Inspirational & Thoughtful Quotes
(all quotes are by Joe unless otherwise noted)


Is it bad if I enjoy the emotional pain because it reminds me I'm alive?

Jun 26, 2006 (for when I dwell on interpersonal problems too long, as though I find some joy in wringing myself through a grinder of self-analysis)

"I eat beans almost every day."

Dec 24, 2005 (Kara C, in a discussion that started out discussing gas money; you can see where it led...)

"The heritage of Iowa as I know it, learned it, and live it, is the ethical imperative to leave the place better than you found it. This value, along with the other equally ingrained values including making do with little, working hard for the simple reward of hard work, being progressive and pragmatic, and speaking plainly and directly, are of the Iowa soil. These values sustain me, and will root all of my actions as AIA president."

Dec 18, 2005 (Associate dean of Iowa State University's College of Design Kate Schwennsen, speaking at her inauguration as the 82nd president of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Dec. 9 in Washington, D.C.) -- Joe's response: amen to that

"Beware the anesthesia of recreational thinking."

Nov 11, 2005 (if you think and don't act, this applies to you)

"Beware the ghosts of far away."

Nov 7, 2005 (was just a mood statement for today)

"You're an interesting species, an interesting mix. You're capable of such beautiful dreams and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you're not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we've found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other. "

Oct 30, 2005 (from the movie "Contact", spoken by the "alien") (I don't think I agree with the theology of this, but I still like the paradox)

"...the world will not defeat you / If we’re side by side / When your faith is hard to find / You can borrow mine"

Oct 30, 2005 ("Borrow Mine" by Bebo Norman)

"Dispel negativity through creative activities."

Sep 5, 2005 (from a Metro Buffet fortune cookie)

Given the right mindset, wherever you are can be the abode of enchantment and wonder.

Sep 5, 2005

Don't be so dedicated to one thing that you lose the ability to have a balanced life.

Aug 23, 2005

Be careful not to know too much about a topic, or you may get permanentally attached to it, and that may not be what you really want.

Aug 23, 2005

"He tells everyone a story, because he feels his life is boring, and he fights so you won't ignore him, because that's his biggest fear, and he cries, but you'll rarely see him do it. He loves, but he's scared to use it. So he hides behind the music, cause he likes it that way."

May 27, 2005 (Thousand Foot Crutch, "This Is A Call")

"[Dreams] are a part of our lives. But when they keep you away from life, from lovin', and sharin', I think there is harm."

Apr 10, 2005 (Olivia Walton on The Waltons ("The Bicycle"))

Sometimes you have to lay aside the distractions and the whining and the laziness and just make your life happen.

Mar 8, 2005

The good is the enemy of the best.

Mar 4, 2005 (Erin Bird @ Watershed, regarding distractions.)

Men are not rivals, and women are not prospects.

Feb 13, 2005 (trying to find the right attitudes on dating and all that sorta stuff)

"So you miss people, and you get over it, and life fills in the gaps."

Jan 23, 2005 (on long distance friendship)

Cliques happen. Oops. Who can really fight it? And who can honestly say they don't contribute to the problem?

Jan 2, 2005 (so many friends, so little time)

If I am an introvert (I am) am I doomed to having surface friendships where people enjoy my presence but never get to that always-just-out-of-reach deeper level?

Dec 30, 2004 (can one go to the next level and still find time for solitude?)

"Don't waste your life searching for the one big story that you were born to write. Write the little stories. Who knows, the sum total of them may be the big one."

Dec 20, 2004 (from A.J. Covington on "The Literary Man", an episode of The Waltons)

Plant your own flower garden; water your own soul.

Dec 6, 2004 (a song of self-reliance)

Challenge your assumptions.

Nov 29, 2004

Honesty is manipulative. You agree with me, right?

Nov 21, 2004 (at least when I wanna be honest in my own timing)

"...but the world is still beautiful."

Jul 27, 2004 (inspired by events of a year ago) (a phrase of utter hope, which I hope we will all be able to say in the midst of the good and bad times of life)

When it comes to computers and technology, in a very real sense they all act as ticking time bombs in our lives, just waiting for that one bad pointer or that one bad driver condition to produce hassle and mayhem in our lives. Can technology really be used effectively until we really truly do away with such annoying problems?

Jul 24, 2004 (when computers crash while doing PowerPoint presentations in front of a few hundred people)

It's a little amazing that I can go for weeks on end without ever really speaking out loud all that's really on my mind.

Mar 18, 2004 (when people don't know my thoughts, and don't ask, and probably don't want to know)

"I tried so hard and got so far, but in the end it doesn't even matter."

