340: Person of the What?

TW: Suicidal Ideation

Taylor Swift is Time’s Person of the Year, mostly thanks to our tireless promotion at Overtired. Brett’s having dark thoughts and the gang helps him clarify a few things.


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Person of the What?

[00:00:00] Brett: Hey, welcome to Overtired. I’m here with Christina Warren and Jeff Severins Gunsel. Uh, trigger warning at the top of the show. Um, we may be discussing some themes of suicidal ideation. Uh, we’ll see how that goes, but just, uh, just be warned if that is a trigger for you. Uh, maybe skip this one or fast forward to the next chapter.

[00:00:28] Brett: We’ll see. How are you guys doing? Better than you, obviously.

[00:00:33] Christina: I was to say, I well, I was doing okay. And then heard, uh, heard that. No. Um, I mean, I’m fine, but I’m, I’m more interested in how you’re doing.

[00:00:46] Jeff: Yeah, I feel like, uh, let’s, let’s, let’s go.

[00:00:49] Brett: Get that,

[00:00:50] Jeff: Hi, Brett. Hi, Christina.

[00:00:52] Mental Health Corner (TW: Suicidal Thoughts)

[00:00:52] Brett: Let’s get that off the plate at the top. So I have been going through. Some dark, uh, dark [00:01:00] thinking. And it’s not all the time. It’s, uh, especially evenings. I just, I start, I’m not planning suicide. I’m not thinking about what I would do or how I would do it or anything like that. I’m just thinking how much I would like to not be here.

[00:01:18] Brett: And, um, it’s not at the crisis level where I want to call a hotline, which I have done. Um, I’ve done the hotlines and, uh, anyone in Minnesota, 2 1 1 is a great resource. Uh, and Nationwide, 9 8 8 is a great resource, but, um, like I’m not It’s not at a crisis point where I’m like, if I don’t talk to someone, I’m going to hurt myself.

[00:01:43] Brett: Um, I’m not hurting myself, but the thoughts get very dark and they scare me. And I don’t like to tell anybody about them because people aren’t equipped to deal with that kind of, my partner isn’t equipped to deal with those [00:02:00] feelings. Um, they’re very scary when you hear someone close to you, or even tangentially.

[00:02:06] Brett: Like for me, when I, I was watching Welcome to Wrexham last night and I had been having a pretty good night. And then this girl that was kind of a main character in that episode, uh, talked about how her father had committed suicide and they were showing pictures of like him being happy and like a loving father.

[00:02:27] Brett: And just like, it hit me like how dark, how people can be so outwardly. affable, and be so hurting inside. And just hearing about other people and, and suicidal ideation and suicide itself, uh, it, it hits me in the gut. Like, I cry just like, I sob when I hear that stuff. Um, it feels, it feels a little too close to home for me.

[00:02:57] Brett: So, so that’s my mental health [00:03:00] check in. How are you guys doing?

[00:03:03] Christina: I’m really, really sad to, I mean, thank you for sharing that. I’m, I’m really, I, I completely understand the hesitancy in sharing this stuff because you’re right. People don’t know how to deal with it. And my experience is it’s, it’s one of two responses. It’s either people who are really disturbed and really upset by it, or, uh, what I would find is arguably even the worst response, which is they’re not concerned at all.

[00:03:26] Christina: They just assume that you’re full of shit and, and that, that you’re just saying stuff and that they

[00:03:31] Brett: Yeah, that, that would be awful. I, I haven’t run into that. Everyone who I have talked to takes it very seriously.

[00:03:38] Christina: um, with all respect, you’re a guy and, that, and, and that, that’s a, it’s a, it’s a massively, massively. Massively gendered thing. Um, uh, as, as mental health is in general.

[00:03:51] Christina: Um, you know, like, like women are, have been historically treated so differently when it comes to our mental health than men have. Like, we were the ones who were sent to sanitariums. [00:04:00] We were the ones who, you know, are called hysterical. Like it’s, it’s, it’s a whole thing. So. I am glad people are taking it seriously.

[00:04:08] Christina: Um, I makes me think, you know, you, you haven’t had, manic episodes in a while, right? But this definitely feels like this is like a depressive episode for, right. And, and as somebody who has been low key depressed for a couple of years and was in a really bad place, Earlier this year, um, you know, and I’m, I’m doing better now.

[00:04:30] Christina: Like I, I can completely relate to, to what you’re saying. Um, I hope that your, your doctor, you know, you can look at like med opportunities and other things to try to find the right balance.

[00:04:44] Brett: it’s weird Like I was I don’t have a relationship with my psychiatrist where I feel super Like I can tell her I’m doing okay. Like I I am by all measures like[00:05:00]

[00:05:00] Christina: But you’re not

[00:05:02] Brett: I know, I know,

[00:05:03] Christina: that this, th th this is the trap though. This is the trap. We’re doing okay. I’m not actually gonna do anything. I just sometimes think about it, and I just would maybe rather not exist. I’m not planning anything. I’m not actually going to, you know, take those steps. It’s fine. It’s not fine.

[00:05:19] Christina: Like that’s, that’s depression and that that needs to be worked on. And, and I, I get not having a relationship, maybe having that trust level,

[00:05:26] Brett: so I did have, I did have plans to talk to my therapist very seriously about it very openly. Um, like I am, I have developed, my relationship with her is very open and honest and I will tell her like exactly how much I drink. I will tell her exactly like how my relationship with Elle is going and And I had every intention of talking to her about this, but she got sick this week and cancelled, so I have to wait a week, which is, it’s fine, I’ll, I’ll make it, but, [00:06:00] um, she’s, she, more her than my psychiatrist, which, she doesn’t prescribe my meds, um, and the, the, the shitty thing about being bipolar is It’s hard to treat bipolar depression because every psychiatrist is worried that they’re going to make you manic by giving you antidepressants.

[00:06:21] Jeff: worse, they’re not worried.

[00:06:23] Christina: Right. Right. But, but in this case, I mean, I do, like talking to your therapist is great and I completely understand the, um, hesitancy of talking to, um, your psychiatrist. But if this is something like in most cases, at least in my experience, this isn’t something that it doesn’t just go away. Um, and, and given your bipolar and given like the, Other like history of, of stuff you’ve had, I would be concerned, you know, about like, is this a metalignment thing?

[00:06:53] Christina: So even though I completely understand not necessarily wanting to, to talk about this stuff, I do [00:07:00] also, I encourage you to talk to your psychiatrist. Um, because I, I think that, I think you have to, if, if, if you want to, you know, treat this the best way that you can.

[00:07:11] Brett: Yeah, I find myself trying to be so upbeat when I talk to her because I don’t want her to fuck with like, what is working. Um,

[00:07:19] Christina: and I, and I get it. Um, I, I completely, I, I, this year I get it more than anything. But, I also, like, is it really working? That would be the question I would ask. Um, you know what I mean? Like, like, cause, cause that, that’s, that’s the thing. Like, we can all be in our places. And, and this is why I think, like, depression is so fucking insidious.

[00:07:40] Christina: Is that We will convince ourselves, we’ll go through so many mental gymnastics to convince ourselves that we’re not depressed and that things aren’t that bad and that everything’s okay. And, and we go out of our way to hide things. And that is why, to your point, why there are people who will look on the outside like they just have.

[00:07:58] Christina: everything going for them and just have [00:08:00] the most awful personalities and are in a lot of pain and That is not an accident In my opinion, I think that most most of us who are depressed like you’re a very good liar. You’re a very good actor And, um, it, and part of that is because you feel a sense of shame around being depressed.

[00:08:19] Christina: You feel a sense of obligation to not let people know you’re depressed. You feel a sense of just general, like, embarrassment. And then also there’s this aspect of, Oh, well, if I just fake it, it’ll get better. And, and there’s a certain truth to You know, how you act and how you put yourself out can have a real impact on your mental health and your energy and whatnot.

[00:08:38] Christina: Like it certainly is better to be out with people, in my opinion, and to do exercise and do other stuff that can all genuinely have real, um, impact on, on your endorphins and on your serotonin levels, but it’s not enough to get you out of like a dark place. And, and so, um, we, we delude ourselves into thinking things aren’t that bad.

[00:08:59] Christina: [00:09:00] Um, and then. If it goes on too long, it is that bad. So

[00:09:05] Brett: have, I do have one friend who is also very open about her mental health. Um, and she suffers from extreme anxiety and depression and, um, and suicidal ideation, and I have been able to, um, be completely open with her and we can tell each other, you know, what you’re feeling isn’t. Real. Like, it’s real to you, but, but people do actually want you around and your life is actually important and we can, like, just basic affirmations.

[00:09:40] Brett: Um, and that has been really good for me. We have her over to the house once in a while and just have a fun evening, but then our Facebook messages are where, like, we can kind of confide our darker thoughts in each other and, and support each other. And she’s been really good for me.

