The Minneapolis Department of Public Safety charter amendment, AKA "defund the police," with Naomi Kritzer
In this episode, I talk to Naomi Kritzer about the Minneapolis Department of Public Safety amendment to the city charter, AKA “defund the police,” that the people of Minneapolis will be voting on in November. We get into the history and the details of the proposed amendment (and why the Minneapolis city council currently can't share those details) and straighten out the misconceptions being paraded through the media as the country watches. Naomi Kritzer is a science fiction writer who's also been writing about politics since sometime in the early 2000s. She started out just researching her own ballot, then sharing her notes with her LiveJournal friends, and expanded because people were interested in her opinions. She emphasizes that she has no particular qualification for this beyond strong opinions, solid skills at Internet research, and a blog. She lived in Minneapolis from 1995 through 2012, and now lives in Saint Paul. She has two children, one in high school and one in college, and currently has four cats. Naomi's books: Catfishing on CatNet Chaos on CatNet Both books are usually available from Dreamhaven and from the current mail-order-only incarnation of Uncle Hugo’s.
October 18, 2021
Travel media in the age of COVID with Jenna and Micah from Wander The Map
In this episode, we talk about the delicate world of travel media (i.e. being travel influencers) in the age of COVID. How it stated, how it's going and how they managed to keep working through most of it. Jenna and Micah Kvidt are photographers and videographers who travel the world in search of adventure which they feature on the travel blog Wander The Map. One of their favorite things to do is to capture stories, both visual and written, through the people, cultures and destinations they visit. They're also in the process of launching Kvidt Creative, which will focus on their commercial video and photographer work which I can say from firsthand experience is fantastic. Wander The Map (website) YouTube Instagram Twitter Facebook
October 7, 2021
Will travel ever be the same with Sheila Scarborough
In this episode, I chat with Sheila Scarborough about her recent blog post "Will travel ever be the same?" We also discuss why social responsibility is becoming a factor for leisure travelers and how destination marketing organizations are countering over-tourism. Sheila Scarborough is a speaker, trainer, and writer specializing in tourism, travel, and social media. Along with Leslie McLellan, she's part of the Tourism Currents team, offering online and in-person training in social media marketing for tourism, hospitality, and economic development. She co-founded and still writes for the award-winning Perceptive Travel blog, helps run #tourismchat on Twitter and Facebook, serves on the Advisory Board for the South by Southwest conference and also serves on both the Education Committee for the Texas Association of CVBs and the Legislative Committee for the Texas Downtown Association. A U.S. Navy veteran and Navy Master Training Specialist, Sheila is an NHRA drag racing fan because there's one winner, one loser, and no whining. Sheila's Social media chanels: Twitter Facebook Instagram
September 16, 2021
The ups and downs of van life with Jarrod Tocci
In this episode, Jarrod and I talk about the ups and downs of van life, loneliness, helpful resources, the current van building bubble and how to get decent internet in your van. Jarrod Tocci is a YouTube content creator, a comedian and one of those crazy people who decided to live in a self built van. He's a proud enabler for people who are not only considering van life, but also considering building their own van homes with no previous experience, myself included, which sounds like it's equal parts exciting and ripe for disaster. His YouTube channel focuses on van life, particularly walk-through tours of other people's vans and chatting about van life in general, like how to stealth camp in a city. Jarrod's YouTube channel
July 16, 2021
The state of travel blogging in 2021 with Tim Leffel
In this episode, Tim and I discuss the robustness of travel blogging in the post-pandemic, incipient-climate crisis world, in addition to all the unsexy aspects of being a travel blogger. Also, is it too late to start a profitable travel blog? Tim Leffel is an award-winning travel writer, editor, and blogger from the USA who lives in central Mexico. He is the author of multiple books, including Travel Writing 2.0, The World's Cheapest Destinations, and A Better Life for Half the Price. He has run the Cheapest Destinations Blog since 2003 and publishes the Perceptive Travel online magazine and blog, among others. He belongs to several professional organizations and is the North America Conference Director for TBEX, the longest-running conference for travel bloggers. You can find links to has many projects from his portfolio site at TimLeffel.com. Tim's books: A Better Life for Half the Price: How to thrive on less money in the cheapest places to live The World's Cheapest Destinations: 26 Countries Where Your Travel Money is Worth a Fortune Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune: The Contrarian Traveler's Guide to Getting More for Less
July 1, 2021
The Statesider US domesitc travel newsletter with Doug Mack
The Statesider is a wonderful email newsletter that shares curated and original stories about America and Americana, including many topics you didn't know you cared about 10 seconds earlier. It's a treasure trove of great storytelling. Doug Mack is a Minneapolis-based writer and the author of The Not-Quite States of America, published by Norton in 2017. He also wrote the super fun Europe on Five Wrong Turns a Day. He has written for The New York Times, Slate, and Time. He also writes Snack Stack, a newsletter about snacks from around the world.
