Friday, May 27, 2016

MDW outdoor drinking guide


Memorial Day Weekend is here! Yay! Most people recognize Memorial Day Weekend as the official beginning of summer and the time of year to ditch your Tinder side piece that you kept around for Netflix and Chilling when it was 14 degrees out.

With summer comes nice weather and lots of outdoor day drinking. I'll be ignoring the US Government's travel advisory this weekend and rolling down to a beach castle in Rosarito and yes, it's not a matter of IF I'm bringing illegal pharmaceuticals back with me, it's how many.

Whether you are camping out in J Tree this weekend, tripping acid at Lightning in a Bottle, pounding brews at a lake house or celebrating the one hundredth running of the Indianapolis 500; you are going to have lots of choices for which beverages to double fist. I've spent a few minutes putting together an MDW 2016 day drinking guide. You're welcome in advance.

-Miami Vice
How many until you lose your ability to stand: 8
You ever struggle with the age old question: Pina Colada or Strawberry Daquiri? It's a tough one. It's one of life's ultimate queries up there with blowjobs or cheese. Fortunately you can just combine a pina colada and a daquiri and have this nectar of the Gods called the Miami Vice. Honestly, on my Senior Spring Break, about 50 frat guys drank this exclusively for 8 days and we all had the time of our lives. Well until we went to the bull fight and watched the matador rip out a bull's heart. That shit was sad, don't go to bull fights.
Best for: Mexico, Vegas, The beach, A pool

-Mojito
How many until you start texting you ex-girlfriend: 5
Mojitos are fucking dope. I don't know why I don't drink more of them. Possibly because mint leaves aren't in the liquor section? Anyway, if you're on a big ass boat this weekend or possibly just at a lake house, fire up a few of these. You'll feel classy as fuck. Also when you get to use the muddler? It is so fucking satisfying. It's almost like the feeling of catching a fish, cleaning it and grilling it. Only mojitos get you drunker than fish. A lot drunker. These bastards are sneaky.
Best for: Yachts, lake houses

-Bottle of Jameson
How many pulls until you hulk hogan your bro tank: 7
You may think that day drinking skews more clear liquor and this is true for cocktails, but never underestimate the power of pure whiskey. A fair amount of you will be at some sort of campground or music festival (or both!) this weekend. In these circumstances space is of the utmost importance, a well placed fifth of Jamo can fit in even the smallest of bags. You may think that going to the desert is for mind altering substances, but ripping through a bottle while you challenge your shadow to a dance off is always a good idea.
Best for: Camping

-Lime-a-ritas
How many brain freezes until you go streaking on the field: 10
I know you are going to think I'm trolling you, but I dare you to find a more refreshing beverage for a day out at the Ballpark. Many of you are going to hit a game this weekend and your choices at Dodger Stadium will be an $11 Miller Lite or a $14 Frozen Lime-a-rita (WITH COMMEMORATIVE CUP) Buy two...pop your shirt off in center field. Fuck it throw in some chewing tobacco too, you're on vacation.
Best for: Sporting Event

-Smirnoff Ice
How many knees do you take before telling your buddy's girlfriend your true feelings: 9
I don't know who let this trend die. It's likely positively corollated with the mainstream media's vilification of bros. Listen here. If you rented a house with some friends in Palm Springs this weekend and there are people that are off put by you hiding a Smirnoff Ice under the grill and then forcing them to chug it...you throw them in the pool and introduce them to the drowned god. Icing is still hilarious and if you are at some rad mansion this weekend that you rented with friends, you should bring at least 40.
Best for: Palm Springs, a house rental weekend

-Budweiser
How many bongs before you challenge someone to a beer joust? 10
The original King of Beers. The beer that was so bold that it decided to change its name to 'America' for the summer. Drinking a Budweiser says that you love your country and also don't give a fuck about calorie count. If you are planning on drinking in a large field this weekend, might I suggest bringing with you a couple 30s of Budweiser cans. Ripe for shotgunning, no broken glass to worry about and also excellent vessels for beer showers. Throw on a pair of 2 dollar sunglasses, a retro Michael Jordan jersey and some SPF 100. Slap a microbrew out of a hipsters hands and remind him that Memorial Day is about more than beardwax and acid washed skinny jeans.
Best for: Indy 500

-Wild Turkey 101
How many shots before you fall into the grill? 4.
Some of you may not be leaving town this weekend, opting instead for some 'low key barbecues' in your buddy's backyard. But while the invite may say R-Z bring a desert, no one will fault you for showing up with a liter of the turkey. There may be children at this pot-luck/pitch-in, but you know what makes children more tolerable? Booze. A fuck ton! Every Thanksgiving I don't give my little cousins the time of day until I'm about 5 Four Lokos in. But after that? Oh, it's a Frozen dance party. So bring a little high proof bourbon into the mix, it will make Bill's wife's potato salad more palatable.
Best for: Backyard BBQs

-Four Loko
How many tall boys before you are just straight up dead? 2.
Look, maybe no one invited you anywhere this weekend. Maybe you're too broke to travel. I get it man, I've been there. Hell, I'm there now. I should probably pass on Mexico and get my finances in order. (Spoiler Alert: I won't) But just because everyone has a better snap story than you this weekend, doesn't mean you have to miss out on some fun. Do you have $5? Great, then you can walk your ass to a 7/11 pick up two Watermelon Four Loko XXLs and drink them until you pass out on your front patio. And look on the bright side, when you have a party for one, no one will try to turn off your My Chemical Romance playlist.
Best for: Homeless people, alcoholics

Have fun and stay safe this weekend. Hit me with your most lewd snaps at Broeller and I'll be sure to repay the favor. Cheers!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

24 Hours in the 916

8am
"What time does the pool open?"

This may seem like an inappropriate question to ask the wedding planner at breakfast, I imagine she would prefer people NOT to jump into the pool in the middle of the reception. But I had this idea in my head that I would jump in and a full blown pool party would ensue.

If you don't recognize this scene, I don't know what you have been doing on Christmas Eve for the last 20 years.

"Um, 930?"

"In the morning?"

"At night."

I poured a whisky into my coffee and wandered around the house. It was 8am, through nothing short of a Herculean effort, we had stayed in the night before. I felt this fact excused my mid morning cocktail.

None of us had slept particularly well. The movie theater that we typically sleep in had been co-opted by over 100 cakes. This pushed ten grown men into one bedroom. Three in a queen size bed, one on a couch, one on a bench, one in the bathtub, four on the floor.

Renting a few rooms in a hotel was never mentioned.

In the backyard there was a large tent set up for dinner. The ceremony and ensuing reception were to take place in the front parlor. Food trucks were scheduled to show up around 5pm. I had never been to a wedding thrown at a house, but I imagined this was about par for the course.



