Monday, June 26, 2017

THOT's Guide to West LA

I'm not quite sure when the term THOT entered the general lexicon, but I'm sure it was created by a black teenager and quickly stolen by white kids in their late 20's and immediately made uncool. To be honest, I'm not even sure what a THOT is. Urban Dictionary alerts me that it technically stands for 'that ho over there' and is indicative of a woman of loose morals. However, for the purpose of this article I'm going to use a definition as such: a young woman that doesn't go to brunch because she's hungry, nor because she wants to get drunk, but because she wants to be seen by people and post a lot of social content at aforementioned brunch.

That seems pretty thotty right? For all intents and purposes a thot is a female douche bag. This article could just as easily be titled Douche Bag's guide to West LA and still work. I think.

The prime area for thottiness seems to be hyper-localized in Santa Monica. Don't get me wrong, I love certain parts of Santa Monica: Bay Cities, the reclining chairs at AMC 7, drinking at Big Dean's after a pier concert. The city has a lot to offer, BUT it also happens to have the seven douchiest bars in all of LA...well at least west of the 405. I don't know if it's because the residents are slightly wealthier than their Venice and Brentwood neighbors or if liquor licenses are cheaper to acquire in the city of Santa Monica than Los Angeles, but what follows will be a detailed guide on exactly what goes down at these 7 bars on a given night. For most of you I imagine this guide will be a warning. But if you are a proud THOT/douchebag well then I suppose you're welcome.

1. Buffalo Club

Hot night: Friday

General Dimensions: Rougly 6,400 square foot indoor/outdoor space with lots of tables, with one long bar along the west wall. Small dance floor along the east wall with DJ playing top 40/dance music.

Vibe: Table lording, dancing

Buffalo Club really tests the hypothesis on 'can a business be successful generating revenue only one night a week?' I'm sure Buffalo club is open nights other than Friday, I've just never heard of anyone going. Technically they have a a kitchen, so I suppose they may do some dinner business, but essentially Buffalo Club is like that pajama party in London called Church. Except at Buffalo Club you're surrounded by assholes that went to Crossroads leering down from their raised tables at the peasants on the dance floor. Which isn't a terrible thing I guess?

Look if you're going to Buffalo Club, it's because you're going with a big group. Some one got promoted, or fired or is leaving LA or got to LA or just remembered that they have a fat ass trust fund and wanted to throw some money around. And when you get 30 friends drinking Belvedere straight from the bottle and invade the dance floor, it's generally a good time, especially if the outdoor area isn't shut down for some sort of private event. Sure the cover is 30 bucks for guys and you probably haven't paid that much since a foam party in Panama City Beach in 2007 but whatever, the chicks are hot, drinking heavily and you are generally allowed to dance on tables there. True story, if you are dancing on a table with a chick, there is an 89% chance she will go home with you. She's bout that #THOTlife

2. 3110

Hot Night: Saturday

General Dimensions: Narrow but long indoor area with a front bar near the entrance, a circle bar toward the back, an outdoor patio runs adjacent to the bar on the east side, a dance floor is in the back with a dj.

Vibe: Daytime: Brunch and standing around talking Night: Table Lording (front) Dancing (back)

Holy shit, did you know 3110 was still around? Me neither! 3110 was the place to be in like 2013 but then Bungalow opened and that was a wrap, but apparently they have staged a comeback of sorts. 3110 also hilariously got in legal trouble with the city by trying to claim they were a restaurant when they applied for their liquor license. This is the same defense I used with my dad when he found out 90% of my money was going to a place called Kilroy's in college. The difference between my dad though and the city of Santa Monica is that SaMo follows up on these kinds of things. When it was revealed that 98% of the receipts at 3110 were alcohol, not food, they were forced to shut down their dance floor.

But alas, like a phoenix rising from the ashes 3110 has bounced back to become sort of a watered down alternative to Bungalow. They do bottomless brunch, so if you have an annoying friend visiting from New York who won't stop talking about their amazing brunch scene perhaps you can take them to 3110 and they will shut the fuck up. At night there is a pretty obvious split between the bottle crowd and the 'I want to make out with someone on the dance floor' crowd, there is also a load bearing pole in the middle of the dance floor that I use sometimes for lumbar support if I've gone two or three songs without a break (that tip is free) but possibly the best part of 3110 is that it's the only bar on this list that isn't horribly isolated. It's on Main Street in a major bar district. If it sucks you can bail to 15 other places nearby, though if you're here for the low grade socialites, you might just have to stay.

True story, my friend Jordan was at 3110 Saturday afternoon and say a girl take a selfie and then geotag herself at Bungalow (an objectively better bar) the thirst is real yo.

3. Bungalow

Hot night: Every night

General Dimensions: Enormous indoor/outdoor space that feels like a country club run over with recent USC grads. Three main areas Outdoor, Clubhouse and Garden.

Vibe: Umm, a giant wedding with no dance floor? Bungalow famously plays strictly Beatles music to dissuade minorities from coming. Table Lording, Standing around and talking...lockable single bathrooms (you know what that means)

On its face Bungalow seems like a slam dunk, put a big ass bar for rich kids outside the nicest hotel in Santa Monica. But in practice you get an overcrowded clusterfuck with a 2 hour line full of fuckboys of every color under the rainbow. It truly is the worst place on Earth and I say that as a person who generally got to skip the line and drink for free (my roommate bartended there) Four years in, I'm still not sure what the goal of Bungalow is. Sure, you can drop a couple grand on a table, play billiards or Ping Pong, but the vast majority of people just stand around and talk.

I guess the goal is to take pictures. People that come into town ask about Bungalow like it is the mecca of a religious pilgrimage, but to be honest, it's just a bar where lots of pretty people hang out. You'll hear lots of girls talk about the time they saw 48 year old Owen Wilson there. I mean I guess that's cool, but if we're being real he was the worst part of the Royal Tenenbaums. I'm probably going about this wrong though, THOTS go to Bungalow because they think they are going to meet a rich guy who is going to sweep them off their feet, drive them to Malibu in a Tesla and they will live happily ever after. In practice, you're more likely to find a back up offensive lineman for the Chargers who won't even give you the requisite Jeter gift basket the next morning, maybe the herpes though.

4. 41 Ocean

Hot Night: Thursday, Saturday

General Dimensions: Several smallish rooms with bars and an outdoor patio that runs along the south end.

Vibe: The website says 'clubby bistro' so whatever the fuck that means. Every time I'm there I'm looking for an excuse to leave.

Honestly this is how I think 41 Ocean was conceived.

MARK and MARTIN are two brothers living in the penthouse apartment of The Shores in Santa Monica. Martin expertly cuts two gigantic lines of cocaine, Mike Posner plays in the background.

So Martin, what should we do with our enormous inheritance?

Mark insufflates a huge gorilla thumb.

Why don't we donate some of it to a good cause? Really make a difference.

Martin deadpan delivers this and stares down his brother before he breaks and they both crack up laughing.

Holy shit, I thought you were serious for a second!

Martin vaccuums his rail while still laughing.

Ya right, fuck the poors.

So nightclub?


Let's sell memberships it will trick people into thinking it's exclusive or some shit.

Totally. There's a property for sale at 1541 Ocean. Are you thinking what I'm thinking?


No, there's already an Ocean Bar.

Henry VIII!!!!

What? No! What the fuck, why would we name our bar after that Jonathan Rhys Myers character in The Tudors?

He took the throne in 1541...

No, we're just going to drop the 15 and call it 41 Ocean.

Fuck ya, prime numbers are cool.
Anyway, suffice to say, this place sucks, anyone that purchased a membership here is a fool (but what a THOT's like joining the shitty country club when you don't get invited to the good one) and this is probably the worst option for your post pier concert rager.

5. Shore Bar

Hot Night: Friday/Saturday

General Dimensions: Ummm, I don't really know. It's small.

Vibe: A prep school party with no adult supervision.

Of all the bars on this list Shore Bar is probably the rowdiest but it is also a lesson in macroeconomics, specifically supply and demand, it is nearly impossible to get into Shore Bar unless you are with a girl that went to The New Roads School and used to tutor the bouncer. That said, once you get in, what a shit show. The entire bar acts as one large dance floor, if a surface bears weight, it will be danced on and bottles of vodka are just passed around like it's an open bar wedding. I suppose the idea is that if you can weasel your way into this Palisades adjacent property, you must belong! Welcome to the good life.

Almost every person at this bar went to private school in Santa Monica and they don't really like outsiders. Someone may ask where you went to high school. "Cathedral." Oh, is that the new all boys' school downtown? I think Kendall Jenner's cousins go there. 'No, it's in Indiana.' I might as well be copping to being HIV positive. But whatever, it's dark, the music is loud, and someone just saw Nina Dobrev doing molly in the bathroom. Shore Bar is a dive bar or whatever the rich version of a dive bar is. Like if you were a character on Gossip Girl visiting LA, I think you would go to Shore Bar. Also it should be stated that the highest drunk driving per capita in the United States is probably right outside the Shore Bar valet stand. These kids aren't worried about getting pulled over, mom and dad only live about a mile down the road, they'll be fine!

6. The Huntley

Hot Night: None

General Dimensions: It's on the top floor of a hotel, circular bar in the middle.

Vibe: Desperation and Sadness

Going to the Huntley is borderline an act of prostitution. It's when a THOT realizes she is no longer attractive or young enough to land some hotshot fuckboy and her best bet is to find a Persian in his mid 40's that doesn't even wear all that much gold anymore. It's actually quite upsetting. The Huntley was probably the shit like 20 years ago, but now it just kind of looks like the same people have been going there for 20 years. It's not all bad, I guess. It's high in the air and partying at elevation is generally preferable to partying at sea level. It has views of the city? It thinks it's classy?

