Is happiness overrated? We spend a lot of money and time working toward being happy. But all this happiness seeking doesn't actually mean we will be. Instead of trying to live a happy life, some say we should try to build meaningful lives. This is much more attainable. Also, just because you're happy doesn't mean you'll live and longer and super duper happy people are kind of a drag. Are you unhappy? Reggie has a list of traits that characterize chronically unhappy people. Plus, Diane Von Furstenberg, laughter yoga, Victor Frankel, Carnation instant milk and raw eggs, Noxema, and Thanksgiving relative angst. Sponsored by Fuck It I'm Changing Plans and Boycotting Thanksgiving Travel Insurance, the insurance that recognizes holiday travel is contingent only if you're candidate, the right candidate, the candidate who doesn't advocate white supremacy wins.
Okay what the fuck. What the fuck happened? What the fuck do we do now? Why the fuck do we have a stress rash? The five stages of fucking grief: denial (no fucking way), anger (this is a fucking joke and I will never fucking accept it), bargaining (bring back fucking Bush/Cheney; I will take 3 fucking terms of Mitt Romney), depression (fucking pizza, fucking starvation, fucking sex, fucking drugs, fucking booze), and fucking acceptance? (not fucking yet, but why the fuck is the media acting like this is normal? This isn't fucking normal? Why are we not taking to the streets?????).
We also share what has helped us not fucking slit our wrists thus far.
WHAT THE FUCK???
There are big ways to self-sabotage, and a lot of subtle ways we do it every day: not making decisions because we feel like we have too many options, procrastinating, quitting goals when they get tough, are a few. We have tips to recognize when you're self-sabotaging so you have a better chance at stopping. Plus, the best peanut butter cup is the Reese's Easter version, duct tape fixes everything, and sinuses are scary.
You know who's present? The Dalai Lama, and it's probably because of his comfy wardrobe choice. Reggie and Valerie get down to business and talk practical tips for how to be present, even when you're overwhelmed with activities or if you have goals and ambitions you're working toward. Plus Valerie has noisy neighbors and Regina learns that one way to a man's , or at least a hot plumber's heart, is through her sewer pipes. Fun fact: flushable wipes aren't actually flushable! Sponsored by Haul-A-Boy, if you're a woman in your twenties in an existential crisis, relax! All you have to do is date an aimless, charming underachiever who doesn’t have a car. Chauffeuring a boy to band practice in your Toyota Camry while he writes song lyrics in the passenger seat is the perfect way to avoid your own goals! You gain a temporary sense of purpose and relief from the anxiety about your life’s choices and he gets a personal car service to meet his buddy Johan at the skate park, without paying for car insurance! Haul-A-Boy!
Lauren Cohen, a therapist with Hope and Humor Therapy, tells us why vulnerability is so important for us to lead full and healthy lives. What is vulnerability? Probably anything that makes you feel "UGH, ICK, EEK" when revealing it. She gives advice for how to be more open in revealing our secret, squishy spots and how to be okay when someone is being vulnerable with us (the horror!). Also there's a difference between being vulnerable and emotionally barfing on someone. She also gives us tips for how to shut it down when someone is being too open with us: tell them "I feel weird for you." This episode is one you'll want to keep in your self-help back pocket. Plus, Reggie's feeling overwhelmed, Valerie has Austin Film Festival recommendations, and fall is kinda finally here! Sponsored by Autumn in Austin, a season of unnecessary scarves and covering with wool blankets despite it still be 80 degrees.
Uninspired by her job and wanting to experience living abroad, Barbara Beeson joined the Peace Corps and taught math in the Namibian desert during her late twenties. She tells Help Wanted about the bustling bar scene in Namibia, brown bread (apartheid bread?), hitchhiking, and the cultural shifts she experienced in going and returning to the U.S. Also, it's not as hard as one would imagine to find tampons in Sub-Saharan Africa. This episode sponsored by No Man Is An Island Thousand Island Dressing.
Valerie and Reggie excel at procrastination. There are a million ways we procrastinate. We have tips on how to procrastinate less (remember the satisfaction you feel when you erase something from a whiteboard). Sometimes (sometimes) procrastination can even be good for you. If you get 7 things done while you're procrastinating one thing, well look how productive you are! Regina likes a red accent wall. Valerie likes a red lipstick. Plus Kim Kardashian's misfortune: real or another attempt to break the internet? Reggie's excited about Krav maga and pole dancing, and Valerie finally, finally, finally has a floor and knows how to use an air compressor! This episode is sponsored by Standup Comic Standup Desks!
Is choosing a childless life selfish? How are we supposed to deal with shame or societal pressures? And do men feel pressure to have kids too? Valerie and Reggie talk about the reasons people choose to not have children with another childless soul: JD. Plus Reggie celebrated her birthday by watching the sexual assault documentary Audrey and Daisy. After months of asking strangers about whether or not she should, Valerie finally cut bangs. This episode sponsored by Faux Kids, the monthly subscription service that transforms single, childless professionals into parents, but only while they're at work. For just $9 a month, Faux Kids will equip you with all the props necessary to fake out your coworkers and convince them you have children.
