Archive for November 2nd, 2008

November 2, 2008

November 2, 2008

You would think that by now I would be less amused by the connections I see around me, but I still find it completely mind blowing.  Last night Heidi recommended I put more of how I’m feeling in these entries (which seems to be the general response from everyone) and so I will endeavor to do that… but I really am just very into relating all the crazy things that happen.  The lack of sleep and lack of relaxation are terrible, but it’s so cool that things are actually moving and evolving!  Anyways, I met up with Heidi, her roommate Alisa, and Alisa’s boyfriend Nate around 7:20 to go to the play Asses and Elephants in Santa Monica instead of that party with Brian.  The play was a love story between a Democrat and a Republican set during the 2004 election and was really good; more relevant to the project, however, is that I met Victor and his roommate Madi (not sure about the spelling here) at the play–those are the people whose apartment I slept at the night before Halloween, when I didn’t see anyone.  They seem really cool and possibly the “hippiest” people I have met at UCLA; Madi also had no idea I slept over or that I was doing a project, so I think she now finds me creepy for starting our conversation with how I have slept at her house.  Victor had the genius idea that after I am done I host a party for everyone who had me sleep over and I am really really into the idea.  I have been struggling with issues of exploitation and using people to make an art project with no intention of ever engaging with them again, which is precisely what I do not want to happen.  I think a party would really tie everything together, ensure that anyone who was interested in it being more than a one night stand (hehehe) could do so, and enable this large circle that is oddly centered around me (and has really become my audience) to meet / socialize.  It is also a way for me to give back beyond just staying open to the experience–I originally wanted to set up a project where the participants were actually doing quite a bit of work for very little in return, unlike some of my more recent projects.  Turns out I hate that mechanic, as I feel like I am not taking my responsibility as an artist seriously… I need that last conclusive moment where everything comes together and I am working with people, not just using them as a material.

Overall the whole play situation was kind of awkward, despite being really good.  I was sure Heidi had read my entry about her and was just waiting for it to come up, plus I’m a fairly shy person in general and everyone wanted to talk to me about the project–this piece is definitely forcing me to get more comfortable talking about my work, which is probably a good thing.  I keep getting asked how I came up with this.  Of course there are many different things that I am interested in / influenced by, but I think my social situation over the last few months bears the clearest relationship.  My girlfriend of two and half years and I broke up at the beginning of the summer, after which I spent three weeks by myself in London and then three weeks on a road trip to Canada with my family… essentially resulting in a sense of being alone that I hadn’t felt in a really long time.  On some level this project is a foil / compliment to those months.

After the play, we went back to Heidi’s and picked up Brian on the way to hear Matt S.’s (see Oct. 29) band perform at an apartment near mine.  Interesting side note, I later found out they were originally supposed to play at the party that I was going to go to with my roommate Aidan… so essentially I bailed on going to a party because I had plans with someone else, to go to the same party.  Weird.  We stopped by my place on the way for some alcohol, said hi to Aidan and Jac (Oct. 17) who were getting ready to hit the bars, and then made it over to Matt’s concert.  Apparently Yvette (Oct. 27) is the violinist in his band!  Ashley (Oct. 25) was also there… along with a few other people I have seen along my travels.  I think now is a good time to mention that no matter where I go in Westwood, I will inevitably see Dominick’s (Oct. 22) coworker Paige.  It doesn’t matter if I go with my group of friends, someone else’s group of friends, by myself, whatever… I will see her.  I don’t really understand how that can possibly happen, but I do wonder if I will end up at her house considering I have seen her so many times in the last three weeks.

Earlier in the night Victor had told us he could get us wristbands for the aforementioned co-op party and so Heidi, Brian, and I headed over there after picking up my sleeping bag, pillow, and camera.  When we got there I met my host Chris, who apparently lives at the co-op and I dropped off my stuff in his room… he was with his girlfriend Amy, who is an art major that I have known for a little over two years.  Six degrees of separation, fo’ sho’.  Upon entering the party, I saw Alex who I know through Amanda (Oct. 18 / Oct. 24) and who was also there to see Chris… please forgive how confusing this is, I feel like I haven’t slept in forever and I am having trouble with articulation.  Later in the night I also met Brian’s friend from Berlin that he had offered to introduce me to a few nights ago, although I don’t remember her name.

This is when Heidi finally brought up the blog entry about her and we talked about what I earlier termed an ultimatum.  I knew it was coming and it definitely needed to be talked about… she just said that she had been starting to like me and needed me to clarify if it was going anywhere, which I guess I did?  I told her that I remember thinking she was “too nice” for me, but I’m not sure she took it overly well.  It was a long time ago and not really too important to rehash, but I did have a really good time hanging out with her–although talking to someone when they have read your blog is very unnerving and just seems unfair.  The two of us danced for a long time after Brian left (thank you time change) and I was way flirtier than I ever am normally; I have yet to decide how I feel about that.

After Heidi left, I met back up with Chris and Amy.  While Chris scoured the party for his roommate Noah’s keys, Amy and I had a surprisingly candid talk about relationships that kind of caught me off guard.  She asked why I had broken up with my ex and I explained a bit and then she told me some about her relationship and the eventual issue of graduation… which I feel like I can relate to, given that it was at least part of why I started to reevaluate my own relationship.  I don’t know how valuable any of my advice was, but it was really nice to connect.  Chris and Amy are apparently quite good at getting people to talk, as we stayed up until some ungodly hour (even for me) and I was actually talking about my life / art / etc instead of just listening.  Chris also explained how the co-op works, which was really interesting and I am very glad that I got to stay there as it is one of the few apartments in Westwood that is probably better known than the treehouse.  It’s not really relevant to the project, but is a fun fact.  It felt really healthy getting to open up to Chris and Amy, as I tend to keep myself fairly guarded around people that I don’t know too well and I have been around many more of such people lately.

One thing that I did notice when Noah and his friend were over, however, is how I am increasingly unable to deal with “traditional masculinity”–namely the discussion of “sexual conquests.”  I tend to just get quiet / awkward and laugh a lot, probably the result of not really caring combined with finding it so stereotypical and demeaning.  I actually noticed it back at Mario’s as well.  It really isn’t a judgmental thing so much, just some kind of code that I feel like I can’t and don’t want to be a part of or understand.  I used to at least be able to pretend in high school and I’m wondering when that shift in me took place… I think it probably has to do with my guy friends up here being (like me) completely disconnected from said cultural phenomenon.