Thursday, July 28, 2016
About five years ago an article came out that would rock the Los Angeles social scene. It was titled "The 25 Douchiest Bars in Los Angeles." There hasn't been an all out assault on the American bro so violent since Vice did their companion pieces 'The American Bro: A Portrait of the Worst Guy ever' and 'In Defense of the American Bro.'
As a self-proclaimed bro and douchebag, I took extreme interest in this article about the so-called douche meccas in Los Angeles. I was new to town however, and I lacked context. Five years later though, I am ready to offer my rebuttal. I have now been to all 25 of Los Angeles' douchey bars and each of them has a story that I am ready to tell.
I would like to also add that I hold no ill will toward the author, Ms. Donaldson. Douchebags aren't for everyone! And according to my social media stalking she has parlayed a career writing splashy headlines for internet magazines to doing post production at NBC. Maybe I'll walk across the lot and say hi.
But first, my analysis of the list.
#25. The Surly Goat, West Hollywood.
Original Analysis: Douchey place to find guys in Sperry's and plaid button downs (not much of a burn if you ask me)
My analysis: I came here one time during the Hudson Block party (more on that later) while waiting for Haim's set to start, I came into this bar and demanded a Zima. They gave me a Smirnoff Ice. Later in the night, I did that thing to my buddy Mark where you hit your beer on the top of his and the beer foams everywhere. I did this too hard and broke Mark's bottle in his hand. He had to get stitches.
Great bar though.
#24. 1739 Public House, Los Feliz
Original Analysis: Premiere bar for bros that live east of Cahuenga (Lol no bros live east of the 405)
My analysis: I got drunk at this bar once waiting for a work drinks thing across the street. There was a soccer game playing in Spanish on the TV and I was sitting next to some very enthusiastic Mexicans. Anytime their team did anything of perceived value (goal, save, pretty pass) they bought everyone at the bar a shot. Needless to say, I never made it to my work drinks. I slept in my car that night and when I woke up my battery was dead because I had fallen asleep listening to Dave Matthews Live in Central Park.
So ya...5 stars.
#23. Q's, Brentwood
Original Analysis: If you're looking for a sausage festival, Q's is the Oktoberfest of meat-market bars (Ok, I'm super jealous of that sentence)
My analysis: I was doing my typical January sober month (not frat) when I made the mistake of going to Brentwood to watch the College Football National Championship. Ohio State won the game by like 80 and I ended up at Q's with a bunch of buddies. Once we got there someone bought a bottle of Jager and started handing out shots like candy. The Indian girl I had been pursuing all night asked me if I wanted to take a shot with her.
I ended up taking 15 and not making it to work the next day. BUT everyone bought the story that I was sick because they all knew about the sober month!
#22. O'Brien's, Santa Monica
Original Analysis: O'Brien's is proof that if you combine an Irish Pub with a beachside sports bar, you create hell on Earth.
My analysis: Santa Monica has an annual Christmas bar crawl that is basically Santa Con light. One year I sat down in the middle of the dance floor while wearing a Santa costume and made girls line up, sit in my lap, and tell me what they want for Christmas. (At least one of them said you, and she would have gotten it had I not puked and been kicked out 5 minutes later)
#21 The Parlor, Hollywood
Original Analysis: When The Parlor opened, it was dubbed trendy by the LA Gods, which of course, immediately ruined it.
My analysis: This is the lone IU bar in LA (well this bar is actually kind of a whore for most schools) but I definitely did coke in the bathroom one time with a moderately known basic cable actor. I regret nothing.
#20 Baja Cantina, Marina Del Rey
Original Analysis: Baja is overrun with very pretty people with very little substance.
My analysis: I came here one time for a birthday and brought a pinata. The birthday girl thought it might be a little much to publicly mash a pinata in the middle of a very crowded bar. I said 'fuck it, let's just do it.' We did and candy went everywhere. The manager then told me that if we would have asked to do the pinata, she would have said no.
Then I told her that's why I didn't ask! We left for The Whaler without cleaning up, oops!
#19 Dillon's, Hollywood
Original Analysis: The all-female staff dresses in slutty catholic schoolgirl outfits, making it the perfect place for douchebags of all ages to come get their creep on.
My analysis: Ugh. RIP Dillon's and their $3 beers. When I was 23 and unemployed, where else was I supposed to drink. The last time I ever went to Dillon's I drank so much beer than I pissed myself during the finale of Book of Mormon which was playing at Pantages next door. Totally worth it.
#18 Circle Bar, Santa Monica
Original Analysis: It's impossible to drink here.
My Analysis: Counterpoint, who cares? I came here when I was in the depths of my Molly phase. I once saw Whitney Port from the Hills here and asked her if she wanted to dance. She said no and I realized how sweaty I was. Her loss.
#17. Rooftop Bar at the Standard, DTLA
Original Analysis: The Rooftop bar at the Standard has some of the most incredible views you can find in Los Angeles.
My Analysis: You either like hotels like The W and The Standard or you got made fun of by someone like John Tucker when you were a kid. This hotel has a fucking photo of President Obama smoking a cigarette in the lobby. Who cares how expensive the drinks are?
#16 Skybar at the Mondrian
Original Analysis: When Skybar opened it was the place to be for anyone in the entertainment business.
My Analysis: KCRW used to do midweek concerts here and I once came to see some artist called SBTRCT (or one of those other groups that thinks it's edgy to remove the vowels) anyway, I was big into Four Loko at the time and I think I hurriedly drank three in my car before eventually falling in the pool. The hotel was pretty cool about it, they gave me a bathrobe to watch the rest of the show in. (Then asked me please to never come back)
#15 Station at the W, Hollywood
Original Analysis: Despite its attempts at being the next best thing in Hollywood nightlife, Station only serves as a gathering place for those who couldn't get into neighboring clubs like Lure or Avalon. (Harsh)
My Analysis: Every time I wake up in a W hotel I have this moral hangover like I killed a hooker or one of my friends may have overdosed on something. Last time I was in a W hotel I called the front desk to see if there was an Earthquake happening or I was just intoxicated. No seismic activity had been reported.
