Kool Things IV

Another week for the books! It literally snowed yesterday, because April Fool’s Day is real. I needed my escape, and I found it in memoirs and comedy, by which no one is surprised. These are the things that got me through the hail/sleet/snow hellscape that was this week.

This Show

crashing01.jpg

Crashing, Pete Holmes

I cannot even believe that I haven’t written about Crashing yet! Crashing, the semi-autobiographical brainchild of brilliant comedian and beautiful human being, Pete Holmes, is HBO’s newest Sunday night series. It tells the (dramatized) story of Pete’s divorce and entry into the New York City stand-up scene. Guest stars have (thus far) included comedy powerhouses like Sarah Silverman, Artie Lang, and TJ Miller, as well as one of my personal favorites, Aparna Nancherla.

f5f41fedcb3eb8ce85eff4548baf7283.jpg

If you don’t yet know the delightful Pete Holmes, well, you should. He briefly hosted his own talk show that aired weeknights after Conan, The Pete Holmes Show, hosts an interview podcast called You Made It Weird that never fails to get spiritual, and landed an HBO special called Faces and Sounds that dropped in December. He’s a hometown hero, hailing, like myself, from Metro Boston (I think Somerville or thereabouts). Pete Holmes truly has one of the most unique voices in comedy—his relentless optimism and winning smile make jokes like calling himself “Lesbian Val Kilmer” all the more powerful. Crashing chronicles Pete’s days as a fresh-faced comedy newbie; now, though, he’s a force to be reckoned with.

*Crashing airs Sunday nights at 10:30 on HBO.

This Book

sara_benincasa-620x412.jpg

Real Artists Have Day Jobs, Sara Benincasa

This week I’ve been devouring this amazing book of essays by comedian and author Sara Benincasa, and it’s been an emotional journey. I finished it on my lunch break today and it took everything I had not to publicly sob. I hesitate to call this book “self-help,” but if you read it, you will help yo’ self. For real. The words of wisdom in this book range from “brush your damn teeth” to “treat your vagina like the magical temple that it is.” I’m paraphrasing, but you get it. Benincasa gets very frank about her own struggles with mental illness but never fails to be disarmingly hilarious. As someone who aspires to a reasonable facsimile of this incredible woman’s career, it is inspiring beyond belief to read of someone rising from the ashes of her own self-destruction and kicking major ass purely through hard work and talent. 10/10, read this f***ing book.

I’ve already ordered one of her other books, Agorafabulous!, which I can’t wait to start reading!

Check out her short film, The Focus Group, on Vimeo.

*The kindle version of Real Artists Have Day Jobs is only $1.99 right now, my dudes! Go forth and read!

This Special

HbuXOKOl.jpg

Pizza Mind, Sasheer Zamata

SNL cast member and jumpsuit messiah Sasheer Zamata just dropped her very first stand-up special on the incredible comedy streaming service, Seeso. The stunning and brilliant Ms. Zamata tackles race, feminism, and being named after Star Trek like a gotdamn professional. Topics of discussion include “resting bitch face,” her brief employment at Disney world, and the (very f***ing true) fact that white girls are constantly shedding hair all over the place. The special is hilarious, but it’s also a thoughtful, educational experience. Sasheer Zamata does not care if her material on race makes you uncomfortable. That’s on you.

Pizza Mind is must-see TV. If you have a spare hour, give it a watch. You will be rewarded with a magical cartoon adventure and a show-stopping finale number #nospoilers.

sasheer-interview-header.jpg
DID I GODDAMN MENTION THE JUMPSUIT, THOUGH? My ladies who art in comedy are KILLING it in the wardrobe game lately.

Watch her bit about her tricky-to-pronounce first name here.

Watch her in “Black Jeopardy”, one of SNL’s finest skits. Here she is with Drake, Tom Hanks, Louis CK, and Elizabeth Banks.

*Pizza Mind is now streaming on SeeSo!

