Tuesday, May 19, 2015

How NOT to host your bros

Do as I say, not as I do.
"Do you have a phone and a passport?"

That may be the most dangerous phrase in the world.

Because you know what it means right? It means you lost your entire wallet last night, or at the very minimum your ID and all of your credit cards. But because of technology you no longer have to deal with that right away.

Saturday morning I woke up in my bed, which is always a small win. My phone was on its charger. How responsible!

Things went quickly downhill from there. My fitbit, my precious purple fitbit that I got on Wednesday, gone. My wallet that contained a couple hundred in cash (for obvious reasons) my credit card, my WORK credit card, like 4 various work related key cards, my goddamn driver's license. GONE!

Also I was naked and wrapped in a damp towel.

Why? Why did any of this happen?

Well I'll tell you why. I fucked up. I am a fraud. I am the worst. THE WORST! Remember when I wrote a post last week outlining what I perceive to be as very simple steps to hosting your homies for the weekend? Remember that? It was Friday. In fact, I posted it just a couple hours before my friends got here. It was fresh in my mind.

I didn't follow my own rules. I blacked out Friday, hard.

Let me explain:
1. Wanting to look cool and successful in front of my visiting friends I showed up to Nikki's Friday night and ordered 5 pitchers. I drank a portion. This was fine.

2. Wanting to do a fun dinner, I suggested Mao's. We each got a personal bottle of wine and even some champagne, because why not? This was also fine.

3. Then we decided that after going to happy hour AND a BYOB dinner we needed to pregame, so we came back to my apartment and pregamed. This was starting to get grey area on the rules I had outlined.

4. After facing a bottle of Fireball, Tito's, Grey Goose, 4 cases of beer, 100 mg of Aderall, and aforementioned champagne we went to Townhouse. This is in clear violation of the "medium rage
 I advocated Friday.

5. After dancing my face off at Townhouse until close I DEMANDED that we have an afterparty at a friend's house. Now this is just blatant disregard for the established rules.

6. After we got kicked out of said after party I decided we will go back to my house and have an after-after party. Jesus.

I must have been up until 6am and felt compelled to take a shower at some point, not an uncommon move for me since I routinely lose 10 pounds in water weight at Townhouse.

That brings me back to the beginning of the post. "Do you have a phone and a passport?"

It was Saturday morning, my friends were already at the bar watching hockey, two people had come by to wake me up and drag me to the bar. I was missing a lot of shit, I was in shambles, a rational person would have taken the day off, maybe picked up the pieces and made it out for Saturday night.

But I am an irrational person, willing to use Venmo to turn his friends into ATMs. And hell, I've got some pretty cool passport stamps that I like to brag about.

"Yes, I have my phone and a passport."

"Then what are we still doing here, let's go."

Of course I enjoy that Pacific time means that games start early, sometimes absurdly so. However, it also means that sometimes you are at a bar at 10AM. As was the case this past Saturday.

Now I'm not saying it's impossible to get a group of guys to rent bikes and go on a ride after 4 Bloody Mary's, I'm just saying that it's easier to convince them to go to another bar. So began our Saturday bar crawl. Where didn't we go? I think from Nikki's we went to Waterfront Cafe, from Waterfront Cafe we bought a bunch of beer and played volleyball. From Volleyball we went to another BYOB dinner (because that worked out so well for me the night before!)

By 6pm I was destroyed. What I just described to you may only sound like 2 bars, a restaurant and some fun in the sun, but I assure you, nothing good happens when you start drinking before noon. But as one is wont to do, I pounded at minimum two bottles of wine at dinner and booked the SHIT out of an Uber SUV to take us to Bungalow. (All weekend I was aggressively grabbing Ubers and over paying for things with Venmo, because when you don't have a wallet this is all you're really good for.)

We go to Bungalow, the line was maybe two miles long. We walked right in and I immediately started wondering if all the girls in line thought I was famous. I'm tall, athletic-ish...I could be a Los Angeles Dodger, maybe like a reserve Right Fielder. But by the time we got in and situated, I was so blasted that I couldn't speak to people. This is fine at some bars. At Townhouse I crush when I can't talk, but there is no dance floor at Bungalow, it requires that you be lucid enough to communicate.

At one point, I saw a group of girls and decided I would go hit on them. Out of all the possible opening lines in the world, I panicked and said "Would you girls like shots of Fireball?"

"Um sure."

Would you like shots of fireball, what a clown. I didn't even have a fucking wallet, how did I expect to buy these chicks a $200 round of flavored whiskey. I decided it was time to pivot and take the group in a new direction.

We must go to the Victorian. It's got a dance floor! I won't have to speak, it will be great.

"We have to go."

"Why? My friends just got in line."

