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2013 Summer

2013 Summer Minneapolis-St. Paul pictures

Nine Inch Nails at the Xcel

Nine Inch Nails Xcel

I went to the Nine Inch Nails concert at the Xcel Energy Center last night.
Nine Inch Nails Xcel
It was my first Nine Inch Nails concert, and it was certainly… interesting.

NIN was a middle school favorite. I love Closer and the Perfect Drug …you know, the anthems.

This was the opening night of NIN’s Tension 2013 tour.

There were some technical glitches and he was a little tardy. Nothing serious though.

A substantial part of the concert was spent on the band’s new album, which I didn’t find terribly exciting. He did something like 5 or 6 new songs in a row, which most people didn’t seem to know.

The new material was supported by a pretty intense light show, but that did not make up for Trent Reznor’s lackluster performance.
Nine Inch Nails Xcel
Nine Inch Nails Xcel
It feels like he doesn’t know how to perform his new material.

He spent most of the new songs cemented in the same place and let his two sassy backup singers and the light show do most of the work.

Trent started playing some of his classics toward the end of the concert and that’s when the real show started. The gimmicky light show gave way to Trent flying around the stage and leading a huge sing-along.

Nine Inch Nails Xcel
The concert was okay but I don’t think anyone was blown away.

It’s sort of odd seeing NIN mellow out, but at least he’s still touring and performing.

Let’s just remember the good times though…

Nine Inch Nails: March Of The Pigs (1994) from Nine Inch Nails on Vimeo.

Edit: Explosions in the Sky was the opening band. Think Sigur Ros without the cool vocals. Definitely not stadium material.

2013 Summer Life memories Thomson Reuters

The Long Hard Road Out of Minneapolis

St. Paul Minnesota

The maids came this afternoon to clean my old place.

I left the keys with my neighbors and I’m officially a St. Paul boy now.

St. Paul Minnesota
It was a full-circle type of moment.

As a kid, I was really into John Grisham. I wanted to be the power-lawyers in his books – working long hours in big cities.

The law degree happened (at a decent school), and so did the long hours (albeit in advertising.) And so did the yuppie lifestyle…

Starbucks Apple

It’s nice to be here, but I decided tonight that this is just another step (rather than an end-point.)

My friend Tyler came over and we rehashed my crazy apartments and exes. We both decided that I’ve come a long way, but I still got some work left to do.

What I didn’t expect is that this ambition thing comes with a permanent sense of unrest. I can barely enjoy achieving goals because I’m already working on the next big thing.

Minneapolis was fun, but I’m too busy in St. Paul to reminiscence properly. These are my first world problems.

2013 Summer LGBT Life Miami Minneapolis-St. Paul pictures Thomson Reuters

My Incredible Summer

Miami Lincoln Road

What a summer!

After making it Iowa City and Chicago Gay Pride, I decided to surprise my mother in Miami. I haven’t been back to Miami in two years and she was not expecting me to just arrive at her doorstep at 6 a.m. on a Saturday morning.

Miami is as pretty and crazy as I remember it. Breast implants, crazy cars, body builders and drag queens…
Palace South Beach Drag Show

And palms. Lots of palms.
South Beach Miami

I’ve shifted to a 90-hour work week, so I did bring my work laptop with me to Miami.

Working from my South Beach hotel was amazing and I’ve determined that working vacations need to be a part of my life.
South Beach Miami

Miami was my last trip of the summer.

I was exhausted and my liver hurt, so I spent the rest of the summer enjoying Minneapolis. I made a point of going to the lakes and parks about three times a week and it was amazing. Minnesota isn’t half bad during the summer.

Lake of the Isles
Minnehaha Falls

At the beginning of August I began the epic move to Lowertown St. Paul.
New Apartment

I completely forgot how much moving sucks.

It reminded me of that line from White Noise  – “The more things I threw away, the more I found.”  –  I was just horrified by how much crap I own and ended up throwing a ton of it out.

Oh and yes, Ikea furniture is still horrible to put together. I had to have two friends help me with that bar stool. These are my first world problems.

I am so happy that I made the move to downtown St. Paul. This city is cute, historic, and I’m having a lot of fun.

Cathedral of St. Paul

This summer was perfect.

I made some hard choices to make it possible, but the incredible opportunities I had to travel and network make me sure that I made the right decision.

