Tag Archives: nightlife

Rivets and Reservations

28 Oct

magic castle

Magic is meant to inspire awe. It should suspend your disbelief and make you question all that is true in the world. At the Magic Castle in Hollywood they achieve these results in stupefying fashion. I’m rendered speechless not by any sleight of hand, but rather a wardrobe slight from one of the most inept managers upholding the silliest dress code ever created.

One must be invited by a member of the castle to enjoy the entertainment. This part of the journey is almost charming if you consider e-mailing random magicians and pretending to have seen their act in order to get an invite a good use of your time. I finally secure an invite through a friend of a friend and set up the date.

magicianThe evening is a surprise for my lady who mentioned in passing months earlier she wanted to go really badly. (Shout out to myself for remembering that) We arrive early at the valet. I take one step out of the car and the valet asks if I have read the dress code. I am confused because I’m dressed like a motherfucking GQ model, I reply yes; in fact I read it twice. He cringes and says I cannot come in dressed like that. Dressed like what? The poster boy for welldressedman.com? No, he informs me they will not be able to accept my pants. I am unaware my pants sent in an application, but just to clarify why will my pants not be accepted here? Here is a brief excerpt of how the next 5 minutes went.

On the left.

On the left.

“Well sir, they are denim-like.”

“What? But they aren’t denim.”

“Yes, but they are denim-like. They have rivets”

“What did you just say to me?”

He gets the manager who comes out and also informs me my pants will not be accepted.

“I am sorry to inform you we cannot accept your pants. They are denim-like.”

“But they aren’t denim! They are cotton twill. It’s a completely different weave! I don’t understand what the problem is?”

“Well they have rivets.”

“If one more person says fucking rivets…”

I look over at my date, she can see things are getting out of hand, and to be honest if she was not with me I would have told the guy to fuck off and left. There is nowhere in the dress code that states pants can’t have rivets. Have a look for yourself. There is, however, a few things that they do accept that I think will give you a good idea of what kind of institution this place is.



  • Think business attire.
  • Men must be in coat and tie (standard or bow tie)
  • Exceptions to the “tie rule” are: turtlenecks (that can be folded over), bolo ties, ascots, jeweled collars, ruffled collars and banded collars.
  • Military Dress (no fatigues), ethnic and/or religious attire will also be allowed.
  • No zippered jackets, outdoor jackets, polo shirts, t-shirts, denim (or colored denim), shorts, sandals, flip flops, sneakers or sneaker-like shoes are allowed.
  • Leather jackets (with buttons) and leather pants are allowed.
  • No casual attire will be allowed.

turtleneckTwo very important things to note on this list: Turtlenecks (that can be folded over) and leather jackets (with buttons) and leather pants ARE allowed, but god forbid your H&M twill pants have a couple rivets on them so help you Jesus and the divine power! I repeat. TURTLENECKS….THEN IN PARENTHESIS (THAT CAN BE FOLDED OVER!) End of discussion.

After calming down a tad, I ask what the solution is. He first displays a bit of competence and says he will go check if there are some pants I can borrow. Fine. This kind gesture is quickly destroyed when he comes back out and tells me in a sarcastic tone that they need to be taken to the cleaners because, “You don’t even want to know what happened to them.” Did someone shit in them? It’s shit isn’t it? No? Can I put them on past my knees? Then let me in to this goddamn castle!

soiled pantsHis second managerial gem is to suggest I go back home and change pants. It’s 6 pm in LA on a weekday. Kindly go fuck yourself. The final solution is to go to H&M down the road and buy new pants. I swallowed my pride like a porn star and set off to buy a new pair, while my date waits inside.

I lumber down the hill in my suit, neck sweat on full blast when I get a call from my girl. They don’t have my reservation for dinner. After some guidance on my part and some master sleuthing on his behalf, he determines the reservation is under my name. Yes, of course it is….I don’t even know what to say to that. That’s not the first name you check? I ask if I may return to my quest to buy new pants. He assures me we are on for the 8 PM dinner and show. Wonderful.

fatpantsI will give everybody one guess what happens when I get to the H&M. They only have denim pants in the entire store, riveted up the wazoo. I almost collapse in frustration, but keep it together long enough to ask the salesmen if I can buy his slacks. He contemplates calling the police, but ultimately mentions that they may have one pair by the mannequin. I slowly walk over to the pale hipster and find a pair of black dress pants discarded by the window. I pray to Hedi Slimane I can at least pull them up around my formidable thighs. 34/32’s. They won’t zip up, but they will do just fine for a night of magic.

I return to the Magic Castle with my mismatched dress slacks, a sweaty mess with my evil no good cotton twill denim-like riveted pants in hand. I lock them in my car and finally enter the hallowed mansion. After one beer my anger subsides and I enjoy the night of talented magicians. Despite the hoop jumping, I will be back, and when I do I will be in a bedazzled tuxedo with rivets, and a turtleneck that doesn’t fold over.

