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.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Today is National Coming Out Day. I never thought that much about it because when I was a kid, people asked me if I was gay before I knew the answer (people will ALWAYS ask personal questions. Is it an American thing? I don't know). I only thought about it in high school when a group of boys wore "Straight Pride" T-shirts on that day. They got in trouble. One kid's mom went to the school board mee...ting and complained about it. I wrote a letter to the local paper and called her out for being homophobic. They printed it. I was at my friend Julie's house and yelled "HOLY SHIT" and she put it on the mirror in her room. I should call her. I miss her. I have a point, I swear.

Oh, yes! My point! While I am a constant source of stress and disappointment to my parents, it has nothing to do with my sexual orientation, and I think that it is totally awesome and progressive of them. Gay marriage is legal in my state now, and my father thinks I should marry for money and my mother thinks I should marry for love. I am so happy and blessed that we can have these conversations.

Wait! My real point! Goddd. FEELINGS. Okay. Some people don't come out of the womb flaming. Some people don't figure it out right away. Some people think it's a phase, or they'll get over it, or something made them that way, and they can get over it, or they will fix it. Some people know that if they do come out, their lives will change. Those closest to them will possibly disown them. They will have to re-define the word "family". I can't imagine how scary that is.

It is so easy for me to sit here and throw popcorn and yell "JUST COME OUT ALREADY", but I know everyone's journey is different. I know the word "journey" is kind of trite, but it *is* a journey.

I just want you to know that when you do -- and I am saying when and not if because I am daring to be optimistic --it will be the scariest thing you will ever do, but the sky will not fall. You will have allies you never knew you would have. You will find strength you did not know you had. God will still be there, even if people tell you He won't be. You will still be you.

(I love you)

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Loring Park Episode #32: Summer 2013 Recap MEGA-EPISODE (June)

Previously on Loring Park: Jakey went crazy! A one-man show turned into an ensemble comedy! And Pride weekend was looming ...

OK, so here's the deal. I miss this blog. I miss all of you. I miss the deep episodes with funny moments that encapsulated my best and worst evenings.

But I can't do the summer justice, because I am already three months behind. The memories will be too faded if I try to write them in the format of our previous 31 episodes. So let's buckle up and recap summer 2013, RAPID FIRE. This is going to take us from June to August, and then by Episode #33 we can be back to normal.


1. The read-through for They Shoot 25-Year-Old Gay Men, Don't They? went swimmingly, even though I still didn't have a Jayden (twink character) and my original Randy (closeted hypermasculine broski who is not based on anybody I know) bailed out after the first reading. In a delicious twist of irony, the only gay guy he knew was Prince Eric, who was the guy that came to Kevin's apartment last summer on the first of many nights that he made me feel stupid.

2. Wesley and I went to The Saloon and he was mad at Quinn and Quinn was mad at him and then Quinn got mad at me and texted me "You should disappear for a while". I was now in a gay Mario Puzo novel. I thought I would feel a sense of victory, considering that when Wesley chose Quinn I spent an entire Sunday crying on my toilet while reading The Glass Castle, but I mainly felt bummed.

3. I ran into Under Armour and his friend Miles, who is a dreamy Nordic sex god. With a smile on his face, Miles told me all about how he still has a torch for Under Armour, and I was like oh my god, gay broski's can have feelings too! I told him to give me a hug and maybe he would feel better. It didn't, but I told him to hug me three more times. You can't shame the shameless.

4. We re-cast the broski! The actor came in wearing a douchey Nike T-shirt and I was sold! I met the twink actor through an actress who I "worked" with when I rehearsed a play for eight months that never happened. We met in Loring Park. I felt bad because he was approaching the role with a very serious actor's perspective -- What is his motivation? What is his back story? -- and I could only tell him that his character was a carefree babygay.

5. Joey, Jared and I reunited with Sina, who was visiting from Los Angeles! I made us take a cab because I was all sweaty thanks to wearing dress clothes, as I assumed Sina would expect nothing less. I was disappointed when I found out she was wearing sexy casualness. Nevertheless, I was not only happy to see her but also happy to be at the Gay '90s, because they have a big giant fan for the drag queens to cook their make-up, and I surreptitiously used it to stop being a sweat monster when it wasn't otherwise occupied.

6. A picture of my dick ended up on my Facebook for three hours before it finally got deleted. DO NOT ASK ME WHY I HAD A DICK PIC ON MY PHONE. I am not Anthony Weiner. I was only sending it to one person. Anygay, I was walking through the park while Facebook chatting, and I dropped my phone in the mud, and it uploaded to Facebook every picture that I had on file. My very own sex scandal! I panicked at The Saloon as Liam and I failed to delete it from my phone. I took a cab to the 19, where my friends Bjorn and Jody were savvy enough to take it down. They don't make a card that says "Thank You For Staring My Penis Picture in the Face and Deleting it as I Had a Meltdown at The 19", but if they did, I would frame it and give it to Jody.

It was the worst thing ever!

One of my gal pals from college was like, "That was your penis?"

Under Armour told me it was impressive.

It was not the worst thing ever but it was still quite awful!

Kevin showed up at The 19 and was his usual Hollister dreaminess. We went to The Saloon, where everyone was being really nice to me. Go figure. As we left the bar, we found ourselves guiding a bachelorette party from Winnipeg to their hotel. It was raining that sexy summer rain, where it's light and misty. I enjoyed myself because I was with five fun girls, and learned all of their names. Kevin, on the other hand, got stuck navigating with Celine, who was the bitchy maid of honor that refused to listen to his directions. The nice girls in my posse told me we could have shots when we got to their room.