[00:09:58] Christina: that’s really good. And I’m glad you have, you have a [00:10:00] person, um, like that. Um, you can talk to that openly. Um, cause I think it’s really important. And it’s rare, like even people who like, again, as you said, like people who. People in your life, your partners, family members, whatnot. The level of understanding is different.

[00:10:15] Christina: Some people will take it very seriously. Some people won’t. And then there is a, there’s also kind of the fear which is like, okay, is someone going to take this to the level that I don’t need to take this to? Because like you said, you’re not calling 2 1 1. You’re not calling or 9 8 8 or whatever the, the number is.

[00:10:29] Christina: Like you’re not at that point. It’s not at a crisis point. It’s just kind of a low level, you know, like Always I’m putting words in your mouth now, but but at least my experience It’s

[00:10:39] Brett: correct so far.

[00:10:40] Christina: it’s like it’s like a low level like always on kind of like malaise kind of undercurrent thing where when especially when you’re alone You have these intrusive thoughts that you can’t turn off that again It’s not to a point where you’re going to be, you know doing something to harm yourself, but you do have kind of this You know, like thought like, what if I just didn’t wake [00:11:00] up?

[00:11:00] Christina: What if I just wasn’t here? You know, how much easier would things be if I didn’t have to do any of this? And, um, and then that’s, I’m really sorry you’re going through this. And again, I really encourage you, even though it’s difficult to talk to your doctor because Again, like, and I, I say this with full empathy because it’s what I’ve been dealing with for the last six months, but you think your med situation is okay.

[00:11:32] Christina: It’s not if, if you’re still going through this. So I totally get wanting to salvage what’s working, but also like do some deep thinking about is it really working? Right. Because clearly what. You’ve been on has done a great job in stopping your every three week manic episodes. But it might have, you know, gone too far in the other direction and that that that’s that’s not livable either and in any I don’t know your psychiatrist [00:12:00] I know there are plenty of terrible psychiatrists out there.

[00:12:03] Christina: I cannot imagine a psychiatrist who would be like, Oh yeah, we would much rather have someone be low key suicidal than, than, than have a manic episode. You know what I mean? It’s like, no, you need to find a balance. So anyway, I, I, I’m, I’m sorry you’re going through this and I love you and, and, um, if you ever need to talk off pod about anything, I’m obviously here.

[00:12:21] Christina: So

[00:12:22] Brett: Thanks. Just been quiet.

[00:12:25] Jeff: You’re like, I’m not going to call it a hotline, but as soon as we start recording, I’m, I’m not, that’s not making fun. And I’m just, it’s a loving laugh at how funny we are as people.

[00:12:37] Christina: totally.

[00:12:38] Jeff: It’s such a hard feeling that maybe I don’t want to be here. And I’m sorry that you’re having that. I have had that feeling sometimes.

[00:12:48] Jeff: I think. I’m not prescribing this to you, or even, but sometimes I think, wait a minute, actually, what I really need is for the rest of the fucking world to disappear for like two days, and just give me some [00:13:00] space where I don’t have, because for me, when I feel like that, half of it is that like, I’m anticipating some kind of either, connecting, uh, force coming towards me.

[00:13:10] Jeff: Someone calls or is in my space or whatever else. And I just need to not have someone in my space, not have someone calling or asking anything of me. Um, and what I really wish I sometimes like, I wish I could just press pause in my life. I’m like, no, I just want to press pause on everything around my life.

[00:13:26] Jeff: And I think I could just enjoy myself for a little bit. Oh

[00:13:29] Brett: Don’t tell my employer, but we’ve gone through more management changes and it has left me in, um, a no man’s land where everyone thinks I’m working for someone else. And during this period of depression, um, I basically. Have been doing like the bare minimum and nobody seems to care. Like no one even notices.

[00:13:58] Brett: It makes me worry about the long [00:14:00] term steadiness of my employment. But right now, I haven’t had to take disability. I just, I have just been granted this no man’s land where I have no weekly meetings with any manager.

[00:14:16] Jeff: my God.

[00:14:16] Brett: I have managers that are like, reach out if you have any questions. And I’m like, I, I don’t have any questions.

[00:14:22] Brett: I can, I have automated a good portion of my job, which, you know,

[00:14:27] Jeff: of course you have.

[00:14:28] Brett: I deserve to be paid for that. That’s fine. Um, but yeah, it’s been actually, I’m really grateful that, uh, my, my day to day employment has kind of just worked out to. To work with my current state of mind,

[00:14:45] Christina: Do you remember that, that, that story? I think it’s on, I think I just found the Google thing. I think it was from the early 2000s called, like, About the Forgotten Employee, about the guy who was, like, hired at this place, and they just, like, literally forgot that he existed, but he was still [00:15:00] getting his paychecks every week, even though he was literally doing nothing.

[00:15:04] Christina: Um, and, um, yeah, that was, like, a great, um,

[00:15:12] Brett: Yeah I get I get paid way too much for as little as I’m doing these last couple of weeks

[00:15:18] Christina: I mean, but this is fine. A, A, this is a little bit on them for doing like the management thing that, that your employer is known to do, and hey, that my, um, employer’s owner is also known to do. Uh, B, it’s the holiday season, so everybody’s checked the fuck out. Like, everybody’s checked, from this point of time as we’re recording this, everybody’s gonna be checked out until like the week after New Year’s.

[00:15:37] Brett: for sure

[00:15:38] Christina: Like, everybody’s, everybody’s completely out of it. Um, and C, you do a lot, um, you know, and you’ve been productive in other ways, so like, let them figure it out. Like, I, I trust me, like, my, my self review for this, like, first half of the year, like, I’m not getting promoted, which sucks, because I really would like to be promoted, right?

[00:15:54] Christina: I’d really like to get promoted, but I’m also like, no, I’m not getting promoted, but I’m also not getting fired, um, even though, like, I’ve been going [00:16:00] through a lot of shit and probably should have taken disability, um, so, like, be grateful that we work. Um, in an industry, um, unlike what Jeff does where we can actually like half ass it to the extreme and still be okay, which is kind of like, it kind of sums up what’s wrong with corporate America and, and the tech industry in general.

[00:16:21] Christina: But you know what? I’m tired of like never taking advantage

[00:16:24] Jeff: No, you were, when you were talking about this, I was thinking about how like I’m, I’m part of this member owned research collaborative and there’s like nine of us and we all work on teams together and we all, we’re all responsible. The, I’m like, oh my God, it sounds so nice. Although what I would like more than what you have, Brett, is more like what Big Head had in Silicon Valley where like, um, he’s, did you watch the show, the two of

[00:16:45] Brett: I can’t remember

[00:16:46] Jeff: He, he gets into a situation with all these other, these people that hang out on the roof where like they couldn’t cancel their contracts. And they need to just let them run out their contracts. And, but, and they need to be on premises. So they just sit on a roof doing nothing. [00:17:00] Um, and, uh, and I was like, every time I see them, like, I want to work at corporate.

[00:17:04] Christina: Oh, no, totally. And it’s, although, the interesting thing is at this point, I think they’ve all figured out, like, this would be funny, I would love, I, in some, like, I miss Silicon Valley so much for so many reasons, like, it’s a great show, um, and, and they nailed the, the parody and the other stuff just, like, perfectly, but, um, it was also one of those things where I, um, am like, okay, um, they, uh, I would love to see them do it like today because today I think that they would just find a way to get out of the contract or they would just like pay the penalty and they’d just be like, yeah, you’re done.

[00:17:37] Christina: You’re fired. Um, but, but I agree with you that that would be like the ideal thing, um, would just be to be like, yep, I just can sit out this. But in general also, yeah, I totally understand what you’re saying. Like Jeff, like Jeff has like real responsibilities and like has real people around and has like works in a, in a field there where people will definitely notice when you’re not doing it.

[00:17:56] Christina: Um, and I think it’s hard for people like Brett and I who have come [00:18:00] from jobs where we had real responsibilities and people really noticing, it’s hard for us to then go into places where people don’t.

[00:18:06] Jeff: Oh yeah.

[00:18:07] Christina: where even, even better, where like, the bare minimum will make you be seen as a hero, and you’re like, wait, what?

[00:18:13] Christina: And, and, and, and, because it moves so fucking slowly, um, in comparison, you’re just like, oh,

[00:18:20] Jeff: No, it sounds

[00:18:20] Christina: how people actually work.

[00:18:21] Jeff: to me, like, I think I would be, I would be, um, mostly at peace with it, um, but it also sounds like, just the lack of definition is hard.

[00:18:31] Christina: With lack of definition and slowness, I think, I think you’d be bored at certain times.

[00:18:35] Brett: I wrote three articles this year, like my job, technically, I’m a technical writer, even though my, my job title is software developer. Um, I’m a technical writer and I wrote three total pieces of content.

[00:18:50] Christina: But didn’t, but weren’t they some of the most successful?

