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Last updated: December 7, 2010

"Like a lot of you, I've been reminded by recent events of a man I grew up watching and admiring, a brilliant and at times flamboyant entertainer who pushed the buttons of my embryonic sexuality in a way I was far too young to understand at the time.

I'm referring, of course, to Vincent Price." - Eyeteeth,

"The people I distrust most are those who want to improve our lives but have only one course of action." - Frank Herbert

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed -- and hence clamorous to be led to safety -- by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H. L. Mencken

"I improve on misquotation." - Cary Grant

"Every graduation speech ever written starts with a simple fact: 'commencement' means something beginning, not ending. You see it as the endpoint of something, because it's the end of the whole world that you know. And every grownup and parent and teacher in the room knows it's the opposite, so they enlighten you with a little vocab. They're not wrong. But they're also not precisely right, because it's been too long for them to remember that it's both. It's the beginning of what they think is the real story, and sometime soon you'll agree. You'll forget that any of this mattered. You'll turn around and condescend to the kids that come after you, and assure them that it's not something ending, it's just the beginning. Real life starts here.

But you'll get the same speech when you graduate college, when you have a kid, when you turn twenty, when you turn thirty. When you turn forty, oh my God they'll tell you that speech a million times when you turn forty. 'This is when your life starts. This is when it's real. This is when it starts mattering. Everything before this was stupid and doesn't mean anything. This is the day you become real.'

And you can feel relief, every time, because the last chapter was so fucking exhausting and you learned so much and hurt so much and changed so much, it really does feel like the beginning of something. And in that long stretch between twenty and thirty, and thirty and forty, maybe you'll secretly wish for a few more ceremonies, a few more commencement speeches, just to give you that permission to start the new chapter. To become more, to start your life, to treat it like it's real, like these moments matter.

You'll get tired, and you'll get discouraged, and you'll stare yourself down in the mirror and promise to be perfect from now on. You'll break up, you'll get divorced, you'll suffer unbearable disappointments. You'll pick up again and keep moving. You'll get fat and you'll get skinny. You'll learn languages, and you'll forget them. You will fall down on the job, and you'll be ashamed of your weaknesses and your unthinking, exhausted cruelties. You'll see the patterns in your life taking shape in your children, and you'll want to warn them to be better, stronger, faster. Quieter. You'll wish for silence more than anything, and for a moment to sit still in the sun. You'll beg for the right to feel your actual age, and not like a horrible mistake has been made where you're suddenly accountable for your own actions. That feeling never goes away. You'll have as many epiphanies as there are seasons, and some of them will take. Most of them won't.

You are the evidence and you are the only territory of any of this. You bear every scar, every moment since your birth is an entry in the book. And that book only ever gets longer. You can't tear out the pages and you can't burn it up. You can't edit and you can't rewrite. You just turn to a new page, and try to do better. And it never ends, and it never gets easier, but if you let it, it can get more and more beautiful. As long as you don't let your exhaustion get to you, as long as you remember that you always have choices, as long as you're willing to read the book and see where it's taking you, as long as you love the book and the sum total of things that have brought you to this place, right now, this very second, you'll stay afloat. As long as you remember there are no secrets, not really, because it's all in the book; as long as you remember there is no shame, not really: it's all in the book already. It's the best book in the world, and it never ends: it only commences. The point of any commencement speech should be just this very simple, very scary truth that so few of us ever own: The only person writing it is you." - Jacob Clifton, (recap for season 2 episode 25)

"Economics is extremely useful as a form of employment for economists." - John Kenneth Galbraith

"If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies." - Moshe Dayan

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance." - Franklin Pierce Adams

"Obviously crime pays, or there'd be no crime." - G. Gordon Liddy

"Indecision may or may not be my problem." - Jimmy Buffett

"In a completely rational society, the best of us would be teachers and the rest of us would have to settle for something less, because passing civilization along from one generation to the next ought to be the highest honor and the highest responsibility anyone could have." - Lee Iacocca

"That was ethnic humor from the late 40s and early 50s. I'm just allergic to ethnic stereotyping in 2008." - Richard Belzer, Last Comic Standing

"What I like to drink most is wine that belongs to others." - Diogenes

"Don't try to hide the perfect mess of your strange behavior." - De/Vision

"Your friend apologizes, he could see it my way. He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking. Can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding" - They Might Be Giants

"Holidays have no pity." - Eugenio Montale

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less." - Marie Curie

"They say 'everything's all right.' They say 'better days are here.' They tell us 'these are the good times' but they don't live around here." - Warren Zevon

"What if you had a happy ending and didn't notice?" - Karen Joy Fowler, Jane Austen Book Club

"Everyone's a little bit unsatisfied. Everyone goes 'round a little empty inside. Take a breath, look around, swallow your pride, for now... Nothing lasts, life goes on, full of surprises. You'll be faced with problems of all shapes and sizes. You're going to have to make a few compromises... for now... For now we're healthy. For now we're employed. For now we're happy, if not overjoyed. And we'll accept the things we cannot avoid, for now... For now there's life. For now there's love. For now there's work. For now there's happiness. For now discomfort. For now there's friendship. Don't stress, relax, let life roll off your backs. Except for death and paying taxes, everything in life is only for now! Each time you smile it'll only last a while. Life may be scary, but it's only temporary. Everything in life is only for now." - Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, Avenue Q

"You're both adorable, like puppies. I can barely resist the urge to drown you." - Barney F.

"Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are." - Kurt Cobain

"How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar." - Trina Paulus, Hope for the Flowers

"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What! You, too? Thought I was the only one.'" - C.S. Lewis

"If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely, everything is ready, we shall never begin." - Ivan Turgenev

"I detest life-insurance agents: they always argue that I shall some day die, which is not so." - Stephen Leacock

"I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal." - Jane Austen

"Avoid making decisions while tired or hungry." - Robert Heinlein

"Capitalism without bankruptcy is like Christianity without hell." - Frank Borman

"And if your heart can't beat in time reach, reach... take mine." - Echoing Green

"If at first you don't succeed, you're running about average." - M. H. Alderson

"Lie down on this bed of nails, pain can make you wiser... Let it make you wiser." - Joy Machine

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"When the sky is gray the way it is today I remember the times when I was happy." - Warren Zevon

"It sounds like a mix of... pain and desperation and okra. Yeah, yeah, I said okra. I really hate the stuff. Okra to me is just icky and slimy and probably thinks we should still have a military presence in Iraq." - Elon James (on John McCain in 2008), This Week in Blackness Season 1, Episode 7

"Love this life, don't wait till the next one comes." - Crowded House

"To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the need for thought." - Henri Poincaré

"If at first you do succeed, try to hide your astonishment." - Harry F. Banks

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see." - John Burroughs

"-- John 3:16 --
For god so loved the world that he sacrificed himself to himself to appease himself, and if any of his creations believe this story, he will not be forced to torture them, in his mercy, for all eternity." - _BLUE_, What Do You Believe?

Tourist counting her group, which is clogging sidewalk: Carla? Has anyone seen Carla? Okay, Marie? Marie?
Passerby, interrupting: First, let me thank you for visiting our city. We appreciate it. Second, get out of the fucking way. - Broadway & Canal, Overheard in New York

"Death tugs at my ear and says, 'Live, I am coming.'" - Oliver Wendall Holmes

"If you want a piece of my mind be sure to get my good side." - Headless Chickens

"Instead of comparing our lot with that of those who are more fortunate than we are, we should compare it with the lot of the great majority of our fellow men. It then appears that we are among the privileged." - Helen Keller

"I do not define myself by how many roadblocks have appeared in my path. I define myself by the courage I've found to forge new roads. I do not define myself by how many disappointments I've faced. I define myself by the forgiveness and the faith I have found to begin again. I do not define myself by how long a relationship lasted. I define myself by how much I have loved, and been willing to love again. I do not define myself by how many times I have been knocked down. I define myself by how many times I have struggled to my feet. I am not my pain. I am not my past. I am that which has emerged from the fire." - Anonymous

"When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the fire department generally uses water." - Anonymous

"If we aren't willing to pay a price for our values, then we should ask ourselves whether we truly believe in them at all." - Barack Obama

"This is your life, are you who you want to be?" - Switchfoot

"The principle is competing against yourself. It's about self-improvement, about being better than you were the day before." - Steve Young

"Lucy: Astronomy not astrology.
Mr. Deity: What's the difference?
Lucy: 50 IQ points." - Mr. Deity

"Be as you wish to seem." - Socrates

"Most barriers to your success are man-made. And most often, you're the man who made them." - Frank Tyger

"The man who wants to lead the orchestra must turn his back on the crowd." - James Crook

"It looks like the life you're driving is a pretty neat machine so take me for a ride." - Headless Chickens

"When I got to the Miami International Airport and Permanent Construction Zone I found that we have new security procedures, requiring that all passengers remove all of their dignity and place it in little gray bins." - Dave Barry, Dave Barry's Blog: GROIN UPDATE

"We should consider every day lost in which we have not danced at least once." - Nietzsche

"I give myself very good advice but I very seldom follow it. That explains the trouble that I'm always in." - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

"To swear off mistakes is very easy. All you have to do is swear off having ideas." - Leo Burnett

"If you spend too much time working on your weaknesses, all you end up with is a lot of strong weaknesses." - Dan Sullivan

"I don't know why I find his stupidity charming. I mean, he's cheating off a girl who thinks the square root of four is rainbows." - Glee

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