‘Cause Ya Gotta Have Friends

What do you say when you know you have reached the final chapter? Are you happy that you had the experience? Sad that it has to end? A mixture of both? When you look back to the beginning, did you have any idea where the journey would take you? As the finale of my beloved podcast, The Karen and Ellen Letters, is almost upon me. I have stopped to reflect on what I have learned and what I will take away from this experience. I have also asked the roomie community to share their reflections.

So, in March of 2017, I was branching out, in search of new podcasts. Little did I know then, that joining one Facebook group, in hopes of getting some recommendations, would change me. As I scrolled though the page, something caught my eye. It was something about a podcast that was funny and set in the 80’s. Well, as an 80’s girl myself, I figured I would give it try. I went looking for this Letters podcast and began episode one. It was short lighthearted and a unique bundle of insanity. I was hooked. I listened to the all the episodes that were available and found myself laughing uncontrollably. I was cleaning my house and at some point, slipped into some water. My socks got all wet and I was tracking soapy water through my house. All I could think of was, “well, my landlord owes me for this!” I stopped dead in my tracks and grabbed my iPad. I HAD to find out more about this podcast and see if there was a group. I joined and wondered if this would be one of those Facebook groups that took themselves to seriously and would make me wait days to join. Immediately, I got a notification I was in. And, I was approved by Josh Hallmark. Giddy, I thought, wow….the actual podcast guy approved me! Wet socks and a dirty house be damned. I sat down and began reading the page. Inspired, I knew I HAD to write something. I was sure I would make a fool out of myself but, hell, when has that ever stopped me before?

Dear Josh,
I’ve spent a half of a half of my day binge listening to your podcast. I tried cleaning while listening but, I spilled some water on my floor and realised I couldn’t focus on two tasks at once. Hence, I will have to hire the services of the cleaning company around the corner. I chex-ed and the cost is $100 for half of the half day but, I think I’d like a full half day instead. The cost of which is $150. I’ll deduct that service from my next listening session.
P.S. I also got water on my socks from the spilled water and so I need dry socks that aren’t wet from water.
Sincerely,
A newly loyal tenant
Stephanie Sabin

I remember that day like it was yesterday, and not almost a year ago. So began my tenure as a roomie. It allowed me to be silly and make friends and more than anything, allowed me to grow and learn. You see, I always wanted to write. I even took a stab at it a few times and declared it wasn’t something I should pursue. But, on March 30, 2017… little did I know I opened a fur lined door to opportunity. I know every person listening to this podcast may not have a huge cat on the wall moment like I did but, this podcast, community and Josh Hallmark have left an impression that will never fade. Don’t believe me? Well, I have reinforcements.

Cindy P. (Libra) says, “The K & E Letters has impacted my life in ways I would not have dreamed possible a year ago!! Not only has it provided me countless hours of entertainment (and probably way too many hours ‘ researching ‘), but it has also introduced me to a community of wonderful people. A place to laugh and bond with other listeners- initially about just the podcast itself- but, eventually on a much more personal level that expands far beyond our shared appreciation of K & E. I believe the podcast and the FB group has introduced me to a number of friends that will remain in my life long after the podcast wraps up. What a gift this is, and just another example of how the Universe sometimes works to bring people together, in my opinion.”

Sara S. (Capricorn) states, “As an actor, playing Karen has allowed me to perform again – recording while the baby sleeps. As a single mom, I’d pretty much accepted the idea that I wouldn’t be able to do that for years, so this opportunity was such a perfect fit. As a fan of detective and crime shows: I got to go down the rabbit hole, use my analytical skills and occupy my over-active brain in a way that had no stakes. Sure beats stressing about how I’m messing up my kid, or how the country would change in the next four years, which was my previous hobby. As a fan of the show: There are no words to describe the magic that happened in the Roomie Room on Facebook. A shared sense of humor really can bring people together, and it sure did here. Mary Christ, I’m glad I’ve ‘met’ you all. Even the pickle lovers. *shudder* Your pickle gifs make me puke, but I still love you.

Roseanne S. (Sagittarius) wrote, “The Karen & Ellen Letters change the way I listened to podcasts. Podcasts were kind of my thing, and my thing alone. Earbuds in, everyone out. It still very much is something I listen to when I’m alone, but Karen & Ellen was the first podcast that was actually no fun to listen to alone. And what’s more is not only was I listening it with some of my friends, even my husband, at home or in the car, I listened with the Roomies on Facebook. I was introduced to a whole new community of listeners online that turned into real life friends. And the host was one of the first out there that I’d listened to that made listeners a part of the show. That continues to be what sets the show apart from anything else out there. The characters of the show also became more than just voices in our ears. They came to life, and they were so illogical, but funny and warm, and charming, and they felt like they were a part of our world.”

In addition to growing the Roomie community, the podcast made us laugh, together. It created amazing catch phrases, one liners and inside jokes. Believe me, I say some of this stuff ALL THE TIME and people look at me like I’m bonkers. (Which, to be honest, I probably am.) I guess, if I wasn’t a listener, and a stranger in a grocery store dropped an avocado and yelled, “MARY CHRIST!” I’d probably think they were insane too. I can’t write or say, sincerely without pronouncing it, SIN-cerly. No one else realizes how hysterical vacuums and refrigerators can be. It could happen to anyone, right? Well, it happens to roomies.

Kelsey (Cancer) will always remember laughing her arse off in the car riding back from Colorado about Mary Christ and the Feast of the Consumption.

Paul C. (Pisces) tells me the word “jurisdiction” has been made permanently funny now.

Jessica (Sagittarius) says no one in my real life will understand why avocados are so important.

Cheryl (Libra) shared this antidote; A couple weeks ago I said, “can you imagine?!” without even thinking, Totally not on purpose. Then I realised what I said and started laughing my guts out. My friends thought I was going mad.

Jennifer M. (Virgo) admits that when she’s bored she tries to find mermaid clocks online.

With the good can come the bad. And, while this podcast community has remained positive that doesn’t mean we haven’t had our fair share of tears. I think every listener was moved by Ellen and Mark’s letters concerning Ellen being Jewish and unaccepted. Or, when we learned Fish Ellen had been involved in an accident. But, the worse tears are knowing the end is near. And, so here we are. Thinking about the sunset and what we will take away from this. Almost every person I communicated with stated that the Facebook roomies will live on. The friends that were made through an online podcast group cannot be explained to many. My own husband has, admittedly, been confused and bemused that I refer to people I’ve never physically met as friends for life. And, I’m not alone.

Nicki T. (Aquarius) says, I’ve met SO many lifelong friends through the podcast and group.

Vanessa (Cancer) wrote, I am genuinely so much happier than this time last year.
This is largely down to this podcast, and the people that I’ve met because of it.
It has brought so much joy and laughter into my life.

