This week’s episode is the finale of the summer sessions, so we brought along our best good pal, the always entertaining Matt Hazard!
The guys discuss:
--Matt’s bourbon-fueled trip to Louisville, KY
--the change in Billy’s voice
--the challenges of living life without any direction
--the need to stop investing so much time and energy with people who don’t reciprocate the same energy back to you
--why seafood is terrible (or delicious?) and how 90s music is (or isn’t?) the best music of all time
The summer sessions have ended, but we've got more to come!
Check out these previous episodes:
--Summer Sessions 3-Billy’s Minnesota Nice Experience at the Cayuna Gnome Home in the Small Town of Crosby
--Summer Sessions 6-Soul Walkers: Billy Finds Clarity and Meaning in Seoul with Iggy Lee
Thank you to Hoffman Plumbing and Indoor Heating! Visit them at http://www.saukcentreplumber.com!
Check out Iggy Lee’s YouTube Channe or follow him on Instagram at @iggylee21!
Visiting Seoul? Connect with the SeoulShare Community!
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Billy: Welcome to the final Summer Session of The Mindful Midlife Crisis. I'm your host, Billy. And as always, I'm joined by my good friend, Brian on the Bass. Brian, how are you doing over there, man?
Brian: I'm inspired today, Billy.
Billy: Inspired? What has hit you with so much inspiration today?
Brian: Life, just life in general. Things are going great. I'm having a lot of fun all the time, pretty much. So, that's pretty cool.
Billy: I think we established, in last week's episode, that the both of us are crushing life. Particularly, you are crushing life these days.
Brian: I think we did establish that. Speaking at crushing life, our guest today is a big swinger when it comes to life.
Billy: Yes, as always, we have our favorite guest on the show to close out the Summer Sessions. But before we acknowledge him — because he doesn't deserve any special treatment in any way, shape, or form.
Brian: All right. You got a good point. All right.
Billy: People who do deserve special treatment from us, of course, are always our listeners. Special shout out to our listeners in Krakow, Poland — I've been to Krakow, lovely city — Frederick, Maryland — I'm not sure I know where Frederick Maryland is — Santa Clara, California, Sartell, Minnesota along the Mississippi River there, and Brussels, Belgium. Again, we continue to go international. We love going international. Thank you to all of our international listeners. Thank you to all our local listeners. Thank you to all our stateside listeners, as well.
If you want a shout out, send us a message at email@example.com or follow us on Instagram @mindful_midlife _crisis. You can also go to www.mindfulmidlifecrisis.com and click on the contact page, and hit us up there. We're on Twitter. Not much, but we are. You can find us there @mindfulmidlife. We're on Facebook. The Mindful Midlife Crisis Podcast is where you can find us. All of this information is in the show notes and on our website. Be sure to check that out.
If you do go to our website, sign up for our weekly newsletter under Contact. We send out a different mindfulness meditation each Sunday, along with information about upcoming events hosted by our amazing guests who are always seeking out opportunities to help people like you reflect, learn, and grow. I am also working on some helpful content. We talked about that in the past couple episodes. I am sharing those resources for absolutely free. You might as well get on top of that now before I started charging the big bucks. I'm also looking for some people interested in getting some free mindfulness coaching and free daily planning coaching. So, if that piques your curiosity, be sure to sign up for the newsletter at www.mindfulmidlifecrisis.com and hit me up. Brian, how was the show at Torges in Austin this past weekend?
Brian: It was a lot of fun. It was pretty eventful, I'd have to say. We got the fire department called twice.
Billy: What? Why?
Brian: Yeah, twice. It was just a crazy series of events, man. It was really an unbelievable night. But the moral of the story is, we ended up driving the crowd crazy, and everyone had a lot of fun. We're going to be back there in November.
Billy: Did you guys create a Disco Inferno? What was happening? Why was the firetruck there?
Brian: No. One of the times, some of the fog from the show set off one of the density detectors. The other time was, we think some kids in the hall were running down. We think they pulled it the first time. We were responsible the second time, but the first time was with some kids.
Billy: Speaking of kids in the hall, did you ever watch The Kids in the Hall when you were younger?
Brian: Of course, yes. I loved The Kids in the Hall.
Billy: It was one of my favorite shows. I absolutely loved it. I'm crushing you ahead. Our guest today is currently crushing our heads.
Brian: It's all classic.
Billy: Yes, absolutely. Hey, you've got some big dates coming up here at the Minnesota State Fair. Are you ready to rock? It's actually this week. Now, when this episode comes out, it won't be of this week. It'd be — your first show is what? Friday, August 26. Correct?
Brian: August 26, that's Gen X Jukebox. Then Gen X Jukebox travels down south the following evening. I think we're playing a big campground down there, which is really a super cool show. It's called Kamp Dels, a really neat campground with a bunch of activities for the kids. They have a water park at this campground. It's one of the campgrounds that has all the inflatables out in the lake, mini golf. Anything you can thinking of want to doing while you're out camping, they have it. But anyway, yeah, you could come to the camp, for the campground. But I don't know if they allow people from off the campground there, but I think they do.
Brian: It's really cool. Yeah, you play on a basketball court. There's a huge stage. It's a great layout. It's really neat. Then Sunday, the M8Ds are at Dino's at the fair. Then Gen X Jukebox closes the fair on September 5th, on Labor Day.
Billy: Excellent, excellent. Just for those who don't know the M8Ds, it's one of Brian's other bands. Because I told you he plays bass in every band in the Twin Cities. If you're not a state fair person, I'm not. But I'm going to go there because I love Brian. But if you're not and you don't love Brian, that would be understandable. But you do still want to see their band to play. You should go to Champps in Eden Prairie on Saturday, September 3. From 6 to 10, mind you, perfect, the best timeframe to play a show. Because it's nice and early, the sun will be setting. You can get to bed at a reasonable hour. It's my favorite show time.
Brian: And you're at the Red Rocks of Eden Prairie.
