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The underrated art of eavesdropping on other people's dates

The underrated art of eavesdropping on other people's dates

Dating in Los Angeles is miserable, not so much because of the rarity of a really good date, but because there’s nothing good about the bad dates. In New York an extremely bad date can be arguably just as good as a pretty good date. In New York, a great date is the best, but after that I think I’d rather have a really bad date before a pretty good date.

This is all based on the formal scientific rankings of: very good, good, pretty good, kinda good, and so-so. But a very bad date in New York City is awesome.

I don’t know if it’s because there are more people around and there’s public transportation, so you always have an out, or because the crazy people are the craziest in the planet. But in New York, I’ve been on dates with girls who have done the following: told me a detailed account of her rape story; taken Xanax which was kept in her necklace locket; tried to have sex without a condom and she wasn’t on the pill; was asked to role play as a rapist.

Those are awesome bad first dates. And in New York, you’re always around people, so you can go up to someone else and say, “Hey, look at the psycho I’m on a date with.”

But in Los Angeles, bad first dates are just bland. There is nothing exciting about them, because most just consist of boring actresses who talk about their attempted careers all night. They hide the psychosis and make you stick around for a while to find them, which isn’t fun for anyone.

Plus if you’re on a bad date in L.A., you’re stuck in the car with the girl all night, so there’s no escape. In New York, you can be near any subway stop and say, “OK, see ya,” but in L.A., you can’t necessarily be out at dinner near La Cienega and Melrose, and walk away with a hearty, “Good luck.” You could, but you’ll lose the chance to ask her friends out.

Seems like there isn’t a definitive guide on where to watch European soccer in L.A. There are plenty of pubs that will have the game on, but won’t have many fans or the sound on (Busby’s for example). But here is a starter guide for pubs that get some smart soccer fans and put the sound on. I don’t know which have covers and where the best fans are, but this is better than most places on the left coast.

Ye Olde Kings Head
116 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, at the end of the 3rd Street promenade
I really like this bar. Great feel, good beer, smart fans. Kind of strange that it’s located near one of the only tourist areas of L.A., and it gets big crowds. But if you go early and can get a good view of the TV, this is one of the best spots.

Cock ‘N Bull Pub
2947 Lincoln Blvd., border of Santa Monica and Venice
Went here for a U.S.-Mexico World Cup qualifier. Wasn’t a very big crowd, but they were good fans who wanted to get away from the more crowded spots. They had a projection screen and it was easy to watch the game. I heard they have a cover for some ESPN matches though, which is absurd if it’s true.

Fox and Hounds
11100 Ventura Blvd., Studio City
It’s up the Valley, but I’ve had a great time for the games I’ve seen up here. They give priority to football and baseball, but they have a big projection screen and good fans. Fun place to watch.

Cat and Fiddle Pub
6530 W Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
Never been here for a game, so any thoughts are appreciated. The site looks like it’s a good soccer bar (mentions you might need to reserve for the big games), so I assume it’s a good spot.

ESPN let him out for 15 minutes for this photo

ESPN let him out for 15 minutes for this photo

I love whenever there’s a big soccer match on ESPN, because the network busts out my favorite commentator and lets him talk on a nonstop firing spree for ninety minutes before they lock him away until next year.

I believe that ESPN keeps Tommy Smyth – “That’s Tommy Smyth with a ‘Y'” – in a cage in Bristol, Connecticut, where he refines his obscure accent to sound something like a cross between Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins and every Charles Dickens character.

Maybe I’m such a fan because I feel so bad for the guy. He is a genius with football history, strategy and analysis, yet whenever he gets his chance to shine on SportsCenter the question he’s always asked is, “Today’s Champions League final is monumental…” And he looks real happy, like he’ll finally get a question he can thrive with. But then it’s topped off with, “…How would you compare it to baseball?”

And Tommy Smyth – who I think might legally qualify for a passport to a Leprechaun colony – has to suck it up and lower the bar so American audiences can understand football– sorry, soccer. The guy is awesome. He refers to a goal as a bulge in the old onion bag. He has translated modern soccer to people who only understand expressions from the Irish Potato Famine.

They let him run around for ninety minutes talking about what he loves. Then the game ends and they push him back in his cage and we’ll see him again next year.

When is Scream 6 coming out?

When is Scream 6 coming out?

All the networks have announced their new Fall schedules. You can find the respective previews for all the shows for CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX and the CW networks.

The analysis on these pickups usually come in September, but why not start laying the morning lines on which ones will be canceled first. So if you’re sitting in your office full of people who could do it better and write the next big TV show that no one has thought of yet, why not spend the meantime bashing those who have actually tried?

