Thursday, July 27, 2017

F*ckboy Bingo

The internet is a strange place that never seems to be able to come to a general consensus. For this article I did extreme amounts of research into what a fuckboy is. I read articles called "Is Ed Sheeren really a fuckboy in disguise?" I read something on Vice called "Are you a Soundcloud fuccboi?" I went deep on Black Twitter. I saw memes. There were egg plant and sprinkling emojis everywhere (also a lot of words that traditionally end in -ck changed to -cc, I don't understand that yet)

Alas, no one is quite sure what the definition of a fuckboy is. I read articles on Thought Catalog on how to spot a fuckboy emerging none the wiser. Even my old stand by Urban Dictionary gave me this muddled garbage:

Fuck Boy - A person who is a weak ass pussy that ain't bout shit.

Well the truth is, I've met plenty of fuckboys, and lots of them ARE bout shit. Hell, I wrote an entire post nine months ago called American Fuckboy where I sought this exact answer. But instead of re-litigating that whole mess I will start with this, some people think a fuckboy is a guy who cheats. I tend to think that just constitutes an asshole. In my privileged liberal echo chamber of Los Angeles a fuck boy is more of a douche; a selfish, somewhat aloof guy who has zero intention of ever making you something more than a casual hook-up.

I know that guy, because that guy is me. In fact, on the following Bingo board that I am about to show you, I have likely used every one of these excuses multiple times. You probably knew they were bullshit, but today, because I am a traitor to my gender I am going to tell you exactly what each of them means. Hopefully moving forward this will help you in your quest to rid yourself of the fuckboy, the most contagious of pests.

'We should get together some time'
A classic after a one night stand. One of the following likely happened: he followed up with a mutual friend and got some bad intel OR he didn't enjoy the experience OR he looked at your Facebook photo when he sobered up and is now having buyer's remorse. Whatever the case, by not setting a date and time he can slowly ghost you out. Even if you are the aggressor he will just 'be busy' until you give up.

'I'm not feeling well'
I did drugs until 6 in the morning last night with my bros. Please stop texting me.

'Send pics'
I could jack off to a picture of your tits right now but I definitely don't want you to come over.

'I'll hit you up later'
I'm out with my homies in search of better offers, but if I strike out I'll hit you up.

'I was out of town'
The OOT trip is the ghoster's best friend. Especially if they were somewhere 'remote' like mountains or a lake with spotty cell reception. Nothing kills momentum like a solid 7 day trip to a different area code.

'Let's hang *insert school night here*'
I enjoy having sex with you, but you're not worth a prime weekend slot, except maybe in the mid afternoon Sunday post brunch pre Game of Thrones position.

'I have a friend in town'
I'm with another chick.

'I'm bringing a friend'

'What are you up to late night?'
Hey! I struck out, you have now risen to the top of my priority list.

'Ugh, that's too far.'
One of my personal favorites. The truth is, if you aren't that into someone, across the street is too fucking far. Conversely, I once drove to Phoenix Arizona in a Chevrolet Cobalt that didn't have air conditioning to see a chick. So when a guy tells you that where you are is 'too far' what it really means is he has done a quick SWOT analysis and decided that watching pron and going to bed would be a better option.

(Last minute) 'Hey what are you up to tonight?'
All my friends are busy/with their girlfriends/I have literally nothing better to do.

'Wanna go on a hike?'
I'm too broke/don't care enough to take you on a date.

'Wanna watch a movie?'
I'm too broke/don't care enough to take you on a date. Also I just cleaned my apartment for the first time in 4 months.

'My phone was dead'
I saw that you texted, but the mere thought of communicating with you after I had been mainlining Molly for 18 hours gave me so much existential dread that I locked my phone in a drawer, bought some Xanax from the neighbor and started a rewatch of Lost Season 3.

'I'm too (insert honestly anything here) to have a girlfriend right now.'
I'm a young, attractive, employed male. Do you know how easy it is for me out there? I don't even have to try! Why would I commit to dating someone and have to do things like share a bed or control of the tv remote. No, I'm all set thanks.

I'm not responding to you because as much as you gossip to your friends about me, I literally think of you less than I wonder about what happened to the career of Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

"OMG you're at (insert place) I love it there!"
This is the classic opener of a breadcrumb. Homeboy is on a cold streak and by mentioning something he saw on your Instagram he is giving you the requisite attention he thinks will make you come crawling back. My advice would be to respond with either 'oh' 'cool' or absolutely nothing. But you know you're going to say 'we should go some time' and you'll be back in his bed tomorrow *sigh*

"Are you busy Friday?"
I got roped into some sort of group date thing and I need a desperation plus one to avoid awkwardness.

"Sorry, I've been busy."
Busy fucking other chiiiiiicks!

'Come over'
I'm blacked out.

'Come party'
I'm blacked out AND on drugs.

'I ordered a pizza. I miss you.'
I'm blacked out AND on drugs AND there is no way that I am going to be awake by the time you or that pizza get here.

'What's your Instagram?'
I don't remember your name and I don't remember what you look like. Need to find out if hot.

'I'm too drunk to come over.'
I won't be able to get it up even if come over so what's the point? Might as well stop it at I'm too drunk to come...heyoooo

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Los Angeles Game of Thrones

In the entertainment industry, similar to Westeros, you win or you die.

(And by die I mean you either move back to the shitty town you came from or continue to live off of your rich parents.)

I've been doing more dying than winning lately because I made a strategic error in my conquest. I assumed that everyone in the entertainment industry like everyone in my personal life was a homie.

I don't know if you knew this about me but I am a bro. My friends are bros. I am loud and cocky. I like to take my shirt off. I will take the AUX cord and play Bieber even if I've played in 17 times already tonight. I do not cuff my jeans. I like to jump off of high shit. I yell 'Saturdays are for the boys' at the age of 30 without shame. I have girls named in my phone as 'Becky Townhouse." I have never in my life turned down something offered to me in a bathroom. I drink, I smile, I make eye contact, sometimes I wink at people. I use phrases like 'top-tier' and I use summer as a verb. I am the hit of every wedding, the focal point of every dance floor, your mom warned you about people like me. Yet despite all that, I've a pretty genuine guy and above all a good hang.

The traits listed above mattered where I came from, but unfortunately Los Angeles seems to be a place where deception and treachery reign supreme over positivity and polo shirts. Similar to Ned Stark, I died for what I believed in. Perhaps there is still hope for me. I could rise from the ashes a la Jon Snow and prove to be the Prince who was promised. Only time will tell.

The following exercise determines whether you might survive a career in Los Angeles based on the Game of Thrones character that most closely aligns with you. Now because I know you would all choose Dany, Arya or Jon I have put together a little quiz to see how you might fare in these mean streets of Hollywood. For each answer you will be assigned an arbitrary(??) point value between 1 and 4, keep track of your score and at the end we will find out who lives and who moves back to Buffalo Grove to sell life insurance.

Pick a starter job in Hollywood.
A. Paid Intern at Fox Publicity
B. Office PA on the new NBC Drama 'Rise'
C. Mail room at UTA
D. Manager's Assistant at 3 Arts

A: 2 B: 1 C: 3 D: 4

Pick a career in LA.
A. VP of Post Production - Home Media at Disney
B. Music Video Director signed to Anonymous Content
C. Writer/Producer on the Fox reboot of 'Halloween'
D. Actor/Actress/Foam Art Expert at Urth Caffe

A: 4 B: 3 C: 2 D: 1

Pick the best route to get from Venice Beach to Paramount on a Thursday at 3pm.
A. Lincoln to 10 to La Cienega to Fountain
B. 10 to 405 to 101 exit at Highland
C. Venice to La Brea
D. 10 to Crenshaw to Wilshire to Vine

A: 3 B: 1 C: 2 D: 4

Pick a place to get networking drinks.
A. The Hudson
B. Bungalow
C. Cha Cha Lounge
D. Backstage

A: 4 B: 1 C: 3 D: 2

You picked up your boss's lunch at Tender Greens in Studio City, as you're pulling into Universal you realize that even though you specified NO hazelnuts, there are indeed hazelnuts in his salad. Do you...
A. Turn around and demand Tender Greens remake the salad.
B. Furiously attempt to pick all of the hazelnuts out of the salad.
C. Profusely apologize to your boss about the inclusion of said hazelnuts.
D. Hand him the salad, say nothing, walk back to your desk and resume Gchatting girls you want to fuck.

A: 3 B: 4 C: 2 D: 1

Your boss is the showrunner of a television show called "Beta Date a Guy" a show that reimagines Romeo and Juliet as a same sex relationship between warring factions within the Beta Theta Pi fraternity house at Indiana University. One afternoon over lunch you suggest a bottle episode in which each group of friends attempt to prove their superiority by doing the open to close challenge at popular dive bar Kilroy's. Your boss takes this idea verbatim for his script. Do you...
A. Demand a story by credit, thus getting yourself halfway into the WGA.
B. Leverage this into a promotion to writer's assistant for season 2.
C. Nothing. You're happy your idea made it to air.
D. File a grievance with the WGA. This is your idea, you deserve fiscal compensation.

