Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Frat Italy

I'm not actually going back to Italy for another 10 days...but in the future I would like to make that an annual trip. Alas, I am moving to Venice. I'm finally free of the terrible cell phone reception in Santa Monica Mountains, the stigma of living in the valley and crazy Russian lesbians that stay up until 4 in the morning gunning unfiltered cigs and drinking vodka. I have to admit, I will miss the eclectic crew of which I had become a member. By the time I moved out the "commune" included an Afghan, a French guy, his French ex-girlfriend (No English), the lesbian married couple, and a white engaged couple from Fresno. Indiana stereotypes be damned I was totally down with all of it.

But there comes a time when you need to stop living on a mattress pad upstairs and using a snuggie as a duvet and move in with your friends. No more weekend couch surfing for me, I have a home, in a trendy area, in a building that has nothing but single girls in their 20's. Sure, there are homeless vagrants abound, and apparently we live a block away from a major drug operation, but that's no different than living at North and Halsted, I turned out just fine.

What I'm really looking forward to is the bubble. People unfamiliar with Los Angeles may not understand that the neighborhoods are extremely segmented. People that live on the west side (venice, Santa Monica) or south bay (marina del ray, playa del ray, hermosa, manhattan, redondo) rarely interact with the east siders. The east side neighborhoods (Hollywood, Echo Park, Silverlake, Los Feliz and parts of West Hollywood) are far more pretentious and in my opinion everything that is horrible about LA. Hipsters, 16 dollar drinks, club promoters, lines, "high fashion", what do you do, who do you know. it's really the fucking worst. There is a time and a place for that, when I am a junior creative exec at Warner Bros. maybe I'll want that world back...but for now, see ya.

But the west side, best side...where your waist size and dick length matter, not who your Jewish Grandfather plays squash with. It is just a 20something midwest guy's dream. I have the beach, I have like minded people that choose their parties based on how drunk they can get as opposed to who they might see or be seen by. Every morning I can walk to the beach or shred my roller blades up to Malibu or bike somewhere. People on the west are more active, they are more attractive, they are what you see on TV. But I will stop fawning over how excited I am to be a Venezian and move onto the meat of this post. (500 words in and I haven't gotten to my point, sorry I'm wordy) can be the worst. Fortunately for me, I have no tangible assets. I can literally throw everything I own in 2 suitcases and maybe a trashbag throw it in the car and head west. It reminds me of how I used to move down to the frat. I would take all my shit and throw it in my car, my mom's car and my dad's car and we would drive down to Bloomington on a warm late summer day. All the parents would be there and my roommates would be there, and...oh fuck about a frat guy's guide to moving.

1. BEEEEEEER- Everyone had that roommate with the liberal dad who knew that the moving process would be a lot better if everyone was properly lubricated. Even though you were only 19 moving into your Sophomore party room, he didn't hesitate to hand everyone a pop in front of even the strictest most conservative of parents. Yet not wanting to cause a fuss no one said anything and soon enough this sweaty move in mess, became a drunken exercise in manly power lifting and problem solving (THE L COUCH WILL FIT!) You can easily apply this to post college moves as well. Throw on a frat tank and get a few pops and begin the heavy lifting. If I've learned one thing in my life it is that combining one thing you do like with one thing you do not like > one thing you do not like.

2. Cause a fucking scene- The first thing unloaded should always be the entertainment system so you can blast enough tunes to get you threw the rest of the process. This also accomplishes 2 more things, it sets the fucking tone with the neighbors. Wow, these 3 guys in bro tanks are blasting Aerosmith and drinking tall boys, make a note to party with them. Also it may solicit some help from people nearby. Since you will look so sweet unloading your 80 inch LED tv, you will instantly be heralded as good guys to know, wanting to be included in the party, passers by will be quick to lend a hand.

3. Announce an imminent housewarming party- During your move, people will inevitably stop by to get to know you a little bit, introduce themselves, see what all the ruckus is about. This conversation should go as follows, "Oh no, we're not having a party tonight, that keg in there is just our move-in beer...but next Saturday starting at 3pm and going 12 hours strong you better vacate the block or get ready to rage." This will give all your neighbors female and male ample time to prepare for your epic introduction to the neighborhood.

4. Don't be afraid to just say fuck it in the middle of the move and start playing a drinking game- Since you are most likely going to be moving on a Saturday there may be excuses abound to abandon your responsibilities are begin to indulge. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact, I can't think of anything frattier than successfully filling the apartment with scattered boxes, declaring the job done and hosting an impromptu beer darts tournament.

5. Make your parents/girlfriend/sober buddy return the U-Haul. Marvel at your work, start drunkenly throwing out ideas for amateur home improvement. "A foosball table would look great there...can we wire the surround sound into each room? I got dibs on the girl in 3A." These are the type of heartwarming conversations it is important to have with roommates as you begin your bonding process.

