October 30, 2008

October 30, 2008

Through Matt W. I got connected with this really generous, awesome group of people and for that I am quite thankful.  Brian housed me last night (the same Brian who got Red Mango with us two days ago) and I have to say that he was quite cryptic when I talked to him in the afternoon about coming over–he kept making references to how I knew his roommates, but refused to tell me who they were.  The day before he had made a comment about them being female and hippies, leaving me the whole evening to ponder who I might know that fit those characteristics.  When I got there I was surprised to find Heidi (an ex-art major that I used to be friends with and may have gone on a few dates with) and her friend Alisa that I had also met a few years back.  The way all these people know each other continues to amaze me.  Everyone seemed pretty excited to have me there, with Brian even pointing out how he loved how the project created numerous indirect situations as well–like his apartment getting increasingly eager as it got later in the night.

I talked to Brian for a long time about post-college plans… his happen to include moving to Europe, so we spent awhile on the political / cultural situation over there.  I don’t know much about it and Brian is a european studies major, so it was mostly him telling me about some of the differences and similarities between different countries and the US.  It was all really interesting.  At one point I mentioned being curious about the Berlin art scene and I guess Brian has a friend from Berlin who is studying here this quarter.  There is a party at the co-op Saturday night and Brian offered to introduce me to his friend if I make it over there, which sounds pretty great and has subsequently been put on my calendar.

After Heidi came out and reminded Brian how late it was, we all got ready for bed: I hadn’t had a communal teeth brushing so far this project, so that was pretty interesting–another fairly private act to share with strangers.  A lot of the apartments seem to have their own traditions (like the “check in” from the night before) and after getting ready for bed Heidi looked up my birthday in the “birthday book.”  I have to say my tarot reading was actually pretty wonderful, as it was about leaving behind material possessions in search of a higher truth that would eventually lead me to the infinite.  I don’t really put much faith in things like that, but it is a nice idea right?  Being included in these very apartment-specific events makes me feel so much more welcome and I think is a good indication of how a lot of people take this seriously and want to do more than just let me sleep on their couch.

I got to sleep on a pull-out couch in the living room and it was great!  After getting in bed, I talked to Heidi for a bit since she was still out working on a paper.  It was nice to catch up and I would definitely enjoy talking for more than a few minutes next time.  According to Brian, she thought that I just abruptly stopped talking to her towards the beginning of our first quarter here… although I remember being given an ultimatum to either hang out more or not at all, naturally choosing the latter because ultimatums are stupid.  It doesn’t really matter anymore, but I do find it quite poetic to stay at the house of the first real friend I made at UCLA as a part of my last project here.

Things are going really well, with tonight being the halfway point.  Although I do really love this project, it has been hard and I look forward to the end–although I don’t think I could have made it any shorter and still have gotten a thorough-enough experience.  I think Heidi put it nicely last night when she said that it must be exhausting to not be able to put my guard down; it definitely is.  Everyone had to get up early this morning, but Brian and Heidi told me I could sleep as late as I wanted so I slept in until ten.  A welcome eight hours of sleep… hopefully I can stay alert and actually contribute during senior studio this time.

Tonight I am staying with Victor (who was over last night talking with the fourth roommate Tracy) and Brian kept joking (?) about how I am going to be descending even farther into the hippie subculture in the next few days.  Sounds good to me.

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