Top 9 reasons to ride Metro in Los Angeles

This post has been in my drafts folder for months. Time to get it finished up and actually post it. My top 9 reasons to ride Metro in L.A.:

9. People in Los Angeles are sort of shocked when you arrive somewhere and they ask if you were able to find parking easily, and you tell them you took a bus. "You took a what? You can do that? Really?!"

8. Most of the train stations have interesting art in them, totally different in each one. I think if I was an artist, I'd rather have people see my art every day on the way to work, rather than going to a museum, staring at it for a few minutes, pretending to "get it" and then going home.

7. This one's sort of obvious: Gas is expensive. Metro tickets are cheap.

6. No matter where you're going, finding a parking spot in LA is always terrible.

5. Paying for that parking spot? Also usually terrible.

4. When you don't have to focus on driving, you can actually do other things while you're en route. Check email, play games, let your mind go blank.

3. If you want to go to bars or other alcohol-based venues, you don't need a designated driver. I get so nervous when people say they only drank a "little bit" so they're "totally fine to drive," don't you?

2. You can take the Silver Line or the 550 and be in the carpool lane on the 110, even when you're by yourself. I like carpool lanes.

1. While a train or bus is slowing down or speeding up, you can lean against the inertial forces and pretend you're doing that Smooth Criminal lean. Until you fall over and then you're not so smooth.

Kickstarter is not an investment

In case you haven't heard of it, there's this great site called Kickstarter. If you have an idea for a documentary, video game, or other product you're trying to get off the ground, you can post it on Kickstarter, detailing the process you're going to go through, what you need money for, etc. Then anyone who likes your idea can donate as much as they want. In return, they usually get a copy of the product (if it's something easily copy-able like a video game) or some other little trinket from the creator. For example, I donated to the "Polkadot" book series a few months ago.

Kickstarter, and sites like it, have come up in conversation a few times with people I know. And there is a sense from some people that it's a "scam" because you don't get any real return on your investment. Call me crazy, but I think there's something nice about a donation where you don't expect anything back. You just do it because you believe in the thing you're donating to. Not that you necessarily believe it will become massively profitable, and you want a cut of those profits, but maybe you just believe the world will be a slightly better place if that product exists than if it doesn't. It's a donation, not an investment. And there's something kind of nice about that, don't you think?