Sorry I have to stop. There is nothing more pathetic than an institution that thinks it is something that it is not. When I go here I see a group of women on a 'girl's night' getting dolled up and excited to grab a fancy diner AT A HOTEL and have a hot guy buy them fancy cocktails, when in all actuality they are probably going to meet some man claiming to be Ed Sheeran's old voice coach. He may even invite you back to see his home which includes the studio where Ed first recorded 'Sing.' He lives in the hills (Sherman Oaks side of course) and claims to have dated Stevie Nicks in 1988. Let's face it, The Huntley is a glorified nursing home, and if you find yourself there, I'm truly sorry because along the way, something went very badly wrong for you.

7. The Wilshire

Hot Night: Thurs-Sat

General Dimensions: I don't actually remember

Vibe: The Worst of Westwood

On this blog we talk a lot about USC and how gloriously douchey its graduates can be, often times the Bruins up the street get a free pass. WELL NOT TODAY! There is a generally accepted rule that if you A. Went to UCLA, B. Were in a top tier frat/sorority and C. Your dad makes more than $300,000 a year, you are required by law to move into a box roughly boundaried by Wilshire/Barrington/Santa Monica and 20th. You will go to Q's, Cabo Cantina and occasionally Bru Haus...but what about the THOTS? UCLA HAS THOTS TOO! Where can you truly THOT out in the Brentwood adjacent Wilshire Corridor? Why the Wilshire of course.

In the truly LA tradition of giving bars unique names, The Wilshire is on Wilshire near the Santa Monica/Brentwood border. I don't get there very often because it's quite a bit East of Lincoln but when I do you best believe that there are some 23 year old Sig Eps belting out every single word to Despacito. Every girl is on their phone hoping for an invite to a better party because The Wilshire is a solid B+ and you better believe there is some guy organizing an after party at his 5 bedroom 6 person apartment on Bundy. The girls aren't thrilled about the 11 block walk to the after party, but hey, free drugs, maybe she'll even bang one of the dudes. These looks are going to last forever, and she spent two hours doing her hair tonight, better get her money's worth. Besides, if she wakes up still drunk tomorrow it will make it much easier to cruise into brunch. God those Sunday Scaries are going to be bad though. She better hit up her Xanax dealer, just in case.

Friday, June 23, 2017

The 7 Bumble Dates you go on in LA

Welcome back to 'Dating in LA' a segment that is going surprisingly well given the last girl I dated punched me in the dick and told me I'm not good enough in bed to be a fuck boy. Over the past week we have taken a look at the prototypical men and women one might date in LA. Lots of people have reached out and asked about 'what about the cool guy that's ready to grow up?' or 'What about the girl that wants to have kids AND still have fun?" Sorry kids, I hear Chicago is really nice 4 months of the year, but this is LA a disgusting cesspool of sociopathic narcissists who will stop at nothing to get ahead and quench their hedonistic desires. Oh my god I love it so much.

We have discussed the terrible men and women one dates in LA but haven't gone into much detail on the dates themselves. Given the rich and diverse landscape of this city you would think that Los Angeles was a place for creative and nearly fantastical dating possibilities.

You would be wrong.

See, most people given the opportunity would skip the dating process all together, it's a means to an end. You date so you can determine if you would like to have sex with a person (and also to make sure that they aren't a serial killer who will set your house on fire in the middle of the night) In fact the only time I would prefer to take a girl (that is not my girlfriend) to an event is because it's either required or because she is so much better looking than me that it will impress people. Congrats every girl I ever took to a wrap party, I think you are hot.

But instead of focusing on all of my views that could be indicative of Borderline Personality Disorder, let's get straight to these shitty dates.

1. Shitty Drinks in K-Town
Drinks is the absolute worst date in the world, from the awkward separate arrivals (Hey I'm at the bar wearing a red polo shirt) to the questionable seating arrangement at the table (Do we sit across, next to each other, do the catty corner thing? I HATE THIS, go for the bar, it alleviates this problem) Drinks is almost always a first date and the date almost always goes like this.

Round One: Oh you have a brother? Crazy me too! Weird, I also had a dog growing up, we're so similar.

Round Two (because you always get at least two) Talking about job stuff, wow you're a PR assistant that sounds SO exciting. OMG Miles Teller is an alcoholic? Never would have guessed!

Round Three is when things get interesting. Because now we are in risk assessment territory. If a girl stays for a third drink there is like a 75% chance she is going to want to make out with you, but each subsequent round is also $25. A girl that wants a third drink might ALSO want a fourth drink and now we're just getting into the law of diminishing returns. Like if you would have gone home with me after three drinks, the fourth drink is waste.

If I would have paid more attention in my finance classes I could write an extremely clever metaphor right here about sunk costs and depreciation. Instead I'll just confirm for you guys that after drink two I am just trying to keep the date under $100, while also thinking through the gut wrenching prospect of going home with this girl, not being that into it and then having to send an awkward text in a few days that I'm 'not really feeling it.'

This is why I deleted dating apps.

Chance of a hook up: 40%
2. Dinner at an awful Santa Monica restaurant

Dinner is the natural progression from drinks. It's likely a second date. You have probably taken the messaging off app and have been periodically texting at work while you are bored. The guy likes you enough to commit to at least a $150 dollar night because let's be honest, you're doing a second bottle of wine, you're splitting an appetizer and you're both getting an entree. Unless you are dating me and then you are going to a BYOB Chinese place AND YOU WILL LIKE IT. On the flipside, maybe you get a try hard who takes you to Magic Castle (but remember, there is a reason that try hard have to try hard)

The dinner date is the most boring on the list but it can be very telling. You can learn a lot about a person from their annoying dining habits, like taking things off your plate without asking, or then demanding you guys order two different things and then share. NO, I WANT ALL OF MY BOLOGNESE AND NONE OF YOUR CRAP VEGAN DISH. Also if the date starts going poorly at all, I start thinking of all the better ways I could have spent my money: tickets to Raw, one third of an inflatable hot tub, a used Roomba to torture my cat with.

And to be honest it goes both ways, a lot of the time a date will go 'just OK' but the guy begs the girl to go on a second date and SHOCKER it's just as lame as the first. I feel for the women too. No one really wants to be on the dinner date right? Even when Dan and Serena went on their dinner date season one of Gossip Girl it sucked. The one saving grace of this terrible tradition is that it's usually a breaking point. After this night you guys are either going to become 'a thing' or ancient history. Often times, the latter.

Chance of a hook up: 20% (people don't like to be naked when they're bloated)

3. Cooking in a filthy Venice Bungalow

We are not slowly getting into territory of 'things that don't make me want to jump off a bridge.' Cooking is great for a myriad of reasons: It establishes an activity. There are uncomfortable pauses on a date, but if you are chopping onions or shredding cheese these silences don't feel so deafening. It also removes the financial burden as you can have as many bottles of wine you want because they were all $8.99 at Ralph's after that 6 bottle discount!

You also get a better feel for the person because you can see their house, their neighborhood, perhaps a roommate will pop in. Spoiler alert, if you hate a person's roommates, it's going to cause relationship tension. After the cooking you can take the food to the couch, throw on a movie and cuddle. It's absolutely adorable. Maybe you watch The Bachelor or even something romantic like The Challenge Champs vs Pros! And after an evening of drinking and cooking and light spooning, guess what?

There is a queen size bed with clean-ish sheets in the next room.

Now of course this date is not without its flaws. Some women don't feel comfortable going to the home of a guy they don't know that well (or inviting him over) some men would like to spend more time with a woman so they can find out she's not the crazy type that will show up at 2 o clock in the morning pounding on the door. Cooking is definitely not the ideal first date idea, but maybe once you've gotten some reviews from mutual friends, maybe checked their Uber rating, then it's a good time.

Chance of a hook up: 80%

4. The overrated West Hollywood Hike

 Dates without alcohol are excruciating. One time I went to drinks with a woman and she told me she didn't drink.

"You can though!"

Well fuck me. I imagine a pregnant wife urging me to go ahead and drink without her as she stares deep into my soul clutching a steak knife.

ANYWAY, I can't imagine going on a first date without alcohol, but if you were to do it, for the love of God get outside and do something active. As a heavy sweater I try to avoid being around women while I'm exercising, but I suppose I'm not everyone and I have been on some somewhat enjoyable hikes with women in LA. It's nice because you know that each party cares at least a little about their fitness and won't magically become obese when they turn 34.

Hikes are also one of the rare dates that you can squeeze in during the day, so if you don't want to commit a prime weekend night to someone you're not one hundred percent sure about, you can hit them with the day shift and then meet your buddies for happy hour. Remembering the day component in your dating life is like remembering the height component while furnishing a room. Nothing wrong with lofting that bed bro.

Hikes are also sceney as fuck and if you take a chick to Runyon Canyon she'll take an Instagram selfie and brag to her friends about you at brunch the following day, so I guess that's something.

Chance of a hook up: 5% (gross)

5. Movie in a creepy Hollywood Graveyard

What is more romantic than watching Terminator 2 in a trendy cemetery full of rich assholes? (Both living and dead) Nothing? Right, nothing. Look picnics are tolerable especially when they involve lots of red wine and crackers. But what makes movies in the park in LA (Cinespia, Eat/See/Hear, Electric Dusk etc) especially great is that some hipster east siders decided that these are 'cool.'

What is in essence 'dinner and a movie' becomes a whole to do when it's done outdoors. And hey, movies are fun! You live in LA. DIVE IN! Doesn't it just totally seem like La La Land should have had a scene where they were tap dancing on a mausoleum while singing about shattered dreams?

The movie in the park is also great because it's an opportunity to involve other couples. Three chicks and their Bumble fuck boys. The men bond over whiskey and sports while the girls talk about how they're unsatisfied with their jobs at Buzzfeed or whatever it is girls talk about when I'm not paying attention, and then the movie starts and everyone is quiet! No conversation to hold onto! OMG amazing! And then afterward everyone goes to some shitty Hollywood bar like Hemmingways, goes home and hooks up and talks about what an "LA night" they just had.

