Happy Never After podcast host does bicycle ride for a cause..

Mara Marek and the Bike, Laugh, Heal tour

Hello fellow podcast lovers! I have something different this time for you. Instead of reviewing a podcast we here are promoting a cause that is special to a podcaster! Mara Marek the host of Happy Never After is doing a charity bike ride. This charity bicycle ride is for domestic violence, something we can all work to help prevent and help those who need it.

The interview is below….

1. Domestic Violence is such a good cause..how did you choose it?

I was a victim myself, and once I shared my story and had others share their stories on my podcast, listeners started sharing their own stories and I soon realized it was an insane epidemic, that wasn’t really getting the spotlight it deserved.

2.  I see Mara trained in California for this?  Did you have to do more training?

I trained in California to be a competitive athlete.  I trained in NYC for this ride.  I worked with a personal trainer, even though I am one, 6 days a week, as well as rode my own bike everywhere…I wouldn’t allow myself to take the train anywhere…It sometimes got awkward in the rain

3. We will be linking your page with ours, is there anything you want our readers to know?

That we will have a documentary coming out, we are posting in real time on our pages, and if they want to share their own story of survival, we would welcome them to reach out to us at any time!

4. According to your downloadable page for donations: there are several levels from 1,000-50,000 dollars..and you have a gofundme page is there anything else the readers and fellow podcasters can do to help?

ANY donation will help. the initial goal is $1 Mil, and we would take that GRATEFULLY in 1 Million donations of a dollar if thats how it came in!!

5. How is it going so far?

It has been hot. And Pennsylvania is not flat.  And my legs feel like I’m pedaling through mud, but everyone that has put us up or come to the shows or shared a meal with us has shown us such kindness…It’s been amazing.

6. Tell me about the stand up shows?

connecting with the other comics and hearing why they also wanted to be involved in this cause has been such a wonderful gift.  Some have even said that it has given them purpose…but in reality…they have given this mission life.  Also, everyone has been fricking hysterical, so that’s helped!

How amazing is Mara and her heart? I can say one of the first things I learned about podcast hosts and their listeners are how generous and giving y’all are. If you would like to support this talented lady and her cause.

donate: http://bikelaughheal.org
personal blog: https://www.maramarek.com/blog
Podcast: Happy Never After

Dumb and Busted

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Hello, again, Sarah here with another review! 

I’ve been looking forward to writing this review because listening to the podcast was just as fun as writing about it will be! 

Dumb and Busted tells stories of “insane stupidity and exceptional genius”. A laugh was exactly what I needed today and these hosts absolutely delivered. From the cute recorder playing intro to the crazy stories, it’s kept me smiling for hours. I don’t do things by half so when I find a podcast I enjoy, I shamelessly binge listen. 

I’m definitely not the only one who enjoys this show, there are SO many five star reviews that are gonna tell you exactly what I am – that if you like a little morbid humour, you should be listening to Dumb and Busted. 

The first episode I listened to featured a man who blew himself up with fireworks, and a mortar shell?! WHILE he was looking directly into his set up to see if it would work?! To be honest, clumsy and ridiculous as I am, I can see me going out in some really odd way. “ 

Here lies Sarah, she slipped on a grape in the kitchen, grabbed a towel to try to break her fall, which had a crock pot resting on it that fell off the bench and knocked her out.” 

Allyson and Hannah have this really great and charismatic energy. You know when you can hear the smile in someone’s voice and it makes you want to smile? That’s exactly what they’re like. You can hear that they’re really enjoying themselves, and that they’re passionate about their podcast. You’ll be on the edge of laughter the whole episode through! 

Episodes are about 35 to 45 minutes each and feature “dumb” stories as well as “genius” stories such as epic prison breaks. These are perfect for your lunch break or daily commute, or like me, a binge listen on a slow work day! Episodes are uploaded frequently so you won’t be left waiting long if you find yourself all caught up. If you haven’t started yet, I recommend a good marathon. 

Daddy-Less Issues

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Hi everyone! It’s Sarah, with another review. I’m so excited to say that reviewing for Promote the Podcasts is helping me to discover so many brilliant podcasts I might not otherwise have found. The one I am about to tell you about is one of those. I hope you’ll give it a shot, as well! 

