Wednesday, October 28, 2015

(Not So) Passive Agressive Notes


Last night I was watching Halloween: Resurrection. It's the one where Jamie Lee Curtis finally (spoiler alert) dies. After a really promising opening sequence, the movie kind of falls apart. The premise is that a reality television show is going to lock 6 people in the childhood home of Michael Myers overnight. Hilarity ensues.

One of the subplots of the movie is there is this 18 year old kid flirting with a college senior under the guise of being a 'grad student.' They eventually begin an online relationship. It's very 90's and A/S/L pic4pic. But it got me thinking that I should Catfish someone go back to college. Not go to grad school, just re-enroll as a Freshman somewhere. I have tasted 6 years of life after graduation and I have decided to pass. I am going to do a hard reset on life and blow up the last decade. I can go to a new school, live in a new dorm, pledge a new frat, have unprotected sex with new white girls. It will be great. I'll even try a new major this time, something like Journalism. Or perhaps this time I should take my future into account and learn how to code.

I can probably pull off 18. I don't think anyone will question it. I'll go somewhere no one has ever heard of me. Somewhere like LSU…GEAUX TIGERS! I will deceive everyone, maybe I'll even meet a Southern Belle and get married! I'll of course fund this by taking out student loans that I never plan on repaying. Upon graduation, I'll flea to Australia and live in my cousin's house selling wine the rest of my life. Then I can write a tv show about my experience for Australian TV. I'll get Chris Lilly (Mr. G, J'amie) to star. It will be fucking great. Even though that's essentially the plot of Community. Eh fuck it, maybe I'll bring cameras and make a cutting edge documentary. Or I could write a book!

Obviously I will do none of this, but it's fun to fantasize about. I'm sure I'll spend the next 6 years talking shit and ranting about my hedonistic ways until I eventually succumb to cirrhosis of the liver. Perhaps my 'art' will be appreciated posthumously.

With that said, let's deconstruct this letter that was posted on the apartment I was couch surfing at a few years ago. I posted it on Instagram once upon a time, but I don't think I was ever given a proper opportunity to respond. It is transcribed below.

            [I just want to take a moment to discuss] (ed note: that is a guess to how the letter starts, it cuts off) how your behavior affects the people around you. Your actions are so incredibly rude.
             Not only do we lose sleep due to your party noise (loud music, even louder drunk shouting, high heeled stomping) We also lose sleep because we are enraged and stressed that we have neighbors who are unaware and basically have no consideration for anyone but themselves. We can hear every bit of noise that is taking place in your home. It is like we are in your party.
             Do you have any idea how it feels and how hard it is to wake up early in the morning when you’ve lost sleep because of other people’s party noise?
Frustrating is an understatement.
             Other neighbors share our sentiment. And actually they feel sorry for us that we have to deal with you, being that we share a wall.
             And don’t get me wrong, my sister and I love to party. We’re from the midwest also, we get it. But we are also aware of the fact that there is a point where you have to be adult about it. For fuck’s sake, I’m 27, not that much older then (sic) you and you make me feel like an old biddy.
             I just really hope you can step back and try to really understand and analyze your actions and the snowball effect they create. Because everytime (sic) we go to knock on the door and complain you guys say “I know, I know,” But obviously you don’t! Don’t humor me and say “I know.” That frustrates me even more. You may as well be saying “blah, blah, blah.” Your words obviously don’t mean anything. It’s all a bunch of bullshit in my opinion. I am basically pleading with you to be a human being and also have some respect.
 -Katie

Ahh yes, Katie, former resident of 2047 Vista Del Mar. I wonder if she still lives there. I bet she does. According to my math she would be 31 now. Probably unmarried. Probably still living with her sister. Scratch that, I bet she moved back to the Midwest, got on Match.com and married a fat man. You ever see a chick on Facebook that marries a fat man? I always think, 'wow good for you, you really wanted to get married that bad, huh? Well I wish you both the best.' It gives me hope as a man. No matter how fat I get, there will be someone desperate enough to get married that they will have me. She probably won't even expect me to have a job. Not a bad plan B.

But I digress, a little back story. When I moved to LA in the autumn of 2011 there was a two week period that I was living on a couch in the 'Hollywood Hills.' I put that in quotes because while it was North of Franklin, I was essentially living in the parking lot of the 101 cafe (base of the hill.) The neighbors with whom my buddies shared a (paper thin) wall were not too keen on our partying and once posted the above note. It is now framed in my Venice apartment. And now, if you're not too busy, I would like to go paragraph by paragraph and have my turn to respond, 4 years later.
        [I just want to take a moment to discuss] (ed note: that is a guess to how the letter starts, it cuts off) how your behavior affects the people around you. Your actions are so incredibly rude.
No, dear neighbors? No introduction to the author? The writer does start with a strong opening statement though. Upon reading the first sentence I know exactly what this letter will be about. She must have taken  business communication class.

Not only do we lose sleep due to your party noise (loud music, even louder drunk shouting, high heeled stomping) We also lose sleep because we are enraged and stressed that we have neighbors who are unaware and basically have no consideration for anyone but themselves. We can hear every bit of noise that is taking place in your home. It is like we are in your party.
 Ok now we are into specifics, the writer is complaining about noise, specifically the noise associated with partying. She lists loud music, shouting and 'high heeled stomping' as reasons for losing sleep. I understand this as we were listening to a lot of 'Country Roads' back in 2011. That is both a shout and stomp heavy song. The next line however gives me pause. The writer also loses sleep because she is enraged and stressed that she has neighbors who are unaware and basically have no consideration for others.

Well which is it? Are we blissfully unaware or do we maliciously give no fucks. These are two totally contrasting issues. Someone unaware of their actions cannot be held accountable. This is why Sling Blade was eventually set free. Also, your lack of sleep for anger and stress sounds like it should be brought up with a physician, perhaps a psychiatrist. Lastly you discuss that the noise is so overbearing 'it is like we are in your party,' that's great! You're always welcome!
 Do you have any idea how it feels and how hard it is to wake up early in the morning when you’ve lost sleep because of other people’s party noise?Frustrating is an understatement.
I do not. My neighbors are pretty chill, plus most nights I drink myself into a coma deep enough that I would surely sleep through a nuclear attack.
Other neighbors share our sentiment. And actually they feel sorry for us that we have to deal with you, being that we share a wall.
Look, I was going to lay off the grammar as I surely am not one to talk, but the above sentence is a mess. I would have probably dropped a semicolon after the word sentiment. Semicolons are fun, but I try to stick to one per document.
 And don’t get me wrong, my sister and I love to party. We’re from the midwest also, we get it. But we are also aware of the fact that there is a point where you have to be adult about it. For fuck’s sake, I’m 27, not that much older then (sic) you and you make me feel like an old biddy.
 Oh God, here we go. Not much older THAN. 'Then' is mainly an adverb used to situate actions in time. 'Than' is a conjunction used when making comparisons. Come on, you're better than that. Also, I like that because you're from the midwest 'you get it.' What do you get exactly? You get that it's fun as shit to drink yourself retarded and make out with strangers? Then why are you hiding behind the wall with your cats writing angry letters? Lastly, I approve of the profanity, you are enhancing the tension. But what exactly is an old biddy?
old biddyOld woman
That old biddy shouldn't be on the road.
Ok! How about that, you learn something new every day. Thanks Urban Dictionary! 
  I just really hope you can step back and try to really understand and analyze your actions and the snowball effect they create. Because everytime (sic) we go to knock on the door and complain you guys say “I know, I know,” But obviously you don’t! Don’t humor me and say “I know.” That frustrates me even more. You may as well be saying “blah, blah, blah.” Your words obviously don’t mean anything. It’s all a bunch of bullshit in my opinion. I am basically pleading with you to be a human being and also have some respect.
Ok, I promise this is my last grammar note. "Everytime' is a Britney Spears song. I know this because at the end of the music video she tries to kill herself via drowning in a bathtub. If you freeze it just right, you can see one of her nipples protruding from the bubbles. I have masturbated to this frame several times, because despite the fact that Britney Spears went off the rails, had two failed marriages, shaved her head and generally went insane; there are still no real pictures of her boobs.