"Is he your boyfriend?" they kept asking. I blushed and did not really answer. We arrived at The Hotel Minneapolis and one of the bridesmaids began to pour me Ketel One. There was a random girl sleeping in the bed who was happy to have male visitors. Kevin sat across from her on the other queen bed.

"Hey," she smiled. "You're cute. What's your name?"
"Kevin," he said.
"Kevin," she repeated. Oh, dear. This poor girl.
"You guys have to leave!" Celine yelled. "I'm tired!"
"Celine!" one of my new gal pals cried. "These boys walked us all the way here! I said they could have shots!"
"No!" Celine yelled. "We have to get up early!"

Then Celine took off her shirt and then she took off her bra. The theme of this evening was apparently nudity. "Look!" she cried. "My tits are out! This means you have to leave!"
"I don't really care," I said as I sipped the drink that was promised to me. "Gay guys aren't repulsed by breasts."
"Are you gay, too?" the girl in bed asked Kevin. He nodded affirmatively and I could hear her heart crack.

Kevin and I eventually left, and we got a cab back to my apartment. We knew we couldn't stay there because I do not have air conditioning and Kevin hates my apartment anyway. We called Blue & White but they wouldn't give us an estimate of their arrival, so Kevin scoffed, huffed and puffed and we called a town car to drive us to his house. The car arrived promptly, but the price they gave us was $20 higher than what we were told, so Kevin did not leave a tip.

We sat in his gazebo and watched the rain and I showed him the script of the play I wrote and for the first time in our complicated friendship, I think he realized that I was more than just an underachieving and unaccomplished airhead.

"He just left me," he said, and the tears on his face mixed with the rain. "There was never a warning
"Did you wake up crying?" I asked. I have never had a failed relationship, but I did wake up crying.
He nodded.
"Me, too," I said. Then I started crying, too.

In the morning he put on a red Hollister shirt and a white baseball cap. "Let's get breakfast," he smiled.
"You look so broski right now," I grinned. Then I pulled him back in bed.

7. I was sick with this cough that wouldn't go away so I went back to my doctor, who is dreamy. He looks like the husband in a Lifetime movie. He prescribed me Prednisone, but he told me he was worried because "you are already pretty squirelly." I did not know squirelly could be used to describe anybody over the age of ten. I was glad he said that, as I used it for the two stand-up gigs I had in June, which were at CAMP Bar and at The Portland Emporium. The latter venue is a house that comedians live in and they turn the living room into a stage. It was hotter than hell but it was also awesome. I wore my new Joe's Jeans.

8.  Quinn reached out to me and apologized, and I was proud of the both of us for acting like grown-ups in the situation. I know I talk way too much like I'm a Bravo Housewive, but we will always be in the same "circles", and it was important for us to be in the same room and not want to strangle each other.

9. I went to DJ Flip Phone, which is every month at Honey! The theme for June was PRIDE 1999, and I was jealous of someone who had a pouka shell necklace, in part because I was trying to track one down for the play (there was a character based on Kevin). Wesley was at The Saloon and was bitching at me to get there, even though I told him I was going to Flip Phone. Cooper gave me a ride there under the provision that I paid for his cover. Good enough!

I got to The Saloon and was wearing my LOVE IS OVERRATED t-shirt. Chuck had tied it into a knot so it was a tacky midriff belly shirt, which was fun for comedic reasons, but I couldn't get it undone. I'm sure I looked ridiculous. Wesley was angry because he can be out of his comfort zone when I am not there. "You look like a fucking faggot," he hissed. This is indefensible, but it is Wesley, so I will try to defend it anyway and say that he does not like when I dress that way because it represents an overt expression of sexuality that he cannot have in his life.

Or maybe he just thinks I'm disgusting.

I chose to go to the patio and talk to Football Guy. I always thought Football Guy's name was David Lopez, and it turns out his real name sounds nothing like David Lopez. Maybe it was a dream. Football Guy's boyfriend kept staring daggers at me, which made no sense because his boyfriend has abs that could be put in a museum. He was clearly not going to be leaving with my scrawny vanilla goodness. Calm down, girl.

Then Wesley grabbed my phone and texted awful things to Quinn from it. I was MORTIFIED because Quinn and I had just made peace! Quinn told me the next day that he figured it was Wesley and not me because of the horrible syntax and grammar, and I was relieved.

10. "You know he's unfixable."

11. He is mad at the world, and I am the world.

12. June ended with PRIDE WEEKEND!!!

I got the whole weekend off. I LOVE MY JOB I LOVE MY JOB I LOVE MY JOB. I knew it was going to be exceptional this year, because Joey is my neighbor now and we would be close to all the action. I was pleasantly surprised to see Wesley on Friday night, as when I first re-connected with him several months ago he told me he wasn't doing any Pride events in fear of being seen. I considered it a small victory for him, even if he was wearing a neon green golf knit. Jared and Joey were there too (natch!), and Wesley encouraged Jared to do the splits, which I thought was his way of trying to apologize for past boorish behavior. It was a night of warm fuzzies, y'all.

"I want to go dance," he said, but we couldn't leave because Mariah Carey was playing!

We danced to "Dreamlover" and if it would have lasted a minute longer, I would have needed CPR.
I left The Saloon that night with Joey and Sprite, along with two creepy dudes who were in the back seat with me and kept making out. And before that, there was a random drunk man sleeping in Sprite's back seat that we didn't even know! Sprite politely asked him to leave and he obliged. Sprite was driving a Ferrari and couldn't figure out how to get out of the parking ramp because he misplaced his ticket. "But I have a $20," he told the parking agent. Joey put his debit card in the machine and then the machine ate it. We mercifully departed from the garage, and Sprite told us he knew of a party in uptown. It started raining, and Sprite was driving fast. When we arrived at the house in uptown, Sprite admitted that he didn't know what house it was or who was having the party or if it was even happening. The three of us slept at Joey's apartment and the next morning, Sprite made 17 different comments about the lack of a couch.

