RIP My First Beard 2011-2011

Beard and Ryan Muldowney on July 30th.

Beard Muldowney died of accidental causes today.  He was 33 days old.

Beard was conceived by his father, Ryan Patrick Muldowney, 27, of Los Angeles,  on the afternoon of July 9th, immediately after he shaved before attending a friend’s wedding.  Though Beard was a cause of itchiness and discomfort at first, they quickly became inseparable, attending many work events and social outings together.

In time, Beard softened to Muldowney’s face, and he grew to appreciate the more mature look it gave him while learning to tolerate things like his cheeks staying damp long after he exited the shower.

Beard was expected to live a long and fulfilling life, but things took a sudden turn for the worse on August 11 when Muldowney, due to unfamiliarity with a hair trimmer, accidentally took a large chunk of Beard off his chin.

Beard is survived by his father Ryan, older brothers Head Hair and Pubic Hair aka “Curly” Muldowney, and step brother Mustache, who will be euthanized Friday morning due to his father not wanting to look like a child molester.

In lieu of flowers, please donate hair trimmer instruction manuals to those who cannot operate simple machinery without help.

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My Newest Fan

A big development in the land of Muldo this week.  One of my earliest celebrity crushes, Dominique Moceanu, is now following me on twitter little more than a year after I wrote this heartfelt article about her.

I’m honored and flattered as much as, if not more than the other 2,648 people she follows.  I proudly told my coworkers and friends about my newest fan and they reacted with varying degrees of interest. One quote from my friend Joel stood out.

“This is the most exciting thing to happen since David Hasselhoff started following me,” Joel said.

 

First Date in Los Angeles

It took one month to find someone willing to go on a date with me, and one night for them to decide they never wanted to see me again.

I had been in town for a few weeks and was ready to meet some ladies.  After hearing all the horror stories about the pretentiousness of LA women and seeing the low dollar amount in my bank account, I was hesitant.  Eventually, I met a nice girl while at a bar in Westwood.  She was tall, attractive, and for some reason was interested in me.

A back and forth of flirtatious phone calls and instant messages ensued.  Then, going against everything I ever stood for musically, I accompanied her and two of her friends to a line dancing bar deep in the valley.  We continued to hit it off, so I made a move and asked her on an official date.

Of course, I wanted to keep it casual, so I used the term “hang out” just in case she said no.   She agreed and I began planning for our night out.  My main obstacle was money.  I was working my first PA gig and had low funds.  How could I woo my lady while pinching pennies?

Instead of coming up with something creative and romantic, I went with in-your-face frugality.

The perfect place for a first date.

My date came to the frat house, ready for a night on the town.  I told her I knew a place nearby with a great all-day happy hour on Wednesdays.  She was game, so we got in my car and drove to Del Taco since it was 3 tacos for $1 night.

I ordered and ate nine soft tacos.  She downed a modest three.  Ever the gentleman, I paid for our bill which was about $7.50 after drinks and taxes.

Not ready for the night to be over, I invited her back to the frat house to continue the “hang out.”  She agreed, so I figured my blatant poorness wasn’t a turn off.

I escorted her to my room and shut the door, wedging the Phillips-head screwdriver into the slot where the chain lock was supposed to be so we could have some privacy.  The buzzing of a lit neon sign added extra ambiance.  We sat on my air mattress and watched a “How I Met Your Mother” rerun that got minimal static when the rabbit ears atop my television were placed just so.

With all my ducks in a row, I made my move.  We made out for a while until she  was suddenly tired and had to leave.  I walked her out and kissed her good night, suggesting another date.  She agreed, then blew me off the next few times I contacted her before I finally gave up.

Disappointed, I analyzed our relationship and wondered why her attitude abruptly changed.  The possibilities were endless, but in the end I came to the conclusion that she must have been a Taco Bell kind of girl.

First Celebrity Sighting

A photo from the night I met my first celebrity. My nipples were hard with excitement.

Ask anyone who relocated to Los Angeles, and they’ll be able to tell you about their first celebrity encounter.  Mine happened my second week in town, and was one of the most exciting moments of my life up until that point.[1. Honorable mentions:  The time I won Penguins tickets from a TV sports talk show contest, sneaking downstairs to watch a few minutes of Showgirls while my mom was asleep, and scoring 31 of my teams 37 points in a game of 8th grade rec league basketball]

It was at a semi-intimate gathering with a lot of people I just met.  Across the room stood a familiar looking woman making small talk with the party’s hostess.  I recognized her as Nurse Olivia from “Grey’s Anatomy” (real name:  Sarah Utterback).  The character who famously gave George syphilis.  This was the time in America when men and women alike were watching the show (or at least that’s how I justify it to myself),  so it was tough to contain my giddiness.

