Featured

Yeah, That Didn’t Work Out – The Next Great Podcast 2021

Link to Listen:
https://podcasts.apple.com/th/podcast/yeah-that-didnt-work-out/id1540012994?i=1000543595840

Link to Vote: http://nextgreatpodcast.com

I cannot believe that this is real life!! A few months back, I entered a podcast contest with iHeart Radio and Tongal, where I submitted a one-minute trailer for a podcast idea. I became a semi-finalist and was chosen to make a full pilot episode, and now I am one of 10 finalists whose pilots are live! Everyone is able to vote on their favorite, and the winner will be greenlit to create a full series on their idea!

My podcast focuses on the epic love stories that don’t have a happily ever after – the romantic encounters that seem promising, only to end with a serious crash and burn. It’s called, “Yeah, That Didn’t Work Out”, and it would feature a new guest each episode with an epic love connection… that didn’t work out. These fascinating stories will be completely authentic, will come from real, diverse people, but will draw you in as if someone has written the script. This show will give you the same feeling as when you’re listening to all the disastrous details of your best friend’s last horrible Tinder date. Listeners will feel like they are part of the gang and in on the gossip, and this will build a sense of community.

The pilots are live and voting is opening now (December 1st, 2021) through December 15th, 2021!!!
Listen here: https://podcasts.apple.com/th/podcast/yeah-that-didnt-work-out/id1540012994?i=1000543595840
Vote here: http://nextgreatpodcast.com

I’m still in disbelief that I’ve made it this far, but winning this contest would be a DREAM!

Thanks for listening, voting, and reading.

Help Eugene Find Safety

GO FUND ME – HELP EUGENE FIND SAFETY

Hey everybody, my friend Eugene lives in Ghana and he is one of the nicest, sweetest, cutest people I’ve ever met. Unfortunately, Ghana has introduced one of the harshest anti-LGBTQ+ laws to date, and Eugene’s safety is in danger.

“In regards to the LGBTQIA+ situation in Ghana, Eugene has said -“There’s a lot of ignorance and the discussions around queer people are very very toxic… It’s very hard. You lose your family, you lose everything. Almost no one is out… Constantly in danger… [Danger of] violence, not being hired for jobs… People are wrong. They [LGBTQIA+ Community] just want to be respected in a humane way…” The situation has gotten worse. Ghana’s parliament is set to debate a draft bill which seeks to introduce some of the harshest anti-LGBT laws on the continent. These include prison sentences and so-called “conversion therapy”. Eugene’s recently updated us and said, “There is a terrible anti-gay bill being passed in Ghana which will send anyone who is gay or even suspected to be gay to years in prison. Obviously, this has panicked me for close to three months now and I have been looking to relocate. I’m so tired of this fight to just live a life without fear.” Eugene is planning on relocating to any country where it is legally safe to be LGBTQIA+. “

If you can donate anything to help Eugene reach safety, please click the link below:

GO FUND ME – HELP EUGENE FIND SAFETY

Thank you for reading!

Featured

Love More, Stress Less: Paired

Love More, Stress Less: A happier relationship starts with Paired.

CLICK HERE FOR 20% OFF YOUR PAIRED PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION.

(Your subscription covers you AND your partner!)

Paired’s mission is to make couple relationships happier and healthier. Romantic relationship with our partner is one of the most important parts of our lives, but building and maintaining a happy relationship over time can be challenging. Paired wants to make that easier.

Paired prompts you with fun and useful conversations between you and your partner. Every great relationship is an ongoing conversation. Whether you’re already in a long-term relationship or just starting one, Paired helps to make these conversations fun and useful.

With the daily questions feature you get a fun question to answer every day with your partner. Only by answering the question yourself can you unlock your partner’s answer, and each question comes with a research-based fact of why answering it will help your relationship. Paired has couples quizzes to help identify your relationship strength and growth areas, and each week the quiz is on a different aspect of your relationship.

Features Include:

  • Fun, research-based questions to answer with your partner each day to bring you closer together
  • Couple games and quizzes to test and further your knowledge of your partner
  • Bite-sized tips on various topics written by the world’s top relationship academics and therapists
  • Compare and discuss answers with the help of expert tips and conversation starters
  • New questions, quizzes and games available daily

Paired is written by the world’s top couple therapists and academics that drew on decades of research to help you understand what works and what doesn’t in a relationship. An independent study conducted in March of 2021 found that couples who use Paired for 3 months see a 36% increase in the quality of their relationship. Can an app improve your relationship?

Paired is your guide to improve communication, stay connected, and deepen intimacy as a couple. Suggest Paired to your partner to join the community of people around the world building lasting love with Paired today.

Love More, Stress Less. Paired.

Thanks for reading!

Featured

Gina Finio – Bio

I am an outspoken pansexual personality who is a regular on the Ross Mathews’ podcast, known as “Bisexual Gina”, delivering LGBTQ+ content via social media and the Straight Talk with Ross podcast.

I am an authentic, upbeat, realist who is not afraid to speak my mind and overshare details of my life. I’m currently living in Tucson, Arizona but I grew up in the Philadelphia area. I’m friendly and approachable but also intelligent and strategic, and I’ve done the work on myself to be self-aware, confident, and charismatic. I’m magnetic, energetic, personable, and unforgettable.

My experience includes 5+ years in the corporate and human resource world, and various experience in areas such as TV, podcast and video production, event planning and management, social media creation, and more. My professional experience in business, my passion and dedication, and my fresh and unique personality and point of view will ensure my success wherever I am able to get involved.

Instagram: @ginafinio (1.5K followers) • TikTok: @bisexualgina (23.7K followers)
Videos featured on popular Instagram meme accounts, such as:
@best_of_grindr (2.5M followers), @hotmessbian (181K), @lesbianmemearchive (110K),
@i.m.a.pan.duh (40K), @alusofficial (150K), and more

Areas of interest include but are not limited to: TV/movie production, podcast production, social media content creation, collaboration, or management, personal assistant opportunities, reality TV, social event (or drag event) project planning, writing (blog content or otherwise), adult entertainment, LBGTQ+, self-improvement, or relationship focused apps or organizations, human rights work, and other opportunities in the entertainment industry.

Contact: gina.finio@gmail.com

Miami Photo Dump

I recently got to plan a bachelorette party in Miami for one of my closest friends, and even though I had never been to Miami before, I actually feel super proud of the events that I put together! We stayed in Wynwood, spent a ton of time on Miami Beach, and got lots of sun. Despite getting stuck in an awful situation while trying to fly back, I truly had an awesome time.

Itinerary:
THURSDAY: Arrivals, Dinner @ Casa Tua, Karaoke @ 9Beach
FRIDAY: Boat Day! @ Sea Isle Marina, Bars/Club: The Sylvester
SATURDAY: Pool Party Day! @ Strawberry Moon @ The Good Time Hotel & AirBnb Pool
SUNDAY: Checkouts

Party in the city where the heat is on / All night, on the beach till the break of dawn / “Welcome to Miami” / “Bienvenidos a Miami”” – Will Smith

Thanks for reading!

The Power of Positive Energy by Tanaaz Chubb

I’ve mentioned before that for my job, I tasked myself with reading professional development books. Last time I reached out to a friend, but my next professional read was actually recommended by my girlfriend: The Power of Positive Energy by Tanaaz Chubb. Just like last time, I took over 10 pages of notes in a notebook, and turned that into a presentation for my co-workers.

Here’s all the information that was included in my Powerpoint presentation to my teammates on how to harvest your power of positive energy:

Energy: Everything in the universe vibrates at a particular frequency; Thoughts and actions both beam energy into the universe

Energetic Vibration: Low vibration = negative energy; High = positive energy

High vibrations attract positive experiences; You attract the energy you frequent

What energy are you putting out into the universe?: YOUR THOUGHTS INFLUENCE REALITY.

LOW VIBRATIONS •Fear •Anger •Guilt •Self-loathing •Lack of self-worth

HIGH VIBRATIONS •Love •Joy •Abundance •Healing •Purpose

The Energy of Self-Love:

•Focus on YOU – do not compare your journey to others
•Balance caregiving and self-love
•Choose to love yourself NOW, not “when…”
•Reflect on the thoughts of who is around you
•Pay attention to how you speak to yourself

“If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?” – RuPaul

Discover Your Purpose: It’s NOT a career! Your purpose is to be *you* and influence the world
•Be the best YOU for yourself, your job, family, friends, etc.
•Find your joy and believe in yourself

Exercise: List 100 things that you love doing

Manifesting a Positive Life:
•Let go of things that no longer serve you
•Accept the things that are outside of your control
•Release yourself from the past
•Be present and accept what life brings you
•Accept yourself and practice self-love
•Maintain a positive perspective and mindset
If you feel stuck: stop, slow down, and reflect

Law of Attraction and Intention:
•Your thoughts are energy signals that attract things into your life
•Don’t limit your ability to receive energy
•Remain open to the universe to fully access your intuition

Ways to Release Negative Energy and Raise Your Vibration: •Deep Breathing •Exercise •Meditate •Laughing/Smiling •Get In Nature •Being grateful/thankful •Self-Reflection •Shifting Mindset

Positive Energy = Positive Life

Positive Thoughts -> Positive Words -> Positive Actions

Tips:
•Remember that you are deserving of a positive life
•Set realistic expectations
•Don’t try too hard – just be *you*
•Own your happiness
•Shifting your life takes time

The Power of Your Energy:
•You are the observer of your thoughts
•You have the power to choose which thoughts to believe
•You have the power to choose which thoughts to ignore
•You have the power to change the flow of your thoughts
•The thoughts you give power to shape how you view your world

“Life is not as serious as many of us make it out to be – it is a temporary journey of discovery, learning, growing, and enjoying. If you can step of the seriousness and the confusion and the pain for just a moment, you will see that there is a whole world of opportunities waiting before you.”

The Power of Positive Energy: Everything you need to awaken your soul,  raise your vibration, and manifest an inspired life: Chubb, Tanaaz:  9781507202531: Amazon.com: Books

Thanks for reading!

Poetry Books

I was recommended a poetry book by a close friend, and I quickly fell in love with both the poet as well as poetry books overall. As much as I typically love novels, this was a perfect time for me to slow down and digest some thoughts and wisdom into my soul. I usually read poems individually through different online sites and social media, but there’s something I really like about going through an entire book’s full. I was able to put on some instrumental music and really get into the words written out on all the pages. In the past few months alone, I’ve actually made my way through five different books of poetry (with a few more on my list as well). I truly got so much out of reading these, so I wanted to share my recommendations:

1. Flowers On The Moon by Billy Chapata
This book has lowkey changed my life. The wisdom in this book written in small, digestible formats is one of my favorite things I’ve ever read. It’s relatable on so many levels, and there’s something in it for everyone. I actually bought over 10 copies of this book after finishing it, and have given it as gifts to my sister and my closest friends. I’ll likely buy more again at Christmas time for everyone I’ve missed. I couldn’t recommend this book more, and I actually suggest reading just one or two pages a day rather than the entirety at once.

2. She Must Be Mad by Charly Cox
The author broke this up into four parts: “she must be… in love”, “mad”, “fat” and “an adult”. I enjoyed each section for different reasons, and although all of them were relatable, I found myself going back to “she must be fat”. The content was eerily relatable and bought me through several points of the ongoing journey we have with our bodies. Her writing made me laugh, roll my eyes, and feel sorry for our younger selves. But somehow, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

3. Healing Her by Sez Kristiansen
While this was a quick read, I found this to be very satisfying. The themes of this book focus on women and our experiences with self-healing, awakening, emotional darkness, and self-love. The writing and the imagery felt full of compassion in a very gentle way that quieted my mind. I very much found a sense of peace while reading through this.

4. Sour Honey And Soul Food by Billy Chapata
I was already a fan of his going into this book, and he did not disappoint. One of the reasons I like this particular book of Billy Chapata’s, is that this very much is focused on the beauty and complexities of loving a woman. He writes with such respect, admiration, and gentleness in regards to women and relationships overall. The words are dynamic and beautiful and promote self-love above anything else.

5. Chameleon Aura by Billy Chapata
Again, being a big fan of Billy’s poetry, this book was very on brand with his normal themes of self-love. There was also a big focus on energy and growth. A lot of Billy’s poetry focuses on relationships and his perspectives often reassure me of the healthy relationship that I’m currently in. The way that he writes about women is lyrically beautiful, and I always feel very refreshed after reading through pages of his words.

More to come later in the year.

Thanks for reading!

Ross’ Bubbly Brunch

I was lucky enough to go to the grand post-shutdown re-opening of Ross’ Bubbly Brunch in Palm Springs over Memorial Day Weekend! Hosted at the Wine Lounge, the cast was packed with some incredible performers that did not disappoint. Ross was there himself to host, and I also got to meet Carson Kressley and Fortune Feimster, who both came to support, as well as tons of the “Straight Talk” family. It was truly one of the best days ever, and I hope I can go again – either in Palm Springs, or another city!

Performers included host Morgan McMichaels from Rupaul’s Drag Race, Ongina, Delta Work, Jasmine Masters, and Joey Jay also from Rupaul’s Drag Race, and Palm Springs’ legend Savannah Westbrooke.

To find upcoming dates and brunches, follow @rossbubblybrunch on Instagram or visit www.rossbubblybrunch.com.

Thanks for reading!

Anonymous Series

Go Ask Alice has always been one of my all time favorite books to read, and recently I discovered Jay’s Journal as well. After doing a couple quick google searches, I found that there is a whole series of novels published in the same style.

My best friend and I decided to read the rest of this “Anonymous” series by this publisher, which was five more books in addition to the two above. Each story was super unique from the next, but all were wildly intriguing. We planned to read one per month but ended up finishing all five in just over two months:


1. Lucky In The Sky
While this diary heavily focuses on her drug use, it feels very different from Go Ask Alice. It takes place sometime in the early 2010’s ish, somewhere near Los Angeles – so though this is not very hippy dippy, maybe this would be the more current version of the Go Ask Alice story? The main character is a party girl that gets wrapped up in the lifestyle – which is easy to do when you’re getting paraded around Malibu beach houses. While it ends somewhat abruptly, I very much enjoyed following her journey.

