Mask rule updates, the lifelong struggle of untangling diet culture, and puppy training tips.

Rockem Dog Training




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This is Joy & Claire Episode 75: Mask Rules

Episode Date: May 20, 2021

Transcription Completed: June 6, 2021

Audio Length: 53:17 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: This is Joy and Claire. How’re we doing? How’s the mask wearing going? Because we just got the announcement this week from President Biden and the CDC that if you’re fully vaccinated, then you don’t have to wear a mask in “most” places.

Claire: Right.

Joy: I’m sure places can still mandate it if it’s business decision.

Claire: A lot of places are, yeah. The thing that I’m seeing is a lot of businesses that are writing on their social media, hey listen, we don’t have the ability, nor do we want to have to ask everyone who comes in here to prove that they’re vaccinated. So for now, we don’t really trust y’all.

Joy: Exactly.

Claire: And so, a lot of places, like the coffee shop we go to, are saying still wear your mask because this is basically the honor system, and our employees don’t feel confident that only vaccinated people will not be wearing masks. 

Joy: Right. We don’t trust the people not getting vaccinated to abide by the mask wearing.

Claire: Yeah. I think that’s legit because I think a lot of people who are not interested in getting vaccinated… there’s a large overlap in my experience of talking to people – in the Venn diagram of people who are not interested in getting vaccinated –

Joy: Be careful. Be careful.

Claire: I know. And people who have been begrudgingly wearing masks. So, I think –

Joy: Just saying there’s a Venn diagram that is overlapping.

Claire: I think a lot of people out there would agree and have had that experience as well. I appreciate the businesses and will very much be interested to see what happens. I think that it’s great that the business still have their own ability to do that. It will also be interesting to see the businesses that are like, great, we don’t care. Maybe restaurants who are like, finally, this is going to make things so much easier for us. Like the gym I go to, which I’ve been talking about this whole time, has been so good about masks. They were the first ones to be like, “We don’t have to wear masks anymore. This is so amazing.” And I kind of was like, okay, you know, I’ll see how I feel. And everyone has said you can wear it if you want, but we all kind of know… it’s the mask thing. You wearing a mask doesn’t protect you from other people around you. It protects them from you. 

Joy: Yes.

Claire: So, it’s a little bit hard to be like, “You’ll be fine if you’re wearing a mask.” That’s not the case. And that’s been the problem this whole time is you can wear the mask as much as you want, but if the people around you aren’t wearing masks, then they’re not as effective or not effective in the same way. I’m feeling a little apprehensive about it. 

Joy: Are you? I am too. I am too. I was talking to Scott about this because he got a notification – he goes to Orange Theory, and he’s been doing masked workouts. I’ve been doing the same thing when I go to the gym. I have been wearing masks the whole time. It’s not a big deal. By the way, if you want the best workout mask if you’re going to still wear a mask when you work out, the Under Armor sport mask is the best because you can actually breathe, and it’s great. So, the message to him was like, there’s a maskless workout. And they made it a point to say you don’t have to wear a mask. I was like, again, how do we know that everyone is being honest that they have been vaccinated? Why don’t they say, follow the CDC guidelines about mask wearing, instead of being like, “It’s a maskless workout.” I think that would be a smarter way to do it. Then Scott was like, you can’t ask people if they’ve been vaccinated. Can’t they just as least say, hey, we’re trusting that you’re being honest and following the rules. You don’t have to go up to the person to be like, “Show me your CDC card.”

Claire: That’s what the CDC is doing though. They’re saying, “Come on, guys. We’re all in this together. Please only take your mask off if you’ve been vaccinated.”

Joy: I know, but we have been this whole time –

Claire: I know, that’s the concerning thing.

Joy: This is the frustrating and angry part where I get angry. There’s the anti-vaxers, there’s the anti-maskers. We’re still bumping up against that where we’re in this huge group project with the world, and there’s people who aren’t playing by the rules.

Claire: And the answer is, well, if you’re fully vaccinated, then the data show that you don’t have to worry about that anymore.

Joy: Right, the data.

Claire: I mean, truly.

Joy: I know. It’s important to read data.

Claire: It’s important to do that. And I think that the shift in mindset about the vaccine versus the mask has been hard for me to remind myself that – like I was just saying, it wasn’t enough just for your to be wearing a mask, so that’s why it very much felt like, hey guys, my wearing a mask doesn’t count for a whole lot unless everyone else is doing it. And of course, the vaccine is the same way if we’re looking from a herd immunity standpoint. But when you are looking at an individual standpoint, the vaccine is effective if it’s only you. From a public health standpoint, again, it’s a different conversation. You need to have as many people vaccinated as possible for it to be effective. But if you are the sole vaccinated person in a room of unvaccinated people and someone comes in and has COVID, you’re going to be okay, so says the data and so says the science, and we believe the science.

Joy: We believe in science, and we believe in data.

Claire: That’s the thing is, it’s sort of like, hey vaccinated people, we get it. We still really, really need to be encouraging as many people as possible. We’re doing more vaccine drives. We’re trying to get more information out there.

Joy: By the way, can I just tell you something so amazing? And of course, Scott knew about this. Oh my gosh, I feel so stupid. I don’t know this rapper, let me Google. I think it’s Duplo.

Claire: Diplo? I think that’s how you pronounce it. Dippin’ Dots?

Joy: Okay, yeah. Sorry. 

Claire: Duplo is the giant Legos. 

Joy: So not Duplo. Yeah. I was like, “Duplo.” Diplo. “Thomas Wesley Pence, known professionally as Diplo is an American DJ.” Sorry that I have to Wiki this. He had a show at Red Rocks recently. Red Rocks is our amazing venue in Colorado. If you ever have a chance to go see a concert there, we always love it. Or just go walk around, it’s beautiful. He had a concert there. And he was telling everybody, encouraging everybody, he probably spent some money on some vaccines and had a vaccine site at the top where people could go get vaccinated during the show. And you got a free t-shirt if you got vaccinated. You got a Diplo t-shirt. That is how you do it. You at the show be like, “Hey everybody, let’s be safe. There’s plenty of people who don’t have access to go to a vaccine site. Maybe they don’t have a ride.

Claire: I mean, I don’t know. If you’re at a Diplo concert at Red Rocks, you have a ride.

Joy: But no, seriously, what if you’re the biggest fan and you’re like, I gave all my money to go to this show and I don’t always have transportation. And he’s just like, “Here’s some vaccines. I’m putting it right here. Go get a shot, and then enjoy the show. Let’s work towards herd immunity.” Anyway, I just thought that was really cool.

Claire: Yeah. I saw one where they were doing it at A-Basin where you could ski up and get it.

Joy: Amazing. All of that.

Claire: Getting creative. I appreciate it. I have definitely heard from people, and not so much people in our age group, but definitely older people and maybe even some younger people who are a little less gung-ho to go get it who are like, “I just can’t find an appointment.” It’s like, well then, let us bring the vaccine to you wherever you may be.

Joy: Wherever you are. And if you look at your governor’s website, there’s probably a million vaccine websites. There’s a lot of walk-in clinics across the state wherever you are.

Claire: It’s getting easier.

Joy: Yeah, it’s getting easier and easier for sure. So, I’m just going to read a couple quick Q&A from our governor’s website if you’re worried about the vaccine. “Has this vaccine been tested enough?” We hear that a lot. “This vaccine is the result of years of research and unprecedented testing.” So, coronavirus is not the only… COVID-19 –

Claire: COVID-19 is not the only coronavirus, is what you’re trying to say.

Joy: Thank you. Yes, exactly. It’s not like they just all of the sudden decided to work from this vaccine only. So, people need to understand and do some reading around that, because this has been years and years of research that they put into this specific vaccine. “Do I have to get the vaccine if I am young and healthy? It’s important to vaccinate 70% of all” – this is Colorado – “all Coloradans so that we can protect everyone. Does the vaccine give you COVID-19? The vaccine for COVID-19 cannot give you COVID-19. Does the vaccine cause serious side effects? You may have minor side effects. With serious side effects, it’s highly unlikely. Are there long-term effects? Millions have received the vaccine, and no long-term effects have been detected.” So, again, just kind of encouraging you to read –

Claire: And that’s the tricky one, right? It’s like, yeah, this particular vaccine they’ve been studying for a year. But a year to most people doesn’t sound like long-term effects. But I was really interested to find – because that was one of my questions was what if 30 years down the road, we all develop pink eye or who knows what. But I came to find that no vaccines are tested for 30 years down the road. The only data that is collected ongoing on vaccines is if there’s something that’s – like you wouldn’t give a bunch of people the chicken pox vaccine, and then 30 years down the road when they all start getting pink eye think, “Oh, it must be caused by the chicken pox vaccine.” There aren’t any studies like that. Which to me was kind of like, oh, I kind of wish there were. But at least it’s good to know that this isn’t the only one that we don’t do this for and we’re just kind of trying to tell everyone, “Shh, it’s fine. It’s fine. Take it, take it.”

Joy: Right, right, right.

Claire: And I mean, look at the chicken pox vaccine. My kids both got the chicken pox vaccine. I got chicken pox when I was a kid. I mean, it sucked, and you’re at risk for shingles later in life. But that being said, there is not a lifetime of evidence about the chicken pox vaccine. All that to say that new vaccines come available all the time without those very long-term amounts of data. I get it. 

Joy: I absolutely get it.

Claire: There’s questions. And it’s a unique situation that most of us have not been in in our lives, to have to make a decision like this.

Joy: Sure, sure, absolutely. And everyone has the right to make their choice about their bodies. I think that this – I’ve said this before – this particular vaccine comes with a lot of politics, which I think is unfortunate because it kind of drowns out the actual data and the actual science even. Dr. Fauci can sit there and tell you all the facts, and people are going to politicize Dr. Fauci. So, I think for anyone on the fence about getting the vaccine, I would just really encourage you to do more reading from multiple sources and listen to the experts. Truly listen to the experts because at the end of the day, we’re really all in this together and it really is saving lives. 

Claire: So – 

Joy: I do want to say really quick. As far as the mask-wearing. Because I went to Costco yesterday and they still are requiring masks. And I’m just prepared to go everywhere with a mask now. Just because the mask mandate has been lifted and the CDC is saying anyone who is fully vaccinated, which I am, can go places without a mask, I still feel a responsibility to protect others. And I don’t know – I mean, even though I’m safe, I just am still wanting to protect other people. Which I’m not trying to be some martyr, and I’m not saying if you don’t do that you don’t care about other people, but I just feel like that is something… [laughing] Claire. Well, maybe. [laughing] But I feel like going into a store and wearing a mask, the other part that I think about over the past year is I haven’t been sick in over a year. Masks work apparently. And washing your hands.

Claire: I know, isn’t that interesting. And there’s other reasons that masks work. My favorite thing that masks work for are covering the giant, freaking cold sore I’ve had on my chin for the past week and a half that I otherwise –

Joy: And no one’s going to question why you’re wearing a mask.

Claire: No, no one’s going to be like, “Uh, you have a cold sore the size of a small child just hanging out on your face.” I’m like, haha, you can’t see it. I’ve seen a lot of funny tweets that are like, man, the CDC couldn’t have given us a count down? 

Joy: I look like crap. [laughing]

Claire: Exactly. But I will also say though it has felt good to go some places without masks. Like I went to a friend’s house the other day, didn’t even bring a mask with me. It was somebody’s house. I feel like we can stop doing the justification for every single scenario. 

Joy: Sure, right, right.

Claire: But it was like, I got out of the care. And even though I’ve been vaccinated for a few weeks and most of my friends have been vaccinated longer than I have even. I still at least walk into someone’s house with a mask on, and then sort of do the “Are you okay if I take this off?” thing.

Joy: Totally, I’m the same way.

Claire: Yeah. It just feels more like a curtesy to be like, hey, I want you to know my expectation. I’m fine with this. If you’re okay with me taking it off, I will. If not, I’ll leave it on.

Joy: Yep.

Claire: And in this situation, I didn’t even take one with me. I didn’t even have one in the car, and I was like, this is weird.

Joy: It feels free. Yeah. We had our first in-person puppy class with Cadet yesterday.

Claire: Yeah, I saw your Instagram story. How fun was that?

Joy: It was really cool. We have to do two puppy training classes a month, and we’ve been doing them all virtually, which has been fine, but it’s just not the same for the dogs. So, one of the trainers did it kind of in her driveway, which was great. And I showed up with a mask. And she was like, “Everybody just do what you’re comfortable doing based on the guidelines that we just heard from yesterday,” blah blah blah. So, everyone chose not to wear a mask. We were outside, and I felt fine with it. I felt like everyone else did too. But I think the going into the stores still wearing them, I’m going to respect the store.

Claire: Being in a big group of people. Yeah.

Joy: I’m going to respect the store’s policies. If the store is deciding to make a decision about something, then I’m going to respect what the store has to say.

Claire: And I think it’s interesting to have that sort of flipped now because a month ago, it was like stores can’t just decide whatever they want. You have to listen to the governor. And now we’re like, stores can do whatever they –

Joy: It’s 100% the flip flop, which I find so funny and it even feels a little hypocritical saying it. Totally hypocritical saying it, but I think what’s funny is one of my good friends texted me the other day. He’s like, you know, it’s kind of funny now that people don’t have to wear masks that don’t like the president, they don’t have anything to be pissed off about around masks. I think that was one of the big f*** you’s is “I’m not wearing a mask,” but now what he kind of alluded to earlier is the people who probably won’t get vaccinated are the ones who don’t really want to wear masks all the time. Not everybody. Don’t freak out. 

Claire: It’s not everybody.

Joy: Don’t send me hate mail.

Claire: I think it’s interesting. And I feel like this happens in every social scenario that you want to defer to the highest degree of safety. It’ll be interesting to see over the next couple of weeks – I know a lot of people are having these same feelings of like, okay, I get it, technically it’s allowed now, but am I personally ready? 

Joy: Are we ready?

Claire: And how do I personally feel? I might be vaccinated, but I still have complicated feelings about it. What about the workers? What about all these different things. And last week we talked about how quickly old experiences feel normal again. 

Joy: Traveling. Getting on a plane.

Claire: The first time you go out to eat at a restaurant. The first time you go back to a concert. The first time where you get in an Uber again where at first you’re like, “I don’t know, is it going to be weird?” and within a couple of minutes, “Oh, this is fine.”

Joy: Totally. It’s my normal again.

Claire: And so, I’ll be interested to see over the coming weeks. We’ll be like, I actually don’t think about brining masks with me anymore. That anxiety went away immediately. And I was freaked out the first time I walked into a store with a bare face, and now I can’t believe we did that for a year and a half.

Joy: I’m really excited, and I’ve been seeing some posts recently of people taking vacations and saying, “Oh my gosh, it feels so good to be back here.” I loved seeing that because I know how hard we’ve all been working to keep everybody safe. The last point I’ll make about this is just the going into the stores thing is when stores, whether or not they make their policy still, I’m going to respect whatever the store’s policies are or whatever facility I’m going to be going into. But I noticed a reaction yesterday when I went into one of our local grocery stores is when I was leaving with my groceries, I saw a woman walking in with her son and they didn’t have masks on. But the store still had this “please wear a mask” policy. All I could think was like, what’s going to happen in there. Because you know, we have these opposite rules, and I don’t know. I think it’s just interesting on a social, psychology level to be like, how are we going to be taking this information because we’re still apprehensive. And I’m still concerned for the people who aren’t vaccinated. But last night, Scott and his best friend went out to at Edgewater Public Market, and he’s like, “It was packed. It was so cool to see everyone just out and about.” You still wore masks when you walked in, but he was like, “We were able to sit at a table with people, and people weren’t freaking out.” It was crowded. People were giving these food establishments business. Another concern I have is making sure that our local businesses get money and people patronize them and people go back out into the community.

Claire: And that’s been the tension this whole time, right, is it’s about small businesses, it’s about the economy, it’s about people keeping their jobs. Anyway. 

Joy: Yeah, I think that’s a hard one. One last thing. I think that’s always been a hard thing because I never want it to come across as we don’t care about small businesses. But that was really hard of which battle do you choose because you want everybody to be alive because this pandemic was so bad, but you also want small businesses to survive. I think that was always a hard thing for me to wrap my head around. No, we have to shut down. We have to shut down so that the numbers go down and the frontline healthcare workers can survive and that people can live, but at what cost?

Claire: That I think was something that if you look at more of the government response, to me that was where that should, could have come from was, okay, let’s give the businesses what they need to pay their employees without having to turn this into a people’s health versus economy.

Joy: Exactly. The government should have, yeah, totally agree with you.

Claire: And you know, the current government and the former government, I think they both could and should have been doing a lot more to provide stimulus to businesses and individuals. And that is, you know, I lean almost to the point of socialism with a lot of my economic beliefs, so I know that that can be seen as sort of, like – I won’t even say socialism because true socialism is not what I’m talking about here. Socialist democracy. It’s so interesting, sometimes I post on my Instagram, and people who live in more social democratic countries like Sweden or Denmark or places, they’ll send me notes and be like, “Why do people in America think that it’s either capitalism or true socialism?” And this is a whole other podcast episode. It’s like a whole other podcast, but it is so interesting to realize that is where our brains go is straight into straight up socialism. But anyway, the point of the story is that I really do believe in the role of government to financially be involved in people’s lives. And then we did not see that. I think that is what created that tension and made a lot of that tension a lot worse. Okay. So, I want to talk completely different topics now. We did just spend quite a lot of time talking about some serious pandemic stuff that everyone is probably so sick of thinking about and so tired of talking about.

Joy: You know what though, we’re tired of talking about it but it’s our everyday life. I selfishly want to have this podcast be a little bit of a time capsule. I don’t ever go back and listen to episodes, but maybe I will one day and be like, wow, what was it like?

Claire: But I could, just to know that I could.

Joy: To know that I could. What was it like when we were living during the pandemic? Or even someone who’s born ten years from now that’s like, oh, I really want to know what life was like during the pandemic. We’re going to be a piece of history, Claire, is basically what I’m saying.

Claire: We’re going in the Smithsonian.

Joy: Please have a Smithsonian about podcasts and please put us in it. Thank you.

Claire: I mean, they should. They’re going to, I’m sure.

Joy: That’s really funny.

Claire: So, talk a little bit more about Cadet’s puppy training class because we get questions all the time asking, “Hey Joy, I know that the CCI thing is completely its own deal, but where do you recommend people go just for day-to-day puppy training?” I’ve been texting you with questions of like, “Hey, this has been happening. Is this normal?” You’re like, “Yeah, it’s normal.” It’s sucks – like the biting thing. 

Joy: Puppy biting stage is not –

Claire: And then I was doing some research last night because River straight up will go after me. And no one else in the family. If she sees me, she will stop what she’s doing and come over and bite me. I was doing some research about it, and it was like, this is common for the person in the house that they see as the mother figure.

Joy: Alpha.

Claire: Yeah, an alpha. It was like, completely ignore it. I was like, “Have you ever tried ignoring being bitten by a bunch of needles?”

Joy: They’re razors. Puppy teeth are razors, and they are so painful.

Claire: And she always goes for the back of my knee and the back of my triceps, and I’m like how does she know.

Joy: That that’s the most tender part of your body.

Claire: She can’t go for my bony wrist or something. She has to go for the exposed, delicate flesh. 

Joy: Oh gosh, I totally remember. And it’s very shocking.

Claire: And I love the tips that are like, “Just ignore it.” Have you ever been bitten by a puppy and tried to just ignore it?

Joy: You can’t ignore it. You can redirect, but you can’t ignore it.

Claire: But anyway. I wanted you to talk about, what do you tell people, what do you recommend? And we can sort of reference this once and for all when people send you that question.

Joy: Sure. Right, right, right. So, my first and foremost recommendation is just get your dog into some obedience training. I don’t care what it is. It could be at your local PetSmart, at your local Petco. Those are two of our pet stores in the US. Any local pet shop that offers obedience training, do it. It doesn’t matter that it’s any specific style of training, as long as you like the trainer, as long as you feel like the dog is responding, as long as the class sizes aren’t too big. Here’s the other thing. In a class size with puppies, they’re going to be distracted, so there’s a level of – sure, the training is going to be a little scattered at times because they’re just distracted around other dogs, and that is totally natural. So, you want to sign them up for success and put them in an environment where there’s enough space where they don’t have to get too distracted being closer to another dog. But obedience training or any other type of basics training for dogs is what I would recommend. So don’t get too tied up on the type of training or what kind of program they should do. Because if you don’t train your dog, you’re setting yourself up for a really horrible relationship with your dog. I’m not saying that that happens with everybody, but for the most part your dog needs training. Your dog needs structure. Your dog needs to know who’s the alpha in the house, where their place is in the pack. If you even just want to read up and watch some – I don’t always ascribe to Cesar Millan’s ways, but he does have some good kind of how to interact with a dog, so you can watch some of his shows.

Claire: Kind of like how to think about being around dogs. 

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: He has some pretty interesting books too that are pretty easy reads.

Joy: Yeah. He’s kind of the more popular guy in the dog training world. There’s some things that I don’t really think that are necessary, but there’s also a couple Netflix shows that I can’t say that they’re good or bad because I haven’t watched them yet. There’s mostly shows around how to train the dog from hell, and I just don’t think that that’s realistic either because not every dog is going to need that type of training. As young as you can, start training your dog. Without going into the very nitty gritty details, even if you get a puppy that’s eight weeks old, don’t stress over training the dog stuff from day one. Get the puppy comfortable in your home. Give them some time to just relax. Make sure it’s a nice environment, that they’re integrating into your family well. Start to teach them their name by just talking to them with their name. And don’t worry too much about that. And then just really stay consistent. Any type of training that you do, it doesn’t work unless you’re consistent. With dogs, the rule of thumb in training is to do 2–5-minute sessions at a time. So, our trainers always talk about breakfast, lunch, and dinner is kind of how we think about it. You always eat breakfast, you always eat lunch, and you always eat dinner. Generally speaking. Think about training your dog 2-5 minutes at a time breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Dogs don’t have the attention span to do long training sessions, and you will know pretty quickly when they stop responding. Those are the pieces of advice I like to give as far as being consistent. It doesn’t take a lot of time, but you just have to do it every single day until they really get to it. And once they get older, you can teach them other tricks if you want to. But I will give you a resource of a former CCI trainer who has an amazing Instagram account with really great dog training tips, and she also does video sessions. I love supporting her because she’s such a wonderful human. Her Instagram is @rockemdogtraining. Follow her on Instagram. Give her a DM if you want to do a private session with her on Zoom. She’s really great. I’ve done a few with her with Cadet when Cadet was really small. You would think, how do I do a Zoom training session with a dog. It is possible, and she’s so good that she knows what she’s doing. She can see behaviors even on a Zoom camera. I would highly recommend if you’re looking for an actual resource. But just the basics of getting your dog structure and getting your dog some commands and some training is going to go a long way.

Claire: Yeah. And most Humane Societies or dog shelters in your area will have classes. Especially if you have puppies, they’ll have puppy classes. Our local Humane Society, once your dog has all its shots – I think it’s funny talking about a fully vaccinated dog now. I just laugh. Once they’re fully vaccinated, they have drop-in puppy classes on Saturday for five bucks. And literally the whole point of the class is just to introduce your dog to other puppies. When we had our previous dog Luna, who we talked about, like I said we don’t know what her background had been, but based on some of her behaviors and some of her physical stuff she had going on, we think that she had just been left in the yard her whole entire life and never had been socialized at all, never had been trained at all for anything. She wasn’t even house broken, and she was two years old. It takes two weeks to house break a dog, even a puppy. River is 12 weeks old at this point.

Joy: Oh, it took us three months.

Claire: Really?

Joy: Oh yeah.

Claire: An adult dog?

Joy: Oh, an adult dog. I was thinking a puppy. Cadet was five, six months before she was fully potty trained.

Claire: No. And River is probably 80% of the way there. But if you have an adult dog, it only took us 2-3 weeks to house train Luna. All that to say, she was two years old, she wasn’t even house trained. No one had ever spent two seconds with this dog. So, we ended up using a very intense trainer with her. She actually went to go live with the trainer for a week or two. I think to your point, you just have to find something that works. It’s like a diet. I mean, a diet is a terrible example. It’s like a workout 

Joy: It’s kind of like any relationship.

Claire: It’s any habit. It doesn’t matter the specific one that you choose. What matters is that the one you choose is the one that you can stick with. 

Joy: Yep.

Claire: I obviously don’t have as much experience as you. But the reason I don’t love the Dog Whisperer stuff and those types of YouTube channels is because it is dog from hell, and you’re like – 

Joy: What I if I have a normal dog?

Claire: What if I have a normal dog, and I just need them to stop biting my triceps?

Joy: Exactly. And it’s mostly too just learning about puppies and learning about puppy behavior and learning about when it’s appropriate to socialize them more. And learning to look at signs if they’re exhausted and they need to stop training. There’s so much that goes into it of just learning about dog behavior and how dogs learn was probably the biggest piece of advice and information I learned when I trained with JT. So, I trained with him on site with professional dog trainers for two weeks, and I learned so much about dog behavior. And if you don’t understand how a dog learns, negative doesn’t really register with a dog. People who hit their dog, yell at their dog, slap their dog only makes the dog fear you. And fear can turn into aggression. So, learning all of those things about dog behavior is really important so that you don’t fall into the trap of rubbing your dog’s nose in pee or poop when it goes to the bathroom. That is the worst thing that you can do because they do not attribute their behavior – dog’s attention span is like five seconds. So, if they pee or poop –

Claire: Well yeah, the cause and effect is not –

Joy: Does not relate. So, if you do that and it was like an hour ago, they’re going to be like, “I don’t know what you’re doing now. I’m just afraid of you.” So, a lot of training things that you think might be – I don’t know where you learned it, or it’s something that you picked up from someone else – it’s not going to be effective, and your dog is actually going to regress or get fearful or scared of you.

Claire: And honestly, it can be hard when a dog comes up to you and they have a log of energy. They’ve been pushing your buttons all day. And they come up and they start nipping at you. It’s really hard to not want to be like, “Just get out of here!” And have that physical reaction. We’ve had to work on that with Miles. Particularly his reaction is, if she starts biting him, he wants to really aggressively push her away. And I think that that’s instinctive. If something is just making you crazy, it can be hard to not want to have a physical reaction. Anyway. It’s been interesting to go through this. We were like, “Oh, we can handle a puppy.” We had this super high maintenance adult dog who was truly so neglected, and it’s just so different. And I think that we are also having a lot of experiences of like – When we had our previous dog, she was such a specific high needs animal that now when the puppy does something, I’m like, oh my gosh. Is this going to be a problem forever? Or is this something that she’s going to grow out of? Or is this something that if I don’t nip this in the bud immediately, am I setting myself up for a lifetime of this? Because when we had the adult dog, this was a habit and every time you allow it, you’re going to make it worse.

Joy: Yeah. You’re going to have a different dog every time. That’s the thing that is pretty clear when you get a puppy is you think that they’re misbehaving, but the next month it’s totally different. And they all have regressions as well. But the last thing I’ll say about this – I’m happy to answer more questions if you guys have them. I’m not the expert dog trainer, but I definitely know what I’m talking about with most things. Most of the time, when a dog is misbehaving, it’s because of the trainer or the handler or the owner. And by that, I mean you’ve missed something that they’re needing and you need to regroup and maybe talk to a professional trainer. Nine times out of ten, it’s not the dog, it’s the trainer. So, for example whenever JT would have something that he did incorrectly, I’d be like, oh it’s because I’m doing this. It’s never the dog. It’s the handler not giving the right direction or not setting them up for success. So just a little tip on that too.

Claire: Just a little hit to the ego real quick.

Joy: Yeah, so just check out obedience training and go to @rockemdogtraining on Instagram. Chelsea is her name. She is awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome.

Claire: How is Cadet doing? I know we checked in a couple weeks ago about the difference between how will you know if she’s going to pass?

Joy: Well, we don’t know. You hope. We were a little nervous to go to the in-person class just because we were worried. Like what if she isn’t doing well. 

Claire: Because you haven’t had any comparison, yeah.

Joy: Yeah. We’ve done some events with a couple other puppy raisers in the past year, but it’s been pretty few and far between. Like when we went to the Boulder Police Department, we got to see other dogs, and it kind of gave me some reassurance that, okay, she’s on the right track. Because you could kind of see where she’s at and compare her to some of the other dogs that were there. But she did great yesterday. And she was the oldest dog there. We were just a team of five. There were four other dogs there. Two were really tiny, new puppies. One was five months old, and one was six months old. So, she was the oldest dog there, and I thought she did really, really great. They learn really fast, and there were a couple of commands that I wanted the trainer to go over with me to make sure I was training correctly. And I was, so I was just like, o] “kay that gives me some good confidence. But I think I was just mostly nervous to get there and for the trainer – who’s amazing. She’s so nice, and she’s so not judgmental –

Claire: And she would never be like, “Gosh, what have you been doing this whole time?”

Joy: Totally. She’s so supportive and unconditional. I just love her so much. I just feel really comfortable with her to be like, “Hey Mitzie, what about this that’s going on? What can I do when she does this?” I just don’t ever feel scared to ask her questions, and she’s just super supportive. But it was a really good class because I felt like there definitely were times when her attention was off, which is understandable. She hasn’t been around other dogs in a training session in a long time. But the biggest piece is eye contact, meaning your dog looks at you and at you for direction. Which she has nailed. So, I think she’s doing really well.  We were kind of introducing everyone, Mitzie the trainer was like, “Okay, so you guys are turning in in August, right?” And I was like, [tearfully] “Yes.”

Claire: It’s so soon.

Joy: It’s so soon. Yeah. We don’t have a date yet, but that’s kind of the projected date, so I’m just kind of waiting to hear when we’re doing that. But Scott, it’s really funny. It’s going to be really sad, and we’re going to be devastated, but we know that this has always been her journey. But Scott was like, “Why don’t we turn the trip when we turn her in into almost a vacation afterwards?”

Claire: Yeah, you should.

Joy: I was like, “Yeah, let’s please do that.” So, I think we’re going to go to Disney Land after we turn her in.

Claire: Oh my gosh, can I come with you? Can we go to Harry Potter Land?

Joy: Yes. I was like, “I really want to go to Disney.” Scott has not been to Disney Land. That would be amazing. 

Claire: You guys would love it. You would just hang out in Star Wars Land. Oh my gosh, Scott would love Star Wars Land.

Joy: Yes, I would love it. That would be so much fun. That’s kind of our unofficial plan right now.

Claire: That’s so fun.

Joy: When we turn Cadet in.

Claire: And would you take JT, or would you leave him here?

Joy: I’d leave him here. I wouldn’t take him with us on the trip. Yeah, someone will watch him. But yeah, it’s going to be a big change, but we’re not thinking about that just yet.

Claire: No. Not at all. August is eons away.

Joy: Every moment. 

Claire: Years and years from now. Okay, so we are also in this episode going to check in a little bit about some health and fitness. It’s this weird tip to get rid of your belly fat.

Joy: We’re already tripping over the topic. We’re like, what? The reason though is I feel like by ignoring it – it’s always on my mind, and I think it’s on your mind.

Claire: At the baseline of all this is a health and fitness podcast. It’s still something –

Joy: It’s still something we think about a lot.

Claire: We do, all the time. I’m going to CrossFit four, five, six times a week right now. It’s a huge part of our lives still. And yeah, I don’t think about it as much as I once did, but I still think about it a lot.

Joy: So, I think it’s important to check in on this only because I know people are wondering at times, and I just want to put it out there.

Claire: And it’s our podcast, we can talk about what we want.

Joy: For sure. We don’t want to make it taboo, and I don’t ever want to avoid it because it’s a huge part of our lives.

Claire: I’m not worried about it.

Joy: It’s still very important to me.

Claire: So, what’s on your mind?

Joy: Well, the biggest thing that’s on my mind is just the workouts that I’ve been doing and how much it means to me to be able to move and how sometimes I feel like even just talking about on the podcast we’re perpetuating the diet culture. And I just don’t think that it has to be one or the other. I can still really like to move. I’m not hating my body at the end of the day. But I will say, there’s times where I still struggle with it. And by “it,” I just mean with my diagnosis of Graves’ in November and coming back from that, I feel like I’m really close to what my naturopath will say lifelong remission. I have had this weird relationship to gaining and losing weight, which I know a lot of people can relate to. Me, personally, I’ve just never – well I guess aside from intentionally trying to lose weight from counting macros, it’s never been something that I’ve really had to experience. I’ve just been one of those types of people that stays at the same body type and same weight my entire life. So, I think that that is something that if I wasn’t being honest, I feel like I’d be doing a disservice to myself to be like, wow, there are some days that just feel really hard. Because I was super weak, and I lost a lot of weight in the fall, and I was struggling with that. But then kind of coming back up to my weight and getting back into my workouts also feels foreign because I’ve just had this weird back and forth. I’m still kind of in the middle of it, but I just feel like I wanted so bad ack when I was feeling weak and had lost significant amount of weight to be back to this place where I’m feeling strong and can do the things that I want to do again, which is like lifting heavier weights and doing some light jogging and so forth. At the end of the day, you just have to be really careful to not fall into the weight piece. Does that make sense? It’s just what my body can do because there are times where I’m like, am I working… because back in the fall, I wanted to be back to my “normal” weight, which is normal for me, not saying normal for you.

Claire: And you were losing weight because you had severe organ problems.

Joy: Yeah, I had Graves’ Disease.

Claire: So, I think what you’re saying is something that is really important and that we’ve kind of talked about in different ways before around, for example, being postpartum or coming out of an injury or anything where it’s like you spend your whole life up until the last very small handful of years basically focusing on your weight first and then everything else after that.

Joy: Yes.

Claire: And then even within CrossFit culture, even within fitness culture, even within the “strong is the new sexy” culture, there is still such an emphasis put on weight, put on aesthetics, and there’s sort of this understanding that yeah, we’re all going to pretend to only care about what our bodies can do. But first of all, that’s still a metric that may or may not mean anything to you. Maybe you do have a chronic illness. Maybe you do have a chronic injury. Maybe you’re disabled. Maybe there are things going on in your life where maintaining a certain standard of performance as your goal is not realistic for you and doesn’t –

Joy: Nor is it a priority.

Claire: Nor is it a priority, right.

Joy: It doesn’t have to be a priority, yeah.

Claire: That’s a whole conversation in and of itself that is very ablest to say it’s all about getting stronger, getting fitter, and who cares what you look like as long as you’re hitting PRs. Well, hitting PRs all the time is also not attainable for the majority of people throughout their lives.

Joy: No. That’s the other thing is that priority has changed because I just don’t do that anymore. I say this with love in my heart and just tongue and cheek for myself. But whenever I’m talking to friends about going to my workout, I’m like, “I’m going to do my grandma workouts” because I’m not going to crush it in the gym anymore. It just doesn’t feel right for me. I don’t have the desire to kill myself in every workout type of thing. But I think what you’re saying, what I felt immediately come back is this default to weight, which that doesn’t feel right.

Claire: Right. And I think in the beginning you were kid of worried about, “Well, we just keep perpetuating diet culture.” But at the end of the day, it’s important to recognize that the vast majority – you and I for sure – I think the vast majority of women who have been into fitness for a long time, we have spent our whole lives up until very recently really with that default of, “Yeah, but am I losing weight?” That it doesn’t matter what else you’re doing because the real metric that you’re supposed to be worried about it whether or not you are the “correct” body weight. Huge giant air quotes, “correct” body weight.

Joy: Huge, giant.

Claire: We all know what we’re talking about. What’s your ideal body weight? Are you back to your ideal body weight?

Joy: Did you get your body back?

Claire: And that no matter what, that is the thing in the back of your mind, and you have to fight against that because that’s your knee jerk natural reaction, and it’s really hard to get away from that because that’s how it’s been your whole life. And it’s okay. It’s shitty that it’s like that. But you’re not perpetuating diet culture by having that be where your brain goes because diet culture did that to your brain to begin with.

Joy: It’s a lot of programming that needs to be unprogrammed.

Claire: And maybe it won’t ever go away.

Joy: Maybe not.

Claire: It will be there your whole life. You’re 43, and this is still coming up daily. And you know, it’s just more of understanding, wow, I hate that that’s there. That’s so tiring. And I’m going to acknowledge it and acknowledge that that’s not me anymore. And wow, how interning that that still comes up. Instead, I’m going to go and make it into the gym and move my body. I’m so grateful for the movement that I have. That’s been something that I’ve really been grateful for this year. I don’t have a receipt for this. It just sort of happened. Is in the evolution of me coming back to very regular fitness is completely letting go of every expectation I have of myself, other than truly just to show up.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: I used to say that. “Oh, it’s a win just to be here.” But really in the back of my mind I was thinking, “And because I’m here so much, I’m going to be getting all these PRs.” And that’s just not the case for me anymore. I’m not pushing myself in every workout. For me, the subtext used to be, “Half the battle’s just showing up.” But the other half of the battle is hating yourself if you don’t do better than you did the day before.

Joy: Well, here’s the other thing. Especially if we’re going to talk about the CrossFit world is we were looking up to people. The idols of CrossFit at the beginning were Christmas Abbott.

Claire: My idol forever.

Joy: Yes, your idol forever. 

Claire: Christmas forever.

Joy: Christmas forever. We’re looking at people with these rock-hard bodies and doing CrossFit. That’s what we were aspiring to live up to. I’m not speaking for everyone. That was kind of the face of CrossFit, so when you go in, you’re in that world of that is the epitome of body. It’s really interesting to me that we’re kind of just letting go of the fitspo world still. And just going into the gym to move. I go in some times and I’m just stretching. I say this because I used to really put pressure on myself to really kill myself with every workout and really go hard. I do feel like that was a part of the reason why I developed Graves’ Disease was because of how hard I was working out. I really do believe that contributed. So now that I’m being nice to my body and being like, I don’t really need to make my heart rate go through the roof every time I work out. I just need to feel good. I don’t have any weight in mind when I’m going to lift weights. Whatever feels good that day. And if it’s light, it’s light. And that doesn’t matter to me anymore. But it is interesting to me how especially because we started out as a CrossFit podcast and that was kind of the body type that you were – I don’t know if anyone put pressure on you to have that, but that’s kind of what CrossFit was.

Claire: Absolutely. We were very much on that train of “strong is the new skinny.” I can’t believe women want to be skinny. Why wouldn’t they want to be strong?

Joy: Remember when all the time we’d be like, “You’re going to be bulky.” We always talked about that.

Claire: To this day, I maintain that. 

Joy: For sure. But even that discussion is like –

Claire: Shaming people for wanting or not wanting certain body types.

Joy: Right.

Claire: And I think that it really does come down to an evolution of what’s that balance between wanting to truly be totally accepting of your body in whatever situation that you are in today, while still acknowledging there are things in my body that either need to be healed or that I would be happier with if they were a different way. For me, it used to be, “I don’t like being slow. I wish I was faster.” Now, I don’t give a crap if I’m slow. I’m the slowest girl in the gym. I’ve been here for nine years. I don’t care. I’m not getting faster. I’ve accepted myself slowness. But that’s not the case for everybody. People out there, they do feel that really strong drive to be like, but I want to PR, I want to attain x, y, z goal.

Joy: That stuff feels good too. Like, I lifted more weight than I had in a long time the other day, and I was like, that feels great.

Claire: Totally. And I think the difference is having those things when they happen and being able to be like, “That was awesome. I’m strong.” Versus being like, my whole life revolves around this goal. And all I think about is this goal, and all my actions pertain to this goal. Or at least a lot of my actions or a lot of my thoughts. 

Joy: A lot of identity.

Claire: Yeah, a lot of identity and just so much energy.

Joy: You used to tell me all the time, which is true, you’re like – and it is just the observation that my identity is very much wrapped in performance at the gym.

Claire: And just to any activity that you do.

Joy: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I have a huge identity piece with that. I will say one thing that just kind of told me something about myself. Yesterday I was scrolling on Instagram, and I saw Busy Phillips post something about how she drinks bullet proof coffee in the morning. It was probably some ad. And she’s like, “And I love it, and it keeps me full all morning.” And I had this reaction of like, why do you need to be full all morning? Why are we perpetuating this idea that you can’t eat in the morning? It made me so angry because I’m just like, these are the things that get under my skin that make me think I shouldn’t be eating in the morning. But guess what? That also messed up my system.

Claire: Also guess what? Bullet proof coffee is like 700 calories.

Joy: Yeah. It’s like, who cares? Eat if you’re hungry. And by the way, I have to eat within an hour of waking in the morning because my naturopath is like, “Don’t ever fast. It’s horrible for women.” Things like that that just perpetuate this diet culture mentality.

Claire: If I eat right when I wake up, I feel sick. Right.

Joy: This is a celebrity.

Claire: This is a celebrity that works out on a trampoline with ankle weights. She is not you. I mean, don’t get me wrong. Those trampoline ankle workouts look very fun.

Joy: It looks fun.

Claire: So many donkey kicks.

Joy: Yeah, donkey kicks for sure. It’s very Tracy Anderson Method. I’m sorry to mention the name.

Claire: How dare you?

Joy: But I guess, when I had that reaction, it was very clear to me that I’m like, wow, this affects me. All of this affects me.

Claire: Totally. And I think it’s normal. I think it’s always going to affect you. I think it’s always going to affect most of the people listening to this podcast who found us through fitness. The entire fitness industry is built on external expectations. It takes a really long time to get to the point where you truly can release those. And a lot of times, it comes through a series of having to go through circumstances where you don’t have control over your body for one reason or another. And for some people, they are listening and thinking, I have never had control over my body. I have this diagnosis, or I’m disabled, or whatever. And it’s so privileged to even be able to think I’ve always just been chasing these external approvals. And it is. It really is. And it’s the reality for so many women. I did not arrive at the place that I’m at of truly, literally not caring what I do in the gym because I set out one day to be like, “I’m going to not care anymore.” It was more that one day I woke up and realized that, wow, I don’t care anymore. That has to be what’s going to happen. It is a lot of work on the backend, but not in the way that you think. The more that you try not to care… it doesn’t always work that way. And it sort of is like the “don’t think about an elephant.” What are you thinking about? You’re thinking about an elephant.

Joy: Right. But I think it’s kind of like, what would happen if you just don’t care? Well nothing, really. There’s really nothing negative that’s going to happen if you just stop caring.

Claire: Well, they think that. They think if I stop caring, then I’m going to get unhealthy. I’m going to lose all my giant. I’m going to lose all these things that I have held so closely to me for so long. And you kind of have to be forced to go through that, for most of us, a couple of times before you realize, oh no matter what happens my body is still going to be my body. It’s the only one I have. And I’m not going to get another one.

Joy: Yeah. This is a little bit of cognitive behavioral stuff, but whenever I have a negative thought about my body, I’m always like, I have my grandma and my mother’s body. My ancestors and my parents. It just feels kind of like an f*** you. They made me. Why would I be so hard on myself? These are the things I use to counteract the stupid stuff that comes into our heads. I have a friend, Joy, who has been on the podcast before. She’s a psychologist on the east coast. I want to have her back at some point. I’ve been taking to her about this. I sometimes have a hard time watching the diet culture, and also the culture of healthy at every size, feeling like there can never be… it’s almost like you have to be on one camp on one side. And she has an interesting perspective. I’ll let her tell her own story, but the gist is she at one point, she lost 100 lbs. She has maintained that, but I wanted her to talk more about her view of the healthy at every size and why she chose to lose 100 lbs. and maintain it and what that’s been like for her with the idea of thin privilege, which she says is a completely interesting thing to experience when you go from weight 100 lbs. more to then looking different. So, I want her to be on at some point to talk about that because I think she has some really intelligent things to say about it that it doesn’t have to be like you can’t do fitness without also appreciating healthy at every size. Fitness doesn’t mean you have to lose weight. Fitness should not ever mean the goal is to lose weight.

Claire: Full stop, end of sentence.

Joy: Full stop, yeah. Great.

Claire: That’s it for this week.

Joy: That’s that for now.

Claire: That’s it for today.

Joy: I do want to plug our two sponsors that I think we’ve been really loving is always Double Under Wonder. Can use the discount code JOY to get yourself a jump rope. It’s And Eat to Evolve with delicious meals that don’t have anything to do with dieting. It’s just food. Snacks.

Claire: It’s just food and snacks.

Joy: Fueling your body.

Claire: And they are allergen friendly a lot of them if you have dietary allergies.

Joy: Like me, I can’t have dairy. 

Claire: Yeah, a lot of it is gluten free. A lot of it is dairy free. Not all of it. Some of it is nut free. All the different choices. Check them out. Eat to Evolve.

Joy: Yeah. Discount code JOYCLAIRE15. 

Claire: Go check them out. Go grab yourself some snacks. What’s your favorite one so far?

Joy: The snacks are the paleo balls.

Claire: What’s your favorite meal?

Joy: They have a really good burger.

Claire: you love a burger.

Joy: They have two burgers that I love. I do love a burger They have two really good burgers that I love, and then they also have this buffalo chicken salad.

Claire: Oh, yeah, that’ one’s good.

Joy: It’s so good.

Claire: I like their carnitas. You know how I feel about carnitas. I love them. They’re carnitas were good. They come on potatoes. And then my favorite snack are the smoked maple pecans.

Joy: Oh, that sounds delicious. I haven’t tried those yet. 

Claire: They’re a little bit smokey. They have that smokey flavor. It’s delish.

Joy: They have – and truly guys, we don’t get paid by them, so this is not a frivolous trying to push –

Claire: We don’t make money when you order.

Joy: But they do give us food to try. So, we don’t make money off of this, but we do just want to support this business because they do make great food. And I think they’ve really nailed the packaging. No food ever gets spilled. Like some of the past products, I would get food and it was spilled in the package when it would arrive. But they also have this great grab and go option where you don’t have to reheat it. So, if you’re somewhere that doesn’t have a microwave, you can bring it throughout the day. I love it. Eat to Evolve, discount code JOYCLAIRE15. Thank you guys so much for supporting us over the years. Contact us with your feedback. Leave us a 5-star rating and review and tell us what you think.

Joy and Claire: And share with your friends. 

Claire: Jinx. Alright guys, we will talk to you next week. Bye.

Joy: Have a good one. Bye.

Covid’s effect on the workplace, traveling again and our recent trips, our personal decisions to have kids or not have kids, and products we’re loving for summer.

Adam Grant Zoom fatigue article

Lele Sadoughi masks


instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 74: Traveling Again

Episode Date: May 13, 2021

Transcription Completed: May 21, 2021

Audio Length: 61:00 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. Happy Thursday. Always on a Thursday.

Claire: Always.

Joy: I don’t know why we picked Thursday.

Claire: It was just the day that our episodes were ready the first time, I think.

Joy: We’re like, “It’s done.”

Claire: We’re like, “It’s done. Should we just release it? Yeah, sure.”

Joy: This is how is works in this podcast world? I don’t know.

Claire: I’m sure at some point somebody has made strategic decisions about this type of thing. And sometimes I feel like there’s this whole science around when to release content. A lot of you guys know, my day job, I pretty much professionally send emails to tens of thousands of people at a time. It’s just my whole life. And a huge part of that is trying to decide, when’s the best time to send an email. There’s unbelievable amounts of research behind this concept, including what’s the best day. And it’s like, well, don’t send on a Friday because nobody’s going to do anything on a Friday. Don’t send on a Monday. People are out of the office. Don’t send too early on Wednesdays because Wednesdays are really big days for meetings for a lot of people. There’s all this stuff behind it. So it’s just funny to me to think that one day we were like, “We’re going to release our podcast today.”

Joy: But is there research in the podcast world? And I’m sure it’s out there. I have not taken the time to look.

Claire: I’m sure it’s out there. It has to be out there. If it’s not out there, then we should do it.

Joy: Because I think about the podcasts I listen to. I think about the days when all my really good ones come out that I really like. And it’s like every day except for Friday. Friday’s a pretty slow podcast day because everyone’s getting ready for the weekend. Not a lot of people are listening to podcasts over the weekend. But it’s interesting because I’m like – a lot of the news podcasts release heavily on Mondays that I listen to. I don’t know. As long as my podcasts come out. Because people can save them. I know some listeners out there save them for a Saturday.

Claire: Totally. But then there are other people out there who are listening to this right now, and it’s 4 o’clock on Thursday morning, and I salute you people who, first of all wake up at 4 o’clock in the morning for any reason ever. Any reason other than to fly to a beach. I can’t imagine a good enough reason.

Joy: Some people work overnight shifts, and I applaud you times a thousand for that.

Claire: So if you are the first person to hear this, I’m excited for you.

Joy: Congratulations.

Claire: Congratulations.

Joy: I wish I had a price for you. But yeah, it’s Thursday. It’s another week. I hope that you listened to last week’s episode, which I loved. It was all of the voice memos from you guys who graciously took the time to tell us your COVID experience. And I loved it. I really, really enjoyed that one, so thank you guys for taking the time to do that. You reminded me of something, Claire, when you were talking earlier about work emails and work days and when people have meetings and Friday. Is there, I guess, a work culture of people shut down at a certain time on Friday? Or I don’t know. Because I think of Scott’s place of employment where his office, the hub, is on the east coast, so everything kind of shuts down at like 2 o’clock on Friday.

Claire: That’s so nice. When we were still in person, there was at my job this official policy in the summer between Memorial Day and Labor Day, you could leave starting at 2 o’clock on Fridays. And it was like, your manager has to say it’s okay, but this is the policy. Try not to schedule meetings after 2 o’clock. Try to get your work done. We all know that it’s the summer, and you’re not being productive anyways. So that was always really nice. I feel like no one has that anymore, now that so many people are working from home. I would say that the culture now is sort of like, I don’t really – unless I have a scheduled meeting with someone, I don’t feel like I can expect them to be online at any given moment. Versus if I had been in the office with them, I would be like, oh I’m going to go stop by this person’s desk and I would expect them to be there. But now I’m like, they could be on a walk. They could be, you know, what do I know? Maybe they had a meeting starting at 7:30 this morning with somebody on the east coast or maybe they’re working with a team in Dubai and they were up really late last night. So now’s it’s just kind of a free for all I feel like, for better or worse. 

Joy: Yeah. It’s expanded, especially working from home. A lot of people who are able to work remotely. Expanding your view of the office culture and what’s acceptable, how you view hours or availability. I like it.

Claire: And it definitely goes the other way. Like, I definitely all the time am online after my kids go to bed because honestly that’s just a more convenient time for me to work a lot of the times. I get so much more done on those nights.

Joy: You have that flexibility.

C; But a lot of times I’m online at 8 o’clock. You get on your Teams portal, and you can see who all are online, and like five or six other people are also online working then. So it goes both ways, which I appreciate, and I think that that’s a big thing that we’re all taking away from COVID is we don’t need to all work at the same time.

Joy: No. I really hope that work places change that culture. I really, really hope so. Where it’s possible.

Claire: I think it will be interesting to see. Right, where it’s possible. Because I know for you, your work schedule has to be at certain times based on clinics and certain stuff. But I think it’s been interesting. You know,  pre-COVID when I was still going into the office all the time, my department still had a policy that you could work from home one day a week. And I never did it because I was like, first of all, I like getting out of my house. I still miss that. We’ve talked about that. But also, I didn’t feel as productive because I was just so used to being in the office and people being able to walk over to someone’s desk or just yell out a question to my boss who was sitting in the office on the other side of the wall. You know, really have that close connection to people. And I think there was this real mentality that people won’t be as productive if they’re not in the office because you don’t have that. And there definitely was a learning curve, for sure, and there still are moments where I’ll have something come up and it takes five emails and three different IM conversations and a phone call and three days to resolve. I’m like, man, if I could have just walked into your office and talked to you about this, it would have been so much easier and it would have been resolved in 15 minutes. But for the most part, I think we’ve really learned that people are just as effective working from home and are just as effective if they can start work at 10 and keep working until 7, even though the rest of their team is working from 8 to 5. It’s just not that big of a deal.

Joy: Yeah, I hope there’s either some hybrid model or at least incorporating some of the practices that people put in place during COVID that worked for the companies. It makes it easier and more accessible for people with families, for people who need to drop their kids off at school, all of these little things that could really contribute to stress and burnout. I feel like if this worked for people, I really hope they keep it. And if people went into the office and that’s their thing and they loved it, I have not changed at all since COVID shut everything down. I’ve been going into the office every single day, so I don’t know the world of just doing remote work. But I can see how people would really benefit from it. At the same time, be itching to go back into the office and see people.

Claire: It was fun. I posted something on my personal Instagram several weeks ago, like months ago at this point, about how I knew it was the start of an unpopular opinion but that I really missed being in the office. And a ton of people commented and they were like, “Well, I don’t miss my 2-hour commute.” I’m like, you had a 2-hour commute? So many people had these unreal commutes, and I was sitting there thinking – I know it’s not always you apply for a job, it’s a little farther away than you thought, the commute takes longer than you thought it was going to, you can’t afford to live in a downtown area, you have to live far away. It’s not always up to you. But part of me was like, maybe you should have just gotten a closer job.

Joy: Yeah, it’s crazy. I think about my brother worked in D.C. for the last three years. He lives in a small town in Maryland, and he was like, I just wasn’t willing to relocate my family to D.C. He’s like, I knew I was eventually going to come back to closer to my home. And he commuted an hour and a half each way.

Claire: That’s crazy.

Joy: And for the most part, he took a bus. The military offers transportation, so he was working on the bus. I think that’s somewhat nice where you’re not the one having the drive the whole way. But still, I think there’s just certain situations where yeah – my commute was not two hours, but when I worked at my first job when I was younger, I wanted to live in the city but I worked in the tech center. Which for those of you who are not familiar with Denver is like the hell-hole commute. Going to the tech center in the city is the worst commute, the worst commute you could absolutely have. And I did that for ten freaking years. I swear to you, traffic contributed to so much anxiety, so much anger, so much dissatisfaction over the years that I was like, finally. But I swore to myself after that, I’m not going to ever commute more than a half hour each way. Now my commute’s fifteen minutes and it’s glorious.

Claire: Very doable.

Joy: I think that commuting is huge. What a – I don’t want to say “waste of time” because it has to happen, but if you can work from home… or let’s take for instance that when we had snow days, our healthcare never shuts down but Colorado had a pretty gnarly snow day  – what was that, in March? And you know, I’m not going to be the one who sits at home when we don’t close. I as a manager, I have my laptop with me. I can work from home if I had to. I’m not going to be the manager that’s sitting at home that’s like, “Have fun guys. How are you doing? Did everyone make it in okay?” I’m going to try to make it in. I’m going to try to get there. And I did and I do. But I think if there’s instances where you can work from home and not put people’s lives at risk. Anyway, there’s so many benefits. There’s pros and cons.

Claire: Okay. But on the flip side though, I really miss my commute. And actually, I have kind of reinstated my commute by still going to the CrossFit gym every day.

Joy: Going to the gym, yeah.

Claire: I drive 25 minutes to the CrossFit gym, and that is the length – the reason I go to this gym that’s 25 minutes away is, first of all, I love it. But also because the reason I started going there is because it’s right by my office. I basically commute to not even a mile away from where I was working. So I kind of have that same commute, and whether I’m able to find time in the middle of the day during my lunch break to go or I go in the evening or very, very early in the morning, I love it because that’s kind of my time. And maybe this also just has more to do with the phase of life that I’m in with the small kids and the puppy now at home. There’s so many people in my house all the time. So when I’m in the car by myself, I’m like [sigh]. This is my “me time.” That’s when I call my mom.

Joy: That’s your alone quiet time.

Claire: That’s when I can listen to music. That’s when I can listen to audio books. I really missed that. And then I realized – Brandon’s mom was out like a month ago, and she was like, “It’s so annoying that you have to drive so far to your gym.” I was like, I actually love it.

Joy: I really like it, yeah.

Claire: I think it’s my “me time.”

Joy: Yeah, some commutes are really relaxing. I don’t mind it at all. It’s really funny though because… let’s see, I mean, we rarely had to drive anywhere, Scott and I. But even these days, when we have to go across town and we hit traffic, we’re not as annoyed because you just never have to hit traffic anymore, especially if you don’t commute. Even during COVID when it first shut down, there was no one on the road. Even now when we hit traffic, we’re like, it’s kind of annoying. I guess we can’t complain because we rarely have to do this.

