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!

Podcast Favorites #3

podcast  Here is another round of my current favorite podcast suggestions! (#1, #2)

COMEDY:

Off The RailsOff The Rails with Sarah Colonna and Josh Wolf – This podcast is going back a couple of years, but is super worth the binge. After “Josh and Ross / he said he said” ended, Josh kept his old school radio style podcast going with a new co-host. Sarah is hilarious and their conversations are a perfect combination of relevant issues and absolutely ruthless and disgusting ideas. I’m a big fan of both Sarah and Josh from a comedy standpoint, so I recommend going a google search for their material as well.

Fairly Normal

Fairly Normal with Josh Wolf – Eventually, Josh goes solo on the podcast and Fairly Normal was born. Josh actually has an incredible story of how his family was created, and the episodes with his children are some of the most interesting. (TBH I should probably read Josh’s book to get the full story, cause its genuinely fascinating.) Some of the episodes include and guest and others are just solo rambles from Josh on the road, but all are entertaining. All the episodes of Off the Rails and Fairly normal can both be found under this logo on the Podcast app.

3 Girls 1 Keith3 Girls 1 Keith – This is a new podcast, and I only listen to the shortened version on iTunes. Apparently there is an extended version on Spotify, but I like the shortened show well enough. Amy Shumer, Bridget Everett, and Rachel Bloom partner with their friend Keith to talk about taboo topics and humiliate Keith as much as possible. If you are a fan of Amy Shumer’s, this is a good listen. Covering everything from love to pets to anal, it’s a quick and funny show in typical Amy Shumer comedy.

 

DRAG RACE:

Race ChaserRace Chaser – Sorry not sorry that I am a HUGE fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race and this podcast is EVERYTHING! Alaska and Willam are diving into each episode one by one as their love letter to the series. I am having a blast watching an episode from season one every week and listening to Alaska and Willam dissect it with their wit. There are some special guest appearances from the queens featured on the episodes and lots of inside information. If you are a fan of Drag Race, this podcast really is a MUST. I’m also obsessed with Alaska and will listen to anything with her voice in it.

Whimsically VolatileWhimsically Volatile – If you know Drag Race, you know Katya. Previous to listening to this podcast, I did not know Craig, but Katya and Craig together create an absolutely ridiculous and over the top duo. This podcast is full of inappropriateness that you just can’t find anywhere else. Katya (Brian) really goes deep into some truly gruesome stories that you can’t stop listening too. There is no lack of entertainment here, that’s for sure.

 

OTHER:

Getting CuriousGetting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness – Jonathan is my favorite of the Fab 5 on Queer Eye, and I can never get enough of him. Needless to say, when I found out he had a podcast, I immediately started binging. This podcast is super informative – Jonathan goes keep into topics that make him curious with experts from that field. This covers everything from politics to social media to a diva cup. I’ve already learned so much from listening to this podcast and there is so much information left to discover. Also, Jonathan is the best.

Self HelplessSelf Helpless – This was such an easy binge listen for a crazy person like me! If you have ever had anxiety, read a self help book, or practice the art of Feng Shui, you have to listen to these girls. Comedians Delanie Fischer, Kelsey Cook, and Taylor Tomlinson come together to talk about their experiences with self help, anxiety, and so much more. There is always a comedic relief, but also a lot of great insight. They also did an episode where they covered The Five Love Languages, and a book I am currently reading called “You Are A Badass”. Highly recommend!

NancyNancy – I SAVED THE BEST FOR LAST. Nancy is one of my all time favorite listens, and I cannot wait for them to start the new season and bring me more episodes. Nancy is an LGBTQ podcast that goes though so many issues in the community. To put it simply, this podcast is so real. The hosts Kathy and Tobin go through their experiences with coming out, cover relevant news stories, and shed light on statistics and ideas within the LGBTQ community. This was an eye-opening podcast with so many more ideas to explore. Whether you are a part of the LGBTQ community or not, this is worth the listen. I promise.

More to come! I am always looking for new podcast recommendations and suggestions, so please comment if you have any favorites to share.

Happy listening! Thanks for reading.

The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

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READ THIS BOOK. Take the quiz. And read this book.

This book addresses the fact that different things hold different levels of importance to different people. An act that you consider small may be monumental to your partner. There are so many different ways to communicate, and its important to understand which languages means the most to both you and the person that you love.

5 Love Languages:

Words of Affirmation

Quality Time

Acts of Service

Physical Touch

Giving Gifts

I took the quiz and made Ryan (my boyfriend) take it as well prior to reading the book. Just looking at the five love languages, I could spot mine right away: Words of Affirmation. I mean, I was a Communications major… words are important to me. Still, I took the quiz and was validated in my suspicions. Ryan’s answers were surprising in some ways.

My Responses:                          Ryan’s Responses:

9 Words of Affirmation           8 Quality Time

7 Physical Touch                       8 Words of Affirmation

7 Quality Time                           7 Acts of Service

6 Acts of Service                        4 Physical Touch

1 Receiving Gifts                       3 Receiving Gifts

The book speaks about spouses, but I don’t think this applies only to married people, or even just people in relationships. I think that the way you communicate in love says a lot about who you are and can help you to learn more about yourself and your relationships.

I’ve learned that I am extremely sensitive to words. When Ryan and I are able to communicate well and tell each other all these nice things, I feel good. And on the flip side, if words exchanged are negative, I hold onto them for a long time. Luckily, my need for Words of Affirmation is frequently met through meaningful text messages, small notes, and daily “I love you”s. I still think it’s important for Ryan to recognize that Words of Affirmation is my primary love language for whenever we get into fights or arguments. Knowing that words are important to me means that he can say things like “I’m sorry” and “Everything is fine” a few times and my demeanor will drastically change. I am definitely influenced largely by what is said to me.

Even though Ryan’s top two are tied, I think that Quality Time suits him best. It means a lot to him when we share experiences together or spend time doing things at home. Since Receiving Gifts clearly doesn’t hold a lot of significance to either of us, a lot of my birthday and Christmas presents involved tickets to something. We also enjoy doing small, cheap dates on Friday nights such as dinner and/or the movies. I know that planning and spending time together is something that means a lot to him (and myself as well). On the flip side, he gets upset when we are together but I am not present. There are nights where I will fall asleep early, and the next day he will tell me that I was a zombie. I try not to spend too much time on my phone when we are out or on a date, except for taking a couple pictures for Snapchat.

I would love to dive more into what makes Ryan happy after he reads the book. He doesn’t enjoy reading as much as I do, but has agreed to read sections of the book that I block off for him.

What’s important to remember is that what will make a difference in a relationship is effort. Ross Mathews has a theory about relationships, saying, “You need to meet me 100% at the 50 yard line.” Both parties need to be willing to say, Hey, I care about you and our relationship and doing what I can to make it a good one. I’m lucky to have this, but the author of the book is a marriage counselor and often talks about his theories saving marriages. I definitely think it’s possible to apply his theories to positively influence your relationship (or marriage, or love life or whatever), but only if both parties are willing to put in the effort.

Once the effort is there, a little goes a long way. 

More to come after I block of sections for Ryan and get his feedback. Thanks for reading.