What's Going On


  • "It does seem sometimes like life toggles between boring and flat-out mystifying."-Carolyn Hax
  • Sarah Silverman:
    "Nothing’s more attractive than an unending monologue about your shortcomings."
  • Carolyn Hax:
    "Sometimes surrendering to the awful is more useful than fighting it."
  • Graham Joyce:
    "why can’t our job here on earth be simply to inspire each other?"
  • Dan Harmon:
    "I believe in magic. I believe in mythology. I believe in shamanism. I believe that spells can be cast and I believe that random things coalesce and reveal themselves to be part of a plan we don’t control, you know."
  • Nora Ephron:
    "Never turn down a front-row seat for human folly."
  • McAlvie
    "The ultimate downfall of modern civilization won't be war; it'll be Twitter and Facebook."
  • Jenny Zhang:
    "A lot of writers swear by routine, but I swear by chaos. There’s enough fucking routine in my life. Every day I have to brush my teeth. Every day I have to smile at strangers. Every day I have to worry about money. Every day I want something I can’t have. Every day I find some way to go on! I know that writing every day for an hour would help me tremendously with writer’s block, but I also know that I need an element of wildness in my writing. I need to know that writing is something I do because it sets me free. It makes me feel golden with confidence. It gives me the gift of gab. I feel like a god. I feel like an entertainer. So write when you damn well please."
  • Joe Queenan:
    "If you have read 6,000 books in your lifetime, or even 600, it's probably because at some level you find "reality" a bit of a disappointment. People in the 19th century fell in love with "Ivanhoe" and "The Count of Monte Cristo" because they loathed the age they were living through. Women in our own era read "Pride and Prejudice" and "Jane Eyre" and even "The Bridges of Madison County"—a dimwit, hayseed reworking of "Madame Bovary"—because they imagine how much happier they would be if their husbands did not spend quite so much time with their drunken, illiterate golf buddies down at Myrtle Beach. A blind bigamist nobleman with a ruined castle and an insane, incinerated first wife beats those losers any day of the week. Blind, two-timing noblemen never wear belted shorts."
  • LogicalDash:
    "Nobody of any age should have to fend off sexual partners. That such defense is assumed as a part of the cost of adult courtship is suggestive of some more fundamental problem than age difference and its effect on consensuality."
  • Keith Richards:
    "I had to invent the job, you know," he said, earlier. "There wasn't a sign in the shop window, saying, "Wanted: Keith Richards."
  • Caitlin Moran:
    "As I started to reassess my writing style, I thought about what I liked doing--what gave me satisfaction--and realized the primary one was just... pointing at things. Pointing out things I liked, and showing them to other people--like a mum shouting, "Look! Moo-cows!" as a train rushes past a farm. I liked pointing at things, and I liked being reasonable and polite about stuff. Or silly. Silly was very, very good. No one ever got hurt by silly. Best of all was being pointedly silly about serious things: politics, repression, bigotry. Too many commentators are quick to accuse their enemies of being evil. It's far, far more effective to point out that they're acting like idiots, instead. I was up for idiot-revealing. "I am just going to be polite and silly, and point at cool things," I decided. "When I started writing, I would have killed to have one thing to write about. Now, I have three. Politeness and silliness, and pointing. That's enough."
  • Carolyn Hax:
    "Unless 15 years’ worth of mail has misled me, no one has ever found love through complaining about the lack of it, and no lonely person has ever felt better for hearing, “You just haven’t found the right person yet.”
  • David Simon:
    "Change is a motherfucker when you run from it."
  • Joe Queenan:
    "People who read an enormous number of books are basically dissatisfied with the way things are going on this planet. And I think, in a way, people read for the same reason that kids play video games ... they like that world better. It works better, it's more exciting, and it usually has a more satisfactory ending."
  • Dan Savage:
