Friday, March 23, 2018


How are you doing? It's a light, innocuous question but interestingly enough the true answer could be quite dark. The expected answer is 'great' or at the very minimum 'all right.' Very rarely will the person say "Actually I'm terrible, I lost my job, I'm in debt, my marriage is failing and I think I have developed gout.' There are certain social norms that prevent us from talking about our feelings even with those closest to us like family and friends. Bearing this in mind, I wanted to try a thought experiment and attempt to track my relative happiness over my whole life.

I assigned each year with a score of 1-10 based on how happy I think I was at that age.

A score of 1 would indicate that I was actively looking for a bridge to throw myself off of
A score of 10 would indicate that I was feeling like I was peaking on Molly and wanted to call everyone in my phone and tell them I love them.

Of course this is not entirely scientific, I may remember things being better or worse than they were at the time, but I wanted to plot this on a graph and make some observations about life, both mine and growing up in a more general sense.

The results...

Looks something like an interval training regimen on an elliptical machine.

The Negative
The first observation is the three obvious dips.

They start at 12, 22 and 30.

This coincides with the beginning of middle school, the end of college and the end of the 20's.

Middle school was probably the worst time in my life. I believe I hit a low point of 3 at the age of 13. I'm pretty sure I was not alone in this, in fact just last year there was a movie released called 'Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life.' Middle school blows. Kids are mean, social politics are bullshit and everyone is starting to go through puberty. I can't even remember much, it's like I repressed all the awkwardness.

The next drop is the end of college which even if you didn't have a wonderful collegiate experience that I did, it's easy to see how living with zero responsibility to getting a job and paying bills would shock the system to nearly anyone.

The final drop is at 30 which likely coincides with professional frustration and angst about aging.

The Positive
The next observation is the three obvious rebounds. YOUR BOY IS A SECOND HALF TEAM.

After the middle school debacle, my happiness slowly climbed through high school until reaching a lifetime high in college. FIVE YEARS OF TENS IN A ROW. Some people don't get five tens their whole lives.

The next rebound begins at 24 when I moved to Los Angeles. This shows that I was willing to make a change, if something isn't working, fix it. I had a decent run in LA before faltering again at 30, which leads to the last rebound.

At 30 I spent a year feeling sorry for myself and thinking about all the mistakes that I had made and if I had done one thing different everything would be OK. At 31, I think I just said 'fuck it' and learned to live with myself for better or worse.

Random musings

I maintained a very happy childhood except for that first year where I almost died at birth, but after that 0-6 was pretty rad. I credit my mom for lots of trips to the park and Disney World.

2001 was my lowest happiness rating, it's also when 9/11 happened so I think we could argue that my happiness is unequivocally tied to the happiness of the USA.

Conversely my 2005-2010 happiness was maxed out coinciding with the first four seasons of Gossip Girl. Season 5 everything in the show and my life seemed to deteriorate, so I can blame Chuck Bass for all of my shortcomings.

It seems I have always been happier when nothing matters. As a kid? Happy as a clam? As a college student? On top of the world! Navigating pubescent relationships and the crushing realities of the real world? Not the greatest. But I've proven resilient, I've never bottomed out and I always manage to rebound to at least a 6 or 7. Life is never going to be as simple as it once was, but that doesn't mean I can't hope for the best.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


I need to stop saying yes to things. I commit to any trip under the sun despite having a negative net worth. I do things like agree to meet people at Bungalow despite having 7% battery and knowing I will end up walking home 4 miles including past the fucking LA Marathon course.

It's a disease. I say yes because I am a people pleaser. But really all I want to do is sit on my couch or party in extreme proximity to my house. People like to say things to me like 'hey wouldn't it be fun to get out of Venice for a night?' No. It fucking wouldn't. Maybe for you a change of scenery and some 'creative cocktails' sounds nice. For me it just seems like I'm setting myself up for some awful present day Odyssey where I find myself blacked out and alone with a dead phone in Echo Park and I have to make my way home before sunrise or an angry drug dealer will kill my cat. It's like a terrible remake of The Warriors.

Usually my week looks like this.
Sunday: I'm not moving off the couch and I'm never drinking again.
Monday: I'm going to suffer through work and then come home and go to bed at 8pm.
Tuesday: Hey I can actually speak today, also still no desire to drink! Must not be an alcoholic, yay!
Wednesday: This is the type of night it would be nice to have a girlfriend and 'accidentally' finish a bottle and a half while not moving off the couch.
Thursday: Well it's basically the weekend and Three Wishes bottles are only $2.99...
Friday: Ok I'll go out as long as I can walk there.

...and this behavior has been repeating itself for well over 10 years now. And yes, I am setting you all up for me saying no to all of your requests from now until Saturday.

Let's look at the bracket...

What a wild weekend of games, right? Trust Funds became the first SECOND 16 seed to ever upset a number one! I guess the 'entrepreneur fuckboys finally figured out that thirsty women would rather you not pretend to have a job and just cop to that family money homie!

The full results, favorites in bold:

Ghosting over 'being out of town'
Send nudes over 'I'm sick'
U up over Netflix and Chill
Friends in town over Dead phone
Breadcrumbing over negging
Calling yourself a feminist over splitting the check
benching over zombieing
cushioning over love bombing

No real surprises in the Fuckboy behavior region. Friends in town over dead phone actually makes a lot of sense when you think about it because a friend could presumably be in town for ten days and if you kept your phone dead of ten days you would be a psychopath.