Daddy-Less Issues is hosted by Chanel and Amber, two female comedians who happen to be orphans. Daddy-Less Issues discusses what is still a somewhat taboo or uncomfortable topic for a lot of people, growing up without one or both parents. 

This podcast is best started at episode one, where the hosts introduce themselves and tell their stories. They speak so honestly with each other, and you can feel the connection between these women. A lot of the material is pretty heavy, because living as an orphan is a pretty heavy deal. Both of my parents grew up without fathers, my Dad lost his father at 3 and my mother at about 11, and while it doesn’t define who they are, it is a BIG part of who they are and how they grew into the people they are today. This is something that the hosts reiterate throughout the show. Being an orphan doesn’t define you, like in fiction and film, it doesn’t turn you into a villain or a hero, it isn’t your entire life, but it does shape you. 

Chanel and Amber share tales of how they persevered, how they overcame, and how they dealt with their losses. I guarantee you will cry but you will laugh and you absolutely will relate. 

On a more technical side, the sound quality slays from the first episode. How do people manage that?! It took me a few goes to get it right, personally, but these women have it locked down. Their reviews are positive, their reach is vast and the purpose is apparent. 

This is an incredibly important podcast. Whether you’re an orphan, you know an orphan, or you just want to understand other peoples’ experiences and hear some real-life content, you will love this podcast. 

Oh, they also have an ending segment where they speak to their younger selves, or ask guests what they would tell their own younger self. And they talk about their favourite fictional orphans. Harry Potter is one of my favourites, as well, personally. #orphanmagic 

I can’t wait to continue seeing these women thrive and grow throughout the podcast and in life outside of entertainment. 

Keep on keeping on, ladies!

A Good Ol’ Top Ten

Hey, hi, hello.

It’s been a minute. If for some reason you don’t know/didn’t notice my absence/whatever, I’m gonna fill you in on what’s been up and where I’ve been. If you want to skip over this, scroll on down, I won’t be offended.

So, on May 30th, I was involved in a pretty nasty car accident. I’m very thankful that it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been, but it’s been a very hard time. The other driver was okay, thankfully. However, my car was totaled and my left (and dominant) hand was broken. The metacarpals that lead to my ring and pinkie fingers had not only been pushed back due to the airbag deploying, but also twisted due to the way the steering wheel jerked. It did require surgery, where I have three screws in one bone and had a metal pin sticking out of another. (I do have pics of this, if you’re interested…I also kept the pin).

When I had the pin removed a couple of weeks ago, my surgeon wasn’t too optimistic, because my hand just refused to heal. The bone just would not even begin to heal. So although I got to carry on without a splint, I still had a very annoying brace I had to keep wearing, and further, a ton of anxiety over what the hell I would do if my hand didn’t heal. I work in a copy center part time, and pursue my career as a cosmetologist the rest of the time. I’m left handed. I need this hand.

So it was a huge relief this morning, getting my x-ray, finally seeing some signs of healing, finally being cleared to get back into my normal habits and day to day life, finally being allowed to do what I love most – writing. Although I still don’t have a car, and we are still fighting with both insurance companies (thankfully, the other driver did accept full responsibility, so that did help a little), and I’m still not sure if I’ll be able to start school in the fall (tuition is due August 10th, and this accident put me way behind on preparation – hit me up for my PayPal lol), and I have to call my lawyer about twenty two times a week, I’m so thankful that I can finally get back to somewhat normal, and start to move forward from this.

That said, I do want to make sure a lot of kudos goes to all of the other writers here, who have gone out of their way to make things easier for me. I also want to thank all of you in the podcasting community who checked in on me, who prayed or sent positive vibes my way.

So, with that out of the way, I’m going to get into the top ten shows that kept me company since all I was allowed to do for the last six weeks was sit here and not move, essentially. Some of these may be familiar, some of them may not be, but these are the shows I listened to the most.

Let’s do this.

