158 — Broke In The USA
[00:00:00] CHRIS: With the primaries just a short eleven months away, which is terrifying. Isn’t that terrifying to know we’re about to get caught up in this. Guess what? It’s time to know everything. Whatever you can you gotta know. Who’s Pete Buttigieg? Gotta know your Pete Buttigieges from your Amy Klobuchars. Makes now the perfect time to jump into Earwolf’s political comedy podcast Fake the Nation. It’s hosted by Negin Farsad. Features fast paced, funny, smart political discussions about the week’s news. It’s comedy meets politics that helps you stay informed while not taking itself too seriously. Past guests on Fake the Nation have included John Fugelsang, Paul F. Tompkins, John Hodgman, Larry Wilmore, Hayes Davenport Maeve Higgins. Maeve Higgins is lovely and wonderfully hilarious. And I say that even though she’s been consistently mean to me since the very second that we met. Also, I hear some rumors that I’m gonna be on the show soon, I’m booked on the show soon. So now’s the time to subscribe. Check out Fake the Nation wherever you listen. Hello to all my Washington state stoners, Beautiful Anonymous. One hour, one phone call, no names, no holds barred.
[00:01:13] THEME MUSIC: I’d rather go one-on-one. I think it would be more fun and I’ll get to know you and you’ll get to know me.
[00:01:24] CHRIS: Hi, everybody, it’s Chris Gethard. Welcome to Beautiful Anonymous, a show that lives on at least two more years. As I announced last week, the whole thing with Harry guest hosting was fake. It was an April Fool’s joke. Just to reiterate, I’m still seeing a lot of tweets from people who have not… you know people don’t… not everybody is up to the date this week. So I’m having a very delightful experience of new, smaller waves of people getting horrified at the job Harry did and asking me if everything is ok in my life. Everything’s fine. I’m here. I’m so happy that I get to do the show. And I’m so thrilled that you guys all came together, made it happen where I get to keep doing it for at least two years, maybe three. The ads sell well enough so use those promo codes. Hey, I had an idea. I haven’t brought this up on the show in a long time. Years, actually. Why don’t we all do an experiment as a community? And if you haven’t left a review on Apple podcast, whether it’s a review or a rating. You like the show? Why don’t we all just say arbitrarily that we’re going to do it on the same day, April 16th, a week from the release of this? Well, I’ll just put this in the Beautiful Anonymous Facebook group as well. And I think you guys will get a kick out of it. My guess is that for a community as large as ours, if we all do this in the same day we’re gonna see this baby skyrocket back up the charts and it’ll be — it’ll be both a real rallying cry for our community that we can be proud of and also something that all of us can roll our eyes at the arbitrary nature of internet rankings, because we’ll see how easy they are to manipulate. We’ll all figure it out together. Thanks to everybody who enjoyed our episode last week. Lady whose father murdered a human. Hard story to hear, but she was so cool. It seems like a lot of people got a lot out of it, so I’m really happy about that. This week’s episode, really fascinating. I was initially horrified because this caller hates New Jersey. And if you’ve been listening to the show for a while, you know, I love New Jersey. But then it started to get deeper. The reasons she has bad associations with New Jersey run much deeper. We got to have a conversation I’m really glad I got to have right now, which is what does it mean to be broke in America right now? What are the effects of it? What does it actually mean to live with financial stress every day? What’s it mean to be a part of a gig economy? And, you know, we hear about all these jobs that get generated. But what happens if all those jobs don’t add up to being able to keep your head above water? It’s a conversation I think a lot of us hear about, but not always get a chance to have. And caller, I know this must have been really hard to open up about. I hope on some level it was cathartic. And I imagine it’s going to be eye opening for a lot of people who are about to listen.
[00:04:08] PHONE ROBOT: Thank you for calling Beautiful Anonymous a beeping noise will indicate when you are on the show with the host. [Beep]
[00:04:16] CALLER: Hello?
[00:04:17] CHRIS: Hi.
[00:04:18] CALLER: Gethard?
[00:04:20] CHRIS: Yeah, what’s up?
[00:04:23] CALLER: Hi. I’m good, how are you?
[00:04:26] CHRIS: I’m pretty good. Just chillin in the studio. I just got back yesterday from tour, so I’m a little tired, but I got good sleep last night, so I’m good.
[00:04:37] CALLER: How’d the tour go?
[00:04:40] CHRIS: It was good. Sold em all out, baby. Sold out all those shows. And now I’m here. Now I’m just sitting around waiting for Harry Nelson to try to stab me in the back and take my job. But that’s neither here nor there.
[00:04:55] CALLER: Funny thing is I used to see you host the [??] at UCB all the time when I was in college.
[00:05:01] CHRIS: Oh, nice.
[00:05:03] CALLER: And that was like now I feel so proud of you all the time.
[00:05:09] CHRIS: Oh, thanks. It is funny. I find that a lot that people who used to watch me back in the UCB days will say, I am proud of you, in a way that makes it clear that they feel like I have overcome some severe limitations.
[00:05:22] CALLER: It’s just like it’s such an intimate it was such an intimate setting over there. And like going every single week almost, I was like it’s like even though I didn’t know you it felt like I know you. So like even when Che got on SNL, I was like I’ve seen him a couple of times and I was like, oh my God, I’m so proud even though he — I don’t know him, but like it just felt that way.
[00:05:44] CHRIS: That’s cool. That’s why you gotta go support live arts, right? Because then you feel a connection to the people.
[00:05:48] CALLER: Yup
[00:05:49] CHRIS: And I was the people’s champion. I was the underdog of the New York comedy scene.
[00:05:53] CALLER: Definitely. Definitely. Like the symbol of my favorite alt comedy time. Chris Gethard.
[00:06:03] CHRIS: I represent a time in your mind. I’m glad to hear that. Well, thank you for your support. And it’s not about me. It’s about you. So how are you doing?
[00:06:14] CALLER: I am currently driving down Route 17 because I live in New Jersey and I do not like it.
[00:06:20] CHRIS: Aw, what? I was just about to say hell yeah. And now you’re on — I once got in a car accident on Route 17, which is sort of a New Jersey rite of passage. Yeah. Yeah. You shouldn’t be on the phone right now. That’s a dangerous road. Right where it merges with a Route 4
[00:06:38] CALLER: I’m almost at my destination
[00:06:39] CHRIS: Oh, that’s good.
[00:06:40] CALLER: Oh Route 4 is usually where I am so
[00:06:43] CHRIS: Yeah, right where Route 4 and Route 17 meet. Your boy was once parked at a red light near there and got slammed into. It was a weird day.
[00:06:51] CALLER: Oh dear. Oh my. Oh, that is like the worst kind to cause you can’t do anything to avoid that really. It’s the other person being super careless. Oh man. That is really awful. Clearly you’re OK which is good.
[00:07:05] CHRIS: I’m good. Now, why are you hating on New Jersey?
[00:07:08] CALLER: Well, first of all, trying to get Medicaid here was like a nightmare.
[00:07:14] CHRIS: OK, OK.
[00:07:15] CALLER: They suspended my Medicaid. And like the DMV was like, really not a good time. I mean, the DMV is never a good time. But I just came from [???] over the summer and I don’t — It was a lot easier somehow and also my husband from here. Which is why we’re here. We’re broke and live with his parents right now which is why we had to leave Washington State. Yeah. I mean, he’s from here and he doesn’t like it. So probably also doesn’t help how I feel because. We’re just too negativity.