June 17, 2021
I have two big announcements that will change the world forever (not for you, for me)
In the grand tradition of announcing major life developments on social media, I have TWO major life developments that I'd like to share with you. Now that I think about it, it's more like two-and-a-half major life developments. Most of you will only really care about one of these developments, but when has that ever stopped social media stunts like this? Never, that's when. OK, I'll give you a hint: Please buy my books. They have been well received (which is the least egotistical way I've come up with to say that they kick ass) and the passive revenue from the royalties is going to be more important than ever. Backpacking with Dracula: On the Trail of Vlad The Impaler and the Vampire He Inspired Throwing Up: Notes from 35 Years of Juggling The First (Failed) Travel Food Show DISCLAIMER: The links above are affiliate links. Please use them, even if you end up buying something else on Amazon. [bursts into tears] It doesn't cost you anything and it helps me out a lot.
May 16, 2021
What's the deal with travel in 2021 with Johnny Jet
The pandemic means details are ever-changing, but consumer travel expert Johnny Jet and I talked about travel options for 2021. We cover domestic and international travel, the current state of flying and car rental and why going somewhere far away isn't a requirement for a vacation. Johnny Jet has traveled over 100,000 miles a year since starting his newsletter in 1995 and has visited over 70 countries. He has hosted a television special on The Travel Channel and was named the original Travel Influencer by Forbes. He now appears every Saturday on Leo Laporte’s The Tech Guy Show talking about travel and technology. Subscribe to Johnny's incredible (and free!) travel newsletter here.
May 12, 2021
The post-covid remote working boom with Nora Dunn
In this episode, I talk to Nora Dunn about the post-COVID remote working boom and the tantalizing options this trend presents for people. Nora Dunn (aka The Professional Hobo) is one of the original Lifestyle Travel Bloggers, having sold everything she owned in 2006 to travel full-time. She traveled full-time for 12 years, and while she now has a home base in Toronto, she continues to take short and long-term trips (pandemics notwithstanding). She combines her expertise as a former Certified Financial Planner with her lifestyle travel experience, to teach people how to travel full-time/long-term in a financially sustainable way, which has allowed her to live and travel in over 60 countries. She also saved over $100,000 getting free accommodation around the world, and she has documented that expertise in her book “How to Get Free Accommodations Around the World” which is now in it's third edition.