Mar 3, 2004 (from "In the End" by Linkin Park) (for when it seems like you can't attain your dreams no matter how hard you try)

"Up until I was 25 I thought the only response to, 'I love you,' was, 'Oh crap!'" -- Chandler, on Friends

Feb 1, 2004 (not sure about the 25 part, but the rest seems about right)

'Corporations exist to make money' they say. What happened to consideration for the customer's best interest and making the best quality product? How divergent are the two goals, and does the pursuit of financial gain create an inherent conflict of interest?

Dec 16, 2003

One of the best tests of true love is how well it handles its own demise.

Mar 9, 2003

People are *NOT* stupid!

Feb 23, 2003 (Maybe I'll convince myself of that someday.)

Pickup Lines For Engineers

Feb 17, 2003 (and as I think of new ones)

"Time is the fire in which we burn."

Jan 1, 2003 (from Soran on Star Trek: Generations)

An evil phrase I have found to be the almost inevitable result of not being omniscient is “I meant it at the time.” Am I supposed to stop saying things because at some future date circumstances might change? One wishes assumptions could stay constant [but they don't, and they can't].

added Dec 25, 2002 (from Rich, circa late Aug 2002)

Be careful what you say. People are not always as strong or as able to handle insults as they may appear to be.

Nov 16, 2002 (I'm tired of insults in the name of humor)

If you hate gossip, but you find other ways to tear people down...well, welcome to the world of double standards.

Nov 16, 2002 (I'm tired of double standards)

If you love someone, it seems that the greatest gift you can give them is to stay away. That's probably what they prefer anyway. (A challenge to the world: if you disagree, prove it.)

Oct 15, 2002 (with many incentives from various times in the past)

Take a second look...I'm cuter on the inside.

Sep 22, 2002

The best cure for wanting a girlfriend is having had one.

Rich, Sep 2002

None of us really knows what's going on. We just muddle through life as best we can.

Rich, Aug 2002

You must live your life. No matter what haunts you in the past or the future, you must still live your life. You must go to work, maintain your responsibilities, interact with the world. You must be strong and do what you need to do, you must focus, no matter how hard it may be.

Jul 22, 2002 (for when your thoughts are focused on things that keep you from concentrating on other priorities)

There's nothing like love to make a man reform his actions; there's nothing like loss of love to make him reform his mind.

Jun 30, 2002

There are two ways to provide protection and maintain purity: to carefully keep the prize under glass cover, allowing all to contemplate its beauty while safeguarding the item itself. The other way is to store it away in a closet, where no one notices it and no one cares.

Jan 30, 2002 (thoughts about purity in relationships and the two ways that one can remain pure, namely, by confronting temptation or by being too boring to elicit temptation)

" of the greatest ways to grow up love to maturity is to personally receive it in its most extravagant and undiluted form." (from When God Writes Your Love Story) (Joe's response: Okay, bring it on and teach me....)

Jan 29, 2002

Stability: It's supposed to be a good thing, having a steady income and the ability to choose one's lifestyle, but it can also be a straightjacket. The free spirits in society avoid stability (and those with stability), since they do not want their wings clipped by association with a stable (and thus limited and perhaps boring) person.

Jan 27, 2002 (philosophy on why engineers are often single)

Gossip is the form of communication that prevails when no other channels are open.

Jan 27, 2002

If talk is cheap, guessing is cheaper.

Dec 8, 2001 (while discussing whether certain things that seem blatantly obvious are really just tightly held assumptions)

Every once in a great while, the stars in the sky seem just within reach, but you dare not reach out for them, lest they silently retract and you realize how far away they really are.

Mar 5, 2001

Freedom from desire!!

Feb 10, 2001 (theme, 1999-2000)

Save the best for last.

Feb 4, 2001 (college theme)

Eating is not about food; it's about who you eat it with.

Feb 4, 2001 (semester theme)

There is a fine line between design and preparation for a project and limitless inefficiency and laziness. A good motto, after some necessary amount of planning, is "Just do it. We'll fix it later." Failure to act on our good intentions is a rampant frustration in our society.

Feb 4, 2001

"I am a beautification engineer!"

Feb 4, 2001 (semester theme)

Every word we speak is a work of art, fashioned from the hearts within us on the canvases of the minds and hearts of those around us. With that in mind, let every stroke of your "brush" be one of beauty and of grace.

Jan 26, 2001

In our humanity we are often in motion from place to place, making and breaking and renewing friendships as we journey on. We are forever intertwined by the joys and sorrows we share, but they seem small comfort when we are...apart.

Jan 27, 2001