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."
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."
"I still remember, vividly, the sensation of imbuing unworthy men with magic. For years, I turned distracted dudes into demigods using only the powers of my own imagination. I was a creative person, that's all, one who wanted more magic in her life. So I created magic out of thin air.
This is the important part, so listen to me: These acts of imaginative escapism were my way of coping with depression and anxiety and a lack of interest in the traditional rewards of a life well-lived. I could imagine that being loved and adored by one man would feel soothing and I could finally stop working so hard to escape my loneliness. But nothing else held much appeal. I wasn't all that ambitious; succeeding at some arbitrary job seemed more like failing to me. I didn't think socializing, even in the most fabulous circles, would ever feel satisfying. I was suspicious of wealth and status and its trappings. I read books and listened to music, but I couldn't necessarily FEEL the weight of the words or the notes, because I was so protected and powered down, as a defense against loneliness and creeping, ever-present depression. Feelings had become the enemy.
I remember that, in order to really FEEL a song, I had to associate it with some guy. In order to enjoy a sunset, I had to imagine the bobblehead du jour there, sharing it with me. Nothing was worthwhile on its own merits, because the only feelings that were available to me were tied directly to some package of "security" and "safety" with an imaginary forever lover. I associated magic with "true love" from the time I was 11 or 12, and from that point forward I systematically gave away all of my own magic. That was my art, my practice: putting arbitrary guys on a pedestal and then painting a rich and elaborate backdrop behind them, and then praying to that vision day after day after day. It was my way of feeling less alone, less depressed. All feelings would heretofore be channeled through this mythical figure, selected mostly for his unattainability. As long as he wasn't a real person, he'd never ruin my vivid creations."
"I finally decided, today, out of the depths of a crushing despair and doubt, standing at the sink in my bathroom, that what I have been doing for these 12 years is a cultural activity that should not stop simply because someone stopped paying me for it. It may have started as a job but it became a vital cultural activity that millions of people shared in. They expect it. It was a part of their lives.... So then I thought, what the fuck, I am the luckiest man in the world to have built up this correspondence, this dialog with the world, and I have loved doing it, and I don’t know how I will make a living but that doesn’t matter. It is the cultural activity that matters. The rest will have to work itself out. So I am going to throw my self back into writing the column and doing the workshop and all the other things that I have done as cultural activities, things that I believe in, things that seem right to me."
"Not everyone goes through the U-curve. But many people do, and I did. In my 40s, I experienced a lot of success, objectively speaking. I was in a stable and happy relationship; I was healthy; I was financially secure, with a good career and marvelous colleagues; I published a book, wrote for top outlets, won a big journalism prize. If you had described my own career to me as someone else’s, or for that matter if you had offered it to me when I was just out of college, I would have said, “Wow, I want that!” Yet morning after morning (mornings were the worst), I would wake up feeling disappointed, my head buzzing with obsessive thoughts about my failures. I had accomplished too little professionally, had let life pass me by, needed some nameless kind of change or escape.
My dissatisfaction was whiny and irrational, as I well knew, so I kept it to myself. When I thought about it—which I did, a lot—I rejected the term midlife crisis, because I was holding a steady course and never in fact experienced a crisis: more like a constant drizzle of disappointment. What annoyed me most of all, much more than the disappointment itself, was that I felt ungrateful, the last thing in the world I was entitled to be. Hopeful that rationality might prevail, I would count my blessings, quite literally—making lists mentally, and sometimes also on paper of all that I had to be thankful for. Reasoning with myself might help for a little while, but then the disappointment would return. As the weeks turned into months, and then into years, my image of myself began to change. I had always thought of myself as a basically happy person, but now I seemed to be someone who dwelt on discontents, real or imaginary. I supposed I would have to reconcile myself to being a malcontent."
Oh god, I'm doing this at age 36 already. Shoot me now.
"I was about 50 when I discovered the U-curve and began poking through the growing research on it. What I wish I had known in my 40s (or, even better, in my late 30s) is that happiness may be affected by age, and the hard part in middle age, whether you call it a midlife crisis or something else, is for many people a transition to something much better—something, there is reason to hope, like wisdom. I wish someone had told me what I was able to tell my worried friend: nothing was wrong with him, and he wasn’t alone."
"Please realize that when you ask a loved one to just suck it up and show up (even if you use more tactful words), you're saying that you don't care whether this person you love enjoys the holiday or not. You're saying that an outward show of family harmony is more important than the person having an enjoyable holiday. If this is the default mode of your family, please be aware that it is counterproductive. It does not lead to family closeness in the case of the reluctant loved one. It can easily lead to feelings of resentment and alienation on his/her part, which then have to be hidden in the interests of family harmony. It doesn't take many years of that for holidays to be something the person dreads, hates, and drags himself/herself through with increasing difficulty. OP, if your son does come and he isn't good company, please please do NOT chide him, cajole him, or in any other way pressure him to put on an act that will make him good company. Tell him you understand that he's not feeling it right now, and if he wants to leave early, he is more than welcome and you are touched and grateful that he did at least come. And mean it. That will do more for your relationship with him than any two hours of superficial cheer."
"Instead of longing for safety and security, instead of looking at your current life as "temporary," instead of imagining some finish line you'll cross and then you'll be loved, sometimes it actually helps to imagine that you will NEVER find love. Can you picture yourself alone in 20 years, and when you do that, what elements of the picture look bad? How could you adjust the picture to make it look less bleak?"
What if I just told you, "Yes, it's true. You aren't good enough for him. You're not good enough for a drunk, depressed lothario who hates his career, has a mountain of debt, and distracts himself by drinking too much and tooling around with women fresh out of college." Would that feel like a resolution at least?
"Yes, it's true. If you were a little bit skinnier and a little bit sweeter, he would be madly in love with you. He would get his act together, rededicate himself to his career, pull himself out of debt, and become a wonderful husband to you and father to your adorable children." Would that feel like redemption? ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS LOSE WEIGHT AND BE NICE ALL THE TIME! ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS BE PRETTIER AND BETTER ALL AROUND!
Forget that the prince is a vainglorious dipshit! Forget that the prize you're competing for is not a prize at all!
"Can it really be that I'm not good enough to MAGICALLY CHANGE A NARCISSISTIC, AIMLESS, DRUNK FROG INTO A PRINCE?"