Tuesday, January 27, 2015

On your stupid email (and the basic bitches of The Bachelor)

Last Sunday night after the Colts got shellacked by Tom Brady and his balls of questionable integrity, I decided to blow off some steam in the best way I know how; by getting shitfaced at a BYOB restaurant then going to a karaoke bar.

It was a good time, I sang "My Own Worst Enemy" by 90's legends Lit. (It plays well, but not as well as The Killers. Never underestimate how much privileged white kids like The Killers) But my main memory from the night was this slutty looking chick on the dance floor wearing a bro tank and no bra. Her tits legitimately kept popping out much to the delight of a bunch of roided out homeys in Gronk jerseys. Eventually one of my buds came up to me...

"Yo see that girl on the dance floor?"

"In the Pizza Hut tank?"

"No man it says Pizza Slut..."

"Wait what?"

"Ya, she was on The Bachelor...and now she's into fashion or some shit, I saw it on Instagram."

Her name is Lucinda Aragon and apparently she's dating the coke addicted CEO/hero of Snapchat. Here is a video of her wearing said shirt.

This is the life of a former contestant on the Bachelor. You get voted off and then find yourself at Gaslite on a Sunday night while drunk dudes in Patriots jerseys take pictures of your tits to post to Reddit and masturbate to.

But you know that going in right?

I cannot fucking get enough of that show though. You hear week after week about how this shithead is looking for a wife and then he is going to take her back to Iowa to bail hay. But let's be honest, he has no plans of ever returning to Iowa. He's going to pick someone attractive and they will both start taking acting classes and make paid appearances at the Torrance Mall, only to break up and go on Bachelor Pad two years from now and Chris can have sex with all the chicks he vetoed the first time around.

It's amazing.

I run into former contestants of The Bachelorette fairly regularly to be honest. They're bartenders in Manhattan Beach or out of work actors, print models...even like "Independent film producers." When you ask them about it, I always hear some variety of...

"Ya, it's pretty staged, the producers have a big say in who comes and who goes...I've had sex with a lot of chicks that saw me on there."

That's a pretty healthy attitude to have about reality TV. I'll mingle with some attractive people and a few people will recognize me on the street for a few years. Eventually I'll turn 30 and then I'll get my life together.

Of course lots of the men and women are train wrecks and that makes for good TV, very produced TV, but entertaining nonetheless. (There is no fucking way they actually slept in those tents tonight)

But there is something delusional about the typical contestant on the show that permeates Los Angeles. Indeed, many of the people on the show inherently believe that this WILL be their springboard to fame. Hey that fucking dude on Grimm was on Real World. Didn't a black guy on Road Rules get to be a VJ for a while?

THERE IS A CHANCE. Jesse Palmer was a fucking Bachelor and now he's on ESPN. (Wait, he was a star college QB and back-up in the NFL? Irrelevant) The point is, most of these people will end up bartenders or PR assistants or Fashion Bloggers with a couple good stories.

It's very similar to the PA you are likely to meet that will introduce himself as a producer and hand you his business card that reads Andrew Vizion EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Vizionary Productios.

Oh you see what he fucking did there? He incorporated his last name and the word visionary to create a clever production company. But the problem is, Andrew is a fucking intern and went to some shitty film school back east. Andrew is a clown. Andrew@Vizionaryproductions.com is an email for a clown.

If you have any email than some variation of your name @gmail.com you are a fucking loser.

The following will be a deep dive into the flawed and archaic email addresses I see every day and what your shitty email address says about you. Furthermore, I will compare each shitty email address to a remaining Bachelor contestant, because something something #stuffwhitepeoplelike. Strap in. No one is safe. This should be a solid exercise in shattered dreams.

Custom Email Address:
Again, if you have this, you're a dick. You're likely a poser using a free gmail hosted account anyway. You aren't fooling anyone. If you are in the start up game and you have something simple like dave@acompanyistarted.com This is whatever, it gives you an air of legitimacy. But if you just make some shit up? Go fuck yourself. I've created fake production company names too. I even draw the logo with crayon when I go to Weurstkuche. But you know when I will use that? When I create a fucking production company that makes actual movies.

Custom Email address is Jade. Ohhhh you created your own organic make-up company? Well in the words of Kevin O'Leary TELL ME ABOUT YOUR SALES. Look, Jade was very pretty last night in her ball gown and holy fuck was that SHAMELESS shilling for parent company Disney's Cinderella. Also...does Jade have a back tat? I think she has a back tat. Jade, you are a print model from Nebraska who secretly wants to be an actress. Jade has probably have posed nude in the valley for photo shoots that netted you less than $100. (Update...Jade totally posed Nude) Jade will go far because of the Nebraska thing. Side note: Richard Madden should be the next bachelor.

If you have this you're just screaming at people I AM OVER 50!!! This is the email address I was given 12 years ago when I first discovered the internet! I am uncool. I do not know how to set up a smart phone.
Honestly I just feel bad for people with SBCGlobal.net emails. Is SBC even a company anymore? They're like LONG gone right? If my grandparents were still living they would have SBCglobal addresses. And they would send me animated ecards for my birthday and forwards telling me that my crush would have bad luck for 47 years if I didn't send the email to my entire bloodline.

Becca is SBCglobal.net.
Do you know why Becca is SBC Global? Because Becca is super hot and appears to give zero fucks. Becca lives in San Diego and is a front desk girl at a chiropractor's office. She probably lives in PB and surfs. I imagine she is cool as shit. Becca can't be trifled with such issues as an email address. She's busy stand up paddle boarding or something. If she doesn't win, life will work out for her. She'll probably marry a relief pitcher for the Padres.