Claire: Oh, I’m more annoyed now when I hit traffic. I’m like, why are you people out here?

Joy: Where is everybody coming from?

Claire: I had an appointment this morning at 8:30, and I almost missed it because I completely disregarded the fact that it was going to be rush hour while I was driving there.

Joy: Oh yeah.

Claire: Because I don’t drive during rush… it’s like, aw, dang.

Joy: So commutes and remote work. I’d be really interested to hear from people if they’re looking forward to returning to the office or doing some type of hybrid model or if your place of employment did anything super unique. Let me know. I’m just very interested in that. And I’ve been reading a lot of Adam Grant, as I always do because I love him. But he is very smart. If you don’t know his work, Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist. He has a few books. He has a podcast. Just look him up. Google him. Great Ted Talks. But either he researched or published an article that referenced this research around Zoom fatigue and how people… like Zoom fatigue is real. Have I told you about this before? There’s only so much time that you can look at a screen and interact with humans on a screen before you just get kind of weirded out. Because you’re talking to a two-dimensional human, and the way that you have to have prolonged eye contact at a camera or just looking at a screen is not natural human interaction. You don’t always just stare at someone for that long of that period of time. So I just found that really fascinating, so now when I do team meetings, I tell my teams, “You can be on camera. You don’t have to be. I don’t care. Don’t burn yourself out.” Because my team has to be on screen all day every day with patients. So it’s really informed how I manage, too, of like, “You guys, you don’t want to be on screen? I don’t care. It’s fine.” So all of these that kind of come out, I’m sure there’s going to be more, and I just kind of geek out about that kind of stuff. About how this whole pandemic changed perhaps the future of the work space.

Claire: Speaking of other pandemic changes, we both traveled for the first time.

Joy: We sure did.

Claire: In the past two weeks.

Joy: And it just kind of happened that way, yeah.

Claire: Yeah. I already talked about this. I went to California to go visit my aunt. No, I didn’t talk about this because last week we did – 

Joy: Yeah, we did the voice memos. Yeah, okay, go ahead.

Claire: I went to California. My aunt passed away at the beginning of April. They had a memorial service for her in Santa Barbra two weekends ago at this point. So I went out there. And it kind of was a little bit of an excuse for me to just get to go somewhere, honestly. I really wanted to go because I wanted to see my other aunts. My brother was going. Which by the way, this came up this week when Joy traveled. We do bring it up occasionally, but just as a reminder, Joy and I do both have twin brothers.

Joy: Yes.

Claire: It’s completely random that that happened.

Joy: We planned it 30 years ago. Before we did the podcast, I interviewed you and I was like, “Do you have a twin brother? You do? Okay good. We can podcast together.”

Claire: I know. So Joy’s twin brother’s name is Jay. My twin brother’s name is James. 

Joy: James.

Claire: James. And they’re great. Being a twin is great. And yeah, we both just happen to have twin brothers. Anyways, so my other brother Peter was going to this memorial service, so I went out. One of my best friends lives in San Luis Obispo. So flew in and out of there. I had some United credits from a flight last year that we had to cancel, which made it so much easier to make that decision also. I’m going to stay with my friend. I’m going to borrow her car. We had flight credits. This trip is already paid for. This is going to be nice.

Joy: Just selfishly because I need to know the faces from pictures, was this your dad’s side or your mom’s side of the family?

Claire: This is my dad’s side.

Joy: Okay. Because I saw your other aunts and I was like, oh my gosh, they look so much like someone in your family but I didn’t know who.

Claire: So that’s the thing. On both sides of my family, it’s just nothing but tiny Irish women. 

Joy: Yeah. And really good teeth and hair. So I was like, “Is this is your mom’s side?” Because your mom has good teeth and hair, and everyone has good teeth and hair. So I’m like, I don’t know if this is dad’s side or mom’s side. They all are pretty.

Claire: My mom only has one brother, and I’ve only met him once. They’re on good terms, they just aren’t close.

Joy: Not close, yeah.

Claire: There’s no drama there. They just aren’t close. And my dad has… so he was the oldest of six. Several of his siblings have passed away.

Joy: Oh. That’s how my mom is.

Claire: Yeah. And so he now has his two remaining siblings are his sisters who are twins also. Anyway. The twins thing just goes around and around.

Joy: A lot of twins, yeah.

Claire: Yeah. So I was pretty apprehensive about actually traveling. I just didn’t really know. I’ve heard some horror stories. But I’ve also heard from just as many people, “Yeah, it was fine.” And I got an alert the night before from my United app that I thought was really interesting. It was like, hey, just to let you know, your –

Joy: Are you travel ready?

Claire: Exactly.

Joy: Are you travel ready? That’s what it asks you.

Claire: Oh, my mine was like, hey just to let you know your flight’s really full.

Joy: Oh, that’s what mine said too.

Claire: Yeah. And it offered to let me reschedule, which obviously I didn’t do because it’s going to have the same issue. But I thought that was interesting that they let you know. And it was a very small plane. The Denver to San Luis Obispo flight is like two and two. It’s just a little plane. And so it was fine. On the way out, no one was sitting next to me. And on the way back, there was someone sitting next to me but there was only one person on the row in front and back of me. So even though I got the alert both times saying the flight was full, it wasn’t actually full either time, which I appreciated. So if you guys are apprehensive about traveling, I found the experience to be pretty low key. Here’s my theory why. I feel like we are all already so conditioned to just accept rules in the airport that when it comes to keeping your mask on. I mean, there wasn’t a lot of social distancing happening, like on the escalator and stuff. But there was in the terminal, like at the gate, for me anyway. I feel like people are just used to following the rules in an airport and just not asking questions. No one has a podcast about why we shouldn’t have to take our shoes off at the airport. You know what I mean.

Joy: Is there one? [laughing]

Claire: It’s not controversial. 

Joy: It’s just not controversial. And if it is, you get kicked out of the airport.

Claire: That’s the thing. If you think it’s controversial, you’re welcome to think it’s controversial and you may leave.

Joy: You absolutely have that right and goodbye.

Claire: And goodbye. And you will not be flying today. This is a matter of federal security. And so I think that because we all just have come to accept that about airports that people were a lot less agro about being told that, “Hey, you need to pull your mask up” because they’re always told like, “Hey, you can’t bring a full-size shampoo bottle on here.” 

Joy: Right. You can’t. “Your bag weighs over 50 lbs., ma’am. Start packing.” 

Claire: Exactly. It’s like, we are all much more ready to accept absolutely way more ridiculous things. And so I only saw one or two people who were just blatantly not wearing their masks. And only a handful of other people who had the mask over the nose. 

Joy: See, that’s interesting because you have to wear a mask in the airport. So how did they get away with that?

Claire: I just mean I saw them walking with it pulled down to their chin.

Joy: Oh, pulled down.

Claire: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I didn’t see anyone straight up not wearing one.

Joy: Yeah, I didn’t either.

Claire: I saw a couple of people with it pulled down under their chin and then maybe a handful more with it under their nose. But I saw a couple people get talked to and have someone come over and be like, “You have to pull that up,” and they’re like, “Yeah, yeah, whatever.” And again, I think it’s because it’s not like you’re in a Dairy Queen or something where you’re going to go off on a rampage at this person making $7 an hour because you don’t think you should have to wear a mask. You’re in an airport and you are just happy to follow the rules.

Joy: Right, right. Scott and I were watching the news last week. As we always do, Lester Holt. And there was some report. I’m going to misquote it. But it was something along the lines of how the airlines have reported – let’s just pretend. I’m making up a number. So 200 customer incidents last year compared to 2,000 this year. And it’s not even June. The reason being – and I’m really kind of inflating that number, but I will say it was just a really huge jump from last year because now that there’s all these rules and mask wearing people on the planes are saying, “You don’t have to tell me what to do.” The “You don’t have to tell me what to do” type of people, so they’re running into that piece where airlines have a lot of rules that now these rules are getting, whatever… people, rights. Their rights are infringed upon. So that really made me mad because I’m like, these poor people who have to work at the airport and deal with these idiots who are like, “Mask is my right.”

Claire: It is totally your right to not wear a mask in the airport. Please –

Joy: Then don’t fly.

Claire: Yeah, then just don’t fly.

Joy: And maybe you should go buy a private jet if you want to follow your morals.

Claire: Just drive. Just drive. So you know, I think it was interesting. I was ready for it to not be because I know that – we’ve talked about this, that particularly in Colorado, that we live in this little bubble where you go to the store. The vast majority of people are wearing masks. You go to a gas station, you go anywhere in the Denver/Boulder area and people have by and large for really the whole past year been really good about wearing masks the whole time. But that’s not the case in a lot of places. So I was ready for the airport to feel like, here are all the people who aren’t wearing their masks.

Joy: I told Claire. I was texting you and I was like, “I’m traveling next week and I’m preparing myself to be really annoyed and judging people the whole time.”

Claire: But yeah, it was fine.

Joy: It was fine.

Claire: I was surprised by how fine it was. And then the flight was fine. Everyone was really pleasant. Everything smelled really strongly like cleaner.

Joy: They hand you an alcohol wipe when you get on the plane to wipe down your seat and the tray.

Claire: The one thing that I will say, and I know that I text you about this, that made me feel so nostalgic is that on my flight out there, there was a group of girls that were clearly coming back from a trip from Mexico. First of all, they were so sunburned. They all had their little gift bags that had like Spanish writing on it. And they were all wasted.

Joy: Oh, that’s so great. That’s so great.

Claire: And at one point, the pilot came on and wished one of them a happy 40th birthday.

Joy: Oh my God, that’s amazing.

Claire: And I was like, these girls, I want to be in their friend group. I want to just be wasted on an airplane coming home from Mexico right now. 

Joy: And the pilot within you a happy birthday, how do you pull that off?

Claire: But the girl was so drunk, she didn’t even hear him, so the other girl had to go apologize to the flight attendant. 

Joy and Claire: [laughing]

Claire: She’s like, “Thank you for doing that for my friend.” And she was like, “Did she even hear it?” She was like, “No, she didn’t.”

Joy: Can you do it again?

Claire: It was so cute. And when we got there, all their husbands were waiting there, and they all had this look on their face like, “Oh my God.”

Joy: That’s so cute.

Claire: This is what I miss. I just miss these moments, these glimpses into other people’s lives. Those girls were having so much fun.

Joy: So much fun. They’re on the plane so drunk.

Claire: Just wasted. It looked like so much fun.

Joy: Yeah, I was nervous. Most of you probably saw my stories. I went to Maryland to see my twin brother and his family, my nieces, my nephew, my parents were there. They flew out a few weeks ago, so we all kind of met and had a little family reunion. I was really nervous to fly because I was just like, oh my gosh, I haven’t done this is forever. I think sometimes flying in general causes anxiety. But when I got there, it kind of is like riding a bike. Just being at the airport, you’re like, oh, this is what I do. But the only thing that I feel like was a bad thing about that is I was operating in an airport with people who operate in the airport like we used to, like there’s crowds everywhere. The lines, there’s really not any distancing when you’re standing in line to get your ticket checked, going through security, on the train, or even on the plane, or lining up to give the gate attendant your ticket to get on the plane. Those things people weren’t social distancing whatsoever.

Claire: No.

Joy: But no one seemed to mind. And actually, I didn’t really care. Because I felt like everyone has a mask on. And I didn’t pay attention to every single person, but I even feel like on the plane there wasn’t anyone coughing or sneezing. No one was sick. We’re all healthy because we’ve been wearing masks for a year. 

Claire: One of the drunk girls was sitting on the row ahead of me, and she had brought a sandwich onto the plane and she asked every single person around her – probably just because she was drunk – “Are you guys okay? I’m taking my mask off to eat my sandwich.” We’re like, you eat your sandwich girlfriend.

Joy: That’s so cute. See, I didn’t do that. I was actually the person at the gate who sat down, I made sure there was no one around me, and I ate my sandwich and I had my mask off. In those instances, I don’t care if people are eating with their mask off. We need to eat. We need to have food. And by the way, a very nice man who’s my brother’s neighbor made me the most amazing barbecue sandwich to take on the plane, and that was not about to make that go to waste. So I sat at the gate. I ate my barbecue sandwich. I didn’t eat it on the plane because I was too embarrassed and nervous to think that it would smell, and I didn’t want to offend people.

Claire: Yeah, that’s a good call.

Joy: But yeah, I was like, I’m going to take my mask off and I’m going to eat my sandwich. But the things I guess I would say I noticed was the hand wipes when you get on the plane, how they tell you that the flight is full, the little announcements about being travel ready and if you have symptoms please don’t travel. Other than that, it was pretty uneventful.

Claire: It just felt very dialed in. I felt like I was fine. If you are traveling soon, if you’re worried about it, I would say the areas to avoid are escalators. If you can take an elevator instead. You know, they always have elevator access for strollers and wheelchairs. Get yourself in an elevator. 

Joy: It’s only four people though.

Claire: Right. If you’re in Denver, there’s not a lot you can do about being on the train. They’re not regularly being like, oh sorry the train is full.

Joy: I tried to hold onto things with my elbow.

Claire: You’re right next to people, and that’s kind of the issue.

Joy: Yeah, exactly.

Claire: But those were really the only two – and then security in the line, I felt like people were distancing. But once you actually got up to go into the TSA agent, you weren’t. But it felt very few and far between and pretty quick. You moved through those closely packed areas pretty quickly. I don’t consider myself to be necessarily a seasoned traveler. Granted, I was traveling by myself. But also, I have a friend that traveled this past week with a 7-month-old baby and her husband, and she said the same thing. “I felt fine. Everyone was wearing a mask. It was really pleasant.” And people definitely give you your space by the time you’re in the terminal.

Joy: Yeah. It was really funny thought because I had to rent a car because my brother lives in a very small town far away from any airport in Maryland. I was waiting in line to get my car, and I had to pre-register to just have it be a quick pick up. You basically go and pick up the car. I don’t have to pre-check or anything like that. And they didn’t have that ready, and they just had all the lines mixed up, and people were taking for freaking ever.

Claire: That’s like your nightmare.

Joy: And I was just sitting there, and I was feeling myself getting so impatient. And I’m like, when was the last time I was in a line for a rental car getting super impatient. So I just had to laugh it off. But I was like, oh my gosh, it’s been so long since I’ve been super impatient in a line. But the other thing was I stayed in a hotel because my parents were staying at my brother’s house, and I am not about to kick out my 15-year-old nephew out of his room. I will not be the aunt who sleeps in his bed. “Sorry, you’re sleeping on the couch,” even though my sister-in-law offered that. Heck no, I’m not kicking Connor out of his bedroom. I’ll just get a hotel. So I stayed in a hotel, and the thing that they’re doing now, at least for this place that I stayed at – it was a Hilton – is they give you a piece of paper that’s like, “Tell us what you need. Attach it to the door, and by 10am we’ll have what you need to the door.” They put everything in a sealed plastic bag, so they don’t come in your room at all the entire time you’re there. And you just leave your trash outside your door, and you leave this little piece of paper to check off the things that you need. They put it all in a nice little bag and you bring it in your room, so they’re not entering your room at all throughout the entire stay.

Claire: Oh, that’s really interesting. I like that. 

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: I am laughing thinking about you standing in that line because I’ve been in rental car lines with you when you’re really impatient, and I can just imagine you standing there. And I don’t know if you know that you do this, but when you stand impatient in lines, you habitually refresh the home screen of your phone. So I can just imagine you standing there tapping your phone a hundred thousand times. 

Joy: And I start to pace back and forth. I’m like a child. I just start moving around.

Claire: Push your little zebra print roller bag around. It’s so funny also remembering the things that you do when you travel that are little habits that you only have when you travel.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: I’m interested to see how many more of these experiences we will have in the coming year when something feels like a big deal and then halfway into it you just kind of forget that it ever was weird

Joy: Yeah, it’s kind of like I said. It felt like it was just coming back, like riding a bike type of thing where you’re like, I haven’t done this in forever. But this is how it goes. It feels so familiar because I’ve done it so many times.

Claire: And that’s the same way I felt like the first time we ate at a restaurant or the first time that I stayed in a hotel. Where I was like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I’m doing this.” And then my brain was immediately like, “No, no, no, no, this is normal.”

Joy: But it was great. By the way, everywhere I went in Maryland, the city that I was in, everyone wore masks and it was totally fine.

Claire: Yeah, I was going to ask. So you were with your mom for Mother’s Day. What did you guys do?

Joy: Well, I left yesterday, which was Mother’s Day, but we were there the whole week and celebrated Mother’s Day. So my sister-in-law is an amazing cook. It’s so funny because every time I go to my brother’s house, I have this weird sliding doors moment where I’m like, this could have been my life. Our lives are completely different where he has three kids. His wife stays at home, takes care of the kids, cooks all day. And it’s very much like military life. If he has to move, they all move type of thing. But she’s an amazing cook, and so she made us dinner almost every night. Which she’s so funny, I’m like, “Krishna, you do not have to do this every single day.” But she loves it. Made us breakfast. So we had a really nice dinner and we went on the boat. So my brother moved last year to a house that’s on the creek that feeds into the river. So they have this awesome dock and their own little boat, and we went kayaking, and it was just amazing. So we had a really good time with my parents there. My dad is just so funny. He was playing soccer with my nephew. They all play soccer, so we watched their soccer games. We went to barbecue at the neighbor’s house. They have just very cute small-town life. We went to the base to see all the airplanes my brother works on, which is so funny because you can’t take pictures in there because everything’s very, very classified.

Claire: Right, top secret.

Joy: There was a room within a room that was all boarded up. There were signs around it that were like, “Do not have classified conversations in this room” or something where I’m like, “Jay, what are you talking about in there?” But yeah, he has a very cool job. But yeah, it was great. It was really good. We had a good time. I cried a lot when I left. I was talking to Mom Sandy about this yesterday because I was just bawling when I said goodbye to my family. That cry that you’re just like, “Damn it, I can’t stop crying.” You want to just kind of be kind of crying and kind of teary.

Claire: You want to wipe one glistening tear off your face, not –

Joy: I want to just be like, “Aw, I’m going to miss you guys.” I was just inconsolable, couldn’t even talk crying.

Claire: Aw.

Joy: I think what happened was my brother, he just said something silly. He and I have that relationship where it’s truly kind of a secret language where he and I can talk – like side conversations and no one will understand. But he said something that just made me be like, “Oh, Jay.” And right before I was leaving when I went to hug him, I just started bawling. And then my mom starting crying.

Claire: Of course she did.

Joy: And then my dad started crying. And my dad’s way of showing love is he gives love punches. So there’s this joke in my family because whenever he likes you, he just hits you in the arm. So he was giving me love punches, and I was just bawling. I was telling Sandy, “Why am I so dang emotional? I’ve said goodbye to my family plenty of times. This is not new to say bye to my brother and my family.” And she’s like, “You know, the way I’ve been thinking about this lately” – because she’s like, “I hear you” – “is I’ve just been really angry. I think it’s the anger that 2020 brought.” It took away so much from us, and I think in that moment I realized how much it took away, at least for me personally. I had planned a trip to see my family right when the shut downs happened. And just the whole year of not being able to see my nieces and nephew who grow like every single day when they’re that age. So that I think just all of it, and not being able to see their new house when they were moving.

Claire: Right, just missing out on those little things that in the moment you’re like, “Oh this is no big deal. I’ll see their house one day.” But then when you actually do, you realize, wow this was… yeah.

Joy: And I was able to spend a good five days there. Seeing everything that you’re missing out on all that time and the fact that a whole year had gone by where I hadn’t been able to see them. I think that’s just like – I feel like that’s when the floodgates opened, where I was like [sigh] I just can’t control it. This is so sad. I was just like, yeah, I’m probably pretty angry. I know I’m angry. There’s a lot of reasons I’m angry from 2020. But we’re not going to talk about that right now because I don’t need to go on a rant. It was a beautiful moment.

Claire: It was a beautiful moment.

Joy: Yeah, totally.

Claire: Yeah, I’ve had that moment a lot where I realize… I have these small – I mean, some of them are small and some of them are not so small. We had to cancel a trip last April to go see my grandparents in Arkansas, and a month later my grandma passed away. You know, I’m never going to forget about that. I had a chance to see her, and I wasn’t able to. And then she suddenly passed away. I think a lot also about my dad who has been in remission for lung cancer for a long time, and then a couple months ago had a scan that wasn’t clear and is now back in treatment. And just thinking, we miss out on a whole – he lives right down the road, but we only saw him maybe five or six times, probably not even, all of last year and really feeling that missed time. I think that it puts into the perspective the fact that we all have these little pieces of grief that especially if you’re somebody who didn’t lose a job or you didn’t lose someone to COVID, you can kind of feel – and we’ve talked about this a thousand times, this comparative suffering – but I feel like it’s been kind of easy to ignore it because it’s been like you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. But sort of in reverse. You don’t know what you’re missing until you get it back.

Joy: Yes. Totally, totally, totally. And I think that’s what hit me was that piece. Even just being able to travel and be on a plane with people and see people. There were moments where I was just driving in my rental car by myself blasting music. Looking around, it totally reminded me too of when we were in Canada. And I was just like, this feels so good to have an adventure. Even though I was just going to see my family. An adventure.

Claire: Get out of your house, get out of your zip code.

Joy: Very much so. It was super emotional. So I can see how people might have that reaction. I mean, if you’re super sensitive like me to where I’m just like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe we’re here again.”

Claire: So I want to talk a little bit more about Mother’s Day because we get this question quite a lot and we talk about it a lot, but apparently not enough because everybody –

Joy: Do we talk about it a lot?

Claire: We’ve talked about it a good handful of times. Around the decision to have kids, not to have kids. I obviously have kids. Joy obviously does not. You are childless by choice is the new way to say it, I suppose. 

Joy: Is it? That’s so funny. By the way, I hate every term for women or anyone, any person, any human with no kids. I don’t like any of it. 

Claire: You just don’t have kids.

Joy: I just don’t have kids.

Claire: I appreciate that about you because you’re like, “I’m not a dog mom.” 

Joy: Please do not ever – here’s the thing I can’t stand. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it until I die. If I say, “Happy Mother’s Day” to you, you don’t have to say, “And Happy Dog Mom to you.” I don’t need a consolation prize. I don’t feel left out. It’s your day. I don’t need to be a dog mom. I have dogs. I am not a dog mom. I don’t have fur babies. I will never –

Claire: I have dogs. I am a dog owner.

Joy: I have animals. If that’s you, that’s great. That will never be me. I just feel like I have helped so many of my friends with their children. And my family, I’ve been babysitting since I was eight. It is not the same thing. Doing motherhood, birthing a child is a completely different universe. I get it. Everyone wants to just be cute. Not trying to take your cute thing and make it serious. I’m always like, I don’t need a consolation prize of, “You’re a dog mom.” I don’t need it. I don’t need it. Okay. Done.

Claire: I follow this woman on Instagram called @cleanfoodiecravings I think is her Instagram handle. She does this hilarious thing where she’s like, “Send me your unpopular opinions” and she posts them with just this look on her face, like “uh oh.” Like literally, she’ll post them as she’s drinking her smoothie.

Joy: Right, like, unpopular opinion.

Claire: Right. One of them was like, “You are not a dog mom. You did not give birth to your pug. Please stop calling yourself a dog mom.” And she just had this look on her face.

Joy: Yeah, it’s going to be unpopular, but I agree. 

Claire: I know.

Joy: You have an animal.

Claire: Which also, you guys, we know that there are a lot of things out there like human moms who did not give birth. Just because you are a birthing person, it does not make you a mom.

Joy: Oh absolutely, yes.

Claire: We’re not saying you had to… but it’s not the same thing with a dog.

Joy: Raising a child, yes.

Claire: Is not the same thing as raising a pet. We have talked about in the past your decision not to have kids and my decision to have kids. It’s just worth revisiting every once in a while. We don’t have to get into the whole thing. My very short story is I’ve always known I wanted kids. I didn’t realize that it was unusual for someone to be so convicted of that until I got older and listened to my friends really question like, “I don’t know, do I want kids?” Have you not always just known you wanted kids? So for me it’s just never been a question in my mind. And that’s the end of that story.

Joy: Period, the end. 

Claire: Period, the end. I have kids. 

Joy: Yeah, mine’s a little more complex and a windy road. But the bottom line is, it was more… even looking back, my answer would probably be different when I was 35 versus now, which I’m 43. When Scott and I got married, we were always on the same page of ambivalent, and then we just agreed to check in every year, meaning we would check in and be like, “Hey, how are you with the kid thing? What are you thinking? Let’s check in.” And then when I was 35, I will never forget it. I think those moments when you have really high, heightened emotions are the ones that stick with you. Clearly this was one of them. Because it was my 35th birthday. We were in Los Angeles. He took me to Santa Monica. It was a work trip. But we were at dinner and he was like, “So, we’re both turning 35.” We had both turned 35 at the time. “We should probably decide now yes or no. If you’re ready, I’m ready.” And I was like, “Are you ready?” Like, “Wait a minute, did you change your mind?” I was kind of at this point of, “No. No, no, no, no, no.” It was just a strong “no” that I’m like, well that’s telling. There was no “yes” in my mind where I’m like, “Um, could we talk about this next year?” I just had this really freak out moment. And he’s like, “Okay, well if you’re totally unsure, I could go either way.” And truly, truly he meant this. Scott’s not a person who’s going to be in ten years like, “You took children away from me.” I know him. He will not do that. But he’s like, “Okay, if you’re for sure not wanting kids, then let’s do this. At least we think about it very seriously this year. Really put it in the forefront of your mind. Don’t just put it away and forget about it. Really, really, really think about it. At least we can promise each other that we’ll think about it seriously.” I was like, “Fine, I’ll totally do that.” I talked with some of my friends at the time. I talked with some of my closest friends and got their advice. Here’s the funny thing, one of my best friends – I’ll never forget – I always felt like there was some, not secret, but almost people around me had an idea about it. “I wish Joy would have kids.” 

Claire: That everyone else around you had an opinion about it.

Joy: That everyone else around me was like, “I wish you would…” I told my best friend one day, I was like, “Melanie, is there some secret that one day that you’re going to tell me, ‘Oh my God, Joy. I’m so glad you had kids.’” You know, if I was to have kids. And she was just like, “No.” Because she has two boys, and she’s like, “There’s nothing like it, but also you’re going to fine without kids.” And she totally changed my mind that day. I had just put this pressure on me that someone had this idea that I was just missing out on something that everyone was just so waiting for me to make the decision. I’m so glad we had that conversation because it just kind of relieved me of this weird made-up story in my head. But over the years, I just kept asking Scott, and we were still in that ambivalent place. We feel like our lives are full. We don’t want to go into something like this with a “I guess we’ll do this.” We weren’t super passionate about the decision, which told me a lot. I just kept thinking in my head – if you think this way – I don’t think that’s my purpose in life. So we just kept deciding not to. And every year, we would check back in. As I got older, it’s like, well, this ship is starting to sail. And I think for women who make that choice – first of all, if it’s a choice that you’re making, meaning some people don’t have children and perhaps they can’t have children. There’s a lot of nuance to this conversation, so I certainly don’t want to be myopic in the way I’m talking about it because I do acknowledge there’s so many other angles. But what I can say to women who are on the fence about it is, you’re never going to make a wrong decision. It’s just the decision that feels right for you. I felt so conflicted because I felt like there was a right answer. The thing I hear most from women about this conversation is, “I’m going to get to the end of my life and regret it.” I have a lot of friends who are older. When I was in my 30’s, one of my dearest friends was in her 50’s at the time. We’d have this conversation. She decided not to have kids, and she would always kind of say the same thing where she’s like, “I’m fine Joy. I have a happy life.” But that is to me the thing I hear the most of, what happens? Who’s going to take care of me when I’m older? Or, what if I look back at my life and regret it? I just can’t live my life that way. I could die tomorrow. I know it sounds horrible.

Claire: What if you look back and you’re like, “You wished you’d become an astronaut.” You could say that about every single decision that you’ve ever made.

Joy: Yeah, I just can’t live my life that way. And I don’t ever want to live my life of planning for when I’m 80. I just can’t. I can’t. So that is something that I don’t think a lot about. Again, not to be morbid, but I’m like, who knows if I’m going to live until I’m 80. And that’s not the reason why I would want to have children, because you’re going to take care of me when I’m older. Who knows? I just am not going to worry about that right now. I just can’t plan my life that way. Things will be figured out. You have family where you have family. That is where we came to the decision. I just want to make sure that everyone out there who’s listening who may be going through something similar, it’s just not a linear path, and it’s also not a yes-no decision. The thing that I always knew for sure was that we decided not to have kids, but I was never like a “heck no” person. I was always just like, “no.” Because I never wanted to be like the absolutely not negative vibe. I was just kind of like, “No, that’s just not something we want to do. We don’t want to have kids.”

Claire: I think it’s interesting too. I read a lot about this and I hear about it from friends who decided not to have kids, and especially from friends who have always known, “No, without a shadow of a doubt, I do not want kids” and the pushback they get from people in their lives when they say that. I feel like a lot of women who are really clear in their minds of, “No, I know for a fact I don’t want kids. I never wanted kids. It’s not that I don’t like kids.” There’s so many narratives around that. “Well, you must just not like kids.” Who doesn’t just flat out not like kids?

Joy: Yeah, very few people.

Claire: Or that you’re somehow not as nurturing or you’re not as feminine. There must be some piece missing that keeps you from wanting kids. Which is obviously not true at all. I think that we as a society are getting better about talking about that, but I think it’s still very much been this prevalent mindset that if you don’t want kids, then either, A, those women are told, “You’ll change your mind.” And I know I’ve talked about my friend who tried to get a hysterectomy. And it wasn’t like elective elective. She was having some really severe endometriosis or something. It wasn’t quite to the point where they were going to give her a hysterectomy. She was like, “Can I just get a hysterectomy?” And they were like, “Well, what if you want kids?” And she was like, “I don’t want kids.” And they were like, “Well, what if you change your mind?” And she was like, “I’m not going to change my mind. I’ve never wanted kids.” And the doctors were like, “Well, we’re not going to do that. You never know.” And she was like, “I know. Listen to me. I know I don’t want kids.” To this day, she has not gotten a hysterectomy because none of the doctors would be like, “Okay, great. I believe you, you don’t want kids.” It’s just so unbelievable to people. 

Joy: I think we’re always looking for – at least me – looking for validation. For someone to just be like, “You can make that decision.” I think what it is, is it’s such a strong sliding doors moment. That’s just not like a slight sliding door. It’s a completely different life. And I remember going to see Elizabeth Gilbert talk, I don’t know, six years ago. I remember her saying, “Being a mother’s not a job requirement for women. Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you have…” There’s just so many complexities to that. Because we can bear children doesn’t mean you have to bear children. So I get it, everyone out there who may be tossing that around in their mind. It’s not an easy thing to just come to. I’m not going to be the one to give you the final answer about it, but I hope that at least hearing how we kind of came to that decision helps you know that be confident in what your feelings are. It’s really easy for outside voices to get in or sway your decision or make you doubt your decision. And don’t ever doubt your decision. It’s not something I was confident in, even in my late 30’s. You kind of really struggle with it.

Claire: Yeah, I remember when Miles was born, we had a conversation about it. I definitely got the sense that it was like, oh, this is still a question in your mind.

Joy: It totally is. Yeah, yeah. It was for quite some time.

Claire: But not a question in your mind of, will I regret this. Just to reiterate that. It’s the question in your mind of like… I don’t even think it’s the question in your mind of, is this the right decision.

Joy: Here’s the thing. How can I not think about what my kids would look like? Like, I hang out with one of my other girlfriends who has a couple kids and she just had another baby, and I was at her house last weekend. We were playing with her little daughter and her little boy. She’s just such a rockstar mom. She’s so funny. But I think about that. Because that could easily be something that you manifest and create in your life, it’s hard not to think about that. It’s hard not to compare.

Claire: Absolutely.

Joy: That’s human. That’s totally human.

Claire: I think it’s good just to talk about it. Also normalize the… when I was talking about how it kind of surprised me when I got into my mid to late 20’s to hear all my friends being like, “Well I don’t know, do I want kids?” It just never occurred to me that you wouldn’t just know. Because that was just my experience. And that sounds so silly and simplified, but that was just my experience. Brandon, that was our conversation from day one. Do you want kids? Yep. Me too. Yep. Okay, great.

Joy: Yeah, done, done.

Claire: All my older siblings, they all have kids. It just, for me, it was surprising to me to learn how big of a question mark it is for so many people. So I think it’s good to talk about it because I, from firsthand experience, know that it’s not talked about very much.

Joy: Well the thing that I have also thought about quite often, and I tossed this around quite a bit when I was seriously thinking about having kids or at least considering it, the year that we were thinking about it, was a lot contributed to my really… I don’t want to say “aversion” because that’s too strong of a negative word. But really, my decision to not even think about that in my early 20’s was I was around a lot of girls who were getting married really young and having babies really young for what I wanted for my life. And I remember thinking at that age all you want to do is get far away from the things that you’re like, oh I don’t want to be anything like that. Not saying that’s bad. At that time, I was just like, I don’t want to be that and if I stay here, I’m afraid that’s the path I’ll take. That’s not the path that I wanted. So I think a lot about that, about how that contributed to my decision and then really being focused on making a career for myself. And then my career took me in to working with juveniles and families and children and adolescents and seeing all the struggles they had. I was working with families, children, and adolescents every single day with all of their problems. I remember being like, “This is really tiring. I don’t know if I want this.” And it’s not to say that that robbed me of having a family. But I’m just saying that had a lot to do with me being like, I think I’d be okay without all of this. So there’s a lot of things I think of, of oh my gosh, did that just steer me away from having kids. I don’t think that’s it either. I really don’t. It really is mostly trying to rationalize it because you think that you’re weird for not wanting kids. And you’re not weird.

Claire: You’re not weird. There are other reasons you’re weird. You are weird, but that’s not what makes you weird.

Joy: We’re all weird. Still wearing glitter, it’s fine.

Claire: It’s fine. Okay, so before we wrap up, it’s almost summer. Do you have any favorite summer products that you are bringing into the rotation right now?

Joy: Well, okay, I wouldn’t say summer products. But everyone, I know I’ve talked about New Wash. Maybe I talked about it a couple months ago. Super loving New Wash. If you’re considering it, try it. I think it’s N-E-W, just like New Wash. It’s basically a really good conditioner-shampoo for your hair, but it’s just all in one. It’s great. I don’t know how to explain it. It doesn’t strip your hair of oils and all that crap, so you don’t have to put conditioner in. It’s completely changed my hair. I had really thin hair when I first got Graves’ so I was trying not to mess it up, and it’s fantastic. I love that product. As far as summer products, I really like cream blushes because I don’t like powder on my face when it’s hot outside. I think Target has a brand – I think it’s Milani – has a really good cream blush that I’ve been using. This was funny. Target also has those nail stickers. It’s the stickers that look like nail polish. You put it on your nail, and then you file off the rest of it, and it sticks on your nail like nail polish.

Claire: Yeah, do those work?

Joy: Totally works if you take everything off your nail, like oils. So you have to rub your –

Claire: Really strip them off first.

Joy: You have to rub your fingernails with either nail polish remover or alcohol. And because I got the alcohol wipes on the plane, I brought my nail strips on the plane, so I was doing the nail strips. Because they don’t smell. It’s literally a sticker that you put on your fingernail.

Claire: That’s hilarious.

Joy: So I was doing my nails on the plane, and the stewardess was like, “Oh my gosh. Do those work really well?” She was very invested in my nail polish progress. So after I was done, she made me show her. She was like, “I’m going to get some of those.” So highly recommend. You really have to do it right. It’s all about the application, so you have to make sure that your nails are clean or else they’ll just peel right off. So those are great. And then you know what I really miss wearing is lipstick. I really miss wearing lipstick. Lip masks, there’s just no point to that.

Claire: Yeah, it just gets on the inside of your mask.

Joy: It makes me so sad, yeah. You can get stains, but still what’s the point? No one sees you.

Claire: Yeah, no one sees you. I had a meeting in the office last week. Was it last week? Time runs together. I think it was last week. It was right before I left. I was like, “I’m going to put on lipstick.” Then I was like, “Oh, I don’t have to, actually. Never mind.” Which I’m not a big makeup wearer. And right now, my chin is just so broken out. I’m like, thank God for masks.

Joy: For masks, yeah. Totally.

Claire: I don’t have to worry about this. I don’t have to wish I had learned how to wear concealer.

Joy: I really can’t wait to get my hair done again. I’m really into flip flops. 

Claire: Oh, I have one. I have one. 

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Okay, Birkenstock has this sandal now that’s almost made out of a harder Crocs material.

Joy: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Claire:  I think it’s their Arizona line.

Joy: And they’re different colors.

Claire: And they’re super fun bright colors. My friend Steph had them when I went to California, and I wore them and I loved them, so I’m going to order myself some. And they’re not that expensive. They’re like $45.

Joy: Yeah, they’re like $40. You can even get them on Nordstrom Rack.

Claire: Yeah, and they come in really fun bright colors. So if you are in the market for a slip-on summer sandal. I have my Chaco’s, but those are a commitment to put on sometimes. You got to get the little strap on your toe. It’s a thing. You can just slip them on and walk out the door because your dog got out of the fence.

Joy: And lastly, I will say that I saw Busy Philipps post about her Lele Sadoughi mask. I think it was about a month ago where she had a sale.

Claire: Is that a band?

J :Yeah. Is that a band? So if you don’t follow Busy Philipps, she always has the cutest face masks. I never thought I’d say that sentence like two years ago. But she always posts herself with these cute masks. And then one day she’s like, “Oh, we’re having a sale. You should go on there. It’s not an ad, I just really like them.” And I know she does because she always wears these masks. And headbands, the headbands are so cute. I really am worried though. I don’t want to buy headbands because I feel like once you’re in, it just squeezes your head, you get a headache. Headbands are super cute, but I –

Claire: Could you just take it off?

Joy: Yeah, but what’s your cute style all day? You really want to commit to a headband. Anyway. So I got a couple of the Lele Sadoughi – I’ll just post it in the show notes/episode notes. If you just go in the episode notes of this podcast wherever you’re listening, you’ll see the link. On Instagram it’s @lele_sadoughi. Lele Sadoughi. Really great masks. I wore it on the plane the whole time. Super comfortable, and they have really cute designs. I’m a fan. Because masks start to really pull on my ears and they hurt. And then they had these really cute chains, like eye glass chains or you can attach it to your mask.

Claire: I like the mask chain concept.

Joy: Super cute. They sell those as well, and I got one. Really cute. Highly recommend for the masks because I put it on my glasses and it really pushed my face down. A little too heavy for the glasses.

Claire: I still love the Cotopaxi masks. 

Joy: Oh yeah, you do like those.

Claire: They have a nose bridge. It’s nice. I find them to be very lightweight. I’m trying to think if I have any other products other than one random Birkenstock.

Joy: Yeah, do you have any lotion or hair stuff or… clothing?

Claire: No.

Joy: Did we find any underwear recommendations?

Claire: No. No. So our washing machine died a couple of weeks ago. It’s been leaking for months, and then finally the leak was just getting worse and worse. We finally had someone come out and look at it, and he’s like, “Yeah, it’s an end-of-life diagnosis for this washing machine.” It was leaking all over the entire laundry room every time we ran it. We were just running really small loads to mitigate the problem. We were just putting towels around it. There are so many people who live here, we can’t not do laundry. And we ended up getting a new washing machine. It got delivered a week ago on Wednesday, and it leaked when we ran it. It’s not the hook up. It’s the machine. They can’t come back out to fix it until this Friday, so ten days after it was delivered. So my mom just moved into a new house that’s like a mile away from here. For the last week, I went over to her house.

Joy: Oh, she did?

Claire: Yeah. You didn’t know that?

Joy: A mile away?

Claire: I thought I told you that. Yeah, they just moved this weekend.

Joy: No. That’s so exciting.

Claire: It’s awesome. So last weekend I went over there and did all of our laundry. And this week, I was like, I’m sending your laundry out. I can’t. I can’t even.

Joy: Oh my gosh, you do like four loads of laundry a day. My sister-in-law is doing laundry constantly.

Claire: It’s unreal. The amount of laundry we go through is unreal. So all that to say, if I thought my underwear shortage before was bad, it has reached –

Joy: New levels. Peak levels.

Claire: I was literally hand washing one pair of underwear at a time in the bathroom sink for the next day. Like, a pair of leggings and a pair of underwear, I would hand wash in the sink the night before for the past week.

Joy: Having no laundry for that long makes me nervous, and I only have two people in my household who are adults and don’t change five times a day.

Claire: And you guys have a lot of clothes. Actually the kids have been fine because they have unreal amounts of clothes. And Brandon wears scrubs at work, so he’s fine. And he also has a thousand pairs of underwear. I’m really the one who’s suffering here because I only own like four pairs of leggings and five pairs of underwear. And I’m like, why am I doing this to myself? I just need to go buy some more clothes. Anyway.

Joy: So I do remember something that someone sent, a recommendation. The brand Boody from Australia. They said that that’s really good.

Claire: I’ll check it out.

Joy: Check that out. Haven’t tested it. I just want to get a bunch of things and test it out. And I noticed Target is selling Thinx underwear.

Claire: Oh yeah.

Joy: Last one from Target I will say is I love JoyLab’s tank tops. They have this really cute tank top that is super breathable material, fits really well. It’s kind of a crop top but not super crop. Let’s be real, I’m 43. I’m not going to be wearing a crop top. But it’s short enough and it’s the most breathable. I bought three.

Claire: Is this the one that you had on that was like fluorescent?

Joy: Yes. Florescent… no. Those were the bike shorts. Actually those were JoyLab bike shorts, which I also bought. But they have these tank tops that match with that line, and they are amazing. I bought one a few months ago. Then I went and got another one because I was like, oh I like this color. Now I have three because they are super comfortable. And I don’t spend a ton of money on workout clothes. Every once in a while, I’ll do Lulu. Or Outdoor Voices, I haven’t purchased anything in a while because we’ve just been working out at home. Yeah, those are my latest products. Check them out. Okay. Last plug – not a plug, but just update. For all my Handmaid’s Tale people out there, I really hope this season ends. I will only give this one very brief not at all detailed reaction is if you did not scream multiple times in Episode 3 and have to walk out of the room –

Claire: Are you even watching?

Joy: Are you even watching? And I am very envious of your courage and strength because I’ve never seen an episode where I got so emotional and where I got so freaked out. I had to get up, leave the room, and yelled in the other room while Scott was in the other room.

Claire: And Scott’s probably just laughing hysterically in the other room.

Joy: So my little review though is Elisabeth Moss did a fantastic job. She directed that episode, and it was fantastic. But this season I think is moving in a good direction. I’m really emotionally invested in that show because once you’re in – they have put me through so much torture, I’m getting out of this show. I’m not going to just give up now. Okay, then on a light note Shrill season three just dropped, and it’s fantastic so far. I’m three episodes in. I can’t wait to finish. Really, really good. Anything else?

Claire: That’s it for today. No, that is it.

Joy: That’s it for this Thursday.

Claire: We’ll talk to you guys next week. If you are interested in supporting the podcast, you may do so in a variety of ways. One way is by going to Double Under Wonder and getting yourself a fancy new jump rope. You can customize it. Guys, these are so cute. We have the most amazing stories. 

Joy: They’re the best. The best.

Claire: Somebody sent me a DM on my personal Instagram and was like, “Hey, just to let you know, I ordered a jump rope from them with your code. And I don’t know if I didn’t understand the sizing correctly or what, but when it showed up it was completely the wrong size. And I emailed them, and they immediately refunded me, immediately got me the right size rope. They were just so wonderful to work with.” They’re so cute. It’s just this really small little brand. So go to The discount code is JOY. Get yourself a new jump rope. You can also check out Eat to Evolve. That is the prepared meals company that we have been testing out lately. They send us meals.

Joy: Oh, I love them.

Claire: I love them. They are so good. Their snacks, I just ate a whole bag of their smoked maple pecans earlier today. So good.

Joy: I had the paleo balls on the plane. I ate the whole bag because I was like, “I need snacks.”

Claire: Yes. I love that they have snacks. Why don’t more meal prep companies have snacks?

Joy: Yeah, they have sacks. Snacks. 

Claire: Sacks.

Joy: Sacks. And snacks.

Claire: So check them out. Eat to Evolve. The discount code is JOYCLAIRE15. 

Joy: Support the podcast.

Claire: Support the podcast. Leave a review. Subscribe. Tell your friend.

Joy: A five-star review.

Claire: A five-star review.

Joy: Say nice things.

Claire: Be nice to us.

Joy: If you’re mad and not want to listen anymore, don’t announce the exit. Just go to show some love. Five stars would be great. That’s all my heart can handle.

Claire: [laughing] Thank you for helping Joy’s emotional stability by only being nice –

Joy: I read some recent ones where I’m like, “I’m just going to turn this off.”

Claire: I’m going to leave this here. So go and balance out the haters for Joy. Leave us positive reviews. We love you guys, and we’ll talk to you next week.

Joy: Bye guys.

Claire: Bye.

We’ve been doing this podcast for 8 years because of the amazing community. Today we hear from you, listeners, about what your year has been like. It’s honest and beautiful and I hope we look back in a few years and take a collective deep breath.


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This is Joy & Claire Episode 73: Time Capsule 

Episode Date: May 6, 2021

Transcription Completed: May 16, 2021

Audio Length: 56:08 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is a special episode of This is Joy & Claire. I have been spending the last couple of day stringing together your voice memos about your experience with COVID. Now, I know that you guys love to hear Claire and I talk, and we’ve been doing it for eight years. [laughing] So we really wanted to hear from our community about the experience you are having over the past year with COVID. Now, I know that some of you may be like, “Wow, we’ve been talking about COVID. I don’t want to listen to anything about COVID.” Hear me out. When I was listening to these voice memos, all I could think of was we have the most amazing community, and I was just so in awe of everybody’s resilience and everybody’s ability to just push through the struggles that they’re going through. Any time I have a doubt that people are supporting this community or supporting this show, I am just so inspired by your emails and your voice memos, and this was no exception. Listening to the voice memos as I was editing them together, I was just like, “Wow, this is really what our podcast has been about.” I felt less alone listening to your voices. I felt like I had a better feeling of what was going on across all corners of the world. And it just made me feel so much closer to this community. I know that we say that a lot, but it really is the essence of why we do this podcast. Because of you and because we’ve met such amazing people. So I hope you get something out of everybody’s story. It truly is something that I didn’t expect when I was listening to all the voice memos. Wow. You know what, we need to feel closer to people right now. We have so much division. There’s so many heated discussions and arguments and right or wrongs and wanting to just be angry to one another that rarely do we get the opportunity to just listen to people. And think that’s what this episode is, is just listening to other viewpoints and perspectives. I encourage you as you’re listening to this to keep an open mind and to not shut it off because it’s not Joy and Claire the entire time, is to just listen to other people and have compassion in your heart. That’s what I hope for for this episode. So without further ado, here’s you, the community.

Listener 1 [Pittsburgh, PA, USA]: Hey Joy and Claire. This is Joy from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The other Joy. Or the other, other Joy. I work as a psychologist for a health system out here in Pennsylvania called UPMC and am really lucky to be working with vaccine clinics for underserved communities. We’re seeing a decrease in people getting vaccinated each day, in part because of vaccine hesitancy. Just a note about what I’m seeing and also some things for us to think about who want to encourage loved ones to get vaccinated. It’s common for people to feel anxious about new treatments, and this is a really new treatment. And even though I think that the science is really good, not everyone has access to the same kinds of information. I think I’ve just been trying to sit with people, both in my work and in my personal life, to answer questions, tell them why I got vaccinated, and keep underscoring that it’s ultimately their choice, that no one is forcing this. I think for the most part for most of us in the United States, that is the truth. And I think that as we think about this and continue to support people, I think people in healthcare need to be more nimble and think about how we can meet different communities where they are in this journey so that we can ultimately get to heard immunity, which is so important for all of us, and I think especially important for Black and Brown communities, LGBTQ folks, and all of the other underserved communities that we are seeing being impacted at a heightened degree by COVID. So for all of us out there in healthcare, keep up the good fight. And for all of the rest of you out there, thanks for all of the ways you’ve supported us. Hopefully very soon we’ll be coming out on the other end of this. Bye y’all.

Listener 2 [China]: Hi Joy and Claire, my 2020 was insane. In Summer 2019, we moved to China with my infant daughter for my husband who’s studying at a Chinese university. In December 2019, we heard about some viral pneumonia spreading in Wuhan. Kept our eyes on the news as we left for a planned 18-day vacation to Southeast Asia in mid-January 2020. By the end of our trip, the COVID situation was worsening exponentially in mainland China. We found out we could not return to China and were evacuated to the US. Our planned trip turned into a 30-day, 3-country, multiple city trip as we planned our next steps. Seven months into evacuation, we found out we could not return and had to move elsewhere. We never returned home and it still feels so weird not getting the opportunity for closure since we were just leaving for a small trip with two carry-on bags. 

Listener 3 [Houston, TX, USA]: Hey Joy and Claire, it’s Jay here. I’m currently living and working in Houston at a non-profit that does disaster recovery construction. In September of 2020, part of my job was to go to southwest Louisiana and help people recover after Hurricane Laura and then eventually Hurricane Delta hit that area. This was still in the height of the pandemic, and my company was very mindful of the fact that our small team of eight would need safe housing and we would essentially be staying with each other and working with each other 24/7. For my team, we were really excited to get into the field and help people, however it was often scary at some points because we were the only people wearing masks in a lot of these small towns. Now, understandably most of these people had just lost their homes, had no water, had no power, so a pandemic was the least of their worries at this point. We, knowing this, did our best to socially distance and wearing our masks, keeping in mind that if one of our team members got COVID, we all would and there was no way to avoid that. So safety was at the forefront of our mind. For us, the most frustrating thing was that the church we were staying in had no mask mandates. Don’t get me wrong, we were grateful that they were letting us stay and that they had power and that they had water, but they were functioning at full capacity, potluck dinners every Wednesday and multiple services every Sunday. Maybe 10% of their 300+ congregation would wear masks. It was hard for us because we spent a lot of our very minimal free time at that church, and it was hard to come back from 10+ hour days of both physically and emotionally taxing of work to continue being worried about getting COVID-19 in the place that we were staying. All we could do was keep wearing our masks, and we would leave on Wednesdays to avoid the potluckers, but that’s all we could do. Anyway, looking forward to hearing what other people have to say.

Listener 4 [Ontario, Canada]: Hey Joy and Claire, I just thought I would send in a little voice note about what my experience has been like with COVID so far. I’m a bit of a gabber, so I’m going to try to keep this short. I live in Ontario, Canada in a small town. We are in our third lockdown, stay-at-home order here. Today is April 22nd or something, and this going to go until May 20, 2021. Yeah, we can’t really go anywhere. We’re not supposed to see anyone. Playgrounds are still open, which is awesome because I have two little kids and I am 33 weeks pregnant with my third, and getting through the day is just rough if I can’t get their energy out. So that’s been great. And because I’m from a small town, I know the little hidden parks where there’s hardly  any people if any people, so I feel pretty safe doing that. The rest of the province is just crazy. Our daily case load is over 4,000 cases a day. It’s mainly the main cities, the big cities around here. We’re about 1.5 -2 hours from Toronto, so that’s where a lot of those numbers come from. But yeah, the entire province is on lockdown. Our vaccine rollout is incredibly slow. So it’s just been tough. It’s been tough to see the rest of the world kind of open up, and we’re still here in a lockdown. We actually did get COVID back in December. We had very mild symptoms, which we were very lucky for. But then three months later, we developed a very bizarre thing where food now tastes absolutely horrid to us. So we have a long list of food from meat to anything with a trace of garlic, onions, tomatoes, eggs, random fruits and vegetables, most things cooked. It’s bizarre, it’s long, it’s making life very, very difficult. It’s a thing. It’s called parosmia. It was a thing before COVID, but we’ve kind of since researched and learned that a lot of people who had COVID, particularly if their scent was affected in any way, are developing this pretty horrible thing, and it just makes life really, really hard. To figure out what to eat with this horrible, horrible taste. We cannot eat the thing. Some people just power through it, and I don’t know how they do it because it’s like, we’re running to the bathroom to throw up. It’s just awful. So that was kind of weird and really, really awful. But other than that, we were fine. I would say the biggest challenge I’ve found with COVID, luckily, we were very blessed to be in a good position. My oldest is only three, so he’s not going to school for another two years. My husband is a feed truck delivery driver, so he had to keep working through the whole thing. He never lost his job. The hardest thing has been to navigate difference in opinions with our parents. So both of our parents live really close to us, and the kids would have seen them a lot. It’s just been hard to navigate the two extremes. His parents are on one end of the extreme where they just don’t seem to care at all. Everything is a conspiracy. They don’t want to get vaccinated just based off of conspiracy, so it’s not a well-educated thing. They’re just like, “Do you even know anyone who’s died?” So yeah, they see whoever they want and don’t really listen to the rules. Then, my mom is a bit more – she hasn’t left her house in a year. She does come see me and helps out with the kids, as long as we don’t see anyone. So back when things were kind of opened up, it was just hard to navigate that because we felt like doing some outdoor distanced hangouts with the kids was okay, and then they didn’t want to come help at all if we were doing that. So just hard to navigate that when I don’t have any child care really, and then I have tons of appointments with my pregnancy. Especially because we had COVID, they want to be extra careful. So just navigate if I need someone to watch my kids, we don’t want it to be my husband’s parents because we don’t want to get sick again, so we just need to be very tight for my family. Luckily, they’re okay now if I go out to a park as long as it’s not busy and they can be distanced. Which is totally fair, but it’s just been hard to balance those two sides because right now we do not see my husband’s family because of their views. I think for the most part they understand, but I do think they think we’re kind of being too strict. Which I don’t really care about because I don’t want to risk my baby’s health or our health again. But yeah, I would say that’s been a hard challenge, and it’s really made me think about – you kind of have to take a step back and think where people are coming from and why. I’m trying my best to urge them to educate themselves and not just listen to uneducated friends and videos that they come across and to really dig in and to see where those videos are coming from and to try to be a bit more – but they’ve just never been like that. They don’t really seek out information about things, which is hard for me to handle because I am the opposite. But yeah, and it’s also made me think about people within their family unit, like if their husband or their wife are in disagreement and how that would work. You just kind of think everyone is on the same page, and then the more I’ve realized through this talking with people is people are really, really not on the same page, and everyone thinks that their way is the best way, and everyone thinks that they’re totally valid in the way they’re thinking. It’s just hard. It’s a lot of conversations. It’s a lot of hard conversations. Yeah, that’s where I’m at. I’m hopeful that maybe we can get out of this lockdown soon, get some more people vaccinated. That would be great, but we’ll see. Thanks a lot. Sorry this was so long. Bye.

Listener 5 [Spain]: Hi Joy and Claire. I realized that I have been listening to you guys for like six years now. Basically since right after moving to Spain. I’m from California. I live in Barcelona. And the way that the pandemic was handled here was interesting. We were in a complete 100% lockdown for I think it ended up being six weeks starting in March of last year. We weren’t allowed to do any exercise outside. We weren’t allowed to leave our houses unless it was for grocery shopping basically and if you walk a dog, which unfortunately I did not have a dog to walk until after the lockdown. And so we spent quite a long time literally just in our houses. And then last summer, they started to kind of open things up. Southern European summer is very exciting. Everybody takes vacation at the same time. It’s this really big deal, and so they kind of opened things up and started to relax the restrictions, and that backfired. Numbers went way back up. We have been bouncing in and out of restrictions for now over a year, about 14 months we’ve been in and out of restrictions. Currently, we can’t leave our homes between the hours of 10pm and 6am. Right now in Barcelona, you can’t leave Barcelona city. They opened it back up, numbers went up. Closed it back down. It’s illegal to not wear a mask outside, although here people tend to smoke more than they do in the States and so you have people smoking and they have their mask off. And the typical problem of people not wearing their masks correctly. And I think currently we’re allowed to meet max of six in a group. So yeah, it’s been hard. It feels a little bit weird to go back to “normal” life. This is the new normal, right? This is just what we have. That’s what’s been going on in Spain.

