Episode 52: Vegan Bernie Madoff

Published May 29, 2016.

Ann: Welcome to Call Your Girlfriend.

Aminatou: A podcast for long-distance besties everywhere.

Ann: [Laughs] I'm Ann Friedman.

Aminatou: And I'm Aminatou Sow.

Ann: I'm dying at sexy voice. I'm drinking a very full-bodied red right now, and that paired with the voice . . .

Aminatou: This isn't my sexy voice, Ann. This is my Ricola voice.

Ann: Ugh, stop. On this week's agenda, Chewbacca mask lady and other Internet LOLs, This Week in Menstruation, what the Pope has to do with getting a period if you're on the pill, why so many incompetent men become leaders, related Ivanka's dad's $60,000 weave, the vegan Bernie Madoff and other vegan LOLs, and some tweets from Helen Hunt.

Aminatou: And Amina complains!

Ann: And Amina complains about everything. [Laughs]

[Theme Song]

Ann: How are you doing other than feeling Ricola? I guess not feeling sexy.

Aminatou: Ugh! I'm having the worst day! That's my equivalent of that lady who does the Chewbacca mask voice except she's so happy. I'm like I am so frustrated.

[Chewbacca lady clip]

Ann: Can I tell you I'm not sure I understood the Chewbacca mask video fully.

Aminatou: Okay, tell me.

(1:50)

Ann: Maybe because I didn't watch it while I was stoned I find it totally delightful but not next-level virality.

Aminatou: So right before I was talking to you I was scrolling Facebook and I saw that Mark Zuckerberg had invited her to Facebook and she was looking so happy and great. And I mean I'm so happy for her, but I will confess to this, I have seen one Star Wars movie and I fell asleep. I think it was -- yes, it was Star Wars. It was the one with Natalie Portman and I fell asleep.

Ann: Okay, well there was your first problem, starting with a Natalie Portman Star Wars.

Aminatou: No, but what I'm trying to confess to you, it's not that I'm not amused by it; it's that I literally have no reference point for Star Wars.

Ann: But here's the thing, I don't actually think you need . . .

Aminatou: Like Shawnee had to explain to me the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek because I kept conflating both of them.

Ann: But isn't this mostly just about the exuberance of one woman in a mask? It's not really about Star Wars.

Aminatou: I literally don't have enough data points to explain it to you.

Ann: Okay.

Aminatou: Because I'm telling you that I just recently found out that one of them is intergalactic space warfare and the other one is ISIS and I still can't tell you which is which.

Ann: Yes. Well here, let me hit you with what I feel is the truth about the Chewbacca vid which is humans just like listening to other humans with good laughs. It's like there's something very on a visceral level uplifting, and all she does is laugh through the whole thing. And it reminds me of a cult favorite series of YouTubes that I also love which is a woman who identifies as a laughing therapist and just trains the camera on herself.

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: And she dedicates her laugh to different people who are going through a tough time. She's like "I've got a friend with some health problems. This laugh is for you." Then she giggles through a straight two minutes. And let me tell you I feel like that is actually at its core the appeal.

Aminatou: Are you sure you're not just watching me?

Ann: There are some similarities, I won't lie.

Aminatou: This is making me so uncomfortable. Laugh therapy?

[Laughter clip]

Aminatou: Oh my god, I just . . . yeah, I just -- today has been a challenging day for me.

(4:00)

Ann: Well maybe you need some laugh therapy videos. You need me to send some your way?

Aminatou: No, it's not that kind . . . you know sometimes you have a bad day and secretly you just don't want to feel better about it? You want to wallow in it a little bit.

Ann: I understand.

Aminatou: Today is one of those days for me. I'm like I just want to be angry for 12 more hours then I'll be better.

Ann: What does the wallow look like? What form does it take?

Aminatou: Just like, you know, resting bitch face times ten. I don't want to choose happiness today.

Ann: I hope you're at least snacking.

Aminatou: Oh, are you kidding me? Like stress eating and stress napping all day. That's the only redeeming part of this day. [Laughs]

Ann: I am physically incapable of stress napping.

Aminatou: What? Ann, when I'm stressed out literally two things happen: I immediately get my period and I pass out.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: It's like the whole world can be falling apart and I'm like what is that, blood in my underwear? And it's like chunks, then I pass out.

