Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Big Chill


We begin this tale in medias res...

"Ya, I friend zoned him for YEARS. But he was so persistent and now we're dating."

"Every Incel's dream," I quip.

The 21 year old intern flashes me a smile. She can't believe I know the term "incel" internet slang for 'Involuntarily celibate.'

It's a Tuesday night and I'm standing in line at the Wurstkuche on Lincoln. I'm at a going away party, my second this week. I'm speaking to someone 10 years younger than me as I attempt to gain valuable insights from the Generation Z demographic.

I wrote about these 'friendship funerals' in my last post. They're an interesting snapshot from your past, because like an actual funeral, people that you haven't seen in years show up to send this person into their next life.

Among the crowd there is likely a person or two you dated, someone you wanted to, a person you had a falling out with and maybe someone who you can't quite remember if you kissed at that party that one time. Of course some of your current friends are there too, but it's much more interesting to check in on those who have faded from your life.

The scene is full of Hollywood stock characters: the one that is still partying too much, the serial dater, the hot mess, the one who can't quite figure things out. And of course the same conversations always come about. How's work? (Spoiler: No one cares) Still living in the same place? (Spoiler: No one cares) and eventually it always comes down to dating...

Are you seeing someone? Is it serious? What is his worst quality?

The dating question is probably the most interesting because it gives you a window into someone's relative happiness. There is something about a person talking about their partner that they just can't quite fake. One can be on top of the world professionally, living in a swank bungalow in Hermosa Beach but if they're not quite sure about the guy/girl they're dating, you can tell almost immediately.

And so when the 21 year old intern told me that she was now dating this drummer that she follows on tour and she was really happy I absolutely believed her. Though she was adamant that she was not a groupie. I told her that Penny Lane also didn't believe herself to be a groupie and she completely missed the reference because she was born in 1997. (But she's totally a groupie, she's driving with him to Las Vegas tomorrow to photograph his show...for free)

Other times when you're talking to someone you can tell that when they talk about a person they're dating they aren't just trying to sell you on him or her, they are also still trying to sell themselves.

So why is dating so hard especially at this age? Is it LA? Is it like this everywhere?

Actually I think it probably comes down to stakes.

When you're young dating is fun. You get to get dressed up and go to dinner together, attend fun parties, spend entire days in bed, hook up in public. It's almost like you're role playing the life of an adult. But then the minute things become a little stale you can pull the rip cord and there are absolutely no consequences. No wallowing in misery bedridden for weeks eating nothing but ice cream and watching nothing but mid-90's romcoms.

Conversely, at 30 shit gets real. Every time one of your friends brings out a date, this could be it. This person could be coming on your ski trips the rest of your life. This person could pull a Pete Davidson and propose after three weeks. SOUND THE ALARM! I've often said, that you don't marry your soul mate, you marry the person you were dating when you were ready to get married. And maybe this is a doomsday philosophy, but it's one that is hard to argue with when the divorce rate hovers around 50%.

Dating doesn't get harder when you're older because there are fewer fish in the see, it gets harder because there is more on the line. This is ironic of course because it seems that people are more willing to look past flaws when they are older, even though they are flaws you may have to live with the rest of your life. I had break ups for the most benign reasons in the past; Didn't like their laugh, hated that they snored, couldn't believe they would yell at me for starting to drink at 9am on a Saturday (ok that last one may be legit) but I would look past all that and more now.

I'm sure there is some formula we could invent to predict when someone is ready to take that dive and get engaged.

In fact let's try it...It's probably something like...

I + F = D + P

I = Independence. How much do you value doing your own thing? Sleeping until noon, eating whatever you want, ripping it with the boys, pursuing women at thirst trap bars, traveling by yourself?

F = Fear. How worried are you that you are going to make a mistake in picking a partner? Are you going to marry Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction? Is your partner's little brother going to come to you for money the rest of your lives? Is her mom already dropping hints that she may want to move in? Will your partner cheat on you and eventually give you herpes?

These are the NOT ready factors. Assign these a normalized value of 1-10. You are never going to have 0 need to be independent nor will you ever have an absolute lack of fear.

On the other side we have...

D= Desire How much do you enjoy your partner and want to be married to them? How much do you want to be married in general and start floating the idea of an honest to goodness family with kids, a dog and a house?

