I'm also starting to learn everything Arduino I can.
My main interest is in developing electro-mechanical devices. I take classes at the El Camino www.southbaymachine.com
machinist lab in Torrance, and have a pretty good grasp of the mechanical and CNC stuff.
It would be good to have a group that wants to work through and trouble shoot projects. The ones from the books in the beginning, and moving onto whatever.
Meeting in West LA, Santa Monica, or or on the El Camino campus in Torrance would be easiest.