10am
We were sent to the grooms house to 'get ready.' I'm not really familiar with this tradition. Was I supposed to roll over there in gym shorts and then put on my suit or just go over there in my suit and drink. I opted for the latter. Also there was a foosball table. Just as Tyrion 'drinks and knows things' I drink and fuck people up at foosball. At about 10:20am I had already sweat through my first shirt of the day.

After a while of shotgunning beers and rummaging around the house shaking hands with people whom I instantly forgot we decided to head back to our flop house. In sticking with the tradition that you can't get a DUI during the day, we piled six people in a small Lexus and drove back to the venue. I took my beverage to go.

I promise I'm not 16.

12pm
Upon returning the the house/venue we were told that we had no responsibility for the next five hours. Future wedding planners of the world: THIS IS A BAD IDEA. We had played through the entire Justin Bieber catalogue on my phone by 12:45. I think that is about the time we broke Paul's bed in half. 

The bed-breaking proved too much for some of the less fratty individuals that had stopped by the room to take some shots. I overheard this as a few fled the scene.

"Those guys were jumping on that bed like 12 year old girls and listening to a song aimed at 12 year old girls."

"Did you see them high five each other when they shattered the bed frame? Like it was some sort of amazing achievement?"

"Too much bromance in there!" I overheard one of them say, I can't say I disagreed.


Flashback sequence
Let's back up a bit and start where I was and why I was there. I'll do some light name dropping but be intentionally vague to protect the innocent and guilty.

Once upon a time there was a frat guy named Dave. He lived in a now extinct fraternity house in Indiana. One night some guy in jean shorts and a flat bill knocked on the door and said he had just transferred from the Occidental Chapter and wanted to hang out. His names was Paul. Dave invited him in and they had beers.

That summer Dave and this Paul lived in Wrigleyville and routinely skipped their shitty internships to black out at Cubs games and hit on chicks at Coldplay concerts. One day that summer, Paul introduced Dave to his sister, Liat, and her boyfriend Jake. Dave ordered an appletini at dinner and still gets made fun of for it. 

Cut to years later, Dave moved to Los Angeles far far away from his northeastern Indianapolis suburban home. Not wanting Dave to be alone on holidays such as Thanksgiving and Passover, Paul forced his family to adopt Dave on a part time basis. Dave became a hit at the holidays and was always welcomed back with open arms.

So now I roll up to Sacramento with an assortment of Granite Bay kids a few times a year. This time was for Jake and Liat's wedding. Got it? Great!

Where were we...

Ah yes, too much bromance. Well there is never too much bromance. Look at this anecdotal evidence from 4 in the morning.

video


2pm
We decided to tailgate the wedding in Paul's room, but somehow we had nothing but liquor. You can imagine how this turned out.

Studs

4pm
We run out of Jameson. The youngest person there is forced to uber to the grocery store to get more. Respect your elders.

5pm
It's finally showtime. I might have been so drunk that I needed to be propped up by my buddy Matt, but God dammit was that a beautiful ceremony. I love when they break the glass and shout Mazel Tov! I wish we could just do that on like random Saturday nights right before we go to the bar, it really kicks the energy into a positive direction.

5:30pm
It might be the three 5 hour energies I drank, or perhaps all of the booze, but I am overwhelmed with all of the love in the room and I am legit crying.

6pm
Someone has decided that I need to get some food in my stomach (yes!) and that I need to change my shirt again. We stop by the food trucks and then back to the room so I can change again. I'm out of button downs so I will be wearing a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles t shirt to dinner.

The bar is now officially open. Which thank God there is finally some beer that I can drink to sober up. The wedding placemat has both an adult coloring element AND a Crossword puzzle. I spend most of dinner trying to unbreak my brain and do the crossword. I finally realize that the communist that designed it used spaces for multiple word answers.

I am simultaneously furious but also thankful because I haven't actually drank myself retarded.

730pm
Dance floor is open and I dance to a One Direction song with the bride's mom. I'm pretty sure 90% of the wedding attendees think I am actively hitting on her. Clearly they don't understand our mutual appreciation of boy bands. It's time for the lifting chair thing. I LOVE THE LIFTING CHAIR THING.



8pm
Someone just beer showered the dance floor. Thank God it wasn't me. There is a 5 minute break in the action. I am still pouring sweat. I approach the wedding planner and ask if we can open the pool early. I think she says something along the lines of...

"Whatever will get you to stop sweating on me."

8:11pm
I do a half gainer into the pool wearing a suit jacket, suit pants and a teenage mutant ninja turtle shirt.

Seriously, I was just like that Canadian ass clown on the Bachelorette last night but worse.

This sobered me up and I was able to return to the reception, the only problem was, I was so drunk and so sweaty, I had ruined every shirt I had brought. Paul's mom clocked me at about 5 wardrobe changes throughout the night.

So what do you do when you keep sweating through shirts but the dance floor is open?

You ditch it of course.

That's right, I spent about 90% of the reception, dancing shirtless and without shoes on the dance floor. Somehow, no one seemed to mind. In fact, I was dare I say, a hit? At least seven times throughout the evening, I demand the y cable from the dj so I can play more 'Sorry.' It slays every time.

11pm
I have been drinking for 15 hours at this point and the dance floor is starting to thin. I figure now is a good time to get a good sleeping spot. I head to the cake room and see that there is a couch stacked on top of another couch. Naturally, I ascend the summit and try to sleep.

I figure I have had a good night. I danced with all of the grandmothers, the bride, the groom, the wedding planner and a 49 year old woman that I was convinced was 28. Somehow, magically, no one is mad at me. I feel pretty good calling it a success.

11:17pm
"What the fuck are you doing?"

This is the last thing I hear before something is shoved into my mouth. It takes me a few seconds to realize it is a bottle of whiskey. I imagine this is what waterboarding feels like, only this is way worse.

I choke up a half shot of Jameson.

"I'm going to bed you asshat."

"The hell you are!"

Matt, the one that propped me up at the wedding has now turned the corner on sobriety and is shaking the bottom couch of my throne, threatening to topple me onto a half dozen cakes.

"WAKE THE FUCK UP!"

I slink off the couch and take a pull from his bottle. Apparently I am summoned back on the dance floor.

Some of the cakes that rudely stole my bedroom.

1130pm
Dance floor 2.0 rages on for about 2 hours. I don't remember a lot of it, but I know there were bubbles involved. Like the bottle breaking thing, bubbles should be utilized more.

130am
I am now hiding in a storage closet. I know that my couch bed is no longer a safe space. I realize for the first time that I haven't seen my phone or wallet in quite some time. Whatever, as long as I can fall asleep in the next few minutes everything should be fine.

141am
"Found you fucker!"

Oh no, it's Matt again. He keeps finding bottles of Jameson somehow. It's like some fucked up kind of superpower. Why won't he let me live.