Calling yourself a feminist was a minor upset over splitting the check but you could have seen it coming a mile away because a true fuckboy wouldn't take you near a restaurant.

So our Sweet 16 match-ups in this region are
Ghosting vs Send Nudes
U up? vs Friends were in town
Breadcrumbing vs. Feminist
Benching vs Cushioning

Honestly wouldn't be surprised to see Send Nudes make it out of this bracket. I realize that no one uses Snap Chat any more but never underestimate the desire of a fuckboy to just jerk off and completely avoid being within miles of you.

Things were much more exciting on the fuckboy lifestyle side of the bracket. The aforementioned Trust funds created a huge upset and now have a favorable run to the final. Drake took out Chuck Bass but now faces a very steep uphill battle with other late night 'afterparty' staple cocaine.

The results:
Trust fund over Entrepreneurs
Slow fade over USC
Drake over Chuck Bass
Cocaine over Entourage
Frats over finance
Cuffed Jeans over Music Festivals
Facial Hair over Scott Disick
Murray Hill over Pastels

The Sweet 16 Matchups are:
Trust funds vs Slow Fade
Drake vs Cocaine
Frats vs Cuffed Jeans
Facial Hair vs Murray Hill

There are going to be some good games this week. Get your popcorn and rose ready.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


Welcome to Fuckboy Madness, the bracket that hits way too close to home for your pathetic dating life. This year since Indiana basketball blows, I've turned all of my attention to the absolute worst in dating trends for my dear Millenials. If all holds well we will find the king of the fuckboys by the end of the NCAA tournament.

I know the bracket above is blurry as shit, so have no fear I will be posting all of the seeds below as well as some micro analysis on the first round match ups. If you would like to participate feel free to text me your thoughts and perchance I will take them into consideration while I arbitrarily pick all of the winners. ONTO THE MATCHUPS!

*Note the seeds are totally fucked up on the free bracket generator I used, so don't worry about them.

1. Ghosting vs.
16. "I've been out of town"

Ah, the classic guy that stops responding vs the one that gives some lame excuse when you pressure him for answers. Should be an easy win for the one seed.

9. I'm sick.

Interestingly enough, "I'm sick," Could be used as an excuse NOT to hang out with you, or to get you to send nudes. This should be an interesting battle, might even go to OT.

5. U up? vs.
12. Netflix and Chill?

In this 5/12 game we have the guy that doesn't want to fuck you until he's good and drunk vs the guy that wants to fuck you without spending a penny. Tough call! Could see an early round upset here.

4. My phone was dead all day vs.
13. I had friends in town

Two classic excuses squaring off early. I guess this comes down to whether you like your fuckboys pretending to ignore you because they are riddled with anxiety or they're still behaving like they are 22.

6. Breadcrumbing vs.
11. Negging

Ah yes, the guy that's totally not into you until maybe he is vs the guy that read that stupid book in college and likes to practice the techniques on lonely women. BONUS POINTS IF SHE JUST GOT DUMPED AND IS SUPER VULNERABLE.

3. Splitting the check vs.
14. Proclaiming to be a feminist

The selection committee must have had a sense of humor on this one because this is exactly the type of rationale a 'male feminist' would use when splitting the check.

7. Benching vs.
10. Zombieing

Which is worse, a guy that keeps you around in case his top hook up falls apart, or a guy that doesn't text you for six months and then hits you up out of the blue like nothing fucking happened. I can feel half of your heart rates starting to race, I'm sorry.

2. Cushioning vs.
15. Love Bombing

Cushioning is of course scouting for future prospects while you feel a relationship falling apart to soften the blow when it comes. Love Bombing is going WAY over the top early in a relationship only to not care and make the woman feel totes insecure. Men are awful LOL.


1. "Entrepreneur" vs.
16. Trust Funds

I'm an 'entrepreneur' usually means I have a 'trust fund.' Tough seeding for trust fund, but understandable because they are dope.

8. The slow fade vs.
9. The University of Southern California

Honestly if you combined the two you may be looking at a Final Four team.

5. Chuck Bass vs.
12. Drake

The biggest fictional fuckboy vs. the biggest real one.

4. Cocaine vs.
13. Entourage

Two powerhouse programs with a storied tradition of fuckboying, Entourage and cocaine both had down seasons, but you can never count either of them out.

6. Fraternities vs.
11. Working in Finance

At an 11 seed, working in Finance could be a Cinderella pick to make a run, but a tough draw going against the entire Greek system in the first round, even if with a whirlwind of controversy in the current political climate frats are weaker than ever.

3. Music Festivals
14. Cuffed Jeans

UPSET SPECIAL!! Cuffed Jeans makes their first appearance in FUCKBOY MADNESS against the rapidly declining 'Music Festivals' who are likely overseeded due to past reputation alone. If you're looking to impress your friends with a major dark horse, ride the cuffed jeans far.

7. Facial Hair vs.
10. Scott Disick

Facial hair is the type of mid-major you have to love, especially drawing a team like Scott Disick who had to run the table in the 'reality star fuckboy' conference tournament even to get in.