Dancing at a Gay Bar

14 May

ImageI was born and raised by very smart and tolerant parents.  I grew up in Berkeley, CA, historically one of the most liberal and culturally open-minded cities in the world.  Using the word gay to describe something as stupid was wiped from my lexicon right around the time Jincos went out of style, and in past years I have congratulated and admired the courage of friends and acquaintances who have come out.  If there were gay rights trading cards, my character would have high tolerance, 9 acceptance, 10 respect, and telekinesis, because that’s awesome.  With all this power and pedigree, however, the moment I stepped foot in the Abbey in West Hollywood and an impish Asian man caressed the chest hair protruding from my modest v-neck, I flipped out.


ImageThere are 3 stages a straight man experiences at a gay dance club.  Awe, denial and acceptance.  Along with handsy Asians, there were sweaty go-go dancers, neon cocktails, dudes making out, really hot girls holding hands and a bakery!?  The only words I could muster the first hour were whiskey and ginger.  I wandered the big gay expanse, my glass clutched tight to my chest; taking measured sips ready to hand check the next fun boy who got too fresh.  This was denial.  Petty thoughts began to creep in.  Everyone in here thinks I’m gay don’t they?  They think I like to kiss dudes!?  But who cares right?  I am tolerant and accepting!  I am from Berkeley!!…Oh god is that go-go dancer swinging his dick in concentric circles?!


ImageIt was around this time I had a moment of clarity, or my 4th whiskey, whatever.  These guys were having the time of their lives.  There was no pretension, very few games from what I could see and nothing shrouded in mystery.  This was hollering in its purest form, unadulterated and to the point.  Guy thinks guy is hot, makes the approach, grind and drink, make out, maybe share a bear claw, and then go home together.  Respect.  Gay bar etiquette is far more evolved than straight bar game could ever hope to be.


ImageAfter a few more whiskeys and a peanut butter cookie (seriously what the hell is going on here? this place is delightful) I accepted my surroundings.  I spent the last hour trying to convince a cute girl from Bahrain I wasn’t gay.  It was an uphill battle, as she pointed out I was wearing a v-neck and had blonde hair, apparently criteria for being a homosexual I was unaware of.  I finally told her I would have sex with her in the bathroom as proof, or in the back of the bakery if she preferred, but she declined and we didn’t speak again. 


I left The Abbey proud.  It was amazing to see so many happy people leaving one place.  I wish all bigots and politicians could spend an evening at The Abbey and experience a similar range of emotions that I did.  If only everybody could have the unwavering tolerance and progressive thinking that I….oh my god all these guys are going home to have sex with each other aren’t they?!  Well, at least someone is getting laid.  Acceptance.


5 Unconventional Hollers at Bars

18 Jul

Sometimes you walk into a bar and feel like Bradley Pitt. I assume he would do well at a bar. Other nights you just don’t have your mojo. You feel paralyzed by exhaustion, fear, poor wardrobe choices, sobriety and ESPN highlights. The mere thought of striking up a conversation with a female makes you want to go home and re-watch season 1 of Game of Thrones. (Let’s be honest, Season 2 was a little brutes until the last three episodes) Wahh! I don’t have a clever opener. Wahh! I’m ugly and overweight. Wahh! I’m a baby, who let me into this bar? No more excuses boys. Here are 5 unique ways to holler at girls that set you apart from the pack.

This person wins.

1. Challenge Her to a Drawing Contest– Most women like art; consider themselves artistic or think they know what art is. This approach shows confidence and a competitive nature. It’s an added bonus if you can actually draw, but if you are like me and got a C- in Visual Arts in High School, then simply use your time together drawing as an excuse to display other appealing traits if you have them.

Potential Flaws: If you are not a good artist AND don’t have any redeeming character traits please don’t use this approach as you will likely come off as creepy. Nobody wants to silently draw a unicorn in a packed bar and be passively critiqued by a weirdo.

The girl is stoops.

She is an awesome artist and judges your silly shitscribblings and decides she doesn’t find you attractive.

She’s such an awful artist that you think for a minute she in incapable of producing anything beautiful and you flash-forward to what your kids might look like and excuse yourself to the bathroom to yak.

Look how happy she is.

2. Send Her Something Other than a Drink– Oh, you sent her over a vodka martini with extra olives, what a cool guy you are. That shows no creativity or effort. You didn’t make the drink; you just watched too many Bond movies and have access to legal tender. All that shows is you have money. (As I get older I realize how important this is to girls….BUT that’s beside the point for now) I suggest sending over a mini-cupcake, or a full sized one depending on the largess of the lady. Other items that work include a Hershey’s kiss, mix tape, left over pad thai…OK you get it though.

