10 Seinfeld Quotes That Sum Up Your Life Perfectly

#9 is exactly the way you want to be and what you want to say when something or someone enrages you to no end. Ha! If only we could be as eloquent in the moment and not after the fact (in our own heads).

Thought Catalog

Seinfeld is, of course, the best show of all time (to quote Poppy, quite fittingly, “On this issue there’s no debate!”). For those of you who are less fanatical about it than I am (which is a bit disappointing, as an aside), you might not realize that it serves as an incredibly accurate blueprint of human behavior. It’s a biblical document, in its way.

Here are ten quotes that will hopefully convince you that the Seinfeld writers already canvassed your life problems. Consult the show to see how things turn out (Hint: not well. Sorry).

1. “Ahh, what’s the point? When I like them, they don’t like me, when they like me I don’t like them. Why can’t I act with the ones I like the way I do with the ones I don’t like?”

My all-time favourite quote from the show. Part of the genius of it is in…

View original post 1,300 more words

“The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?

I first read those last two lines of Mary Oliver‘s poem “The Summer Day” when The Power of Introverts author Susan Cain posted it as a June 2 status update on her Facebook fan page. “How do YOU answer Mary Oliver’s question?” she asked.

That’s just the kind of question I like to ponder.

In the meantime, here’s a hand-lettered version of the poem by San Francisco–based artist + illustrator Lisa Congdon: Day 178 of her 365 Days of Hand Lettering.

Remind me to read more Mary Oliver. After reading Tim Kreider’s “The ‘Busy’ Trap” in The New York Times’ Opinionator, I want there always to be room for poetry in my life.

A part of me is every age

Whenever I see a picture like this, I think, Oh, hook me up, I would totally do that. Bounce around with complete abandon on a humongous inflatable Stonehenge? Yes, please.

I’m pretty sure this means I’ll be a kid at heart for the rest of my life.

The art installation Sacrilege by Jeremy Deller,
currently on display in Glasgow, Scotland. 

Sometimes I feel sort of abashed about my kiddishness, like I should be “mature” and “grown-up” and act my age. But what is my age supposed to feel like, exactly? I still feel like a kid sometimes, and frankly I don’t want to lose that sense of wonder and curiosity that comes with living in a world where everything seems new and awe-inspiring. I don’t want to be all jaded.

That’s why I like this Madeline L’Engle quote

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”

… which, in turn, reminds me of this bit of Morrie Schwartz wisdom.

“The truth is, part of me is every age. I’m a 3-year-old, I’m a 5-year-old, I’m a 37-year-old, I’m a 50-year-old. I’ve been through all of them, and I know what it’s like. I delight in being a child when it’s appropriate to be a child. I delight in being a wise old man when it’s appropriate to be a wise old man. Think of all I can be! I am every age, up to my own.”

Which then dovetails neatly with another bit of L’Engle knowledge.

“If I can retain a child’s awareness and joy, and be 51, then I will really learn what it means to be grown-up.”

(via My Modern Metropolis)

On being well rounded

While rereading an October 2011 Brain Pickings roundup of Steve Jobs quotations, I got to thinking that Jobs’s views on the importance of a broad-based education echo certain sentiments in “The Education of an Artist,” a chapter in The Shape of Content by Ben Shahn.

In particular there’s a quote by Jobs from the February 1996 issue of Wired that seems especially relevant: “A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. They don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions, without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better designs we will have.”

It seems to me that the artistry and elegance Jobs is credited with bringing to Apple technology is rooted in Shahn’s same notions of being well rounded and letting that inform one’s art. Shahn advocated being an ever-curious individual, soaking up all aspects of life and not turning away from any of it because it’s “not you.”

Excerpt from the chapter “The Education of an Artist,” in The Shape of Content by Ben Shahn

“Attend a university if you possibly can. There is no content of knowledge that is not pertinent to the work you will want to do. But before you attend a university work at something for a while. Do anything. Get a job in a potato field; or work as a grease-monkey in an auto repair shop. But if you do work in a field do not fail to observe the look and the feel of earth and of all things that you handle—yes, even potatoes! Or, in the auto shop, the smell of oil and grease and burning rubber. Paint of course, but if you have to lay aside paintings for a time, continue to draw. Listen well to all conversations and be instructed by them and take all seriousness seriously. Never look down upon anything or anyone as not worthy of notice. In college or out of college, read. And form opinions! Read Sophocles and Euripedes and Dante and Proust. Read everything that you can find about art except the reviews. Read the Bible; read Hume; read Pogo. Read all kinds of poetry and know many poems and many artists.

“Go to an art school, or two, or three, or take art courses at night if necessary. And paint and paint and draw and draw. Know all that you can, both curricular and noncurricular—mathematics and physics and economics, logic, and particularly history. Know at least two languages besides your own, but anyway, know French. Look at pictures and more pictures. Look at every kind of visual symbol, every kind of emblem; do not spurn signboards or furniture drawings or this style of art or that style of art. Do not be afraid to like paintings honestly or to dislike them honestly, but if you do dislike them retain an open mind. Do not dismiss any school of art, not the Pre-Raphaelites nor the Hudson River School nor the German Genre painters. Talk and talk and sit at cafes, and listen to everything, to Brahms, to Brubeck, to the Italian hour on the radio. Listen to preachers in small town churches and in big city churches. Listen to politicians in New England town meetings and to rabble-rousers in Alabama. Even draw them. And remember that you are trying to learn to think what you want to think, that you are trying to coordinate mind and hand and eye. Go to all sorts of museums and galleries and to the studios of artists. Go to Paris and Madrid and Rome and Ravenna and Padua. Stand alone in Sainte Chapelle, in the Sistine Chapel, in the Church of the Carmine in Florence. Draw and draw and paint and learn to work in many media; try lithography and aquatint and silk-screen. Know all that you can about art, and by all means have opinions. Never be afraid to become embroiled in art or life or politics; never be afraid to learn to draw or paint better than you already do; and never be afraid to undertake any kind of art at all, however exalted or however common, but do it with distinction.”

Related:
• The full text of Steve Jobs’s inspirational and oft-quoted 2005 Stanford commencement address

(Drawings: Ben Shahn for The Shape of Content, originally published in 1957)

A perfect repast

Here’s the best kind of meal according to book reviewer and editor Avis DeVoto (pictured), a confidante of Julia Child, reblogged from Ruth Reichl:

“I also stubbornly maintain that the only real way to cook lobsters is in three or four inches of sea water, in a covered kettle, for about twelve minutes (pound and a quarter lobsters being the ideal size). You then drape these dazzling creatures over the rocks until they cool off a bit, tear them apart with the bare hands, dip each piece in melted butter and guzzle. There should be from two to six lobsters per person. While the lobsters cook and cool off, two dry martinis should be served. Nothing whatever else should be served—we are eating all the lobster we want, we are not fooling around with salad, or strawberry shortcake or even coffee. All you need are the martinis, plenty of lobsters, millions of paper napkins and a view.” –Avis DeVoto to Julia Child, 1952