My LA Weekend Recap: Monday, Final Thoughts, and EVERY Pocketbooth of the weekend!

I woke up a few hours later as Amy was getting her things ready. We hugged and sniffled a bit as she picked up her shuttle. Dana, Seth and I grabbed breakfast and then Dana picked up her shuttle. One by one everyone began to peel away from each other, like the end of the first season of Leverage or (as Amy said) Oceans 11. It was bittersweet and a little teary as everyone broke away. I really hope that they all knew that leaving them wasn’t fun and if I could cry in public, I totally would (but all of my crying is reserved for liquor stores and sex toy shops).


I let out a sigh as I slid into my rental and drove to Beverly Hills, exhausted but content. I parked and visited the Cupcake ATM (yes, it exists and they’re fucking delicious) before heading back to the airport. I initially hoped I would’ve been able to have lunch with a friend, but she was in meetings all day. It’s okay though. Airfare to LA isn’t too terrible from PDX, so there will be brunch.


I write this as I sit in the airport, trying to kill time. It would be awesome if I had wifi, because I would pull up the ending song from Doogie Howser, MD as I wrote this. OH! And I think I walked by Sean Penn. Whoever it was looked like Spicoli and Leatherface.


Initially my worries were that I hadn’t done enough during the weekend, but looking at the amount of things in this recap and the size of it all, I feel like even though I didn’t have the chance to see everything I wanted, I was still incredibly happy and cannot wait for next year.


After all of that, I still have more to say (of course I do. I’m verbose and opinionated).


I have ABSOLUTELY no complaints about the festival. Yes, there were a few bummers, but I was never angry or upset with anything they had set up. The hotel… They didn’t realize what to expect with this festival. I hope that if it is decided to be there again, they make the proper arrangements to provide exceptional service as we were shelling out a crapton of monies there.


Every podcaster/comedian I came in contact with was incredibly gracious, kind, and lovely when talking to everyone in attendance. Graham got a little choked up when thanking people for helping this get off the ground. It didn’t hit me how much these performers are fans of their fans. They engaged people in conversations, they paid attention to where people were from, they also made it a habit to THANK the volunteers every chance they got.


Everyone that came to enjoy the festival was polite, courteous, and genuinely lovely people. It was hysterical to see someone go “Oh shit, I follow you on Twitter!” to people that had bought passes for the weekend. There was an intense camaraderie. There was no turf war between the listeners, which I was disappointed about because I really like snapping fingers and dancing in the street.


This event was incredibly well planned. In one year, there were very little in the way of snags (that they let anyone actually witness. I’m sure there were things.) My biggest hope is that Graham, Chris, Dave, Andy and Jeff all had the chance to enjoy themselves as much as we all did.


Until next year…

… and yes, I will listen to at least 3 episodes of your podcasts, fellow attendees.


Here are all the amazing pocketbooths I got during the weekend!

My LA Weekend Recap: Sunday

Sorry it took me so long. I had an appointment I had to get to.


The final day of Podfest. We woke with a realization that there was only one more day, but there was so much fun to be had. I was volunteering in the morning and arrived once again in Espada. I ran into Todd Glass and he made sure to tell me a few things he wanted to be done. I took care of them and when I walked into the room to sit back with Don (the awesome sound guy that had been in Espada with me all weekend), I was filled with joy at the fact that The Todd Glass Show was standing room only. There was definitely a… change… to the show and I was super excited to see Tom Hensley hop on the mic for a two minute bit that he did with Todd on the fly.


After Todd was Comedy Film Nerds, which had me laughing hysterically. Chris and Graham were completely on point and their guests, Alison Rosen and Steve Agee, were a delight. I had the pleasure of being the last audience question and the answer was so great, I will let you know when they post it.


I also had the chance to watch For Crying Out Loud. I hadn’t heard it before that day but I’ve already subscribed to their show. It was absolutely hysterical. Don and I were cracking up in the back of the room. I hadn’t heard him laugh at anything as hard as he did with FCOL.