2. Murray Hill vs.
15. Pastels

Pastels made a solid run in 2010, almost winning the whole tourney before getting knocked out by MDMA but I don't expect the magic to hold in 2018. Despite the rise of Brooklyn, Murray Hill is still a storied program with lots of Tournament experience, wouldn't be surprised to see them take it all the way.

Did your team get snubbed? Do you have hot takes going into the first weekend? I want to hear from you! Enjoy the games and remember TRUtv is 246 on DirecTV.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Dating by Decade: 98 vs 08 vs 18

It has to stop.

I have to stop thinking I can go on long weekend benders and then grab a 6am flight on a Monday morning and go straight to work.

It's a great idea in practice, because of course when planning a vacation, you don't want to think about the end of it. That's depressing. Tacking on that Monday flight alleviates a lot of anxiety. It adds a whole extra day to the trip. A day to drink. A day for activities. A day to meet the girl of your dreams and fall in love!

In practice you spend the whole day hungover dreading your 4am wake up call, 6am flight and 9am work day. Your plan back fires and your Sunday scaries give you a full fledged panic attack.

Alas, when I finally returned home from Park City last night I wanted nothing more than to lay on the couch and watch pathetic reality TV. I couldn't properly relax though due to one of my roommates pacing back and forth like he had a gun fight in the morning.

"What are you doing?"

"Uh, this Bumble chick...she wants me her."

I asked no follow up questions because I immediately understood his general unease.

Call her? What the fuck was she thinking? I don't like talking to my closest friends and family on the phone, let alone some stranger who I'm just trying to get nudes from. We came to the conclusion that maybe she's just old fashioned or early onset carpal tunnel in her texting fingers. For sure strange.

I can't remember the last time I called a girl on the phone that I was interested in. If I call a girl on the phone we are either already dating or it is deliver some vital information like "I'm outside in the uber and he's being a douche, come out now." But it hasn't always been this way.

Back in 1998, I remember the fear of calling a girl's house during middle school. Worst case scenario her dad would answer and I would immediately hang up. BEST case scenario my middle school crush would answer and we About what? I don't have a fucking clue. My middle school girl friend used to page me (yes I had a pager get on my fucking level) and then I would call her and sit around on the phone and try to re-enact bad movie clich├ęs. YOU HANG UP FIRST.

By 2008, everyone had cell phones and I was largely off the "phone call" train. But I also didn't send THAT many texts during hours of business. I typically stuck to texting girls the evening plans and then going through my phone book at 3 in the morning and sending 'U up?' BBMs to anyone that I thought I had a better than 3% chance of boning. Because in college I went out every night and usually if I was interested in a girl I would just start dancing with her until either she ran away because I was too sweaty or we started making out. That's how college relationships work.

Now in 2018, people are afraid to leave the house and communicate strictly via dating apps and texting. Asking a girl out is easier than ever. You don't have to call her dad, you don't have to approach her at a shitty dive bar. There is an implication that she might want to date by the very fact that you are talking to each other on a dating app. If you DO ask her out and she says no, you can just delete the message and pretend like it never happened. There will be no fallout at school (Haha Moeller asked out Laura and she said NO!!!!) There will be no fallout in your social scene (But didn't you just try to fuck my sorority sister last week) No, no one knows each other now so if you shoot your shot and miss no one will ever fucking know.

The Question:
All that said, in which of these three decades was dating the easiest? Which was it the hardest? I'm operating under the assumption that most readers will generally be the same age as me and this could just as easily be is dating easier in your teens, 20s or 30s. But I think it's fun to tie in the decade specifically all the technologies that I mentioned in this article. 

1998; an overview.
I was extremely good at sports. I had all the best video games. I was 6'3 and had a subpar basement compared to my richer friends. Despite this, I was painfully uncool and terrible with girls. 1998 me relates to the male protagonist in 13 Reasons Why, Ryan Gosling from Remember the Titans, with a splash of Lady Bird wishing she had the better house.

How to date in 1998:
Well as an 11 year old, I couldn't drive. Any time I wanted to go hang out with a girl, someone's parents would have to drive. The likely destination would be a movie theater or someone's basement. Sometimes there would be a pool or a hot tub involved. There was no alcohol. I honestly can't remember what I did with the opposite sex before alcohol.

What makes you desirable:
Looks, humor, how much money your parents make.

How to communicate:
Home phones and AIM, but really home phones. AIM launched in 1997 so it existed in 1998 but it was far from main stream. It was rare for anyone to have that second dedicated phone line for dial up internet and cable modems were still a couple years away for most. In theory you could talk to girls at school but that's way too scary.

Ya, if you wanted to ask a girl out you would have to sack up and call the house and say something incredibly lame like 'Hey, it's David from school, is Ally there?' Fathers were the worst gate keepers, sometimes there would be follow up questions like "What do you want to talk about?" or just flat out no "Ally can't talk on the phone after 7." Additionally, there was always the fear that dad would stay on the phone and listen to you. Fuck that.

The good:
Dating in 1998 was innocent. No one was getting their heart broken. There was no ghosting, bread crumbing, submarining, caspering or whatever the fuck the kids are doing today. Also any middle school 'hook ups' were rather benign so it's not like there was ever a situation in which someone could feel taken advantage of.

