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."
Lord Vetinari, Unseen Academicals: "One day I was a young boy... when I saw a mother otter with her cubs. Even as I watched, the mother otter dived into the water and came up with a plump salmon, which she subdued... As she ate it, while of course it was still alive, the body split and the pink roes spilled out much to the delight of the baby otters. Mother and children dining upon mother and children. And that is when I first learned about evil. It is built into the very nature of the universe. Every world spins in pain. If there is any kind of supreme being, it is up to all of us to become his moral superior."
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."
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."
Tart and Soul: "Indeed, love comes whether we have braced ourselves for it or not. But commitment offers a choice, tapping us on the shoulder to say, “sorry to bother you. Is this a good time?”
J.C. Hutchins: "I was Wanky McWankerton, in love with words I’d yet to write. I did this for nearly two years. If every sperm is sacred, God wasn’t irate with me — he was effing thermonuclear."
Beth Sekishiro: "You don't need to be conventional to love people. Maybe you've got to give up your whole life - but that's just when you'll find it."
"A guy I dated for about three months ended things a few weeks ago because, in his words, I didn't let him "pursue" me enough (read: I got too invested too quickly, and started contacting him more than he was comfortable with). He said that he cared about me very much, but that he wanted to feel that the person he was with was a bit "hard to get." I was sad, but understanding, and I ended all contact.
Right on cue, after about two weeks of no contact from me, he started calling, texting and emailing again and eventually wanted to meet up for drinks.
This seems so on-the-nose (I didn't call, so he suddenly felt ravenous for me again) that it's almost insulting."
No kidding! Gag me.
Here's Carolyn Hax's response, which is more polite than mine would be:
"This whole love-to-pursue thing -- what do people do with it once they've committed to each other? Do they demand/promote an aura of mystery in their shared home? All body noises and hygiene rituals get rushed discreetly into locked, soundproof bathrooms? All unsightly ailments get immediately quarantined and tended to by hired nurses? All calls and texts go unreturned for a time -- not a fixed amount, but instead on a random-reward system to maximize cravings?"
Hah. This is what reminded me of The Rules. You can't have a real relationship when you are being "mysterious" and "not wanting him" and "being chased" or whatever.
"Yes, pursuit is a rush, a two-person amusement park. But it's better at teaching you about yourself than it is at bringing you closer to others, because it's not about the other person; it's about what the other person does for you. Fine to learn on but otherwise pretty thin."
She ends it with....
"If you're up for a game, then, fine, give him his second chance; he might grow up to be a lovely person someday. But go into it knowing this: He isn't calling because he realized his error in breaking up with such a great person. He's calling because he gave you strict instructions on how to hold his attention, and this is your reward for following them to the letter. Instructions that include wanting him but pretending you don't. Barf."
Seconding the barfing. If I have to play hard to get to keep you, then what's the point?
And it's kind of funny how he hooked up with a lesbian:
"Piper was the ultimate platonic playmate: We drank bourbon, ogled girls, shot pool in lesbian bars, and walked on weekends to all parts of the city, stopping to catch a church gospel service or grabbing a Bloody Mary. Best of all, no one gave me better advice on women, holding nothing back and offering a few pointers. If you’re a straight, single guy, I cannot recommend a no-bullshit lesbian bestie highly enough."
“Now there’s a nice, all-American girl,” Louis Smith, Esq., announced. “Why don’t you go date her?”
“Thing is, Dad, that’s the all-American lesbian,” I explained."
Heh. Later on...
"But the scene that played out before us was pretty close to what happens between Piper Chapman and Larry Bloom in the first episode of Season 1 of Orange Is the New Black. I didn’t say, “Are you fucking kidding me?” Clearly she wasn’t. The blood did not drain out of my body leaving me lifeless, nor did I lose my mind and start screaming. I didn’t, like Larry Bloom, exclaim, “Who are you? I feel like I’m in a Bourne movie! Have you killed?” But I wish I had—it’s a great line."
As for the slight advantages to the situation:
"As the actual sentence neared, we began what felt like both a coming out (“I’m a convicted felon…”) and a farewell party (“…who will be going away for a while”) as we told our larger circle of friends. We spilled the story to gaping looks, uncertain questions, and supportive hand squeezes. If we seemed calm, it was because we were both ready for her to get in and then out of prison and move on with our lives. We got good at these talks; it became a script we had down cold. I also realized that when you tell your friends a story like this one, they pick up the check. I started booking these get-togethers at better restaurants."
Always look on the bright side of life....
"In other words: Honey, if any couple has to have a spouse go to prison, it probably ought to be you, because at least your friends all know you’ll be okay. He looked at me, and we all looked at each other, nodding in tacit agreement: Larry, on the other hand, wouldn’t do so well in the pokey."
"I appreciate your honesty."
Larry Bloom, in one of his best lines, explains: “I gotta lock this shit down before you leave, Pipes.” I’m pretty sure it’s something I said, too, and even if I didn’t, it’s the scene at which my friends dropped their vocal opposition to Jason Biggs. For the record, though, I have never called her “Pipes.”
"It’s trippy to watch an adapted version of some of the most intense, intimate moments of your life play out on TV, in some version of real time, and know millions of others have watched it as well and have formed an opinion of “Piper and Larry.” It’s one thing to see someone reading your wife’s book on the subway; quite another to be standing in line for a movie in Brooklyn and hear the guy in front of you say to his date, “That newsstand we passed looks just like the one where Larry in Orange Is the New Black bought all those papers that printed his article.” It’s like living an out-of-body experience out of someone else’s body.
