I Feel Rad with Aseem Batra – Episode 38

The Recap

Jennifer welcomes television producer, writer, and actor, Aseem Batra. Aseem is best known for her work as a writer on The Cleveland Show, Scrubs, and as the creator of the NBC show, I Feel Bad. A small-town Georgia girl, her transition to a force in the world of television writing has been nothing short of inspiring. 

In this episode, Jennifer and Aseem talk about her entertainment career, from performing standup and writing her first spec script to working on a female-focused show with the legendary Amy Poehler. Aseem discusses the expectations she had going into her pregnancy and the harsh reality of what actually happened. Aseem talks about the issues she experienced postpartum, including depression, anxiety, and coping with her newborn son’s feeding disorder. Therapy was an incredible resource for Aseem during this trying time. Finally, Jennifer and Aseem discuss the support system that working mothers are sorely lacking and the double standard that comes with motherhood.

Episode Highlights

01:18 – Jennifer reminds the audience of her charity initiative for the month of March, Girl Rising

01:44 – Introducing Aseem

02:21 – Aseem’s background and roots

06:05 – The desire to make an impact in the entertainment industry

07:27 – The brutal cutthroat world of comedic standup

10:14 – The power of storytelling

11:43 – How Aseem got her start in writing

14:43 – Aseem’s first spec script

15:46 – How she ended up working on Scrubs for four seasons

19:03 – Her experience as the only woman working on The Cleveland Show

21:07 – Aseem tells the story of how she met her husband, Alex

23:25 – The decision to start a family

26:16 – Expectations vs. reality of giving birth

31:02 – Seeking therapy to cope with depression and trauma after the birth of her son

32:02 – Why Aseem decided to write a pilot right after giving birth

34:01 – The rare feeding disorder Aseem’s son developed

38:40 – Writing with other women for the show I Feel Bad

41:51 – How Aseem met former MILF guest, Claudia Lonow

44:43 – How Hollywood has changed for women throughout Aseem’s career

48:09 – What’s next for Aseem

50:09 – The support system that mothers are sorely lacking

52:03 – Jennifer tells the story of her encounter with a mother from Denmark

54:30 – What does Aseem think about when she hears the word MILF?

55:01 – How does Aseem define success?

56:32 – Lightning round of questions

Tweetable Quotes

“There’s no shame in that. Sure, I’ll work at McDonald’s and sing Broadway. What’s the big deal?”

“Everything we do is a story.”

“There’s not a lot of support for women having babies in this country because we’re told, ‘Be quiet. Do your thing.’”

“Everybody wants to have that perfect family, especially in the age of social media. It’s like, ‘Look how happy we are. Look how great we all get along.’ And, truthfully, we all go through absolute hell starting our families.”

“It’s empowering to say, ‘I have needs too.’”

“There’s no support. I mean, we’re expected to bring up this next generation of humans, but people are like, ‘Screw you. Just do it.’”

“I think it’s just a mindset that has to be changed that the only value in life is money.”

