This week, Jake goes out with comedian and writer Brian Bahe. The two share their thoughts on “Close Friends” stories on social media and meth, plus a discussion on the giant seafood paella at one NYC gay club. Tune in for more.
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Jake Cornell: You could describe me as “in a studio.” That is a way to describe me. Are you in a studio apartment? No.
Briah Bahe: I wish.
J: Babe, how are you?
B: So well. Just kidding. I don’t know. I had therapy this morning, so I’m feeling somewhat good.
J: You had therapy this morning. Do you like having it in the morning?
B: Yes, versus the evening.
J: Yes. I think it’s tough. Doing it after work is tough.
B: Also, I just hate having it on my calendar. I just want to get it over with.
J: You view it like — you don’t look forward to therapy? I love therapy. I actually love it.
B: I feel good once it’s actually happening, but when it’s on my calendar, it’s just another thing to do, and I’m like, “f*ck.”
B: The whole time, I’m like, “Should I cancel? Should I cancel? Should I cancel?”
J: Yes. I feel like a lot of people feel that way, and that’s not me. I’ve never once thought about canceling therapy. I’m like, “Well, that’s going to feel good.” I like talking.
B: Wait, is this the podcast?
B: Hell, yes.
J: At some point we’ll talk about going out but also I haven’t seen you in so long. I’m like, “I just want to catch up with you.”
B: I haven’t seen you in so long. I literally need to know what’s going on with you, though.
J: Well, I’m fine —
B: You’re going on a cruise.
J: I’m going on a cruise. I’m going on a cruise.
B: With Angelis.
J: You should go on the cruise, come to the cruise.
B: Where is it?
J: It goes out of Miami on the 15th.
B: I love Miami. To where though?
J: To Cozumel and Bimini.
B: Are there tickets still available?
B: I’ll do it. You think I won’t do it?
J: Come on the cruise.
B: Yes, let me go.
J: OK. Cool. No, it’s — I’m really — wait, when did you move to L.A.? It feels like it was two seconds ago but also like a year and a half ago.
B: It was Aug. 8, so it was technically two seconds ago.
J: OK, so it was like four months?
B: Yes. Almost five and you know, here we are.
J: Are you loving?
B: I kind of am loving. I just got a car two and a half weeks ago, so I’m finally like, “Oh, L.A. is actually great.”
J: Oh, sure. There’s a freedom in that.
B: There’s a freedom. I’m not like the neighborhood person who is just, like, walking around with five tote bags.
J: What kind of car did you get?
B: I got a Kia.
J: Oh, f*ggot.
B: I asked for a Toyota, and then the guy — Somebody referred me to a broker. He’s like, “I can get you a Kia for cheaper.” I was like, “Okay.”
J: Wow, so you bought a car?
B: I leased it.
B: I’m broke.
J: I’m broke, too. I don’t even know what that looks like.
B: Yes, I think I got a notification that my credit score changed, and I don’t know if that means it went up or it went down.
J: I think you probably — because you pinged your credit score to get checked for the car. It probably went down, unfortunately.
J: Yes. When you do things with your good credit score, it makes it bad. Everything about credit score is just stupid.
B: OK. Well, good for the credit score. You know that movie where they break in to steal the SATs?
J: “The Perfect Score”?
B: Yes. They should do that for credit scores. Where are those numbers kept?
J: I feel like if someone tells me you have bad credit, I’m like, “You probably have a really good personality.” That’s how I think about it.
B: Totally. Yes. Somebody who has — yes, I don’t want to hang out with somebody who has a good credit. Mine is probably in the low 500s.
J: Yes, mine has gone — at one point, I made a plan of trying to make it good because I was like, I guess having a good credit score is important, and then I did, and then I ended up being broke again, and tanked it again.
B: Okay. Being broke is living on the edge.
J: Buying necessity.
B: That’s what’s fun about New York is you can be broke there and just truly have fun.
J: Does being broke in L.A. — do you feel more broke in L.A. than you did in New York?
B: Not really, but I’m just like, if I wanted to have fun, it’d cost so much more money.
B: Does that make sense?
J: Because of the driving? Do you feel like the restaurants and bars are more expensive out there?
B: I think it’s just that there’s less happening, so it’s like you need to figure out where and what. It’s just like every — yes, it’s kind of just like — Yes. Maybe I just don’t know enough people here.
J: Well, it’s probably a mix. It’s probably a mix, but it also feels like, in a way, that you could probably just text one person to meet up at a bar for a $5 beer at a happy hour. There’s probably a lot more that goes into the rigmarole of that out there with the driving and stuff.
B: I do want to say that I am — I have been living in West Hollywood for the past four months, and I’m fascinated by it. It’s my first time living in a “gayborhood” and it is-
J: Bushwick when you were here?
B: Does Bushwick have rainbow crosswalks?
J: Oh, I guess it’s not like that yet. I get what you’re saying.
B: It’s so funny.
J: It’s like blended gay. Bushwick isn’t like in the way that West Hollywood is.
B: Yes. West Hollywood is actually-
J: West Hollywood feels like gay Vegas or gay Disney.
B: Downtown West Hollywood has all the bars. I’m like, “This is spring break.” For some reason it’s spring break on-
J: Yes. You went, too, so you’re well-versed in that.
B: I’m what?
J: Well versed in a spring break party moment.
B: That’s why I love Miami.
J: Oh, that makes sense. Did you go to Miami for spring break in college?
J: Oh, Wait. OK. I have a question. I know you went to ASU, but were you part of the iconic party scene of ASU, or were you just tending to the lab?
