Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Loring Park Episode #38: Dallas Haters Club

Previously on Loring Park: Jakey didn't exactly have a Valentine, but had good company nonetheless.

On a Tuesday night, I got to do five minutes of jokes at House of Comedy! I mainly talked about my cousin's wedding in San Diego. Jared and Charlie came to see me, and so did T.J., my bartender/therapist! He was with his friend Prince Eric. Halfway through the show, Kevin texted me asking if I could go to The Saloon to get the credit card that he forgot on Sunday (he was going to Vegas the next day). I asked T.J. about it and he said Kevin would have to go to the bar himself with his ID (which is par for the course, and I've forgotten to close my tab an embarrassing amount of times). I called Kevin in the bathroom and he was frustrated.

I was excited to see all the boys and I felt bad that I didn't know T.J. was coming, because I could have comped his ticket! I knew who Prince Eric was.

"I've met you at the bar," said Prince Eric.
"I've met you before," I smiled. (I came over to Kevin's for the first time and Prince Eric showed up and asked if I was sleeping on the couch. This was two years ago)

Jared and I went to The Saloon later because it was karaoke! Tuesdays are kind of a sparse crowd. There was a boy who I follow on Instagram. He is from Dallas and moved here and posts pictures of himself working out with his shirt off. I thought he was cute. I was going to say hi to him, but the moment never presented itself, and I believe the moment has to be organic.

Before singing, I stopped at the office just to see if they had Kevin's credit card. They did, but they (understandably!) wouldn't give it to me. I wasn't mad because I got to talk to Eddie who is the cutest bouncer there.

Kevin called and was livid. "Kevin, they're not going to give me your credit card," I said. "I could have your name tattooed on my ass and they would keep it."

He was exasparated. "Wha -- I-- okay," he said. "I love you. I have to go. Bye."

It was nice of him to say that. I don't know. Prince Eric was super nice and cordial, and yet seeing him reminded me that the first time I had gone to this boy's apartment, he invited someone else over. And yes, that was almost two years ago and you would think I would be over something like that. And I am. But seeing Prince Eric made me realize that while Kevin and I will always be friends and I will always have positive feelings about him, I could never feel secure in a relationship with him. If he dated another medical student/stripper now, I really would be okay with it.

Except then I get drunk and tell people I am going to marry him. Whatever.

Jared and I sang Lauryn Hill's (Doo Wop) That Thing and wowed the crowd. We changed the words so they were gayer.

Jocks, you know you better watch out
Some twinks, some twinks are only about
That thing
That thing
That thing


A week later, WWE Elimination Chamber was in town and Dollface Killer had great seats! I wanted to hear about it, but first Jared and I went to The Saloon, and by the time I got to Dollface's apartment, it was 4 in the morning! He lives down the street.

I must have been really drunk because I instantly asked for water. We watched 2001 Survivor Series, but I only wanted to watch the Trish Stratus match. I didn't even physically react when he took his shirt off.

The next morning, he texted me and told me I was a "fucking alci" [sic]. I was so sad about this that I went day drinking at brunch with Jared and Joey at Brit's Pub and then I went drinking again with Erin at The Pourhouse! Mondays are supposed to be my nights to go to ACME Comedy Club and make my dreams come true!

It was an embarrassing situation. On some levels, I was upset at Dollface. You're gonna call me an alcoholic when every time you've seen me is at the bar and every time you text me is after 2 A.M.?? Yet I am still so damn socially awkward that I have yet to understand that when a dude invites you over at 4 AM, he doesn't want to watch wrestling as much as he wants to, um, wrestle. Also, I talk a big game about how hot Dollface Killer is, and maybe it was karma biting me back. He is so attractive and chiseled that I forgot to realize that he is also capable of having feelings and emotions.

Speaking of emotions, Paul Ryan never talked to me again after he got me naked. I shouldn't have been surprised by it. If I were a woman dating straight men, and a man chased me for two months and then we finally got naked and I didn't let him stick it in, I wouldn't expect to hear from that guy, either.

Nevertheless, I saw him at The Saloon that Saturday and it was sooooo awkward.

"Hello, Jakey," he said, in the way that you say hi to your aunt at a Christmas party.
"PAUL RYAN!" I cried. I tried to kiss him, but it was odd because a) he did not recipocrate and b) he is 6'4".

I would have been sad about this, but immediately in the distance near the dance floor was GAY OPRAH! I had seen him at The Saloon a few months prior but didn't know if he would know who I was. This time, he was quite outgoing.

"Hello, Jakey," he sang.
"Hi!" I cried. I really thought it would end there, because he knows everybody. But instead he even introduced me to his friends!

"This is Jakey," he went on. "And he wrote a fantastic play that was all about the Minneapolis gay scene." This meant a lot to me because, of all the five performances we had, Oprah had seen by far the worst one (our second performance, on the Sunday afternoon).
"Thank you, Oprah," I said. "That is very sweet."
"You know, I tried to be an actor when I was a kid," he said. "I even had head shots and everything! And I went to an acting teacher and she said that I 'needed to find a different creative outlet'."
"That is so sad!" I cried. "I think you're doing okay with the creative outlet thing."
It was a lovely moment, and I was truly grateful for it. My ego and self-esteem levels were at optimal levels.

