Tag Archives: Las Vegas

#41 – Move In with My Girlfriend…On Purpose

When I love something, I recognize it immediately, and I go all in.

That’s why I am capable of eating Chipotle seven days a week.

That’s why I used to go to Las Vegas every other week.

And that’s why after dating my girlfriend Zoe after just four months we decided to move in together.

No, I am not comparing my girlfriend to Chipotle and Vegas, but she loves both things too, so I am sure she wouldn’t mind if I did.

My favorite picture of us...of course it's in Vegas.

My favorite picture of us…of course it’s in Vegas.

And yes, it sounds crazy that I’d move in with a girl after just four months, especially when you consider I typically don’t show a girl where I live until after three months.

So, this is the first time I’ve lived with a girlfriend…on purpose. Other times, they kind of just moved in because of proximity to their work and I didn’t even realize it until they had my spare key and were no longer calling me to let them in the front door of my building.

Since the first of the year I basically stayed at Zoe’s place in Sherman Oaks every night. I hate the Valley. I lived there for six years and moved into Hollywood for the past two years so that I could be closer to the studios and comedy clubs. Zoe’s living situation with a roommate was becoming less than ideal for her, and I was getting tired of feeling like I no longer had a home since I would go days and often weeks without seeing my apartment. That’s fine when I was on the road a lot, but when I’m in Los Angeles I want to feel like I have a place.

So we came to the conclusion that we should find a new place together. Neither of us is conventional. We both do things to the beat of our own Pandora stations. And we both knew the other person was in the relationship till death do us part. So why go through the typical BS of societal dating standards? It doesn’t work out for most people who follow that route anyways.

Zoe puts up with this type of behavior, so what else can I ask for?

Zoe puts up with this type of behavior, so what else can I ask for?

We knew people would probably think we were crazy. But we were ready for that. When we began telling people, to our surprise, no one thought we should be looking for a place together in a mental institution. Everyone actually thought it was a good idea. I guess they probably saw that we do everything together anyways, so it made sense.

Although, she has been known to make faces behind my back as well.

Although, she has been known to make faces behind my back as well.

My family loves Zoe and her family loves me. Before her, I never introduced a girlfriend to my family, because whomever I was dating always gave me slight hesitancy in thinking that I was in a temporary relationship and I never wanted to introduce something temporary to something permanent like family. Zoe had introduced several boyfriends to her family, but according to her family I’m the first one they’ve actually liked. So with so much support we were further entrusted in thinking we made the right choice.

Zoe and me with my Mom on Mother's Day.

Zoe and me with my Mom on Mother’s Day.

We chose the first place we visited because we knew exactly where we wanted to live. I lived off Hollywood & Gower and from the day I moved in there was a new apartment complex being built just one block west called EastownLA. The day the complex started showing apartments to be leased, I attempted to take a tour. When they told me the price of the least expensive apartment, I turned around immediately. Zoe has a similar story of wanting to live in the complex that became OURS.

We both make good money. In fact, I don’t know how my poop and fart jokes compensate me so well. But we are both extreme individuals and have got used to paying rent on our own without the help of a significant other, so before we knew each other we both didn’t think it would be smart at that time to move in to a place with such a large financial ceiling.

Our leasing guy showed us several different style units around the complex. Our non-negotiables were a balcony and a lot of closet space. We were hoping for two parking spots and a washer/dryer in the unit as well. Realistically we were sold on the complex the moment we saw the gym and how it offered more equipment and features than 24 Hour Fitness. Then we saw the pool and Jacuzzi, which rivals the W Hotel and offers weekly pool parties with alcohol, food, and live DJ’s for the residents. The other amenities like fire pits and stainless steel barbecues sprinkled throughout the complex’s four buildings are just an added bonus.

The leasing guy showed us several units with different layouts that included our non-negotiables. With the complex only at 50 percent occupancy we had a lot of options to choose from. But for various reasons we didn’t like any of them. Then he showed us OUR apartment.

