Thursday, January 31, 2008

Miscellaneous Annecdotes

My friend B had his birthday last Friday. Being a good friend and a fan of partying, I naturally accompanied him on an evening out to celebrate. It was intended to be a pretty laid-back evening: we went to a local lounge, and we were just going to hang out, have a few drinks, and chat for the evening. And that's how it started out. Met some neat people, had a ridiculously overpriced bottle of Arrogant Bastard (boo for LA beer prices!), and caught up with my friends.

And then the DJ started setting up. Cool! Music is good. He starts playing some standard (I assume) house music (my friend J, a tiny little white girl is ecstatic about the Snoop Dog and west coast rap). At which point two Indian guys get out in the middle of the lounge and start dancing -- and they're good! Really good. It's impressive. I'm used to women being the ones who are into dancing at clubs, and men just sort of gamely shuffling along to the music. But these guys are going all out, and it's great.

The DJ starts mixing in some Hindi dance beats with the music, which is pretty cool -- it's a neat fusion. At some point, it stops being a fusion, though, and he just flat out starts playing Hindi dance tunes. And the dance floor goes wild. Apparently, we had unwittingly crashed an Indian dance party.

Which, of course, is awesome. We all had a blast. I danced a bit (!), but was more than a little bit outclassed. I don't think I've ever been anywhere before where an evening out would unexpectedly develop this way, which is just one reason I love living in such a deliciously multi-cultural city.

I also love Venice. For those unfamiliar (and unwilling to follow that last link), Venice is an eccentric district of LA, about two miles south of where I live. I go there a lot on the weekends, since it's an easy bikeride and a fantastic way to spend an afternoon. It's full of all sorts of wonderful alternaculture, which I've been missing more than a little bit since I left Eugene. It's just nice to find a place where people dress weird and participate in strange hobbies for no damn good reason. Hell, I was ecstatic to come across an impromptu 200-person on the beach last week -- and I hate drum circles!

Also, every Sunday night, there's rollerdancing. Someone sets up a sounds system in the roller park, and several people (some of them very good) dance on rollerblades. For no real reason, so far as I can tell (although some of them are working on routines). I'm enthralled.



  1. I think it's a real sign of how comfortable you are in your own skin that people (and their wacky hobbies) make you feel happy and at home. The thing that always drove me nuts about Eugene was that you couldn't go anywhere without someone being like, "Look at my wacky hobby! Oh, I'm SO crazy! I'm like the free-est free thinker ever!" When I am at home with the me (so to speak), I am irritated because I'm like, "Dude, I just want to buy some peaches. JUST SELL ME YOUR FRUITS!" But most days, when I am less at home in my own skin, I just feel anxious and projected embarrassment. I think, "Dude, put away your weird. You're trying too hard! You're coming off like an insecure adolescent, not like a free thinker at all!" And of course, I'm the only one who is bothered. It's weird to know that it's my problem, but still think, "I need to go away from here."

  2. You're probably already his Myspace friend, but I thought I'd send you this video and then magically it was somewhat on topic. Felicity! Whee!

  3. Honestly, if the weirdness were everywhere all the time, it would get annoying. But having some of it, or at least an outlet for it occasionally, I really like. If nothing else, the people-watching is fun.

    Rip, thanks for the link. I haven't seen that video, but I do remember the singer. He's widely regarded as the goofy Indian pop singer, I think. I mean, if you don't understand Hindi, they all come across as goofy. But his is /intentional/. Thanks for the cracked out, video-game-level-of-animation video, though (seriously, I thought it was machinima at first).

    I'm disappointed the roller-dancing didn't come across better. Sadly, I only had my cell phone with me, so that's the best you get. Maybe I'll get a better one next time. It really /is/ pretty neat.

  4. I've heard fantastic things about venice beach. cool that you are near that neighborhood. I kinda assume that L.A. is kinda big like Tokyo in that just because they are both the same city it doesn't mean they aren't an hour and a half apart.

    in short:
    glad you're in the cool part of town.

    I love the freaks.

  5. and in response to sydney, I think that it's easy to tell types of weirdos apart

    type one:
    you want attention

    type two:
    you are weird because you sincerely love something that most people don't think makes you cool

    and yes, I know there are many other types too. and I'm not going to get into the weirdo vs. geek vs nerd thing.... enough! enough!

  6. Yeah, I'm pretty stoked to be so near Venice (it's faster to ride my bike there than drive, once you factor in parking time). It's mostly a touristy-oriented place, in that many of the cool things to do/see involve money (tourist stores, street artists, and the like). Despite that, though, very cool -- the people watching is great!

    LA is like Tokyo in scale (similar area), but totally different to transit. On a good day (i.e., no traffic), you can get just about everywhere in LA in about a half-hour (or two hours, by bus). The freeway system really /is/ amazing, when it's not clogged. On a bad day, it takes you an hour to drive 5 miles. And it's completely unpredictable. But generally, if you drive in off-hours (middle of the day or night, basically), you can get anywhere pretty fast.