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[00:00:00]

How far into this series are you, how many episodes are there? I feel like I should know this. Tomorrow is the third episode. Who's the third episode? Glenn and Doyle.

[00:00:09]

All right. Well, that's who I'm going to be today.

[00:00:10]

That's how I'm going to give a better episode than I've got my eye on. You going to Doyle. I'm coming for you. You'll see what a real podcast you can do. Glenn. Doyle.

[00:00:22]

Well, that's all we've had time for today.

[00:00:32]

This is Don't Ask BTIG, I'm Tig Notaro, and here you are asking me about. So everybody goes to. My guest today is IRA Glass. IRA, I've been on this American life, we've eaten dinner together. We've you've come to my house and brought toys to my children. I have. And yeah, if you've done all of these things, we've done all of these things together.

[00:01:08]

We have. And you've come on my show. So it seems only fair that I come on to yours. So. So, yeah. Yeah. Here we are. Here we are. We're doing it.

[00:01:16]

And IRA, I don't know if you I don't know if you've seen this, but Amazon actually sold out of podcast mikes during the pandemic. Are you aware of this? A lot of people are out there trying this podcast thing. I'm one of them. Yeah. Yeah. Did you know that, first of all?

[00:01:37]

No, I didn't know that. I mean, I guess the rest of the economy is in such dire shape. People like where what seems possible to do from your house and it doesn't look that hard and actually podcasting.

[00:01:49]

And would you say it's not that hard or. I think for people with immense talent like yourself who are great at speaking extemporaneously, it's probably it's probably not that hard for somebody like me, like where we're making journalism and we're editing and editing the stories over and over and over.

[00:02:04]

Like I got to say, like our show went on the air in the nineties and it was really hard to get on the air in the 90s. And you would think that after, like over twenty years, it would somehow feel easier. And I still it's still I still work like sixty hours a week, many, many weeks. And it just still seems so hard.

[00:02:20]

I mean, you make it look easy, but I know I've seen you behind the scenes.

[00:02:26]

Yeah, yeah, yeah. It takes a bunch of hours.

[00:02:28]

And do you have advice for people that are out there trying to to be podcasters?

[00:02:33]

Yeah, I would say jump right in. Like, don't don't wait. Like, I think I think people procrastinate about any creative thing they want to do. So I always think the best thing to do is just to start to make the thing and and to make a bunch of them.

[00:02:46]

Like if you're not an experienced stage performer like Tig Notaro, just know like it might not be as good at the beginning as you would hope, but but learn editing software.

[00:02:57]

There's lots of different kinds and there's some free that you can download like and some even come with your computer if you get a certain kind of computer.

[00:03:04]

And and editing is really an incredibly miraculous thing for for for so many of us.

[00:03:11]

So just dive right in is your advice. I'm told writing and editing is important. And then when you have something I would say are gonna say, I think not enough podcasters are editing their stuff like like you eliminate repetition.

[00:03:29]

It's not that hard to learn how to edit audio. And and it's really fun. You can do amazing things that way. And and and, you know, play your stuff for people, take their notes like look for somebody you respect, you know, take their notes, like basically just just do enough that you can get better. Good. Making a totally key. A lot of people are confused about you. You don't have to buy an expensive Mike.

[00:03:53]

Mike placement is more important than the quality and the mike. It turns out if you're if you're and you have to be closer than you think, you should be about like the width of your hand.

[00:04:01]

So like a four inches from the mic and then you need for a little stuffed animals behind your back, your head. You're saying this because you're seeing me on Zoom and I'm sitting on the floor in a child's room and there's stuffed animals. I'm sitting I'm sitting on the floor next to a bunk bed and there's a bunch of animals I can introduce you. OK, I'm not going to. OK, all right.

[00:04:20]

Now, what do you do with with your own show? How do you all these years later keep it fresh and exciting for yourself? Is it just that these stories are always new and.

