The Quaz Q&A Breakdown

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Here is the official Quaz breakdown. I’ve decided to divide the Q&As into the following categories:

Kevin Arnold’s Wonder Years Love Interests
Clergy /Spiriual
Mahopacians (people with connections to my hometown of Mahopac, N.Y.)
Performers (singers, actors, etc)
Business people
Uniquely Assholic (folks I regret hosting here)
Eclectically Undefined (folks who defy a specific category)
RIP (those Quazes who have, sadly, passed on)

Truly, thanks to all for reading, for participating, for engaging, for supporting this endeavor. See you at 500 …


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Kevin Arnold’s Wonder Years Love Interests:

(99) Wendel Meldrum, Kevin’s love interest: Money quote (on becoming “The Low Talker” on Seinfeld): “I am not a low talker but I remember they were having trouble casting it. I did the audition sort of twirling my hair near my mouth to give a reason for sounding muffled. Larry David asked me to do it again without the twirl and it worked, I didn’t need it.”

(21) Crystal McKeller, Kevin’s love interest: Money quote: “I would not encourage my child to become a television or film actress. In terms of modeling, let’s just say I would rather spend the day re-taking the bar exam than having updated headshots taken. Having your picture taken is fun for about five minutes. Then it is mind-numbing and uncomfortable. Your daughter could be an astrophysicist or a venture capitalist—why would she want to waste her time sitting still for a living?”

(16) Kathy Wagner, Kevin’s love interest: Money quote: “I thought Fred was pretty dreamy! One day he mouthed across the set ‘I love you.’ I couldn’t believe it—I was on cloud nine! Fred Savage just said he loved me! Being young and awkward I said, ‘I love you’ back and then he started laughing and said, ‘I didn’t say I love you … I said ‘olive juice’’ I was mortified!!! To get him back—on the last day that I was shooting I knocked on his dressing room door and said ‘Can I have your autograph?’ He said sure and I said ‘Not you, your little brother Ben,’ and I walked right past him and asked his not-at-all-famous-at-that-time brother for his autograph.”

(1) Wendy Hagen, Kevin’s love interest: Money quote: “I did a Coke commercial. I was probably about 12-years old. It was pouring down rain. I was standing on a tractor with an open can of paint in one hand and I was supposed to jump off the tractor . . . into a flock of chickens. I was freezing and scared to hurt the chickens. I think I did the jump once, the chickens didn’t really flee (none were injured or anything, but it was awkward) and paint went everywhere. Then the social worker/studio teacher put an end to that action and they changed the scene up a bit. And of course, that scene was cut out of the commercial.”

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(322) Rabbi Arnold Rachlis: Money quote: “I try to make services as interesting as possible through relevant-to-life sermons, participatory music (often with a band), meditation, dance and discussion, but, even then, it’s OK not to be interested. I’m trying to attract people to a different kind of service, not make them feel guilty for not attending. I also have problems with the idea of prayer since I don’t believe in a supernatural God. Rather, for me and most Reconstructionist Jews, if God exists, we conceive of divinity as a force or power within human beings and the universe that moves us toward being loving and caring. There’s no God who commands, demands and punishes. Rather, this humanistic philosophy sees God not as a supreme being but as inspiration, creativity, conscience, consciousness and motivating us toward Tikkun Olam/repairing the world.”

(299) Rabbi Jeremy Markiz: Money quote: “I definitely don’t believe in a heaven or a hell in the fluffy white clouds and eternal fire sense. The rabbis did describe a Gehenom, a sort of purgatory, and there are references to an underworld, but neither ever really did it for me. The rabbis didn’t have an answer and in truth, it didn’t matter.

(297) Kayla Michaele, psychic: Money quote: “I get the information from several sources. When dealing with someone’s life situations I communicate with their Spirt Guides an Angels. This can only be done with the permiss

(233) Dawn Cartwright, founder of Chandra Bindu Tantra Institute: Money quote: “Instead of having sex only for procreation, now we have sex only when our romantic expectations have been fulfilled. We’ve confused love with romance. What we fail to see is sex, the primal surge of the human spirit, is the grist for love. Without sex; love, passion, constancy and surrender cannot exist.”

(213): John Martignoni, founder of the Bible Christian Society: Money quote: “God knows better than we do what is good for us. Quite often we unknowingly ask for that which will actually harm us. A lot of people pray to win the lottery. But a lot of people who win the lottery have their lives ruined and end up wishing they had never won it. The fact is, Christians look at things from a different perspective than atheists/agnostics.”

(142) Rick McDaniel, pastor: Money quote (on gays and the church): “The reason why the gay issue has such prominence is because of gay rights groups not evangelical ones. The activism of these groups has been incredible. They have pushed the issue to the forefront of culture and have been extremely aggressive in pursuing their agenda. Of course they have every right to do so but Christians then have every right to state their position as well. What has taken it to another level is gay marriage. Christians define marriage very clearly and when you start redefining it there is going to be a response. It is tempting to just give in and be quiet but Christians are to resist temptation. This does not mean there are not people or groups who have been hateful to gays or that this issue is simple to resolve. But the reason it continues to be talked about is because the media keeps bringing it up. Not Christians.”

(110) John Lunness, priest and abuse victim: Money quote: “I believe 100 percent in God’s grace and as undeserved as it is it is a free gift from God. That’s the only explanation I have or even need. Unlike so many other victims of clergy sexual abuse I was always able to separate what was done to me from God’s will  for my life. My being molested was not God’s will and I never thought it was. The free-will of someone else, in this case the man who molested me, was not chosen by God but chosen by Tom. We all have free-will and when we exercise it we can hurt others. Everyone has a choice to sin or not to sin.”

(45) Cameron Mills, former Kentucky basketball player, minister: Money quote: “There do seem to be a lot of reasons to not believe in God but I think there are as many reasons to believe. Is there proof? No, I don’t think there is proof but I do think there is evidence. I would simply say that as the Bible promises if you search for God with all your heart you will find Him. I also believe that you will find evidence from science that God exists. It honestly takes as much more faith to believe that we are here by accident as it does to believe that we are here by God’s plan.”

(13) Drew Snyder, senior minister at the Ashland Christian Church: Money quote (on whether my Jewish grandma is in hell): “Is she in hell? I don’t know. I really, truly don’t, and won’t say one way or another. All I do know is that Jesus died for her as well as he died for me, and whatever her relationship with God is or is not for eternity, it’s based on God’s love and our choices. All I can do is share the gospel and allow the people I encounter to experience that love and make their own choice.”

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(410) Kaira Rouda, novelist: Money quote: “You just keep going. Oh, and here’s another thing: If it’s not happening for you on that day, just stop. I’m not in the camp of forcing yourself to write when it’s not happening. I think our muses deserve loving kindness, not abuse. So be kind to yourself. There is so much that’s great about writing a novel, jumping into a world you’ve created. It will all be worth it when you type The End. Promise.”

(407) Sweeny Murti, WFAN New York Yankees beat reporter: Money quote: “My first season covering the Yankees was 2001, and things obviously changed after 9/11. I had become friendly with David Justice, who was a lot of fun to talk to before games—about many subjects, not just baseball.  Just fooling around one day in June or July as some political topic entered the discussion, DJ put his arm around me and said to my other reporter friends, ‘You know who this is, right?  This is Bin Laden.’  I remember he pronounced it ‘bin-Lay-den,’ a reminder now that Osama wasn’t a household name just yet. The Yankees first game after 9/11 was in Chicago and I remember going up to DJ after the game—it was a quiet clubhouse I remember—and leaning over and saying something like, ‘Hey maybe we should cool it on the Bin Laden thing, ya know?’ Justice looked up at me and said, ‘Hey bro, the day you’re gonna bring in your bomb, just tell your boy and I won’t come into work that day!’ I laughed. We laughed. I was friendly enough with DJ that I didn’t think it was a big deal.  We laughed like friends do at things that are sometimes way too inappropriate.  It was literally locker room humor.  And I’ve told the story to friends over the years, so I can’t go back and pretend I was offended, then or now.”

(406) Menachem Ickovitz, Orthodox Jewish sports writer: Money quote: “I think there are many people who look at religious people (from any religion) and do not like what they see. In terms of Judaism, I will say that one of the issues that I see is that people are not as good as they portray themselves and it is partially because of what schools focus on. There are different types of books to study in Judaism. The focus of many Jewish schools these days is the Talmud. The Talmud is difficult to fully comprehend and they spend hours upon hours on trying to understand every single word, I think this is commendable. However, when I was in school we also learned Mussar (ethics/character and behavioral improvement), which I think doesn’t get taught enough and because people are spending so much time on the Talmud and not enough time on Mussar, people have become more observant but less religious.”

(405) Steve Bennett, host of The Sports-Casters podcast: Money quote: “Over Christmas that year I read a book called Death to the BCS by Jeff Passan, Dan Wetzel and Josh Peter. I finished with a ton of questions and thought this could be a podcast. I’ll read books and ask the author (or authors) questions. I looked up the publisher online and sent them a pitch for an interview. Jeff Passan agreed to appear on a podcast that didn’t exist yet. I didn’t really expect to hear back but since I did I had to put my money where my mouth was. I created the show, interviewed Jeff, and posted the first episode in about a week. The first show debuted the day after the BCS championship game between Auburn and Oregon. It was sort of ironic that the podcast was born out of my reading of Death to the BCS and it debuted the day after a BCS Championship game. Cam Newton had a great week but I’m not sure he was as excited as I was. It was a dream come true to publish that first episode even if my mother was the only person who heard it.”

(404) Christopher John Farley, author, former Time magazine writer: Money quote: “Funny story about Chris Farley, or as I call him ‘You-Know-Who’ and ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.’ When I was living in the village in the 1990s, someone mistakenly sent me his copy of the script for the big-screen movie of ‘Coneheads.’ I nearly contacted him to warn him not to do the movie because the script was terrible. Another time, I was supposed to meet Chris Rock on the set of “Saturday Night Live” and the guard wouldn’t let me up after I gave my name. He thought it was some sort of sick joke. Which it kinda was, but I’m not certain who it was on.”

(402) Tom Alexander, Orlando Apollos team reporter: Money quote: “I, like many others who lost their jobs in the blink of an eye earlier this month, likely won’t know for a while what exactly led to the end of The Alliance of American Football. I think, probably, there are only one to three people on the entire planet that know the whole story at this point (until the lawsuits enter the discovery phase): Tom Dundon (definitely), Charlie Ebersol (very likely) and Bill Polian (probably). What I understand, so far, about why it ended, has nothing to do with ticket sales, fan enthusiasm or the quality of the on-field product.”

(401) Michael Kupperman, graphic novelist: Money quote: “Really, the best work, the stuff people respond to, was done for myself. Most of the stuff I did for those places was stepped on heavily one way or another, edited badly, or I didn’t get what I needed from the arrangement; at times it was a downright abusive relationship. I’m Gen X, and we’re the ones who put in a lot of time taking and eating shit and at the end, all we got was a kick out the door. But really, this is about me wanting to create the best work possible.”

(390) Melissa Isaacson, Northwestern lecturer and former Bulls beat writer: Money quote: “Anyone who covered Michael Jordan on the beat—and there weren’t many of us in those days (three to be exact who traveled regularly—Twill tell you that he was fantastic to deal with and here’s why. He was accessible. Not every single day but most. And when he was under fire. He rarely ducked us. And we all witnessed the mobs at his locker after games and the shy ones in the back from another country or Indiana or somewhere, mustering up the courage to ask him something or to ‘Say hi to Indonesia’ (OK, maybe it wasn’t Indonesia but close) and he always would. Always. And he would treat the guy from Oskaloosa the same way he did the N.Y. Times. He really did. I’m sure he got pissed at people, he would be condescending at times to guys he liked—liked Lacy Banks from the Sun-Times, who he kidded mercilessly—but in our world, in mine, he was respectful. In his quiet moments, like on the road when we three would actually catch him alone, he would talk about his kids (who he truly loves even though he never changed a diaper or ever picked up one of them from school). He was also incredibly respectful of me (maybe because I was pregnant a chunk of the time I covered him!) never, ever came into the lockerroom undressed or even in the Carolina blue shorts he wore under his game uniform but always in his full wide-shouldered suit (not because of me but just because that’s how he was). And other than patting my stomach when I was pregnant occasionally, and remarking on my choice of heels when I was in my latter months, he never treated me nor any woman journalist I ever witnessed, any differently than the men.”

(384) Desa Philadelphia, longtime journalist: Money quote: “I get asked a lot which celebrity I’ve covered seemed the most normal and I like the reaction I get when I say Sylvester Stallone. Not because his existence is normal in any way. I went to his house and it was in a crazy gated community of mega mansions owned by Saudis princes and A-List Actors. And there were a few insanely questionable pieces of furnishings; some velvet stuff that his mom had picked out. But HE seemed normal as hell. My favorite thing is how much he loves Rocky, the character. He showed me his Rocky paintings; and this was before he had exhibited them. His daughter also had this very precise Louise Brooks bob that he had cut, and he said he cut her hair to keep up his skills because he used to be a hairdresser before Rocky made him rich and famous. I teased him about needing to keep up his hairdresser skills and he was a good sport about it.”

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(382) Maggie Langrick, child actress/CEO and publisher at LifeTree Media: Money quote: “I think we do all need to embrace digital media, as more and more aspects of our lives are conducted in the digital space. However, I also don’t believe that printed books are going away, at least not anytime soon. People have their preferences, and all three major formats—print, ebook and now audiobook—have their fans. Personally, I read both ebooks and print books and find that both have their place.  The good news is that people are still buying and reading books. Ultimately, I don’t think the format matters at all. What’s important is the content, not the container.”

(380) David Grzybowski, author of Tom Gola’s biography: Money quote: “I think Gola’s story is so fascinating from multiple angles. He succeed in everything he did in the same city he was born and raised in: Philadelphia. He won the 1952 NIT championship, the 1954 NCAA championship, lost to Bill Russell and the San Francisco Dons in 1955 in the NCAA championship game, won the NBA championship in 1956 with the Philadelphia Warriors, became La Salle men’s basketball head coach in the late 60’s and had a brief stint in Philadelphia politics.  He is the all-time leading rebounder in NCAA history and will forever hold that record. His story needed to be told and I’m ecstatic to be the person to do so.”

(379) David Aldridge, The Athletic DC editor and longtime NBA journalist: Money quote: “I don’t believe there’s a journalist of any bent who hasn’t been impacted by the #fakenews insanity. I’m sure if you interviewed writers who cover college sports and teams, they’d have a much different tale to tell you than someone like me who’d been national for a long time. A story like Maryland’s here in the D.C. area is rife for that kind of “My side is the only side” takes by readers. There are people who staunchly defended, and continue to defend, D.J. Durkin. When it involves the alma mater, people don’t always think clearly.”

(374) Jeff Bradley, longtime baseball writer-turned-glove creator-and-Toronto FC media relations man: Money quote: “I wrote my ass off for about five months, was told I was doing a good job. When I asked for a mid-term review, I was told, ‘Don’t rush in for that, it’s not going to be the best day of your career.’ I said, “I’ve been in the rotation for a decade and I’m willing to pitch middle relief. Cut my pay however much you have to, but please don’t put me on the street. I’ve got two kids…’ Then I was told, and this hurt, ‘It’s not a money issue, Jeff. It’s a talent issue.’ Funny thing is I never, ever considered myself talented. I tried to do other things. I sold cars. I worked in the locker room at a golf club, shining shoes and cleaning toilets, to try to bring in more money. Finally, I got this job in Toronto, which has been pretty awesome. It’s hard living apart from my wife except for maybe 3-4 days every two weeks, but we say, right now, this is us. Seeing so many of my friends go through similar shit has been really humbling. I worked for four years at the New York Daily News and seeing that staff decimated has been hard to watch. These are tough times.”

(372) Jon Springer, founder of “Mets by the Numbers” and author of book about the Wilmington Quicksteps: Money quote: “The conceit underpinning the book was that Quicksteps weren’t just any shitty team, but the shittiest team of all-time, at least as winning percentage in the Majors goes. No team in history ever achieved a worse winning percentage than Wilmington’s .111 in 1884: It is perhaps baseball’s safest and most unenviable team record. The irony is, that until the Quicksteps joined the Majors – they were promoted from the minors as a midseason replacement for the Philadelphia Keystones franchise that went bankrupt in the middle of that year – they were an excellent team that could and did defeat some major-league opponents in exhibitions, including for example the ’84 American Association champs, the New York Mets and their Hall of Fame pitcher, Tim Keefe.”

(366) Will Reeve, Superman’s son and ESPN reporter: Money quote: “Full disclosure: I’m not a huge Superman fan, or fan of superhero movies generally (the Deadpool franchise being a hilarious exception), so I don’t totally remember the last time I watched that movie, or that scene specifically. But, to start this Quaz off on the right foot, let me take a stab: as far as I can tell, the thing that makes Dad’s Superman (both the franchise and his character) canon is its irreverence and campiness. Keep in mind, this was the late ’70s, decades before Christopher Nolan came in and darkened the superhero landscape to one shade above pitch black. Dad’s Superman is fun and cheesy and earnest to a fault (not unlike the man playing the character, or his son, for that matter), and that type of scene fits perfectly within those thematic notes. Does it hold up to our evolved standards in 2018? Not really. Should it be enjoyed for what it was then and remains now? In my opinion, absolutely.”

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(358) Lisa Winston, longtime baseball writer: Money quote: “For my first three years, when I covered the Prince William Cannons (the Yankees’ Class A club in the Carolina League), they actually had a ‘No reporters in the clubhouse’ rule (I believe they may have instituted that rule before I got there because there was a beat writer that was, shall we say, not very popular but they couldn’t ban one person so they just made it a NO REPORTERS AT ALL rule and it stuck). The manager (there were three in my three different years) had an office at the very front of the clubhouse and we would go there (or I would go there, because often as not I was the only reporter covering the game) right after the game and talk to him there. I would know which player I wanted to talk to, hop the gate onto the field immediately after the final out, and just grab (figuratively, not literally) the player and talk to him on the field or in the dugout right then and there. I was incredibly lucky that in three years covering the team, I NEVER had a problem with a single Cannons player and they were always cooperative. I made sure to get to know them all from the get-go, and meet new players as they joined the team, and I had a good reputation among the crew as being a fair, honest writer who didn’t stir shit but told their stories and knew my stuff.”

(356) Hayley Elwood, Los Angeles Chargers team reporter: Money quote: “The key to walking boldly is preparation. Know what you’re talking about, and you’ll give yourself the tools and the power to have a conversation instead of a generic Q&A. I’ve learned to phrase questions in different ways to find better answers. I’ve ‘studied tape,’ aka watched other reporters in the business whether it be sit downs or post-game interviews, and noted the types of questions they ask. I’ve learned never to start a question with ‘talk about….’ That’s not a question, that’s a command. Lastly, don’t ask someone something that can be answered with a yes or no, because that may be what you end up getting back.”

(351) Martin Wisckol, Orange County Register political reporter: Money quote: “Qualities I often use in sizing up politicians are veracity, diplomacy, dignity, consistency, intelligence, thoughtfulness, respectfulness, open mindedness and congeniality. When somebody takes a position that seems inconsistent, how sincere and logical do they sound about their change of heart? Politicians often act like righteous idealists yet almost all will compromise, for reasons good and bad. That’s the nature of politics. The best ones are the most convincing. There’s the old joke: The secret of politics is sincerity. When you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”

(349) Amy Bass, author of “One Goal”: Money quote: “I’m the daughter of writers; I grew up in a very word-intense, literary, household. My dad would get home from his job as the arts editor/writer/columnist for The Berkshire Eagle, eat dinner with us, and then disappear into his cellar office to work on one of his many novels. He always, always, called me a writer before he called me a scholar or a professor. He saw me as a writer. My mom, now in her 80s, just published her third novel and still churns out a column every week. So this all felt very right to me. But it doesn’t mean I knew exactly how to do it. The first thing I did? I bought a book about writing. Which everyone around me thought was hilarious. ‘One Goal’ is my fourth book, so I guess I’m expected to know how to do this.”

(348) George Dohrmann, Pulizter winner, author, “Superfans”: Money quote: “Being a fan of a team is now such a huge part of people’s identities that when you expose cheating or some other stain you aren’t just threatening the success of their team you are threatening who they are as individuals. If Minnesota is cheating, then they have been supporting a cheater, so they feel like a lesser person in some way. Their self-esteem takes a hit. Rather than confront that, they lash out. I think the relationship between college fans and their favorite school and their over-the-top behavior is more easily understood if you frame it as: Their identity is under assault.”

(346) Shannon Perrine, Pittsburgh news anchor: Money quote: “Wednesday morning at 2:20 reporter Katelyn Sykes and photographer Eric Hinnebusch went to cover a fire. It didn’t take long for them to realize a 4-year old was killed in the fire—along with two women. Then the news cavalry kicks in and supporting journalists from producers to assignments managers start getting more information. By 5 pm the traditional local newscast by WTAE provided the big headline: Four Year Old killed in fire. It also provided the detail that someone set that fire. Three innocent people murdered, thanks to a bar fight moments earlier. Context. That information is not easy to get. There are real people gathering it and writing it, people with experience and skill. The 5 pm news is where you find it.”

(341) Alan Schwarz, groundbreaking steroids and ADHD investigative writer: Money quote: “From what I was told, ‘nominated’ for a Pulitzer does not mean ‘submitted for consideration’—turns out anyone can send in their stuff for the committee to eyeball. It actually means you were one of the three official finalists from which the winner is then chosen. My concussion series was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer for Public Service (considered the most prestigious), so I was indeed nominated, something we found out through the grapevine a few weeks before the winners were decided. I spent several months being told I should—would—win, by people who really knew how it worked, and was pretty much an emotional wreck in the days leading up to the announcement. If you win, you’re immortal; this would have been the highest honor a sports reporter had ever received in the history of the field. Then, three days ahead of the official announcement, executive editor Bill Keller told me he knew that I had not won—the committee had chosen a Los Angeles Times series on political corruption in the small city of Bell, Calif. People had a hard time seeing how something that regionally specific qualified for writ-large Public Service, compared to our concussion work’s effects on national, even worldwide, children’s health. Keller said afterward, publicly, ‘I make it a practice not to second-guess the Pulitzer board—but on this one, I can’t help making an exception.’

(340) Alexa Datt, star of’s “12:25 Live with Alexa”: Money quote: “I got to be on the field during the World Series, and in the stands interviewing diehard Mets fans who waited their whole lives for those games. I remember my favorite fan, Gloria, a 90-year-old Mets season ticket holder, who sat in an aisle seat in the good section and I would go visit her every game. She never missed her Mets and baseball was her passion. It’s mine, too. I loved talking baseball with Gloria. Those relationships are what made the job special. Getting paid to watch baseball at the ballpark on a nightly basis is pretty special, too. How could you not be happy? If the team is struggling it’s definitely harder, searching for fans to talk to, waiting out extra innings on a chilly September night, but it’s still baseball, and you’re lucky enough to witness it all. I had the best crew of people I worked with, too, from the control room and my fellow hosts to the party patrol and the ballpark ushers, everyone was one big family. The entire experience was really special.”

(338) Dave Levitan, author of “Not a Scientist”: Money quote: “I think on a relatively short time scale — say, 50 to 250 years — the human race is in for a dramatic reckoning. No matter what we do about the climate, there is a certain amount of catastrophic change now baked into the system, and it will be truly devastating. We can debate the details — and scientists continue to do so, on specific amounts and speeds of sea level rise, and so on — but there is no escaping it, I’d say. This is very much in the doom-and-gloom realm that a lot of science journalists say we should avoid, but I think the geopolitical effects of the changing climate are among the most under-discussed aspect to all this — the world is about to shit itself and start flinging that shit around catastrophically, would be a dramatically unscientific way to put it. Some would disagree with me, sure, but I don’t see a great next-couple-centuries for humanity, if I’m being honest.”

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(335) Stan Verrett, SportsCenter anchor: Money quote: “My father was my first hero. I grew up in a rough neighborhood in New Orleans, with crime and drugs. When I was very young, I knew I never had to be scared of the stuff around me because my dad was there to protect us. Even the baddest dudes in the neighborhood knew, ‘Mr. Verrett is crazy, so don’t mess with them.’ As I got older, his example of doing the right thing, even when it wasn’t convenient, was the guiding force that kept me in line. He did not have much formal education. He dropped out of high school to go to work because his family was poor and his father wasn’t around. He later joined the Army Air Force, the precedent to the current Air Force. He served in World War II in Europe, driving trucks carrying bombs to fighter planes, because black soldiers were not allowed into combat at that time. After the war, he learned to work with his hands, becoming a plasterer and cement mason, and served as president of his union’s local.  He fought for fair wages and the rights of other workers who were being exploited by contractors and builders. That was just one facet of the virulent racism he faced in still-segregated Louisiana. Still, he was a patriot through and through, a true representative of the greatest generation.”

(333) Christian Fuentes, Puerto Rican sports journalist: Money quote: “Since the early morning hours, you could hear the strong winds gusting and things falling down and crashing. It was a mixture of hair-raising and scary, because you never know how it’s going to hit. All you can do is hope that the damage is minimized. Thankfully, for me and for the neighborhood I live in, there wasn’t a whole lot of damage. It was jarring to see light poles and tress falling while the winds dragged the rain enough to make it look like the water was parallel to the ground.”

