Monday, June 30, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
So@24: Have you heard from Leo? He didn't come back last night.
Jack: I thought he went with you to that wrap party?
So@24: Well, I went home, he went to his boss's concert.
Jack: Oh that's right. He went with Succubus.*
So@24: No. Way. Don't say he went slept with the Succubus.
Jack: I can't confirm or deny these claims. That's something you'll have to take up with ol' Leo yourself.
A conversation much later with Leo resulted in my worst expectations coming true. Motherfucker got too drunk and couldn't keep his springy snake in that fake can of peanuts.
So@24: What the fuck are you thinking, man? Really? Succubus. Really??
Leo: What can I say? I got drunk. And it was the 3 week pinch.
As I shook my head in disgust, I got to thinking...
It's not really his fault. There was a point in time where I would have compromised all my integrity and slept with someone I loathed just because I knew her chest lovlies would produce an epic motorboat.
There was a time when I suffered from the worse case of dry eyes ever, because I was staring at the ceiling, gripping the shit out of my pillow BEGGING for someone other than myself to get my rocks off.
But I realized it's almost been two years since anything remotely close has happened.
And I really could give two shits.
Okay that's a bit hasty. I mean, I'm not a complete idiot... I want it, and when it happens (God, please let it happen again, sometime) it would be like the clouds parted, a heavenly beam shone down on me and I was lifted if only a few inches off the ground. Angels would play their harps. Naked. Sexy angels. Sexy, busty, angels.
But I don't have that same incessant craving like I once did. I'm not some maniac that thinks I might actually cease to exist like one of the victims on Unsolved Mysteries if I don't get mine.
It's like a smoker trying to describe what it's like to a non-smoker what it's like to need that puff of a cigarette. I simply have no frame of reference to reflect back on. It's just been too long.
When you've been used to consistent... "access" for a steady four years, and your supply line suddenly gets cut... you panic. You panic as if there was a sudden zombie invasion.
But when you're single and it's just been too long; it suddenly doesn't become a priority. You're willing to hold out for someone who is attractive AND isn't a complete soul, sucking, demon. Maybe it's nature's way of making sure that single people like myself aren't taking their own lives. It ensures the survival of a species.
I've become the mushroom.
That asexual mushroom.
* Succubus is Leo's ex-girlfriend. And I don't have a lot of secret fantasies where I want to set someone on fire and when they beg for me to put them out I wouldn't even urinate on them, but she's definitely at the top of the list. She sucks. Trust me.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
It finally happened.
I wish I could say I made the long-awaited call while twirling the phone cord around my pointer finger, wearing a fluffy robe, laying on my stomach swaying my legs back and forth, under a canopy bed.
Actually wait. I don't wish that.
But allow me to set the scene. I had a few beers to calm my jangled nerves (I've also noticed that having a buzz seems to magically fast forward time, which I found to be a bonus when you're patiently waiting for something). The heat in Los Angeles has been unbearable lately and that night was no different. I was at my computer, in my boxers, sticking to my computer chair surrounded by (a FEW) empty Pabst cans.
I kept checking the clock to see what time it was. I can't remember exactly how many times Leo had to tell me, "Just fucking wait, man!"
At 1:44am Pacific Standard Time, I made a phone call to a cellular phone across the Atlantic Ocean.
And it was good. It was really, really good.
No awkward pauses. No uncomfortably silences. And the details of WHAT exactly we talked about kind of blur together. Just the normal things you'd talk to anyone about really.
Before I knew it, my Skype credits were close to running out; Caitlin and I had been talking for a little over an hour.
So@24: Well... I suppose we could try out our webcams?
Caitlin: Well, I suppose we could.
So. We took the next big step in whatever the staircase is when you begin communicating with someone who reads your blog (oooh, that just occurred to me that could get messy... perhaps a post for another time). And we talked longer and by the time I went to bed to catch some sleep for work the next day, it was 3:42am.