You probably weren't interested in my Britney Spears masturbatory habits. Look she's still really hot IMHO. 10 out of 10. Would fuck. Sorry, but that was just an elongated way of me telling you that the phrase you were looking for was 'every time' as in 60% of the time, it works every time.

Let's move on to your displeasure with our face to face interactions. You voice your displeasure that when you attempt to complain we say "I know, I know" and try to end the conversation. Let me let you in on a little trick my friend. If you just tell someone "You know" or say "yes" or just keep nodding and saying 'ok' they will leave. This works when your parents are upset, when a boss is pissy with you, when a girlfriend is mad. I just say "Yeah, yeah, yeah" and slam the door, ending the interaction. The truth is, I don't give a fuck about your feelings , I just want you to go away so I can do another line and play some loud EDM. I'm not going to ask open ended questions or discuss my position on the matter as that would increase the duration of the unpleasantness. All of your concerns might as well be 'blah blah blah' to me, because we have contrasting goals.

Look, you can plead all you want, but what we have here is a classic conflict of interest. I like to be loud and party. You like to sleep. If I liked to sleep and my neighbors were loud, I would invest in a prescription of Xanax, or move to the valley because I'm not a talker I'm a doer. What I definitely wouldn't do is move to one of the most party heavy neighborhoods in the world and then bitch about it.

/endrant

***

Four weeks later those guys were evicted because they failed to check their privilege and be human beings. Following that we moved to Venice and got a 3 bedroom apartment in a 4 unit building. In 2012, dub step peaked and I played the song 'Promises' probably 40 times a week, I gave a girl a concussion by Yeardley Loving her head against the wall during some rough sex and I watched loud action movies all day with my $3000 sound system because I was unemployed. There were no noise complaints.

The moral of the story is that I want to re-enroll in college. Oh and also Hollywood has no chill. Venice Forever.


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

We Went There: UCB 101


Since the day I moved to LA there has been some sort of temptation to take some sort of improv/acting classes. I suppose you could even say that the temptation existed while I was living in Chicago. However I was always impeded by a sheer lack of commitment. I've gone 28 years without a real girlfriend, how could I possibly commit eight Saturdays in a row to something as trivial as improvisational comedy?

It seemed to be one of those things that I would always talk about, keep on the back burner. Improv classes are just like having children, there will never be a perfect time. But one day after I found out that those bastards at the National Parks Department took down the cables at Half Dome, thus thwarting my trip to Yosemite, I said fuck it and threw down the $400 for UCB 101 Intro to Long Form Improv.

Selecting a Theatre for me was pretty easy since I am an elitist...UCB is the CAA of improv schools. Oh is it time for a tangent?

Comparing improv schools to their agency equivalents.

UCB is CAA, the biggest baddest in town. The unquestioned number one.

Nerdist is WME. The new cool kid. The Brooklyn of improv schools.

Groundlings is UTA. A little less main stream. Perennially in third place.

iO West is ICM. Just happy to be considered top tier.

Second City LA is Paradigm/Gersh, your best option if you can't play with the big boys.

Westside Comedy theatre is Innovative Artists…mediocre and in Santa Monica.

So again, since I am an elitist (and also wanted to carpool with this girl) I chose UCB. Famous people come out of UCB all the time. I want to be famous. It's not like you hear about a super famous comedian and then "...GOT THEIR START AT IO WEST!"

But I digress…

I arrive to the East Hollywood training center a little before 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon after an arduous 75 minute drive from Venice.  It's hot, because of course it's fucking hot. Hollywood sucks. I climb the stairs and find room 229 with the nervous excitement of a college student going to their first day of class. Will there be lots of hot chicks in here? How about some bros? Will I sit in the cool section?

I literally changed my outfit 3 times before leaving the house, unsure of how to make the greatest impression. I decided on a Polo, 5 inch inseam Nantucket Red J Crew shorts and a backward Donald Trump hat because there is no cooler look in LA than 'displaced frat boy that doesn't give a fuck.'

Upon entering I notice that everyone is pretty average. No one immediately sticks out as someone I would have sex with or potentially do drugs with, which is fine. I'm here to get famous not necessarily up my fuck count.

Right away we are told that our instructor isn't coming. Something came up. I imagine something is an audition or some sort of acting gig because that's what all of your instructors are…either out of work actors or non-union TV writers making about $1000 a week. It's an interesting dynamic. They want you to succeed, enjoy yourself and keep taking classes as this puts money in their pocket, but they don't necessarily want you stealing their roles down the line.

A substitute comes in and spends the first 30 minutes of class going over the syllabus. It was mostly mundane save for one section that discourages physicality or offensive jokes. So if you thought this would be a nice forum to grab tits and decry Jews in the name of 'comedy' you are unfortunately not protected by so-called 'creative freedom.'

The first exercise is pretty silly, you come up with some sort of alliterative take on your name followed by an action that will help people remember. It's a bit of an ice breaker to introduce you to your classmates. I was tipped off on this in the car ride over so even though I had an hour to prep for this, the best I could come up with was 'Douchey Dave" accompanied by a faux collar pop. You then have to memorize everyone's alliterative nickname and mimic their action. The clear winner of this game was "Rockin Rocky" complete with a sick air guitar lick.

This game is followed by something equally stupid called 'Zip, Zap, Zop' which is essentially like the invisible party ball game I used to play when I was fucked up listening to techno. You essentially have an invisible thing that you pass to someone 'in a creative way.' Points to the person that barfed the ball to me, but the girl that tried long snapping was trying too hard.

After these two exercises it was deemed that the class was properly warmed up, and we got into our first real game which I believe was called, 'Just stand there and yell about shit you hate for like two minutes or so.' Wanting to show the class I was fearless, I volunteered to go first and went on an epic rant about my hatred of babies. It was pretty harsh and I think people were a bit taken aback by my abrasiveness as I had not yet spoken in the first hour of class. I got some huge laughs though, specifically for the line, "When I see a Baby on Board sticker, sometimes I just think about smashing into that motherfucker and doing that person a favor." I give myself 3 'yes ands' our of 4.

But almost everyone was funny, there was a takedown of the 3 typing dots on iMessage, shitty fake instagram models and my favorite reality television. Halfway through the first class I was impressed with the overall talent level of the group. I had imagined myself at the top, maybe one or two other legit wannabe actors and then a bunch of ass clowns. I was wrong, I suppose 28 hours of your life and several hundred dollars is only a commitment you make if you're serious about something…or you're pouting about a ruined hiking trip.

The last game before the break is "Panel interview," you are selected with three other people to sit on a panel as if you are famous people interviewed on some sort of talk show. One person in the group makes up some bullshit about who you are supposed to be and the group is supposed to run with it. Hilarity ensues.