Chicago Gay Pride
Large drinks at Brass Rail
Townhouse Bar Drag Belize

I’m excited for fall and my new adventures in St. Paul.

Oh, and sleeping. I miss that.

2013 Summer Chicago LGBT Life pictures the details

Chicago Pride 2013

Chicago Pride 2013

I made it to the Chicago Gay Pride for the second year in a row!

The trip was completely spontaneous and probably ill-timed. I attempted to fly out during the storm of the century and ended up stranded at the airport for over three hours.

I looked pretty rough by the time I got out of O’hare, but nothing beat speeding through Chicago in a rented BMW while blasting Rick Ross. It would have felt completely gangster if I wasn’t giggling at myself the entire time.
The weekend was hilarious, although I am surprised by how many Minneapolis gays move to Chicago.
I felt like I was running into a former-Minnesotan at every-other-bar…

And of course… there are pictures.
Chicago Pride 2013

Chicago Pride 2013
Monica Beverly Hillz!
Chicago Pride 2013
Chicago Pride 2013

Chicago Pride 2013
Dita Ritz. No lotion needed.
Chicago Pride 2013
Chicago Pride 2013

Chicago Pride 2013

Chicago Pride 2013

Chicago Pride 2013
I love visiting Chicago, but I was so happy to come back to Minneapolis after the weekend.

Living in Chicago full-time would probably be too crazy, but the occasional crazy weekend with friends is perfect. I’ll be back next year!

2013 Summer LGBT Life pictures the details

Iowa City Gay Pride 2013

Iowa Fields

I remember when I first told my Miami friends that I was moving to Minnesota.

They were unified in their horror, but mostly because they thought I was moving to some desolate, backwoods place.

They were totally thinking about Iowa.

I recently took a trip to visit my friend Bryan in Iowa City.

The drive is uneventful, but pretty in its own way.
Iowa Fields
The drive was very long, and I was blasting trap music the entire way down. I wasn’t paying close enough attention to my speed however, and totally got slapped with a speeding ticket by Trooper McDreamy of Bumblewood County.

By the time I passed through Waterloo I was shocked to see buildings.

People actually live here!

Iowa City is actually a rather cute college town. The city is dominated by the massive University of Iowa and has a nice downtown area. I did have a strange feeling of  always being on campus though…

Oh, and it happened to be Gay Pride weekend!
Iowa Pride 2013
The Iowa City Gay Pride parade was the saddest four minute thing.

Iowa Pride 2013
Iowa Pride 2013
Iowa Pride 2013
Iowa Pride 2013
Iowa Pride 2013
Iowa Pride 2013

But hey, they tried.

The silence was the strangest part of the parade – none of the cars or floats played music. It made the block-long procession feel even smaller.

This was the most extravagant float in the parade:
Iowa Pride 2013

It’s from Studio 13, the only gay bar. Iowa’s finest.

And again, no music.

The underwhelmed crowd drifted toward the pedestrian mall after the parade ended. The mall was lined with booths but there was no music there either.

Not even the restaurants with outdoor seating had music.

It was odd, but amusing.

As with any pride, there was a great cross-section of the community: young, old, black, white, tan, punk, prep, etc. Oh! And there were these crazies holding up anti-gay signs:

Iowa Pride 2013
One girl decided to make her own sign and followed them around for about 20 minutes.
Iowa Pride 2013

“Sodomy is an abominable sin” / “But it feels so good!”

This sparked another faux-protest.

Iowa Pride 2013

There was a stage set up in the pedestrian mall. Everyone congregated there and things picked up once the performances and drag shows started.
Alaska Thunder

The Iowa City drag shows were entertaining and surprisingly good, but most of the girls are from the same drag family and interchangeable.

We went to Studio 13 both nights and I was again surprised by the quality of the drag.

They also had a special guest:

Alaska Thunder

Alaska Thunderfuck from Drag Race! Hiiiiii!
Studio 13 is small but just like any other gay bar – aggressive hair, strong cologne, and at least three people face-planting on the floor.
I had a lot of fun, but I’m sure the $3 long islands helped.

Alaska Thunderfuck Gif

We ended up going to several other douchey college bars so it was a long drive home on Sunday…but I had a great time that weekend and will definitely visit Iowa again.

I think my next adventure is dancing in Des Moines!