(329) Jonathan Eig, Muhammad Ali biographer:  Money quote: “To write a great book, you have to choose a great subject. Herman (The Great White Hope) Melville said that. Or something like that. The point is, it helps to have a subject no one’s written about. But sometimes, if the subject is great enough, it’s worth tackling. The question to me is: Can I add something of importance? In this case, the answer was an obvious yes because none of those terrific writers (and I would add George Plimpton, Budd Schulberg, Wilfred Sheed, and others to the list), had not taken the Moby Dick approach. They hadn’t gone big. Mine is the first complete unauthorized biography of Ali. To paraphrase Ali: It ain’t bragging if it’s true. Remnick covered the first couple of years of Ali’s career, Mailer covered two fights, and Hauser wrote an oral history in which Ali had the final say about what to include. Also, I had the benefit of time and perspective. I had the time to go back and interview all three of Ali’s surviving wives and more than 200 other people, people who could speak more openly than they might have earlier, and people who can view events with greater perspective now. I also have the benefit of reading FBI files and medical records that weren’t available earlier. Finally, Mailer and Plimpton, for all their gifts, couldn’t see in 1970 or 1975 how Ali’s life and career would change the world. It’s been more than 50 years since Ali took his stance against Vietnam. That’s time enough to understand what it meant. I think it’s almost beyond argument that he was the most influential athlete of the 20th century. But that was far from certain when the first generation of Ali biographers was working.”

(327) Paul Kuharsky, NFL writer: Money quote: “I certainly have a fondness for The Tennessean in our era. I spent 12 good years there and it really let me discover myself as a writer and reporter and make incredible friends. The downfall started as the editors got worse or the good ones got shoved into jobs with lesser influence. They have tough jobs because Gannett headquarters just wants them to be able to check all sorts of boxes that have nothing to do with creating quality content. The sort of smart people who were once newspaper editors aren’t going into the business anymore, and we all know why. It’s thankless. It pays poorly. You get to be called fake news constantly. You don’t have nearly as many smart and clever reporters under you because those people are also now finding different careers. I still have a few close friends there and I love them and I feel terribly for them. But never mind those of us who left for new jobs — they chose to let John Glennon go, they nudged David Climer toward retirement. And they’ve kept and hired people who are far less worthy than those guys, who I count as good friends. There are two people in sports worth reading now: Joe Rexrode, a quality columnist”

(325) Bomani Jones, ESPN personality: Money quote: “Circumstances threw me in this direction, but it’s not like I’m saying circumstances threw me into working in a factory or anything. I didn’t have many options…and then ESPN called and I tried to make the best of it. But it was making the best of a dream-like scenario. Once I was in, it was clear that this was what I did. I went from writing to radio to the Internet to television, but it was always in sports at that point. This was my world.”

(319) Laura Okmin, Fox Sports NFL sideline reporter: Money quote: “We spend more time on confidence than anything—the on camera part is such a small part of GALvanize. You’ll be told for the rest of your career that you don’t know what you’re talking about, you’re not that hot, you’re not that good—so they have to have their voice louder than everyone else’s and  more positive than anyone else’s. I can tell you most of their voices aren’t there yet. Their voices are saying, “You’re not as pretty as her, as talented, as good” … and that’s what we work on. Empowering themselves—and each other. Because women supporting women in this business is magic.”

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(316) Steve Rushin, author/sports columnist: Money quote: “My Dad sold magnetic tape for 37 years—8-track tapes, audio cassettes, VHS tapes—for 3M. He said to me recently, “I can’t believe all that stuff I sold for all those years just . . . went away.” I don’t think writing is going away. But I do feel like a blacksmith sometimes. A nice kid recently asked me for writing advice and then told me he thought sports writing would be a good entree into sports broadcasting. And I understood why a high school kid might feel that way. For me, writing is all I’ve ever wanted to do.”

(314) Anne Byrn, author/chef: Money quote: “I can tolerate McDonald’s if I am driving and it’s a long, lone highway and I am starving—cheeseburger, fries, small Coke. There was a time when I wouldn’t grace the doors of McDonald’s but then I had three children and that took care of that. But those bakery cakes, well, they are just not my thing. I can taste artificial vanilla. I can break down a cake recipe in the first two bites. It’s just not worth the calories, really. Cake needs to be good. It need to be real. It is always best home-baked.”

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(309) Leigh Montville, author: Money quote: “Writing is an insecure business. I don’t know if you ever fully say “I can write.” You don’t have to look far to find something that someone else wrote that makes you feel like you’re lost in the grammatical woods. I obviously think I can tell a story in a serviceable and somewhat appealing way because that is what has fed and clothed me for 50 years and sent a couple of kids through college, but there is always the thought that you could do much better. It’s part of the job.”

(307) Michael Rothstein, writer: Money quote: “In my four years covering Michigan football, the school went from having reporters stake out the parking lot after games to try and interview players (seriously—I ended up chasing former defensive coordinator Greg Robinson across a parking lot for an interview once) to all podium after a game and having no say in players I’d be talking with. Whenever I get annoyed by something, access-wise, in the NFL, I think back to that.”

(298) Dave Kindred, writer: Money quote: “It has been my blessing and curse that whatever I write, I try to make it better than the last thing I wrote—or at least the best thing I can write with the material at hand.”

(294) Ann Killion, writer: Money quote: “It’s business. I’m not trying to be friends with the people I cover and I try to write the truth. Jed York has run the 49ers into the ground in the past couple of years with some really insane decisions. I get yelled at sometimes by the people I cover and I’m sure a lot of them hate me, but I try to be fair.”

(288) Alexander Wolff, writer: Money quote: “My hope rests in technology and new norms it may set. In 10 or 15 years we may all keep rolled up in our pocket a paper-thin device that captures and displays words and pictures instantaneously, a kind of turbo-charged iPad, and if so SI will be right there, delivering first-rate content by talented people, and the brand will endure—not because people have accommodated themselves to us, but because we’ve been nimble enough to go where the consumption is, whether it’s on a Web-enabled fruit rollup or whatever.”

(283) Chris Ladd, political writer/commentator: Money quote: “This is a tragic situation. Whatever hopes we may have had for ourselves and for our lives in the near term that depended on an effective, responsible central government should probably be … let’s just say, modified. I doubt we will be getting competent leadership in Washington anytime in the near future.”

(281) Harvey Araton, writer: Money quote: “My first full year as the Knick beat reporter, I wrote a piece out of Seattle quoting Willis Reed, asking MSG president Sonny Werblin for some relief from rumors that Werblin wanted to replace him as coach. “Am I in or out?” Reed said, maintaining the clarity was necessary for a young team. The quote, presented in my story as a plea, was rewritten by the desk into a back-page ultimatum. I called Werblin to explain what Reed’s intention was but it was too late. Werblin seized the opportunity and fired Reed a few days later. When he was the hub of the championship Knicks teams of the early 70s, Reed was my fucking hero. Welcome to tabloid beat life and especially Murdoch World.”

(279) Rob Tannenbaum, writer: Money quote: “The Right Wing has been yelling MEDIA BIAS for years, which makes journalists reluctant to write or say anything that might seem biased. They’ve successfully cowed much of the media, and both dictated and limited the scope of coverage — meanwhile, Fox News, the most flagrantly biased of any media, operates under the cloak of “balanced and fair.” The Right Wing is masterful at disinformation campaigns like this, creating a fog about ideas like “bias” or even “racism.” (Shout out to the “you’re the real racist” tweeters and commenters, who equated “racism” with “talking about race.” Yeah, no, actually, you’re the real racists. You don’t get to change the meaning of “racism.”)”

(278) Mike Freeman, writer: Money quote: “One huge concern I have is that the NFL is creating a legion of men who suffer from great mental health issues, not in their 70s, but in their 30s and 40s. I think we’re just starting to get a grasp on what the violence of football does to the brain and some of it is just scary shit. And we’re 20 years behind in studying it in the NFL because the league lied their asses off about CTE for decades.”

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(276) Al Bernstein, boxing analyst: Money quote: “Mike Tyson was dominant over a decent group of heavyweights and that Tyson would certainly be a hand full for any heavyweight in any era. But, he was a smallish heavyweight who would have trouble with two types. Really big strong men who could physically handle him (Like Lennox Lewis and probably George Foreman) or terrific boxers like Ali or a Larry Holmes in his prime. Of course, Holyfield had his number and the reason for that is Evander’s toughness and chin combined with his accurate combination punching, ability to counter, and creative arsenal of punches. Tyson was very good in his prime, but I think he’s in the middle of the top 10 heavies of all time and certainly not in the top 10 all time fighters of all weights—not even in top 30 for me.”

(274) Maurice Patton, newspaper writer: Money quote: “We had been through so many “layoffs’”over the five years or so prior to mine that if you were being real with yourself, you knew it was just a matter of time. Everybody dies. The timing was amazingly stupid, even for them: You’re getting rid of both your high school sports guys three weeks into the high school football season, and you’re clueless as to how you’re going to replace them. At the same time, I had written three front-page pieces in a three-day period right before I was informed that “we won’t be going forward with you”—their words. So while I wasn’t fool enough to think I was “safe,” it wasn’t a move that would have, or did, make a lot of sense. As I said, once the process of everyone reapplying for their jobs (knowing that some jobs had been eliminated) was completed and they let everyone know that they’d be huddling with an HR person and a newsroom lead person either around 10 am or around 2 pm, the prevailing thought was those with the later meetings were safe and those with the earlier meetings were gone.”

(272) Jerry Barca, author: Money quote: “Immerse myself. Immerse myself. Immerse myself. Get as deep into the material as possible. Get the game tapes. Watch the games. Take notes on what happens on the field and the interactions on the sidelines that the cameras pick up, but the announcers don’t talk about. I’ll take video of certain things and text it to interview subjects or show them video during the interview and it usually jogs the memory and elicits some great responses.”

(265) Andrea Kremer, Real Sports and NFL Network correspondent: Money quote: “The role of women in sports television has certainly evolved but the sine wave is on the upswing albeit with tons of room to grown. The fact that we’re seeing Jessica Mendoza as a lead analyst on Sunday Night Baseball is thrilling for me Doris Burke can seamlessly slide from the sidelines of the court to center court to call a basketball game and is another true role model for women.”

(261) Jeff Passan, writer: Money quote: “Not a day goes by that I don’t recognize how lucky I’ve been and am. It’s not just the classic I-get-to-write-about-sports-for-a-living answer. Nor simply surviving a business that can eat people up, as it has done to friends and, frankly, to my father toward the end of his 42 years with The Plain Dealer. When I got hired by Yahoo a decade ago, I was a few months from being engaged. Now I’ve got a wife and two kids, and though the job can be terribly demanding, I don’t feel like I miss a lot at home, mainly due to the evolution of the work allowing much of it over the phone.”

(260) Jerry Azar, former New York sports broadcaster: Money quote: “We have an endless variety of sameness, and while I am not jealous, I am—as someone currently on the sidelines—jaded and bitter. Remember when NBC had “Must See TV” on Thursday nights with Seinfeld, etc? It used to be that way in local sports before cable—ESPN first, and then others conquered. There were distinct personalities on all the stations. Yes, we all had the same teams to cover, but it was a certain cook with a certain flavor. Now, it is formulaic with the same formula.”

(256) Frank Sutherland, former newspaper editor: Money quote: “News is not about the medium but the content. I read the news online every day before I go to the end of the driveway. Print will always be here but as color television is better than black and white, things evolve. I like horses but drive a car. Concentrate on the content and quit whining about the medium.”

(251) Erik Sherman, author: Money quote: “This topic of Glenn Burke, the first major leaguer to reveal his homosexuality, long interested me. I first read about it in an Inside Sports article in 1982. I thought, Holy Cow, how did this guy survive in the clubhouse of a professional baseball team? I mean, I played high school, college and then in various men’s leagues. But back in those days, especially, baseball was pretty macho and it was routine to hear someone called a faggot or a homo who didn’t play hurt or didn’t hustle. I was intrigued.”

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(244): L. Jon Wertheim, Sports Illustrated editor/writer: Money quote: “I feel like there’s this great irony in media. Many of us got into this profession, yes, because it allowed us to write and travel and meet interesting people and tell our stories and offer our commentary; but also because it was an alternative to spending days working under fluorescent lights, consumed with quarterly revenue reports, P/L statements, spreadsheets, focus group data and the like. Because of the—I think this year’s euphemism is precarious–state of media, we’ve all turned into management consultants. Without irony, we spend half of our time discussing whether gains in digital can offset the decline in print or how an a la carte pricing model for cable might impact ESPN’s cash flow in the era of cord-cutting.”

(241) Henry Schulman, sportswriter/cancer survivor: Money quote: “I didn’t really have an “aha” moment. I just remembered sitting at my desk in the business section, in a suit and tie, talking on the phone to others wearing suits and ties (or women’s business attire), writing stories to be read by similarly attired people and thinking, ‘I don’t want to do this for the rest of my life.’ For the first six years of my career I established myself as a reporter and did what I had to do to move up. After that, I followed a passion, sports, and it was the best professional decision I ever made.”

(240) Jim Williams, Chicago news anchor: Money quote: “Maybe it’s because of my age or I meditate every day, but I’m not troubled by monotony the way I was when I was younger. I try to find something in every experience to appreciate or at least tolerate without agitation. With my peers starting to drop and get sick, I don’t want to rush life, even the monotonous moments. Yet another broadcast, Cubs season, whatever? I say, enjoy it; life is flying by.”

(238) Jaymee Sire, ESPN anchor: Money quote: “Interviews at ESPN are an all-day affair. Most of my morning was spent prepping for my audition. At the time, that consisted of me doing about a 10-minute sample SportsCenter block by myself in a studio (now, we usually have them audition with one of our current anchors and/or an analyst). After that, I had a series of meetings with different people all involved in our Sports enter product. I arrived just before 9 and didn’t leave until 5:30 or so. About a week or so later, they extended an offer.”

(236) Guy Benson, openly gay conservative pundit: Money quote: “Look, I care about the country. I think policy matters. I want the best for America—as virtually all of us do, even if we differ on the best course to pursue. Overall, on the issues that matter most to me, I’ve concluded that the Republican Party represents my priorities and views far better than the Democratic Party does (though I do lean more to the left on some issues). I’m not a one-issue voter.”

(235) Rich Ehisen, public policy journalist: Money quote: “I tell young people all the time that I think the reporter skillset—the research and analytical skills, the writing ability and the willingness to challenge institutions of power to get to the truth—will always have value. I just don’t know in what form those skills are going to be utilized in the future. That makes it pretty tough to sell to a kid looking at going thousands of dollars in debt for a J-school degree. But … I get to ask people questions for a living. How cool is that?”

(230) Sage Steele, ESPN anchor/host: Money quote: “I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who became a television sportscaster by accident, so the fact that this is a visual medium is something we are all well aware of before we start down this path. Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m not annoyed at times when the only comments I get are related to how I look or what I’m wearing … it just means that there are so many amazing parts of my job that I try to take the good with the bad. You’ve gotta maintain perspective in this industry, and if that’s the worst part about being able to work in sports—my dream job—than I can handle it.”

(228) Jennifer Weiner, author: Money quote: “Once I’ve got my idea, I’ll make an outline, which will generally serve me well for about 50 percent of the project. Half the time I’m usually veering off in directions I never imagined. Then I revise and revise and revise. My agent reads a draft and gives me notes, and I rewrite. Then my agent and my editor read a draft and give me notes, and I revise. This happens three or four times, and I’m usually still tinkering right off until it’s time to go to press.” 

(227) Roger Lodge, sports radio host/actor: Money quote: “I used to go to Hollywood Blvd. and interview tourists, or go to the old Forum, Dodger Stadium or the Coliseum and interview fans walking into game. I just always loved talking to people and getting reaction to the latest and hottest topics. When my parents would go out to dinner, I would write out a little sports report and put it on my step-dad’s pillow so he could read it when he got home. Needless to say, I got the performer bug at a really young age.”

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(223): Michael Farber, Hall of Fame hockey writer: Money quote: “The secret of journalism is good stories, well told. Always was. Always will be. Now we’re just sorting out the delivery systems. But I will say this, and I suspect you feel that way too: when your name is in the masthead with the likes of Leigh Montville and Bill Nack and Steve Rushin and Tom Verducci and Jack McCallum and Rick Hoffer and Lee Jenkins on and on, that’s pretty good, no?”

(221) Brian Hickey, Philadelphia reporter/hit-and-run victim: Money quote: “So there I am, unconscious, brain swelling to dangerous levels. They had to cut two pieces of my skull out to prevent my brain bursting, for lack of a better term. My cousin, a doctor herself, gave me about a 10 percent chance to live. I think nine of those were just to make my family feel better as they were waiting in the hospital, where my mom died three years earlier, almost to the date. I was in a medically induced coma for about two weeks; though I didn’t really ‘wake up’ for a couple weeks after that. But once I was stabilized enough to clear an ICU bed, I was transferred to Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philly. That was a couple days before Christmas.”

(218) Dylan Gwinn: Yahoo! Sports radio host and author: Money quote: “Jason Collins and Michael Sam are no Vivian Malone and James Hood. The man standing in the door when Collins and Sam showed up wasn’t standing there to keep them out. He was standing there to roll out the red carpet to welcome them in. And when the league decided Sam wasn’t good enough, the man in the door picked up the phone and made sure someone found him a place to stay. If that’s unaccepting, you and I have radically different definitions of the word.”

(216) Molly Knight, writer and author: Money quote: “When you’re writing a book about real people and thinking about them all day long it’s easy to develop emotional attachments to those you feel are kind and fundamentally enhance our planet. I almost threw up last year during Game 1 in the NLDS when Clayton Kershaw imploded. Partly because I wanted my book to have a championship ending, but also because I wanted so badly for him to put the previous year’s playoff debacle behind him. I felt awful for him; it was like watching someone else’s nightmare unfold in real time.”

(214) David Maraniss, author: Money quote: “One of the first requirements for me when I’m choosing a subject for my next book is that it has to be something I’m obsessed with. Not long into the process the book insinuates itself into my life and in a sense takes over. I resolve structural problems in my sleep. When we’re driving somewhere, my wife will turn and ask me, ‘What chapter are you on in your head? I love details. They serve as more than dressing, but as the foundation of my narrative, and I’m always looking for more, but they have to add up to something more. Not detail for detail’s sake, but in the service of illumination.”

(211): Linda Cohn, ESPN anchor: Money quote: “I’ll never forgot my mom never letting me forget the speeding ticket she got taking me to hockey practice on Yom Kippur. So obviously I was more focused on sports than being Jewish. I figure if you’re Jewish and not athletically inclined to play sports but it’s something that fascinates you (like the excitement of it, the stats, the players profiles, the analytics) and you just want to be as close as you can to it, sports writing and sports broadcasting are ways to do just that.”

(208): Ron Modra, sports photographer: Money quote: “There’s no question that technology has really changed the photojournalism business. Our craft is definitely not as valued as it once was. But value still comes into play. You have to have an eye for composition and still, when it comes to sports photography, be able to anticipate the action. Schlubs like you should put your phones away during the game.”

(205) Jon Heyman, baseball writer: Money quote: “The really big break came in late 1989 when the National sports newspaper started, and even though I couldn’t get a job on that great and very brief paper, it opened up a lot of jobs around the country. In my case, Newsday decided to promote Verducci to national baseball writer, and when their first, better established candidates to cover the Yankees decided to go the National instead, then sports editor, Jeff Williams, took a chance on me. It was quite a leap to go from a small paper to Newsday, not only a big paper but my hometown paper that I delivered as kid in Cedarhurst.”

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(202): Charissa Thompson, Fox Sports host: Money quote: “I always wanted to be a sports reporter. I made a fake newscast with my brother when I was 11. I pretended he was Jay Buhner and I used a paper towel roll with a tennis ball attached to it. I moved from Seattle to Orange County at 18—I wanted sunshine. I went to community college for the first two years because I needed residency (I wasn’t born with the old silver spoon … blah, blah, blah). I transferred up to Santa Barbara and graduated with a pre-law degree. I wanted to be a lawyer—wait, let me back up. Being a lawyer was my backup plan. I wanted to be a sports reporter.”

(194)  Pedro Gomez, ESPN reporter: Money quote: “My theory is that [Barry Bonds] enjoyed having the hammer, that he was so important that most everyone had to do what he wanted all the time. I think one of my favorite stories was when his ‘personal trainer,’ Harvey Shields, was telling reporters about his résumé, how Harvey had trained Olympic athletes and made others into elite athletes. Suddenly, Bonds walked into the clubhouse and barked, ‘Harvey! Go get me a bottle of water.’ Suddenly, Harvey went from talking about what an elite trainer he was, to scrambling through the clubhouse to fetch Bonds his bottle of water. And this was one of Barry’s guys. He just seemed enjoying humiliating people. Why? Only he knows. But he always seemed like a very lonely individual, someone who didn’t have any real friends.”

(189) Rob King, senior vice president of ESPN’s Sports Center: Money quote (on Stuart Scott): “A ferociously proud father. A trailblazer. A relentlessly competitive athlete. A kind, generous, courageous man who embraced new friends, cherished old friends and understood our profound responsibility to show humanity to one another. How will I remember Stuart Scott? Every day. Every single day.”

(183)  Britt McHenry, ESPN reporter: Money quote: “My best girl friends joke they hate being in any photo with me because they instantly get followed by 10 strangers. I don’t get bothered by it because I don’t pay attention to it. There’s always going to be some list or ranking of “hottest this” “hottest that,” and it’s both subjective and trivial. At the end of the day, and hopefully a very long career, I want to emulate women like Hannah Storm, Robin Roberts, Suzy Kolber, Wendi Nix.”

(177)  Ted Spiker, author of “Down Size”: Money quote: “We don’t walk from point-to-point anymore to go the store or wherever, we sit all day in our jobs, cheese, Scandal and Modern Family and Orange is the New Black and whatever else you like encourages you to stay on the couch when you’re not working, Dairy Queen is effing good, mashed potatoes, being busy makes us tired and tired make us not want to do anything but eat bowls of Doritos, and on and on. Take all that into consideration and making good choices feels like you’re swimming upstream.”

(170) Peter Carry, former Sports Illustrated executive editor: Money quote (on life at SI during its glory days): “There were bottles of booze in plain view on people’s desks and cigarettes in all 67 ashtrays on the conference room table during editorial meetings; there was a fair amount of fornicatin’ between members of the staff, and everybody knew who was screwing whom; you could buy a bag of really good shit, man, from the mail boy; on the weekends there was a fridge full of cans of Bud, just serve yourself; there was a bookie who arrived on the floor every Monday to collect debts; there was a poker game—a lot of seven-card high-low, a terrible game—in the TV room that started around nine Sunday night and often ended at dawn Monday that essentially financed Virginia’s and my social life; etc. For the younger staffers especially—the ones who didn’t have kids, who lived in Manhattan—the Thursday-to-Monday work week meant that SIers were sort of forced to become close friends, often best friends. The quality of the writing and photography was always a matter of serious discussion, and there was a clear, if unofficial, hierarchy among the writers and photographs; when I came to the magazine people bowed to writers like Jack Olsen and shooters like John Zimmerman, and throughout my time that sort of admiration for our fellows who were the best persisted. That says a lot about the general seriousness of the enterprise.”

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(167) Amanda Lucci, social media editor for The Daily Mail: Money quote: “You know that ‘Kendall Jenner has a pimple’ was trending on Twitter like all day on Saturday?”

(163) Katie Nolan, Fox Sports personality: Money quote (on having worked on Crowd Goes Wild with Regis Philbin): “My grandmother is 87-years old. She lives in my old room at my parents’ house and my mother’s full-time job is taking care of her. If my nana, a kind and loving woman, was on live television for an hour every day, people who work with her might say she’s “not so dedicated to the show.” And they would have every right to say that because they have to be on set hours before her, and they have to help her when she forgets things, and it’s their job to make sure she doesn’t look bad. But at the end of the day, she’s 80-FUCKING-7, and the fact that she got out of bed and put on real shoes is downright commendable. Now imagine my grandmother is a television legend who has earned the right to do whatever she damn well pleases, and you’ll see how it’s hard to actually complain about working with Regis Philbin.”

(161) Jojo Moyes, author: Money quote: “I probably spend 70 percent thinking time to 30 percent writing. I used to write after my kids went to bed, but two of them are teenagers now and frequently go to bed after I do, so I’ve taken to starting at 6 am before everyone else gets up. I try to write 5,000 words a week, in a mixture of bed, coffee shop (although other people talking makes me really crabby) and my little office, above a hairdresser.”

(159) Bob Ley, ESPN anchor: Money quote: “Those of us who go back a ways here in Bristol have a phrase that deals with the never-ending tide of highlights, scores, trades, and contract stories. Cavs/Mavs/Jazz. Say that to an old-timer, and they get it immediately. Another (hopefully not generic) highlight, of another game, from another season.”

(155) Dave Zirin, journalist: Money quote: “I had a couple of very close friends die before their 24th birthday. I’ve also spent the last 20 years doing a lot of work to abolish the death penalty and gotten to know a lot of people who live on death row and a lot of the victims’ families who are against capital punishment. In other words I’ve been around some death, so I’m just grateful for the years I’ve had because a lot of folks have had far less.”

(149) Michele Beadle, SportsNation star: Money quote: “I hate red carpets. I. HATE. RED. CARPETS.  I did a few while at Access Hollywood. But I tried to have as much fun as possible. Covering the Country Music Awards in Nashville, I asked as many non-fashion questions as possible. I’m with you … people fake laughing at unfunny jokes while kissing celebrity booty is not entertaining.”

