Wednesday, December 23, 2015

And then there were none

Old house > New house
I was having a nice Christmas break. I did my final improv show on Sunday. It was nice. I drank three bottles of wine, went sake bombing and THEN went ice skating. This was a bad idea. I woke up Monday with hundreds of bruises and some other guy's shoes. Sorry other guy! You can keep those ratty red Sperry's if you want.

On the flight back to Indy, I had an entire row to myself. Can you believe it? I laid down right away, just in case someone in an adjacent row tried to get in on my window action. NOPE! Sorry the Shelbyville woman next to you is 400 pounds, this is my row.

I went down to Bloomington yesterday. I even made my dad drive by ATO. I had some snarky Instagram pic ready to go when I got the text.

"Did you hear?"

This is always a bad text. When someone texts you "did you hear?" they are about to tell you someone died or got arrested. (If it's DID YOU HEAR?!?!?!?! it might be an engagement)

"No. Who died..."

"Phi Psi, check your email."

I checked my email and it appeared that the frat was indeed dead. The Indiana Beta charter had been revoked for marijuana and hazing related violations.

As someone who is 28 years old and has been out of school for over 6 years, this will have little impact on my life. I'm well past the age of going to Little 5 or even swinging by the undergrad tailgate if I were to check out a football game. However, I find myself angry because I see a societal shift happening and I don't like it.

I've read ironic articles about "The war on Christmas." It's hilarious. There are actually people out there that think that it is insensitive to tell someone Merry Christmas. On the flip side, there are people that take offense to the phrase 'happy holidays." The song "White Christmas" was recently banned for being racist. People were boycotting Starbucks because their Christmas cups weren't Christmasy enough.

Both sides of this argument are populated by morons. If you take part on either side of this so-called war on Christmas, you're a fucking idiot. That said, the "War on Greeks" seems to be something real and worth exploring.

When I went to school there was some bullshit class called 'Traditions and cultures of IU' one of the chapters of our text book was about the history of fraternities. It was interesting because you got to hear about some of the old hazing gone wrong stories that read to the demise of several organizations. One kid was forced to swim across lake Monroe and didn't make it. Another was forced to drink a half gallon of Jim Beam on his 'dad's night,' his autopsy report read that at the time of his death, his BAC was north of .48.

Hazing is bad, especially when it leads to death or injury, but on the flip side our reactionary society has gone the other way so hard on this issue that it has become a joke. When I was a pledge, we essentially got yelled at and did push ups. We also provided sober rides for the brothers. All three of these could be considered hazing by the letter of the law, but the reality of this 'hazing' was I had slightly more impressive pectoral muscles my Freshman year and a few of the older brothers avoided a DUI.

This brings us to marijuana, a drug that has been decriminalized in almost all forward thinking states. College kids smoke pot. It's not that big of a deal. Freshman pledges spend one semester of moderate discomfort cleaning up after older guys. It's not that big of a deal. No one is forcing them to be there.

Beyond my house, ATO was booted for hiring a couple of strippers/hookers...a grey area misdemeanor sure, but is it a crime worthy of evicting 100 young men? Probably not. A sarcastic sign that reads "Drop your daughters off here, hell leave Grandma too." Is it coarse? Sure. Is it funny? It's an old joke. Is it an infraction so bad that a social institution should be destroyed? Nah.

The Freshman and Senior Phi Psis will probably ride out the storm, but the Sophomores and Juniors college careers are ruined, or will at least take a significant blow. These guys have 10 days to find a new place to live. It will probably be somewhere shitty. Their social circles have dissolved. Good luck convincing your hot sorority girlfriend to bring her friends over to kick it with you 7 miles off campus!

I get it, it's hard to feel bad for a bunch of alpha males who routinely behave like assholes. It's easy to point a finger at buzz words like 'rape culture' and 'institutional racism.' The truth is, most of these hot take think pieces are pure click bait. Most frat guys want to do what most college students want to do: drink beer and play video games, if you get laid once or twice a semester, that's cool too.

Maybe as a white male it is hard for me to understand someone with an agenda. But I've never seen such hate come from a place of perceived jealousy. When I hear a SJW tell me I don't understand certain things because I'm a WHITE MALE, I feel that they resent me for it. It's the same way I feel when a foreigner complains to me about Americans. For a lot of people, a certain segment of people have just been at the top for too long and it's time for them to be brought down a few pegs, I honestly think this is why PC culture has determined frats should be abolished.

I met my best friends in college, specifically through my fraternity. I have lived with one for the past 4 years. Another in Los Angeles has helped me with several jobs. I've lived on couches of fraternity brothers in times of need, I've been to their weddings and had the best weekends of my life. If my back is ever against the wall, I know there are some guys out there that would move mountains to bail me out and I met most of them in Phi Psi.

Now I know frats aren't all good and there is some sketchy stuff that goes down within them, but all college kids are animals sometimes, not just the Greeks.

There is good too, the heartwarming story of the guys at UCLA that did their best to cheer up a 12 year old cancer patient around the holidays but you won't read about that anywhere else, because it doesn't fit a certain narrative. We did some bad things when I was in college, but we also did some good. I helped raise a million dollars for breast cancer through BMOC. My buddy Eric did a haunted house that supplied a LOT of food to local Bloomington food banks. I like to think that we were a net positive on the community as a whole. (And uh about that flooding of Jordan, we PROMISE that was just a hockey rink that melted, we're not engineers)

Wherever you stand on the issue, fraternities are going to go away and it's sad. I've never actively rallied against an organization's right to exist. I don't understand why outsiders hate us so much. Is it the GDI jokes? I've made a few, but it's all in good jest. I mean for fuck's sake, in this country the KKK is given the right to exist. Surely a few preppy kids with family money and a love of partying are not as bad as white supremacy?

It's clear Indiana's president, Michael McRobbie, has an agenda. I believe he is on record as being anti-Greek. Then again, I haven't thought much of him since he had one of his old drinking buddies hijack a commencement speech to instead discuss the plight of a gay man in Australia. It's not just the administration though, our nationals aren't a huge help either. Fraternities used to be about building lasting friendships and excellent networking. Now it seems they are more concerned with press clippings and maintaining a positive bottom line.

I may not speak for every former Greek when I say this, but if the kids aren't actively harming anyone, why don't you just leave them alone?

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dear Santa

Sweater game ALWAYS been on point (and that turtleneck)

When I was a little kid I never imagined that I would be hard to shop for. I knew how to draft the FUCK out of a Christmas list. I would routinely ask for about $10,000 worth of shit, knowing I would get something closer to $1000. The privilege in that statement must drive you nuts. This is like a sample list from 8 year old me…

Dear Santa,
Lance on the bus said you're not real, but his parents are getting divorced because of something with a pool boy. Also he's Jewish, I bet he's just jealous. This is probably just his way of dealing with it. I was really good this year, don't listen to what my brother says. Can I have a new Hot Wheels set, some legos, Laser Tag, a basketball hoop and a pool? Also A Duke Sweater…I wanna go to Duke and be like Christian Laettner when I grow up. Also some fun surprises and stocking stuffers. Thanks Santa, say hi to Rudolph for me!
-David

I wore the shit out of that Duke sweatshirt when I was little, I feel shame every day now. I would get the hot wheels set and laser tag, my dad even built a basketball court in the back yard. I realized from a young age that I would just ask for a couple ridiculous things and my parents would drop it like the Russian Judge's score and get me everything else.

Let's see another example from middle school…

Dear Santa, hey buddy, I was REALLLY good this year. Don't listen to my brother, he's a stupid fathead and he cries too much. If it's not too much trouble, I would like the following things this year…

Nintendo 64. Santa, this is non negotiable. If you do not get me this, it will be a bad Christmas, I will take back every single other item and go buy this. (Ed. Wasn't I a little cunt?) I also need Goldeneye and Mario Kart. And maybe Smash Bros too. Also I like the purple kinda see through controller, can I get 4 of those? Also a paintball gun, a BB gun and a lake house on Sweetwater. Also some surprises in my stocking i.e. MP3 player, mini DVD player, and what not. I also need an Iowa Sweater. I want to grow up to be like Brad Banks. Brad Banks is dope.

Best,
David

LOL, asking for a lake house on Sweetwater (Sweetwater was the Geist/Carmel lake house spot…ya even though we lived on a fucking lake we needed an ancillary lake house out of town) and a fucking MP3 player as a stocking stuffer. But I would get my Nintendo and my dad would usually get me like a $400 baseball bat as counter programming. I would be more excited about the Nintendo.

As high school moved along, the letter to Santa would change.

Dear Santa, sup dude, I was super good this year. Don't listen to my brother, he has ADD or something, if you have a spare moment, could you please make sure I get…

15" Subwoofers, do not get me 10's. I want to shake the block and set off car alarms. Also, I want that mirror tint. If you can find the Ron Artest throwback jersey that would be dope. I could probably use a new boom box for my room. Make it one that can burn CDs plz, I need to mass produce my mix tape. Are Air Force Ones still a thing? Get me some 13s…actually 14s, I want the girls at school to think I have a big dick. Also, The Cadillac CTS is really cool. Can I get like a 2004? It's used so it should be cheap.

Peace,
Aryan (my rapper name…my black teacher doesn't like it)

Ahh my wigger phase. I remember it well. No Cadillac for me that year but I did get a $500 Best Buy gift card. That was enough for some 12's and a new speaker system for my room. Also I wore the shit out of that Ron Artest throwback.

College the list became pretty predictable..

Dear Santa, I was good, get me this…

POLO. Seriously if it's not Polo I don't want it. In fact, I only want Polo where the horse is prominently displayed. Do not wrap it and put it under the tree unless it is fucking Polo. Or Lacoste. Or A North Face fleece. So help me God if you get me a regular fleece that isn't Polo I will never come home for Christmas again. I need a Burberry quarter zip too AND Sperry's in every color of the fucking rainbow. Maybe even some rainbow colored Sperry's (no homo) Also, I need you to pay for Spring Break, it's $2000.

