And I Quote, Part 2

A few weeks ago, I confessed to you my love for quotes. When I see one that strikes a chord and makes me connect with it, I will write it down. This all began during my divorce, when I began collecting quotes that captured the gamut of emotions I was feeling at the time. Gradually, I started collecting other types of quotes as well. Herewith, are a random sampling of my non-divorce quotes.


When I captured this first quote, I didn’t know who Colm Meaney was, but his words resonated with me:

“Creativity. It’s the ability to look at a situation with a unique—sometimes tortured, sometimes demented, sometimes humorous—vision.” – Actor Colm Meaney

“One of the greatest gifts you can get as a writer is to be born into an unhappy family.” – Pat Conroy, author of Prince of Tides.

“Dreams are extremely important. You can’t do it unless you imagine it.” – George Lucas

“Marriage was Lucy and Ricky.”

Ode to an American Baby Boomer Childhood

“We were, after all, a generation raised on happy endings. War was Bob Hope entertaining the troops. Marriage was Lucy and Ricky. Old age was Jimmy Durante—‘Goodnight, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.’ Disease, death, disaster, happened on the news to foreign people in foreign clothes speaking foreign languages.” –Author Marly Swick, from the book, Paper Wings

“The smell of paraffin bombards me. The olfactory system engages. The hypothalamus clicks on. Look out! Here they come—childhood memories!” – From article about Crayola crayons in Smithsonian magazine, November 1999


Whenever my mother baked, she used Venezuelan vanilla, which, unlike the kind you find in the states, which smells a bit of alcohol, has the scent of pure, sweet vanilla:

“Vanilla was always there for you—in your ice cream, in your rice pudding, in your sugar cookies, in your birthday cakes.” – Patricia Rains, The Vanilla Cookbook

Pop Culture

This one was written more than 10 years ago and, if you ask me, not much has changed. In fact, it’s gotten worse.

“Each of the four decades preceding the 90’s has found its identity in some crystallizing event or upheaval, some moment that gave the times their meaning. For the conformist 50’s, it was the House of Un-American Activities Committee hearings; for the revolutionary countercultural 60’s, it was JFK’s assassination; for the jaded, cynical 70’s (also known as the Me Decade), it was Nixon’s resignation; for the go-go 80’s, it was the economic boom that followed the ’83 recession; and for the 90’s, God help us, it was the O.J. saga, a prolonged Hollywood Babylon spectacle that confirmed the prevailing national interest in sex, death, celebrity and televised car chases.”  –   From “The Tabloid Decade,” an article written by David Kamp for Vanity Fair magazine, February 1999.

“They say you can’t live in the past, but of course you can; that’s practically all pop culture does now, is live in the past. The past is a permanent tape loop, constantly being sampled and updated to create a new montage. Through the miracle of editing, Fred Astaire now dances with a vacuum cleaner, John Wayne sells beer. We’re all Zeligs now. ‘Let me sing forevermore,’ Sinatra sings in ‘Fly Me to the Moon.’ For better or worse, you got your wish, daddy-o.”  – From “When They Were Kings,” article about the Rat Pack, by James Wolcott for Vanity Fair magazine, circa 1999.

American Tragedy

Toward the end of the 90’s, one of the most horrific crimes on school grounds, rocked this country to its core, resulting in the town’s name to forever be associated with this tragedy: Columbine. At the time, many asked, where were the parents? How did they not know? Here’s one writer’s take:

“Every parent knows that raising children requires bicycle helmets, Beanie Babies, notebook paper, prayers, skill, the grace of God and plain dumb luck. But what many of us don’t ever come to grips with is this: we must take responsibility for the world our children inhabit. We make the world for them. We give it to them. And if we fail them, they will break our hearts ten different ways.”  — From “Where Were the Parents?” an article written by Amy Dickinson for Time magazine, in reference to Columbine High School tragedy. May 3, 1999.

Freedom of the Press

I’m not sure if this next one is talking about journalists or paparazzi. Maybe both.

“Let me tell you about our profession. We are the meanest, nastiest bunch of jealous, petty people who ever lived.” – Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist


You’re probably familiar with this one, but it never hurts to be reminded:

“We are all part of a complex web of life and whatsoever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.” – Chief Seattle

What’s Love Got to Do with It?

“If equal love there cannot be, let the more loving one be me.” – W.H. Auden

“There are times when I feel a little suffocated by it. There are parts of me that still want to push that affection away. I’ve always been used to being the caretaker; everything’s been done on my terms. Now everything has to be 50-50 and it’s hard. I’m learning to accept love…but I still want to be calling the shots all the time.” – Elton John, 2000

And one more…

“Joe, if what you’re saying is true, then I still don’t care.”  — Dave Foley’s character, Dave Nelson on an episode of News Radio.

