It Takes Balls by Josh Wolf

josh wolf 1You may recognize comedian Josh Wolf from his thirteen years of stand-up, his tours with Larry the Cable Guy and Chelsea Handler, and his TV appearances on My Name Is Earl  and Raising Hope. I discovered Josh through Ross Mathews – they both worked on Chelsea Lately and continued their chemistry on their radio show, He Said, He Said with Josh and Ross. I am now a huge fan of his, an avid listener of his podcasts, and a follower of his comedy. From my first experience with Josh, I found him absolutely hilarious and down josh wolf 2to earth. He certainly knows how to take a joke super far and make you shake your head in disgust, but he also definitely isn’t offensive. He’s a stand up guy, a solid ally, and a great comedian. Josh is from Boston, and often does shows at the Laugh Factory when he is in town. I was able to go to his show last October, where I even got to meet him afterwards and take some pictures. He does an awesome live set, so if you ever get the chance to see him don’t miss out on the fun.

jw 1It Takes Balls; Dating Single Moms and Other Confessions From an Unprepared Single Dad is Josh Wolf’s collection of his own experiences and funny stories. He finds himself, as he is breaking into his comedy career, with 3 kids and questionable help. They made it work, of course, but not without some tales to tell along the way. Josh is hilarious, and I could hear his voice as he recounted the memories. Part of his comedy comes from the fact that he’s just flat out honest, and is able to admit things that other people might be ashamed of. For example, using his kids to get dates, and going so far as to have them call him “uncle”. I was highly amused.

Part of the reason that I like Josh not just as a comedian, but also just as a human, is because I think he’s a really amazing parent. I totally respect his parenting style; he is realistic, yet encouraging and also extremely proud of his kids. This definitely comes through in his book, as he tells stories of coaching his son’s little league team and connecting with his daughter over her first kiss. He may have been unprepared, but it seems like he made out pretty good overall.

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The best part of the book was the stories about taking his buddies to Las Vegas. It starts out with antics to even get the guys on the plane, including involving one of their wives to help out. Cut to everyone taking too much advantage of their solo hotel rooms instead of hitting a night out on the town – which didn’t sit well with Josh of course. He makes up for lost time though, instigating bets and dares and getting the gang into some hilarious trouble. That’s probably the best part about Josh – he’s the kind of person that goes looking for trouble, finds it, and jumps head first into it.

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I highly recommend It Takes Balls; Dating Single Moms and Other Confessions From an Unprepared Single Dad by Josh Wolf, as well as the rest of his content and comedy. You can follow Josh Wolf on social media at @joshwolfcomedy (his Insta stories of “parenting tips” are hilarious) or visit his website comedianjoshwolf.com for more information and show dates (and a link to his YouTube channel, which includes bits from his standup). You can listen to his podcast Fairly Normal wherever you listen to podcasts, which includes audio of his Facebook TV show Controlled Chaos (which you can also, obviously, watch on Facebook TV). You can also listen to his podcast with Freddie Prinze Jr, called The Prinze and The Wolf or you can go back and binge his old radio show with Ross Mathews, Josh and Ross.

Thanks for reading!

Podcast Favorites #5

podcast  Okay – here is yet ANOTHER round of my favorite podcast suggestions! (#1, #2, #3, & #4)

NEW LISTENS:

this day in history

This Day In History – Brought to you by How Stuff Works and Stuff You Missed In History Class, this podcast explores an important event that happened on this day in history. Every day, you can find out a significant event that happened years ago. From the Lindbergh kidnapping, to an epic Beatles rooftop concert, to the day Pluto was discovered, and so many events in between. It’s a quick 5 to 10 minute podcast that comes out each morning, and its a cute way to start the day by looking back one day at a time.

ellen on the go

Ellen On The Go – I used to absolutely love watching Ellen when I was in high school and could make it home in time, but I haven’t been able to routinely catch the show pretty much since then. Now, I can keep up with all the laughs through the podcast Ellen On The Go, which is hosted by five of her creative writers and directors, who give their colorful commentary on the segments. I’m glad I didn’t have to miss the hilarity of Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard yelling at each other over Cheetos, or when Portia surprised Ellen with her birthday present. I wish there was a way to conveniently watch the show each day, (let’s get on that, Hulu) but until then, the podcast really helps me get my fix of Ellen.