Chance of a hook up: 90%

6. A miserable indie rock show in Silverlake
Sure LA has plays and even the rare musical but I am talking about the standing room only type indie band show at the Palladium/Fonda/Wiltern/Greek/Bowl/Troubador where you wear a t shirt and jeans, drink light beer and jump up and down like the beautiful white people that you are! 

Of course no one actually enjoys going to see a band called Disco Farts on a Tuesday night. Nothing better than JUST getting over your weekend hangover only to go stand in a dingy basement that smells of unfiltered cigarettes and urine.  Christ, why couldn't you have just gone to the free concert at the Santa Monica Pier?

The best part is your date gets the venue wrong and instead of going to the Echo, you end up at the Echoplex which happens to be hosting a drag show, which may actually be an improvement of whatever stupid concert you were supposed to see in the first place.

Probably the worst part of this date is the 55 minute Uber home after the show where you're sobering up and realizing that the making out in the back of the Toyota Prius might be hurting your rider score. Turns out some drivers find that kind of shit disrespectful.

Chance of a hook-up: 60%

7. The Brentwood House Party that isn't even a date!
Honestly, this is where you are more than likely to end up after the first date. Once you guys have seen each other naked, really there is no reason to continue with the facade of effort so your Bumble bro just invites you to the party he was going to hit up anyway. This way he can hang out with his friends and still be guaranteed sex later! It's a win/win. He rationalizes it by saying that he wants you to meet his buds, but he introduces you to everyone as 'his friend' haha psych he doesn't introduce you to anyone! He just kinda let's you stand by yourself in the corner while he houses jell-o shots and smokes cigarettes. He checks in with you every 30 minutes to make sure you're 'having fun.' Of course you say yes because you want to seem cool. 

I mean who are we kidding though, this is dating in the modern world. Well at least in LA. You're never going to convince a guy to get serious, you're never getting married and these guys are never going to age out of taking key bumps in the bathroom. It's best to just accept this. Or move, you can totally move back to your hometown and marry the guy who you wouldn't date in college because he was in a bottom tier house. I bet his informatics degree and steady job seem desirable now, don't they?

But none of that matters right now because you're at a party in Brentwood with a lot of 30 year old guys shouting their inside joke catch phrases like they're the motherfucking WHABOOM guy from Bachelorette, this is your life. Someone just offered you molly though, so I guess things could be worse.

Chance of a hook up: 100%

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The 7 Dudes you Date in LA: 2017 Edition

Last week on this blog we discussed the 7 chicks one might date in LA. At least 15 women texted/emailed/called/DM'd me asking which type they were. I of course told them what they wanted to hear. "You're the homie!" I did this because I knew it would make them feel good and despite all of my actions that may lead you to assume the contrary, I'm a pretty nice guy!

We all know the truth though, a real homie would never ask to be categorized. They don't need the Buzzfeed quiz for validation, they just know. In all actuality, most people are probably some sort of hybrid, because we are all a bit hypocritical right? I know plenty of independent women that will gladly allow their parents to drop six figures on their wedding, plenty of east siders that utter phrases like 'meat is murder, dairy is the devil' but then get black out drunk and devour an entire pepperoni pizza. So don't despair if you don't fit neatly into one of the seven categories, it's like sexuality it's more of a sliding scale. And how LA is it to be a slash (industry chick slash child is the new 'Barista slash lifestyle blogger.')

Since this is an equal opportunity blog that actually has a 43% female readership, we are going to flip the script today and go after the men of LA. Enjoy.

1. The Tech Guy

Tech Guy sold his previous start-up for $250,000 to Amazon. It was a messaging app that would make someone's phone vibrate even if it was on silent and do not disturb. He essentially repackaged the PING!!! from Blackberry Messenger. But current post-millenials who never lived in a world in which RiM was a thing can't get enough of it. Guys use it to text chicks 'You Up?' at 4 in the morning after their coke runs out hoping the 'buzz' of the phone will wake them up. It rarely works.

ANYWAY...Tech Guy got himself a sweet desk at a WeWork in Santa Monica and he's developing a new app that will display a calming blue background to hungover people going through the 'Sunday Scaries.' He will probably sell it to Google for 10 million dollars. When tech guy isn't working on his sweet new apps, he is probably yammering about 'The Valley' (Silicon not San Fernando you pleeb) or talking to you about the 17 jokes that went over your head on last night's Silicon Valley. He throws phrases around like 'VC' and 'Series A' but what he doesn't talk about is that his 'angel investor' is actually his 'dad.'

Why you'll break up: While playing a game of Marry/Fuck/Kill, you chose to kill Elon Musk due to his resting platypus face. Tech Guy didn't like that.

2. The SC grad

I promise you, as much shit as I give USC, it's because I'm really super jealous I didn't go there. More than half my friends in LA went to USC and that place stands for pretty much everything I believe in: superiority, wealth and no apologies. Do you know why the SC grad is so cocky? I don't know because he is good looking, phenomenal at sports and his dad owns a dealership? It's no wonder these guys move from a big ass house on 28th street to a big ass house on the Strand in Hermosa Beach. Life is pretty easy man, play Beach Volley all day in your male romper and then hit Ocean Bar at night.

When dating an SC grad though you're pretty much dating his whole house. He lives with 5 dudes still using their college nicknames. Their house DEFINITELY has a name. Your Facebook is inundated with Events like 'Beer Olympics at Sig WEST' your Saturday mornings are full of activities like preparing Jell-O shots for aforementioned beer olympics or whatever theme party is being held that night. Dating the SC grad is just like extending college for 2-12 years. You aren't even sure what the SC Grad does for a living. Did he actually start that charity? Or was it medical device don't know, mostly because fratting seems to be his full time gig.

Why you'll break up: SC grad decides to take a gap year at 26. Not before grad school or anything, just taking a year to travel the world and spend dad's money.

3. The Nice Guy

When nice guy came up on your Bumble feed you thought 'meh.' He looks like he may have been stuffed in lockers in high school, probably gets picked last in all rec sports and never once has a person looked at him and said 'this guy fucks.' But he's genuine! He does old school gentleman things like open the door for you, brings you flowers 'just because' and writes you love letters. It's not that he's boring per se, but let's just say when you get invited to a college friend's wedding and there are no plus ones you aren't exactly disappointed. One time when he wasn't drinking at a party one of your very drunk friends asked if he was pregnant. He seems like a narc and maybe that's because he's like 6 years older than the median age of the group. He enjoys going to the birthday parties of his coworkers' kids, thinks Game of Thrones is too violent and volunteered to be your beer pong partner once if he could play with lemonade.

Look, life with the nice guy is fine. Sex will be missionary, weekends will be very basic, like HE is the one waking you up at 7am to go to the flea market, but you know what? He will be faithful, he will be a good boyfriend and he cooks! He fucking cooks! He'll probably be a great dad. Not like little league coach dad, but definitely a good 'help with homework' dad.

Why you'll break up: After two years of playing it safe with nice guy you will finally snap and have sex with your college boyfriend at an open bar wedding in Bloomington.

4. The Layabout

The layabout hasn't seemed to work in over two years but somehow affords to pay rent on his Brentwood apartment. Either he's secretly a drug dealer or he has become an expert in manipulating California's extremely generous unemployment laws. Anytime you ask him what he's up to, he's 'working on this script.' In fact 'he has the whole thing figured out in his head, he just has to write it down.' But then some days he will drastically change his tune and he's 'going out for some auditions' because 'acting doesn't look THAT hard.' He is always one bad day away from getting swept up in some sort of pyramid scheme.

That said, life with the layabout is pretty low key. He's always up for going on a hike, surfing, camping, watching some Netflix, you know the things that don't cost any money. It's essentially a homeless chic lifestyle. Despite his lack of any real income, he has a near endless supply of marijuana and video games. Sometimes you may even envy his laissez faire approach to the world, especially when he sleeps until noon on Mondays, but then you come to resent him when you essentially foot the bill for your lives together.

Why you'll break up: After your unemployed cousin Mary comes to visit for a week, Layabout suggests the three of you attempt an open relationship.

5. Daddy

Daddy went to Harvard, works at a hedge fund downtown and hasn't looked at a price tag in five years. Daddy drives a fast European car, owns a boat and never shows up to a dinner party with a wine bottle made this century. Daddy reads newspapers, listens to Ted Talks in a non-annoying way and has refined views on politics that he doesn't shove down your throat. He's obsessed with work though. Last year when you guys were summering (daddy doesn't vacation, he summers) in Tuscany, daddy spent the majority of the trip on video conference calls with clients in Taipei. Oh ya, daddy speaks Mandarin and mysteriously has dual citizenship in America and in Greece.

You do get the sense that when daddy goes on business trips he frequents strip clubs. In fact one time you overheard him telling a friend that a great way to spend happy hour on a Friday is at a strip club, because it builds your confidence for the rest of the weekend. You aren't sure whether to be disgusted by this or impressed by the sound logic. Of course daddy has his faults. Anytime you guys argue he tells you to buy yourself something, you notice strange texts from other women on his phone. He always dismisses this as 'work stuff.' You're pretty sure he's cheating on you, but he also just bought you a Chanel Double, call it even?

Why you'll break up: On your 30th birthday Daddy introduces you to his intern that he has been secretly dating for 18 months. The intern is a man. Didn't see that coming.

6. The Industry Douche

The industry douche is a fuck boy of the highest order mainly because he knows he can always blame things on work and because it's commonly accepted that WME assistants have it tough in this town, his excuse will always hold water. But do not be fooled. Industry douche, hilariously initialed ID (if you didn't catch that reference, up your psychology game brah) is not reading scripts from the Blacklist on Saturday afternoon, he's at 41 Ocean telling chicks how he is hip pocketing like 15 up and coming writers and stands to get an AP credit on an independent film. SUPER IMPRESSIVE. Industry douche loves to take pictures at premieres, only takes his meetings at Soho House and brags about the fact that he has John Stamos' number in his cell phone. (Because ID was the line producer's assistant on Grandfathered)

But he's hot. He wears the hell out of a suit. He had sex with almost every girl at his film school and they all gave him high marks. One doesn't become a fuck boy without being good at it. He's not a long term solution but he's definitely a 'good for now' type guy to date. He got you invited to Tobey Maguire's house once and you got to watch Leo get a footjob from a Russian model. That's a fun story that you can tell for years to come, hell Jezebel might even let you write about it.