39 thoughts on “And I Quote, Part 2

  1. Pingback: And I Quote, Part 3 « Monica's Tangled Web

  2. Monica, the Amy Dickinson quote made a light bulb or two go off in my head….thanks for that…and my daughter agrees with you on the merits of vanilla…

    Since I wrote a short blog post about Churchill (Winston) someone tweets me a Churchill quote every few weeks…here’s one:

    “Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”

  3. I love these quotes. I once gave a friend – who had requested no gifts for her 60th birthday – a compilation of 60 favorite quotes. Just wish I had the one on vanilla. I’ll have to add it to her 61st birthday list.

    • Vanilla has been such a big part of my life, the scent is heavenly. In fact, when I buy scented candles, 99 percent of the time, it’s the vanilla ones I go for. They’re delicious. Smells like something sweet and yummy is baking in the oven.

  4. ***“The smell of paraffin bombards me. The olfactory system engages. The hypothalamus clicks on. Look out! Here they come—childhood memories!” ***

    How True!

    When I smell Chocolate Chip Cookies & Sugar Cookies,
    I flow back to those beautiful carefree childhood days.

    Love to you, Monica. Xxx

    • Oh, Kim, I love that one, too. Isn’t it so visual and exciting? Yes, what can be more thrilling than recalling those childhood memories? Scents, more than anything, are perfect for taking you back. Often, listening to an old song has the same effect. 😉

  5. I love this one Monica. I have been away from blogging and have missed it dearly. I have a dictionary of very old quotations and it is so brilliant, I can’t tell you how much I use them. Right now, my chalk board carries one from George Elliot that reads:
    “I think my life began, waking up and loving my mother’s face”

    I too loved the one on Vanilla. I try to find either the one from Mexico or the one from Madagascar as they are sweeter than the ones from here, I would so love to get some from Venezuela. Maybe online 🙂

    • If you find Venezuelan vanilla online, do let me know. The last time I went, I brought a few bottles back with me, carefully packed in my checked bag, so they wouldn’t break, and because liquids aren’t allowed on the carry on. I treasure my bottles of vanilla.

      Glad you’re back, MM!

  6. My, my. I do believe I gravitate toward the first quote. The more twisted, the better.

    Here’s one for you:
    Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes. Jim Carrey

  7. As a former journalist, I cringe at that quote about our being mean, nasty, jealous, and petty. Unfortunately, I knew a few like that, but on the whole, most (back in the day, at least!) were concerned, caring, active citizens, who truly believed they were doing a valuable service. Now? Not so sure!

    • Debbie, I agree. But I figured a man like Seymour Hersh cannot be taken lightly. Therefore, I can only conclude he was speaking of the paparazzi. Or, tabloid journalists? That’s my two cents! Whatever it was about, I found the quote to be dramatically expressive. In other words, he said a mouthful!

  8. As a baby boomer also, the 50s were about “duck and cover” and dresses with petticoats, but I can relate to and appreciate nearly every one of these quotes. Nice compilation, my friend.

  9. I’ve always like the truth expressed in the song “Moon River” – so true:
    Moon River, wider than a mile,
    I’m crossing you in style some day.
    Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker,
    wherever you’re going I’m going your way.
    Two drifters off to see the world.
    There’s such a lot of world to see.
    We’re after the same rainbow’s end–
    waiting ’round the bend,
    my huckleberry friend,
    Moon River and me.

    • Karen, Moon River is one of my favorite songs. I’ve have several versions of it on my iPhone, but recently I downloaded the Andy Williams version which remains the best. Reminds me of my youth. The lyrics are lovely and bittersweet.

  10. I love that quote by Pat Conroy. And not that you asked, but The Prince of Tides is one of my long time favorites. It’s one of the stories I never tire of reading – ever! Thanks.. I might pick it up this weekend. Have your read is book on writing and reading? It’s short, but worth the read. As for the vanilla, I am intrigued. I’ve never used but curious now to find some. I suppose it’s not easily obtainable. .

  11. Monica, add my name to the list of lovers of quotes. My favorite is the one about vanilla, a scent I love; so comforting. Perhaps it’s because I associate it with baked goods? hee hee! Venezuelan vanilla sounds wonderful! 🙂

    • Bella, I have about three bottles of Venezuelan vanilla that I keep in my fridge. Sometimes I just remove the bottle cap to inhale. Doesn’t matter whether I’m baking or not, I just love the scent of real vanilla. I don’t know why it doesn’t smell like that when you buy vanilla in the states.

  12. Life is an adventure to be lived and not a problem to be solved – my favorite! Thanks for sharing. I added a quotes board to my Pinerest page so when I need a little inspiration, I go to those. Thanks for sharing your favorites!

  13. Very touching, especially the quote about parenting during the colombine tragedy. Colombine and September 11 changed us and not in the best way.

    • I know. Columbine was so awful and unexpected in the sense that we’d never had such a mass shooting on school grounds before. And the horror that those kids went through that day. I happened to be in the area about a week after it happened and I went to the school to pay my respects. An enormous tribute had been set up in a park next to the school, with lots of letters written to those who perished. It was hard not to get emotional.

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