Links Mentioned

Jennifer’s Charity for March – Girl Rising

Connect with Jennifer

Jennifer on Instagram

Jennifer on Twitter

Jennifer on Facebook

Jennifer on Linkedin

Transcript

Read Full Transcript

Aseem Batra: Well, everybody wants to have that perfect family, right? Especially in the age of social media. It's like, "Look how happy we are. How great we all get along." And truthfully, a lot of us go through absolute hell.
Speaker 2: You're listening to the MILF podcast. This is the show where we talk about motherhood and sexuality with amazing women with fascinating stories to share on the joys of being a MILF. Now here's your host, the MILFiest MILF I know, Jennifer Tracy.
Jennifer Tracy: Hey guys, welcome back to the show. Thanks for listening. This is MILF podcast, the show where we talk about motherhood, entrepreneurship, sexuality, and everything in between. I'm Jennifer Tracy your host and so excited if you bringing you episode 38 today. I bet it was just really amazing to me and I just love that I get to do this and bring this to you guys every week. And I've been just so privileged to meet so many fascinating, powerful, fully embodied women who are just real and just doing it and by it. I mean their thing, and really unapologetic in that. And I admire that and I aspire to that.
Jennifer Tracy: So I want to remind everyone to leave an iTunes review because if you leave an iTunes review, I will be donating to the organization girl rising. You can find more about them [at] girlrising [dot] org so every month I choose an organization to do it, give and to promote awareness around. And so that's the one I'm choosing for the month of March. Without further ado, today on the show, we have Aseem Batra who is a TV show writer and she's a show runner and a creator and she's an actress and she's a mom and she's an incredible woman. And I had the privilege of sitting down with her in her home chatting with her. And her story is remarkable, which is so funny because when I asked her to be on the show, she said, "Oh, I don't know if I have anything that's interesting." I was riveted. I could've talked to her for at least another hour.
Jennifer Tracy: And I hope you guys enjoy my conversation with Aseem. So speaking of when you were a child, where are you from?
Aseem Batra: Well, I was born in Ohio, but wasn't there very long. And then my parents, my dad specifically moved us to a small town in Georgia, which, from looking at me, you would just be like, of course southern girl.
Jennifer Tracy: So how old were you when you moved to Georgia?
Aseem Batra: I was about three years old.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh, little.
Aseem Batra: Mm-hmm (affirmative) little. And stayed there til I was about 12.
Jennifer Tracy: And then where?
Aseem Batra: And then out to Orange County, California.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh, so the remainder of your formative years were California?
Aseem Batra: Yes. Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: And did you become a California girl? Was it beach and ...
Aseem Batra: No, I was very much a theater person. That's where I found my crowd was a sort of the misfits who hid away in the drama room so.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes. And were you an actor?
Aseem Batra: Yes. That's what I wanted to do then.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes. So how did that evolve through high school and then did you go to college and study theater or?
Aseem Batra: I did. It was one of those things where I didn't really know where to fit in, in school and found my voice doing that, being other people. I think that was the most comfortable thing. It's like, "Oh, you can put on a costume and be anyone." And it felt so good. So that was my passion all through high school. Now I was not encouraged very much to do that. My parents who are immigrants from India were like, what are you doing? We did not come here for this-
Jennifer Tracy: So you're first generation American?
Aseem Batra: I'm first generation. So they just found it to be bizarre like that, they'd come all this way and that's the opportunity you want, the one that's the most risky and not going to happen. And I even, I had a drama teacher who I got the lead in the musical sophomore year and she's like, "Very happy for you. I just want you to know it'll probably never happen again. There just aren't parts written for someone like you."
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Aseem Batra: So it was like running against the wind and so I kinda had an a fuck you attitude about it, but when I graduated high school it all kind of became internalized. Of course these people are right. This is so hard. So I tried my hardest to move away from it. It became an economics major-
Jennifer Tracy: No, you did?
Aseem Batra: And I did horrible at it. I don't even know at worst nightmare. I still actually have recurring nightmares about the math-
Jennifer Tracy: I'm rubbing my chest because I'm having anxiety for you.
Aseem Batra: Yeah, it lasted all of a couple months before I said this is nuts. And then I became a communications theater double major, which I loved communications. It was so interesting and-
Jennifer Tracy: That's exactly what I did.
Aseem Batra: Oh, great.
Jennifer Tracy: I went to BU, I went to CAM, the communication school at because my parents were also like, my dad was basically said, "What makes you think you're so special?" Just so relate to everything you said. So. And where did you go to school?
Aseem Batra: I went undergrad to UC San Diego and then I did Grad school. I had yet another, maybe I can fit myself into a box. I did Grad school at USC for something called communication management.
Jennifer Tracy: And what does that prepare you for allegedly?
Aseem Batra: Corporate America. Well, that particular program it's very flexible. You can do many things. There's marketing, you could go restructure corporations or you can go into television, but it's usually the business side more than anything. But what I did was use it as an opportunity to find the one person who had connections to Hollywood and just glue myself to him and hope that it paid off. And it did.
Jennifer Tracy: During that time, did you still have that seed of hope and desire, so you were doing two things at once?
Aseem Batra: Yeah, I mean I think the weird part is I was fighting against every urge to not believing that I could actually really do something in this business in TV or film and yet also saying, well there's a little voice saying, well maybe you can. And I think the reason I picked USC was simply, it was out in Los Angeles, so it was like the subconscious just saying, just get near there. But not having the courage to necessarily say it out loud, but I was doing stand-up after Undergrad, though I knew it wasn't dead, that dream wasn't dead. I just never knew if I could really make a career of it. But then and it might timid little way, I just wouldn't stop putting myself near the action.
Aseem Batra: I don't think I had the courage that some people have to come out and just start auditioning because of all the negative sort of like, you can't do this. You'll ruin your life. You'll end up on the street. You'll be working at McDonald's was a big one. Which I'm like, there's no shame in that. Sure. I'll work at McDonald's and sing Broadway, what's the big deal? But just kind of putting myself as close to the dream as I could put myself, so.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah. Well and stand up is no joke. And I mean, I talked to Claudia about this and her mom, Joanne, both on the show about how hard that is and I said this, I think in my conversation with Joanne, I did a lot of Improv for years and years and years. But then I tried standup. I did a stand up class. I didn't even make it through the whole series because I was so cocky. "Oh, I've done years of Improv and sketch comedy and blah, blah, blah. I tanked. I was horrible at it. I was like, why is no one laughing? I'm hilarious." Crickets.
Aseem Batra: It's tough. It's tough. And then the environment is really tough.
Jennifer Tracy: Even more. So I didn't even make it to the stage. I mean, Claudia said she had a drink thrown at her on tour one time.
