1) Everyone works in the film industry. I guess I shouldn't have been surprised by this, but I was all the same. I am relatively certain I'm the only writer in this town without a screenplay. I've been meeting tons of new people lately, so of course "what do you do?" is one of the first questions asked. Thus far I've met an independent experimental filmmaker, several aspiring actors, a cameraman, a foley artist, and the sound editor for Duck Dynasty. That last one is not a joke. It's bizarre.
2) Everyone pretends to have more money than they actually have. To be fair, I don't know this for sure, but it's the only explanation that makes sense. How else could all these people afford multiple $14 cocktails several evenings a week when they don't have jobs, or even if they have part-time retail jobs? I think many of them try to give off an aura of glamor, because it's HOLLYWOOD!, or whatever, but I suspect their credit scores are not so hot.
3) Everyone believes in astrology. This is the most shocking part about Los Angeles, in my opinion. It's 2014! We're in a modern, liberal city! Astrology should not even be close to relevant! Yet I cannot tell you how many times someone has asked me my sign in the past month. Aquarius, if you were wondering. Which means...something? Water? The 1960's? I was talking to a guy at Nightswim, and in the middle of the conversation, he literally said, "Oh, but I'm a--" actually, I forget what sign he was, because I do not care because they are fake. Anyway, he said, "Oh, but I'm a [insert star sign here], so my ego always gets in the way." Nope. If your ego gets in the way it's because you've made the choice to be egotistical. The stars have nothing to do with your ego.
Hm. Now I feel rude. I do think these things are funny, and odd, but I don't mean to insult a city that has been so hospitable to me. Here are my three favorite things about Los Angeles:
1) It's gorgeous. I love the all the giant hills, and how the forest-like greenery is mixed right in with the desert plants. There are flowers everywhere, and the weather is beautiful. Last weekend I went hiking with Kenzie and Alex, and we could see the ocean through the clouds. (I haven't been to the beach yet, but I'll get there!) Sure, some of the urban sprawl isn't nice looking, but when you get into the smaller neighborhoods, the little bright-colored houses are so cheerful. They make me happy. It seems like an optimistic, hopeful city, even in terms of its appearance.
2) Culture. One of my biggest problems with Vegas is that it has little culture--not a whole lot to do off-strip, and the on-strip entertainment is mostly just flashy rather than artistic or innovative. It's getting better in this regard, but it's no Chicago. It's no Los Angeles, either! L.A. is brimming with music and shows and readings and art and talks and various other events. I like a city that keeps me entertained, and L.A. certainly knows how to do that.
3) Everyone is friendly. Like, ridiculously friendly. Maybe it's just the Crushee crowd that's so nice and non-judgmental and welcoming. Maybe it's just the good weather. Maybe it's just the easily-accessible medical marijuana. Whatever it is, most people, Crushee or otherwise, seem eager to meet you, to talk to you, to help you out. And that is a lovely thing for a girl who's far away from home.
With that, I'm off to write. Have a fun Independence Day! No bottle rockets. You'll shoot your eye out.