But, we wouldn’t have come together if it wasn’t for Josh Hallmark. Our wine drinking, McDonald craving, pantless, amazing storytelling Papi. Josh had a vision and decided to share it with us all. Its pretty safe to say that Josh changed the podcast community as a whole. He engaged listeners, created a safe, sharing space and opens his heart to every single person he comes in contact with. That first post I made on the group page? Well, Josh was the first person to comment. He welcomed me into his world. Josh encouraged me to blog and to continue writing. He has always been available to me whether I want to run an idea by, ask advice on a blog post or just chat some dumb stuff with. Josh has touched so many people. Here are just a few things the internet needs to know about Josh:

“He’s a really talented storyteller. But you know that already. An amazing party planner – the original live K&E reading that brought me in was amazing – cotton candy, booze – just a really unique and fun event. And he’s almost allergic to taking credit for his talent – always tossing compliments to his collaborators and often reluctant to accept money for his work. He’s generous to other podcasters and drives himself too hard – the hardest working man in podcasting. The nicest too. And he has the best laugh. But you know that already too.” Sara S. (Capricorn)

“Josh is so hard working and kind! I will always be grateful that he created a podcast and FB page that brought people together. I’ve met so many really great people, because of this!” Vicki W. (Taurus)

“Josh Hallmark is the hardest working man in podcasting. His work needs to be shared everywhere because he has this amazing gift for bringing the best out of people. He brings the best out of people he interviews and the people he has on his shows. He brings out the best in the roomies and all who know and love him. That kind of talent is something that needs to be celebrated by everyone.” Jennifer M. (Virgo)

“Josh is an incredible person and he treated these letters with respect.” Renee (Aquarius)

“Josh is incredibly creative. He has found his perfect medium in podcasting. His ability to tell a story is captivating and inspiring. He’s also just a really great person who seeks to lift others up with him as he finds success. That is so rare in this world.” Samantha (Pisces)

“He never sleeps and he never wears pants. He likes drinking too! But most of all he loves to entertain people and you can tell he REALLY cares about his work.” Nicki T. (Aquarius)

“Josh took these letters, and this story, and wove magic. He created so much more than a podcast. He also created a community, based on love, laughter, and friendship. Josh is talented, clever, insightful, intuitive, generous, and hilarious. He is the best storyteller that I’ve ever met. I feel privileged to have heard some of his stories. I hope that there are many more to come, and that the whole world gets to hear them.” Vanessa (Cancer)

“Josh is a fantastic host. He’s very thoughtful of how he puts together content for his shows. He spends time really interacting with the listeners in his groups and makes everyone feel included. I’m so glad to have met Josh! He is a wonderful person and brought together a fantastic group of people!” Cheryl (Libra)

“Josh Hallmark, being able to bring abstract words on paper to life was brilliant, his storytelling is masterful, he is engaging, quirky, charming…and most of all, for me personally, he’s been a mentor and an inspiration.” Roseanne (Sagittarius)

“Josh Hallmark is one of the best writers and speakers I have ever “met” . His kindness and his heart are completely genuine. I absolutely adore and love him.” Nicole B. (Aquarius)

“Josh Hallmark is a hardworking and talented guy, and I’m proud to be part of the community he has created!” Jessica (Sagittarius)

“Josh is smart, creative and likes to entertain. He has a good heart and infectious laugh.” Jenn A. (Leo)

“Josh has been one of the greatest gifts I feel the podcast has given me. His willingness to be brutally honest about his own life experiences, his engagement with his listeners, and the level of humility and empathy that he constantly demonstrates have brought me to tears more than once. This expands beyond K & E, obviously, to include his other podcasts, as well as things he has shared with the ‘ roomie ‘ community. I think he is an amazing person, with a rare ability to connect with others. These qualities lend themselves well to the incredible material that he produces. But, clearly, he also possesses an abundance of creativity, and a compelling adeptness for bringing characters, places , and experiences to life. He is a consummate story-teller.” Cindy P. (Libra)

“Josh has incredible hope for us as people. This man works every single day to give a gift of perception to the world. He is passionate about knowing what makes people different and embraces those differences. Our Americana celebrates people and the surprises they bring. He revels in the ordinary and shows us how extraordinary it can be if we just look hard enough. His laughter is infectious and his heart is just authentically good. The podcast world has a standard set in him. I have been blessed in the last months to have watched his network grow and have a very good feeling this is just the beginning of his journey.” Vicki R. (Cancer)

“Josh is a very gracious and generous person. A truly wonderful soul. The only reason I met Josh is because he needed someone from New Bern to interview for his Our Americana podcast. A friend of his (who is my best friends ex), asked my best friend to do it as he lived in New Bern, but he thought I would be better as he only lived here for a few years in high school and college and since moved away. I remember when he first started the K&E podcast, I read about it and immediately was intrigued and listened religiously. I wish I could meet him in real life, as I just know we would get along famously!” Adrienne H. (Aries)

“Josh Hallmark deserves the Gold Card to McDonald’s.” Kelsey (Cancer)

Therefore, I raise my glass to you, Josh. I thank you for being a master crafter, an incredible story teller and an amazing human being. I appreciate the countless hours of work you dedicate to the podcast community, your listeners and your friends. Because, we all think of you as a friend. Thank you for sharing yourself with the world. In addition, I also want to thank my fellow bloggers (Torey and Vanessa – You both rock my socks!), the roomies and my #HoneyBlondes. This podcast wouldn’t have been the same without each of you. I appreciate and adore you all.

I am leaving the final word to Miss Laila (Capricorn). Who warned us with her sweet little voice at the start of each Season two episode.

Karen and Ellen are silly washing the fish.
Mary Christ looks down on them saying,
“What is this?”
I hope we will have
a statue together as well as Mary Christ.
I will love this podcast forever.
Hooray! Hooray!

I love you, Josh.

Until the next smell comes from behind the oven…

Love and Avocados,
Stephanie (Aries)

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Season 2, Episode 9: Sunset/Sunrise (Mystery solved?)

Sunrise. Sunset. Two beautiful times. When the world is, usually, still and quiet. Times of reflections. What is to come? What has already happened? If this isn’t speaking to all the fans of K&E, then maybe you need to go outside with your headphones and begin listening to the podcast again from the first episode.

The penultimate episode (next to the last, for those that were unclear), begins with a 1979 newspaper article from the Portland Oregonian. The Steinfield Pickle Factory, which had been in operation since 1922, has been the victim of a terrible explosion. Cause unknown. However, 120 employees are out of work and the future of the company is bleak. (Well, Vicki W. now you know.)

Dot is back. Moaning about how kids these days just don’t understand sacrifice and how “back in the day” you respected your elders. Especially your parents. Helena agrees. Especially since her daughter blames her for everything wrong in her life. Helena’s daughter seems upset because she had to care for her younger sister when Helena was doing time in the pokey. Poor Helena. Sleeping on a cot and peeing on a cold toilet (someone crochet her a toilet seat cover, STAT!) while her eldest daughter whooped it up in the “big city”. Also, the slop (AKA, jail food) was terrible. Who knew prison wasn’t a luxury spa?!?

