9 episodes

And The Next Thing You Know is a podcast about how our lives go exactly not as we planned them. No matter how hard we cling to our plans for college and career and relationships and creative goals, it's actually the disruptions in our lives, the wrenches and the tangents, that throw us in a different direction and force us to inhabit these beautiful, messy, trauma filled, disappointing, gorgeous, sexy lives, despite ourselves. Find us, and host Suzie Sherman, at nextthingpodcast.com; nextthingpod on fb, gmail, & patreon; soozenextthing on insta & twitter.

Banana peel by Max Ronnersjö. Theme and interstitial music Jon Schwartz.

And The Next Thing You Know Suzie Sherman

    • Personal Journals
    • 4.8 • 28 Ratings

And The Next Thing You Know is a podcast about how our lives go exactly not as we planned them. No matter how hard we cling to our plans for college and career and relationships and creative goals, it's actually the disruptions in our lives, the wrenches and the tangents, that throw us in a different direction and force us to inhabit these beautiful, messy, trauma filled, disappointing, gorgeous, sexy lives, despite ourselves. Find us, and host Suzie Sherman, at nextthingpodcast.com; nextthingpod on fb, gmail, & patreon; soozenextthing on insta & twitter.

Banana peel by Max Ronnersjö. Theme and interstitial music Jon Schwartz.

    The Real Drug Was Checking Out.

    The Real Drug Was Checking Out.

    In this episode, I talk to my guest, Cisco, about how being sober isn’t just about not drinking booze. Cisco’s exploration of sobriety is no less than a spiritual quest, and it’s a daily examination of how he can be of better service not just to himself, but to the people in his life. We get into the weeds of his story by way of work pressures, sex clubs, racism, trauma, queer bar culture, and yeah, I figure out a way to squeeze in a reference to late stage capitalism in this episode too, if you’re keeping track. Cisco is a designer, a writer, a musician, and a human. Content warning for this episode – we talk about family sexual abuse. We also talk about youth sexuality, public sex, drugs, alcohol, and recovery.A correction: the “parable” I refer to about walking down a road and falling into a hole turns out to be a 1994 poem by Portia Nelson, titled “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters.” My apologies for not crediting her in the episode. You can find the poem by googling it, and here’s a cute, short video illustrating it:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSCA0EWR2REMajor themes: self-care, psychology, spirituality, sobriety, harm reduction, sexuality, othering and being othered, LGBTQQI culture, alcohol and drug use.

    We are And The Next Thing You Know. Subscribe in your podcast app, and tell your friends about the show on your social media with the hashtag #nextthingpod. Thank you to all our Patrons for making this show better! And special thanks to our Serendipity level Patrons, Emily, Brittany, and Dorian. 3 #nextthingpodRate or review us at iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/and-the-next-thing-you-know/id1478818695?mt=2&app=podcastSponsor the show at:https://patreon.com/nextthingpod

    Join the conversation at nextthingpod on Facebook.http://facebook.com/nextthingpodFind me, at soozenextthing on Instagram and Twitter. Send us your And The Next Thing You Know story. Just record a voice message on your phone, and email it to nextthingpod at gmail dot com. We might talk to you for an upcoming show!Check out our beautiful website where you can find all the episodes, full transcripts, and all the ways to participate in the #nextthingpod community. nextthingpodcast.comThe banana peel is by Max Ronnersjö. Music is by Jon Schwartz.

    • 1 hr 50 min
    Julia Serano Likes Scare Quotes

    Julia Serano Likes Scare Quotes

    Julia Serano is the author of the nonfiction books Whipping Girl, Excluded and Outspoken. She also just published a work of fiction called 99 Erics: a Kat Cataclysm faux novel. But wait, there’s more! She’s a biologist. She’s an activist. She’s a musician. And as you will be reminded in this conversation, Julia Serano is a “Notable Feminist Theorist.” And I’m putting that in, as she might say, “scare quotes.”

    Julia sat down with me to talk about how her life changed in three surprising ways in the wake of her gender transition, but not because she transitioned. She became a writer, a feminist theorist, and she became more confrontational, sometimes even “bombastic,” rather than a person who just wanted to smooth things over. We also talk about Rush.