[00:18:52] Brett: one of those pieces of content made it into the top 20 pieces of content for the entire

[00:18:58] Jeff: you’re a fucking great writer. [00:19:00] Which is not something that the people in your job before you

[00:19:02] Brett: And so at my, at my, at my quarterly review, I got to say, yeah, I was in the top 20, uh, developer content that went out for the year, even though like I didn’t have much else to show that I did the bare minimum and, and I got patted on the back,

[00:19:18] Christina: Absolutely.

[00:19:19] Jeff: Yeah.

[00:19:20] Brett: got, I got a bonus.

[00:19:21] Christina: You got a bonus and, you know, you automate the shit out of a bunch of things. You build tools for a lot of other people to do stuff. Like, you’re a great, great, great writer. If I were hiring someone for a documentation team, I wouldn’t necessarily hire you to be a writer. I would maybe hire you to be like, maybe an editor, maybe someone to look over certain stuff, maybe someone to help with style guides, but I would really hire you to be like the tooling person and to be like the person to like help like come up with the efficiencies.

[00:19:45] Christina: Not at all. That’s

[00:19:46] Jeff: Cause you’re not gonna be able to help yourself, you will write the documentation.

[00:19:49] Brett: that is, that, that is my niche for sure.

[00:19:52] Christina: And, and I mean, I’m just, you know, being again, like, candid. It’s like, you’re such a good writer. Like, okay, I put Brett on like the really hard things, but I don’t want to waste [00:20:00] his time or his talents and having him do the day to day bullshit documentation stuff that anybody can do.

[00:20:05] Christina: Like that’s, that’s not why I hire Brett. Like I would hire Brett to do the stuff that’s more complicated. Like the same thing, like you don’t hire me to write your code. Um, I can, I can come up with a great demo and, and I can, I can certainly, you know, like, like explain how stuff works, but like. That’s not why you hire me.

[00:20:23] Christina: Um, if I needed to make that as like my day to day career, I could do that, but that’s not why you hire me. You hire me to be your person who’s hosting events and who’s giving talks and who’s, you know, kind of being like a, a public face of, of your company. Like, that’s why you hire me. You don’t hire me to be the person who’s, you know, building all the.

[00:20:40] Brett: scenes writing. Yeah,

[00:20:41] Christina: right. I mean, I’d be, I’d, I’d, or even behind the scenes as like a PM, like, I’d be happy to do that, but like, if I’m really gonna be in a PM role, it’s gonna be, needs to be one that’s more public facing, you know, that is the person people can blame or praise, um, to be clear.

[00:20:56] Brett: We are so opposite in that regard. Like [00:21:00] by my, my current manager, who is actually like a VP, um, he keeps suggesting that I do presentations, um, that I do webinars or go to conferences and present, and that is not what I signed up for. Um, I try very hard to talk him out of. Relying on me for that kind of public facing stuff.

[00:21:24] Brett: I’m like, you should get Christina Warren in here, because she could kill this.

[00:21:31] Christina: Yeah. No, I mean, but so we should, we, we, we should start a Dere team with Yumi and, and, and Jay. Like, you know, honestly

[00:21:38] Brett: Yeah,

[00:21:39] Jeff: Hire me to

[00:21:40] Christina: or, or even better Dere as a service where we

[00:21:43] Brett: there you go.

[00:21:44] Christina: rented out by like other teams.

[00:21:45] Brett: Mercenary DevRel.

[00:21:47] Christina: I mean, kind of, I, you know, okay. Like saying this out loud, I kind of don’t hate the idea.

[00:21:51] Christina: I’ve been trying to, I’ve been trying to come up with like a Dere as a service plan for like years. I think that

[00:21:55] Brett: Kind of brilliant. I love it. I love it.

[00:21:58] Jeff: Is there a job opening for [00:22:00] someone to push the Raspberry Pi supercomputer around on a pallet jack over at your employer? Because that sounds fun.

[00:22:07] Christina: Yeah. For you for sure. Also, you would be like, you could help be like our, our, our, our content strategist.

[00:22:12] Brett: Do you know about, do you know about Chris, do Benson’s Pi Cluster?

[00:22:17] Jeff: That’s what I’m talking about. Isn’t there a Raspberry Pi, like, supercomputer,

[00:22:20] Brett: got laid off.

[00:22:21] Jeff: Oh, so there is a job opening for pushing it around on a

[00:22:24] Brett: no, they, they apparently didn’t appreciate his obsession with this thousand pie.

[00:22:30] Christina: But it was so cool!

[00:22:32] Brett: It was so cool. And like, it was the center attraction at some conferences.

[00:22:37] Christina: yes, at Oracle World, I was gonna say, like, wasn’t, like, the only news that, like, came out of Oracle World one year was that? Like Like, what the

[00:22:43] Brett: and he was so good at it and he made great video content. Like he had the whole setup with like the overhead cameras at the electronics bench and everything. And, and he was so dedicated to it and there was like an interpersonal conflict with him [00:23:00] and one of our three managers at that point. And, uh, and, and he got cut, which.

[00:23:06] Brett: Sucks. I, I should check in with him. I assume he landed on his feet. He’s a goddamn genius.

[00:23:12] Christina: Oh yeah, I have no doubt, um, that he, anybody who’s smart and has, you know, had gout would hire him. Um, but that just seems like such a waste.

[00:23:21] Jeff: he’s now like Guilfoyle in a garage somewhere in Silicon Valley with his pie cluster.

[00:23:25] Christina: That’s true.

[00:23:28] Brett: So, before we wrap up Mental Health Corner, how are you guys doing?

[00:23:31] Christina: Um, I’m okay. I’m, I’m okay. I’m in a, I kind of already talked about mine a little bit, like, I’m, I’m doing okay. Like I’m, basically, I think, I’m in a better place than I certainly was like earlier this year. And I think, uh, I’m looking forward to it. You know, seeing where things go. Like I said, I’m now at this point, I’m like at a month or so on no meds other than dexedrine and that’s been, that’s been doing okay.

[00:23:56] Christina: So, you know, fingers crossed.

[00:23:59] Brett: Yeah.

[00:23:59] Jeff: He [00:24:00] just reminded me I haven’t taken my meds today. I was gonna, I was gonna rattle my meds for you here and then,

[00:24:08] Brett: gonna, you’re gonna pop some Vyvanse in the middle

[00:24:10] Jeff: not much. No, I can’t take my meds anymore. Uh, yeah, it. It caused a, I mean, I was, I had a sort of manic episode that was stronger than any I’d had since I was diagnosed. It wasn’t anything like that, but it was more, it more existed in like in the way my body sort of, shit in my body just banged around inside.

[00:24:30] Jeff: Um, and I only have one medication treating that, um, which is Lamictal. And, uh, And I was taking Vyvanse and it was, it had been a month of just this on and off like rattling in me and I was not in a good place. I was having a hard time working. It wasn’t the kind of manic where it’s like, woo, at least I’m getting shit done.

[00:24:47] Jeff: Um, and I, I met with my medication manager for the first time for a long time, like since I went to Kenya. I mean, I, which was like in June or July. And, uh, we’re going through everything. I’m telling her what’s been going on for me and stuff and she’s, and she’s listening [00:25:00] and let’s just check in on what medications you’re still taking or whatever.

[00:25:02] Jeff: Um, it was five inches thick. Wait. Have you been taking the Vyvanse this whole time? I was like, yeah. She’s like, I think you need to stop. Let’s just see what happens if you stop. And I was afraid to stop, like, to just cut it completely, um, cause it doesn’t, it only takes a couple days to get over the weirdness of cutting Vyvanse completely, but like, sometimes those days really suck.

[00:25:24] Jeff: And uh, but I did it cause I was like, I was just, I was in a really, I was having really bad end of days, basically. Now that was the end of my days, but like,

[00:25:33] Brett: sure, sure, sure.

[00:25:34] Jeff: I just realized I’m actually very good about taking my medication in the morning, but I have misplaced my pill sorter. And so, uh, when I’m done talking here, and I only have a little bit to say for my mental health check in, although that was probably it right there.

[00:25:47] Jeff: Um, I, uh, You know, one thing that happened for me this week that was really helpful is, for various reasons known mostly to my therapists, I’ve been pretty paralyzed when it comes to trying to sit [00:26:00] down and work lately, which is something I’ve experienced for decades. It’s sort of a dissociative experience.

[00:26:08] Jeff: It takes a long time to get into that, but it’s almost like the way I describe it is like, I’ll sit down at my desk feeling pretty clear headed about what I need to do, and then it’s like, It’s like a dream where like, there’s a thing in front of you and when you reach out for it, it disappears. When you put your hand back, it appears.

[00:26:26] Jeff: Reach out for it, it disappears. And my, I, I actually experienced my brain just like going blank when I’m trying to just work. Um, and, and actually this wasn’t what I was going to talk about, but I, I rejiggered my Stream Deck. which I’ve used for a long time as like almost assistive technology because I’ve, if I’m in a meeting or something, often it’s just because my brain is thinking about too many things at once.

