That would be:
1) the morning’s coffee. It’s severely expired Gevalia from my grandparents’ giant stash that I’ve received custody of, made in a cheap Ikea press. I’ve surrendered to caffeine addiction on the grounds that if you have to be addicted to something, it might as well be something that drives you to function. And it does: K. and N. both had to break serious Mountain Dew dependencies after the dark days of frantic overworking on this building. I’m not a coffee snob either; I love good brew but diner coffee is my favorite (comfort food thing, probably) and I’ll drink boiled-down bitter office sludge black without griping.
2) a Sharpie. If there’s one of these nearby I can’t keep my hands off it, whether doodling or making lists of things to do. Some of my best creative stuff has come from screwing around with permanent markers. For instance: I used to give people tattoos in middle school with them until I got in trouble.
3) inspiration. I get inspired by seeing things other people create; it gets my own thoughts going and reminds me of what’s possible. My mom treated me to the first issue of the David Chang-helmed Lucky Peach quarterly and it hits the sweet spot of writing, illustration, humor, photography, and food perfectly. I’m really fired up after reading it.
Not pictured: music. I can’t work in silence. My favorite artist for setting the stage to get in some seriously productive creative work is probably Santigold, which is another thing Mo and I figured out we have in common while baking.
And now if you’ll excuse me it’s time to get to it. Got a huge to-do list written in Sharpie.