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Why do I like the smell of gasoline? What should I do about my racist boss? What is the clothes fastener technology in Star Wars? And more!

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 (00:00) to (02:00)

Hank: Hello and w- were you just whispering?

Mayim: Yes I was just whispering to nobody - Sorry, I was just whispering that if the cats become a problem he should lock them out, I'm sorry.

H: Okay

[both laughing]

H: Hello, and welcome to Dear Hank and John

M: Or as I prefer to call it - Dear Mayim and Hank

H: It's a comedy podcast where me and my brother john but occasionally guest- uh, guest hosts like this weeks Mayim Bialik, answer questions, give you dubious advice and bring you all the weeks news from both Mars and AFC Wimbledon. Mayim did you bring AFC Wimbledon news?

M: You know, I did and it's big.

H: It's big. I- I actually looked up some and I was like John's gonna be sad he missed this week. How are you?

M: Oh yeah well I- I'm okay but you know, AFC Wimbledon is really-

H: No!

M: in goalkeeper shock.

H: Don't tell anyone yet we have to save it for the end of the pod.

[both laughing]

M: Okay. I'm doing okay.

H: Good. Good. H- Where are you at?

M: I'm in my children's room.

H: [Laughing]

M: and I'm uh- I'm in Los Angeles.

H: Why are you in your children's- is this where your podcast studio set up is?

M: Because- it is- no there's no studio set up to be had here. It's the quietest room in the house as it were because my children are not here.

H: Right, yes I would imagine it's not usually the quietest room in the house.

M: No.

H: No. Um I have a child now-

M: I know!

H: The last time we talked I did not.

M: [laughing] That's right, congratulations again.

H: Now I do and he's uh- he's sleeping inside right now and uh, thus does not need me. So that's- what I've heard is that if a child is sleeping you can just leave, right? And go somewhere?

M: Oh yeah, no they got that. They figure that out.

H: Perfect. Um, yeah thanks this is excellent parenthood advice. Uh I have a parenting question for you.

M: Okay.

H: Am I gonna be okay?

M: [laughing] Are you gonna be okay? Haha! 

H: Haha - is everything-

M: You will be okay- You'll be okay in about four years.

H: Haha alright. Well good.

 (02:00) to (04:00)

H: Uh at least there's a horizon, I appreciate-


H: I appreciate the perspective. Um, uh yeah well it's an absolute pleasure to have you here I've uh, you know- it's very interesting to hear your voice. I assume that people know uh, some things about you but you are um, obviously on some TV shows and have been for a long time.

M: Right.

H: And also you are just sort of a- I don't know, like a professional helpful nerd person on the internet. Is that right?

M: [laughing] Um, I guess? I mean I definitely have um, made a sort of- an active decision to- to find an audience that understands me as I am. Uh, since being an actor means uh, having people like you for what they want you to be, and um, I started a website called Grok Nation and I've started entering the YouTube space, honestly completely inspired by you and your brother, uh, to try and make an impact in positive ways that are helpful and entertaining, and don't necessarily rely on a casting director telling you that you're good enough.

[both laughing]

H: But yeah that's- I have done a little bit of the L.A. thing and I don't really know why anyone would give up what I do for that.

M: Yes.

H: Just 'cause it's so- it's so- it's rough.

M: It's- it's rough. And it's not like "I work in the coal mines" rough. But um, it is a psychologically and spiritually challenging environment to uh, to exist in and you know I was in the industry as a child and I left for twelve years and got my undergraduate and graduate degree, I had two kids, and I've returned and The Big Bang Theory is a very big blessing in my life, it is not what I thought my life would look like so there's a lot of adjustment going on in general, as there is for all of us.

H: I feel that. Well, um, speaking of psychological challenges, we have a question- Oh no wait! You have a short poem for us.

M: I do. I have a stanza of a longer poem, but yes.

H: Okay.

M: Okay. Just like go at it?

H: Do it.



 (04:00) to (06:00)

M: Okay so this is a medieval poet. He was born in the middle of the twelfth century, his name is Peire Vidal, and um, when I read this particular poem, and this stanza, it reminded me of one of my favourite musicians: Morrissey. And you will see from the final line why that is so. This is translated by Paul Blackburn.

Mayim, reading the poem: "Lady, when I was within your hall, it seemed Saint Julian must have been my host. God never made such a perfect day as you formed of that day with your hand. In your making he made no mistake. Such arms were cast only to kill me, sure. I trust your excellence is too good a thing, but even if you killed, me it would be an honour, and if I died, I could only die praising and rejoicing."

H: Mmm.

M: The Morrissey lyric "to die by your side is such a heavenly way to die" is what I thought of when I read that medieval poem.

H: [laughing] Yeah, uh, things have not changed. 

M: Exactly.

H: I mean things have changed but as far as like, overly sacchrine love poetry, we're still goin' at it.

M: Oh yeah, in terms of painful love, not much has changed in the last eight hundred years or so.

H: Well in terms of painful love, or in this case, painful non-love, this question comes at us from Lindsey who asks: "Dear Hank and Mayim, I recently asked one of my friends to prom. She's a year younger than me, and I wanted to carry on my tradition in my friend circle of bringing underclassmen to prom a year early so they can experience it. Unfortunately, she took my prom-posal to mean that I had a romantic interest in her which I don't. She has confessed that she likes me too and I don't know how to deal with this. Do I tell her that I'm not interested and have the most awkward prom ever? Or do I just not break the facade and let her down later? Dubious advice is much appreciated. With much uncertainty, Lindsey."

 (06:00) to (08:00)

H: Aye aye aye. I don't know I felt like you were gonna have the answer Mayim-

M: Oh I have the answer, is it my turn to say it?