B: Absolutely not. My ASU experience was dead — drinking Jameson in my friends’ dorm rooms, straight up, watching “Reno 911.”
J: What was your experience of watching that party scene? It’s supposed to be the biggest party school in America, right?
B: It’s really big. It’s very much like — I’m like, “How are we the same age sometimes?” I remember just walking, or riding my little bike around, and there are people — for some reason, seemed so much older than me. I feel-
J: Oh, you felt younger.
B: I just feel like a kid. You, for some reason, like — I don’t know what it is, but-
J: Remind me where you grew up.
J: Oh, OK. I feel like I went to that growing up in a rural area, showing up to college, and the city kids were like, “Oh, yes, coke makes me feel weird.” I was like, “What?” I don’t know. There was a different — there was a level of cultural exposure that had not happened to me.
B: No. My parents really did a good job at keeping me rural despite-
B: Exactly, yes. I’m sure that has a lot to do with it, too.
J: That makes sense. Were you out in college?
B: No. I would download Grindr, and get really scared, and then delete it.
J: I know, it’s so funny. Grindr was so funny in college because I think I had it towards the end because I didn’t have a smartphone until — I didn’t have a good phone that could have Grindr I think until later junior year or senior year, but it was completely faceless profiles. There were no photos.
B: Yes. Also, the image quality was so bad, and you’re just like-
J: Yes. It was tough.
B: “There’s no way.”
J: Yes. There was also, I don’t know, it’s like, I feel — because I also went to a party school, but I was out, but I do-
B: Where did you go?
J: I went to UVM, which is less of a party school now, but was a party school when I was there.
B: Is that Vermont?
J: That’s Vermont.
B: OK. I knew that. What’s the M?
J: The full Latin name of the school is Universitas Viridis Montis, University of the Green Mountains, and so they do that.
B: I love it. I took Latin in high school.
J: No. Literally, no other college names themselves that way. No other college does the letter abbreviation based on the Latin name. It makes no sense.
B: Is it in Burlington?
J: It’s in Burlington.
B: I think I went there one time.
J: It’s a fun time.
B: To the school, to the school.
J: Wait, really?
B: I drove to-
J: Wait, did you guys-
B: I got dropped off.
J: We’re the same age?
B: I got dropped off.
J: You got dropped off?
B: An Uber took me adjacent to that school, and dropped me off there one time. My major-
J: Were you there for a show?
B: I was there for a comedy, but then I was killing time.
J: Got you.
B: I went to go hook up with this guy, and then he’s like, “My boyfriend’s here, is that OK?” Then I’m like, “Yes, I guess, if it’s fine.” Then I went over and the boyfriend was just sitting on the couch and just watching me walk into the bedroom. I’m like, “What is this?”
J: That’s really bizarre. That’s so interesting. Was this recently?
B: No. This was years ago.
J: Okay. So interesting. I feel like my experience at Burlington was so heterosexual that whenever I go back there now, I see gay men, I’m like, “What happened?” I don’t know.
B: It feels like there’s not a lot, but there’s more than you would think, you know.
J: I think it’s growing. I do think it’s growing. I think the internet helps with that. I think that people can find it a little bit more.
J: There’s no gay bars or anything like that up there.
B: That’s wild. If one opens, do you realize it would — you should open that.
J: One would hope what we — okay, so was ASU similarly oppressively straight?
B: Yes. Arizona was oppressively straight. ASU was oppressively straight. There would be like — There are gay people here and there. I would always see them like in class and I’m like, “Where do you guys go after?” I’m like, “Where do you —” Because I feel like they always have like — They would stick together which kind of makes sense. And I’m just like, “Where are you guys going?”
J: Yes. I remember the three times I encountered a couple at UVM, I’d be like, literally how did this happen? It was like finding Dolly the cloned Sheep. I was like, what is the science behind this? Where did you find each other? How was this created? I don’t understand.
B: Yes, also dating was fascinating to me because I straight up did not bother trying to get a fake ID or anything. I’m like, “What do people do on dates?”
J: In some ways, you and I think are like diametrically opposed humans. You bring an energy that I wish I could bring to certain situations like the way that like — okay, for context, Brian and I became friends because we were in the same Fire Island house three years ago, two years ago.
B: Yes, I think two years ago.
J: I think two years ago. I’m the kind of person who, like — I like to have a game plan. I like to approach things. You really love to go out with 15 percent phone battery and see what the world does for you.
B: I think just like bringing — yes. I like to-
J: No, I think it’s really healthy. I envy it.
B: Having a plan is too stressful. When there’s a plan it’s like — no, I don’t know. Something about having a plan is just like — so just like, can we literally not have a plan?
J: If I were to be like, “Do you want to hang out on Saturday?” Is that too much for you? It’s OK if it is. I’m just asking.
B: No, that is — see, that’s one of those things where I’m like — I would actually want more of a plan.
J: You’re like, “That’s too vague. You want me to tell you what we’re doing?”
B: I’m like, “Let’s throw out some options.” Let’s throw out some times. Let’s throw out some options.
J: Yes, well, that’s like the Melissa Rich rule, which is like you can’t — you’re not allowed to text someone and be like, “Hey, what are you doing Saturday night?” Or like, “Are you free Saturday night?” It’s like, don’t ask if I’m available. Give me a pitch. I think that’s a good rule because it does kind of trap you. If someone’s like, “Are you free Saturday night?” It’s like well, it depends on what you’re offering.
B: I hate getting those texts.