P= Pressure How much pressure is there on you both externally and internally to make this happen? Is your partner pushing it? Do your parents want grandkids? Is there some sort of biological clock at play? Or maybe all of your friends got married so there is nothing better to do. These are all pressures that influence your decision.

So at the end of the day you will have four numbers added together to create a tipping point...

Right now I'm probably about...

9 + 8 = 2 + 3

18 > 5

As you can see I'm still a far way off. I value my independence and even if I didn't I'm fairly sure I would fuck up any serious kind of relationship.

However many people could be more of a

4 + 3 = 8 + 7

7 < 15

This paints the picture of someone who is ready to take the plunge and probably abandon the life of staying in hostels and chasing foreign tail. Not for me but I respect it.

And of course there are the people who are probably like...

6 + 4 = 6 + 4

10 = 10

This is the crowd that is truly wavering, losing sleep at night because they aren't quite sure what to do.

But I think it's important to remember that in the grand scheme of things no one really knows what they are doing. You could date a thousand people, read books, talk to your parents, but life is all one long improvisation.

Hell my parents probably had no idea what they were doing when they raised me, but I turned out (somewhat) ok. And that's what we need to remember when we navigate modern romance. Everyone is just flying by the seat of their pants, and that is what can make it feel so hard.

***

As the intern was walking out, I attempted to give her some truly abhorrent advice for her Senior year at Ole Miss. Go out every night, get arrested, make terrible decisions, don't worry about your school work, date ten guys at the same time, try to get it out of your system.

"Wow, it sounds like you didn't...I kind of wish I didn't have to go back. I think I'm ready to just be out here now."

A single tear came to my eye.

You won't always feel that way.

"Ok I'll try to have fun."

You better.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Leaving Los Angeles


No, I'm not leaving.

But it seems like everyone else in my life is.

My neighbor who I've been best frenemies with since March 1, 2012. A ride or die who I've traveled around the world with. People are leaving for NY, SF, Connecticut, Boston. People have already gone back to Indy, Florida, DC, Texas and Chicago. I have attended more going away parties in the last five years than weddings. It's weird, it's sad. it's confusing.

Often times a going away party can feel like a funeral for your friendship. Sure social media makes it easier to keep in touch, but moving forward your relationship will change. Your friend is now the visitor, all the time is spent catching up. No more random pop ins on a Tuesday evening to complain about a bad date and just crush two bottles of wine. No more late nights on the patio talking about the future. Because the future is now.

I've spent a lot of time wondering how LA fails people. What exactly were people expecting from this place? To get rich and famous, party with Kendall Jenner at a Lisa Vanderpump owned restaurant in Beverly Hills? (Lol JK only a tacky tourist would be caught at SUR) Or maybe LA was always a short term rental. A bad boy that you could leave when you were ready to get serious about life. One can find stability here, but it's much easier in the land of strip malls and reasonably priced real estate.

Others may feel the need for a jolt in the arm, a hard reset. Five years ago I would have called this a quarter life crisis, but at the age of 31, do I really think I'm going to make it to 120? It's shocking how quarter life can turn into midlife in the blink of an eye. If you feel like you're just treading water here, maybe the only prudent thing to do is rip off the band-aid and get a fresh start.

To be honest, I've fantasized about it, running far away to where no one knows my name. I could reinvent myself and be David, the soft spoken gardener in Tucson. I could date a nice woman that I met at the library. Maybe we would get married and have kids that would grow up to play golf at Arizona State.

Because in LA I'll always be the homie you know. I've tried to change before, but I always slide back into my old habits. It's really freeing thinking about a fresh start. I'd like to see those Santa Monica parking tickets follow me to Vancouver, where I could get a job at a cycling shop and maybe stop drinking so much. I could drop a beard and go vegan, get into CrossFit. No one there would know that for 10 years I didn't make my bed, ate Taco Bell seven times a week and pissed away all of my romantic opportunities because I was too much of a coward to say how I feel.

But then I see the sunset and I realize that this is where I belong. It doesn't matter if I never make it as a writer, it doesn't matter if I live in a three bedroom apartment the rest of my life. I had a dream, and that dream was to escape the land of Outback Steakhouses and Applebees (no offense to either obviously) and plant a flag in the sand.