That's it. I'm fucking ready. Like I said, I don't really have anything other than clothes and a few books, so I will probably be spending the majority of my efforts this Saturday on drinking and carrying my roommates' stuff that looks heavy but really isn't so I can hit his parents up for free dinner afterward. But seriously, just follow those 5 simple steps and the monumental task of moving becomes enjoyable, the chicks across the hall will be blowing in you no time at all. And I am sorry if this post got a little too fratty-centric for you...I hang out at UCLA all day what do you expect. In any event, check back tomorrow when I rank the 10 most awesome shots ever created.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Oscar picks 2012

What's up you uncultured fucks? It's Friday night and the last thing I want to do is write a blog post revealing my Oscar picks. But then again, I do this all for you and I know some of you will have Oscar pools Sunday to add some zest to the monotony of winter in the Midwest. Since I am the only certified cinephile among you and many of this year's best didn't even come to your cities I will enlighten you and make certain that you win that $50 Amazon gift card.

Let me start with saying, it was a pretty miserable year for movies. Out of the 9 best picture nominees, 4 were decent and 1 was good. The rest ranged from "meh to click click BOOM." I won't bore you with deep analysis on why what I say will win, will win...just know this the Academy Awards are the last major award show of the season. Each guild has its own awards show the weeks prior. A bunch of retards in your pool will just vote the Golden Globe winners...they are idiots.

Let's move on to the major categories shall we?

Let's start randomly with...
Actress in a leading role:
The winner will be Viola Davis because the Academy loves showing black women cry. Take an Oscar bait movie about post-slavery slavery and it's almost a done deal. I personally think Michelle Williams deserves to win, but I'm almost glad I don't have to see Heath Ledger's baby mama take the stage. She is so fucking frail I am always afraid she is going to break. The Help was a stupid movie based on a stupid book and it is the only movie so far to make my precious Emma Stone look unflattering. Or maybe I am such a chauvinist that I just don't give a fuck about female ensemble casts. But hey, I liked Bridesmaids!
 I give this pick about an 85% chance of panning out.

Actor in a leading role:
Moneyball was really good, but it had two problems. 1. There really isn't any payoff. Billy Beane made it to the playoffs on a low budget. It's impressive but the Marlins won titles by spending pennies. They try to dedicate Theo Epstein's success to Billy and Sabermetrics, but at the end of the day it's a movie about a GM who still hasn't won a title. Problem 2: Jonah Hill.
George Clooney was good in the Descendants but was overshadowed by the girl from Secret Life of the American Teen who I desperately want to fuck.
Sidenote: From watching seasons of Greek and seeing episode previews, I am fairly certain that show is about someone getting knocked up. I don't know if it's her, and I don't know how the baby daddy character reacts, but I would be more than willing to cast my lot in with her.
Oh shit, I promised you no wordy analysis...Jean Dujardin wins for The Artist. Not only is it amazing, but the Academy likes to have at least 1 of 4 as a token foreigner. He's likable, he did SNL and a Funny or Die video, plus the only character to overshadow him in his movie wasn't human...twas a dog...that dog better be at the Oscars.

Actress in a Supporting role:
Unfortunately America isn't over their obsession with sassy black women. So we are going to get tears round 2 for this category (even though it may actually be the first award announced, I can't remember the order) Octavia Spencer wins for The Help. Now I know what you're thinking...Won't she split votes with Jessica Chastain? She will, and given the recent trend for villains to win the supporting awards I like your logic. That said Chastain would merit more of a 2011 general achievement award. She was great in other movies such as Take Shelter, The Debt and Take Shelter but none were standalone outstanding. Personally I would give the award to Berenice Bejo for The Artist, but the screenwriter fucked her for not giving that ending any romantic payoff.

Actor in a Supporting role:
I'll admit it Jonah Hill was great in Moneyball, but he's just a raging fag and that's all there is to it. This is actually the strongest category of the night. Big ups to Nick Nolte for scoring a nod, you give drug addicts across the world hope. I don't know what the fucking deal is with Kenneth Branagh I don't like actor/directors..pick one. It's pretty much a forgone conclusion that Christopher Plummer is going to win. Beginners is about being gay and shit, whatever it's good he deserves to win.

Animated Film
Reviews were strong for Rango but I think it's likely you won't see one of the big studio American films take it this year as the sequel/spin off to the Kung Fu Panda and Shrek franchises were nothing revolutionary. Banner year for cats in the animation category as they represent 40% of the nominees...Fuck it...if Midnight in Paris can't win anything maybe a cat can. A Cat in Paris.

Music (Original Song)
Can't argue against Flight of the Conchords. Bret McKenzie for Muppet or a Man ftw!