I was in the first group again and the guy next to me said "We are scientists." The guy next to him mentions "Dealing with the sunlight problem in Europe." And how there is not a lot of it. "Adds the girl next to him. It's my turn to say something, and I think of a gem "Which of course had led to a very bad vampire problem.

Gold right? The rest of the interview spiraled out of control pretty quickly, we were blind scientists who were financing all of our research off of the trust fund of Dr. James Pants, whose father invented pants and receives a one dollar royalty for every pair sold.

Either our teacher was unimpressed or viewed us as comic geniuses that were a threat to his livelihood because he essentially gave us a Paul Rudd surfing lesson.


Then it's halftime! You have 10 minutes to go to the cafe, smoke a cigarette or go to the bathroom and send nude snaps to your ex girlfriend. I didn't eat at all that day in favor of an Adderall and a smoothie, thus I decided to head to the cafe for a bag of chips.

UCB's cafe or 'inner sanctum' as they call it is essentially The Max for improv nerds. There is a stage, a bunch of couches and 7 or 8 mildly disinterested people working on their screenplay. They look up at me as if to say, 'Ugh, it's just a 101er' the same resentful stares I remember receiving from Seniors on my first day of high school.

The second half of class focused mainly on a 2 person 'yes and' improv scene. 'Yes and' is one of the basic principles of improv in which you heighten the drama of a scene by agreeing to everything the other person says while adding some bit of information.

Example…
"This is a bank robbery, give me all the money."
"Yes and you're robbing me, with flowers…"
"Yes and I brought the flowers because we're going on a date after…"
"Yes and we're getting sushi…" blah blah blah

Or some shit like that. People give feedback, everyone tells you you're great. It feels pretty good. It reaffirms that I should have been a theatre kid in high school where everyone supports each other as opposed to football where everyone calls each other a faggot. But I guess it was worth it to get to go to the parties with the cool kids and drink Parrot Bay rum.

Moving along we do an exercise in which we attempt to plan a party using the same principles. It's craaaaazy how scenarios can develop when you just say yes. I'm pretty sure that's the premise of the movie Yes Man. My scene partner in this particular exercise is the one 'hot girl' and now that I'm standing right next to her it's amazing how little she is wearing, she just suggested our party have lube and I suggested it be the lube with peppermint oil that tingles. OMG she totally wants to fuck me. Now I know why all the theatre kids were always having sex, it's very difficult to keep these scenes non-sexual. I take back my previous statement, I would totally do drugs or have sex with this girl. Our instructor shoots me a sideways look, I think he's gay.

Class dismissed! We are encouraged to exchange numbers and hang out. Go see shows together. But sadly I'm in a bit of a hurry, I head down to Larchmont for some quick Salt and Straw and then back to Venice for a 'dinner party.' I use that term lightly because I blacked out harder than I have in six months, went swimming in the ocean at 4 o clock in the morning and may have offered to fund a girl's pilot. I guess that's the type of night you have when you keep saying yes.



Thursday, October 22, 2015

How to Win Your Dinner Party


You've just received a curious email that you don't immediately recognize. It is from someone named "Evite." Strange, you don't know any Evites. Perhaps it's pronounced 'Evita' like that Madonna musical. It never strikes you that this could be a clever portmanteau of 'Electronic' and 'Invitation.' You click on the heading, intrigued.

"You are cordially invited to a night of delicious food, sophisticated drink and rich conversation."

The fuck?

I know. It's intimidating. Relax, while this may sound like a cult's recruitment letter; this is merely a summons to this thing called a dinner party. They're supposed to be fun. It's like a pre game for people over 25. And don't worry friends, they can even be fun…IF you follow my handy little guide. Follow me as I teach you to dinner party like a champion.

First let's start with what a dinner party is and why it exists.

din·ner par·ty
noun
  1. a social occasion at which guests eat dinner together.

Yes, a quick Google search will tell you that a dinner party is merely a social engagement intent upon bringing people together. But the subtext is that it's an excuse for young adults to pretend to be fancy. Often times it is a gathering at someone's house of equalish numbers of each sex. Dinner will be cooked or catered from a local establishment, wine will be consumed, bullshit will be discussed.

Reasons for a dinner party are vast: a birthday celebration, a going away or even as a set up. As people grow older it is much more acceptable to find your partner by way of mutual friends than 'a guy you blew in the bathroom of Whaler.'

You can expect groups of about 6-12, dressed nice. The men will likely have product in their hair, the women may wear perfume. You may be asked to prepare a side dish or bring a bottle of wine, it is customary not to show up empty handed. Now that we have defined dinner party and provided its raison d'ĂȘtre, let's plow through a few quick tips.

What Should I Wear?
Women will typically wear some sort of evening gown/formal dress or perhaps something a little shorter and tighter fitting for a younger crowd. Men will wear button downs and slacks, perhaps a jacket if they're feeling up to it.

I would recommend something a bit edgier though. Perhaps a Member's Only jacket with dark jeans for the men. Nothing says you're ready to party like 80's vintage. Pop the collar a bit and slick your hair back. Maybe wear some really big sunglasses, don't take them off inside. You don't have to. This may be seen as peacocking, but as much as women in their late 20's will say they are attracted to a man's personality and kindness, this is a lie that girls tell themselves when they cannot land an attractive mate.
Women, I urge you to wear the same outfit you would wear to 1 Oak. There will be one attractive single man at this dinner. Do you want to spend the night talking to him, or the sweaty guy that wants to give you his theories on the Marvel Expanded Universe?

What Should I Bring?
Most people will bring a decent bottle of wine and/or a side dish. Some hero might bring flowers. There will be one hipster who brings a 6 pack of canned IPAs, he will have a beard.

Look, you can bring a buffalo chicken dip and people will be like 'oh this is really great.' But if you want to really be a star, bring the following. Bring a bottle of respectable $25 Pinot Noir. I'm thinking Decoy, not Duckhorn. You don't want to be the hero that brings a bottle of $300 Malbec and has a story to go along with it. "In the summer of 2012 I took a holiday down to Argentina and hiked to the summit of Mt Aconcagua to retrieve this bottle from my favorite local vineyard." Fuck that guy. Pour heavy from his bottle. and then chug your glass like you would a shitty 2 Buck Chuck. This is where you separate yourself though. Bring a bottle of Fireball as well because the wine WILL run out. Keep this a secret until it's absolutely necessary. But you know what else you bring? After a few shots of cinnamon whisky are down the gullet, bust out a gram of cocaine along with a story. "In the winter of 2013, I vacationed to the jungles of Bogota to retrieve this gram of pure cocaine from my favorite warlord."

Douchey wine guy will be stunned. All night you and douchey wine guy were probably going after the same girl. Not anymore. Douchey wine guy is on the floor bleeding, trying to recover from a devastating knock out punch.

Where Do I Sit?
Typically one would follow the host's lead when choosing a seat at the dinner table. There may even be nameplates/assigned seating at the table, especially if this party is intended to 'introduce' two people.

Fuck that. Sit directly across from the person you want to have sex with. Make eyes as often as possible. Play footsie. Exclude all competition from the conversation. If that guy doesn't travel, discuss Europe. If that guy doesn't like sports, break down the 2014 Chicago Blackhawks. If that guy is missing his left arm, discuss masturbation with a non-dominant hand.

If there are multiple people you would like to sleep with either sit in between them or take the middle of the table spot that is facing the kitchen. This is the power spot on any dinner table, the social epicenter if you will.