2. Calling Maggie May
This story is full of sadness and loneliness, and is based on that fact that everybody just wants to feel like they fit in somewhere. The lead in this book was very sheltered as a result of her family’s culture, and jumped at the first sign of a life that was not her own. Unfortunately for her, the first chance she has was a life of prostitution, and she gets thrown in almost immediately. I felt bad for her throughout most of the book, because she just wanted to belong to something to badly. She was looking for sisterhood and put her trust in the hands of people she barely knew. It gets more and more bleak, and honestly, ends pretty horribly. That being said, I enjoyed the way she wrote and would still recommend this.

3. Breaking Bailey
The way that this girl wrote, I forgot multiple times that I was reading a diary and not an actual fiction novel. Her story is honestly crazy – she gets shipped off to boarding school, does well in her chemistry classes, and ends up in a group of honor students who make meth on the side. The story takes off right away, and is coupled with a love story as well with one of the other members of the club. At first she is living a dream, until the pressure of keeping up their supply on top of the intense course load (and more) comes crashing down on her. This one is easily one of my favorites and I will definitely be re-reading this again soon.

4. Letting Ana Go
As someone who has struggled with eating disorders, this book was definitely hard to read. Her struggle is so intense and while I thought I’d be able to relate to some of what she was feeling, that was not necessarily the case. My personal experience was clearly different, and I found her struggle to be much more extreme. What was frustrating about this story was that a lot of her negative habits were forced on her by her friend and her friend’s mom, rather than her own decisions. It’s hard to see this story play out, and I found the ending to be somewhat unrealistic (even though this is based on true events).

5. The Book of David
I didn’t think I would like this one, but it turned out to be one of my favorites! The story is based on a “big secret”, which turns out to be that the football team quarterback is gay and in love with the new kid. Because this took place around 2010, I was confused on why this was such a big secret. However, he grew up in Arkansas in a very conservative and religious town, so I have to remember that my high school experience is not always the norm. This became an adorable love story that honestly sounded super similar to the movie Love, Simon. I don’t know if this was the inspiration, but I loved reading this. It’s also noteworthy that this is the only novel that has a somewhat happy ending where the main character does not die and leave the diary behind.

There were more books available by another publisher, so maybe we will eventually make our way through those. Even though these books can get rather dark, they are also easy and quick reads that are often relatable at the core. Honestly these are some of my favorite books and now I can’t stop thinking about all the journals that I have or haven’t kept over the years..

Anyway. Thanks for reading!

California Camping Road Trip

One of the trips that was canceled as a result of the pandemic was my ex’s lifelong dream of camping her way up to the Redwood Forrest. After reading The Legacy of Luna as a kid, Vanessa has wanted to see the Redwood trees for herself ever since. She had tried to plan the trip in 2019, we tried twice to make this happen in 2020, but it wasn’t until this April of 2021 that we were able to make her dream a reality. People probably don’t understand how ex’s can go on a trip together – especially since I’m in a relationship with someone else – but this felt absolutely normal to us and I didn’t want to miss out.

The trip was AMAZING! California is such a beautiful state, and I loved (almost) all of the campgrounds we stayed in. Vanessa actually cried when she saw the huge Redwood trees – multiple times, actually! We’ve got camping down to a routine, and it was great to have so much time off to just explore and enjoy. My favorite part of the entire trip was the 45 minutes we spent on this random beach we found on our drive – about 30 minutes south of where we stayed in the Redwood National Forrest. We got to run around with the dogs, had a ton of laughs, and it was completely serendipitous.

I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m thankful that we were able to safely travel all over the state of California after a year of this pandemic. I’m thankful that I harvest healthy relationships in my life that lead to genuine long-term friendships. I’m thankful that the dogs are great travelers who make the trip extra fun. I’m thankful for the amazing and understanding girlfriend that I got to come home to. And I’m thankful that Vanessa still wanted to include me on this incredible adventure.

Here’s the rough breakdown of our trip followed by my video and some awesome pictures:

Day One: 6.5 hour drive from Tucson to Barton Flats Campground in San Bernardino National Forrest
Day Two: 9 hour drive to Kelsey Creek Campground in Clear Lake State Park
Day Three: 4.5 hour drive to Elk Prairie Campground in Redwood State and National Forrest
Day Four: 4.5 hour drive to Wildcat Campground in Hendy Woods State Park
Day Five: No driving! Another day in Hendy Woods
Day Six: 2 hour drive to Bodega Dunes Campground in Sonoma Coast State Park
Day Seven: 8.5 hour drive to Black Rock Campground in Joshua Tree National Park
Day Eight: 6.5 hour drive home to Tucson

This was honestly a once in a lifetime kind of trip, and I am so lucky to have gotten to experience this adventure this year.

Thanks for reading!

Shopping Online

The more shopping that I do online, the more success I have with getting everything that I ordered to fit me properly. I have a couple of tips and tricks of the trade, and since shopping online has basically become the norm, I thought I would share. (Just as a disclaimer – I’m not a fashion blogger, I’m not someone who gets paid or promoted to use or wear brands, I’m not an influencer, etc. I’m just a body positive girl who has some super simple tricks to share on how to wear the most of your orders.)

There’s three main tips that I have:

1. When possible, try to shop somewhere consistently. If you already know the brand, you’ll have a better understanding of the materials you’re about to purchase and their durability and wear. There are several shopping apps that even have many brands included in their list of products, so you can still have versatility in your wardrobe. Shopping on the same app/website also allows for you to gain points and get coupons for return business. (Pro Tip: Take pics of yourself in each garment when your clothing arrives for potential extra review/rewards points.)

2. DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE SIZE. I cannot stress this enough so I am going to say it again. Do not pay attention to the size. Sizing is not universal, even within a brand’s collection. INSTEAD: Pay attention to the measurements. By looking at measurements over sizing, I have a wardrobe that fits me accurately but ranges from size Small to XXXXL. That is not an exaggeration. Also, by paying attention to measurements, you can ensure the item will have the fit that you are looking for. To know your measurements initially, you can either manually measure yourself or look up the measurements of something that you already own and like that you bought online (or can look up). I usually compare items I’m shopping to things I already have ordered – which helps even more if it is from the same site. I know that anything that’s 19 to 28 inches in the shoulder will fit more on the looser side, where as anything smaller is going to be a bit more fitted. Something 23 inches in length is usually longer with my high-waisted pants, where as 19 inches or less is more crop-top length. (And so on…) By knowing my range, I can better ensure I’ll be able to wear everything I order comfortably.

3. Place your order with enough time to ensure you can find a backup if things do not fit. There’s always a chance that you don’t bat 100 with your order, and if you are planning for something specific, you don’t want to put yourself in a bind. If your order is for an event, make sure you plan ahead. (Side note: When things don’t fit, don’t procrastinate on your return process. If you end up with items that can’t be returned, you can always try to resell through apps or second-hand stores, re-gift the items, or donate to charity.)

I recently went to the mall to do some shopping in-person since I have some upcoming trips planned, but the dressing rooms are still not open due to the pandemic. As a result, this makes in-person shopping just as much of a gamble as online shopping. Yes, you can see the garments in your hands. This does help to ensure the material is what you are looking for. But not being able to try things on does not allow you to know how it would truly fit. Personally, since I was not able to compare the items with the measurements, I only had a 50%ish success rate in things that fit perfectly. The other 50% fit *~okay~* and might fit better when I lose a little weight or style it differently. Even still, without the benefit of trying things on, shopping in person or shopping online are close to the same.

Best of luck!

Thanks for reading.

From The Drafts: Movie Reviews Part 2

I’ve been going through my drafts, and this one has been sitting here for over a year. I have links for a list of movies from “last fall” and “this summer“, and I don’t even know what year this is referring to anymore (2019, maybe?). So in an effort to do some (almost) spring cleaning – here’s the reviews that have been sitting in draft mode for too long:

booksmarttBooksmart: A
Random, hilarious, brilliant. Undermarketed, underappreciated, underrated. Fantastic to see an LGBTQ plot line that wasn’t just a coming out story, and awesome to see a women dominated cast. I laughed a lot and was reminded of many Judd Apatow nuances that I enjoyed. It’s currently on Hulu so will be watching over and over.

murderMurder Mystery: A
Cheesy, corny, and hilariously funny if you like that type of humor. The goofiness and campiness of the film kept me laughing the whole time. And who doesn’t love a good murder mystery? Especially if the beautiful Jennifer Aniston is involved. Since it’s on Netflix, I’ll definitely be watching again.

yesterdayYesterday: B
I love the Beatles, so I was watching this movie for the soundtrack. And yeah, it was there, and the movie was decent, but I was definitely expecting more “wow”. It was a pretty mellow movie overall, but was still a cute film. I enjoyed the Beatles references and covers the most, which kinda took a bit to get to. But it was still a good movie, and I would watch it again.

MA 2

Ma: C
If you’ve watched the trailer, then you’ve basically seen the movie. The entire first hour is just setting up the fact that the kids are going to the house to party, and hardly anything scary happens til the second half of the movie. While there was a few good scary parts, it didn’t have a great ending and was overall pretty underwhelming.

There’s five movies left on the list that I didn’t get to watch and review just yet: Rocketman, Men In Black: International, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Good Boys, and Where’d You Go Bernadette. Maybe I’ll get to them eventually, maybe not, who knows.

Thanks for reading.

I Was Told There’d Be Cake – Essays by Sloane Crosley

This book has been sitting on my shelf for a loooong time. I’m not even sure how it ended up in my possession, but it’s been on my “to read” list for quite a while. I was finally able to dive in this month, thinking that a book of essays would be perfect for my schedule right now. I made my way through the book quicker than I expected.

Honestly, I only loved one of the essays in the book, and it was the first one. So it was kind of as if it set the book up to be super charismatic and funny, and then I was a little disappointed by what followed. The other essays that I started to like a little bit didn’t really have a concrete ending, so I’m not even sure if I liked them or if I just wasn’t as bored reading them as I was some of the others. There were several essays that I truly felt were just about nothing.

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I can tell that the author is a great writer, and had I only read the first essay, I’d be obsessed with her. I’m hoping and assuming that others enjoyed making their way through this book a little bit more than I did. (Regardless, you can find this wherever fine books are sold.)

Thanks for reading!

Jay’s Journal by Anonymous

jay 1After re-reading Go Ask Alice,  I got the suggestion to read Jay’s Journal as well. This was published by the same company, and was also a diary turned novel. Just like in Go Ask Alice, the main character indulges in things that ultimately lead to them losing their life. This journal was also found by the parents of a boy named Jay after his unfortunate suicide.

While Go Ask Alice is mainly focused around drugs, Jay’s Journal focuses more on Jay’s obsession with supernatural forces, devil worship, and voodoo. He calls this practice “O”, and it ranges from Ouija boards and tarot cards to the sacrifice of animals and jay 3consumptions of their raw organs and blood. While there is sometimes drug use, the cult mindset is apparent, and Jay is largely sucked in through his relationship and friends. A lot of the book is very dark, touches on depression, and ends kind of wildly.

I can’t help but wonder how much of this was fabricated and how much was truly authentic, especially in his mother’s notes in the end. I also wonder how much of the events recapped were figments of Jay’s imagination versus true memories. Either way, the story was intriguing and a good follow-up if Go Ask Alice leaves you wanting more. I’m sure you can find this wherever fine books are sold.

Thanks for reading!

5 Goals for 2021

Well. Here’s the thing. Did I meet all of my goals for 2020? Honestly? No. Not all of them. However, I’m not going to be hard on myself about that. 2020 was a fuck of a year. I did what I could, and it wasn’t a total loss, but I’m not quite where I expected to be when I set these goals in the beginning of last year. I’m still unsure what to expect for 2021, but I’m hoping a vaccine starts to show us a world returning to normal. I’m proud of the work I’ve done to adjust during this pandemic, so I have high hopes for this new year. Here are my goals for 2021:

1. I’m happy to report that in both 2019 and 2020, I set and achieved – actually surpassed – my goal of reading at least one book per month. I have no problem believing that this will be a goal that I can reach again this year, and I already have a long list of what I’d like to read.

2. My writing goal from last year went so/so, but I’d like to keep this as a priority for going into the next year. My big goal for 2020 was to finish the rough draft of a book.. and I got 1/4 of the way done. I fell off heavily from my blog, but I was ably to rally at the end of the year and back date a bunch of posts. (I’m still working on a few!) I don’t think it’s realistic for me to write one post a week without drawing my attention away from other projects, so I’m making the goal of one blog post per month for 2021. I’m hoping I also spend time writing the book I was working on, a new one, maybe a collection of essays or even poems, etc. I’m going to open my mind up to whatever creative process fuels my motivation.

3. My finances were actually doing better as a result of the pandemic – a combination of canceled trips and stimulus checks resulted in this. However, I did just move into a new house and spent a ton on Christmas presents, so I wouldn’t say it’s in a fantastic spot at this point. I’d definitely like this to be a focus for myself for 2021, although I already know I have many expenses coming up. Budging and not overspending will be key, and hopefully I’m able to at least cut my debt in half.

4. I’m not thrilled about it, but I gained a ton of weight in quarantine. I’m serious when I say a lot – I gained over 30 pounds in two months when I started working from home. I tried to lose some prior to my cousin’s wedding last August, and I got maybe 10 of those 30 pounds off .. but roughly 5 have been gained back. So.. I’m 25 pounds heavier than I want to be, and I would like that to change. I still have tons of clothes in my closet that I haven’t been able to wear since gaining this pandemic weight, and I want feel as good as I did about my body pre-COVID. So.. 25 pounds need to come off.

