Tuesday, February 13, 2018

What Does That First Date Mean?


It's February, it's probably cold wherever you are and that means you are probably letting yourself get a little too fat and watching some extremely mediocre Netflix.

Some people have called this 'cuffing season.' The idea is that you will have someone to hibernate with? Order Chinese food, watch Altered Carbon, break up the last week in April and go on a cocaine and cigarettes diet until you look palatable in a swimsuit and can resume your hedonistic ways of drinking until you can't stand on the weekend and rolling the dice that you'll wake up next to someone that doesn't make you want to vomit.

No?

That's just me? Well regardless, even in LA people seem to be more interested in dating during the winter months. Now despite the fact that I despise dating (I'm more of an aforementioned, black out and hope for the best kinda guys) I do have some thoughts on dating. In fact, lately I've even had to accept the possibility that I might be forced to use one of the following strategies because the Townhouse thirst really does die down during February. What follows is a guide for women, but also for me I suppose, on what to expect based on the type of date you may find yourself asked on. I might be a savage but for some reason I have a unique understanding of the human condition and I know the real meaning behind all of these 'creative' date ideas.

Now follow me down this cynical path of despair, we're all dying alone.

First let's set a scenario that will remain constant for the remainder of this article.

Last Saturday, you (an American female) were drinking with a friend at a casual neighborhood bar. You met a guy that was somewhat charming. You and your friend followed him to the next bar and the next thing you knew you were making out in the corner of a dark club and he had his hand up your shirt.

"NO!" You protested. "I'm not that easy, take me on a date and then we'll see." He resisted with sad puppy eyes for a little bit and said canned lines like "we don't have to have sex I just want to cuddle," or even better "Let's go on a date right now." You resist and both go your separate ways. He texts you a couple times on Sunday asking you to come over, he even requests a nude. BUT YOU HOLD FIRM.

"FIIIINNNNE" He acquiesces. "Let's go out on Wednesday."

Congrats! You have a date! What follows are the 10 different dates you might get asked out on and what they really mean. You're welcome in advance.

1. Let's grab a bottle of wine and watch the sunset on the beach, then we'll take a stroll around the canals.

On the surface: A lovely first date! Casual, fun, dare I say creative!

In reality: He's fucking poor. Actually broke. Poor people don't go to bars, broke dudes do, because worst case scenario their dad will give them money followed by a stern phone call. Broke dude likely spent all his money on cocaine the Saturday you met, you just failed to notice. By taking you on a walking tour of the neighborhood his out of pocket expense is roughly 8 dollars because that's how much he will spend on the second cheapest bottle at Whole Foods. If you really want to confirm this, suggest grabbing a cocktail after your stroll. Not a beer. A cocktail. 

The worst ever scenario for a guy on a budget is the phrase "creative cocktails" in a Yelp review. That is a fancy way of saying, YOU'RE FUCKED BRO. I mixed Jager and Skol Vodka in college, THAT is creative. A $22 organic Old Fashioned is just annoying. Broke bro will probably make an excuse in this situation, he's tired. Or perhaps he'll suggest grabbing another bottle of wine and watching a movie. You could do worse, it's your choice on whether or not you want to be paying for his dinners the next two months.

2. Come over I want to cook for you.

On the surface: Oh? He can cook!

In reality: He's fucking poor. Actually broke. Also he wants to fuck, but not in the creepy way you're thinking. I know women generally assume it's a terrible idea to go to a guy's house for a first date because of sexual assault and understandably so, but I speculate it is much more likely that the guy just doesn't have (or doesn't want to spend) $200 to take you out. You aren't heading to his creepy sex dungeon, you're going to his 4 bedroom 1 bath apartment where his roommates will be laying on the couch and he's going to cook bad bolognese while serving you 2 Buck Chuck that he expertly placed in a decanter before you arrived so you won't know how cheap it was.

That's actually a pretty solid move that I'm not even mad at.

You're probably thinking, "a first date doesn't have to cost $200" but you have to realize that this guy wants to have sex with you. So he is going to get four drinks to calm his nerves and hope that you have four as well. That's 100 right there. Much easier to set the whole thing 25 feet from his bedroom.

3. Let's hit this super fun BYOB place!

On the surface: Dinner and bring your own drinks? What a novel idea!

In reality: He's slightly less poor, and also an alcoholic. The reason I don't love dates is because I need about eight drinks before I am comfortable talking to a girl and if you order 8 drinks on a first date you look like a psychopath butttttttt if you bring three bottles of wine to a BYOB Caribbean place and make sure your wine glass is never all the way empty or all the way full everyone loses count really quick...

Also at a BYOB place the social construct of 'should we order one more?' goes out the window. The alcohol exists, it's a sunk cost. He may say something like, oh I was just at the store and figured I would get a bottle for the house but you both know neither of you are leaving that place until it's all gone.

 4. Let's check out a movie

On the surface: Movies are fun, especially with the new reclining chairs!

In reality: He doesn't trust himself to be able to hold a conversation for 3 hours so he chews up over half in a situation where you sit in silence in the dark. Then AFTER the movie you can fill time with talking about the movie. No questions about work, about family, just real surface level stuff and then you can talk about how fucked up you both were on Saturday, if you don't hate each other by this point it's about time to go have sex.

Sidenote: I went to 50 Shades of Grey last week and I was the only guy in the theater. We brought a bottle of wine and I had the greatest night of my life. My only regret was not bringing a bottle of straight Whiskey. Getting shitfaced with a bunch of thirsty women during a campy movie is hilarious.

5. Let's go see this show

On the surface: Hell ya, a concert and on a school night! It will look so cool on my Insta story.

In reality: Here's a fun little secret, there isn't a ton of talking done at a concert. It's like going to a movie but it's more socially acceptable to dance and make out with your date. I went on a quasi blind date to a Guster concert once and it was fucking awesome. We smoked cigarettes, drank beer and lost our motherfucking minds when they played "Come Downstairs and Say Hello." I walked away from the show knowing nothing about the other person but thinking that we should do it again. I don't like talking, I don't have much to say. But I do like dancing and kissing in a crowded space. Also ladies, the good sign about this, is if a guy is taking you to a place with $18 beers he probably has a job.

6. A sporting event!

On the surface: I can pretend to like sports for a night.

In reality: I'm kidding, I know women like sports. Going to a game is actually a pretty good first date. You can casually converse but also if there is a lull you can comment on the action. The first date after you've already had a sloppy bar hook-up is always fascinating because 90% of the time you are recapping things that you do or don't remember from the previous weekend. "So did you say you're from Minnesota?" "Um, Texas." "Oh ya!" That exact line has probably been said a million times in 2018 between white millenials on a first date. I did the research.

Fortunately at a game you can laugh it off and say "let's go get a hot dog and a comically large beer." The truth is on a first date, no one is trying to figure out if they are soul mates, the questions to answer are: Is this guy going to murder me in my sleep? Is this guy going to give me AIDS? If the answer to both of those is no, how bad could it be? I mean maybe they don't look as good in the light, but if they're polite and feed you enough Dodger Stadium Micheladas they're probably getting a minimum of a hand job, even if they are ducking into the bathroom for key bumps during the 7th inning stretch.

7. Dinner. Just a normal dinner.

On the surface: The classic date! Get dressed up! Adult!

In reality: This is arguably the most intense first date there is. 2 people, one table, and two hours of conversation to fill. Kill me, kill me now. Every dinner date for me is that episode of Atlanta when he is calculating the bill in his head. There are two competing objectives every time a man and woman go to dinner. The guy wants to spend as little money as possible and still get his penis touched. The girl wants to feel appreciated and classy. So if you ask for the wine list and your date doesn't have a stroke, then maybe marry him because he isn't worrying about this bill causing his power to get shut off. And if you have poor parents he may even be able to cover the wedding. 

Jesus Dave that was pretty anti-feminist, you live in California now, you can't say things like that. Women work too.

Oh FUCK YOU inner monologue I can still dig into my inner privileged midwest kid. Half the people that read this blog voted for Trump. Besides, I hide behind the fact that it's satire even though I'm always like 89% serious.

