Sundays with Kamala

July 21, 2019 | New York, NY

The only way, it seems, to make sense of anything these days is to accept the fact that nothing will ever really make 100% sense anymore. Things will always be just a little bit nuts. Human impact has made the Earth begin to wobble on its axis and in turn, we, too, are starting to act off-kilter.

It’s in times like these that we need people with conviction to lead us. People who’ll be the Trader Joe’s employees of our life paths, waving a bright green flag at the end of the line and telling us, “Here’s where you must stand! Here’s how you move forward.”

So today, we have Kamala Harris – senator, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, and Joyful Warrior – here to tell us how she uses Sundays to keep her life on track. Kamala’s got it down.

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Sunday morning, 6:00 AM: I open my eyes.

6:05 AM: I check in with myself. Life’s been dizzying lately. Need to think about who I am and who I aim to be. Am I a woman who collects lace Chuck Taylors? Yes. Am I a future president? Yes, if I have anything to say about it (and I do). Am I a writer? No, no, can’t go through that again. “The Truths We Hold” was hard enough.

6:07 AM: What was I thinking with that title? You can’t hold a truth. It’s not, like, a melon. It’s intangible. God, the one time I’m not literal.

6:08 AM: Truths, truths, truths…words sound funny when you say them over & over.

6:09 AM: Is this the real life, Kamala? Or is this just fantasy?

6:10 AM: Oh morning, Freddie. There’s a voice in my head that’s always speaking to me and it belongs to Freddie Mercury – another brown legend. My inner world is perfectly harmonized. As for the world outside me…

6:15 AM: To conquer the world, I must conquer my mind. And I am a shooting star leaping through the sky like a tiger. Defying the laws of gravity. I’m a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva. I’m gonna go go go. Sometimes I don’t know where my voice ends and Freddie’s begins. But I jump out of bed singing “Don’t Stop Me Now.” I think of my father saying, “Run Kamala, run!” when I was younger with the same amount of ambition. Yes! I run to the shower to begin the first day of the rest of my life.

9:30 AM: I stand at the kitchen counter feeling radiant, accomplished. 60-minute Soul Survivor workout? Check. Coffee brewed? Check. Almond milk poured into a bowl of Raisin Bran? Check. Kissed my husband good morning? Check. Now, some Me Time. Because too much love will kill you every time.

10:15 AM: I practice lightning round questioning in front of the mirror.

11:30 AM: Family dinner tonight – my favorite start to the week, a reminder that I’m in control of my life. Tonight, I’m making a multitude of pizzas. Pesto, Hawaiian, spicy Creole, a classic margherita. Our nation, it seems, is really just a bunch of unbaked pizzas. We’ve got all the ingredients, all the potential…but right now, everything’s kind of a mess because no one agrees on what constitutes a pizza.

“Our nation, it seems, is really just a bunch of unbaked pizzas. We’ve got all the ingredients, all the potential…but right now, everything’s kind of a mess because no one agrees on what constitutes a pizza.”

12:00 PM: One of my senior staffers calls to check in with updates and plan for the week ahead. I remind her that we are the dough of the pizza crust. We must always rise to the occasion. If we don’t, the pizza will not exist.

12:01 PM: She tells me I am 100% deserving of the Facebook group created in my honor “Slay, Kamala, Slay.”

12:30 PM: I knead the dough.

12:31 PM: We all need the dough, I realize, as I look out the window. People on the streets, people on the streets. It’s the terror of knowing what this world is about, watching some good friends screaming, “Let me out!”

12:45 PM: Pressure.

12:46 PM: Under pressure.

2:00 PM: News alerts pop up on my phone. There’ll be more debates soon. More scrutiny. No time for self-doubt now-

2:01 PM: What if I have to change my hairstyle? I love my hair.

2:02 PM: No, no, we’re better than this.

2:03 PM: What is ‘better’ though? What is ‘this’? Better yet, what is ‘is’?

2:04 PM: No, no – I am not going to be that president. No time for losers ‘cause we are the champions of the world. I am Kamoji, the animated superhero. I’ve been, in the words of one Barack Obama, “the best looking attorney general in the country.” I am mother freaking Momala, damnit.

“She tells me I am 100% deserving of the Facebook group created in my honor ‘Slay, Kamala, Slay.'”

3:00 PM: Pizza dough ready. Pesto made. Pineapples chopped. Andouille sausage sliced. Fresh basil acquired from local farmer’s market.

4:30 PM: I crochet a couple blankets for the chilly political cycle ahead. Along with mastering the art of a ferocious stare, I’ve also mastered needlepoint.

