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!

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!

Ross Mathews asked me to record a segment for the podcast!

So there I was, just having a normal day at work. Took some calls, worked on some things, listened to some podcasts – the usual. My phone beeped and buzzed to tell me that I received something new in my inbox on my Gmail account. I looked down and saw one word as the sender: Ross.

My eyebrows furrowed. I didn’t trust  my phone so I opened up my Gmail on my work computer and pulled up the most recent message in my inbox.

There it was. A message from Ross Mathews.STWR 01“Hello Gina! Ross here. I’m putting together the award show episode and I was wondering if you’d like to be involved…”

WHAT?!

Now as a super-fan of the podcast Straight Talk with Ross, I have written into the show multiple times. Not just to Ross, but also to Fagsy and Nikki as well. They all have emails tied to the show and Ross has advertised that he gets all the alerts for the emails straight to his phone. I had never heard from him before, but I had always felt confident that he would at least see some of my emails coming through.

Since I had just been nominated the previous week for the Best Listener of the Year Straight Talkie Award, I had just sent a couple messages via social media to the STWR podcast gang thanking them for the recognition. I guess this somehow made me top of mind!

Ross asked if I wanted to record a segment and said that he would send me the script. I replied to his email of course within minutes, not even trying to play it cool.

“ROSS!!! OH MY GOSH, OF COURSE!! Anything you need! …”

I was extremely excited when I received his next email. He explained that during the award show, there would be an “In Memorium” portion where they would pay tribute to the funny segments, jokes and other things lost this year. It included a list and a couple other instructions, and ended telling me to let him know if he had any questions.

I printed out the script and took a lunch break where I walked home to my apartment so that I could record in the comfort of my own home. I didn’t want to keep Ross Mathews waiting so I made sure that I got to work right away. I only took about three takes before I felt confident enough to send my recording to Ross. Along with the attachment, I also sent him a huge thank you again – I definitely sounded a little fan-girly, but I wanted him to know how much I appreciated everything.

The following episode was the Christmas special, so that wouldn’t be the one where I made my debut. I had to patiently wait another week for the award ceremony to be released.

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Ross of course did some editing to my segment, which I expected, including adding music and sound effects behind my list of fallen podcast inside jokes. Another great surprise was that he teamed up my recording with Fagsy singing and giving sound bites behind me as well, which – as a big fan of his – made me super happy.

There were a ton of STWR characters that were included in cameos as the show was made, including recordings from Jackie Beat and other listeners like me. It felt so cool and validating to be a part of that family in any way shape or form.

Find Straight Talk With Ross wherever you listen to podcasts, and go to the episode released on December 27th. It’s Episode 260 – The 2018 Straight Talkies! The “In Memorium” segment with me and Fagsy Malone starts around minute 24:44. Or for the direct link, you can CLICK HERE .

Thanks for reading!

Ross Mathews nominated me for a Straight Talkie Award!

The best podcast that exists in all the history of podcasts is Straight Talk with Ross Mathews, and if you have not listened to every episode, you really should. I know it’s a commitment, but it’s worth it.

I’m a long-time listener of the show and have been there through all the inside jokes, all the laughs, and all the chaos. Earlier in the year I was able to call into the podcast and talk to the crew, and Ross Mathews even called me fascinating. It was truly an amazing day and I felt incredibly lucky. Then in September when I was at DragCon NYC, I got even luckier and was able to briefly speak to Ross while he was hosting “Bossy Rossy’s Runway Games” and walked into the crowd. I also am a patreon member of Fagsy’s podcast, It’s a Gay Gay Gay Gay Podcast, and have interacted here and there with the gang on social media. Anytime I am acknowledged by the crew, I feel incredibly lucky and privileged.

And then the most amazing thing happened!

Episode 258 of Straight Talk contains all the nominations for the 2018 Straight Talkie Awards. The award categories include things like Best New Sound Effect, Best Original Song, Best Guest Appearance, and so much more.