Aseem Batra: I believe it. I mean, the other comedians are bad enough but then forget the audience. It's cutthroat. It gave me huge amounts of anxiety. I'm so glad I didn't know how hard it was going to be. I was very ignorant about stand that. I said, "Well, I can do this." So I did all right. I'd have my moments where I've bomb, but a lot of times I do very well. Well enough that someone from the LA comedy store, I was down in San Diego, saw me and invited me up there. Now that was a different story. I did not do well my first time up in the LA comedy store.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow. That's a big leap to jump into the comedy store up here in La. That's very intimidating.
Aseem Batra: It was. It was crazy. So then I did what any traumatized Indian daughter would do and I said I'll just go to Grad school, which was insane that I put myself through. That was insane.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Aseem Batra: I mean, I guess it's great. You learn how to think, you learn how to work in groups, put up with all kinds of personalities.
Jennifer Tracy: Prepared you to be a show runner.
Aseem Batra: Yes, very much so. Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: It's exactly the training unit.
Aseem Batra: I mean weirdly doing the management part of it. It did.
Jennifer Tracy: Okay. Well we'll circle back to that. So, okay, so you are doing standup. I mean, all of these things are contributing to your skillset in like what we just said, but in being able to craft a story and have all these characters and the way that you see things in a way that going to theater school doesn't, right? You know what I mean? So.
Aseem Batra: Yeah. I mean, part of me still wishes I had gone to film school or something like that. Because I never saw myself as a writer. I always saw myself as a performer and so I had to teach myself story. I don't think I understood it and I'm still teaching it myself and trying to learn. But what I did learn, and so I ended up working for this journalist out of Grad school.
Jennifer Tracy: Was this the person you're referring to?
Aseem Batra: Yes. This guy just kind of knew everybody. And so he was working on a super interesting case about this journalist, I mean, sorry about this scientist who was accused of spying for the Chinese and it turned out to be an absolute snow job. It was not true. He was just, he did some things and under his clearance that were wrong, but the government built a case against him based on total fear and none of it was true. And it just kind of showed how the media can take a story and fabricate things. Right? Without fact checking. And it was so fascinating and it was about storytelling really. It's a story of this man. And there were so many little stories inside of that story. And so everything we do is a story. So when I thought about it, I'm like, well, journalism is one way to tell a story, but I'm still so interested in entertainment.
Aseem Batra: And so from there I decided to go off because one of the things happen while we're doing that as ABC wanted to buy the story. So I think it was John Ridley actually wrote a script for it, it never got made. But he wrote a script for ABC.
Jennifer Tracy: I love that story about you discovering that piece of storytelling in that. So from there, what was your next move?
Aseem Batra: Headed over to ABC where, because of this journalist I knew, I got to meet this woman, Susan Lyne, who had come out of journalism herself and it was working as, in the miniseries department and had been promoted to president of ABC. She interviewed me. She and I had a great conversation and she allowed me to be her second assistant and go in the meetings with her. And so I became one of those writers who actually, I know what happens on the executive level and I don't realize how few people know that and it's super interesting.
Aseem Batra: And now I just took it for granted that everybody knows what all the executives do and they don't, they don't know that there's a current department and a development department. And so it was interesting for me to know that, what everyone's doing on the other side. So I did that for a while and then I said, okay, I need to demote myself. So I asked her, can I work in the comedy department and take a demotion. And yeah, I was working for the president, but it would give me time to work on scripts. And so I moved. Oh, I'm just joking. It's not a demotion, but I started reading everything I could and wrote a spec and gave it to another person I met, an agent I met through this journalism program, so everything's kind of connected if you want it to be.
Aseem Batra: It's really who you meet and how you use your connections. I was going to Grad School for something completely unrelated, but I always kept my ears open to who has a connection to what I want to do.
Jennifer Tracy: When you were willing to risk asking for the 'demotion', I'm air quoting and asking, and submitting and writing something and submitting it.
Aseem Batra: I mean that's the funny part is like it seems like a risk, but I found myself to be a huge coward because I'm like, well, let me do this within the confines of a stable job, a lot of people come here and they're like, I'm just going to write and figure out how to get in. And I was like, I'm going to have this stable job that pays something that allows me to live and then quietly right on the side, and I think that's the little Indian girl in me. It's like my parents were so afraid for me that they put that fear in me. So that was my way of doing it. But it worked. It worked. It's maybe not how I would it but-
Jennifer Tracy: I mean is that cowardly or is that really smart? [inaudible 00:14:04] I would attend to the latter, I feel like because-
Aseem Batra: It makes things go maybe slower. I don't know. It's hard to even tell. It's hard to look back and know, but it was the way I had to do it to feel okay, to feel like I wasn't disappointing anyone or worrying anyone. I was just so worried about that stuff. I put my anxiety out in the world for people to know because I feel like a lot of people suffer from that-
Jennifer Tracy: Yes, me too.
Aseem Batra: So I was not some bold, I'm going to make it in Hollywood. I was like, "Hey, I don't know, but I don't know how not to do this either because there's nothing else I want to do."
Jennifer Tracy: So what was the spec script?
Aseem Batra: Okay, so my first spec script, which the agent was like, "You can't write this as a spec." Was a less than perfect which Claudia did work on. And she's like, "This is a good spec script, but you've got to write a show people know." So then I wrote a Will and Grace and she really liked it and that she was at UTA, got me into meet at UTA and then I got signed off of that Will and Grace.
Jennifer Tracy: That's incredible.
Aseem Batra: Yeah, it was great. It was very lucky. I mean, it was a few years after I started working as an assistant, which was again, it was really like-
Jennifer Tracy: So you were in your 20s?
Aseem Batra: I was in my 20s.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Aseem Batra: Yeah, late 20s though.
Jennifer Tracy: Still, I mean that's remarkable. So you got signed then what was your next move?
Aseem Batra: So I got signed pretty late into the season. You have to make your rounds doing just general meetings before you can even meet with show runners. So by the time I did my general meetings, pretty much everyone was staffed up. It didn't happen for me that season. So I applied to the fellowship at Disney for writing. I didn't get in the first time. I got in the second time. And that really was a good fellowship because it allowed us to get again, get paid while working on our specs. And that time something really interesting happened was we're all assigned to mentors. So there were executives there were supposed to mentor people in the program. My mentor rejected me. She was like, "Oh, I don't really want to work with her because I kind of know her and she should just go off and work with someone she doesn't know." And it felt really personal and like an excuse and I was shattered.
Aseem Batra: And it was one of those moments where I was like humiliated and I didn't know what to do. But again, if you want something bad enough, some people call it the secret. I don't believe in that. I believe you just keep making these little moves you don't even know you're making. I remembered this guy I worked with was covering scrubs, so I wrote him this long email saying, "Look, I don't have a mentor. Will you be my mentor? I love scrubs. Maybe we can talk about that." And next thing you know, like he gets me a meeting, he likes my spec a lot. I wrote a curb, your enthusiasm, it gets me a meeting and not with scrubs, but with the Lawrence for another show he's doing. And during that meeting I was like, "Do I tell Bill how much I love scrubs right now or does he hate having his butt kissed like this?" Because for me it was genuine. It wasn't like, but I'm like, he must get sick of hearing this, but I'm like, "Forget it. I'm going to tell him."