[00:26:51] Jeff: Um, but if I’m in a meeting and, and I need to kind of pull up a document or I need to just quickly sort of reference something, the spark happens to do that. [00:27:00] Like the little neuron fires, but because I’m also in a relational experience where I’m talking to people, cause I’m very like in meetings, very sort of relational based.

[00:27:09] Jeff: Um, it’s hard for me to then. Start just pulling up documents. And so for a long time, I’ve had my stream deck in front of me in meetings for whatever project I’m on. And the main documents are there. Cause I can just like reach over and press the button and it pops up. Um, even though I could do Alfred, I could do a million things.

[00:27:24] Jeff: That is the thing that, that creates a kind of

[00:27:26] Brett: Yeah, the physical button

[00:27:28] Jeff: physical button. It’s kind of like how I still want knobs on my stereo in my car, which is why I still drive, drive a car that’s very old. Um, but, uh, but anyway, um. I kind of rejiggered that because I’ve been just really kind of freezing up. And so like one thing I added, just silly, but like, it’s not silly, but it’s a, it’s massive, it’s like, I have a shortcut on my computer without, like, if I run the shortcut, it’s a Mac shortcut or whatever.

[00:27:53] Jeff: It just shows me my next five calendar events and I. Can run that a hundred times a day. Cause my brain, for [00:28:00] whatever reason, I can hold all kinds of stuff. Like I, I work at like a high level, right? Like I write a lot. I do a lot. I talk about a lot. And when it comes to that basic kind of executive function stuff, I can really, there’s just something that there’s something gets interrupted.

[00:28:14] Jeff: So I have that button. Then I have a new one because every project I’m on has a damn Google, Google drive folder, which like I don’t love. Um, but I made another like. Uh, Mac shortcut where it’s like, I press a button on my stream deck and a little menu comes up with my, you know, five main projects. And it’s the main Google drive folder selected.

[00:28:33] Jeff: It comes open and you have, that’s like loosen me up a little bit. Cause I was really dealing with this kind of like paralysis and I’m still dealing with it, but the thing that really helped me this week was my therapist was like, so part of a whole wider conversation, but she was like, I think it’s time for you to just kind of look at your environment that you’re working in and think about not just.

[00:28:53] Jeff: Are there things you should take out, but are there things you should put in? Right. And, and it happened to be just the right kind of therapy [00:29:00] appointment where when she suggested that and I hung up, it was a Zoom thing, I was able to look around and be like, oh shit. Like I like my aperture was wide. I was like, yes, this and this and this and this and this.

[00:29:10] Jeff: These things kind of stressed me out and they’re like all around me. And um, and I went and just like, I just actually sat in my, in one place and made a list of things that I think might be a little stressful for me. And then I went and started boxing 'em up. And it was great because I had, I mean, I keep a lot of like bullshit around like little trinkets, little like things that help me think of people or times or whatever.

[00:29:31] Jeff: But like, most of those things are not neutral times or neutral people. Um, and, and most of them are almost like Battlescar type of stuff. And even if it’s like Battlescar, like it was a band that broke up and it was a painful breakup or something. And there’s a picture of me playing with that band or whatever.

[00:29:48] Jeff: And so I went through it. I just kind of cleared that stuff out. And it felt so good, and I’m not done, I’m actually looking, you listeners can’t see this, but you can, I’m looking off to the left because I have, it almost looks like I got fired. Like, I have like a [00:30:00] box in the corner of the office, like a couple of picture frames popping out.

[00:30:03] Jeff: Um, but the other thing my therapist was saying is like, so also think about what Could come in and, and that’s been huge for me. So I’ve really simplified, but then I’m bringing things in. I’m trying to talk my family and to let me take my son in eighth grade, had a, had a, had a class, an art class where they were also see making structures that people were making, like.

[00:30:23] Jeff: Castles, and someone made a little princess house, whatever, and he made a fleet farm. And I’m like, trying,

[00:30:30] Brett: don’t know if Christina knows

[00:30:31] Jeff: farm, it’s just like, the best ever, like, it is a big box store in a certain sense, like a Home Depot, but it’s really a farm supply store, and it’s really an Ace Hardware magnified, right? Like, you can buy actual cow bells

[00:30:45] Brett: When, when Ivanka Trump, when Ivanka Trump came to my town, she did a photo op at Fleet Farm because, because it was supposed to make her feel more relatable to rural [00:31:00] Minnesota, which is also why I don’t shop at Fleet Farm anymore. I shop at Menards. Um,

[00:31:05] Christina: I know Menards. I’m familiar with Menards.

[00:31:08] Jeff: it’s like Menards, but a thousand times better, like,

[00:31:11] Christina: So is it like Menards and like a Home Depot combined?

[00:31:14] Jeff: no, it’s Menards, a Home Depot, a tractor supply store, and a farm supply store. Like the one in my hometown has live chicks. Not like

[00:31:22] Brett: if you want barbed wire and a shotgun and you want some feed

[00:31:27] Jeff: And a bag of nuts. And a really big bag of nuts.

[00:31:30] Brett: and, and maybe some bulk, like, um, what are those little puffy orange candies called

[00:31:35] Jeff: Oh yeah,

[00:31:36] Brett: always had? Yeah, um, like, if you want all that at once, you go to Fleet Farm, and it’s, it’s a disorganized mess, really, cause there’s just so much stuff,

[00:31:46] Jeff: to your flea farm, but not in mine.

[00:31:48] Christina: I

[00:31:48] Brett: really, it’s well or, it’s, it’s organized, but you have to ask somebody, where am I headed in this

[00:31:54] Jeff: Well, you know why I don’t have that experience? Because my obsession with Fleet Farms, and I’ve been to every one in the region, [00:32:00] is that it’s a place that I just go through every single aisle. Because at some point, I’m going to be like, whoa, horse mane shampoo. Like, it never occurred to me.

[00:32:09] Brett: while you’re

[00:32:10] Jeff: Yeah, like, anyway, so he made a fleet farm and, and I want that at my desk, like right in front of me, like it’s the kind of stuff I want like right now.

[00:32:19] Jeff: And the interesting thing was that as I sort of simplified the space from things that were a little just Yeah, it just felt a certain way for me, um, including some like professional books that were like part of a transition from one life to another in a certain way. I realized I felt more and more like myself now.

[00:32:37] Jeff: Like it was, it was such a, it was nice. Um, I often think that like by having all these things spread around me, it is sort of evidence of, it’s like evidence that I have lived. Um, and, and it is like, well, it’s in me anyhow, so here it is. But, um, moving it out was just like, oh, I do actually feel a little more.

[00:32:55] Jeff: Like grounded in this moment without all these things, cause I would see him in my zoom thing and I would [00:33:00] see, you know, um, anyway, that was nice. I just, everyone talks about in productivity and stuff, your environment. Uh, and, uh, and I think mental health is another context to talk about how you construct your environment.

[00:33:11] Jeff: Not surprisingly, I still have a lot of cash sitting in front of me right now. That makes me feel good too.

[00:33:16] Brett: I, uh, I went, I went to the bank, um, um, instead of buying, instead of Christmas shopping this year, I am just sending 50 bills to all of my nieces and nephews,

[00:33:29] Jeff: And podcast co hosts?

[00:33:31] Brett: which, which I’ve done before. And it feels like the cheap way out, but honestly, as a kid, the

[00:33:38] Christina: love it.

[00:33:39] Brett: The gift I look forward to most every year was the 100 bill my grandma would send me.

[00:33:45] Brett: I didn’t, like, every, everything else was, like, Um, uh, with ephemeral, like you’re going to like this toy for a month and then you’re going to be done with it, but a hundred dollar bill that, and I saved as a [00:34:00] kid, I had a savings account. Like I, I didn’t go out and blow it on candy and toys. Like I built up a savings account.

[00:34:08] Brett: What it was, it was, it was like a, an endorphin rush to see like, Oh my God,

[00:34:13] Jeff: I wish I had that

[00:34:14] Christina: I was

[00:34:15] Brett: a 10 year old kid with a thousand dollars. And

[00:34:29] Christina: a, a fair amount in savings. It’d be more if I had a house and other things, but like, you know, I, I could do better to be very clear.

[00:34:35] Christina: I could do a lot better. But I, um, definitely, um, as a kid, like, they would call it the Bank of Christina. And, and, I mean, I got to the point, like, I actually had to get, like, a lock on my door because my dad, like, really literally was, like, using me as, like, a personal ATM, and it was a problem.

[00:34:51] Jeff: I’ve done that with my son, I’m like, Do you have a 20 up there? I’ll get you back.

[00:34:54] Christina: Yeah, um, no, it was, like, a problem, but, like, you know, and I had a savings account, and then I got a checking account, and I would put money in it, but, you know, I couldn’t [00:35:00] put stuff in all the time, but, like, I would, like, take, like, the 20 I would get for allowance and other things and, and gifts, and I, I would, like, save it.