    Find Julia!juliaserano.commedium.com/@juliaseranopatreon.com/juliaseranosoftvowelsounds dot com

    We are And The Next Thing You Know.Thank you to all our amazing Patrons, and a particular hat tip to Serendipity level contributors Brittany, Emily, and Dorian. If you give at any level, there’s extra good stuff at patreon.com/nextthingpod

    I’m still looking for your stories about how COVID-19 is changing your life. How are you feeling? How are you coping? Have you or someone you love been directly affected? If you want to share your thoughts, record a short voice memo on your phone, and email it to nextthingpod at gmail dot com.

    Find us at: nextthingpodcast.com nextthingpod : fb • gmail • patreon

    Find me, Suzie Sherman, at:soozenextthing : insta • twitter

    The banana peel is by Max Ronnersjö.maxronnersjo.tumblr.comThe music by Jon Schwartz.twitter.com/schwartstack

    • 1 hr 32 min
    Panic in a Grocery Store Parking Lot

    Panic in a Grocery Store Parking Lot

    In this episode:   

    * Me, freaking out in a parking lot. About COVID-19, naturally.* Intro, and me reading reflections from other folks. * Voice recordings from even more folks.* Outro, links, resources.


    I can’t imagine business as usual right now at a podcast about how our lives can change on a dime. So I reached out to our community, and I want to share some stories from folks that we can all relate to, find comfort and solidarity in, and just be in this thing together. This episode is dedicated to COVID-19, and the way it’s changing our lives. I will continue to share your stories over the next however many episodes I can, so keep recording your voice memos with some reflections about how you’re doing out there. 

    Email them to me at nextthingpod at gmail dot com. 

    First, I’m going to read some reflections that folks sent in, and then we’ll go to some recordings of folks who sent in their voices.

    You just heard from, in reverse order, Juniper, a doctor in Portland, Daria, reflecting on forced introspection in Providence, Gordon, a grocery worker in San Francisco, Amanda, living in exile in her own home in Graton, Linda, on family and grocery store battles in Campbell, and Samaki on needing a certificate to walk the dog in Schiltigheim, France.

    The reflections I read for you at the top of the show were from Rian, jobless in Seattle, Sam on kid’s sacrifices in Jersey, Molly in Berkeley on kids’ disappointment and the uncertain prospect of nursing, Rachel in Modesto on fascism in the time of plague, Kate on managing risk factors and working with children in Boston, Jenn on a busted knee in Oakland, and Lyn on trauma response and cherishing time with her kid in Berkeley. 

    Gordon adapted his piece from his blog series “Diary of an ‘Essential Worker.’” You can find it at https://gordonzola.net/

    He’s also the author of two really great books, Cheesemonger: A Life on the Wedge and Cheddar: A Journey to the Heart of America’s Most Iconic Cheese. Don’t be like me, panicking in the parking lot of a nameless national grocery chain. Support worker-owned co-ops like Rainbow Grocery!https://www.rainbow.coop/

    Thank you to everyone who sent in reflections, and everyone out there listening. There’s a lot more ground to cover on how COVID-19 is affecting us. If you want to share some of your experiences and feelings, open up your voice memo app in your phone, record a short message, and email it to nextthingpod at gmail dot com. 

    Prison Policy Initiative https://www.prisonpolicy.org/

    Last Prisoner Projecthttps://www.lastprisonerproject.org/covid-19

    RAICES https://www.raicestexas.org/2020/03/19/raices-response-to-covid-19/

    Wash your hands and stay the f**k home, if you can.

    Email us, or send us your own And The Next Thing You Know story by recording a voice memo on your phone and emailing it to: 


    Find us at: 

    nextthingpodcast.com nextthingpod : fb • gmail • patreonsoozenextthing : insta • twitter

    • 35 min
    Nancy Au Can’t Sew a Straight Line, or It’s Weird When Death Feels Familiar.

    Nancy Au Can’t Sew a Straight Line, or It’s Weird When Death Feels Familiar.

    Nancy Au is an author and a writing teacher based in the Bay Area. Her full-length book of fiction Spider Love Song and Other Stories was published in September of 2019, and it’s longlisted for the 2020 PEN America Literary Awards/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Short Story Collection.

