I met Megan over a shot of Fireball, and that decision colored the rest of our conversation. There are plenty of laughs in this talk that goes from pet moose to Drew Carey and makes a stop at a basketball game between 2 beer glasses and 2 shot glasses. We also make a wildly inaccurate prediction about the weekend's Ohio State Buckeyes game.
So, take a shot of Fireball and learn about Yellowstone Park and sports journalism with my good friend Megan.
My good friend Estlin is a super interesting dude. He’s a big Bernie Sanders supporter and I met him after a Bernie rally in downtown Cleveland, but, unlike most Bernie fans, Estlin isn’t old enough to vote. At 14 years old he knows more about politics than I do about anything but 90s pop music.
We talk about the day of the event (from his mom picking him up after school to him hanging out at 11pm chatting to a stranger at a Mexican restaurant), what went down inside the rally, his Bernie handshake-hug, and the time he met President Obama.
Other highlights include:
Feel the Bern and get schooled by my good friend Estlin.
Marlene just passed the bar exam and will officially be an unemployed lawyer after her swearing-in ceremony in Columbus! Way to go Marlene! She sat down with me to talk about law school and what it takes to become a lawyer. We go over all sorts of lawyerly things like LSATs and a bunch of other law test acronyms.
Learn about Marlene’s move from Georgia to Ohio (and back to Georgia then back to Ohio again), her trip to Spain, her long distance engagement, and her two cats. Nothing Marlene or I say in this episode should be considered legal advice (she has to say that because she’s a lawyer and I want to say that to sound important).
If any listeners in the Cleveland area are looking to hire a brand new lawyer, let me know and I’ll get you in touch with Marlene. Really. She’s has Law School Debt and got into law in order to help the less fortunate. That’s enough right there, isn’t it? Please meet my good friend Marlene (and hire her)!
My good friend Chuck is an elevator troubleshooter from Denver, Colorado. You will learn tons about elevators and elevator repair. Most importantly you will learn that elevators are interesting enough to talk about for a half hour. Seriously!
Well, it’s not just elevator talk the whole time. We talk about Iceland, marijuana, welding, skiing, and Chucks history of being a knucklehead.
Meet my good friend Chuck the elevator guy!
Learn about the life of a physical therapy doctoral student in this talk with my good friend Jered Robert. When he graduates he will be called “doctor” but as for right now he’s living at home, paying his own tuition, and touching smelly feet. The glamorous life of a grad student!
Other highlights: the mental health aspect of physical therapy, buttholes, and whatever this thing (æ) is called. Please meet my good friend Jered Robert.
Michael “Honeycomb” Henighan is a blues musician who can play the flute, harmonica, and bass as well as sing. I met him at a Cleveland Blues Society jam session where musicians are randomly grouped together to play three songs for an audience. We discuss the jazz-like spontaneity that this format promotes and how they pull it off. For a special treat, find out if Michael is the only blues playing flautist.
We spend a little time talking about his time in the navy and in California. We also talk about electronics and information technology too! This interview has it all! It’s time to meet my good friend Honeycomb.
Here’s a special treat for you listeners this week: you get to meet two of my good friends! Andrew and Zack are both musicians so we spend a decent amount of time talking music. We talk about Andrew’s dad’s punk label Sonic Swirl and what it was like growing up around a bunch of punk bands. We talk about Zack’s musical family as well.
The guys have been laying the groundwork for a “chill-wave/hip hop/progressive/funk” group that should start making waves fairly soon.
We spend a chunk of time talking about Zack’s father and how his death has affected his family and his musical direction.
Some other highlights of our talk include brides walking down the aisle to Metallica, how to make cigar box guitars, animals (lynx, giraffes, koalas, sloths), and going in & out of doorways.
Meet my two good friends Andrew and Zack.
Come with me on a spiritual journey and meet my good friend Bhakta Al. He is a practitioner of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, commonly referred to as Hare Krishna. I didn’t know a single thing about the faith before I met Al and I felt I needed to tread lightly as not to say anything ignorant or offensive. It turns out that Al is really down to earth and we had a great time chatting about the religion.
Learn about how reincarnation is not necessarily a good thing, how uncomfortable underwear can keep you from being lustful, and why Krishnas wear robes, shave their heads (except for a ponytail) and put clay markings on their foreheads.
This is a really interesting talk, even if you know nothing about the faith as I did. Listen in to my good friend Bhakta Al and get one step closer to enlightenment!
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna
Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama
Rama Rama Hare Hare
This week you get to meet my good friend Amanda Lee. I recorded this interview last week and never got around to posting it because life can be exhausting between work, the kids, fantasy baseball playoffs and cleaning cat puke. When I finally sat down and listened to it I had forgotten how interesting Amanda is!