[00:07:57] CHRIS: Uh huh, Uh huh.
[00:08:00] CALLER: But it’s also like it’s a lot of small towns and I am a city person. I am so not used to this.
[00:08:08] CHRIS: Okay. Okay. But what about Taylor Ham? We got Taylor Ham. What about Italian hotdogs? Jimmy Buff’s?
[00:08:17] CALLER: I keep kosher.
[00:08:20] CHRIS: OK.
[00:08:22] CALLER: So no ham for me.
[00:08:24] CHRIS: Yeah. No, that’s an impediment. My first argument out of the gate is not going to convince you then if you keep a kosher diet. Yes. Taylor Ham. Clearly not. Which is also traditionally with cheese. I believe mixing meat and cheese can be an issue depending on the type of meat. OK. Clearly you…
[00:08:40] CALLER: Oh yeah that’s like the most unkosher…
[00:08:43] CHRIS: That’s a swing and a mess right there. OK. Taylor ham is also largely pork based. Yeah. Not good.
[00:08:50] CALLER: Cause I know that you talked about that a lot. I’m just like over my head. Nothing I will ever experience in my life.
[00:08:58] CHRIS: Now, what about the Jersey Shore? What about the Jersey Shore you got on the beach? Asbury Park.
[00:09:03] CALLER: True. I haven’t been yet. So you know what? Maybe I should go and maybe I will like New Jersey a little bit better because I’ve been mostly staying in this northern part up here in Bergen County.
[00:09:17] CHRIS: Aha.
[00:09:19] CALLER: Now that, you know, I keep kosher and I’m in Bergen County, it’s like you kind of get more of what my life is, I guess. Yeah.
[00:09:25] CHRIS: Yeah OK. OK.
[00:09:28] CALLER: Yes. If you’re aware.
[00:09:29] CHRIS: Well, what do you mean by that, exactly? Bergen County, New Jersey. It’s a little I think it’s known… large parts of it are known for being a little upscale. I know that.
[00:09:37] CALLER: A lot of Jewish, like very heavy Jewish population, orthodox, Jewish.
[00:09:43] CHRIS: Ha ha.
[00:09:44] CALLER Very like insulated. Pretty insulated.
[00:09:47] CHRIS: Are you orthodox?
[00:09:51] CALLER: Yes.
[00:09:52] CHRIS: OK. OK. Yeah. Well, how much do you hate New Jersey and how much is it that… it sounds like some. You’re saying you’re broke? You had to move all the way back across the country. That’s Washington state. That’s like 3000 miles. How much is it jersey and how much is it some life circumstances? that forced you here will make you forever associate New Jersey with the negative circumstance?
[00:10:19] CALLER: That is a fair point. That is a fair point. I mean, I lived in New York City before we were in Seattle for two and a half years. You know, New York, I mean it definitely… Because I went to college there for a few years before. So I was in New York City on and off for like six years. And at first, I did not like it as a person from California, but it grew on me a lot. But now I can’t afford to live in the city anymore so I’m out here in the burbs. So yeah that probably also contributes. Like having that toll to drive across the bridge is… My sisters both live in the city and if I want to go see them it’s like $12.50 just to say hi to my sisters, really?
[00:11:12] CHRIS: Yeah. That G.W. Bridge. I take the bus. I take the bus from Bergen County.
[00:11:18] CALLER: I do, I take the bus to work. Yeah. Take the bus to Port Authority every day. Sometimes it just drives right by my stop which is annoying. It ignores me.
[00:11:30] CHRIS: Aha. Aha.
[00:11:32] CALLER: Which is like the most annoying. Especially when it doesn’t come that often.
[00:11:34] CHRIS: I will say on that, I will say that for anybody who’s not familiar, all the buses from New Jersey, they do stop at Port Authority. Port Authority is at Forty Second Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan. Port Authority I would argue it’s pretty clearly the worst place in New York City. I think hands down, you can’t you can’t be in a more… The fact that you get dropped off and then have to go back to Port Authority, that’s a pretty depressing way to come in and out of the city.
[00:12:04] CALLER: It is. It is, definitely.
[00:12:06] CHRIS: I get why New Jersey? I get the negative impact. I’m starting to see it. You’re starting to paint a clear picture.
[00:12:13] CALLER: So clearly, I’m not in the best Jersey situation is what I’m getting from you.
[00:12:18] CHRIS: Yeah? Yeah. I mean, I’m scheming right now to move back to New Jersey. That’s what I want.
[00:12:27] CALLER: Right.
[00:12:27] CHRIS: I want to trade lives with you. What if we trade lives? What if I go live with your in-laws and you come to live in Queens?
[00:12:35] CALLER: Sounds awesome to me. I’ll be near my sister and I will have [???] to work probably. Because I work on the East side.
[00:12:44] CHRIS: Uh huh. And I can immerse myself in the beautiful traditions of the Jewish faith.
[00:12:52] CALLER: Yes. There is a synagogue a block away from us. Where my family is… my in-law’s family has been going for 20 years.
[00:13:01] CHRIS: All right.
[00:13:02] CALLER: They really like it.
[00:13:04] CHRIS: I love new cultures. I love learning.
[00:13:08] CALLER: Yeah. You seemed to get the kashrut stuff down in the second episode up there with your wedding experience
[00:13:15] CHRIS: Oh, yeah. I really do.
[00:13:19] CALLER: That was really impressive.
[00:13:20] CHRIS: Yeah. I mean, that was a deep dive. That was into the deep end.
[00:13:25] CALLER: You really deep dived.
[00:13:26] CHRIS: I also appreciate your deep dive callback for anybody who has not listened to the very second episode. Number two, we’re now up over 150 I think? Number two of Beautiful Anonymous. I did explain in detail how I sort of accidentally signed up for a kosher wedding without realizing and had to quickly learn. What I have been told are even by the standards of people who keep kosher were rather extreme levels of kosher for my wedding.
[00:13:54] CALLER: Yeah, that was like my level and I’m pretty orthodox like I won’t vegan out or anything. And it’s mostly like that. The wine stuff really complicates things. Like that stuff. The fact that… I think you might have understood even better than I do. Because it is weird. I was just talking to my friends about it last night.
[00:14:14] CHRIS: Yes. I’ve been told that having to use Mevushal wine is pretty rare in the modern age.
[00:14:21] CALLER: Yes. Well, not for me.
[00:14:23] CHRIS: Yeah. Yeah. So did you grow up Orthodox?
[00:14:28] CALLER: Yes
[00:14:30] CHRIS: You did. And now you’re. And then you wound up. Now you’re married to someone else who grew up Orthodox, even though you grew up in. You said you grew up in California. He grew up in New Jersey.
[00:14:41] CALLER: Yep. I went to the Super Jewish school of Yeshiva University and we met basically around there. Actually technically through Facebook. We had a lot of the same friends but he didn’t get out much, so I was wondering about this persona. We eventually met, obviously, and started dating a couple of months later, and we’re married a year and a month after that, pretty quick. We’ve been married five years now.