Ann: I imagine the 911 call, it's like "We found her in a pool of blood. We found her passed out."

Aminatou: That's literally . . . that's always how I know I'm stressed out. Like some people cry. Me, I just pass a ginormous blood clot and I'm like okay, we're back.

Ann: Oh man. Well, here's to some good bleeding. What do you want to talk about this week?

Aminatou: Oh my god, there's so much to talk about. What's going on?

Ann: What blew your mind this week?

Aminatou: Ugh, no, can I just tell you one of the reasons I'm annoyed.

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: Ann, I just want to share a thing that my mom used to always say that it turns out it's true. Poor planning on your part will not create an emergency on mine.

Ann: Hmm.

Aminatou: And today was a lot of poor planning that created emergencies for me.

Ann: Wow.

(5:55)

Aminatou: I'm just being a big baby today. I love it.

Ann: Other people's problems is what you're saying?

Aminatou: I know. I don't complain a lot. I wish I did. This feels great.

Ann: [Laughs] There's a reason people do it.

Aminatou: Who knew? Mostly that and just a lot of shopping. Oh, also when I'm stressed out I shop a lot. That's true. That's what happened this week.

Ann: Have you bought anything good? This is like actually we're living -- we're living our commitment to asking you about opulence. I feel like it's going to be something opulent.

Aminatou: Oh my god, I bought this really great duster that has elephant prints on it.

Ann: Love a duster.

Aminatou: It's really good. I'll link to it. Also what else did I buy? Oh, and I bought a very expensive face mask that I won't talk about because I'm embarrassed at how expensive it is.

Ann: I bought patio chairs this week.

Aminatou: I'll let you know if it actually works.

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: Patio chairs? You've been talking about that for like two years. Congratulations.

Ann: Trust me, I know. To finally pull the trigger on two Adirondacks, it was like years in the making. I feel great.

Aminatou: This is like your Hank Hill moment. This is huge.

Ann: I know. I know. I just like . . .

Aminatou: Mazel tov. I'm happy for you.

Ann: Thank you. You're going to have to come have a cocktail on the other one.

Aminatou: I can't wait. I can't wait. This is great. Then I pulled the trigger on my New Year's vacation so I feel good.

Ann: Which is? Or do you not want to share? Do you want to keep it low-key? [Laughs]

Aminatou: I'm not going to geo-locate myself. It's low-key. It's somewhere warm and beautiful. It's in Mexico. It's off of Puerto Vallarta. It's really sunny. This resort, the website has the worst copy in the world but it's also hilarious. It's like written from the perspective of the resort itself so it's like "Come find me, blah, blah, blah." So bad.

Ann: What?

Aminatou: But it's hilarious because you fly into Puerto Vallarta then you have to drive to the beach and then you have to get on a boat for 30 minutes and then you have to hike in the jungle for 20 minutes then you're in the middle of this place and it has its own little . . . the room has its own little private pool and there's nothing to do. Like there's not a town to go to, so it's one week of like nothing. I'm so excited.

Ann: Dreamy.

(8:03)

Aminatou: I'm so excited. You know me, there's nothing I love more than doing nothing.

Ann: This is a core point of overlap between us. [Laughs]

Aminatou: I know. People who are really into activities vacations . . .

Ann: I can't handle activities vacations. That's called personal enrichment and it's somewhere between a work trip and I don't know what, but it's definitely closer to work trip than it is to vacation.

Aminatou: Yeah. Even this place, it's a production to get to. I was like man, boat, hike. They send a mule to come get your luggage because you can't carry it up yourself. It's crazy. This is the only activity I'm doing all week is getting here.

Ann: I support that.

Aminatou: Now that Amina's complaint corner is over.

Ann: That was like half the episode. I love it.

Aminatou: I know. It's like thanks for joining us on Call Your Girlfriend. [Laughs]

Ann: Fast-forward to the 15 minute mark if you are interested in the news.

[Music]

Aminatou: What else is going on this week? Oh, I read that thing in NPR about how -- I mean we all kind of already knew this and you know more about this than all of us, but how we're essentially creating fake periods because of the Pope and religion.

Ann: Okay, wait, back up.

