Saturday, July 28, 2012

Three things you should do in LA

The first step to meeting a woman, reveals world famous pickup artist Mystery, is to get out of the house. "Getting out of your house is one of the most difficult things do to for a lot of men, and when they go out they go 'in field'," explains Mystery to an incredulous Conan O'Brien, who promptly lampoons him for the rather intuitive piece of advice. Despite the obviousness of this reasoning, we may often forget to leave the house once we settle into some sort of routine, and we may forget how well this advice applies to things outside of meeting new people. 
After all, a night in is nice once in a while, but let's not forget that old song by Guy Lombardo in which he croons "enjoy yourself, it's later than you think!" in his song creatively titled Enjoy Yourself (It's Later than You Think). If you're in LA for only a summer, you better being making the most of your time here. In fact, no matter where you are or for amount of time you're there, you should be taking advantage. It's always later than you think.
I say we take things a step back. If getting out of the house is the first step to meeting a woman, the first step to getting out of the house is to get off the couch. This is an excellent blog I wish I had discovered earlier, but which I am paying much more attention to now: It's a list of fun places to visit in LA.

Aside from that, here are three things you should do in LA:

1. Be an extra for a movie! Actually, you should get involved with the industry in any way you can. I'm just suggesting being an extra because that's one of the easiest ways to get involved. Insider tip: some companies post their extras work on Craigslist. I met one person who was an extra for the Dark Knight Rises but found the job posting on Craigslist under the code name Magnum Rex.

2. Go clubbing! See the quintessential LA scene as portrayed in every Bret Easton Ellis novel. Experience sex, drugs, and apathy while searching for some sort of meaning in it all.

3. Combine both! Be an extra in a clubbing scene for a movie written by Bret Easton Ellis such as The Canyons.
Avalon in Hollywood. I really want to be there right now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

How to avoid loneliness

1) Make new friends aggressively! 
Always be on the lookout for someone you'd like to see again. In a city like Los Angeles, if you don't reach out to someone you see once, you will probably never see them again. Don't be afraid to ask for their number or give them yours! After all, with all the ennui and decadence pervading Los Angeles, the person you want to befriend is probably as lonely as you are! There's nothing worse than getting someone stuck in your head and knowing that he'll be the one that got away. That guy you just met on the metro who lives in an art studio near where you live? Give him your number and trust that he'll use it wisely on account of his cool welsh accent and internship at a supposedly prestigious animation studio. The girl you just met at the gym? She has a cool voice. She's probably a cool person too. Be pleasantly surprised when these people actually seem excited to exchange digits. You are now on your path to overcoming shyness!

2) Go to the gym! 
When you exercise, your body produces endorphins. You know when else endorphins are produced? During excitement, pain, consumption of spicy food, love and orgasm. Yeah, it's a powerful thing. It also makes it very difficult to think about anything sad or depressing. Join a crossfit gym and work out in a group. Focus on making it to the next move without collapsing of exhaustion. Feel better as your mind becomes a calm blank. Be pleasantly surprised when someone finds you cute despite the fact that you're sweating like a pig and not wearing any makeup. Wonder if it's only because he saw you from afar. You are now on your path to accepting your body!

3) Do online dating! 
Receive messages from all sorts of guys, ranging from totally creepy 40-year-olds to playful exhibitionists to people who actually seem really cool. Convince yourself that you're not desperate and this online dating thing is just something fun to do over the summer in order to meet new people, visit new places, and possibly get a free meal if the guy really knows how to treat a lady.  Mask the encroaching loneliness you feel with multiple first dates. Search for some kind of connection to fill the void. Be disappointed when someone you exchange long, epic messages with turns out to be a total dud. Be pleasantly surprised when you actually want to see someone again. Realize that none of these relationships are going anywhere and feel lonely again. Avoid dealing with this feeling with more dates. You are now on your path to denial!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

I was crying even before the movie started

I was crying even before the movie started.

It was one of those shorts Pixar always shows before a movie. This one was about a boy, torn between his two grandfather-figure role models, symbolized by the way the boy wore his hat and the broom he used to sweep the stars off the moon. It was a short about finding your own person. My tears fell alongside the boy as he fell among the stars at the end.

In short, I was feeling emotional that day.

I'm not the kind of person who cries during a movie. Sure, I teared up after seeing the revolt scene in The Hunger Games, but I recognized it was the result of clever movie directors cruelly manipulating my emotions with sad music and heart-wrenching visuals. It wasn't genuine. Something had shifted before I watched Brave though. I had planned to go with friends, but those friends were late and never found me in the dark theater. I ended up sitting alone with two empty seats on either side of me. Maybe it was the physical isolation that made me feel comfortable enough to start crying, but truth is, it was the mother-daughter relationship depicted in Brave that did me in. 

The loneliness of living on my own and barely knowing anyone in Los Angeles filled me with an emotional isolation that made me homesick for the very first time in my life. The moment Merida realizes that her mom is the only one who was always there for her was the moment I broke down and bawled my eyes out. It made me think about how badly I missed my own mom. 

I had to leave my 3D glasses on just so I could make it to the bathroom without anyone seeing how puffy my eyes were and finish crying in peace, hidden in the privacy of a bathroom stall inside the El Capitan movie theater. I surprised even myself with my big gulping tears that started again just when I thought I had things under control. Right after, I met up with my friends looking like a high raccoon: all red eyes and smeared mascara.

Pixar knows just how to manipulate my emotions.
This is a pretty accurate portrayal of what happens when my mom starts warning me about drugs and alcohol.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Traveling anywhere is really about sleeping in the car

My parents visited me this weekend!!

They wanted to make sure I wasn't drinking, on drugs, going to bars, or getting mugged! Since I know they read this blog, I won't say whether I have or not. Just kidding. I really don't. You can stop worrying, mom.

We went to San Diego.
© Yuqi Hou
Maira Gall