Wednesday, April 27, 2011

On Douchebags (and breaking your nose)

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. ~ W. Churchill Winston Churchill probably meant this quote about fighting wars and arguing with British aristocrats, but I think if he were alive today, he also would have used it about douchebags on party buses.

The party bus was for my lovely college friend Kristen and her friend Robbie. It was to be a mini-college reunion, and I had a great idea of taking the bus to Amy's apartment in St. Louis Park so that I could go to work the next day without any problems. I wore my awesome brown pseudo-velvet blazer and a Texas Longhorns cap so I wouldn't get my hair wet with from the light drizzle.

Unfortunately for my dumb ass, I got off on the wrong bus stop and waited for an extra hour before realizing I had a ways to go. The only blessing of this is that a boy drove by who I randomly knew from my two seconds as a film major. "You going to MOA?" he asked. I shook my head, but thought it was really sweet of him to offer a ride. He was with his girlfriend, but he always awkwardly flirted with me. Then I thought about him being really good at kissing. I mean, what?

I further proved my idiocy when I couldn't figure out how to use my bus transfer ticket and everyody gave me death stares. Maybe I should have eaten more than just a crappy chicken salad from the gas station. Regardless! The party bus would be FUN! I felt stupid on my later transfer as well, when I put in two expired transfer tickets before finding the right one. Public transportation is hard, you guys.

It was fun, although I didn't get there until 9:45, right when it was leaving. The girls were happy to see me but made fun of my Longhorns hat. "Why are you wearing that?" they asked. "You've never even been to Texas". "Because I am being a DUDELY DUDE," I explained, pointing to random guys on our bus who were wearing caps. Laura was sure to tie my shoes to make sure I wouldn't biff it. I quickly realized that the bus was very segregated. Me and my college girls were up front, and then all of Robbie's pals were in the back. Since we were going to be together all night, I decided to MINGLE. And I worked that bus that I was a new CEO at the boardroom meeting, getting to know all the subordinates. My favorites of the pretty girls were Betsy and Veronica, the latter of whom I planned on making out with if the night went my way.

Our first bar was Billy's on Grand, where I complained to the college girls that our bus was too segregated. "Because those girls are BITCHES," Laura explained to me. "They hate us. The apartment earlier was even worse." "High school is over," Hailie went on. "We're 24, 25 now. It should end." "I wonder if they were popular in high school," I pondered. "Like maybe that never goes away. You think you're always The Queen Bee." I mingled with the new girls for a bit anyway, as one of them bought me a tequila shot. "If I get naked, it's your fault," I told her.

When we got back on the bus, a girl named Megan told me that she thought her ex-boyfriend (across from us) might be gay. He started dancing with no rhythm at all. "If he dances like that, he's straight," I assured her. "No rhythm." Like TWO SECONDS later, the guy sits by me. "I hear you said I have no rhythm," he said, and that's when I got it, that these girls really were stuck in high school, Mean Girls behavior. What would have happened if I had told Megan I thought her ex-boyfriend WAS gay?

As the bus got back in motion and we headed toward Minneapolis, the tequila (and the vodka I had earlier imbibed) was running through my veins, and I decided to pole dance. The college girls cheered, and most of the guys thought it was funny. No harm, no foul.

Then the incident happened.

"Hey," a guy with a cagefighter shirt and baseball cap from the back of the bus piped up. "No one wants to see that shit. I don't want to see dudes dancing. Save that for the Fag Bus."

I stared at him. "Come here," I said with a smile. He refused. "COME HERE," I said. "I want you to say that to my face."
"I DON'T WANT TO SEE DUDES DANCING," he yelled. He wasn't budging.
"No, say the fag part to my face," I demanded. He wouldn't. I sat back down and chugged whatever vodka I had left remaining.
"Jakey, let it go," Laura said. "It's not even worth it."
"No, I have to say SOMETHING when the bus stops," I said. "It's gonna be really short, and I'm gonna be nice." I had a little speech prepared, and it was to be 15 seconds.