Listener 6 [Belgium]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Marliese from Belgium with COVID news from Belgium. So thinking about our government, I feel like they took it pretty seriously from the beginning. We had a very strict lockdown starting last year’s March. I think more strict than our neighboring countries. We had a curfew. We had everything non-essential closed. And then gradually near the summer, things started to open back up. A few times, the numbers got bad again, so things close again and could open back up. It went back and forth a few times. And then in end of October, things got so bad again. We were the worst in all of Europe, so we entered a second big lockdown. Again with a curfew, again with everything closing. So that’s where we still are right now. They’re now saying that maybe June we will be able to reopen restaurants and gyms again, but I don’t know. And end of April probably we’ll be able to have outdoor group classes again. I work in a gym, so that’s of course what I’m focusing on right now. But end of April, outdoor group classes. Fingers crossed, we’ll see. But what I actually wanted to talk about, that’s a thing that’s typical in Belgium is how we like to just be very specific in stupid little rules. For example, in the first lockdown, you were only allowed to go outside of the house for very necessary things. And also to work out, but workouts were specified, so you were only allowed to do walking, baking, or running. Those were the three opines. And if you were doing anything else, you could get fined. So for example, if you wanted to do some air squats, I don’t know, or shoot some balls through a hoop, also not allowed. You could get fined. Also as you know, running is hard. I’m a very tired person. And if you maybe wanted to take a break from running a rest on a bench, that was also not allowed because you are only allowed to be outside either working out or going to a very necessary thing. So you were not allowed to sit on a bench. And then one of the best rules I think was last Christmas. In the second lockdown, we were actually allowed to have one other person invited in the house. And then for Christmas, the government allowed us, for people who had a garden at least, to invite three people over into your garden. Because the joke was – well, it’s not a joke. It was an actual rule. That only the one contact that was allowed in your house, the cuddle contact as we say. We love good alliteration. So only that one contact, that one person was allowed to use the bathroom on Christmas. The other two, I guess, had to do it outside. It was an official rule. It was officially communicated from the government. Only in Belgium. Other side of the coin in Belgium is we had a very, very good system of temporary unemployment from the beginning. So even though I’ve barely worked this year, I got every month at least 70% of my normal wages. So that’s pretty nice. It was all very easy, very accessible. Yeah, can’t complain what they did there.

Listener 7 [Singapore]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Maddy, and I’m calling from Singapore. My husband and I moved to Singapore from Philadelphia in April 2019. It’s super hard to compare Singapore and how they’ve handled the pandemic to the US because Singapore is so different. Singapore’s a really small city-state. It’s only about the quarter size of Rhode Island. And it’s on the equator in Southeast Asia. The city is known for being really technological and also very safe and very heavy in fining people for various offenses. But the country itself is just so different. So today and throughout most of the pandemic, I’ve felt really safe, which is weird to say. As early as February of last year, we saw contract tracing apps mandated everywhere, where you have to check in and out and then they use the app for contact tracing, and also temperature screenings. Masks became required by law in mid-March, and all of that is still in place today. In April and May of last year, we had a really strict lockdown, which they called a circuit breaker. Which is great branding, I must say. And during circuit breaker, you couldn’t visit anyone outside of your household. Not outside, not in your own house, not at all. All businesses were also mandated to close during this time. So it was really strange, but after that in June, schools were able to open and then businesses and shops and attractions. So basically since June life has been pretty normal here. Today, I sometimes feel that I’m living within castle walls. So life in Singapore feels pretty normal and safe, but internationally travel is highly restricted, which has been a key point in Singapore being able to control COVID. So it’s been a bonkers year, really, living a world away from family through this. But really hopeful that things will get better soon .They’re starting to vaccinate in Singapore as well. Hopeful that news is good in the next coming days and months. Thanks.

Listener 8 [New Hampshire, USA]: Hey Joy and Claire, this is Jackie. I am currently living on the New Hampshire sea coast, but I sadly moved here from Denver, which I miss dearly, back in October of 2020. And I’ve actually had the amazing opportunity to house sit and dog sit here and have been able to save money while continuing to remote remotely for the University of Colorado. But pretty soon, I’m going to be looking for a new job, and I’m hoping to do something remote. I’m a new project manager. I have my PMP certification. I just finished your latest episode. I know you said we could reach out if we are looking for a job, so I just wanted to throw that out there and mention more about my COVID experience I feel extremely lucky to have had this opportunity to house and dog sit for this long in a beautiful area. I’m right on the beach. I mean, it’s freezing cold, but it’s beautiful. And I take my dog that’s staying with me as well on daily beach walks. It’s amazing. But it’s been tough moving from Colorado. It’s been sad. I mean, my family’s all out here, which is why I took this opportunity. But it’s kind of crazy how much the pandemic has changed our lives and how I would have never had this opportunity, though it’s a little bit bitter sweet. Anyway, thanks for all you guys do. I’ve listened for years, and you guys are the best.

Listener 9 [Nova Scotia, Canada]: Hi Joy and Claire, my name’s Marcelle. I’m from Nova Scotia in good old Canada. I want to tell you about my COVID experience. We shut down mid-March like the rest of the world. No seeing anyone outside of your household. In May they said you could have one bubble family, so another household that you could hang out with. In June I think it was, they said we could gather up to ten people without maintaining social distancing. And restaurants and gyms opened back up in July I think. We had a pretty decently normal summer. While our province still remains to this date a state of emergency, in the summer time we had what we called the Atlantic Bubble – so the four Atlantic provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador. You could travel freely within those without having to isolate. Now the bubble is closed due to increased cases in two of the provinces. Over the summer time, we had zero cases. It’s easy because our province is less than a million people, so it’s much easier to control. Yeah, it was tough, and we still have measures in place. Social distancing, mask wearing. Masks became mandatory I think in July. It’s been a ride. We are very fortunate, I am very fortunate as an extrovert who lives alone who cannot work from home, so I was still able to go into work and socialize and see people. But it was tough to spend two months without physical touch. We all know how important that is. Anyway, hope you have a great day. Oh, also, one last thing. The New York Times wrote an article about how Nova Scotia, how it was the safest place COVID-wise. So you could check that out. It’s by a man named Paul, don’t remember his last name. Bye.

Listener 10 [Chicago, IL, USA]: Hey Joy and Claire, this is Alyssa. First time caller, long-time listener. And I was just calling in to talk about what COVID was like in the greater Chicago area. I live in a suburb of Chicago that is predominantly Hispanic, but my business – I run a therapy practice – is in a high-income town just north of us that is predominantly white. So it’s been very interesting to see the dramatic difference among people, businesses, cultures in response to COVID-19. The town we live in has been very cautious and conservative but very open because people need to work, people need to go to their jobs, people need to pay their bills. The place where my business is located just three miles north of us is completely shut down. Everyone has pivoted, everyone is working from home. But pushing really hard for schools to be open because they need their children to continue to get that education. I completely respect both sides, but it’s interesting to see how culture, class, color of our skin is really making a huge impact and a huge difference in the way COVID is treated and the luxury of socioeconomic status in relation to this. My town had one of the highest rates of COVID transmission, whereas the town where I work had less than a hundred cases on any given day. So I hope that provides some interesting perspective. Love you guys. Hope to meet you sometime when I’m in Colorado, hopefully next summer.

Listener 11 [California, USA]: Hi, this is Cheryl. I am calling from California. I wanted to give my thoughts about my COVID experience and how my life has changed in this past year. On May 12th of last year, I stopped going into the office and started working from home. It was a big relief to me, and I don’t mean to sound disrespectful to people’s experience in the pandemic, but I was really, really burnt out on my commute going into the office. Every day was the same during the week, and not having any time to myself. On that note, I’ve really needed to stay home. I live in Silicon Valley. Traffic is awful here. Early on when we went into a shutdown here in my area, there was no traffic. I was really refreshing. Traffic was back. I am still working from home. Early on in the pandemic I remember having a huge fear of going out into public. And I don’t mean walking in my neighborhood. I mean going into the stores and wiping down my stuff, and then I’ve touched my credit card and then I put it back in my wallet, do I need to wipe it down. My mom bringing over all these bleach supplies. It was just crazy. I recently got my vaccine. I got the Johnson & Johnson one shot vaccine, and I felt a huge amount of relief. I went out to my car, and I started crying. Just the stress of the past year. I remember – go for walks daily, and coming around a corner and there was an old woman, and there was bushes on both side of me and I couldn’t get out of my way. She literally went into the bush to not be near me, and it was really just strange to have that kind of reaction to just passing someone by on the sidewalk. You know, one blessing of the shutdown to me has been, I attend 12-step meetings. I have been clean for almost 29 years. I really struggle to go to meetings, and I know that meetings are really super important to my recovery. Meeting makers make it, they say it all the time. I have been able to go to at least 1-2 meetings a day daily for months. Anyways, it’s still going on here. People are getting vaccinated, things are opening up. I’m really happy that there’s more jobs and people are able to go to work. There’s been a lot of businesses that have shut down in my community, and just to see the business that are still left doing better. I do find that I stay in my house too much. I went looking for my purse yesterday. It’s like, “Where is my purse?” Things are still strange. I’m looking forward to things opening up. A lot of the companies in the Valley have been reevaluating their, you know everyone has to come into the office every day and work, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to stay home part of the week and work from home. So that is my experience with COVID. I love you guys. I love your intelligent conversations about important topics. And I love all the fun stuff. I did come to the Colorado trip and met you guys. I was the one who was peeing while I was trying to learn to do the double unders. Joy, if you remember. And look forward to possibly going on this trip that you spoke of that you are planning. Anyway, have a great day. Thanks. Bye.

Listener 12 [California, USA]: Hi Joy and Claire, it’s Ally from California. I’ve sent you guys voice memos in the past, and I just loved that you had a call for voice memos on your latest episode. Because I feel like I’m that meme where it’s like, nobody asked but then you give your opinion anyway. But I wanted to give you a little insight into my experience with the pandemic, and also I really appreciated your conversation about the vaccine. So I guess I feel like saying I’m from California gives people maybe a stereotypical view of what the pandemic was like because as the media has shown, we’ve had really, really strict regulations and lockdown and all of that kind of things for going on a year. Just this week, our county moved into the orange tier which is where things can start opening up in doors a little bit more and things like that. So it’s been really interesting. But I live in a very conservative town in the Central Valley, which is much different than the rest of California or the majority of California I should say. It’s very conservative, and as soon as Governor Newsom came out with the second round of lockdown. So at the beginning, I think like everyone else was, we were all sort of on board playing our part. And then after, what was it – October, November, December-ish, when kind of that second wave hit and we went into that second lockdown, our local sheriff basically came out and said he would not be enforcing any of the governor’s regulations. So that kind of left it up to individual businesses and individual organizations as to whether or not they wanted to open or not. It was really interesting in our town because you could kind of see either where people’s political boundaries were, as far as businesses and stuff, or even some of them weren’t even political, but they were like, if we don’t open our business is going to fail. And so it was really interesting when the rest of the state was locked down and the rest of the country was locked down, you could go out to eat in a restaurant indoors in full capacity without a mask here. And you still kind of had to wear a mask to get in the door, and they had signs posted and everything. But once you were in the door it was kind of business as usual, which was really interesting. Not everywhere. There were a lot of businesses that were still closed. There were a lot of businesses that did outdoor only or whatever. But it was really interesting to see that dynamic. I’m sort of in a weird spot because I’m a democrat. I’m pretty liberal on the spectrum, but this whole COVID thing has thrown me for a loop because I haven’t always been as extreme as some others on the left with the lockdown. I feel like I’ve been in a unique situation to be on both sides. I’m definitely more liberal and more on the side of we should be wearing masks and taking things seriously than a lot of people in my town, but I’m also not as far – I went to school, and I went to college in New England, and so all of my friends still live in the Boston, New York City area. And they were like very, very, very extreme. So I was sort of in the middle, and it made it really interesting. My sister is an ICU nurse here in town. We got hit pretty hard with the second wave. It was pretty scary for her. I think emotionally it was hard on her, but she wasn’t necessarily afraid of getting the virus. And this was before the vaccine, obviously. So she was continuing to work. I am a teacher, so I was continuing to work virtually online, but I would also go into my classroom. There was nobody there, but I have a two-year-old at home, so being able to work out of the house was really helpful. Our mom was both of our baby sitters. And we sort of had the discussion with her of like, you know, my sister’s going to be at risk of getting the virus and/or submitting it to other people. How comfortable are you? My mom is very, very conservative, so she was sort, didn’t even believe coronavirus was real. So she’s like, “No, I’m going to babysit for you. This virus will go away,” whatever. As much as my sister and I were worried about her, she wasn’t worried about herself, and we were like we can’t force her to abide by anything. She’s not going to allow us to not let her see her grandsons. We continued using her as a babysitter. We continued seeing each other as a family. We weren’t seeing many other people outside of our family, but we were seeing each other regularly. My sister was going into work. So it was really interesting because our lives sort of continued on. My husband and I, our work lives were very different, but the rest of our family were sort of continuing on. Long story longer, we all ended up getting COVID in January. We assume it came from my sister. She was the only one having contact with people on the outside that was high risk. So we all got it. All of us. Our kids. Every single one of us tested positive. And luckily it wasn’t that bad. My mom got pretty sick for about a week. None of the rest of us got very sick at all or really had any other symptoms. Then we recovered and went back to what we had been doing originally. Then the vaccine came around, and this became kind of a weird – like Claire was saying, and I really appreciate her talking about it. It’s like weirdly controversial. I would never say that I am an anti-vaxer by any means. My kid is pretty much fully vaccinated. However, I am a very big proponent on informed consent, and I spent a lot of time researching the childhood vaccines, and we opted out of some of them and we delayed some of them. But things like that, I am a big proponent of informed consent. So when the COVID vaccine came along, my immediate reaction was I wouldn’t get it because we’ve already had it. We’ve had antibody tests that we’ve tested positive for. So kind of our whole family was like there’s no need for us to get it. But having that standpoint with my liberal friends has been very controversial. Like, I have been made to feel like I am responsible for the death of millions of people because I’m choosing not to get the vaccine, at least not now. And I’ve said I’m not going to put up a fight about it. If it becomes a thing for my employment or whatever, I will get it. Basically I would like to wait and see. I’m not anti-vax. I believe in science, and I think it’s really important. But I also feel like it’s my body. And the fact that we’ve already had it, I feel like I’m not going out and spreading it to people. I’m also not seeing people who aren’t vaccinated or who haven’t already had it. It’s just been a very, very weird and contentious year with how people approach COVID in general, especially in my town, especially with my political leanings or whatever. I feel very torn and divided and very unsure. As much as I wanted to take COVID seriously and have taken it seriously – I followed all the rules and everything – I also feel really strongly about the negative impact. I feel like there could have been more of a middle gourd. And I don’ know what that is, and I don’t think there’s any country that has successfully done that well. I don’t know. I felt very, very torn this entire year. And I appreciate you guys. I know how you guys feel about COVID and taking it seriously. I know how you guys have talked about vaccines in the past. But I appreciate you opening up this conversation because I do feel like. I feel like I don’t identify with either side. And it’s still weird to me that there are sides in any of this. But I appreciate you acknowledging that everybody has different opinions, and you’re not necessarily – you know, I don’t think that the vaccine is laced with 5G internet or whatever. I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t think the government’s out to get us. But at the same time, I think that the fear mongering, the unknown of all of it has really played in to heightening the political tensions in all of this. This is a really long voice memo. By no means do you need to include any of this in your podcast, but again, I just wanted to share my opinion. Like that meme where nobody asked, and I wanted to tell you anyway. Thank you for doing what you guys do. I love listening. See you next Thursday.

Listener 13 [China]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Moni and I am an American International teacher, and I am calling to talk about my experience with the pandemic in China and East Asia last year. I know for a lot of Americans this really didn’t start until March of last year. But for those of us in Asia, especially in China, this started in about December 2019 but really blew up in January 2020. So we’ve been dealing with this for a little bit longer than the rest of the world. And basically what happened was during Lunar New Year, which is the biggest migration of humans every single year, we had heard that this started to flare up. Most of us were on holiday or visiting family in China. And so my husband and I flew back to China, which is where we were living at the time. Didn’t know what we were going to experience. And once we got there, we noticed all of the shops were closed down. It was really hard to buy masks. We didn’t feel comfortable, so we booked a flight after returning like two days later. Basically as we were in the airport trying to leave China, we saw the flight board. And it was literally like a movie. Everything before us read cancelled, cancelled, cancelled. And there were really very few flights within China, but much less outside of the country internationally. Fortunately we made our flight and we stayed with some friends in Taiwan who were also international teachers abroad as well. We spent a couple months there, kind of waiting things out. Taiwan handled it beautifully. It doesn’t actually get a lot of coverage because of the Chinese claim over Taiwan’s sovereignty basically. They actually handled it really well. They tracked us. Their CDC made sure that we were wearing masks and following protocols and not having symptoms. They basically had little to no breakouts since this all began. Anyways, we did decide to return home, and we did that right as Taiwan’s borders shut down completely. We arrived back in Hangzhou, China where we lived. Basically the day before, the borders completely shut down. Even if you had a visa, you would not be allowed back into the country. And once we arrived in China, we actually had to do a home quarantine. Which it’s not like people have been referring to the last year. We had our door sealed. We could not leave outside. The government was actually keeping tabs on us and making sure that we weren’t leaving, just because China had already gone through their wave and everyone had already been locked inside for about three weeks, four weeks. So this was actually just to make sure that everyone was safe and that we weren’t infectious and that we weren’t going to infect and bring COVID to the rest of the population that was pretty much safe. So during this time, it was actually really amazing. They had – they call them “community helpers,” and they’re part of the Communist Party, and they, in addition to a doctor, keeping tabs on us and monitoring our symptoms twice a day. It was actually very effective. We felt very safe. And we even had some COVID symptoms. We reported it, and the doctors were really helpful. Nothing was alarmist. We weren’t taken out of our homes and put in a hospital or anything. And then actually at the end of what was supposed to be our 14-day quarantine, they changed the rules last minute and said that everyone needed a PCR and antigen test. So the day we were supposed to be released and have our final medical check, we had to do an extra day and a half longer of our quarantine because they hadn’t had the system set up yet. But we had a full antibody test and COVID test. Everything came back negative. Basically after that, we went back to 100% normal life in China pretty much. So yeah, that’s actually how China worked out. We’ve moved during that time actually after that. Now in Kirgizstan where there’s basically no controls whatsoever. Anyway, love you guys.

Listener 14 [Japan]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Mira recording from Japan, and I thought I would share my experience during the pandemic here. I had actually been reading headlines over Christmas about some virus in China. It happened in Wuhan where I had actually visited a long time ago, so I had some connection there, and I was reading how it was affecting a lot of people and killing doctors and nurses. But things didn’t really get real for me until about January when it was Lunar New Year. It’s not celebrated here in Japan, but I have a friend living in Hong Kong. It’s a two-week holiday, and after that her school closed. They just did not go back to school. And at the same time, I was reading that they had closed the border to China. That meant that a lot of people who had left China – so a lot of teachers, international school teachers like myself – they were stranded outside of the country. I actually met somebody who was stuck here. My friend had another friend who was living and working in China who was staying with them for at least two weeks because she couldn’t get back into China. And come February we were told that if we were planning to travel that we should reconsider because of how things were looking for this virus. And it wasn’t even a question of would you be allowed to leave, but would you be allowed to come back. And at the end of February finally, what ended up happening was that the Prime Minister ordered all schools to close. And some people say that that was a political move because of the pressure he was getting. It really did look that way because there absolutely was no plan. That decision was made on a Thursday night to be put into effect the following Monday. So we at our school had a day to prepare our students and send them home with whatever we thought that they might need for an indefinite amount of time, ended up being all the way up until the end of the school year in June. And it was a bit strange because not even a week earlier the head of school had us all make sure that if we were to go online that we would be prepared at a moment’s notice. And there was our moment’s notice. But looking back, it doesn’t seem strange because he was probably following what was going on in China and Hong Kong. The Prime Minister also gave each prefecture the right to declare a state of emergency. So we were under a state of emergency for a while. There were restrictions like restaurants could only serve take out and karaoke bars had to close. But I found out later that those were only strong suggestions. Whereas in the States and Europe where there were complete lockdowns, for us it was please try and stay home instead. It was a bit frustrating because it felt like we, the foreigners, were treating the situation very seriously. We were trying to stay home as much as possible, stay away from people, including each other. But meanwhile here it felt like the Japanese public were out living their best lives. This could be for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons could be where they got their news from. Mostly from Japanese outlets, and they’re probably downplaying the seriousness of the situation because Japan wanted to host the Olympics and an outbreak could really jeopardize that. So that effects the accuracy of the numbers of cases and the deaths that were reported. I had also been told that there’s actually a sense of cultural superiority around here when Japanese people compare themselves to other Asian nations. Some people have even told me that they don’t even count themselves as Asia, just Japan. So since other countries had had epidemics and Japan hasn’t until this pandemic, maybe they had a sense of immunity. And also meanwhile since other countries like Korea and Taiwan had the experience, they knew what to do to limit the spread, and they wasted no time. But it felt like here was a completely different story. And it was a bit frustrating because in the media, people would be like, “Asia is doing so well,” and me and my colleagues would always try to point out to people that we knew, “Yes, but not Japan.” It was a different story here. They really did not have the infrastructure to deal with the pandemic. So schools were closed, but that was just a few weeks before their school holidays anyway because their school holiday goes from April to the following March. And so after the break, they just went back to school because they didn’t have the infrastructure to keep everything online, and it was the same for offices. So there was no working from home really at all because offices don’t have the infrastructure to support their employees at home. So everyone pretty much went back to work after a few weeks after the state of emergency was declared. But a positive thing was that there already is a culture of wearing masks here. Unlike in the States, there was no push back to asking everyone to wear a mask to control the spread of the virus. We did however have a shortage of masks and hand sanitizer and hand soap and even toilet paper. That happened here too. Luckily, I had just been to Costco before everyone panic-bought stuff, so I was all set. But of course, the worst part has not been able to travel internationally to see my friends and family. And also while I’m very happy for everybody who’s getting their vaccinations in the States and all the older friends I have and my parents who are getting vaccinated, the rollout here has been virtually nonexistent and it’s not anticipated until October that vaccinations will be available to the general public. So that really bothers me because it’s yet another thing that you look at Japan and you’d say, “Yeah, they’re dealing with it well.” But if we’re not getting vaccinated at the same rate, then that’s something. One thing I’ll always wonder is if things would have been taken more seriously if the Olympics were not supposed to take place in this country. Like, what would this whole experience have looked like if Japan were not interested in saving face to the international community? And would there be a difference in the way things were handled? What would be different if there weren’t so much on the line? Anyway. Thanks for listening. I love you guys, bye.

Claire: So thank you so much to everyone who took the time to make a voice memo. We really tried to put as many voice memos in this episode as we could, with a variety of different viewpoints and different experiences. We are always so grateful to you guys for giving us your input, telling us your experiences, and just being there for one another in our community. And of course, for listening to us for the last 14 months as we have all navigated this. I know I’ve talked a lot about my experiences throughout the past year, but I think the biggest moment for me that I will always remember is probably right around this time last year or maybe in April of last year when the PPE shortage was really bad in Brandon’s hospital and he was going to work in like a paint respirator. We really didn’t know when the supplies were going to get better. We really didn’t know when there was going to be a light at the end of the tunnel to have enough supplies that he could really be safe at work. I kind of had this feeling like every day he went to work, was he going to ever come home again. We had signed him up for this thing online that was basically a mask exchange, like an N95 exchange, where you would sign up and say, I’m a nurse and I live at this address. If anyone out there has an N95 collecting dust in your garage, please send it to me. And one day a couple weeks later – I signed him up for that, didn’t really think anything of it. And we thought we’d just get something in the mail, if anything. A couple of weeks later, somebody pulled up in front of our house, and it was pouring, pouring, pouring rain. And they ran out of their car and dropped this huge trash bag full of N95s on our doorstep and ran back out to their car. They had a mask on and a hat, and I never saw their face. They just waved and kind of acknowledged me as I opened the door. By the time I opened the door, they were already back in their car practically. I mean, I just welled up with tears. This was just so amazing to feel like people out there cared about the situation. That was a time when it felt like – I think for me, this past year the biggest thing that I had to come to terms with was this feeling that – before COVID, I sort of imagined that – and sorry if you guys can hear Evie screaming in the background. Brandon’s trying to get her to shush, but it’s just not really working. I kind of had this feeling that if something goes wrong, it’s somebody’s job in this country or in this world, like somebody has the job of figuring out how to handle it. That illusion was really shattered last year when it was like, how do we not even know where the masks are? How do we not even know which hospitals have them and which don’t? That really has been the biggest thing for me in the past year is realizing no one else – there isn’t some grand committee that has this figured out. And in some countries, obviously they do have that more so than the US did. They were more prepared to have that central logistics. But I had really always assumed that that was just a given and came to find out that it really wasn’t. So I remember when that happened when someone was dropping off a big bag of N95s at our house and Brandon was able to take that to work with him, it just felt like, okay, there might not be some room full of people who are going to be able to make this happen. We can’t rely on the government or other organizations, but we can really rely on one another. And that to me, I’ll always remember that moment forever. So again, we really, really are grateful for you guys weighing in and calling in and sending Gus your voice memos. Yeah, we hope you guys have an awesome week. We will be back next week. We have a few more guests lined up throughout May/June and the rest of the summer. Please remember to find us on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can email us You can always stream our episodes at I know last week Spotify and Apple both had updates on their apps, and of course it happened on Thursday it seemed. So just as a reminder, if for whatever reason Thursday morning rolls around and it’s 4:30 in the morning and you’re getting ready to drive to the gym and your new Joy and Claire episode isn’t there, you can always go to and just stream the episode. Joy edits these normally on Monday/Tuesday and preloads them. So they publish at, more or less, at midnight mountain time very single week right on Thursday. So if you can’t ever find our episode for any reason, always go to and it will be there. We hope you have a wonderful week, and we will hear from you and talk to you next week. Bye. 

Claire’s new family dog, how to know when you have a bad therapist, and more listener questions.


instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 72: Bad Therapists 

Episode Date: April 29, 2021

Transcription Completed: May 7, 2021

Audio Length: 41:57 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. And I just have to address this from the get-go because I do feel like I’m in a wind tunnel. We are having all of the interior of our house painted, and so we moved all of our furniture out of all of our rooms. The painter wasn’t using this room, and I’m like, “Can I record in here?” But it just sounds like I’m in a wind tunnel.

Claire: It’s a little echoey, but it’s okay.

Joy: But we’re going to get through this. We’re going to make it, and it’s going to be fine. We’ve survived worse things in the recording audio world.

Claire: And we also know that Joy could hide in a closet with a towel over her head, but it was 80 degrees here today and no self-respecting Coloradan has turned on their air conditioning yet.

Joy: No way.

Claire: We definitely have. And if you’re asking, “Didn’t it just snow there?” The answer is yes, it did, and it’s supposed to snow again as a matter of fact because this is what it’s like in the spring time in Colorado. It’s very, very weird. Today was a high of 81 and a low of 37. 

Joy: That’s your weather report.

Claire: That’s very common. So I’m sitting here next to a puppy.

Joy: Tell us the big news.

Claire: So obviously that’s the news.

Joy: That is the news.

Claire: Last week, I kind of teased it, like watch our Instagram stories for an update on the dog. And we got a puppy, and she’s so cute. She’s eight or nine weeks old I think. We named her River. Her name was Maggie. They give all the dogs in the litter names at the rescue. So we got her from a rescue called Moms and Mutts Colorado. Basically it’s a foster-based rescue that takes in pregnant mommas and adopts out all their puppies. So if you’re looking for a puppy in Colorado, pretty much all they have is puppies. So originally, we had really wanted to get an older dog. We didn’t really want to deal with a puppy, but I looked at probably dozens of rescues and shelters and talked to a ton of rescue volunteers and applied to half a dozen different rescues. Some were shelter-based, some were foster-based. The number of options for adult dogs who are truly no-questions-asked kid friendly were very, very few and far between. That was obviously our number one requirement, even to the point where we didn’t even want to get a questionable dog. “Well, he was fine with kids in his old house, but he’s a little bit timid now.” We didn’t want there to be a question in our minds that this dog would be great with kids because we already had to rehome a dog due to issues with kids. We had a dog. It was really sweet but absolutely crazy. Border collie mix named Luna. I got her in 2010 or 2011. We had her until Miles was like two. When I adopted her originally, she was totally crazy. Literally, her name was Chaos, which I should have known better than to adopt a dog named Chaos. But she was really, really sweet at first. Then when she got more comfortable at home, she just became a total terror. She would bark at cars driving by. She destroyed all of our blinds and all of our screens in our house. She couldn’t walk on a leash. She was just nuts. So we spent a ton of money and a ton of time with a professional trainer working with her and got her to the point where she had really good manners, was fairly well behaved socially, but never quite figured out kids. But we kind of still were optimistic. She’s been with us long enough; her demeanor is different enough that it won’t be a problem. And she just never warmed up to Miles, to the point where if he got too close to her, she’d kind of bare her teeth. She really would avoid him. It was just like, you know what, this isn’t fun for her to be in our family anymore. I don’t feel confident that nothing would ever happen. So luckily, very luckily, had a friend who had been walking Luna a ton and had dog sat for her a lot. He was a young guy who lived with his brother. And one day we were like, “We know that you love dogs. You foster dogs. You dog sit all the time. You dog walk all the time. Why don’t you have a dog? You don’t have your own dog.” And he’s like, “Yeah, I just haven’t found the right one.” We were like, “Would you be interested in adopting Luna.” Luckily, he immediately said yes and basically has been an unbelievable situation for her. She is living her best life still, and we still dog sit for her occasionally. We’re really grateful that we had such a straight-forward solution with her. We never would have taken her to a shelter or something like that. I don’t think we would have rehomed her had we not had such an ideal scenario. But because we had already gone through that, I felt really guilty about wanting to get another dog knowing that Luna is still out there. I have even said to Brandon before, I don’t think we’ll be able to get another dog if Luna is still on this earth. I would feel guilty knowing, well maybe should we have tried harder with Luna. So we just didn’t want to have even the slightest risk of getting an adult dog that wouldn’t be completely, one thousand percent family friendly. So we ultimately decided to get a puppy. And everyone was like, “It’s going to be so much work.” And I mean, we’re only a few days in, but the hardest thing has been managing Miles around the puppy. Miles will not leave her alone. He has to be within like six inches of her at all times. He is grabbing her all the time. He’s talking to her all the time. He brings her the – he just needs to be interacting with her every waking moment of the day. I mean, tiny puppies sleep a lot. He’s in her face while she’s sleeping. We had to tell him – and somebody wrote me this on Instagram. They were like, “I don’t know how ethical this is, but my parents told me when I was a kid that if we pet the puppy too much she could get sick.” Before I’d even finished reading that message, I was like, “Miles, I just read that puppies can get sick if you pet them too much.”

Joy: Oh my God, what did he say? Was he like, “Oh no.”

Claire: His reaction to that was, “Okay, then everyone else needs to stop petting her because I need all the pets.” 

Joy: Smarty pants.

Claire: Anyone else can’t waste Miles’ petting quota. So hilarious.

Joy: He’s like, “I get them all.”

Claire: Yeah, he’s like, “Well if there’s a limited amount, then they’re all for Miles.” So, I mean, he’s so sweet. But when you’re 5 1/2 and you’re so excited, it’s really hard to control yourself.

Joy: Yeah, for sure. That’s so cute though.

Claire: Yeah. But she’s been really sweet so far. She’s peed in the house a couple of times. It all is what it is. I think because we’re not that removed from the newborn phase, the sleep thing really has yet to bother me at all. We put her in a crate. She did pretty well. We wake up every two or three hours to take her out, and that’s not a big deal to me. Then the messes in the house, people are like, “She’s going to chew everything.” I don’t have anything nice.

Joy: And if you give dogs chew toys. Like Cadet didn’t chew any of our stuff because we just gave her chew toys and things to chew on and a KONG. Did you get the Nature’s Miracle yet?

Claire: No.

Joy: Oh, it should arrive today.

Claire: Thanks. Joy sent me a care package of puppy things. 

Joy: Nature’s Miracle is the best for pet messes, by the way.

Claire: The thing that I think’s been happening is that there are a lot of noises in our neighborhood. We’re surrounded on all sides by other dogs. So when she goes out, she just gets really distracted. Like last night, we were outside with her for like 15 minutes in the grass, kind of getting her to sniff around, having her follow us around the yard. She was doing really good, but she didn’t pee. And then we walk inside and she immediately walked over to the carpet and peed. I was like, “We were just outside.” 

Joy: Oh my gosh, yeah.

Claire: So, you know, it’s a learning curve.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Like this morning she didn’t want to go on the dew. The grass was really dewy. I set her on the ground, and she looked up at me like, “Uh uh.” I didn’t stand up for this. But she’s really sweet. I already said this. We named her River. She’s a lab, Aussie mix. Like a thousand people have wrote us and said, “She looks like a Catahoula.” I don’t know if she’s a Catahoula. 

Joy: Do you know who her parents are, or do they just take pregnant moms?

Claire: They only knew the mom. 

Joy: Oh okay.

Claire: And I think she was an Aussie mix.

Joy: The mom was an Aussie mix.

Claire: Yeah. But the puppies look so lab. I don’t even think they knew she was pregnant when she first arrived at foster.

Joy: Oh okay, okay.

Claire: So I don’t know how they figured out what type of a mix she was with the Aussie. But I think we’ll eventually end up doing one of those genetic tests. Potentially, I don’t know. To be honest with you, I don’t feel strongly about knowing the exact genetic makeup of my dog.

Joy: Sure.

Claire: She’s got this really interesting blue merle color with these huge, big spots, and she’s just really cool looking. So we’re really excited. If you have any tried and true puppy tips. Joy pretty much has all the tried and true puppy tips, but I don’t really even know. I need extra help.

Joy: You just ask me. Tried and true puppy tricks, I’ve got them all.

Claire: I know, that’s been great. Like I said, we’re only like three days in, and I’m like, so what should I start with? But she’s really smart. It’s only been a couple days. She’s still just getting comfortable.

Joy: Yeah, really when you first get a puppy, it’s mostly letting them relax and adjust to their new environment and learning their name. Because it’s a lot of change for them, and they’re so young that they just kind of need to get settled into their new home.

Claire: Yeah. So we’re super excited. The one thing that’s been really hard so far, because she doesn’t have all of her shots yet, so we can’t take her anywhere. The people at the rescue told us not to even take her on walks if we live in a neighborhood with a lot of dogs, which we do. So we can’t even really let her out of the yard. Thankfully we have this big, nice, fenced in back yard and front yard. So we can’t take her to the park with the kids and romp around. That’s been the hardest part so far because the kids want to take her places.

Joy: Right.

Claire: I mean, that’ll all be over soon. Of all the things to be tough, I didn’t expect that to be the hardest part of, oh we can’t leave.

Joy: Yeah, because they don’t have all their shots, yeah. Well keep posting pictures. She’s so cute.

Claire: Don’t worry, I definitely will.

Joy: Alright, so that’s the big news on your end. We got a couple emails this week that I just wanted to address, like a blanket statement. And I’m not going to share the emails because they were more private just for me to read, but it had a lot to do with therapists with some questionable behavior. The writers were asking me – and it’s just kind of weird we got two in the same week, so I’m like, I just need to address this.

Claire: And we got a third in a DM today, too. 

Joy: Did you really?

Claire: Just a couple of minutes ago.

Joy: Oh, I didn’t see that one yet.

Claire: It was a little more basic, but yeah, we’re hearing from surprisingly a lot of people all at the same amount of time with therapists who are behaving in really –

Joy: Questionable behavior for a therapist, that they’re kind of going, is this okay? Like when your gut feeling is going, this seems weird. And they’re just emailing me asking me if their behavior’s okay. And it’s really not. Part of me is like, what is going on with these therapists that are graduating and they’re horrible therapists. The bottom line is, here’s my rule. I graduated from grad school in 2003, so I may be a little old school, but I do not text with patients or clients. That is a huge red flag. It’s a huge boundary violation. If you have to text your therapist, or if you have your therapist’s cell phone number, that’s a red flag. I don’t know any practice or any therapist that would allow that, to text. Unless they had some kind of email system where a text just went to an inbox in their email. That I guess would be okay.

Claire: Yeah, or I’ve received appointment reminders via text that are from a scheduler.

Joy: Right. Totally a robot. 

Claire: Yes.

Joy: But if you’re receiving text messages from your therapist from her cell phone or if you have a texting relationship with your therapist, that is a red flag. I think that’s a poor boundary violation. In therapy, you have to have very strict boundaries about your relationship for a variety of reasons. But that is something that I think is really not good behavior. And if you get into any type of, if you could call it an argument or some kind of discussion where it’s a back and forth over email or text, also not a good sign. Your therapist should never be communicating with you with long emails or long texts when it’s not a session. Those are the things that people are asking about that I’m like, no, absolutely not. I would never text a patient. If you had to communicate with me between sessions, it would be a very brief phone call. That’s it. I have a rule that when patients email me, I keep it to 2-3 sentences max. If it’s more than that, you’re starting to get into a conversation, and that stuff needs to be worked out in the therapy room or at least discussed in the therapy room. Then if you need services in between therapy sessions, you should be calling your crisis line or something. If you need more, then that just shows that you need more intervention in some circumstances.

Claire: Or you need to set up another appointment in between your sessions or you need to see if you can get in the next day or something.

Joy: That’s another thing is, in very few situations should you need more than – it kind of depends. A level of care for therapy. If you’re in therapy, the level of care should be about once a week. In very rare occasions, twice a week. If you’re seeing your therapist more than twice a week, I guarantee it’s more what we call a higher level of care for certain scenarios. But just a private practice type of therapist, I don’t think you should be calling your therapist to be like, “I need to see you tomorrow.” That’s kind of pushing boundaries, and I would reevaluate that scenario, only because if you need something really quick and urgently that’s more for something like a crisis line. But anyway, as far as behavior from therapists, I was just thinking, oh my gosh, if they cross a boundary where they’re acting more like a friend. Or what was the other one I’m thinking of? Kind of comparing you to other patients of hers or his. For instance, if they say, “Well, I’m going to see you for such-and-such sessions because I have patients that are more acute than you.” Things like that are just, I can’t believe a therapist would say something so egregious. So if they’re giving you advice around making a big decision, if they’re actually making a decision for you, that’s another thing that I think is a red flag. But the bottom line, you guys, is trust your gut. If you feel like what they’re doing is not appropriate or crossing a boundary. And if you don’t know if it’s a boundary or not, if it just feels weird, then it probably is weird. And I think that that’s something that you really need to pay attention to. So I just really want to encourage you if you’re with a therapist and they’re doing some type of odd behavior, either confront them or ask them about it. Or if it’s really inappropriate, you can report them to a licensing board. Every state has a licensing board for licensed professional counselors, or LCSW’s, licensed clinical social workers, or PhDs or PsyDs. You can report them to the board if you feel like they’re not abiding by their ethical laws. So there’s very strict rules that therapists and psychologists have to abide by, and it could do a lot of damage to patients if they’re not following that. So I just want to make sure that people are aware that not all the time – just like a medical doctor can do malpractice, therapists can really cross lines with their boundaries and be reported and lose their license.

Claire: Can you also talk about therapists who react to the things that you’re saying? What’s maybe a healthy and less healthy way that a therapist reacts to what you ask from them. I’m just thinking of some of these examples that I’ve heard of, some a little bit gas lighty, really like the therapist is making the patient feel like the patient is responsible for the therapist’s reaction.

Joy: Can you give me an example, like make something up?

Claire: So if you were to go to your therapist and say, “It bothered me when you said this.” And the therapist would say, “Well –

Joy: Oh. “Well, you’re the one that” –

Claire: Well you’re the one that.

Joy: That is so unbelievably unprofessional, it kind of churns my stomach. This is actually not a clinical term, I’m making this up. But it’s kind of like crossing the third wall when you’re watching something.

Claire: The fourth wall.

Joy: The fourth wall. Whatever walls you’re crossing. It’s just not okay for a therapist to say something that is almost like you’re in a relationship.

Claire: That’s the thing. That’s something you say to your friend or you say to your spouse.

Joy: Yeah, it’s something that you say to your friend or to your spouse. A therapist never says that to their patient. There’s a very specific and strong relationship line that is the responsibility of the therapist, not the patient. The therapist should be teaching the patient how the relationship goes. And if you’ve never been in therapy before, you may think this is normal, but it is absolutely not normal if they’re ever making you feel like you did something wrong or they’re making you feel bad. Or that, “Oh, I have more sick patients than you.” All of that is horrible behavior.

Claire: Right. The root of the sort of made up example I was thinking of is when your therapist makes you feel bad for something you said.

Joy: Yeah. 100%.

Claire: It’s like, that’s why you’re in therapy is so that you can say stuff without worrying about feeling bad about it. Unless you’re truly being abusive, in which case your therapist, like you said, it’s their responsibility to hold that boundary.

Joy: Well either way. It goes either way. I’ve kicked someone out of my office before. It was warranted because it was a situation with a child, and I was like, “You’re not going to talk to this child this way.” That’s an appropriate situation where I’m looking out for the well-being for the child, and the parent was not following the boundary that I had set for the therapy room. That’s the scenario where it would go the other way where I would say, “You need to leave.” 

Claire: Can you give maybe an example of an appropriate way in your opinion and in your experience. What would it look like for a therapist to appropriately bring up that this might not be a good fit anymore. 

Joy: For a therapist to bring it up?

Claire: Yeah. Because we’ve talked about what it’s like for if you are a patient. This might not be a good fit. How do I bring it up with my therapist that I want to see other therapists. But what do you think it would sound like?

Joy: That’s a really good question because I feel like most of the time when people want to break up with their therapist, they just stop going. Or they may have that conversation. I think confrontation at face value is not easy for everybody to do. Myself included. I don’t think anyone’s really good at it. But I think when a therapist feels that the patient is no longer making progress. So for example, if I had someone in my office who I felt like we were just kind of spinning our wheels and we weren’t making progress, how I look at it isn’t so much of we’re not a good fit anymore as I’m not sure I’m the best person for you to carry on with therapy because I’ve noticed you haven’t made progress over the last few months. What do you think about that? Or whatever time that we’ve been together. And they may say, “Yeah, I actually feel like I’m just spinning, but you really help me in these ways.” And then we have a conversation about why. It’s always important to talk to a patient about why they’re spinning and staying in one place. And there’s a lot of rabbit trails, bunny trails I could go off of on that topic. But I think for the ethical behavior of a therapist to then say, you are here to see me for treatment. First of all, you need to have a very specific treatment plan. If you’re in therapy and you don’t know your treatment plan, you should ask your therapist what is your treatment plan. Because you should be moving forward and you should have goals and you should have benchmarks so that you know that you’re making progress. How do you know that you’re making progress if they don’t tell you what your treatment goals are. And sometimes when you go into therapy, you kind of name what treatment goals you want. But there should be some type of forward movement every time you go in. I personally – just my own personal over the years of what I’ve done. I’m not a fan of talk therapy just for the sake of talking. I’m a fan of talking through things with a purpose. But some people really like that. That’s not a patient I would take. If a therapist is saying, “Look, I just feel like we are at a standing point, we haven’t made much progress. What do you think about that?” Then we’d have a discussion about – it kind of opens the door for the patient to then say, “Actually yeah, I think I’m ready to move on” or “I feel like I’m not getting direction from you.” I think it’s the therapist’s role to put that out there first and foremost. I would do that almost in the first session with every patient. I would say, “Hey, if you ever feel like we’re not a good fit, and I know that might not be very clear to you right now, but down the road if it ever comes to that point, I want you to know that the door is open for us to have that discussion so I can help you choose a therapist that would be a better fit for you.” So those are kind of the things, just generally speaking, that I think a therapist would say in order to have you progress with someone else possibly.

Claire: Okay, one last question. This was actually from our Q&A last week, a leftover one. And you’ve definitely talked about this before, but since we’re on the topic. Can you give us a little bit of your rundown on therapy apps?

Joy: Oh yeah. So the two really more popular apps are Talkspace and BetterHelp. I think I mentioned this in one of our episodes previously – one of our like 400 episodes. But I actually signed up for BetterHelp or Talkspace, one of the two, because I wanted to see what it was about. I as a therapist wanted to see how they screened and onboarded their professionals. Because I was like, if people are going to be using this app, I just want to know more about it. And especially because I work in healthcare and I work in a therapy department. I wanted to see what the, not competition, but I just wanted to see where the future is going with therapy because it’s really interesting. And I can say… I think it was BetterHelp. I’m assuming both do the same because they’re very similar apps. BetterHelp did a really good job of credentialing their therapists. That just means they kind of put you through a very extensive application process in order for you to be onboarded onto their app. So you can trust that people don’t have grievances filed against them or an inactive license, things of that nature that you probably wouldn’t – here’s a hot tip. Anybody who’s seeing a therapist, you can go online right now to the board. Ours is called DORA. It’s Department of Regulatory Agencies. And you can go to any Department of Regulatory Agencies in your state, and you can look up your therapist’s license and make sure they have no grievances, make sure that they have an active license. So that’s something that you can also do before you go see someone is make sure they don’t have grievances, and that is public record. But BetterHelp and I’m going to assume Talkspace, but I was on the BetterHelp app does a really good job of screening providers. Now, when I’ve heard feedback from people who’ve done it is it’s really is limited what you can do for therapy, which I can see. It’s an app. It’s video. It’s texting. You text on the app. This is the only time that I would think texting is appropriate because you message each other through the app, so that is already an expectation that’s set up and that’s the way that the therapist and the patient decide to communicate. But I think that that’s something that I would recommend. If you’re not going to do anything… I’d rather you to that than do nothing because I think that that type of support, if you’re in an area or if therapy is not something you can afford to do an actual session every week, I think the apps can be a huge benefit because it reduced barrier to entry of people getting therapy and getting support. I have heard with mild to moderate and even sever diagnoses, it’s just not going to fit the bill for that type of patient. And so people who might be on the app, the therapist would hopefully say, “I think you need to seek help in these areas. Let me help you find resources.” But I do think that they’re good for help, period. You don’t need to know or even compare yourself to be like, “Well maybe my issues are more severe,” “Maybe I’m too serious for the app.” Just try it. The professional will be the one to say, “Hey, I’m so glad that you reached out here, but I think we might need to get you some help in person closer to you,” those types of things. I think it’s great. I think it’s a resource. We also in my line of work refer patients to apps like Headspace. We do a lot of meditation apps. SilverCloud is another one. I think it’s really cool that we are able to kind of use all of these tools virtually. I know it’s been around for quite some time, but it still is really neat that when I started, it’s like you go to a therapy office and you just do therapy in person. And now we’re in this virtual world where tele therapy is really everything because of COVID.

Claire: If you guys ever have any questions about therapy, please feel free to reach out to us. You know the two emails we have gotten, we still respond to – especially if it’s a therapy email. We’re pretty good about responding to those. I also personally try – once I realize that a lot of people, I open them and it’s like “Hey, this is for Joy,” I try to respect that. Sometimes I’ll just sort of glance over it just so I can text Joy to say, “Hey, you have an email in the inbox for you. It’s sort of about this.” I try to respect people’s privacy. We really appreciate everybody who puts themselves out there to reach out about that. 

Joy: For sure.

Claire: And especially if you have a question about how to find a therapist in your area, we have a highlight for that on our Instagram profile. The information’s pretty old, but it’s still very much applicable. Here’s how you start to think about just searching for a therapist, and here’s how you start to think about who might be the right fit for you. I think the other thing to remember is that therapists are all so different. If you’ve tried therapy before and it wasn’t a good fit, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are doomed to never have a good therapist. I feel like I always use this comparison when it has anything to do with –

Joy: The hair stylist.

Claire: The hair stylist. Because everyone gets it. There are so many things like that where it’s like you wouldn’t get one bad haircut and be like, “That’s it. I’m never getting my hair cut again. I’m just not the type of person who gets haircuts.” And yet we’re so quick to do that with so many other things, and I think therapy is one where we’re so quick to do that where we’re like, “No, I had a bad therapist” or “I didn’t really like it,” “I’m never going back,” “Therapy just doesn’t work for me.”

Joy: The other thing is, hair stylist is pretty straight forward. At least for me too –

Claire: Totally, it’s less of a vulnerable situation.

Joy: But it’s so hard to find a good one too. 

Claire: Yes.

Joy: My therapist retired in October, and I haven’t looked for another one because I’m just like [sigh]… I will. It’s fine.

Claire: It’s also hard to find a good hair stylist though.

Joy: That’s very true. And the other thing that’s really hard is – I mean, boohoo me. But it’s hard to find a therapist who knows how to counsel therapists. Because I cannot tell you how many times – well, luckily it hasn’t been a lot. But I can easily find when I sit down with a therapist if they’re kind of intimidated because there are people that will be intimidated that you’re a therapist if they’re a therapist. They’re like, “Oh, well, I don’t know what to do with her.” Because it’s like, you know all the tricks, so it’s kind of like staring into a mirror. They’re like, “Okay, uh.” But I remember one time I went to a therapist and the entire time I was talking, she would finish everything and she would say, “Well, you probably already know this.” And I’d be like, “No, I don’t. I need you to not tell me that I know all these things already.” 

Claire: If I knew this, why would I be here.

Joy: I need you to be a therapist. I need you to not be worried that I already know these things. I’m here for help.

Claire: Please just help me. 

Joy: Please help me. And I never went back. I was like, that was horrible. But it’s hard. It’s hard to find a good therapist. It is worth the search. I always recommend going online before you see a therapist or even choose a therapist and just read their bios and read what they have to say online. If you like their website, if you like what they have to say. The pictures, the beautiful scenery they have. Anything that kind of attracts you. I think websites are a great place to start and get a vibe for what the therapist is. Okay. So yeah, happy to help with any therapy-related questions you guys might have.

Claire: Alright, so we’re going to finish up with a few- sorry if you can hear a dog hacking in the background.

Joy: I can’t hear it.

Claire: Okay great. We’re going to finish up with some Q&A left over from last week.

Joy: Great. I also don’t want to forget about people’s voice memos we have about COVID, and we will put all those together.

Claire: So there’s still time to send them. This will be the last week that you can send them in, and we’ll put all those together as a special bonus episode. So if you want to talk about your experience with COVID, especially if you live abroad outside of the US, but really if you feel like anything was unique to your experience, please send us a voice memo. You can record it on your phone, send it to And we’ve really enjoyed listening to your guys’ experiences.

Joy: Yeah, love it, thank you guys.

Claire: Okay, let’s start with this one. “Funning in adulthood. What brings you joy, especially ideas for non-COVID times.”

Joy: Funning. Well because the warmer weathers are upon us, the warmer temperatures are upon us, I just love gardening. The past weekend, I sat outside and I just planted flowers on my deck. They’re all in pots because most of our yard is landscaped, but I just love planting annuals and being outside in the sun, walking the dogs. I feel like COVID has truly just made me appreciate the little things. Where we used to be like, “Let’s go to concerts at Red Rocks.” Which by the way Scott got his first ticket to an upcoming show at Red Rocks, and he’s so excited.

Claire: Which one is he going to?

Joy: Ben Harper.

Claire: Oh fun.

Joy: Yeah, yeah.

Claire: That will be so fun.

Joy: So anyway. I’m starting small because COVID has just made us all kind of very cautious. I don’t want to go too crazy making plans or doing things, but it will be all outdoors. It will be all outdoors.

Claire: We still have tickets to Iliza Schlesinger.

Joy: We do?

Claire: No.

Joy: Oh, you do. Because we got tickets to MEAN GIRLS.

Claire: We had MEAN GIRLS, for MEAN GIRLS the Musical. No, Brandon and I do. We were supposed to for his birthday last year on March 14.

Joy: That’s right. Oh my gosh.

Claire: As far as I know, it’s supposed to be next month. I haven’t gotten an update about whether or not that’s still the plan. Part of me kind of feels like it might not be. But TBD.

Joy: TBD.

Claire: I’m very excited about that. But as you guys know, I love hiking. I love being in the mountains. I love being outside. I also really love gardening. I really love baking. I think the biggest thing that I miss when I think about non-COVID times is just being – if you guys haven’t heard the recent episode of Brené Brown’s podcast Unlocking Us with Samin Nosrat, go listen to it. You guys know, I don’t listen to that many podcasts, but I love Samin and I really like Brené. Not quite as much as a Brené –

Joy: Devotee.

Claire: – as some people we know named Joy. But I do really like her and I really like her interview style. So this podcast is really good. And Samin and it talks about how she misses being in a room with people just not doing anything. With COVID, you can still see your friends, but you’re having a meal outside or you’re hiking. You’re doing something. We’ve really missed out on just hangout time. 

Joy: Yeah, just good old-fashioned hangout time.

Claire: I miss that. I’m looking forward to it coming back. Just chilling with friends. So yeah, I’m excited for that, and I miss that casual socialization and all that. Okay. We’ve covered this before, but just say it again. As of right now, we are loosely planning on going to the CrossFit Games. We don’t have our travel plans yet, but we would really like to make it happen.

Joy: “What’s both of your biggest pet peeves?” 

Claire: Pretty much, “What’s the plan for this?” Is a big pet peeve of mine.

Joy: Like you seeing it and going, “What’s the plan for this?” Or someone, “What’s the plan for this?” to you.

Claire:  Pretty much just Brandon putting things away. One of my biggest pet peeves right now is that he does this thing – and I hate it. He’s going to listen to this, and he’s going to yell at me. But he doesn’t clean things as he goes. He never has. And I’ve complained about this on the podcast before. He doesn’t clean as he goes. He just stacks everything up and puts it all away at the end. He just puts it all away at the end, and it makes me crazy because half the time – he’s going to listen to this and be like, “Not half the time.” More than one in a blue moon does he stack everything up and just walk away.

Joy: So when you’re talking about stacking things, what are you talking about? Papers, dishes?

Claire: Dishes. Ingredients. Say he’s making breakfast for himself before he goes to work in the morning, he will put the egg carton with the rest of the eggs in it, the butter stick, the bread, the jar of peanut butter and jelly that he made a PB&J with, the blender, the bananas he used. Instead of just putting things away as he used them, he’ll “stage them,” as he says, all on the counter together as if he’s going to do one final moment of putting everything away all at once. 

Joy: Okay. But he never does.

Claire: But he leaves them there, and I come on and I’m like, “Oh wow. Here are all of Brandon’s ingredients.” Because normally before I even wake up in the morning. So yeah, that’s my biggest pet peeve.

Joy: I feel like I have a lot that Scott hates. I think I’ve mentioned before that Scott won’t twist the tops on anything. So any time I pick something up, it flies out of my hand or it spills. I’m like, “Gosh, dang it.” The thing that he does too is he’ll eat – like we buy, let’s say, a box of crackers at Costco. You know how two packs come in a box? And he’ll just keep taking the bag out and then he’ll leave an empty box in there because he’s forgotten that he ate the other bag. And so I’ll go in and I’ll just have an empty box. Or the last crumbs of chips at the bottom of a bad. He’ll just leave them.

Claire: Yes, Brandon also does that. Like the other day, he put away… what was it? It was something like a cracker box with one cracker in it. Or oh my gosh I hate this, and he does this. Then we can stop just complaining about our husbands. Although I do think it’s healthy to some degree. We’ll have multiple cartons of eggs in our fridge at one time, like we’ll maybe have two or three dozens of eggs in our fridge at one time. He doesn’t finish one carton necessarily before starting the next one. So I’ll look in the fridge and think, “Oh wow, we still have two dozen eggs.” And in reality, each carton only has three eggs in it.

Joy: Oh my God.

Claire: It makes me crazy.