#14 The Hudson, Hollywood
Original Analysis: The Hudson is that strange type of bar that is totally fine until say, 9 p.m., and then all of the pastel button-down shirts roll in. (Again, why does this chick hate great fashion?)
My Analysis: Remember that Hudson block party? It was super awesome. There was also a solar eclipse that day. This hot Australian chick had these special eclipse glasses that I got to use. When the party was over, I told the Australian chick that my car had been stolen. She took me back to her place and we hooked up. Score.
#13. Bar Lubitsch, West Hollywood
Original Analysis: Bar Lubitsch is desperate to come off as hip and trendy.
My Analysis: My chief complaint here would be the preposterous amount of Persians here. But there are also a plethora of 22 year old WME assistants that go here...so maybe the Persians know what they're doing.
#12. Brennan's Pub, Marina Del Rey
Original Analysis: Brennan's is known for its Thursday night Turtle Races. These are, in fact, not so much turtle races as a scheme to get young girls to bend over in short skirts.
My Analysis: The last time I was at Brennan's they had a Third Eye Blind cover band. I didn't even know Third Eye Blind was large enough to warrant a cover band. Praise be to niche culture!
#11. O'Hara's (or Maloney's whatever the fuck you want to call it) Westwood
Original Analysis: You'd have to be completely wasted to have fun here, which is probably why the crowd always is.
My Analysis: When I first moved to LA I used to hang out at UCLA and pretend to be a grad student. I would hang out with my buddy Gil and then we would go back to his house where there was an entire bedroom covered in mattresses. Every Tuesday we would go to pint night at O'Hara's and either bring chicks back to the 'megabed' or re-enact classic WWF matches. They were equally fun nights.
#10. Townhouse, Venice
Original Analysis: Townhouse's long, storied history of being a local gem in Venice Beach came to a crashing halt when the new owners took over.
My Analysis: Townhouse is my favorite bar in the world. The basement is 1000 degrees and no one looks at you funny when you sloppily make out with blacked out chicks on the dance floor. Also the closing move of 'do you want to go for a late night swim?' works at least 40% of the time.
#9. The Den, West Hollywood
Original Analysis: The Den on Sunset located across the street from Hollywood's famed Chateau Marmont draws the douchey dregs who can't get into Marmont.
My Analysis: You can smoke cigarettes on the patio of The Den. Also they have sick karaoke. The Jewish women of West Hollywood didn't have a lot of frat stars at their East Coast Liberal Arts schools and they really can't help themselves the first time they see a twentysomething dude sing 'Love Story' after chugging 7 whiskey sours.
#8. Barney's Beanery, West Hollywood
Original Analysis: The place used to be a cool dive bar with a unique vibe and décor.
My Analysis: I come to this bar when the twat at Palihouse won't let me in for flip flops, but I always feel cool because this is the bar in which Janis Joplin drank herself to death. Also they have games. If you aren't going to close a chick on a Tuesday night I think the second best thing to do is play a best of 17 series against one of your bros in air hockey.
#7 Busby's West, Santa Monica
Original Analysis: Busby's is essentially a Chuck E. Cheese for drunk 22-year-olds.
My Analysis: Busby's is essentially a Chuck E. Cheese for drunk 22-year-olds!
#6. Big Wang's, Hollywood
Original Analysis: Big Wangs reminds you of those terrible, regret-filled college nights where you wake up wishing you would have just stayed home.
My analysis: It's hard because I read much of what the original author writes and I agree but I think it's a good thing. I will say, I saw Miles Teller here once. I also saw Calvin Johnson here once. If Miles Teller and Calvin Johnson are douchebags, I don't want to be cool.
#5. The Brig, Venice
Original Analysis: Why people are lining up to get inside a bar with a one-stall unisex bathroom, overpriced drinks, and terrible service remains a mystery.
My Analysis: Spoken like a true east-sider. The Brig hosts an annual Crawfish Boil with unlimited free beer, crawfish, cocktails AND TATTOOS. Can you imagine waking up one day and thinking, 'man if someone offers me a free tat today, I'm game.' ANNNND that's why I now have 'Broeller' tattoed on my chest.
#4 Happy Endings, Hollywood
Original Analysis: If you come to this bar looking for a happy ending, you're better off rubbing one out at home.
My Analysis: Happy Endings has beer pong, flip cup and a shot wheel. No one here is over 21 and they have a lobster claw game. I once brought a Swedish study abroad girl home from this bar, but by far my peak performance at Happy Ending is when I caught a lobster and then drunkenly ran across the street and threw it into the lobby of In n Out. I still hear the drunken screams in my dreams.
#3 Baja Sharkeez, Hermosa
Original Analysis: This bar has become a haven for naïve L.A. transplants and the South Bay's broiest bros.
My Analysis: Guys...Baja Sharkeez fucks.
#2 Cabo Cantina, Brentwood
Original Analysis: What else can you expect from a place that hangs inflatable beer bottles and piñatas from the ceiling to promote a “2-4-1” happy hour?
My Anlysis: You can get fucked up at Cabo Cantina for like $7. One time I was overdrawn on my checking account but I still managed to buy everyone at the bar a drink. I woke up in Long Beach the next day and had a penis drawn on my forehead. It was basically just like Garden State except I didn't get to fuck Natalie Portman at the end. Spoiler alert.
And the douchiest bar in LA is....
#1. Saddle Ranch, West Hollywood
Original Analysis: Step aside, every other bar on this list, we've come to the very definition of douchey: Saddle Ranch.
My Analysis: I mean if you don't like blacking out on 'Red-Headed slut' shooters and riding a mechanical bull, I don't think we can be friends. I got so drunk at a Saddle Ranch once that I punched a zombie in The Walking Dead maze at Universal's Halloween Horror Nights. I hope he doesn't read this and decide to press charges.
