Friday, December 25, 2009

Quotes to Live By, Part Nine

"If you do not tell the truth about yourself, you cannot tell it about other people."
– Virginia Woolf

“Keep passing the open windows.”
- John Irving, The Hotel New Hampshire

“Your memory is a monster; you forget--it doesn't. It simply files things away. It keeps things for you, or hides things from you--and summons them to your recall with a will of its own. You think you have a memory; but it has you!”
- John Irving


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A Quote on my Birthday

"Where you used to be, there is a hole in the world, which I find myself constantly walking around in the daytime, and falling in at night. I miss you like hell.”
- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Monday, December 21, 2009

Quotes to Live By, Part Eight

"Never mistake motion for action."
- Ernest Hemingway

"Action is eloquence."
- William Shakespeare

"Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement."
- Alfred Adler

"Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold, but so does a hard-boiled egg."
- Author Unknown

Friday, December 18, 2009

Quotes to Live By, Part Seven

"I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done."
- Lucille Ball

“It is the soul's duty to be loyal to its own desires. It must abandon itself to its master passion.”
- Rebecca West

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Great Expectations

In typical cinematic fashion, I had an epiphany yesterday—on the subway, while listening to my Broken Heart playlist. I was thinking about my broken heart, and trying to figure out why it’s taking so long to heal. As I was pondering all the greatest romances, the romances that influenced my definition of romance, I realized there wasn’t one real relationship among them—they all exist in a two-dimensional universe: film.

Thus, my epiphany: movies have ruined my life. Books have no doubt added to the damage— Jake and Brett, Catherine and Frederic, Lily and Selden, Catherine and Heathcliff and Romeo and Juliet break my heart every time I re-visit them—but my most vivid connections to fictional romance have been conveyed through film.

I can’t recall a time when I didn’t love movies. My father introduced me to classics like The Godfather, High Noon and Bridge on the River Kwai. My mother introduced me to slapstick comedy—she loves High Anxiety, Young Frankenstein and Airplane! Often it was her reaction—if you know my mom, you can picture her chuckling away—to broad comedies that amused me more than the actual movie. She also loves horror films; I love the fact that while most kids were shielded from scary movies, my mother actually called me into the room to watch Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street with her. If it was cheesy and scary, we watched it. One of her favorite horror films is a cheese-fest called Happy Birthday to Me; in it, there’s a scene in which the killer brutally and hilariously kills her lover by shoving a shish kebob down his throat. This scene cracks my mother up. Her deep appreciation for both smart humor and cheeky horror definitely added to my reverence of film.

However, at some point, my love affair with movies turned on me. I’m not satisfied—in fact, I’m disappointed with—the ordinary and uninspired aspects of everyday life, especially in regard to endings. I crave the drama of movie endings—the theatrics and suspense, the convergence of emotions, the tension of a compelling finale. I want the underdog to win, I want love to conquer all and I want everyone’s lives improved, even though I know life doesn’t function in this manner. I was devastated when the Yankees lost the 2001 World Series to the Arizona Diamondbacks. New York City had been torn asunder by 9/11, literally and figuratively—how could our home team, the celebrated New York Yankees, not win the World Series? It would have been a storybook ending—a movie ending—that my city deserved.

Thus my lifelong love for movies has become problematic. I always look for the dramatic ending, the grand gesture. I want a life-changing epiphany, a torrential rainstorm, a David vs. Goliath victory. I want star-crossed lovers to reunite. I cannot fathom why my Ex doesn’t show up on my doorstep to declare I am all that matters to her—she was put on this earth to love me—not because I think I’m so fabulous but because it would be so very romantic, like Fred and Holly Golightly in the pouring rain searching for Cat.

Reality is boring, and difficult, and more often than not, sad or disappointing, but not in a poignant, cinematic way. Is it so wrong to want life to be more vivid, more touching, more romantic? Is it too much to ask for a little more drama and a little less heartbreak? After all, in the end, Lassie does come home; Luke, Leia and Han Solo do defeat the Dark Side; Harry does love Sally; Willy is eventually free; Edward does climb up to Vivian; Maverick does prove his worth; Amanda Jones does stand on her own two feet; Diane does fall for Lloyd Dobler; the brain, the athlete, the basket case, the princess and the criminal do become friends; the St. Elmo’s group does grow up; Dan and Debbie do get back together; Princess Buttercup and Wesley do live happily ever after; Thelma and Louise do find freedom; Red and Andy do reunite in Zihuatanejo; Erin Brockovich does defeat PG&E, Seabiscuit does win the race; and Ennis del Mar does love Jack Twist forever.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Quotes to Live By, Part Six

“Pity me that the heart is slow to learn
What the swift mind beholds at every turn.”
- Edna St. Vincent Millay

“A person who publishes a book willfully appears before the populace with his pants down. If it is a good book nothing can hurt him. If it is a bad book nothing can help him.”
- Edna St. Vincent Millay

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.”
- Washington Irving

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quotes to Live By, Part Five

"The willingness to accept responsibility for one's own life is the source from which self-respect springs."
- Joan Didion

"The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for."
- Maureen Dowd

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain."
- Dolly Parton

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Quotes to Live By, Part Four

"Nobody has ever measured, not even the poets, how much a heart can hold."
- Zelda Fitzgerald

"Love is something eternal...
The aspect may change
But not the essence."
- Vincent Van Gogh

Both these quotes are fairly famous, but to me they are more than just famous words of wisdom; they are priceless signifiers of passion and love.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quotes to Live By Part Three

“I will love the light, for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness because it shows me the stars.”
- Og Mandino (American essayist)

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”
- Anonymous

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Quotes to Live By Part Two

"Is life not a hundred times too short for us to stifle ourselves?
- Friedrich Nietzsche

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."
- George Eliot

"Almost every man wastes part of his life in attempts to display qualities which he does not possess, and to gain applause which he cannot keep."
- Samuel Johnson

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Quotes to Live By

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
-Dr. Seuss

"Above all, be true to yourself, and if you cannot put your heart in it, take yourself out of it."
- Hardy D. Jackson