[00:15:15] CHRIS: Yeah, I got married pretty quick as well. Congrats. So then you guys take off for Washington State. Well, you said you lived in New York for a couple years and then you headed out to Seattle. Walk me through this. Walk me through this timeline.
[00:15:27] So, my husband is a teacher of religious studies and he got a job out in Seattle at a school. And we like fell in love with Seattle. We were so excited. But then the job didn’t really work out for him. Unfortunately, we tried to really make it work there. He was doing like a job keeping the restaurant kosher. There were only a few kosher restaurants there. But I was doing like Uber Eats, Postmates, Wag dog walking, Instacart grocery delivery, all that stuff. But it still wasn’t really working financially. But that was quite an experience for me doing all that gig economy stuff. [sound of a train passing] I also got to know Seattle really well.
[00:16:19] CHRIS: Did you just pass a freight train? Did a freight train just pass your car?
[00:16:24] CALLER: I parked and I’m near a train station, so the train just passed by. The New Jersey Transit.
[00:16:32] CHRIS: We can hear it in the background. Let’s be quiet. That’s the sound of my youth. The New Jersey Transit. When I was at college, I would take the transit into the city and I’d love it. I get so excited because I was about to go to comedy and then I have to get back on the train at the end of the night and go back to Rutgers and those train rides. Count among the most depressing stretches, the 45 to 60 minute stretches of my life. Which if you followed my work at all, you know that that’s saying a lot. Real true depression on the northeast corner line for me. Okay, so that’s it. You know, it’s pretty fascinating. I wonder what your opinion is on this, because they say that the American economy has had phenomenal job growth, that we’re adding thousands and thousands of jobs every month. And I think that’s awesome. I really do.
[00:17:20] CALLER: Right.
[00:17:21] CHIRS: But then I hear so many stories from people. You were you were you’re like, yeah, I had eight of those jobs and I still couldn’t pay the rent.
[00:17:25] CALLER: Oh, yeah. Well, also, because, like first of all, you’re an independent contractor on all of them. So you’re like you don’t have benefits. You don’t have anything. Even with WAG, when I was dog walking, I did that the longest because I actually did that while my husband was still teaching. I sprained my ankle pretty badly. While running. And so I couldn’t work for a week ,for more than a week, for like a few weeks, because I had a really bad spraining and the job is walking and I couldn’t work, but I couldn’t get worker’s comp. I couldn’t get anything like that or PTO because that’s it. I’m just laid up with nothing else. And then it happened again, I sprained my ankle going down the stairs of a client’s townhouse. Nothing I could do about it, even though that was technically on the job. So I’m an independent contractor.
[00:18:21] CHRIS: I think that’s really… That’s a dark underside of the job growth that’s worth talking about more. What good… you know…
[00:18:36] CALLER: I’ve heard some real horror stories of people who get these crazy clients from these things. Thank God I’ve only had like really nice people. Sometimes they didn’t tip me the best. But like, you know, I get it. I’ve ordered food that has been like shoot this is more expensive than I thought, but they always tip at least. But I’ve had people… cause like Instacart is so weird. Where like they don’t have a limit for the amount of items you can get. And they do deliveries from Costco, right? So people will order like 40 cases of water bottles. And it’s because Costco business wouldn’t do more than a certain amount. And the reason why Costco business won’t do more than a certain amount because their trucks can only handle a certain amount of containers of water. And then you have these people who have like a sedan, like me, who are like, what am I supposed to… where am I supposed to fit all this water? How am I supposed to get this out to my car? It’s just like a constant issue I’ve been hearing about thank God I never had to deal with it, though.
[00:19:38] CHRIS: Instacart. So instacart, I’m not familiar. Is that a thing where you effectively will… People can submit a shopping list and pay you to go shopping for them?
[00:19:47] CALLER: Yeah. That’s exactly it.
[00:19:49] CHRIS: So you’ve really scratched it out, you’ve really tried everything. Get out there.
[00:19:56:] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:19:57] CHRIS: Man, that’s…
[00:19:58] CALLER: And that someone will sometimes. You get a nice sized batch they’re called you can you can make a nice like 30 bucks, 40 bucks at a time. Which is better than the food delivery where you get like 5 to 10 at a time, depending on how far you have to drive and how well you’re tipped. The tips are really important. That’s like a good PSA. Tip your food delivery people. Usually it’ll make their income significantly better, even just like four dollars. Is like a good tip.
[00:20:27] CHRIS: I will say I’m not trying to pat myself on the back too hard, but I try to be a good tipper. And I think we do live in an economy where it’s really clear that there are a lot of people scrapping. And if you have disposable income and I’m lucky the past few years I got a little bit of disposable income compared to how I used to be. Got to share it. Got to share it. And I don’t know why that drives some people so nuts. The idea of sharing the wealth. I don’t get it. What do you think? You want a percent? As someone who is in the tip economy, gig economy, you like a percentage. Is that fair? A flat rate? What are you thinking here as far as tips? What should people do?
[00:21:08] CALLER: Well, like Uber Eats, will give you the options, to do two, four or six dollars. I feel like because I usually got paid like four or five for the delivery itself. Like a four dollars tip would make my day. With wag, like the walk costs, like I get usually twelve dollars for a half hour walk. And the people… like the good tip was usually four dollars, sometimes six dollars. An hour long walk. I would get eighteen dollars, so technically for those the pay is decent. But like you factor and all the driving and also the fact that you’re walking a lot and there’s only so much you can do in a day. That’s why I like that when I kind of dropped off and did all the driving one instead, because it was like I had some regular dogs that I walked. And then after a while, I was like, I’m going to just stick to the people who already have me booked. Week after week. And then I’m just going to do a little more driving because I’m getting very tired. Seattle’s got a lot of hills, like big time, like not like San Francisco, but it’s very hilly. So it’s like in New York, I’m sure I can probably… like I’ve taken like 20 mile walks in New York City before, but like the hills just really take it out of me.
[00:22:25] CHRIS: I tell you, this conversation is driving me nuts. It’s driving me nuts because? Because again, all I think about is we have so many more jobs and then we hear so many stories like yours where it’s like, yeah, I guess technically we do, but not any of them… I have to do three of them to try to get rent. Even then, I’m stressed out. If I fall down and sprained my ankle, they’re all gone. There’s no protection for me on that. I have to use my own car to do it, which means I’m putting wear and tear on my car. And also, if the car blows out again, all the jobs are gone. No protection on that. There’s a lot of pitfalls in this that aren’t real. And that’s why I got to say. Call me what you will. This idea that we’re living in an economy where people like you have to cobble together six gig economy jobs, have zero protection, and then and then we also have you can still get a tax deduction if you buy a private jet. I don’t know how anyone hears that and doesn’t think it’s totally fucked in the head, man. Sorry Sally.
[00:23:37] [AD BREAK]
[00:25:28] CALLER: At the end of last year, usually lately because we don’t make a lot of money usually we get taxed usually to get a tax credit or refund a little bit or something. This year we owed like a good couple hundred and it’s like but people are getting tax breaks on private jets. Amazon was almost given a ginormous package to come to Queens, which, like, good on Queens for stepping up.