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armchair expert

Armchair Expert – Speaking of Dax Shepard – Alright, I finally did it. I caved and started listening to Dax Shepard’s podcast and honestly, I am not sorry that I did! I’m now a huuuuge fan of both Dax and also Monica Padman! Monica does a “fact check” at the end of each episode, which is often my favorite part just because I think Monica is great. Dax interviews a celebrity each week, where he dives in deep to cover lots of stories about life and the industry. Of course his wife Kristen Bell makes appearances on the show, along with other co-stars and famous friends. I think Dax is a really awesome human and I think very highly of him as a person. Aside from Armchair Expert, Dax also has another podcast, Expert on Experts, where he goes deep with professionals in their area of expertise to decide if they are truly, indeed, experts afterall.

what the tuckWhat the Tuck? – The ONLY RuPaul’s Drag Race recap podcast. That’s it, there’s only this one. No others. If you think there are you’re wrong, and you can’t prove it. I live for Drag Race and so do the hosts of this podcast, who are ever-revolving, but Nicole Byers is the reason that I originally tuned in. I find her hilarious and love her opinions on the queens. The only other recap podcast I listen to for Drag Race is Alaska and Willam’s show, but I do really appreciate the opinions and perspectives here as well. Even though Nicole is not there every week, and the other hosts seem to come and go as well, I still would recommend.

can we kick itCan We Kick It? – This podcast debuts Cjay as the host, who you may know if you are a listener of Straight Talk with Ross. Cjay teams up with the lovely Miss Paress as his co-host, whose voice is one of the most soothing things I have ever heard. They cover pop culture stories, relevant topics in black culture, and bring to light topics that should be talked about. I also get a lot of great music suggestions from the pair as well, as they regularly recommend popular artists and new talent to watch. The podcast is new, so it’s easy to catch up and be along for the ride, because I’m sure that there’s a lot more to come here.

As always, there’s room for more suggestions in my podcast life! Commend or send me your favorite podcasts to try!

Thanks for reading.

Grown-ish S2E5

grownish3If you are not watching the show Grown-ish, start now! Actually, start with Black-ish for some context, then quickly binge your way through Grown-ish afterwards. Black-ish, starring Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross, was created by Kenya Barris and airs on ABC. It’s about a black father who is creating a sense of ethnic identify for his children who are sometimes receptive and other times create their own way of navigation. The show is superbly relevant and covers topical issues in a really incredible way. Grown-ish, starring Yara Shahidi, is the extremely relatable spin-off show, in which we follow the oldest daughter, Zoey, through her college endeavors. The show is a very accurate depiction of some of the issues with college, including experimenting with substances, sexuality, and career goals.

Season 2, Episode 5 of Grown-ish is called “Girls Like You”, and aired on 1/22/19. The episode focuses on Zoey’s friend Nomi, who is a bisexual female coming into her own. I relate to Nomi’s cgrownish2haracter, played by Emily Arlook, not just because she is bisexual, but also because she is a free spirit and is totally imperfect. I also really appreciate the way that the show has depicted her character as truly bisexual, showing her with a variety of people. It’s been really empowering for me to see her with a male interest in one episode, (where they actually explore the unfair stereotypes associated with male bisexuality) and also explore relationships with women later in the season. She’s not seen as “experimenting” or “going through a phase” – *INSERT MY GIANT EYE ROLL HERE* – she’s literally just living. And I’m here for it.

The episode starts out by going through annoying (yet hilarious) roommate habits, including using the bathroom while others are present or passive aggressive Venmo requests. Then we go through something most college roommates experience – hook ups. Except, Nomi’s roommates think that she is having too many, and they are concerned about the way in which she is seducing these women.