Aminatou: I like my own explanation of it. I'm just like ugh. Okay, so since this is Amina's complaint corner here is one thing that has always irked me is people who don't just like -- when you're taking the pill packet, who take the placebo ones. I'm like why are you doing this? You know that this is a fake period, right?

(10:00)

Ann: I'm going to speak up for those people because sometimes it's an iron supplement and people need that.

Aminatou: Ann, listen, as someone who suffers from acute anemia you know I want to agree with you but as today I'm just complaining I'm going to disagree with you and tell you that it's one of my secret annoyances. I'm just like ugh.

Ann: I'm just going to leave the closet and let the tape run and it's actually just you the rest of the episode. [Laughs]

Aminatou: I know, it's just me like ugh! Today I'm letting out all my aggression. [Laughs]

Ann: What about the case that's like pregnancy check? Even though obviously you can still have a withdraw bleed . . . can you still have a withdraw bleed and be pregnant? Do you know this?

Aminatou: I don't know this. This is not a medical advice show.

Ann: For me it was always like -- and again, low science decision-making. It's like okay, I'm going to make sure I'm not pregnant. That's all.

Aminatou: I know. I'm telling you, listen, full disclosure, I'm being the most unreasonable human today.

Ann: Fair. Okay, now explain what the Pope has to do with this.

Aminatou: So really what's going on, you can choose to suppress your menstrual cycle obviously like some people like me do because you take the hormone pill for 21 days and then instead of doing the sugar pill you just pop the next packet. But it just so turns out that that sugar pill has a very nefarious reason for being there.

Ann: Which is? Do you want me to take over here? [Laughs]

Aminatou: Yes, please. I just grabbed my face and I put my head in my shirt. I'm doing my Temple Grandin right now.

Ann: Okay, so get in your comfort hoodie. Essentially the development of the birth control pill is infuriating on about ten million different levels but one of the levels is at a certain point -- so there was kind of like this initial rogue scientist guy who had been fired from Harvard who Margaret Sanger approached and was like "Hey, do you think you might want to try to make me a birth control pill?" That guy's research only took it so far and then they had to pull in someone else and that someone else ended up being this Catholic doctor named John Rock who had been studying infertility and who figured out that the same hormones he was giving women to try to make them pregnant could probably be administered slightly differently and make them not pregnant, like make them not ovulate.

Aminatou: Yo, how do you know so much about this?

(12:22)

Ann: Because I read a book called The Birth of a Pill. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Listen, I'm setting you up for this. [Laughs]

Ann: How do I know everything? From reading it in a book, not from any other way. But that guy -- he was actually a pretty devout Catholic, which ugh, it's so delicious. I love that a Catholic doctor was instrumental to the creation of the birth control pill. Anyway, he . . .

Aminatou: Escandalo.

Ann: Escandalo. But he was like women, I think, would be more likely to take this if it sort of felt like nothing was different, i.e., if they get five days of bleeding in the middle of the month. Which I think has some basis, not the pandering to religion part, but in terms of psychologically what feels normal -- and I'm air quoting normal -- to women who are used to getting a period.

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: I mean there's also all kinds of fucked up stuff with the creation of the pill, like when they got to the point where they needed test subjects they went to Puerto Rico where contraception was legal and they were like huh, yeah, definitely we can just coerce some Puerto Rican women into just taking this, right? They won't put up a fight. So fucked up.

Aminatou: Oh my god.

Ann: And they did. So the researchers were then like huh, I guess we have to force women who are institutionalized in this mental institution to take it. And there was even this class of women in medical school in San Juan who were told you have to be test subjects for this trial, and when they were like "No, we don't want to be guinea pigs for the birth control pill," they were forced to quit the program. Like super, super fucked-up stuff. They eventually found some willing test subjects after it showed it was working. You know, horribly nefarious means by which so many women ended up actually eventually getting contraception.

(14:05)

Aminatou: Oh my god, my blood pressure is just rising. Thank you for walking us through that when I could not.

Ann: I mean, anyway, so yeah, definitely that whole withdraw bleed Catholicism thing is part of it but I do recommend the book. It's really interesting because it will make you -- at least my takeaway is that other scientific advancements that really serve decoupling kids and women's lives, or essentially doing what the birth control pill did politically, are so difficult to come by. I mean it was like decades and decades of work with some seriously shade, terrible shit in order to get what most women will tell you is a bad solution. Just like oh, yeah, the contraceptive pill is serviceable.