Aseem Batra: So I told him what it meant to me because my dad's a doctor, my brother's a doctor. So just what that meant to me. And I turned around and in a week or so that show goes away. It was called, Nobody's watching. And I'm getting a call saying, "Well, you didn't get that job, but would you like to be on scrubs?" So it was like, "Hey, I'll tell you, I'm the luckiest person ever to get that first job."
Jennifer Tracy: And what did that feel like when you got that call?
Aseem Batra: Oh, my Gosh. It was truly like a dream coming true. I mean, it was, you never think a little Indian girl who grew up in Georgia and didn't look like anybody else. And somehow I get from Georgia to California and then be on a TV show that I absolutely loved. It was bizarre and exciting and heady, it was like one of the greatest moments ever.
Jennifer Tracy: That's so awesome.
Aseem Batra: I remember everything about it, where I was, what I was doing. So it's exciting.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow.
Aseem Batra: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: And how long did you work on the show?
Aseem Batra: I was there from the fifth season to the season right before I think it was season nine is when it changed to Scrubs Medical School.
Jennifer Tracy: Right. I remember that.
Aseem Batra: Yeah. So I left right before that the strike had happened and we moved from NBC to ABC. I think that's right. And ABC said, "You have to fire half your staff because we're going to cut your budget. You can be on ... Because Disney owned us. So, they were like, "We'll renew you but you have to cut the staff." And Bill, who's a great guy, he's like, "Well I'm not going to fire half the staff. I'll hire half of you for the first half and half for the second." Yeah, he's a great guy.
Jennifer Tracy: That's nice.
Aseem Batra: And so I worked the first half and then I moved to an animated show.
Jennifer Tracy: And what was the animated show?
Aseem Batra: It was the Cleveland show.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh yeah. What was that like?
Aseem Batra: It was interesting, that was a lot more like the standup world. It was a little more cut throat people, is very male because it's Seth macFarlane. So that world is very male. Nice guys. Really funny guys like guys at a stand-up who know their stuff. But you do feel like, "Oh my God, am I funny enough to sit here?" And I was the only woman for a couple seasons. So that was-
Jennifer Tracy: I was just going to say you were the only woman?
Aseem Batra: Yeah, for two seasons. I was there for three seasons. And for two of those-
Jennifer Tracy: Did you feel in the writer's room like you could get a word in or what was it like? Was there space made for you or?
Aseem Batra: You definitely have to walk a tight rope because it's tricky. I'm not going to lie and say it's not tricky, as much as I love that experience. Many things about that experience. It was also alienating in many ways because it just felt like moments of, "Do I get to talk here or am I going to be hard, more harshly judged for everything I say?" And you are so you have to be careful and you have to be careful about like they can all cut up with each other and insult each other. You can't do that. I remember once I did that and my boss was kind of like gave me stinker and so I said to him, I'm like, "I know if so and so had made that joke, you would have been fine with it." And he's like, "No, no, it's fine. But I knew I crossed a line.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes.
Aseem Batra: So it's a little bit like holding your breath, which isn't always a fun way to work. So it wasn't for me long term, but I loved so much about the experience. I love doing animation. They let me do some of the voices. So I had a great time there.
Jennifer Tracy: That's fun. And what was next for you after that? Did you met your husband in here somewhere?
Aseem Batra: Yes. My husband, I met way back in college at UC San Diego.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh you did, okay. Okay, wait a minute, let's back up to that. That's interesting. So you're college sweethearts?
Aseem Batra: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: Did you stay together since then?
Aseem Batra: We did. We had a long distance relationship while I was in Grad school at USC and he was at UC San Diego. Which was fine because we were like trying to do our own thing, but he was there for the whole ride and he saw the stress and like the craziness of it. Eventually he moved out here and we eventually got engaged and we were engaged for ever for like four years.
Jennifer Tracy: Well you're both busy. What does he do for a living?
Aseem Batra: He's a software engineer. Yeah. So it was really just like I had just got in Scrubs and I didn't know what to do and how to be a writer really. I was thrown in there, so I'm like, I'm not planning a wedding under all this. And so we waited and got married during the Cleveland show, which was fun because got to invite the whole staff.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh, that's fun. And did you do a traditional Indian wedding?
Aseem Batra: We did, yeah. My husband's family, they're all from the bay area and they're kind of like crunchy, hippie. So they weren't like super traditional, we were going to do both. And they said, "Ah, we've seen the other kind of just do an Indian wedding."
Jennifer Tracy: Great less [crosstalk 00:22:28].
Aseem Batra: So it saved a little time and money.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah. Definitely.
Aseem Batra: So we did that and he rode in on a horse. And-
Jennifer Tracy: Where did you get married?
Aseem Batra: In Orange County.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh, beautiful.
Aseem Batra: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow. And you have a big family. Was it a big wedding?
Aseem Batra: A lot of my family came out from India. So that was special.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh wow.
Aseem Batra: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: That's wonderful.
Aseem Batra: It was cool. Yeah, I'm sure the Orange County people were like, "Oh, this is interesting." A horse coming down our street and like Indian drums. That was probably kind of off putting for them.
Jennifer Tracy: Because Orange County's so conservative?
Aseem Batra: It is. It is so conservative. I mean it was in a weird way another version of Georgia.
Jennifer Tracy: Interesting.
Aseem Batra: But it's changing there a lot now.
Jennifer Tracy: Is it? I don't spend that much time down there, but it's beautiful.
Aseem Batra: It is beautiful.
Jennifer Tracy: But yeah. I'm used to our LA peeps. You say white horse and Indian drums and-
Aseem Batra: They're like, yeah, I just did that last week.
Jennifer Tracy: That's awesome so, wow. And then where was it that you became a mom or decided to do- Always know you wanted to be a mom?
Aseem Batra: Yes. I knew I wanted to be a mom. It was during the Cleveland show and I was already hormonal, they tell you it's going to happen and you're like, "Not to me." And then you just wanna cry.
Jennifer Tracy: And then it clicks in.
Aseem Batra: And I pictured myself like nine months pregnant going into labor in that room of all men. And I said, "Oh, [inaudible 00:23:54]." Then I walked into my boss and I said, "I love you guys, but I can't do it here." Because I just pictured that. I mean, I really, I couldn't take it. I couldn't take the stress of just that environment, being pregnant. It's like such a vulnerable position. And to be the only woman in that room, I couldn't do it. I needed to find some girls. That could be like, "All right, we get it, things happen to your body." So I took some time off to have my baby right after the Cleveland show.
Jennifer Tracy: And you have a boy?
Aseem Batra: I have a boy.
Jennifer Tracy: And how old is he now.
Aseem Batra: He's seven.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh, it's so yummy. Mine's nine and a half they're.
Aseem Batra: Tell me they still hug you at that age.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh. Kisses me on the mouth at the bus stop.
Aseem Batra: Right. Okay. That's all I want. I don't want that to go away for a while until it's weird for them then, okay, fine but-
Jennifer Tracy: Here's my hope. It'll go away during his high school year and then it'll come back.