Joy: Oh my God, that’s so funny. So the other thing that I think is hilarious is I know Scott has so many about me. One of them is I will often in the morning if the trash is full, I will just stuff the trash bag with trash around and I’ll just pull the strings up like I’m going to take it out. But I’ll like, “I’m going to take it out when I’m on my way to work.” And it drives him crazy because he’s like, “The trash is just right outside. Why don’t you just take the trash out?” I always laugh because if I know that he’s going to be out and see the trash bag handles pulled up like you’re about to take the trash out, it drives him nuts. That’s your thing.

Claire: That would drive me nuts too actually if you did that.

Joy: Really? Okay, let’s do two more. We actually got a lot of – by the way, you guys submitted some really good questions about working with a naturopath. I think at some point I’ll talk a little bit longer about your questions specifically because I thought they were really good. I just wanted to call that out. This is more serious, but “Thoughts on the Derek Chauvin trials?” So that happened last week, one week ago. And I am very happy with the outcome.

Claire: Verdict? Same.

Joy: Yeah, that’s the word I was looking for.

Claire: I was surprised.

Joy: I was just so nervous. Here’s the thing. The feeling was similar to when I was waiting for the election results.

Claire: Yes. Even after the verdict was read, I still felt similarly to when we finally realized what the election results were going to be where I felt like someone was going to jump out from a closet and be like, “Just kidding.”

Joy: Right, exactly, yeah.

Claire: I was like, really? Okay, okay. I know. I was really surprised but definitely felt relieved.

Joy: So yeah, I remember feeling like so stressed and so nervous for the election outcome, and then of course we’re so relieved. But also, I love that this happened. And with any of these events or I guess you could say “victories” is that it is not the end of the work for white people. I think that’s something I always have in the back of my mind as well.

Claire: Okay. One more?

Joy: Yeah, one more. “Does JT miss going to work with you?” JT is a joy in his retired life. He loves it. He stays home all day. He sleeps. He’s doing great. He’s living his best life. He doesn’t have any type of urge to go to the door and go to work with me. Cadet goes to work with me now. He’s totally retired and transitioned well into his life, so he’s doing great. 

Claire: On JT, I’ve been thinking of you this whole time with a puppy. I think River’s about as old as Cadet was when you got her. And I still am a little bit resentful that I haven’t been able to spend any time with Cadet because of COVID. I mean, you and I have talked about this a ton, that I’m like, I can’t believe I’ve only met Cadet once. And by the time that COVID is over, your time with Cadet will almost be done. And I never met Cadet when she was a tiny puppy. But I’ve been thinking a lot about puppy raising and what that process has been like for you. And thinking about the people who raised JT. It’s just so funny to think about JT as a puppy because he’s always been such an old man, ever since the first day you got him.

Joy: Such an old man. He’s always been an old man. And I see how much of an old man he is compared to Cadet even. Even as a two-year-old, JT was more of an old man, and it’s just so funny to see the difference in their personalities. I love it. They’re just the best. 

Claire: I remember when you first met him and they were like, “We’re sorry Joy. He’s not a runner.”

Joy: He doesn’t run, yeah.

Claire: And you were like, “Um, okay.”

Joy: I was like, “It’s fine.” Because when you apply for a dog at CCI, they kind of ask what kind of lifestyle you have. Do you have any deal breakers. Which to me, I’m like, heck no. You’re giving me this amazing dog, I do not have deal breakers. But you know what I mean. And so it was just really cute because they saw how active I was. I would go running every day while I was staying there for two weeks. They were like, “Sorry Joy, he’s not a runner.” And it really is true. It’s so cute. If you even start to pick up the pace with JT, he just starts dragging behind. And you look back and he’s just looking at you like, “No, that’s just not going to happen,” It’s so cute.

Claire: Me and JT should hang out.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Alright guys. 

Joy: Okay, can I do one more real quick?

Claire: Yeah, go ahead.

Joy: Someone asked what you’re currently watching or reading. So anybody out there who watches The Handmaid’s Tale, the fourth season is out this week. Scott and I were watching it last week because I was just like, okay, I am too far into this show. It is too emotional for me to just not finish it. Because I’m like, they have taken so much of my emotion. I’m not letting them get away with this. I am finishing this darn series, and I really hope that this is the last series because it’s gone on for way too long. But Scott and I were watching this. He’s like, I mean, there’s parts where it just is really bad but I just want to finish it. So anyone out there who’s a Handmaid’s Tale watcher, I wouldn’t say you’re a fan. I mean, the actors are amazing, but the story is just super, super dark. So I’m going to be watching the fourth season this week and hope it doesn’t bum me out, but I’m really, really looking forward to an ending. And then we also watched the Sound of Metal last night, which was so good. I’m really bummed that we waited this long to watch it. I told Scott, like gosh I wish we would have watched this sooner. And I’m like, sometimes I just can’t handle, like I know when things are going to be so emotional and I can’t do it, so I just avoid shows or movies that I know –

Claire: That’s why I never watch new shows or movies. 

Joy: Yeah. Well I mean, I knew it was good. But I was just like, am I really ready for this story? Because I knew how sad it was going to be. It’s actually really, really a great movie. And then the watched the Oscars and it was great. I highly recommend Sound of Metal.

Claire: I was definitely reminiscing on the three-year run that we had where we would always be like the Oscar ballots and have an Oscars watch party. That was so fun.

Joy: God, that was so fun, and I make the little orange chicken from Costco. Brandon thought I was like a professional chef, and it made me feel so good. Because ever time he’s come over, he’d be like, “Oh my God, these are amazing.”  I’m like, “Thank you. I just popped them in the oven.”

Claire: I don’t know why, I was actually talking to somebody about this this week. We don’t go to Costco. We don’t have a Costco membership. I don’t know why we don’t. I mean, the main reason is there’s not one super close to us. 

Joy: Sure.

Claire: So, I don’t know, we just don’t. All the Costco drinks, you can just wow Brandon every time.

Joy: Oh, every single time. Oh my gosh. I have so many things that I want to buy, but I’d be like, “Who would I feed this to? Brandon.”

Claire: Brandon is the answer. That’s the real reason subconsciously that we don’t have a Costco membership. Because I know in the end we would actually just spend way more on food because we would have so many more choices.

Joy: You would have so many more choices and so many things that you can pop in the oven or microwave to make. And Brandon would be very happy.

Claire: He would be very happy. 

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Alright guys, well thank you for hanging in there with us for another week. You can find us online. We are on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can go to You can email us We will talk to you next week. Bye.

Joy: Bye guys.

Underwear search, Victoria’s Secret days, emails from listeners, and a listener Q&A!




instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 71: Change Your Underwear 

Episode Date: April 22, 2021

Transcription Completed: May 1, 2021

Audio Length: 47:41 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys. This is Joy. 

Claire: And this is Claire. 

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. How’re we doing? Let’s check in. Let’s check in. How are you? Are you eating well? Are you feeding yourself? Are you drinking enough water?

Claire: Are you getting outside?

Joy: Are you taking some deep breaths?

Claire: Are you sleeping? Are you moving your body? Are you wearing clean underwear?

Joy: Put in some dry shampoo.

Claire: Go put on some clean underwear. That is a self-care hack that we don’t see enough. Change your underwear. It makes you feel like you care about yourself.

Joy: I don’t know why my mind went here.

Claire: You were going to say, “Maybe just go commando,” weren’t you?

Joy: I was not. Though I do go commando when I wear leggings. Maybe you need to throw out and buy some new underwear.

Claire: Okay, so, on this topic. I’m so glad you brought this up.

Joy: Thank you.

Claire: I’ve been in the market for new underwear. If you guys remember back from Girls Gone WOD days, there was a brief moment where we had this subscription underwear box sponsor called –

Joy: Think.

Claire: No, Thinx – 

Joy: After that. 

Claire: The original name of Nix.

Joy: Yes, Nix. 

Claire: And Nix now is like this huge brand. It is called MeUndies.

Joy: No?

Claire: Oh my gosh, this is going to drive me crazy because I am wearing them right now. If I can take them off, I’d be able to see them. Luv My Skivvies.

Joy: Yes! Luv My Skivvies. 

Claire: Okay. And it was this super cute – they’re still around – super cute subscription underwear package. They to this day are my by far favorite underwear. I have tried so many other types of underwear, and this type of underwear is by far my favorite. It’s not high rise, but it’s also not a bikini rise. It’s a nice low mid-rise pair of underwear. It’s synthetic, which I know everyone’s like, “You’ve got to wear cotton underwear.” I don’t really find that to be true if I am otherwise a hygienic human and not prone to other health issues down there. I have a pretty big butt, and they have very good coverage. Panty lines, guys, I don’t care about that. 0% do I care whether or not people know if I’m wearing underwear. I posted about that recently on our Instagram stories, and someone was like – and I get this. But someone was like, “I see it as why would I wear a shirt with a wrinkle on the front? Why would I wear underwear that gives me VPL.” Because a shirt with a wrinkle on the front says my shirt was crumpled up on the floor. VPL says I’m wearing underwear.

Joy: Right, exactly.

Claire: Whatever, I’m also not going to judge you if you have a wrinkly shirt. Moral of the story, even though I love these underwear, they’re $15 per pair, which to me feels expensive. Again, they have a super long life. The ones that we got from the gal we worked with.

Joy: The Luv My Skivvies.

Claire: That had to have been five years ago, right?

Joy: Yeah, it was a long time ago. They still have their underwear, and they sent some socks one time that I always wear when I run.

Claire: Right. So anyway, the point of the story is, I’ve been trying to keep myself from buying more $15 per paid underwear. Even though I love it, and even though it lasts long, and even though I just need to just do it. So I bought some from Parade, and I hate them.

Joy: What is Parade?

Claire: You will know their ads when you see them. It’s like the hot new trendy underwear company.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: So I asked for a recommendation for underwear, and everyone was like, “You have to try Parade.” So I tried them, and I hated them.

Joy: Oh no.

Claire: I know. And they were not that expensive, like $7-10 a pair. 

Joy: Sure.

Claire: But I was just really disappointed because I had high hopes.

Joy: I’m glad we’re talking about this because when we first started talking about underwear, I thought back to the days when I was always going to Victoria’s Secret for my underwear, and it was a really big deal. When I say back in the day, I probably haven’t shopped Victoria’s Secret, I don’t know… maybe early 30’s. I honestly can’t remember when the last time I went to Victoria’s Secret to buy underwear, sit there and pick out all the underwear.

Claire: And go through the bins.

Joy: Yes. And go through the bins and pick out the style. There was a time when I wore their bras. Man, I had some padding in those bras in my 20s. 

Claire: Yes, oh my gosh.

Joy: I was obsessed with the padded bras.

Claire: Who wasn’t obsessed with the padded bras?

Joy: So much padding. And it’s like, the jig is up Joy. You just don’t have boobs.

Claire: I know. So much padding that you hardly even needed shoulder straps. They just stood up completely on their own.

Joy: Yeah. And then there was a time when, I don’t know, maybe I was feeling myself. It’s not a bad thing. I just went braless for a very good period of my 20’s.

Claire: That’s amazing.

Joy: Yeah. I specifically remember going on dates where I’m like, “I didn’t wear a bra.” Anyway. I’m glad we’re talking about this because it makes me reminisce for the days when I would really put effort into buying myself nice underwear. And really at the time, that to me was a splurge because I didn’t have a lot of money. Going there was an event. This is kind of silly, but thinking of Casper and rituals, of how that meant something to me, being able to go to Victoria’s Secret and buy myself some underwear. That was the thing you did. That’s the place you bought underwear. As you get older, and of course we got underwear through Luv My Skivvies, and I’ve probably tried some underwear here and there from Target. I think Champion had really awesome underwear that was super breathable for athletes. But I haven’t really found a brand that I’m super jazzed about. Because, again, it used to be Victoria’s Secret. That was it. That’s all we had.

Claire: It was like Victoria’s Secret or those four packs of Fruit of the Loom.

Joy: Seriously, no shame if that’s what you wear. 

Claire: That’s not what I find comfortable.

Joy: Right, that’s not what I find comfortable. I’m just kind of thinking now, if someone has… maybe I just need to go back to Victoria’s Secret. I don’t know. The owner seems like a douche, but…

Claire: I used to really like Gap Body.

Joy: Oh yeah, Gap Body.

Claire: There’s something about going in through a Gap Body and rifling through those clear plastic bins. And when I can’t do that, I don’t know, I don’t enjoy shopping online at Gap Body. It’s not an experience I like.

Joy: Wait, you do or don’t like –

Claire: I don’t like going online.

Joy: But you do like going in the bins.

Claire: Which is weird because typically –

Joy: Yeah. You don’t like shopping. I know, I was like, you don’t like to do that. You don’t even like thrift stores.

Claire: I only like to do that when it comes to underwear for three for $12 underwear.

Joy: Right. So my latest purchase was probably a six-pack at Target for Fruit of the Loom or whatever the brands. I went online, and I read the reviews. I’m like, I just need something really fast to pick up, and it’s okay. I mean, it’s going to do the job. But I’m kind of like, maybe I just need to do some type of revamp. We should find a good brand.

Claire: Right, we just need to do like a blind fit test.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: I’m open to the fact that maybe if I had tried the high-rise Parachute that I would have like them. But I got the bikini cut or whatever. Maybe I’ve gotten used to a high rise without realizing it because I also still wear most of the underwear that I got when I was pregnant with Evie, so it’s a size larger. So maybe I’m just used… I don’t know.

Joy: It’s very particular, and everyone’s going to write in with 20 different answers.

Claire: That’s the other thing. I found this out when I was asking for recommendations for a mattress back in November is that when it comes to things like this that are very subjective, certain people love something about one brand that is the exact thing that somebody else hates about that brand. Some people will be like, “I love that this brand is all cotton,” and someone else will be like, “I don’t like cotton underwear” or whatever the case may be. “I love that this brand is so high rise,” and the next person will be like, “I hate high rise underwear.” There’s this one brand called Noma or Numa or Nurma… Soma?

Joy: Soma. S-O-M-A, yeah.

Claire: And it has this non-slip, they have a style that has this non-slip seem on the top that has that kind of gummy… you know? So many people were like, “You have to try this. It’s amazing. It’s no VPL.” Which VPL stands for visible panty line, in case you guys are like, “Claire, what does that mean? Stop saying it.” It’s like no VPL because it’s completely flat, no seems. And the way they get away with that is because they have this little gummy thing on the bottom, so it doesn’t curl. Are you following?

Joy: I’m following, I’m following, yeah.

Claire: I hate it. Those little gummy things, they’re horrible.

Joy: That sounds really uncomfortable.

Claire: So uncomfortable. Sticky, and your body has to not curve in exactly the spots that it’s not supposed to curve.

Joy: Exactly. And everybody is so different. When you find one that you kind of like – and actually I did. I found the ones at Target. I’ll have to look and see what brand it is. Those actually were okay. But I did buy a pack six months ago or whatever. Just where the little seam is digs into my hips and it’s so uncomfortable by the end of the day. I’m just like fudging with my underwear, trying to get it to where it doesn’t cut into my hip. It’s so annoying. So you just never know. It probably would fit beautifully on someone else.

Claire: Well, in case you’re still with us after ten minutes of talking about underwear –

Joy: Underwear makers have a tough job.

Claire: They do.

Joy: They have a tough job.

Claire: I don’t even remember how we started talking about this. Something about…

Joy: I don’t remember what we were talking about. Changing your underwear, yeah.

Claire: Go change your underwear. Okay, so we have a little bit more catching up to do this week after having a couple guests and then last week having a lot of current events that we needed to process. Thank you guys so much for all of the thoughtful comments that you guys gave us around last week’s episode when it came to gun control, when it came to talking about vaccines. One thing that I did want to kind of clarify a little bit about the vaccine conversation is that I personally am still very pro-vaccine. 

Joy: As am I. We’re both very pro-vaccine. I work at the vaccine clinics every single week. They’re great.

Claire: Totally. You reposted on our Instagram stories this Adam Grant tweet that I think really sums it up that’s like, shaming people for having questions is not the answer. The answer – what did he say? I want to quote it correctly because he said it so well.

Joy: Yeah, go ahead and quote it. And it was really nice because he actually went back and edited it because he’s like, I realized that I stated it in a way that didn’t make a lot of sense. So he went back and edited.

Claire: So it says, “When people are afraid of vaccines, shaming backfires. A more effective option: ‘I understand your fear. My read of the data is that the risks of COVID, both in frequency and severity, far outweigh the vaccine risks. This is our best shot at protecting you and ending the pandemic.’” Yeah, that says it so beautifully.

Joy: So beautifully.

C; And I think that that sums it up. But I think in summary from last week’s episode, the shaming backfires was sort of my, not lightbulb moment because I feel like I understand that shaming backfires. But more so my lightbulb moment was like, there are people out there with legitimate questions that are not just based on misinformation and QAnon.

Joy: Right. Just true fears.

Claire: True fears that are legit and are worth being explored and worth being asked, and I needed to challenge my own assumptions and my own bias around my knee-jerk reaction to people not wanting to get vaccinated. And then we got some really interesting voice memos about people’s different experiences with COVID around the world. We’re going to compile all of those. Again, if you want to let us know what it was like if you’re from –

Joy: We got one from Belgium, we got one from California, we got one from Canada. So keep them coming, keep them coming. 

Claire: So especially if you’re someone from outside of the US or if you’re from a part of the US that you feel like handled it in an exceptional way or you are a part of a population –

Joy: Or even just a small town or a big down. Whatever kind of community you’re in, what has it been like for you. We’d love to hear. So you can record a voice memo and then just email it right to us. Make sure that you’re recording in a small, quiet space if you can. Sitting in your car when you’re not driving.

Claire: In your car that’s not on. It’s hard if your car is on. We can hear the background noise of you driving.

Joy: Audio 101, okay. Send it to us. I want to read some emails that are very long overdue. But again, we read every single email. And thank you for just taking the time out of your lives to share with us because it means a lot. One of the first emails that I want to read was sent to us early in March, and it’s from one of our favorite listeners Mira. And she just wanted to let us know that she got a teaching job in Austria a couple of weeks ago. So at the end of February she got this new job. And she said, “I’ll be back in the mountains again and closer to home. Attached is the little celebration that I had after I accepted the offer. Thanks for your love and support. I can’t wait to listen to you guys from my new country.” So she sent a cute little video of her popping a bottle of Champagne and it’s adorable. So I just wanted to say –

Claire: Yay Mira!

Joy: Congratulations Mira! And we’d love to hear how it’s going because I’m sure you’ve started it by now. 

Claire: And I know that there are a lot of listeners out there who are job hunting right now in general. I feel like we’re just sending you guys a lot of support and a lot of stress-relief, as much as you can accept throughout that process. I know how hard it is to find a new job, and I can’t imagine how crazy it would have been to look for a new job in a different country.

Joy: Yeah, for sure. Alright. And the next email is from Hannah. This is an email about commenting on bodies. So we’re going to be all over the place with these emails, but I just really wanted to get to them. “Hi Joy and Claire. I’ve been listening since the GGW days. Thanks for always keeping it real. We’ve all been through it in the past year, but I’ve been thinking about Joy’s recent diagnosis of Graves’ Disease, especially the comments she’s received regarding her body, health, and medical decisions. You see, I am the sole mother figure of a child with cystic fibrosis. He’s all boy all the time, so we don’t have to listen to many of the comments about weight or body issues. However, after listening to other women, females in the CrossFit community, many people feel the need to comment on their weight or changes in their physical appearance. While gaining weight for people with chronic illnesses such as cystic fibrosis is a good thing, a lot of people suffer from body dysmorphia from the constant weight gains and losses. I cannot speak for them, but from what I understand it makes them feel like shit to have their body constantly commented on when they do not feel like themselves. I guess my thought is, can we please stop commenting on people’s physical appearances? Every person is so much more than that. Let’s celebrate everything that makes people people. It’s great news that there’s so much more of us than just appearance, so let’s just eat the damn bread. Love you all. Thanks for all you do, Hannah.” Always just a good reminder to not comment on people’s bodies. Say that you’re going great. You’re just doing great. I’m happy you’re doing great.

Claire: I love your shoes. If you have to find something to comment on, comment on their necklace. I really love that necklace. It’s so you. I just think there’s so many more things – and even if it’s just a quick interaction. That’s what I hear a lot. Well if I just see someone for a second, what else am I supposed to talk about? I don’t know. Get creative. You really can’t think of anything else to talk about? But if you want to comment on their appearance, pick something other than their weight. I love that lipstick color on you. Those earrings are so your personality.

Joy: We have a lot of unlearning to do around that. The thing that I want to challenge us all – I’m saying this to myself – is when we have the instant reaction to comment on someone’s body, it’s really more about us and our insecurities than it is about giving someone a compliment. I think there’s a little bit rooted in that is when you’re thinking immediately about someone’s body, I think it’s because we’re always thinking about our own bodies. So then we also need to stop thinking about our bodies all the time. Let’s just stop thinking about bodies. Walk outside, get some fresh air, and go back in and reset.

Claire: Change your underwear again.

Joy: Change your underwear one more time. That is really just the episode. The solution to anything in life is to change your underwear. Okay, this is from our awesome Tai, which I always want to think of Clueless, who sent the amazing Christmas song. It was back around Christmas time I played that song. And she said, “I know I’d mentioned it that one of my goals is to upload my music to a streaming site.” So she finally did it, and I’m going to post it in the show notes. And the show notes – we got a question of where you find the show notes. It’s just if you look at the episode and you expand the episode details wherever you’re listening, it will be there along with the transcript. So she said, “Thanks for listening to my crazy Christmas song and being supportive as heck and being podcast friends. I’m donating all of my music proceeds this year to a local Pittsburg NPO that offers safe housing for trans community. I wanted to share music, and thank you for your awesome podcast. It always brings me joy and makes me laugh. Tai.” So I’m going to post her music and then we’ll also share this link in our stories this week when we release the episode. So than you Tai, and congratulations. She’s one heck of a musician.

Claire: And show notes is pretty much the lingo that means episode description.

Joy: Episode description. This is from Lisa. “Hi Joy and Claire, greetings from Melbourne, Australia.” I want to say [accent] Melbourne, Australia. Did I say it right? 

Claire: [laughing]

Joy: Is my accent good? “I’m a longtime listener and so many times about so many different issues have wanted to email, but then life happens and the email never eventuates. I feel like the recent shooting in Boulder has been the catalyst to finally reach out. I’m born and bred Australian, but I lived, worked, and studied abroad for many years of my adult life. I’m a massive fan of the USA and spent a college abroad semester in Buffalo, New York and also traveled across the country. The one thing I can never get my head around is gun ownership in America. The first time I saw guns for sale in the store, I was shocked and horrified. I was 19 years old and couldn’t grasp the idea of walking into a regular store and buying a gun. The Columbine shooting happened when I was studying in Buffalo. I have vivid memories of being glued to the TV in my dorm room watching it all play out live on CNN. I struggle to piece together the incredible people that I had met and advancements I had seen in the US with the gun culture and inability to recognize that gun control is a good thing. I’m thinking of you both during this difficult time and just want to say thank you for helping me through the past 12 months. Your voices of reason, normalizing therapy ,and constant 90’s references keep me going. Sending hugs, Lisa.” Thank you, Lisa. Okay. Two more. I want to follow up on an episode that we mentioned BMI and COVID. I will also post this resource because I think it’s a really good article. Alisha said, “Thank you so much for speaking intelligently about COVID and BMI. The media just keeps hammering that obesity is a huge risk factor when that’s just not true. You referenced that data for H1N1. I think you said you didn’t have the exact data on COVID and BMI.” So I’m going to post it. It’s from Christy Harrington, who’s an amazing resource. If you don’t know her podcast, please listen to it. And she’s also the author of Anti Diet. So I’m going to post that. Okay, last one is from Deborah. “Hello Joy and Claire. I just finished listening to your latest episode and Joy’s brief review of that podcast episode interview with Fraser. I am in that obese category and to hear that comment saying that obese people are unhealthy, it sent me in that thought process of being labeled as fat and lazy, and that thought process of, “You’re fat because it’s your fault for not having enough willpower.” I’ve been in the obese category for most of my life, and I’m just over hearing this B.S. There’s so much more involved as to why someone could be overweight, such as hormones, food politics, genetics, mental health conditions, physical health conditions, socioeconomic status, etc. The list goes on. So to say that I’m fat because I have no willpower is B.S. Personally, I work full time, full-time college student, do the gym thing 5-6 days a week that has high-intensity workouts. I battle against my ADD when it comes to nutrition. That also comes with anxiety about am I eating too much? Why is this weight not falling off? What is it that I’m not doing enough of? I nourish myself to do strong man workouts, so I’m going to eat more than average person because of this. Last time I checked, food is pretty damn tasty. So to hear that being fat is my fault when I’m doing all I can to make myself healthier, however that looks, is utter B.S. Fitness does not equate to happiness. BMI doesn’t define health. It’s an indicator of body mass on an individual. It is not a social construct that belittles people over their size. Thanks for reading my impromptu Ted Talk. Thank you so much, Deborah.” Thank you, guys, for your emails. Reminder that you can always send us an email, Alright. Now we get to answer your questions.

Claire: Woohoo. So we just asked on Instagram for some questions from you guys, and as always you delivered. So we are going to dive right tin. I know you hate it when people say that. Kind of like how I hate it when people say that Christmas is right around the corner. But I’m doing it anyway.

Joy: It’s fine.

Claire: Okay. Do you have one you want to start with, or should we just go?

Joy: No, you can go ahead.

Claire: Oh, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about Cadet whenever you post the story about her. It was her first birthday this past weekend. Happy birthday – or not birthday, it was her anniversary.

Joy: Her anniversary.

Claire: That’s right, her birthday was a couple months ago. Her anniversary –

Joy: The day we picked her up.

Claire: First of all, I don’t know if I can’t believe it’s already been a year or that I can’t believe it’s only been a year.

Joy: I feel the same way. There’s days where I’m like, I have no concept of time. I can’t believe it’s been a year, but it kind of feels like it’s been a year. So we got Cadet a year ago yesterday. She is doing great. She’s an amazing dog. She goes to advance training, I’m guessing… we don’t have an exact date yet. CCI – that’s Canine Companions for Independence – they will give us the date when we’re turning her back in so that she can go to advance training. That will probably be August/September, maybe October, we’ll see. It’s going to be really hard. I will just reiterate. She’s not going to be our dog if she graduates. So I’m not training her to be another therapy service dog like JT. She will go off to be a service dog for someone in need or a facility dog, which would be what JT was. If she does not pass the advance training, then she is – the call is “released” to be a pet and then she would live with Scott and I as a pet for the remainder of her life. It’s very mixed feelings because to give her back is going to be very, very difficult. She’s such a part of our family. She has such a funny personality. JT’s the chillest, sweetest. He just kind of walks around. He’s a chill dog. She has such a funny personality that I can’t describe it unless you have a dog with a funny personality, that to have her absence is going to be really hard for us. It’s the mixed feelings of everyone I talk to who’s been puppy raising is you see the graduate and how it helps them and how we were on the receiving end of that as well. No matter how we slice it, it’s just going to be hard. We’re going to have a lot of emotions when we turn her in. Yeah, so she’ll be with us until August/September, possibly October.

Claire: And also for the record, because we get this question every once in a while if people are new, we don’t know what JT stands for.

Joy: No.

Claire: JT came with his name.

Joy: JT was named. Every litter in CCI, so they breed their dogs. All of their breeding is internal with CCI. They pick their breeder dogs, so Cadet could potentially become a breeder dog. She’s not yet spade. But even if she was a breeder dog, she would live in California. Any time a litter is born, the CCI people go by letters. So it’s the A litter, the B litter, the C litter. So it goes in order and it keeps recycling. So JT was in a J litter, so every dog’s name starts with a J. And we do not know what JT stands for. They call it the breeder caretaker. It’s the people who take care of the dogs when they’re having the babies. Gets to pick all the names. Sometimes donors will pay for naming a CCI dog, which Cadet is actually donor named. So her name is Cadet for a West Point gradates. Yeah, it’s a pretty cool thing that they do. So Cadet was from the C litter. All of her siblings start with the letter C.

Claire: That’s so cute.

Joy: We don’t know what JT stands for.

Claire: We should do that. How much does it cost to name the dog? We should do that.

Joy: I don’t know. I need to look and see how much, but that would be really cool.

Claire: We should name two. We should name them Joy and Claire.

Joy: Joy and Claire. We’ll have to wait for a J litter and a C litter.

Claire: Yeah, well. Okay. “How do we start wearing pants again?” This person wants to know.

Joy: Well I’ve been wearing pants since the beginning, so defer this to you.

Claire: I don’t know, guys. I really don’t know. I did have to wear pants a couple of weeks ago. I had to go to the office for a meeting, and I had to wear pants. I came home and I was like, “Get these off. Why am I wearing these?”

Joy: Yeah. Do you ever have a very full undressing, almost manic undressing when you get home?

Claire: Yes.

Joy: There’s times when I just, “Get this off me,” I just rip my clothes off really fast. Kind of like I need to be free.

Claire: Yes.

Joy: Almost like a baby. You know how Lorelei posts every day, undoes the swaddle, and he stretches out. That’s how it feels. You just get free from your clothes.

Claire: Yeah. It’s like – you don’t ski, but you’ve been skiing, right?

Joy: Oh yeah.

Claire: Right. Like taking off your ski boots at the end of the day. It’s the best.

Joy: Undoing the hook. That is the best feeling.

Claire: Or even if you’ve ever been on a super long hike and you take off your boots when you get back to the car, and it’s like –

Joy: Yeah, yeah.

Claire: The moral of the story is, I don’t know, buy some stretchier pants. I will also say, I recently – this isn’t somebody who listens to the podcast, but a person who I knew when I was younger was recently posting about some COVID weight gain and how it’s frustrating how her pants don’t fit anymore. We did an episode about this last year called “Shame Pants.” I would just encourage you guys to, if your pants that you used to wear before COVID don’t fit anymore, just go buy new pants.

Joy: Just go buy new pants.

Claire: Don’t hold onto your old pants because you might fit back into them one day. That’s what shame pants are. Just go buy new pants. Go to Poshmark. I don’t know if you guys ever use Poshmark. I’m obsessed with it. You can get a ton of really nice stuff for way less expensive than what you would buy it for at the store. So if you’re like, “I don’t want to just have to buy a bunch of new clothes, they’re so expensive,” go on Poshmark, find yourself a couple pairs of nice pants that are the next size up or two sizes up or whatever you need, and just let go of the shame. Let go. You are still a wonderful human. Buy pants that fit.

Joy: And you know what I think about too is how long I hold onto clothes sometimes. I’ll underestimate how long I’ve had something, and I’ll be like I’ve had this for ten years. I can let this go. Even though it may fit okay, if I don’t love it. It’s that Marie Kondo. Maybe we all need to do that again. Just get rid of all our stuff.

Claire: I recently found a tub of clothes. Or it was in the bottom of a tub that had some other stuff, and it was a couple pairs of these low-rise, probably now mid-rise – do you remember when those bright colored J.Crew skinny jeans were super in?

Joy: Oh Yeah.

Claire: I had these bright almost pink red ones, some green ones, a pair of robin’s egg blue. I was like, why do I… and they were like a size 2. I was like ,why do I own these? Did these ever fit me? Have I ever been a size 2? I don’t think so. But why do I still have them?

Joy: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve ever purchased clothing-wise or something that you remember purchasing? I used to buy the craziest stuff that I held onto even though it didn’t fit that well. I would always buy it because – like the J Lo denim jumpsuit. I mean, it wasn’t super comfortable. It was a little bit high in the crotch, so I always had a wedgie when I wore it.

Claire: One time – I don’t think I actually wore this anywhere, but there used to be – no, it’s still there. There’s this store on Pearl Street called The Ritz. It’s on East Pearl. It’s actually on Walnut. It’s a costume store, like you can rent these super elaborate costumes, but they also sell a lot of these crazy clothes. And when I was in college, you guys may or may not remember that I had fake boobs for like five years. So I had these fake boobs, and I went to The Ritz, and I bought this super elaborate beaded bra that had these dangly beads all over it. It was so cool. I literally don’t think I even wore it anywhere. I just needed to own it.

Joy: But you should have. Yeah. That sounds amazing.

Claire: That’s probably the craziest thing I’ve ever bought.

Joy: The J Lo denim jumpsuit. I mean, Scott Parrish has really made me appreciate fit, how important it is. I don’t care how good the price is. I don’t care how awesome the piece of clothing is. If it doesn’t fit you well, don’t buy it because you’re not going to wear it. And I used to do that all the time. I will say, my most proud purchase was when I was so dirt poor in grad school and we would always go to Boulder and go shopping at the Urban Outfitters. Because they didn’t have one down near us, we would always go to Urban Outfitters in Boulder and we’d walk around Boulder. This was like our thing to do. And I found the most amazing, awesome bomber with a fur hood for $5 on sale. I wore that thing to the ground. I probably just barely tossed it five years ago.

Claire: That’s amazing.

Joy: It’s so fun to find things like that. I’d love to see what people have found, like treasures that are super cheap. But the thing is, you have to wear it. You have to wear it.

Claire: Right.

Joy: Really remind people because we’re probably going to get questions why you took your boobs out.

Claire: Oh yeah. I know that a lot of people, especially lately it’s become more in the news, people having autoimmune reactions or unexplainable illnesses that they end up getting their implants taken out and those resolve. I didn’t have anything like that. I don’t know if I would have ever developed anything like that, but more than anything they were uncomfortable for me. They weren’t painful. I didn’t have any scar tissue or encapsulation or anything like that. I just didn’t like having big boobs as much as I thought I was going to. So that’s the end of that story.

Joy: Period, the end.

Claire: Period, the end.

Joy: I can give a quick health update. Okay, I’ll give a quick health update. So it’s been… let’s see, November is when I was diagnosed. I’ve been working with my naturopath for five months, almost six months now. My treatment plan is six months long. And I don’t want to jinx it, but I’m pretty sure when I get my blood work this week, because I’m going to get an update on my blood work, that it will be very close to normal. The reason I say that is I am feeling almost no symptoms of Graves’ Disease anymore. Truly, truly no symptoms. I’ve gained the weight back that I’ve lost. I’m feeling stronger. I’m able to do light workouts. I’m not doing anything crazy still, but I am feeling so good that all I’m doing right now with my naturopath is hydrotherapy. If you have a hydrotherapy practitioner in your area – I think she said there’s one in Boulder. She’s like, there’s really not many in Colorado, but there is one in Boulder. I don’t know the name, but if you are looking for a naturopath – it’s in Arvada, but even if you live in Denver. I don’t care where you live, I would drive miles to see her. It’s Clear Creek Natural Medicine in Arvada. It’s Dr. Cook and Dr. Lensegrav. They’re partners. They are both amazing, and I would highly recommend if you have any health struggles to just give them a call. They do a free discovery call, just to kind of find out if they can help you, and they’re not going to take you on as a patient if they can’t help you. It is out of pocket, really expensive. I spent most of my savings for this treatment. That was a personal decision that I was able to do because I had a lot of savings. I really was nervous about doing that at the beginning. Just money wise I was really nervous about spending that much money, thinking is this going to help. And just looking back months later, I can very confidently say that – I mean, I would pay more money. I would pay more money for how much she’s helped me, and I don’t regret one cent of that investment in my health. So if you’re kind of thinking about going that route for naturopathic medicine, I think cost is a thing we don’t talk about. I think it’s just really hard, especially in the US. This is not paid for by our insurance plans. Bottom line, feeling great. I’m excited to get my blood work so I can confirm what I’m feeling. But I also wanted to say, if you do find someone who can do hydrotherapy just for anything, it’s an amazing, amazing benefit to your health. Hydrotherapy is not a colonic. I know that’s what it sounds like. I even tried to Google it in the area for Denver just because I wanted to see how many practitioners were out there, and there’s just not many. So if you have one in your area, consider yourself lucky. It’s amazing. And then the last thing I wanted to say about that, just advice for people. I’m not a doctor. I’m not a nutritionist. All the disclaimers. But I just feel like having the lesson of not doing intense exercise for the last six months has been really eye-opening of how much better I feel. Really just reconsider if you’re beating yourself up every day in workouts or trying to kill yourself with the heart rate that you may want to step back and kind of reevaluate. because I just feel like that, especially women, it can really do us a lot of harm with all the stress we’re carrying on top of everything else. I have Dr. Cook, my naturopath, I’m going to ask her after all of my treatment plan is said and done, I’m going to ask her to be on the show because I really want her to have the expert voice and talk about what I went through specifically. I’m totally fine with her sharing everything that I have done with her. So look for that. But that’s how I’m doing. Almost better.

Claire: How did you find your naturopath in the first place?

Joy: I was lucky enough that I have a friend, I have a coworker who was seeing her. I had known about her for years because my coworker talked about her all the time. And so when I got diagnosed, I was freaking out and I said, “Hey, can you give me her name again? I know you’re seeing her.” “Oh yeah.” So I just called her. I scheduled, they called it a discovery call, which is basically an intro call. They don’t want to schedule an appointment with you if they can’t help your diagnosis. She’s like, ”Yep, I’ve helped plenty of women with this,” and so we went from there. It was just like, bam, bam, bam.

Claire: I know that for you this ended up being almost like a shockingly straight-forward process to work with her. It’s not like you had to shop around.

Joy: No, right.

Claire: But if someone is looking for a naturopathic practitioner in their area, do you have anything that you would recommend looking for or even just credentials?

Joy: I would say a doctor of naturopathic medicine. I would make sure that they have a doctorate in naturopathic medicine. There’s a lot of certificates and coaches and that type of credential that I think for my – maybe it’s helpful for some issues.

Claire: But if you’re dealing with a true diagnosis, go to an actual doctor.

Joy: Yeah, I just feel like a doctor of naturopathic medicine where they went to med school. They have all the years of education. It will say in their bio where they went to school, and you can even Google the school that they went to and make sure that it’s legit. So yeah. That’s a good question. Luckily, I didn’t have to do any research. I mean, I looked at her Google reviews online, which were all amazing. Not that I didn’t trust my coworker, but I was just at a place where I was like, do I really want to spend this much money. I freak out over spending a lot of money, and this was a lot of money. That was probably the hardest part for me. And Scott was like, “You do you, whatever you feel like you want to do.” When we had that discussion about the money piece. But anyway, feeling great. I truly feel like I’m almost back to normal, and that is something that I probably three months ago would have been like, “You’re crazy. This is not going to go away that fast.” Even when she told me that it was a six-month treatment plan, I was like, wow that doesn’t see like that long. Her confidence in the body healing itself is unbelievable. Every time I leave in tears thinking I was going to be doomed with this forever, she would always give me that confidence of, “The body is amazing, Joy. It’s amazing. It can heal so fast. Everything’s just so amazing.” Okay, I trust you. Yeah.

Claire: It will be great to have her on too because I know we’ve gotten a lot of questions from people who are like, I had Graves’ or I had Hashimoto’s or something. I did zap my thyroid. I didn’t know what I didn’t know, but now what. Or even, I did know what I didn’t know and zapping my thyroid was still the best choice.

Joy: Exactly.

Claire: But still, now what.

Joy: And she is just a wealth of information.

Claire: Totally.

Joy: I’d be really happy to have her on, yeah.

Claire: Okay, “Is 44 too old to dye your hair purple or blue?” Absolutely not. In fact, I would say the older you get, the more appropriate it is.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: I feel like it’s a bell curve, like an inverse… what’s the opposite of a bell curve? Somebody who knows math is yelling.

Joy: Somebody who knows math, yell it. I wish we could hear. 

Claire: I know. The amount of inappropriateness for dying your hair starting at age 13 is 0. And then it peaks, like peak inappropriate is maybe 30. And then it starts going back down the other direction. By the time you’re in your 60’s, it doesn’t matter. So at 44, you’re headed back down the other side of the inappropriate curve. It is becoming more appropriate every day.

Joy: I am all for it, as someone who had her hair pink just last year.

Claire: And to be clear, I also don’t think it’s inappropriate for 30-year-olds. 

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Okay. “How is Claire’s dog search going?” Guys, I’m going to leave you with a cliff hanger on this one. Watch our Instagram this weekend?

Joy: Yours, your personal one, or ours?

Claire: My dog search. Claire’s dog search.

Joy: No, no, no. On your personal account or the Joy and Claire?

Claire: Both, it will be on both. Don’t worry. If you guys don’t know what’s going on – I think I did this on my personal Instagram. Didn’t I?

Joy: You didn’t do it on ours.

Claire: Didn’t do it on Joy and Claire. On my personal Instagram, I’ve been asking people for any leads or recommendations. We finally decided that the time has come to get a dog. Miles and Evie just love all animals and love dogs so, so much. I’ll tell a little bit more of a story maybe next week about our previous dog and what happened. Keep an eye on our stories. It’s going to be exciting.

Joy: “What is the best sparkling water?”

Claire: It kind of depends. You guys know I’m in a huge Aura Bura phase right now.

Joy: Aura Bura is so good. Aura Bura. 

Claire: It’s so good.

Joy: It’s so good.

Claire: And we’ve been getting a lot more distribution. Like you can get them at 7-Eleven in some places now.

Joy: Oh wow.

Claire: Yeah. The lavender one is my favorite. I also like the cactus rose one a lot. The watermelon peppermint and the basil whatever ones are not –

Joy: I mean, all those flavor combos are so amazing.

Claire: I don’t like the peppermint one.

Joy: You don’t like mint.

Claire: I don’t like mint-flavored things unless I’m brushing my teeth.

Joy: Right. 

Claire: Okay. “Colorado real estate. Where are the affordable options? LOL.” LOL.

Joy: LOL. Have fun.

Claire: The eastern plains. It’s hard.

Joy: It is so hard.

Claire: Honestly, truly the most affordable area in the front range – we explained this before, but the front range is what we refer to as anything between Fort Collins and Colorado Springs, right along the I-25 corridor, which basically runs north to south right along the mountains. So it’s kind of the best of both worlds because it’s the very kind of metro part of the state where you can drive into the mountains but you aren’t living in the mountains where it’s isolated and cold. And then you’re not in the plains where it’s just windy and cows.

Joy: Windy and cows.

Claire: Windy and cows. The most affordable place to live in the front range right now is pretty much Longmont, which is where I live. But even still, you’re going to have a hard time finding a single-family home for under $400,000. The closer you get to Fort Collins, especially on the east side of I-25. Anything on the east side of I-25 is going to be a little bit less expensive. And then pretty much the further away you get from Denver, north and south of course, it gets cheaper. But then Colorado Springs gets expensive again. It’s tough. Living in Colorado is not cheap.

Joy: It’s so tough. It’s really not cheap. Scott and I were – you know, everyone always looks around on Zillow.

Claire: You guys are always looking around on Zillow.

Joy: Yeah, we’re always looking at houses. We’ve been looking for houses for like ten years. But the SNL skit is so funny.

Claire: With Dan Levy.

Joy: Yeah. 

Claire: Dan Levy, did I get that right?

Joy: Dan Levy. I always get that wrong because there’s a Dan Levy comedian and there’s a Dan Levy who’s the Schitt’s Creek guy.

Claire: Dan Levy.

Joy: Yeah, so on Zillow, we’re always looking around.

Claire: The one that was like a phone sex commercial, but they’re actually on Zillow.

Joy: Yeah, exactly.

Claire: I do that all the time. And you guys at least are like, yeah, if we found the right spot we’d move. We’re not going anywhere, but I still look at Zillow all the time.

Joy: Yeah, we actually went to an open house last weekend for this awesome house in Golden. But the funny thing is, there’s so little houses on the market, the houses are gone within a day. It is insane.

Claire: Minutes. Minutes.

Joy: Minutes. And I saw a news report about houses in the United States. Most of the more expensive areas, the listing price – you know how you see a listing price, and you’re like, well actually, I could probably offer whatever below that. She’s like, now, listing prices are the starting point. So everyone’s overbidding. It is truly a seller’s market. It’s crazy. So we’re not going anywhere because there’s no houses for sale, but it’s just fun to kind of look around. But there’s so little on the market. Good luck because it’s expensive.

Claire: I know. But it’s doable.

Joy: It’s doable, but it’s just so hard right now because nothing’s for sale.

Claire: It is. It’s tough. And living in Colorado is not cheap. But we love it. We think it’s worth it. Obviously, because we live here.

Joy: Obviously.

Claire: Let’s do one more question, and then we’ll get to the rest of you guys’ questions on a later podcast. Thank you so much for sending in questions. We always love them and always read them and end up mostly getting to all of them eventually.

Joy: Eventually.

Claire: Okay. So I’m going to ask this one because it’s going to let us plug the new meals that we’ve been trying.

Joy: Yes.

Claire: So the question is, “Who does most of the cooking in both of your homes, and what are your go-to weekly meals?” At my house, Brandon and I split the cooking pretty much 50/50. I would say I do a little bit more meal planning than he does, but I think that’s more of because I have more experience with planning out recipes. But we both love cooking. Brandon really loves barbecuing. He loves smoking meats. I really love pretty much all kinds of cooking. We make the majority of our stuff from scratch, and we love it. I wouldn’t say that we’re unique, but I appreciate that that’s not everyone. A lot of people don’t truly find joy in cooking, and therefore they’re not like – like every night, every time I get to try a new recipe, I get really excited. If I’m going to make something brand new and I’m going to make something from scratch, that stuff really fires me up. And Joy is not that way.

Joy: Nope.

Claire: Quickly, what my favorite go-to meals are right now. We’ve been making unbelievable amounts of enchiladas. We’re in an amazing enchilada phase, and here is the secret. Goat cheese in the enchilada. Not on top, but inside. It gives this little creaminess to it. And enchiladas are the best leftovers. They’re so good. So we dice up some green pepper, some onions, do some spinach, mushrooms if you want, corn if you want, and some chicken. Put that in your little tortilla with some goat cheese. Build your enchiladas up. We use green has chili sauce, put some cheese on top. Bake that up until the sauce is bubbling. So good. That’s my biggest go-to right now.

Joy: Yay. And then, as far as the meals, do we want to pimp the meals that we’ve been – 

Claire: Yeah. Why don’t you talk about what you eat more of because I feel like that’s going to segue a little bit better into – 

Joy: Well honestly my diet has been so random because of my no dairy thing. So I’m just making the same things all over again because it’s just easy for me. So we still make, especially now because it’s been warmer, so we’ve been grilling burgers. I’ve been super obsessed, I don’t know why, with just buying a bag of potatoes and making potatoes in like 50 different ways.

Claire: Potatoes are one of the best foods.

Joy: They’re the best. Sexy Dietician has really good recipes that I follow, and I’m just like, “Oh, that’s a good idea” about seasoning. And also the Salt Gypsy, I always follow her tips as well. Hello to you both. But yeah, so we always make simple stuff. We don’t follow recipes. We throw protein, starch, vegetables. We just throw stuff together. But Scott’s been doing a lot of meal deliveries as well from a local place because he was having an issue with not eating breakfast or lunch. He’s kind of like you where he would just put his head down for the day and be like, “Oh, it’s afternoon and I haven’t eaten anything.” So he got a meal delivery from the local person that does meals, and he’s been doing really well with that. We recently were approached by a company. And I want to give full disclosure, we’re not being paid by them, but we are getting meals, and I want to share this with you guys. I do really like this meal delivery that we’ve been working with.

Claire: Yeah, so it’s called Eat to Evolve. Their meals are really good. The options are really interesting. I like that they have a lot of variety. But the thing I actually like the most about them is that you can get snacks.

Joy: Yes.

Claire: And I’ve never seen a meal delivery company that offers that before. You can get little banana – what are they called? Banana bread protein balls. You can get, I don’t know if they’re protein, but the little muffin balls. You can get just a bag of nuts.

Joy: Like the little bites, yeah. 

Claire: You can get things that are more so packaged to be truly a snack. I love that because –

Joy: And breakfast options.

Claire: Breakfast options. And I love that because it totally fills in the gaps and you can then truly use it as more of a stand-in for grocery shopping, rather than doing a full food buy and then getting these meals delivered.

Joy: Right.

Claire: And also, the snack options are really good as kid’s meals. So we highly recommend them. Check them out. Eat to Evolve. If you guys want to try them, we have an affiliate link that we will share in our Instagram stories. We’ve been sharing it pretty regularly, and then our discount code is JOYCLAIRE15. As you guys know, we used to work with another meal delivery company that we talked about for years, and they unfortunately went out of business. So this is our go-to now. I’m really liking it.

Joy: Check it out. Alright. Send us your emails. We want to hear underwear recommendations. We still want to hear what COVID has been like where you are living. What else? Questions, topics, what’s on your mind, how we can support you. If you’re looking for a job, maybe we can just help get the word out.

Claire: Seriously. We can turn the end of our podcast into a job board. 

Joy: Oh, I have a job board. If you’re in Denver area, my naturopath is actually looking for someone who can do hydrotherapy. You don’t have to have any medical experience. You just have to be a good, reliable person. She can teach you how to do hydrotherapy. It’s a pretty simple thing.

Claire: And it doesn’t involve people’s colons.

Joy: No, it does not. You’re literally laying hot and cold towels every 10 minutes on the person and you let them relax. You’re not sitting with them. Anyways, she needs a hydrotherapy tech, someone to just do this for her, because her and her partner are so busy and she just wants someone else to be doing this so she can be focusing on other things. So she is actively looking, and you just contact Clear Creek Natural Medicine if you want to get a job doing hydrotherapy, which is a great treatment. It’s awesome.

Claire: And if you’re looking for a job in a specific area, a specific location, a specific field, let us know. Shoot us a note, and we can be like next week, “Hey, we have someone in Denver looking for a sales job in whatever.” You know, just let us know. You never know. It never hurts to put yourself out there, get some connections.

Joy: Oh man, connections are the best.

Claire: Connections are the only way you’re going to get a job.

Joy: And you know what, I found just getting the ball of energy moving, things start to happen. It’s crazy.

Claire: Totally.

Joy: So we will be that for you.

Claire: Yes. Well, thank you for joining us for another week and we will talk to you next time.

Joy: Bye guys.

Claire: Bye.

Rest and sleeping, reflecting on the Boulder shooting, Covid vaccine views, and would you rathers.


instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 70: Fix It

Episode Date: April 15, 2021

Transcription Completed: April 17, 2021

Audio Length: 52:17 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. It’s just us. We know how much you love us.

Claire: It really did feel like – I mean, it’s so great to have guests, and we had two really wonderful guests. And also it was like, do you miss us?

Joy: I know. People miss us. I know – I know you’re out there – that will skip episodes when it’s not just us. They’re out there.

Claire: Which is amazing because we just did an entire year where the only guest we had was that one time we had Casper on. Which was a great episode. He was worth it. He was worth being the only guest in 2020.

Joy: But all of our guests are so great, because you know why? We also are great interviewers. I’m just kidding. I’m not tooting my own –

Claire: You’re not kidding. Toot your own horn. We are good interviewers.

Joy: We are good interviewers. I feel like everyone always feels so comfortable around us, and I just really like people.

Claire: If you haven’t listened, if you’re like, “I don’t really like listening to interviews,” don’t forget who you’re talking about here guys. It’s Joy and Claire talking. 

Joy: You think you’ve heard it before, you have not. You have not heard an interview by Joy and Claire. Go back, listen. I think every single guest we have on is a really good guest. I just really like the last two that we did, so go check it out if you haven’t. We were just about to record, and we were talking about Claire’s squeaky office chair. And we got into talking about how much we missed the days –

Claire: Now I’m trying to squeak it and it’ not –

Joy: Now it’s not going to do it.

Claire: Now it’s not going to do it.

Joy: And how when we were 15, 16, when you’re young, in your youth and you could lay on a floor for overnight.

Claire: Haven’t we talked about how you slept on the floor the night before the first time you were running the NYC Marathon?

Joy: Yes! Yes! And it still baffles my mind. To this day, I’m like how on – I did it because I was 25. I still can’t believe. Now I understand as people get older how picky they are with certain things. I always made fun of those people. I am that person now. Of how I could never just sleep on someone’s floor the night before running a freaking marathon. I remember asking my friend – okay, so young 20’s. I didn’t have a lot of money, so one of my good friends lived in New York City for quite some time so she had a bunch of friends there. And I was like, if I buy her plane ticket – I don’t know how this made sense to me. It was pretty cheap to fly there direct. I was like, if I buy your plane ticket, can we sleep at your friend’s house? And she’s like, “Yeah, I’ll totally make a trip out of this.” We crashed at a few people’s flats, such small spaces. It was such a memorable trip though. I feel like those are the times where you’re like, yeah, I could just easily sleep on someone’s floor for five days and just be so happy traipsing around New York City. I remember being that tourist that I was so excited to go to H&M because we didn’t have H&M in Denver at the time.

Claire: Oh my gosh, yes. And H&M was huge.

Joy: Huge. And I remember going to H&M, buying all these fun clothes. I bought this huge fuchsia pink tulle skirt. This is totally my Sex & the City moment, being Carrie Bradshaw. Anyway, walking around New York City with these huge H&M bags. We went to an off-Broadway show. We went to a bar late at night. I think it was called The Salon or something, anyway. It’s just so funny because I would never – I’d be like, “I need to go home, and I need to rest for a while. I need to put my bags down, and I need to change.” And now, it’s just so funny to think back of how I could just go all day and just carry huge shopping bags to every single thing we did that day. And now, Claire can’t sit in a chair.

Claire: And now I go to LA with Joy, and if we’re somewhere for more than 20 minutes, I see her start to shut down.

Joy: I shut down, yeah. I’m like, “I need a break.”

Claire: Yeah, you glaze over.

Joy: We need to go get food. I need ice cream or food.

Claire: I need a $17 glass of juice, and I need it now. I need a frozen yogurt flavor you’ve never even heard of.

Joy: Oh my gosh, remember when we went to Jeni’s and we had some rose sorbet?

Claire: Yes, I do. Do you remember when Shane Farmer made us eat activated charcoal frozen yogurt and we had to pretend we liked it because Shane’s so cute?

Joy: Yeah, I totally remember.

Claire: He’s like, “You guys are going to love this.” “Yeah, I love it.”

Joy: We’ll do anything for Shane Farmer.

Claire: I would do anything for Shane Farmer, including eating coconut milk activated charcoal frozen yogurt and pretending to like it. I’m going to send him this clip. Shane and I after that trip became pretty close because I started doing all his marketing for him for a while. I’m going to be like, “Alright Shane, I have a secret to tell you. That coconut milk activated charcoal ice cream was nasty.”

Joy: So good. I didn’t like it. But I did like the Jeni’s –

Claire: But I wanted you to think I was cool. I did like the Jeni’s. Which now you can get at Whole Foods and eat in the comfort of your own home.

Joy: But now you can’t sit on an office chair.

Claire: No, without squeaking –

Joy: The squeaking, and you said you were sitting on a bed and your back was hurting. I’m like, “Aw man.” Back in the day, I could do that. But now, no.

Claire: Yeah, I’m not 17 anymore. I can’t just sit on a bed all day with my legs crossed and not have back problems from it. 

Joy: Oh my gosh.

Claire: That was last year. When we didn’t know how long we were going to be working from home, I resisted for so long getting a desk. Because before I had this office room set up, I was just in the corner of my bedroom and I was like, there’s nowhere to put a desk or a chair, anything. So I sat on my bed for realistically 9 weeks, and my back was so sore and tight all the time. I was like, what’s going on. And finally, I was like, maybe it’s because I’m literally sitting cross-legged on a mattress all day with a laptop on my lap. It was dumb you guys.

Joy: But you think back and you’re like, oh man, I used to fall asleep in the weirdest places in college. I could fall asleep anywhere. I could fall asleep in a chair, just sitting sideways. My roommates made fun of me all the time.

Claire: One time when I was 10 or 11 – and granted, when you’re a kid it’s a different story.

Joy: You have no joints. You’re just so limber.

Claire: Right. My aunt had this amazing gigantic house in Montecito. She lived down the street from Jeff Bridges, was not that far from Gayle’s house.

Joy: Gayle?

Claire: A Hollywood house. 

Joy: Oh my gosh.