(148) Ross Newhan, former Los Angeles Times baseball writer: Money quote (on Tommy Lasorda): “He was, in many ways, a kick to cover. Fresh stories, old stories, screaming quotes, perceptive quotes. A man who has traveled the country giving speeches, doing good deeds (big and small), seldom (never?) paying for a meal. He has been an ambassador for baseball, a blue blood salesman for the Dodgers and a worthy Hall of Famer (whose election I supported in print). However, I also weigh the words you have employed in your question—phony, fraud, deceptive, dishonest—and at this point of his and my careers, let’s just leave it in this context: If you can’t say something nice about a person (which I think I have done) ….”

(147) Tova Mirvis, author: Money quote: “I think being a girl in the Orthodox world is very challenging. So much expectation, such a sense that you are supposed to be a “good girl.” Some people are happy with this, I know, but for those of us who are not, it can feel like you are bursting out of the walls of your world, erupting inside your own body. Some of these girls act on this and leave the world, and some stay and try to make changes from within, and some live in a state of conflict, as I did, where your outsides don’t match your insides.”

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(144)  Peter Vecsey, longtime NBA writer and analyst: Money quote: “TNT’s and half of ESPN’s studio panels (Bill Simmons’ overwhelming success is life’s darkest mystery) will never have to worry about being charged with substance abuse. TNT’s David Levy repeatedly declares, ‘Content is king,’ yet features a peanut gallery (exempting Ernie Johnson) of foolishness. But it sells, so who am I to quibble? Jeff Van Gundy is worth paying attention to, because he’s thoroughly uncensored and offers fresh insights. Hubie is Hubie. Cannot stand the non-stop, counterfeit chatter of Kerr, Miller, Webber and everyone else whose names thankfully escape me at the moment.”

(138) Chuck Culpepper, writer: Money quote (on staying sane): “I feel like I have lost that fight already to some degree. Often the battle with the self is just wretched. At the same time, I want to keep the battle going, and I never want to assume I’m any good. I think you drift into trouble once you assume you’re any good. It’s important to have benign misery.”

(123) Tyler Kepner, New York Times baseball writer: Money quote: “I do enjoy watching Alex [Rodriguez] play, for the most part—his arm, his power—and he actually has a brilliant mind for the game. But what’s especially galling to me about him is that he has consistently tried to present himself as superior to everyone else, bigger than the game. It probably stems from insecurity, but it’s no excuse, and it’s nauseating. Also, he lies all the time—All. The. Time.—and I really think not enough people call him out on it.”

(120) Samantha King, author, Susan G. Komen skeptic: Money quote: “How the Komen board can justify a $684,000 salary for CEO Nancy Brinker when participation in their events has plummeted is beyond me. Following the Planned Parenthood debacle, Brinker said she would step down, but ten months later she’s still at the helm, and enjoying a 64% pay rise to boot.”

(118) Bonnie Bernstein, sportscaster: Money quote (on televised sports turning to young, perky, blondes): “I’d like to think if you’ve been consistently credible over a period of time, you won’t get lumped in with the dingbats when they misstep. And, if not, I’m still perky.”

(112) Trey Wingo, ESPN anchor: Money quote (on 9.11.01): “The attacks happened as I was driving into work, and for the first half of the day everyone was trying to figure out what we were going to do, and what we should do. Eventually we decided to go on and report the stories and how it impacted our genre, sports. I think that was the right thing to do.  Bob Ley and I actually spent that entire week doing shows together. We still talk about it quite a bit.”

(111) Stephen Keane, New York Mets blogger: Money quote: “Having seen how the sausage is made, I have to say being a beat writer for a Major League team looks to me as the worst job in the world. You’re away from your family just as much as the players are. I had asked one writer right before spring training if he was happy to get to Port St. Lucie and the warm Florida weather. He told he hated it because he’d be down there for more than a month without ever getting home. I said to him, ‘You have to get some off days. Can’t you fly up and for a few days and go back?’ He looked at me and said, ‘How much fucking money you think I make?’”

(107)  Brad Mangin, baseball photographer: Money quote: “The worst day at the ballpark is far better than the best day of working with a bunch of corporate assholes in some boring office. I love seeing my friends at the park; the writers, photographers, media relations folks, security guards, groundskeepers, etc.”

(103) Sarah Spain, ESPN Chicago personality: Money quote: “When I first moved to L.A. hoping to do acting and comedy, a book I read talked about owning who you are, rather than trying to fit into an idea of what you think people want. One of the examples of a unique person who broke the mold and defied expectations of Hollywood stardom was Bobcat Goldthwait. (It’s a very dated reference now, but people over 30 will probably remember him.) There was never a demand for someone like him, or, say, Pee-wee Herman, but he proved to be a unique and fresh comedian that people embraced for his weirdness. I’ve remembered that ever since and tried to be uniquely me throughout my career, rather than attempting to fit a mold of what’s expected for females in the sports industry.”

(83) Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated baseball writer: Money quote: “With Billy Martin as manager, a beat writer’s night only was beginning when the game ended. You had to find Martin in the bar. It was a competition issue. Martin would talk about his team and his players in brutally honest terms when he drank, and if another writer was there and you were not, well, you missed not only the information but also the standing of being a “Billy guy.” Moreover, there was the high probability that Martin just might wind up in a fight with somebody. To survive, I had to borrow a trick from Buck Showalter, who loved to learn from Martin’s baseball intellect: the only way to keep up with Martin was to occasionally dump your drink into a potted palm.”

(82)  Amy Freeze, ABC meteorologist: Money quote (on meeting her husband at BYU): “I was a cheerleader at BYU. Cosmo the Cougar is the BYU mascot—who is part of the cheer squad. Although he denies it, I know he became the mascot to meet cheerleaders. Anyway. He’s 6-foot-5, so he was the tallest mascot ever at the university. He’s an animated guy, very funny … and in college we spent a lot of time together. The next thing I know, we were married.”

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(78) Marty Appel, author and former New York Yankees PR director: Money quote (on Thurman Munson and his rep as an anti-Semite): “Thurman had his rough edges and could leave a lot of people wishing for more, but he was a player’s player; teammates loved him and of course, the fans connected with him from a distance. He could be grumpy, profane, and thoughtless at times, but he had his soft side, especially with his family. Sometimes the ‘anti-Semitic’ came from his style—like the Yankees assistant trainer, Barry Weinberg—he kept calling him Goldberg or Greenstein or Weingold, but it was just the way he would needle someone. That night he’d send over drinks to his table in a restaurant and when Barry looked over to say thanks, Thurman would give him the finger. Do you see how the ‘anti-Semitic’ thing started, but at the same time, wasn’t really the case.”

(71) Daniel Okrent, legendary journalist: Money quote (on whether print is dead): “I think so. The economics just don’t make sense any more. In fact, if you had gone to the newspaper publishers of America 20 years ago and said, “I have a great new business model for you—no paper, no ink, no trucks, no newsstands, no pressman’s union, no mailer’s union,” they all would have said “I want it NOW!” Well, now they’ve got it.”

(65) Adam Schefter, ESPN football analyst: Money quote: “I have a 12-year-old son who wants to play football in the worst way. I would let him, but unfortunately, my wife won’t. So married men know how that one will turn out. He won’t be playing.”

(63) Drew Magary, writer: Money quote: “ESPN is dogshit. You know that. They’re a TV company and their job is to present TV, and they don’t even do that particularly well. They’re still in the business of overbranding themselves and labeling every segment within an inch of its life. I’m one of the old fogies who remembers the pre-Disney days and knows how good it used to be.”

(58) Jack McCallum, Sports Illustrated writer: Money quote (on the rigors of researching a biography of a 23-year-old Shaquille O’Neal): “You research every possible thing you can think of. I remember going through every game, not to talk about the games, but to find the ‘little things.’ Maybe in one game you see that he shoved, say, Patrick Ewing. Well, you don’t care about the shove. You care about what he thinks about Patrick Ewing. You get him to riff on that. You ask if he watched Ewing growing up and even if he says no, you ask whom he did watch. You use the little things to get to the big things. You report the hell out of it and leave no stone unturned because—as you know—it is up to you to turn the stones.”

(57) Lindsay McCormack, TV sports personality: Money quote: “No one wants to talk about what their favorite iPod song is after they just got eliminated from the playoffs.”

(49) L.Z. Granderson, openly gay sportswriter: Money quote (on the complicated gay-black dichotomy): “Dr. King’s right-hand man, Bayard Rustin, was openly gay. Rustin was the person who introduced Dr. King to the teachings of Gandhi and was the main organizer of the transformative march on Washington. So if the reverend who happened to be the face of the movement loved a gay man as his brother, and if the movement is greatly indebted to that love and friendship between the two, then why do we as a community feel comfortable dishonoring the memory of that bond? Because at the end of the day, that’s what using the Bible to justify ostracizing gay people is doing—dishonoring the work King and Rustin did together so that we could have freedom today.”

(42) Sean Salisbury, former NFL quarterback, ESPN analyst: Money quote (on losing his job after allegedly sending a penis pic): “The word ‘blackballed’ has come down the road to me a few times, and I don’t get it. Because I’ve never, ever harmed anyone. I didn’t hurt anyone—it was a stupid, few-seconds, guy, dumb, drinking joke with a few guys. Somebody heard wind of it, and first time in my life I’d ever been in a human resources meeting. To this day, honest to God, I’ll take a slap on the hand. I didn’t throw anyone else under the bus. That’s not the way I operate. But a sophomoric 10-second mistake has completely … the collateral damage it’s done to my life and my family … I’ve lost everything, man. I’ve hit rock bottom.”

(35)  Seth Davis, Sports Illustrated writer and hoops analyst: Money quote: “Certainly there is a high level of – as you call it – bullshit in college basketball. But let’s be honest, if we let ourselves be turned off by bullshit, then we wouldn’t have any sports left. (At least not any that people would want to watch.) Is the bullshit in college basketball any worse than the steroid, money and agents culture of baseball? Or the violence and hoity toity attitudes of pro football? How about the NBA right now with all its labor issues? How’d you like the refereeing in the World Cup?”

(19) Chris Jones, sportswriter: Money quote: “I think, really, what saves me is that I just don’t care that much about sports. Don’t get me wrong. I like sports a lot. I like playing them more than anything else. But I really don’t care much about whether any particular team wins or loses, except for hockey, which I care about quite a bit. That generally means that I don’t care much about the things that a lot of sports guys care about, so I don’t ask the same questions.”

(15) Michael Shermer, founder of Skeptic Magazine: Money quote: “Never believe a politician when they say ‘God bless you all and God bless the United States of America.’ They say it like a mantra because everyone believes that you have to say it to get elected and re-elected. Maybe some actually believe that God favors countries like he favors sports teams, but smart people I think are just echoing what they think they’re supposed to say as politicians.”

(12) Jemele Hill, ESPN on-air personality: Money quote: “Hey, like every print reporter, I used to make fun of TV people. I used to consider them glorified readers and empty, professional story stealers. Until, I had to do what they do. The shit is hard, period. The teleprompter is the devil. I could completely flesh out a thought in a 1,000-word column, but I might get 40 seconds to do the same on air. I’m totally subconscious about how I look. I seriously have this reoccurring nightmare that I’m going to fall out of my chair on 1st and Ten and bust my ass right on national TV. Welcome to my nightmare.”

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(386) Ritesh Rajan, actor: Money quote: “I knew pretty early on that I wanted to be in entertainment. I was always obsessed with martial arts and movies. I religiously watched Power Rangers; all I wanted to do was be a Power Ranger. I had the Green Ranger at my sixth birthday party. My mom put my sister and I into Taekwondo when I was 5, which basically made me feel I could be an action star. I am still trying to be an action star and practice martial arts today in hopes my dreams will come true. My first memory of acting was when my second grade class (shout out to Mr. Crasson, who was one of my favorite teachers) put on a production of a “Magic School Bus” episode. It was basically to teach us about the solar system, where I was given the roll of some nerd (getting typecast even back then) explaining the what the red dot on Jupiter was. I loved practicing lines and being on stage. I didn’t understand it at the time, but there was something about theater that just connected with me; I think it had to do with having the whole room’s attention.”

(367) Craig Vanderoef, Adidas senior director product running apparel and customization: Money quote: “Running has given me most everything I care about in my life. My career, my best friends who are like family. I even met my wife on the starting line of the LA Marathon. Running has given me my health even through the scariest of times being fit gave me something extra that helped me in the healing.”

(330) Cathryn Vincentz, project manager-turned-yoga instructor: Money quote: “From my observations, the company was run like a small, close-knit family business. I was surprised that I did not find a corporate structure, company standards, strict titles (I chose my own) and roles, etc. Things were seemingly done at the whim of Mr. Trump. Those who were close to Trump stayed very close. Those, like me, who weren’t, didn’t. Without going into the gory details as it would take up this entire Quaz, let’s suffice it to say that my philosophy on how to deal with contractors was not in line with theirs. For one, I believe in structure, standards and paying fairly for completed work. Those felt like struggles. For another, I believe in open communication and respect. I felt anxious and on edge with almost every encounter. I chose to leave after less than one year.”

(289) Lou Hanner, New York State Large School Soccer Coach of the Year: Money quote: “The kids are not different. What is very different is the culture we live in. When we were kids if we got in trouble in school you were less concerned about the school administration, you feared going home to your parents. Today, the parents run to the rescue of their kids as if it is not their fault, but that of the teacher or the coach.”

(254) ToniAnn Guadagnoli, author: Money quote: “No matter what year it is, landing a book is torture. You have to have an agent to have a manuscript read, but you can’t get an agent unless you’re a published author. How do you become a published author if you can’t get a manuscript read … and so it goes? I started out as an editorial assistant for an educational publisher. I spent a good part of each day sending out rejection letters to people who submitted their manuscripts to our company. I never thought about how those people would feel when they got their letter in the mail; that is, until I was on the receiving end of those letters.”

(199)  Chris Dessi, social media expert: Money quote: ”I believe that you get what you give. If you’re negative, it comes back. It is too easy to complain, and take people down. I believe that type of behavior is the toxic waste of our society. I refuse to join. So I choose to spread joy, and love and understanding. It’s hard to be thoughtful and caring. It is easy to be a jerk.”

(158) Amy Fabry, stay-at-home mom: Money quote (on how to respond when your child farts): “Always laugh! They’re kids.”

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(152) Louis Campbell, father of a young boy who passed of cancer: Money quote: “I know death. I held my brother’s hand when he died, and I spent the whole time with Ty when he died. And I was with both when they took their last breaths. Both of them were unconscious prior to it. Ty was … we took Ty home from the hospital and we told him, ‘You don’t have to go to the hospital anymore. You’re gonna get better, and you don’t have to get treated anymore. You’re gonna be able to walk and run and play.’ I don’t know if he knew. He knew he was very sick. He definitely knew he was very sick. But I don’t know what he thought of as dying. We didn’t talk about dying with him. We talked about it more as he wasn’t going to have to go to the hospital any longer. That he would go home.”

(133)  John Degl, former Iowa wrestler and my high school tormenter: Money quote: “People thought I was angry, but I wasn’t angry per se. What I wanted was to be left alone. I loved to read. I loved to compete. I loved chess. I loved art. (I was an art major at Iowa) What I did not like was school. I hated school. I hated being stuck inside. I was super competitive, and I wanted challenges. So if I seemed angry it was because I was forced to be in a classroom that was not reaching me.”

(50)  Gina Girolamo, television executive: Money quote (on the beginning of 30 Rock): “Tina Fey was coming off of SNL and NBC made a development deal with her. I was the No. 2 in the comedy department at NBC at the time. She pitched the idea she wanted to write—a behind-the-scenes of an SNL-type comedy show starring her and we knew she wanted to cast Tracy Morgan and Alec Baldwin. We were unsure about a behind-the-scenes show but it’s Tina Fey so you gotta try. So she went off to write the script and have her baby. When we got the script we loved the idea of a Tracy Morgan-type tormenting Tina as a “Mary Tyler Moore”-type … there was some debate again about the behind the scenes but we gave it a try. After making the pilot the network testing was terrible and it looked as though it was not going to get on the air—but how do you say no to that package, Lorne Michaels, Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Alec Baldwin and all the talented comedy gems in the supporting roles? So we decided to to make some casting changes and re-shoot some scenes. Year one, out of the blue, the show won its first Emmy for outstanding comedy series.”

(36)  Dave Fleming, former Seattle Mariner ace: Money quote: “For me it was in Atlantic City on an independent team. I had been trying to come back from surgery and was on my second independent ball stint. I was getting roughed up a little and was spending too much time between pitches and all of a sudden I hear our center fielder yell out, ‘Lets go! Throw the ball!’ I stepped off the rubber and looked out at him in center and thought, ‘What the heck am I doing here? I can’t get the lowest level of players out and now I am getting ragged on by a guy who has probably never played above A ball.’ After the game I told our manager, Wayne Krenchicki, that I was done and that he didn’t need to pay me for that night’s performance.”

(6): Frank Zaccheo, MS sufferer: Money quote: “Words cannot express the anguish. Every year I say to myself that if my current health and disability stays at its current level and doesn’t get any worse I’ll be just fine and can handle it. However year after year there is always a noticeable decline in my condition. Don’t know where it stops. I’m always looking for disability enhancements to place in my home to make my life easier and safety paramount. My quality of life has continued to decline at a steady pace over the years. I don’t know when I’ll finally say to myself, ‘I can’t do it on my own anymore and I think it is time for me to utilize a 24/7 facility to care for me.’ The thought is scary, but I am a realist.”

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(408) Michael Chime, Yale football player and developer of app to combat school shootings: Money quote: “There’s not a night that goes by where gun violence doesn’t keep me up. My personal mission is to find an all-encompassing solution, and I will ensure that Prepared reflects that mission in every action it takes. So, to answer your question directly: I do reserve hope in the belief that there is an all-encompassing solution, and Prepared’s chief objective is to pursue that solution tirelessly.”

(306) Anne Stockwell, three-time cancer survivor, “Well Again” founder: Money quote: “They said they thought it was cancer, and in that instant my life passed before my eyes. No other way to describe it. A rush of images, sequential AND simultaneous, flooded me with joy. Many pictures I’d forgotten. I saw that I loved my life. I was so much richer than I’d ever imagined, in friendship and connection and adventure. If this was the end, okay. But in this same apparently endless instant, I knew I wanted more. I thought, I’ll do my best and take what comes.”

(302) Celine Gounder, HIV/infectious diseases specialist: Money quote: “Blood, flesh-eating bacteria or putrid sores don’t gross me out. Smells sometimes still get to me, but in my line of work, I’m often wearing a mask, gown and gloves. But I really don’t like vectors of disease, especially bats and rats. When my husband and I visited the Botanic Gardens in Sydney, Australia, I had to run for cover, gagging at the bats overhead.”

(295) Regina Jackson, East Oakland Youth Development Center director: Money quote: “America does not give everyone a fair shot. It is easier now (seeing the way that President Obama’s power was compromised) to see that most systems are not designed to support the least of these/have nots. There are different rules for different people and rarely does anyone look out for the little guy.”

(263) Jon Moscow, social justice seeker: Money quote: “When you solve one problem, the solution (or partial resolution) always generates other problems that then have to be confronted. I don’t think it’s working toward some definite end and, in the bargain, things rarely work out the way you think they will. We are always in “the best of times and the worst of times.” You just have to “keep on keepin’ on” to improve things and to stave off the worst. And I was so struck by Rabbi Michael Lerner’s eulogy at Muhammed Ali’s funeral, where he said, “the way to honor Muhammed Ali is to be Muhammed Ali.” You do what you need to do for your sense of integrity even when there is a price.”

(262) Peter Gleick, founder of the Pacific Institute: Money quote: “People reject science for different reasons. And while some high-profile scientific findings, like climate change science, are almost exclusively rejected by some Republican leaders and followers, I would note that science denial is not exclusively a problem with the GOP. There are examples where left-leaning politicians and individuals also reject well-understood science. Having said that, the worst science denial certainly has come from the right-wing in recent years.”

(204) Brian Stranko, director of the Nature Conservancy’s water program: Money quote: “I don’t think it was really dumb to come to California. We do have a drought, but, as I describe above, I think we will work things out (though we’ll break some eggs in the process). I think living here does come with a responsibility though—one that we all have as Californians since we live in a water-scarce state.”

(175) Kate Price, child sex trafficking victim: Money quote: “My first memory is of being sexually abused by my exploiter in the back of a relative’s bar. I was pre-verbal, but I just remember feeling “shattered” afterward. The rest of the world was acting like nothing had happened but my world had changed forever. I also  remember years of being taken out to our garage in the middle of the night where I was placed in the mechanic’s well under a car in our garage. I was covered with an oily blanket and men paid to have sex with me. My exploiter drugged me so I didn’t fight back. The exploitation continued in the garage as well as at truck stops and warehouse parties. I was told only “special” little girls got to have sex and go to ‘adult’ parties. So I just thought this was normal, even though I knew in my gut that something was off.”

(113) Lynn Riordan, safety activist who lost her son Matthew in a car accident: Money quote: “When I hear sirens and my kids aren’t home, I have to check-in. I do my best not to be protective and for them to live their lives. When Elise and Lexa got their licensees, I was scared to death. Let’s put it this way—I sleep well when everyone is home.”

(81) Paul Ercolino, brother of a murder victim outside the Empire State Building: Money quote: “I was outraged by the New York Times Online Edition and the New York Post front page posting an overhead graphic photo of my brother that was recognizable to anyone who knew him, lying in a pool of blood. The photo was taken by someone in my brother’s office building and sold to the New York Times for $300. As a brother of the victim and former journalist, it sickened me that someone made the decision to run that photo. As for the Sand Hook coverage, I think the rush to be first with a story has led to so many inaccuracies. They identified Ryan Lanza, the 24-year-old brother of the murderer, as the initial suspect. It was reported that the mother was a teacher in the school, and was killed along with her class. When did get it first instead of get it right become the norm?”

(56)  Liz Scott, Alex’s Lemonade founder: Money quote (on losing her 8-year-old daughter): “Nothing can prepare you for it, and no one can explain how it will feel. I think in some ways it’s similar to losing anyone you are close to – you miss them terribly, you can’t believe they are gone, you still catch yourself sometimes talking about them like they are in the present or that they may walk through the door. But, I think the difference when you lose a child is the intensity of that feeling—I never understood the expression a “broken heart” before but I remember at times literally feeling so sad and scared that I thought my heart might stop, truly like it was “broken.” I also worry sometimes that I could have been a better mom to Alex—with so much to do for Alex and three other young children, I wonder if she felt how much I loved her every second she was alive.”

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(412) Paul Sedacca Guitarist: Money quote: “Regarding silverware clangs, loud talking, cellphones etc., the worst offender is the blender especially when I play with my wife at the Mexican Restaurants. The pouring of ice into the ice bin is another loud auditory distraction. To deal with this, I sometimes practice with the TV on and the volume turned up. Also, being a teacher, I keep a guitar in my classroom and will sometime practice Classical pieces during indoor recess. And, if you can concentrate when 30 fourth graders are playing in one classroom, you can focus through anything.”

(409) Kate Grahn, singer/songwriter: Money quote: “This administration is a f’in dumpster fire and it is my generation that’s going to suffer the consequences of this mess if we don’t get our shit together and vote this country back into sanity. Not voting is not an option. I marched in every Women’s March and I see a lot of fight in the people who protest, in the students of the Young Democrats Club at USC, in students majoring in climate change, and specifically the Parkland Students fighting against the NRA. What they are doing matters and we must pay attention to them and follow their lead. It’s understandable and easy for us to be pessimistic, but that is not an option now either. We fight or die. Yep, I think it’s that critical, but I also have hope that my generation will be there this time around. It truly is on us. We literally have the ability to change the world.”

(397) Samm Hodges, TV writer: Money quote: “Most people in Hollywood come from money/Ivy League colleges. That’s not my story. But my manager is a guy who came from a similar background as me, and I think that helped him connect to my story and work. But the truth is, if he hadn’t walked into the office where I was working and saw the things I was making, I wouldn’t be doing the projects I’m working on today.”

(385) Cynthia Dale, actress: Money quote: “I love doing period films, so the costumes and sets and all that were fabulous [on ‘The Liberator’]. As was the cast. But in the white water rafting scenes I had to wear a wet suit under my period costume of huge hoop skirt and heavy wool dress and hat so I remember feeling like I was almost going to drown trying to get out of the water. It was scary—very, very scary. They were unprepared for the realities of shooting the scene the way they wanted, I believe.”

(381) Roger Alan Nichols, singer/guitarist/producer: Money quote: “Years ago I worked with the band Paramore. I had written a bunch of songs with the singer Hayley that helped the band get their deal with Atlantic/Fueled By Ramen when they first started. I had produced, engineered and mixed a a body of work for them early on. Fortunately Hayley and I are still friends today and I love every opportunity I get to spend time with her. She’s a remarkable artist and a remarkable young woman. After Paramore launched, I occasionally would work with her on some side projects. This record being one of those. It was a collection of songs featured during the run of the Muppets reinterpreted by artists that were popular at the time. She did a duet with Rivers Cuomo from Weezer. It was the song written by Paul Williams and Ken Asher called ‘Rainbow Connection.'”

