5. “I May Destroy You” I think “I May Destroy You” was the most important hour of television that I’ve seen in the last year or two. It gets really interesting to see what happens to an assault victim, because it doesn’t end the way it does on “Law & Order: SVU,” where they go to the cops and the cops will do something. It’s not always that cut and dried, and it can’t be in the case of Arabella. And what she does with that trauma is heartbreaking to watch. But I also know it’s factual and [Michaela Coel] actually did go through that. What she fought through in order to share that story with an audience, I can’t even fathom.
6. “Sometimes I Trip on How Happy We Could Be” by Nichole Perkins Nicole Perkins is a great writer. I’ve heard her voice on “This American Life” — I think she’s contributed stories — and this time there was an excerpt from her book. It was the most fascinating story about having been the other woman at some point, dating a man that was married. And the second the story ended, I immediately stopped listening to go find that book on Audible.
7. Water There’s no better feeling than being in water for me. I’ve seen really beautiful views of mountains and thought, “This would be prettier to see if I were in water right now.” I’ve eaten sandwiches that I’m convinced would taste better if I was eating them in a pool. I’m in my pool five days a week. I love that feeling of weightlessness. I’m always reminded that water is heavy. I love feeling small inside of an ocean because it makes everything else that I worry about really, really small. There’s just water ahead of me and behind me, and water is older than me. And it’ll be here long after I’m dead.
8. Headphones I get a little panicky if my headphone’s battery is dying, much more than I do if the phone’s dying. I use them so much because I’m always listening to a podcast or an audiobook or music. I’ve started going on milelong walks and I always have my headphones on, and I forget any pain that I might be feeling in my joints, because I’m paying more attention to whatever story I’m listening to than my body. I like Beats by Dre, because they’re quite big. So if someone wants to talk to me in the toilet paper aisle at the grocery store, I can pretend I don’t hear them.
9. My Cats I now have two cats. We adopted a second cat [Derrell Jermaine Dupree Sidibe-Frankel], who is 1 year old, and the older one, Aaron, is 4. And I mean, if these are not people — they communicate with me all the time. Aaron is very bossy with my fiancé. He likes to be picked up and held so that he can look out of a very specific window in the house. And so he yells at him. He’s like, “Pick me up now.” But when he comes over to me, because I’m Mom, he doesn’t yell. He taps me very gently and politely. That’s a person. He knows who to talk to about what he wants and how to talk to them.
10. Senegalese food My dad is Senegalese, and growing up, I loved when he made mafé. It’s a beef stew with a peanut butter base. There’s thiéboudienne, a fish with jollof rice. There’s yassa chicken. But I never thought to cook them myself until everything was shut down during the pandemic. I would look up recipes, and I would call my dad and I’d be like: “Does this look right? What do I do?” Whenever I finished a dish, I would taste it. It wasn’t perfect until it tasted like my childhood. At this point, yeah, my yassa is better than my dad’s.