So here are the early odds, based on which shows look the worst, on which will be the first show to be canceled in the 2009-2010 TV season

A quick note that it should be mentioned that 1) I’m just some film school kid who doesn’t know anything. 2) These are just the comedies and “comedic dramas.” All medical, legal, cop and crime evidence shows are the same to me. 3) I have only read the scripts and seen the previews. But this reverts back to number one.


2-1 Cougar Town. My odds-on favorite, this show looks not only as atrocious as it sounds, but also as bad as every single post-Friends cast member sitcom that have all tried and failed. Except now they know that they fail and don’t have to keep it around forever to prove their point, ala Joey. Shows should not be developed by word of the day on UrbanDictionary.

7-2 Hank. Combine the originality of Back to You with the laugh track from Do Not Disturb. Then mix a little Friends rule (see above) applied to ex-Frasier stars and you get Hank. The whole thing of the snooty rich folks coming back down to Earth loses its edge when they come back down to Earth and still see themselves as better than everyone.

5-1 Accidentally On Purpose. It’s Knocked Up, but from the girl’s perspective and toned down to be a CBS multi-cam. Admittedly some of it looked decent, like it has the girl who played Maggie in Extras, but maybe I’m pining for the bubble to burst on cleaned up versions of almost-risque jokes that STILL HAVE A LAUGH TRACK. The only reason it’s not higher up is because these kinds of awful sitcoms do pretty well on CBS. See the entire rest of their comedy schedule.

8-1 Brothers. What says comedy more than the single-season sacks record holder, ex-defensive linesman turned NFL on Fox halftime analyst? See if you can notice the subtle gap-in-the teeth references (there’s a scant dozen of them in the three-minute preview).

9-1 The Good Wife. Some of these female-led dramas sit around on Friday nights for years (I think Sally Fields currently stars in four different shows all airing on the same time on Fridays), or they become Commander in Chief.


10-1 The entire CW Network.

15-1 Deep End. It all depends on how it’s executed. This seems like the exact kind of show that would be perfect for the three-minute teaser that is on It can have the fun that made Grey’s a great show for the first couple years, but it can also be a hodgepodge of stuff desperate to find their next Grey’s

15-1 The Middle. This is one of those shows that will get good reviews and everyone will hope it does well, and it will probably be around for a while, but no one will really watch it. Malcolm in the Middle (which is what it looks like to a T), King of the Hill and Studio 60 all fall into this category. Doesn’t look too expensive to make, so maybe it’ll stick around for a bit. Maybe I’ll finally catch an episode in syndication in a few years.

16-1 Sons of Tucson. More of a clever show than a funny comedy, if it plays up the characters – which it looks like it’s doing – then it’ll last. Easy to turn into the lazy-oaf-turned-responsible archetype (see every Jason Segal movie), but looks fresh.

20-1 Glee. Nothing to say about this show, except I know I’ll hate it and I know it will succeed.


25-1 Community. Personally rooting for this because an old classmate at NYU and Improv troupes, Donald Glover, landed a role in it, but this show looks really good. Isn’t the Chevy Chase comeback reason enough? He’s Chevy Chase and you’re not. He compares himself with other golfers by height. It has to rock.

28-1 Modern Family. Ed O’Neill barely ekes out Chevy Chase as the actor I’m most looking forward to this Fall. Show looks hilarious. Apparently they aired the entire pilot at the upfronts and it slayed the room. I think it was written by Steve Levitan and it just looks solid.

Insert your face for memories that will last a lifetime.

Insert your face for memories that will last a lifetime.

There’s a lot of controversy going on about whether Guantanamo should be closed. But it seems to me that with wide-open spaces in warm-weather locations completely fenced off and vacated we’re missing the perfect opportunity to convert them into amusement parks.

Not only regular Six Flags amusement parks, but terrorist detainee-themed amusement parks. Let’s just talk about for starters. You could insert your head through a poster of the naked prisoner pyramid and pose for a picture with those thumbs held high.

Then y’know that test of endurance at the arcade where you sit in an electric chair and see how long you can sit there while holding onto the medical electric current handles? Yeah, well now you can’t let go. Yay, fun!

Bumper cars, except you stand in the middle of the arena trying to dodge everyone.

Water rides that stay underwater for a solid minute.

Look at the success of Alcatraz: a jail becomes a tourist attraction. Now if we can get Universal Studios signed on, we’ve solved two industries’ woes with one ingenious and heartpounding solution.

the thing that causes stress looks like a stress relief squishee thing

the thing that causes stress looks like a stress relief squishee thing

I don’t want to say I’m getting old or even older because people in their twenties don’t really have any reason to gripe about anything. But does anyone else have those little moments where a name of a person or movie or album that you’re trying to recall just isn’t there?

