Very much so. I've been able to attend a bunch of really great events like WonderCon, the Holy Fuck comedy show, the Dungeon Master show, comic book groups, LGBT board game meetings, and a whole lot of tabletop gaming and podcasts, not to mention heading down for a day on the beach, randomly exploring the city, or eating at any number of amazing restaurants. Stuff to do, check.
Back in Virginia I stood out. I was the tall, queer, tattooed, geeky, trans* freak. Not everyone had an issue with me but enough did to become rather uncomfortable at times. In LA I'm vanilla by comparison to some of the locals. No one has given me any grief because of my gender identity, sense of style, or geek pride and it's simply amazing. Open-minded, check.
LA has afforded me countless more opportunities: dating, making a ton of new friends, attending local conventions, and working closer with the Fanboy Comics crew. If I could transplant my friends and family from Virginia I'm not sure I'd miss my home state at all.
But LA does have some oddities, which I thought I'd share as they quite surprised me and can be a little amusing.
1.) The one everyone knows is the traffic. Traffic out here is terrible and it's both better and worse than you think. Yes, I have come across a highway completely stopped. Quite a lot actually, but if you know the times and highways to avoid, than it's only a problem if you need that highway to get somewhere quickly. Parking is a bitch but parallel parking becomes natural and paying for parking and searching for an open space at least becomes tolerable. People sometimes drive like maniacs on the road, but increased observation quickly solves this issue. The real weird thing are the traffic lights. There are hardly any left turn signals in LA. The tradition is to pull out into the street when the light is green and traffic is oncoming in the other direction, wait for either an opening, or, far more likely, the traffic light to turn yellow and then two of the cars in the left turn lane are able to complete their turn. Breaking the law is the norm here. Crazy, huh?
2.) LA is a cash-centric culture. Everything from paying for gas to parking to random restaurants offer discounts for cash or only except cash. It's become a real problem for me personally as I've grown so accustomed to just carrying a debit or credit card on me. If you're ever visiting LA, I highly recommend bringing along a fair amount of cash with you.
3.) Refrigerators don't come with apartments. Most places require the tenants to buy a refrigerator and then move it from apartment to apartment. Given the relative size of the average Angelino's apartment, this is ludicrous! Another oddity of the culture her and one no one can quite explain logically.
Despite it's strangeness at times I love my life here. The big city has thus far given me exactly what I wanted, even if not always in the way I expected. I'm looking forward to being here f
Anyway, I just thought I would share a bit to make up for my silence of late. I do intend to get back to posting some fun things as soon as I have the time. There is a lot of RPG content in particular I'd like to post with Gamex and Gen Con coming up soon so stay tuned.