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Welcome, welcome, Norm chair expert, I'm DAX Shepard, I'm joined by Monica Lilly Padman full name, full disclosure that your full name, full scrotums.


Oh, really? Through me. I wasn't expecting that word to come out.


It's late. It is late. An authority. We've had a full scrotum worth of work and and it's dark.


I am not interested in the crime of darkness being this early.


Yes. OK, well, let's keep your grievances for the fact check my seasonal affective disorder.


I know we're going to get into it literally. We do get into in fact. Oh, my God, you can't go five minutes without talking about.


OK, today we have Jewel. Jewel, you know, she's a Grammy Award nominated singer songwriter who has sold over 30 million albums worldwide. She is a New York Times best selling author and a mental health advocate. I was blown away by how much Jewel knew about mental health. Oh, I know is amazing.


It was a masterclass. Now, Jewel has been one of the leading voices in the conversation around mental health throughout the pandemic, helping people tackle the silent symptoms of covid-19 anxiety, depression and isolation by building community and connections for those who need it most. For more than 18 years, Jewelz Inspiring Children Foundation. That's what it's called Inspiring Children Foundation has helped at risk youth cope with the same silent symptoms we are now seen in the pandemic. So I applaud you, Joel.


Everyone, please enjoy Joule. We are supported by Gruder ZIP recruit businesses have had to be flexible this year from working remotely to pivoting their business models for long term survival and growth.


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Abe, arj will always be recording's yeah, Ebarb, I like speaking in acronyms.


First of all, I guess people have to consult the Instagram to see this, but what a background. What a wardrobe. Yeah, a fan made these scarves.


Oh, really? Yeah. Yeah. He's an artist from Indonesia, but he's a big fan of mine. So I found on Instagram and he's a beautiful artist.


Does he weave those in a loom or are they printed somehow on silk.


What milks himself and then duces the milk into a beautiful thread and then weaves it.


Wow. And so I don't know how he got the money to carve some kind of fancy magical process.


So, OK, this is either going to set the interview off into a terrible trajectory or a wonderful one. There's no way you would remember. But you and I met about what's going on maybe 17 years ago. It was my first trip to TRL, that MTV show. And you were there with a couple of cowboys. I think one was security. And what was your lover and lover?


You don't hear the word that often. Lover word. Isn't it nice? I love her. Yeah. Feels very like it's it actually creeps me out.


I don't know why I like my lover. I'm like, oh, I don't know. It sounds tawdry. Something about it sounds a little like strange. Like there's a focus my lover. Right.


OK, but moving on. OK, so I meet the security guard cowboy and I'm like, this guy isn't as big as I would expect a security guard to be.


But he did have a look in his eye that I was like, this guy knows how to get down. That's neither here nor there. Then what we both had to do for TRL is you go into a photo booth and they take like three photos.


So what I didn't know and I know you didn't know was.


No, I didn't. You're not just on camera.


When the thing's clicking, there is a video feed in the photo booth you had gone in with, again, your lover.


And so I was just about to go out on stage and I was standing next to the control room and I heard a guy go, oh, wow, look at this.


And I turn my head. And by George, your breast was exposed and your lover was handling it.


It was a life highlight for me what I mean, so unexpected. You just glance to the left and then you think, these young lovers, what a gift you gave to me.


I remember that moment really well. That was my husband, by the way. That was Ty.


You know, we got down a little bit. Yeah. You know, got a little frisky.


I so applauded it. I remember when it happened.


So we take the photos we have to take and then we think we're like we're like two little kids, like, yeah, I left my shirt up and grabbed my shirt up and I look and there was like a green light on, even though we weren't taking any more photos.


And so there's a series of photos where you can see me going, oh, it was so I was so mortified. I had to go find the people.


So if you guys were recording, I'd really like. Have you erased it?


Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Would you rather regret doing that than having not done that. Yeah.


In all the ways you can be embarrassed. It worked out pretty good. It wasn't that bad. So first of all, let's just say that you are here because it is the twenty fifth anniversary of pieces of you. We're coming up on that. And you are reissuing the album and you are including in it a demo version that you had recorded, I assume early, early on of you were meant for me. And so that comes out on November 20th.


What led to the thought of like, yeah, let's celebrate this, that it's been twenty five years and let's get it back out there.


I'm actually a terrible celebrator celebrator, a form of that word. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. My whole career I was really very workmanlike. I had goals, I got those and I would just move on. I wasn't really like a stop and smell the roses kind of person.


Huh. And it's kind of a bummer. Like I look back at all the stuff I did, I was exhausted.


I worked so hard. I had a crazy relationship with my mom. It was every stereotypical TV movie thing you can imagine. Yeah. And I never had anybody around me.


And I also wasn't the type that celebrated. And so when it was the twenty fifth anniversary of this, I was like, you know what, I'm going to celebrate. This record changed the entire trajectory of my life.


Oh, I like celebrations important.


I study nutrition a lot and I'm going to go off on a tangent. But here we go. Stick with me. If you eat refined sugar, your saliva tells your brain what you're about to eat. And so if you have sugar in your mouth, it sends a signal and you should receive some nutrients from the sugar. So your cell stops waste elimination and it receives hopefully the nutrients and sends a signal back to your brain that it got it. But when it's refined sugar, there's no new.


And so it sends a signal to your brain saying we didn't get it, and that's the craving cycle. So if eat raw sugar, you won't get as sugar addicted because you get satiated. So it's kind of like fat is the same way. An altered fat in a potato chip. You'll never get the signal that you ate enough.


It'll keep going. Wait, we didn't get it.


Oh, so the way I'm relating this back is that celebration is like that same thing. Psychologically, I think celebration lets you psychologically know we did it. You can relax everything you worked for. Psychologically, it's enough and you feel satiated and then you can move on to the next thing.


And I think that people that don't celebrate, I'll just talk for myself. I think you really lack that sense of satisfaction. You know, you'll hit a goal and you're like, it wasn't what I thought it would be, and you keep going to do it again. And so that's my theory.


I like that. And it's interesting because a couple reasons. One, I'm so similar. I think I just always was like, what's next? What's next, what's not great? I got here, which hopefully will allow me to get here and then get here. And then I just wasn't present for so many of the things I wished I had been present for.


And then also there's some level of embarrassment about celebrating. It's always felt self-indulgent to celebrate or embarrassing, maybe. But you're right, it does give you closure.


I guess that's why there's like wrap parties for things and there's, you know, or utilitarian purpose.


I think so. I think it's actually really psychologically important. So I'm throwing a huge party for myself. I'm doing a livestream show where I'm going to sing the record from top to bottom. Aha. I'm renting out a theater where I'm going to perform the record for the first time. I've never sung this record, so I'm going to sing the whole record in order.


Thus my constant practicing because it's a lot of strange tunings and really long poetic songs. Yeah, I'm bringing in 30 of my friends and covid testing everybody. It's like the modern weird world of safe sex, you know, it's a very safe sex friendships.


Have you been monogamous in our friendship? Have you been in a rough night? Yeah, right.


It's your last test to hang on for this. I'm going to Livestream and I have three cameras and normally I would probably go do this show live somewhere. But because it is covid and because it's on camera, I'm going to be live streamed. The real plus side is I don't get overseas much anymore. I have a lot of friends and fans in Chile and just whatever overseas. And this way at least everybody can tune in. Whereas if this was normal times, I wouldn't be doing the live stream show.


It just wouldn't be happening. And yeah, fans wouldn't get to be part of it. So that's the plus side, I guess.


OK, now we're going to go through your life a little bit. And again, if we ran into each other seventeen years ago and you had been famous long before that, I'm sure you're exhausted of telling your life story. But alas, here we go.


I've not heard it from you and I'm excited to first and foremost, there's a lot of weird things about you, one being you grew up in Alaska. I've not ever bumped into someone in life while other than you. And so where are you from? And they said Alaska. So I just think that in and of itself is interesting. I have a lot of Alaska questions.


Yes. First and foremost, your father's name is spectacular. Atila Cuno clincher.


Yeah. Attila Kuno, Arts Kilcher. Monica, do you hear that? Atila Kerno Picture Arts Kilcher, Kilcher, Kilcher.


And I'm imagining that's from Deutschland.


This is German. Swiss, but yes, OK.


And then Granddad was like a prominent person in Alaska, right. He was a state senator and he crossed some ice field no human had ever done. Is he kind of a legendary Alaskan?


Yeah, my grandmother and grandfather were born in Switzerland. They moved to Germany and we're part of an artistic movement. And my grandfather was studying in college this theory that you could hit a critical mass in a society where it would implode and self-destruct.


And he thought that that time was coming in Europe and he actually talked an entire group of people into fleeing Europe. And so he went ahead is the scout and he hiked across glacial fields. And it was an incredible adventure. And he sent word back to everybody in Europe. By this time, the war was starting. So apparently my grandfather was right to some degree and nobody could get visas except my grandmother. She had a visa. And so she wasn't dating my grandfather at the time.


She actually had been dating somebody else, but he didn't want to leave. And she thought she needed to escape the climate in Europe and have kids in a free country. Yeah. So she got off a boat and he handed her flowers and they had eight children, all middle of. No, that's her lover. Yeah. Yeah.