Billy: Exactly. So, if you are in the mood for some Garth Brooks or C+C Music Factory, Backstreet Boys, Jim Blossoms, Nirvana, come on out any of those shows, high energy show that will remind you why the 90s produced the greatest and best music of all time. Our guest would like to take us up on that here later on in the episode. I guess he's got his two cents in that. Of course, he's wrong. But whatever. We'll let him speak his piece. Give them a follow, Gen X Jukebox on Facebook and Instagram, as well. Go get funky with Brian on the Bass. I might be there cutting up a rug, too. Thank you to our podcast production team over at Podcast Engineers. Dave and his team just crushing it week after week. We want to say thank you for editing our episodes, writing up the show notes, doing our transcripts, doing our audiograms.
Brian: Thank you.
Billy: You make us look professional, guys. We really, really appreciate it. Gals, you are the best in the business. Very much appreciate it. You know who else is the best in the business? It's you, the listener. And if you would like to support our show — because you are so bestie — be sure to follow our subscribe wherever you get your podcast to this show. If you're listening on Apple podcast, all you got to do is click that little plus sign in the upper right hand corner. Or if you're a Spotify user, click follow under our cover art. That way, you will never miss an episode. Also, you can go to the show notes of this episode, and click on 'leave us a review' and leave us a five-star review. We've been getting a lot more and more of these lately. They're really, really nice. Even if you're not a regular listener, and you've only listened to an episode here and there, tell us what you liked about your favorite episode. It can be as simple as, "I really enjoyed Episode Six with Maurice Buchanan and Daleco James from WURK Gym, about living a healthier lifestyle and being lane shifters, and not eating like an asshole." When you do things like that, and you leave us a five-star review, not only does it help others find the show but it also fills our hearts with happiness and joy.
I do just want to take a minute here to say thank you to everyone who has donated to the show recently. Those donations really go a long way to helping us cover our production costs. Our guest today made a charitable donation to the show a while ago, and we greatly appreciate that. I want to give a long overdue thank you to Hoffman Plumbing, an in floor heating in my hometown at Sauk Center, Minnesota. Nick and Kristi, thank you so much for your donation. We hope you're doing well. Hey, give them a follow on Facebook, or check out their website at www.saukcentreplumber.com. That's www.saukcentreplumber.com. Because that's how we spell things in the middle of Minnesota. We'll put that in the show notes. If you're in West Central Minnesota and you're looking for a quality plumber, give them a call.
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Brian: And we'll make you laugh, or think, or something.
Billy: Yeah, one of those two things if nothing else, or we'll make asses of ourselves. Then you won't feel like so foolish. Yes.
Brian: Most of the time, actually.
Billy: So, Brian, not only is this the last episode of the Summer Sessions, but it's your last episode for a while. It's actually going to be the show's last episode until Wednesday, October 5th. Because I am going to take September off from publishing anything. I'm still going to be recording stuff, but I need to focus on closing the sale of my condo, and packing up my things, and selling my stuff that I'm not taking with me to Seoul, and developing this new program with Jill Dahler that we talked about in Summer Session Seven. I also just need some time to wrap my head around this life-changing move across the world that I'm about to make. So, you and I have a lot of exciting things going on for us. What better way to wrap up this amazing Summer Session then by having a chat with our best good pal, the always entertaining, the Rubenesque, the one and only guest who doesn't generate any downloads for us, the Matt Hazard.
Brian: He might lose a few, too. I think it's an okay price to pay, though. Matt, we love you so much.
Matt: I don't even know what you mean when you say that. I'm still waiting. I download your show every week, or at least I listen to it on Spotify. And you never shout me out in Bentonville, Arkansas. Is it because the number doesn't show up?
Brian: It's a legitimate question.
Billy: No, that is fair. I don't shout you out because you're on the show every season.
Brian: You're like staff here, man. Once you're staff, once you step on this side of the door, yeah, don't expect any favors, buddy.
Matt: Listen, I got to tell you. I tell people in my neighborhood about your show all the time. I tell them about the show, and I tell them episodes to listen to. Then they don't ever talk to me again.
Billy: We still only have one download in Bentonville, Arkansas.
Matt: No, that's not true. I do tell my neighbors about your show, though. But especially in the context of I live with a lot of people in the same age group in my neighborhood. So, anywho, good to see you, guys.
Billy: It's really, really good to see you.
Matt: Hey, fellas. What's new? Has anything changed?
Billy: Yeah, there's a lot that's going on with us. We've shared that. What's going on with you? You were just in Kentucky here, not too long ago. Tell us about that.
Matt: I was in Kentucky, yeah. I was in Louisville, which by the way, I had not expected Louisville to be such a cool city. I mean, it was beautiful, clean, a great metropolitan area, a couple stadiums. There's a lot of distilleries. Obviously, it's kind of the home of bourbon. That was the purpose for our visit — mine and our good pal, Pete Berven, as well as my good friend, Scott Jensen, who you guys I think have both met. Brian, I know you know him.
Brian: Of course.
Billy: Not the Scott Jensen that's running for governor?
Matt: Not that one. No.
Billy: We should clarify that.
Matt: No, let's not. No, it's not one. I took him to Louisville, and we got hammered. So, we went there, and we all caught COVID. But whichever by the way, revisiting last year, I caught COVID this time last year, also on your show. I mean, we talked about it on your show. But yeah, we learned a lot about bourbon. We were in close proximity to a lot of Kentuckians, so we caught COVID.
Brian: I could see how that could happen.
Billy: But did you have a swell time?
Matt: Oh my gosh. It was amazing. I don't know how much you guys know about bourbon, but I got to try some pretty incredible bourbons like Pappys and a number of other very high-end bourbons that are really tough to get your hands on anywhere outside of that town. Even when you're in that town, you spend a lot on them. But yeah, that was a fun trip.
Billy: So, what else did you like about Louisville?
Matt: We had a couple of great experiences as far as fine dining. There's a James Beard-nominated restaurant called Seviche right downtown in Louisville that we ate at. That was phenomenal.
Brian: You were with Pete Berven. Pete Berven knows restaurants, too. I mean, that's my guy. I know you do, too. But when I need a restaurant, I call Pete Berven and say, where am I eating?
Matt: It was so funny that you say that, because Pete Berven was just like, "I love that. I didn't plan any of this." Because Scott and I planned the whole trip because we were visiting Ohio.