Yahoo is trying so hard to be relevant. They brought back Community in a desperate plea to internet culture, they tried to change their server to YMAIL. But you know what? They will always be the green texts of email. Yahoo is like the Schlitz of web companies. They were on top of the mountain just lording over the entire industry. They became complacent. When everyone else started diversifying, spending money on R+D and Marketing...Yahoo said FUCK IT. We're the number 1 search engine in the world. Then some little upstart named Google just fucking crushed it. Now Yahoo is just the Dallas Cowboys, trying to remind people how awesome the 90's were. I mean, I got my start blogging on a GeoCities site. I will always love Yahoo Games and Text Twist, but Yahoo will simply never be cool again. It's over.

Yahoo is Britt.
Britt you were cool when you first came out. You were the leader in the clubhouse but then you got complacent and started FUCKING UP. What the hell was that shit you tried to pull last night with Chris. "Hey all these dumb sluts think you're a joke, so you should uh, just pick me." That's like when Yahoo unsuccessfully tried to acquire Groupon for 8 billion dollars. Everyone walks away looking dumb. I will say this of Britt though, at least she keeps it real. All these basic bitches are waitresses in Hollywood aka unemployed actresses/models. At least she owns it. Britt will probably get eliminated late and become a bottle girl at Bungalow until she's 30.

When I see this it reminds me of someone that is trying a little too hard to tell you they are an Apple person. I mean if you have a mac.com address I suppose it is something to be a little proud of. You're OG. I didn't convert to the MacBook Air era. If you have an old plastic white MacBook that had a screen that cracked 48 times, that is a badge of honor. I love my MB, my iPad and my iPhone. I've gone completely Mac. But Apple is still inferior to Google on a couple key fronts: GPS nav (Maps) and email. There are better ways of telling people you are anti-droid than boycotting Gmail.

Kelsey is a Mac. Kelsey is a villain and THANK GOD we finally have one. Kelsey plays the heel in such a passive aggressive bitchy way it makes me want to dance. Kelsey is too good for outdoorsy shit and a bunch of sluts ripping off their swimsuits. Kelsey is better than you. It was almost poetic when she went on an anti camping rant punctuated by a bee sting. It was almost too ironic. Judging from next week's previews it looks like she may black out, have sex with Chris and then vomit. This would be awesome. It would be more awesome if she had a trial by compat with Ashley I...here's to hoping.

Get the fuck out of here...are you a holdover from NetZero?

Earthlink is Kaitlyn. Get the fuck oot of here Kaitlyn, you think an Iowa boy is bringing home a FOREIGNER? Get your green card elsewhere.

Interesting case. Anyone who is anyone had AOL growing up...it was all about that screen name game. A/S/L bitch. Pic 4 Pic. I spent 5th-9th grade rushing home to get onto the internet and see what was popping off on AIM. I don't know what I thought was going to happen. I was going to sext with girls I was afraid to talk to? Every convo was the same. Hey! What's Up. Nothin, u? Just chillin. Same. The. Fucking. End. Oh what's that mom? You need to make a phone call? NOPE THAT SHIT WILL HAVE TO WAIT! Then we got a second phone line, then we got cable internet, then we got rid of the second phone line, then we got rid of the first phone line...

Yet my mom still has a fucking AOL email. How is this possible?

I think this is fairly standard for a lot of people ages 45-65.

AOL email address is Carly.
How in the flying fuck did she survive the first episode? Holding that stupid little juke box? She's a cruise ship singer? I remember going on a cruise in 8th grade. It was right in that sweet spot where I didn't really drink but tried to hook up with chicks. I had balls back then, I don't even LOOK at chicks unless I have had 17 shots of Fireball. 27 year old me is a pussy, I was a boss when I was 13. "Hey can I see your tits? No...OK. Wanna make out? Hey can I finger you?" Such a romantic.

So this is like the Windows version of the mac/me/icloud. A lot of corporations still use Outlook/Exchange. Mac has never really captured corporate America, instead choosing to be more niche and creative. It's like the Soho Houe of laptops. If you have Outlook you're probably a nerd that I don't hang out with. I mean even a lot of nerds with Outlook have a personal Gmail, or some people still have holdover burner Hotmail accounts for their junk. I know when I signed up for Xbox Live Microsoft FORCED me to open up an outlook account. Is that their strategy? Hey all these fucking losers want to spend their weekends playing Halo, let's force them to get Microsoft emails...THEN THEY'LL GET THAT SURFACE PRO 3. STOP CALLING THEM FUCKING IPADS NFL!!

Ashley I is the Hotmail. The contrarian. Ashley I tried three times last night to tell Chris that she is a virgin. Each time she seemed too cryptic and drunk to get it out, finally she told him and the producers gave her a rose because STORYLINES. Last night in the "coming up next" segments thye kept teasing "her mouth isn't a virgin." It was eventually revealed to be slightly out of context in the sneak, the full line was "she keeps talking about how she's a virgin but all she ever does is make out with Chris, her mouth isn't a virgin."

I DESPERATELY was hoping this was a catty way of saying she sucks a ton of dick. Because that is a thing. There are girls who will remain virgins just so they have a thing to break into tents to confess. Ashley is one of these girls. I bet she sucks a TON of dick. She might even get ass fucked, but technically...

Something Corporate
Listen here Mike@nbcuni.com. I know that your work email comes to your phone because you are on call 24/7. And that's cool that you got upped to Coordinator at the studio and you're close to getting your own assistant.

But here is the thing. If I send you a naked snap of some girl I fucked. Or I send you a graphic manifest of the drugs I did on a weekend bender in Vegas and that goes to the email you use the most frequently and that email is your work email...THATS ON YOU.

Here's a quick tip. Keep the work email, have everything push to your gmail. If someone sends you a work email and you respond on your phone (on a Saturday) from your personal email? It's cool man. Gives you a low key feel. Oh shit Mike@NBCUNI.com is also MikeySMith6@gmail.com He's a human. He likes the number 6! Maybe he played sports and that was his number.

And you know what the difference is between Mike@nbcuni.com and MikeySmith6@gmail.com? Your human resources cannot slight you for the gay slurs I inundate you with via emails when you bail on trips to Mexico.