There's a lot of love and going on. So your father was born in Alaska. Yeah. As the progeny of these proud Swiss adventurers, by the way, it sounds like he was a cult leader just a little bit. Right.


He tried to be I think it was veiled just having kids. It was like I just have to have a lot of kids. Nobody came. Yeah. This could be a way different conversation.


Like your grandfather was an Alaskan Jim Jones type right here.


OK, so your dad was born there and then he went to Utah. They were Mormon. He meets your mother. You're born, I guess, in. Utah, and then you guys move back pretty quickly to Anchorage, and here's where my interest now starts, because my wife did a movie in Anchorage and of course, every day the sun's coming out like 20 minutes later. It's like it's insane how rapidly it goes, right? The sun just goes away where it's coming up at like nine, the nine thirty.


And before I left and it wasn't even by far the nadir of that somersault coming up till like noon. And I just was thinking, man, what a bipolar kind of lifestyle it is to have all light in the summer and then all darkness in the winter. Do you think it could result in kind of a mood set?


You know, when you're a kid, life is just life. It doesn't dawn on you. There's any other way of it being. It was just life. I mean, I'm sure everybody in Alaska is afflicted with seasonal affective disorder. There's something lots of people that make sure they're taking their vitamin D and trying to get sun. And I'm sure depression's a huge thing up there due to that. But my parents divorced when I was eight. We moved to Homer and so it was just a trip.


You do remember days and darkness milking the cow in the morning, feeding the horses in the darkness, walking to school in the darkness. The dusky little twilight in the afternoon would be while you're in school, so you'd miss it. Then you're riding the bus home in darkness and feeding the horses in darkness. And, you know, it's just it's a trip. It's a very different lifestyle.


And I'm from Michigan and it's obviously not nearly as bad, but it is bad. We would go to school in the dark and come home in the dark as well. But the elation when summer arrives is unparalleled. But I have to imagine it's probably even exceeded in Alaska. So you just have this crazy elation when summer arrives.


Yeah, it's definitely manic. You go all the time and you're getting a lot of a subsistence live up there. So you're definitely catching your meat and your fish and canning your vegetables and making jams. Everything's preparing for winter. It's like getting through winter and then preparing for winter and then lots of fun to have such long days that you're outside a lot. I remember getting home. I was exhausted. I was so hungry. I rode my horse home.


It was just turning in that nice golden hour before sunset. And I like, Why am I so hungry? And I looked at my watch.


It was three a.m. I haven't eaten since four.


I was also up there one time in summer. And yes, the sun just sets and it kind of just cruises across the horizon. So you just have this like very long sunset, which is beautiful.


But I found it maddening because I'm already an insomniac. How many hours a night are you sleeping in the summer?


Less than eight.


I'd imagine as a kid. It was normal. You just it's just you that's how you were raised. And it doesn't affect you for me. I take my son back for a month every summer and he stays up a little later, but he learns to sleep. You know, it's weird. Like the sun will shine right in your eyeball, you know, and it's 11:00 at night. And so you wear masks. A lot of people use tin foil on their windows.


Very much of that up there, but very messy. Yep. Yeah. But it makes it hard for law enforcement to figure out who it is. Yeah.


So when your parents got divorced, you went with Dad and you went to Holmer, which was far more desolate. Right. Than Anchorage, presumably when you were in Anchorage, you were somehow on Granddad's homestead. Yeah. Yeah. I would imagine you had running water and indoor plumbing there in Anchorage. We did.


Having left Anchorage with indoor plumbing and then going somewhere at eight without were you like, what the fuck are we doing here?


Or were you like, oh, this is cool and kitschy? Or what was your take away from that? It wasn't the homestead right away.


A lot of times I talk about my life. I simplify it because it's a lot. I think between the ages of eight and eighteen, I lived in twenty two different places, so it was a lot of moving. But when we first left, you know, my mom just didn't want to be a mom anymore. So my dad took over raising us and he had really bad PTSD and sort of trauma trying really hard.


He was in Vietnam. Yeah, yeah. But you know, we talk about mental health. My dad, when you got to Vietnam, realized how bad his childhood was because he found it relaxing, was the first time he had relaxed his life was in Vietnam.


So that tells you that my dad, a pretty fucked up childhood.


Yeah. And so, yeah, lots of compounded PTSD, obviously also in Vietnam. And becoming a single dad was very triggering. And so he started drinking, became abusive. We started singing when I was that age too. And it was a huge life change. We moved to my uncle's machine shop. It was a one bedroom little apartment behind his machine shop in Homer, Alaska.


And so there was a water closet, you know, where the heater and the pipes that come up. My dad built these two bunk beds where the water pipes kind of grew through it and they slept in the water closet.


And then you remember those like really narrow closets with the accordion doors that open. Yeah, yeah. That was my room. So I just had this very narrow bed, the width of the coat closet up high. It was like a top shelf kind of. And we had a little ladder that went straight up. It was just maybe the width of my shoulders and that was my room. So that was where we moved out first. I think the next year we went to the homestead.


That's where they were. The outhouse and, you know, we only eat what we could kill our camp. I loved the homestead. I still houses are underrated. It's very civilized to have an outhouse while you're away from everybody, OK?


A lot of Monica would love that. Yeah, I like being far away.


Yeah, you can have the outhouse door open and us we had these rolling green meadows and a bay and glaciers and Swiss Alps like my outhouse had a better view than I have not been in a prettier place with a better view like my house.




Why not leave the door open as well. Right. Would you leave the door open? Yeah. You just leave the door open.


It doesn't smell because you use lime and ash in those things because we're not monsters. Right.


Right. But what about winter? You're painting a very pretty summer picture. But what happens in winter? I mean, that's brutal.


Yeah. I mean, you do kind of you and your siblings dance around the coal stove just seeing who can outlast each other. So who has to go for the outhouse?


It's the walk back from the outhouse.


You know, as a little kid, it's pitch black, it's winter. You go to the outhouse on the way back, you're like, I'm not scared. There's nothing here.


It's cool. What was that?


And then you walk faster and a little faster and then pretty soon you're just a full speed panic run.


And you get inside, you're like, oh, yeah, another nice manic experience.


When I came to the states down here with the plumbing, I was like, it's just so weird. Like people use the bathroom this far for like you're on the other side of a door. It's very upsetting.


I don't like it. It doesn't mean I don't like it. Oh, well, so Monica might uproot and head up north.


I might have to build myself an outhouse. You think you have seasonal mood disorder in L.A.? Just wait. Do you hit. I know I'm not going there. That sounds miserable for me. A brat who has seasonal affective disorder.


So now it's very rare in the eighties, in nineteen eighty three for a man to end up with custody of three kids. Of course, as you say, it's your childhood. But did you have any embarrassment or shame about peers at school like did that make you aware of like oh I'm in and kind of a unique situation or did any of that set in while you were learning about what other kids lives were like?




Towne's was definitely hard. I don't think my dad was awarded custody or anything like that. I think my mom just was like peace, like not into this right now. I didn't know that, though. I just knew my dad took us. I knew my dad didn't seem to like us. So it seemed weird like this lady who seemed so nice and so never yelled. And it was just this really soft spiritual lady.


We weren't with her and we were with my dad. So it's confusing. A lot of weird shit definitely went down, a lot of confusing stuff. I remember I would hitchhike to Anchorage to see my mom. I would show up on her doorstep. I'd hitchhike two hundred miles to go see her as a ten year old, as an eleven year old.


That sounds super safe. Yeah, I was super good decision making.


And what was the excuse you had been given or the explanation of have a book called Never Broken?


And I talk a lot about this. And my mom basically said my my dad kind of blackmailed her into having us. And I don't know why that made sense to me, but it did, you know. Yeah. Although now if I think about it but my dad didn't really seem happy having us. Why would he blackmailer to you know, but you don't get it when you're young, you know, just doesn't quite make sense. And I really actually admire my dad for all of his faults.


He never would ever talk bad about my mom ever. And there was some stuff that went down that was obviously really hard for him. But he never once was like, your mom doesn't want you to show up at her door.


Yeah, he let me have my relationship with her. And the relationship I thought I was in was pretty delusional. It was my own fantasy. And it wouldn't be until I was in my early thirties that I would actually figure out what that relationship was. And that would be a hell of a lot turn. Sure.


Yeah. You started singing with mom and dad when you were five. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, my God. I just got to throw this out here because when I was visiting my wife, we were staying at the Hilton, which I think you played at often. I did.


And I ate dinner every single day at the Crow's Nest, which is the top floor restaurant there. Would you play in the crow's nest?


We played in a ballroom downstairs, like in a conference room sort of for a dinner show.


OK, I miss the crow's nest. They had crab legs for anything. You got a cup of tea. You want crab legs with it. You know, you going to get something without crab legs, which I love.


And also, I just going to add, this has nothing to do with you or I, but there's an interesting flow in that hotel, which is there's a lot of guys that are working way north and they're just absolutely marooned for four months at these oil fields.