[00:04:35]

Yes, yeah. Like like fortunately like I work with a lot of people, so like if I'm having a tired week or month, like it's like there's enough people working on the show that somebody will have an original thought. That'll be fun to run at like. And I think in general, in podcasting as in anything like the more you're running towards your own pleasure and an amusement, the better off you are for sure.

[00:04:57]

Yeah, like and sometimes the like the the weirdest ideas and the most fun. I'm sorry I'm pausing because there's one that that's on an upcoming show that if I can I tell you about this, I feel like I, I can't tell you about this one, but like.

[00:05:08]

Yeah, I'm sorry that this is terrible tape.

[00:05:10]

Every word I'm saying you need to cut out of this podcast. You need to use the powers of editing to remove this because this story is going nowhere.

[00:05:16]

We saw this coming. We thought when IRA Glass comes on the show, we're probably going to have to just add around a lot of his bullshit.

[00:05:25]

And what about what about me trying to climb my way up the public radio ladder? What what do you have for me? I mean, I dove in, I got started.

[00:05:35]

Have you considered not just answering people's advice questions as yourself, but as characters you've played on television and in films. So, for example, some of the questions we do today, could you answer as your character from Star Trek, for example, and would that person have. A different answer than you would.

[00:05:52]

That's the problem and the beauty of my quote unquote acting is me hosting a podcast or me in outer space or me as a cop or any of any of the roles that I've played. There's no variation.

[00:06:13]

And so every everything has to be written around my inability to act. And they're just like we no really, truly.

[00:06:22]

So, yeah, I feel like anything I'd say on here, I'd say in space or with a holster around my waist. OK. Whenever directors come up to me on set to give me a note, I'll oftentimes stop them and say, before you say anything, just remember I have no range.

[00:06:45]

It's like a two line. But are you ready to answer some listener questions?

[00:06:52]

Is it going to be a little jingle or something to indicate that we're entering the questions, answering part of the show?

[00:06:58]

Well, you know, we do have editing afterwards, but if there's a jingle that you'd like to hum right now or sing, we could consider putting that in. So what? I'm going to set it up and then use the process. All right. You ready to get into some listener questions, IRA?

[00:07:18]

Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo. No, no, no, no, no, no. All right, our first question. OK, our first question veers into some oh, no, no, no, no. Should I be talking over the music, this is where you're the pro and I'm OK and talk about the music.

[00:07:38]

I knew our first question veers into some possibly forbidden romance.

[00:07:50]

Julian writes, I recently moved in with some roommates after becoming single for the first time in six years. The house is amazing and so are the people. My biggest problem is I've fallen hard and fast for one of the roommates. What are the rules on this? Am I allowed to date her or is it best to keep it to myself? This is kind of like an easy one, like he's not he's not he's not like this person supervisor at work, right?

[00:08:25]

Mm hmm. Like there's no employment situation that that would make it wrong morally and or legally.

[00:08:33]

And so quickly he's allowed to. The question is, I guess, is it a good idea? And there I feel like there are two weird hynson here. And one is I mean, there's a really weird thing to put in the question, but why is this in the question?

[00:08:49]

He moved I recently moved in with some roommates. What was it after becoming single for the first time in six years? Isn't that like a weirdly gratuitous piece of site information?

[00:08:59]

Is he trying to say, I'm not a loser who can't get somebody or like I it's hard to understand.

[00:09:06]

But if he just moved in, don't you think there needs to be like a little bit of a cooling off period after six years?

[00:09:12]

Let's just say this person, this human being has dated for six years straight and is finally single. It doesn't mean that those six years were with the same person.

[00:09:24]

Oh, yeah, you're right. There could have been saying, yeah, there could have been other roommate situations where Julian is pouncing on other roommates.

[00:09:35]

No, I don't think so, because Julian is asking, is this OK? So I get the feeling Julian has never pounced on a roommate.

[00:09:40]

You're right. You're right. Julian has never done this. The awkwardness comes in where you express your feelings to somebody that you live with to find out that they do not feel the same.

[00:09:54]

And then you have to continue living with them, continue living there. You have to go use the bathroom. I'm assuming that person's going to want to freely use the bathroom as well and shower, make waffles in the kitchen, maybe not. Always think about what they're wearing.