And that's what helped me realize why others are leaving. Maybe living by the beach just wasn't enough for them, maybe they had other goals and leaving was the best way for them to attain those. As the star in my own (sometimes pathetic) story I need to take a step back once in a while and realize that just because I feel a certain way doesn't make it the truth.

Often times I think Los Angeles is objectively the greatest place in the world. But to be honest, it probably isn't. There are pros and cons to every city. Accumulating wealth and starting families are likely important to a lot of my peers. Perhaps pursuing a love interest, or maybe just shaking shit up for a change. And while moving is never permanent, I need to learn how to let people go and stop taking it as a personal failure by me that I couldn't make them happy enough to stay.

So with that I say, all my friends that have left, are leaving or will some day, I wish you the absolute best. I hope you make it back west of Lincoln some day, but if you don't that's ok too. You have your own journey and I hope it brings you happiness. I'll be keeping an eye on you from afar, and if you ever need anything, feel free to let me know.

In the mean time, there are some people that I have been actively recruiting to (attempt to) fill your spots, and the push is about to intensify.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Why All Your Relationships Fail



I can now predict if your relationship will fail.

After doing countless hours of research, I have realized that most people have essentially three basic character motivations. 

1. They want something that will make them happy.

2. They want to be with someone that will make them happy.

3. They want to be somewhere that will make them happy.

It's that easy, your life is essentially boiled down to a person, a place or a thing.

Let's start with category one. Something to make you happy.

This is usually going to be a job or some form of asset. Maybe you really want to be a writer, maybe you really want to be rich. Maybe you want to be a writer that sells a ton of shows to get rich, or maybe you will blog for $5 an article out of a love of the game. It doesn't really matter. If  the most important thing in the world to you is an item or real or abstract (glory? respect?) this is where you will find yourself. A slave to your passions or the pursuit of that cheddar. A person in this camp will likely always do anything to get themselves ahead professionally, they will move across the country, work absurd hours, sacrifice relationships to get ahead. This person may end up alone, and honestly they might not care.

On to category two, these are the people that want to be around a person or persons that make them happy.

These people could be family members, friends, a significant other or a future child. Nothing matters more than these pursuits. Many of my friends that have left LA have done so to get closer to family or moved to amore sensible place to find a partner and start their own family. A person in this camp might be over the hustle and bustle of a city, they're all set on that hectic lifestyle. Achieving professional success might be important to them, but certainly not the MOST important. Family first!

And category three, the people that want to be somewhere that makes them happy.

These people aren't necessarily concerned about what they're doing or who they're doing it with, but WHERE they are doing it. Hell I can write anywhere, and I like my friends, but if they all left I would stay right where I am. Some people feel this way about their hometowns, some people feel it about New York (gross) and others spent there life fantasizing about some place exotic.

I am squarely in category three. At the moment, the most important thing in the world for me is to stay right in LA. I don't necessarily have a phenomenal career trajectory but LA has a beach and I like it. I also enjoy that I can be single without anyone raising eyebrows, people visit me and there is always something exciting going on.

And what that means, is it's never going to work out for me with anyone from category one or category two...UNLESS the things that they actively seek happen to be part of Los Angeles. But if I met a 26 year old girl who figures she'll have some fun and eventually move back to Texas to be with her nieces and nephews, that's a non-starter. If I were to meet an up and coming television anchor who might get transferred to Raleigh, I'm not getting on that plane.

Furthermore if I meet someone from my own category but they want to be somewhere else? It also isn't happening.

So this is how you know if your relationship will inevitably succeed or fail. Actually it's not a proven metric for success. Two people that valued living in Venice Beach above all else could certainly find something else to fight about, but if the two of you truly don't have the same goal you will never get there.

And of course if you think 'well that's why couples compromise.' If you were willing to compromise you were never a true category one or a category three. You chose your partner, and that's great. But I think everyone could save themselves quite a bit of time when they asked in the early stages of a relationship. What's your end game?

You could certainly save quite a bit of time that way. So there you go, I hope I haven't ruined your day. Maybe I'm just a cynic and when I meet my dream girl I'll decide to throw everything away from her. But until then it's much more likely I'll eventually just throw in the towel and marry one of my friends at say 36, provided we are both committed to staying west of Lincoln for the rest of our lives.