Please let me just say – this episode was amazing to watch. I simultaneously wanted to be Nomi but also wanted to go home and spend the night with her. Of course, there was a EMILY ARLOOKlot that was exaggerated here as a result of the “player” attitude that the show has given her and the idea that everyone experiments in college. But it also highlighted some really important ideas, stereotypes, and conversations. One of Nomi’s friends gives her a hard time because the way Nomi is acting by hooking up with lots of girls without meaning reminds her friend of typical “dude” behavior. She can relate to the girls on the other end of the hook ups, and as a result, feels some type of way about it.

Zoey follows Nomi out to a bar and sees her interacting with a female interest, and realizes Nomi’s super power. Nomi is able to be charismatic in a way that’s relatable but also attractive, which is totally different than flirting with a guy. In the episode, Nomi is using this idea to seduce straight women into their first lesbian experience, knowing that she isn’t going to call in the morning. Zoey helps her realize that part of the reason that Nomi might be acting this way is because she’s comfortable keeping women at a distance, since she has yet to come out to her very conservative family.

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THEN. ENTER SHANE. OH MY GOD. (If you see the picture to the right and you still don’t know what I’m talking about – please hand me your gay card, go binge The L Word on Netflix, and you can have it back when you understand why I am freaking out.) Except, she’s not Shane. She’s Professor Hewson, here to teach Nomi all about being gay!!! HAPPY DAY!!!! (I’m sorry, I’ll calm down – this whole thing just made me so incredibly happy.)

I’d like to just quickly debunk an important myth here – not all straight girls experiment in college. Or in life. If you try to hit on a straight girl, most of the time it’s not going to go your way. Trust me; I’ve been there.  I’m not telling you that it’s impossible, and I’m not telling you not to make an attempt. But I am telling you not to go in with the expectations of Nomi’s results.

grownish1That being said, I absolutely loved this episode and this show overall. I hope that they can use Nomi’s character to explore what it’s like to come out as a bisexual. I’m hoping that they continue to show Nomi’s progression and experiences as she navigates her way. Also, I certainly hope that Professor Hewson is not going anywhere anytime soon!

“Watch out world, I’m grown now.”

Thanks for reading.

My Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon Experience

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I was FRONT ROW for the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and Jimmy even said hi to me! This was my first experience with going to a taping of the Tonight Show, but I hope it is not my last.

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Getting tickets was a process. You have to put your name in a drawing, which is time sensitive, and then just hope to get picked. The tickets are free, but just not guaranteed that you’ll get picked. I followed @FallonTix on Twitter, which tweets when the ticket drawings open. Typically they release the drawing the month prior, and the spots fill up really quickly. You are limited to putting your name in for 3 different dates, and the celebrity guests are not listed. Basically, you just have to make sure that the date works for you. If you want my opinion on how to better your chances of getting picked, you have to spend time writing something in the comments. The audience of the Tonight Show is the only laugh track for the show, so they want fans of Jimmy’s in the audience. I wrote in the comments about how I was a huge fan of Jimmy’s and that I watch the Tonight Show religiously, etc. I can’t guarantee that this is the trick, but I do think it helps.

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I got an email confirming that I received tickets about 3 weeks prior to the show. It gave me the date and asked for a confirmation of who will be taking my second ticket, and just like that I was all set. I tried to research who the guests were scheduled to be, but that information was not released until the week before.  Now, I do my research, so I read a blog that someone else wrote about attending the Tonight Show, and in that person’s experience, the show taped and aired on the same day. Since I assumed this to be true for all shows, my best friend and I were under the impression that we were going to see Jada Pinkett Smith and the Backstreet Boys. Welp, we were wrong. You see, we went on a Thursday, and they do two tapings on Thursday so that no one has to work Friday’s. Since we were attending the second taping, we were actually going to the Friday show, not the Thursday show. So, no Backstreet Boys and no Jada, but don’t worry it all turns out okay!

tonight show 2We got to Rockefeller Center with enough time to sort of explore, get something to eat, and get in line with plenty of time to spare. The check in deadline was 5:45, but we were allowed in up to half an hour prior. We were given new tickets at check-in that had a letter written in Sharpie on the back, which is what they used later on to line us up alphabetically. Our letter was H, and when they called up the first half of the alphabet, the only ones in front of us were two girls with the letter G, which resulted in the four of us being front row! The NBC Pages and staff do a great job of really hyping you up along the way, as well as keeping things orderly in getting everyone to their seats.

