Bag End Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Bag End. Here they are! All 200 of them:

You should date a girl who reads. Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes, who has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve. Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag. She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she has found the book she wants. You see that weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a secondhand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow and worn. She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book. Buy her another cup of coffee. Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice. It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas, for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry and in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does. She has to give it a shot somehow. Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world. Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who read understand that all things must come to end, but that you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two. Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series. If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype. You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. Or better yet, date a girl who writes.
Rosemarie Urquico
Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines he wrote a poem And he called it "Chops" because that was the name of his dog And that's what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and a gold star And his mother hung it on the kitchen door and read it to his aunts That was the year Father Tracy took all the kids to the zoo And he let them sing on the bus And his little sister was born with tiny toenails and no hair And his mother and father kissed a lot And the girl around the corner sent him a Valentine signed with a row of X's and he had to ask his father what the X's meant And his father always tucked him in bed at night And was always there to do it Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines he wrote a poem And he called it "Autumn" because that was the name of the season And that's what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and asked him to write more clearly And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because of its new paint And the kids told him that Father Tracy smoked cigars And left butts on the pews And sometimes they would burn holes That was the year his sister got glasses with thick lenses and black frames And the girl around the corner laughed when he asked her to go see Santa Claus And the kids told him why his mother and father kissed a lot And his father never tucked him in bed at night And his father got mad when he cried for him to do it. Once on a paper torn from his notebook he wrote a poem And he called it "Innocence: A Question" because that was the question about his girl And that's what it was all about And his professor gave him an A and a strange steady look And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because he never showed her That was the year that Father Tracy died And he forgot how the end of the Apostle's Creed went And he caught his sister making out on the back porch And his mother and father never kissed or even talked And the girl around the corner wore too much makeup That made him cough when he kissed her but he kissed her anyway because that was the thing to do And at three a.m. he tucked himself into bed his father snoring soundly That's why on the back of a brown paper bag he tried another poem And he called it "Absolutely Nothing" Because that's what it was really all about And he gave himself an A and a slash on each damned wrist And he hung it on the bathroom door because this time he didn't think he could reach the kitchen.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air, I am he that walks unseen. I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number. I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from the water. I came from the end of a bag, but no bag went over me. I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ringwinner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
I've always loved strong women, which is lucky for me because once you're over about twenty-five there is no other kind. Women blow my mind. The stuff that routinely gets done to them would make most men curl up and die, but women turn to steel and keep on coming. Any man who claims he's not into strong women is fooling himself mindless; he's into strong women who know how to pout prettily and put on baby voices, and who will end up keeping his balls in her makeup bags.
Tana French (Faithful Place (Dublin Murder Squad, #3))
People in the real world always say, when something terrible happens, that the sadness and loss and aching pain of the heart will “lessen as time passes,” but it isn’t true. Sorrow and loss are constant, but if we all had to go through our whole lives carrying them the whole time, we wouldn’t be able to stand it. The sadness would paralyze us. So in the end we just pack it into bags and find somewhere to leave it.
Fredrik Backman (My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry)
What?" he demanded. "Did you just...clean a dish?" Dee backed away slowly, blinking. She glanced at Daemon. "The world is going to end. And I’m still a vir—" "No!" both the brothers yelled in unison. Daemon looked like he was actually going to vomit. "Jesus, don’t ever finish that statement. Actually, don’t ever change that. Thank you." Her mouth dropped open."You expect me to never have—" "This isn’t a conversation I want to start my morning with." Dawson grabbed his book bag off the kitchen table. "I’m so leaving for school before this gets more detailed." "And why aren’t you dressed yet?" Dee demanded, her full attention concentrated on Daemon. "You’re going to be late." "I’m always late." "Punctuality makes perfect.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Shadows (Lux, #0.5))
He uncovered the boat, his hands working the knots like he'd been doing it his whole life. Under the tarp was an old steel rowboat with no oars. The boat had been painted dark blue at one point, but the hull was so crusted with tar and salt it looked like one massive nautical bruise. On the bow, the name Pax was still readable, lettered in gold. Painted eyes drooped sadly at the water level, as if the boat were about to fall asleep. On board were two benches, some steel wool, an old cooler, and a mound of frayed rope with one end tied to the mooring. At the bottom of the boat, a plastic bag and two empty Coke cans floated in several inches of scummy water. "Behold," Frank said. "The mighty Roman navy.