(376) Connor McGrath, stand-up comic with Asperger’s Syndrome: Money quote: “I was diagnosed when I was in 5th grade. So I have lived all of my adult and almost of my adolescent life knowing that I had it. I don’t think there was a huge specific moment of clarity, for me personally but it was relieving to get the diagnosis cause it cleared up a number of questions I had. I spent a lot of my earlier elementary school years, bouncing between regular education and special education classes. I never felt like I fit in entirely with either group. My 12 year old reaction to being diagnosed was mostly ‘Oh so that’s why that is.’ Then I’ve spent the last 18 years trying to figure out what it all means.”

(375) Ron Sexsmith, singer/songwriter: Money quote: “There’s always something about each song that I’m excited about or that makes me want to finish it. Sometimes if I’m working with a producer they’ll have certain ones that they think are “winners” and usually we’re on the same page. But not always. Every now and then there’s a song that doesn’t seem too promising at first but somewhere in the recording of it, it comes up a few notches. There have also been songs that sound to me like potential “hits” when I’m writing them but for whatever reason never turn out that way.”

(371) Furillo, hip-hop/EDM pop artist. Money quote: “I think crowd participation during a performance is very important. I make it a point that every time I perform I am as interactive as possible with the audience. Whether that means pukking the crowd on stage with me during my performance, or handing merch out to the crowd so they know when they come to one my shows they have a good chance of taking something physical home with them, or popping off calk cannons or confetti cannons to the crowd to surprise them with something new. It’s also important to talk to your audience and ask them how they are and ask them if they are enjoying themselves during your performance to keep them engaged with you directly.”

(370) Giana Nguyen, singer/songwriter: Money quote: “My father and I escaped by boat and were at sea, crammed in a small fishing boat with way too many people, for eight nights before luckily landing in Indonesia where we were sheltered in refugee camps. We were relocated to several camps within the Indonesian islands before we received the proper sponsorship papers from my uncle in California. That process took nearly a year. We then went to Singapore before flying from there to San Jose.”

(365) Nancy Lee Grahn, General Hospital star: Money quote: “I can honestly say I’venever had a moment of not enjoying my relationship with my audience. What could be so bad about having people come up to you and telling you how much they like you? My fame is very manageable and quite lovely. I don’t think I’d have the same feeling if I were Jennifer Anniston or Madonna, who can go nowhere unnoticed. For me it’s just a nice thing.”

(354) Grant Harvey, co-star of the ABC series, “The Crossing”: Money quote: “’I’ve been making a living at acting for about nine years now, and I’ve learned to not think about this type of thing too much. I mean, if I audition for something, for example, I’ve kinda trained myself to completely forget about whatever it was I just auditioned for by the time I get to my car. That’s really the only way to survive being an actor. Because really, we have zero control most of the time. All I can truly control is doing my job the best I possibly can and then hope for the best.”

(353) Dave Vescio, Hollywood bad guy/former Leavenworth inmate: Money quote: “I am always working on my craft and on my instrument every single week of every single month of every single year. And when I say instrument, I mean doing yoga, stretching, vocal warm ups, meditation, connecting chakras, exercising, to massaging my face muscles. Acting is a craft like any other art form, and you only get better at your craft, the more you do it, and the more you keep your instrument in tune as well. And our body and our voice are our instruments. It’s no different than any other musical instrument. But, at the same time, I was taught all of this in acting school by acting teachers. It’s our foundation as actors. It’s what everything is built upon.”

(344) Cherie Johnson, actress: Money quote: “Punky to me at this point is surreal! An amazing gift life gave me that has extremely shaped my life journeys. I am appreciative that I did a good enough job at bringing a character to life that I’m still remembered. I am thankful.”

(337) Lynette Shelley, singer/artist: Money quote: “I personally do purchase physical albums as well as downloads but I am a musician so well-crafted studio recordings created by professionals are important to me. Unfortunately we live in a throw-away mass-produced culture that doesn’t appreciate the arts (or at least doesn’t like to pay for it), but not everyone feels that way. There is a lot of really wonderful music that you will never hear on mainstream radio but if you like to search new things out, it’s there. But if you want artists to be able to continue to make music, and record albums in professional studios with good equipment and not just on the laptop in their garage with whatever cheap equipment they can cobble together, then you have to show your support by paying for it.”

(318) Lauren Tom, actress: Money quote: “My grandmother turned to an usher and said, in her fabulous broken English, ‘Why I need that? What? You think I’m going to be some kind cry baby?’ I whispered to her, ‘Grandma, just take it. It’s free!’ At which point she said, ‘Oh!’ and snatched it from the usher’s hand. We sat down, and toward the beginning of the movie, my grandma pulled out a bag of moi (dried prunes with large pits in them) and a plastic grocery bag to spit the pits into. She shook the empty bag open and placed it on her lap, which made what seemed like a deafening crinkly noise in the dead-silent movie theater. Then she proceeded to clack the pits between her teeth and spit out the pits with, literally, a patooey! sound. I slid down in my seat and wanted to disappear. My grandmother had seen a lot of pain and strife in her life in China and talked at the screen for the entire movie. ‘Why everybody crying? I seen worse. What’s the big deal?’ 

(311) Katherine Terrien, singer/songwriter: Money quote: “I’ve had so many people come up to me telling me I’ve made their night or made them cry (hopefully in a good way) and you know, that’s incredible to me. To be able to do something I enjoy and have other people enjoy it just as much is an amazing thing. The kids are my favorite, though. Children will walk by and start interpretive dancing to my songs or start dancing all crazy. They have the best time and they don’t care who sees. It’s the funniest, most special part about what I get to witness. It’s one of the biggest reasons why I do what I do.”

(304) Stephen Bishop, songwriter: Money quote: “Years and years ago I was with my first wife, may she rest in peace some day, and I thought it would be a wonderful thing for me to treat her on Valentine’s Day to Frank Sinatra at the Desert Inn. This was, like, 1990-something. So there was Frank Sinatra—the amazing singer, such a history. And we’re watching him, and his son was conducting him. And he was singing and he was going, ‘Wheeeeen somebody loves you …’ and then he’d turn and yell at his son, ‘You’re not conducting right! This doesn’t sound right! What are you doing!’ And then—’Alllllll thhhhheee waaaaay.’ He’d sing and sound perfect. Then he’d turn and yell again—’You call that a string arrangement? I think not!’ Then—more singing. It was really funny.”

(293) Nick Turturro, actor: Money quote: “The World Trade movie was a very weird experience for me as New Yorker. I had been down by the Jersey Shore when it happened and I was supposed to fly back that week. It was probably the most the surreal thing I ever felt—being there on my home soil. That movie was a strange experience. My mother had passed away and Oliver Stone was a bit of a bully as a director. I just didn’t feel like it was authentic enough to me.”

(291) Jeremy Popoff, Lit guitarist: Money quote: “It’s just not that easy, selling out, or everyone would be doing it. Can you imagine if all you had to do was change your format or copy an old hit and you could make way more money? That would be insane. We are playing some country festivals this year and are playing way earlier in the day for a lot less money than normal, so I don’t know how that is selling out.”

(286) Margot Bingham, actress/singer: Money quote: “There’s a terror in seeing the final product. At least for me there is. I always want to see it alone before the premiere. In case my performance sucked, I want to be the first to know I sucked. It’s like owning up to the joke before others can laugh at you. Barbershop was my first comedy. Every joke that someone made, there’s not a live audience to laugh as we move along, so there’s no real way to test it. Being one of the only non-comedians in the cast, I was constantly wondering or questioning if our jokes would land, but then I reminded myself that comedy is one of the most truthful emotions we can portray.”

(277) Ross Rice, Human Radio singer/guitarist: Money quote: “We’re not getting in the back of the Penske van again rolling around Mississippi trying to get discovered anymore. We just wanted to make the record to prove that we were still relevant to ourselves and immediate fans and friends. So far so good. Oddly enough, we are taking a meeting with a label guy next week who had just heard the new record, wants to buy us lunch. We do like lunch.”

(266) Roger Craig Smith, voice actor: Money quote: “I think my lowest moment onstage was just the need for dealing with hecklers who were drunk. Unless someone from the club steps in and removes ‘em, it doesn’t matter how bad you shame them or put them in their place—they’re just a drunk mess and tend to ruin a fun night for everyone. I was never a mean comic, so I didn’t like the idea of slamming people from the stage. So, when ya ended up having to deal with the lowest common denominator in the room it was always a bummer.”

(253) Beth Grant, actress: Money quote: “Oh, I wanted to be Joan Crawford or Marilyn Monroe. I was shocked to find out that I wasn’t a leading lady. I couldn’t stand it! And it thwarted my career. I would start and stop every time the reality hit. I always blamed it on my weight, so my weight was up and down and I was always struggling to work out, jogging, some new diet plan. After one makeover period, when I was maybe 28 and looking pretty good, I called a friend of mine who was producing a show about a bunch of babes, women sailors on a Navy boat and he said, “Well, we’re looking for a different kind of girl.” I told him I had lost lost weight and was looking really good ad he said, “No, you aren’t the type.” I remember being so crushed that he wouldn’t even see me. Many, many, many, many rejections like that.”

(252) Nia Holloway, actress: Money quote: “Touring can be pretty draining when it comes to missing your family and being in unfamiliar places. I keep myself occupied with activities like yoga, kickboxing and writing. I also have a career as a independent artist. My entire time on the road I’ve been working on my own music, and I just recently released a single on SoundCloud called,”Actavis” and released an EP earlier this year. So, even with touring, I manage to keep myself very busy.”

(250) Scott Wolf, actor: Money quote: “I think if you’re not looking for the wrong things from fame, it’s awesome. If you’re needing fame or wanting it to define who you are or give you a sense of value in the world, you’re screwed. But the way I’ve always looked at it is, my priority has always been to follow what I love. When I discovered acting I discovered that I loved it and that it felt very important to me. It’s easy to see the surface level of the acting career—a movie or TV show or being on Jimmy Kimmel. I don’t know if I’d use the words “saved me,” because I wasn’t in danger of dying. But this work plugged me in as a human being. I grew up in a very dysfunctional environment, so I was a very shut down person emotionally. Extremely so. And when I was a kid I had these watershed experiences. Literally watershed. Because most of them involved watching a performance that made me cry and feeling alive and connected to myself. And I felt like a full human being in those moments way more than I ever did in my day-to-day life.”

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(246) Julia Lescova, model: Money quote: “I don’t smoke. Never did. I don’t really know many models who smoke. But I think back then maybe they did. It was at a time when all models were skinny and smoking helps staying skinny, I heard. They also didn’t eat much to stay skinny. So it was coffee, no food, and constant smoking. Not any more. Before an image didn’t have to be as healthy as it has to now. Maybe you are referencing models from the 1980s and 90s. Nowadays it’s not as prevalent. It used to be cool to smoke. Now with all the new studies it’s now became not cool to smoke. Kind of unattractive.”

(232) Zack Levine, comedian: Money quote: “I think a lot of people who grew up in rough situations, dealt with trauma, have depression or anxiety issues, were picked on in school, or don’t feel like they belong to any sort of group, find an accepting and welcoming community in comedy. Comics want to speak and be heard and we’re often able to relate to an audience by sharing details of our past and current personal lives. We learn about each other in a more intimate way than those in other professions, and if it’s just a hobby, than for those in other artistic areas.”

(231) Rogers Stevens, Blind Melon guitarist: Money quote (on playing Woodstock ’94): “It was better in hindsight than in the moment. I had grown tired of being around crowds all the time—I think we all did. It was logistically difficult as well. A blur. I remember this: Airplane from Hawaii to New York, van from New York City airport to upstate near the festival, hotel for a few hours, van to somewhere else near the venue, another van, a helicopter (very cool) over the crowd, land backstage (really far from the stage), another van to a trailer, wait, then play. We were suffering the lingering effects of some substance procured from Porno for Pyros in Hawaii, and so many of us couldn’t get the snarl off our faces. The band was not great that day … it just didn’t click, but Shannon was amazing. We were doing a bunch of stupid stuff with our show at that time … refusing to deliver what we were capable of, simply because we had to make it “different” every single time. We could’ve delivered the goods and met Shannon on his level, but we just weren’t in the right headspace … frustrating. 

(224) David Moscow, actor/producer/director: Money quote: “My aunt took me to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. And I saw Fantasia. I remember it was Fantasia because when we got back from Fantasia my house had been robbed. That’s probably why we didn’t go to any movies; we were afraid our house would be robbed. Those were the two movies I’d seen.”

(222) Eric Kufs, singer: Money quote: “So how do I end up playing a farmer’s market? Well, after years of playing on the street I have made enough friends and connections to sustain myself performing private events as well as touring (whether I’m backing up another songwriter or I’m promoting my own music). Occasionally I like to do farmer’s markets or street fairs that pay well enough. They help me keep my chops up and try new material. They’re also good for promotion and often lead to other bookings.”

(219) Genny Sokoli, singer: Money quote: “When I was a little girl all I ever wanted to do was become an artist; I didn’t imagine myself doing anything else. I don’t think that people who fall short in making their dreams a reality are failing; I think that people who do not try are. I am a firm believer that we are obliged to not just give our dreams a shot, but rather truly try to make them a reality. You look at young kids and so many of them have this vision perfectly planned in their heads of what they want to do with their lives. Somewhere along the road, many young people lose that imagination and youthful eagerness.”

(215) Kim Carnes, singer: Money quote: “Writing by myself I write on keyboards and write the music and lyrics at the same time.  I have a restored 1930 Boston made “Mason & Hamlin” Baby grand piano.  I have played the same piano for 35 years.  I still love the sonics of a real acoustic piano.  It can take an hour or in some cases a year to finish a song.  Co-writing is usually done in a shorter amount of time.  I have a small, handful of writers that I love to work with.  The best co-writes are the songs that feel like they were written by one person.”

(209) Becca Brown, actress/musician: Money quote: “The School of Rock reunion concert was badass. Definitely in my top three, but my sketch group, The Cupid Players, did a little show in Austin this past August and packed the house with people we didn’t know at all, and s-l-a-y-e-d. Probably my lowest point was when I tripped onstage at the Toronto Film Festival in front of the Olsen twins.”

(197)  Natalia Cordova, actress: Money quote: “I believe that when people watch films or TV, there is the possibility that they will immediately gain a personal relationship with an individual storyline that perhaps can be a missing puzzle piece for whatever might be going on in their lives at that moment. They empathize with the characters they watch and thereby connect with the performer. When those performers are seen in public, people tend to want to describe and be grateful for being given that gift of emotionality and association.”

(193)  Melissa Manchester, singer/songwriter: Money quote (on taking a class taught by Paul Simon at NYU): “Once he was talking about Bridge Over Troubled Water. And he was talking about the composition writing of it. And he said, ‘You know the bridge—Sail on, silver girl.’ He said, ‘It actually has nothing to do with the song. I had a girlfriend who was going prematurely gray and I thought it sounded good.’ I thought that was the most fantastic thing I heard. That’s the thing about songwriting—you have so little time to create a world that what he said in essence was, ‘All of the stories have been told. It is the way that you tell the story which is your stamp of authenticity.’ And it’s true.”

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(188) Kyle Brandt, Good Morning Football co-host, former Days of Our Lives star: Money quote: “Most of the soap fans were really nice. Some of them were really grabby. Most of them were clean. Some of them smelled like old ham. For people who loved soaps, they didn’t seem to love soap.”

(187) Jennifer Hanson, singer: Money quote: “I was singing the anthem in Atlanta for the Thrashers because the Canadiens were in town and I though I would sing the Canadian anthem both in French and English. I started in French and then just forgot the words, so I inserted the words, Pepe Le peu into the phrase and then went into the English part. I actually hoped the ice would open and I could just disappear into Valhalla or wherever it is that mortified singers go.”

(180) Matthew Laurance, actor: Money quote (on Eddie and the Cruisers: II: Eddie Lives!): “I don’t like the movie at all. The whole premise is that this huge rock star is hiding from the world. Doing construction. And the music comes back, and his picture is everywhere, and he has a little mustache and nobody knows it’s him. Like Clark Kent put on glasses and no one knew he was Superman. Ridiculous.”

(178) Laurie Berkner, children’s singer: Money quote: “A great one is one that the parents want to sing too. It’s also a song that comes to mind throughout the day in such a way that it feels more like part of a movie soundtrack to life and less like just another catchy song. It’s also a song that has multiple layers of meanings but is still really easy to learn and sing – without feeling like you’ve already heard it a hundred times before.”

(176)  Andrew Stratman, country singer: Money quote: “There have been a few occasions where no one is listening and I am literally playing to myself. In those moments, I’d rather go outside and finish the show for myself than to keep interrupting the crowd’s ballgame or NASCAR race. But usually there is at least one person paying close attention, and as long as there is that one person enjoying what I am doing, well, I feel like I’ve done my job.”

(172) Bill Janovitz, Buffalo Tom lead singer: Money quote: “I am usually in the moment; in the song. The minute I am not is the minute I give up music.”

(164) Kel Mitchell, actor: Money quote (on reports of his death): “It was a shock for the first 45 minutes. I did get a few phone calls from family members. It did not bother me or upset me because I am alive and well.”

(162) Scott Melker, DJ: Money quote (on merging Hall & Oates with hiphop): “The process was tedious, to say the least. I narrowed down their catalog to around 10 songs, and began replaying all of the individual instruments on my keyboard. I used different sounds than in the originals for each part, and created entirely new drum tracks to modernize the songs. When that was finished, I went to work figuring out vocal tracks that would sound great on each song, which helped narrow it down to the five tracks that I released.”

(160) Austin Winsberg, playwright: Money quote: “I certainly don’t think I can speak for all Jews. But I do imagine the majority of us have this ‘need to please’ gene. And, like I mentioned before—’nothing’s ever good enough’ syndrome. Maybe this comes from growing up in homes with challenging or critical parents. But I think we all desperately want to be loved. And get validated. And there’s no greater validation than being loved on the world stage. Or by having millions of people seeing your work and responding to your material.”

(157) Bubba Sparxxx, rapper: Money quote: “Working-class people just aren’t that different—period. No matter what the ethnicity. There are these invisible lines placed between the different races, but lower-middle class and down, and people are pretty much the same. The same mindsets. Their lives are pretty stressful. They deal with what they deal with on a day-to-day basis, and then when they cut loose they wanna have a good time. That’s something I knew at a young age.”

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(156) Tracy Reiner, actress: Money quote: “It’s an absolute gift to be surrounded with just massively talented people. It gives you amazing insight and also it gave me, personally, the ability to choose a balance of real life and what I call simulating real life. I worked for a long time and worked production and ran a development company, then I took a long real-life break and got married. And now I am producing a film about the 100-year history of the American Legion Post 43 and Hollywood. There is no curse to having family in the business you’re in … although family will do to family what strangers would never dare. That’s in good and bad ways. It’s life.”

(146)  Conroe Brooks, actor: Money quote: “You’ve got to be absolutely ready to handle a lot of pressure. There is an extremely small percentage of people that could actually handle carrying a movie or a TV show. That takes either being born with that IT factor or somehow finding IT along the way. No one can teach you that.”

(145) Jeff Pearlman, musician: Money quote: “When the John Rocker story came out, a friend did make a crack about that to me. The only “Pearlman” I have been repeatedly asked about being related to, though, is Itzhak (actually spelled “Perlman”).”

(141)  Brian Vander Ark, Verve Pipe lead singer: Money quote (on why singers smoke): “It’s really really, really, really, cool looking. It says fuck you, I know it’s bad for my voice, but I don’t give a shit ’cause I look cool. Rock is 90 percent visual.”

(140) Jennie Eisenhower, actress, granddaughter of Richard Nixon, great granddaughter of Dwight Eisenhower: Money quote: “I occasionally get the ‘Oh, like the president?’ line, and I just say, ‘Yes, like the president.’”

(131) Michael Eisenstein, Letters to Cleo guitarist: Money quote: “A couple years ago I played with Katharine McPhee at the Greek Theatre here in L.A. I had to pack up my gear and leave right away to get to a poorly booked Reigning Monarchs show at this little dump on the Sunset Strip. There was a lot of bad information and I arrived to find out that we were only getting a 10-minute set. It almost broke Reigning Monarchsup the band. That stands out for going from the high to the low within a couple of hours.”

(130) Lenny Marcus, comedian: Money quote: “When I started, somebody yelled, “Jew, get off!” That wasn’t a good day.”

(121) Kay Hanley, Letters to Cleo singer: Money quote: “I’m sober now, and have been sober for a number of years. And so I lived many years as an active alcoholic and addict. And I can tell you when you first start doing drugs, booze, whatever—for those of us who are addicts, it worked really, really well. It’s your medicine. But when it stops working … there’s a term in heroine addictions, ‘Chasing the dragon.’ And basically it’s chasing that thing you feel the first time you do it. Or even the first line of the evening. The first bump of coke and that first drink—it’s like the perfect buzz. And you spend the rest of the night chasing that feeling to get it back. And it just gets worse and worse and worse and worse, and you never get it back, but you think that you might. And the next thing you know the sun’s coming up and you want to kill yourself.”

(117) Mike Zwiener, former child actor: Money quote (on being cast as the “fat kid” in Little Giants): “I was 9 and 10 when Little Giants happened, and I really didn’t care if I was typecast. I didn’t even know what that word meant back then. When you look back at it, yeah, it was probably a shitty thing to do, but it happens. Nobody holds a gun to anyone’s head when they offer them a role, as far as I’m aware.”

(115) Rachel Miller, 17-year-old singer: Money quote (on writing the song “Johnny”): “One night, my dad walked into my room. Sensing my frustration at my lack of songwriting success, he suggested that I write about one of my favorite movies. He told me to close my eyes, imagine the opening scene of The Dark Knight (with the Joker’s henchmen), and to write a whole song about one of those unnamed, faceless characters. And so I did. And I named him Johnny. ‘Johnny’ was written on a piece of tattered loose-leaf paper on the little shelf above my keyboard over the course of about 45 minutes. The interesting thing about songwriting is that some songs happen very quickly and some songs need months—even years—to properly take shape. From my experience, the pathway from one good song to another requires at least two or three shitty songs. When you can’t get your own song out of your head, that’s when you know it works. If you can’t remember the melodies after a day or so, or if you just aren’t feeling it with your whole heart and soul, that’s when you know that it’s simply another stop on the road to another song.”

(106) Jonatha Brooke, singer: Money quote (on her cover of the Alan Parsons Project’s “Eye in the Sky”): “The original production is so cold and square, that I wasn’t precious about it. And once I actually listened to the lyrics it was a no-brainer to take it in a completely acoustic, dark direction. I kind of read into it like that song ‘I’m not in love.’ Creepy and sad. I think that’s the ONLY way to cover a song. You must make it completely your own. Change the production, the harmonic approach, even the time signature! Otherwise why bother?”

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(101) Erin Cronican, actress: Money quote: “If you don’t feel like crying, it’s impossible to cry on demand. Even if you want to cry, it doesn’t always work the way you want it to. Conversely, I want to cry all the time when I’m not supposed to. Call it the Murphy’s Law of Acting.”

(98) Jenn Sterger, actress: Money quote (on her breasts): “When I had the large implants I used to always liken them to wearing a superhero costume. I felt invincible. I think we all feel that when something gives us a boost of confidence. You get caught up in the extra attention (and, in my case, the spotlight) and I don’t think I was ready for the responsibility that came from that. I think it was 2008 when I realized that as much as they had served their purpose in my discovery, my implants really were more of a hindrance than a help. They were a distraction of the worst kind and brought the wrong kind of attention. Believe me when I say, there is such a thing.”

(95)  Bruce Kulick, former KISS guitarist: Money quote (on the passing of drummer Eric Carr): “It was like losing a family member. I was closest in the group with him. It was surreal and horrible. But I had no way to save him. That was his fate. Eric loved the fans, and he was the kindest to them. He used to write back the fan letters! Even call them, and thank them! Yet he was tortured by KISS as well, emotionally and didn’t always understand the politics of being a huge band. He will always be missed.”

(93)  Eric Hutchinson, singer/songwriter: Money quote: “The late night shows are some of the best days for me. They feel like what I dreamt the job would be like when I was a kid. I love hanging around set and watching dress rehearsals and meeting the other guests. As a musician, you arrive at 8am, do a soundcheck, a camera run-through, break for lunch, do a second camera run-through, get dressed and then suddenly you hear David Letterman say your voice and your singing and then its over. It’s a rush and before you know it, you’re packed up and outside in a car going home.”

(88)  Skee-Lo, rapper: Money quote: “Did the great/legendary artists of the 1980s & ’90s all disappear? Or are we just programmed to believe so? Because the real emcees/pop singers just get better with time. The entertainment industry sets the rules on age and trends and, therefore, that becomes the popular norm. But never let anyone tell you that you’re too old for something. And as long as I have something to say, I will say it.”

(86)  Brittanie Weaver, model: Money quote: “I have been told that someone Google searched me to do that and it kind of creeped me out. I appreciate honesty and even though I am a complete pervert it’s not something that I want to hear or visualize. I want to be desired and people are entitled to do that in whatever way they please.”

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(84) Dirk Blocker, actor: Money quote: “I was scared shitless. James Brolin’s doctor character was supposed to be giving me a shot and the gag was that I, a large teenager, was afraid of needles—so my nervousness worked for me. As we prepared to shoot the scene Brolin, holding my arm and able to feel my pulse pound, announced: ‘We’d better hurry up and shoot this before this kid has a heart attack.'”

