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:: Sunday, August 31, 2003 ::

Transitional Sunday, End of the Month, or (Last Day to Be on the National Do-Not-Call List)

First things first. Remember to get your phone number on the National Do-Not-Call List to keep telemarketers from calling you at home. August 31 is the last day to do it, otherwise you'll have to wait a whole 3 months before further entries will be put into effect. The website is www.donotcall.gov.

So I am now living down in Los Angeles, and going to school at University of Southern California. I have 4 classes. Brain Theory, Foundations of Artificial Intelligence, Distributed Control & Learning in AI, and Chinese 1. I can say that it's quite a load. The last one, Chinese, I'm just taking for a fun diversion to keep my time here always interesting. Maybe some day I will go and visit China and put my new skills to use.

Today was a day of doing odd jobs. This morning I took out the trash and the recycling that has been accumulating on the table in my new apartment. My new roommate has been out of town all weekend, so I have the whole place to myself, with the exception of Bean. I cleaned up a bit in my room, but I don't have a vacuum cleaner yet to suck up the crumbs and other filth in the carpet. There's still a pile of dishes in the sink that I've been neglecting all day. I think I was too busy spraying ants and doing my laundry to get around to them.

Every day I've been getting on my bike and riding on over to the campus. It usually takes me 10 minutes from my apartment to get there. This time, I decided to ride my bike over to the hardware store to buy some pegs for the bookshelf that came with the apartment. The store is well past the campus and I decided to take an alternate route I've never been on before.

It's interesting to note the changes in the type of people you see on the streets as you go from block to block. I live in a neighborhood with a high concentration of blacks and latinos. The closer to campus you get, the more they start to thin out and things become more populated with students. Sunday was especially interesting because I got to see the numerous church communities in action among the Mexican and El Salvadorian immigrants.

After I reached the hardware store, I kept on riding my bike north up the street where I knew I would eventually reach some Korean communities. I knew it was far, but I had plenty of time and was interested in seeing how the food was in LA. Things were mostly El Salvadorian, Guatemalan, Mexican almost the entire way. All the stores and restaurants were advertised in Spanish. Gradually, you began to see Korean Hangul interspersed among the Spanish.

One of the striking things that I found very interesting that I never saw in Korea was that many of the Korean businesses make investments in security cameras, bars, and security guards. This is something I never ever saw in Korea because it's such a safe country. Nevertheless, I found a reasonable-looking restaurant and went in.

There were several dishes advertised in English, but most of the rest of the menu was in pure Korean. It was about twice as expensive as the same dish in Korea, but I think it was worth it to have the same taste, style of restaurant, and atmosphere as you would find in Korea. I ordered the kimchibokumbap which is a spicy fried rice mixed with cooked kimchi. Very good. It cost me $7.

I rode my bike back to campus to check my email. I momentarily considered going to the library to watch a movie. The library has a colossal collection of DVDs and videos and a room full of players and televisions in which to watch them. All of it is free of charge if you have a library card, which I do. You can get old classics or recent popular films. Yesterday I watched "The Last Emperor", which was about 4 hours long and the library closed before I could finish watching it.

Finally, I came home and tried to fix my internet connection which has been inoperative ever since I bought the service. I think I finally got everything resolved and I am now here writing this on the web with Bean lying on the desk with me, carefully supervising the operation.
:: everist 5:40 PM [+] ::