A: 2 B: 4 C: 3 D: 1

One of your co-worker's got blacked out on a Thursday night at a Santa Monica Pier concert and slept through his alarm. You know that one of his responsibilities is to get his boss a breakfast burrito every morning, but you also know that you are both vying for the same promotion do you...
A. Cover for him, it will take you 2 minutes to walk downstairs and get a burrito for his boss.
B. Do nothing, say nothing.
C. Strike a deal with him that he will cover your morning duties for a week allowing you an extra hour to sleep each day.
D. Rat him out. Fuck that guy, only the strong survive.

A: 3 B: 1 C: 4 D: 2

You are an agent trainee at a top Hollywood Agency, one of the female partners shows interest in you at a wrap party, do you...
A: Go home with her, you're both consenting adults
B. Go home with her and then extort her for a promotion
C. Introduce her to your girlfriend
D. Feign illness, say you've had too much to drink and throw yourself in a cab home.

A: 2 B :1 C: 3 D: 4

After doing some promo work on the latest season of Game of Thrones, you are invited to the HBO holiday party. Who is your plus 1?
A. Best friend
B. The hottest piece of ass you could find
C. Your girlfriend
D. A platonic female that is a superfan of Game of Thrones.

A: 2 B: 1 C: 4 D: 3

A lead actress of a film you are working on asks if you can help her find some cocaine, she has a troubled past and has promised to stay sober on this shoot. Do you...
A. Hell ya you help her out. Also mention that you're looking for something to do this weekend.
B. Discretely give her a number and tell her not to mention it to anyone.
C. Sorry, you don't do drugs.
D. Inform the AD that his star is looking for disco dust.

A. 3 B: 1 C: 4 D: 2

It's Friday at 6pm and you have tickets to go see Guster play the Hollywood Bowl at 7. On your way out the door your boss asks for a milkshake from In n Out. The closest one is only 3 miles away but at this hour it will take an hour and a half round trip. You...
1. Go to In n Out. You'll miss the first few songs.
2. You have an old In n Out cup in your car and there is a McDonald's across the street...
3. Tell her about the concert and see if she relents.
4. Post mates a milkshake and start pregaming at your desk.

A. 2 B. 4 C: 1 D: 3

OK, now tabulate your scores. Let's find out which Westerosi pawn is going to decide your fate in Los Angeles.

Robert Baratheon/ICM Mail Room

Congrats, you are just here to party rock like the late King Robert. Sure you have been legendary for your accomplishments on the battlefield as well as in the brothel, but that's all in the past my guy. Since the series started you've mainly been black out drunk and pissing yourself all the way until you got killed by a pig in episode 7. A motherfucking pig. Your equivalent career arc is someone that moves out to LA, got a job in the mail room and then punched some 5'4 agent with the last name Goldstein because he yelled at you for fucking up his coffee order. He's not pressing charges, but you'll never work in this town again. Spin zone, you've got a rich dad and your varsity letter jacket still means something in Fishers. You can move back, fuck your high school ex and sell cars for your dad. Could be worse.

Renly Baratheon/Assistant to the VP of Comedy

You had everything going for you. You got to make love to Iron Fist while Anne Boleyn watched. You had Brienne of Tarth by your side and your people adored you; but then POOF you got stabbed in the back by a shadow demon.  See Renly believed a little too much in the good of people, just like you believed in the genuine nature of people in 'The Industry.' Like for example when your boss asked you to cover with him with accounting when they found strange charges on the Corporate P Card for a place called Seventh Veil. "Just tell them its a restaurant and submit your envelope, I promise I'll make you Director of Current Comedy." You did as you were told and a couple days later an HR representative told you that you had been shitcanned. Your boss by the way just got promoted to VP and hasn't answered one of the 17 emails you have sent him in the past 3 weeks.

Robb Stark/Writer's Assistant

You were clever, you even had some early success, but you let that success go to your head. Win a few battles, start fucking commoners, say to hell with tradition, sure that all works for a while until you get killed for it. Your career was off to a great start. You even got to write an episode for a tv show you worked on as a writer's assistant. You took that $32,000 and applied for a junior membership to Soho house. But then one evening out in Beverly Hills you saw the president of the network and decided to go introduce yourself as a writer on one of her shows. But you forgot the white substance dangling from your nostrils and when it came to renew contracts for season 2, she seemingly forgot to pick yours up. Oops.

Tyrion Lannister/Manager

People counted you out all your life and look at you now. You knew that you were never the one destined for greatness but that you could council people on their quest to the top and align yourself closely with them making you by proxy POWERFUL. As Tyrion was the hand to multiple kings, your client roster boasts writers, directors and producers at the top of their game. And guess what, if anyone wants access to them? They have to come through you. That my friends, may make you the most dangerous person in Hollywood.

Peter Baelish/Development Exec and Producer

You are the most difficult person to figure out in the seven kingdoms, and while you have seemingly made small steps forward in acquiring the iron throne, you have mostly stayed on the sidelines. You seem safe...for now, but what happens if one of your deceptive plots backfires, it only takes one. This is like the guy that has managed to get a bunch of producer credits seemingly with no talent. He merely connects people. You need a rich guy to finance your film? I know one. You need Kit Harrington for a role? I did shrooms with him at Burning Man! Your influence keeps growing ever so slightly, you like to think that you are a big fish in the development game. But what happens when everyone realizes that you don't actually DO anything. Will they still want to keep you around?

Arya Stark/Chief Compliance Officer

You are driven purely by hate, while once you may have stood for something now you just want to watch all of your enemies burn. As a VP of Corporate Compliance you will take glee in exposing the old tweets of men that didn't call you back, leaking TMZ arrest footage of a guy that once called you a bitch. While Arya may have killed men, you will kill careers and you will always get the last laugh as you banish once famous men to the doldrums of D list reality television.

Jon Snow/Actor

Jon Snow never had any desire to rule yet here he is: a top 3 contender for the throne. Anytime he makes a seemingly terrible decision, fate throws a curve ball that magically resets the game in his favor. As for you, well you have been falling upward your entire career. You started off on a soap opera and then got killed off only to be cast in a prime time drama that was subsequently cancelled after three episodes. Of course you thought this was the end until you were plucked from the ashes to sign a contract to do 9 Marvel movies. Jon Snow succeeds in spite of himself, as do you, probably because of your association with the Church of Scientology.

Daenerys Targaryen/Studio Head

You will win the iron throne because you will let nothing in your path stop you. You will destroy anything in your path including the friends and the enemies that got you here. Your beginnings were humble, you were an office PA at Paramount. From there you jumped to Management 360/Mereen then Showtime/Dragonstone and now here you are as Queen of the Iron Throne/Disney. People live in fear of you, none of your relationships are genuine. Sometimes when you sit down at the end of the day, you have to wonder, was it all worth it? Maybe you should have just lived the life of a commoner in Essos/New Jersey. You could have been married, had children, but now you live in constant fear of a rebellion which you know will come sooner or later

Cersei Lannister/Director

I see you figured out the 4's were the good one, did you? Well you know who else tried to cheat the game? Roman Polanski. And then his wife got murdered by the Manson family and he had to hide in Poland the rest of his life which is probably just as bad as having your three children murdered and then having your brother/lover eventually stab you in the heart. No one is perfect in Westeros and no one is perfect in Hollywood either. Valar Morghulis is a Valaryian idiom that means All Men Must Die, and the same is true in Hollywood, except some of us just leave slightly larger trust funds for our shitty USC grad children. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Burning Man Diaries: Orientation

It's Sunday afternoon and I am standing in the last place in the world I would want to be; deep in North Hollywood. It's a balmy 98 degrees as I walk into an empty dive bar with a light New Orleans theme.
"What are you drinking?" A bored bartender asks me. I point to a Delerium, if I am going to go to the valley three times in a single weekend, at least I'm going to have a decent beer.

"Are you here for orientation?" Asks a small bespectacled man emerging from the back.
I nod. I had assumed that I had gotten the address wrong when I saw an empty bar. I was hoping to finish my pint and then return to my beloved west side where lamb shank and a new season of Game of Thrones awaited me.

He led me back to a small event space with about 10 chairs. A few more people sauntered in, a large map of the Burning Man playa sat on a Easel in front of us.

"I'm Al," he started, "and I'm a porn lawyer. Twenty years ago, I was hired by a video production company that wanted to halt the release of an adult film. Part of my job was to research the tape and find a legal reason to prevent its release. But during said research, I couldn't help but notice the big party going on in the background. I asked my client where this video was shot. 'Burning Man.' They replied. And well, I lost the case, but I've been a Burner ever since."

As the room began to fill up, we went around introducing ourselves and how we first heard about Burning Man.

I imagine everyone knows about Burning Man in some way or another. What their opinion of it may be is another matter entirely. I have talked to annoying people at parties that talk about how it's such a 'life changing experience' but I have also talked to plenty of cool, extremely successful people that say the same thing. I suppose my reason for wanting to go is that I like to camp and I like to party. Whether I will become a lifelong burner or not is really beside the point, it's a bit of a bucket list thing. I wanted to run with the bulls this summer but my mom got sick. I wanted to go to Yacht Week this year but then my tv show got cancelled. Burning Man might be the one thing this year that keeps my entire 2017 from being a wash.

