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."
So I'm listening to the Judge John Hodgman episode "Dad Nauseum," in which a dad thinks it's hi-larious to "order kung pao chicken" whenever he interacts with a service worker in a scenario that is not involving a Chinese restaurant. Say, at a toll booth. He thinks he's hi-larious. I did not laugh upon hearing this joke. If he pulled it on me in public, I probably would have just stared at him funny, and I have a good sense of humor. I gather some folks are laughing and some are not. He also says he specifically drops how much he tips someone if they don't laugh at it. He rags on people who don't laugh at him. He rags on people who can't be cheerful in public. Dad, of course, has not worked in the service industry.
Dude. Let me say a few things:
(a) You have not worked in the service industry, and clearly you do not get the soul crushing pain of how it works. I recommend listening to this episode of Invisibilia, particularly the end of it, for the problems of what happens when one has to be fake cheerful in public while being abused by your clientele.
"But she points out, there isn't any real evidence that these changes in behavior translate into actual gains in the bottom line - more money. On the other hand, she says there is clear evidence that forced smiling has a dark side.
GRANDEY: It's associated with health problems, with mistakes - making performance based errors. The strongest link I would say is between the display requirements and exhaustion - job burnout.
SPIEGEL: The problem, Grandey says is that the emotional norm of cheer is the now the default. And everyone, including customers, just expects it.
GRANDEY: Customers are aware that there's a service with a smile requirement. So it sets up a dynamic where customers are free to act however they want to the employee and the employee has to grin and take it. And so over time, that creates a feeling of dissonance, that feeling where your internal state is different than your external expressions or requirements. And that feeling of like wow this is incongruent with how I really feel inside. Your having to hold that for extended periods of time, that takes a toll on the body.
SPIEGEL: And so people drink or learn to ignore their true feelings.
GRANDEY: They might have to lose touch to their internal signal - how they truly feel.
SPIEGEL: Now obviously, there are plenty of people who genuinely enjoy interacting with customers and are not at all oppressed by their work. But talking to Grandey made me think about this trope that we have, the customer is always right. It suddenly struck me as kind of messed up.
GRANDEY: That communication tells the customer you have more power and more capability of getting what you want, and thus you can treat this employee how you want to - so emotional labor jobs tend to predict the experience of more mistreatment from customers. Our guess is that it's due to this - the customer knows they're always right, they can get away with it."
(b) While I appreciate your desire to make people in shit jobs get a laugh and get cheered up--that isn't wrong--this joke of yours really isn't actually funny. Sorry, it's not. I am going to comedy school and I can verify that I have a sense of humor and you can do better.
(c) This joke of yours is what I call "ABC Gum." It has lost its flavor. If it was ever funny, it really no longer is except to anyone but you. Telling the same joke over and over and over and over and over and over again for years really annoys people. Like say, your son who brought the case to JJH.
(d) If you want to lighten up a service worker's day, AT THE VERY LEAST, COME UP WITH A NEW DAMN JOKE. Or hey, multiple jokes! Vary it up a bit! You claim you can't come up with a better joke, but you call yourself a "character" and think you're funny. So, go think of something else.
(e) If you really want to lighten up a service worker's shitty day, you know what you can do? Sympathize with them. Acknowledge their pain. Acknowledge it's a crap job. Be nice. Also, don't base your tips on whether or not they laugh at your sad joke.
The judge's ruling, incidentally, points out that this whole joke is based on a power differential (you wouldn't say it in traffic court, would ya?), being a "wild card" stresses them out because you're complicating their day, you may be getting laughs because you're forcing them to laugh/dance like a monkey to your tune, and you're causing a problem for other people rather than being truly funny. "Threatening others implicitly with a lowered tip? That's terrorism." Alas, JJH refuses to stop a guy from being "funny" and tells him to work on the joke. He can't make it any more in any restaurants due to confusion and confusion is not funny, but terrifying to a preoccupied waitron. He may selectively do this joke in a retail interaction because of the contrast of the scenario, because it's "verging on funny." Remember, your audience is trapped. Also, start thinking about your audience for a change. You're not being funny, you're disrupting someone's life for your own entertainment.