Maybe I should have let it go. But I realized that I was 24 years old (and people are guessing my age accurately now. The night before, at Lush Bar, a guy who was trying to be a psychic was like "You're 24, right? But maybe not. You're really small." Then it turned out he used to date the St. Olaf Gay who made me cry at that wedding. Tangent!). I wasn't bullied or harrassed the way a lot of gay kids were, but I've taken my fair share of being called a faggot. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. 24-year-old Jakey was going to do this for 14-year-old Jakey who was never confident enough to stick up for himself when the high-schoolers would say it as he walked by. He was going to do this for 19-year-old Jakey, who went to college in a small town and, in a strange reversal of how things should go, got harrassed about five times as much THERE as he did in middle and high school. This was for 22-year-old Jakey, who, when working at the North Minneapolis Walgreens when these guys would come in and be like "Hey, faggot, where's the candy at?" smiled at them and said "Aisle Five" while completely no-selling their slurs. I was going to be calm and direct and get it over with. I convinced the guys sitting by me to stand behind me while I told the guy off, because there was a slight chance of fisticuffs.

What I should have realized was that you can't reason with idiots. "Can I just say two things and then we'll go our own ways?" I started. Calm voice. Level. "Number One: I do not want to have sex with you. Number Two: It is 2011 and----" It was going to end with you don't get to call me a fag anymore. But then he piped up.

"You better not want to have sex with me," he said. "Or I'll kick your ass."

Then I popped off, my voice getting higher and screechier as I went.


And I stormed off that party bus, with the girls behind me. I should have felt good about myself, yet I didn't. Yelling wouldn't solve anything. The guy was drunk. Would he even remember it? Everyone else on that bus had joined this century and knew you couldn't call me a fag. I just got really sad, and couldn't enjoy my time at whatever bar we were at. The Ugly Mug. I used the girls' bathroom. It really was like college.

I should have gone home, but I took the bus five blocks to The Saloon. I needed Gay World after all. I went to Danny, my favorite bartender, who makes drinks strong and is really dreamy. I spent a good half hour talking to a guy who was 46, and we discussed youth being wasted on the young. "You're still young," he said. "You're what, 24-25?" Why was everyone guessing my real age?? I so need to buy new Bare Minerals. We walked to the dance room, and I put my Texas Longhorns hat away and went on the whorebox, where I promptly made out with a muscular Russian dude.

Then, shortly after 2 A.M., when drinks stopped being served but you could still dance and whore on the whorebox, my shoelace became untied, and as I got off the whorebox, I fucking BIFFED it.

I have fallen down drunk just a few times. Like last month, when I went face-first into the Foozball table. Or the time at Stout when I biffed it on the way to the pizza parlor, and I was with all boys so nobody helped me up. Or the other time at Stout when, IMMEDIATELY ENTERING a basement party, I stumbled down the stairs. Or last year, when I biffed it on the ice *outside* of the Saloon and cut my chin open. It may be signs of a drinking problem. It may also be signs that I really need to start wearing slip-ons.

I didn't know how bad the fall was. I just heard the reaction, put my hand to my face, and saw the blood. I am a child when it comes to blood. I hate it. I think of death and slasher movies. I realized I was Drew Barrymore in "Whip It!" when her face is smashed open and she asks Eve "is it bad?" and Eve hilariously tries to convince her it's not.

Would this have happened at a "straight" club, I probably would have been shown the door, shuffled into a cab and sent to Hennepin County Medical Center. But this is a gay club, and if you have blonde hair, you will be looked out for.

I never knew his name. He looked to be about 20, with jet black hair and a slight build. He had beautiful olive skin and delicate features. "Come here," he said, and he sat me down at the bar. "I'm a nursing student." He got ice from the bartender. "Ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod," I remember crying. "Shhhh. You're okay. Let me see it." He sat there for a good ten minutes pushing the napkins against my face. "You don't have to do this," I assured him. "Shhhh. Stop talking." The gays leaving the bar walked by and grimaced. An hour ago, I was triumphant, in the glow of my Kurt Hummel moment. Now I was back on the D-list, and permanently there. It doesn't get worse than being "that guy who fell down and bled all over The Saloon". Nurse Student Boy kissed my cheek when the swelling went down.

Nurse Student Boy and I got a cab together. He lived in uptown, and I decided I would pay his cabfare. It was the least he could do. On the way there he started rubbing my arm. Then I realized he probably wanted to play board games with me. Seriously, dude? My face was broken. I was flattered, but also realized that your average man, gay or straight, just wants to have sex all. the. time. Potentially broken nose and swollen lips? No problem!

We dropped off Nurse Student Boy. I don't know if I will ever see him again. He will always have a special place in my heart. Then the cab inferred that he didn't think I was going to pay, and we sat in icy silence for the rest of the ride home. I gave a shitty tip.