5. I want to get vaccinated, and I want to be able to travel again! Assuming everything will be safe, I want to go to new places, plan spontaneous trips, explore new cities, and have some genuine adventure.

One of my other goals from last year was to get move involved with activism or human rights, and 2020 didn’t give me much of a choice. I feel very fortunate to have attended BLM protests and vigils, and I’m still doing a lot of education for myself on this area. I’d still like to keep this a main focus in my life. I also wanted to maintain a life where I only allow good energy into my life, and I feel as though I’ve successfully adapted this as a regular practice into my life.

I’m overall very happy with where I am and looking forward to what is in store for me this upcoming 12 months. Cheers to leaving the past where it belongs and keeping a positive and healthy mindset for 2021.

Thanks for reading!

Books I Read In 2020

booksI set a list of goals in the beginning of 2020, and not quite all of them were met due to the unknown circumstances that 2020 brought on. However, I was able to complete my goal regarding reading. I wanted to read at least one book per month, just as I did in 2019, and I again was able to surpass that goal. Here is a list of all the books I made my way through in 2020:

1.  The Shining by Stephen King

2.   Name Drop by Ross Mathews

3. The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish

4 & 5. GuRu and Workin’ It! by RuPaul

6. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn 

7. Storms Never Last by Joy Elaine McMillan

8. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous 

9. Judge This Cover by Brittany Renner

10. Playground by Jennifer Saginoir

11. Screw Cancer; Becoming Whole by Molly Kochan

12. Bunny Tales by Izabella St. James

13. The Girls Next Door

14. Libra Book

15. When by Daniel H. Pink 

You can find all the books I read in 2019 here. Looking forward to 2021!

Thanks for reading.

2020 Thoughts

Well, 2020 has really been a fuck of a year.. so here’s some thoughts on that.

What’s crazy is that the year actually started out really well. I got to do several fun things in the first couple of months, I was making progress on all of my goals, and I had tons of vacations planned. So when COVID hit, a lot of things changed. I had to cancel trip upon trip – pretty much all of plans that I had for the spring. I started working from home, and what we thought would be two weeks to two months is now going on month number nine.

At first, the trips being canceled was the biggest downside for me. I was actually enjoying working from home and spending time with my girlfriend, and I was thankful for everything I had amidst a really tough time in the world. I was doing different projects and writing and overall had a decent experience the first several months.

After the days started to all blend together, my mental health started to take a toll. Work was slow, and I was home alone for most of the day with just myself and the dogs. My socialization had decreased in this crazy way, and the most interactions I was having regularly was literally on Animal Crossings. I often felt the weight of the walls closing in on me, and I did my best to find distractions and breaks in the day, but it was hard. I then went through a break-up, which was difficult because I thought I was going to lose the person that I was closest to on top of everything else I was battling in my head. I was mostly afraid of being more alone than I already felt. Although there was a lot to work through as we transitioned from relationship to friendship, I’m so thankful that I didn’t lose her during that time.

There was a three or four month period after that where I was on and off active with my depression. It came in waves, and sometimes I let it consume me. It didn’t take long for me to get so sick of being sad all the time, especially in contrast to how happy I was after first moving to Arizona. So basically, I decided to put in the work.

It wasn’t easy at all. There was a lot of work to do. A lot of reflection, internal dialogue, perspective shifting, and inner-demon battling. But I opened up in therapy and was honest about where I was at. I opened up to my best friend and my girlfriend-turned-roommate as best as I could. I focused on things that made me feel like myself. I set goals, and did everything I could to stick to them. I worked on setting up healthy habits in this “new normal” and getting back into a daily routine. I found ways to bring myself joy, and was able to better focus my mindset in a way that serviced me rather than hindered me.

After working on myself and feeling like I was just about back to a good and healthy mental state, I met someone new. I honestly wasn’t sure at that moment if I was ready to jump into something romantic again, feeling like the weight of my break-up and mental health struggle were not that far in my past. However, I remembered something that one of my best friend’s had told me, “Why wait to feel happiness?” This new person made me insanely happy. She’s absolutely amazing, and she is not worth missing out on. We’ve been letting things progress naturally, but I’m so thankful that I was able to put the work in on myself and keep myself open to new love. The way that she makes me feel could not have been more worth it, and I’m so happy to be the best version of myself for her (and me!).

As I go into this new year, I’m actually insanely happy and grateful. I feel so lucky and fortunate for all the friendships and love that I have harvested in my life. I feel surrounded by people who are genuine and authentic and care about me genuinely. I’m proud of myself for having the emotional intelligence to understand how to best care for myself. I’m thankful I was able to put in the work to get to where I am today. And I’m cautiously hopeful for what 2021 could bring me.

Thanks for reading.

When by Daniel H. Pink

As one of my personal goals for my job, I tasked myself with reading a book for my own professional growth. I reached out to my friend who has often given me good professional advice, and she recommended a few different books to me. The one that stuck out to me the most was called When by Daniel H. Pink, and explored the use of our personality types to use timing to our advantage. Since I was often struggling to get lesser-priority projects done, this concept appealed to me. How can I utilize the ebbs and flows of my day to get the most done? I was pleasantly surprised by how useful and informative I found the book’s information. I took over 10 pages of notes in a notebook, and turned this into a presentation for my co-workers.

Here’s all the information that was included in my Powerpoint presentation to my teammates on how to get the most productivity out of your day:

There are 3 typical parts to your day: Peak (highest level of productivity), Trough (break or lull in the day), Rebound (small boost of productivity).

CHRONOTYPE: a personal pattern of circadian rhythms that influences our physiology and psychology

How to figure out your type: Advanced: track your day for 2 weeks to see peak/trough/rebound patterns; Simple: Ask yourself, What time do you go to sleep? What time do you wake up? And what is the mid-point? 12AM – 3 AM: Lark  4AM – 5 AM: Third Birds   6AM – 12PM: Owl

Larks, Owls, and Third Birds: Larks (most active in the morning: PEAK, TROUGH, REBOUND), Owls (most active at night: REBOUND, TROUGH, PEAK), Third Birds (somewhere in the middle).

Finding where you lean can help to make the rebound productivity easier. Essentially, you should figure out your type, understand your tasks, and select the appropriate time to get things done. Do your most important work during your peak and less priority items during your rebound.

Fun Fact: Thomas Edison spent more time in the lab at night rather than during the day.

Inspiration Paradox: when innovation and creativity are greatest when we are not at our best

Coffee Tips: Don’t drink coffee or other forms of caffeine until at least an hour after you’ve been awake, so as to activate natural chemicals in your brain that make you feel awake. Also, for a proper boost, you should drink some coffee right before taking a 10-20 minute nap, and you will wake up feeling rested just as the caffeine kicks in.

Tips for a better morning: 1. Drink a glass of water when you wake up 2. Don’t drink coffee immediately 3. Soak up the morning sun 4. Schedule talk therapy appointments for the morning

RESTORATIVE BREAKS: Breaks help to maintain focus and reactivate our commitment.

Breaks can help to mitigate your trough of the day, can reduce errors, reduce turnover, reduce stress, and improve overall mood. This can often make lunch the most important meal of the day, not breakfast.

Tip: DO NOT EAT LUNCH AT YOUR WORKSPACE: lunchtime is an important recovery setting.

Tips for Breaks: Something is better than nothing (even a quick breaks is good); Moving beats stationary (walk around); Social beats solo (socializing helps to replenish); Outside beats inside (get into nature!); Fully detached beats semi-detached (unplug! stop talking about work!

Best recommendation for a restorative break: consider a short walk outside with a friend during which you discuss non-work related things.

What to do if you don’t have control over your daily schedule: 1. Be aware: take precautions, like prepping the night before an early meeting 2. Work the margins: use downtime to your advantage

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I hope this is able to help inspire some productivity! For more information on timing, processes, and more, you can find this book wherever fine books are sold.

Thanks for reading!

Top 5 Schitt’s Creek Moments

My new obsession and current favorite show is Schitt’s Creek, and I’m honestly mad at myself for waiting so long to indulge. My whole family is obsessed with this show – from my parents, to my sister, and even my grams. It’s truly a cultural phenomenon, and I couldn’t recommend more. Here’s a list of my top 5 moments from the entire series (warning: may contain spoilers):

The Wine Scene: After Stevie and David hook up, Stevie has some questions regarding David’s sexuality. This is where the wonderful wine analogy was born! Stevie tells David that she only drinks red wine, and she thought that David also only drank red wine. David then responds, “I do drink red wine, but I also drink white wine. And I’ve been known to sample the occasional rose. And a couple summers back, I tried a merlot that used to be a chardonnay .. I like the wine and not the label, does that make sense?” This is truly a beautiful expression of how open and fluid sexuality can be, and I am incredibly here for it.

A Little Bit Alexis: During her audition for Cabaret, Alexis blesses us with a dance to the theme song from her reality series, A Little Bit Alexis. This is pure genius and absolute hilarity. “I’m a Lamborghini; I’m a Hollywood star; I’m a little bit tipsy when I drive my car. I’m expensive sushi; I’m a huge huge yacht; I’m a little bit single even when I’m not.” It’s brilliant.

Life Is A Cabaret: The entire Cabaret production is just total fun, and this is my favorite episode of the entire series. A lot of good things happen in this episode, but Stevie’s performance of “Maybe This Time” makes me emotional every single time. There’s so much emotion at a time when you have so much love for these characters, and you can’t help but feel what they are feeling along with them. “Maybe this time, it’s gonna happen, maybe this time, maybe this time I’ll win!”

Simply The Best: I don’t think it’s possible to watch this show and not be obsessed with David and Patrick’s relationship. They are absolutely adorable, and their love story was a big win for LGBTQ television. The two scenes that really get to me most revolve around the song “Simply The Best”. Patrick first sings this song to David during the open mic night at Rose Apothecary, and David then does his own performance to the song in order to make things up to Patrick after a fight. Both are completely heartfelt moments where you fall in love as they do.

Precious Love: I believe this is the season 2 finale, and this scene does a great job of bringing the family together in a way that really warms your heart. The entire Rose family congregates at a local barn party, where the kids were not expecting to see their parents. They all smile and dance together as a family to the song “Precious Love”, and it’s an adorable way to end the season.

Honorable mention: There’s a super quick moment in one episode where the Roses attend Roland and Joslyn’s party, where they are offered some weed. Johnny takes a big hit of the joint, and promptly shot guns the smoke to Moira without missing a beat. Moira already knew to lean in for the shot gun, as if this was routine for them, and she calmly and cooly holds the hit in her lungs while they watch Roland struggle with his turn. It’s couple goals, it’s boss bitch energy, and it’s a true moment of pure gold.

You can of course binge this incredible series entirely on Netflix, and I suggest you get started immediately.

Thanks for reading!

Ross Mathews Presents: The Loony Bin

Writing this post is kind of crazy. I’ve been a listener of the Straight Talk with Ross podcast for years now, and I’ve tried to get as involved as I possibly can. Being a huge Ross Mathews fan, the show was always such a fun community for me. Well, now I get to join it officially.

Ross reached out to me asking about my interest in this new idea he has. I don’t listen to Howard Stern, but I guess he has a group of regular call-in characters that he calls “The Wack Pack”, and Ross wants to do something similar. He asked me and four other “super-listeners” if we would like to be a part of what Ross is going to call, “The Loony Bin.”

As a Loony Bin member, I will get to be on the show every week. I’m gonna say that again. I AM GOING TO BE ON THE PODCAST EVERY SINGLE WEEK!!!!!

Since the podcast has been recorded via Zoom due to the pandemic, the five of us “Loons” will be given the link every week and we will dial in with the rest of the hosts. We will have our video/audio on and off throughout the podcast recording, so as to give the effect that we are “in the bin” (aka in or out of certain segments). We’ll be a part of different games and discussions and will also get to ask questions to our guests that come on the program. I am stoked!

This is honestly crazy. It’s one thing to have Ross answer my phone calls or play my voicemails on the podcast, but I never in a million years expected to be invited to be a regular part of the program. I’m so excited to get involved in something that I have loved so much for so long. The Straight Talk community has been an amazing experience to be a part of so far, and I couldn’t be more hype.

So! I’m definitely not going to write a post every single week being on the show, but maybe I’ll do an update after a year or something. I can’t even believe where things are, especially thinking back to how things started. Regardless, I could be more thankful and excited.

Thanks for reading!

Bunny Tales by Izabella St James

As I continue my Playboy deep dive, and I found myself rereading all my Playboy favorites. This was my second time reading Bunny Tales by Izabella St. James, which is basically a manual for all things Playboy circa 90’s and 2000’s. If you want some serious inside info, this is where you should go.

The book starts off with Izabella’s back story, which includes her family escaping communism in Poland. The story is interesting but gets a little long, but it’s somewhat important if you want to get to know and understand Izabella. However, if you’re only interested in Hef and the mansion, then skip the first 2-3 chapters and get straight to the good stuff. (Fun Fact: She actually meets Hef somewhat through “Dr. Feelgood,” the dad from Playground!)

The book spends an entire chapter on all the subjects and their details that you’re dying to know:

  • The mansion layout and details, including the famous grotto
  • Previous girlfriends and the drama behind the rotation of blondes
  • The daily routines of Hef
  • The weekly routines of the girlfriends
  • The girlfriend rules and how they were broken
  • The financials spent on the parade of girlfriends and their luxuries
  • How things went down in the bedroom
  • Events and mansion parties (and the club scene)
  • All the ins and outs of Mr Playboy himself, and more!

She gets real, breaks things down, gives you the details of the drama, and probably covers her ass here and there as well, in all honestly. She definitely makes a point to paint herself in a good light in all situations, though she was not separated whatsoever from the scene and the drama.

As someone who wants to know all the behind-the-scenes of the elaborate world that Mr. Hefner created around himself, this book gave me everything I was looking for. The unique insight is captivating and fascinating, and only just scratches the surface of a multi-decade story. With that being said, I definitely intend to read more.

