Narcissists Say the Darndest Things: Great Quotes by Narcissists

Posted November 25th, 2009
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This is a page on which I hope you, the person who knows an annoying narcissist, will contribute a little something. I am seeking a collection of great memorable quotes by the narcissist in your life. I want the quote that makes your head spin and your mouth hang open with its egomaniacal cluelessness; The quote that you fish out to tell your uncomprehending friends at dinner parties in order to better describe the problem you have had with this person.newyorker-cartoon

To get the ball rolling I will give a few examples. The first is from my own mother whose comment, after reading the first professional piece of writing that I finished, was “Well, I don’t happen to care for it but I pray I’m wrong.” A close second goes to her follow up reply, after a request that she withhold any more criticism if she wanted me to show her anything else; “No more criticism? If I can’t criticize you, what am I supposed to talk about? The weather?”

Another good example comes from a mother of someone I know who commented, after being told that her daughter was molested, “Oh my God! Do you think I was?”

Okay: Your turn.

A Holiday Greeting from E! The Entertainment Network!

Posted November 23rd, 2009
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I just got home from a week in Ohio and Indiana though it will take me a few more days before the driving, flying and attending family functions actually goes in to remission.  But as I sit here going through my e mails, trying to regain the focus required to resume and also finish writing my book , I can not help but be pre-occupied by the following:

Of all the things I envisioned for my life from childhood on, I never once imagined that I would be no degrees of separation from something like this:


Hello Ms. Markoe,
I am a producer for a new special for E! called “Doomed by Lust”.  One of our stories will cover the David Letterman extortion case. We are touching on the subject of women who have spoken out about him and we wanted to see about using your photo on our show.  In addition if you have any photos you would like to license of Mr. Letterman we would love to talk to you about that. Please feel free to contact me via phone or email to discuss this further.  We are moving very quickly so if you could get back to me soon it would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Best regards,
Sharon Sanders, Associate Producer
E! Entertainment Television

Name: Sharon Sanders

Come on! Did I really just get an e mail from something called “DOOMED BY LUST”? I mean, I’ve made some ditsy romantic decisions in my day, but at no point do I recall dating Ted Bundy. This stuff is so headed for a subplot next time I write a novel.

“Doomed By Lust” might be my nomination for the single funniest name of something ever.

Here are three photos from my trip to the midwest:eat fish every dayFooMy feet stank cropped

Thanksgiving: An overlooked industry that could spawn new jobs

Posted November 17th, 2009

yard turkeyI’ve always wondered why enterprising American businessmen and women have permitted the decorations to slag off entirely between Halloween and Christmas when there are a clear cut number of weeks when people could be inspired to buy a whole other set of lights, ornaments and figurines for Thanksgiving. Especially now that we are in a recession and new environmentally harmless industries are needed. Meanwhile, over the years the Halloween train has been getting longer and longer.  The level of art direction ,the sophistication of the Halloween lights, (in a tony purple and orange) and the addition of an endless pantheon of new and much more frighteningly real looking scary figures and weird substances to hang in the yard  has been clearly increasing. Some catalogs I browse even sell Halloween ornaments and trees. Now that’s the American ingenuity I grew up with!

Yet Thanksgiving has remained a decoration wasteland. No animatronic life-sized figures of mechanically emoting Pilgrims or Native Americans. No shrubbery  strung with distinctively colored lights, perhaps shaped like pies or maize or turkeys. (Hint: Amber, gold and brown aren’t  taken by any of the other holidays yet!) What a missed opportunity for merchandising, I always say to myself. Someone could make a fortune selling a laughing robotic Halloween witch who comes with an interchangeable Pilgrim outfit that, a few weeks later, can be altered to make a Santa Outfit .Or even better, accessories that turn it in to an enticing but slightly frightening ear of corn! Celebrate 3 holidays in a row for one bargain price!

I am thinking that perhaps the fact that the turkey/pilgrim motif hasn’t generated and expanded in to more merchandise on its own means its time for an imagery shift. Personally I would like to see the “NEW Thanksgving” center more around magic and pies. No one is using the pie as a holiday symbol. It has everything. Variety! An amusing shape! An intrinsically funny word!  There is no baked goods oriented holiday. Christmas cookies are way at the bottom of Christmas imagery. Halloween is all candy.  So I say we start with pies and then slowly expand in to cakes and popovers and special Thanksgiving muffins, and the cartoon characters they can so easily become.