Frat frat frat,
David B. Moeller

I get it, I was the worst. But ever since, I've become much more practical. The past few years, I have asked for socks. FUN SOCKS. Because fun socks are the shit. I'm wearing socks with sharks on them right now. Do you know what shark socks say about you?  Shark socks say, 'I like to party, but I'm classy enough that I wear dress socks to work.' I already asked my mom for some Lululemon this year to further my yuppie look. I got kinda shut down. 'I get a great discount on Nike apparel through work.' 5 years ago this would have sent me on a tirade, this year? I just said 'cool.'

The older you get the harder you become to shop for and the harder it becomes to shop for others. For a while I had this trick that I would just buy people tickets to shit that I wanted to go to. "Merry Christmas I got you 2 tickets to the Colts game and you HAVE to take me." The same could go for a concert or play that was in town. This year I think I'm going to do Christmas sweaters for my family, because Christmas sweaters are the shit. Also I can only get my mom so many Yankee Candle/Sephora gift cards.

As for me? I guess it's just easiest if I paste the actual letter I wrote to Santa this year…

Dear Santa,
Hey man, how ya been? Is it snowing up at the North Pole? Some fresh powder for you and the elves to shred? Or is it 80 and sunny like Indiana #globalwarming? Anyway, I'll be honest with you, I've been kind of naughty this year. I didn't pay any of my parking tickets, I drank a lot and generally didn't take the best care of myself. Also, I was kind of a dick to some girls. We would have a thing going and then I would just, POOF and disappear. The kids call it ghosting, it's not that I actively attempt to be an asshole, it's just that adulting is hard.

Anyway, I need you bad this year man. Here is a non-exhaustive list of things that would substantially improve my quality of life.
-An $80,000 a year job that works no more than 40 hours a week, where I could just generally be kinda creative and shit. I have no idea what I can do specifically, but I'm generally pleasant to be around and I think I'm probably funnier than 6 out of 10 random people.

-Like $10,000 cash. I think everyone could significantly improve their situation with a quick 10k.

-UCB 201 classes. Last week at class, I tried to reference that scene from 'Catch me if you can' where Leonardo DiCaprio asks the dude if he concurs. The dipshit intern is like 'the boy told us that it was a bicycle accident.' And then Leo sternly replies SO YOU CONCUR? Anyway, the amateurs in my class totally didn't get the reference. How tf am I supposed to get famous if my classmates can't even quote mid 2000s Spielberg? I need to ascend to the next level.

-A sitcom! It doesn't even need to be a hit. Just get me like 6 episodes. There were 419 scripted tv shows that aired in 2015. Now I'll admit that if I was given the keys to a tv show, there would probably not be Emmys involved. But I am confident I could crack the top 400. It will be super cheap too. Everything would be steadicam and natural lighting. 8 hour days MAX.

-A Soho House membership. My dad says life is about networking. Networking at a social club for creatives is probably more productive than trying to impregnate women on the dance floor at Canal Club.

-A new bike. Some homeless dude stole mine. I'm not drinking for the first few months of 2016. I want to get shredded one last time before I'm 30. I will need a new bike to accomplish this.

-Flight lessons. Do you know how hard it is to quit drinking? If my life depends on it, I will be more likely to accomplish this goal.

-A boat. I don't need my own boat, but if you could pair me up with like 5 other people that requested a boat, we can all share it. See? I'm reasonable.

-You wanna pick up my car insurance for like 6 months? Paying $100 a month just to NOT get arrested seems kinda ridiculous.

-Can you make my hair grow back? I cut it for a girl and now I'm really missing my hair. My hair never complained when I couldn't get it up. It just sat there and chilled.

-See above. Can you give me something to deal with that?

-Fun socks. But they must be Happy Socks brand. Also the 54,000 podcasts I listen to tell me meUndies are comfy. Let's get some of those involved. And Birchbox men. I'm sick of only getting bills in the mail. I used to look forward to checking the mailbox.

-I don't own a black belt. Is this important? I have seven different pairs of flip flops and no black belt, lol Venice.

-Ok Santa, I'm kidding I don't need any of the above. I mean I would take it, but I'm not going to stop believing in you or anything if it doesn't happen. You're the shit man, you've been there for me forever. If you want to give me a little spending money for Tahoe and keep paying my cell phone bill that would be awesome. And fun socks, for real I want some fun socks. But you can get them at Target, they cost about a tenth as much as happy socks and are just as fun.

Have fun with the elves and shit this winter, I'll make sure to make you some cookies, but in lieu of milk I'll give you a white Russian. I know how fucking boring Indiana is, I'm probably going to spend the entire Holiday break getting drunk in the basement and re-enacting classic action movies with my cats. Just throw a pint of Beam in my stocking and we can call it a day.

Thanks dude,
Dave

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The 2011 Fifth Exchange

2006 fifth exchange
Somehow there are still 10 days left until Christmas which seems impossible since I've already been to about 5 Christmas parties, 2 bar crawls, a Secret Santa and watched Home Alone four times.

This past weekend was the annual TBOX/Santacon/SANTA Monica crawl. It's the big bar crawl where all your white friends start doing cocaine around 9am and wear competing Tipsy Elves sweaters that all cost north of $80.

Old people and hipsters alike loathe this annual bacchanalian adventure. This year, just to troll the aging Brooklyn population and prove that gentrification is complete, the Santacon promoter routed their event straight through the heart of Williamsburg. He then even had the lack of fucks to give an interview that behaved as a long dismissive wank to all of his detractors. Conversely, you may have spent the better part of yesterday reading the TBOX (twelve bars of christmas) police blotter! Yay public intoxication and rape!

'Tis the season.

But while everyone else was having a regrettable hook up with a coworker at a holiday party or trying to convince a slutty elf that having sex in the bathroom of O'Brien's isn't THAT big of a deal; I was dabbling in a different tradition…

The Fifth Exchange.

This year marked my 11th fifth exchange.

Four in college, two in Chicago, five in LA.

2008 fifth exchange

Some highlights:

2005: First fifth exchange, someone gets me Mount Gay rum. This is funny because 'gay'

2007: Someone gets me 151, I test the hypothesis that this can be used to breathe fire. It can. I black out and go streaking through the Jewish sorority after serenading them with the Dreidel song.

2008: I get 151 again. But Jake gets Rumplemintz and Paul gets Gold Schlager. Assemble Team See Ya. I get very drunk and nap from 12am-3am. I have a 5am flight to Chicago (from Indianapolis) I get pulled over for erratic driving on the way to the airport. I tell the officer about my early morning flight for a final round interview at CH Robinson. He wishes me luck and offers me a police escort the rest of the way to the airport. I polite decline. While I didn't get a DUI, I also didn't get the job.

2010: Last fifth exchange in Chicago. I pass out in a pile of bushes in mid December after drinking a fifth of Snow Queen vodka. I don't die.

2013: Smolen's last fifth exchange in LA. Someone gets me Mount Gay rum. This is still funny because 'gay'

This year marked the fifth annual west coast fifth exchange. With half of my friends flown to Miami for a fucking Deadmau5 concert, the onus came down to me to host.

For the uninitiated, the fifth exchange is a secret santa that we used to do at my fraternity in college. I have migrated it to every city I have lived post college and the group has grown from only IU phi psis, to only IU people, to whoever wants to come. The 'ceremony' is pretty simple. Everyone brings a fifth of alcohol (that costs under 30 bucks) wrapped and puts it under the tree addressed to a person from Santa. At 8 o'clock someone shouts "GUYS SANTA CAME!" and we run down the stairs to rip open our presents.

We're almost 30.

2013 fifth exchange

Alas, this year's fifth exchange went off without a hitch, but that wasn't always the case. Toss another log on the fire and allow me to share with you the story of the 2011 fifth exchange.

(I'm going to change names to protect the innocent)

It was December of 2011, I had recently moved to Los Angeles and I had exactly five friends. I was living on a mattress pad in an upstairs room of a ten bedroom castle in Encino. Among my roommates were: two Russian lesbians (married) a french couple that spoke no English, and a Pakistani commercial actor. There were other people that came and went, I was never quite sure who lived there. I stayed in my room most of the time watching old BBC shows on Hulu and crying about my ex girlfriend. Some nights someone would knock on my door an ask if I wanted to drink whisky by the pool, but most of the time I was ignored.

I was semi-employed at the time, but it had become very evident that my specific job function was on its way out and it was a matter of time before I was unemployed and alone in Los Angeles, I was ready to give up on my dream before even giving it a chance…but then one wintry morning I got a text message from my friend Ron.

"Guys I'm house sitting my boss's place in Marina Del Rey this weekend. It's super sick and I think we can throw a party."

Previously to moving into the compound off of Mulholland I had been living on Ron's couch, but I had LONG overstayed my welcome, so I was just happy to be invited to do something.

"What if we had fifth exchange there?" Responded Derek, one of Ron's roommates.

"Can I smoke cigarettes and have sex in your boss's bed?" asked Brody.

"No but you can cuddle with his dog." Ron relents.

"In." - Derek

"In." - Brody

"Fuck ya." - Mack

"Yay!" - Me

"Duh." - Ken

The stage was set, we were going to all move into this one bedroom, one bathroom apartment in Marina Del Rey for the weekend and the 6 of us were going to throw ourselves a fifth exchange/Christmas Party. I was stoked.

The morning of December 10th we move into the apartment. The place is magical, located on the third floor of one of Marina Del Rey's sprawling resorts, complete with pools, hot tubs, picnic areas and ocean views. The apartment is decorated to look like the Williams Sonoma winter catalogue. The puppy is even wearing reindeer antlers.

We decide to make the brief jaunt to Venice Beach to watch a morning basketball game at a quaint bar called Nikki's. It would be my first visit to Venice since I had moved to Los Angeles in September, little did I know that this would soon be my home and my bar (or that it would be rudely taken from me years later by the evil corporation Snap Chat.)

We were the only 6 people at the bar watching an unranked Indiana team play against number one Kentucky. Indiana led most of the game before choking away the lead late. Then with only a few seconds left, this happened.

The day was off to a good start.

It's hard to remember the rest of the afternoon. I know at some point we joined up with a Christmas themed bar crawl at Canal Club and somehow we all acquired shitty Christmas sweaters and bottles of booze.

The most dangerous cocktail on the planet.

Cut to, 8pm. We are all back at the MDR apartment and halfway in the bag. Derek has invited 2 of his actor buddies to join us, bringing our grand total to 8. We place the gifts under the tree and someone's girlfriend yells out "Hey guys, Santa came!" We sprint down the stairs and rip open our gifts.