So there you have it! All 25 bars with a fresh new anecdote from me. I guess the moral of the story is, they aren't that bad right? They're fun! Maybe the author was just in a different part of her life than I am. I mean what's now fun about punching strangers, blacking out, vomiting, pissing yourself...oh wait.
I think I just proved her point for her.
These bars (and me) are douchey as fuck.
To read the original article: click here
Wednesday, July 27, 2016
Anyone that has seen the 80's classic Pretty in Pink always knew how it was going to end for Jonathan Byers: that motherfucker was getting straight duckied.
I mean put yourself in Nancy Wheeler's shoes. You're a super hot yet underrated nerd chick (essentially Molly Ringwald) and your two choices are the ridiculously good looking, rich, popular boy...
Or...some poor weirdo from a broken home with a psychotic mom and a possibly dead brother.
Despite my obvious prejudices, I'm willing to give both sides of the love triangle their day in court. First, let's lay out the case for Steve Harrington.
The Case for Steve Harrington:
Steve Harrington is THAT guy. He runs the school. He's the class president, he is the star of one of the sports teams and he dates all the pretty girls. He's John Tucker but maybe a little nicer. And let's get one thing straight off the bat. Steve Harrington fucks.
Aside from narcissistic leanings that would have Steve compare himself to a young Tom Cruise, we are led to believe he is a fairly good guy. He also has rich ass parents with a big house AND a pool (with a diving board no less.) I assure you, this is a rarity in early 80's rural Indiana.
Despite the fact that he obviously wants to get it in, Steve shows a real interest in our girl Nancy. He's not just trying to hit it and quit it, he wants to be her boyfriend. He kisses her at school at her locker. He makes plans to study with her outside of school. He loans her clothes after pushing her into a pool. Also Steve seems to have a normal family life; two caring parents that stayed together and don't mind leaving him home alone for a few days. That's a family of trust.
The Case Against Steve Harrington
As every school has a kid that runs the school, every kid that runs the school has a douchey sidekick of a friend. I'm sure Andrew McCarthy had an asshole friend, possibly played by James Spader. The truth is, the company that Steve Harrington keeps is not great. Also when Nancy's friend Barb gets captured by the monster, Steve is largely indifferent. (In fairness, Barb is an annoying fucking nerd and I'm glad she died. Everyone on the internet bemoaning the mistreatment of Barb was clearly a loser in high school. This is the 80's the cool kids win)
Steve also doesn't have the BEST reaction to thinking that Nancy maybe, possibly, shared a bed with the weird loner. I certainly don't think it was warranted to write on the movie theater marquee that 'Nancy Wheeler is a slut.' I mean sure, he's young, but that's a little over the top.
Lastly, look there's no way around this. Steve got fucking pwned by Jonathan after the movie theater incident. I haven't seen a beat down that bad since Ivan Drago killed Apollo in the ring. But instead of using this embarrassment to fuel hatred, Steve uses it as a redemption arc, later saving Jonathan and Nancy from the monster.
The Case For Jonathan Byers
It's pretty obvious your boy Byers has had a pretty tortured life. His deadbeat dad left, his family is desperately poor, his brother has just gone missing and Jonathan has absolutely zero friends. During the course of the season he primarily spends his time consoling his crazy mother who is screaming at lights and wondering if the police chief did or didn't fuck her.
That said, my good friend Nick said on Twitter last night "I just want to find a girl I can set a bear trap with." No one can dispute that Jonathan and Nancy do set bear traps together. Not only that, they raid an entire fucking armory together. That shit is hot. Remember in Jurassic World when Bryce Dallas Howard was all like 'I fucking hate you Star Lord." But then after they destroy all the dinosaurs they're like, "Let's fuck!" Ya, hunting monsters together creates an unbreakable bond.
You know what else brings people together? Tragedy. Whether or not you think Barb was worthless (I do!) Nancy was really sad when she disappeared. Jonathan was really sad when his brother disappeared. Remember the Halle Berry scene in Monster's Ball? (I do!) MAKE ME FEEL GOOD
The Case Against Jonathan Byers
Ok, Jonathan Byers snuck into the hedges of Steve's house and took secret photos of the little party. What was he going to do with those photos? I have no idea. Maybe it was just a weird plot device to make Steve look like an asshole when he destroys Jonathan's camera.
BUT THEN...ya boi JB sees Steve and Nancy about to fuck and he keeps taking photos. I CAN TELL YOU EXACTLY WHY HE TOOK THOSE PHOTOS. A bateathon. I bet Jonathan Byers can crank out like 7 rounds in a day. Not even a sick day, like a normal day.
I just don't know if I could ever come back from that with any chick. 'Hi, I took pictures of you getting undressed and more pictures of you getting railed.'
That is just sex offender 101, don't take pictures of naked people that are unwilling. Didn't Erin Andrews just win like 3 billion dollars because of this?
Also: Dead brother, shitty dad, poor, no friends, crazy mom, bad hair.
The evidence against Jonathan Byers is more damning than the case against Naz (The night of)
Despite a 'will they won't they' over the back half of the season, eventually Nancy and Steve reconcile. Jonathan gets a cheek kiss and a new camera. I almost thought that the box Nancy gives Jonathan was going to be full of naked pictures, a consolation prize reminiscent of Crazy, Stupid, Love. Alas, Steve got the girl, but should he have?
Here's the deal, I love this show because it is so 80's. I feel like a character could call someone a 'fag' or a 'retard' and get away with it. It takes place in summer IN INDIANA, and it basically echoes every Steven Spielberg movie ever made. It was made for me. However, as you might think I might self-identify with Steve, I actually saw myself much more in Mike Wheeler, Nancy's younger brother.