Thanks for reading!

Quarantine Diaries: Traveling Home Part 2

I’ve already done some traveling during covid, but I had to go back east again for my cousin’s wedding. If I’m gonna fly all the way home, I usually make a whole trip out of it, since I don’t go home super often. After the wedding (which was SO fun), I spent some time with friends down the shore and in Philly, and also spent plenty of time with my family.

Here’s some pics from the trips:

15I mentioned before that I’ve flown both American Airlines and Delta, and that Delta was far superior during times of covid. That statement still stands, as they are still doing their best to social distance the plane and boarding procedures. American Airlines is still operating as normal, which is why I feel much safer flying Delta these days. Not sure that I’ll be flying again until the holidays, but happy to answer any questions on this that anyone might have in order to stay safe.

Thanks for reading!

Screw Cancer; Becoming Whole by Molly Kochan

An amazing human who I know and love named Nikki Boyer sadly lost her nearly lifelong friend Molly to cancer last year. Before she passed, Nikki was able to document her unique and intriguing stories through a podcast called Dying For Sex. The podcast is a 10 episode series that journeys Molly’s sexual escapades as she simultaneously entered a terminal cancer diagnosis. It’s a story that’s nothing like I’ve ever heard, offering an uncharted perspective. In addition to the podcast, Molly also did some writing as her health declined, which Nikki was able to turn into a book about a year after her passing.

Unfortunately, Molly’s story is somewhat dark, and involves a broken family and experiences of sexual abuse. This affected many many aspects of Molly’s life, which she is able to reflect on in a cathartic yet completely truthful way. Once getting her second cancer diagnosis, it’s like she dove headfirst into the insight of her life and decided actively on how she wanted to spend the rest of it. Her strength is admirable – both in her reflections and in her struggles through cancer.

The way that Molly writes is real, raw, and contains incredible clarity. You can see her thought processes laid out on the pages, and her authenticity shines through. It’s a true gift that she was able to find and share her voice, even if in the last chapter of her life.

To read Molly’s story, you can order the book on Amazon or other various vendors. I also highly recommend listening to the podcast as well, Dying For Sex, to hear Molly’s voice.

Thanks for reading.

Playground by Jennifer Saginor

playground2This is one of my absolute all-time favorite books of my entire life! I’ve read this book multiple times, and probably find my way back to it every several years (just like Go Ask Alice).  I’m a HUGE fan of Playboy, and this book was what opened the doors into all of my Hugh Hefner knowledge. Honestly, no one can convince me that this isn’t one of the greatest books that exists – it’s freaking amazing. 

This is the very real story of Jennifer Saginor, whose dad was a very well-known doctor in LA. He img_2482also happened to be best friends with Hugh Hefner, and was known as “Dr. Feel Good”. He spent ample time at the Playboy mansion, and brought his daughters along with him. Jennifer’s life is never the same after her first trip to the mansion, where she sees a playmate screwing John Belushi at just six years old. The infamous playground and the lifestyle that comes with it becomes intoxicating to Jennifer and starts to swallow her whole. From wild parties with A list celebrities, to a secret affair with one of Hef’s girlfriends, to all the drugs anyone could ever want – the journey is quite a crazy ride. 

carrie leighIn a weird way, this book has wildly impacted my life. The book made me fascinated by all the mansion adventures, intrigued by the LA lifestyle, and absolutely obsessed over the true identity of Kendall (My best guess is Carrie Leigh, but even after hours of research, I’m still not 100% sure!) It’s helped me to escape from reality, understand my sexuality, and gave me unique and amazing insight into a legendary empire. I respect and admire Jennifer so much for everything she’s been through, and for being willing to be vulnerable and share her story. I actually recently reached out to her on Instagram as a fan, and got a really nice response!

img_2483playgroundThis a fascinating, interesting, heartbreaking and infatuating story, and I HIGHLY suggest getting your copy wherever fine books are sold. I’m currently going into a full Playboy deep dive, so stay tuned as I make my way through more books as well as the full series of The Girls Next Door

Thanks for reading.

VOTE! (By Mail)

vote 4The election this year is HEAVY – for many reasons. 2020 has been a shit-show of a year, and we have not had the proper administration to handle the state of the world. As a result, voting is more important than ever. The pandemic obviously makes this election problematic, so please make sure you utilize your resources to vote safely.

Today is voting day for Arizona, but I’ve already sent my ballot in by mail. You can visit the @votesaveamerica Instagram for all kinds of voting resources, including information and deadlines for voting by mail.

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You can also request a mail-in ballot and get more information on your state, visit vote.org or usa.gov. To stay informed and to see what’s on your ballot, you can visit ballotpedia.org rockthevote.org, or vote411.org.

Thanks for reading.

Ross Mathews Posted My Del Taco Video

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My virtual love affair with Ross Mathews continues, as one of my videos has been posted onto the Kish Kish Club on Patreon! I got the notification and saw my name, and I almost couldn’t believe it! Ross is shimply the best, and the fact that I get to be so involved with the podcast is truly unbelievable to me. 

On recent episodes, Ross had encouraged the ordering of the “Double Del Cheeseburger” from Del Taco. This has led to quite a saga, as Fagsy did not order the right item the first time and had to go back for a second try. img_1723Since then, lots of Straight Talk fans have been giving the burger a try, including myself! I filmed my adventures in ordering via the drive-thru and my thoughts while eating the burger, and edited it into a 2 minute video. I pulled up an email to Ross Mathews, attached the video, and hit send!

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The burger was actually really good, by the way. I had only had Del Taco once in my life – and that was after hearing about it on Grace And Frankie. We don’t have Del Taco back east, so I was eager to try it when I moved out west. The only Del Taco in Tucson is a little far from where I live, so I only had it one time before this excursion. I ordered a taco and fries, which really blew my mind – since you can’t do that at Taco Bell! Fries and tacos… what a dream. 

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The video is really only available to watch if you are a part of the Kish Kish Club, which costs less that $7 on Patreon. Sorry that I can’t post it here, but I’m just happy that Ross posted it at all! You can hear Ross mention that he posted the video on episode 331 (released on July 31st, titled “Feminine Crunch”) in the last three minutes of the show. 

Thanks for reading!

RuPaul’s Drag Race Emmy Nominations

img_1650img_1651Okay, I know I’ve really been going HARD for RuPaul and Drag Race lately. But guess what? I’m not the only one giving this show some major buzz. Especially considering the show has just been nominated for 13 Emmys!! Last year, they had 14 nominations as well, and in both 2018 and 2019, the show first won big for “Outstanding Competition Program”, and RuPaul won for “Outstanding Host for a Reality Program”. Again, this year had a list of 13 nominations:

RuPaul’s Drag Race:
Outstanding Competition Program
Outstanding Host For A Reality Or Competition Program
Outstanding Directing For A Reality Program
Outstanding Casting For A Reality Program
Outstanding Cinematography For A Reality Program
Outstanding Costumes For Variety, Non Fiction, Or Reality Program
Outstanding Picture Editing For Structured Or Competition Reality Program
Outstanding Contemporary Makeup For A Variety, Non Fiction, Or Reality Program (Non-Prosthetic)
Outstanding Sound Mixing For A Non Fiction Or Reality Program
Outstanding Contemporary Hair Styling For A Variety, Non Fiction, Or Reality Program

RuPaul’s Drag Race: UnTucked:
Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program
Outstanding Picture Editing For An Unstructured Reality Program

Out Of The Clost:
Outstanding Short Form Non Fiction Or Reality Series

Other notable queer nominations include Billy Porter for Outstanding Lead Actor in Pose, Laverne Cox for Outstanding Guest Actress in Orange Is The New Black, and 6 total nominations for Queer Eye!

The 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel; Tune into ABC on Sunday, September 20th, 2020 to watch.

Thanks for reading!

Judge This Cover by Brittany Renner

brittanyI was fascinated by Brittany Renner since the first second I ever laid eyes on her, via Instagram of course. I pressed that follow button instantly and let @bundleofbrittany level up my Instagram feed. She has this incredible bad bitch confidence – someone you want to both be and be with at the time time. She published a “tell-all” book in 2018, where she told the stories of seven high-profile men she’s had experiences with. After seeing her constant reposts on her Insta stories of everyone reading her book, I finally caved and decided I needed to see what all the drama was about. 

img_1635Judge This Cover is a compilation of seven stories with seven different men – all whose names have been changed. Now with a bit of digging on the internet, someone on Twitter was able to find the clues that led to who is who. I read the article that listed the real men behind the stories in this book, and HOLY FUCK. Like, we are talking HIGH high profile. She definitely did what she could to hide things – she flipped Tyga to an athlete, and talked about attending a game rather than a performance. And with Drake, she referred to his “team”, which also could have him mistaken for an athlete. But ya know, leave it to Twitter to uncover all the breadcrumbs. 

img_1643Her early life and what she’s been through was really interesting; I could have read an entire book on the stories that were quickly covered during the intro section. I think this project was cathartic for her, but she chose to only focus on the men in her life that hurt her. I’ll admit that it would certainly be harder to be this vulnerable with family, but it definitely would have been an interesting read. 

img_1633The seven chapters with the seven men are really not split up evenly whatsoever. The first man actually takes up the entire first half of the fucking book, so he’s clearly made a big impact on her life. I mean, she did leave school and sports for him, and the whole situation was really wild. (It should really be made into a movie or TV series someday.) The rest of the men were quick stories to flip through, but each one made an impact in its own way. I appreciate her honesty in recounting the events, as she was not afraid to tell things like it is. The way she wrote this overall was really interesting, as it was written to the men. She recounted events and feelings as if she was writing them each their own love letter. She’s speaking directly to them, while the whole world reads. This kind of vulnerability is really powerful and makes such a statement. I was truly intrigued. 

img_1634I enjoyed reading this book much more than I was expecting to. I found that I can relate to her in the fact that her story seems tied up in other people, yet she’s fiercely independent and can completely stand on her own. She is such a captivating human, and the way she loves is unique and passionate. All these stories have clearly affected her life quite a bit, and love makes you do crazy things.

img_1644She’s recently gotten into a new relationship, which looks sweet and promising. However, it’s definitely changed her Instagram just a smidge, and I noticed that she’s archived a lot of her old posts. I still recommend following her anyway, watching her YouTube videos, and definitely grabbing a copy wherever books are sold. After reading the book, I actually posted a pic to my Instagram story, and she reposted me! I’m still really hype about it. 

Thanks for reading!

Ross Mathews Podcast Updates

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I feel like as time goes on, my interactions with Ross Mathews become more and more normal.. but they aren’t at all! It’s still truly crazy and awesome that Ross reads my emails, listens to my voicemails, and now has even had me on the show via zoom! There’s three episodes that I’ve been featured on that I haven’t documented just yet, so here they are:

 

img_1727Episode 322 – Red Underpants, May 16
Apparently, Ross had sent out a tweet that he was asking for questions from listeners, but I had no idea and just sent in a normal lengthy voicemail like I normally do. Ross teased how I didn’t ask a question in the whole voicemail, and asked for random times to play and see whatever I was saying at that moment. This new game starts at one hour, 3 minutes, and 10 seconds (1:03:10).

 

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Episode 323 – I Don’t Wanna, May 22
Okay, so maybe I was a little bummed after hearing the previous episode. You see, I was really hoping to be a guest on the podcast someday! And the new game that Ross played with my voicemail led to jokes of how I couldn’t be a guest because I’d never stop talking. Feeling discouraged, I sent a short voicemail to Ross explaining that the voicemails are just for fun but that I promise I don’t dominate all conversations in my life. I still felt I would be a great guest on the podcast, and I sorta accidentally got my wish! Ross first emailed me back, saying how much he appreciated me and that it was all in good fun. He then played my discouraged voicemail on the podcast, which I will admit was the first time I actually got embarrassed. THEN – he sent me a link to a zoom meeting via email, and invited me to actually come on the show! I quickly clicked in, and was able to talk to the gang for about 10 minutes or so! So in the end, it all worked out. The voicemail is played around minute 10:47, and I come on as a guest around minute 19:48. You can actually watch the video stream via the Kish Kish Club on Patreon for less than $7 a month.

 

img_1728Episode 324 – Mom, June 12
As if there wasn’t enough darkness in the world right now, Ross unfortunately suffered the loss of his mother sometime towards the end of May/early June. There was a break in the podcasts for obvious reasons, and the whole community stood by Ross as he took time to heal. We all sent messages, thoughts, prayers, and all the love we have. I sent in a voicemail with my condolences, along with lots of hearts, comments, and positivity. When they did return to the podcast, Ross dedicated the show to his amazing mother, and spent the show paying tribute to her memory. My voicemail to Ross is played around minute 21:21. R.I.P Gay Mathews. ♡

 

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You can find Straight Talk With Ross wherever you listen to podcasts, or for a direct link to all episodes, CLICK HERE. You can also follow the podcast on Instagram @hellorosspod.

img_1726I’ve talked with Ross about possibly having some sort of segment on the show, something on the Kish Kish Club on Patreon, or another kind of participation and involvement. We definitely don’t have a clear picture of what that looks like just yet, but I’m excited to see what happens moving forward. I really love this group of people and it makes me so happy to be a part of the family.

So, hopefully there’s a lot more to come!

Thanks for reading!

Quarantine Diaries: Traveling Home

So originally, my cousin was supposed to get married at the end of June. My girlfriend and I had planned a nice mini “East Coast tour” centered around the fact that I had to go home anyway for this wedding. Our plans included seeing my hometown as well as the city of Philadelphia, New York City, and the Jersey shore. Unfortunately, COVID had forced my cousin to push back the date of his wedding. What’s more, there was many places we wanted to go that were now not open for business. So, we had to rearrange our plans.