2am
Jesus, dance party 3.0 is in full effect. There are literally bodies on the floor. Someone is bleeding. "Best Song Ever" is playing. Somehow a dozen people or so are jumping up and down on couches. The bride, groom and ALL OF THE PARENTS are somehow still awake. 

I stumble to the speaker and turn on some Eric Prydz before going on a quest for a bottle of water.

I fail, the closest thing I find is a light beer. It will have to do.

4am:
Inexplicably every room in the house has some sort of music blaring. There is a Venice Beach-esque drum circle going on in a bathroom. My buddies are belting out "Sweet Caroline" in the distance and I find that the hot tub has been turned on. It seems like the only place to get some peace and quiet. I hop in. I'm soon joined by the bride and groom.

"MVP performance Moel Man."

"How the hell are you guys still awake?"

Then again, it is one of the greatest nights of their lives, I suppose I would stay awake pretty late too.

Eventually there are 10 people in the hot tub, unwinding the night. It seems like after 20 hours of drinking, most of my buddies are ready to call it a weekend.

8am
Everyone has now realized the carnage of what went down last night. Things are missing, people are missing, all hope is lost. I have a 6 hour drive ahead of me and am not sure I can make it

The parents of the bride are in the kitchen cooking everyone breakfast. Did they sleep?

I walk outside to the pool and I see half of my wardrobe sopping wet. My phone is plugged into a bose speaker, still lightly playing 'Call Me Maybe" on repeat. I unplug it and go collapse onto a chair.

"What a weekend."

It's Paul. He puts a luke warm IPA into my hand. I lightly protest, but realize resistance is futile.

"Did you see the thing where they hand them up in the chairs?"

"Ya, that shit was dope."

"We should do this every weekend."

The house is wrecked, but with the help of a village we restore it to somewhat respectability. There is a pair of Ray Bans at the bottom of the pool. We make the youngest kid dive in to reclaim them. Respect your elders.

I take a long glance around at the devastation and can't believe we are almost thirty. My parents owned a house and had me by 30. I have a negative bank account balance and no job at 29.

I'm starting to go to a very dark place when something flips.

I look at the family, the new married couple; my friend Paul, his brothers, his parents. They are all beaming ear to ear.

This may not be how most families roll, but it's how they do it. To the outsider it may seem like one night of all out debauchery, but as every tribe has their own customs and traditions, I think this kind of lunacy is ours. I'm not sure anyone would have it any other way. I think back at the beautiful speeches made and all the love shown. I think back to those guys that said 'too much bromance.'

They were literally off put by the overabundance of love.

Sure it may be a bit strange to see overgrown man-children hugging and jumping up and down to songs aimed at middle schoolers, but I guess that's just our thing. I really do love these people. And if we show each other love by performing wrestling moves on one another and jamming bottles of whisky down one another's throat, well so be it I guess.

An official statement came down from the family Monday morning:

Gents, thanks for making the wedding a night my family will never forget. The family could not have appreciated your love and support more. Your ability to bring the festivities (and noise) to the next level made the experience special for everyone involved. Hope to see you all at Thanksgiving/Sedar or sooner. Much love, until next time, See ya...

Then there a bunch of videos attached of us acting like idiots. And then a smattering of replies.

"The pregame bedbreaker really set the tone."

"Some teams get carried by superstars NOT US. Once in a generation an unstoppable dream team comes along. FYI in this metaphor, I am a pre HIV Magic Johnson."

"Very solid performance. It's hard to believe people expect me to help them today when I can't even help myself." (this dude is a paramedic)

Honestly, things aren't going great for me, but with friends like these I always know everything is going to be ok.

So ya, that's just how we do, for better or worse, it is what it is. 

To the beautiful bride and the handsome groom, Liat and Jake, we wish you a lifetime of happiness...and if you ever need the wrecking crew for whatever reason, we'll only be one call away.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Summer is coming

Oh God, the Santa Monica Pier Concert schedule came out today and it is LIT.  I mean the only thing that would make it more lit is if they added Lit to the schedule. If that happened I think late 20's white hipsters would have a stroke. Alas we have to settle for Mayer Hawthorne and a bunch of indie electro pop bands that probably played the Mojave tent at Coachella.

Quick story about Mayer Hawthorne... a lot of people describe him as a 'Soul' singer, but my experience at a MH concert was much different. It was UCLA graduation 2012. I had the penthouse suite at the Westwood W Hotel with a bunch of buddies. The guys in the room next to us? A then unknown One Direction. The Saturday night of that weekend, we fell into 10 free tickets to a Mayer Hawthorne concert at the Wiltern. We also had about 20 tabs of Molly. We took all of them.

I came to drenched in sweat sitting down on the corner of the L Bar dance floor. (L Bar used to be an awesome club in Hollywood, now it's called Warwick) Somehow we convinced a bunch of chicks to come back to the W with us where we continued to drink and order room service.

At about 3 in the morning we all inexplicably fell off the couch, bed, table we were sitting on and were convinced an earthquake had struck. I called the lobby to confirm our suspicions, but as it turned out we were all just really fucked up. That must be the ESP tripping that real drug addicts always talk about when they're trying to get you to do DMT.

Anyway, good times!

There will be more posts about the Pier as July approaches, but I bring up that story because I am going to a wedding with that group of sociopaths this weekend. As of this morning we had no way of getting up there, no place to stay and nothing really to wear. Honestly, I think a lot of us forgot about it during whatever Spring Break trip we just got done with. But I took an Adderall this morning, made coffee and now I'm ready to put together a handy guide on winning your last minute wedding.

Step 1: Don't Panic. You can always drive.
If the wedding is less than 400 miles away and you forgot to book a flight, you're driving. That's just all there is to it. An 8 hour drive isn't great, but look at it this way, you can knock out all of Serial season 2 on that drive. You can listen to all of Me Before You on book on tape. Or you can grab another buddy and you guys can catch up. People rarely 'catch up' after college. A long ass drive can be just the bonding time you need. Some people think driving home hungover is unbearable, but I would argue flying is worse. You can always pull over a car to vomit, you can't land the plane. Also, you can bring drugs...always a plus. If you don't have a car, look for an unlimited mileage rental place. I've found good deals from about $30 a day.

Step 2: Amazon that gift now.
I forgot to send one of my buddies a wedding gift once and then I panicked that I had waited too long and now I have an ingenious plan to send him an anniversary gift to redeem myself. I have literally been more racked with guilt over this than the fact that I don't have a job at the moment. Get on that registry and Prime some shit to the bride and groom with a nice message and then literally half your job is done.

Step 3: Same Day Dry Cleaning is a lie
I own one suit and I wear it for two reasons. Weddings and wrap parties. And guess what? After either they are completely thrashed. Fortunately, when I take my crumbled up and vomit stained suit to the Vietnamese man down the street, he works blood magic on it to make it look new. Unfortunately, it takes him like 3 days. There is nothing worse than rolling to the mall (or a thrift shop) days before the wedding because you forgot to clean some blood off of your sport coat.