Aminatou: I know, right? It's still shocking that we're still using the shitty solution. [Laughs] Like yeah, it's like nothing has changed.

Ann: Truly. There have been no other fundamental breakthroughs since the early '60s.

Aminatou: That's crazy. They tried to do that one where they would put it into your arm then they had to cut everybody's arm open to get it out.

Ann: Oh my god, Norplant. Is that the one you're talking about?

Aminatou: Yeah.

Ann: Yeah. But it's all based on the same science. Like it's all basically based on that Catholic doctor's hormonal science.

Aminatou: Totally.

Ann: Yeah, anyway . . .

Aminatou: Yo, shout out Catholic doctors.

Ann: I mean refuse to shout out Catholic doctors, but . . .

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: You know, shout out Catholic doctors who are researching contraception. I will do that.

Aminatou: That's right. That's right. Shout out.

Ann: Shout out.

Aminatou: That's crazy. Okay. What else? What else is going on? Tell me. Tell me more.

Ann: Oh my god. So my most delightful read for the week was an article from 2013. [Laughs] Which, let's be real, sometimes I get really frustrated with the Internet-only what is new? I'm like you know what? Sometimes the Harvard Business Review from 2013 has information that's relevant to my life.

(16:00)

Aminatou: You know Harvest Business Review is very -- that's my feminist Bible.

Ann: I know. But anyway, the headline of this article is Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders?

Aminatou: Yes. That article is delicious top-to-bottom including the Dilbert cartoon.

Ann: Ugh, and it's not so much that it contains revelations where I'm like really? I had no idea. It's more of a confirmation that what you're experiencing if you're dealing with an incompetent male boss is like a phenomenon that has been documented by researchers. Outside of you it's real. That's the purpose of this article.

Aminatou: Yeah. That article is imprinted in my brain. It just really calls out our societal inability to make a distinction between confidence and competence. The article makes this really compelling case that we're fooled into believing that men are better leaders because of that, right? And so there's that whole aspect of it which is hilarious. And if you're a woman who has worked with some loud dude who keeps stealing your ideas in meetings and you're rolling your eyes and like tell me something I don't know . . . but the other thing I think it touches on, right, like really subtly, is kind of another reason why things like leaning in don't work, you know?

Ann: Yeah.

Aminatou: Because here are all the odds stacked against you, is that you can lean in until you fall over but the truth is society is terrible.

Ann: Right. And also, I mean part of this is a vocabulary issue. If lean in is something that you interpret as act like really successful men and put in the same hours and kind of adopt that veneer of overconfidence even in areas where you don't know much, it's like that is not a way to success. However, actually being yourself -- I mean there's all these statistics in the article. I'm just going to read you the line. "There is now compelling scientific evidence for the notion that women are more likely to adopt more effective leadership strategies than men."

Aminatou: Oh my god. But also the other part of this article that is imprinted in my brain, right, is just thinking about how there are no obstacles for incompetent men in the workplace whereas there are many obstacles for competent women.

(18:20)

Ann: Right. It's ultimately depressing. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Yeah, it's just crazy.

Ann: It is.

Aminatou: Yeah, it's like what's the line? It's like the result is a pathological system that rewards men for their incompetence while punishing women for their competence to everybody's detriment. It's like no! [Laughs] But also so well . . . I remember the day this article dropped on the Internet. Every woman was just like yep, yep, yep. Tell me something that I don't know.

Ann: You know, there are some evergreen things on the Internet. Like I tell myself things disappear after a week online or they do not have a forever shelf life.

Aminatou: No, this, you'll be talking to your grandchildren about this.

Ann: It's true. And, yeah, I don't know. You're right. Ultimately the takeaway is kind of depressing, but in an immediate frustrating situation sometimes there's nothing that feels better than like science supports your frustration.

Aminatou: No, absolutely.

Ann: I feel like it also has Trump implications.

Aminatou: Oh, it has so many implications. But I think too . . .

Ann: Ivanka's dad is the ultimate in this.

Aminatou: Oh my god, Ivanka's dad. A great article was actually about Ivanka's dad -- his weave. It's crazy. He wears a $60,000 weave according to Gawker which is very compelling reportage. I think everybody should read it.