Aseem Batra: Yeah. That's what I'm hoping.
Jennifer Tracy: Boys are the best. I mean, sometimes I look at my friends who have girls that they sit and color.
Aseem Batra: Oh, I know.
Jennifer Tracy: And I'm like, what is that? I mean it's constant motion. Constant mom, and there's just no ... When he's home and I'm home, there's no break. There's no like, I'll send an email. There's none of that.
Aseem Batra: No. I know. Mine likes jumping on me and I'm always going, "[inaudible 00:25:13] stop. He really needs to wrestle, that's just his thing. And I forget. And I look at him like, "What's wrong with you?" I'm like, oh, nothing's wrong with him. He's a boy.
Jennifer Tracy: He's a boy.
Aseem Batra: He needs this.
Jennifer Tracy: They need it.
Aseem Batra: Yeah. But he doesn't have a sibling, so it's me.
Jennifer Tracy: Same. Mine's the only too. And does he wrestle with his dad?
Aseem Batra: He does. Yes. And His dad isn't going [inaudible 00:25:34]. He's more used to it.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes, for now until he gets bigger.
Aseem Batra: If he hit something he's not supposed to, then he goes-
Jennifer Tracy: Exactly. Which always happens. So you had your son, what show were you on when you got, when you were ... I know you just said this, but I'm losing my chain of hope.
Aseem Batra: When I was pregnant?
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah.
Aseem Batra: I started off, I got pregnant on the ... And it makes it sound like someone in the room got me pregnant. I conceived while on the Cleveland show and I went onto a friend show. His show's called Bent in it. I was just there for pre-production and then I got so big, I tell them, I think I'm having this baby. I was due three days ago. I'm going to be done now. Went in and expected to have my little moment, my pampers commercial where baby comes out and mommy and baby are snuggling and the photographer takes newborn pictures and happily ever after. And it wasn't that from even the moment I stepped in to the delivery room. It was a full adulterated nightmare.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh no, what happened?
Aseem Batra: Nothing I expected came true, which is something I don't think women get to talk about like this birth plan you have for yourself. Throw it out the window.
Jennifer Tracy: What was your birth plan, had you written out? Someone told me to do that.
Aseem Batra: I did. Someone made me do that too. And I wanted an epidural, but I wanted to try and just ... I didn't want to C section. I wanted to try and have a natural delivery in that way. I guess I can say vaginal delivery.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh you can say anything you want. Yes, you can curse.
Aseem Batra: Yeah. And I was a week late and the doctor decided I should be induced, which was already panicking me.
Jennifer Tracy: I'm sure.
Aseem Batra: I think she saw them small and maybe this baby's not going to come out. And I was like, "Well, can't I just wait one more week? What could really happen?" She is, "Well, your baby could die." So in the face of that-
Jennifer Tracy: Jesus.
Aseem Batra: I'm like, "Well fine. Jeez, I get it." So I packed a bag, went to the hospital, got induced. That really did nothing. I went into full labor, but the baby ... I was not dilating, he was not coming out. So they gave me another epidural and that's when the hell started. The epidural went up instead of down. Oh it went down as well. But it's called a high block epidural. So I went numb from like my eyeballs down. Couldn't really ... And it makes you feel like you can't breathe, you can't swallow.
Jennifer Tracy: That sounds horrific.
Aseem Batra: Yeah. And so it was like a nightmare. And I'm telling them I can't breathe, I can't swallow. And they're like snapping at me, "Well your vitals are fine. So just relax." And that's my first time I realized there's not a lot of support for women having babies in this country because we are told basically like be quiet, do your thing. And I never thought let me get a doula or anything because I didn't think I was going to need it. And when you're having your first baby you're not always financially secure enough to hire people, now I'd be like, "Whatever. I'm hiring everyone."
Jennifer Tracy: Everything.
Aseem Batra: We have no village anymore. Right? There's no support. And so I would've just gone into debt if I knew then what I know now. My baby was fine, it was great, but instead of that moment of baby gets put on your chest and you cuddle. I was clutching my husband's hand in terror because I thought I was going to die. They hand the baby to him finally when I liked [inaudible 00:29:01] and let him go. And I didn't get to have that moment with my son. And then they start giving me medicine to undo the epidural and I go pretty much blind and start vomiting for 12 hours. Can't see the baby. So it was just one of those things that made me realize and nobody did anything really. It was just like, well, it happened. I couldn't speak to the anesthesiologist. It was just a nightmare. And it made me really aware of that we're not getting this birthing thing right. And just reading about it, knowing that we have a very high rate of maternal death in this country for a developed nation.
Aseem Batra: That's scary. And then unfortunately after that, Cooper was good for two weeks, but then he develops such bad reflux that he had a feeding disorder which lasted pretty much four years of his life. So I was like, that's why I have one. And just how you see kind of like how it's not what they paint that it's just going to be a smooth thing and anything can happen and there's very little support. So my experience with motherhood was very different than a lot of people and I was also trying to work at the same time. So I got a deal at Universal very soon after I wrote, I wrote a pilot about two weeks after Cooper was born. I went back and wrote a pilot.
Jennifer Tracy: Well I have so many questions first of all. Thank you for sharing that story that is very personal and very emotional and I'm sorry that you didn't get the emotional support that you so deserved.
Aseem Batra: Thank you. Well, I mean, I share it because it's like that when you bring up motherhood and having child, for me, that's how it started. So.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, no, it's important. It's important because there's some woman that's going to listen to this, that went through that. That's going to feel less alone. Did you have any postpartum? I mean obviously you had post-traumatic stress.
Aseem Batra: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Did you also have postpartum?
Aseem Batra: I don't know if it was ever diagnosed postpartum but I was seeing a therapist and it was interesting because for me I was almost okay while I was breastfeeding and then when that stopped, the hormones changed and I really, I went kind of crazy because my kid was still not well and they were talking like putting in a feeding tube. So I really needed to be with a therapist who worked with families, who had kids who had been in the NICU. And so she was able to talk me through what was happening. So there was definite depression there and trauma.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, of course.
Aseem Batra: So imagine I'm sitting there trying to tell jokes in the room while all of this is going on. It's impossible. I wish I had been on a drama at the point I would have been better as the-
Jennifer Tracy: Yes, totally. So was writing this pilot that you wrote, was it sort of therapeutic for you?
Aseem Batra: I don't know if it was therapeutic, but what was cool about it was I was so out of my head and I knew this pilot because I had done most of the work mental work for it before I had my son. So I was prepared to put it on paper and put it in script form. It was the story beats were all there. So that's lucky because I don't know if I could've gotten my head together enough to come up with that part. That's always the hardest part. But I was so like I don't have to be critical of myself right now that I think I wrote a really good script because that's part of my problem in life is silencing the voice that says, "You suck and you can't do this." And when that voice is silenced, my work is better.
