Birthdays are weird. Or, they can be. Usually because people either have crazy expectations for what their celebration should look like or for where they think they should be in life. Valerie and Regina discuss what makes a birthday "good" or "bad," the pressure of wishing someone a happy birthday on Facebook, celebrating birth "months" or "weeks," surprise parties, and those flowers from the 80s that were sent to people in long boxes. Plus, Demolition Man, damn good ice cream, and Valerie uses feminism to justify a confrontation with line cutters in an organic grocery store.
Author and journalist Wendy Paris talks about good divorce and her book "Splitopia: Dispatches from Today's Good Divorce and How to Part Well." Paris, who has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, and New York Observer talks about her own experience with divorce, why endings aren't failures, how to be your highest self in the midst of a painful divorce by following her 7 principles of parting. She also touches on the topic of dealing with friends (divvying up?) post-divorce, throwing divorce parties, counseling and prenups, and the consciously uncoupled: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin and other celebrities whose divorces were not the worst things ever, like Jennifer Gardner.
Comedian Wyatt Tall joins Reg and Val to chat about the New York Times best seller The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo, an expert folder and possible sociopath. Wyatt shares his experience following the KonMari Method and explains how the process of minimizing his belongings and keeping only items that bring him joy has led him to make positive change in his life. Also, personifying and showing gratitude for your possessions; how to pronounce feng shui, theater, and umbrella; the rhythm method; excessive blenders; spotting Kurt Russell at SXSW; and tips for DIY aromatherapy.
Valerie and Reggie answer listener questions about Tinder and the online dating rat race: managing expectations when someone isn't into you, attracting people with snappy openers, and parting ways without being a ghosting asshole. If you're feeling bummed about dating, do things that make you feel good: hang out at your independent book seller, buy lipstick, or books about lipstick, go to Six Flags, and get back in the game. If you want to introduce yourself with a match, never ask how they're doing. We have evolved past cordial nonversation and need to be more attention getting. Tired of a person you've been seeing? STOP GHOSTING. Be an adult about it and send them a simple text saying you're no longer interested. This is a civilized society, people! Tantric sex is strictly for rich, white people.
James C. Leary, best known for playing Clem on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, talks about his career path from performing improv at Texas A&M and learning from Charna Halpern and Del Close in Chicago to moving to Hollywood to write features and act in shows like: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the telenovela Los Beltran, The Comeback, and a lot of commercials. We talk about the struggles of wanting validation from complete strangers and having an unquenchable thirst to perform. He gives advice for breaking into the industry and shares his experience leaving LA to focus on getting sober and to cultivate a creative life outside of Hollywood: representing his Buffy character at conventions, writing about becoming a G-List Celebrity for GeekNation, and performing in Austin, Texas. We also hear his Cockney accent.
Regina talks about codependency, the "disease of the lost self," and recovery from it, based on her own experiences and the resources she's found helpful such as Melody Beattie's book Codependency No More. What does codependent behavior look like? Valerie uses this opportunity to figure out whether or not she is codependent. Regina thinks Brangelina are a little unhealthy and Valerie, wary of the altruistic, dares to ask the question on on all our minds...Mother Teresa: nice gal or codependent? Plus, Ash Wednesday, "kind of" Catholicism, Uruguayan massage therapists named Jorge, and panties vs. undies vs. knickers.
Scott Adair, a financial advisor associate, gives us the skinny on what we should all be doing to prepare for retirement. He tells us the difference between a stock and a bond and why investing in gold is probably not smart, talks about index funds, gives us strategies to get over fear of saving money and educate ourselves about investing with sites like investopedia. He also talks about socially responsible investing (SRI, investing strategies that consider both financial return and social good (e.g., green companies, companies that pay equally). We also talk about Wall Street, Gordan Gecko, and The Wolf of Wall Street, and learn why hiding money in your mattress isn't a good a investment strategy but could be a good idea if you're mattress needs extra support.
We have a helpful and insightful conversation about death positivity with Sarah Wambold, a hip funeral director who's been working with dead folks for 10 years. Why are we so reluctant to talk about death, and what good might come out of addressing it? Plus Making a Murderer (Sarah's from Wisconsin and has an insider's scoop), classic morgue stories, necrophilia, Six Feet Under, natural burials and natural cemeteries, the importance of rituals, funeral playlists, and the worst band in the world: Blue October. Regina plans her funeral. Valerie remembers an encounter at the medical examiner's office.
Not sure what the "best" way to be is at a funeral? Here are Sarah's funeral etiquette tips, that differ, depending on who you are in relationship to the deceased:
General Funeral Etiquette Guidelines
Comedian, actress, and online dater Kim Stacy shares her experience with dating apps Tinder and Bumble. Her advice for successful dating: be honest about your intentions, use photos that highlight your personality, know your hell nos, never leave anything you want to see again at a guy's house, and be selective about giving out your digits. Oh, and always flirt with a Baldwin brother, even if it's the bloated one from Celebrity Intervention. We cover what makes an activity good for a first meeting (drinks/coffee) and what could be a trap (lengthy miniature golf courses). Regina can't stand the large number of men posing with fish on dating apps. Valerie will date a 55 year old if he looks like Hugh Laurie. Everyone would date Luke from Gilmore Girls.