25 Famous Women on Childlessness
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from the middle of September through the middle of October. Reggie and Valerie get to the bottom of why it exists and what Hispanic heritage is all about: fun facts about Cesar Chavez and the nuances between the terms Latino and Hispanics. Regina wants to be a pole dancer for a second and is not a fan of cilantro. Valerie is into dance regular but can't make a peach pie. Plus Regina and Valerie recount awful foods they've eaten all in the name of codependent lovin. This episode sponsored by Home Warranty of America, the number one home warranty company of North Korean dictators, jihadists, people who fart in TSA lines, and the Kardashian family.
Grocery shopping is a drudgery, but why do we hate it so much and how can we hate it less? Pay more and go to a tiny store, get em delivered, go during an off time (late at night when the parking lot knifers are out), and get to know your market managers! Plus Puffins, eggplants, Costco, and we debunk the myths of Trader Joe's. Regina is drinking a lot of water, and Valerie is on hold with Home Warranty of America. This episode is sponsored by Which Bill, the app that helps you answer the question: Is that Bill Pullman? Or Bill Paxton?
Creative blocks are the worst. We talk with our pal Dena, a fiction writer, about her creative process, what a creative block looks like, and how to carve a path through it. We discuss the helpfulness of writing residencies, morning pages, writing groups, and journals. Plus some of the most fun and/or ridiculous ways to procrastinate (take the LSAT; enter Goodreads contests), and poets are weird. Dena shares a sample of her work, some of which has also appeared in online journals like JMWW, The Toast, The Butter; she is also working on a novel and is an editor of Elsewhere Lit. This episode sponsored by Zinkle Face Cream, the first face cream that zaps zits and prevents wrinkles, especially formulated for skin that's having an identity crisis. If your skin is in adolescent/adult purgatory, try Zinkle!
Perhaps the best diet of all involves letting go of diet mentality altogether.Sounds scary right? Reggie read the book Intuitive Eating and gives us the skinny on how to be cool with your body no matter what it looks like, plus tips for eliminating restrictive eating, making peace with food (like signing a treaty or chanting in a sweat lodge or something?), and nutritionists. Help Wanted loves Billy Eichner; weekends are for no bras; the Food Network is everyone's favorite; and Valerie cleans her bathroom naked. This episode sponsored by BoxBox, the monthly subscription service that delivers a box full of boxes direct to your door.
Returning home from a trip can be an adjustment and it's normal to feel out of sorts. Frustration with your current life and boredom could be the cause for post-travel depression. Vacations can shake us out of our routine and prepare us to take a look at whether or not we want to make changes in our lives. If you're always returning from a trip depressed, take a look at your life and see what you can do to make it more fulfilling. Find gratitude in your travels and appreciate them for what they are: valid and important moments of your life. Also, RIP John McLaughlin, Valerie worked at an adult video store a million years ago and hates gorgonzola cheese. Reggie is a fan of scary books, gyros, and a sharp cheddar cheese. This episode sponsored by Sally Sam's Juniper Jam, the perfect gift for people you'd rather not give anything to.
Maureen Brown and her husband, Marc, tried to conceive for a couple of years before receiving help from a fertility specialist, ultimately procreating a smart and beautiful little girl. In their struggle to conceive on their own, however, they discovered they could offer something to other people struggling with the same thing. They saw a need for an at-home pregnancy syringe, a syringe specifically purposed for at-home artificial insemination. While the turkey baster method has been around for some time (probably since the Pilgrims?), there were no products on the market specifically designed for vaginal insertion, and none that imitated what a penis actually does. The couple did some research, consulted with people in the know, and ultimately designed and co-invented a pregnancy syringe, called the Mosie Baby Syringe, which is now available for anyone who wants to conceive. In fact they used it themselves to conceive their second child. For more information on this device that helps get sperm where it needs to be for the purposes of procreation, visit www.mosiebaby.com. This episode sponsored by Kerfuffles, the potato chips you'll fight over.
The heat is getting to everyone, so Help Wanted tackles complaining in this episode. Really though we just want an excuse to whine about our own pet peeves and get some annoyances about TWC off our chests (much like a breast reduction surgery). Complaining excessively could increase stress and lead to a bunch of health problems. But also, complaining constructively could alleviate stress. Circle of life! Tomato, tomahto. Regina hates the word "adulting" and "hivemind." Valerie complains about "squad goals" and queso misunderstandings. Plus, DNC convention, Valerie's trip to Bismarck and her dream of opening a vintage shop, and Regina tries intuitive eating. This episode's sponsor: Napcakes, pancake pillows to help you sleep! Brought to you by the makers of Sleepytime Turkey Turnover Nightsnacks. Stop tossing and turning with a Sleepytime Turkey Turnover. Flaky, delicious and filled with Tryptophan, Sleepytime Turkey Turnovers are a good bet for a good night’s rest. Brought to you by Napcakes!
