Why don’t you learn more about an artist that you just know you can’t stand? I’ve spent most of my life disdaining modern art. I’ve softened to abstracts, but I will not tolerate anything done by Jeff Koons. I’ve felt much the same about Andy Warhol. I understand the soup cans, reader, I’m not an idiot, but I just don’t care. And so I didn’t care for him. This only changed when I read part of his strange biography/diary/stream-of-conscious novel, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol. He and I are much alike upstairs in our thoughts. I still can’t stomach those cans, but his words are fabulous. And you know, that Liza print is pretty great. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Why don’t you pick out a new life, drop your current identity, and just begin anew? We’ve touched on this many times. It’s one of my only ambitions. I don’t really know why. I Just think the idea of disappearing and becoming somebody completely unimportant is decadent. I probably need to speak to a therapist. I’d enjoy that. I love talking about me. Here’s a whole website where I’ve been talking about myself for over a decade. But if the opportunity suddenly arose to vanish in the night and wake up a Romanian hay farmer, I know that I wouldn’t resist. Or if I could be a grocery store clerk in a tiny village on the Côte d’Azur, I’d be gone. Or a mariachi singer in Mexico City. Life is so short, why not have a few?


Why don’t you start doing something you didn’t know you were passionate about? Turns out, I’m a maniac about growing sunflowers. They’ve become my children. They’re some of my only thoughts. I planted twelve rows of them late in summer and they’ve started to bloom and I like to just stand out there amongst them. It’s like Japanese Forest Bathing but it’s sunflowers. Immensely calming. Then I get this wild urge that I don’t know if I need to suppress. At least twice a year in Martha Stewart Living, there’s an article about somebody who knows nothing who drops a couple flowers on the ground and suddenly has a thriving business and perfect house and ideal life. It’s truly a theme of the magazine. (Though that’s the mythology of the essence of Martha, isn’t it? I’ve just GOT to get in that magazine. I’ve got to get closer than just her dogs. Then again…the dogs are a big enough deal that Antoni posted a selfie with them and failed to credit Martha as their owner, starting a delicious moment where Martha gave him a thing or two about good manners. Anyway.) There’s a family in Iowa growing acres and acres of irises. They were in Living. What if I did that but for sunflowers? Sunflowers thrill me. I make a point of filling my apartment in Mexico City with them. Is this fate? COULD I BE IN LIVING? We could go on asking philosophical questions but there’s a hundred blooms outside that need my attention, so ciao.


Why don’t you become fascinated in something you didn’t think you had any particular interest in? I’ve really never cared about space. It was far away, cold, there were no outposts of the Olive Garden, and I’m not into being blasted by radioactive particles for a joyride to the Moon. No thanks. For what? But I’ve started a Great Courses series that is basically a travel guide to our solar system, and, well, I’m unintentionally captivated. I spent the past two nights outside, gleefully gasping when I saw Mars and Jupiter and Saturn with my naked eye. They’ve always been hanging out but I never once thought to look for them. I’m even thinking of buying a telescope. This is all such fun. And space, reader, it’s so peaceful! There aren’t any diseases or republicans on Mars, after all, just a robot. Bliss. And did you know that robot was the size of a car?! I thought it was like…little. Lol.


Why don’t you get possessed by a hobby that’s good for the environment? I’m currently researching every piece of trash I have to see if I can recycle or repurpose. I’m going to become one of those people who make it a point of pride to have a little jar that contains all the trash they couldn’t get rid of after a year. I remember reading about a family once that just had like a gallon of trash after a whole year and it has fascinated me ever since. It must be a real passion for them. I mean why else would they pointedly save the gallon of trash? Anyway, I’m into recycling. You can recycle so much. I fastidiously popped an entire roll of bubble wrap. It made me feel like I singlehandedly saved the planet.

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