I first met Charris at a beach party near Barcelona almost ten years ago. He remains one of the most creative, charming, and inspiring people I know. He’s off the grid, in pretty much any sense you can think of. If you’d like to know more about him and his family, check him out on the MonkeyTooth podcast.
Organic, revealing conversation with fascinating, freaky folks.
Ever wanted to hang with a dominatrix, comedian, famous health guru, or Italian prince? Here's your chance. Tangentially Speaking is dedicated to the idea that good conversation is organic, revelatory, and free to go down unexpected paths.
Wednesday Martin's fantastic new book is called Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free. The book, like it's author, is smart, funny, surprising, and unapologetic.
Alexandra played Lt. Stephanie Holden for 5 seasons on Baywatch, and has appeared in over 100 feature films and many TV programs. She's a serious activist, using her platform to support voting rights, animal liberation, progressive energy policies, and family planning. Want more? She's an athlete who completed the World Ironman Championship in Hawaii (a grueling 2.44 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile marathon), in 13:18:52. In 2012, Alexandra swam around Key West, a 12.5 mile race and in 2014 swam the 14 mile Reto Acapulco off the coast of Mexico.
Cacilda, Alexandra, and Janelle Kaz (@motogypsy on Instagram).
In 1969, 18 year-old Paul left Holland, hitchhiking east, with a vague sense that he wanted to spend time with Tibetans. His life has been a stream of adventure and insight ever since. Traveler, philosopher, builder, designer, artist, forager ... this is a man who knows how to live with depth, passion, and integrity.
Mr. Money Mustache is a very early retiree who writes about how we can all live a frugal yet badass life of leisure. Based in Longmont, CO, he helps young people get their finances arranged to maximize freedom and minimize wasted time and money.
Theo Von is funny, smart, and deeply kind (and not necessarily in that order). He’s a guy on the fame train, wondering where to get off. I am really enjoying the process of getting to know him better, as you’ll hear. Theo's podcast is called "This Past Weekend." I was his guest on episode 100, here.
Music: “Hot Air Balloons,” by Tennessee Bum.
Aron Ralston is an avid outdoorsman, author, and motivational speaker. In April of 2003, he dislodged a boulder while descending a slot canyon at Blue John Canyon, in Eastern Wayne County, Utah, crushing his hand and pinning it against a canyon wall. After five days of entrapment with little water and food, Aron resorted to amputating his arm in order to free himself. The incident is documented in his autobiographical memoir Between a Rock and a Hard Place and is the subject of the Oscar-nominated film 127 Hours, directed by Danny Boyle, and starring James Franco. (from Aron’s site.)
Ricardo happened to meet my pal Andrew (host of the Monkeytooth podcast) on the road, and Andrew thought we should hang. So we did. A few hours later, we were planning a motorcycle trip to Patagonia together. Trust me on this one. This dude is legit.
Susan is a healer, therapist, and Zen buddhist chaplain. She is also the founder of Willow Farm Contemplative Center, where she works with people facing end of life issues.
Music: "Land of the Midnight Sun," by Jim Figora; "Alone Together," by the Robert Minden Ensemble.
If we don't grieve for the dead, are we necessarily cold-hearted? What's behind the collapse of the American empire? How to deal with the chaos and uncertainty of being young? How did disabled people fare among hunter-gatherers?
Music: "Rise the Moon," by Kate Vargas; "Stacia," by Mindel Band; "It Is What It Is (And That's All)," by Steve Forbert; "Big Jet Plane," by Tuku.
What is music, anyway? Does a Beethoven sonata elicit the same emotions if played for someone who's never heard western music? Do any other animals experience music? Is singing related to crying? To laughing? These are the sorts of questions an ethnomusicologist thinks about. I learned a lot from Steve, and suspect you will, too. Steve's site.
Duncan is qualified to receive your reverence. He deserves it, too. You could live many lifetimes without meeting anyone who combines as much humor, wisdom, and sincerity as this guy. I'm always happy when we find some time to hang out, and especially when we're both living such pivotal moments in our lives. Check out The Duncan Trussell Family Hour podcast.
Music: "Suffer Well," by Simon van Gend.
Adi Jaffe, Ph.D. is a nationally recognized expert on mental health, addiction and stigma. He lectures in the Psychology department at UCLA. He is passionate about the role of shame in destroying lives and aims to greatly reduce the stigma of mental health in this country. In this context, Dr. Jaffe has used his personal experience as an incredibly effective inspirational and motivational tool.
During his undergraduate career, Adi began struggling with drug issues himself, eventually leading to a 4 year hiatus from studies and into the Los Angeles drug-dealing world, where Adi's days looked more like a re-enactment of a beatnik novel or a Quentin Tarantino film than the life of an upper-middle class suburban kid. Following a SWAT team arrest in his apartment, and extended court case and a year-long jail sentence, Adi began rebuilding his life. This eventually led to his attainment of a Ph.D. from UCLA's doctoral program in psychology.
Music: "Ride," by Brett Newski.
Weston likes a challenge. He gets things done. At the moment, he's off on a month-long hunting trip in the Colorado Rockies. He took up falconry as a way to transition out of a hyper-vigilant war consciousness back into something more appropriate to suburban Boulder. Thoughtful, generous, tough. I like this guy.
Music: "I Don't Think You Understand," by Goliath Flores.
In his mid-20s, Seth took a look at his life and realized it made no sense. Rather than doubling down on a losing hand, he basically started over. He changed his life and lost half his body weight in the process. Ten years later, he's a very different man on a path with heart.
Music: "Hymn of the Big Wheel," Massive Attack.
Layne's research has been focused on extraordinary abilities in people with cognitive deficits. She's recently left a stellar academic career in order to consult directly with families facing the challenges an atypical child will generate. She has been featured on CNN with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, SiriusXM Doctor Radio, The Coffee Klatch – Special Needs Radio, and Rhode Island PBS ‘School Talk’. She is now based at Ghost Ranch, in New Mexico.
Music: "Treat Yo Mamma," by John Butler Trio.
Michael has devoted his life to the simple, radical notion that a home can provide the essential elements of a good life: shelter, food, water, waste management, and energy. His designs for Earthships provide all of this and more, as they're largely made from discarded materials: tires, bottles, cans, and so on. If your home can provide what you need, you've suddenly become free, revolutionary, and very dangerous. This is a very serious guy.
Patrick House explores the brain, how it works, what it is, and the tiny creatures that invade it and rearrange the furniture. This raises fundamental questions like: What are we? What does it mean to be alive? and How conscious are we of our consciousness?
Music: "Masterpiece," by Big Thief
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