Saturday, December 27, 2014

...twas the night before christmas

I grew up going to church most Sundays and then always doing Youth Group that night. Youth group was basically a thing for teens on Sunday nights where you would eat dinner and then just kinda hang out. Good wholesome fun. Sometimes we would do a canned food drive, others we would just go play mini-golf. Youth Group was the shit because it was one last thing on the weekend agenda before you had to return to school the next day. There were two major events every year...the youth takeover was a service the kids would put on when the minister was out of town, and we also had a winter lock-in.

In 6th grade I was far from the social elite at Belzer Middle School, but I was certainly starting five at the Geist Christian Church youth group. I had written and directed a series of skits for the youth takeover the previous summer drawing metaphors to faith. I even orchestrated a wrap party for the youth group afterward. We had unlimited pizza SO many 2 liters of Coke and someone even brought a Nintendo 64 and Mario Kart. To this day it's probably the best wrap party I've ever been to. In fact I'll take a moment now to dispel some rumors.

The Hollywood wrap party is a myth. It was the thing I was most excited about when I moved to LA, but it's typically just an open bar with a bunch of old people and their wives/husbands/domestic partners/kids and you have to pretend to that you're thrilled to see everyone. Even the elusive Saturday Night Live after parties are pretty watered down. I had a friend go a few weeks ago, and from what I can recall, it was just at a fucking restaurant. Each cast member had a table with unlimited food and drink...but that was it. I had visions of a 100,000 square foot post-modern condo in Manhattan with several dozen pounds of cocaine. Everyone taking body shots off of hookers and ice luges with liquid heroin. If that's not the wrap party awaiting me, I'm not even sure I want to be famous anymore...but I digress.

So the lock-in. There was this youth group chick that was getting a reputation for making out with a lot of dudes. I was 13. I had not kissed a girl yet. Someone told me that this girl "thought I was hot" so I decided I would go for it the night of the youth group lock-in. Sometime after the Secret Santa gift exchange I was going to ask this girl to "take a walk" and then I would have dropped some slick line and we would have found an abandoned closet and I totes would have gotten to second base. But for whatever reason, my secret santa gift that night was a giant bag of candy. I ate the whole thing, got violently ill, threw up everywhere and had to go home. A couple weeks later that girl moved away and I never kissed her or touched her boobs. Of course this behavior would have been SO scandalous. We were good churchgoing kids. NO SINNING!

But a funny thing happened, as I got older I stopped going to youth group. I was too cool. But I would see some of the kids out. They would be drinking, smoking, maybe using drugs. There were a handful having premarital sex, hell, I bet there was even an abortion in there. They were just normal kids, living their lives. Looking back on it, a few of those chicks turned out to be smoking hot. I blew it. Never should have quit youth group. Should have done plays in high school.

Fast forward to now, I'm sitting in church on Christmas Eve. I'm looking to see if any chicks are here, you know the youth group girls that turned out hot. Slim pickings. My brother is singing the hymns in the style of Bob Dylan. "Ohhhh Silent Night. Yaaaaa Holy Niiiiiight" He also uses his program to make random lists, tonight he is seeing how many Mortal Kombat characters he can name. I just choked on the grape juice and he whispered in my ear. "Choking on the blood of Christ??? You heathon!" And maybe I am because right before coming here I was sitting on the couch watching SNL,  trying to decide which member of 1D would be the best lay. The blonde one is probably the most attractive but I also kinda like the tatted up dude that looks like Adnan from Serial. Then again, Harry Styles would make me eskimo bros with Taylor Swift. Remember that old adage that every time you have unprotected sex with someone you have sex with ALL of their old partners? I think it was supposed to mean figuratively, in regards to STDs and what not...I imagine Harry has been around. Would you have sex with Harry Styles once if your reward was to then get to have sex with every chick he had ever banged? I bet he's even fucked some awesome dudes. British people just don't care.

It's no secret I've been bored this week in Indy. It's cold, I've been sleeping until noon and then coming downstairs to watch movies all day while I dress my cats in Christmas outfits (spoiler alert...they hate it) I even went out one night thinking 'hey, I'll go get hammered with some buddies and maybe bang an ex-girlfriend' but it's difficult to even do that anymore. Everyone is married and it rains a lot. So for the most part, I've been laying on a couch dreaming of 12 dollar kale salads and a juice bar. My mom's car is in the shop and my dad works, so I have been riding an old bike to Walgreens to get bourbon to make it through the Holidays. I've been sneaking it as not to raise concern from my parents. I've been cooking, I read two books, I haven't put on pants in 2 days and I have to be honest...

I fucking love it. There is a fundamental greatness to doing nothing. This whole week, no FOMO, no guilt. I wake up it's sleeting out and there is no car. Do you know how fantastic it is to say NOPE and go back to bed? No pressure to get out and go for a run? Au contraire, I can watch 8 hours of kung fu movies (Ip Man, The Raid 2, The Man of Tai Chi) and demand that my mom bring home Velveeta and Rotel so I can make queso dip. It's like magic. Dad, let's go to the IU game. Mom, dinner at Bakersfield on Mass Ave. Kevin, go get the cats Santa outfits. People are so eager to please a visiting family member. I looked on at everyone's Instagram and felt sorry for them. Oh man, you're in Aruba? That must be rough. If you sleep past 7am you'll feel like you are wasting your trip, and I bet you don't have a parent to go Grocery shopping for you while you lay in bed watching Love, Actually for the 781st time.

I don't think I've ever had a more relaxing week in my life. Christmas came and went, I got all the stuff I asked for (lift tickets and lots of fun socks) and now I'm back in LA and in 12 hours I'm going to Tahoe to rage my face off for 5 days. It was the week of nothing I needed, the week off I deserved. There is the rom com version of going home, where I would have reconnected with an old classmate and we would have gone ice skating and lived happily ever after...and there is the real world trip home, where I outlined this blog post on a note card during Christmas Eve service.

I've been critical of Indy and the midwest in general over the years, but I think I get it now. It's nice to slow things down. I bet those minor league hockey games kick ass, and it probably doesn't cost $200 to go. The hottest bar/restaurant in the city has 2 dollar PBRs or Dogfish 90 if you're feeling adventurous. People smile in the midwest. They decorate their homes for the holidays. They meet your eye and wish you a Happy Holiday and actually mean it. For the people that decided to couple off and hibernate during winters and take fun couply trips...I salute you. I chose a different path. In fact, it is conceivable that had I stayed in Youth Group all those years ago, maybe I would have found a nice wholesome girl to settle down with. Maybe we would be thinking about kids or a mortgage. But I went a different way. This is an exciting life. It's hot here. Always. And sunny. And you can go see a Haim concert on a Tuesday. For free if you know the right person. I went to the beach today, had I still been in Indy I probably would have watched Elf twice.

Both are fantastic ways to spend a Saturday. And that's how I know Indy will always have a place in my heart. Plus, my sweater game used to be ON POINT. I severely miss winter wardrobe. But I'm here to stay LA. A week in the midwest brings me back to Earth once in a while, evens me out. It's important to go to Nick's and get a 5 pound French Dip and 4000 calories of french fries to remember where you come from.

Now as I look to Tahoe and pray for snow, it's time to embrace that other half of me. I'm coming for ya Skrilly, don't disappoint.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Let's Talk About Sex: The leak no one is talking about

I'm in Chicago right now. In fact I'm laying on a pull out bed under a ten pound duvet in the middle of Old Town. If ever given the opportunity to stay with girls, my God, stay with girls. I feel like a Prince in the middle of the most luxurious slumber party ever. Anyway, last night I was having a few pints at Corcoran's on Wells and I came to a horrifying realization...more on that soon.

In high school, all guys talked about was hooking up with chicks, except 90% of it was bullshit. Unless you had a friend that had been dating someone for 6 months + there was no chance he was getting laid. But everyone lied about it. Everyone had a mystery girl on Spring Break that "domed them up in the hot tub" or something to that effect. In all actuality, whenever I went on Spring Break with my family in high school I would sit alone in the hot tub on the off chance a mystery girl would show up and be like "Hey, I'm here to dome you up...and I also brought Fireball. I know it's 2003 but this is a fantasy!"

Nevertheless I always left the hot tub with pruney skin and broken dreams. This is what I imagine the standard high school experience is...but then again I went to a Catholic school where it was rumored that girls would strictly have anal sex to stay virgins in the eyes of the church, so what do I know...

Once college came around, there were more frank discussions about sex and women in the frat house. This probably peaked Freshman year, because for the first time, a lot of people are having fairly regular sleepovers with multiple partners. I remember I would come back to my floor on a Sunday and get the standard vile questions... "You hit the railyard?"(Did you have sex) "Were you drunk?" "Did you make it a sober ten" (Did you last ten minutes?) Did you strap up? (Was there a condom involved?) Etc.

Of course these events were largely exaggerated. A 5 minute missionary performance would turn into an epic fuckathon in the Co-Ed showers, with explicit play by play. "Like so there is no ledge so you literally have to pick her up or bend her all the way over..." It's disgusting to think about sharing these details now, but I suppose since it was SO over the top, it's a little funny.

Later on in college there might be questions like...so did you hook up with so and so? This was followed by a yes or no answer. Unless it was particularly scandalous (girl has a boyfriend in another frat...this is your 4th girl in the same pledge class) it was over. There was a nod of approval and then a new conversation. At this point the feat was less about the physical nature of said sexual encounter, but about the status. Oh you hooked up with a Pi Phi? Nice. Typically these were held in the lunch room at the house, amidst retellings of who was the most drunk the night prior.