Step 4: You can find a shitbag motel for $80
And you can split it four ways with some bros! Honestly, if you aren't in a major American city, you can even get like a Comfort Inn for $90.  It's not even THAT shameful to take a girl back to a Comfort Inn. I took a girl back to a Comfort Inn once and you know what? It was bad ass. There was a 24 hour hot tub and a free continental breakfast. It was a DOPE continental breakfast too, it had one of those waffle makers. I want a waffle maker. If I ever get married, that's going on the registry.

Step 5: Be fun at the wedding, but don't be that guy
You got invited to the wedding because the bride and groom like you, or at least they think you can help get the dance floor going. The measure of every wedding in your 20's is 'how turn was the dance floor?' But you also don't want to be the drunk guy that fucks a chick in the laundry room. I always aim to be the third drunkest person at these things. It's like with mountains, everyone knows that Everest and K2 are the first and second highest peaks in Asia. But what's third? Exactly.

Step 6: Bridesmaids are tough, for an easier degree of difficulty go for a single girl that came with her parents
The issue with the Bridesmaids is they know everyone at the wedding. 90 people will judge them if they dance too aggressively with you on the dance floor. 90 people will shame them if they see a cab drop her off in the morning. You know who won't? The neighbor girl that moved away in 5th grade but the families remained good friends. I've gone to a wedding with my dad where I knew no one. I would have hung out with Charles Manson if he would have taken shots with me. That's your target bruv.

Step 7: Be gracious with the adults
Every adult loves the charming guy that's had one too many. Dance with Grandma, ask Grandpa about some war stories, agree with drunk Uncle that the country is going to shit and maybe we should build that wall. This keeps you on the invite list for lake weekends and the such.

Step 8: Always remember, it's not about you
Ya maybe it would be fun to lead a band of marauders to the casino at 2am. Or hell, maybe even that one strip club that illegally serves alcohol after 3! But just remember, whatever decision you make, it should never take away from the bride and groom. You are there to provide a gift and some positive energy. This means take some goofy as photos in the photo booth. Participate in those dumb ass group dances (You will ChaCha and you will LIKE IT) and at the end of the night hopefully you will all have some memories and not too treacherous of a car ride home.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Earth to Echo

The day I moved to LA was a bit of a shit show. I took a boat out on Geist one last time and the boat promptly died in the middle of the lake. Instead of spending my last day of living in the midwest motoring around and getting drunk; I had to be towed in by a fisherman. Then I broke up with a chick, then I sat in the back of a car with my mom while she cried the whole way to the airport. Then I got drunk at the airport and then I cried.

It sucked.

When I arrived at LAX, my ride informed me that he had gotten drunk during the day and passed out. He would meet me in Hollywood in an hour. Armed with an iPhone 4 and about 90% of my belongings jammed into an overstuffed suitcase, I boarded a bus that took me to union station, a train that took me to Hollywood and Vine and then rolled my 120 pound bag of a hill to 2049 Vista Del Mar, a Spanish Style bungalow at the base of the Hollywood Hills.

I dropped my bag and was immediately handed a Camel Crush and a bottle of vodka.

"Catch up, you have 10 minutes."

This actually was not my 'arrival party.' One of the UTA clan was having her going away party, she was New York bound in the morning. I was merely a coincidence, but juxtaposed with the absolute loneliness I had felt an hour before when I stepped off the airplane and realized I was in over my head, I was happy to even be invited somewhere.

Crammed in the back of a minivan cab, we jaunted east down the 101. People I didn't know handed me water bottles full of foreign substances. I drank it all without asking.

"Where are we going?"

-Funky Soul.

I walked into some giant dive of a bar called The Echo. Old soul train videos from 70's era WGN played on all the TVs, PBR was on special for $4 (not much of a special I remember thinking) and everyone was dancing like a lunatic.

I hung out rather anonymously with this merry band of agency assistants, smoking cigarettes and trying to explain my place in the world.

"I'm working for a start up."

"No, I don't have a place to live yet."

"I don't know what a Silverlake or a Brentwood is."

"Yes, I'll have another beer and a cigarette."

That was August 31st 2011. (I think) The beginning of my new life after I took a buy out from my old company and had a summer of sin in Chicago.

It's May 16, 2016 and I had not returned to Echo Park or the Echo since. In the nearly 5 years that have passed I've transitioned into a life in entertainment and a hopeful career as a writer. I have also carved myself out a pretty nice existence in Venice, about as far west as you can get. Echo Park is about as far East as white people go, for those unfamiliar with LA geography, it would be equivalent to driving to Lake Forest from downtown Chicago.

That all changed Saturday night.

I was on day three of a pretty aggressive bender with two high school buddies that I hadn't seen in a while. We had been out until 4am the previous two evenings and my body was starting to break down. After watching three movies on the couch on Saturday, I got the text...

"Funky soul tonight."

The idea has floated around plenty of times in recent years, but everyone always bails because quite frankly it's easier to walk to our usual neighborhood haunts, get fucked up and walk home.

But this time felt different, I had two friends that wanted to see LA. Often people come here wanting to see LA and I show them Venice and Santa Monica, because it is my comfort zone. But there is another world out there and I felt obligated to show it.

We were all so hungover that I wasn't sure we could make the journey, but I at least committed us to the pregame, which was in Santa Monica: a BYOB dinner followed by a brief stop at a house to pound shots and order ubers.

My Trojan horse tactic paid off as once I had gotten my friends a little tipsy at dinner, they were more that willing to go do something outside the box. We piled in an UberXL with a 12 pack of beer and started the hour long journey east down the 10. When we finally arrived, we were so excited to be there that we blew past the bouncer without showing ID and past the cashier without paying cover.

The set-up seemed to have changed since I had been some 5 years ago, nothing too crazy, still divey, but bigger? Kilroy's changed after I left, I felt like the Echo had naturally expanded in recent years.

But also gone were the giant TVs playing roller disco funk of the late 70's instead there was a live stage show going on. Beautiful women dancing and also...wait, some of those chicks are men.

Is this a drag show?

All over the walls I see posters and allusions to Studio 54, people on the dance floor around me are openly doing cocaine. I was drunk and deeply confused, but I was loving the vibe, so I just rolled with it.

About an hour and a half went by before we realized we were in the wrong bar.

"This is not funky soul at the Echo, this is Studio 54 at the Echoplex."

I had heard about this 'Echoplex' but just assumed it was the full more formal name of the Echo, not a completely separate venue.

I argue that we should stay at the bar because the trans community apparently parties hard AF, but since the birthday is upstairs, we acquiesce and a bartender leads us up a secret staircase upstairs to the proper venue.

Unfortunately we are tossed into a line and told that we will need to pay an additional cover. While standing in line to get back in a girl notices I'm wearing a Member's Only jacket.