I regrouped to take a nap, and Joey and I went emergency Pride shopping! There were new outfits and liquor to be purchased! It was fun stopping at our workplace, as our colleagues were genuinely supportive of our weekend off. Not to be sacrilegious, but Pride really is like our Christmas.

I wanted to be sure to go to an event for Pride weekend, so I chose Lollipop at the Skyway Lounge. I ended up standing in line next to all the muscle gays and felt unsure of myself. This happens every Pride weekend.

Manila Luzon of RuPaul's Drag Race was performing, and a brazen co-worker of mine instantly took a picture with her. I love it! In a delightful sidebar, her opening drag queen went to a show of mine at the U of M!

Last year at Pride I took a random picture with this super cute boy in the elevator at the Doubletree. I never saw him again but made it my profile picture when I was having a bad day. I saw him at the event and I was right next to him standing by a fan, and instead of saying anything I ran to the bathroom. I wonder why I am single.

Friends were texting me saying I should go to The Saloon, and I assured them I was planning to meet him there, but I wanted to see Manila perform first! I have had a newfound appreciation of RuPaul's Drag Race (I've never watched a full-length episode of it, but I feel like I've watched the whole show via Tumblr), and Manila looked amazing. Plus, she's from Minneapolis! Represent! I also loved that she mentioned appearing out of drag to see Raja the previous night at First Avenue. Queens supporting other queens gives me a warm fuzzy.

I was heading out when I ran into Kevin! He told me he was staying at the Doubletree. Running into him was a delightful surprise, considering that he refers to The Saloon as "the zoo".

But to the zoo I went! Jared and Joey were there again, as was Wesley and his friend Howie. Howie is twinky and attractive, and has always been nice to me. I was mature, except when we were all in line and I told a boy next to me that Wesley is in love with me and just needs to get over me. Oh! There's another new character! A boy named Hugh!

Hugh was seeing Joey for a few weeks but he wanted things to be serious and Joey didn't. He is young (younger than Joey even) and didn't know any better. He came into work once and gave Joey a rose, and I pouted because the only thing the boys I like have ever given me is a headache. I said hello to him as I waited two hours to find an empty bathroom. I reunited with Wesley and Howie near the stage. "He has a crush on you," Howie said, but I rolled my eyes and paid no attention to it. It was triangle communication. It was unnecessary. It was confusing. I went to the dance floor where I ran into Football Guy! I hoped to be an adult and say more than five words this time.

"Football player!" I cried.
"Comedian!" he yelled. I was good at this.
"Your eyes are so blue," I whispered.
"Hey," he smiled. "Is that broski still giving you trouble?" Oh my god! Why am I always talking about broski when I am drunk? It must have been the night he called me a faggot.
"No, he's fine," I said.
"Okay," Football Guy smiled. "I'll beat him up for you if you need me to."
"DON'T!" I cried. "You probably could. He's up to your chest but he's built pretty solid."

I went home close to 3, and Kevin called asking if I wanted to stop at his room. I was wired so I accepted his offer. I took a bike cab because I thought it would be cheap, but it turns out it was a special event so they charged me $30 or something insane like that. I paid anyway, because Pride Weekend money is like Las Vegas money.

Kevin was staying in a room with three beds in it (a double and two singles) with a hallway separating the singles. His friend Raymond was sleeping in the other single bed, and two dudes were passed out in the double. Why was I even here? It was so late!

I don't even remember what we discussed, and I refused to take my shirt off because I had been excessively attempting to shave my chest and I was a red, blotchy unsexy mess. I still enjoyed myself because spooning is an American pastime. However, I had to get up early because I was going to watch the parade from the rooftop the next morning with Liam and Cagefighter. Ryan Robertson briefly showed up to grab some alcohol. You see everybody during Pride weekend!

I woke up with a sense of urgency in the morning. It was time for the parade and brunch, the best two things in the world! "I have to go!" I cried to Kevin, who is always a zombie in the morning. "Aren't you gonna watch the parade?"
"Mmmmmmffffffggghhh," he responded.
"Well, it was good to see you," I said. "Give me a kiss." I surprised the both of us with the level of my directness, but at least the boy reciprocated.

I sprinted outside of the hotel and the actor who was playing the broski in They Shoot 25-Year-Old Gay Men, Don't They? was outside of the hotel! I said hello, but had to be terse as I was already running late and I didn't want to keep Cagefighter waiting. I brazenly chose to wear a cut-off midriff shirt and Quiksilver short shorts as if I had the body for it. I met Cagefighter and Liam on the rooftop of Union, and we could barely see anything. We ended up going to Chambers and spent most of the parade getting drunk indoors. It was just like Stonewall, you guys.

Liam went to vamoose with others, and I was to spend the afternoon in the park with Cagefighter. Unfortunately, I totally ruined what was supposed to be a sexy afternoon. First, I had to pee every five seconds. Then I was convinced I had a urinary tract infection and then I was convinced I had a sexually transmitted disease even though I hadn't actually been engaging in that kind of behavior. Then my eyes started watering to the point that I couldn't see and Cagefighter had to guide me around Loring Park like a seeing-eye dog. He eventually got tired of me, and I didn't blame him. I took some eye drops, bought the pills that make your pee neon orange, and took a nap. I briefly went back to the park, where I ran into Becks! We discussed my Internet porn career and then his friend told me my penis looked like it had an infection, and then I told his friend to shut the fuck up. On a lighter note, I ran into my uncle Ander and enjoyed a light dinner with him, his girlfriend and a delightful lesbian couple. I felt truly lucky that during Pride weekend I could enjoy the company of both my gay family and my real family, as not everyone in my circle has that.