Here in Cincinnati and environs, I saw a few homes decorated for Thanksgiving. But its not a massive trend yet, possibly because we have let down  the adventurous re-decorating oriented families by limiting them to the old school turkey imagery.  thanksgiving decoration In the all NEW Thanksgiving, we will offer them a choice of big inflatable pies for the lawn along with strings of dessert shaped lights! There will be a Thanksgiving tree with ornaments shaped like everything you have ever served for Thanksgiving. Sweet potato shaped lights will be both weird and kind of beautiful.  Come on, Lillian Vernon Catalog or Martha Stewart or some branch of the Obama administration who are seeking to stop the continuing unemplyment trend….Seed money is all I need to get this thing going!

We might also need a new universal Thanksgiving symbol…someone we love and can take to our hearts that doesn’t require the slaughter of a perfectly nice animal. I think  something along the lines of a magical Native American who can fly and travel through time, delivering pies, with his merry band of mischevious yet industrious  colorful and oddly shaped gourd creatures. He will be one part old school Thanksgiving, one part Santa, one part Edward Cullen!  He will be irresistible and previously cynical ill tempered adolescent girls will all rush to get on board.

When I get back to California I will work up some sketches.

He probably needs one main helper….Someone with the genial spirit of a Mr. Wippity Wipes, only  shaped like a gourd. Or awippity wipes pie.

On the road: I got recognized. Unfortunately it was here…

Posted November 17th, 2009

Demon chld and dino babyAt The Creation Museum in Kentucky, a place where a little information goes a long way because, well, that’s what they make available and also you know… its God’s will. And because that’s the premise of the museum– to offer the creationist view of the world. On the plus side, it was art directed by someone from Universal studios so its got some very nice animatronics.

Like I’ve always said: I have the most useless amount of fame. It doesn’t necessarily get me career opportunities or tickets to events. It just causes a few people to eye me suspiciously.

Truth is, I love places like The Creation Museum. For example, the tableau that greets you at the entrance ( see  photo number one ) in which a “Bride of Chucky’ like child , wearing a buck skin sun dress, feeds a carrot to a squirrel while smallish and presumably friendly dinosaurs frolick all around her in a primeval garden at the dawn of time, 6000 years ago. Now that’s what I call total entertainment.

A little less enjoyable was one of the directors of the place who followed us out to the car and wanted to know if my name was Merrill and if I was a comedian. He also wanted to find out why I was there and what I was planning. I don’t know why he would think  I needed more of a motive to be there than a chance to see life-sized dioramas of people living amongst the dinosaurs, (and their mutual voyage with Noah on the Ark.)Baby dinos on the ark I for one had never realized that the eventual extinction of the dinosaurs might have come from them being over- hunted by humans!(Or, alternatively, that there might have been a possible change in the eco-system; kind of an odd after-thought by God, I guess, after he had gone to considerable trouble to help save them all from the flood. Those heavenly mood swings! It’s not like we haven’t  been dealing with them since the dawn of time 6000 years ago! We should be used them by now!

2 teens

Although as a whole we still suck at predicting them…as is clearly  depicted in the pictures  below of the part of the exhibit that reviews and summarizes some of the abominations of man’s descent. For example: The internetMan truth whateverThe evil internet.

If you are someone who does not find  Sarah Palin to be an arrogrant megalomaniac with no awareness of her own severe intellectual limitations, this might be the step by step presentation of the creation of the world for you!

Regarding dick jokes and the worlds best beet salad recipe

Posted November 13th, 2009
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I am going to Ohio and  Indiana this week to visit my relatives and those of  the boyfriend with whom I cohabit. I might write something during the week. Or I might not. Meanwhile I thought I would respond to this odd question I got earlier today and also offer a beet salad recipe.

