4. Gold Jewelry Before I had “S.N.L.,” I had a lot of gold rings that were not real gold because I was broke. I’m still not rich, by the way. I ran into my friend Khoby [Rowe] at a Comedy Central Emmys party, and I go, “I think I’m going to treat myself to a real gold ring — one that I can wash my hands and put lotion on and not have it turn.” And she was like, “Hell yeah. This ring on my hand, I treated myself, too.” And when I got “S.N.L.,” her text to me was like, “I think you’re allowed to get yourself a ring.”
5. Yerba Mate I would watch friends develop coffee addictions. It became such a part of the routine, like, “I literally can’t get my day started without this.” And I basically want a life where I don’t need anything to function besides water and food — you know, Maslow’s hierarchy. So I don’t like to drink coffee, and if I do it’s because I’m really in a pinch. I prefer yerba mate. I feel like I get energized, and it’s natural, so they say. It could very well be a placebo effect, but I’m OK with that.
6. “Death, Sex & Money” Podcast It’s about the human experience. “Death, Sex and Money” does a great job of reminding us that we’re connected. And so much of our experiences are shared regardless of race, gender, religion. Think of all the ways we are divided as a people. So, I love that podcast. Big fan. The tagline is “things we think about a lot and need to talk about more.” And it’s true.
7. Prayer and Meditation I am a person of faith, is how I’d like to describe myself. And praying is just a conversation with God. I was listening to a podcast, and a guest, who I believe is sober, said that every thought, action and word is an offering to God. Kind of like everything’s a prayer. And if you can remember that in the moment, that’s really beautiful.
8. Offerings in Los Angeles I lived in L.A. for 12 years, and I get disappointed any time a friend is in a different city and I need to send them flowers. Can’t find them elsewhere. Just the most beautiful floral arrangements. I’m so excited to hear people’s reactions to receiving those flowers, because they always have something to say. I sent them to Melissa Villaseñor once, and she goes, “I feel like a queen.”
9. Solange’s “A Seat at the Table” What a beautiful body of work, top to bottom. I remember when I first heard it, I was sitting on the floor in my bedroom in Santa Monica, and I was thinking, “Great, this’ll be background noise while I get ready.” But I felt stopped in my own tracks. I was like, “Whoa, what am I listening to?” I got to see her on tour for that album at the Hollywood Bowl, and I wondered, “How is she going to be able to fill this space?” Because I think of neo-soul as such an intimate experience and the Hollywood Bowl is huge. And she did — someone’s essence and artistry can do that — and I was brought to tears.
10. My Niece Sophia was born on July 25, and a picture came to my phone, and I was instantly in love. Then I go home to Maryland, and I get to hold her, and my heart just grows a hundred sizes in a way I did not know it could until maybe I had my own children. I would sit there and just stare at her sleeping. It’s cool to find out where your heart can take you. I’ve never felt that kind of love, and I think that love opened me up to other love.