She is a barista/art curator/artist/really nice person. She gives me a lesson on ponies vs. horses and another on $5 t-shirts vs. $50 t-shirts. We talk about the art she curates at the coffee shop/art gallery/record store where she works.
We spend a good amount of time discussing disgusting things men say to women online and in the real world, and how she funneled her frustration over this into a performance art piece.She also helps run a warehouse space where DIY punk & noise bands can do their thing for an audience.
I wish I had posted this interview sooner because I really do think it’s one of the more interesting discussions I’ve had. Meet my good friend Amanda.
n.b. for my father-in-law: I think you’re pretty cool.
A few guys from Jackass were in town to do a comedy show. I didn’t go to the show, but after it was over I went into the venue and they were chatting in the lobby with some fans. I stood off on the side debating my next move, and before I realized it all the fans had left. There I was in a room with Chris Pontius, Steve-O, Preston Lacy, Danger Ehren, Dave England and a few of their posse. I assumed that if I asked one of them for an interview I would be shut down immediately, but I decided just to go for it. I asked Chris Pontius and he said “Yeah” right away.
The venue was closing and the group was going to be heading to another location so Chris told me to meet him there. He was kind enough to sit down with a no name podcaster and chat for a good 15 minutes. I was hoping to talk longer but by this time it was one A.M. and he hadn’t eaten yet.
We talk about what makes jaguars and leopards panthers, compare and contrast Parma Italy & Parma Ohio, diss the city of Portland (and then recant) and talk about Jackass and Wildboyz.
It’s time to strip down to your thong, put on a bow tie and meet my good friend Chris!
This week you get to meet my good friend Stephan, a Haitian immigrant who has been living in the US for 11 years. We talk about the 2010 Haitian earthquake and how he lost a number of friends and a very close uncle. We go on a history tour of Haiti and learn about the slaves rebelling and taking over the country from the French.
Stephan talks about the process he went through to gain US citizenship and how important that was to him. As a special bonus he gives me a citizenship test which I pass and also become a citizen of this wonderful country! Other highlights include me deporting a random bar-goer for not singing The Star Spangled Banner, Stephan pimping Rick and Morty for cash, and the most amazing explanation of why America is great (Hint: we have friendly dogs and a mountain thats shaped like people).
Ok, listen in now and meet my good friend Stephan.
Meet my good friend Amanda. She grew up in New York City on the lower east side of Manhattan. Her home was blocks from The World Trade Center and as a third grader she saw the second tower fall on 9-11 after being evacuated from her school. This story is interesting enough for an entire episode by itself, but we don’t stop there!
We discuss plans for her upcoming wedding and talk about the logistics of having a “traditional” wedding when the couple is both female. We also go into her work as a social worker and her plans for adopting children.
To finish off the talk Amanda tells about how she figured out she was gay and also gives some advice for young people who may be questioning their sexuality. This episode has something for everyone! Please meet my good friend Amanda.
I met Diane after her team (Multiple Scoregasms) just won the world famous Mulberry’s Sports Bar Spring Intermediate Sixes Beach Volleyball Tournament! It was really nice of her to sit down with me while she was sandy and sweaty and celebrating with her friends. We talk a bunch about playing volleyball as well as her passion for sports in general. She coaches her son’s baseball, basketball, and football teams as well as playing volleyball herself AND holding down a 9 to 5. I’m tired after just typing it!
We also talk about her Korean heritage and how her parents are “fresh off the boat.” We discuss cultural differences like Korean’s respect for their elders and the very low crime rate in Korea. Are you wondering if we are talking about North Korea or South Korea? You’ll have to listen in to find out!
Please meet my good friend Diane and learn about volleyball, Korea, and a little bit about “full service marketing.” Say “hello” to Diane!
I met Eric during karaoke night at a club in Cleveland. His favorite animal is a platypus because “They’re aquatic, and they’re like a beaver had sex with a duck.” I feel like that amazing description may be all you need to know about Eric before you listen, but I’ll tell you more anyway.
Eric talks a lot about growing up in “the hood” and why family is the most important thing in his life. Learn why he considers his mom a super hero.
We also talk about his budding career as a barber, something he’s done for ten years but is only now going to school for. At some point his “bodyguard” comes over and starts questioning me about what I’m doing and the interview sorta peters out after that. It really was incredibly interesting talking to Eric up to that point though. Actually, I think it was just getting late and Eric wanted sleep. Or beer.