And we've talked almost every day since.
I'm not sure what exactly is going on. Perhaps nothing. After all, she is 5,174 miles away. But it's fun, it's exciting, and it's something that I haven't felt in a long, long time. I can't remember the last time I woke up early and grinned like an idiot because I got a text from a girl.
But it's also terrifying. That giddy feeling is not the only feeling that has come back. Those nagging, back of your mind, single guy whose vulnerable questions...
Is she just bored and I happen to be a pleasant distraction?
Why is this cute*, sexy, smart, witty (god, she's a walking cliche'), single girl showing any interest in me?
She must have a million other guys who are chasing after her... who live in the same country!
Wait a second, how many other blogging guys is she striking up convos with??
I'm probably getting way too ahead of myself.
But who knows? Maybe right? I've heard it can work...
* guys love foreign accents as much as girls do. Trust me, she has a cute one.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
I'm kind of a masochist in this way. I can't help but ask her to elaborate on her views on dating, even though I know that 9/10 times it will result in me ripping out my hair.
I walk away from these conversations shutting my eyes tight, gritting my teeth, and praying that this sample doesn't represent the mentality of all women everywhere.
Let me give you an example.
Jenny: See if Leo's brother can hook me up with some Jimmyjane goodies! Explain that I'm a sexually frustrated female friend who hasn't had a real date in over six months and has only gotten recently laid on her 25th tequila-induced birthday which she doesn't really remember. That sob story is worth a free goodie bag in my book!
So@24: I know I'm going to regret asking this, but you haven't been on a "real date"? You went out with that Greg guy recently. What constitutes a "real date"?
Jenny: 1. A REAL date is when a guy asks you out (or in YOUR book, I guess a girl can do it.)
Jenny: 2. It's planned at least a day or two in advance.
Jenny: 3. It's just the two of you.
Jenny: 4. And the "asker-outer" pays.
So@24: Let me get this straight. So hypothetically speaking, if I were you ask you out on a date the morning of the day I want to take you to dinner, you would not consider that a date?
Jenny: Hmmmm... borderline, but acceptable.
So@24: -slaps own face-
What is up with these rules? Why does everything have to have strict guidelines to be considered a date?
A guy HAS to ask the girl?? To any girl who stands behind this, give me a call when you're ready to hang up your corset and hop off the buggy. It's 2008.
I'll agree with the "asker-outer" paying. Fine, that's reasonable and logical. But that means that the asker outer can either be the male or the female.
With these rules, we (being the guys) are so busy trying to figure out these little nuances that it's usually too late. I mourn for the thought that the next girl will have a slightly different, yet equally lengthy set of random requirements.
What do you think, boys & girls? Is this a universal train of thought? Why are these rules set in place at all?
Monday, June 16, 2008
If you want the short story or want to save yourself scanning through just another drunken So@24 story the answer is: the call never got made.
I know, I know. You think it's because I got too drunk, right? And if you're thinking this... you're half right.
Here's my story...
Alcohol has the ability to make someone more self-confident or daring; they may become more friendly or talkative, and/or social. I pulled this directly from here and if it's Wikipedia, you know it's true.
I was a bit nervous before making this phone call. So I thought, "why not just have a few drinks to calm my jangled nerves?" Leo, Leroy and I already made plans to go to one of our old watering holes anyway.
Turns out a few drinks turned into 3 shots of Early Times whiskey with Leroy and then 3 Newcastles with Leo at the bar. I think it was safe to say that my nerves were gone and I was ready to make the call. Unfortunately, with the timezone difference, I would have given her quite a wakeup call... at 8:00am on a Saturday.
As much as Leo & Jack kept trying to explain this to me, I am not a patient man... especially when the booze hits me. I think at one point, Leo took my phone away, "Dude. She's going to hate you for calling so early! Is this the kind of first impression you want to give?"