April 20, 2021
A reading from "The First (Failed) Travel Food Show"
In which I read a short deleted section from my new ebook The First (Failed) Travel Food Show. In 2003, Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations premiered on the Travel Channel, unleashing a deluge of travel food shows that continues to this day. Nearly a decade earlier, a ragtag group of marginally qualified noobs landed in Morocco to shoot the pilot for the first (failed) travel food show. I was one of those noobs. *The link above is an affiliate link. Please use it
March 25, 2021
I got the COVID vaccine, now what? with Jill Burcum
In this episode Jill and I discuss post-vaccine life, how and why all vaccines are safe and effective (even those with lower efficacy numbers), and why it's still important for vaccine recipients to continue adhering to virus safety protocols for now. Jill Burcum has been an editorial writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune since March 2008. Before joining the Editorial Board she worked for a decade in the Star Tribune's newsroom as an editor and reporter. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial writing. "Not This Mine. Not This Location," which focused on copper mining's risk to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, was recognized in 2020. Her "Separate and Unequal" series on dilapidated Bureau of Indian Education schools was a finalist in 2015, and she also testified before Congress that same year about these schools' poor condition. Burcum graduated magna cum laude from the University of Washington in 1991 and started her career as a reporter for the Rochester Post-Bulletin. She previously worked for Mayo Clinic and Ican Inc. Jill's Twitter Jill's Star Tribune work
February 10, 2021
Middle-aged and single during COVID with Theresa Benoit
In this episode we talk about dating while middle-aged, dating during COVID and dating while middle-aged during COVID. Theresa had some great insight and suggestions that hadn't ever occurred to me, despite my many years in the dating pool. Best of all, you get a keyhole view of the nonstop thrill ride of dating me. (Spoiler Alert: It's less those things and more of a slow, low-pitch escalator that needs frequent repairs.) Theresa M. Benoit –Theresa is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the Co-Founder of the Relationship Therapy Center, a place dedicated to helping people grow in health and happiness in their important relationships. Through the integration of empirically informed couples therapy, VIP customer service, and a willingness to go beyond the normal bounds of couples therapy – the therapists at The Relationship Therapy Center tailor their services to the needs of each individual client and relationship. Theresa is also the Co-Creator of the trademarked Intensive Couples Counseling program, the Relationship Therapy Center's highest level of service, provided by their most experienced therapists for couples who need change now.
January 20, 2021
Odd Jobs: Professional poker player Jan Fisher
In this episode we hear about Jan's incredible career in poker, spanning more than 40 years. We also learn how poker has changed in that time, what it takes to go pro and some advice as to what NOT to do. (Basically everything you see the hat-on-backwards kids doing on "World Series of Poker.") Jan Fisher began her poker career in 1977 as a dealer. She has worked in many cardroom positions and is currently a partner in Card Player Cruises. This is where she currently spends most of her "working" time and she loves every minute of it. Jan was the statistician for the World Poker Tour for its first six seasons and taught WPT Boot Camps around the country. She co-founded the Tournament Directors Association and was on the Board of Directors for the Poker Players Alliance and even lobbied on "the hill" for internet gaming on many occasions. She co-founded Poker Gives, a charity to assist poker players to easily donate to those less fortunate and travels extensively as a host for the Ladies International Poker Series and the Senior Poker Tour. Her accomplishments in poker were honored when she was inducted into the Women in Poker Hall of Fame in 2009. Books to read if you want to learn more about poker: Theory of Poker. (A good read after you have begun your poker education) Harrington on Hold 'em: Expert Strategy for No-Limit Tournaments (Volumes I and II - a deep dive into the play of hands) Small Stakes Hold'em Getting Started in Hold'em Sit-and-Go Strategy (Expert Advice for Beating One-Table Poker Tournaments) Every Hand Revealed Check-Raising the Devil Elements of Poker Please support this podcast by using the affiliate links above.
January 5, 2021
Odd Jobs: Contortionist Leah Orleans
In this episode, Leah explains how she got into contortion, how it takes phenomenal patience (and a little pain) for even small improvements in contortion and how even adults can explore contortion. Not me, mind you, but normal people. Leah Orleans has traveled the country teaching fitness and flexibility while performing contortion and partner acrobatics in her comedy circus show, Acrobatrix! With a passion for making people laugh, she's performed to standing ovations on cruise ships, festivals and military bases. A Chicago native, she began training Mongolian contortion technique at 9 years old and has continued to study under coaches all across the world including Montreal, San Francisco, and New York. Acrobatrix Patreon The ABCs of Fitness Cheryl Birch (contortionist)
December 16, 2020
Odd Jobs: Burlesque performer Annemarie Dooling
In this episode, Annemarie talks about discovering burlesque classes, and later performing, and how it has dramatically boosted her confidence in all aspects of life. Also, if you've ever idly considered giving burlesque a try, Annemarie has tips on how to get started. Annemarie Dooling has been performing vaudeville on the east coast for two years. She also works in media. Books to get you started: The Burlesque Handbook by Jo Weldon Behind the Burly Q by Leslie Zemeckis Seduction: Sex, Lies and Stardom in Howard Hughes's Hollywood by Karina Longworth Holiday (Virtual) Burlesque Event: Jungle Belles Tropical Holiday Show and Fundraiser, Dec 12th7pm ET Names/places mentioned in this episode: Jezebel Express (coaching) Francine the Lucid Dream Little Brooklyn Gin Minsky (tapdacing, one of Annemarie's inspirations) The New York School of Burlesque (virtual classes!) Tigger (boylesque) Dirty Martini Perle Noire Mr. Gorgeous Nasty Canasta (Annemarie's favorite show) Jo Weldon Please support this podcast by using the affiliate links above.