OK, so here's how disgusting I am. I had no clean underwear. I first went to The Saloon with no underwear, but my undercarriage was sweating profusely and I could not enjoy myself. I know, you guys. I am disgusting. I walked back to my apartment and mercifully found a clean pair. At that point, Peter had texted me and I decided I would wait until he came to my apartment. I was so excited to see him, as he was soon going to move to the East Coast for school. Also joining us was the actor playing the twink in the show. We pre-gamed at my apartment and didn't leave until midnight. Wesley was at The Saloon and was upset that I was taking so long, but that was par for the course at this point.

We got to The Saloon and Wesley was talking to a policeman. He saw my outfit and looked like he was about to hurl.
"You look like a 12-year-old girl," he said. "You look absolutely ridiculous."
"Excuse me?" I cried. "It is Pride Weekend." I looked just fine in my midriff shirt and camo short shorts. Wesley, on the other hand, was in a golf knit and what I can only describe as "dad shorts". "You look ridiculous."

Wesley's demeanor was upsetting me, so I ditched him and had a tequila shot with Cagefighter. I honestly didn't need to be with him that night. This was to be a night of fun and mingling, and his cranky pants were not going to bring me down.

I took pictures with my disposable camera (a Pride tradition!) and was happy to pose with Peter and Under Armour and random hot shirtless guys. My new tradition was to boo whenever a hot guy put his shirt back on. Peter and I continued to mingle when we ran into Kevin!

"Kevin!" I cried. "I thought you were going back home!"
"No, we got a room downtown," he said. "You guys should come after this."
"Okay," I giggled, because Kevin turns me into a teenager. There was a random short man he was talking to, but I was too full of pride to roll my eyes.

After The Saloon shut down and Pride was sadly over, Peter and I found ourselves in Kevin's swanky hotel room. His friend Raymond was in the bed again. Peter revealed his newfound BANGIN' body and talked about his exercise routine. At one point he mentioned that he benched 120 for 10 reps. I sat down next to him.

"Do it!" I joked. But then he actually did it.
"Let go of me!" Peter yelled. "I can actually do it!"
"I'm gonna fall on you and kill you!" I cried. But nope, that boy was able to bench me ten times, and Raymond cracked up.

Peter found himself, erm -- canoodling with Raymond, at which point the awkward short man came to the room. Kevin always does this. I swear, we would be at the altar and he would be like, "Oh, Jakey, this is Corey. He's gonna be my weekend husband. That's cool, right?" COMMENCE EYE ROLL.

Still, I wanted to be nice and hear the short guy's story. Turns out he was an amateur photographer. He told us he photographed both nature and porn. Um, okay, then. I just started drinking more. He mentioned something about holding grudges.
"Are you a Cancer?" I asked.
"I don't need to tell you," the short guy said.
"Really?" I asked. "I innocuously was inquiring about your zodiac sign because holding grudges is a typical trait of them. You're acting like I asked for your goddamned Social Security number."
Kevin's mouth was moving, almost as if he was trying to prevent a smile.
"Well, I'm sorry," the guy said. "I didn't know it was such a big deal to you."
"I don't really care," I said. "I was bored and was trying to make myself interested in this conversation."
"Jakey, why don't you go to bed?" Kevin asked.
"Ugh, fine," I whined, and I crawled into his bed.

"So, you're sure you're straight?" Kevin asked the gross photographer.
"Yeah," lied the gross photographer.
"But you've been tempted before?" Kevin asked.

I WAS NOT DOING THIS AGAIN. I had done this enough times. I was not going to lie in bed while Kevin banged this photographer.

"I'm leaving," I announced as I stormed out of bed.
"What, it's 4:30 in the morning----?" Kevin said.
"Whatever," I said. "Have a good night. Peace out."

I slammed the door behind me, ready to do the walk of shame down Nicollet Avenue.

It was 4:30 in the morning, as Kevin said, and there was glitter all over the sidewalk. There was also nary a soul. It was just me. I felt like I was in a gay zombie horror movie. I began to feel nervous and vulnerable in my midriff shirt and short camo shorts. Wesley was right. I did look ridiculous. Also, I think I left my keys in that asshole Kevin's hotel room.

Mercifully, I ran into Victor at an intersection.
"Jakey," he said. "Is that you?"
"Yes," I said. "Is this real life, Victor? Are we dreaming?"
"I can't find my hotel," he said. "I'm staying at The Millennium."
"I know where that is," I said. "I will take you there."

I slept in his bed. I would have spooned him but he had glitter all over his body, and glitter takes forever to get out of anything (I still had some on my face for a week after Pride, and I tried my best to avoid those full of it).

I woke the next morning, frantically calling Peter and Kevin. Neither was answering their phones. I decided to walk back to the fancy hotel, which was connected to a tower in the skyway. It was now Monday. Most of Minneapolis was in business attire. I, on the other hand, was still rocking my midriff shirt and camo short shorts. I was supporting the troops, god dammit.

They still didn't answer when I got to the Marquette Hotel, so I walk-of-shamed all the way down Nicollet Avenue again, and had to be let into my apartment by the building managers. I was preparing to write a check to replace my keys when Peter called! He had my keys! And he and Kevin were still at the hotel! I agreed to drive us to the after-Pride party at Lawrence's houses, which is a bigger deal than the damn parade.

The after-pride party is when Lawrence hosts all of Minneapolis at his house, and you basically drink more than you do during the weekend, but it is still called the Recovery Party. Just go with it.

