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?”
I normally wouldn't pay any attention to these people, but this is, uh, memorably weird.
"But six years after the reality show that launched their careers ended, and nine years after Heidi met Spencer, Speidi remains together.
The couple lives in self-imposed exile from Los Angeles. After MTV cancelled The Hills, they briefly moved to Costa Rica, where they had planned to purchase a house. When they arrived, they learned that real estate in South America can be just as expensive as it is in California. (Neither Spencer nor Heidi bothered to google prices before they boarded a plane.) For nearly six months, Heidi and Spencer say they lived in a Ritz Carlton in Costa Rica, ordering room service for themselves and their four dogs for every meal. By the end of their stay, they were broke.
"[The Hills getting cancelled] was our 9/11," Spencer says.
Today, Heidi and Spencer live rent-free in Spencer's dad's beachside vacation home near Santa Barbara. At their front gate, they've installed a laser security system typically reserved for museums, but Spencer admits they don't really need it. "Nobody wants to break into our home anymore," he says. "They google our new worth and see we are worth $10."
Then she spotted Spencer in a booth surrounded by Playboy playmates. She had never seen one man with so many models; Spencer's game impressed her. "I was like cartoon goo-goo eyes, heart falling out of my head," Heidi recalls. She decided to steal Spencer from the playmates' clutches. They may be cute, but they don't have my dance moves, Heidi remembers thinking.
"What you don't realize is that when you fake fight, you make people hate you. It's not fun."
"When I started realizing I'm on The Today Show, and I'm getting verbally accosted by the weatherman, with all due respect, I was like, Something is wrong here," Spencer says.
In the office, Spencer says, the doctor showed him how much the procedures typically cost. All the prices were crossed out on the sheet of paper. "Tax was $0," Spencer says. He started thinking about how this would help them on the show. "And at this point, we were all for plot, so "$300,000 free?" Season four ratings had dipped by 25 percent. In 2009, Jersey Shore premiered; when Snooki got punched, she instantly eclipsed Hills stars as America's favorite starlet. Spencer and Heidi knew they needed to step up their crazy, so they took the surgery deal.
He went out and started buying more crystals, hoping the decorative ornaments could restore their sanity. "I was hoping I could be a wizard at that point," Spencer says. "I was like 'Fuck it, I need magical powers to get out of this.'"
"You definitely were on a spiritual quest," Heidi agrees.
"Yeah, I was trying to find wizard powers!"
"Why were you trying to find wizard powers?" I ask.
"Because we needed magic," Spencer says.
"We were going down," Heidi adds.
"I needed, fucking, a spell to get us out of there. I needed some Harry Potter magic," Spencer says. "You could feel the energy, the hate. We needed to counteract this darkness."
After MTV cancelled The Hills, they scrapped Speidi's spin-off. Spencer and Heidi had saved none of their fortune. They had invested millions in Heidi's failed music career. They assumed they could live comfortably off paparazzi photos, but as social media exploded, the value of paparazzi photos declined. Why would US Weekly buy a paparazzi photo when they could use a celebrity's Instagram selfie for free?
Poverty forced them to accept what they had done. They pioneered the reality TV game without a road map. In the last four years, they've appeared on foreign reality shows and Marriage Boot Camp. For a few weeks a year, they play Speidi, but then they go home to their house, where they live alone and avoid the public. They spend most their time together, which they live stream on Snapchat, drinking, cuddling, and watching reality TV.
"The biggest misconception about us," Heidi says, "is that we wouldn't do it all over again."
"All the good drinking songs and wenching songs are written for men," lamented their group leader, Jennifer Jones. "We, as women, like to drink and get drunk and do stupid stuff, and so we believe that we ought to have music that reflects that." In 2016, thus, Bell Book and Canto is coming out with an album called Poor Life Choices. One song, "I Came to Faire," details the story of a woman who returns to a renaissance faire-having gotten blackout drunk and subsequently pregnant the previous year-in order to determine the father's identity. Another, "Big Little Problem," tells of a woman who "breaks up with her lord because he's not well enough endowed for her," as Jones gently (and mirthfully) put it."
