Saturday, March 08, 2008

121. A Return to Blue Horizons: Housing Arrangements at Santa Ynez Through Graduate Student Joanna Deek

After lots of organizing and reviewing old tangled mental knots, Vic is returning to wrap up issues with Blue Horizons so she can focus on... moving on to the next great thing... like finish up a rock crab film for one thing. I saw images earlier that I took and man, I have been so stressed out the last 6 months that I forgot how much fun I had last summer!

I was able to find a vacancy within the [luxurious] university-owned Santa Ynez Apartments. I guess I lucked out for the summer. I was subleasing from a graduate student in molecular biology by the name of Joanna Deek (I think she is from Lebanon, or some Middle Eastern country... I forgot the specifics). I guess it was a cool, interesting cultural transition (or lack of transition) because just a few weeks before I was house-sitting for an Iranian family (or "Persian" family) in Orange County (Mission Viejo). Since then, I have become more aware of the Persian / Middle Eastern culture in general (man, do I love the music!). I can pick out Iranian/Persian people now. Some trademark words I can detect are "Salem" and "Holdolfe" and a few other highly-repeated cliches. Otherwise, I'm kind of glad I'm out of the Orange County situation. It was very time-strapping to help out Momma (she is dealing with a severe case of arthritis), and plus I realize now I need a spatial divorce between work from home, especially when I am working for someone else. I hope Momma (real name "Ghamar") and her family all right. Momma's daughter was advocating that I get a job in Dubai (UAE) because that place has great benefits... not so sure... would like to visit though....

Joanna reminds me of Dr. Nancy Kawalek a little bit (Dr. Kawalek is involved in representations of science and technology through theater). In short, Joanna was very organized and to the point. We had very clear transactions and made my transition to Santa Ynez very smooth.

I lived alone that summer, which has benefits and drawbacks. I am not sure in this case the benefits outweighed the drawbacks. I remember vividly going out several times, having fun filming squirrels and passing cars. I also lived right next to Nick, a chemistry graduate student who was also alone for the summer (his apartment mate was gone for research). Though I am not an advocate of judging people based on appearance... well... the evolutionary mathematics of aesthetics kicked in here. Godzeeks, he's a biological work of art. Tall, lean muscle (he's a professional biker), blond, blue eyes. Kind of reminded me of Craig Revell... (an undergrad phase). That kind of stuff makes it hard to directly stare at him in the eyes (or anyone in the eyes) for that matter. Biological works of art... well you know how it goes... it sparks primal emotion, so you just kind of go through this mental interference process talking to those type of people. The only way I could handle myself with biological beauty is to hide behind a camera, and then I'd be safe. Well anyway, Nick's a nice guy too. Some manners! He let me borrow his wrench so I could fix my bike. (By the way, I had my yellow bike stolen this summer, and I'm still not over it). He told me about his trials in the chemistry department: how the whole administration is going through overhaul and merging, and how he must pass preliminary exams soon enough. Nick's hanging in there. Nick was sometimes non-chalant and standoffish with me, but that's only in the presence of his "girlfriend," who had the gestalt prototype of California blond girl.... Figures. I saw Nick once during fall quarter and he was very friendly with me. I hope he's doing well.

The staff of the Santa Ynez Apartments were overall very pleasant to work with. I remember Daniel Laub, who helped me with getting internet in my room. I also remember this super-friendly jokester kind-of-guy who went through this huge dramatic bout in concern of this bee flying around the office on the day I was trying to purchase a parking pass. Christina Martinez, who seems to be the head honcho of the Santa Ynez Apartments, was a little intimidating to interact with. At first, it was almost as if she was teasing/taunting me for my situation of needing to move out on August 15 though my program ends on the 24th. It ended up that Christina helped me get another temporary two-week housing situation at Santa Ynez--but only through the medium of Denise Bellanger of Summer Sessions. Denise has come to my rescue more than one time... from housing situation to grade changes to emotional conditions. What an amazing person!

Key Words: Joanna Deek, Santa Ynez Apartments, Blue Horizons, Mission Viejo, Nick, evolutionary mathematics of aesthetics, biological work of art, staff, Denise Bellanger, Daniel Laub, Christina Martinez

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