Thursday, March 29, 2012

500 million things to do before you die

There is a 99 cent store at 7th and Rose near where I live. One day curiosity got the better of me and I strolled in to see what type of wares they were peddling. I assumed it would be similar to your standard dollar store that sold trinkets and extremely shitty paper towels and the like. What I found was mind blowing: 2 liters of Pepsi, boxes of Orville Redenbacher popcorn (my fave) multipacks of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and giant bags of Lays Kettle chips, even Penn tennis ball sleeves. These same items would run me 2 to 3 times as much at a regular grocery store. There has to be a logical explanation for this. Perhaps this is the Pepsi that gets rejected or fails a bunch of taste tests. Maybe those Lays chips were subjected to rats. I picked up a few items and I couldn’t tell a discernible difference. Then I thought about it harder and I realized, I really don’t give a shit about quality.

I have done such a 180 since high school. I used to refuse to go grocery shopping with my mom if she went to Walmart because I thought that if someone spotted us they would think that my dad lost his job or something. Now I wish there were a place where I could get the 2 buck chuck bottles that didn’t pass Trader Joe’s standards and I could get it for a dollar. (Have I mentioned that the sales of 2 buck Chuck are illegal in Venice because it makes it too affordable for the bums to black out and become unruly) So yes, I will frequently shop at the 99 cent store in my Burberry coat, because it’s more important to me to pay 9 dollars for a beer on a Friday night at a bar than to pay more than 99 cents for my soap.

Speaking of the power of a dollar, I have been giving some thought today about what I would do if I could turn one into $500 million. Ah yes, the Megamillions jackpot is at a half billion dollars right now.  It’s all any lower middle class person can talk about, but like it or not, I live right around the poverty line so fuck it I’m going to talk about it too.

First of all, everyone is going about it wrong. Inevitably whoever wins this jackpot is going to have one shot at fame. Some news reporter will come to your house and ask you what you are going to do with your new fortune. Now telling the reporter that you are “going to pay off your student loans, buy your parents a house, give some money to the church and take a vacation” may be the answer America wants…but its fucking weak. How boring is that? You just became part of the 1% and you are going to pay back your student loans? Boring.

No. What you do is tell that reporter I am flying all my friends to Vegas and we are going on a hooker fueled bender. Now you just became the biggest news story on the planet. “New 25 year old lottery winner vows drinking, drugs, prostitution with winnings.” This sends America into an uproar, what an asshole right? The economy is fucked, people are starving and this jackass is taking his friends to Vegas. This inevitably gets you enough buzz to go on a late night talk show, let’s say Fallon. He asks you a question like “so you are going to spend all your money on hookers and Vegas?” Then you reply, “Come on Jimmy, when you have half a billion dollars do you really think you have to pay women to sleep with you? I was just fucking around.” You go on to talk about how you are just a regular dude that stumbled into some money and instead of trying to save the world you are going to go rage.

Now you’ve established yourself as an every man and America forgives you, but you become famous among twentysomething males.

When it comes to purchases, sure I would have a house on every continent, I would fly to a different country for dinner once a week and I would never work a day the rest of my life, I would finance independent films so I could hang out with movie stars and I would go to clubs in flip flops and buy bottles like a fucking boss.

I would start a charity to pay the legal fees of frat guys with public intox or duis, throw yacht parties off the coasts of really busy beaches to make everyone jealous. I would buy all of the grape and cherry Kamchatka left in the world…scratch that, I would buy Kamchatka and start mass producing grape and cherry at college campuses again. I would build my alma matter a 100 million dollar frat castle complete with a moat. I would probably also document my every purchase…it would kind of be like an r rated blank check. Long story short, I would unabashedly do whatever the fuck I wanted and tell anyone that stood in my way to blow me.

