Don’t Quote Me!

Don’t Quote Me!

Don’t quote me, but I’m not Irish.

I did bake Irish Soda Bread once but it was very dry, and as a kid I’d never pass up the opportunity for a bowl of Lucky Charms. I do know how to say, “Top ‘o the morning to you,” though I say it in my standard New York accent and can’t fake the pretty Irish lilt. I love the music of the Chieftains and, of course, that fancy footwork those Irish dancers are so good at.

And that’s about the extent of my Irish-ness. Continue reading

A Mash-up of Trivia & Quotes

A Mash-up of Trivia & Quotes

Despite my plea last week for a personal assistant, I got bupkis. Though many of you commiserated and admitted you could use one, too. Yet, no one came forward and offered to take on the job. Sigh. Which leaves me back at the drawing board. Continue reading

And I Quote–Again

Fourth in a Very Infrequent Series:

I’ve packed my bags, I’ve watered the plants, and I’ve asked a friend to check my mail. Henry has made his way to his country estate (aka, my friend, Trisha’s house which boasts a BIG BACKYARD), where he’s sure to have a nice respite from Oliver and his tail-chasing antics.

As for Oliver, he will be attended to by his guardian (aka, my son’s girlfriend).

So, you know what this means. Yep, my son and I are headed out for a spell.

After all, it’s not everyday my youngest graduates from college. And, since she was able to score some tickets to the graduation ceremony—which, if you ask me, were about as hard to get as tickets to see Justin Bieber in concert (not that I’m in the market to see Bieber, mind you)—I figured the least we can do is show up.

IMG_1652

So, while I’m away, I thought I’d leave you with some pithy quotes to mull over (along with some cute shots of Oliver and Henry!).  And yes. There will be a test when I return! ;)

From the World of TV:

“Growing old is not a leper colony where an unfortunate few are sent to die. It is a precious gift given only to some lucky human beings.” — Dick Van Dyke, in his autobiography.

“It’s good to have an open mind, but not so much that your brains fall out.”

–The second wife, Nicolette, to the first wife, Barbara, in the finale of the HBO series, Big Love.

From Scandal–the enthralling series that lives up to its namehere’s a snippet of dialogue about whether to move the injured President Fitzpatrick Grant to Camp David.

First Lady Melly Grant:  Moving him to Camp David will make him look weak.

Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene:  He’s unconscious. He is weak.

“Mary is who you wish you were, Rhoda is who you probably are and Phyllis is who you’re afraid you’ll become.” -Valerie Harper, reflecting on beloved characters from The Mary Tyler Moore Show.IMG_1646

From Seinfeld, Part 2 of “The Trip,” in which Kramer relocates to LA, to pursue a career in acting.

Kramer: Things are going pretty well for me here. I met a girl.

Jerry:  Kramer, she was murdered!

Kramer: Yeah, but I wasn’t looking for a long-term relationship. I was on TV.

George:  As a suspect in a serial killing.

Kramer: Okay, yeah. You guys have to put a negative spin on everything.

From the World of Blogging (Because sometimes bloggers say the darndest things.)

IMG_1602“Regardless of what brings you to a blank page, remember to write from your heart and with passion. Write with integrity. Write honestly. Write with reckless abandonment. Write without expectation. Write with conviction, and sincerity. Write originally. Write what you know and then some. Write with spice. Write with love. Write from your heart. Write with discipline. Write for one reader. Write without filters. Write to a lost lover. Write with all of your senses. Write as if you were dying. Write as if you are making love for the first time. Write as if you are staring down the barrel of a gun. Write without doubt. Write without an editor on your shoulder. Write as if there is a camera on your shoulder. Write without compromise. Write what you feel.” – Brenda Moguez, Passionate Pursuits.

“We could have Pop-Tarts and cupcakes every day. We’d eat so many that our little babies would have sprinkles for dimples and icing for hair.” –  Thoughts Appear

“It is bad enough losing your voice but don’t get stuck wearing an anger muzzle.” From Paws to Talk

“I can have a father from the mafia, but not live myself, dismembered in some bipolar underworld.  I can be a sane, whole, and liberated lesbian.” – Kathryn,  Reinventing the Event Horizon

“Fly, fly on my butterfly.

My prayer is that

The spider’s web

Never intersects your flight.

Fly, fly on my butterfly.

I wish you sweet daffodils and golden buttercups

For endless days of flight.”

