"Do you remember the saddest moment of your life?"
"Probably sitting at the kitchen table with my dad, an hour after my mother died, realizing we had to figure out what we were going to do for lunch."

"I want to be a dog walker when I grow up."
"What’s the hardest part about being a dog walker?"
"Holding on to the leash."

"I want to be a captain in the ESU— it’s New York’s equivalent of a Swat Team. You know how a lot of kids grow up watching cartoons, and dreaming of being super heroes so that they can save people? Well, I never grew out of that."
"So what’s your super power?"
"I’m good at making contingency plans. Like when Batman made a contingency plan in case any member of the Justice League went rogue."
"So what’s been your greatest contingency plan so far?"
"I didn’t get into the school of my choice, so I’m in community college now."

"These experiences were so meaningful to me that I don’t want you to soundbite them."

"My parents were immigrants from Vietnam. They’d been through a war, and they didn’t want their child to go through the same hardships they went through, so they tried to control my life as much as possible. For them, control was love. But I had to move away from it."

"I dealt with people all my life, and now I’m burnt out. I just like to be alone. It’s more comfortable."

"I wasn’t lucky enough to have ever found what I wanted to do. Don’t get me wrong— I did nicely. But I never found my passion."

"One time we tried to climb up on a shelf at the mall, and the whole thing came down!"

"It’s not as bad as people make it sound. Sure, you created a little monster that you have to take care of. But it’s a blast."

"They ganged up on me and pushed me in a prickly bush."

"I probably shouldn’t have taken things so seriously."
"Like what?"
"In what way?"
"I think I changed too much when I got married. I tried to fit the role too much. I came from a big Italian family, so there was a lot of emphasis on being the ‘provider.’ You know— you gotta be the man. Gotta set an example. I guess I always thought that if I kept doing drugs, drinking, and partying, my kids wouldn’t have wanted to succeed."
"So you think should have done more drugs, drank more, and partied more?"
"Yeah. Probably."

"I was a school teacher for all my life, but I had to leave when I went blind. It was tough for me because I’d helped so many other people’s kids, and then when my own kids got to high school, I couldn’t see enough to help them with their homework. But everything turned out all right though. This one’s on the way to join her sister at the University of Albany!"

"If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?"
"Keep your word."
"What’s a time that you didn’t keep your word, that you now regret?"
"When I was younger, I told a friend that I’d go with her to get an abortion. And I never showed up."

"You should kiss the ground you walk on if you were born in this country— take it from an old man who once had to wear the Star of David on his shirt. There’s a safety to living in such a diverse place. It’s much more difficult to brainwash a population that is composed of so many different nationalities and so many different viewpoints."

"I do social work, focusing on young families. Basically I play and dance with babies."

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