Cheer yourself up by listening to my podcast. This week we talked about Renaissance Faires, Tiger Woods and our favorite horse occupations.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

What is your walk up song in life?


This year for the first time, the PGA Tour, the thing your Republican uncle follows religiously, is introducing walk up music to one of its events. The results were…interesting to say the least.

It’s shocking how much your opinion of a player can change by what type of music they like. For example, I kind of though Justin Thomas, last year’s PGA champion, was a twatbucket 48 hours ago. This guy kicks fans out of events, posts pictures of his blacked out friends (see above) and has a general air of snobbery around him.

But then I saw his choice of walk up song. The Circle of Life from the Lion King, a certified banger. Now I can view all of his life choices in a different light.

He posts pictures of his friends blacked out because it’s hilarious. He rocks enormous Polo horses because he’s rich and fuck you. Guy is essentially a certified frat legend. Hell, he probably only has fans kicked out of events because he’s irritated that the PGA Tour won’t let him drink on the course.

Similarly, unknown golfers have become instant legends because of their choice of track.

 

This is Byeong-Hun An. Look at that fucking guy. This dude is 26, is South Korean and his walk-up song is MASTER P MAKE EM SAY UGHHHHHHHHHHH.

 What. A. Legend.

Let’s get another photo of Byeong.

 

OH MY GOD.

Do you think he prefers the angry Silkk the Shocker verse or is he more of a Mystikal guy. Perhaps he will use the winnings from his first PGA Tour win to buy the tank that P drove in the video. This dude is my new favorite golfer.

The entire list is right here. There are some old school bangers and a bunch of vanilla dorks that just picked Drake, but this begs the question right now: What would your walk up song be? Do you go current or classic? Are you serious or is this a bit of a joke.

I’m on record as having my walk up song be “Baby” by Justin Bieber, a timeless choice, but I have recently switched to “Just Can’t Wait to be King” because Disney releases nothing but bangers.

That said, I have recently put together a guide for selecting the perfect walk-up song. As always, you are welcome in advance.

Step 1: Pick a song that is at least five years old.

This ensures that you don’t get caught chasing trends and your choice doesn’t age poorly. All the jamokes that picked a Drake song this week are going to feel really dumb when everyone wakes up in 2023 and realizes that Drake’s entire discography was a prolonged wet fart.

Step 2: Don’t take yourself too seriously.

There is no doubt that ‘Enter Sandman’ by Metallica is a bitchin’ song, and it does make me kinda want to run through a wall, but as a walk up song? You’re trying too hard man. The same hard rock edge can be attained with a more self-aware choice like ‘Sister Christian’ by Night Ranger. It fucks, but it was also in Rock of Ages and seems like a song your dad would put on after one too many 7 and 7s.

Step 3: But also make sure it actually pumps you up

This was the problem I ran into with Baby. It made me laugh at home plate, not make me want to mash a dinger to Culver City. Your walk up music should elevate your heart rate comparably to a baby bump of cocaine. This is why when baseball players walk up to N Sync it’s hilarious but rarely effective.

Step 4: Always consider cross branding opportunities.

Do you like rap? Pick a guy who is alive, because guess what? Tupac can’t rap you a live entrance should things come to that! Conversely, a guy named Shaggy would be more than happy to perform ‘It Wasn’t Me’ mostly because he needs the money.

Step 5: Be somewhat original.

On one hand, you want a song that everyone knows. You will not be awarded bonus points for cranking out some B side of an unreleased Diplomats mix-tape. However, as we learned in the movie Bring It On, no one likes a repeat performance. Pick something that everyone in the crowd will know that absolutely no one else would pick.

Let’s run my choice through the list.

“Just Can’t Wait to be King” – Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

1.       Over five years old? Yes. Lion King came out in 1994.

2.       Don’t take yourself too seriously. Yes. It’s a fucking Disney movie.

3.       Pumps you up? Yes. The song absolutely bangs.

4.       Cross branding? Yes. I could get the whole Broadway cast out there with me or in an ABC promotion, Donald Glover star of the 2019 reboot performs the whole song as Childish Gambino.