J: No, it’s toxic. It’s really toxic. And I think sometimes it’s actually like a — not like a self-fulfilling prophecy. What’s the word for when you — in the effort to try and not do something you actually do it worse? Do you know what I’m talking about? I think that people are trying to like soft pitch something and not seem too thirsty. Instead of, like, directly asking if you want to do something, they’re being like, “Hey are you free Saturday night?” Like, “Hey, what’s up?” And it’s like, no, that’s worse. If you were to just directly ask that doesn’t actually feel as intrusive as you like asking what my availability is.
B: Absolutely and that’s why I want to be somebody who actually comes in hard with a pitch because I’m never the person that initiates. I’m never the person that initiates and so I’m just like, let me lean in a little bit. That’s my goal for this year.
J: Lean in with a pitch?
J: It’s like “Shark Tank” of your personal life. Have you been feeling like you’ve been having to do that more because you’re in L.A.? Like new friends? You already have friends out there?
B: I had, like, friends, acquaintances and so much of it is straight-up just like picking a day, picking a time, picking an activity.
J: I know.
B: It’s so weird. I’m like, can we — I don’t know. I respect it. People’s time is important and everything closes here at 10 p.m..
J: It’s so tough. I really can’t get behind that.
B: It’s crazy. Can I tell you something?
J: Literally anything always.
B: I’m going to Mexico on Christmas Day solo, no plans.
J: Wait? Are you going to Zipolite?
B: No, I’m going to Puerto Vallarta. Zipolite is too — it’s a little bit too remote for me. I’m like I wouldn’t want to go alone.
J: You’ve already been to Puerto Vallarta too, right? I feel like I remember you going with Justin.
B: I went with Justin and we — I had a blast. I kind of was like alone that whole time too just because he was off doing his own thing.
J: Yes, Justin’s a great person to hang with because he’s really like — you’re hanging but then he’ll be like, “I’m going to do this thing.” Do you know what I mean? Like there’s not like-
J: He doesn’t create pressure to, like, do everything together. He’s like, very independent in certain ways.
B: Yes. I’m having a cruise experience in a way, too.
J: It’s on land and you’re not on a boat, right? You’re just in PV the whole time?
B: I’m just in water. Just like water adjacent I guess.
J: Totally. What would catalyze you wanting to do this?
B: I don’t like the holidays. To bring it back to plans, the holidays in my family is just like nothing but plans. It’s just like we have to do this and this and this and I’m like, “I literally don’t want to do any of that.” Can I like, instead of having to deal with that stress, what if I removed myself?
J: You’re like, “Hey guys, I’m skipping Christmas this year to Eat, Pray, Love?”
B: Yes, on a beach.
J: On a beach. Is PV fully gay? When you go there does it feel like Fire Island where everyone is gay? Is it that vibe?
B: What’s crazy is it feels like — the airport feels like you’re in Orlando.
B: The flight over there I’m like, “This is like half like Trump people and then the other half was like gay people.” I was like, “This is such a fascinating thing.” Then the gay part is like the furthest away from the airport and then like the part that’s closer. The first half from the airport is very straight, touristy, people on vacation. Then the second half that’s like away from the airport or further away from the airport is more like gay from what I could-
J: That’s where you’re staying?
J: Is this your first time going on a solo trip?
B: I’ve been to New Orleans.
J: Oh. Was that fun?
B: Yes I’m — yes, it actually was fun. I went for Thanksgiving.
J: Are you writing about it? Is that what you were going to say?
B: Yes I’m trying to write something about it.
J: Okay. Absolute memoir vibes.
B: That was fun though, but that was — I also knew people there, too, comedy-wise so it wasn’t that crazy.
J: How long were you there?
B: I think like three or four days.
J: Okay, interesting. I kind of want to do that. I’ve done solo travel in the past but not recently as an — actually, that’s not true. I was just in London alone and I really liked that.
B: Did you? I want to go to London so bad.
J: Yes, I went to London alone. Well, it was a similar thing where I have a lot of friends in London, but when I —
B: How do you have so many people in London?
J: Because I did a year of college in England.
B: I’m jealous.
J: I have a lot of friends in London and Brighton. I’ve never traveled somewhere where I don’t know anyone alone, I don’t think. I think that would be an interesting experience. I guess I did the first time I went to England. I didn’t know anyone there but that was different. It’s sucky abroad. I wasn’t an adult.
B: I feel like everyone’s like, “You’re going to die.”
J: You’re not going to die.
B: I guess, spoiler — did you see the season finale of “White Lotus”?
B: That’s all I was thinking about.
J: Like gay mafia is going to try to kill you?
B: Yes. I literally have no money. Also, have you talked about this at all?
B: I ran into a mutual friend, the Fire Island compatriots, David Odyssey, a few days ago.
J: I’m so jealous. He’s one of my favorite people.
B: He’s in L.A. He was telling me about what’s been happening at The Eagle. Apparently rich, older, middle-aged, whatever, men have been waking up in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel and their bank accounts are like fully $20,000.
J: Like “Hustlers.”
B: Straight-up “Hustlers.” Very recently one of them actually died and his daughter or something-
J: Yes, I heard it’s not just The Eagle. I feel like it’s a thing happening at, like, Hell’s Kitchen Manhattan gay bars. It’s really scary.
B: I’m honestly shocked it took this long for that to happen.
J: I’m sure it’s happened in the past. I don’t know. It’s definitely scary. It’s definitely scary. I think that, in general, there’s like I think — I really like The Eagle. I really like all the — I’m not going to say all the gay bars in Manhattan. There’s plenty that-
B: The Eagle is home for me.
