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)

I came looking for news on when another episode might come out and read this. Super heavy. But I'm glad you made it out and are on the mend. Take all the time you need. I've got your book to keep me occupied. Excelsior, Karen!

September 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDale

I love you.

October 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterRodger

Hi Karen,

I am so sorry to hear about everything you had to go through and that you had to put on a brave face and feel so alone in it. :( I'm glad things are getting better for you now and I hope you get whatever support you need. <3 I love all of you guys on this podcast and it can feel like we know you by hearing your voices and stories so often. I really hope from here on out you have nothing but goodness coming your way and that you feel better soon. Take care!!

October 17, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSharon Lingle

Wait a minute. Where is Karen? Is this why there hasn't been many episodes lately?! Someone tell me!

October 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSam

I read the article. Don't give up Karen! Keep moving! Don't get caught in that quicksand! Just keep trying! Never stop! I need entertainment! I need trivia! I need you guys!

October 24, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSam

Karen,

While the chemistry of your GJB team has always been the highlight of the podcast, you have always been that extra little bit that makes it stand out through your unabashed enthusiasm for learning and knowledge, and your tremendously endearing wonder at every little factual surprise that your co-host contestants have rolled out over the years.

As someone who came to came to value personal enthusiasm in the things one enjoys during a late-90s high school career when it seemed like the only way to be 'cool' was to be apathetic about everything, I hope that your healing is allowing your enthusiasm for life and nerdy things to also heal and flourish. Be well, be nerdy, and, regardless of whether or not there will be any more GJB episodes, know that you have made a tremendous positive difference for those of us who revel in knowing random things.

Take care, Karen, and may you surround yourself with people who let you be who you are and want to be.

October 27, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterLargo Vicksburg

Karen,

Hope everything is getting better by the day. It's funny. You don't have all that many podcasts, but Legendary Thread and GJB have been two of my favorites. I feel like it's because you always make your podcasts about something relate-able. Never had a hard time connecting with your content. And hopefully, you realize how many people there are who really appreciate your work and enthusiasm. Take good care of yourself, K. The next time I hear your voice, I hope it to be when you are completely ready. I don't doubt that there will be others who will wait with me. ^_^

November 6, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterMowoki

OMG. Karen, I've been listening since your 1up and Geekbox days. In fact, your soon to be ex was on one of those episodes. He seemed like a stand up guy, yet you never mentioned him once on any of your GJB episodes. Deep down, i knew something was up, but I didnt want to believe. I just thought you wanted to keep your private life to yourself. In normal, healthy realationships, its inevitable to bring up one's spouse. I often bring up my wife in conversation when out with my friends. It just never seem to happen with you, and im sorry you must go through this.

You're not alone. My Wife's best friend is going through this hassle along with her two kids. They are staying at our house until she can move out. Until then, im helping out whenever I can to help her apply for medical, housing, food assistance. It is quite the Bureaucracy we have here. So much paper work to go through, eh?

Meanwhile, we drink lots of wine these days. Maybe it be fun for you to get tipsy once in awhile?

November 9, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJerry Rattanong

Your podcast has gotten me and my 2 boys through many tense times. We always know that as soon as that old timey opening music comes on we are about to laugh and learn. If my boys are giving me a hard time I put it on to give my brain some "me time". In fact, sometimes in the car my 4 year old says, I need to relax can you put on GJB?

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December 30, 2017 | Unregistered Commenteraosindia

Here's hoping that 2018 brings you peace, healing and happiness. You deserve it. Crossing my fingers that we'll hear from you all again soon. HUGS

January 5, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterLeigh Ann M

In some way, I think I can relate. My friends and I run a podcast too, out of our free time and free will. But life gets in the way. For me, it was always the part of the week that I looked forward to but eventually, due to increasing amount of commitments, it started to deteriorate the quality of my life and those around me.
I hope that you can recuperate, that eventually you and the gang get back together and that doing this show won't be about escaping but be about a creative outlet in your life. Looking forward to new episodes! Ganbatte!

January 9, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMik

Greetings from Madison, WI

Love the openness and prioritization of your health. It makes me realize a few things about my own life.

1. I use podcasts to escape my daily struggles. Although I miss your episodes, it reminds me that I need to deal with my issues head-on. I found myself reading your post and thinking "Yes, Karen! Take all the time you need. Handling your personal health and safety is of the utmost importance." Then I asked why I'm not dealing with my own struggles. Need to take my own advice.

2. If I love and miss the trivia podcast so much and wish to see more of that content out there, I SHOULD CREATE MY OWN PODCAST. I constantly hear comedians, podcasters and directors say that if you want to see more of something out there, to take advantage of that space and seek ways to create that content. Why not create that content? Why not me?

We're strangers, but I miss you all. I wish you well, and look forward to hearing from you again! Thanks for all the laughs and knowledge!

-Wisconsin Resident, North Dakotan at heart

January 11, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJacob

Dearest Karen (and Dana and Colin and Chris),
I hope you are keeping well and looking after yourself. Well done on prioritizing self care above all - we need you healthy! :)
Sending best wishes,
Jan

January 27, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterGJBfan1979

Karen, your frankness touched me and I'm happy that you've gotten yourself into a safe place. I'm working through all your podcasts and I enjoy them so much, you're in my prayers (whether you believe in it or not).

March 5, 2018 | Unregistered Commentersheri

I hope that your life is improving, and that you’ve moved to a healthier life.

The whole GJB crew is so clearly full of good, thoughtful, curious, and loving people.

I miss having y’all in my life (yes, I even miss Colin), but I’m very glad that you’re taking the time to love yourself.

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May 18, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAnand Gopalan

Thank you so much for sharing. My family and I have missed your show but mental and emotional health should always be the priority! So excited to know there are more shows coming.

May 31, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterkt

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