5.       Somewhat original? Yes. Justin Thomas went Circle of Life, but different songs from the same artist (soundtrack?) are acceptable. Congrats to me for picking an acceptable walk up song. Let me know what your walk up song is if you want and make sure to check out my podcast Beer a Hole where we spend an hour talking about this bullshit.
LISTEN NOW!

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Los Angeles Flake Index



Welcome friends to the Los Angeles Flake Index aka the LAFI (not to be confused with my friend Lapi) a tool that can be used to decipher the likelihood of your scheduled plans falling apart due to unforeseen circumstances such as work, illness or more likely ‘general disinterest.’


As millennials we have rejected our once social behavior and now it is universally accepted that most of us would rather sit on the couch watching Netflix in pajamas whilst devouring an entire pepperoni pizza than hang out with essentially anyone. There are varying degrees of course, for example a Tinder date is much more likely to be cancelled than dinner with a visiting friend. You’ll bail on someone you’re trying to fuck much quicker than a family member that needs a tour.


Allow me to be your guide through the cesspool that is human interaction in Los Angeles, a never ending web of lies and disappointment.


Category 1: A first date.

Likelihood of cancellation: 80 percent

If you make plans with a stranger on a dating app the likelihood is that these plans will fall through. The reason for this is because when you are texting it up on a Thursday you can smell the weekend. The idea of going to a bar with a member of the opposite sex sounds exciting. The following Monday/Tuesday this seems like much more of a chore. Common excuses would be things like “I have to work late” or “I forgot I’m playing in this charity Softball game.” But what you’re really saying is, it just seems so much easier to go home and masturbate before watching the latest Netflix Documentary (or after if you are aroused by that sort of thing)

Also in this category would be ‘work drinks’ with a member of the opposite sex, because this is just a thinly veiled excuse for a date. Any time I met an assistant that I was even vaguely interested in I would trojan horse her into going out with me under the guise of talking shop. It worked like 12% of the time.

Category 2: Plans with a friend across town

Likelihood of cancellation: 60%

LA is incredibly tribal when it comes to neighborhoods. Sometimes I will make plans with a friend that lives in Santa Monica, a mere mile away from me but when it comes time to make the trek I render it an insurmountable journey and make up an elaborate excuse to free me from the burden. If that person lives east of the 405 or even God forbid east of La Cienega? That trip becomes virtually impossible. This is why good friends that live in Los Angeles can go years without seeing each other. I don’t think I’ve seen my friend Eric since Christmas, but he’ll still probably be in my wedding party! That’s just the way this town rolls. The one redeeming factor about this type of event that keeps the cancellation rate under 100% is that both parties understand the magnitude of this event and will plan well in advance for something bigger than just a standard ‘dinner.’ Think a concert or something similar. Matt and Kim got me to Hollywood last week for the first time in 2018.



Category 3: Plans with a friend in the neighborhood

Likelihood of cancellation: 40%

This is a bit of a double-edged sword because making plans with someone that lives down the street can feel trivial. Sure, it’s convenient. You could potentially just walk and meet them at a local bar, but this also lowers the stakes considerably. If you don’t feel like going, hell, you’ll see them in a few days, maybe even tomorrow. What is most likely in this scenario however is the ever crafty pivot. A last minute change of plans to a more amenable location. Like instead of meeting for dinner, you text your friend that you don’t feel like changing out of your pajamas but you just ordered a 12 pack for Drizzly and 30 dollars of Chinese take-out and there is 5 episodes of The Terror on your DVR. Now that’s a night that anyone can get behind.



Category 4: A visitor from out of town

Likelihood of cancellation: 10-35%

4A: A platonic friend of the opposite sex – 35%

I will often try to accommodate any and all visitors that come to LA for a couple reasons…

Reason 1: People from my past understand how fucking cool I used to be.

Reason 2: I want everyone that visits to return home with positive reviews about me.  However, I am more likely to cancel on a female friend that a male because if they are visiting with a boyfriend or staying with other friends I feel less of an obligation to show them a good time. Also it is much less likely they are sleeping on my couch.