Why you'll break up: Industry douche will ghost you and it will be super awkward five years down the line when you are both staff writers on a CW show about sexy teen mummies.

7. The Bro

Not to be confused with the SC grad, the industry douche or even daddy, the bro is really just a well intentioned dude who happens to be 30 going on 25. The bro drinks too much, spends money that he doesn't have and has never passed a late night food truck without ordering a minimum of five items. As much as you would love him to grow up just a little bit, you have to admit, life with him is fun. He's the life of the party. He gives impromptu wedding toasts that bring the house down, he somehow convinces your parents to do Fireball shots and one time he invited Montell Jordan to perform karaoke at your birthday party. Apparently they met on a party bus to a horse track once and now they are best friends.

The bro might need to clean his apartment more often, but he got you skydiving passes for your birthday and that was pretty cool. He does shit like tell you to pack a bag and then takes you on random trips. One time he took you to Monterey, one time he took you to Tijuana. You guys got robbed at gun point but bro ended up talking the assailant out of it and buying him a beer. It was a strange night. He doesn't have the money to fly you first class, neither of you will ever afford a decent house in LA, but at the end of the day, you can't think of anyone you would rather go through this strange adventure called life with.

Why you'll break up: You won't. You'll elope at some point to the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe and then have a bad ass ski trip with all of your closest friends.

Friday, June 16, 2017

The 7 Chicks you date in LA: 2017 Edition

For a long time I was unaware that the phrase "dating" was synonymous with "casually boning." I had always thought in order to 'date' someone, that meant you had to become boyfriend girlfriend. But in all actuality outside of the drunkest of one night stands, most women that you become physically involved with you have 'dated.' Did you go home with her after drinks and never talk again? Well the drinks was a date and it is now in the past and the past tense of date is dated.

Maybe I have an improper understanding of the term now, but despite my 'singledudeinla' status, I suppose I have 'dated' quite a few women in Los Angeles. And at the sake of probably upsetting my female readers, I think I can narrow most of the girls I've dated into one of seven categories.

*Trigger Warning*
I did not model any of these categories after a single person. I am not going after anyone and I know that boiling women down to one of seven personality archetypes is demeaning, but it also gets me more clicks, so read on, or don't. I wrote some uplifting stuff this week too, maybe you will like that better.

And off we go...

1. The Adventurist
Almost every girl in LA thinks that they are super adventuresome because they went camping once and they've been to Paris. In fact they probably sporadically leak out their photos from that Paris trip over an entire year so you aren't entirely sure if they've moved there or not. BUT the true LA adventurist does exist. I have seen them in the wild, and that's because that is where they prefer to be. You can find the Adventurist in Joshua Tree or Yosemite or more likely some hip camping ground in the Angeles National Forest that you have never heard of.

But that's just the tip of the iceberg. This chick is also a better snowboarder than you, can do a back roll on the wakeboard if you hit up her parents' Wisconsin lake house, and probably has a better OBP than you in co-ed softball. The adventurist is like the Anti-LA girl. She cares not for your bullshit house parties, guys that call themselves 'producers' and trendy clubs. She merely resides here because of the decent surfing conditions and the scuba diving on Catalina.

Why you'll break up: You were unwilling to commit to hiking the entire 210 miles of the John Muir trail.

2. Low Grade Socialite
She certainly doesn't call herself an aspiring socialite. She probably says things like 'actress' or if she's super insufferable 'an influencer.' The LGS came out here on a whim because she's pretty hot and things have always worked out for her. She was probably a big deal in the Western Chicago suburb she came from but out here she's just another chick who wants to be famous. She posts photos of her looking cute in a bikini but only gets like 78 likes, and somehow manages to get invited to ALL the cool parties but struggles to pay rent. HAHA jk, the LGS is a trust fund kid, but like only a midwest trust fund, so daddy will pay the rent but if she wants to get flown around the world she needs to attach herself to a rich guy.

AND ATTACH SHE DOES! Some fuck boy Persian who she calls 'a friend' will offer to take her to Palm Springs or something in his leased Tesla and she won't even understand that he is expecting to bang her all weekend. The tough life of a 8.5 white girl. The LGS is super fun though. She parties, she'll be a nice piece of arm candy if you need a date to a cool event, just don't be surprised if she drops you for someone incrementally more powerful.

Why you'll break up: A 'director' offers her a part in his experimental film which is just POV footage of her giving him a blowjob for 81 minutes. You are told you don't appreciate art.

3. Industry Chick
The industry chick lives in West Hollywood and just can't understand why you don't want to go to The Abbey on a Saturday night with her and all of her guy friends. Other than that, she has her head screwed onto her shoulders pretty straight. She goes to drinks with someone every night on the week on the off chance that one of them will sell a television show and hire her to be their head of development. Actually, let me reword that. The industry chick will make plans every single night of the week but cancel about 76% of the time. In fact her favorite thing in the world is when she was planning on cancelling, but the other person cancels first. She's a career first woman and she would hate to get a reputation as flakey.

However as much it pains me to say it, the industry people are the "cool kids" of LA. They had sex in high school. A LOT. Anyone who has ever been to a party of CAA assistants know that these kids throw down. Despite making $800 a week, they still have plenty of money for blow when they kick back on the weekends. They're also very active on Bumble and the most likely to start a blog based on the terrible pick up lines you use. So if you start dating a girl who does publicity at Universal, just know that your texts aren't safe.

Why you'll break up: You do molly at the wrap party of a basic cable summer show and the assistant to the VP of current finds out. In order to not ruin her career, industry chick dumps you to distance herself.

4. The Independent Woman
The independent woman doesn't give a fuck what you think about her new one piece swimsuit or short pixie cut. She didn't do it for you, she did it for her. The independent woman has a better job than you and has been complaining a lot about how the world is falling apart ever since Hillary lost the election. (Even though she looked like she was doing just fine on her recent trip to The Philippines) The independent woman is not to be fucked with. You will split dinners. You will become a male feminist. And you will learn to accept far left progressive politics or she will spit you out like the straight white male scum that you are.

That said, it's a lot of fun to be able to have a conversation with a person you're dating that's deeper than 'I wonder what the song of the summer will be?' or 'Should we get white wine or red wine tonight?' Independent women can be fantastic partners, just stay on your toes, one little slip like having the wrong opinion on Katy Perry's cultural appropriation will get you tossed in the trash immediately.

Why you'll break up: During the inevitable Megyn Kelly interview of Kathy Griffin, you inadvertently chortle when Griffin utters the phrase 'the plight of a red-headed woman in Trump's America."

5. The East Sider
I hope you like women that wear hats, loose fitted clothing and have a penchant for slam poetry. Sorry it's not slam poetry it's the Moth, it's a storytelling podcast. You will also have to go to her old roommate's improv 101 graduation show, sounds thrilling. She's been pushing for you guys to spend more time in Highland Park lately because it's 'the next big thing.' You go to parties in abandoned water treatment plants because 'it's cool.' She rolls her eyes at you any time you order meat, gluten, dairy or sugar.

I mean she's a hipster. She has opinions on the TV show Girls. She abhors the beach, she's confusingly pale despite the fact that she lives in Southern California. She will take you to lots of concerts, and you will learn to appreciate experimental music. One time she took you to a show in an abandoned cave where the artist just plucked the E string on his guitar for an hour and a half while screaming the word 'Rape." Pitchfork gave it four stars.

Why You'll break up: She will meet some 58 year old divorced man that sells old Diet Pepsi cans at a flea market in Pasadena and they will have an immediate connection. "Sorry," she says, "I wouldn't expect you to understand. You're a Scorpio."

6. The Child
Ok she's not actually a real child. She's 22 though, and just graduated USC. She got an entry level job at Red Bull and daddy gave her $25,000 to 'help her get started' in LA. LET'S FUCKING GO! Tuesday night? Bungalow. Wednesday night? Bungalow. Thursday night? Pier Concert then Bungalow. Friday? Buffalo Club. Saturday? SHORE BAR YOU FUCKING PEASANT, GOD DAMMIT LA IS AWESOME. She also does things like plan going to four parties in one night, one is in Redondo Beach, one is downtown, one is in Brentwood and one is in Malibu. She calls you things like 'lame' and 'Grandpa' when you point out the logistical nightmare that presents.

The one night a week you guys don't go out is Mondays, but she invites all of her friends over for Bachelor in Paradise parties. She buys a cheese plate and 17 bottles of white from Whole Foods and takes a picture with the caption "Lol, adulting." It gets 741 likes. She is rash. She still has daddy's credit card. She shops. She is impossible to keep up with. But for the 3.5 months this relationship lasts it will be a good time, exhausting for sure, but fun. She still wants to have sex multiple times a day, so that's something.

Why you'll break up: She won't understand why you can't take a month off to go to Coachella weeks one and two, Stage Coach, EDC and Splash House.

7. The Homie
You're aware of the stereotype of the nagging 'ball and chain,' this is not that. The homie is the chick that goads you into staying out for one more drink and offers to hook all of your single friends up with hers. She has friends independent of yours. She has plans independent of yours. She is cooler than you. She doesn't shake her head when you shotgun a beer, she challenges you to do another and then beats you. She smokes pot. She doesn't drag you to spin class. In fact, she is very similar to your college roommate, just better looking and has a vagina.