Brian: Oh, wow.
Matt: We're visiting nine distilleries. Scott knows a ton about bourbon. I did before. We left, and I really didn't. Pete really didn't either just like I like bourbon. Sure. Then the restaurant aspect of it, Pete just went along for the ride. I picked all the restaurants. Seviche was my pick.
Brian: Very cool. Well, you know what? Now I'll get it from him probably.
Matt: Yeah, it was delicious. Then we went to the Holly Hill Inn, near Lexington, actually. There was a little bit of a hiccup there because they had a set menu, tasting menu. You couldn't order anything else really. For pickier eater, which we can give into Billy —
Billy: I'm going to guess that Louisville probably has a lot of meat, and I would be just fine with it.
Matt: Yeah, actually, we went to a couple of barbecue places, too, while we were there. It was outstanding. So, yeah, very fun trip. It was unfortunate to come back with COVID again, the first week of my children going back to school. My daughter got sick at the same time that I got home. It was not COVID, but she caught strep the exact same time I came home. So, it's just been a comedy of errors.
Brian: One, two. Pow, pow. It's always that way, too. You know what I mean? It's not like you're just dealing with one thing at a time ever.
Billy: Did you have any symptoms?
Matt: Just a little bit of congestion, and then I had some brain fog where I was having trouble.
Brian: Oh, yeah.
Billy: That's what I had, and I'm just now getting through the cough. It's been a month since I had it. So, I'm just now getting through this cough on the other side of it. So, the last time I had it in November 2020, I didn't have any symptoms. You know what funny is? When I told my friends who live in Korea that I got COVID again, they're like, "Again?" I'm like, "Yeah, everybody in the United States has had it at least twice." They're like, "What are you talking about? What do you mean, again? What do you mean twice? So, people have had it, and some people have had it more than once?" It's so funny. Because when I was over there, we were still wearing masks outdoors until May 1st. So, just a wild culture shift to say the least. But that was at the end of my trip. Let's go back to the beginning of the whole Summer Sessions here, because I'm going to guess that you liked Louisville more than I liked Portland.
Matt: So it sounded, yeah. I was listening to the episode, and I'm like Billy is shitting on Portland. This is rough.
Billy: Like I said, there are some beautiful, green spaces in Portland. I think it's important for people to find those and just avoid downtown Portland. I think every city probably has a spot that you should avoid, and then there are spots there that you can still find. The green spaces in Portland are absolutely beautiful, and that's what makes Portland worthwhile checking out. So, I don't want to scare anybody away from Portland. I just want people to know that you have to go to wherever the green spaces are, and stay away from the concrete areas.
Matt: I think it's interesting that you say that, because I think that there are some big metropolitan areas where you expect it to be like that. So, for example, if you go to New York City, and you see some some messed up shit, you're like, "Well, yeah, New York City, though."
Brian: It's New York, yeah.
Matt: Yeah, and it's part of it. It's almost part of the charm of the city that people are mean there or whatever. But you go to Portland and everyone sees Portlandia, which is I love that show. Fred Armisen takes issue with your position, Billy. But you see Portlandia, and they show a lot of the suburban areas around the outskirts, I think, of Portland. You get that impression like Portland has a small town feel. It's not. I's a big metropolitan area. I've only been there once. But the whole Keep Portland Weird thing that originated there, and now they say that for Austin, they stole their slogan. I think that that is indicative more of a city center than what you would expect traveling to Portland. People think like it's Portland, Seattle's little brother. It's not. It's a big city.
Billy: Well, that's a good point. Maybe that ties into the conversation that we had with Mitch and Jen about Crosby. On a very, very smaller scale, a lot of people in Minnesota know the Brainerd Lakes area and would think nothing of Crosby. But Crosby is awesome. I don't know if either of you have spent any time in Crosby. I actually had a friend who listened to that episode just before she went to Crosby. She said, "Oh, man. We found so many great places to go because of that episode." They went to the Iron Range Grill or whatever. I can't remember what it's called. They went there and had an amazing dinner. So, I feel like Crosby gets overlooked because it's in the Brainerd Lakes area of Minnesota. People, this is very much a Minnesotan conversation right here, but it is overlooked. It is a beautiful spot.
Matt: Let me tell you, just for a quick reflection. So, I listened to that episode semi-recently because I don't like Mitch. I tried to avoid listening to him talk, if possible.
Billy: Well, Jenn was the star of that show.
Matt: I think she was. I'm kidding, Mitch. I love you.
Brian: I find Mitch delightful, anyway.
Matt: Yeah, I think he's a blast. I told a couple of the mountain biker guys in my neighborhood. So, my neighborhood is in Bentonville, Arkansas. It's one of the premier mountain bike places in the United States. Some of the best trails are within two or three miles from my house. I told them about this episode. I was like, "Hey, I have this old friend who I'm not used to—" Mitch is more of an acquaintance of mine. He's closer with you guys, obviously. But about mountain biking in Minnesota. I started to tell them about the episode. I said it's about mountain biking in Minnesota. Before I finished the sentence, they're like, "Cuyuna?" I was like, "Oh, yeah." I was like, "Yeah, that's one on my list. That's top 10 for where I'm going to hit when I travel around to do mountain biking."
Billy: Oh, really? So they knew about this in Arkansas?
Matt: Yeah. Oh, yeah. I think I've probably told the story before. I don't know if I've told it on here. But I've run into people on the trails here two or three miles from my house. I don't mountain bike, but I've just walked the trails or bike on a road bike. I'll run into people there that are speaking in a foreign language. I'll be like, "Oh, hey. Where are you from?" They're from the Netherlands. They traveled to Bentonville, Arkansas to do the mountain bike trails.
Billy: Oh, wow. That's cool. I didn't know that. Well, Mitch and Jenn, if you're listening, it sounds like they need to go visit you, Matt Hazard, and take them out on the trails there.
Matt: I've talked to Mitch about it, actually, just online. I told him he and Spencer have to come down, and I'll show them around the trails.
Brian: Do you want me to go over their house and rough them up? Maybe have a little, firmer conversation with them?
Matt: Go pick them up in the Skoolie. Bring them on there, Brian.