J: We love The Eagle, but so I don’t want — I’m trying to say this without seeming critical of The Eagle because I don’t think it’s like The Eagle’s fault but, I think that like — my friend made this observation, I think it’s accurate in the post-pandemic return to — not post. I know it’s problematic to say post-pandemic. In the return to going out that we’re in in late 2022, early 2023 — over the past year, I feel like when we came back to going out people were so much more comfortable with drugs in a way. Ketamine is talked about the way that weed used to be talked about. Do you know what I mean? It’s like, I just think that we all need to get — I’m all for having fun but we do need to remember you don’t know what someone has in this bag of powder they’re offering. I’m not saying it might — you need to be smart about what you do.
B: That is a good point. The most drugs I’ve ever done was the summer after, that first-
J: We were being wild. We were going wild.
J: I think I had to take a step back because my brain only can handle so much, and I was like, “Okay, let’s normalize.” I think that the general baseline of what people are doing. Wait, similarly, something that happened at The Eagle that I’m really crazy — did you see what I posted on Close Friends?
B: Yes. The paella.
J: We really need to be talking about this. It’s one of the-
B: It’s so crazy. Every time I open Instagram — no. I do want to say every time I open Instagram The Eagle’s posts are the first to come up. That’s just how I engage with those posts.
J: Wait, so do you agree, yes or no, that it’s crazy?
B: The paella?
B: Yes. It’s the biggest thing.
J: For the listener to understand — wait, I just realized there’s multiple photos of it. Wait, or were there two different-
B: There’s a lot of salad photos, too.
J: There’s a lot of salad photos. Just for the listener to understand, The Eagle, which is like a gay leather bar — would you call it a sex club? It’s not a sex club. It’s a bar. People have sex in it.
B: It’s cruisy. I would call it cruisy.
J: Anyway, they threw a Christmas party and I can’t tell if it was open to the public or just for the staff. No, I think it was open to the public.
B: The pictures are giving public.
J: The pictures are giving public. Then inside The Eagle, they were serving — Katie, I want you to look at this — what I would describe as the legally largest paella you can serve in New York City, inside The Eagle.
B: I need to, like — what time of day was this?
J: It’s paella?
Katie Brown: You could take a bath in that paella.
J: No, it is fully — the diameter of this paella dish is, I’m going to say 4 feet, which I understand. I’ve seen bigger ones in Spain. Not to be annoying, but I have. In New York, this is the biggest paella dish I’ve ever seen in New York City. It’s in, I repeat, The Eagle.
B: It’s just one of many dishes.
J: It needs to be explicitly stated. On sight there’s literally no question this is a seafood paella. I’m seeing-
B: There’s clams.
J: I’m seeing a lot of mussels. I’m seeing shrimp, and I’m seeing clams.
B: In the Eagle. Do you think people came to The Eagle that night and they’re like-
J: I’m seeing full typical-
B: “Why does it smell like seafood?”
J: I love The Eagle for creating a community space with food, but the choice for a brothy seafood paella in The Eagle is really something I will be thinking about for the most of my life.
B: It’s like, “Are they sitting to eat? Are they standing?”
J: No. I’m like, “Yes. What’s happening there? Are we dancing after? Are we dancing after?”
J: No, sorry. There’s really not much else to be said about it.
B: I’m glad you brought it up. Also, why did you only post to Close Friends? Are you afraid The Eagle is going to come for you?
J: I just didn’t need to — sometimes, it’s like I actually just want to talk to my friends about something. Do you have a Close Friends?
B: I do, but I only post on it as a joke.
J: Oh, yes. I feel like the only thing I’ve seen on your Close Friends is an invite to your birthday party.
B: That’s, like, the only reason I did it. I think I did that one time and I asked somebody to photoshop a photo of me getting lunch with Louis CK.
J: I love it. I think sometimes I post things to Close Friends if it’s like I want — one, it’s like I feel like we all don’t look at each other’s stories all the time because we’re promoting shows and stuff. I feel like sometimes the green circle is me, to my actual Close Friends, being like, “I’m putting up something I want you to see.”
B: Yes, paella.
J: A prime example being The Eagle paella. I wanted my friends to see that. I wanted to talk to my friends about that so it’s like that’s Close Friends because you’re much more likely to watch a story if you see the green circle than if you see the red. Do you know what I mean?
J: That’s, I think, part of the metric in my mind is, like, it’s important to me that the people on my Close Friends know about The Eagle paella and talk to me about it, so I’m going post it on the Close Friends.
B: Do you? Not to bring it back to The Eagle, even though we still are on The Eagle.
J: The show’s called “Going Out” and The Eagle is a place to go out. We can talk about The Eagle. If we talk about The Eagle paella for an hour, I’m fine with that.
B: How do you feel about those photos? There’s a guy with a camera, just wandering around all night, taking photos. Would you be like, “Yes?”
J: I think about that a lot because I’ve been, like — so I followed The Eagle on Instagram at some point in my life. They come up on my feed fairly often, and it’s like I do wonder — what I’m curious about is they probably are pretty intentional about — I hope that they are really deliberate about checking out what’s in the background of the photos they post because I don’t know that — it’s people smiling and there’s obviously the people in the photo who are the subjects of the photo, knowing that their photo’s taken. Then there are hundreds of people behind them usually that are not signing up for that photo to be taken.
J: I think that’s fine. I think you’re consenting to being seen in public when you go in public. I just hope that no one’s getting photographs sucking a d*ck that didn’t want to get photographed sucking a d*ck. Do you know what I mean?
B: Yes, absolutely.