You constantly ask yourself if she is the one. She's a unicorn, you don't find many of these. But what's holding you back, is it the fact that she offers you a beer before noon on Saturdays? Is it because she comes up with idea of a best of 27 flip cup tournament? Because she cosigns on your idea to stay in sweat pants all day Sunday and order Domino's two separate times? She's like that 'cool girl' monologue from Gone Girl minus the homicidal tendencies. She knows you're a bit of a train wreck, but despite viewing this as a flaw, she loves you for it.

Why you'll break up: You won't, that wedding is gonna be a like 8 years when you finally decide to tie the knot.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Notes to my Former Self

Last night while struggling to light a bonfire a thought popped into my head.

"Man if I would have never quit boy scouts I would be able to light this thing with a rock and a piece of twine."

As i sat there staring at the smoldering newspapers and no flame, I wondered why I quit boy scouts. Sure I was busy with other things, I was probably playing four sports at the time. But while I will never likely need to use a defensive line swim move the rest of my life, some wilderness survival skills sure would come in handy.

I probably quit boy scouts because I perceived it as lame. Even though I now know there is nothing lame about hiking, knowing how to chop wood, or identify poisonous snakes. Almost all of the decisions I made as a child were decisions based on wanting to fit in. I'm not unhappy with where I am in my life. I live at the beach, I'm healthy and I'm surrounded by amazing friends and family. I have no regrets, but as a thought exercise, I thought I would go back and scribble a few words of advice to a version of myself for each of the past 20 years. Let's see if I learn anything.

Middle school is the worst right? Boys are discovering girls, girls are discovering boys. Nothing truly matters in middle school, though if I could go back I would be nicer to people. Doing shitty things to prop yourself up might seem like a good idea in the short term, but it never works out. Also for the love of God play less video games. Dad was right, it's a beautiful day outside. Go shoot some hoops and listen to music.

Just a reminder that this is the year you chose to play All Star baseball instead of going snorkeling for two weeks in the Florida Keys. I can now confirm that you are not going to go pro in baseball. You will never learn to be a good fielder, but you will probably never have another chance in your life to go on a two week marine biology trip to Key Largo and spear fish.

Ok this is the year that you quit saxophone. Not like you were the best player ever, but you probably quit because 'band is lame.' Here's a quick head's up. In 5 years your favorite band will prominently feature a saxophone. Imagine how great it would be to join a Dave Matthews/OAR cover band. But you'll never know that feeling because you locked that thing in a box and never looked back.

Welcome to high school. Look you did fine, but I would strongly advise you to try harder. Sure your 2.8 GPA got you into Indiana University because you destroyed your SAT but when you look back some day you'll realize that learning is actually pretty cool. Had you just paid attention during Spanish class you would likely be fluent by now. For God's sake, do your homework. I know it was much easier to get on AIM and A/S/L chicks all night, but you'll have plenty of time to do all that shit on Gchat in your 20's. Appreciate science class, this is the last year you will take one. Science is awesome.

This is the year you quit theater because you thought it would improve your social standing. Yet here I am living in Los Angeles trying to pursue a creative field. Theater classes in high school were free, now it's $500 to take an improv class at UCB. It's amazing the things you will do as a kid because you think it will make people like you. Don't worry about it, do the things that you like, regardless of what other people think. The same goes for speech team, you're really good at it. Keep going.

Don't lie to your parents. The shit you will put them through the next 14 years is enough already. If you stayed late at a party because of a girl, just tell them. They'll understand. The energy you put forth trying to evade them is so not worth it. Also you know how you're in this phase right now where family vacations are kind of lame? They're not. Do you know how rare FREE family vacations will be when you're grown. A trip to the beach where dad pays for a dolphin excursion? A trip to the national parks in the American southwest? Your parents are the two most important people in your life and they won't always be around. Appreciate every second with them.

College application year, terrifying. Quick reminder though that if you had been busting your ass this whole time, relying on your teachers for more support, more doors would be open for you at this time. Indiana University will be good to you, but you're a bright kid and you really let yourself down by sitting in the back row doing crossword puzzles instead of paying attention. Read the books you're assigned, don't read the Spark Notes. You're going to want to be a writer some day, reading other great authors is fantastic practice.

Friendly reminder that this is the year that you turned a summer in Europe down because you wanted to hang with your friends at Lake Sweetwater, a man made pond in Southern Indiana. I don't even know what more to say, it might be the worst mistake of your life.

Pledging will end, don't worry, it will be worth it. Also don't feel pressured to do the business school because you think it will make you rich and powerful. If you have a real passion for film or law talk to one of the million resources available to you FOR FREE. Get a life coach FOR FREE. Contrary to your belief, everyone in academia wants you to succeed, let them help you.

Oh my God, your self worth is not determined by how well your frat pairs. Life will go on if you can't get into Kilroy's this night. You live in a mansion with unlimited booze anyway, why are you leaving?

Not gonna lie, you absolutely killed it this year. You went abroad, you traveled every weekend, you wrote every day, you made memories with amazing people that you will never forget. Maybe be less of an idiot on your internship this summer, if you would have landed that job you would be making well over 6 figures.

Instead of worrying every day about your future, embrace it. Yes college is ending and you should take every opportunity to spend time with your friends and have fun, but also don't feel that every job you go up for has to be through the Indiana business school. Talk to your professors, tell them what you like to do, most of them had private sector jobs once upon a time. Do not rely on your charisma to land you the perfect gig. Take a million pictures, have a million laughs, you will never forget this time the rest of your life.

She'll break your heart some day, but it will be the best two years of your life. Go for it.

Don't be afraid to look for another job if you're miserable. You probably won't actually fail a background check because of a drinking ticket you got in college. But also in hindsight, don't tell a bunch of coworkers about your blog.

Do it, pack up and move to LA. Chase your dream. Once you get here you'll never want to leave. You are going to meet so many incredible people and go on so many wonderful adventures in the coming years, it's probably the greatest decision you will ever make. Yo, pay your parking tickets though, those aren't optional.

Ayyyy, you got your start in TV! This is cool! If I could make one suggestion though, be extra diligent in staying in touch with cool people that could possibly help you out some day. Ask people in power to mentor you, someone is much more likely to wan to help you get a good job or promotion if they feel personally invested. Oh also five days in New Orleans is two too many.

Really appreciate every opportunity you are given. Drop the 'cool guy' schtick. You may think people will want to help you out because they enjoy being around you, but being reliable is more important. Showing up to work an hour late because you were on a Thursday night bender is a bad look.

You've been in LA for four years now. You might not have thought you could have made it this long. Congrats you're a survivor, but stop waiting for things to happen for you and make them happen. Write every day. Don't be afraid to pack up a bag and go travel by yourself. Enter every screenwriting contest you hear about. Follow up with interesting people you meet. It's easy to count down the days to the weekend where you can run around with reckless abandon, but if you're always counting down the days until the next party, what are you really working towards?

Don't take things for granted. You have a fantastic quality of life, but things can always go south in a second. Be thankful for the things you have. Be passionate about the things you want. Work hard and good things will happen. Also don't take your car keys on the Big Ten Bar Crawl.

Tell people how you feel about them. It's the one thing you never do because you're afraid to be vulnerable? I don't know if that is the proper word. But the people in your life will prop you up when you're down, and help you celebrate the good times when things are going well. Be a good friend, brother and son. Help people any chance you get and remember that life is short, and always take your own advice. In this town you're one bad break from rock bottom, or a good break from touching the stars. A positive attitude will take you a long way, and you would be smart to remember that. I mean step back for a minute and look at yourself. You're doing it! You're fucking going for it! It's a long and difficult road to the top, but if you keep trying, it's going to work out for you some day, I just know it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Hipster Horror is Here to Stay

I grew up on the classic slasher's of the 70's and 80's. You know them: Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Or perhaps you know them by these names: Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, Jason Vorhees, Leatherface.

All of these films followed a familiar outline, one established by John Carpenter in 1978. Some teens would behave somewhat badly (they would drink, smoke cigarettes, have sex) and then a masked killer would hunt them down one by one until the final girl would emerge victorious carrying some bumps bruises and emotional scars.

Wes Craven subverted the genre with Wes Craven's New Nightmare in 1994, a movie that became a meta commentary on his own creation of Freddy Krueger and then two years later launching the Scream franchise which continued a trend of self aware teen slashers, but these were still horror movies. Sure they winked at the audience, but the intent was still to make you jump.

Throughout the oughts horror reverted more toward the PG-13 thriller. Movies like The Ring and The Grudge had modest returns at the box office, but by the end of the decade we landed on microbudget found footage films like Paranormal Activity that were shot for approximately $24 dollars...give or take a few thousand.

Now to be clear, hipster horror and found footage aren't the fault of any one franchise. Most of it can trace its roots back to The Blair Witch Project all the way back in 1999. But the gimmick that younger people may not remember is that like the Orson Welles Radio Drama War of the Worlds from 1938; a large swath of America also found The Blair Witch Project to be real. This was pre-internetish...people had the internet but it was usually for A/S/L and maybe some basic sports scores. Reminder, most high school kids didn't know WWF was staged in the 90's. Before the internet we were all stupid.

Cut to 2014; a curious indie movie called It Follows, lights the festival circuit on fire. Critics rave about this cheap ($2m) flick that may or may not be an allegory about safe sex. Sure, it had a few of the tropes from Carpenter's Halloween (teens behaving badly) but it lacked most of the grusome death scenes and proposterous jump scares.

In fact in It Follows the set up of the movie is that a demon very slowly walks after you and if it catches you, you die. The way to get rid of this demon? Pass it onto someone else, via sex. It was certainly an interesting film, but as far as scary? Meh. Maybe a couple scenes were unsettling. It was certainly marketed as a horror movie and it was rewarded by earning back 10x it's 2 million dollar budget. But what I find particularly interesting is the disparity between critics and viewers.

Critics gave this movie a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, near universal acclaim. However, audiences, people like you and me, gave it a 65%. That's still a decent score, but it's also quite the variance.