When my volunteering shift was over, I had every intention of running back to the room to take a nap, but I ran into Chris Gore and we started talking about podcasting and I had my ukulele with me. One guy asked if he could hand it to a friend to play and I was like “SURE!”. So I get my camera out to take some video and realize it was Wayne Federman. It was fantastic. After it was done, there were people filming parts of the festival that wanted to do it again, but he didn’t want to feel like he was pretending. I asked him to just play for me. He ended up teaching me a new strumming pattern and he asked me to play for him. I did a bit of MGMT’s “Kids” and he told me I had a lovely voice. It wasn’t until I had packed it up and headed up to the room that I realized I was shaking. It finally clicked that the cameraman was filming ME singing. So… I don’t know if that will ever see the light of day, but you never know.


I went upstairs intending to sleep, forgot that I needed to pick up preordered merch, so I ran back to get that, ran to the room, and went BACK for Never Not Funny.


It was a fantastic show and I couldn’t stop laughing as my East Coast co-host of Whiskey on Sunday was texting me asking me questions about Jimmy Pardo’s shoes. There was also a knot forming in my throat when I realized that Jimmy’s was the last podcast of the festival. It felt like the entire weekend had flown by.


Shortly after the culmination of the podcast portion of the festival, there was the end of Podfest after party. I saw that my friends were all getting into a picture together so I hopped in. More and more people kept running in. Graham and Chris ran in. There were so many people rushing into the fold to be a part of the very “Class of ‘88”-esque picture.



One last post for my weekend, and I will include ALL of the pocketbooth photos from the weekend and a final thought on the execution of the event!


The party then shifted downstairs so that we could get something to eat. I only managed to last until about 1:30.

My LA Weekend Recap: Saturday

I woke up early because I was going to be working the door for the Espada conference room. I gave a quick hug to Dave Anthony as people filed into the room for the first podcast.


It was kind of awesome working the door for the shows, and I immediately realized it as I watched five men in lab coats walk towards me. Superego!!! EEEEEEE! Their guests were Paul F. Thomkins and Colin Hanks. They were all absolutely fascinating to watch because I got to see that even though they had to bring the laughs to the stage, they were still cracking each other up before they began. The show was phenomenal and I didn’t fangirl squee, but they were the first people of the weekend to sign my ukulele (sadly I couldn’t find PFT, as he was being pinballed from podcast to podcast. That man is a fucking machine and his energy is enviable!)


After the room cleared I tidied up a bit and Kevin Allison came in to set up for RISK! I had never heard the podcast before, so I didn’t know what to expect. I also thought “that dude is super fucking familiar… how do I know him?” Luckily, Vicky Pezza reminded me that he was in the State shortly after the recording. The show was amazing. RISK! starts with a topic and the guests all come up and tell a story. The episode’s topic was “unexpected”. I didn’t know much about Aubrey O’Day, but her story was fucking funny and fantastic and gross and my favorite of the bunch (even though they all had me laughing).


After RISK! I was relieved from my duties and ran outside for a cigarette. Greg Behrendt came driving in with Angelo and Alex. I brought them upstairs and got them checked in and then ran up to the room to give Greg his belated birthday present (I custom Sharpied a KidRobot Zoomi into a Reigning Monarch’s lion.) He pulled me into the JV Club to watch it with him. We took a seat and (of course) I was sitting behind someone with the best volumized hair ever, so I didn’t really get to see much of what was happening up front, but… It’s a podcast. That was okay. After an hour, I ducked out to get ready for Walking the Room.


I tossed on the new dress I had bought before flying out, slapped on some makeup and headed to the Ballroom.


When I tell you that Saturday night’s Walking the Room was one of the best episodes I have ever listened to, I am not exaggerating. Dave and Greg were on the ball, and they even got Wil Anderson to jump in to something that he was hesitant to take part in. No, I’m not going to tell you what it was. Buy it. You may hear me laughing.


After the show I got a few pictures and my uke signed and I got hugged and it still absolutely blows my fucking mind that Greg and Dave fucking remember me. Seeing everyone else meeting them for the first time brought a tear to my eye. Everyone who is on the Hotdog Thunderdome or the WTR page on Facebook, they recognized them and welcomed them with open arms or a warm handshake. Fucking aces, those jokers. (Shut up. I’m tired. Who am I kidding? I would’ve written it anyways)


We were all ushered out of the Ballroom by the employees that were setting it up for a private event and made our way to Barnum Hall across the street. Yes, it’s a high school auditorium. They had three food trucks outside of the venue where people were getting to know each other and then everyone headed in for Doug Loves Movies.