December 9, 2020
How juggling literally makes you smarter
In this episode I flog my juggling memoir, THROWING UP: NOTES FROM 35 YEARS OF JUGGLING, by reading a section of the "Let's get mental" chapter, which summarizes studies indicating that juggling causes development in gray and white brain matter. Buy the book! Please support this podcast by using the affiliate links above.
December 2, 2020
Odd Jobs: Circus Performer with Gena Shvartsman Cristiani
In this episode, we talk about how Gena grew up as a circus kid, started work at age 12 and somehow developed up into a well-adjusted, awesome human being. And is it too late to run away to the circus as an adult? Maybe. Gena is a fifth generation circus artist from Russia, the child of two accomplished performers. She began her juggling training at the age of eight and within a few short years, her phenomenal talent brought her to United States. By age thirteen, she was a star attraction for Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey Circus. Gena has traveled the world performing in lavish variety and circus shows, as well as competing in elite circus competitions. She was awarded a silver medal at the prestigious International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo, and a silver medal at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris, France. In addition, she took the coveted gold medal at the World Juggling Federation Championships in Las Vegas. Gena's interest in art has led her to a side gig, designing and constructing elaborate, dreamy costumes for performers. Gena's website Gena's Instagram Gena's Facebook Gena's World Juggling Federation competition routine
November 24, 2020
Burst appendix: Worst pain ever or just living nightmare?
Think you know the symptoms of incipient appendicitis? Are you sure? I thought I did, and boy was I wrong. In this episode, I recount the harrowing experience of my emergency appendectomy in entertaining, appetite-suppressing, graphic detail. I'm not gonna say listening to this tale may save your life or the life of a loved one, but I'm not not saying that either. :) If you'd like to read the infuriating postscript of this tale, "MinnesotaCare's dysfunction nearly bankrupted me," you'll find it here.
November 19, 2020
Odd Jobs: Travel Writer/Editor Spud Hilton
In this episode, we talk about Spud's time as the travel editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, traveling with sex toys, why SEO is effectively con to get people to read stuff they wouldn't otherwise read, the origin of the word “staycation,” and how humor makes writing more memorable. Spud Hilton is a travel expert, consultant, featured speaker and editor for the SF Bay Area edition of the WHERE Traveler guide. In 20 years at the San Francisco Chronicle he earned 13 Lowell Thomas Awards for travel journalism. He hosts the Inappropriate Traveler podcast, which was named one of the “Ten Best Travel Podcasts” for 2020 by the London Telegraph. He has been featured on CNN International, “Good Morning America,” and NPR. Books mentioned in this episode: Bill Bryson Shakespeare: The World as Stage In a Sunburned Country A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail Tim Cahill Road Fever Jaguars Ripped My Flesh A Wolverine Is Eating My Leg Pecked to Death by Ducks Please support this podcast by using the affiliate links above.