Another film that came out that year was The Babadook, a film that discusses the real life horrors of a widowed woman raising a son...oh and also a pop-up book character comes to life. Again, the Babadook received universal critical acclaim of 98% or RT with an audience score of 72; decent but by no means great.

Last year, an even more egregious critics/audience split on one of these slow burn 'horror movies that isn't scary.' The Witch offered a puritanical tale about a family and their possessed goat. Calling it a slow burn would be generous, and calling it boring might be more accurate, yet again critics adored this movie...all the way to 91% Audiences? They weren't having any of that shit. 56% our first Rotten score. That is a -35 disparity, the largest to date.

That said, A24 probably doesn't mind because on a budget of 3 million The Witch turned in a nifty 20 million dollar return for the studio.

Today I saw a movie called It Comes at Night and I can almost guarantee everyone is going to hate it. To be fair it is an interesting movie that talks about concepts such as family, trust and friendship. Also I suppose a couple things come at night, but it's not what we've been trained to expect. There is no masked killer, there is no alien, monster or various other otherworldly spirits. This was another film that did well on the festival circuit, in fact it was one of the most anticipated films of the summer for me personally.

It Comes at Night scored an 86% with critics and a pathetic 43% with audiences. Any way you cut it, that's bad. A -43 disparity, a score only HALF what critics thought? Why the giant disparity in this genre? Why are critics and audiences at such odds on these films.

I have a few theories.

1. The honesty of the marketing.
It Comes at Night had a very simple premise that hit you over the head in all of the trailers. There is a big red door and something is going to fucking come through it at night. It's going to be terrifying. The film delivered something more akin to a meditation on the human condition. Maybe this is a film that plays more to the sensibilities of the type of person that goes into movie criticism. And perhaps the people that shell out $20 to see a scary movie and are not in turned scared feel lied to.

2. Perhaps audiences are harsher than critics?
Going along with what I said previously, then it now costs in excess of $100 to take a family to the movie theater, perhaps audiences just have much higher expectations than critics who are typically screening the films for free. But this theory is shot down when I see that more traditional horror film like The Conjuring has a fairly even split of 86 critics, 82 audience. Which leads me to my conclusion.

3. Demographic disparity
These hipster horror movies are in effect more appealing to...hipsters. The time of people that grow up to be film critics have always been more sympathetic to the independent art house movies, and that's exactly what these are...tiny indies dressed up like horror movies. The classic horror crowd was younger, more diverse and less educated. Turning on a horror movie meant you would get to turn your brain off for a couple hours and get some adrenaline pumping with some cheap scares. Now with review aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic making it very easy for traditional horror fans to seek out well reviewed movies in the genre, traditional horror fans are finding themselves at the Landmark watching something that violates that traditional horror contract and they aren't quite sure what to make of it.

These movies aren't going anywhere though, at least not for the moment because they are cheap as shit to make and a studio can make an almost guaranteed modest return on them. See: everything Blumhouse of the past 10 years.

It Comes at Night had exactly two locations. The house and the woods outside the house. I imagine they shot it in three weeks. And guess what? It's already made its budget back in three days. It will probably quietly accumulate another 10 million dollars in the following weeks, then another handful of cash on VOD and finally one last check when it inevitably streams on Netflix.

One may not enjoy this trend of scaled down, thought-provoking "thrillers" but as long as they can be made for the same price as a duplex in Mar Vista, they aren't going anywhere. Conversely, the 20 million dollar teen slashers from my youth? Well that movie just doesn't get made anymore. For better or for worse.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Ranking Westeros

There is a new Ringer podcast out called Binge Mode. Each episode covers one episode of Game of Thrones. As there are 60 episodes of the show, this is a 30 hour commitment, and one of several ways to kill some time before season 7 premieres on July 16th.

Unfortunately only 13 episodes of our beloved series remain before the show in its current incarnation is done forever. (Assuredly there will be sequels, prequels and Star Wars-esque spin-offs until the end of time. HBO isn't doing great right now and this is their most valuable IP)

I thought today I would take a look back and rank the Great Houses of Westeros. For the purpose of this exercise, the following houses will be considered:
- Stark, rulers of the North
- Tully, Riverlands
- Arryn, The Vale
- Lannisters, The Westerlands
- Baratheon, The Stormlands
- Tyrell, The Reach
- Martell, Dorne
- Greyjoy, Pike
- Targaryen, uhhh Mereen?

Technically house Baratheon is extinct, but I'm not convinced that there is not still a scenario in which Gendry is legitimized or Stannis is still alive.

The following criteria will be considered in determining the rankings...

- Maximum power accumulation.
Ya, Dorne is chill af and super cool on LGBT issues, but as an isolated principality far from King's Landing, it's unlikely a King will be Dornish in the immediate future.

- Quality of Life
Conversely, life as a Stark is essentially life on The North Pole. Imagine going multiple years without wearing a swimsuit. (Though with all your fur coats you could easily pack on a few extra pounds if we're being honest)

- Relative Safety
Life at Highgarden might not be too exciting, but sometimes that's a major asset.

-Quality of Family
I suppose House Baratheon will get a N/A in this category.

How are your underhouses? Does your army kick ass? Do you have dragons? Is Bravos close enough for casual vacations?

Each category will be scored out of 10 and then summed up for a score out of 50. Good luck and Valor morghulis!

9. House Greyjoy
MPA: 3
QoL: 2
RS: 6
QoF: 3
I: 2
Total: 16

According to a Quora article I just read, the Iron Islands aren't even technically one of the seven kingdoms, likely because they're just so shitty and no one would want to conquer them. Honestly, when Balon's Rebellion was crushed, the real winner was Theon, who got to grow up in the North. I have long thought that waterfront living and/or island living, would be an aspirational lifestyle, the plight of house Greyjoy pretty much destroys this myth.

Pyke is situated on a rock where it always rains and has choppy seas. Balon was the weakest link in the war of the five kings and Theon doesn't have a penis anymore. To be hair, Yara is a badass lesbian that I would love to party with, and Euron Greyjoy seems to be the last challenger in play for the iron throne. Other than that, it's a pretty worthless family. I gave a couple courtesy points out of respect to the rumor that Euron actually does have the dragon horn (a magical horn that controls dragons) but honestly, I think his likely alliance with Cersei will be short lived. Decent safety score though for Greyjoys, out of the four Greyjoys we've met in this series, three are still alive. Hilarious that the biggest snake of the series, dickless Theon, may survive to the end.

8. House Baratheon
MPA: 9
QoL: 4
RS: 1
QoF: 0
I: 4
Total: 18

House Baratheon narrowly avoids the basement based almost entirely on the fact that the past 3 kings have been 'Baratheons.' Even though we know that not to be the case, the official record does in fact reflect that. Quality of life is tricky because if you're Robert whoring around in King's Landing you're definitely having a better time than Renly who is busy having sex with Iron Fist and getting stabbed by smoke dragons in Storm's End. Then again, they're all dead, so what does it matter?

I gave a few intangible points to the fact that they won a major war and apparently Robert could really fuck people up with his war hammer, also of all the people in the universe of GoT, a young Robert was probably the best hang. Gendry seems to be kind of a homie too and I am shipping the FUCK out of he and Arya. PRAISE GENDARYA!!!!

7. House Tully
MPA: 5
RS: 4
QoF: 2
Total: 19

What a nothingburger of a house. House Tully is like the Mar Vista of Westeros. It's fine I guess. There are swamps and stuff. I suppose Kat was relatively close to becoming the most powerful women in Westeros, but instead her little snowflake of a son fucked that all up and got half her family eviscerated at the Red Wedding. That said, the Tullys are fairly resilient (somehow Edmure is still alive) and the Blackfish was kinda dope.  

I will give house Tully this though, they have two major bookcentric intangibles that haven't popped up in the show yet. First, Lady Stoneheart (a zombified Kat Tully) is systematically destroying all enemies of the Starks and Tullys. Second, Nymeria, Arya's direwolf (Arya being half Tully) has taken to leading a pack of wolves in the Riverlands, also wrecking shit. But when the two best things going for you are a wolf and a zombie you have to try harder.

6. House Arryn
MPA: 5
QoL: 4
RS: 8
QoF: -1
I: 4
Total: 20

Ok, we'll start with the good. Fans of an isolationist foreign policy would love House Arryn. For most of the series, they just chill in the mountains and go about their business. I like the mountains, and if I was a LORD in the mountains? I would likely be content to drink wine and throw my enemies through the moon door. That said that is essentially ALL they have going for them (outside of a rumored military that is dope af)

Let's talk about the bad. Lysa Arryn: Awful. Robin Arryn: Worse. The dude breast fed until he was like 12 years old. Jon Arryn was allegedly a fairly cool dude before the events of the series, but he allowed himself to be murdered by his wife and raised a shithead that breastfed into his pre teens. I mean, they kinda have Littlefinger who is somewhat cool? But Really the only reason to aspire to be an Arryn is to cut yourself off from the world and hope not to die.

5. House Stark
MPA: 9
QoL: 3
RS: 1
QoF: 5
I: 5
Total: 23

Possibly a controversial choice putting the Gryffindors of ASOIAF all the way down at number five but let's look at the facts. Ned Stark: Beheaded. Dead. Kat Tully. Deadish. Robb and Rickon: Full of Arrows. Dead. Sansa: Raped. Bran: Paraplegic. NOT GREAT. On the positive side, Arya is possibly the coolest character on the show, Bran can morph into animals and Jon (who is not really a Stark) can come back from the dead.

I think the most likely scenario for the end of the show is Jon co-ruling with Dany, so points for that, and of course we LIKE the Starks, but as Cersei Lannister famously said in season one "In the game of thrones you either win or you die." And while Jon is on a bit of a hot streak, the rest of the family has been catching L's for quite a few seasons now.

