Good Job, Brain! is a free weekly clean* audio podcast that's part quiz show & part offbeat news. It's the ultimate nutrition for your brain. So eat up!

*no explicit language. But poop does come up sometimes all the time.


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WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?

KAREN // @momopeche

Game geek, candyfreak, bad runner.  

EXPERTISE: Geography, Hip Hop, Dogs, Patrick Swayze, Scout

 

COLIN // @colin13

Cannot tolerate lines that are not 100% parallel or 100% perpendicular.

EXPERTISE: Classic Rock, Academy Awards, NBA, Star Wars, Sniper

 

DANA // @ItsKindaSweet

Kinda sweet, kinda hilarious. Game designer extraordinaire.  

EXPERTISE: Literature, Indie Rock, Pop Culture, New Zealand, Prince, Medic

 

CHRIS // @kobunheat

Walking retro videogame almanac. Ravenclaw.  

EXPERTISE: US government, James Taylor, videogames, Spy

Wednesday
May312017

The Long Answer

“What happened to GJB?”
“Are you guys okay?”
“When is the next episode coming out?”

 

I have probably circulated and responded every nebulous permutation of The Short Answer: “Sorry, life happened.”

Don't worry, GJB isn't ending! It just isn't coming out as regular as before. But something seemingly minor happened today that is inspiring me to share The Long Answer. (We sure like our questions and answers here at GJB!)

I had a troubling relationship at home for numerous years. And in retrospect, a lot of the effort and time spent on GJB or on my other “cool” activities (running races, cosplay, writing books, having a tech job) was really a form of escapism. I overloaded myself with so much distraction to the point of having multiple crippling meltdowns just so I didn’t have to deal with the bad situation at home. I was in constant denial. It was not healthy, *I* was not healthy, and it made life at home even worse.

I somehow hoped that if my output to the world was bright enough, no one would suspect how dark it really was.

Almost a year ago, something big happened that I legally can't talk about. It was like a tornado siren that finally woke everyone up and I finally realized, I have to leave and get myself to safety. And I did, I moved out— even though it felt like the warpath of the tornado pretty much destroyed everything I had, and everything I knew. I was relieved that my eyes finally had opened, but the hardest part was finally seeing the emptiness and rubble I now was standing in. And then I found out my uterus was having problems.

Then I had to take time to rebuild while dealing with the aftershock of legal and emotional matters. I’ve gone to a lot of support groups and sessions with my therapist to help me manage all my fear, rage, and pain. Ironically, devoting time to let my brain heal and rest meant I had very little time to work on Good Job, Brain! I’ll admit - it was difficult recording some of those GJB episodes during this time. I had to force every word out of my mouth; keeping up the cheeriness for my GJB friends, and downplaying the severity of my situation. And our recording and editing schedule became less frequent and more irregular.


Fast forward to today. 

GJB listener Vanessa Mathieu posted on the GJB Facebook page to congratulate us on being nominated for 2017 The Academy of Podcasters for Best Games and Hobbies Podcast. 

 

Shocking and humbled? Yes and yes! Despite the fact that I run a podcast, I’m really not that up on my knowledge of awards given to podcast. To be honest, I’m actually embarrassed by this nomination since we’ve been only put out a handful of new episodes in 2017 but yet, here we are: this little blip amidst the vast internet landscape is recognized to be something worth mentioning. And it hit me, though our publishing schedule is extremely crappy, the content we put out is something people actually enjoy. Because in the end, learning is fun. Being curious is great... but being curious together is even better

And now, my being, my brain, my relationships; they’re all on the mend. Different, but better. I finally have settled down in a place after relocating a few times, the divorce process is annoying but it's going, still going to trauma therapy, going to support groups to now help others in similar situations cope, and finding/appreciating love from friends and family. And weirdly enough, I am grateful for all of it - the good stuff and the very bad stuff. GJB wouldn’t have become the thing it is today. I wouldn’t have become the person I am today. 

-Karen

 

PS. New episodes are still being recorded, just not on a very regular schedule. I’ll update the site this weekend since it’s not showing the newer episodes. But you can always use our podcast RSS feed on podcast apps since they’re more reliable!

PPS. Thank you all.

PPPS. I've learned that no one is ever alone. Whatever you're dealing with, there's a support group for almost everything and anything.

 

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Reader Comments (103)

First time listening to Karen was the good old 1UP days.
Since then, i felt that her and many other podcasts' were my family and friends id love to hang around with

June 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCarlos

Karen,

It was very brave of you to share that. I'm glad to hear things are getting better for you. You, Dana, Colin, and Chris have a deeper impact than you can know for me, and I'm sure others out there as well.