Dis Phone

$_86

I upgraded early and got an iPhone 7 this week! I almost went Plus, but I tried out my husband’s 6+ for a little while, and the damn thing’s just too big! I like being able to rock the one-handed text. But don’t text and drive! Do as I say, not as I do! The transition from iPhone 6 to 7 has been like night and day! It’s faster, there are two speakers, and it’s PINK. I know I’m predictable and basic, but the more pink I can get in my life, the better! I also got the 128G model (4 times the storage of my last phone!) so that I could combine the functions of iPhone and iPod (I’ve been using my iPhone 4 from many years ago as an iPod—the thing was begging to be sent to a farm upstate, it was dead and buried). Despite the foolish amount of music I’ve put on it, I still only seem to listen to Hamilton…

The-Casery-Collection.jpg

We got a shipment of phone cases from The Casery to my work, so I also treated myself to this amazing case. Kendrick Lamar fans, unite! This isn’t a sales pitch for my work or anything, since y’all don’t know where I work, nor is it an ad for The Casery, but seriously, you guys, these cases are the absolute best. The designs are the cutest I’ve ever seen (donuts! sushi! cacti!) and the cases are super well made. I’m obsessed…I might need to get this one next, in honor of the little cat that started it all—Della!

This Game

stump.78105725_std.png

Stump! Trivia

I’ve been playing Stump! Trivia for ten whole years, since way before it was appropriate for me to be hanging out at a bar on a weeknight. I’m not actually sure it’s even appropriate now. But alas, such is my addiction to trivia and other brain puzzles—every Wednesday night for the past year (and many Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays in years past), my father and I have ordered a round of drinks and a basket of french fries and challenged ourselves to a battle of wits in the quest for a restaurant gift card.

Stump! is arguably the best trivia game in the Boston area (it was started in Marshfield), but it’s now a nationwide company that offers fun, challenging trivia and Questionnairey (a Family Feud-style game) at bars and private events. Long story short, I am a huge, huge fangirl, and a frequent player. So, the other night, after a particularly exciting win at our local pub, I applied to be a host.

I had applied years and years ago, but was likely much too young to be considered. Doesn’t super make sense to hire an underage girl to work in a bar—I don’t hold the lack of response against them. But this time, I heard back via email almost immediately and set up an audition!

I wasn’t looking for a second job, and the extra few bucks a week won’t make a huge difference to me financially, but the public speaking experience is priceless! The whole gig is essentially an improv performance—something I’ve been anxious about for years! I recently admitted to myself that my dream is actually to be Conan O’Brien (or a reasonable lady approximation)—writer, performer, icon. Okay, I’m joking about the icon part, but in order to achieve even a tiny sliver of my dream, I’m going to need to get better in front of a crowd.

If you’re in the Boston/South Shore area, come support me here!

***

Thanks for letting me blab about my obsessions for a month straight! What are you obsessed with lately?

—DellaBites

*as usual, all of the images via google or the sites linked in each description!

 

Advertisements

Pod-Party Part Trois!

It’s becoming deeply apparent that all I care about is podcasts. Free entertainment constantly at my fingertips? I’m a comedy junkie/nerd, so podcasts are an amazing way to get my fix without parking myself in front of the TV. I feel like I’m never not learning!

2 Dope Queens

2dq_1400x1400_nownycstudios_22 Dope Queens is tied with I Seem Fun for my absolute favorite podcast currently in existence. Hosted by Phoebe Robinson & Jessica Williams (of Daily Show fame), 2 Dope Queens is a stand-up showcase framed by Pheebs and Jessica’s banter. This podcast makes me laugh out loud while I’m alone. I’m sure other drivers on the road think I’m demented. I admire Phoebe & Jessica so much for the amazing successes they’ve had in their careers at such young ages (Jessica isn’t even 30 yet, y’all!) They are hilarious, badass women and they drink rosé out of champagne flutes that say “White Male Tears”. #stayhydrated 

I wish them many more seasons of success! I’ve discovered some of my new favorite comedians on 2DQ, like Jo Firestone and Jordan Carlos, and gotten to bask in the glory of some that I’ve long loved, like Gabe Liedman and Jen Kirkman.