4B: A homie – 20%

I mean they are probably staying on my couch, but if they aren’t and they are in a fancy hotel downtown or something and want me to come out on a Tuesday (I’m looking at you Jake) I just can’t get up for that. A lot of New Yorkers have a really hard time understanding that LA is DEAD Monday-Wednesday. Any time someone asks me what the popping bar is on Tuesday I want to respond THE XANNY BAR that I take at 8pm so I can go to sleep. I apologize for disappointing but LA doesn’t have a strong social culture on school nights.

4C: An old fling – 15%

I don’t want to go to far into Always Sunny territory here, but if an old fling hits you up when she’s in town it is implied that shit is about to go down, with minimal effort too. While going on a date may sound difficult, it is relatively painless to invite your ex-girlfriend over for two bottles of wine and some no strings sex. Still…depending on how hard I raged the weekend before, I might turn down the offer for sole possession of my bed.

4D: A family member – 10%

This is obviously a terrible look, but like it’s your mom…if you REALLY have to get out of it, she’ll probably understand.

Category 5: A girl you are dating 
Likelihood of cancellation: 5%

Of course you WANT to flake on your girlfriend all the time, but she also has a good indicator for your bullshit. If you blow her off once, maybe you can survive it. But once that thing becomes a habit? It’s the beginning of the end. Spin zone: If your girlfriend dumps you for being a flake, you will have substantially more time to disappoint everyone else in your life. God LA is the worst, we should all just learn to say no to plans because we would rather be watching cat videos on Instagram than doing literally anything else.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The Fourish Reasons People Go Out


Thank you all for your kind feedback on my last blog. I really appreciate all the support. My goal was to touch on some of the general angst of aging and the insecurities we all feel. I'm not great at talking about how I feel in person so it's nice for me to be able to put them on paper once in a while.

That said, I've got a question this week...

Why do people go out? A myriad of reasons I'm sure, but I think I've drilled it down to four primary categories. So please accompany me on this social experiment and let's get to the bottom of it.

PRIMARY (STATED) REASONS

Reason 1: Sex
This one is easy. You go out because you think you are going to get laid either in the short term or the long term. The short term play sees you approaching a girl on a crowded dance floor and performing the entire choreographed dance from "Bye, Bye, Bye" thinking that will convince a girl to at least go make out with you in the corner. On the long term side, maybe you will meet someone there and they will ask you out on a proper date! For the purposes of this exercise those are the same.

Reason 2: Rage
Just as sage old Alfred said 'Some men just want to watch the world burn.' Some people are just here to get fucked up. They like to drink because of the great unknown. Tonight could end in a strip club in Tijuana or a hot tub in the Hollywood Hills. Either one would be acceptable really, but the only way to get there is to drink more and always say YES. Call the dealer, cancel tomorrow's plans, we're watching the sun rise tonight.

Reason 3: Stunt
You've got money to burn and you want people to know it. Maybe you like the idea of being in control, it's an ego thing so you pick up every check, buy every bottle so people call you 'daddy.' It might not even be a sex thing, maybe you just want to assert dominance over a certain section of people. Maybe you want to make someone jealous, or maybe you just followed Dan Bilzerian on Insta too long and figured that's the best way to live.

Reason 4: Socialize
This is a bit of a catch all. This is why reasonably well adjusted people go out. They go out because they want to get out of the house, to see friends, check out a new hot spot, maybe dance. They are not necessarily interested in pulling some strange, hitting a high score on a breathalyzer or spending in the four figures, they just wanna go out ya know?

OK this would be a very obvious and short blog if we stopped here, but there are secondary reasons people go out. This is usually more of a nefarious hidden agenda or a reason for hitting the town that informs their primary reason. None of these reasons can stand alone but they can change the direction of the evening...

SECONDARY (HIDDEN) AGENDAS

Agenda A: Spend Nothing
Spending nothing can't be a primary reason for going out because you can spend nothing just sitting at home and drinking rubbing alcohol. However, you can attempt to do all of the primary reasons while also attempting to spend as little as possible.

Agenda B: Revenge
Similar to the stated reason of stunting, the hidden agenda of revenge switches from making yourself look cool to hurting someone's feelings.

Agenda C: Secret Hookup
Similar to sex but this time you don't want anyone to know about it.

Agenda D: The sneaky black-out
Sure, you told your girlfriend that you were going out to catch up with the boys. That was a lie.