[00:10:18]

I think there's a way to hang out with the person and get a vibe. I mean, I feel like there's a way to approach this without really showing all your cards right.

[00:10:38]

You see, you're saying maybe the answer's yes, but go slow. Yeah, go very, very slow. So slow. Take if you ever have you ever fallen in love with a woman? No, no, I usually live with just stinky comedians and we all live in a house and it's our crash pad while we're on tour. And now I don't usually live like that. I used to live like that, but no, I haven't fallen for a roommate before.

[00:11:11]

But but but think about falling in love and roommates.

[00:11:14]

Can I ask you, in your experience, like as a gay woman, the cliche of lesbians falling for each other and moving in like the first week? Mm hmm. Do you believe that that is a real is that stereotype based on truth?

[00:11:31]

Like what's the quickest you ever moved in with somebody previously with dating? I have been very much not the stereotype, and I've always thought, oh, that's so funny. And I've seen other people do it.

[00:11:48]

And I've been more I've leaned more towards the when a girlfriend or someone I'm dating is has stayed the night and they're going to leave, I'll pack their things up by the door. Or if somebody leaves a toothbrush, I'll put that on top of their pile of things.

[00:12:11]

And, you know, I've I've hurt people's feelings accidentally where in my head I've thought, no, I'm just being helpful and I'm here's all your things and take them home.

[00:12:23]

Now, there's not been ever. Yes, we must move in. Whereas Stephanie.

[00:12:30]

Mm hmm. She lived actually on the street we live in now. She used to live on that street in a different apartment that has nothing to do with anything. And then I had a loft in downtown Los Angeles and parking is hard in downtown. And when she would come over to see me, she would always have to try and find a parking spot to come in and visit or stay the night. And she said to me one day, I think it was maybe six months in a dating.

[00:13:06]

And she said, I am so sick and tired of finding parking to come visit you. And I said, I know it's so annoying. She said, should we just move in together?

[00:13:19]

And I said, Yeah, why not? And I think about that all the time.

[00:13:26]

How if we're not the right person for me, I would have spun that in a way like this psychopath can't find parking and is suggesting that we move in together and she can't find a parking meter.

[00:13:43]

But with Stephanie, it was just everything was so easy and fun. And I was just like, yeah, let's move in together. That's how, you know, it's love. Oh, my gosh. She moved in. We had a blast. I mean, the U-Haul truck pulled up six months later. And we have been together, you know, over seven years now.

[00:14:03]

And and I will note for Julian, you know what Stephanie did not do? No, she did not fall in love with any of her roommates. She went out she went out of the apartment for love.

[00:14:14]

She did. So consider it. So consider so consider Julian also out of the apartment. Love.

[00:14:20]

Yes, but I wish Julian the absolute best. And thanks for your question, Julian. We hope you find what works for you and this very attractive roommate of yours and let us know how it goes.

[00:14:36]

We've got more listener questions right after this. All right, IRA, as you would say, Act two, we've got our yeah, we've got our second thanks for the shout out to OK.

[00:14:59]

Yeah. Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo. No, no, no, no, no.

[00:15:04]

No question to Katie writes, I recently started a new job doing research in a lab that does lots of science, things like mouse experiments and moving chemicals around from one tube to another to see what they wrote, the description of working in a lab.

[00:15:25]

It's just like I would if I were to make up what it is. It's like, I don't know, let's like mouse stuff and we put a little bit of, like, one thing into another.

[00:15:35]

The only thing is I think it's like, you know, and it's Dr. Frankenstein lab.

[00:15:38]

There's like there's two wires that are vertical electric shock, like, oh, yeah, you got to have that.

[00:15:45]

Yeah. She mentioned that in her out there that her lab.

[00:15:48]

Well, let me see. This is a new world for me. I feel stupid constantly because everyone knows way more than I do. What should I do to stop feeling like an idiot. Oh, poor honey.

[00:16:00]

I'm not. I don't know more. Oh I don't. I don't I don't know more about working in a lab.

