Friday, January 22, 2016

Loring Park Episode #56: The People I Met

Because it has been so long since I have done an episode, we are going to buck tradition this week month whatever.

I have met the most fascinating people over the past two months, in my continuously erratic and messy life.

And then I'm gonna blog a lot more often and we'll get back to normal! I promise.

The Comedy Section

I had a show at The Mounds Theater in St. Paul with my good friend Elizabeth Ess and the talented Pat Bauer and Cici Cooper. It is an old movie theater where they now do comedy shows.

There were five people in the audience and the Mike & Ikes were stale. Of those five people, one was my father and three were my friend Chad and his two friends.

Elizabeth would book the venue the following month and they had it half-full. Show business is the devil.

Still, I enjoyed walking to the convenience store with Cici as she remarked that the neighborhood we were in reminded her of New York.

Last Comic Standing

My mother and I went to go see the Top 5 of Last Comic Standing at Mystic Lake Casino. Andy Erikson was a major source of encouragement in my early career. I went to her wedding reception. After the show, all five comics were graciously signing autographs and merchandise. I was too shy to talk to any of them. Even Andy, who, I like, know. I finally got a picture with her. I wanted pictures with other comics but I just clammed up for some reason. I get like that sometimes. I was like that with Bianca del Rio, too, but that was a week after I had a major personal relationship fall apart and I would have been sad about anything. All five were hilarious and we had a great time. I had lost my debit card TWO DAYS BEFORE so my mother lent me $60 to lose on slot machines. I never paid her back, either.

I have borrowed so much money from her. Two hours ago I got another overdraft notice. It never ends. She tells me that if nothing changes, nothing changes. I am beginning to realize she is right. I'm not just realizing it, I'm just in less denial about it.

I have come to realize that I am not addicted to alcohol nearly as much as I am addicted to people. And people cost money because Uber costs money and then there is cover and then I am going to have a drink or two or three.

And the people. Oh, the people I have met.

I was lucky enough to perform in the 10,000 Laughs Comedy Festival this year. It is the third year that the Twin Cities comedy scene has put it on, and they invite comics from all over the country. Because I am horrendous about checking my e-mails, I had assumed I was only performing in the Thursday show of that week. It was not until I chose to Google myself like an asshole that I realized I WAS IN TWO SHOWS ON SATURDAY. WHATTTTTT.

My co-worker Annette graciously switched shifts with me on Saturday so I could get to the Comedy Corner by 7. Work was crazy busy and I left early without permission. Not only that, but I was supposed to drive Jared home and he was going shopping and instead of waiting five extra minutes for him I told him to take the train, because his dilly-dallying (to use a phrase of my mother's) had negated my leaving early and now I was going to get in trouble with management for no reason. When I got to The Corner Bar, I wasn't on the list to perform in the first show. This was all karma. My diva antics caught up to me. I was a nobody and show business continued to be the devil. Bob Edwards, who helps run the festival, caught the error and fixed it, and all was well. I did a show at 8 and then a show that didn't start until 12:29 A.M. It was COMEDY, it was fervid, and I wonder what everyone thought about the strange little man huddled in a hoodie in the green room for most of the night. I went to The Saloon after 2 and texted my bartender of my drink of choice so that he could make it before serving was officially stopped. This is why I am broke. Why can't I ever stay home?????

The comedy shows were sandwiched between my high school reunion, an event that I was dreading but actually enjoyed. I went to The Saloon when that was over, too. Why? Why, why, why???? Tales of An Aging Bar Star Who Did Not Get a Degree and Does Not Work at Target Corporate.  I didn't change very much from high school. I still have a crush on the dumb jock and the devout Christian guy, the latter of which I didn't talk to until the end and I am sure I absolutely terrified his wife by inviting myself to the baptism of their first child whenever they have one. Evangelicals don't even have baptisms. They have dedications.

Boys Boys Boys

I went to Halloween with Piano Man. He was in my bathroom in gold lame underwear trying to put on his sexy Pharoah costume. He is tan and chiseled and I got the vapors.