The bad:
No booze, phone calls, no texting, supervised hang outs, waiting for birthday invitations to your crush's roller skating birthday party that never came. Man outside of baseball season, I hated being 11.

2008, an overview
I was no longer good at sports. I had all the best drinking games. I was 6'3 and had a god-tier live out house. I was pretty cool and decent with girls. 2008 me relates to Bluto from Animal House, Ryan Gosling from Crazy, Stupid, Love and the irrational confidence of Andrew Keegan from 10 Things I Hate About You.

How to date in 2008:
As a 21 year old, I could drive but was consistently too drunk to. Any time I wanted to hang out with a girl, a pledge would have to drive me. The likely destination of a date would be a cabin, barn or hotel. Sometimes there would be a pool or hot tub involved. Oh God there was alcohol. I honestly can't remember what I did with the opposite sex before alcohol.

What makes you desirable:
Looks, humor, how good your frat is, how much money your parents make.

How to communicate in 2008:
Text or text-adjacent apps mostly. Also, when you're in a microcosm where you're partying constantly and already know everyone you can talk to girls at school and it isn't scary anymore.

Dating in college (if that's what you want to call it) was a major matter of convenience. If two of your friends were dating two girls in the same sorority and there was a big dance coming up, one might look at it as a jigsaw puzzle if you will. Group pregames followed by a lot of backdoor brokering. (Liz is into Mike and Claire said she can TOLERATE Jon. She def won't fuck him but if he pays for all the booze she might give him a handjob) But that's the big secret, there wasn't a lot of dating going on in college. One of your buddies needed a girlfriend so there was always a group in play.

The good:
College is an incestuous cesspool. You can play six degrees of Eskimo Brother with almost everyone you know and nothing really mattered. Communication was easy, the stakes were incredibly low. Booze was everywhere. I loved being 21.

The bad:
Due to the above, infidelity was at an all time high and everyone knew absolutely everything about you. If you went home with a Tri Delt Sophomore and lasted less than 30 seconds in bed, everyone on Third Street knew about it the next day.

2018, an overview
I'm kinda good at sports again! I have all the best card games. I'm still 6'3 and have a flea bag apartment in a dope neighborhood (conclusion: mid-tier and rising) I'm a lovable loser who people are still hoping will figure it out some day and I'm 'MEH' with girls. 2018 me relates to Ryan Gosling from La La Land, Miles Teller from The Spectacular Now and Joseph Gordon Levitt during the worst parts of 500 Days of Summer.

How to date in 2018:
As a 31 year old, I can drive but my Mini Cooper exploded. Any time I want to hang out with a girl, a Uber has to drive me. The likely destination of a date is be a dive bar or I go over to her apartment complex. Sometimes a pool or hot tub involved. There's still alcohol and thank God for it, because I'm more self-conscious now than I was at 11.

What makes you desirable:
Stability, how much money you make, how much money your parents make.

How to communicate in 2018:
Most of the world is exclusively on dating apps. Outside of that the world communicates via meme, gif and boomerangs on Instagram.

Dating in 2018 because it's both easy and hard. At 31, you don't need to look like peak Jesse Matcalfe, look at all the attractive people that date ugly. You know what people in 2018 want? A nice guy, someone that wants to buy a house and have kids some day. Someone that won't go blow a thousand dollars on hookers and cocaine on a Saturday night. Sure there is a hook-up economy on every app. There are attractive females looking to bang attractive males and 'hey, maybe it will turn into something.' But the dating scene, the actual people who are looking for something? They really just want you to care. 

The Good: 
Man if you were an awkward nerd growing up but now you have some money to throw around, boy do I have good news for you! All you have to do is post your job title and height on a dating app and you're golden.

The Bad:
If you've skated by on charisma your whole life and aren't quite ready to stop 'living the dream' boy do I have some bad news for you. No amount of lies on a hinge profile are gonna get you the girl if you can't afford the bill at Gjelina.

The set of circumstances in a certain era of your life largely dictate when you will excel at dating. If you were the rich kid with the biggest basement growing up, you probably crushed middle school. If you were in the best frat in college and looked good with your shirt off, you were the king of college. If you have a good job now and your dick works, well things probably aren't too shabby either.

That said, which year was dating the easiest and which was it the hardest? In 1998 there was a scarcity of resources. If you found someone to date you weren't constantly tempted by every woman's social media feed. In 2008 we had technology that made communication easy, but not too easy. In 2018 you can see every photo of every person you've ever met, talk to 45 people at once and still have to live with the dread of getting older every day.

For those reasons I say...
2008 easiest
1998 middle
2018 hardest.

We've all become too cynical to figure out love, the divorce rate will climb past 60% and we will all rediscover the bliss of college when we finally make it to retirement homes.

Naw, I'm just kidding. It's harder than ever to date now, but we'll all find love some day.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Ski Trip

One of the worst parts of graduating college was the dissolution of the institution of Spring Break. There are no longer seven dedicated days near the end of spring term dedicated to flying somewhere tropical on your parents' dime and being full fledged black out before noon for a week straight.

Or so we thought...