–Carl D’Agostino, I Know I Made You Smile

“He was so startled and overwhelmed by the feeling, my eyes filled with tears too.  And from that moment on, a powerful new identity took over my sweet, funny, loving husband.  He was now Daddy.”Lisa W. Rosenberg’s tribute to her husband on Father’s Day

And One More, which will give you food for thought:

“What kind of peace do we seek, enforced in the world by American weapons of war? Let us reexamine our attitude toward the Soviet Union, to realize the extent of the gulf between us. And, if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future and we are all mortal.“  — President John F. Kennedy

So, how about you? Heard anything in the blogosphere or on TV that bears repeating?

Fab Five Stories I Treasure

Try to remember the first time you picked up a book that you’ve grown to love. Chances are you probably didn’t realize then what it would mean to you. But, as you turned the pages, delving deeper into the story, it hit you: the book touched something deep inside you. It resonated and moved you, stirring a passion for the author’s story, the rhythm of the words, the characters, and the setting.

When you find a book like that, all the elements come together, leading you down a path in which you discover something new about yourself. You might be left wondering, how is it that you could love a book this much? But you do, and so it goes, and there you have it.Boys+Life

Months ago, Brenda, a blogger friend who often writes about the art of writing, tagged me in a post about her Fab Five Books. I’ve been remiss in thanking her, and writing a post on the books that I treasure.

What strikes me is that the books on my list are mostly about coming of age and loss of innocence. Evocative of another time, these books can make your eyes widen with a sense of wonder, tug at your heartstrings, make you think, make you sad, give you a chuckle, and fill you with pangs of nostalgia. Exquisitely and flawlessly written, these books have protagonists I’ve come to really care about. In alphabetical order by author, they are as follows:

Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon. This is from an author who specializes in grizzly horror, but this book is unlike his usual genre. Set in the early 1960s, in a town called Zephyr, Alabama, it’s the story of an 11-year-old boy who, while out doing deliveries with his father, witnesses a murder. As the boy tries to unravel the mystery, he uncovers truths about his town, and the people who live in it.  He grapples with forces of good and evil, including a serpent-like creature that inhabits the river. I guarantee you will love this book. Part fantasy and semi-biographical, it is 100 percent lyrical and engrossing.  Truly, Boy’s Life is a masterpiece. Favorite Quote:

We all start out knowing magic. We are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, and comets inside us. We are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand. But then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. We get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. We get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. Told to act our age. Told to grow up, for God’s sake. And you know why we were told that? Because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves.

 

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I love stories about time travel and I love a good romance. The Time Traveler’s Wife has both. If you saw the movie version, please get it out of your mind, for it didn’t do the book justice. This story will make you think, and have you rooting for the couple—Henry, who has a disorder that makes him involuntarily time travel, and Clare the woman he marries—whom he first meets when he is 36 and she is, but six. They marry when Clare is 23 and he 31. Sound confusing? Just read it. It’ll have you believing that anything’s possible. Even true love. Favorite Quote:

Time is priceless, but its free. You can’t own it, you can use it. You can spend it. But you can’t keep it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.

 

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. If you want to know what perfection in writing sounds like, open The Bell Jar to any page and read it aloud. Plath was a poet and her prose reads like every word came from her heart and soul. She certainly dug deep and is unflinching in her honesty. Drawn from her own life, this is a book for the ages. Favorite Quote:A+Tree+Grows+in+Brooklyn

There is something demoralizing about watching two people get more and more crazy about each other, especially when you are the only extra person in the room. It’s like watching Paris from an express caboose heading in the opposite direction–every second the city gets smaller and smaller, only you feel it’s really you getting smaller and smaller and lonelier and lonelier, rushing away from all those lights and excitement at about a million miles an hour.

 

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. I was in sixth grade when I first read this book. I vividly remember sitting in my family’s living room, reading the day away. And sobbing. Yes, it’s a tearful journey through life as a girl who comes of age in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn, New York, with a hard-working mother and an alcoholic father. And, all she wanted was an education. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is heartfelt and inspiring. Favorite Quote:

From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived.

Our Town has been performed more than any other American play ever written. My hands-down favorite is this 1977 version that starred Glynnis O'Connor and Robby Benson.

“Our Town” has been performed more than any other American play. The first performance I ever saw was at my high school, but I especially love this 1977 version, starring Glynnis O’Connor and Robby Benson.

 

Our Town by Thornton Wilder. This is not a novel, it’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning play, but that shouldn’t stop you from reading it. There’s nothing that captures a slice of life in small town America, circa 1900, like Our Town. Bare bones in set and feel, it leaves much to the imagination and yet it has the power to transport you to fictitious Grover’s Corners just like that. Our Town is about love, family, marriage and death, and appreciating the little things in life while we can. What makes Our Town so enduring? Watch the video below and find out! Favorite quote:

Good-by, Grovers CornersGood-by to clocks tickingand Mamas sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot bathsand sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, youre too wonderful for anybody to realize you.

