His commitment, full, all his molecules

If you were a fan of comedian Chris Farley, I highly recommend the new documentary on his life titled: I Am Chris Farley. The trailer above gives you a snapshot.  The quotes below are a few of my favorite testimonials from the film.

Mike Myers: “I was very influenced by his commitment, full, all his molecules, and anybody around him’s molecules, pulled into his performance.”

David Spade & Lorne Michaels: “Because everyone can fall down and whatever, but you can’t do it this good. He doesn’t put his hands up, which is what I would do. So he doesn’t block his fall, and you can’t do those forever. I think Chevy Chase warned him not to do that.  Because Chevy’d always had something there just before he fell so he could break the fall, but Chris was just taking it as paid. He wasn’t paying close enough attention to see that there was a way you could do it and not hurt yourself. His commitment was total.”

Bob Saget: “Then at one point there was a little fluffa that happened. There was a line that got skipped, and I just like pushed his glasses up and his eyes crossed. It was this delicate moment that made me very happy.  He came from that background where you pull everybody up – that you are there for everybody. You don’t leave anyone hanging. So when you are working with him, he was right there, helping you.  “Come on buddy”, you know, and that kind of thing.”

For a film review by Variety.com: “Film Review: I Am Chris Farley

Here it is. The Beacon. For us. The Amateurs.


A paragraph from Lucas’ first chapter, “The Value of Style,” will suffice to render his point of view, with its fine sense of perspective and proportion, plain: It is unlikely that many of us will be famous, or even remembered. But not less important than the brilliant few that lead a nation or a literature to fresh achievements, are the unknown many whose patient efforts keep the world from running backward; who guard and maintain the ancient values, even if they do not conquer new; whose inconspicuous triumph it is to pass on what they inherited from their fathers, unimpaired and undiminished, to their sons. Enough, for almost all of us, if we can hand on the torch, and not let it down; content to win the affection, if it may be, of a few who know us and to be forgotten when they in their turn have vanished. The destiny of mankind is not governed wholly by its “stars.”

~ Joseph Epstein, A Literary Education and Other Essays

Photo: Lachlan von Nubia


30 years. 1 stop. Bravo!


Lucy Kellaway’s Thirtieth Anniversary, Financial Times:

For the past 30 years I have been pitching up to work at the same place, week in, week out, interrupted only by a succession of maternity leaves – all of which are now in the distant past…There is something mildly shameful about being almost the longest-serving journalist on the newspaper…

But last Thursday I cycled into work in the early morning sun, making a journey I’ve made many thousands of times before, and as I passed St Paul’s Cathedral I found myself feeling not only unstale, but borderline joyful… When I got to the office on impulse I fired off an email to the entire newspaper inviting them to eat cake with me that very afternoon – and soliciting reflections on what 30 years’ service means.

Loyalty – mixed with stupidity, one colleague replied. Wrong, I thought…

Narrow, suggested another…

A third colleague, also a long-timer, complained that staying in the same place meant getting dragged down by politics and that old grievances fester. Possibly; though I see it the other way round. Long service has cut me adrift from politics and has meant I don’t have to waste time working out who is trustworthy and who isn’t, as I know that already. [Read more…]

Matisse. Unplugged. And uncovered after 70 years.


From Henri Matisse: The Lost Interview:

On August 5th 1946, two years after Paris was liberated from the Germans, a young American soldier named Jerome Seckler visited Henri Matisse. Seckler had a passion for modern art. He made it his mission to meet with, and interview, some of the leading French artists of the time: Matisse was on his list…The interview reveals Jerome to be keenly interested and articulate in the art of time, and Matisse to be a spirited foil to Seckler’s germane questioning. The transcript has been sitting neatly filed in a cardboard box for almost seventy years. Until now this interview has never been published.

Here’s one of my favorite Matisse quotes from the interview:

I think that art must not be a disagreeable thing. There is enough unhappiness in life to turn one towards the joy. One should keep the disagreeable, the unhappiness to himself. One can always find a pleasant thing. An unhappiness doesn’t remain. It makes experience. One doesn’t need to infect people with his annoyances. One should make a serene thing. One should make a stimulating art which leads the spirit of the spectator into a domain which puts him outside of his annoyances.