Tabby Story and Katy Troy, wellness advisors from Austin's Herb Bar join Valerie and Reggie to teach us all about herbal medicinal goods: essential oils, flower essences, stones, tinctures, and other alternative new agey therapies and how they can help us refocus our energies, bring us back to the present moment, and may be used as natural remedies for Regina's and Valerie's personal ailments. Plus good tips to balance those chakras and cleanse your crystals and stones. Sponsored by DropBoxers, a fart cloud file storage solution.
Folding or rolling? Reggie and Valerie talk best practices for suitcase packing, security line bias, and whether or not to wear compression stockings to combat long-flight deep vein thrombosis. Reggie won't use a coffee machine in a hotel room and loves Clorox wipes. Valerie loves taking a multipurpose scarf with her on a plane and offers this packing hack: just don't bring so much shit. This episode sponsored by Green Crockpot: soggy processed meals delivered straight to your door for people who don't have time to taste.
An episode all about TV! With zero Game of Thrones watchers. TV critic, writer, and comedian Erica Lies joins Help Wanted to talk about binge watching, how we watch TV these days, the shows she loves (OITNB, The Americans, Please Like Me, Brooklyn 99, all things British, among many others) and what she avoids (shows about dead girls). Plus she tells us about her grudge against the show Prison Break for taking Arrested Development's time slot, Twin Peaks' timelessness, and the correct pronunciation of rooibos (Roy Orbison?) tea. Reg lost 4 pounds and is mad that the world didn't know how great Gilmore Girls was when it originally aired. Valerie thinks Vera Formiga sounds like it would be delicious cheese grated on a plate of pasta.
With the ease of seeking information from WebMD comes additional anxiety. In the name of finding out more information about your symptoms, you could actually cause yourself to be sick with panic and anxiety. There are no win-win situations when it comes to being proactive about your health using the world wide web's symptom checkers. There are a couple of kinds of health-related anxiety: obsessively checking symptoms and avoiding dealing with issues altogether, including not watching television about medicine (good thing ER is no longer on the air). People who obsessively use the Internet to diagnose themselves and convince themselves they have a disease are called cyberchondriacs. Valerie is probably a cyberchondriac. Probably. Regina has tips for using the Internet for good when it comes to health. If you have a diagnosed medical condition you might be able to find support from other people with the same condition using Internet resources. Hernia is a stupid word, everyone has a vitamin D deficiency, and Regina used to play sand volleyball.
There are a ton of reasons why we overspend: depression, distraction, instant gratification, it's easy, and we have a hard time saying no to ourselves, etc. et al. etc. et al. But all this overspending leads to basements full of Beanie Babies and a lot of stuff no one actually wants. Regina has tips for how to budget like a pro: check your accounts, track your expenses, and rekindle your relationship with Excel. Plus, Regina might have a ghost, Valerie hates angels, OITNB, and celebrating reproductive victory with the SCOTUS ruling on HB2.
Did you know honey never spoils? And that bees are a completely female-dominated society? It's true, they're a bunch of feminists: Beyonces, Gloria Steinems, and Bette Midlers all up in that hive. Urban farmer and backyard beekeeper Christine Giordano chats with us in part 2 of our urban farming series about bees, royal jelly, and hazmat suits. Plus Jennifer Aniston, flesh-eating bacteria, Hugh Laurie, and Orange is the New Black.
Urban farmer Christine Giordano joins Help Wanted to talk backyard poultry: hens, ducks, and roosters and how she became an owner of menagerie. Why are chicken eggs different colors? Are chickens vegetarians or meat eaters? Do ducks have feelings? Plus Valerie and Regina check in about Orlando, alligator attacks, and the I-35 rock thrower, and their related anxiety. For more on all things urban farming, chickens, ducks, and more, check out Christine's blog Camp Farm.
What do we consider beautiful and why does it matter? If you're a woman you should definitely be pretty if you want to get ahead in your job. But not too pretty because then you might get fired. In the name of beauty Valerie has done some ridiculous things like buying face creams from a kiosk salesman named Antonio. Her Achilles heel is expensive face serums. And Italian men named Antonio. Regina tried a packaged food diet. Symmetry, good skin, full lips, and a square jaw are scientifically proven traits that make someone pretty. People are basically jerks because we assume the people who are symmetrical also exercise good judgement and are smart and great in every other way beyond good genes. Although you can't control whether or not you're symmetrical, you do have powerl over grooming, which is apparently accounts for 85% of attractiveness* so keep your nose clippers and eyelash curler nearby. Plus V&R talk expensive salads, cigarette diets, Elephant Man, and MFKing The Beatles.
*Not an actual fact-based statistic.
Radio host, comedy performer, dancer, and blogger Carissa McAtee (aka Carissa Jade/Jaded), joins Regina and Valerie to talk openly about body image issues and her experiences with disordered eating. She talks about being preoccupied with her own body image starting from a young age as a dancer, describes how eating disorders became a bonding activity between her friends, and shares about her weight fluctuation through the years, nearly making it on Biggest Loser, and what therapies worked for her to feel healthy about her own body (such as dialetical behaviorial therapy and radical acceptance).