We certainly thought about not going at all, but instead shortened our trip and were still able to see a modified version of our original list. NYC was definitely out, but we did get a very quick driving tour of old city Philly in. We also got to spend some time with my friends in Philly, which included going to Morgan’s Pier and hanging out at my friend’s apartment with a great cheese plate. We also spent time in my hometown and with my family, and went down to Wildwood Crest for the weekend. Vanessa (who grew up in the desert) was obsessed with all the trees, greenery and landscaping, which really cracked my family up. We stopped to, quite literally, smell the flowers, and to take pictures with trees.  The beach was also awesome, of course, and we were able to do some kayaking and paddle boarding while we were down as well. We did a lot, but also did a lot less than we were going to pre-COVID. But truly, we had a great time! It was nice to spend some time at home, of course, but was also nice to plan a vacation centered around my hometown. I really enjoyed it. 

Traveling during COVID was obviously a little daunting and worrisome, but it wasn’t too bad. Here’s what I’ll say – this is a time where the airline you choose really matters. We flew American Airlines, where travel was pretty much business as normal. Our flights were 80% full or higher, with some even being completely full. Masks were required, of course, unless you were eating. The flight attendants gave you a little goodie bag when you got on the plane, and then didn’t really walk up and down the isles except to collect trash at the end. But again, otherwise it was just like any other American flight I’ve been on. I traveled home again about a month later, where I flew Delta. This was an entirely different experience. First off, they were not booking any middle row seats, so the plane was much more spread out. This already really eased a lot of anxiety. On several flights, I even had an entire row to myself. They also boarded the plane from back to front, where as American boarded front to back – which doesn’t make a lot of sense, since you’re forcing everyone to pass each other. The attendants still gave you a goodie bag, as well as wipes. They definitely walked up and down the isles a bit more than on American, but perhaps that was because of how spread out everyone was. After those two experiences, I would definitely recommend to fly Delta during COVID if you are traveling. Now, I’ll be traveling home AGAIN next month, where I’m flying American one direction and Delta the other, so I can give an update then on if this was a one-off experience or if you really should stick to Delta. 

I really didn’t take as many pictures as I could have, but here’s a collection of some of the good ones I found:

 

Thanks for reading! 

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

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Go Ask Alice is one of my most favorite books of all time. It’s a classic, it never gets old, and I could read it again and again. Actually, I have – probably over 8 times at this point. Every couple of years I get reminded of it and come back to it, and it never disappoints.

The book is a true story, and is the very real pages of a girl’s diary from the 70’s. Nothing is fabricated – it’s simply a compilation of the pages she wrote about her life. The girl gets mixed in with drugs, and she writes about the rabbit hole she goes down. She also writes about her endeavors to stay away from drugs, and how her old crown torments her. It’s a wildly interesting ride, and I continuously get back in line again and again. 

My fascination with this book runs deep, and we have quite a history. The go ask alice 2first time I obtained a copy of the book, it was from my hometown library. I wanted to reread the book and forgot to check it out again, and instead just never returned it. I only had to pay them the price of the book, so I essentially bought it from the library for like $10. For whatever reason, I liked that it had the tags and stuff on the spine. It was a special copy for me. Then in college I lent it to this girl, whose idiot brother attempted to return it to their hometown local library. Safe to say I never saw that book again, and I’m definitely still bitter! I purchased a Kindle version years later when I had found my way back to it, and this year purchased a new copy when I found my way back again.

Also, when I was in college, I took a class called “Oral Interpretation”. We basically took pieces of text and had to perform them, thus switching the intended media. For one of the assignments, I took the section of the book in which the girl does LSD for the first time and memorized it for a performance. It was roughly 3 pages stored in my head of her experience of unknowingly doing drugs and the ride she went on. I had such fun, and definitely got an A. 

go ask alice movie

I never realized there was a movie that went along with this book, but it doesn’t do it full justice. The film was made in the 70’s and is only about an hour long. It’s definitely got that 70’s movie quality with the signature bad acting, and kinda felt like an old after-school special. Some lines from her diary entries were read as a sort of voice-over narration for the main character, and some of the lines were exact from the book. The movie overall wasn’t awful, but was very cheesy and definitely low-budget. I did love all the 70’s style clothing and the fact that it featured “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane, which is famously known for referencing the “Alice in Wonderland” metaphor as well. Feed your head.

Honestly, go ask aliceplease please read this book. It’s so crazy and fascinating and interesting and takes you through so many ups and downs. It’s a quick read, and you will get hooked and fall right down the rabbit hole with her. Available wherever fine books are sold! 

Thanks for reading. 

Storms Never Last by Joy Elaine McMillan

IMG-1329I’ve had a long time fascination with the Playboy Enterprises, Hugh Hefner, and the women wrapped up in it all. So going into reading Storms Never Last, I was definitely excited to get a perspective that was from a different time period than I’m used to reading about. However, many things were not exactly what I was expecting.

Since the tagline of the book reads, “Memoirs Of A Playboy Bunny”, I was assuming I was going to read somewhat about the earlier years of Hef (most of the stories in the book took place in the 60’s). However, this woman was not only in Cleveland, Ohio rather than LA, but also never even met Hef a day in her life. After reading that, I honestly almost stopped reading the book. But it was short, and I felt obligated to see it through til the end.

So basically, she worked in the Playboy Club that was located in Cleveland. These clubs were popular in many major cities, and there was a set of rules that came along with working as a Bunny. This was the only part of the book that I really liked or learned anything – when she was describing the rules alongside the job. Their uniforms had to fit certain ways, they had to stand in specific positions, and give branded responses to questions. None of this shocked me, given what I know about how Hef ran things in the mansion.

That being said, the part that involved the Playboy Clubs was very short, as she didn’t even work there for very long. Most of the book was just random attempts at claim to fame. She talked about her husbands (who were all fame-adjacent) and how she attempted to make it big as a model and actress. She had a very strange “little ol’ me” attitude, and honestly didn’t come off as super intelligent. She also spent a long time talking through murders of other women who worked in the clubs, and how she interacted with people who later became known serial killers.

It’s kind of as though this girl thought she was super interesting, or at least desperately wanted to be interesting. So the book is more or less about anything that could even a little bit make her remotely notable. I’m also confused if she had a writer for this or if she just had a nickname, since the author is listed as Joy but the women in the book was named Betty. I wish I had enjoyed the book more so that I was curious enough to figure that out.

I’m pretty sure that this book was given to me as a gift, so it was likely found on Amazon or other places where books are sold. I don’t know that I would recommend this honestly, unless you’ve already read playboy clubbeverything else Playboy that there is to read. If you’d like to dive into the world of Playboy, I recommend reading Playground by Jennifer Saginor or Bunny Tales by Izabella St. James. Honestly, I might just reread them both – they’re amazing books, totally worth your time. (Don’t read Holly Madison’s book… definitely NOT worth your time.)

Thanks for reading.

What Is Your Vote Saying?

What is your vote saying?

If your daughter/sister/mother was sexually assaulted, would you vote their molester/rapist into the white house?

If your race was being heavily discriminated against, would you vote someone into office who contributed to the problem?

If your right to love, marry, and start a family was at risk, would your vote go to someone who does not support your lifestyle?

If your family was being ripped apart, deported unfairly, or kept in detention centers, would you vote for the man trying to eject you and your loved ones?

What makes all these things worth it for you? Money? Taxes? The right to bear arms?

I honestly want to know why anything would take priority for your vote over human rights.

Maybe it’s easy for you to justify, because you aren’t personally affected. But that’s incredibly selfish, and you are voting for hate.

Nothing like the above should be worth your vote when huge groups of people are suffering in so many ways.

Think about what your vote says. If you vote for Trump, here is what you’re saying:

You’re okay with women being sexually harassed. You’re okay with black people being racially profiled and harmed unfairly. You’re okay with LGBTQ+ rights being taken away. You’re okay with Mexicans and other non-white races being deported unjustly. You’re okay with injustice and collusion in your government. You’re okay with bullying and immature name calling representing our country. You’re okay with hate existing in America.

Think about your female, black, queer, trans, and immigrant friends and loved ones. Would they be proud of you?

This isn’t about your political party. It’s simply about human rights and equality.

Please think long and hard about where your vote is going this year. Think about what your vote is truly saying. Think about what side of history you want to be on.

Thanks for reading.

FuckTrump-Alex_Shannon

How Can I Help? By Kayla Danielle #BLM

Honestly, I don’t want to take up too much time here, because my voice is not the one that matters right now. Instead, I want to provide a link to a post by an absolutely beautiful soul with some great resources to support this movement.

Please stop and read the below link and explore the resources that have been provided:

How Can I Help? By Kayla Danielle 

You can find her blog link here: http://kayladanielleblog.com/
and can follow her on Instagram @kayla.greenx.

**Please do not scroll forward until you have clicked and explored the above links.**

 

I promise to continue to do my part to educate myself, show up, speak out, and incite positive change. Here are some pictures from the events I’ve attended:

Black lives matter.

Thanks for reading.

New Tattoos (part three)

Yes, more tattoos! Always more tattoos.

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The first tattoo I actually got back in March, JUST before COVID really hit. It was a Friday the 13th, and we weren’t even sure if parlor’s would be open as a result of the pandemic. Things hadn’t completely hit AZ super hard just yet, so they did operate as normal. I thought maybe there wouldn’t be a big turn out, but a decent amount of people did show up. Anyway, I’ve always visually loved maps, but this tattoo took on even more of a meaning now. The world is just one place, even though people break us down into continents, countries, states, etc. But really, we’re all just people on one planet – no matter where you are on the map. COVID really proved that, affecting the entire world as one. Not that I got this tattoo because of COVID, but the theme just kinda fit.

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The second tattoos is actually a transformation of my original tattoo into a bigger meaning. My first tattoo was for my Pop-Pop who had passed, but I had other relatives who had passed since then. I wanted to find a way to incorporate everyone – living or not – into the tattoo, without having a list of some sort. When I was in college, I took a creative writing class where I wrote a poem about my grandparents. I used tree imagery as the idea of foundation, and the poem was printed for several of my family members. I also made a tree drawing for my Grams where I wrote her and my Pop-Pop’s name in the trunk, their kids’ names in the branches, and the grandkids’ names in the leaves. Since this tree metaphor was reoccurring, I decided to turn the tattoo into an overarching theme of family. The tattoo artist is awesome for working with me, and I love the way it turned out.

So, since one of these tattoos is a reform, I guess this brings my total up to 13! More to come of course, especially since there’s another Friday the 13th this fall.

Thanks for reading!

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

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I’ve heard of Gone Girl, but I wasn’t really familiar with Gillian Flynn at all. I saw that HBO had released a show based on her novel Sharp Objects, I decided to give her a try and I was pleasantly surprised. I’m not well-versed in murder mysteries, but I was drawn right in. Gillian Flynn is a great writer, and I plan on reading more of her novels in the future as well.

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Sharp Objects really holds up as a book. She keeps the story moving and keeps you intrigued, while still slowly setting up the story. Some things are a little cliche, like the small town vibe and the thirst of a journalist looking for the next story. But without giving anything away – the ending is fantastic and something I was not expecting.

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She show was almost identical to the book, which I very much appreciated. It was amazingly cast, and I was surprised with how much I liked Amy Adams as the main character. The ending of the show kind of ends on a climax, so you don’t get the falling out details that you get in the book, which I think was a mistake. I very much enjoyed seeing the repercussions in the end and how those around them reacted, and I think those who watched the show were robbed of that. However, I truly have no complaints other than that – it’s really well done.

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You can of course find the novel wherever fine books are sold, and the HBO show is still available to stream via HBO Max or other HBO streaming services. If you’re into this genre, I definitely definitely definitely recommend!

Thanks for reading.

Quarantine Diaries: Puzzles

I’ve always been a big fan of puzzles, even long before quarantine started. Luckily my love for 1,000 piece jigsaws had piled up when covid hit, so I had plenty of puzzles to work through. I still have plenty left to put together (though I am definitely taking my time, as there’s no end to this fuckery of a year), but here’s some pictures of my accomplishments:

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More to come as I continue on with my puzzle endeavors.

Thanks for reading!

What To Watch: Wow Presents Plus

wow 1So like I said before, I’ve been diving into all things RuPaul and all things RuPaul’s Drag Race and all things drag in general! So during quarantine, I bought myself a subscription to WOW Presents Plus, where I’ve unlocked an insane amount of drag related things to watch! Obviously you can watch RuPaul’s Drag Race and the affiliated series that other countries are putting out, but there’s also plenty of exclusive content from all your drag favorites. Here’s five shows you could be watching if you had WOW Presents Plus:

wow4Werq The World
This series features 20-ish minute videos that focus on one of your favorite queen from the franchise, while on the Werq The World Tour. New episodes released every tuesday with plenty of backstage footage, co-star insight and anecdotes, and a whole lot of fun!

wow2Fashion Photo Ruview
Raja and Raven, who are two of my all-time favorites, “toot” and “boot” the looks of the queens from each episode as they walk down the runway! I usually watch this weekly on YouTube, but there’s so much more content on WOW Plus than I even knew existed.

wow5The Vivienne Takes On Hollywood
This is actually the mini-series that The Vivienne received as a prize when she got crowned during Rupaul’s Drag Race UK season one. It’s a cute, funny, and lighthearted series that we definitely enjoyed watching.

wow1DragCon Live
Since DragCon was unfortunately unable to be held this year, we were able to tune in to live-stream the event through the app. There’s some random videos and content to page through on there as well, but I’m hoping for another live-stream this fall during when DragCon NYC 2020 was supposed to take place.

wow3How’s Your Head, Hun?
This one is still on my “to-watch” list – cause there really is so much content to get through on the app! I’ll be tuning in soon to watch Michelle Visage do all kinds of things, including interviewing many of our Drag Race contestants and judges.

wow 3These are just a few of so many more original shows. Just to name a few, there’s two (or maybe more?) Trixie and Katya shows, a couple Alyssa Edwards shows, a show called Can Do Queens with Kameron Michaels, and so much more. Download the app from your appstore or visit www.wowpresentsplus.com to signup – I believe it costs $3.99 a wow 2month, or at least it did when I signed up. Hopefully all this drag content will make quarantine a little easier!