8. Drinks

On the surface: Basically the standard first night out for young people.

In reality: Fun story! Everyone that works in entertainment incessantly goes out to 'drinks.' This is masqueraded as a way for people to network. That is a fallacy. This exits solely for the purpose of helping young people fuck each other. In fact, I would posit that any two people that have worked at a studio/agency/production house or network can play six degrees of Kevin Bacon with sexual partners. I hooked up with someone that worked at UTA who probably hooked up with someone at Paramount who probably fucked a bisexual actor in the bathroom at the Pikey who sucked the dick of a director at 3 Arts to get a job, and that director is married to a casting agent who is having an affair with an assistant at WB. And that's how I know Mike. Hey Mike!

But for real, drinks are just like dinner with more incremental breaks for you to bail. Once you sign up for dinner you're in for the whole two hour debacle. Drinks? You get a chance to call it every 20 minutes. Can you imagine if your date casually drops that he is a 9/11 Truther and you still have to wait for the desert menu?

9. My friends are having a thing

On the surface: Wow, he thinks enough of me to introduce me to his friends!

In reality: He is terrified to be alone with you. Furthermore he would rather be with his friends all night and then conveniently retire to the bedroom with you. It's really an ideal scenario. His friends will laugh at his jokes. His friends' girlfriends will be there and give you some comfort that this guy is in fact normal, but the truth is....if a guy brings you around with his friends the first date, he will always choose them for the rest of time. I have a very standard test when it comes to women. Would I rather be with just her, or would I rather be shotgunning beers with my friends listening to LMFAO songs from 2009.

Unsurprisingly only one girl ever passed this test. I don't know if that means I lean asexual or if I am just a raging alcoholic.

10. Something offbeat!

On the surface: A comedy show? Bowling? A play? A fucking pottery class? He really put some thought into this!

In reality: Effort is for assholes. People that try too hard on a first date are trying to hide something, distract you even. It could be something as innocent as they weren't cool in high school and didn't have a lot of friends, they were in a bad frat in college and a virgin until they were 26. Or maybe they are a sex offender or divorced. Maybe they had a 'domestic dispute' with a former lover that is easily available for discovery on the internet!

My go to college date was to take girls to musicals that came to town. Who doesn't want some culture in Bloomington, Indiana. But looking back I think I went like 0 for 5 on those dates. Do you know why? Because I was trying too hard. I had much more success kicking down the door at Kilroy's and shouting DADDY'S HOME, ordering 2 bottles of Cook's Champagne and pulling my dick out on the dance floor.

That's a metaphor for confidence I think. 

Oh God, this is a mess. Let me walk this back. 

If someone goes over the top on a first date, they are compensating for something and setting the bar impossibly high. They are setting you up for a lifetime of disappointment. 

That was probably over dramatic, but let's check the final scores.

Scenario 1: Poor
Scenario 2: Poor
Scenario 3: Drunk
Scenario 4: Doesn't want to talk to you
Scenario 5: Doesn't want to talk to you
Scenario 6: Drug addict
Scenario 7: Boring
Scenario 8: Fuckboy
Scenario 9: Unavailable
Scenario 10: Try hard.

So what did we learn? We learned that you are fuckkkkkkked. You're going to die alone and this whole dating thing is a farce. Happy fucking Valentine's Day!

I'm kidding, it's not as hopeless as it all seems. Shockingly at my core I'm a romantic, not in a classic way but more of a Trainspotting kinda way. I still think I'm going to stumble out of this haze some day and get my happily ever after. 

In the mean time, I figure it's best to just be super honest when it comes to dating. Say exactly what you want and what you're expecting. We're old now, the time to play coy is over. You're not going to get your "You complete me" moment, but you might get your "But mostly I hate the way I don't hate you. Not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all." 

Way to land the plane there Dave. You managed to shit on LA, the entertainment industry writ large, the institution of dating, throw out at least 5 humble brags, reference substance abuse constantly, but somehow land on a message of hope while quoting both Jerry Maguire and 10 Things I Hate About You.

Why thanks inner monologue, you're not too bad either.
/bows
 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Who Runs Olympic Village?

Over the course of the last couple weeks the internet has been abuzz with articles about the Winter Olympics. People have fallen in love with the mixed curling siblings that look like they could be truck drivers from Kenosha, websites have arbitrarily ranked the events and I have questioned why my dad didn't build me my own luge track in the backyard while I was a kid.

I have even pondered if given a lifetime of training if I could medal in ice roller derby.

Alas, I have settled on a more important query for today. Given the notoriety of the social scene in Olympic Village and the record breaking number of condoms available for the athletes, this article will seek to answer which event's athletes are the John Tucker of Pyeongchang. Who is the 2006 ATO of the village.

More simply; who fucks?

I have spent countless hours evaluating schedules, country breakdowns, athlete photos and unverified stories on Twitter to try to figure out who the cool kids are, who will be using the lion's share of those free Lifestyle condoms from the Olympic Village health center. Let's get right into it.

Since I don't want to do a couple paragraphs on every event I eliminated some events in the preliminary heats. The following did not make it to the medal round.

Curling
Biathlon
Cross Country Skiing
Freestyle Skiing
Figure Skating
Skeleton

Curling was eliminated because you can be the best in the world and still be an overweight man in your 40's, although I contend these guys would be great to get a beer with.

Biathlon was eliminated because while anyone that skis around with a rifle on their back is undoubtedly rad, I feel like these guys would rather shoot and skin a bear than court a German Aerialist at whatever dive bar the athletes make their local haunt.

Cross Country skiing almost stayed off the list for the thirst trap that is that shirtless Tongan guy, but it is undoubtedly the most boring event at the olympics.

Freestyle skiing is cool but not as cool as Freestyle snowboarding, it's like the girl that gets into Theta but really wanted Pi Phi.

I figure all the men in figure skating are either gay or already having sex with their partner.

And everyone that does Skeleton clearly has a death wish, I feel like these guys can't get turned on unless their partner is beating them over their head with a rock.

ONWARD:

The remaining events are:
Freestyle Snowboarding
Alpine Skiing
Luge
Bobsled
Speed Skating
Hockey
Ski Jumping

Onward to the medal round!!!

Just off podium...

7. Ski Jumping
Going fast and jumping off of shit is inherently fratty as fuck. I could just see these dudes shotgunning beers and flying off the training ramp into the pool yelling "SEND IT" while completely nude. They would then send these videos to Barstool and there would be a click bait article like 'NORWEGIAN BROS FUCKING SEND IT WHILE TRAINING FOR WINTER OLYMPICS"
It doesn't hurt that Scandinavians are attractive AF.

6. Luge
Luge guys are the slightly less crazy cousins to the skeleton guys. Working in their favor are two major things, scheduling and money.

Most of the luge guys are done for the games, so that means they have two weeks to fuck around and get drunk as shit. Also people in the luge game are clearly not strapped for cash. Did you see the aforementioned kid that has a FUCKING LUGE COURT IN HIS BACKYARD???

I have joked around on this blog before that I legitimately asked my parents for a water slide from my bedroom for Christmas one year. Straight out of fucking blank check. I also asked for a boat, a lake house and a BB gun. I never got any of these. Tucker West was probably fucking around one night and said 'Dad build me a fucking luge track.' AND HE DID IT. And just to make sure it wasn't a on off, Tucker must have asked for a tennis court the following year and just for good measure his dad made it grass, because why the fuck not?

The only thing that holds luge back is that the alphas of the sport are from Russia, Germany and Austria. These countries just seem a little too intense to trifle over things like cocking South Korean figure skaters, but still they garner a respectable 6th place.

5. Bobsled
I think my favorite thing about bobsled is that I like to romanticize the idea that there is a Ringo on every four man team. You know, a guy that probably isn't qualified to be there but is a great locker room guy that gets a spot join the squad anyway? I'm thinking Doug E Doug from Cool Runnings, the dude that kisses the egg, sang that stupid 'Jamaica We Have a Bobsled team' song, he probably sucked at bobsledding, but alas that dude made it to the olympics.

I too am objectively without talent, but I'm great for morale. I could've been a great unqualified fourth member of a bobsled team.