So it is only natural that a week later, they both came crashing to a halt.

It is so ironic that before I left the house that night, I even Facebooked a favorite Margaret Cho quote of mine.

So from the age of 10, I became anorexic, and then bulimic, and then stayed that way for about 20 years, until one day I just said, "Hey, what if this is it? What if this is just what I look like and nothing I do changes that? So how much time would I save if I stopped taking that extra second every time I look in the mirror to call myself a big fat fuck? How much time would I save if I just let myself walk by a plate-glass window without sucking in my gut and throwing back my shoulders? How much time would I save?" And it turns out I save about 97 minutes a week. I can take a pottery class.

 I strolled in with Jared, and we soon reunited with Joey at Danny's bar. The boy from Dallas was there, and he made a comment about Joey's facial hair. I laughed because I thought he and Joey knew each other really well.

"No, I don't really know him," Joey said. "I mean, I know who he is."
"Oh, that's kinda weird," I said. I continued to enjoy the evening. It was crowded, I knew a lot of people, and I was feeling good about myself.

Jared caught me at T.J.'s bar. "You'll thank me for this," he said. "There's someone who I want you to talk to."
I followed him and ran into Chuck, who I haven't spoken to since the New Year's Eve debacle. It wasn't horribly awkward because we were both honest with each other, a surprisingly brazen concept.

"You told me to stop talking to you, so I did," I said.
"I still enjoy you, I just don't think I can be very close with you anymore," he said. We got along fine after that.

We found ourselves back at T.J.'s bar, where I felt an inexplicable need to order a shot. But I am a pussy about shots and always sip them. Dallas and his friends were next to me.

"Oh, I know who you are," I said. "I follow you on Instagram." I saw him on Grindr and he linked to his Instragram profile and I thought Why the hell not? Eye candy is eye candy.
"You follow me on Instagram?" he asked me in the same tone of voice you would use to a three-year-old who told you she went poopie in the potty. "That's so cute. Shoot your drink!"
"I have to sip it!" I cried. "I always have to think of something to drink to."
"You should drink to hair growth," he said.

This is the part in which I tell you that I delivered an amazing and witty diatribe that shut him and his friends down and led to applause from the rest of the bar.

But I said nothing. I suppose I can best compare it to when Donny Osmond went on The Rosie O'Donnell Show and called her fat.

Okay, the above clip is actually of him apologizing (and Marie came out! And they made him sing "Puppy Love" in a dog suit! Hilarity!)

I couldn't find an adequate quote about the incident (but I did find her speaking about it in something called Radiance magazine), so I'll have to summarize it from the first-season retrospective DVD that QVC did for The Rosie O'Donnell Show that I totally bought (and they only did the one season! Boo!).

If you see a clip of the incident, there's a transition on Rosie's face in which her disbelief turns to despair, and that's what I was going through. I was so blindsided by this random stranger insulting me that by the time I was able to process it, he was off to presumably insult other people. T.J. told me that I handled it well and that he was surprised I didn't start screaming. I only start screaming when Wesley is involved.

And it's not like I'm a 100% legitimate professional comedian, but I'd like to think I know a thing or two about comedy. A balding joke is like a fat joke. It's the lowest common denominator. Hell, just last year in this blog I wrote about making an appointment at Hair Club for Men. I have long been aware that my hair is receding and thinning and is the only thing that gives away my age. Wesley would always make fun of my thinning hair, and then I would slap him like I was Stephanie McMahon, and that was fine. When you tell someone they are balding, or fat, or ugly, or a "faggot", or anything of that nature -- you are not telling them something that they themselves don't already know. It's not clever. It's not witty. It's you, as a basic and rancid person, watching RuPaul's Drag Race and having the misunderstanding that "mean = funny". No, it is not. Reading is fundamental because reading is an art form.

I wish I would have said that.

Instead, drunk me at 4 A.M. tagged Dallas in a post and wrote about the entire incident. I did not call him names and did not make personal attacks. I even made a joke, saying I would be sure to wear my best toupee the next time I see him. Chuck drove Jared and I to my apartment and I kissed Chuck a lot, and I texted Wesley at 3:30 A.M. because for a moment in time we were briefly stuck in the parking garage and in my drunken wisdom I thought he would the best person to know what to do.

I had to work the next day, which was a Saturday at Mall of America. Death was not an option.

By mid-afternoon, people had been writing on my post. Quinn defended me, which was really awesome. Dallas responded with his own diatribe. A girlfriend of his wrote twice that I should take the post down. I did that afternoon, because hung over me realized that I am too damn old to be doing such things, and people were fighting about grammar, which was ridiculous and a distraction. Also, Dallas has very good use of syntax and grammar. I am not above giving props where they are due.