Of course when it came to be my turn to talk I think I said something lame like "I had friends tell me it's fun."

The next two hours I learned more about the Burning Man culture than I think I had ever cared to know. From costumes to art to gifting. It all seemed like a foreign language. Phrases like 'Radical self reliance' 'Radical self expression.' "Matter out of place.' What did this shit even mean? I was here to ensure my survival, not that I would have the best time ever, not that I would open my mind to a new dimension and be permanently changed, to simply not die. Let's start with the camps.

The general idea is that you bring enough stuff for you to survive the week by yourself, but it sounds like you don't really have to. There are food camps, where you can go to eat...a grilled cheese, steak and lobster, shrimp gumbo. These camps are run by people that have been coming to Burning Man for years and their gift to you is the gift of food. Perhaps you offer to wash dishes for a bit after your meal, perhaps not. My buddy and I are probably going to make Live Strong Bracelets with Burning Man 2017 on them, they're not edible, but everyone likes free bracelets right?

Then there are bar camps. Wear a mug around your neck and present it to a bartender to be rewarded with a frosty brew. Again this is free. This is their gift to you. It's unreal. Why would anyone ever leave the food camps or the bar camps?

Well there are the sound camps, these are the super rich people that import major stages to Black Rock City and get people like Major Lazer and Skrillex to play until 4 o clock in the morning.

Or perhaps you would be more interested in the 'High sexuality' camp, a place that literally has an orgy dome and a swingers club. One of the moderators of orientation made it very apparent that whether or not you are accustomed to using lube, it is mandatory at Burning Man.
"It's not that she doesn't like you, it's just that the body needs extra water to make that kinda thing happen."

They also teach courses at the sex camp. I may stop by the Cunnilingus for beginners Wednesday at 10am, though I hope it's more theory than practice because on day 3 with no showers that sounds like something for only the bravest student.

Recycling camps will take your empty beers, the ranger camp will get you help if you're too fucked up and the fully functional hospital camp can get you a B12 shot or an IV drip gratis if you went too hard the night before. (It has long been my fantasy to get an IV drip)

I felt my trip start to take more of a structure. Wake up, crack a beer, write down the events of the previous day. (I'll have to transcribe later to this blog as I don't plan on having internet access) then saunter around to the camps handing out gifts and making friends all day, which is all a huge pregame for whatever DJ is playing that night.

There was practical advice like if you're camping, try to position yourself in between a couple RVs for shade. But bring 24 inch rebar poles for tent stakes, tape up any netting unless you want your entire tent to be covered in dust. Easy ups WILL fly away and oh by the way, the temperature will fluctuate between 105 degrees and 40. Wear socks, always have a headlamp, bring handwarmers, rub lotion on your skin, DON'T FORGET SUNSCREEN.

The truth is, I expect to be somewhat uncomfortable the entire week from a physical standpoint. I'm going to be covered in dust and peeling flash tats, hot, sweaty and thirsty. I won't sleep well, I'll be putting a lot of stuff into my body and I might at least partially lose my mind.

But surely of the 80,000 people that make this pilgrimage every year, I won't be the worst. As I looked around the room at all the newbies (a surprisingly attractive crew) some of my pre-existing notions of the festival were shattered. This was a group of people that had jobs, a group of people that were respected members of their community, but furthermore some of these people were the type that would not survive Day 1 of The Hunger Games. And that's essentially what Burning Man is, it's The Hunger Games, except no one is really trying to kill you (except maybe the people on acid driving around art cars.) Hell, the moderator himself said that the first Burning Man he ever went to he hopped in a car with nothing but the shirt on his back, turned out fine for him.

Then there was also a portion of the class that essentially told us 'don't be a dick.' Don't pee on the playa, find a port o potty. Don't drink too much during the day (LOL) Don't steal a bike that isn't yours. For the love of God, never wander off without an emergency bag, because if a white out hits you will be screwed, possibly fucked.

I still don't really know what I've gotten myself into. But the last time someone died it was from trying to jump onto a moving vehicle, which is not necessarily something I am wont to do. So I'm liking my chances?

I'm going out there with a buddy for five days. We will have a car, 2 bikes, a tent, a shade structure, water, food, beer, a camera, some clothes, and positive attitudes. Anything else is just gravy. I think it's going to be ok. We won't be the most prepared, but hopefully we won't be the least either.

The last orientation I went to was my college orientation. I ended up losing my virginity to a girl from my orientation the first night of college. Maybe lightning will strike again 12 years later. Fingers crossed.

The United States of Hate

Despite my fun loving personality and annoying optimism, I actually hate quite a few things. I hate being broke, I hate Los Angeles street cleaning and I hate the fact that I once lost a job for giving an honest opinion on high waisted jeans. I also kind of hate the comedy of Kumail Nanjiani (his stand up, I'm sure he's a wonderful person and I can't wait to see his movie, but his smug measured delivery never really did it for me) That said, one of my favorite moments in this year's season of Silicon Valley is when his character bonds with a woman over a shared hatred, in this case their hatred of Martin Freeman's character Gilfoyle.

Apparently among the millions of dating apps there is one called HATER that has keyed into this specific level of attraction, people pulled together by the things they despise the most. You probably saw it on the internet today. What I wanted to do this afternoon was author a quick breakdown of my thoughts on the map, as I stereotype large swaths of the country and become a little less likable.

So as the Queen of Dragons says, "Shall we begin?"

*Also while I am not going to create a HATER profile, if there are women out there that also hate high waisted jeans and think fashion peaked in 2003 with Season 1 Marissa Cooper, hit me up, my DMs are open.

ALABAMA: Vegetarianism
Look I get it; animals are cool. I cried at the end of Bambi. Upton Sinclair's The Jungle made my skin crawl and I even felt bad for all the little super pigs at the end of Okja. That said; if you think I am going to go a single week without eating meat 21 times the rest of my life, you are insane. That would be like cutting off my own dick because I'm bothered by sexual assault. No? It's nothing like that? Sorry, I'm not great with metaphors.

ALASKA: Graffiti
Graffiti is all good and well until it happens to you. I kind of chuckle when I see a Venice gang has tagged a new fence in Oakwood or something. 'Hey maybe rent won't continue to skyrocket after all!' But rest assured if I got home and someone had spray painted "FAGGOT" in green paint on my Mini Cooper, my day would be ruined.

I too hate sand. When I was newly initiated into the frat, the pledges filled my room with sand one night and I never got it all out. Living in Venice, there is a constant layer of sand on basically everything I own, but I also have the ocean. So the sand in my bed, in my shower, in my wine glass, that's just the cost of doing business. But Arizona doesn't have a beach, so I feel their pain.

ARKANSAS: Cleaning
I think it's fairly safe to say that most people do not enjoy cleaning. I know that there are some women that claim that it can be therapeutic, but I think that these are the same women that reject feminism and write blogs titled 'there is nothing wrong with being a professional mom.' I agree, my mother never worked, but given unlimited resources I have no doubt she would have let a live in housekeeper do the cleaning while we went on extravagant play dates instead.

CALIFORNIA: Fidget Spinners
Such a weak entry from my current state. There is so much to hate about California: traffic, rent prices, the idiots that dress up in costumes on Hollywood Boulevard, and y'all came up with fidget spinners? A fad that lasted all of 12 days? No wonder every film released these days is based on existing IP, creativity in the Bear Republic is clearly dead.

True story: I always shit on boy bands in middle school because it was the cool thing to do. Despite my constant trashing of Justin Timberlake, I made my mom drive me straight to Best Buy after school the day No Strings Attached came out and I listened to it in secret for years. Cut to: I'm in college, it's fun to ironically listen to boy band music and I learn the entire dance to 'Bye, Bye, Bye' for serenades and I had sex in my house manager's office shortly thereafter due in large part to N*Sync.

A very pragmatic answer from the people of Hartford. There is a lot of snow in Connecticut but not necessarily a lot of cool shit to do in said snow. I like Winter because I get about two weekends of it a year, as it turns out, that is the perfect amount.

DELAWARE: Casey Affleck
Holy shit, there has to be a story here. Does Delaware have some sort of affinity for Denzel Washington and holds Affleck responsible for robbing their guy of an Oscar? Perhaps the chick that Affleck allegedly sexually assaulted on the set of 'I'm Still Here" was from Dover? I need answers.

FLORIDA: Workout Couples
I agree! No i don't want to run with you, go to a spin class or god forbid yoga. Couples that workout together look like major assholes. (This doesn't apply to activities such as biking or hiking or kayaking...specifically general exercise that most of the population hates.) The only possible pro to working out with a partner is the possibility of shower sex that follows, but to be honest I'm much more into the idea of shower sex as a 9am on a Sunday activity as opposed to a post 10 mile run activity. Sweat is gross.