J: They probably, in the interest of their own page not getting banned, they’re probably checking to make sure that there’s no sex acts and no drug use happening in the backgrounds of photos. I just wonder how many photos they are losing to that.
B: Now that I’m thinking about it, I bet they probably only take photos on the first floor, which is usually a pretty non — it can be one of the more non-d*ck sucky places. I feel like the second floor is where most of — Jake is disagreeing, but you never know. I only went once after they opened that new dance floor or whatever.
J: I would say the dance floor is just as — I think maybe in the pre-dance floor world, the first floor was less hookup-y. I think that dance floor has created a space for some stuff to be happening on the first floor.
B: Interesting. That’s great to know. I’m writing that down in my calendar.
J: Wait, you need to come back. We should go to The Eagle.
B: Yes, absolutely. Yes. I’ll come back for my birthday and we’ll do it at The Eagle.
J: Oh. Wait, February?
J: August. Oh, right. You’re a Virgo. Why did I think you were an Aquarius for a second?
B: That’s a great question.
J: I can visit you, too, though. Wait, have you gone to The Eagle L.A.? Because I actually haven’t been to The Eagle L.A.
B: I have, and it’s just a regular bar. I feel like also, people really commit to themes at that bar.
J: In L.A.?
B: I think in L.A. Also there, too. I think I went two nights — I went twice pretty early on and both nights there were a lot of dudes dressed in very specific leather type of stuff. I’m like, “Oh, they’re committing to this in a way that I’ve-”
J: I feel like in New York — The Eagle there is a mix of some people in — I don’t want to say costume, that feels pejorative, but in the gear and some people who aren’t.
B: They’re in the gear. I think a lot of it is, like, they’re able to just go from home to their car to The Eagle, and they don’t have to make a bunch of stops along the way.
J: Yes, that actually means there’s so much stuff about going out that it changes when you have a car.
J: I see people in cute outfits sometimes in L.A. and I’m like, “That’s a person who gets to leave stuff in their car, doesn’t have to have their keys on them right now, doesn’t need pockets.” Do you know what I mean?
B: The car is a game-changer, for sure.
J: It’s a mobile storage unit.
B: It’s a house.
J: Do you live in your car, Brian?
B: Yes. I’m Zooming in from my car.
J: This is annoying to ask — I’m sure everyone’s asking you — but are you feeling that this L.A. is permy vibes right now, or is it just while you’re doing this job?
B: It’s giving permy in a way.
J: I was sensing that. Can I say that you were someone the second you literally posted one photo in L.A., I was like, “He’s not running back?”
B: I dream of coming back to New York.
B: But I don’t see it happening soon.
J: OK, fine.
B: I also want to visit.
J: No, totally.
B: So bad.
J: You should visit. Have you been back since you left? I feel like no.
B: No, but I want to come back when it’s like, weather is warming up. I’m definitely going to have a summer moment.
J: Yes, you need to come back in the summer. Don’t come out. We’re getting into the dark ages. It’s bad.
B: Yes, February. January is really tough for me.
J: This is the most herring part of the year because it’s about to get bleak. It’s about to get really bleak.
B: January in New York is — I never knew what depression was until — usually, January would hit, and I’m just like, “I feel like sh*t.”
J: For me, it’s more February, March. I always say March is the worst month of the year because at March, you have nothing left. Every coping mechanism, you’ve rung dry when you go through January and February. And in March, I’m just like, “I need something.” Do you know what I mean?
B: March I’m okay with. In March, stuff is like — There was a day where it was 70. By the time March rolls around-
J: Maybe you’re right.
B: I’m getting back into the swing of things, getting used to leaving my apartment, all of that.
J: Are you going out all — because I feel like you and I have gone out a lot together, but I’ve never really seen what your week in going out looks like. Are you out all the time, or are you more like a one-or-two-and-done sort of girl?
B: In New York, I was like, “Can we go out every single night? I don’t want to be home.”
J: Absolutely. You’re avoiding the apartment.
B: Exactly, so I could do — I could ride that wave for as long as possible and it would usually have — there were some nights where I’m just like, “I should have just gone out.” Here I’m like, “Friday night? No, Friday night I stay the f*ck in.” Friday night is amazing. I’ll order in food. I’ll just lay-
J: Consistently, every Friday, night you stay in?
B: Kind of, yes.
J: Okay. It’s also that you’re working 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. right now. Are you tie-tie?
B: I’m so tie-tie and it’s like in a way that I’m like — in New York, I would roll into work straight-up two to three hours late at minimum.
J: For context for the listener, the number of times I’ve been out with Brian at 4 a.m. and he’s like, “My shift starts at 7 a.m.”? This happened multiple times.
B: I’m just like, “A job is like whatever, who cares?” in New York. Now it’s just like “Oh, you have to be physically and mentally present for this.” You have to be like, “Oh, no. I have to be responsible.” Which is annoying.
B: Being responsible is stupid.
J: It’s really-
B: A.k.a my credit score.
J: There’s no point. That’s the thing about these creative jobs where you’re also too responsible. It’s like, “Hey, the reason I’m creative is because I’m not responsible. Do you understand that?”
J: All the things that make me interesting are antithetical to what you want me to do. Do you know what I mean?
B: Is there a way to do that?
J: No, I have no idea. I currently have a writing deadline that’s actually affecting my mental health in a way that is really crippling.
B: That is-
J: So bad.
B: How do you like to write? What’s your ideal writing setting?
J: Oh, like physical setting?
J: I don’t know why that was so funny. That felt — in that moment of you saying “Mm-hmm” and pulling up a giant glass of water, looking down the camera. In that one specific moment, you were my therapist. You became a therapist in that moment.