tonight show joThe show we saw aired on Friday, January 25th, and the guests were Matt Le Blanc, Nikki and Brie Bella, and Jo Firestone. Of course we all know Matt Le Blanc as Joey from Friends, and the Bella Twins have their own reality show (Nikki was also on Dancing with the Stars, which is what I know her from). Jo Firestone is a comedian that used to be a writer for the Tonight Show, so I actually recognized her right away, but I don’t believe she is super well known yet. It was a great show to go to, there was a lot of laughter, and being in the front row was just so super cool.

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When Jimmy walked out for his monologue and we all started cheering, my friend and I waved our hands and jumped up and down excitedly. This of course got Jimmy’s attention – AND HE LOOKED RIGHT AT US, POINTED, SAID HELLO AND THANKED US FOR COMING!! It was seriously so awesome. At the very very end of the show, Jimmy walks through the audience and gives everyone a high five. Since I was in the front row, he kind of high fived me but it turned into more of a handshake, and then he leaned past me to high five the guy behind me as well. I seriously thought about just going for it and giving him a hug since we were already almost there, but I was afraid that NBC would give me some sort of restraining order and I wouldn’t be allowed back.

tonight show 4We got home in time to watch the show with Jada and the Backstreet Boys that we originally thought we were attending. I was honestly confused by the Backstreet performance in chicken suits, but it was overall a good show. The following night was when the show we saw aired, and of course I had it turned on to watch. Seeing Jimmy’s “hello” to us back on screen was awesome, and you can see my friend and me at the very very end during the credits as well.

Definitely check out the episode (again, aired on Friday, January 25th, 2019) and for sure put your name in to try to get tickets to go to a taping of Jimmy as well!

Thanks for reading.

Ross Mathews answered my call again!

stwr darlingRoss Mathews and I are basically friends at this point, no big deal.

Since Ross and I are so super close (and I might even be his #1 fan), of course I follow both him and the podcast on all social media. And of course I get alerts when they post anything. I mean come on guys, you know what a fan girl I am!

So over the weekend, I got an alert from Twitter that @HelloRossPod (BUUUUTCH RIIIIICKKYYYYY!) had tweeted out a number with the message, “Call us!”.

Like ummmmm, ookay!!

Since I had called in before without even being asked, I didn’t hesitate to call again. I was actually on my way back from dinner with a friend, and I turned to her and said, “Hold on a sec, I have to call Ross real quick.”

It took a couple tries, I assumed because they were talking to other callers, but eventually I heard that wonderful voice, “Helllloooo hello! What’s your name and where are you calling from?”

“Hi Ross, this is Bisexual Gina!”

Everyone cheered, repeated my name, and Ross said, “Well, sometimes you win the lottery!” He asked me how I was, and then I thanked him for letting me record a segment and asked about who they were favoring for the upcoming season of Rupaul’s Drag Race. It wasn’t super long since they had to get to other callers, but it’s seriously so cool that it’s gotten to the point that Ross solidly knows who I am. Hopefully I get to spend some real time in person with him someday!

stwr pristinaFind Straight Talk With Ross wherever you listen to podcasts, and go to the episode released on January 27th. It’s Episode 263 – Pristina Darling. My call is answered around minute 28:30. Or for the direct link, you can CLICK HERE .

Thanks for reading!

Man Up! by Ross Mathews

Ross, honey. Baby. You know how much I love you. You know I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time, right? I totally read your book years ago. Years! I definitely didn’t just get your book for Christmas this year. No way, nooo. I definitely didn’t just finish your book for the first time. No, no, no I told you – years ago!! You see, I simply reread your book. Yeah, see? No big deal! We’re cool; we’re good. Just rereading one of my favorite books by one of my favorite people that I totally totally totally totally read for the first time years and years and years ago. Totally.

man up 3Man Up! Tales of My Delusional Self-Confidence by Ross Mathews was perfect for a light read to make you happy. Most people remember Ross as “Ross the Intern” from the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and I absolutely loved hearing how this persona came to be. A lot of Ross’ career was built on creating opportunity and taking the chances that are presented to you. The lucky circumstances that land you in the right place at the right time is what brought Ross Mathews from the mid-west to our big screens. Hearing his voice on the podcast in my ears each week always makes me happy, and now I got some insight into who he is and where he comes from written in his own words.

