Words, Titles, Quotes and Quirky Miscellany…


“Landscape of the Mind” (Passages du Menta)  by Dubuffet

I’m never without a small spiral notebook (no bigger than an index card) in my possession.  I scribble all kinds of things into it. Conversations I overhear (while eavesdropping). Quotes from books. Signs, titles, whatever captures my attention.

I’ve made many notes over the years — what follows is just the tip of the iceberg. I have a carton of notebooks filled with information. Someday I will pore through these volumes of jottings and put them to good use.

In the meantime, here are a few gems:

Overheard at 8:15 a.m. on my way to the subway:

“This isn’t Albania. In America, you don’t tell me to mind my own business. In America, you say hello.”

From The Sea by John Banville:

“He smelled of shaving balm and the beginnings of gum disease.”

From Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard:

“Self-consciousness is the curse of the city and all that sophistication implies.”

Overheard on Sixth Avenue:

“I give him money and he shows me his thing!”

From C.S. Lewis:

“Eros will have naked bodies; friendship will have naked personalities.”

Stream of consciousness from the adjacent booth in a diner in Cutchogue, Long Island:

“If you swallow a yellow jacket, they sting on the way down. They’re excited and angered by the color yellow. There’s a group called Yellow Jackets. Hey, remember that Doors song where they talk about throwing horses over the side…?”

Title of this Joan Miró painting (below): Half Brunette, Half Red Headed Girl Sipping on the Blood of Frozen Hyacinths on a Blazing Football Field.

From The Sea Lady by Margaret Drabble:

“A flicker of incipient boredom and dismissal moved over his face like a high thin floating cirrus cloud.”

James Joyce’s last words:

“Does nobody understand?”

From Dali’s Moustache by Salvatore Dali.

“Providing the right honey for the right fly at the right time and place.”

Me, ordering a coffee in Los Angeles:

“Latte, please, to stay here.”

“Are you from the East Coast?”

“Yes! How did you know?”

“Stay here.”

“Oh, I am here. For 6 years now.”

“No. Stay here.

(Angelinos so enjoy catching New Yorkers slipping into their accent or idiom that it’s almost like a sport for them. I cannot tell you how many times it happened to me while living in L.A. (…and, from a city that’s wont to exclaim with great frequency: How rude!)

News Flash, L.A. Check out this hilarious SNL video and hang your head in shame. Talk about accents…)

In closing, one last tidbit (in case you didn’t know):  The mockingbird is an untidy nest builder.

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