It was March 1st, and I decided that for the next 15 days, I WOULD BE SOBER. Seriously, in the past 24 hours, I had done the trifecta of what not to do when drinking:

*Drunk Facebook someone you don't know
*Drunk text the one person you should not be texting, especially at 3:30 in the morning
*Drunk kiss someone you're gonna feel weird about the next day

I met up with my parents, Erin and Robbie at bingo and told them this shocking revelation. I stayed at my parents' house that night. Dallas's friend wrote me a very sweet Facebook message at 5:30 AM, again profusely apologizing for her friend. It was nice and she didn't have to do it, and I wanted to respond as such.

Still, doesn't it say something when you're the asshole and you apologize 0 times and your friend apologizes 3 times?


Boosting my spirits was my 11th Annual Oscar Party! It was held at my parents' house because not only do I not have television but I have a teeny tiny studio apartment (that I can't afford. Shut up.)

Not pictured are my parents and grandparents. My dad won, with 21 of 24! Rude! Joey got 2nd place for the second year in a row. I got 4th with 18, which wasn't bad. The great thing is that all of my friends were supportive of my not drinking, and I didn't even feel tempted to reach for vodka at any point. I will say that when Chris Hemsworth came out, I had to donate about $10 to the swear jar.

I'll end the spoilers and say that my 15 days went 7 days. It was nothing super dramatic. Joey, Jared and I were at the 19 and Joey and Jared clapped "Relapse! Relapse! Relapse!" But I had learned a lot. First of all, socially drinking (one or two) is different than binge-drinking. And I realized that I stay up until 3 or 4 A.M. anyway, booze or no booze (and by no means am I implying that such a thing is healthy). I was going to the bars so much because I was lonely and need people to engage and inspire me, and a bar is the only place you'll really find that if you're so much of a night owl. It was important for me to find other nocturnal outlets.

I would have drank at the 19 because Chuck was there with Brent and another friend. Brent is ridiculously handsome and I can't stand it.

"You and Brent have something in common," Chuck chuckled (pun!), referencing Dollface.
"Stopppp," I said. "Dollface is mad at me! I feel bad!"

At the end of the night, Brent was ready to vamoose. "Jakey," he impossibly smiled. "I can't be your broski. I'm only half a broski. You need a full one."

I'm still not sure what that means and that is absolutely okay.


I was off the Sunday before St. Patty's, so I was happy to celebrate my Irish heritage.

I am like, 10% Irish. Good enough! The night before I was able to reunite with Julie and her boyfriend, and he graciously bought me a drink. T.J. was on vacation in California, so I had to flirt with an entirely different bartender.

I met a gay broski but I don't think he was from town. I flirted and mingled. I yelled at Liam and Joey. It had been over a year since I had done a Sunday Funday, but it sounds like I did it right.

Coming up, I am doing my first ever half hour comedy special! It is Sunday, April 6th at 12 PM. I'm trying to make it a brunch theme! Details are at

Also, I have another sexy sexy sinus infection because I get sick every time the weather changes. I would move to Arizona if they weren't so weird about gay people.

Next week: Decisions about summertime! Will Jakey stay in Loring Park? Will Jared ever stop snoring?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Loring Park Episode #37: Broskis Don't Cry

After doing that thing I always do (bring a hot guy home and then sloppily make out and that's it because I'm Jakey and I DON'T DO THAT), I decided to go to the boy version of a gynecologist to get things, um ... y'know ... cleared up for business. My doctor is very handsome and he talks about everything like he's in an action movie about to diffuse a bomb.

"There are two ways to fight constipation," he said, but I wasn't listening because I got lost in his dreamy blue eyes and I could see his chest hair poking out from under his uniform. Also, his nurse's assistant is totally a broski and was like "Weren't you here for this last year, too?"

"Yes," I said. "The first time was two years ago on Valentine's Day and the last time was in April." I remembered that because that was when I got my heart broken and my butt went along for the ride.

My stomach got worse after my visit. I think I have psychosomatic Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

I was gearing up for my trip to San Diego, but I went out to The Saloon with Tan Man on Sunday! He graciously agreed to drive, because I am budgeting, and by "budgeting" I mean that I somehow had literally no dollars to my name. Earlier that day I asked Wesley who we wanted to win the Super Bowl. He said Denver so I decided I was going to root for Seattle.

We ran into Paul Ryan at The Saloon! "Be careful, Jakey," he said, and that was our entire interaction. Dammit! He totally hit it and quit it! Well, it's me, so he, like ... lightly slapped it and quit it? Leave me alone. I was drunk and sad so then I falsely accused Wesley of having sex with somebody that he didn't. I cannot have nice things.

Speaking of not having nice things, the whole point of going out was for Jared's birthday, but he passed out after brunch and no one woke him up and he called me livid at 3 in the morning. "I missed my own birthday!!" he shrieked. "Oh, Rhoda," I said.