Thanks for reading.

What To Watch: RuPaul’s Drag Race Updates

Okay so again, Drag Con was supposed to be last week, so I’ve just been diving into all things Rupaul. I wanted to give some updates to my previous “What To What Series” post regarding everything RuPaul’s Drag Race – as I have discovered new content!

all stars 5RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 5: First, you can add All Stars 5 – (2020) to the bottom of the previous list. This summer series has some of the best fan favorites back to compete for the crown, and surprisingly, All Stars did not disappoint! My favorite queen of the season was absolutely 100% without a doubt Jujubee. She is absolutely hilarious and amazing, and we will now always keep the house at a sensible 75 degrees. This season is available on VH1 and the VH1 app.

drag race judgesRuPaul’s Secret Celebrity Drag Race: This was a fun mini-series, consisting of only 4 episodes. Different “celebrities” worked with Drag Race legends to compete for an amateur crown. I only knew a couple of the many celebs that came into the workroom, but I really did enjoy this series special. I hope they do something like this again in the future. Also available on VH1.

thiland Drag Race Thailand: If you are down for subtitles, this is actually really fierce. DR Thailand finds a way to make the show completely their own, while still giving us all the things we love out of the competition. There’s two (presumably) famous drag queens that act as co-hosts, with many guest judges who are very involved. It was really fascinating to watch and learn more about a culture that I was not super familiar with. I definitely need to watch a second time, since a lot can be missed when you have to rely so heavily on subtitles. Season 2 is available on WOW Presents Plus, but I’m still trying to figure out how to watch season 1.

canadaCanada’s Drag Race: Again, everything you love about Drag Race with some of its own Canadian charm thrown in. I will say, I definitely thought all the queens would be way way nicer to each other, just because of the stereotype. But these queens got heat, and are bringing their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. Brooke Lynn Heights and Jeffery Bowyer Chapman team up with Stacey McKenzie to make the 3 team judging panel. Weekly episodes are being released currently on WOW Presents Plus.

the switchThe Switch Drag Race: I haven’t watched this one just yet, but this is the Drag Race of Chile! My Spanish is mediocre, but hopefully I can maybe strengthen my abilities by watching these two seasons. I’m really excited to dive into this one as soon as I can, and hopefully have some good feedback. I believe both seasons are on WOW Presents Plus, but it’s honestly kind of hard to tell, because I think they have all the episodes grouped into one season for some reason. More on this soon.

drag uuRupaul’s Drag U: I also neglected to mention Drag U in my previous post, which has 3 seasons of its own in 2010, 2011, and 2012. This was in similar fashion to the Secret Celebrity Drag Race, where fan favorites came back to give makeovers – but to ordinary people. Many were women who didn’t take time for themselves or deserved some kind of pampering. There were many feel good moments to be found here. I’ve only watched the first season by purchasing it on Amazon Prime, so it’s honestly not the easiest to watch. But true fans I’m sure can find a way.

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I’ve read that Drag Race Holland has been confirmed! And I know they were filming season 2 of Drag Race UK, at one point, so hopefully production was able to continue there. There’s also a series being released in August that shows the behind-the-scenes of the Drag Race residency in Vegas – presumably because they may not have been able to film a new season with the pandemic. Honestly, I’ll watch anything drag related that is released – I need all the drag content I can get!!

Thanks for reading!

 

GuRu and Workin’ It! by RuPaul

img_9773When DragCon was canceled, my friend Rachel and I went into a full on depression. It’s literally our favorite weekend of the year, and both LA and NYC were totally out. We were crushed. It was supposed to be this weekend, so in a world without COVID I’d be in LA right now ready to meet the queens. But instead, I’ve just been laying in quarantine, reading RuPaul’s books, and wishing that things were different.

RuPaul is really an intriguing glamazon of a creature, and I’ve been obsessed for a while now. Some of Ru’s ideas/outlooks on life have really stuck with me – two quotes of his in particular. The first is, “We’re all born naked and the rest is drag.” I love this idea that people get up everyday and whatever you choose to put on your body is your “drag.” I think about this sometimes when I’m getting ready, trying to decide what image of myself I want to project to the world. The other quote is, “What other people think of me is none of my business.” I think about this often, especially circling certain events in my life.

So RuPaul has written three books in total, although I only have books two and three in my possession. GuRu is his most recent publication, released in 2018, and Workin’ It! was released in 2010. His first book is called Lettin’ It All Hang Out, but I can’t seem to find a copy of this book that is available for less than like $50. I already made the mistake of spending $60 on RuPaul’s self-made movie entitled Starrbooty, and I’m just not sure that one really worked out for me. So I’m not quite ready to make the investment on his first book – especially since there was a lot of overlap between his second and third books.

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I’m not sure the entire timeline of Ru’s life, but Workin’ It! was definitely written sometime after season 2 of Drag Race, but before Raven was working as her makeup artist. The book is a list of many tips, tricks, routines, and rules to live by – everything from make-up tutorials to img_9775professional advice. Like I said, I love a lot of Ru’s philosophies, including the idea of “gender fuck”. People can get so hung up on putting gender into certain boxes, and this is the idea of saying “fuck that” and pulling the boxes away. Anybody can be glamorous, pronouns can be interchangeable, and your “between-me-down-there” has nothing to do with how you present yourself. Since Ru has seen and done it all, she’s ready to pass on her knowledge to the generations to come. Truthfully, I’m not sure I needed to know all the ins and outs about Ru’s colon cleaning adventures, but it was a good read otherwise.

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GuRu is probably my favorite of the two, and actually makes for a really lovely coffee table book. It’s not so much a novel, but more a collection of Ru’s thoughts, stories, quotes, and pictures. You could really flip to any page in the book and start reading, since most of the pages stand independent from one another. It’s sort of like the most glamorous self-help book you’ll ever read. It’s very very visually appealing, and reminded me of Kim’s Selfie Book with all the pictures – although there’s way more writing. I’d definitely keep this on my coffee table if I was hosting some elegant extravaganza.

You can find these two published works wherever fine books are sold… and good luck finding the first book, but please feel free to point me in the right direction.

Thanks for reading!

Quarantine Diaries: Animal Crossing New Horizons

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Full disclosure: After buying Animal Crossing: New Horizons, this now takes up maybe 50% of my waking hours. When I first got it, it was probably more like 80% or some days even 90%. It’s the best game and I love it so much and if you have a switch, it’s worth it, hunny – get it!!

I played Animal crossings as a kid, but it was on my friend’s gaming system so I only played a little bit here and there. Playing the new version has been amazing – it’s what I remember plus so many cool new features. I’ve had such a blast 4fixing up my town, earning and setting up my house, and collecting all the fruits and flowers. I’ve visited some islands of my friends, and also strangers from Facebook groups and Reddit threads. There’s a lot of things that I learned from doing some google searching, and things that I wish I had found out a lot earlier in playing the game. Here are 10 quick tips that everyone who is playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons should know:

AC81. Shake trees from the front while holding your net! You can find furniture, bells, and tree branches that will fall from the trees when you shake them. However, this puts you at risk of course for a wasps nest to fall and sting you. If you are holding the net and shake the tree from the front, you will turn to face the wasps when the nest falls. You can then use the net to catch the wasp before it stings you and sell it for a decent price at the shop. Shaking your trees daily to catch wasps and collect the items that fall can really pay off!

AC72. Bury the bells you dig up each day, but change the amount first! When you dig up the bells from the glowing spot in the ground and bury them back in the whole, a money tree will grow. However, if you change the amount before burying it in the glowing hole, you can harvest more bells when the money tree blossoms. I usually bury 10,000 bells each day, so the tree will give me a 30,000 harvest in the end. I’m sure you can do even larger amounts if you have the bells in your pocket when you go to plant them. This will only work once per day obviously, as you can only bury the money in the glowing hole in the ground that shows once daily. 

AC63. Don’t break rocks if you don’t have to! If you continue to hit them again and again, you will continue to gain materials that jump out. But if you break it, you only get one. You can break the rock if you are on an island that is not yours, or also if you do not like the location of the rock on your own island. But new rocks will only grow once per day, so do this with caution. Also, make sure to harvest the rock completely before you break it! (I learned this lesson the hard way unfortunately.)

AC44. Visit other islands as much as possible! By using Nook Miles Tickets or visiting the islands and trading with your friends, you can acquire things that cannot me found on your own island. This includes different breeds of flowers, trees, and fruit. Using a Nook Miles Ticket will also allow you to gain extra resources and materials when you run out from your island. 

AC55. Collect fruit from other islands, then bury them to plant a tree! You only need to start with even one piece of fruit from a friend to plant a tree and eventually end up with an orchard. If you use a Nook Miles Ticket and find yourself on an island with foreign fruit, make sure to bring back either the fruit or the entire tree. I have all 6 fruits on my island, which comes in handy often for crafting or re-organizing my island. 

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6. Save your cross-bred flowers! You will have flowers sprout each day when existing and blooming flowers of the same kind are planted close to each other, and you should save anything that is not able to be store bought. Aside from red, yellow and white (and in one case, orange), you cannot buy any other color flowers from the shop. Don’t get rid of any cross-bred flowers too quickly, because it may be difficult to get them back. 

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7. Be careful of building bridges before unlocking terraforming! Once you unlock the Island Designer app and can change up the layout of your island, you may regret some bridges and inclines that were build prior to access to this tool. I’ve had to demolish two bridges since unlocking the app, which both cost 98,000 bells to build. I’m not saying not to build anything, because it can make navigating the island that much easier. But choose carefully to avoid having to demolish things that you worked hard for. 

AC18. Save Nook Miles for Island Designer permits! When you’re ready to use the terraforming feature via the newly unlocked app, you will need to buy permits to add new capabilities. These cost Nook Miles, but will be delivered to your phone immediately. waterscaping and cliffscaping each cost 6,000 Nook Miles, and different path patterns cost 2,000 Nook Miles each. You’ll want to have access to everything as soon as the app is unlocked, so I recommend saving up as much as possible beforehand. 

60971353735__00f7b05e-30ee-4437-a118-142485e5b30b9. Utilize your catalog! If you are lucky enough to have friends that also play Animal Crossings, you can visit each others’ islands to have catalog and trading parties! Trading is self explanatory, but cataloging is a little more intricate. If your friend drops an item that you do not have, you can pick the item up and drop it again to add it to your catalog. Your catalog exists at the Nook kiosk at Resident Services, and shows everything that you’ve ever owned. Because you picked the item up for even a second, it gets added to this catalog. Having catalog parties is a great way to give your friends access to your inventory without giving away all your stuff, and vise versa! After the party, you can buy anything they have that you liked for yourself. Note: You can only purchase 5 catalog items per day, which includes special daily items. 

AC210. Some catalog items are customizable! Many of the DIY items that you can craft are able to be customized, but many of your other items can be customized as well. You should check anything that you come across for custom options, as it may help you to better decorate. Some of these items include the magazine, director’s chair, loom, ironing board/set, and many accent items as well on things like the mugs, corkboards, record box, etc. Double check what you can make your own!

 

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Let me know if you want to come visit my island!!

That’s all for the “Quarantine Diaries” series for now. Don’t forget to check my What To Watch series if you missed it. Another series next month!

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Quarantine Diaries: Food

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What’s on everyone’s minds these days? FOOD!!

I’m no master chef, but I do love cooking and I think I’m decent at it most of the time. I’ve done some new things while in quarantine, so I thought I’d share some of what I’ve made. Here’s some recipes/descriptions of the food I’ve made so far in quarantine:

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1. Rosemary Focaccia Bread: My best friend insisted that I make this dish after she perfected it on her own, and it was well worth it. It didn’t take super long, but I had never worked with yeast before so this was a new trick for me. I still was able to get success in 3 loafs that my girlfriend and I ate dipped in different balsamic vinegars and oil. Here is the recipe link: https://ourbestbites.com/rosemary-focaccia/.

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2. Beef and Brocolli with White Rice: This was given to me by a co-worker after she walked by with it in the office and filled up all of our noses with something delightful. There are a good amount of ingredients to make this, but you can easily double what the recipe calls for to get leftovers and make the effort last. It’s so delicious and hella worth it. Follow the recipe via Tasty here: https://tasty.co/recipe/easy-beef-and-broccoli. I’ve had several other people try this out after I posted it on my Insta story and no one has been disappointed yet. 

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3. Eggplant Sandwiches: No formal recipe here! I used to make this sandwich back when I worked in a pizza shop; it’s basically an eggplant parm sandwich without the tomato sauce. (You are welcome to add that to yours, I’m just not a fan.) First I used the Air Fryer to make breaded eggplant slices, then added the slices and cheese to a roll and popped it in the oven to make it a grinder. I’ve been big into sandwiches a lot during quarantine, so when I run out of eggplant to use, I usually make a BLT. (Except without the T, and add C (Cheese) and A (Avocado)). 

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4. Fried Tofu: My girlfriend, who is vegan, turned me onto this. (For best results, use a tofu press beforehand and use extra firm tofu.) You simply chop up the tofu bite size pieces and cook either using an air fryer or with oil in a skillet. Once mostly crispy, add in a sauce for flavor. We typically use a hot salsa, but a variety of condiments could be used for flavor here! Cook more once sauce has been added until tofu pieces are crispy on all sides. I usually serve with rice and veggies.

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5. Chile Rellenos: This is a long process that my girlfriend taught me, but the payoff is worth it for special occasions. I made this on Easter, and enjoyed the leftovers for three more days after. You first have to sear and blister the peppers to remove the outer layer of skin and remove the seeds from the inside. You then stuff the peppers with cheese and can fasten it back together with toothpicks if needed. You then bread the peppers with flour and prepared whisked egg, and fry. Make sure to remove all the toothpicks once they cool off!