You can imagine my devastation when he finally kissed Eleven and asked her to prom before she spontaneously combusted to save the universe. But that said, I promised I would deliver a winner and a loser on the Nancy/Steve/Jonathan love triangle. So let's recap...
Nancy: Hot (possibly recently) Smart, Best friend just got eaten by a monster from a parallel dimension.
Steve: Hot (since forever) Not smart, Best friend is kind of a twat, has a pool with a diving board
Jonathan: Bad haircut (like really bad) has good taste in music, successfully engineers a home made flame thrower, but his brother just vanished and his mom is an overacting Winona Ryder.
Oh my God...I just. I think I just changed my mind. Steve is kind of boring. He's kind of a pussy. Jonathan can just get a hair cut. Maybe Winona can start banging the town sheriff who is cool as shit and that would fix Jonathan's whole broken home thing. THE DUDE KNOWS HOW TO MAKE A FLAMETHROWER. And I also think that Nancy was weirdly into Jonathan taking secret jack off photos of her.
Upon re-examination, Jonathan should have won the love triangle. We'll see how things play out in season 2 of Stranger Things.
Monday, July 25, 2016
I'll never forget where I was during the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11. I was in my 2nd period Theater Arts class at Cathedral High School pondering the potential social ramifications of quitting all sports and diving in head first into drama.
Likewise, I will never forget listening to the Bronco chase on a small radio while camping at the Michigan Dunes asking my dad who OJ Simpson was.
And I will never forget 'The Shot.'
*Names have been changed
Steven (friend of the groom) I wasn't paying much attention to the game of beer pong being played inside the second cabana. To be honest, I was trying to figure out a way to chug an entire beer while going down the water slide. I got close, but never QUITE finished a whole beer.
Mark (friend of the groom) The two chicks we hired to be our cocktail servers didn't really serve shit, in fact no one made me a god damn drink all weekend. It was fine though, I just walked around with a bottle of Fireball. I was passed out by 7 o'clock on Saturday night.
Phil (Bridal party) I blame my poor performance on the fact that I slept like shit on Friday. Not only was the movie theater room like 40 degrees, Mark kept stealing the fucking blankets.
Mark: Phil snores like a motherfucker, I thought if I kept stealing the blanket he would leave.
Scott (Bridal party) So I was playing with JT and we were smoking Phil and this waitress names Sky. I don't think she made a cup the whole game. JT told her he was going to throw her in the pool if she failed to hit a cup.
JT (future brother in law) She was wearing a white shirt. I really didn't want her to make a cup.
Bartholomew (Friend of the groom) I slept until 2pm on Saturday. The wine cellar was very dark and I was overserved on the Gaslamp bar crawl the night before.
Phil: Bartholomew definitely gets LVP of the weekend, he was blacked out and vomitting by 10:30 Friday night.
Scott: Because we were winning by so much, I think I kind of lost focus on the game. I didn't realize that Phil had started hitting cups...
JT: Some of the IU guys were playing this weird game in the pool where they throw a beer into the middle and then fight for the right to chug it. Very distracting.
Steven: JT clearly doesn't understand the rules to Four Corners. You fight for the beer so you can make someone ELSE chug it.
Sky: I'm an accountant. I was filling in for a friend who takes shitty catering gigs on the weekends to help cover her student loans. Needless to say, I don't play a lot of beer pong.
Mikey (friend of the groom) I think that 50 cases and 20 handles of liquor was too much alcohol for 19 guys. I mean that's how much booze we used to get for a Little 5 party and like 400 people would go to those.
Dave (me) There was definitely too much alcohol. And we didn't eat...like at all.
Scott: We were down to our last cup, still staring down four, but I caught fire and hit three in a row. They just couldn't hit the final cup.
Sky: I don't really understand the rules. You can smack the ball but only sometimes? There is a bounce involved or something and sometimes you can hike the ball through your legs like a football.
Phil: You know the California shot, when you get a bonus shot behind the back when the ball comes back to you? Sky had real trouble processing that, we let her hike it through her legs like some sort of retarded long snapper because it was hilarious.
Dave: I swear they went back and forth with one cup left each for like thirty minutes. I must have had time for three Camel Crushes. I don't know why I decided to smoke this weekend, it just felt right.
Steven: Everyone will always Remember LeBron for The Block, Franco Harris has the Immaculate Reception...Sky the accountant from San Ysidro will always be remembered for 'The Shot.'
Mark: Honestly I was in the house trolling for Adderall when I heard the eruption of noise. I thought maybe some Earth shattering news had just broken on Twitter, like Aliens or Time Travel had been proven real. But alas, they were all losing their shit over a beer pong shot. I never found any Adderall.
Scott: So I clanged yet another shot off the rim and Phil misses the cup completely. Sky's shot is literally so bad that it bounces off JT's forehead and rolls back to her. She tries that ridiculous through the legs shot again and shanks it so bad it hits a speaker and rolls back to her.
JT: If my reflexes would have been even slightly better I could have dodged that ball. I think I had also smoked a J during the game. It literally lasted fucking forever.
Dave: So Sky gets the ball again, gets in her ridiculous crouching position and launches the ball through her legs, honestly without even really looking. A long arcing pattern sent the ball straight into the cup. Game over.
Sky: I made a cup!
Phil: I've never even seen someone make the behind the back shot, yet Sky drained a backwards through the legs NO LOOK shot for the win! It was epic.
JT: I still pushed Sky into the pool.
Dave: It was a hell of a shot.
Steven: Shortly thereafter we started aggressively chugging shots. I don't remember much of what happened next.
John (groom) I remember nothing.
Bartholomew: It's probably for the best.
Mikey: So who wins MVP?
Dave: Oh, Sky definitely wins MVP.
Sky: They pushed me in the pool. I think they were all in a frat or something.
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Seriously, stop reading if you are not a terrible person.
Fine, you've been warned.
I wake up with a start and don't immediately recognize my surroundings. An alarm is going off somewhere and it appears to be midday.
