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Pop Op: Take 2

I am in an abusive relationship... with the TV show Heroes...

Trust me, I am going somewhere with this.

Every season I am let down. The show lies to me. It betrays me. It promises "Things are gonna be different this time baby, just give me one more chance," and in an Ike and Tina Turner kind of way I go back to the show only to get slapped in the face again and again with ridiculous plot lines. Why did I do it? Because I wanted things to be different and it had become a habit (albeit a bad one and one that I am ashamed of... but that’s why I'm working through it here). The whole thing got me to thinking, do old habits die hard?

I have always been a creature of habit. For example, every Friday night I go to happy hour with a bunch of my co-workers. O Bar in West Hollywood is our hang out of choice because they've got a great patio and during the winter the fire pit takes the edge off of the chilly weather. Oh yeah, and Brad the bartender always takes good care of us.

“The usual?” Brad asked me on a recent Friday night. I had just walked into the bar and it suddenly hit me: everything from bad TV to drinking choices had become a routine… and my customary Kettle and soda seemed a little boring.

“I need to mix things up,” I quickly replied. “Can you suggest a good scotch?”

Brad cocked his head at me in confusion and said, “Scotch? Really? Are you feeling okay?”

Too close for comfort
I’d heard that Ketchup is the restaurant that Hollywood goes to when it’s craving comfort food. Of course since it is on the Sunset Strip, it’s served up gourmet style. In my new quest to break out of old habits, I thought this would be the perfect restaurant for Nick and I to check out on one of his visits… because the idea of new and comfortable was working for me.

I quickly decided on the “Shake ‘n Bake” Chicken (but I don’t remember pistachio-crusted being one of the options when mom served it). Meanwhile, Nick and an up-and-coming actress, seated at the table that was way too close for comfort next to us, bonded over the fact that they had run out of the Napa Valley Short Ribs they both had their eye on.

“You don’t understand, I have been craving it all day,” she proclaimed, exhorting the values of it. “I would literally kill for one right now.”

It was at that moment, I noticed that the man sitting at the table on the other side of me was dining on what must have been one of the last plates of short ribs in the joint.

“You don’t even know how endangered your life is right now,” I said to him quietly. “You’ve come between a starving actress and the red meat she’s been craving.”

The deep end
Nick never ceases to amaze me. While I am always nervous when stepping out of my comfort zone, he dives in and knows how to work a room like no one you have ever seen before. So when we went out for my friend Sean’s birthday, I knew I was throwing Nick into the deep end with a huge group of my friends.

Before I knew it he was the center of attention and doing just fine on his own, so I turned around to talk to my friend Michael.

“You’re all giddy and smiley,” he said instantly.

“It’s either because I am drunk,” I began, as I looked down at my half empty Belvedere Gimlet, “or I am in love with a guy who’s probably going to steal all of my friends on Facebook, the first chance he gets.”

Party down
“This year we are bringing in an entirely new group of DJs from Europe,” Chris Kingry, the press contact for White Party said to me over the phone.

He was explaining how they were making changes to the weekend that included a new pool of DJs like Freemasons, Wayne G and Moto Blanco. With all of the things going on in my life, I completely understood what he was getting at.

“You know, this will be the first time I have been to White Party in six years,” I told Chris. “And this time I am really looking forward to it, because I am going with my boyfriend. He’s already got a suite booked at the host hotel.”

“You’re going to have a ball then,” Chris replied. “It’s always more fun when you have a partner in crime!”

So here’s the deal….
It’s easy to fall into a rut and sometimes they can be good (Happy Hour) and sometimes they can be bad (Heroes). The hard part is to see it, but when you do, it becomes obvious and you have to consciously make changes. Just start simple and stay in your comfort zone. Before you know it, you will be swimming in the deep end and it will feel like the most natural thing in the world. Although, it never hurts to have a partner in crime to show you how it’s done.

Travis D. Bone is a Los Angeles based writer and a graduate of the University of California at San Diego. After spending 13 years in San Diego where his journalism efforts earned him a San Diego Press Club award he took his chances on moving to Los Angeles to become a television writer. Now he’s working in finance for a studio, so that didn’t turn out quite the way he expected. On the upside he’s still writing, still single and still living it up splitting time between Los Angeles and San Diego. In short he’s got a lot of stories to tell.