[00:35:06] Christina: Like, I, I, I’ve saved enough. For one year, like, I basically bought, like, the, the monitor for our computer and the printer, um, uh, for, for, for the family computer. Um, I remember I had enough money one time and this was, like, the best, like, pre Christmas thing ever. So when the Nintendo 64 came out, this one, it was, like, this is the first console I remember that was, like, impossible to find in stores.

[00:35:28] Christina: Like, I’m sure that there Difficulty finding other things, but like, from the time it was released, you could not get a Nintendo 64. And the games were really limited, too. Like, there were only a few games out at launch, and they were really hard to find. And nine days before Christmas, I was at a Target, And I saw some family like buying one and they didn’t have any accessories or anything.

[00:35:48] Christina: And I went up to the guy and I was like, do you have any more Nintendo 64s? And he put one up on the counter. And I was like, I will be right back. And I went to my mom and I was like, mom, I was like, I have 250 in [00:36:00] You know, it’s like, like stored, um, in, in the, um, uh, the living room and in the drawer where you keep your Bibles, where dad won’t go.

[00:36:08] Christina: And I will, I will buy this. I will give you the money as soon as I get home. I was like, but I, I, I, I need this.

[00:36:15] Jeff: Picture your dad opening the drawer of Bibles and being like, Whoa, shit! Closing it really fast. Like, that’s safe.

[00:36:20] Christina: Totally. So, so she, um, so, so I got it and, and, um, I had to rent a game because you literally could not get Mario 64 anywhere. So I’d like rent the game.

[00:36:30] Jeff: a Redbox for video games?

[00:36:32] Christina: Well, it was, it

[00:36:32] Jeff: Well, the video

[00:36:33] Christina: Yeah. Yeah. It was, it was, it

[00:36:34] Jeff: right. I forget that. It’s a generational difference.

[00:36:36] Christina: Totally. It was a home, it was a home video, but it might have, actually might have been Blockbuster. I think home video didn’t have Nintendo 64 games yet. Um, so I think it was Blockbuster. I got that in a Wayne Gretzky game and, um, I, uh, uh, because like those were the only two games I could play and, and memory cards so that I could like save my progress, um, myself and then transfer it, um, uh, to, to the new game, uh, when I was able to finally get my own.

[00:36:58] Christina: And my mom, this was the, the worst thing. [00:37:00] She still made me freaking like wrap it up under the tree. I bought it myself, and I still had to wait nine days. I still had to wait nine

[00:37:07] Brett: are like that. I bought my parents a Loamy the like, uh, the thing that turns your kitchen refuse into compost overnight. Um,

[00:37:16] Christina: yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:37:17] Brett: I bought them that, uh, it was on Yeah. Oh, it’s amazing. I use, I use it, I use it daily. Um, so I thought they would like one. They were super interested. I bought it for them and I had them order it and I would just pay for it and they got it and they called me and they’re like, all right, we got it.

[00:37:34] Brett: Do you want to come over and wrap it and we’ll open it on Christmas morning? And I’m like, no, start using it.

[00:37:41] Jeff: yeah, that’s so funny.

[00:37:43] Brett: It’s your Christmas present now. Take it and go. Um, do you guys remember savings bonds?

[00:37:49] Jeff: Oh yeah. I had a,

[00:37:50] Christina: I’m aware of them. I’m aware of them. I don’t think I ever got any.

[00:37:55] Brett: oh, my aunt and uncle used to send me a hundred dollar savings bond every Christmas, which [00:38:00] is, it costs like 50 bucks, and you give it, I think, three to five

[00:38:04] Jeff: later, it’s worth 110.

[00:38:05] Brett: And, and I collected those all through my childhood and it felt like a big gift, but it wasn’t money you could spend right away. Um, so those all got set aside and it wasn’t until I was in like a financial crisis that I remembered, Oh my God, I have this drawer full of savings bonds.

[00:38:24] Brett: And it added up to like 3, 000, but it sucked because I needed that 3, 000 just to get through like my current crisis. And then it was just all gone. So.

[00:38:34] Jeff: all that time.

[00:38:36] Brett: it felt like, it felt like a lot of, um, a lot of saving and a lot of effort for something that, it saved my skin, but it felt, it was disappointing. I, I really, as a kid, I really thought that was going to be

[00:38:49] Jeff: Yeah, no, I did too. I was like, this is gonna be amazing. It’s like in No Country for Old Men when he’s like, do you know how long this quarter’s been on this journey to you? like those savings bonds, they were [00:39:00] just on this journey to help you with that one week.

[00:39:03] Brett: I don’t think they, I don’t think you can buy savings bonds anymore. Or is it CDs?

[00:39:07] Jeff: I mean, my grandma gave them to my boys up until about 15 or 20 years no, no, they’re not 20. Up until about 15 years ago, um, or maybe 12 years ago, she was still buying them. But I think she actually may have bought them all in bulk when they like, when each kid was born, she would buy a bunch, and then give them out, um, so

[00:39:29] Brett: Oh, so maybe they were already matured by the time she gave them.

[00:39:32] Christina: Yeah, I, I, I was gonna say, I think, cause it wasn’t the whole thing, cause like a CD is different, but like, from what I understood, and I, I never had relatives who got me saving months, like, uh, my, my father’s family who had money never gave us money for shit like that because they’re bad with it and, and whatever, um, and, and, and fuck his mother, but like, um,

[00:39:55] Jeff: I wasn’t gonna say it.

[00:39:56] Christina: well, I mean, you know, like if there’s a hell she’s there, but like, [00:40:00] um, My mom’s family, who ironically, like, didn’t have money and then wound up when they died, not only were their funerals completely, like, plots, everything prepaid, had they, you know, saved enough to pay for, like, all of their, their medical expenses and other things.

[00:40:18] Christina: And paid off the house and, and other stuff. They still had like money to leave for the kids. Like it was kind of wild actually. Like that these very like simple, like, like people who like lived a very like modest life actually had like far more money to leave to their family than like the millionaire who turned out actually wasn’t like, um, was like living off the company money and like had the.

[00:40:37] Brett: people are the worst tippers.

[00:40:39] Christina: Oh, yeah. I mean, well, it depends on how rich you are. Like, like there’s like old money, rich people will tip well, but yeah, it totally, totally depends. But like, um, so they didn’t give me savings bonds. What they would do is I would just, I would get like, um, candy money is what my grandmother would call it.

[00:40:53] Christina: And she

[00:40:54] Jeff: my my aunt called it ice cream money. My great

[00:40:56] Christina: yeah, she would call it like, you know, she put like, like, like 20 or something, you [00:41:00] know, for like, you know, a holiday and whatnot. But I always thought that savings bonds were like a scam. Like, that’s what I, my understanding always was, was that like there’s people like thinking that it was going to be worth way more and then it’s like,

[00:41:13] Brett: it’s guaranteed money. Like,

[00:41:15] Christina: I know

[00:41:15] Jeff: It’s guaranteed to be a very poor return on

[00:41:17] Christina: Well, that’s what I meant in terms

[00:41:18] Jeff: like, it’s like, it’s a contractually, uh,

[00:41:21] Christina: Right. Well, that’s what I meant. Like my scam, I meant like the return on investment for these things is like non existent. Like obviously it’s, it’s like, uh, you know, the, the, the bond is guaranteed, but like, you know, like it was one of those things that I think that you’d have, I always just imagine, and this is just from TV, which is my.

[00:41:36] Christina: Mostly, my knowledge of savings bonds, you know, like door to door salesmen, they’re like, oh, it’s going to be such a great return on investment. This will be how you’re going to pay for your kid’s college and this and that, and just buy this. And it’s like, no, really what you want is you want like a, you know, whatever the, the, the sort of a Roth account is, and, and you want to do like these other things, like that’s how you really save for college, but like, you know, to get like

[00:41:55] Brett: You know, until there’s a financial crash and your, your IRA becomes [00:42:00] worthless,

[00:42:00] Christina: I mean, fair, fair, but, but, um, I mean, at that point, we had bigger fish to fry.

[00:42:10] Brett: Alright, did we, did we just spend 40, 42 minutes on a mental health corner?

[00:42:15] Christina: We did. We did.

[00:42:16] Jeff: meandered

[00:42:17] Brett: So

[00:42:18] Christina: out. We’ve got a lot of other things.

[00:42:20] Brett: I

[00:42:20] The Pivotal Role of Overtired in Taylor’s Success

[00:42:20] Brett: feel like it’s important that we acknowledge the pivotal role that this podcast played in Taylor Swift becoming a Times Person of the Year.

[00:42:31] Jeff: And that’s you too, I came in late, so I

[00:42:33] Christina: I mean, you came in late,

[00:42:34] Jeff: little humble about it.

[00:42:36] Christina: okay, you can be a little humble, but it is, it is more Brett and I, um, but I’m, I’m going to give you credit here, Jeff. Like Brett was really ready to like, not talk about Taylor Swift ever again. And you, and, and, and you, and you’ve been like willing to let me continue to talk about her.