How Much Do I Eat?
During a class field trip to the President Benjamin Harrison home in 3rd grade I was taught that you want to ALMOST finish your meal. This means you both enjoyed it and thought that the portions served to you were accurate.

However, I would advise that you follow the following guidelines.
Men: Eat as much as you want.
Women: Eat very little, it will keep you skinny. Don't worry if you're hungry later. The cocaine will take care of that.

How Much Do I Drink?
According to NPR's Dinner Party Download and this article your host will set the tone based on how she would like the night to flow. There might be a fridge full of beer, there may be a very specific progression of cocktails. When in doubt, best to stay about a half drink behind your host.

Fuck that.

You dictate the flow of the night, and by no means should you show up sober. Just because pre games are dead and have been replaced by 'dinner parties' does not mean that you cannot pre game said party. Here's the deal. You will be the life of the party and then people will follow suit. The host will begrudgingly follow suit. You can hijack this thing easily. If people are a little stiff, recommend a drinking game. In fact, why don't you bring over some Jell-O shots. Jell-O shots are fun. The goal of any dinner party should be to drink everything, miraculously find some more and finish that…and if you still aren't having sex with your target, drunk drive to the liquor store and buy some more.

What Should I Talk About?
Conventional wisdom would tell you to discuss matters of the day; things that can involve everyone and being sure to avoid taboo topics of politics, money and religion.

As mentioned earlier, you should leverage the discussion to your benefit. You want to come off as awesome as possible. Talk about your worldwide travels, the fact that you are 5 hours away from your pilot's license, discuss your family's ski cabin in Utah. In fact, double down and invite everyone there to join you over the winter. "You guys will love it, literally ski in ski out." This is of course an empty promise. Basically use the rules of a first date (ask about her, girls like to talk about themselves) and do the exact opposite. This is your one hour job interview to be as charming as possible. Also the more fun the conversation is, the more people will drink, the better the chances of the night escalating are. Try to make some sexual puns. People love those. Avoid sweeping statements that would offend large groups of people. Spin your chair around like AC Slater, this will show people how cool you are.

What Happens After Dinner?
Desert may be served, there will possibly be a night cap and then the night will begin to wind down. It would be polite to offer to help clean or do dishes. Thank your host and go home.

Or not…look, after dinner people will smoke cigarettes because it's European or whatever and all your friends are white and basic as fuck. Some enterprising motherfucker might even bust out a joint so you guys can feel young again. This would be the appropriate time to bust out the Fireball/Cocaine. You will be lauded as a hero. You are the Captain now. Now that people have loosened up a bit, talks of going out for a cocktail will heat up. THIS IS WHEN YOU STRIKE.
You order a fleet of two UBER SUVs (not uber XL…2 fucking Denalis) and send them straight to the closest dance bar in town. You don't send a split request to anyone because that is what fucking poor people do. You get to the bar, you grease the bouncer and you close on your chick within 30 minutes.
Douchey wine guy will still probably be on the sidelines complaining that Chestnut Club plays better music.

The next day (after you drop off your shacker) be sure to send a handwritten thank you note to your host, this will ensure you get invited back to the next dinner party, where you will undoubtedly win again.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

An Oral History of NK 737


Elizabeth A (Indiana Pi Phi, former LA resident): So Moeller was staying with us as he always does when he stays in Chicago. We straightened his hair, he looked fab! I wanted him to come to my 6am Pilates class but he said something about an early flight. I can't believe how good he looked with the blow out I gave him, now I just need to get him set up with some Rodan Fields and he could totally be a male model.

Lizzy S. (Michigan State Sigma Kappa, former LA resident): Moeller and I may have stayed up a little too late drinking wine and watching the Michigan/Michigan State ending. I mean can you FUCKING BELIEVE IT? GO SPARTY WOOOOOOOOO!!!

David M (Indiana Phi Psi, current LA resident): I have to admit, I did look good with my hair straightened. I was a little nervous about my 6:45 flight but Lizzy said it would only take like 20 minutes to get to the airport at that hour. We probably shouldn't have opened that third bottle of wine, but after that fake punt, I needed another drink.

Elizabeth A: I woke up to go open the gym around 5:15 and Moeller was still there…

David M: It is incredibly difficult to shower without getting your hair wet.

Lizzy S: I told Moeller to give himself an hour to get to O'Hare to be safe.

David M: I got out of the shower at like 5:30 and immediately attempted to get an Uber. I forgot that I had thrown my phone at a brick wall on Saturday night rendering it useless. I had to download the Uber app onto my iPhone. I keep wondering what would have happened if I would have been able to request an Uber 2 minutes earlier. You know like Butterfly Effect/Chaos theory shit right? Anyway, how the fuck is there a 3x surge at 530am?

Carlos A (Uber driver, no college or Greek affiliation): So I pick up this kid in Lincoln Park on Monday morning. I see this slight look of terror in his eye when he hears that we should be at his destination in an hour.

Erin M (WGN traffic reporter, Columbia College alum): Traffic was unusually heavy Monday morning, especially at the airport. An Old Style truck had jackknifed at the Harlem exit. Lots of USC fans were unable to fly home after watching a disappointing defeat to Notre Dame two days before.

David M: So I was already freaking out about missing my flight and then the car starts wobbling out of control. Next thing I know there is a horrific pop and we are pulled over on the side of the road.

Carlos A: See I had fixed my blowout the day before, but my rim must've been bent or something. That kid just jumped out of the car and started running down the freeway like a maniac. I gave him 4 stars.

John T (Notre Dame Phi Alpha Delta 3L, Driving on the Dan Ryan): I was driving to the airport to pick up a friend who had gone back East for the weekend. We were to drive back to South Bend later that day. Traffic is starting to back up and I see this guy in an Iowa hoodie running down the shoulder of the Dan Ryan flailing his arms wildly. I pulled over to offer assistance.

David M I missed a flight once because I ate too many space cakes in Amsterdam. The result was 12 hours of misery in a Brussels airport, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. So I just jumped out of the Uber and started to run, then this dude in a Kia Soul picks me up. It was crazy.

John T So we're driving to the airport and Dave tells me he got a 160 on his LSAT but didn't pursue Law School because of some sort of pending legal issue at his undergraduate university. I jotted it down because it seems like an interesting case study to discuss in Phi Alpha Delta, the professional legal fraternity.

David M John was a pretty mild mannered dude, but when he figured out how much of a hurry I was in, he turned into a maniac. He jumped a median, he drove the wrong way down a service road. All said and done he got me to the airport by 6am.

John T I had watched Furious 7 the night before.

Shaniqua L (Chicago State Alpha Kappa Alpha, Spirit Gate Agent): Look, it's a Monday for me too. I'm just having my first coffee, waking up and this crazy ass white kid runs up to me screaming about how he's got to get to LA. I'm thinking, I'm going through a divorce, my son just dropped out of college and this kid wants me to get him back to sunny LA because he slept in? Fuck this dude.

David M: I get to the gate and this woman looks at me blankly and says 'there's nothing I can do.'

Megan A: (USC Kappa, standing in security line) Ya, the line was about 2 hours. I was on the Spirit flight too. I had already decided I wasn't going to make it. I cried and called my dad. He told me to book a new flight on his credit card. I got on the noon Virgin flight. They even upgraded me!