"Jakey," he asked. "Can you help me?"
I declined because I was about to faint and also because I have the fine motor skills of an infant.
"JARED," I declared. "Will you help Piano Man with his costume?"

Jared saw the show and was also at a lack of words.

"Jared," I said, "Remind me to call the plumber tomorrow. I think that pipe burst and now the basement is flooded."
"Oh, I checked already," Jared said. "The basement is very flooded."
"Oh no," said Piano Man. "Can I help?"
"No," I said. "You have done enough damage."

We gallavanted to First Avenue for the Flip Phone Event and met up with Joey and his sisters. There was a sexy Swedish Chef from The Muppets and no one knew who it was. That made me sad. I danced with Under Armour because he was wearing a coconut bra and not much else. I LOVE GAY HALLOWEEN.

The next day, Jared's boss had a question about his Facebook post. "What happened to your basement?" she asked with wide eyes. Flushed with embarrassment, I didn't stick around to hear his answer.


I acquainted myself with a couple who explained they were in an open relationship. I was sitting next to an adorable twinky singer and a boy from Montana who was a Wilhelmina Model. He would later tell me that he hated modeling and he wished he didn't have to do it anymore. The boys in the relationship were explaining how open relationships work, and while I certainly had my own opinions, I realized I would learn more if I shut the fuck up. I never saw the model again. I see the singer a lot. He hangs with a different (read: way younger and prettier) crowd, but he's good people.

I fell in love for exactly 48 hours.

We were at The Saloon, of course. There was a boy there who was a broski epitomized, with his Ralph Lauren button-down and olive skin and tall, lean but muscular frame. Everyone's jaws were dropping. I don't know what it was -- the stimulants mixed with the tequila, the viewpoint that life is short or what -- but I felt like saying something instead of being an open-mouthed wallflower.

"Excuse me for being so forward," I said, "But you're very handsome." You're very handsome is classy. You're very handsome is not OMG you're sooooo hottttt. You're very handsome is not please fuck me.

"Thank you," he said. Even his teeth were perfect. He kind of reminded me of Kevin.

At the end of the night it was time for the sidewalk sale while we all waited for a cab or Uber. (The sidewalk sale, for the uninitiated, is when people wanting to get a hook-up wait outside the bar at closing time. These have lessened in the age of Grindr. Nevertheless, my sidewalk sale days are long gone. I am expired goods in a sea of fresh meat.)

The impossibly beautiful broski was off to hail a cab.

"Have a good night," I said.
"Aww, that's my DUDE," he said.
"Let's broski hug," I said.
"Nah," he said. "Let's hug for real."

We hugged and for three point five seconds I was literally dead. I would have told myself that I had a good run. I laughed. I loved. I saw Paris.

The next day, we somehow ended up at Jetset. It was a Saturday and so Joey, Jared and I decided to venture to The Saloon anyway, because The Saloon stays open until three even though they stop serving at two and we were still feeling social. Also, we must have started really late for some reason Maybe we worked. It is not important.

What is important is we were out on the patio that night when a crowd of gays were around a tall specimen and you could almost step in the drool on the cement. And mid-sentence, he stopped all that was around him ...

"Hey," he said with a concave grin. "My buddy."
"Hiiiiiiii," I said, and I could feel myself turning red.
My friend from high school asked if he was straight. I hate when gay guys do that. When women do it, it's okay, like when my friend Kate and I were at Honey and found out the cute bartender was bisexual.
He said he was straight but I didn't care as this was an eighth grade crush and I was going to have the best of it.

I talked about myself and life for as long as I could and he wouldn't stop smiling.

"Are you always like this?" he asked.
"He is," Jared said, almost sadly.
"I've just never met anyone that's so ... animated," he smiled.
"It's exhausting," he said.
Joey could not stop laughing. "You always use that dumb 'bro' voice for every straight guy you meet," he said. "But he actually sounds like that!"

We went to the dance floor and a Stage Five Clinger of a woman kept trying to dance with him. "Dance with me," he pleaded. "Just say you're my boyfriend."