(76)  M.C. White Owl, rapper: Money quote: “Marijuana frees my soul. I feel relaxed when smoking and closer to God. The herb is here for us. The seeds are nourishment, hemp oil is clean and good for you, and the U.S. encouraged farmers to grow hemp during the Civil War and World War I.  Hemp is a fantastic fiber and food and a life-sustaining plant. It’s a seed-bearing herb. Marijuana helps cancer patients during chemotherapy, causing them to stomach solid foods that they normally could not eat. It is good for glaucoma, relieving pressure on the eyes. It is good for many mood disorders, like anxiety and bi-polar.”

(75)  John Wesley Harding, singer: Money quote: “I find ‘It Happened One Night’ to be completely unlistenable (I don’t like my singing on it at all, but then I’d only just started) but I don’t shout about it. And also I’d note that I don’t listen to any of my music ever. Do any artists?”

(70)  Nathan Osmond, country singer from a famous family: Money quote: “I think having a name that people recognize brings certain expectations and yes, people tend to prejudge my music prior to listening to it. It almost makes it harder to be taken seriously. By the way, my music isn’t like anything “Osmond” you’ve ever heard. One thing I love about country music is how honest it is. I considered going under the name of Nathan George (my middle name is George). I knew that Osmond would eventually come out and I didn’t want people thinking that I was trying to hide something or that was ashamed of my family. Quite the contrary. I just decided to be who I am.”

(68) Steve James, “Hoop Dreams” director: Money quote: “Every day we shot brought new revelation and surprise, like we were living inside a Dickens novel or something. But I would have been insane to think a three hour documentary on two young basketball players no ever heard of would ever be huge. Still, late in the post process, I do recall coming home at like 4 am after a graveyard editing shift and just sitting in my car unexpectedly crying because I knew I’d been privileged to bear witness to something rare and wonderful.”

(66)  John Oates, legendary singer/songwriter: Money quote: “Daryl and I have a very unique relationship. We’re very unique individuals. And it’s a very, very complicated and huge question you just asked. You know, it has to do with our personalities; it has to do with our personalities, that they don’t conflict with each other but they somehow compliment each other. He has what I lack, I have what he lacks. And together, we make almost one complete person—in a weird way. And at the same time we are smart enough to respect each other’s individuality and independence and not put any restrictions on each other.”

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(62)  Shannon Bex, Dannity Kane singer: Money quote: “I don’t understand why society thinks so highly of fame and works so hard to be famous. It’s a dangerous road if you’re on it for the wrong reasons.”

(60)  Wayne Wilentz, former Skyy keyboardist: Money quote: “I once heard that music is embracing someone without touching. So it has value right away; you get a hug without having to worry about catching a disease.”

(53) Ashley Poole, former member of the pop group Dream: Money quote (on stardom at 16): “Honestly—it rocked. It never got old to hear our songs on the radio! We’d turn it up and blast it every time it came on! The feeling, more than anything, was pride. Just pure awesomeness. It smacked me right across the face, and I enjoyed that. As for a singular moment—there were many. Your first tour bus, your first time on TRL, the first time you make your tour manager go get you tampons in the middle of the night ‘cuz you can!’ Hanson at my Sweet 16 birthday party—and then it was aired on MTV News. Jay Leno, fans knowing my dogs’ name. But the one that sticks out the most is when we premiered ‘This is Me’ in the middle of Time Square  and no one had done that before. It was epic.”

(47) Alison Cimmet, Broadway actress: Money quote (on being an understudy and learning the star of Baby It’s You! was out sick): “Before my brain even started working, my body was freaking out: heart beating heavily, stomach doing flip-flops. Because it was so early in the run they hadn’t yet created my understudy costumes, so during that show I had some “just in case” emergency costume fittings in the basement of the theatre to see if Beth’s costumes (more than 20 of them!) fit me. Luckily, they did. I then ran through my lines with a fellow stand-by, and lamented the fact that I had not had a full run-thru rehearsal; nor had I rehearsed any of the lightning-quick costume changes (more than 20 of them!); nor had I sung any of the songs with the band. I still did not know whether or not she’d be well enough to perform the next day.”

(43) Mac Lethal, rapper: Money quote: “I may have a pancake video with 22 million views on YouTube, but I had to work, tour, and grind it out for 12 years before any of this happened. And I have had a cult-like fan base for several years too. I think the only way to truly judge an artist is by their longevity. You can make $20 million in three months and burn out before you even get hot. Or you can make $20 million over 20 years, and have a comfortable, successful career with longevity and respect. If you take shortcuts, you get cut short.”

(41) Rick Arzt, Love Seed Mama Jump lead singer: Money quote: “The record industry is a brutal, cold-hearted bitch of a business at times so at this point we are honestly just very grateful to still play rock and roll and have people dig what we play. We had our shot. No regrets.”

(39) Gabriel Aldort, street musician: Money quote: “The highlight of my musical existence would be when I played with Stevie Wonder at Manny’s Music. He came in on a Sunday when I was working, and while another salesman was helping him, I started playing one of his more obscure songs, ‘As if You Read My Mind’ from the ‘Hotter than July’ album. A couple seconds later, I feel this hand on my shoulder … it was Stevie. He leaned over and said, “That’s real good, but you got the left hand all wrong.” He then proceeded to show me the correct syncopation of the left hand notes, after which we played the song together; him on the right, me on the left, while he sang it into my right ear. Heaven.”

(32)  John Herzfeld, veteran film director: Money quote (on critics ripping “Two of a Kind”): “Have I come to terms with it? You have to. Does it irk me? Yes, because—as I’m sure I’m not the first filmmaker to say it—the final product was very different from the movie I made. My version was much darker and all the heaven scenes were re-shot. In my version God had become fed up with the world and had decided to flood it again. Between the Holocaust, Vietnam War, Elvis dying and other disappointments he decided to end civilization. Only until the angels convinced him to show that man was still inherently good—did he decide to give civilization a second chance. Which, by the way, was the name of the movie—Second Chance. Until it was re-titled. Bottom line, though it put me in movie jail, it’s all part of the journey.”

(31) Craig Salstein, American Ballet Theatre soloist: Money quote: “It doesn’t insult me that you’re bored. Believe me, I understand. You’re sitting there in a seat, watching something you’re not overly familiar with. But it can be incredibly exciting, and if you know somebody who’s in the ballet and who has a good role, and you can point to the stage and say, ‘I know that person!’—it’s terrific. There are times when I find ballet to be boring. But I go because you learn, and you experience, and why would anyone turn that down?”

(27) Chris Delcroix, actor: Money quote: “People absolutely do assume I am gay because of what I do. It doesnʼt bother me at all though because I do the same thing really. On the first day of rehearsal when meeting the cast, its natural to play the game in your head of Whoʼs Straight and Who’s Gay. I have always been comfortable around the gay community … although differentiating between a gay and straight community seems a little weird. In theatre, as cliche as it is, you truly are a part of one big community. That’s the beauty of our business compared to the local law office I think … the openness of all involved and the ability to adapt to all walks of life in an easier, more comfortable way.”

(26)  Marie Te Hapuku, opera singer: Money quote: “The joy of opera is the result of singing with your entire body. Because opera is sung without microphones, it is a very physical, athletic, and sensual process: repetitive deep breathing, the contraction and relaxation of muscles, intense mental focus, and an exchange of energy with your audience. Add to that mix the vibrations of live instruments, the luscious harmonies of music, the intrigue of human relationships found in every opera plot, a fabulous frock to wear—and you have something that is downright addictive.”

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(24)  Glen Graham, former Blind Melon drummer: Money quote (on his band): “We’re a footnote. Maybe not even a footnote. If you liked us and still like us, we might loom large. But most people don’t know us for anything but No Rain and the bee girl video.  And while I think No Rain is a pretty good song, as far as drumming goes there’s not much to it.”

(23) Prime Minister Pete Nice, rapper, baseball historian: Money quote: “I remember one time, we were in a hotel in Scotland, and Chuck D got the phone bill for the trip and he couldn’t believe it—Flav had spent something like 10,000 pounds calling his different baby mama’s for two-straight days. He was nuts. He’d knock on our hotel door at 6 a.m. and ask me and Serch to follow him around town. He’d take 40 random kids to McDonald’s for breakfast. Just … because. When we were in an airport in Germany, Flav fell to the floor near the security check and went into convulsions on the floor and started spitting up loads of blood like he was dying. Chuck and the S1W’s were coming to his aid and all of a sudden Flav jumped up on his feet, and said ‘Fake blood, G! From the magic store with Pete and Serch! Yeah BOYEEE!’”

(18) Scott Barnhardt, actor and “Book of Mormon” star: Money quote: “I have a chronic fear that I’m wearing the wrong socks. Seriously. We change clothes so many times in the show, that I often get on stage and start a scene without having double-checked, and I have a mini panic attack. It is particularly bad in the group Baptism scene, when everyone on stage is dressed all in white. I am somehow always convinced that my black socks are on with my white suit, and that I will be found out as some kind of a Mormon fraud. Until I take a conspicuous glance down to see that I do indeed have the right socks on. It is such a random issue, but it still freaks me out.”

(17) Travis Warren, Blind Melon lead singer: Money quote: “Anyone who knows me knows I’ve always been a huge Melon guy. When the first record came out I was 12, and I just fell in love with that band. I remember putting that record in, and every song kicked ass. It’s funny, because my least favorite song on the CD is No Rain—which, of course, is Blind Melon’s trademark song. Man, I turned so many people onto that band. I’d say, ‘You have to forget about the Bee Girl song. Just listen to the whole thing.’ Shannon Hoon had one of those voices unlike anything that came out. They weren’t a grunge band, they weren’t a rock band. They were special.”

(8) Meeno Peluce, former child actor: Money quote: “’Something’s happened, there’s been an accident and Jon-Erik’s in the hospital.’ I was woken one Saturday morning. I can remember it well. My first thought was that he’d stupidly hurt himself, the price for always kidding around, we were always hurting ourselves, and we always healed. Especially him, he was the closest thing I’d ever know to a real-life super hero. Later that day I heard the term “brain dead” and it was the first time I’d ever heard that. I pictured him running around, with that smile, catching a football, and those blue eyes, and just no brain, but all the other happy, light-heartedness still intact. And then that thought passed and I realized the first person I ever knew to die was now dead, and he was the best, least deserving to die, most full of life person I had ever known. You grow up a bit in that moment.

(7)  Geoff Rodkey, screenwriter: Money quote (on having “Daddy Daycare” slammed by Roger Ebert): “His TV show review was, if possible, even worse [than his print review]—he did it with Richard Roeper, and Roeper was so angry at the movie that he started raising his voice, and it built to this crescendo that ended with Roeper literally yelling, “One of the worst movies of the year!” and Ebert yelling back, ‘Absolutely!’ Didn’t bother me a bit. No. It was painful. And kind of a cosmic joke—because, again, what got me hooked on writing was the positive feedback from an audience.”

(6) Amra Faye Wright, South African-born Chicago star: Money quote: “Historically, the question that haunts every society which has had to deal with injustices in their midst is, Why didn’t we try harder? There is no one answer to that, not everyone had a social conscience, and it’s always easier to pass judgment in retrospect. When I was a child, I accepted things as they were. Black children went to their own schools, I assumed they were receiving the same education as me. There were times we played together, but both black and white kids simply accepted that we would all return to our own ‘places.’ There were instances which confused me, such as I remember hearing about black scholars burning down their schools and believing the propaganda fed to my parents and reported in the papers. I couldn’t understand why any children would want to burn their schools down. As I grew into a teenager, the truth began to dawn on me.”

(3) Tommy Shaw, Styx singer/guitarist: Money quote: “We were on a plane with the Atlanta Rhythm Section way back when. We hit the worst turbulence I have ever experienced, kind of like the scene in Almost Famous where the drummer spilled the beans a little too much. I looked behind me and a couple of the ARS guys had bottles of Crown Royal turned up. The flight attendant spilled an entire tray of Cokes on ice on Chuck Panozzo. I’m actually on a plane right now as I write this answer and I’m laughing my ass off recalling that image.”

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(412): Dave Tollefson, two-time Super Bowl champion defensive lineman: Money quote: “[Playing in a Super Bowl] was surreal, crazy, fun, anxiety filled, amazing, scary, and—most of all—unbelievable. All of those things, not in that specific order and maybe all at once. I was on the Oakland Raiders’ practice squad in 2007 when the Giants picked me up Week 5. This is when Lane Kiffin was the head coach, the best thing I can say is he was not ready to be a head coach. The Giants were 2-2 at the time, so it wasn’t like I knew I was going to a Super Bowl contender. So that being said, the first one was an out-of-body experience almost. I really couldn’t believe I was there, playing, in the frickin’ Super Bowl! The second was much different. I brought all my family and friends. I don’t think I actually made any money because I paid for everyone’s hotel, tickets and everything else. I didn’t care, either. It was one of the best experiences of my life and to be able to share it with the people I care about most meant so much to me.”

(392) Ryan O’Neil, Kenyon College guard: Money quote: “There have been a lot of nights when I’ve called my dad out of pure frustration. I don’t particularly look forward to going to practice, and sometimes I don’t even get excited to play in games. I try, and often fail, to find consolation by telling myself that playing a sport in college is not supposed to be easy. But it’s difficult to remember that, and even when I do I find that it offers very little solace, encouragement, or support. I’m not having fun this season, and basketball is supposed to be enjoyable. I’m fortunate that I get to hoop every day with some of my best friends in the world, but I don’t really feel lucky. These days, basketball feels more like a chore or a job than a source of unbridled joy. Often, I catch myself comparing this season to high school basketball, when the sport was a distraction from school, when we would play in front of 1500 or 2,000 people on some nights, when my favorite thing in the entire world was to be in the gym.”

(388) Mike Stahr, legendary American miler: Money quote: “There is no question I should have been there in ’88 but what every athlete needs to realize is that making the Olympic team comes down to many things falling in place. Those that make it to the finals of the trials still need many things to go right.  It’s not always the favorites that make the team.  I think I was a bit in shock at the time the Games were aired so I was sad to watch but still excited for our team. In the back of my head I always assumed I would make the ’92 team so I was able to cope pretty well. In later years, the sting of not making the team still gets me but there is one thing that takes it all away – I think to myself, if I had made the team I would not have what I have today – an amazing family – and when I think of missing out on them everything gets put back in perspective.”

(355) Tai Babilonia, two-time Olympic figure skater: Money quote: “It is definitely unique and many think it’s a made-up fake/stage name. The story goes that when I was born my parents couldn’t think of a name and were actually fighting about it in the hospital. So my godfather, who is Japanese (and the person who introduced me to skating when I was 6) simply told my parents, ‘We will name her Tai. End of story.'”

(352) Vinny Marino, Bryant University offensive coordinator: Money quote: “It is certainly a hard life. It can make having a relationship tougher for sure. A coach’s wife/girlfriend certainly has to understand it’s your passion and they have to be bought in. You definitely have to have support. There are certainly a lot of highs and lows in coaching and it helps to be able to share them with someone. I love coaching and it would be really hard for me to do something else. I have a passion for it and that is what keeps me going. I have always had the philosophy that you better love getting up in the morning and doing what you do. If not, you will not be happy. You have to be happy first before you can make someone else happy.”

(347) Lee Ford-Faherty, Paralympian archer: Money quote: “There is such grace and beauty with a well-executed Olympic shot, it’s just a marriage of strength and timing and form and mental game! I love it still and I love that I’ll be shooting until the day I die. I teach several archers in their 70s and Miss Jean, who I coached, shot a national record at the Senior Olympics before being afflicted by a stroke. She kept shooting! She passed a while ago but competed and won a gold from her wheelchair the summer before she passed! When I grow up, I’m going to be as tough as Miss Jean! And now I’m teaching Miss Helen, who at 77 is just taking up archery for the first time. She loves it and it’s amazing to see her passion and determination. So I have hope that my body will let me shoot until I leave this world. That’s how I want to go.”

(342) Michal Kapral, World’s greatest Joggler: Money quote: “You know how sometimes in life, a series of small decisions and events lead to strange and unexpected consequences? That’s how I became ‘The Joggler.’ Growing up, I was mostly healthy and normal, but also felt different from my friends because I was allergic to almost every food. I also had severe eczema, and asthma that sent me to the hospital several times. I think this feeling of being different pushed me try offbeat feats. I already felt like a bit of an oddball, so why not embrace it?”

(331) Paul Shirley, former NBA player/writer: Money quote: “When I was a young pro, I would get mad about guys I would see in the NBA who I didn’t think were any better than I was, but who’d been given the benefit of the doubt because of some thing or another that I considered worthless. One day, I was bitching about this when my dad says, ‘You probably ought to remember that there are a lot of guys saying that about you.'”

(326) Wayne Franklin, former MLB pitcher: Money quote: “My passion for baseball began (and this is no bullshit) the very day I learned how to play catch. My passion was real, and it felt very innate. Maybe this innateness is where all passion dwells. If so, I recommend that everyone look for anything innate; very blissful. Growing up in Maryland, the winters were long and tough, probably because of my impatient anticipation of baseball season. What fueled me more than anything else were cynics. Anyone who has ever played at the highest level of any sport can probably empathize with me wholeheartedly.”

(324) Maggie Steffens, water polo star: Money quote: “I did struggle a bit after my first Olympics. I knew London wasn’t ‘as good as it gets,’ but I was a little lost for sure. It took me some time, but I always came back to my dad’s words—’Strive to be amongst the best’ and “Always remember your last name.” With these in mind, I knew there was still so much more. I focused on the values of what the ‘Steffens’ name means to me and thought about my goal of always striving to be amongst the best. I was fortunate to have that at Stanford and with Team USA. My dream was still to be an Olympian and an Olympic champion—I had just done it once before. The dream remains today, it just follows a different path and a different journey, which makes each new quad so special.”

(313) Mike Pritchard, NFL wide receiver: Money quote: “Playing in the NFL totally exceeded expectations. I had no comparisons either. My dad was a career Air Force serviceman and my brother followed in his footsteps. I knew I wanted to go to college but I didn’t have one dream of playing in the NFL. I was a fan and admired the great players but honestly I didn’t have an NFL-or-bust mentality. When I arrived on the scene as a rookie with the Atlanta Falcons it was like a whole new world just opened up to me and I wanted to stay in it. I was willing to work hard and sacrifice more because of 1) the championship in college and 2) this new world of professional sports and what it could provide. So in the end, yes the experience was worth it.”

(301) Martin Ingelsby, college basketball coach: Money quote: “You know, in recruiting it’s all about relationships and contacts and it was important for me to put a staff together to help us get really good players. Because at the end of the day I can be the best Xs and Os coach in the country, and it comes down to having really good players. I would love to recruit Michael Porter, but he’s not going to give us the time of day. I’d love to get our level Michael Porter … I mean, look, guys fall through the cracks and you need to turn over every stone. But we’d be wasting our time if we were calling him or Lonzo Ball—his dad. Can you imagine dealing with him in the recruiting process? You’d stay away from that one.”

(300) Kirk Haston, basketball star: Money quote: “Let’s just say this—there is a story that involves [former Hornets teammate] Lee Nailon, a plane, Canadian customs and a dog that should be told some day … but not now.”

(292) Tom Bosworth, Olympic speed walker: Money quote: “Let’s never forget that being an Olympian is the pinnacle of sport. What people don’t realize is that I was ranked 37th. So many have said, “You must be disappointed with sixth.” I said, “Are you crazy? I set a new British 20k record and finished 31 places higher than expected!”

(273) Jay Fielder, former NFL quarterback: Money quote: “I have always had a very even-keel personality with a practical outlook. I knew there was nothing I could do in Miami to match what Dan Marino did with the Dolphins from a statistical standpoint, but I also knew that I could win games playing to my strengths. My focus was on earning the respect of my teammates by working hard and doing whatever it takes to win.”

(271) Jesse Martinez, skateboarder: Money quote: “We were shooting the Thrashin’ movie in the mid 1980s and I was bombing the hill. There were a bunch of us. One of the guys, his name was K.O., he’s from the Jaks. He’s a really good friend of mine and he’s still skateboarding to this day. He came shooting by me and I knew things didn’t look good, and I caught up to him, and he got the wobbles really bad and flew off his board and we ended up colliding into each other. I ripped all the muscles in my thigh of my leg right below the hip and I was bleeding internally. I had to go to the hospital for a couple of weeks … blah, blah, blah … I wound up not skating for a good six months that I was injured, but there were really no repercussions from that injury.”

(268) Peter Hudnut, Olympic waterpolo player: Money quote: “Honestly, I still have sadness from Beijing. I am clearly extremely proud of our team, our effort, and it was an event that truly changed and enhanced my life. It is sad, because we worked so hard, overcame so many obstacles, had so many people doubt us, that seeing it through to the end would have been one of, if not the, greatest team journey in recent history. When you think about that semifinal game against the Serbians, I would say—with full belief—that this was a greater upset than the 1980 U.S. hockey team beating Russia.”

(258) Na’il Diggs, retired NFL linebacker: Money quote: “In my 12 NFL seasons as linebacker, I’ve had to tackle running backs like Brandon Jacobs, Jerome Bettis and Adrian Peterson. But I had the time to prepare and practice for those challenges. None of them prepared me for the challenge of transitioning from my NFL career.”

(242) Marquis Daniels, retired NBA player, rapper: Money quote: “They will automatically say, “Here’s another athlete trying to rap,” which I expect from the media and fans. Any type of negativity is good for their ratings, so it’s to be expected. But I go by Q6 so when you hear my music, you judge it off of music and not my name.”

(237) Amy Van Dyken, former Olympic swimmer: Money quote (on recovering from her ATV accident): “I really hope to walk as I once did, but I’m realistic. I was told my spine was 100 percent severed, and looking at my X-ray it looked like that was totally true. With that, I have to understand that any progress I make is proving my doctor wrong. I am in braces, and walking under my own power (50 steps take almost 30 minutes; lots of sweat and lots of swearing at my therapist and husband) so that right there is a miracle.” 

(234) Andrew Cotton, big wave surfer: Money quote: “Panicking is the worst thing you can do. I’ve trained to hold my breath for up to five minutes. I’ve trained to remain calm even when exhausted. I don’t panic. I have full confidence in my safety team. If I did panic that’s when I could get into trouble.”

(225) Tellis Frank, former NBA player: Money quote: “Well, as the 14th pick I kind of assumed I’d be a star. That’s a lottery pick. I assumed I had the pro game. But I really can’t blame anybody but myself, because I really think I got lazy. I didn’t put the work into it to be a starter in the NBA. Looking back at my career. Now that I have a son, I can kind of relay to him what it takes if you’re really trying to sustain and get to that star/superstar level.”

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(217) Brian McRae, former Major League outfielder: Money quote: “Bo Jackson going on the disabled list in 1990 was the reason I got called-up! Bo could do it all and he was really starting to figure things out at the plate when he injured his hip. He was a freak of nature. I don’t think fans really understand how much work it took for him to make his comeback. That may have been his greatest accomplishment.”

(207) Tiki Barber, former New York Giants halfback: Money quote: “You know what’s addicting? Relevance. So it’s less about being famous, because there are a lot of people, we don’t have a clue who they are, but when you get told about them you learn that they’re extraordinarily relevant in their industry. “

(198)  Steve Steinwedel, former University of Delaware men’s basketball coach: Money quote: “I was very intense and determined, I cared a lot about what I was doing and it showed. Was I a jerk? Well, yes. I’m sure that I was, but like all of us I’m much more than that and I’m not sure many experienced the other (many other) Steves. I certainly didn’t help that and I was very young (how does it go? Young and dumb?) and I thought I had all the answers (or at least most of them), when in fact I didn’t even have most of the questions.”

(191)  Ken O’Brien, former New York Jets quarterback: Money quote: “You only control what you control. Every situation is different. What I had in New York was different than what other guys had. I’m not saying worse, but different. And inside that building things were done in ways that you didn’t always see on the outside. I played with great guys, and I wouldn’t change that at all. But as far as the perception—it is out there. I know it is. But I don’t lose any sleep over it.”
(181) Mark Millon, Lacrosse Hall of Famer (on why he always doubted the Duke lax rape allegations): “From the second the news started to break I knew with 100-percent certainty it was bullshit. I knew a bunch of educated young men … boys brought up in New Jersey, Connecticut … and there was no way they would gang rape a woman. Would they do a ton of other questionable, dumb stuff? Oh, yeah. Absolutely. But not that. I knew the truth would come out eventually.”

(174) Marc Boerigter, former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver: Money quote: “Great quarterbacks have the ability to manage split-second decisions in their heads like nobody else. They have to be risk takers, but conservative. They have to have an arm to throw rockets, deep outs, sidearm screens, finesse change-ups on shallow crosses. A great quarterback has a timer in his head to get rid of the ball. He has to be mobile enough to escape the rush. He has to have the ability to lead men. He doesn’t have to be Braveheart, but a guy who men will follow. You must trust him. He has to manage his teammates. That’s not too much to ask, is it?”

(169) Bill May, former competitive synchronized swimmer: Money quote: “Synchronized swimming consists of a lot of physical strength and endurance, but also combines other aspects that one could argue would be an advantage to women, such as; flexibility or floatability.  I believe that people’s energy would be better spent not worrying about their own prejudice and misconceptions, but rather be proactive in creating an atmosphere for the growth of the sport.”