I shit you not, 8 bottles of Jack Daniel's Tennessee Honey (remember that shit?) anyway, it was really big in the winter of 2011. This is relevant though because of how easy it was to drink.*

*People forget that there was a very real time between the death of Jagermeister and the rise of Fireball that Jack honey was all the rage. It felt classy because it was a 'premium whisey' but also went down like water, often with disastrous results.

Per tradition, once the presents were unwrapped females were invited over. Given our lack of popularity at the time, I think four showed up, plus one girlfriend that was already there, thus bringing our total to 13. Thirteen people and 8 bottles of Jack honey in a one bedroom apartment is a good time. However, given that we were all still in our early twenties and in peak drinking shape, we were out of booze by 10.

Simple fix, one mile away from our present location was the infamous Venice bar 'The Whaler.' The Marina Del Rey boat parade fireworks were in full swing, the streets were lined with people wandering around in Santa hats, drinking egg nog out of thermoses, it would be great.

We file out of the 3rd floor apartment and see a sign pointing toward the end of the hallway for the stairs, but with a bank of elevators right in front of us, we decided to be lazy.

The elevator is small and 12 people is a tight fit. There is a sticker that clearly states an 8 person max, but we're all drunk and do not care. Plus we are skinny.

Some sort of alarm goes off, but the door eventually closes and we all remark on how cramped we are in the elevator. Had we just casually stood quietly in the elevator for the next 15 seconds, everything would have probably been fine. But of course that is not what happened…

"What if we all jumped at the same time?" - Ken

"Don't do that." - Ron

"Let's try it." - Drunk girl 1

"Wait I want out, I'm taking the stairs." - Ron

"Three…two…" - Ken

"Guys seriously, don't." - Ron

"One." - Ken.

Ten people jump in the air in a tiny elevator at the Mariner's Village apartments and a wrenching crack sounds permeates through the shaft. The elevator grinds to a halt.

"God dammit." - Ron

"Sorry." - Ken

The first two minutes or so are the blame game. Half the people calling Ken a fucking idiot and the other half trying to wrench the doors open to improve the situation.

But in a cramped broken elevator with extreme intoxication, anger quickly turns to panic.

It was minute five when the first girl uttered. "I have to pee."

The first tears were shed at minute eight.

At minute 10 we realized no one had cell phone service and the 'call rescue' button was (maybe) broken.

Totally fucked.

Throughout the first ten minutes Ron stayed relatively calm. As this was his boss's place and he was house sitting we deferred to him to be the person in charge. He also seemed to be the most sober, Ron would get us through this.

"Ok first of all, everyone relax. I've been stuck in an elevator before. The 'call' button isn't lighting up because the light is burnt out. Authorities are probably already on the way. Also this is a massive resort with 24 hour security. There is a man in a command center that sees this elevator is fucked. It will only be a matter of minutes before we are rescued." - Ron

"I can't hold it much longer." - Drunk Girl #1

"We will use the southwest corner as the pee corner." - Ron

"I kinda need to take a shit, which corner is the shit corner." - Brody

"There is no shit corner Brody, hold it." - Ron

For the first 45 minutes, everyone is convinced that Ron is right. Of course luxury apartment complexes have 24 hour security. The Fire Department is just stuck in traffic.

At one hour trapped, Derek began to voice concern.

"I think we need to start yelling for help." - Derek

"That's a bad idea, it will wake up the neighbors and then they will rat me out to my boss and I will get fired." - Ron

"There is a fireworks show going on, no one is sleeping. No one is going to be mad at you for being stuck in an elevator." - Derek

"What if there is a camera in here? And they seen Ken breaking the elevator! And then we are on the hook for paying for this fucking elevator" - Ron

"Guys, Ron is the host, let's listen to him." - Mack

At the moment drunk girl one breaks and pees in the southwest corner. Four people in the elevator are now crying.

"I'll give you 15 minutes." - Derek

At 90 minutes trapped...

"Maybe Derek is right, a lot of people are out and about, I bet they would hear us yelling." - Brody

"And then what will they do when they find our urine soaked elevator?" - Ron

"I dunno, rescue us?" Mack

"What is this, a mutiny? Mack??" - Ron

"Sorry Ron, I'm on team Derek now." - Mack

"Ron, I relieve you of your command. Ken, please take him into custody." - Derek

With that, Ken physically restrains Ron and everyone in the elevator screams bloody murder for rescue.

It was unsuccessful.

At two hours trapped people are starting to lose their shit.

"We're going to die in here." - Mack

"At least be trapped until morning." Ken

"This is all your fault Ken." - Ron

"If we would have started screaming earlier maybe people would have heard us." - Ken

"I REALLY have to take a shit."

Derek's two actor buddies and most of the girls are all huddled in the corner furthest from the pee and kinda half sleeping, half crying like you see a lot of the survivors of a disaster do in the immediate aftermath.

Brody, who has been staring at the doors for a while without talking finally decides to take action. He grasps the interior elevator doors and pulls with all his might to wedge them open. They won't budge.

"Come on guys, help me out."

Mack and Derek help pull, Ken joins in and finally they are able to pry open the door about three inches.

"Someone needs to stick their hand into the elevator shaft with their phone and see if they can get service." - Brody

"No fucking way man, that is some Final Destination shit waiting to happen." - Ken

"I can't fit my hands…" - Derek

"I can…" -Mack

Mack dials 911 and turns on his speaker. He presses dial and then juts his arm into the cavernous shaft.

The phone rings….and rings…

"What the fuck, is it going to go to voicemail?" - Derek

rings…rings….finally, '911, what is your emergency.'

Everyone screams at once. "HEEEEEEEEEELPPPPPPPP"

"Excuse me?"

SHUT THE FUCK UP GUYS.

"We are stuck in an elevator at 4600 via Marina, please we need immediate assistance…"

BEEP BEEP BEEP.

The call drops, Mack looks at his phone. It powers down, dead. No one else can get service, we wait to see if our distress call will be answered.

Three hours trapped…

We have given up at this point. Resigned to our fate. Then a hydraulic noise from behind us breaks the silence. The exterior doors in the shaft jolt open.

"Anyone down there?"

A firefighter is staring down at us.

"I'm going to get you guys out of there ok?"

The LAFD uses the jaws of life to wedge open two sets of doors and pull us from the carnage. Women first and then the men. As the last of our crew climbs out the fireman wrinkles his nose, 'what happened in there?'

Alliances were formed, backs were stabbed. In a word, betrayal.

"You don't want to know man."

A large group of residents had gathered to watch the rescue, all in all a 40 person standing ovation turned to nervous concern when they saw the state of the passengers file back into Ron's boss's apartment.

The door swung open.

"How was the bar guys?" I ask.

No one answers me.

Ah yes, I forgot to mention. I never made it into the elevator, I slept through the whole thing on the couch, I decided I was too drunk to go out. Perhaps the best decision I've ever made in my life.

***

Epilogue…

A faulty sensor in the elevator had to be replaced. The jump had triggered an oversensitive earthquake detector that shuts down an elevator to protect people that could be inside. It was replaced for two dollars.

Ron didn't get fired.

Two months later Ron, Ken, Mack and I moved to Venice which we would make our permanent Los Angeles home.

I never saw drunk girl 1 again. Some things I guess you just can't come back from.

That said we would rally for another fifth exchange in 2012 and it continues to get better each and every year, but we don't really take elevators anymore.

Happy Holidays everyone.

2015 fifth exchange

Thursday, December 3, 2015

To Crawl or not to Crawl


In college I used to SWOT analyze everything because it's funny and I'm a huge douche that wanted to remind everyone I was in the business school. (It was a little hard to get into at Indiana and we all had a massive superiority complex)

I would SWOT where we should go for lunch, I would SWOT whether to hook up with a chick. This is the type of shit that happens at a fraternity house in between dinner and drinking. (Along with guitar hero, FIFA and Risk)

I haven't done a SWOT analysis in a while and I think it's time to bring it back. For the uninitiated a SWOT analysis is a decision making tool using four factors: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A business might use one when deciding whether to launch a new product or enter a new territory. The strengths and weaknesses represent internal factors whilst the opportunities and threats represent external factors…blah blah blah

Quick example: Portillo's is considering opening a location in Bloomington

S: 
Dopest fucking Italian Beef in the world
Regional Brand awareness

W: 
No existing regional infrastructure
High price point for college campus

O:
Exposure to new market
High demand for fast casual dining on college campus

T:
Extreme existing competition
Expensive beer/alcohol licensing

Reading that extremely brief breakdown you at least get an idea of a few of the considerations Portillo's would look at? In my opinion would they crush it? Of course, the Chicago contingent of Indiana University students alone would keep that place in business.

BUT THIS ARTICLE IS NOT ABOUT ITALIAN BEEF!

Every year, the first Saturday in December the Big Ten bar crawl takes place in Hermosa beach. I take a bus down from Venice, with a bunch of IU homies, it's awesome. Here is a brief history of my performance on the Big Ten bar crawl through the years.

2011: Kicked out of Hennesy's at 2pm. Take a cab back to Hollywood. Leave my phone in cab. It turns up 3 days later in Lancaster. Forced to drive 2 hours and bribe a small black child $80 to get my phone back.

2012: Kicked out of Hennesy's at 2pm. Am dragged to the bus. Vomit on bus. Left in some bushes outside my Venice Apartment. Miss a Passion Pit concert. Wallet mailed to me 2 weeks later.

2013: Kicked out of Hennesy's at 2pm. Uber home. Lose keys. Rent car for a week while waiting for my mom to mail me a back-up pair. Find keys a week later in a closet with my potato cannon and a sack of potatoes. Apparently I got home and wanted to shoot some shit.

2014: Kicked out of Hennesy's at 2pm. Remember nothing else. Wake up a day later in Santa Monica sans credit card. Show up to work and find out that I have charged $200 of shots to the About a Boy Season 1 AMEX. My Chase card surfaces at a Bristol Farms in Santa Monica. I find a Visa Sapphire in my wallet belonging to my neighbor. Apparently there was a misunderstanding with the cards. Chase wipes all charges for the previous 72 hours, About a Boy accountant sweeps my gaffe under the table.

