“He possessed the six attributes of the adventurer - a memory for names and faces, with the aptitude of altering his own; the gift of tongues; inexhaustible invention; secrecy; the talent for falling into conversation with strangers; and that freedom from conscience that springs from the contempt for the dozing rich he preyed upon.”—Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey
“I don’t think I would have worked with anybody but Paul Simon,” Walcott says. ”Before I met him, I always thought he was a very fine poet. I mean, the first line of ‘Graceland’ is a great line of verse: ‘The Mississippi Delta was shining like a National guitar/ I am following the river down a highway through the cradle of the Civil War.’ That’s Whitmanesque, or even Hart Crane. What I also like very much is how Jewish his writing is: it’s ethnically very provincial, deliberate. In other words, here’s someone who has never lost his identity totally. He can go to South Africa, or to the Caribbean, and he remains a Jewish singer.”—I’m Going to Graceland
“I have cleansed myself. I closed my eyes and in a nanosecond, I cured myself… It’s the work of sissies. The only thing I’m addicted to is winning. This bootleg cult, arrogantly referred to as Alcoholics Anonymous, reports a 5 percent success rate. My success rate is 100 percent. Do the math … another one of their mottoes is ‘Don’t be special, be one of us.’ Newsflash: I am special, and I will never be one of you! I have a disease? Bulls**t! I cured it with my brain, with my mind. I cured it, I’m done … you don’t look like you’re having a lot of fun. I’m gonna hang out with these two smoking hotties and fly privately around the world. It might be lonely up here but I sure like the view, Alex!”—Charlie Sheen needs a blog
20-something Indian guy: Do you like horses? Me: Yes. Guy: When I was in 6th grade there was this girl, and she loved horses. She’d run around the playground making all these weird horsie noises. Me: Oh. Guy: And you look just like her. Me: Thank you. Guy: I just wanted…
I had this exact same conversation once with a guy at the Barnes and Noble at The Grove. It’s kind of freaking me out right now.
You can’t go home again. Especially when it was never your home in the first place. And even moreso when it’s your first time visiting.
Today I went to Mishmar David, a former kibbutz that is named for my great-great uncle. This Israel trip has been sort of “run headfirst into your heritage” kind of trip, and today it reached its zenith.
The head of the kibbutz greeted me with a hug and a huge lecture about how my family hasn’t supported the kibbutz, doesn’t have ties to Israel, etc. He’s not entirely wrong - he’s lived there 30+ years and I’m the first Marcus who ever visited - but maybe it was kind of naive to expect candy and flowers.
Best cure ever for being emotionally drained? Abu Ghosh hummus. So at least there’s that.
A hot guy in college who was trying to convert me to evangelical Christianity (you can imagine how that ended) told me that I had turned writing into my G-d and that that was blasphemy. I told him that at least my G-d wasn’t a fucking sexist.
“I’ve done some pretty crazy things in my life. Dating a guy my friends called The Weeper was a pretty crazy idea. Living in Spain for a month, despite not speaking Spanish or ever having traveled alone before, was a pretty crazy idea. And taking a job to run a website that didn’t exist or have a name yet was also a pretty crazy idea. And you know what? Those crazy ideas worked out pretty well for me. (Okay, not The Weeper. But the rest of them for sure.)”—Saying Goodbye to The Gloss
I grew up in a place where one of the worst adjectives you could use to describe a woman was “ambitious.” But I was an always an ambitious little kid, and later an ambitious woman, with notebooks full of half-stories and snippets of conversations. A boy I liked told me I was uppity. My mother told me that if I married someone rich I could afford to stay home and scribble all day long if I wanted to.
Move to New York. Write a book. Become the editor of a website.
I did the things I said I’d do, and it’s not enough. It’s never enough. Push push succeed push more shake your head push think about what you did wrong stare at Google analytics until the numbers rush together and push more. Someone else is writing for the Times, and you’re not. Someone else has a two-book deal and a movie option, and you don’t. This is what I learned about making it to the playoffs: it’s not about how much you win, it’s about how much everybody else loses.
When does it stop? When do you cross everything off your list and lean back confidently, nodding your head, and decide it’s time to go home? Instead the notebooks full of words have tattered pages, and I forgot all the things I was going to say.
Did you know that during the days of Tammany Hall, if someone in your family died the gov’t bosses would pay for the entire funeral (about $25, five dollar more than the average immigrant’s monthly wage), And! And! They would actually send a government representative TO the family wake?
All this in exchange for a few votes.
I know that the Tammany system is supposed to be corrupt and all.
But honestly it doesn’t sound so bad to me.
I did know this, entirely because of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. /nerd
I woke up just before 5 a.m. today because I was hot. I peeled my sweatshirt off, rolled over to go back to sleep and made the mistake of not only checking my email on my Blackberry but reading a 600 word message from Lisa.
There was nothing bad in it. She wanted to let me know that she’s…
Probably 75 percent of the Tumblrs I follow are pictures of baby animals or Summer of Megadeth, but this blog about my friend’s recent discovery of her birth mother is breaking my fucking heart.
“True story: I have lied about my level of kosher observance in order to claim a certain diet plan wouldn’t work for me. This is a good lie, because kosher laws are really complicated and you can pretty much always find some kind of loophole. There are no references to kale juice in the Bible, and I can atone for my lying later.”—5 Ways to Weasel Out of Being More Healthy