I finally got dropped off at home and sat alone at the kitchen table. I was alone, as Leo had stayed behind, and I was trying to make the blurry calling card instructions UNblurry by squinting. I hear that works.
I got an error message at least 8 times. Finally I called the 24 hour service on the back of the card.
Operator: How can I help you, sir?
So@24: Your card isn't working. I can't call my friend! She's waiting for this call!
Operator: What's the number?
Operator: That's a cellphone number. You know you can't call a cellphone number using this card, right?
So@24: What kind of racket is this?? I want my $20 back!
Operator: Are you drunk?
So@24: Are you??
Operator: I'm going now.
So@24: Wait... waaaaaaaaaaaait!
I shut off the kitchen light and checked the ol' bloggy for new comments. One of my commenters left me with a tip for another international calling service... success!
I purchased $10 worth of credits. I would not be defeated so easily. This time the phone was ringing! My heart was racing a mile a minute. I was starting to sweat. This was it.
"I'm sorry. This service is not available at this time. Please try again later."*
I didn't know what else to do. And my head was spinning. I sent off an email letting Caitlin know that I at least tried.
The next few hours I experienced that kind of sleep you have when you're 7 years old on Christmas eve or the night before a major final. The kind where you wake up every couple of hours.
The first time I woke up was 4:45am... my mouth was dry, my head throbbing, my memory hazy, and I was fully dressed on top of my sheets clutching my cellphone, a crumpled phone card, and Caitlin's number scribbled hastily on a ripped, scrap of paper.
I woke up again at 7:16am, and then finally 8:30am checking my inbox to see if I had received a response.**
She had emailed me and when she got online, we tried troubleshooting why the call didn't go through.
Our deduction? Turns out a cellphone in one country won't work in another country. Who knew?
I can't remember the last time I jumped through this many hoops to make a phone call.
* a female voice with an Irish accent. Close enough, I suppose.
** Yeah, I know I might be showing too many of my cards too early since she has access to this blog, but fuck it... the blog is censored for no one!
Friday, June 13, 2008
Thursday, June 12, 2008
On Saturday night, after returning back from that house party, Leo took a girl into the bedroom and I passed out on the large, fluffy couch in the living room. And man, it was good.
Of course, when Veronica came crashing through the doors with Paxton hours later... she "calmly" stirred me from my slumber to remind me that she had, in fact, called "dibs" on the couch earlier that night.
I grumbled, grabbed a thin blanket from the closet and retreated to another room of the house where a tiny love seat was waiting for me. No one could have slept there but me (ahhhh, being 5'3"), but it was still a slightly uncomfortable squeeze.
I laid awake for a few moments, trying to figure out the best way to angle the blanket so it'd cover my entire body and my thoughts turned to the politics of people accommodating couples in these situations.
Think about it. Couples always get away with that shit. They always get the best spots during away games.
9 out of 10 times, the hosts save the prime spots for the couple (or you can guilt them into it). They feel obligated to let the couple sleep together:
"Oh well, So@24 and Lynn can get the bedroom." And then everyone else has to fend for themselves, trying to decide which piece of floor is best to pass out on. Which drunken friend is not going to try and spoon you while your face is smashed up against the leg of a coffee table at 3 in the morning?
Ahhh I miss those days.
When you're single, your ass gets demoted. If it's a full house, your ass isn't getting the bedroom or even prime couch that can easily fit two.
Just an observation.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
It happened on an ordinary Friday morning in early June, near the corner of Sepulveda and Jefferson in Los Angeles. You wouldn't have noticed if you were standing nearby—there was no commotion, no herald announcing its arrival, no fanfare to be observed. It arrived quietly and unnoticed, as most great things do.
The sun continued to shine, the warm breeze to softly blow. But it happened nonetheless. In a moment, it just appeared-- a blip, a spark, in the vast abyss of cyberspace.