Oh DLM… When I tell you that it was fucking hysterical, it was. It was dubbed the “official train wreck of podfest”. There were visual gags, interrupting guests, and it was thoroughly entertaining. I really hope that you guys download it and listen to it. To give you an idea, the guests were Dave Anthony, Marc Maron, Zach Galifinakis, Todd Glass, and Steve Agee. There were two completely unique name tags for the Leonard Maltin game. That… is all you get (unless you see the pictures, then you’ll get some of it).


Immediately after Doug ended the show, there was a standup Podsmash, where many of the comedians did a little comedy and I laughed so hard. I did wish that there was an intermission as I totally had to run to the bathroom in the middle of it. It was fantastic though.


After the stand up show ended, we all shuffled back and then walked to Norms for food. I was fading fast, so I took a cab back. THEN I got a second wind and partied until 5:30a. Honestly, I drank too much and I can’t sleep when drunk so I spent an hour of that walking around the mezzanine telling myself to not be drunk.

My favorite pic I took with my camera.

My LA Weekend Recap: Friday

I woke up on Friday at about 4:30a and stayed in bed just trying to fall back to sleep. At 5, I gave up, grabbed some stuff to do and snuck out of the room to let them continue that pesky habit I have no talent for. I trolled facebook, watched people and let my mind wander as I fashioned expectations in my brainpan for what was to happen during LA Podcast Festival.


When they woke, we met up with Laura and headed to the Omelette Parlor (Palace? Fuckit. The OP). While we waited for our food, Alex arrived and told us that her first bringer show was that evening and I told her I really wanted to go. So we made plans to head over to Sherman Oaks and then I had to leave breakfast for a prior commitment. (I’m being private about it because it has to do with recording a podcast and I will release the information if/when it ever airs).


An hour of talking turned out to be very draining for me. As I was driving back to the hotel, I was stuck in traffic due to the ‘final voyage” of the Endeavor. (Tangent: Okay, that’s absolutely absurd that this has been traveling all over the place and they’re just hitching it up to things. It’s like hitching a mobile home to a fucking horse.)


After realizing that It took me 20 minutes to go one mile, I had to contact everyone and make sure that they made alternate plans to go see Alex perform, because I wouldn’t get there in time. Super bummed and sputtering impressive strings of profanity, I finally got back to the hotel.


I immediately wanted to crash. Take a shower, fall asleep, whatever. I was so glad I didn’t. I checked in, got my Volunteer badge and headed into the VIP Poolside party. There were quite a few people there and I got to meet Stu, Jessica, and Tom. I saw Aaron again and hugged everyone tightly. I think what made me so excited was the fact that I talk to these cats on a daily basis and it felt like a Cuddlah family reunion.


Afterwards, I ran upstairs, took a shower, and then decided to see one of the live podcasts that evening. I headed to the Ballroom on the penthouse floor and rushed in. My friends were all sitting together and there wasn’t a seat near them. Then I look over and Wil Anderson was sitting a little ways away. I scoffed at my friends and sat with Wil and Suze joined us. He admitted he didn’t know a lot about American sports. I admitted that I didn’t know anything about sports. We sat and watched the Sklars record their podcast Sklarbro Country and they had a few guests on and it was a lot of fun to laugh and occasionally look over to Wil and shrug.


After the show, Wil was kind enough to take a photo with me and he was such a sweetheart AND a rockstar. He had to fly back to Australia for Gruen practically after Walking the Room the following evening (and I’m pretty sure he wasn’t really here long enough to adjust to the time shift).


Then I got a phone call from Andy Wood and he asked if I’d be able to cover someone’s shift for the rest of the evening. I said a quick goodbye to people and spent a few hours checking in Performers, VIP, Industry and Volunteers. A few friends stopped in to hang out and Coleman and I got to chill for a little while and catch up (you may remember him from my mention of the Nerd Weekend in Boston and the first WTR Starfish Circus). Afterwards, I caught up with a bunch of friends and partied until 4:30am (which was the smartest idea, because then I got up around the same time as everyone else the following morning).