Eventually I realize I'm sleeping on the floor of my bedroom. This doesn't necessarily surprise me, I do this quite frequently when I go to bed drunk, worried that I'll sleep through my iPhone's incessant screeching.
Fortunately, when I scurry to the kitchen I see that it's only 8am. Unfortunately, I realize that the pizza I through in the oven at midnight has now been cooking for 8 hours. The smell is bad, but the house didn't burn down.
It's a Friday and I'm supposed to go to Disneyland today. Not only that, but I'm supposed to dress in a costume inspired by Winnie the Pooh. It's a thing called Disney Bounding that I don't really understand. But I'm a frat star so I've got like 30 pairs of maroon polos and matching maroon Sperry's. If the people at work didn't already want to fuck me, this should do the trick.
I hop in the car, still drunk, wondering why there haven't been PSAs made about hungover driving. Surely after my three bottles of Malbec at the Borns concert last night I would still blow above a .08, it takes a moment for me to realize that this probably isn't a major problem in most areas of the country as most 29 year olds are probably not still binge drinking on Thursday nights.
I pulled into Disney's Grand Californian Resort and was informed that my suite would be ready in a few minutes and that my group was already assembled in the lobby.
Full disclosure: I was a tiny bit disappointed to be here. This was my work's writer's retreat; an annual trip for all the writers and the assistants. The previous three trips had been to Vegas and had included airfare, a room at Encore, shows, dinners, bottles, basically everything I would do if I didn't make $700 a week. Conversely, Disney is one of my favorite things in the world. My father took the family 15 times to Disney World when I was a little kid, I decided to make the best of it.
But then again there is a difference between going to Disney with Lynn Moeller of Gladbrook, Iowa and going on a several thousand dollar VIP tour, so let's just breeze over the highlights shall we?
When you get a VIP tour, you do not wait in lines.
And I'm not talking like the Fast Pass shortened line...
I'm not talking about the Make a Wish kids with cancer lines...
You know what our tour guides said to the cancer kids? FUCK OUTTA HERE CANCER KIDS, LET THE RICH PEOPLE PASS.
You know those shitty animatronic rides from the 60s that I loved as a kid growing up? Mr. Toad, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, Snow White? We knocked those out in the first 15 minutes. I also realized that most of those rides are actually an allegory for getting your children to behave. Speed in a car? Going to hell. Eat the apple (sin!) Coma. Go to a carnival? TURN INTO A DONKEY, GET THROWN IN A CAGE AND THEN GET EATEN BY A FUCKING SPERM WHALE.
It's a little intense to process Disney's preachiness when you just venmo'd someone $200 for 8ball emoji and beer, wine, gun, cigarette, brunette raising her hand.
After all the kids rides we upgraded to Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, Pirates and Indiana Jones...whatever, you saw my snap story. It was fucking lit.
We lunched, we California Adventured (they serve beer!!!) and then we got ready for the main event, dinner at Disney's exclusive Club 33.
During the break before dinner I was able to kindly talk the room service into ringing me up for a half dozen beers but categorize them as "miscellaneous food item" on my itemized receipt, because I'm a fucking pro. Thus with a good buzz and a sport coat that I probably haven't dry cleaned in like three wrap parties, I made my way down to the lobby.
For those of you that don't know, Club 33 is a private dining club with a $25,000 initiation fee, a $10,000 annual minimum and a closed wait list. It is one of the hardest dinner reservations in the world. I've flown international on a private jet, I've skied the Swiss Alps, hell I've done a lot of shit that a middle class kid from Indiana has no business doing.
Club 33 is my crowning achievement.
Located at 33 Royal Street on the Disneyland property adjacent to the Bayou district, Club 33 is famous for being the only place in Disneyland proper that one can enjoy an adult beverage...and I enjoyed about 12 of them.
The first thing you see when you walk in is a large New Orleans style courtyard, with a cascading staircase to the restaurant above. Check out my Insta if you want to see it (or my sick green pants.)
When it's time for your dinner reservation you are escorted into the lodge, an elegant oak building that has the feeling of English aristocrats that have just returned from a fox hunt. It is simultaneously modern yet with hints of Victorian era London. I decided immediately that I would drink Mint Juleps for the entirety of the evening because I feel like if I ever killed a fox it would be the proper celebratory drink.
I often balk at the idea of a mixologist, but the guys at the club 33 bar (and trust me, it is all men) earn that title. They pour cocktails with the precision I would expect a surgeon to use when removing a cancerous tumor, it is insane. As an alcoholic, I didn't enjoy the fact that it took him 15 minutes to pour every one of my drinks, but as a guy that loves the show How Things Work, I was spellbound.
Dinner follows drinks and we are escorted to a new room, this is the restaurant I suppose. I look at the menu, a 7 course affair. I don't think I've ever had 7 courses. I've been to fucking Alinea and even that was like just 5. I didn't even understand most of the items listed, I just kept asking 'what is the chef recommending tonight?' like I'm some big fucking foodie.
"And will you be trying the wine pairing tonight?"
I panicked for a second because I'm not quite sure what that meant. Fortunately one of the more cultured people at my table asked what the pour was because apparently that is a good question to ask when a wine pairing is involved.
"3 ounces per course."
I did some quick math and realized that would only be 21 ounces for the night, or three total glasses...woefully insufficient.
I take a quick glance at the girl next to me who was apparently thinking the same thing.
"We'll just stick to bottles please."
I'll be honest with you, I double fisted the whole night with a $400 /bottle red and my mint juleps. There was fried zucchini, some sort of soup, salad, a lobster ravioli, filet mignon, seared scallops, MY GOD IT WAS AMAZING.
At one point I stepped into the restroom and I realized immediately why Republicans are so smug. It was like a country club locker room, but better.
