#193: Debby Ryan
Debby Ryan on Magnesium Dreams, Racer Trash, Putting Stuff In Her Water, and more.
Cool people like cool things, which is why we asked Debby Ryan to share a taste of her taste on Perfectly Imperfect.
Much to my surprise, actress Debby Ryan is a reader of Perfectly Imperfect. Until recently I mostly knew Debby from her Disney Channel days and the stardom (and memes) that came from it, but she’s been immersing herself in the indie film world over the last few years with projects such as Jeff Baena’s latest, Spin Me Round, which premiered at SXSW back in April and stars her, Aubrey Plaza, Tim Heidecker, and Fred Armisen. And while on set, she met Ben Sinclair of HBO’s High Maintenance and he cast her in his upcoming show, The Resort, which is coming out in a few weeks. Debby is doing cool things and lucky for us, she’s here to tell us what she’s been into.
Without further ado
~So I’ve gotten into taking baths. I can’t explain it but it feels more analog. I used to think of it as a more time consuming option but now I feel it’s actually more efficient. The pressure of designating time for it to be both functional and experiential leads to letting myself get bored, which brings about a clear but gentle conclusion. Boredom is a luxury. I used to think new thoughts so often out of boredom, but now it feels like I’m trying to be productive or I’ve left my body entirely, so I’ve been leaning in to get back to active boredom. There are plenty of ways to make it an experience. The only time I’ll drink ice in a drink is in a bath, because effectively you’re already a soup. So drinking la croix or gatorade on ice in the bath is a crazy experience to feel your guts being all cold and your skin being warm. A good way to get back into my body is to make it the intersection of polarizing temperatures. I also love the idea of robes but I can’t figure out when I’m meant to wear one, and the best I can tell is around bathtime. I love putting the Dr Teals Lavender salts right under the faucet because it either dissolves them or disperses them from jump as it’s filling, and then the Almond Cleansing Oil from Trader Joes is a moisturizing option for your cleansing tasks that take place as you’re brining your body in salt.
~I don’t know if it’s a thing you’re supposed to talk about in print and likely for that reason I’ve never had it properly explained to me, so this is something I should just say to trust me and check out. The best I can tell is that Racer Trash is this like, collective of editors who take a different movie every month and edit it in a way that is so trippy and funny and deeply meta and stream it and make charitable contributions. They all take a few scenes so the style and tone oscillates. It’s basically one of 3 things I care about on Twitch and when that notification drops, I stop what I’m doing and put headphones on and watch it and if I’m with my friends, we are all watching. If I am in a meeting, no I’m not. I’m watching it in browser. When you see a toddler with an iPad absolutely rapt staring at a video of someone playing with slime, that’s my level of captivation at these re-edited films.
Condiments, we love. But I’m tryna get even easier. Straight to the source. You want to give me a flavor bomb to really shift the game up? Put some leaves in it. I’m super into dill. Truly not to be weird but if you tear up a bunch of dill and put it in some plain yogurt with salt and pepper, lemon juice or vinegar to approximate buttermilk, maybe grate some garlic and onion if you’re a ranch fan… you can dip anything in that. Potato chips, cucumbers, you can toss veggies or legumes or whatever protein, you can add a splash of water and make it drizzle-able like a dressing and now we’re back to a condiment. Oh yeah, mint. If you’re not putting mint in your salad or on your sandwich or on your fruit or in your water, you’re missing. Micro herbs and micro greens are also the confetti of flavor surprises.
Since I was a kid in my brother’s hand-me-down cargo shorts just playing and climbing and tying and whittling in the forest in Germany, I’ve always loved having everything you could possibly need for a myriad of hyper specific purposes on your person. My friends call me Tactical Boy. It feels very important and satisfying to have the right tools for any job. Victorinox is the golden standard; we have them to thank for the Swiss Army Knife. Then they decided to give usa version that you can slip in your wallet or the tiniest of clutches, and is TSA friendly. As an adult, the ability to file and open and tighten and pluck and fix and jot and trim and pin all from this card has saved many a moment, from fashion weeks to tour dates to camping trips.
I’ve been tryna stay marveling. Seeing things with new eyes. It feeds gratitude, which is good for your skin and blood pressure and inflammation (purportedly). It also keeps me clear of pre-conceptions and limits external noise, as wonder allows me to process my experiences in a way that is present and contextualized by my own perspective. I feel like it was sooooo cooool for so long to romanticize cynicism but apathy is so passé and minimizing the magic available to us is wasteful, and wastefulness is tacky. Shoshin in Zen Buddhism, that openness and perpetual student* type approach. *I never went to college but I follow Depths Of Wikipedia on Instagram.
Good news and bad news. Bad news is that I’m not good at restful sleep, but the good news is I have a very active dream life. I’ve always experienced a lot of deja vu and stuff, but the last several years have gotten weird. More and more of it has been coming back to this side of consciousness with me, and I’m becoming more capable of navigating my dreams… Anyway. It’s hard to get to sleep and harder to stay asleep. This powder is effervescent in cold or warm water, and the specific fizzy tartness triggers that pavlovian “winding down for bedtime” yawn in our home.. Magnesium tenderly tells my nervous system to be cool and let me rest, so for the first half of the night I’m resting sound asleep and when I wake up, it is not with my heart racing with anxiety, which allows me to slip back under into a dream state where I’m shaping the architecture and my autonomy from first person. I have this Oura ring which tracks my sleep— my heart rate, temperature, how many times I wake up, how much time I’m spending in REM versus deep sleep— and I’m obsessed with that. Wait make this about Oura not Magnesium. Wait make it about sleep in general. don‘t make it about dreams you ain’t ready to know about that. But yeah I’ve been putting magnesium in my water.
🧪 Putting Stuff In My Water
This is anything. Lemon juice, sure. Immunity stuff, even better. But I’m mostly talking about these little bullshit individual serving size powder sticks to put in your water bottle to make it taste more exciting. They make so many iconic american flavors like Pink Starburst and Arizona Tea and Grape Skittles, but my favorite are the Gatorade ones. We travel a lot to places with limited access to our distinctly teenage taste in beverages, so wielding the ability to turn water into Gatorade is nearly biblical. Listen, my grown adult man husband really perpetuates this lifestyle but the thing I learned about being an adult is that you can do it any way you want. Like you would for a child. Or a dog. I put my dog’s medicine in a spoonful of peanut butter. Why would I not put my hydration in something that tastes like a late night run to a 7-11, or an icy cooler emptied over your head after you won the big game? I definitely finesse the ratio because they can be really flavorful and I like the threat of the flavor more than the full experience, but do you. It’s worth noting that they also make root beer sticks, and Celsius energy ones, so you can mix them with sparkling water or whatever. There’s nootropics and vitamins and I’ve seen Margaritaville brand ones if you’re into mixology or alchemy, the possibilities are endless. I think these are all bad for you.
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