Fast forward to now...obviously in your mid to late 20's there are much fewer one night stands. A lot of my friends are in long term relationships. I would never in a million years ask someone in a long term relationship about their sex life. I don't even think I would bat an eye if a strange girl left my single roommate's room in the morning. There just comes a point where that shit is private...

OR SO I THOUGHT.

This week there was a highly publicized hacking on Sony Pictures Entertainment. The new James Bond script leaked, a bunch of personal information of employees was compromised and most notably The Interview, the movie where James Franco and Seth Rogen assassinate Kim Jong Un, has been pulled. Yes Sony has cancelled the release of a movie they spent 50 million dollars to make and probably another 50 million dollars to market...because they are afraid of a bunch of short Asians with no sense of humor.

(Say what you will about the responsibility of Sony to either protect potential movie goers and/or the responsibility to stand up to a bully. I think there was probably a very remote chance that a theatre would have been attacked and that would have likely launched us into World War 3. So maybe this is a good thing, but I know that once I get my hands on a screener for The Interview, I am going to show it at my house and brag about it on social media, because North Koreans probably aren't in the top 10 of foreign races that scare me.)

But long before the Sony hack, there was a far more personal leak. A corruption of information that all of the men in the world hold dear. Yes boys, I'm afraid it's true. Women are gossiping about your sex life.

It's a fact. If you have ever had sex with a female, her entire social circle knows the length and curvature of your penis, exactly how long it takes you to become aroused and the mean length of time it takes you to orgasm.

...and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Do you play "mood music?" Which song? Do you start off with a sensual massage? As it turns out, I don't know anything about your routine. But you know who does? Every hetero female and their gay best friends. In fact, if you have performed, said routine with multiple women in the same social circle, they know about that to...because they have corroborated tales and had many a laugh at your expense.

Now tell me which is a more severe invasion of privacy...finding out that Seth Rogen makes 1 million dollars a week doing rewrites or that he can only become aroused by watching anime porn and having a single digit tease his anus. Far be it for that to be true, but if ANY of you has a strange little fetish like that? They know. They all know. Have you ever been hooking up with a girl and she started laughing uncontrollably for no apparent reason? It's probably because she saw that cunnilingus joke coming a mile away. You used it on her friend three years ago, they've been mocking you for three years...and this chick just experienced it first hand.

Your favorite position, the dirty shit you say in bed...NONE of this stays behind closed doors. Please North Korea, take my social security number, but DO NOT tell anyone that I require a back scratch and a bed time story post coitus.

Apparently it all boils down to a deep physical/emotional/sexual connection for women. While to the average male it may be viewed as a few dozen pumps and release, it is much more profound, intimate topic for women. Last night at dinner the topic came up. Stories about friends in unhealthy relationships, visits to sex counselors and lots and lots of amateur therapy.

On one hand, I get it. When a woman considers the long term ramifications of a relationship, several factors are involved. Can my family love this man, can he be a good father, can he provide for our family, will he keep me sexually satisfied are very important questions that need to be pondered when planning a future.

I just don't know how I feel about the unintentional consequences of that shared information. It's funny as you grow older how the conversation flips. Sure we are all adults, it's just sex, we should be mature and talk about it...but somehow I now have the icky feeling of a prude girl thinking about the concept of a blowjob. EW, GROSS, STOP...just put in Frozen or something.

I think about my best friends and what we talk about. I mostly get excited about planning fun trips, dinners, activities...but I suppose when you get down to the meat and bones, I'm not sharing my feelings, hopes or dreams (outside of...man one day when I'm rich) and perhaps that's how I am programmed specifically. BUT, I know for sure, that I'm not calling friends and saying things like "I'm concerned about the sexual health of my current relationship. She just kind of like lays there and you know she like is morally opposed to doggy style these days, and we just haven't had a great rhythm as of late." I guess I just imagined that it kinda is what it is, you just found the best possible package of life partner and if she lacked in that department, you dealt with it.

Meanwhile, there are swirling emails leaked by the North Korean hackers ripping apart studio execs, actors, writers, Aaron Sorkin may or may not be broke and sleeping with an intern, the third act of SPECTRE sucks...but in the grand scheme of things, is it that big of a deal? So some junior exec sent a snarky email about a producer's fat wife. Is that as damaging as Lana Del Rey telling all of her besties that James Franco cries after sex...every time.

I suppose it comes down to threshold of personal shame. The Sony hack has set a lot of people back professionally at least for the time being. But man...if word gets out that you cry after sex...all the time. What if your dream girl catches word of this and she never goes on that first date with you because, SHE CAN'T EVEN. HE CRIES IN BED. And I don't think it is all mean spirited, I think it actually comes from a good place. If you are trying to improve your relationship by leaning on good friends, that's a mature decision. But you know that after a few glasses of red wine, you'll be more inclined to blurt out JOHN LIKES TO GET SPANKED!

Let's get one last thing straight. Men are pigs. We deserve this. We had it coming for the deplorable behavior of high school, college and early 20's. The pursuit of chivalry is like a 50 year battle after the age of 25 to make reparations for the way females are treated in that 7 year run 18-25. I am not condemning these behaviors, just moreso pointing them out...and if we're going to freak out about a major studio being infiltrated by a nefarious outsider, shouldn't we also bring attention to the war at home.

Because honestly if you try some weird ass shit in bed with your girlfriend tonight? Her roommate will know by noon tomorrow...and if two years from now you're dating a girl that lives down the street from your ex and you ask for a footjob...she totally saw it coming.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Is the Christmas Movie Dead?

SNL Black Annie > Annie Remake
A couple weeks ago I was at a club and had the following internal monologue:

Why did I agree to come here? Who is this fucking guy that bought the table? Oh him...I don't think he really likes me. He views me as a threat. God dammit...I'm totally fringe guy at this table. I'm orbiting it, like a fucking moon. No one is happy I'm here. I am merely tolerated. This blows. I suppose I could pour myself a drink from the bottle. But people will roll their eyes, it's for the chicks man. Ya dude...I fucking get it. Oh Christ, now I'm doing that thing where I nod my head in the general area as a girl like I'm thinking about maybe dancing with her...but I won't make a move because I'm a pussy. Oh, what do I care, she's a fucking bottle rat. Then again, she looks like she's been here before. She has identified me as fringe guy on this bottle. Dancing with me WILL NOT lead to copious drinks for her and her friends. She's probably 22 and thinks I'm old and a loser. I bet she has no idea how fucking cool I was when I was 22. I had a massive day party and I had sex during it...during fucking parents weekend. Parents came to my party and saw me having sex upstairs through a window because I didn't draw the shades because I gave zero fucks. I got multiple high fives at the bar that night. Stop. I'm doing that glory days bullshit now. Ok maybe I'll just put this PBR headband on and I'll look younger. It's harder to tell with guys. And maybe if I pull out my iPhone 6 she will assume I have money and talk to me...make sure she can tell it's an iPhone 6, I wonder if this bar has Apple Pay, that shit will blow her mind. I should have stayed in and watched Netflix, I bet they have some good Christmas movies.
Since that night I have had plenty of time to lay on the couch and watch Netflix. Unfortunately my internal monologues have been a bit less interesting.
I'll be Home for Christmas starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas? Yes, please! Holy shit he was short. Did they just make a beeper joke? My God, Jessica Biel has looked 24 and perfect for the past 20 years. How old was she in this...16? Jesus. Does it make me weird that I prefer her at 16? I think I should get a waiver, because when she was 16, I was 11. Executive order. NOT WEIRD. There is a nostalgia factor. The same goes for early Britney Spears videos. I wonder what happens to the 16 year old dudes that get naked snaps of a chick that is also 16. If he still has them on his iCloud or something in 3 years is he a sexual predator? Imagine being the guy that takes a piss during a tailgate and gets hit with public indecency charge. That's way worse than a DUI. Why isn't Home Alone 2 on Netflix? I think it's better than the first, I think if I said this out loud all my Winnetka friends would have a stroke.

Alas, I suppose I have some pretty fucked up thoughts, but that last question stayed on my mind for a while. Why isn't Home Alone 2 on Netflix...or any Home Alone for that matter. I would settle for 3, 4 or even 5! Why yes, there was a Home Alone 4 and 5. They were TV movies that aired on ABC Family.

But there is also no Christmas Vacation. No Elf. No The Santa Clause.

What about the classics? The Grinch (not the Jim Carrey) Rudolph and his adventures with the gay elf dentist. Or the one with the fire meiser and the ice meiser. (tots underrated btw)
This is unacceptable. I was on the cusp of calling Netflix customer service when I found Love Actually, this granted them a temporary stay of execution.

Grantland did a piece about how the PG movie is dead. I'm inclined to agree.
Just look at the movies being released on Christmas the past couple of years. Last year's Wolf of Wall Street, a movie about how awesome cocaine is...and this year's The Interview, a movie in which James Franco and Seth Rogen blow off Him Jung Un's head with a rocket launcher. (I intentionally fucked up the name, not trying to get hacked yo)

Another potential theory is that the internet generation has ruined everything.

