Es la vida…

I finished my first week of Spanish. My vocabulary isn't the greatest, but I'm really amazed at just how much you can learn in a week. I can conjugate present and future tense (including irregular verbs) and handle basic conversations, as can the others in the class (it's not just because of knowing French and German). I think my favorite thing about learning new languages is not so much learning how to communicate with new people, but learning how to express totally new concepts. Languages don't let you just say things differently — they let you say different things.

New developments in the 'burbs
(I think one of my classmates is building a house in Pedregal)

As I mentioned the guys in the class with me are both Vietnam Vets; one was a pilot who flew medical missions in '65 and '68, but the other (the one who's been living as a nomad) is a Marine that served in much more direct combat, earning three purple hearts in '67 — and then became a cop in America, only to be shot in the gut by a sixteen year old drug dealer in Illinois. Luckily the kid's gun was a .22 pistol that had been loaded about ten years before — the ammunition was so corroded and rotten that the bullet wasn't even able to penetrate much deeper than the length of the bullet.

His USMC tattoo had been done earlier that year (as in 1967) by a woman going by the moniker “Painless Nails” (one of the few female tattoo artsists working in the sixties). Her shop was across from the San Diego (but I may be misquoting that) bus terminal at which he and the others just out of basic training caught their rides home to visit their families before shipping off to Vietnam. Especially when the tattoo is older, I'm always interested to hear when and how it was done.

It cost $8.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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