The corporate email is Samantha. Samantha went to IU and roomed with a girl my best friend used to date. Naturally, I am pulling for her. That said, although she is creeping through she has had less than 30 total seconds of screen time through 10 hours of programming. Clearly the producers think she is boring. Or she fucked the editor and then broke his heart. I don't know. I think Samantha was a transfer student or something because I remember she had a TON of hype coming into the Bloomington Greek system. But that all faded because she was in a house known for being crazy and kinda slutty and really wasn't crazy or slutty. Samantha is not going to win because normal doesn't succeed in reality TV.

Oh...and Whitney is a Gmail. Whitney85@gmail.com is going to win the Bachelor.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015: The Year of Tim Riggins

Classic Riggins
This is a celebration of the greatest television character of the 21st Century.
A man who drank and fucked his way through high school, taking down his middle aged neighbor, Wonder Woman and his paralyzed best friend’s fiancĂ© in the process.

This man of course is Timmy fucking Riggins.

If you saw box office disasters such as Battleship, John Carter or even Xmen Origins: Wolvering, you were probably thinking to yourself, how the fuck does Taylor Kitsch have a career?

I mean this guy was in John Tucker Must Die and was maybe the third most attractive (Dan Humphrey, John Tucker) male, he played second fiddle to two Gossip Girl characters in much maligned teen supernatural thriller The Covenant.

So one can only ask…how does a man with zero hits to his name theatrically, keep getting chances?

Because Taylor Kitsch played the aforementioned Timmy fucking Riggins in the grossly under appreciated Friday Night Lights for 68 glorious episodes from 2006-2011.

To say this character gave zero fucks would be a gross understatement. In the first season, Tim appears drunk about 90% of the time and attends school and/or football practice maybe once weekly.

Let’s just stroll through the pilot. We open on Tim Riggins. He is hungover. What a rockstar. Tim’s older brother, who acts as his legal guardian, passive aggressively bitches at Timmy to get to football practice. Tim decides against it. Later, after banging out his girlfriend, Tim dumps her for flirting with the minority running back. The next night at  a bonfire, Tim drunkenly proclaims that he aspires to do nothing with his life. His QB best friend, Jason Street, will give Time 1% of his NFL contract in order for Tim to own and operate a brothel for the two of them in Dillon, Texas. TEXAS FOREVER.

Of course at the end of the pilot, Jason Street throws an interception and becomes paralyzed while making a tackle. The second string QB comes in and leads a game winning drive down the field and the Panthers win. Tim celebrates the win and his best friend’s paralysis by having sex with said friend’s girlfriend.

Smash to black.

That is in the FIRST episode, and his apathy only grows from there. He makes a fucking underclassmen read Of Mice and Men aloud to him and then summarize it in a book report. And that is probably the least ridiculous thing he does in Season 1.

To be honest,  I’m only through half way through Season 2 of Friday Night Lights. But the 30 or so episodes of Tim Riggins I have seen so far, have bought Taylor Kitsch a lifetime of good will. In the last episode I saw, Timmy was stumbling down a street in Mexico with a beer and literally threw a handful of money in a Federale’s face. Even for someone that doesn’t care about his future, that is a ballsy move. He of course goes to jail, smirking all the way.

I bring up Timmy because he represents an ideal that I think more people should strive for., we have become a overly sensitive society to the point of lunacy. Having an opinion about an issue used to mean something, if you took a stand against some injustice it meant someone personally slighted you or a loved one. Maybe a guy fucked your mom or stole your car. Outside of this, people minded their business. But now, if a certain movie doesn’t get an award or a TV show doesn’t showcase enough diversity EVERYONE IS A FUCKING RACIST AND IT WILL NOT BE TOLERATED.

Internet leftist culture has grown to such a roar that we have basically regressed as a society to the pre civil rights movement. All men hate women of course and casually displaying indifference to race issues makes one a coward. It was on display this year with #OscarsSoWhite #YesAllWomen among other whiny social media campaigns.

It seemed that both sides have become increasingly more radical over the past few years coming to a head with a Rolling Stone article that accused frat boys of gang raping a Freshman at a party.

The feminists had won.


All Greek Life at UVA was suspended and it looked increasingly like Greek Life nation wide was going to be re-evaluated as an institution.

Then the unthinkable happened, it turned out the story was a hoax. Frat boys rejoiced.


It was a devastating blow for the feminist agenda. Greek life resumed in Charlottesville and collectives such as Jezebel hung their heads in mourning.

When Tim Riggins was reached for comment, he simply said “I dunno.”

Wait, what do you mean, “I don’t know.”

“Look, I wasn’t there man.”

You mean you don’t have an opinion one way or the other Tim?

“Honestly, the state of the Greek system is not of concern to me. I’m sure there are good and bad guys in frats. Similarly I think there are both real and fabricated sexual assaults. Can someone hand me a beer? Texas Forever.”

Could it be that this simpleton in his apathy has discovered a joyous middle ground? This fullback who did the same amount of his own school work as Derrick Rose figured out social politics?

That just may be the case.

According to trendcasters 2015 is the year when people finally stop giving a shit. No more scorching hot takes on the internet, no more faux outrage and soapbox culture. People are tired. It is exhausting to educate oneself JUUUUST enough to shit talk someone in a forum and crusade for social justice.

People have their own problems man, 2015 is the year of you doing you.

Ayn Rand is applauding from the grave.

There will be a void. Sure, trolling comment boards and picking internet fights is a time consuming activity. But I dunno, maybe people will watch videos of other people playing video games on Twitch or some shit.

Maybe people will actually try to DO something that contributes to society. Or at least just create some shit that they are into. This blog doesn’t affect positive change in the world, but it’s fun for me and I like it.

Everyone should have shit that they are into. Make 2015 the year you create that thing. If you have always wanted to paint, fucking paint. If you want to write, FADE THE FUCK IN. If you want to learn an instrument or sing a song, record a shitty bootleg. Some random black man I follow on Twitter said “More n*ggas gonna drop mix tapes this year than graduate high school.” GOOD FOR THEM. Fucking make something man, throw it out there. All a high school degree is going to get you is enough cynicism to put other people down.

