Podcast Episodes

Kristine Keese

The Holocaust survivor, mother, teacher and activist reflects on her coping mechanisms, her ability to find joy, feelings unique to motherhood, her childhood in Nazi-occupied Warsaw as a Jewish 7 year-old, and the special bond she forged with her mother, Eugenia Lubowski Krol, as they fled for their lives.

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Nikki Glaser

The standup comedian (Last Comic Standing, The Tonight Show) and podcaster (You Had to Be There) opens up about hitting bottom with anorexia as a teen, only to discover ten years later, her food issues haven’t disappeared.  She and Paul talk about self-medicating, caring too much about what other people think, avoiding painful truths, and the difficult road to self-acceptance.

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Jesse Perez

The former East L.A. gang member has been dodging bullets for years – sometimes literally sometimes figuratively.  Though he walked away from his criminal ways years ago, he opens up about the mindset that made that life seem like a good choice, the high that comes from being shot at, dealing with tragedy, finding God and what it felt like to be a Chicano in 1970’s Los Angeles.

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Ru (last name withheld)

Paul’s friend Ru stops by to talk about the deep-rooted fear she has of men abandoning her.   From her absentee Air Force dad to her broken poet boyfriend living in a storage shelter, she reveals the painful choices she has made to try to get men to stay – sleeping with Gene Simmons and chasing Tommy Lee – and the humiliation by peers that almost killed her.   We talk about the damage of labeling girls as “sluts”.   Plus some great listener suveys, especially one about not knowing what constitues sex abuse.   How can you not listen to an episode involving Gene Simmons and Albert Einstein?

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Mark T

The actor/ singer/ comedian is best known for performing musical comedy with Stephen Lynch, most notably selling out Carnegie Hall in 2009.   What most people don’t know is that Mark was diagnosed at age eleven with scleroderma, a crippling, often fatal disease.   He has beaten the odds but denying the pain and fear associated with it left him with a coping mechanism just as insidious – an addiction to lying.   Mark can be seen on the show A.N.T. Farm on the Disney Channel.

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Ronnie Schiller

She was named Ronnie at birth by her bipolar mother who cared so little, she chose the name of the baby’s father. It goes downhill from there. Though her story is incredibly dark, it’s ultimately one of resilience, humor and insight into mental illness and how to cope with being bipolar on a daily basis. Ronnie is the author of several books, including Mother’s House Payment.

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Mike Schmidt

The writer, stand-up and pocaster (The 40 Year-Old Boy Podcast) and Paul get into the ins and outs of rage and its tempting oblivion, Mike’s weight battles (he tipped the scales at 505 lbs at one point), his Dad issues (Mom described him as a Monster) and what makes even the most aggressive of males freeze in their tracks.

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Meghan Daum

The L.A. Times columnist talks with Paul about growing up and later rebelling in a household where music and academia were everything.  She talks about the pressure of starting a writing career in Manhattan and living a real-life Devil Wears Prada nightmare, where the idea of even living in a rundown building in a bohemian neighborhood became unattainable.   They talk about the epiphany of realizing her dreams were shallow, materialistic and unattainable, her move to Nebraska and the perspective and novel (The Quality of Life Report) that resulted.   A great episode for people who have a critical inner voice that never shuts up.   Meghan has written for The New YorkerHarper’s and Vogue and has contributed to This American Life.

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