B: I did major in psychology and I majored in psychology because I wanted to be a therapist, but then I had a teacher that’s like, “If you’re majoring in psychology because you want to figure yourself out,” she was like, “You’re in the wrong major business.”
J: I thought you said you wanted to be a therapist and figure other people out.
B: I said that wrong. What I meant was I wanted to figure out my problems.
B: I was trying to self-diagnose.
J: Oh, I get it. That’s so interesting. Is the idea that you need an external person to diagnose? You do it from within?
B: Yes, basically.
J: Interesting. I think the way I like to write is, I prefer — to go back to the original question — something that was really helpful for me when I was on my previous writing thing is I realized you’re allowed to write while watching something else so I wrote a whole script while watching “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and the script was not about drag race. I think the silence and I think — it’s like how our brains have been permanently rotting by double screening. You’re watching TV and TikTok at the same time. I think I sometimes need to also be double screening with writing. I think I need to have the laptop open on my lap and then something playing on the TV so that there’s sound.
B: I don’t think I could do that. I think I do need a library setting.
J: I have a membership to a writer’s co-working space in Downtown Brooklyn that I go to, too.
B: Where is it? I used to work there, Downtown.
J: It’s right by BAM.
B: Oh, I know exactly where that is. I bought a book there one time.
J: It’s becoming popular. It’s slowly — in the New York comedy scene, it’s really the spot where everyone’s going.
B: Oh no, it’s fine. Wait, is that good or bad?
J: No, I like it. I just am — the deal. It’s currently too good of a deal. It’s currently legitimately too cheap. I don’t know. It’s good enough that if people find out, it’s going to get too expensive.
B: The location is so good. That sounds too good to be true.
J: I went to sign up for it online and was, like, there’s a trick. This is too good, and so I went in person and I was like, “Show me everything and explain to me the deal in exhaustive detail because I don’t believe it’s this cheap.” Then they were like — they did, and I finally said to the woman, I was like, “I just am really looking for what the catch is.” She was like, “I know. This happens a lot. There’s truly not one. It’s this good of a deal.” It’s a co-working space. The only reasons it’s not great for a lot of people is like you can’t take calls in it and it opens at 11 a.m. If you have a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you do a lot of calls during the day, it doesn’t make sense. But if you just need to go somewhere and work all day, it’s open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and it’s $200 — look at me — a year.
B: What? No.
J: They were doing a deal so it was $160 for the year. It’s coo coo-ca choo cheap. It’s really cheap.
B: That’s crazy.
J: That’s why I’m saying, “I don’t want people to find out about it,” because I’m like-
B: No, keep them out.
J: I just don’t want-
B: I literally love keeping secrets. I love to not tell-
J: He says and he made me say it on a podcast.
B: I love to not tell people the truth all the time, and I love to gatekeep in a way.
J: Did you love being in the closet?
B: I really felt the most powerful time in my life was when I was in the closet.
J: No, but so I think the way I like to write depends, but it’s not — I’m currently struggling to write right now because I don’t want to write the thing I’m writing. This is my first experience in my life getting paid to write something that I’m not actually — can I say this?
B: Go ahead. That wasn’t your idea?
J: That wasn’t my idea and isn’t — it was the sort of thing where it was like, “They’re not going to listen to this. It’s fine. I’ll speak briefly.”
B: I’ll forward it to the reps. I’ll cut out this-
J: It’s a thing where it’s my first experience getting paid to write something where it’s like, “I wanted to do X, Y, and Z,” and then they were like, “OK, sure, but actually it needs to be E, F, G or whatever.” I have to write something that is very different than what I wanted to write for this project and I don’t want — like, writing something — I’ve never had to do that.
B: Got it.
J: Do you know what I mean?
B: Totally. Are you somebody that needs to experience the thing you wrote, or at least a version of it? Are you somebody where it’s like, “I need to research this in a way,” or something?
J: No, I don’t think so.
B: I kind of am, but I also think that’s why I like to tell lies and disappear.
J: This is like, “Is this interesting to a listener who knows?” I often write scripts plot first, and then put the jokes in after. I’m making the story make sense and then making it as funny as possible, and the script I’m having to write right now — they basically just were like “Scrap the plot and make it as funny as possible,” but there’s no plot. I find that really, really hard.
B: That makes zero sense.
J: It does. This is why this is annoying to talk about, because it does in the context of what it is, but for me personally, this is really hard.
B: Interesting. That’s really crazy. That’s really crazy.
J: It’s just so easy for me to get distracted on it. It’s the first time I thought about taking Adderall for doing work. I never did it in college, but I’m like, “Maybe that’ll be the thing that makes me get it done.”
B: Have you ever done Adderall?
J: I’ve done Adderall in a party setting and it made me, the next day, it was one of the most physically unpleasant experiences of my entire life, without exaggeration. The come whatever — I don’t know if it’s a comedown, the hangover. I felt my skin was itchy. I think I was sick a little bit from it. I really felt awful the next day so I’ve never taken it since.
B: I remember I did it twice freshman year of college and I got it from this guy who — I think his prescription was really strong, and so both times it was just so intense. I remember not having to pee for a full day and then also just being so in the zone
J: I took it drinking is the thing. I never took it at the library and I think the thing was-
B: Did you black out?
J: I think I did. I was young. I don’t even think I was 21 yet. I was at a party and I was drinking, and someone was like — everyone was doing it and I was just handed one, and I did it. Then I remember the next — I just vividly remember the next day being like “I feel awful,” and I never did it again. I was always a bad student who didn’t care about grades that much once I got to college. I just did not care, and so I would see people methed out in the library doing it, and it freaked me out. I don’t want good grades that bad.
