Matchmaker: Jessica Pelligra | Photos by Brevin Blach
If you're among the millions (or so) of PacificSD blind date fans, you remember last month's six-way date-a-palooza ("Three-way of Love," Feb. 2016 issue), which brought two sets of friends together for one big night on the town. During the evening, no love was found, but some was rekindled - that between Casey and Titan (Casey's dog).
That Casey would act rambunctiously during the date, go AWOL without warning, and then reappear towards the end of the date with his four-legged DFF was surprising. That he's back for more this evening is also surprising - a surprising lack of judgment by both Casey and the PacificSD matchmaker.
That said, Casey is now rolling (sans Titan) in an Epic Limo bound for Valley View Casino Center to watch a San Diego Gulls professional ice hockey game with Nikala, whom he met about half an hour ago. Before the couple arrives, let's review their pre-date interviews.
PacificSD: What do you do for a living?
NIKALA: I currently am a full- time nanny and a bartender while finishing up school to apply to the police academy.
CASEY: I own a company that specializes in digital marketing services for the real estate industry.
Why are you going on a blind date in PacificSD?
NIKALA: I'm going on this date because [the matchmaker] is good at convincing people to do things.
CASEY: I was told the girl I'm being set up with is amazing.
What do you do for fun?
NIKALA: Beach, hang out with dogs, try out new restaurants and go to new places. Everything I do is fun.
CASEY: I love to travel; I go on a vacation pretty much every month. Other than that, I like to mix it up - dinner parties, music festivals, trips to the dog beach with Titan or just kicking back with some friends and watching Netflix and ordering takeout.
What are you best at?
NIKALA: I'm pretty good at making friends.
CASEY: I'm an epic dog dad.
What do you suck at?
NIKALA: Anything that requires any kind of artistic talent.
CASEY: Waiting in lines.
What are you looking for in a date, physically and/or otherwise?
NIKALA: Somebody who can make me laugh and hold a conversation. I definitely wouldn't mind him being physically attractive and taller than me.
CASEY: I'm looking for someone with an adventurous spirit who laughs often and is an excellent conversationalist.
Describe your special brand of sex appeal in five words or less.
NIKALA: Fun and down to earth.
CASEY: Poor man's Kim Jong-un.
What do you like least about yourself?
NIKALA: That I can be very impulsive.
CASEY: I wish I could be more patient sometimes.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to ten for looks.
NIKALA: Six or seven?
CASEY: No way I'm rating myself.
Rate yourself on a scale from one to ten for personality.
NIKALA: Twelve... I'm kind of awesome.
CASEY: See above.
What's your biggest fear?
CASEY: The untimely death of a close friend or family member.
What traits could your date exhibit that would be complete deal-breakers?
NIKALA: Chewing with your mouth open. It's just gross.
CASEY: Being mean-spirited, not liking my dog.
How many people have you slept with?
NIKALA: Well, that's personal... but four.
CASEY: My lips are sealed.
Fill in the blanks: I want my blind date to be "blank" and "blank."
NIKALA: Funny and smart. Good looking wouldn't hurt.
CASEY: Fun and memorable.
Will the night end with a kiss, something more or something less?
NIKALA: Probably not.
CASEY: Your guess is as good as mine.
What's the most important thing in the world?
NIKALA: Family... and dogs. Dogs are pretty important.
CASEY: Developing and maintaining deep, satisfying relationships with high-quality people.
ON THIN ICE
Footloose and friction-free
As Nikala and Casey arrive at Valley View Casino Center, they find their seats and begin to watch the hard-hitting hockey action. Five minutes later, the "Kiss Cam" catches them (the Gulls knew they were coming), displaying their faces on the Jumbotron above the ice. They smooch and the crowd goes wild.
When the buzzer sounds the end of the first period, the couple is invited onto the ice to compete against another duo in a race to see who can stuff a larger-than- life rubber burrito with toppings in the form of pom-poms in the least amount of time. Nikala oversees tortilla operations while Casey runs up and down the ice collecting faux-ingredients. In the nick of time, they snatch burrito victory from the grasp of their frozen foes.