We aren't done decorating, but it's a nice start.

We aren’t done decorating, but it’s a nice start.

It’s perfect. It has a large balcony with one side that overlooks the pool while the other side overlooks Hollywood Boulevard. The light just pours in from floor to ceiling windows. There’s a walk-in closet, which to my surprise fit all of our stuff in since after all Zoe is a girl. The bathroom is huge. There’s a washer/dryer. All the appliances are brand new. No one has ever lived in the apartment before. And to top it off, the complex threw in free rent for a month.

The view from our balcony.

The view from our balcony.

Just to be sure, we looked at complex’s we figured would be comparable in the area like the Hollywood Tower and Sunset & Vine, but those places were just as expensive and didn’t have anywhere near the space that OUR place offers, plus those buildings are old and didn’t have the amenities either.

I kind of don’t believe I live where I live. After a few weeks now, it feels like a home now that we’ve framed our pictures, bought a couch and organized the furniture.

The one thing that doesn’t escape me is that there’s definitely a type of person who has the lifestyle that fits a building like OURS. There are probably a total of four units leased to families with kids. There’s also A LOT of white people. I’ve seen one black person, one Asian person, and for the first week I was afraid the cleaning staff was going to tell me to get back to doing the yard work.

This was only the third time I’ve moved in my life. Zoe has moved considerably more times than that. Nothing about the move has been discomforting. Four months seems really quick, but both of us could’ve made the move after the first weekend we met. It is easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, because I love Chipotle…err I mean Zoe 🙂

We took a "selfie" the first night we met each other.

We took a “selfie” the first night we met each other.

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#38 – 2014 Year In Review

I am not a perfect person, which is why I always start this annual entry with the stupid shit I did in the previous 364 days of the year.

 

Stupid Shit I did in 2014

  • Had a relationship end poorly

We weren’t right for each other, but we were good for each other’s progression in life. Despite my best efforts we couldn’t be civil in the immediate aftermath.

  • Had a one night stand with a woman who took my debit card

After my ex and I broke up, I went through a debauchery-filled period. Call it making up for lost time or whatever, but I “dated” a couple strippers, hooked up with randoms in bars, caught mono from one of them, and culminated with having sex with the stranger who had my debit card.

  • Missed family celebrations

I missed San Diego Padres opening day with my Grandpa for only the second time in my life. I missed his 85th birthday on Halloween. I missed my Grandma’s 81st birthday on November 1. There were other events too, I’m sure. I missed a lot because I worked a lot.

I did make it back home to San Diego to spend my birthday with the family.

I did make it back home to San Diego to spend my birthday with the family.

  • Drank way too much

I consider myself a social drinker. The problem is I go out every night. I started the new year off extremely hungover after partying until 5am on new years eve. Minus the month I took off drinking for “The Doctor’s Diet” to go on the show in January, everything I did seemed to include alcohol. Throughout it all, I only threw up once, and that was in Austin, TX. Tequila and my stomach don’t mix well is a lesson I’ve learned many times. This will probably be on my list of Stupid Shit in 2015 too.

Drinking with my sister on her birthday.

Drinking with my sister on her birthday.

  • Didn’t update my blog more

I’ve mentioned more than a few times how this blog resurrected my career back in 2012. It really fell off once I got busier with work in 2013, but in 2014 it nearly died. This is only my third entry in 2014 and I didn’t write my first entry until mid-October. My last two entries got a great response, I think because I was being extremely vulnerable, and wrote about things most people do but don’t talk about. I intend to do more of that in 2015, so this regret isn’t on my list of stupid shit next year.

 

Things I’m Proud I did in 2014

 

  • Worked on 6 different TV shows

Last year I worked on 5 shows and couldn’t believe how lucky I was. This year went way beyond my expectations. I steadily see the progress I am making in my career, and its thanks in part to my amazing peers and producers I have been allowed to observe and work with.