It was born out of the pieces of a shattered self, and its creator presented it to us with a humble shrug. At 11:11am on that June morning, exactly one year ago, someone decided to start over at the age of 24. The rest, as they say, is history.
Despite being prone to "fly by", a year is a long time. I've had the pleasure of riding shotgun to So through it all, and it's given me a great deal of perspective. Now, I could go on about how much he's grown, how well he's weathered the storm, how I know he'll continue to sally forth with a wry smile and sharp tongue, and how it's been a privilege to be part of it all.
This is his blog though, his chronicle, and I'm taking up precious space. I will say this though—thanks for everything, and everything to come.
As someone once wrote, this should be interesting.
I wish you luck.
Why, hello there.
I didn't even realize it has already been 365 days since I first started rambling on about my pathetic, reluctant, grasping-onto-the-door-frame, journey into singledom.
I think the best post I can do for this entry is to do what is to be expected for a blog of my type: to have a "retrospective". To go back and read the first few entries and to compare it to how I was then to how I am now.
I wish I could go back and say the following things:
I've found true love since then.
I've had 3 girlfriends since then.
I've met one girl that wanted to date me seriously since then.
I've dated one girl since then.
I've slept with someone since then.
I boned some broad in the bathroom at some house party since then.
I've felt a boob, under-the-shirt since then.
I've felt a boob, over-the-shirt since then.
I have done none of the sort.
However, I have changed and grown quite a bit within that year. And perhaps this will shed some light on the random commenters who I stumbled upon, talking shit about my blog on some random Poker Strategy site.
Why I still let shit like that bother me, I'm not sure.
I remember my first introduction to the blogging world, was one that Leo himself started (and canceled soon after... sorry ladies). It consisted of short entries, a random picture every other entry with funny captions, and witty commentary about the most banal things that almost anyone experiences in their own lives.
But it was hilarious. And it was honest.
I wanted to share something too. What story could I tell? And what if I stuck to a theme...
My thoughts turned to the only thing that it could at the time. My breakup with Lynn was very real and something I still was losing sleep over. I can honestly say that I felt as though I was the only person to go through these circumstances. Of course, I was not vain in the sense that I was the only person to ever go through a serious breakup with their first love. But!
I thought it was interesting that I had dated only one person, all throughout the most vital eras where "normal people" meet and date members of the opposite sex: e.g. high school and college. I was in a fraternity, for fuck's sake! All of my friends have had at least three girls they have dated and or slept with! They knew what to expect the next time around. They learned from their own mistakes, learned from their girlfriend's (or hook up's) mistakes, they knew what to do.
We're talking even the most simple rules you learn along the way... like, "do you bring a condom no matter what??" or " Can what you have in your room actually be the kryptonite to vagina?"
I was 24 years old. Thrown into the jungle with a loin cloth and a homemade spear. Life tapped me on my tender lil' ass and said, "Good luck, buddy".
I started my blog for three reasons:
1. It was nice to get my thoughts out, no matter how whiny or bitchy, and just leave it out there without getting judged too harshly. Pro tip: your friends, no matter how badass they are, will get sick of your shit after awhile.
2. The dating stories, I had experienced, were entertaining enough for my friends to repeat to each other and to get genuine laughs out of... why not share it?
3. And ultimately, I wished I had something to read like this when I was going through it. So I didn't feel so alone.
So. What have I learned since then?
I am blessed to be in a situation that I feel a lot of people my age do not get to experience. Despite the fact that my ex-girlfriend put me through the most pain imaginable (I'd still rather have my testicles tossed underhanded into a salad shooter), I didn't let her decision make me lose sight of what a great friend and how important she was to be throughout the six years we dated. When we started talking again and establishing a friendship is one of the greatest things I've experienced.
We experienced high school, college, and post college together... arguably the years that shape who you are.. She was (and still is) an extremely important and significant person to me. I am glad that we are still friends, can talk honestly and openly about our mistakes, and aren't bitter about our relationship ending.