I'm pretty consistently a disaster on the Big Ten Bar Crawl.

I'm getting older, it's becoming less acceptable for me to binge drink before noon on a Saturday. In fact the only real reason for me to go is to meet a bunch of 24 year olds to hang out with so I can feel like less of a professional failure by comparison.

I won't know many people on the bar crawl but it could still be fun. I have a spot on the bus, a ticket to the crawl and even a place to crash in Manhattan if things get out of control. All I have to do is get on the bus…so, is it worth it?

Strengths

If I have one skill it's partying, few people will dispute this. If I have a second it's being a Bro. A day time bar crawl through a bunch of divey beach bars in the frattiest neighborhood in LA is right up my alley.

I crush bar crawls. See last Wednesday. I'm a hero in large organized drinking events.

I crush party busses. I am money in warm lead-ins vs cold. ie. I am much more likely to pull a girl from a pre game than a bar, because everyone at the pre game has a tangential connection. Pregames on wheels are very aggressive, typically whoever shows up with the most outrageous booze is the coolest.

I have an Adderall prescription. This is a massive asset during a heavy day of drinking.

Quick takeaway: Fratty bar crawl with a crazy bus pre game = GOOD FOR DAVE

Weaknesses

I'm alone, so hopelessly alone. I will be the kid at the Ralph's sitting on a case of beer holding way too much liquor hoping someone asks me if I'm also waiting for the Big Ten bar crawl bus. I went on a bar crawl essentially alone last week and spent $300.

I have a track record for getting drunk and losing things. I already have a broken iPhone. Saturday morning I will have a brand new iPhone. Sounds dangerous.

I'm old as fuck (at least for the LA IU party circuit) my body has limitations. Day drinking flattens me for the next 48 hours.

When drunk I have no control of my decisions.

Quick Takeaway: I'm old and my body isn't what it used to be, I also will spend recklessly if I'm not having fun in an attempt to get people to like me. This is detrimental to my wallet.

Opportunities

New blood! My friends are slowing down. No one wants to go on the bar crawl this year, they'll probably go to Home Depot and buy gardening supplies. FUCK GARDENING SUPPLIES! It would be nice to meet some new people that share my disdain for gardening supplies. As they say in the biz, networking is everything.

Fun? It's supposed to be fun right? Drinking and shit talking other big ten schools? Have a crazy day and get some ammunition for a blog post that 400 people will read? That's essentially why I do most of the things I do.

Maybe I'll meet the one! Over a drunken slice of pizza at the Poop Deck! I'll shout something like 'PURDUE IS THE HUFFLEPUFF OF THE BIG TEN!" And this chick playing flip cup will respond "Ha, PURDUE IS A CAMPUS FULL OF MUGGLES!" And it will be love at first sight…or at least a sloppy blow job on an air mattress somewhere, dare to dream.

Quick Takeaway: Bar crawls are typically fun and a successful performance could help me expand my sphere of influence. Maybe there will be a Brobible writer there or something.

Threats

Rejection. Rejection by girls, by guys, by bouncers. I could go on this bar crawl and end up following around 2 or 3 guys I barely kinda know until they pair off with a few chicks and leave me in the dust. One year right before I blacked out after my third Four Loko I remember being kicked out of Baja Sharkeez and being told "I'd had enough." I think my eyes started to water and then the bouncer asked me if I was crying. I made something up. I told him my grandfather had just died, and I came on this bar crawl to cheer myself up. He said he was sorry but I would be a danger to myself and others if he let me back in. That was a low point.

Loss of…everything. I don't often lose things, but this bar crawl has been my achilles heel. If I go on this thing there is an extreme chance something doesn't come out. It's possible I wake up Monday morning with no wallet, no cell phone and an email from my dad titled 'MONEY.' This should be avoided.

I suppose there is always the chance that I'll think it's a good idea to do a pier dive in the middle of December. Drunk people don't swim well and Great Whites like the water a little cooler.

Herpes. Herpes is always a threat.

Quick Takeaway: Any way you slice it, going on this bar crawl is a major risk.
***

Well shit. After spending all day trying to break this down all I've really been able to come up with is that this is a high risk, medium reward proposal.

Of course there are things I could do to mitigate the risk. I could take out $200, leave my cell phone at home. I could go to the DMV and get a California Identification Card (we used to use these as fakes all the time back in the day) and worst case scenario I wake up naked on the beach, at least all of my valuables are safe somewhere.

And here's the thing, anyone I meet, anything I do on the bar crawl. I'm not going to remember. I'll save girls' phone numbers as Laura HOT or JeNebraska and then I'll never text them because what if they're fat, or I called them a cunt and don't remember. Best case scenario I'll have a fun picture on the Hermosa pier that will make a couple midwesterners jealous because it will be snowing where they are.

That picture won't even get that many likes. People don't like when they're jealous.

Also I'm sick right now. This might be a good one. Like the bedridden for 7 days and emerge 7 pounds lighter kind. This paired with my 29 days of sobriety in January, my God, I might look good with my shirt off by Spring Break.

You aren't going to believe this, but I'm making the adult decision to NOT CRAWL. I had my fun, I did four strong crawls. It's someone else's time to shine now. Pregame effectively and remember that American Junkie is the best bathroom for drugs. I have faith in you and I feel OK about passing the party torch to the next generation. I'll still check in on you, I'll be at the Parlor for big basketball games. But this Saturday…I'm sleeping in. I'm finishing Jessica Jones. I'm watching Master of None. I'm cleaning my room, for real like with a vacuum cleaner.

This Saturday I'm choosing to be an adult.

That is unless someone can convince me otherwise...

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Stage 4: Thanksgiving


Thursday morning I didn't wake up in my own bed. This is always distressing, especially when it is comes on the back end of a black out. Where am I? What are the circumstances that led me here? Am I in trouble?

These are the 3 questions that plague me, followed quickly by 'Do I have my wallet, phone and keys?"

On a good day the answers were: Somewhere safe, Partying, no one is mad, I have all of my possessions.

A brief follow up is typically "Did I spend over $300 last night?" But on this particular day, I didn't even check. I had to be at the airport in 2 hours and I was still wearing a Pikachu suit in Manhattan Beach.

I über back to my apartment and remember that I was supposed to drop something off at my boss's house, my delayed hangover is kicking in. A onesie bar crawl always sounds like a good idea at the time, but why I chose to do one on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving with a potentially brutal day at the airport ahead of me…your guess is as good as mine. Probably alcoholism.

I only have time for either a shower or to run to my boss's house. I smell like I took a bath in the fermentation room of a brewery so I decide my boss will live without a script. I throw my crumpled excuse for a suit in the dryer with a wet wash cloth and hop in the shower. 15 minutes later I'm off to LAX with a stand-by ticket to Sacramento, a hope and a prayer.

I arrive at LAX at around 10am with plenty of time to make the flight at 11. I cruise through security, waltz right up to gate 51 and inform the agent I would like to get on the next flight to Sacramento.

"Cool, there are 10 open seats, you're totally going to make it."

Great, run to the bar, crush two IPAs and then come back to claim my boarding pass.

"Sorry, the flight is full."

What happened to the 10 seats?

"People with status had the same idea you had, they clear before you."

This is understandable. Flying standby is a bit of a risk. I'm a bit annoyed because I could have taken a nap, I could have run a couple errands, but whatever. The beer is cold at the Rock and Brew.

"What's up with the 1 o clock flight? I REALLY want on that one, can I just maybe upgrade to a first class ticket?"

"Oh, don't do that, there are 20 seats available."

Ok fine, I'll just head to the bar for a couple hours. I drink myself a 6-pack while discussing the Captain America: Civil War trailer with a few nerds. You can guess what happens next. I don't get on the 1 o clock flight, I don't get on the 3pm flight. I get on the 5:15 flight.

Being stuck in an airport for 9 hours isn't ideal no matter how much beer you're allowed to drink. The one saving grace for me was that when I did land in Sacramento I realized it was one of the few airports that hadn't banned Uber.

Small win.

I thought.

I get in my Uber to Granite Bay (45 minute drive) and my cabbie asks me how my day is going.

"It's about to get better"

"Why is that?"

"I just texted my friends, they said they have five shots of whiskey lined up for me."

The cab goes dark, I'm a bit surprised, that's a funny light hearted joke. Why isn't she laughing.

"I really wish you wouldn't have said that…"

Uh oh.

"Today is my five month anniversary in recovery and I'm really struggling."

Oh God.

"But maybe you getting in the car and saying you are having 5 shots…"

No, no no….

"…on my 5 month anniversary is the universe telling me something."

NOPE NOPE NOPE!

"I was just kidding, they didn't even text me that, I was just trying to make you laugh!"

"The fact that you even brought it up though, it's fate, don't you know? I'm having a shitty week, I lost custody of my daughter to her dead beat dad, I'm down 5 grad at the casino. This is going to turn it all around."

"NO DEAR GOD, THE UNIVERSE IS TESTING YOU."

We finally pull up to my friend's house in Wexford Estates and she won't shut up about the size of the homes.

"I'm going to the casino tonight and I'm going to drink and win enough money to buy one of these homes."

"Christ, at least stick to beer."

I'm digging into my bag as we pull up to casa de bird when my driver reminds me to give her 5 stars for the ride.

"Just promise you won't end up in a body bag tonight and I'll give you as many stars as you want."

And that's the story of how I enabled an addict.
***
I don't even make it inside of the house when I see all of my friends in an ambulance.

"Is this like the one you escaped from in Italy? Get up here, we're doing shots of morphine."

They weren't but I wouldn't have been surprised if they were.

"Here are your five shots. It's conveniently been placed in a water bottle. You can't leave the ambulance until you finish it."

Ugh. I want to go home.

By the time I make it into "Thanksgiving dinner" it's about 8 o clock, the table has been cleared and there is a small late plate in the corner with my name on it. People are already playing beer pong in the garage. It felt like coming home to the frat house after a long day of midterms.

Before I could even finish my turkey I was whisked into the garage to play beer pong/flip cup/civil war. Guys were kind of finishing getting ready while casually playing. Someone was fiddling with a speaker, trying to get it to project his newest sound cloud mix. One of my homies was handing out vivance while giving status updates on when the chicks would be arriving.

