Archive for October, 2009

Lost Anj.

October 20, 2009

LASmog

I went to Los Angeles this weekend under the pretense of  my father’s birthday. But in all honesty, I went because I missed smog, canyons and beaches.

I can’t exactly pinpoint when my fixation with Los Angeles began. I grew up an hour north of L.A. in a sleepy beach town. My parents grew up in the San Fernando Valley and most of my family still lives there. Growing up, the Valley was like my second home but I never thought of it in relation to L.A. It was, and still is,  very much its own entity.  The Valley has always weirded me out. The weather is impossibly hot and it’s littered with disgusting strip malls. Most of our nation’s porn is produced there and it’s not surprising. There’s a seediness to that place. You just know that people aren’t living right.

In the summer of 2007, I moved into an apartment in Westwood. It was my first taste of living in Los Angeles proper. My father moved to Malibu when  I was fourteen but my experiences were very much limited to weekend trips. When I think of my first few months in L.A., I think of traffic, listening to great radio, pools, sunshine, and going out on the Eastside. It was sort of an effortless adjustment. It made sense. Since that summer, I’ve been bi-coastal and have lived in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood & Hollywood. At first, the L.A. lifestyle agreed with me. Everything seemed to move in slow-motion. Days were punctuated by lunches and dinners. They were the only real markers of time. I’d go to the movies a lot or just wander down Sunset. People go to the movies a lot in Los Angeles and they do seem to wander aimlessly.

I began to realize that everything that had been said about Los Angeles was true. It was hazy, dreamy, fake, inconvenient, beautiful, ugly, alienating. People spend their days trapped in their cars. The sidewalks of major streets like Melrose and Sunset are practically desolate. People park their cars and walk the five steps to their destination.

So many people  are self-employed. At 3 P.M. on a workday, coffee shops are filled with people typing on their Mac’s and chatting on their cell phones. Everyone’s always in-between projects and something is always about to happen. People market themselves. Their image is their job. For most, it doesn’t translate to any success. But if you were to become famous for being yourself, L.A. would be the place to go.

There are a lot of things that are inherently wrong with the city. But what draws me back in is the history, the beauty and the sun. Beautiful Malibu beaches, Laurel and Topanga Canyon, the hills of Hollywood.  There’s stunning architecture, stellar parks. The aesthetic of the city is almost unreal. And I guess that’s the point. It’s drenched in an ungodly amount of sun at all times. It makes even all the ugly things look a little pretty.

I always tell people to go to L.A. with little expectations. Finding a substantial human connection can be difficult. But you need to embrace the city for what it is and forget what it’s not. Because it’s an absolutely insane place. When all is said and done, I can’t imagine ending up anywhere else.

Advertisements

Liberal Arts College Homework.

October 15, 2009

90 % 90’s.

October 13, 2009

7TyO5uz8Lo4pzx9fXTgB2dbho1_400

This past weekend, I went to Brooklyn to see Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star perform. It was a monumental event because Sandoval notoriously suffers from fears of stages/people/life. I don’t know how she really survives financially. On average, she releases one song a year. What if she moonlighted as a brilliant financial analyst on Wall Street?

She came on stage shrouded in darkness. You could really only see the outline of her body. And what a body, by the way. At this point, she must be forty but her body appears to have been frozen in ’93. She was wearing this super ugly/amazing floral (maybe it was floral. I couldn’t see shit, remember?) dress and her hair was insane and long and witch-y. She started singing and I immediately got chills/felt like I had been fed four horse tranquilizers. Everyone in the audience was 35 and seemed like they were with their high-school sweethearts. If I had been 16 when “Fade Into You” came out, I would’ve been making out to that song daily. Who am I kidding? It’s 2009, I’m 23 and I’m still managing to make out to “Fade Into You” on a semi-regular basis.  So thanks for that, Hope.

My friend Evan re-ignited my love for this old 90’s club jam. I’m getting flashbacks of myself circa age seven and crying because my parents won’t let me watch Beverly Hills, 90210. I was an “advanced” child and started watching 90210 when I was literally four years old. When I was in Kindergarten, I went over to my teacher’s house to watch the season finale. In hindsight, I guess that seems pretty weird.

My So-Called Gay Life.

October 5, 2009

Sometimes I feel like being gay is a full-time job. Do straight people ever feel straight? There are moments when I feel extra gay (like when I’m connecting to Britney Spears’ Blackout) and I’m not sure what that even fucking means. This goddamn gay media has infiltrated my reality with the Will & Grace’s and Queer Eye’s and it’s complicated my sexual identity. It’s made all the other gays I know go nuts too. We have our own set of pressures  and expectations to deal with. Sometimes I feel weird for not liking Lady Gaga, having 0.5 percent body fat or not wanting to go to gay bars on Santa Monica Blvd. I feel like a traitor to my own culture but then I realize that’s not my culture. The idea of this collective gay culture or universal gay experience isn’t real. The only thing we all share in common is that we like dick. Big fucking deal. It ends there. Then people wander off into their own sub-cultures and ride their bikes, bulk up muscle, grow a moustache, get into a monogamous relationship or do whatever else they want to do to be happy. My sexuality informs everything I do and I feel lucky to live in such a pivotal time for homosexuals. But sometimes I just overdose on gay. I’m here, I’m queer, peace out.

I also loathe the commodification of gay and the trend factor that goes along with it. Hopeless girls want a gay best friend as some accessory like we’re the new Balenciaga motorcycle bag. And they just love us because we’ll go shopping with them, give them blowjob tips and tell them what conditioner to use on their fucked-up hair. Ugh, as if. Like me for me, bitch! 

 

I see a lot of the stereotypical gays trolling about West Hollywood and Chelsea and I can’t help but wonder how much of it is genuine. Do these guys like wearing embroidered jeans and deep V’s  or are they wearing it because it’s a gay uniform?  Are gay people looking to the media as an instructional manual on how to live a gay life? Is there such a thing as a gay lifestyle?

 

Also, please don’t ever re-enact this scenario.

 

You: Oh my god, you’re gay right? Dude, I know this guy I went to high school who was gay and I think you’d like him!

Me: Why? What do we have in common besides that we both like to sleep with men?

You: Oh cause he’s just so crazy and funny. Just like you! Such a riot. And he’s also…(proceeds to list qualities that I don’t possess nor find attractive in anyone)

Me: Oh, sounds like a real fit.

You: Yeah, I’ll send his FB. I already showed him yours and he thinks you’re hot!

Me:  Tight.

 

Yeah, hi. Story of my weird gay life. So insulting. It’s like me stopping every straight person I know and saying, “You like sleeping with the opposite sex? Great, you’d love my other friends that like to do that.”

 

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have a date with my Bowflex machine and a bag of crystal meth. HAAAAAYYYY.