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."
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?”
"Now, the problem with that is that’s a negative goal. Why is that a problem? Because it’s something you don’t want to do. And the reason that that’s a problem is because your habit learning system is an active system. It wants to associate behaviors with the environment. If you say I don’t want to do something, then what you’re doing is focusing yourself on not acting.
And it's much easier, Markman said, to learn something than it is to unlearn something, so a better habit-changing strategy may be to replace a bad habit with a better one. Markman did this himself, years ago, when he realized as a graduate student that he was biting his nails every time he read something at his desk (which was a lot).
His solution? "I bought a bunch of desk toys," he said. His desk is now littered with a Slinky, a toy car, and figurines of Gumby and Poky, among other baubles. Apparently he just needed something to fiddle with as he read silently at his desk, because it worked; he hasn't reverted to his nail-biting habit in years. Although now, he says, "I'm addicted to desk toys."
I should probably explain the LoA reference: apparently it's all about never saying "I don't want such," because the universe ignores shit like the word no or don't and translates into "I want such." Which is annoying.
"Can you get a date with just your personality? Could you go on a date and not judge someone by their looks? No, of course not; these are ridiculous questions."
Admitting my love of the song "Pony": Very much the wrong crowd. Have people really not heard of Ginuwine? This is a problem. Several people ask me if I’m a My Little Pony fanatic. I have to sing the chorus a total of three times. Which means I sing “If you’re horny, let’s do it, ride it, my pony” to a total of three strangers while wearing a bag on my head.
Drawing pizza on my face: Several people assumed I was a literal pizza-face and asked if I had acne.
It seems the paper bags have taken all the horrible "ta-da" gimmicks we rely on to get through dates and amplified them to monstrous proportions.
Anyone who shoves a puppy in my face and expects me to be charmed — is like ... kind of right. But I resent the obvious ploy and call them out for gaming of the system. And my heart.
This charmer was really into compost toilets, so he decorated his bag with an actual drawing of poop."
Our goal as Coordinators was to meet a quota that all members had to go out every three weeks. So, each week, we had a list of members who were due for a date and it was imperative that we set them up and send them out.
Of course, this didn’t always work well. Our client database was heavily skewed towards women, and people could be very specific in what they were looking for to the point where we just couldn’t help them based on our clientele. Sometimes our focus on meeting our weekly quota caused us to make matches that we knew wouldn’t be great (though, sometimes these bad matches ended up going well — we even had a couple get married, even though we dreaded matching them up originally!). We had favorites and we had people whose calls we’d ignore for as long as possible. For the most part, we really wanted to do our jobs well and make our clients happy, but a lot of the process is luck and numbers and unpredictable chemistry, which we had no control over.
Did you ever find yourself setting up a match less because you thought it was a great match and more just because you had to meet that’s week’s quota?
All the time. In fact, sometimes our boss encouraged this. He was a numbers guy, and I don’t think he decided to buy a matchmaking franchise because he’s a sucker for love. He saw the profit in the business and focused on that. There was a lot of pressure on the staff to meet our numbers, sometimes at the expense of our clients’ experiences.
We did try to exhaust all possible good matches before resorting to a quota-driven match. The staff was committed to creating great matches when possible, especially because the clients were people that we developed relationships with over the course of their membership. We didn’t want them to hate our service or hate our work (or hate us personally!). But sometimes, it was inevitable.
Do you remember if any of the “quota-driven” matches worked out?
Yes! One of my favorite stories is about a client (I’ll call her Beth) who was very difficult to match. She was an older client (in her 60s) who didn’t mind being matched with older men, so long as they “didn’t look old.” We went through all of our older men who didn’t look old and then ran out of people to pair her with. There was only one man left to match her with (I’ll call him Sam) and while he was a lovely person, he definitely looked his age or older.
Inevitably, Beth came up on our list of clients who had to be matched in order for us to hit our quota, and we all got very nervous about setting her up with Sam, but we did it because we had to. Fast forward eight months later when Beth and Sam got married!
One of the things we told our clients all the time, especially when we were matching them with someone who didn’t meet their on-paper criteria, was that dating was a numbers game and that chemistry doesn’t pay attention to whether your match likes rock climbing or not. We would tell them this so that they’d just agree to suck it up and accept the match and go on the date. It turns out this is true! You can want to meet someone two years older than you, with a Master’s degree, who’s never been married before and have no kids. But you can end up falling in love with a young divorcee who has a child from a previous marriage and never went to grad school. You just have to be open to everything."
Yeah, I don't know about you, but I don't think it sounds like a particularly romantic job.
"The organization’s quantified approach, based on five million texts, has already produced a unique collection of mental-health data. C.T.L. has found that depression peaks at 8 p.m., anxiety at 11 p.m., self-harm at 4 a.m., and substance abuse at 5 a.m. The organization is working on predictive analysis, which would allow counsellors to determine with a high degree of accuracy whether a texter from a particular area, writing in at a particular time, using particular words, was, say, high on methamphetamine or the victim of sex trafficking. A texter who uses the word “Mormon” tends to be reaching out about L.G.B.T.Q. issues."
Kinda scary to know what times of night/morning everyone has down times. The hour of the wolf, of course. I myself woke up at 4 a.m. this morning panicking about my life. Did that help? Did I sort out everything I was worried about at 4 a.m.? No, of course not! I laid there for almost two hours trying to get back to sleep and stop worrying and didn't manage a bit of it and then finally gave up and got up to watch some Doctor Who.
"I work at a therapeutic high school. Our students generally have not experienced success in their other placements, and a lot of them have pretty massive school anxiety/school refusal. One of the most successful interventions I've put into place this year was to create a G**gle number that I give to my students, with parental permission. On days that they come to school, I check in with them at the end of the day, telling them what great work they did. I usually text them every morning, telling them something fun that's going to happen or sometimes a funny cat picture. When they aren't in by 9; I always text them, "What's up?" and we work through what's going on. Sometimes I remind them of the absence policy, or we're having pizza for lunch, or we're having a dance party instead of Study. Sometimes I just say I'll miss their smiling face. Here's the thing: the kids that I have this texting conversation with; these kids come to school. I got a boatload of administrative pushback about this idea, but they will not argue with the results."