And then they come to town and they get these huge paychecks because they can't spend money up there. And then they go to the crow's nest and they're like a day out of the oil derrick and it gets rowdy at the crow's nest.


Alaska's rowdy. It's a tough place, like learning how to handle yourself in bars there. You can take care of yourself anywhere.


Yeah. Yeah. I got into it in the elevator with a guy. Yup, yup, yup, western and people will pull a knife and people will pull a gun like you got to learn to, not Malvo.


If you let a lot of stuff go that somewhere else, you might feel a little tough about.


OK, so then it became kind of you and your dad that would go and sing, right. And you would play at many bars. And I am curious about what that lifestyle is. I have my own experience with it, which is when I visited my dad, we just went to the bar all day long so I'd be eight and I'd spend 14 hours in a bar. I have a lot of memories of that. Yeah. And just my view of adults is very skewed by that.


I'm not seeing, like, the Kiwanis Club operating.


I'm due to start drinking at 10 a.m.. So what was it like to be spending so much time in that kind of environment?


Yeah, it's a trip. You don't meet many kids like that. Have your story where they were raised in bars watching that level of humanity.


I saw people in pain like when I started, especially bars singing when I was eight with my dad.


We did five hour sets. So I was. Wow.


And then you're in there at least an hour before, probably an hour later, just hanging out. And it was intense.


You know, you saw for me, I felt like I just saw people in pain. I saw people trying to deal with pain in different ways over a long period of time. Over years, a lot of them had their habits. You know, I'm sure you have these stories.


I had a vet that would get all his money out, tens, fives and ones in these little stacks, and he'd get two pitchers of beer and he'd just sit and listen to us and he tip his waitress. He had this funny little system and he was there every night and he had the songs that he loved and always requested. And, you know, he drank himself to death. He didn't have money for a casket. I remember singing in the parking lot of a bar to raise money for a casket for his funeral.


I saw a lot of life. You know, you saw women and what they would do for a compliment, a nasty, sweaty, gross compliment and what they would compromise for that compliment. You see people with anger. And what it looked like to me was like some people had a wound and then they tried to avoid the wound by piling it up with all these with drugs and alcohol and relationships and this shit show.


And then they still have this pain to deal with. And I watched people die without ever. You just looked hard. It looked hard. It looked sad. Yeah. Promised myself to never drink and never do drugs.


Like I made myself this promise when I was eight years old, which is so odd that I did that.


Did you succeed at that? I did. You've never drank?


Not till I was thirty four. Then I became an alcoholic and did heroin. But you know, until then I did really good.


Oh, that's my hat's off to you because I had the same warnings and I went straight at it. But it's funny. So I bet you because my best friend Aaron Weekley and I, we were just together a bunch and we grew up in the same town. And we also when I wasn't with my dad, the bar, I go to the bowling alley where all the other drunks were at.


And there's this whole canon of music that I associate with that time, like, how long is this been going on?


And they're all this whole rash of mid eighties kind of soft rock songs I associate with these. Yeah. Hammered adults falling in love. You know what will be a nine hour love affair. I saw so many strangers fall in love to this music that it's just so connected. Then when I listen to Yacht Rock, I'm just swimming in those memories of these like pretty sloppy adults, just like, you know, getting it on.


Yeah, yeah. I called it the last dance rodeo. You'd see the prettiest girls walk in the bar, right. And you'd see everybody clock them. Then you'd see all the guys try and get with them all night.


But they thought they were the prettiest and so they kept waiting to see if a hotter guy would come in the bar and if they didn't match up by last call, it was like this.


Desperate musical chairs were like people were just trying to pair off.


You know, you're right. It's so wrapped. I called it the last dance rodeo. Oh, my God, you're so right.


It's almost like bidding at an auction. I've been that person many times, like, oh, I was oh, that's not going to work out. Who do I go? Oh, shit. Well, I didn't give her enough time. She noticed who's left. Yeah.


Oh, boy, oh boy. And then I read a quote of yours that, you know, obviously it broke my heart in a way that, you know, you said, you know, numerous men had put a dime in your hand and said, call me when you're sixteen. And I just wonder what it's like to be sexualized at that age. And what kind of then defenses do you build? I think you either succumb to it right in our a victim or I imagine you develop some pretty big defenses.


Yeah, yeah. I remember when I was probably nine or something, but this guy, I was headed into the restroom and a guy was coming out of it and staggering and it was just a minute and he reaches in his pocket.


And when you're a kid, you know, sometimes people will give you a dollar and weird stuff like that. I was like, is he giving me a dollar? Like, what's happening here? Right.


And he puts a dime in my hand. And I was like, and he closes my little finger one at a time. And he goes, Call me when you're sixteen. You're going to be great to fuck when you're older. And I was just like, holy smokes.


Oh, I would have you know, I'd have guys measure my throat. Oh, just a minute. And they. And I'd be like, what is he doing? And he'd be like, you've been cheating on me. I don't even know what that means. I guess a blowjob joke, I don't really know. Like the grossest blowjob joke I've ever heard.


Yeah, really nasty. But I really learned, you know, because I was watching the same thing that you saw a lot of sloppy, like, hookups happening. It wasn't personal. These men did not come on to these women for personal reasons. It was loneliness and desperation. They were it was proximity a lot of time. So I never took the compliments I was given or I learned not to take it personal, which is a weird thing, I guess, to say.


But I think it was really important and powerful. It didn't mean anything about me. It's not how I was going to get validated. And that's good. It's good to know.


Yeah. I mean, it's a crash course in that. Yeah. Do you remember what age you were when you recognized? Because of course, as you just point out, there's a whole period where it's just all flying over your head and then there has to be a moment where you're like, oh, this is all sexual energy and this is weird.


Yeah, I could tell it was sexual energy, really young because it was so direct, you know what I mean? Like when you said, fuck, when you're older, it's so visceral and it was everywhere.


It was, you know, bars.


So I definitely learned to really keep my energy and my sexual energy contained before I was ever sexual. I'm really thankful personally that I learned this before I was of age, before I had any of those urges or feelings on my own, because I was able to see through a lot of it, just like knowing it's not personal, the guy's horny.


It doesn't mean you're pretty, doesn't mean you're a nice person. Like you can't take it personal. It's a really important thing to know, especially when you're in a job where you do get, you know, women typically in our jobs get really taken advantage of. And so when I was singing a piano bar, I worked my way through high school in Michigan. There was a girl who was also sixteen. We were both sixteen and I already had eight years of experience under my belt.


I don't flirt with bar owners. I keep my shit straight and I focus on my talent. You just learn to mind your P's and Q's and where your energy's going. And this other girl, you know, this was her first time singing in a bar and first time having guys attention and yeah, it feels good. And she didn't fare as well, you know, because she was taken advantage of and a guy said he liked her. And you can kind of paint that story out.


So I was very thankful. It was the best training for my career, the best training for my industry I think I could have had.


Do you think that made intimacy in a real relationship hard, like hard to trust when they say you're pretty or I like you or you're funny? Like if your brain is trained in kind of not believe that not take things to heart, that seems like that would be hard in a real relationship to get past its use.


Your idea of men kind of like what you said dacs like I think if you asked me back then and I don't know if the number is going to change a lot and I do love men and I know a lot of great men. But if I said how many men, if there was a woman unconscious on the side of the road, no cameras, how many men would at least lift up her shirt? I'm going to go with the number. Ninety percent, sadly, you know what I mean?


Like, yeah, that's the reality I was raised in. So the reason I never drank or did drugs because I didn't ever want to be out of control or in a position where I could put myself in harm's way because I knew the risks were really high.


You know, it's such a sad state of affairs that that is a factual statement.


Yeah, but to answer your questions, that didn't affect my relationships with men as much. Probably my relationship with my dad did. So that I think that's where intimacy got much more impacted for sure.


Yeah. I just wonder if if you found pockets where you're like, oh, no, people aren't as bad as I may be, but the ones I was around.


Yeah, no, I've met so many amazing, good people, you know, that's kind of the privilege of getting to have no money and also then having money. You really see, like my poorest friends are often the most generous people I've ever been around. They know their life depends on their neighbors and vice versa.


Like I've never had people treat me better than poor people had a lot of rich people be incredibly stingy.


And it's interesting kind of as you start to navigate these worlds, there's good people everywhere. There's bad people everywhere. There's no way to stereotype or guess which and where it'll be.


Yeah, I do probably still feel skewed about, you know, the male thing. I think male sexuality. I think me too probably showed a lot of it.


It's like when I was homeless, I was homeless for a year and I'd be sitting in my van playing my guitar. You know, there's no way to kill time, right? It's you're never allowed to be parked anywhere. So it's always hard to find somewhere to kill hours. So I'm never going to like Super Mart parking lots. And you hang out there. I hang out there all day and I just sit in my car and write songs.


I was propositioned by exclusively rich married businessmen. I was flat out proposition. Like I was not sitting there looking, by the way. I was sitting in my back of my car with the thing of playing songs.


Man would straight up walk to me. They were on the way to get milk for their families for like, wow, I. Actress had somebody sensing vulnerability and seeing if they can leverage it like other hello. Oh, yeah, yeah. Oh, man, I'm so bummed.