January-March

America’s Got Talent (NBC)

This show will always hold a special place in my heart, because of how it resurrected my career in 2012. Getting to work on it for a second season with more responsibility felt great. I couldn’t find a top-finisher like I did my first season on the show, but I had so much fun joking around each day with my co-workers as we dealt with daily Youtube fails.

Snapping selfies on set with Justin.

Snapping selfies on set with Justin.

March-June

The Chase (GSN)

I met friends for life on this show. It also started my year of work travel by going to New York and San Francisco. This show brought me back to working on a set after a six-month break from it. Brooke Burns and Mark Labbett are great on-air personalities that excel at what they do. This show also taught me a lot about the game show world and welcomed me to the GSN family.

Here I am playing game show host standing in for Brooke Burns on The Chase.

Here I am playing game show host standing in for Brooke Burns on The Chase.

June

Idiotest (GSN)

I didn’t work on this one long, but it was with people I love. It also became the second show I did for GSN this year. It was also great to see a show hosted by a comedian get a second season pickup.

June-August

Boom! (FOX)

This was the most trying show of the year. My level of frustration was pushed to levels way beyond I ever imagined. I had inner battles, outward arguments, and moments nearly on the verge of tears. I was placed in unfair situations, and at the time I didn’t know why I was put in those positions, but in the end I learned so much. I’m glad I went through everything I did because it made my skin a lot tougher, and I really got to see the inner workings of game show development.

Yup

Yup

September-November

Baggage on the Road (GSN)

Without putting down every other show I’ve worked on, I’ve never had a more rewarding experience than working on this show. I got to write a TV show. I got to travel. I got to work hand-in-hand with a living legend like Jerry Springer. He said jokes I wrote. I’ve worked with celebrities before, but he’s at a level of fame only a few people know. People chant his name everywhere he goes. And he couldn’t be nicer. And the people I worked with are basically like family to me now.

Probably my favorite picture from set.

Probably my favorite picture from set.

I Can Do That (NBC)

This was another show I worked on for only a short time. But it was a nice book end to my year, and again it was with people I love who are always there for me whenever I want to work and have fun while doing it.

  • Saw the country

Last year I put, “Didn’t travel more” under my “Stupid shit I did in 2013.” This year I made up for that by traveling to New York, San Francisco, Austin, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, St. Petersburg, Waterbury, Hartford, Las Vegas, and San Diego. Next year my goal is to not remember every city I visited.

New Orleans on Halloween with my coworkers was a blast.

New Orleans on Halloween with my coworkers was a blast.

  • Bought a brand new car

Not going to lie. I grew up spoiled. My Mom and Grandparents bought me my first car, a used 1995 Ford Escort when I was 16. Then my Grandparents bought me a brand new 2004 Nissan Xterra when I was 18. That car lasted nearly 200,000 miles until this year when I bought my brand new 2014 Scion tc. I feel like a grown up now.

Sad to see my old car go after so many great memories. But now I'm making even better ones with this new one.

Sad to see my old car go after so many great memories. But now I’m making even better ones with this new one.

  • Helped other people get jobs

Several people recommended me for jobs this year, for which I am eternally grateful. So, I tried to pay it forward, and each person I did it for, didn’t disappoint me. It’s amazing to finally feel like I have solid people in my peer group that I can rely on.

So glad I got to work with Tessa on a FUN show.

So glad I got to work with Tessa on a FUN show.

  • Remained involved with my alma mater

Cal State University, San Marcos is very important to me. It showed me I could write. I had no clue this was something I could do until I went to college. I have always tried to remain involved with the university in any way I can. One of my favorite former professors asks me every year to go back and be a guest speaker to her current students. I couldn’t do it in 2013, after I did it in 2012. This year I was able to make it back and it was a blast. In addition, the student affairs and alumni association contacted me and asked if they could interview me and write a story on me. It was filled with some of the nicest words anyone has ever said about me. They made me sound a lot cooler than I actually am.

Here’s the article CSUSM wrote on me.