Ann: Yeah, but okay, here's also what I want to know is all the people who have signed NDAs about helping him with his hair.

Aminatou: Honestly this is maybe Gawker's best work. It's crazy. I don't agree with calling it a weave, but it's definitely . . . I just think that's some semantics we can parse later.

Ann: Sure.

(20:00)

Aminatou: But the technology behind it is crazy and there's this incredible video montage of every time he plays with his hairline and he asks people to come touch it, like he calls people up from the stage at his rallies to come do it and then he also has a long history of doing it. He's doing it to Larry King. He's doing it to Megyn Kelly. It's so funny.

Ann: Can I tell you that Trump's hair is actually my most favorite thing about him? Maybe the only thing I truly like about him. Like on some level the idea of men having to pay as much attention to their appearance . . . you know, he doesn't really acknowledge the amount of time and the money that goes into it, but let's be real, we all know I kind of love that.

Aminatou: Yeah. It's also maybe the only luxurious thing about him.

Ann: I don't know.

Aminatou: Let's be real here. But I love this. This made me laugh so hard. It's like this extensive reporting on this. You should check it out down in the studio.

Ann: I mean I only read the subhead.

Aminatou: Ann, you should get a big glass of wine and read the whole thing. It's amazing.

Ann: Okay. I'm afraid it's going to make me like him more.

Aminatou: Hmm. [Laughs]

Ann: [Laughs] It's like if I found out that he wore Spanx or something I would just be like -- I don't know, there's something about that performance for . . .

Aminatou: You know, I'm going to say it here on Call Your Girlfriend first, Donald Trump probably wears Spanx.

Ann: Oh my god, I cannot wait to reference this moment -- this exact minute mark -- when the news breaks that Trump wears Spanx. Like a full-body Spanx suit.

Aminatou: Probably. Probably. I put nothing past him. He's so vain, are you kidding?

Ann: He borrows them from Ivanka.

(21:50)

Aminatou: Yeah. It's like the mark of a man who is always talking about women's appearances as a way to hide his own insecurity about his own appearances.

Ann: Ugh, god, I hope that's true, and then leech a little bit of social acceptance from these very kind of rubber stamp approved, very beautiful women.

Aminatou: I'm kind of obsessed with men's fear of going bald because I feel like it's one way they can identify with society's pressures on women. But the truth is there's nothing wrong with being a bald guy. There's hot bald guys everywhere. Like . . .

Ann: I mean case in point, the Tooch. (?)

Aminatou: Exactly, the Tooch. You know, so many. So many I won't even get into it. It's like hair, hair is the one vanity that so many guys have. And I'm like well the truth is if you're in a hetero relationship most women don't mind the hair. It's like what is ridiculous is trying to hold on to hair that's not there. And that's what Trump's hair -- that's why it makes me so happy. I'm like you have gone to so many extremes to do this, if you had no hair nobody would care except for you because you're a piece of shit dirt bag who judges people by what they look like.

Ann: Although speaking of scientific innovation, if somebody figured out how to transplant back hair to the head they would make so much money off the wealthy one percenter men of at least America for sure.

Aminatou: [Laughs] Oh my god. You wouldn't have to spend $60,000 on this insane contraption.

Ann: Yeah, you're just like it's my back hair. See how thick and luxurious it is?

Aminatou: [Laughs]

Ann: Or the hair formally known as my back hair.

Aminatou: Oh my god, that's so crazy. A back weave.

Ann: That's a free idea.

Aminatou: Oh my god, freeideas.biz. Somebody take it and run with it. It's just crazy to me that a 69-year-old man is . . . is he 69? He's got to be older than that.

Ann: Actually I have no idea.

Aminatou: Let's do this, Donald Trump age.

Ann: 69!

Aminatou: 69. That's allegedly. I want to see a long-form birth certificate.

Ann: I feel like I just want a Google gun fight.

Aminatou: I know. It's like a 69-year-old man is trying to fool everybody into believing he has a full head of hair. It's like sir, come on now.

[Music and Ads]

(27:55)

Ann: Okay, speaking of hilarious crooks, did you hear about the vegan Bernie Madoff? [Laughs]

Aminatou: Ann. Ann. Ann. Okay, you know how I was so angry earlier? Everything has dissipated. This is my favorite story ever. There's two big vegan stories this week actually.