Here’s the thing about the recipe: I was not a beet fancier until i went to my friend Robin Schiff’s house and she made me this salad. Robin got the recipe from a restaurant called Ammo that she loves. (Also, just for your extra added enjoyment and apropos of nothing, Robin wrote “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion.”) I am sharing it because it is Thanksgiving coming up next week and this is a perfect addition to virtually any dinner. I was so impressed by it that I make it at least once a week ever since. Its just the best combination of stuff. And golden beets are a LOT tastier than red beets (if a little trickier to find.)

First the question from someone named Min Merrell:

Read that NY Times piece you were quoted in on how there are very few women writers in comedy especially late night comedy. Can women write good penis jokes? I thought that was a good question. Is there such a thing?  I’ve been trying to think of one.  Nothing’s coming up. Blog some more about that. I wanted more of your insight in the story.

Dear Min:

I don’t know if “nothings coming up” was your idea of a good penis joke. Or if,  with a name like Min, you are a woman. If the answer is yes, I would say that the penis joke may not be your strong suit. But since the rule of thumb for writers tends to be: ‘ Write what you know’ its not so difficult to assume that the penis jokes written by women by definition do not come from the same perspective as the penis jokes that are written by the actual penis owners themselves. It has been my experience that the penis owners find penises to be funny for a vastly different assortment of reasons than  those of us in the penis-less sector. So I guess that is a yes and a no: Women can write penis jokes. But the penis jokes written by women are probably  better delivered by women comedians than by men.

On the last hand, no one in late night network television is really allowed to tell penis jokes without creating a big brouhaha with the censors  for fear of fines from the FCC. So the ability to write good penis jokes is a very weak excuse for not hiring women as writers unless you are staffing an all boy Vegas review. I don’t know if that answered the question.

And now…for some beet salad.

AMMO French Beet and Lentil Salad
(serves 4)

1Cup Lentils (green)
2 Golden Beets
2 handful Arugula
Crumbled bleu cheese
Dijon mustard

Dressing: 1 shallot, 1 lemon, olive oil

Cook lentils for about 25 minutes; drain, set aside & let cool.

Cook beets for about 20 minutes;drain, let cool; then peel, cut into ½â€ cubes and set aside;  (I prefer roasting them. Wrap them in foil roast at 425’ for an hour – an hour and a half depending on the size of the beets. Put more foil beneath in case they leak.)

Dijon Vinaigrette: Chop shallot and put in a small mixing bowl.. Add juice of 1 lemon, 1 tsp. Dijon mustard and 1/2 cup olive oil. Stir to combine. Salt and pepper to taste (You can also add 1/2 tsp of sugar if you prefer it sweeter.)
Mix lentils, beets, arugula in a big mixing bowl; add vinaigrette; divide between 4 plates;

Add toasted pepitas, chives and  bleu cheese;  Seriously, its the best salad.

And when you’re finished cooking, its time for

wippity wipesSorry…this actually has nothing to do with anything. I just love the name Wippity Wipes. I also love happy little Mr. Wippity Wipe there on the package.

UPDATE: I am no longer pissed about all of this.

Posted November 9th, 2009
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So…I have been purposefully staying off Twitter and the rest of the social networks because I felt like they would be a distraction from the stuff I want to get done.  Plus I am kind of a competitive person. If I was on Twitter, I said  to myself, I said I said,  I would start to think I had better start writing more one liners for Twitter. I would be thinking, all day long, “Oh God, I haven’t written anything new on Twitter in four hours.” And “Look! Laura’s got a new Twit. I’d better think of something.” and “Oh shit. They’ve ALL got new twits. And I’m still sitting here not writing!” And  I’d start fretting about it . And that is nerve wracking and time consuming. And I am trying to finish a book. And in order to finish a book, I need hundreds of hours of time wasted on nothing. Because writing a book is very hard.At least to me it is. I waste a lot of time pulling out my hair and conducting pointless google searches before I get down to business.

And of course, lets not forget all the rest of the time that I waste trying to learn how to run an animation program. Last night it took me three hours to learn to do this:

But then today I get a google alert that shows me that my name, Merrill Markoe, and ALSO Merrillmarkoe IS now someone’s twitter account name. And that someone is a porn spammer. And I found this very upsetting. So i started the process of contacting the head Twit in order to find out if I had any recourse. Someone (or else a someone-bot) answered me and told me I had to fax them a copy of my drivers license.Right off the bat that sounds like a scam. So I taped up my driver’s license so the Scam bot couldnt see my important personal information and I faxed it to them. Now I am waiting to see what happens.