Aseem Batra: And so I think at that point I was so overwhelmed and so needing to get back to my baby that I was able to just write what I thought was good and funny and not worry too much. And it was something I'm proud of. Which did get shot, not that season, another season, which is another story. But a good time for me to write that particular piece. Therapeutic, I don't know, that experience, that whole experience of having my son and going to therapy made me understand so much about myself. Because you have to kind of get out of your head and realize who you are and fix who you are to be a better mom. So.
Jennifer Tracy: I always say motherhood literally ripped me open. It just ripped me apart and ripped me open and I was reborn. Not In the Christian science sort of way, but just like-
Aseem Batra: Yeah. It does happen.
Jennifer Tracy: And I didn't have a choice. It was either to kind of shrink and dissolve or just step into this. And I had to because I had to be there for my son, so I can relate to that. Wow. What a journey. My gosh. And so in all along this time you're dealing with this feeding disorder?
Aseem Batra: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: And what ultimately was the help that your son got that alleviated that?
Aseem Batra: It was a tough problem because what happens is the babies are in pain. Certain babies feel a lot of pain when they reflux in and because they have a lot of acid and that doesn't become the hardest part. The hardest part was getting a doctor to believe me, but the he developed a feeding disorder because he attached fear to feeding. And so some kids get it so badly that if they hear a jar of baby food being opened, they'll throw up. That's how bad it can be. So for him it was just kind of stepping back and letting someone else feed him, letting the nanny feed him. Because my husband and I were so stressed out that I think on top of all this physical discomfort he could feel our stress. So we had to let someone else who didn't have emotions tied to it do it. And then it was just a slow process of getting the right feeding therapist, getting the right reflux medication and letting them grow up and things you don't even think are related. Like putting your hands in wet sand.
Aseem Batra: Babies with feeding disorders won't touch food. So they become sensory. They become denied that sensory experience and hate even touching stuff. So it was a lot of that stuff. A lot of physical therapy, OT. Yeah. And then time, it takes time and patience and taking your own emotions out of it and letting the kid like he's going to eat three bites today but let him control it and nobody knows anything about this really. If you go to a pediatrician, half of them don't know what you're talking about.
Jennifer Tracy: I've never heard of it.
Aseem Batra: Yeah. It's fairly rare, but I've actually met a lot of people who've gone through this. It especially happens to children who have heart troubles and they can't eat and then they are on a tube and then they aren't used to eating.
Jennifer Tracy: Sure makes sense. Makes perfect sense.
Aseem Batra: So He's seven now? How is he now?
Jennifer Tracy: He's seven and great. He'll eat anything, so he's good. It just took us a long time. And you were gentle and patient and, and the way that you just described that was just, that's so loving to be open. But it's the hardest thing as a parent to-
Aseem Batra: Oh yeah. And I wasn't always ... I mean there were probably times where I had to like go upstairs and just throw myself on the bed and remove my ... I mean I was going bat shit, lets is seeing a childlike not gain weight and lose weight and you see them, you're like, "How are you still alive right now?" And our decision not to put him on a tube because the tube makes it worse. I'm only bringing this up if anybody goes through it.
Jennifer Tracy: Absolutely. No, thank you. I love, I think the more we talk about all this stuff, it just is so helpful because people don't want to ask, people don't want to talk about it so.
Aseem Batra: well, everybody wants to have that perfect family. Right? Especially in the age of social media. It's like, look how happy we are. Look how great we all get along. And truthfully, a lot of us go through absolute hell starting our family. Yeah. And I think that doesn't really exist, there's a lot of talk about that.
Jennifer Tracy: But it's not really real. I mean, it might be one moment and captured in a photograph, but it certainly isn't like that all the time. And I think it's good to pull the covers on that for all of us. Just all of us humans, all of us moms to feel like, okay, she looks great in that moment, you But she's just as crazy as I am trying to pack lunch and get to school on time and all the things, so wow. Okay. So you got through that phase of him being, having this disorder, is it a disorder?
Aseem Batra: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jennifer Tracy: And he's healthier now. So did you feel like you could breathe a little more easily when he was four and a half and five?
Aseem Batra: Yes it started getting easier. The anxiety started lifting. I mean I'm forever changed by the experience, but I felt like I'm a comedy writer again. I can be funny again and laugh and I don't feel like the weight of the world is on me. So it happened all at the right time for me to develop a show and get something on air. I was like ready as opposed to [inaudible 00:38:37] happened while I was going through all that.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah. So what did you write at that time?
Aseem Batra: Well, Captain of the Prairie Time, because it was called, I Feel Bad and it's a book of sketches and captions by this author Orli Auslander. And she writes about all the things about motherhood and parenthood that make you feel terrible that we don't want to say out loud because we're all trying to say, "Hey, we're good, we're perfect. Look how cute we are, here's us in our matching denim or whatever it is." So that really resonated. And so Amy Poehler have the book and also Juliane Robinson, who's a director who they both have the book and wanted to develop it. So they were doing it together and I couldn't have been more lucky to be asked to be a part of it because it's like these amazing women. So it was this team of women are also moms and we just related on every level and we're like, yeah, let's do this.
Jennifer Tracy: That's so great.
Aseem Batra: Yeah, it was really fun.
Jennifer Tracy: That must've been really empowering to be on that team and developing that.
Aseem Batra: Absolutely. I mean it was incredible. You're never too old to learn things and watching Amy, I mean she was the piece of me that was missing. She was the confident, this is what a confident, woman who's told from childhood that they are fine and going to do whatever looks like. And to even see her at this advanced age, I still was able to learn so much and like you can own it, so what was interesting was, I Feel Bad just the title lends itself to like sort of like a downer field, but she spun everything into, "Yeah. But I don't really give a shit." I feel bad almost became like, I feel bad, I don't spend enough time with my kids, but also don't give a shit because I really need to go take a nap [inaudible 00:40:32] now. And it's empowering to say I have needs too.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes. Oh my God. Preach. Yes.
Aseem Batra: Moms are not really allowed to say that. We do not have mother's Day card saying, "Mom, thank you for taking time for yourself." They're all like, "Mom, thank you for your martyrdom and sacrifice." And so we're expected to be those figures and then you lose part of yourself. So having her, being able to do the tongue and cheek version of that in my ear, I'm like, yes, this is what I want to do. It's like being unapologetic. Some of this is bullshit statement of I feel bad. And so the show got picked up, the show got picked up. It was really fun to make. We don't know if we'll get another season, but I'll tell you when you do something that you had a great time doing, it's hard to let go, but it's also like, "Hey, we did something we loved and had a great time with." So whatever happens, I'm more at peace with it. Than if I had been like, "Give me another crack, I know I can make it better."
Jennifer Tracy: Right, right. And you have this evidence with this team of women of producing something so amazing. So you could do it again.
Aseem Batra: I hope so.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, of course.
Aseem Batra: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Wow, that's exciting. And so was that the first time you met Claudia when you hired her?