[00:42:50] Christina: And you’ve been willing to like, let me continue the conversation, especially this year, which was the pivotal year. So, so I know, I think, I think obviously it was our podcast. It was the [00:43:00] three of us. And that is why, did either of you read the profile? The profile was actually really good.

[00:43:06] Brett: I, it was really long. Um, I, I skimmed it. I read, I read paragraphs that jumped out at me. I did not read the whole thing. I got some interesting tidbits. Um, she, she has led an interesting life and she has She has a lot of, she’s made some powerful decisions, uh, that have benefited her. Well, I did enjoy the story about her first, like right at the beginning of the article, it talked about her first heart, yeah, her first heartbreak when she was like scheduled to open and it was going to change her

[00:43:40] Jeff: got the Kenny Chesney tour, it would change her career, she’d get so much money, and

[00:43:44] Brett: And then he got sponsored by a beer company and she wasn’t old enough to be involved and he came back to her at like her 18th birthday party and gave her a check for all the money that she probably missed out on, um, [00:44:00] by being the opening act and she was able to like pay her band bonuses

[00:44:05] Jeff: yeah, let me

[00:44:05] Brett: for tour buses and

[00:44:07] Jeff: yeah, that was good. I was gonna say, let’s just do the list of things that she paid for with that check. And then let us try to figure out how

[00:44:15] Christina: How much that shuck

[00:44:16] Jeff: check was for. So he is like, I’m sorry, this kid couldn’t tour with me, it would have been a big deal for her, she would have made a Ton of fucking money.

[00:44:23] Jeff: And so he sends her a birthday check. Right. And it’s like, Brett just said, I’m searching this as I look. It’s like, she paid bonuses to her band. It paid for her tour buses, to her buses. Right. Like it paid for so much. How much was this check inflation considered?

[00:44:44] Christina: I don’t know probably a million dollars I don’t know.

[00:44:46] Jeff: And when I know Kenny Chesney makes a lot of money, but I think of people at his level of fame, which is probably bigger than I think, as like, not able to cut a million dollar check.

[00:44:58] Christina: think in [00:45:00] 2006 I think he would be able to very easily because you got to think you got to think about a couple things there. One, the economy for the music industry had not completely collapsed yet. Like people were still buying CDs and and um, and so And he was selling a shitload of CDs. Like we didn’t listen to him because we’re not as demographic, but he was selling a shitload of CDs

[00:45:19] Jeff: Hey man, I saw him in 07. It was Girls Night Out at the Indiana State Fair. I went with my mother in law and my wife. Girls Night Out.

[00:45:26] Christina: okay. So you, which is, that’s, that’s a big thing to play too. Right? Like, like, so he’s playing like big venues, like Indiana State Fair is like, you know, he’s getting paid well for

[00:45:34] Jeff: venue.

[00:45:34] Christina: Well, not to mention the merch sales. Right. So like, you know, so you’re getting merch, you’re getting touring, you’re getting still CD stuff.

[00:45:41] Christina: So. I think he probably could cut her, I don’t know what it would be pre inflation, but like equivalent of a million dollars now. And, and yeah, she’d be able to do it, which she didn’t expand upon in that article, but I do know from past things with her, cause this is brilliant. So they, they bought their, their buses and I think they actually bought [00:46:00] them from Kenny Chesney and they, um,

[00:46:03] Jeff: this is money laundering. This is starting to look like a different deal.

[00:46:06] Christina: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no,

[00:46:09] Jeff: Now I get

[00:46:10] Christina: Now you get it. Yeah. No, I’m sure there’s some money. Definitely. Definitely money laundering. No, they bought the buses. But then what they did is they would rent them when they were not in use to other acts because her dad is, is like an actual, like financial, like advisor, like, Analyst, like, you know, stockbroker, like a guy who’s actually very, very good, like was paid for a very long time to manage other people’s money and like in the, you know, many, many millions of dollars.

[00:46:36] Christina: So he’s, he’s the sort of person who you would be perfect to be like the dad of like a burgeoning like, you know, country pop star, right? Like this is not Britney Spears family who’s like, how much money can we suck out of this girl? This is like, oh no, okay, what, how can we leverage this the best we can?

[00:46:53] Christina: And so he’s like, okay, well, we’ll. Buy the buses and then we’ll rent them when we’re not using them. And that way we can [00:47:00] get tax write offs, but also we can continue to make these, make money for us even when we’re not on the road. And like they, they

[00:47:05] Jeff: income tour buses.

[00:47:06] Brett: So what, what does Taylor Swift’s mom do?

[00:47:09] Christina: she was in marketing and then I think she was a stay at home for, for Maryland and then she’s a stay at home mom.

[00:47:15] Christina: Um,

[00:47:16] Brett: so the, the, the

[00:47:18] Jeff: And now she’s a baroness.

[00:47:19] Brett: To becoming a billion dollar time person of the year is to be one, insanely talented, two, have a financial manager for a father, and three, have a marketing person as a mother.

[00:47:33] Christina: Yeah, who’s also

[00:47:34] Brett: and you’re, and you’re, and you’re well on your way.

[00:47:37] Christina: And you’re

[00:47:37] Brett: Yeah, and a check from Cheney.

[00:47:39] Christina: and then the check from Kenny Chesney. Yeah No, I mean to be clear like she like it’s her talent alone I think probably she would have gotten a record deal, especially when they were giving everyone record deals.

[00:47:50] Brett: Sure. But a lot of people got record

[00:47:52] Christina: Oh, no, to be very

[00:47:53] Brett: We don’t hear about them

[00:47:54] Christina: Oh, no, no, no, absolutely. And to be very clear, I think the reason she’s been so successful, and she, I think, would be the first to admit [00:48:00] this, is like, she came from money. Her family was willing to move to Nashville for her. Like, they literally, like, picked up, like, were on, went from their, like, their palatial estate or whatever in, in, in, you know, um, Pennsylvania, went to Nashville, like, to help her pursue her dream.

[00:48:15] Christina: They had the money to do it, and then they had the money to invest. And also, when she was, originally, she was signed to, um, a songwriting deal with, um, with one of the record labels. And they were like, they didn’t want her to perform her own songs. They were like, we’ll give you a record deal, but we want you to sing other people’s stuff.

[00:48:29] Christina: And she’s like, this isn’t right. I’m not going to do it. I’m going to back out. And her mom is like, God, you know, we’ve worked so hard, you know, I can’t believe you’re going to do this. But she was like, okay, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll trust you. And that was when she then met Scott Borchetta, who let her do her own stuff.

[00:48:44] Christina: And of course that relationship ended awfully, but it was very productive for like the first decade or 15 years or whatever of her career. So, um, Yeah, but to be very clear, like, having the right support system around you, which almost no one of [00:49:00] her age ever has, like, the dividends, and to this day she even says in the article, she like, that she considers her, you know, her thing like a small family business, because her dad’s still involved, her mom’s still involved, her brother’s involved, like, you know, they, they keep it tight.

[00:49:17] Jeff: a friend who would frequently reference his family’s small business, and then I realized he was a trust fund kid who didn’t have to work, and that that family business was massive, but it was controlled by a small number of family members. It’s like, oh,

[00:49:29] Christina: I think is basically this,

[00:49:31] Jeff: Yeah, exactly. That’s amazing.

[00:49:34] Jeff: My mother in law, when we went to see Kenny Chesney, I kept calling him Kenny Mick Chesney, I thought his name was. She thought I was being an asshole.

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[00:51:16] Anyway, back to Taylor Swift

[00:51:16] Brett: and now back to Christina for the Taylor Swift update.

[00:51:19] Christina: And, and then now, now back to me for the, for the penultimate, for the, for the, uh, ending on this. So again, this very long article, but it’s really good one. And this comes towards the end. And basically the author is just kind of written about how he was kind of evaluating when he was talking to her.

[00:51:34] Christina: She was kind of telling the story about how 2016 was this really low point in her life. And she didn’t think that anybody was going to listen to her music again. And, and that she thought that she, you know, had to go into hiding and all this stuff. And, and he kind of was thinking himself like, eh, but you know, you actually.

[00:51:50] Christina: You know, that that lead single off that next album sold, you know, uh, that, that hit number one and the album sold 1. 3 million, um, you know, albums its first week and, and, [00:52:00] you know, you had this massive thing and, and, and it didn’t look, um, you know, like anybody’s career died. You know, you look like you were a superstar who, You know, I’m gonna read from him.

[00:52:08] Christina: She looked like a superstar who was mining her personal experience as successfully as ever. I am tempted to say this. But then I think, who am I to challenge it, if that’s how she felt? The point is, she felt cancelled. She felt as if her career had been taken from her, something in her had been lost, and she was grieving it.

[00:52:23] Christina: And then this is, this is I think really brilliant. Maybe this is the real Taylor Swift effect, that she gives people, many of them women, particularly girls, who have been conditioned to accept dismissal, gaslighting, and mistreatment from a society that treats that, that treats their emotions as inconsequential, permission to believe that their interior lives matter.