Potential flaws: If the girl is insecure about her weight and thinks you are trying to make a statement by sending her a mini-cupcake. She hates getting gifts ever since her father left the family and ran off with the house cleaner Guadalupe on Christmas morning. I think the odds are in your favor for this one.

So preeeettty.

3. Glow sticks– Props to my roommate for exploiting this gem. You don’t have to be a raver to enjoy bright chemicals in plastic casing. Head down to the nearest 99-cent store and buy a handful. Humans are naturally attracted to light and everyone loves colors unless you’re a racist. It only makes sense that the harbinger of colorful lights would become an attractive and sought after figure. Approach the drunkest looking gaggle of geese and wait for them to ask why you brought glow sticks. “Cause I came to fucking rage!!!!” Then you throw glow sticks everywhere. Bawwwsssss.

Potential Flaws: Girl overdosed at a Deadmau5 show. She is a racist environmental prude and doesn’t like plastic or colors.

This is pushing the mental patient line.

4. Get a Weird Haircut and Pretend You’re Australian- Yes, this is super specific, but it works. It is important that you are either from Australia, Wales or New Zealand. There are too many examples of British accents so it’s harder to fake a good one. Irish and Scottish are too hard and ridiculous sounding to pull off. Take a few YouTube accent lessons, head down to Supercuts and get wacky. Rattails, scoops, faux hawk, low hawk, no hawk, initials in the side of your head are all acceptable choices. Girls want fantasy and fairy tale. There is nothing better than happening upon a strange “foreigner” in a dimly lit pub. Keep your talking to a minimum and you’ll also get good listener points.

Potential Flaws: If your accent breaks too much. If the girl is from that country. If your haircut is too weird and makes you look like a mental patient.

I love you babe!

5. Drink a Bunch– Yup, as we get older it becomes more socially uncouth to get rip roaring at a bar and make a fool of yourself. Don’t be scared to take it back to Freshmen Year you from time to time. Chances are someone will be on your level. She may not be “the one” but she is certainly someone. You may not even know or remember what you are saying, but trust me, you will be hollering at anything that will listen. Fats, taco truck ladies, bums, signposts, and pretty much whatever is in your path. You will be like a horny and loud tornado.

Potential Flaws: A lot of shit.

Haggards at the Gate

23 May

Their Magic is Strong

The oft forgotten yet always there
Whose intentions made clear with vicious stares
The proud may fight and suffer terrible fates
When they meet the haggards at the gate

-A Fallen Hero

When you are a single guy out for a night on the town you must be a warrior. You must be prepared for battle in any form it manifests. I have conquered the unexpected stomach grumblers of the south and retreated to a nearby Chinese restaurant to re strategize. I have danced the forbidden “dance of the largess” and escaped with only mild B.O. and a phone number. I’ve engaged in the perpetual banter of the witty and come out exhausted but unscathed. My banner men (bros?) who fight bravely with me in the field would lavish me with praise and speak to my fealty and pretty sweet dance moves. There is one enemy, however, one battle I have yet to figure out or emerge victorious from. I speak of the haggards at the gate.

The haggards are a proud group. Undeservedly so, but proud nonetheless. They guard their attractive friends with a passion and bloodlust that renders most warriors useless. Depending on the rabid nature of a particular haggard, one may spend as few as twenty seconds or as long as an entire evening trying to marginalize their presence. On certain nights the numbers are in your favor. With a stirring enough whiskey induced battle cry, you might convince a fellow warrior to “jump on the grenade,” “fall on the battle axe,” or as it should be known “just generally have a bad night with an ugly girl.” Other nights you are outnumbered. Your banner men may be tired and resort to comment making in the corner or talk about how good In and Out sounds. You are forced to go rogue and face the haggard’s’ treachery head on.

Treachery behind those smiles

During my last encounter I was ten minutes into a delightful yell-off at a club with a Hawaiian treat when it happened.

“Where are you from?”
“What are you doing here?”
“Why do you dance like that?”
“Do you come here often?”
“Isn’t this place so random?”

Fuck off! Back you haggards! Back I say. But there magic was strong. Dances were interrupted, bathroom breaks were taken, whispering sessions were had and one was bold enough to back up her formidable and unshapely rump on my increasingly flaccid long sword. The night ended with quesadillas and light creeping on the book, not quite how I drew up the battle plan.

Their attractive friend is in the middle somewhere. So tough.

So congratulations haggards on another battle well fought. You saved your friend for another night, from what I’m not sure. Nobody wins in this situation, unless you count grinding your sweaty back against me for the entirety to “Make it Nasty.” Are you really hoping I will make an egregious error in judgment and choose/jump/fall on you over a Hawaiian treat? This is not college, my nocturnal tastes are too discerning. I know we will continue to meet in battle, but it is my wish and great hope that one day I will approach the gates and not have to draw my sword in such haste. That I will be shown respect for my courage and wished well on my arduous journey that lies ahead. Until we meet again…

– Another Fallen Hero