Anyway, listen in to my talk with my good friend Eric and learn a thing or two about the hood and family and barbering. Meet my good friend Eric with the lovely sounds of karaoke in the background.
Meet my good friend John. This John is a different John than the John you met last week. A quick warning: this episode is NSFW more than any other so far. If you’re listening at work or around children or small dogs, use caution.
John wastes no time telling me how well-endowed he is and later tells me that he has “about 9 bitches.” He is a pretty serious pool player who claims to have not lost a game in over 5 years. Learn his secrets including “practice” and “geometry.”
John is also a Harley motorcycle rider who takes pride in the fact that his bike is loud enough to ruin your picnic. He also wears all leather (to be safe) but no helmet. Go figure!
Listen as he calls out LeBron James! John claims that LeBron can’t beat him on the pool table OR on the basketball court. As of this posting, LeBron has yet to issue a statement.
The absolute best part of this interview happened after I had stopped recording. I packed up my gear and was heading out when I saw John playing pool in the back. I went to say “bye” and when I did I saw him scratch while going for the 8 ball.
John is the guitarist for a band called Burlap to Cashmere. I met him after a show that I didn’t see and I had never heard of the band. After a 30 minute chat (and some research I did later) I found out that Burlap to Cashmere is a pretty well known act in both the worlds of Christian and secular music. In fact my brother had one of their CDs in his car stereo when it was stolen many years ago. I think John had a good time chatting with someone who had absolutely no idea who he was.
John describes Burlap to Cashmere as Paul Simon meets Cat Stevens over Greek Balkan music. To try to figure out what that means we listen to a portion of their song Build A Wall. John also likens the band to “an acoustic version of Rush,” meaning they are an acquired taste but put on a great live show.
We talk about crazy Greek time signatures, his family’s connection to Bon Jovi, having a limo driver at 18, and being recognized in Dunkin Donuts. It’s like a really interesting episode of Behind The Music, but one in which no one dies of a drug overdose. Meet my good friend John.
My good friend Kevin is an amazing person. His job is to lend support to the families of homicide victims and this episode can get pretty heavy at times. For someone who deals with murder, funerals, domestic violence, and sudden infant death, Kevin has an awesome view of humanity and our ability to overcome the most horrible circumstances. He talks about the help he gives to those in need and how he takes care of himself so the seriousness of his work doesn’t drag him down. It’s really interesting stuff and I think you will enjoy meeting him.
I met Kevin at a storytelling event in Cleveland called Told. Before we go into his job as a social worker we talk about this amazing event where regular people randomly get called up and share true stories with an audience. Told events also have two featured storytellers who have more time and tell prepared stories. The theme of the evenings stories was “love in Cleveland,” and a real actual wedding broke out at the end of the night. It was crazy! Kevin and I will tell you all about it.
So it’s a bit of a 2 part episode. The first portion is about Told, and then we go into homicide, poverty, and social injustices. I think the 2 parts fit together nicely though, especially because the stories that night were about love. I don’t know. Just listen.
And thanks to Dave from toldstories.com for hosting a great event! Now meet Kevin.
You lucky listeners get to meet two of my good friends for the price of one! Meet Dave and Aubrey, co-hosts of trivia night at The Happy Dog in Cleveland. I wandered in there just as they were wrapping up the game for the evening and they were gracious enough to sit down with me for a chat.
Most of the talk is about trivia. We discuss how they come up with the questions, themed rounds, tie breakers, and prizes. If you’ve ever been to a pub quiz you will surely enjoy this talk. If you’ve never been to a pub quiz, get to The Happy Dog on Monday night!
We also discuss Aubrey’s career organizing closets and garages for people. Her number one tip: get rid of your crap.
Dave talks about his band The Boys From the County Hell, which is a Pogues cover band. We also learn that Dave has very limited knowledge of how the internet works. What is Facebook? What is a website? Don’t ask Dave!
Be sure to listen all the way to the end because they ask a trivia question that you can figure out and email me the answer (firstname.lastname@example.org) to try to win a prize! It’s a contest! Yay!
Now it’s time to meet my good friends Dave and Aubrey.
I would like you to meet my good friend Jared, singer and guitarist for The Sour Notes. The Sour Notes are a psych-pop band from Austin, Texas who are currently on a 2 week tour. I met Jared at Now That’s Class in Cleveland where they had just performed with local act Sammy Slims. Their tour is based around a stop in Toronto, Canada for the North by Northeast festival.
We talk about life on the road for a band with no money, how they plan and schedule their own tours, and how they do all this despite holding down day jobs.
We talk about the creative process of songwriting, home recording, and what the mixing and mastering phases entail. Finally we listen to a bit of their song Big Dreams from their 2012 release Last Looks. Google “The Sour Notes Austin” and check out their music, but not before you listen to my interview right now. Meet my good friend Jared.