Wednesday night, I was gearing up for my trip to San Diego! I was going with my mom, my aunt, and my cousin, who is a 15-year-old girl. We decided she would be my chaperone. I was nervous about the trip for a few reasons. We were going to my cousin's wedding, and the wedding was going to be very very very evangelical and very very very Jesus-y, and I was worried about feeling awkward (I don't read as "evangelical", y'know?). Also, I had nooooooooo money and I was embarrassed about my mom being my ATM for the three days we were there. Not to mention that my stomach was still acting up, to the point that every time I went to the bathroom there was a lot of heavy prayer (even I can get Jesus-y when needed).

My father and I talked about money at 1:30 in the morning. "I love you, son," he said.
"Don't say 'but' after that," I pleaded.
"I won't," he said. "You can't live here."
"Thank you," I said. "I needed to hear that."
"If your mother had it her way, you and your brother would live here for free until the day she died," he said. "But, Christ. You're almost 30. Weren't you going to live with that clown in the suburbs?"
"Kevin?" I said. "No, that wouldn't work. We would have to have a grown-up conversation about if we're ever gonna be in a relationship or not, and then I would always be asking who the slut in our kitchen was."
"I .... okay, then," was my father's response.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Loring Park Episode #36: Guys and Dollfaces

Loring Park Episode #36: Guys and Dollfaces

Last season on Loring Park:


Still haven’t figured out which “Loring Park” character you are? Take the quiz!


I was lucky enough to be off on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day! Instead of a house party this year, we opted to hit the clubs. Jared came over and I informed him that we were going to my friend Norman’s house, as he and his partner bought a mansion on Clifton Street. I haven’t seen Norman in two and a half years, so I was touched by the invitation.

“We’re going to a mansion party?!” Jared cried. “But I am wearing zebra!” We ended up schmoozing just fine at the party, even though we were the youngest people there (not counting Norman) and I told myself that if anyone asked what my job was, I would just tell them that I had Kevin’s job.

Speaking of Kevin, I was hoping to spend time with him on New Year’s Eve because I had plans to bring him to the annual comedians bruch on New Year’s Day! I was going to bring him last year but he wouldn’t wake up in the morning and I was a bitter, pouty mess. I hadn’t heard from him, but I did get a text from Chuck, who thought it would be funny to send me a screencap of Kevin on a slutty Grindr-ish phone app.


 Here’s the thing. If you are a regular fan of this fake show, you understand that while Kevin is not (and never will be) my boyfriend, he is more than one of my one thousand and one bar crushes. There’s a history there, with real feelings, and unsolicitedly informing me that he has plans that night that do not involve me didn’t seem like something a friend would do, and surely not one who had a front row seat to all the drama.

But maybe I was overreacting. Jared and I agreed that I would not text Chuck back about it, and then we waited until an hour later when I was drunk. We got a cab with Joey and Quinn on the way to Jetset, and even they agreed with me.

Quinn had never been to Jetset and felt nervous. “Just tell everyone you’re in banking,” I said. Jetset gays love words like banking and portfolio. I texted Paul Ryan and said Jetset wasn’t the same without making out with him, because I am good at flirting. After half an hour at Jetset, we vamoosed to The Saloon, where an imitation town car ripped us off and made us pay $30 to go eight blocks. And I wonder how I went bankrupt.

Jared was my New Year’s kiss, and I was fine with that. We continued flirting and mingling, and then Kevin showed up!! What in the what?? He said he got a cab after midnight. I asked if he would go to the comedians brunch with Jared and me the next day and he agreed. Jared and I went home by ourselves, happy to bring in the new year with laughter.

 I had turned my phone off because it was acting up. I woke up at ten and told Kevin I was still bringing him to brunch, and then I received a message from Chuck that told me to never speak to him again because he could no longer understand someone who creates their own pain and anxiety, and he reminded me that I am 25. Joke is on him because I am 27, unless you are an agent or potential love interest. I haven’t spoken to him since but he sent me a Snapchat from his tropical vacation and I can’t tell if that was a passive-aggressive move or if he just forgot I was still friends with on him there.

“I do not self-create my own pain and anxiety,” I told Jared. “That’s so ridiculous.”

  “Right,” Jared said.

“I miss Wesley,” I said out loud as India.Arie's cover of "Heart of the Matter" came on my iTunes. I wondered how he had spent his New Year’s. Did he leave town? Did he go to a straight bar? Who did he kiss?

“JAKEY!” Jared cried. “It’s not even noon and you already broke your resolution! I’m beating you! I haven’t eaten anything yet!”

Paul Ryan sent me a sexy sexy text message and I prepared to pick up Kevin, even though my phone was no longer taking calls so I could only text. How awful! Jared, Mona and I (Mona is my Toyota Yariz. She is a lesbian and we have an adversarial relationship) picked up Kevin from outside from an apartment building. He had stayed with a med student/exotic dancer but they did not have sexy time because there was a third wheel involved. “But I really like him,” Kevin said.
“I’m happy for you,” I said. And I was.

