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" My salvation lies in time spent alone with an X-Acto knife and commercial-grade adhesive. "
" The rigors of creativity - the self-doubt, the revising, the solitude - do require a kind of self-consumption. It comes at a cost; a cost that isn't for everyone. "
" 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. "
" Pessimists are born, true, but they also can be made. "
" I have no problem with animals, I just like people more. "
" 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. "
" '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. "
" Everyone I vote for never wins. Welcome to America. "
" 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 do tend to be an anxious fellow, and I do tend to see the world as a little darker than perhaps it genuinely is, but I also do appreciate much more than a rosy scenario, I appreciate straight news. I appreciate honesty. "
" Fantastic days are what you wish upon those who have so few sunrises left, those whose lungs are so lesion-spangled with new cancer that they should be embracing as much life as they can. Time's a-wasting, go out and have yourself a fantastic day! Fantastic days are for goners. "
" 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. "
" There's nothing particularly wrong with being more pessimistic than optimistic. Optimism is broad-based, non-detail-oriented thinking; pessimism is detail-oriented thinking. "
" I'm not sure. But that bless-his/her-heart kind of melancholic humor is among my favorite things in the world. I guess it exposes a kind of humanity - or that's the hope, at least - a kind of grudging respect for human frailty. Unless it's actually kicking human frailty while it's down - I'm not sure. "
" 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. "
" I cannot escape the feeling that I was, at best, a cancer tourist, that my survival means I dabbled. "
" I'm anti-religious. I don't like people telling me what to do. "
" 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. "
" 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 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. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" There is nothing so cleansing or reassuring as a vicarious sadness. "
" It's the false moral component behind blind animal love that so frosts me. The faulty logic that believes that the capacity to adore a nonhuman creature is somehow a purer form of love. "
" I am the world's worst reporter. I am apt to try too hard to help rather than just document my subjects. "
" 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. "
" 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. "
" At least three times a week, I am overwhelmed with a wave of gratitude to New York City for providing me with a life. Not that my life is so great, although I think it's pretty nifty: I don't mine coal; I get paid to write. "
" 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. "
" 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. "