Claire: She owned a post-production company, one of the first post-production companies. She was very Hollywood. Anyways, she had this party when I was – so if I was probably 11 or 12, it was probably her 50th birthday party. And there was a live band that she set up in her living room. There were fire dancers and fire walkers and all these things. I fell asleep in an armchair in the middle of the living room in the middle of a live band with fire dancers all around me. I remember that everyone was taking pictures of me. 

Joy: Yeah, because you were a child, it’s not like you were someone drunk passed out in the middle of the room.

Claire: I was a 10-year-old who was just like, “I am going to sleep now, thank you. I am very tired.”

Joy: And then you get older, and then you can’t sleep. Do you sleep pretty well, or do you have a hard time sleeping?

Claire: I sleep really well, and it’s something that I don’t take for granted.

Joy: Same here. I do not take it for granted. I sleep very well.

Claire: Except that you wake up at like 4 in the morning. 

Joy: Yeah, but I go to bed at like 8.

Claire: Yeah, that’s true I guess.

Joy: I sleep a good solid 7-8 hours every night. But I am always very concerned about people who don’t sleep well. Like if I have a friend that doesn’t sleep well, I’m constantly trying to figure it out, as if they haven’t been trying it out their entire life. And I’m like, I will crack this code. Tell me more. What is the issue with your sleep?

Claire: Tell me more. I know. Our friend Jess doesn’t sleep well, and I’m always like, “Jess, I’m worried about you.”

Joy: Yeah, I’m worried about you. Sleep is a big thing. It’s a big deal.

Claire: Brandon also is not a great sleeper.

Joy: Really?

Claire: He goes to sleep fine. But if he wakes up, he has a hard time falling back asleep.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: I’m really grateful that our kids are sleepers like me and not like him.

Joy: Right,

Claire: Because our kids are actually both pretty good sleepers.

Joy: The thing that I found so helpful, not that anybody, if you have chronic problems sleeping, this probably isn’t going to help you. But whenever we’re traveling, which it’s been a while, but I love Brain Fm. If I wake up in the middle of the night. When we had Cadet too and you had to force yourself back to sleep, but you could see yourself staying up. Brain Fm has been huge. It’s an app.

Claire: Oh really?

Joy: It’s awesome. It’s awesome. It’s bioneural beats thing that does some type of soothing sound that lulls you right to sleep, and it’s great.

Claire: I’ve never tried anything like that, but it does sound nice. When I first found out I was pregnant with Miles, I had a ton of anxiety. Also remember when I found out I was pregnant with Miles, and then the next week my brother went into a coma. 

Joy: Yep.

Claire: So I don’t know if I’ve ever talked about this before, but when I found out I was pregnant with Miles, a week later my twin brother had a TBI and was on life support for several weeks and miraculously came out of it and is mostly full functional today. He is. He’s completely independent. He’s fully recovered. But there was probably a three-week period in there where I was newly pregnant, dealing with my sibling being on life support and obviously wasn’t sleeping great. So I would just listen to Harry Potter.

Joy: Oh yeah.

Claire: And that would turn my brain off enough that I could finally fall asleep. It was very soothing. Highly recommend.

Joy: Highly recommend.

Claire: So since we have had guest on for the past few weeks, there are a couple things that we haven’t had time to talk about. One of those things, to take a very abrupt right turn in this episode, one of those things we haven’t had time to talk about is the shooting in Boulder. I’m sure you guys all know what we’re talking about. This was now about three or four weeks ago. Gunman walked into King Soopers, which is our Kroger.

Joy: Grocery store chain.

Claire: In Boulder and fatally shot 9 people and himself. No –

Joy: No, he didn’t.

Claire: It wasn’t himself. You’re right. It was 9 people plus a police officer, 10 in total. That’s what I was thinking. Where’s that 10th. And he’s still around. He was captured alive in his underwear.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: So we still don’t really have any information about his motives or anything. It seems like it was pretty much completely random. But it was very, very, very close to home. Both literally and metaphorically. You guys know I’ve lived in Boulder my whole live. I’ve been in that King Soopers probably a thousand times. The shopping center is the hub of that whole neighborhood. That is the neighborhood where I went to high school. I still have dozens of friends who have family in that neighborhood. Unfortunately one of my classmates who I went to high school with, her mom was one of the victims. There was another girl who was a couple of years younger than me in school who her dad was killed. I was talking to one of my close friends who I went to high school with, and we were talking about, oh it would have been a miracle if we hadn’t known anybody. What a crappy feeling to feel like, “It would have been a miracle if I hadn’t known somebody who got shot while they were grocery chopping.” It was just so intense, and I think it was and still is this horrible feeling of what is safe? Is there anything that we can do that’s truly safe? Is there anywhere we can go where we don’t have to worry about this? And you take this place, like a grocery store – if you guys can think back to being in high school, and I’m sure there was a grocery store or a 7-Eleven or a gas station –

Joy: You always went to, yeah.

Claire: Where is that place, that parking lot that you went to? This grocery store was that.

Joy: Was that for you, yeah, yeah.

Claire: It is really like, how do you think about the repercussions of that when you have this very safe space in your mind that something like this happens.

Joy: The other thing that is probably on a lot of people’s minds is you always wonder what if that happened to my hometown. You always in the back of your mind, we all go to that place of what if it were me. What if that was my hometown? And because it often feels, like we talked on the show with Bree, there is a very small percentage of mass shootings. But when you see that, you automatically think what if it were you. Then you start to calculate – at least, I do. I know a lot of people do. Calculate the likelihood of that happening in your hometown. You start to do that because our brains are wired to protect, so we think what are the chances of that happening in my hometown. 

Claire: Right. You think what if that was you. And for me, this time it was so – I didn’t have to make any leaps to imagine what it would have been like. It was like, yeah, I’ve been in that store, my parents have shopped, my best friend’s parents go there all the time, my best friend’s husband’s family lives right down the road, my boss’s boss lives behind. One of my closest mentors, her parents live so close by that they could hear the gunshots. Apart from it truly literally impacting my family, apart from me actually being close with someone who was killed, this is the closest you can get. So it really was that, that easily could have been my mom. And not just from an abstract of, “Oh it could have been anyone’s mom.” No.

Joy: It really could have been your mom.

Claire: It really could have been my mom.

Joy: And you know the thing that always happens after something like this is to go how do we prevent this in the future. I have noted, at least for our local stations, and I actually haven’t seen much on the national stations because I do love Lester Holt. I do love my Lester Holt Nightly News. But I have not seen much on the national news circuits that there’s been attention paid to the gunman. Nothing has been on our local news about the gunman, at least the stations I watch. I’m a huge fan of 9News. I love Kyle Clark. 

Claire: We know how you feel about Kyle Clark.

Joy: I love Kyle Clark so much. Anyway, I’m laughing because Scott and I are so in love with Kyle Clark. But I have not seen anything on the news about the gunman. It’s all about the victims. This is such a change from all the times we’ve seen that gunman’s face and the picture plastered on the news, and who knows if the next one takes that as inspiration, “I’m going to be famous.” Who knows? But I just really appreciate it because this is where media has so much power over what comes next and how we perceive what happened. Giving these victims and the victim’s families a name and a story. They’ve been profiling the shooting victims so intensely that it’s like, this is what I need to see. I don’t need to see the horrible person who did this. I need to see the people whose lives were beautiful and loved and had dreams and goals and they were cut short.

Claire: Right.

Joy: It’s really sad, but those are the things we need to see, not this horrible person.

Claire: I think the other thing too that is obviously the gun rights piece about it and the fact that Boulder County had a ban on assault rifles that the NRA sued the city for – not the county, City of Boulder – sued the city and won ten days prior to this, and the gunman went out and bought the weapon six days prior. This was a direct results. And again, not saying that they couldn’t have bought it somewhere else. They couldn’t have gone to a nearby city or county or whatever. When you look at the timeline, it’s pretty hard to argue with that. It’s pretty hard to say this couldn’t have been prevented because it seems like that timeline is pretty linear and pretty obvious. I feel like that is the hardest thing for me when I talk to people who are very, very pro-gun rights from an NRA standpoint, of like, “No, we deserve unfettered access to guns” effectively. If someone’s going to commit a crime, what’s stopping them from going out and illegally getting guns? What’s stopping any of us from going out and illegally doing anything?

Joy: That’s the stupidest argument, by the way. And I hear that all the time. Where it’s like, “They’re just going to go get it illegally.” It’s like, are you kidding me? That is your argument? So you’re saying that you would rather leave it as-is and potentially kill more people than to take a gamble here that it could save lives. You’re more willing to be so stuck on your gun protection.

Claire: You posted something on your personal Facebook that somebody commented and was like, “Gun access is not the issue. Mental health is the issue.” Your response always to that is like, fine. Tell me what you mean by that.

Joy: Tell me please.

Claire: But I think more than that, my response to that person was at this point, I’m willing to try to see if gun access is the issue.

Joy: I’m willing to try.

Claire: Why have we decided as a society that we have to know that what we try is 100% going to work before we’re willing to try it. It feels like gun control is one of the few areas where we have accepted that, that we have accepted we can’t do anything unless we know it’s going to work. That’s not how solving problems works. That’s not how solving complex issues works. You don’t get to wait until you know you have – no pun intended – the silver bullet before you even start trying things. And that is really how we on a national level definitely have approached it. We don’t know for sure that that would work, so we’re not going to try. How does it make any sense?

Joy: Remember the Marjory… Marjory Stone Lynn Douglas…?

Claire: All I was thinking was Marjorie Taylor Greene who was the –

Joy: No.

Claire: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Joy: Yeah, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School kids. I just want to replay this again because they had a town hall with the high school kids, the surviving high school kids, kind of the faces of that movement when that happened. And the head of the NRA, I don’t know what her title was, she was disgusting. She made herself look like a fool. They were basically saying kind of what you were saying. Why don’t we just try this? And it all goes back to, well, guns aren’t really going to kill people. The bad people kill people. If we don’t stop that argument, I really want to understand why we can’t get to an agreement, at least just making background checks really strict, making sure that you have some type of checks and balances of whose hands these are getting into. Why do we have assault rifles? Why do we have bump stocks?

Claire: And then when you say, “Explain to me what you mean by it’s a mental health issue. It’s not just a mental health issue” and people come back and say, “So mentally healthy people do these things?” 

Joy: Right. Which is also stupid. Because I’m like, no. You think I’m stupid? I would never think that a mentally well person is going to –

Claire: Right, that a rational human is going to be like, “This is a great plan.”

Joy: That is also a weak argument. Don’t come at me and say, “Oh you think” – which is ridiculous. Are you kidding me? No. Of course, they’re not mentally well. But I’ll say it again, if you think that mental health is going to solve the problem of people dying by guns, I really want to know what you mean. Because I work in mental health. What happens is, if you see someone who has homicidal ideation, meaning they’re thinking of killing someone, you can ask them all the questions in the book. They could lie to you. They could never come back. You could tell them, “I’m really concerned about you.” They’re never going to enter into treatment. It’s like trying to glue Jell-O to the wall. You can’t get them all. And nine times out of ten, the people who are the most unwell are not engaging in treatment. What do you want to do? Everybody go to therapy for five years? When they’re ten? What do you mean by mental health? If you want to throw more money at mental health, by all means I will take it.

Claire: Right. I’m not saying no. I remember when the Parkland shooting happened, and Glennon Doyle who lives in that area and she was talking about that. She was like, if you think it’s a mental health problem, great. Let’s solve mental health in America. If you think it’s a gun problem, great. Let’s solve gun rights issues in America. Stop arguing about where to start, and somebody just start doing something because we are losing lives every day because no one is willing to do anything. And that’s fine, if you want to put your flag in the sand and say, “I refuse to accept that changing access to guns would solve this problem,” then fine. Go forth and make a plan for addressing mental health. What does that look like? What does that mean? Because there are plenty of people out there who can tell you what it looks like and what it means to have more comprehensive background checks, to have waiting periods, to have all these things in place. There are a lot of things out there that people have clearly proposed this is what we think will work. This is what other countries have done that has worked. And that’s the other thing too is it’s like, we’re the only first-world, westernized nation in the world where this happens. We are not the only first-world, westernized nation in the world that has mental health issues. We are the only one that has personal access to guns like we do. And anything else, any other type of epidemic, any other type of social issue, you would look at those variables and realize, okay, this is the X factor. But again, we refuse to do that here because of the national conversation around the second amendment. 

Joy: It’s the national conversation around the second amendment and politicians who have made it popular to have that be such a hot-button issue that it just fires everybody up. My hope is that we can steer away from those types of politics where it’s just either-or. Like you said, why aren’t we working on one – heck, if we’re not going to make any movement with gun control – and by gun control, we’re not talking about everybody get their guns taken away –

Claire: Literally, no one is saying that.

Joy: Literally, no one is saying that. Understand, please go read what gun control actually means and get Lauren Boebert out of office because that is the problem.

Claire: She’s the one from the Western Slope, right?

Joy: She’s ridiculous.

Claire: This woman is from Colorado. Listen. The main town that’s in her district, the name of the town is Rifle. 

Joy: Yeah, and she owns a restaurant called Shooters or something.

Claire: It’s so bad, guys. Anyways. But all that to say that –

Joy: Learn. Listen. Learn. Read.

Claire: And it was just so intense to have that happen in my community and in my backyard and in my home and to feel like if you – I think we do always have that moment of, “This could have been me” or “This could have been my town,” and it finally was my town. It almost was me and it really did feel like not just abstractly that could have been my mom. No really, that could have been my mom.

Joy: As we’re talking, I’m not even joking you. As we’re talking –

Claire: I don’t want to hear it.

Joy: CNN on my Apple Watch, it says one person is dead, an officer is injured, and one person is in custody after a school shooting in Knoxville, Tennessee. Knoxville police say that multiple agencies are at the scene of a shooting at Austin East Magnet High School. What the actual bananas? I’m so angry that I can’t say anything more about this because I’m not going to be –

Claire: No. And with the Boulder shooting, the week before it was the shooting incident in Atlanta. Since then, there have been other shootings. I can’t even recall all of them, and it’s horrible that I can’t recall all of them because these are people’s families and communities, and they’re happening so frequently and with such – again, no pun intended – rapid fire that you can’t even process them and move on. You have to just let them kind of bounce off you. And I think that’s the other issue. At an emotional level, almost have no choice but to normalize it because you can’t grieve every single one or you would never be able to live your life. And that’s horrible.

Joy: I’m just at a loss. I’m just at a loss.

Claire: Alright, well that covers my recent thoughts.

Joy: So here’s the thing too. I was called to go to the CU Boulder Police Department. Some of the first responders are connected with Canine Companions, so we brought all of our dogs over to the first responders. It was wonderful. It was five minutes from the grocery store where this happened. I debated and I debated because I’m just like, ugh, do I want to go there? It’s a memorial site now. And I was just like, you know what Joy, I’m going to go there with Cadet. I had Cadet with me. I’m going to go there if there’s a place to park – Because I didn’t want to be disrespectful. There’s a huge crowd. I’m not going to be disrupting that neighborhood even more. I found a place to park. Cadet and I walked up and down the street. We saw the huge chain-link fence where they had hundreds of bouquets and signs, and it really was just such a beautiful – for something so tragic, you could see there’s a car in the parking lot with the windshields blown out. You see the aftermath. But you see also this wall around it, and I heard on our beautiful Kyle Clark show that one of the victims’ partners was like – people were debating whether or not those memorials were helpful. It wasn’t a debate. It was just a discussion. He was like, “I really am so glad that it’s there because I don’t have to see the place where my wife died.” It’s a barrier around it, and it’s this beautiful memorial. So many cards and flowers. And of course it’s Boulder, so people are so artsy, it’s awesome. Writing these cool poems. Then it’s political of posters saying why are we doing this again, the whole call to action for the government to do something. It just felt really good to be around people, especially with this pandemic. It was outside. It was a beautiful day. People came up to pet Cadet. They didn’t even talk to me, and I didn’t want them to. But that’s the beauty of having her with me or people just needed to pet her. Then you’d have small conversations and talk to some of the news people and then you just keep walking. But it was just like, you needed to feel that grief within the community. You’re all grieving together, even though you’re not directly related to the victims. But the whole city is grieving, and you just feel that special vibe of Boulder. If you haven’t been to Boulder, there’ s no place like it. I think too the taint of that, it’s tainted. I think that everyone is mourning in so many different ways. I can’t explain it. It was really beautiful and sad and tragic. And now we have another shooting that I haven’t read because we’re doing a podcast. This just has to stop. What do we do next? What are the actions? Please go onto Moms Demand Action. I sign up for their texts all the time. They do little text messages if there’s something in your area that you can sign up for, a letter that you can send to your representatives, to your legislators. Do something, get involved.

Claire: Okay. So the other wildly controversial thing – I wish that gun control wasn’t wildly controversial, but it is. The other much more controversial, maybe, that I wanted to talk a little bit about as we’re all starting to get vaccinated. I had my first dose of the vaccine. Colorado opened up vaccine access to everyone – is it over 16 or over 18?

Joy: I think it’s over 16 now.

Claire: Yeah. So that was fairly recent. So now that vaccine access is becoming much more open to everyone, I am definitely seeing a lot more conversations around the difference – and I’ve been seeing this this whole time, but I think now that it’s becoming more the reality that people are in the moment of having the make the decision instead of it being this sort of abstract in the future I’ll have to decide. One thing that I wanted to talk about is the difference between being “anti-vax.” When I think of anti-vaxers, I think of conspiracy theory and misinformation. Versus being somebody who is skeptical of the system o skeptical of the science. I think for me, a big thing that I’ve realized in the last couple of weeks is that I remember when we had that episode with JK where he was talking about, you know how he has his Help Me Understand podcast. 

Joy: Right.

Claire: One thing we talked about was this assumption that a lot of us have. Like, if I disagree with you, I will have a conversation to explain my viewpoint. But at the end of the day, I’m really coming from the place of, I will explain this to you because I think that once you understand me you’re going to change your mind and agree with me. So many of us pretend to be open-minded about having these conversations when in reality, we’re truly trying to change someone’s mind. And it just made me think when it comes to vaccines and people who are skeptical of vaccines and particularly the COVID vaccine, I really started thinking anyone who is against the vaccine is against the vaccine because of misinformation.

Joy: And there’s also the Black community who has –

Claire: No, no, no. I’m saying these were my beliefs. This is what I was thinking. I know the Black community has a whole history of horrible medical misinformation and particularly with vaccines. When I’m thinking of the wellness influencers that I am seeing who are anti-COVID vaccine, they are like that because they’re getting bad, bogus info. They think it’s going to have a microchip. They think that it’s going to change their DNA. They think it’s going to make them infertile. They think Bill Gates planned the pandemic so that he could implant 5G internet into their bodies. Whatever the case may be. That was the story that I had in my head of the only reason that you would be against this vaccine is because you believe a conspiracy theory.

Joy: Sure.

Claire: Or maybe you are part of the tiny, tiny percentage of society that truly has a known medical – you know, like you’re allergic to MRNA. That’s an extreme, simplified example. You know what I mean. You have a known autoimmune thing that makes it really dangerous for you to take vaccines. In my mind, I’m thinking anyone who is skeptical and not going to get the COVID vaccine, it’s because they are believing bogus info. And the more that I hear from different people in my life and really take the time to listen, I have realized that that’s not necessary the case. Of course, it’s not. Because of course it’s not. But I’m just being transparent here about what I was thinking. A lot of people right now are finding themselves in this really tricky position of this public discourse around vaccines being so – when in your life have you ever asked someone, “Are you vaccinated?” “Oh my gosh, I’m getting vaccinated.” “Here’s my picture of my vax card.” And now people for whatever reason are not interested in getting vaccinated or distrustful of the medical system or are concerned about side effects, thinking about the long-term implications that we don’t know about. For them, the risk analysis of getting COVID just doesn’t hit as close to home, whatever the case may be. They’re now in this weird position of feeling shamed for having those questions. I don’t really have an answer for, okay, here’s what we do now. But I’ve just been really thinking about how I had to challenge my beliefs that the only people who weren’t rushing out to get the vaccine were doing it because they thought it was going to give them bodily wifi. And that there are a lot of people out there who have legitimate questions but are feeling really shamed about asking those questions.

Joy: Right. Because if you’re just kind of lumped up – it’s kind of similar to people who are all about Trump. Like, oh, I have an assumption about you. When not necessarily. Maybe there’s just politics who are Republican really like, and it’s not like they’re all for Trump. It’s kind of similar to people who are scared of the vaccine doesn’t mean they’re anti-vaxers, which I also think let’s not put a title on them. People who question something that they’re putting into their body, they’re right to ask that question. And it all of the sudden becomes a team. You’re either pro-vaccine or you’re against it. It’s a really good question. Because when have we just stopped being able to be like, you can ask the question, you can get informed without being attacked, “You don’t trust science.”

Claire: Right. And I think that there is also the very serious reality that we need X% of a population to get vaccinated if we want to come out on top of this pandemic and that we as a whole society need to sort of agree. Almost none of us are like, “Woohoo, I have absolutely no hang-ups on this whatsoever, and I’m totally positive that this is going to be fine, and I don’t care about side effects, and I don’t care about” you know whatever. I think a lot of us have done everything we can to get the information that we feel is helpful to us. And also, what a weird year where we’ve been getting our medical information from the news.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: I’m really ready for that to be over. But it just makes it so much more – it’s so impersonalized.

Joy: And there’s also inherently the news is not trusted. I’m just saying. People always go, “Well, is this really true?” 

Claire: They’re only telling you what they want you to know.

Joy: And then politics and politicians and Fauci. Even though he’s awesome Fauci, he’s in the White House and people have feelings about the White House.

Claire: Right. Even though he’s a lifelong, like this is his career –

Joy: Right, like lifelong career.

Claire: Right. He also is inherently involved in politics. I’ve been trying to figure out, how do I have that conversation and allow for that space of the doubt and of the questions while still firmly believing that the majority of us need to sort of go for it. And obviously, Brandon’s a nurse. You work in healthcare. For us, it’s never really been a question of whether or not we would get vaccinated. It’s never really been a question of we’ve just been at such a higher risk for this whole past year that the moment it was available, it was like of course this is such a relief to me. The risk I’ve been at and my whole family has been at for the past year has been so stress-inducing and insane that I will do anything to get out of that scenario. But a lot of people feel the opposite. They’re like, “We made it work this past year and we don’t have high-risk people in our immediate circle and my family is at peace at what the risks are and we’re not worried about it.” I don’t understand that viewpoint. It’s not a viewpoint that I can empathize with really at all. Because for me the risk has felt so immediate and knocking on my door every day. But I’m just trying to have more of an open-minded position, of not just immediately jumping to a conclusion about people who are still not sold.

Joy: I think that’s a good practice for a lot of things, to just be like, “Help me understand.” I’m just going to quote JK this entire episode. Help me understand. For me, I’ve been working at the vaccine clinics and I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of people get the vaccine with, at least the days that I’ve been there, not one person having an adverse reaction. Not a one. Even for people coming to get the second dose. And normally they want to tell you everything, they want to talk to you. It’s just nothing but a positive experience and people who are so excited to get and have a good experience with it. Just everybody is going to come around to their own decisions, whether they get it or not. But I think what has been difficult for this pandemic is what someone referred to as a huge group project with the entire world where some people feel like they’re doing something to move it forward and move us past the pandemic, and then we look at people having huge parties in Florida and we’re like, “Ugh, you just ruined everything that I’m trying to do.” It’s really hard because we all want to judge and point fingers and blame. It’s really been difficult. I think it brings a lot of anger and judgement for sure.

Claire: I don’t really have a wrapped-up bow of that. I think the way that I’ve talked about it and the way that I’ve been thinking about it. In a way, I don’t even want to leave room for questions because I so badly want to get this over with, and I know that for better or worse this is the only chance we have. Again, I think that when it comes down to it, if we had another solution I would be all for it. But we don’t. This is the solution that we have to work with, and I’m willing to do that. And I think I’ve been so in that mindset of, don’t ask questions, just get this fixed. 

Joy: Just get this fixed so we can move on.

Claire: Exactly. But now that it’s been opened up to that many more people and I think people are really having to get – it’s not, “I’m not eligible yet.” It’s, “No, I’m not planning on getting vaccinated.”

Joy: Yeah, everyone’s pretty eligible in most areas. 

Claire: It’s coming down to that personal choice, and I’m really having to open my mind into having those conversations with the people who – and the people who are close to me in my life potentially, like close friends or whoever. If they have that answer of, “No, my family’s not planning on getting vaccinated,” I can’t have a knee jerk reaction of like, “Oh, where’s your tin foil hat?”

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Even though I want to a little bit.

Joy: Yeah, it’s been a hard year of conversations, of trying to understand. It really has.

Claire: I just want a year where we’re not getting medical advice from the news or nobody gets shot while they’re grocery shopping. I saw this great reel. It was like a TikTok. First of all, can I just say that I appreciate that the best of Twitter and the best of TikTok ultimately ends up on Instagram, so I can just consolidate my –

Joy: I deleted both of our Twitter accounts by the way everybody.

Claire: Bye.

Joy: I am doing a mass exodus of social media. That felt so good, and it will continue.

Claire: I mean, we never tweeted.

Joy: No, we never tweeted.

Claire: So on Instagram, I saw a reel that was from TikTok. It was this guy that was like, “I can’t wait to stop panicking every day about the pandemic so that I can go back to panicking every day about climate change.” And I was like, I kind of feel that way. I’m excited to panic about something that I want to panic about.

Joy: Remember when we had Mark on from Thailand and we were just all about it.

Claire: Oh my gosh, regenerative agriculture is my jam.

Joy: Right before the pandemic.

Claire: Yes, it was.

Joy: Right before.

Claire: Which speaking of Mark, he is wonderful, and we have been talking to him about potentially having a conversation on the podcast about what it was like to go through COVID in Thailand. I actually feel like it might be cool – I know we have a lot of listeners from all around the world – to do a couple of mini-conversations into one episode. What was pandemic life like in Thailand, in Dubai, in Sweden, in Japan, places where we know we have these listeners. If that’s something you would be interested in, let us know.

Joy: Or just send us a voice memo. Let’s bring some voice memos back. Tell us what it was like. Because scheduling with people all over the country is –

Claire: Slash world.

Joy: All over the world is very difficult. Send us a voice memo.

Claire: So there you go, great idea. If you want, please send us – it can be a couple minutes long because then we can stitch these together into a bonus episode.

Joy: We’ll allow for longer than a minute for these.

Claire: Maybe four or five minutes. Maybe talk about how the pandemic shook out in your town and in your country. And if you have a reference point of knowing anybody in the United States and how that situation all was happening at the same time, maybe relate it back to the US so we all kind of know. Because most of our listeners are based in the US, we can have a little bit of a baseline. That would be really interesting.

Joy: I want to hear from all corners, all corners of the earth.

Claire: Please. Couldn’t have been worse than what we did. Although, you know, some things – for example, Maxine our au pair, she’s from Brazil and they’ve had a very similar political climate to the US with their president being sort of a COVID denier and an anti-vaccine and all that. On top of that, something that she talked about early on in the pandemic that I thought was really interesting and that I completely take for granted is that in Brazil, most people don’t have wifi in their house. Or maybe not most people, but it’s not that common. Maybe you live in an apartment building that has an area that has wifi in a common area, or you don’t necessarily have streaming quality internet in your home. You have just enough to check your email and do some stuff, but not enough to video chat all day every day. And I realized I completely take for granted that so many areas of the US have really high-quality internet. And then, of course we heard quite a lot at the beginning of the pandemic about should internet be seen as a basic need utility. Because there are so many areas in rural America and intercity areas and in lower income areas that don’t have good access. When we wall went into being at home, it really became obvious that internet is just as critical as electricity for survival in a situation like this. It was interesting to me to realize there are a lot of things I take for granted. And I’m like, yeah, the US had it as worse as possible. But actually, there are a lot of things that could have made it harder.

Joy: Yeah, I would love to hear from everybody about what their experience was. And just backing up for a second about how we were talking about judgement and about how this whole year has really put us into judging one another really strongly is I, because my family’s all vaccinated, I decided to plan a trip to see my brother and my sister-in-law and my nieces and my nephew in May.  Because once I heard the CDC say that it’s – I don’t want to say they said it’s okay, but that you can travel if you’re fully vaccinated. Wear a mask. I decided to book a trip to see my family because I am so excited to see them. It’s been over a year and a half since I’ve seen my nieces and my nephew, who just turned 15 and I want to cry about it. That’s something where I was thinking about, yeah, even two months ago, I was just like, “I can’t believe people are traveling” and how we are going to make our decisions on our own, and everyone’s living their life. Please everybody, just do the best we can with this huge pandemic. But when I heard the CDC say they are okay with people traveling, I was like, okay, I feel good with that because that’s just how I live my life. I’m a rule follower. It’s not to say that everyone who traveled during the pandemic before that was not a rule follower, but I think it’s just hard when we’re trying to move forward to be like we’re not there yet, we’re not there yet, we’re not there yet. You hear messages of people being like, you’re not there yet. I could come back and they could be like, “Wow, things are really bad. You shouldn’t have traveled.”

Claire: And on that topic, we are truly deep in the research planning of our first post-pandemic podcast trip. We asked some questions on Instagram stories last week, and I think we’re going to keep this first trip somewhere in the Central America zone. A lot of you guys wanted to go to Fiji, Bali, 15+ hour plane ride. And I’m all for that. Joy is going to be a tougher sell. It might just be a Claire and friends podcast trip to Bali in 2023. But we’re thinking probably spring or very early summer 2022, most likely Central America. We are going to try to give you guys as much heads up and additional pre-information as possible. The group that we used to do our custom trips with doesn’t do custom trips anymore. We were one of their last ones for our Iceland trip. So if you have a great custom trip company that you have gone on a trip with them before or that you’ve even worked with before, we would love some recommendations. Please send them our way. I just want to go somewhere with my friends.

Joy: Oh my gosh, I know. And it’s so fun to dream about that and the trips and hear people when you did that online little survey of where people want to go. I’m like, people would actually go travel and they’re really excited to go travel, and this would be such a fun trip. I can only imagine how excited we all would be if we got to travel together. So really excited to hear your ideas. Send them our way.

Claire: Yes, absolutely. Oh my goodness, I feel like we’ve covered so many heavy things. We dove right in.

Joy: It’s another week. We really have. Heavy stuff happens. Life can be heavy, but we’d love to hear what you guys think if you want to hear other topics in the coming weeks. Please email us We read every single one of your emails. You can find us on social media @joyandclaire_ on Instagram. We’re off Twitter, that’s gone. We barely use Facebook. I would like to say I am very much considering a social media cleanse, if you will. I was thinking about it the other day where I was like, it doesn’t bring anything really substantial to my life. If anything, it makes me sad.

Claire: It helps new people find us. That’s one of our number one priorities for this podcast. If it wasn’t one of our number one priorities, we would have been off Instagram forever ago. We love sharing our lives with you, but I think that there are other ways for us to do that. We have yet to come up with the best way to help other people find us. Do you want to close with going back over some really old would you rathers? These are all on our Instagram story highlights, so if you want to play along you can. We have a would you rather highlight. This is from three years ago, so I think we should revisit.

Joy: Okay, yeah, let’s see if my answer is the same.

Claire: Would you rather live in an igloo with all of your friends or on a beautiful island by yourself.

Joy: Beautiful island by myself, please.

Claire: I would way rather live in an igloo with my friends.

Joy: No way. I’m alone. I read all the books – I don’t know what books they were, just fictional books about people on islands. That was all I was drawn to. And Nancy Drew. I was reading Nancy Drew when I was very young.

Claire: Okay, would you rather be a backup dancer for your favorite singer or a stunt double for your favorite actor?

Joy: Oh my gosh, backup dancer.

Claire: I know, you would definitely be a backup dancer. 

Joy: At 43, really that dream is not possible, but one of my dreams is to be a backup dancer in a music video.

Claire: Maybe if you get to be like 80, I could see an artist doing a music video with a bunch of 80-year-olds. I would watch that.

Joy: It’s her lifelong dream. Let’s make it happen for her. Okay.

Claire: Would you rather climb Mount Everest or run across America? Those both sound like horrible options.

Joy: Mount Everest I just saw a news story about this, and it looks so intense. I feel like running across America, I could run and go to fun bars and eat at places.

Claire: I could just run between pizza stores.

Joy: Yeah, that’s what I would do. I think that’d be fun. That’d be enjoyable.

Claire: Yeah, it doesn’t put a time on running across America. It would take years.

Joy: So I’ll take my time and I’ll just run to restaurants.

Claire: Climbing Everest sounds horrible.

Joy: Did you see that story, was it before COVID when people were stuck on the train to get to the top of Mount Everest? And people were dying.

Claire: Did you hear how they were going to solve that problem?

Joy: No.

Claire: They’re not actually addressing the problem. They’re banning photography.

Joy: [gasp] What?

Claire: Because it was such a controversial photo.

Joy: Well yeah, people were saying they were stepping over dead bodies.

Claire: I mean, that always happens. You can’t evacuate dead bodies on Mount Everest. If you die, people are left. 

Joy: [gasps]

Claire: You didn’t know that?

Joy: No.

Claire: If you die on Everest, they leave your body. And the following season, they can try to come back and evacuate part – because if you’re up there, if you’re at 20,000+ feet, you yourself are in such a state of rapid deterioration that you can’t carry someone else’s body back down. That’s why people die up there is you can’t evacuate them.

Joy: Oh my gosh, I never knew that. That’s crazy. And so sad. I’m not making light of it at all. I’m just, holy cow. That’s insane.

Claire: Okay, would you rather have a personal stylist for your wardrobe or your house.

Joy: Wardrobe.

Claire: House. Definitely house.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: Would you rather be able to read your partner’s mind or have them be able to read your mind?

Joy: Oh, my partner. He doesn’t need to see what’s going on up here.

Claire: Yeah, absolutely.

Joy: My husband would probably be like, “Video games, Pearl Jam, video games, Pearl Jam, basketball.” That’s all it would be. It would be so cute.

Claire: “I want to go outside.”

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Would you rather be an athlete in the winter or summer Olympics.

Joy: Summer.

Claire: I feel like winter. I want to be like a bobsledder.

Joy: I want to be a lizard in the sun. I just want to be in the sunshine.

Claire: Summer Olympics, Joy.

Joy: I know.

Joy and Claire: [laughing]

Joy: I’m going to lay out when I rest.

Claire: Okay. Would you rather be a seat-filler at the Oscars or at the Grammy’s?

Joy: Oscars, because maybe I’ll sit –

Claire: Definitely the Oscars.

Joy: – in like Meryl Streep’s seat. Or I don’t know.

Claire: I know. Although I feel like your fashion choices for the Grammy’s would be more fun.

Joy: For sure. Like Beyoncé’s outfits and Lady Gaga’s, oh my gosh.

Claire: Okay, let’s see here. Let’s do three or four more.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: Would you rather shave your head once or never cut your hair again?

Joy: Shave my head once. I want to be sensitive to that question because I know this is not withstanding –

Claire: Like involuntary hair loss.

Joy: Yeah, this is not withstanding involuntary, like having to shave your head. Yeah.

Claire: Yeah. I would rather shave my head once. Would you rather fly on the back of a dragon or a magic carpet?

Joy: Dragon. Game of Thrones.

Claire: Definitely dragon. I was thinking more like How to Train Your Dragon, but that’s the difference between your life and my life. Would you rather have woodland creatures help you clean your house or magic brooms?

Joy: Oh, magic brooms would be so fun.

Claire: Haven’t you seen Fantasia? 

Joy: I know, it is kind of scary, it is kind of scary. In Cinderella, the little mice. Oh, so cute.

Claire: Definitely. Much more good will. Because magic brooms are not filled with good will.

Joy: That’s true. The birds unfold her clothes.

Claire: Would you rather have a genie or a fairy godmother?

Joy: Fairy godmother.

Claire: Yeah, definitely. She can help you forever. Genie’s only three wishes. Okay, last one. Would you rather have your farts smell like expensive luxury perfume or your breath smell like fresh baked bread? 

Joy: [laughing]

Claire: I know you’d pick the farts one because you want to smell expensive.

Joy: No, I was just thinking it would be so much to have your breath smell like fresh baked bread. But we’re wearing mask right now, so no one can smell your breath.

Claire: You know what it smells like. Imagine you smelling it all the time.

Joy: That’s true. Do you ever think about the people who have bad breath? Recently in the past year, I’m like finally the people I talk to who have bad breath, maybe they’ll finally understand that they have bad breath because they have to smell their own breath. That’s a thought that I’ve had in the past year.

Claire: I was just talking about this with Brandon last night. I read this meme that was like the 2020 version of a Dutch oven is burping in your mask. I was like, oh, that’s so gross. But it’s so true.

Joy: That’s so gross. 

Claire: Gross, but true.

Joy: Oh my gosh. 

Claire: Well on that note, I’m glad you guys are all being left with that beautiful image.

Joy: I’m glad you’re still here. If you’re still here, we applaud you.

Claire: Alright guys, well don’t forget you can follow us on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can email us at Please send us a message, send us a note, leave us a review wherever you find your podcasts. It’s so helpful for us when you rate and review. Please share our podcast with a friend. Share it in your Instagram stories. Send it in one of those email chains that’s like, “If you don’t pass this on to seven people, you’re going to have bad luck.” Do it. It’s the best way you can help support us. We really love that you’re here, and we’re really glad that you’re listening to us. We will talk to you next week.

Joy: Bye guys.

Claire: Bye.

Our conversation with content creator, speaker, and writer Aisha Beau Johnson.

Aisha Beau Johnson


instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 69: Aisha Beau Johnson

Episode Date: April 8, 2021

Transcription Completed: April 14, 2021

Audio Length: 58:07 minutes 

Notes: Check 00:33:11.16 minutes (Page 10) to confirm if “Schmeichel Schmalisch” is correct. Also note that I changed 00:39:51.14 minutes (Page 12) Don’t Touch My Hair to You Can’t Touch My Hair, based on confirmation of the book title by Phoebe Robinson on Google. There is also a Don’t Touch My Hair by the author, Emma Dabiri, if that was what you intended.

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. And Aisha Beau Johnson. Welcome to the podcast this week. So we have a guest on the show this week, Aisha Beau Johnson. Self-care writer, content creator, a speaker, a blogger. You have a lot that we want to talk about with you today. I kind of want to start off with dating, which I know sounds weird because you’re engaged. But I was thinking about this today. We’ll go to that in a second because I do want you to do a quick intro. But I want to talk about dating after you do your intro because Claire and I, we’ve been married for quite some time. You’re engaged, you’re getting married, but you were on a recent interview where you talked a little bit about people getting ready to date and when they feel like there has to be the perfect person to date. I was like, we never talk about dating on this show. There are so many people out there that are in the dating world. So I want to talk about that first, but give the listeners a little pitch about who you are so they can get to know you.

Aisha: Yeah. Well I feel like you pretty much summed it up.

Joy: Alright!

Aisha: In terms of who I am though, I am definitely the empath of my friend group. I’m the friend who cries during commercials. I am the one who holds grudges for my friends longer than they do. I am a Virgo, so pretty organized and Type A. Are you as well?

Joy: Yep. 

Aisha: Okay.

Joy: I’m Type A. I see you.

Aisha: Not much more to explain because you know everything.

Joy: I also – my thoughts are all over the place, so forgive me. There’s all these things I want to talk to you about. But the other thing I think is super important that I think we should start with is your transition to the work that you’re doing now. You started off studying journalism.

Aisha: Yeah.

Joy: And then you kind of had a switch and a pivot. So talk about the transition. Claire and I talk about this a lot too, of the trajectory of how we should always be linear. Or we feel like it should be linear. We’re kind of socialized to be like, you go to college, you get married, you have kids, dadada. I feel like that’s just programmed in us. 

Claire: Or when we look at people who in our eyes seem successful, we think, “This must have been their plan all along.”

Joy: All along. They had it together. They had their stuff together. So can you talk a little bit about that transition of when you realized, I’m just not in the right place. Especially when you’re working as a – was it the PR job that you had? 

Aisha: Yeah.

Joy: Talk a little bit about that, when you realized this doesn’t feel like a fit.

Aisha: It’s funny that you bring that up. We might discuss it a little bit later, but one main part of – so I’m working on my first book, and the crux of it is discussing the fact that we don’t have to be on that linear path and that sometimes embracing and being open to indulging in our curiosity and the other opportunities that we might have can bring us to a bigger place of fulfillment. I found that in my own life because, as mentioned I am a Virgo, very Type A, so I always knew exactly what my path was in life. I knew, like okay. I’m going to be a journalist. And then I was like, okay. I’m not going to be a journalist, I want to be a publicist. I want to be the head of communications for a luxury brand. That was my path. And I felt like I was on that path. I knew what it was. I relished in the fact that I knew exactly what I wanted to do, that I had it down. And I was doing that. I was working in this industry, and despite all of the things that I wasn’t too happy about, the things that were making me miserable essentially, all of the things that made me question a lot of my own – not morals, but my own internalized beliefs and the things that I knew were right and what I felt was good for myself and my life and my own journey. I was kind of putting that to the wayside. I was like, well, I have to just get through this to make it through to the path that I’m supposed to be on.

Joy: Right. You’re like, this is my plan. I made the plan. You need to stick to the plan. And it’s almost like you don’t want to disappoint people. This is what I plan to do, and I’ve got to fulfill that. Is there anything that you can share a little bit more about what made you unhappy specifically. Was it the grind? Because I imagine that world is very much like, grind. You have to work 90 hours a week type of mentality, or am I making that up?

Aisha: No, it is. It is like The Devil Wears Prada in real life.

Joy: Oh my God, I was thinking of that when I was listening to you in your interviews. Like, I kind of want to say it was like The Devil Wears Prada.

Aisha: Yeah. No, it really, really was. And also for me, I’ve dealt with a lot of micro aggressions for many different reasons. One being I did not come from a well-off family. And working in the fashion industry, you’re making pennies. It’s essentially a lot of grunt work, a lot of behind-the-scenes pressure, a lot of verbal abuse from your superiors. You’re doing it for nothing, and I think a lot of my peers in the industry, they all came from wealthy families, so it’s like nothing to them. They were like, “I’ll take the abuse and the chump change for this amazing title because I already have it anyways.” So for me, I’m taking all this abuse, but also I need to live. And eat. 

Joy: So was it more like the title? Like, they want to be associated with the other more privileged, rich people, like I can just take this because I can be close to this person or close to this agency and make less because I don’t need to. I’m being taken care of in other ways.

Aisha: Yeah. Exactly. And the thing about the fashion industry is eventually it’s lucrative, but way down the line. And those people can hang in there longer because they can afford to do an unpaid internship. They can afford to do x, y, z. So I kind of struggled with that internally as well, and again with the micro aggressions in the workplace and just little things that my coworkers were saying and doing that made me second guess who I was and made me second guess the fact that I was on it, that I was doing a great job. And it brought about a lot of insecurity within me because I was working under insecure people who had to take out their frustrations on someone, and I was that person. It was a lot of chipping away at who I am along the way in my journey in the fashion industry. Obviously, yes, there were some perks and some benefits, and it was very cool, a very unique experience for me and it has helped me now as an entrepreneur. But I knew in my heart, even though I was along the straight and narrow path, that I really didn’t want to be in it anymore. When I got to that title, that Director of Communications title, I’m still really unhappy. And that was the wakeup call for me that, even if you have a clear-cut path or you have one particular milestone or passion that you want to focus on for the rest of your life, if it’s essentially depleting you and making you feel so exhausted or make you feel out of who you are and as if you’re sleepwalking through life or whatever, maybe it’s time to pivot. It’s time to consider something else, and that is okay. You can do it at any time. You can do it as many times as you want. It really took me getting super burnt out to realize I needed to just make that move.

Claire: Did you have any trouble mentally with that concept of, “But I just spent all this time doing this.” That kind of sunk cost mentality?

Aisha: Oh yes. Oh my gosh. I feel like we all, when we’re younger, we’re like, “By the age of 27, I’m going to have” –

Joy: Totally.

Claire: Yes. The old ripe age of 27.

Joy: Totally. When I was like 15, I was like, “When I’m 22, I’m going to have like three kids.” 

Aisha: Right.

Joy: I have no kids by the way.

Aisha: Yeah. I really was just stressed and terrified. I’m in my 30’s now, but I was in my late 20’s at the time, and I was like, “Oh my God. I don’t know what I want to do with my life, and I’m in my late 20’s.” So what? Get over it. Great. Amazing. You actually have a lot of time left, so it’s good that you came to this conclusion now. But at the time, I was really worried about that. I was like, oh my gosh. I think I also was comparing myself to friends who were not in that industry or who had been making more money already. I was just like, everyone now is able to afford this or do these things, and I’m essentially going to be going all the way back to square one and starting from the beginning. So that really, really weighed on me at the beginning of my entrepreneur journey. I had to push past the ego and not really think about that and think about the bigger picture. Well, at least I’m doing something that makes me happy and feel fulfilled and that is not just about me and that helps others. It will pay off in the long run, so I just had to really, really drive that home on many occasions. 

Joy: Yeah. And I know we’ve talked about this on our show before, about taking that leap and how it’s not like just one day you wake up in the morning and you’re like, “I’m just going to quit my job.” I’m sure you had so much planning and things that you were just starting to create, but when did you know? Did you have a goal? Being a Virgo and a planner, did you have a plan like, I’m going to do this until this point, and then I’m going to quit my job. Obviously, financially there’s a lot of us that we can’t just quit our jobs to do our passion. It’s that pull of when we don’t have that financial stability ourselves, then we can’t just be like, “Oh, I’m just going to quite my” – sounds fun, but realistically how do we do that?

Aisha: Yeah, exactly. And honestly, I will say this was pretty out of my character to leave. It wasn’t abruptly because obviously I gave my two-weeks notice. But I honestly did not have a plan, and this was the first time in my life when I did not have a concrete plan of what I was going to do. I was like, I have this blog, and I really love blogging, and I have my own platform that’s growing, and I’m going to see about growing that. Fortunately, I had the support of my now fiancé, and he was able to help me to make that decision and feel more comfortable about that decision. But I would not recommend other people doing that. Do not. Do not do as I’ve done. 

Claire: Do as I say, not as I do. 

Aisha: Yeah, there we go.

Claire: I feel like there is such that image of the influencer who just walks in one day and says, “I quite” and walks out the door and opens up their check from Google Ads for $14 million. I’m so curious to hear, what was that actually like? Starting with, okay you have this blog. You have a little bit of a baseline readership, but it’s not your full-time job. And then just making that shift into, okay, now this is my livelihood.

Aisha: And I think that’s what really lit a fire under me to make me bust my ass every single day because I needed that money to live. Like I said, I was fortunate enough to have my fiancé help me out financially. But not with everything. There’s only so much he can do. And we weren’t married at the time. But it was really difficult for me at the beginning. I was scrambling. I was like, okay, I’m going to start freelance writing. I’m also going to do every single focus group on the face of the earth. I’m putting myself out there, trying to do as much as a can at home so that I can make ends meet so that I can continue to do what I love. There was a lot of me freelancing and doing small writing gigs here and there to make money until I started making money from brand partnerships and brand collaborations, and that took a while. I was lucky enough to, I freelanced for a few publications for free and did not get paid for, but then someone else, another editor, found my writing and then reached out to me about some paid opportunities, which was a blessing. And then I started getting more paid opportunities. I started working with this app Shine and recording guided meditations for them and writing for them. So that helped me out in the meantime, and then actually after being an entrepreneur for almost two years, I ended up actually getting a restaurant job. I had to make the decision. I was like, okay, I’m not having steady income, so I’m either going to go back to my previous career or I’m going to stick it out. I’m going to do the thing that is not so glamorous that might make me feel a little insecure at first, but I want to do this. So I was working at a restaurant at the beginning of last year, and then COVID hit, so I lost that job. And then I was back to square one, and I was just like, okay, well I just proved that I really want to do this. I’m just going to keep trucking. I don’t know… I’m a pretty spiritual person, so God was like, I’ve finished hazing you now and all of the sudden –

Joy: You were prepared. 

Aisha: Yes. My preparation met opportunity, and opportunities started to finally come in after all of that hard work and struggle, and it took me over two years to get to that point. I had also been blogging since 2016, so this was just two years of being on my own. So it takes a lot of time. It’s not an overnight success story by any means. But the success did come, and it came very rapidly. I’m grateful. I’m in a good place now.

Claire: There’s that quote that says, “hard work puts you where good luck can find you.” We talk about that a lot, that when you are a content creator – which is such a 2021 word, right? When you’re a content creator, it can really look like overnight success, but what you don’t see is that five years of work that you’ve put into it to get it to the point where someone can’t even find you. And then yeah, maybe you’ve made it to the top of the list. But you didn’t just write your first post and get put at the top of the list.

Aisha: No, no. It was a lot, a lot of practice, a lot of getting better photography, a lot of getting connected with my audience, putting together content that really grasps people and making myself eligible for the opportunities when they come. So yeah, it was a lot of work.

Claire: So talk a little bit about the evolution of the content of your blog and the themes that you write about and talk about. 

Aisha: Yes. So originally my blog started out being solely based on beauty. I just talked about hair, skin, nails. And then when I made the decision to leave, it was around the time where I was heavily – I mean, I had been focused on my self-care routine for a few years prior to that. But I was really becoming more self-actualized and really looking deeper within myself and at all the things that made me me. At the time, self-care wasn’t so popular yet. I was like, I feel like self-care is really important. I thought it was an epiphany. 

Joy: Like, why isn’t everyone talking about this?

Aisha: Exactly. And now I’m like, well everyone’s talking about it. Which is for good reasons. But I felt like we make up so much more and beauty is skin deep. It’s more than that. It’s within us. It’s a way that we feel about ourselves or we think about ourselves and then it radiates outside. So I felt it really important to start talking about my mental health journey and to start talking about my wellness routine and lifestyle routine because we are so much more than just surface level. So yeah, I wanted to share that and I felt like a lot of women could relate to my journey. Once I started opening up about mental health, I think that that really opened up the floodgates and made my audience just trust me a bit more and see where I’m coming from. So now I cover lifestyle as a whole, and I love it. I think that’s definitely my sweet spot. I still cover beauty and skincare, a lot of skincare. But I’m big on wellness and lifestyle. I do cover some travel as well.

Joy: And isn’t it interesting. What you said earlier, the spiritual piece too of listening to those signs, but I also feel like our audience gives us signs. Whether it be they really just give you straight-up feedback of what they want or what they like or it’s how many likes you get on a post or what have you. But I found it really important when you said – there was another interview you did – I listen to a lot of your interviews, and one really struck me because I was like, “I totally do that” is you talked to the audience that you wish – I’m putting words in your mouth, but how I heard it was you talk to the audience of what you wish you had. I wish we had 50,000 followers. Instead of talking to the audience we have. I’m just using an arbitrary number, but sometimes I’ll be like, oh man. We’ve been doing this for eight years. Where are we going? Where’s our growth? Our numbers have stayed the same as far as followers that we can see. So I focus on the wrong piece. Instead of focusing on the audience that we have and really listening to them, I find myself in that trap of being like how are we going to grow? That destination thing. I thought that was really valuable. That was something that really helped me and how you came to that realization. And I think the audience talking to you and just listening to them.

Aisha: Yeah. I came to that realization when I was working at the restaurant. It was an early morning shift. It was like a Sunday morning, and I was there setting up before anyone got to the restaurant, and I was listening to this podcast by a pastor. He was essentially talking about that. He was like, “You want to influence so many. You want to influence millions, but you aren’t even focused on influencing the dozen people that you have in front of you now.” I literally remember where I was standing in the restaurant, pulling a chair down and hearing him say that. I was just like, he is so right. I spend so much time like, “Oh I need to get to 10k, I need to get to 20k, I need to get to 50k.” And I’m just like, but girl, if we were in a room and we had those 600 people looking at us, wouldn’t you be terrified?

Joy: Yes! Yes!

Aisha: Or that thousand people in the room with you.

Joy: Do you really want to hold the one million balloon? If you were standing in front of one million people, I’d probably –

Claire: That gold mylar that everybody has, like, “I made it.”

Joy: “We made it to 150k,” whatever that balloon thing is happening.

Aisha: Yes, yes.

Joy: It’s true. If I was standing – Claire and I have done live shows where it’s been, I don’t know…

Claire: Maybe 200 people.

Joy: Maybe 200 people, and we’re like –

Claire: They’re so fun, but it’s like –

Joy: They’re so fun.

Claire: So many people. But then if an Instagram post only gets 200 likes, you’re like what did I do wrong?

Aisha: You throw the computer.

Claire: Forget this.

Joy: We’re done.

Aisha: Exactly, exactly. And I think I’m at that point now where I’m just like, honestly, I would be terrified if this many people were in a room with me. I just need to focus on my audience now. There are some people who are so supportive, and I’ve never met them, don’t know who they are. But when they change their profile picture, I’m like, “Hey, love your new profile pic.” And they’re like, “Oh my God, thanks for noticing.” I think there’s something cool about being able to really connect with your audience. Again, trust is so important. And I feel like as an influencer, it’s so important. Because people can see through the B.S. easily. And I think sometimes people take their audience for granted and don’t feel like they’re going to notice, but they notice everything. So I think that’s really, really important, and that’s what’s also helped me to stay in the present moment when I’m creating content and doing anything. In those moments where I’m not getting as many likes as I want or as many comments or clicks or whatever. And at least like, you know what, I have done a great job. I have put so much into this, and if only ten people go and click it or like it – I’m honestly saying that. I’m not giving that speech, like “if only ten people” – no, I really mean that. I literally have gotten to that point now.

Joy: Right, exactly.

Aisha: Where at least those ten people are paying attention, and you have that trust within that group.

Claire: I remember hearing an interview with Pink, the pop artist. She was like, “People always used to want to compare me to Britney and Christina, but are they still touring?” For me, it was sort of this lightbulb moment of, you might not be the most popular in the moment, but what’s your longevity? That’s where that longevity comes from, from really knowing your audience, really caring about them and noticing them and seeing them. And it doesn’t come from going viral.

Aisha: Yeah.

Joy: Yeah.

Aisha: Yeah. It’s all about the impact that you make. So I have this series on my page called “Black and Blogging.” It’s on my IGTV. I just give firsthand tips and feedback on how I’ve done it and how I’m doing it. There are so many people who are like, “Thank you, thank you” for sharing this. I also have huge influencers who DM me. Like, huge. Millions. Hundreds of thousands. Not millions, but maybe hundreds of thousands of followers.

Joy: They’ve done the balloon picture.

Aisha: Yes. And then they’re like, how did you make so much this year? Or how are you organizing your stuff? How are you doing this and doing that? And I’m just like, so you have so many followers compared to me, and you’re reaching out to me behind the scenes about this type of feedback. And I don’t even find anything strange about that. I’m not judging them. But in my mind, I’m like you never know who you’re influencing. You never know who you’re helping or touching. Even if they are bigger than me, there’s no jealousy in that because I am mores just like, this is just another person who I’m helping and who can maybe help me in the future. Or whatever. I just think there’s something great about connection.

Joy: Yeah. About the numbers.

Claire: Right, they don’t mean anything. That follower account –

Aisha: And that’s the point I was getting at. I was going around in a circle. So I have 15,500 followers, and there are folks who have way more than that who have come to me and told me that I am making more than them. And it’s crazy to me, but it all depends on the – it’s not even just the quality of your work, but I think it’s about the honesty. I pride myself on being a great storyteller in all of my content, and I think that’s what helps my audience to really connect, and I think that’s what attracts the brands and the brand partnerships because I’ve gotten that a lot. Like, “We love your storytelling. We love that you really immerse yourself in whatever it is that you’re talking about.” And I think that’s what comes with it. It’s not about the fact that you’re posting 80 times a day and that you have 50k followers. It’s about the fact that you’re making an impact. You’re providing value to your audience and to anyone who’s paying attention. That’s really what it comes down to, and I’m a testament to the fact that the numbers really don’t matter.

