Monocycle with Leandra Medine

Man Repeller

Podcast Overview

A ten minute digest from author, humorist and creator of Man Repeller, Leandra Medine. New shows published weekly.

Podcast Episodes

Ep 55: What It's Like to Work With Your BFF

You're probably wondering about what my ideal outfit is, right? But you would only know why I'm asking this question if you have started listening to the episode already. Before I continue forward with this intro, let me just explain said outfit: this kimono, these shorts, these shoes. Dress like a lady of leisure, but don't actually be one. That's my mantra for the summer of 2017. Glad that's out of the way! Now that we are engaged to be married, let me continue on topic: this week's episode of Monocycle is part of the theme of the month in that it's about what it's like to work with your best pal. When you think best pal, often you think of the women (or men!) you've known since they were girls (or boys!). The people you grew up with, or who you met in a social environment. While Amelia and I met in a work setting (we were interns together at the same start up in 2009), we became fast, personal friends. This process of burgeoning friendship was accelerated when she creepily booked a ticket to Paris and came to visit me when I was abroad just two months after we met, but you can hear more about that act of a true serial killer in the episode. Between then and the time she started at Man Repeller, there were about 4 years of unadulterated friendship colored by love and heartbreak and pillow talk and one very strange blog idea (it was called Pony Tales and Broken Nails) which frankly, made me want to work with her more. A lot of people warned us about what could happen to a friendship when soiled by the transactional nature of a business partnership, but so far, we're doing okay.

Ep 54: The End of the Personal Essay

There was an article that ran in The New Yorker a couple of weeks ago called "The Personal Essay Boom is Over." In it, writer Jia Tolentino reflected on the writing genre's heyday -- citing sites that no longer exist, like xoJane and Gawker as having heralded the uncomfortably intimate or conversely curiously insignificant style of storytelling. The headline alone, of course, scared the shit out of me given that I don't think I even know how to have a thought about a third-party without somehow bringing it back to me. So much of what I write rides on the events of my life -- I wear my guts on my sleeve. I can't help it. I'm not even sure I want to help it. And when it comes to the writers who are enlisted to represent the Man Repeller ethos, it is my belief the best kind of editorial leader is willing to let her writer explore their identities -- to express what's on their minds within a controlled environment. This week on Monocycle, our editorial director, Leslie Price and I talk about the personal essay boom. Is it over? Perhaps. What does that mean for properties who thrive on it, who believe their best content is personal. Good content, of course, can't ever be "over." So what makes it good? How are we serving it? Are there ways we can do it better. Listen in and share a thought and if you're curious... This episode of Monocycle is edited by Nicholas "Quazzy" Herd. Logo illustration by Kelly Shami. Photo by Mel Finkelstein/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images.

Ep 53: Outgrowing Your Identity

Have you started listening to this week’s episode of Monocycle yet? I’m listening to it now as I write this intro and want to ask that you disregard the way I’m inflecting in the first 20 or so seconds of the episode. I don’t know why my voice is doing that thing! I sound so phony. Baloney. But maybe that is exactly apropos given this week’s topic: ~identity~ (I know, when is it ever not about identity, right?). But the thing I keep coming back to as I listen and remember how I was feeling and what I was thinking when I recorded this fucker earlier in the week is the below scene from a movie that truly and devastatingly slipped under the Academy Award’s radar. I don’t know either! A lot of what I argue in the episode pertaining to the question of whether you can outgrow your identity has to do with clothes because I imbue so much of who I am into what I wear (I wrote a piece last week that dealt with some of this). I have insofar not come to any eye-opening conclusions; the best I have done is suggest that I just hang in. Don’t make any crazy changes — cut my hair, cancel people from my life, completely eliminate the contents of my closet from my wardrobe, etc. If you’re in an emotional flux that is similar, maybe we can not do anything together. This episode of Monocycle is edited by Nicholas “Quazzy” Herd. Logo illustration by Kelly Shami.