Sure it sounds like I would live a very shallow existence, but at least it is an honest one. The reason people hate the Kardashians so much isn’t because they are rich for no apparent reason it’s the bullshit associated. When Kim runs her mouth about how she is a business woman and she works so hard blah blah blah I just want to shoot her. If she came out and said ya, you know I fucked Ray J, I’m pretty attractive and I get paid just to exist, I can’t hate that. If I could go have interracial sex right now and get 3 tv shows out of it I would head straight to Compton.

It’s an exercise in futility though, I’ll probably never win 500 million dollars…I’ll probably never make more than $150,000 in a year the rest of my life. But it is fun to sit back and see what kind of person you are, apparently I’m a self absorbed dick who likes to get fucked up, but who didn’t know that already. But until I strike it big, I’ll be shopping at the dollar store, and maybe after too…I don’t give a fuck about quality, just about excess. Do you ever wonder what kind of person you would be with unlimited money? It’s kind of like having a super power. Would you use it for good or for evil? I would use it for bro. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


My life often takes a very cyclical approach. Every Friday, I flip the switch to rage, and go on a 72 hour bender with no regard for my future, my well being or anyone but myself. I am selfish, I have a hidden agenda, I'm hedonistic, I’m the worst. But because I am fun, and honest about this people tend to forgive me. The next stage is the hangover/anxiety stage. This comes about Sunday nights and I get really upset. Part of me wants to keep partying, extend the weekend, don’t give up on the fun. The other part of me is consumed with dread, waking up in 7 hours and getting ready for a full week of work. Because obviously you always tell yourself you will plan for your week Sunday evening, perhaps do the prudent thing and make a list of goals to accomplish, but then someone has the bright idea to do bloodys and brunch and you find yourself drooling on the couch at 1 in the morning realizing that how bad you will it to happen you still have to wait a full week for another episode of Mad Men/Eastbound/Californication etc. So you go to bed, you don’t really sleep because of your extreme anxiety about how ill prepared you are to get curb stomped by the realities of the real world in a few short hours…

But somehow you figure it out. You take a scalding hot shower at 6 in the morning, almost melting your skin off, you drink 7 cups of coffee and on pure adrenaline you make it through your Monday. Onward to step 3: the depression. This is when you think about your life from a mature perspective, you are out of endorphins for the week so nothing but negative thoughts consume you. When will I stop behaving like a child? People around me are financially stable, and upwardly mobile. I should get a girlfriend…Jesus why is Monday tv so bad. I am unhappy, I should move home. This phase is miserable to go through, but it kind of serves an important purpose, it kicks your ass into gear a little bit. So you go crush it at work on Tuesday and you are feeling a little better. By the end of Wednesday you are feeling like a fucking Greek god,  you are ready to rewrite the employee manual to success, why was I being such a whiny bitch. I call this the return to form. Phase 4…and by Thursday night if you aren’t at karaoke with your friends or playing Softball it’s because you are resting up for a particularly epic weekend…Friday afternoon comes along and we start the cycle over.

Based on those numbers I spend roughly 4/7 of my life happy. I think it’s fair to chalk Monday up as a universal loss across the board. No one will ever like Mondays. Sunday night anxiety, it exists too…I have conducted field research and everyone is a little on edge as they lay down Sunday night. But there has to be a better way to fill those early week nights that I often find myself wallowing in my own misery, crying in the dark, wondering where my life went wrong. I thought for a while that I just need roommates. At least if we lay on the couch together we won’t be alone. Twas a novel hypothesis, but I had to reject it. Doing something depressing with others, does not necessarily make it exciting. If anything, it compounds the sadness.

Then one day I was walking down the beach, debating whether or not to pull a Norman Maine (I’ll save you the google search, this is a reference to committing suicide via walking into the ocean and drowning. A Star is Born 1954) and I see a group of people playing dodgeball on the beach. Well that’s fucking cool, I wish I had a group of friends that played dodgeball on the beach on Tuesday nights. Their leader caught me leering and invited me to play. Fuck ya I want to play. After an hour or so we all went to a local bar and grabbed some beers, it was like the best Tuesday night ever. As I was about to formally ask the group to adopt me as one of their friends I saw a couple of the members exchanging phone numbers. That’s weird I thought, why wouldn’t these good buddies have each other’s number? Then a girl reached her hand across the table and introduced herself…wait? How do you all know each other?