David M: I see a bunch of USC kids that are supposed to be on my flight, they don't seem to care that they are going to miss the flight, whereas I think it would probably ruin my life. I decide to take matters into my own hands. I duck under a rope and walk right past a TSA agent manning the pre check line. Thankfully he doesn't see me.

Muhammad R. (University of Delhi, TSA pre check)  Oh I saw him. I just don't care. In my old country I was a doctor. Now I spend all day racially profiling people that look like me. Hungover white kids are annoying, but they are rarely terrorists. I let him slide because you know what? I make $26,000 a year and Walking Dead ran long last night. I was tired too.

Billy H (Crossroads Middle School, In line at security) My dad took me out of school at lunch on Friday so we could fly to Chicago for the USC game. We lost, I was really sad. I saw this guy in line behind us. He also looked really sad. When I got called up to security with my dad they asked if the sad guy was with us. I told her yes.

Sally A (No education record on fie, TSA supervisor) I guess I should have been thrown off by the fact that the dad was 5 foot 2 and this guy was like 6 foot 4, but all white people look the same to me.

Elizabeth A Pilates was great that morning. My arms look fucking great.

Lizzy S I still can't believe that Michigan State won!!!

Sally A: So this white kid is sweating all over his damn self. At training we are taught to do extra screening on people that look suspicious. Usually I take that to just mean Muslims. This kid just looked strung out like my friend Michael is most Sunday nights…but the metal detector did go off when he walked through.

David M: OMG the fucking Altoid tin. I had a pharmacy full of drugs in this Altoid tin and it was in my god damn pocket. Fortunately, I think I had taken most of the pills at the wedding.

Sally A: I opened the Altoid tin and it looked like it was mostly Altoids. There was one blue pill. I think it might have been a Viagra, I didn't bust him though, he was kind of cute.

David M: THAT'S WHERE THAT MOLLY WENT!

Bishop S (St. Viator High School, Starbucks Barista): This kid goes sprinting by barefoot through Terminal 3 like he stole something. He damn near knocked over an old woman. I was praying for someone to come out of nowhere and lay his ass out. It didn't happen though. Oh I'm sorry we don't make Pumpkin Spiced Lattes at this location.

Janet P (University of South Florida Chi O, Flight Attendant): I became a flight attendant so I could see the world, and maybe travel for free on the weekends. Instead I end up in shitty hotel rooms having sex with ex boyfriends from college. Did you know Spirit puts us up in Ramadas? Even Frontier girls get the Marriott. Oh, you want me to re-open the gate because you're late for your flight? Whatever, take an exit row seat as well, I just don't care anymore.

David M: I couldn't believe it, I legitimately almost ran this girl over Home Alone 2 style and she merely re-opened the gate and gave me an exit row seat. She must have been having a really good day. Speaking of good day, I just found an Ambien in my back pocket GOODNIGHT.

Jason R (USC SAE, passenger on Spirit Flight 737): I'm pretty sure that I saw that guy on the side of the road an hour ago. How the fuck did he make it onto this flight? Excuse me, miss can I get a Jack and Coke when you get a chance?

Captain Jeffries (Purdue GDI, pilot Spirit Flight 737): I was late to the airport that morning so the flight ended up being delayed about 15 minutes. My wife's car was in the shop so I had to drop her off at this Pilates studio in Lincoln Park. Then there was all this construction on the freeway. I saw this car get a blow-out and this passenger jump out, it was crazy/ If it weren't for that I probably would have been on time.

David M I had to go straight to work after I landed at LAX. It sucked balls because the crushing reality of the real world was suffocating me. So I did the only prudent thing one can do when they are having a crisis, I signed up for flight lessons and booked a trip to Lima, Peru…on Spirit. 

Jim Harbaugh (University of Michigan Head Football Coach): What can I say? It was a terrible loss. Wait, why am I participating in an oral history for someone's personal blog? Get the fuck out of here!

Janet P: My room at the Marina Del Rey Ramada wasn't ready of course. Fuck it. I'm going to the Venice Whaler and opening up a tab on the corporate card. I'll be there for the next 12 hours. Just say you're with Janet. Also I just found out my ex Tom is getting married so if you have cocaine, I'll probably sleep with you. It will be just like the opening scene from Flight.

Some of the events/names in this oral history were fictionalized to protect the innocent.





Friday, October 16, 2015

Wedding Crasher


It's Thursday morning and I am flying tomorrow. I have not started packing. This should not surprise you. I probably won't pack. I will drink tonight, I will wake up late for work tomorrow. I will forget to pick up my suit from the dry cleaners. My mom won't be home to bring it to me. I used to forget my lunch a lot. Other kids would do this too and then they would just starve because their parents didn't love them. Lisa Moeller would drop everything and drive me a lunch to school. This probably happened once a week. Sometimes she would even just run to McDonald's and bring me a Happy Meal to school. The other kids were jealous. I think more than once I intentionally left my lunch at home so Lisa would bring me McDonald's.

But I was told in one of my bullshit Kelley classes that goals are more likely to be achieved when you write them down. Strategic, Trackable, Attainable, Realistic…the star method. So I am going to write out my packing list for this weekend and hopefully it will come true.

Dave's packing list 10/16…

(3) pills Xanax and (4) shooters vodka
I don't know why it is that when I am booking travel I am so cost conscious. I probably could have flown Virgin for an extra $50 and that would have come with mood lighting, movies and probably a stewardess to give me an Alpha Phi handshake. Instead I have a middle seat on a Spirit flight which is about as comfortable as passing a kidney stone. As much as I would like to party all flight and take an uber directly to Butch McGuire's, I think I would probably be better off to go full Whitney Houston and just drown myself in vodka and Xanax until I collapse. Hopefully there isn't any standing water in 12B.

(1) Pikachu Onesie
Spolier Alert: I got a Pikachu onesie to wear for Halloween this year. It is also the only yellow thing I own.  I used to have a fuck ton of Iowa hoodies, but somehow none of them made it to LA. I could hit up my mom and tell her to send my dad with an extra (we are meeting in Evanston for the Northwestern/Iowa game) but that would be boring. Plus, my Pikachu onesie arrived yesterday VACUUM SEALED. Do you know how much space that will save? As it is, I'm only going to bring a backpack and it needs to fit a suit and all the other shit I need for the weekend. Spirit charges the price of a black market kidney to even carry on. Also the image of me drinking a 40 in a pokemon costume on the Union Pacific North brings a smile to my face.

(1) Suit
The last time I wore this suit I was covered in blood, sweat and tears…not like I worked hard for anything, but because I blacked out, face planted several times and cried when I couldn't get into my hotel room. Then I wadded up said suit and threw it into the corner of my closet. I took aforementioned wadded ball to the dry cleaners yesterday and handed it to a small Asian woman. I fully expect this suit to look brand new when I pick it up tomorrow morning.

That's it. That's literally all I'm taking, everything else can be figured out at a Nordstrom Rack on State Street. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's focus on what I hope to accomplish this weekend. The last time I was in Chicago for 24 hours I had no money and no job. I spent the day riding around on a city bike instead of doing molly bumps in the back of an Uber Stretch.

How do I want to frame this article? How about a decision tree of the choices I will face this weekend? This sounds fun.

First choice: You land at O'Hare at 12:15 Saturday morning. Go to the hotel or hit up the bars…

On one hand I'll be tired as balls after flying on an abortion of a flight.