Joy: I’m so glad you said that. And the authenticity really goes so far, I think, when we’re talking about audience. these are people who are trusting you, who never met you, and you said this on another podcast or in one of your interviews that I wanted to bring up. You mentioned products and partnerships. Who you partner with says a lot about your brand. And when Claire and I first started eight years ago, we had so many people just be like, “Will you do this for a free t-shirt?” 

Claire: I can’t tell you how many free t-shirts we got. How many stupid workout t-shirts that were like, “I’m running for tacos.”

Joy: So many t-shirts. 

Claire: We all have that shirt. Don’t pretend like you haven’t had that shirt.

Joy: Yeah. So t-shirts for a plug. And at first we get excited because you just want to get noticed. And then after a while, you’re like, “Uh, I think we need to get paid for this.” We started to get an audience. So anyway. Over time, who we chose to partner with was really important because there were times when I’m like, I don’t feel good about – there was one time. I don’t remember who it was. Oh, I remember who it was. I’m not going to say it, but there was a brand that was like, “We wanted to work with you,” and I was losing sleep over it because it went against a lot of my values and the things that I was kind of struggling with personally. I was just like, I can’t do it. It would have been a decent chunk of money for our show, but I was like, “I can’t do it.” And I’m sure you’ve faced that as well.

Aisha: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. And I think especially now given the year that we’ve had, I feel that a lot of brands are trying to be more diverse. And there are some brands who are genuinely trying to be diverse, and then some brands who I can tell are simply doing it to fulfill a quota or to make face. Like Black History Month was the most annoying. My inbox was so annoying during Black History Month this year. 

Joy: I bet. 

Aisha: Just like, alright, chill. 

Joy: And you’re like, I’ve been here for how long?

Aisha: Hello. Nothing has changed. So for me, it’s difficult. I do talk a lot about hair on my platform and there have been a number of hair brands who have reached out to me. And I mean, not one woman with curly kinky hair on their page. It’s like, everyone’s blonde and long, straight, wavy hair. And they’re like, “We would love to work with you.” And I’m just like, uh… 

Joy: You’re like, I don’t see any diversity on your page.

Aisha: At all. I mean, no one. You don’t have any other ethnicity and no other look, no other hair type, nothing. So I had to make the decision. Obviously, money is quite important. However, we’re going back to that trust thing. My audience, they look like me. And if I say, “Oh, use this product,” and they go on that page and they don’t see anyone who looks like them, they’re going to be like, “Aisha, what the heck?” We don’t trust you anymore.

Joy: Did you even look at their page?

Aisha: Exactly. Exactly. So I had to be really, really mindful of that and also even in the partnerships that I agree to, just being mindful of the messaging, the way that I’m putting my content out there and pushing back and letting them know that I know my audience best. I know what’s going to work. I know what would be the best way to convey this and share this with them. I think that’s really important because a lot of times we’re really excited about the opportunity and we just go through the motions when I think the brands actually respect when you’re willing to push back and when you’re willing to give an opinion.

Joy: And not that this totally matters in the end, but they are going to get a better return if you have the relationship. Because people want to support you when you’re being authentic. It’s not that we’re just trying to sell products all the time, but we need to make money to keep our plans going. And they want to support you when it feels good like that. We’ve even come up against having to kind of break up with a sponsor because of, how do you say it Claire?

Claire: Yeah. Just –

Joy: We didn’t agree with someone else they supported whose politics and views were so against what we stood for. 

Claire: It can be hard because you don’t want to be that cancel culture person who’s like, “Well every time someone disagrees with me, I’m just going to drop the bag.”

Joy: Yeah, but it was different.

Claire: This particular situation was different. But I am curious to hear a little bit more about being a Black female in this self-care space. It can feel so loaded. What are some of the things that you feel like you carry that the brands that you work with and potentially some of your followers just aren’t seeing that you grapple with day to day?

Aisha: What do you mean? What I grapple with on a day-to-day basis that I’m not really putting out there?

Claire: No. I mean, with your position as an influencer in this space. Having that additional component of being a Black woman. You know, like the brand who comes to you and says, “Oh, we’d love to work with you.” And you’re like, really? Because everyone on your page has these sleek, beachy waves. Do you really want to work with me? Or do you just want people to think that you – do you feel like that comes out anywhere else, like in your content or in other places where you need to be aware of that?

Aisha: Yeah. I think there’s definitely – it’s weird because there’s so much that I notice and that I see as well. Not only am I the “diversity hire” sometimes with these brands, but also I think that there are some instances in which brands are adding some diversity but only to a certain extent. So when it comes to, let’s say, a hair brand. So there are many, many obviously different types of curls and coils. And I’m on that middle range when it comes to my hair texture. But there are other Black women who are not getting as many opportunities as me because their hair texture is even tighter or their skin complexion is just a little bit darker than mine. And I think those are some of the things that I’ve struggled with as well because I’m like, okay, yes, they are being diverse and they are having other different types of women in their shoots and in their campaigns but only to an extent. And I’m at the end of it when there are so many other people on the spectrum that should be included. That’s something that’s been really, really weighing a lot on me because I’m like, okay, how do I address this? How do I talk about this? And how do I make sure that the brands that I’m working with, that they’re opening it up to everyone as well? Because there is a specific section of Black women who are being left behind. So I want to make sure I’m not just representing for them but that I’m pulling them in as well. So I think that’s something that’s really, really important to me. And I always try to look and use the hashtags to see who else  is part of the campaigns that I’m a part of, just to see what’s going on. I think that a lot of brands definitely have some more work to do in terms of not just picking one or picking two people from each different group but really looking for a broad range of people in different body types, socio economic backgrounds and everything. I think that’s really, really important. I do also feel kind of burdened because I’m like, but I’m a Black woman. Why do I always have to be the one to try and tell you what you need to do or to try to help you and your organization. So that also weighs on me.

Joy: Yeah, it’s like the whole thing last year when everyone was posting. Don’t even get me started on the recent what’s-her-face? Do you know who I’m talking about?

Claire: [UNCLEAR 00:33:11.16] Schmeichel Schmalisch.

Joy: No, not Schmeichel Schmalisch.

Claire: Oh, then I don’t know who you’re talking about.

Joy: Anyway. Celebrity wife of Ozzy Osbourne. Sharon Osbourne.

Aisha: Oh yes.

Joy: The whole debacle of her being like, “Educate me.” It’s like that whole thing of, “Educate me.” It’s like, no, no, no, that is not your job. It’s kind of like the same thing where there’s got to be some exhaustion of, why do I need to be the one to educate you about this.

Aisha: That actually happened to me last year with a brand because I wrote to a number of brands – so I had signed a number of deals, but it was right in the middle of everything going on with Black Lives Matter, and there were a lot of protests going on and a lot of brands coming forward and speaking up. So I made sure to check all of the social media pages of every single brand I was working with to see have they made a statement. I Googled, I looked on their websites to see if they made a statement or if they’re doing anything. And any of the brands I was going to work with that hadn’t done anything yet, I just sent a note. Just, “Hey, I would love to continue to work with you. However, if you’re not going to stand up for this cause, I don’t know if it would be a fit.” One of the brands was like, “Yes, we’re trying to think of what to do, and I would love to get on a call with you so you can help us to brainstorm some ideas and think about” – At first, I was like, okay. And then I thought about it, and I was just like, first off, I’m not a part of your staff.

Claire: Are you going to pay me to do that call? Yeah, I would be happy to do that. My consulting fee is $500 an hour.

Aisha: Yeah, exactly. Right. And I just had to politely write back and be like, “This is not something that I feel that I should be doing for you. But I’m wishing you the best.” And I think I maybe sent some links as resources.

Joy: Which was nice of you. You didn’t even have to do that, but yes.

Aisha: Right. I was actually regrettably sending links. But so, yeah, that was very interesting and I definitely think that that’s something being the scenes that I’ve had to deal with recently.

Claire: Thank you for sharing that. I want to talk a little bit about another topic that you talk about a lot and something that I think is also, at least to me I think it has a foot in this conversation of things that are not always brought up and things that are not always easy to talk about. And that’s what you brought up earlier, which is to hear you talk about mental health. You’ve talked a lot about PTSD and anxiety in your work. Tell us a little bit more about how you started talking about that. And sorry if you can hear a 2-year-old yelling, “Mama” at the door. I’ve been found. I’ve been discovered. She knows how to knock, but she just pounds, so that’s what’s going on.

Aisha: Okay.

Claire: So tell us a little bit about how you decided to start sharing about that and what that felt like at first, to start being open about having mental health issues.

Aisha: Yeah, it was really scary at first. Because only my close friends knew that I was going – [laughing]

Claire: Sorry, I just turned back around and made a face.

Joy: Claire’s looking at a door of children on the other side who are just yelling at her.

Claire: Do you guys remember the movie Inception where they find them in the dream and the mom is coming?

Aisha: Oh yeah, and they just start starring?

Claire: This is my current situation. Okay, sorry.

Joy: Continue. Serious topic. Continue.

Aisha: Yeah, it was really scary at first because only a few close friends knew that I was dealing with anxiety and that I was seeing a therapist and going through all of what I was going through. Because I am generally the life of the party, the person who’s always happy and makes everyone else happy. So for me, coming out and admitting that I’m not always happy. I have my moments, and that’s okay. I’ve been depressed. I’ve been at my lowest of lows. That was really difficult for me. But I knew that I needed to do it because I knew that there would be someone out there who would be able to relate and understand where I’m coming from. And I feel like I owe it to other women in my community to speak up so that they can feel comfortable speaking up, and they can feel comfortable enough getting help for themselves. Because that has been the biggest game-changer in my entire life. I have always felt like I can do it myself. I can rally through. I can figure it out on my own. And when I got to the point of knowing and giving myself permission to get that help and to see a therapist regularly, not just go to a psychiatrist, get some meds, and continue doing what I was doing and thinking all of the negative thoughts I was thinking. I actually was actively getting help, helping myself. And I saw the change that it made in me. That’s what helped me to feel a little bit more confident about opening up to others about the fact that I’m struggling with these things. It actually wasn’t until recently that I started opening up about PTSD because my PTSD diagnosis is actually relatively recent. I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder when I think I was about 24 or 25. Then last year at the beginning of the pandemic, I actually started seeing a new psychiatrist and she diagnosed me with PTSD. I was like, okay, now that makes a lot of sense. At first, I was a little like, PTSD? So confused. Because I was like, well, I didn’t go to war. But then I thought about it and we talked about it, and it made so much sense. There’s so many things that I’ve gone through in my life that I have – so many traumatic experiences that I’ve just allowed to weigh on me and I’ve allowed to essentially just take over my entire being and existence that it made sense that that was what I was going through. So from there, I decided to open up about it and I feel like a lot of Black women have gone through so much trauma in their lives. Even on a day-to-day basis where you’re experiencing trauma when someone comes up and touches our hair, you know. Tells us something like, “Oh, you speak well.” That’s traumatic. 

Joy: Like the micro aggressions you were talking about earlier. And read Phoebe Robinson’s You Can’t Touch My Hair, everybody, and read every single one of her books. And that is probably very freeing, but also for you to say that there’s things you probably thought, well this is just my life. I’ve had to deal with it. Instead of defining that as trauma was probably a big – I don’t want to say your mind was blown, but more like a, “Woah,” validation.

Aisha: It was a big validation. At first, though, it did make me really sad. It made me really sad to think about the fact that I knew I didn’t have the easiest life. I didn’t have the easiest upbringing. I knew that I had gone through a lot of really, really difficult things. But putting the word “trauma” on it was tough for me because it’s so easy to just push it to the side, like this was just an experience, something I went through .This was the roadblock or growing pains or family issues. But “trauma” is a strong word, but I really do want to make it less of a traumatic word.

Joy: For sure. Yeah. Absolutely, absolutely. I work with people with trauma and all sorts of trauma. And I think there’s a fallacy that you have to have what we call, I don’t even like saying “big T.” Sometimes in therapy you call it a “big T” or “little T.” I’m like, trauma’s trauma. Let’s not do the “big T,” “little T.” Trauma is trauma. And it’s really about how you have your experience, whether you’re young, whether you’re older, whether it’s a new trauma, whether it’s a trauma that you grew up with and someone goes, “that sounds like it was a traumatic experience.” I guess in a way when you’re growing up, you don’t know anything else. So you’re like, I don’t know. That was just my life. And someone sits you down and goes, “No, that was traumatic. That’s a trauma.” So I think just defining it. And I like what you said about not making it a traumatic word is really important because so many of us just want to push it aside. We do the comparison trap. I don’t have it that bad.

Aisha: Yes, oh my gosh.

Joy: Same thing with eating disorders. “Well, I’m not this size or that size, so I must not have an eating disorder.” We always compare our traumas to someone else that we’re like, “I’m fine.”

Aisha: Yeah, and I do that a lot. I made my own term for it, “the hardship hierarchy.”

Joy: I like it.

Aisha: I feel like we’re so stuck on the hardship hierarchy. I’m like that too. I’m like, well, I’m going through a tough time right now. Or I’m really stressed, but my friends have got kids or someone else who lost someone or is going through this has it way worse than me, so I’m not going to say anything. I’m going to bottle it up and keep pushing through because my problems aren’t as big as theirs. Or at least, I feel like my problems are as big as theirs, but I don’t think they believe that mine are just as important, so I’m not going to say anything. And that is not good, and that is something that I have been working on and that I try to encourage those around me to work on as well because when we don’t open up, it just causes us to spiral and to eventually explode or to just have nothing to give. It’s definitely really important, and that’s why I try to be as vocal as possible.

Claire: I know I kind of opened this thing up by being like, “Talk about your mental health issues.” That phrase, it can feel like, wow, that’s a little blunt. But I think that it can also feel so – or it does feel so good to hear other people talk about it and normalize it. And then if you are in a scenario where you do have a therapist appointment where someone says, “Wow, that sounds like trauma,” if you know someone else who is living a full life and is also dealing with trauma and is also overcoming trauma and dealing with PTSD, it feels like, okay, this can be part of a full life. Versus, this is a diagnosis that means I am going to miss out on things.

Joy: Right.

Aisha: Exactly.

Joy: Or that you’re going to fall apart. That’s what I was going to ask. What would you say to someone who maybe they have it and they’re scared to talk about it? Because I think that’s the fear sometimes, at least what I see with patients is they’re just so afraid if they open the dam a little bit, they’re never going to be okay again. That’s just not always the case. It can be really freeing. It’s not easy, but it can be really freeing.

Aisha: Yeah. It’s all about giving yourself permission to feel and to be, and I think we don’t give ourselves that permission very often. That’s one thing that’s really helped me to live with my PTSD confidently is because I understand that these things were traumatic in my life. I understand now, the things that I have gone through and seen were really, really hard, and they have made a huge impact on me. I am now continuing to unlearn some of the behaviors that they’ve given me or whatever. But I am allowing myself to accept the fact that these things happened. I’m not letting it define me and define my future and define what I’m meant to be in life. I’m still continuing to live each and every single day. Some days might be hard. Some days might not be hard. But I’m allowing myself that space. A question that I keep getting recently is, how do you stay motivated? How do you stay motivated? I actually have found a more honest answer for myself, and that is, I’m taking time to rest. So when I’m feeling overwhelmed or I’m feeling unmotivated or I’m feeling down, I lay in bed for a little longer. I’m like, I’m going to start my day at 12. I’m just going to lay here and just take that time to be with myself, take that time to be sad, take that time to just relax and get a breather so that I can then go back with a fresh sense of motivation and insight and whatnot. And I think that’s the same thing when it comes to having PTSD and moving through life with it. You allow yourself to have those feelings and then just continue on and know that it doesn’t define you. It’s okay that you feel sad about what’s happened to you in the past. Because why not? It was traumatic. It’s okay.

Joy: It was objectively sad. 

Aisha: Yeah. That’s it. So you’re allowed. I think we fight a lot with that, I shouldn’t be sad, or I shouldn’t feel that way. So that’s one thing that’s really helped me to just move forward.

Claire: I love that too abut it’s okay for it to be sad. We are always so preoccupied with trying to fix things and trying to, “Oh you’re okay, it’s going to be okay.” It’s okay for it to not be okay sometimes. It’s okay for what you went through to have been really crappy.

Joy: You’re having the worst day. We recently had an episode where we talked about that. We’re like, you get the award for the worst day. You are the worst. Your mood is the worst. So I posted recently about that. I was like, I’m just having the worst day. Give me the award. Give me the medal.

Aisha: Oh my gosh.

Claire: It’s a little tongue and cheek. But at the same time, how validating does it feel to have somebody be like, no, you’re right. I’m not here to fix it. I’m not here to find a silver lining. I’m not here to send you ten bucks to Starbucks. I mean, maybe. I would take the Starbucks. But I’m just here to tell you, yeah, that sounds horrible. End of sentence.

Aisha: Yeah. And sometimes it’s funny because if someone says, “Oh, that’s so sad,” you’re build up and you’re like [sounds of relief]. I didn’t have to justify why it was so bad or justify why I feel this way. That understand.

Claire: Guys, did we learn nothing from Bing Bong? 

Aisha: From what?

Claire: Have you seen the movie Inside Out?

Aisha: No.

Claire: It’s worth it. 

Joy: Go watch it, it’s worth it.

Claire: It’s a kid movie, but it’s like an adult movie for kids. It’s so good. But basically the whole entire point of that movie is that all of the emotions are important. And if you only focus on feeling joy all the time and try to spin everything to only ever feel happy, then you’re going to get stuck.

Joy: You’re missing out on all of the other cute little emotions.

Claire: There’s this pivotal moment where the emotion Sadness goes up to this imaginary friend Bing Bong. He’s having a really tough time, and she’s like, “That sounds really sad. Is sounds like you had a really good time with that rocket that just got” – there’s a lot of backstory. 

Joy: [laughing] Claire.

Claire: “It sounds really sad.” And he’s like, “Yeah, it was really sad.” And Joy is like, “Sadness, don’t make it worse.” But then he feels better because he was seen and she was able to validate that.

Joy: Yeah, she saw you.

Claire: Guys, I’m just telling you. Go watch Inside Out.

Aisha: That’s the word. So when I got the diagnosis, I felt validated. I was like, oh, yes, that’s what it is. That’s what I’ve been feeling all my life.

Joy: Yeah. When you have a definition of what you’ve been struggling with your whole life, it’s just like oh my gosh.

Claire: And I love that too because, yes, that phrase post-traumatic stress, PTSD, it sounds so dramatic. But to also view it from that lens of like, this is a relief. I can put a name to what’s going on inside my brain. I don’t have to fight it anymore. I can just accept that this is what it is and I can learn to move on, or I can learn to heal and live with it and move with it instead of constantly wondering what is wrong.

Joy: Or like you can put it out in front of you and deal with it instead of this whole thing, like what is going on. 

Claire: Yeah. Joy is better. She’s a therapist.

Aisha: I’m having a great time.

Joy: We can talk therapy all day long. So we want to be respectful of your time. But I do want to go back to the very first thing I wanted to talk to you about. I don’t want to do a disservice and shorten it, but if you could talk about the destination addiction and really people who perhaps are in the dating world, feel like they have to be their whole self before they go out and date someone, what would you say to our audience who’s in the dating world and they’re focused on that being perfect person before they can date? Because I feel like we’ve fed that fallacy of you need to be a whole you before you can get into a relationship. Or they do all this work on themselves before they say that they can date. And maybe they end up in bad relationships. Oh Claire, go.

Claire: Can I just say I’m so proud of you for remembering to come back to that? Because I had completely forgotten.

Joy: Oh, I was thinking about it the whole time. I started with it, our audience is going to be like, “You never talked about dating. You said you would.”

Aisha: Don’t worry, we got you. Okay. So that was based off of my – I wrote a blog post called “You Can Find Love While Still Finding Yourself.” I came to that because I was thinking about the journey that I had with my fiancé and the fact that I actually met him towards the beginning of my self-love, my self-care journey. And I was in that process, I was thinking to myself, should I get into another relationship right now? Should I still continue to find myself? And I decided to not put him on hold and to instead continue on with dating him while continuing my self-care practice because I was like, I just need to make sure I have clear boundaries while I do this. And also, when you think about it, self-care, your self-discovery, all of that, it’s a continuous thing. You don’t reach a threshold, like okay I’ve done 800 therapy sessions, I have meditated for this many hours and written in at least 12 journals.

Claire: Right, you don’t get a punch card filled up for self-care.

Aisha: Exactly. So now I can finally retire the self-care aspect from my life and I am actualized and ready to do everything and conquer the world. No. It doesn’t happen like that. Self-care happens all the time because the one thing in our lives that is constant is change. We’re going to change our minds. We’re going to be put in situations and circumstances that are going to have us look at ourselves and the world around us differently. So of course the way that we perceive ourselves and the things that we feel we need to build ourselves up is going to change. So with that said, obviously you can date while you’re still going through the process because the process never ends. And if you sit around waiting to do that, then you will never date someone. And I think the important aspect is, again, setting those clear boundaries, being open with that person and letting them know that you are on this journey right now and that you are figuring things out. And hopefully if they’re the right person, they’ll want to go along on that journey with you. Another aspect of that is the destination addiction for those of us who maybe are not in that relationship yet or don’t have that prospect of a relationship yet and we’re thinking to ourselves, I’ll be happy when I get in that relationship. I’ll be happy when I can finally start dating. Or when I lose the weight. Or when I make this amount of money. Instead we’re essentially putting our happiness on ice until the whatever it is, the pinnacle that we feel might one day come down, we’re waiting for that when we can just be happy in the here and now and we can find gratitude in our day-to-day, in the things that we do have, in the people that we do have in our lives now. And when we realize and understand that now is the most important time of our entire lives, that’s when we really start living because we’re no longer looking towards the future. We’re making the most of every single moment. We’re finding our joy right now. And I think when it comes to dating, I don’t feel like it’s productive to wait to be happy once you’ve found a partner because you essentially should be a happy and whole person as often as you can be – happiness kind of fluctuates – prior to that, and it’s okay.

Joy: And relationships are work. They’re a lot of work, everybody.

Aisha: Exactly. Exactly. And then also, in my journey, my fiancé was influenced to start going to a therapist himself. Seeing that I was doing it and talking so openly about what it was that I was going through, and he’s been able to find a lot of peace in that for himself as well. I think that’s also the beauty in dating and seeing people while you’re on that. Because you never know who you’re going to touch or influence or inspire. You may not be together forever, but at least you can continue to learn what it is that you do and don’t want.

Joy: Well, I love it.

Aisha: I tried to go quickly.

Joy: That was great. I love it.

Claire: It was great, and I think it goes for so much more than dating as well. 

Joy: Yes.

Claire: Like you were saying towards the end, it goes for almost any life transition that you’re putting off because you think you have to become a different person first. You’re never going to arrive. Your punch card’s never going to be filled.

Joy: How many people have gotten the thing and then they’re like, “This is it?’

Claire: Everyone, I would argue. I have never talked to a single person who was like, “And then on the day that I got that promotion or I got that ring or I got that house, it was everything I thought it would be and it was the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Everyone’s like, “I got there, and I looked around and thought, ‘That’s it?’”

Aisha: Yeah, literally.

Claire: Here I was, still standing there, the same exact person that I’d ever been. Womp womp. 

Joy: Yeah, it’s so funny how we do that.

Aisha: So I’m not just going to transform into a whole new person? What?

Claire: This isn’t the end of a video game where I just level up into a cloud of gold sparkles? I wish you guys could see the move we all just did.

Joy: We all just did – I don’t know. A flower? We were growing up into the trees. We just did tree pose.

Claire: But it was great. So tell our listeners where they can find you.


Aisha: Yes, I am so easy to find. So the reason why everything is Aisha Beau is I am so bad at making names for things. 

Joy: It’s hard. You outgrow names.

Claire: Can I tell you how long it took us to come up with the name This is Joy and Claire? One year, Aisha. Took us a year to come up with that name. For eight years, we’ve been starting every podcast going, “This is Joy. And this is Claire.” And it took us that long to come up with the podcast name This is Joy and Claire.

Joy: Because we changed our name. We rebranded.

Aisha: I saw that. And I’m sure that was really difficult.

Claire: As soon as I came up with that, I was like, “I have received divine inspiration. Our name shall be This is Joy and Claire.” And everyone was like, “Really?” I was like, you don’t understand how hard this was.

Joy: Aisha Beau is perfect. It has good syllables. 

Aisha: Thank you, thank you., Instagram @aishabeau, Twitter @aishabeau, The only thing that’s different is my podcast is Rewritten: The Aisha Beau Podcast.

Claire: Perfect, got it.

Aisha: So there you go.

Joy: Perfect. Well thank you so much.

Claire: And listeners, you can find all of the links to that in the show notes. Go be one of the more than ten people who are going to click the link. You can do it.

Joy: Yes. And Aisha, please come back when your book is going to be launched or in the works. I don’t want it to be too long because I really enjoyed our conversation and I hope you come back.

Aisha: No, it won’t be that long. 

Joy: Okay.

Aisha: I mean, if I ever finish a book.

Claire: Now people know.

Joy: Now they know. Pressure’s on, Virgo.

Aisha: Yes, right.

Claire: Alright, guys. Well you know where to find us. Please a comment, leave a review, share this episode with a friend. We would greatly appreciate it, and we will talk to you next week.

Joy: Bye everybody.

Claire: Bye.

This week we’re talking about how to get involved in your community on the ground floor, where change actually happens. Our local podcast friend and journalist Bree Davies from CityCast joins us and it’s a great conversation you don’t want to miss!


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This is Joy & Claire Episode 68: Getting Involved

Episode Date: April 1, 2021

Audio Length: 56:36 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire, not Wayne’s World. This episode, we’re going to talk everything local. It’s all about Denver because we have a special guest on the show that knows Denver really well. Welcome Bree Davies.

Bree: Hi, thank you for having me.

Joy: You’re welcome. I feel like we could just make this whole episode about – people message us all the time and they want to know about my skincare routine. They want to know about Denver and where to go in Denver, and “I’m coming to Denver.” We just need to do an entire podcast episode about things to do in Denver. So it’s kind of nice to have you on because tell the audience what you do and your podcast.

Bree: Sure. I’m the host of City Cast Denver. We’re a brand new daily news podcast. We’re starting out slowly with every other day, but the first week of April we will be Monday through Friday, 15 minutes every morning. A little bit of news, so you’ll get some headlines and things to talk about throughout the day, and then we’ll do a longer conversation with somebody related to a topic in Denver. It could be anything from upcoming city council legislation to a restaurant opening or closing to a festival coming to town to an art opening or to a historical event. Really, anything related to Denver. And the idea is to connect with Denverites, whether you’ve been here six months or six generations and find something interesting for you to walk away with from the podcast every day that says, “Oh, I learned something new about Denver.”

Joy: Yeah, truly, even if you don’t live here, it’s a really good listen. I’ve listened to all your episodes. And just taking a step back for a second, you have a background in journalism, yes?

Bree: Yes.

Joy: So tell the listeners a little bit more about you and your career. Your evolution.

Bree: Yes. I know, my friend Jessie says, “I have a face for radio” is what she says about herself. And I think that about myself too sometimes because I didn’t think I would end up in this space. I’ve been a print journalist for over a decade and a half. The Denver Post used to have a blog called Reverb, which was music coverage, turned into The Know. I did show reviews for them in the mid-2000s.

Joy: I love The Know.

Bree: I do too. I’m an arts and entertainment journalist, is really where I started.

Joy: Okay, great. 

Bree: That’s the community I know the best. I grew up in the arts community here in Denver. My parents are avid supporters of local artists, musicians, visual artists. I grew up going to art openings and all sorts of things, so I’ve just been involved. I was in band. I’ve hosted and produced and organized several music and art festivals throughout the city. Where my heart really started in journalism was covering that community and being a part of that community. I really got my footing with Westward. I think around 2010 I started writing for them. I wrote a weekly, it was like an online column called Reality Bites, and it started out as a column –

Joy: I love that. Reality Bites. And for listeners who aren’t in Denver, Westward is kind of like the local –

Bree: It’s our alternative weekly paper.

Joy: Yes.

Bree: So alternative weekly papers used to be prolific. They were everywhere across the country. Everybody had their own.

Joy: Oh my God, our was – I grew up in Arizona, and everyone in Arizona’s probably screaming at me, but I just remember in college picking it up and I loved it. 

Bree: We had the famous New Times for sure.

Joy: We had the New Times for sure, and there was another one.

Bree: I’m sure there were tons.

Joy: Yeah. And I just remember this columnist who would do like an advice column, or she would do a funny article about the week about just some topic or restaurant. It was just hilarious. Laurie Notaro – do you know her?

Bree: I don’t.

Joy: Or have you heard of her? If anyone out there who knows Laurie Notaro, she goes way back. She’s written a ton of books. But yeah, I love that vibe. So yes, continue.

Bree: Yeah, the alt weekly vibe is definitely where I found my voice because they let me really write about whatever I wanted. The column started out as… my first story was about getting diarrhea in yoga class and then accidentally telling my friend’s husband on Facebook, not her, because they had the same picture. I mean, this is 2010. 

Claire: “I’m sorry about that time I told everyone you had diarrhea in Barnes and Noble. And I’m sorry for repeating it again now.”

Bree: It’s like a thing you would tell your friend about, right?

Joy: Of course you’ll tell your friend. Of course you’ll tell your friend.

Claire: That’s amazing. How did her husband respond, I have to know?

Bree: He didn’t respond. She responded to me and was like, “You said that to my husband,” and I was like, “Sorry.” So I just wrote a story about it because this is what Westward let me do. They let me go free.

Claire: They’re like, “Yes, please talk about diarrhea.” 

Bree: And write crazy things. But it got picked up readership. I think part of it was talking about things that people experience. The column eventually evolved into more stories about the city because I was writing about the city changing, new development, things getting knocked down, businesses disappearing, feelings I was having about what was going on in the city. Because of that, I started getting more involved with civic issues, and that’s kind of how I got into this niche of Denver. I didn’t initially set out to write about Denver because I think sometimes when you’re from somewhere, you’re just like, “I can’t wait to get out of here kind of thing.”

Joy: Yes, for sure. Yeah, that was me. In Arizona, I was like, “I’m getting out of here.”

Bree: Yeah. I did it. I lived in New York for a year. It was a fantastic experience. I came back to Denver for several other reasons, but when I got back I was like this is a really special place and I have a natural expertise about it. Just you know, you grow up somewhere, you just know about it.

Joy: Yeah, you know the ins and outs, yeah.

Bree: Yeah. So I just parlayed that into this career of advocacy and education and engaging other people in conversations about Denver. Because if there’s anything that I want to do with the work that I do, it’s get other people involved in civic issues, in social justice issues, in neighborhood-level issues. And that’s kind of what I did with this column. And then I also for the last five years was the host for PBS 12’s Sounds on 29th, which was a music and comedy show, and I got to talk to musicians again. I’ve always been rooted in music, but the advocacy side and my interest in Denver just became a natural thing and eventually that came into this podcast, City Cast Denver. They were looking for a host. I was interviewing for the job not realizing that’s what I was doing. Which I wish everybody could do that. If you didn’t know – do you know what I mean?

Joy: That’s the best thing ever.

Bree: If you didn’t know the job description of what you were applying for, you act more natural. 

Joy: You absolutely act more natural. So City Cast, is it a city-wide thing or is this just Denver?

Bree: We’re our own media company at this point. We have a show in Denver and a show in Chicago. So we’re specific to Denver right now, and Chicago has its own team and its own show specific to Chicago. Eventually it will branch out to other cities as well. But right now for our coverage, we focus on Denver, but like anything in the Denver metro area, we end up covering things – like, unfortunately the shooting in Boulder, of course we’re going to talk about that because that impacts our community. So our focus is really, we’re hyper focused on Denver but understanding that larger metro area is part of the place that we cover.

Joy: Right, right. And I listened to the episode about how those are the things that are going to happen where you just went on and you were like, I can’t cover anything else today. There’s a shooting that happened in Boulder and just kind of the sad situation that we have living in Colorado of a history of shootings. 

Bree: Right.

Joy: And you kind of referenced a moment after the Aurora shooting of you were on stage doing a music festival, and tell the listeners what you said because I have a follow-up question.

Bree: Yeah, sure. So I was playing the underground music showcase with my band Night of Joy, and it had just happened. Someone from backstage was like, “Hey, this happened. Can you say something or have a moment of silence?” When you’re thrown that information, you’re first of all thrown information about something really tragic happening, and then you’re the guy with the microphone in front of a room full of people.

Joy: Like they’re expecting you to address  it or maybe not address it, and if you don’t address it they’re like, “What an asshole?”

Bree: Yeah, for not addressing it – I mean, this was like 2012. I wasn’t in the space that I am now as a person that works on civic and social issues. It was just me as a guy in a band who has the microphone, so you’ve got to say something. I said something like – God, what did I say? It was like, “If you could think about someone else other than yourself for a moment, that would be great.” I would love to go back and say something else.

Joy: I actually like that. 

Bree: Really?

Joy: Yeah. When you were like, “I wish I could go back and I’m really mad that that’s out there and that’s what I said” because it’s short and sweet, and what are you going to do? Have this huge talk about whatever? 

Bree: Right.

Joy: It’s just kind of like, “Yeah, think of others. Think of someone else today.” 

Bree: It’s weird because you don’t want to make this moment about yourself, but you’re inherently coming from a –

Joy: But you know other people are thinking about it. 

Bree: Yeah. Where you’re like, all of the sudden I’m in charge of how this room of people is going to feel and remember this experience. That’s the other thing, remembering that experience forever. We remember where we were when kind of things.

Joy: Yeah, and that’s something that you referenced in one of the recent episodes where you’re like, “We have so many moments of ‘I remember when…’ I remember when I heard about this. I remember when this happened. I remember where I was when I heard about 9/11” or whatever it is that’s tragedy that happened. Who was the guest that you had on in that episode? Because I really liked her.

Bree: Her name is Leigh Paterson, and she is a reporter for KUNC, which is a public radio station here in Colorado, and she had spent two years reporting on guns in America. So we thought how could we add to this conversation by maybe just contextualizing what gun violence means and looks like in Colorado. Because, like she said, mass shootings are this very tiny percentage but get a lot of coverage for obvious reasons. But throughout the year, we’re also seeing gun violence happen in neighborhoods across – you know, my neighborhood that we happened to have a high instance of gun violence on the west side of Denver, and it doesn’t get covered in the same way. It just doesn’t.

Joy: No, yeah.

Bree: We were trying to figure out, what sort of angle can we bring to this conversation that’s a little bit different than what everyone else is offering so that we can add to the conversation.

Joy: Right. And then you’re not taking some polarizing view and then we’re getting into the weeds about gun control or whatever other things can we do.

Bree: This doesn’t seem like the time.

Joy: No, it doesn’t seem like the time. So I think she did such a good job, and you did such a good job too.

Bree: Thank you.

Joy: You’re a really good reporter. Just vocal-wise too of being a very clear communicator about how this is very important to us, and let’s just talk some facts. Because what I think gets so lost is the emotion, understandably so. We all just want to come into it with emotion, and it’s really hard to be objective at the same time when you’re in that moment. And then we just end up not listening to each other.

Bree: Right, right. Because it becomes political automatically. Which I understand why it’s political. Absolutely. We’re dealing with legal rights of citizens, but also the legal right to live.

Joy: So as a journalist and with that background, talk to us a little bit about the ethics of journalism and how you approach really typical topics like that when perhaps your views are really, really… skewed to one way?

Bree: Sure. It’s interesting because like I said I’ve been an arts reporter for a long time where politics doesn’t necessarily intersect with the conversation as much as other topics. It’s inherently political. Everything is political that involves human beings. And art is political in itself. For instance, there was an investigation into the founder of the Crush Walls Festival here in Denver over allegations of sexual assault. And I’m very close to a lot of the women that participate in this sort of street art graffiti community and scene. It was before we had started the show that we did some practice runs. And it was like, if we were going to cover this, how would we cover it? To me, I had to say, well I would have to be upfront. Because I’m very upfront with my views on how I feel on – I’m biased in this certain sense. I’ve seen the graffiti scene and the street art scene from the inside as being an inside but also an observer of it, and I just have very strong feelings about the festival itself and how it represented artists, particularly women. So the way that I approach these stories is I try to bring my honest perspective while also allowing for our guest or whoever we’re having on express their opinions in a way that I’m not butting heads with them. I’m giving them space to say their thing. Like today, our show was about scooters and bike share in Denver, and I’m not a huge fan. Part of it is I work within the disability community, a lot just by proxy of my friend group. And scooters and bike share tend to take up a lot of sidewalk space that –

Joy: So much sidewalk space, especially downtown where you’re needing to get around and if you’re in a wheelchair it’s a nightmare.

Bree: Forget it. And so it’s an access issue. But the guest that we had on really helped me see, well, we need to give up some of the space that we have for cars and put it towards these other, what she calls “micro mobility” options, like scooters and bikes, and then it would get it off the sidewalk and then we could have that conversation about the sidewalks being safer. So the approach also I take with my conversations with people is I’m learning as much as the audience and lister is learning as well. My ethical stance is just be open and honest about where you are and then listen to the person that you brought on, and maybe you take something from that conversation. Because often times I am swayed after I’ve listened to somebody share their side.

Joy: I was just going to say, do you ever get a different opinion after someone – I mean, how can you not? Because here’s the other thing, I wish everyone had that experience at some level of interviewing someone. And I’m probably speaking for myself too. I’ll have very strong opinions on this show that can be pretty polarizing or just come across like I’m close-minded. Or not close-minded. Just like I think if I were to sit down with some of the things that I criticize and have an honest conversation, that would be completely different. And I think that’s true for a lot of things. When you’re face-to-face having a conversation, it’s completely different. It’s so much easier to “hate far away.” Or it’s easy to hate far away and it’s hard to hate up close. I just think that that’s a really beautiful thing and probably gives you a much better perspective on a lot of big issues.

Bree: Yeah, and that brings me back. I forgot to mention in my career of journalism. In 2018, I started a podcast called Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? And the purpose was exactly what you’re talking about. It was to get people in front of each other, having conversations that are tough. Because when we have to face each other, it’s so more likely that we’re going to have a productive conversation about an issue than if we are battling it out on the internet. Like if we’re just chatting back and forth.

Claire: Okay.

Bree: Yes?

Claire: So. I know, I’m trying to raise my hand. I feel like one thing that I at least feel a lot lately, when we’re trying to have conversations about difficult topics, is the sort of push to – don’t let someone get away with thinking they’re incorrect thoughts. Don’t just walk away from a topic. Don’t just let them believe that – keep pushing, keep having the hard conversations. Sort of that narrative of don’t look away, don’t turn away. And I find that that’s such a hard balance to achieve when you are recording and you do want to have a productive conversation, but you also want to in the same way take the opportunity to really stand firm in what you believe. And of course, there are some things where maybe your difference of opinion is either, not to throw out the most hot-button topic, but abortion rights. That’s something we’ve talked about. And I can come to it by saying, listen, I don’t believe that fetuses are humans. I don’t think human rights start at conception, but I can completely understand why someone would and I can completely understand that that is an opinion that is going to be at odds with mine that I cannot argue with. It’s not an incorrect opinion. It is informed by your lived experience and your beliefs that are not fact-based. And neither are mine. Versus another discussion might be around racism or around gun rights or things where it feels like there’s more hard and fast fact to say, “No, this is really happening,” or, “No, this is really a problem” while also creating space for someone to be like, “Well, I don’t see it that way.” How do you approach that?

Bree: It’s hard. It’s really hard. But what I’ve found is when people are fact to face, the other aspect you don’t have is when you’re online, we’re just by nature angrier for some reason. 

Joy: We’re so much angrier. So much angrier. I don’t know what it is about being behind a keyboard where you can just let it roll.

Bree: There’s psychology around it. And you have all this time to like, “I’m going to get my retort together and I’m going to have all the facts” and that’s not real conversations.

Joy: No. “I’m going to post this article.” 

Bree: That no one’s going to read, so.

Joy: You don’t have to face the person face-to-face and see their actual humanness.

Bree: Changes everything. It still can be hard. You still can be completely in your beliefs, and the person you’re talking to will stay in their beliefs. But I’ve found most times it changes enough that you can at least empathize with that person, versus online we just don’t empathize with each other. It’s very difficult because the communication is so calculated. It’s like, “I’m going to say this.” When you’re in person, you can’t do that.

Joy: No. You’re having a back-and-forth conversation, you can’t sit and think. I guess you could sit and Google –

Bree: Be like, “Hold on, I’m going to go get some links.”

Joy: Yeah. You could sit there and Google articles I suppose, but –

Claire: “Delete, delete, delete. I didn’t mean to say it that way.” I do think in some ways that can be beneficial because you do have the ability to really think through what you’re going to say instead of just reacting. However, on the flip side of the authenticity of that, sometimes giving yourself time you just add fuel to the fire.

Bree: Totally, totally. It can totally blow up in your face too. I did a show once about food insecurity and the older notion of food banks verses food sovereignty and food access. And my mother-in-law was in the audience and she worked for The Salvation Army decades earlier, and she had a very different and distinct view of the good of food banks, and my guests didn’t like the way that food banks were run and the felt like there was no freedom of choice, and it got really heated. And my mother-in-law started crying at my live show, I felt so bad. But it helped us to have a conversation afterward as well that I never had with her before. I didn’t know how she felt about food insecurity or her work in that field, and she’d done it for a long time. But it wouldn’t have come out if we weren’t having this conversation in a forum where she could get up and say, “Hey, wait. I don’t agree with this.”

Claire: I feel like my lesson from that would be don’t invite your mother-in-law to your live shows.

Bree: She’s the most genuinely sweet person too, so to see her crying at my show, I was like I feel horrible that this is the first one she comes to and this is what happens.

Claire: I could see that happening with Joy’s mom. We always talk about Joy’s mom being like Snow White.

Joy: She’s the nicest.

Claire: So pure.

Joy: And so pure.

Claire: That would be so sad. I’m glad she stuck with it though.

Bree: She did, and she didn’t take it personally. You know what I mean. We were able to have a conversation later. She’s a really wonderful, just a really loving – and she has this sweet naiveness about her that’s just like, “I just like people and I want to help people.” So it was good too for my cynicism I think to meet up with that just sweetness too a little bit. It was just one of those moments where I’m like, why am I doing this show? Making my mother-in-law cry in public. What the fuck?

Joy: I know a lot of your work too – and you mentioned this earlier, and I’d love you to talk about this more for our listeners – of how can people be more involved in their communities. I love this podcast for the highlight on what is going on in our communities. I think that when we have these huge national, sometimes worldly issues, such as in the United States gun control, abortion, those big, big, passionate issues that people have strong opinions about, I think sometimes we forget that change really starts on the ground where you are.

Bree: Absolutely.

Joy: So talk a little bit more about what people can do in their own communities that you’ve seen has the biggest impact.

Bree: I mean, it can be something as simple as joining your neighborhood organization. So neighborhood organizations have a lot of sway and power in local politics, but it really depends on who’s operating that neighborhood association and who is representing your neighborhood. And they deal with things like there may be a new development coming into your neighborhood and you don’t know enough about it or you’re like, “Oh, it’s going to increase traffic” or “I’m worried about who’s going to be moving into my neighborhood.” These kinds of conversations that can get so coded about our neighborhoods when you are the neighborhood. You’re the neighbor.

Joy: Where would we find that? Where do you go?

Bree: Just Google.

Joy: If you’re in Denver, “Denver neighborhood” or “Denver government”?

Bree: No, because they’re not official government entities. Generally, their registered as a neighborhood organization, so you could Google “registered neighborhood organization Highlands” or “registered neighborhood organization Barnum” and a bunch of different ones might pop up. You have to do a little bit of research and see which ones are active. Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods is probably one of the biggest, and they’ve really mobilized to work on equity issues in Capitol Hill.

Joy: And tell listeners where Capitol Hill is and what that means to Denver.

Bree: Sure. So Capitol Hill is kind of central Denver. So it’s like the Denver that’s not downtown.

Joy: It’s beautiful too, and it’s old school, I love it. It’s such a great neighborhood.

Bree: I think it might be our oldest if not one of our oldest neighborhoods. It’s around the capitol. But they do everything from organizing neighborhood festivals to working on legislation around their community. So that’s one really easy way. And again, don’t be deterred if you go to a neighborhood organization meeting, and you’re like, “Oh, these aren’t my people.”

Joy: Yeah, it’s probably a different one. It’s probably like AA meetings. Don’t link to the first one you go to. You can find different ones.

Bree: Or you have to be the person that’s like, “I’m going to stick around and start inviting my neighbors to this conversation.”

Joy: Oh that’s a good, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Bree: Because an unfortunate thing that has happened is a lot of times neighborhood organizations are run by a small minority of the neighborhood versus the majority of who’s being represented. Like if you’re a renter for instance, not a lot of renters are a part of neighborhood organizations, so their voices are never heard. But in Capitol Hill, I’m sure a huge percentage of people there are renters. So renters have different issues than homeowners. Those are the people that need to be –

Joy: That’s very interesting.

Bree: You know what I mean, it’s very nuanced. Another thing is you can always contact your council person’s office or follow your council person. You can look at You can Google “council person this neighborhood in Denver” and it will show up. And a lot of council people will post through their social media if they’re working on something like a food drive or if there’s what’s called a visioning process happening for your neighborhood. Like, “We’re going to get a new park. What do you want to see in that park?”

Joy: I know this sounds so dumb, but I’m so excited that I actually have things to Google. Because I know in the past we’ve talked about this briefly on the podcast of getting involved in your neighborhood or getting involved – you know, we’ve talked more about buy from your local farmer, doing things that are local or getting involved in activities or street fairs or whatever. But this is so much different than anything that I’ve ever been, like, “Oh yeah, I can do this. Duh.” 

Bree: Yeah. It can be overwhelming.

Joy: But I learned.

Bree: You know, you can be like, “Where do I start?”

Joy: Yeah.

Bree: “I have no idea.”

Joy: And it’s a little intimidating, to be honest.

Bree: Sure, absolutely. Especially if you’re new to the city too, and you’re like, “I don’t even know where to begin.” Or you’re somebody who’s lived here forever and you’re like, “I’ve never been involved with my neighborhood. I have no idea who my neighbors are.” And that’s the other thing that’s really simple is talking to your neighbors. If you want to get involved with neighborhood issues, just introducing yourself to your neighbor. Which seems really simple, but it can be really hard when we’re in our own worlds every day. We work with our own people. We have our friends. We have our family. And that doesn’t necessarily mean the person next door, but establishing those connections with our neighbors really helps us understand. What are our neighborhood issues? Talk to your neighbor. They might be the person that’s been on the block for 30 years and they know everything, they’re a great person to know. Or they’re someone that’s even newer to the neighborhood than you are, and they’re like, “Thanks for reaching out to me. I didn’t feel like I knew anybody in the neighborhood.” So that’s how I’ve gotten really involved with my neighborhood.

Joy: Okay, so get on the registered neighborhood organizations.

Bree: Yeah, you can just Google “registered neighborhood organization” and your neighborhood, and it will come up.

Joy: Okay, look at your council person for your city.

Bree: And I just follow him on social media. Most of them are pretty active, and they do things. Everything from, “Here’s the vaccination sites that are coming to our community” or “There’s a neighborhood fair happening. We’re looking for volunteers.” Another great thing, volunteer. Any cause that you’re interested in, you can Google, like I always take this advice from my friend Erin Stereo who’s a DJ. And when she wanted to learn how to DJ, she just Googled “how to DJ Denver” and she ended up at KGMU which is the oldest run community radio station, and now she’s a DJ full time. This is what she does for a living. And she also teaches other people and young people especially how to DJ for radio, for shows. But she just Googled “how to DJ Denver.”

Joy: That’s so great.

Bree: It’s pretty simple. I’m trying to think of an issue that, you know, if you wanted to get involved with affordable housing issues Denver organization. And there’s organizations that always need people. They need donations, they need people to show up, they need volunteers. Any organization that’s working with the immigrant community always can use volunteers. Anything that you find interesting or you feel driven to be a part of, you can just Google that thing “Denver volunteer,” you’re bound to find a Facebook group or an organization that could use your work and your time.

Claire: And I think a lot of people are held back from doing that because they think, “I don’t have the skills” or “I don’t know enough about it.” Especially joining council groups or anything like that, or reaching out to your council person. First of all, your local politicians dream about hearing from you.

Bree: Right. As long as you’re not yelling at them because they get yelled at a lot.

Claire: They dream of hearing from you because you want to get involved. They will drop everything they’re doing if you’re like –

Bree: Their constituency, that’s who they work for and they know that. And a really good council person says, “What are you facing on your block that I don’t know about?”

Claire: Right. And the more local that person is, the easier it is to first of all find out who they are and also to really get your voice heard. Because I think a lot of people do talk themselves out of taking that next step to get involved. And I think it’s just so crucial to realize that as an adult in the community, your input is valuable no matter what your background is. And in fact, if you’re coming to the table from a different place than everyone else, that’s actually the most valuable position.

Bree: Absolutely. And something that’s really simple that you can do, and these can be really dry, but you can Google “Denver city council meetings” and on Mondays the agendas are out there. There’s actually a lot of activists and advocates who are already piecing through the legislation that City Council is looking at. If you start following along, there’s a group called From Allies to Abolitionists. They’re pretty active on Facebook, and they’re really great about breaking down legislation that’s coming up, how you can put in input. You can reach out to your council person and say, “This thing is coming up for a vote, and this is how I feel about it. I hope that you would consider my voice.” Something as simple as that. You can watch City Council meetings now from Zoom. It’s super accessible.

Joy: Yeah, that’s such a good point. Here’s the thing – and this is just me being ignorant where I’m like, oh my gosh, I should have just Googled this stuff. But I consider being involved on being in my neighborhood’s Facebook group, which some council members are in there. But I never stopped to think, why don’t I just take a step further and see what else is going on and get more involved and go to their page. And then I think the other piece that turned me off from neighborhood stuff was that neighborhood app. Isn’t there an app?

Bree: Oh, like Next Door? It’s like the opposite.

Joy: It is so bad. I was just like, oh my gosh. I had to delete it. It is the worst of the worst. People just complain. I’m like, this is not productive. But the Facebook group is nice, but I think just taking that extra step now where I’m like now I can get more involved. And I love the idea of just being like City Council meetings, even though they may be dry, I think all of have a Leslie Knope inside of us that we all just want to be more involved.

Bree: Yeah, yeah. And Next Door unfortunately becomes this weird cesspool that all internet forums can become.

Joy: It’s so bad.

Bree: Just people complaining or ratting on their neighbors for weird stuff.

Joy: Weird stuff. Not productive. This is not at all productive.

Bree: Right. And that’s where I’m like, just walk out of your house and go talk to your neighbor. If your neighbor’s playing music super loud, you don’t have to go over and tell them to turn it off. You should just go over and talk to them, and then you’ll maybe start to understand a little bit about how they are, what they’re doing. And then when you develop a rapport with somebody, you can have those conversations, you know. But when our first introduction is just bitching about our neighborhood on Next Door, what are you doing? You’re not creating a relationship with somebody.

Claire: Guys, this is the same conversation we just had about tackling difficult conversations, difficult topics. It’s almost like it’s all related.

Bree: It’s almost like just talking to people like their human beings changes everything.

Claire: It’s going to really help you out. I had that experience with the mariachi band that lives behind me that practices every day.

Bree: Totally. And also, part of that’s just the neighborhood –

Claire: I mean, I wouldn’t change it for the world, but I also started taking to them when I was six months pregnant. So when I walked over there one day and wasn’t pregnant anymore, they were like, “Oh.” 

Joy: You have a sleeping child.

Claire: You don’t want us to practice right this second. And it was like, we cool, we get each other.

Bree: Yeah. You just had a conversation. 

Claire: Exactly. We know what’s going on. Yes. But yeah, I wouldn’t change the background mariachi music.

Bree: Yeah, that’s the other thing I think when we talk about neighborhood issues is, is something really an issue or are you just making it an issue? And how can you step back from yourself and say, “Okay. What is really bothering me about this situation? Why am I so desiring to control something that I can’t control?” I live off of Alameda and Federal, and it is nonstop racing, traffic –

Joy: It’s a busy area. 

Bree: It is a busy area, but I moved here. So I moved into the situation, and it’s part of every summer. Of course, it’s 70 degrees today, people are going to be out.

Joy: Cinco de Mayo on Federal.

Bree: Yeah. So you just embrace it and go, “I moved into this community. This is what this community does. If I want to be a part of this community, I need to embrace some of it.”

Joy: You need to embrace, and you need to adjust. So it’s not always you adjusting other people. So for instance, speaking of Federal. For everybody listening, Federal is this big, main street, and on Cinco de Mayo everybody takes their cars and low riders, it’s a parade down Federal.

Bree: It’s wonderful.

Joy: My husband used to live on Federal as well. His window would face Federal and he would just sit. He would invite his best friend over, and they would just drink on the front porch and be like, we’re not going anywhere so let’s just watch the parade.

Bree: Enjoy it.

Joy: Instead of complaining like, “We can’t go anywhere on Cinco de Mayo,” let’s embrace this parade and have a great time. 

Bree: That’s all people are doing.

Joy: Exactly. They’re having fun, they’re enjoying themselves. Lighten up. 

Bree: Totally.

Claire: I live in east Longmont, and it’s a very similar thing. When we moved here, it was like, we’re moving into this neighborhood. We’re not going to expect it to all of the sudden, we’re the young, white couple with our kids and our Subaru. We’re the only house that ascribes to that demographic. And it very much is like, we look around in Longmont in different neighborhoods, and one of the biggest things that keeps us in this house is knowing that we would just be moving into an area that would be so much more homogenous. And to be honest, at first when we moved here, it was like how is this going to go. And now it’s like I wouldn’t – it just, it does. But I loved what you said about, take a step back. Why are you upset about this? Is it truly an issue? Yeah, is the dog barking and waking your kids up every single day? Or is whatever happening that’s really affecting you? Or are you just trying to control something?

Joy: Because as I’m thinking about this, it doesn’t really harm me, but here’s a personal example. And you guys can walk me through this, and I know my neighbor doesn’t listen to this podcast. They have about a million cars parked in their driveway. I’m not kidding, a million. 

Claire: Not exaggerated at all.

Joy: The other day, another one pulled up and it was broken down. It’s one of those things where I’m like, how many freaking cars can you have in your freaking driveway? Scott and I complained about it for a minute. And then I was like, “Is it hurting us?” 

Bree: Does it matter?

Joy: Does it matter? No.

Bree: It’s your neighbor’s drive. Whatever, you know. I’m that neighbor. We park on our lawn. We are those people.

Joy: But you know, cars all over where I’m like, “I can’t even back out now.” I’m just like, whatever. You know what, this does not affect my daily life other than it’s an eye sore.

Bree: No. And next time you see your neighbor, say, “Hey. What’s up, man? How’s it going” And then –

Claire: Yeah, we had that exact situation. Come to find out, our next-door neighbor works at the car dealership across the street, and that’s why –

Joy: He’s working on cars.

Claire: Next thing you know, my husband’s sister needs a car. He sells it to her for a great price.

Joy: So good. Which is funny because my dad’s a mechanic. Growing up, we had cars in our driveway.

Claire: Seriously Joy, you should empathize with the situation.

Bree: Yeah, remember. See, now you have to step back and go, I have been this person. I am that neighbor. I was that neighbor. My parents parked their cars on the lawn.

Joy: We were all that neighbor. Yeah, they probably complain about something we do too. So we’re all guilty of some crap.

Claire: Alright tell us a little bit more – I’m going to [sound] all the way to the beginning of the episode. That was me rewinding by the way. I need to work on my sound effects, it’s fine.

Bree: I know what rewinding it. I’m old enough, so at least –

Claire: Oh my gosh, quick tangent. I have a five-year-old. Yesterday we were watching Home Alone. It’s his favorite movie, just watching people get smashed. And he was like, “Why are they doing that move with their shoulders to get the window to go down?” And he was referring to cranking. He was like, “Why are their shoulders moving up and down like that?” And I was like, “Oh, wow.” 

Joy: Oh no. Actually using a handle.