GEORGIA: Tuna Salad
Oddly specific, I don't like tuna salad either, but I'm shocked that there was an entire population of a state that decided that this was the one thing in the world they hated more than anything else. Maybe the service only has one user in Georgia and he had a bad experience with cat food and pledgeship.

HAWAII- Taking videos at concerts
Ya I guess. Literally no one in the world gives a shit about your concert video, and you are never going to watch it again. It's best to live in the moment I suppose. But how is anyone going to know that you're at this sick fucking set at Pitchfork if you don't let all of Snapchat know that you're living your best life?

IDAHO- Asking for directions
Such a great red state answer. I bet the average single in Idaho also refuses to use things like Waze or even basic GPS. You know what? He probably doesn't even use a map. He eyeballs the route based on the general direction and the sun's position in the sky and hopes for the best.

ILLINOIS- Biting string cheese
OMG I AM SO HERE FOR THIS ANSWER. If you bite string cheese you are literally the worst. Yes I realize that there are many dictators throughout human history that have committed terrible atrocities, but none of them have done anything to me and every time you chomp on string cheese I come quite close to losing my lunch.

INDIANA- Bloggers
This was the popular joke on the internet today. But I'm going to cut my home state a little break here. I am going to assume that the good people of the Hoosier state do not hate all people that write on the internet but rather chicks that turn 28 and say 'I'm a lifestyle blogger now. Ask me where I got my shoes and my new kale recipe.' Then again I'm 30 and write a blog  that primarily details with partying hard way past your prime and why all your relationships are failing. (Spoiler alert: It's because they guys are partying hard way past their prime)

IOWA- Long hair on guys
BOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! (Though this explains what my dad always offers to pay for my haircut when I'm at home)

KANSAS- Seinfeld
This is interesting because while most people in the rural midwest generally detest New York, Kansas is the exact reason that we still have network multi-cap sitcoms like The Big Bang Theory in 2017. I always thought that Seinfeld was maybe a B and a tad overrated. Remind me to Google 'Kansas antisemitism' later and report my findings.
KENTUCKY- Friends that ask you to help them move
LOL. The cool car to have in Indiana when I was in high school was an SUV. If you were poor you got a Blazer, middle class an Explorer, rich a Navigator or an Escalade. But I got myself a tiny ass Pontiac Grand Am GT with two fucking doors. Do you know why? Because that thing was small and cramped and awful when there were more than 2 people in it. Result? I never had to drive ANYWHERE. I was fucked up all of high school riding around in the third row of a Trailblazer laughing at sober Dan driving my ass back to Geist. When y'all were playing checkers I was playing chess. It's no coincidence that I have a Mini Cooper now. I imagine the cool kids in Kentucky have tricked out F-150s, but the smart ones are driving fucking Smart Cars.

LOUISIANA- Being the designated driver
GET A TWO DOOR CAR YOU DUMB CAJUNS! YOU'LL NEVER DRIVE! It's not like this matters anyway though. The law might nominally be .08 in Louisiana but this state also sells cocktails in drive thrus. I'm pretty sure 'being the designated driver' means having 6 hand grenades instead of 10. I applaud that they find this to be such a major pain point though. I also hate it when someone cuts me off after 6 drinks.

MAINE- Boys Night
Lot of people on Twitter bitching recently about 'Saturdays are for the boys.' I'm pretty sure every single one of them had a guy break up with them because he wanted to go do cocaine with his friends instead of going to another farmer's market. I hope we're moving to a place where some day a happy couple will be able to say 'Hey, I'm going to a farmer's market!' 'Cool, I'm going to do drugs! 'Great see you at home!'

MARYLAND- Cheap Coffee
Expected this from Washington, was not aware of the Baltimore French Press scene.

LOL Boston never disappoints.

MICHIGAN- Pride and Prejudice
But how do they feel about it once the zombies are added?

MINNESOTA- Drinking Alone it weird that sometimes I prefer it?

Fun fact: I have never had anal sex and it's my go to in Never Have I Ever. It's always a little funny to see all your friends shamefully drink to it thus admitting the deed, especially if they've been dating forever. I'm going to go ahead and take a leap of faith that the Mississippians are implying they hate the gays without saying they hate the gays, because specifically saying you hate straight anal just seems bizarre. Personally I am largely indifferent to all types of anal sex.

MISSOURI- People who believe in aliens
I think most people that believe in aliens actually just WANT to believe in aliens. Most of us live fairly boring lives and if a spaceship crash landed in the Ozarks or on top of a Donny and Marie show in Branson that would be fucking awesome. It's the same feeling I have when I wake up each morning hoping there is an incredible celebrity scandal. So I don't know what makes the people of Missouri so damn cool that they don't need the hope of aliens to keep their lives interesting. The Cardinals aren't even good this year.

MONTANA- Going to the gym
Don't we all? My desire to go to the gym is only slightly eclipsed by how much I hate myself when I'm the fattest person at beach volleyball. But Montana people probably don't have that problem.

NEBRASKA- Friendly Reminder Emails
Mixed emotions on this one. On one hand I do not need to know that half of my high school friends in Indiana are waiting for me to confirm our connection on LinkedIn. On the other, I just got an email from Jinder Mahal reminding me about his PUNJABI PRISON MATCH this Sunday on the WWE Network. WTF is a Punjabi prison match? Sounds racist. I'M IN!

NEVADA- FeminismYa I'm not going to touch this with a ten foot poll, though from a Marketing standpoint (and according to the Kelley School of Business I am an expert in this field) I would tell Katy Perry that if you build a career on having big tits and then suddenly chop your hair off and wear loose fitting clothes your album isn't going to sell.

Lol. Bernie lost, it's time to move on. If you really want to realize your dream of a hippie commune, there is probably a Danish chick that will marry you and you can have free health care, free grad school, free basic income and hang out all day in Christiania. Wait a second, wtf am I doing here?

NEW JERSEY- Jellyfish
Was not aware of the jellyfish epidemic on the Jersey shore. Between this and the Always Sunny episode, I'm convinced I never need to travel there.

NEW MEXICO- Polo Shirts
Oh fuck you! But I bet your college house parties were lit you fucking geeds.

NEW YORK- Times Square
Ah yes, the smugness is high in this response, but I get it. I hate Hollywood with all my heart and any time someone begs to see the walk of fame I implore them to let us do something else. I know you want to get a selfie taking a dump on Trump's star but that meme is over man.

I don't think anyone loves going through a DUI checkpoint. It's the driving equivalent of going through TSA. 'Oh shit are they going to be dick heads about my break light?' is the "Is there an old bag of weed in one of my shorts pockets?" I saw a guy get kicked off a plane recently for vaping in the bathroom, he was issued a citation and told the FBI would be contacting him. The feds don't fuck around,

While I seriously doubt that there are tapas restaurants in Fargo, I agree that tapas are bullshit. At some point someone at BIG TAPAS convinced white girls that small plates are fun and cool because you get to try a lot and stay skinny! In all actuality it is an expensive and unsatisfying meal that will always lead me to a late night food truck.

OHIO- Tying a tie
Fun fact: I don't know how to tie a tie! I was a god damn business major! My dad would tie 10 ties for me at the beginning of the semester and I would just never take the knot out. This is the real reason I moved to LA to become an unemployed writer.

OKLAHOMA- Hearing the latest gossip
To be fair, there probably isn't a lot of great gossip in OKC. Maybe Paul George will knock up a stripper or an offensive lineman for the Sooners will be recorded saying the N bomb, but that's the best you can hope for. National gossip is lit though, and anyone that doesn't enjoy it is just a liar.

OREGON- Spin class
Of course a bunch of crunchy hipsters don't like spin class. Their skin tight jeans are not made for such an activity. Oregon sucks. It's like if Silverlake was a whole state. You can have your fucking fair trade coffee, imperial stouts and facial hair and leave the hell alone. We value physical attractiveness and exercise here in Los Angeles, not beard grooming.

PENNSYLVANIA- People who use money clips
Boring answer from a boring state. I was really hoping for something pro Joe Paterno here, but alas Pennsylvania has let me down.

RHODE ISLAND- Middle America

SOUTH CAROLINA- Edward Snowden
MIKE and KIM are on a first date.
Kim: I really don't understand why people worry about privacy if they're not doing anything wrong.
Mike: Right? And what's with closing Gitmo, it's just a bunch of Muslims anyway!
Kim: Wanna go shoot guns and fuck?
Mike: Check please!

SOUTH DAKOTA- The New York Times

LOL suck it failing NYT, FAKE NEWS!!! Nate Cohn is totally a cuck!

TENNESSEE- Foraged Food
I don't know what this is.
*Googles foraged food*
Ok apparently it's when you hike around the woods and pick weeds and eat them, kinda like the main character from Into the Wild. Didn't work out too well for him, huh?

TEXAS- Sleeping with the window open
I also don't like sleeping with the window open because I am afraid of bugs coming in through the window and landing on my face. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night because a gnat is buzzing near my ear and I hate it. I also always kind of think that a bad guy will come in through my window and attack me though I'm sure that is a Texan's wet dream because they probably sleep with their guns and fantasize about 'standing their ground.'