Aloha Karen…. today is YOUR day! It’s her birthday! And, can you believe that Aloha Rob RUINED her last birthday?!? (I’m aghast at this accusation! Rob ruin something?!?) Every year, as per tradition (except when Rob ruins it by chucking the karaoke microphone through the TV screen and getting them kicked out of the bar) (By the way, that could happen to ANYBODY!), Aloha Karen sings birthday karaoke. So, this year, our sassy birthday gal is heading to her favorite karaoke bar (the only one in town that allows them entrance) to sing, sing, sing, sing, sing! Unless Rob gets too drunk and they are forced to leave. Whichever comes first. All other birthdays pale in comparison to Aloha Karen’s because, DUH!, it’s HER birthday. Happy birthday, Aloha Karen!

(Here, our favorite Karen, Sara Stapleton proceeds to sing, sing, sing, sing, sing! I admit, I laughed. Loudly. Hysterically. Tears streaming down my face to the incredibly poignant Bette Midler song, Friends. I have no clue how Sara managed to get through this. Soon, I found myself actually crying as I recalled the words and how they reflected upon my time spent with the podcast, roomie community, and Josh. But, thats a blog post for another time.)

Skype time between Sara and Josh! (Oh, this always means juicy information is on the horizon!) Josh finally spills the handwriting analysis. And, the answer we have waited for since the end of Season 1 is finally revealed. The letters are not written by THREE people. It appears that the Mark and Karen letters were written by the SAME person! (I wish I could add a shocking sound effect here but, since I can’t: Make a gasping sound on your own. Also, I think most of us have suspected, including Sara herself, that the letters were not 100% real. It’s just that Josh has finally verified that to us.) Which leads to Josh openly stating, with all the information he has uncovered, that the girls could not be that naive and stupid. It now appears that the letters were clearly written for comedic purposes. (Can’t say we haven’t laughed!) Based on some actual events but, embellished. Josh has also heard back from Darren. It turns out both Darren AND Josh have lived in every city the girls have. (Ok, seriously? I may be jumping on the conspiracy bandwagon. Now, I just need to figure out which one of you is Karen and who is the Ellen?)

Email from Darren. He’s not comfortable reaching out the BLEEP (the REAL Fish Ellen). As Darren has reread the letters, they have taken on a whole new meaning knowing that BLEEP (the REAL Fish Ellen) is the writer. He just doesn’t know BLEEP (the REAL Fish Ellen) well enough to want to broach the subject. However, Darren does remember some interesting conversations and tidbits about BLEEP (the REAL Fish Ellen). He tells Josh that during a conversation they had, BLEEP mentions she dropped out of interior design school because she felt the program was “creatively oppressive” and “stifled her unique point of view.” BLEEP is also a big fan of cats (#alwaysTeamEllen). BLEEP (the Real Fish Ellen) does NOT like her family. At all. Her family of friends are the only people that truly matter to her and she welcomed Darren to “the family” several times. (I have to wonder if BLEEP is a follower of Charles Manson?) The most shocking tidbit…. BLEEP (the Real Fish Ellen) was at one of Josh’s Twin Peak parties! (What the what?!? SO MANY QUESTIONS! 1. Really? Can we verify this? Pic or it didn’t happen. 2. What is a Twin Peaks Party? How do I get an invite? If I don’t watch Twin Peaks, can I still come? 3. What is your obsession with Twin Peaks, Hallmark?!?). Small world, indeed.

With all this new information, Josh asks Sara for her overall theories on how these letters came to be and who these people are. Sara thinks Mark is a writer. (Me too, Sara. Unless I am the writer. Unless, I’m not.) She feels Mark created a project based on real life letters and experiences he has had with tenants. Largely, based on the real life people that were found, as the main focus and source. Sara doesn’t feel that our Karen and Ellen actually lived together. But, our fearless leader, Josh has the answer to that. He has been keeping a theory to himself. (#notsurprised #TBAKing) Based on these facts; 1. Helena was arrested in the 80’s. 2. There appears to be no Dad in the picture. 3. Fish Ellen’s name was on the lease and not Karen’s. 4. Karen was a minor at the time. 5. After living in the cottage, Fish Ellen moved to Seattle and lived with Aloha Rob. Josh’s theory (which makes perfect sense and nails the final puzzle piece into the pictures) is that when Helena went to jail, Fish Ellen took in her younger sister, Aloha Karen (which is where Aloha Karen and Aloha Rob meet). Upon leaving the cottage, they all moved to Seattle together. Crochet Pants Karen was Fish Ellen’s original roommate, until she had to move out so that minor Aloha Karen could move in. (I swear, this makes sense, even if it seems convoluted!). This means that Mark, when writing his project, combined Crochet Pants Karen and Aloha Karen into one character. Josh also followed up with the Oakland Library Clerk (shout out to Nicki T!) once he had all the actual names involved. Our clerk was able to provide the following information; a parking ticket was issued to Aloha Karen across the street from the cottage. This links Aloha Karen to the cottage even if her name is not attached to it.

Marking the one year anniversary of her Dad’s death, Crochet Pants Karen is reflective. While the past year has been nightmarish, at times, Crochet Pants Karen has staked her umbrella in the metaphorical sand. She has found things she likes to do, the things she has to do, and has found tremendous life giving strength. Her children, her spouse, and her community of friends and family keep her sustained and provide a well of comfort. Crochet Pants Karen sitting on her porch, reading a book about the iconic Ava Gardner, remembers her father. The passage she reads speaks volumes. “I might have worn hand me down frocks and had dirty knees. Maybe, I didn’t always scrub them as often as polite little girls should but, we were never dirt poor. I was the goddamnedist tomboy you ever met. In the summer time I went barefoot and that was what farm kids did. Of course we were poor. It was the Great Depression. Everybody was poor. It cost you just to create. But, being hard up didn’t make us dirt poor.” And so, here is Crochet Pants Karen, with her own dirty knees. She isn’t as polite as she should be either. Being taught to be polite, because it quiets us, it limits us. Crochet Pants Karen sits, proudly, barefoot. Grateful that her family allowed her to dirty her knees. Reflecting on the road of loss. No more ruckus nights at the dinner table, with her father, telling stories together. Realizing that her passion for stories and her history itself may be the greatest gift.  (ARE YOU BAWLING YET?!? No? Ok, me neither. I swear. Ok, maybe just a little.) Crochet Pants Karen was just in Berkeley visiting her old friend, Miss Doctor Kathy, telling stories. Miss Doctor Kathy was her old neighbor (how’s her brother doing? What happened to the cats?) and they spent many nights together, talking in the yard, about what it means to be a strong woman. They were not neighbors for long though as Crochet Pants Karen’s roommate had a family crisis. That roommate, was a strong woman, at the young age of 20. She was soft yet, strong. Both sweet and sassy. Curious and convicted. Unfortunately, they did not remain in touch.