    Nancy and I both have tattoos honoring our parents.

    Nancy and I got together to talk about our shared experience living with dead parents. One of Nancy’s most formative And The Next Thing You Know stories is that her father and mother died within 5 years of each other, marking the beginning and the end of her college years. Nancy is so engaging and delightful to talk to, and this was such a sweet, tender conversation we had. 

    We also hear Nancy read from her story “How To Become Your Own Odyssey, or The Land of Indigestion,” and we talk about how our intimate losses contribute to the art we make.

    Major themes:

    Being friends with grandparents; the death of parents; experiencing death at a young age; grief; feeling preternaturally old; fantasies about what relationships might have been like; career paths and family obligation; our mother’s new relationships after our fathers died; sharing memories with loved ones and family friends; how grief shapes you; Mahjong; Chinese American experience in San Francisco and the Central Valley of California; Nancy’s work as a writer; fiction; making art.


    We just briefly mention that Nancy’s grandmother survived both the Japanese occupation of China (1937-1945) and Mao’s Cultural Revolution. She was a teenager during the occupation, and fled China in the 1950s when she was in her 30s.

    Nancy Au’s book is Spider Love Song And Other Stories, available at Acre Books. Nancy’s website ishttps://www.peascarrots.com/

    MASH, Dynasty, Bob’s Burgers, and Murder She Wrote were all referenced.

    Nancy mentioned Leslie Jamison’s The Empathy Exams, with respects to trauma, and holding our stories in vs. sharing them, and perhaps, therefore, feeling that our trauma doesn’t belong to us in some way. 

    Nancy’s writing teacher and mentor is Peg Alford Pursell.https://www.pegalfordpursell.com/

    The Farewell (2019) directed by Lulu Wanghttps://a24films.com/films/the-farewell

    A huge thank you to all my Patrons, and a special shout out to my Serendipity Level Patrons, Brittany and Emily!! Thanks to all of you for making this podcast better.

    Our official HQ is at:https://nextthingpodcast.com

    Join the discussion at:https://www.facebook.com/nextthingpod/

    Support the show by becoming a patron!https://patreon.com/nextthingpod

    Email us, or send us your own And The Next Thing You Know story by recording a voice memo on your phone and emailing it to:nextthingpod@gmail.com

    Find me at soozenextthing on twitter and instagram.

    Banana peel by Max Ronnersjö.

    Theme and interstitial music by a href="http://twitter.

    • 1 hr 44 min
    There’s Blood In My Stool.

    There’s Blood In My Stool.


    This is my conversation with Jenessa Schwartz. She’s 37 years old, and she’s living with stage 4 colon cancer. She’s also my niece, my sister Cyndi’s daughter. Jenessa has two kids under 10. She was the Womb For Hire (her words) for two adorable surrogate kids, which is one of the menschiest things a person can do in this life. She’s a middle school language arts teacher, a musical theater aficionado, a giant nerd, and beloved to her huge, dear circle of friends and family. And she’ll be on chemo or some form of treatment for her cancer for the rest of her life. 

    Major themes:

    Living with stage 4 colon cancer; colorectal cancer and metastatic cancer; HIPEC surgery; surrogacy; parenting and talking to children about cancer; Jewish culture, teaching, and family life; life with a terminal illness; crisis points and how we make choices to change our lives because of them; relationship changes in the context of a crisis; the epidemic of young people with late-stage colorectal cancer; favorite podcasts; why you should get a colonoscopy right now. 


    The Major-General’s Song from The Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert and Sullivan, 1879)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major-General%27s_Song

    The Jewish festival of Purimhttps://www.theweek.co.uk/91775/purim-2018-what-is-purim-and-how-is-it-celebrated

    Bill’s Café in San Jose’s Rose Gardenhttp://www.billscafe.com/locations/the-rose-garden

    What’s a peritoneum?https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peritoneum

    HIPEC surgery procedure https://hipectreatment.com/the-hipec-procedure/

    Ileostomy https://www.ostomy.org/ileostomy/

    NED means No Evidence of Disease.