I don't know if I buy this argument, but in the early 90's there was no internet for the most part. If
Home Alone came out today there would be a thousand different think pieces written about it. Why doesn't Home Alone pass the Bechdel test? (Because it's about a 7 year old kid protecting his house from two bad guys) Why aren't there any minorities represented? (Because there is nothing but rich white people living in Kenilworth, IL) Can we set the movie in a mixed neighborhood like Culver City, CA? (No, poor neighborhoods have less Christmas magic than rich ones) Why isn't the idea of a romantic relationship between Harry and Marv explored? (Because it's about a 7 year old kid protecting his house from two bad guys...but they do go to prison at the end, so maybe there is butt sex!) Will Buzz's girlfriend grow up to have body image issues? (It was actually the set designer's son in a wig...don't worry) Is the violent booby trap sub plot an allegory for the Stand Your Ground Law? (Oh, go fuck yourself)

So maybe if there are no NEW Christmas movies being made, we can assume that all of the classics have already signed exclusive contracts with other broadcast partners. (Elf and A Christmas Story are pretty solid staples on TBS...It's a Wonderful Life typically airs on Christmas Eve. AMC has the Home Alones) or maybe Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is a dickhead atheist or only got coal for Christmas. He's from Boston, that seems like a place where a dad would spend his Christmas bonus on booze instead of gifts for his children. Or maybe Netflix just doesn't give a shit about Christmas movies, because my faux outrage about their selection probably won't get me to cancel my membership. Or maybe they blew all of their Christmas money on their dog shit Game of Thrones clone.

Whatever the case, I'm thankful that the 90's did exist and gave us some Christmas Classics that do exist. And if I just have to watch Love Actually on repeat until December 25th...well there would be worse punishments.

In closing a quick story and a couple fun links.
The summer after I graduated I spent half of the summer in Los Angeles and a few weeks in New York. While I was in LA, I was white collar homeless the whole time. White collar homeless is basically crashing on a series of couches, fraternity floors and hostels while you use all of your money for drugs and alcohol...actually real homeless people do that second part too, we're not that different! I slept in a couple cars and even on the beach one night. After LA when I got to New York, I lived on a mattress in a frat live out at Hofstra with a drug dealer that owned multiple guns.

None of this bothered me.

However, on my last night in NYC, minutes after being stopped by the NYPD and told to finish our brown bagged Four Lokos quickly and go home (legit they stopped us and didn't even make us pour them out...quick someone tell the protesters) my buddy suggested we go find some benches in Central Park and pass out. It was the only time I said 'no' that entire summer. And it was because of this scene that still scares the shit out of me...

a little set up...Kevin has just been harassed by a crackhead, jeered at by two 50+ year old hookers cracked out on meth so he seeks solace in a cab adjacent to Central park.



GAHHHH!!! He has one fucking eye! How can you drive with one fucking eye, a CAB no less? Don't they need like a special license? To make matters worse, then Kevin fleas into the park and finds scary bird lady, who turns out to be cool, but we don't know this at the time.

Conclusion? Fuck Central Park.

For more fun articles on Christmas movies, here is a list of the traps from Home Alone 2 and the medical damage they would have caused, and here is a conspiracy theory that Kevin grew up to be Jigsaw. It is compelling.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Merry Fifthmas

Christmas in Venice, 2013
I'm working on a Curb spec with a friend right now. One of the scenes takes place with Larry David going to Cafe Gratitude in Venice to meet his new Bohemian girlfriend for lunch.
If you are unfamiliar, Cafe Gratitude is full of a bunch of new age hippies and the menu reflects this. Instead of ordering a breakfast burrito you would say something like "I feel empowered." It's weird. It feels like a cult, kind of like the cult that Andrew Keegan started a couple blocks down that very street.

Anyway, I had never actually been, but today I stopped in for a coffee...you know for research.

"I'll have a coffee black to-go please."

"You are COURAGEOUS!"

"Um thanks."

"Can I get your name please?"

"Dave."

"Dave you are courageous!"

"Uh ok."

I wait a couple minutes and some guy comes out and says "Dave?"

"Yes, that's me."

"You are courageous, have a magical day!"

Ok, that's not made up. And the guy that brought me my coffee seemed not to buy into it wholly, more like he had a script he needed to read in order to keep his job. The person that took my order? Well I think a gay black man that wears glitter on his face found his calling as a Cafe Gratitude barista.

I suppose the gimmick is to make you feel good about yourself? I mean the coffee cup literally said on it hundreds of times "You are courageous!" It literally made me feel like I had saved an entire military convoy and rescued kittens from a burning building. I'm a motherfucking hero because I ordered coffee. Or perhaps this is just more of the participatory culture we have created. You get a trophy just for showing up. I mean if I am courageous just for ordering a coffee, what do I get if I order a red-eye. You know a black coffee with an espresso shot? Do they say "Dave, you are a GOD DAMN MIRACLE WORKER." They set the bar pretty low.

But it got me thinking, what if the place was re-named Cafe FRATitude and they ever so slightly tweaked the the positive empowerment message...

"Hey man, I'll have a coffee black to-go please."

"You're fucking money baby."

"Ha thanks."

"Can I get your name bro?"

"Dave."

"Dave, you're so fucking money and you don't even know it."

"Cool."

"Yo Dave is so fucking money, he is going to get laid tonight and make her cum...TWICE."

"Appreciate it dude."

"Oh and I threw a shot of whiskey in there for you boss...thank me later."

I'm not sure if this entire restaurant gimmick is sustainable, but it would at least make for a humorous short. I'll be staffing a writer's room shortly, so start coming up with your best bro empowerment menu items.

Speaking of frat stuff. Tonight is my favorite day of the year; The Phi Psi secret Santa Fifth Exchange. Well it's not really a Phi Psi thing anymore, it just started that way. At this point (at least with the LA edition, word is these are still active in many cities across the country) it's more of an IU reunion of sorts. We're all busy and have shit going on in our lives, but it's the one night a year we drop everything and make it a point to be together...and get absolutely wrecked.

The first fifth exchange I participated in was in 2006. I know because my gift was Gold Strike (knock off Goldschlager) The original rule was that no one was allowed to leave the frat house until all the bottles were finished. At that point, we drove around pledges drove us from sorority to sorority where we would sing Christmas Carols (or the Dreidel song to AEPhi...which was hilarious) until someone vomited and we were asked to leave or the girls brought us more booze.

My senior year, it just so happened that two of my good pals received 2 of the 3 ingredients for the legendary see ya shot. Wouldnt you know it? I had the third. I also had a 5am flight to Chicago for an interview the next morning. Fortunately when I got pulled over outside IND at 3:45, I told the officer about my interview and he wished me luck. (I had slept from 12-3...I'm sure I was fine)

After graduation, it was important to me to keep the tradition going. From 2009-2011 we kept the tradition going in Chicago, adding a roasting element to the mix. A lot of people were given Mt. Gay Rum that year, because what is more funny than calling one of your best buds gay?

Then I moved to LA and the current iteration was started. Our first year we had 8 guys in a condo in Marina Del Rey. I finished my Jack Honey and passed out while the rest of my friends got trapped in an elevator for 3 hours and were rescued by the jaws of life...passing out early sometimes has its perks.

So again the time of year is upon us. We will all dress up in our wittiest Christmas sweaters (over under on reindeer sex is at 10) and wait upstairs for the signal. Once Santa arrives we will all sprint downstairs and wait for Vender the Jewish Christmas elf to hand out our presents one by one. Mind you girls will not be allowed at this point. Just 30 dudes and some buffalo dip. (You're all welcome)

Once we have all opened our gifts, guessed our secret Santa and taken a celebratory photo for history's sake, the madness will begin.

We'll all start drinking our bottles of booze straight and with ice because obviously no one thought to get mixers or maybe a few beers. We'll talk about how this is awesome and we should all hang out more and we'll promise to do so, but we won't because it gets harder as you grow older.

Friends, girls, girlfriends, side pieces, wives will begin to show up and one of them will have had the wherewithal to bring a case of Red Bull and we will set in for a night of aggressive debauchery. Maybe we'll storm to Townhouse? Maybe we'll sit on the roof and smoke cigarettes, I suppose it doesn't matter. Classic Christmas carols will fade into Mariah Carey which will inevitably fade into Diplo...is there an EDM Christmas album yet? I would totally buy it. Some will call it as early as 12, some will watch the sun rise and tomorrow somewhere on San Miguel there will be about 30 half empty bottles of booze and a lingering smell of...well something.

Some will wake up and do the Santa Monica Christmas 10k, some will immediately resume drinking and head to Santa Crawl on Main Street and we will all pick up the pieces Sunday and start to pack for our trips home.

I love Christmas, I love the lights, the sweaters, the festivities, the food, the gifts but most importantly the time with friends and family. I live far away from my actual family, so in a way my friends have become that for me, and of course I get to spend time with my parents and brother next week which will be fantastic. But what I'm most thankful for as the Holidays rapidly approach, is a month in which I get to celebrate life and the people I chose to spend mine with.

Happy Holidays everyone, I hope you enjoy these next few weeks as much as me and I hope Santa brings you everything you wanted this Christmas.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Ranking the Whole Foods dining options


While Vice is telling you to grow up* and Gawker asks if old Benedict is getting ass fucked hard enough in his new Oscar contender, I am still here for you.

Yes while others will deride my beautiful Starbucks lover** for being Racist and some will demand you experience Frozen through a queer lens;*** I am here to promote the classic post-frat perspective that you have come to love (or hate) and as I imagine my readers don't give a fuck about the feminist perspective on Gone Girl or the ethics of Serial,**** I decided to pick something my largely white country club, upper middle class (raised) city dwelling followers DO have a passion for...the meal ready food options at Whole Foods!