Oh my god. My Thanksgiving is a frat party.

I spent about 4 hours on the beer pong table, usually a game I hate, but we added a new wrinkle called the Charlie Sheen rule.

American Beer Pong rules 64a-8
If at any time in the game a ball deflects in the air off of a cup, the receiving team can set the ball in the air to his or her teammate who can in turn spike the ball toward the other team while yelling 'Charlie Sheen.' If the spike strikes the opponent, they will drink a beer. If the opponent catches the ball, the spiking team will drink a beer.

The Charlie Sheen rule is why I blacked out and didn't make it to the annual 2am leftovers celebration 'Thanksgiving Dos.'

Instead I woke up at 6am in the movie theater room with a cat on my face. I quickly ran outside into a neighbor's yard and vomited for 20 minutes into a bush. Sorry random neighbor.

Anyway, top three hangover of my life. I took four showers that morning and more than once contemplated overdosing on the cat's feline AIDS medication. My symptoms began to subside around 3pm, my friends brought me a plate of sashimi, shock tarts and some cold beer.

"That's like $200 worth of sashimi Moelman, wake the fuck up!"

An Iowa win and the Shock tarts sorta brought me back to life enough to roll into the car for the trip to SF, a four hour slog through nightmarish traffic. By the time we arrived at the Sheraton Marina I was ready to cuddle up on my floor spot (oh ya…5 grown men sharing 2 double beds, the 6'3 guy gets the floor) and call it a night.

Of course my plan was foiled.

We spent the better part of an hour arguing about where to go to dinner and how much we wanted to spend. But while my friends argued about whether we should get steak or seafood, I skipped straight to the nightlife section of Yelp. A friend had told me about a place called Bar None that she described as 'very bro friendly.' TO THE INTERWEBS!

Oh, two stars…very promising start. Let's see what AMY T thought about Bar None

UMMMM SOOOOO I really like this bar LOL. It's definitely a throwback to those college days, which I mean, I'm not complaining. It's like a giant frat party. If you're not into that scene, then this place probably isn't for you. But it brings me back to my college days (maybe because I was in a fraternity..LOL). 
Tables in the back for drinking games. Guys, RAGE CAGE. rage cage is a lifestyle, not a game.

That's a good start. I'm pretty sure Rage Cage is what some people call You Got Served (ping pong ball speed quarters) but I'm more impressed by the 1 star reviews. Let's check those.

Michael C offers…

Packed & full of D-bags that wish they were still in college to enjoy the frat parties. 
Check.

Armanius M suggests…
Trashy place for trashy clientele. What a dump. Obnoxious crowd of 30 year old wanna be college students. Bad service. Bad beer. Bad bouncers. If you want a loud place where the collective IQ is likely about 90, this is the place to go. Otherwise, there are much better bars than this. Not recommended at all. 
Double check.

Finally Ashley Z eloquently adds…
ah. The gateway to hell.... your official blvd of broken dreams.. This place really gives Union Street its best name.Frat row.. step right up. Place your best bets who will puke first...If you are looking for a Herpes free evening.. this isn't your place
Sold.

We settled on a surf and turf meal at Boboquivari's (Bobo's) two bottles of fine Sonoma Zinfandel along with petter filets and three pounds of crab legs felt like a fitting way to juxtapose the debauchery lurking for us around the corner.

After dinner we were all full and tired, also frighteningly sober. We decide to walk the 5 blocks to Bar None (MISTAKE) only to be sweating from SF's unnecessary mountainous hills by the time we arrived at our destination.

We walked in and the place was dead, a frightening fact since it was already midnight, a paltry two hours before close. We were about to give up when a small sign in the corner caught my eye. $2 beers, $3 whiskey shots, $4 Jagerbombs…

Now I'll be the first to admit that I'm happy that Jager suffered a quick death after college. I was so sick of that shit by the time that I turned 22, I thought I would be happy never to see it again. But $4? In a major city? At midnight at a bar where we knew no one?

"We'll take 5." <--- a="" during="" many="" night.="" p="" phrase="" repeated="" that="" the="" times="" was="">
After 5 rounds or so, the flood gates opened. It was like every SF kid that was home for the holidays knew that if they wanted to get laid they should go to Bar None around 1230 on Friday. My buddy pulls out his wallet to pay for a round and a curious bag falls out of his wallet innocently to the floor.

"Oh my God, I FLEW with that?"

"The universe is telling us to go the bathroom right now."

We met several like minded individuals in there.

Cut to: We've met some Marines and a bunch of British chicks. Our round of 5 shots for $20 has turned into 12 shots for about $50, still miles cheaper than any round I've bought in Los Angeles in the past 5 years. Somehow one of my buddies is now behind the bar making out with our bartender and one of the British chicks that looks like Adele before she lost weight is sucking on my neck?

The lights flash on, it's 2am. My group orders two ubers, one is going to the Sheraton, meanwhile the Marines are leading a charge to Chinatown for rub and tugs.

Mercifully, I end up at the Sheraton and somehow I have stolen a bottle of Fireball from the bar. I decide to take a shower for some reason. I always enjoy a good drunk shower, but there was an open bed for the taking. Instead I wake up at 5 in the morning in the bath tub, wearing the SPG rewards member Sheraton bath robe.

LPT: Sign up for SPG rewards, you get a courtesy 4pm check out. Great when you have a night of excess with your bros.

It's Saturday, half of our crew has left for Los Angeles already. I have a flight to LA but it's based out of Sacramento. I'm keen to get there early so I can just end my weekend and hop in bed to cry myself to sleep and pray away my sins.

WAS NOT TO BE.

One more epic lunch at Yank Sing I'm told…Michelin quality dim sum, whatever the fuck that means. I'll tell you what it means, after waiting 2 hours for our table and a botched take-out order we had 90 minutes to get from downtown SF to the Sacramento airport.

My life was flashing before my eyes, I was positive that if forced to spend one more minute with this crew my liver would shut down.

I made it, just barely…but at some point during this binge, my phone had stopped working. Upon landing at LAX instead of ubering home, I had to walk about 3 miles to a neighborhood in Westchester that I had stashed my car. I imagine the trail of tears was only slightly more depressing.

I get to my car, load up on $15 of Del Taco and set my sights for my happy place: my couch.

I fell asleep on the couch Saturday night at 8pm, I woke up on the couch Monday morning at 1am. I had missed an entire day. It was incredible.

I dragged my ass into work Monday morning with a broken phone and a bag full of lies.

"Thanksgiving was really relaxing. I spent time with family and watched football."

There was not a single moment of relaxation. It was taxing my ability to party. I'm spiraling out of control, I am literally in a flat spin out to sea with no safe ending in sight. At the moment I am a stage 4 degenerate and we all know, there is no stage 5.

But I have a feeling if I take a few deep breaths, eat a couple salads and maybe go to the gym this week…who knows, I could be ready for the Big Ten bar crawl on Saturday. We'll call me questionable, but coach thinks I have a good chance to play. Because life is a story and when it's all over, I'll have a good one. Five years from now I won't remember how hungover I was all weekend, I'll remember the love and memories I shared with my buddies, and that's what I'm thankful for.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Contrarian's Guide to Thanksgiving


A Thanksgiving rant...

Here's an unpopular opinion: I don't like Adele. She has a very powerful voice, but her music is depressing. The extreme hyperbolic reaction to her album release this week has been nauseating. OMG SHE'S SO BEAUTIFUL. She's not. She's like maybe a generous 5. I get it, she drunk tweets and stuff, but those isolated vocals from SNL didn't really make you believe in God. That video where she put on some disguise and sang her songs was mediocre at best. I think the popularity of people like her and Sam Smith is a reaction to PC culture. People want an average looking woman and an unfortunate looking gay man to succeed as pop stars. I just read an article that said if Pretty in Pink was remade today, Molly Ringwald would chose Duckie.

That's pathetic. At least Sam Smith and Adele have talent. Duckie was just a clown. Cheering for Duckie is like being the parent at a youth soccer game that gets mad when other parents unofficially keep score. Cheering for Andrew McCarthy? That's like cheering for the Biebs.

No one embodies white privilege more than this little Canadian cunt and I love him for it. He spent his teens fucking hookers, throwing raging parties, getting hammered, doing drugs all the while laying the pipe to the most bangable Disney Channel star and paling around with the most despicable athlete of our generation. A DUI arrest and a felony vandalism charge later he was labeled persona non grata. Bieber's heel turn was complete.

…and then a mere 6 months later, people love him! It's hilarious. He is COMPLETELY out of the woods. He closed the AMAs last night and I think every woman age 16-49 came several times during his performance. Just a year after people were calling for his deportation Justin has the number 1 album in America.

This Thanksgiving I'm thankful for Justin Bieber and Johnny Manziel, because if I had millions of dollars on the line I probably wouldn't stop boozing or doing coke either. /endrant

***
Thanksgiving can be a stressful time for people as it can involve tenuous travel and some awkward encounters. I've seen some holiday guides popping up on the internet and I thought I am as qualified as any other fat mouth-breathing blogger. So, without further ado, the SingleDude Thanksgiving guide.


ON BLACK WEDNESDAY
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving used to be my favorite day of the year. I would cruise into some town and cause absolute mayhem for a few hours, then evacuate the scene before someone could ask me to come pick up the pieces. Now I do my black Wednesday in LA where I will either go on a onesie bar crawl or go out in hollywood with some legitimate prostitutes. But you probably don't work in a fascist industry that forces you to work a full day today, so for those of you going home this year, here are some tips…

1. Definitely go out...
You will have 'friends' from high school that are married or have kids now. They will stay in or go see Mockingjay part 2. This is a real Hufflepuff move. The little sister gets blown up and it's somehow Gale's fault. Ending up with Peeta instead of Gale is like choosing Sam Smith over Justin Bieber. I cannot fathom it. A lot of your friends will say they are too old to go out on Wednesday night and that it will be dominated by people that were 5 classes under you in high school. This is a good thing.