Working against bobsled is the fact that the men's four man Bobsled isn't until February 24th. The Closing Ceremonies are the 25th. Now while I imagine it is not explicitly banned to party before you compete, it's likely frowned upon. And waiting until the night of the closing ceremony to find your date is like going into the last day of Burning Man hoping for a miracle. Here's hoping the bobsled bros get a more favorable slot in Beijing,

4. Hockey
Look, hockey bros are unquestionably the coolest guys on the Earth. I once went out with an AHL player and he taught me how to snort vodka, my deviated septum has never recovered. However, this year's crop of hockey players are career minor leaguers, washed up NHL guys in their late 30's and a couple college guys.

Now while I am positive that those college guys are making it fucking rain in South Korea, these are the exceptions, not the rule...kinda like the cool guy in ZBT that you can't believe didn't get into a third street house. Furthermore, the alpha dogs in hockey are the Russian dudes, guys that got cucked by the IOC and aren't even allowed to carry their flag for the next two weeks because they got caught doing steroids, which we all know shrink your dick. If NHL guys were involved this would be an easy Gold Medal, but we're using the B teamers and that knocks hockey off the podium.

The Bronze Medal. Alpine Skiing
Congrats to the men (and women!) of Downhill, Super G, Giant Slalmon, Slalom and Combined. You all kick ass and skiing is dope as shit. You all live in Aspen, Park City and Tahoe and have been drinking at bars like Eric's, No Name Saloon and Whiskey Dicks for FAR too long. Furthermore as skiers you are much classier than your snowboarding brethren. You have names like Braden or Hunter and hang out with dudes that have an IV suffix attached to their name. You have family money. Not only have you never had to work, your dad never had to work.

You like to go fast, like really fucking fast. You motherfuckers fly down the hill at 90 mph. You hang out with Lindsey Vonn. Alpine skiers probably down 3 IPAs before racing their boys down the mountain on a top downer and last one to Apres Ski has to buy the winners shots of Louis XIV.

Norwegians dominate this event, have you ever been to Norway? Have you ever seen a Norwegian? You should go. You can take a Norwegian Air flight there for like 22 dollars. Everyone is 6 foot 2 and perfect looking. They don't talk body positivity in Norway because everyone looks like they were genetically engineered to fly fast down a mountain...and fuck. They are vikings after all.

 The Silver Medal. Speed Skating
Speed skating is bad ass. Short track is better than long track and mass start is better than them both because it looks like a fucking Nascar Race. Sure a piece of me likes it because I'm waiting for catastrophic crash but also it's one of the only sports that features anyone that isn't a generic white guy. Of course that statement is unfair, I know there is a black guy on our men's hockey team and the 17 year old girl that just won half pipe has Asian heritage but speed skating is arguably the most diverse sport at the 2018 games. The US team alone has Shani Davis (in his fifth games) and JR Celski who is of Fillipino descent not to mention the 17 year old Maame Biney on the women's side of thin-

Editor's note: Dave are you really insinuating that the largely white Winter Olympians will want to have sex with some non-white athletes because it's a breath of fresh air? That's incredibly racist.

NO! I just wanted to shout out a sport that didn't look like a bachelor party at Mammoth. Ok, maybe a little (especially the German women)

What I am arguing is speed skating is bad ass. The most represented country is the Netherlands, a country famous for letting you fuck a hooker on the street while doing meth. Canada and the USA are second and third respectively and I just find that to be a bit of a power trio. I mean Shani Davis skipped the opening ceremony in a move that is both incredibly petty but also wonderfully alpha. The man is 35, has two gold medals and is single. He will steal your girl. I bet he racks up five this games...minimum. But not even Shani could knock off the kings.

The Gold Medal. Freestyle Snowboarding

It was always a battle for silver if we're being honest. What I want to know is how is Red Gerard going to spend his next 2 weeks. Does he get the Jesus Shuttleworth orgy treatment every night? Does he begin a romance with fellow 17 year old American Gold Medal winner Chloe Kim and become America's 'it' couple? Am I risking sex offender status by speculating on the personal lives of two children? Let me walk that back. I don't want to know if he's fornicating, but I do hope Shaun White buys him some beer.

Speaking of Shaun White, he is hot now. Following in the footsteps of redheads getting jacked pioneer, Carrot Top, Shaun White has transformed from something that resembled an actual flying tomato to some hybrid of Macklemore and Ryan from the O.C.

It doesn't hurt that the snowboarders are probably the only guys that can bring in some serious coin on their own outside the Winter Games. While smaller nations were literally waiting for GoFundMe campaigns to get to the games, the snowboarders shrugged while Red Bull, Burton and Oakley pick up the tab. The Speed skaters could objectively be cooler dudes but if a bunch of Snowboarders invite a Finnish Ice Dancer to fly to Mammoth on the Monster Energy private jet next weekend and stay at the K2 house, that's tough to compete with. Trust me, it's why I haven't been able to hold onto a girl in LA for longer than 3 months. There's nothing more effortlessly cool than doing what you love and getting paid a ton for it. That is the life that the snowboarders and the snowboarders only are living. Every day is their annual ski trip. These guys jump out of helicopters in documentaries funded by Vice.

Don't let their laid back stoner persona trick you. Snowboarders are running the show in olympic village. They're drinking champagne and eating lobster every night. They are working their way through every country like they are trying to check every sorority off their list. They are in the athlete's village hot tub with the Four Lokos every night, whether or not they are competing in the morning.

So roll up a joint, pump the Dave Matthews and stand for their anthem, your freestyle snowboarders are the kings of Olympic Village, if the line to get into their party tonight is too long, maybe you can meet them at their Vail Cabin for Spring Break.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The Once and Future King


I turned 31 this week and it was fine, I don't have any real profound thoughts. I wasn't going to do a big social media post but I stumbled onto a treasure trove of photos from my birthday 10 years ago and figured since this is largely a comedy site, I'll share with you the tale of my 21st birthday. Because I mean, Jesus look at that fucking stud. White jacket, giant fake diamonds, singing an undisclosed 90's hit at a karaoke bar inside an Italian club? You deserve this.


***

They told me not to start drinking at noon, but it was the first day after all. Not only was it our first day inside Europe, the first day of a six month vacation, no it was also my 21st birthday.

Not that any of that mattered; although I desperately wanted the clerk at the wine shop to ask me for my ID, he merely shrugged when I exclaimed that it was my 21st birthday. I walked back to my hotel room with 12 bottles of red wine and heroically stormed into the lobby of the hotel we would be occupying for the first night. As I slammed the case of wine down in the common area and started enthusiastically passing bottles out to my friends like a drunken Robin Hood I saw the color drain from my program director's face.

While some students came to Italy seeking education or culture, perhaps a fresh perspective, she could tell that these frat guys from Indiana were here with one mission: to fuck shit up.

While most of the students had saved for years from summer jobs with the dream of studying abroad some day, we had conspired in November with twenty IU kids over a $75 bottle of Grey Goose in a corner booth at Kilroy's. 13 girls, seven guys, we would throw parties, travel, maybe fall in love. It would be fucking lit.

I asked the program director for a bottle opener to which she politely declined and then watched in horror as i stabbed the cork into the bottle with a ball point pen.

With much trepidation she handed us the keys to our flat.

"I've secured you a 10 bedroom apartment on the outskirts of town. You're the only residential unit in the building, the rest are law firms."

I realize her implication was that this was a NICE PLACE and was to be treated with respect, but what I heard was that this woman had just given us our own frat house in Italy and that the neighbors would leave for the weekend every Friday at five.

I remember by the time our 'orientation' begun I had already finished a bottle of wine. I vaguely remember our administrators saying things like 'don't treat this like a playground.' 'You're here to learn.' You know a bunch of stuff that I would never take to heart. I was already busy getting numbers from all the east coast chicks in my pre-paid burner flip phone, a phone I would lose that night and never replace.

A cocktail hour followed the orientation, I put something smart ass on my name tag like 'frat guy #2' because at 21 you think that kinda shit is hilarious. It became abundantly clear that our program was about 90% female and when I walked to the bar and ordered a triple vodka tonic the weary Italian bartender cautioned me that if I kept up my current pace, I wouldn't make it out.