I mean, you are largely right, is what's so sad. Stay tuned for more armchair expert, if you dare. We are supported by Squarespace.


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The last thing I'm just curious about is I think there's a little bit of a situation I think I and my brother were in and I've already interviewed my mom, so she wouldn't mind me saying this, but there was a dynamic between us, which is when there was no man around, we were kind of elevated to partner status. And I imagine the fact that you worked with your father and that he was divorced, I would imagine that there was a similar thing where it's like a little bit confusing boundaries.


Yeah, there's a great book called Emotional Incest. Have you ever read that? No. Highly recommend.


My dad wasn't very emotionally incestuous. Uh, my mom, oddly, was more. Oh, OK. We were like, you know, when I went away to school, she was like, we're the same soul and two bodies. And that was like the best news. It was like I was the girl that always wanted her mom. And the way our relationship unfolded was extra creepy, like it was nothing sexual. It's that emotional intimacy, you know, when they get their dreams fulfilled and their emotional needs met and that type of thing.


Well, that sounded probably when you were young, kind of sweet and now older. You recognize that just narcissism. She thinks you are an extension of her.


Yeah. It's not that your soul was in her body. Her soul was into bodies, yours and hers.


Yeah. There was a time in my life when, you know, I was fearful for my life. You know, it got scary by the end of that.


This is the book. OK, I found it. Yeah. Emotional Incest Syndrom. Look at that. Syndrom syndrome. OK, so Interlochen, at some point you get an opportunity to go to Interlochen, which I've never been to, but I'm from Michigan and I've interviewed a bunch of people that when there is that a very special place?


Yes. I moved out at fifteen. I was like, I could live in a cabin with a guy that isn't nice to me or I could just live in a cabin. So I moved out, started paying rent, working a couple jobs, and I was cleaning buildings. And a dance instructor came from out of state. And I was like, Can I clean your dance studio in exchange for dance lessons?


I was a terrible dancer, but he found that I could sing and he was a teacher at Interlochen and he said, Why don't I help you apply? So I applied as a vocal scholar, got a partial scholarship. I still needed ten thousand dollars to go. I did my first solo show in Holmer. I did all cover songs I wasn't writing yet and my little town raised ten thousand dollars for me and I got.


Oh my gosh, there you go. That's the example of people who certainly didn't have money to donate.


Yeah, really neat. And I loved it. Yeah. Interlochen was special. You know, you go from being a pretty talented kid in your area and kind of maybe a bigger fish in a smaller pool to being around a lot of fiercely talented, highly trained practice, six hours a day type kids.


And did you mesh well with them or did you feel like an outsider? Because relatively that would be big city from where you were from, even though it's in the sticks by Michigan standards, it was a trip.


You know, I was raised a little I was a little bit of a wild animal. You know, I I wasn't raised well. I grew up in wild circumstances. You know, I hitchhiked from Detroit up to Traverse City with a knife. And I remember what rolling into school with this large skinning knife on my belt and everybody just staring at me.


And I was like, I almost got kicked out my first day because I had this knife in Alaska. Everybody carries a knife like that. It's not like, you know, it's just a normal life. So he's like, where are you from? When I was like Alaska and he was like, give me the knife, which, you know, I didn't have money for books or food.


I was completely caught off guard that it would take extra money for those things. You know, it was a fifteen thousand dollar tuition. I thought there would be butlers like in my head.


I'm there's going to be maids and butlers and ice cream fountains. And now I had to buy books.


And this is also in like nineteen eighty nine. Nineteen ninety. Right. So I think. Yeah. So fifteen grand. That's a that's a hefty tuition then. It was a lot.


Yeah. So I got a couple of jobs and worked my way through. High school is definitely the only one working you know, to pay my way through like that. It was definitely an adjustment. I ended up hanging out in the art department and studying art and I learned a lot. It ended up being an amazing experience.


Why San Diego? Why did you end up there next? My mom was sick and she was living in San Diego. She had heart problems. OK, that was the story.


So you went there to help Mom with maybe real maybe not real heart issue?


Yeah, she was sick, so I was working a couple of jobs. I was paying the rent and taking care of her.


And then you start performing at coffee houses and whatnot and you do the impossible, which is you get discovered and how far between starting to perform in the coffee houses and then meeting Bob Dylan. Like, what's that time frame?


I was working in a coffee shop. I met a guy singing in a coffee shop who let me get up with him. I was then fired from that place because I wouldn't pose in a nude calendar for the owner.


I went to work at a computer warehouse and my boss took me to lunch one day and propositioned me. And I joked it off like thinking, Oh, no.


Big deal, we would both get through this and I went in for my paycheck the next day and he wouldn't pay me, wouldn't talk to me, wouldn't even acknowledge that I walked in the room. He just acted like I was a ghost. And so I was terrified to go tell my sick mom that we're going to get kicked out of where we're living. And she was like, let's live in our cars.


And I was like, that sounds like the best idea, like such a relief not to have to pay rent. She ended up going back to Alaska and I stayed and then my car got stolen that I was living in and I couldn't hold a job down.


I was having sorry, but I know that, like, guess luckily you weren't in it.


Yeah, that was the punch line at that's actually what they say on my show. Yeah.


I couldn't hold a job down so bad kidneys. I kept getting sick. I almost died in the emergency room parking lot because they wouldn't see me because I don't have insurance.


I had sepsis was throwing up all over myself in this little car that I was living in. And a doctor luckily had seen me get turned away. And he tapped on my window and I was covered in my own vomit and he gave me antibiotics. And thankfully, they worked and he saved my life.


This is the first guy that didn't proposition you. And I guess because you were covered in Puf, you know.


You know what? He saw me for free for an entire year while I was homeless. He did a very nicely nice to me. There were always like some you know, there are these angels for sure and every in my life for sure.


And do you think the kidney issue was the enormous amount of stress you are under and it manifesting itself in that way?


I think so. I think some of it's a slightly genetic anomaly in my kidney, but I think a lot of it was just extreme levels of stress and not being able to take care of myself very well, letting bladder infections go. And yeah, just tremendous. I was becoming agoraphobic, which is the fear of leaving your home, which when you don't have a home, is like, I won't leave the street corner. You know, it's it was hard.


I was shoplifting a lot.


It started with carrots, which apparently are the gateway vegetable because are they really, really know.




Led to the hard stuff here.


One day I was in a dressing room and I was trying to steal a dress, had these baggy fiber ones on, and I was shoving a dress down my pants. And I looked at my reflection and I was like, I am a statistic.


When I moved out at fifteen, I promised myself I wouldn't be a statistic. I promised myself. I wrote in my journal, my happiness project. I knew happiness wasn't taught in my house. I wanted to see if it was a learnable skill. I wanted to look at nature versus nurture, and if my nurture was shit, could I get to know my real nature? And I set off on this very ambitious mission. Fast forward three years and here I am.


And I was a statistic.


So I remember this quote by Buddha that said, Happiness doesn't depend on who you are or what you have. It depends on what you think. And I wanted to see if I could turn my life around one thought at a time, but I had so much anxiety I couldn't even witness my thoughts in real time. So I came up with this idea of watching my hands because the hands of the servants of your thought.


So if you want to know what you're thinking, watch what you spend your time doing. So my life plan was don't steal dress. Take notes on everything your hands do for two weeks.


Can I quickly ask A, what age were you and B, what gave you those ideas? Those are interesting approaches to this.


I was 18 and not really sure what gave me the idea.


You are a voracious reader when you're younger, maybe pick some.


Yeah, I read a lot of Greek philosophy, the Greek classics when I was young. I loved the dialectic. I loved asking yourself questions and getting answers. And I learned that when I wrote I noticed patterns I never saw before. And so this relationship started when I was probably fifteen very seriously of asking myself questions, which is a mindfulness exercise. Those words weren't around then, but I was basically training myself to be mindful, being observant and curious.


And then I'd notice patterns and then I'd start experimenting like I noticed there was two basic states of being. I was either always either dilated or contracted and that every single thought, feeling or action led to one of those two states. So I started to use my body as a barometer and go, I'm very contracted. What was I just thinking, feeling or doing? And so I just started to be like a little detective and I'd write down I was just thinking about this or that.


It was like lab notes.


Yeah. And then I realized, you can't be in two states at once. And I started to experiment and see if I could hack my way out of it. Anxiety contracted state by participating in something on my deleted list, you know, joy, curiosity, observation, walking in nature like I had this whole list of things. Yeah.


And so I remember a panic attack was starting to come on and I decided to try and get profoundly grateful. And the trick is it can't just be in your mind like I'm grateful I'm alive. I remember seeing the sun filtering through this palm tree and it was beautiful. And it cast the shadow on me and reminded me being a kid in Alaska in the fields and the million moments of laying, you know, watching the sun through trees. And I became just profoundly moved and grateful that I hadn't killed myself.


And I was here and I wasn't quitting and I was trying to figure it out. And I became so moved to tears with gratitude. My. Whole system dilated and I worked it off my first panic attack, which was like magic to me. Yeah, I learned how to stop stealing. I learned to like I started creating all these what would now be called mindfulness exercises, because I was determined to rewire my brain and all my songs that I was writing were based on that stuff.