Meanwhile, I asked one of my most social networky friends what I should do about the Merrillmarkoe porn spammers. And she said that I had better register my name at EVERY social network, and I’d better do it NOW.

SO I began to do that and very quickly it made me really really pissed off because THIS WAS WHAT I WAS AVOIDING IN THE FIRST PLACE. I thought having a website was a controllable amount of social networking .I admit I sometimes check out Facebook, secretly, using my fake identity (on a page I took out in order to keep my eye on my frat boy nephew.)( And by the way, why WAS he out somewhere wearing only a Depends and a giraffe head on Halloween?)Apparently Carey on halloween But lately on my fake identity’s page the Facebook-Bot keeps nudging me to help out this.  other friend of mine. “Ken only has 19 friends. Won’t you suggest some friends for him?” it asks me every day.  Poor poor sad little Ken, it implies, as though he is one of those children holding an empty cereal bowl  in the war ravaged Congo after the Janja weed militia killed his family and burned his village down. NINETEEN FRIENDS IS A LOT OF FUCKING FRIENDS. I don’t have nineteen plates and forks. I can’t have nineteen people over for dinner. When did it become such an  embarrassment to have NINETEEN FRIENDS that Facebook TAUNTS you with it and tries to intercede on your poor sad behalf? That Facebook-Bot is WORSE than the worst bullies in the sixth grade!


Pisses me off. All of it. So in case anyone thinks I suddenly am making money as a porn spammer, its not me. I’ve never been that smart of a business woman.

Oh…and  one last thing– I know they’re not called twits.  But tweet is just too embarrassing for me to say or write. Sorry.  I never say Vente Latte at Starbucks either. I say Large.

UPDATE: Good news! For me, at least.

I got the porno spammers kicked off my name ! Yay! Score one for the spam and social networking harrassed little guy (or gal as the case may be.) Incase this ever happens to you, apparently Twitter does take care of it. . I half thought that when a porno spammer wants to take your name, well,its like when the government wants your house so they can build a new carport for the Pentagon or another freeway overpass. Right of Imminent Domain. Suck it up and step aside. But no! I got the following e mail from someone a few minutes ago, which is frankly more than my cynical self expected:

Hi,Thanks for your email and fax.Impersonation is a violation of the Twitter Rules, under Content Boundaries and Use of Twitter: A person may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse, or deceive others. Impersonation is against our terms unless it’s parody. The standard for defining parody is, “Would a reasonable person be aware that it’s a joke?” Because this is not the case in your situation, we have removed the profile(s) from circulation.

Twitter Support

So I quickly took my own name and raced to the Twitters site and opened a twitter account.

Except thats also the bad news. The conspiracy theorist who lives in the dark recesses of my furtive imagination has already suggested to me that the porno spammers were just a sham…a twitter/facebook conspiracy to force everyone to join twitter and then, as a (wink wink) additional protective measure, join facebook, diggit, reddit, and tumblr just so no one else can abuse their name. Because now apparently it is ILLEGAL for anyone not to be on all these sites. Just like it is illegal to have less than 300 friends.

Still, I will not listen to those voices today. Because today  Veterans Day takes on new and special personal meaning for me. We fought all those wars to take our names back from the porno spammers. Thank you Veterans. Now please keep your eye on Facebook.

Her ‘hideosity’ is my regular day at work

Posted November 5th, 2009

I was trying to figure out what to write here. I always think I should be weighing in on topics of importance. Like how much I am for the public option, or how much I hate the Sarah Palin/Glenn Beck/Rush Limbaugh edge of the Republican party. Etc. Etc. Instead, here is what I spent a lot of the morning fretting about: Mariah Carey and her transformation from theoretically gorgeous and glamorous to theoretically “hideous” and “dowdy” in her new role in the theoretically fabulous new movie “Precious.” Of course, I haven’t seen the movie yet so I can’t speak to its quality. The clips on-line certainly look compelling. But in a big feature article in today’s L.A. Times Mariah tells us that, to create the character of “a dowdy welfare caseworker”,the “drab but deeply empathetic soul” named Ms. Weiss she had to “lose all vanityHideous Mariah.”