Crochet Pants Karen lived in the cottage briefly, with Fish Ellen. Fish Ellen had a family crisis and Crochet Pants Karen had to move out. Presumably to make room for Aloha Karen, a minor at the time, to move in. BAH BAH BUM! Sara proclaims, Mystery Solved! So, why doesn’t it feel done? Well, it may not and Josh says unless he had the balls (HIS WORDS, NOT MINE! I only recap! And, make up commentary that I usually add via parentheses.) then, we may never actually know what is fact and what is fiction. However, this seems a satisfactory hypothesis. Do the details really matter?

Dear Bonnie. MARK!! IT’S MARK! (The scoundrel responsible for this tale!) He has enclosed a, not so pleasant, letter from CW. Poor Mark. He has gone his whole life without being called a buffoon. (Until now.) Mark is tried of fighting the battle.

Dear Mark. CW! (Now, we get to know what he has to say!) CW is profoundly disappointed in Mark. Mark’s trivial conduct has nullified this production. Mark has not disclosed relevant information. In addition, he has exploited finances for personal gain and buffoonery. These actions have jeopardized the film and could have led to litigation. (Uh oh…. will I see Mark on the next episode of American Greed? Maybe listen to his story in a true crime podcast?) Mark is exhausting and behaves similar to the characters in his screenplay. (I pick Karen! He is a Karen! What’s Mark’s sign?) All funding is pulled and appears this project is a legal nightmare.

OH NO! Poor Dot! A loud bang awoken her in the middle of the night! Gun in hand, she went to find the source. It was awful. Worst than any home invasion. Misty’s portrait fell off the wall! It landed on Mr. Jeeves the Butler and tore a giant hole into Misty! An emergency road trip to Sedona with Jackie is happening to repair the damage.

Well, it had to happen sometime. Helena is deleting the face books. Well, she can’t figure out how to delete it so, she just isn’t going to log in anymore. The damn thing is so stupid and such a waste of time. (It’s also really complicated. Just look at all the comments on the Facebook Complain Department page!). No one post on Helena’s wall anymore because she won’t see it. Because, she won’t be on the face books anymore. Don’t we have better things to do than be on this stupid internet page anyway? How about if we find cheap plane tickets to Seattle? Looks like Helena is heading to Seattle.

Love and Avocados…. and one more episode to go. Get those wine bottles and tissues ready, everyone!

Steph

 

 

 

Recap of Best-Selling Feline Author (#Stephaniewritescommentaryinparenthesis)

The sounds of water, possibly an ocean, open the episode. (It’s not a train noise as I originally thought.)

Helena is writing, presumably to Dot again. It was the worst 118 days of her life. (That’s almost 4 months, which is also almost 6 months so, she was there for almost half a year!) Kris was in longer. (Oh…we are getting some information on why this old broad was in the clink! I am imagining that Helena looks like the kooky, hippy woman from Orange is the New Black.) They were arrested for vandalizing and destruction of private property. But, Helena says it was really just PROTEST! (What the heck was she protesting in the 80’s? Popped collars? Leg warmers? Big hair?) Don’t even get started on Paul…that piece of trash. (Wow, Paul really wronged Helena! Abandoned “us”? Who is “us”? Was Paul a former boyfriend, husband, lover?) Then, in true Helena form, the anger and juicy gossip immediately turns to something goofy and lighthearted…Dot, did you ever get that pet portrait of Misty?

ABC 7 News: GET RID OF THAT BALD GUY! I DON’T CARE FOR HIM. HE TALKS LIKE HE HAS A MOUTH FULL OF PISTACHIOS. I THINK HE THINKS HE’S BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE. AND, HIS TIES ARE ALWAYS WRINKLED. STEAM THEM IN THE SHOWER…DONT IRON THEM. (Good advice, Helena.) OOPS, Helena…the face books are so complicated and you posted that on your own page, not ABC 7 News.

Sudio Headphones. (sudiosweden.com) Go buy some. Josh says so. PROMO CODE: LETTERS

Oh dear…more karaoke? Guns ‘n Roses? Thank goodness…we aren’t really subjected to it because, Josh comes on. He sounds tired. (4:30am, good time to leave a message. Don’t ever call me at 4:30am. I’m not pleasant at 4:30am) Ha! Josh the Stalker has been stalking Fish Ellen on Facebook! (Dude, you need another hobby. Maybe you should go play Animal Crossing Pocket Camp. Which is totally fun and we have our own Fish Ellen! My ID is 61545653315) He also found something shocking but, of course, it is TBA. (Always TBA with this guy. LOL)

The following are highlights from Fish Ellen’s Facebook page:

It is Thanksgiving. And, Fish Ellen is listening to Arlo Gutry, cooking and hanging out both physically and metaphysically (I totally snorted) with people she loves. No one should eat turkey on Thanksgiving. You should go meatless and/or poultry-less. Fish Ellen is happy to share her tips for how to go meatless and/or poultry-less and then both she and the turkey’s will be thankful. 

On December 1st there will be a rally to SAVE THE SALMON! (Will salmon be served for lunch? Asking for a friend.)

Like a good Jewish person, Fish Ellen has been baking cookies all afternoon and evening. (What do bad Jewish people do?) She is channeling her grandparents and wondering if they would be upset to know that none of their four grandchildren procreated. (One of those grandchildren is Fish Ellen’s sister! SHE HAS A SISTER! But, sadly no children of her own. I kinda think Ellen having a child would be AMAZING!) Grandfather and Grandmother escaped the Nazi’s and tried to impart good wisdom. Fish Ellen had some guilt about not having children but, guilt isn’t a reason to have kids. (Fish Ellen is extremely smart about this.) #JewishChristmasCookiesandConversationswiththeDead

BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH IS A BEAUTIFUL FREAK! (Well, not according to Josh Hallmark.)

Could do with a little less introspection? But, why? I’m introspecting my introspection! (That giggle is possibly better than Josh’s. Sorry, Hallmark.)

Comcast is NOT akin to two cute kittens. They are often deserving of four letter words. Comcast is VERY bad. They stink. #fightthefuturecomcastcablecompanystinks

This is a six foot painting of over 37 cats. (Oh, please, someone find this photo!) Fish Ellen is going to get this painting. (also, she lives in a little cottage!) Apparently, the white cats are the best. (Well, this is also not try according to Josh Hallmark. Unless he just doesn’t like white cats?)

