Dramatic Monotony

Thursday, August 28, 2003


I found this gem of a picture as I was digging through my files. Humanities, junior year of high school. The assignment was to spend a day as your alter-ego. I dressed up as a cowgirl. And it was good.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003

A Love Letter for the New School Year

I love the people in my hall.

I love my Meesh, my supervisor and her husband Alex because they made me a beautiful flag decoration for my door.

I love being back at 'SC and watching the throngs of people walk through campus.

I love Justin.

I love Patrick, our new male silk.

I love the spirit of the freshmen in the marching band.

I love Evan and his accent.

I love the rest of the Parkside staff for being "so darn PIRC-y."

I love the fact that I no longer dislike Vogue and I don't think he dislikes me.

I love Sam and Nietta for doing such a great job with our section.

I love my new English professor because he wears denim jackets with the collar turned up.

I love my room because IT'S MINE!

I love my parents and that they email or call me daily.

I love my art direction teacher because he's actually a funny cynical asshole.

I love to love.

(If you can't guess, I'm actually having a good time so far this year. And I'm determined to make it last.)

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

It's here.

Move-in Day is tomorrow. I will be an official RA.

Damn, I'm nervous. Right now, I'm frantically trying to finish posting my door decorations. I'm irritable, tired, and nervous. Also, I have a beautiful sunburn on my neck, replete with a chain tan from my necklace. It's very red. And the rest of me is very white.

Band camp is going on. I went to two and a half days of hell. I won't be going to any more, at least until my residents are settled in and I have no more pressing duties at Parkside. I miss the band, though. It's just been a day of abstaining from practice, and I can't wait to chair and march and twirl and watch the drummers moon us with (hairy) asses. I hear the cadences when I walk outside, and my heart beats a little faster. When the band plays "Tribute to Troy" to the football team, I get a shiver down my spine. I hate a lot of the drama associated with band - the stereotypes and rumors hurt us more than TMB members want to admit. However, it's all worth it. And that's why I keep on participating, year after year.

I got frustrated today. I'm a decisive person, I've decided. And I just don't deal well with bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo. I want clear, concise instructions. I like succinct meetings. And I want to get things done. Right now, I feel like I need to bottle things up in order to keep the peace. Maybe that's what I need - a bit of discipline?

I don't know. But tomorrow will be a trip. As will the next semester.

Saturday, August 09, 2003

One word summaries:

RA Training: Meh.

Dodger Dogs: Yum.

Parkside staff: Yay!

Jennifer's mental status: Yikes.

Friday, August 08, 2003

It's insanely early right now. 6:43, to be exact. I woke up at 6:20, in hopes of doing laundry. I gathered all of my dirty sheets and towels, located my laundry detergent, and then tried to find my quarters. And looked. And looked. And then I realized that I left my roll of quarters in Houston on my desk. Yes, you can officially call me stupid. All my efforts only resulted in a total of $1 in change, definitely not enough to wash and dry one load of laundry. So, I guess I'll have to wait until tonight to become a laundress.

I haven't updated for a while because I've been rather busy. RA training has been informative and quite a bit of fun. I think I'm really lucky. My staff is extremely nice, and the three RCs that work at Parkside are exceptional. I'm feeling a bit more confident about my duties... let's not even mention how cool move-in will be. Let's just say, if you're going to be living at PIRC, you'll have a fun time on move-in day. And we're getting soccer shirts! Yay!

I had a strange experience on Tuesday evening. I met Justin for dinner at this cute little restaurant called Bird's in the Hollywood Hills. This whole area reminded me of a small European city. The streets were narrow, parking was difficult, restaurants were plentiful, and al fresco dining was the norm. Naturally, it was a perfect Californian sunset, so we sat outside to eat our meal. After the waiter delivered our food (Mexican chicken wrap with side pasta salad for me, caesar chicken wrap with roasted potatoes for Justin), I noticed this amazing chateau-like structure across the street. It wasn't immediately apparent because the building was surrounded by an ominous looking black fence with a large woody hedge growing inbetween the metal posts. Both Justin and I were curious about this magical looking place, so we wandered around the building. As we passed a parking lot, this woman comes up to us and says, "Are you here for the conference? We have two events going on at once, so I wanted to help you find your way." We explain that we were just admiring the grounds, and she said, "Oh, do you want a tour?" Naturally, we both agreed. As we walked inside, she started explaining that this building was a Scientologist celebrity center. And that's when the whole thing started turning a bit... strange.