I went over details with Peter first, and then, because I am a teenager, I asked if Kevin banged the short photographer.
"Oh, no, honey," Peter said. "That boy slept on the couch."
"He didn't even get the bed?" I asked. "They didn't even snuggle?"
"Nope. Boy got couched."

I still had to smooth things over with Kevin, so I called him as well.
"I didn't realize you were so upset," he said.
"I was projecting," I said. "I was still mad about somebody else."
"You told me to stop talking about him, so I don't want to bring him up."
"Well, I forget."
"The broski."
"Oh, yes. Him. Yeah, I don't like when you talk about him. It makes me .. oddly jealous."

Kevin and Raymond went to the recovery party on their own, but Peter and I had to run errands! We had to change clothes, buy underwear because my lazy ass still hadn't done laundry, take showers, stop to get his paycheck, and buy food and drinks for the party to be good guests! I was proud of us that we got there before 5 P.M., and even used blonde ambition to get from St. Paul to North Minneapolis on a quicker route than our GPS was sending us on.

"Your boyfriend is here," Liam was texting me.
"Which one?" I asked, but I knew he meant Kevin.

It was a bit awkward when we first arrived because Chuck was there. I wouldn't have said that Chuck and I had been fighting lately, but he was getting frustrated with my constant state of Kevin Kevin Kevin Wesley Wesley Wesley, and I was worried he would be upset that I arrived with Peter. Everything ended up okay, and with Peter's blessing, I went up to Chuck first.

"Your boyfriend is here," Chuck laughed.
"He's not my boyfriend," I said, and I looked over at Kevin, who was standing by the fence with strangers, smoking a Merit. His gut was protruding. He didn't use to smoke.
"Yep," I said. "That's my hubby."

Peter and I went to go make cocktails.

"Hurry up!" I cried. "I want to go flirt with Kevin."
"What?" Kevin asked, who was right behind me.
"God dammit," I said. "Hi, how are you?"

I continued flirting and mingling, but Kevin soon voiced that he wanted to go home. To be fair, it was almost 7:00 and he had been there for five hours, the first three of which were without me.

"Okay," I said. "It was good to see you."
"Can't you drive me home?" he asked.
"Ugh, nooooo," I said. "You live so far awayyyyyyy."
"Don't," Peter said. Peter was upset with Kevin because Kevin had spent much of the day boasting about his education and socioeconomic status. I tried to explain that that is because Kevin achieved such education and socioeconomic status with the stack decked against him, but, just as with Wesley, I had to stop apologizing for boorish behavior of the objects of my affection.
"I'll come right back," I said. I was upset, too, because Ryan Robertson had just shown up, and it's like, Pride tradition for me to awkwardly flirt with Ryan Robertson. I also could tell Peter was uncomfortable with being alone with certain people.
"Do you promise?" Peter said.
"Yes," I said, and I meant it.

Kevin and I got to my car.
"I had to get out of there," he said. "TOO MUCH GAYNESS. It was like the gay zoo in there."
"Whatever," I blasted, because I still couldn't believe I was doing this. "You masculine gay men think you're God's gift to the world."
"That's really harsh," he said. "Take that back."
"No," I said, because I was a mature adult.

I took my shirt off in the car because I was roasting. "Will I get sunburned in the car?" I asked.
"Really?!" he asked. "You get sunburned any time the sun hits your skin. Wow. I had maybe too high of an opinion of you."
"SO RUDE," I said. "I'm driving you all this way."
"I don't think you should go back to the party," he said. "I think we should just hang out and drink at my house."
"No!" I cried. "I promised Peter I would go back. And I have other friends there."
"Is this because I don't have a backwards baseball cap on?"
Well-played, Kevin Thomson. Well-played.
"You were really mad last night," he said.
"It was deja vu all over again," I said. "The very first time I hung out with you at your apartment you pulled that shit where you brought somebody else over. I wasn't gonna deal with it."
"Well, you clearly liked me much more than I knew you did," he said. Yepppppppppppp.

"I don't think I can ever have a relationship ever again," he said. "But my mom won't stop raving about you. I really like you, and I know you like me, and I don't know why we don't ever do anything about it."

"And now you're not saying anything."

What I was thinking: Why did this conversation not happen a year ago? Six months ago, even? Yes, I *was* crazy about you, but in January you decided you liked Quinn instead, and that was when I began learning how to let you go. And now there's this other boy in the picture who has cut my heart out and pissed on it. I just can't deal with this right now, broseph!

We clarified his boyfriend situation (his ex-boyfriend still lists them as an item on Facebook because he can't let go. Allegedly.) I told him to not expect full-on intercourse because I don't do that right now. I even used the word intercourse. I know.

I did not go in the house because he forgot he had co-workers over (Kevin is not as closeted the way Wesley is, but I don't think he is openly gay at his workplace, which I understand and respect). I got out of the car and couldn't stop smiling. What the what. I said I would come to his Fourth of July party.

"I'm over parties like the one I was at today," I said.
"I love them!" I said."I'm social! Say hi to your mom."
"See!" he cried. "Exactly!"

I stopped at the liquor store on the way home and took a cab back to the party. I sat across from someone who was telling a story, and I made the mistake of trying to dive in.
"This is an A-B conversation," he hissed.
"Well, you're a real C," is the response that I thought of four days later. I would find myself seated across from the only asshole at the recovery party. Shade is for lounging, even in the summertime.

A friend who works at CVS graciously agreed to develop my disposable camera for me. Peter and I cabbed back home to Loring Park and ordered sandwiches. I gave him my Gucci jacket as a going-away present, because I looked okay in it, but that boy just looked bangin'.

Next week: We recap July! I turn a year older! So does America! And will the show go on?