Fish Ellen is taking some advice from the current best selling feline author. (A quick google search did NOT provide me with the answer of who this author may be. I may have to do more sleuthing. Or, do you have to be a cat to know this information? Also, can someone PLEASE delete my browser history when I die?) Unexpectedly, she emotionally, energetically and cognitively  crashed. She has been holding a safe container for her feelings. (Is it glass? Plastic? Decorated with crystals?)  And, in true sweet Ellen fashion, she also stores the bad feelings of her patients. (Wait? Did she say PATIENTS? I relistened about five times..she DID say patients. CLUE ALERT!) It’s only a metaphorical safe. (Guess that answers my earlier question) Fish Ellen has been holding her emotional breath. Last night she exhaled into an exhausting cry but then exhaled some more into a recovery bath. (I would get dizzy and pass out from all that.) Fish Ellen is grateful for a safe, warm home and emphatic friends. #safesarespacesforemotionswhichareourtruevaluables

STOP THE NIGERIAN SUPER HIGHWAY! THERE IS NOTHING SUPER ABOUT A HIGHWAY! ESPECIALLY ONE THAT HARMS WILD GORILLAS! WRITE TO YOUR CONGRESSMAN! DONATE TO THE NATURE CONSERVANCY! #nothingsuperaboutahighwaythatharmsgorillas

It is the 4th of July. Which is a great holiday unless you are an animal or a Native American. While, Fish Ellen cannot help Native Americans, she can help your animal! She is offering FREE animal acupuncture services for your pets at the first ever Animal Acupuncture Festival! Be sure to get there early because this is going to be VERY popular! (Really? VERY? Was there a 2nd annual Animal Acupuncture Festival? Where can I go to sign Jewelie up? Will first aid be provided to pet owners?)

If I had a kitten for every kitten I wished I had I would have so many kittens! #icanthavecatsbecauseofmymouseprogram (#soFishEllenbuyscatpaintingsinstead)

SKYPE. Josh is calling Sara. OH MY GOD! Josh has TWO mutual friends with Fish Ellen on “the face books”. (#sorrynotsorry) One of these friends, Darren, has been to the Karen and Ellen Letters reading parties. (Josh you can only get excited ONCE in your life!) What if Fish Ellen has been under Josh’s nose the entire time? (We also got a GREAT Josh laugh moment. I need this as a ringtone! Can I get a Josh laugh ringtone as blogger payment?)

Fish Ellen: Usually she is all love, light and Miss Happy-Happy Sunshine. But, today is a hard day. Her car window was broken and her laptop was stolen. (THAT SUCKS!) To bad she didn’t have renter’s insurance since it’s a scam. (RENTER’S INSURANCE? Does she drive a rental car or does she not know what CAR insurance is?)  The missing computer costs over a thousand dollars. Well, now Fish Ellen DOESN’T believe in karma. She doesn’t believe God only gives you as much as you can handle. She believes sometimes, people are truly amazing but sometimes people are just plain old mean. 

Josh and Sara are back discussing how in 2012 Fish Ellen’s car broke down IN FRONT OF JOSH’S OLD HOUSE! (Mary Christ and Holy Guacamole!) Fish Ellen was in front of Josh’s house for SIX FULL HOURS one day and he never even knew it. (Fish Ellen was RIGHT THERE! You could have cast a hook and snagged her!)

Josh is writing a message to Darren, he is asking about his relationship to Fish Ellen and how he knows her. Darren replies that he met her on a drugged out camping trip and Fish Ellen was taking photos of him. Darren gets weird emails from her regarding tree therapy, acupuncture, and legalizing marijuana. (How do I get on Fish Ellen’s mailing list?) Also, what is tree therapy? Is it therapy FOR trees or therapy for humans USING trees? How would you “use” a tree?) She also recommended some electrotherapy to Darren when he broke his foot. Would Josh like for Darren to get in touch with her for him? (YES, DARREN, YES WE WOULD! Oh, wait, not sure our opinion counts here but, all roomies vote YES anyway.)

Fish Ellen: I am heading to my first tree therapy session and I am feeling overly emotionally overwhelmed. I am surprised that I am myself so weepy and juggling around so many emotions that are hard to name and hard to find. What if this doesn’t work? What if it doesn’t help me? These cognitive issues which look like not being able to find words, not being able to follow a train to thought, not being able to remember things are the last significant vestiges of last years car accident. I spent so much time in the hospital trying to find my words but, also trying to find forgiveness. I just really want someone or a cat or a friend to hug me. (I have nothing sassy to add here. I am sad now, This makes me sad.)

Wind Chimes! Patti with the Crystals is back! Today she awoke with manta, “if God is awareness and I am aware then through my awareness I am partaking of the awareness of my source, who is God, our Mother Earth.” (My head hurts just trying to listen and transcribe that. Also, I am confused and think I need a drink now.) Blah, blah, blah…..some mumbo jumbo about monotheism.  (She knows what monotheism is? Kind of impressed, actually.) Patti has a husband and a dog. (She says so amiss the mumbo jumbo.) Patti has a friend named Juno Windraven. (Is she a teacher at Hogwarts? Please, let her be a teacher at Hogwarts!) Juno has discovered the creator Gods. (Did she copyright the find? Call the Discovery Channel?) Patti wishes all seekers a Happy Thanksgiving. Followed by a commercial for Pet Portraits and portraits of your inner amimal! (Just use promo code: EARTHMOTHER)

Fish Ellen: I’m looking for someone who wants to drive a car from Scottsdale, Arizona up to Seattle or Portland this week or next week. If you know someone who wants some west coast travel.

Patti with the Crystals: Are you going to see your mother? I would love to fly out for a fun little girls bonding trip.

Fish Ellen: Hi everyone! I’m still looking for a road companion down to Scottsdale.

Patti: Oh, Ellen, I would love to join you. Do you not see my earlier message?

Patti: Ellen, did you not see my comment? Did I post them correctly? I can see them. Can you?

Fish Ellen: Hi everyone! Never mind, I’ll be going with my friend, Nita.

Patti: Ellen, I’m so glad you found someone to go with you. It probably would not have worked out for me because I am going to do a crystal harvest. Have a special time reconnecting to the desert earth and your mother. 

(What did I just hear? Apparently Fish Ellen and Patti are connected in some way. But, did they have a falling out? Why does Ellen ignore Patti? Is that bad karma?)

Ocean noise again. KAREN IS BACK! She really loves being at the beach but, she doesn’t like all the sand that gets everywhere. (Um, Karen, sand comes with the territory. It’s kinda a rule of the beach.) However, Karen does like dolphins, boats and Mai Tai’s. ( Mai Tai is an alcoholic cocktail made with rum and citrus juice. Who wouldn’t like that? Also, is the beach reference a clue?)

