Femoir the Podcast – Season 3, Episode 97: Goo Goo for Goggins

My podcasting platform, though reliable for years, has been acting like a real douchebag this morning. So I apologize in advance if these show notes are published before the episode finally figures itself out. How embarrassing would that be!?

Anyhoo, this episode I focus on all things David Goggins. I talk about his book, Can’t Hurt Me and reference one of my favorite recent obsessions, Jocko.

We talk about why you might want to listen to bullies, how to properly stare at yourself in the mirror, and I say “asterisk” multiple different ways.

Don’t forget to rate and subscribe!

 

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Quiet Time

I’m not always great about finding time to do the things I love. For whatever reason, they tend to be the first things that get pushed by the wayside when I get busy.

Writing is one of those things. And in some ways, as you can tell by my more inconsistent posting, it’s fallen a little by the wayside.

Part of that is genuinely time. As I promised not long ago, my schedule is dramatically changing. While I’m still writing and creating, it’s taking different facets. I’m also juggling a few things at the moment that will all hopefully shake out soon so that they don’t all have to be juggled at once because one of them will take off. But until then, my time is even more limited.
So I’ve had to get smart about the free time I have available. I’ve had to learn to combine certain things I enjoy doing to make sure I’m always getting the most out of every activity. And that has meant combining two things I love that I don’t make enough time for right now- exercise and meditation time.

I know it’s the norm anymore to bring music with you to workout or run. It really can help pass the time. For a long time, I’ve enjoyed listening to podcasts, stories, audiobooks and lectures while working out. It keeps my imagination stimulated while I get my sweat on.

KIDquiettime11 2But lately, I’ve been in a bit of stimulation over-drive. For good reasons. So I’ve had to shift my focus. Now, when I’m running or lifting or yoga or whatever-ing, I leave the music at home. I don’t even bring my phone with me. I don’t want the distraction. I want to just enjoy the sights and sounds for a short period of time and let my own thoughts take over. Those thoughts, as I know from my (unfortunately sporadic) meditation, like to run wild. But as long as I breathe and keep a mantra, whether it be “just to that car” or “I feel good” or “I trust myself” or “don’t look weak to the passersby,” I can get through it. And when I get back to my apartment and I finally start letting the world back into my headspace, I find I’m much calmer and more in tune and in touch with what’s going on around me.

Plus, sometimes I even say “hi” to another runner. Or pet a giant loveable dog named Hero and have a conversation with the owner because I was open and not distracted by my podcasts.

That being said, I still love my podcasts.

But too much of a good thing, even imagination stimulation, can be detrimental to your mental. So don’t go mental. Be sentimental. And get quiet.

Not super proud of how I ended this but, heck, it’s been a while so cut me some slack.

The “Just Kidding” Weapon

When I was growing up, we had one particular rule I remember my parents implemented right about when I was a tween that irked me at first. I later realized this tiny tweak made a huge difference on not only on the type of humor I like and create, but also the type of person I’ve become.

What, say you, was this small but significant rule?

My brother and I were not allowed to say something mean then follow it up with “I’m just kidding.”

mean faceWe had to implement this rule because we were doing just that. We were yelling at each other (usually I did the yelling… my brother was more precise and cutting with his words and I just yelled loudly and incoherently most of the time), and we’d say something like “You’re stupid!” then follow it up with “I’m just kidding!”. We’d then act like somehow by saying we were kidding it made it ok and the other person was overreacting or had a bad sense of humor.

When really we were not kidding. We meant to insult the other one.

I found my parent’s rule to be worthless at first. I found it to be limiting and started convincing myself they, too, had bad senses of humor. But they were relentless in their enforcement of it and it didn’t take too long before I just stopped the insults because I knew they were meant to be insulting. I had to get more creative if I wanted something to actually be funny. I realized that by pretending something was “funny” when it was really just mean, I was being lazy and I was being vicious. I never want to be either of those things, so I just stopped.

Years later, as I attempt to make a professional career out of “just kidding,” I make a solid point to make sure my humor (hopefully) reflects positivity and happiness. I want it to only be used as a “weapon” for situations where tensions are high and people need to be disarmed and remember we have more in common with each other than we tend to remember. I made a concerted effort and a specific choice to back off more polarizing careers and interests of mine in order to focus on humor partially because I love using it as a means to bring people together.

Plus I’m a lot better at selling a joke than I am at selling an argument.

