Don’t Quote Me!

Yes, that's me at a Downton Abbey Gala earlier this year. What fun and so apropos to share, given all the quotes I include here.

Yes, that’s me at a Downton Abbey Gala earlier this year. What fun and so apropos to share, given all the “Downton Abbey” quotes I include here.

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.

So if you were thinking I was going to be featuring a bunch of quotes in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, sorry to disappoint. On the other hand, if you’re up for some good, pithy quotes, then you’ve come to the right place. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned after three and a half years of blogging, it’s that everybody loves a good quote. So who am I to deny you a few more?

Author, Author!

“I’m up to my ears in unwritten words.” –J.D.Salinger in a letter he wrote while working on the must-read novel for all high school students,  “The Catcher in the Rye.”

“The hardest thing about writing is writing.” –Nora Ephron

Into the Blogosphere

I just love, love, LOVE these quotes from some very terrific bloggers:

“Maybe what women are really seeking when we fight to hold back time is not eternal youth, but eternal relevance in a disposable society.” –In Jayne’s World

“People, I’m done here. Have a look for yourself. I’m going to get with my people and see if I can track down this woman’s number because I owe her a slap. Stay beautiful. I know I will.” —Beatrice of Apt 7B

“Sue and I cruised downtown as soon as green simmered, Lake Superior thawed into diamonds, & boys exposed colorful tattoos. Us with our sooty Madonna eyes and big fat Aqua Net sprayed hair. Us with our Marlboro cigarettes dangling from our red lips like Marlene Dietrich.”  —My Inner Chick

As Heard on ‘The Today Show’

“Dear Emma, sometimes when I need a miracle, I look into your eyes and realize I’ve already created one. Love, Dad” –One of 826 messages written on napkins by Garth Callaghan of Richmond, Virginia, for his teenage daughter who is in eighth grade.

Callaghan, who has terminal cancer, is committed to writing these notes, one per day in her lunch bag until she graduates high school. He has an 8% chance of survival, so Emma will continue to receive the notes whether or not he’s around.

“Why do you always go there? Once is funny, twice is okay, three times is a lifestyle.” Al Roker to Matt Lauer, when Lauer suggests they dress as women again (as Miley Cyrus and Madonna) for Halloween.

Season 4 of ‘Downton Abbey’

Dame Maggie Smith is a woman after my own heart. In her role as the Dowager Countess of Grantham on “Downton Abbey,” she spouts forth a fragrant bouquet of memorable quotations. Here are some highlights from the latest season.

“Just because you’re an old widow, I see no reason to eat off a tray.”

“If I were to search for logic, I should not look for it among the English upper-class.”

“Switzerland has everything to offer except maybe conversation and one can learn to live without that.”

The Dowager Countess:  “You owe a debt to Mrs. Crawley. She would not let me go until I promised. She would not relax her grip.”

Mrs. Crawley:  “You make me sound very fervent.”

The Dowager:  “Wars have been waged with less fervor.”

Other Characters Have Their Say, Too

“He’s not bad looking and he’s still alive which puts him two points ahead of most men of our generation.” Lady Mary commenting on Lady Edith’s beau.

“I don’t know. Screaming in the servants hall, a singer’s chatting to his Lordship, and the footman’s cooking the dinner. What a topsy-turvy world we’ve come to.” –Carson the Butler

“Honestly, Papa, Edith is about as mysterious as a bucket. She’s gone to see Michael Gregson.” –Lady Mary

“If you don’t respect the past, we’ll find it harder to build our future.” –Lord Grantham

In Honor of Women

“There are many opportunities that I want people to have access to,” she says. “And if you’re not helping create those opportunities for them, then you really can’t complain when they don’t have them. For me, it’s all part of my vision. I look at my kids and I see all the possibilities and I’m always telling them, ‘Dream with your eyes open. Get out there and understand where you want to go.’ If you dream with your eyes closed you can’t see how to get where you’re going.” – Vickie Turner, San Diego Local Hero, Women’s History Month

Vickie Turner, San Diego Local Hero for Women's History Month

Vickie Turner, San Diego Local Hero for Women’s History Month

“I’ve been blessed by my parents’ love, by the love I had with Arnold, by the love of my children and my friends. I think that carries you through. We’re so consumed as a society with ‘Do you have a boyfriend?’ or ‘Are you married?’ We miss the love that is staring you right in the face. I feel surrounded by love. I feel blessed now here in my life. Yeah. I feel blessed.” –Maria Shriver, AARP magazine, Dec 13/Jan 20014 issue

He Said What? Those Darn Celebrities!

“Bringing up Baby” is one of the funniest screwball comedies from the 1930s. It stars Cary Grant as a stodgy paleontologist, Katharine Hepburn as Susan, a madcap heiress, and Baby, a rather tame leopard. Grant and Hepburn toss barbs and zingers at each other. Here are two from Grant.

1)  “I’m going to get married, Susan and don’t interrupt. My future wife has always regarded me as a man of some dignity. Privately I’m convinced that I have some dignity.”

2) “Now it isn’t that I don’t like you, Susan, after all, in moments of quiet, I’m strangely drawn towards you but, well, there haven’t been any quiet moments.”

Here’s Johnny! I’ve been listening to an audio book on Johnny Carson authored by his longtime lawyer, Henry Bushkin. It’s not a classic by any means, but it’s fascinating glimpse into Carson’s life during “The Tonight Show” years.

“The graveyards are filled with indispensable men.”

Carson didn’t actually say this, but he quoted it during a contract negotiation with NBC bigwigs who had claimed he was well, indispensable. If you ask me, anyone who can use this quote when referred to as essential, can’t have too much of an inflated ego, can they?