Rick Riordan (The Son of Neptune (The Heroes of Olympus, #2))
He stands with the fluid grace of an aristocrat who's used to rich surroundings. Although the quarter-bag of cat food he’s holding up does mess with the image a little.
Susan Ee (Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, #1))
To fill a small bag means selecting,and choosing, and evaluating. There's no logicial end to that process. Pretty soon I would have a big bag, and then two or three. A month later I'd be like the rest of you.
Lee Child (61 Hours (Jack Reacher, #14))
Already he was a very different hobbit from the one that had run out without a pocket-handkerchief from Bag-End long ago. He had not had a pocket-handkerchief for ages.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
I'm gonna love you with all these scars, with this sexy-as-fuck- short hair. However the fuck you look, wearing a damn Glad bag if you want. I'm in this with you 'til the very end.
Tillie Cole (Heart Recaptured (Hades Hangmen, #2))
We’re so self-important. Everybody’s going to save something now. “Save the trees, save the bees, save the whales, save those snails.” And the greatest arrogance of all: save the planet. Save the planet, we don’t even know how to take care of ourselves yet. I’m tired of this shit. I’m tired of f-ing Earth Day. I’m tired of these self-righteous environmentalists, these white, bourgeois liberals who think the only thing wrong with this country is that there aren’t enough bicycle paths. People trying to make the world safe for Volvos. Besides, environmentalists don’t give a shit about the planet. Not in the abstract they don’t. You know what they’re interested in? A clean place to live. Their own habitat. They’re worried that some day in the future they might be personally inconvenienced. Narrow, unenlightened self-interest doesn’t impress me. The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles … hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages … And we think some plastic bags and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference? The planet isn’t going anywhere. WE are! We’re going away. Pack your shit, folks. We’re going away. And we won’t leave much of a trace, either. Maybe a little Styrofoam … The planet’ll be here and we’ll be long gone. Just another failed mutation. Just another closed-end biological mistake. An evolutionary cul-de-sac. The planet’ll shake us off like a bad case of fleas. The planet will be here for a long, long, LONG time after we’re gone, and it will heal itself, it will cleanse itself, ’cause that’s what it does. It’s a self-correcting system. The air and the water will recover, the earth will be renewed. And if it’s true that plastic is not degradable, well, the planet will simply incorporate plastic into a new paradigm: the earth plus plastic. The earth doesn’t share our prejudice toward plastic. Plastic came out of the earth. The earth probably sees plastic as just another one of its children. Could be the only reason the earth allowed us to be spawned from it in the first place. It wanted plastic for itself. Didn’t know how to make it. Needed us. Could be the answer to our age-old egocentric philosophical question, “Why are we here?” Plastic… asshole.
George Carlin
She bypassed the junk food aisle altogether. “Okay, Faith. Hold up.” He grabbed the end of her cart and pulled it down the aisle. Snagging a bag of potato chips, he tossed them in her cart. “Better. Let’s find you some Twinkies.
Kelly Moran (All of Me (Covington Cove, #2))
Life is a wonderful, mesmerizing, magical, fun, silly thing. And humans are astounding. We all know we’re going to die, and yet we still live. We shout and curse and care when the full bin bag breaks, yet with every minute that passes we edge closer to the end. We marvel at a nectarine sunset over the M25 or the smell of a baby’s head or the efficiency of flat-pack furniture, even though we know that everyone we love will cease to exist one day. I don’t know how we do it.
Dolly Alderton (Everything I Know About Love: A Memoir)
When did my house turn into a hangout for every grossly overpaid, terminally pampered professional football player in northern Illinois?" "We like it here," Jason said. "It reminds us of home." "Plus, no women around." Leandro Collins, the Bears' first-string tight end emerged from the office munching on a bag of chips. "There's times when you need a rest from the ladies." Annabelle shot out her arm and smacked him in the side of the head. "Don't forget who you're talking to." Leandro had a short fuse, and he'd been known to take out a ref here and there when he didn't like a call, but the tight end merely rubbed the side of his head and grimaced. "Just like my mama." "Mine, too," Tremaine said with happy nod. Annabelle spun on Heath. "Their mother! I'm thirty-one years old, and I remind them of their mothers." "You act like my mother," Sean pointed out, unwisely as it transpired, because he got a swat in the head next.
Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Match Me If You Can (Chicago Stars, #6))
Stealing ideas from contemporaries is rude and tasteless. Stealing from the long dead is considered literary and admirable. The same is true of grave-robbing. Loot your local cemetery and find yourself mired in social awkwardness. But unearth the tomb of an ancient king and you can feel free to pop off his toe rings. You'll probably end up on a book tour, or bagging an honorary degree or two.