News of our presence quickly spread through the hotel.

"You're one of the IU guys?"

Our program directors strongly discouraged us from hitting the town that night. We had immigration meetings in the morning followed by a tour of the city. Furthermore we were expressly forbidden from having any company in our rooms that evening.

I invited every girl in sight to a pregame in room 304.

In the hotel lobby I quickly did a Yelp search for the worst club in Florence, or a club that others perceived to be awful, but a place I would love.

"Music so loud you go deaf."
"Full of nothing but study abroad kids looking to black out."
"Everyone here is on drugs."

YAB...YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

Let's fucking go.

All my college friends were there as well as a few other rebels that we convinced to hit the town with us. It was a 15 minute walk, so we used the lack of Italian open container law to keep pregaming on the way to the bar. By the time we got there I imagine I was three bottles deep.

We saw some more IU friends drinking at a bar next to Florence's famous Duomo that was named JJ Cathedral at the time. I think I had 4 to 5 Jager Bomb shots at this point and crew our crowd to a critical mass. Sure it kinda sucked that I wasn't going to get the true Indiana birthday thing, no shot book, no paddle, I couldn't make everyone wear pink, but if you're going to have your birthday anywhere else in the world, this wasn't too bad.

I remember realizing as we finally pulled up to the club that I wasn't in great shape. I had been drinking for entirely too long and had already called multiple women by the wrong name. But once I got to the dance floor I figured I would be fine.

I approached a large African bouncer who asked if I thought I was ok to come in.

"Of course I am," I thought. I mean I was probably only the equivalent of 25 drinks deep.

"It's his 21st birthday," one of my friends offered from the back, "We'll take care of him."

He nodded and stepped aside.

Now the thing is...if I had EVER been to this bar before, the following sequence may have never happened.

But I had not been to this bar.

I had not been to this country.

I had not been to this continent.

So I certainly didn't know that at this particular bar you step in the entrance and proceed to walk down 25 steps.

So I took one step in and proceeded to fall down 25 steps.

The concerned bouncer rushed me into the coat room to check my vitals..I was fine, he then gave me a breathalyzer and I blew a .3 at which point Steve (pictured above with his wife!!!!) was forced to drag me up 25 stairs and then carry me home.

He threw me in my hotel room and apparently I dead bolted the door so when my friend Ryan got home, he was locked out which forced him to accidentally try to kick down a strangers door.

Needless to say when the program directors were called to deal with the situation they were not pleased. And this is how I was almost sent home on the first day of abroad.

Fortunately for us, our parents had all paid in advance and half of them were lawyers so we were given one more chance.

And thank God for that or I might have never gone to Germany, Austria, England, Ireland, France, Switzerland, Monaco, Belgium, Greece, Vatican, Netherlands, Spain.

I wouldn't have fallen in a canal in Venice, woken up in an ambulance, sleepwalked through Barcelona, skied the Swiss Alps, spent way too long in Amsterdam or of course getting lost on a train in France.

No fortunately that first night in Italy turned out to be the worst night, but the next night...well I went to a Zara, bought that white coat and took the picture above...setting up the most preposterous 12 month run of my life. I cherish every person and every memory of that trip and of the last 10 years because my God, it's all been so much fun.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

What is the Best Drinking Music?


This may sound a little quaint, but every Saturday when I wake up it's just a matter of time before I start drinking.

It's not always right away. I have hobbies such as hiking or taking a long bike ride down to the south bay. But let's be real, these are just appetizers for the main course, activities that delay the inevitable. I mean when you live in a rented apartment, have no girlfriend or kids, there is a real hole in your Saturday after that one hour of exercise. To be honest, I don't know what normal people in my position do on Saturdays. I've heard of these things called Farmer's Markets, but in my experience McDonald's buys their own lettuce and tomatoes so I'm all set on that front.

Naw daddy, I drink.

I used to rationalize it a bit. I would throw on a 9am BYU vs Colorado State game. Pretend to get really into it. GO RAMS! Nothing wrong with having a beer or six while watching some hoops! If we were in some sports doldrums and there was nothing on TV I would heat up an old slice of Domino's pizza, pair it with mimosas and tell myself that I had cooked brunch. It's completely reasonable to have some champagne with your breakfast on the weekend. It goes to my European sensibilities!

But after a girl has broken up with you due to your all around savagery, you start to just lean into it. I don't really give a shit anymore. I'll find an old lukewarm beer that I didn't finish the night before and rewatch Monday Night Raw at 8 in the morning in my boxers. These are the joys of being an adult...

OR...

I'll throw on some music very loud and start partying by myself.

Now that was an overlong introduction that only tangentially touches on the topic at hand today, but I've been wondering a lot lately which genre of music is the best to drink to. I'm going to set up some parameters and then argue with myself. It's going to be great, you'll love it. Hopefully by the end of this article, you will have a good idea of what song to toss on when you crack that first beer; one true party genre to rule them all.

Some rules...

1. Obviously different moods/activities may vary the results but this is for ALL PURPOSE DRINKING, the cross trainer shoes of imbibing.

2. Some music doesn't fit into any one specific genre or it fits into multiple genres, I will be taking liberties with this as I see fit.

3. Do not confuse 'dancing' with drinking. Dancing is a subset of drinking/partying. Sitting around a campfire screaming out Tom Petty songs can be just as fun as cutting a rug in a dark club.

 The criteria

Genres will be scored 1-10 on the following categories.

Event: How much would this music enhance your tailgate/festival/concert/etc.

Home: How much would this music enhance your drinking experience at home, whether it be just you or a group of friends?

Bar: How would this music affect the energy of the bar/club?

The rules and criteria are generally bullshit and this is mostly just a forum for me to rant about music. Got it? Good.

Genre #1 Pop Music
One of the toughest moments of 2017 for me came when I was on a party bus en route to Glendale with a bus full of people that ranged in age from about 27-37. Everyone had been drinking for several hours and I just KNEW I had the perfect song to play. I grabbed the iPod, cued up my man JB and just waited for everyone to go nuts.

It never happened. In fact someone asked me to change the song. Part of my soul died on the Rasta Bus that day, but I learned a very important lesson: not everyone is a former frat guy with a semi-ironic love of reviled pop artists.

Look, recent Bieber bangs. So does early Britney, mid-period Taylor and every song on The Fame Monster. But there are actual people out there that detest this kind of music. I don't know how, maybe 2009 was a dark period for this person. Maybe they are genuinely upset that Justin egged his neighbor's house. Whatever the case, while I contend pop music is PHENOMENAL drinking music. It should be stated that it is a risky proposal. 'Tearing up My Heart' reminds me of ripping off my shirt on the frat's dance floor and making out with the Alpha Phi social chair, but it may remind someone else of sitting at home and waiting for the phone to ring in high school.

Ideal setting: House party with close friends. If you put on 'Lucky' at 1 in the morning and not everyone sings along, you probably need new friends.

Event: 6
Home: 9
Bar: 7
Total: 22

Genre #2 Hard Rock
A timeless classic, Hard Rock will always dominate the event space. When you are at a college football tailgate and you hear Thunderstruck, the immediate inclination is to find 8 other degenerates to play that horrible chugging game with. But most importantly as an event will likely have people of all ages, hard rock is a genre of music that youngs and olds a like have a strong appreciation of. If I tried to get my dad to belt out the words to Celine Dion he might send me in for conversion therapy, but Sister Christian? He is ALL THE WAY IN.

Conversely, hard rock fails in the bar scene. Cover bands excluded, you go to a bar to dance or talk to people and Axl Rose screaming 'Welcome to the Jungle' is not really conducive to either of these activities. As much as I would like to Slow Grind to a power ballad like 'Every Rose has its Thorn' something about hard rock just needs to be an outdoor activity.

In the home setting it can really go either way. Are you getting fired up for a major afternoon of day drinking? Cranking some Aeriosmith and ripping shots of Jim Beam is a good way to start your day (or end it!) but if you have some people coming over to hang out, hard rock doesn't possess the proper vibe.