I totally left the Texas Longhorns hat at the bar.

The next morning, I showed up to work with a Toy Story band-aid and my lips totally swollen. I am clearly the face of Nordstrom. It was a Saturday, meaning all the boys looked like models. "MY FACE!" I cried to Sina. "MY BEAUTIFUL FACE!" I told some customers I had a nose job, others I got in a fight, and one that I fell down while reading The Bible (my manager overheard that one and I got scolded. The Mall of America is *not* the comedy club). They let me leave early, and my mother took me to the emergency room. They're not sure if it's broken yet because they have to wait for the swelling to go down, but my mouth and teeth are fine and I didn't break any bones. Then they gave me a tetanus shot and I asked for a sucker. "We have freezie pops," the nurse offered. "YAYYY" I cried, and I WAS SO HAPPY TO GET MY FREEZIE POP. My mother rolled her eyes. "Are you eight?" she asked. Then I realized I have injured myself far more in my twenties than in my childhood.

I'm kind of a mess.

Monday, February 21, 2011

5 Things I Love This Week

First of all, I must apologize for my lack of blogging. The book I'm working on is *ALMOST* done (I have all of one chapter left), and then I get to worry about selling it. And in the meantime, I will probably be joining the blogosphere more often.

For now, I want to share five things that I am obsessed with this week.


1) Drew Droege as Chloe Sevigny

I came upon this discovery on the Facebook page owned by the author of Weston Silver). The first time I saw one of these videos I found them amusing, but didn't quite get the point. After you've seen a few of these minute-long videos of improvisational comedian Drew Droege lampooning Chloe Sevigny, the genius becomes apparent. Drew doesn't offer an impersonation but a character in itself: An actress/fashionista who is arrogant and esoteric, while blissfully unaware of being either. My personal favorite is "Comedy", in which Chloe attempts stand-up comedy after being seated next to Da Brat at a charity function, but they're all worth a view. An unfortunate side effect: You may want to start every sentence with "It's recently come to my attention..."

2) Buffalo Exchange

Buffalo Exchange is a consignment shop with locations all over the country, and I stumbled upon it last weekend with my friend Sina. Sina is competing in a beauty pageant this Sunday, and we spent an entire day trying to find dresses. On the way we stopped at this store uptown, where not only did I purchase my first ever piece of clothing with an H & M label on it (okay, Sina bought it for me with her store credit). I also tried on an Abercrombie & Fitch shirt and really wanted it despite being born in the '80s, but Sina assured me that I did not have the body type to be wearing a shirt with a "muscle fit".

The following Monday, I showed up with a bag full of items. They only purchased three of them (and letting go of that Burberry tee-shirt was devastating), but I appreciate that they're so picky about what they're willing to sell to their customers. The best part: On the way out I ran into someone who I haven't seen since high school, and he was one of the more interesting folks. Buffalo Exchange: It brings people together.

3) Jen Lancaster

In all honesty, I'm working on reading all of Jen Lancaster's books and just finished her second ("Bright Lights, Big Ass"), a memoir ruminating on life in the big city of Chicago. Jen Lancaster is, in some ways, the opposite of the Chloe Sevigny we saw above: She's narcisstic but she knows it, and the result is hilarious writing full of both self-deprecation and abrasive observations of others. As an aspiring writer, I especially appreciated it for its realism on the publishing industry: Jen gets her book deal, but is still temping for a year due to the glacial pace of the business (those advance checks take their time). By far the book's best section is when, after completing a rather menial task at one of her temping gigs, the boss compliments her. It's a tiny gesture, and yet Jen reflects on her years as a dot-com exec where her decisions made people millions of dollars, and she was never greeted with any sort of courtesy. It's a deep yet unsentimental passage in a book full of unapologetic bitchiness.

Sidebar: While Lancaster doesn't write about politics very much, she's a Republican and I love her for it. In the same week that my friend Julie told me she probably won't go to my comedy show on Thursday because "there'll be a bunch of Somalians there", it's refreshing to read a book by someone who a) voted for John McCain in '08 and b) takes the time to bemoan racial profiling post 9/11 during a rant about the city bus. Well-played, Jen Lancaster. You can read more of Jen's musings, book tour informaton, and reading suggestions at her website.

4) GQ

GQ: You cannot put Channing Tatum on your cover *and* have Josh Hutcherson in an additional pictorial without first prescribing me heart attack medication.