Aseem Batra: No, I met Claudia, we were on, Sean Saves The World, which was the Sean Hayes show run by Victor Fresco. And Claudia opened my world because she such a kick ass female and I loved her attitude, which I didn't realize I could have of looking at some of the boys who would pull some of the bullshit and be like, "Well that's bullshit." And I'm like, "Oh, you can do that?" And also the idea that women aren't funny had been instilled in my brain from my early career in comedy starting with stand up and Claudia was absolute evidence that women are extremely funny. She was the funniest in the room. And so I always tried to go back to Claudia for anything I needed. I'd call her up and be like, "Hey, can you help me with this and punch up that." So when the show happened, there is no one I wanted by my side more than her. And she was great.
Jennifer Tracy: That's so awesome. I love that. That's so exciting. I just love it.
Aseem Batra: Well, she's just that out and out feminist. You get it when you see her because she just has the right take on everything. She explains things to you about like, "Well, do you realize part of why this is happening is because we just don't get those opportunities?" And it's like stuff I haven't allowed myself to say out loud because people tell you it's complaining or it's ... But she's like, "No, fuck it. This is true."
Jennifer Tracy: It's the truth. It's fact.
Aseem Batra: Look and so allowing myself to be able to say, "Oh, it's true." And not feeling like I better shut up about it or the boys won't like me because that's a lot of what we've done in the beginning of our careers is like the boys have to like you or you're kicked out. And I don't mean like in a physical, I mean, except to-
Jennifer Tracy: Think that you're cool and funny and capable of being one of the boys.
Aseem Batra: Yeah. And I don't think Claudia gives a shit. So I don't know how she's managed that, but it's amazing.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah. Well she tells this story on the podcast about how when she was 15 she wrote a song called Fuck the World. And that's how she got her first agent when she played it at her parents' house and the agent was there and said [inaudible 00:44:11]? And I'm like, that is, so you, of course you write a song called Fuck the World, sing it and gets signed and then book your first TV series. And I admire that too because I don't have ... I was kind of raised to be polite and pleasing and don't overstep. And I've always admired women that are like that and are able to speak the truth with no fear of being labeled a bitch or because the fact is we're going to be, no matter what we do. It doesn't matter. So, wow. Cool. Do you feel like you've seen a change since you started in Hollywood? Do you feel like you've seen a change for women?
Aseem Batra: I really do. I mean, it's pretty amazing actually because when I started I felt like there was maybe like one or two of us in a room. And I think that's changing. I think like the mix of the rooms changing in terms of other types of diversity, but it's changing. We have to be careful not to be like, "Okay, we're fine now. We don't have to do any more work." And they see a little bit of that going on. But, and look, it's still hard. I hear all kinds of things still where people complain about us all the time. Like, "They're taking all the jobs, women and minorities, I can't get a job now." And people say that to my face all the time. Like, guys-
Jennifer Tracy: Wow, really?
Aseem Batra: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: That's bold.
Aseem Batra: Yeah, it's so weird. I'm like, "Well, who do you think you're talking to right now?" But it's, it's an odd situation but-
Jennifer Tracy: Because they think of you as one of the boys. I'm air quoting, but it's like there's this, I don't know, a guessing.
Aseem Batra: I don't know, yeah, I've been told so many weirdly insulting things. One person who's like a friend of mine, he's like, "Oh, you'll always be fine because you're a woman and a minority. It will work forever." And it just like robs you of all the hard work you've put in. And it's basically that idea of like, "Well, you'll always have a handout." Which has such incredible bullshit. It's like I want to scream when people say things like that because it's just a lie.
Jennifer Tracy: And it discredits your writing talent.
Aseem Batra: Oh yeah. It's just the biggest slam.
Jennifer Tracy: And probably an unintentional one.
Aseem Batra: Absolutely. It's just-
Jennifer Tracy: Like you're saying, but it's just an ignorant-
Aseem Batra: It's ignorance. So it's still out there. Certain mentalities. But boy, yeah, it has changed. I can't say it happened and I feel weirdly old because I'll give you an example. Like, oh I guess I shouldn't give someone else's example. But the stuff that young women won't put up with anymore is so interesting to me. The stuff I put up with compared to, they're like, "Well, I'm going to quit. I don't need to be around that kind of man." I'm like, "Well, no, you don't quit. You silently suffer and then somehow drive him out or elevate yourself." That's what we all did. How are you not doing that? But they won't even put up with it. Even if that means they leave. And Claudia and I talked about that and we were like, "No, you get yours. But you suffer and through that, I mean, because a lot of times you don't have a choice. It has changed. The mentality has changed.
Jennifer Tracy: Right. Because those girls, those millennial girls, women, those millennial women probably have less fear of, "If I lose this job, I'm never going to get another one."
Aseem Batra: Exactly.
Jennifer Tracy: They think, "Well I'll just get another job."
Aseem Batra: Absolutely. And we had that fear of like, "Oh, I'll never work here again." Because that was-
Jennifer Tracy: In Hollywood.
Aseem Batra: Totally. And that was retaliation. It did happen. If you said anything or did something, all of a sudden your reputation was still, "She's difficult."
Jennifer Tracy: She's a bitch.
Aseem Batra: She's a bitch. She's off of the work that she's not fun. Whatever it is, it's out there in a second, so you grin and you bear it. But no more I think, which is nice.
Jennifer Tracy: That's cool.
Aseem Batra: It is cool. I'm learning a lot from those millennials.
Jennifer Tracy: So what is on the horizon for you at this moment? I know you're waiting to hear about, I Feel Bad.
Aseem Batra: Well, I don't know, I'm just waiting for somebody to call my phone. It's been real quiet. Yeah. I mean no one's banging down my door or anything, so I'm just kind of in a holding pattern waiting to see what the next thing is if it made a difference to run a show or not and we'll see. But I'm still at Universal, so we'll be doing something for them in the coming season, so we'll see if it gets picked up or not. But right now it's just in that creative phase of like reading things, meeting with people, trying to get ideas because I sometimes feel like I'm out of my own, original ideas. So you look for inspiration.
Jennifer Tracy: Do you read a lot of books for that?
Aseem Batra: Well, I try, but it's getting easier now, but I swear I feel like I didn't read for three years while my kid was [crosstalk 00:49:09].
Jennifer Tracy: Oh, absolutely.
Aseem Batra: I was like-
Jennifer Tracy: I didn't read a book. I didn't read any fiction. I only read books on parenting or sleep training for the first three or four years, I think I read my first contemporary fiction book, which I love. I'm just a voracious reader when he was five, I swear to God, I was like deprived of it so I understand.
Aseem Batra: Yeah. If anybody has good suggestions for me, I'm finally at a place where I can do that again. But yeah, I think I read the first five pages out of like 20 parenting books.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes. There's gotta be an answer in here for my pain.
Aseem Batra: Yeah. And I read a lot of those books to like feeding books.
Jennifer Tracy: Oh God, I bet. Yeah, mine was the sleep books. I read all the sleep books and I looked back and he was sleeping fine. I was just-
Aseem Batra: He's a kid. That's what they do. Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: I just wanted to feel better myself and I couldn't and I had postpartum and I was diagnosed later when he was two. I was finally diagnosed. And anyway, but it's just so hard. It's just hard.
Aseem Batra: It is. I mean, you don't realize how much you need that village that isn't there anymore until it happens.