PacificSD: How's it going so far?
NIKALA: It's going pretty good. He's funny - not as funny as me. We've had more fun than I thought I was going to have.
CASEY: Great, she's awesome.
What were your first impressions?
NIKALA: My first impressions were he was cute, this might not be terrible, and I hope there's alcohol in this limo.
CASEY: Well, she said she was very awkward at the beginning, which I didn't get that vibe at all, so I was kinda looking for that. She's awesome.
Is this the type of person you'd normally date?
NIKALA: No, he's very pretty and I usually don't date
pretty. I like rugged, like, almost-don't- know-if-you-have-a-home-type of person.
CASEY: No, not at all. She's a cop, or she's studying to be a cop, I would never...
What do you think of the way your date is dressed?
NIKALA: He's dressed very nice. His boots saved me from having to run on the ice at the game.
CASEY: She's cute, she looks great.
Describe your experience in the limo.
NIKALA: It was great for a minute. Then we had our first fight - about root beer candies and his poor choice in music. So, thank you, Milagro [tequila], for supplying the cure to awkwardness.
CASEY: That's where I first learned that Nikala has terrible taste in music. When I asked her what she wanted to listen to, she said "country music." I threw up a little in my mouth, but I quickly washed it down with tequila before she noticed.
How was it being on the ice during the Gulls game?
NIKALA: It was fun. We were totally about to kill them, and then somehow we got gypped out of winning and we didn't get a prize.
CASEY: It was fun; it was a great time. By the way, this was actually my favorite part of the whole date: she's like, "Hey, we should just give the prize to them, even though we won." I was like, "Cool." And then, ten seconds later, she's like, "Unless the prize is really cool." And then we're walking away and she's like, "Wait, what the f*** is our prize?" That turned really quickly from "We don't need this" to "Where the f*** is it?"
What did you have to eat and drink during the game?
NIKALA: Shots of Jameson. They sent us over glasses of white wine, too.
CASEY: We didn't do any eating. She takes the wheel on food orders, drink orders, everything. She orders Jame-O; it's not my favorite drink, but I'm so bowled over by the fact that a girl would just order shots and not ask my opinion that I will drink whatever she's giving me. I'm impressed by that.
What's the most attractive thing your date has done so far?
NIKALA: He's hilarious and he has not made this awkward, and that's attractive because this is very awkward.
CASEY: See previous answer.
What's the least attractive thing your date has done so far?
NIKALA: He asked for a chaser for his shot.
CASEY: She doesn't like sushi. She says she can't eat raw fish, but it's not a big deal.
What would your parents say if you brought your date home?
NIKALA: They'd be shocked that I brought a date home. They'd probably just be really happy that there's a man in their house, I don't know. They would be happy because he's very cute and has his sh!t together.
CASEY: Oh, they'd love her, because she has a tattoo that says "Faith," which my parents are big f***ing faith heads. And second of all, she's studying to be a cop, which my parents' biggest beef with me is always that I break the law. They'd like her more than me, guaranteed.
Rate your date on a scale from one to ten for looks.
NIKALA: He's like an eight-point-nine... I don't think he tied his shoes.
How about for personality?
NIKALA: A twelve; he's kinda cool.
Do you want to kiss your date now?
NIKALA: I wouldn't tell you... if I wanted to.
CASEY: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we already did that [on the Kiss Cam], but I woulda done that. I wish it was a Blow Job Cam. Next time.
Does your date want to kiss you?
NIKALA: We did, because [the matchmaker] made us on a Kiss Cam.
CASEY: I think so.
Anything else you want to say?
NIKALA: I'm glad we came; we're having fun.
CASEY: The matchmaker deserves a raise.
WHAT THE PUCK?
A surprise (and perhaps happy) ending
After the mid-date break, the magazine crew finally leaves Nikala and Casey alone to enjoy the rest of their evening away from the camera. The next morning, we call to see what we missed.