4. House Tyrell
MPA: 2
QoL: 8
RS: 8
QoF: 7
I: 2
Total: 27

Being from House Tyrell is like being a trust fund kid from Indiana. Your life will be relatively easy, but of little consequence in the grand scheme of things. You have money, you have a summer house on Lake Geneva! Your parents paid for lots of private lessons and now you're pretty good at sword fighting! Wait, I'm mixing metaphors now, let's reset.

All the bad stuff that happened to the Tyrells happened because they left Highgarden. Natalie Dormer, who clearly didn't learn her lesson after portraying Anne Boleyn in the Tudors, wanted it all. She's the rich Indiana girl trying to move to Los Angeles to be an actress in this scenario, only to wash out and turn into a junkie or something. Anyway, a lot of the Tyrells went down when Cersei obliterated King's Landing, but you know who remains? Lady Olenna, and she was a Bond Girl. That's gotta count for something.

3. House Lannister
MPA: 10
QoL: 6
RS: 3
QoF: 6
I: 3
Total: 28 

This is a tough one, because the Lannisters used to be rich and powerful, but now they're just kind of sad. Somehow a sister-fucking weirdo that attempted to murder a child has become the most charismatic character on the series, and his twin sister currently sits on the iron throne after firebombing a city and murdering almost every person she knows. So that's good? The Lannisters are certainly ruthless and Tyrion provides some of the best military strategy on the show.

Conversely, the Lannisters are also quite divided. Cersei has always hated her younger brother Tyrion, while also loving Jamie, who likes Tyrion creating some weird power struggle. Tyrion currently supports a Targaryen, Jamie just watched his sister burn down the capital and now we start to wonder if he will become a Kingslayer AND a Queenslayer. Honestly though, Tyrion was never going to finish lower than third, even if his family is in shambles.

2. House Targaryen
MPA: 10
QoL: 3
RS: 3
QoF: 3
I: 10
Total: 29

On it's face, it seems to be pretty shitty to be a Targaryen in today's Game of Thrones universe. Dany has essentially been wandering around deserts and slave cities for the entire run of the series and people are always trying to kill her. Before that she had a brother that got a near sexual pleasure out of whoring her out to mean aboriginal types only to watch him be murdered with liquid gold. She also had to deal with the death of her husband, a stillborn child, a traitorous Jorah and TWO different Daarios. (Note both Daarios > DeMario who murdered Bachelor in Paradise)

But dragons. Despite overwhelming attempts on her life, the Unburned one can take out entire villages with the snap of a finger. Add to that some strategic alliances she has made with folks such as Tyrion and Yara Greyjoy, it's quite easy to see a path in which she ends up on the Iron with her nephew? I dunno in the GoT universe that wouldn't even be like a top 10 weird thing.

1. House Martell
MPA: 3
QoL: 10
RS: 7
QoF: 7
I: 4
Total: 30

Welcome to Dorne bitches AKA VENICE BEACHSTEROS. You want to bang dudes? You want to bang chicks? You want to bang chicks AND dudes? Have kids without getting married? Go for it. We down south are chill AF. Sunspear is doper than a Central Coast high school with outdoor lockers. Water features? Got 'em. Does the wine flow? Constantly. Women can be in power and OH BY THE WAY, they are all absolutely gorgeous.

I will concede that the Red Viper had an unfortunate end due to hubris and while Prince Trystane and Prince Doran may have reached unfortunate ends, sometimes for the sake of progress one has to get their hands a little dirty. I am confident that moving forward, a Dorne run by the Sand Snakes is a fun place to be. Like a Vegas that's less expensive and doesn't induce four day hangovers. It's not a place for the ambitious, but look where ambition gets you in Westeros. Dead. You know who survives in Westeros? Sex pirates! Sex pirates and Arya. Arya is possibly the only person that I am positive will survive the show because she has no ambition past personal revenge. In fact, perhaps the overarching theme of Game of Thrones has been an allegory for the inverse relationship between happiness and effort. DB Wiess and David Benioff just want us to be stoners that don't bite off more than we can chew.

So 30 out of 50 won it huh? That's a 60% a D- if you will. Barely passing! I think my main takeaway after this exercise is that I would never in a million years want to live in Westeros, or Essos for that matter. A set visit to Croatia? Sure! But would I want to actively participate in this world, the way I often fantasized about living in Harry Potter's London?

No. FUCK no! If I'm certain of one thing after writing this is that I would rather a million times be a Hufflepuff than a Martell.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The Case for Day Drinking

With summer here, it's as good a time as ever to resurrect one of the oldest debates of all time. Given the option to choose only one: is it better to drink during the day or at night?

Hello my name is Dave and I will be arguing the affirmative; Day drinking is better than night drinking.

My name is Dave and I will be arguing the negative; Day drinking is not better than night drinking.

Hi, I'm the moderator, my name is also Dave! We will be using a Lincoln Douglas Debate which as you know follows the format of Affirmative constructive, cross-ex, negative constructive, cross-ex, affirmative rebuttal, negative rebuttal, affirmative rejoinder. I'm glad I paid attention in honors debate class Junior year. Affirmative, you may begin.

Thank you Mr. Moderator. I will re-state again that I am arguing for the affirmative that day drinking is better than night drinking. I want you to imagine this, it is a beautiful sunny day, you are invited to a pool for a gathering of friends. Libations are consumed, tropical house music is played, burgers are cooked. You converse with friends, meet new people, take a dip in the hot tub, maybe even toss a football. I am obviously discussing a day party, we've all been to one. They come in all shapes and sizes, a day party can be a volleyball outing on the beach, a day party can be six friends sailing around a harbor, which leads me to my first argument.

Day drinking is better than night drinking because of the realm of activities that can be enjoyed during day. As alcohol is a natural enhancement to many activities, if given the option to drink during the day or at night one must choose to drink when they can maximize their enjoyment of said activities. Many of these sporting options I have mentioned such as going to the beach or sailing can be dangerous or even illegal while done at night, leading one to conclude that it is best to enjoy these activities during the day.

My next argument is that day drinking allows one to retire for the evening at a reasonable hour and get a good night's sleep. Studies show that people that get at least 8 hours of sleep are healthier, leading one to conclude that if one were to either day drink or night drink, day drinking would likely be better for their personal well being.

My third and final argument is that day time is generally regarded as a safer time to be out and about that night. Walking home from a neighborhood barbecue at 6pm is far optimal to walking home at 2 AM when a lack of light may make it easier for a predator to mug you. There are fewer drunk drivers on the street in the afternoon than the evening, so your Uber is less likely to be run down by an impaired motorist.  

In summation for my constructive, day drinking is better than night drinking because it offers more options for enjoyable activities, is better for your health and finally an all around safer experience. I am ready for cross.

Holy shit, where do I begin?

Language sir.

Apologies, but my god your entire constructive is a combination of egregious fallacies.

Such as...?

Let's start with your circular argument that drinking on the beach at night is illegal and therefore inferior to drinking on the beach during the day.

Yes, partying on the beach was one of the many activities I listed.

You are aware that it is ALSO illegal to drink on the beach during the day.

Safety was the key factor I was pointing to in that argument.

There have been zero alcohol involved drownings in Venice Beach in the past year during the night or during the day. Furthermore you make the assumption that drownings are more likely at night than during the day when in reality there are far more drownings that occur during daylight because there are a disproportionate amount of people that prefer to swim during the day.

Next, I would like to attack your 'curfew argument' in which you assert that via a major slippery slope fallacy that people that get a good night's sleep will in fact be healthy. I'll tell my diabetic Grandmother that she just needs to sleep it off. I'm sure you didn't even consider the fact that someone going to sleep at 3 o clock in the morning may sleep until 11am. I will ask the affirmative, would that count as 8 hours? Your definition of a 'good night's sleep.'

Well I suppose.

And finally, what a despicable straw man argument 'getting mugged at night is bad.' 

Are you really going to try to assert that someone isn't more likely to get mugged at night than in broad daylight?

Anyone at any time who is impaired is at greater risk to be mugged, but you also erroneously assume that drivers are more impaired at night than during day AFTER encouraging everyone to go out and get waffled during the day.

Driving at night is statistically more dangerous even when people are not impaired. I never said that if you drank at night you would die, I merely said it was safer to drink during the day.

Maybe if you're wearing a lot of sunscreen...  

TIME!! Negative please go forth with your constructive.

Thank you Mr. Moderator. I will re-state for the record that I will be arguing the negative, drinking during the day is not better than drinking at night. Instead of painting a rosy picture about bros shotgunning beers and bombing Jell-O shots at a rooftop pool in Santa Monica in favor of more ironclad arguments.

Limiting drinking to night leads to a more productive existence. Sure, I'll bite, waking up to tailgate a 11am football game sounds kinda fun, but guess what? Even if you make it home in the early afternoon after doing ice luges in a big ass field all day, the rest of your day is shot. You can't magically sober up, no matter how long you shower or how much Red Bull you chug. Your day is over, you may be able to watch a couple episodes of Netflix, but in a society where we are tasked with responsibilities, many of these will be pushed back in favor of fun.

Secondly, I would argue that limiting your drinking to night will save you money in the long run. When one makes a firm commitment to dartying there is rarely a 'hard out.' The drinking could go until the last person is standing, sometimes these mini benders will go in excess of 8 hours, not only are you drinking more and harming your body, you're paying for more alcohol, food, transportation and god knows what else during this time. If you go to a bar at 10 o clock, you're going to be kicked out at 1:30. Sure you may hit the taco truck on the way home, but that $8 pales in comparison to the $200 you will spend on Drizzly when your Beer Olympics runs out of Coors Light at 3pm.

Moving forward, my last argument is that drinking at night is better for forging romantic relationships.  While it is indeed possible to show a lady friend your apartment at 6pm, it's weird. Your roommates may be sitting on the couch playing video games. You will both notice how messy your bedroom is. A romantic 'nap' after a daytime session at Bungalow is a far more aggressive endeavor than just bringing a nice lady friend home at the end of the night. In summation, my arguments against drinking during the day, are that drinking at night leads to a more productive life, costs less money and is romantically advantageous. 