“We don’t man, that was a meet up.”

What the fuck is a meet up?

More or less there are a lot of people that want to do shit but can’t find people to do it because their friends are lame or they are new to the city, so it is basically a social network that connects people with shared interests to do fun stuff.

Obviously my mind was blown. It takes a lot for me to ask a group of strangers if I can join them in something, I don’t know if it’s fear of rejection instilled in my mind from when I was 8 years old and the older neighborhood kids wouldn’t let me play or what, but that shit just doesn’t fly with me…but if I can just like respond yes to an open call-out…I’m there all fucking day.

I delved into this mysterious world of “meet-ups” they really have it all. There is no reason to stay in ever unless you really want to. Meet-ups for people who want to go see the Hunger Games and then drink whiskey afterward and talk about it? Check. Meet-ups for people who want to play beach volleyball and then go get a medium rare steak dinner? O ya… Meet-ups for people who had a rough day and want to get shit canned on a Wednesday? Definitely.

Now, I surmise these meet-ups are a tool to expand your network of friends, and sure there are probably some weirdos out there. I bet it tends to be a bit awkward when the creepy meet-up guy asks you for your number and you have to tell him, I don’t think we should see each other again. (Girls must have to do this after bad dates all the time, the idea is excruciatingly painful) I’m sure eventually it will just turn into a means of finding new groups of chicks to bang, but like honestly right now I’m just an innocent user trying to replace my Monday-Wednesday mental funk with some putt putt or laser tag. I don’t see anything wrong with that at all…and if I develop a love for spear fishing out of it or Persian speed dating? So be it. Because coastal ocean kayaking with others is better than coastal ocean kayaking alone.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Twas the night before...

I think people are too hard on the Kardashians and reality stars of the world. Being a socialite isn't easy, and largely they are hated because they have some sort of money that people perceive them to have not earned. That's a fair point of view...I am outrageously envious of the lifestyles they live. I still think I fucked my whole life up by not going to Sports that one day Senior year and auditioning for the Real World. I think back then I was still idealistic enough to think that I would probably be in the private sector of corporate America making close to six figures by the time I was 25. Instead, I live in Oakwood, Venice and my parents still have to buy my flights home for holidays if they want to see me.

The last IU guy to graduate and immediately go on the Real World was Dave Giuntoli I think it was maybe Real World South Pacific? You may know him now as the lead on NBC's Grimm or as the gay soldier that died or something on Grey's Anatomy. While I realize I am not pretty enough to be an actor...I'm certain that if I got the chance to be on camera I would become a national treasure as one of the most despicable people in America and I could at least write books about it. Even if that shit didn't pan out I could at least be in Cancun right now on MTV's dime...banging chicks like that one IU girl that transferred after banging the devil Acapulco '07.

But I digress. I didn't leave the shingles porch that day (or the inflatable pool rather) because I thought that  the "ripped off shirt, stapled back together, holding a handle of Burnett's" look was enough for me to score with a Sophomore that couldn't get into Kilroy's...and that's why I will never be famous.

But fortunately for me, I live in an exciting time and place where distractions can save me from the unfulfilled dreams of what could have been. One such distraction of late has been the meteoric rise of Indiana basketball. To be completely honest, ever since the meltdown that occurred while I was occupying Italy, I have pretty much lost touch with the team. Going into this season, I decided to become a megafan because quite frankly I didn't have many friends and the thought of going to a bar with like minded people was better than drinking alone.