NOW LET'S ADD THEM UP

On any given night there are a thousand different things you can do in LA, but what is the ideal night out when we combine some of these stated reasons and hidden agendas for hitting the town.

1a. You're going out to meet chicks but you don't want to spend a dime.
House party, ideally at one of your female friends' house with a ton of her friends that you don't know yet. You have a warm open since you were invited there and it's assumed that you aren't a serial killer. There are full bottles of vodka in the kitchen so anyone with half an ounce of charm and some quick thinking can come up with some terrible drinking game that will end with you making out with some random in the closet.

1b. You're going out to meet chicks but also piss off your ex.
Wherever your ex is. Then you're going to aggressively pursue women right in front of her, buying them drinks, public displays of affection and a very public exit together. That will show her.

1c. You're going out to meet chicks but also hook-up on the down low.
That's too much of a double negative.

1d. You're going out to meet chicks and/or black out.
You can go anywhere, wherever you go there will be women and booze, and hey if you strike out, worst case scenario you pound the bottle until you forget all of your shortcomings as a man and wake up in a puddle of your own urine. Win/win really.

2a. You're here to paint the town red and spend exactly 12 dollars.
Fortunately for you $12 is the exact price of 4 Four Lokos at your local 7/11. You can probably also get a bottle of bottom shelf vodka for approximately the same. Your perfect night is a free concert in at the street fest a few blocks away. You can get blind drunk shouting the words to Sugar Ray's "When It's Over" and still have enough money for a 2 buck chuck night cap.

2b. You're here to rage and ruin someone's day.
The office Christmas party is the most reasonable place to do this. You pound the Merlot at the open bar all night until you are nice and loose enough to say to Margot, the office gossip, 'Oh, you didn't know that me and Janet from Accounting were fucking?' You just walk away smiling knowing that Margot will do the rest. Hopefully Janet's husband doesn't mind.

2c. The Irish Goodbye
Tell me if you recognize this story: One of your pals recommends a random ass bar or party way across town. You guys show up and your friend immediately disappears. The next day he says something like 'oh man, I was so fucked up, I ubered home alone.' That is a lie, he has a mistress that lives in Echo Park.

2d. The raging secret black out
One cannot fundamentally keep their black out a secret if they tell you about it.

3a. The Poor Stuntman
Spending nothing and balling out may seem to be opposing forces but there are other ways to lord over a party such as a wedding with an open bar. The guy with the sickest dance moves, who sets up the limbo, who gets Double Dutch going and inevitably sneaks a bottle from behind the bar straight to the after party is the guy who will wake up with a bridesmaid.

3b. Stunting as revenge?
Stunting in front of anyone that you hate is implied revenge, nothing more needs to be said on this.

3c. The sneaky Stuntman
A rare move, but a strong one. This is the guy that takes you all to Bungalow and buys you bottles as a distraction so he can quietly vanish with a hooker into room 837 of the Fairmont.

3d. The classy black-out
This is the guy that buys 17 bottles of wine at dinner because if you get shitfaced while spending a lot of money it doesn't make you an alcoholic, it makes you wealthy.

4a. The responsible human
This person wants to see their friends but not break the bank. They may just have a couple beers and go home. How about that!

4b. The upper road guy
This guy just wants to get back out there and show his ex that she didn't crush his spirit. This in itself is a form of revenge to show her that you are doing better without her.

4c. Maybe tonight's the night
This guy just wants to see his friends, but also he's madly in love with one of them and you never know...tonight could be the night.

4d. The Yes man
This guy just wanted to see his pals but he knows the type of people that are going to be there, he knows he doesn't have any plans tomorrow. We'll just see what happens right? He's never too disappointed when he ends up rolling in a warehouse in Boyle Heights.

SO THERE YOU GO. Everyone is a liar and they're always angling for something they don't want to say out loud. It's ok, it's just part of being young...ish.





Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The Loneliness of the American Savage



It’s Two O’clock in the afternoon as I lay on an old couch that I bought used from a friend after a bed bug infestation destroyed all the furniture. I’m trying to watch golf and calm down after a weekend of extreme drinking. My endorphin count is negative.