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Bonus Air fryer dessert: Apple Crumbles: This is technically a vegan recipe, since it’s basically just deconstructed apple pie. I cut up apples and toss them in oil before then tossing them in brown sugar, cinnamon, and oats. I then air fry them and enjoy warm. Super simple and quick but incredibly delicious!

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One more in the Quarantine Diaries tomorrow to wrap up the series!

Thanks for reading.

Quarantine Diaries: At-Home Dates

31It’s easy for romance to get lost during the quarantine, especially since most days are probably spent with you and your partner both looking at the TV, computers, or your phones. I’ve found that it’s really important for me to still feel close to my girlfriend during the quarantine, so I’ve made sure that our relationship is a priority for us both. Part of this included me planning a few of what I call “at-home dates”. No, we didn’t leave the house. But I went out of my way to make things special and different during a time of monotony. I’ve only done two dates so far (roughly one per month), and I’d like to continue this and have a few more coming up if I can get creative again. Here’s what we’ve done so far:

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Date 1: So around 3 PM, I told Vanessa to go to her room and I would pick her up for our date at 5 PM. We hadn’t had any real reason to dressed up in a while, so we decided to go a little fancy. I set up a nice little picnic are3a out back with decorations, pillow and lights where we would eat dinner, and cooked while she was sequestered in her room. After I picked her up, we went and had a lovely dinner outside. I made sure that we didn’t use 36our phones and really just took a nice pause to connect. After dinner we had tickets for a show, which was one of the digital drag shows. Raja was performing, and I had set up the computer area to be a fancy at-home theater. We drank some wine while watching the show, and once it was over we changed into our pajamas and continued to get drunk while on the couch watching Drag Race. It was seriously such a fun night from start to finish and was a great way to do something new while still at home. 

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Date 2: This date was definitely not as full-out as the first one, but I still told Vanessa to go to her room for a bit to get dressed up while I cooked. It was a bit more casual this time, so it wasn’t quite as fancy as the first date. I set up a nice space for us to have dinner outside, and we again focused on each other rather than our electronic devices. We also shared a hookah at table after, which I had recently ordered on Amazon so it was fun to use my new toy. We then went inside to watch a movie and snuggle up on the couch together.

We are all trying to stay sane during this weird time – so don’t let your relationship fall by the wayside! Offer to cook a special dinner one night, find new ways to connect, or have full out dates like I did. But either way, make sure to keep love a priority.

More to come in the “Quarantine Diaries” series tomorrow!

Thanks for reading.

Quarantine Diaries: Digital Drag Shows

My biggest disappointment during COVID was the canceling of all my plans – specifically, DragCon. DragCon is legit my favorite time of year, and I’m still not done being sad that we can’t partake this year. So to help cheer me up, next up in the “Quarantine Diaries“, let’s talk DRAG!

There’s been many ways that you can get your fix of drag during this quarantine besides just binging every episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. First of all, there’s been tons of queens going live on Instagram. This includes both queens from the current season, like Jan and Nicki Doll, and some of the classic favorites like Ongina and Jujubee. There’s also been tons of digital shows that were hosted over the past couple and upcoming months from several platforms.

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First there is the Digital Drag Fest via StageIt, where you can find many of your favorite queens from the show and others doing 30 minute shows for roughly $10 each. You can also use the platform to tip the performers, and most of them give virtual meet and greets as a prize to the top tippers. Some of the virtual shows we have seen include:

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JUJUBEE – “Live From Boston”2
ALASKA – “The Quarantine Cabaret”
RAJA – “Socialite Distancing”
SHARON NEEDLES – “Call Me On My Ouija Board”
MANILA LUZON – “At Home With The Luzons”
BENDELA CREME – “Terminally Detained”
ALASKA – “Snatch Game Series: Mae West & Lady Bunny”
SHARON NEEDLES – “Snatch Game Series: Michelle Visage”

Our favorite show so far has been Raja’s, simply because she was the most raw and effortless. Juju also put on a great show, and I laughed a ton during Alaska’s sets. Manila and Dela also had wonderful shows prepared, but my girlfriend and I were slightly disappointed by Sharon’s show. While we love Sharon and her creativity, her songs were a little on the low-energy side and it wasn’t the most engaging. Still, we had a great time at all of the shows and will continue to look for more upcoming events.

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The “Werq The World” tour that the queens typically follow after the seasons of the show air has obviously been postponed for now, so they have taken things virtually. There’s been two shows, and what’s great is that these shows have benefited out-of-work drag queens and local performers. The first show raised over $30,00024 and the second was almost just as much. Both shows were hosted by Lady Bunny and Bianca Del Rio, who were hilarious and certainly delivered the comedy I was expecting. The first event was featured queens such as, Kameron Michaels, Gigi Goode, Miss Vanjie, Yvie Oddly, Plastique Tiara, and more. Each queen either had a live or pre-recorded number to show off for the show.  The second virtual event is the “Battle Royale”, which has queens going head-to-head for an ultimate showdown. Battling queens include Alyssa Edwards vs. Plastic, Vanjie vs. Yvie, Asia O’Hara vs. Brooke Lynn Hytes, and more.

Lastly, since DragCon 2020 had to be canceled for the year, they still are giving a livestream event for “DragCon Live” on YouTube. It definitely won’t be the same, but at least it’s something to have in place for that weekend.

Support the queens, in whatever way you can!!

Thanks for reading!

Quarantine Diaries: At-Home Projects

1So, I’ve been working from home for over a month now. There’s been good days and bad days of course, as I’m sure everyone can relate to. And I’ve been doing lots of lazy activities to occupy my time. Here’s some projects that I’ve gotten into while being stuck at home for so long:

  1. Writing: If you haven’t already read my “What To Watch” series, I included lots of writingquaranTV suggestions and recommendations. Writing on my blog comes here and there when I get inspired, but I’ve also been working on writing my book, which is one of my goals for the year. If I’m being honest, it has often been hard to find inspiration to write most days, and I’ve been having a hard time motivating myself to sit down and write. Hopefully I can start to find the drive to continue my progress in this area.
  2. Sewing: So after watching Dickinson on AppleTV, I got some inspiration to take 12some old segments of notebooks and sew them together Emily Dickinson style. Once it came together, it was basically like a DIY notebook, and also freed up some space img_9853in my store-bought notebooks. I then took my sewing skills to my clothing, and transformed a skirt into a pair of shorts to make a cute matching set with a sweater I have. Next up to sew was blankets. I first took a flag that was given to me as a gift that I had no room for, and sewed it onto an old blanket to make an outside-blanket for my hammocks. My girlfriend then gave me all her old band Tshirts, and I sewed them together into a big Tshirt blanket for her. All I need to finish up that is a blanket that’s the right size to sew it onto, and it’ll be done!
  3. New House Items: Since I was spending more time outside, I got tired of sitting on my phone while watching things on my hammock. So I made some purchases and turned my backyard space into a small outdoor movie theater. We can fit two img_9630hammocks and even some chairs to view a decent image projected onto the side of our wall – and I love it! My girlfriend and I then turned the spare room into a home workout room, since her gym has closed. This includes some yoga mats for me, some resistance and weight training for her, and chalkboard walls to track progress. I also became obsessed with the video game Animal Crossings; New Horizons, so we added a TV to our living room to make it a game room where we can both play at the same time. We also bought a hookah that has been used both inside in the game room and outside next to the outdoor mini movie theater. 

So this is what the first month of quarantine has brought me to so far. My work has no indication of opening offices back up at this time until further notice, so I’m sure there will be more things for me to get into as time goes on.

More to come in the “Quarantine Diaries” Series!

Thanks for reading.

What To Watch: Premium Channel Shows

Well, I made it an entire week working from home. I’m actually kinda enjoying it, except for the part where alllllll my plans keep getting canceled. Plans that we had paid money for and had been looking forward to for months… Yeah, some rescheduled over canceled, but still. If it weren’t for that, I’d really be loving the WFH life.

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Here is the last of this week’s “what to watch” series! Caution: these shows may require a subscription to more than just Netflix and Hulu.

euphoriaEuphoria – HBO
This show got lots of buzz when it first came out, and Zendaya is phenomenal in it. She plays a teenager fresh out of rehab with no intention of staying sober, and comes with quite a cast of colorful and rebellious friends. Grab your sparkle eye make up and dive in (if you have access to HBO of course).

dickinsonDickinson – Apple TV+
This is a creative and modern take on the story of Emily Dickinson, and I love the current music mixed in with the old time decor. Also love that Emily was a lesbian of course (or bi? TBD). Honestly, there’s a free one week trial for Apple TV+, which is more than enough time to watch the entire series, so I highly recommend following that route.

orphan blackOrphan Black – BBC America
Tatiana Maslany was put to WORK for this show – since she plays over 6 different clones. Each clone has her own accent, hairstyle, and attitude. And they need to work together to take down their makers. I think that this can be watched on Amazon Prime Video if you have access.

posePose – FX
I LOVE INDYA MOORE. And I would DIE to go to a ball in the NYC drag scene. This show is a wonderful moment for the trans, queer, and black community; POSE the house down boots! The first season can actually be watched on Netflix and season two should be added in May.

ShamelessShameless – Showtime
True to its name, this show is a Southside Chicago masterpiece. I’ve never been so intrigued by a family in my life (except the Kardashians of course!) I’ve also been told that my celebrity look-a-like is Emmy Rossom, who plays Fiona. Most seasons can actually be watched on Netflix, except for the most recent which is on the Showtime app.

TV2I may or may not do a few more posts of TV or movie recommendations next week, but this wraps it all up for now. Hopefully you have plenty of suggestions to keep you occupied during your social distancing.

Happy quaranTV!

Thanks for reading.

 

What To Watch: Netflix Comedy Specials

netflix specialNext up in my “what to watch” series – something to provide some comedic relief! We definitely could all use a laugh right now, so let’s head to some stand up comedy. I’m partial to female comics if I’m being honest, so most of the stand up that I’ve watched is from female comedians. So first, here is a list of amazing stand up specials from some incredibly talented female comedians (and Pete Davidson) that I have already watched:

Taylor Tomlinson: Quarter-Life Crisis (2020)

Pete Davidson: Alive From New York (2020)

Fortune Feimster: Sweet & Salty (2020)

Leslie Jones: Time Machine (2020)

Tiffany Haddish: Black Mitzvah (2019)

Iliza Shlesinger: Unveiled (2019)

Nikki Glaser: Bangin’ (2019)

Wanda Sykes: Not Normal (2019)

Amy Shumer: Growing (2019)

Ellen DeGeneres: Relatable (2018)

Iliza Sclesinger: Elder Millennial (2018)

Steve Martin & Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget (2018)

Amy Shumer: The Leather Special (2017)

Iliza Shlesinger: Confirmed Kills (2016)

Chelsea Handler: Uganda Be Kidding Me (2014)

micThere is also a series of comedy specials produced by Tiffany Haddish, which features shorter sets from incredible and hilarious comedians. Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready is a 6 episode set, starring Tracey Ashley, Flame Monroe, Aida Rodriguez, Marlo Williams, April Macie, and Chaunte Wayans. If you don’t want to sit down for a whole hour, these smaller and more easily digestible segments may better fill your appetite.

There are hundreds of comedy specials available on Netflix, so there’s plenty that I haven’t watched just yet. So now, here is a list of some specials that I haven’t yet but intend to watch during this time of social distancing:

Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby (2019)

Jenny Slate: Stage Fright (2019)

Dave Chappelle: Sticks & Stones (2019)

Whitney Cummings: Can I Touch It? (2019)

Katherine Ryan: Glitter Room (2019)

Adam Devine: Best Time Of Our Lives (2019)

Ken Jeong: You Complete Me, Ho (2019)

Ray Romano: Right Here, Around The Corner (2019)

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias: One Show Fits All (2019)

Sebastian Maniscalo: Stay Hungry (2019)

Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia (2018)

Adam Sandler: 100% Fresh (2018)

Bert Kreischer: Secret Time (2018)

Demetri Martin: The Overthinker (2018)

Jim Jefferies: This Is Me Now (2018)

Hannah Gadsby: Nanette (2018)

Tig Notaro: Happy To Be Here (2018)

Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife (2018)

John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous (2018)

Ricky Gervais: Humanity (2018)

Chris Rock: Tambourine (2018)

Fred Armison: Drummers Only (2018)

Kat Williams: Great America (2018)

Dave Chappelle: The Bird Revelation (2017)

Judd Apatow: The Return (2017)

Chris D’Elia: Man On Fire (2017)

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney: Oh, Hello On Broadway (2017)

Sarah Silverman: A Speck Of Dust (2017)

Tracy Morgan: Staying Alive (2017)

Maria Bamford: Old Baby (2017)

Dave Chappelle: Deep In The Heart Of Texas (2017)

Gabriel Iglesias: I’m Sorry For What I Said When I Was Hungry (2016)

Michael Che Matters (2016)

Bo Burnham: Make Happy (2016)

Ali Wong: Baby Cobra (2016)

John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid (2015)

Demetri Martin: Live (At The Time) (2015)

Jen Kirkman: I’m Gonna Die Alone (2015)

Chris D’Elia: Incorrigible (2015)

Chelsea Peretti: One Of The Greats (2014)

netflix stand upThere’s honestly almost 200 comedy specials on Netflix, so there’s many that didn’t make my list! Hopefully these are able to help us to laugh through this insane time.

Keep laughing, everyone!

Thanks for reading.

