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Jeff Probst Missed Connection

Jeff Probst

Future Jeff Probst excitedly pointing at the Emmys after casting Ryan Muldowney in an upcoming season of Survivor leads to monster ratings and critical acclaim.

I recently passed by Jeff Probst as he enjoyed lunch with a friend on Ventura Blvd.  Since I didn’t have the guts to say hello, I dealt with the situation the next best way:  By posting a missed connection on Craigslist.  Since ads only stay listed on the website for a week, I’ve posted it below for posterity.

As of now, Jeff Probst has not responded.

Jeff Probst – m4m – 30 (Ventura Blvd.)

This afternoon, on my lunch hour, I walked past Jeff Probst on Ventura Blvd. He was enjoying lunch with a friend. I was walking off a turkey club and onion rings.As someone who’s seen every episode of Survivor for the last 14 years and has dreamed of being on the show since the age of 16, it was an exciting event.I wanted to stop and talk to him. Tell him about my superfandom. That there’s a box at my mother’s house stuffed with dozens of VHS tapes filled with Survivor episodes (and the exit interviews from the CBS early show. Jane Clayson was hot back then, huh?). That my high school classmates chastised me for wearing a Survivor t-shirt to school. That I wrote Survivor fan fiction as a teenager. That this behavior was probably a major factor in me not dating until college.I wanted to tell him about how I’m a less awkward John Cochran with 6 more inches in height and 80 more pounds of weight, with wit like Tyson Apostal and the gamesmanship of Boston Rob.If only I stopped and said hi, perhaps he would have immediately realized that he had Survivor’s next star standing next to him. Or maybe he would’ve been weirded out and called the cops. Judgment call.

Since I have a high moral code, and rule #14 of said moral code is “Never disturb a man while he’s eating lunch,” I turned away and continued my walk back to the office, wondering what might’ve been if I had only stopped and said hi.

I hope you enjoyed your healthy lunch choice. Me? I’m regretting two things: our missed connection, and eating the onion rings. They were too greasy.

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The Big Move: Five Years Later

Tired and with a heavy heart while at the pump, the first picture taken of me on my cross-country trip to California.

This Memorial Day marks the five year anniversary of my relocation from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles.  To mark the occasion, I’ll be posting daily anecdotes of memories from my first few months as a wide eyed 22-year-old in Tinseltown.

For those who don’t know the story, I was plucked from a career in retail by my mentor and friend Mikey Glazer in 2006. Mikey and I initially began a correspondence after he discovered my college television show, “Gettin’ Later.”  Two years later, I became the first person he hired before a face to face meeting.

Mikey was staffing up his casting department for the Telemundo version of “Deal or No Deal,” titled “Vas o No Vas.”  I was working as a cashier at Best Buy and pondering my place in society.  He told me the job was mine, and after contemplating whether or not I actually wanted to leave Pittsburgh, I took the job and drove cross-country with my friend Jeremy.

Some people thought it was great that I was perusing my aspirations.  Others thought I was silly for leaving my home town.  One coworker, in a moment I will never forget, told me that within a year I would be broke and back living at home with my mother.  I had many doubts myself, but ultimately decided if I were ever to make the move I’d been talking about for years, the time was then.

And here I am five years later, still living in Los Angeles.  Though still far from financial security, I can pay my bills while doing what I enjoy, I have a great life and great friends, and I can go to the beach anytime I damn well please.

So thanks to everyone I’ve met along the way during these five years.  To the people I’ve bonded with over a beer, the women I’ve dated, my work colleagues, and everyone I’ve ever had a moment with.  You’ve made my time here wonderful.

Also, thank you to my friends and family back home who have supported my decision to live across the country.  Even though they’re always asking me when I’m moving back home, I know they’re happy for me.

Here’s to five more years!

Drive-by Fruiting

While driving in Los Feliz recently, my car was struck by a runaway avocado that bounced off a rickety fruit truck while my vehicle passed it.   I saw it coming, but didn’t have enough reaction time to swerve.  The result was a loud noise and a hole in the driver’s side headlight of my 2001 Pontiac Grand-Am.

There wasn’t enough time to turn around and get the license plate of the prick who doesn’t know how to secure the fruit with one of the biggest, hardest seeds known to man while he drives 10 miles above the speed limit.  I did, however, have time to be thankful that the avocado didn’t bounce up another foot and smash through my windshield, which could have potentially killed me.

Like all people, I’ve envisioned how I might leave this world.  Most of these visions involve me dying while engaged in a threesome with two women who didn’t make the cut to be one of Charlie Sheen’s goddesses.     In none of these scenarios has a fruit of any kind been involved, unless you count an alcohol induced nightmare in which I was killed by a coked out Andy Dick.

Thankfully, the damage was minimized to my headlight.  A mere flesh wound for a car that has survived a cross-country trip, two rear-endings, and countless sexual disappointments by its driver.

Message in a Bathroom

I was traveling through rural Mississippi over the weekend (is there a part of Mississippi that isn’t rural?) and stopped at a gas station for a for a fuel fill up and a piss drop off and came across the above note written on the bathroom stall’s door.  Intrigued, I snapped a photo to document the occasion.