Random Hall Bed. Made me miss Mel and Crissie.

My LA Weekend Recap: Thursday

The Commune! Dana, Amy, Seth, Susan and I. We made sure to grab a roomies photo early because of reasons (which was smart because so much was forgotten in the rush of the weekend).

I woke up early on Thursday, too excited to even attempt to keep sleeping. I had also  procrastinated packing and needed to do it. I started throwing outfits I wanted to wear into the suitcase and then realized that I had already packed too much.


Once that was over, it was hard sitting still. I couldn’t play my new ukulele as I had packed it and didn’t really want to have to re-Tetris my bag. So, instead, I thought “I really want to go out and have some coffee and shop for work appropriate clothing”. When I was searching, I didn’t really plan on it, but I found a dress that I really liked and figured I still had room in my suitcase.


I figured that since I was just killing time, I might as well just go to the airport early and check in and waste time there. The 20 minute drive took an hour and fifteen minutes IN THE MIDDLE OF THE AFTERNOON. I think Portland really is where everyone moves to retire. Honestly PDX? What the fuck are y’all doing on the road at 3pm? Get a job, hipsters!


Chock full of rage I made my way to the self parking place I had found and looked at my text messages ONLY to see one from the airline saying that the flight was late. I let out a sigh and continued on.


I parked, hopped the shuttle and checked in. When I got to the TSA area, I was pulled aside, pat down and then my bags were swabbed. Apparently, a turtle backpack on a grown adult means “grope me”. They were all really sweet though, and I continued on thankful that I arrived on time. The fluidity of the confirmations of departure times continued to ding on my phone, but I didn’t care. I contemplated getting a drink, but I couldn’t find a place. Apparently I was already exhausted because as I waited for the woman to make my coffee, I noticed the huge BAR sign immediately behind the kiosk.


I let out a chuckle and sat down at the gate and wasted the next few hours to board. The flight was uneventful and we stopped in San Jose before going back up in the air. We landed late (obviously) and I had to wait a half hour in baggage claim before going to the shuttle area to get my rental. Another length of time passed before the shuttle even arrived and the rental place had four people working and an incredibly long line. I just shrugged and waited 45 minutes to get the car and drove to Santa Monica to stay at the Sheraton Delfina.


When I arrived, Seth and Rick were outside chatting and I immediately ran over for hugs. Dana, Susan and Ronnie came out to see me. I almost bawled because they were so sweet to wait up for me (even though I told them to go to sleeps!). We gabbed for a bit and headed up to the room where Amy Jo had started to succumb to sleep. We all settled in and soon the sounds of heavy sleep entered my ears. I gave in to it as well.


Oh Hai. Long Time…

It’s been a really long time since I made a post. I’m sure I could have written something awhile ago, but I needed some time to unplug and relax. The last 2-3 weeks have been both hectic and wonderful. I’ll have to bullet it all to get it in.

– My friends Jackie and Nick hosted a farewell shindig for me* and I was amazed at how many of my friends were able to attend.
– I finally reserved an apartment in Oregon and have put down a deposit.
– I gave my letter of resignation to my employer well in advance so I would be able to train my replacement.
– My parents hosted a gathering of family and friends as a Bon Voyage for me*.
– I went to Foxwoods with my Dad and Aunt and we stayed overnight. I left $50 richer, so that was great.
– We took a trip up to the Ben and Jerry’s factory in Vermont, AKA: THE LONGEST DRIVE FOR ICECREAM EVER, followed by a similarly long drive to a chateau and spent a night by the fire, reading and talking to each other. It was lovely.
– Went to the Yankee Candle factory in Massachusetts and made a candle to bring with me that my Aunt, Mom, Dad, and Cousin helped to make.
– We returned home on my birthday and my brother and sister-in-law had cooked dinner and it was delicious and wonderful.
– I had my last appointment with my therapist. Then it sunk it that this was happening soon and I got really worried. But, I know that as long as I stay proactive with my mental health I will find someone on the West coast.
– We celebrated my mom’s birthday and father’s day (which is shitty, but we had to do it that way because they were so close).
– Had a great dinner with some of my friends from my hometown and talked into the wee hours of the evening. I didn’t look at my phone once.
– Went to see Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Brave in a double feature day followed by Karaoke at the Corner Pocket in Orange.
– Banked a few episodes of podcasts.