What To Watch: Netflix Originals

Welcome to the Wednesday edition of my “what to watch” series! How are we all holding up? Staying safe? Staying sane? Are we all going crazy while practicing social distancing, or are we enjoying the solitude? Have you ran out of things to watch and binge yet?!

netflixAssuming that most humans in the world have access to a Netflix account, your options are close to unlimited! There’s so many shows and movies to explore on Netflix, and they have really upped their game in terms of their original series! The amount of content can seem overwhelming, so here are my top 10 Netflix original shows that you should check out:

5 Netflix Original Reality Shows:

queer eyeQueer Eye
You may have been living under a rock if you haven’t at least heard of the Queer Eye for the Straight Guy reboot with the new Fab Five. Now is the time for some feel-good content, so head to watch/rewatch this revolutionary show! You will laugh, you will cry, and you will (attempt to) forget about the current insanity.

next in fashionNext In Fashion
Featuring Tan France from Queer Eye as a host, this reality competition focuses on fashion and design! A group of incredibly talented fashion designers are tasked with creating new looks and fresh concepts each week, with one winner in the end. It’s fun, it’s upbeat, and who doesn’t need more Tan in their life?!

the circleThe Circle
I want to be on this show so bad!! This is a reality competition similar to Big Brother, where contestants vote for who is in power and who goes home each week. The twist? They are all in separate rooms and can only communicate virtually. Some individuals chose to play as themselves, while others use false pictures and choose to play as a catfish. Someone PLEASE cast me for next season!

love is blindLove Is Blind 
This show is everywhere in the media right now, so there’s a good chance you’ve been bombarded with people telling you to watch this. I’m telling you, it’s worth it. The show has Bachelor vibes, but with the twist of dating through “pods”, where the men and women are to make connections and engagements without ever meeting face to face. They then go through a wild ride to their wedding day, where they have the option of saying “I do” or “I don’t”. Did I mention it was a wild ride? It’s a wild ride.

exBack With The Ex
Once you’re done with Love Is Blind, you may be feeling a void. It’s definitely not as good, but Back With The Ex can certainly fill that void for you. (Note: Netflix says this is an original series, Google disagrees, but I’m keeping it on this list anyway.) The title is self-explanatory: ex couples attempt to sort things out; some have not seen each other in 3, 6, or 28 years!! You may believe in love again.. or you may realize that ex’s should stay ex’s for a reason. Either way, please don’t call your ex to be your quarantine bae.

5 Netflix Original Scripted Shows:

oitnbOrange is the New Black
This isn’t a new show or anything, but it’s one of the absolute best ones out there. OITNB is loosely based on the story of Piper Kerman, who was sent to one year in a women’s prison for a 10 year old drug crime. The show then takes off to involve the stories of many other inmates that you will no doubt learn to love. The show gets real, brings up a lot of important conversations, and also will speak right to your heart. Seriously one of the most amazing shows that was ever made.

black mirrorBlack Mirror
OMG this is a CRAZY SHOW! Just like American Horror Story‘s seasons, each episode of Black Mirror is standalone, so you can watch the episodes in any order. Each episode explores an extreme scenario of technology in society. For example, what would happen if everyone’s credit score was based on social media likes? What if you could rewind your memories at will for all to see? What if Amazon’s Alexa was actually a clone of yourself? Safe to say, your mind will be blown more than once.

hill houseHaunting of Hill House
This is legit one of my favorite shows ever! I’m no expert in the genre of horror, but I love a show that can freak me out and stand my hair on end. This family of house flippers find themselves in quite a predicament when their haunted mansion starts to unleash its powers all around them. I’ve watched this more than once and probably will watch more times in the future. 

youYou
There is nothing like this show; the format is so unique and the plot twists are awesome. Penn Badgley does an amazing job of being creepy, alluring, frustrating, and interesting. Is this a love story? Is this a horror/thriller narrative? Take the ride to find out! Also, the actress who plays “Nellie” on Hill House can be seen as new love interest “Love” on season 2. Shit is about to get crazy!

grace and frankieGrace and Frankie
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are timeless treasures that I am obsessed with. In this hilarious series, their husbands leave the women to be gay together, and the two very different gal pals are forced into an unlikely but beautiful friendship. My whole family watches this show, including my Grams who recently was introduced to binge-watching. Also, June Diane Raphael is my spirit animal in this show. (I tweeted that once and June liked the tweet!!)

NMore Netflix content coming tomorrow! Stay safe and stay sane.

Thanks for reading.

What To Watch: Rupaul’s Drag Race

Like I said yesterday, I’ve gotten plenty of binge-time while put on a work from home order. So what else is there to do besides write about my favorite shows? If you’re home and/or in quarantine and looking for more things to fit your television pleasure, check out my “What To Watch” list. Today’s highlight: Rupaul’s Drag Race!

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Rupaul’s Drag Race might be my favorite show of all time. Starting on Logo TV and making it’s way into VH1 and mainstream culture, winning Emmys along the way, this show is iconic. It’s funny and silly but also real and interesting and an amazing representation of culture. I’ve always been a huge fan of drag, and I could honestly watch this show all day long, forever and ever. 

To watch the competitions in order, you can follow the list below. Now I won’t give any spoilers to the winners, but I will list my favorite queen from each season:

Season 1 – (2009) – Favorite Queen: Ongina
Season 2 – (2010) – Favorite Queen: Jujubee
Season 3 – (2011) – Favorite Queen: Raja
Season 4 – (2012) – Favorite Queen: Willam
All Stars 1 – (2012) – My Winner: Raven
Season 5 – (2013) – Favorite Queen: Alaska
Season 6 – (2014) – Favorite Queen: Adore Delano
Season 7 – (2015) – Favorite Queen: Katya
All Stars 2 – (2016) – My Winner: Alaska
Season 8 – (2016) – Favorite Queen: Naomi Smalls
Season 9 – (2017) – Favorite Queen: Farah Moan
All Stars 3 – (2018) – My Winner: Shangela 
Season 10 – (2018) – Favorite Queen:  Miz Cracker
All Stars 4 – (2018-2019) – My Winner: Manila Luzon
Season 11 – (2019) – Favorite Queen: Miss Vanjie
UK Season 1 – (2019) – Favorite Queen: Divina DeCampo
Season 12 – (2020) – Favorite Queen (so far): Jan

season 12Season 12 is currently airing Friday nights on VH1, and only 3 episodes have aired so far. All Stars 5 has already filmed, so I would expect a release possibly for sometime this summer or fall. Additionally, with each episode of Rupaul’s Drag Race comes Rupaul’s Drag Race – Untucked, which features behind the scene moments and drama. “Girl, if you’re not watching Untucked, you’re only getting half the story.” You can also watch Rupaul’s Drag U, which features biological women getting a makeover by Drag Race favorites and alum of the show. 

The first two seasons of Rupaul’s Drag Race are kinda considered the “originals” – where Michelle Visage isn’t even able to be on the judging panel yet! Michelle arrives for season 3, which actually I think is part of the “originals” as well. Seasons 4, 5, and 6 are the strongest in my opinion, and really the staples of the show. Personally, I believe these are the seasons to watch! The first 6 seasons are all available rupaul 2on Hulu, so they are also the easiest to watch. The show really progresses in terms of quality, talent level, aesthetics, and overall format. Season 7 is a little “meh” for me, but Katya is basically the reason to watch it. It also bridges the old seasons to the new seasons (and is necessary before watching All Stars 2). Seasons 8 through 12 are the more mainstream seasons, and while they are still incredible, they are definitely not as good as the first 6. The earlier seasons just have some of the most talented and high quality queens ever, so the competition is so tight. Most of my favorite queens come from the earlier seasons, which is why All Stars 1 & 2 were so exciting for me! However, of all the all star seasons, I really only agree with one of the winners. All Stars kinda plays by its own rules, which is both exciting but risky. The UK season was also one of my favorites as well, with some killer queens and some wonderful accents. And I have to admit – this current season has some TIGHT competition. Come on Season 12, let’s get rupaul!sickening!

With this revolutionary competition, Rupaul has single-handedly launched the mainstream career of over 150 incredible queens, and so many more to come. With so many incredible queens and so much talent, it’s hard to pick your favorite. I came up with my top 10 queens of all time, which I’m telling you was NOT an easy task! Here’s my favorites to watch out for and why:

alaska

#1: Alaska Thunderfuck – Season 5, All Stars 2
There is no one that can match the caliber of Alaska. She is witty, campy, creative, and untouchable. She can deliver comedy, glamour, talent, and isn’t afraid to get down and dirty and really take it there. She started as a determined super fan of the show, and is now one of the most well-known queens from the franchise. I also look to Alaska for all the inside info on her and Willam’s podcast, Race Chaser. Anus-thing is possible!

adore

#2: Adore DelanoSeason 6, All Stars 2 
She’s a libraaaa!! Adore is one of the most loved fan favorites of all time. She so charismatic, charming, hilarious, and spunky. She’s so unique and interesting, I could listen to her talk all day (I do, actually, sometimes on her Insta lives). She was also recently on the MTV show Ex On The Peak, where she seamlessly appears in and out of drag. Party!

katya

#4: Katya – Season 7, All Stars 2
I fucking love the shit out of this Russian hooker! Katya is adorably inappropriate and one of the most magnetic humans of all time. I would literally watch her do anything and be obsessed with it. Her laugh is infectious (it’s a rash, not a herpes sore!), and her uniqueness is undeniable. Lenin in the streets Dostoyevsky in the sheets!

willam

#3: WillamSeason 4
The OG disqualified queen! Willam is pure industry, having appeared on so many iconic TV shows (such as Sex & the City, Law & Order, CSI, etc.) and movies (Because I Said So, A Star Is Born, etc.). Willam is honest, truthful, and fucking hilarious. The waves that Willam made on her season had never been done before, and she’s not gonna Rupologize for it! I’m obsessed. 

ongina

#5: OnginaSeason 1
ONGINA IS THE CUTEST!!! I don’t always love a bald queen, but I love the original Ru bald queen! Ongina is so sweet, adorable, talented, AND an advocate. She’s simply wonderful, and has been my favorite queen to meet in person to date. And girlfriend can vogue the house down boots! You’ll just have to excuse the season 1 filter, hunty. 

alyssa edwards#6: Alyssa EdwardsSeason 5, All Stars 2
I needa, I needa, I needa, I needa, I need to get up in this Alyssa Edwards gig! *Tongue Pop* Alyssa is probably one of the most well known, most polarizing, and most quoted queens of all time. She is talented in a variety of areas, is vain as hell, and always ready to goof around. I live for her! Alyssa also starred in a Netflix series featuring her dance studio, called Dancing Queen. AAoooowwwwllright!

#7: ShangelaSeason 2, Season 3, All Stars 3shangela
Baby Shangela competed in the early seasons, and I found her endearing and cute. However, a very polished Shangela comes back to compete for All Stars 3, and she BRINGS it! From the House of Edwards, Shangela is high quality entertainment. She also appeared in A Star Is Born and Glee! Halleloo, bitches!

vanjie8: Miss Vanjie (Vanessa Vanjie Matteo)Season 10, Season 11 
Miss Vanjie, Miss Vanjie, Miss… Vanjie! I could listen to this queen talk forever – she is so fucking funny and her interviews on the show are the best commentary I could ask for. Miss Vanjie was such a fan favorite that she was asked back, and I bet we haven’t seen the last of her. She BRINGS it with the performance – queen can DANCE! I would die to see her in person. Yes, Mary!

#9: Gia GunnSeason 6, All Stars 4gia
Low key, Gia is one of the shadiest queens of all time, and I live for it. She’s brutally honest in a way that makes everything she says a catch phrase. Her look is so fishy, that I’m pretty sure she became a real woman! She was another queen that was a pleasure to meet at DragCon. She’s wonderful. Absoluuuutely.

raja10: RajaSeason 3
If you watch America’s Next Top Model, you know Raja as Sutan. But I know her as one of the best queens to ever walk into the Drag Race workroom. Raja is high fashion, elegance, and drag excellence. She’s whimsical, conceptualized, and unclockable. Everything she does is pure genius and brilliance. I live for Raja!

 

ruOMG that was seriously so hard! I mean, like I said there’s SOOO many queens!! And I love so many of them that it’s hard to rank. I could have done a list of over 20 of my favorite queens and include legends like Raven, Jujubee, Detox, Sharon Needles, Latrice Royale… UGH THEY ARE ALL SO GREAT!! I’ve actually gotten to meet many of these incredible humans at DragCon, including Ongina, Willam, Detox, Manila, Gia, Jiggly Caliente, Kennedy Davenport, and Ariel Versace.

The amazing queens are exactly why this show is so extraordinary. Start watching ASAP!

I hope everyone can stay sane during this crazy time! More to watch coming soon.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

What To Watch: American Horror Story

Just like many others I’m sure, my plans are getting all kinds of screwed up due to the current state of the world. The only bright side is that there are millions of shows to binge while in this “work from home until further notice” status that I’m in. There’s a bunch of things that I’m currently watching, and plenty that I might rewatch (including the Kardashians!).

American Horror Story is forever a fan favorite, and I find myself going back again and again. So, for anyone looking to dive into this amazing show, here is my personal ranking of the seasons to watch from best to worst.

ahsQuick note: For anyone who has not watched American Horror Story at all, each season is standalone. The actors may be the same from season to season, but each one is an entirely separate story, so the seasons can be watched in any order. The only season in which does not apply is Apocalypse, which combines the world of Coven and Murder House together. There’s also a very small crossover in Freak Show and Asylym for character “Pepper”, and Lana Winters can be found sprinkled through many seasons.

coven#1: Coven
I could watch this season again and again and again and again and never ever get tired of it. The witch vibe is like nothing else, and this season is packed full of horror. I also feel like this season does the best job of not leaving any plot lines open; everything gets wrapped up in a way that feels complete. Obsessed with this season, for real.

murder house#2: Murder House
This season is fantastic! Just like Coven, this season also does a great job of wrapping up all the plot points in a way that feels satisfying. It’s fascinating, messed up, hair-raising, and brilliant. Another season that I could just watch again and again and again.

asylum#3: Asylum
This season is so fucked up and I am HERE FOR IT. Things for sure get wacky, and it’s definitely not a perfect season. But with electroshock therapy, secret Nazis, and aliens – I couldn’t stop watching. Shit is crazy, and I love it.