Seemingly out of nowhere, we were this good team...and I had legendary days at Nikki's (Venice) when we beat Kentucky, I literally threw a Joe's on Weed New Year's Eve, I believe I poured a pitcher on the person next to the Parlor in Hollywood when we housed Purdue...that was kickback to Kirkwood LA edition day, I think I had 7 Hairy Bears. In the meantime I have become a more knowledgeable sports fan than I have been since high school when I would spend by days on ESPN instead of doing homework. I know commenter handles on Inside the Hall...I know about this dude Tijan that played for the team when we were bad that everyone still loves because he was famously bad. I get all of the Fake Tom Pritchard's Daniel Moore jokes...I'm no longer bandwagon...I'm a fucking fan.

However, while the masses are all cheering for banner number 6, talking about Tom Crean as the reincarnation of Christ and touting tomorrow night's game as the battle between good and evil, I want to win for one simple reason: I don't want the party to stop.

Sure the Pacers and Blackhawks are having decent seasons, but neither seem to be a major contender in the playoffs, and regardless there is nothing more pure than the college basketball win. Although, I lived in Chicago and was actually employed by the Pacers I have a hard time taking ownership in either team. I fucking went to IU. I have a degree from there, and it represents (so far) the happiest time of my life. When I get to go to a bar and rip it with people that feel the same, I get to live vicariously through my former self and I forget for 2 hours the bullshit that I hate about growing up. When Jordy hits a 3, I'm not worried about paying rent, I'm worried about who I can cheers first. When Cody slams one home, I'm not worried about my hectic upcoming work week, I'm only concerned about where the after party is. So Hoosiers, while I think it is awesome that we are winning basketball games, I beg you, don't let the ride end. Not yet. What am I going to do 2 Mondays from now if you guys are a book? Work late? No, I need you to force fun activities for me...when you guys beat Kentucky tomorrow night that night will not only be immortal for you, but for everyone out there like incredible night that no one will ever forget. You remember where you were when Christian hit that first 3? Of course you do...but I bet you won't know where you are the morning after Christian hits the next game winner.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Hunger Games

I haven't written anything in a week or so and there is a very simple excuse. I write some legit stuff, sometimes. I have like 3 stalled novels, a pilot and a screenplay. I work on them for like 3 months and then I get bored or decide they aren't any good, or I drink a bottle of wine on a "writing night" and I just end up watching Jersey Shore or some shit. You know how it goes. Everything is easier than writing. Reading, watching TV, cooking, taking 45 minutes shits whilst playing family feud. The way I convince myself that this is ok is that most aspiring screenwriters are in their 30's at least. I don't have a prayer of getting anything greenlit until then. But then some little shit like Max Landis writes Chronicle and I get upset, because he is my age, and I could have written that instead of him. But it's ok, he has a famous dad...I use that excuse a lot too. Well if I had a famous dad I would have something published by not, or at least a Writers' Guild card.

But this most recent plot line from Californication with Cappie from Greek becoming this killer screenwriter has made me jealous. I'm a douche, I'm bro-y, I could write screenplays about fucking Hank Moody's daughter. Wait, scratch that. I couldn't she is a heinous cave troll and it offends me that the guy that was banging Kelsey Grammer's smokeshow daughter has fallen to Becca Moody. Oh well at least he cheats on her like whoa, she must be good at giving dome. (What ever happened to Black Rob?)

Onward to the meat of the post. The Hunger Games movie opens this weekend and I am genuinely excited. Not excited in the way I pretended to be for the Twilight movies (I never read them and still haven't seen Breaking Dawn, I was just there for the sparkly Team Jacob shirts and the 13 year old girls) like I am going batshit insane. I read all 3 during my unemployment bender last summer and have been making Katniss Everdeen references ever since because I knew one day it would be cool. Today is that day.

But before I go on a diatribe about how I would sell 49% of my soul to bang Jennifer Lawrence, or how I explain that Gale is infinitely better than that little faggot Peeta, let me say this. I wish the Hunger Games were real. I wish the Running Man was real. I wish Death Race was real. Television programming these days is absolutely atrocious and I think I would get a real kick out of watching 16 year old underprivileged children kill each other. It's like rooting for celebrity drug overdoses, it gives you something to talk about. Are you still whining over Whitney's death? Bah. It made for an entertaining hour on Twitter and you fucking know it. Plus if the Hunger Games were real I would probably be a Capitol Guard anyway...or whatever, I would compete and either die a martyr or win.