I still hear people do it. I hear people say cruel things then, often passive aggressively, blame the very person they were insulting for “not getting it” because they were “just joking.” I call bullshit. You weren’t joking. You were being mean. So if you don’t want to be mean, don’t say mean things. Don’t try and protect yourself with the lazy shroud of pretending you have a sense of humor and the other person doesn’t.

I have a great sense of humor. I enjoy a good roast and will be the first to make joke’s at my own expense. But if I feel like the intentions behind your “insult” aren’t actually for the purposes of being funny but because you’re being mean, I’ll be the first one to turn on you.

So don’t be lazy. And don’t be mean. Just… be cool. Dawwwwwg.

Ice Ice Vengeance

Alright stop. Collaborate and listen.

Or read.

Whatever you get the point.

Long before I was an aspiring young hip hop artist and freestyle rapper, I was but a mere high school student in speech class attending a private Jesuit school in Indianapolis. I used to do speeches I thought were hilarious. I showed how to properly paint nails by asking the notoriously mean assistant dean to let me paint his nails pink. I wrote silly skits with friends and pretended my mic was going in and out of speeches during really important parts. I did shit I thought was hilarious.Rap singer Vanilla Ice in 1991. (AP Photo)

One of the attempts I made at hilarity was when I tried to have all of the lyrics of “Ice Ice Baby” memorized to deliver as an extemporaneous dramatic monologue reading to the class. This is before my years of improv and my years onstage. I was nervous. I wanted to be funny. I was 16 and really invested in this being hilarious. I listened to the song on repeat for hours. I looked up the lyrics and went out of my way to memorize it. I remember putting specific verses on repeat while driving on spring break in order to get it down.

And the day of my speech, I brought up a cheat sheet in case I forgot.

And I failed.

Miserably.

I memorized parts of the song, sure, but I was so nervous I didn’t trust myself and looked down so much I screwed up a lot and lost my place. It was uncomfortable and far from funny for everybody. I remember looking at a note a person who shall remain unnamed wrote to someone else. It said simply “What do Briana and unfunny have in common? Everything.”

To be fair, that was the meanest things got in my school. And I bet if I had confronted him about it, he would have apologized. I went to a really nice school and had, for the most part, really nice classmates. Yeah we were all teenage assholes, but we weren’t terrifying bullies.

But still, because I was so invested in making that performance where I failed and I was so convinced deep down in me that me rapping that was hilarious, I didn’t give up. Shortly after the speech I put my memorization in to hyperdrive and had that song down within the week. I didn’t get the chance to redo my speech, but I began making it my go-to karaoke song. And I began to let my inner entertainer loose and go crazy with the performance because I knew it so well. My senior year, I showed off my skills in the Black Student Union talent show, enlisted a friend to do the background vocals and performed the hell out of the song in front of a huge audience wearing a colorful dress with shoulder pads that I found at a local thrift store. I got a screaming standing ovation.

By the time I got to college, I would bring tiny podunk karaoke bars in Cincinnati  to a halt after performing the song. I go nuts whenever it’s played. I did it once at a beer festival in St. Louis and was immediately bought three drinks. I did it in a bar in Toronto and was given a shot and hugs by a gaggle of strangers. I did it a couple months ago in Santa Monica at a wine bar and had a man beg me to leave my boyfriend to be with him afterwards. (Spoiler alert: Didn’t work.)

What I’m saying is… I annihilate this song now.

And I’ll be honest, every time I do it, I still think of that epic fail in speech class when I was 16 years old and that passive aggressive note I saw on that guy’s desk afterwards. And every time, there is an angsty teenager inside me going “Take that, [insert guy’s name here]. Ya dick.”

Sometimes it’s ok to fail. In fact, often it’s ok to fail. Let the failure be a teacher and your frustration fuel you to new levels.

And once you stop giving so much of a shit, you too can become a local karaoke comedy rock star.

Yo man let’s get outta here. Word to your mother.

Why I’m Monogamous

Monogamy-SWANSI grew up in a family with a mom and a dad in the traditional-valued Midwest who are still married after over 35 years together. Every relationship I knew and saw growing up I took for granted that they were monogamous. Of course I didn’t know the in’s and out’s of other people’s business- because it wasn’t my business so I certainly didn’t need to know- but it was the underlying assumption. It was the culture I grew up in. I heard stories of my grandpa doting on my grandmother. I saw my father doing the same to my mother. Every healthy relationship I saw in and out of my family was on based on monogamy.

