My Top Podcast Picks

My personal favorite

My personal favorite podcast.

I am a huge fan of podcasts. I listen to them constantly – at work, at the gym, driving, wherever I can. I used to listen to talk radio because it helped me stay current and somewhat educated. But I didn’t enjoy it that much. First of all, I despise callers. Callers can be incredibly ignorant and annoying. Secondly, radio ads are the worst. They seem to be as long, if not longer, than the segments they interrupt. Podcasts solve all of that. There are fewer ads (they’re shorter too) and no callers! Yay! Plus, I can download individual podcast episodes to my phone to listen to them whenever, wherever.

If you’re not already on the podcast bandwagon, I highly encourage you to do so. I guarantee you’ll find at least one you’ll like. As of 2014, there are more than 150,000 English-speaking podcasts out there. And every single genre or topic you can think of has a podcast home (usually multiple homes). Whether you’re looking to educate yourself on a certain topic, stay up to date with current events, or just simply be entertained, there’s something out there for you. It’s awesome. I wish I could listen to so many more podcasts, but it’s impossible. There are too many. So I have streamlined my podcast listening to a select group of favorites. Need a place to start? Try one of mine!

Overall favorite:
The Nerdist Podcast
This is a comedy-based podcast where the hosts interview the best guests ever. They’ve had everyone on including Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Buzz Aldrin, Tom Hanks, and Morgan Freeman. They’re funny, insightful, and as the name implies, total nerds. Disclaimer: there’s some foul language.

Pop culture favorite: 
Doug Loves Movies
Comedian Doug Benson hosts this live podcast where he has well-known comedians, actors, and musicians on to talk about everything movie related. They play a bunch of movie trivia games so if you’re a movie buff like me, it’s super fun to play along. Disclaimer: Doug is often stoned during these episodes.

History favorite: 
Stuff You Missed in History Class
I am a total nerd about history. Each episode talks about a specific, obscure moment in history, in detail. It’s fun for when you want to bore your friends later!

Space favorite: 
StarTalk Radio Show with Neil DeGrasse Tyson
I’m also a total nerd about space. I love learning about stars, black holes, etc. And Neil DeGrasse Tyson is super cool. He doesn’t agree with Creationism, but he isn’t a jerk about it.

Bill Nye makes frequent appearances on StarTalk. How cool is that?!?!

Bill Nye makes frequent appearances on StarTalk. How cool is that?!?!

Food favorite: 
The Alton BrownCast
Alton Brown is the best chef of all time. He is seriously the coolest. So why wouldn’t his podcast about food be the best one out there?

Grammar Girl Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
Stuff You Should Know Podcast
All Things Considered Podcast
The Smartest Man in the World Proopcast
Mohr Stories

As for the best podcast player, there are a whole host of free options out there to play your podcasts, but if you’re willing to fork over a couple of bucks, the one I’ve been using is called PocketCast. It’s totally worth the money if you listen to podcasts regularly. It’s available to download for iOS and Android.

Do you listen to podcasts? Have a favorite podcast I don’t know about? Agree or disagree with me on any of these choices? Feel free to comment below!

I Put the “Best” in Best Man

Best man picMy brother’s wedding was this past weekend. It was pretty nice. The whole thing went very well. No fights, blow-ups, crazy drama, or scandals. In other words, boring. But there were some highlights! The food was superb, the location was excellent, and the best man was inspirational. I may be slightly biased on that last one because, you see, I was the best man.

And boy, did I crush it. I think the whole “best man” role is under-appreciated. The majority of the focus is on the bride and it causes a trickle-down effect favoring the female gender. Everyone thinks of the bride first, which in turn makes you think of the maid of honor, and then the other bridesmaids, and then the mother of the bride, etc, etc. The focus is completely on the women. Meanwhile, the groom and his posse over there just got the shaft in the attention department.

But as men, we just need to take it, right? Real men don’t whine when people aren’t paying them attention! If no one notices us, it means we’re doing our jobs correctly. You can apply that to every situation, including weddings.

So what exactly do you have to do to be a top notch best man? Considering I’m an expert now, I’ve put together a simple list of dos and don’ts. Follow this and you’ll not only be a great best man, but you’ll also keep the groom from getting into trouble.

1) No strippers. I apologize that I have to begin with this, but I’m obligated to. There is a shockingly large number of men who think it’s awesome to have a stripper at the bachelor party. It is not awesome. It’s the furthest thing from awesome. My religious beliefs have a lot do with why I personally disapprove of them, but even if you’re as atheist as they come, real men avoid strippers. Why? Because your need to see a stripper reveals how unhappy and dissatisfied with your life. I’ll try to not to get any more serious, but simply put, needing a stripper is just plain sad.

2) Hold on to the groom’s phone for the entirety of the bachelor party. It’s just better that way. We don’t want any drunken dials to his bride-to-be.

3) Don’t screw up the wedding toast. Say something nice, keep it short, don’t embarrass the groom, and you’ll do great.

4) Keep the groomsmen in line. You got picked to be the best man because you’re close to the groom and you can be trusted to handle things. The groomsmen are just crazy, unpredictable, and probably annoying dudes that the groom had to pick because his bride wanted a lot of bridesmaids. Just make sure they keep their shirts tucked in, aren’t late, and don’t get too plastered, Things should be ok then.

5) Keep the groom busy before the wedding. The poor guy is a wreck. This is one of the most nerve-wracking moments of his life. Distract him with a round of golf the morning of, or video games, or whatever. It’ll keep his mind off of the wedding. Just keep him sober. Please, please keep him sober.

6) Obey the women. The reason this list is so short is because the various women involved with the wedding will be bossing you around about everything else. You can’t screw anything up because those crazy females would destroy you and you actually care about your life.

That’s it. Easy, right? Us best men have a very simple, but important job. You got this, no problem. You’ll be the best best man ever. Just remember to thank your lucky stars that you weren’t born a woman and you don’t have to be a maid of honor.