It is sort of like my brain is doing the same thing as when you zoom in too far on Google Maps and it says “We’re sorry. We don’t have imagery at this zoom level for this reason.”

Or you try and scan the horizon too fast and your brain just doesn’t have it in it.

The depressing thing isn’t a lag in memory, but rather it’s the fact that this isn’t going to get any better. You can play all the Brain Age you want, you’re not getting sharper any time soon.

You just slowly degenerate old man memory. Telling the same exact story and the same exact jokes (with the same beats) to the same people on a daily basis. There’s no google maps equivalent for this.

If you think this is alegorically important, you can be wrong

If you think this is allegorically important, you can be wrong

I wish that art, like fine arts, painting and sculpturing and other stuff that means you probably have a regular day job, could be just as subjective as all the other forms of art.

I think it should no longer be accepted that art is whatever you want it to be. Instead, I want people to be right and wrong and have good and bad taste in art.

We have it in every other form of creativity. For example, if somebody thinks that X-Men Origins is a good movie, but they didn’t “get” The Wire, then that person is an idiot. He/she – eh, who are we kidding – he is an uncultured moron with terrible taste and no validity to share his thoughts on what is good and bad in the world. That person is wrong.

But art is open to interpretation, and whatever you feel is acceptable, and art speaks to many minds and opinions and types of people who feel different things. Art needs to take a stand and grow a pair.

Your opinion can suck with everything else, it should suck with art as well.

A jewdar detector exploded

A jewdar detector exploded

I think the ankle-length denim skirt has to be the worst fashion-religious compromise in the rich tradition of bad Jewish religious fashion.

It’s not like the girls are going all-out Jewish, with the shaved head, wig, black skirt and Orthodox husband by her side. But it’s not the reformed, slutty Jewish girl that we all know and love. It comes off like, “I’m an orthodox Jewish girl. And I also like Roy Rogers.”

In other words, the angle-length denim skirt is the female version of the yarmulke. A three-foot denim yarmulke.

Who is supposed to be fooled by this? It’s not using denim instead of cotton or silk is rebelling when maybe all that’s being shown is a centimeter of sock. And now it has permeated so much that there’s no hiding the Orthodox association.

There’s no getting around the Jewish tradition of bad fashion choices. And this doesn’t help.

A spotted owl-themed restaurant

A spotted owl-themed restaurant

Does anyone know if there’s a theory that explains an evolutionary reasoning as to why women can identify if other women are attractive, while men struggle at determining if other men are good looking?

I remember someone telling me about a survey conducted where eight women and eight men were put in a room together for ten minutes. They were then individually asked who they thought was the hottest man and who they thought was the hottest woman.

All the men agreed on who the hottest woman was, and all the women agreed on who the hottest man was. But here’s the twist: all the women also agreed on who was the hottest woman and none of the men agreed on who was the hottest man. In other words, women are much better at identifying beauty in their own sex than men.

I have my own theory as to why this is:

Maybe it is so that if women are hanging out in a group together, and a man comes over to hit on one, they know which one he is going for.

Wouldn’t that make sense? The modern version of this is in a bar, when a group of girls are out for drinks. A guy will come over and pretend to be nice to everyone so that he can sleep with one of the girls. If girls didn’t know which one was hot, they’d have no idea as to which one the guy was interested in. But because they know – on some level – they can use that information to their advantage. Thus we have the evolutionary development of the cock block.

Not so much comedy today, but really curious about this from a sociological standpoint if anyone has some insight.

Top 10 plays of the week

Top 10 plays of the week


Doctors and nurses are in a frantic rush to try to successfully deliver a kind of baby they’ve never seen before. The heart-rate monitor BEEPS rapidly. People are running around in commotion. Bloodied medical equipment is being passed around with fervor.

She needs a Cesarean. There’s no other way.

She had it in writing. We have to do it naturally. The father agreed.

We’ll lose her if we try it. The baby too.

They were informed of that. That’s what she wanted.

I can see the head. Doctor, her heart rate is rising.

The doctor turns back to the woman to deliver the baby. Blood is everywhere. Two people rush out of the room, never having seen this much gore in their lives. A fountain of blood spouts like a fountain.

We’re losing her!

The heart-rate monitor beeps faster. Faster. The doctor tries his hardest, but he’s losing control. SCREAMS (O.S.), more blood.


THE HEART MONITOR FLAT-LINES. The mother is dead. A baby CRIES. The doctor has delivered the child and holds it up for the camera to see.

The doctor holds a baby Mr. Met mascot. A nurse covers the dead mother.


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May 2009