For those of you salivating right now thinking, “My god! She’s gonna delve into details of her personal life! She never does that! I can’t wait!” Sorry. No go. No details. Generalizations and philosophy only. I don’t like other people knowing my personal business. Because it ain’t yours.

Though I do like talking the juicy details of yours. Feel free to dish because I genuinely love that shit.

But here’s what I will say:

A couple years ago, I got thrown into a loop. I was introduced to the notion that monogamy might be an unfair cultural expectation that we force upon our relationships and thereby nearly doom them to fail because in many ways it’s unnatural. I read the book, “Sex At Dawn,” which is an extremely interesting and fair assessment of how we’ve become what we’ve become in terms of our cultural expectations of our traditional relationships. It makes a strong case for reevaluating how we view the nature of our relationships and how they can better serve our own innate human sexuality.

And over the past couple years, I got to really evaluate and asses what that means to me. Like the good student I am, I was willing to question completely my own belief systems and challenge them. I had a number of first-hand experiences where I got to learn and question and be open to different lifestyles that what I was accustomed to. I willingly tried on different values to see if something fit me better or enhanced my lifestyle in unexpected ways. I challenged myself, grew, and learned a whole lot about what I truly want in life.

I learned, at my core, that I’m still monogamous by nature. Or maybe it was by nurture. Either way, that’s the path for me.

I challenged it. I pretended I wasn’t. I tried to be the chick that strings along a lot of dudes. I tried to be the person who didn’t care about certain things and cared a lot about others. But no matter how many ways I stretched it, my mind always snapped back to the basic ideas I grew up with. I wasn’t my best self. I was weirdly insecure and indecisive. I sacrificed too much of my basic wants and needs and ended up losing myself. And learned from the process.

But the biggest reason why? I’m too busy for anything but monogamy.

That’s basically it. I’ve got too many other passions and projects on my plate. If I have a partner help me, support me, and delight me as I sail through these adventures, that’s all I want. I don’t need anything else. I appreciate the people who explore other lifestyles because it’s obviously important to them. And I appreciate that my choices aren’t for everyone. If I’m happy and satisfied, I’m too busy nurturing and caring for and investing in my partner to worry about what’s out there that I might be missing. I actually like working through things. I like being challenged and growing. I don’t believe in our constantly upgrading culture that seems to think our happier self is outside of the world we have access to right now. As long as I got a guy who wants the same things in life, and we’re bringing out the best in each other, that’s all I need. And I’ll save the rest of my energy for the millions of other elements of this life that I’m passionate and curious about.

Let me be clear- if you’re not happy in a relationship and it’s not salvageable, certainly move on. I don’t believe that we all have to mate for life and resign ourselves to whatever fate we chose in a partner when lives and people and wants and needs can change in dramatic and unforeseeable ways. You have to be true to yourself and your own happiness. So you have to be willing and open to whatever that means for you.

It’s just for me, I have a tendency to go all in with anything I’m investing in. Whether it’s a project or a person, I get focused on making the most of any opportunity. And if I spread that focus out too thin, I don’t feel like I’m giving it my best. And it’s not everything it could be. And then I regret it. And wonder what it could have been if I had just been more willing to focus on it.

So that’s what I do. I focus. I get tunnel-visioned. I invest. I care. And I’m willing to take whatever emotional blows come with actually caring about the outcome of something. I’m willing to go this distance and fight to the end of the line. If it ends, so be it. But at least I can know I gave it my all.

Plus, romantic relationships are just one element of life. There are so many wonderful things to experience and learn and create. Ain’t nobody got time for dat.

And by nobody, I mean me.

And by dat, I mean dating multiple people.

But different strokes for different folks. My own values and choices are certainly not meant to threaten or judge anyone’s lifestyle. You do you, honeybear. What you do in the privacy of your own home between consenting adults is none of my business.

Unless you want to make it my business and tell me about it. In which case, like I said before, I’ll totally be into because I’m a sucker for listening to other people’s love lives.

Though sharing the details of my own isn’t my thing. Nor is sharing in general.

So if you’re the lucky suitor who wins my affections- you my boo, my bae, my mans, my babymomma- good luck and may God have mercy on your soul.

A Time to Talk…

toilet…And a Time to Pee

If you know anything about my personality, you know I am extremely efficient with my time. I’m all about time-management and organization. I’m extremely organized and like to make the most of my day. So much so, I recently started a business that allows me to help other people do the same.