Ann: Okay, I only know about one who is a New York raw, organic vegan restaurant entrepreneur who also had a mail order snack business so, you know, diversified vegan entrepreneur.

Aminatou: Yo, it's so real.

Ann: Who ran off with lots of money that she owes her former employees, which is sad and terrible. But there's something about the phrase vegan Bernie Madoff that clicked.

Aminatou: I know, which means -- it means that she's objectively worse than Bernie Madoff.

Ann: Wow. You're responsible for all the  vegan hate mail we get now. [Laughs]

Aminatou: Oh my god, please, they can handle it. But my favorite part of the whole story is how they got caught because, well, it was her and her husband . . . her and her partner person, they got caught because she ordered a Domino's pizza.

Ann: Which is how you know she's really vegan.

Aminatou: I know, right? It was like Domino's. The detective is such a dick. He's like "I have excellent intelligence that Strangis ordered the pizza and wings." And the thing is that in her interview with the New York Post she insists that she's still a devout vegan, like that's really important to her to convey in this moment. This article is crazy because for as long as it is there's so many unanswered questions.

Ann: It's true, but it does have such gems, like there's a quote from a chef who worked for her who said "She's thrown stools, grapefruits, and phones at me."

Aminatou: [Laughs] Oh my god.

Ann: I'm like I'm sorry for your painful, abusive workplace chef but oh my god who is making the Lifetime Original Movie of this story? I want it.

(29:50)

Aminatou: I know! But I'm also sad because that place, Pure Food, was delicious. That is so funny.

Ann: Okay, yeah, the truth of the matter is that high-end vegan food is something that I really love. [Laughs]

Aminatou: It's true. My favorite part also, it's like when she asked for a vegan diet at Rikers they obviously denied her because the criminal justice system is awful. But then this line is so sad. "She says she makes do with peanut butter sandwiches, bananas, apples, and fresh-sliced cucumber." And I'm like that is so cruel.

Ann: I don't know. Is it any crueler than your standard vegan lifestyle?

Aminatou: Oh my god, it's just like . . . it's so crazy.

Ann: Ugh.

Aminatou: Okay, but do you want to know what the other crazy vegan story in the news is?

Ann: Hit me.

Aminatou: Vegan dies climbing Mount Everest trying to prove that vegans are strong.

Ann: [Laughs] Sorry.

Aminatou: I know, you're a bad person Ann.

Ann: I'm covering my mouth because I don't want to be recorded laughing at that.

Aminatou: You're a bad person. You laughed. So here's the thing: I am very sad that people lost their lives on Mount Everest, four people to be exact. What is strange to me about this whole construct is I was not aware that it was a thing that we thought vegans were too weak to do physical activities.

Ann: Yeah, I never once thought that. Don't all vegans do recreational rock climbing?

Aminatou: I know, right? But yeah, it's crazy. So one of the women who died on the summit, the one who all the articles are about, the quote from her is "It seems that people have this warped idea of vegans being malnourished and weak. By climbing seven summits we want to prove that vegans can do anything and more." And I was like this is crazy. I just didn't know that it was a thing. Obviously by all means everyone's free to adopt the diet that they feel is right for them. A plant-based diet is very healthy we have been told. But vegan comedy will always be LOLio to me.

Ann: Ugh. I mean tragic comedy.

Aminatou: I know. This is very sad.

(31:45)

Ann: And I feel like we're back to square one of needing laugh therapy. I do feel like a bad person for laughing at that.

Aminatou: I know. Well, we're not laughing at the fact that somebody has lost their life. That is very sad.

Ann: Right. We're laughing at the idea that you might need to disprove a non-existent stereotype about vegans being weak.

Aminatou: I know. Vegans always look like healthy-skinned and lustrous and shit. I'm like I don't know about this.

Ann: I feel like you can always see all of vegans' muscles at the surface. They look like it's like the bodies exhibit with a thin coating. They're very like . . .

[Music]

Aminatou: Tell me things that made you laugh today.

Ann: Honestly it was that article from 2013. I'm trying to think what else. What else was a LOL today?

Aminatou: One thing that made me LOL on the Internet was Helen Hunt's Twitter account. Have you seen this? Do you know what I'm talking about?

Ann: I don't. Please enlighten me.

