I religiously watched “SCTV,” so I think on some level, when I came to a time of my life when I thought, “Oh, maybe I should try comedy — that looks appealing,” I think I already had a very grounded sense that there was no gendered reason to not do comedy, or to be fearful of that industry. I consider Catherine O’Hara and Andrea Martin to be goddesses.
5. Carol Burnett
I got to meet Carol Burnett a few years ago and she had no idea who I was. I definitely cried when I met her and she has that impact on almost every single person she meets with my age and background. It’s nothing new to her, but I could barely speak. It was mostly saliva, mostly tears when I spoke to her. I’m sure it was so unappealing.
6. Jim Lahey’s Orange Olive Oil Cake
No meal is complete for me without something sweet at the end, and this recipe just hits all of the right notes. It’s delicious, it’s sweet, tart. It’s full of orange flavor. It’s incredibly comforting to me. I honestly love this cake so much that early in the morning, I get excited when I remember that I’m going to have it later in the day. This recipe has been a godsend for me and bonus points: No one in my family likes it. It’s all for me, every time.
I love to read about food — I’ve done this since I was a kid. I was an only child and I often would eat alone with only my mother’s cookbooks to keep me company. My first official magazine subscription I ever had was to Gourmet magazine. I cried so hard when Gourmet shut down. I just flip around looking for something that interests me. I eat my breakfast, flipping through cookbooks, thinking about what I might make later, thinking about meals that are better than what I’m currently eating.
8. Laurie Colwin
I actually just reread “More Home Cooking” recently. It’s like having a great conversation with someone that you love. It’s so unassuming. It lets you know that even if you’re trying a little bit, you’re doing wonderfully well. It absolves you of the need to show off. That brings that wonderful attitude of like, “Why shouldn’t you try making jam? Make jam! If it doesn’t work, who cares?” It’s not like your life revolves around success or failure with making jams. Just try it — you don’t ever have to do it again. I find it very relaxing.
9. Damon Lindelof’s Shows
At the beginning of quarantine, when we really truly were “lost” and didn’t know what was happening, we started watching “Lost.” And I should really apologize to Damon Lindelof for not supporting those shows when they were actually airing, which is vital to the survival of a show. “Lost” did fine without us but there were just so many episodes, it was perfect beginning of quarantine watching for the whole family. And then privately, I also watched “The Leftovers.” It’s not on, probably because of people like me who came to it later. It’s a beautiful show. I watched it with tears streaming down.
10. Octopus Videos
Whenever I’m feeling very down, I will go on YouTube and look up octopuses doing fun things: Holding a tool, hiding in half of a coconut, trying to escape from the aquarium, or reaching out and touching a scuba diver. I find them so mysterious and beautiful and ugly and majestic and smart. There are a lot of videos of them reaching out and touching someone on a beach. They’re tasting you when they touch you with their tentacles, which is alarming, but I like it anyway. It really makes me chuckle.