What I love most about that article is that they spelled my last name incorrectly in the headline, but got it right everywhere else in the article. They said such amazing things, but know how to keep my head from getting too big, which is why I continue to love my alma mater.

Here’s to an even more fun-filled 2015. Happy New Year everyone.

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#36 – Go on an Online Date

I don’t date.

I never really have. All of my past relationships were a result of the woman pursuing me. That’s not bragging. I’m just lazy. And I think I inherently know that romance leads to heartbreak, so I avoid it unless someone brings me into it.

More or less, I’ve spent the majority of my life having the no strings attached type of relationships, which consist mainly of banging and leaving, and that wasn’t just me doing the leaving. That is until my recent relationship of nearly a year and a half, which was a brand new record for me.

Prior to that relationship, I had “Go on an online date” on my list of Discomfort Blog ideas. I never did it, because I am not that good on paper. I’m more attractive once you get to know me.

In the duration of my past relationship, Tinder hit the world hard. I took enjoyment seeing friends swipe right during down times in their daily lives. I never thought I would create an account on there, because when you’re in a relationship you think it’s never going to end. Plus, I always thought it was kind of silly that people were so desperate to meet someone that they would force a meeting.

After my ex broke up with me I decided to revisit the idea of going on an online date, you know strictly to write about something, not because I’m a horny dude or anything. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the appeal of online dating. If you fear rejection, it’s not face to face unless you want to meet up, and there’s even less risk with Tinder since you only talk to people who think you are attractive as well.

So, I scavenged through my Facebook for skinny pics and joined up a few weeks ago. I got quite a few matches rather quickly. More than I actually thought I would, which is a result of having a poor image in my head from being a former fatty. I did a whole bunch of messaging, but didn’t meet anyone in person. Frankly, I was too busy to meet anyone. I just started working on a new TV show, which ironically is the dating game show “Baggage on the Road” hosted by Jerry Springer. Only I would become recently single and start working on a dating show.

My Tinder profile pictures equipped with emojis and a cheesy line.

My Tinder profile picture equipped with emojis and a cheesy line.

The night before I left for Austin, Texas to start shooting the show I got a match from a woman who gave me her number within five messages. While out of town she text asking if I wanted to go to a concert at The Wiltern. I thought she was attractive and I appreciated the forwardness since like I mentioned previously, I’m lazy when it comes to this dating game. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at her forwardness since she is 37 years old, nine years my senior. Women that age tend to not waste as much time as younger women.

I didn’t flinch at the age gap, because I’m a bit of an old soul and I’ve been in relationships with larger age gaps. When I was 23 I dated a woman who was 35. Before you start thinking I have Mommy issues, my last girlfriend was six years younger than me.

I rescheduled with her for the Sunday after I returned from Austin. I had no idea what we would do, because our exchanges were very limited. She didn’t have a bio on her profile, and all I knew was that she liked yoga and posing with the man who we in Los Angeles call “Sunset Jesus” because he walks up and down Sunset Boulevard dressed as Jesus. I didn’t even know how to pronounce her name. It looked French, but she didn’t.

She suggested we go to a concert again. I told her I couldn’t because I agreed to be a guest on a podcast that night. Since it was Sunday, I asked if she liked football. She said “no.” I almost broke up with her right there even before we even went on a first date. She suggested a museum. In my head, I laughed because after all it was Sunday and football is my religion. Long story short, I suggested the Grammy Museum at LA Live, because if I’m going to have to go to a museum it can’t be a real museum.

I arrived to the museum first. It pains me even writing “museum.” I sat there semi-hoping she wouldn’t show up. I know I set the date, but I was already regretting it now that it was real. Plus, I could see the Chargers driving down the field on a TV in the distance.

She showed up and looked like a slight variation of the four pictures she had on her profile. I wasn’t disappointed. I mean you have to assume that online everyone puts their very best pictures up. She was exotic looking. From her pictures I had no idea if she was African American, Native American, Indian, or all of the above.