 We made our way to Jake’s Grille in Eagan to the annual comedians’ brunch! I was again honored to be invited. Ron Lamprecht wrote on Facebook that Elisabeth Ess ate my weight in bacon. “I love your Facebook,” Wendy Maybury told me. “It reminds me of me when I was a 16-year-old girl.” Jared was so hung over that we had an entire pitcher of water at our table. I wore the tightest T-shirt I possibly could.

I dropped Kevin off at his house, then went to Jared’s to talk about Kevin, then went back to Kevin’s.

 “What do you want to … do?” he asked.

What was I so afraid of?

We went grocery shopping and liquor shopping. He flirted with the cashier at the liquor store. At Rainbow he chased me around the store with a salami. I wish that was a metaphor.

We played video games all afternoon and all night and he talked about the dancing med student some more. We discussed friendships and how he does not go out to the gay bars that much anymore, and I enjoyed that Jared and Joey and I are more than just “bar friends”. I talked about how Chuck had friend-dumped me, and what a weird concept that was.

 “There was another boy I used to hang out with a lot, but he just completely dropped me from his life,” I said. “And I’ve never had that happen before. That was weird.”

“Well … why do you think he did?” Kevin asked.

I sighed heavily. “Because I represent ‘gay’ and he can’t have that in his life right now,” I told Dr. Thomsen.

“Okay,” Kevin said. “You know that has nothing to do with you, right?”

 God dammit, Kevin Thomsen. When you’re good, you’re good. It was a light bulb moment. Wesley’s life was a puzzle, and I was never a corner piece.
He sat on the couch next to me and we discussed luck. Kevin worked damn hard for everything he has, and I will always appreciate that about him. “I haven’t had much luck in my life,” he said.

“That’s not true!” I cried. “You met me!”

“Well,” he laughed. “That was more like fate.”


“Your elbow is digging into my neck and it’s really uncomfortable.” I am sooo good at flirting, you guys.

 Still fearful of physical intimacy, I finally kissed him in his driveway at 11 P.M. like we were in middle school. But I hugged him a lot at brunch. Probably to an embarrassing degree. He makes me feel comfortable.


                He made it official with the dancing med student two weeks later. I had no right to feel anything but joy on his behalf, and I did not turn to Hot Pockets until he started posting “A Whole New World” on Facebook. I was naively selfish enough to think that was my thing. It was never mine to begin with.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Which "Loring Park" Character Are You?

Take the Loring Park quiz before Season 3 premieres! This is the height of narcissism and staying in on Fridays.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Loring Park Episode #35: Comedy is Easy, Living is Hard (SEASON TWO FINALE!)

Previously on Loring Park: "I'm sorry you had to go through that," he said, and that is when I realized how blue his eyes are. Oh, crap.


"If you want to bring a ... friend ... to Thanksgiving, just let me know," Grandma Shirley said the week before. I had her on speaker phone when Jared and I were getting ready and he cracked up.
"No, Grandma, I don't have any ... friends ... right now," I moped. "Just a lot of pals."

Thanksgiving was lovely and uneventful. I only felt stupid about being single because Grandma thought Dane's friend Walter was coming, and so there was an empty seat next to me. My grandparents sold their house and bought a new townhouse in the same city, and there was no yelling, and I only said the F-word twice.

The next day was BLACK FRIDAY at Mall of America! AAAAGGGGHH! I worked from 930 to 630 and then did two shows at House of Comedy as an emcee.  Midway through the first show, I was at a bar when a drunk guy came up to me, as his wife was rolling her eyes in the background.

He was in a Pittsburgh Steelers hoodie and their 21-year-old daughter was mad because she didn't have her ID and can't drink, so she just wanted to "do rides" with the 17-year-old daughter. The wife keeps saying how she had to go to the bathroom.

"Hey, buddy," he slurred. "I don't have a problem with gay people."
"Good," I smiled through gritted teeth, wondering why the bartender doesn't see me. I'M THE ONLY ONE HERE.
"Gays and lesbians, I'm cool with them," he slurred again. "My best man at my wedding was gay. JACKIE!! I'm telling him about Jeff!"
"Leave him alone!" she yelled.
"Jeff was my best man. You guys would be great together. He's pretty crazy. We went to the gay club once, he kept taking his clothes off."
"Yeah, that can happen ..."
"Aww, man, you'd LOVE Jeff. You guys would be such a great couple. Like, he's GAY. Like, you're gay, but he's like ......... Really, really, gayyyyyyyy."

THAT'S when I got mad because not only is it super obnoxious when people assume that two gay people will automatically be a perfect match, but he had just seen me talk for ten minutes describing relationships with gay men who use Axe grooming products, do pantomime golfing in lieu of dancing, drink beer and can't name a single show on Bravo. Not only was he drunk and obnoxious, but HE WASN'T EVEN LISTENING.

It was still an enjoyable evening. Before the show started, the wait staff informed me that an 18-year-old boy was going to be in the front row and he was being shipped off to the Navy the following day. "We thought you should be the comic that mentioned it," she said.