Best Original Screenplay
A lot of Woody Allen is too Jewy and quirky for me to get into. He is an atrocious looking man yet cast himself in all these timeless romantic comedies...I just don't buy it. But Midnight in Paris was just perfect on so many levels. I'm so glad Owen Wilson's suicide attempt failed. And this movie just proved even further that Regina George is a cunt. If this movie doesn't land the trophy I am never watching the Oscars again.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Tough one. Even though the Academy usually tries to throw some love to the Brits, I don't even think that the old senile members of the Academy found themselves able to stay awake during Tinker Tailor. That and I am about to start splitting some major awards so I will go with Alexander Payne for The Descendants.

Best Director
There are some powerhouse names in this category but the winner will be Alexander Payne. The Academy just loves this guy as much as he hates Merlot. Marty already got his award a few years back, he's not going to get his 2nd for a propaganda flick about film preservation. Woody will already have his statue for screenplay. Not enough buzz ever got behind notable hermit Terrence Malick's latest effort and unfortunately the reason The Artist gets so much love is because of the gimmicks surrounding it. Making a beautiful film in 2012, shooting it in black and white and silent may almost seem like cheating...sorry Michael Hazanavicius.

Best Picture
ELIC should win a razzie for worst picture of the year. I read that book and was so angry with how the film turned out. Just a awful year overall for adaptations. Water for Elephants, One Day, ELIC all terrible. Perhaps I need to stop reading books. Even GWTDT was a bit of a let down.
This category comes down to just 2 real competitors. Let's quickly dismiss the others.
The Help had it's teary proud black women early in the show...enough.
War Horse was a stupid Black Beauty-esque story about a stupid Brit and his boring horse and very PG rated war sequences...yuck.
Midnight in Paris...not even I can dream that hard
Moneyball...Brad Pitt + dip = no oscar
Hugo is like a dark horse third place contender...but it was only really beautiful in 3d...I think the old voters are afraid of 3d...(See Avatar loss 2010)
Tree of Life, again it's like the obligatory artsy nominee from a strange director. (He hasn't made a movie in 20 years! Let's nominate him!) Big ups to the dinosaurs in the beginning though. Huge fan of that.

So we are left with The Descendants and The Artist.
The Descendants is basically a story about a guy who has a wife that cheats on him. I have never hooked up with a married woman, but I have hooked up with someone who might have gotten married if well...whatever. I imagine it's a shitty situation for all parties involved. Especially if there are kids involved. If I was the cheatee I would probably handle the situation similar to was different because the spouse is on her death bed so to Chris Brown a bitch would seem inappropriate. That said, I hated the overarching subplot with the land, the supporting cast was extremely unlikable. (Her parents, his extended family members, that random dude) But it is a touching story about how one handles themselves in a time of crisis.

The Artist is just awesome. It's the most you thought you could never enjoy yourself during a silent film. I have been bitching up a storm about the lack of romantic payoff at the is a little spoiler alert. The chick saves the dude from suicide and it's inferred that she never stopped loving him and was always helping from the shadows through his divorce, bankrupcy and litany of other personal problems. At the end she gets him back into motion pictures as a dancer instead of a talking actor because he'sssss FRENCH! But there is no kiss...and as a hopeless romantic I just cannot let that shit fly. She loved him as a friend? Really? The defining scene of the movie with the coat...ugh.

So we are left with two imperfect films, but I gave Payne the adapted screenplay and the Directing Oscar. Artist gets Best Picture and we sweep 2011 films under the rug and pretend it never happened.

Other minor categories...some of these are just random guesses.
Cinematography- Hugo
Art Direction- The Artist
Costume- The Artist
Doc: Undefeated (Although Paradise Lost 3 is really good too)
Doc Short: Tsunami and The Cherry Blossom
Editing: The Artist (Although had they nominated TGWDT trailer instead I would vote for that)
Foreign: A Separation (If it's nominated more than once always pick that foreign flick)
Make-up: Albert Nobbs
Original Score: The Artist (Although it's tough to beat John Williams TWICE)
Animated Short: La Luna
Live action short: Time Freak
Sound Editing: Drive
Sound Mixing: Hugo
Visual Effects: Rise of The Planet of The Apes

Cheers's to Sunday night events that force us to drink.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Disturbing Behavior

I've often wondered who are those miserable cunts of people that call in the noise violations on a Saturday night at midnight. Instead of complaining about the noise why don't you go to a bar like a normal person or join the party or move to the fucking burbs. Cities are for young people and ballers, and if you are a boss you don't live next door to the twenty somethings that are licking molly until 6 in the morning. If you are going to live in a young area and complain about the collateral damage, you should be taken out to pasture and shot. I often scheme about the horrible things I could do to these people...emotional torture, anonymous threats, maybe a good old roadkill in the mailbox...