I am a recovering alcoholic. I downward spiraled more or less gradually after my father's suicide and a sexual assault not long thereafter; things came to a head in mid-February when I had my own suicide attempt. Keeping busy intellectually has been invaluable, especially in early recovery, and GJB has been one of my go-to distractions. I'm at that point where most of my close friends are hundreds of miles away, and I don't have anyone to nerd out with; the four of you with your quizzes and vignettes and camaraderie help to fill that void (and provide me with an abundance of random facts with which to regale my treatment group ... I'm sure they secretly love that).

So, thank you, all of you. You all have full lives, and you continue to create something entertaining and enlightening. It is appreciated!

June 12, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnna

Love you Karen! (and everyone else at GJB of course).

June 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterThomas

Congrats on the nomination, but more importantly, I wanted to say thank you, Karen, for sharing your struggles with us. I know it wasn't easy (to live through or to write) but I hope that you know the whole GJB community is rooting for you! I'm so happy to hear you're in a better, safer place, and I'm sending positive vibes your way. Your health always comes first – we listeners will always have the backlogs to sift through if we're ever missing our dose of GJB. :D

June 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJamie

Sending warm, happy, loving vibes your way Karen. Thanks for helping to brighten the world for so many GJB listeners

June 20, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAl

You're a rock star, Karen. One of the coolest people on the planet with a kick-ass personality. Thanks for sharing your story and great to hear that you're at a better place right now. New episodes will be great but gotta take care of yourself first. Hope it helps knowing that you have brought so much joy to people with the podcast and they all want you to be as happy as you make us feel while listening to you.

June 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterTony

Dude...dudette...: ) That sucks, i just found your podcast about 2 weeks ago. I drive for UBER in Santa Barbara -Shameless plug josephf11342ui- and i often turn your podcast on to listen during my down time, and leave it on for the customers. Many of them love doing the trivia during the short rides, and i have even had a few wait for 2-3 min to finish one of your cool stories. I am currently around ep. 175, started with # 100 on Spotify.

I wish you the best Karen, and look forward to every cheerful 'Pop Quiz Hotshot' .. which i usually picture you thrusting a fist in the air and kicking a leg out while saying.

Take your time, get well, the fans will be here.

Uber-Joe

June 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

Hi Everyone I love the show! Karen I just had a breakup in October 2016 and I'm just starting to enjoy life again. I'm single and enjoying life on my own for once. I wish you the best and Keep the trivia coming! Once again I love this show!

June 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie Hertz

It's a bit late, but i haven't been checking the podcast on the site like I probably should've been. It's fantastic that you're on the rise after so much turbulence. I started listening to GJB while I was in college - and of course, the first episode I listened to, I remember distinctly, was the one about butts. It really helped me to put my stress behind me and I've listened ever since.

July 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterEli N.

So happy to hear things are looking up for you. Sounds like you've cleared a mountain and come out stronger. Your podcast is always there to help make my day a little brighter, so I feel like I HAVE to state the obvious by saying we're always going to be here with all of our love and support! I've found that embracing my problems in life has made me stronger and my life richer - so here's to embracing, growing, LIVING, and learning all along the way. You guys 100% earned that nomination! Sending lots of virtual hugs<3<3<3

July 2, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie

You are a phenomenal person. So strong. I love what you do. Please keep it up. Even when the worst feels like the worst don't ever give up. It does get better. You inspire.

July 10, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRobin

Wishing you all the best, we will be here when you are ready. You bring happiness to us, wishing you the same sunshine back. Sending love and positive energy your way! <3

July 11, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMike

So sorry you had to go through such an awful situation. I hope things will just get better and better.

July 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl Gordon

Every time I go into my podcast playlist I was sad to not see a GJB episode waiting. Your podcast is one of my favorite and I am so grateful for it. Thanks for putting a little fun into this world. I'm sorry for your heart ache and know that you have people you've never heard of cheering for you. I will add you to my prayers. I hope goodness continues to come your way.

July 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterWhit

Get well, and be wholeheartedly welcomed when you return..

August 7, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterChase S

Star Teachers

August 16, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAshish Jha

Each week, I look to see whether Good Job Brain has published a new episode. It wasn't until today that I read this blog post, and I am saddened to hear of your recent struggles. Life is short. We should all be looking to find peace in our mind, body, and soul. I hope that through your current efforts, you are able to get closer to that peace.

When the next Good Job Brain episode appears, I will be as excited as ever. But, all in good time.

August 19, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterAlistair

All the best wishes to you. I love your podcast so much that as soon as episodes started lagging, I was immediately worried something happened to one of you. I am truly sorry to hear about what happened, Karen. I'm wishing you the best in your recovery. You will always have me as a fan even if episodes come ten years apart!

August 22, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

I have BEEN THERE. Thank you for sharing your story. I was worried about you like I'd worry about a IRL friend.

August 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterH.

Thank you, Karen, for sharing your difficult story. I appreciate all that it takes to sound cheerful when your heart is heavy. I love the podcast and am pleased when one arrives. I think that I have listened to all the episodes from the beginning a couple of times. Be well.

September 25, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSteve Thomas

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