Alright fellow listeners, it’s time to stop being a cat on the wall and start sleuthing! I believe the truth is out there. Love and avocados! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Karen Karen Karen Recap (AKA #NotKaren #HashtagsAreBorn)

Holy Guacamole! This episode has certainly left an impression! Not sure what that impression is yet but, it is there, like a refrigerator door broken by a leg of lamb. (#WhereisRob) Let’s get down to crazy town and recap the insanity for you! (#WildRideAhead)

(DISCLAIMER: This recap includes my personal opinions regarding the podcast. All opinions expressed in this recap are mine and mine alone and may or may not align with other members of this community. These expressed opinions are of my personal feeling at the time I first listened to the podcast. Opinions may change over time. I also respect those that do not agree with me and ask for the same respect in return. #FreedomOfSpeech)

Once again, we begin with messages between Dot and Helena. (#FavoriteFunnyWomen) They are STILL discussing Jackie. (I wonder if poor Jackie’s nose itches all the time from so many people talking about her? #GossipGirls) Dot also tells Helena about her daughter’s wedding. It’s her second wedding (the first was to a man) and now, she’s married to her “friend,” who is a woman. Apparently, gay weddings are MOSTLY like regular weddings according to Dot. (#WhoKnew?) Helena doesn’t think she knows any lesbians, with the exception of her very nice butcher. But, the “gays” she does know are a hoot and they sure know how to have fun. Also, Barb died, and maybe she was a lesbian? (The transitions in these messages… I mean, we go from a gay pride parade to a funeral in one sentence. I would love to be a cat on the wall and really watch these women! #gaysarefun #funeralsaresad) Dot’s information regarding her daughter’s first marriage makes me wonder if Dot is Karen’s and/or Ellen’s mother? I have speculated on the possibility of a mother connection before, but now I am pretty certain. Oh, and Helena was arrested with Kris.

Josh contacts Sara with news we have heard before. Email Karen and the Strange Email Man share the same IP address. What DOES THAT MEAN? Sara is stunned. Well, Josh is going to contact Email Karen and see if he can get some answers. Sara is confused. It appears Email Karen has been a part of this since the days of the blog. Josh really feels like something is amiss. (Sure took you a LONG time to get your cat tongue back, Hallmark! LOL) Is Email Karen the Real Karen? Is she a fake? Why did Mark freak out about Email Karen contacting Josh? Is Fish Ellen the Real Ellen? (#SoManyQuestions) Fish Ellen feels authentic. Can we verify Fish Ellen and Email Karen? Oakland Karen? (I need a visual aid… I can’t keep up… maybe I need a #MURDERBOARD)

SHUT UP! Sara looks up a Karen who lived in the cottage (Jeeze, I’m confused. #SoManyKarens!) And, now we have Crochet Pants Karen! She lived in Berkeley. She has a blog! (#CrochetPants) Sara is laughing her head off about pink panties worn under crochet pants. (I REALLY need to see this blog!)

Can we connect Crochet Pants Karen to Fish Ellen?

Josh sends a message to Email Karen asking her to talk and BOOM, just like that, the legal net is thrown. Email Karen responds. She has been listening to the podcast. She was reading the blog. She read copies of the letters. She thought it would be FUNNY to insert herself into the narrative. (WHAT?!? WAIT?!? WHAT?!? #WHAT? #WAIT?WHAT?) She wrote the emails pretending to be Karen and she wrote the second email from Email Man JUST to mess with Josh. (YOU WHAT?!? WAIT?!? WHAT?!? WHO DOES THAT? HOW CRUEL! HOW MEAN! I mean, kinda funny but, #NotThatFunny)  Email Karen is supposedly this person’s mother-in-law. She says Email Karen never lived with an Ellen. She never even lived in Oakland. This person has just admitted that she catfished Josh. She thought this whole thing was “really funny” and is/was a member of our beloved Roomies group. (#NotMyRoomie) But, our research made her nervous and once Josh included her fake letters on the podcast she decided the joke had gone too far. She claims to be sorry. (However, she waited for Josh to contact her….versus coming clean on her own, so, I’m not buying it, sister. #HowRude) And, she doesn’t want to come across as stupid or a bitch. (Clearly, you aren’t stupid. Yep, I called you a bitch. It was a bitchy thing to do. #sorrynotsorry) And, so, this concludes the story of Not Karen. (And, the beginning of a hysterical blog by Torey searching for the identity of Not Karen. Also, I am #NotNotKaren) And, since Josh has asked, #NotAWitchHunt

Quiet, bad karaoke. (#DamnIWishIwasYourLover)

Sara is back. (#DudeYouGotCatfished) Where does this leave the research? Obviously Not Karen is not Karen so, who is Real Karen? Sara checks her murder board for a possible new suspect. What do you know, Crochet Pants Karen seems to fit! (#IfTheCrochetPantsFitWearThem) Is Crochet Pants Karen the real Karen? Are Karen and Ellen actually real? Will we find them?

Blog post, dated May 19, 2016, from Crochet Pants Karen. She is obsessed with crochet and is modeling her latest crochet pants. (#CrochetGoddess) This blog is one long run on sentence all about crochet pants. (#madyarn)

Blog post, December 19, 2010. Crochet Pants Karen is excited for bumper stickers. She sees a car with lots of cool stickers and just can’t contain herself. Crochet Karen also has quite a collection of bumper stickers, which I believe are also amazing new hashtags.  #1988 Bush/Quail, #GodBlesstheFreaks and my personal favorite, #IAteaKitchenSink! (Josh, if you don’t jump on this Marketing gem now and get this in your shop page, you may be missing out!) Also, it is hot where she is. It is even hot inside. So, she was in the water for two hours. (#RelevantInformation) And, they have to walk everywhere. (#CloseToDead)

Blog post, September 30, 2010. (#IndigoDoesntLiveHere #BetterThanBerkley) Also, Bill had a wake and there are really big cockroaches at the local hospital.

Blog post, May 1, 2017. Crochet Pants Karen is now almost 50 years old and updating her look. She still sews. (#FastestWayToMakeClothes)

Josh really feels these blogs are VERY Karen. However, he has a lead on a different Karen that is tied to Fish Ellen. (#MoreResearchNeeded #TheMysteryContinues)

Ellen is back with another mouse video! (#TeamEllen #PavedParadise #MiceAreFast)

#TheEnd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Interview with Sara Beth Poole (Ellen)

I was lucky enough to get a chance to ask Sara Beth Poole some questions about the podcast. (Holy Mary Christ! Ya’ll know I’m totally #TeamEllen and I was totally fangirl-ing when she agreed!)

Do you listen to the podcast? If you listen, what are your theories?

I do listen to the podcast! I genuinely love it, especially this second season as it is a complete mystery to me where this will all end up. Josh has completely left me in the dark as far as where the story is going which makes it really exciting to listen. I only have the vaguest of ideas based on the recordings I did. I don’t have any theories of my own, but I do think that some of the ones I’ve heard are plausible. The exception is the one where Ellen is Karen and Robs’ daughter, it makes no sense, why would she pay rent if she were their child??

How do you manage to not crack up reading the letters?

To be honest I do a lot of cracking up during recording! I send Josh edited files so the listeners don’t get to hear my bloopers.

Is Ellen’s voice your own or acting? How did you determine what Ellen’s personality would be? Has anyone ever recognized your voice as Ellen?

