So, LA is everything I expected it to be. Take that as you will. As my airplane flew in, I was struck by how bizarre and (literally) alien the surrounding environs felt. There was a grid system of lights as far as the eye could see, and as I looked out the window, I could see another small plane descending from the sky about a mile or so away. It was really eerie, and looked like a scene from Star Wars. (You know, in Episode 2, where the ship is descending towards Coruscant and there's city as far as the eye can see and...).
Unsuccessfully navigating the bus system after dark added a bit of excitement to my initial experience. And by "excitement", of course, I mean "duration". The bus ride was an hour-long as it was, which stretched into about two-and-a-half hours upon having to retrace my steps and wait a long time at the south station terminal. Given that the entire duration of just the plane portion of my trip was ~3 hours, I felt ever so slightly silly. My mood was not helped by the presence of an extraordinarily smelly fellow in the row ahead of me. Seriously. The guy could have stunned an ox at twenty paces. Needless to say, I'm taking a taxi to the airport tomorrow morning. There are some sacrifices I'm not willing to make in the name of public transport.
Ooh, and I got to see a celebrity! That's right! We were taken out to dinner, and the street immediately out front had been blocked off (with a red carpet laid out and everything) for the premier of Shooter, a movie I'd not heard of before. It stars Mark Wahlberg, though, and I got to see him walk by and primp for the cameras and everything. Mind you, I was inside a building and ~50 feet away, but it was definitely him. It was weird caring about it: I'm not a particularly celebrity-oriented person, but the draw of the flashing cameras and people's stares elicited this strange, herd-like compulsion in me to track the center of attention. I'm sheep.