I called him out during my set and he waved. "Well, hello, sailor," I said. "Don't worry. I won't hit on you. It's awkward. And I only put out for Marines." Then he winked at me. After the show his bro-ski friends shook my hand. Life could be worse.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Loring Park Episode #34: Tangiers

Previously on "Loring Park": Jakey and Kevin went to a Sadie Hawkins party! A new friend was made at Valleyfair! Triangle communication! Everything old is new again ...

I love the title of this episode. It implies new beginnings, new friendships, and foreign lands.

It's also the name of a super-trendy straight bar in the North Loop that we'll get to later, but still. I like the sound of it. Tangiers.


We were at The Saloon on a Sunday night and Joey was planning to come out to his parents later that week. It made me appreciate my own family and I enjoyed being a fly on the wall listening to Quinn give him advice. I was fine enjoying the moment.

A few days before, Joey and I got in an argument and I cried all day before being a grown-up about it. He slammed the door of Ryan Robertson's car and sent me an angry text message, and I found myself trying to be consoled by Ryan and his friend who was dressed as a seahorse for Halloween (best costume ever).

"Whenever two girls fight, it's always about a boy," I said sadly, and the seahorse nodded. For the last few months, I had thought he was "over" me and not amused by me, and he had thought I had grown distant. I have learned that you actually have to communicate with people when your feelings are hurt, or else feelings just get more hurt. Also, I was in a really bad mood the week before because I lost a $100 bill at The Saloon. Adulthood remains elusive. Nevertheless, our tiff only made our friendship stronger and made me appreciate it more, and I felt bad that for the last six months I had allowed my mind to be wrapped solely around one person. I was getting over it and his unexplained absence would not faze me.

"Where's Wesley been?" someone asked me.
"He's sick," I said before ordering a Ketel One Lemonade.

"Where's your broski?" someone else asked me later.
"He has to work a lot," I said before getting a refill.

Joey came out on a Thursday and I had it marked on my calendar. Jared and I were proud gay parents and had I been more organized we would have thrown a dinner party.


That Friday, Tan Man invited me over to his house for game night and a fashion show. Tan Man has abs and laughs at my jokes and I am waiting to find out he's a serial killer, but until then, I am going to enjoy our time together. He has a house in Uptown and I was intimidated because two other friends were there. The boy was a make-up artist who looked effortlessly amazing and the girl was a fitness trainer. I felt pale and out of shape and awkward, and I didn't want to drink because I was going to drive us to Tangiers (a place I had never heard of, but which was having a fashion show for G-Star Denim! Fun and fancy!).

"Oh, just have one shot of tequila," the girl said.
"Oh, I don't know," I said. "When I have tequila I say things that I don't mean. Well, I mean them, but they're unkind and they shouldn't be said."

             THE SALOON – NIGHT
After months of awkwardness, QUINN is trying to have an adult conversation with JAKEY, who has just had a shot of Jose Cuervo.

I think you’re a very good person and I am happy to know you and I don’t want you to feel awkward around me.
I think you and Wesley should just fuck already.
That was crass, Jakey. I am trying to have an adult conversation with you.
I’m sorry. I had tequila.


----END SCENE---

"OK, fine, just one," I obliged. Tan Man turned on his Pandora Station to '90s music, and we enjoyed the Spice Girls. Then "Always Be My Baby" came on.

"This song is kind of sad," Tan Man said. "I think I'll change it."
"If you change Mariah Carey, I will punch you in the dick," I said. "Oh my god! I can't have tequila."

Another friend of Tan Man's came in and she was tall and had alabaster skin and lived in England and was going on a date with a guy who liked to go hunting.

"Oh, he's like a broski?" Tan Man laughed. "Jakey! How's your broski?"

Tan Man ordered a car, but they could only take four passengers, so I went with Tan Man's friend and he and the girls met us later at Tangiers. It had fun ambiance, and I recognized the receptionist from Jungle Red! Mercifully, she did not ask me how my nether regions were feeling. I would later find out that three of my co-workers were there that night, but I didn't see them! We kept the theme of fanciness by going to Jetset.

I never feel like myself at Jetset, and was hoping to run into Under Armour or Local Celebrity (I never talk to Local Celebrity, but he is dreamy and somehow his presence calms me). I didn't, but I ran into Cooper and Robin, the latter of whom was throwing a Sadie Hawkins party in a few weeks.

Remember when Kevin and I went to the Daisy Duke/Sadie Hawkins party last year? Well, I was invited again, and immediately asked Kevin on Facebook if he wanted to go with me. A Sadie Hawkins dance in high school is when girls ask the boys (I, um, never got asked. Go figure!), so it was my understanding that a gay Sadie Hawkins party is when gay boys ask more masculine boys to be their dates. I was greatly looking forward to it, and I knew that Joey, Quinn and Chuck would be attending as well.