Anyway, if you are unfamiliar with the story...let me give you a brief synopsis. An ugly duckling type of girl and her best guy friend (Gale...bro) are like woodsy bad asses. They are both super poor and live in the equivalent of rural West Virginia. The girl's little sister gets picked to participate in this preteen death match, said older girl takes her place and death match begins.

There is a government uprising and Lenny Kravitz is involved, it gets a little weird for a while, but what inevitably happens is when the main character shows up to the "capitol" and shaves her armpits and legs for the first time, it's like holy fucking shit, this girl is a ten. Clearly, platonic best guy friend has wanted to fuck her the whole time, and so does this guy involved in the death match (Peeta...whiny bitch) triangle ensues. You can see where this is going, it's vampires and werewolves all over again, except this time with BRUTAL PRETEEN VIOLENCE. (The love triangle isnt resolved until a 2 page epilogue at the end of the 3rd book...sorry)

The best character in the entire story is Woody Harrelson however. He is a future version of me...cirosis of the liver and all...he is a 40 year old ex champion (oh by the way the winner of the death match is revered as a god the rest of their life) who can't get out of bed in the morning without a full bottle of Jack Daniels. Each participant gets a coach...Woody (Haymitch) is Katniss' coach. When he's not vomiting on her at dinner or falling off trains, he's actually pretty skilled in the art of war.

I'll allow you to draw your own conclusions about the characters as you see the film, but I strongly recommend reading the first book before you do. It will take you about 4 hours and then you can be one of those snobs walking out after the film that complains that the book was better. I really hope they didn't phone it in with all the gratuitous violence or I will be sorely disappointed. But check it out and root for my man gail this weekend and may the odds be ever in your favor.

By the way, this is how I give notes on source material...I probably wouldn't be a good assistant for MP Lit.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Staying in

I'm planning a party this weekend for a roommate's birthday. But it's also kind of like a rush party, I am going to be hitting on all of my friends to come join my growing faction on the west wide. See, I tried the Hollywood scene, but I am not Jewish nor wealthy enough to make that happen, and at the end of the day I work for a frat newspaper. That doesn't hold a ton of weight in "the industry." So when you try your hand at something and you don't fit in, you build something better and cooler and then crush the competition. Who the fuck was still rolling around with ATO my senior year? I rest my case. But needless to say, I want this party to be epic. I want everyone to walk away struggling as they pick the pieces of their brain off the ground after their mind is blown and think "Ya, the west side is pretty rad, I'm moving there tomorrow." Now I realize that my party won't compare to what went down in North Pasadena, but I look forward to people cutting loose...taking shots, doing keg stands, maybe two bros ripping their shirts off and getting in a fight. This is not par for the course out here.

In fact, I received an email asking if their would be vegetarian food options...please direct your attention to the following block quote and ask yourself if you think this is the type of party that will have vegan food options.

We will be providing a limited amount of booze and (comment redacted) and depending how hungover I am from Friday night I may go to the store to get some shit to grill...don't bet on it though. 

Are you fistfucking me? No there will not be veggie options. There will be 12 dollar handles of vodka, some kegs and a box of frat patties. Maybe I'll get some kettle chips or something, does that count? But that whole attitude is wrong anyway. This is not a dinner party, this is a "let's wake up in a ditch" party. This is a party where you don't wear your nice lingerie, because you are going to wake up in a stranger's room wearing his tshirt and a pair of shorts, and you are going to get the fuck out of there before he wakes up and it's awkward. How do I ingrain this lifestyle into these people? This is just how it works. THIS is fun. "Oh grow up, college is over!" Fuck you.