5) Chipheads Computer Repair Shop

If any of you are in the Minneapolis area and have a piece of shit computer that you should have replaced the first time you sent it to the computer hospital, I highly recommend Chipheads in Richfield and in St. Paul. My monitor totally biffed it last week, and guess who's almost done with a book yet hasn't backed anything up? This guy. Not only that, but I have a keyboard that isn't connected by a USB cable for the first time since 2008. You rock, Chipheads!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

On "Catwoman"

It has been announced that Anne Hathaway will be playing Selina Kyle/Catwoman in the upcoming Christopher Nolan sequel, slated for release in July 2012.

While I welcome this news, it makes me wonder what origin story the producers will choose. Very few Batman villains have been reidentified as much as Catwoman.

Last summer, I stumbled upon this unproduced "Catwoman" screenplay by Daniel Waters. It was slated to be a direct sequel to "Batman Returns" (remember that ridiculous open ending?), but Warner Brothers never produced it, and the world instead gave us Joel Schumacher's vision of technicolor and Batnipples.

In this script, Selina Kyle is an amnesiac, being taken in by her mother in the idyllic casino town of Oasisburg. She falls for two men -- one who loves her, and one who's trying to kill her, but she doesn't know who is who -- and as crime against women further escalates, she must realize that she is, indeed, the only Catwoman. It's chock full of sociopolitics, but visited in a way as dark and twisted as "Batman Returns" was.

On Where Life Is

I moved out of my parents' house two weeks ago.

Two and a half years ago, I moved back after royally fucking up a year at Brooklyn College. My tail was between my legs yet I was somehow defiant. I was going to be here for six months, maximum. I was going to get my driver's license, pay off my credit cards, and move back to New York, and do it MY WAY, dammit.

I got my driver's license, but didn't get the actual car until almost a year later.

I signed up for a personal trainer for a year. So stupid financially, right? But I still have seven sessions left and I don't have love handles anymore. Yes, skinny people can have love handles.

Just as I had most of my credit cards paid off, hello Nordstrom Signature Visa! But I really only use it for cute clothes, and the occasional trips. Speaking of trips, oh the places I went! I went to Los Angeles, Orlando, Chicago and Vegas, all the while wondering how I had a full-time job and felt like I never had any money.

My current living situation happened unexpectedly, as all great things in life do. About three months ago, the power in my parents' house was out for an entire weekend. There was a snowstorm, and houses all over Minneapolis were intermittently without power. Unfortunately for my parents, our house was the only one within a three-block radius without power, so we were fairly low on Xcel's totem pole, who were busy working on entire neighborhoods living in a blackout.

During the first night, I called my brother out of boredom. He had been drinking, but wasn't at that obnoxious level of drunk that he gets later in the evening. He was one step before that, when he is a wise and sagacious drunk. The life that I had been living was once my brother's. While I was off in college, getting plastered every night and having emotional affairs with boys of questionable sexuality and amazing abdominal muscles, he was fighting with my parents about things like leaving underwear on the bathroom floor. When he finally moved out, my parents had four months of bliss before I showed up from Brooklyn. He moved to a house with a few other guys, and I perceived them as ballers, as Dane would be calling me every weekend home from the bar. Yes, Kim Kardashian totally made eye contact with him during her appearance at Aqua.

"I know you think you're gonna go to L.A. or New York," he said. "And maybe you will. But just, sign a month-to-month lease somewhere, live in a divey apartment, and just LIVE. You're miserable there. You have this whole complex in your head that you live with your parents and you're a loser, and you won't feel like one if you move out."
"But I don't have any money," I whined.
"No, you do," he scoffed. "How much do you make a month?"
I told him, and he was convinced. "You've been there for over two years and you don't have any money? That's embarrassing."
But I had my excuses ready! My initial credit card bills, followed by the additional credit card bills! My two speeding tickets! My hospital bill from the night in February I fell on my face outside of The Saloon and had to be stitched up at HCMC! My failed semester as a film student at Minneapolis Community and Technical College to the tune of $2,200!