 

If you haven’t already, I hope you’ll read any one of these. And now, I’m pleased to tag my dear friend, Bella, of One Sister’s Rant, so she can share her Fab Five.

How about you? What are some of your favorites?

And I Quote

Divorce is kind of like the story of The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. One day you’re married. The next day you awaken sleeping next to a cockroach. Who is this creature beside you, you wonder, and what ever happened to the person you married?

Illustration for the book cover, "The Metamorphosis," for the Simon and Schuster classic series. Selected for the 2009 CA Illustration Annual.

It’s a time of upheaval and massive change. You’re being wrenched in so many directions, wondering how you’ll get through it, drawing on all your coping mechanisms and figuring out where you go from here. You may wonder about the future and what’s in store for you, and how you’re going to take the reigns of your life, once and for all. Divorce is the time for all these things, and at the other end of the divorce spectrum is the discovery of who you really are.

I’ve written about some of my coping mechanisms, which helped me through the process. Like talking to strangers, finding comfort in music, and fighting my ex’s perception that I would never amount to anything.

Well, here’s something else I did. I started collecting quotes. At first, the quotes related specifically to divorce and love and being single again. But then I started expanding (which was a good sign that I was healing), and pretty soon I had a journal of quotes. Many of these quotes are from famous people. A few are from ordinary citizens.

And, all of them provide something to think about, whether or not you’ve ever experienced divorce.

Here’s a sample:

“How many torments lie in the small circle of a wedding ring?” – Robert Benchley, Dorothy Parker’s longtime friend and writer

“Find your blessings every day because none of us is going to get out of this life alive.” – Capt. Harry Jenkins, who died in a small plane crash, August 2, 1995.

“Lick it, put a stamp on it and mail it to someone who cares.” – Kyra Sedgwick’s character in the film, Something to Talk About.

“Being alone. There’s a certain dignity to it.” – Bridget Fonda’s character in the film, Singles.”

“You seem so different, yet the same. It’s as if someone turned the light on inside of you. Why wasn’t it me?” – Timothy Hutton to Meg Ryan, after he had broken off their engagement in the film, French Kiss (My ex actually said something like this to me around the same time, which gave me no small satisfaction.)

“One of the things that needs to happen after a divorce, it seems to me, is to let go of the bitterness and anger or disappointment about what happened in your marriage and turn the page. You can’t do that if you keep rereading the old chapters.” – From an article about single mothers in Redbook magazine, October 1996 issue.

“I spent too many of my younger years looking for guys, trying to be in love—and therefore ignoring the things that I needed to do for me, such as reading, learning, and opening up to new places I wanted to find in myself.” – Sally Field

“I think life is a series of difficult choices and then life throws the inevitable curve ball. I think more and more, getting through life is finding a sense of humor and being this wise person who laughs at everything.” – Glenn Close

“People, like angels, come when they are loved, wanted and expected.” – Deborah Tadman, my son’s art teacher when he was nine. I didn’t really know her, but one day, when I arrived to pick him up, she could see that I was in need of an angel.

“There’s absolutely no point in sitting around and feeling sorry for yourself. The great power you have is to let it go, and allow it just to be their crap. You focus on what you have, not what has been meanly, or unkindly, removed.” – Minnie Driver, discussing her then recent breakup with Matt Damon.

“If everyone has someone who is perfect for them, then perhaps everyone has someone that they are drawn to like a moth to a flame who is all wrong for them.”—From an article about a bigamist in Entertainment Weekly, circa 1997.

“I am on a lonely road and I am traveling, traveling. Looking for something what can it be? Oh, I hate you some, I hate you some, I love you some. Oh, I love you, why not forget about me?” – From one of my favorite Joni Mitchell songs, All I Want

“We women need to stop taking ourselves so seriously 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We need to put our foot in our mouth more…Listen with our hearts. So what if they get broken? We are resilient. We always have been able to pick ourselves up and keep right on steppin’.” – Author Terry McMillan, in an interview for Glamour magazine’s Women of the Year, 1996.

And one more:

“I can’t believe I’m making moral choices based on a B-movie.” – Phil Hartman’s character, Bill McNeal, speaking to Dave Nelson (played by Dave Foley) in one of my favorite shows, News Radio, referring to Dave’s favorite film, Logan’s Run.

So, tell me. What’s your favorite quote?