[00:25:55] CHRIS: You’re telling me it’s very divisive where I live? Yeah, I live right in the epicenter. I live two neighborhoods away from Long Island City. And a lot of people can’t decide there’s a lot of people going. Why were we paying billions of dollars to not pay taxes? And then other people going 25000 jobs? Why did you chase them away? Nobody knows what to make of this stuff anymore.
[00:26:15] CALLER: So having lived in Lex Luthor’s little capital over there in Seattle. I don’t know if they would… it’s wasn’t really a lot of local jobs. Like, I mean, you know, a lot of people I knew who moved while I was living there came for Amazon. They came from other places to work at Amazon. Wasn’t like a lot of people in Seattle were like, great. Now I can work at Amazon. It was a lot of people were like, great, now I could move to Seattle to work at Amazon. Housing went up real bad, like right before we got there. Like to us coming from New York City, it was like $1700 a month for a one bedroom in a luxury building. Amazing. Because, like $1700 and Washington Heights will get you
[00:26:58] CHRIS: three roommates
[00:26:58] CALLER: also a tiny box with one bedroom. With like cockroaches everywhere and [???] 4:00 in the morning
[00:27:04] CHRIS: And when you’re living with some maniac you met on Craigslist and you don’t know if he’s got a body under the bed. You know what I’m saying?
[00:27:13] CALLER: Exactly. So, like we were like for us that great.But everyone else was like, oh, no, no. That’s triple the price it was like five years ago.
[00:27:22] CHRIS: Yeah. I mean, that’s the thing. When you go back and forth because then we think about it in Queens and it’s like. Yeah. Even if it’s like, okay, well if those 25000 jobs are outsiders, it’s OK. It raises the, you know, I’m a homeowner. I own a little co-op. I can help with that. But is that fair? And then also it’s like would also create jobs for people, you know, in the service industry to accommodate those 25000 people, and is that is that helping? Is that actually helping people who have to live in this neighborhood to have more, like you said, gig economy, jobs to cater to 20000 people come in and drive up the rent for those same people? It’s weird.
[00:28:04] CALLER: I’m also studying computer science. I want to be in programming. So for being in Seattle was… because there’s a lot of programing jobs at Amazon and there’s also Microsoft, which is in Redmond so it’s like east of Seattle. So it’s not like… they have their own huge campus out there and they’ve been there for like 20 years. So from what I understand, they haven’t gotten as much in the way. But there are a lot of young just graduated 22 old men, always, who can afford now a luxury studio apartment because they’re getting paid like 85 grand right out of college and they’re single and they’re just like, want to be near work. So then there’s all these fancy schmancy buildings that these… like I’ve walked dogs from these people, like these fancy schmancy studios where they leave a pitbull at home all day. And then, yeah, it’s wild how the real estate works. I mean I’m just scared of every city becoming San Francisco and being completely unaffordable.
[00:29:11] CHRIS: Or even New York, as much as I love it. But I tell you what, at some point if this keeps happening, the common man and the working man are going to have to rise up in a rage and take back some of the power. And it’s a shame we can’t just fix it now before people start throwing rocks through windows, baby, because the working man is getting pushed around too much right now. And I say that as someone who is in the entertainment industry and has worked very hard, but also it’s not like I’m out there getting calloused hands. But I see I see it happening. It’s not right. It’s not right. I get why you hate New Jersey. I see now why you hate New Jersey. You’re living.
[00:29:53] CALLER: It’s really more of my life circumstances basically.
[00:29:55] CHRIS: I get it. And then you sort of hate where you land. But it sounds like I mean, you did just, it sounds like who you really hate is Jeff Bezos, who I think you just referred to as Lex Luthor. Is that a common nickname for him or is that just your personal nickname?
[00:30:09] Well, he is bald and wants to own the world. And I’m not the first one. I know I got that from somebody else. So somebody else around Seattle. So, yeah, that’s just, it makes sense because he’s bald, and rich and wants to own all the things and he’s not necessarily a good person. Hopefully he won’t… someone won’t come down and strike me somehow for saying that. Apparently if you say his last name wrong in an interview you’re not getting the job at Amazon.
[00:30:38] CALLER: That is total amazon lore.
[00:30:41] CHRIS: Wow. I mean, I also just talked a bunch of shit. I hope that we don’t care. I hope we don’t get crushed. I hope all our advertisers don’t get pressure put on them to not advertise on our show anymore. I hope.
[00:30:52] CALLER: I hope I didn’t get you in trouble.
[00:30:55] CHRIS: No. I tend to get myself in trouble when trouble comes my way. Well, it’s a shame that my home state, my beloved home state of New Jersey has come to represent all of this tension and stress for you. But I do get it. I do get it.
[00:31:14] CALLER: I have friends who live in Jersey City and Hoboken and are loving it. I mean, there’s a lot more like PATH trains and NJ transit trains and just like better transportation from their cities. So that helps.
[00:31:25] CHRIS: How old are you? Can I ask how old you are?
[00:31:28] CALLER: 27
[00:31:29] CHRIS: And you’ve been married for five years?
[00:31:32] CALLER: Yep.
[00:31:33] CHRIS: Wow. Got married young
[00:31:34] CALLER: married 22!
[00:31:37] CHRIS: And I get… so you’re 27, you want to be in the city. You want to have the ability to come and go at will.
[00:31:44] CALLER: Yeah, It’s like I do and I don’t. Because, like, I did spend a lot of time in the city and, you know, hour long commutes being normal was like really a drag. I mean, it still is an hour long commute for me either way. But being in the city and still having such a long commute was crazy. And, but there’s always stuff to do. Never boring. Stuff I can’t afford almost any of it. You know, I love theater, I love opera, love that stuff, but I can’t afford it. And that sucks.
[00:32:15] CHRIS: That does suck.
[00:32:16] CALLER: I used to go to whiplash, which was free
[00:32:19] CHRIS: Free, baby.
[00:31:20] CALLER: That was the best
[00:31:21] CHRIS: Free comedy. Now, you’ve mentioned a couple times. You said you’re with your in-laws because you’re broke. You mentioned you just had like the $12.50 toll was stressing you out. I don’t know how much you want to talk about this, but…
[00:32:37] CALLER: For sure. Yeah, I can talk more about it.
[00:32:41] CHRIS: You mentioned that Jersey is giving you a hard time on the Medicaid. I believe… is Medicaid is low income health insurance. I don’t know too much about it. And Medicare is the 65 plus version of it.
[00:32:56] CALLER: Yes. And also disability, I’m pretty sure, because these are the things I’m starting to learn because of the situation. Because there’s a bunch of different types of Medicare. But I am Medicaid. When I did get it, it was good cause I had emergency gallbladder surgery a couple months ago. And thank God I didn’t get stuck with a huge bill. Like nobody should. It was a crazy, unpredictable situation. And I’m glad that something was there for me. But it’s like, yeah, we applied in like August or September and we didn’t… and, they gave us the runaround of like, oh your status is being handled by a representative. And then we would call a representative. And they’d be like no you gotta call. But we just called. Or something like that. It was really weird. And then we finally got our health insurance in November. In Washington it did not take that long. It took like two weeks? A week? And I finally got my license change from Washington and I’m finally registered to vote, thank goodness. But because at first I didn’t have the right documents, so that’s my fault. I accidentally kept all my important documents in storage except my Social Security card and my birth certificate. But because my birth name is not the same as my current name, because I’m married and I changed my name, they were like, nope. We also need your marriage license.
