My first five days in the Los Angeles area have been both harder and easier than I was expecting. Finding an apartment was easier than I thought it would be, and I even wound up with a cool roommate who runs his own successful new media company
with his brother in Irvine. Getting all of the administrative paperwork taken care of for school, however, was far harder than I thought it would be. Yesterday I had to make an emergency trip down to Irvine from my cousin's apartment in West Hollywood to ensure that I would have my student loan check by the final deadline for paying my fees. That trip takes about an hour normally, but if you're traveling on Tuesday in the afternoon it takes a little over one and half times as long and you sit there wondering why they had to spread the metropolitan area out like that and if it's some kind of manifest destiny thing.
Another thing about Southern California is that racial tension is something that you can feel on your skin out in Orange County, and it's not something that I am used to coming from New York because all the different ethnic groups mixed socially. Out here, everyone stays within his or her ethnic groups, if what I observed at the University Center (a.k.a. the university strip mall) is any form of indication. There were the Chinese kids all sitting at their table, and then the Japanese kids at theirs and the Indians off on their own (UCI is Asian-tastic) and it just made me sad. My social objective over the first semester is going to be to make very good friends with one person of every ethnicity I can find and break down these self-imposed barriers.
My spiritual objective is to get the school to change their goddamned student identification cards because they are the ugliest things I have ever seen. A photorealistic image of an anteater statue on a rock does not a well-designed identification card make.
Now if you will excuse me, I have to go re-register for classes because I was just informed yesterday by my cousin that the school year consists of three quarters (don't ask about the logic behind that) and my current schedule of sixteen credits this "quarter" will destroy me over a two and a half month period.
P.S. I really wish the PDC
was taking place next week instead of this one... this one is too crazy for me to even think about attending.