‘Hideosity” she exclaimed raising her hands in mock horror” when she viewed a picture of her other self.

And this is precisely why I hate most Hollywood movies. And Mariah Carey. Because Mariah’s transformation in to hideous looks to me like me and plenty of people I know on an average work day. Okay, not a day where we put on mascara and  false eyelashes and then got so preoccupied by holding a gauzy translucent wrap at just the right level so it revealed the flirtacious outline that our pearls were making on our succulent sumptuous cleavage that we decided it was too much work to hold our heads up straight so we kind of let them list to one side, and eventually just leaned them on a door jamb… But rather a day at work, where we were pre-occupied by our thoughts. Yes, thoughts. Those things that don’t seem to bother the glorious version of Mariah on the other side of the line where she can only keep her eyes and her glossy lips half open because she decided, after she spent hour upon hour staring in to the mirror, that it was totally the most photogenic look. Yes, yes, I know how thoughts can get in the way of a nice empty stare. You start to let that happen and then the next thing you know you are saying layered complex things, and you sound like Barack Obama does. And no one wants that. That’s when the the trouble really begins.

Regular women have had a series of these creepy show biz side swipes lately. The other was Glamour magazine’s big break through running the photo of the theoretically  fat model. Except the model wasn’t fat. She was gorgeous and in great shape and just forgot for a minute that you’re not supposed to take your clothes off if you’re not a size two. Oops! She must have been drinking or something! And the next thing you know, everyone was all congratulatory about this amazing game changing photo and saying ” Look! She’s naked and she’s a size 8!! Can you believe that Glamour magazine has started running Diane Arbus freak show photos? ” Meanwhile, I was sitting quietly , staring at the photo wondering “Is there some other part of the solar system that is recruiting new comers? Because I think I might need to move to another planet.”

I guess my general theme here falls in to the same category as the ongoing insanity used when they cast “the frumpy best friend” in everything. And I mean EVERYTHING. Even “reality shows.” Its the same mental illness that wants to pretend that Courtney Cox , an extremely beautiful and unbelievably skinny woman by any set of standards is a reasonable stand in for a character coping with a weight problem (Friends) or  difficult symptoms of aging (Cougar Town.)  I once had a teensy part on Friends (Episode 2! I was Marcia, the irritable museum curator!) and I saw Courtney Cox in person. I kept staring at her and thinking to myself “Where does she keep her intestines and her spleen? There’s not enough room in that body for internal organs.”

So apparently the point of this little diatribe is  that  I’m seriously  fed up with a culture that only values vacant beauty . Oddly enough, it sounds like this  may be one of the main underlying points of “Precious”, the movie in which Mariah Carey had to stoop to abject hideosity. I know its not a very original thought for me to be railing about. Every shallow superficial woman’s magazine espouses some version of the same thing,( then quickly undermines it with before and after make-over photos that show a nice looking woman transformed in to someone who may look a little more trendy but is now actually less attractive.). But in my opinion it is this grotesque attitude that is as much behind the rise of the horrible Ms. Palin as anything else. Because although I have yet to hear her say anything moderately intelligent, and despite the fact that she is out selling “a book” that she and her ghostwriter cranked out in a couple of months (while it takes me a  year to get a rough draft…and that is before I even start all the tedious rewrites) I do  give her this: The woman can’t take a bad picture. She always looks very pretty. I hate that this can somehow be a factor in how seriously she is taken.

So there. I vented AND I almost hit one of the topics of importance from my first paragraph. Now I better get back to writing my real book if I want to get paid anytime this decade.

PS: I wanted to tell the person who was kind enough to buy that foot frame from Ebay (see 2 blogs ago for explanation) that I donated the money to  a dog rescue organization, and then I also donated MORE money to an elephant sanctuary. So somewhere in all of that is YOUR money. And thus the dogs, elephants and I all thank you very much.