Ep 52: An Extra-Special Monocycle with Drew Barrymore

Ask and ye shall receive! Following a special episode of The Chatroom with Drew Barrymore, which went live a few weeks ago after months and months of toiling with the expansive range of topics that were covered during our conversation in December, the longer-form podcast episode is here for your ear (plugs). If I'm being really honest, sitting down with Drew following a particularly tumultuous month was like Xanax for my soul -- there is an undeniable warmth about the way in which she looks at you (and into your soul, frankly), a true earnestness when she not just sympathizes but also empathizes with what you want to say, and you always get the sense, no matter what she's talking about, that it's coming from the heart. Have a listen and then nod in agreement as I say: We are all Josie Grossie. This episode of Monocycle was edited by Samara Breger. Logo illustration by Kelly Shami.

Ep 51: Feeling Stuck

It sounds scary as hell because when nothing is new, nothing is changing either, and when nothing is changing, you're stuck. And being stuck is painful. But I see the metaphor like this: I've been clutching a wall near the bottom of an emotional pit called rock-bottom for the past four months and have been trying so hard to crawl out when what I really need to do is just let myself fall, chill down there for a minute, and then, once I've relaxed, start trying to get out. Or something like that. So this episode is about why I've been quiet, but I guess it's also about letting yourself feel how you feel and be how you are (isn't it always?) and not getting so frustrated when you're not where you thought you would be (see what I mean about the one-note thinking?). Pls say you understand! Related Stories: The Thought Process of Being Negative I Tried Hypnosis to Get Out of My Own Head I Tried a Mood-Lifting Food Diet The Baby I Lost, the Person I’m Finding Welcome to Laugh it the Fuck Off Month Monocycle is edited by Nicholas Quazzy Alexander. Logo illustration by Kelly Shami; Photo by BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Ep 50: Be Delicate with Yourself

Holy candied nut! Can you believe we've approached the 50th episode of Monocycle? Some of them have been so stupid! Others have been regurgitations of articles that have gone up on Man Repeller (this was a test, which according to the last episode, is falling flat -- point noted!), but the majority, really, have been stream of consciousness monologues that I want to turn into dialogues because it can't be that all the thoughts I maintain are unique to just me, right? The thoughts I think, the feelings I different as we are, we're also the same. Joy is joy and grief is grief and as much as the latter sucks, it is also incredible that we have the capacity to show empathy or compassion to each other. This has nothing to do with the episode, by the way, which was recorded while I sat nearly-naked on a marble bathroom floor in Paris earlier this week. I was feeling SO BLUE and I'm not sure why (though honestly, my life has felt more like its on hold in a deep blue vacuum than anything else since pregnancy-gate 2016), so I called my husband, but he didn't pick up, and instead turned on my recorder and pretended that I was talking to frankly anyone who would listen and the result is episode 50. Lmk if it's extremely convoluted. And if you're unfamiliar with Monocycle, or just simply want to take a stroll down memory lane, here are some of my favorite episodes to date: Episode 1 -- On experiencing (and hopefully recovering from) burnout. Episode 6 -- About why I chose to take my husband's last name. Episode 14 -- About the thought process of getting dressed. Episode 38 -- A response to a response about cultural appropriation at Marc Jacobs' Spring 2017 show (the one that happened last September). Monocycle is edited by Nicholas Quazzy Alexander. Logo illustration by Kelly Shami; Photo by BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images.

Ep 49: Shopping Can Trap You

This week's episode of Monocycle reflects upon a cleanse I endured over January wherein I did not buy a single thing, save for a jar of Castelvetrano olives and apple cider vinegar. That's dramatic; I also bought cleaning supplies and coffee and even one massage. The "cleanse" was mostly for clothing/shoes/accessories and the results surprised me (for lack of a better way to end this sentence). Evidently, more is not more; it can emotionally trap you in its abundance. I felt curiously liberated from my stuff and like I was better at tapping into what I already have and therefore no longer in pursuit of anything new (this became a metaphor for thinking) and...and...and...listen and we can continue this conversation. Welcome back to regular programming! Sincerely yours, Malcolm Gladwell Related Stories: The Things You Learn When You Stop Shopping for a Month I Clean My Closet Once a Month: Does that Make Me Compulsive? Monocycle is edited by Nicholas Quazzy Alexander. Logo illustration by Kelly Shami; photo by Carlo Bavagnoli via Getty Images.