So, like, Hans is one of my hits. And that was about that moment watching my hands. Yeah, yeah.


And you kind of channeled a lot of all that desire to steal into writing. Right. That became your new way to regulate, I would say, your emotional state.


Yeah, it was a way to get like a new habit loop going if it's stimulus response and reward. My stimulus was being homeless. My response was stealing. My reward was control power.


But you can replace anything. It could be drugs, it could be eating, it could be whatever your responses and that reward that stems from it. So I trained myself to write. It took me like several weeks to get any kind of reward from writing. But with time I did it. Yeah.


And then so really quick, where does Bob Dylan come into this picture? Oh, yeah. So I got discovered at the end of a year. It was a complete accident. I just developed a following and record labels came down.


I was offered a million dollar signing bonus, but I read a book on how the business works and I turned it down and took a big back end and paid rent, move my mom into my little brother with me and just started bashing out a full career at the height of grunge, which is difficult. My record was considered a failure. I think after about a year I had tried to save her soul, didn't work for me, didn't work. And then Dylan took me on the road and his manager was like, He's not going to meet you.


He's not going to watch your show. I was like, I get it. So I did my shows, but I hate people talking when I sing. So I kick people out of shows. I'll be like, I get that you're not here for me. Just go talk in the lobby. If there's two of you left, I want to of you here.


So I was kicking people out of Bob's show and he heard about it. I loved it for some reason.


That sounds like something he would like.


And he invited me down to his dressing room and just mentored me and went over my lyrics with me. And he loved my songs and he really encouraged me to keep going and just keep being solo acoustic. And that was a huge turning point for me, because I was like, if nobody else likes my music and just Bob does, I'm okay.


Yeah. How were you able to trust him? I guess if I had had your background in your history out of like, oh, this guy's just trying to fuck me and he's going to act like he's going to help me. Was that hard for you to trust him?


It's pretty obvious which way people are going. So you trust your instincts? I was worried, I guess, just because you learn to always worry.


Yeah, but the second I got down there, it became very clear he wasn't being lascivious or anything. You had just a very childlike, very sweet curiosity, gave me books to read.


He's like, hey, you ever you ever hear the blue yodeler? I was like, no, it sounds like a superhero.


He's like, Oh, he is Jimmie Rodgers, you know?


He's like, Hey, did you get the books that I sent you? And I was like, Yeah, I got him. Thank you. Because you never called. And I was like, I'm on the phone book like I am.


Or I would write you a thank you note. Thank you.


Yeah. I think it's interesting to see what people took a huge interest in you and wanted to help you. And I think the fact that Bob Dylan and Neil Young to people who share such a DNA and that again, they were playing folk in a grunge era, neither of them have voices that were supposed to work. Their songwriting, you know, just transcended all those barriers. And I just got to imagine you must feel like you're on the right path of those are the two people who you know, it's not like David Lee Roth called you.


It was like, I think I know what you're up.


Do you know what would do great people to kind of vote for you?


Yeah. And it came along just at that time where I was losing faith. And I think actually after the Bob Dylan tour, I started making a second record because the first one was considered a failure.


How did it catch on fire? Because it ended up being, what, like twelve times platinum or something bonkers. Like It's Enormous is one of the biggest debut albums ever. What was the catalyst?


Yeah, when I was making that second record, that's when Neil asked me to tour with him. And it was during that tour that things started to pick up. And I never did go back in the studio. I think those are the Conan appearance, too. That was like a huge shift like I could. I remember when I got on Conan, I think maybe because I was on that Neil tour, everything just started to feel differently. And eventually, not long after that, I started selling a million albums every month.


Oh yea.


My my crazy.


Now, having been someone that grew up with so little money, were you just intoxicated by this notion that you had security.


Yes, I love security.


That's like when the sexiest words I need to and it was never for me like I want houses and cars and property. I was like I want to know I have medical insurance. If I need antibiotics, I want to know I can buy any antibiotics I need. Yeah. Not get the generic and buy a plane ticket and go to a movie whenever I want. It was to this day that stuff thrills me way too silly way.


Every time I order pizza I'm like God damn, I could get any topping I want on the air like I feel. If I fill up my gas tank, I'm like, not even worry, this feels as if it's a good feeling. Now, Mom, famously and you wrote about it in your book, your 2015 book, she absconded with a lot of your money. Was she buying crazy shit like did you notice? Well, Mom seems to be doing quite well.


However, it happened.


I realized I was several million dollars in debt by 2003.


Really quick, what we just talked about, you and I both just covered security. Yeah. How infuriating that you would have not been outlandishly spending end to end up in debt. I mean, I can't imagine anything that would make me more angry.


It sucked. It really sucked, obviously, on a lot of levels. The worst of which is my mom isn't who I thought she was. You know, I had to suddenly go and reevaluate everything I thought was true in my life, everything I'd ever been told, and re-examine it and see if that's the truth. Very disorienting. Obviously a really deep betrayal. And that was then if anything was awful, you know, I had to get myself out of debt.


And what I loved musically was when that first record was so successful, at first I felt a lot of pressure because I was like, how do I do it again? How do I write another hit?


And then I was like, Hey, dipshit, you just hit the lotto.


You don't have to have another hit.


Like, I can either take this is a world of pressure or take all the pressure off of me. And I went for the latter. I was like, because Bob and Neil were both like, do what you want when you want it. Don't think of radio. Don't think of popularity like you owe it as a songwriter to follow your heart.


You know, they were just very the singer songwriter heroes. And they really I was like, I'm going to do whatever the F I want with my entire career. I'm going to do any music genre I want when I want. I'm going to take years between records. I wanted my mental health to be my number one priority always was. My number two job was to be a musician. And now I had the ticket to do all of that. If I didn't, you know, fuck it up.


Yeah. So in 2003, I decided to make a pop record, which I knew would be very controversial. Singer songwriters are not allowed to go pop.


It's a sell out thing if you're a member of the indie cred is everything in the nineties. Yeah.


So when I did pop, it was like outrageous. You think it's so funny to say, but it was like considered like sacrilege.


Sorry, but it didn't matter if it was a hit because I had money. Yeah.


And during the recording of that is when I realized, oh shit, I don't have money and I'm in debt and I love this pop thing to work really badly.


Oh man. Talk about the rug being pulled out. Yeah.


Stay tuned for more armchair expert if you dare.


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OK, now you have a foundation and also you work with Dr. Judd Brewer, who we've interviewed and we absolutely love, when does your pursuit of mental health transitioned into something more formal, like mindfulness? And in these approaches, you've already kind of talked about some of them. But I'm very curious about what mindfulness entails to you. What are some practical things people can do? And then then also, of course, I'd like to hear about your foundation.


Yeah, when I was homeless, it was just such a pivotal time in my life. I learned so much like I remember reading Descartes. And he said, I think therefore I am. But when I was homeless, I realized if I could rephrase it humbly, I would say I perceive what I think, therefore I am.


If I can perceive I'm sad, I'm something other than Saddam, the observer of it, and were the observer.


We're not our brain. So like, if your body were a car as a metaphor, your brain is not the driver, it's the steering wheel and it can go on autopilot. But if you can observe your thoughts and observe your brain, that's the driver. And I realized I have to strengthen my relationship with this observer. And so for me, that was I didn't know how to meditate and I realized all these little exercises by becoming mindful. If I was to define mindfulness, I would call it conscious presence.


That's it being consciously present.


So like taking in your surroundings and taking in your breath, taking in what you're seeing, that kind of thing.


Yep. Just being aware of the truth and the present moment. So the first time you start meditating, if you're anxious, you're going to notice you're anxious. That doesn't mean you're failing at meditation. It just means you're present and you're noticing you're anxious.


I don't know what kind of meditation you do, but my wife and I got trained for transcendental meditation, which I like. And largely what I liked was like, you don't have to fight it. Like you have permission to let your mind think about that.


And there's no pressure and you're not trying to control it, which is all I try to do all day long is control my state. Yeah. And is that similar for your meditation?


Yeah, all meditation should be. It's just being present and it's a time and a format to help yourself be present with your breath by counting with a mantra like in TM and all my friends that think they fail at meditation or my type friends because they think winning is having no thoughts. And so they have thoughts and they're like, I suck at this.


I'm not doing it anymore. Yeah, I mean, really, you have a brain. You're not going to not have thoughts, like without a lobotomy. So you can notice your thoughts and then you go, oh, I'm lost in thoughts. I'm going to come back to the present moment and that's a bicep curl. You can literally grow gray matter in eight weeks. You can grow and you fold in your frontal lobe and shrink your amygdala in eight weeks like it's crazy.


So meditation is what I call the bicep curl, a conscious presence. It's helping you build the muscle neurologically to be present for longer and longer periods of time. But it will not change your life. It's not enough. It's kind of like doing a bicycle at the gym, but never using that muscle in the day. It's kind of wasted. So mindfulness and motion is what I call using that mindfulness.


Now, to change your life, what am I going to do with conscious presence? Yeah, because you have to start changing some habits because how many times have you meditated and you step on a leg and you're like, God damn it, Gary, you know?