“If life were fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators dead.”

When I heard this, I found myself visualizing all the impersonators in their Elvis wigs and glittery white jumpsuits, toppling into an empty grave, with the real Elvis looking on in glee.

And One More…

Good night, Funnyman. You'll be missed.

Good night, Funnyman. You’ll be missed.

Comedian David Brenner died this weekend. I feel like I knew him well for two reasons:  #1 – He was featured on Johnny Carson more than 150 times and I must’ve seen at least 75 of those appearances. I just loved his humor. He was a real funnyman.  Reason #2 – My brother used to say that my ex reminded him of Brenner and he meant it in a good way. I must admit, there were similarities, mostly in the height and dialect.

According to Brenner’s website, his final request was that $100 in small bills be placed in his left sock, “just in case tipping is recommended where I’m going.” His tombstone is to read: “If this is supposed to be a joke – then I don’t get it!”

Now, that’s something worth quoting!

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26 thoughts on “Don’t Quote Me!

  1. Beautifully said, or shall I say, “quoted”? Gotta love David Brenner’s spirit! Man! I thoroughly enjoyed reading this over my writing break. I too, am up to my eyeballs, this time in written words.

    There was quite a bit here; all of it made for delightful reading. I was especially drawn to Garth Callaghan’s story. (Never heard of him until now.) My daughters, ages 8 and 5, insist that I write them a “love note” for their lunchbox each time they pack lunch. Sometimes, there is so little time, but I indulge them anyway, realizing how important this is to them. There are so many singular acts of love we can share with those we love while we ARE here. Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing, Monica.

    • As long as people keep saying clever, thoughtful things, there will always be great quotes. I’m just doing my part to share the wisdom and inspiration of their words. Glad you found something meaningful in the selection I included here. 🙂

  2. What a wonderful group of quotes! Now, introducing me to someone else I must go check out, I loved Jayne’s (I already follow the others). You did a fabulous job of pulling together a string of relevance, they just seem to flow together.

    I am so behind in my reading, yet I seem to find gems just when I need them most.

  3. What a fabulous ensemble of quotes–from everywhere, nicely done, Monica. I am hard pressed to pick a favorite, Jayne’s is fabulous, and Cary Grant’s line from Bringing Up Baby is a classic. Brenner’s comment is so him, and another classic. Great post, Monica, the quotes alone are worth saving and drawing upon when in need of a little lift.

    • Thanks, Brenda. I must say I’m most partial to Cary Grant, who was particularly funny in “Bringing up Baby.” He was handsome and debonair, yet didn’t mind playing such a nerdy role. Such an iconic man.

  4. Love Jayne’s quote and I will miss David Brenner. You do have good taste in many things, like you admiring Johnny Carson in recognizing David Brenner whose humor as you did, we loved. I love your presence here and all these quotes rippling in so many directions creating a great positive current and wave washing ashore…ahhh!

    • Thank you, Georgette, for the very nice compliment. I especially appreciate that last line, describing the “quotes rippling in so many directions.” I may need to use it in my next list of quotes!

  5. Loved the quotes, Monica. Saw on another blog that someone had photographed a green, holiday t-shirt that read, “Drinks well with others.” Thought that was pretty funny! Happy week, my friend.

    Hugs from Ecuador,
    Kathy

    • Sounds like good times are to be had wearing that shirt you describe. So did you celebrate St Paddy’s Day in your neck of the woods? Green beer and green bagels, anyone? 😉

  6. Monica, the quotes are fabulous. I truly enjoyed the one by Beatrice from apartment 7b and Vickie Turner’s one to her kids – so beautiful, ” dream with your eyes open”
    You know I have a soft spot for Maggie Smith, she has kept me in stitches since the show started. The most recent one to Lady Edith and I will never forget it… All life is series of problems which we must try and solve.” ” First one, then another, until we are no more.” And there is this one …”No life appears rewarding if you think too much about it.”
    A perfect post for St. Patrick’s Day my dear.

    • Dream with your eyes open is a great concept. I’d never thought about it before but it really makes sense. Have you read Beatrice before? She’s Totsy’s creation and she writes with sass and gusto. You should read it. The kid’s got spunk. And of course, Maggie. Isn’t she amazing?

  7. Jayne’s quote is a powerful statement. Perhaps that says it all for women striving for ageless beauty.

    I’ve never watched Downtown Abbey. I’ve been meaning to but it’s such hard work to stay divaliscious. I my have to get it on Net Flix. And thanks for the mention. You’re just as fabulous as moi, mon ami.

    • Jayne’s statement really gives us food for thought. It spoke to me as aging lately is constantly on my mind. Yes, I hope you watch Downton. If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years is that I have great taste in TV viewing. So you can trust me when I say Downton is worth watching. 😉

  8. Love your “Downtown Abbey” purple boa, Monica, even though that show isn’t on my viewing list.
    Interesting quotes you’ve chosen. Of course, I AM Irish (or at least, part-Irish), so I’d have selected some of the gazillions of sayings relating to St. Paddy’s Day. But since I’m familiar with many of them, your list was something different (and I so love what Kim wrote!!)

    • Hope you had a wonderful St. Paddy’s Day, Debbie! I hope you add Downton to your viewing list some day. It’s a pip! And, if truth be known, I hope one day you share some of the Irish sayings you know with the rest of us. That would be so entertaining–and educational.

  9. Fabulously interesting, Monica.
    I enjoyed these quotes soooooooo much.
    And I LOVE Jayne M!!!
    She cracks me up w/ her insight, sassiness, & authenticity.
    I am honored to be upon your page, dearest. XXxxxx

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