* But big ups to that guy for introducing me to the phrase "quartering grams" which I'm pretty sure is what I spent 2009-2011 doing

** I know those aren't the right fucking words but it makes me laugh thinking of someone writing a "Taylor Swift is racist because she only dates the traditional Starbucks customer" column. Seriously we're that close to someone calling Taylor a racist simply because she doesn't publicly fuck rappers like she was a Kardashian.

*** One of their arguments is "Elsa's dress doesn't become fabulous until she sings 'Let it Go.' Seriously.

**** Jay's last name is Wilds and I don't give a fuck if you find his Facebook and spam him, because he's a bitch and a liar and I know that piece of shit did it.

Ok, if you aren't squirming too much at my politically incorrect sentiment read on...wait let me get it all out of my system.

I drank red wine and ate popcorn while watching the Ferguson riots on my 12 foot TV.

Ok now we can continue.

WHOLE FOODS. It's the best right? I mean given my income or lack thereof I should probably be shopping at Smart and Final or Ralph's at best. But going to Whole Foods makes me feel good about myself. It's cool, it's fun. It's a fucking scene. I might see a girl I banged once and she'll think, "You know what, maybe I don't regret it THAT much. I mean this guy shops at Whole Foods, he clearly has his shit together. Maybe I'll fuck him again."

That of course is a lie. I do not have my shit together. I go to Whole Foods to grab dinner and bottles of wine that cost $3.50. But no one knows that. Maybe I go there and pick out organic ingredients for a meal I read about on Pinterest. You don't know that I'm there for the dollar tacos on Tuesday only. Sometimes I roll to WF after shamefully picking up some paper towels or batteries at the dollar store. God I hope I never see any past lovers in the 99 cent store, that would be about as bad as running into one at the free HIV test clinics.

But I digress, the point is, there are lots of meal options when you go to Whole Foods, it's almost like a college food court but significantly nicer and nothing is free. That said, I have sampled all of the food options at the #SWPL mecca and today I shall rank them for you. I know, doing God's work here, thank me later.

9. Vegan Grill
Nope!

8. Sushi bar
I briefly dated a chick that was all about Whole Foods sushi, but the reality is, it just isn't any good. I like the idea of Whole Foods having excellent sushi. It's a great meal option when you want something a little light, or need an excuse to gorge on Pinot Grigio...but WF sushi is a watered down substitute for the far superior Sugarfish. I typically only get this when I am going to the pier concerts and I want to impress a bunch of chicks. "OHHHH YOU PACKED WHOLE FOODS SUSHI AS A SNACK? YOU'RE SO FANCY." Then later at Big Dean's when I ask her if we can go bang it out in one of their port-o-potties I lose all sushi credibility. But ya, pass on the sushi bar.

7. The Sandwich Shop
I don't know man, I just don't get it. If I want a hot sandwich it's 5 dollar foot long all day. If I want a cold sandwich, I dunno, I go to a sandwich place? I never crave cold cuts, I think they're stupid. When I wanted a snack when I was a kid, I didn't make my self a roast beef sandwich. If all we had was cold roast beef, I would just eat a handful of it because I'm gross. I am not the target market for a 12 dollar "artisan" sandwich. Probably because I don't really do toppings. Maybe the arugula is dope at Whole Foods and that's what people are all about. I really only pay 12 dollars for a picnic style sandwich if I'm at the Malibu Country Mart on my way to Malibu Wines and want to impress a chick. "OHHHH YOU TOOK ME TO AN OLD SCHOOL COUNTRY MART TO GET A SANDWICH? YOU'RE SO FANCY." Then later after bottle 3 at MW when I ask her if she wants to go bang it out in a port-o-potty I lose all sandwich credibility. I'm noticing a pattern.

6. Stir Fry Bar
The first time I got a Teriyaki Bowl at Whole Foods I accidentally dumped an entire bottle of garlic salt in the bowl. I still ate it, but you know, it was pretty shitty. I ordered another one tonight and I think the bowl with a half pound of garlic salt was significantly better. I went dark meat tonight though, I didn't want to shell out the extra 30 cents for all white. Maybe that's on me. The truth is, I don't eat a massive variety of food, so if I have already had a burger, some pizza and some tacos (and choked down a heavily dressed salad) in a 48 hours, there isn't much left in my repertoire so I default to something meh like a Teriyaki bowl. Flame Broiler has a much better Teriyaki Bowl than Whole Foods. So does that one place in Westwood, and if you truck all the way out there you get to reward yourself with some Diddy Riese (ice cream sandwiches) Fun fact, my first year in LA I mobbed around frat parties at UCLA with my buddy's little brother claiming to be a fifth year transfer student because I literally have no shame. I may or may not have shacked at the Kappa house on Hilgard at the age of 25.

5. Pizza Bar
The pizza at Whole Foods is fine. There is much better pizza, much closer to me, but if you really want to be a fat ass the full pizza for 10 bucks deal is pretty solid. I mean not as solid as having Domino's bring you 2 mediums and chicken kickers for 15 bucks, but whatever. What I quickly want to do is use this space though to take one position (on of very few) that I feel passionately about. There is a time and a place for NY pizza, I will concede that, but if you unilaterally hate Chicago deep dish, FUCK YOU WITH A FUCKING SCALDING PIKE. Literally, there was a scene in the first season of The Tudors where they tortured a heretic with a burning spike. They jammed it up some chick's ass. Ok that's too much. I wish you no ill will. Maybe just give it another shot? It's really good. Ugh, now I'm going to have that visual haunt my dreams tonight. But if you need pizza in LA go with Abbots.

4. The Grill
I like the idea of The Grill more than I like it in practice. Basically the grill is like any meat department at any grocery store, but the butcher will then actually cook up your meat for you, throw in a side of fries and send you on your way. The problem is that there is like one fucking dude both taking meat orders and then doing the physical grilling. It takes about 15 minutes too long and then I start to think, maybe I should just grab some of that shitty sushi. It doesn't help that I am just staring at the beer and wine section the whole time this is happening, thinking that had I settled for a Teriyaki bowl I would be on beer number 3. There is funny enough a bar in this section. I aspire to some day plan in advance a trip to Whole Foods. I will attend a beer tasting, I will sample some cheese, I will relax while the grillmaster slow cooks a slab of ribs for me. I've always wanted to sit at the bar at Whole Foods, but for some reason, I've never had the courage There's always like some distinguished looking gentlemen sitting there and I don't want to impose. Some day. That's when I'll know I have my shit together.

3. Hot Bar/Cold Bar
Can't beat an original right? The Hot Bar/Cold Bar is fucking money. Want some Kale? WHICH OF THE FIVE KINDS? Feeling like some chicken curry, some mashed potatoes and some baby greens? Fuck it, you are your own boss. Mix and match homey and only 7 bucks a pound on Wednesdays. I always find myself asking what is the best value when you are paying by the pound. I feel like your traditional side items are the "bad value" items. Mashed potatoes and pasta salad are delicious, but heavy. Whereas do you know how much spinach you can jam in that box and stay under 10 bucks? Hint: It's a fuck ton. Thus I would imagine some sort of salad with a meat is your best bet. One time I was loading up on mac and cheese (bad value item) and the power went out. And you know what happened? Nothing. The power stayed out for 10 minutes, people waited for it to come back on, paid for their groceries and went about their day. That's when I knew the gentrification of Venice was complete.

2. Smoothie Bar
The smoothie bar at Whole Foods is dope. I rarely go, because by the time I get to Whole Foods I have typically already eclipsed by 10 dollar daily budget of Starbucks/Smoothies. But on the rare occasion I haven't, their variation of the strawberry/banana/apple smoothie always brings a shit eating grin to my face. Nothing to see here everyone, just a WASPY guy doing WASPY things.

1. Taco Bar
Oh god, I love it so much. Did you know that some people don't like cilantro? But it's not their fault, they are genetically engineered to think it tastes like ass. I pity those people. I imagine natural selection will kill them off eventually, but it's sad that they will never know the joy of pounding 6 street tacos with chicken tinga, cilantro, onion and XXX salsa. But even if you aren't there on Taco Tuesday...the Boardwalk and Westsider are hearty options any day of the week and they borrow names from the local culture (AWOL bitch!) and take a bit of the pretentious sting away from visiting a premium grocer. I love everything about the place down to the tacomasters, like most of them call me "homey" and comment on my beer selection. The slightly overweight but face so pretty I can get past it chick always smiles at me like I'm her favorite customer. Seriously they should have a tip jar, I would be offering gratuity like I was spending my parents' money and wanted the Kilroy's bartenders to like me.

And there you have it...8ish dining options from Whole Foods Market. They even take Apple Pay now so you can use your iPhone 6 and be a total douche. (Extra douche points if the person behind you is using EBT/food stamps or you ask your cashier what their tattoos mean) Grab a Kombucha on your way out and listen to some NPR on the way home. It's ok to enjoy the "basic" things in life.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

25 things you're never too old to do


I have largely been on the fence about Vice since I started hearing about it a few years ago. On one hand, their TV show is the tits, they go into active war zones and give a limited amount of fucks. They took Dennis Rodman to North Korea and made him become homies with Kim Jong Un. They are criticized by mainstream media for their reckless abandon which could easily lead to one of them being killed. But that's the beauty, they don't care. Oh 60 Minutes doesn't want to interview a terrorist leader? Pussies.