1. Parcast

So, Parcast isn’t actually an individual podcast, but an audio network with a host of different shows that I’ve been listening to for a while. I believe there are twelve shows in total, and I’ve listened and love all of them. If you want a deeper look into history, criminals, serial killers, cults, conspiracies, and things that just can’t be explained, check out Parcast and browse the different shows that are available. The audio quality is so good, and the information is accurate, and I cannot recommend this network enough.

2. Southern Gothic

Southern Gothic has been one of my favorite listens lately, because these are stories about places that are familiar to me – I live in the south, and I know so much about these places. I love hearing the creepy history of this region being shared, because there are some eerie things around here. Brandon doesn’t disappoint. (Also, great voice, not even gonna lie).

3. Disaster Artists: The Post-Apocalyptic Podcast

Disaster Artists is, and I quote, “The Survival Podcast for people who take movies too seriously.” Essentially, they discuss doomsday scenarios and talk about movies that involve some sort of disaster – natural or otherwise. They also have a cute tongue-in-cheek nod to The Nostalgia Critic on YouTube – “We survive the apocalypse so you don’t have to.” It’s such a fun listen, with episodes covering topics such as earthquakes, nuclear war, Jurassic Park, super-volcanoes, zombies, and so many other topics.

4. Swinging Through Spider-Man

This podcast debuted back at the end of November, and I immediately fell in love. I don’t know a damn thing about Spider-Man, but with this show you really don’t have to. Brad and James read through The Amazing Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (rest in peace, my dude). James and Brad have been a bit sporadic with episodes lately, because from what I gather they’ve been working on some cool shit, but they’re getting back into the swing of things (pun fully intended). What I love most about this podcast (aside from these hilarious guys with absolutely amazing accents) is that it’s very familiar to another podcast I love so much, Shark Liver Oil. I love any podcast that goes through page by page/chapter by chapter of written media. Hells yeah.

5. Hell and High Horror

Hell and High Horror is hosted by Austyn and Repy, and is part of the Murder.ly network, which I absolutely love. Almost all of the shows on Murder.ly I love dearly. Hell and High Horror is a podcast I actually discovered through Tumblr, and I was hooked immediately. Austyn and Repy are so funny, and each episode provides a perfect amount of spooks and humor. They cover true crime and the paranormal, which is always appreciated. I just love it so much.

6. Conspiring To Argue

This isn’t a surprise. Everyone who knows me knows that I can’t shut up about this podcast. I love everything about this show. I love the parallels between JJ and Ted and Scully and Mulder. I love the humor. I love the references to The Simpsons and Futurama. I love the extensive research that shines through while JJ gives background information on whatever topic they’re discussing that episode. I’ve even come around to Ted’s beer reviews. But mostly, I love when they ring the bell and the debate begins. I just love this show. (Also, I heard that JJ and his wife recently welcomed another little human into the world. Congratulations to you both!)

7. Fiercely Altered Perspective

Ah, The Fap Pod. My internet parents. I love them. Quinn’s job and also a recent battle with a storm and a trampoline has left my iconic internet parents unable to post a new episode in a while, but I don’t mind listening to old episodes again. I always catch something I missed the first time I listened, whether it’s a bit of information that ties things together or Quinn’s amazingly terrible puns. Ember is equally hilarious, and I just cannot rave about them enough. Ember and Quinn are so well aware that sometimes the only way to cope with the dark stuff is with humor, but they also are so accurate with the information they share about some of these cases. I applaud them for the heavy topics they cover, because sometimes it’s…a lot. They’re also part of the Murder.ly network, which again, I loooooooove.

8. Good Nightmare

I may seem biased because Sarah is my best friend, but I promise that’s not it. I genuinely enjoy listening to each episode. Sarah’s voice is so calming, and the topics she talks about are so near and dear to me. The episodes are short but sweet, and one of my favorite things to listen to before I sleep. She covers the origin stories for fairytales, unsolved mysteries, haunted locations, and more. It’s so strange to be able to enjoy and relax to a podcast that centers on all the creepy and unsettling things, but I do. This is another podcast that I never, ever shut up about. I just love it.