Yeah. Or I think I've evolved till I get in the grocery store line and somebody cuts me off. It's like, yeah, I haven't evolved.


I haven't changed the metadata right out the window in AA, we say, you know, into action, like your actions can change your thoughts, but your thoughts really generally don't change your behaviors. You can't really think your way into much stuff, but you can act your way into a lot of stuff.


Yeah, I mean, it really is this chain reaction. And I think it does travel both ways. You know, what we're thinking is going to motivate our actions. You know, our own perceptions and thoughts and delusions and worry are going to make us behave one way versus another.


So I developed this whole exercise regime for myself, a neurological exercise regime my whole life from when I was homeless to present day. And I started putting it into a youth foundation because I'm very passionate about helping people that don't have resources, that don't have access to therapy, like what do you do? Or you just screwed. You don't have access to therapy. Yeah. Do you never get to be happy? You don't have a family. So do you never get to be happy?


I believe not.


So I work with kids that are usually multiple suicide attempts, incredibly adverse backgrounds, prostitute parents, drug addicts, abuse, you know, everything you can imagine. And we give them this toolkit, the mindfulness exercises that I developed, and we teach them entrepreneurial skills in tennis, of all things, tennis.


It's a yeah, it's a good way to we thought it was a good way to practice your psychology, you know, because you're really competing against yourself. Oh, yeah. It's a mental game. It's such a mental game. And now we're the number two tennis organization in the country, which is crazy isn't as a byproduct.


Yeah, it's a byproduct. And kids.


Ninety nine percent of them earned their own college scholarships and ninety percent of them are Ivy League. So it works.


How do you want to buy them? How do you locate these kids?


They pretty much find us. We're based out of Las Vegas in. In Laurenzi Park, Geto in Vegas, and that's where we're based out of and kids, refer kids, refer kids, refer families, we've been around for about 18 years. We have different sort of tiers. There's kids that are just in our tennis academy. And then we can they can keep sort of filtering up into our leadership program.


And that's where the kids just really start to excel and catch on.


Now, I have two kids and you have one child. Yeah, yeah.


I keep trying to assess when is the time for me to introduce some of these concepts that help me stay out of the ditch.


I'm constantly like, are they ready for this concept? Like, you know, really learning how to be truthful with yourself? Are they ready for that? Do you think about that often?


Yeah, I really loved seeing how I could get these tools into kid terms. One of the first things I remember teaching my son was every time we you know, they're little, you're holding them all the time. Whenever I went from a noisy room to a quiet room, I would take a really deep breath. And because they mimic you, he would start to do it with me. And then pretty soon he would start to notice. That's body awareness, right, is all it is.


Yeah. Yeah. Then I started to notice on his own like we'd walk through a restaurant to be really loud.


We get in the super quiet bathroom, you go, oh.


And so that was just like a really simple little way to start introducing body awareness and awareness of your surroundings and through modeling really or just modeling the behavior.


You didn't tell him to do that?


Yeah. Coming up with all kinds of stuff. I had a story called The Rainbow Dragon. And so every night when we fell asleep, I would improvise the story about this rainbow dragon who turned the colors of his feelings.


And so I would have the little Rainbow Dragon go through something where he got jealous because he didn't play soccer as good as so and so when he turned green and then it was his job to go take three breaths and then figure out how to get his color back to normal. And so that was a way of teaching mindfulness and emotional regulation and kind of self responsibility. But I hope I think in a child appropriate way.


I like that because a color is not abstract. So it's like if you can assess a desirable color and this one's undesirable, that's just very kind of literal.


The thing. Yeah, yeah. It was fun. And he's nine. And, you know, it's tricky, too. Like if you're somebody that loves self discovery, it took I was like, oh my God, I cannot do this to my kid. I can't investigate all the time. It's horrible. It's a horrible thing to do to somebody. So I remember the face being like, no, this is not helpful.


And yeah, it's not like you run the risk of being the psychology parent who's.


Yes. Yes. How did you come to work with Dr. Brewer?


You know, he ran across my work. He just liked little curriculum I built. And so he volunteered to explain why they work neurologically. If you go on to the website, he's sort of the guy who explains why these do rewire your brain. But it's a toolkit that I came up with on my own. And once I read his book later, I'm such a fan. He's actually about to put another one out, which I think is great.


I do a mindfulness summit on the tenth. It was World Mental Health Day, and I did a big world mental health summit for that, where I aggregate a bunch of speakers and I do a physical wellness festival in Cincinnati. And so, you know, we've just developed a great relationship with people like Judson and have them come in and talk.


Yeah. So clearly now, more than ever, I can't imagine a context in which mindfulness can be really helpful or all everyone I know is struggling, you know, whether they're aware of it or not, or they can pinpoint what the anxiety is. Just the level of uncertainty is unparalleled in my lifetime, maybe not in older folks, but I just think it's a really wonderful time to have a set of tools at your disposal. And I hope people take a minute to read what you have to say about it.


You know, I have a saying, don't waste a good disaster. You know, you don't get to control everything that happens in life. You do get to choose how it changes you. And so to really take this opportunity to, yeah, learn about connection and what things actually do nourish you and make you feel connected and satiate what things were wastes of your energy and like a low calorie, you know, connection, how can you upgrade that connectivity?


And for me, like, I really remember when I started to look at my anxiety as an ally instead of my enemy, you know, whenever I had anxiety, I was like, I don't want to have anxiety. And I would push it away and try and disassociate from it. And one day I was meditating. I was like, what if it's my friend?


Like, it can't be a mistake. We get anxiety, right? I'm not personally willing to say God is up there going, sorry about that whole addictive part of your brain and the fact that you can experience anxiety.


My bad my bad wasn't a perfect design.


Yeah. So there has to be a biological reason, right? That's kind of what I stumbled on to when I was shoplifting. I was like, I have to be able to be addicted to things for some biological reason.


Maybe I can get addicted to good things. That's what made me start writing. Yeah.


And then with anxiety, I was like, it's our bodies. Only way of trying to tell us when we're in agreement with our life, when we're in agreement with our thoughts and our actions. It's our bodies. Only way of communicating.


It's. Like food poisoning, if you eat something bad, your body's going to throw up and say, don't eat it ever again. Yeah, well, when we do something, say something or think something that we are not in agreement with, it makes us anxious. It's our body saying your life isn't agreeing with you something in your life or your thoughts are making you sick. And when I started to sit down and ask, I would imagine my anxiety as a person and what it looked like and I would have a conversation with it.


I'm like, what are you trying to tell me? What was I just thinking, feeling or doing? And am I willing to stop doing it? Wow, that's.


Yeah, that's tricky. Yeah. Yeah. There's a ten step prayer in AA is I'm not willing that you should have all. May I pray that you take away every single defect of character. And I know when I for years when I would make that I know what my defects of character and there are some I didn't sincerely want to be removed, to be honest.


My sexual proclivities, let's say I'm like, yeah, those are clearly pathological, but I enjoy those. I'm not sure I sincerely want them removed. And it is interesting the difference between sincerely wanting something to be gone and just giving it lip service.


Yeah. You know, a lot of us say we don't want to have our anxiety, but we're not willing to abstain from the things that make us anxious. We're not willing to make the changes in our life.


We have to because it can be radical. You know, for me, I had to break up with a lot of my negative thinking and I took a lot of diligence. And like I'm thinking it again, I'm going to replace it with a different thought. I'm thinking it again. I'm going to replace it with a different thought or surrounding myself in people that weren't great.


And it gets easier, right, that you get muscle memory and it gets easier to do that over time.


It really does. Yeah. Yeah. But for me, that turning point, so, you know, people going through covid and anxieties really high, like see what isn't working for you.


For me, I have I don't have a news on in the house. I don't listen to the news. It isn't a great thing to ingest for me. So I just abstain from that entirely.


Unplug a little bit.


Yeah, I'm a big fan of that.


All right.


Well, thanks so much for talking with us, and I wish you a ton of luck on that live performance. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it. All right. Take care.


And now my favorite part of the show, the fact check with my soul mate Monica padman microphone check. Microphone, do you fart on your mic? No, I just want to see without a smell. Oh my.


Doesn't at all. Which is crazy because we've talked about these rags. Yes, 600 hours. Let me let me smiling. OK, you nervous?


Yeah, OK. Nothing, thank God, that got scared. Yeah. Nothing. Oh, good, good. I was a little nervous when you were, I know, nervous, too. Yes, it's nerve wracking when halibut. Yeah. Someone putting their nose deep into your mouth.


Yeah. Yeah. Scary. Yeah.


Do you think anyone commented on halibut toast? I did see. I did see. A few people seem to like it. Oh yeah.


I was afraid people might throw up meat and maybe the people that threw up did not comment, which is they didn't they couldn't comment on were either. It depends on how long they throw up. That's right.


But if they threw up and they enjoyed it, then you're welcome.


Oh, God. You know what?


What the joke would be on them, because if they threw up, then they would have been toast.


Oh, no. They could brush their teeth after. No, they were in the car. Oh no. We made them open like. Oh yes. I think most of the listeners are in their car.