Meet my good friend Adam, assistant to the general manager at the Town Hall restaurant in the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland. I met him while I was on the hunt to interview a vegan as it was vegan night at the restaurant, but it turns out he is a carnivore who just happens to know a lot about vegan and vegetarian dishes. After talking about the vegan lifestyle we move on to a discussion about the duties of an assistant GM at a restaurant and the restaurant industry in general. We talk about learning to appreciate a dish for what it is (even if you personally dislike it) and what its like as a restaurant professional to go to other establishments for a meal.
Learn how Adam transitioned from being a server at a drive in burger joint to an assistant GM at this Cleveland spot that offers vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and non-GMO food. Listen right now and learn how to tip properly and most importantly how to avoid a condition called Leaky Gut! Meet my good friend Adam.
Conner is a swing dancer and a swing dance instructor. In this interview we learn about the syncopated rhythms of swing music and what differentiates swing dance from other forms of dancing. Learn how The Charleston evolved into The Lindy Hop on the east coast and The Balboa on the west coast. Conner describes how some of the complicated aerial moves of swing are similar to wrestling moves.
We go on a brief tangent about carbon to carbon bonds and organic electronics, as well as how Conner’s future as a scientist balances with his love of dancing.
When the interview is over you will find yourself Googling Frankie Manning, Maxie Dorf, and “playing in the pocket”. Jitterbug into this great talk with my good friend Conner.
I met my good friend Ziad at the swanky rooftop bar above The 9 in downtown Cleveland. He is visiting from New York where he is a manager of guest relations at Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall.
We talk about what it’s like growing up in Brooklyn with immigrant parents, fun shows he gets to see at The Garden/Radio City, commuting by subway, and a little bit about the Knicks and Rangers. Also learn about how Ziad’s father was kicked out of Palestine as a youth, but now owns a house there. We discuss relations between Israel and Palestine without trying to get overly political.
Major shoutout to Ziad’s family member (sister or niece?) who was celebrating a birthday at Azure Sun Lounge. She let me take Ziad away from the party (in a roped-off VIP section) to be interviewed, and I am super grateful for that. Happy birthday!
Katie (KTCV) is a bartender at a “geek bar” that caters to nerdy beer lovers. Side Quest offers fun theme nights such as Mario Mondays (where the entire bar is converted into an arcade) and Beginners D&D sessions. We find out how much Katie knows about Settlers of Catan/Dominion/Agricola (not much) and what she knows about Mallrats/Tank Girl/Empire Records (LOTS).
Katie explains how she self-diagnosed a broken foot after falling down the stairs (sober?) and how she earned a $98 tip from a patron. We discuss her band Lady Face that is sadly breaking up and we play a few rounds of Trivial Pursuit Baby Boomers Edition. I can’t wait for you to meet my good friend KTCV!
I met my good friend Lisa on Free Comic Book Day at the local comic book store. She was cosplaying Agent Carter from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and the Agent Carter TV series. We talk comic book and cosplay culture even though I have no idea what I’m talking about. Learn about Lisa’s five different Princess Leia costumes and the time she was complimented by Carrie Fisher.
Other nerdy and geeky stuff we talk about:
•The 501st Star Wars bad guy costuming group
•The Green Lantern comics are the best, but the movie was the worst
•Collecting She-Ra action figures “on the card”
•Wizard Con, Steel City Con, and Motor City Con
•Free Comic Book Day
•World War Z
•My Little Pony
•The Ghostbusters reboot
Also you will find out that Lisa drives around town in a Scion xB that has been modified to look like the Ectomobile from Ghostbusters! You can see pics of the Ecto xB, Lisa as Agent Carter, and Lisa’s husband as The Winter Soldier on Instagram or Facebook
Let’s get to it! Meet my good friend Lisa!
Jenna is the producer of Dan Savage’s Hump! dirty film festival.
Hump! is billed as “The Pacific Northwest’s biggest and best amateur-produced porn festival,” but Hump! also travels the country with a collection of 18 of the best films from the past 10 years of Hump!
The fact that the name of the festival ends in an exclamation point is making this description difficult for me to write and I think I’ll be blocked from iTunes if I list the names of the films shown at the festival, so just listen in already.
Jenna and I talk about who makes porn to be shown on the big screen, and who watches it. We discuss the rules that the audience must obey and the limited instances of indecent exposure (from the audience. There's LOTS of it on screen). To find out where and when you can see Hump!, visit humptour.com
My good friend Jenna is here to teach you all about Hump!