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 have a lot of friends who graduated and went on to take jobs in order to pay the bills,” said Crouch. “And every single one of them is miserable. And I’m just like—what’s the point of paying bills if you’re just going to be unhappy?” said Crouch. “I deserve to be happy and fulfilled, which means steadily incurring more and more bills until I die.”
I'm really amused at this Dear Prudence: a nanny suddenly gets a proposal from the boss. Just as I'm thinking, "What is this, Jane Eyre?" However, Emily Yoffe has seen this shit before.
"Amazingly, this Sound of Music scenario has come up several times in the column. In the past letters, the specifics of the situation have made changing the employer-employee relationship sound like a good idea. But in your case, I’m concerned about your getting von Trapped with someone you barely know on a personal basis. He’s proposed to you way before you know whether you two can make beautiful music together. You are very young, and possibly an immigrant, and apparently mostly alone in the world. Nothing has happened between you and your boss, which is good. So an out-of-the-blue marriage proposal is bizarre. It also complicates your ability to work for him. If you’re interested in him, that means you two need to have adult time together. And by that I mean going on dates in which you get to know each other, not jumping into bed to consummate your change in status from employee to fiancée. I know you love these children, but if things get weird, you need to be ready to leave."
"I can’t even remember—it’s like being born addicted to methadone. I came out of the womb sick with it. Like there’s never been a time in my young life when I didn’t know about and hate stupid-ass Garrison Keillor. But I started hating it more when we ran out of CDs in my girlfriend’s truck.
I could spend the rest of my shitty life listening to A Prairie Home Companion and walk through death’s fucking doors not knowing a thing. The show is an abomination—an entire hour of nothing but one man’s insane, repulsive fantasy. “News from Lake Wobegon.” My God. What a nightmare. It’s inoffensive, it’s bland, it’s plodding. You can feel the wrinkles growing and the blood draining out of your dick. It’s a radio show for guys who married their high-school sweethearts. Model train music. He stretches that hour into eternity. There is absolutely a hell, and it’s in Minnesota, and its demon king is fucking Keillor.
I think Obama will listen to the petition, though. It’s his last year, and people are all excited because he stopped wearing tan suits and lit up the White House rainbow. I think, as his final act, he will pardon Mumia and order the arrest of Keillor to face charges of high treason and sabotage.
I’d gladly listen to some bozo drone on and on about how aerodynamic PT Cruisers are forever into eternity until my fuckin’ skin falls off than hear the dumbass news from Lake Wobegon.
I would absolutely vote for any candidate who ran on a platform of hanging Garrison Keillor.
The only solution is, as I see it, to kill Keillor. Like a strong message must be passed on—that this sort of wrinkle-man tyranny will not stand in the greatest country in the world and also history.
"The East Bay's most exclusive underground Chinese restaurant can be found inside an unassuming bungalow on a residential street nestled high in the El Cerrito hills. Chiu's Moderately Ok Chinese is a dining establishment that's so far under the radar it doesn't have its phone number or hours of business listed anywhere on the internet — but, according to Yelp user "Sung L.," it's so popular customers routinely have to wait in line, and it serves wonton soup and salt and pepper spareribs that are, in the words of Yelp user "Shirell B.," where "heaven can be found on earth."
But I didn't figure that out until after I had driven 45 minutes along winding backroads, fueled by a small number of enthusiastic online reviews and the prospect of a big scoop, to arrive at a cute little house that most certainly didn't look like a restaurant. Still, I didn't give up hope — not even after the middle-aged white lady who answered the door (and who, I'll admit, didn't exactly fit the picture of the "Chiu" I'd conjured up in my mind) politely explained that she'd been living in the house for nineteen years, and, as far as she was aware, there had never been a restaurant there. Helpfully, she suggested that I check out Uncle Wong's around the corner.
In the end, after reaching out to the four Yelpers who wrote the reviews that first sent me on this misadventure, I figured out that the correct explanation was the simplest one: I'd been duped. And it's embarrassing how easy it was to fool me. The first step, if your goal is to prank a food critic, is to come up with a good name for your fake restaurant. Goofy and self-deprecating, "Chiu's Moderately Ok Chinese" is a great restaurant name; possible headlines for my intended review practically wrote themselves.
What does it say about me — or about our food-obsessed culture, which places such a premium on discovering the latest and greatest obscure restaurant — that I fell for such obvious food-writer catnip? What significance is there to the fact that I read four reviews offering little to no actual information about the dishes served at Chiu's — except that they were, in "Amanda W.'s" words, "THE BOMB" — and considered that par for the course? What does it say about Yelp — a company dogged by accusations of unethical business practices — that, as of this printing, a completely fictitious restaurant entry that lists some innocent bystander's home address hasn't been taken down more than a month after it was created? (It was more than a little bit ironic to see, above a series of fake reviews, Yelp's disclaimer: "Your trust is our top concern, so businesses can't pay to alter or remove their reviews.")"
"Thurston got his happy ending, and he never got scammed again."
Scrooge McFuck (not his real name) does not want a chub or an older girl (say, over 30), and he does not want “a black,” and yes, maybe you'll think he's a jerk, but he wants what he wants, and what is so wrong with that? Scrooge could probably have any woman he wants—he's wealthy and single and a TV producer in Las Vegas—and so it's hard to understand why he doesn't just go out there and find someone in a more traditional way.
Until he explains it. See, Scrooge has a Weird Sex Thing he likes, and he finds it hard to bring it up. “I'm not going into detail here”—and he never does, and we will all die not knowing, all of us except a few lucky ladies—“but there are certain things that I enjoy about sex, certain things, and it's difficult to tell the typical date about those things, so I never get past the first date.”
(And here I must confess that I've become obsessed to the point of being unhinged over trying to figure out what sex act Scrooge could possibly want that is so horrible. Is it something plain and regular, like anal? Maybe he wants to wear some lingerie? Does he want to punch her in the stomach while he sucks on a pacifier? Does he need her in a clown suit as he takes a dump on her clown nose? I'll be doing the dishes and it will come to me, these unbidden thoughts that are nonetheless relentless. Often in the past few months, my first thought upon waking up is a new possibility for Scrooge. “Maybe he wants to wear a saddle and be hit with a riding crop while he recites Whitman,” I will tell my husband. “Can I have coffee before we discuss this?” he will answer.)
Thursday: She went out with a scientist in his late fifties whose wife had a medical condition that prevented her from having sex or something else that is obviously completely made up. They didn't get around to the sex stuff until date two, but when they did, he asked for her to tell him incestuous fantasies while they did it—sisters, uncles, whatever. $500, boom.
Friday: She met a European scientist who asked her to accompany him to a conference in New Orleans for $5,000 for a week. She said yes, because that sounded like a vacation compared with the week she'd just had.
For Tigress, the question is not whether she's a prostitute. It's whether the rest of us are idiots.
Back at dinner, I take my glasses off and set them on the table and rub the bridge of my nose. It's been a long time since I began this story, and I have been exposed to no small amount of sociopathy, delusion, denial, and misogyny in the reporting of it."