What I’ve Learned Excerpts

Some excerpts from my favorite Esquire interview series What I’ve Learned. This month’s magazine is one of their annual editions that contains several interviews.

Kevin Hart, Comedian

I was in my house the other day. I just started laughing. I couldn’t believe it was my home. Literally, it was an emotional moment.

I saw Chapelle’s latest hour. He’s fucking good! So fucking good! I’m thinking, How do I get to be that good? How does that happen? Ball this shit up that you have? Throw it out. You’ve gotta start over. That’s what pushes me.

Danger Mouse, Musician

I don’t want to know the rules. I’ll just do what I do and I can always pay people who know the rules to come in and tidy up.

On overlooking the music of Pink Floyd because it didn’t seem cool: … A thought hit me, How many other things have I been missing because it wouldn’t have fit in with me socially? That moment changed the way I saw the world. What food had I not eaten because it looked a certain way? What people had I not hung out with because they dressed differently?

Ron Johnson, Captain, Missouri State Highway Patrol

Policemen are saying, “Judge us as individuals. Don’t judge us on that bad encounter you had with a policeman.” On the other side, we’ve got young black men saying, “If I’m walking down the street, judge me based on me and not what a hundred other guys may have done the day before.” We’re both asking for the same thing.

If you don’t know someone black, you need to meet someone black. If you don’t know someone white, you need to meet someone white. If youdon’t know someone Hispanic, if you don’t know someone who’s gay or lesbian… You need to go meet somebody that’s different than you. ‘Cause it’s those differences that are driving us apart.

Strategies for Changing Habits


Comic by Nathaniel Russell, who sells cool stuff here.

Gretchen Rubin outlined her upcoming book on habit formation, Better Than Before, in 21 sentences, and I’ve been mulling a few of the concepts.

Adopting new habits, making choices automatic, is theoretically the simplest way to improve your life. I know this. But theory is so much more straightforward than practice. Theoretically all of us are lean, patient, well-rested people with flossing habits that would shame Sofia Vergara. (That woman flosses. Look at her.)

A few of the concepts I found appealing:

Monitoring, “You manage what you monitor, so find a way to monitor whatever matters.”
Identity, “Your habits reflect your identity, so if you struggle to change a particular habit, re-think your identity.”
Scheduling, “If it’s on the calendar, it happens.”

Are you trying to change any habits? Or do you think you are who you are, and fighting it is just chugging uphill Sisyphus-style?

My Life List Proceeds Apace

I’m looking for ten solid recipes to go in each section of my recipe tin. I’m particularly light on veggies (because I tend to just steam and serve), pork, beef, and appetizers.

Some simple, fun things I’ve was doing on Go Mighty when I wasn’t here:

My little fire escape garden is so life affirming.

I’ve added five bathtubs to my 100 bathtubs goal.

Mulberries, I have decided, are not very delicious. I’ve tasted around 110 of my 1,000 fruits, but have yet to move them all over to Go Mighty. Trust.

Peppers are pretty in a bouquet, and they sort of look like fingers. That makes 16 out of 100 bouquets.

I’ve made 19 of my 100 cocktails. So I’m probably drunk right now.

Love,
Maggie

Go Summer


Image by Nataniel Russell. You can buy his prints here.

Do you have summer resolutions? My list for this year:

Leave the country.
A couple weeks ago, Brad and I used airline miles to fly to Mexico. It was the most nothing I’ve ever done.

Go on a road trip with Hank.
We’re driving home from a wedding in Seattle right now, where the bride and groom played live Chilean Cumbia, and half the wedding toasts were in Spanish. I’m typing this from a hotel room at dawn, with the boys sleep-breathing on either side of me.

Eat a popsicle outside.
Pop Nation makes flavors like Sea Salted Dark Chocolate, Bourbon Peach, and Mango Chili Lime. I always have one at the Alameda Flea Market, and this month I had two.

• Portland
We have another wedding here. It’s one of my favorite cities.

• Robot Dance Party
Robot Dance Party! I’ve been cocooning lately, and there are too many faces I haven’t kissed. Cool, metallic robot faces.

• Street fireworks on Independence Day.
Sparklers, and Piccolo Petes, and ground flowers, and cone fountains, and watermelon.

• Feet in the river.
Sandwich in my hands.

(My last year’s summer manifesto is here, and these will be up on Go Mighty soon. If you put yours up, tag them #gosummer. I like to see what you’re up to.)