Finally, there came the category of Best Listener of the Year.  I had the quick thought of, ‘Wow, how amazing would it be if he mentioned me..’ but I never in a million years expected to hear my name come out of Ross Mathew’s mouth. But he began the nominations…

“The nominees for Best Listener of the Year are – Best Lishener of the Year 2018 – Chris Barker for the ultra successful Fagsy Go Fund Me, and for creating the ‘Mumbo Jumbo Guide.’ Justin McGeshick for being the unofficial Straight Talk with Ross Historian. Bella Biscotti for her extraordinary contributions throughout the year…”

AND THEN THIS HAPPENED…

“And the final nominee for best listener of the year is, of course, Bisexual Gina, for her contagious enthusiasm for the program. Congratulations Bisexual Gina.”

When I first heard this, I truly thought that I had made this up in my head. I started freaking out of course and had to rewind to hear my name be read again and again.

OH MY GOD!

This is really an incredible feeling. I feel incredibly seen by a group of people that bring me so much entertainment in the funniest way and to be recognized by them is amazing. Ross is such a fantastic human and I feel so honored that he knows of my existence even from all the way on the other side of the country. It’s really cool that something like this podcast can unite people from all over the world and connect them together over laughs and good times. I am a part of the Facebook group and received congratulations from other listeners on my nominations, which made me even happier and more excited. My experience as a Straight Talker has been nothing short of amazing and I hope it continues to surprise me.

I’m currently in 3rd place and the other nominees are huge contributors to the show, but I truly just feel honored to have been selected in the first place. There are still 5 more days to vote for your favorite nominees on Twitter at @HelloRossPod, and you can vote for me by CLICKING HERE and voting for Bisexual Gina.

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Find Straight Talk With Ross wherever you listen to podcasts, and go to the episode released on December 13th. It’s Episode 258 – #StraightTalkiesSoWhite. My catorgory’s nominees are read around minute 40:14. Or for the direct link, you can CLICK HERE .

Thanks for reading!

Ross Mathews called me FASCINATING!

A little while ago, I put out an idea into the universe that I wanted to make it onto Ross Mathews’ podcast, Straight Talk With Ross. I was binge listening to all of the episodes and I would call in randomly to leave voicemails. My realistic hope was that one of my voicemails or something would be featured on the show.

Last week, I was watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, on which Ross Mathews is a judge. I am loving this season so I decided to call into Straight Talk and leave a voicemail of my current thoughts. I dialed the number and was waiting to hear the voicemail recording.

Instead I heard, “Hello?”

I freaked out. Someone had answered. “Oh my god, hi!” I could hear the cast talking in the background, recording the show. “Am I on the air?”

“No, but hang on a second..” It was a male voice, and I was trying to figure out who he was. I could hear him go talk to Ross and Mark regarding a caller, but after waiting a while, he got back on the line and let me know that they were not going to have time for callers today.

“That’s no problem – are you JRod?” I asked.

“Uhh, no.” He answered. Whoops. I also asked if his name was Willie (the two cast members who would normally be answering the phone) and he also said no, so I stopped guessing. He told me to try calling in again next week at the same time.

Oh, you got it.

A week went by and I decided I had to try again. I had called in at 7PM my time the week before, which means they probably started recording at 6PM, which would be 3PM in LA where they record.

I made my first call at 6:10, and it went to voicemail. I called again at 6:30 and it went to voicemail again. At this point I figured it was a long shot that someone would answer, so I tried once more at 6:45. Someone picked up and quickly hung up. THEY’RE THERE. I called again.

“Hello?”

This time, JRod answered the phone! I told him I was a huge fan of the show and we had a laugh about my previous call the week before. He said he wasn’t even sure how my call had gotten through, because he didn’t think they had the phones turned on! He then told me to hang on while he went to see if there was time for me on the show.

Oh. My. God.