"NASA needed astronauts to go plant a flag on the moon. For obvious reasons, the astronauts ended up being the most reliable type of man America makes: white, straight, full-starch protestant, center-right, and spawned by the union of science and the military. Every last one of them was the heart of the heart of the tv dinner demographic. But then
they get shot into space, tossed from the gravity of this planet, across a quartermillion miles of nothing, to be snagged by the moon after three days. Eighteen guys did this and twelve descended further to find out that moon dust smells like gunsmoke. Every single one of them came back irrevocably changed. America had sent the squarest motherfuckers it could find to the moon and the moon sent back humans. Armstrong became a teacher, then a farmer. Alan Bean became a painter. Edgar Mitchell started believing in UFOs."
"But the press seemed more interested in the headline, “Astronaut Does ESP Experiment on Moon Flight.” Somehow word got out that it turned out to be without significance when in reality the results were completely in keeping with experiments conducted before and after in laboratories around the world. It appears that even great distances -- hundreds of thousands of miles -- do not alter this mysterious communication. When we compared my four sets of data -- two on days outbound, and two returning from the moon -- with the six data sets of individuals participating on Earth, we saw we’d achieved a “psi missing” result for the days I did the experiment and “chance” results for the other days. The psi missing statistics were such that there was only a 1-in-3,000 probability that our results were random!
After my space flight, I was contacted by some descendants of the original Roswell observers, including the person who delivered the child-sized coffins to the Air Force to contain the alien bodies. Another was one of the children of the deputy sheriff who was patrolling traffic around the site back then. There was also a military officer who was a friend of the families not involved in that particular operation, but who did share office space there. They all seemed credible with their stories that the bodies were alien."
"So I came back and started studying the mystical traditions, Uri Geller, and the inner religious experiences of humans. Because of my epiphany in space, I have come back and spent 30 years trying to explain what mind-brain is.
How did you meet Uri Geller?
The gentleman who was originally doing work with him, Dr. Andrija Puharich, called me and asked me if I was interested in meeting him. Geller has been investigated many times all over the world by scientists and magicians who are trying to debunk him. You have to work with these people on their terms. You find out what their shtick is, so to speak, and you set up a science protocol that works within the parameters that they are comfortable with. We did not set up a controlled experiment to do teleportation, for example. We didn't really know how to do that.
But you did ask him if he could teleport a camera you forgot on the moon?
That was really more of a joke, because I was annoyed with him. We were trying to get work done in the laboratory, and it wasn't working, and Geller said that he was good with teleportation. So I said "OK, teleport back the camera I left on the moon." He didn't get the camera back but he did get two lost tiepins of mine back. A piece of one of them showed up in Geller's mouth as he was eating ice cream, to the surprise of all of us. The other tiepin and the rest of the first one then showed up in the laboratory. One piece turned up right in front of Dr. Puthoff when he was with a group of people, and the other dropped to the floor between Dr. Puthoff and me when we were in the laboratory alone. "
“No one saw me go off the road,” she said in a recent interview, “and when I regained consciousness, I realized there was no way to call for help.”
Battaglia managed to get out of the car, only to realize that she was surrounded by cement walls and apparently trapped.
“I began to pray, and then I heard a voice …. It was a male-sounding voice, and it said, ‘Come this way.’ I crawled towards it. When I got to the place the voice came from, there was no one there, but I could see a bunch of cement bags piled up that I was able to climb back to the road to flag down help. I spent the next two weeks in intensive care at Enloe following emergency surgery.
“The whole experience was profound to say the least, and during the weeks and months that followed, I felt a strong pull to begin writing and performing music. I began learning how to play guitar and started writing. I ended up staying in Paradise and started my journey as a musician. I started at open mic at Has Beans and moved forward from there.”
Really strange video from Aaron Burr's POV in which suddenly they skip to the end and Burr texts and walks around by Benetton.
In other news, I forwarded to my mom an article about Hamilton possibly coming to my state and she said the following: "I wish you could be clearer about whether or not you would like to go to this show. You are a little ambiguous about whether you want to go." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.