"I just promised those girls shots and I'm too drunk to be here...besides your friends are black they're never getting in. Send them to Victorian. I'll get us in."

Begrudgingly my friends agree to follow me to another Santa Monica bar.
Now if you're unfamiliar with The Victorian, it's a very cool bar. It resembles an old Victorian style house and boasts 3 floors with very distinct vibes. Upstairs is 'The Attic' they play mellow, hip music.
The main floor is a sprawling outdoor patio to sip cocktails with friends. Either of these two would have been good choices for me. But I chose the nuclear option...go down to The Basement and ask random strangers on the dance floor for amphetamines.

Now I wouldn't usually recommend going to dark rock clubs and asking people for drugs, but sometimes it works and I think Saturday was one of those nights, because once the band took its intermission break I decided that the only option was to go back to Townhouse and just triple down on the debauchery. At this point I'm certain I was leading with the tongue on any girl with a pulse.

I would like to say that was it, the last stop on our bender, but I'm fairly certain we were intent on making sure my apartment was in fact never livable again because we threw ANOTHER after party and nearly burned it to the ground. Almost 24 hours of straight drinking. Disgusting. Oh and we never got the hotel! Ha!

Sunday morning I wake up not caring if my friends felt as shitty as I did today, I was going to drive down to Anaheim and go to a Blackhawks game. I walk out to the mailbox to grab my tickets that had been overnighted to me and am instead greeted by a note from UPS.

"Your package was undeliverable because no one was there to sign."

Whoever decided to make this a standard shipping practice is a cunt and should be killed. Cue a 45 minute call to Uber Seat and Seat Geek in which I drunkenly threatened to murder this guy's entire family at least once. I called my brother who works at a UPS shipping facility in Indiana like he was going to be able to pull some fucking strings.

Around 10am it sank in. No one at UPS, Uber Seat or Seat Geek gave a fuck that my tickets didn't come, no one was going to do anything about it. I wasn't going to the game.

No wallet, no Fitbit, no Hawks tickets. I did what I do best and took a pout nap.


I woke up and everyone was gone. I look at my phone, 2pm. The game is almost over. I have a text "Do you have your phone and a passport?"

I could've told them to fuck off.

I had fulfilled my duties as host. I gave them a place to stay, I showed them 2 incredible nights. I should get a good Yelp review.

But I have a sickness. I can't protect myself from myself.

So I go down to Nikki's for a third time in 3 days, watch the Hawks get blown out and the Clippers complete one of the most epic collapses in NBA history.

Mercifully two of the three have their flights and it's time for them to go home. (I say that like I'm glad they left but I wish they lived here)

I should go home too and find my wallet!

But then a chick hits me up and we decide to go to Hinano for a pitcher or 12.

Ok, I'll look during Game of Thrones.

But then all the chicks come back and we keep drinking. I fall asleep on the couch watching Paddington (yes, the talking bear movie) I wake up at 2 o clock in the morning. Ugh.

I'll wake up early tomorrow and find my wallet.

I'm too hungover.

I can't get out of bed.

It's 7:15am. I'm just not going to have a wallet today. I'll ask my someone for a $20 and get a new debit card at lunch. I've got maybe 5 minutes for a hot shower. Today is going to be the worst day of my life,

7:20am. Oh, I found my Fitbit, must have taken it off the shower during my blacked out 6am shower. Cool.

7:25am. Might as well lift up my mattress in case the wallet fell under the bed.

And there it fucking is, with all my shit, it was just down there the whole time.

By noon I had an apology and a full refund from my ticket broker, by 7pm I was home and in bed.

So what did we learn from all of this?

Nothing. I learned fucking nothing.

I got away with it. In fact I saved money, I didn't have a wallet all weekend so anything I wanted I had to ask someone to buy for me, and at 9am on Sunday I'm not sure I really wanted to drive to Orange County, park my car and sit in the last row of the Honda Center.

But nope, it all just sort of worked out. I deserve to be punished for living this way, but all I have are just some great memories with a great group, some stellar photos and some stories for next time.

Your friends can move away to Austin, Chicago, Milwaukee, New York, London, India, anywhere...nothing ever changes. My dad of all people hit me up in the middle of the weekend and said to me 'You will never have more fun than hanging out with old friends."

I couldn't agree more. I want you all to come back right now (actually give me a couple weeks to recover) or move here. And you know what the greatest part of our weekend was? We never went east of Lincoln fucking ONCE. Hope the tourist in you isn't disappointed.

To those of you on the fence, feel free to come visit because clearly I didn't learn my lesson; unless the lesson is this...hosting your buddies for the weekend is fucking awesome.