I listened to Mark talk about getting his vasectomy surgery for a few minutes, and then they went to break. My heart was pounding the entire time in anticipation that I might even just TALK to Ross Mathews, let alone be on the show. After a couple more minutes, JRod came back on the line and let me know that he would push me through to Ross for the next segment.

I DID IT. I MADE IT ON THE SHOW.

Ross Mathews is amazing! He is so nice and welcoming, even to a crazy fan like me! Ross and the other cast members were asking me about my life, we talked about Drag Race and my love for Halsey, and I even got to sing! Truly amazing.

I felt so accomplished that I had put this thought out into the universe and actually made it happen. I’ve said before that I am a big believer in that you get the energy back that you put out into the world. It’s true what they say – if you put your mind to something, you can make it happen!

Ross gave me a couple cute little nicknames and told me that I could call back into the show whenever I wanted to! He said he was interested in my life and wanted to check in with me. (Get your (va)Gina checked!) HE SAID HE FOUND ME FASCINATING! It was honestly a funny and cute little segment, lasted about five minutes, and made me ridiculously happy.

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Find Straight Talk With Ross wherever you listen to podcasts, and go to the episode released on April 26th. It’s Episode 226 – Pooh Bear Fomo. I come in around 52:45. Or for the direct link, you can CLICK HERE .

Thanks for reading!

Podcast Favorites

podcast

When I started walking to work, I started listening to podcasts.

WARNING: I’m not a podcast expert. (And I am always looking for recommendations!) However, I do have my favorites and I find myself constantly bringing them up in conversation whenever possible.

So here is a list of my current podcasts shows and some reasons why I love them:

Short, daily listens:

BuzzFeed News Reporting To You

BuzzFeed News: Reporting To You – I was so excited to stumble upon this short, news show. There is a new episode every weekday – usually less than 5 minutes – that covers 3 or 4 top or trending stories. Totally relevant, super quick, and helps me feel in the know. Plus, who isn’t a fan of BuzzFeed? Easily in my top 5 favorite podcasts.

The Good News Podcast

The Good News Podcast – Brought to you by the Cards Against Humanity studio in Chicago – this one makes top 3! This is a great listen, new episodes also released every weekday – always less than 10 minutes long. Simple idea – news stories that are meant to make you smile and bring you positivity. Today’s episode gave the results of a study to find the song that makes people the most happy. And the world’s happiest song is… Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen.

Tiny Leaps, Big Changes

Tiny Leaps, Big Changes – I’m going to be honest here and say that I often skip through some of the episodes here that don’t necessarily apply to me, but I find a lot of motivation within this show. It’s a self-help podcast, exploring different ideas to help you get the most out of your life. The guy Greg who creates this podcast hasn’t posted consistently lately, but there’s a lot of good stuff in his archives.

Weekly intrigues:

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New Music Friday – This is a new one and I am mad at myself for

not starting this first! Spotify updates a playlist every Friday with new music that was released throughout the week. This podcast goes over any new hits that were released (most likely available on the playlist) and which artists to watch. Simple, quick, and noteworthy.

My Favorite MurderMy Favorite Murder – This is going to sound strange but I promise that this is actually a good listen. The podcast talks about true crime and famous murders that include twists, turns, glaring warning signs, and more. I’ve only listened to a fraction of these because of their length, but I listen to most of my podcasts on 1.5x speed which helps. This podcast is super interesting without being a total buzzkill. Stay safe, don’t get murdered.

This Is LoveThis Is Love – This podcast makes it onto my top 5 favorites and it’s only released 3 episodes so far. Brought to you by the creators of the podcast Criminal (which I have not listened to yet), this show explores the mysteries of love in all forms (not just romantic). The second episode titled Something Large and Wild is one of the best episodes I’ve ever listened to across any podcast ever. It’s an incredible story of a distance swimmer helping a last baby whale reunite with its mother and IT’S SO BEAUTIFUL. Seriously so excited for more to be released here.