Sooo Many White Guys

somanywhiteguys_1400x1400_final_nownyc

SMWG is Phoebe Robinson’s other podcast, which wrapped its first season this summer. The mission statement, I assume, was for Phoebe to host an interview podcast that *gasp* only had non-white-guy guests! Notable guests include Gina Rodriguez (the queen of my heart), Roxane Gay (my fucking idol), Constance Wu, and Ilana Glazer. Each episode runs between 30 & 40 minutes, so it’s a perfect commuter pod. The women are hilarious AF but don’t shy away from getting into deep discussions about race & gender. The last ep of the season featured Mike Birbiglia, amazing human and token white guy! This is a must-binge pod.

Savage Lovecastsavagelovecast_1400

I’ve been reading the Savage Love column since, well, since I was way too young to be reading the Savage Love column. It’s printed in a *free* local Boston Arts paper, The Dig, which I always grabbed to read on the T in my younger days when I actually spent time in the city. Dan Savage has been a better resource on sex than my high school sex ed class, my parents, Tumblr, and actual field experience combined. What makes the podcast deeply compelling, aside from his thoughtful advice, are the top-of-show political rants and his amazing guests, many of whom are sex workers or porn performers. Without the Savage Lovecast, I wouldn’t have even known about California’s Prop 60 (vote no, y’all!)

The Lovecast comes in 2 sizes, Micro (with ads) and Magnum (ad-free, with more content). I’ve been slumming it with the Micro, but I may be upgrading because I can’t get enough!

Follow Dan on social media @fakedansavage.

Slate’s Dear Prudence

3000x3000_panoply_dearprudence_2016_r01-crop-cq5dam_web_1280_1280_jpeg

Dear Prudence is a podcast hosted by my most favorite internet person, Mallory Ortberg. Mallory and Nicole Cliffe ran The Toast for several years, and have cemented their places in an esoteric feminist niche that wholly appeals to me. Even though The Toast shuttered in July, it’s worth perusing their archives. Some of the best #content on the internet.

The PrudiePod gives me the weekly dose of Mallory that I’ve so sorely missed. Amazing guest hosts include her mother and sister, as well as the ever-amazing Carvell Wallace. Mallory’s top and bottom-of-the-show rants sustain me.

Follow Mallory on social media @mallelis, and buy her hysterical book Texts from Jane Eyre here.

The Nerdist

torgerson_nerdist_fb

The Nerdist podcast is an interview show, hosted by Chris Hardwick (@midnight, The Talking Dead). Apparently he’s been doing it for 6 years! There are literally hundreds of episodes, so I obviously haven’t listened to all of them, but I have (predictably) listened to Jen Kirkman, Emily V. Gordon, and Samantha Bee’s episodes.

I didn’t listen to this podcast at first because, frankly, the whole “Nerdist” culture never appealed to me. I also find it ridiculous that The Walking Dead has a companion show. It’s not a good show. I don’t watch it because I don’t need to watch gratuitous violence, but my husband has seen every episode, and at this point he’s hate-watching. Can’t wait until zombies fade out like vampires did two years ago.

BUT, rant aside, Hardwick is a great interviewer and solid comedian. His most recent special, Funcomfortable, was a joy from start to finish (and you guys know that I don’t even care about white male comics, so that’s high praise). I look forward to many more car-rides with this awesome pod!

The Wilder Podcast

download

The Wilder Podcast is a brand-new podcast hosted by Karsyn Dupree of Wildernessa (formerly Blissbranch). I discovered Karsyn a few years ago via the Instagrams of the Dupree sisters (of Eisley fame). Her personal story (unrelated to all things Eisley) and unconventional life path are so inspiring! I’m really digging the music she and her husband, Collin, have been putting out, so I was excited when she announced that she was doing a podcast! With the exception of Sherri Dupree-Bemis, I hadn’t actually heard of any of her guests, but they’ve been super engaging. They range from health coaches, to motivational speakers, to podcasters and authors. I love tuning in every week to hear badass ladies doin’ for themselves!