Haters gonna (hate*4)

Tim Riggins taught us this. Not giving a shit is a powerful tool if used properly. Don’t worry about what other people think, or do, or certainly what they think ABOUT the shit that you do.

Me personally? I’ll spend 2015 writing a spin-off called Texas Forever, a show about Timmy fucking Riggins 5 years after the series finale of Friday Night Lights.

I actually have no idea how the series ended, he might be dead. People keep telling me that I will cry. Why? Because Julie hooked up with the Swede and it’s so heartbreaking? Because Coach and Tami Taylor fight sometimes? I foresee death. Maybe something angsty like teen suicide or a fatal drunk driving crash. Nothing is more melodramatic than a car accident. Did you see Charlie St. Cloud? Real laugh riot.

But in any event, I declare 2015 the year of Tim Riggins. The year of not giving a fuck…the year of focusing on exactly what it is that you want to do. UNLEASH YOUR INNER RIGGINS! I’m making 2015 MY year, and you should aspire to make it the year of you. 

...and if there is REALLY nothing that you want to create but you have 60 or so odd hours to kill, why don't you give FNL a binge. I think you will agree that it is a flawless show. In fact, if I was a needy junior exec DYING to give a note to Jason Katims and Pete Berg, I could sum it up in 3 easy words. Needs more Riggins.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

An open letter to the Venice Neighborhood Council

To whom it may concern: (The Venice Neighborhood Council [Jessica])

I love this neighborhood so much. When people ask me where I live I say Venice, California. Not Los Angeles. Technically I live in LA, but Venice trumps LA. Echo Park is in LA, I do not wish to be associated with such east side endeavors. I have considered getting a 90291 tattoo. I constantly shame people for living East of Lincoln.

What I'm trying to say is, 'I am on your side.'

I even support the Venice NC. I have one of your stickers on my laptop AND my beer fridge. If someone were to judge me based on my laptop, they would say. 'Hey, there is the surfer dude from Indiana that shops at Aviator Nation and supports his local neighborhood council.

Yep that's me. David Moeller, caring community member.

Now although we live in the greatest neighborhood in the world, I am not so arrogant as to not recognize that there are some things that could be improved. Venice has some issues. Gentrification is forcing long time residents out of their homes, restaurants and boutiques can no longer afford the rent on Abbot Kinney and we have villages of homeless people living behind Google.

But these issues pale in comparison to the modest proposal I will bring to you today. Venice needs a drunk bus.


I want you to think back to the happiest times of your life. If you are a normal well adjusted human being, these peaks in your life thus far probably include college and a smattering of vacations.

What do college and vacations have in common?

They are fun.
They involve lots of drinking.
There is usually some sort of subsidized shuttle.

Living in Venice already has the feeling of a perpetual vacation. It is always sunny, there is a beach nearby and there is nearly always something exciting going on. It IS a tourist destination after all. Lots of our restaurants and bars can always be popping off on a school night simply because of the hostels and hotels in the area, or just the fact that all of our residents are also on permanent holiday.

We are clearly missing only one aspect of the equation. So while the homeless problem should be addressed, let's just let Multinational corporations (Google) throw money at it, while the neighborhood council works on free transportation for intoxicated white people. Because who is pumping the economy anyway? This is simple Reaganomics.

What is a drunk bus?

Thanks for asking. A drunk bus is a shuttle that operates outside the general public transit areas and in a specific high traffic region of night life. Basically, it's a bus that does circles around a bar district to ensure safe travel for folks that need to travel from a specific point A to point B.

In Bloomington, the "midnight special" would pick intoxicated kids up at Kilroy's downtown and shuttle them back to the dorms, frats and yes even GDI communes.

(I remember GDIs in the back yelling that they had been on the bus longer so it should go to The Villas only to be laughed off the bus by a bunch of frat guys who would buy the driver's loyalty with exhorbanant tips...Capitalism)

The idea behind a drunk bus is two fold. It keeps drunk people from driving, which is great. It also keeps people in a specific area. The drunk bus will not take people to Santa Monica, it keeps that person (and their money) within the Venice neighborhood. Imagine the Rasta Bus, but it not painted Jamaican colors and does a fixed route around Venice.

So what is this route you speak of?

While drinking beers at Wurstkuche I drew this map.

The bus would originate at Firehouse. (Same place Sandra Bullock boarded the bus in Speed...fun fact!) The bus would then drive west on Rose and turn south on Pacific. There would be stops at Windward (Townhouse, Danny's, Nikki's) and Venice Ave (James Beach, Canal Club) then the bus would stop and turn around at Washington (C&O, Whaler, Cabo, Etc.) The bus then doubles back on Pacific and drives East (ew) on Venice Ave to Abbout Kinney where it turns Northwest. There will be two stops on Abbot Kinney that should service (The Brig, Tasting Kitchen, Gjelina, Other Room, Hal's, Etc.) And finally the bus turns North on Main and ends its route at Firehouse.

I expect the bus could do about 3 laps an hour.

OK, LA is broke, how do you propose we fund this?

Fuck LA, can't we secede already? Santa Monica and Beverly Hills don't have to deal with this Los Angeles bullshit...

But I digress. There are two possible ways I propose to fund this project, both private Venice money, staying in Venice...

Option 1. Get the bars and restaurants to fund it.
Sure Uber is great. But if you are having dinner at Chaya Venice you aren't going to trek to The Whaler for $40 during 8x surge pricing. But what if you are a bar/restaurant ON the route, and you get to advertise ON the bus, with your daily drink specials. Would that be worth a few hundred bucks a month to you? Sounds like a reasonable marketing expense to me. This bus will run for 5 hours, 2 nights a week. (Friday/Saturday 9p-2a) How expensive could that be?