Brian: Okay, yeah, that's a better idea. No, let's do that.
Billy: I like that. So, you won't go mountain biking? You're not a mountain biker?
Matt: I will. I'll go. I don't own a mountain bike. I bought one when I came down here. I started mountain biking. It's really not for me. I'm not an adventure seeker in that sense. But we have 50 bike shops in town. I'll rent one, and I'll go the easy track to show people around some of the better trails around here. They're fun.
Billy: So, you don't think I could talk you into the cliff jumping or parasailing like I did in Puerto Vallarta?
Matt: Fuck, no.
Brian: I guess that does make sense, for as long as I've known you. You're a very practical guy. You know what I mean?
Matt: All right. You said 10-foot cliff. I think I've done a 10-foot diving board. I know that that's a different thing in your head. Probably, because you got to get some distance or might be. So, I can wrap my head around 10 feet, but the second you're above like 15, 20? I was scared shitless when I did a 10-foot diving board. So, no, there's there's no world where I'd do a 15- or 20-foot cliff, let alone 30. I heard you and Dr. Demarkis talking about it. It was like 30 feet. No.
Billy: The guy who did that, that was wild when he jumped from that ledge. Then Adam Winsley and I went to a different waterfall. We didn't know where the rocks were at the bottom because we couldn't see it in the waterfall. So then, of course, I went first. This was maybe a little bit a higher jump. This might have been closer to 15. I jumped. When I hit the water, I was like okay, but then my foot just grazed a rock. I'm like, Yep, I fell on the bottom.
Brian: Oh, no, no, no.
Billy: I jumped a little bit closer to or jumped further away from the waterfall.
Brian: No, no, that's silly, man. I'm not going to go that way. You wouldn't catch me doing that shit either.
Matt: No. You said to parachuting. Maybe there's like skydiving, that's a thing that you would consider. No.
Billy: I would consider it, yeah, now that I've done parasailing. The ziplining, man, that was something else. Because I don't like being on swings because I don't like that feeling of going down. That's what I can't handle. Actually, on the water slides, those were the worst because they were steep water slides. So, you just go down a little bit and also boom, it'd be straight down. You're like, ohhhh. That feeling of your stomach going into your throat, I can't do that at all. But for some reason or another, I was like okay, I'm with these people here. I'm just embracing this fear that I have right now of going on the zipline, because it's impractical to think that it's going to break. Because if it did, it would have been on the news, so I should be fine. But the one thing I couldn't do is — he had you go upside down one time and he's like, "You can let go and just do arms spread out," upside down.
Matt: I heard you talked about that.
Billy: No, I can't do that. That did not feel comfortable to me.
Brian: Have you guys did the indoor skydiving or would you?
Matt: I would. Well, actually, that sounds pretty dangerous, too, if I'm being really honest.
Brian: It is quite deceiving. You're absolutely right. It is, because the boys and I went and did it a couple of weeks ago. It is very eye opening as far as how body position affects how you fall and everything. It does take a while to get used to it like anything. I'd equate it to riding a skateboard almost. But once you find your balance, and you figure out how to move, because it's slight movements of your body that make you go forward, backwards, turn. It's a movement of your hand that makes you go left and right. So, it's really crazy, but it's a lot of fun. But yeah, when you see the guys doing the tricks and stuff in there, you realize they're essentially jumping up 30 or 40 feet. Then the air is catching them maybe a few inches before they hit the grate at the bottom. So, it is pretty intense. It's a lot more intense than you'd think.
Matt: Brian, you've been to Ireland a number of times. Have you ever kissed the Blarney Stone?
Brian: I did not kiss the filthy Blarney Stone, but I have been to Ireland.
Matt: I did that. I don't know if either of you are familiar. Billy, have you ever done that?
Billy: No, I've never been to Ireland.
Matt: Okay. So, talking about being in the moment and being with the people you're with, and then just like throwing caution to the wind a little bit. So, kissing the Blarney Stone, people don't really talk about the fact that if you're scared of heights, that's fucking terrifying.
Brian: Oh, yeah, because you're upside down and you're actually hanging off something. Can you describe it? Because I'm not. Because you've been there, of course.
Matt: Yeah, so in Blarney Castle, the story goes that there were these two guys on a parapet, like a turret. A cannon fire goes right in between them and blast a hole in the tower. They're sitting there next to it. After the battle is over, they've held off the enemy. They've won. After, they hold each other up to kiss the stone — for the luck that the cannon fire missed them both. That's how the stone is lucky. But the thing is — you won't be able to hear my description — you've got the outside of the parapet and then the floor that they're sitting on. The blast is right here. It's like there's a two to three feet out over open air that you have to stretch out and then kiss the stone above you.
Brian: Oh, wow. So, you're like on one side, and there's a gap. You have to stretch over that gap to kiss it.
Matt: They actually slide you out. There's somebody who helps you and slides you.
Brian: Oh, goodness. How far is it down then when you turn around and look, if you were to flip invert completely from kissing the stone? Because you're up when you're kissing the stone.
Matt: Yeah, I would probably guess it's about 60 feet down.
Brian: Yeah. So that's the ways.
Matt: Now there is a catch there. So, they have a net below you. You would fall about eight feet, and then you'd get pulled in from the floor below. It's like wrought iron, and so it would not feel good if you fell there either. But I looked at — I knew the logistics of it. I was like no way I'm doing that. No way I'm doing that. Then we get up there, and I climbed you 170 steps of these little castle steps that they built for tiny people that lived at that time. I get up to the top. I'm like, why am I climbing all these fucking steps to not do this? It's thousands of miles from home. We drove three and a half hours to come. Because we're staying in Dublin. It's like three hours or something to Blarney Castle. I was like, well, I've come all this way. I'm not gonna not do it, I guess. So, I did it. I think that that's probably similar like the peer pressure of the moment. I'm more of a prisoner to that than I am my fear, I think.
Billy: Okay. I'm very impressed. Well done, Matt Hazard. Nice. So, let's do this. Let's take a quick break. Then when we come back, we're going to continue talking to Matt Hazard about why seafood is terrible, and you should agree with that sentiment as well. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis.
Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We are here with our good friend, the always entertaining, Matt Hazard. We're wrapping up the Summer Sessions in the best way we know how, with one of the best people we know. Speaking of amazing people that we know, we had the opportunity to circle back around and have a conversation with Michy Pan. Even you, Matt, said I don't know if it'd be possible to meet her and not like her. That's the truth.
Matt: Yeah, I have never met Michy. Go ahead, Brian.
Brian: No, I was agreeing. I was just like, yeah, he's spot on.
Matt: Michy, she seems like such an awesome person, such a bubbly personality, really kind. I love her story. The first episode with her, I kind of teared up. Because I think we talked about I had a connection with that, because I was 34 and not knowing whether I was going to ever be a parent. It's something I wanted to have in my life. She was 39 — same situation — or 38, I think, when she got pregnant or something. So, I related to her a lot about that. It was so much fun to revisit her after becoming a mom. As much as you romanticized being a parent, Brian, you talked about how great it is being a parent. Also, regardless of who you are, it sucks.
Brian: Yeah, it's a lot fucking work, man. It is.
Matt: It's amazing, and beautiful, and awesome, and shitty, It's all of those things.
Brian: He's right, he's totally dead on.
Matt: So, it was good to hear that she had that experience as well. She's having that experience as well.
Billy: It's good for her to share that, too. Because Michy shits kittens and rainbows because she's just such a positive human being. But she's also very authentic and real in the sense that she's going to share what her experience is in a very true and genuine way. That's what makes her just a beautiful human being all in all. I mean, that's why she's so fantastic. Another beautiful human being that we had an opportunity to talk to was my wonderful friend Iggy Lee from Seoul. Brian, I'm bummed that you couldn't have been there for that, just because I think you would have really enjoyed talking to Iggy. Because it didn't come off like this as much in the episode. Iggy is so silly. He's so goofy, and he just has a whole — he's so funny and willing to be out there and goofy. If you follow him on Instagram, he's always eating something ridiculous. It's like, "Oh my god." Like today, he posted a video of him eating live octopus, which we can get back to. But he's doing it in the most obnoxious way, where he's like holding the octopus up and then his mouth is wide open. But the camera is four inches away from him. So, you could see the inside of his mouth. You're like, "Why are you filming it like this?" But then you sit down with him, he will have a really deep conversation, a philosophical conversation with you. It struck a lot of people that I've talked to about that episode. It was this idea of the puzzle. You liked that too, man.
Matt: Oh my god, I love it. First things first. Is English that man's third fucking language?
Billy: I think so. Because obviously, Korean would be his first. It's be his second. Then Chinese would be his third language because he went to China. It was to learn Chinese. But you know, that goes back to all the conversations that I've had with people. When I've talked to people in Korea, three was the minimum for most people. It's unbelievable.
Matt: That's why we suck, dude. That's why we suck. The expectation everywhere else in the world is that you speak two languages at least, and three is better. In a lot of countries, four. In Switzerland, four is the normal. It's like holy crap. How much do we suck? That analogy about the puzzle, I think I've heard something similar. It's not just psychobabble, but it is applicable, I think, across cultures. What a beautiful analogy. Things don't just happen. You are creating these constant puzzle pieces. When they fit together, you feel like, "Oh, it just happened." No, it didn't. You put in a ton of work. They fit together that way because of the work that you did. Those pieces aren't there without the work that you've done on yourself.
Billy: And that ties into a level we talked about with Christine Chang about how things change over time. When we talked to Rich Bracken in Episode 59 about the emotional intelligence dance party, he talked about how he's in a six-year overnight success. He's really starting to take off here, but it's been six years in the making. It feels like an overnight success that has taken him six years. I think what I liked about what Iggy said — you kind of touched on this, too — is just that it feels that it just happened, but it didn't. You really worked to put those pieces together. For me, that really resonated. Because I set up the Summer Sessions the way that I did because I was a mess in January. I was so all over the place in January. To come out of it six months later with a real clear vision of where I want to go and what I want to do, it feels empowering. I felt powerless back in January. Not that I felt powerless, I just felt like I was floating without any direction. That's really what it came down to.
Matt: Sure. Billy, I have to tell you. I think one of the things that was abundantly clear in that episode, the only other thing that was abundantly clear besides the fact that it feels like Iggy and Mitchy is a person that like most people if you're going to meet this person, you're going to like him. But I felt like you had a genuine love for that man and what he gave to you.
Billy: Oh, shit. I'm going to get emotional. I love Iggy. I love him. I love Iggy, and I love Ernie, who was my Airbnb host. I built such a connection with the people that I met in Seoul. That's why I want to go back there.
Matt: That's so awesome.
Billy: Ji Soo is one of my favorite people. If people check on Instagram, Ji Soo is the one that I'm always singing karaoke with, and LN who I met through the hiking group. Like I said, the first thing he said to me was who brought James Bond. I just love him very, very much. Like EK, I developed a really strong connection with her, too, through conversation and just hanging out with them. Again, meeting Dr. Ji Hee and her mom, who's the sweetest person on earth, that's who I want to be around here for this indefinite future. Because it's all due to Iggy. It's all due to Iggy. The majority of the people that I met was because of that connection to Iggy, and because he had created that Seoul Walker group. So, yes, I genuinely love Iggy for bringing me, for creating this experience, and for introducing me to people who I truly believe are going to have a significantly positive impact on my life for the unforeseeable future.
Matt: Yeah, that really came through. He did a motivational video that I watched from time to time. You've touched on it on the show a number of times. It is. You are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. I know you've touched about it. Brian says if you've been hanging out with five millionaires, you'll be the sixth. It's about your growth as a human being as well. It's not just about success. It's not just that. It's about you finding the best version of yourself. You need to be around people who are providing that good soil for you. If if a plant isn't growing right, you don't throw out the plant.
Brian: I do, only because I just don't know what to do.
Matt: Well, the things you can try, Brian, are replacing the soil, adding water, getting more sunlight. Those things are the people that you keep around you in your life. You're not going to put toxicity in the soil around a plant, and expect it to grow. The people who come to your life, you have to sort through that. There are some people you're never going to be able to get rid off. There are some people that are associated to you via family or whatever. But some of those people, you have to say, "All right. You're my family. I'm going to love you forever, but you're going to be at this arm's distance. I'm going to keep a closer circle to me of people who are in my corner and who are going to foster that growth for me."