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Loring Park Episode #31: Knowing the Score

Previously on Loring Park:

Holy crap, people. This episode starts at the beginning of June. We basically have to go over the entire summer in just two or three episodes. There will be drama, tears, and laughter.

It is difficult to write about things that happened so long ago. Not just from a memory standpoint, but because a lot can change in the span of a season. One of the reasons that this episode is so delayed is that much of my summer was spent working on a Fringe Festival play, which transformed from a one-man show into an ensemble comedy that I was writing, directing, and starring in.

But the other reason -- the immature, shameful reason -- is knowing that, at least for part of this episode, I'm a real piece of shit.

Here we go.

Friday, August 16, 2013


Children, this show is still on the air! It just so happens that one gets busy when they decide to put on an ensemble show in two months.

Season 2 of Loring Park will officially end with closing night of They Shoot 25-Year-Old Gay Men, Don't They?

But in the meantime, we have June, July *and* August to cover, and I promise to be working on them diligently throughout the week.

Until then, hopefully this preview will hold you together:

*Jakey finds out that tequila turns him into a rancid bitch!
*My very own feud!
*A surprising new partner in crime for Pride weekend!
*Kevin comes back! And so do feelings!
*I turn 27! AAAGGGHHH!!
*Will I ever get a Tweet back from my favorite local news reporter?
*I even go to Jetset!

Hang on, boys and girls, and we'll get through the summer together ...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Loring Park Episode #30: I Like Boys That Wear Abercrombie & Fitch

Previously on "Loring Park": Jakey was going to work on his one-man show for the Fringe Festival and FOCUS ON NOTHING ELSE.

It's been a month, children! I apologize for taking so long between episodes. We are headed into the steamy summertime in Minneapolis, and you know that I love summer. I was born in the summer, and it is when I feel the most alive.

I also feel almost sexual, but that's because I put out for air conditioning. Here we go.


Of course, the nights blur together. One of the weekends was Wesley's birthday, and I bought him a present because I am a big stupid saphead. He was running late, and I began to panic when I was at The Saloon. My anxiety has become much worse lately, and "Wesley is running late" soon became "Oh god, what if Wesley crashed into a tree?!" My friend Cordero (from episode one!) was there, and calmed me down by introducing me to a shot called a Blonde Headed Slut. It has Jagermeister in it, and I usually stay away from dark liquor, but it did manage to calm my nerves.

Besides, so many other people were there to focus on! THE ORIGINAL SOUTH DAKOTA was there! He even bought me a drink! I should have asked him to pick me up for old times' sake, but I was feeling fat I walked by the impossible sexiness that is Football Guy. He doesn't remember my name, so he said, "Hey, comedian." "Hey, football player," I smiled, and I'm sure I was as red as the paint in what some call The Red Room (I just call it T.J.'s bar). Piano Man was there for his birthday! We discussed my anxiety issues and we practiced breathing exercises on the patio.

Wesley finally showed up and we sat by the fireplace. I gave him his present and then tried to hug him like a broski. I don't know if I did it right. We sat down and then Running Back came over to yell at Wesley for playing "hard to get". I felt awkward because I like Running Back (he's my unofficial dance coach!), so I just pretended to be too drunk to notice what was going on.

I was out at The Saloon the next night (quelle surprise!), and was reunited with Sprite and Abercrombie! Abercrombie is the boy who I sat next to in the hot tub at the New Year's Eve party and he has abs that could be insured for millions of dollars. I re-introduced myself, and then Liam and Roger came in. They had been Sunday Funday-ing and drinking since noon, and could not contain themselves. I bought Sprite and Abercrombie Blonde Headed Sluts from Danny, but then Roger basically started humping Abercrombie, and I was mortified!! We are judged by the company we keep, and now I worry that I will forever be seen by them as an old drunk pervert. There was another very cute boy who was going to the U of M and tried to stop an older man from hitting on me, and I should have asked for his hand in marriage. Or at least remembered his damn name.

I decided to associate myself with better-behaved company, so I was happy to run into South Dakota Version Two!  One of the many reasons I want to be South Dakota Version Two when I grow up is because he has a banging body and yet has no shame in eating French Fries at The Saloon. I, on the other hand, don't even want people at The Saloon to know I eat solid foods or have a digestive tract.

We discussed mutual acquaintances, and then the conversation turned to Wesley's birthday. SDV2 asked if it would be awkward if he messaged him. That's when I realized they didn't know each other as well as I thought they did. Still, I found nothing odd about it, and SDV2 wrote to him on Facebook. No harm, no foul.

I was reunited with Markie and his pals, and he graciously agreed to drive me home, but at first I wasn't listening because I was drunkenly flirting with Ryan Robertson. Ryan was pretty drunk, too, and we discussed the cultural zeitgeist at large and the conflict in Syria.

I somehow got shotgun, and Ryan and Markie's roommate Stephen sat in the back. I live far too close to The Saloon, but it's always nice to have a ride home. Markie pulled into my parking lot, and as he put on the brakes, Ryan shifted his body from the back seat and kissed me on the lips.

He probably won't remember doing it, and I won't ever bring it up (to his face!). That being said, I don't mean to worship the man, but his lips are like velvet pillows.


Friday, May 3, 2013

Loring Park Episode #28: Healthy Boundaries

Previously on Loring Park: Jakey told Wesley he liked him, and then his colon exploded. This episode is sponsored by Colace.

Everything has blurred together in this recent chapter of my life. I talk to my mom a lot about it lately. We didn't get along well when I was a teenager, but now that I am a 26-year-old man with the brain, mind and body of a 16-year-old girl, we have a solid mother/daughter relationship.

"You just need to establish healthy boundaries," she told me. In an episode about healthy boundaries, I am going to begin by publicly sharing on the Internet that I broke my butt.

