Brain Candy




Other people’s words often say it far better than I can. So here’s a collection of my favorite quotations from various sources. Inspiring, funny, thoughtful, or just bizarre. Most recently-discovered stuff at the top of the page.



Even if you have nothing in your wallet, nothing can keep you from having a great summer. You can listen to crickets sing you to sleep, trace the Big Dipper, breathe in the stars, run through a sprinkler, host a cartwheel contest in the front yard.
– Regina Brett


Chronicler went pale at the venom in Bast’s voice, but he didn’t flinch. “You’re not angry at me,” he said calmly, looking Bast in the eye. “You’re just angry, and I happen to be nearby.”
— from The Wise Man's Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss


Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson


The best things in life are furry.
— Seen on a bumper sticker


Be glad of life, because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars.
— Henry Van Dyke


Just because I don’t care,
Doesn’t mean I don’t understand.
— Seen on a bumper sticker


All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson


When the going gets weird, the weird get going.
— Jimmy Warfield, sailor


Got out of town on a boat
Goin' to Southern Islands
Sailin' a reach
Before a followin' sea
She was makin' for the trades
On the outside
And the downwind run
To Papeete
Off the wind on this heading
Lie the Marquesas
We got eighty feet on the waterline
Nicely makin' way…
— Opening lyrics to Southern Cross by Crosby, Stills & Nash


Clouseau: Does your dog bite?
Hotel Clerk: No.
Clouseau: [bowing down to pet the dog] Nice doggie.
[Dog barks and bites Clouseau in the hand]
Clouseau: I thought you said your dog did not bite!
Hotel Clerk: That is not my dog.
Dreyfus: The beggar was the lookout man for the gang.
Clouseau: That is impossible. How can a blind man be a lookout?
Dreyfus: [Insinuating Clouseau] How can an idiot be a police officer?
Clouseau: Well, all he has to do is enlist...
Dreyfus: Shut up!
— from the “Pink Panther” movies


I don't like this specialization in which one side sniffs at the other as if they were some other species. No, no, no. We started out one creature. I don't care if 'they' have spots. We're still the same breed of cat.
— author C.J. Cherryh, in reference to Science Fiction and Fantasy being considered different genres.


Design is merely a tool used to communicate messages.
— Eric Torres


Like everyone in a free enterprise system, designers work for profit. We freely trade our sovereign value for the sovereign property of our clients. In doing so, we profit from the exchange just as our clients profit from the exchange. This voluntary arrangement of natural order is unique in that it creates wealth in a rampant and moral fashion; without theft, without destruction of value, without harm, and without the violence of compulsion. As a moral and socioeconomic system, this is known as Capitalism.
— Andy Rutledge


A rising tide will lift all boats.
— (Source unknown)


Life is eternal, and love is immortal,
and death is only a horizon;
and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
— Rossiter Worthington Raymond


If men were dominoes, he would have been the double blank.
— P.G. Wodehouse


Personally, I don’t buy into the idea that things should be run by committee. Projects that shine are always, ultimately, controlled by an individual.
— Monica White, in reference to Joss Whedon’s Firefly


Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no trouble, anger, or sadness. It means to be in the center of all these things and remain calm in your heart.
— (Source unknown)


Alternative people are detached from society, and I'm sorry if you don't like that situation, but deal with it. You have the ability to create for the rest of the world, because the accountants, the breeders, the people who want to sit back and live the safe lives, they're not going to do it. The only people who have ever written history have painted, written books, made the music, or have otherwise been the creative people of their day. That goes for journalists, artists, it doesn't matter what you are. If you are not a part of the background fabric, if you are not asleep, use that power.
Alternative people today, as far as I'm concerned, have lost that knowledge of their own power, which is an incredibly creative force. They've lost the confidence in that. Of Faith, Power and Glory (Album title) describes that. It describes a process. Faith is your own belief in that process, the belief in your goals. Power is what comes from it, knowing you can act upon it and can do something with it. Maybe act upon other people's minds, and in so doing allow your ideas to come to fruition. Glory is the self realization that the goal has been achieved.
— Ronan Harris of VNV Nation, in an interview with


Duct tape is like The Force. It has a dark side. It has a light side. Used correctly, it holds the universe together. Used incorrectly, it sticks your cat to the wall.
— Royce Ryder


Do you have a pulse? Are you breathing? Can you follow simple directions and drink copious amounts of adult beverages at the same time without hurling in the cockpit or cabin? Then Bail a Dhia is the boat for you! We are looking for a few of the undead, breathing and ambulatory types that would like to race about 20-30 races a year. Bail a Dhia is a Capri 25 that is a fun, competitive boat. We will even train you. All you have to do is just be there on race day awake and breathing. Well, just breathing will do. If you are interested call me. In fact, you can even call collect.
— (Source unknown, posted on a sailing message board)


America was made by the idea that personal achievement and personal success are each man’s proper and moral goal.
There are many forms of success: spiritual, artistic, industrial, financial. All these forms, in any field of honest endeavor, are good, desirable and admirable. Treat them as such.
Dignity and self-respect are impossible without a sense of personal achievement. When you defame success, you defame human dignity.
— from Ayn Rand’s Screen Guide for Americans


Fishing is boring, unless you catch an actual fish, and then it is disgusting.
— Dave Barry


You may like or dislike my way of life, that’s a matter of the most perfect indifference to me; you will have to treat me with respect if you want to know me.
— Vronsky’s attitude described, in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina


THE SUN had set when they stepped out of the car. In the spread of sky and sea, a green sky over a sheet of mercury, tracings of fire remained at the edges of the clouds and in the brass fittings of the yacht. The yacht was like a white streak of motion, a sensitive body strained against the curb of stillness.
— A chapter opening from The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand


She could not descend to an existence where her brain would explode under the pressure of forcing itself not to outdistance incompetence.
— from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand


Look at the moral atmosphere of today. Everything enjoyable, from cigarettes to sex to ambition to the profit motive, is considered depraved or sinful. Just prove that a thing makes men happy--and you’ve damned it. That’s how far we’ve come. We’ve tied happiness to guilt.
— Ellsworth Toohey, in The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand


Money is a tool of exchange, which can't exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value.
— Francisco D’Anconia, in The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand


A cat’s hearing apparatus is built to allow the human voice to easily go in one ear and out the other.
— Stephen Baker


I’m not married, I’ve never been married, and I’m not ever going to get married. I’m not ruining any woman’s life by the way I behave, and it’s absolutely certain that no woman is ever going to ruin mine.
— Captain Greldik, in Guardians of the West by David Eddings


Think like a man of action and act like a man of thought.
— Henri Bergson


One night I was watching T.V., chowing down an eight pound Spam loaf. I cooked it in the microwave for 2 minutes, just enough to get it warm. I don’t like to cook my Spam so much that all that tasty congealed fat liquefies and runs off the sides (mainly because I don’t have a spoon).
— (Source unknown)


I like my sweetheart to be fat and dumpy with big buck teeth. The bigger the better! That turns me on. Don’t get me wrong. Intelligence and humor are nice, but if the rolls of blubber and goofy looks aren’t there, the whole thing’s just superficial.
— (Source unknown)


“And Phil, you told me about your dreams and visions for a perfect world. How you wanted to someday attain such a high state of existence that you could perpetually, until the end of time, lay on an old sofa, watch T.V., digest fatty foods, and move only every now and then, ever so slightly, to release gas. Go away.”
— (Source unknown)


Courage atrophies from lack of use.
— (Source unknown)


Ransom himself could only describe it by saying that for his first few days on Perelandra he was haunted, not by a feeling of guilt, but by surprise that he had no such feeling. There was an exuberance or prodigality of sweetness about the mere act of living which our race finds it difficult not to associate with forbidden and extravagant actions.
— from Perelandra by C.S. Lewis


Don’t ever become a pessimist, a pessimist is correct oftener than an optimist, but an optimist has more fun – and neither can stop the march of events.
— Robert Heinlein


Life is more a process of what happens to you while you are waiting for things than it is the collection of things themselves.
— Roger Zelazny


Enjoy what you have, hope for what you lack.
— Fortune cookie proverb


Man is the only animal that blushes, or needs to.
— Mark Twain


Ignorance is a voluntary misfortune.
— Nicholas Ling


Men give away nothing so liberally as their advice.
— Francois de la Rochefoucauld


There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.
— Henry Van Dyke


At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled.
— from Anthem by Ayn Rand


The clocks will all run backwards
All the sheep will have two heads
And Thursday night and Friday
Will be on Tuesday night instead
— lyrics from Way Down Now by World Party


The grass is always greener
Where the dogs are shitting.
— line from Outshine by Soundgarden


I made a pilgrimage to save this human’s race
Never comprehending the race had long gone by.
— lyrics from Melt with You by Modern English


The right dress is like the right guy, you love it more when you get it home.
— Seen on a bumper sticker


Do more than exist.
Touch – feel
Look – observe
Read – absorb
Hear – listen
— (Source unknown)


Those are delightful clouds you’ve laid on to welcome me with. I can’t understand why people associate clouds with sadness. To think of them only as a warning of rain and storms is as silly as treating the sun as nothing but a potential cause of sunstroke. But these small clouds – this northern sky... I’d forgotten how soft it could be.
— (Source unknown)


After infinite expense and care, Mr. Todd looked like something the cat had brought in – a cat, moreover, with an outstanding lack of discrimination.
— (Source unknown)


Painters are often endowed with such perspicacity because they pass whole days in the silence of their studios engaged in a kind of work which leaves their minds relatively free; they are apt, like women, to let their thoughts play around the minor happenings of life and fathom their innermost meaning.
— (Source unknown)


I believed in her right from the first night I met her, in May, in a small cafe under the chestnut trees. Beautiful and romantic. Only she never fell in love with me. I was desperately in love with her. It’s a strange thing, how you can love somebody, how you can be all eaten up inside with needing them – and they simply don’t need you. That’s all there is to it, and neither of you can do anything about it. And they’ll be the same way with someone else, and someone else will be the same way about you and it goes on and on – this desperate need – and only once in a rare million do the same two people need each other.
— from A Small Rain, by Madeleine L’Engle


Women who whine attract men who whine. Women full of the lioness heart attract men who are full of the lion.
— Marianne Williamson


The more you accept me, the more I accept myself. The more I can accept myself, the more I can risk being vulnerable with you. The more vulnerable I am with you, the more you can trust me. The more we trust each other, the more intimacy we share. The more intimacy we share, the more love we have. And the more I love you, the more I accept you.
— (Source unknown)


Man can find no better retreat from the world than art, and man can find no stronger link with the world than art.
— Goethe


I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.
— Lily Tomlin


Do television evangelists do more than lay people?
— Stanley Ralph Rose


Some guy hit my fender, and I said to him, “Be fruitful and multiply,” but not in those words.
— Woody Allen


Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing.
— Robert Benchley


There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.
— from Bill Watterson’s Calvin & Hobbes comics


Life is short, eat dessert first.
— John Fink of Utt Printing, and many others.