Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy, Helen Fielding

Poleaxed by pain, as though a great stake was ramming me to the bed, straight to the heart, unable to move in case I disturbed the pain and it spread.

KBO: Keep Buggering On.

Better to die of botox than die of loneliness because you're so wrinkly.

It's always nice when things go badly for other people. Especially when they've just been rude to you.

You see, this is the trouble with the modern world. If it was the days of letter-writing, I would never have even started to find a pen, a piece of paper, an envelope, a stamp, and Leatherjacketman's home address and gone outside at 11:30pm with two children asleep in the house to find a postbox. A text is gone at the brush of a fingertip, like a nuclear bomb or Exocet missile.

* Do not text when drunk
* Always be classy, never be crazy
* Be on time
* Use Authentic Communication
* Do not go to the wrong place
* Do not confuse him. Be rational, congruent, and consistent.
* Do not obsess or fantasize.
* Do not obsess or fantasize when driving.
* Respons to what is actually going on, not what you wish was going on.
* On first date just go along with whatever he suggests (unless Morris dancing, dogfight, obvious booty call, etc.)
* Be sure he makes you feel happy.
* Try to retain some vestige of objectivity.
* When he comes, we welcome. When he goes, we let him go.
* Don't get stoned or pissed out of brain.
* Be calm smiling goddess of light.
* Allow things to unfold like a petal at their own pace, e.g. do not demand to make third date in insecure panic in middle of sex on second date.
* Wear something sexy but that you feel comfortable in.
* Stay calm, confident, and centered re: whole thing -- consider meditation, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, antipsychotic medication, etc.
* Don't come on too obviously strong, but do do sensual things like stroking stem of wine glass up and down.
* Don't pre-arrange first-time sex.
* Don't try to have sex too soon.
* Don't make him feel caged.
* Never mention any of the following: exes, how fat you are, how insecure you are, problems, issues, money, cellulite, Botox, liposuction, facial peels/ lasers/ microdermabrasion, etc., control undergarments, possible shared parking permits when married, seating plans for wedding reception, babysitters, marriage/ religion (unless you've just realized he's a polygamous Mormon, in which case get blind drunk and bring up all of the previous in one hysterical gabble and excuse yourself because you feel fat and have to get back for the babysitter).
* Create beautiful memories.
* Do not text while drunk.

There's nothing nicer than a friend who claims her own children are more badly behaved than your own.

It's an interesting thing, the ages at which men and women want each other more than the other does:

TWENTIES: Women have the upper hand because pretty much everyone wants to shag them so they have a lot of power. And twenty-something men are super-horny but haven't made it in their careers yet.

THIRTIES: Men definitely have the upper hand. Thirties is the worst possible time for a woman to be dating: whole thing increasingly loaded by biologically unfair ticking clock: a clock which will hopefully soon be transformed, by the perfection of Jude-style egg-freezing, into silent digital clock with no need for an alarm. Meanwhile, men sense it like sharks scenting blood and are also simultaneously perfecting their careers, so the balance tips more and more in their favor until...

FORTIES: Not sure about this because I was with Mark most of the time. Maybe about equal? If you take babies out of the equation. Or maybe men think they're on top because they think they want younger women and think age-equivalent women want them. But actually secretly the women equally want younger men. And the younger men like the older women because they're refreshingly not looking to them to be breadwinners and not thinking about babies any more.

FIFTIES: It used to be the age of Germaine Greer's "Invisible Woman", branded as non-viable, post-menopausal sitcom fodder. But now with the Talitha school of branding combined with Kim Cattrall, Julianne and Demi Moore, etc. is all starting to change!

SIXTIES: Balance completely shifting, as men realize they've got as far as they're going to get in their careers and that they've never really made friends in the way women do, but just talked about golf and stuff. And women take better care of themselves -- look at Helen Mirren and Joanna Lumley!

SEVENTIES: Definitely women have the upper hand, and still do themselves out nicely, and make a nice home and cook and --

Love feeling that there is someone else out there who cares about all the little things you yourself get excited about.

The fantastic thing about texting is that it allows you to have an instant, intimate, emotional relationship giving each other a running commentary on your lives, without taking up any time whatsoever or involving meetings or arrangements or any of the complicated things which take place in the boring old non-cyber world.

After a certain age, people are just going to do what they're going to do and you're either going to accept them as they are or you're not.

There was such a rush of joy and relief that we were back with that secure feeling of knowing someone cares, and understands your sense of humor, and it wasn't all cold and empty and over, we were still there.

We do not wallow. We do not descend into feelings of being crap with men. We do not think that everyone else's life is perfect except ours.