If you have all of this it's really hard to give a shit about anyone else. Because for people at the top, nothing really matters. I was literally laughing with people about the military coup in Turkey DURING DINNER. Because I am a terrible person. Whatever.
After dinner we went back into the park and skipped more Make-a-Wish kids to go ride Space Mountain like 10 times and then I retreated to my room to order more 'miscellaneous food items' and play Pokemon with all of the feral children roaming the streets of Downtown Disney.
TL;DR Disneyland was 1000 times better than Vegas could have ever been and I'm very blessed to have the opportunities to do cool things like this. Perhaps I'm actually making headway in this industry. It helps to have a famous and incredibly generous boss.
I mean that right there would have been a pretty good weekend, but it didn't stop there.
Saturday morning I had a large brunch and went down my resort's water slide a few times before going to another WASPy oasis, Manhattan Beach.
After taking in a few hours of the AVP tournament next to the pier (it's free and there is a ton of SWAG, you should go!) we took the crew to a beach house (!!!) and proceeded to drink a gallon of Fireball.
Now this is where the story goes off the rails a little bit.
One of my drinks may or may not have been spiked with LSD, but I'm fairly certain something informed my actions the rest of the day, because after this party we went to a bar (Shellbacks) where I spent thirty dollars putting on an hour long Justin Bieber playlist.
At this point I blacked out.
But when I woke up a few hours later I had a girl in my bed.
Again, potential accidental ingestion of LSD.
Or maybe that's just me being awesome.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
One of the first buzzy articles I ever wrote in any medium was something entitled "Jesus Christ: Frat Star" for a weekly publication called The Booze News. In said article, I deduced whether or not our lord and savior would make the choice to go Greek and if so, which house he would choose.
I used the forum to take a bunch of cheap shots at GDI's and every frat, eventually concluding that Jesus would have been in my fraternity because I, like Kanye West, also have a Messiah complex. I suppose it was well written. I tried to use evidence to support my claims, but it was essentially a lot of the word vomit I spew here so often. I saw it framed in a Sorority room though once when I was pregaming for a formal and felt completely validated. I cherish it almost as much as the passive aggressive note I had hung on my wall.
Fast forward 10 years and writing an article about Jesus joining a frat would likely get me kicked out of school. Then I would be internet lynched worse than the drunk rich kid who wanted some bacon mac n cheese. Despite having to send my article to multiple editors, it was run with multiple Jew jokes and allusions to the effects of Jungle Juice.
Imagine the Jezebel headline: "Anti-Semitic White fraternity member says Jesus would have also been a white fraternity member, endorses rape."
But in 2016 we're not talking about Jesus anymore.
No, Jesus is so 2006. The Holy Wars are about to end, Isis is about to give up and black people are about to start hanging out with cops. Something far more important is upon us, a reckoning if you will: Pokemon Go.
That's right, millions of nostalgic twentysomethings are fucking off from their jobs right now, wandering around the neighborhood throwing a digital ball at a mythical monster from the 90's. You can argue that Pokemon Go is whack, don't worry, you won't be the first contrarian to shit on it. The truth is, it's fun, and it's probably about as close to Ready Player One as we will ever get. The point of today's piece is not to argue whether or not Pokemon Go is cool, or whether doing it while driving is 'safe' or if the memes the game is spawning are funny.
Today we are here to determine one thing. Which of these fuckers is a Frat God? Who is the Eric Stratton of Japanese video game creatures? Is Squirtle getting a bid? Is Geodude more of a Spring guy? Does Cubone make the face team? Is Onyx a total geed, or is he more of the stoner live out that just doesn't come around much anymore?
The search for the ultimate FRATemon begins...
I broke it down into 5 categories, because Shakespeare wrote in five acts and YES, I think I'm that good.
Cat 1: Total geeds.
Cat 1 Pokemon don't need to buy their friends man, at least that's what they say after no one gave them a bid.
Your basic Villas dwellers are Pokemon of no real consequence: Caterpie, Weedle, Rattata, I mean a fair amount of bug and grass type Pokemon in general. They're not necessarily actively offensive, they're just kind of the anonymous people you pass every day without even thinking of stopping to say hello.
I mean look at Magickarp. He's just the fucking worst right? How you gonna try to pair with a third street sorority with his bitch ass just flopping all over the place like a dying fish. And Mr. Mime? Your physical comedy is tired dude, give it a rest
But certainly the worst of them all is fucking Meowth. I mean not only is the fact that Team Rocket is the Hufflepuff/GDI/Purdue of the whole series, but he's just loud and obnoxious. The only thing worse than someone that isn't cool is someone that thinks they're cool and isn't. (90% of people reading this roll their eyes and realize I'm not self-aware enough to realize I'm describing myself)
Meowth is the guy that storms into your room at 7pm and says "HEY LETS GO TO THE BAR TO HIT ON CHICKS THEY ALL WANT ME," and you lie to tell him you're going to stay in and play video games. He's like if Alex from the Bachelorette was pixelated. GOD I want to haze Meowth. I want to yell at him and throw buckets of cold water at his fucking head. GET ON YOUR GOD DAMN FACE MEOWTH! Sorry, I got carried away, but ya Meowth sucks.
Cat 2: Weak House guys
This next crop of Pokemon are Greek, technically, but aren't really blowing up the social scene. Machop is well intentioned, but he's a bit of a try hard. Abra likes to get stoned AF, but he's a little one note. Mankey is fucking crazy and will fight anyone, but that gets old really quick. Koffing's pranks are hilarious but he can never seem to turn it off. When I'm at the lunch table recapping my Thursday night conquest I don't need you literally farting in my face man. And seriously Jynx only got a bid because some house is trying to prove to the world that they are Trans friendly. Wear a dress Jynx, you be you. I support you unconditionally.
I would also put most of the water type Pokemon in here. Omanyte, Horsea, Goldeen, even Staryu, they're all solid 5's.
And you know where solid 5's end up? On the extension. Hey, at least you all found each other.