Our tour-guide, Athena, took us to this huge display on L. Ron Hubbard's insight into dianetics. She fervently advocated the use of dianetics in every day life, and tried to persuade us to take a couple of introductory courses on the basic principles of Scientology. Then she took us to this beautiful waiting room, where she introduced us to Lizzie, another recruitment official at the celebrity center. We were asked to sit down and read a few of the magazines on the table while Lizzie set up a film for the other Scientologist neophyte in the room. Justin and I were having a hard time containing our giggles, so we pretended to be overly interested in the pictures of celebrities in the magazines. Then we were asked to fill out an information form. So, I put down my name, and... that's about it. I used the excuse that I had just moved into my building to explain my lack of address. Which was true. Sorta. Conveniently, Justin also "moved" that day as well, so his form was also left blank. Lizzie seemed a bit perturbed by our reticence, but she still gave us a tour of the building.

Evidently, the "chateau" is really just a 1920's hotel made to impersonate a French country house. The Scientologists may be slightly creepy, but they certainly maintained the building well - it's actually a historical Los Angeles landmark. Lizzie started listing off some of the big stars that used to stay there, and I got the chills. She mentioned just about every big Hollywood name from the 30s and 40s. We toured the restaurant, L. Ron Hubbard's "office," a course room, the rooftop (which had an amazing view of downtown Los Angeles and Hollywood), and the gardens. The whole time, Lizzie kept on staring into my eyes, with this funny, slightly crazed look on her face. I had to stop looking at her in order to keep from breaking up into laughter - but honestly, I was just a bit freaked out. Finally, Justin and I insisted that we had a meeting we needed to attend, so we said goodbye to Athena and Lizzie and started to leave the premises. Just as I was about to burst into laughter and ridicule the whole experience, Justin whispered, "Shhh! She's following us." I looked over my shoulder, and sure enough, there's Athena about twenty paces behind us. We walked down the street as fast as we could, nearly ran to my car, got inside, and just exploded with giggles. Justin and I agreed, the whole thing was just beyond creepy, but... the building was cool. I don't know if I would recommend going back - even though I hear the Sunday brunch is quite excellent at the restaurant. But I don't think it's worth the hassle of trying to defend my own religious views.

Alright, I should take a shower now... a long day awaits me. But we're going to a Dodger game, which should be fun!

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

I'm beginning to feel a bit more optimistic about the RA deal. I just had a "meet and greet" with the other Parkside staff, and they were all really nice. I just want to say for the record, I love how Dan Tauss can make anyone feel relaxed. We had the best EDCO class ever, partly because he was an instructor. And EVAN is part of staff too! Yay! He's one of my favorite transplanted Brits. He laughs at my jokes about Blackpool! What can be better? I'm so excited, I'm going to post pictures of the two of them from the EDCO retreat.

That's Dan, looking suave. Or something.

Evan's obviously busy working on something important here.

And just for kicks, I'll add this picture from the EDCO retreat as well. I want to remind you, the theme was "80s."

Now, let's see if I feel as enthusiastic about this tomorrow night, after a full day of training.

Monday, August 04, 2003

Written last night at 11:45...

I've been busy the past few days.

I went to Universal, helped throw an "80's" themed party, went to a "C" grade restaurant, drove up PCH, braved the Hollywood Bowl parking lot by myself, and saw several movies. Also, I was evidently “hazed” by a freshman in the band – news to me, actually, but he proudly proclaimed this as a group of band members took a shot together at the 80’s party. Hell, a shot’s always a good idea, regardless of who suggests it. (God, do I sound like an alcoholic lush after that statement?)

"I Capture the Castle" made me cry. Both the book and the movie, actually. I love this story so much. I love the characters. The time period. The castle. The atmosphere. I got this queer ache in my heart after closing the book. And it returned when the credits started rolling down the screen. I can’t put my finger on the exact element that haunts me. But something inside of me isn’t quite the same as before.

"Camp"... wasn't so convincing. Great music, great art direction... but what the hell was up with the story? It was disjointed, uneven, and a bit disturbing. Oddness. However, I'd like to have a copy of the soundtrack. Also, the filmmakers certainly knew how to market this little movie – the theatre was full of gay couples and artistic types. Well, it was also playing at the Laemmle on Sunset. That location certainly adds to the vibrant flavour of the audience.

I’m moving into PIRC tomorrow. Two days before RA training. I’m getting slightly scared. Self-doubt has always been my forte – but this is ridiculous. I know I will be a great RA. I love working with people, getting involved in the school, and making others feel welcome around me. Still, I’m intimidated by the sheer weight of responsibility.

It’s time to head to bed. I wish I could post this at the proper time… but my internet connection is sketchy at best.