Jennifer Tracy: It's really true. I mean, my friend, one of my really close friends, her sister just had a baby and she flew up to San Francisco to help and it's her sister's first baby. And she said, "Gosh, I haven't been around a baby and so long and I forget." And she said, "I feel like I want to open like a postpartum retreat center where new parents can come as a couple or if they're single or whatever and get the support they need, get all the things. But the thing is that would take money."
Aseem Batra: I know that's the problem. Nothing makes you realize that the world is set up for men. [inaudible 00:50:53] there's no support I mean, we're expected to bring up this next generation of humans, but people are like, "Screw you, just do it." And yet we're living in a world where it's harder and harder to make a living on one income. So women are working and women also have the right to choose to work and have a career without it being like having a baby tanks that, but the structure of where our society does not take into account helping that out at all. And I think if we don't say it out loud, nothing's ever going to be done about it. And I think it has to, I mean, how do you expect the [inaudible 00:51:34] workforce, has to do both these things with zero amounts of help. And yes, if you have money, it's easy because you can-
Jennifer Tracy: Right, but that's such a small amount of our population.
Aseem Batra: And even if you have money, the other kinds of support are not there. You can buy as much help as you need, but you still go home with that baby alone. I don't know, I don't know what to do to change it. You kind of feel helpless.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, not to get political, I never do, but I was on or I should say I never do on the show. I do get political. I just don't get political on the show very much. A little bit. But I was at breakfast yesterday killing time and there were these two women, they're from Denmark and we struck up a conversation, I mean I'll talk with anyone anywhere. I'm very chatty, you can tell. And there was just this lovely, this mom and her teenage daughter and we talked and talked and talked and they're from Denmark visiting and they were telling me all about Denmark and how they love it there and how beautiful it is. And they said, "Well, you get a year of paid leave when you have a baby, every single mother who's a citizen and you get a nurse that comes home with you every single mother in the country." Wow. I mean, they're doing it somehow.
Aseem Batra: Yeah. I think it's just a mindset that has to be changed of like that the only value there is in life is money. If you can see the value of raising up a generation of happy, healthy children.
Jennifer Tracy: Yes. And the payout of that is exponential.
Aseem Batra: Yeah. Yeah. Again, that's why I say I like, I don't know how you make people see that-
Jennifer Tracy: I don't either. But it's something I think about a lot.
Aseem Batra: Yeah, me too. Especially when you have a kid and see what it takes, then you go, "Oh man, we need to do better than this, this is not cool what's happening."
Jennifer Tracy: Well, and your story, your birth story also as a huge piece of that, that bad breaks my heart.
Aseem Batra: I mean I was lucky. Nothing happened to me. I suffered for a while. But I think of all the women who go in and, and have something going on like great lamb sia or something that's very dangerous and there's not a support for them. And women of color especially are at higher risk. I don't know. Again, it's like, "Well, got to do something about it because we're good. We should figure out these things." We have resources.
Jennifer Tracy: I know, I think I'm formulating like a MILF podcast because I now have met all these amazing women. Maybe there's something we can figure out and I'm gonna marinate on it.
Aseem Batra: Marinate on it.
Jennifer Tracy: I'm gonna come up with something.
Aseem Batra: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: So, what's going to happen now is I'm going to ask you three questions that I ask every guest and then we'll go into the lightening round.
Aseem Batra: Okay.
Jennifer Tracy: So what do you think about when you hear the word MILF?
Aseem Batra: When I hear the word MILF, I think, gosh, have I gotten to that age yet? Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: Totally and yes.
Aseem Batra: I know. It's scary.
Jennifer Tracy: And it's a good thing. It's a good thing.
Aseem Batra: Yeah.
Jennifer Tracy: It's a good thing. You look good girl. What's something you've changed your mind about recently?
Aseem Batra: I have to think about that.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, we'll come back to it.
Aseem Batra: Okay.
Jennifer Tracy: How do you define success?
Aseem Batra: I think success, true success is something that happens within you and it's like you may not accomplish the thing you set out to do, but have you been able to change what you want in a way that ... I set out to be an actor and it didn't quite work, so I said, let me be a writer. And sometimes I miss that dream, but it's like, was it flexible enough to figure out a new dream, a new thing to find some fulfillment and happiness. And so I think it's like being flexible enough to change. That life doesn't always work out, but can you still figure out a way to find some happiness and fulfillment?
Aseem Batra: Really, I wish more people just think of success as like an inner happiness and the fixing of yourself because we don't realize how broken some of us are from just what we go through in our lives. And you I spend most of your life trying to put that back together and you don't even realize that that's what you're doing. So its success to me is like, can you put yourself back together and start fresh as an adult? Start fresh as a whole person.
Jennifer Tracy: Good answer. Wow. Okay. Do you want to back to what's something you've changed your mind about recently?
Aseem Batra: That's a hard one. I don't know.
Jennifer Tracy: It's okay. And if there's no, maybe habit. Maybe you're very decisive. That's okay too. Okay. Lightning round of question.
Aseem Batra: Okay.
Jennifer Tracy: Ocean or desert?
Aseem Batra: Ocean.
Jennifer Tracy: Favorite junk food.
Aseem Batra: Pizza.
Jennifer Tracy: What kind?
Aseem Batra: Pepperoni.
Jennifer Tracy: Movies or Broadway show?
Aseem Batra: Broadway show.
Jennifer Tracy: Daytime sex or nighttime sex?
Aseem Batra: Nighttime.
Jennifer Tracy: Texting or talking?
Aseem Batra: Talking.
Jennifer Tracy: Cat person or a dog person?
Aseem Batra: I like them both actually. But I'd say slightly more dog person.
Jennifer Tracy: Have you ever worn a unit hard?
Aseem Batra: Yes.
Jennifer Tracy: Shower or bathtub?
Aseem Batra: Bathtub.
Jennifer Tracy: Ice Cream or chocolate?
Aseem Batra: Ice cream.
Jennifer Tracy: On a scale of one to 10, how good are you at ping pong?
Aseem Batra: Two.
Jennifer Tracy: What's your biggest pet peeve?
Aseem Batra: Inconsiderate people.
Jennifer Tracy: If you could push a button and it would make everyone in the world 7% happier, but it would also place a worldwide ban on all hairstyling products. Would you push it?
Aseem Batra: Absolutely.
Jennifer Tracy: Super power choice, invisibility, ability to fly or super string?
Aseem Batra: Invisibility.
Jennifer Tracy: Would you rather have a penis where your tailbone is or a third eye?
Aseem Batra: I'm going to go with third eye. There's enough penises. We're good. We're good on penises.
Jennifer Tracy: I Love it. What was the name of your first pet?
Aseem Batra: Bonnie.
Jennifer Tracy: What was the name of the street you grew up on?
Aseem Batra: You're not going to like this because it's not a good [inaudible 00:58:08] name. It was a route seven because I grew up on a dirt road in Georgia.
Jennifer Tracy: Well, let's make it Bonnie seven. I think that's good.
Aseem Batra: That's good.
Jennifer Tracy: Bonnie seven.
Aseem Batra: Bonnie seven.
Jennifer Tracy: She sounds like she's in a western and she's gonna like do a draw on the street at high noon.
Aseem Batra: Yes. All right. That works.
Jennifer Tracy: Aseem you're such a treasure. Thank you so much.
Aseem Batra: Thank you. I appreciate it.
Jennifer Tracy: This was a delight.
Aseem Batra: I'll try and think about what I have changed my mind on an all text you.
Jennifer Tracy: Yeah, get back to me, I'll include it.
Aseem Batra: Okay. Take care.
Jennifer Tracy: Thanks so much for listening guys. You can always find show notes on the website, milfpodcast.com and other goodies and blog posts and such. It's such a pleasure to bring this show to you guys every week and I can't wait to bring you another exciting guest next week. Thanks so much for listening.