Ellen’s voice is higher and quite a bit more childlike than mine. She is so endearing and sweet and I wanted that to come across as soon as you heard her speak. I did a lot of character development for the staged reading we did years ago, but a lot of the quirks that make Ellen Ellen are things that I grew up with in my new-age household. Stuff like astrology, crystal healing, chakras, and gurus were totally normal topics of conversation for my mom and her friends, so I had a lot to draw on there. Ellen is largely an amalgamation of the hippy-dippy women I knew growing up with a healthy dose of naivete, sort of like Stevie Nicks meets Elmo. No one has ever recognized my voice as Ellen, but I have to admit I would love that!

Josh has stated you are not really on social media. However, do you know about the Facebook group? Do you know about the Roomies? How do you feel about being a celebrity to all the Roomies?

What little I know about the Facebook group I learned from the podcast and from a quick email Josh sent us during season 1 to let us know how much the podcast had took off. I had no idea I was a celebrity to the Roomies!! How exciting! I deleted my Facebook account after the election last year and I don’t see myself resurrecting it, but I am SUPER sad that I don’t get to interact with y’all in cyberland. I think it’s so interesting and cool that you all have been able to connect in a real way and make friends on the internet. I didn’t think that happened anymore!

Who is your favorite Karen and Ellen Letters character?

It’s so hard to pick a favorite character!!! I’m feel really connected to Ellen so my first instinct is to call her my favorite, but there is so much to love about everyone. Maybe it’s a cop-out to answer this way but I really love the way the characters have come to life through my fellow actors and I think we all do an amazing job.

Do you have a favorite letter? (Ellen’s or anyone else) Favorite episode?

Oh my goodness… it’s so hard to decide! In general I love Ellen’s letters the most because she is soooo loveable and sweet and truly hilarious. Thinking about it I have to say that the drug-sniffing dog letter is my #1, but I also really love the series of letters between she and Mark in which she opens up about being scared to go to Karen’s grandmother’s house. It’s a very vulnerable human interaction between she and Mark, and some seriously genius character development if these letters aren’t real.

What is your favorite “Ellen-ism”?

I love the way she talks about karma. It’s a concept she’s clearly very passionate about but little understands. I think there’s a lesson to be learned there about the ways that we impose concepts on others that we would do well to apply to ourselves or something.

Why do you think Ellen has a problem with Scorpios? What does THAT mean?

Haha!! In astrology, Scorpios have something of a bad reputation. Many expect them to be devious or perverse, secretive, controlling or vengeful. It’s the sign of Scorpions, snakes, and vampires. Ellen has clearly either had some very bad experiences with scorpios in her life or learned astrology from someone who has a bias against them.

Thank you, Sara Beth for sharing with us!

Season 2, Episode 3: The AfterShow

Ever wanted to be a guest on your favorite podcast? It was one of those bucket list items that I figured would never happen. Until it did. I owe it all to a fellow (and an original) roomie. Josh held a raffle for guests spots on the show. While I was not lucky enough to get my name pulled, I was super excited for the winning roomies. It was such a cool and awesome group of people that I knew listening would be just as fun as being part of the group. (If you aren’t a roomie, you need to get on Facebook and join us. It truly is the happiest and most amazing group on all the internet. #roomie4lyfe) Vicki W. won a spot and sent me a message. She would like to gift her place to me, would I like to be on the AfterShow? (WOULD I? HECK YEAH! Play it cool, Sabin.) My reply, HECK YEAH! (Vicki, I think you are the classiest, most wonderful lady ever…and I even thought that BEFORE you passed on the AfterShow.) So, with that, a dream was realized.

The bloggers get advanced copies of the shows. In my email, Josh said that I may or may not want to listen to the episode early. This was a peculiar one and possibly, the magic of first impressions, could lead me to a better AfterShow experience. After some brief back and forth, it was decided that for the blog, I would go ahead and listen first. (Sure…for the blog…not because I am impatient and hate surprises. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!) The only stipulation Josh had was he wanted the bloggers to write down our impressions while listening in real time. If you read part one of this blog, then you read my impressions. That episode was CRAZY!

I decided that while I knew the premise of the episode, I wouldn’t listen any additional times before we recorded. (When writing the blog, I tend to listen multiple times to make sure I cover all the information and try to not miss any clues.)

Finally, Monday night came. Between 8:00 and 8:55pm, I couldn’t sit still. It was like waiting for Christmas morning. I spent way to much time deciding what I would drink. (Hilltop Winery’s Hunter’s Moon. Represent VA!) I worried I’d geek out. (I did.) I freaked out that I would sound like a dork. (I did.) My anxiety began to kick in. I was nervous. I was excited. I could barely wait to actually talk to Cheryl, Jenn, Staci and Josh. Then, the clock struck 9:00. It was go time.

I jumped on Skype. My hands were, literally, sweating. Up popped Cheryl and Jenn. Their smiling faces; waving back at me over the miles. Instantly, I felt less stress. Then, Staci and Josh got in on the call. (I wish I could have seen Staci’s lovely self…instead, I was greeted with a reddish blob. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t look like that in real life. I’ve seen pictures of her…she’s ADORABLE!)

Josh gave us a brief run down regarding some technical stuff and a gauzy outline we would follow. The show is NOT scripted. The only information we were asked to prepare beforehand was who we are, how we found the podcast and what we were drinking. We began introductions. (I screwed up BIG TIME. I didn’t start off introducing myself. Like, seriously, I’ve had this name my whole life and I messed that up. I geeked out.) Josh asked us what confused us the most about the current season. Each guest roomie told what they were drinking and then, the gauntlet was thrown. The word of the night was “Mark”. (Can you imagine?)

Josh plays the entire episode, in pieces. Stopping at parts to ask questions and get guest input. It was MUCH harder than you think to Skype with four other people. Several of whom you can’t see via video feed and not talk over anyone. I apologize to Josh and the ladies for any talking over that occurred. You get excited and want to share or add to something said. (DORK! I’m a giant dork!) Several times, after Josh asked a question, there would be dead silence while we each waited for someone else to jump in. It was feast or famine with the roomie commentary! However, roomie commentary was insightful and eye opening. (With the bonus of Jenn’s cute beagle making a guest guest appearance!)

The Aftershow I participated in was for season one, episode three. This show is, to quote Josh, “VERY irregular”.  And, he ain’t kidding. (Sorry, Mom…I used ain’t and I ain’t fixing it!) The roomies had a great time listening to and discussing this particular episode. These are some of the things we noticed and talked about:

  • This episode has the twist of other podcast hosts reading a slightly modified version of the letters we heard in season one. The “guest” readers (Deana Marie, Steven Pappas, Cory Saceaux, and Donna Hume) did a fantastic job. However, as a loyal roomie, I have a love-hate relationship with the new voices of our favorite writers. It was especially jarring to hear Steven in this universe and I kept waiting for him to give me a mental health check in! (For those unfamiliar, Steven is one half of the Is This Adulting? podcast and this is part of his show.)
  • These letters are slightly different than the ones we heard in season one, episode nine of the same name, “In My Legal Opinion.” Most notable is how Rob signs his letters.
  • The newspaper article written by Ellen: real or fake? Possibly done as a humor piece? Local paper or written by a high school student?
  • The “detectives” are actually a director and Leslie, who is never where she’s supposed to be.
  • Ellen’s name being found linked to the cottage but, not the Karen that has been in touch wth Josh. Could the lease be traced through Karen’s father, who Mark stated had co-signed it? (Josh only TBA’d this. Damn you, Hallmark!)
  • Karaoke is from Di’s in Hawaii. Ellen travels to Hawaii. Is bad karaoke Ellen?
  • Timelines all screwy. (We have no words, we are still processing.)
  • Can Patrica be Patty? (It seems a legit assumption.)
  • HOLD MUSIC…. I can’t share this stuff! (Sorry, not sorry.)