Follow Karsyn on social media @wldrnessa & @karsynkdupree.

You Made It Weird

download-1

You Made It Weird is another Nerdist podcast hosted by one of the best guys in the universe, Pete Holmes. Pete, affectionately referred to in my house as Petey, is one of my favorite comedians and all-around thinkers. I genuinely feel that he’s a modern-day philosopher. He is brilliant. We were robbed of his TBS late-night show after only one season, because the world is a dark and unjust cavern of misery.

YMIW is super-duper long, like 2+ hours long, so it’s definitely a plane-ride pod. Amazing guests include Reggie Watts (literally the messiah in my household), Bo Burnham, Aparna Nancherla, and John Mulaney.

Gilmore Guys

66319.jpg

To be fair, I haven’t listened to every episode of Gilmore Guys. There are a LOT of them. In fact, they just recorded the very last one, for s7e22 of the show. But Gilmore Girls is my favorite show, so anything devoted to it deserves at least a listen. The premise is that Kevin is a long-time fan and Demi has never seen an episode in his life. They’ve been watching an episode a week for the past 2 years and recording a show devoted to each episode. They’ve had tons of cast members (Liza Weil! Scott Patterson! Sean Gunn!) on the pod, and they’ve gained quite a following. They even guested on an ep of my favorite educational podcast, Stuff Mom Never Told You. I can’t wait to go deep on this podcast on my next flight or long commute!

With Her

with-her-podcast-hed-2016

And of course, I couldn’t NOT mention that Hillary Clinton has a podcast! Okay, it’s not hosted by Hillary (she ain’t got time for that!), but it’s about her and the campaign. I haven’t gotten a chance to listen to every episode, but the Bill Clinton one was marvelous. Bill could narrate the process of making toast and I’d listen. I such a rabid fan of Hillary Clinton, her policies, and her message. Voting for her with FERVOR tomorrow, and I suggest you all do the same. #yourprotestvoteisboring 

BONUS CONTENT (Can’t Get Enough)

I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman Podcast is currently semi-weekly! She has graced us with an additional half-hour of #content, called This Week Seemed Fun! It’s all the news stories that matter to Jen, and since I sometimes deeply feel like her millenial avatar, which I’m sure would horrify her, it’s all the news stories that matter to me. She’s been reading political articles at the end of her regular Tuesday show, so this is, to some degree, a continuation of that, except with aliens! Can’t wait for her Netflix special, Just Keep Livin’?, to premiere in early 2017!

So, what are you guys even doing with yourselves if you’re not listening to podcasts? Until next post, have fun!

**all images via the linked websites for each podcast

 

Pod-Party Part 2!

Podcasts have become basically the most important part of my life, you guys. I hunger for more! But the two that I’ve fallen for in a big, big way since I wrote about this last are SMNTY & WTF. Acronyms!

maxresdefault

SMNTY stands for Stuff Mom Never Told You. It’s run by two dope queens (but not those 2 Dope Queens…), Cristen and Caroline. So far I’ve listened to the episodes on A Practical Wedding, A Feminist Marriage, Lady Libido Liberation, and the trope Lesbian Bed Death. This show is like having a conversation with your best friend (if you happen to be a woke-ass lady with woke-ass friends). It’s so refreshing to hear this sort of talk outside of the classroom. I try my damnedest to approach everything in life through an intersectional feminist lens, so hearing the voices of like-minded individuals is reaffirming. They recently did a series on rom-coms that I can’t wait to listen to!

