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November 02, 2009

I’ve been living in Los Angeles for nine years, and in that time I’ve had nine different roommates.

I moved out here with two of my college roommates from Syracuse University named Tom Marczak and Andy Hirsch. Andy ended up leaving two weeks later because he found out he had diabetes. Tom left shortly after that because he found out he hated Los Angeles.

At the time, we were crashing on North Orange Grove with a couple of fellow Syracuse University grads named Dave Vacanti and Jeremy Levine. Our original plan was to stay with Vacanti and Levine for a couple weeks until we found a place of our own, but because Marczak and Hirsh left me, I ended up crashing on Vacanti and Levine’s couch for nine months. We split the rent three ways even though I didn’t have a room of my own, but I didn’t care – Los Angeles was a gigantic city and I was terrified of living by myself. And besides, those nine months were an extension of college and we spent that time writing, getting stoned, and eating 39 cent cheeseburgers from McDonald’s.

After I started working as a production assistant, I had enough money to get my own bedroom so I shared a two bedroom apartment on Sweetzer Avenue with my friend Stephanie. Stephanie graduated from Syracuse a year after I did and was hoping to start a career in the music industry. Sadly, she also ended up moving back to the East coast because she hated Los Angeles -- although I’m not so completely sure it wasn’t because she started hating me first.

After that, I roomed with a lovely young actress named Sarah for a couple months until, my high school buddy, Eric Robertson moved in. Robertson ended up moving back to Maine – but only after he told me “I had no love in my heart”. He was probably right.

After Robertson left, I moved out of my apartment on Sweetzer and moved into the beautiful Chateau Apartments with my good friend and co-worker, T-Bone.

T-Bone had already been living at the Chateau for a couple of years. He moved there with his college roommate, Aaron -- a young man who had a gorgeous girlfriend despite the fact that he had a brown tooth.

I was moving into the Chateau because Aaron had already moved into another apartment with the same girlfriend who didn’t mind his brown tooth. And because of that, Aaron’s younger sister, Renee was using his bedroom until I moved in. 

The interesting thing about Renee was how much she hated being a girl. Apparently, Renee was transgendered -- or at the very least, she was working towards being transgendered. I’m not quite sure. I still don’t understand how it works…

From what I gather, Renee felt like she was a man trapped in a woman’s body, and so she was doing whatever she could to slowly become a man. She got a buzz-cut, she wore an ace bandage over her boobs, and she even changed her name to Ryan.

And for the record, I think that’s all fine and good. This is America, and if you wanna start standing up while you pee so you can call yourself a man, than you should be able to do that, but the annoying thing about Ryan was how she was constantly correcting you every time you referred to her as “she” or “her” instead of “he” or “his.”

For example…

The same exact day I was moving into the Chateau, Ryan was moving into a different apartment with her girlfriend -- a large bruiser of a woman, who wore overalls with such pride, I can only assume she was raised on a farm.

Ryan was taking her brother’s old couch -- a ten foot-long beast with a pull-out bed -- and she asked if I could help her and the Farm Girl move it to the garage. Being the nice guy that I am, I had no other choice but to help a couple of women in distress.

When we were trying to fit the couch into the elevator, I looked at the Farm Girl and said, “why don’t you put your end down so she can get her end through the door…”

At that moment, Ryan placed her end of the couch on the ground and said, “His.”

I’m sorry, what was that?

“His”, she said.


“You said ‘her’ instead of his. It’s his.”

I couldn’t believe the balls on this girl. I was helping her move a three hundred pound couch and she was correcting my grammar.

But that wasn’t even the craziest part. When we got to the garage, the Farm Girl picked up the entire couch – by herself – and carried it on her back like a log!! She even plowed through a ventilation duct with it. It was amazing…

Anyway, T-Bone and I lived together for about three years until he finally moved in with his girlfriend, Maggie. After that, my long time friend and confidant, Zach Johnson moved into the Chateau and he’s been my roommate ever since.