    Living with a chemo porthttps://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/features/advanced-colon-cancer-port#1

    On younger people with late-stage colon cancerhttps://www.webmd.com/colorectal-cancer/news/20190607/more-young-adults-getting-dying-from-colon-cancerandhttps://www.ascopost.com/issues/june-25-2019/solving-the-mystery-of-why-colorectal-cancer-is-on-the-rise-in-young-adults

    What does a spleen do? (Turns out, it’s part of a mammal’s immune system and recycles red blood cells, stores fresh blood, and recycles iron into the bloodstream.)https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spleen

    A siddur is a Jewish prayer book used for Shabbat (Sabbath) and daily prayer. https://www.britannica.com/topic/siddur

    Shout out to Guy Raz and Mindy Thomas.

    Jenessa’s fave podcasts to listen to with the kids: Wow in the World,

    • 1 hr 43 min
    Making Death Plans, Petting Bunnies

    Making Death Plans, Petting Bunnies

    Nannette Mickle’s work life is a surprising and diverse series of next-things. She’s been a candy and cigarette girl, she’s worked in social services providing housing opportunities for unhoused folks. Back in the 90s, she once understudied as Bobby Brady in a notorious live show directed by Jill Soloway. And these days, she sits bedside with dying people, and helps her clients create self-actualized death plans. I wanted to talk with Nannette, because she embraces new work opportunities in her life with so much curiosity and joy, and makes plans to move on if the work fails to compel her. As a bit of a malcontent in my own work life, this conversation was a real salve.

    Nannette Mickle is a joyful death doula who embraces mortality as a way to fully experience life. An enthusiastic ballet aficionado and irreverent forever-goth, Nannette dreams of ways to help others navigate towards a more self-guided and actualized end-of-life.  Traveling, petting small animals, and sitting bedside with hospice patients are just a few “musts” in her life. Curious about making a death plan? Check out Nannette’s website at welcomedeath.com.

    Major themes: 

    Becoming a death doula; David Bowie’s death; meditation; our cultural denial of and glorification of death; non-linear career paths; the Real Live Brady Bunch, “exercising yes,” or “practicing yes;” when you end up dating your housemate; making lifelong friends and community from your connection to certain workplaces; creating friend community, particularly as queer folks; finding satisfaction in work and being “entertained” by it; trading off more money for work experiences that you enjoy; pink collar jobs; creating balance between work and other aspects of our lives; creating a death plan, end of life celebrations, and legacy projects to cultivate a more meaningful death experience. 


    David Bowie

    Zen Hospice Project

    Tibetan death and dying practice:


    On being driven by our anxiety about death, see Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death:


     (groundbreaking, but certainly dated) and  Terror Management Theory:


    The Peachy Puffs


    The Real Live Brady Bunch


    Jill Soloway – the creator of the Real Live Brady Bunch, and more well known as the creator of Transparent and as a writer/producer on lots of critically acclaimed TV shows. Note: Jill is nonbinary and uses “they” pronouns now, and Nannette and I were not aware of this when we recorded the show. We offer our apologies to them for using the wrong pronoun.


    Jane Lynch


    Ana Gasteyer


    San Francisco’s New Dawn Cafe, RIP

    Catholic Charities’ Homelessness and Housing services

    • 1 hr 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
28 Ratings

28 Ratings

Kahlikai007X ,


I enjoyed Nannette’s episode as a student and admirer of death in all its many manifestations ( currently working on a book ). I have never heard of a death doula but it totally makes sense . I might want to talk about dying with Nannette myself !
I am also at a fork in the career path - in contemplation of a minor tweek to my long term path out of need for more job satisfaction and joy and time to think . I’m a woman of a zillion jobs too and I can relate and also find myself inspired at a time where other people’s reaction to the possibility I am working on has been less than .
Thanks Suz!

Coatimundi1 ,

So good

Suzie does such good interviews. The Janessa episode brought tears to my eyes and made me laugh. So good.

quelise ,

Suzie Sherman has a wonderful podcast

In each episode, she interviews people. Not famous people, but humans who are living lives you wouldn’t imagine from a casual meeting. Her conversations are clear, warm, painful, real, illuminating, and, sometimes, a great reminder to check your colon. Part Humans of New York, part Bullseye with Jesse Thorne, Suzie introduces the listener to the intimate details of the moments that change a person’s life, and what comes next.

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