Cat 3: Spring guys
This next crop made it into a decent house on their 2nd, 3rd OR FOURTH try. Like Bulbasaur was a little bitch, but I'll fuck with Venusaur. Ditto with Blastoise. (But Squirtle was such an adorable pledge!) I too, was caught sleeping on Geodude before he turned into a boss ass Golem.
You'll find a lot of flying types in here. Pigeotto and Fearow don't get to live in the cool live-out senior year but they're both serviceable members of the squad when you go bar-hopping. The same can be said of Nidoking who had a girlfriend all four years (Nidoqueen) but will still pop by to bro out once in a while.
Jolteon, Flareon and Vaporeon are all Sigma Chis now, but it's still a little awkward with the older guys who remember not giving young Eevee a bid.
There's no shame in being a spring guy but it's also something one can never shake. These Pokemon may enjoy life at the top, but they will always sit on the fringe of a table. One should never go to a place where they are merely tolerated.
Cat 2: Rising Stars
These guys started popping up at Friday sorority brunch lately and people are taking notice. Who the fuck is Kangaskhan?
Oh you don't know Kangaskhan? Kangaskhan fucks! As does Electabuzz, Magmar and Pinsir. I once saw Pinsir have a threesome on the drunk bus while a Tauros filmed it. It was tits!
Their social chair is the ever facey Ninetales and is a big reason why they've been pairing well lately. Due to Ninetales Yellow Fever, he has formed an alliance with noted hot Asian Hitmonchan and it's really gone a long way to raising his crew's stock.
Dugtrio an Dodrio also fall into this category, nothing frattier than throwing three dudes in a single room.
You can also throw Arcanine and all the legendary birds in here as they fly ever so slightly below the radar while managing to destroy almost everything in their path. I heard they did over $200,000 in damage at Gatlinburg last weekend with some hot Ponytas. I haven't heard of that kind of party since the 2010 Miami Pi Phi debacle.
Cat 1: The Kings of campus
It was always leading to this, the group of bros who have been on top so long they can't remember doing anything but look down on people. You've got rush chair Pikachu getting everyone hooked. Look at fucking toga bro Pikachu! He's John Belushi but better and not dead. Slowbro sells the weed. Psyduck procures the Molly and Electrode has that white connection ON LOCK.
Shellder, Cloyster, Gastly, Haunter and Gengar are those villainous asshole that the girls for some reason can't quite resist. Onix of course is the enforcer. Mewtwo and Charizard rule quietly from the shadows as a devastating one two punch of President and VP.
But who is it? Who is the one Pokemon who embodies it all: The privilege, the attitude, the 5 inch inseam pastel shorts with boaties. Which Pokemon's dad owns a fucking dealership?
OBVIOUSLY. And it wasn't even close.
Snorlax oozes charisma while also making it abundantly clear that he gives absolutely zero fucks. Sure he's packing on a few extra pounds but the dad bod is in these days. Motherfucker eats cheetos all day and sleeps. Like a boss. He doesn't even need to work because he's got a trust fund of like a billion potions and revives.
Did you know that a Snorlax typical meal consists of roughly 880 pounds? That's pretty frat. You know what isn't? Counting calories. Fuck with Snorlax and he will literally roll over and crush you. But he probably won't because Snorlax is a homie. The KING of the homies. Snorlax turns down your shitty semi-formal invitation because he would rather sleep, or eat...or fuck.
Snorlax invented Netflix and Chill, don't you ever forget it.
Friday, July 8, 2016
It's June 1st, 2004 and I'm in a giant grass field in Noblesville, IN wandering around with 24,000 other teenagers. A Blink-182 concert has just let out and we're looking for my car. I'm fairly sure I'm sober.
I'm with two of my best friends and we are telling each other it's the best concert we've ever seen. We are fucking fired up. Also, if memory serves me right, we're sober.
"Hey do you guys want to win $2300?"
I look down at a portly woman in her 30's holding a WZPL sign. WZPL was one of the Alternative Rock radio stations in Indianapolis at the time. And of course I want $2300, I'm 17 and that money could last me a lifetime.
"Um, sure...what do we have to do?"
"Well we're commemorating the 'What's My Age Again?' music video so all you need to do is go streaking through the parking lot."
"Uh uh...NOPE!" One of my buddies has balked at the idea.
"Come on man, $2300, that's like $800 a person. That will pay for the rest of our concerts AND all of our beer for the rest of the summer."
"Dude, we can't even buy beer."
The radio station rep peps up.
"I can get you beer."
A beat while this registers.
"If you guys run streaking through this parking lot for 30 seconds, I'll buy you four cases of beer IN ADDITION to the $2300."
We are nearly convinced. Four cases of beer at 17 would have lasted us at least a month. Six beers was a big night back then.
"And you're not going to like videotape this or anything, right?"
"We're a radio station, why would we videotape you."
OK, I think, I'm in. I look at my other two buddies, they're game as well. Adrenaline pulses through our veins as we prepare to shuck our pants and run. My friend Dan pops his shirt first, I drop trough...
We're off to the races.
And not only are we running around like lunatics, showing anyone who passes some teenage D, we are actively trying to recreate the video. At one point I attempt a cartwheel and land squarely on my face. My friend Tanner attempts to do the 'party boy' in front of a middle aged woman. (In 2016 this would clearly register as sexual assault) We are absolutely going for it.
But then I look back and realize something is wrong. The radio station rep is pointing and laughing and starting to walk away. When she sees me eyeing her, she starts to run. Unfortunately for her, we were 17 varsity athletes. Chasing her down wasn't a tough task. When we catch up to her we demand our $2300.
"Guys, I'm sorry. I'm SO sorry. I made that all up. I don't work for the radio station."
"But where did you get the sign?"
"I found it at an abandoned booth inside."
I'm fuming. My buddies are livid.
"What about the beer?"