[00:34:28] CHRIS: Right. Right.
[00:34:31] CALLER: And I was like, but I had to have that to get my other license that has my name on it. And a Social Security credit that has my name on it, so logically, doesn’t that follow? And then one of the guys who was at the next cubicle over was like “not in this state.” It’s a very cynical way. I was like cool, cool, great, awesome.
[00:34:57] CHRIS: Wow. You’ve got some… Can I… I want to ask you something and I don’t want to offend. Don’t want to add stress. I’m very, very interested. And I say this with a lot of sympathy and compassion Because you’re fighting the good fight. You’re looking to work hard. You’ve worked a lot of gigs, but you still had to move back. I ask it with compassion and absolutely no judgment. What is the… For the people who are listening, who aren’t in your circumstance, what’s it really like being broke in America in 2019?
[00:35:39] CALLER: Good question. So, you know, I’m thankful that I have family who loves me and was willing to take us in. My parents in Los Angeles also were like you can come to us, too. And I really wanted to go there, but it was also shallow reasons, like my friends, my dogs, coffee bean, the sun, you know. But also a bit of a shorter drive, as we drove our car from Seattle to New Jersey, which was also really, really fun. And there’s at least a good silver lining that we got to see the country. But, yeah, it sucks because also there’s a lot of articles always telling us, telling me how lazy I am and how I just didn’t work hard enough because, you know, I got a BA in music. But I wanted to get a B.S. in computer science. But at the time my school didn’t have that program, which was insane. Now they do. And that’s a whole other thing I could rant about for a long time. But… everyone… you know… So I’m studying computer science online now. But when I was doing all those gig jobs, It was really hard to find time to do school and still make a good amount of money because I had to work like ten hours a day to get 100 bucks if that. And I still would have to pay a bunch of taxes on it at the end of the year because it’s all pretax. So my school fell by the wayside and I’m trying to get that computer science degree so I can get a better job, but I keep falling behind. And getting Medicaid and unemployment is such a huge process. Like you’re not coasting off of it. You’re not like just staying on it. Everything just feels like running in place all the time. And then you also… being told by all the rich people who were given a ton of college scholarships. And whose houses cost fifty thousand dollars, like, I don’t know why you can’t just do what I did. It’s like it’s all more expensive now. And it’s so hard to get everything that you need. It sometimes feels like I’m never gonna get out of it. I just don’t know what to do to like just get above water sometimes. If that makes sense.
[00:38:14] CHRIS: It does. They don’t make it easy. It’s, uh, it’s a system that’s incredibly hard to navigate. And the sense I get, just from talking to you, is that there’s not much there’s not much empathy. When you are in the position you’re in.
[00:38:39] CALLER: Yeah, it isn’t… it feels shameful, but know that there are a lot of people who have done this. You know, when we were leaving Seattle and we were telling people oh we’re going to live with my husband’s parents, they were like… we had friends who had just moved to Seattle who were like, oh yeah, we did that for a bit. You know, we stayed with my parents. And I have some friends here in New Jersey who are like, oh, yeah, we did that, too. And then friends in Chicago who said oh that’s why we moved to Chicago. You know, it’s just, I found out that so many people do the exact same thing. I just didn’t know about it. And that was like… It was a little hopeful, but also it was like, to me, crazy that we all had to do that after we thought we were OK and married and having jobs. But it just takes one of you being laid off to suddenly fall right down, like straight down.
[00:39:29] CHRIS: Well, I just want to jump in and make sure I get this on record. You said. Oh, it feels shameful. And I just want to say zero percent, zero percent, for you to lay out in the course of our conversation how hard you’ve worked, how you’ve done it the right way. Two college graduates. You’ve scrapped, you’ve been willing to take gigs that move you all around the country. When you get there, you’re willing to take any gig you can to keep going. You’re willing to work, like you said, 10 to 12 hours a day. There’s no shame in that. There’s shameful aspects of this story. But I think this is why when people go, oh, Chris, you’re too liberal on the show, I go, well, that’s a shameful system where people who work as hard as you do have to stress like this. That’s where the shame is. Nothing shameful. Nothing shameful for you and I mean that sincerely. And I hope that hits home, because you’re not describing anything except someone who did it the right way. You went to college. You got a degree, now, do you… I would imagine, it sounds like… Do you regret the music degree? Was that… Are you like oh boy?
[00:40:44] CALLER: Yeah
[00:40:45] CHRIS: Yeah. Yeah.
[00:40:46] CALLER: Especially cause like when I was in high school, I was going for the music thing and I was trying to go to a school that had a really good program because… I mean… I really… And also this was the problem was I went on a program between high school and college where I did music and Jewish studies and I was there with people who are very, very talented. I was like, oh, I am not cut out for the music scene. I like it a lot. But if I did it, it would be like an academic, a writing thing and nobody really has that much… You’ve got to already be rich to do something like that, because that’s just for yourself, basically. And it’s just too selfish. So I’m going to try to do computer science. I want to get to college. I mean, I had originally I was originally supposed to go to a different school, but we didn’t… It cost too much money and this school gave me a big scholarship. So they’re like, yeah, computer science, don’t worry. And then a year later, before I declared my major, they were like, oh, we don’t have that anymore. And I was like trying to get some kind of shaped major to be like what I wanted. And they were like, you know, we’re not going to have the classes anymore. Pick something else. I was like, go back to music. But it was like, you know, still challenging and it was still nice that I got to study the thing I really, really love. But at the end of the day, like being a musicologist is like… Which is what I would have wanted to do… the most selfish, useless thing you could do. Because you’re just writing about music all day. Like I don’t have the time or the… You don’t make money either. I was like I need something that contributes to society a little more.
[00:42:37] CHRIS: It does break my heart thinking about the fact that there has to be at least one musicologist amongst our listeners who just went shameful and useless and got really in their head.
[00:42:48] CALLER: They’re just so selfish
[00:41:49] CHRIS: Selfish. Selfish and useless
[00:41:51] CALLER: The thing is I would love it if I could do it. It’s awesome.
[00:42:55] CHRIS: The musicologist fans of our show have just hung their heads feeling like am I selfish and useless? I thought I was studying art in a way that might chronicle beautiful art. Pass it on to future generations. I didn’t realize that everything I do is selfish and useless. Over here trying to throw down those musicologists.
[00:43:14] CALLER: I would tell them that I’m jealous. I would tell them I’m jealous and that I’m just speaking out of jealousy. I just wish I could do that. No, I just have to. I’m too poor now.
[00:43:27] CHRIS: Now Can I ask a sensitive question? I’m gonna ask a sensitive question.
[00:41:31] CALLER: Sure.
[00.41:31] CHRIS: I’m not trying to step on any toes here at all. And if this comes off wrong, nail me on it because I want… I’d never, ever wanna come across… The elimination of the computer science degree. Seems really wild in this era of time.
[00:43:47] CALLER: It was. It was really wild.
[00:43:48] Well, what do you attribute that to? Now, my question that I bet other people are asking is, is the fact that this was a religious institution? Did that play into that?
[00:43:59] CALLER: No, it didn’t.