H: Yeah!

M: I uh, I'm always going to advocate for honest and sincere conversations-

H: Yeah.

M: Even if it hurts other people. And it's never to young to start doing that kindly and lovingly.

H: Yeah. Yeah, so how do you do this kindly and lovingly? Is it sort of like, okay, here, Lindsey, I uh- asked this question to a podcast, they have answered it, and I would like you to- I would like you to listen to the podcast so that we don't have to have this awkward conversation? That seems like a good way to do it. 

[both laughing]

M: Yeah I- Yeah no I think that that's pretty much they way you have to do it. There's no way to soften the blow of reality in this case.

H: Mhm.

M: And it's going to hurt her and I think a lot of people avoid having honest and sincere conversations because they're trying to take care of other people's feelings, and I feel like it creates an environment where no one is able to be honest or deal with their feelings, so this gets to be the first experience where uh, that's the conversation. It seems that my prom-posal - fancy word - it seems that my prom-posal may have introduced a conversation that's really hard to have, but I really want to go to prom with you, but I'm not romantically interested in you and I hope that we can still go and have a good time, and if you don't want to, I'll understand.

H: Yeah. Yeah, and uh, and I don't know if there's a good hug that can come along with it that isn't awkward but it does seem like a moment that requires a hug. Uh, what a bummer.

M: Sure

H: What a bummer! What a like- Oh man.

M: I wouldn't want a hug in that situation.

H: [laughing] Okay, well that's good to note.

M: Yeah. "Dear Hank and Mayim, I'm currently in the middle of getting divorced. For the most part everything is amicable, and we have both moved on with our lives over this past year. We do have a wonderful 3-year-old son together."

 (08:00) to (10:00)

M: "My ex-husband's birthday is usually the same week as Father's day, and I'm not sure what, if anything, I should do. I would like my son to be able to give his Dad a gift but I can't just give a 3-year-old cash and send him to the store. [Hank laughing] Should I buy a gift for my ex-husband? Or invest time in a craft with my son to give him? Is this my job at all now that we are separated? Should I just assume his new significant other will take this over? As always, dubious advice is appreciated. Thankyou, Cat."

H: Oh yeah-

M: Cat, I have- I have been in this exact situation.

H: [laughing] I mean I-

M: That's why I like this question.

H: I had a feeling it seems like you ended this amicably and you're still friends, so like, he's still a father and it's still his birthday and he's still a part of your life.

M: Right and I would say- my ex's birthday is not the same week as Father's Day but there are other holidays that fall around my ex's birthday so this is something that has been in my head a lot. Um, here's my thing: we get to teach children how to behave, separate from our relationships and resentments or issues. The fact that it's the same week as Father's Day, I think it would be really nice to show your child whether the father has a new life, to show the child: "this is how we celebrate Dad on Father's Day and his birthday."

And you don't need to go over the top. I think the first year after we were divorced I was like "Let's buy him a computer!'

[Both laughing]

And my therapist was like "No, you don't need to buy him a computer." But I think um, I think making cards, having the child decorate a card is always a nice thing. When I had children that age and I was just divorced I would have my child say nice things about Daddy. Like, I would say "What's something you like about Daddy?" and I would sort of transcribe um, you know like, "Daddy whatever... gives me candy" or whatever it is and then have them decorate the card. I think that's nice. And if there's something small, as a gesture that the child can participate in, wrapping, I think it's important to show we give important people gifts. And it really is- it's the ultimate gift to teach that child that while giving the ex-husband a gift.


 (10:00) to (12:00)

H: Boom. You're really good at this. You're better at advice than John and Hank Green are.

M: Hey thanks!

H: For sure!

M: [laughing]

H: I mean uh, I feel like we are dispensing actual good advice on this episode of Dear Hank and John - it's super off brand.

M: Sorry! [laughing]

H: Well so to turn things around I'm gonna hit a question from Steven who asks: "Dear Hank and Mayim,
Something I have been wondering for years: what is the clothes fastener technology in Star Wars? Do they have zippers or velcro or did all species use the same? Pimento in your eye, Steven in Cincinnati." So-

M: I'm gonna let you take this one first.

H: Are you a star wars fan? I can't imagine you're not a Star Wars fan.

M: I am, I am. I am a Star Wars fan.

H: But did you, upon reading this question, go and Google like every costume design from all of Star Wars? 'Cause that's what I did.

M: Oh! No, no. I didn't do prep. I don't know if that's what I was supposed to do. No I didn't do prep I just used my brain, like thought about it. 

H: Yeah I-, so I did a little bit of prep and I'll say that they use- they seem to use everything.

M: Yes.

H: They seem to have velcro, they seem to have uh, even magnetic fasteners, it looks like on a couple of uniforms. Some- you know those belts, like the straps on like backpacks. A couple of those show up.

M: Right.

H: But then you have zippers and you have buttons all over the place, lots of zippers and buttons. 

M: I think, you know- I think but-

H: Just like normal life.

M: But not- But unlike normal life, I think there's a lot of hidden zippers.

H: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Well that's a costume design thing in general- is like you don't necessarily want a zipper pop up like sh- So I think there's a lot of like the fabric goes over where the zipper is 'cause otherwise there's no way to put that shirt on.

M: Correct.

H: So you know there's a zipper in but you can't see-

M: No and it doesn't- it doesn't- it just doesn't look as nice.

H: I mean then you can't use a Mickey Mouse zipper pull, which is what used to be on one of my favourite jackets.

M: I mean I think zipper pulls are s- like we need a solution to the zipper pull crisis.

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