Then this weekend happened and I gained a new perspective. After waking up in the morning at 7 am, driving from Boulder to Breckenridge, skiing 6 hours at Keystone, we did what any normal person would do: we went directly to the liquor store and bought a handle and 4 cases, checked into our lodge and instantly began drinking. Once we had finished the handle and about 100 beers we went out to the bar until 2 am drinking rumplemintz and trying to pick up sluts at which point we came back to our condo and resumed drinking until 5 o clock in the morning while trying to map out the entirety of Indiana's Greek system in infographic form connecting people by sexual partners.

At around 5 in the morning while one of my friends was busy spinning records one of the females we were with came upstairs and had a minor temper tantrum. Apparently our behavior is not socially acceptable for that of a group of 25 year olds on vacation. After some veiled threats we were coerced into going to sleep (she's lucky no one had a prescription for diet coke.)

The next morning the guys had a laugh about it, but the girls really weren't pleased. In a way they were very displeased with the amount of sleep they had received due to our rude antics. One even referenced it as the "worst night of her life." At the same time though there was this peculiar fascination, "how are you awake and going skiing right now after getting 3 hours of sleep?" I don't know, that's just what you fucking do.

As the trip went on and the guys became collectively more and more intoxicated, old frat stories surfaced about who banged who's girlfriend in a hot tub on Spring Break or who got an old fashioned that was captured on the house's video surveillance system. The difference between the groups became more and more clear. It was a mixture of absolute disgust and morbid curiosity. Why would we be friends with someone who openly attempted to breastfeed from a woman in the bleachers of Wrigley Field during a day game? Because that's legendary, right?

Saturday after another long day on the slopes we found out about some EDM show in Breck and pregamed by playing a drinking game in which all cards are dealt to the players whoever draws the 8 of hearts must drink 2 beers in under 2 minutes or thus receives a lifetime ban...incredibly high stakes. Once again this drinking for the sake of blacking out to go rage didn't seem to strike a chord with our female counterparts. (To be fair it's not drinking for the sake of blacking out, it's drinking for the sake of being so inebriated that you don't find it awkward to ask a girl to come back to the 5 bed party loft, which is essentially a cold dorm) Fortunately, for all parties involved there was no alcohol to be found after we got home from said concert and the girls had planned ahead and purchased industrial strength earplugs so not to be disturbed.

By Sunday I found myself thinking maybe WE are the problem. Maybe when you go on a ski trip, it's to ski and not to rage and hit on girls wearing spirit hoods. Maybe being a "bro" is like being the 1%. The reason you feel like society is against you is because they are. I suppose most people didn't go to a giant state school and feel the elation of having the entire social scene swinging from their nuts. Polite conversation revolves around goings on in the world, situations at work, not the fact that you recently switched to gin because you have noticed a significant decline is whiskey dick. Maybe me and my boys just need to grow the fuck up. Ya it's vacation but there comes a point when you start enjoying the trip and maybe relaxing as opposed to looking for a way to sneak a keg past the security guard at the hot tub. Your wife may frown on you in the near future if she spots you attempting to teach your young children how to play grenades.

So Sunday night we went to a brewery, had a few pints, had some solid conversation and turned in around 1. It pained me so hard to not go in to Celia's and play the "last night" card on some dumb floozey. But that would be immature and the prudent thing to do would be go back to the cabin and pack. I had practical things to do in the morning, check out, work, return my skis and maybe take a nice stroll around the city before heading back to Boulder.

We get back to Boulder at around 10pm. 5:30am departure for the airport. Go home and go to bed, it's going to be an early morning. But....we haven't eating since apris ski at 4...we've never been out in Boulder before...the top 50 college bars list just came out and number 3 is only a block away....

We'll go. For dinner.

Well as you might have guessed, it turns out that the Catacombs bar at Boulder was having a Project X party that included all you can drink for free and a performance from my main man Pusha T of the hip hop duo Clipse.

Yep, previous 3 paragraphs redacted. This was a sign from the bro gods to get my head out of my ass. Some people gain pleasure out of naps and reading before bed, I like playing foosball in a crowded bar with hot chicks while Skrillex plays in the background. (Note: This bar totally deserves it's ranking. The amenities at this place included but were not limited to: foosball, pool tables, ping pong, Mortal Kombat 3 Ultimate Edition, Turtles in Time and at least one featured dollar drink every night.)

