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" Central to living a life that is good is a life that's forgiving. We're creatures of contact, regardless of whether we kiss or we wound. "
" 'Play It Again Sam's opening shot is the same as 'Purple Rose's final one: a close-up of a face, rapt in a movie house. I've certainly felt that in my life. I've been known to cry watching Gene Kelly. "
" I aspire to write what are called 'familiar essays.' They begin in the personal and end in the universal. It's not for me to say if I have been successful at it. But that is the hope. "
" About the only thing that I have - or had, because it's failing me lately - is my memory. I had a really good memory. I was always terribly protective of that fact. "
" I do not go outdoors... As far as I'm concerned, the whole point of living in New York City is indoors. You want greenery? Order the spinach. "
" My salvation lies in time spent alone with an X-Acto knife and commercial-grade adhesive. "
" I have no problem with animals, I just like people more. "
" I have let half-decades elapse between books because books have to be writte and writing is awful, but if you are the type of person who makes things, there is no profit in worrying about how or why or when the next project will come into being beyond simply acknowledging that it is inevitable that it will be very soon. "
" Pessimists are born, true, but they also can be made. "
" Unless one is planning to go shopping - basically begging to be smothered by the ravening throngs of returners and bargain hunters; an embrace as constricting as that hugging machine designed by autistic author Temple Grandin - then Boxing Day feels like a bar after last call when the lights have been turned up. "
" Arts and crafts, or getting to be in a play with people, or making a little short film, that's pure sugar, because the stakes are so low. "
" I value kindness in myself and others. I try to remain super-vigilant about my targets and make extra sure that my sometimes barbed comments are deserved and in response to genuine malefaction. "
" Here's the thing: I'm not beautiful. I mean, I'm a perfectly normal-looking Jewish guy. My face has never been my fortune, nor has my body... physical beauty has never been part of my equation. It's just not on my shopping list. "
" Let's face it: professing a deep interest in movies, the absolutely dominant global art form of the last century, is at this point like professing an interest in air. Passion is nice. Erudition is admirable. But it's like that moment when good manners cross over into meaningless etiquette. "
" Before I sat down and became a writer, before I began to do it habitually and for my living, there was a decades-long stretch when I was terrified that it would suck, so I didn't write. I think that marks a lot of people, a real terror at being bad at something, and unfortunately, you are always bad before you can get a little better. "
" There is nothing so cleansing or reassuring as a vicarious sadness. "
" I find writing extraordinarily difficult and not very pleasurable, though I find having done it very pleasurable. I won't lie about that. "
" Everybody's got something. In the end, what choice does one really have but to understand that truth, to really take it in, and then shop for groceries, get a haircut, do one's work; get on with the business of one's life. That's the hope, anyway. "
" I am the world's worst reporter. I am apt to try too hard to help rather than just document my subjects. "
" I was going to say that writing is about disclosure and acting is about obfuscation, but that's such a little lie. Both of them are about obfuscation and masking oneself. "
" Not far from my apartment, within a stretch of no more than 500 feet, there are two doggie gyms where Gotham's canines who aren't getting enough exercise running through the city's parks, or are neglecting their all-important doggie glutes and abs, can go for a workout. What can I say? This appalls me. "
" It's rare that I'm not at work on some sort of craft project. I've often enthused about the need to make things; how it employs a unique set of muscles - physical, intellectual, spiritual - that I can attain a state of flow when making something that I almost never can when writing. "
" There's nothing particularly wrong with being more pessimistic than optimistic. Optimism is broad-based, non-detail-oriented thinking; pessimism is detail-oriented thinking. "
" Everyone has an internal age, a time in life when one is, if not one's best, then at very least one's most authentic self. I always felt that my internal clock was calibrated somewhere between 47 and 53 years old. "
" If you don't have your experiences in the moment, if you gloss them over with jokes or zoom past them, you end up with curiously dispassionate memories. "
" I cannot escape the feeling that I was, at best, a cancer tourist, that my survival means I dabbled. "
" Altruism is innate, but it's not instinctual. Everybody's wired for it, but a switch has to be flipped. "
" I will forever be grateful to my oncologist for opening the door and saying, 'Damn it, the tumor's 10 percent bigger,' before he even said hello. "
" Those weeks before diagnosis can be among the most torturous times. There is a reason you're called a patient once the plastic bracelet goes on. "
" When people give you a writing assignment, they're asking what you think. That's the very opposite of being an actor. When you're an actor, no one wants to hear what you think. "
" I can see a great beauty in acknowledging the fact that the world is dark. "