WTFPod

WTF stands, of course, for exactly what you think it stands for. Hosted by Marc Maron, who is one of my favorite comedians, WTF has some of the best guests in the game. Joanna NewsomAbbi & Ilana. Natasha Leggero. Ali Wong. It’s ENDLESS. Maron the show is based on his experiences doing the pod, and believe me, there’s enough material. WTF goes deep. I especially appreciate that Maron talks about his experiences as a man with an eating disorder, because that’s a large subset of the population that gets NO attention. As someone who has experienced disordered eating and still struggles, the episode with Nikki Glaser really spoke to me. I listened to it today, and it struck a damn chord. I was never in real physical danger (thankfully), but the mental state that accompanies eating disorders and food issues is intense, and it can manifest dangerously in a lot of other ways—reckless behavior, drinking, drugs, etc.

Oh gosh, look at me. Tryna talk about podcasts and delving into the darkness of eating disorders. For another day and another post.

Podcasts, man. As I’ve described them to my dad, it’s like NPR all day but 100% interesting all the time. But alas, my dad still doesn’t know what podcasts are. I’m not even sure he truly understands what an mp3 is. Either way, I’m so glad I discovered this *free* form of entertainment, finally!

Seriously, though: what pods should I be listening to??

—DellaBites

Pod-Party!

I’m newly obsessed with podcasts. I know, I know, I know. I’m about 5 years behind the time. Podcasts have existed for eons and I’ve just been wasting my life listening to music. Please leave your shade at the door and indulge me, goddamnit.

I’ve been listening to a few killer podcasts lately, some more than others, and yes, they’re mostly hosted by comedians because I have simple tastes, okay?

600x600bb.jpg
image via All Things Comedy

I Seem Fun: The Diary of Jen Kirkman Podcast

Jen Kirkman (one of my favorite comedians ever) hosts a weekly podcast on the All Things Comedy network. It’s phenomenal. I can’t even really explain why hearing about her dietary restrictions because of her acid reflux problem is interesting, but it is. Maybe it’s because she’s a hometown hero (Bostonians ftw). I recently read her first book, I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Happy Life Without Kids, and I can’t recommend her Netflix Special enough.

julie_fin.jpg
image via How Was Your Week?

How Was Your Week? with Julie Klausner

I’ve written previously about Julie’s perfect Hulu show, Difficult People, but it bears mentioning that she has one of the funniest podcasts in the game. Her voice (I mean that in the literal and the literary sense) is strong, sharp, and can make anything interesting—even her lamentations on the closing of the American Psycho musical. She’s not a super frequent poster (she’s got shit to do, people!) but whenever I refresh the podcast app and see a new ep waiting for me, I practically skip to my car and start actually enjoying trafficky commutes. Subscribe immediately!

dovPXH9t
image via Loud Speakers Network

Plz Advise with Molly McAleer

Plz Advise is an advice podcast hosted by Molls, who you may know from HelloGiggles, 2 Broke Girls, Drunk History, or just generally being an OG blogger. Some of the reality tv-talk is lost on me, but the general advice given on the pod is actually pretty on point. Her guests are always charming and hilarious. Additional info: Molls has a *fire* Snapchat story @mollsofficial.

avatars-000181049853-i6oy24-t500x500.jpg
image via Soundcloud

Oh Boy with Jay Buim

Oh Boy is an interview podcast sponsored by Man Repeller. Jay Buim, the host, is a great interviewer because he really lets the guest do the majority of the talking. He just guides with open-ended questions. The first one I listened to featured Tennessee Thomas from The Like and NAF!

man-repeller-monocyle-podcast-kelly-shami-illustration.jpg
image via Man Repeller

Monocycle with Leandra Medine

Monocycle is another  Man Repeller podcast. It’s hosted by the creator of the site, Leandra, and it’s a stream-of-consciousness monologue about the topic of the week, which range from weekend outfits to IVF. It usually runs about 10 minutes, so it’ll take you no time at all to catch up!

 

What else should I be listening to? I just downloaded 2 Dope Queens because I loooooove those ladies. Send me suggestions!

—DellaBites