I asked the hostess if this was, indeed, a celebrity drinking beer in the same room as us.

“Oh, Sarah?  Yeah, she was on that show.  We’re good friends.”

She took me over and introduced me.  Just like that, I was mingling with a known actress.  We made small talk for a few minutes and parted ways.  She was nice, but unfortunately there was no sexual chemistry.  I went around the rest of the night telling everyone who she was, but no one really cared.  To them, she was just another working actress.  To me, she was a star.

The next day, I told my mom and all my friends back home about my encounter.  They were more thrilled about it than I was, and that’s saying a lot.

After 5 years, you tend to forget about all the famous people you see, and if I met someone like that today, it wouldn’t phase me.  But at the time, she was a star in my presence, and the subject of a story I’ll never forget.

First Night in Los Angeles

Enjoying authentic Mexican cuisine during my first night in LA

While driving cross-country, I imagined my first night in LA would consist of a hopping party at a glitzy venue with movie stars and high end cocktails.  In reality, it involved sharing a bottle of Bacardi and an air mattress with my friend Jeremy while watching movies in a room with a spray painted penis[1. One of my biggest regrets in life is not taking a picture of the large cock n’ balls that was spray painted on the wall in my room.  It fit the decor perfectly and really tied the room together.] on the wall.

We traveled for 4 days only to arrive at the frat house I was rooming in for the summer.  A random person there took me to my room, which was completely trashed, had no lock, and was decorated with the aforementioned cock.  I wanted to turn around and walk back to Pittsburgh.

My friend and I cleared three garbage bags of crap and made the room acceptable.  We celebrated with a fifth of rum and our first Los Angeles meal.

With all the excellent Mexican food the town had to offer, we patronized the best tasting and most authentic one we knew:  Taco Bell.  I downed a couple Chalupas and a diet coke.  Satiated, I was ready to hit the town.

Only knowing three people in town, I called them to find out what celebrity we’d be partying with that night.  Nothing was happening, or, more likely, no one wanted to invite us, so we went with plan B.

We inflated my air mattress, turned on the TV/DVD/VCR combo that was sitting on top of my entertainment center/mini-fridge, and watched Sideways while laying side by side.  Luckily we were both comfortable with our sexuality, since the bed wasn’t big and it was a tight squeeze.

It might not have been what was envisioned, but just by making it into town alive after 50 plus hours of driving, my first night in LA was a success.

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!

Words with Assholes

I joined the Words With Friends craze a few weeks ago and, for the most part, have had a pleasant experience.  It’s a good way to waste time at work, extend time on the toilet, and for those up there in age, fight off Alzheimer’s disease.

Unfortunately, I hit a speed bump on the road of fun when I played a series of games with a sorry excuse for a human being who was obviously cheating.  Google “scrabble cheats” and at least 50 websites will come up with different ways to help you win.   It’s an easy method of earning hollow victories.

At first, assuming they were a friend of mine with a user name I did not recognize, I let it go.  But after several games, I realized that each time my opponent used 5-6 words that most people who spend all their time playing games on smart phones, and not earning their doctorate in English literature, do not know.

My vocabulary is above average, but I get my ass kicked sometimes and always lose with dignity.  However, unless I’m playing a game with the Poet Laureate, I don’t expect to see a half dozen words on the board of which I’ve never seen nor heard.

In a moment of frustration, I made a half-joking comment about the possibility of cheating.  Their reaction only solidified my stance that this person was of weak moral fiber.  Below is the transcript from our correspondence.

Muldo:  You should try playing without using a cheat program.  It’s more fun.
Asshole:  Ha.  My only cheat program is playing way too many games and memorizing weird words when people play them.  And dictionary word of the day, I suppose.  You should try reading.  It’s amazing the things you pick up.
Muldo:  Use “dharna” and “canard” in sentence.
Asshole:  Haha, those words are not difficult, though I apologize for using words beyond your vocabulary.  You should look them up in the dictionary to learn them yourself.
Muldo:  I didn’t think you could do it.
Asshole:  I didn’t think you owned a dictionary, either 🙂
Asshole:  Dictionary.com is free, you know
Asshole: It’s ok to lose, you know.  It’s just a game.  People beat me all the time and I don’t accuse them of cheating.  It’s just words with friends, man.
Asshole:  Maybe you’ll get better letters next time.
Muldo:  You are my new nemesis.

By mocking my intelligence and not actually answering my questions, they solidified my belief.  Why not make a self depreciating joke, or actually use the words in a sentence to put me in my place?  Because they’re a lying sack of shit.

I hope that using a computer program to beat a stranger at a word game gives them the gratification that they so lack in their real life, even if I think they’re a fucking asshole.