Normally this time of the week I reserve for a quiet walk with one of the more “classical” authors, but today’s situation is a bit odd. I wished to continue my discussion with Mr. Thoreau as we have not yet finished, yet he stubbornly stayed at my house while I went out in the rain in my car to do errands.
As I finished my errands, the skies became dark and cloudy and I had to make a choice. Would I go home, fetch Mr. Thoreau and possibly get drenched in the rain? Do I simply call off the walk entirely and try again next week? Do we sit in my small yet comfortable apartment and discuss, well, I believe the topic we left on was Mr. Thoreau’s bean garden?
I had no intention of getting caught in the rain, so the first option was out. I have a need to release a record of these talks each Saturday, so I could not just... not. And honestly, as for sitting in my apartment discussing Mr. Thoreau’s bean garden... this entry would read thusly:
“Mr. Thoreau started talking about his bean garden. I started thinking about how comfy my couch was. I woke up two hours later.”
Just then, my stomach grumbled. I had an idea. I looked around my car and sure enough, Mr. Chris Hardwick had stowed away. I asked him to accompany me to lunch and he seemed delighted to do so. We both agreed that Mr. Thoreau could fuck start his bean garden for the time being.
We ended up at the local pub. I have recently given up the booze in a way and Mr. Hardwick is a long time teetotaler but the burgers here are excellent and they have a covered porch, so this is where I chose. There were several other people in attendance on this dreary Saturday evening, especially one loud party with a woman who seemed to forget that an inside voice can be used outside as well. We head inside.
To be fair, this is not my first discussion with Mr. Hardwick. He and I have been back and forth for over a year talking about his philosophy/life plan/idea thingie TheNerdist Way. Most unfortunately, this turns out to be the last time Mr. Hardwick and I will do so in this way. I am happy, however, that I am still horribly backlogged on his podcast because the sons of bitches put out three episodes a week. But it’s free and so I cannot complain. I can say, however, that I did pay for this discussion, so here we go.
We find a small table inside. I wanted inside to keep away from the smoke that I want so much, because of the noisy lady and because of the rain. Mr. Hardwick launches into an insightful and funny commentary about how one must be able to gather data on one’s life to improve it as well as an example of buying a new car without getting the data first.
I agree with him and think on ways to gather data from my own life about things I want to improve, such as website analytics etc. I am also looking around for our waitress. She passes by us three times and waits on the couple next to me, even going as far as to suggest beers for them and get samples, but we are ignored. Finally, I have to ask Mr. Hardwick to pause in his thoughts as he changes subjects so we can go to another area of the place where service might exist beyond a lingering hope of being noticed.
We go back outside to the porch where the drunk lady, let’s just call her “DL,” is calling for more whiskey and thanking her deity for the creation of babysitters. I am cursing her deity for the invention of dumb people fucking.
We sit back down and a kind and smiling waitress greets us not five minutes later. I order a sweet tea and Mr. Hardwick has nothing. The waitress smiles at and complements my discussion partner. I think she may have a crush and suddenly I am thinking maybe Mr. Thoreau would have been a better dining partner. He does not steal my thunder with the attractive waitresses.
Mr. Hardwick does not seem to notice the waitress at all, though, and launches into his advice on starting a creative thing. Mostly, just start doing it. Comedy, stand up, podcasting, writing, the first step in anything is to just do it. Sure, you can learn how to do it better along the way, but there is no way you are going to get anywhere without doing something and showing it to people. The idea is sound and comforting. While these reports on my discussions with authors may lead some to dislike or joke about them, at least they are something. I find comfort in that.
The discussion continues despite several of DL’s friends leaving. She yells after them a frantic “Bye, y’all!” that causes me to put my hand on the glass windows lest they reach a frequency from which to shatter. Down the block, I hear the death rattle of a dog whose inner ear has exploded.
Mr. Hardwick then reaches one of my own beloved life philosophies. He says it different, and yes, it is equally as corny, but it is not about the destination, it is about the journey. It is not about the outcome, but the process. It is not about the meal, but the cooking. However you want to say it, being present in the moment and enjoying the simple act of doing, of losing yourself in the doing and becoming more... that is one of the best things in the world. That’s where you learn, about the process and about yourself. I could serve you the best steak in the world, but you will never see all the horrible ones I burnt, all the cuts my hands received, all the burns and blisters grills have given me. I can show you right to the books on ancient history because of all the times I shelved those books, all the other times I took people there, and of course all the times I had to make room by weeding those shelves. It’s all about the process that makes us grow, not the outcome, even libraries.
There is more discussion on liking yourself and being nice to you when you mess up. Its wonderful and kind spirited. Several jokes he makes make me jot down my own thoughts in my notebook. A smattering of applause happens from DL’s table as they receive an appetizer of spinach artichoke dip and I receive my hamburger. The drunkenness has become apparent because even the stoners the next table over have begun to look at DL’s table as if the woman is actively shitting burrito’s onto the ceiling. She cray-cray, y’all.
We end our talk with Mr. Hardwick explaining the Nerdist motto of living in the present, “enjoy your burrito.” Whenever life gets you down, just take any little thing that makes you happy and enjoy the shit out of it. So that’s how I am going to end this. Because even though DL tried her damnest to make my meal a horror show of a drunken bitchfest (there’s more that I did not share in deference to space and time), I had a great discussion with author Mr. Chris Hardwick about The Nerdist Way (I’ll have a full review of our discussion up soon) and a freaking awesome hamburger and sweet potato fries.