On the other hand, they are a bunch of tatted up Brooklynites that represent everything I hate in this world. I swear to God, Shane Smith was sent to this world merely to torture me. In a world of bearded hipster fucktards, this clown is their self-appointed leader. Thus, I'm torn. I tend to avoid their articles because, well I, just can't stand self-loathing white people crusading for social justice. And they write shit like this and then parody their own take down piece a week later.

But I can live with that. I understand hating the group at the top. Not everyone gets a bid. Not everyone spends half a decade in their early 20's getting blowjobs from perfect looking chicks.  Not everyone graduates debt free from college because their dad has a nice white collar job. I get it man. It is probably annoying to see a bunch of dudes throwing around trust fund money at a Brother Jimmy's with a bunch of girls in size 0 jeans on a Saturday afternoon. You were just there for the chicken wings man. Who gets fucking bottle service at 11am...at a sports bar? I get it dude, seriously. I hate the Yankees for the same reason. Go back to Brooklyn, you're safer there.

I digress.

Today Vice published an article about all the things that you can no longer do once you turn 25.

It is not a good article.

I did some digging to try to figure out why the article was so bad. I came up with two possibilities.
1.) The author appears to be British (I think it's a straight male, but it could be a girl or a gay guy)
The European experience may be a little different than the traditional American maturation process.
2.) This is a fucking guy that JUST turned 25 and is now on a soapbox lecturing everyone about what not to do, since he is so wise now.

Really, there is no more set-up necessary, let's just go through it, find out for yourself. Try to keep the rage in check.


1) Doing Drugs to Impress People
Any time I've ever done cocaine, I just want to call my parents. Once, while smoking weed, I watched as one of my friends very slowly pissed herself. Is that what drugs are supposed to do? Either way, it's not for me. Not anymore.
If your thing is getting fingered in a cab by a dude with coke on his hands, then please, by all means, go and do that right now. I'll even hail one for you.

Good for you man. You don't like drugs. That's very strange that one of your friends pissed herself because of marijuana...especially slowly. Usually when I piss myself it is extremely quick, like when I'm in a massive port o potty line at a festival and I can't possibly hold it any longer so I bail out and piss behind a tree, sometimes I pee myself before I can make it to said tree. It blows. And did you say anything? Or just like let her wet her pants. That's fucked up. Way to just like let us know you've done blow before, by the way...you know, just to let us know you're cool. And since when does casual drug use lead to getting a twat numbie in the back of a cab. That seems pretty hardcore man. He closes with saying...

There's no point doing drugs after 25 unless you're in it to win it, so unless you're a full-blown addict, it might do you good to stop now. (It might also be a good idea if you are a full-blown addict.) 

Got it. Full blown addict or Mormon. (Isn't Vice supposed to be like pro weed?) Usually when I do drugs people are very unimpressed, does this absolve me?

2) Being ID'd
Being ID'd is fucking lame man. Like fuck this guy for you know doing his job and following the law. God forbid this bartender keep me from my Oatmeal Stout for 2 more fucking seconds. UGGGGGGH, dude no I'm not 21, I'm 25. Huge difference in an adolescent male. I bet you wouldn't card me if I had my beard. Fuck it, I'm growing a beard. You should just pour my shit and risk the fine pal. (This is the beginning of a bar hate motif)

3) Eating Bread with Wild Abandon
Because gluten.

4) Trying to Understand Young People with Their Young-People Music
Who are you, fucking Andy Rooney? Give me a god damn break man, that Ariana Grande song with Zedd is catchy as shit.

5) Drinking Four Loko or a Jägergrenade
A Jägergrenade is a special kind of Jägerbomb that somehow incorporates a shot of tequila into the mix. A sidewalk slammer is when you drink a bottle of OE down to the label, fill the rest with Four Loko, and wake up on a stranger's lawn covered in mysterious contusions without your wallet or phone.
That's a very timely Four Loko reference, are they still in production. And this is very akin to his blow comment. Like listen to these RAD DRINKS I GOT FUCKED UP ON BACK WHEN I WAS YOUNG AND AWESOME, but totally don't drink anymore because I'm 25 and old. He doesn't even bother informing the reader that OE means a 40 of Olde English, you should just know that bro.

6) Panicking at an ATM
When you get to 25 you are so over this guessing game that it's not even funny. Fuck ATMs, and fuck banks. Fuck that tiny cash-machine troll who loves to deny you the ability to go see a movie or eat a decent meal. But also—crucially—fuck having to pay for a pack of Ramen noodles with a mug full of dimes. Basically, by the time you're 25, you should just take a few minutes to figure out how to manage your dough.

Ya fuck poor people. By 25 you should be eating nothing but filet and lobster for every meal. But for real, I see his perspective, you shouldn't need ATMs at this point, you can get a Four Loko and an OE for like 4 bucks at a 7/11 and most coke dealers take Square now.

7) Experimenting with a Haircut
Says this fucking guy...

8) Talking to Anyone Under the Age of 22
You must never talk to anyone under the age of 22! They are 3/5 of a person! Wait but what about your opening sentence?

I don't know how old you are. I don't care, is the thing, because once you hit 25 you absolutely stop caring about the age, names, and personal details of people around you

Ok apparently you stop caring about age UNLESS THAT MOTHERFUCKER IS UNDER 22. Presumably you are allowed to circle that person's 22nd birthday like you would a celebrity on the cusp on 18. Looking at you Chloe Moretz.

9) Engaging in Small Talk
Sometimes I get introduced to people and I say, "Oh, nice to meet you," and they say, "Uhhh, we've met before." That's when you decide to never speak to that person again, if you can help it. Think about it: If they were that good at small talk, you would have remembered them.

Instead of being embarrassed when you don't remember someone's name, just punch them in the face, because they are unworthy of your attention. It's their fault for being boring, it has nothing to do with the Four Loko you were drinking last time you saw her.

10) Taking Convoluted Subway Rides
11) Shopping at the Mall
12) Having Terrible Friends

No one takes convoluted subway rides or cabs to the mall anymore pal. I only take Ubers with my friends that are cool as fuck.

13) Bad One-Night Stands
Pretending to care about people's jobs in PR is the absolute definition of hell. Pretending to care long enough to seduce them, accompany them on a 15-minute cab ride, navigate their tiny, dark apartment, knock a lamp over, and awkwardly fuck them?

Honestly, I would probably rather go home and jerk off. But that wouldn't be a good enough story for my terrible friends.

14) Spring Break
If you're 25 or older and this idea seems appealing, I can't help you.

Ya man, taking a week off work and going on vacations with your terrible friends is probably a really horrible time.

15) The Bitter, Bitter End of a Night Out

Next time it hits 3 AM and you run out of ideas and someone asks, "Where next?" experiment with saying, "Let's go to our separate homes and sleep." Nothing good has ever come out of trekking through the snow to the only bar anyone can think of that might possibly be open.

But what about taking a convoluted Subway ride to a bar that might possibly be open. More likely to happen at 3am? Trekking through the snow. Heyoooo

16) Hangovers
When you get to be 25 and realize the solution is literally just "drink a glass of water" and maybe "eat a banana," you feel really, really dumb.

That's it? I can't believe I've never tried drinking a glass of fucking water. Seriously I hope this guy dies of AIDS.

17) Waiting in Line
Once you're aware of your own mortality, waiting in line to ride some spinning tea cups is basically impossible.

Waiting in lines is for peasants bro. I can't even.

18) Kissing Bartenders' Asses
I am sick of acting like the person handing me a drink is doing me some huge favor. I'm not your friend: This is a business transaction, and I'm not some 21-year-old who's not gonna tip you. Also, your job is to pour liquid into dirty cups, occasionally pick those cups up when I am done with them, and sometimes drop the cups in a stack on the floor. You're not Jesus, all right? You're a dude who wears a bottle opener attachment on his belt.

Second in the bartender hate series! I guarantee some bartender fucked this guy's girlfriend once. Good for him.

19) Not Having the Heating On
Wearing every sweater you own at once is not the adult option.

Ok so this guy really hates bartenders and people that have trouble paying the bills. There was one more things I remember him hating we'll get to it I'm sure.

20) Festivals
I went to Bonnaroo once when I was 20 and didn't have fun.

Cool story bro. It's probably because you didn't do enough drugs to impress people.

21) Utilizing Presents from Cheap Relatives
Your grandma/aunt/whoever was cheap for giving you such a shitty present, but you're even cheaper if you're willing to be covered in glitter and smell like a goddamn pineapple for a month to save $4. 

Your loving thoughtful family members that went out of their way to do something nice for you are SHIT. But if you actually use that gift, you're fucking worse.

22) Reading Blogs
LOL irony!

23) Pregnancy Scares
If I have to listen to another friend cry about how she might be pregnant, I'm going to kill myself. I don't know, maybe you should stop being mad at your dad and therefore fucking random ecstasy dealers you meet at bars

This guy is a goddam enigma, this is like a lazy slut shaming trope that I would expect to see on a sloppy Brobible article. Glad he got one more drug reference in though, just so we know he' cool.

24) Any Text Message Longer Than 200 Characters
But this blog post of 2000 words is fine.

25) Fingering
This obviously doesn't count for lesbians, but for straight people it's like come on. You guys can do p-in-v stuff! Fingering your girlfriend when you have a dick is basically really rude. It's the equivalent of loudly complaining about how boooring it is to play basketball when you're standing right next to a kid in a wheelchair. I hate you.