"I'm excited for the party!" I told Robin. "I'm bringing a date. His name is Kevin. He was at the party last year."
"I don't know him," Robin said. "But that's totally cool."

Tan Man met us at Jetset, and I felt fancy like a Target corporate gay.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Loring Park Episode #33: They Shoot 25-Year-Old Gay Men, Don't They? (My Life in Three Months)

It's been three months, people! This episode will not be like the others. It is catch-up mode, to say the least.

What did I do this summer (and fall?)

I turned 27, which will be the most depressing thing that happens in this episode.

The night before, I brought the cast of They Shoot 25-Year-Old Gay Men, Don't They? to the Saloon for a field trip, so we could research our characters! My brother showed up for this photo op. The man in the background is T.J. the bartender, who correctly told Dane, "I'm a very important part in your brother's life." Ain't that the truth.

The real Jared was there, but the real Kevin wasn't, and the real "Randy" (Wesley) certainly wasn't. The actor who played him would see him later in September and tell me he looked too broski. I beg to differ. One can never be too broski.

As for my actual birthday, Kevin had to work and Wesley told me I looked hideous. I can really pick 'em.

The next day, Jared and I went and saw "The Heat" starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, and I spent $80 at Anthropologie, because I am a hoarder and that store is designed for hoarders like me.

                                THEY SHOOT 25-YEAR-OLD GAY MEN, DON'T THEY?
    My one-man show about aging in the gay community turned into an ensemble comedy about the club scene, unrequited love, and outgrowing your Peter Pan Syndrome.

In a perfect world, the real basis of these characters will show up to my apartment and sign their aliases.

It received an average of 4 out of 5 on the Minnesota Fringe Festival's website, and we had reviews ranging from 0 stars (one guy hated it. Hated it. You would think I spit on his mother), to five-star reviews from people I have never met. Our first performance was shaky as hell, but the crowd was so enthusiastic that they forgave us, and by show 3 I think we really "got" it. One of the actors quit/got fired after the first show, and my friend Liam had a cameo for the first performance, but I let him go after he kept showing up late. Theater isn't like stand-up where you can have people stall for you. The show starts on the dot, and it was a good lesson in discipline for myself as well.

It was put together in less than three months and was never going to be a polished show, but I think for the audience it was for, it was an enjoyable show, and it was a therapeutic way for me to work through what was one of the most troubling experiences of my young adulthood. Kevin saw the Saturday show and sat by my mother. He was really pissed at me because I made him fold programs in the corner, but I didn't think he wanted everybody to know that he was the basis for one of the characters.

Anyway, I just about shit my pants because the second performance was at 4 PM on a Sunday and wasn't as polished -- we were reeling from two of the actors departing -- but we did the best we could. I, however, was about to lose all bowel control, because I had seen on Facebook that Gay Oprah was going to be at this performance.

We were at the Xperimental Center of the U of M Rarig Center; and if you're not familiar, it's in the basement (the Rarig hosts three venues). So when we're preparing for our show and getting ready to enter the theater, set up, etc., we can see everybody that's going to be in line for our show. Our opening night was super exciting (we almost sold out, motherfuckers. Take THAT, Stephen Phillips and your mean 0-star review) because I could see all the people. Sunday I was stressing out because not only could I see Gay Oprah walking down the stairs, but he was wearing a shiny silver suit. Who does that? I later talked to Peter about it, and once Peter understood that Oprah is Southern, he explained that putting on your Sunday best is a Southern tradition.

Anyway, I wasn't super proud of the second performance, but I met Oprah after the show and he was incredibly gracious and very handsome in person and he smells like raspberries and strawberries and morning sex and honey. My friends make fun of me for seeing so starstruck about him ("He asked me out once," Kevin scoffed. "That's different," I said. "In your world, he is a human being. In mine, he is an omniscient diety"), but I will say, on a grown-up, adult level, that after I was visibly upset on Facebook about Stephen Phillips and his mean 0-star review, he wrote me a very nice and encouraging note, and in it he told me "Follow your art, and do it for you." I will remember that for as long as I continue to be a performer in any capacity.

Peter moved to Washington D.C. I gave him my Gucci windbreaker because the rule is that, if you let your friends wear something of yours and they look amazing in it, you just have to give them their due.

                                                 BOYS BOYS BOYS

I'll get to the problem ones in a minute, but first I will say that lately I have been hanging out with boys who a) have abs and b) are nice to me, and I keep waiting for them to turn into robots.

Tan Man and I went kayaking, which was an evil trick to lure me into exercise. WWE Dude and I see each other at the 19. Under Armour is always delightful to run into. Cagefighter and Piano Man have reached out to me. There are a lot of fish in the sea, people!