[00:44:00] CHRIS: Ok, good to know. Ignorant questioner/
[00:44:05] CALLER: It’s a smaller school. No, I mean, no, it’s just. It’s not like a Luddite school, you know, we’re modern orthodox, as we say, you know, where we’re not, you know, clustered in Williamsburg and [???] wearing clothes from 19th century Poland and judging everybody. You know, [sound of a train passing] that’s not where I’m at. There’s your train again.
[00:44:25] CHRIS: It just brings back the sound of that war. On certain days it sounds like the hope, the hope of escaping New Brunswick, New Jersey and other days it just hits me in the gut. It marks the return. That horn has many emotional associations in my mind. I’m not kidding you. So you’re saying so you’re modern orthodox. You were kind of indicating that you’re not… this is not the Hasidic community in Williamsburg, which is known to be a little closed off
[00:44:51] CALLER: People tend to associate the word orthodox with that. And it’s like there’s a lot of… No, that’s not it. You know, I mean especially even when I meet people and they look at me. I’ve been asked twice as an Amish because I wear a headscarf. Which I thought was very interesting because those times I was like… one time I was at the doctor’s office, a physical therapist office with my smartphone out, and another time I was like, I was definitely not… I was definitely engaging with technology and not wearing handmade clothes. Right.
[00:45:22] CHRIS: Is there any part of you…. You sound like a nicer person than me. When someone asks you, you’re if you’re Amish because you were in a headscarf. Do you just want to hand them your phone and be like Google Amish, you dumb fuck? Is there any part of you that wants to just be like I’m holding a phone you piece of shit. But you sound nicer than me.
[00:45:41] CALLER: I’m just kind of like that is such an interesting first choice, especially because, I guess a lot of people, you know, out here, the Amish are like only a few hours away in rural Pennsylvania. Like I went to summer camp around there. But it’s time, just like, I guess they just don’t know. Like they’ve never seen anybody with a head scarf, even though there are Orthodox Jews around who do wear head coverings like I do. So I’m just confused, obviously. Like, what do they think Amish means?
[00:46:13] CHRIS: [click] Wanted to take a second pause and say, I sincerely apologize if my tone offended any Amish people. Although I do think by the very nature of this being a technology driven medium. It’s less of an issue. Am I making another offensive comment right now? Who knows? I don’t know. Anyway, I’ve broken up the momentum. I hope I haven’t. It’s never what I want to do.
[00:46:34] [AD BREAK]
[00:48:43] CHRIS: Yeah, it’s extraordinarily rare to see an Amish person in New York City. I’ve lived here for 15 years. And to my knowledge, I have not run into just a random Amish person on the street. But it’s not rare at all to see Orthodox Jewish people on the subway, on the streets.
[00:48:57] CALLER: There’s an episode of 30 Rock where Liz Lemon’s cousin comes to town from rural Pennsylvania and he sees a Hasidic guy walking by and goes “you have Amish here?” And that makes me laugh every time. He is used to Amish people. It makes sense if you’re from the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. But, you know, you’re going to see Hasidic people walking around 8th Avenue near Port Authority because B&H is over there and that is a Hasidic-owned business.
[00:49:26] CHRIS: Indeed, indeed.
[00:49:27] CALLER: So that’s not an uncommon sight.
[00:49:29] CHRIS: That is the type… That’s like New York insider knowledge. That’s the type of thing you wouldn’t like… B&H. Right. Owned.
[00:49:36] CALLER: I have known so many people who worked there.
[00:49:40] CHRIS: So what’s the relationship then? Because you said you know people work there. You drew a line. Okay, let’s get into this, because it was very clear and it sounded like it was important to you to draw a line of like the Hasidic community is known to be a little more insular. That’s not the orthodox community. What is the relationship between the two communities? And before we do, let me just note, like for anybody listening who might not be familiar, I think as a New Yorker, you just come to know more… like the Hasidic community when you mentioned like the Williamsburg community. My understanding is that’s a community that has their own police force. They have their own ambulances. They kind of have…
[00:50:20] CALLER: Well they have Hatzalah. It’s a private EMS service, like it’s a private ambulance. But I don’t know about police, but definitely Hatzalah, that’s always on the fridge next to 911 and poison control. Hatzalah. Because usually they’re local people who will get you they’ll still get you to the hospital. They’ll be with the police. But it’s like I think it started at the time when Jews were really refused services and stuff, back when… Like how there’s Jewish hospitals, because all the hospitals used to be Catholic and Catholics used to not like us so much, even though now we’re cool. Yeah. That kind of thing.
[00:50:58] CHRIS: The Shomrin. I was just googling it. The Shomrin, have you heard of the Shomrin? That’s like a neighborhood watch.
[00:51:06] CALLER: I actually haven’t heard of that.
[00:51:08] CHRIS: That’s like a neighborhood watch in the Hasidic section of Brooklyn that my understanding is sometimes people will call them instead of the police. But what do I know, really? I’m just a curious fellow.
[00:51:18] CALLER: I mean, it makes sense in some parts of Brooklyn to like, oh, my Crown Heights of like all this racial tension. Also, like, growing up in Southern California, I didn’t, I wasn’t around any of this. And so when I went to New York, it was kind of new-ish to me, like I have relatives on my dad’s side from Brooklyn. And some of those areas. But they were like there they’re a little like in between us and like super sensitive, which is why my grandmother left. But my grandmother was like, I don’t really want to be in this Hasidic space. I’m going to go west. And yeah, they’re like and my grandfather was from Cleveland, which… This is a fun story. He was fighting the Korean War and his family was still in Cleveland. They decided to go visit L.A. and they called home and said send our things, we’re never coming back.
[00:52:10] CHRIS: Wow.
[00:52:11] CALLER: He found out when he came home that you live in Los Angeles now.
[00:52:15] CHRIS: Just left an impression.
[00:52:20] CALLER: They were like, it’s warm here. Why would we ever live in the cold? Sounds good to me
[00:52:27] CHRIS: Yeah, I get it. I get it.
[00:52:32] CALLER: I always felt people were like, how about Cleveland? It’s not so expensive. I’m like, let me tell you about my family in Cleveland.
[00:52:38] CHRIS: Yeah. The second someone left Cleveland. They decided to never go back. Never go back.
[00:52:46] CALLER: Yes. Yes. That is family lore. So. Yeah. So. So that stuff’s kind of new to me. But like newish because I’ve heard of it and my in-laws have Polish Hasidic ancestry. Because that’s how it was in these small towns in Eastern Europe. It was like each town had like a rabbi that they would follow. And because it was like a bunch of small towns and they were like a minority. And then when they had to leave or were just straight up destroyed, as some villages were, which is really upsetting and sad. But they came here. And so they have all these names like [??] and [??] those are all like cities and in Eastern Europe that, they still continue the lineage of those rabbis. And it’s very insular. And then there’s like…. you have people who… which we call like Lakewood, like in Lakewood, New Jersey, or the community, people who are not quite Hasidic, but they are very, very religious and very, very like, you know, wear all black, women gotta a cover up almost all of your skin. And like anything secular is forbidden. Sometimes they don’t even print women’s faces and publications. It just makes me so mad. Because I am a feminist and I don’t like that shit one bit. Sorry Karen and Sally.