UTAH- Porn

VERMONT- Waiting in line
When does anyone in Vermont, the 49th most populous state, have to wait in line? I understand though, I bypassed the McDonald's drive thru yesterday because the line was long and went straight to Taco Bell. No line. Highlight of my week so far.

VIRGINIA- Dabbing pizza grease with a napkin
I concur. Let the grease consume you. I don't find a slice of pizza to be greasy enough unless I can physically feel my arteries clogging afterward.

I knew we would get some coffee snobbery out of Seattle. Can I share something horrific with you? My dad, an otherwise reasonable man, reuses K-cups. Like he has a little drawer of used K cups that he can reuse because apparently he doesn't like his coffee too strong. This is why I don't go home more often.

WASHINGTON DC- The idea that everyone has a soul mate
DC is a godless place full of horrible people but this just sounds like a warning shot for when you inevitably get caught having an affair.
No you said you didn't believe in 'soul mates.'

I have to say, I'm REALLY enjoying the Uber'Lyft wars right now. It's like a race to the bottom on price. I got to Hollywood last weekend for about 8 dollars. What I don't understand is the new tipping thing and why that is such a marketing point lately. I don't WANT to tip my drivers and before it was Uber and Lyft's fault. But now that it's an option, I feel compelled to. It's kind of like how I feel it's not my fault when i don't tip at Starbucks because there is no tip line. I HATE when I buy carry out and there's a tip line. GOD DAMMIT TAKE YOUR DOLLAR AND LEAVE ME ALONE.

I don't like the idea of trap music, but if you are 32 beers deep at a Baauer show, it's tough to not have a good time. Then again, 33 beers usually lead to a good time. 

WYOMING- Gluten-free
I agree! Gluten-free isn't real! People with 'celiacs' are just weak stomached cowards! I pride myself on the fact that I eat McDonald's 4 times a week, never get a stomach ache and never gain weight. Sucks to suck! *Dies at 49 of a massive heart attack caused by high cholesterol* 

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Bumble Game

When I was 13 years old, I fantasized over racing home to get on AOL instant messenger so I could talk to chicks. Back then, I had nothing to say really. Lots of "hey" definitely some "sup?" and a fuck ton of "same." Like many of you, I assumed this was a passing trend. I wouldn't hide behind a keyboard forever. At some point I would grow courage and approach women in public. Perhaps I would see a beautiful woman in a grocery store and ask if I could take her to dinner. Maybe I would spot a girl walking her dog and tell her that I would love to grab a coffee.

As it turns out, I was wrong.

The majority of my relationships still to this day are built on Gchat, text, Snap, whatever else the kids are up to today. I carried on a six week romance with a coworker in the office next to me based upon us just sending eachother BuzzFeed Quizzes and discussing the results, so this gave me an idea.

What follows is a simulation on dating in the modern age. Some of you will succeed, but many, many more of you will fail and call me in tears. (Do not call me in tears as this is not real.) The goal of this exercise is to make Chad your boyfriend. Your ability to do so rests on several decisions you will make along the way. So grab yourself a Pammplemousse La Croix, a Tates bake shop chocolate chip cookie and let's get started.

Meet Chad, 28.

Chad is hot. Chad is a Post Production Coordinator at Fox Broadcast Company and graduated from the University of Southern California.

His location is 3.1 miles away and his bio says the following. "Too close for missiles, I'm switching to guns. 6'1"

Chad's picture is of him shirtless holding a lacrosse stick. His next photos show him sailing with friends, at a nice dinner with his mother, a selfie on the Great Wall of China and of him wearing a Bromper at a fraternity party.

You do a quick analysis that Chad probably has a great relationship with his mother, enjoys physical fitness and travel and would be a suitable companion. You find his participation in fraternal hijinks troubling but you......oh who are we kidding, this guy is fucking hot and probably rich SWIPE RIGHT.

You go to grab yourself a sparkling Smart Water when *buzz buzz*


OMG OMG OMG OMG take a deep breath. You have a nibble, but now you need to say something fun, quirky AND sexy to reel him in. This is too much pressure for one person to handle so you enlist the help of your three coworkers: Meredith, Anna and Kyle.

Meredith: I don't understand how he is wearing a romper at a fraternity party, Male rompers came out 6 months ago and this guy graduated college 6 years ago so either he still parties at his college frat OR he was way ahead of the curve. But anyway, if you want to sound cool I would say something and slightly condescending like "Sweet romper, wanna meet at the 9-0 after work?"

Anna: Ummm this is obvious you JUST went to China. Talk about that! People can talk about the places they've visited for hours, it's so easy. Say "Just got back from China, what was your favorite part?"

Kyle: Well the too close for missiles thing is a Top Gun quote. So maybe ask him if he's An Ice Man or a Maverick? I don't know, I think Bumble is incredibly stupid.


1M: "Sweet romper, wanna meet at the 9-0 after work?
A long silence follows and you curse Meredith for giving you such terrible advice, but then a buzz in your pocket nearly gives you a stroke.

Chad: "LOL that was at my little brother's graduation in May. One of his roommates ordered a bunch and we put them on, I should really take that photo down."

You: You're feeling confident and you take a stab with this "honestly it's less offensive that the shirtless lax pick IMO, the only thing that could make it worse is if you had a 'Saturdays are for the boys" flag draped over your shoulders.

Chad: "It's in the mail ;)" 

This is progress! Some witty banter, Chad is kind of a self-aware but lovable douche, but he's still 6'1" let's play is out. ADVANCE TO 2.

1A: "I just got back from China, what was your favorite part?"
Right away Chad starts typing...

Chad: "Haha, actually I hated China, I just thought that was a great picture."

Ouch. Fucking Anna, what does she know?

Chad: "But, I also went to Thailand that trip and LOVED it."

Nice! You studied abroad in Australia and have been to all of these places.

You: Ya, Communist China certainly isn't as exciting as the Full Moon party or the 2 dollar massages in Thailand.

Chad: OMG right? I literally got one every morning when I woke up and I think my most expensive dinner there was nine dollars!

Good rebound, things are progressing smoothly. ADVANCE TO 2.

1K: "So are you a Maverick or an Iceman?"
20 minutes or so passes.
Chad: "Ice Man."

You: Hmm, care to elaborate?

Another 20 minutes passes.

Chad: I like Val Kilmer.

You: Did you know that Val Kilmer just had a tracheotomy and that's why he covered his neck in his recent Reddit AMA picture?

*silence* after a few minutes you realize that Chad has unmatched you. Remember to always ask open ended questions, never bring up medical procedures that leave holes in one's neck and never ever under any circumstances bring up Reddit. YOU LOSE

2: Thing with Chad have progressed to off-app texting. You have learned among other things that he lives in Santa Monica, plays on a co-ed softball team and brews beer on the weekends. Seems like a pretty cool dude. Today is a Thursday and he is planning on meeting some friends at the Santa Monica Pier for a concert later but wants to know if you want to grab some drinks at Big Dean's before...

Interesting proposition, he is inviting you to drinks but not necessarily the concert with his friends. The positive of this is that there will be no pressure to go home with him and if it sucks at least it will be short because he has a hard out.

That said, it's also kind of shitty that he is giving you only part of a night. Even though you live in Venice and were actually considering going to the Pier Concert anyway.


2A: You ride your bike down to Big Dean's at 6 o clock and see Chad sitting at an outdoor table with a pitcher and two glasses. You walk in and he looks even better in person. He's wearing a red polo with Chubbies shorts. Usually you think guys that wear Chubbies are assholes, but he pulls them off. He spots you and stands to greet you with a hug.

Chad: Hey! Glad you could make it. I got us a pitcher, but feel free to order whatever you want, except liquor I forgot this place is just beer and wine, sorry!

Endearing, he's already apologizing!

You: Beer is great.

Chad: Do you want some food? I've heard the burgers are surprisingly good here.

You: I just ate, but thanks!

You and Chad discuss normal first date things. He didn't want to be a post coordinator but just kind of fell into it. You tell him all about your job doing millenial market research and he pretends to be interested. Things are going so well that you guys even order a second pitcher this time. He let's you pick, you go with Pacifico. As it gets closer to 7:30 he asks for the check. A lovely first date! You think to yourself but then he springs this on you...

Chad: Hey you doing anything right now? Come with! This Australian indie band is playing and my buddy Mike is picking up lots of Bay Cities, it's going to be great.

Decision time: On one hand Chad is cool and you wouldn't mind hanging out with him some more. On the other you don't want to seem tooooo available and is this a pity invite?


2C: "Sure, let's do it."

You make the brief stroll to the beach where Chad's pal Mike has cordoned off a large piece of real estate. Along with Bay Cities, Mike also brought a ton of wine and also his slutty cousin Liz. More and more of Chad's friends (both men and women) and everyone is super nice to you (except slutty cousin Liz who looks like she was hoping to fuck Chad) the concert is a blast. You drink a lot (maybe too much) and at the end of the night Chad offers to bike home with you.

You: "But you live in Santa Monica, Venice is the opposite direction."