I stayed at Kevin's house one weekend. The Friday night was amazing, and then the Saturday night we got in a big fight and the next day at work I cried in the bathroom. We still have moments, though, and I enjoy the moments. I like that he says "'Atta girl" when I successfully shut the bathroom window. I like that he lets me sing the Princess Jasmine part when he puts on "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. On the Fourth of July his stepdad asked why I used the ladder to get down from the roof instead of jumping off it, and he said, "Now, now. He's made of different stuff than we are". I couldn't tell if that was adorable or douchey, but I put it in my act that week, because I was emceeing for the entire week at the House of Comedy at Mall of America, and I'll be there again the week of Thanksgiving (shameless plug!) Sometimes he's mean, and it's not that I apologize for it, but I sometimes wonder if I'm the most feminine and dramatic man he's ever "been with" (for lack of a better term).

We also went to the Trail of Terror in Shakopee. His friend went with us and we got in a weird conversation on the way there that led me to icing him out. I was the only one at the attraction who was scared of anything, to the point that the actors were running ahead to tell the others that I was coming and that if they jumped out at me, they were guaranteed a loud shriek (and they got them). I held Kevin's arm the entire time and I enjoyed that he allowed me to do that.

We went to his house and felt like a scary movie. I, however, prefer scary movies if I have already seen them, so I volunteered Scream 2 or Carrie. We ended up on Cabin in the Woods, which made me scream like a little girl. First of all, it has 30 minutes of exposition and right when it started to get scary was when Kevin decided he wanted to take the blankets out of the dryer.

"This probably wasn't a good time for me to leave, was it?" he cackled from the basement. RUDE. Also, there's an oversize mutated tarantula toward the end, and that's my #1 fear (I blame Resident Evil games and Jumanji). Also, there was this:


Chris Hemsworth does nothing to me as Thor. Nothing. Maybe it's the get-up or the long hair. I thought nothing of him before this movie. I have realized that, only in this movie (which was filmed in 2010), I am madly in love with Chris Hemsworth.

It has nothing to do with who he might look like from my real life.

God dammit.

                                           CRYPTIC COMMENTARY

It has been six months. I almost lost friendships over it. I saw very good people as enemies or competition. I wrote a fucking play about it. I cried a lot. At dumb things. I still feel like crying when "We Can't Stop" by Miley Cyrus comes on because we slutty danced to that song a few times, and that song should not evoke pain. That song should evoke joy and the desire to do drugs.

I have not seen him in a month and I am almost okay with that.

Ok, that is not entirely true, in part because that night he told me I was balding. "That's because I pull my hair out from stress!" I yelled at him. "I had lustrous, Justin Bieber hair before you came into my life!"

I will say that I am content in the moments that I had, because as messy and confusing as it was, I had my moments, dammit, the moments that would have made Taylor Swift jealous.

                                            AWFUL ADULT THINGS

    I'm so close to bankruptcy it's not even funny. Oh, and I spent $260 at the salon for a full body wax, because I am disgusting. I won't ever have a boyfriend if I'm hairy and bankrupt, so now I have to pick one or the other. Besides, would you rather have a guy with chest hair or a guy with a bunch of ingrowns on his chest that looks like a 2-year-old did a dot-to-dot puzzle? You know it's the second one.

I got rid of cable and Internet because Comcast is the devil. As a result, I am at my mom's house all the damn time. She has LOGO!

I am going to die alone.

                                       ERIN GOT MARRIED

 My best friend got married! I look drunk in this picture, but I swear this was in the afternoon, and I was sleep-deprived and emotional. Here was my toast:

"Erin McCloskey. I was so happy to walk into this mansion and see the Eiffel Tower. I don't know if everybody here knows this, but that's where Robbie proposed to her. It's also where Erin and I became best friends. I had known her since kindergarten -- she had a long braid and I pulled it a lot -- but we weren't best friends until 17. We were on the class field trip to Paris, and we were the last two kids to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I was last because I lost my lift ticket after five minutes, and she was last because she ignored the instructions to wear sensible shoes, and had blisters and had to limp the whole way up.

We became best friends that day, in part because we found out we had the same favorite TV show, "Starting Over". It was the best bad show over. It was a daytime reality show in which six women lived in a house and had life coaches and goals and steps to reach those goals, and then when they got to their goal they got to graduate.  You remember! With Rhonda Britten and Iyanla Vanzant! At 2 PM on KARE 11!

Anyway, I feel that -- nine years later, and eight years after the show has been cancelled -- today is not just your wedding day but also your official graduation from the 'Starting Over' house.

You truly are family to me. My parents are here, my grandparents are here, and my aunt is here, which proves that. You're the closet thing my father will ever have to a daughter, and I am so grateful, because without you, that would be me.

I know we watched a lot of crappy chick flicks that talk a lot about how you 'found' a man or 'earned' a man or 'got' a man, and I hate that kind of language, so I am going to say that -- you ALLOWED a man in your life -- and allowed his love into your heart -- and we are all grateful. I love you."

      For Halloween, I was a man hunter and Jared was Mr. T. Literally five minutes after Jared left, someone showed up in full-on '80s Hulk Hogan wear, and the wrestling mark in me was so bummed that we couldn't have done a WrestleMania photo-op.

 I am excited for Christmas episodes of Loring Park! I should buy a slutty Santa hat.