I danced but not too close because I didn't want to get a boner. Then his friend who was short but muscular tried dancing with me. I didn't know what to do. I felt like I was on display like Melissa Gorga. Was this a test? For once, Joey and Jared were staring at me as if I was the belle of the ball. I didn't dance with his friend. The beautiful straight man left, but I gave him my number and told him to come to my next show. He did not come to the show and I would later lose my phone that had his number in it. Maybe he was a unicorn or all a dream. For an early Christmas present, my mother gave me a phone that is the size of a small doberman.

That was the only person I saw at the bar that gave me heart palpitations.

Well wait.

There was that one night ...

My mother told me not to go the bar.

 The whisper told me not to go the bar. 

I went to the bar an hour after I said I would be there thanks to a delightful wave of IBS and OCD that blended in a Saturday evening alphabet soup. The gentleman I was meeting was on his way out when I got there.

My friend calmed me down and fixed my shirt. He called me pregnant an hour later but I wasn't even that mad about it.

And at the bar, he stood right by me. Swigging a beer. Same flannel wear, same raspy voice, same smart blue eyes always hiding something. The whispers had been right. But here we were, for the first time in six months since he emphatically (and understandably) left my life, and it was meant to be, and I was going to conduct myself like an adult. I would not cry. I would not shriek. I would not swear. I would only say hello if initiated.

"Sean!" he yelled. Well, of COURSE he knew the gorgeous engaged heterosexual I had just met. I was now ready to throw away everything I had just said and unsolictedly bust his balls. "Of course you know Sean!" I was ready to cry.

...And then in a double-take later, I came to realize it was a different person. Looked and sounded damned similar, but close only counts in horseshoes. Or something. I don't know.

The movie in my mind had many different beginnings and endings.

In real life I got a most lovely beginning. The ending sucked but it was at least an ENDING. Some people don't even get that.

And on we go.

Maybe that's okay that it wasn't him. After all, this is what I looked like that night:

UGH. Also, I have no idea who that boy is. Doug wanted me to take a picture with him and I didn't argue.

Before I know it, I will be at the one-year mark when what seemed like the never-ending story finally ended -- as I said, it was a bad ending, but it ended. I can only accept it. Unlike the last big estrangement, I have only had one memorable dream about him. We were at a Starbucks in Dallas and I met who I assumed was his partner. We were cordial and he seemed very happy. I rarely drink coffee and I have never been to Dallas, unless you count the time I was stuck at the airport for eight hours and my aunt was so delirious she insisted that there was no such thing as Texas anymore.


My New Job

After seven years, I got a new job.

I am making a lot less money but I am a lot less stressed out and everyone tells me that no, eventually, I WILL make a lot more money, it just takes time and effort and hard work and all that fun stuff. The schedule is great and I am surrounded by gorgeous men all day. A girl could have it worse.



I went to a fancy dinner party at Marin Restaurant that I couldn't afford. My card got declined. People used words like "penthouse" and "cabin". When I got there I ran into the plexi-glass and that was when I was stone cold sober.  I had no business being there but I did sit across from the owner of Tiger Sushi and she was SO nice. I am forever a fan now.

Also, one Monday night Steve and I were going to Marin for Happy Hour but went to The Saloon, as we always do, and NICK AND JOE JONAS WERE THERE. I cannot have nice things.


Jared has a boyfriend. He stays over about eight days a week. He cleans up after himself and I like him well enough. I am trying to remain positive and think about that if we ever had a home invasion, it is one more person likely to attack the intruder. I stay at my parents' house a lot more often now. One time I wanted to stay over at Joey's but he had to work in the morning and I typed in all caps how hurt I was. That was an embarrassing 9 A.M. "Oh my god I was drunk and stupid" text that followed.

I have gained ten pounds and feel like a lonely and angry marshmallow.

30 is looming.

This is my new reality.

On we go.


And I will try to write MORE because we have so much to talk about next week.

Like Christmas
And New Year's (my favorite time of the year)
And my return to acting!!!! I got cast in a play. So exciting. So scary.

I wish you all a happy and prosperous 2016. Let's hang out more often this year.


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