I didn't edit any of that. That's a direct quote. He actually fucking said Lesbians are ok. I'll bet the lesbians of the world are thrilled to have staff writer Joel Golby's permission to go ahead and FINGER AWAY.

And oh shit, that's the third thing he hates. Fingering of all things? Poor twentysomethings, bars and jousting below the belt. (Fingering is and always will be the shit by the way...with or without cocaine on your fingertips)

Conclusion: This guy is the fucking worst. I mean at age 25 you've basically been out of college for a little over two years. I don't know where this clown gets off, I certainly hope he's never paid to write again. He manages to be sexist, misogynistic and anti-youth all at the same time, furthering my suspicion that this article was actually written by Andy Rooney's ghost.
What's the deal with cell phones?
You're never too old to do anything. If you can physically accomplish it and want to, you should. This is your life, it is what you make it. You should never let anyone else tell you otherwise. 

And Vice, get your shit together, because as of now...ya suspect.




Thursday, November 20, 2014

Choose Your Own Adventure


If you hate my intros skip to (***)

I have been sleeping on a free mattress since I moved to California.

Basically I bought one of those shitty metal frames off of a guy on Craigslist 3 years ago and he said I could have the mattress from his guest room for an extra 10 bucks. It is and has always been the shittiest mattress ever. I never slept well, girls would complain. I was embarrassed of it to be honest with you. So one day I went down to Ikea, bought a bed frame and ordered a mattress online.

I went home that day, bought a case of beer, recreationally took an Adderall and started building some Swedish bed frame. It was awesome, I felt like I was moving into the frat again. Pretty early on in the process, I realized my old bed and new bed could not co-exist in my small room. I made the decision to toss my shitty mattress in the alley for some homeless man to claim. The thinking was, my mattress will be here in a couple days, I'll just sleep on the couch. I like sleeping on the couch, I do it all the time, I have a 14 foot television screen. It will be fun.

That was a month ago.

Due to unforeseen delays, it has taken a month for my mattress to be delivered. A few days in, I realized I couldn't sleep on the couch anymore so I built a pillow fort in my room like I was a five year old playing having a slumber party in the basement. Now for whatever reason pillow forts are not as comfortable as I remember. I've basically just been sleeping on the floor for a month. It's awful. But there was one unintended consequence...

When you live in a pillow fort there is an unwritten understanding that you are going home alone. (I mean this is me most nights anyway, but I have an excuse) That part is great. I feel no pressure to stay coherent, behave like a gentlemen, even talk to girls. If I find myself sucking face on the dance floor I don't have to come up with a clever way to get this girl back to my place. It's just not happening. I live in a pillow fort. Sure there is the possibility of an away game, but those are really kinda shitty post college. Walking down third street on a Friday morning after a taboo sorority shack was glamorous. Waking up in Mar Vista with a dead phone is a much more dubious situation.

I imagine this is what it feels like when your girlfriend goes out of town.  Not like 'ah yeahhh I'm gonna fuck all the little sluts tonight.' But more like 'I can stay out all night drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes and no one is going to say shit.' It's liberating in a way. Like as a single guy I can do these things anyway, but then I will feel guilty about it. Like 'man I better not take this last shot...just in case.'

But that all ends tomorrow, just in time for everyone to leave. Yes, while all my friends retreat to their hometowns to eat turkey I will be getting my first good night's sleep in over 30 days.

I'm not going home for Thanksgiving this year, I'm not going to Chicago or St. Louis or Sacramento. I'm staying here-ish...

***I've decided to go on an adventure. I'm not sure yet. Perhaps one of you will push me one way or the other by agreeing to come with me. Speaking of adventures, RA Montgomery died this week. He was the creator of Choose Your Own Adventure books. I have 2 distinct memories of those books from when I was a little kid.

1. Give Yourself Goosebumps #9 - The Knight in Screaming Armor.
Yes Goosebumps had their own Choose Your Own series and it was dope. But this book was the one that I could never seem to survive. No matter what I chose, the Evil Knight always hacked my head of with a sword or turned me into a baby or some shit. I'm convinced that by 1996 RL Stine was just fucking with me.

2. Playoff Champion - Choose Your Own Adventure #135
In the original series' run, the author was much less likely to kill you, but there were equally devastating outcomes like 'getting grounded' or 'losing the big game.' Towards the end of Playoff Champion, you hit a triple with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning. The score is tied, your best hitter is coming to the plate. Conventional wisdom would have you wait for Homerun Henry to hit a walk-off...or you could steal home. No one ever steals home anymore, it is stuff of legend. People like Jackie Robinson used to steal home, but he was Jackie fucking Robinson...and black people have an additional calf muscle. But I said fuck it and decided to steal home like a bad ass. I caught the pitcher off guard but he easily threw the ball to home plate in time to catch me, only I rammed the catcher and he DROPPED THE BALL. It was basically just like the ending of A League of Their Own, except Geena Davis dropped that ball on purpose, fuck Kit. My team ends up winning and I think my character gets a blowjob from the town hottie, which is weird because it's a kids book.

I liked these books a lot. I miss these books. So in honor of RA Montgomery's passing, I give you a Choose Your Own column. What follows is a second person adventure that you and I are going on over Thanksgiving. Choose wisely.

Are you feeling outdoorsy or do you prefer an international escapade.

Feeling outdoorsy skip to paragraph X if you want to cross some borders go to paragraph Y.

X Fuck yeah, this is California you say, why go somewhere cold and rainy when it's a balmy 80 degrees on the beach?

So you grab your friend Dave early Thanksgiving morning and head to the Venice Breakwater to catch some waves. What better way to celebrate the pilgrims murdering the indigenous people than pay tribute to Point Break.

You and Dave spend about an hour in the water when he says he has had enough. You see a great set approaching and respond to him...

A. Sounds good man, let's call it and go grab a beer. (Go to section XA)
B. I'll see you on the shore, I'm gonna catch one last wave. (Go to section XB)

XA. You and Dave walk by Nikki's in hope of grabbing a beer, but it's 8am. Of course it's not open. Bummer. Dave throws out the idea of driving up to Mountain High, it's only 90 minutes away? How many people can say they've surfed and skied in the same day. Pretty legendary way to spend Thanksgiving. You and Dave head up to the mountain and shred for five hours before you decide it's time to grab some pints down at the lodge. While watching a game at the bar you meet twins from Vancouver vacationing in LA for Thanksgiving. They invite you to their Air Bnb in Malibu for a proper turkey dinner. You arrive at the Malibu rental home, Richard Branson is there because he is their uncle to the twins. After several bottles of wine Sir Richard suggests a quick trip to space on Virgin Galactic.
Do you go with Sir Richard to space? Yes or No

Yes- You take Richard up on his offer and he has his private driver take you to Vandenberg Air Force Base. Your vessel incinerates on take-off, you and Sir Richard Branson are burned alive. Dave stayed behind to have a 3some with his twin nieces. The End.

NO- You tell Sir Richard in light of recent events you think you'll keep your feet on the ground. He has a good laugh and decides he's had too much to drink. Moments after he puts himself to bed one of the twins takes you to the hot tub. Greatest Thanksgiving ever. The End.

XB. You tell Dave, 'one more wave man' as the set approaches you begin to paddle toward shore, a monster 10 foot wave picks you up and SLAMS you on the rocks. You feel your arm break under the brute force of the wave. You remain conscious and start to paddle back to shore with your one good arm, only to see the pool of blood grow larger around you. The last thing you see is Dave getting a girl's number on a beach...then the shark bites down and pulls you under. The End.

Y. Yo, let's go somewhere. Let's get out of town! The two of you book an Air Bnb in Rosarito, Mexico and start driving south. After what seems like forever waiting at the border you enter Mexico. You pull up to your resort. Beautiful, fully stocked bar, ocean views, pool, hot tub. You begin to make some margaritas in the brand new blender when there is a knock at the door. A short Mexican man named Jorge asks if you are "looking to party." Do you say SI o NO GRACIAS?

Si - Even though you have heard about these situations, you are inherently unafraid of Mexicans. They're short and funny looking, how could they possibly harm you? The short man gives you an allotment of party favors for 1000 pesos and tells you to meet him at a bar later. You and Dave drink and smoke all afternoon, it's a great time. After a while you meet a few latin chicas at the hot tub and invite them to join you at the bar with Jorge, they oblige and the next thing you know, the five of you are doing body shots at a watering whole named EL BURRO. You black out.

Next thing you know you open your eyes to see you are tied up. The two girls you brought with you are standing in front of you, smiling. "Silly cabron, you should have stayed in America for Thanksgiving." They set you up! Jorge enters the room holding a large machete smiling ear to ear.
"Take it, take it all!" You plead. You look over to Dave, tied up across the room. He struggles as Jorge draws his knife down Dave's cheek, drawing blood. "It's time to teach you Americans a lesson. Mexico is not your personal playground." Jorge turns his attention to you, but while he isn't looking Dave is able to slip his ropes. In a daring play, Dave throws the women aside and kicks Jorge in the groin. Dave picks up the knife and cuts you loose just in time for one of the girls to pull out a gun and shoot you in the dick. Your last vision is of Dave lopping off the shooter's head with the machete. Avenged, you die peacefully.

NO GRACIAS- You have seen enough Robert Rodriguez movies to know that this is always the downfall for the protagonists, plus like all of your friends warned you that going to Mexico would be dangerous. You politely tell the man thanks, but no thanks and go make another Margarita. A few minutes later two American girls knock on your door. "Hey do you guys have any ice? We ran out and I don't want to use what is in our freezer. I heard it gives you Dysentery."