Billy: Well, that's why I feel like I've knocked it out of the park with working with Jill Dahler. Because we've known each other for going on 25 years. I'm sure, if Jill was here, she'd say, first five of those years, she'd be like, "You are the most obnoxious human being on Earth."
Matt: In the best way
Billy: Yeah, I guess, in the best way. I was rolling with her brother-in-law, who was one of my best friends, that kind of thing. We were in our early 20s being jackasses, that kind of thing. That's just how we did it. But it feels validating, I guess, affirming, that 25 years later, we're both in the same place and she wants to work with me. I have always held Jill in the highest regard, actually, just in that group of friends. If Dr. Michael Collins, if you're listening to this, he will attest to this, too. My friend Justin in Ohio, he will attest to this, too. We've always looked to Jill as just being such a respected human being. So, for me to even be allowed to work with her and her to want that, it feels so empowering to do that. So, I'm really excited that she wants to do that. It's funny that we meet every Monday and Thursday. So, we met today. We're recording on a Monday. We met today. We're going back and forth and challenging each other just on words that we're putting on our landing page for this program. It's like, I don't like inspirational. I like intentional. She's like, "I don't care. I'm going to use inspirational." So, then we talked about — look up the definition for inspirational. Let's find out if we're using the right word. But it's these ticky, tacky things that we're doing because we're so committed to making sure that this program is complete and worthwhile, and it helps people find a more purpose-filled life through reflection and self-awareness.
I haven't been this excited for a project in such a long time. I love doing this podcast. This podcast is going to be something that I continue doing because I have a deep passion for doing this. But that work is exciting and exhilarating and fulfilling. I don't remember the last time that I was doing work that was fulfilling. It's been a long time since I was doing anything that really filled my soul and revved my engine in that way.
Matt: That's so awesome. I think the observation I had about the last episode, you have these lovely, little clips at the beginning where usually it's your guest's voice. Then you come in with "Welcome to The Mindful Midlife Crisis." This time it was your voice, and then it goes to this pre-recorded, "Welcome to The Mindful Midlife—" The change in your voice is a change in weight. I think it's the weight of your spirit. I reckon, I challenge you to listen to that intro and listen to the way that you're talking in the end. It's not just an energy thing. It's not just that you're higher energy in that moment. Your voice is different. The weight of what you're saying, coming out of you is different. I can see it. I can see it.
Brian: I've heard it, too. I know exactly what he's talking about. He's right on. But you're incredibly perceptive, Matt Hazard, because you're right.
Matt: Thank you.
Billy: Well, I appreciate that. I can feel it. I can literally feel it in my body, especially when I think back to sitting up in my niece's bedroom, trying to figure out which direction I want to go. I was just taking on too much, and trying to do too much back in January, and not having any real, clear direction. I really feel like that Kari Schwear episode we did, with not only just questioning the drink but then when she talked about gray area living, that clears some things up for me. But then also, that conversation that I had, the one on one that I had with Brian Gallagher, which is like you need to get clear on what it is that you want to do. That was back in February when I had that conversation.
It was four months later before I found clarity. That clarity didn't come until the last two weeks that I was in Korea, and it hit me like a tidal wave. It mean it had been building up all these things that I've been learning about myself. Then I woke up one day and I just said, "Why am I putting so much energy and time into people and experiences that are not reciprocating that same energy back to me? This is a complete and utter waste of time." So then, I invested those last two weeks into people that I met in Korea and Jill, so that I could just feel whole again. Not only did I feel whole, I felt rejuvenated. I felt energized.
I'll tell this story, because we brought up Pete Berven. I was thinking about that episode that we did with Rich Bracken. He talked about the power of music. So, I thought to myself, all right, I'm going to curate this good mood playlist on Spotify. So, I'm doing that. I texted Pete Berven and said, "Hey, can you send me a Brute Squad setlist?" For those of you that don't know Brute Squad, it's the band that Pete Berven — our friend — Matt Hazard, and Brian on the Bass, they were all in this band together with Zeb who's a loyal listener, and Spencer who shreds on guitar as does Zeb. But anywho, I used to go to those shows all the time. I used to get on stage and do rap battles with them. It was awesome. I always had so much fun. One of my favorite birthdays was my 37th birthday or 36th. I can't remember. 2013, it was my favorite birthday of all time. Those shows just brought back a lot of happiness.
So, I asked Pete Berven. "Hey, can you send me a setlist from those shows that you used to do back in the day? Because I'm feeling kind of down." As I was typing that, Billy Joel's Uptown Girl was playing because that was on my good mood setlist. I just started bawling, because I had finally admitted to somebody that I was not in a good place, mentally and emotionally, and I was putting up this front. I hit send, and then I just went into the bedroom and sobbed for about 10 or 15 minutes uncontrollably, convulsing, shaking, sobbing. Because I kept asking myself over and over again, why can you not be happy? Why are you not happy? What is your problem? Why are you not happy?
That next day, though, when I woke up, when it hit me, like you're not happy because you're investing so much time and energy into people who do not reciprocate this time and energy back to you. Stop doing that, and start investing time and energy into people who do. That's when I started spending more time with the people from the hiking group, and reaching out to them and saying, "Hey, do you want to hang out, or let's hang out." Then weirdly enough, they started messaging me. I didn't even have to go to them. It was like once I decided to stop investing in people that weren't investing back in me, then all of a sudden, it cleared out all that energy or whatever. That sounds really woowoo but whatever. Then all of a sudden, that messages — Yeah, I started getting these messages like, "Hey, let's get together. Let's get together." It was outside of the group. It just was so refreshing. I have been riding that high since that time.
Matt: I'm super happy for you. I have a second theory. It's that your taste buds suck, and seafood is really good, and you're an idiot.
Billy: Well, I think that might be a good way to close out the show. So, let's do this. Let's take a quick break. Then when we come back, we can talk about why maybe I need to eat more seafood, and that would bring more joy into my life. Matt Hazard also has an issue with the fact that Brian and I think the 90's music is the best music of all time. He seems to have an opinion on that. We'll dismiss that like we dismissed most of his opinions, except for the good ones. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis.