Wow, I can't believe you went there. You actually said drinking at night is better because it's easier to hook up.


And you shamelessly said it's because she won't notice how shitty your apartment is in the darkness. I mean you stopped short of alluding to she can't see YOU as well in the darkness either but it was implied.

It was not.

Honestly, I'm not even going to touch that argument, I'm

That said, I'm going to make you eat your own words on the productivity front. Not more than five minutes ago, you stated sleeping from 3am-11am would be 8 hours of sleep. Kinda hard to run your morning errands when you're sleeping off some bad decisions isn't it?

But that's not even your most ridiculous argument, going out at night is WAY more expensive than drinking during the day.

How so?

Um, I don't know. You take a case of beer over to your buddy's house that costs $20. You buy 10 beers at a bar, that costs a hundred.

You are incorrectly assuming that the only way to go out at night is to a bar. What about a house party?

You know god damn well that you're taking more than just 30 beers to a house party.

Sounds like an anecdotal argument to me.

I'll let the judges draw their own conclusions. I'll remind you it would be a fallacy of en absentia to assume that I agree with your final argument just because I failed to offer a retort, I'm just maintaining some semblance of class in this debacle.

The affirmative may now offer a brief rebuttal. May I remind you gentlemen to please avoid the use of the second person...actually whatever, it doesn't matter anymore.

I argued that there are more options for activities for day drinking than there are at night, my opponent didn't really have a rebuttal for this. I then argued that it's better for your health and safer to limit your drinking to day and get a good night's sleep. What followed were a bunch of logic fallacy accusations that I assure you my opponent doesn't really know how to use properly. So I suppose the entire debate comes down to this:

Do you value the outdoors, swimsuits, lawn games and charcoal grills or do you punt on all of that because it's probably easier to get a girl to go home with you at 3am as opposed to 3pm?

Tailgating, horse tracks, float trips...or a girl you'll probably regret in the morning?

Dancing, music, hallucinogens, dark corner make-outs. Late night adventures where you can end up at a house where you know nobody. Warehouse parties, cosmic bowling...

Cosmic bowling? Cosmic fucking bowling? "Dancing, music, hallucinogens" You sound like a 22 year old that just got back from Coachella (most of which takes place during the day btw) You can do all that stuff you mentioned during the day and still make it to your couch in time to order a full pizza from Abbot's. Your argument is invalid and I win the debate.


After careful consideration the judges have ruled in favor of the affirmative. Drinking during the day is better than drinking at night.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Two Weeks Notice

Guys, it was kind of a shitty spring. James Bond, Gregg Allman, Chris Cornell and Charlie Murphy (!!) died. The NBA playoffs were horrible. The United States government is spiraling down the toilet and the Lincoln Taco Bell closed. Millenials are killing Outback Steakhouse, Chili's and Buffalo Wild Wings and by proxy my home city of Indianapolis. Things aren't looking great at the moment.

But alas, have no fear. We are only two weeks away from the official beginning of summer and by proxy the greatest summer tradition to ever happen in any city anywhere, the Santa Monica Pier Concerts.

Oh, I reported several weeks ago even our beloved pier concerts were in jeopardy. But alas, as you can see at any random march or a Facebook status near you 'Love Trumps Hate' so in the end good prevailed. The concerts remain.

Starting on June 22nd, and for the following seven Thursdays, Santa Monica Beach will be transformed from a curious place in which people swim with their shirts on to a wine haven for the yuppies and cool hip families of LA's west side.

Oh there will be wine, as well as catered picnics, luminaries, flag poles and lots of #branding from Snap Chat. It's ok, they footed the bill for security this year, I like 30% forgive them for Nikki's now.

So here's the deal, every year I do some sort of preview for the Twilight Concert Series. Last year I profiled how drunk I planned on getting for each artist, but I'm going to let you in on a little secret; it doesn't matter. No, the Rolling Stones could be playing or a bad Jimmy Buffet cover band could be playing and it would be completely irrelevant. You can't hear a damn thing from the beach. Anecdotally I have heard that Khalid and Miami Horror are pretty cool, but again, you won't hear shit. As such, your preparation for every show should be exactly the same.

And that's why we are here today...

The following will be a checklist and Q&A that will cover every single pier concert this summer. You do not have to thank me, in fact your strict adherence to these rules are the only compensation I would ever need.

So, you're a first timer...what do you need?

A bike.


Honestly, a million fuck yous to any westsider that doesn't own at least one bike. Honestly, what are you doing with your life? Buy a shitty one for $50 or drive to south central and buy a stolen one from a little kid for whatever change you have in your pocket. BUY. A. BIKE. People that try to drive and park are assholes, people that Uber or take the train are slightly less awful but can really jam up the group in the event of an after party. Also you will need a bike lock. A good one! One that can last the night in case you meet a chick at Big Dean's and she invites you back to her place. Also, never bike valet because they close promptly at 10 in effect ending your night whether or not you are ready to go home.


Yes wine, in fact I would suggest two bottles per person.

TWO BOTTLES PER PERSON? That's absurd! Right? Well hear me out. As you will be drinking on the beach, you will likely be using your standard red, 16 ounce solo cup. For the ease of measurement, we will convert a 750 ml bottle of wine to ounces, of which it is 25. You following me so far? Great! When filling a solo cup, people will incorrectly eyeball the proper pour to be slightly more than half the cup, which is 10 ounces. So by this logic, one bottle of wine holds 2.5 glasses.

So...2.5 glasses may sound perfect to you, but what about your friend's asshole coworker that brought nothing wants a glass. She goes ahead and pours herself a 10 ounce cup of wine and has effectively co-opted 40% of your wine. FORTY PERCENT!?! This is why you bring two bottles. There will invariably be people that DO NOT bring wine that ask you if they can have 'just a glass.' Imagine if two people don't bring wine but want 'just a glass' that's nearly a full bottle. You bring two bottles to compensate for these asshats. Make it Three Wishes or 2 buck chuck, honestly when your cup is full of a half inch of sand anyway, you aren't picky.

A QUICK Q and A concerning wine:

I only want a little wine, do I have to bring any wine?

At least one bottle for you.

I probably won't drink, do I have to bring any wine?

Unless you are allergic or religiously forbidden, bring wine. If there is even a remote statistical possibility that you will have a single drop of wine. Bring wine.

But I'm bringing cheese and crackers, I don't have to bring the wine right?

Running out of cheese and crackers is moderately unpleasant, MEH at worst. Running out of wine halfway through the show is a straight tragedy.

But seriously, I am bringing the food...

If you have a very specific discussion with your group about who is bringing what you can be exempted from bringing wine. 'Everyone just bring something' does not count as a very specific discussion. 'I am going to bring 4 Bay Cities sandwhiches, 2 hard cheeses, solo cups, and a wine opener while you bring us 6 bottles of red, one bottle of rose and one white for the weird girl' is a specific conversation.

On food...

A picnic on the beach in theory is better than it is in practice. If you want to prepare a gourmet feast, be my guest, but in my experience, sandwiches, chips and cheese are usually sufficient. Dips aren't great because people are sitting Indian style on a blanket, the less reaching the better. Another thing that travels pretty well is pizza, if you show up with a few hot and readys you will get multiple high fives. Also cookies are always a hit because someone always busts out a vape pen around 9:15pm.

On comforts...

Blankets! Blankets are how you claim your real estate! Imagine all of Santa Monica beach south of the Pier as a gigantic Risk board and your goal is an imperial mission to acquire as much land as possible. Blankets are how you do this. You're going to need to get a first wave of people to the bach by 6 at the latest to start claiming some ground. Obviously people will trickle in all night, but the lion's share of the blankets need to arrive in advance.

And identifiable landmarks...

Later in the summer it will be pretty dark by 8 o clock and cell phones won't work on a crowded beach, it's next to impossible to find your friends. My solution? Get a flag pole and a ridiculous flag. Or sit next to someone that has this. 'Next to the Texas flag' is a lot easier than '45 feet west and 30 feet north of guard tower 33' (and that's if I'm giving directions, a girl would say 'by the guard tower')

The little things...

Solo cups
wine key
towels (for beach limbo)
plastic silverware (maybe)
a good camera (for fun!)
a backpack (to carry all of this bullshit)

Experts Only...
Ok so if you show up to the pier with a blanket, a fuck ton of wine, a bag of Kettle chips and a positive attitude, you will have a good time. If you want to be a god damn legend, here are a few things you will see.

Luminaries: You know those bags full of sand with a little candle inside? Some people do it for halloween? The Santa Monica elite will use these to outline their beach spots, and it looks pretty dope.

Tables: Did you know there are little picnic table things that are only like 10 inches high? They really improve the whole presentation of the whole thing.

Fatboy Lamzacs: Just Google it, they look pretty dope.

After the show...

So it's 10 o clock, the show is over, you're 2 bottles deep because no annoying coworkers showed up tonight and tomorrow is already a lost cause so you want to keep drinking.

Your friends that make more money than you will want to go to 41 Ocean because they are convinced it is cool. It is not. Also you will have a hard time getting in with your flip flops.

I recommend going to Big Dean's a fantastic shit hole bar that will be full of a bunch of assholes drunker than you. Just make sure to wait in line and not try any funny business because the one legged bouncer will fuck you up. Big Dean's will also close at midnight which is a good built in fail safe that should convince you to ride home. And oh my what a pleasant ride home it is. I've heard rumors of cycling under the influence tickets, but I'm pretty sure they're a myth.

Throw on a nice Dave Matthews playlist while you cruise home and then flop down on the couch so it's easier to wake up in the morning. If you show up 20 minutes late with a purple mouth your coworkers should understand, if not, it's probably time to quit your job and get one closer to the beach.

Let's have a fun, safe, pier season because it's always in jeopardy of being the last.