We are always going to find that we are different from people, while I may not respect or agree with anyone else's lifestyle choices I will at least understand. There is nothing wrong with me or you if you aren't like me. Some people probably read this blog to have more reasons to hate me, some probably want the catharsis of knowing that there is someone else out there like you. I can tell you this though from a basic economic view point. Humans are conditioned to behave in ways that incentivize them. I do whatever is going to make me happy and I am never going to stop acting that way. So while you may think going to a concert and asking for tickets is sophomoric, it brings a fucking smile to my face, I like to go absolutely HAM. The same way that other people like being recognized for their excellent work in the office or receiving a nice note from a friend, if that shit makes you happy, you should act in ways that make it happen...because to do otherwise, would be disturbing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Ski trip check list

If any of you read this site regularly, you know that I am a big fan of traveling and going on ski trips. I think there is nary a better vacation in the world. Sure there is the thrill of the beach or as I call it a Wednesday. Going to Europe is fun, but can't be topped after living in a 10 person frat house in Florence for 6 months. So really what you are left with is the ski trip...aka the arctic rager. Now many of you will think "Hey, I've totally shredded before bro, I know what to take on the trip. My board, my boots, long underwear and some beer brah!"

Well that is just the pathetic tip of the iceberg. You aren't thinking outside the box. Take for instance your laptop. "What you are expecting me to check work e-mail and stuff while I'm supposed to be plowing snow bunnies?" No you idiot, of course not. But if you don't bring your laptop you may have a hard time tracking down people you know in Denver who might have a dealer locally stationed on the mountain. Last time I checked the TSA weren't honoring medical cards.

See, that is the type of insight that you gain when you travel with me. Now sit back, relax and crack a cold one while I give you my insights into the ski trip vacation.

1.) Arrive first or, as soon as you possibly can. One thing that has remained static since the beginning of time is that when you are on vacation with a group of friends, the first one there has dibs. Sure this may not be the case in your apartment whereas you may allocate certain amounts of rent at a more desirable room. But on a vacation that shit goes out the window. Such is true for a lake house, Spring Break, a Gatlinburg cabin, but especially a snow shack. And I don't know if you were planning on some sort of grand fashionably late entrance where you dramatically bust out a fifth of whiskey and immediately exchange powerful high fives with everyone in attendance, but at the end of your jovial moment the harsh truth will set in that "Real World" rules are in effect, and now you have to share a bunk bed with the smelly kid who only brought one pair of ski socks. No bunny likes to get slammed on the bottom bunk, it's science.

2.) Swim suit. It pains me that I even have to point this out. No one should EVER leave home without one. You should be constantly ready to pop the trunks on at a moment's notice in every day life. And don't even give me this bullshit, "it's cold why would I bring a swim suit" if you go there then clearly you have never been skiing out west. Constant action in the resort's hot tub. You want to meet hot chicks? Hot tub. You want to get hammered and relax the muscles after a long day on the slopes? Hot tub. Then when you get too hot, you jump in the pool, get out, do a snow angel, and hop back in the hot tub. Nudity will almost assuredly ensue.

3. Board games. Board games have long been a staple of the ski trip. You want to see a girl's snowpants get moist? Go on a tear in Catch Phrase, or use some smooth innuendo in Apples to Apples and you are set. The likelihood is that you will be with a majority of guys with a few girls sprinkled in, sure you can turn your cottage into a frat's basement and set up beer pong, flip cup, civil war all that shit, but it can become intimidating. Lots of these snow vixen were probably gdi's at Boulder and passing them a joint and playing board games will be a much less intimidating start to the evening.

4. Lots of Hot Damn! Cinnamon Schnapps. Once you get over the fact that you totally landed an Indy grab and piped a 180 at the park the day can get a little monotonous. Sure you can hit some challenging long runs, or try to prove to yourself that you are definitely good enough to make it down a double black without dying, but the real action begins after lunch. That's when you uncork this little bottle of heaven and you no longer worry about the outside temperature or the risk of bodily injury you may incur trying a back roll off a 25 foot kicker on your first day on the board of the season. It is actually rumored that Sonny Bono was hopped up on Schnapps when he treed it a few years back, but then again he went out doing something that he loved and never had to see his daughter go through transgender

5. Appropriate going out gear. Let's face it, ski towns are more often than not a lot like Venice beach. No one is impressed by your horse, gator, whatever the fuck that Burberry gazelle is. You need to play to your audience. More often than not you can get away with a funky sweater and some ski pants and fit right in...I'm convinced the reason that I crashed and burned in my attempt to pick up Blake Lively at Little Annie's two years ago is because I was dressed like a J Crew poser. Aside from that, I think that pitchers of beer are the way to go. Ski towns are about camaraderie, telling stories from the past. Getting to know the group of girls that sat down at your table. Re-living the days best yardsale on the slopes. Sure, later in the night there will be plenty of time for shots, grinding and convincing the girls that they aren't coming back for the sheer sport of intercourse, it's an afterparty and "we only live like 3 minutes away" but in my experience, it's best to slow play this one.