Scan any millenial's profile and you will see multiple photo albums that make reference to 'adult spring break.' Adult spring break is not a new phenomenon. There are pictures of my parents on European trips with their friends in the early 80's. It just seems that generation wasn't infected with a heavy Peter Pan Syndrome so they simply referred to it as 'vacation.'

An ASB could be a bachelor/bachelorette party, a destination wedding, or even a couple's getaway. The barrier to entry is very low. I've seen people go to Palm Springs for the weekend and deem it 'Adult Spring Break' but this is akin to the poor kid who came back to school after a week off and raved about the fact that his parents took him to a Cincinnati Reds game. (I always felt terrible for the kids who didn't have kick ass stories returning from spring/summer vacation)

Most often though the Adult Spring Break consists of a mixed group of friends renting a large property together and doing some sort of activity, the most popular of which is the ski trip.

The ski trip is ideal because it masquerades as an activity for adults, while simultaneously being a sneaky location to drink copious amounts of alcohol. It also brings into play a white collar sport that is indicative of skill, money and overall radness. By telling someone you ski or board you are telling them you have the resources and skills necessary to do so and also that you have an affinity for physical fitness and the outdoors. It further infomrs them that you probably didn't grow up on the wrong side of the tracks, because lift tickets are expensive yo.

This is why white people love the Winter Olympics.

Alas, while waiting for my flight to Park City, I put up a list of the top 10 activities to do on a ski trip. If you're hitting the slopes this weekend, I suggest you use this as a check list.

10. Shot Ski

A shot ski is a party gimmick where any number of shot glasses are fixed to an old alpine ski. The idea is that all of the shot glasses are filled with a certain type of liquor and your entire group takes a shot all at once. I have never used a shot ski in my real life, but I have always taken one when on a ski trip because it just feels right. Also it makes for an excellent boomerang.

9. Staying up late playing games

One of the coolest parts about a ski trip is that no one has to go home at the end of the night. You are all confined to your cabin which makes every night feel kind of like a church youth group lock-in only with a shit load of booze. There is nothing better than a 2am session of Cards Against Humanity or making up some sort of insane drinking game even though you have been hitting the bottle for 12 hours and know you have to be up in four hours to hit the slopes.

8. Fire pits

A shot ski and staying up late playing games with friends are not things that need to occur in freezing temperatures and neither is sitting around a fire pit. I'm actually embarrassed I don't own one. Has anyone ever had a bad time siting in front of a fire? I mean sure, playing an acoustic guitar and singing Wonderwall with the group sounds super lame when you are of sober mind. But after 10 or 11 beers? It just feels right.

7. The lunch beer

There's one in every group. The guy that says at 10:55am that he's about ready for some lunch. Don't be fooled, it is not a chili bread bowl this person is craving. What they are really saying is that they are ready for their first pitcher of the day. And why not? You're on vacation right? Nay! Adult Spring Break! On not-adult spring break, you were already ripping adderall by this hour. The 11 am pitchers turn into the hourly trip to the beer yurt and by 2pm you are ready for the double blacks or to just quit the whole facade and go to a bar.

6. The gondola shot

Usually but not always following the lunch beer is the gondola shot. You've had either a flask or several shooters burning a hole in your coat all day, and now that you've eased into the day with a hoppy ipa at altitude, it's time to start hammering that flask, hard. There's nothing better than passing that bad boy around the gondola while you marvel at the technology that takes you high above the clouds in a matter of minutes. There is nothing more sad than when that flask is empty.

5. The flight there

Flights home are les mis. Just like the flight/drive home from sb was awful. But the trip there? Exhilarating, full of intrigue and possibility. Will we run into Shaun White on the mountain? Will we meet a bachelorette party out at the bars? Will I break my leg in three places attempting an ill fated halfpipe trick? From the beverage before take off, to flushing all of your unexpired drink tickets on the plane. Sometimes it's all about the journey.

4. The mountain town dive bars

Every major mountain town has that fateful dive that sometimes can get a little too clubby for its own good. Who wants to see a bunch of former sorority girls in North Faces trying to dance to Offset? Actually, I do. And I want to take a free god damn shuttle from my cabin to said dive bar and I want to be carried out when the bar closes disappointingly early at like 1230am.

3. The hot tub

One of my biggest regrets from childhood is not pressuring my parents to get a hot tub. My second biggest regrets is not living in the fraternity when my friends had one in their room. Sure it sounds trashy but in my entire life I have not had a bad time enjoying an adult beverage from the comfort of 103 degree waters. Is it even better when the outside temperature is 22 degrees? Of course it is? And is there anything more thrilling than jumping out of the hot tub, into the pool and then back into the hot tub? No, there isn't.

2. Skiing

It's kind of the whole point of the trip, duh. And I actually really, really enjoy skiing. It's one of the few things in the world in which I am half way decent. I also love the spike of adrenaline I get from knowing I could be one mistake away from dying at any point. (Especially after the lunch beers and the gondola shots) The high of survival at the end of the day always gets me super fired up for...

1. Apres Ski

Was it ever in doubt? Popping the skis off, awkwardly walking to an outdoor bar and setting up shop under a umbrella heater for the next 2-3 hours? Some have foosball, some have bags. They all have live music and there is no better venue for recapping the day than at a long wooden table with your ten closest friends in the world. Hell, it feels like being in the fraternity dining room all over again. I always shed half a tear when someone tells us it's time to leave, but the blow is always softened a bit by our next destination, the hot tub.