I learned what it was like to get rejected by someone who I thought, for sure, was as equally interested in me. Although it wasn't a straight out, black & white, rejection... I learned that if you have to fight for something too much... then she's really not all that interested. And besides, do you want to really be with someone who is resisting at all? Doesn't sound too promising to me.
I learned that there aren't a set of rules to go about a proper a break up. Society can suck it. You CAN be civil and be friends with your ex. You CAN maintain a relationship with family members of your ex. And YES, it can be healthy.
I learned what it's like to get giddy again, regardless of how much sense it makes.
I still don't know what it's like to be on a first date.
I still don't know what it's like to sleep with someone new. Will I ever get to experience what "the flying hippo" is all about?
I still don't know what it's like to kiss someone who I actually get those ever elusive, ever cliche' butterflies over.
It's been a fun year and I want to thank all the readers who have stuck around since the beginning (Pud, Blinds), who tried it once and passed, who had the courage to email me their own stories (fuck it, I'm also going to thank all the "hate mail" too), who took the plunge and came to me for relationship advice, and finally... to those of you who are discovering it for the first time. Welcome!
I'm actually going to crack a beer right now and cheers:
"here's hoping you'll stick around and teach me a thing or two"
Monday, June 9, 2008
I've learned to force myself into conversations with random people at parties. Stepping out of that comfort zone is inevitable and with it comes mixed results. However, at a random house party in San Francisco this weekend, I had an epiphany.
While standing around with my friend Collin (our group's notorious prankster & practical joker), a girl in a ruffle skirt and a trucker hat started to chat us up.
After listening to her talk for approximately 32 seconds, I made the decision... for the first time ever... to consciously shut off my brain.
I have to admit that I admire her gusto, she was clearly 3 (or 4 or 5) sheets to the wind and initiated conversation with two completely random strangers. And in my defense, I gave it the old college try: I actually started to pay attention to the noises coming out of her mouth. But within seconds, I could tell this girl was going to give us her complete life story and it wasn't anywhere close to be considered interesting.
So@24's Innermonologue: I am going to consciously think about something else right now. I wonder what Collin is drinking? Maybe I should have gotten that...
Trucker Hat Mama: ...so then I decided it might be a good idea to get my GED, but I really couldn't get motivated, you know?...
So@24's Innermonologue: What kind of hat is she wearing anyway? Rockstar huh? I remember when trucker hats were cool. I wonder if she gets that all the time...
Trucker Hat Mama: ... and then I was like, "Well, maybe I should move to San Francisco!" But my bff for like evs and evs was like, "I can't believe you're leaving me!" And we...
So@24's Innermonologue: God. She hasn't even made it to San Francisco yet. I wonder what Collin is thinking right now. At least I'm making eye contact and occasionally nodding my head. He's not even trying. I'm a goddamn prince compared to this guy.
Trucker Hat Mama: ...I discovered that China Town has so many asian people! I thought it was just like a cute phrase, you know? Oh my God, you're not offended are you? I can be such a dork sometimes. But I don't really like rice.
So@24's Innermonologue: I have had way more stimulating, way more engaging, and hellva lot more fun conversations over the computer with someone across the world than this exchange I am having right now. This conversation in person. What does this mean? I wonder what my internet friend is doing now?
Trucker Hat Mama: ... so what's your guys' story?
I shoot a look to Collin. Come on Collin, say something to save this conversation. Start talking about yourself. Say something. Anything!
Collin: We're a gay couple.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Everyone has their own set of rules when it comes to karaoke.
Some people only pick the crowdpleasers. You know, the songs that everyone has heard a million times: Journey's "Don't Stop Believing", Billy Joel's "Piano Man", or B-52's "Love Shack".
Some people only pick songs that no one knows and thus the crowd hates.
Some people are able to find that delicate, Goldilocks balance where they find one that everyone knows, but no one ever thinks to sing.