Not too bad, JJH, though I would have banned the joke for the aforementioned ABC rule.
This may sound cruel, but the best way you can support Jim is to add to his suffering. Princess is his responsibility. Hold him accountable for her actions. Do not accept his apologies. Punish him for her behavior.
I know you’re worried that if you stick your neck out you’ll be painted as a harpie, but trust me, Princess is counting on you to keep your mouth shut. Fuck that. If she’s truly as awful as you make her out to be, then everyone else is sick of her shit too.
Broach the topic with your friends. Form alliances. Keep Jim’s best interests at heart, but also set some boundaries. Agree that when Princess makes a scene, he will be ordered to remove her. If she acts inappropriately, they will both be called out. Let it be clear that she is no longer welcome to ruin everyone else’s good time.
You can soften the blow by letting Jim know ahead of time that you’re done putting up with her flavor of crazy. It helps to have a group consensus, and it’s most effective if performed in the style of a classic intervention. (You know, sit him down and give him the whole “we’re here because we love you, but this behavior is unacceptable and will no longer be tolerated” speech.)
These may seem like drastic measures, but I assure you, nothing else will work. The only other solution is to hold your breath and stay miserable until the relationship implodes upon its own chaos.
Bear in mind that it’s possible to lose Jim during this process. I’ve had to let go a few of my close friends because of their poor choice of partners, but I don’t think that will happen to you. As you say, you’re a solid bunch. You look out for each other. You call each other out on your bullshit. If that’s the case, Jim will eventually come around.
In the meantime, no one else should suffer Princess but him."
I finally got around to This American Life on being fat (or losing a bunch of weight) and hoo boy, is it a whammy. Especially Elna Baker's story of how losing a bunch of weight does make everything better--except where it doesn't. Whoa.
"If you're unsure about whom to swipe right on, here's a helpful tip: Take a piece of paper and write "What I'm looking for" at the top, then fill in all the traits of your ideal mate. Next, take another piece of paper and write "What will make me happy?" at the top, and leave this paper blank, because you actually have no idea what will make you happy.
Despite what most people think, having more options is likely to make you less happy with whatever you choose.
Researchers in behavioral economics have also found that with more options, you're more likely to make worse decisions. So by opening up the can of worms that is Tinder, you may have ensured that you will have a worse outcome than if you had never done this in the first place. Causality's a bitch, isn't it?
Stare at the blank paper and reflect on what this means for your life in general. Should you have been a doctor?
#8. Seize The Day
The whole point of online dating is that it's a high throughput system. There's no substitute for experience, so it's time to get busy living. Pick one of your matches, set a time to meet, and throw caution to the wind! #7. Retrieve Your Caution From The Wind
Did you know that people have been murdered on Tinder dates?
That shouldn't be surprising, but it's something to think about as you agree to meet up with a complete stranger who treats bathrooms like Vogue cover shoots. In fact, serious crimes related to dating apps have exploded in the last two years. So maybe "throw caution to the wind" should actually be "carry mace."
6. Realize That The One For You Was Right In Front Of You All Along
Wonder how you have been so blind. It took nearly getting murdered while making out behind a Denny's for you to realize it, but now you see it clearly. Your perfect match was your best friend / wedding planner / lab partner this whole time. Feel like such a fool. Worry that it's too late, that you've taken them for granted for too long.
#5. Go After Them, You Dummy!
Rush to the airport to stop them from getting on that plane for their dream job in California. Tell the cab driver to "Step on it!" even though that means nothing to him and he'll keep going the speed limit so that he doesn't get a ticket. Sprint the last hundred feet to the terminal, only to realize that the TSA doesn't allow passengers to run up to airport gates anymore. Your love is long gone."