces. Am I supposed to write an album of continual sadness and angst! I would hope not. I"m hoping for an inspired spree of euphoria...

All I know for now..i'm pushing. Hoping that with each push a new stepping stone is overcome...

till tomorrow.