Aminatou: Okay, I'm just going to read the tweet from Helen Hunt. "Ordered my drink at Starbucks. Asked the barista if she wanted my name. She winked and said we gotcha. Hashtag #jodiefoster." [Laughs] And then there's a picture of her Starbucks tea and written on it is Jody with a Y. [Laughs]

Ann: This reminds me of the Interview Magazine convo between Jodie Foster and Sigourney Weaver. Oh my god, it wasn't. It was Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver. I just hadn't . . . [Laughs]

Aminatou: White woman face . . .

Ann: But seriously, I get it. I'm not going to lie. I feel that Starbucks barista.

Aminatou: Love your work, Danny DeVito. [Laughs] It's crazy.

Ann: But celebrity face blindness is real. I think it's a special art. I always, when I have friends who are visiting who I know would be good at spotting celebrities and figuring out who is who . . . because sometimes when you see them in the wild you're like I know you're a famous person but I can't remember where I've seen you, or maybe if you're like my friend's mom and I forgot about it. That familiarity without recognition.

(34:04)

Aminatou: Yeah. I'm also like I definitely have white person face blindness. There's like three white women faces and there's two dude faces and unless I have a personal relationship with you they all blend into each other.

Ann: That's fair.

Aminatou: Oh, we both went to see Beyonc and didn't talk about it.

Ann: Oh my god, you know, it's because I don't have words.

Aminatou: That's fair. That's fair. That's fair.

Ann: I mean I will say this, that for a very long time you have been a proponent of the large stadium show and I have not been willing to spend the money. However I had a revelation -- and this was before Prince died, but definitely a motivating factor in buying those Beyonc tickets -- was are you really going to wait for an evening with Beyonc when she's past the peak of her power? Not saying she's peaking right now. But like, you know, when she's kind of nearing retirement and not doing the full thing she's doing now. And I was like no, I'm going to go now obviously.

Aminatou: What are you talking about she's near retirement?

Ann: I'm not. I'm saying that in the future, some day, she will retire. Or die. Nature's retirement. It's going to happen.

Aminatou: Nature's retirement.

Ann: I'm sorry.

Aminatou: I can't even hang with where you're going. But yeah, so you went to see Beyonc.

Ann: Seize the day. This is what I'm trying to say. I was like now is the time to see Beyonc. I got over the cost that I had to pay to see Beyonc at a reasonable distance and I have no regrets and I have no words for how incredible it was.

Aminatou: Like I was a very casual Beyonc fan until I saw her live. The first time I saw her live I was like I don't care what kind of music you put out, I will go see you all the time.

Ann: I can't even imagine being a casual Beyonc fan. Like shocking.

Aminatou: I honestly was a very casual Beyonc fan, and it's true. Even getting into the albums sometimes is hard for me. But when I see her live, I can't deny. I just cannot deny what an incredible artist she is. I was so close for this show. It was incredible. Even DJ Khaled bringing out E40 and Too Short, that was worth the price of admission alone. Everything was great after that. Also at the Santa Clara show some guy proposed to his girlfriend in the parking lot and everybody lost their shit. It was the funniest thing in the world to me.

Ann: Wait, really?

Aminatou: And I was like yes. He like proposed to his girlfriend in the parking lot and hundreds of people started screaming at the same time. I was like this is the best worst idea ever. Good for you.

Ann: I mean good for you. That's what I would do if I was a little bit unsure about the answer because I'm like you're going to say yes on the heady night of seeing Beyonc live. I would say yes to anything. 

Aminatou: [Laughs] Listen, any man who is secure enough to ask his girlfriend to marry him after the Lemonade tour, I'm like this is going to last forever.

Ann: Okay, well I don't know if at your show she did this but at the one I saw she was definitely like "This is my favorite song on the album," and it was a reconciliation song at the end of the album. You know what I mean? There was like a lot of . . .

Aminatou: Oh, yeah, I mean that's her whole shtick.

Ann: Exactly. And so I don't know, maybe this guy had done something . . .

Aminatou: It's that friend that tells you to break up with your boyfriend then she goes home with her husband. Like never forget.

Ann: I'm sad that you're saying this about Beyonc.

Aminatou: I love Beyonc but it's true. It's like people just project a lot of their own what they're feeling and I was like no, this is like an art project. Beyonc and Jay-Z have a joint album dropping any day now. They're fine.