But there is one thing I will never do.

I don’t carry on conversations while on the toilet, people. I just don’t do it.

Now, listen. I’m reasonable. I have a partner who when I was once chatting with for the first time on Skype, really had to go to the bathroom but didn’t want to interrupt our flow, so he or she may have used it while we continued to chat. Yes, it wasn’t my style. But I didn’t care all that much because I’m a comedian and that shits hilarious. And it didn’t have any negative outcome on our excellent partnership.

So I get it. Sometimes you really gotta go.

But, for the most part, can we keep our regular conversations off the toilet? I was in a public restroom not long ago and a woman was chit chatting about nothing while sitting in the stall next to me. It was weird. I didn’t feel right. Why continue to have the conversation? Call them back. If it’s not an emergency… call them back. You’re peeing. It’s weird.

And believe you me, if anyone enjoys a good potty humor joke, it’s this chick. But I don’t enjoy a joke that’s told to me while on the potty. (Yes, I call it a potty. I’ve babysat a lot. Deal with it.) Or anyone saying anything to anyone else while peeing. Because you’re peeing. So just, like, pee. And get it over with. Don’t multi-task. Just do it. Then wipe and wash and move on.

I would love to spend the rest of this article going on about the logic behind this request. Or have some profound insight into why it is that it feels so wrong to do this. But I don’t have anything. It’s just weird. So… like, don’t do it anymore, humans of earth? Ok?

Thanks.

Armband

armandI got a little luxury lately.

It’s really not a big deal.

It’s a minor change. Something I used to have but didn’t upgrade and lived without for years.

Can you guess what it is?

I’ll give you a hint.

It’s pictured here.

I got an armband for my iPhone while I workout.

I’m really excited about it.

It’s so simple, I know. I just never made the commitment to getting one because I always tucked my phone (which I keep around for music purposes not for phone calls, silly) in my pants. Or sometimes in the back of my bra.

Yeah, it was sweaty. Yeah, it often slipped down and caused me to embarrassingly have to go chasing for it. Yeah, it was uncomfortable. But it was cheap so I liked it.

But I finally caved and got an armband. Well, to be fair, my mother bought it for me for Christmas. Because we all know I don’t spend money on such frivolities (god, I really do sound like such a scrooge!).

The point is, I’ve used it every day. And I love it. And it’s wonderful.

Sometimes you really should invest in the little things that can make such a big difference.

Happy Birthday, Padre

Today is my dad’s birthday. I’ve talked about how much I adore this man and his incredible creativity and sense of humor before.

In honor of his birthday, I’ve published live one of my latest creations from one of my strangest characters. Check out “Meet Zee: Documentary of a Weirdo” live online now.

I don’t mind if you don’t get her. She’s not for everyone. And I know my dad will love it. And that’s all I care about.

Love you daddy. Now enjoy your weirdo daughter.

Prince Charming

prince charmingIncredible news, everyone.

For those of you who have ever followed this blog in any capacity, you know that I make up relationships in my head with men I see regularly at the gym. (Click here and here and here for some samples.)

For those of you who have never read this blog before, I’ll clarify. Yes, I’m a friggin weirdo.

Anyway, I have big news. I saw the most perfect human being you could ever see. And he was at the gym. And he was beautiful.

He wore all black. He looked like a male model. And this is LA, so he probably is a male model. If I were a creepy old man with a “modeling” business and business card, I totally would have approached him to model for me.

Who am I kidding. If I had my business cards on me, I would have approached him to model for me anyway.

Of course I didn’t talk to him. That’s not how these things go. Instead, I stared silently from a distance.

I actually lucked out. He chose a spot in the gym that was near where one of the stretching mats is. I stretched for much, much longer than I normally do because I could steal looks at him.

He was beautiful. I know if I see him again it’ll totally be meant to be and true love and we’ll ride off to a magical castle together and live happily ever after forever and ever.

 

 

Steve Hofstetter is Hilarious

MetaPhysicalComedyHofstetter copyI was lucky enough to interview Steve Hofstetter for my podcast Metaphysical Comedy which I co-host and co-produce with Jose Sarduy.

Steve has a new comedy show on Fox called Laughs.

And he has an interesting perspective on what lies beyond. Check it out in his podcast and show notes.

If you get a chance, be sure to listen and subscribe to the podcast.