Chad: "I don't mind, I like hanging out with you."

Chad bikes you back to your Rose Avenue bungalow. You share a romantic kiss in your doorway, he smiles and bikes away. You're fucking killing it. PROCEED TO 3.

Nothing, you haven't heard anything from Chad in a couple days. And while you may think he's been busy at work or maybe had to leave town, the real reason is that Chad's friend Mike brought his cousin Liz to the pier on Thursday night. Liz is hot but also extremely slutty. With lots of red wine flowing at the pier and Liz's extremely forward advances, Chad decided to go home and fuck Liz on Thursday night, and in fact now Chad is on his way down to Orange County to do a weekend at Mike and Liz's grandparents' beach house. This equals a lot of sex for Chad and a lot of regret for you. CONGRATS, YOU GOT GHOSTED.

3. Other than some light texting today, no major developments. You both had a good time, both agree to hang out again, but at lunch a new opportunity presents itself.

Chad: Yoooo, so Mike decided to go down to his beach house this weekend and now I have an extra ticket to Odesza tonight. You want to come?

Hmm, you're not quite sure what an Odesza is...probably some dance music. Also you have plans with your best friend Megan tonight, you guys are supposed to get dinner at SoHo House and then see Girl's Trip. Megan just broke up with her boyfriend and you feel like you should be there for her...but also the hot guy you went on a date with last night wants to see you again TONIGHT.


You: Hey Chad, would love to go tonight but my best friend Megan just went through a bad a break up and I promised her a girl's night. Rain check?

Chad: Totally understand. You're being a good friend. I'll hit you up after!


You: I was supposed to hang out with my friend Megan tonight, but she'll live. Let's do it!

You arrive at Expo park in downtown LA. The average age of the attendees is 19, an inexplicably 90% of the attendees are half Mexican and half Asian. You were previously unaware at how much these two minorities were sexually attracted to each other. You're having a great time with Chad when you happen to bump into one of Chad's buddies who calls himself 'Tigger.' Tigger offers you and Chad some molly. Not wanting to look like a square. You do some, and to be fair, it enhances the experience. The lights, the bass, it's all great. You and Chad dance around a bit, you make out. This is fun.

Unfortunately, Chad takes a turn for the worse. Maybe he took a little too much, maybe he drank a bit too much. In any event, Tigger thinks it best for him to take Chad home. Tigger helps you to an Uber and you instruct it to take you back to Venice, you tell your Uber driver that you will give him a 10 dollar cash tip if he takes you through the McDonald's drive thru. You wake up the following morning with 20 McNuggets in bed with you.


Chad: I feel awful.

You find it equally parts endearing and embarrassing that Chad is so hungover after going to a rave. Actually scratch that, it's 100% endearing. You decide that you want to do something for him. Should you offer to drive over and tend to him, knowing that you will probably end up giving him a blow job? Or would that be too forward. You know that the only thing you want in the world after a heavy night of drinking is a giant pizza...

So, you playing the nurse or sending a care package?


You: "I'm sorry you're not feeling good. How about I come over and make it all better." The implied offer of sex is so thinly veiled that a denial at this point would be the ultimate slap in the face. But you forgot one important thing. No one wants to be touched for a good 48 hours following a Molly bender. Sometimes you just have to lay on the couch covered in 15 blankets and let the darkness sink in.

Chad: Actually, I think I'm just going to order some Post Mates and watch the first 10 episodes of The OC today. Thanks for the offer though, we'll hang soon.

"Soon" was not what you had in mind. You receive sporadic texts the next few weeks, mostly on weekend nights after midnight. Eventually you do agree to meet Chad out at Townhouse and you end up going home with him and having sex. The next morning he leaves at 8am to play golf with his friends and he doesn't text you for another week.


Knowing that a person completely devoid of serotonin isn't always a great hang you decide to give Chad the day off. But you also remember that Pizza Hut gift card your mom put in your stocking last year at Christmas and decide to make a nice gesture. You text Mike from the pier and he gives you Chad's address and you send over a Pizza Hut dinner box which includes 2 large pizzas, breadsticks, cinnamon sticks and an order of wings.

One hour later you get the following text...

Chad: Did you just send me over 20 bucks of Pizza Hut?

You: Feel better champ. ;)

Chad: I think I'm in love.


5. By Sunday Chad is feeling quite a bit better and as you leave your morning spin class, you see a text from Chad.

Chad: Hey, I was wondering if you wanted to come over to watch Game of Thrones tonight. I'm even going to cook!

You: Wow what a gentleman, you're offering me tits, dragons AND a meal?

Chad: Or you could stay home and I'll send you some take-out.

You: Sure, what time?


You expect that this will be another group thing, but it turns out, it's just the two of you. You bring a bottle of wine that pairs well with the chicken parm that Chad grilled up and you enjoy a romantic hour of incest, murder and rape. You're cuddling when the credits roll and you realize that you don't really want to go home.

Chad: Do you want to stay?

You: You think I'm going to have sex with you four days after I met you? No you have to at least invite me back for The Bachelorette finale tomorrow night.

Chad: Bachelorette finale it is!

You: Hey Chad...

Chad: Ya?

You: If I stay tonight can I still come back for the Bachelorette finale tomorrow night?

Chad: How about we do it at your place? Women always have more comfortable beds and I bet you can cook better than me.

You: Deal.

You walk into Chad's bedroom and shut the door, confident that this relationship will last at least another week.


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The ABCs of Bumble

I'm truly shocked that online dating apps are still a thing. They are merely vessels for anguish and despair, Bumble will make you miserable, it will make you cry and even though you are starting to worry about things like a 'biological clock' and your mom keeps making snide remarks about her lack of Grandchildren, I would suggest you avoid it like the plague. Full stop. But, like a middle school religion teacher going over the merits of abstinence, I know y'all are gonna fuck anyway, so I would be remiss if I did not present you a glossary of terms and warnings of the cruel fate you await.

'But wait, my best friend met her husband on Bumble!'

This is the worst part. Everyone knows ONE Bumble success story. This is like when Draymond Green hits his first three of the game and then goes on to miss the next ten. You are not the exception, you will not find love. You can swipe until you're blue in the face but it won't fix anything. It will lower your self esteem and possibly give you an eating disorder, but again, because I'm on the other side I've decided to attempt to help you out with some alphabetical terms. Call me the Sue Grafton of dating apps. 

*I wrote a previous version of this four hours ago and accidentally deleted it. Now I'm really angry, and I'm drinking, so this is going to be about 30% meaner than it was at noon. If you take offense to anything I write, it's Ally Schnitzer's fault. Yes, I am a man blaming a woman for something. Get used to it, it's not getting any better from here.

A is for Average
You had hopes and dreams when you were young. You were going to marry some hotshot Ivy Leaguer who did college rowing and now works at Goldman Sachs. Now you're waiting at a bar in Studio City for Garrett the 5'9" assistant system's engineer at a small tax accounting firm. Not even the systems engineer, the assistant. I bet you guys are going to have stimulating conversation. Garrett chews with his mouth open, never got braces and has a hairline that recedes by the minute. But he's nice and has decent credit. Hell he will probably even pay for your meal. WELCOME TO BUMBLE, this is about as good as it gets.

B is for Benching
In one of the more sinister moves of the modern fuckboy, benching is a form of ghosting in which boy is not really interested in dating but contacts you just enough that it is conceivable that he could hit you up on a Saturday night with a 'come to Canal Club' and you will be stupid enough to go. Cut to Sunday morning he's just 'too hungover to drive' but will gladly call you an Uber. You will not hear from him for like 5 days at which point he will send you a stupid snap and you will think "OMG HE LOVES ME." He does not love you, you are on the bench, and the bench is deep.

C is for Crumbs
Crumbing or Bread crumbing is a variation of benching. It's best defined with an example. Let's say you are casually dating some guy for a while, you've been on maybe five dates. Maybe you had sex on the couch one time while watching GLOW on Netflix because he was really turned on by female professional wrestling. Then one day the guy just kind of wasn't there. It's probably because he started pursuing another girl. It doesn't work out so a few weeks later, boy starts passively contacting you. A snap here, a silly text there, but he doesn't come groveling back to you because that would give you the upper hand. No he leaves little crumbs of hope assuming that you will follow the trail and become interested in him again. It's the Inception of douchebag tricks, but it's effective. When you find yourself back in his twin bed in Mar Vista you will have only yourself to blame.