Ideal setting: At a Buffalo Bills Tailgate Scorpions' 'Rock you like a Hurricane' comes on right as you are suplexing your best friend through a folding table.

Event: 10
Home: 6
Bar: 4
Total: 20

Genre #3 80s Music
Technically most 80's music could be categorized as pop or hard rock, but that would be a disservice to a truly delightful branch of party music. You know what I'm talking about: Cyndi Lauper, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Bowie, Toto, Whitney Houston basically the San Junipero soundtrack OH GOD PUT IT IN AN IV AND SHOVE THAT SHIT INTO MY JUGULAR.

80s music is an interesting hybrid because you can lure the rock and roll fans in with some Duran Duran and then smash them over the head with some Belinda Carlisle before they even knew what hit them. You can almost smell the cocaine in every synth note, taste the vodka in every bad hairstyle and create a sense of nostalgia for a decade that probably wasn't that great?

All college kids grew up with a healthy dose of Journey and Eddie Money at their local Greek bar, which led to lots of fist pumping and hoarse voices. But the thing about 80's music is it is extremely adaptable. Madonna's Like a Virgin will kill in almost any setting. Crowded bar? Sure, it's got a little disco beat to it. Big game? Believe it or not your parents were young in the 80's and it reminds them of a time before they had to put up with your dumb ass.

If 80s has any weak spot it might be if you are having a house party and someone didn't grow up with an affinity for REO Speedwagon and Styx. But honestly, if you just throw on the Rock of Ages soundtrack, more often than not people will have a good time.

Ideal setting: Homecoming while drinking a concoction that is roughly 6 shots of rum, food coloring and sugar.

Event: 8
Home: 7
Bar: 9
Total: 24

Genre #4 Country Music
Now for the purpose of this exercise and to build a more convincing argument; country music will be expanded to include rockabilly, folk, and most acoustic driven rock. That is to say that bands like The Eagles, Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash are included in this category. Now on first glance you may not think that country music is a good time...but let me paint a picture for you...

You just walked into a Country Western bar in Chicago, Illinois. Every girl is blonde and attractive. People are wearing cowboy hats. 32 ounce beers are 2 dollars and the Zack Brown Band song Country Fried is playing at 30 decibels while people dance on tables...No?

Ok, let's try again. You walk into a Vanderbilt bar in Nashville, Tennessee. Every girl is blonde and attractive. People are wearing cowboy hats. 32 ounce beers are 1 dollar, there is a 5 piece cover band playing Zack Brown Band's Country Fried at 40 decibels and people are dancing ON the bar...still no?

Last try...You're in Indio at Stagecoach. Every girl is blonde and attractive. Also they are wearing crop tops with jean skirts and cowboy boots. Unlimited beer is free at your campsite. Zack Brown Band is on the main stage playing their hit song Country Fried at 100 decibels and you are making out with a girl from Marietta, Georgia named Scarlett. This has to sound like a fun time, no?

Ideal Setting: Probably making out with Scarlett and then going back to her camp which is just an air mattress on the back of her brother's truck.

Event: 8
Home: 4
Bar: 7
Total: 19

Genre #5 Rap Music
Rap is a bit of an enigma and will likely be the most polarizing entry. I'll also give you a hot take, a lot of rap is SHIT to dance to. Take for example the recent phenomenon of Cardi B. Every single one of her beats sounds like it is designed for people who are simultaneously robo tripping while aspiring to go into a K Hole. Seriously Bodack Yellow bumps at like 14 BPM. I like to sweat on the dance floor, not fall asleep. But conversely, if we're including family friendly funk like Bruno Mars? I mean Uptown Funk might be the best dance song of all time.

Again I'm conflicted, because I can't think of a time I wouldn't like to hear a Kendrick song or a throwback like Izzo, but I'm all set on pretty much anything that comes from a dude named 'Lil' or who was that fucking Panda guy? Really hip hop? That's your best foot forward? Also if we're counting Dominicans as white or at least white adjacent, the current top 10 rap songs in America are 90% white people. How's that for some cultural appropriation. Man, do I just hate rap music? Who would have thought that the rapper Aryan from Cathedral High School, who won the talent show with a Kanye West song, who had a mixtape called 'Bounce if you Ball Boy' (which was a reference to the fact that I was an actual ballboy for the Pacers) would grow up to hate rap. Also if you need to know anything about Indiana, no one told a 16 year old kid that going by the rap name 'Aryan' even if was just a physical description of my body MIGHT BE OFFENSIVE. They literally covered me in the school newspaper. 2005 y'all.

PUKE.

But ya, rap is ok to drink to sometimes.

Ideal Setting: I imagine I could get very drunk at a Chance the Rapper concert and have a good time.

Event: 7
Home: 6
Bar: 7
Total: 20

Genre #6 Generic white people music
Ok I'm going to be alone on this island but I fucking dare you to go see a jam band in concert and not have the time of your life. Dave Matthews, Phish and OAR rule in a non ironic way. Whatever, just be glad I didn't put show tunes on here because I came V close.

Ideal setting: Lawn, Deer Creek, DMB night 2, 2004.

Event: 10
Home: 6
Bar: 2
Total: 18

Genre #7 EDM
Remember dance music? Holy shit, it's almost like 2012 never happened. Now Calvin Harris and Zedd just produce beats for former Disney Channel stars and we call it pop music. (Seriously, currently in the top 10 are Selena Gomez, Alessia Cara, Hailee Steinfeld, Selena again and Demi Lovato. Not to mention Coldplay) They still bang but gone are the days of Skrillex, Knife Party and Dead Mau5 assaulting your ears into between ecstasy hits. I wonder what kids are going to think in 40 years when they hear the song 'Internet Friends.' It will probably be the same look of confusion I have when I hear the song with Frank Zappa's daughter 'Valley Girl.' People will likely just shrug their shoulders and say 'drugs.'

But does dance music hold up? The purpose of this exercise was to find the best DRINKING music and while a bunch of people at Burning Man would argue that Deep House is till very relevant, most of them aren't choosing alcohol as their number one poison. In fact in 2018, I think you could make the argument that pop music and EDM are virtually indistinguishable. But music is generally fucked in 2018, they play 'Closer' on JACK FM and my mom, a 62 year old white retiree, currently claims The Chainsmokers as her favorite band. Some would argue that it makes them lame, I think it just proves that they are evil geniuses who have hacked our brains to hit a very specific group of pleasure centers. People say EDM is dead, but I'm not ruling out a comeback.

Ideal setting: That moment at a wedding when they put on 'Where Are U now' and you lock eyes with the girl you were dating in 2015 and know that it's on.

Event: 8
Home: 7
Bar: 8
Total: 23

The Results

1. 80's
2. Dance
3. Pop

It makes sense as 80s music probably has a higher floor than general dance music or pop, but I would argue that all three are probably pretty safe all purpose drinking music. 80's also cheats as you can use any genre within the decade allowing you to fine tune the playlist for exactly what you're doing. Are you in a school bus on your way to a college reunion bar crawl? Boom! Bon Jovi. Is it 4 o clock in the morning and you're on your way to the after after party but the Uber driver is being cool and letting you drink Zimas in the back of a Minivan speeding through Boyle Heights? TAKE ON ME!

It was a well fought battle, but 80's music is the best drinking music.



Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A History of Dating in the Digital Age


Yesterday I was digging deep in my inbox for some old photos and I came across an old Gchat conversation with an ex-girlfriend. I was unaware that Gmail archived these conversations and I hadn't thought about this girl in a year or so, so I gave it a click.

OH MY GOD!

I had forgotten what a terrible employee/person I was in Chicago. I guess when I wasn't blogging on company time. I was actively trying to get my gf to cyber chat with me while I was surrounded by middle aged men on the 4th floor of a generic office building in Lake Forest, Illinois. I then searched out my old Chicago roommates, and guess what? My Gchats with them were cataloged too. They essentially read like Evan Spiegel's old frat emails, but worse. This taught me two things:

1. Moving forward, it's probably best to use some discretion on Gchat, especially from a work computer.

2. My ousting from CDW may have been the most justifiable firing of all time. Honestly, not even Hue Jackson is worse at his job.