I guess you can say that I'm a bit of snob when it comes to karaoke. There is one trend that always bugs me. And I usually grit my teeth, clench my fists until their white, and wait until the songs complete.
Everyone has seen this. Some girl has convinced her boyfriend (or some random dude at the bar) to sign them both up to sing some Grease duet. He's reluctant as fuck, but he has to because he thinks if he actually goes through with it, he might (just might!) have a chance of getting his grubby paws into her honey pot.
I'm at a bar with some friends. I'm definitely not okay to operate heavy machinery. And I can already see it playing out. This girl drags some dude on stage by his hand and "Summer Nights" starts up.
I slam a shot of tequila and drunkenly swing my head toward stage.
So@24's innermonologue: This girl is good. She knows the lyrics. She's putting on a show for the audience, doesn't look at the screen once. She's even moving like Sandy. This chauncy thinks he can just wing it.
Dude's innermonologue: The lyrics on the screen! I can get through this unscathed.
So@24's innermonologue: Wrong buddy. You're fucking wrong.
The background parts even come up with the T-Birds, but does our potentially-lucky friend sing them?
So@24's innermonologue: Of course not. Those lyrics aren't on the screen and he doesn't know the song. This is painful.
So@24: I gotta go up there.
So@24: I've sat back too long watching this.
Leo: Watching what exactly? This happy couple singing a duet?
So@24: He's killing this potentially epic performance! I'm going up there. -peels off hoodie- They need me.
Leo: -smile quickly fades- No man. Please don't go up... okay you're going.
I chug my PBR and wipe my mouth with the back of my hand. It's go time.
I crawl up on stage. The girl's eyes are wide with terror and her boy stops singing immediately.
So@24: Let me take over. I got this.
I'm still shocked I didn't get a well-deserved punch to my face. Maybe he was glad to give up the mic.
I quickly win back the audience. The girl's eyes of horror quickly turn to approval. I'm singing the Danny parts. She's singing the Sandy parts. Her friends are cheering. Bar flies are cheering. Everything is going exactly how I imagined it would.
When the song ends, I hop off the stage. Triumphant. I'm a goddamn American hero. Leo shakes his head in disbelief, but pats me on the shoulder and hands me another beer. The girl hops off into the arms of the dude I just upstaged.
What's the point of this long winded story?
The point is, when you're single, you can't get away with this kind of shit. When I had a steady girlfriend, I could act like a complete ass and sing musicals in public settings. The result was always the same. Maybe a girlfriend who was a bit humiliated and covered her blanched face. Who hit me in the shoulder for putting her through that, laughed, and then kissed my cheek. Hell, she might even thought it was cute. At the end, she was still mine no matter what I did.
It's not like that anymore. I find myself in this constant state of awareness, much like a rodent in an open field. Constantly making sure I'm saying the right thing, wearing the right clothes, presenting myself in an attractive light.
I can't get away with singing Grease songs in public.
Chardsy: So, did you finish the song in a high pitch with your arm straight up in the air or what?
Monday, June 2, 2008
So@24: A thin, half Vietnamese in his mid-twenties.
Bikini Clad Girls: bikini clad girls
TIME: Saturday afternoon
PLACE: A local In & Out burger joint.
AT RISE: It is a fine evening, sunny but cool - ideal for early June in Los Angeles. So@24 is furiously pumping ketchup (he prides himself on his condiment dispensing speed) into those tiny paper cups for his french fries.
He can hear whispering and giggling. Curious, he looks up to see two girls in board shorts and bikini tops looking in his direction.
Oh sorry! We weren't laughing at you or anything.
We just thought your shirt was really cool.
So@24 looks down at own shirt.
Oh this? I got this for free at my job. Gotta love the free swag, right? Heh heh heh.
Right. Well anyway. Cool shirt.
Thanks. I like your's... too?
Bystanders start to snicker.
So@24 grabs ketchup and b-lines it toward the front door.