Be safe out there young shredders, may powder and adventure await you.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

2018 Oscar Preview

Welcome to the 2018 SingleDudeinLA Oscar preview. In the following article I will make my picks for the top 8 categories in this year's Academy Awards. Knowing a cursory amount of information about all of the nominees will make you sound cultured and intelligent at your Oscar party even while you guzzle down wine like Prohibition might be reinstated Monday morning.

I will be covering:
Best Picture
Best Director
Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Supporting Actress
Best Supporting Actor
Best Original Screenplay
Best Adapted Screenplay

A few notes before we get started.

*These are not my favorites, these are who I think will win. I picked my top 10 movies of 2018 back in December.

*I have considered the political landscape while making these picks, which is why I think movies about women, gay men and racism will do well. Hollywood elites can't stop Republicans from buying AR-15s but they sure as shit can make flyover country feel uncomfortable by glorifying a movie about a gay guy fucking a peach.

Furthermore, for every category I will give you the safe pick and the gamble (if there is one)

Ready? I'm going to do these categories in no particular order.

Best supporting actor: 
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in The World
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards (winner)
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Woody Harelson, Three Billboards
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (gamble)

Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri is about a woman who starts a vendetta with the local police department after her teenage daughter is murdered and the police are unable to solve the case. Sam Rockwell is an over the top racist cop who abuses his power, throws people through windows and makes fun of Peter Dinklage for being a dwarf, yet somehow in the end he is kind of the good guy?

This was the main backlash of the film, should an overtly awful character be given redemption in the era of #metoo and #blacklivesmatter? Fortunately people in Hollywood seem to like Sam Rockwell so much that they are willing to forgive it. Pair this with the fact that this is an extremely weak category this year and Rockwell should run away with it. His main challenge comes from Willem Dafoe in a movie that absolutely no one saw. Third place is likely Christopher Plummer in a performance that is strong but more compelling due to the fact that it was done in service of erasing Kevin Spacey from an already finished film.

Best Supporting Actress:
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (gamble)
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
Allison Janney, I, Tonya (winner)
Mary J Blidge, Mudbound

Death, Taxes and Octavia Spencer getting a best supporting nomination for playing the spunky best friend! But this has always been a two woman race, two mothers who can't seem to get along with their daughters; two mainstay television actresses who have burst into the feature scene as of late with phenomenal character work. Allison Janney is an absolute monster as Tonya Harding's mother in I, Tonya whereas Laurie Metcalf's character only seems like one to her angsty daughter Lady Bird. Both Tonya and Lady Bird would have had such an easier time if they were just rich, my God the parallels of those two movies are striking.

Allison Janney has won every award this season and I think it's largely because people liked The West Wing more than Roseanne. You can't go wrong with either choice and I think this may be one of the closest races of the night, but if you like to play it conservative, go with Janney. I'll secretly be rooting for Laurie because my mom too played Dave Matthews CDs in the car sometimes.

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Call Me By Your Name
Molly's Game
The Disaster Artist

Call Me By Your Name is a lovely film. It takes place in Northern Italy in the early 80's. There is nothing but Polo and Lacoste as far as the eye can see. Artie Hammer looks fucking great. Timothee Chalamet has a 'fuck attic' I want a 'fuck attic' The characters do nothing of substance all day but ride bikes, drink wine and play musical instruments. It's a dream come true. It also happens to be a coming of age film about gay love and as stated earlier I think the Oscar's is going to strive to be very inclusive this year. This is Call Me By Your Name's best shot to take home a major award.

And of course the Academy loves to stroke Aaron Sorkin's huge ego but Molly's Game was just ok. A comic book movie isn't going to win this award any time soon and The Disaster Artist lost all of its heat when the chick from The Breakfast Club accused James Franco of rape. Mudbound was awesome, but it's a Netflix movie and I still don't think the Academy is taking their dramatic features seriously yet. They will soon.

Best Original Screenplay
Get Out (Safe Play)
Three Billboards
The Shape of Water
The Big Sick
Lady Bird (Gamble)

Get Out has been getting massive heat in this category lately, but I'm saving its big win for another category. Lady Bird may not have hit home with everyone. I mean maybe I was the only person in 2004 who was listening to jam bands, trying to date and telling people I had a nicer house than I did. Regardless, after Natalie Portman's outburst at the Golden Globes a female filmmaker WILL be recognized this Sunday, only she will be recognized for writing. Greta Gerwig has had such a strong voice for the past decade and I'm glad she is finally starting to get some mainstream recognition. Again, this movie needs a big award, this is where it makes sense.

I really think the Oscars will spread the love this year. Three Billboards will do well in the acting categories and we'll see a bit later what I have in store for Jordan Peele.

Best Director
Guillermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water (winner)
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Jordan Peele, Get Out
PTA, Phantom Thread

This category is the lock of the century for GDT. The Shape of Water is a movie about a human fucking a fish. That is not an exaggeration. A woman and a fish spend over half of the movie having sex in a flooded bathroom. But...the film is so beautiful. It has a haunting score and presents a technical achievement up there with the other two most famous Mexican filmmakers Cuaron (Gravity) and Inarritu (Birdman.) People like GDT, they generally think this movie is weird but also extremely impressive. They will want to reward him in some way and the ambiguous category of Best Director fits.