2. Definitely hook up…
You will undoubtedly see someone's younger sister out at the bar but she won't be 11 anymore. She will remember watching her brother and you play All Star baseball in 6th grade. She had a crush back then, but she was still playing with Barbies and you weren't sure you were into girls yet. But 10 years later that spark is still there. You're still the cool older guy that could jack 280 foot home runs on the Skiles Test minor league diamond. IT. IS. FUCKING. ON. Buy her and her friends a few drinks and make jokes about how she's still 11, it will annoy her and she will try to prove that she's not a little kid anymore. This is a fool proof plan. Take her to a hotel, take her to your parents house…this is a personal preference based on your tolerance for awkward interactions with your parents.

If there is no little sister around to hook up with, target an ex girlfriend and tell her you still have feelings for her, if for no other reason than to fuck with her head. If you can't have her, no one can.

3. Demand a ride home from a family member…
On the rare chance you strike out (unlikely) and can't find some college buddies to go after party with (unlikely) make sure to wake your parents up at 3 in the morning for a ride home. You grew up in the suburbs, an uber home would be like $40. You flew all the way home to see your family (albeit on their dime) the least they can do is offer you a ride back home and swing you through the 24 hour McDonald's drive thru. Make sure to tell them you are not to be woken before 2pm the following day for any reason.

This goes for Thursday morning too. If you happen to bang an old high school ex at her parents house, don't you dare hail a taxi. Tell your mom to come pick you up in Carmel or wherever you end up. You know what? Invite her in for breakfast when she gets there, it would be the polite thing to do. We're adults, casual sex between consenting former high school friends is something that should be celebrated.

ON THANKSGIVING
If you're a pro like me, you will wait until Thanksgiving Day to fly. One, it's substantially less crowded at the airport. Two, Southwest gives you a free cocktail when you fly on holidays. But let's start the morning of…

1. Get to the airport 30 minutes before your flight...
I know what you're thinking. Shouldn't I show up super early to avoid the lines? Don't be foolish. If you're running through the terminal about to miss your flight, just roll up to the TSA pre-check line. It's a colossal pain in the dick for your airline when you miss a flight, so they will typically bend over backwards to accommodate you.
Here are a few phrases to remember.
"My father has status!"
"The shift supervisor sent me here!"
"I was upgraded!"
None of this really means anything, but most TSA agents didn't graduate high school, leverage this information and you should breeze through LAX/O'Hare or any other major airport in 15 minutes or less. NOTE: This will probably only work if you are white.

2. Start drinking at the airport/on the plane…
A great way to alleviate the potentially uncomfortable beginning of Thanksgiving dinner is to be halfway in the bag when you already get there. For this reason I suggest pounding at least 3 cocktails at the airport before boarding a flight. I know the Terminal 3 Gladstone's at LAX offers beer and a shot for $10. Also, if you are flying Delta you can upgrade to comfort plus for at little as $19. That $19 includes unlimited free booze. My cock could drink $19 worth of booze in its sleep. Not only will you be allowed to imbibe the entire flight, there is no chance you will sit next to a fat/smelly/poor/baby person…because fat smelly poor babies typically don't pay for upgrades. LPT!

3. Bring liquor and Adderall to dinner…
Obviously someone that flies on Thanksgiving day can't be expected to cook for the dinner. In fact, you want to time your landing so that you arrive at dinner like 10 minutes early. Not so early that you can be expected to help with meal prep at all, but not late enough that you get a shitty seat. Give all of your family members and friends non-committal answers when they ask personal questions "When are you getting married?" I'm not, I'm gay. Shit like that. That will shut up your conservative relatives. But here is where you get the chance to be a holiday hero. When dinner is done and the tryptophan is kicking in, pull out a bottle of fireball and a vial of Adderall (which is basically socially acceptable cocaine) Then the men can go downstairs for a marathon ping pong tournament or some shit while the women clean and gossip. Women LOVE to clean and gossip.

4. Have all your buddies over and throw a raging party…
I mean MY Thanksgiving tradition involves a 3 hour pre game in a Granite Bay garage, followed by a game of capture the flag that we call 'The Vietnam War,' followed by us getting yelled at for setting multiple couches on fire and chokeslamming someone through a table while we eat Thanksgiving leftovers. But that's just my tradition. Feel free to follow the more conventional route of playing flip cup and trying to bang chicks.

FRIDAY
If you get up at 5am to go get some shitty TV or a $9 Adele cd I don't have anything in common with you and I can't believe you made it this far. If your Friday plan is to go see The Good Dinosaur with your little nieces and nephews, I ain't mad at cha, let me know how it is. But if you are with a bunch of your homies in the shitty town you grew up in there is only one thing to do…Road Trip.

1. Leave your house early and leave the carnage from the night before. Remember, women love to clean and gossip.

2. Check into a hotel…
But definitely only 1 hotel room. You may be in your late 20's but there will never be an age where it isn't fun to squeeze 8 guys into a 2 double bed room at the Hyatt.

3. Start drinking…
If you're on the west coast there should be college football on by now. Go to a bar and start playing shot hat. Shot hat is like Russian Roulette but without the messy brain matter on the walls. Nothing is more attractive than a group of cocky out-of-towners peacocking at a bar.

4. Go buy a piñata…
Pinatas are fucking dope. Have you ever had a bad time with a piñata? Do you know what would happen if you were spending like $300 at a bar and then you busted out a piñata under the guise of it being someone's birthday? The bar will probably be cool with it and ~3.8 of you are going to be given blow jobs immediately.

5. Host a hotel pre game…
Think back to every time you have partied in a hotel room.
Formals, vacations, homecoming, prom, that time you ordered a lot of molly and got a room at the W just for the fuck of it…all those nights were epic. Hotel pre games are epic.

6. Take turns in the shower…
I'm kidding we're not in college anymore. You guys should probably just spring for a second boom boom room.

7. Go out and bring home an Asian…
I'm being too SF specific. Go out to some shitty club, get a bottle and bring home someone that isn't American. You'll have a good story and it will save you $200 bucks from the rub and tub joint in the Mission.

SATURDAY

I don't know man…it's a big football weekend. Go tailgate somewhere, or go see The Good Dinosaur. Go to a fucking casino, this post is running long and I want to start drinking. In all seriousness, I used to love my Thanksgivings in St. Louis with my family. There was almost no partying, but our hotel had a basketball court and the zoo was across the street. Thanksgiving is the shit, so wherever you are, whoever you're with this weekend, have a good time and stay safe. When you wake up Sunday morning, it will time to dust off that old Christmas sweater. December is aggressive. We've made it through the bullshit part of winter. Buckle in, it might get loud.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I went to a frat party last night


"It's happening tonight. You in?"

That was the text I received from my roommate yesterday around 5pm. The who, what, where, when and why was simple. Australian trop house DJ Thomas Jack was playing a secret frat party tonight at USC as part of a publicity stunt and through some shady dealings somehow I had ended up on the list.

5pm yesterday was also approximately the same time I realized I was having a third-life crisis or tertiary life crisis (whatever you call the thing between quarter life and midlife crisis) I don't know what you do when you have a life crisis at 28. You're too old to move to Denver and you're too broke to buy a sports car. I decided I would just go do something I used to be really good at and frat the fuck out.

I arrive to some divey bar downtown at 1030. My two friends are already saddled up in the corner with a pitcher. As I walk to join them I pass large groups of coeds chugging champagne, playing new and exciting drinking games. There are curious phrases scrolled on the wall "$20 all you can drink!" "Wine down Wednesday = every glass gets $1 cheaper" My God…I remember this place, this is a college bar. I'm home.


My roommate has a backpack on because he has a 1am flight. An uber will collect him at 1145 so he's living on borrowed time. I have to stay sober enough to potentially drive down to Anaheim because someone on set has had a stroke and I may need to pick them up from the emergency room.  Somehow the risk of what we're doing makes the entire process all the more thrilling. I am 28 years old. I am about to go to a 19 year old's house party on a Wednesday, this is awesome.

We roll up to this house at the corner of 23rd and Union in downtown(isn) LA. Thomas Jack played Cocahella six months ago so I'm surprised that this house doesn't have a line around the block, it's actually fairly dead. Two cute girls look at me and say '$5 please, there's an open bar in the back.' I reach into my wallet but I see a piece of paper in front of her. My name is on it.

"What's that?"

"Oh, that's the VIP list."

"That's me, I'm David Moeller."

"Oh my God, I'm so sorry. Here."

She grabs my wrist and throws on a yellow VIP wristband and refuses my $5.

"You get to go inside and drink with the artists!"

I step inside and there are a couple opening acts sitting on couches draped with slutty arm candy.

"Hey man, want a line? It's almost gone but another 8 ball is on the way."

'I'm good, thanks guys.'

Oh my god, I've been here 30 seconds and I've already been offered cocaine by someone 10 years younger than me, this will be the best night of my life. After accidentally walking out a door and onto the stage I am diverted to the bar which is inside a make shift garage. There are two pledges behind a folding table offering shots of Gran Legacy vodka (plastic bottle) or jungle juice out of a trash can.

"Are you from FUCKING Chicago man?" One of the pledges barks at me.

I remember I'm wearing a Blackhawks hat and instead of explaining that I lived in Chicago for a time but hail from Indiana I channel my inner improv.

"Fuck ya man."

'NICE, I'M FROM HINSDALE HOW ABOUT YOU?"

"Old town."

"HOLY SHIT!!! THE ACTUAL CITY? NICE. TOMMY GET THIS GUY THE GOOD STUFF!"

Pledge Tommy pulls out a fifth of Smirnoff and pours me two shots.

"Here's to fucking PATTY KANE, the goal leader, the point leader and DEFINITELY not a rapist!"
I take the shots and high five Tommy.

"Hey man, all night, me and Billy got you. Don't wait in this line, 630 forever!"

I rejoin my friends who are sipping jungle juice. I inform them of how they can get 'the good stuff' at the bar. The party has really filled up. Uber XLs dropping drunk frat boys off by the dozen, I see guys getting out of trunks, girls rolling up in costumes. I haven't seen a drunken hoard descend on a house lie this since Bogey Lowenstein's banger in '99. We take a walk around the backyard, people watching and the such, waiting for the main dj to take the stage. A girl bumps into me and asks if I know what room the ecstasy is being done in.

'I think they're upstairs.'

This is the millennial experience.

At around a quarter to 12 one of my friends grabs an uber to the airport, the other is in some deep philosophical discussion with a very cute half Asian girl and I find myself alone.

"COPS COPS COPS!!!!!!"