"I mean I don't have any beer and it's going to take hours to get out of this parking lot. I have a water bottle of vodka that you can have?"
I snatch the water bottle.
"Also you guys are cute and my friend and I will make out with you."
"You're like 30."
For whatever reason (the story, always the story) I make out with this girl who is at best a generous 4 and then they trot away laughing.
My buddies and I stare at each other for a few seconds before falling to the ground laughing.
"Well at least we didn't get arrested."
"And we have the vodka! Let's go drink it in someone's basement."
This is pretty much a perfect encapsulation of a summer evening in Indianapolis, streaking through a field, acquiring booze by nefarious methods and then spending a night getting fucked up in some lavish Geist basement.
I miss those days and Blink 182 will always remind me of that time in my life.
Years later I would go to a Blink 182 concert at Summerfest a day before I was set to start my first collegiate job. I think I stayed up until 3 in the morning to Flatlines at Trinity bar.
Blink 182 represents irresponsibility to me in the greatest possible way.
I'm 29 now and I still find myself asking 'What's My Age Again?' albeit I'm spending significantly less time streaking through parks. (When you're 17 it's cute, when you're my age it's a felony.)
However, I have been jamming out to their new album all day, and I notice that Blink is coming to LA on Saturday, October 1st. So I ask of you: will you help me reclaim the recklessness of my youth and come to the show with me? Life is too serious sometimes. I think we deserve a little pop-punk break to remind us of that once in a while.
Thursday, July 7, 2016
How was my Fourth of July?
Thanks for asking! I blacked out five consecutive nights, spent an entire night pretending to be Australian, saw the equivalent of this happen IRL ANNNNND I overdrew my account.
I thought about doing a diary of my last 40 debit card transactions but it sent me to a dark place. I'll just say it was a fun weekend and I strongly recommend watching the Major Lazer tv show while on hallucinogens. Let's move on!
Today is the day that the Thursday night Santa Monica Pier concerts start. Mayer Hawthorne will perform on the beach for (I'm guessing) 50,000 people that have the demographical breakdown of Kenilworth, IL. It's going to be great.
I realize that many of you aren't cagey five year veterans like myself so I decided to put together a handy first timer guide. It may seem incredibly easy, but it's not! You will fuck up! And you never want to look like the idiots at Coachella that run out of beer on there first day and end up sleeping in the back of their Honda Civic, right? Let's begin!
What to bring:
Do they suspend open container laws? Not really. Will the police look the other way if you're an attractive young professional sipping red wine from a discrete Solo Cup? Definitely. Also bring a bag to keep the wine bottle when you're not drinking you savage. But like 2 bottles of wine per person was obvious right? What else??? Cheese plate, assorted meats, I dunno. It pretends how hard you want to pretend you're an adult. I bring a premade sandwich from Whole Foods and my favorite bag of Kettle Chips. If I'm feeling especially bad ass, I swing by Bay Cities. I opt for the Meatball, but the Godmother is fine as well I suppose. Ok, so you've got your food and drink. What else?
BLANKETS. Blankets are your main form of Imperialism at the pier, AKA conquering space. It's pretty tough to reserve a spot for you and your homies with a Finding Nemo towel. Bring multiple huge fucking blankets/bed sheets and amass a small island nation for your crew.
Also, I recommend corkscrews, cups, a flag for an easy vantage point (your phone will not work) and maybe even a small table and/or luminaries. Perhaps even a life size beer pong set. WHY NOT?!?!?!
DO NOT BRING: Beer, hard liquor, cigarettes, VAPELIFE, fireworks, glass of any kind.
How to get there:
Bikes or Uber. The end. And do not bike valet. It sounds like a good idea, right? Wrong. Bike valet closes at 10 and is a pain in the cock to visit. Imagine 10,000 kids trying to get their bikes back at the same time. What a veteran does is park their bike next to Big Dean's (with an extremely durable lock)
What you're going to want to do is go to a bar after the show, that line gets long, quick. You won't really have time to do anything aside from throw all your shit in a backpack and run to the bar.
DO NOT: Drive or walk (unless you leave three hours in advance) The headliner won't go on until 8:30 but you will get a shit spot if you show up after sunset and it's next to impossible to find your friends. Also it's V fun to ride your bike home drunk, just make sure to watch out for nerdy kids trying to catch a Snorlax on their new Pokemon Go game.
Where do you watch:
Standing on the pier is for n00bz. You still can't see shit from the deck and the beer garden is for dummies that forgot their wine (or ran out...also dummies) Of course there are some #brands up there handing out swag if you are a poor person that wants to wear a Home Away backpack with some SnapChat sunglasses.
Actually scratch that, I want some SnapChat glasses.
But for real, you should try to sit close to the pier and about halfway in between the bike path and the ocean. (You're not going to hear the music so it really doesn't matter)
What are my options after:
Big Dean's. But don't fuck around in line. There is a one legged bouncer who has extremely low tolerance for white privilege. He has no problem telling you to go to hell if you start bitching about the length of the line. Go to Big Dean's and proceed directly to the back and order a giant fucking beer and try to get lit until they kick you out at 12.
Go to Main Street. Victorian and Finn McCool's have decent crowds on a Thursday night.
41 Ocean/Bungalow will be lit, but it will be full of the guys your mom warned you about. Side note: One time a married woman called me 'such a bro' I thought it was a compliment, have her fuck me eyes, and told her 'I'm the type of guy your mom warned you about.' She was not impressed.
Smoke a joint, ride the carousel and then go to bed. No shame in calling it a night at 1030 on a Thursday.
Bang some chick that you were hitting on all night at the pier. Cover her bed in sand, women have more comfortable beds than men. It's science. I once refused to break up with a girl for about three months due to the comfort of her bed.
And always remember...
When you drink on a school night, it's best to be in bed by 12 and drink at least 3 smart waters before you fall asleep. So if you violate this rule, you better make damn well sure that it's worth it.