And then there are these people. The "Oh, I'll try to make it, but I was planning on staying in this Saturday." Really? You plan that shit? "I have a massive hangover from several controlled substances, I am bedridden." That's fine. "The risk of my recent Irritable Bowel Syndrome is too much of a social risk tonight." Noted, no one wants to be the party pooper. Even "that sounds cool, but I've got a better offer, my girlfriend and I are going to a party in the hills and Megan Fox wants to have a threesome." Fine you can totally diss my party, every man for themselves, Ayn Randian selfishness, do what will maximize your happiness. I would do the same.

But..."I'm having dinner with friends on Friday and then staying in Saturday," is totally unacceptable. Who the fuck do you think you are? You are "above" having fun. You're too mature to let loose and get rip shit wasted. You know what, YOU grow the fuck up. Who do you think you are impressing with that lame shit. Do you think there is a group of people that is going to think to themselves at the party, "Oh, Jenna stayed in? What an adult decision of her. That is fiscally responsible, and probably good for her overall health." No, they say "what a fucking loser pass that gravity bong."

Have you ever asked someone how their weekend was and they reply, really relaxing? Do you know why people say this? Two reasons, either they didn't do shit and want to make it sound palatable or they went on a coke bender and they aren't quick enough on their feet to tell you an alternate story. Staying in isn't relaxing, it's fucking hell. You keep envisioning all the fun that your friends are having that you are missing out on. There isn't shit on tv, your roommates keep bugging you and if you resort to drinking alone to survive the night you are a double loser.

There are a million excuses but I have a million and 1 comebacks. "I don't have any money." Down a bottle of rubbing alcohol before you go out. "But I don't trust myself when I'm drunk." Leave your credit card at home. "I'm overweight, alcohol is empty calories." Go for a fucking job. "I'm upset, I'm having relationship issues." I don't give a fuck, SACK UP, BURY YOUR EMOTIONS AND GO FIND A SLUMPBUSTER!

I realize this all sounds very childish to a lot of you. I must seem like a fucking caveman in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Just stuck right in the middle of social and esteem. But maybe I am self-actualized. Maybe I am more advanced than any of you because I'll take off my mask and spit the truth to you. I often hide behind this keyboard and portray this over the top fictionalized version of myself. But the truth is my current goals have nothing to do with getting married, becoming a father or writing an oscar winning screenplay. I aspire to get hammered this weekend and have a good time. So you can understand why staying in won't necessarily get me to where I want to be. However, if you make a list of SMART goals today and realize that to get a promotion at work it is prudent that you spend Saturday night watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, by all means, do it. You keep chasing your dreams...I'll be busy living mine.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Venetian

I notice I acquired a new blog follower recently, an investigative reporter no less. I believe this presents one of three scenarios. 1. She is currently working on a piece about what is wrong with Generation Y and I am being cited as one of the chief reasons. 2. She is just a big fan of quality writing. 3. My conservative message is getting through and Fox is just supporting one of their own. In any event, welcome, now on with the post.

If I keep singing the praises of Venice, I'm sure my readers will likely bore, but I'm serious when I say that there is no place like it in the world. It is the only place I have ever lived where the people are a walking caricature of the stereotypes of which they are associated. Let me attempt to explain.

I have lived in Indianapolis, Chicago, Italy, Bloomington and now California. In Indianapolis an outsider might expect local pub talk to be about the season's crop yield and the current IRL standings. Now while I do not dismiss that people in Indianapolis have an affinity for racing, you won't see that many people out on the lake near where I grew up wearing Penske hats and chewing tobacco. Nor would you necessarily expect to see mass corruption on the streets of Chicago, laziness in Italy or heroin in Baltimore.

I understand that all stereotypes are based in some sort of truth. Chicago has had it's fair share of corrupt politicians and an out of town friend who has their entire opinion of Indianapolis based off of the Coke lot might think that their suspicions are validated. That said, while I use stereotypes because they are often humorous and taboo, I tend not to put much stalk in it. I've spent the last 10 years trying to defend the honor of Indianapolis and while the stereotype might not be as offensive as a Jew being cheap or black athletes being stupid, it is something I have attempted to thwart for many years...fucking Chicago kids.