The only other person that really has a shot is Nolan for Dunkirk, but that would be a real Hail Mary. Gerwig and Peele are both directing their first feature films and have extremely bright futures.

Best Actor
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (winner)
Timothee Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
Denzel Washington, Roman J Israel Esq.

Just write down Gary Oldman and move on. He's like a 1/40 favorite at this point. Sure Timothee had a great year appearing in CMBYN and Lady Bird. (not as good a year as his CMBYN father did Michael Stuhlbarg was in CMBYN, The Post AND The Shape of Water. What a year! No oscar noms) DDL was fine in Phantom Thread and Daniel Kaluuya was not the best part of Get Out.

The real story here is that I would like to welcome Denzel Washington into the 'Thanks for Showing up" club. In a weak year, he (and Meryl Streep) will always be nominated for the 5th and final spot in an Oscar category because it's nice to have them around. Feel free to pregame the awards ceremony Denzel and just have a good time. Maybe sneak a flask in and create a meme. I'll be rooting for you.

TL;DR Wear 30 pounds of make up and play a historical figure = get an Oscar

Best Actress
Francess McDormand, Three Billboards (winner)
Saorise Ronan. Lady Bird
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Meryl Streep, The Post

This another snoozer of a category but it gives me an idea. There should be some award for someone who actually had to do something. Frances playing an angry parent doesn't seem as difficult as Margot Robbie learning how to fucking figure skate. Sure she had stunt doubles, but she was doing some stuff. Or how about Sally Hawkins masturbating in a bath tub for the world to see. TWICE! Seems like more dedication to her craft than Meryl toiling over whether to publish a news story for two hours.

Anyway, this isn't quite the lock of the century. Ronan has some heat. But back to my earlier point. How hard is it to play an angsty teen that gets sad when her boyfriend turns out to be gay. I feel like we've all been there.

Best Picture:

Three Billboards (Favorite)
The Shape of Water
Get Out (Upset)
Lady Bird
Call Me By Your Name
The Post
Phantom Thread
Darkest Hour


White guilt is real.
I firmly grasp that I won the lottery by being born a tall white cis hetero male. And I'm fine with it. Hell, my family is taking me to Australia for two weeks and I just kinda think it's awesome. However, I am not a voting member of the academy. Most of those folks are from New York or Los Angeles and they have white guilt. They have it bad. Not to say that Get Out, a movie built on the pretension of said guilt, is undeserving, I just think in our current political climate it will get a bump. It doesn't hurt that the biggest movie in the world right now is a little thing called Black Panther and Oscar voting closes today. I think Get Out drifts on Black Panther's popularity a bit and JUST overtakes the movie that glorifies racism and the movie about fish fucking at the finish line.

Sure, this is a stretch. In fact, Get Out is squarely in third place in the best picture odds right now at 7/1. But La La Land was an overwhelming favorite last year and we all saw what happened there.

Picking an upset for best picture will keep you alive in your pool longer as well since the majority of the people will choose Billboards or Shape. A tie going into the evening's last category will keep things exciting for you.

I thought Get Out was a stellar film and I cannot wait to see what Jordan Peele does moving forward, and I'm excited to hear what he has to say when he gets a couple minutes to speak on the largest platform of his industry.

For all the technical awards I recommend picking chalk. You can find odds on Gold Derby. If you want one more upset, go The Square for foreign film. I'll be watching Sunday and if you need a gambling pool, hit me up and I'll set you up with the Scavuzzo/Trilla pool, the premier Culver City-based betting pool. I'll be watching Sunday night and I'll be wishing you luck on your picks. And I will remind you on more time that it's an absolute shame that Sing Street was cut completely out of the awards last year, because at the end of the day, the Oscars are bullshit.

Have fun everyone, may your picks be accurate and your white wine plentiful.

Friday, February 23, 2018

The Shotgun Test

Last week on this blog I proposed a theory called The Shotgun Test.

The theory states that the only time you should pursue a girl is when given the option of hanging out with her or shotgunning a beer with all of your friends, you would choose the girl.

While I thought this was a brilliant bit of writing, something that might get me a book deal on relationship advice, the response to the theory was overwhelmingly negative.

The actual verbage varied but most of the responses came down to something along the lines of ‘if this was true everyone would die alone because guys will always choose their friends. Especially when shotgunning is involved…’

This is a fair criticism because:
A: Shotgunning beers is indeed awesome.
B: 99% of the time I am on a date I wish I would have just gone out with my friends.

If that would have been the end of the criticism, I would have left it at that and moved on to coin some other cool term that would set the world on fire, but then my detractors finished their statements.

‘…I mean it’s not like I REALLY want to be at the Farmer’s market with my girlfriend/wife anyway.”

A ha!

They were not opposed to The Shotgun Test. They misinterpreted it!

Of course any male in a long term relationship would rather shotgun a beer than slog to a couples cooking class. Hell, they see their girlfriend every day, might even live together. Shotgunning a beer with a friend is a rare occasion. Shit, if you’re a married guy with kids you take the shotgun test every day when you don’t blow your head off with a real life shotgun!