D is for Douchebags
The truth is not everyone on dating apps is a heartless douchebag, in fact they can be neatly categorized into four categories. WHO'S READY FOR SOME HARRY POTTER METAPHORS?!?!?
Hufflepuffs- Hufflepuff was in a bottom tier frat and subscribes to Reddit r/anime. He plays videogames. And not cool ones like Madden and Fifa. This guy Twitches Overwatch and shit. He's the guy from letter A. He lives in the valley, his intentions are pure, but you definitely introduce him as 'your friend' at parties because you are 40% embarrassed.
Gryffindors- The Gryffindors are the guys that just broke up with their long term girlfriend and got on Bumble because one of their shithead friends suggested it. He's a super cool guy, and you'll be a great rebound for 8 weeks before he inevitably gets back with his girlfriend.
Ravenclaw- The Ravenclaw is a good guy but he is also playing the odds and is simultaneously dating 12 women. He tells you as such because logically it makes the most sense to date lots of women when trying to find The One. You appreciate his honesty but start to resent him when you routinely get the Monday slot on his schedule.
Slytherin- On last night's Bachelorette Dean commented that the reason Bryan is still single at 37 is because he has been banging whoever he wants for the last 19 years. Why the hell would he settle down? But now that he's aging out of his prime he figures he'll do a national tv show that he certainly doesn't want to win mind you, just gain enough exposure so that he can keep fucking chicks in Florida based on his moderate fame for the next 20 years. Almost gotta respect the hustle.

E is for Energy
Energy. I just don't have it. The truth is I want to get drunk with my friends on the weekends and lay on the couch watching TV with my shirt off the rest of the week. Dating is hard and I can't imagine sitting around doing small talk with someone I'm not that into so BEST CASE SCENARIO: I go back to her place, spend the night and have an awkward encounter with her roommate in the morning and she offers me a juice. But like I guess if you're into juice it's worth it.

F is for Flaking
Los Angeles truly is a godless place full of selfish people pursuing hedonistic endeavors, but once in a while a miracle occurs: The 3pm text 'ugh gotta work late, can we reschedule?' The truth is 42% of all scheduled plans in LA fall through, and most of the time both parties are probably thrilled about it. When you are at work fantasizing about going home only to realize that you have drinks lined up with Crackle's Assistant Director of Development it can be a kick to the gut. Similarly, if you are looking forward to a night of happy hour Beergaritas at the Brentwood Cabo Cantina and homie cancels at the last minute? Don't despair, it's probably for the best. 

G is for Ghosting
Look, it's 2017 and everyone knows what ghosting is, but I would be remiss in my journalistic responsibilities if I did not reiterate that you will be ghosted and you will be ghosted hard. The worst part is, you won't even be able to find out why because it has become quite passe to ask someone why you've been ghosted. It's the dating app equivalent of asking someone for a ride to LAX. And look, it's probably not because you had some thoughts on the travel ban, it's probably not because you wore a pair of high waisted jeans on your last date. (But maybe!) The likely reason you got ghosted is because your guy was so hungover on Saturday and Sunday after fucking you in a bathroom at Townhouse that he didn't plug his phone in the rest of the weekend and by Monday it had been 48 hours and he just decided to roll with it.

H is for having the upper hand.
It's shocking how much game theory there is in online dating. One minute you're Cersei Lannister sitting on the Iron Throne, the next you're Julia Roberts leaning on a door frame of a West London bookstore asking a boy to like you. In the game of Bumble you win or you die. Or you get drunk on a Thursday night after a pier concert and tell your crush that you will blow him if he meets you at Big Dean's. That is called losing the upper hand.

I is for incest
Right, so despite the GoT references in the previous paragraph, I'm not talking about actual incest. I'm talking about the fact that the longer you spend on dating apps the more likely it is that you'll start dating the ex of a coworker or a guy that had a one night stand with your roommate once. I mean it's fine, that's part of being an adult, but it certainly puts your roommate in a weird spot when you invite your new guy over to cook pasta and watch The Challenge and she has to sit there the whole time wondering if he remembers that they had sex on the beach following a Scorpion wrap party in 2013. Spoiler alert: He doesn't.

J is for January
The January rental is the new Turkey Drop. Instead of dumping you right before the holidays, fuckboys of the highest order will prey on your 'oh ya, I just dumped my boring boyfriend #NEWYEARNEWME' sensibilities to get them through arguably the worst month of the year. But let it be known, you will not make it to February 14th. Homie is just crossing his fingers that he's on the five week plan to butt stuff. But don't worry, after he makes some lame excuse to 86 you, there should be a new 50 Shades movie coming out that you and your friends can get drunk and go to and talk about how much you hate men. Hell, it's Prime Day, why don't you just go ahead and order yourself a new Magic Wand in advance, you deserve it.
K is for Kissing
I just finished reading a book about World War I and I must say, I find their dating customs very distressing. Woodrow Wilson, the president of the United States spent half the book sending whiny love letters to some chick who refused to marry him. REPEAT: THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE WORLD WAS IGNORING A WAR BECAUSE SOMEONE WOULDN'T FUCK HIM. The book was specifically about the Lusitania, which was like the Titanic with less Billy Zane. There was a Vanderbilt aboard and he didn't kiss anyone before he died. I have a negative net worth and the last cruise I went on I hooked up with like five chicks. That said, if you're on Bumble, you will kiss a lot of people (many of them ugly!) and many nights you will end up crying in bed wishing you would have drowned on a British ocean liner.  

L is for Lolz 
Undoubtedly the best part of dating apps is when you find a D list celebrity like a recent cast off from a reality TV franchise or Terrell Owens. But it's all fun and games until WHABOOM doesn't swipe back and you have to re-examine your entire existence.

M is for Marriage
Haha psych! Never gonna happen. Things you will experience because of bumble: Impotence, Bacne (back acne) lots of body hair, halitosis, toenail fungus, stained sheets, but definitely not marriage. Bumble is like the show Fleabag but worse.

N is for No
Let's take some reader questions, shall we? with the hair, go ahead.
"Hi Dave, I frequently agonize over what to say to men on Bumble or even through text after we go off app. Is this something that men struggle with too?'
Uh no. Let's imagine you are talking to a guy and he says he likes dogs. You may think 'oh he's into animals, I should pretend to be Vegan' or 'he's probably talking about hot dogs, I should feign interest in baseball' or even 'maybe I should bark in bed.' The truth is he probably just likes dogs and his next text is going to be '*eggplant emoji* LOL it looks like a dick, send me a picture of your tits.' You're truly dealing with the lowest common denominator here, try not to over analyze it! I apologize for all men.

O is for Overserved
One of the things that people forget to tell you about online dating is that you will be drunk the entire time. Every time you go out with some inferior peasant a little piece of you dies and you hate yourself a little bit more. But if you drink five glasses of Pinot at dinner and agree to go back to a studio in Burbank for some missionary sex at least you can close your eyes during it and imagine if you would have stayed with your high school boyfriend. Sure he works at Jiffy Lube, but at least he had a six pack and a huge dick. It's the Millenial equivalent of the Handmaid's Tale. Jesus this is getting dark.

P is for Picture
Honestly people on dating apps spend more time picking their five pictures than one might spend studying for the bar. There has to be a photo where you look super hot, then a photo of you doing something 'cool' like a Cubs game. Next is the photo with friends but they can't be hotter than you, but they also can't be uglier than you. Maybe a picture in Paris? Because travel duh! Something outdoorsy, oh I'm jumping off a waterfall perfect. Fuck I need a picture in a cute outfit, wait boys don't give a shit about outfits. My boobs look good here, fuck if only I could photoshop my upper arms in this know what? Fuck it, here's a picture of me in college when I was hot as shit and 15 pounds skinnier.

Q is for Quick
The average length of a Bumble relationship is 8.2 days with a standard deviation of 7, and the truth of the matter is sometimes these relationships are just a few hours. Maybe you had a bad day and Dennis from Playa del Rey wants you to meet him at The Whaler. You throw back a few happy hour session IPAs, Dennis busts out some extra cocaine he has left over from the weekend, you end up on a futon in an unairconditioned room and are denied a ride home in the morning because of tandem parking or something. Life comes at you fast. Don't be sad that it's over, be happy it happened.  

R is for Regrets
You don't need me to tell you that there will be regrets, because there will be many. In fact, any asshole that has ever said some bullshit like 'life is short no regrets!' never went on a Bumble/J Swipe/Farmer's Only date. It is the embodiment of regret. Regret is seeing your ex-boyfriend's engagement photos and deciding to meet up with Frank in Echo Park even though it is a full 50 minutes from your house. After having 6 Moscow Mules (of which you pay for because Frank is kinda in between jobs right now) you go back to Frank's place where you proceed to have sex for 78 seconds in a bunk bed (in the room he shares with his brother) and then taking an Uber home in the morning because Frank doesn't have a car. That Uber driver, even though English is not their first language, knows exactly what you have done. It's a bad feeling to be judged by an Uber driver. It's an even worse feeling when your hot neighbor sees you getting out of the car in your clothes from the night before when you get home. *Bell rings* SHAME! *Bell Rings* SHAME!

S is for Sex
You will not find love on Bumble, but you'll probably find sex. In fact you will definitely find it. There seems to be an unspoken three strikes rule on dating apps, if you can make it to the third date you're looking good. Woodrow Wilson wrote love letters and you get to fuck on school nights, WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE. But don't let the law of three be a hard rule, more a guideline. If you're having fun on a first date at bungalow on a Wednesday night and you just happen to live around the corner and invite this fellow home, sparks may fly. I mean you're an independent woman and you have a few Trojans on reserve in your night stand for 'special occasions.' Maybe you get a text in the morning that your guy is conveniently heading to Joshua Tree for the weekend, 'won't have much service.' If you have a one night stand, go 96 hours without talking to them and ever see them again, I'll do your laundry for a month. Timing is everything.