It’s also surreal to be moved by your own fictional—though mostly true-to- life—marriage proposal, recited by someone else. It’s funny to at once wish I had said a few of the things Jason Biggs (who plays Larry) said to Taylor Schilling (who plays Piper) and also be annoyed the writers didn’t use some of my lines."
Good point! Especially since you come up with some pretty good ones! Oh, and here's Piper's:
"As she waited to be released, she watched Martha Stewart leave her prison in West Virginia by helicopter on the women’s unit TV. “That bitch stole my thunder,” she said."
"I have many well-meaning people in my life who try to help me out by sending me postings from jobs that they think I should apply to. A lot of the time they don't really understand my field, and the jobs either require skills I don't have or are intended for someone far beyond my experience level. Am I bound by politeness to apply even though doing so will be a whole lot of wasted effort? Or can I just say, “Thank you for thinking of me,” and then toss it later? With closer people, I've thanked them but explained that this great job is out of my league. They then get hurt or try to persuade me that I should be confident enough to make a leap. It's frustrating enough to apply for dozens of jobs without hearing a word back, but being told over and over that you could have the higher-level position if you just believed in yourself is maddening."
Yeah. Back off, well-meaning relatives. You just don't get it.
Unfortunately, Prudence is all "Be grateful you have relatives who care!" and "You never know, they might find SOMETHING for you," and grrrrr.
I am not normally someone who would nag anyone to get married. But IF SOMEONE'S FREAKING DYING AND THAT'S THEIR DYING WISH, uh....yeah, that's the exception to the rule. Dude, sack up. If you really don't want to marry her, then break up. If you're all, "But I'll be ready in five years!" (which I gather is the case), uh....five years isn't an option. Dude. Sack up.
This is certainly intriguing. Especially with all of the references to "Whatshername," i.e. the writer's girlfriend, who is also recruited to make a vision board. And how 50 Cent makes him wear a suit.
"I began living like he told me to live. That first morning, I'd arrived at his office wearing jeans and sneakers, and, in time, I asked him what he thought about the outfit. He looked me up and down. "Look, GQ may send you to interview 50 Cent because you come dressed casual," he said diplomatically. Around him and his friends, I blended right in. "But they would send the guy in the suit to go fucking interview George Clooney in a heartbeat."
So you're saying I should wear a suit to work?
"It's how people perceive the person that they're actually sending you to go interview," he said. Me coming into work every day in Nikes: Maybe I didn't entirely look like I belonged in a room with the type of man GQ aspires to celebrate. I looked down at my scuffed sneakers. 50 Cent had a point.
All right. I'm gonna wear the suit tomorrow.
"And when you do it, I bet you people ask you, 'Hey, you look good! Where you going? What's going on?' Because it's not an everyday thing for you. When you clean up, people notice."
And they did—it was overwhelming how dramatic the difference was. "Whoa," said Whatshername, when I emerged from the bedroom the following morning. "Nice suit!" co-workers said in the hall. "Do you have a job interview?" asked the woman in the office across from mine. The magazine's deputy editor, an elegant, impeccably dressed man, strolled by my door and then stopped. For the first time, perhaps ever, he took in my outfit. "I like your suit," he said. He summoned a photographer. "Let's put him on the GQ Instagram," he said to her, walking away without another word.
The less that's said about the photo shoot that ensued, the better, but twenty-five minutes later, there I was, the garishly lit photo appearing on my iPhone screen: shoulders trollishly hunched, shirt billowing at the waist, hands jammed awkwardly in my pockets, my best attempt at representing the GQ brand. 50 Cent's advice had been sound, but I was a flawed vessel, and we were now approaching the limits of it.
The comments were swift and merciless."
And then there's the vision boards:
"We were side by side on our couch as she took me through her board: a pregnant Sofia Coppola, some "cool babies," Kardashian children, a home in Laurel Canyon, a $600 lamp, fancy magazines she aspired to work for, like eight more pictures of Sofia Coppola, white wine, Gwyneth Paltrow and Ina Garten having dinner together, Roger Federer holding a koala—on it went, photos of outdoor showers and liquor pyramids alternating with photos of pregnant women, small children, books that you might read to small children, trips you might take those small children on. It's important that she not sound crazy here; Whatshername is a beautiful, accomplished woman with ambition and taste. But there were so many kids on her board, it was like an orphanage. I felt like we were trapped in a CBS sitcom, so stupidly gendered were our respective visions. Also there was a photo of a woman getting a diamond facial—"That represents the fact that I want a diamond facial," she said."
I'm pretty touched reading the end of it.
"This was to be my last lesson, though I didn't realize it at the time: that he'd willed everything he had into reality with a set of tools no different or better than mine. The earnestness, the effort, the endless self-belief—out of nothing more than that, he created 50 Cent. The guy who is about to put another record out whether anybody wants it or not. The guy whose mother died at the hands of a person she must have trusted; the guy who just jettisoned the oldest friends he had. And yet he'd behaved like a friend to me. Could I say the same?
When I write the story, he says, don't make him out to be any kind of expert. That would be a lie—that's what he was trying to tell me yesterday. He was a man with flaws, like everyone else; he was happy to give advice, but only if he was depicted as he was. As for me: "Put yourself in the interview," he says—the suit, the gym, the vision boards, all of it. "Because if we don't actually talk about the suit and how people responded to it in the story, this shit was for nothing." It's his way of telling me, I think, that he gets it: why I'm here, why I've been here."