The shotgun test was never meant to test an actual relationship. Relationships are built on love, trust and companionship. The shotgun test is meant to test infatuation, the timeline I would refer to as the meet-cute through the honeymoon phase. Then and only then can the shotgun test be applied.

For the purpose of this article, I will walk through a hypothetical early relationship, administering my test several times throughout to give everyone a better understanding of the internet’s new hot theory.

(Note: It is unfair to administer the shotgun test during or immediately after sex. During sex no one gives a fuck about their friends, and after everyone is asexual for 15 minutes)

The Meet Cute: 
You are at a karaoke bar for a friend’s birthday. You walk to the host and ask if by chance he has ‘Party in the USA’ by Miley Cyrus.
“Shit!” You hear from behind you, “I wanted to sing that.”
Because you are feeling generous and because you possibly did a key bump in the bathroom you say something incredibly ballsy like “Why don’t we sing it together?”
It works, you guys crush it! You spend the rest of the night at the bar hanging out together, you even make out for a little bit. At the end of the night she asks if you want to walk her home…

SHOTGUN TEST. If you would rather go back into the bar and shotgun a beer with your buds you should pull the ripcord and never talk to this girl again. 

But you DO want to walk her home. She invites you inside, second base. Well done. Advance to step 2.

The First Date:
It’s a Thursday night in Santa Monica. If you’ve been dreading it all day, this is not a good sign. You should probably just text her that you have ebola and never speak to her again, but if you ARE looking forward to seeing her, this is a good sign! Since all of your favorite bars on Main Street and Rose are closed, you take her to Big Dean’s because how expensive can a date be at a bar with no kitchen or liquor?
You guys are having a great time, she is super cool! You don’t remember much from the karaoke night but you guys have a lot of the same interests. You may ask her if she wants to go back to your spot for a night cap. After all, you did clean your room and wash your sheets for the first time in three months. She goes to the bathroom so you check your phone and see a text…
“Bro, we are on the beach SHOTGUNNING BEERS!!!”

Oh shit. 

Now if your first inclination is to cut this date short, you probably have a substance abuse issue but more importantly this relationship is a non-starter. But if you ask for the check so you can get this chick in bed? Advance to step 3.

First night out with your friends:
You guys are having sex now. You look forward to seeing her, but you’re not quite dating. You definitely still introduce her to girls in your group that you secretly want to fuck as ‘Your friend’
Alas, there is still effort involved. You respond to all of her texts within 3 minutes. If she goes away for the weekend you think of fun excuses to text her other than just asking for nudes.

I remember this honeymoon phase. I once drove from Chicago to Indianapolis on a Thursday night to be with a girl for five hours and then drove to work the next day back in Chicago. It was awful but I was happy to do it. (Then that weekend I went on a drug binge in New York that hasn’t been rivaled this century, I have not been back to New York since) but still! ROMANCE IS ALIVE AT THIS POINT.

Back to the scenario. First night out with your friends, you guys go to an indie rock show at the local dive bar. Let’s call the band ‘The Aborted Abortions’ or the AAs for short. Anyway, everyone is having fun, drinking old fashioneds, dancing around, LIFE IS GOOD. 

Around one o clock in the morning, all the women are tired and ready to leave. Your kinda not-quite girlfriend asks if you just want to go back to her place.

But then your best friend walks up to you and whispers in your ear.

“There’s an afterparty downtown and…they’re shotgunning beers.”

If you decide to not only ditch your girl but to get in an uber going east of Lincoln at one o clock in the morning dump this poor girl now. It’s never going to work out.

But if you say, ‘Naw man, we’re gonna call it a night.’

Holy shit. Proceed to step 4.

Dating: The final step.
Last night you guys went to bed without having sex because you were both pretty tired. This morning she peed in the bathroom while you were taking a shower. You’re not positive but she may have farted in front of you yesterday at Whole Foods.

You’ve settled into it now, you guys are straight up dating. You still like each other. You’re planning a Palm Springs getaway! That should be fun. Some of her friends want to do a ski trip. You like to ski. Tonight is something a little less exciting, you will be joining her for a baby shower, and if there is time after that, you’re going to go check out her coworker’s UCB 101 grad school. Really compelling stuff. But right before you take that quarter bar of Xanax to numb yourself to your new reality, a desperate phone call comes in.

“Hey man, don’t ask how but I am on my way to your place right now in a limo that is taking us to Vegas to see Sofi Tukker play at Marquee. We have backstage and bottles plus a room at Cosmo. I already talked to the tour manager and he said that we can shotgun beers in the limo, on stage and in the hotel room.”

Now this is a bullshit scenario and it’s entirely unfair. Any reasonable significant other would tell you to go and have fun, but that is not the point of the shotgun test. If your relationship so insignificant that any random time you get a better offer you will fuck off and leave her to fend for her own?

If you want to go to Vegas, go. Tell your girlfriend you’re sorry, you just prefer behaving like a degenerate than pretending to be excited about childbirth.

But if you happen to say “Sorry bro, maybe next time.” Then shit dude, you better put a ring on this chick because you are in love. Maybe you have found a partner to shotgun beers with for the rest of your life.