Billy: Welcome back to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. We are closing out our Summer Sessions with our good friend, Matt Hazard. Matt has taken issue with the fact that I do not like seafood. You have tried abalone, whatever it is.
Billy: All right.
Matt: Many times.
Billy: Okay. It wasn't good enough for me to even remember its name. So, what is your issue with my issue of seafood?
Matt: So, abalone is a unique shellfish. It's not that different from oysters, though, in terms on the half shell or anything like that. The preparation is important, of course. But like with any other protein, if it's cooked well, it's going to be good. If you get it fresh out of the sea, it's going to be good. There's something broken inside of you, sir. Shellfish is amazing. Fish is amazing.
Billy: I just covered that I fixed that. I just covered that I fixed whatever was broken inside of me.
Matt: This is the next thing. This is the next thing. Fix this next.
Billy: Okay. As a seafood lover yourself, you would have loved Jeju Island because that's all you can find on Jeju Island. I will say this, I do owe it to the Haenyeo, the sea women that live there, to at least try some abalone right off of the shore there. Because these women are incredible because they can hold their breath for anywhere between five to six minutes. They're diving for these abalone and preparing them on the shore for you to eat. So, I owe it to them to at least try the fresh abalone.
Matt: Billy, so, you're moving to South Korea for a time?
Billy: Indefinitely, yes.
Matt: So, I've never been. But as I understand it, it's kind of a peninsula, right? It's got an ocean, just all the way around that sucker.
Matt: There's going to be a lot of seafood, bro. Like that's just —
Billy: I know. But they also have a lot of Korean barbecue there. So, I was able to get away with it. The stew there, the kimchi stew, oh my gosh. It's unbelievable. They have this thing budae jjigae. Budae Jjigae, which is army stew. Army stew has spam in it. Oh, my God. It's my favorite meal in Korea. Now, I told some people that and they're like, "Oh, yes. They're army stew. That actually has a really sad history here in Korea." I'm like, "Oh, maybe I should stop telling people that's my favorite dish."
Matt: No, don't tell me that there's a story. For the record, I love spam. There's a lot of people that hate spam. It's good.
Brian: It's salty and delicious.
Matt: Delicious. You fry it. Spam is great. Anyway, Korean barbecue, awesome. You're going to be able to get away with it. The thing is, if I'm moving to Maine and you're like, "Yeah, but you hate lobsters." I'll be like, "Well, yeah, they got Mexican and barbecue joints." Well, that's not what they're famous for, dude. I guess Korean barbecue is what they're famous for.
Billy: Kimchi is what they're famous for. So, I'm going back to this video that Iggy posted on his Instagram. If anybody wants to watch Iggy eat octopus, you can go to @iggylee21 on Instagram, and watch him close camera eat live octopus. He shows a video of the octopus squirming around on his plate. No, no, just no. I also looked that up, because my friend Rich and Ek told me, "Oh, you need to try it." I think it's called san-nakji. I keep messing up the pronunciation of it. So, I'm like, "Well, what's that?" They said, "Don't Google it. Just eat it when you're in Jeju and Busan." I'm like, "No, no, no, I don't like that." I did Google it. It's live octopus. It says, in Wikipedia, it says this, that you need to make sure that you chew it completely. Because if you don't, it will suction to your throat and could create a choking hazard that could kill you. What? No, no, you want to know what beef does when it's dead? It doesn't kill me and create a choking hazard, unless I'm not chewing it enough to where it'll break down in my gullet. There's no way I am eating something that can attach to my throat. I also would walk in Busan. There was a street market there, and they have the live eels swimming around. If you want one of those, they just grab it, and they cut it right in front of you and skin it right in front of you. The blood is dripping everywhere. Then they just cut it up, and the thing is still slithering. Why? Let me ask you this, Matt Hazard.
Matt: Fresh, it will be fresh.
Billy: Mr. Risk Aversion, would you eat that — the eel?
Matt: Yeah, I would take it home and cook it, and eat it. Sure, I would eat them all.
Billy: No, that's not what's going on here. That's not what's going on.
Matt: To clarify the octopus dish, so I've seen a dish where they take a live octopus. They chop it the moment that you're about to eat it, and then they put a preparation on top of it. You're supposed to eat that. That, I would do while it's still moving. I don't think I would eat just a live living thing. You have to murder it first before I eat it.
Brian: Yeah, I mean, that's the line for you.
Billy: Peter just tuned out to this whole episode right here. I'll make a deal with you. I'll make a deal with you. If you come parasailing with me in Mexico, I will eat live octopus with you.
Matt: Sure, let's do it.
Brian: Y'all, I'll run the camera.
Matt: I'm definitely a much more adventurous eater than I am an adventurous human being. But there's a few things I wouldn't eat. Well, first of all, it's a weird thing. I don't really like green olives. I'll eat them. But I'm like, that whole puffer fish thing where they're like, you got the —
Brian: Oh yeah, if they butcher it wrong, it's toxic.
Matt: Yeah. But if you butcher it right, you get a little bit of a high, and your tongue goes numb.
Brian: It's unbelievable.
Matt: It's incredible. I'm not doing that. I'm just, I'm not doing that.
Billy: But do you hear all these things that can go wrong with seafood? There's so many things that can go wrong by eating seafood. I've never really worried about eating something that is meat, or a vegetable, or a fruit. There's nothing that —
Matt: Have you never heard of salmonella or like —
Billy: Oh, come on now. That's a preparation thing, though.
Billy: That's a preparation thing.
Matt: It was a preparation for seafood, too.
Billy: Listen, I'm prepared to never eat it. So, how about that?
Matt: Okay. Well, you are missing great things. My daughter's favorite food is sushi, by the way — my daughter, my six-year-old daughter.
Billy: Wow. That's crazy.
Brian: Let's pick this other bone then.
Matt: Okay. Yeah, we can close picking this bone.
Brian: Okay. Let us move on to the next bone.