"Cool jacket, are you guys coming in?"

Eh, these guys have early flights in the morning, we may try to get a few hours of sleep in before the airport.

"Well, I'm just saying, we have vaginas AND we will pay your cover if you want to come in."

Never have I been so aggressively pursued by a member of the opposite sex. Let it be known, the east side goes hard.

My friends made their flights at 8 am (barely) and I imagine they are having a rough day at work today, but with some fond memories. After all, the end game is to get everyone I know to move here.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

How to hook up in a hostel

So after your latest coke bender you decided you needed to do a sober month. That allowed you to scrap together enough cash for a shitty Norweigian Air flight to like your 9th favorite city in Europe. Now after drinking Aquavit in an Oslo pub all night some Finnish chick has decided she would like to blow you.

That’s great! But it’s not like you can just stroll back to The Generator hostel and kick out all your roommates so you can pound some strange from Helsinki. No, this will be a challenge and I’m here to guide you through it.

Hooking up in a hostel is not too dissimilar from hooking up in your cold dorm. Except if you just blatantly go to town on the top bunk, don’t expect a high five from Fat Steve the spring pledge. No you’re far more likely to get a code red from Javier and his boys from Argentina. To save you this moderate discomfort, let’s get creative and explore alternate options available to you.

1.     Rec room
Every hostel has a rec room. It has pool tables, foosball and lots of comfortable couches for reading books and stuff. This is usually the first place I go when I’m traveling alone. I sit around drinking vodka until someone talks to me. It’s incredibly effective. It’s also a wonderful place to fuck. The last hostel I stayed in had a series of hammocks in the rec room. Do not attempt sex in the hammocks. It’s hard to even nap in a god damn hammock, it’s one of mankind’s biggest myths. Hammocks are bullshit. No instead bang it out on the pool table, makes for a better story anyway.

2.     Movie room
This one is obvious, as it’s likely that the first place you ever got a blowjob was in the movie room of your rich friend’s basement. There is also usually a smattering of American movies from the 80’s and such, so if you need to set the mood you should be able to throw on the ‘Take My Breath Away” scene from Top Gun. Full disclosure: you may not be the only one fucking in the movie room, but you weren’t the only one fucking in chapter last year for homecoming either. It’s basically an orgy, only international so better.

3.     Shower
Your hostel will likely have one of two set-ups. Either you will have like 8 bunks in a room, 2 showers and a bathroom…or there will be banks of showers down the hall. If it’s the latter treat that thing like the fucking Coachella campground showers, no shame. If it’s in your room, well I hope  Ani from the Czech Republic doesn’t scream too loud.

4.     Bathroom
Technically there is more room for activities in the bathroom than the shower. That said, hostels aren’t necessarily known for their 5 star meals so if you want to get it on in a bathroom that is shared between 8 to 400 people proceed at your own risk.

5.     Gym
Yes some hostels even have a small gym (that never gets used) so if you’re trying to get in a little late night cardio it’s never a bad call.

6.     Outside
Depending on the weather where you are this could be a fun option. I’ve had hostels with back patios, pools, hot tubs, beaches and nearby parks. Remember there is no open container law in most European cities. If you want to steal a bottle of Jameson on your way out of the pub and take it directly to some large public square with your slam piece, you are (mostly) within your rights as an American.

7.     Top Bunk

I mean if it comes down to it, you’re not going to say no. My advice get in, get out. No one is trying to have a premium sexual experience in a $14 a night room. Make sure your shacker leaves immediately and you should probably try to be gone too when all the roommates wake up. Maybe you’ll get lucky and they’re checking out today. But you know what? If they give you some funny looks, fuck ‘em. They can eat a bag of dicks. Should’ve had their ear plugs and sleep masks ready. You’re on a god damn vacation.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

A Copenhagen Epilogue: Day 7

Yesterday I woke up 6,000 miles from home in a bedroom full of Spanish girls yelling at each other in Catalan about who forgot to bring the birth control. (TIL in Barcelona, girls share contraceptives)

Now after 16 hours of planes, trains and automobiles (and a somewhat unprofessional customs agent asking me how many Danish girls I fucked) I'm back home.

Finally diving into some emails, it looks like we're getting a Palm Springs house together for Memorial Day. I've got a wedding coming up, a Bachelor party in San Diego and apparently there is now a wesbite that tracks individual stats for my Softball league.

My trip to the desert, my trip abroad, it already seems like a lifetime ago. All the while I am now left to pick up the pieces and get my shit together. It's like the Sunday scaries, but worse. I honestly haven't had this much anxiety since I graduated college. Seven years later, I still have that feeling of 'now what?'

I could put together a scrapbook of my trip? But I only took like 5 pictures. I forgot a charger so my phone was barely on, even then I didn't turn on data. Apologies for the weakness of my snap stories!

I guess I'll get a job, maybe? Or maybe I'll just sit around and day dream about moving to Europe for a few years while I'm still young. Everything seems so much simpler over there. But before I slip into the minutiae of my day to day life in Venice, I'll leave you with one more tale from my travels abroad, think of it as a palate cleanser.

***

When I think about the 'almosts' in my life, it's shocking that I ended up where I am now.

After I graduated high school, my mom offered me a chance to spend the summer in Europe with her and my brother. I declined, thinking it would be more fun to hang out at shitty Indiana lake houses with my high school friends. I suppose I had a fine summer, but I need you to know that I turned down an all expenses paid 3 week vacation to Europe at the age of 18.

Around that same time, I almost didn't go to IU. I had such a shitty GPA that it was seriously i doubt that I could get into Indiana. I knew a backdoor into Purdue which was to apply to the Agriculture School. I was accepted almost immediately. Indiana took forever. I'm pretty sure my Cathedral High School college advisor may have casually dropped in my file that I was the Great Grandson of a former university dean and trustee, after this I received my acceptance a few days later.

I almost didn't go abroad. My seven roommates and I waited until the very last day to send in our applications to the Florence program. We were rejected as they had filled up already. In a panic, I scanned all of the available programs that were still open. One. In Maastricht, Netherlands. You ever hear someone talk about their wild semester in Maastricht? At the 11th hour someone was able to talk the small Liberal Arts school Marist into letting seven IU bros piggyback on their study abroad program in Florence.

And then of course, I almost didn't move to LA. The same day I got an offer to move my life out here, I got a phone call from someone a Groupon, saying that they would love to have me.

It would have been so easy, to just stay put in my million dollar brownstone, with two of my best friends and continue drinking myself into an early grave. But for some reason, I didn't, I took a risk and moved to LA, and I can't imagine my life here if I didn't.

So when I think of three of the largest events in my life; going to Indiana, studying abroad, moving to LA it's crazy that all three of them came SO CLOSE not to happening. The fact that all three did is actually a miracle.