It did not happen from sex. I have the sex life of a nun. Nevertheless, I went to my general practitioner. Fortunately -- or unfortunately, depending on your take on it -- my general practitioner is a dreamboat and looks like he could be a token husband on Army Wives. He is of the belief that my angry asshole is a combination of my IBS and anxiety, the latter of which is woefully not being treated.

After everything was, erm, examined, I sat down and he looked at me with his soft, cobalt eyes. "Has anything else been going on?" he asked.
"My job has been stressful," I said.
"Okay," he said softly. "Anything else?"

I would have elaborated, but I decided to stay silent. The man had already had to examine my booty. To tell him my novel of emotional affairs and juvenile feelings would have just been cruel.

"Do you have any questions?" he calmly asked, and I felt like a pre-teen getting a "grown-up" talk from my father or surrogate parental figure.
"Can I have sex?" I asked him. He knew what kind of sex I was talking about.
"No," he said. "If I have a broken arm, I'm not going to give you a hi-five." He laughed sheepishly. Then I wanted to ask if he wanted to practice kissing.

He gave me referrals to a psychiatrist and a gastroenterologist, and four days later I went to see a G.I. specialist, who recommended I get a colonoscopy. I have never had sex with the same person more than once, but I will have had two colonoscopies at the age of 26. Maybe colonoscopies and I should go steady.

Later, at my mom's house, we watched about four hours of Judge Judy. My mom DVR's it and then waits for the library to be full, and then she sits and has a Judge Judy marathon with her cats. The woman is living the dream! If you've seen one episode of Judge Judy, you have seen them all. There is always a young woman who is ostensibly intelligent and has her shit together, but she meets a man and then her mind turns into Play-doh. She either co-signs a lease, or a vehicle, or sells a vehicle, or lets a man drive her car without a title, or lets a man move in without paying rent and then he damages things so she has to forfeit her security deposit, et cetera. She never sues him until they break up and she realizes that she was blindly in love and needs the money. There was even a lady from Duluth who gave her boyfriend four thousand dollars to buy a race car, and then he did one race and decided it was not going to be his passion. Judge Judy rarely rules in favor of these women, save for the one who legitimately sold a $6,000 car to this scrub in expectation of being paid with his tax refund, and Judge Judy refused to buy his claim that she was giving him a deal on the car and only expected a grand for it.

"These women!" I cried to my mother. "They meet these men and they lose their brain cells!"
"Hmm," my mother said. "That sounds like someone else I know."
"That's different," I pouted.
"Really?" my mother asked. "How is that?"
"You haven't seen Wesley in a T-shirt," I pouted.
"Well!" my mother cried. "That must explain everything."

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Loring Park Episode #27: Tears of a Class Clown

Previously on Loring Park: Jakey cried at The Saloon, and was revisited by a blast from the past.

I cry a lot in this episode. But it was never in front of everyone. I am maturing that way.

I did not cry on that first Saturday. My night began by telling jokes at Johnny Tequila's Drinking Taco. It was the night before Easter, so the crowd was sparse, and I was exhausted having worked a 50-hour week (which I realize that some people do all year around). Mommy was tired, y'all. After only one vodka tonic, my brain cells were shot, and my routine did not go very well. I told all four audience members that I was Bette Midler in The Rose, and nobody knew what I was talking about.

Wesley was adamant about going to LUSH, so he agreed to pick me up downtown. I usually chastise him for wearing the same stupid hoodie, but tonight he cleaned up good and wore a white Banana Republic button-down. I was proud, and somewhere a gay angel got his wings. Earlier that night, Liam texted me asking if he could sleep over, and while I wasn't thrilled about it, I was happy that he was texting at 7:30 P.M. and not at 1:30 A.M. I said it was probable, but that I wasn't sure if we would even be at The Saloon or not.

When we got to LUSH, I panicked and realized I had lost my Listerine strips! I even speculated bringing a back-up pack in case this would happen! "Oh, no!" I cried. I have OCD about Listerine strips. My greatest fears are tarantulas and halitosis.  "If I give you $10, can we go to the gas station to get Listerine strips?"
"What?!" Wesley asked. "Now? We just got here."
"I can't have bad breath!" I cried.
"Oh my god," Wesley cried. "You are worse than a chick."

He unlocked the car, and my Listerine strips were on the passenger seat! Hooray! Crisis averted!

"Do you have everything else?" he asked. "You probably need your ID. You look 12."

Not really, but it was a moment.

LUSH wasn't very crowded. We didn't know anybody there except Jason Matheson from FM 107, and by "know" I don't mean in a personal way. I texted my mother of his presence, and she begged me to say something (I still think my mom wakes up and hopes for a few seconds that I grew up to be Jason Matheson before the ugliness of reality sets in), but he was off the clock and I felt it would be rude. Wesley told me of his recent trip to California, but other than that, we sat in mutual boredom. He asked the staff why the place was so dead, and he explained that everyone was at the Eagle. I texted Joey and Jared, and they were there, too! Was The Eagle having a big event that night? Wesley and I wanted to go to The Saloon, but we agreed that we could stop at The Eagle to see what all the fuss was about.

Here's a primer about The Eagle for those of you not familiar with the Minneapolis gay club scene: There is something for everyone, truly. The Saloon, typically, is a younger, trendier, sexy crowd. Jetset is a trendy, sexy, older and more professional crowd (any time I introduce myself to anyone there, I get my own name corrected. "Jake," the Jetsetters say, with firm handshakes). The Gay '90s is hardly considered a gay club anymore. LUSH, the winner of Best Gay Bar in the City Pages last year, is a crapshoot, but on Wednesdays it attracts the same crowd that The Saloon does.