Elsewhere one of my two roommates is having a full blown panic attack because he lost his company car keys and thinks it may lead to his firing. He goes to a bottomless brunch to deal with stress. I see my phone start vibrating. It’s my dad and there is absolutely no chance I am mentally prepared to talk to him. In all likelihood he wants to ask me about the college basketball games over the weekend or even a shot Tiger Woods just hit.
But there is a chance something is wrong at home, a chance I overdrew my bank account over the weekend, things that I am in no way prepared to handle on a Sunday. I twice hit the ignore button and 20 minutes later when I receive a text asking if everything is OK, I can barely muster the energy to just respond ‘yes.’

For those of us that chose to live this life we’ve managed to freeze time in a way. I still look substantially younger than my age, often mistaken for 23 or 24. I have a hairstyle that a college kid might sport, I wear hoodies to work. I’ve maintained an athletic frame. Sure, some fortuitous genetics might be at play there but sometimes it seems I’ve tricked my body into not aging. Perhaps it’s the fact that I get 12 hours of sleep on Sundays when I don’t get out of bed until 3pm. Or that my liver is so busy processing alcohol and fast food that my body has forgotten to start turning me grey. I don’t look GOOD per se, just perpetually like a 20something on the back end of a bender. Nothing a shower and a good night’s sleep can’t fix.

But also frozen in time is a lifestyle. I’m still living paycheck to paycheck in a starter apartment with multiple roommates. I’ve bounced around entry level jobs in the entertainment industry because of a mix of bad luck and personality conflicts. Well and probably poor performance, let’s be real. While more and more people look to real life responsibilities, I keep existing in a kind of vortex in which 2011 never ended.

People are always happy to see me, I think it reminds them of a simpler time; a guy who just wants to have fun, a person who doesn’t stress about the insecurities of growing older. As you can imagine though the romantic relationships are typically brief and fleeting. Women our age aren’t looking for a guy who his friends refer to as ‘a hero.’ They aren’t looking for the life of the party. They want a dependable partner, someone they could see a future with. Some may find me acceptable for the night, especially coming off a break-up. Being in proximity to me will certainly make you feel young again, if only for a short while before you return to reality. I’m a good hang but it could never be serious.

Depression as humor has really taken over on the internet. People love to use a self-deprecating tone to laugh at their inability to find a partner, poke fun at their unwillingness to get out of bed every morning or satirize the fact that they often stay in at night and cry. In psychology this would probably be considered a displacement, I’ll take my sad feelings and use them to make others laugh! Whereas the life I live turns into a classic regression. I try to push out of my mind any feelings of negativity and just focus on getting to the next good thing. I just need to make it to the weekend, this trip I have planned, this holiday, this movie release. The problem of course is, these good things come and pass while I remain empty.

Sure, it is a way to live but there has to be something more to life than ripping it with the boys all weekend and limping through a week until the following Friday, living vicariously through my own past accomplishments doing deep dives through a TimeHop history that once revealed a future of so much promise.

People that I haven’t seen in a while will often give me a wide smile and say things like ‘you haven’t changed a bit’ which I’m sure is intended as a compliment or at least a term of endearment but it also reminds me that my feet have been stuck in mud really since college and all I have to show for it is a few free t shirts I got as wrap gifts.

I rarely write seriously on this blog because it’s much more fun to write about dating and hard living than it is to be honest with oneself. But for those who always assumed I wasn’t self aware, I assure you the smile is often a mask as I’ve been hanging on by a thin thread for quite a while at this point. It’s an interesting position to be in when everyone loves you but also kind of perceives you to be kind of a joke, unfortunately myself and countless others in my position do nothing that would lead one to draw any other conclusion.

Some may see this as a cry for help, but I promise it isn’t. I write so much stuff on here the glamorizes debauchery. Sure, it’s an ACT to a certain extent and most of my more autobiographical writing comes in tv and film where my last three projects have been 1. About a guy at IU. 2. About a guy and his relationship with his conservative father and 3. A chick who wants to run away from life’s challenges and live in a hostel.

That said, it helps to be open and honest on here sometimes as well, it freshens my perspective and helps me clear my thoughts and reset my goals for what trials and tribulations lay in wait. At the moment, I’m not necessarily where I want to be or who I want to be, but at least I know who I am and where I want to go.