The next night, my parents' house was STILL without power, so I took a shower at my friend Dana's house. Dana graduated from University of Wisconsin and lives with her parents. I still have one of her T-shirts. I slept that night at my friend Sina's apartment. Sina lives in a rather famous apartment building with a questionable reputation, but I felt safe there. She told me how much rent was and I thought I could easily afford it. Sure, it had its drawbacks. Parking is impossible in her neighborhood and I could never have people over, especially my friend Julie, who would run away at the sight of the first Somali person. But it was close to the light rail, and it would be fun living in the same apartment with Sina! I could come down to borrow a cup of sugar, only in our case it would probably be a fifth of vodka.

December came around. My mother and I fought all the time, but that's been our relationship for the past ten years. My father and I often get along, but we fought more that month than we have in our whole lives. It was the stupid things, really, like the fact that the living room doubles as his bedroom and I just want to watch my Jeopardy on DVR, dammit, or I'd be late for work because he was in the shower when I needed it, or that he had to park in the street because I did such a poor job parking in the driveway, or his drunkenly barging into my room without knocking asking if I had his phone charger. IT WAS 2 IN THE MORNING. I COULD HAVE BEEN WATCHING GAY PORN.

An acquaintance of mine was hosting a going away party the third weekend of December, as he was following his girlfriend to Colorado. He had a note on his invite that he was subleasing his room if anyone was interested. I wrote him about it, and we talked about it over at the party. Nothing came of it, and I told myself it was for the best. He lived with three "dudes", and maybe we just wouldn't gel together.

The last week of December, my aunt and uncle were staying with us for a week, much to the chagrin of my father. The boy messaged me that day saying the room was still mine if I wanted it. I debated in my head. Could I afford it? What would happen when the lease was over? Should I suck it up at my parents' house for a few more months, then convince Sina to follow her dreams to L.A., and take me with her as her #1 groupie?

I officially made my decision at dinner, when we were all discussing our eating habits, and why you should eat breakfast.

Jakey: "I usually eat really healthy when I'm at work, and then I just come home and eat everything."
Jakey's Aunt: "Because it's free."
Jakey: "...."
Jakey's Mother: "Well, I .... no ... he ... he doesn't eat breakfast in the morning, he never has TIME. He really only eats one meal a day. He ... you know, it's just ..."

Her effort to defend me was admirable, valiant even, but the message had been sent. Later that night, she agreed to give me a ride to the train station the next day so I wouldn't have to drive to the mall in the ice, and when morning came around, you would have thought I had asked her for a kidney. "But we're going to breakfast!!" she cried, and I realized that so long as I was under this roof, I was going to be the Spoiled Ungrateful Asshole Adult Son in the narrative of her life.

I am in a Dude House now. They aren't here a lot, and truth be told, I'm not either. I have, however had two different girls over in the past week, because I BE PIMPING. My roommates are actually cleaner than I am, which is just wrong. They don't even have sisters. Two weeks ago we watched the BCS Bowl and last week we watched the Golden Globes. They think Christina Aguilera looks better now with meat on her bones, and I found that to be uplifting.

Also, they are REALLY cute but that has nothing to do with the enjoyment of my new living situation. Really. Honest. Stop looking at me like that.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Fuck 2010

In the spirit of Dodai Stewart's amazing "Fuck 2010" post on, here is my edition:

Fuck that it's been two and a half years and I'm still living at home with $200 in savings. Fuck that my relatives perceive me as the loser asshole adult son who can't do anything right. Fuck that, while my mother and I have managed to improve our relationship, I still have anger issues up the wazoo and she still has her days where she wins the gold medal in the Passive Aggressive Olympics. Fuck that all of my close friends have moved away. Fuck that I am still in a retail gig and can't get promoted because I am a screw-up and show up late, hung over, and sometimes still intoxicated despite the fact that my customers LOVE me, dammit. Fuck the St. Olaf Gays and their fag hags who sat next to me at a wedding and said "Retail is only acceptable between the ages of 16 and 20", because I'M RIGHT HERE, DAMMIT. Fuck that this was the year my father went from a fun drunk to kind of a mean one. Fuck that I refuse to date because I am a loser living at home, and therefore either have emotional affairs with men on the Internet who are probably really 60 years old and obese, awkward one-night-stands that end in tears, or ridiculous emotional affairs with straight guys who live in Wisconsin. Lastly, fuck the Minnesota weather, and being stranded at the Mall of America in a blizzard. Fuck that my wallet was stolen when it actually had money in it. Fuck that two weeks prior, the parking ramp was an ice rink and I hit two parked cars and a young woman (who is going to be okay, but it was still traumatizing for all involved, especially her).

Read more:

I feel better now, don't you?