After paying for my cup of joe, which involved dealing with two of the saddest and most miserable looking people I’ve ever seen working at a gas station (and that’s saying a lot), and taking a free cd recording of a local Baptist minister’s sermon, we got back on the road.

I dialed the number written on the stall door, intending to ask for BigNasty, but I got a recording saying the number was disconnected.  The other, crossed out numbers got the same result.  There were brief thoughts of posting a missed connection on Craig’s List in hopes that BigNasty might find me and give me the head job of my life, I decided against it.  Actually speaking with BigNasty would’ve provided a better ending to the story, but sometimes the thrill of life is in the journey and not the destination.

The affair that never was

After living in L.A. for 3 years, I’ve had my share of celebrity sightings.  Too many to remember them all.  However, with me being a glass-half-empty kind of guy, I’ll never forget the sighting that never was and the road not taken.  For the rest of my days, I’ll feel regret for not locking eyes with Gabrielle Carteris.

I’ve been lucky enough to encounter a good chunk of the “Beverly Hills, 90210” cast.  Jason Priestley at Gelson’s Market.  Jennie Garth at the Prism Awards.  Ian Ziering at Big Wangs.  Unfortunately the woman who portrayed Andrea Zuckerman has been the most slippery of them all.

Last Thursday, I was supposed to have dinner at a sushi restaurant in the valley.   Due to circumstances beyond my control, plans were changed and I went somewhere else.  That evening, I recieved a text from my girlfriend informing me that Carteris was at the restaurant enjoying some raw fish and, I assume, a few laughs.

I became flooded with mixed emotions.  Happy to be attending the birthday party of a dear friend, yet sad to have missed out on what would have surely been a life-altering experience.  Since that day, my mind has been wandering with thoughts of what might have been.

Perhaps we would have met eyes as I bit into a salmon roll.  I confidently walk to her table buy a round of sake bombs.  After a few minutes of stimulating conversation, I steer the topic to “90210” and slide in a remark about how I always found her glasses to be sexy. 

We down our sake bombs and I let it slip that I find older women attractive.  She giggles and touches my thigh.  I insist on picking up her tab and she asks if I will come home with her.  Hesitant, I ask about her marital status.  Gabrielle laughs and says that not only does her husband not mind, but he likes to video tape all extra-marital encounters.

My girlfriend does not object, as all of the women of “90210” are on my laminated “wish list” a la Ross Gellar and “Friends.” 

I provide her passion and home movie fodder, and she provides me stories and tid bits of her time on the best teen show in television history.  She eventually abandons her husband for me and she unfreezes her eggs.  Since she’s middle-aged, this is the only way to conceive our love child.  We can make a Hanna Zuckerman-Vasquez of our own and live off of her residuals for the rest of our days.

It was not meant to be, so I returned to my job on Monday, pondering a life of bliss with a washed up, middle-aged TV actress that will never happen.

Date with Danza Destiny

After Saturday, there’s one less thing on my “things to do before I die list.”  I met Tony Danza.

The stars aligned when my good friend, Joel “King of Cable” Goodling joined a softball league that Mr. Danza is a player in.  I waited in anticipation to find out when their teams were playing. 

One thing that worried me was my work schedule.  I was working every weekend for “Road Rules,” so there was a chance that my work would forbid me from meeting my hero.

Serendipitously, “Road Rules” was cut back by 3 episodes, clearing my weekend schedule in time for Joel’s face off with America’s Finest Entertainer on May 19th.  I prepared myself mentally so I wouldn’t hyperventilate at the sight of Tony or just walk up to him and hug him without saying any words.  As the day drew near and the X’s on my calender were getting closer to the Glossy 8X10 I pinned on top of the date, my nerves and anticipation grew.

Finally, it came.  I woke up early and drove with Joel to a baseball diamond in the valley.  We were there for less than five minutes when a familiar “hey, oh.” was heard.  I knew that voice from anywhere.  It was Tony Danza.

I was petrified with excitement.  I said hi to him.  I would’ve said more, but it probably would have annoyed or disturbed him if I gushed about my idolization.  He stood around and entertained both his teammates and the spectators, as any true showman would.

He took the mound and and faced off against Joel, who hit the 3rd pitch over an outfielders head for an inside the park homerun.

Other than that gaffe, Tony Danza performed what was the greatest pitching outing I’ve ever seen in 9 innings of modified fast pitch softball. 

After the game he said goodbye to us.  He was in a hurry and, much to my disappointment, the moment wasn’t right for a photo opportunity. 

Fortunately, the teams will face off again before the season is over.  Now I am a familiar face and will be more likely to get a picture taken with The Great One.  For now, you’ll just have to settle for the picture I took of Danza while he was having a mid-inning peptalk with his catcher, who I’m pretty sure was Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Jeff Reed.

This was the beginning of a brand new life around the bend.

My Strange Dream

Last night, I had a dream that ratings on the daytime talk show “The View” were dropping, and they were bringing me in to host the show along with some bald guy, I think it was Scott Hamilton. They fired all the women on the show, and I told them to not blame me. The ladies were pissed but I managed to calm them down.

 

I said goodbye to them one by one, then Joy Behar seduced me. I tagged her then met her husband.

 

What does this dream mean?

 

P.S. I don’t think Joy Behar is the least bit attractive.

 

It was wild.