Friday Inspiration 397

We watched Season 2 of The Bear a little late, so we were saying “Whoa, how about that Christmas episode?” a couple months after everyone else. But it was perfect timing to watch this video about “Why The Bear Gets In Your Head” afterward, and dig into the writing and editing of the show. (video)

screen capture from Why The Bear Gets In Your Head


I am a huge fan of cartoonist Tom Chitty’s work, and this edition of his newsletter contains what’s probably one of my top five favorite cartoons of his, Explaining Muffins To An Alien (and a few other food ones).

This story/tour of New York City Parks’ Retired Playground Animals at Flushing Meadows Corona Park is great, but also great: the signs. Also: The idea came about during the NYC Parks Department’s monthly Why Not Working Group where employees discuss ideas. Also: “The creators actually seem to view the animals as fellow “parkies” (as Parks Department staffers call themselves) who deserve respect and rest in their golden years.”

If you are not into How To With John Wilson, this interview with him will not be very useful. But if you are, it’s quite illuminating, and will either make you want to watch Season 3 immediately or maybe just avoid it completely. (via Austin Kleon’s newsletter)

I guess this is an annual thing, but it’s news to me that publishes a Fall Foliage Prediction Map every year and you can use the date slider at the bottom to see when it’s going to peak in your area. (it took a lot of restraint for me to not type a series of alternating question marks + exclamation points at the end of the previous sentence) (via

“I come bearing but one life hack: the humble to-do list, written out on actual paper, with actual pen.”
—Amanda Mull, “The Only Productivity Hack That Works on Me”

And finally: My friend Jonathan asked if I’d like to contribute an essay to Blister’s Open Mic series, and he said there were literally no guidelines as far as topic, length, whatever. So I wrote a taco recipe, but it’s also an essay about what’s actually “real.” Here’s the beginning, with a link to the full story at the bottom:

My friend Greg was at a gas station one day a while back, filling up the tank of his Honda Ridgeline, and he heard a kid across the parking lot say, “Dad, is that a real truck?” Greg looked over to see the kid pointing at him and his Honda Ridgeline, and to hear the dad, who was also looking in Greg’s direction, say to his son, “Nah.”

This was in Montana, where I live — Missoula — which, as one joke goes, “is only 15 minutes from Montana.”


1 zucchini

1/4 large red onion

10 ounces cremini mushrooms

1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce

7 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon kosher salt

4-6 tortillas, corn or flour, or corn/flour mix

1 14-ounce box extra firm tofu

¼ cup Cotija cheese

roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)

The joke about Missoula being “only 15 minutes from Montana” is saying that since Missoula is a bit more liberal, or weird, or whatever, is not really Montana. Rockin’ Rudy’s, a local music and gift shop, has been selling a t-shirt that says “Missoula: A Place. Sort Of.” for at least 20 years now, or as far back as my history with this town goes.


Step 1. I of course moved here the first time from somewhere else — from Iowa. That was 21 years ago now. Back then, as now, some people would identify as “fourth generation Montanan” or “fifth generation Montanan.”

(read the full story/recipe here: )

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