You invite the girls in and give them some ice. After a few Margs the four of you become friendly, playing drinking games and telling stories. One of the girls suggests that the four of you do Thanksgiving dinner together. She and Dave walk across the complex to start cooking. The remaining girl and you lay down on the couch and flip on the TV. You get to HBO and see that Love Actually is playing, part of you wants to change the channel because it isn't Christmas yet, but your new friend grabs your hand.
"Don't. I love this movie."

You lean in and kiss her because you realize that you have finally met your soul mate. Dave and her friend return with Thanksgiving dinner and the four of you spend the rest of the weekend eating, drinking and watching Christmas movies together. At the conclusion of the weekend, your vacation girlfriend invited you back to Hidden Hills, CA to hang out at her place. You oblige because, why the hell not. You get there and are greeted by Kourtney Kardashian. It turns out your little Tijuana lover is Kendall Jenner, you just didn't recognize her without make-up. You and Kanye hit it off while talking about 90's post-grunge pop. His favorite album of the decade was Third Eye Blind self titled. You move into the guest house with Kendall and join the season 12 cast of KUWTK. You and Brody become best bros.  It's a weird Thanksgiving, but like pretty cool too. The end.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Summer Catch 2: How to Lose a Guy in 13 Days

Subject 6 liked big black cocks and apparently mediocre beer.
This morning while I was pondering what to blog about several ideas and corresponding hot takes popped into my head:

1. I think Kim Kardashian's ass is gross, and I think the only people that like it are black men. The reason Kimmy K's ass failed to break the internet is because the white people were too busy on Reddit talking about us landing on a comet...and Boost Mobile doesn't support 4G data speeds yet.
(This has been my mildly racist thought of the day)

2. I don't understand people that complain about the weather. Just move. It's that easy. I assure you, you can get a shitty staffing job at Aerotek in any major US city.

3. The Top 3 Too Many Cooks characters and which Greek House they would have been in at IU.
3) Victoria Sun - Delta Zeta (Because she is extremely eager to get naked)
2) Katie Adkins - Chi O (There is precedent for this)
1) Smarf - AEPi (Universally beloved by stoners)

4. The top questions that Sarah Koenig is not asking on Serial right now.

SK: Adnan, did you ever have sex with Stephanie?
SK: ADNAN DID YOU EVER HAVE SEX WITH STEPHANIE?!?

AS: Um, ya...but like I didn't talk about it, because I didn't want to sound like a piece of shit.

SK: YOU STUPID FUCK, IT GIVES JAY MOTIVE! JAY DID IT BECAUSE YOU FUCKED HIS GIRLFRIEND AND THEN HE FRAMED YOU!

But I eventually decided not to pursue any of those, because Alex Hassan got picked up by the Oakland A's today.

Now if you made it through a socioeconomic/racist joke packaged as women's body bashing, a slam on the midwest and the low level sales jobs many of my old friends have, some slut shaming and a little reference to a sorority house massacre, please stay tuned because it is about to get a lot worse.

So who is Alex Hassan? Alex is a right handed Center Fielder out of Quincy, MA. He boasts good arm strength and surprising opposite field power at the plate...and of course he was #6 on the Duke fuck list.

Oh you don't remember?

Back in 2010 a hero named Karen F. Owen wrote a thesis on a 13 Duke athletes she had sex with
She eventually posted a 50 slide presentation with her clinical findings.

Karen would describe the evening in question of how she met each "subject" and then describe their hook-up in detail. Afterword she would describe "Memorable moments," Pros, Cons and finally attribute a raw score to each experience based on a number of factors: Physical attractiveness, dick size, talent, creativity, aggressiveness, entertainment, athletic ability and bonus.

If you have a spare moment, I would urge you to read her entire report. Not only is it fascinating based on content alone, it is incredibly well written. While I can understand why everyone freaked out when this story broke, the flip side is that there is a cost of doing business when you take home a notorious jersey chaser, an assumption of risk if you will.

What you will read below is what I direct messaged Karen Owen on Facebook today. It is not a request for an interview or in any way an indictment on anything she has ever done, just a friendly film pitch.

Hey Karen,
My name is Dave. I'm a young writer living in LA. I work primarily in television as an assistant while I work on my own original pilots. Recently I have been really into the idea of viral internet mistakes. Over the summer I wrote a pilot inspired by the Cunt Punt email. It got some traction, I basically took the idea of a mistake made years in the past that comes back to bite you and threw in some J-Swipe jokes. It was pretty good, it has some traction, we'll see.

I'm reaching out to you, to see if you have ever explored the idea of adapting An Education Beyond the Classroom into a feature film (we'll come up with a better working title...something like My Horizontal Life, it will bring back nostalgia for 'my so-called life') Specifically, write an R-rated romantic comedy. Seriously, it will be super easy to get made. I know a fairly famous TV actor, he'll do it, and then we'll just attach a chick who has like a million followers on Vine. How do you think shit like "That Awkward Moment" "Two Night Stand" "What's Your Number?" get made...hell "He's Fucking Perfect" sold for like a billion dollars five years ago and I don't think they even made it.

What we have here is like a perfect storm of R rated romantic comedy tropes. You are a hot chick that behaves like a stereotypical frat bro, drinking too much, acting kinda slutty, hell I bet there was even some drug use that you omitted. It's the movie that everyone WANTS to make now, but is afraid to. And the international component? Genius! We get the Canadian guy that speaks French AND the Australian lover? HELLO FOREIGN BOX OFFICE!

Sure, your character is kind of shallow, but that's fine. We'll have you save a cat in the first 10 pages and then anything else you do the rest of the movie will automatically be forgiven, like when you cost that dude with the small dick his job at Goldman? No one gives a fuck...wah wah bad economy movies are so 2012, 2014 is the year of the strong female protagonist. And how about that story with the guy that couldn't get it up until you played 'Ruff Ryders Anthem?' BOOM. DATED SOUNDTRACK! Ever hear of a little movie called Guardians of the Galaxy? I'm pretty sure they just print their own money now.

We could take the plot in so many directions. The obvious angle that jumps off the page is you are actually writing this piece for a small lifestyle magazine in Manhattan and meet a charming Minor League baseball player from a working class family, you accidentally fall in love, but then he mows your lawn and you run the piece. Somehow he tracks you down on the Booklyn Bridge and sings "You're So Vein" while holding a love fern. Matthew Lillard is involved.

Ok, so that's just a mash up of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days and Summer Catch, I haven't had time to outline this out properly.

But like you see where I'm going with this right? 13 sexual partners isn't that big of a deal anymore, and like who hasn't made a joke about premature ejaculation to their friends before. I think we're looking at a four quadrant hit. The bros will love it, the feminists will love it, the sorority girls of the world will feel validated. Ok, so maybe every person over the age of 30 will find this concept wholy despicable. But...whatever fuck them. Independent film is about being niche. The flyover states probably didn't like the extended dong shots in Shame either but that movie got nominated for a Golden Globe (I feel like Fassbender would earn an excellent review by you, at least in one category)

So look, we'll just tell the story of you doing this whole thought experiment because you wanted to. You're an independent 21st century woman. We'll paint all the guys as somewhat douchey, except one who we'll eventually pair you up with to live happily ever after. We'll give him a fat funny friend played by Josh Gad. I think we can do this whole thing for a budget of like a million bucks.

What I need from you is a 12 month option for a dollar. If we get a studio to bite, I'll co-write with you and hopefully we'll sell it to a WGA signatory production company so we can get that dope ass writer's insurance. I've been needing to get my wisdom teeth out. Or maybe we'll do a kickstarter. I'm sure the world wants to know what you've been up to. Maybe you want a normal, quiet life in like rural Maine. If that's the case, just give me the rights and I'll cut you in on the back end as a silent partner. If you are interested in writing, I'm not currently managed, but I'm hip pocketed by someone at Mosaic. They could probably get you a low level agent somewhere shitty like Gersh if you're into that kinda thing. Let me know. I'm here to help.

Again Karen, I was blown away by your literary talent when I read this thesis four years ago and still find it incredibly compelling. Your style is edgy, witty, almost Lena Dunhamesque but without making me want to commit suicide, twice. I am not bullshitting you. I appreciate your time and look forward to your response.

Best,
Dave

So that's that. I mean, all the people that reached out on Facebook with interest in developing that Molly bender story in Colorado...that's still happening, but like we may need to just quit our day jobs and start AWOL Films because there are too many good tales of young people misbehaving that aren't being told right now. We may not be the heroes that Gen Y deserves, but definitely the storytellers they need.


Friday, November 7, 2014

How to get away with Murder

I didn't take this picture, hence the annoying watermark.
I literally just realized you can't get through life strictly with cockiness and charm. Well you can probably get through, but I imagine a smirk alone doesn't get you far. This is just a jedi mind trick that works with like minded college aged kids. However, in the real world, a devil may care attitude is more likely to dust up repressed emotions of a high school bully or the frat guy a girl regrettably blew in a janitor's closet than to elicit a weak in the knees feeling. Thus I have been trying to modify some of my actions as of late. I am a douche bag, and that much will always be true. Here is an example of my douchiness from TODAY.

I ran down to set to drop something off on set and was greeted by a nervous looking PA.

"What's wrong?"

"I don't know, you just make me nervous."

"I have that effect on women." Smirk. Walk off.