We treat sleep like an unwanted houseguest inconveniencing our lives, but it's damn important. In this episode we have tips for better sleep as suggested by the National Sleep Foundation and notorious rich and privileged sleeper: Gwyneth Paltrow. Things that encourage sleep: night time rituals (freaky), adhering to a schedule (boring), avoiding naps and corndogs (what is the purpose of life?). Good advice for anyone who suffers from insomnia or who could just stand to take better care of her/himself. We finally learn what a duvet cover is and what makes Egyptian cotton so Egyptian.
This episode contains all things scatalogical. Regina "prefers air fresheners" Soto has allergies and Valerie "big fan of matches" Nies discovers the portmanteau of your Help Wanted hosts is "VAGINA" (pronounced vageena).
Pee shyness is an actual, real issue, that affects one out of ten men and any woman in a new relationship. Poop is an automatic relationship killer. Celebrities use a lot of toilet paper and Regina has tips for office bathroom etiquette: don't talk on your phone, don't make small talk, clean up after yourself (who's always making the bathroom a mess? ISIS?), and always use a courtesy flush. Plus what your stall preference says about you, and a listener poll regarding UTIs and yeast infections that surely no one will take part in.
Did you know that sugar gunks up your organ systems? And that sugar actually has no health benefit? And did you know that Valerie once accidentally killed her college roommate's fish? Sarah Marie Curry, a sugar free aficionado and author of the blog Unsweetened Sarah Marie, informs us on all things sugar, explains why it's bad news, and shares her experience kicking the stuff. Regina informs us there are 56 names for the word sugar. If you're not quite ready to kick sugar to the curb, Sarah Marie shares tips for easing in slowly to find out what works best for you.
Is it ever appropriate to contact an ex? Do we seek validation from our past loves? Regina's ex creepily contacts her. Valerie believes you can be friends with ex and frequency of contact can increase the farther away they live and lengthier the time you've spent apart. She thinks maybe there's an equation somewhere in that theory. Justin "Throw Some Skin in the Game" Dehn is a big believer in a 3 to 6 month post-breakup moratorium on talking to exes. He's the most mature, highest road taker when it comes to running into exes. Regina and Valerie share tips about when it's appropriate (on a birthday or when someone dies) and when it's not (when you're drunk and lonely or you need some wood hauled) to reach out to an ex. And the whole gang brainstorms ideas for getting over an ex: banging a drum at a sweat lodge, visiting Haiti, or blowing it out a little with some Montreal rebound sex. #ThereforeTrue #PainIsHard
Do you take risks in your life? Or are you too afraid? Margie Warrell, author of Brave and Stop Playing It Safe, suggests these tips to practice taking more risks in your life:
1. Acknowledging Your Fear.
2. Taming Your Fear.
3. Harnessing the Power of Your Fear.
We visit with Britney Salyer, a risk taker, who spent 3 years Eat-Pray-Loving in SE Asia, a land of helmet-less motorbiking toddlers and breakfast-for-dinner eaters. In short, a land of risk takers. Britney tells us about hostile hostels and nearly dying in Phnom Penh. Valerie mispronounces Phuket, and we learn Regina watches a lot of TV. Plus a risk-taking quiz listeners can take along with us to determine if they have the balls to bungee jump through life or if they'd rather read a book while staying at a resort of nerdy introverts.
We talk about the grossest-tasting, yet, best-working wellness vitamins, Instacart, parents, nightmare next door neighbors, and murder-rapists (mapists). How will Valerie deal with her mom bringing all of the sugar from the upper Midwest to Austin for the holidays? Regina has tips on gift-giving, guilt-ridden gifts, and bow overcompensation. Wanna know how to have an effective breakdown around your family in the organic dairy section of the grocery store? Valerie's got the answers. If you'd rather learn about how to deal with family over the holidays sans breakdowns, we have tips from the much more qualified Therese Borchard. Last but not least, how helpful are gift cards and aromatherapy diffusers?
How are we supposed to deal with an onslaught of ongoing terrible news? Valerie and Regina get tips on preparing for a mass shooting in the workplace or a Cici's Pizza from the Department of Homeland Security, the Art of Manliness blog, and survivalist coworkers. Plus an interview with Laura, the high school teacher who teaches aging in her sociology class by letting her students watch Big. She describes a high school mass shooting drill and why moving to Denmark or cowering in fear are not the answers to avoiding tragedy. Plus Regina and Laura make Valerie jealous when they share stories of hot grocery store workers throwing apples in their faces. Does anyone know what a parsnip is?