Option 2. Make a developer foot the bill.
As much as it may infuriate you, Venice is changing. The slum by the sea, the artists' haven? It's over. This is now a neighborhood for spoiled white kids. That's just the way it is. But if you're like me, just hanging on in a rent controlled apartment, we can utilize this to our advantage. The old guard still has a voice, so when some mega developer threatens to build a 5 story parking garage on Abbot Kinney maybe he can buy some favor by kicking back some of the profits to the neighborhood and funding the Venice drunk bus.

But SRSLY, Uber and shit...
Look I love Uber, but I find surge pricing abhorrent, and my old trick of moving my pin to the middle of the Pacific Ocean and then texting my driver "oh, I guess the system is fucked up, I'm at Townhouse" doesn't even work anymore. Sometimes you have more than 3 people, and every time you want to split everyone's phone is conveniently dead.

The Venice drunk bus is not a designated tool to get you home for free, or even necessarily a cheap tool for bar hopping. It's about adventure. Maybe we'll get on this bus and meet a crazy band of hooligans doing key bumps in the back. Maybe we'll start a dance party. Maybe there is only one seat left and it's next to a beautiful girl who you will introduce yourself to.

The possibilities of the great unknown!!!

My proposal has holes, of course. How the fuck are we going to stop random bands of vagrants from riding the bus in circles all night, only to harass the wealthy patrons that ride said bus. Maybe you have to download some sort of app to board the bus. Maybe you charge a quarter to ride (That's 12.5% the cost of a 40)

Venice is not real life. It is a resort playground that I just happen to live in, frollicing around the streets care-free until someone finally realizes that I am a fraud and makes me leave. It has cool people, fun places, a beach and with a drunk bus, it's transformation to total dream land will be complete.

Join me in my crusade for a Venice shuttle, because every story that has ever started "So I was hammered and got on this bus" quickly becomes an instant classic.

Warm Regards,

Friday, January 9, 2015

Honeymoon Period

Today I was at the 99 Cent Store getting some Sour Patch Kids because
A. The juxtaposition of a shared parking lot for a Whole Foods and a dollar store will always make me laugh.
B. Fuck you, I wanted some Sour Patch Kids.

In front of me in line was an old affable black man in the midst of a comedy routine. His main thesis was something along the lines of "Women be shoppin, amirite!?!" But when it was his turn to check out the cashier looked at him and asked how his day was going. He broke off his bit and looked at her sincerely and said "I woke up, and that's 99 percent of it."

What profound words from a man picking up 99 cent allergy medication. This guy may live on the edge of poverty, he could even be homeless...or perhaps he is just a shrewd bargain hunter, but regardless he has a great outlook on life. I woke up today, some people didn't, life is a gift...enjoy it.

Some may find this an especially low threshold for success, kind of like the guy from the old TJ Miller routine that celebrated every day by drinking champagne at a bar just because. But it reminded me of times in my life that I have been unabashedly excited and positive about the world around me.

I remember every year counting down the days until going back to college? You remember that first week back? Doing something cool every day and then going out every night for like two weeks. It was fucking magical. Eventually you settle into your groove and remember things like class and the fact that your ex girlfriend is fucking some other dude, but for those first 2 weeks, nothing matters.

It's the same when you meet a new girl. In the beginning you want to do EVERYTHING together. Hey let's go see a movie, then read the same book together and then you can come to my dermatologist appointment with me in the morning, we'll hold hands in the waiting room, then we'll go to breakfast afterward and when you go out of town this weekend we'll watch the same movie together over Skype. IT WILL BE AMAZEBALLS!!!!

This you are all aware is the honeymoon period, it always happens at the beginning of something and then slowly fades because it is an unsustainable model. If you went out every single night of college you would likely flunk out or suffer from liver failure. Likewise if you were that insufferable annoying couple indefinitely, eventually your friends would murder you. That's just the way life works, we get excited about something in the beginning and slowly march toward contentment.

My first year in Chicago was crazy. My first year in LA was like a fever dream. My first time living in Europe was a manic screenwriter's fantasy. Everything was so new, foreign...and I'll never be able to get it back. I suppose this is why you'll find certain people who really enjoy living a nomadic lifestyle. You hang out some place until you get the lay of the land, then pull the ripcord just as you are settling in, only to jet set to some new exotic location. That rush cannot be replicated, just like a first kiss or a first impression, lightning never strikes twice.

I think of my life now. I live in Venice and have a really cool group of friends. We try to be adventurous and do fun things to keep everything fresh, but eventually it becomes increasingly difficult to find these unique experiences. There should be no excuse really, I live in LA and I could go somewhere new every night for the rest of my life and not really even make a dent in what this city has to offer. But it's so much easier to walk down the street to one of my usual haunts than say explore a new speakeasy in Korea Town.

When I first arrived here, I used to just go to the beach in the middle of the night after the bars closed. Do you remember that? Townhouse would close and we would walk 100 feet to the ocean, take our clothes off and go swimming. We would body surf the 3AM tide for 20 minutes, then walk home soaking wet, smoking cigarettes and laughing about life. It was awesome. We don't do it anymore.

I could chart that up to aging, but I think it is far more likely a circumstance of complacency. Oh ya...I've done that before. It's like going back for Little 5 or Homecoming after you graduate, it's so important the first couple years out and then you reach a threshold that says "ya, I'm good on that." I think this is a psychological need to try something new.

I used to be a yes man, but then life just kind of got in the way. You will grow apart from old friends, fall into a familiar groove and then you realize it becomes a lot easier to stay in on a Friday night bingeing on Netflix shows than it would be to go on an impromptu road trip to Vegas.

So how does one avoid this rut? Is there anything wrong with hanging out with the same people, going to the same restaurants and eating the same dish? Nay, I would however challenge you to change your perspective.

If the honeymoon period is inherently attached to things we associate with being NEW and we make the assumption that every single day, is a new day full of unique opportunities and circumstances that we may never experience again, could one not by use of the transitive property purport that each day can be lived within its own honeymoon period.

What a pretentious sentence. Let's try this. Every day is fucking different, embrace it.