On the other, you have to take advantage of bars that are open until 5am…

What I will likely do…
Oh you know the fucking second we touch down I am sending a mass text to everyone in the 312 asking who wants to go out. It will mostly be crickets because people in Chicago don't go hard anymore, but there will be one person that responds 'at the Mid' and this will be all it takes. Next thing you know, I'm running around the bar slamming shots of Patron with a goddamn back pack on. WHo is this playing? Crizzly? What's a Crizzly? I DON'T CARE BECAUSE THIS ACID I JUST TOOK TASTES GREAT.

This will lead me to getting to my dad's hotel room at roughly 6am.

'Why are you here so late and why are you sweating?'

Um…my flight was delayed a lot and I took the train into town to save money. The train was hot.

'Get in the shower we have to go to the game soon.'

Sounds good.

Second choice: Drink before the game or naw…

On one hand I'll be tired as fuck and I have a long ass day ahead.

On the other, I'll be in a goddamn Pikachu onesie and you have to take advantage of being able to drink on public transportation.

What I likely will do…
In what fucking world do you think I will not be slamming drinks on the train, on Northwestern's campus and potentially in the bleachers at the game. This will be tricky though, because my dad doesn't necessarily endorse heavy drinking at 8 o clock in the morning, so my drink of choice will have to be something heavy, that doesn't look heavy…like a Four Loko. There is not a chance on God's green Earth that my dad knows what Four Loko is. Thus, drinking 2 of these puppies will only raise moderate alarm from him.

If Iowa wins, I will probably coerce my dad to take the purple line back to Wrigleyville where we will have a few beers at Sluggers and likely take some batting practice upstairs. It won't go well. I wouldn't be entirely upset if we made it to the Lou Malnatti's on Wrightwood.

Third choice: After sending my father back to Indiana (via train) do I keep drinking or nap up for the wedding?

On one hand, my hotel room will be ready for check in. I will be drunk. I will have no slept since Thursday evening. Hotel beds are universally more comfortable than my bed.

On the other…THE FUCK outta here.

What I will likely do…
My buddy from Wisconsin will be getting into town just about the time I get back downtown. We will have roughly 4 hours to kill before the wedding. This is quite honestly the responsible decision. If I laid down for a nap at 2pm, I assure you I would wake up at 9pm in a panic. The prudent thing to do is for Dan and I to go to Benchmark in Old Town and rack up a $400 tab while we watch the afternoon games. From this spot I can probably also enlist the services of a task rabbit. "BRING ME A BELT AND CONDOMS YEE PEASANT. IF YOU BRING ME A GRAM THERE IS AN EXTRA 100 IN IT FOR YOU.

Fourth choice: When I inevitably spend too long at the bar and I have only enough time for either a shower or to run into a store and buy dress shoes which do I choose…

On one hand, yes the TaskRabbit probably could have gotten me shoes too but I was drunk and forgot. I'm going to get sweaty eventually but at least if I dress up there will be pictures of me looking semi put together.

On the other, I have had 3 frat bros get married to this point. One of them I wore Air Force Ones and the other two I wore dress shoes. The Air Force One wedding I woke up on a boat. The dress shoes weddings, I woke up in a pile of my own blood…both times.

What I'll probably do...
I'll probably do neither and just show up in the Pikachu onesie.

Fifth choice: Do I sneak a bottle of Fireball into the venue?

On one hand, for Christ sake, keep it classy Dave.

On the other, fortune favors the bold.

What I will likely do…
I will know almost every guy at this wedding. For the most part I am tolerated. I will know absolutely zero girls. The girls at this wedding grew up in LaGrange and now they live in the West Loop. I'm not from Illinois and now I live on the west coast. I am positioned well here. People will find me intriguing. I have long hair. I have a bottle of fucking Fireball. I have a hotel room on Michigan Avenue. WHO IS THIS GUY???

Sixth choice: Do I take molly before the wedding?

On one hand, of course not, show a bit of class Dave.

On the other, the groom's father told me his only life advice is 'Marry up.'

What I will likely do…
Oh I will roll. I will roll hard. I will roll hard in a Pikachu costume. This wedding isn't about me. The reception isn't about me. But to be fair, I am probably traveling further than anyone for this wedding. I can have a few pills, it will help me loosen up the dance floor! Who wants to dance with Pikachu! I will spin the grandmothers, I will do rock and roll knee slides. THERE WILL BE CARTWHEELS. I may even try a round off. There is no way this doesn't end with me getting a concussion.

Seventh choice: After I am inevitably kicked out of Moonlight studios, what do I do?

One one hand, I will have probably ruined friendships by this point, probably best to lick my wounds and head back to the Double Tree…

On the other, DOUBLE DOWN MOTHERFUCKER.

What I will probably do…
Butch McGuires! Do people still go there? Is it still a New Trier bar? NT kids are obnoxious as fuck. GO GREEN GO BLUE. Hell, I probably won't be the only one in a Pikachu onesie there. I hope they already have the Christmas lights up, I love that fucking choo choo train. There will probably be sad Notre Dame fans everywhere. I will talk shit. This would probably be a good time to hit up the Michigan girls for more cocaine.

Eighth choice: At some point in the night someone will invite me to a random party, do I go?

On one hand, last time I went to a random house party in Chicago I said "Oh my god you're the dude who fucked a chick in the bathroom of sports in that video!" I was violently thrown out.

On the other hand, I'm sure these random bros have a 'more the merrier policy!'

What I will probably do…
Drunk girls will always tell you to 'come to this party' when they are at some random dude's apartment. I don't know if it's because they want you to come make it weird or if they are actually not conscience of the fact that said dudes are trying to fuck them. I'll probably go to this pre game, say something controversial about the ATO video, find out they were in fact ATOs, get my ass beat and bleed all over myself. Fortunately at this point I will get a call to meet back up with my friends in Wicker Park.

Ninth Choice: Do I try for a 5am bar?

On one hand…Don't.

On the other…I have a problem.

What I will probably do…
I'll arrive in an Uber, he will give me a low rating because I'll ask him something like 'do you find the term anchor baby offensive.' I will walk to the door at Evil Olive and be told I am not allowed to come in. Fuck this guy. Whatever, I'll get some late night pizza and call it a night.

Tenth and final choice: The pizza place doesn't want to serve me.

There is only one option.

I land in Chicago in a few hours everyone, let's have a weekend to remember.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Cool Girl

Pictured: Decent life advice
"Do you want party buns?"

It's Sunday afternoon, Day 2 of CRSSD Fest, a semi-annual San Diego tradition held at waterfront park. It's approximately 119 degrees out and I am desperately seeking shade under a tree, nodding my head to an Oliver Nelson remix of Earth Wind and Fire's 'September.' a twenty something Asian girl is staring down at me inquisitively.

'What are party buns? Is it like a new drug?'

-No like do you want me to tie your hair up in little buns, your friends thought it would be funny.

I look across at Trent and Kevin. Kevin is wearing a Hawaiian shirt that is patterned with the cartoon character Gumby. Trent has opted not to wear a shirt at all today, opting for merely a pair of dad approved slacks, flooded and Dockers. I am the least stylish of the group, wearing a swim suit and a tank top that is emblazoned with the words 'Party Wave' (an old accessory from my BROseidon Halloween costume from a few years ago.)

"Ummm…sure."

-Yay! Ok, hold still.

This is rave culture.

***

As I have become fairly accustomed to doing; I planned an out of town trip at the last minute. As of Friday night at midnight, I had nothing packed, I was drunk and I was scheduled to leave in 8 hours. Why I thought going to the Daily Pint to wait for my drug dealer was a good idea, I'll never know.