    "There isn't someone for everyone. Some of us do wind up alone, and that just fucking sucks and sometimes that stings, and you don't know if you're one of those people who's going to wind up alone until you die alone....So you kind of have to live in hope and build a life for yourself that's rewarding and fun, has friends and pleasure in it, whether you're alone or not."
  • the painkiller:
    "I will not be tagged, pinned, circled, liked, tweeted, retweeted or numbered."
  • Steve Jobs:
    "Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later. Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”
  • Apple:
    "Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
  • Miss Manners:
    "Please do not -- repeat, not -- make a hostile approach to knitters. Have you not noticed that they are armed with long, pointy sticks?"
  • Stephen Tobolowsky:
    "And of course, nothing is what I figured on in my life. That seems to be a recurring theme."
  • James Bulls:
    "When you find yourself walking a true path, you will know it because you will want to walk it no matter the burning Sun, freezing sleet, torrential rain, and treacherous ground. The risks become no less and the journey as always exhausts you, but your desire to brave the challenges never diminishes."
    "May the bridges I burn light the way"
  • Amy Argetsinger:
    "Twitter is a disease, plain and simple. It makes people insane. A decade from now I expect the CDC and FDA will be issuing warnings."
  • Cary Tennis:
    "You don't have to "move on" either. Not until you're ready. People say, Oh, you should be grateful. They say, Oh, it's time for you to move on. I'm like, What are you, a cop with a nightstick? I'll move on when I'm done playing the blues on my harmonica, thank you very much."
  • Mark Morford:
    "It is 2011 and here is what we know: Reality is fluid, fact is malleable, cause and effect completely uncertain. We know what we don't know, but we also know the opposite."
  • Charlie Jane Anders:
    "Just remember, if you flinch from your destiny, you'll never achieve your true greatness — you didn't choose to be chosen, but being chosen means you have to choose."
  • Roger Ebert:
    "To put it bluntly, I believe the world is patriarchal because men are bigger and stronger than women, and can beat them up."
  • Myca:
    "Jesus is not the reason for the season, and there's no way I need to act like he is. Christmas is a stolen tradition. There's no reason we can't steal it back."
  • Lady Gaga:
    "I hate the holidays! I'm alone and miserable, you fucking dumb bit of toy!"
  • Dianna Agron:
    "I am trying to live my life with a sharpie marker approach. You can’t erase the strokes you’ve made, but each step is much bolder and more deliberate."
  • John Mayer:
    "It occurred to me that since the invocation of Twitter, nobody who has participated in it has created any lasting art. And yes! Yours truly is included in that roundup as well. Let me make sure that statement is as absolute and irrevocable as possible by buzzing your tower one more time: no artwork created by someone with a healthy grasp of social media thus far has proven to be anything other than disposable."
  • Vanessa, Something Positive:
    "I like 'em crazy. You hear insane rants, I hear a reminder that the sex is interesting. Oooh! Hear that? Tonight's gonna tingle."
  • Anonymous:
    “Your problem is that you want to be an artist. What you need to be is an artisan.”
  • Sugar:
    "Ask better questions, sweet pea. The fuck is your life. Answer it."
  • Wide Lawns:
    "Often very odd things happen to me. Usually they are not my fault and mostly beyond my control."
  • Anonymous reporter:
    “When weird shit happens around here, weird shit really happens around here.”
  • Anne Johnson:
    "Today some stranger sent me an email that said, "You are a nut case." Well, I must admit this never would have occurred to me. Everyone else is a nut case. I'm the sane one. I think."
  • Carl Mayer:
    "Whenever I start to feel like my life isn’t where I want it to be, “Cops” is there to put everything into perspective. Yeah, I haven’t made all the right moves over the last 34 years, but I’m not hiding from the police under a kiddie pool, either."
  • John Scalzi:
    "In retrospect, it’s a little weird to think that my entire future was falling into place as I obliviously tucked into the El Presidente chimichanga platter, but of course, that’s life for you — the most important days of your existence don’t always announce themselves in obvious ways."