N.D. Wilson
And instead you rolled a rock over me and turned your back. I spent all that time drowning and surfacing in you, over and over and over, and all because in the end you could not bear to do the one thing I asked you to do. I wanted you to use me, you malign, double-crossing, corpse-obsessed bag of bones, you broken, used-up shithead! I wanted you to live and not die, you imaginary-girlfriend-having asshole! Fuck one flesh, one end, Harrow. I already gave my flesh to you, and I already gave you my end. I gave you my sword. I gave you myself. I did it while knowing I’d do it all again, without hesitation, because all I ever wanted you to do was eat me.
Tamsyn Muir (Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2))
Now, now," my father said. "Let's just get the bags." This was typical. My father, the lone male in our estrogen-heavy household, had always dealt with any kind of emotional situation or conflict by doing something concrete and specific. Discussion of cramps and heavy flow at the breakfast table? He was up and out the door to change oil on one of our cars. Coming home in tears for reasons you just didn't want to discuss? He'd go make you a grilled cheese, which he'd probably end up eating. Family crisis brewing in a public place? Bags. Get the bags.
Sarah Dessen
Now that’s what I call magic—seein’ all that, dealin’ with all that, and still goin’ on. It’s sittin’ up all night with some poor old man who’s leavin’ the world, taking away such pain as you can, comfortin’ their terror, seein’ ‘em safely on their way…and then cleanin’ ‘em up, layin’ ‘em out, making ‘em neat for the funeral, and helpin’ the weeping widow strip the bed and wash the sheets—which is, let me tell you, no errand for the fainthearted—and stayin’ up the next night to watch over the coffin before the funeral, and then going home and sitting down for five minutes before some shouting angry man comes bangin’ on your door ‘cuz his wife’s havin’ difficulty givin’ birth to their first child and the midwife’s at her wits’ end and then getting up and fetching your bag and going out again…We all do that, in our own way, and she does it better’n me, if I was to put my hand on my heart. That is the root and heart and soul and center of witchcraft, that is. The soul and center!
Terry Pratchett (A Hat Full of Sky (Discworld, #32; Tiffany Aching, #2))
And we will be ready, at the end of every day will be ready, will not say no to anything, will try to stay awake while everyone is sleeping, will not sleep, will make the shoes with the elves, will breathe deeply all the time, breathe in all the air full of glass and nails and blood, will breathe it and drink it, so rich, so when it comes we will not be angry, will be content, tired enough to go, gratefully, will shake hands with everyone, bye, bye, and then pack a bag, some snacks, and go to the volcano.
Dave Eggers
Sorrow and loss are constant, but if we all had to go through our whole lives carrying them the whole time, we wouldn’t be able to stand it. The sadness would paralyze us. So in the end we just pack it into bags and find somewhere to leave it.
Fredrik Backman (A Man Called Ove)
We came to the end, we found nothing. Nothing!!! And we cursed because we were hoping for so much less.
Henry Rollins (Body Bag)
Your attempt at GQ has, tragically, ended in douche-bag. - Anna, Seers of Light
Jennifer DeLucy (Seers of Light (Light, #1))
People say that if life gives you lemons, you should make lemonade. This is why unsolicited advice should be left to the professionals, because if life gives you lemons but doesn't also give you a whole lot of sugar, you're going to end up with some pretty awful-tasting lemonade. You might as well advise people that if life gives them a bag of wet sand they should make a stained glass window.
Cuthbert Soup (No Other Story (Whole Nother Story, #3))
I'd Better Not-- A man leaned over to a man in a pub And said in a voice ‘I used to be thirty seven but now I’m fifty one’. And that’s how the years go. In handfuls. Like somebody is almost at the end of a bag of crisps And they tip the bag up And it’s as though they’re drinking crisps. That’s how the years go.
Ian McMillan (I Found This Shirt: Poems and Prose from the Centre)
If you wanted to go on from the end of The Hobbit I think the ring would be your inevitable choice as the link. If then you wanted a large tale, the Ring would at once acquire a capital letter; and the Dark Lord would immediately appear. As he did, unasked, on the hearth at Bag End as soon as I came to that point. So the essential Quest started at once. But I met a lot of things along the way that astonished me. Tom Bombadil I knew already; but I had never been to Bree. Strider sitting in the corner of the inn was a shock, and I had no more idea who he was than Frodo did. The Mines of Moria had been a mere name; and of Lothlorien no word had reached my mortal ears till I came there. -- (J.R.R. Tolkien to W.H. Auden, June 7, 1955.)