Mass chaos. People running everywhere, jumping over fences and what not, it takes me a minute to remember that half of these kids are underage. I try to get back inside the house, but the door is locked. I felt like a third class passenger being locked inside the sinking Titanic. I flash my wristband.

"HE'S GOOD, HE HAS A WRISTBAND!!!"

The door opens and I'm quickly whisked inside and into some strange bedroom. Oh my god, this is a frat shut down. I remember these. In this bedroom I am sequestered with two girls and one of the pledges from the bar, I believe it's Tommy.

"Hey, Chicago bro! I brought the Smirnoff!"

Tommy hands me the bottle and then leaves the room to go help with the shutdown process. One of the girls looks at me and says 'Wait you're from Chicago?'

I think long and hard, because I haven't pulled this routine in maybe eight years. I thought I might be a little rusty, but fuck it.

"Ya, I'm from Winnetka."

"OMG I'm from Wilmette We probably know all the same people!'

Fuck. What are the chances?

"I dunno, I'm probably a little older that you, when did you graduate?"

"2014!"

Ok so, I'm like 5 years older than this chick. That's not horrendous.

"Ya, I just turned 19 last night."

Oh God, she graduated New Trier in 2014.

"Where do you live in Winnetka?"

Ummm…shit I don't even remember the street names anymore.

"On Green Bay, by Captain Emo's"

"You mean Captain Nemo's?"

"Ya, Captain Nemo's in Hubbert Woods."

"You mean Hubbard Woods?"

FUUUUUUUCK!

"You're not really from Winnetka…"

I try to think of the youngest Trevian I can name drop. But even my friends' younger brothers and sisters are 5 years older than this chick. I decide to go scorched Earth.

"Of course I am, and you probably live in some split level bullshit west of the highway. You're lucky they didn't send you to GBS."

I see it in her eyes, my elitist assault has won her over.

"Actually I live on Sheridan, but you're hilarious."

Crisis averted.

"So uh…what are you doing in LA?"

"I go to UCLA, I'm a Kappa."

"Oh UCLA? I love Diddy Reise"

"OMG ME TOO!"

And then it happens. I'm making out with a girl who is almost 10 years younger than me. I am violating half your age plus seven…and I lied a lot to make this happen.

Before I can really process what's happening, Pledge Tommy swings the door open and announces that the cops are gone and the party is back on. I lose little miss Kappa but I find my buddy smoking a joint in a corner with a couple people.

"Are you David Moeller? Like the one from Holly's wedding?"

"Yes…"

"Oh I was there too, you were pretty fucked up the whole time, what are you doing here?"

Good question. What am I doing here? With my buzzed head and my day old scruff (lol it's actually like 5 days I just haven't gone through puberty yet) I do look 19, but I'm not.

"Um, I work in music."

"Cool me too."

Another crisis averted.

The party is shut down yet again, the police are back and they're pissed. More kids flee, I guess it is 1am on a Wednesday and we are in a heavily residential area with thumping bass, outrageous strobe lights and a bunch of fucked up kids doing heavy drugs. Thomas Jack still hasn't taken the stage and it is becoming more and more apparent that this isn't going to happen. A drunk girl takes the stage and grabs a mic.

"Listen up you motherfuckers, if we can shut the fuck up for like 5 minutes, these cops will leave and then we can rage our faces off!!! Ok???"

There is a brief period of silence and then I hear a cop mutter, 'Uh, we heard that."

LOL.

The drunk girl grabs the mic again. "Oops, looks like I fucked up again, get the fuck out of here bitches."

People stamp out their cigarettes/blunts/vape pens and start to stumble toward the front. Dozens of rich white kids pull out their smart phones and call Ubers or demand pledges bring them back to the row. I start to walk down the street and I see my Wilmette girl again. She's making out with some other dude. He must like Diddy Reise too, go green go blue. Pledge Tommy runs up to me and hands me a handle of cheap warm vodka.

"You know man, if you need one for the road. GO HAWKS!"

I continue toward my car and hand the bottle to a homeless man posted up outside an ARCO station. I get to my car and take off toward Santa Monica wondering what kind of misadventures my homeless friend has in store for himself the rest of the evening. Kev and I lament over how much fun we had and how ridiculous it was that we were even there. Sometimes the forbidden fruit tastes damn good.

I woke up this morning very aware that someone my age should not do such things. Growing up should include a shred of responsibility. Instead of making out with someone that was born the same year as the Atlanta olympic bombing, I should focus on finding a new job, exploring a relationship, thinking about my future. But at the same time, I see this happening in the world around me and that doesn't necessarily look like a good time. So the people that will read this and roll their eyes, well they can go fuck themselves. I'm still skinny and can run a 6 minute mile, and I will go to all the goddam college parties I please thank you very much.

If you want to get fat and start a 401k that's cool too, but I prefer staying out until 2am to (not) see Thomas Jack play frat parties.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Pitch Meeting


Believe it or not I have had a few real life pitch meetings with Hollywood producers that have the ability to buy my script. The phrase 'soft pass' has been thrown my direction more than once. For those of you not in the biz 'soft pass' is essentially like asking a girl to come home with you from the bar and she says 'lol nope but here's my number if you wanna be friends.'

Typically the reason given to me for the pass is I'm a bit too niche. There are only so many people who want to watch a raunchy show about a bunch of white kids that party too hard and bitch about their first world problems. That said, I'm trying to broaden my appeal a bit.

If you have followed the trades at all, you know that 90's nostalgia is high right now. Reboots are already in the works for Full House, Twin Peaks, X Files and Boy Meets World. Yesterday it was announced that a new Star Trek series in the works and today a Fresh Prince reboot was announced. (I imagine it will feature a fresh faced Michael B Jordan moving in with Will Smith, the uncle he never knew! Something something, scientology, HILARITY ENSUES. Working title: FRESHER PRINCE)

The money is there, the opportunity is there. Who am I not to jump in on an easy cash grab? Here are a few titles that are ripe for a reboot right now.

Saved by the Bell (Working Title: Mr. Morris) 
Plot synopsis: After being expelled from college in the wake of a fraternity hazing scandal, disgraced twenty something Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) returns home to Bayside High as a substitute teacher only to realize he is no longer the big man on campus. Now finding himself on the other side of the coin, Zack teams up with Principal Belding and friends from his past to teach a new generation of teens valuable life lessons.

Original Cast Availability: High. MPG's new sitcom just had the lowest network scripted premiere in the history of television. Dennis Haskins will now appear at a bar in character for $50. The highlight of Elizabeth Berkely's post SBTB career is probably getting railed by Kyle MacClaughlin in Showgirls. Lark Vorhees made headlines this week after getting black out married in Vegas and Dustin Diamond is maybe in jail? Or just celebrity boxing. I can't keep track. Anyway, they are all VERY available. I'm sure AC Slater can take a half day away from The Insider in order to shoot a cameo in the pilot.

Potential to be a hit: Extreme. Casting 41 year old MPG as 24 year old Zack Morris may sound a bit over the top, but Brad Pitt played 90 so I think it will be fine. Put this bitch on Netflix and finally give fans the Zack Morris/Kelly Kapowski sex scene they deserve. Come on Tiffani, if full frontal was good enough for straight laced Jessie Spano, it's good enough for you.

Are You Afraid of the Dark (Working Title: Midnight)
Plot Synopsis: The Canadian teens from the 'Midnight Society' are now working in Montreal as paranormal bloggers in this gritty reboot of the 90's teen sensation. Things seem to be going fine until the monsters from the tales of their youth begin hunting them down one by one.

Cast Availability: Out of the original midnight society, none of the cast is really doing much. One of them is married to Nick Swisher, one is a weatherman and one provides the voice of Francine, the Jewish monkey from the children's show Arthur. Fun fact: Elisha Cuthbert appeared in a couple episodes in 1999.

Potential to be a hit: Medium. In tone, the show would feel somewhere between the NBC show Grimm and the recent Goosebumps movie. But this is the type of series that could quietly run on a Friday night forever and make some people very rich. Also, if my four years in TV have taught me anything, it's that it is essentially free to film in Canada.

Dawson's Creek
After washing out of Duke law school, Dawson Leery returns home to Capeside only to find that gentrification is forcing out his parents and neighbors. He recruits old pals Pacey and Joey to organize an occupy movement.

Eh, that's too political…how about

Cosby
Haha just kidding!

Home Improvement
They Taylor boys become slumlords in Detroit, buying up homes on the cheap using residuals from their father's wildly popular public access television show from the 90's.

That's not much better…let's try some crossovers.

Larisa Explains it All
Following the events in Paradise Valley, 18 year old Alex Mack moves in with her adult cousin Clarissa Darling in Orlando, Florida where she navigates senior year of high school while trying to conceal her special powers. Little does she know her cousin is a witch.

Salute Your Dude
The former campers and counselors from Camp Anawanna seek employment at the famous dude ranch, Bar None.

My So Called Friends
Ten years after losing his fortune in a Ponzi Scheme, former professor Dr. Ross Geller moves back into the Manhattan apartment building he once shared with his sister, brother in law and estranged wife. In the pilot episode Ross posts a Craigslist ad seeking a roommate and finds one in angsty thirty year old Angela Chase.

Ok most of those are too meta…how about this, THIS is a home run.

Seven years after the mysterious death of her mother, Samantha Summers travels to New York City to pursue her dream of becoming a Broadway Actress only to find that the city is overrun with vampires. Can Samantha balance a buzzing social life in Williamsburg, a strenuous audition schedule, all the while clearing the five boroughs of the creatures of the night? Find out this season on Sammy the Vampire Slayer.

I know, pure gold. Hit me up direct or call my agent.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Pikachu's Last Stand: A Halloween Postmortem


Don't be sad it's over, be happy it happened.

Did you have a good weekend? Did you close with that chick dressed up as a ghostbuster? Did you finally shack with that girl who is moving away? Or did you just blow massive quantities of coke all night and spend Sunday vomitting?

Summer is over. Halloween is over. Daylight savings time is over. Your costume is slumped over in the corner covered in fake blood and glitter.

The darkness is upon us.

But before we dive into the doldrums of November and 4pm sunsets, let's do one last reflection on the good times that we had, because remember it is better to have loved and lost then never loved at all.