I completely apologize for not posting podcasts the last few weeks for Memoirs of a Gamer. I’ve been incredibly busy and still have so much more that I need to do prior to my move, but it WILL be back!

Hopefully everyone is having a fantastic month. June has been great to me. I hope it has to all of you.

*It was great to have a bunch of people attend, but it’s strange being the guest of honor to things. It’s hard to divide the time to appreciate everyone when you want to hang out with all of them. It’s not like you can shout “OKAY! EVERYBODY IN A CIRCLE!” and then force them to all converse in the same room so you can absorb bits and pieces.

Polish Immortality and Some Exciting News!

Seth: I’ll need to stop at the liquor store tonight.
Ali: AH.
Seth: That’s the Irish part of Irish Wake.
Ali: I know how an Irish Wake works.
Seth: I didn’t want to assume. I have no idea how a Polish Wake works.
Ali: Polish people don’t die.
Seth: That’s why they can eat all those pierogis and kielbasa.
Ali: I’m actually 800 years old.
Seth: Yet you still haven’t seen the Godfather.
Ali: I’ve got all the time in the world.

Seth: That and Polish immortality? Jealous.

Okay, So I guess now is as good a time as any to announce that I’m making my way to Santa Monica for the Los Angeles Podcast Festival in October!

All of my Cali friends… I haven’t secured transportation during the weekend, so if you want to see me, you should stop by to say hey! I cannot guarantee you lodging (as I’m bunking with some lovelies already), but you should consider attending the festival itself!

Check out all of the info at!

Imma go dance out this excitement!


Get Glue Let Me Down (and other nonsensical things that happen in my head)


This past weekend was chock full of sauce (of the awesome variety) and I’m currently powering through with a minimal amount of sleep, but it’s been awhile since I’ve done an update (that is not of the “click here linky link” variety). I’d apologize for the picture, but I was angry that Get Glue wouldn’t let me add that since that is indeed what I am thinking of.

Friday was fun. I got to hang out with the Record Club crew for a lovely dinner.

Saturday I got up and went to my parents house to do an enormous amount of laundry (because I was going there and figured I could save $8). Mom and I hung out for a little bit and watched the Seven Year Itch. My aunt had come up to do some paperwork so she joined us when she had finished. My brother arrived and we had a lovely dinner and conversation.

During it, my father made a comment that was mildly apologetic for our dinner conversation. We may have been talking about computer networking, embalming, farts, marijuana or all of the above. I honestly don’t remember. The conversations go quickly, like we’ve got an hour to get rid of $100 in a penny machine at a casino.

That’s the way all of our family dinners have been for as long as I could remember. We were never censored with media and we were always encouraged to ask questions, so our conversations can pass many boundaries, but that’s why I still go to family dinners. No matter what people say, there is an incredibly selfish part of conversation.

If you’re not interested, you are further in your head than you are when you’re by yourself. My family keeps me on my toes. I dig that.

Saturday night I got to meet up with some friends from home and we played board games and carried on conversations and such. I had a fantastic time with them. I forget (often) that human interaction is essential to keeping sane. Even skyping with a friend that is so far away is human interaction, but a computer won’t hug you back and if it does that means it has arms (which also means you should never hug it because it will break your spine).

I got home and slept well. I got up, showered and made an impromptu trip to Boston to visit Matt, Ryan and Richard. You may remember them from my posts about my trip to Boston last April for the Nerdist weekend. This is my first trip to Boston since then so I was really happy to make it. Of course, I have a tendency of leaving there late when I visit with them (because I really don’t want to go) so I didn’t get home until 1:30 in the morning.

Totally worth it. Completely worth it.

How was your weekend?

Two Parter Blog: 1. Amazon Hates Connecticut. 2. Link link link link

I’ve been worrying about moving and now that I’ve completely changed my plan money has been on my brain. I’ve decided that I’m going to get rid of as much as I can here and then just get some IKEA stuff when I get there. So I thought about it and decided “hey, amazon has this associates program where they cut you a percentage for a referral”. I got excited and tried to sign up for it when I got this lovely notice:


So not only did I wait too long to do that, I cannot take part in it because I live in Connecticut. Well… You know what?