We went through the typical get to know you questions. I did my best to take interest in her likes, but I could tell we didn’t have a lot in common. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that awkward, mainly because I can converse with just about anyone thanks to years of being a journalist and working in casting. The only level of discomfort occurred when she asked, “So what do you do for a living?” I’m honest, so I told her, “I work in TV.”

I should have assumed her follow-up question would be, “What show?”

But I didn’t think anything of it when she asked, so I said, “I’m writing this dating game show called ‘Baggage.’”

“Wait, a dating show, I’m not on it right now am I?” she said without missing a beat. “That’s not what this is right now, is it? Is this one of those hidden camera shows? You’re not going to use anything from this date on your show, are you?”

Only in LA.

After I answered “no” four times, and got past that hurdle, we conversed some more. I wish that was the first time I’ve had to reassure a woman I wasn’t filming her.

She was nice, and the next day instead of telling me to take a hike she asked if I wanted to go for a hike at Griffith Park. So, I guess that means the date was a success. But I really had no interest, so I passed.

Overall, I really don’t think online dating is for me. I don’t like forcing a meeting. I prefer chance and circumstance. Tinder definitely serves as a great ego boost, but for me I don’t think it goes beyond that. Plus, my favorite thing has been stumbling upon women I know in real life and texting them screenshots of their profile.

Side note, I’ve got way more matches in cities outside of Los Angeles, like San Diego and Austin, which I think speaks to the superficiality of online dating in the plastic town of LA. As much trash as I’m talking about online dating right now, I just realized I’ll be in Baton Rouge, Tampa, Hartford, Las Vegas, and San Diego in the next seven weeks and the road is lonely. So what I’m really saying is that I’m full of shit and I love Tinder.

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35 – Write A Second End of Year Review

It’s time for my second annual list of Stupid Shit I Did & Things I’m Proud Of from the past year.

Stupid Shit I Did in 2013

I know I am getting older, because I look at the things I’ve written below and there’s no raw-dogging chicks or falling asleep with strippers in my lap. My regrets are also far less in numbers, and a bit more personal in spirit.

  • Quit a TV show: I have always been astutely aware that I am fortunate to work in television. The fact that people pay me for this shit is ridiculous. I never thought I would quit a TV show. But I did. Some days I regret it. Most days I don’t. I was good at the job. The people I worked with liked me. I was even friends with the host. I had job security. I left it all though. Maybe I gave up too early. It was a stupid move at the time, because I didn’t have something else lined up. The thing that bugs me most is that I gave up. And I’ve never given up on something before.
  • Gained 10 pounds: I put in a lot of work to get down to 150-160 pounds in 2012. And in 2013 I put in a lot of work in my career, which meant significantly less time working out. Add in the stress eating and drinking, I find myself at 170 pounds at the end of 2013. The fat boy inside my brain will always think I need to lose weight, and even though I know 170 is still skinny for my height, I still consider this to be something stupid I did in 2013.
  • Didn’t Travel More: Last year it seemed like I was in Las Vegas every other weekend. I’m ashamed to say that I only went three times this year. I did go to Chicago for the first time as well. And in traditional form I also went to San Diego a dozen times or so, however, work prevented me from cashing in on trips to New York and San Francisco. I should’ve taken the time to venture out of Los Angeles more often.

Things I’m Proud I Did in 2013

The one thing I learned from the list below is that I worked a lot. I think I need to find a balance between fun and work, because last year was my party year and this year was my work year. These accomplishments, however, are substantial, which is all that matters.

  • Work on Five Different TV Shows: This was the first year I worked on more than two shows. It’s the first time I’ve actually felt like I have a legitimate TV career.

January-February: “America’s Got Talent” on NBC

Career-wise, this show started off my hot year.

Career-wise, this show started off my hot year.

April-May: “The Test” by CBS

I found every opportunity to nap on The Test. 100 hour work weeks will do this to anyone.

I found every opportunity to nap on The Test. 100 hour work weeks will do this to anyone.

May-July: “Let’s Make A Deal” on CBS

Working on set of "Let's Make A Deal" was a blast. Felt food to see people excited to be on a show, after spending the prior month sleeping at my desk.