PacificSD: How was Harney Sushi?
NIKALA: The staff at Harney was so awesome, and the fish tank was great. I really loved the yellow fin fish. Although I don't eat sushi, the food was really good, so I'd go back.
CASEY: A lot of fun. I thought it was really cool the way they have a photographer come over and take pictures of you all night, and how there's a reporter that pulls you aside and asks you how
your date is going. Very unique.
What did you eat and drink there?
NIKALA: Sake bombs, and lots of them. We ordered the whole menu: Flaming Hot Lip roll, it was a ten out of ten; chicken Katsu, Miso Crunchy roll, bacon edamame and some raw fish.
CASEY: Chef's sampler sashimi platter was epic. Also, the Flaming Lip roll is insanely tasty.
Where did you go and what did you do for the rest of the evening after Harney?
NIKALA: Our date took a left turn and ended up at the
liquor store with a bottle of Crown and donuts. May or may not have ended up at Pacers. The world will never know.
CASEY: We picked up playing cards and a bottle of Crown Royale and went back to my place. She "taught" me a card game, where the loser had to take shots. Basically, she just made me take a lot of shots. I was okay with that.
When did you get home?
NIKALA: Who said I made it home?
Was there a kiss or romantic exchange?
NIKALA: Yeah, a super romantic one in front of thousands of people. Then, you see, I met his dog. And once I met Titan, Casey no longer got any attention from me.
CASEY: Yup. We were on the Jumbotron Kiss Cam within two minutes of meeting each other, so our first kiss was in front of ten thousand people. It was super intimate and romantic.
How and when did the date end?
NIKALA: I don't know; it was dark outside.
CASEY: Honestly, after the roofies, it's all kind of a blur.
Fill in the blanks. I wish my date had a bigger "blank" and a smaller "blank."
NIKALA: I don't know where you want me to go with this question.
CASEY: I wish my date had a bigger dog and a smaller penis.
What's the funniest thing that happened during the date?
NIKALA: Seeing as how I'm hilarious and he is kinda funny, too, this is a tough question.
CASEY: Finding out about the penis was alarming at first, but then we had a good laugh about it.
What was the best part of the date and why?
NIKALA: Definitely the matching tattoos.
CASEY: Nikala totally made some four-year-old girl cry by screaming profanities at her. It was hilarious.
What was the worst part of the date and why?
NIKALA: Worst part of the date was the burrito competition we were forced to do during intermission at the hockey game. Why? Because we won and we didn't get a prize.
CASEY: Having to grease the security guys at the hockey game not to call the cops because Nikala assaulted a man in a wheelchair.
Will there be a second date?
NIKALA: I would be surprised if he didn't want one, seeing as how he proposed already.
CASEY: We're getting married next weekend. I guess that will technically be our "second date."
What's one thing your date really should know before going on another date?
NIKALA: I really just want your dog. Just kidding
CASEY: The STDs. I should probably tell her about those.
What could have made the date better?
NIKALA: Besides us getting our prize at the Gulls game, I don't know. The date was pretty awesome.
CASEY: Honestly, I'm not sure. This date had everything - senseless cruelty, gratuitous violence, gender-bending sexual assault. It was a magical evening.
What did you learn about yourself last night?
NIKALA: That I'm a terrible influence on people, but they enjoy it.
CASEY: Penis - not a deal-breaker. That surprised me a bit.
AFTERMATCH: Ummm... we're kinda speechless on this one. Did Nikala yell at a child and assault a man? Well, it wasn't on the Jumbotron. Did the couple go to Pacers? Probably. Did Nikala sleep over at Casey's? We think yes. Does she have non-deal-breaking male genitalia, or is Casey just a clown? Since his first blind date ended with his dog showing up for dinner, perhaps the answer can be found in a joke: Why is it unfortunate to meet a clown on a Blow Job Cam? Answer: They taste funny.