However, this got me thinking about the way people essentially used to (and still do!) text their way to love. We as a generation have tried to make life as impersonal as possible. Everything is ordered online, we stick our noses in our phones even when with a group, people now make jokes about how much they like to be alone and avoid people. This is very different than the extroverted 90's where everyone wanted to be Tucker Max and smash strangers they met at singles bars.

No.

We prefer to digitally chat with people far away from a safe place. Maybe the technology is harming us as a society, maybe we're already in a Black Mirror episode, but for this exercise I am going to attempt to chronicle the evolution of this phenomenon with a loose timeline I will establish based on eras. Got it? Me neither, but I'm hopped up on Adderall and I'm ready to go. Let's get it.

We'll start with the year 2000 because that's the first time I kissed a girl. (In a hotel on a class trip in Washington DC, NO BIG DEAL!)

2000-2005: The Angsty Away Message Era
The year is 2001, AOL Instant Messenger is king. Every upper middle class kid in America has an embarrassing screen name. A young Hoosier named David Moeller is known on the internet as AFstud39, which of course stands for the poser prep brand Abercrombie and Fitch, after the fall of Abercrombie, David tells people it stands for Air Force. No one Believes him.

Do you remember the adrenaline rush any time you would hear the door open sound? Was it the cute girl I have a crush on? I can't wait to hit her with the most boring conversation ever that would last for 2 minutes max.

But I couldn't get enough of it. I had atrocious grades in high school largely because I would not to by homework. I needed to get onto the internet and TALK TO GIRLS. At some point, it got so bad that my parents took the keyboard away, but JOKES ON YOU MOM. I would meticulously find letters in word documents and copy and paste individual characters so I could talk to people. It took longer than setting the copy for an 1800s printing press but god dammit it was worth it.

And the away messages...
You have not lived until you wrote a three paragraph away message that was directed at a single person. AIM away messages were the OG sub tweets. I wrote poetry, I wrote about my feelings, shit I would leave O.A.R. and Dave Matthews lyrics for people...and any time my mom tried to pick up the phone and kick me offline, I raised hell. In 2001 we finally got a cable modem and I didn't leave the computer room for the next four years, too busy in chat rooms dropping those sweet sweet ASLs.

Effectiveness: Low
Total hook ups: >5
Analysis: While the AAME was a golden age for internet communication, my sheer age was a major inhibiting factor to success. If a girl in westfield would say 'Hey my mom's not here, come over.' Well my parents weren't about to let me leave the house on a Tuesday night at 9pm to drive an hour away. It's a shame really, if I could go back and collect every away message I ever wrote, I would have enough dirt to start a mildly successful meme account.

2005-2007: The Unlimited Text Era
The year is 2005, most major American cell phone plans now include unlimited text messaging. I can T9 a girl 'Come over' faster than I can breathe. AIM is dead, MySpace is dying, a new challenger emerges from the West entitled The Facebook. People aren't quite sure what it is yet, but have realized that lots of :) and lolz via text lead to some quality flirting during class.

I never got a RAZR, which is bullshit. If I had a RAZR in the fall of 2005 I probably would have gotten into ATO, Roo ra rega!

But for Christmas in 2005 I got something even better: An LG Chocolate. Oh God the sexy way that thing would slide up and down. Paired with a North Face fleece and some True Religion jeans, nothing screamed MY HOUSE IS WORTH OVER $300,000 IN INDIANA like a cool cell phone.

The Unlimited Text Era (or the UTE) really changed the game because you could put up millions of shots constantly, wherever you were.

Laying in bed? Text.
In class? Text.
Taking a shit? DEFINITELY TEXT.

I must have shot out hundreds of thousands of texts my Freshman year at Indiana and also everyone was discovering binge drinking for the first time so all behavior was completely excused.

"Did you text me that you wanted to pee on me last night?"
Oh, haha, sorry. First experience with tequila.

That text today would end friendships. At 18 while living in a dorm you might get a response like "OMG I TOOOOOOTALLY get it!!!"

This is also very early era: You up?

If someone was online late in high school obviously they were up. At 3am in college it was a genuine question, and for the first time if they responded 'ya, come over' you didn't have to ask mom and dad's permission.

Effectiveness: Mixed
Total hook ups: 4.3X10^8
Analysis: While the UTE had a relatively low conversion rate, the new technology allowed you to cast a wider net than ever before. Life is a numbers game after all and if you texted 100 people then, well one of them would be up for an adventure. But maybe that's less 'texting your way to love' and moreso just college.

2007-2009: The Rise of Blackberry
The year is 2008. Flip phones and sliders are now considered hot garbage for drug dealers. Everyone that isn't a poor has a Blackberry and a fascinating technology called Blackberry Messenger colloquially known as BBM has taken the country by storm. BBM operates almost exactly like text messaging but carries an air of elitism. It also has a fascinating feature called PING that will makes someones phone vibrate. Drunk frat guys will try to use this feature with limited success to wake up sleeping sorority girls.

Well unsurprisingly I got drunk during Little 5 in 2007 and dropped my Chocolate to the bottom of Lake Monroe. When my parents didn't hear from me for 4 days they drove down to Bloomington to see if I was alive. When they found me fine, they were so relieved that they didn't mind driving me to Verizon to get me the latest and greatest. (This is a sound strategy.)

The game switched in 2007 to a more efficient style of play. No longer were you just throwing a ton of shit at the wall and seeing what stuck, the BBM list was more curated. Getting someone's PIN was a much bigger deal than getting someone's number. A group member got your phone number a chick that you wanted to take to the Valentine's semi-formal got #mypin. It was an open invitation to flirt. A new BBM was worlds more interesting than a new email or a pesky text message. The heart would start to race though if multiple girls were sending you BBMs after 12 o clock. It was almost as exciting as beating the last level on Brick Breaker.

Effectiveness: High
Total hook ups: Enough
Analysis: Though I would like to give BBM a lot of credit for my romantic success in college, I think it's also more indicative of the relative maturity of college upperclassmen. As a Freshman hook up culture is somewhat new and exciting. By the time Senior year rolls around, it's old hat. You know everyone in your circle, everyone without a partner is fair game and hook ups are almost business like. You're cool, I'm cool. We're both fairly attractive, let's do this. It will be fun!

2009-2012: Gchatting Your Way to Love
The year is 2010. Millenials have joined the work force and are not happy about it. Others have gone to grad school to push off the inevitable. Comedy accounts have popped up on the newish social media platform Twitter to document the struggle of trying to "adult." Some are struggling with the fact that their parents have shut off the family 'emergency AMEX' which had for years been treated as a line of credit at their favorite bar. But fortunately, an old stand by is there for them on those cold days in Chicago at the job they hate; their old friend Google.

I was sad after college. Like really sad. I went from being a medium sized fish in a tiny pond to a piece of plankton in the Pacific Ocean. I hated my job, I hated responsibility and the only thing that got me through it was blogging and G chatting chicks all day (and loads of alcohol...shouts to booze for getting me through a tough time! We out here!)

Similar to the now quaint AIM, the rush of joy I would get when that green dot popped on would lift my spirits. And the best part? By Gchatting and keeping the box small in the lower right corner, to the lay person it would look like you were ACTUALLY DOING WORK. Between that and my blog, I must have looked like the hardest working person in the company. That must be how I managed to stay there for two years despite only eclipsing 10 outgoing calls once. (And that was probably me calling other people in the building to arrange lunch plans.)

Honestly, I probably Gchatted my way to two serious relationships just through bonding over how bored we were at work and how much we would rather be doing other things. Turns out a mutual disgust for the mundane can really drive people together! Who knew?

Effectiveness: Extremely high
Total hook ups: Several serious
Analysis: A lot of people in their 20s are a bit down on the world and they're grasping at straws. Their job isn't what they thought it would be yet they can pull some medium comfort by talking to someone online and fantasizing about what they could do together as soon as they left the hellish prison of their 9-5.