If you want a short cut to my favorites, and there are a lot of them, here are the links and a teaser to Matisse’s responses:

  • Commitment: I am not at ease. (My favorite. Must read.)
  • Peer Appreciation: Picasso was stunned into silence. “We sat there like stones,” Gilot later recalled.  (Picasso and Gilot watching him make cut-outs)
  • Soul: Those who will work with their soul, and the desire to express themselves will come out the best painters.
  • Critics: It is the result that counts. When I am very much criticized by a painter, I’ll say to him, put your work beside mine and we will see.
  • Talent: You can have all the strength, if you do not have the gifts you will not arrive…
  • Passion: Why make me make different things. I get into communication with nature. Why look elsewhere?
  • Art Appreciation: A man with money will appreciate a painting for the price but the man in the street will just like the painting because he will feel it is good even if he doesn’t know why.
  • Art, like Music: All music is made with seven notes. With that, one makes all the relations. Painting is the same.
  • Revolution: Myself also I live a continual revolution.
  • Approval: A chef doesn’t have to always ask for approval and to ask people to taste the plates that he prepares.
  • Desire: All the artists who began by being hungry and cold have made good painting.
  • Passion / Love: One must suffer for what one loves.

It’s worth your time to read the entire 3000 word transcript here: Henri Matisse: The Lost Interview.


Work: Pull like water buffalo

black and white,photography

The people I love the best
jump into work head first
without dallying in the shallows
and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight.
They seem to become natives of that element,
the black sleek heads of seals
bouncing like half-submerged balls.

I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart,
who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience,
who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward,
who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge
in the task, who go into the fields to harvest
and work in a row and pass the bags along,
who are not parlor generals and field deserters
but move in a common rhythm
when the food must come in or the fire be put out.

The work of the world is common as mud.
Botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust.
But the thing worth doing well done
has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident.
Greek amphoras for wine or oil,
Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums
but you know they were made to be used.
The pitcher cries for water to carry
and a person for work that is real.

~ Marge Piercy, To Be Of Use


30 years. And counting.


30 years ago today.
On a steamy afternoon in Northern Michigan.
They were married.

Her Yin to His Yang.

The Beauty. Gentle, kind and forgiving.
The Beast, less so.

She, the passionate Extrovert,
seeking comfort in conversation and friendship.
He, in constant retreat to solitude.

She, the Mother, a nurturer. Their Friend.
He, the Father, the rules enforcer, the Driver.

She, steady, firmly anchored in high winds and heavy seas.
He, bringing it in bits and pieces,
but giving the best he had.

And despite the pull and tug of opposing forces,
the sweet music plays on.

Happy Anniversary Pal.

Here’s to 30 more.



Credits: (1) Balloon Image. (2) Jim Morrison’s Words: Virgin State of Mind (…bringing it in bits and pieces…)

Riding MetroNorth. In reflection.


Stack ’em up and rumble. Dawn till dusk. Conference calls. One on one calls. Meetings. Emails + Texts: 175 and counting (the day isn’t over). Swinging a gas powered weed wacker. The day: A half-high-five. Many routine ground balls. No major drops. Grade? Falling forward.

I’m on the 7:15 pm MetroNorth railroad heading home.  The overhead air conditioning vent is heaven; a cool shower drying sweat from the sweltering cross-town walk.  I close my eyes. And drift back to the day’s highlight. A working lunch. I’m 7 minutes late. I apologize and sit. The team waited for me before digging into lunch.

We’re 10 minutes in.  The racing, charging, driving of the prior four hours burns off.  My heart rate slows. I’m not tapping my foot. I’m not pushing the pace. Not glancing at my watch. Not thinking ahead to the next meeting. I’m watching. And listening.  I’m actually present. [Read more…]

For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake bitter bread

bread bakery

“…Work is love made visible.
And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.
For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.
And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distils a poison in the wine.
And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.”

Kahlil Gibran, (1883-1931) from The Prophet – “On Work”

Sources: Bakery Image – The Girl on the Moon; Quote – katsandogz

Nothing comes from doing nothing

charlie brown, waiting, take action, do something, success

“I’ve seen people waiting, watching and hoping someone else would step up, take ownership and make things happen. I’ve seen people stuck in blame-gear while others are doing the work and solving the problems. And I’ve seen people hesitating while others are committing. No surprise these were the same people complaining in my office when others received bigger increases, better assignments, or more interesting projects.  But, people who are winning at working become the someone else that others are waiting for. They step up and do something. They know when to act, and they feel better about themselves when they do. That’s because action feels better than inaction and commitment feels better than non-commitment. Both build your self-esteem. Here’s the bottom-line: you can’t be winning at working if you’re waiting for someone else to be the someone you could be.  In my way of thinking, winning at working means you commit to offering the best you there is. Sometimes that means you have to dig a little deeper for your courage or push yourself outside your comfort zone. But it’s like Shakespeare said, “Nothing comes from doing nothing.”

~ Nan Russell

Source: Success.bz – Someone Else.  Image: 3eanuts

Productivity vs. The Amount of Work

ilovecharts, charts, level of confidence, efficiency

I think he’s on to something here…

Source: querosabermais via ilovecharts