Going to Indiana, I decided what type of person I wanted to be and developed friendships I will appreciate the rest of my life. Studying abroad made me appreciate the world for how vast it is and how small I am, I was bitten by the travel bug, something that will never leave me. Moving to Los Angeles, I learned what it is that I'm really passionate about, what I think I want to do for the rest of my life.

Almost. Didn't. Happen.

So I would urge anyone that has an 'almost' in their life, take the plunge.

Of course, my life would probably be much more streamlined and predictable if I played it safe once in a while. It would take away from all the massive peaks and valleys I experience on an annual basis, but then again, what would be the fun in that?

Always life life to the fullest and do epic shit. Never have regrets because you came down on the wrong side of 'almost.'

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Copenhagen: Day 6

By the time you're reading this, I will have left the Kingdom of Denmark. I'll be seated next to an old man on a 787 who has waited his entire life to go to Los Angeles. Or maybe I'll be seated next to a USC Junior who just finished studying abroad and is going to see her family for the first time in 6 months.

Tomorrow when I get home, I'm going to sleep for a week. Maybe longer. I'll see you in June.

14 days ago, I was hiking Temescal Canyon and I had a panic attack. I checked my bank account and I had something like $1,200 to my name. Somehow I partied for a week at Coachella and crawled around Scandinavia and my debit card hasn't stopped working.

I realize that the things I do are irrational, but I break it down like this:

Would I have regretted not going to Coachella for the rest of my life?
Would I have regretted not going to Denmark for the rest of my life?

If the answer to one or both of these is yes, then the simple answer is to go.

And that may sound severe...it's just a music festival bro. It's just a trip to some place far away, at some hostel, alone...

While that may not appeal to you, things like this are my reason for existence.

As we grow older, my peers will likely have nicer apartments, go to nicer meals, drive faster cars.

I will have better stories.

Like this one...

I'm sitting in an empty bar. Well, empty except for me, 9 Irish girls, 3 Norweigian girls, 2 girls from Amsterdam, a couple chicks from Cal Poly and an Australian girl.

There is an Irish dude too, I forget his name.

I've joined one of those 'pub crawl' type things because it's a Tuesday and I feel like my best chance to find some people to hang out with is join something organized. For $20 they promise you 8 shots and to introduce you to some peeps to drink with, not a terrible deal when you're traveling alone.

Demographically tonight, I have hit the jackpot. I'm pretty sure at least 60% of these chicks would go home with me if I asked nicely. So far it's a good last day.

I rented a bike this morning, I rode it to the Carlsberg Brewery. Then I did a walking tour of Denmark and learned stuff.

But now I'm sitting at a table with 9 Irish teachers, all 25, 2 pairs of them have the same name. I've already forgotten, it's something really Irish. I think there is a Julie or a Julia.

The girls are a bit restless, I suppose it's because aside from us, the bar really is empty. Everyone is asking our bar crawl leader for some place a little livelier.

"Sorry, it's a Tuesday."

People start to leave, I look down at my phone. It's 2am, shit. I wasn't ready for the night to end.

Ever since I got here, I had been looking for the 'Study abroad bar.' I just wanted to get fucked up with some 21 year old Americans. Where was the Tiger Tiger? The Opium? The Yab/Central Park/Mericana/Twice/21/Space/Lochness?

I was walking home but decided I needed a hot dog. They're big here, it's a thing. I made a wrong turn and suddenly I heard some thumping bass, I followed it a few blocks, I accidentally walked through a construction site...and there it was. A line.

It looked like so many of the douchey bars I've been too all around the world. Some guy in the front was smoking a Camel Crush and wearing a USC shirt. I look at the sign 'The Tequila Bar'

*Does quick Yelp search*

Cheap tequila shots, lots of frat bros, rude, loud, disgusting. One star.

I was home.

I walk in and immediately some Swedish girl tries to pawn me off on her tall friend. I'm not morally opposed to the tall friend because I can only imagine how popular our future children would be, but tonight I'm on a mission.

I walk to the bar and order 10 shots of tequila. I don't know why, I don't really like tequila.

I take the first one, I take the second one.

Some guy next to me chimes in.

'Did you order 10 shots of tequila, for yourself?'

I look at his hat, there's a familiar logo on it.

'You go to IU?'

'Ya we just finished our last final today, we go home tomorrow.'

He's with 2 buddies and 2 chicks.

At this point I'm sure I said something preachy like 'you don't know how great this is, it's the best time of your life blah blah blah...but the message was.

Let's not go to bed tonight.

So we took tequila shots at said bar until they kicked us out around 5am. On the way out the door, we stole a bottle and drank it in the King's Garden, a nice little park behind my hostel. It felt very Danish to be honest.

I came to around 8am, one of the IU bros tapping me on the shoulder.

'Hey man, sun is coming up we have to go pack, Maybe we'll see you at the airport.'

I came back here to sleep on the hammock for a couple hours before packing.

I remember the day I got back from abroad. I landed at the Detroit airport at 8pm and I made my dad take me directly to a Buffalo Wild Wings. I slept for 28 hours straight then drove down to Bloomington to get fucked up at Kilroy's. I moved to Chicago for the summer shortly thereafter and had the greatest summer of my life, followed by Senior Year, the greatest year of my life.

Coming back to Europe, staying in the same type of hostel I stayed in 8 years ago, doing the same stuff, it feels like nothing has changed.

But of course everything has changed. I'm almost 30, I have responsibilities now. Well at least I do back home. When I come over here, I feel like there are no rules, like none of it is real. It's as if I am logging into a video game that escapes me from my real life. I understand why ex-pats do it.

But...

I like my life, I'm excited to come home and see everyone. I'm excited to lay on the couch and watch Netflix. I'm excited to badger my roommate to bring me home pretentious juices and I'm excited to send 2am 'u up' texts to people that I shouldn't.

If you ever see a cheap flight, just do it. Maybe other people will join you, maybe they won't. It really doesn't matter. You'll have a blast and you will definitely grow as a person. It's a talking point for the rest of your life.

I will never forget Copenhagen and to be honest, I'll probably never come back. How can I when there is so much left to do? I have to go visit the Scots in Glasgow, I have to make it back to London, I have to go see Eastern Europe. I hear Oslo is nice, I've never been to fucking Australia.

Travel solo, travel with your friends, travel with your family, it doesn't fucking matter. Just get out of the house and go. There is so much cool shit out in the world. We are not the protagonist in our own novel, we are merely supporting players in this crazy world.

I'll be home Wednesday night and I'll surely crash off of this outrageous wave I've been riding, but within a week I'm sure I'll fire up the old Skyscanner.

Departure: LAX
Arrival: Anywhere

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Copenhagen: Day 5


Look at this dog.

It's cute right? This dog is a good boy. He looks to be some type of Spaniel/Terrier hybrid. I would hang out with this dog.

This fucking dog is a narc and he almost got me deported.

Allow me to explain...