Some other quick hits of things to remember:
-Fuck a phone on the slopes, you will fall, it will break...I even broke a Blackberry at Snowmass, and it literally takes effort to do that.
-Eat a massive breakfast, you can get a nice steak dinner at Ruth's Chris for what a grilled cheese and coke will cost you on the slopes.
-If you MUST bring a camera to record "the wacky shit you do on the mountain" and take photos for Facebook make sure it has a hard case, preferably made of Kevlar

At the end of the day it's not just about the skiing, it's about the adventure. Don't say no, not once. Stock up on enough booze the first day to kill a small village, don't sleep in...fuck don't sleep at all. If possible complete your shack, hop in the shower and start getting ready for the next day. Or go outside to the hot tub and look at the stars or some shit like that. This is what bonding is all about, you will never forget these outlandish memories. If you see a group of Australians, hang out with them. They are probably cooler and more fun to be around that your current group.

Lastly, to jump start your trip make sure you bring a ton of the mini bottles on the plane with you (they are less than 3 oz therefore able to go through security.) It will ensure two things. 1.) You will get your trip off to a great start. 2.) You won't be responsible for renting the car or driving to the mountain. Double bonus. Have fun, get drunk, try not to Sarah Burke it on the half, and when it comes to fighting over the 4 attractive girls that you meet at 2 AM in the hot tub, may the best man win.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Jackpot

I wrote this a few weeks ago as a submission to a new media outlet. No idea if it's going to be published or not, but if so, I'm sure heavily edited. This is the director's cut if you will. Enjoy, and Happy Valentine's Day.

Right now you may be feeling lonely. Just another Hallmark holiday inspired by some guy in prison who wrote letters. You know who else wrote letters from prison? Tupac, yet for whatever reason July 7th has yet to be met with any sort of reverence, just the tail end of the Independence Day weekend Hangover. For shame.
But I’m here to tell you right now that by being single for Valentine’s Day, you have actually hit the jackpot. I’m here to cheer you up and bring you up to speed on why being single on Valentines Day is awesome.

First there is that gift you won’t have to buy. In years past when I had a significant other I usually went the teddy bear route, or perhaps a box of chocolates. I’m not sure that shit plays when you are 25. I think they start wanting something shiny from some guy named Jared or Andrew or Shane or Kay. I’m not even going to do a Google search to find out the shit they are pawning off on us this year. I’m sure it’s some tiny diamond on a 10 karat gold chain that will make this the “most memorable Valentine’s Day ever.”  Well we can forget about that, that’s $200 that we will never throw at some chick that we will inevitably break up with. But that brings up an interesting quandary. What will we do with that $200 instead? Yep I think it’s time to spoil ourselves a little and spend that money on us. A few quick suggestions if I may…
1.     Bathroom television. LCD/LED tvs are so cheap right now. I’m fairly certain we could get ourselves a nice little 20 inch flat screen for those times that we just don’t want to stop playing Temple Run and get off the pot. There is nothing more stressful than rushing a number 2 because you are afraid of missing some integral plot point in a movie or a crucial play in the game. And ya, we can pause live TV now, but what if you have a group of people over and you want to pause it. No one likes to be on the clock in one of their most intimate moments. Conversely, if you come home and are craving a shower before bed, if you angle the TV just right and you happen to be a Cinemax subscriber, well nevermind.
2.     The ingredients to a potato cannon. I understand this may seem a little juvenile. But follow my logic here. PVC pipe, some wiring, butane, a buzz saw, a sack of potatoes and a fifth of Jack Daniels probably come freakishly close to $200 total. Fix that thing up and terrorize the town, maybe put out the window of a cheating ex or just fuck shit up for the fun of it. You may be wondering where the Jack Daniels comes in. In my experience whiskey always enhances the process of building and/or destroying things…in this case both.
3.     A bottle. This may be the most logical of the choices and will segue perfectly into my next point but instead of an expensive dinner and some arbitrary piece of jewelry spent on a significant other, why not team up with a few pals, lord over a table at a trendy bar and feed shots to a few women who are just as lonely as you. This could still have a happy ending.

The thing is, everyone has had heartbreak. Everyone has had a failed relationship and there is some girl out there that makes you physically ill at the thought of her with another guy. So you can be a whiny little bitch on Valentine’s Day and use your tears as lubrication as you masturbate to the memories or you can pay it forward and make some other guy physically ill by taking down his ex on Valentine’s Day. Seriously, you are doing all parties involved a favor. You’re providing companionship to a member of the opposite sex, you’re building your own self-confidence and everyone is moving towards a more relevant interpretation of what this joke of a holiday is really about.

Some call it singles night, some call it a romantic holiday, in all actuality it is an excuse to get hammered on a Tuesday, nothing more nothing less. Whether you choose to get a big single group together and do a fun drinking dinner, go out and try to crush it with your boys or stay in with a bottle of merlot watching Glee, nothing will change in the morning. Except maybe you will get paid (which would recoup some of your losses from a late night at the strip club.) Maybe you’ll kick a random out of bed and have a good story for the break room, but even your coworkers will be sick of that tale by noon. The overarching point here is don’t get too worked up about it. Unless you look like the elephant man you could have love in your life if you really wanted it. Hell even if you look like the elephant man, there is an elephant woman out there looking for you. You’re single because you decided it was better to have a toilet TV than to buy a pair of those stupid channel earrings that everyone already has anyway.