2012-2016: Tinder and Other Drugs
The year is 2013 and the millenials have rebelled. Instead of growing up, they have flat out refused and leaned into their debauchery. Eric Prydz is headlining Coachella. Cocaine and MDMA are no longer closed door drugs and their is an app called Tinder that matches people together who are down to fuck. What a time to be alive.

It's amazing that it took this long honestly. It was a concept as old as time. Hot or not, Facebook, a whole host of other online dating ventures: Here is a picture of a person, do you want to have sex with them? Yes or no. This was the fundamental question at stake in Tinder and all of its clones. They made J Swipe which was Tinder for Jews! They made Grindr which was Tinder for gays! They even made shit like The League which was Tinder for people who thought they were classy. None of them were more genius than Bumble though. Tinder for cucks who are afraid to initiate a conversation with a woman!

There was always one of course. One girl in every group that met their serious boyfriend or even fiance on Tinder. That gave the whole crew hope, but sub-consciously they knew what they were doing. They were on a hook up app. Not too dissimilar from the brilliant Black Mirror episode 'Hang the DJ,' they knew they were just sleeping around, buying time, until hopefully, desperately, someone swept them off their feet.

I don't have a lot of personal anecdotes on dating apps because I am staunchly against them, not because I don't like the idea of dating apps, I really don't like the idea of going on dates. Personally I would rather spend $100 on going to see Justin Bieber in concert than going out to dinner and MAYBE sleeping with someone that I'm not that into. Or maybe it's because I had a bad experience getting punked by someone stealing my phone, switching my Tinder to gay mode and swiping right 1000 times.

I was offered back alley blowjobs from strangers for weeks.

Effectiveness: High
Total Hook ups: 0
Analysis: If you've got money to burn and don't mind going out every night, it's probably a lot of fun. Translation: If I was a girl, I would be ALL about this shit.

2016-Present: The DMs Strike Back
The year is 2018, young people no longer communicate through language. They speak to each other strictly in memes, emojis and gifs. No one texts anymore, not even on iMessage. One can gauge how much a person likes them only through content interaction: story views, post likes and of course, the direct message. But again, 99% of these messages are either wink face, kissy emoji or heart eyes. This is not a drill.

I really thought Snap Chat was going to be big. When drugs and nudes were hot, so were they. But like ESPN didn't see the cord cutter revolution brewing, Snap Chat somehow didn't see the death of EDM as a paramount obstacle to their success. The Fappening and other such security breaches scared everyone out of potential future app nudity and now we find ourselves here, on the Instagram story page. No one posts photos anymore mind you. That's for the olds, and to be honest, don't put pictures on your story either. I want professionally edited video content. (Note: This is the only area where the 'pivot to video' was a success)

Teenagers now get famous recording themselves playing video games and doing covers of pop songs on Youtube channels. Some people are swearing off sex for months or even years at a time just because...I don't know, it's a thing? The most famous person in America is a former gang banger/stripper. The President is a former actor from the classic film Home Alone 2 and there are now 712 gender identities.

I personally identify as someone who is confused as fuck.

But...has that much changed?

We're all just trying to figure it out. Dating is weird and we're all low key nervous that we're going to end up alone surrounded by several ornery cats hissing at each other. While circumstances will rotate, I feel dating is cyclical. The apps will die down at some point and singles bars will become a thing again. A new elite technology product will eventually be released and people will use it exclusively for flirting and then the whole cycle will repeat itself until eventually we'll be in a virtual reality room speed dating...just like they did in the 1960's. Dating in the digital age is strange but at the end of the day, it's always just a couple crazy kids hoping to make it work.


Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Am I old? An investigation

Introduction: I never really grew up.

This isn't news to most of my readers as the content on this blog is largely that of someone who is 30 going on 22. I still have two roommates, we share a bathroom and for the last 10 days there have been three people staying on our couch. These are not the actions of an adult, these are moves of someone who is desperately pushing away adulthood as long as they can possibly muster it.

My hair is long, like really long. I'm routinely told that I look about seven years younger than I am. This is not a mistake. See, if people perceive me to be younger, then it subconsciously excuses a majority of my actions.

I haven't made my bed in three weeks, I do laundry quarterly, I slept until 2pm until New Year's Day. I went to Burning Man last year, I smuggled a bottle of wine into a movie last week. I am relevant. At least I thought I was until yesterday.

Like many of you, I was just trying to survive my hangover yesterday when a welcome distraction arrived: The Coachella 2018 line-up dropped! I have never been a big music guy, but I enjoyed getting very drunk and rummaging around a field with LA's elite. I had gone every year 2012-2016 before taking a year off because I got some devastating personal news the Thursday before weekend 2 2017. But I planned to go back at some point, why not? It's fun to do the camping thing, teach your neighbors regional drinking games, play dodgeball, make out with strangers at the silent disco. I mean, shit I used to be the king of the music festival. I've been to 5 Lollas, 5 Chellas, 4 HARDs, a couple CRSSD, North Coasts and Snow Globes. If there was a field with white people taking drugs in it, I was there.

You can imagine my surprise when I saw this...


On first glance, it looked like a standard if not a little boring festival. People seem to like The Weeknd, especially since he cut off that horrendous bird nest off his head. Somehow he managed to date Bella Hadid and Selena Gomez in the past year (though Selena wised up and returned to the Biebs, bless up)

Next we have BeyoncĂ©, who despite not having a hit song since 2013 people still worship as if she is a literal goddess. But hey, I liked Halo and Irreplaceable (2005-2010 was peak BeyoncĂ©) and I know people were bummed that she had to bail due to a pregnancy last year so I'm on board with this.

Then Sunday we get Eminem, a 45 year old rapper that built a career making fun of gay people who has had a resurgence in part by making fun of Trump. Curious. But hey, Eminem Show was a banger and I liked the SNL performance so I can confidently say that these are three headliners that I have heard of, and even enjoy to a certain extent.

But then...then we fall off a cliff. In fact I had to double check to make sure what I was looking at was indeed authentic. It was when I made it to line two that I had the sinking sensation that I just wasn't cool anymore.

Friday: A novelty video and a random Marley

I remember the music video for 'Virtual Insanity' it featured a short guy in a funny hat jumping around a room with a bunch of treadmills on the floor. It was basically OK Go before OK Go was a thing. I remember trying to dance like him by jumping off of things and reversing directions and falling down a lot.

I was 9.

Now apparently 20 years later, the funny guy in the hat is still alive and subheadlining one of the biggest festivals in the world. What a time to be alive.

Also closing the night Friday likely at the Outdoor stage is someone called SZA. I'm familiar with the GZA and the RZA, unfortunately it appears they are unrelated. Kygo is going to try to stretch out trop-house's 15 minutes of fame for one more year, Vince Staples is going to replay is 2016 set and apparently St. Vincent has decided to take some time away from directing horror movies to grace us with her presence. How thoughtful.

Deeper down the card I don't recognize a single name. There is a random Marley, who after deep internet research (a google) I can confirm that he is a grandson of Bob. Honestly there are so many goddam Marleys that if I was a black dude with long hair I would just call myself Dave Marley and I'm sure people would just assume I was legit.

Bands that I have never heard of that I might investigate based on name alone: The Regrettes who I imagine are a three piece all female punk band who look like Haim if Haim did more crystal meth.

Saturday: An old man and this fucking guy
Excuse me, enhance!


Wut?

I'm not going to stand on my soap box and scream that pop stars need to be conventionally attractive, but my God. This dude would make a Vice employee blush.

Let's see who else is on Saturday. Haim? I used to like them, but then one of my former colleagues informed me that the song 'The Wire' was written about him and I feel bad listening to it now. I'm here for you DH.

Anyone else? I see a couple indie bands that were big in Brooklyn 8 years ago, a couple dudes who were more famous when they were in a band, a chick famous for guesting on a Major Lazer song and Chromeo.

Fun fact: Every Jewish girl has at one time or another fantasized that Chromeo (a nice Jewish boy) would sweep her off her feet and finally get her mother to stop nagging at Thanksgiving.

As is theme, the rest of the line up is made of people I haven't heard of. I see AC Slater listed but I largely doubt it's Mario Lopez reciting his radio commercials about eating placenta or whatever kind of weird shit he's in to, though I imagine it would be an improvement.