[00:54:26] CHRIS: That’s OK. Aunt Karen lives not too far from Lakewood. I don’t think… That’s down more Central Jersey, right? I think it’s a little more central. I don’t know. It’s interesting. You don’t really hear too many. I feel like hearing someone who… cause the orthodox hearing. I think that’s cool for you to say. Yeah, I wear a headscarf. I practice a religion that necessitates that. But also, I’m a feminist. I feel like some people.
[00:54:54] CALLER: Yeah.
[00:54:55] CHRIS: Some people would find those incompatible in their guts.
[00:54:58] CALLER: Fun story. One time at Whiplash, Michele Wolf was hosting. And she told me I was oppressed.
[00:55:05] CHRIS: Really?
[00:55:06] CALLER: And I was a little uncomfortable about it. But the intention was good because I was also wearing like because I was also wearing what they call a fall, which is like half a wig, where you wear a hat or a scarf on top of it. And she asked my husband, do you wear two things on your head? He goes, actually, and he takes off a baseball cap and he’s wearing, you know, the kippah, the yarmulke, underneath it. And she just lost it. She was not expecting that. And I was kind of like, all right, you know.
[00:55:34] CHRIS: So Michelle Wolf, a friend of mine, once, onstage got into it with you, a comedy fan, and said you were oppressed.
[00:55:41] CALLER: Yes.
[00:55:42] CHRIS: Do you agree
[00:55:42] CALLER: At first I was like, you know, I said, I’m orthodox Jewish. She was like you’re missing out on some good stuff like bacon and Saturdays, and I’m like, yeah, I know. And then she told me I was oppressed and I was like, I don’t know about that, but you know, and, you know, we had it on Twitter a few months later because she was on The Daily Show, defending Burkinis, and I was like that’s very interesting considering.
[00:56:02] CHRIS: Defending what?
[00:56:05] CALLER: Burkinis? You know, how in France they were trying to get Muslim women to not wear their modest bathing suits, which they nicknamed Birkinis
[00:56:14] CHRIS: OK,
[00:56:15] CALLER: Because burka bikini. And so I was like, that’s interesting, cause you told me I was oppressed. She’s like oh no, I do. I just think, you know, it’s your right to want to be oppressed, like the difference when you choose to do something for religious significance versus when a man makes you do it. And a man is not making me do it. I’m choosing. It’s like I’m more identified as Jewish. Also, I don’t even really like my hair. So it’s nice and convenient.
[00:56:42] CHRIS: [laughs] I did not expect that part. Can I, let me ask you this. Do you ever feel. Do you feel that because it… You clearly have a lot of pride and like you just said, you’re choosing this. It’s an expression of your faith, proud of your faith. When you think about your employment situation, is there any part to you? Do you feel like that’s led to any discrimination in any way?
[00:57:09] CALLER: See, I don’t know, because sometimes you do have to disclose like or not, have to, but they ask you certain things while you’re submitting your application. And my name is also just like super Jewish. It happens to be. It’s like instantly when anybody will feel like Facebook or whatever it is. Oh, yeah, that’s a Jewish person. So like, I can’t straight up invent a new name, like because I was like, oh, yeah, hi, I lied. And you’re doing a background check on me and you won’t find anything. Because that’s not my name. I honestly have no idea if it is. If I have been discriminated against. I’ll mention it to some people they’re usually like, I don’t think so. We’re usually good. But, you know, this is truly something I have thought about. But I don’t know. Because like it used to be a problem, you know, 150 years ago that, you know, immigrants who came who were Jewish wouldn’t work on Saturday and they would be summarily fired like every single week. This is like, you know, stories you hear in, you know, growing up like, oh, you know, I heard people… I mean, my relatives came in the 20th century. But people whose ancestors came in the 19th century or, you know, earlier feel like they have to find a new job every week because they wouldn’t work on Saturday. But we don’t have that problem anymore. Thank goodness. It’s just that usually we have to save up all our vacation days for numerous holidays, which kind of sucks when we do get people to do a full job. Because there is a lot a lot of holidays.
[00:58:49] CHRIS: Sure, it’s good. I will say one of the great benefits in New York City is that many Jewish holidays that eliminate alternate side parking for those cars.
[00:59:01] CALLER: Yes
[00:59:01] CHRIS: So many Jewish holidays that, yeah, you always got a call 311. I often find that if I’m having trouble finding parking on the street, I will just call 311, because I’ll say to myself, maybe it’s randomly a Jewish holiday. This is a thing that I have done and I will co-opt to you. I hope you don’t mind me co-opting the beauty of your faith for my own personal benefit.
[00:59:23] CALLER: I used to run a tumblr called you know you’re from Los Angeles when and somebody submitted something to me about it being a Jewish holiday cause traffic is lighter and I was like, that is cool. I wouldn’t know. I’m not driving on my holiday. Apparently we’re a big enough part of the Los Angeles population that we lessen the traffic when we have a holiday. You’re welcome, I guess.
[00:59:49] CHRIS: I think you might enjoy this story. So my Brazilian jiu jitsu gym is located, it’s kind of like right by where, like Williamsburg blends with Clinton Hill down by the BQE. And it’s in the very Hasidic section that you mentioned. It was on a block with a lot of businesses and warehouses. And I’m not trying to blow up anybody’s spot. Someone at my gym realized that when he parked in front of fire hydrants on that block, he never, ever got tickets. Except one day he did. And he saw the traffic cop and said I park here every day. I never got a ticket. And the traffic cop replied to him. Yeah, but it’s a Jewish holiday so. And it’s apparently on the on the block, which was all Jewish business owners. It was like, yeah, like we’re not going to give you guys tickets. We know that you’re coming and going. But on the Jewish holiday. It was like, we know you’re not one of the business owners around here. No, you wouldn’t be driving a car
[1:00:45] CALLER: Amazing. Wow, that’s really funny. Also one time I straight up got towed for parking too close to a fire hydrant when I mistakenly drove to go to Whiplash when I was visiting from out of town. So that is very risky cause apparently they will tell you sometimes if you’re parking too close to a fire hydrant in New York City.
[01:01:05] CHRIS: Oh yeah, And when you get towed in New York City, you invariably have to make your way to a neighborhood that you did not know existed before. And it will always be intimidating.
[01:01:16] CALLER: So that night was the night before the election and also the day after the New York Marathon, which I participated in, but mostly walked, so I was very sore and I had to walk around some barriers because Hillary Clinton HQ at Javits Center, which was supposed to be, you know, a victory party, you know, the naive old times where that happened. I had to walk with my friend cause his stuff was in my car to go to an impound lot where they charged me an obscene amount of money
[01:01:43] CHRIS: Hundreds of dollars
[01:01:45] CALLER: But at least my last name is the same as my father-in-law’s because it was his car. And they would not have given it back to me otherwise.
[01:01:52] CHRIS: And you got to walk out like all the way to the river.
[01:01:57] CALLER: it was like on the river.
[01:01:59] CHRIS: Yeah. Because I’ve been towed from that area near the old UCB as well. It’s on the river. And if I remember right. Tell me if I’m remembering this wrong, or if my brain’s exaggerating it. It’s filled with people who are so angry that if I remember right, the workers are actually behind what seems to be bullet proof glass.
[01:02:19] CALLER: Yes. Oh, they all seem like they are the last place they wanted to be was in that impound lot.