November 17, 2020
The (uncut) story of how my father made the first recording of Bob Dylan
In the summer of 1960, a 15-year-old kid, using one of the first commercially available, portable reel-to-reel tape recorders, visited a then 19-year-old Bob Dylan in his Dinkytown (Minneapolis) apartment and recorded 12 songs, which later became reverently known as "The Minneapolis Party Tape." This is believed to be the first (possibly second) recording ever made of Dylan. That kid was my father. An edited version of this story appears in the wonderful Minneapolis anthology Under Purple Skies. Please support this podcast by using the affiliate link above.
November 12, 2020
Odd Jobs: Professional Entertainer with Mark Hayward
In this episode we discuss how Mark got into yo-yoing, juggling and spinning tops, how/why he decided to go pro, the day-to-day of being a full-time performer and finally advice for people thinking of breaking into performing themselves. Mark Hayward has been a variety arts performer since 1990. He is a World Yo-yo Champion, a member of a World Champion Juggling Team, and a Spin Top Champion. His mom is proud. Mark has traveled the world on the strength of his mad yo-yo skills and has made appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman (twice), The Late Late Show with James Corden, America’s Got Talent, and the NBC Nightly News (and he didn't even have to commit a crime). Someday Mark hopes to perform for both the President and the Queen. Not being a convicted criminal should help with that. Mark's YouTube channel The best 12 yo-yo tricks for a beginner, from a world champion (1.1 million views!)
November 10, 2020
Pam Mandel talks about her new book, The Same River Twice
Pam's new, and first, book is being released TODAY: The Same River Twice: A Memoir of Dirtbag Backpackers, Bomb Shelters, and Bad Travel. As such, in this episode, we talk about her journey from artist to travel writer, the unusual circumstances that vaulted her straight from draft to landing a publisher (no literary agent stage), the Herculean task of writing a book without much in the way of encouragement, and the bizarre circumstances of releasing a book during a raging pandemic, on what is probably the most important election day in our lifetimes. Pam Mandel launched her career as a travel writer with her blog; www.nerdseyeview.com. She's since had her stories published by AFAR, Lonely Planet, AAA, Seattle Met, Sunset, and across the web. She's been to all seven continents and is as surprised by that as anyone. She lives in Seattle, Washington, with a rescue dog named Harley and too many ukuleles. Jane Friedman: How to write a book proposal The Same River Twice playlist Fields and Stations travel magazine We mentioned our pal Doug Mack a few times, so here are his books: Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day: One Man, Eight Countries, One Vintage Travel Guide The Not-Quite States of America: Dispatches from the Territories, and Other Far-Flung Outposts of the USA Please support this podcast by using the affiliate links above.
November 3, 2020
Odd Jobs: Podcasting with Gary Arndt
In this episode, we talk about how Gary went from award-winning travel blogger and photographer to taking on the relentless pace of a daily podcast. (Short answer: The complete, hopefully temporary, collapse of the travel industry.) Gary tells us about his production duties, advice for audience growth, possible revenue streams, the arc from Step 1 to resounding success (an abundance of patience and resilience), and idle, unresolved pondering about why the travel industry hasn't embraced advertising on podcasts. Gary Arndt is an awarding winning blogger and travel photographer who has been traveling around the world since 2007. His travels have taken him to over 130 countries and he has also visited over 400 UNESCO World Heritage sites and all 50 US states. Among the many acknowledgments and awards for his writing and photography, his blog, Everything Everywhere, was named one of the Top 25 Blogs in the world by Time Magazine. Since 2009 he has been the co-host of This Week in Travel, an award-winning podcast that covers travel industry news. He's been involved with several other podcasts as well, but he recently launched the pandemic-inspired, bite-sized Everything Everywhere Daily podcast, which has virtually nothing to do with travel. Links mentioned in the show: Dan Carlin's Hardcore History Overcast Audry.io
October 29, 2020
Interview with Dax Stokes from The Vampire Historian podcast
Dax and I talk about how he got into vampire academia, why so many people want to believe vampires are real, vampires enduring in popular culture and upcoming vampire-related releases. Dax Stokes is an academic librarian and music teacher in Texas. He holds degrees from the University of Tennessee and University of North Texas. Since 2010, he has been lecturing on the subject of vampires and the novel Dracula throughout the North Texas area. He is also the host of The Vampire Historian Podcast, the organizer of two academic conferences on vampires and Dracula, and can be found at http://thevampirehistorian.com. Powers of Darkness: The Lost Version of Dracula (Icelandic version) Please support this podcast by using the affiliate links above.