The Eagle, on the other hand, is for those who would not necessarily feel comfortable at The Saloon. The Eagle has bear nights and leather nights. The event we were attending, complete with $7 cover, was called "Bear-a-cudda." I paid the cover since I could already tell that this wasn't a great idea.

We were on our way in when I realized my phone was in the car, but we couldn't find it. "Call my phone," I demanded of Wesley. He did so, but it was stuck under the back seat.

"I'll get it," he declared, and I stood with the back passenger door open while he crouched below the passenger seat. Not only did this look lewd from a certain angle, but I also blushed when I realized I was totally checking out his butt. "I have a hockey booty," a forlorn customer struggling to buy a suit told me a few months ago. I get it now.

Wesley and I walked in, and Joey and Jared were right by the exit. I hugged them and introduced them to Wesley, and soon ran into my fellow comedian friend (and cub!), Matt Iverson! I didn't even notice the hairy, overweight men walking around in their underwear. It's The Eagle. You go there and you expect that. It's part of the scenery, just as The Saloon has the go-go boys and The Gay '90s has drunk 18-year-old girls who are still in love with their hopelessly gay twink pals.

Wesley was not one to hear of my explanation that the gay subculture offers something for everyone, and the further we walked into the bar, the more, erm -- Eaglish -- it got. The men somehow got hairier, fatter, and more scantily clad.

"OH MY GOD," Wesley couldn't stop yelling. "This is not for me. We need to go." But I had paid $14! And it was too crowded for us to turn on our heels and leave. I was beginning to grow worried not just for Wesley's state of mind, but also for his physical safety. His volume was getting louder, and the last thing I wanted was for a muscle bear to pulverize him into the ground (Wesley has an athletic build, and don't think I haven't noticed it, but I didn't want to take any chances). However, the only thing that was about to be pulverized was my ego.

"IS THERE ANYONE ATTRACTIVE HERE?!" Wesley yelled a bit too loud.
"Wesley," I said. "I'm right here."
Then he busted out laughing, in a genuine, boisterous manner that was bigger than any reaction I had at Johnny Tequila's earlier. "That's the funniest thing you've said all night!!" he sputtered.

We went downstairs, where Wesley only grew more traumatized. I bid a quick and regretful good-bye to Joey and Jared, and we were on our way to The Saloon. I convinced Wesley to not start swearing until we got in the car, because I didn't want to get beat up.

"I'm sorry I brought you there!" I cried. He was in no mood to hear my speech about subcultures and how everyone should be celebrated. Liam was texting me and I told him I was en route to The Saloon. I could tell from his texts that he was already wasted. Oh, yay.

Wesley parked the car and I meant to take one Listerine strip, but the wind blew them up and I accidentally took all of them at once! I failed to avoid a Listerine Strip crisis!

"Wesley!" I whined. "Do you have any gum? Or mints?"
"No," he scoffed.
"Oh no! What am I gonna do?!" I was in panic attack mode.

We tried to look for Liam when we got to The Saloon, but I was also nervous because Football Guy was there! The 6'4" sex god whom I once told was a unicorn! "Wesley!" I cried. "One of my biggest crushes is here! I'm so nervous! I'll point him out when he walks by!" He did, and he was with two fifths of the Pretty Girl Mafia, but he was with two of the five that rarely and never talk to me, so my presence was not acknowledged. Also, I had awful breath! I ended up sipping Rumpelmintz like it was water. I finally saw a boy who gave me gum (his name is Tommy and I met him after the Kathy Griffin show in December), and I will never forget it.

"Well," Wesley said as Football Guy and his heaving pectoral muscles walked by. "I'm glad one of us thinks he's cute." Fascinating! Liam showed up and we discussed classical architecture. Meanwhile, Wesley was busy texting Quinn, who was out of town. While Liam was blathering in my ear, I saw a moment happen on Wesley's face. It was a genuinely affected smile, and a look that I had never seen him give me. I realized that I would be the boy that makes him laugh, but never the one that made him smile. It was a feeling that would recur over the week.

I wasn't crying yet.

We were back at T.J.'s bar in attempts to mingle and Liam went to Froot Loop. Wesley was still texting Quinn and I acquainted myself with Cagefighter for a while. As I was finishing my drink, Liam came back and tried to look at Wesley's cell phone, which didn't go over well.

"You better try to keep him," Liam said. "A boy like that isn't gonna be single very long."
"Yes, I know," I said. Liam sauntered off and Wesley glared as he left.
"What were you guys talking about?" Wesley asked.
"Um .... Easter," I said.

Cagefighter was getting hit on by a group of Asian twinks, and then RYAN ROBERTSON showed up! Liam and I instantly turned into teenage girls.
"Hi, Ryan," we both sang.
"I feel like you are a pop singer and every time we see you, we turn into the Ryanettes," I complained. "Are you going to brunch tomorrow?"
"Nah," Ryan said in his Lochte-like cadence. "My mom texted me and asked if I would come for lunch."
"Well, that's nice!" I agreed. "Cagefighter! Are you going to brunch tomorrow?"
"Yeah, probably at noon," he said. Hooray! Despite my emotional turmoil, I could look forward to brunch.

Wesley left, and Liam and I paid $20 for a petty-cab (which is when a cute boy in a bicycle drives you to your apartment).
"So, Wesley likes Quinn," I yelled, because I was drunk and rancid. "And remember when Kevin liked Quinn, too? And I'm fine with that. Quinn is cute, and he's a nice person! I'm not gonna hate him just because my crushes always like him! But I will say that my fake TV show is no longer called Loring Park. It is called Everybody Loves Quinn. On CBS at 8 PM on Wednesdays."