Friday, May 15, 2015

How to host your bros: A step by step guide

I apologize for my lack of blogging recently, I'm writing a new pilot with some homies and it has taken precedent. (Spoiler alert, it's about 3 bros that live in Venice!) That said, I had lots of drunken thoughts over the past 10 days, let's consult my iPhone notes from the weekend:

1. Finish Coachella post.
Fair, it's been almost a month. The world needs to know about the college student I hooked up with.

2. Post about the Townhouse murder.
The fact that there was a person killed by a cop in Venice and the neighborhood didn't burn to the ground is a miracle, I do not want to do anything to spread backlash.

3. The Systematic Racism of Bungalow.
They play Beatles music, don't have a dance floor, have wildly expensive drinks and keep a long line. All of this is done for a reason.

4. Nikki Minaj's ass is gross.
This is the third topic in a row that would be wildly offensive to minorities.

5. Shoulda brought that chick home last night.
You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

Ok so none of those are jumping off the page at me, so I could work on my pilot I guess. The next scene is about consulting a homeless man on where to find cocaine (shocking) but even that seems too grating right now.

So instead of any of that bullshit, how about a post on the weekend visitor? It's timely, as I have 4 frat buds visiting this weekend. Have we done a post on hosting the perfect 48 hour weekend? I don't think so, either that or I did it years ago and no one remembers, now is as good a time as any. Let's go!


One of the sad inevitabilities of getting older is people move away. Social media helps, I'll get a snap chat now and then, catch a Facebook update, see some vacation pics on Instagram. But really, outside of a few e-mail chains and the occasional call I rarely see a lot of my good friends. I live in LA now, I go back to the midwest maybe once a year and I spend half of that time with my family. Try as I might, it can be hard to stay in touch.

But then it happens...

Your phone rings.

It's a number you haven't seen in a while.

This means one of two things, there is big news of a positive nature or someone died. I've had both calls. It's thrilling in the same way roulette is thrilling when you've put far too much money on black. On this occasion it was my childhood best friend, I was rolling my face off at a festival in San Diego...if the news on the end of the line was shitty, things could get very bad for me very quick.

"May 15th."


"I'm coming to LA, May 15th. Put that shit on the books."

A few weeks go by and the word spreads,

'yo did you hear who's coming to LA?'
'ya and I hear Friend B just booked a flight, and Friend C is on the fence'

It snowballs until at the 11th hour Friend D comes out of left field and all of a sudden you have amassed a team of all-stars for the ages. Weekend visit to LA becomes Bachelor Party Lite. But how does one go about planning the ultimate bro weekend with a limited amount of time, effort and resources.

It all starts with what are you trying to accomplish?

Obviously the easy answer is "I want my guests to have fun." But I take that a few steps further. Every time someone visits I want them to say "Holy fuck, I can't believe the life you have out here, I am going to re-evaluate everything and consider moving." I agree, that is a high bar to set, but I objectively think it is irrational to live outside of a coastal community in Southern California and I am making it my life's mission to spread the gospel.

Chapter 1: The Lodging
Up until about 27 I had no problem living out of a suit case and sleeping on hardwood floors. It's very easy to go places from Chicago. There are a lot of places that are road trippable, New York is a fairly cheap and easy flight, everyone in their early to mid 20's is drinking heavily every night and is no stranger to having numerous bodies strewn everywhere on a given Saturday night. When I lived in oldtown we routinely had 10 people crash with us and it was no big deal.

But...about a year ago I hit a wall. Sleeping on the floor is uncomfortable. When everyone has their shit everywhere it smells. It's tough to have a pregame if you're tripping over suitcases. Might I recommend option B.

At least for one night, get an Air Bnb or a hotel.
1. If you split a room 4 ways it will never be expensive. (You could get the dopest room in LA and it would be no more than $150 a person)
2. Hotels are baller as fuck
3. Hangover at the pool
4. Hotel room after party
5. You can destroy them and just leave.

Arguably the worst part about having a raging pregame/afterparty at your apartment when your boys are in town is that you then have to sit in the filth all day, too hungover to clean. Imagine waking up to that filth and just going back to a pristine apartment to be hungover. Sure, 4 people on the couch is a little bit cramped, but you throw on some Shark Tank, hit a bowl and activate the 'day naps' the situation will become much improved.

Chapter 2: Friday Night
One of the downfalls of a weekend getaway is the length. People come here all the time and give me a laundry list of all the shit they want to do. It is impossible. You can't just go to Malibu and then check out the Hollywood sign after. They're about 2 hours apart. This is especially crucial on Friday night. Because of the way in which Los Angeles is set up, we cannot go to dinner at some place you saw on Reality Television. Well unless that's what you want the whole night to be. If you want me to scoop you at the airport at 6, we can go home, shower, change, get in an uber, go to Beverly Hills, eat dinner, Uber home and it will be 1 in the morning. That is how a night gets away.