October 27, 2020
An interview with Dacre Stoker, author and great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker – Part 2
In this episode, we talk about vampires in popular culture, how/if Prince Vlad Dracula ever stayed in Bran Castle (famously mis-designated as “Dracula's Castle”), Romania's tourism struggles and wondrous offerings, and the time 88,000 people applied to spend the night with Dacre in Bran Castle as part of an Airbnb promotion. A native of Montreal, Dacre Stoker is the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker and the international best-selling co-author of Dracula the Un-Dead, the official Stoker family endorsed sequel to Dracula. Dacre is also the co-editor of The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker: The Dublin Years. Released in 2018, Dracul, a prequel to Dracula, was the UK’s # 1 Bestselling Hardcover Novel in Horror and Supernatural in 2018, and a top 5 finalist by the Horror Writers Association for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel. Before that excitement, Dacre spent more than two decades as a teacher, athlete, specifically the Modern Pentathlon, and coach for the Canadian Olympic Team. Dacre Stoker's Website Facebook Bram Stoker Estate website Bram Stoker Bobblehead Please support this podcast by using the affiliate links above.
October 20, 2020
An interview with Dacre Stoker, author and great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker – Part 1
In this episode, we talk about Dacre's adventure documentary, "The Search for Bram Stoker's CASTLE DRACULA," which is being released today (Oct 18, 2020), his Dracula sequel and prequel novels, and why it's dangerous to mess with super-popular literary canon. A native of Montreal, Dacre Stoker is the great grand-nephew of Bram Stoker and the international best-selling co-author of Dracula the Un-Dead, the official Stoker family endorsed sequel to Dracula. Dacre is also the co-editor of The Lost Journal of Bram Stoker: The Dublin Years. Released in 2018, Dracul, a prequel to Dracula, was the UK’s # 1 Bestselling Hardcover Novel in Horror and Supernatural in 2018, and a top 5 finalist by the Horror Writers Association for the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in a Novel. Before that excitement, Dacre spent more than two decades as a teacher, athlete, specifically the Modern Pentathlon, and coach for the Canadian Olympic Team. Dacre Stoker's Website Facebook The Search for Bram Stoker’s CASTLE DRACULA - trailer Please support this podcast by using the affiliate links above.
October 18, 2020
A snarky summary of the novel DRACULA from my book BACKPACKING WITH DRACULA
Despite sudden and aggressive nasal congestion, I heroically read my snarky summary of the novel DRACULA from my book, BACKPACKING WITH DRACULA. You can purchase BACKPACKING WITH DRACULA at Amazon or, if you'd like to support independent bookstores, you can order from Subtext Books or Moon Palace Books. Please support this podcast by using the affiliate links above.
October 15, 2020
There's something about Vlad - A reading from BACKPACKING WITH DRACULA
Despite mysterious nasal congestion every time I sit down in front of the mic, I powered through to read a variety of excerpts that shed some light on the intriguing, paradoxical and, no debating it, vicious person Prince Vlad Dracula was. You can purchase BACKPACKING WITH DRACULA at Amazon or, if you'd like to support independent bookstores, you can order from Subtext Books or Moon Palace Books. Please support this podcast by using the affiliate links above.
October 13, 2020
A reading from my book BACKPACKING WITH DRACULA - Part 1 - Introduction
Every year around Halloween, I'm invited to do a reading of my book, BACKPACKING WITH DRACULA, at a local bookstore. That's not happening this year, because we're living in hell, so I'm doing this instead. You can purchase BACKPACKING WITH DRACULA at Amazon or, if you'd like to support independent bookstores, you can order from Subtext Books or Moon Palace Books. Please support this podcast by using the affiliate links above.
October 11, 2020