Claire: Yeah, he didn’t even know how to describe it. He was like, “Yeah, there’s just so much going on.”

Bree: Yeah, those don’t really exist anymore.

Claire: No. If you’re five. He’s only ever been in two or three cars in his life. He barely is allowed to use the window button. Anyway, all that to say.

Joy: Adorable.

Claire: Tell us more about your band.

Bree: I was in a band – I think we started in 2009 until 2013. I was in a band called Night of Joy. We were kind of a heavy sludge punk band. I played bass guitar. I played bass my whole life. I haven’t played in many years. My husband is a touring musician, sound engineer. That’s actually one of our cute little stories. We met because I interviewed him for a story about a music festival he was putting on. We just really had a nice conversation. And then a couple of weeks later, he was like, “Does your band want to play this show with my band?” And I was like, “Yeah, sure, that sounds fun.”

Joy: That’s a cute way to start dating. “Does your band want to hook up with my band?”

Bree: Yeah. So we played a show together, and then we went on an official date to an art opening. And the rest is history. Yeah, I mean, I was in that band for like five-ish years. And then we broke up and – bands are kind of like relationships for me. There’s a lot of time between them. It was probably eight years or something between that band and my previous band, which was called The Hot House. And I love playing. I love playing music, but I also I found that I loved even more putting on shows and facilitating other people’s art. So in 2009, I co-founded a music festival here called Titwrench. It was all women to begin with, and then we expanded.

Joy: That is a great name.

Bree: Yeah. It’s a great name until you realize they can’t say it on Indie 102.3.

Claire: [laughing]

Joy: That’s true.

Bree: Now they can. They couldn’t when we started.

Joy: Could you go on 9NEWS and promote that?

Bree: That was part of the push and pull of it was we’re so –

Claire: Right, you’re so edgy.

Joy: We’re so edgy, we don’t need you.

Bree: Yeah. But it turned out to be this incredible experience over the last decade of putting on an annual festival every year that celebrates marginalized voices, people that don’t normally play music festivals or arts festivals. I mean, we had women performing for the first time in their lives in front of other people. That was the whole purpose was just anybody can do this. It was through that experience that I also got involved with the community because I was helping create this space for people to come and perform, and it was so much fun. So I would say I’m a musician, but first and foremost I’m sort of a facilitator of other people’s art. I love getting people together so say like, “You’ve got to check this band out or this performance out. It’s going to blow your mind.” You know.

Joy: Bree, I think we all need to get together and do that for podcasts in some capacity.

Bree: Seriously.

Joy: New project. Okay, last tangent here is for listeners who are always messaging us about their favorite things in Denver. What are some places off the top of your head that are your favorite places to go. Either music venues or any type of art exhibits obviously. The Denver Center’s great.

Claire: Pre and in COVID.

Joy: Yeah. So food places, favorite ice cream, those types of things. Go-tos.

Bree: My go-tos for restaurants. El Noa Noa is my favorite Denver Mexican restaurant. It’s on Santa Fe and 7th. They have the best patio too. So if you want to eat outside, which right now seems like the best, safest way, they’ve got a gorgeous patio. They are just Den-Mex, you know. Smothered burritos, platters, all kinds of things. They are my favorite. El Noa Noa. They’re across the street from Su Teatro, which is one of the oldest Chicano theaters in the country in terms of it started during the Chicano Civil Rights Movement in America, and it’s still going today. I think they’ve been around for 40 years, and they do original plays. A lot of it is about the Chicano experience in Denver, as well as global experiences for the Chicano and Mexicano diaspora. They do wonderful programming. I just love to support them too because they’re an independent theatre. And then music, let’s see, music venues. I love the Oriental Theatre. I love the guys that run the Oriental Theatre. 

Joy: I live right by the Oriental. Love it, it’s the best.

Bree: It’s a wonderful space. It’s one of those cool venues that’s not – it’s an independently owned venue, and it’s large. 

Joy: It’s a huge space.

Bree: Yeah, they can host really big acts.

Joy: I saw the Fleet Foxes there. It was so cool.

Bree: Oh wow. Wow, that’s amazing. 

Joy: Really cool bands. 

Bree: Yeah, you can see incredible national acts but also they do a lot with the local music scene here in Denver. It’s so weird because, like I said, my husband, music is what he does for a living. And for the last year, we haven’t been able to do any of that.

Joy: Yeah, so you’re like, “What do we do? What is socializing? What is going out?” Totally.

Bree: What are my favorite venues? I don’t remember.

Joy: I mean, Red Rocks, everyone has to go to Red Rocks. If you want to see a great show, if your favorite band is – or even any band to be honest – is going to Red Rocks, go to Red Rocks.

Claire: I once saw Flight of the Concords at Red Rocks, and it was terrible.

Joy: Why?

Bree: My husband said that was the most packed he’s ever seen Red Rocks.

Joy: Oh, was it too packed?

Claire: No, I don’t think that’s what it was. I mean, yes, every show I’ve ever been at is packed at Red Rocks. I’m a mainstream music person. But the thing that was weird about it was that it felt like it was a skit. The whole show was like a skit.

Joy: Oh, then that’s not a great show to see. 

Claire: That’s what I’m saying. You can’t just see anything. It felt like –

Joy: Yeah, see a band that’s not a skit. I saw Bjork there. It was great. Bjork was like the best. Cold Play. We’ve seen everyone there.

Claire: What’s your favorite show you’ve seen in Denver, Bree?

Bree: Oh, I couldn’t even – it’s so funny because I’m kind of a Red Rocks hater because I got to be so snobby about it as a reporter that I got to cover so many shows there that I don’t want to deal with the parking and I don’t want to deal with the weather. But I’ve seen Beck there a few times, and he’s been incredible. Flying Lotus was incredible. Anybody that can utilize that stage, you know what I mean, as a piece of their show and not just show up and perform, who really gets it.

Joy: Who gets the venue. 

Bree: It’s a beautiful space. I absolutely take it for granted. I was trying to even remember what the last show was that I saw before the pandemic hit because most of my social life is live music. So the Mercury Cafe, for instance, is one of my favorite places to see shows. Their small room on the first floor Jungle Room, I see a lot of local musicians there. It’s a really intimate space. But then upstairs is their more auditorium style space, and it’s even cooler to see stuff there because there’s Christmas lights everywhere. It’s just a beautiful experience. And the Mercury Cafe has delicious food, so I always want to give them a shout out.

Joy: I spent a New Year’s Eve there. What’s the Denver band that always plays?

Bree: It’s probably – it’s not DeVotchKa. 

Joy: It’s DeVotchKa. They played New Year’s Eve.

Bree: They’re the perfect kind of band for that.

Joy: Forever ago at Mercury Cafe, it was great.

Bree: Yeah, they’re the perfect kind of band for that place.

Joy: So fun. 

Bree: My other favorite restaurants I would say. Kokoro, which is fast casual Japanese food on Colorado Boulevard. It’s in a little strip mall next to a Dairy Queen.

Joy: Which is the best location. Like, that’s what you need for the best food.

Bree: Some of Denver’s best food is in strip malls.

Claire: I feel like some of the world’s best food.

Bree: Yes. You’ve got to do a little bit more digging to find them sometimes. But Kokoro’s been around for probably 30 years. They were doing teriyaki bowls before that was popular. They do sushi. And it’s really affordable, and it’s just delicious every time. Consistency. It’s perfect every time. And in that same strip mall is my favorite 80’s-ish looking steakhouse piano bar, Poppies. And if you want Sunday prime rib, Poppies is the spot.

Joy: See, I’ve never been to any of these.

Claire: Never in my life.

Joy: I have a list of things to do.

Claire: I’ve never even heard of a Sunday prime rib piano bar. Those are a lot of things –

Joy: 80’s.

Claire: 80’s. 

Bree: It just has this 80’s fancy vibe to it, which I really love. But you can go in there in your Colorado, you know –

Claire: Right. Colorado doesn’t have fancy.

Bree: Yeah, we don’t do fancy very well, so you can walk in there wearing a North Face jacket. They don’t care. But the food is delicious. The lighting is dim. It’s my favorite. The food is delicious.

Claire: Like it you could still smoke indoors, it would be very smoky?

Bree: Yes, it’s exactly, like the vibe is that kind of place. They serve rice pilaf and shrimp scampi and stuff like that. But it’s so, so good. And it’s my family’s go-to, other than Racines, which is closed.

Joy: Oh, Racines shut down, I know. I love that place.

Bree: I know, that was my family’s spot for years.

Joy: Okay, what about – do you like Sweet Action? Colorado’s got some good kitschy ice cream places.

Bree: I was on another podcast where they asked me about ice cream and I felt so bad because I was like I love Sweet Action because they allow you to get a tiny taste and you don’t have to – like, I don’t want a kids’ size. I just want a scoop. I want a little scoop. But they have so many different flavors, and I’ve always found their staff to be super nice.

Joy: So nice.

Bree: And they have a cool spot. It’s one of those nice summertime things when you can hang out on South Broadway and just get some ice cream.

Joy: South Broadway’s so fun. 

Bree: Wonderful, wonderful places around there. My friends that run Mutiny Information Cafe, Hope Tank. They’re business owners too that just love the city. So that’s another thing too. If you want to get involved in the city, go hand out in the Information Cafe. Stop into Hope Tank. Erica will tell you about some issue that she’s working on currently. They are super involved in the community as business owners, which I think is special that we have people that care that much. But yeah, I think South Broadway’s gotten a little weird. The problem is when somewhere gets really popular. It gets a little bit weird. But there’s still really wonderful places on South Broadway. I’m still a big fan.

Joy: What’s the music venue over there? We always would go there too.

Bree: Well there’s the Hi-Dive. 

Joy: Yes.

Bree: I was at the opening night of the Hi-Dive I think in 2003.

Joy: No way, that’s so cool.

Bree: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs DJ’d. 

Joy: Oh my God.

Bree: It was really cool.

Joy: That is so cool.

Bree: It was a cool moment to be there. I played a lot of shows there early on when they first opened.

Joy: Why wasn’t I friends with you back then?

Bree: Because I was a drunk, and I don’t drink anymore. So I’m a much nicer person now.

Joy: You were too cool for me.

Bree: I’ve been kicked out of Sputnik on the same night that I had to play at the Hi-Dive, and they used to be owned by the same people so I had to kindly beg them to let me in.

Joy: You get a pass, Bree. That’s another podcast episode. 

Bree: I love the Hi-Dive, and I always want to give them props because they’re an independent venue run by musicians who work really, really hard to keep that venue running an operational for all sorts of musicians, local and national, to come through. They’ve done wonderful. The Hi-Dive’s wonderful.

Claire: I feel like it also says so much about you that it’s 5 o’clock and you’re currently drinking coffee.

Bree: I’m real pregnant.

Claire: And you’re – wow.

Bree: I’m drinking decaf.

Claire: I mean, I don’t care about that.

Joy: She knows what’s up.

Claire: The whole caffeine pregnancy thing, that’s not what I’m commenting on.

Bree: It’s whatever.

Claire: I’m commenting on the fact that it’s 5 o’clock, and you’re just chugging a venti iced coffee. 

Joy: Chugging a huge iced coffee, yeah. And your t-shirt says, “one tough mother.” It’s so great. I love Bree.

Bree: I joke it’s the only shirt I bought that’s like, if it isn’t obvious I’m pregnant, here’s a shirt that says it. You know?

Claire: If you just think that I’ve been eating a ton of tacos lately, so many tacos.

Bree: And I’m not 7 1/2 months pregnant. Coffee was my first word as a kid. I love coffee. 

Claire: Oh, that’s hilarious.

Bree: I love it. But being pregnant, all I want is coffee-flavored anything.

Claire: That’s amazing.

Joy: Coffee-flavored anything. That’s a cool thing to crave.

Claire: I wish I was a person who could drink coffee all day and all night. And if I drink coffee after noon, I just don’t ever sleep again.

Bree: I’m learning that.

Claire: So I have two kids, and when my five-year-old was born, it was right when Chameleon Cold-Brew first was invented. But since I hadn’t slept…

Joy: Oh no.

Claire: I didn’t read the bottle, so I didn’t know it was a concentrate, so I just drank it. Like a lot of it.

Bree: Goodness.

Claire: For days. And then Miles stopped sleeping. So then I would just drink more of it. And finally someone came over and they were like, “Claire, you’re supposed to dilute this.” And I was like, “What? No.” And they were like, “You’ve just been shooting coffee.” 

Joy: Wasn’t your head buzzing?

Claire: No, because I wasn’t sleeping.

Joy: Yeah, you were just so tired.

Claire: And I was just like, this is how I feel now. And somebody was like, “You’re turning your breast milk into a latte. That’s what’s happening here.” Oh.

Joy: Miles just lives at Starbucks now. 

Claire: Yeah. Because then he wasn’t sleeping. I was like, what’s the deal. So he wasn’t sleeping, so I was drinking more, so then he wasn’t sleeping and I was drinking more. And it just created this horrible feedback loop. 

Bree: You created a whole cycle. That is a good thing to know about.

Claire: No one told me that could happen, so I’m just telling you as someone who is maybe at risk of turning breast milk into a latte one day. 

Bree: I didn’t think about that transference.

Claire: Also, I have another story about caffeine that I’ll save for another day where basically I drank an entire giant cup of espresso on my first day of work at a new job. 

Bree: I bet you really impressed everybody.

Claire: I just didn’t understand the coffee maker, and I just kept hitting the espresso button. I just thought it was almost out because it only gave me like a little drop every time, so I just kept pushing it.

Joy: Oh, so you had like ten espressos. 

Claire: So then I was sitting there. But it’s the first day at work, so everyone’s coming over to meet me and I’m like [jittery sound]. Everyone’s like, “Hi, Claire,”

Joy: Oh my –

Claire: [jittery sounds] I said I was going to save that story, but I didn’t save it. That’s the story.

Joy: I want to tell mine now. Mine was at a CrossFit competition that I ate – this was forever ago. I feel like Claire was there. Someone gave me a bag of espresso beans, like chocolate covered espresso beans. And I stated eating them like they were chocolate covered almonds, and it was a big mistake. My brain was buzzing. I had so much caffeine in me. It’s not a good look.

Bree: Because you also don’t think – I mean, can you get the same as from coffee beans? No. Yes, you can.

Joy: Yes, you can. You sure can. And it really hurts. It was like that part of caffeine high where it’s the point of no return and you’re like, I just have to ride this out, and it feels really bad.

Bree: You’re like, I feel like garbage, and this is the worst place to feel like garbage.

Joy: Yeah, totally. 

Claire: Okay, so I have one last very unrelated question. And let me tell you the tiny backstory on this. I have a friend named Heather, who we talk on the podcast a lot because she’s my only friend that I see that’s not Joy. And I really think that you and Heather would get along because you just would. 

Joy: We’re doing a friend match. Friend match.

Claire: So I just was texting her a little bit on the side. I was like, “We’re interviewing this woman. You would really like her.” And she said, “What’s her answer to this question – are hot dogs a sandwich?” 

Bree: Oh. Well I will, hmm. I will say I’m a hot dog person, and I know you’re not supposed to eat hot dogs when you’re pregnant.

Claire: We won’t rat you out. It’s okay.

Bree: Okay. I’ll just rat myself out.

Claire: At some point in your past, you’ve eaten hot dogs and really loved them.

Bree: I was like, I have a very lovely friend named Keith who I get to drive me to Sonic for a footlong hotdog every once in a while.

Claire: Wow.

Joy: That’s great. Keith is a good friend.

Bree: He’s a very good friend.

Claire: Have you ever been to Mustard’s Last Stand? 

Bree: Of course.

Joy: I love Mustard’s Last Stand. That was a missed gem. Mustard’s Last Stand near DU.

Bree: Their fries are good. The whole situation in there is good. I’m an ambiance person, and it’s just –

Claire: Very classic hot dog stand.

Bree: I do love Mustard’s Last Stand. I would count it as a sandwich because it’s meat between two pieces of bread that are just connected. 

Joy: They just have to be connected.

Bree: And I will also eat a hotdog from anywhere. I’ll eat them from a gas station, I don’t care.

Joy: DQ, even?

Bree: Yeah.

Joy: Okay.

Bree: Totally.

Joy: Alright. I had a grad school friend that would go two DQ hotdogs in one sitting. 

Bree: I would do that.

Joy: Dang. Much respect. I also feel like Donna would love you, Bree. You have so many people in my mind where I’m like we just need to all have a big friend group now.

Claire: Alright. Well, this was fantastic to chat with you.

Joy: This was great.

Bree: Thank you.

Claire: Tell everyone where they can find your new podcast and all of your things.

Bree: If you go to, you can hear our podcast. You can sign up for our newsletter. We have a lovely newsletter written by my colleague Peyton Garcia. She’s got a different voice and style than I do. So the podcast is more me, and the newsletter is more her. We give different information on Denver every day. The newsletter comes out to your inbox at 6am. We go live Monday-Friday starting the first week of April, you can find City Cast Denver wherever you get your podcasts. We’re on every platform. But you can also just find us online. will take you to all of those places. And we would love it if you would subscribe and listen because that’s how podcasts get made.

Claire: And we will of course link to that in the show notes as well.

Bree: Thank you. I mean, I appreciate you guys having me on too.

Claire: Yeah, this was great.

Joy: This was a great conversation. I want to do this again. So fun to talk about Denver.

Bree: You guys are so good at it.

Joy: And talk about how to get involved in your community, and the audience will really appreciate it.

Bree: I hope so.

Joy: Yeah.

Bree: I hope so. Thank you so much for having me. This has been wonderful.

Joy: Of course. And listeners, you know where to find us. Joy and Claire, This is Joy and Claire. You have to Google it. Do we really need to keep saying where to find us? Is that how you end a podcast?

Claire: If you’re listening, you’ve already found us. So tell someone else about us.

Joy: Please share. Rate. Rating is a thing. To find us, you just need to keep rating. Click the five stars, leave a review, even if it’s a word that says, “Great.” Counts.

Bree: We love it. It’s helpful. 

Joy: It really is. It really is. Alright, thank you guys for listening. Talk to you next week.

Claire: Bye.

Joy: Bye.

The 90’s memory lane, Delia’s, Joy’s favorite Avon mascara, Claire’s overnight getaway, life post-quarantine, and more Joe Rogan/Mat Fraser episode recap.


instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 67: Thanks Mr. Mason

Episode Date: March 25, 2021, 2020

Audio Length: 50:14 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Wayne’s World.

Claire: Oh my gosh, if only.

Joy: What did you think of their Super Bowl commercial? Did you watch that?

Claire: No, I did not.

Joy: It was just a really cute Wayne’s World commercial. It’s like you have that nostalgia from watching Wayne’s World for the first time, but obviously they’re a lot older and you’re like, wow, they’re so much older.

Claire: They are getting quite old.

Joy: You are very aware of your age when you’re like, I remember watching that movie. You were a lot younger, so this was a very different experience for me. I believe it was 7th grade when this movie came out for me, so you would have been a little tiny kid. 

Claire: I’m looking to see what year it came out, the original.

Joy: Yeah. Because I remember, this was such a big deal. I didn’t have cable growing up, so I didn’t get to watch anything on cable. Obviously, this was an SNL skit, but I didn’t watch a lot of SNL. I didn’t really get to see all of the fun shows growing up, but when Wayne’s World came out, the movie came out, it was such a big deal that I remember going – this would never happen today – but I remember going to the theatre and sitting on the floor because there were no chairs.

Claire: Oh my gosh.

Joy: Somehow, they oversold, and we watched Wayne’s World just sitting on the floor. It was so funny.

Claire: That sounds amazing. It came out in 1992. I was 4 years old for most of 1992. 

Joy: Yeah, that would be right when I started 7th grade… maybe 8th grade. Anyway.

Claire: I watched Wayne’s World a lot as a kid. It was my favorite movie in my teenage years and in college, so I’ve seen it so many times. I absolutely love it.

Joy: The reason why we opened with that is before we started recording, we were doing the 3-2-1-point thing where he… it’s on Wayne’s World. You guys know what I’m talking about?

Claire: I hope you do. If not –

Joy: 3-2-1…

Claire: Guys, you’re nodding. “If Benjamin was an ice cream flavor, he’d be pralines and dick.”

Joy: And dick.

Claire: That’s one of my favorite lines. Such a good one. “Benjamin is nobody’s friend.”

Joy: My gosh. So you watched that as a kid, or you were older?

Claire: When I got a little older. I was really little when it came out. Then it’s moment kind of came back around when I was in high school.

Joy: I really appreciate movies that have that return of popularity. I wonder if the younger generation, were you really into Tommy Boy when that came out? Because you were probably younger for that too. 

Claire: Tommy Boy was my age group. I was a little young for that, but I was old enough for all the boys in my late elementary school class to be doing it.

Joy: I think I said this before. My friends in high school worked at a movie theatre. I kid you not, every weekend when the theatres closed, we would get to go into the theatre all by ourselves, and we would watch Tommy Boy. So I think I watched that movie about a hundred times the year of 1995.

Claire: That’s an amazing memory.

Joy: It’s a great memory. It’s a great memory. 

Claire: My twin brother and I always watched movies that were way too old for us because my half-brothers are 7 and 10 years older and they would always babysit us. We also were always watching movies that were probably not age appropriate whatsoever. But my parents, they probably just weren’t paying attention. I definitely feel like Mike Myers in particular, and I guess Dana Carvey. You see pictures of him now and you’re like, you’re definitely getting older.

Joy: Yeah, and Tia Carrere. What was her name? She was just amazing. Everyone was so –

Claire: I just think it’s like when you have those iconic characters in your mind, it can be so shocking when you see a celebrity in real life and you’re like, “Wait a minute, you don’t look the way you did in 1992.” 

Joy: Yes, it’s like burned in your memory.

Claire: It’s like when you see a kid that you knew as a baby and then you see them in high school and you’re like no, no, no, no, no.

Joy: And I think Tia Carrere – I’m switching the conversation slightly to body image because I remember – you know at that age, you’re just not aware of – I should say my age in 1992, that was 7th/8th grade for me. Being aware of this bombshell body and being like, how do you get a body like that? I thought somehow you could get a body like that. You could grow those boobs.

Claire: You could just send in a postcard for it, and it would arrive in the mail.

Joy: Eventually I could look like that in a dress, and that is just kind of where things all go wrong in our thinking. No, no, no, that’s not how it works. That’s not how biology works. You are going to have larger shoulders, and that’s okay, Joy.

Claire: I remember thinking that about wanting black hair. The only reason is because I had a catalog, and the girl that had this outfit on that I really liked had black hair. And I was like, well I want to look like that. I want black hair.

Joy: Exactly like her.

Claire: I told my mom, “I want black hair.” And she was like, “You can’t just have black hair.” I was like, “Why not?” 

Joy: Well you could look like Gwen Stefani.

Claire: I vividly remember this conversation, and I probably was 7. That was the first time that I was like, “I want to look like that person.” Like people just choose, right? I can just decide, that’s how I want to look.

Joy: And yeah, that’s where we start the comparison trap. I want to look like that. I want to look like Gwen Stefani with my microbuns.

Claire: Yeah, exactly. That one though was clearly attainable, and I nailed it. So I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Joy: I think you posted a picture of that one year, didn’t you?

Claire: Recently, I reposted it on our Instagram stories. 

Joy: So good, so good.

Claire: It was a good one.

Joy: How did your friends react when that look happened?

Claire: They thought it was so cool.

Joy: Of course they did.

Claire: I don’t know, somebody who knew me in middle school is probably like, “No Claire, we did not think you were cool. We knew that we just had to let it happen.” I don’t remember any negative feedback whatsoever from anybody about my microbuns and my rhinestone Hindi cultural appropriation beads all over my face.

Joy: You were too young to know better. Now you know better. Could you imagine doing that now? Oh my gosh.

Claire: No, I literally cannot. I cannot imagine Gwen Stefani doing it either. It was a whole thing. But yeah, looking back, I feel like that’s the beauty of middle school. For me, at least, I didn’t start to care quite as much what other people thought. But for the most part, I was like, “This looks awesome. No one can tell me otherwise.”

Joy: I would love to time travel back to meet that Claire.

Claire: I mean, I don’t feel like I’m that different. Other than the fact that I just don’t have that [00:06:51.00] longed in my hair in the morning. It’s not that I care more about what other people think. It’s that I personally care less about spending that much time on my hair.

Joy: That’s fair. That was a good memory lane trip. Do you remember dELiA*s? Did you get the magazine dELiA*s?

Claire: I was obsessed with dELiA*s.

Joy: Were you really?

Claire: I feel like dELiA*s might even have been a little late for you.

Joy: It was late. It was when I was in college, when I was just on the end of being like I don’t know if I could pull of that look. But I was still young enough to be interested.

Claire: It was late middle school or early high school for me. I was prime –

Joy: Perfect demographic.

Claire: Prime dELiA*s. dELiA*s, and there was one other one and I’m blanking. Alloy?

Joy: Yeah. If people don’t know what we’re talking about, it was a magazine where you could just – this was pre-internet.

Claire: It was a catalog.

Joy: Yeah, it was a catalog of cute fashion. Think Reality Bites. Reality Bites is like the exact magazine catalog.

Claire: It was so unbelievably 90’s. Everything about it. Bucket hats, bell bottoms, the Dill tankinis. I loved dELiA*s so much. And there was another one called Alloy that I also loved that is apparently not around anymore. I just Googled it. It’s less iconic than dELiA*s.

Joy: Wow, those are the platform –

Claire: Yes.

Joy: Dang.

Claire: All I wanted was those platform Steve Madden candles.

Joy: Okay, I had those platform Steve –

Claire: Everyone had those sandals.

Joy: They were the slides, and they were all platform. There wasn’t heal. It was just flat as a pancake.

Claire: Just straight up platform. You were just walking on a 3.5” wedge of plastic everywhere you went. Not a wedge.

Joy: Not a wedge, just a platform. Oh my God, dELiA*s. So good. So good. And the makeup, I think that’s where I got my glitter obsession. And the chokers.

Claire: Yes.

Joy: It’s so good, oh my gosh.

Claire: I also remember the first time I ever went big on eye shadow. I bought it at the Icing, which was the cooler spin off brand from Claire’s for the sophisticated tween. And I had this frosty blue eyeshadow, and I remember just putting it everywhere. My friend came over, and I opened the door in my frosty blue eye shadow, and she was like, “Claire, you’re wearing way too much eye shadow.” This is the first time that had ever happened. I was like, “Shut up, Jessica, you don’t know.”

Joy: You don’t know me and my talents.

Claire: You don’t know me and my frosty blue eye shadow. 

Joy: It’s so good.

Claire: You weren’t supposed to notice somehow.

Joy: Do you remember your first makeup?

Claire: I mean, that had to be up there.

Joy: I’ll never forget. Did you need permission from your parents to wear makeup.

Claire: No, that’s the other thing. So you have to remember, I have –

Joy: A lot of siblings. 

Claire: So many siblings, and by far I was the most well-behaved one. So I think my parents were like, –

Joy: She’s good.

Claire: Anything that I was doing was so low on the priority list to manage that my parents did not care what I wore… they didn’t have any –

Joy: Hence the microbuns. 

Claire: Hence the microbuns. They didn’t care what I wore. They didn’t care if I wore makeup or not. They didn’t care what I did with my hair. Every once in a while, I’d call my mom from the mall because I needed – my mom would just give me a blank check to go to the mall.

Joy: [gasping]

Claire: Let me get something straight. For a single item. To go buy a t-shirt at Lucky or something.

Joy: Oh, I was like, [laughing]

Claire: Because one blank check, you can only check out of one store, right?

Joy: That’s fair. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Claire: So I’d go buy the Tommy Hilfiger t-shirt at Lucky that says Tommy Girl on it.

Joy: Oh my gosh, yeah.

Claire: But they just didn’t care at all. Never in my life did I have to ask permission for that type of thing.

Joy: See, I was kind of the same way. My parents really trusted my brother and I, but there was definitely a moment where my mom got me makeup for Valentine’s Day when I was in 8th grade from Avon.

Claire: Love it.

Joy: Got to love it. It was really great because she got me the best mascara and blush. It was kind of this blessing of, “You can wear makeup now.” So I totally remember that. I was so excited. I thought that was the cutest thing. It still warms my heart thinking that when she got me this makeup bag for Valentine’s Day. 

Claire: That’s so cute. 

Joy: I can finally wear makeup. Which, by the way, Avon – I don’t know if they still have it. Anyone out there, please tell me. Or you know what, I can easily Google this. Avon used to have the best mascara. It was called Wash Off Water Proof. It was the best mascara because it was kind of like the tubing stuff, but not the tubes that are super tubey.

Claire: You can still buy it for the fair price of $10.

Joy: It’s still on Avon?

Claire:, Wash Off Water Proof, $10.

Joy: It’s the best mascara.

Claire: It has 2,500 reviews.

Joy: It is so easy to take off. I’m not kidding, I loved it. I wore it all through college. I would always order it through Avon. Little known secret, the best mascara. Avon Wash Off Water Proof.

Claire: You should get it and see if it holds up to your current day –

Joy: I really should. I’m going to write that down.

Claire: I’m going to text you this link right now.

Joy: Okay. I’m so excited. I love that I crowd source things and then I’m like, “I could just Google that.”

Claire: I know.

Joy: As we’re recording, it’s hard to Google and talk at the same time. But that was really fun when I got to wear makeup for the first time. I don’t remember – I was really, really conservative with my clothing. And especially because I went to a pretty conservative high school where people didn’t wear booty shorts. I guess we did for cheer and stuff. But you know, in Arizona you’re always wearing shorts so it’s not a big deal to be wearing shorts. But I never wore crop tops or even bikinis. I was really weird about wearing a bikini as a kid and even as a teenager. So one pieces were my comfort zone. I guess this is where I show my age where it’s like, kids these days, they’re just posting naked selfies of themselves on the internet. I’m so glad I’m not a kid right not.

Claire: I’m so glad the internet was not around when I was that age.

Joy: So glad. So glad. But you know what, I’m sure the generation before us said the same thing about something where they’re like, “I’m so glad that this wasn’t around when I was a kid.”

Claire: Three-way calling.

Joy: [laughing] I just survived my three-way call attack.

Claire: Oh my goodness.

Joy: So wait. I have a question. This came up the other day where it’s like, I don’t know if I should air this on the podcast – but did you ever steal anything, or did you do any kind of criminal activity as a kid?

Claire: No, honestly, I didn’t. And I feel like-

Joy: Like a rebellious phase or anything.

Claire: This is like in Miss Congeniality. “I did. I stole red panties. My mom wouldn’t let me have them. She said they were Satan’s panties.” That’s not real. That’s not a story from my childhood. That’s from Miss Congeniality, in case anyone doesn’t know what I’m talking about.

Joy: Yes. Any law enforcement listening.

Claire: And he’s like, “Why does that sound familiar?” No, I didn’t. And I think it was a combination of – I don’t know, I never had a rebellious streak. I never felt like I had anything to prove. I think it’s because I just watched all my siblings just be a giant mess all the time, and I was like, I don’t need to be a giant mess. They are being a giant mess for me. I do remember one time when I was in middle school – this is hysterical to think about this. It might even have been late elementary school. My best friend Nichole Koch whose last name is spelled like my current-day last name except pronounced “Cotch.” In case anyone out there doesn’t know this, my last name is pronounced “Cook.” But because she was my best friend growing up and her last name was pronounced “Cotch,” it took me like ten years to pronounce my name correctly in my own head. I’d be like, “Claire Cotch, nope.” So she and I, I remember one time, we lived on opposite sides of the same neighborhood, and we went under this little walking bridge into this little concrete tunnel and just sat in there and just yelled curse words.

Joy: No way.

Claire: And I just remember thinking, we’re going to get down there and –

Joy: Someone’s going to hear us.

Claire: Yeah. And I’m sure even if you heard two girls hiding under a bridge yelling curse words and then giggling –

Joy: That’s the most adorable thing in the world, and I’d be like, “Can I join you? This is the cutest.”

Claire: I would text you and be like, “You’ll never guess what I just heard.” It was so cute I’m sure, but we thought we were just such rebels. That’s the closest thing I ever came to doing something rebellious. What about you?

Joy: Mom, if you’re listening… 

Claire: Joy, you’re 43 years old.

Joy: I know, I can’t disappoint my mom. I can’t disappoint my mom. She would just laugh at this. She has stories too. She always tells her stories of cruising Santa Monica boulevard because she grew up in LA, just hanging out with the softball team. Oh my gosh, it’s so cute how she talks about her rebellious streak. Anyway, so I have two. When I was in 6th grade, I started experimenting with curse words. Like, you know that time in your life when you’re just kind of experimenting with how it feels to be like, “Shit!” when you’re a kid.

Claire: Yes, that’s exactly why I hid under a bridge and screamed curse words.

Joy: Yes. You’re like, this is a new thing for me. Let’s be honest, being a kid and a teenager is the most fun thing in the world that you’re so wanting to be over. But part of me wants to be like, stay young, it’s so fun. But when I was in 6th grade, I would write letters. I’m sure they still do this. Please tell me they still do this. Like, pass notes back and forth with their friends.

Claire: It’s texting now. They text.

Joy: I know, but it makes me sad. Please write a note. I want to pass notes. So I was passing notes with my friend, Jennifer Whiting. We would write notes to each other that were filthy language, just to be rebellious. I don’t know what we were talking about, but it was just filthy language. I remember sitting in the lunch room and someone got the note. I guess she was passing the note or something, and I think the principal got a hold of it. I thought my life was over. Over. I was like, “That’s it. My life is over. I’m going to die.” And he called me into his office, Mr. Mason. He could not have been more kind. He was like, “I know you’re just experimenting at this age, but I just want you to know” – and I was just bawling. It was just the sweetest thing because I was crying and he was so compassionate, and I’ll never, ever forget that. He was understanding. “I know this is a time in your life when you’re experimenting.” He knew I was a good kid, and I was so upset. He was like, “If you need to, just walk the halls for a while.” Because in Arizona, everything’s outside.

Claire: Because you were sobbing hysterically.

Joy: Yeah. So I was walking the breezeway. “Just for the afternoon.” He’s like “Calm down. Get your breath. And then when you’re ready, you can go back to class.” I will never forget that kindness. He could easily have been like, “How dare you? You don’t use this language.” And I considered him kind of intimidating. He was a very tall-statured man that had a serious face. I thought, my life is over. He wasn’t going to be understanding, and I will never forget the kindness of that.

Claire: And here you were, couldn’t even speak through sobs. He was probably like, my gosh, this girl. Of all of the things, that is so funny. You were reacting like you’d just been caught with a locker full of drugs. 

Joy: Right. Like I’d murdered someone. Because the thought at that age too –

Claire: They just found a dead body in your locker. Nope, Joy wrote some cusswords.

Joy: Yeah. And at that age, too. You still have that carry over of not wanting to disappoint anybody. Or being seen as a bad kid. Or disappointing your parents. I’m like, “Oh my God, my mom’s going to kill me.” He never told my parents. I think I told my parents this story at some point. But he never called my parents, so I didn’t get in trouble at home. That was just so, so cute. And then I went through a phase in early college where I smoked cigarettes for a hot minute. It wasn’t a daily thing, but I definitely had the smoking at parties and hiding at my house sometimes. I’d go to the side of the house to go smoke outside my parents’ house, because I lived at home in college. And I’m like, how did my parents not know that I was smoking sporadically.

Claire: If you come inside from smoking a cigarette, your whole-body smells like cigarettes.

Joy: 100%. Smart Joy thinking, “I’m totally hiding this.” It was just really funny. But yeah, I don’t think I had a super rebellious streak. It’s really funny because I considered myself – man, even to this day, I am very much the sober person at the party. Not that I don’t drink, but even in college I had a rule that I wouldn’t drink during the week because I was like, “I have to get my schoolwork done” and I was so terrified of failing any classes. And I knew my parents were helping to pay for me to go to college that I was like, “There’s no way that I’m throwing this money away.” I was just so scared of not doing well in college, so I had this very strict rule with myself that if I had any grades slipping whatsoever that I would stop drinking completely.

Claire: Wow.

Joy: Yeah. Like, on the weekends when you would start drinking in college, it was almost like an every Friday and Saturday night thing. And I’ll never forget that. My rule is, if grades start dropping, I’m immediately shutting down the partying. And then the way that I made sense of that too was absolutely no partying during the week. So now, even in my 20’s, I think back and it’s so funny how I kind of carried that one because I never got totally wasted at parties, I was pretty under control, I always got home before midnight. My friends in my 20’s always called me Cinderella because I would always leave before midnight and never stayed up really, really late. Because I guess too, I hate the feeling of sleeping in late and being groggy the rest of the day. Like if I went to bed really, really late and I woke up super late, I would always feel like crap the rest of the day. Like if I had been drinking out that long. So it’s just so funny how these rules that I made up for myself that I was just like – and now I go to bed at like 8 o’clock. So I just really was – like sleigh ride to 40 is actually a real thing, and it starts in your 20’s.

Claire: So Joy and I were texting to day because I was trying to find a spare dose of a vaccine. We thought there might be one, so I was going to go ask. I was like, I’m not worried about getting the vaccine. I’m nervous about asking. Why can’t I be like, “Hi, do you have any spare vaccine doses?” And Joy was like, “Yeah, no I get it. I I’m such a rule follower, it would freak me out too.” I ended up asking. They didn’t have any. By the way, if anyone is worried about doing that, it was a very pleasant experience. They were very, very nice. “Oh yeah, go right through there and ask.” And the lady was like, “I’m so sorry, we don’t have any today, but always check back. Sometimes we’re looking.” So you know. All that –

Joy: Yeah, they’re always very nice. Even at the clinic I work at, people come by all the time. And it’s not a lot because most people have to have an appointment, but you just never know. It’s not to say swarm places asking for extras, but at this point we’re moving closer to where everyone is going to be eligible to get the vaccine. I think more places – I’m not speaking for every state, every facility – is looking to vaccinate people. So if they have extras, they want to put shots into arms.

Claire: All that to say that just the asking, I felt like I was breaking the rules.

Joy: It’s so scary, totally.

Claire: I was like, I don’t want them to think I’m being greedy. I don’t want them to think I’m being an ambulance chaser.

Joy: Yeah, absolutely. I totally get that. I still have a hard time asking for things if I feel like I’m overstepping boundaries or, I don’t know what it is but I get what you’re saying.

Claire: Right. You don’t want to be a bother.

Joy: Be a bother, yeah, for sure.

Claire: Honestly, how many of us have done that where we’ve kept ourselves from doing something that was totally benign because we didn’t want to be a bother.

Joy: Even something as simple at a restaurant as sending a plate back.

Claire: Have you ever sent a plate back?

Joy: Nope.

Claire: I haven’t either. My dad does it sometimes.

Joy: John Hay. Of course, John Hay. He’s like, “This croissant is not crispy.”

Claire: I would send something back. The only time I’ve ever sent something back, and this has maybe happened twice, is if truly they brought out the wrong thing.

Joy: Right, like the 100% wrong thing.

Claire: Right. Like, I ordered a burger and you just brought me a bowl of spaghetti. This is incorrect. But even if something comes out and it’s like, oh I wanted a certain type of cheese and it’s the wrong type of cheese, or I ordered a side salad and they brought me fries. I would just eat it.

Joy: Yep, yep. Something pretty minor. So right now the only time I think I would for sure send it back is if it had dairy on it. I can’t eat dairy right now. But other than that, I’m like, whatever, I’ll just eat this.

Claire: It’s fine. It’s not toxic.

Joy: it’s not going to kill you. Anyways, how was your date night? Tell us about Brandon’s birthday getaway.

Claire: Yeah. So this past weekend, so Brandon’s birthday was Pi Day, 3.14, March 14. And last weekend, we had a giant snow storm so we didn’t plan anything, so this weekend we went down and we stayed the night at the Crawford Hotel which is in Union Station in downtown Denver, and we went to Tavernetta, which is a really super delicious fancy restaurant that’s within a one-minute walk of Union Station.

Joy: Which is brilliant. I love that you did that.

Claire: And then, there’s a Snooze in Union Station, and if you stay at the hotel you can get room service Snooze.

Joy: That is so cool. I did not know that.

Claire: Literally, that was the main reason. Because I was looking at that hotel and a couple others in the area, and that hotel was a little bit more expensive. I was like, “I should stay at the other one, it’s not quite as expensive.” And I was like, “Yeah, but I can’t get Snooze room service in that one.” I don’t have to wait for Snooze, heck yes. I will, sign me up.

Joy: Everyone who doesn’t know, Snooze is such a popular breakfast joint in Denver.

Claire: And they have them in Colorado. They have a couple in Southern California.

Joy: Yeah, I think they started in SoCal. No, they started here, and then they moved to SoCal, right?

Claire: I think the other way around. But yeah, any time you go, unless you get there at 7 in the morning, it’s an hour wait.

Joy: Hour wait for sure. So getting room service from Snooze is [sigh]. And your photo looked like it was delicious. What’d you get? Eggs Benedict.

Claire: Okay, so I got the Eggs Benedict, but you can get two different types. They have like five types of Eggs Benedict. So you can get a half and half.

Joy: [gasps]

Claire: Right? I know. And then Brandon always gets the breakfast pot pie, which is this giant puff pastry boat filled with sausage gravy.

Joy: I love how Brandon can just eat all that and then an hour later he’s like, “I’m hungry.”

Claire: Yeah, and then we go downstairs to get coffee and he’s like, “Are you going to get a snack?” And I’m like, “No, I’m not going to get a snack. I just ate breakfast.”

Joy: I love his ability to just put down snacks.

Claire: Unbelievable amounts of food, that human. Miles also has to have a bedtime snack every night. I was texting one of my friends about it. He’ll have a whole banana and some crackers and cheese and some turkey. It’s not just, oh can I have a couple of bites of something.

Joy: A cookie or a cracker.

Claire: No, he eats a whole meal. And one of my friends, I was texting something about it. And she was like, “Of course your child needs a bedtime meal.” I was like, yeah, you got to get those calories in.

Joy: That’s Brandon’s child.

Claire: Brandon’s child. Hollow leg, as my grandma would say.

Joy: Hollow leg. So it was fun.

Claire: Yeah, we had a good time. I would recommend it. 

Joy: You would recommend which part?

Claire: I would recommend taking some time for yourself. I feel like after this past year, it’s hard to want to do that and it’s hard to feel like you deserve it. I feel like we all get into this, again, comparative suffering of well I’m not going to take time for myself because not everyone can take time for themselves and I don’t have it as bad as everyone else. This money should go towards anything else other than just taking care of yourselves. We were lucky enough that we had the funds to be able to do something like this. I highly recommend going and spend a whole – especially if you’re a parent, I feel like it’s been especially hard this year to justify taking time away from your kids. Also, it was the first time we had left Miles with my mom since before the pandemic. Because now she’s fully vaccinated, my stepdad is, and so is my grandpa. I posted about this on Instagram stories, but a lot of people were able to keep their parents in their bubble. Like I know you’ve been able to see your parents and stay with them a couple of times. 

Joy: Right, because they live in the middle of nowhere, yeah.

Claire: Right. And we just weren’t able to do that because Brandon’s job was so high risk for exposure, and my grandpa is so high risk for getting COVID. He’s 95. And then my own dad has a history of lung cancer, so we just weren’t able to see – and we live 40 minutes from my mom and 15 minutes from my dad. In normal times, we see them all the time. And especially my mom. She normally comes over every weekend.

Joy: I was going to say, you were seeing her at least once a week if not more.

Claire: At least once a week and sending the kids over there all the time. So to lose that so abruptly, I don’t think I realized how much I really missed it until all of the sudden we were able to bring Miles back over there, and I was like oh my gosh. They needed it too. 

Joy: For sure.

Claire: A big thing about a lot of kids this year is, especially somebody like Miles, he’s the older sibling. He used to go to school full time and now we barely even enrolled him in preschool at all this year. He really has gotten very little undivided attention, and that’s really hard for a kid that age. He needs undivided attention, and it’s so hard to give it to him when you also have a two-year-old in the picture. It was really awesome for him to get to stay with her. We didn’t send Evie over there because, first of all, we decided to keep her with Maxine – I’m so glad we have that option. But on the other side of that coin is that Evie hasn’t been out of the house in a year and I don’t think she would have slept in my mom’s house.

Joy: Yeah, that’s true.

Claire: Anyway.

Joy: I’m so glad Miles had that too because I know he and your mom have a special relationship too.

Claire: Yeah, they really do.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: So it was so nice, and a lot of people responded to my Instagram story and they were like, “This gives me so much hope.” A lot of other people were in that same boat where they’re really, really close with their parents and used to see them all the time, and then very abruptly just stopped being able to do that and haven’t seen them in a year. We are really almost there.

Joy: Yeah, we’re almost there. It made me think too about how only we can say what decision is best for our family and for ourselves. I think the only time I would say, “Um, don’t do that” is when I see huge crowds in Florida. Or even that news story in Boulder. I’m sure people didn’t see that nationally, but there was this huge story –

Claire: Student riot.

Joy: Huge student riot. Huge party and there’s tons of people in masked crowds. It’s kind of like, yeah, you probably shouldn’t do that. But the decisions that we make – and we’ve talked about this before about making decisions to travel in a pandemic and the judgement that comes with that. But at the end of the day, I do feel like people just need to make the decisions and hopefully they’re putting some thought into it. But I see now how hard it is to just make a simple decision where you used to just be like, “Oh yeah, let’s go on a trip.” Now we have to have this huge evaluation around it, which can be really hard, and weighting the pros and cons. But what I was thinking about lately as well is how hard it is. Two things. One, it’s really hard for me – any time I listen to a podcast or go back and listen to an old podcast, I realize that I can’t listen to anything pre-pandemic where it’s a live interview where they’re just talking about life and it’s just normal life. There’s something about that that really bothers me that I’m like, we had no idea what was coming. Kind of like that Marriage or Mortgage episode where they taped it right before the pandemic hit. That’s really hard for me because that’s just so far removed from that and it’s hard for me to not see life now without this huge pandemic that affected our lives. The second thing that’s been on my mind is how I am very scared, and I feel like a lot of people will relate to this. I’m very scared of when things go back to normal because I feel like I’m going to have this huge emotional letdown that I don’t think I know it coming. I could easily see myself being in a restaurant with my husband where people are around, and I’m going to be having dinner and just start crying. To be like, wow, this is so normal. I miss being in a crowd. I wouldn’t put it past me to go up to strangers at a table and be like, “Can I hug you?” I just want to hug strangers. “I’m sorry to interrupt. Can I hug you?” Those types of things. Now that we’re sort of seeing this move towards everyone being vaccinated – and I know there’s variants and there’s worry about that, but I think the collective sigh of relief is coming of being able to say we’re almost out of this pandemic and that we hope to be – I listened to Biden’s address a couple of weeks ago and he talked about being back to normal or at least being able to be with our loved ones on the 4th of July and being able to have that type of normalcy – feels like “Oh my gosh, we’re so excited,” but the emotion that will come with that I think is pretty heavy. And at least for me, I worry about that because I’m just like, oh my gosh, am I going to break down and lose my shit? Probably, and that’s okay.

Claire: I’m not a big emoter, and I still have felt that way. We dropped Miles off. I didn’t get emotional, but I definitely felt like this was a milestone. I wasn’t ready for this to feel so impactful. I remember when Brandon got vaccinated. I very well think that I might cry when I get vaccinated. I think that because we fell into this pandemic so abruptly, we didn’t have time to process the things that we were losing. And of course, a lot of us have had – I know I certainly have and you certainly have – these various moments throughout the past year when you have these little miniature breaking points. But I still don’t think that any of those have been a complete catharsis of all of these things that we lost. And I think part of that is not fully realizing what we lost until we get it back. Because it went away so quickly that I don’t think we really realize that that’s gone. And then when we get it back, it’s like I didn’t even realize how much I needed that. A great example is what I was talking about a couple weeks ago about being at CrossFit Roots for that first Open workout. The music was playing, there were people everywhere. It was still distanced. It still felt safe. But this energy, that Friday Night Lights energy. I had no idea how much I had missed this busy energy. And it really did almost feel emotion. Like, wow, I can’t believe that something like this that I knew that I enjoyed it, but I completely took it for granted. That being here and walking into this room. Hearing the music playing, hearing the barbells hitting the ground, hearing the X, Y, Z. 

Joy: Barbells hitting the ground.

Claire: Right? 

Joy: It’s the best sound.

Claire: It really is.

Joy: It’s the best sound, yeah.

Claire: So I don’t know, I think we’re all going to have those moments.

Joy: Yeah. I know that there was a time when we had that initial discussion about going back to normal and we’ve been through this whole year of disruption and upset and abnormally. I know this has changed all of us, and we will never be the same again. That’s not a bad thing necessarily, but I think now we can see that light that we’re moving towards of opening back up again and what that means and how we’re going to approach that. Some people just go back to normal, and that’s fine. I’m not one of those people. I think I’ll take a lot of emotion with it and just kind of being like, wow, what did we just go through. It’s almost like a loss too. We are just in survival mode. Survival mode in the sense that we’re just kind of moving forward because we just have to do what’s in front of us. Once we get out of that, it could really take a toll on some of us emotionally. Just be aware of that too.

Claire: I think these little pieces that come back, I think the other component of that is that when it did first go away, we kind of were all like, “Oh, it’s going to be a couple of weeks.” And then it’s just kind of that moving target this whole time. Oh well, by the fall it will be okay. Okay well, by the first of the year. Okay well… even I’m thinking this July 4th target, I don’t want to get myself thinking.

Joy: We don’t even want to get our hopes up.

Claire: Right. Because I think that’s part of what has made it so hard is being in the middle of it and truly not knowing what the deadline is. If you had told all of us, “Okay, a year from today you’re still going to be doing this,” I think we would have treated that whole first couple of weeks a lot differently. I was just seeing that this past weekend was the one-year anniversary of Tiger King coming out. It was like, this is the true pandemic anniversary. But guys, that feels like it happened a hundred years ago.

Joy: A hundred years ago. I mean, we got Cadet almost a year ago, coming up on a year in April, and that’s so crazy to think about just because she was truly our pandemic project. I was just like, “Oh my gosh, it’s so fun to have a puppy in quarantine. Just such a good distraction.” And I’ll never forget that too, but yeah, it feels like ages ago. Ages ago. And how a year ago, if you would have told us this, we would have been like, “Whatever. No way.” And it also probably would have really dampened our souls.

Claire: In a way, I’m glad we didn’t know that because I think it would have felt so much more intent of like, “Oh my gosh, you mean I’m not going to see my mom for a year,” that type of thing. But I just think that’s made it so much harder also.

Joy: Yeah. And I don’t want to get my hopes up either for July, but dare I say I trust this leadership and I don’t think they would put something out like that if they didn’t really know what the plan was. But as a side note, I want to circle back to something I said. The last episode was about being angry and that anger doesn’t help. And as I was thinking about that a little bit more, I was like actually anger helps a lot sometimes. And so you can turn anger into some productivity. Not to say that you should stay in your anger, but I took a lot of anger from 2020 about the administration and I was so, so angry and wanted to blame. I think, rightfully so, there’s times where you’re like, if you’re the freaking president of the United States, do something. There’s a level of anger around that that I think about a lot. You could argue, yes, Trump set all this stuff up so that Biden could put it into place. But I’m like, yeah, but I don’t think he would have had a plan like this. He just didn’t have it in him to be this organized and structured. He was too like, “Well, everybody gets to do what they want” type of thing. I’m like, you can’t do that in a pandemic. You can’t be that person in a pandemic. We need organization. I’m thinking a lot about how if I feel those angry feelings that I can turn that into something productive. Because I think there’s been a lot of times in my life too, especially as a woman, where you’re not supposed to be angry or you’re supposed to get rid of your anger or angry isn’t attractive or whatever the crap that is put on us said. I’m just like, no. If I need to be angry, I’m going to freaking be angry and at least turn that into some type of movement.

Claire: There was a thought. I had it, and it went away, and hopefully it will come back. I agree. I think anger, it’s also just the context.

Joy: So speaking of anger, can I play a snippet of the Joe Rogan episode. Are we allowed to do that? We can?

Claire: No, I don’t think we can. No.

Joy: Really?

Claire: No. That’s copyrighted material. All of our audio is copyrighted material.

Joy: Oh, dang it. Okay. So I will just briefly then review the second half of the Joe Rogan interview with Mat Fraser. I posted this on our stories. I posted this on our stories right after we recorded our episode from last week, so it wasn’t in last week’s episode. I had only listened to the first half of it. I promise guys, I will listen to whole things from now on. For some reason, I was just like, “Three hours, I can’t do it.” And Joe Rogan talked a little bit about – and I’m paraphrasing, so go back and listen to it. It’s about the two-hour mark, so if you just want to fast-forward two hours. First of all, I don’t like when people talk about their personal experience of having COVID when they are just dismissing it because for example, Mat Fraser’s like, “Yeah, I just had a cold and I was working out every day.” And I’m like, okay. So that is not everyone’s experience. It’s fine if you’re like, “Oh, it was fine. I got it and I healed, and I was fine.” But to just make it sound like it was this easy thing that you got over, that’s so anecdotal. And for you to have this huge platform, millions of listeners –

Claire: The way that they say it a lot of times is more like, “COVID as a whole is no big deal. I only got a head cold.”

Joy: Exactly, exactly. I think because I know that that is where they were coming from too, that made me very angry where I was like, stop making it sound like this passive things that thousands and thousands and hundreds of thousands of people died from COVID-19. Why are you being like, “I just got a cold, and I feel kind of tired but I was able to work out every day” made me just want to rage. And then the producer chimes in and was like, “Yeah, I didn’t really get sick either.” It’s like, okay fine, are we going to sit here and talk about COVID is no big deal. And then they kind of go into this weight stigma, fat shaming where they’re talking about people who are unhealthy. He made a comment that Mat Fraser didn’t get sick because he was so healthy. I’m like, well that’s false because plenty of people who are very healthy got COVID and died. And so they started talking about this health thing and how people who are unhealthy are more at risk. Are these facts? Where are you getting this information from? They kind of started going off on this tangent that I did not appreciate, especially with Joe Rogan being the huge platform that he is, that I’m like if you’re going to talk about COVID and if you’re going to make these statements when millions of people are listening, have your facts straight. That made me rage so bad, especially about the health stuff, about people who are overweight that need to lose weight in order to not die from COVID. These are all not facts. And not only that, I just feel like in and of itself, the Joe Rogan podcast really preaches that “thinspiration” –

Claire: Here’s the thing. I can already hear the rebuttals of, “Hey, the data shows that more people who are obese died from COVID than from other things.” I think that it’s so important to remember that obesity, which is nothing but a term to describe someone’s BMI does not inherently mean anything about their health. Yes, it can be more common to have obesity along with other comorbidities such as high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes. That being said, obesity in and of itself is not a predicator of almost anything that I can think of. Again, I’m not a medical encyclopedia, but we as a society have become so ingrained into automatically equating obesity with a lack of health and sickness and with being predisposed to all these things. There’s so much more to the story than that than to just say somebody is obese and therefore they’re bound to be unhealthy. The other thing that I found that was really interesting – and I haven’t seen research on this with COVID, but I did see research on this with H1N1 when COVID was first getting really bad. They went back in the data – because they were like, “See, we have this H1N1 data that people who are obese were more likely to die from H1N1.” When they corrected the data for medical bias, that obesity cause completely went away.

Joy: Oh, I believe that.

Claire: There are so many studies out there that show that doctors are less likely to take you seriously, less likely to prescribe you medication, less likely to treat you for the thing you’re there for and not try to treat you for being overweight. The medical system is incredibly biased against overweight people and obese people. I just needed a soapbox for a minute. Because I can hear people being like, “But Joy, the science is there.” That’s just my soapbox that we really need to consider the information that we’re given about weight bias towards really the way that it impacts any sort of data that we see because there’s so much of it everywhere in the medical system.