Like that chick that you fucked for the first time four hours ago and you want to introduce to your parents already, like the first night of your Vancouver trip that was SO GREAT (ya, you were rolling) that you were talking about giving up your citizenship and moving to Canada. These moments exist on a smaller scale and happen every single fucking day.

So what you're with your best friends, grabbing coffee at some spot that you've been going to every morning for the past 5 years, grab on to one singular aspect of this experience and fucking hold onto it. It's so easy to get bored, but don't allow it. Read something new and tell everyone how fucking great it is, discover a new band, or a new Podcast (HAVE U GUYZ HEAR ABOUT INVISIBILIA YET OMFG!!!!1!!) Nothing is more attractive to a person that passion, you ever go on a date and the other person is like REALLY into something.

"I've got this garden and I fucking love it and let me tell you why. I fucking spend 6 months tending this beautiful organic kale and the whole time I'm like JESUS this is a lot of work for one fucking side salad, but I go there every Saturday, I fucking hoe that shit, pull weeds because I know that some day in the not-so near future I am going to go to a dinner party and provide a salad, and someone at that table is going to compliment that salad and I'm going to be like BOOOM MOTHERFUCKER. THAT SHIT WAS ALL ME"

I think gardening is dumb, but I just got so fucking fired up for some kale.

I've said it before, live in the moment, say yes to life because you never know how one innocuous encounter will change everything. You don't have to chase the honeymoon period in life, you can just choose to live in it. Be that body surfing at a dangerously high BAC at half passed two in the morning or shaving a couple seconds off of your mile time.

I'm watching Friday Night Lights now for the first time. It's fucking amazing. It's like the first time watching the OC or Lost...I will never get these episodes back, so I am going to spend my sick pneumonia filled weekend ALL IN on Dillon, TX. Low aspirations, but still! Whatever you get into this weekend, be it relaxing or going balls to the wall, go in with an open mind and you never know what might happen. The possibilities are endless.

Monday, January 5, 2015

525,600 seconds

It's ironic that I chose a musical theater reference as a title for what will be a post about an alcohol fueled bender up in Lake Tahoe over the New Year's Holiday.

For the uninitiated...525,600 minutes is roughly the length of a year, and also the main hook of the song "Seasons of Love" from Rent. 525,600 is also roughly the number of seconds that equate to 6 days, the length of time that I was in Tahoe. So what does electronic music, heavy drinking and drug use have to do with a bunch of AIDS infected Bohemians living in New York in the 80's? More than you might think...

It has been two years since I went to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. It was a trip rooted in debauchery, really the only goal of that vacation was to get drunk as possible and survive. After that trip I discussed the joys of the first 3 days, how much I loved New Orleans, how I longed to go back annually...and that drinking on that 4th consecutive day gave me alcohol withdrawal that equated to delerium tremens on the 5th day. It was the worst day of my life. I shivered in a hostel bed dealing with cold sweats and an anxiety attack while two fat people had sex below me...I thought I might die.

But I was young and stupid back then. So much has happened in two years. I've significantly cut back on my drinking, I've trained for a few sprint triathlons, I climbed a mountain, I started paying for my own car insurance, I got dumped by a girl while I was rolling on Molly...I'm older, wiser now. Hell, just last week I wrote a post about how great it was sitting around RELAXING in Indianapolis. Relaxation I thought was just a concept for boring people that didn't want to admit that they did nothing on the weekends. But I get it now. Relaxing is DOPE.

So surely, I wouldn't make these mistakes again. But alas, we planned a 6 day ski trip in Lake Tahoe. A three story, nine person condo...and HEY, we're all from Venice! What could possibly go wrong?

There is one small detail I have left out thus far. The Snowglobe Music Festival also takes place in Lake Tahoe during the days leading up to New Year's. Our condo was a mile away from the venue and almost every person staying with me was in one way or another associated with the promoters.


We left at 10AM on the 28th. Tahoe is roughly 7 hours from LA, or approximately one Serial binge, five episodes of Doug Loves Movies or 93 plays of Club Going up on a Tuesday. The drive up 395 is beautiful enough, imagine driving from Indy to Chicago but instead of cornfields you go through mountains and all the film sets of 1950's John Wayne Films. Upon arrival I quickly grabbed a beer and explored the grounds of the Lakeland Village. Two hot tubs, two pools and about 500 other people in their 20's checking into rows of luxury condominiums seated on the beach of Lake Tahoe. (Yes there is an actual lake)

The Cast
My cohorts on this trip could in one way be stereotyped to the max in a few words and also not at all. One thing is for certain, everyone lives in Venice and something brought them there...and something brought them here to a rave in the mountains. Among my traveling companions...
The independent film producer
The agency guy
The start-up dude
The architect
The free spirit
The tattoo enthusiast
The actress
The new media hipster

And of course there is me, your unreliable narrator. Of course I could write an entire post on every single one of my roommates, their quirks, hopes and dreams, but let's weave a narrative and see what comes out instead.

Day 1
I went to Tahoe in college. It was a massive trip to Squaw Valley. We rented a ski in, ski out cabin with a bunch of family members I either hadn't met or hadn't seen in ten years. I spent that week drinking Sierra Nevadas with my Australian cousins and trying to keep up on the slopes. (Pro tip: Sierra Nevada in Tahoe is SUPER cheap. Like Shiner Bock in Texas or Lagunitas in SF)

But South Lake Tahoe is much different. There are strips of casinos and hole in the wall chapels lining the California/Nevada border. It's like a wannabe cold Las Vegas, apparently for those who like to Apres their vows. I get it, it's slightly less trashy to elope to the Heavenly gondola than it is to get married in a knighting ceremony whilst blacked out at the Excalibur.

Our hotel featured a free shuttle that would take us anywhere within 3 miles and since I had seen enough episodes of the Real World, I figured if nine strangers wanted to get to know each other, our best bet was to all get wasted at Harrah's. Nothing quite bonds strangers like Marlboro Lights and a Blackjack table.

