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mouse and weens

part comedy, part life. A podcast.

Episode 36

We talk about Weens' birthday weekend and that we went to the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens for high tea and pretty scenery. Weens found this place while scouting locations. They shot some of The Muppet Movie there, the movie starring Jason Segel. It was the scene with Jack Black meditating with Animal on the lawn with the European looking statues. They also shot Meet the Fockers there, and it was rumored that Barbra Streisand and Dustin Hoffman, though playing a married couple, did not get along in real life. It was a battle of egos, according to one of the employees at the garden. We also have some Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Paul Newman stories to share in the future, as told by our stepdad Denny. He is a cool cowboy who was a ski instructor back in the day and taught Barbra how to ski because he was friends with Robert Redford. We will interview him for these stories on an upcoming episode!

Back to the birthday – Joelle collected messages (THEY ARE AT THE END OF THIS EPISODE, MINUTE 49) of birthday wishes for Weens from fellow podcasters, friends, and family including our famous cousin Ryan Eggold. His cute recording was while on set with fellow New Amsterdam actors. One is Tyler Labine, the funny bearded psychologist. But we can’t discern the female’s voice. Write us at mouseandweens@gmail.com if you can figure it out! Weens talks about going to a writers dinner party at Doug Hilton’s house, and that when she spoke to him, Daniel Waters the writer of Heathers, and Al Gough, writer of Shanghai Knights and Shanghai Noon, all agreed that our cousin Ryan is a very good actor. Daniel told her he gets him confused with Matthew Fox, which is funny because Mouse thinks Matthew Fox looks like our Uncle Mark, and Ryan also looks like Uncle Mark! Daniel cites that they keep killing Ryan’s character off and then bringing him back, which is a sign that people love him and that he is a very good actor.

Crushes!

Our first crush story starts with Mouse’s Justin Swann crush in third grade. It was only a year long but it felt like forever, a phenomenon when we’re young, much like how a summer seemed to go on forever. Justin had was a bowl-cut brunette, just like Joelle’s crush character, (not Oliver but) Laura’s brother Albert from Little House on the Prairie, or Weens crush Davy Jones the Monkee from The Brady Bunch episode when he kissed Marcia’s cheek! These sisters loved a bowly brunette! Mouse would play girls chase boys and would give Justin a thrilling peck on the cheek. In Episode 32, we told a story of how Mouse found out that Justin asked her out back in 5th or 6th grade because he was paid to do so. But Mark Herberger, the boy who paid him, wrote in to clarify the story. Justin did actually have a crush on Joelle and was going to ask her out anyway. And it was a 10-cent payment and not $10! He said that Justin was broken-hearted on the Monday that Mouse made made Susannah Beckwith break up with him for her, and that it took Justin 2 years to get over it.

Mark also sees Jason Kyriakou, Julianne’s crush, and needs to clarify the story of Jason’s mysterious twin “Todd” who left a valentine in Weens mailbox. This is hilarious because these kids all went to school together forever and knew that Jason did not have a twin! Was he embarrassed? Did he have a crush? Was there truly a mysterious twin? We will never know, unless Mark can find Jason and pump him for information! We tell the both stories in their entirety in Episode 32.

Our second crush story starts with Weens. It was her first attempt at making a music video for our childhood friend Andrew Saman. He is currently in the band Pushing the Sun, but back around 2000, was in The Graveshakers. He and Weens were friends from high school, and after Cal High, she lived with his bandmate Greg Payette in the Bay Area. The video was for the song Parisian Nights. The video stars both Julianne and Joelle back and forth, and as the director, Weens put Mouse in a white camisole because she wanted the image of a girl running through a field with long hair, much like a tampon commercial! There is discussion about which sister’s boobs could handle the running and bouncing and Joelle’s sun-pushers won out over Julianne’s droopy dogs! During the editing process, Weens’ friend Blake even made up an inside joke about “Long Boobs”. (We will post the music video and the behind-the-scenes video on the Mouse and Weens Facebook group page).