(166)  Jasha Balcom, former pro ballplayer, Jackie Robinson stunt double in 42: Money quote (on having never reached the Majors): “To be honest man It really sucked. My entire self-identity was as a professional player. I had no clue what I was supposed to do or what I was good at. I felt I belonged on the diamond. I still haven’t accepted it yet Jeff. I’m going to be in the Majors one day. I’m still living the dream.”

(153) Pierre Walters, former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker: Money quote: “As the offensive tackle blocked down (away from me), I knew the back was coming to block me. We crashed into each other head-first and carried on with the play. A micro-second after we hit, I saw the color purple—and I ain’t talkin’ Whoopi and Oprah. I mean, literally, the top-left of my vision turned purple with a yellow trim. It was wild. I didn’t get a headache or feel any pain. I shook it off and after about four seconds the sky turned that beautiful blue again.”

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(139) Bonnie Hutton, horse racer: Money quote (on putting down an animal): “The day of, I brush the horse, and tell it things that are between him and me. Sometimes I’ll get hit with a wave of sadness, but I’m pretty good at compartmentalizing it away. I brush their tail and cut off a piece which will get braided and labeled and added to a jar I keep by my desk as a memory of those lost. I usually prefer to be alone when the vet comes, and try to schedule it at a time when there are no volunteers or staff that have to watch. I always hold the horse myself when the injection is administered. I feel it’s my responsibility to see it through, and want the horse to have a friend with it when the time comes.”

(136) Rudy May, former Major League pitcher: Money quote (on his first minor league season in 1962): “I got into a little bit of trouble because I was the only black player from the West Coast. I didn’t know that I was not conducting myself as I should have been. For instance, the clubhouse was segregated. The whites were on one side and the blacks were on the other … and I was there a whole week before I realized that. I didn’t know. One of my teammates told me, ‘Why are you going in the front door of the clubhouse? Why are you drinking out of the fountain—you’re not supposed to do that. There’s a bucket in the back for us to drink out of.’”

(132) James Blake, tennis star: Money quote (on why Roger Federer was better): “He showed me that he had an extra gear that I didn’t have. I felt like he did everything I did, but just better. He controlled the court better, served better and played defense better.”

(129) Erin Stern, Ms. Fitness Olympia: Money quote: “I’ve always had a fascination with bodybuilding—the process, the work and the ability to turn your physique into anything you’d like it to be. The environment is different, and appears strange from an outside vantage point, but I see beauty. I would not want to attempt to gain any more muscle, but I appreciate the work that goes into it.”

(125) Ron Kittle, former Major League slugger: Money quote (on breaking his neck in his first-ever minor league game): “I slid across the plate and a high throw came in from right field and the catcher reached off balanced and landed on my neck and shoulders while I was getting up. I just kind of laid there and couldn’t move. No feelings whatsoever. I did not feel any pain—it was more of a lack of motion, After a trip to the hospital, my neck never hurt, but everything else did. After a while I was being treated for shoulder, arm and back issues. I didn’t come back right away, but after the season I was looked at and found they found three crushed vertebrae and a fractured spinal cord. Surgery, the halo and a tough-love father made me want to get stronger.”

(124) Melissa Stockwell, Army veteran, elite parathlete: Money quote (on the aftermath of losing her leg in a bomb explosion in Iraq): “I was happy it was me and not another one of my soldiers because I knew I was strong enough to get through it.”

(114) Brooke Bennett, Olympic swimmer: Money quote (on the grossest thing she’s seen in a pool): “Dead bird, the turd was on the bottom.”

(109) Ellis Valentine, former Major League All-Star: Money quote: “I was working at Avis, driving rental cars from the airport to the parking lot, parking lot to the airport. This was in Phoenix. I needed to know what it was like to have a real job. I didn’t need the money. I had a Mercedes outside. I was the only guy working there like that—even my boss had a Mercedes. People knew who I was. And so I’m driving this big blue 450SEL to a job where I was making $4.25 an hour. And the year before I made almost $400,000 playing Major League Baseball. I needed the humility.”

(105) Steve Trachsel, former Major League pitcher: Money quote: “Winning was why I was there. You spend your entire life trying to get to the Majors and you’re just satisfied with numbers and money? That sucks. If you win and are on a winning team those things naturally come with it. I know as a fan of other sports I watch only to see my team win.”

(104) Jim Fischer, former Delaware cross country and track coach: Money quote: “A talented athlete who is motivated is tough to beat. There are many who are talented who rely on their talent and never reach their potential. The person has to be driven to attain the very top level. The person also has to be resilient to injury and illness. I think some of it is genetic, some of it is training intelligence, and some of it is luck. The person has to be patient. The runner has to develop a sense of training and racing. The athlete also has to have help, developing a training program and receiving support to be able to live, work, and train all at once. I do not think there is a way for everyone to get to the top just by working hard. I do believe that everyone can reach their potential, whatever that is, through hard work and persistence.”

(96) Kevin Mench, former Major League outfielder: Money quote: “It’s hard to get traded. You get into a groove and you’re accustomed to everything and people … teammates. And all of a sudden it’s, ‘Hey, pack your shit and leave. Right now.’ And all of a sudden it finally sets in and you go, ‘Holy shit, what just happened?’”

(92) Katie Hnida, first woman to score in a Division I football game: Money quote: “The boys knew how hard I’d worked and when the chance for redemption came, they bugged my coach to let me get in. It meant a lot and was really indicative of my time at New Mexico. Sometimes I think I am the luckiest girl in the world to have been with such an amazing group of guys. And the kick—in a way, the moment just happened. It was something I had been working towards for so long (literally years), but in the end, it was just a cool part of this unbelievable journey of getting to be a college athlete and do what I love.”

(91)  Pete Babcock, former Atlanta Hawks general manager: Money quote: “I had always believed that character was a huge part of building a team and obtaining J.R. Rider went against everything I believed in. I held several meetings with all our basketball people, including all our coaches, and I printed out hard copies of all J.R.’s previous issues and then read them aloud in each meeting to re-emphasize what we were getting into. For whatever reason (I assume the hangover of getting swept in the playoffs), no one objected to making the move. I even called one of my brothers, Rob, who was with Minnesota and had been with J.R. in his early years … and he said under no circumstances should we get J.R. I shared that with everyone on our staff … but no one voiced an opinion against the trade. The coaches were worried about Steve Smith’s knees going forward and we were told by those we answered to that if J.R. was too big a problem we could waive him. I regret making the deal as we traded Steve Smith for the ‘anti-Steve Smith.’”

(89)  Ryan Semple, Canadian Olympic skier: Money quote (on whether he can ski for fun): “The answer is yes, but it’s complicated. Do I feel like getting all my gear and ripping 21 turns at the nearest mountain with barely any snow? Not particularly. The fact is after having spent so much time in the Rockies and Europe, your standards do change.”

(87) Jim Colletto, former football coach: Money quote (on never having a winning record in 11 college seasons): “Could Bill Parcells, Tom Landry and Chuck Noll have won with the pieces I had? The direct answer is no! The sports media put to much emphasis on just win and losses without knowing the environment you coach in, the talent level of the players you have, the morale in the program and the obstacles you have to overcome.”

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(80) Fred Claire, former Dodgers GM: Money quote (on taking the job following Al Campanis’ Nightline remarks on race and baseball): “Al’s appearance had come after the Dodgers’ opening game of the 1987 season at the Houston Astrodome. Dodger owner Peter O’Malley was in Houston for the series. Two days later Peter called me before boarding a flight with Al to return to Los Angeles. ‘Fred, ‘ he said, ‘you have to take this job. I have asked Al to resign and I need you to take this job. Another call came in almost immediately. It was Al. ‘I wish you could have been with me the other night before I went on the show,’ Al said. I told Al that I only wished that I knew he was going to be on the show because I would have helped him with guidance in any  way that I could. Al’s life and my life had changed but our friendship continued.”

(77)  Dirk Hayhurst, former Major League pitcher: Money quote: “It’s hard to look at guys who have more in common with professional wrestlers than ballplayers and say to yourself, ‘this guy is just a natural specimen.’ Bullcrap. There are so few bulbous, big-headed, mutants occurring naturally that I can’t, with a straight face, see one squeezed into a baseball uniform and say, ‘Oh, that’s just the way God made him.’”

(73) C.J. Nitkowski, Major League pitcher: Money quote: “Testing was a joke but I don’t think there is anything we can do about it now. I understand the speculation with some players, the indicators that a player probably used PEDs. But I also believe that it is unfair to speculate publicly without hard evidence. I believe most guys prior to Jose Canseco speaking out who used got away with it. During the bulk of my Major League time prior to real testing, 1995-2003, I believe a lot of guys probably used. I knew it was going on, considered it myself but ultimately didn’t, but I think I was ignorant to how much it was really happening.”

(72)  Dmitriy Salita, Orthodox Jewish boxer: Money quote: “G-D cares about every detail that happens in the world and certainly about choices that human beings make. Judaism is about discipline and improving oneself. That is most important. As a Jew you’re not supposed to be eating a ham sandwich. Ham is not a proper energy source for your body and soul. You elevate it by not eating it. Life … the world is a domino affect. Every person is responsible for the choices that he makes by improving himself/herself. He helps the world and greed, corruption, famine, etc—all that gets affected as well. So put that ham sandwich down.”

(69)  Doug Glanville, Major League veteran, ESPN commentator: Money quote: “I played in the Cape Cod league and a guy hit a ball in the gap. I slid around the ball to do that cool ‘pop up’ slide-and-throw play. I went right through the fence and got stuck in the wire fence. They had to stop the game to pry my out of the fence.”

(62) Amy Hastings, Olympic distance runner: Money quote: “When it comes down to it 26.2 miles is going to hurt no matter how you slice it! Whether you are out there for two hours or 10 it’s a lot for the body to go through. Marathons are are the great equalizers in that sense because everyone hurts when they cross the line. They create a sense of camaraderie because it feels like you went into battle with every other person out there and whether or not you defeated the 26.2 mile beast, you attempted it and felt its wrath. The 100-mile weeks definitely help me finish faster but both times when I crossed the finish line I was hurting.”

(61) Bev Oden, Olympic volleyball player: Money quote: “The moment is only fleeting for those watching from the couch. For Olympians, that accomplishment is something we take with us forever. It’s not about how much money you can make off of it, or what kind of career you can ride it into. That stuff comes for some, but it is not why most of the athletes are there and why they’ve worked so hard for so many years. It’s about the chance to perform your best against the best in the world. It doesn’t always turn out well, but regardless of the outcome, the experience is its own reward. The motto of the Olympic Committee is ‘Once an Olympian, always an Olympian. Never former, never past.’ We feel that. We live that. It is an exclusive club and I am glad to be a part of it.”

(54) Scott Jurek, America’s top ultra-runner: Money quote: “‘Gliding, thoughtless and euphoric’ is as good a description as I’ve heard of runner’s high and it perfectly describes what I feel. I would add that I feel connected … to myself, to the land, to something outside myself. If that sounds religious, or spiritual, it’s because I believe that running can get you to the same place that prayer, or meditation does. In touch with something that we’re not always aware of.  I don’t just believe in runner’s high, I know it. The more studies are done on neuroplasticity and the brain, the closer scientists are getting to pinpointing the exact mechanism of the runner’s high. It pretty clearly involves dopamine and endorphins and synaptic transmission, but for now, I like the mystery and simplicity of this equation: Running hard=feeling high.”

(52) Shawn Green, former Major League All-Star: Money quote: “It’s amazing how fast you go from being a celebrity to just a person. And that’s good in most ways, but hard in some, too. Fame can be kind of intoxicating. And if you’ve played 10 … 20 years, you’re very used to it. And all of a sudden it no longer matters who you are. You’re out of the game a few years, you’re pretty close to forgotten. I mean, to this generation of kids Michael Jordan is no different than black-and-white images of Mickey Mantle or Babe Ruth. It seems so distant.”

(51) Lenny Krayzelburg, former Olympic swimmer: Money quote (on narrowly missing a medal): “How does a person come to terms with that? I don’t think you ever do. It was too close for me to be forever at peace with not winning a medal. I have always been a realist though and have realized there was nothing I could do. I needed to move forward. I know I gave it my everything and had no regrets. Also, knowing that I had already won three gold medals in previous Olympics did help.”

(46)  Jim Abbott, former Major League pitcher: Money quote: “There were days and weeks when I never even thought about only having one hand. It never entered my experience. Then there were other periods where it was right up front and in my face. Maybe it was a tease or taunt at a playground; maybe a coach trying to exploit something.”

(44) Cord McCoy, rodeo star: Money quote: “There is fear. It’s a dangerous sport. But it’s that fear that keeps you on your toes. You know if you mess up it’s gonna hurt. Your mind is pretty clear because it’s a reaction spot, making every move the bulls makes. It’s exciting, but also a thinking game. The bull is thinking how to bring you down and you are thinking how to stay up. It’s an eight-second fight but the whistle don’t make the bull stop.”

(40) Lennie Friedman, longtime NFL offensive lineman: Money quote: “The Denver Broncos drafted me in 1999 after they won two Super Bowls. John Elway must have seen me coming and decided to retire.”

(37) Mike Sharp, competitive runner and cyclist, accident victim: Money quote (on nearly dying):  “I remember that a nurse reached for my hand to take my pulse and I reached for her hand and she held it all night long until the sun came up. Amazingly, 14 years later, when I told the hospital that I always wanted to thank her, someone in the HR department told me she lived nearby. I looked in old phone books and found the address and went to her house. She and her three daughters were at the door, and I had just had my hand reconstructed. I told her why I was there and that, instead of getting angry at the old man who hit me (and who never apologized to me) I chose to think about her. She reached for my hand and I remembered her touch. It was an incredible feeling.”

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(34)  Tina Thompson, WNBA legend: Money quote: “I feel the question of whether a woman plays in the NBA is no longer relevant. Considering she doesn’t have to now that we have a league of our own in the WNBA. Great debate question 15 years ago, no longer necessary.”

(30) Brian Johnson, longtime Major League catcher, Giants scout: Money quote: “My last day was the last day of a series in Los Angeles. I caught a bullpen for Kevin Brown during batting practice and felt something pop in my knee. I finished up the pen but knew exactly what happened. My eyes welled up as I looked up into the sky then out onto the beauty of Dodger Stadium. I walked into the clubhouse and told the trainer what happened. I told him, ‘I’m done. Please make arrangements for me to go home.’ He wasn’t happy with me. He even told people later that I ‘gave up’ and didn’t try. I guess I can see his perspective. My perspective was that my time had come and gone. It was time for me to step aside so that the next guy could have a chance. I was ready to get to know my wife again, to be an everyday dad to my 1-month-old newborn and to dive into the next adventure that was to come my way.”

(28)  Jack McDowell, 1993 A.L. Cy Young Award winner: Money quote: “It’s 1993—middle of the night flying home from Seattle after a night game. We feel a big jolt and bump and look out the left side of the plane and the engine is on fire. Only a few of us were awake at the time. It seemed like forever before anyone even responded … we were like, ‘Hey, I don’t know much about flying, but the WING’S ON FIRE!’ Finally a flight attendant came back, saw what we saw and immediately reached over and shut the window shade! Like that would make it go away. Then they shut off the left engine and we went with one. Had to land in Kansas City to get a new plane. It was funny to see everyone’s reactions—some crying, praying etc. The truth rears its ugly head.”

(13) Roy Smalley, former Major League shortstop: Money quote (on playing in New York in the 1980s): “George Steinbrenner went through a time then when it seemed he wanted an all-star platoon at every position. I think they really lost any sense of strategic direction for a while—then got it back relatively quickly. I never had any run-ins with George, but the thing that struck me about playing in New York then was this:  As a player anywhere you play you have to deal with one or two of three ‘pressures.’  Either the media is maniacal, or the fans are maniacal or the owner is maniacal. In New York all three were maniacal.”

(11)  Phil Nevin, former Major Leaguer: Money quote (on being drafted before Derek Jeter): “Shit, I’m very proud of the career I had and the things I did. Derek is a friend of mine. I couldn’t be happier for him. Jason Giambi and I grew up together, and he was drafted later in the first round. There were a lot of guys in that draft. The baseball draft is so messed up and complex. The projections for baseball—Major League scouts have the toughest job in the world.”

(9) Karl Mecklenburg, former Denver Broncos Pro Bowler: Money quote: “I’ve had 16 football-related surgeries, including nine knee surgeries and more than a dozen concussions. Some days are better than others. Today some weather came in so my back, neck, and knees are sore. I am 50-years old now, and I find that as I get older it gets harder to ignore the toll of 12 years in the NFL. Many of the long-term effects of football, especially the effects of concussions, are just now coming to light. Trying to add games to the schedule as these medical discoveries are being released is foolishness. How can the NFL tell the public and players they are concerned about safety in the game and then try to add two more games a year?”

(5)  Don McPherson, former Heisman Trophy runner-up: Money quote: “The socialization of boys regarding masculinity is often at the expense of women. I came to realize that we don’t raise boys to be men, we raise them not to be women (or gay men). We teach boys that girls and women are “less than” and that leads to violence by some and silence by many. It’s important for men to stand up to not only stop men’s violence against women but, to teach young men a broader definition of masculinity that includes being empathetic, loving and non-violent.”

(4)  Russ Ortiz, former San Francisco Giants ace: Money quote: “You go from making big checks every two weeks to making no checks. Or, if you have to get a job, getting checks that don’t compare. To put it in perspective, at one point I was making more than $400,000 every two weeks. It’s for six months, but still, c’mon. It’s ridiculous. We’ve been fortunate to have saved wisely, so I don’t have to work. But the adjustment, at least for me, well, I believe for all retired athletes, is the responsibility. You are now in the real world.”

(2)  Chris Burgess, former college and pro basketball player: Money quote: “I remember walking out to the floor at Tropicana Dome, seeing 44,000 basketball fans and feeling overwhelmed. I also remember feeling like a tiny ant. I know that might make sense but I just felt very small and thousands of people staring down at you. I have always been an NCAA basketball nut growing up and to make it and play in the Final Four was surreal. When we lost by three points and the final buzzer went off, it was pure devastation. The NCAA Tourney is such a long journey and it when I realized we had lost it just felt like ‘Man, this was such a long journey and boom, it’s over.’ I think Coach K said it best recently after they lost to Arizona. ‘Look, the tournament is cruel. It’s an abrupt end for everybody.’ That quote right there nails it.”

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Business people:

(378) David Rae, certified financial planner with a focus on the LGBT community: Money quote: “At the very least financial planning for the LGBTQ community is about giving people a comfortable place to bare their deepest and darkest financial secrets. With marriage equality, the LGBT community has access to all the tools that many other married couples still ignore but can use to improve their finances. My specialty is officially ‘friends of the LGBT community’ so clients really can be anyone. I have built quite a diverse client base across race, religion, sexual orientation and gender.”

(290) Reggie Williams, CEO: Money quote: “We get caught up in beliefs about groups of people, but those beliefs often fade, or are at least subordinated, when two individuals come face to face. There’s a reason why common ice breakers when people first meet are conversations about the weather, sports, kids, jobs and, sometimes politics. Those are things to which, whether we agree or disagree, many of us can relate.”

(285) James Hoffmann, head of Square Mile Coffee Rosters: Money quote: “My feelings about Starbucks somewhat mirror my feelings about the USA. I should explain … I love the US, it is one of my favorite countries on Earth, I love visiting and spending time there. There are so many amazing things, incredible people, opportunities and institutions. However, I can’t deny that I’m horrified by a lot in the US too. The healthcare system, industrialized food and the obesity epidemic tied to it, income inequality, gun violence, workers rights (things like a lack of real maternity leave blows my mind) – all of these things upset me and I hate them. So, I both love and hate the US. I feel the same about Starbucks.”

(275) Matt Webb, firearms/gear distributor: Money quote: “My thoughts on the NRA are that it is far too stodgy and inflexible. As a responsible firearm owner, I feel like both sides (pro and anti-gun) need to look at options to make our country safer. I think the NRA falsely represents a “redneck” stance that does not embody all firearm owners. I, for one, am in support of waiting periods and background checks in every state. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to require a test and a license to own a firearm. We do it with a car, so I have no problem with that concept and feel that it should be a part of firearm ownership.” 

(257) Mark Barden, brand consultant: Money quote: “It was the lack of water in the Israeli desert that forced the invention of drip irrigation, and wars with their neighbors that forced the same Israeli farmers to export their abundance to Europeans—who paid them higher prices. It was the lack of natural resources on the island of Taiwan that forced the government to develop human capital through education, creating one of the most affluent countries on earth. And it was the imposition of a time constraint—the shot clock—that made the modern NBA into the high-energy run-and-gun game of today. These stories of “beautiful constraints” are everywhere, and yet most people, if asked, would prefer to not be constrained.”

(116)  Daymond John, FUBU founder: Money quote: “Little do many people know my stepdad was a Jewish white man. ‘Us’ has never been that. I created FUBU because Timberland made a lot of negative comments and many other designers did about not wanting a different color or segment of the market to wear their clothes and I would never create a company of the same prejudice that made me feel alienated. So ‘Us’ was about the hip-hop culture. It was about kids, black, white, yellow, whether living in Germany, Japan or America, who all loved Run DMC.”

(97)  Ron Shaich, Panera founder: Money quote (on whether he ever gets sick of bread): “No! Do you ever think you are sick of words?”

(67) Brandon Steiner, memorabilia dealer: Money quote: “Reggie Jackson can be a little rough sometimes with people but he is an amazing person in more ways than not, and has had an amazing life and career. People should focus on that and not get caught up in the 30 seconds of meeting a player and hoping it was warm and fuzzy. Reggie is incredibly smart—he knows more about the history of baseball than almost anyone I have met. And he’s donated a bunch of money and time to the two group homes I support in White Plains. Well, I’m biased—I love the guy. But the fact is that he’s done too many great things for them to be outweighed by some isolated incidents that have people perceiving him negatively.”

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(389) Michael Moodian, Brandman professor: Money quote: “My mind tends to travel very quickly, often remembering different things by association. For example, I am a fanatical L.A. Rams fan who has season tickets to home games at Memorial Coliseum. Team representatives keep calling me trying to persuade me to buy seat licenses for the new stadium in Inglewood. My wife’s aunt Mary Beth was human resources director for the City of Inglewood for a short time. Mary Beth used to live in Portland, which happens to be home of one of my favorite bookstores, Powell’s Books. When I last visited Powell’s, they had an entire section composed of work written by Noam Chomsky, the famous MIT linguist and activist. Chomsky gave the keynote address at a globalization conference I spoke at five years ago at UC Santa Barbara. The City of Santa Barbara has a small aquarium that my toddler loves. The aquarium houses some cool starfish, so does the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, which my family and I like to go to each October around Halloween for a kids event they put together. This process goes on and on. My mind ventures through these various associations. As I result, I can sometimes be socially awkward when I talk to people because I bring up random things. It’s just how my brain works. My wife can talk about a trip to Buenos Aires we took once, and I can start discussing Golden Spoon frozen yogurt moments later. This goes on and on. My mind works by rapidly connecting things.”

(321) Catherine Pearlman, The Family Coach: Money quote: “Our son will not have access to anything and everything on the Internet from his phone. He will have restrictions and parental controls. Also, even if our son watched a Nazi or ISIS recruiting videos he isn’t going to become a terrorist. I feel confident on this one.”

(320) Jamal Greene, Columbia Law Professor: Money quote: “I am less worried about the Administration itself than what Trump’s election says about American democracy. Although many of the specific actions Trump has taken were not predictable, his intellect, his temperament, his history of scams and failures, his mendacity, his sexism and racism, and his generally sociopathic disposition were all well-known at the time of his election. He beat a distinguished (if boring) public servant. Any nation whose electoral process can legitimately elect Trump under those circumstances is one whose politics are broken at the core. We will survive Trump—I doubt he serves a full term—but someone like Trump, or worse, is in our future unless we become less polarized and fractured as a people. We have actually gotten lucky that Trump is incompetent. Our luck may run out with the next demagogic candidate. I am not optimistic.”

(282) Cam Adair, video game addiction counselor: Money quote: “I believe there are similarities between all addictions, but one of the ways video game addiction is unique is that people start playing at a very early age—as young as 2-to– years old. So by the time they are coming out of high school and entering university, it has been the central force in their life, and because of it, they likely have not developed other hobbies or the intangible skills (independence, spontaneity, social skills, amongst others) that you develop when you’re forced to go outside and play.”

(269) Denny Pettway, former marine and behavior specialist: Money quote: “Our political leaders use military members the way a 22-year old would use a Mustang GT rental car. They do not appreciate the troops and they certainly do not have their best interests at heart. I’d have to say “mainly used as a pawn for political bullshit” doesn’t really capture the essence of how shitty these people are. As with everything else they do, they have special interest groups and their own financial gain in mind when they make any decisions, especially when it comes to the military. They know a vast majority of kids join in order to pull themselves into the bottom of the middle class. I was no different.”

(226) Sean McEvoy, quarterback coach: Money quote: “Sports have undoubtedly become more competitive than ever and I also am concerned with the effect of putting too much pressure too early on kids. It is imperative that kids are able to have fun, try different sports, learn in a nurturing environment and decide what interests them. The key is finding a balance where private coaching can complement and enhance this environment instead of being mutually exclusive.”

(165) Raymond Najjar, Penn State professor of oceanography: Money quote: “More flooding is going to be the main impact to humans and ecosystems along the coast. Sea level is rising now on average by more than an inch per decade and the rate is increasing. It doesn’t sound like much but by the end of this century we are looking at an additional few feet, which will have a big effect, especially on low-lying areas. Direct effects of warming are also a concern. If we continue the current trend in greenhouse gas emissions, a coastal region like the New York City Tri-State area will experience summers by the end of this century similar to summers now in southern South Carolina. That’s a huge change for people and ecosystems to handle.”