Right. Honk if you're in your car right now. Honk, honk. I'm so sorry if we did that because what a mess to clean up.




Don't send us the bill. And sorry about the Helbert toast. Oh. Like we ruined your day in your life and you're toast.


Do you think there's any restaurant in America like one of these seafood towns that actually serves halibut?


I'm sure there is. Well, I wonder if we're going to, like, kill that industry because people associate it with halitosis now.


Well, isn't my crab toast thing. Yeah, sounds like it would be. Let me let me just I'm going to type in. Oh, I got pony lyrics up because I poni I named my new phone I poni. Yep. And then I needed to know the lyrics to Poni if you're horny and let's do we are riding a pony.


OK, so I'm going to type in with quotes.


OK. Halibut toast, live, but toast, I hope it pops up on menus across the country. Let's see seared halibut and coriander, carrots.


That sounds nice. I'm not seeing any halibut.


Toast it. Oh, prepare the halibut toast. The coriander. That's what's going on is it's mixing up smoked halibut toast. Here we go.


Des Moines smoked halibut toast. What photoed? Hog. Des Moines, TripAdvisor.


Oh, wow.


There is a halibut on the menu. Oh, let me dig deeper. Yeah. Trying to TripAdvisor post. Oh, my God.


Look at there's a photo. Oh wow.


Oh, it's a piece of toast with a big chunk of it. Oh, it's kind of good.


It does. Yeah. Because you know what? I love you all. Do you love a lobster roll? This is reminding me of a lobster roll, which I love.


I do love a lobster roll. Lobster is a weird thing for me, though quite often it tastes like the chlorine in the tank. They keep it in. And I can I'm really susceptible to that taste.


Yeah, but I have had it, you know, off the coast of like Cape Cod, on the side of the road where it came right out of the seawater.


Unbelievable. One of the best things I've ever had. Yeah.


This is smoked halibut toast, Fruity Hogge, Des Moines. I think that I think that's the name of the restaurant for the hog. Yeah. Photo DEHA or Q huh.


Oh follow the Hawk. Hawk in Des Moines is they love their asses in Des Moines. You don't say either man, you don't. You say Des Moines. No. S involved but s is everywhere. This is a bound.


Wow I fucking hate English. It's the stupidest language.


Even though last episode you said you want everyone in the whole world to learn English. I do. Even though it's a shame they should I cut that out. Oh really. Well the episode was also really long so I had to cut.


Oh because we did our our survey. Yeah. Oh.


Speaking of so I went you the survey on my own. Oh right. And the questions were a little different.


Why they have like so many questions probably they have like two hundred questions and then oh you just randomly get so I got some new ones.


You won't do it again. I'm just kidding. I have some exciting information too.


We just learned from our lovely agents. It turns out they know a bunch of info about our show that we didn't know. We were just trying to cobble together some understanding of who's in the audience based solely on comments on Instagram. Sure. And what we or I was delighted to find out.


I don't know if you were forty percent now of the listeners are boys.


I like that. I like that we're gaining boys. I hope that doesn't mean we're we're not losing losing women. No, I don't think so. I think just the ratio just changed.


That's what I hope. That's just more eligible bachelors for you, too.


I know. But I want to retain our female base because, of course, I don't want to lose a single female. In fact, I want to grow our female base.


I love her male base to one hundred percent and our male base to one hundred percent. I like that too.


That's a really good goal to have. It's really achievable. Goal challenge accepted.


Today's episode is about Jewel. Oh, Jewel. I mean, I guess I'm I was just out to lunch.


I didn't know Jewel had such a story.


Oh right. Yeah. The whole Alaska and the. Yeah.


And her family. Yeah. Aimlessness forming in the crow's nest.


Yeah. Yeah. Do you remember that part. The top floor of the hotel in Anchorage is called the Crow's Nest. It's it's a restaurant. They serve crab legs for like five cents.


So going. Exactly.


I just brought it all back. Anyways, I love the crow's nest and she performed there.


Yeah. I just had no idea. It was a fascinating, scary childhood. I feel grateful.


I don't want to insult any of our Alaskan listeners.


But you're about to. I don't think I would do well. They're mainly because of my seasonal affective disorder.


Well, that's for sure. Well, you did great in the summer. You thrive. It's all sun all the time. Well, that that's true.


Yeah, I drive there too, because sons outguns out. You know, I could be parading around in sleeveless tees all the time and be justified in doing so. No one would be lying on this fucking guy in a sleeveless tees. They'd be like, oh, the sun's out. What else was I going to do?


You know, increasingly I'm going to be bundes out. You're working on your buns. You can tell everyone, OK, I've met while I've been working pretty steadily on my buns for a good seven, eight months now.


Yeah. And my body's getting bigger. It's really fun. Can you like start doing measuring o to quantify this.


Yeah, well a couple of things happen.


A certain jeans I can wear now that I normally couldn't wear because I just look like flapjack bonds and back. But now I'm getting a little pop in back. Sure.


A couple hemispheres sticking out and then also I'll, I'll pull my mons off and I'll look in the mirror and I'll squeeze my ass cheeks together really hard.




And it just well after the fart comes out then it's just a nice smooth hard but that's nice. Yeah.


There's no jolliness. There's no. So, yeah, I'm really it's your favorite, but exercise. Well, funny enough, I've always hated them, but this is what I basically committed to six months ago, is just squats.


I do squat back squats now. So I and I've really worked my way up in the weight once.


Back squats means that you got a bar across your shoulders behind your head and get some plates on the end. And then you go down and I go to a deep, deep squat. I don't cheat.


Well, sometimes I get self-conscious doing squats because I don't feel like I'm doing them right.


They are one of the harder exercises I think to do right.


And I don't even think I do them perfectly correctly. Like keeping your ass out while you is hard. I want to rotate and I want to want to pull in. You know, I'm saying I want to arch my back and pull it.


Oh, I know. But also you want your butt out, but you also don't want to arch your back.


No, you want to keep your back straight. But in the big thing is you want to keep the gap between your ribcage and your pelvis the same at the end of your squat, which is hard. That's where I want to roll in.


Oh, I see. And minimize the gap between my rib cage. If you put your thumb under your rib cage in your index finger on your hip, they want that.


You want to stay, stay about the same. But also your knees, like I'm always hyperaware of my knee is not going over my ankles.


Oh, OK. Well, I think that has to happen dynamically. Yeah, your knees would have to be in front of your ankles to do a squat.


Even if you had me wait on you, there's no way you can keep your knees behind while you're trying to. Yeah. Like yeah.


You it's impossible. No, I've done it. I do it. That's how I do my thing. Like you kind of you kind of lean on your heels a little.


OK, and will you stand up and do one of these squats? I want you to look just how far your knees are in front of your ankles.


Well, this is the part that's OK. Was I mean, that wasn't me again.


Oh, my God. Why are you bending over what you keep? But you will go ahead. Do it.


Yeah. Yeah, OK. Yes, look what stop. Stop looking over your knees. They have to be ahead of your ankles. Anatomically would work my foot, your toes. OK, that's much different. Did it look good?


No, it looked exaggerated. It looked like you were wearing too much about your foam. Just bend down like you're going to pick up your pocketbook.


Like forget. Yes. Just go go to a deep, deep. Yeah. There you go. All the way.


Don't go any further. You're not supposed to go that far. Even Charlie says, oh, OK.


Oh yeah. I think you need to worry less about your form. Most people need to worry more about their form and you need to worry a little less about your form.


And that's why there's no need to worry less if you're doing it.


You're saying I'm doing it to perfect. Mm hmm. Oh, my God. You would say that. Yeah.


OK, anyway, so squats speaking a jewel. Can I tell them this is embarrassing? I'll just say one of my children, one of my children who tipped their ear and they found a gem, a jewel.


It was beautiful.


Oh, people are going to she was so proud of this as I am. And in so she brought it out to show me. And I was like, it's gorgeous. You found a treasure, you're rich. And we were celebrating this treasure. She found this jewel. And I could see how much she was enjoying looking at it. And I was thinking, what is it about us as animals we love when something comes out of her body, just like stare at it, take it in.


Wow. That was in my body. Like, if you pick your nose and you get a good size booger, you'd never just throw it in the trash.


You examine it, you look at it, you feel pride, you use your your confidence swell.


No, no, no, no. I think the opposite. I think most people don't take pride. I think they take like it's curiosity.


It's like, how is this in here?


But also this thing isn't supposed to be me and I got it out. Oh, man. I really find ways to. Well, I just think. Pat yourself on the back. Well, I think that's what the excitement is, is like, holy shit, this thing was in my ear.


I'm glad I got it out looking. I guess there's a relief that was in my ear.


Like, I don't know. It's just I could really relate to her. And it seemed instinctual to appreciate Debrosse coming out of your body.


Well, yeah, you should be grateful.


Yeah, I guess it does feel like an accomplishment if it was really deep in there.


And it's similar when you take in enormous bowel movement and you look it, you go, wow, that was thing was me. And then you go, I'm so glad that's out of me. Oh yeah. And the whole thing's heightened and exciting.


That's true. That's true. That's true. I love it. We can't go one episode without making someone throw up in their car.