Getting around fucking sucks. I will always abdicate an itinerary that keeps Friday hyperlocal. We are going to this restaurant, this party and this bar, they are all within a mile of eachother. It will be awesome. Note: It is important not to get too turnt on Friday night. You don't want your friends to be down for the count within the first few hours of their arrival.

'How was LA?'
'Well I blacked out and spent Saturday vomiting. Saturday night we ordered Thai food and watched the Avengers, Sunday I went home.'


No Friday should be about the food, but then showing off an area close by. Maybe take them to a super dope restaurant and just act like it's a casual affair. Oh ya, I mean I go to Gjelina like 3 times a week, then you rig it with your bartender roommate to cut the line at some exclusive bar like Bungalow. 'Oh, they know me there.'

Remember, this weekend is not about showcasing your real life, it's like Facebook, it's the life you want to portray.

(Or you can just go to some BYOB joint like Mao's drink 7 bottles of wine, stumble across the street to Townhouse.)

Chapter 3: Saturday (Day)
Saturday is probably your one real chance to do something touristy. Stuff I have done in LA Saturday day: Malibu Wines, USC Tailgate, Runyon Canyon, Griffith Park, Paradise Cove, Temescal. All of those are cool, beautiful and/or unique to LA in some way. (Never do Hollywood Blvd, it's stupid) Get a little outdoorsy, rent bikes, we do more than party bro. I've got 2 surfboards wanna learn? I've got a Groupon for Skydiving in Santa Barbara, you in?

Definitely hit up a late lunch spot that you can do some light to moderate drinking though, then get back to home base and maybe escalate that drinking a bit because let's be honest...any weekend getaway ALWAYS comes down to Saturday night.

Chapter 4: Saturday (Night)
Pull out all stops, call in all favors. Saturday night is the last impression your friends will have of visiting you, visiting your home. It's what they will remember. It's what they will go home and tell your other friends. "You HAVE to visit LA, we had the craziest weekend of our lives." or "It was cool." (No one will go back and say the weekend sucked and 'Dave has changed man'...well maybe they will, but unlikely because I'm awesome)

I try to have some sort of event planned for Saturday. Something that transcends, dinner, pregame, bar. This is the night to get the hotel room. This is the night to shell out some cash for tickets to something dope. Order the drugs, order a lot of them, even if you don't do drugs. People that just have drugs are cool. It's like stocking your bar. Even if you are a recovering alcoholic, you should just have booze for visitors. Hit up all the slutty girls you used to bang, get a bottle. WEAR A SPORT COAT. Spring for the Uber SUV. Because FUCK IT. Saving money is for bitches. Make it rain so you can make all of your coworkers feel inadequate on Monday when you recount how much better your weekend was.

Turn the intensity up to 11. At some point you should all be sweating profusely, on a dance floor, making out with some chick whose name you do not know. Stay up obscenely late.

You're only young once.

Sunday: The Day of Rest
Another one of the perks of getting a hotel room, you can leave any potential gutter monkeys you brought back from the Bungalow laying there whilst you rock an express check-out. On the off chance there is a miracle at play and you wake up with anything other than the world's worst hangover; go to a bottomless mimosa somewhere on the beach. But you will likely feel like you just got hit by a freight train, if that is the case...Couch.

Here it is in nested if format. =IF(B1:B5="hangover","couch","brunch") or something like that K201 was a long time ago.

Hopefully you were forward thinking enough to book a late afternoon flight. Or even better, early Monday. Your buddies should always allow themselves a recovery day. (So should you, after 25 you need a recovery day, none of this straight to work shit) That way you can even watch Game of Thrones together.

That's when the lasting memories will be made. You can hang out and just shoot the shit, that's probably the reason you guys became friends in the first place. Partying is all good and well, but sitting around and telling stories, that's the gravy. Most of the time when you haven't seen a friend in a while you would be amazed at how quickly things click back into place.

Maybe this isn't how your weekend getaways transpire. Mother's Day was Sunday and I was shocked at how many people my age have children. I cannot even fucking imagine it. There are people out there that are 28 and when they get home from work they have responsibility beyond grabbing McDonald's and watching Netflix. Some day this could be you so enjoy this version of your life while you can.  Party with you old friends, rent that Palm Springs house for the weekend (This is the LA version of go to a lake house) and celebrate life. Some day you may have to grow up (Actually you never have to grow up) but these are the weekends that you never forget, and really 3 day hangovers aren't that bad when memories last a life time.

To those of you visiting this weekend? Buckle up and pace yourself, this might get rough. Here's to hoping no one dies and we all get laid.