9. Corpus Delicti

Another Murder.ly show, and also hosted by some ladies with some good ol’ southern charm. Also, fellow Alabamians. Hello. Lindsay and Jenn cover a lot of true crime cases in great detail, but much like The Fap Pod, they sprinkle in humor in order to “laugh to keep from crying,” which I respect. I’ve listened to each episode several times and I just really love this show. And that’s all I have to say about that (Forrest Gump style).

10. The Apocalypse Survival Guide

This pod was recommended to me after I mentioned liking Disaster Artists, and I’m glad it was. It’s similar, but it’s done in a very interesting way. The idea is that they cover apocalypse scenarios from A-Z. They’ll choose a scenario, and talk about it the way it is depicted in movies. I’ve found this show to be both light-hearted and funny while also being informative and intriguing. Drew and Frank are just so funny, and I’ve really enjoyed listening to all of season one, and the first episode of season two was just posted yesterday. I just love everything about it. I’m in a big apocalypse/disaster mood lately, so this show has been really amazing in keeping me occupied. It’s quickly become one of my favorites.

I have so many other shows I’d love to talk about, but I’m going to wrap it up with those ten for now, because they have been the ones I’ve listened to the most. I’ll be coming back with more actual reviews soon. I just wanted to get this out here to you guys and work my hand a little bit. I’ll be back soon.

Pretend Radio

Hey guys! Ren here with another podcast review:

This week I have had the pleasure of listening to “Pretend Radio”. This podcast is amazing. It combines two of my favorite things: True Crime and Documentaries. Our fearless host, Javier, goes out of his way to be fair and thorough with his topics. He also does a wide array of topics. Now, let’s talk about some episodes!

His first episode I listened to is his first. This episode is part of a three part series about a self-proclaimed Prophet entitled “The Prophet”. Javier talked with someone who “escaped” the religion which has several hallmarks of a cult. The story was sad and frightening, but our host handled it with care and intelligence. The last part he talked with and played sound bites of people still in the religion. Javier even tried to talk to the Prophetess herself. Sadly, she didn’t acquiesce to his requests.

After enjoying those episodes immensely I tuned into his latest podcast episode, “The Jolly Roger Social Club”. I cannot put into words what a wild ride that story is to listen to and realize it’s a true story. Tune in for yourself. It is shocking tale of criminality run wild. I think you’ll be on the edge of your seats when you realize what exactly happened.

The next podcast episode is another multi episode podcast this time a two parter…”The Gambler”. If “Jolly Roger” makes you wonder about the world today, this one will break your heart. This story had me cheering for a child that suffered such a horrible experience then crying about this amazing story ended. I wanted to hug the woman who was used and basically abused. You will smile and probably cry, but it’s worth it.

I normally only list three episodes(I listen to many more). In this instance I am making an exception for “The Reporter”. This episode is about the on-air shooting of a reporter, her camera person and the person she was interviewing. You may remember this story as it was all over the news when it happened.

Javier worked with the shooter years before he decided to kill two people and wound another on air and using Facebook as a way to share his own story of murder. This episode is the one that made me realize that our host cares about all his stories. This was a personal story, yet he was professional and let the listener come along as he tried to reconcile the man he knew with the one who killed two people and then himself. Javier didn’t take advantage nor did it feel like he was using this episode to get reviews or downloads. As a listener, I felt he was trying to bring a new angle to this story.

All in all, this is an amazing podcast that I highly recommend. The episodes are usually around twenty minutes so it’s easy to binge and catch up!

Dark Poutine

Dark Poutine

Hey guys, Ren here with another review!

This week I have had the extremely good luck to get to review “Dark Poutine”. This is a podcast about Canada’s not so nice side. True Crime Stories From…Canada. There is a wide range of murders in Canada covered by this podcast. As an American, I know of very few crimes in Canada so it was so interesting to learn about the true crime scene in Canada.

The hosts research these cases and what sets them apart is the reaction of the host not telling the story. It is things we, the audience, are probably thinking and saying to ourselves. It adds an extra bit of depth to the story. Another thing that sets them apart is the fact that the crime in their hometown of Vancouver may have a connection to one or both of our wonderful podcast hosts.

One of the episodes was a very personal story in line with the “MeToo” movement. I found the host telling his story brave and amazing. Thank you for sharing that with us, Sir. I don’t have adequate words to tell you how much this means to so many survivors out there. I won’t say more about this episode or the story behind it.