[00:16:05]

And I've heard the word titrate. Maybe she type traits. Sometimes I don't even know what that means.

[00:16:10]

Well, I've heard people from England say laboratory.

[00:16:14]

Well for Lobaugh Laboratory. Laboratory.

[00:16:21]

Yeah. Haven't you heard that? I have heard that and I've never heard it in my life, just in the movies. But yeah, it sounds more frightening when you say it that way for sure.

[00:16:28]

Well, hopefully Katie's not working on the vaccine. You know, it sounds like somebody's got to get her out of there.

[00:16:37]

Why is she in this? Why was she drawn to this? That's my question, because clearly, if you're doing research, I think you need to look at is this really an interest of yours? Because if it's an interest of yours, even if you don't know anything, your passion to learn is not going to be mistaken for stupidity. I don't know. I, I think that's where I go back to with this question is how did you possibly know?

[00:17:08]

No step I've taken in life would have led me into a science laboratory.

[00:17:15]

Yeah, I feel worried for her. But I also think, like, if she just does the thing you say and throws herself into it and just decides she's going to learn everything, she's going to try to be helpful to people. She's going to try not to spill anything like I think she'll be fine, especially if she has a lab coat. Everybody looks good in that.

[00:17:38]

That's one of those outfits that everybody looks good in. Yeah. If you don't have a lab coat, I would say my biggest piece of advice is go get a lab coat.

[00:17:47]

Maybe across the back it could say lab researcher and then on the front, Katie in cursive and then the number in the back, she could have the number from her high school basketball jersey just in the middle.

[00:18:02]

She didn't play basketball. You know, she played softball. You're getting her confused with somebody else. Got it.

[00:18:09]

Got it. I think this comes down to whether you're basically fundamentally optimistic or pessimistic. And I feel like it's it's been pointed out to me that basically I generally think things are going to work out OK like like like and and and I would like to believe that she's going to be able to pull through with a good attitude.

[00:18:30]

I know that how Pollyannish that seems. But when I look at my feelings, that's the primitive kind of basic thing that I have going on inside me.

[00:18:38]

Did things typically work out in your life, would you say? Some things do.

[00:18:44]

Yeah, like. Like I think I think the big things. Yeah, I think I've been lucky enough that the things have really run out and tried to make happen for myself have come through and maybe it really does just come from that.

[00:18:54]

Well I will say I'm all for really get in there, give it a whirl. Nobody is thinking your stupid people are thinking about themselves. Rarely are they thinking about anyone else. And especially if you're walking around in a lab coat, they're like she's she knows what she's doing.

[00:19:14]

That's really good advice. I really like that. I think I find that very convincing what you just said.

[00:19:18]

Exactly. But. All right. Well, good luck, Katie. There's no reason to feel like an idiot, as I've mentioned before. And for the next question, IRA, our listener has a question about anger and grief. Two very tough emotions.

[00:19:35]

Sarah writes, I just lost my dad to pancreatic cancer. Can you give me advice on the anger I feel? I know it's a part of grief, but I've been really pissed for months now. I'm used to channeling my anger into humor, but that gets old. How did you deal with the anger? I'm assuming she's saying how did you deal? Because of, you know, losing my mother and, you know, everything that my illnesses. Yeah, but yeah, I feel I feel like you're way more qualified than that than I am.

[00:20:15]

Like, I never felt anger after somebody's death. Like when my mom died. I didn't feel anger. I just felt sadness. Did you feel anger after your mom died?

[00:20:22]

I think that what kept me stuck was what could have been what what I thought should have been in life. And quite possibly that's where Sarah is. The painful, painful part of it all is lingering around the what could have been and what should have been, because it's it it doesn't pay off in any way. And I think that's one of the hardest things in life, is realizing nothing is what should have been it. It is just. It's just what it is and it's catching up with reality.

[00:21:17]

I found for myself is the most comforting thing and the most soothing. The quicker I've caught up with reality and accepting what really is happening, the quicker I've moved through any of these types of emotions. Does that make sense to you?