B: How do you feel about meth?
J: Not great.
B: I don’t know if this is a stereotype, but I feel — I would see people, PNP vibes, in New York here and there. I feel here it’s literally everywhere. I’m like, “Is everyone just on meth?”
J: In L.A.?
J: Here’s what I’ll say. One, I just don’t enjoy uppers in general, personally. I don’t think my body agrees with them. Whenever I’ve done them, I’ve felt really, really sick and bad after and so it just became a thing where it naturally was really easy for me to stop doing them because I was — not that I was ever doing them super regularly, but I experimented a bit, and I was like, “These make me feel like real sh*t.” So I stopped. I’ve never been interested in meth. I feel like when I was — because you and I are the generation of when f*cking interventions and all that sh*t was so popular on TV. In my mind, meth was the most devastating drug a person could do. I was inundated with so much content about how bad it was for you and how much it ruined your life that I didn’t think anyone did it. I just thought it was like a thing that happened to — because this was also my ignorance of growing up somewhat sheltered. I just thought it was like — I remember the first time I was on Scruff or Grindr, and someone truly was like, “Do you want to come over to my place, do meth and have sex?” The fact that I was in that proximity of being directly offered meth — I remember being, I had just moved to York. I was probably 21. I was so deeply shocked. I just couldn’t believe it. Even still, when people are like — when you just will get a message, and it’s like, “Hey, we just got a bunch of meth, do you want to come over?” I’m like, “I don’t know you.”
B: It’s weird that there are just regular people that do it occasionally, in a way. How are you able to just do — for some reason in my head, I’m like, “You’re high for like 24 hours straight.”
J: Well, I think it depends on how much you have. I think the thing is, it’s like coke where when you do it, you want more, so then people do it for 24 hours straight.
B: One time I went over to a guy’s place. He was like, “Do you smoke meth?” I think I lied and said yes. Then when I went over he pulled it out and I’m like, “Actually I probably shouldn’t do it right now.” I’m like, “You can do it if you want.” I was just curious what it looks like. What does a person look like when they smoke meth?
J: Was it really upsetting?
B: I just watched him do it. He was in the bedroom and I was by the bedroom door. I was just fanning the bedroom door because I didn’t want to get a contact high.
J: Feel it.
J: That’s fair.
B: He didn’t seem that much different in a way. For some reason, I was expecting him to completely shift everything, but he seemed a little regular in a way. I was like, “This is wild.”
J: It’s really shocking to me. With me, sex is fun enough. That’s actually one of the few things I don’t think needs to be exacerbated or not enhanced. I’m like, “I’m actually enjoying this at baseline, I don’t think I need to do meth, but God bless if you want to.”
B: Sure. Why not?
J: Yes. No judgment. Are you smoking more weed because you’re out there, or is it more drinking? What’s the substance vibe?
B: The substance vibe is literally less of everything. I thought I would be high all day every day. It’s like, I blink and it’s nighttime and I’m like, “I have to go to bed.” I don’t even have time to-
J: I smoked weed last night for the first time in like two months and it was so scary. I got so high and was like, “I don’t like this.” Then I went to bed.
B: I do enjoy a 5 milligram or a 2.5 milligram.
J: That’s what I normally do. Basically, I just wanted to sleep really hard last night and I wanted to go to bed early. I was like, “I’m not quite tired enough to go to bed yet.” The only weed gummies I had were branded to be ones that don’t make you sleepy. I was worried they would make me stay awake. I don’t think they would’ve, though. I should’ve just taken those, but I did a standup show like two weeks ago where they gave out free pre-rolls, free joints, as a favor at the show. I had this joint of weed and I was like, “Oh, I’ll smoke some of this.” I probably took a few hits off this. It was a pretty big joint or whatever, but then I was like, “Oh no, no, no, no, no, no, no.”
B: I hate that feeling.
J: It’s like the demons of the dark depth were coming for me and that I hadn’t — I was like, bad things were going to happen to me, but then I woke up feeling-
B: I know the reason I can’t smoke a lot of weed is because the very first time I smoked weed was freshman year of college with the biggest cliched stoners who loved to just get so high. I remember riding around in their Jeep with them. We just drove around the neighborhood just inhaling, just smoking so much. I was just like, “Oh, this is how you do it?” I remember before we even parked to walk back to the dorm, I did not feel like a normal person. Then I went to sleep, and then had to go to Latin class after. Latin class has seven people and it’s hugely interactive. The teacher would just call on me and I literally could not form — I was bad at Latin already, and so I had to be forced to try to pass myself off as somebody that deserves a passing grade. It was just one of the worst experiences of my life.
J: Did you start drinking at ASU or before?
B: Freshman year of college, I went to this small liberal arts college in Denver called Regis University and I did not like it.
J: Why didn’t you like it?
B: It was tiny. It was just like-
J: Did you think you were going to like that?
B: -in a dookie suburb. I don’t know what I saw. I just wanted to see what a different city was like. I’m like, “Whatever.”
J: Sure. Then you got there and you were like, “Absolutely not.”
B: Yes. I was like, “No, not this.”
J: What was your vibe? When did you start? Wait, I guess this is my question because we met partying, some of the hardest partying I’ve done. It was the summer post — It was the first summer out.
B: It was the first summer out. To be honest, that was truly the hardest I’ve ever gone out.
J: That was my most consistent — I was out till 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. in the morning. We were doing it. I guess this is my question. Was that you pre-pandemic? Did we both catch each other in our prime, or is that more of your vibe?