I also listened to Part 1 and 2 of “The Happy Face Killer”. This concerned a man who was born in Canada, moved to The United States and later became a serial killer. They even give us a book suggestion to read further about this creepy man who would murder women all over as his job as a professional truck driver allowed him to travel. I enjoy how they make comments we are all probably thinking about these killers.

Other things: I learned Stanley Park is named for the same man that Lord Stanley’s Cup is named for! I can now pronounce Poutine! And that Canada is our nicer neighbor to the North they also have some pretty sick people killing other people.

Give Mike the creator and host along with his friend Scott a chance. It’s a good podcast and a good binge when you need a show to binge.

http://www.darkpoutine.com

Conspiring To Argue (Why What You Are Doing Matters)

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I have spent entirely too much time mulling over how to go about this post. I’ve spent several weeks (months, at this point) thinking about how, why, what to say. Am I too close to the show itself to give an unbiased review? Yes. Am I too invested in the hosts’ personal lives? Yes. Am I too tired to write a cohesive post at the moment? You betcha. Can I get my head out of my own ass long enough to give you a well-written, deeply thought out review of this particular podcast? Nope, but I’m going to do what I do best: post an uncomfortably long personal tale of how two strangers effectively changed (saved?) my life while sprinkling in some details about how awesome the pod is.

I can remember the exact date and time that I began listening to Conspiring To Argue (July 16, 2017 at 10:36p.m. in case anybody is curious). I remember feeling, as soon as I hit play, that these two random dudes from one of the more relevant places in Iowa would become incredibly prominent in my life. Now, seeing that it’s been seven months of pure devotion on my part (amazing considering how short my attention span is), it’s as good a time as any to try to delve into why this podcast is so important to me.

I was not in a great place at the time. I was ten days shy of turning 21, which for most people is a great time. But, for me, I was just as miserable as I’d always been. I was listening to an episode of Hillbilly Horror Stories at the time, and they gave a shout out to this podcast. And I was like, “Okay, I’ve never actually listened to any podcast that anybody else has recommended…might as well try it out.” And so, I did. As fate would have it, they’d just posted an episode that day about a crazy ass house in Gary, Indiana. And I shit you not, I was in love. Here sat two guys arguing about whether things really are as simple as they appear, whether things really happen the way officials claim they did. Here sat two guys who reminded me of the me I used to be. The one who had an interest in digging deeper, in questioning the validity of things. The me who, at one point, could hold a similar conversation with a friend and find the humor in the drama, the light in the dark. It was not as simple as “Oh, these guys are fun and I like this podcast.” It was never just that simple. Like I said, this was a particularly dark time for me; I was battling disaster after disaster both internally and externally. I had effectively shut out all of the things that would require me to feel. Prior to this point, podcasts existed in my life in the same way music did – anything to fill the silence, give me some background noise, I would accept it. At this point in time, when Nic was still Nic and I didn’t know how poor JJ’s spelling could actually be, I was sleeping as little as possible and surviving on energy drinks & stale crackers. I was barely surviving. (It’s amazing how much can change in seven months, by the way).

God bless, am I just writing in circles here? I think I am. It’s fine. We all have a right to become overly emotional and nonsensical every now and then.

So, yes. I was immediately addicted to this podcast. Part of it is, like I said, how much it reminded me of me. But another part of it is just how unique it actually is. There are pods out there that will cover similar topics and have a similar premise, but CTA just has a different vibe. When you sit down and listen to it, you just know that Nic and JJ are having fun. You know that, regardless of the topic, they just genuinely enjoy each others’ company and genuinely enjoy arguing for the sake of arguing – both pretty important for a solid friendship, I’d say. You can listen to podcasts that are similar and maybe you’ll get that same vibe every now and then. But for Nic and JJ, it’s consistent. Every time you listen to a new episode, you can feel this sense of camaraderie that is really hard to gather from other similar shows.