(150) Professor David Leonard: Money quote: “White people have always felt comfortable using the word – power and privilege will do that.  Obviously the history of the word, and its relationship to slavery, Jim Crow, and the normalization of racial terror demonstrate a history of comfort using the word.  Clearly the history of minstrelsy, of blackface, of white mocking of blackness that exists in the white imagination, shows that this is nothing new.”

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(403) Goddess Kitty, online financial dominant: Money quote: “I’m weird, I guess, but I’ve always been incredibly open about My love for sex and sex work with My husband. It’s not something that has ever been awkward, because it’s been there from the beginning. Had he been a bit more prudish, it never would’ve worked out. You see, I think sex is one of the most important parts of a relationship. Attraction, desire. And I knew, prior to ever even meeting My husband, that I wasn’t going to settle for a relationship in which I wasn’t sexually fulfilled, which, for me, includes this particular portion of My life. When you know exactly what you want out of a relationship going in, and can express that clearly, it’s much more likely to last. I understand that sexual conversations with our partners, of any level, can be difficult to have, but the amount of trouble we save ourselves is worth it.”

(398) Erin Carroll, professionally naked optimist: Money quote: “My exit from the church was related to sexuality—my sister came out to me as bisexual when we were 12 and I parroted to her the, ‘I love you, I just don’t love your lifestyle’ schlock. It didn’t sit right with me as I said it. I knew my sister was a good person and I didn’t understand why I was expected to be upset. After thinking about it for a while, I concluded it didn’t make any sense and I started poking holes in everything. I figured out that being an openly sexual person doesn’t make me a bad person, and started exploring that.”

(387) Christy Berrie, sexual content wizard: Money quote: “Growing up, I quickly learned there was no way I’d manipulate or get one past my mother. I was very much a “daddy’s girl” and got what I wanted from him each and every time. I don’t think that’s surprising as that’s how many girls are with their father. But as I got a bit older, into my teenage years, I quickly learned that many men would do silly things, even dangerous things for a woman’s attention. For instance, in high school I hated history class almost as much as I hated the teacher. But I saw right through him. I knew that years earlier he had an affair with a student so I knew there had to be some way I could pass my class with very little effort. Instead of sleeping with the old pervert, I remembered he complimented a shirt I was wearing on day after class. It was nothing special, just a plain, low cut v-neck T-shirt. I knew exactly why he liked it! So, all it took was v-necks and a desk close to his. I wasn’t even exceptionally nice to him, but he couldn’t keep his eyes off of 18-year-old breasts. I couldn’t care less about watching videos on The Cold War or memorizing the order of our presidents, but that was an easy A class that year. My friends thought that was pretty naughty, but I always thought that was a harmless use of my sexuality.”

(359) Syren Rayna, trained hypnodomme: Money quote: “Hypnosis is very real. The way it works is often misunderstood. The idea is usually to remove the obstacles that is preventing a person from doing a thing they want to do. Woman wants to lose weight but won’t stop binging on treats at night. Ask her conscious mind why and she might tell you she doesn’t know she just craves it. Ask her subconscious mind why and you might find out that she is actually petrified of needing to deal with a ton of male advancements if she loses the weight that is keeping her safe. Well now you have a place to work. But that is not the arena we are working with.”

(339) Madam Violet, British hypno domme: Money quote: “I have known for a long time that men will do anything. If you give them the slightest hint (breasts) they may be in with a chance. In my experience men are easy to persuade, so why not persuade a rich man to give me one million in one go? So when my marriage ended the two beliefs kind of merged. I suddenly had this heartbreak, and then ‘fuck it’ mentality. I didn’t know how, but I knew I was going to use my wily, sexy ways to get me some bank, and have a shitload of fun doing it. Having been monogamous forever it seemed, I wanted sex, and I wanted money, and travel, and frivolity. I wasted a lot of time in a shit marriage so now it would be about me.”

(332) Goddess Alexa, Face Sitting Queen: Money quote: “I’m pretty petite but I’ve always had a nice and plumper-than-average booty. My butt has literally been recognized by strangers as I’ve walked off an elevator, walked by in a restaurant, and in videos without them seeing my face first. So being so petite, having the nice butt and coming off nonchalant because I do it so effortlessly, lol … I grew a fanbase pretty quickly of normal fans, producers and models alike. I’ve given tips and advice to men who wish to have their wives/girlfriends do it to them, producers to tell their models. People would just watch my videos, enjoy it, talk about it … and eventually I just started getting called the ‘Face Sitting Queen’ and being introduced to other models and producers like, ‘This is Alexa, the Face Sitting Queen.'”

(317) Dirk Hooper, fetish photographer: Money quote: “I’ve worked with escorts, strippers, dominatrix, xxx performers, and plenty of kinky amateurs. I can tell you in almost every case that the personal branding you see is a highly-massaged version, or outright totally different, than what those people are like in real life. They have kids, health problems, relationship challenges, money issues and everything else that your barista at Starbucks, or your doctor has. And yes, often we often talk about that stuff during breaks between spanking submissives and tying genitals in a neat little bow.”

(305) Lady Valencia, Los Angeles-based dominatrix: Money quote: “Yes, I love making lots of money. Who doesn’t? That isn’t the reason I got into it though. I have plenty of money from working my ass off all of these years in different sex worker fields. I love humiliating men and am a true sadist (I enjoy physically hurting men or making them hurt themselves). I crave the feeling of power and am dominate in my everyday life.”

(287) Jadah Cortez, hypnodomme: Money quote: “I’m the woman you walk by and crash into a pole due to captivation. The woman who can break you apart with a glance, but somehow always knows how to piece you together even better than before. The one who knows your weaknesses and has fun pulling at your heart strings. The woman every good boy needs in his life.”

(284) Jappy Princess, Jewish phone sex practitioner: Money quote: “When I get a caller that’s not engaging, I let him know he’s totally fucking boring me, and that I’m barely paying attention. The type of caller I get eats that up. That’s what’s so fun about calling me, I’m really honest and super bitchy.”

(267) Cathy Venus, phone hypnotist: Money quote: “Men are the same as women. Men are actually just more vocal about their sexual frustrations perhaps. One thing I can tell you is, I have lots of online experience with men who long to be, or even pretend to be, women. And some of them are very feminine and quite convincing! There really is little difference.”

(243): Maggie McNeill, prostitute/blogger: Money quote: “I ask gentlemen who approach me for references, meaning I want the names and email addresses and/or phone numbers of other ladies he’s seen so I can call and ask them what he was like – is he nice and respectful, or will he try to push my boundaries? Is he generous, or will he try to haggle? Is he prompt, hard to deal with, courteous, rough, or what? Most importantly, is he a cop? Because the majority of the danger in my line of work isn’t from clients, good or bad; it’s from cops, who even when they don’t arrest and cage us may rape, rob or extort us, or worse. Most normal guys try to be on their best behavior when visiting sex workers because they know we’ll give them bad references if they aren’t. As for stuff like poor hygiene, that is unpleasant when it happens and I’d definitely mention it if another lady called me for a referral, but it isn’t that common and it isn’t really as repulsive as bad manners, rudeness, roughness, cheapness, etc.”

(185) Glitter Goddess, pro dome: Money quote: “I got this message on Niteflirt from someone inquiring about doing a call with me: ‘Can we do a call where you are a cake baker, and I am a powerful and famous food critic? You are furious because I wrote a review for your carrot cake in the New York Times saying it was too dry and lacking hearty texture. So you kidnap me and smoosh a carrot cake with your butt, and then sit on my face with your cakey butt and make me eat the carrot cake and yummy white frosting out of your gorgeous ass. All until the forced cake feeding makes me admit that the cake is delicious and the review was a lie because I was paid off by your rival French cook, Lisette.’”

(151) Sydney Screams full-figured fetish model: Money quote: “When I first told my mom that I went to a nudist resort, she was embarrassed for me. It wasn’t the idea of being surrounded by naked people, it was the idea that I didn’t have a bone in my body that I felt I should be ashamed of. My mom actually still reminds me of my words to her when I told her about going to a nudist resort: ‘Mom, you’re more uncomfortable in my body than I am.”’That’s the thing though—this is my body, and I’d rather be happy in my skin than not. Sure, there are things I’d like to change (hello, perky tits that I can rest a plate on and a more round ass …), but those aren’t things that I particularly care enough about to rush out and get changed with surgery.”

(33) Jenny DeMilo, professional escort: Money quote: “I don’t pee on people because I’m pee shy. I might pee in a cup and pour it over someone’s head but peeing on someone? I just can’t make it happen.”

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(395) Brian Riedl, Manhattan Institute senior fellow and former Rubio ’16 adviser: Money quote: “Climate change rates low as a voter priority, and support for a carbon tax collapses when poll respondents are told the cost to their household. For conservatives, the case for global warming action has been undermined by hysterics like Al Gore, who regularly make doomsday predictions that never come true. But I think the more common conservative viewpoint is that global warming is real – but the common liberal policies to combat it would impose an enormous economic burden while making almost no difference on long-term temperatures. The developing world is projected to account for nearly 80% of all CO emissions this century. Yet the Paris climate agreement basically left China, India, and the rest of the world on the same emissions path they were already on. So America made an enormous pledge to reduce its emissions – at a huge cost to incomes and jobs – and yet projected global warming by 2100 was not even significantly altered because the rest of the world’s promises were so weak. If we’re going to grind the U.S. economy to a halt, let’s at least be sure the sacrifices matter to global temperatures. In the meantime, we can keep investing in renewable technologies to transition our energy economy without killing growth.”

(383) Tiffany Ackley, Aliso Viejo (Cal) city councilwoman: Money quote: “For the most part the Aliso Viejo race was tame. I was anonymously attacked several times—for example, someone told me I was a bad mother because I was running for office. I was also attacked online by a prominent figure in Aliso Viejo who invented allegations about me. I was attacked anonymously on Twitter. There were mass emails trying to scare conservatives out of voting for me (comparing me to Elizabeth Warren). I had signs stolen. But these are pretty tame, especially considering how bad things can get in places like Irvine.”

(368) Jeffrey Pearlman, New York State’s director of the authorities budget office: Money quote: “I’m content with our name. I feel like a Jeff. I’ve never met a Jeffrey that I didn’t want to learn something from. Pearlman is a pretty easy name to say and hear so there’s little confusion despite the many spellings, Perelman, Perlman, etc. In middle school my classmate, actor and comedian, Adam Ferrara would sing our last name at the top of his lungs to the Blues Brothers tune of Soul Man. I’m a Pearl Man, nah nah nah nah nah nah, I’m a Pearl Man! When that wore out he moved on to the Allman’s, Ramblin’ Man. Always a treat. In college I was Jeep Jeff because I owned an ‘84 CJ-7. In law school I was Pearl Jam. Also, we live in a Jeffrocentric world.”

(361) Walt Maddox, Tuscaloosa mayor and Alabama Democratic gubernatorial candidate: Money quote: “There is President Donald Trump, and then there is the idea of President Donald Trump. I believe the idea of a person who would fight for the ‘little man’ and shake things up was very appealing across America, including Alabama. The idea of Donald Trump is still popular, but even amongst his most ardent supporters you are seeing weariness because the issues are compounding. I believe the Trump phenomena will continue to slowly fade due to the cumulative effects of his behavior.”

(357) Ken Shetter, Mayor of Burleson, Texas: Money quote: “I think I’ve been successful in my campaigns for two reasons. First, the city has thrived during the time that I’ve been mayor. We have doubled in size, our economy has been remarkably strong, and we’ve focused on quality of life. Second, when you govern in a nonpartisan context, you have the luxury of just arguing the merits of an idea or a platform, without getting bogged down in partisan BS. In fact, when some have tried to introduce that as part of the conversation or debate, I think it has generally backfired—turns out people like nonpartisan government. Also, it doesn’t hurt that I’m a hometown boy—it’s harder to despise someone you’ve known since they were in diapers.”

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(350) Dayna Steele, Texas congressional candidate: Money quote: “What you do is state your position and your solution. You find like-minded individuals and you get the word out. Texas isn’t as red and as redneck as people are led to believe. What we are is a ‘do not get out and vote’ state. That is changing. According to a Gallup poll just last week, Texas is not longer red and is back in play for elections. This year.”

(334) Justin Kanew, Tennessee congressional candidate: Money quote: “I’m not running against Donald Trump. Do I agree with him on everything? Of course not. But would I love to see him succeed and do right by this country. That’s a resounding yes. I’m not out there calling for his impeachment, which may put me in the minority in the party—I think we need to see where the various investigations go and then see where we are, and if we’re going that route there better be a smoking gun, because if the evidence isn’t inarguable we’re going to have a real problem on our hands in terms of almost half the country losing faith in the system, and possibly reacting violently. I’m truly afraid of that.”

(328) Paul O’Brien, gay conservative Christian activist: Money quote: “As far as Sandy Hook, I lived in Connecticut and one of my friends went to college with the mother of a child killed. So I never bought into any conspiracy theories regarding it being a hoax. What I did hear about, and believe could be true, was that crisis actors may have been used by the government and the media to take advantage of the tragedies to influence gun laws. There are websites, videos and articles discussing men and women who seem to appear in every tragedy like Sandy Hook, Boston, Orlando, etc. Now as far as taking a political stance and agreeing or disagreeing, I do that every day. I don’t believe my taste in media reflects the opposite of that. But as strongly as you feel about Infowars, I feel about CNN, who was caught rigging a debate in favor of one candidate, or New York Times, who our own intelligence called out as fake news.”

(315) Nikolas Wildstar, California gubernatorial candidate: Money quote: “Looking at the complete roster with all the candidates, I’m without a doubt the strongest one running in the race if you know of me and what I’m about. Most voters haphazardly make their selections by name recognition. With that in mind, seeing a name like “Nickolas Wildstar” on the ballot will attract votes on its own. Winning in the June primary would be all that I’d need to solidify becoming governor, and with another historically low voter turnout expected I wouldn’t need more than maybe 750,000 votes to do this.”

(259) Johnny Premier, vocal Donald Trump supporter: Money quote: “I think the American people find Trump refreshing. It’s amazing to think about, but Jeb Bush was at one point the favorite to be the GOP nominee. I don’t think enough is made of that fact. The guy who finished fifth or sixth in the early primaries was once the favorite. Talk about your establishment candidate, with the family name, the big money donors, and the support of the party.”

(248) Jeff Perlman, former Delray Beach mayor: Money quote: “Yes there are meetings after meetings and chicken dinner after chicken dinner and stress beyond belief, but serving a city that you truly love is also an amazing experience and a great honor and responsibility. It is beyond cool.”

(200) Michael Dukakis, 1984 Democratic presidential nominee: Money quote: “My life is not better having lost. I’m happy Kitty and I … Christ, I’m 81, I feel 21. My wife is 78, and I keep introducing her as the best-looking Medicare recipient in America. And we’ve had a great life since. But there’s nothing like being the president of the United States, and having that kind of opportunity. And as I say to people, “I owe you all an apology. Hell, if I’d beaten Bush I you would have never had a Bush II.”

(171) Kevin Broughton, Tea Party official: Money quote (on Tea Party beliefs): “What we stand for is personal freedom, economic freedom and a debt-free future for future generations. We think spending is out of control. A lot of us think this country is headed toward European-style socialism, and that’s scary.”

(102) Laura Emberton Owens, former secretary of education for the state of Kentucky (on her most embarrassing moment as a teacher): “One that stands out still brings a chuckle, mostly because I am still so embarrassed.Taking for granted my usual surroundings in the restroom, it took me a moment to notice there was something a little different. In the corner was a snake coiled with its head pointed right in my direction. Taking no time to investigate, I ran into the crowded hall with my pants still at my knees. While I am all for being the center of attention, this isn’t what I usually had in mind.”

(48) Linda Ensor, Tea Party activist: Money quote: “Hope and change? We lived in the most amazing country in the history of the world, so what was it people wanted to change? It turns out that the dreams of Obama’s father were of a creating a nightmare in America; since we have so much more than other people in the world, he must level it to the third-world countries so that we too will suffer higher unemployment, a shocking number of people on welfare and food stamps, a government takeover of banking, insurance, the auto industry, etc. I don’t like any of this, and by extension, I don’t like the person at the top, no matter what he/she is.”

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Uniquely Assholic:

(255) Tomi Lahren, crazy political entertainer: Money quote: “Here’s the thing: folks are tired of having so much to say and no place to say it. Twitter gives them the instant gratification of putting the “asshole” in his place. Also, the right-of-center folks are tired of liberals bashing their conservative outlets, especially Fox News. They have some kind of duty to protect their conservative warriors. I have my share of haters but more than that, my loving followers. It’s a blessing and a curse. I had a horrible day at work today, I Instagramed it and my followers made me feel better. That’s something.”

(168) Joseph Nicolosi, gay conversion practitioner: Money quote: “There is no such thing as gay. ‘Gay’ is a popular cultural mythology. Except in very rare medical cases, our bodies have been designed for the opposite sex. This means everyone is designed for heterosexuality. But some heterosexuals have a homosexual problem. Given the fact that you are a heterosexual with a homosexual problem, it’s your choice if you want to participate in the popular cultural myth that you are ‘gay.’ If that’s your wish, I wouldn’t interfere with your lifestyle, nor would I be disrespectful of your right to your own view.  But here, I would remind people who disagree with what I say: ‘Diversity includes me.’”

(55) Rocky Suhayda, chairman of American Nazi Party: Money quote: “It doesn’t matter to me personally what you ‘worship’—personally, I’m an agnostic. What we are against are people who do harm to our people. Why Jews then? OK, it’s like this—look at all these Wall Street Banksters. How many of them are Jews? It’s the same throughout the entire financial sector—private or government. We are determined to pry these Jewish fingers, with their interest-slavery usury, from our people’s economic life! Per the average Jewish guy, who owns a deli, or is a dentist—unless they actively support what we call the ‘Jewish Power Structure,’ or are actively against our efforts—we have no problems with them. Believe it or not, we have had people self-describing themselves as ‘Jews,’ contact us and state that they agree with pretty much everything we’re saying, but they obviously can’t join because they are ‘Jews.’ Too bad they had to bring it up—if they were sincere in fighting Judeo-Capitalism they could have been of use.”

(23) Dan Riehl, conservative blogger: Money quote: “I’ve looked at the arguments from both sides and I am unconcerned. If global warming troubles you so much, by some shorts and T-shirts and keep the sun off your head. I’d hate to see the rest of your brain cells melt.”

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Eclectically Undefined:

(400) Casey Pearlman, my daughter: Money quote: “I remember waiting on the line saying, “I can do it.” Then we were at the front and I thought, ‘I can’t do it.’ But being the father you are the bribe went from one game to one game and a soda, to two games, an ice cream and a soda. I could not stop crying. The ladies behind us were like, ‘Are you OK? Do you need to get off?’ I went on, and it was great. And I got three games, a soda and an ice cream.”

(399) Emmett Pearlman, my son: Money quote: “Most people my age that go on the Internet are just playing games or watching YouTube. Yes, you do have access to pretty much anything. But if it’s taking something pretty much everyone has, it’s not special. You can do what you want, but if you handle that power smartly, it’s not bad. If people are responsible … it’s not your fault, as a parent, for letting them use it. It’s entirely the child’s responsibility. I mean, it depends on age. At my age, you know what you can search and what you can’t. But if they’re under the age of 10, it’s different. At some point people need to be more trusting.”

(396) Jeff Capo, professional wrestling referee: Money quote: “Wrestling is entertainment, so there is always a suspension of belief. Just like going to the movies, the stuff on the screen isn’t real. It’s a form of escape we use.”

(394) Alisa Colley, veteran Hollywood camera assistant: Money quote: “I did the New York unit of a movie called Self/less with Ryan Reynolds in 2014. [Donald Trump] rented out his apartment to be used as the location of Ben Kingsley’s character‘s home. You can make a lot of money renting out your home to movie shoots. However, it means 50-100 people with more equipment than you can imagine occupy your house. His house was as tacky as you can imagine. And filled with fake artwork. The locations department preps the locations before we get there and they would have never left priceless artwork on the wall. Trump, of course, claims it’s the real thing. A little bit of cardboard protecting a priceless painting? Oh, come on. He was there, but I didn’t meet him. I’ve worked with several people who have the bad luck to work with him or have contact with him. I’ve never heard anything redeeming. I’ve heard enough personal stories to believe all the ones we hear on the news.”

(393) Jeffrey Mora, Former Los Angeles Lakers chef: Money quote: “I would say what is unique is the fact that food and nutrition is directly related to performance and recovery on that level. Most athletes these days have their own chef and nutritionist . Each individual is unique in his own way. What one body needs is not the same as another. Caloric intake on a daily basis changes from day to day. Game day as opposed to training days. The real key and what makes it unique for me, and what the real challenge was, was to incorporate their needs into foods that they liked and wanted to eat.”

(391) Mike Brennan, visual artist and painter of dogs: Money quote: “I think some people are born with more of a natural ability, so it might come easier for them. But I believe it’s a learned skill. If you put in hours and hours you will get better and better like anything else. Someone might be better at color theory and usage, while someone else might be more skilled at technical and precise type of drawing. We are  drawn to certain types of art because of our experiences. And then we invest more time practicing and learning and growing because of that interest.”

(377) Adrianne Curry, former “America’s Next Top Model” winner: Money quote: “I never belonged in that world. I’d be scolded because I refused to ‘play the game.’ I wouldn’t date famous people to climb the ladder after my divorce. I think only narcissists and sociopaths can truly make it in entertainment. You have to be willing to do what it takes, and many times that is crushing your opposition. Just like a CEO of a company, a certain lack of empathy for your fellow man is needed. I didn’t have that and my lackluster career reflects it. I did start to get tainted with the fame disease, but I have been to a lot of therapy. I made sure I didn’t fall victim.”

(373) Lara Fowler, film researcher and author of Marion Davies biography: Money quote: “The goal is to restore Marion Davies’ reputation from the Citizen Kane realm and back to her rightful place in film history. I’ve been lucky to be able to talk to many important people in Marion’s life–people tell me you make your own luck, but the fact that multiple important people are still alive, some pushing 100 years old, really is pure chance. I’ve been able to talk about Marion at Hearst Castle, the Annenberg Community Beach House, UCLA, and at the TCM Classic Film Festival, and my research has taken me all over the world. It’s a wild adventure and she’s brought me so much joy. I couldn’t have chosen a better subject, and she’s such a pleasant person to write about. Everyone loved her. Biographers have to live with their subjects 24/7, and she’s just such a positive ‘presence.’”

(369) Kyle Aletter Oldham, former Price is Right model, makeup saleswoman, daughter of Catwoman. Money quote: “My sister and I were very lucky to have two extremely normal parents. We grew up in the northwest part of the San Fernando Valley … far, far away from Hollywood or Beverly Hills. Still in the same house. If they were both working? Gramma (THE general) wouldn’t take any of my sister’s or my whining—ever. Dad worked on probably every show in the 1960s, 70s, 80s and a few in the 90s. Mom, of course, had Barnaby Jones and that’s when I started to get the whole “Hollywood” thing. Kids at junior high up the street wondered why I came all the way to the Valley to go to school. People assume a lot. During Barnaby? Mom drove a Dodge Dart. That’s what you can take away from my famous parents. That car? Became my first car. And I loved it. No pretense on possibly getting a fancy car … why would I? Mom drove it!”

(364) The Postal Worker: An anonymous man who slings mail: Money quote: “I personally was annoyed at the term ‘going postal’ because I think it shed a negative light on the many great people who go to work every day and do a great job. For all of us to be associated to some degree with a few unstable people … I always thought was a bit unfair. I think the term came about because of one of the first mass shootings was a postal worker in Edmund, OK many years ago. I think there are many professions that can be very stressful, all for different reasons.”

(363) Tess Stone, transgender horror comic book artist: Money quote: “I was in the closet for a pretty long time. When I dig back into my past, I realize it’s been something I’ve wanted since my teens but had no way of knowing what my feelings meant, or if they had any validity. I pushed it aside until I was 30, and it really wasn’t until one of my friends started his own journey that I was really forced to look at myself. I’m lucky to have some really great friends who really encouraged me, some of them pioneering the way for me, and offering their advice and support. I don’t know how else to say it, but it was so buried that I didn’t realize I was trans until several tearful conversations with my friends drug out every thought and every fear I never wanted to say, even to myself, and it clicked. I made an appointment for hormonal therapy, and it suddenly was the clearest, easiest decision in my life. I woke up already feeling like something massive was lifted off my shoulders.”

(362) Jordan Williams, my just-graduated-high school nephew: Money quote: “When I look at the world today I am definitely greeted by feelings of both optimism and pessimism. On one hand, I am vehemently against our current president, his ideas, and the path he is leading this country down along. I’m scared for my future because of the rapid changes in our environment and what these changes mean for my generation. But at the same time, I couldn’t be more hopeful for my future. I am about to graduate high school and go to my number one choice college, NYU, in the greatest city in the world. I know I have a bright future ahead of me and I have hope that my generation will be the one to finally do something that will change the tide in our war against climate change, not because I think my generation is superior but because it will be a necessity. I’ve seen the predictions of the state of the world 50 years down the line if we continue on the path we’re on and I know that my generation will not be content to live that way.”