So the backstory of this crush is about how Joelle and Andrew Saman were childhood friends and were on a summer vacation at a cabin in the woods with their friends’ family. It was apparent that little Andrew had a crush on Mouse and there was one moment when they held hands under the table. But it was just that one moment and it was never talked about again…until Andrew wrote in about his crushy feelings! He explained how shy he was and what he was thinking about that summer, including a certain orange bathing suit! He also admits to a crush on Julianne and details an afterschool hangout when they drove to Berkeley, saw where Primus lived, and he bought her a baby chicken. This chicken turned out to be a rooster, wrongly “sexed” by Weens’ friend Puck the original mansplainer from the Real World San Francisco, that became our family pet Stewart! Stewie ended up living on a friend’s farm and becoming close with the cows. Weens calls out to Andrew to please rekindle the romance and blow the dust off her twink!

The third crush story by Mouse is about the freshman boy who kissed her on the couch during the moped story of Episode 34. He is the same boy in the drive-by pie story in Episode 35, and Mouse explains that after the one kiss, he played coy the whole remainder of their high school years together. So Mouse transferred her crush feelings onto another anonymous (farted-out) boy who was a big man on campus and a really cute football player. He always had a girlfriend who went to Dublin High School so was unattainable, but Joelle loved him for two whole years straight. She would wake up wondering what she should wear to get his attention and just thought about where he was in the halls constantly.  They became friends passing notes, and as a freshman, Mouse even had to tutor this junior in Geometry. When he graduated, she finally confessed her feelings in his yearbook. And then years and years later, she looked him up on Friendster and they hung out. He was a bit weird, might have been doing cocaine, and then became a stalker. He sent flowers to Mouse’s work and wouldn’t leave her alone with phone calls and emails, so she had to block him from everything. Her boss even had to block him and set up a firewall. The bottom line is not to look up your old crush because it was a moment in time and it was how your brain was working in the moment.

So we get into the emotions, psychology, and chemistry of a crush. We also wonder why all the emotions get involved and think that from an anthropological standpoint, we want someone who can protect you, reproduce with you, and have companionship with you. As for the chemistry, the dopamine hit that we get from attraction is like that from meth and so we get addicted to that high and crave that bliss. Then vasopressin and oxytocin trigger bonding, and Weens explains that the oxytocin is the hump chemical that gets released during sex and orgasm. Don’t have sex with a bad dude if you don’t want to get hooked on him! Patti Stenger from Millionaire Matchmaker is right to say not to have sex until you’ve dated for a long time. Mouse thought three dates, Weens says ten dates, and Mouse gets called out on being a hussy! Then we have cortisol and adrenaline, which is the racing heart, the sweaty palms, the blushing. Weens says that is also the flight or flight response so often you will get forgetful, can’t retain information, and are in a spacy state of mind. You can’t eat, you can’t sleep…it is just like the lyrics of the Robert Palmer Addicted to Love, which Weens starts singing but then morphs into Prince’s U Got the Look.

Obsessiveness is jumbled up in crushes too. Dopamine can induce serotonin which is found in higher levels in those with OCD. Weens talks about her obsessive qualities and said she was diagnosed with ADD as an adult. Our mom feels bad that she didn’t catch it when she was young, and Weens’ ex-boyfriend urged Weens to take Adderall. She read that our brains are always in low-level sleep mode and that those with ADD genetics seek high-adrenaline activities to get that high that they crave to wake up their brains. Weens also thinks that those with addictive personalities, be it with food or drugs or love, get obsessive and that with addiction there are steps you can take to normalize. She says it is like a hit of cocaine, which she tells a story about trying. Spoiler alert: it just made her stay up all night talking and then feel like shit the next day! Mouse has always lived in a bubble and has barely seen it.

Joelle tells the story of her infatuation with Coldplay's Chris Martin back in 1999 during a time when she went through a big breakup with David, her now-husband, and then also went through her dad’s death. She looks back and thinks that she must have projected all her emotions onto Chris Martin and his music, because she became a slightly obsessive fan, even writing an album review that got published in their official magazine! (See it here) Chris married Gwyneth Paltrow around the same time that Joelle and Dave got married. Gwyneth lost her dad and Chris helped her through it, just like Joelle and David. And they all had their babies around the same time, so there was always a background connection. And seeing his old footage from his puffy-haired days brought Mouse’s heart palpitations back!