Stand up for it. Own your loneliness. Your counterpart is out there right now. She’s wearing her most expensive dress and heels. She just wants someone to tell her she’s pretty tonight. She doesn’t want anything long term either. She could perfectly well have a boyfriend but decided it was too much work “checking in” on a girls trip to Vegas. But tonight is just a Tuesday night where you invite her to your table and exchange the right smile…a match made by cupid himself.

Friday, February 10, 2012

With a little Yelp from my friends

Yelp is a great idea in theory. A bunch of like minded people will review everything from Pet day spas to trendy night clubs. It's an extremely effective tool if you are new to a city trying to check out something new. I love the price breakdown in $ signs, the hours, contact information for said venue, it's extremely convenient when I am attempting to make a cursory decision on where to go on a given evening. I appreciate the Yelp format and it's employees I give them 10 points.

However, the people that let me down on Yelp are the reviewers, and I had to imagine this would be the case. People let me down every day of the week, but I thought that there would be some reviewer like me on Yelp. But people like me do not Yelp. Wannabe foodies and embittered customers Yelp and I guess the gays, of course they do...and a lot of girls do it too but they just aren't going after what I'm going after.

Here is an example of what I am talking about. Here is the situation, last night I was considering on going to this newish trendy bar (yep it's in a hotel lobby) called Churchill. It's your standard $10 a drink place in LA...not really my ideal scene on a Thursday, but whatever, there's nothing but attractive people there and I don't like poverty. That said, I hopped on Yelp to read a bit about it, maybe there is some mysterious special on a Thursday night that I can take advantage of. 1/2 price whiskey ginger ales or some weird shit like that. I was treated to the following review.

What a lovely place to go to after a hard day at work.

I enjoyed the happy hour and had Chardonnay while I talked to and go to know the wonderful bartenders there.  Kudos to Lindsay, Brody, Andrew, Mark, and that fine ass Daniel for keeping me good company and wonderful customer service.  Also, thank you Joel, for your wonderful leadership.

When it comes to the nightlife, it's WONDERFUL.  So many gorgeous people (men and women) both.  Nice vibes, great music, and just good times.  Gentlemen, you must wear pants after dinner...even though I slipped up in shorts once ;-) I might have to dress up in drag to show my legs now. Haha.

Enjoy the wonderful ambiance and the setting located in the heart of 3rd Street.


J.T. Chestnut

What. The. Fuck.

OK aside from the fact that this guy cannot write for shit and used the adjective "wonderful" 6 times in 2 paragraphs, this entire diatribe revolves around the fact that he is super gay and wants to show Daniel his penis. That's fine, I'm down with the gays, ya I still call my friends fags once in a while but I'm conscious of the fact that it's wrong. That said, JT didn't tell me shit about this place. Attractive people and the existence of a happy hour, ok but what is it? Can I get a half price bottle of wine Crazy Horse style? Do they serve nachos extra late if I am drunk and hungry...and how the fuck did you manage to acquire the names of six employees AND the hierarchy of their positions? Did you walk in and interview each staffer? Were you trying to use your charm for some free drinks? Or were you just trying to get Brody, Andrew, Mark and Joel to put in a good word for you with Daniel? JT, you failed me.

Next we have Bobby from West Hollywood. Let's see what he thinks about the Churchill.

If you frequently use the term "hot spot" and dress like a 15 year old hipster and tuck your boots into your pants, wear a fedora with a mustache, and go to all the SBE clubs, then this is definitely your place.

But if you're not a dushbag, or you're classy, then you will not enjoy it here.

Bobby must have not had quite the experience JT had. And either Bobby is using a creative spelling to get around some sort of content sensor or there is some sort of new insult called the dushbag that I must immediately research.

This review is also trash, not because I despise his sophomoric attempt at trolling the bar, but again because he has told me nothing. If I go to Mystudio and Eden (Hollywood sbe clubs, stereotypical LA) I will enjoy partying in this Beverly Hills adjacent hotel bar? Why? What's the correlation, they don't even play music at Churchill. Did you go out and get a girl scooped from you after you had spent $200 on her already that night. I agree that's the worst, but by no means is taking to Yelp with a personal vendetta going to give you the catharsis you so desperately seek.

Let's see what Jasmine thought about Churchill.

I came here randomly one night because my friend lives literally around the block (lucky bastard) and he had just moved in and not explored the area much yet. To live so close to so many good food places...AND Magnolia Bakery right across the street....I am envious beyond belief haha. Anyway, we literally walked around the block because we were hungry and decided this place was happening and got ourselves seated quite easily.

