Friday, December 27, 2013

The Mental Illness Happy Hour

“I’m just dying to say, ‘Hey, do you ever feel like jumping off a bridge?’ or “Do you feel an emptiness inside your chest at night that is going to swallow you?” But you can’t say that at a cocktail party.”  

- Paul Gilmartin, The Mental Illness Happy Hour

"Was Daedalus really stricken with grief when Icarus fell into the sea? Or just disappointed in the design failure?" Alison Bechdel, Fun Home

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Best People

We can never know what to want...

“We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.”  

- Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

It's Provocative

“We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life.” - Tennessee Williams

Beautiful Chaos

Your first kiss isn’t as important as your last. The math test really didn’t matter. The pie really did. The stuff you’re good at and the stuff you’re bad at are just different parts of the same thing. Same goes for the people you love and the people you don’t—and the people who love you and the people who don’t. The only thing that mattered was that you cared about a few people. Life is really, really short.

Ethan Wate, Beautiful Chaos

“In those years, that marvelous mess of constellations, nebulae, interstellar gaps and all the rest of the awesome show provoked in me an indescribable sense of nausea, of utter panic, as if I were hanging from earth upside down on the brink of infinite space, with terrestrial gravity still holding me by the heels but about to release me any moment.” - Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory

Merry Christmas

Thursday, December 19, 2013

I want something else.

“I want something else. I’m not even sure what to call it anymore except I know it feels roomy and it’s drenched in sunlight and it’s weightless and I know it’s not cheap. It’s probably not even real.”  

- Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves

Christmas Time Is Here

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Blue Eyes To Be Missed, R.I.P. Peter O'Toole

Peter O'Toole, the Hollywood legend who was made famous in his title role in Lawrence of Arabia, died on Saturday in a London hospital. The 81-year old Irishman was nominated for eight Oscars in his distinguished career, and was known as a bit of a hellraiser.

To those who hadn't seen the actor perform on the London stage, O'Toole was seemingly catapulted into fame. But it may be more accurate to say he charged into it. As T.E. Lawrence in Lawrence of Arabia, O'Toole was tall, handsome and sensitive.

The role earned him his first Oscar nomination, though he lost to Gregory Peck's Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. That established something of a pattern in O'Toole's career. He would be nominated for eight Oscars, but never won until he was awarded an honorary one in 2003.

"Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, my foot," O'Toole said as he accepted it. "I have my very own Oscar now, until death us do part."

O'Toole said that the magic of the movies entranced him as a child. Born in Ireland to a wandering bookmaker and raised in England, he didn't start acting until after a two-year stint in the Royal Navy.

It was there that he decided to chase his childhood dream. He described the experience on NPR's All Things Considered after the release of the movie Venus in 2006.

"I mentioned that I wasn't particularly satisfied with what I was doing in civilian life, which was working for a newspaper," he recalled. "And the skipper said to me one night, have you any unanswered calls inside you that you don't understand or can't qualify? I said, well, yes, I do. I quite fancy myself either as a poet or an actor."

From there he entered the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and started a career on stage that would carry him to London and eventually, to the silver screen. In 2012, 50 years after his launch into stardom and a month before his 80th birthday, O'Toole announced his retirement from acting.

What he would not quit though, he said, was his love of the theater. In an interview with Charlie Rose, he said that theater at its most basic level is "the human speech as an artform. That is what I truly believe, and that is what makes acting, for me, such a worthwhile thing to do."

From NPR

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Bed, Bath, & Beyond

“But I guess ultimately what scares me about marriage is where do you find this person? You know a lot of times, most successful relationships, people meet through work, school, mutual friends. But what’s most interesting to me is when people just meet in life, just randomly. You know, I have a friend, he got married, I asked him like “Hey, uh, where’d you meet your wife?” He was like “I was leaving Bed, Bath, & Beyond. I was looking for my car - I drive a gray Prius. I saw a different gray Prius, I thought it was mine, I walked up to it, I realized I had the wrong car, but I bumped into Carol, we started talking, that was that”. That’s unbelievable. Think about all the random factors that had to come together to make this one moment possible - this one moment that changed these two people’s entire lives: First off, this guy has to live in this particular town. Then he has to get a gray Prius. Then he has to need to go to Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Then he has to go to that particular Bed, Bath, & Beyond. Then there has to be another guy who also lives in town, also drives a gray Prius, also needs to go to Bed, Bath, & Beyond, also goes to that particular Bed, Bath, & Beyond at around the same time. Then they have to both park somewhat near each other, my friend has to leave before the other guy leaves, see the wrong Prius, think it’s his, walk up to it. Then the woman, Carol, needs to be near the wrong gray Prius for a million other random reasons. They bump into each other, they start talking, their entire lives are changed. That’s the most amazing and terrifying thing about life. It is, cause the amazing thing is that at any moment, any one of us can have that moment that totally changes our lives. You could be leaving the show tonight, bump into someone… it could change your life. You don’t know, that could happen. The terrifying thing is… what if we’re all supposed to be at Bed Bath & Beyond right now?”

Aziz Ansari, Buried Alive

The Limitations of Our Cognitive Awareness

I do have a strong idea about the limitations of the computer in our skulls — it’s just large enough to take care of our lives and must ignore an awful lot of what is going on around us. . . . I have a very primitive approach to science — I wonder how the universe originated, how could it have originated … how could you make something out of nothing … and sophomoric ideas like that. And so, after having banged around with that — how do you make a universe out of nothing — I have decided, just logically, that it can’t be done and therefore it must always have existed. And so, from that, I get a sense of permanence and, also, an annoyance with the limitations of my head. And I really do think that what we perceive as time is simply a processing device in our heads to let us consider a little of reality at a time — we couldn’t let it all come in at once.

Kurt Vonnegut

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Most of All

"But most of all, I like to watch people. Sometimes I ride the subway all day and look at them and listen to them. I just want to figure out who they are and what they want and where they are going.” 

 - Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

“Anxiety can just as well express itself by muteness as by a scream.” - Søren Kierkegaard

“My heart feels so heavy and I don’t know how to carry it.” - Sharon Dogar, Annexed

L’âme d’autrui est une forêt obscure où il faut marcher avec précaution...The soul of another is a dark forest in which one must tread with caution. - Claude Debussy

“Tread softly, Breathe peacefully, Laugh hysterically.” - Nelson Mandela

“I have walked that long road to freedom. I have tried not to falter; I have made missteps along the way. But I have discovered the secret that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb. I have taken a moment here to rest, to steal a view of the glorious vista that surrounds me, to look back on the distance I have come. But I can only rest for a moment, for with freedom come responsibilities, and I dare not linger, for my long walk is not ended.”

“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

RIP Nelson Mandela

prison  bar installation by Marco Cianfanelli

"This represents the momentum gained in the struggle through the symbolic of Mandela’s capture. The 50 columns represent the 50 years since his capture…"

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Make Good Art: Neil Gaiman’s Advice on the Creative Life

When things get tough, this is what you should do: Make good art. I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician — make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by a mutated boa constrictor — make good art. IRS on your trail — make good art. Cat exploded — make good art. Someone on the Internet thinks what you’re doing is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before — make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, eventually time will take the sting away, and that doesn’t even matter. Do what only you can do best: Make good art. Make it on the bad days, make it on the good days, too. I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.

So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.

Whatever it is you’re scared of doing, Do it.

Make your mistakes, next year and forever.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” 1984, George Orwell

“If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.”

“Until they became conscious they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled they cannot become conscious.”

“For, after all, how do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?”