Bands that I have never heard of that I might investigate based on name alone: KITTENS or Bane's World, both I imagine to be death metal bands that actively advocate for the torture of animals during their sets. Maybe Sunday will improve.

Sunday: Odesza doesn't believe in supply and demand

If you haven't seen Odesza live I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's your fault. This must be the thirstiest band alive because on top of playing about 20 shows in southern California the past three years, this will be their third Coachella since 2014 in addition to playing almost every festival imaginable since 2015. Hell they played SEVEN shows in a row at SXSW last year. It's not that Odesza is bad, it's moreso like the fact that I'm sick of Elf by December 25th, too much of a good thing.

Elsewhere on Sunday we have the Bad and Boujee guys, fucking Cardi B and one of Khloe Kardashian's ex boyfriends! Hard pass! Remember when bands like RHCP and Arcade Fire would have epic closing sets at Coachella? Remember Calvin Harris during the height of dance music, hologram Tupac and Kendrick Lamar? I mean even Drake was OK.

Well now you get Bodack Yellow. Enjoy!

Bands that I have never heard of that I might investigate based on name alone: Motor City Drum Ensemble who I have to believe are the little kids that bang on paint buckets at the halftime ceremonies of NBA games sometimes. I know Detroit is struggling so I'm glad someone is giving these kids a chance. I wonder what surprise guest they'll bring out!

Conclusion: I am old and out of touch

I don't know how it happened, but like Robin Williams in Hook, I got old without knowing it. The music scene completely passed me by. Current trends passed me by, I don't even know how to properly send an Instagram story. Seriously, how do you make a word stick to a picture and track with it? That's so cool! I still use Facebook, I hate social media influencers, I don't understand memes.

It's all downhill from here. Honestly I expect to get even grouchier, start complaining about people with tattoos, maybe even start reading the newspaper. I'm a lost cause. My hangovers last for days now, I'm gaining weight, my skin has gone to shit. Honestly someone should just take me out back and put a bullet in me. Pray for me as I fade into irrelevance.

Or this Coachealla line up just really blows, I dunno.

Friday, December 29, 2017

What are the worst personal brands of 2017?


With 2017 rapidly coming to a close you are bound to see a bunch of bullshit on the web that essentially boils down to “new year new me” memes. Some people will talk about their goals, what they accomplished and where they came up short. Some people will gloat about personal achievements like getting married and having a kid, while others will wallow in their misery about their failures such as getting divorced or losing a job.

This got me thinking a lot about personal brands specifically one’s online brand, because you know who exactly to expect this type of shit from, the guy that truly has it all won’t force it down your throat all over social media. The woman who is crushing it professionally will typically be humble about her success…all of this then begs the question, which brand is the worst?

Some disclaimers: None of you should feel targeted by this list, and to prove it I will be including my own personal brand on this list which I’m sure you won’t find hard to figure out. 

Personally, I had a year of ups and downs, wins and near misses. I almost got a show on the air but simultaneously may have sabotaged my writing career. I had some life changing experiences but at the same time fucked up some relationships with people I care about but you live you learn, right? Who gives a shit about me, let’s attack some anonymous straw men!

The Fake Jet Setter
Look, unless you are my dad, everyone loves to travel. Traveling = vacation and vacation = drinking before noon. But also seeing new shit is cool! Experiencing new cultures is fun! But there is nothing worse than the person that goes to Europe once and suddenly achieves human enlightenment. You know exactly who this person is because they posted exactly 417 photos from their three day trip to Iceland, then four days after they got back they dropped 127 more under the caption “Missing Iceland.” Of course a barrage of TBTs and FBFs followed. WE FUCKING GET IT. 

What makes matters worse though is that this person will now say things like “Well in Europe…” or post things on Facebook like “A question for my fellow travelers: where should I go explore next?” (As if staying in a one star motel in Reykjavik makes you Jacques Cousteau)

Notable offenders: Anyone that has ever used the phrase All who wander are not lost, anyone that read the book Eat Pray Love, sometimes my mom.

The Debbie Downer
It has been said that misery loves company. What this paragraph presupposes is, maybe it doesn’t? Sure sometimes I am relieved when I realize that other people have problems too but I don’t want to fucking hear about it. My God sometimes I’ll scan social media and I’ll see something like “today was a bad day.” What kind of emo non-committal shit is that? At least if you’re going to whine, give me the deets. Did someone die? Did your SO cheat on you? Was it meat loaf day at the work cafeteria? When I’m sad I drink a bottle of whiskey and listen to a My Chemical Romance album. Guess what, I wake up with a headache so bad, I forget to be sad…my life now has purpose. Get a coffee and a breakfast burrito. 

Furthermore, the Debbie Downer loves to point out their lack of social life and at times might even take pride in their lameness. “How was your weekend Debbie?  “Oh you know me! Fell asleep watching Netflix at 830, it was PRETTTTTY crazy.” That’s not funny, it’s just depressing.

Notable offenders: People in their 20s going through a break up, me in 2015, lots of athletes when they’re playing poorly.

The Big Deal
The Big Deal has 4,000 instagram followers and got invited to go to a small indie movie premiere once. Now they feel like they are an ‘influencer.’ This person will go to any event that has one of those photo walls up and tag everything with shit like #redcarpet and #BTS. Big Deal also acted in a student film and even though they were only compensated with a Subway sandwich they sometimes introduce themselves as a thespian. 

They name drop constantly, have a bunch of friends that work at Buzzfeed and probably gave the shitty Hemsworth brother a handjob once. TBD totally knew Kevin Spacey was gay already and has heard a LOT of rumors about who is going to go down next. Did they mention they were backstage at a Haim show last night? LOLZ #backstage #music

Notable offenders: All the idiots that bought tickets to Fyre Fest, anyone that still lives in Hollywood and thinks it’s cool, Monica Morell

The Degenerate
Degenerate is just here to party man and you’re lucky to witness it. Stay tuned to that Instastory and you might just see a bag of blow pop up. EDGY. Degenerate doesn’t give a shit because he probably doesn’t have a job. Politics? HA! Both sides are wrong, let anarchy reign!
And do you know why degenerates don’t care about the future? Because they likely don’t have one. 

You would be shocked at how the idea of nuclear war becomes a bit more appealing when your friends are all crushing it at Fortune 500 companies and your most recent grocery store purchase was two bottles of Boone’s Farm and a box of Mac n Cheese! I mean to be fair, the degenerate has been training all of his life for a post apocalyptic America…sleeping in bushes, building up resistance to harmful substances. Hell one time he survived an entire week on potato chips and Four Loko

Notable offenders: Me, my roommates, most people between the ages of 16-23

Before we get to the worst online brand of 2017, some honorable mentions:
Oversharers, race baiters, people that post old memes and say ‘so true!’, The Star Wars is problematic crowd, MRAs, overt self promoters, people seeking validation and anyone that writes too much in a short form medium (if you regularly use all 280 characters I hate you)

And a few brands I really enjoyed in 2017: Cutting sarcasm, shameless nostalgia, hipster nerd, people that are earnest about being basic, Black Twitter,
And now the worst brand of 2017…

The Political Guru
Whether it’s a redneck MAGA pede or a smug member of ‘the resistance’ there is nothing more nausea inducing than someone dumping volumes of their political beliefs online as if they are going to change your mind with a clever #fakenews post. Browse this person’s timeline and it will be either full of snarky Trump Tweets with the facepalm emoji or a bunch of Breitbart articles talking about how great the economy is. 

What neither side seems to grasp is that I am purely on social media to see if my ex girlfriends are still hot, so I implore you to take your thoughts on Trump, Global Warming, basically any issue that causes people to argue and save those for when you’re drunk and with your family. I know you listened to Pod Save America once and now feel super enlightened, but honestly, I would rather look at pictures of your stupid kids than see one more post about healthcare or tax cuts.
“But it’s your privilege not to care about pol-“ One more fucking word and I will name you in my suicide note.


Notable offenders: Every millenial, R/The_Donald, your senile uncle Dale, The President