Working on set of “Let’s Make A Deal” was a blast. Felt food to see people excited to be on a show, after spending the prior month sleeping at my desk.

July-August: “Wall of Fame” coming to NBC

Just messing around with Jason. Means a lot working for someone who will look out for you. Had a blast in Chicago working on Wall of Fame with him. With LMAD and WOF I learned a lot about game shows in 2013, thanks to him.

Just messing around with Jason. Means a lot working for someone who will look out for you. Had a blast in Chicago working on Wall of Fame with him. With LMAD and WOF I learned a lot about game shows in 2013, thanks to him.

September-November: “Operation Repo” on TruTV

It felt great to get back into the field on "Operation Repo." Working as the AD on this show was my highest ranking credit I've ever had, and I think it's taking my career down a new path. We shot in cars, planes, and boats, and I had the time of my life in all three.

It felt great to get back into the field on “Operation Repo.” Working as the AD on this show was my highest ranking credit I’ve ever had, and I think it’s taking my career down a new path. We shot in cars, planes, and boats, and I had the time of my life in all three.

October-Present: “America’s Got Talent” on NBC

  • Start A Relationship: I’ve been serially single. I’ve always said I would remain that way until I found someone who was just as intelligent as me and worked in the same industry, because that’s the only type of person who wouldn’t give me crap about the amount of time I put into my career. I found her, and have been happy for eight months now. Probably not impressive to most of you, but definitely a new record for me.
It has been pure joy with this one. A lot of laughs, for sure.

It has been pure joy with this one. A lot of laughs, for sure.

  • Help Make Someone Else’s Dreams Come True: I spent the prior five years in Los Angeles working with people who I thought had my best intentions, but really were pieces of shit. In November of 2012 I told a comedian friend he should audition for the reality competition show I just started working on. He was hesitant and just like me, not in a great point in his life. 10 months later, Taylor Williamson finished in second place on “America’s Got Talent, is selling out comedy clubs, and is a household name. Talking out his strategy each week from the initial unaired audition to the season finale in Radio City Music Hall was an amazing experience. Unlike the assholes I associated with in prior years, he had my back, and ensured that the higher-ups on AGT knew what I did, thus securing my return to the show. We helped each other out, and he restored my faith that there are good people in show business. Below is my favorite performance that he did on AGT and the conversation that went into the development of it was one of my favorites from 2013.

  • Quit a TV Show: I quit “The Test” after five weeks because I was working over 100 hours per week. I was falling asleep on the way to work in the morning. If it was four years ago I probably would’ve put up with the abuse because back then I didn’t know when I was going to find another TV show to work on. I quit “The Test” with no promise of another show, but I ended up working on the three shows immediately after, so I pumped up my resume and got my life back.
  • Have Sex with a Friend and Not Have it be Weird: I dated this one girl in 2012 and even though we stopped dating, we remained friends. Before I got in a relationship, we even had sex in 2013 as friends. It wasn’t weird the next morning, I think because we actually have respect for one another. Who knew sex with a friend could be a thing?
  • Continue My Journalism Career: Journalism was my first love, and every year I try to revisit that passion. This year my buddy Jon Gold hooked me up with two gigs when I was in between TV shows. One was to cover an NHL game between the San Jose Sharks and Anaheim Ducks and the other was to cover an MLB game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Los Angeles Dodgers. Journalism still provides an adrenaline rush that TV doesn’t give me, but I have way more fun in TV.
Getting paid to watch sports is almost as unbelievable as the fact that I get paid to make TV.

Getting paid to watch sports is almost as unbelievable as the fact that I get paid to make TV.

  • Move Into Hollywood: I lived in the Valley for six years. That’s six years of driving with a buzz. That’s six years of spending far too much money on gas. That’s six years of unbearably hot summers. That’s six years of…
  • Not Repeat Stupid Shit I Did In 2012: This definitely means I am growing up.
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