Are there times where, as Burr, you wish you didn't kill him at the end? LOJ: Every night. I have to. I feel like every night, when you see a really good production of Romeo and Juliet or something, you should hope that it ends differently. That's why we watch our favorite movies again and again.
REG: We think, Maybe this time.
LOJ: A really good tragedy feels that way. Every night, I'm looking for it in his eyes — I want him to make different decisions. I want it to end differently. And goddammit, it never does. [Table laughs.]
CJ: You get caught up in the same stuff. You think he's not going to make you mad, but —
LOJ: He does every night, right around "Obedient Servant." I'm like, Please, don't do this. [Table laughs.]
DD: The one time the shot didn't go off, were you a little relieved?
"We're so detached from that idea today, when the cold means nothing more than mild annoyance and sometimes slippery roads, that it's hard to grasp how recent this was, and that this was the way of things for virtually all of human history. Every year, you headed into winter with just enough stored food and fuel to get by. The old and the sick knew they might not make it through, and an especially harsh winter could mean no one would feel the sun's warmth ever again. Every year, you watched all of the plants turn brown and shrivel into husks, followed by an unrelenting darkness and cold that threatened to swallow you and everything you love.
And looking back at that, we see an awesome little portrait of exactly how much humans kick ass. Every year, you see, winter arrived with a short day followed by the longest night of the year (aka the winter solstice), and since before recorded history, humans have been celebrating that day with a feast, or festival, or outright debauchery. On that longest night before the frozen mini-apocalypse, in all times and places you would find light and song and dancing and food. Cattle would be slaughtered (to avoid having to feed all of them through the winter), families would travel to be together, and wine would flow. Precious supplies were dedicated to making decorations and gifts -- frivolous things, good for nothing other than making each other happy."
"In a linked strongly worded article, albeit in the guise of a ghost of vetoed donation past, David Shaw delivers a damning criticism of one aspect of current organ donation policy and practice1—the practice of allowing next of kin or family to over-rule a donation wish of deceased potential donors.
Jacqueline Carey: Dark Currents Reviewed February 19. (****)
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller: Trade Secret Reviewed February 18. (**)
Lois McMaster Bujold: Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen Reviewed February 8. (****)
Annette Gordon-Reed: The Hemingses of Monticello Reviewed February 15. (***)
Marie Brennan: A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir By Lady Trent Reviewed February 12. (****)
Meljean Brook: Riveted Reviewed February 11. (****)
Steven Brust: Sethra Lavode Reviewed February 10. (****)
Steven Brust: The Lord of Castle Black Reviewed February 9. (****)
Steven Brust: The Paths of the Dead Reviewed February 8. (***)
Augusten Burroughs: This Is How: Proven Aid in Overcoming Shyness, Molestation, Fatness, Spinsterhood, Grief, Disease, Lushery, Decrepitude & More. For Young and Old Alike. Reviewed January 27. (*****)
Gabrielle Oettingen: Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside The New Science of Motivation Reviewed January 26. (****)
Seanan McGuire: Indexing: Reflections: all chapter reviews Reviewed January 14. (****)
Michael Signer: Becoming Madison: The Extraordinary Origins of the Least Likely Founding Father Reviewed January 26. (***)
Seanan McGuire: Indexing: Reflections: Episode 24: Never After Reviewed January 12. (****)
Wildbow: Worm: Gestation 1.6 Reviewed January 21. (****)
Wildbow: Worm: Gestation 1.5 Reviewed January 20. (***)
Wildbow: Worm: Gestation 1.4 Reviewed January 19. (**)
Wildbow: Worm: Gestation 1.3 Reviewed January 18. (***)
Wildbow: Worm: Gestation 1.2 Reviewed January 15. (***)
David McCullough: John Adams Reviewed January 14. (****)
Elle Kennedy: The Deal Reviewed January 13. (****)
Rachel Schurig: Escape In You Reviewed January 12. (****)
Rachel Schurig: Relent (Ransom Series Book 4) Reviewed January 11. (****)
Rachel Schurig: Redeem (Ransom Series Book 3) Reviewed January 8. (****)
Rachel Schurig: Release (Ransom Series Book 2) Reviewed January 7. (****)