Our evening came to an end and we each said our tipsy good-byes. The feeling of extreme satisfaction and utter happiness washed over me. (Or maybe that was the extra dishsoap?) It was fabulous to share this experience with Staci, Jenn and Cheryl. I am grateful to Josh for allowing us to be guests. (However, I can’t confirm if he was wearing pants or not as he was hidden behind a desk like a TV news anchor!)

As of this writing, the Aftershow has not been released. I’m curious to know how it sounds once it has been edited. I believe, if I don’t come off as a huge goof, that Josh is a master at his craft. However, the squealing fan-girl that resides in my soul, probably will not be contained!

Love and Avocados!

Steph

 

Season 2, Episode 3…WHAT DID I JUST LISTEN TO?

WOW! Just WOW! That is about all I can say about Season 2, episode 3. In my legal opinion; it was full of twists, turns and just a maze of insanity. This blog post will be in two parts. Part one will be the transcribed notes I took, in real time, while listening. Part two will cover additional episode information as well as a peek behind the After Show.

Here are the notes I took as I was listening to the episode for the first time. WARNING, this blog may not be suitable for all readers.

  • Josh? Did you fall down a well? Should I call Lassie to help you?
  • Mark wasn’t surprised to hear from Josh when he first contacted him. Hum?
  • Someone else contacted Mark previous to Josh to discuss the letters.
  • Misty WAS a girl. Duh.
  • Jackie is a red head who is married to Frank. Is this relevant information? Store it away for later just in case.
  • Patty. Patty with the crystals. (Lord help me if I ever make a friend named Patty because I will use this phrase constantly!)
  • Patty is an obnoxious talented artist. Ellen is it you?
  • Bouncing along to the familiar jingle.
  • Is this an airport sound? What’s up with all the sound effects this season? They MUST mean something. Or maybe they don’t.
  • Dear Mark….WAIT! WHAT? THIS ISN’T SARA! Or is it? Is Sara using a different acting voice? I know this voice. But, IS this Sara?
  • Oops, I missed what was said. I’m trying to figure out this voice thing.
  • HOLY CRAP! WHERE IS ROB? What is happening? Who IS this? Is this the right podcast? Is Josh messing with me? Is this some joke? Ha, not funny Hallmark.
  • UGH! What did Fake Rob say? I missed it. Are these the same old letters? I’m going to have to relisten.
  • I HAVE NO IDEA WHY STEVEN PAPPAS IS TALKING? Is This Adulting? This is weird. DRATS! I can’t pay attention to anything being read. I’m barely listening to what is being said.
  • This is all kinds of wrong.
  • DONNA! Donna, why you Ellen?
  • Hum….there must be a REASON for this. Are these some kind of audition tapes? Is this representative of finding voices for the show? Is this an audition for the live shows? Maybe a theater show?
  • You pod people need to go back to your own shows. This is like being at a Persian Bizarre.
  • Freaky.
  • I’m totally lost. I’ve quit listening. I’m still trying to figure out who Fake Karen was….I don’t think it was Sara. But, I KNOW that voice. Ugh….which podcast host is that? These are all podcast hosts!
  • Steven, can we get a mental health check in?
  • mute = moot. STILL FUNNY.
  • Steven isn’t so bad…when I actually LISTEN. It’s just alarming to hear him in this role.
  • Donna has the cutest voice. I could get used to Donna as Ellen. I’d still cry over Sara Beth not being Ellen though.
  • I keep waiting for Donna to giggle. Will she giggle? I don’t think she’s going to giggle. What’s the Varmint! this week, Donna?
  • CUT!
  • CUT!?!?
  • DIRECTOR! NOT DETECTIVE!
  • I still feel bad for poor Leslie.
  • So, this IS a show! OH MY GAWD!
  • Hum…..someone contacted Mark BEFORE Josh….was it about a show?
  • At least the pod people voices make slightly more sense now.
  • BAD KARAOKE! “Tell it to my heart….” HELP! My ears may bleed. This is BAD. But, catchy. Ugh, it’s going to be stuck in my head. Damn you, Hallmark!
  • Sara and Josh…please, make heads or tails of this! I need info!
  • “The more it makes sense, the less it makes sense.” PREACH!
  • KAREN WAS MARRIED BEFORE ROB! Rob is her SECOND husband!
  • Wait? This does NOT add up.
  • Karen had a kid before Rob too! IS ELLEN THAT KID?
  • Doing the math. This isn’t right.
  • Are time lines off? Were letters altered in the time line?
  • Something doesn’t add up. It smells like avocado. Hee hee….avocado. I crack myself up.
  • Records of who lived in the cottage doesn’t include Karen.
  • Didn’t Mark state that Karen’s dad co-signed lease? Maybe it was in his name and therefore, Karen wouldn’t be on lease but, her father would.
  • But, Ellen’s name IS on a lease. Sara confirms it is an Ellen who has a SUPER Jewish name, is an artist, into natural healing and lived in Portland! Winner, winner, chicken dinner!
  • Sara’s Ellen also paints FISH! FISH!
  • Are these letters even real? At all? Or just made up? I mean, its a fascinating story but, maybe it is all fake.
  • I need to see these prints of fish. Now.
  • Josh snoops on Sara’s Ellen and says she’s pretty! OF COURSE ELLEN IS PRETTY! She’s an angel. #TeamEllen.
  • SO MUCH NEW INFORMATION!
  • Two different timelines?!?
  • Possible Jewish pickle factory owners.
  • (I can’t even translate what I wrote next….it’s A LOT of arrows. Like a paper murder board. I need a cork board, push pins and red string. STAT!)
  • Josh, HOW DID YOU VERIFY EMAIL KAREN? I want to know your vetting process.
  • Patricia….Patty? Patty, with the crystals? One in the same? I mean, come on….they have to be, right?
  • Patrica is a visionary. Wind chimes are playing. Pain? Joy? Seekers? Psychly? Is psychly a word? Da Fuq is happening?
  • I want a pet portrait done of Jewelie….how do I make that happen?
  • What’s a SOUL MAP?

WHAT DID I JUST LISTEN TOO?