On Day 5, I decided it was time to spread my wings a bit. After all, it would be a shame to come all the way to Europe and stay in one city the whole time. Instead, I decided I would take a 30 minute bus trip to Malmo, Sweden for the day.

Running late, I just threw on an outfit I had already worn this week and jogged to the bus stop. As I boarded the bus driver asked me if I brought my passport.

'Going to Sweden isn't like it used to be.'

I didn't understand what he meant, but I boarded and buried myself in my book.

The next thing I know, we are crossing the beautiful Oresund Bridge from Denmark to Sweden. Shortly thereafter we are pulled over at the Swedish border.

Immediately 6 POLITA officers board our bus and start checking everyone's passport. EU folks and Americans like me face limited scrutiny, but the Romanian sitting next to me is given a hard time. What are you doing in Sweden? How long will you be here?

See it turns out, Indiana isn't the only place that doesn't want a fuck ton of Syrian refugees. Sweden is just find with their homogenous Nordic population, so these border checks are fairly new. I assumed the process was over until that fucking dog boarded.

A little Romanian child runs down the aisle yelling 'puppy!' The Swedish cop swatted the kid away with such callousness that for some reason I began to feel nervous. But then the little drug dog came right up to my row and jumped on my lap.

'What the fuck is this?' I'm thinking. I have had a drug free week! I have nothing in my pockets! I guess I took a few hits of a joint at Christiania 2 days ago, oh fuck, am I wearing that shirt?

The dog then turns his interest to the Romanian and really starts giving him the business.

'Sir do you have anything to declare?'

No.

'Sir are you carrying any drugs?'

No.

'Sir have you been exposed to any drugs?'

Well, yeah I'm on vacation...

The border cop is not amused.

'Please come with me sir.'

He turns but then pauses, looking directly at me.

'You too.'

Oh, I don't know him. I live in California. I don't even know where Romania is.

'Sir, please step off the bus.'

We are taken to a back room where men with gloves search us for contraband. It wasn't full cavity or anything, but slightly more intense than an airport screening.

'And what is this?' A Swedish cop has just found a pre-rolled joint in my Romanian friend's pocket.

'I must have forgot.'

Deport him! The American is fine.

And just like that the Romanian guy was sent walking back toward Denmark while I boarded the bus to finish the trip to Malmo.

The rest of the day was fairly insignificant. I read a book in a Swedish park while drinking some truly horrific Swedish beer. I went to a museum and learned about the secret Swedish buses that rescued Scandinavian POWs during WW2...oh and I had some more Wok. Sweden has great wok too.

I got back to Copenhagen just around sunset and had a pint on the Nyhavn (it's what you see when you google Copenhagen) then I spent the night playing darts with some University of Waterloo kids that are here studying abroad.

One of the girls is the social chair for Kappa and she wanted to know all of my stories for being a real life American frat boy.

'OMG SO YOU GUYS LIKE HAD A HOUSE?'

'Ya, 100 people lived in it.'

'AND KAPPA WAS ALLOWED TO HAVE THEIR OWN SEMI-FORMALS AND DRINK?!?'

'Ya it was called Kappa Kapture and only the coolest people on campus got invited.'

'OMG AMERICAN COLLEGE SOUNDS AWESOME!'

That new Mike Posner song comes on. I point at the speaker.

'We had this dude play in our back yard.'

I lose in darts for the third consecutive game to some 19 year old kid with an almost comical northern Canadian accent and decide it's time to go to bed.

I make it upstairs to find that i have 5 new roommates, all chicks from Barcelona. They are passing around a bottle of Jameson.

'Tu bebes Jameson?'

'Si. Yo bebo Jameson.'


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Copenhagen: Day 4

Lucky you! While you're getting ready for Pacers game 7 and Game of Thrones, you get bonus content for your Sunday afternoon. As much as I would love to go to bed right now, I'm so damn sad about the fact that I just read a John Green book in which (SPOILER ALERT: There is teen romance and someone dies!) I need to decompress for a little bit.

So let's discuss day 4. 

We already discussed how I woke up today, my bunk mate was getting recruited by an extremist terrorist organization via good sex and uppers. That's actually a fairly solid strategy. There isn't a lot I wouldn't do for good sex and free drugs. BUT I DIGRESS.

I went to a football game today.

I had my fifth Wok of the trip, napped on the couch until 5 and then walked the two miles to the stadium. I arrived and got a ticket for half price off of some Danish bro who was trying to sell his dad's comp tickets. I got cheap admission, he gets beer money. Everybody wins.

This is where shit went a little off the rails. I noticed almost immediately that I was catching some dirty looks from the people around me. I didn't particularly know why. I was alone, I wasn't wearing anything particularly offensive (plum sweater and black sweat pants) and I was just minding my own business.

I bought a beer that came with a lid for some unknown reason (more on that later!) found my seat and proceeded to cheer for the home team.

Within minutes, I was being pelted with lids, which the rowdier fans frisbee at the people they don't like.

FC Copenhagen takes an early 2-0 lead and I cheer and smile, look for high fives...

Nothing.

Just lids.

Is it really that obvious that I'm an American?

Do people actually hate Americans that much?

Anytime the opposing team does something well, there are leering cheers hurled at me in a language I don't understand. I'm starting to feel quite sad, my hostel friends are gone and everyone at a Danish soccer match has decided to hate me.

When the visitors finally DID score a goal to bring the score to 2-1, a 5 year old boy walked up to me and punched me square in the dick.

"What the fuck?!?"

His older brother and all of his friends stopped laughing and looked at me very seriously...

"You are...American?"

"Yes I'm a fucking American, why is your brother punching me in the cock?"

"You are wearing purple..."

"What does that mean, do you think I'm gay or something?"

He points to the visitors and I feel like an idiot. They are wearing dark purple jerseys. They mistake me for the enemy.

"You look Danish kind of and we thought you were being a dick by sitting in our section."

"No man, I live in LA. I'm just here to watch the game."

"And you are rooting for Copenhagen?"

"Ya!"

He mutters something to his friends that do not speak English. Then one of them cups his hand to address the crowd.

"HE IS NOT FOR MIDTJYLLAND! HE IS AMERICAN, THE SWEATER IS COINCIDENCE."

One old man in the back yells back.

"han er for kobenhavn?"

I address the crowd.

"HAN ER FOR KOBENHAVN!!!!"

There is rapturous applause. My penis is no longer assaulted and the entire second half 18 year old high school Danish kids bring me beers and ask me about America.

"Do you know George Clooney?"

"No, but I saw Kevin Spacey in a bar once. He was flirting with a dude."

AHHHHHH HOUSE OF CARDS, GIVE AMERICAN A BEER!

The Carlsbergs are sold in 5 packs at Copenhagen's stadium. Every time someone would go to concessions they would be sure to designate one of their 5 for me.