5:30 PM: Cory Booker sends me a supportive text.

6:00 PM: I curl up on the couch with a newly made blanket and a hot cup of chamomile tea, scrolling through Freddie Mercury’s greatest costume hits. God he really had that whole fiery statement jacket / shoulder pad thing down.

6:30 PM: What an icon.

6:31 PM: ‘Icon’ is just a letter away from I Can. I can win while inspiring young people to wear pearls. I can command respect on late night TV. Look how far I’ve come from being the ‘fun’ member of my college debate team.

6:45 PM: Anyway the wind blows, doesn’t really matter to me…to me. That’s not true Freddie, you sexy crooner. It all matters to me.

7:00 PM: My family calls. It’s time for dinner.

Sundays with Dominique

April 8, 2018 | New York, NY

One of my favorite things in life is a really great Sunday. Life throws a million things at us over the course of a week, but a great Sunday gives us the chance to breathe in and press “Reset.” We can try again. Do better. Be better.

It’s nice to know that the Romans were so optimistic for mankind, they allotted 52 days a year for us to just finish up brunch, open our planners, and course correct our lives. Sunday is the calendar gift that keeps on giving. Whether we wait for it or not, it’s always on its way – full of sunshine and possibility.

Today, Chef Dominique Ansel – creator of the globally acclaimed Cronut® – tells us about his Sunday routine:

Sunday morning, 5 AM: My wake-up call. I’ve always been an early riser.

5:01 AM: I lie in bed and think, “Dominique, what will you accomplish this week?” Then I remember I invented the Cronut. I’m already the World’s Best Pastry Chef. Nothing will top that, so I go back to sleep.

5:07 AM: It occurs to me that I run bakeries in New York City, London, Tokyo, and Los Angeles. I’m literally responsible for making the world happy.

5:10 AM: I get out of bed to floss.

5:30 AM: Sundays are all about rituals. After making a cup of fresh fruit juice, I settle in with a romantic comedy on Netflix. I once told the New York Times that I love romantic comedies – this is true. I have a lot in common with characters in rom-coms – we chase unrealistic highs in beautiful cities. While they chase love, I chase excellence. The ending always involves cake.

8:10 AM: “When Harry Met Sally” has ended. An empty kitchen faces me. I’d like to invent a dessert that makes women say, “I’ll have what she’s having.” What will it be?

8:30 AM: I read the newspaper to get ideas. At the height of my Cronut fame, one newspaper called me the ‘Willy Wonka of NYC.’ It was flattering, but I’m no Willy Wonka. I’m just a man in a kitchen innovating dessert.

8:45 AM: I feel terribly uninspired. Fame is a dark, twisted abyss that serves to torture gifted creative minds – particularly pastry chefs.

“I have a lot in common with characters in rom-coms – we chase unrealistic highs in beautiful cities. While they chase love, I chase excellence. The ending always involves cake.”

9 AM: I start whisking eggs with flour. I firmly believe in the Miracle of Whisking (though never Miracle Whip). It’s through the simple act of whisking that I came up with my Easter creation “Peep-a-Boo’s” – little marshmallow chicks surrounded by dark chocolate in real eggshells. Instagram loved them.

10:45 AM: Chefs at my restaurants around the world conduct their daily croissant tests. Alas, I can’t be Mark Darcy and love them just as they are. Our fluffy croissants must be 100% perfect.

11:30 AM: Still no new ideas.

1:30 PM: Still nothing. I remind myself that I am Dominique Ansel, creator of the world’s most wholesome shot (check out our signature Milk & Cookie Shot). People line up outside my bakery every morning because they love me.

1:45 PM: Do they love me, or my desserts?

1:46 PM: Is there a difference? What will happen if I run out of new ideas? There’s only so much a man can do with buttercream.

3 PM: I pick up groceries from the local farmer’s market to distract myself.

4 PM: I check in with my staff at our SoHo location and say hello to happy customers. Some are with friends, some are out-of-towners, and some are in sweatpants. One man tells me his plan to propose to his girlfriend here.

6:30 PM: Poignant subway ride home.

8 PM: I am back in my kitchen. Sundays, it seems, are about love. Suddenly, everything’s crystal clear. My one true love is the Cronut. That’s why I create a new flavor every month. Though I keep trying to outdo it, I’ll never get away from it. It enchants me (and my customers) to no end. Maybe I’m the lead in my own rom-com: “Dessert, Actually.”

9:30 PM: I watch “Notting Hill.” I’m just a man standing in front of the world, asking it to love his Cronuts.

12 AM: Lights out. Maybe next Sunday, I won’t be so hard on myself.