The Churchill has very cool architecture and design to it. Sleek and sheik and slightly modern yet rustic, the place looks like a pretty nice place to hang out at the bar. They have a nice patio outside with a fire pit and an upstairs area as well. Dimly lit inside, it could be construed as romantic. I probably wouldn't mind coming here to chill, but the food was just okay.

We ordered the duck confit pizza, which was unique. Thin crust and crispy with argula sprinkled on top with duck pieces--though the duck flavor wasn't very strong. I thought it was good, but it didn't blow my mind.  It was a pretty big pizza, though, so you can definitely share this. We also ordered a Churchill burger, which was also generous in size. It was good as well, but at the end of the day, it's just a burger. I probably wouldn't be craving it.

Service wasn't great, but I think it's because they get soo busy and crowded. And it's pretty loud inside so it gets a little hard to hear the person across the table from you. All in all, I might give this place another try if I'm in the area again...but I think I'd rather eat somewhere else first.

Jasmine has at least given us a solid effort. But there are a few things she needs to learn, I don't give a fuck why you went...I'm not going to take your foodie advice as scripture, though I'm glad the duck wasn't ducky enough for your liking. Also, keep it under 100 words. I'm trying to read several reviews to get a good temperature on the place in addition to the requisite three stars is has received overall.

I guess what I really want is some bare facts. I don't want people telling me "unless you are a frat boy and like to pick off incoherent girls, avoid." Maybe that's right up my alley. I don't need your audition piece that you sent to LA Restaurants Monthly, I just want your elevator pitch on this place.

I went to Churchill and spent about $70 in three hours. Happy hour is half off wine ($12 a glass to $6 a glass,) ends at 7. Cool spot to "get a drink" or a late dinner not as great for going out. Food looked good but, whatever. If you are trying to impress a girl on a first date this could work, if you are trying to get loaded and find a single girl to take home and fuck, I would try elsewhere.

See that up there? That's exactly what I want. Perhaps BroBible needs a new bar review section for people like me. People that want to know, can I wear flip flops, is this restaurant byob? Can I get drunk and still pay rent next week? Is that girl really into me or is she a prostitute? You know, just a few of the essentials. I love you Yelp but until you can control the wannabe freak shows responsible for your content I think we may need to take a break.

Now friends, find out which bar had the review about frat guys wanting to take advantage of blacked out undergrads and enjoy your weekend.

Site News: Monday Night Lights

Quite possibly the biggest lie in the history of advertising was ESPN's Monday Night Football campaign from the past few years "Is it Monday yet?" Who the fuck looks forward to Monday's? I don't care if my favorite team is playing on MNF it doesn't make up for the fact that it's Monday. I can appreciate the effort that has been made throughout the years to make Monday suck a little less. We get several bank holidays a year on Monday, national championships for both football and basketball are on Mondays. Depending on the time of year there may be good tv on. But even if you have a fun non-working Monday your Tuesday will then take on the burden of the shitty day that you have to brave your hangover and go back to work.

It's a vicious cycle you see. People get hammered on Sundays because they don't want to give up on the weekend. You've still get a chance to have fun one more day before you get raped by the brutal realities of the world for 5 consecutive days before the next brief reprieve the following Friday. This in turn adds to a lack of sleep, complete lack of preparation for the week and general dread that leaves me unable to sleep on Sunday evenings. I find myself often making deals with myself at 5 oclock in the morning on Monday morning, "Well, I'll just lay here for another 2 hours and then I'll get in the shower." I pray for time to slow down so I can just stay in bed forever.

And then you blink and its fucking 7:30 and you are running late.

But then it's Monday night. You survived. Ya, you would have preferred to lay in bed all day but you survived work and now you get to do all the lazy shit that you should have done Sunday before you decided to go to a Superbowl party and play 6 consecutive hours of Civil War shouting that the South will rise again. But what really happens is you get home at 7 o clock and say "fuck that" I'm laying on the couch for 4 hours and then going to bed.

And this is why laundry never gets done.

Sometimes I'm even too lazy to watch TV, I'll just set my twitter timeline to refresh every 2 minutes or so and stare at the screen. I could be writing a fun short or pumping iron at the gym or god forbid shopping for an actual bed no. I'm a 25 year old who lives on a mattress with 1 fitted sheet and a body pillow. That's quality living right there. 

Anyway sorry about the rant. You will notice a few changes, I'm working on a better layout, and there is now a mobile version for those of you who can't read on your work computer now the interface for reading whilst you visit the bathroom should be a tad bit more accommodating.

I'm also going to post some other content on here. Believe it or not, I may be writing for some other publications in the near future and sometimes I write little shorts that I would like to share with the world. So if you are just here for the "fucks" and the commitment to staying 19 forever, I apologize in advance. But to everyone else, pat yourself on the back. You survived Monday and tomorrow is the 6th best day of the week!