It only takes a really bad thing to nearly happen to make you appreciate what you have.


Allegiant, Veronica Roth

She is a woman of muscle twisted around bone.

Chaos and destruction do tend to take away a person's dating possibilities.

When you kill someone you love, the hard part is never over. It just gets easier to distract yourself from what you've done.

Confidence alone can get a person into a forbidden place.

The dauntless serum gives hallucinated realities, Candor's gives truth, Amity's gives peace, Erudite's gives death, Abnegation's resets memory.

Dauntless: brave but cruel
Erudite: intelligent but vain
Amity: peaceful but passive
Candor: honest but inconsiderate
Abnegation: selfless but stifling

People can't really be trusted to lie consistently.

Tricking someone into grief is one of the cruelest tricks a person can play.

Desperation can make a person do surprising things.

Knowledge is power. Power to do evil... or power to do good. Power itself is not evil. So knowledge itself is not evil.

It's not always wise to strike as hard as you can at the first opportunity.

If someone offers you an opportunity to get closer to your enemy, you always take it.

Such a grim view of human nature you have.

When you control information, or manipulate it, you don't need force to keep people under your thumb. They stay there willingly.

I am wary of desperate people.

There's bravery and then there's masochism.

I used to think that when people fell in love, they just landed where they landed, and they had no choice in the matter afterward. And maybe that's true of beginnings, but it's not true of this, now... I fell in love with him. But I don't just stay with him by default as if there's no one else available to me. I stay with him because I choose to, every day that I wake up, every day that we fight or lie to each other or disappoint each other. I choose him over and over again, and he chooses me.

Don't confuse your grief with guilt.

When someone wrongs you, you both share the burden of that wrongdoing -- the pain of it weighs on both of you. Forgiveness, then, means choosing to bear the full weight all by yourself.

It's not often you encounter the real person behind a good-natured mask, the darkest parts of someone. It's not comfortable when you do.

Maybe forgiveness is just the continual pushing aside of bitter memories, until time dulls the hurt and the anger, and the wrong is forgotten.

A fire that burns that bright is not meant to last.

Life damages us, every one.


Firefly Lane, Kristin Hannah

Drama, she'd learned, was like good punctuation: it underscored your point.

Here's what they didn't teach you in college: Get into the middle of it. Wade in.

You want a lot from this world. Me, I just want you.

No one bruised as easily as a believer.

That was the thing about best friends. Like sisters and mothers, they could piss you off and make you cry and break your heart, but in the end, when the chips were down, they were there, making you laugh even in your darkest hours.

They'd loved each other. With the wisdom of time and the passing of years, she knew that. She knew, too, that love didn't evaporate. It faded, perhaps, lost its weight like bones left out in the sun, but it didn't go away.

Keep lighting the world on fire. Those words were both an encouragement and an indictment.

Motherhood at times like this - most times - was about the steel in your spine, not the bend.

That was the sly, ruinous thing about motherhood, the thing that twisted your insides with guilt and made you change your mind and lower your standards: giving in was so damn easy.


Let It Snow, John Green Maureen Johnson & Lauren Myracle

Proximity doesn't breed familiarity.

Behind every facade of perfection is a writhing mess of subterfuge and secret sorrows.

He wasn't flawless. He had no single amazing feature. Instead, he had a confluence of agreeable aspects that were accepted by one and all add up to one very attractive whole, perfectly packaged in the right clothes.

Something about me has always liked the drama and inconvenience of bad weather. The worse the better, really.

A taste so profound and complex that it can't even be compared to other tastes, only to emotions.

I always had this idea that you should never give up a happy middle in the hopes of a happy ending, because there is no such thing as a happy ending. There is so much to lose.


Queen of Babble in the Big City, Meg Cabot

To find out a girl's faults, praise her to her girlfriends. - Benjamin Franklin

Love and Scandal are the best sweeteners of tea. - Helen Fielding


Queen of Babble Gets Hitched, Meg Cabot

Whatever souls are made of, his and mine are the same. - Emily Bronte

It's a really good show, he says, I mean, if you're ever in the mood to examine one of the bleaker examples of the depraved depths to which we as a society have sunk. Or at least the depraved depths to which the entertainment industry is determined to make us think we've sunk.

Come live with me and be my love,
And we will some new pleasures prove
Of golden sands and crystal brooks,
With silken lines and silver hooks.
- John Donne


Queen of Babble, Meg Cabot

It's much easier to walk away than it is to have to explain to someone that you never want to see them again.

The dawn of the twentieth century is often referred to as la Belle Epoque, or "the beautiful age".


The Sum of All Kisses, Julia Quinn

Hearts didn't sink so much as they did a tight panicky squeeze.