[00:21:35]

Yeah, it does. I don't I don't think I have anything to hide. We wish you all of the best, Sarah.

[00:21:43]

So what you got next? No. Oh, no, no, no, no.

[00:21:48]

Riley writes, I'm about to go into the wilderness for three months. And Riley says, because of bears, you aren't supposed to wear deodorant. Do I alienate my friends with the smell or take my chances with bears?

[00:22:08]

I say alienate the friends because I personally can reach a peak, be stank where I'm just like, that's really ripe and nice. And you are lucky that I'm sharing this with you. You are lucky. No, I swear.

[00:22:30]

Listen, I'm a camper. Look at my flannel now.

[00:22:34]

Now you explain to the listeners Tig is wearing a green and white. Green plaid is a.

[00:22:40]

Yeah. Yeah, she's wearing I'm wearing a flannel.

[00:22:44]

And I told the story of my girlfriend moving in immediately and that I camp.

[00:22:51]

OK, I'm, I'm. Yeah, I'm an embarrassment. Wait, it's camping.

[00:22:55]

A lesbian cliche that I've never heard of. Well I don't know. It just seems like you have a plan and it seems like you're going to crawl out of the woods or into the woods and, you know, sit by campfire. You toss on the Indigo Girls, you have you know, you live off the land.

[00:23:12]

Right. I don't want to get like we're going to get you're going to get emails. Fine, OK.

[00:23:17]

Yeah, I'm going to get emails of support. They're going to be like, yes, yes and yes. Now, OK, what about you?

[00:23:23]

Would you not wear deodorant or would you wear.

[00:23:28]

Yeah, I don't even I yeah. Like clearly the choices don't wear deodorant like could you imagine, first of all the friends are going to be out there trying to avoid getting eaten by a bear so they're not going to wear deodorant either. So everybody's going to be in it together. It's like everybody ate garlic.

[00:23:42]

It's going to be a stink pile. It's going to be a stink pile.

[00:23:45]

And also, like, can you imagine if he chose the deodorant route and he was killed by a bear?

[00:23:52]

The eulogies where people would just be like, he smelled great, his hygiene up to the end, you're going to be in the the wilderness.

[00:24:04]

I mean, you're going to just you're going to be swimming across rivers. You're going to be climbing trees to get to the honey. You know, you're going to be stung by bees and birds are going to poop on your head. And and it's kind of like going into the wilderness for three months and wondering what color nail polish to wear, you know? Yeah, it's a wash. All right. Well, Riley, whatever you decide, we're wishing you a fun trip that is hopefully very bare, free and maximally barefoot, maximally barefoot, free.

[00:24:44]

And that that was our last question.

[00:24:47]

And for today. For today, not forever. And, uh, before you go, IRA, I need your help with one last thing. And we need to try to help and advice seeker from the past. This is a segment called Advice of Yesteryear.

[00:25:10]

When Jerry brags about taking Jenny out, he learns that she dates all the boys. So as we say now, menstruation is just one routine step in a normal and natural cycle. How do you choose a date?

[00:25:23]

Well, one thing you can consider is, look, I did everything you said, but my boss still hasn't asked me to lunch.

[00:25:31]

Here we take a real problem from a past advice column and we see if we can be more helpful than the original answer. This is from the advice column. What should I do where actress Betty Davis answered people's questions in the 1940s? The classic The Question goes. Dear Miss Davis, my face is long, thin and plain, and my hair is short, dry, brittle and lifeless, there is no way I can arrange it to become my unfortunate face.

[00:26:12]

The reason why I am mentioning my face and hair is because I am afraid it is keeping me out of the romantic world. I am past 25 and have never yet had a date with anyone of the opposite sex.

[00:26:27]

Mona El, what's your advice for Mona El, I'm assuming Mona El is obviously the Mona Lisa who actually wrote in, which is kind of exciting when you say that. I was not expecting that.

[00:26:45]

I can't believe that's the joke you went for. And I have respect for the joke. That is not a joke. This is clearly written. It says Mona El. That's what it is signed as Mona El.