Most of us broke even, and if you have ever been the guy who drops a few thousand the first night, you know that breaking even is cause for celebration. Cue an afterparty until four in the morning with all parties declaring "FATE BROUGHT US HERE TOGETHER. IT WAS MEANT TO BE!"
It's going to be an awesome trip.

Day 2 (1st Day of Snowglobe)
My hangovers have been getting progressively worse as I grow up. They often last for days at a time, but I don't think much of it. I've always associated it with a cost of doing business. Through my travels I have encountered more and more people who have "given up drinking." When I meet these people, I assume something catastrophic has happened.

"I gave up drinking because I crashed into a bus of 42 children killing them all. My BAC was .32 at the time."

I expect to hear something like that...or even...

"I stopped drinking because my liver has completely rotted, I have chronic pancreatitis and one functioning kidney, one sip could kill me." Similar to the scene in Thank You For Smoking, when Aaron Eckhart is told that one more cigarette would kill him.

Those two aforementioned scenarios would likely cause me to give up drinking. But more and more I encounter people that say, "I just can't bear the hangovers, I don't like how it makes me feel."
Beforehand I would have called them vaginas, but now...I'm starting to get it. Being hungover is awful. It ruins your productivity, it destroys the way in which people perceive you and well...it hurts. Being hungover for three days is something you can do in college, a time in life where nothing really matters, but now? My god, it can ruin relationships. 2015 goal, get less hangovers, by any means possible (even if it means drinking less!)

I woke up the morning of the 29th at 10AM, something that would have been unheard of on ski trips of old. I didn't get on my first chair until 11. But I was alone. Which is fucking spectacular. Skiing alone is one of life's undiscovered joys. No waiting for the group, no deciding which run to do, you just fucking go. Do something harder if you want, grab a beer if you want, hell, try a rail if you want without fear of embarrassing yourself.

Underrated things to do alone,
5. Hike
4. Travel
3. Go to a movie
2. Go to a museum
1. Ski

I arrived back at the cabin at 6pm, it was completely empty. I was exhausted. On a normal ski trip, this would have been the time I took a six pack of heavy beer to the hot tub and chilled out for a couple hours before a late dinner and then out. But this was not a normal ski trip. Instead I found a half empty whiskey bottle with a note pinned to it.


I mean what could I do? I wanted to sleep, or at least take a long shower. But this was not to be. Sometimes, you take an Adderall and rally.

Disclosure was underwhelming but I found the homies at Skrillex. "Here take this."
What is it? "Don't worry." Kids don't try this at home.

Skrillex may have started out as a dubstep producer, but he has quietly turned himself into the greatest Bar Mitzvah DJ in the world, and I say that in the nicest way possible. Sure he sprinkled in a fair amount of his hits during the 2 hour set, but I'm pretty sure at some point he played Jimmy Buffett's "Fins" just to make us feel like we were somewhere tropical and not on a frozen tundra. Then again...maybe that was me playing it during our after party. Looking at my phone now I do see that I have Jimmy's greatest hits downloaded, I don't remember that being there. I'm not skiing tomorrow.

Day 3 (2nd Day Snowglobe)
I've never been to Burning Man, but I've heard about some of its ideals. You just bring a bunch of shit to contribute, it is a cashless society. If you are a crazy artist and you are going to do some wild finger painting installation, that's your thing. Another person is the weed guy, another person is the vodka guy and everyone just kind of coexists.

It's something that four year ago me would have thought was stupid. A hippie commune in the middle of the desert? Who the fuck would take a week (or TWO!!) off of work to be subject to 110 degree temperatures and crazy dust storms. I read like a page of Grapes of Wrath and that shit sounds miserable. Because I'm a frat guy, a bro, a capitalist....or I was. I haven't gotten my hair cut in 6 months (I was in like 6th place, Free Spirit hasn't cut his hair in six years) It's like I'm slowly making the transformation to Venice Beach hippie.

I didn't ski. Most of us didn't. We opted instead for an afternoon of drinking and well...drinking. When it was lunch time we opted for a brewery across the street when we invented the game "How many pitchers of bad ass ale can we finish" Spoiler alert: A lot. I think we were kindly asked to leave after we initiated a snowball fight with french fries. I'm not mad, I get it.

Tuesday night was the Porter Robinson show, it was also about 2 degrees out. I don't remember much, sometimes if you drink enough to warm yourself up, you also drink enough to shut your brain off. But fellow members of the so-named A-Team tell me that I was kicked out of the VIP tent and that on the shuttle home I kept demanding that strangers watch Too Many Cooks on my iPhone. I regret nothing.

Around midnight, my memory briefly comes back. I didn't have a bed, so I was de facto the last person awake every night, the afterparty would take place in the family room, on the couch, with loud music...aka my bed. I briefly remember someone yelling, NO we have to finish it ALL tonight. Now, a sane person may have objected to this behavior, but hey I'm on vacation with a bunch of cool new friends and sometimes you just go with the flow.

Day 4 (Last Day of Snowglobe, NYE)
The idea of a music festival isn't new. The most famous from the flower generation is probably Woodstock, but I'm sure there were lots of other smaller more obscure three day music festivals happening at the same time. Just like today I'm sure groups of people would pair together for lodging, or even just a ride across country. Some of them would become great friends, others would never see each other again. It's similar to the film industry, you spend an intense amount of time with someone for a period of days and then it's over. Accommodations may be nicer today than they were in the 60's/70's/80's, hell even Bonaroo, the signature music festival of the 90's is held at a major campground in the middle of Tennessee. We all rebel so hard to prove that we are different than our parents' generation. They don't get it, we tell ourselves. I need something more, buying a house, finding a mate, these aren't the ideals I aspire to have in my life. I want to travel, I want to be different. I'm sure they told themselves this as well.

We must have stayed up until sunrise last night discussing past relationships, career aspirations, travel. It was awesome. But now it's 10AM and I'm being woken up to go ski again. It's ok, I'll sweat it out, that has worked for me in the past.