Matt: So, first, let me clarify. 90's music is great. I love 90's music. I agree with Brian's assessment that it is the last great decade of music.
Brian: Thank you. Thank you. I appreciate it.
Matt: That said, I am 42 years old, and my formative years were in the 90's. So, that's why I love that music. I also love 80's music. I really love 70's and 60's music.
Brian: Yes, we all do.
Matt: Yeah, I think, for me, those were my favorite era. That's my favorite era of music. But I think that the majority of people, like your favorite SNL cast, your favorite cast of Saturday Night Live is the one that you listened to or watched from the time you were 15 to 30. Now when you watch it, you're like, "I don't get it. These people suck." Same with the music. I don't get it. Machine Gun Kelly is dumb. Of course, he is. He's 42 years old. His stuff is not for me. Taylor Swift is not for me.
Brian: Yeah, it's not made for you.
Matt: So, young people would probably have a really reasonable bone to pick with us saying that the 90's of the last great decade of music. They would be like, "You are old, and you suck." We would say that's fair.
Billy: I wouldn't say that. I would say you are wrong, and you are dumb.
Brian: I have actually evidence.
Matt: Billy, you have some more self reflection to do.
Brian: I have evidence here, Matt. I can tie this into a great brute — I can summarize this whole episode with a pretty fantastic story here, fellas. Okay. Here's what has happened. The Brute Squad used to play. I'm going to first start with the 90's. It is the younger generation. We have a gentleman in my band. His name is Andy. He's 23 years old. He was trained on the 90's. That's his favorite decade in music, which is why he's playing guitar and keyboards in a 90's band. The dude is incredibly talented, but he agrees with me. So, there's a little sampling of the youth there. So, how do I tie this back to the Brute Squad? We were riding down to the gig this last weekend. This is absolutely incredible. Leanne, my wife, is managing the social media for Gen X. So, she was looking for something to promote the fair. She found an old Brute Squad video. So, she starts watching it. She's reviewing it before she's posting it in the car on the way down. Andy's in the back, and we've got our manager there. The drummer are in the SUV. Andy goes, "Hey, that looks familiar." He's looking over his shoulder. He goes, "Hey, that looks familiar. I've seen people dance up on that ledge before." So, it was when we were playing Boys are Back in Town at Dino's. Everybody's going crazy. There's girls dancing on the ledge and the rocks, and all that stuff. He goes, "No, I think I was there." We reviewed the video. He was there in the crowd. We have a video of him that he saw of himself, that Leanne took, on that car ride down. Is that not incredible?
Matt: Was I being awesome?
Brian: You are. Of course, you're being awesome. He was standing there, his mouth agape. He had the standard. I just got Brute Squadded look on his face.
Matt: So, now this story checks out.
Brian: Yeah, but that's honest to God truth. We see him in the crowd the last time the Brute Squad played the fair.
Billy: Hold on. How does that relate to anything that we just discussed right here?
Brian: Well, because Matt's contention originally was the kids would disagree about the 90's being the best era of music. I said that's not true. Andy disagrees. He's in a 90's band. He is playing. Then of course, we were talking about the Brute Squad earlier when you were talking about it. So, that's how I tied it into this episode, Billy. What more do you need to know?
Matt: Hang on a second, Brian. Let me clarify something for you. When you're talking about musicians, you were talking about people who generally appreciate music and reach back. So, somebody totally stands to reason. Somebody who's in their formative years learning guitar, learning keys, is going to go back to like, "Oh, I'm going to hear what Eddie Vedder, what Kurt Cobain was doing.
Matt: Similarly, you and I — children of that era — love 60's and 70's music because —
Brian: You're spot on. Oh, yeah. If I had to pick a best decade of music, see, that's tough. But I'd say '65 to '75 might be my — because I love the old soul and stuff like that. That was just the best.
Matt: Yeah, that's my jam. That's my jam. But I love 90's music.
Brian: Me, too.
Billy: I don't like how you betrayed the whole message that we say at the beginning here. So, Brian, you're fired.
Brian: Okay. I'm done. I'll see you later. Thanks a lot.
Billy: Brian is no longer allowed in the show. You know what? Neither you Matt Hazard, you're out of here, too.
Matt: How dare you?
Brian: Hey, wait a minute. I'm officially a guest. That means you got to treat me better again.
Billy: We just might not have you back on as a guest.
Matt: And miss this magic, Billy, all the three of us just waxing poetic about nothing for an hour.
Billy: Yes, this really has been magic for five and a half seasons. We have created beautiful magic together. I could not be happier than I am right now just in this moment, be sitting here with the three of us and chatting, just being guys and being friends and being buds, and connecting, and sharing on a deeper level — which I wish guys would do a little bit more often. It's just sheer on a deeper level. I appreciate that we get to do it together. So, thank you, guys. I love you very much.
Matt: Billy, I just want to say thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me back here so many times. Being an idiot, having all of the technical issues that I've had, although we finally figured it out on the last one. So, thank you so much for having me back, for all of these. I've really enjoyed these conversations. Like Brian, if you want to just keep going with this dynamic for season recaps and have both of us back, I would love to do that. If not, I'm always available, man, whenever you want to have me.
Brian: Me, too. I love you both and don't need any sort of excuse to get together with either of you.
Billy: I agree. I feel like it's going to be important, especially on my end, to make sure that I coordinate time while I'm in a different country, in a completely different timezone, to make sure that I reconnect with you guys. Because as much as I love the people and the friends that I made in Korea, you guys are very much a key component to the love and the happiness that I feel here as well. So, I never want to take that for granted.
Matt: Thanks, buddy. Love you.
Billy: Love you all. Hey, we're going to take a month long break here through September, so I can get my life in order. Then I am going to come back in October and take over the show, and do it solo. You will not want to miss the first guest of Season Six. It is a big name in the podcast community. Be sure to check that out. Thank you all for listening. I can't wait to check in with you again in Season Six. October 5th is the release date. Brian, Matt, I love you both very much. Thank you.
Matt: Love you, buddy.
Brian: Love you too, pal.
Billy: So, for Matt, for Brian, this is Billy. Thank you for listening to The Mindful Midlife Crisis. May you feel happy, healthy, and loved. Take care friends.