Duolingo Spanish Podcast

Duolingo Spanish Podcast – I use the Duolingo app regularly to strengthen mi español, and this podcast helps to further that education with true, bilingual stories. The narration goes back and forth between Spanish and English and is geared towards intermediate Spanish speakers. In true Spanish fashion, these stories always rip out mi corazon out in some way, shape or form – even the happy ones.

Famous People:

Anna Faris Is Unqualified

Anna Faris Is Unqualified – First of all, as a big fan of The House Bunny, I love Anna Faris. I’ve listened to all the episodes of Unqualified available and was still begging for more. Anna plays “Dating Dealbreakers” with her guests, does characters such as the obnoxious Kayla and snoody studio CEO Karen Sarducci, and gives unfiltered advice to callers. If you only listen to one episode, listen to Terry Crews. He goes off on a long tangent about what he has learned about life, love and masculinity and it is truly inspirational. So much of what he said was extremely relatable and relevant. (I asked my boyfriend to listen as well and he agreed.) Might be my favorite podcast, definitely in my top 3. “Fuck you, Sim.”

Straight Talk with Ross MatthewsStraight Talk with Ross Matthews – I just became a straight-talker after falling in love with Ross on Celebrity Big Brother. I’ve listened to the 2018 episodes, but I’m currently in the process of binging on all episodes available. It’s going to take me a while, but it’s going to be worth it. I have already laughed enough in the first 20 episodes to make me seem crazy to my co-workers and those who pass me on the street. It’s silly and upbeat and also in my top 3 favorite podcasts. Order your Squatty Potty today.

Here's The Thing with Alec BaldwinHere’s The Thing with Alec Baldwin – Let me just say that I love the way Alec interviews his guests. Hard hitting questions that dig deep and tell good stories from the entertainment industry history. Recently he interviewed Jann Wenner, the creator of Rolling Stone Magazine, and that was a good listen! As a fan of NBC, I most enjoyed his interviews with Jimmy Fallon, Lorne Michaels and QuestLove. I’ve been told that Alec was one of the first big celebrities with a podcast, so there are more interviews available than I have time to listen to. I’ve added my favorite celebrities to my queue to start, but there’s a lot more for me to dig into here.

Snoop Dogg's GGN PodcastSnoop Dogg’s GGN Podcast – I’m still making my way through the Snoop archives, but I have not been disappointed by one episode of the Double G News Podcast. I saw Gabriel Igelsias do stand-up last November where he talked about being a guest on this show. He brought his son with him to the recording, and both were offered the opportunity to smoke weed with Snoop, which made for a great bit in his stand-up. Listening to the episode and all the coughing was quite amusing, as was the Seth Rogan episode where he times how long it takes him to roll a cross-joint. (Fun Fact from this episode: Seth rolled all his own joints in the movie Pineapple Express.) The archives go back to 2015, so I am looking forward to binging on hours and hours worth of the sultry Snoop voice.

Bachelor Nation:

Off The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe

Off The Vine with Kaitlyn Bristowe – (I am only putting the Bachelor shows at the bottom of this post because not everyone cares as much as I do, but… ) I LOVE KAITLYN and her podcast is the reason I first opened up the podcast app – no joke. I am just such a huge fan of Kaitlyn’s and she is the only celebrity whose DMs I have tried to slide into. One of the best parts about Off The Vine is that she will recap the Bachelor shows, but she is also a fan of Big Brother (my reality show dream). I have found a good amount of behind-the-scenes insight to both shows as a result of this podcast.

TThe Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcasthe Ben and Ashley I Almost Famous Podcast – Just as I loved to watch Ashley I cry on her Bachelor shows, I could listen to that New Jersey accent gossip all day. Nothing against Ben, but I listen to this one for Ashley I. I cannot get enough of her and I loved her on Bach Winter Games! The Almost Famous Podcast is the first one that I listen to after a Bachelor franchise show airs some drama. All good things love, dating, and Ashley I.

If you have any podcast suggestions, please let me know!

Thanks for reading.