The game became fairly close in the second half with Copenhagen finally pulling it out 5-3.

"Come out with us American, we don't have school tomorrow!"

One of them even offered up his mom's basement. There was a long moment when I considered hitting the town with a bunch of high school seniors who had the day off tomorrow. I imagined sitting in a basement playing beer pong with the 'cool girls' of Copenhagen High. 

I would probably hook up with one of them because I was a novelty. And it would be a hell of a story.

But then I remembered that all these kids were born in 1998. I had kissed a girl by 1998, I had seen 6 Michael Jordan titles by 1998. 

I mean it's only a 3 year violation of half your age plus seven...

No. I'm going home to get a good night's sleep before Sweden. I am going to read my book.

It's only midnight. I have Anders' what'sApp info.

Maybe I'll send him a text...just to check in,

Copenhagen: Day 3

"I'm pretty sure you are being recruited by Isis."

One of my hostel roommates has just gotten back from the 'best night of her life.' There was this wonderful Danish boy that bought all of her drinks, paid for all of the taxis, got them a hotel room, had tons of cocaine and managed to rip off five rounds of sex.

But he was also Palestinian. And in the army, but not like the Danish army, something different.

He's going to visit her in London soon and I imagine he will drag her back to Syria to become an Isis sex slave. Or maybe he was just like every Persian dude in LA that likes fast cars and wears too much gold. Probably that.

Day 3 was a fucking whirlwind. It will also be remembered as the day I was hungover as FUCK at Tivoli Gardens. Tivoli Gardens is essentially Six Flags if there were also 40 5 star restaurants at Six Flags. But as we covered earlier, I am exclusively eating Wok this trip. So I was there for the rides.

As someone that grew up going to Disney World, King's Island, Cedar Point and Great America, I know my way around an amusement park. But this is something I take for granted as an American. A lot of foreigners have never been on a roller coaster before. They flipped their shit over things like a roller coaster with an inverted loop or the drop zone type rides.

I just worried I was going to vomit on to some poor unsuspecting tourist below. I did not vomit. This made the day a success.

Saturday night was the last night for all of the friends I had made in the hostel. They wanted to go out hard. I wanted to go to bed, but I'm a trooper so I walked upstairs to my room and took vodka shots by myself until I felt lubricated enough to be in public.

All the homeys also desperately wanted to get laid on the last night. It was a big topic of discussion at our table during happy hour.

Me: But how does one close when staying at a hostel?

New Zealand: The shower; duh. It locks and everything.

Scotland: There's more space in the bathroom. Just put the seat down and have a go.

Australia: Oh fuck it, just shag her in your bed, this is a hostel, people know what they're getting themselves into.

Fontana, WI: Ya I bring ear plugs and an eye mask everywhere for that exact reason.

People at Coachella were less savage than this group.

So we all make plans to visit each other some day and begin our tearful goodbyes before Scott (A real life Scot) tells us that we will be going to a Scottish bar called The Basement. I walk in and instantly notice a foosball in the corner. In my limited experience in dealing with Scots, if you want them to like you, being good at foosball is a good start.

I am good at foosball.

Four straight wins later I was chanting and dancing with the boys and they were buying me drinks. This is when the Danish girls started to notice me.

'Are you American?'

How could you tell?

'Danish boys don't wear Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shirts.'

I see.

I've noticed some super strange things about the Danish culture so far. First, they are weirdly affectionate. I'm not talking about PDA either, I'm talking like bro to bro touching or sibling love. I sat in an hour long line at the theme park yesterday behind some 24 ear old dude who was inappropriately fondling his 12 year old sister the entire time.

Or maybe it's just OK to fuck 12 year olds in Denmark, and I read that situation totally wrong.

The other thing I've noticed is that their taste in music is atrocious. I have heard no less than 14 Linkin Park songs since I've been here. And they fucking love it. It's like they are stuck in an 8th grade vortex of 2001 when Rap/Rock was cool for like 2 weeks. I bet Limp Bizkit still sells out shows here. Anyway this has a point I promise.

I'm dancing with a cute Danish girl to something reasonable like J Cole and then I go to get a drink because I have instituted a one song policy to avoid overheating (sweating like a maniac)

But she stops me...

'Wait! This is my FAVORITE song, you must dance with me.'

The song? Sean Paul 'Temperature'

I thought maybe she just didn't want me to leave and go find another girl. But she like really LOVED it. So much so that she asked the DJ to play it again later in the night, which he did.

Eventually, all of my friends found someone to go home with, leaving just me and Scott and a smattering of Danish girls that would probably go home with either of us out of boredom.

'It's 4am man, I think I'm gonna hit it.'

You can't Dave, it's my last night.

'I'm done man, I can't chase the night.'

All right, I'm gonna stay, I've got 2 hours left to make something happen.

And I'm sure he did. Me on the other hand? I crawled into my top bunk with the odd realization that my trip is only halfway over. Tomorrow I'm going to have to make new friends at the hostel. Maybe they'll be from Canada, maybe Spain. I don't know yet.

I do know that in just 3 days of traveling solo, I've learned a lot about myself, the similarities and differences between seemingly similar cultures and how the world views us.

So far this trip, I've been the token American, but as my hostel family pointed out, that's not always a bad thing.

Ok happy hour is about to start. Tomorrow you can learn what it's like to get smashed at a FC Copenhagen match with a bunch of Danish high school kids.

Copenhagen: Day 2

Sometimes I read this blog a few days after a post and I become disgusted. It’s not the content that I have a problem with, it’s the pathetic grammar and sentence structure. I then think to myself, ‘man imagine how dangerous I would be if I had an editor.’
I had a similar thought on the dance floor last night, imagine how much I could crush if I didn’t sweat more than any person on Earth.
Last week at Coachella it was fine because literally everyone is gross and dirty, but not last night at The Aloha Bar. I was the only one.
I went home for 2 separate wardrobe changes. Literally left the bar, walked into my hostel, past 3 sleeping Argentines, rifled through my bag to find an off white t shirt (it’s hard to tell when an off white shirt is wet unless you touch it) went back to the bar and tried to recreate the magic that Justin Bieber’s ‘What Do U Mean’ gave me.
But that’s not really important. Day 2 was full of fun surprises and poor decision making by me: bad decisions with girls for sure and horrendous decisions in fashion. I wore shorts and flip flops on a 5 mile walk around Christiania in 40 degree weather. ‘Why’ you ask...because I am an idiot and an American and my privilege runs amok. I needed all the Danish people to know that I am a preppy bro who rocks Rainbows and a popped collar.
I don’t think anyone was impressed.
I woke up today at about 2pm local time because I was dancing on tables at an Irish pub until 5am. My hands are shaking, my body is starting to fail me.
My God, how is it only day 3? Fortunately there is a Amsterdam Wok 2 Wok clone down the street and I think it might be able to bring me to life. Wish me luck friends.