Ep 48: Commit to Not Committing

WEH-HEL-COME BACK! TO! MONOCYCLE! This week's episode reinforces the inauguration of Commitment Month on Man Repeller, a theme we take neither lightly nor literally. What you'll find once you tune in is a mangled narrative that extrapolates a couple key points from the "welcome" post that went live on Wednesday. The welcome posts are essentially our version of an Editor Letter, but the podcast episodes that often follow tend to delve a bit further into those letters. What can you can expect includes asking the following questions: Does Valentine's Day on Instagram make you feel alone? How far is too far to go with mindfulness? Is self-care (the worst term on earth!) truly for our betterment if we find ourselves overwhelmed by all THE THINGS we have to do? Can't we just live -- roll out of bed, maybe brush our teeth and get on with our days? There's more, but won't it be more rewarding to hear it for yourself? Chin chin and congratulations, people. We made it through January! Monocycle is edited by Nicholas Quazzy Alexander. Logo illustration by Kelly Shami; photo by Carlo Bavagnoli via Getty Images.

Ep 47: The Pursuit of More Than Cool

You might remember a dramatic meditation that I wrote, which essentially made the case to abandon the pursuit of becoming cool in exchange for simply accepting who I am. I read it back to myself after it went live and felt like it came off somewhat kumbaya. Originally, I wanted to write the story for the simple reason that it seems like people are aspiring towards this weird umbrella word (cool) that doesn't actually mean anything because it's so subjective and mutable, but once I got to sitting and writing and simultaneously thinking, it came out as something else. So this week's episode of Monocycle is a new way to critique my own mind (if you thought I couldn't get more vain, surprise!). It appraises a story I have written, agrees with the clauses that still hold subjectively true, corrects the ones that could have been misunderstood or just articulated more clearly (my mind is a windy road, and I'm sorry you're so regularly subject to the ride), considers the comments under the story (so often best and smartest parts of these stories), and ultimately leaves you gasping for air and respite at the end of this tunnel I like to call love, but which you may refer to as damned. And that's that. Happy fourth Friday of 2017!!!! Related Stories: Show Me Your Swag Cool vs. Effortless How to Fake Cool Why I Stopped Caring About Being Cool Logo by Kelly Shami - Edited by Nicholas Quazzy Alexander

Ep 46: Change

This week's episode of Monocycle is a real doozy. It's the first time in a long time that I stuck my head into that sound booth without a clear idea of what I would say once I was in there. Then words started pouring out, words I can't even recall having uttered. Did I listen to this episode several times over the course of the editing process? Yes. Obviously. Do I remember a single damn thing I said? No. I think my eyes have been staring a large computer screen too closely for so long that it is impacting my memory cells. Is that an unfounded excuse? Absolutely. Will I stop asking questions only to answer them immediately? Maybe. The bottom line is this: our theme of the month is Ch-Ch-Changes, but it's not a Man Repeller theme without a dash of irreverence (I can't believe I just wrote that in women's interest glossy type, but I'm not going to delete it because, you know, it happens to the best of us) so when we resolved we'd change, what we meant was exactly by staying the same. The point of this isn't to stump growth or improvement, to make you feel less like a good version of yourself. On the contrary, it's to cut yourself some slack! Just be, with a B. Let loose in that incredible mental way that doesn't require ordering an extra glass of wine. Tell yourself setbacks are okay, give yourself a high-ass fucking five when you do something you're proud of. Etc, etc. Or something like that. Just listen! Then meet me back here, I am literally waiting (I get comment alerts) and the last time I said that, I sat frozen for hours, EVEN DAYS!, waiting for you. So... Related Stories: Welcome to Ch-Ch-Changes Month on Man Repeller Monocycle: Episode 45, Resolutions Monocycle: Episode 37, Uterus Envy Logo by Kelly Shami - Edited by Nicholas Quazzy Alexander

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