Weens met Chris Martin in Hollywood at Amoeba Records. She nervously asked if she could take a picture for her sister who loved him. He was very sweet, said sure, and they posed in the 100-degree heat for a sweaty selfie (will post on social media). He tried to have a nice conversation with her about her location scouting. She was so nervous for Joelle’s sake that she couldn’t answer coolly, even though they would have had an amazing conversation about the movie being The Runaways, starring Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, which is the story of musician Joan Jett, and directed by a music video director Floria Sigismondi.  Weens went out on a limb after Chris walked away and yelled out, “Can we call my sister?” and he said no. Mouse was unappreciative and just got jealous when she heard the story. (POST-PRODUCTION NOTE FROM MOUSE TO WEENS: THANK YOU FOR GOING OUT OF YOUR WAY TO MEET HIM FOR ME. I LOVE YOU!!!)

These are all past stories and feelings. Mouse’s friends are all parents now, settled, and happily married. It’s just funny to hear these old stories retold from different perspectives. The recent event that did bring up crushy stuff was when Mouse went to see the documentary on Coldplay called A Head Full of Dreams, an inspiring biopic about artists sticking with their dreams. See it on Amazon Prime. Also see the documentary Quincy here about Quincy Jones. Weens loved it and quotes him: “Not ONE DROP of my self-worth depends on your acceptance of me. Say it out loud. Smile. Repeat.”

Please do four things:

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  4. Listen to Varmints! Podcast cohosted by our friend Paul, our O.G. podcaster friend. Also check out our birthday greeting podcaster friends The Lazy Teacher, Bad At Love, You Watch I Listen, More Gooder Than, and Dare Daniel.

Here is some more crush information that we looked up:

Crushes can be broken down into three categories: identity, romantic, and celebrity.

Signs of a crush: you can’t stop thinking about the person. If you can’t get somebody off your mind, it’s likely the relationship is starting to drift outside of the friendship. If he or she is the first person you think of when you wake up and the last person you think about at night, romantic feelings might be developing.

We activate dopamine, which ignites bliss-craving; oxytocin which triggers bonding; cortisol, which manifests in stress and anxiety; and adrenaline. Once those get released, reddened cheeks or sweaty hands are inevitable.

Because a romantic crush is a potent mix of idealization and infatuation, it doesn’t require knowing another person well at all. In some cases a superficial impression can be provocation enough. “I like how she’s so quiet and watchful and keeps to herself.” “I like how what others think doesn’t matter to him.” As mentioned, although the crush appears to be about attraction to another person, it is actually about projection of valued attributes onto another person – a statement about what they find attractive.

Many romantic crushes don’t last very long because once the object of the crush becomes better known, magic of the other person soon wear off and the ideal falls away. “I can’t believe I felt he was so great! What was I thinking?” However, this kind of crush does have one lasting value; it brings inside you a lot more awareness about yourself and prepares you better for love and relationships in future.

So how different is a crush from love? Or is it? Again, it depends on when you have a crush. If it occurs out of the blue when you weren’t really searching around for a relationship, and you are single and mature with no major emotional issues then it is something worth watching out for- because there is a theory that says, a crush cannot last more than 4 months, because if it does, it is love. If it occurs because you desperately long to be in a relationship- watch out- it might just be you projecting your desperate need for a companion with particular attributes on the person who is available or interested.

If it occurs when you are in a happy, committed relationship with someone- it might be because of your search for excitement or novelty in your life, which has become routine and many times it will be just plain infatuation (the word infatuation is derived from the Latin fatuus, meaning “foolish”). If it is just a matter of remotely attached (with ‘remotely’ being the key word here for both physical and emotional distance) then the best thing might be just to laugh it back into perspective.

To have a crush on someone, no matter what the situation, is absolutely normal. Playful flirting and games are part of basic human interaction. Feeling that you are attractive, interesting and able to love feels wonderful. It causes a physical, chemical reaction in our brains. It makes us happy. It might not be possible to honestly deny a crush – when it happens; you just need to wait it out.

More on brain chemistry and psychology behind a crush: https://www.quotev.com/story/7894155/The-Psychology-Behind-a-Crush/1

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