Oh ya. My credit card stopped working today. I got a call from Chase telling me I may have been exposed to fraud and that my card was shut down for "my protection." Just walk into a local branch and get a new debit card...NBD! (No local branch for 100 miles)

I don't have a credit card, it is a measure I have used to protect myself from myself. You know that consultant friend of yours that is always pitching you batshit vacations because he has unlimited miles, but you say no because your checking balance is in 3 digits and the flight would be 800? THAT is why I don't have a credit card.

Fortunately for me, my Venmo was still working so I paid a colleague and had 100 dollars to get through the rest of the trip.

The last run down the mountain that day I felt a cathartic emotion. Well thank god I don't have to do that anymore. I love skiing, but I'm getting to the point that on a cabin vacation, I would rather snuggle under a blanket near a roaring fire.

Can we watch Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve tonight? Please? No? Flume and Zedd...well, I tried.

Towards the end of a vacation, the alcohol left is the stuff you didn't want to drink early in the week. Tonight's choice? Crown on the rocks (not bad) or tequila. Seemingly only to torture me, Zedd was going on at 630pm, to ensure that I would spend 6 hours in the cold, drinking 8 dollar beers, with my 100 dollars. Could I take the last night off? Or would I spend all of 2015 living with FOMO and regret.

Throw on a face...impress your new friends.

Zedd was great. Odesza was great. Whatsonot let us backstage (hollar at the artist pass!!!) Flume was stellar. I spent the end of 2014 holding my dick with both hands to try to prevent the seemingly inevitable wetting myself. No one wants the first or last thing they do in a year to be pissing themselves. When the fireworks started, one of the event planners handed me a bottle of champagne and wished me a Happy New Year. I took a modest swig and made a beeline to the bathroom.

The line was long, but seeing that I was in distress, I was admitted next. Because that is the vibe here, people care for one another.

I used to think that festivals were just an excuse to party. Don't give me that shit, "It's about the music man." Well the truth is, it is about the party. And also about the music. But mostly about the people. I haven't gotten that much into the people during the previous several thousand words because, well, I didn't tell them that I would be documenting the trip and their actions. I probably didn't even mention my blog. But what I can tell you about these people is that they couldn't have been any more different than me or each other...but also very much the same. Like a group of unique individuals that shared a common bond, a kindred spirit if you will. Although we are all neighbors in the general sense of things in Venice, I may have gone a lifetime without interacting with this crew. But now, we'll have these memories forever, for better or worse...mostly for the better.

There wasn't a lot of movement on the 1st. Personally I was dead. Lots of college football was watched. We tried a mimosa to rally. Nope. We tried to stuff ourselves with salads. Nope. I tried the hot tub, the sauna, two showers. It wasn't meant to be. Sit on the couch and rot, tomorrow we'll go home and everything will be ok.

My perspective through all of this has changed. I used to think people who called things 'chill' were assholes. I used to think if someone described them self as an artist, it meant they were an unemployed trust fund dick head. But say what you will about this lot, they are caring individuals. I've spent my entire life being judged and judging others. In high school, the most important thing in the world is being cool, fitting in. In college all I wanted to do was align myself with the people that would lead to me hanging out with the prettiest girls. I've finally found myself on an island of misfit toys, and I love it. Everyone puts themselves out there. Take it or leave it, this is me. And the truth is, I don't buy into all of it, but what I have always thought was the coolest thing ever is when someone shows a passion for a thing that they are into. The guys that put on this festival fucking care. It's not just about counting the dollars and cents, about achieving relevancy in the music industry. I bet they love putting together this music line-up, curating art exhibits from Burning Man.

The people that I went on this trip with didn't need to look for me when I was lost, bring me a sandwich if I needed to sober up a bit, but they did, because a sense of community is what rules here, and that will be my takeaway from the trip. I remember falling asleep on the floor watching the movie Rango. It's about a reptile who pretends to be something he's not, but then at the end he shows his true colors and everything works out. I think that's a metaphor for life. Be yourself, everything will work out.

Day 6
I took one last walk along the pier, overlooking the frozen beach. It really is a beautiful place here, so calm, yet my God, one of the most reckless, agressive weeks of my life. We're driving home today, a Friday. I wonder if people will aspire to do things this weekend. I think I'm going to watch a bunch of YA movies to push off the inevitability of the real world. Yep, it's a Katniss, Tris and "whatever that fucker's name from the Mazerunner is" kinda weekend for me.


I look back at my hypothesis from the beginning of this entry. We're not that different from the Bohemians in Rent. We're just a bunch of people trying to find our way in the world. Thankfully AIDS isn't as big of a deal anymore. That's not to say that there aren't people among us struggling with addiction, depression...you can find all kinds here in Venice Beach. Homeless, starving artists and all the stereotypical characters that came along for my journey. But that's a cheap way of defining us, there is more to that, each of us hold thousands of stories, unique qualities that will some day unlock the greatness within.

I'm sitting here now reflecting on the trip, my year...asking myself, what do I want to accomplish in 2015? Do I want to meet a girl? Do I want to take a significant leap professionally? Am I happy here?

Ya, for sure. I may never leave. Will I take the leap and try a burning man? Or what about that festival in Costa Rica with all the crazy shamans that poison you with bee stingers to give you a total cleansing experience. I saw they did some cliff diving, that looked cool.

I don't know. I still feel a little overwhelmed by all of these things. I may take a pass on Coachella this year and maybe festivals in general. I'm going to substantially settle down this year, not because I feel that I have to but because my passions are changing, developing. I want to take an improv class, I want to look into some sort of way to give back to the community.

I'm having withdrawal from the weekend still. I've blown my nose so many times that it's starting to bleed, but I feel like this is a godsend, at least I can see a physical manifestation of my illness leaving my body. Maybe it's the company of strangers that I miss. You know, it takes a lot to surprise me these days, but there is a great rush from making new friends, that will never get old.