Ann: Oh, sure. I mean it is a Bill and Hill style, House of Cards style union. It is not something . . .

Aminatou: No, I really don't think so. I think that . . .

Ann: I think it is.

(37:48)

Aminatou: I think they're very much truly in love and amazing capitalists who see all of the insane news in the media about them and they're so tight-lipped about it and then they dress like . . . they're like "We're going to F with all of you guys."

Ann: I think that all of that is true and also it's calculated. I don't know. I guess maybe we're using it in a different context too where I'm sort of like a power couple sees the potential for their union as bigger than just "I love you," or "I'm happy with you." Like I think that is definitely true of them.

Aminatou: That's fair. That's fair.

Ann: It's not like they're merely allies or business partners. But I think that like . . .

Aminatou: No. You know Jay-Z and Beyonc are also like vegan moguls, to bring this all full circle.

Ann: I mean trying to be.

Aminatou: Oh my god.

Ann: Sorry, but trying to be.

Aminatou: My favorite is when Jay-Z went on that 21-day vegan thing and Beyonc trolled him every day by wearing animal prints. Like one day she legit wore an entire cow outfit. I was like this is . . .

Ann: Was that the pizza body suit era?

Aminatou: Yeah. I was like this is incredible on so many levels. [Laughs]

Ann: I mean . . .

Aminatou: And every day Jay-Z is like "Day three of the 21-day vegan challenge." And then she even made Khaled go vegan to support this.

Ann: Oh, scene. Scene. I'm like the DJ Khaled vegan snaps were so sad. I was like I don't want to eat that.

Aminatou: I know. Like seven days of it. He didn't want to eat it. Chef D didn't want to have any of it. The whole thing was crazy.

Ann: I mean this is just the power of Beyonc. It extends to the stomachs of the men in her orbit.

Aminatou: Oh my god, so real. So real. Man, how much vegan hate mail do you think we're going to get?

Ann: We're going to get so much. And here is the truth of the matter is I like vegan food. [Laughs] I'm going to be like joke's on you.

Aminatou: Me too. I eat vegan food all the time. You know why we love to make fun of vegans is because they take themselves too seriously.

(39:45)

Ann: I think that's what it is. And you know what? I also have to say that the performative aspect of the first days of being vegan or the whole 21 day or DJ Khaled doing his thing, like that part I'm a little bit like ugh. I feel about it like I feel about fitness challenges which is strong disinterest.

Aminatou: Totally. Also food as purity, I will always make fun of you if you're into that kind of stuff. So if you are about to write us hate mail about being vegan take a deep, deep breath because we're going to laugh when we read your email and then not respond to it.

Ann: And just know that I think eating animals on a personal level is kind of gross even though I don't care if other people do. [Laughs] So yeah, I don't know. We'll see. I'm interested in the hate mail check-in.

Aminatou: I know, it's going to be so funny. Just take a very deep breath before you write us because we will clown you, 100%.

Ann: Exactly. We will read your email.

Aminatou: We will clown you 100%. Oh my god, on that note I think I'm going to go eat this steak.

Ann: [Laughs]

Aminatou: I'm going to eat a ginormous steak for dinner.

Ann: Oh my god, actually, I just realized that my dinner which is a white person Thai curry thing, it's going to be actually technically vegan. [Laughs]

Aminatou: It's crazy. Listen, we read Mark Berman in this family. We're all vegan before eight. We know. We know. We know.

Ann: It's true. Okay, on that note . . .

Aminatou: On that note, oh my god. We're going to get so much hate mail. I can't wait.

Ann: Oh my god, okay. So where can the people find us on the Internet, Amina? [Laughs]

Aminatou: They can find us many places on the Internet, callyourgirlfriend.com. You can email us at callyrgf@gmail.com. You can find us on Twitter at @callyrgf. You can even find us on Facebook. Please look that up on your own. You can Instagram us at callyrgf and then I'm doing this from memory so I don't know the phone number.

Ann: No one leaves us voicemail anyway.

Aminatou: This podcast is produced by Gina Delvac.

Ann: This podcast is produced by Gina!

Aminatou: Thanks for letting me complain! See you on the Internet, boo.

Ann: See you on the Internet, boo.