As it turns out my dealer was giving himself a night off and sent a prostitute as his proxy. I sat at the bar slugging Racer 5's trying to convince a couple girls to come with me to SD while I waited for said hooker to bring me my molly.

"So you don't have a ticket yet?"
No.
"What about a hotel?"
No.
"How are you getting there?"
Either going with my buddy or taking the train…I guess I could drive, but my tags are expired.
"And when are you leaving?"
6 hours.
"Despite the strength of your argument, we'll pass."

Whatever, their loss.

Around 2am, the lady of the night brought me an Altoids tin full of party favors. I closed my tab and drove home for what I thought would be 5 hours of sleep before hopping in my buddy's car.

Buttt wouldn't you know it, I did that thing in bed where I say to myself, I'm just going to close my eyes for like 2 seconds before setting this alarm. Cut to; me waking up with 17 missed calls at 9am. My ride is already in Anaheim, I'm on my own.

The trip was not off to a strong start.

I load up 2 pink swimsuits, 2 bro tanks, a camping pad and my Altoid tin in the car and started driving south in my illegal car. ETA to San Diego 150 minutes, let's do this.

By noon I was drinking Fireball on the 14th floor of the Best Western plus.

By 2pm I was standing in line with a plastic baggy hiding under my nuts, hoping that Ahmed from Craigslist emailed me my ticket before I got to the front of security.

By 2:07 I had my first ten dollar beer in hand and the first roll was absorbing into the lining of my stomach. I was already ready for shade, with no re-entry privileges, this would be a long day.

A little secret about me is that my least favorite part of a music festival is the music. At Coachella, I prefer the campground. At Lolla, I prefer the after parties. Pretty much any time I go to a concert, I lobby for a party bus or some sort of extended pre game. For me, it's not about the music, it's about the party. Standing in the hot sun, drinking overpriced beers so my buddy can hear the set of some emerging artist that popped up on his Sound Cloud is not my idea of a good time. If left to my devices, I would rage all day and stumble in for the headliners…but I suppose this is why God invented drugs.

In terms of musical taste, I am incredibly basic. The only band I had even heard of from the Saturday line up was 'The Flaming Lips,' and that was only because they did a Super Bowl commercial. I've been listening to that Jack U song on repeat for like 6 weeks now and I still throw on that one Sebastian Ingrosso hit from 2012 on at pre games, but I join these weekend excursions because anything can happen.

***

I'm now sitting in the lawn while Anna puts the finishing touches on my party buns. I look ridiculous, two people have already stopped by and taken a snap of me. I wonder if they make it onto the San Diego story. A man covered in tattoos walks by wearing a tank top that says "Eat pussy, chug whiskey, hail satan" it's easily the most impressive article of clothing at the fest. Even the naked women with taped up nipples blush. This is rave culture.

***

I finally started to get a solid buzz/roll going about halfway through Client Liaison, an Australian electro-duo with a pension for 80's music. A girl sporting severe under butt approaches me and asks to get on my shoulders. Confused, I look around and note that there aren't many people around. 'Would you like me to just move over a bit, we're literally in the front row' I offer.

"I just kinda want to touch somebody."

Shoulders it is. The drummer smashes a Foster's, he then produces a second and tosses it into the crowd. Kevin reaches up and catches it one handed. The two of us summarily finish the beer within 5 seconds. We are granted approval from the band in the sign of a thumbs up. This is why I go to concerts.

I took this forward momentum and picked up the pace on the drinking. Being sober at a concert is kinda hellish for me since I am typically afraid to talk to strangers unless I am absolutely blasted. Fortunately after 10 beers, I turn into Casanova (in my head) and start doing things like challenge girls to cartwheel contests, ask girls to give my inflatable shark toy a kiss and host impromptu dance offs.

Next on the main stage was St. Lucia which I thought was an island in the Caribbean but is actually a pretty sick rock band out of Brooklyn. In fact, I enjoyed them so much that I decided to face the rest of my my molly and enter the Stratosphere. What followed was some weirdness that can only be described as a fever dream. I tried to track down some ketamine, Trent and Kevin fought for the love of our bartender, at one point I borrowed am girl's ear rings to re-pierce my ears. (I think they're now infected) We all ran around begging for body paint and temporary tattoos and I came out of a blackout at a Jamie XX show and felt like I was in purgatory.

I tracked back for a bit of the Zhu set, but realized it was time for me to pull the rip cord when I asked a girl if she could help me and my friends settle a little debate.

"Hey, we're trying to figure out this huge debate and were wondering if you could help us…"

-Sure what's up?

"Can you help us figure out who is the best kisser."

*EYE ROLL* Go home you're drunk.

Drunk indeed.

We get back to the hotel circa 11ish, and I finish off all contraband in sight. Kevin's brother and his friend TJ are intent on going to a warehouse. At this point I had exceeded my fill of neon painted Riverside imports so I campaigned for a Gaslamp bar.

"Let's go to a warehouse party until like 6 in the morning!"

"Can't we just go to Gaslamp and talk to a bunch of wealthy white former sorority girls?"

I lost.

First we went to a pre game, which was actually just a few people sitting on the floor tripping on DMT. I picked this as my cue to leave. I hopped in an uber and went to a bar in Gaslamp to hit on white girls.

I showed up to a spot called the waterfront. It was amazing, all of the people that hours ago were covered in body paint and temporary tattoos had showered and thrown on dark jeans and polos; miniskirts and summer dresses. The juxtaposition was striking, it was like going from a burning man party to a college crush dance. People were attractive now after removing all the dirt and sweat. The only empirical evidence that these were even the same people were the bright neon wristbands adorning everyone in the bar.

I ordered a beer and a shot. A girl in a Marisa Cooper Lacoste asked me why I did it.

"I dunno, I saw it on season 2 of The Wire."

"OMG I'm watching that right now!!"

"Do you want to go to my hotel's hot tub and talk about it? It's right next door."

"Aren't you going to buy me a drink first?"

"I am very drunk and on a lot of drugs."

"Me too."

I wish I could say that Sunday morning I woke up and immediately started smashing Fireball. I wish I could tell you I accepted the offer of the bros in the elevator that had a bunch of extra blow. I wish I could tell you I stuck around to watch Kygo play sunset and then drove to Oddball Comedy fest in Irvine where I had a backstage pass for the Amy Shumer show waiting for me.

I took a half measure. Mike Ehrmantraut would be disappointed.

In fact I took 4 shots, shotgunned 3 beers and drank 2 more. I then wandered through an Italian street fair to get a chicken caesar wrap and walked into the festival. Kevin ordered me one more beer. Apparently he thought hitting the 10 drink mark by noon would keep me in San Diego for the day.

But it is so hot and I am sweating so much that I think my BAC is actually negative. I run into a fountain to cool off and then I see Kevin and Trent talking to a few Asian girls with their hair in funny miniature buns.

"They're done! You look awesome!"

I pull out my phone and check out my reflection. My hair is in two small French buns. Apparently she has also given me a Hello Kitty sticker.

"Do you like it?"

-Uh ya, I guess.

"Hey can we ask you something?"

-Sure.

"What do guys like more a Coachella Girl or a Stage Coach girl?"

-What do you mean?

