Three things that help me create

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.

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3 Responses to Three things that help me create

  1. Kayte says:

    Oooohhh on Lucky Peach gifting. Nice. I miss my Sharpie days. They ended this year with Matt advancing out of the realm of USA swimming with the club year round where now he will swim USA with the college crowd and so our need for working the swim meets has come to an end. For the past 12 years, though, I could be found before the beginning of the meets, Sharpie in hand, with a line of little swimmers waiting not-so-patiently to have their swim events Sharpied onto their arms, feet, back, etc. WHAT?? you say. Yes, it’s true. The 8 and under crowd cannot remember the names of their swims, let alone the Heat they are in or the Lane they are supposed to be. Hence, required by coaches: 8 and under age group must have this listed on their hands (written properly alienated so that they can read it, not upside down so you have to sort of wind the kid around you to get at their eye view when you are writing it all on the hand). 8 and unders have tiny little hands…it takes a special talent to be able to write: 50 Free H2L8 50 Fly H3L5 50 Breast H4L4 Back H1L6 and any relays they might have on a wiggly 8 year and under hand, let me just say. I’m good at it…lots of practice since there are probably 100 of these kids at each meet in each event. It’s so any adult can look at the arm and say, “Now…get to the blocks NOW!” lol The 10-12 year old group gets these things written on their feet because they can read a whole lot better farther from their actual eyes, and they use both feet because they swim more events, i.e. the 50’s and the 100’s and all those heats and lanes require two feet. The 13-15 age groupers get it on their backs because they can have a friend check for them (or they have by now learned how to read backward writing from the locker room mirror) and they have a lot more events as they swim 50s, 100s, 200s and all those heats and lanes, therefore you need more available writing space. The 15 and over crowd know how to go to the sheets taped on the walls at the swim venues and check their events (and they are tall enough to actually read the sheets taped on the walls with all the events, heats, and lanes assigned). They swim the 50s, 100s, 200s, 400s, 800s, miles and 4 relays so there is no way that all that fits on any body parts of any swimmer that I currently know or have known. Just saying…it’s a use for Sharpie that you might not have known about before this…so now you can put that on your resume of useful knowledge just in case you ever have to know that sort of thing. Like say you have a kid and they decide to swim competitively and get their college paid for…just saying. This may be the longest comment you will ever receive. I am interested to see if it even goes through. Hope you are having a great summer!

  2. I found your blog while looking at jam recipes. Looks fun! I’ll be back!!

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