If you’d like to toss a couple sheckles my way I have an amazon gift card wishlist and you can always paypal a few dollars my way (to the email “cranialspasm @ gmail . com”. Every little bit helps!


(By the way, I feel like a complete asshole for posting this. I don’t like asking for things. It’s a stupid pride issue.)


Anyways, here’s a list of a few things I have done recently away from this site (just in case you didn’t know).

As always, I’m on Lions, Dragons & Wolves. This past episode was about humor and what makes us laugh. So (of course) TK decided to tell us exactly why nothing is funny. If you have never listened to the podcast before, I would suggest not starting with this one. I’d suggest 008 LDW Autumncast: Invade Poland (because I get assigned the coolest Muppet totem ever).

I connected with Seth Wright (my buddy that has a podcast Tales from the Attic) via Skype one weekend. We chatted for close to two hours (which is so weird for me as I don’t talk for that long typically) and as we chatted he invited me to record a segment for episode 46 of his podcast. It was a bunch of fun and I’m hoping that I get to do it again!

Other Blogs!
Nerds in Babeland – About a month ago I wrote a post about a card game called Dominion that my family is currently obsessed with (and that I will probably buy AFTER I move so I don’t end up having packing issues). For a list of all of my posts, here’s my contributor feed.

Record Club – Record Club is actually hosted through my website, but it’s a different feed. You should definitely check it out though! An album is chosen and the record clubbers listen at work and write up reviews. Because the back catalog was so huge, my reviews haven’t started yet but I have put a lot of work into the site and I think you’d enjoy the opinions from the funny people in the Record Club.

I have been playing my ukulele a lot and I WROTE AN ORIGINAL SONG! I also covered Eddie Money, recorded two Beatles songs around Valentines Day, and revisited one of  the first songs I learned a few years ago (MGMT Redux FTW!).

Things I’m Loving At the Moment
So many friends of mine have started podcasting now (and I’m contemplating starting one myself because these assholes haven’t invited me to be on theirs…) Two that have made me giggle are:
Midseason Replacements – In this podcast, they pick a random episode from a random show and then they proceed to make fun of it for an hour. It’s been pretty damn funny because the episodes are only about 22 minutes and these guys play off of each other so well. Also? They had me at Hot Sundae.
*TANGENT* I originally wanted to find the original “Go For It” music video, but I could just find a shaky handed Android taping of a TBS rebroadcast of the episode. Then… I found this…

So yeah, that has nothing to do with the Tuxedo Man Children (who have a hysterical blog to boot), but you should completely subscribe to their iTunes feed!

The Bloggess – Jenny Lawson has finished her book and recorded her audio book, and now she has taken to creating taxidermied memes on her website. I actually joined in on the fun.

Toggle the Switch – An Australian and an American decide to do a podcast. What results is a bunch of talk about poop. I mean… Laugh-because-you’re-a-little-uncomfortable-about-the-conversation style talk about poop. These two amazing people are friends of mine that I met through a podcast (Walking the Room) and decided to do their own podcast.

Ten Minute Podcast – Chris D’Elia, Will Sasso, and Brian Callum give you exactly what the title promises. Ten minutes. I listened to it for the first time at work and laughed so hard I was asked to go outside to calm down. Subscribe. It’s hysterical. Also? Kinda crushing on Chris D’Elia now (in a “this dude is funny as shit” type of way).

A Couple of Cunts in the Countryside – A newer Youtube channel from two guys in the UK. It cracks me up.

The Record Club Reviews Are LIVE!

Towards the end of last year I had started posting reviews about albums. I was incredibly excited and honored to have been selected as the first person not working for the same company as the people of the Record Club to join in on their weekly album reviews.

What is Record Club?

Every Tuesday and Thursday, we are assigned an album to listen to in its entirety. When we’re done, we then share our opinions with the rest of the group.

Due to the customizing issues with blogging site permissions, I offered to host the blog here! So, if you like reading about albums and are interested in listening to them and sending over comments, please feel free to visit