[00:52:40] Christina: That for your heart to break, whether it’s from being kicked off a tour, or by the memory of a scarf still sitting in a drawer somewhere, Or because somebody else controls your life’s work is a valid wound and no, you’re not crazy for being upset about it or for wanting your story to be told.

[00:52:55] Brett: That seems fair.

[00:52:57] Christina: And I think, I think that’s like, I think he’s right.

[00:52:59] Christina: I think that [00:53:00] is like the real, like, that, that’s, I think that encapsulates like why this year in particular, finally, like, I think she even says in the article, like, that she feels like she’s like, at like this precipice moment at 33. I don’t think anybody anticipated that she would have the year that she had, but I think that’s it, is that it’s, you know, it gives people, especially women and particularly girls, like permission to be like, yes, this shitty thing happened to me, and I might be over dramatizing it in my own head or I’m not, but I can feel this.

[00:53:33] Christina: And that’s That’s pretty fucking great.

[00:53:36] Brett: Well,

[00:53:36] Jeff: goddamn video about it.

[00:53:38] Brett: goes back to like what we were talking about. I’m talking about with depression,

[00:53:42] Christina: Yes.

[00:53:43] Brett: the, it’s the same feeling that like, uh, this can’t be that bad. Even though it feels wrong for me, I like, let’s put it in the context of everybody else and I’m not special and I don’t deserve to have these feelings.

[00:53:59] Brett: And I think it [00:54:00] speaks to that kind of,

[00:54:01] Christina: Yes.

[00:54:02] Brett: yeah.

[00:54:03] Christina: No, I mean, and you see it like at the concert. I can’t wait for you guys to watch the, the tour movie when it comes on streaming, um, and Plex accounts. Um,

[00:54:11] Brett: saw it in the theater. No, I’m just kidding. I didn’t.

[00:54:14] Christina: you did not, you liar. Um, it,

[00:54:16] Jeff: They had the Taylor Swift popcorn buckets when I went to see Ghost in the Shell with my son. He brought me there, I didn’t bring him

[00:54:22] Brett: Wait, Ghost in the Shell was in the theater?

[00:54:25] Jeff: Yeah, it’s like a remastered version, this is a really good one. It’s good. Yeah, anyway, sorry, but we almost ended up with Taylor Swift popcorn buckets at Ghost in the Shell, which is funny.

[00:54:35] Christina: that is funny, actually. No, but no, I can’t wait for you guys to like for, for that to come out so you can see parts of the, the, the concert because I’m not going to make you watch all three and a half hours. Don’t worry. But, um, it is actually,

[00:54:46] Brett: a half hours.

[00:54:47] Christina: she performs for three and a half hours.

[00:54:49] Brett: Oh my

[00:54:50] Christina: Oh, and they cut, and they cut, they cut, they cut songs from the, um, release version.

[00:54:54] Christina: So it’s only three hours in the theatrical release. They cut like six songs. Um, [00:55:00] uh, well, I mean, genuinely it is like the most amazing, like, achievement of like artistic, like, um, athleticism I’ve ever seen in my life because,

[00:55:10] Brett: I watched King Kong with a notebook and just mark down all the

[00:55:15] Jeff: that was the name of a movie.

[00:55:16] Brett: I thought they could cut. I think King Kong could have been a two hour movie.

[00:55:22] Christina: yeah.

[00:55:23] Jeff: That’s the hill you’re going to die at. You’re like of all the movies

[00:55:26] Christina: Of all the

[00:55:26] Jeff: to, to be like, you know, where

[00:55:28] Brett: was that was

[00:55:29] Jeff: fucking King Kong. Give me my notebook.

[00:55:31] Brett: so Lord of the Rings like that could have been cut too. Um, but but like King Kong is the one I feel most wasted, like hours of my life. And like, I am almost vindictive about how long King Kong was.

[00:55:48] Jeff: Um, before off of the Taylor Swift topic, I want to just tell you how this article highlighted a problem in Instapaper, which is that when I open it in Instapaper, [00:56:00] it says this, here’s the headline. Taylor Swift is Times 2023 person of the year. Bye. Taylor Swift comma time. I don’t know how that ended up happening, but it’s pretty, like, she really figured out how to

[00:56:13] Christina: really figured out how to control everything. She, she even figured out how to like, like make Instapaper. Like, yeah, I know that’s very funny.

[00:56:19] Jeff: She hacked into Marco Armet’s thing and that hacked into the New York Times and now here you go. She

[00:56:24] Brett: Speaking of, speaking of Instapaper, should we do some Graptitude?

[00:56:28] Christina: some Graftitude.

[00:56:29] Grapptitude

[00:56:29] Brett: Oh man, so I’ll kick it off. I just published my, uh, Brett’s Favorites 2023. I do this every year on my blog. Um, there is a second installment coming, uh, but I listed probably 30, 30 apps that I love this year. So I’m going to link that in the show notes and people can check it out.

[00:56:51] Brett: Um, I think. Based on the mention of Instapaper, I want to highlight Artifact. [00:57:00] Have you guys used Artifact at all?

[00:57:02] Christina: Um, that’s the uh, that’s the, that’s the news app from the Instagram guys. Yeah.

[00:57:08] Brett: it is, it is pretty They went through a recent change where they started highlighting user comments more than news stories. Um, so it takes a little extra work to use it as a news app than it used to. Um But, I, I love it, it has AI generated summaries of every article, um, and then if you click it you go to the actual article on the web so that, that author gets like, you know, ad money, whatever, um.

[00:57:40] Brett: I do love that if enough people report a headline as clickbait y, they will have AI rewrite the headline based on the content of the article in a non clickbait y fashion. So you can, like, I go through Apple News and I get frustrated [00:58:00] because It’s, it’s so many Newsweek articles. So many Newsweek articles

[00:58:05] Jeff: Oh yeah.

[00:58:05] Brett: get boasted on me.

[00:58:07] Brett: Um, and, and Artifact has actually led me in the categories that I tell that I’m interested in. Um, it has provided a lot of Really good news from a variety of sources and not, uh, not just an echo chamber of what it thinks I want to hear. It’s, it’s pretty good. The, the algorithm is, um, people centric in my opinion.

[00:58:33] Christina: Yeah. I like it a lot too. And, and obviously it’s, it’s from the, um, uh, Instagram, uh, the original Instagram team, um, that, uh, Mike and Kevin, who, you know, I think, uh, regardless of, I mean, look, however you use Instagram now and however it’s evolved, like, I think that is probably one of the most impressive apps ever. Like, to have a, a team of nine people sell like an app for over a billion dollars and it to remake a, a, a, a massive tech company [00:59:00] to be like one of the central like things like I think Instagram as a, you know, product and I think Facebook as, as a company like was greatly, greatly hurt when the two of them left like four years ago.

[00:59:09] Christina: But yeah, so, so, um, uh, kudos to Artifact. Um, I actually, do you, do you have yours, um, um, Jeff Ready?

[00:59:17] Jeff: Yeah.

[00:59:17] Christina: Go for it.

[00:59:19] Jeff: Uh, well, it’s, it’s really, so it’s, it’s this torrent app on setup called Folks,

[00:59:26] Christina: Oh yeah!

[00:59:27] Jeff: And like, it is a good app in a, in that any torrent app could be good. I mean, they’re all, it’s such a shit show that you’re navigating. And, and so it’s, it’s. Clean. And I, I get my stuff quickly and I don’t have to look at crazy ass ads ever.

[00:59:40] Jeff: Um, and, and I’ve really appreciated it cause I haven’t found anything better. I don’t like love it the most, but I want to just say if anybody knows of anything that’s even cleaner and more elegant and has a, uh, even better search functionality, uh, I’ll, I’ll look at it. Um,

[00:59:57] Christina: so you’re looking for something that can search for [01:00:00] stuff, not just something that will manage torrents.

[01:00:02] Jeff: Yeah, and even just, I don’t even, I don’t seed shit. I’m a, I’m a one way Johnny.

[01:00:07] Christina: Right. Okay.

[01:00:08] Jeff: that, put that season one of Columbo in my pocket, and I’m

[01:00:11] Christina: it. Okay. So, so Transmission won’t give you the search, but is a very clean interface if you have another way to use it. So Transmission, which was recently Within the last year or so, like, it finally got a massive 4. 0 upgrade. Um, 4. 05, I think, came out two days ago, so that’s now finally being actively developed again.

[01:00:27] Christina: Um, and, and it runs natively on M1 Macs now and whatnot, and, and that is, um, it’s on, it’s on a number of platforms, but it was originally a Mac app. Um, that’s, I think, like, the best all around clean client. However, uh, it’s not gonna give you, like, the, the searchability stuff, so

[01:00:44] Jeff: Yeah, and I mean, and I do, I, part of why I’m interested if there’s something better is not, I mean, cause they do an amazing job when you consider the shitscape that is Searching Torrents online. I mean, what you have to navigate to show you something.

[01:00:57] Brett: you have a Synology, don’t you, Jeff?