« I like it! | Main | Stupid freaking diamonds! »

December 23, 2004



Hope your Holiday is a good one, as in Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. You are a joy to read, you will be missed until your return!


Good luck, Jennifer. See you in January. Take a book to the coffee shop, that's what I always do to get away from dysfunctional relatives!

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Speed-Reading Book Nerd Reviews

Speed-Reading List

  • John F. Marszalek: The Petticoat Affair: Manners, Mutiny and Sex in Andrew Jackson’s White House
    Reviewed June 6. (****)
  • Rick Riordan: The Battle of the Labyrinth
    Reviewed June 3. (****)
  • Rick Riordan: The Titan's Curse
    Reviewed June 2. (****)
  • Rick Riordan: The Sea of Monsters
    Reviewed June 1. (****)
  • Rosamund Hodge: Cruel Beauty
    Reviewed May 31. (****)
  • Rick Riordan: The Lightning Thief
    Reviewed May 30. (****)
  • Marie Brennan: Voyage of the Basilisk
    Reviewed May 26. (****)
  • Rachel Hawkins: Lady Renegades
    Reviewed May 25. (***)
  • Patrick Dennis: Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade
    Reviewed May 24. (****)
  • Marissa Meyer: Stars Above: A Lunar Chronicles Collection
    Reviewed May 22. (***)
  • Marissa Meyer: Winter
    Reviewed May 20. (****)
  • Marissa Meyer: Cress
    Reviewed May 19. (****)
  • Barbara Chase-Riboud: The President’s Daughter
    Reviewed May 13. (***)
  • R.C. Lewis: Spinning Starlight
    Reviewed May 12. (***)
  • Barbara Chase-Riboud: Sally Hemings
    Reviewed May 11. (***)
  • Meg Cabot: Remembrance: A Mediator Novel
    Reviewed May 10. (****)
  • Meg Cabot: Proposal: A Mediator Novel
    Reviewed May 9. (****)
  • Marissa Meyer: Scarlet
    Reviewed May 6. (****)
  • Joel H. Silbey: Martin Van Buren and the Emergency of American Popular Politics
    Reviewed May 3. (***)
  • Jon Meacham: American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House
    Reviewed May 2. (****)
  • Ben Aaronovitch: Midnight Riot
    Reviewed April 29. (****)
  • Emily Franklin and Brendan Halpin: Jenna and Jonah's Fauxmance
    Reviewed April 28. (****)
  • Alison Goodman: Singing the Dogstar Blues
    Reviewed April 27. (***)
  • Shannon Hale: Dangerous
    Reviewed April 26. (***)
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter: Hamilton: The Revolution
    Reviewed April 25. (****)
  • Charles Stross: The Atrocity Archives
    Reviewed April 22. (**)
  • Marissa Meyer: Fairest
    Reviewed April 21. (***)
  • Marie Brennan: The Tropic of Serpents
    Reviewed April 18. (***)
  • Inara Scott: The Marked
    Reviewed April 15. (***)
  • Seanan McGuire: Every Heart A Doorway
    Reviewed April 14. (****)
  • Marissa Meyer: Cinder
    Reviewed April 13. (****)
  • Kylie Gilmore: The Opposite of Wild
    Reviewed April 12. (**)
  • By Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger.: George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution
    Reviewed April 11. (***)
  • Fred Kaplan: John Quincy Adams: American Visionary
    Reviewed April 8. (****)
  • Roger Ebert: Your Movie Sucks
    Reviewed April 7. (***)
  • Leah Remini: Troublemaker
    Reviewed April 6. (****)
  • Rob Thurman: Nevermore
    Reviewed April 5. (**)
  • Jennifer Lynn Barnes: The Fixer
    Reviewed April 4. (*****)
  • Harlow Giles Unger: The Last Founding Father: James Monroe and a Nation’s Call to Greatness
    Reviewed March 28. (****)
  • Gregory D. Massey: John Laurens and the American Revolution
    Reviewed March 23. (****)