Anyway, when I moved to LA, I knew that I wasn't in for daily celebrity sightings, blonde bombshells on the beach and a life of fun in the sun. In actuality the people you see at the beach are poor and unemployed, the only reason they go there is because it's free. And most of the people you see at Hollywood clubs are out of work actors blowing their barista tips or simply pissing away their trust funds because out here it is commonly accepted that perception is reality. This is why so many movie stars go broke and declare bankruptcy, because they have to keep the illusion alive.

Then there is Venice, completely unlike anything else in LA, it's a blue collar beach town policed by the bums that occupy its boardwalks and beaches. Lined by homeless street performers and shady "doctors," you probably won't find a more liberal square mile in America. Every hippie with a handful of brain cells left over from the 60's apparently spent the next 50 years slowly making their way down the coast from San Francisco to this eccentric neighborhood of Los Angeles.

At least this is what you would assume...well you would be completely right. For a while now I've felt like I'm kind of the bad boy in the blogosphere, at least the worst person you know. I say "fuck" and make drug innuendos and talk about women like they are objects invented so bros can have topics of conversation and high five in the morning...but the most raw moment of my life happened to me last night at 6pm outside my new house.

"Hey man, is there any stuff around here?"
This Bubbles looking motherfucker asked me as I parked my car. Now take into consideration I had just drank throughout the entire IU/Purdue game and taken a flask into Project X, I wasn't thinking that clearly, perhaps this would have been a tad more apparent to a sober version of myself.
"What stuff around here? Do you want money or something?"
"No I'm looking for some shit, it's supposed to be around this address."
"Like a fucking restaurant, a bar, a liquor store?"
"Looking for a fix man."

At this time my old black neighbor sprints out of his house with a broom and chases the 2 disheveled men away.

At this point, I just really want to go inside and watch Eastbound and Down, but I have a vested interest in this story now, so who exactly is this man, and why did he just chase away the white men with cleaning supplies.

Well it turns out my neighbor is kind of the elder statesmen of the block, he has personally been trying to clean it up for a few years now. Kind of like if you recast the film Walking Tall with Danny Glover. And oh by the way, those dudes were looking for heroin, his son was their dealer before he kicked him out.

So this is like some real life "The Wire" shit. I have a heroin operation on my block, a watchful old man, who is protecting the streets, but I can't help but think it is the most ridiculous scenario in the world. This of course begs the question, can heroin addicts and bros coexist? Will a bunch of white kids drinking and blaring music until 5am upset the fragile balance that exists in Venice. Does this mean noise complaints are a thing of the past because the LAPD only fucks with Venice for homicides and massive drug operations? Why the fuck are there 9 wealthy 20something girls living in this complex if it isn't that safe? Will I have to join a gang?

It is unlikely that I will deal with any of this because of racial barriers and social norms. If you have read any books on the economics of crime, you will learn that it is highly unlikely for unprovoked attacks to happen to a non-gang affiliated non-minority person in an area of's basically because the media will go apeshit about a white kid getting shanked by a Mexican gangbanger and that will in turn put pressure on the police to solve the crime. Thus, it is much easier to stab a rival gangbanger in a drug deal gone wrong because society gives much less of a shit about that homey.

I do like the stigma though that I kind of live in a rough area now, an area where people don't think twice about asking me where the heroin hook-up is, and as long as I'm 6'3, white and not alone I don't think I have much to worry about. Of much more paramount concern is when I am going to learn to surf and/or acquire a bicycle.

I do find myself wondering though when I see some of Venice's finest. What the fuck happened to this guy? Did he just get drunk one too many Sundays, call in sick one too many Monday's lose his job, beginning a downward spiral that resulted in this? Did these guys think once upon a time they were going to change the world but their partying got in the way of chasing life's dreams? Eh, they were probably crack babies are some shit, I don't mean to stereotype but the difference between being a bro and being homeless is that ability to toe the line between bender and addiction...some people are just born with it.