[01:00:59] Jeff: I sure do [01:01:00] have a

[01:01:00] Brett: Um, there are transmission is available for Synology. Uh, there’s also a default package called download station that actually

[01:01:10] Jeff: yeah,

[01:01:10] Brett: really, really decent search, uh, really decent, like it’ll automatically find magnet links. And then you can just like. Pick a torrent and then come back the next day and you don’t have to sit and watch the number of peers and percentage download and everything and it just goes to your Synology while you sleep and

[01:01:31] Jeff: tell me when the first three police academies are ready.

[01:01:33] Brett: it works pretty well, yeah. I have found, I have found many, many a TV show unavailable on streaming using Download Station.

[01:01:42] Christina: Yeah, Download Station is great and, uh, and Usenet, and, and Usenet is still a great thing too if you’re willing to pay for, um, uh, you know, some of the, the Usenet services. You can get a lot of really great stuff from

[01:01:54] Brett: There are still Usenet services?

[01:01:56] Christina: yeah, no, they’re, well, okay, again, it’s, it’s just for file sharing.

[01:01:59] Christina: So, [01:02:00] um, but, but there’s GigaNews, there are a bunch of them and basically, like, they will have, like, really long retention times and you can use things like Sonar and Radar to search. and find basically anything you want and whatever quality you want and then just queue it up and it’ll download for you.

[01:02:14] Jeff: Okay. Got it. Cool. Thank you. I will, I will start

[01:02:17] Christina: We should have like a piracy episode sometime. Uh

[01:02:20] Jeff: That’d be fun. Is there a great piracy guest we could bring?

[01:02:24] Christina: huh, I’m thinking about

[01:02:26] Jeff: An actual pirate?

[01:02:27] Christina: mean maybe, maybe. I was actually, I was actually thinking maybe we could get one of the torrent freak guys on to talk.

[01:02:32] Jeff: Oh yeah. I would love to pepper questions at a torrent expert slash piracy slash pirate.

[01:02:42] Brett: Guaranteed to get us, um, top billing on the podcast apps.

[01:02:48] Christina: I mean, you never know. I mean, like, it depends. Like, are they algorithmically determined? If so, then yeah, probably.

[01:02:53] Brett: I

[01:02:54] Christina: If there’s no human, like, curating that stuff, then like, yeah.

[01:02:58] Jeff: Man. What’s yours,

[01:02:59] Christina: [01:03:00] Okay, so we were talking about, um, uh, ReadIt, um, uh, later apps, and I have to say, like, I’ve been using, for the last year or so, I’ve been using, um, uh, ReadWise is, uh, Reader.

[01:03:10] Christina: And, and it’s awesome. And so Readwise is, is a service, uh, Readwise. io. And, um, I, uh, and they have a reader service, which will also kind of act as like a read it later thing, which is really, really good. Like you can, it’s basically the idea is that you can kind of like import all of your highlights from like your Kindle and your Instapaper or iBooks or, you know, Pocket or whatever, you know, if you’re wanting to kind of keep track of that stuff.

[01:03:34] Christina: And then Reader, they basically built like a read it later for Power users is how they describe it. And. I love it because you can basically bring in RSS, you can bring in PDFs, you can bring in like YouTube videos, you know, you can bring in other read it later stuff, you can bring in EPUBs, you can connect newsletters to it, and so it’s, they literally built an app that like, Would be like I remember when I first read about it.

[01:03:57] Christina: I was like, okay This is the the perfect app for me Like [01:04:00] this seems like this was done for me and like I I’m still you know I think I might I have to check I think I still pay for Instapaper Pro I don’t even know anymore, but I was like a line I was like a but I was like a lifetime Instapaper person even though I haven’t used that actively in a really long time and and I never really got into pocket because I was team Marco and you know like Whatever.

[01:04:22] Christina: Um, and, and like old grudges die hard, frankly. uh, cause I remember when that first started out as like a Firefox extension and they kind of copied like, like Marco’s whole thing. Anyway, um, like everything’s under the bridge now, but like, you know, I, I’ve always, like, uh, we used to say at, at Gizmodo, it was like, people were like, oh, we’ll just use Pocket, and we were like, no, we were an Instapaper family.

[01:04:43] Christina: Um, and, but now I think I’m, I’m, I’m, I’m a, um, a Readwise reader family. Um, it’s a really, really good app, and so if you’re looking, go on.

[01:04:53] Brett: I had heard about this, but I had never checked it out before. And I’m looking through the feature list and, um, yeah, [01:05:00] bringing like, especially if I can combine my like Kindle reading, uh, and my highlights in eBooks with stuff I find on the web and read later, tagging and, and note searching and it can sync to our sometimes sponsored notion.

[01:05:17] Christina: Yep.

[01:05:18] Brett: Yeah, that’s, this looks pretty great.

[01:05:20] Christina: Yeah, no, it’s really, really good. And, um, the pricing of it, um, is, uh, like, uh, you know, you can, you can use, you can try it out. Um, but I think it’s like eight dollars a month or something, which for me is completely worth it. So,

[01:05:36] Brett: Nice.

[01:05:37] Jeff: and to any listeners who now have the song under the bridge in their head like I do, just because Christina said the words under the bridge, I see you. But I cannot help you because I can’t even help myself.

[01:05:48] Christina: I’m sorry about that. But yeah, it’s a great song, though.

[01:05:54] Brett: Last thing, last thing I’ll mention for anyone who has bought an Ultimate [01:06:00] Hacking Keyboard based on my recommendation. Um, they just came out with, they call it the Riser 60, and it is a, uh, tenting mechanism for your keyboard that gives you, I think, up to 60 degree Tilt, uh, from the side, which is ergonomically fantastic.

[01:06:21] Brett: Like I tent mine at like 10 degrees using the built in feet, but I’m so excited to have it tented like almost vertically and tight from the side. That’s so

[01:06:31] Jeff: wait to show you the keyboard that is, that is custom built for the three fucking fingers I use to type, because it’s gonna, it’s gonna do to you what all this does to me. You’re going to be like, well, I don’t know how to use a machine so complex.

[01:06:44] Brett: I, you, I’m showing you, I did this to my finger and.

[01:06:48] Jeff: showing me a cut finger which he’ll now retract.

[01:06:51] Brett: it’s,

[01:06:52] Christina: ha! Fuck off, Siri. Oh, okay. That was

[01:06:55] Jeff: hard to understand.

[01:06:57] Brett: uh, but I, I butchered my finger [01:07:00] and I couldn’t touch type with, with, because every time my keyboard was covered in blood, it was, it was wicked. So I started trying to type with my two, like, four fingers.

[01:07:10] Brett: And trying to like, hunt and peck type, and I can’t do it. Like, my brain is so geared to touch typing, that I don’t know, it takes me so long just to type the word the. It took so much effort, it was insane, I don’t know how you do it.

[01:07:27] Jeff: Well, see, now when everything gets even worse and people have their fingers all cut up, look who’s gonna still be writing. And you’re gonna be over there with your fucking tent typewriter or whatever the fuck it is you’ve got. I’m kidding. What are you doing?

[01:07:40] Brett: It’s like a homeless shelter for typewriters.

[01:07:43] Jeff: Aw, that’s nice. Alright. Oh,

[01:07:46] Christina: We should have, um, um, his book, the shipping has been delayed because of slipcover madness, but when, um, when Martian’s, um, um, book comes out, like, we should have him back on the pod.

[01:07:56] Jeff: Slipcover Madness would

[01:07:57] Brett: have paid for that. I am anxious to get it.

[01:07:59] Christina: Me too, [01:08:00] me too. It’s probably not going to happen by Christmas, but um,

[01:08:03] Jeff: He was a guest when I was away, right? Wasn’t he a guest when I was away?

[01:08:06] Christina: yeah, I’d love to have him back to talk with you, because you guys would like, I mean, look, he just, he fits this pot, like, perfectly.

[01:08:11] Christina: Like, I met him.

[01:08:12] Jeff: he tent his keyboards?

[01:08:16] Christina: I mean, he has like the most insane typewriter and keyboard collection, like, of anybody you’ve seen. He literally wrote this book about, like, the history of

[01:08:24] Jeff: I love it.

[01:08:25] Christina: stuff. And, and he and I, um, met and like became friends because we talked about, um, about, um, uh, sneakers one day for like three and a half hours in Twitter DMs.

[01:08:36] Jeff: The movie or the article of clothing? Okay, got it. Great. Does anybody call them sneakers still?

[01:08:41] Christina: Uh, usually kicks, but yeah, I mean, something people come to. Yeah.

[01:08:44] Jeff: That’s what the kids are saying.

[01:08:46] Brett: up kicks.

[01:08:47] Jeff: the

[01:08:48] Christina: right, foster the people.

[01:08:49] Jeff: I’m gonna, I’m gonna,

[01:08:51] Jeff: fight you with

[01:08:53] Brett: good to see you guys.

[01:08:54] Jeff: under the bridge. Get some sleep under the bridge downtown. Bye.[01:09:00]