I have to imagine the people doing stomaches have given up long ago.


I got to imagine the only people left are of sturdy constitution.


OK, Julia, she talked about a book called Emotional Incest.


Oh yeah, I'm interested in that. I want to read that the emotional incest syndrome.


What to do When a Parent's Love Rules Your Life by Patricia Love.


Dr. Patricia Love. Oh, good. It's a doctor. Yeah.


What to do when a parent's love rules your life. Who your parents love doesn't rule your life. No, no, no. I don't have emotional incest with them.


No, I don't know what the definition yet is.


So I can't say I think is when a parent severals your life. Oh my parents love doesn't rule my life.


Well if you do my reading we're going to OK. And then I'll tell you I'm.


That's all. Oh, boy.


Well, there's there's another, which is how many kids have gone through the mindfulness program that she does with Dr. Judd? That was a nice tie.


It really was also the fact that both Atul Gawande and Vivek Murthy are both have been appointed to the call this year.


Not surprised. Wow. I thought so. I know.


I feel all of our friends. These are our friends now. Yes.


When Vivek got appointed to the covid Task Force Task Force, I took personal pride, even though there was no reason for me to do so just because we had met him and talked to him and liked him so much and because he tried to set me up.


Yeah. How did that go? Did you email with the person? Yeah, I did. But it was he doesn't live in Los Angeles, so. And it was during a tumultuous time.


OK, so I, I said let's pause this. Yes. OK. Yeah, great. He seemed really right.


Probably super smart I'd guess, cause he's friends with that. Yeah. Do you think that that could be friends with a dummy.


Yeah. He was nice enough. He could be but friends. Not just like patronising person. I think so he could like. Yeah.


OK, I wonder if he could be friends with someone who didn't believe in covid like friends. Yeah. Oh really. Yeah. Like best friends. Betsey's. Yeah.


I mean one of my best friends voted yes for Prop eight and I couldn't feel more passionately about gay rights and it didn't prevent me from being best friends with them.


I just really disagreed and I thought they were ill informed.


And then later they felt that way too, which is great.


Yeah, I guess that's true. But I guess for Vivec, like it's his job. So he would also maybe feel like they don't even think my job is a thing.


Yeah, but if you believe in God, there's nothing more important on planet Earth than God. If you believe in God, OK. Right.


It's the most powerful thing in the world. You're living your life in service to God and you hope to be reunited with God. So it's the most important thing in someone's life who believes in God, and yet they're willing to be friends with you and I who don't believe in God, thank goodness.


Well, it doesn't affect them, nor would someone not believe in covid effect. Yes, it does. It affects people.


It wouldn't affect the back in my I just made a really good point.


I want you to concede know people who believe in God think God's more important than covid. Right. But I'm making a real point, too, which is. Yeah, because that doesn't affect them. Yeah. Our belief in God doesn't affect them. Someone's belief in covid not wearing a mask, not caring, potentially spreading does affect other people. Well, we affect other people.


So someone who is on the fence about whether or not to believe in God and they hear us talk about it, we might persuade them to not join that person in heaven. That's a real consequence if you believe in God and we're out here saying there isn't one. Then we are a threat to the thing that they care the most about in their life and yet they're willing to be friends with us. And I'm grateful for that. OK, OK, good.


Just a little bit. Also, I'm not I'm not definitively saying there's no God.


Right, OK, but just say in my case what I am saying there's not. Yeah, well, they told me they're not friends with you.


Well no.


I have many friends who believe in God and that here she designed the universe.


They believe it's a he. Most of them do. Yeah. Yeah, yeah. OK, well is there anything else, any housekeeping.


Oh sorry. So there was about Judd in the mindfulness program. How many kids have gone through. I just I read a figure that said hundreds but I couldn't get a specific number. But I think it's amazing.


I do too. It's a really cool thing. I wish someone would have taught that to me when I was a kid. I know all I thought about is like what BMX bike I wanted. That's still what you think about. That's true.


Yeah, that's largely true. Although I do now know that none of those things give me any kind of sustained happiness.


Yeah. The exception of a couple of my cars, I got to say, like, this is true.


I've owned my sixty three station wagon for almost six years here and for five solid years. Every time I drive it I go, fuck, I love this car. It's such a wonderful experience driving it.


So it has it has dissipated. Yeah. Well good. I'm. I really like it and I'm letting Kenny borrow it right now, which I would never loan that car to anybody but Kenny. The Merc.


The white Mercedes. Yeah. Oh Kenny has it right now. That's nice. And he's the only person I would ever like. Obviously he's going to trade it so well. He's probably going to come back better. That's assured. Yeah, that is assured.


And he's really enjoying it too. Even text me to say what a great car because he's commuting a pretty good distance here in California.


You throw in miles all over it. It's just depreciating the value hourly in it.


But he's worth it and I don't care. Yeah. Yeah. And he's texted me to say he's really enjoying it, which is fun. That's so nice.


Now we're calling Mercedes Merc because we got Intel that that's what the cool kids call it.


Well that's what the English. So Jethro Bovingdon, my co-host on top here, who I adore and is an automotive journalist, he's also English. He calls it mIRC. Yeah. And if you listen to Formula One, the announcers call it murder and now we switch now.


Yeah. Now we're into Formula One. Yeah.


So if you meet us and we are saying, like, you should get a Merc, you'll know what we're talking about and don't judge us. No.


And judge us in a positive way like, wow, they're cool. Yeah. Yeah. That's a good idea also.


Ding, ding, ding. Top Gear. Oh because I'm on Top Gear. Yeah. People loan me crazy cars.


It's so unfair. It is but great for me. Yeah. And not unfair because I'm talking about it right now. I got lent.


I just mean it's unfair because you're rich. Oh yeah. Yes. Well yes that that is how it goes.


It's always been that right now rich people get free. Shit. It's okay for me to say it's unfair and it happens. And I'm glad you get to drive on cars. Yeah. Yeah. All of it's true. Yeah. So it's. Yeah.




And I'm going to defend myself one little bit. Well not by me driving it for free is not taking away someone else's right to drive it for free. It's not like it's a zero sum game. They were going to loan it to somebody and then I took that spot.


I agree. But the unfairness is that they already have a yes, there are people who don't have cars and then you just get a bunch of extra dollars.


I know. Well, I don't get them. Just let's be clear. I have a 48 hour loan of this vehicle, a McLaren 765 Lety. Oh, holy smokes. Holy smokes.


I went with my dad yesterday. We met and did Angela's crest. He did it in his nineteen sixties Jaguar type. So gorgeous. You're already bored. OK, this car ratio just went down to fifty.


Are you sorry. You're the problem. Women love cars but we had more females respond to the Danni Ricardo episode.


Well that's because Dani is transcends the sport.


Yeah. He's got your motor running.


Oh I'm so excited for you guys to date.


I want to talk about. I do now.


We're going to put it out there. It's the secret. No, no, I'm not doing it. Go ahead.


Oh, well, I'm excited because you guys are going to be such a power couple and you guys are so beautiful and you guys will create the most beautiful olive skin child and you guys will be the king and queen of Monaco. And we will go visit you in Monaco.


Oh, you live by Muslim, by coastline's by by country.


Yeah. It's not healthy for me to do this or this thought experiment.


Oh, it's not for a few reasons. OK, tell me one then. I'm in fantasyland. That's not healthy for me.


OK, and it becomes a joke. OK. Well, I know it's not a joke to me, I have full belief that we're all going to hang out and he's going to fall in love with you. But I understand the fantasy land part, but I can live in fantasy land.


But then it's we're on a podcast, so. Oh, well, then I to take a lot of stuff back. I don't want anyone to know that I got lente a McLaren because I would hate a guy who gets a free McLaren.




OK, well I just I was really excited about Jet-setting with you guys as a power couple and I guess I'll take that back.


I bet you he would get us on a yacht or something in Monaco. Do you want to do that? Yes. OK, let's talk about Merks. Yeah, yeah. OK, we're going to finish. We ever.


CARTHON You were going to say, well, I lost you, so I have to assume I lost. So the point is the car weighs nothing and has seven point sixty five horsepower is an incredible dual clutch gearbox. It shifts the handling the balance. What a fucking rocket.


This thing one. Oh, my God, do you call it mac and cheese? Should I, Laren? Yeah. Oh, my. Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding. McLarin, is hootenannies going to race for next year? Oh, my. Can you believe this? Dingle's. Oh, my. Dingle's Daniels Zengel. Is it yellow new. I took a picture of it.


You want to see it. Sure. If it was yellow you would have called it the Mac and cheese. Oh yes.


That would have made a lot of sense. But because it wasn't yellow, I didn't know what the hell you were talking about.


OK, OK. And also no, I don't want to upgrade that. I'm selling my stuff. OK, here we go. Oh, it's pretty, is it bluish periwinkle? It's like a purple. Oh, my God, that is gorgeous. Yeah, well, I say this thing Monica has a lot of gussied up and go my favorite color. A lot of giddy up and go. And it really went. I just love it. Throttle response.


Oh OK.


Yeah. So that's it. That's my update. That's OK.


I love you. I love you.