Another thing that really had my attention was how interactive these guys were with their followers on Twitter. As most of you are well aware of now, I spend a vast majority of my time on Twitter (by vast majority, I mean 23/7 – the extra hour is for snacking). Facebook, IG, Snapchat, I’ll check those every now and then. But I am alwayyyys on Twitter. A lot of the podcasts I listened to at the time (and let’s be real, even now) are more likely to interact via Facebook. I simply do not like Facebook. So it was surprising to see these guys actually stay consistent and interact with followers on the social media platform I love most. It made things far more convenient for me, that’s for sure.

Once again, going back to how this time was a dark one for me – I knew that the things I happened to be feeling at the time were eating me alive. I knew that I couldn’t carry it all in my head. I’d became so invested in listening because it was a safe place for me. It wasn’t just background noise, not this time. Listening genuinely felt like being in the eye of a hurricane. You knew you weren’t out of the woods yet, but you had a few minutes to breathe and prepare yourself for the tail-end of the storm. When I was coming home from work, back into a place where I’d just be stuck in my own head with my own thoughts, it became a safe place to retreat to for a while – to get some rest before having to stand back up and face everything again.

I don’t really just open up to people and trust people, but that’s more or less exactly what I did when I really started talking to Nic and JJ. It was so easy to feel like I could tell them anything, because it really felt like I’d known them my whole life. (My mom jokingly refers to them now as the brothers I wish I had any time I talk about them. She’s not wrong). The more I listened, the more I opened up, the closer I felt. Nic and I have almost too much in common, and JJ is incredibly smart, even if he can’t spell. Sometimes talking to Nic is like talking to myself. Sometimes talking to JJ is so similar to conversations I had with my dad I have to pause for a moment. But I have never ever felt an ounce of shame or guilt from sharing with them the truth of how I feel or what I’m going through. That is unheard of in my life and I am truly grateful.

We are seven months down the road now, and I will stick to open honesty here: a lot of things have gone wrong in my personal life these past seven months. I’ve withheld a lot of secrets, lied about how I’ve been, pretended that I’ve just been dealing with everyday life when, in reality, I’ve been dealing with everyday life on top of some heavier, darker tasks and decisions that have really been draining. The past two months especially have been literal hell. I have said things I’ve regret, done things that I can’t undo, hidden things that just couldn’t stay in the dark forever. I thought I had to bust through some of these obstacles kicking and screaming. I thought I had to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders alone. Through all of this, Nic and JJ were there. Whether through listening to old episodes, silly hockey arguments, or the heavy stuff that I only ever seem to spill out when the sun goes down, they were here.

The main point of this post, other than to spill my guts & gratitude, is to remind each of you that what you do really matters. I go on these rants a lot on the promo Twitter account discussing why podcasts are so important – why you, as a host, are so important. It’s not just me kissing ass or whatever. It’s because for somebody out there, you are the eye of the storm, the light in the dark, the family they’ve searched their whole lives for. You are the best friend that somebody needs, the escape somebody reaches for, the peace in the warzone. As an adult, you know as well as I do that life is not kind. What you do matters to people like me. The next time you get discouraged when you see the stats, just remember that numbers are meaningless in comparison to changing someone’s life for the better.

Nic & JJ – I know I say it a lot, but thank you both for everything. Thank you both for helping me find my way back to me. Thank you both for sticking with me through all the dramatic bullshit. I know sometimes it seems like my life is more of a dramatic TV show than anything. Thank you both for helping me work through it. Thank you both for never doubting me, for always believing in me. Thank you for reminding me that love and friendship is something I deserve, too. Thank you for reminding me that there are things worth staying for. I could go on forever, but if you can imagine it, I’m thanking you for it. I love you both so dearly, and I will forever be grateful for your friendship.

For the rest of you – readers who are listeners and readers who are hosts – please do not ever forget that you matter. That what you do matters. Please do not ever forget that you are wanted and needed, that your kindness and friendliness is what can make all the difference in someone’s day or even life.

(Now that I am back from vacation, I have a new laptop, and my world is starting to level out a little, I’ll be far more active again. Soon, this post will be followed up with an actual real review of the show. But because I’ve seen so much unrest in the pod community lately, I felt now was a good time to share this. Thank you all for your interaction and support with us – we greatly appreciate it!)