T is for Trust
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. No. Guys on dating apps lie more than the Trump administration.

U is for Ugly
Now I'm just piling on. Yes, you will hook up with guys less attractive than you, but hey spinzone, if your boyfriend is ugly no more reason to get up at 5am for Yoga right? Go for those carbs, eat that second (and third) slice of pizza. Your new boyfriend that still inexplicably has acne at 33 won't care, all he ever wanted was a girlfriend and now all he has to do to keep you is not fuck one of your friends. But it turns out your friends are so desperate that one of them will fuck your ugly boyfriend. And now you have to lose 10 pounds, and go out five nights a week. Clearly there is no time for the gym but I know from experience that Adderall and cigarettes are an effective way to skip lunch.

V is for Value
So maybe you're thinking to yourself 'Hey, I'm new to a city. I don't know anyone and I like restaurants. Maybe this will be a good way to meet people and explore my surroundings!' If that's all you're looking for you might get a kick out of this whole experience, but if you think you're getting a bunch of free meals out of it? I got news for you, Chivalry is dead, you'll be lucky to go Dutch.

W is for Wit
Look, as a writer I appreciate a really funny opener and as a man I am super stoked that Bumble allows me to be a total coward and puts the onus on the women to make the first move. But once you have initiated, that's over. You can think up the most clever bullshit ever and it might not matter. One time I spent three days writing the greatest cover letter in the history of written communication to Vice Media. And you know what? No one ever read it. Similarly, you can crowdsource with your friends the most hilarious prose in human history but if the guy decides he doesn't like your pixie cut, that's a wrap.

X is for X
I don't lose sleep over many things: The night before Christmas? Sure. Awaiting the casting of the Wicked film? Obviously. But nothing brings me more anxiety than when I know I have to X a chick and break it off. It's absolutely horrifying and I've only had to do it a few times in my life. Women on Bumble have to do this MULTIPLE TIMES A WEEK. At The Mindy Project, the girl I sat next to made me break up with all of her Bumble boyfriends for her and then we would lock her phone in a drawer for two hours afraid to look at it. This is no way to live. Conversely, by NOT breaking it off, you commit to stringing a person on forever or worse continuing to hook up with them because you are too much of a coward to end it. And won't it be fun when you see all of your ex boyfriends at Buffalo Club on a Friday night and they ask you what went wrong? It's 2017, just say you're gay now. Not a lot of follow up questions to that.

Y is for Young
One of the best things to hear women complain about is their age parameters. "These guys I'm matching with are just so immature, I mean maybe I should move my range up to like 30-40." Sure, an older man is more likely to take you somewhere nice, but he's also more likely to be divorced, have a 12 year old son and struggle mightily with Erectile Disfunction. On the flip side, the 23 year old UCLA grad that lives in Westwood and looks like Ansel Elgort can go all night but will also definitely show all the naughty photos you send him to his roommate. Such a catch-22. Hell Westwood guy will probably show your nudes to old man's son when he's coaching him in Little League. The circle is complete.

Z is for Zero
Zero. As in percent chance this will have a happy ending. You're doomed! Something catastrophic will happen, either you will post a photo of your mom and he will decide you are going to be ugly in a few years or he will decide that the 23 minute commute from Century City to Santa Monica is just too severe. You literally have every conceivable force in the world working against you. But what does this mean for you? That you should give up and start adopting cats by the dozen? Not necessarily, you could find some dude in your friend group that doesn't completely repulse you and just try to make it work or you could move somewhere far from Los Angeles, never come back and hope for the best. But I know you're going to swipe anyway. It's fun, it's exciting, It's a great way to kill time. Just don't fall into any of these traps ok? Men are pigs. Remember that! And if you're ever in a jam my crisis hotline is open 24 hours a day. Just don't call me for a ride home in the morning, I'm not your sorority sister.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The 2017 Tour de Franzia

I'm not quite sure where to start, but mistakes were made...

I suppose it started Saturday when after a long day of Jell-O shots at the pool I made my first miscalculation. I decided that with enough Adderall I could power through the night and make it out to the bars. And in fairness to the amphetamines, they worked. I came out of a black out in the Pacific Ocean with three young women and myself in our underwear.

I probably still could have salvaged my Sunday had I not awoken and immediately gone to a boozy brunch. This was mistake two, and then of course mistake three was drinking eight beers at aforementioned brunch to stave off the looming hangover.

This completes the prologue, because as I finished my eighth Budweiser I received the text:

"Meet at Whaler in 10 minutes; Tour de Franzia."

Now if you aren't familiar with the general idea of a Tour de Franzia, I don't blame you. I wasn't to keen on it either. In college it had been a lazy theme party idea during Little 5 week in which you dress in cycling gear and drink cheap wine. There may have been sort of racing element to it. In practice it makes much more sense to actually participate in some cycling.

For our purposes, the four participants decided that we would purchase a box of wine at the Marina Del Rey Ralphs, ride our bikes to Manhattan Beach and back and finish the wine.

A standard issue box of Franzia advertises that it includes 34 full glasses of wine, which would roughly equate to 8 glasses per person. We figured that for a holiday weekend this didn't present enough of a challenge, so we picked up a bottle of Fireball for good measure.

The framing device we landed on were the beach bathrooms. Between the Marina Del Rey bridge and the Manhattan Beach Pier there are nine bathroom huts. At each bathroom hut we would all stop and take a 'gulp' (scientific measurement) of wine. On every 3rd stop, we would also take a shot of Fireball. This would equate to 18 gulps of wine, 6 shots, 22 miles to complete the South Bay Tour de Franzia. Spoiler Alert: We would not all finish.

(I will lastly leave you with this bit of information that I am an experienced cylist. In fact, when I won my age division at the Playa Del Rey sprint triathlon I was compensated with a free water bottle, so on the most lenient definition, one could call me a professional.)

We crossed the bridge, a physical and metaphorical gateway to the South Bay and I was feeling good. So good in fact that when we got to the first station I demanded that we kick things off with a bonus shot of Fireball 'just for fun.' It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky. We were listening to Girl Talk and I was convinced that I would never be happier. I blew up social media with photos of our blatant disregard for the law and safety, I recorded videos while riding, I laughed at the suggestion that I wear a helmet. The next 3 stations we all took heavy gulps of wine. I should point out that for some god forsaken reason, we chose Merlot.

The next five stations flew by. Parents shielded their children from us, foreigners gave us high fives, at least one woman loudly asked 'Are you guys drunk?'

Yes mam, in fact quite drunk.

I noticed as our alcohol intake increased, my ability to ride a straight line decreased at an exponential rate, but again, as a professional cyclist, I was not worried. We made it down to Shellbacks in about an hour and a half. Like reaching the turn on a golf outing we decided to reward ourselves with a couple pitchers but also gave ourselves some time to relax, regain our energy, but unfortunately also to let the alcohol from the first half of our tour sink in,

By the time I got back on my bike after the bar I knew something was wrong. My pace was slower, my path more erratic. Instead of looking forward to the bathroom wine stops, I started dreading them. My 'gulps' of wine became mere tastings, my shots of Fireball mere sips. Around stop 12 it happened.

My first fall.

Now I do not want to compare myself to Jesus of Nazareth or the stations of the cross, but I should warn you that I fell two more times, each time spreading more and more collateral damage. Every member of my four person army bares physical wounds from my wanton incompetence on the trail that day, but I'm fairly sure the breaking point was when I ran head into a stranger, taking us both tumbling to the ground. This is the point that the situation changed from a drunken laugh to a borderline crime. And like a cyclist that initiates a large wreck on the actual Tour de France, I was notified that I had been disqualified.

I sat in the sand, just north of El Segundo on a patch of Dockweiller Beach feeling extreme shame. How the fuck would I get home? What about my bike? Surely I'm not the first person to ride down to the South Bay and get so drunk I couldn't make it back. I could just lock it up and retrieve my bike the following day.

But then I remembered that I had drunkenly dropped my lock in the ocean the previous week. I called a Lyft and my friends took turns riding alongside my bicycle balancing it with an arm, the remaining 7 miles.

I woke up on the floor of my apartment Monday morning with a catastrophic hangover. My cat that usually chooses to sleep outside had cuddled next to me, likely because it felt that I was on the verge of death and didn't want me to die alone.

But this story has a happy ending. Tuesday morning when I woke up, I was largely recovered from my illness. My bike, phone, wallet and keys were in my possession and I was even able to head to the beach, have a few cold ones and enjoy some fireworks on America's birthday.

If there are any lessons to take away from this, it's that just like one wouldn't run 10 miles before participating in a marathon, it is unwise to pregame a Tour de Franzia. But if you are going to make that mistake, make sure your friends are absolute homies. And a big shout out to Rob Bowman on winning this year's your and earning the yellow bro tank.

I didn't finish the 2017 Tour de Franzia, but now I have something to build toward for next year.