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?”
This Discworld homage is presumably also a reference to Turtle House.
Only at Whole Earth can you find yourself WAYLAID BY A BOX OF BABY TURKEYS. Now aren't you glad I've got photographic evidence? Also, WKRP is wrong and yes, baby turkeys can fly a bit.
I was walking down the street and came across this, with random people getting to hold baby turkeys before they flew away. I asked if this was a demonstration or something--"no, I just couldn't leave the baby turkeys in my car...."
Slate's Reincarnation Machine. I was supposedly Grandpa Walton, a baseball pitcher, and a Princess of Savoy. Okay, I can buy the princess. And before that, a politician and a mathematician (clearly I lost that ability), a politician again, an artist (again, buy that), a countess (yay!), a German noblewoman, a duke, a countess...
"And that’s when I saw something that I had never expected to see: these men were afraid. Where I had expected there to be aggression, hatred and power-mongering, I saw little, damaged boys, doing their best to seem strong. I saw shame and guilt and insecurity. And fear. Loads of fear. It stunned me. These big, strong men who had seemed so threatening, were actually just as scared of me as I was of them. They mitigated that fear by catcalling, a form of “You don’t threaten me!!”, shouted from a safe distance."
So I'm reading this book right now and it's a pretty powerful analysis of why people make dramatic changes seemingly out of the blue. On a related note, I just found this article on a military guy turning conscientious objector.
"A couple days after returning from leave in New Jersey, I had this dream, or maybe a deep meditation. When I snapped out of it, the first thing I thought was: ‘I’m going to file for CO.’ As I wrote in the CO application: At midnight on 20 May 2014, I woke with a start from a dream that I was floating in the nothingness of space. I was left with a lingering thought from my dream: someday I’m going to be dead. The whole next day I could not shake the feeling of being nothing, that one day my consciousness would disappear. That my existence was incredibly finite. That was the day I decided once and for all that I would file for CO. My life will soon be over, and I can’t spend another second of it pretending to be someone I’m not. I need to spend every remaining moment of my life being authentic.
That almost sounds like an epiphany.
BRIDGE: It was. When I was making breakfast the next morning, I had this quote that kept going through my head, and I wrote it on my white board: ‘Going to be stardust soon. No time to waste.’ That day I saw the chaplain. I said: ‘Ma’am, it’s not a question of “if”, it’s a question of “when”. I’m going to start writing my application.’
The person who signs a contract is not always the same person who wants to break it. People change, especially in their early to mid-20s. When they say: ‘You signed the oath in the contract,’ I say: ‘Well, when I signed the contract I was borderline alcoholic, pretty homophobic, and a bunch of other things that I’m not now. I’m not the same person who signed that contract.’
So the writer is a single mom living in CA and struggling, when one night she has a spooky dream:
"One night, completely exhausted, I tumbled into bed and had a dream that I had gone to Richmond, Va. (a place I’d never been), and that Richard (my daughter’s biological father) was coming to kidnap her and take her into Canada, and I’d never see her again. I was desperately seeking someone who could stop him at the border."
And then later...
"Then one afternoon I got a call from an old friend who ran a workshop at Virginia Commonwealth University. He asked me if I’d like to spend two weeks in Richmond next summer.
Kate was playing on the floor, inching toward an electrical socket, but I stood transfixed. Was this a cosmic joke? Premonition or mere coincidence, my decision was clear. Something was sending me to Richmond."
If I were her I probably would have said no to that offer after that dream! But she did not. She goes to Richmond and meets a nice guy named Larry.
"“You’re from Ontario?” I asked.
“Yes, I’m teaching in a place called North Bay.”
Slowly the dream came back to me, the dream where I was in Richmond and desperately needed a Canadian to protect my family. It didn’t seem possible, but here we were. “So you’re Canadian?”
Yes, he was."
HMMMM. Much to my relief in this story, no kidnapping ever happens and it ends well. But I was kinda nervous.
"My grandmother used to say if it’s meant to be, it will be. Twenty-five years later I still think about that dream. Was it a coincidence or a premonition? Did I foresee this future, or did I make all of these decisions because of a dream?
It has remained an enormous mystery, and a gift, to me. I do know that I had the dream and I have this life, and at times I cannot tell one from the other."
Most witchcraft marketplaces I saw make no claims about the tangibility of their products, and many have long disclaimers about how none of the spells are guaranteed to work and all the reasons they might not be effective. Those variables include things like “negative energy” and the universe having “other plans for you.” The product seems about as intangible as you can get, but, Zasikowski says, “it is rare for someone to experience no effects at all.”It does seem a bit suspect to be charging money for something that relies so heavily on the universe’s plans, which is what some witches use to argue against charging for services."
While I'll admit that the writer of this letter kinda sounds like a pretentious hippie (hoo boy, does she), Polly has some good points about dealing with family life in this one. Namely....
"My job here is to show up and eat giant platters of shit with a smile. Every goddamn day. Don't let me forget that. Don't let me imagine that we're all going to commune lovingly and accept each other completely. It's not going to fucking happen. Ever."
This is the mantra, when it comes to family: EVERYONE SHALL EAT GIANT PLATTERS OF SHIT, AND LIKE IT."