Saturday, May 25, 2013

Instead of writing another overly sentimental blog post about all my emotionsss, I'm going to post something I was going to post back in August: pictures of my Los Angeles apartment. Because I was talking to someone today about how most of the people I know have their one thing that they're passionate about, enough so that they make their living doing it, but they also have so many other side interests that are often just as much a part of their lives as their main focus/career/whatever. Jake was the king of this. He was a poet and professor, but he could talk about any subject, could make basically anything, could do whatever he put his mind to, which resulted in a lot of incredible things. Most of my life, I wanted to be a visual artist. Somewhere along the line, that morphed into interior design, which kind of branched off into architecture, then eventually evolved into a specific obsession with furniture, followed by amateur photography [I can probably blame instagram and hipstamatic for this].

Somewhere in between architecture and furniture, I fell in love with literature and writing and decided to make those my one thing that I'd pursue with all my energy. I left behind other passions: physics, astronomy, math. Yes, once upon a time I loved math. I still love math, I just never use it and have sadly lost some fundamentals. While studying literature and writing, I became interested in education, started volunteering with students in all age groups, and occasionally thought about leaving graduate school to become one of those people who tries to overhaul the education system. One of the frustrating things about being in grad school in the humanities is that your impact on your community is often more abstract than direct [at least in my case], and it feels excessively self indulgent at times to be constantly focused on things like narrative theory or poetics or digital experimentations and innovations in contemporary writing and scholarship. But at the end of the day, I know there are only so many hours in my life, and if I don't pick one thing I love, one thing that makes me happy, makes me send good energy out into the world, drives me to interact and create, then I'll never settle on anything and I'll try and do everything and I'll exhaust myself before I ever get anywhere. So I picked something six and a half years ago, and everything else, for the most part, has been relegated to side project. Which brings me to my apartment in Los Angeles.

I am obsessed with design. I bought a bunch of furniture back when I moved into my own apartment at the beginning of my second year of college. I've moved around a lot, reconfigured arrangements as my apartments changed sizes, collected many souvenirs during my travels. One way I can exercise my desperate need to design is in my own apartment. I spent months searching craigslist for the perfect place. I knew I wanted something small, because the more space I have, the fewer constraints I have, and I always work better with constraints. So here's the result. A one bedroom bungalow with a small, fenced-in front yard with string lights, an in-unit washer/dryer & all kitchen appliances, a small walk-in closet, and central heating & A/C. This did not come without effort. I probably looked at over 1,000 east side apartments on craigslist and contacted maybe 50 different people about potential places to live.

Not every part of my place is pictured here because I took these photos months ago, but this is most of it, and the details. Because now that I have no more apartment left to design, all I can do is show low quality photos instead. Some of these I posted at random times over the past 10 months. Basically everything is in one medium sized room, the kitchen is in the hallway that leads past the bathroom to my bedroom.
Living Room: Dining Area
Living Room: Sitting Area
Back of Living Room
Front of Living Room
This is actually from my SLC apartment, but I have the same set up in LA
underneath the window pictured in the photo above this one. 
Office
Kitchen
Bathroom
Bedroom
Bedroom
Bedroom
Bedroom window
Front Yard
Front Yard
Front Yard
Front Yard at night
Details:
Four sands from the four deserts I visited last summer: UT, NV, AZ, TX
Fruit from my tree
Kitchen
Btwn Kitchen and Bedroom
Kitchen
Above bookshelf
Bathroom
Office. This wall has since collected far more objects.
Dining Area. I recently bought pepper for that other guy. Not because I like
pepper, but because he was getting sad being all empty like that.
Kitchen
Office
Above Kitchen sink window
Office
Above bookshelf
Above bookshelf
Kitchen
Bedroom
Bedroom
Living Room window
Office
Living Room window
Bedroom
How I convert my Living Room/Office into a Guest Room with an air mattress.
Come visit me!!
I also did a post when I moved to LA of all the art on my walls. And I did another post last year when I redesigned the only other space I call my own, my childhood bedroom. But I still constantly feel the urge to imagine and organize and plan spaces. Sometimes I even get on craigslist and look at apartment listings in LA just so that I can have a new space to picture designing. I have no actual desire to move though. I am in love with my tiny apartment, my quaint 8 bungalow apartment complex, and my convenient East Hollywood neighborhood. So I have to take my design obsession elsewhere, which I can basically only do when someone else funds it. Today, my mom let me buy just about every succulent ever so I could make her some succulent gardens in our backyard because Colorado summers are getting hotter all the time, and she wanted something she didn't have to water constantly now that we're in a drought. Again. Sometimes I wish Colorado would stop pretending to be the desert. Anyway, I started with a pile of succulents and went from there.
We spent tons of time at our favorite local flower store.
And she even bought me some planters to bring back to LA so I can make my own succulent gardens in my front yard to join the one I made several weeks ago with a camping mug and some random cactus cuttings that I did or did not steal from various places in my neighborhood 

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