Mighty Life List
Jan 5 2011

An Object of Beauty

The best parts of Object of Beauty by Steve Martin:

“Lacey was just as happy alone as with company. When she was lone, she was potential; with others she was realized.”

“… a young man, Jamaican, perhaps, his head circled in a scarf with sunbleached dreadlocks on piled on top, looking like a plate of softshell crabs.”

“He brought the Van Gogh out to the offices, where ambient sunlight would make any flaws in the drawing more visible. He hovered around Lacey’s desk, tilting it this way and that, looking for fading, looking for foxing. Lacey presumed he didn’t notice her, but when he said, “A beautiful thing… a beautiful thing,” Lacey, at her desk, said, “I do my best.”

“Auctions were, and still are, spectator sports, where the contestants are money.”

“Lacey squeezed back into her slot across from [Jonah], with Patrice having to turn sideways to sit down. She seemed genuinely in love with Patrice, and genuinely trying to rekindle Jonah’s fleeting interest of three years ago. Looking back, I think that both behaviors were valid. To her this was natural, to Patrice it was unsettling, to me it was bewildering, and to Tanya Ross, who had matured normally, it was creepy.”

Vocabulary

malfeasant – one guilty of malfeasance, an offender
incised – cut into a surface; engraved
prestidigitation – sleight of hand
feint – a movement made in order to deceive an adversary
vitrines – a glass display case or cabinet for works of art, curios, etc.
ovoid – egg shaped
argot – a secret language used by various groups—including, but not limited to, thieves and other criminals—to prevent outsiders from understanding their conversations

Dec 27 2010

Esquire’s What I’ve Learned

Every month, when I get my Esquire, I flip straight to the What I’ve Learned column. It’s my version of eating dessert first. In January they do an entire What I’ve Learned issue, and these are my favorite moments of insight from this year’s issue with links to the full interviews:

“Some people understand what it is to create something special, and others are thinking what they can get out of it.” -Al Pacino

“There was an incredible power that was against me. And that power, I hope I was able to use it to do something good. Power is power. It’s energy. And if you get big, big energy, you can use that in a good way.” -Yoko Ono

“People don’t remember who the critics were.” -Robert Redford

“Running from something and running to something are the same thing.”

“There’s always going to be someone smarter, prettier, nicer. It’s better to appreciate it instead of being threatened by it or defending yourself against it.” -Mary Louise Parker

I think you ought to treat your spouse like you treat your friends. You clean your house for your friends, you make sure they’re taken care of, and a spouse comes second. I think you oughtta treat him like a friend.” -Barbara Bush

My woman is smarter than me, stronger than me, and within six months would be just fine without me. A motherfucker’s got to pay attention to his relationship.” -Esquire reader, Russell Bryan Love

“I don’t look ahead. I’m right here with you. It’s a good way to be.”

“If you’re going to have kids, there’s only one way to go. They have to know they’re th emost important things in your life, and once you’re doing that, there’s no way that you could not learn from them, because they just give you stuff constantly.” -Danny DeVito

“I don’t want to impress people I wouldn’t cross the road to talk to. I want there to be a strict door policy at my club. I want to go, “You can’t come in. You won’t like this. And I don’t want you to like it.” -Ricky Gervais

“Could you imagine people eating a painting — if they could introduce a painting into their bodies? It’s probably the artist’s dream, and we have the opportunity to do so.”

“I dedicate more than double the time most people do. Thus, at the same level of talent, I have an advantage.” -Ferran Adrià

“In the history of the earth, there’s never been more people writing. Everyone’s a writer. Everybody spends time trying to let people know who they are. Twitter.” -James L. Brooks

Nov 16 2010

Armor Up


From Renee Fernandez

(If you know how to order this, let us know in comments. Via Sarah)

Oct 26 2010

You Lost Me There

Mr. Baldwin is in San Francisco doing a reading tonight at the Ferry Building (6 p.m.). I hear his approximation of a Maine accent is without parallel.

The best parts of You Lost Me There:

“I tried playing housewife for a year to an empty house.”

“Russell squeezed my arm and gave me a light hug. While he strode toward the airport, compact and hustling, his suit bag like a shadow on his back, I thought, I don’t care if I ever see him again.”

“Sara always said it was a hindrance of mine, that I expected people to tell me what they needed.”

“After the coffee he was still focused on how she liked it, how she took it, he put it, going into details to show off his good fortune for discovering a woman who didn’t mind facing away from him during sex.”

“She longed for honor. For Eagle Scouts.”

“I won’t have a normal relationship. That’s not who I am.”
“Of course not.”
“I won’t be dragged down to what other people do.”

“You’ll have worked tremendously hard to build your life after a certain fashion, and then suddenly, one morning, you want something different. You want anything but what you have, you want it new, and you want it just right then. It’s terrifying, the desire’s so powerful, you’re just sick with it.”

Apr 20 2010

Relationship Hacks

I love this Ask MetaFilter thread on relationship hacks (via Not Martha). I recommend reading through the whole thing, but these are the points I’ve used to good effect. If you have any good advice, let me know.

-”Have a set ‘date night’ every week and don’t deviate from it unless you HAVE to. This is especially important if you have roommates or children.” -Unicorn on the Cob

-”Never yell. Heck, never even raise your voice.” -teg4rvn

-”…People often start negotiating from what they think they can get, not what they really want–so even if the other person says yes, they are still disappointed. …People should start by being honest about 100% of what they want. My partner and I use this all the time, for things big and small. ‘My 100% would be having dinner before we see the movie.’ ‘My 100% would be to move to a bigger house in two years.’
…One thing that is surprising is how often you can have your 100%–and then you feel really lucky and happy and loved. And you also have the satisfaction of knowing that you gave your partner what they _really_ wanted. On the other hand, if the 100% isn’t possible and you have to negotiate down from there you at least know that what you wanted was heard.” -Not that Girl

-”Don’t tell people they’re wrong about trivial things. Inevitably someone will insist something silly, like that Kevin Costner starred in The Fifth Element or whatnot. You’ll know they’re wrong, but saying so is just going to be taken as adversarial and lead to ill feelings that turn into fights… It’s not worth upsetting each other over something so unimportant.” -Pufferish

- “If you have friends of the indecisive sort, learn how to play 5-3-1. It’s a trick to settle the ‘where do you want to eat?’ ‘I don’t care, where do you want to eat?’ game. One partner names 5 places, the other eliminates two of those choices, and the first one eliminates the remaining two. It’s decision making in turns, and it works just as well as anything else.” -Alice Ayres

That last one has saved me hours just in the last week. Apparently I am the indecisive friend. How about you? Tell your secrets.