I geek out over my favorite celebrities, Ross included, and can absolutely relate to that side of himself that he exposes in the book. Even when I called into his podcast, I freaked out like the fan girl that I truly am. I hope that my “contagious enthusiasm” can be paralleled in some way to the way that Ross describes his feelings towards his favorite celebs such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Tiffani Thiessen, and Michelle Kwan.

Ross never gives up and will voice his opinion for what he believes is right, which is one of the best things about him. When he was working in food service, he fought for both the men and women to be allowed to wear visors (despite being asked, “what you wear girl hat for?”). He also used his social media platform once he had a following to get butter nut squash put back on the Koo-Koo-Roo menu, and they even added his name to the dish. Lessons like these are really important to show people that no matter who or where you are, you can absolutely make a difference.

My favorite part of the whole book was when Ross talked about how he came out to his mom. He worked up the courage to disclose the big news, and his mom’s reaction was, “I could have sworn you told me that already.” Priceless. Absolutely priceless.

 

I feel like I can now qualify myself as a “super fan” of Ross’. At the end of the book, Ross even includes a pop quiz, and not to brag, but I scored 100%. Maybe now that I’ve finished his book, I can be considered Ross Mathews’ #1 fan! (Ross, like I said… I read it years ago. Totally.)

Thanks for reading!

Coming Out: An Update

Wow. You all really showed up for my last post, huh? I mean, I post links to this blog all the time and I’ve never gotten the buzz that I did last week. A whopping ten people felt compelled to click and read what I had to say about JVN, but over one hundred of you wanted to get the details once it got super personal. I guess everyone wants in on the spilled T.

Let me just say that my parents are very understanding and open-minded people, and I never for one second thought that this was going to be an issue in my family. Truthfully, I was very much under the impression that they probably already knew. I had been playing with the idea of “coming out”, not even knowing if I felt the need to. This never felt like some deep dark secret to me, so I didn’t feel like I had to make some grand announcement.

Well, apparently that’s what I did last week.

When I wrote that post, I wasn’t thinking about who would read it – I know what my stats usually looked like, and there’s not often a lot of traffic. If anything, I thought it would just be helpful for me to write this out and maybe to collect my thoughts and figure out what I wanted exactly. Looking back, I’m regretful that I made that post public before talking to my parents. I think I was just trying to figure things out for myself, and I didn’t think it all the way through. Sitting someone down and telling them about my sexuality didn’t seem like the right thing for me personally to do, but maybe it’s also about who is on the other end of that conversation as well. I certainly didn’t mean for all these conversations to be had without me there.

That being said, I’ve had wonderful conversations with my parents and I feel really good about where things are right now. There was a lot of open dialogue that I knew would be there whenever I was ready to have it. And of course, there was a lot of love that will always be there to make me wildly uncomfortable when directly pointed my way.

So to anyone reaching out to my family members asking if they “are okay”, yeah they’re fucking great, thanks for asking.

To anyone who has reached out to me directly, thank you so much and please know that I really appreciated your words. It was very validating to hear from other bisexuals, and having that support means a lot.

I’ll try not to get on my soapbox about this, but it’s annoying that I had to “come out”. It’s annoying that the default is set to ‘straight’. It’s annoying that I have to tell everyone if it’s different. And it’s annoying that once I do, it’s a hot topic of conversation. I know I’m not a very private person, and I don’t really have secrets of my own. But being bisexual somehow by default gave me this secret that I never even wanted to keep in the first place. I will admit that while I usually love having all of the attention on me, I think I would do things just a little bit differently if I was given a second chance.

This whole experience was truly more than I signed up for. Without meaning to, I made myself feel exposed, uncomfortable, and embarrassed. But now, I also feel relieved, supported, and content. I’m out! And I’m totally done paying my gay dues for now.

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Thanks for reading.