[01:02:24] CHRIS: Yes. The people who have made their way there. The workers don’t want to be there. No one wants to be there. Yeah.
[01:02:31] CALLER: It was like 3:00 in the morning. So there weren’t that many people. Because it was Whiplash
[01:02:38] CHRIS: Oh, I’ve had that exact experience. Yeah where you walk out to the river and it’s November and the wind is blowing on you and you’re brutally cold. You’re like, why is it so far away? Why did I even get towed? I’m supposed to be, what? 10, 13 feet away? I was 12 and a half. These monsters. And then you get out. And by the time you get out there, you’re so furious. And then you realize everyone here is as furious as me. And you can just feel how weird that is. In a psychic sense.
[01:03:11] CALLER: Yes. It’s like when I had to go get my husband’s phone from the New Jersey transit lost and found. Same vibe.
[01:03:20] CHRIS: Just one of those hopeless places.
[01:03:21] CALLER: No one wants to be there. Everyone’s angry. Nobody wants it. You don’t want me to be here. You don’t want you to be here. You don’t want any of this to be happening right now. But we gotta get through that somehow because we need that phone and wallet back.
[01:03:37] CHRIS: Now, we got five minutes left. I want to just ask. I want to ask in a straightforward way. So you’re living in New Jersey with the in-laws. You hate New Jersey. You went for it. You guys went for it. Your husband got laid off. You were in the gig economy that proved unsustainable. Some tough times right now. Where are you at as far as hope for the future goes? Do you see momentum coming down the line? Are you feeling hopeless? Where are we at with that?
[01:04:10] CALLER: So my husband is thankfully a good job and his boss really likes it and they really like good to him. So we’re you know, it seems like that’s on the right track. I’ve been having a little bit more time to do my schoolwork. I was just doing that when I found the phone number and I’m taking a class. I enjoy discrete math, which you probably would hate because of math involved. But
[01:04:35] CHRIS: Yes. No, thank you.
[01:04:37] CALLER: Like, it’s got like logic stuff in it.
[01:04:41] CHRIS: No, logic is not my thing. I’m a man of emotion.
[01:04:46] CALLER: So. So I’ve noticed. But that is also a beautiful thing in its own right.
[01:04:50] CHRIS: Sometimes until I am crying for no reason and can’t explain it to anyone. Proceed.
[01:04:57] CALLER: I’ve been there as well. So yeah, it seems like it seems OK. And you know, I am not completely hopeless. It’s just we were hoping to kind of be a little bit further out of the hole by now. But you know, we’re also getting help and at least we have a place to live. And it’s slow going, but yes. And it’s just like, you know, everyone around me is like having babies. So it’s like you kind of feel a little bit of that pressure because I got married before everybody. So I didn’t feel that pressure when that was happening. But now people are having babies and I’m feeling that pressure. But like, I can’t afford children. I need a wait because I need to be able to pay the rent before I can have a child.
[01:05:43] CHRIS Right. Right.
[01:05:46] CALLER: But, congratulations to you!
[01:05:48] CHRIS: Thanks. Thanks.
[01:05:50] CALLER: You can afford the rent and a child. Very exciting.
[01:05:54] CHRIS: Here’s my here’s my hope. Here’s my hope. Is that, like you said, you feel like you’re headed in the right direction. I hope you keep catching that momentum more and more. You get out of the hole, get your own place, have a life you want, as many kids as you desire. Stability that you deserve as hardworking people. And then someday far into the future, you’ll find yourself driving on a road trip. And you’ll look around and you’ll say, you know what, New Jersey ain’t so bad.
[01:06:26] CALLER: I really hope so.
[01:06:28] CHRIS: That’s my thought.
[01:06:29] CALLER: That would be awesome.
[01:06:33] CHRIS: You find yourself down the Jersey Shore. Doing your thing, walking on the boardwalk, having fun with the kids who will never even need to know the struggles that you once faced and it’ll feel real good, and you’ll stop blaming my home state as it. It’s the surrogate that represents all these other problems. It’s not a bad place. It’s a good place.
[01:06:58] CALLER: It’s true. It’s true. Yeah. Now we dug out, figured out why I hate New Jersey because I also wasn’t sure. I just knew that the bureaucracy was driving me crazy. But you can’t I can’t really compare to Washington State.
[01:07:17] CHRIS: Yeah, Washington State’s pretty nice.
[01:07:20] CALLER: Although it’s a little weird, it’s like going from a place where like weed is so destigmatized and coming back here.
[01:07:26] CHRIS: Really?
[01:07:28] Yeah. I mean, like, I didn’t really use any. But, you know, it’s so not a thing because it’s legal and it’s like it’s been legal for a while there to you come here. It’s like, you know, it’s I mean, New York City, you don’t you wouldn’t even know it’s not legal. It’s like how you’re like, oh, right. It’s not? Because you smell it everywhere. You see people selling weed candy everywhere. And it’s like a weird thing that it’s like not stigmatized at all in Washington. People worrying about it. Oh, it’s going to be legal. What do we do? What do you do? You go on with your life. It’s fine.
[01:08:06] CHRIS: It’s like you were in a place where people just in general are more laid back. And now you’re back where they’re a little more uptight..
[01:08:14] CALLER: Yeah. I’m a West Coast person and it’s just, you know, coming back to the East Coast, like at least at least I know it, you know? I can get away. As soon as I started driving again here. I was just one of those New York, New Jersey drivers just like honking again. Flipping people off again.
[01:08:38] CHRIS: Listen, we just hit zero on the clock. I wish you the best. I hope everything turns out OK. Let me know. Sincerely.
[01:08:46] CALLER: I hope so. Thank you so much. So fun.
[01:08:52] CHRIS: Think that one had some had some meat on its bones at the end of the day. [ring]
[01:09:09] CHRIS: Caller, thank you for calling. Very sincerely, like I said at the end, hope everything heads in the right direction and you guys never have to worry about this stuff. As things keep moving. Wish you well. Thanks for filling me in on your situation and your work and your faith and all those beautiful things. Thanks so much to Jared O’Connell. Thank you to Harry Nelson. What a sweet boy who’s never done me wrong. Harry Nelson. Thank you to Justin Linville. Thank you, Shellshag for the theme music. Everybody get out there and support Shellshag. Remember Apple podcast, great reviews. Subscribe really helps if you haven’t done it. We’re all doing it together next week, April 16. That’s all the business. See you next time.
[NEXT EPISODE PREVIEW]
[01:10:09] CHRIS: Next time on Beautiful Anonymous. Some dude who never even heard the show before calls it it’s kind of the best but sort of a disaster.
[01:10:17] CHRIS: There’s almost 11000 people have tried to call while you and I are talking and some guys who’s never even bothered to listen is on. It’s not going to make all of them thrilled. What is your message to them?
[01:10:27] CALLER: My message to them is I apologize. And I have no business being on the podcast, but since I was sitting and listening to the nice punk rock collection that you had. I was sitting there, because you open, for those of you who have not been as fortunate as I
[01:10:48] CHRIS: Oh, now you’re getting cocky. Now you’re rubbing it in
[01:10:51] CALLER: A little bit.
[01:10:52] CHRIS: You’re rubbing it in!
[01:10:54] CHRIS: That’s next time on Beautiful Anonymous.