Joy: Oh yeah. There’s so much more than what we are being told or what patients are being told even. I highly recommend if you’re not already subscribed to the Maintenance Phase podcast. They’re so, so good. Michael Hobbs and Aubrey Gordon. She’s a writer. He also hosts You’re Wrong About, which is one of the top podcast right now. But they have such great conversations about wellness, weight loss, debunking, decoded. They originally were only going to five or six episodes, but it was so popular that they just kept going. Their conversations are just amazing, so highly, highly recommend. Just talking about fat stigma and a lot of really important things. They just did a whole podcast about Weight Watchers. I just really, really enjoy listening to those two, so that’s another good one. And then I can wrap up with my new favorite trash reality show.

Claire: Do you have anything else you wanted to say about Mat’s interview?

Joy: I think that was my main point, was just how I raged about how they talked flippantly – and I think that’s fine if you don’t have millions and millions of followers. I think you need to be a little more responsible about the messaging you put out.

Claire: I totally agree with you. If you’re going to have literally the most popular podcast in the world, you have to have a lot of integrity with what you say.

Joy: Yes. And maybe that’s just not who he is. I just feel like some of the interviews he’s done – 

Claire: I don’t care if it’s not who you are. If you have millions and millions of people who listen to you. That’s the one thing that does kind of drive me crazy a little bit about podcasts is that people who have – and I think about influencer culture as a whole – and we’ve talked about this with people who call themselves nutritionists or health coaches and have absolutely no training. People can have, unlike any other time in history, these huge, huge, huge platforms for information distribution without having any real information at all.

Joy: That’s true. That’s very fair.

Claire: And there’s no fact checking. There’s no journalistic integrity. If you’re a journalist and you knowingly disseminate false information, you are out of a job and no one’s going to hire you again.

Joy: This is very true. And then you end up with QAnon. This is how it happens is people being super irresponsible. I’m not comparing Joe Rogan to QAnon. Please do not send me hate mail. But I’m just saying that when he has a platform like that and I think sometimes he talks out of both sides of his mouth, and think that that is something that he really should be more responsible about when you’re talking about COVID that has truly taken hundreds of thousands of people’s lives. Don’t just flippantly say that we should not double mask and that we should not treat COVID as a very serious illness. Stop spouting your pseudo-science and talk to a doctor. And then the whole fat shaming thing. Some people wrote back and said, “He’s not fat shaming people. I didn’t see it that way.” I sure did. And I think because he is a bro and he’s bro-y, and his idea of health is thinness. I guarantee you that is what he –

Claire: Exactly, exactly.

Joy: He’s the type of person that will – and I haven’t seen this, but I will put bets and money that he is the type of person that would go to a Lizzo post – how she’ll post things and be like, “I’m comfortable in my body,” and everyone’s celebrating, “This is healthy. Health at every size.” He will be the one that’s like, “I can’t believe you’re celebrating this.” That whole Jillian Michaels attitude too where they’re like, “This is objectively unhealthy.” Really? Is it? Are you their doctor? Are you their doctor? Anyway. He’s the type of person that will say something like that. So I think those are the things that if you want to just skip ahead – 

Claire: “You’re just promoting obesity.” 

Joy: Totally. Totally. Which you are – sorry I’m going to say it – a white privileged male that –

Claire: You don’t have to be sorry. Those are facts about him. And I think that that’s the thing also that, I don’t know. A couple of people were like, “Why do you hate Joe Rogan?” And I was like, I can’t even put my finger on it. He’s just not a person whose perspective I feel like I need, and that is a huge piece of it is that I just feel like there’s this worldview that I don’t need more of.

Joy: I don’t know the guy, I’m sure he’s nice. I feel like his worldview is very limited, and I would like to see him… I don’t know. Here’s the thing. He has really interesting guests on, and I do listen to some of his interviews. He’s got really good guests on sometimes. But there’s a little bit going out of the lines that I think is irresponsible when you have that platform. I think that is where I’m just kind of like, I don’t know, take it or leave it. Some things he says, it’s kind of like, listen to what you feel like you can take the good from and then leave the rest. I just think that some of his messaging, he needs to get with the times. He needs to get with the times. You know who he needs to have on? He needs to have on Wesley Morris from Still Processing podcast. Actually he should have both hosts from the Still Processing podcast on his show, and then I think I might respect him a little bit more. And if you don’t listen to that show, you need to ASAP.

Claire: Alright, your new favorite trashy TV show and then we’ll wrap up.

Joy: New favorite trashy TV show is… Marrying Millions. Okay, so here’s the thing. I rarely watch trash TV. I watch it, but I rarely get to watch it. Hear me out. Because Scott and I usually watch shows together that we both like, and he will not watch trash TV. Unless it’s The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, which we both really enjoy because I don’t think it’s too trashy. It’s mostly really funny. But he went to his best friend’s house who is in our bubble on Saturday night to just get out of the house. So I was like, oh my gosh, I get to watch whatever I want with no judgement, no huffing and puffing in the background, no being like, “What are you watching?” And I was just scrolling around, found this show, just hit play instead of spending two hours watching previews. I’m so glad I did. It is so ridiculously trashy. It basically talks about people who are not rich and then marry someone who is a millionaire. They go through four or five couples and their stories. The first episode, I thought this can’t be real. So if you really want a mindless, low stakes show that really does engage you in a way that’s like the trash reality engagement, Marrying Millions is your show. I’ve heard a lot about Below Deck. That’s my next show that I’m going to watch. I’ve realized and just comes to terms that I will not feel guilty about watching trash TV, like reality TV. I’m not going to feel guilty about this anymore.

Claire: You don’t have to.

Joy: This is what I need to zone out. I can look at my phone and come back. I think I fell asleep for a whole episode and I came back and knew exactly what was going on. That’s what I need. I don’t need to watch Nomad Land and fall asleep and have to rewind because I’m like, “What happened?” Reality doesn’t do that for you. It’s always there for you –

Claire: It’s always there for you with minimal amounts of engagement.

Joy: Yes. And you always know what’s going on, no matter how many episodes you miss. 

Claire: That’s hilarious.

Joy: You’re welcome.

Claire: We started watching Waffles + Mochi. It’s a very cute –

Joy: Oh, that looks so cute.

Claire: It’s very cute, but guys I have to tell you. If your most exposure to kids’ shows is Pixar movies, Pixar movies are adult movies made for kids. 

Joy: Yes, they are. Agreed.

Claire: If you ever have to watch preschool TV, you’re going to feel like you’re on drugs if you’re not used to it. One of my friends was like, “I tried to watch Waffles + Mochi. It’s so weird.” I’m like, actually it’s remarkably cohesive as far as preschool TV programming is concerned.

Joy: Right, right. That’s so funny.

Claire: So if you’re not used to it and you’re going to dive in and you’re not used to preschool TV, it’s pretty weird but just know that that’s the norm. All preschool TV is super weird. 

Joy: It’s so good.

Claire: Alright, guys, well thank you for joining us this week. You can follow us on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You can go to our website You can email us at Don’t you love how all three of those are different? Who is our marketing person, we’ve got to fire them.

Joy: We need to fire them. It’s us.

Claire: It’s us.

Joy: We’re fired.

Claire: Alright guys, we’ll talk to you next week.

Joy: Love you guys, bye.

Claire: Bye.

Colorado’s mega snow storm, The Crossfit Open, Missing Crossfit, Joe Rogan and Mat Fraser episode, part II Meghan and Oprah interview, celebrity culture, Netflix Marriage and Mortgage, and a quick listener Q&A.

Morning Chalk Up Article


instagram: joyandclaire_

This is Joy & Claire Episode 66: Talkin’ More Crossfit

Episode Date: March 18, 2021, 2020

Audio Length: 52:58 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire. 

Joy: [laughing] This is Joy and Claire.

Claire: Got a little phlegm. Let me tell you why I have phlegm. 

Joy: Why?

Claire: It’s because I just ate half a bag of potato chips. And half way through the bag of potato chips, I was like, you know what this needs. To be dipped in cream cheese.

Joy: Oh no. I’ve made that mistake so many times before. When I was eating dairy and I would log on, and I’d be like, gosh dang it. I just had Greek yogurt. And I’d be so phlegmy the entire conversation.

Claire: Yeah. So I just ate a not insignificant amount of cream cheese atop Ruffles. I haven’t bought Ruffles potato chips – 

Joy: “Ruffles have ridges.”

Claire: “Ruffles have ridges.” I haven’t had those potato chips – if you guys have any idea… I feel like most of you will know what commercial we’re talking about.

Joy: You really should.

Claire: You guys aren’t that young. Sorry.

Joy: [laughing] You guys are old.

Claire: You guys are old like us, it’s fine. Our au pair’s friend came over this weekend. They’re both vaccinated. I feel the need to make a disclaimer about everything.

Joy: Right, right, you have to explain everything.

Claire: This is the same friend I refer to who’s been in our bubble this whole time. And she brought over this giant, giant bag of Ruffles. And she left them here, and so I was just eating some and I’m like, “This needs to be dipped in some cream cheese.” So I just shoved them in my mouth. Don’t regret it at all except that now I’m feeling just a little phlegmy. 

Joy: Yeah, no regrets.

Claire: So I have my La Croix, which we’ve also learned from experience can make me burpy on the podcast.

Joy: You just ate all the wrong things right before recording. So you don’t drink fizzy water or else you burp the whole time. And you don’t diary or else –

Claire: You don’t eat thick dairy because it coats your larynx.

Joy: I’m just going to have to do so much editing.

Claire: I don’t know. I think you should leave it in for ambiance.

Joy: You know what, we should. I edit so many coughs and sniffles and just human noises. What if we just were our raw selves? #nomakeup

Claire: You guys don’t even know how gross it sounds to be four inches away from someone’s face for an hour. It’s gross. Sorry.

Joy: So let’s talk real quick about the weather because that’s all we have to talk about in quarantine. How was the snow yesterday? We’re recording this on a Monday. Colorado just had one of its epic snow storms. Saturday, it was really funny because it was supposed to roll in on Saturday, so everyone in Colorado is like, “Oh my gosh, where’s the snow? Hahaha. All the weather forecasters are wrong.” Because that’s happened before where we’ve had storms and they’re like, “It’s going to be huge” and then it’s a flake of snow. So I think we were all prepared for that, and then of course Sunday we were very, very wrong.

Claire: Okay, well, it was supposed to start snowing early, early Saturday morning, and it didn’t start snowing until overnight into Sunday. So it was delayed by a good 18 hours. So on Saturday everyone was like, “What the heck.” Our friend Jess was like, “It was a flopageddon.” And then on Sunday she texted and was like, “I resend my flopageddon comment.” Because yeah, we ended up getting a solid couple of feet of snow, which is really common. In Colorado, the big snow storms come in the front range of Colorado, in the Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs. That’s not in order. It goes Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs. I want you to know that I know it.

Joy: Make sure that Claire knows her maps.

Claire: I do. I’ve lived here my whole life. I know that Colorado Springs is at the bottom. That from Colorado Springs to Fort Collins is referred to as the front range. And the biggest snow storms for the front range come in the spring. The reason for that – I know you guys want to know this. And I know that you know that I know it – is because where the moisture actually comes from is we get these tropical flows that actually come up and rather than coming up over the mountains, which we don’t tend to get that much moisture from the storms that come from the west because they dump all their moisture in the mountains and by the time they get to us they don’t have any left. So we get more from the storms that come up to us from the gulf. So when they reach the mountains and they meet the colder air – and this varies storm to storm – but that’s typically why they’ll just dump all their moisture right on top of us. So that’s what happened.

Joy: I actually didn’t know all about that, and I’d like to follow that guy you introduced me to. It’s like Denver and Front Range Weather on Facebook. He’s amazing. Well, he’s on Instagram too.

Claire: And Instagram, yeah. He’s like a hyper local weather man.

Joy: He knows his stuff. He should be on the news. Why isn’t he on the news?

Claire: Because he’s like, “I don’t want to be on the news. I can say whatever I want on my Facebook page.” 

Joy: So true.

Claire: I know, it’s great.

Joy: Okay. So yesterday was a huge snow day for us. We stayed in and we shoveled a lot and we played with the dogs in the yard. Because they can’t really do anything, and we could go for walks but the snow was so deep that you borderline needed snow shoes.

Claire: We were shoveling, and if you started at your front door and work your way down the driveway, by the time you get to the end of the driveway you have to go back to the front door. 

Joy: Yeah, because the snow just kept coming. And it was coming with a vengeance. We saw a couple walking down our street with their dog off leash. Which is find because no one was on the road. It wasn’t a danger. You could tell the dog was just staying close to them. They were walking with snow shoes. That’s the perfect idea right now because you really couldn’t walk. Even in snow boots, it would be so annoying. You would just have to lift your leg up and keep marching into the snow. So yeah, we spent most of the day playing with the dogs outside and staying inside and watching TV. And then at one point the satellite went out so we couldn’t watch the Grammy’s live.

Claire: Oh no.

Joy: I was sad about that, but I went back and watched the replay of Taylor Swift’s performance, which was great. So then today I completely binged all of her albums again, and I just cannot say enough. She won Album of the Year. I can’t say enough about Folklore. She’s the best songwriter. She’s such a good songwriter. So this morning I get up and I’m checking all my messages at work. Are we going to go into the office? First of all, anyone who works in healthcare, healthcare never closes. I don’t work in a hospital, but we work in a healthcare building. So I’m like, for sure we’re going to be closed today. This is pretty epic. Everyone on the news is saying this is the fourth worst storm in Denver’s history. So I’m like, okay, they’re going to close today. Well, we don’t close. I should say, we closed for in-person appointments, but we were all still able to do our virtual appointment. As a manager, it’s like, you’ve got to try to go in. I can’t just be like, I’m going to be cushy and sit at home.

Claire: See, my manager took the opposite approach. We work from home and have been for the past year, but it used to be if the school district closed then they would also close our office. For a variety of reasons because they were like – 

Joy: Parents too.

Claire: Yeah, but primarily because they were like, there are so many parents that work here. If your kids are home, then we’ll close the office. But since nobody cares anymore because we’ve all been home with our kids for a year, they didn’t even acknowledge it today. And my boss was like, “I’m taking a half day. I don’t even care.” I was like, “You go dude.” I mean, he still probably had to take PTO, but he was like, “I’m not having this. I want to build a snowman.”

Joy: Yeah, it was a perfect day to have a fun snow day. So I started to pull out of the driveway, and at this point I’ve driven in plenty of snow before. Are you okay driving in the snow, or do you get nervous?

Claire: I don’t get nervous, but I get nervous because I know that other people around me are bad at driving in the snow.

Joy: Yeah. I don’t like driving in the snow when there’s other people around, which is, you know, really silly because there’s always going to be other cars around. So I got out. I’m fine driving in the snow, but today I was like, “It’s going to be pretty dicey.” So I get in my car to leave and I pull out and immediately get stuck in the street.

Claire: Does your car have all-wheel drive? Probably not.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Oh, it does?

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Do you have snow tires though?

Joy: Yeah, and the Tesla even has a feature that’s like all-road something so it turns on all these fancy features to turn into a Jeep. It actually turns into a Jeep.

Claire: It’s a transformer.

Joy: It’s actually a transformer.

Claire: It just becomes a snow cat.

Joy: Then all of the sudden it flies. So yeah, I was using all these gears. So the snow was so fluffy and wet, there’s no way you’re going anyway. I start laughing because I’m like, “I’m stuck. Well, I’m not going in to work.” And that was my immediate reaction, “I’m not going to work. I tried.”

Claire: Oh well. [laughing] I did my best.

Joy: So my neighbors were out shoveling, and Scott comes out. All of the sudden, they start pushing me. They’re like, “If you get to 32nd, you can make it.” Which is about 1/4 of a mile. 

Claire: Yeah, and you’re like, “I’m good.”

Joy: I’m like, “No, I’m good. I can just stay home.”

Claire: “It’s fine.”

Joy: They were trying so hard –

Claire: That you couldn’t say no.

Joy: That I’m like, okay, I guess I’m going to work.

Claire: I’m just going to turn around actually. 

Joy: And so they tried so hard. You could tell these men were just inside, cooped up for a day, and were like, “We need a job. I will shovel you out. I will get you to 32nd Avenue.”

Claire: Right. “I will help you in distress.”

Joy: “I will help you get to work.” So anyway, I made it to work, but it was pretty dicey though. The nice thing about storms like this in Colorado, especially in the spring – it happens in the winter too. Any shrink of sunshine just melts things immediately because the sun is so intense here. So anyway, we were fine, for anyone who was worried about us.

Claire: I know, that’s the best thing about Colorado as a whole. Any time it snows, it’s melted by the end of the week. I feel like I’ve told this story recently enough, I don’t know if it was on the podcast. But Brandon’s family, as you guys know, lives in Madison. And I remember one time they came to visit in December, and they were like, “Wow, it hasn’t snowed at all yet?” And I was like, “What are you talking about?” And they were like, “Well, there’s no snow on the ground.” I was like, “What? Ohhh.” Because in Wisconsin, it snows and it just stays there until the spring.

Joy: Or like Minnesota people. It’s always there, which drives me crazy.

Claire: No, uh uh, that’s not how we operate her in Colorado.

Joy: Don’t you have friends in your life that think you constantly live in snow? Probably like you live in Minnesota.

Claire: Yeah. I remember one time when I was in 6th grade, 7th grade, I went on a cruise – which I hated by the way because I get so motion sick, but it was fun at the time. We went to Mexico.

Joy: Aren’t you on a big enough boat where you don’t get motion sickness, or do you still feel it?

Claire: For most people, that’s probably the case. I mean, I have been known to get seasick in a hammock, so I’m a sensitive little system. But it was fine. I actually feel like it probably wasn’t that bad at the time. But anyway, the point of the story is that when I was there you know you hang out in the little teen’s club, and I met these girls from Texas and they were like, “Oh my gosh, you’re from Colorado? Do you ski to school?” I was like, “What?” And that’s when I learned that people believe that in Colorado –

Joy: You’re always in the snow, yeah.

Claire: Most of Colorado is not even in the mountains.

Joy: No. Right, yeah. Especially living where we live in the cities, it melts immediately and then you would never know that it snowed here. Anyway, all the weather talk. Moving forward, daylight savings. How are the kids?

Claire: Honestly though –

Joy: Hey parents, how are you doing?

Claire: We’re not doing well. Check on your friends who have kids with sleep schedules. We are not okay. Honestly, because we had the big snow storm on daylight savings transition day, the whole day just felt like a wash. So it kind of actually was fine. Although, last night we were outside shoveling and all of the sudden Brandon was like, “Oh my gosh, it’s 6:15.” I was like, “Oh no.” Because usually we try to do dinner around the table at 6. Then that way Evie can be in bed between 7 and 7:30. We didn’t even start eating dinner until after 7 last night. One of my friends who has two twins who are the same age as Evie, she texted me and she was like, “What time are you doing bedtime?” I was like, “Girl, we haven’t even started dinner. Do not take parenting tips from me tonight. We are just throwing ourselves to the wolves. I don’t even know.”

Joy: The whole daylight at 6:30 all of the sudden threw me off too because I’m like, “I’m usually winding down by now. What is going on?”

Claire: I know, I hate daylight savings time. I mean, I like the lighter, later situation. But the change just feels unnecessary. And it’s like, I was just getting in the groove. So anyway, we’re okay. The other big thing is Evie already, her nap has been pushing later and later just because she’s getting closer and closer to dropping napping at all, which I hesitate to even say out loud because I don’t want to jinx it.

Joy: Don’t jinx it.

Claire: So now she’s been going down for her nap at like 1, which is very late. So anyway, it’s alright. We’re hanging in there. It’s not as bad as it could have been.

Joy: What happened with going out in the snow? That picture was so cute. Miles was like, “It’s too windy, and it’s too cold.”

Claire: They’re crying hysterically, and I’m like, “We’re out doing outdoorsy things, and we’re going out in the snow.” We went out. We tried to take the kids out.

Joy: Just in the front yard or what?

Claire: Just in the front yard. We’re not going on an expedition here guys. But you still have to get on all your stuff, right?

Joy: Of course, yeah.

Claire: It took 30 minutes just to get everyone dressed. We walk outside, and it was so windy, and the kids – we have goggles for them, but neither of them wanted to wear them and so they were just getting blasted in the face with snow. So immediately they both start crying. And Brandon had gotten these snow brick things, and he was like, “We’re going to build a fort.” So they go out. Brandon’s holding Evie, who’s smashing her face into his chest and just crying like “get me out of here.” Miles is so upset because the wind is in his face. But he’s acting like he’s upset about the bricks, so finally I was like, “We’re going back inside. This is not worth it. We are going back in side.” We get back inside, and they’re both just crying.

Joy: So cute.

Claire: Evie just looked so horror-struck.

Joy: And Miles was so cute. “It’s too windy. It’s too cold.”

Claire: It’s like, alright, well we tried. We tried to be that outdoorsy, any weather family, and it didn’t work.

Joy: And on your video, you were just like, “Yeah, it’s too windy, huh?”

Claire: Yeah. I know, buddy, I know. It’s windy outside. I’m just going to validate that because you’re sobbing. I know. And we’ve tried so hard to be like, “There’s no such thing as bad weather. Let’s get the kids outside, and everybody does better.” And it’s true. It could be the crappiest weather outside, and 9 times out of 10, everybody does better if we get some fresh air. But that was not the case yesterday. 

Joy: That was not yesterday.

Claire: So instead we set up a sledding hill on our downstairs basement stairs where we just flattened a bunch of cardboard boxes and lines the stairs with them, and then Miles used his sled. Then when he’d get to the bottom, he found that you could flip. So the way that we found that out was an accident. I was sitting there trying to take a video of him. I had Evie in my lap, and all of the sudden he’s flipping over coming towards me and Evie. So that video I posted on our Instagram stories, which by the time you hear this it will be long gone, but if you saw it the story behind it is that at the end of the video, it pans over to Brandon who for some reason had a cheese head hat on. No idea why he was even wearing that, and he has this look on his face like [slow motion voice], “Oh no.”

Joy: Because it was slow motion.

Claire: It was slow motion. And here’s the thing is that while I was taking that video, I didn’t even realize that I had gotten his reaction because at that moment I was so preoccupied because Miles had just flipped into Evie, who was sitting in my lap. And Miles was screaming because he landed on a Hot Wheels car right on his butt cheek.

Joy: Oh, so it hurt.

Claire: So it hurt because he landed on something hard. But I didn’t know that’s all that it was. I was like, did he break his arm or land on a finger or something. And then Evie started crying because he was crying. So when I went back to watch the video, I was like, “Oh, this is hilarious.”

Joy: Oh my God, it was so funny. First of all, it just pans over to Brandon’s face. It truly is like a [slow motion voice], “Whoa.” And then he has a cheese hat on.

Claire: Why does he have a cheese hat on? And then also, he does not make any moves at all. He’s sitting there with his hands folded in his lap and is just watching all three of us turn into a mosh pit, and he’s just like [slow motion voice] but not actually moving. Okay, so the other fun thing that has happened since we last spoke is that the CrossFit Open started.

Joy: Yes, okay, and you posted that you still get nervous about the Open.

Claire: Yes. If you guys have been listening to us since our Girls Gone WOD days, you will remember that there was a year where – we used to be so into the Open. We used to do Open prep episodes. We were into it. And not that we were competitive, but just that we took it so seriously.

Joy: We got so excited.

Claire: And every year we have this conversation that the Open makes you crazy, just remember. It’s going to happen. And this year going into it, I didn’t even sign up for the Open because I was like, I don’t have the bandwidth for that type of stress. And still, even though I’m not signed up, it still made me crazy because like I was talking about a couple of weeks ago, I’m still trying to get out of the house, go to the gym as much as possible. So of course, I’m still going to end up doing the Open workout most of the time. The week one workout was wall walks and double unders, which you guys know I love double unders. First of all, I forgot my jump rope at home. So luckily, Nicole Christenson who I love is the owner of CrossFit Roots, she was in the workout. And I was like, “Nicole, can I use your jump rope?” So bless Nicole for letting me use her extra jump rope. But at the beginning, the coach was like, “So who here has not signed up for the Open?” And I raised my hand. She was like, “Claire, why are you not signed up for the Open?” Afterwards, she was like, “Really, tell me. Why didn’t you sign up for the Open? Haven’t you done it before?” And I was like, “Yeah, it just makes me stressed out. I just didn’t want to.” And I mean, she was fine with that. She was just like, “That’s so interesting that it affects you that much.” I don’t know what to tell you.

Joy: Yeah, I think it’s just also the history with it and you remember that’s how you feel. It’s important to you. You remember that it was important to you. How did it feel? How was the workout?

Claire: The workout itself was actually great. I have not done an RX wall walk probably since Miles was born. But in the Open, even though I’m not signed up, they still run the classes. Even if you’re not signed up, you can’t pick and choose the scales. You either have to do it as prescribed or as written scaled. So I couldn’t have scaled the wall walks but still done double unders. Because the scaled version was single unders. I freaking hate single unders.

Joy: Yeah, I do too. I feel like it’s not even close to the same.

Claire: Because I love double unders, when I have to single unders, I’m so bored.

Joy: I had to do that one year too where I had to scale it. I’m like, “Can I just do double unders and scale the rest of it?” Yeah. 

Claire: And you just count them as singles. I don’t even care.

Joy: They’re totally different.

Claire: Totally different. I just don’t like them. I’m just going to do the double unders, and we’ll just see how far I get. So I got into the round of 15, which I was really happy with. So I ended up doing over 20 wall walks, which I was really happy with because like I said I’ve been scaling wall walks for years just because my core doesn’t feel good when I get up that close to the wall. It has been really hard for me to hold tension in my core. So that’s what I was really focused on. But it felt good, but it just was like, why am I so nervous? This is so weird. After all these years, I still get nervous going into a workout. But I will also say, it was so fun because I felt like one of the first times, I was back in the gym. CrossFit Roots is huge. Their facility is over 10,000 square feet. It’s this ginormous warehouse.

Joy: Such a great space.

Claire: Awesome space. And in non-COVID times, they have 2-3 classes running at a time. But so in COVID times, what that’s meant is that they only typically have had one class running at time, but it can be a pretty full class. You can have 15 or 20 people in that class.

Joy: Right, because it can be so spaced out. And don’t they have some rigs outside now?

Claire: Yes. So they have two rigs inside and a rig outside. So they’ve done such an awesome job. They were really good at enforcing masking. I say it every time. But the reason I bring this up is because there were so many people there, and the music was going and everyone was excited, they were judging. It really felt like being back in the gym for a Friday Night Lights during the Open.

Joy: For sure, for sure.

Claire: Even though it was the middle of the day. I missed it so much, and even just having a glimpse of it, I was like, “Oh my gosh, this was so fun.”

Joy: Yeah, so fun. It really is so fun. And when you do it and you’re in that energy, people are watching and cheering you on, and it’s kind of like this little mini competition, I would have been the same exact way. So when was the last Open? Didn’t they have a weird year where they did it in February and then October and then did it in February and then skipped it?

Claire: So the last one was in October 2019. 

Joy: Wow. Okay. Because then they decided to do it in February because they moved it.

Claire: So then they were like, we’re going to postpone it because so many gyms were still closed in October. They were going to move it back to February. They did a bunch of other stuff that I am not familiar with in terms of, like they took away Sanctionals and brought back some sort of regional thing. I’m butchering this, and I feel like you guys would count on us to know these things.

Joy: We’re really out of touch with the CrossFit stuff. 

Claire: Someone call Justin LoFranco because I don’t know what the heck’s going on.

Joy: Justin, call us.

Claire: Justin, please let us know.

Joy: I miss Justin. I miss all the CrossFit people. I really do.

Claire: Where’s Armon?

Joy: Where’s Armon? Speaking of Clubhouse last week when we talked about Clubhouse, the only person we talked to on Clubhouse that was online was Armon. So we set up a little call with Armon. We just happened to talk to Armon on Clubhouse when we all signed up, and it really made me miss just being at the Games around all these amazing people. So I think the history makes me nostalgic. Our whole inspiration for starting this podcast was because of The WODcast Podcast. And so I have such a soft spot in my heart for those guys and seeing all those people. I think the thing that makes me really nostalgic is thinking about when we went to the Open workout in Madison. That was so –

Claire: That was so fun!

Joy: So much fun.

Claire: To the point where people used to just call us Girls Gone WODcast all the time.

Joy: Oh yeah.

Claire: They’d be like, “Have you heard Girls Gone WODcast?” That’s not our name, but I accept.

Joy: Oh my gosh. And it was really great, and we were standing right there, and we got to hang out with Margo and Nichole. It’s great.

Claire: I know. The good ole days. We’ve been chatting about CrossFit more and more lately, and I’m like maybe we just need to bring that back as a topic. We needed a break. We needed some space from CrossFit as a topic, but I’m ready to talk about it again.

Joy: I’m ready to talk about it again. Especially because I’ve been going back in the gym, and I’m feeling so good. Insanely good to where I feel like I could do some light workouts. Nothing crazy and watch it closely, to where I just feel strong. Being in that gym –

Claire: Um, we did have a request for some more Open dance routines like you used to do, so that would be a good way to just dip your toe back in getting your heartrate up.

Joy: Really? Somebody requested that? Wow.

Claire: Yeah. They were like, bring them back.

Joy: Our gym owner would love that. He’s the cutest. He’s the cutest. I know he doesn’t listen to this, but he’s the cutest and he will gladly do a dance party.

Claire: Get him on because he has a fan club.

Joy: He really does. Hart. Hart Wise is his name. So yes, CrossFit is in our hearts forever and we should probably just talk about it.

Claire: Speaking of which, did you want to talk about that Joe Rogan interview with Mat Fraser?

Joy: Oh okay. 

Claire: Those are the last two people I ever thought we would bring up on this podcast, let alone together. I can’t stand Joe Rogan. He makes me crazy. And I feel like when people are like, “Oh my gosh, I love Joe Rogan. It’s my favorite podcast.” I just learned so much about you in one sentence.

Joy: In one sentence.

Claire: If anybody is listening and your podcast is Joe Rogan and you currently feel highly offended, I just can’t stand him –

Joy: And I also wonder why you’re listening to our podcast.

Claire: He just, ugh, yeah. 

Joy: Not to be fair, but my perspective is I do listen to some interviews because he’s had some great people on. Sometimes I don’t know how he got this guest because they’re so far from how his vibe is, but I’ll pick and choose and listen to some interviews that he’s done. He just does a three-hour long show. Who’s got time for that? But he makes like $30 million a year off podcasting, and I would like to sign up for that.

Claire: Yes, excuse me, I would like to sign up for $30 million a year. I will be highly unlikable for $30 million a year.

Joy: That’s the key, Claire. We are way too nice. We just need to start being assholes.

Claire: I accept. That’s all it takes.

Joy: I’m half way there. No, I’m just kidding.

Claire: Yeah, Joy, everyone would be like, “Yes, Joy is the unlikable one.”

Joy: [laughing] Oh my gosh, okay. So Joe Rogan, the Joe Rogan podcast. 

Claire: We can just call it Joy Rogan. From Girls Gone WODcast to Joy Rogan. It’s just right there. We just align ourselves closely with the male counterparts of our dreams.

Joy: Totally. And then we sneak right in.

Claire: I see absolutely no flaws in our plan. Let’s execute immediately.

Joy: Okay. And scene.

Claire: And scene. You’re now listening to the Joy Rogan podcast, go on. Talking to Mat Fraser.

Joy: [announcer voice] You’re now listening to the Joy Rogan podcast.

Claire: See, that’s why I can’t stand it. I can’t even get through the introduction. I feel like I’m in an infomercial.

Joy: [announcer voice] Super, super, super. Yeah, it’s super bro-y. We got so much crap for saying bro-y all those years ago, but I’m going to say it.

Claire: Did we?

Joy: Oh yeah.

Claire: I don’t remember that.

Joy: Remember from the retreat we went on? We said bro-y a lot. Maybe you don’t remember that.

Claire: No, apparently that did not register for me as a controversy. Okay, go on.

Joy: Okay. So Joe Rogan had on Mat Fraser. They talked a lot about CrossFit. I listened to half of it because I just didn’t have three hours, but the thing that kind of stuck out for me, which I kind of laughed at, was Mat Fraser didn’t know a lot about the sport of CrossFit before he started. So he was kind of – maybe many people know this about him. I didn’t. But he was going to a CrossFit gym just to use the barbells, and he was mostly into weight lifting. So he was not interested in doing the workouts. And all his weight lifting friends were making fun of him when they saw him on ESPN. He was like, “I didn’t tell any of my friends that I was doing CrossFit until they saw me on TV.” The other thing he said was like, Joe Rogan would ask him questions about, “How much does it cost to run a CrossFit gym, or how much do they have to pay per year.” He’s like, “I don’t know.” I’m like, oh my gosh, how do you not know these things? He didn’t know much about the sport itself, even the history of it. Of course, you and I being geeks about it for all those years, oh my gosh, he just kind of walked in and won the CrossFit Games for years and years and years. And he could barely be like, “I think they used to drug test. I don’t know.” And just kind of was in his own world. Which, that’s fine. He won a ton. He also talked a little bit about how CrossFit, it’s not a lucrative business, if you want to be in it for the money. Where you make more money is with the sponsorships. So I thought that was interesting. But if you want to kind of just see the nuts and bolts of the interview and not go through the whole three hours, the Morning Chalk Up put up an article that I’ll link to in the show notes just about the four takeaways. I guess there was some beef with Dave Castro that I didn’t get to that point in the show yet, but he talked about something with Dave Castro not liking him. When asked why, Frazier said, “Everyone just jumps when he says jump, and I wasn’t that guy.” So I guess Dave posted something on his Instagram and there’s a little bit of drama there. I personally don’t know all the details, but it’s kind of funny because Mat Fraser’s now saying he’s retiring. He’s retiring.

Claire: Great for him.

Joy: You probably made tons of money. You won the Games five years in a row.

Claire: Exactly. I hope you were smart with that, and you can probably live off of that for a while. We’ve always talked about Dave Castro just being like, it seems like he really thrives on just starting stuff a little bit. He is always like, “Well, I just need to be the guy that people don’t like.”

Joy: The villain.

Claire: Sees himself as the villain. You know, whatever. I will say as a vote in Dave Castro’s favor, and to bring this back to the Open, my favorite thing is his completely random Open Instagram hints.

Joy: Yeah, you did one last week right before we ended the show I think.

Claire: Yeah, he put one on. He did one. It was a dead wolf skull or something, right? I just love it. We’ve often talked on Girls Gone, what’s Dave Castro’s vibe? We just can’t get a read on him. 

Joy: Can’t get a read. I would love to get a good read. Not in an interview because he’s not, you know, right.

Claire: Right. What kind of a guy is he really like? Is he doing this on purpose? Is he just kind of standoffish? Is he actually a diva act? What’s going on in that head? I feel like he’s an enigma where even though he has a pretty public persona, it doesn’t feel like it’s his real personality.

Joy: Right, right.

Claire: Who knows? I also think it’s really interesting, just from the Mat Fraser perspective, that you can be at the top of a sport for that long and still have really no idea what – he just didn’t care. It wasn’t relative to him, the business of the sport. The business of CrossFit. Which is fine. I bet there’s a lot of professional athletes out there that don’t know how their team is making money. They wouldn’t be able to tell you, “We bring in X, Y, Z from places, and these are how games are scheduled and ads are bought and blah blah blah. But I just find that really interesting. I think it’s unusual in CrossFit because so many high-level CrossFit athletes also own gyms. Because you have to in most cases. But that just wasn’t the case for him.

Joy: You’re working out all the time, 24/7. Yeah, it’s interesting because I think I just wrongly assume that he was this super CrossFitter that had the goal of going to the Games, and it was kind of a fluke. I think that he’s just a very fit dude that happened to be like, “Oh, I’m really good at this.” Kind of like Rich Froning, that same thing where he just started showing up to competitions and killing it.

Claire: And winning.

Joy: And winning. And Matt, he talked about how he just started doing it to get some –

Claire: Right, to support himself through college.

Joy: But not even that, he’s like, “I would get a thousand dollars a year in free protein and I was excited about that.”

Claire: Totally. That’s how I feel about this podcast. 

Joy: [laughing] That’s not wrong.

Claire: It’s not wrong. There was also an interview. It was in one of the fittest on earth documentaries where I remember them making a comment of, “Frazier’s got this in the bag. He’s so short. That’s what he’s doing. He’s killing it.” I remember them cutting to Frazier and him being like, “Why do they keep saying, ‘He’s so short.’ Why can’t they say, maybe it’s because I was training as an Olympic lifting athlete for ten years. It’s never, ‘Oh he has this amazing background in Olympic lifting.’ It’s always, ‘He’s so short.’” 

Joy: He’s so short, that’s the reason why.

Claire: I just thought that was funny.

Joy: Here’s a note from the Morning Chalk Up article. It says, “Frazier was discussing what motivates him and how some people were galling him Games performance flukes, which led to a response from Rogan of, ‘How can anybody say it’s a fluke to win the CrossFit Games?’” Which I agree, it’s definitely not a fluke. And so I guess he discussed the infamous, “He’s slipping” comment about Frazier from CrossFit general manager of sport Dave Castro prior to the 2020 Games. I mean, there was something mentioned there. And then Dave I guess responded to that. Which is funny to me because I’m like, why don’t they just talk. Why can’t Dave Castro just call Matt and say, “Hey dude, you said something wrong. This is incorrect.” But they don’t have that relationship. He said, “Mat Fraser said that I published an article about him slipping. An article’s timeless. It’s a thoughtful record of a position. An article suggests an official statement. Problem is, that never happened. I never put out an article. I made a quick verbal opinion comment on an IG live discussion with fans. I don’t have a problem with Matt or anyone talking negative about me. I have a problem with blatant lies, as millions of people are watching Joe Rogan. Details matter, facts matter, the truth matters.” But to me, I don’t think it was a super significant part of the podcast. I don’t know.

Claire: How can it be? It was three hours long.

Joy: So in some way, maybe that got to Matt because he’s like, “The guy said I was slipping.”

Claire: I mean, it must have. It would get to you if you were –

Joy: Get under your skin if you were super competitive. I need to listen to the rest of the episode to really get the context of what he was saying.

Claire: I know, I feel like last week you hadn’t listened to the whole Meghan and Harry. This week –

Joy: Which I have updates and details on that, yes.

Claire: Right. Let’s talk about that. 

Joy: So part two. The thing I walked away with was I feel that it was good that they got to be in the public to say what they needed to say. But I think, rightfully so, it was very guarded and very… I don’t want to say “calculated” because I don’t think that’s a very positive word.

Claire: Like scripted without being scripted.

Joy: Scripted without being scripted. 

Claire: But I get why it would have to be.

Joy: Exactly. But I get why it would have to be. So I think what I was expecting was something a little more chit chatty. I didn’t expect it to be super relaxed because it’s a very serious topic, but everyone was very guarded. So then, I think I kind of made these assumptions that I’m like, oh my gosh, they have been through so much, and what’s going to happen to them, and how are they going to live their life without being close to the royals? What is he going to do without his family? But the reason why they were probably so guarded is because of what they’ve been through. They can’t just go out and have this tell-all story. I don’t think that we as the public deserve, or we don’t have a right to people’s information, but I think that what they wanted to do was truly be like – they’re kind of comparing it to Diana’s interview when she was kind of dismissed from being a part of the royal family and how she’s like, “This is how it is on the inside.” Nothing’s really changed apparently from people who were married into the royal family. But I think what made me sad and also like, “Oh my gosh,” I just hope that everyone has some type of their happy ending here, is how guarded Meghan seemed even talking to Oprah and how scripted it felt, which also made me sad. She’s still trying to figure out how she can talk about this life, and she’s married to a man who this is his family. In the end, it just made me sad. It made me very sad. 

Claire: I didn’t watch it. I get why it would still need to be so scripted. I think that that probably was a smart thing to do, to not just go into it being like, “I don’t know, let’s just see what Oprah’s going to ask. We’ll go off the cuff.”

Joy: Totally, right, right.

Claire: There really are some big – I can only imagine, not only retributions from the family, but safety retributions from people who are just crazy and any time that you speak out against anybody in this world, let alone a family like the British royal family, I just can’t imagine how scary that would feel.

Joy: Very scary. So that’s the part two of that. I’ll say it again. I don’t take a huge, I wouldn’t say “interest,” but I don’t like to be super voyeur. As much as I love celebrities, I don’t read gossip magazines. I don’t like to read that trashy stuff. And this is by no means trashy, but I don’t follow Meghan and Harry. I watched the interview because it was Oprah. She’s going to have a very interesting and respectful conversation. 

Claire: And it almost feels different when it’s like, okay, this is a serious issue going on in someone’s life. It’s not like Kim Kardashian flew to Mexico with her family. This feels more serious. It feels like a bigger deal of something versus some rich celebrity family gossip`.

Joy: Yeah. And I think it’s just that I look at celebrities, and as much as I’m like, “I love celebrity culture, I love it,” I do it because I love movies, I love Hollywood, I love the glitz and glam of all of that. But it just makes me very aware of how we even treat celebrities. You know, the whole Britney Spears documentary talks about that. How we build these women up just to tear them down. And I saw that with Meghan where it’s Meghan Markle, okay, then we have these horribly racist things in the tabloids. They’re just tearing her apart, and that’s what I think about as the Britney Spears thing too where they just build them up to tear them down. I think it made me even more aware of how we treat or think about females in media and how much we are so quick to throw our judgements and perceptions and criticism and judgements on them. Because I think there are some parts of it where I was watching her talk and I’m like, is this calculated? I was very much aware of how guarded she was. I’m like, yeah, but maybe she needs to be. I’m still going to love watching reality shows, but they’re putting that out there for reality.

Claire: Yeah, they know. They’re doing that on purpose.

Joy: Exactly. Speaking of reality shows, let me just put a quick shout out love for this new reality show I started called Marriage or Mortgage.

Claire: Okay, so is the premise exactly what it sounds like?

Joy: Exactly what it sounds like. It’s based in Nashville. They have a real estate agent and a wedding planner that are working together, who by the way are so cute. They’re both super, super cute and likable, so it’s fun to watch them. To be honest, I am at a point where – so I watched the first episode and I’m like, oh my gosh, this is really cute, the couples are really cute. Scott’s like, “These guys are really cute.” So it’s fun, likable people that you’re watching. But really the premise is the wedding planner takes them through their dream wedding, and she shows them places where they could get married and they pretty much plan a wedding together. And then the real estate agent goes and gets an idea of what their dream house is and then takes them to three or four houses that fall under their budget and their desires and so on and so forth. So at the end, they decide are they going to put their money towards the wedding or they’re going to go toward buying a house. And at the end, I’m like, really? You’re going to put all this money into a wedding and not buy a house. 

Claire: Do any of them choose wedding?

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: Oh wow.

Joy: Yeah, for sure.

Claire: I wish that somebody had done that for me when I was 24 or whatever getting married because it didn’t even cross my mind, “Hey Claire, maybe spend this on “ – I mean, although, who knows, who knows what life would have looked like. But if somebody would have been like, “I’m going to take you to a few houses that you could buy with this money instead, just give you a little reality check,” I think I would have been like, “Great, I will be going to the courthouse and I will be taking some of my friends out for drinks, and then I will be buying this house. Thank you.” 

Joy: Exactly. So the funny thing that I notice as I’m watching this – I love watching them go through houses. I love watching that part. So maybe I just need to watch a show where they’re looking at houses.

Claire: Like House Hunters.

Joy: Like House Hunters or Million Dollar Beach House. You know, people love to just flip through Zillow and look at houses – 

Claire: Didn’t you love that Selling Sunset one too?

Joy: Oh my gosh, I love Selling Sunset.

Claire: I spend so much time on Zillow. I just browse all the time.

Joy: Do you really?

Claire: Oh, every day.

Joy: Oh my gosh, what you looking for Claire?

Claire: I mean…

Joy: So many things.

Claire: So many things that could only occur in my dream house. I mean, I don’t know. We would move to a bigger house, so I’m always just like, “I’m keeping an eye out.” I tell myself.

Joy: I do that too.

Claire: And I mean, in this world, you can’t impulse buy a house. And also, if you’re not currently pre-approved for a loan, you can’t be serious. By the time you see a house that you like, it’s off the market.

Joy: Yeah. So Marriage or Mortgage. I’m not saying to run out and watch it, but it really is good eye candy for houses and also wedding ideas. Maybe you’re getting married and you just want wedding ideas.

Claire: I mean, a lot of people are at both those stages at the same time, so they have a huge target demographic.

Joy: Exactly. Oh my gosh, there was one couple – and I think someone DM’d us about this when we posted it – one couple picked wedding and then COVID hit.

Claire: Womp womp womp womp.

Joy: Because I think they filmed this back in February and then everything had to be changed. So they put all their money into a wedding that really had to be downsized. Whatever, it’s fine. They got married. But I think about how Scott and I got married in September 2008. We moved into this house in August 2008. I will never forget, it was like a trifecta. And they always say this – three huge life things happen at the same time, really check your mental health. We moved in August, my aunt passed away from cancer in September, and we got married 28 days later. Moved, death, marriage, all in two months. That was a huge, huge two months for us. I just think of how we bought a house and we got married, but we planned the wedding before we bought the house type of thing. I don’t really remember us being super worried because we were combining incomes and had that already planned out.

Claire: And also, are you talking about a giant stock market crash in 2008?

Joy: That’s true. That happened.

Claire: Also that, like the week after you got married.

Joy: Okay, so that’s a good show to watch if you want to just zone out. Lately, I’ve been really needing shows too where I don’t have to think much. I’ll do that with podcasts sometimes where I’m like, I can’t listen to something that I really need to be engaged. Let’s do some quick follow-up questions from people who left some comments on past posts. “What are your garden plans for 2021, Claire?”

Claire: Oh great, thank you for asking. Okay, so as a lot of you know, when we moved into this house – we live on a corner lot, and we took all of the sod out of the front corner of our yard. We have about, I don’t know, it’s big, a big patch of dirt that we’ve been doing mounded garden beds. So this year, our plan, which we haven’t really started moving on yet, which we really need to do because it’s mid-March is to put in raised beds instead of just mounded beds. Which a raised bed actually has walls. It’s a structure. Versus a big pile of dirt. And the reason for that is just weed mitigation. So we want to do that. I think we’re going to do mostly vegetables. When we originally started the garden, it was completely flowers for the first two years. Last year, we did a mix of flowers and vegetables, and this year we’ll probably do mostly vegetables with some flowers. It’s so fun to do the flowers because we do tons of zanies, which are good pollinators and they’re really easy to grow. If you’re looking for a really colorful, really easy to grow, super pollinator friendly flower, pick zanies. They’re just so brightly colored. 

Joy: They’re so pretty.

Claire: A lot of them are a variety called “cut and come again,” which exactly what it sounds like. You can cut them and it will branch and grow back more, versus a tulip or something, which as soon as you cut it, it’s just done.

Joy: Oh my God, my poor tulips.

Claire: I know. This is okay, though. Tulips love this type of weather.

Joy: They’re going to bounce back. 

Claire: They are.

Joy: They were blooming, so maybe they’re still going to pop out.

Claire: They will. They’ll be fine. And then we’ll probably also do some big sunflowers. We do a combo of branching sunflowers, which again is exactly what it sounds like, versus your traditional single sunflower where it’s just like one stalk, one big head. The other type are called branching sunflowers. Sometimes they call them prairie sunflowers.

Joy: Those are pretty.

Claire: They’re beautiful. So we do a combination. The single, one tall sunflower, you tend to get more sunflower seeds because they tend to be bigger. We will get birds and squirrels into December who are still eating the sunflower seeds. So it’s really fun. Not everyone wants to invite squirrels into their garden, but we love it. And also, this is a fun fact which we inadvertently found out. We also have pumpkin, squash, strawberries, blackberries, tomatoes. Most of the pumpkins and squash are what we worry about with the squirrels. And the sunflower seeds keep the birds and squirrels away from our other food because they would rather have the sunflowers seeds. Fun fact.

Joy: That is a fun fact.

Claire: If you’re looking for some natural pest mitigation in your garden, just do a big row of sunflowers and they will eat that instead.

Joy: That’s good to know. I love how the big sunflowers, all of the sudden their head tilts and they drop the seeds. 

Claire: I know, right.

Joy: That’s so cool. Flowers are so cool.

Claire: So we’ll still do that. I think this year the thing I’m most excited for is growing onions and potatoes that we can store and use next winter. It just feels so fun to be cutting up a potato in February and be like, “I grew this.” I’m a pioneer basically.”

Joy: I love it. I have a friend at work who gives me eggs from her chickens.

Claire: Oh yeah, I would love to have chickens.

Joy: That’s the coolest thing. Every time, I’m like, “Thank you. Thank you, Martha, the hen.”

Claire: Yeah, right. We would love to have chickens. Our backyard isn’t quite big enough for it. We technically could, per the city. But we just wouldn’t have a very good spot to keep them. But one day I would really love to have chickens. And we used to live in a house on a property that had chickens, and it was so fun. Eat some eggs from right there. Doesn’t get any more local.

Joy: Okay, really quick want to back up about television really quick because someone asked about talking about Bridgerton. I have watched/fell asleep to one episode, and I can’t get into it still.

Claire: I haven’t even tried, which will shock none of you. 

Joy: So here’s what’s going to happen. This is typical for me. I’ll get into it next year. It will just be the right time and place for me, and I’ll watch it and be like, “This is a great show. I can’t believe I didn’t watch it.”

Claire: Get a sinus whatever this summer and end up watching the whole thing or whatever.

Joy: Exactly, exactly. So not into it yet. I’m not saying it will never happen, but I’m not into the Bridgerton fanfare just yet. The guy that was on SNL who hosted was pretty hot though.

Claire: I know. That’s the thing is it’s soft porn, right? On Netflix.

Joy: Totally. It’s all hot people. Why not?

Claire: Why not?

Joy: Let’s address this one too because I want to address and move. “How do you move on from politics 2020?” My answer is, you don’t move on because that really sucked. What I’ve noticed is I’m waking up being like, wow, I’m so glad that I don’t have to be angry every day. I was so angry, very angry. So I think what I’m doing now is trying to not be angry, or notice if I’m like – because I’ll see posts. People are still holding onto Trump 2020 and that will put me into a rage. But this probably slides nicely into just going off social media. What I’m doing is if I see stupid stuff or things where I’m just like, this is ignorant, I’ll move on instead of letting myself get angry because I think I did a lot of that with the politics of 2020. Even four years with Trump in office is I had so much anger about the hate that he fostered while in office. I think right now it’s like, me being angry does nothing. So what I’m going to try to do is focus on the people who are doing good work and follow people who are trying to make the world a better place and be compassionate, thoughtful leaders who have a plan. Scott and I watched his address last week. Scott was like, “That was amazing. He’s really doing a good job. His speech-writers are awesome.” And he had symbols of unity. Even the hallway that he walked down was lined with all the flags from all 50 states. That is what we need. Little things like that that are making a huge difference. And his press secretary Jennifer Psaki is phenomenal. If you have not seen her speak or do a press conference, please just watch her because you will fall in love. I’m in love with her.

Claire: Press conferences are back.

Joy: Press conferences are back. 

Claire: Normal things that we took for granted.

Joy: So I’m watching politics and not being angry, that’s my goal.

Claire: Yeah. And I also think, to me, moving on, if you have something to move on from, that probably means that that thing you just need to address head on at this point. There’s not a lot of – how do I say this. I don’t think we typically think of politics as something we need to heal from. But I do think a lot of us have to give some time to have boundaries around it, to treat it like getting out of an abusive relationship. Or maybe “abusive” is too strong of a word, but getting out of a dysfunctional relationship. What would you need to move forward after that and give yourself some of those same kinds of things? For me, I am not that engaged with politics right now. I’m engaged locally, and I’m engaged with the causes that are important to me around environmentalism and around anti-racism, but I’m not really paying that much attention into the day-to-day policies and day-to-day news around other types of things. I’ve picked, these are the things I am going to engage with, but I don’t have the motional space and capacity to be aware of all of the things all of the time. And sure, every single thing is related, of course. But that’s just kind of how I’ve had to draw some boundaries. And eventually over time, I will start following those press conferences again and start reading the news again. It was so stressful for me for so long that I just don’t do it. 

Joy: So the thing that I want to be aware of too is that I’m not getting passive as a white person because we had such a racist a**hole in the office that we were trying so hard to be like this is not okay. We’re donating and reading and consuming all the information to try to be helpful, and I found myself being like, now that we have a “normal person” in the White House, I’ve found myself being more passive, which I don’t think is going to help people of color. So that’s something that I’m trying to be – inform yourself, of course, but be helpful and don’t just sit back and be like “now we’re okay,” because we’re not okay.

Claire: We’re not okay, right. And that’s what I mean by I’m staying engaged in the biggest things. We’ve also talked about this. Not every single person can be engaged in every single topic. There is important work, and antiracism work to be done in every topic across every single thing. So find the thing that resonates with you that doesn’t feel stressful, that feels energizing, to actually participate in. Really dig into that and that can really help too.

Joy: Yep, absolutely. Last quick question is, “Do you use affirmations?” I want to say you do not.

Claire: I mean, not like –

Joy: I’m good. I’m great. I’m wonderful.

Claire: I feel good, I feel great, I feel wonderful. I’m rubbing my temples like What About Bob?

Joy: I think about Stuart Smalley on SNL.

Claire: What?

Joy: Stuart Smalley on SNL?

Claire: No, that’s from What About Bob?

Joy: that’s from What About Bob? But the other one on SNL where he’s like, “Gosh darn it, people like me.” I can’t remember the first part of it. You guys are all yelling it, but it’s like –

Claire: I know.

Joy: My brain.

Claire: I don’t use them daily for everything. I have certain phrases. Like in a workout, I’ll use the “I can do hard things.” Which I would like to point out, I have been saying “I can do hard things” before Glennon Doyle made it cool. But I appreciate that she made it cool.

Joy: Yeah, she did make it cool. 

Claire: Yeah, “I can do hard things.” I’m trying to think of any other ones. I don’t really feel like I have any one thing that I always turn back to.

Joy: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So Stuart Smalley. So for those of you who don’t know was played by Al Franken who before he was in politics was on SNL. But he would look in the mirror and be like, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. Dog done it, people like me.” He was kind of like this funny character that was about affirmations. I don’t have an affirmation. I try to take inspiration from the day. So this is silly, but if my Peloton instructors say something positive, I’m like, “I’m going to think of that today.” Or if I see something out in the world that made me happy, like sometimes I see butterflies flying around while I’m on my walk. I take inspiration from that. Just trying to be present and take one day at a time. I always try to think of that. I think it depends on the mood I’m in. If I’m in a crappy mood, then you just have to ride the wave.

Claire: Totally. Alright guys, well thank you for hanging in there with us for another week. We are actually going to have some guests coming up here in the next several weeks, TBD. But so you’ll get a short, not break, but an addition of some new voices here in the next couple of months for a couple of episodes, which we are excited about. Like we talked about, it’s just been so hard to get guests during COVID because people are so sick of being on Skype or on Zoom or whatever by the end of the day that it’s been a lot to try and get people to schedule. So that’s why you’ve gotten pretty much nothing but Joy and Claire for the last year. But we’re going to start mixing it back up again, which we’re really excited about. Whether you like it or not. So feel free to recommend a guest to us. Again, it’s always helpful if you have a connection to that person. If there’s also somebody that you just think is great, we also love getting those suggestions. It’s harder for us to do anything about them because we don’t have a publicist, but you never know. Shoot us an email Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @joyandclaire_. You’re welcome to follow us on Facebook. We’re not really doing anything over there, so I’m probably going to stop bringing that up. 

Joy: Welcome to get that going. If someone wants to run our Facebook page.

Claire: Welcome to get that going. Feel free to just email us any of your thoughts, any of your questions. We’d love to hear from you, and we normally get back to you within a couple of weeks at least.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: And again, if you’ve ever sent us an email and you were really hoping for a response and you didn’t get one, feel free to just –

Joy: Send it again.

Claire: Nudge that email right back into our inbox.

Joy: Nudge it.

Claire: Alright guys, well have a great week, and we will talk to you next week.

Joy: Bye.

Claire: Bye.