"Like rave girls or sorority girls"

I have to pinch myself to make sure this is real. I've been having this debate with my friends for years and I have always thought this. Rave girl is much closer to 'Cool Girl' from Gone Girl. Rave Girl does drugs, gets fucked up, strip waxes her pussy raw. Rave girl is sexy, rave girl shows off her ass and cleavage. Rave girl has no body fat.

Rave girl also is a little bit exotic, might have a vowel at the end of her last name. She probably smokes, has weird piercings, might even get down with tattoos.

Conversely, Stage Coach girl is the girl next door. She's blonde, she drinks beer, she had brothers growing up. She's fun, but in a wholesome, midwest charm kind of way. Her dad has money and influence. A social climber would choose Stage Coach girl and marry up. But then again, Rave girl doesn't give a fuck what you do…you probably have to hide your drug use from Stage Coach girl.

Rave girl is the Stones, Stage Coach girl is the Beatles. Conventional wisdom tells you to fuck one and marry the other, because you don't want to bring home a girl with a tongue ring to mom.

I probably only have a few of these music festivals left in my life. I think I'll go to one more Coachella and two more Snowglobes. That's probably it. They are taxing on the body, and I hate feeling the way I do right now. (Total dogshit, it's now Tuesday afternoon.)

There is a time and a place for both a rave girl and a sorority girl…so I hedge.

-"What about a CRSSD Girl?"

"What do you mean?"

"It's the best of both worlds. Party all day, clean up and throw on a dress. It's the perfect marriage of what I look for in a girl."

The two girls gushed at me for a moment as if I had just revealed to them the meaning of life. In that exact moment I was never more sure than I could have had a threesome in broad daylight.

I said goodbye to Kevin and Trent, went back to the hotel to roll up my camping pad and wad all of my dirty bro tanks into a ball. I reluctantly started driving north up the 405 back home to Venice.

Sure I could have blacked out, left San Diego at 3 in the morning and made it to work on time, but I have a big weekend coming up. I have a wedding in Chicago, and well we all remember what happened last time I went to one of those. Until then my friends...

Friday, October 9, 2015

Life's too short for decaf

Proof of my current situation
It's Friday and I'm trying to do about a million things at once. Let's rank them in order of importance.

1. Acquire drugs for this weekend.
2. Acquire a ticket for this weekend.
3. Buy a new pair of Rainbows for this weekend.
4. Source a Pikachu costume from China.
5. Think of a witty way to tell all of the haters of my post yesterday that it was clearly fucking sarcasm.
6. Scheme a way to steal some registration tags in lieu of a renewal fee.
7. Convince Gatorade to bring back the flavor Cherry Rush.
8. Purchase web domain AlwaysWestofLincoln.com
*
*
*
1,000,981. Pay my parking tickets, credit card bill, back taxes and car insurance premium.

But really none of that shit matters because right now I am getting sick. I can feel that dull pain growing behind my eyes. My boss has been displaying symptoms of full blown ebola for 3 days now but she won't go home, because her boss is a tyrannical dictator. Every time she sneezes billions of micro particles carrying Ebolic Hemorrhagic Fever disease come shooting in my direction. I'm pounding Airborne like I was smashing mushroom caps last weekend, yet somehow I feel like I'll still come up short.

The obvious course of action is to stay home this weekend and rest up. I mean, I'm traveling cross country next weekend for a wedding. I'm going to a big college football game with my dad, don't I want to be 100% for that?

Alas, promises have been made and I am not in the business of flaking. I will go to this music festival in San Diego and I will have fun. But of course I will take it easy right? I mean I've done hard drugs 2 weekends in a row, God knows what Chicago has in store for me. Maybe I can just rotate beers and waters at the concert and enjoy the music tomorrow. That would be the prudent option.

Fuck that. The only concession I will be making this weekend is that I may mix in a little Super Orange Emergen-C in with my coke. I will go balls to the wall Saturday and Sunday, this will artificially keep my illness at bay, but when I board the SurfRider home Sunday night my body will collapse like a house of fucking cards.

By 6am Monday morning at Manhattan Beach studios I will look akin to a decomposing corpse. People will see me looking like dog shit and I will be sent home. I will spend the day in bed doing my classic Netflix and chill/triple masturbation marathon and then I will sleep until noon on Tuesday. Then I'll come in for a half day in a performance that will be considered to be braver than Caitlyn Jenner's transition.

But why would I do this to myself you ask? Because life is too short for fucking decaf. (OOOOH you like that title pay off? Is it cathartic? Almost like that Killers song where he goes the entire FUCKING song and then he finally says it….ALLL THESE THINGS THAT IIIIIIII HAVE DONE bow bow doo doo bow...bow bow doo doo bow)

To be fair I've been obnoxiously selling the shit out of this all day. If I fail to show up Monday, no one will assume it's because I found a San Diego State student that dragged me out to Gaslamp. They will actually think I am dead. Then I will answer from the Best Western Plus in San Diego when they call and I will tell them I am in the emergency room and I am so sorry I forgot to call.

All will be forgiven, they'll probably even offer to pay. This ebola is THEIR FAULT. It has nothing to do with the fact that I was borderline coming down with something and then went on a bender that would make Amy Winehouse blush. But I digress.

Eventually I'll recover, I'll go to work for a few days, I'll go to a wedding in Chicago, I'll fly back and hopefully my Pikachu costume will have come in the mail. I'll probably senselessly repeat this cycle of absurdity until my world comes collapsing down all around me. At which point, I'll go to rehab, join the military, quit drinking and turn into an adrenaline junkie. This could happen tomorrow or it could happen in 12 years, but until it does, I'm living every day on 11.

See I have a plan.

Life ends. I will die some day. Before I die, I want to do things that most people haven't done. I want to hike half dome, I want to fly an airplane, I want to dive the great barrier reef, I want to travel the world, I want to write a movie, I want to hunt a bear, I guess a bit of partying too. And I want to fucking chronicle all of this shit and spend the rest of my life telling stories.

I don't know how to get paid to do all of that stuff, so it appears that I'm on my own. It's fine, no one promised me the key to life's adventures would be easy. I was promised a 60k Market Research job that never came, and sure it would be easier if I was some sort of #brand guy that traveled around the world going to cool events with an expense account. But to quote indie auteur Mark Duplass "the calvary is not coming." There is no all inclusive package planned by burn-out college students that will help me experience life, so I press on.

Every weekend night I stay in and 'relax' I am racked with guilt. I think about all of the people all over the world doing cooler things than me. I think about a cheap Spirit flight I could have hopped on that would have taken me to a city I've never seen. I could have stayed in a hostel for $7 a night and met a bunch of people from all over the world. But I stayed in and watched a re-run of the Bojack Horseman Christmas Special.

That's not a terrible night, but it's a Monday. Saturdays are for doing stuff.

This Saturday, I am going to do stuff. Every Saturday for the rest of my life I am going to try to do something I have never done before. This Saturday I am going to roll at sunset while Kygo plays Firestone next to the Pacific Ocean. Next Saturday I'm going to tailgate on the Union Pacific North to Ryan Field for Iowa/Northwestern. Two Saturdays after that I'm going to party in a Pikachu costume.

You know what that means?

I have a free day! The 24th! What should we do? You want to go sailgating? Should we rent Houseboats on Lake Mead? I've never been to Terranea in Palos Verdes. I've never seen the LA roller derby girls.

I'm going to feel like dogshit on Monday. I'm going to feel like dogshit most Mondays the rest of my life. But I'll get through them and then one day when I'm 50, I'll sit back and think…damn, I did a lot of cool shit.