(360) Jamie Altman, graduating Chapman University senior: Money quote: “I’m scared as hell. You only get one shot at this, and odds are it won’t go the way you want it to. I got lucky, and I landed my first-choice job in my favorite city and I’m living with my aunt, who is my best friend. But even so, I’m a mess. I’m breaking out, I’ve got dandruff, my hair falls out in the shower. As excited as I am, my life is drastically changing, and that freaks me out. But it means it’s important, and it’s especially important today, with all that crap going on that you mentioned before. It’s easy to get down and feel frustrated and helpless when we lose net neutrality, or DACA gets repealed—or whatever. Sometimes I can’t even read the news because it depresses me too much. But when something makes you anxious or scared, it means it’s important.”

(345) Ryan Claringbole, librarian: Money quote: “Libraries have been adjusting throughout their existence. A few years ago, back when I was in grad school, I read the book Clerk’s Tale: Young Men and Moral Life in Nineteenth-Century America (it’s actually an interesting book, I promise). It was a nonfiction book about young men who grew up on farms and in smaller villages and moved to the big city to pursue the American dream and ended up working as clerks. There was a section in the book about public libraries. It was a place where these young clerks and others came to learn, but more importantly, came to talk to one another about philosophy, politics, history, whatever was on their mind. It was the place they would go to to hear people lecture on topics or do an author reading. What I’m getting at is it wasn’t a place of silence. It was nosy. It was a place for people to come and share ideas. Sometime in the mid 20th century libraries changed and became a place of silence. It was when the shushing librarian stereotype was born. In the late 20th century libraries started embracing technology more and provided PCs and dial-up service for their patrons to access the Internet. During this time they also helped people set up their first email accounts.”

(343) Diane Piazarro: Hawaiian real estate agent: Money quote: “I’m on the phone with my brother in LA. He’s talking but his voice suddenly goes dead and the alert starts blaring through my phone. I pull the phone away from my ear to look at the text, and see the emergency alert, BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER and the haunting words, THIS NOT A DRILL. The message disappears, and my brother’s voice comes back on. He’s still talking. I interrupt him, my voice shaking and starting to crack. ‘Adam, oh my god I just got an alert on my phone about a nuclear attack.'”

(336) Don Cormier, personal trainer: Money quote: “My mom is a minister so I grew up in church but once I got to college that’s where I had lost my disconnection. I started going to the gym, (mind you, at the time I was completely broke so I was sneaking into the gym because I couldn’t afford a membership. Lord forgive me, I was just determined). I became fascinated with exercising, so I started thinking of careers I could do where exercise was involved. Personal training was what I wanted to do, but everyone told me working in physical therapy would be better job security. I did my research and decided to jump into the world of physical therapy. I was able to learn from some amazing doctors not only in regards to exercise but how to be an overall professional. After working in the physical therapy field for three years I decided to follow my heart and pursue my personal training career.”

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(323)  David Siegel, firefighter: Money quote: “I saved a baby’s life. A 3-month old baby was born with brain-fluid issues and had suffered seizures. It already had surgery to address this when the mother called 911 to report another seizure. There was definitely something wrong with the baby. However, I took a closer look and realized there was something ‘off’ from a typical seizure. I tried ventilating the baby and immediately the baby spit out a plug of milk, took a deep breath and the crying began in earnest. The baby was choking on vomited milk … not a seizure. Because of the recent seizure and surgery history, the mother had tunnel vision. However, I kept my eyes and mind open and remembered an old adage, ‘Nothing is as it seems.’ If I hadn’t cleared the airway, that baby would have choked to death.”

(310) Kim Lionetti, literary agent: Money quote: “My worst experience with an author was when I was still working as an editor. One of the more successful books I worked on was written by a misogynist pig. He was horribly condescending and made his publicist cry at one point. It came time to decide if we’d buy more books from him. I told my publisher I thought life was too short to keep dealing with a guy like this. And while she agreed he was despicable, she said I had to offer on his next book. I get it. It was just good business sense. But at that moment, agenting became much more attractive to me, because at least then I’d be directly compensated (in the form of commission) for the success of jerks like him and ultimately I’d have the power to say goodbye if I didn’t want to deal with him anymore.”

(308) Ryan Stoodley, Marine with brain tumor: Money quote: “After a long day of tests and feeling miserable, this doctor walks into the room and kicks out anyone besides family. He then says, ;You have a cloudy spot on your brain.’ And without skipping a beat, because I knew it was bad but I wanted to keep the room in good spirits, I said, ‘That’s OK. That’s just excess knowledge. I’m smarter than you guys.’ And then the doctor responded with, ‘That’s not funny. It’s either an infarct, a tumor or a stroke.’

(303) Maria Scrivan, syndicated cartoonist: Money quote: “As far as a shift in mood, the only thing I can think about is a recent children’s book I’ve been working on that went through so many iterations, I lost the story. That was frustrating for a while but after giving it the chance to sit and marinate, I realize that it will have an even better outcome than before.”

(296) Jen Glantz, Bridesmaid for Hire: Money quote: “You don’t have to wear a white dress, walk down an aisle, even toss a bouquet. You do that because that’s what everyone else has done before you. I also blame this on social media. We see what everyone in the world is doing for their wedding and we want bigger, better, more like-worthy on Instagram.”

(281) Sarah Cooper, meeting survivor: Money quote: “The joy that existed when Donald Trump first entered the race is gone. The jokes I make now are exasperated and frustrated and angry and I make them because it feels like all I can do. I remember the first moment I didn’t think it was funny anymore—when Trump went on Jimmy Kimmel, and they were joking about keeping Mexicans out. I was furious. I thought about some little kid watching this and not being able to laugh at all.”

(270) Glenn Stern, dentist: Money quote: “I was on a mission trip in Jamaica and we were working on men in a low-security prison. A guy came in with an abscess in his front upper lip area. It was from a tooth. It was the size of a golf ball, at least. All full of pus. Only thing to do there is to try to numb it and then drain it. Your imagination can do the rest …”

(264) Molly Peckler, marijuana-friendly life coach and dating expert: Money quote: “I’ve been a regular smoker for over a decade, and I love how cannabis gives me perspective, helps me focus, reduces stress and anxiety, and enhances connections with people I care about. I have a small appetite and it allows me to enjoy the food that I love. When I’m in pain, or recovering from a tough workout, it hits the spot better than any pharmaceutical. It helps me sleep without feeling groggy or hungover in the morning, and it makes experiences more entertaining and enjoyable. It’s also an excellent addition to my sex life.”

(249) Mike Cernovich, author, instigator, Trump backer: Money quote: “You can improve your skills with women just as you can improve your skills in any other aspect of being a human being. Meeting women is about selling yourself. You use a lot of the same principles written about in the groundbreaking work Influence. Men who do not actively learn how to meet women are making a huge mistake and they will not meet the quantity or quality of women they otherwise could.”

(247) Deborah, Orthodox Jewish transitioning transgender woman: Money quote: “There were times while growing up that I knew something was different. I was constantly teased over other things from elementary through high school so I repressed myself as much as I possibly could. I’ve always been attracted to women but lately after opening my mind to who I am inside, I’ve started to develop an interest in men, preferably the FTM (female-to-male) types. A lot of people don’t understand how this isn’t a choice. Gender identity and sexual identity are two completely different things.”

(245) Kelly Swanson, boxing publicist: Money quote: “The fighters love to fight. They absolutely love to do it. For most of them, who sauntered in or were sent to their neighborhood boxing gym as young troublemakers, it’s the only way out of what are some terrible circumstances, whether it’s their family situation or their local surroundings with negative influences. I see their passion and their plight and I am OK with trying to help them make their world a better place for themselves and their families. It’s their backstories that make for unbelievable copy. Several fighters’ stories I have pitched have ended up on A1. That’s thrilling to me as a publicist.”

(239) Dr. John Boockvar, neurosurgeon: Money quote: “I have cried many times in the stairwells of hospitals. It is important to be able to take a moment, step away, put your head between your knees somewhere and let the tears roll. You develop a real appreciation for what is most important in life, your health and the health of your wife, children, siblings, parents and loved ones.”

(229) Paul Shroyer, traveling salesman: Money quote: “I am not a theologian but I am a believer. This is one of the great questions of mankind against the existence of God. What I can tell you is that I have read extensively on the subject and I personally have come to the conclusion that God does exist and his son died on the cross to atone for my sins as well as everyone else’s. I am human and still have my doubts, but I always come back around to belief as the most logical for me.”

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(220) Mashaw McGuinnis, game show champion: Money quote: “I won on The Pyramid, as well as Scrabble, (three-day champ), a show called Fantasy on NBC, and two cable shows: Sweethearts and Straight to the Heart. I reached my limit because the networks have laws about how many you can go on in a decade so after I was forced to retire I went to work for Goodson/Toddman, one of the most famous game show companies in the world. Not surprisingly, i wound up working in (of course) the contestant department.”

(212): Norma Shapiro, my wife’s 97-year-old grandmother: Money quote: “I didn’t tell my age most of the time—almost all of the time—because I didn’t look my age. And I felt people respected what I said because of the person I am. They respect what I say because of me, and it had nothing to do with my age. The reason I didn’t tell my age is because I felt people wouldn’t want to be so socially friendly.”

(210): Steve Davis, Director of Advanced Projects at Space Exploration Technologies: Money quote: “The best moments of my career have been the initial successes of each SpaceX vehicle—Falcon 1 rocket launch in 2008, Falcon 9 rocket launch in 2010, and Dragon capsule reentry in 2010. Lowest moment of my career is when I lost a Rock-Paper-Scissors battle at Mr. Yogato”

(206) Sammy Oakey, funeral parlor head: Money quote: “The worst was when we had the funeral for Cole Thomas, who drowned at Smith Mountain Lake outside of Roanoke. He was about 4-years old, and snuck out of the family’s lake house while everyone was napping. He walked to the dock, fell or jumped into the water, and was found about an hour later. My own son was about the same age, and I can remember sobbing during the funeral at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church. They had put a book into the casket (Where the Wild Things Are) that was also one of my son’s favorite books. Man, that was sad. Packed house.”

(203) Nikolai Bonds, model and Barry Bonds’ son: Money quote: “Growing up as Barry Bonds’ son was many things. As a son to my parents it is no different than growing up as any other son. Your parents love you and push you to be your best. I didn’t live with my father much. I usually was with my mother. But looking at it from a son’s standpoint, it was no different. But there is another side and that is the celebrity side. Now that had its ups and downs. There will always be perks and in the city of San Francisco my family is royalty. And I don’t really listen to people whisper. But there will always be that one person who wants to take it too far, or bring it somewhere it never needs to go. That’s tough. You want to stand up for yourself and your family but everybody is waiting for you to make a mistake so they can all point at you. But after a while you just get used to it and speak up when needed and walk away when needed.”

(201) Ron Keurajian, sports memorabilia authenticator: Money quote: “The card manufacturers simply produced too much inventory. The market is flooded with this stuff. The cards you have were produced in the tens millions. They will never be worth anything. Two hundred years from now when you and I are long gone these cards will still be worthless.”

(195)  Josh Kantor, Fenway Park organist: Money quote (on song choices): “Don’t be mean: it’s OK for a song to jab lightly at the on-field exploits of the opposing team; it’s not OK to be cruel about it or to draw attention to any off-field issues.”

(192) Marcial Gutierrez, balloon artist: Money quote: “What does it take to be great at balloon twisting? I don’t know first-hand, since I wouldn’t call myself great at it. I think greatness is relative and I’ve seen some truly amazing creations that make me realize how much more I have yet to learn. But I think it takes the same as in any other art form: it’s part a person’s own innate ability to see the world a bit differently, and part learned skill.”

(186)  Aaron Crump, Hank Gathers’ son: Money quote: “I remember vividly the night he passed. My grandmother woke me up out of my sleep and proceeded to tell me that he had passed away. I went downstairs with her to my mother who was staring at the TV crying. It felt as if everyone was looking to me for a reaction. So I gave them one. I cried. The weird thing is, I only cried because I knew that was what everyone else was doing and so it seemed appropriate. I was extremely saddened, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment to grieve. Everyone else was so devastated, that it kind of paralyzed me.”

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(184) Pat Barry, professional Santa Claus: Money quote (on the plausibility of the Rudolph saga): “You would be surprised. I consulted Rudolf about this question and he was offended that you would doubt his abilities to navigate the globe.”

(179)  Laurenne Sala, former Beats By Dre copy writer: Money quote: “I did meet Dr. Dre while I was there! I ran into him in the hallway and the elevator several times. Every time, I wanted to come off totally cool and say something super in-the-know about the music industry or something. But I just said, ‘Hey.’ I’m sure one of these days he’s gonna remember that chick in the elevator who said ‘hey’ all the time and call me up for some advice.”

(173) Joe Lozito, New York City subway attack victim: Money quote: “The first man stopped about three feet from the door, about two feet from me, looked me in the eyes and said, “You’re gonna to die, you’re gonna to die.” He pulled out a cooking knife with an eight-inch blade and proceeded to stab me in the face under my left eye. When he cocked his arm back for another plunge, I shot for his legs to take him down. While I was taking him down, he carved the side and back of my head three times. After taking him down, from the bottom, he was slashing upward while I was trying to catch his hand. His first swing sliced my thumb down to the tendon. His second swing sliced my arm to the Tricep muscle. Finally, on his third swing, I was able to catch his wrist, slam his hand down and he dropped the knife.”

(154) Tom Holt, former Delta pilot: Money quote: “We are now 1,000 feet above the ocean and tearing butt for St. John’s, Labrador about 250 miles away. The smoke is still coming and the checklist has not found the culprit as it is designed to isolate different electrical systems until the offending one is located. My thoughts are wondering at what point I might have to make the decision to ditch the aircraft. As long as this bad boy is flying I’m heading for St. John’s which finally found us on radar. At least now someone knows where we are. The flight attendants are getting the cabin ready for a ditching and I cannot fathom how they felt looking at the ocean just below them and wondering if we will make a water landing. I was fortunate to be occupied flying the airplane.”

(142)  Wanda Juzang Cooper, ex-wife of former Laker Michael Cooper: Money quote: “There is an allure to those who couple an innate talent with fierce ambition, and while professional athletes represent that, the same can be said of successful doctors, writers, musicians. .. there’s no denying the fact that they exude a warranted confidence that’s downright sexy. Fame, money and celebrity status are obvious attractions, but I also think women want to marry men who are at the top of their game; the desire to be a part of that is intoxicating.”

(137) Bowen Kerins, world champion pinball player and textbook author: Money quote: “My wife will be the first to say I am book smart but not street smart. I locked myself out of my house today.”

(135) Malcom Hillgartner, audio book narrator: Money quote: “Badly written books are agony, requiring so much more effort to just make presentable. You have to tweak lines over and over with emphasis and inflection just to make them comprehensible. Great stuff is like buttah. Like driving a classic Mercedes 500 SL. Smooth, silky, powerful. Bad ones? I have been known to stick my head out of the booth and scream, “This guy sucks!” at my 13-year-old black Lab, who parks herself outside the booth while I record. Thank god she’s deaf and doesn’t notice.”

(134) June Beck, operator of a tribute website to actress Maureen O’Hara: Money quote: “Everybody raves about how beautiful, how pretty, how gorgeous Maureen is—and I do so want them to appreciate the Maureen that I have come to know. Her work ethic, her stamina, the odds  even “pretty people” have to battle. What amazes me is that the website visitors can see Maureen’s aging in recent photos—and yet to them she is forever beautiful.”

(128) Todd Parr, children’s book author: Money quote: “You know that kid when you were in school who had a pink Mohawk and smoked in the bathroom in senior hall and everyone kind of just stared at him when he walked down the hall? That’s kind of how I feel when I am surrounded by other kid’s book authors. I used to think they were like, ‘How the hell did he get published? I mean really, where are the cute images and the pastel colors and cute stories? Did he have a 6-year old do the art?’”

(127)  Quadeer Shakur, Zulu Nation minister of information: Money quote: “Boston’s racial climate is just as alive as it’s always been. The scary part is, racism doesn’t just mean white or black Americans, but the Haitian immigrants who come to Boston frown upon people of their own race (black), and the Polish hate the Irish (white). Boston is just screwed up —period. The only thing that diversifies Bostonians is hip-hop culture. Gay, straight, black, white … doesn’t matter when you share the same culture. American culture ain’t cuttin’ it alone.”

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(126) Angelo Merendino, photographer: Money quote (on chronicling his wife’s death from cancer): “The love of my life was dying right in front of me and I couldn’t stop this from happening. I knew that if I thought too much I would crumble, and Jen needed me to stay strong. Looking back, the photographs were an escape from cancer. That is strange since I was escaping into the same thing I was escaping from. But our life was so serious and constantly “on” and I needed something that wasn’t complete cancer. I could get lost in lightroom or something camera related and sort of give myself a break.”

(122) Marcia Herold, bartener: Money quote (on the craziest night of her career): “The beginning of the night was surreal. It was a complete S & M crowd—and it’s not nearly as sexy as Fifty Shades of Grey makes it out to be. At the time, I had a second job at a deli across from the courthouse in Ft. Lauderdale, and I saw a judge who I served sandwiches to in the afternoon now in the nightclub I worked at being led around on a leash. People were wearing various leather contraptions, or next to nothing.  Next to the bar I was working, there was a cage, maybe 8 ft. by 4ft. In that cage stood a guy, as Biff-y as you can imagine; white izod sweater, perfect hair, and stoically still.  All night, people abused him. They kicked him, spit on him, put cigarettes out on his flesh, and still he didn’t flinch. When I expressed concern to my bartending partner, she laughed and said, ‘That’s why he’s here.’ All of a sudden, a girl in a rubber dress (sans undergarments) decides to crawl on top of the cage and sit there. Biff took one look at her naked ass, and started freaking out, screaming, ‘Let me out! Let me out!”‘He was nearly in tears. Spit on, kicked, burned … and a naked ass was intolerable. That same night, a band called the Genitorturers performed. The main part of their show was the lead singer sewing the lips together of a man wearing lingerie.”

(119) Brittany Jenell, Detroit Pride cheerleader: Money quote: “To outsiders, Detroit is portrayed as decaying. The media loves to show images of the bad parts and crumbling buildings, but never seems to shine a light on all the great things happening. I work downtown everyday, and everyday I discover something new and amazing, and I brag to everyone I know about how lucky I am to be a part of the revitalization of a great American City.”

(108)  John Miele, wrestling promoter: Money quote: “I’ve met wrestlers who made hundreds of thousands of dollars in the 1980s and at the time I bet a huge chunk of the money went up their noses, paid hotel bills, rental cars, child support, lawyer fees—all while paying a mortgage for a house and supporting a family that never saw its father. Wrestling is the worst drug because there will always be a wrestler looking for one more run. The only retirements that I’m aware of in wrestling usually end up with a headstone.”

(94) Alexcia James, Miss Black Iowa: Money quote: “The African American woman comes from many different shapes, sizes, backgrounds, shades, but is still multi-talented and intelligent. Often times, African American women have a difficult time competing and advancing in mainstream pageant systems. For example, looking at the Miss USA and Miss America systems there are typically very few minority women represented. I do not think it is because we are any less capable or beautiful, but our beauty may be seen as different in their eyes.”

(90)  Tatiana Thumbtzen, female lead of Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” video: Money quote: “There was nothing weird about [Michael Jackson]. Not to me. He was a genius and people always seem to trash what they don’t comprehend. Or relate to. In my opinion, when one is that genius and talented, there’s always a lot of envy and jealousy that will follow. He was gifted in so many ways. And I think that, sometimes, people found that threatening. What I think people are missing, even now, is his message. There was a message of love that he left behind. A message of how we can change as people. To be better! To be more compassionate! To be more forgiving! To be more considerate! Just to be better as people. I think that’s what people are missing. His message of true love.”

(85)  John Backderf, cartoonist, former Jeffrey Dahmer classmate: Money quote: “I didn’t know Jeffrey Dahmer the serial killer. I only knew Jeff, the weird, troubled kid who I went to school with. I wouldn’t say the book is infused with any kind of empathy toward him. I state it very clearly that once he starts to kill, which occurred mere weeks after our friendship ended, that he richly deserved his brutal end.”

(79) Lisa Edwards, professional dog trainer: Money quote (on what canines offer her that people don’t): “Gratitude. My first dog, Atticus, taught me and gave me what I had not received as a child—unconditional love and patience and support.”

(74)  Dawn Neufeld, attorney TV host, wife of former NFL player Ryan Neufeld: Money quote: “Before Ryan left for Dallas, I told him point blank—’If you cheat on me, I’ll find out. When I do, I will walk away and never look back. It would just mean we weren’t meant to be together.  You might be able to find someone comparable to me, but you won’t find anyone much better.  So if you think it’s worth it, you go right on ahead.’”

(59) Nelson Dellis, world memory champion: Money quote: “I actually initially got into all this memory stuff in the summer of 2008 when I was jobless and bored. I’ve always been interested in the mind and after doing a little bit of Googling that summer, I stumbled on the USA Memory Championship website. I couldn’t believe the things the competitors were doing and that they were all saying the same thing: anyone can do it. I took it as a challenge and started trying out the techniques myself. They worked amazingly. Eventually I got a job and couldn’t spend time on it, so I put my training on hiatus. After my grandmother passed away the following summer, I was suddenly very concerned about the future of my own memory. I vowed to try and do everything within my power to never let the same thing happen to me. So I returned to the techniques I had briefly dabbled in the previous year and took them to a whole new level. An obsessive level. I was on a mission. The more I did it, the better I got, and the better I got, the more I wanted to do it. It felt like a super power.”

(29)  Jake Black, comic book writer: Money quote: “I love the idea of Supergirl, which is ‘What if you take all of Superman’s powers, and put them into a volatile, inexperienced, even immature in some ways, person?’ Supergirl has incredible power but lacks the discipline Superman has. Makes for a very interesting character story in my eyes.”

(25)  Dave Coverly, syndicated cartoonist: Money quote: “The worst feeling is having your cartoon dropped by a newspaper. It’s not only embarrassing, it can put a dent in your paycheck if it’s a large circulation paper. About 10 years ago my favorite client, the Washington Post, dropped ‘Speed Bump,’ and I was devastated. It felt like a huge step backward. Then over 400 people complained, and it was reinstated (at an even larger size, weirdly enough), so that was my second-greatest moment, I guess.”

(20) Cindi Avila, chef: Money quote: “The reason most people still haven’t kicked meat to the curb is because they want to remain blissfully ignorant. When you eat meat, you call it a hamburger or steak, instead of calling it what it is which is cow. If it said COW or PIG on menus I truly believe less people would eat it. Furthermore people would rather turn a blind eye to how animals on these horrible factory farms are being treated. If you saw the pictures I saw when I first went vegetarian you’d probably stop eating meat too.”

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RIP (Quaz contributors we’ve lost. This truly makes my heart hurt)

(196) Kate Granger, doctor, patient, blogger: Money quote (on dying of cancer): “Well I wouldn’t have chosen it if you’d asked me what my life ambitions were in my early twenties! However, in some ways it has allowed me to make sure my friends and family know I love them and to do some amazing activities over the past three years. I think of it as a kind of gremlin we now carry with us every single day, which sometimes sits quietly and allows me to live my life relatively normally, but sometimes chooses to prod me hard to make sure I know it’s still there.”

(190)  Emily Schaeffer, high school senior: Money quote: “Social media has led everyone my age to believe that every thought they have throughout the day is important and worth sharing with the public. Social media has been in my life since the sixth grade, and because it’s been in my life my entire teenage years, I have literal documentation of everything I’ve ever done or thought from age 12 to now. It’s horrifying. No one should be reminded of how awful they were when they were 14 and 15.”

(182) Perry Wallace, the SEC’s first African-American basketball player: Money quote: “More black parents, leaders and others need to have ‘The Talk’ with more young black men. Admittedly this would be like telling the victims to be more careful—and I recognize my peril here, but this is far from blaming the victim (as often happens in cases like this and in rape and domestic violence cases). My only point here is that I want these young brothers to “choose life” over death by ‘managing’ and ‘de-pressurizing’ these encounters. Obviously, this will sound like some out-of-date, old Tom talking, but plenty of black men my age and older have lived long, proud (enough) lives by not “taking the bait,”  whether wittingly or unwittingly dangled before them, from policemen and others. In other words, what if Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown had been taught how—and why—Perry Wallace exercised restraint and control in the face of virulent racism and handled his sense of anger and outrage another way—such as pursuing social change constructively and developing himself as a person? The answer, I believe, is clear.”

(100)  Adrian Dessi, ALS sufferer: Money quote (on whether he has ‘Whoa is me’ moments): “Fleeting. Short. Brief. Kick their ass, get them out of my head. It’s really good, because if I let it take hold—and I know this, because I’m smart enough to know this—that will be the end. That will be the end of my relationship with my family, it’ll be the end of me. And you know what? I’m not dying today and I’m not dying tomorrow. So fuck you. I don’t have time for this shit.”

(38)  Kathleen Osgood, cancer sufferer: Money quote: “During [the early diagnosis of cancer] my friends from all over the world started sending me emails and calling and sending me good wishes. That outpouring of love and affection, of kindness and sweetness … how can anyone be anything but jovial and uplifted? And it is my basic nature to be happy, hopeful and positive. Just because some of my cells have gone rouge and want to kill me really isn’t enough to put a permanent frown on this normally sickening happy Pollyanna face.”