Chapter 1: The Gin Bucket

As filming was scheduled to commence until 2am on Friday night, I did what any self respecting television assistant would do, I left. There was just no way I was going to spend my entire weekend doing anything other than pouring toxic liquids down my throat. The first stop would be an igloo in West LA, a curious neighborhood nestled up against the 405.

I arrived with the first of two gallons of Fireball I had procured from a Fresh & Easy going out of business sale. The party was already well in hand. I was greeted by various members of the Babysitters Club as well as Bayside High. Add some Pokemon to the mix and it was clear that 90's nostalgia was quite high.

But nothing quite took me back like the plastic cauldron sitting on the outdoor wet bar. I knew immediately that I was in trouble when I saw a half dozen turkey basters emerging from a strange liquid. Of course there would be a gin bucket here. The last time I had partied with a gin bucket was the infamous Barcelona blackout of '08.

As you will remember, from that story I woke up wearing no pants on a park bench at Bogatell Beach and had to walk two hours back to where I was supposed to be sleeping. I am weary of the dangers of gin buckets. Being the prudent Pikachu I am, I started with a couple beers. It would't last.

The first person to invite me to sample the gin bucket was acclaimed street artist Banksy. Then it was Jonah Takalua enjoying his gap year after graduating from Summer Heights High. Right when I'm about to leave the hot corner of gin I am accosted by Kristy, Claudia, Stacey and Mary Anne from the Babysitter's Club who want to take TWO not one baster of gin. I am so totally fucked.

I am able to briefly escape the gin bucket when the police arrive, but somehow I end up in a shot circle with Super Girl, a skeleton and Ted. I retreat inside and AC Slater hands me a Jell-o shot. Where the fuck did these Jell-o shots come from, I've been at this party 30 minutes and consumed enough alcohol for an entire weekend. This is supposed to be the warm up night.

Mercifully, after I escape the kitchen (oh hey there Donald Trump) and the dance floor (my god is that Justin Bieber with Cruella De Vil [I just realized that her name is essentially cruel devil]) I land on a game of Ride the Bus in the family room with three of the four ninja turtles as well as Ralph Macchio and Billy Zabka finally getting along together.

I am enjoying my brief respite from hard liquor when Babydoll from Sucker Punch (which is an incredibly deep cut costume but also sexy AF) legitimately set the SECOND cauldron of gin directly in front of me. There was coke being done in the bathroom, molly on the dance floor, but directly in front of Pikachu there was nothing but gin and fresco cocktails being consumed 3 ounces at a time, but if the Klobb in Goldeneye taught us anything, it's that enough of anything can kill you. There was definitely stuff that happened at the party afterward. I think I challenged Luigi to one on one basketball. I may have asked Satan if she wanted to come home with me. I definitely didn't hit a single cup in beer pong and I may have let Stone Cold Steve Austin stun me through a plastic table. All I know is that I woke up on the floor of my apartment Saturday morning, naked and afraid, covered in Doritos crumbs.

Chapter 2: Puke and Rally
I knew signing up for a 2:30 Saturday improv class was dicey. People often look at me like I'm insane when I tell them about my inability to function the day after a bender, but I know my body. The entire time I was at Indiana University I never took a class before noon, because I knew I would never go. Actually, I rarely had a class that started before 2:30. That said, there were a couple times I nearly missed that 2:30. Sure a normal hangover should be out of your system by noon, but when you party like me it takes a little longer.

I dragged myself to improv and managed to get through the first half of my class thanks to a quadruple shot latte and an iced cappuccino. I was like someone on life support, technically alive but with zero brain activity. All of my jokes went into the darkest depths of my brain. "What's a tender moment you recently received from a family member?" My mother told me that I was the result of a botched abortion. "What is the cure for cancer?" Full blown AIDS. I'm really a delight to have in UCB. At the halftime break when all the cool kids smoke cigarettes or talk about their weekend plans, I made a beeline to the restroom. It turns out that when you party until 5am the night before, eat nothing all day and then directly ingest 6 shots of espresso, your stomach can have some issues.

I fully expected my vomit to be either red (the color of blood) or black (the color of my soul) but it was neither. It was this neon green nuclear fallout color, presumably from gin and jello shots. Part of me thought about pulling the eject lever but I remembered that 1. I had not driven to class and that 2. The hot chick from last week was dressed up as slutty Beetlejuice and her cleavage was out of control. This was enough to get me back to the classroom for the final hour. My last scene of the day was about having sex with one legged hookers in Amsterdam and using babies to clear out a meat grinder. If the police show up next week to arrest me on suspicion of some unsolved murder ring I won't be the least bit surprised.

I get home from class around 7pm and my roommate is already pouring shots of tequila for me, there is a short Mexican man there who is dressed as a drug dealer and the new Zhu album is playing. I open a beer and suffer through a few tequila shots before throwing on my Pikachu costume. I go to open the front gate to let two black cats into the pre game. Meanwhile there is a ninja party happening in my alley. We go to investigate. When I return inside I notice the small Mexican man is gone. Turns out he was a real drug dealer.



Chapter 3: Water and Lightning
The Saturday night party is at a bungalow adjacent to the beach in Venice hosted by Cleopatra, the Corpse Bride and Lady Gaga from the 'Telephone' music video. I was relieved to see that no such Gin Bucket/Crack Juice/Jungle Juice had been prepared. There were 2 coolers of beer and a bar set up with various liquors. Lots of effort had been put into decorating the house. This party would seem to be a bit classier than the previous night's affair, which was nice since I was far from 100%.

But because I am a savage with no will power it was only a matter of time before I was chugging Fireball and smoking cigs with Cheech and Chong. I then shotgunned back to back beers with Tim Riggins and proceeded to spend 30 minutes running around the house screaming 'Texas Forever.'

The only thing that possibly saved me was the fact that my yellow jumpsuit was so hot and uncomfortable that even 30 seconds on the dance floor would render me sweaty, so much sweat, like some of it had to be the alcohol right?

At the beginning of the party there were probably 30, by midnight there were probably 100, every group bringing a seemingly unlimited amount of booze. People were bonging whiskey, flip cup was played with shots, this was not the classy affair I had been expecting. Glass was breaking, A giant panda was passed out in the corner, someone threw up in the bath tub and I realized I was at a full blown frat party.

Halloween in itself is an excuse for everyone to cut loose in bacchanalian debauchery. For one night, you hide behind a mask and nothing seems to count. Your behavior is excused because you are playing a character, a character that drinks, does drugs and maybe even has a one night stand, but when it's over and the dust settles you are granted a life mulligan. The real you wouldn't have gone home with that guy, but throw on a pink wig and all that shit goes out the window.

I spent a large chunk of the night talking (talking is generous, probably more like drunklenly shouting questions at is more appropriate) to an IRL news reporter who is leaving LA to do on camera work in the midwest. "Isn't it weird that you won't be able to do this anymore?" I asked. Because surely local celebrities cannot be celebrating daylight savings by chugging warm whiskey out of a plastic bottle. One does not see Ginger Chan of KTLA facing Fireball shots while dressed as Kim Kardashian.
In the social media age we live in, even normal people can't have fun…Halloween seems to be the one exception.

At one point in the evening, a grass roots movement urged people to take the party to the ocean, because what is safer than taking 100 people nearing black out and in costume into deep water?
Never one to shy away from poor decisions, I helped lead a charge of about 3 dozen people to the water's edge and eventually charged in Pikachu suit and all.

As it turns out, a onesie is not a great swimming garment. As soon as I attempted to body surf the first wave I sank like a rock and eventually got caught in a  riptide. It took a herculean effort for me to crawl ashore, I suppose one should not swim when lightning is present.

Because I am inconsiderate, I trudged back to the party and proceeded to lock the door of the one remaining bathroom and shower all of the sand off of myself. Finally I unlocked the door and a naughty nurse charged in and puked…this time in the toilet, yay!

Epilogue: Things to do in Venice when you're Dead

I woke up on a random couch still at the party. There were various other bodies draped in random corners. I fled the scene when I heard people begin to wake up. I grabbed some eggs (and a pitcher) on the way home because you can't shut a 747's engines off mid flight. I trudged home in my still wet Pikachu costume, resembling Cameron Poe's stuffed bunny at the end of Con Air. I passed joggers and real humans walking their dogs every couple hundred meters; they mocked me in silent judgment as the alcohol escaped from my gasping pours.

I finally collapsed in a pile of regret on my couch and threw my costume in a pile of 'things to burn.' I 'watched' football all day through intermittent periods of unconsciousness. My crowning achievement was making it the two blocks to the grocery store to buy a big ass bag of chips and some popcorn. For the third night in a row, I wouldn't make it back to my bed as I passed out in the fetal position on the couch attempting to watch the Mets choke away the World Series.

Whatever you were holding on to, it's gone now. There is no more good weather (except us LA peeps) for you to look forward to. There are no more fun wedding weekends. No more summer, no more Indian summer, November is here and but for a couple paid days off for Thanksgiving there is nothing on the horizon to inspire joy. It's time to quit that job you hate, it's time to move on from your ex, it's time to look to the future.

Hell, I'm retiring the flow some time this week. It just doesn't feel right anymore. I may even go a couple weeks without drinking just to recalibrate the system a little bit. I'm going to have a salad for dinner tonight.

But if you can survive November there are reasons to maintain the faintest semblance of hope. Christmas is in December, fifth exchanges are in December, ski trips and raves and bar crawls are in December. Will I get kicked off the Big Ten Bar Crawl for a fifth consecutive year? Will I get a medal for setting such a record? Who knows?

It's probably a good idea to spend the next 30 days looking in, maybe deal with some of the shit that I've been letting go all summer. No more masks, it's time to be a real adult. I know it's hard because the first day back after a long party weekend always blows, especially when your favorite sports blog has been murdered, but we'll get through it.

Tonight I will do laundry, I will clean my room. Tonight I will go to the gym and get my haircut. I will lay out a business casual outfit to wear into the office tomorrow. I will buy a new pair of shoes and make a pile of things to donate to Goodwill.

Actually…

Tonight I will watch Monday Night Football and the Walking Dead, afterward I will cruise Facebook pics of girls from my past in slutty Halloween costumes and likely jerk off.

But tomorrow, the diet begins tomorrow.