Now in my head, I was Jorma Taccone from that episode of Girls where he said that incredibly cocky thing that caused Allison Williams to immediately run into an alley and touch herself. I wanted to drop a metaphorical mic for being so quick thinking on my feet.

But it's not cool. It sounds fucking rapey at worst, creepy at best. "I make women nervous...SMIRK, WINK and then I eat them for dinner!!!!!" It's like I forget that most chicks in LA aren't former Chi Os. They're art school kids that belong to an improv troupe.

Jesus Christ, what a wreck, I promise I'll focus on doing better.

But it doesn't always backfire spectacularly, sometimes not giving a fuck can be your greatest asset (I'm sure that there are essays that prove this point, though instead of calling it "not giving a fuck" they call it Ayn Rand Third Wave Objectivism) case in point, I am exceptionally good at getting into places I do not belong. I almost always figure out a way to get into music festivals for free and I never pay over face for a ticket to other events. So join me as I share with you a tale about The Santa Monica Airport, Alabama Shakes and a bunch of really really bad spiked cider.

All of the following events take place on November 6, 2014.

8pm: I am in one of the few industries where I am told when I have to come to work and when I can leave. It usually doesn't bother me, unless I have something super cool to go to. It's probably for the best though, because if I had any say in things I'm pretty sure I would never show up before 10am and always leave at 4. This is not a recipe for success. I literally sat at my computer from 8pm and did absolutely nothing outside of watch the pilot for 'Mike Tyson Mysteries' and Too Many Cooks (seriously, fucking watch it) I now have a burning desire to turn into a stoner and spend hours a day watching Adult Swim

830pm: I have now been at work for 12 hours today, my boss should be telling me to leave, but I imagine that the exact moment that I am to be excused from work is not the first thing on everyone's mind. They are probably thinking about relationships, what to have for dinner, who really killed JFK. I could speak up and say something but no one wants to get a reputation for someone who... "Dave go home." *Gets up without saying a word and sprints out the back door*

9pm: God dammit, the Santa Monica airport is a fucking nightmare. I don't know what I thought an eventbrite for a FREE Alabama Shakes show with FREE beer in an abandoned hangar was going to be exclusive. Jesus, every white person in LA must be here, ironic since the lead singer of this band is black. Actually maybe not, following the Beyonce theory that white people listen to black music because it makes them feel less racist. But seriously am I ever going to find a parking spot? Oh fuck ya, is that a golf cart spot? My Mini game is TIGHT!

915pm: Ok I have erroneously landed at the VIP parking gate, flashing my shitty E-Ticket in the air. I am dismissed for the chump that I am. But this affords me the first of many opportunities to see the desperate attempts of girls to get in.

"Ma'm we are at capacity, and this is the VIP entrance, you will need to go to the General Admision gate and wait in line like everyone else."

"Oh no, it's fine. I know Allen."

"Who is Allen?"

"Um, he's like the guy that's in charge. He told me to go to the VIP gate and drop his name. So like I said, it's cool."

"I do not know an Allen."

"It's fine, I'll call him."

"Ma'm, I don't give a fuck who Allen is, you are not getting in this gate."

The soul crushing look on her face screams "You just killed my designer Labrodoodle." This could be a plot synopsis for a female driven remake of John Wick, I imagine Paris Hilton starring in this direct to DVD thriller.

930pm: I've made it to the GA. It is not a good scene. The fire marshal has completely shut down the gate and there are a lot of entitled white kids that have opinions on it.

"But my Dad works for Mercedes."

"I am friends with the opener's tour manager."

"But sir, I only came out for a cigarette, and I left my inhaler inside, if you do not let me in right now, you could be an accessory to MURDER." (Go hard or go home I suppose)

You will notice during, I have said nothing. You do not want to stand out when it looks like you may have to enter a venue by suspicious means. Keep a low profile, this way if you have to slip through a gate or grease a roadie no one will remember you.

Just then a group of Hollywood Persians show up...this should be good. My god they took an Uber SUV for 3 of them. What a bunch of ass clowns, they are wearing suits and lots of gold.

"Um excuse me, WE have tickets"

It's as if they thought that everyone else that showed up just heard about the event on Twitter and said, eh what the hell maybe security is lax.

"Sir everyone has tickets. No one is getting in."

(An aside to fellow Persian) "Yo my homey has a VIP ticket he can email us...that will totally get us in."

"I heard that, VIP tickets will also not get you in. All Access passes are the only thing getting through the door right now."

Moments pass...

"Yo my man, we got VIP tickets now. We're good right?"

"Do you think because someone emailed you one VIP ticket I'm just going to say fuck it and let you 3 in ahead of these people who have been waiting for over an hour?"

"But it says VIP"

"Get the fuck out of here."

945pm: My dad used to say "God gave you 2 ears and one mouth for a reason." I used to think it was because he was being a dick. But now I knew he had a point. Instead of wasting my time looking for weaknesses in the fence or a unathletic guard I could run past, I knew I needed a Mercedes Benz All Access lanyard. I had seen a few throughout the night. Mainly the old people, I would imagine this was the client. There was also a short fat guy that kept bringing out "talent" passes to hot chicks. He is probably some manager type, I imagine he had never felt more important in his life.

Who else would need all access to the venue.

Security...Too many people watching, it would never work. Plus I only had 20 bucks, these guys aren't going to risk their job for 20 bucks.

Someone Leaving...My first idea, plus a guy with his chick would probably just give his pass to me upon leaving. Taking the 20 bucks would be a poor person move. That said, if you invite a girl to Alabama Shakes, you aren't leaving after the opener.

So again, I had to think of someone that was working the event, not self righteous enough to give a shit about me getting in, and not in danger of losing their job.

Then I saw him. A parking guy with not one, but two passes around his neck. Why did the valet guys have passes? All these guys were doing was literally opening and closing a gate so that VIP pass vans and Crew trucks could get through a gate. I saw this guy light a cigarette and I immediately knew that he was my guy.

"Hey man, 20 bucks for your VIP pass."

"30"

"Have you gotten a single tip tonight? I have 20 bucks and I want one, AND I just gave you the idea to sell the other one, that's worth an extra 10."

"Ite."

Boom. I held up my VIP pass and the crowd parted for me like I was fucking Moses. The stern door man enthusiastically pulled the rope back for me. It helped that I was dressed like an eccentric dipshit, wearing Salmon pants and a David Beckham jersey, the type of spoiled brat look that Golden Voice producers probably go for. I bypassed a second line and security whisked me backstage to a seat right next to Alabama Shakes' sound mixer. Tonight was going to be awesome.

1015pm: Because Mercedes Benz underestimated how much privileged white kids like to drink, they quickly ran out of all alcohol. Even the VIP bar that I was privy to had only "Whiskey cider" left. I do not know what whiskey cider is, but it is not good. I have never failed to get drunk because I could not take the taste of whatever dreadful spirit I was embibing, last night I got close.

Whiskey cider tastes essentially what I imagine Butter Beer tastes like. This is why no one in the wizarding world of Harry Potter gets turnt. They like the idea of drinking alcohol, but after one or two of these, you have had enough. I soldiered through and knocked down about 8 until I received the requisite buzz to find my friends and dance. I tried to leave, but a security guard stopped me. Perhaps the jig was up.

1030pm: What are you doing back here man?

Oh, I was just...I'm heading inside to the main area, sorry.

Sorry? Man this backstage shit is whack, your all access pass gets you to the green room. Go right through that door, they got top shelf shit.

The green room is in like the air traffic control room of this small private airport and is sponsored by KIND bars. It's covered in them among other things. There are about 10 hot chicks in there, and that short dip shit from earlier. We enjoy a few drinks together before inevitably he tries to size up how I got into the inner circle.

"So what do you do for Mercedes, you're with client right?"

"Um...well actually I'm a writer."

"For like their commercials? Print campaign, I thought they would have an agency."

"Oh no, like on television. I write for the Newsroom (lie! but I've worked on it and know the writers if a further line of questioning starts, always know your fake story thoroughly) and uh...one of our consultants is an attorney for MBUSA. He knows I'm a big fan so he uh...got me this."

"DUDE. I FUCKING LOVE THE NEWSROOM (Uh oh) I manage the Shakes. Want to meet them? (yah kinda) "We watch Newsroom on the bus sometimes, I bet you even wrote one of the episodes." (Probably not)

Exit strategy.

"I think I'm gonna go get lost in the crowd for a bit man, nice to meet you."

"Well let me get your number bro, me, you, these honeys (he legit called the girls next to him 'the honeys') and Shakes...we're going out tonight."

Gave fake number, got the fuck out.

11:00pm: I'm now watching the show with some friends in the main area. There are a lot of people making out. I wouldn't have pegged this as hook-up music. Man I hope I don't see that short shit again, it will be weird if he calls me on my lie.

I make it to the end of the show and for half a moment (the whiskey cider had kicked in at this point) imagined what kind of night I could have if I really dove all in went out with the Shakes, similar to last week at Hard Day of the Dead when a guy offered to buy a ticket off of me entirely in acid and Molly...man 23 year old me would be all over that shit. But at this point in the evening, I just really wanted McDonalds.

1159pm: I take the last bite of my Double Cheeseburger and crawl into my floor fort (still no bed) I saw a killer show, had an adventure and crushed some golden arches, all for the reasonable price of about $23. It was a good night and it probably would have never happened if I wasn't an arrogant dickhead. There is a time for adult behavior and rational thought and a time for reckless abandon. When it comes to sneaking into a show I always advise the latter. Have a nice weekend everyone.