I find awkward conversations to be very diverting.

I have found that happy people are dull.

A man had to take his triumphs where he could.

In general, it was never good to deny something that was indisputably true.


Emma, Jane Austen

The real evils, indeed, of Emma's situation were the power of having too much her own way, and a disposition to think too well of herself; these were the disadvantages which threatened alloy to her many enjoyments. The danger, however, was at present so unperceived, that they did not by any means rank as misfortunes with her.

Success supposes endeavor.

What is passable in youth is detestable in later age.

Better be without sense, than misapply it as you do.

Vanity working on a weak head, produces every sort of mischief.

A single woman, of good fortune, is always respectable.

One cannot love a reserved person.

I would much rather have been merry than wise.

There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.

If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more. But you know what I am. - You hear nothing but truth from me. - I have blamed you, and lectured you, and you have borne it as no other woman in England would have borne it.

Seldom, very seldom, does complete truth belong to any human disclosure.

It is very difficult for the prosperous to be humble.


An Abundance of Katherines, John Green

He wanted to draw out the moment before the moment - because as good as kissing feels, nothing feels as good as the anticipation of it.

That smile could end wars and cure cancer.

Myopia. He was nearsighted. The future lay before him, inevitable but invisible.

The mysterium tremendum et fascinans - that stomach-flipping mix of awestruck fear and entrancing fascination.

They like their coffee like they like their ex-boyfriends: bitter.

Schadenfreud, finding pleasure in others' pain.

The great and terrible awe.

You can never love a person as much as you can miss them.

Books are the ultimate dumpees: put them down and they'll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they'll always love you back.

Je pense que je t'aime. I think that I like you.


Attachments, Rainbow Rowell

Second verse same as the first.

"You're done with the future?" "I'm tightening my focus."

I believe that worrying about a bad thing prepares you for when it comes.

The whole point of clothing is to hide your shame.

Things get better - hurt less - over time. If you let them.

"Do you believe in love at first sight?" "I don't know, do you believe in love before that?"


Eleanor & Park, Rainbow Rowell

Gym was an extension of hell.

She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn't supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.

There are 2 kinds of girls: the smart ones and the ones boys like.


Dusk With A Dangerous Duke, Alexandra Hawkins

The dowager did not believe in false praise or coddling. In her opinion, it fostered weakness.

"What lady concerns herself with honor?" "One worth fighting to keep."

There is no such thing as freedom, my girl. Not the sort you are dreaming about. We are all tethered in numerous ways: family, duty, expectations of our neighbors, need to fill you empty belly...

Greedy hostesses are reluctant to allow wealthy bachelors to slip through their fingers.

Only a weak-minded fool would allow a woman to dictate his life.

Truth is as deadly as a double-edged sword.

You would provoke the devil himself to violence.

Your confidence in your fellow man astounds me.


Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

My eyes flipped open at exactly six a.m. This was no avian fluttering of the lashes, no gentle blink toward consciousness. The awakening was mechanical. A spooky ventriloquist-dummy click of the lids: the world is black and then, showtime! 6-0-0 the clock said - in my face, first thing I saw. 6-0-0. It felt different. I rarely woke at such a rounded time. I was a man of jagged risings: 8:43, 11:51, 9:26. My life was alarm less.

Should I remove my soul before I come inside?

The late 90's, the last gasp of the glory days, although no one knew it then.

My kind of writers: aspiring novelists, ruminative thinkers, people whose brain don't work quick enough to blog or link or tweet, basically old, stubborn blowhards.

Suicide is painless.

There's something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.

Oh, here is the rest of my life. It's finally arrived.

I contain and I compartmentalize to a disturbing degree: In my belly-basement are hundreds of bottles of rage, despair, fear, but you'd never guess from looking at me.

My wife had a brilliant, popping brain, a greedy curiosity. But her obsessions tended to be fueled by competition: she needed to dazzle men and jealous-ify women.

Dad is always a proponent of a good indulgent sulk.

Most beautiful, good things are done by women people scorn.

The bankruptcy matched my psyche perfectly. For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child's boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense, blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself a derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time.

The thing that makes me want to blow my brains out is: the second hand experience is always better.

It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless automat of characters.

In the space of a vengeful second.

The worst feeling: when you just have to wait and prepare yourself for the lie.

Lovesick words, hateful intentions.

All those things that spineless women say, confusing their weakness with morality.

Most men have sports as the lingua-franca of dudes.

The iceman melteth!

You sleep the sleep of the damned.

Unconditional love is an undisciplined love, and as we all have seen, undisciplined love is disastrous.