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100 Things About Me
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Russia Trip: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5
Best of 2002: Movies, Books, Music.
Best of 2003: Movies.
Best of 2004: Movies, Books.
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Sunday, November 10, 2002

Leaving Los Angeles
It must be time for me to leave: The sun is out. It's amazing how different things look and feel when they're bathed in light rather than shrouded in mist. I think I would've had a very different experience here if the weather had been like this the whole time. The buildings across the street that seemed mildly threatening now just look like generic low-income housing with lots of people having fun hanging around outside. Instead of wanting to take the quickest route home to get out of the rain, I might've lingered checking out the neighborhood more thoroughly. I think a lot of my nervousness came from not having a sense of where I was. LA geography is hard to figure, especially for someone like me with not a jot or tittle of a sense of direction. Ach, well, after brunch with famous L.A. blogger Mickey Kaus, I'm back on the plane to Seattle.

One last highly unoriginal observation about Los Angeles: LA is a Spanish-speaking city. Obviously, I've experienced a minuscule corner of a huge place, but everywhere I've been, workers whose first language is Spanish have switched between their native tongue and perfect though accented English, according to what was appropriate. How much of a service is that, and how much a bonus do you think they get paid for providing it? The answers are "huge" and "nothing." If they were providing translation/bilingual services in any other language in any other country they'd be pocketing a huge premium for their language skills. Here they get to be waiters and elevator operators.

Linky love special: Proto-Angeleno blogger Tony Pierce riffs on the rain; and some candid photos from the worst-attended Tier 1 tennis tournament in the world.