[00:26:59]

I mean, I'm all about the positive thinking, OK, you're more attractive than you think. You know, go go for it.

[00:27:06]

Mona's face is long, thin, playing, her hair is short, dry, brittle and lifeless with a word brittle, it's really like doesn't doesn't feel good there.

[00:27:21]

It doesn't feel good. And maybe that's. You need more vitamins, maybe you need to look at your diet and and that might take care of some brittle hair. That's that's my suggestion. As conditioning grow the hair out, maybe use some hot rollers.

[00:27:42]

I don't know. I feel like I feel like all your advice is about her physical appearance. And maybe that's called for by the nature of the question. But I feel like shouldn't we be speaking to her like immortal soul, like I should you like isn't the thing that's going to actually attract somebody who she is and she should just notice what she's interested in and cultivate interests and and run at things that fascinate her. And and that's what makes you interesting is is is is being interested in things and being interested in other people and being interested in the world.

[00:28:13]

And and that's what makes you attractive.

[00:28:17]

But also the end of the question is, I've never had a date with anyone of the opposite sex. Maybe you're gay. Oh, there's another option, you know, that's speaking to her immortal soul. Yeah. I mean, you might not know that that's an option.

[00:28:36]

What was the advice that that that quote unquote, Betty Davis gave to to the Mona Lisa? Yeah.

[00:28:44]

Dear Miss L.. It just happened the day I was answering your letter. The editor of a prominent woman's magazine was on the set. So I asked her for advice on your problem.

[00:28:57]

She said there are success schools in New York City which have helped girls far more handicapped than you are and trained them to be attractive, popular and happy persons.

[00:29:11]

As I understand it, the courses given by male, you supply these people with a photograph full figure as well as face of yourself. They diagnose your problems and prescribe for you. Let me know your progress. Betty Davis.

[00:29:29]

Well, that's reasonable to say about that, right. The first of all, whoever wrote this thought like, well, here's here's an answer that I can give. But Betty Davis wouldn't know about this. So I have to figure out, like, how to explain how does Betty Davis have this information? OK, like what what what have I got? I know an editor from a woman's magazine was visiting the set. That's that's how that's how many of us would have this this this information.

[00:29:53]

And then and then just the whole thing about like how your appearance is your problem. Like, let's just define your appearance. That will be your problem. And then these schools exist.

[00:30:05]

I mean, I want to I personally would like to look up a success school in New York City and send them a picture of myself, travel through time.

[00:30:17]

If I could travel through time to do one thing, it wouldn't be the Kennedy assassination. It wouldn't be kill Hitler. Here's my thing. Yeah, I'm going to go to successful.

[00:30:24]

What do I do? What do I do?

[00:30:27]

Short brittle hair do and my long, long face.

[00:30:31]

If I can just travel through time once to change the course of human history. Oh, Mona.

[00:30:45]

IRA, thank you so much for coming on the show. Thanks for having me. Do you have anything new or old in life to anything to plug?

[00:30:54]

Our colleagues at Syril, our sister company, have any podcast called Nice White Parents.

[00:30:59]

It's completely so wonderful. Awesome. Everyone out there listening, remember, you can always send in your own questions at Don't Ask BTIG and Eira don't go changin. Yeah, obviously you have to have this excuse to to chat. That's what Joe. If you're enjoying the show, please take a moment to rate and review us. Don't ask. BTIG is hosted by me, Tig Notaro. It's produced by Thomas Willette, Mary Knoff and Tracey Mumford. Our editor is Phyllis Fletcher, executive producer Lauren D, engineering and sound mixing by Eric Remaining Digital Production by Christina Lopez.

[00:32:17]

Talent Booking by Raqib and Lulu Duban. Our theme music is Friend and Tig by Edie Brickell and Kyle Crushin and Listen To Your Heart by Eddie Brickle. Special thanks to Hunter Seidman, Lily Kim and Alex Shaffer, our executive consultant is Dean Cappello and Gobsmacked Studios Don't Ask Tig is a production of American Public Media. And as always, thank you, Dana.