Monday, November 27, 2006

Burglary?

Last night around 4am I woke up to some strange sounds. At first I thought I could hear some noise coming from the kitchen. Tierd and confused I sat up in my bed, it must be a burglary I thought, after all I'm living in South Central. My mind panicked and was quick to imagine mercyless burglers with guns and horrifying murder scenes... however as I looked out the window I finally came to my senses. It was raining. For the first time since I came here it really rained, and boy did it rain. It was just the rain slamming the roof and windows of the house. I went back to sleep.

Good night.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Don't you know who I am? I'm important!!

Once again I found my self (yesterday) on the sunset strip trying to get into a club (Privilege) filled with wannabe's. We arrived early, but apparently not early enough. The problem was that clubs like these have several wating lines, the normal line, the guestlist line, the dinner reservation or bottleservice line, and finally the VIP line. And of course if you're a well known actor (e.g. Don Cheadle, from Hotel Rwanda) or a model you could skip all the lines. This time being on the guestlist just didn't seem to be enough. There were apparently too many VIP's. Some of my friends got in, mainly because they were with girls and therefore had a better chance, but I ended up standing in this stupid line for over 2 hours and 30 minutes. Sometimes I completely loath LA, and especially Hollywood, for its obsession with being somebody important, acting cool, and looking really good. But then again, if I would gotten in I might not have this problem. Anyways, I hate this Hollywood attitude for now. After I gave up standing in line I went to a couple of other more "normal" bars with some danish and german people, and had a nice time despite not partying with the rich and famous.

Last weekend my institute held a retreat in Laguna Beach. Laguna beach is a really nice city, just south of LA (little over an hour drive from USC). Unlike LA which most of the time looks like an enourmous slum covered in smog, this small city is propped with upscale galleries, cool restaurants, and trendy caf├ęs. Anyways it was alot of fun and really strange lying on the beach in 27C in November! Like you can see in the picture I havn´t had much time to get tan since I came here.


Finally I wanted to post some pictures from a USC football game I went to a couple of weeks back but never got around to blog about. USC won the game of course, and there were loads of parties before and after the game. It was alot of fun, and also completely insane.

(A couple of friends of mine, we looking for the tailgating party before the game.)

(Trojan spirit before the game. The marching band is playing the USC anthem, Fight On.)

(USC Song Girls, i.e. the cheerleaders.)

(About 100.000 people cheering in the coliseum.)

(The USC student section in the stadium, going wild.)

(Finally me with a couple of chinese students at the game.)

Fight on.
Bjarni

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Not dead.... yet.

Lately I've been extremely busy and havn't got round to blog therefore. I had my last midterm today, and although this day is called Dia de los muertos or "Day of the dead", I think I survived one more crazy exam. Now I finally foresee a week of doing perhaps something else than study 24-7. They really force one to study like maniacs here, actually one of the 8 PhD students I started with quit because he couldn't find enough time to study, having a family and all.

Last wednesday was halloween, it was really interesting to see all kinds of people, children and students walking around in costumes. Some students and faculty showed up to school wearing costumes. Buildings were decorated, costume parties were held etc. Sadly I had absolutely no time to take part, since I was of course studying. However, it was nice to see children and teenagers walking around in the streets after dark in my neighbourhood. Normally the streets where I live are completely void of any life after dark.... because it's dangerous to go outside after dark, of course.

While we're on the subject of how dangerous my neighbourhood is, there was a murder here close by the other day. Extremely scary! A guy on a bike was killed in a drive-by shooting! It happened in the middle of the day, outside the house of a friend of mine. It is thought to have been gang related, although the motif was not known. This is apparently how everyday life in LA is. After this happened I've become scared of walking outside in my neighbourhood, even during daytime. I find myself constantly looking over my shoulder, and looking out for spooky people.

And yes while we're on the subject of getting killed. Yesterday, on halloween of course, I woke up at 6am in the morning to the quieking sound of the firealarms in my building (which I live alone in). It turned out that the newly installed heater had turned on automatically during the night because the temperature went below 15C or so, and set fire to something in the ventilation system. This caused smoke in all the appartment. Luckily I was quick to discover the source of the smoke and turn the heater off before the whole building went down in flames.. I was shocked, things could have gone worse, much worse. Fire is especially dangerous here in LA since everything is so dry. After this I don't even feel safe inside.


But although things here can sometimes seem dire, the constant good summer weather makes up for incredibly much. It lets you tolerate much more. And no matter bad things look it's impossible not being affected by the constant summer atmosphere here. Actually this place grows on you, and like all places it has good things and bad things...

This weekend I'm going to a Laguna Beach resort (payed by the school), where I plan to lie on the beach and enjoy the sun.. :) Perhaps I'll even get a chance to learn how to surf?



Bjarni