B: I think so. I was never somebody that was like, “Let’s go out to party.” I’m more like, “Let’s do standup or something.” It was really sad. The pandemic made me be like, “Wait, what if you actually had fun and did stuff you wanted to do?”
J: It made us better comics, I think. I actually really think that.
B: I think so, too.
J: Were you just doing open mics and nothing else? Was that your social life?
B: Yes, kind of. I would just only hang out with other people at open mics. It was really sad. I was like, “Oh, there’s a whole other world in New York City besides-”
J: If you go live a normal f*cking life, then you have things to talk about and relate to other people.
B: Yes. It’s so fascinating.
J: That summer was really good for — I feel like I changed a lot from that summer.
B: I feel like — what’s your biggest takeaway? What’s the firmest memory you have from that summer?
J: From summer 2021?
J: It’s a really good question.
B: I remember the first time I saw you it was at one of those Tie — I don’t know if it was Tie-T, but it was when that backyard at 3 Dollar Bill opened. Everyone’s like, “Did you know that 3 Dollar Bill has a huge outdoor space now?” I remember going and being like, “What is this place?”
J: That’s where we met?
B: That’s where I saw you.
J: Did we talk or did you see me in the distance?
B: No, I think it was you. You were like, “Let’s have a pre-Fire Island get-to-know-each-other a little bit.”
J: Oh my God. Yes. I do remember this now. I do remember this now. That is where we met. That summer was big. Also, my whole social life had changed because I was so UCB involved and that was over. I was making all these new friends. I feel like that summer, I was just like, “What’s my social life look like now that I’m like-”
B: That’s so crazy that you were a UCB.
J: I know. The nicest thing you’ve ever said to me is that you didn’t — I remember it was six months ago or eight months ago, you were like, “Wait, you did UCB?” I was like, “That’s the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me.”
B: You taught.
J: I was a teacher. I only taught one class.
B: Which is mind-blowing.
J: I did teach a 101 class.
B: That’s power.
J: I know. I guess my biggest takeaway is I think variety is the spice of life maybe a little bit. I think I really was into it being like, “I like going out this way. I go to these kind of bars or I go to The Exley and nowhere else.” I was a little bit more rigid in my ways. I was down for whatever, but I didn’t — I was like, “Oh, the big parties aren’t for me,” or like, “This kind of place isn’t for me. I don’t like this kind of bar or this kind of club.” Not in any curmudgeonly way. I was just like, “I don’t have as much fun there as I do other things.” Then I was forced to go to a big rave, go to a dive — I always like dive bars. We just were doing so many different things and I was meeting so many different people. A lot of it was from Melissa. Melissa being like, “You’re coming to this. Don’t bail. You’re going to the next party. You’re coming into this club right now.”
B: Absolutely, same for me.
J: She really taught me to have a lot more fun. I think what I learned from that is you don’t have to be one way or the other. There are nights where you can be like, “Actually, f*ck it. I’m going to let this rip and I’m actually a smart enough adult that can take care of myself that, even though I’m being irresponsible, I actually will be fine. This is actually responsible. Like, it’s not the end of the world that I’m staying out till 5 a.m.. I am allowed to do that. I’m an adult.” Conversely, it then swung the other way by the end of that summer, where I was like, “Oh, and I can also stay in and the world doesn’t end. I can do both.”
B: Totally, get you a guy who can do both.
J: Yes, it made me verse with the nightlife.
B: Yes, that’s a really good — I remember just like — I forget when it was. My biggest takeaway was Pride. That summer I was coming down from something, and I was in my kitchen, just making oatmeal I think the morning after — or not the morning after, maybe a few mornings after. I was really sad. Then Madonna’s “Hung Up” started playing on my shuffle, and then I started crying.
J: Oh my God
B: I’m like, “This is-” Now every time I hear that song, it’s what I think about, and I’m like, “That is so sad.”
J: No, but that’s beautiful.
B: It’s beautiful.
J: Okay, wait, so something really psycho happened, which is I just found out that we’re already at the end of the episode.
B: Oh my God.
J: Okay, wait. The end is that we make plans to hang out. I know you’re, like, not super into plans, but let’s actually just plan what we want to do when you come to New York.
B: Okay, I want to go. You need to take me to a restaurant because you really like food. You, like, appreciate really good food.
J: I do.
B: I do, too, but I don’t care about it until it’s in my mouth. I don’t care about — I don’t want to pick a restaurant. I don’t want to read a menu. I’m like, just get-
J: Yes. We can make that happen. Okay, I’ll pick a restaurant.
B: Yes. Then we’ll meet up with Melissa after.
J: Yes. I think we let Melissa guide us for the rest of the night.
J: That’s actually when I feel so safe. If I’m with anyone from the Fire Island house, and Melissa’s telling us where to go, that’s actually, like, the safest I can feel.
B: Literally, you took the words right out of my mouth.
J: Okay, Gorge. Oh, I love you so much. Thank you for doing the show.
B: Thank you for having me, Jake.
Thank you so much for listening to Going Out With Jake Cornell. If you could please go and review us on whatever you’re listening to this on, that would be really gorgeous for me in a huge way, so thank you.
Now, for some credits. Going Out With Jake Cornell is recorded in New York City and produced by Keith Beavers and Katie Brown. The music you’re hearing is by Darby Cicci. The cover art you’re probably looking at was photographed by M Cooper and designed by Danielle Grinberg. A special shout-out to VinePair co-founders Josh Malin and Adam Teeter for making all of this possible.