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien)
It's called the Infinity Effect.
Edward M. Wolfe (In the End)
My horizon lightened, I see an old woman. Who is she? Where is she from? Bent over, the ends of her boubou tied behind her, she empties into a plastic bag the left-overs of red rice. Her smiling face tells of the pleasant day she has just had. She wants to take back proof of this to her family, living perhaps in Ouakam, Thiaroye or Pikine. Standing upright, her eyes meeting my disapproving look, she mutters between teeth reddened by cola nuts: 'Lady, death is just as beautiful as life has been.
Mariama Bâ (So Long a Letter)
I don’t know,’ said Frodo. ‘It came to me then, as if I was making it up; but I may have heard it long ago. Certainly it reminds me very much of Bilbo in the last years, before he went away. He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,” he used to say. “You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to. Do you realize that this is the very path that goes through Mirkwood, and that if you let it, it might take you to the Lonely Mountain or even further and to worse places?” He used to say that on the path outside the front door at Bag End, especially after he had been out for a long walk.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1))
You know what happens when someone dies?' Delia said suddenly, startling me a bit. I kept putting together my sandwich, though, not answering: I knew there was more. 'It's like, everything and everyone refracts, each person having a different reaction'...'When Wish died, it just knocked the wind out of me. Truly. It's like that stupid thing bert and Wes do, the leaping out thing, trying to scare each other: it was the biggest gotcha in the world.' She looked down at the sandwiches. 'I'd just assumed she'd be okay. It had never occurd to me she might actually just be... gone. You know?'...'And then she was,' Delia said, her hand on the bread bag. 'Gone. Gotcha. And suddenly I had these two boys to take care of, plus a newborn of my own. It was just this huge loss, this huge gap, you know'...'Some people... they can just move on, you know, mourn and cry and be done with it. Or at least seem to be. But for me... I don't know. I didn't want to fix it, to forget. It wasn't something that was broken. It's just ... something that happened. And like that hole, I'm just finding ways, every day, of working around it. Respecting and remebering and getting on at the same time.' I envied Delia. At least she knew what she was up against. Maybe that's what you got when you stood over your grief, facing it finally. A sense of its depths, its area, the distance across, and the way over or around it, whichever you chose in the end.
Sarah Dessen (The Truth About Forever)
I'm packing my life in a bag again, saying goodbye and writing the last letters. It's been a long journey, back and forth, hide and seek, but this time it's different. This time I am different. I'm not sure where I want to end up but I know how to get there, or at least the first direction, the first turn, the first sunset. I'm longing for peace. I'm longing for borrowed guitars and detachment. Horizons, cheap whiskey straight from the bottle and your hands in mine.
Charlotte Eriksson (Empty Roads & Broken Bottles: in search for The Great Perhaps)
In contravention of my belief that any life ending in death is essentially pointless, I needed my friends to open up that plastic bag and take one last look at me. Someone had to remember me, if only for a few more minutes in the vast silent waiting room of time.
Gary Shteyngart (Super Sad True Love Story)
I don’t want to accidentally end up looking back on my life to find that I’m ashamed of myself, I want to live a life I can be proud of.
Alice Bag
He tries again, swallowing hard to ease away the painful lump in his throat. "It's just important. I love you. I'm yours. I need people to know." "Alright," Lindsay says suddenly. He leans down to grab at Pip's bag, throwing stuff out onto the carpet, his iPod and phone and wallet and gloves and Attitude magazine until he finds what he's looking for, a green marker pen, and holds it between his teeth while he starts tugging at the hem of Pip's t-shirt. Pip's too surprised to do anything but submit, he lets Lindsay peel off his t-shirt and throw that on top of all the things from his bag then just watches as Lindsay pulls the pen out of the cap in his mouth and signs his name in big green letters on the side of Pip's stomach. He holds his breath, trying not to suck in the belly fat everybody else keeps telling him is imaginary. "There, you're mine, are you fucking happy now?" Lindsay snaps, and throws the recapped pen across the room to get lost in the bookcase somewhere.
Richard Rider (No Beginning, No End (Stockholm Syndrome, #3))
As class ended, Hector announced, “I’m hungry.” “ okay,” Rider responded as I said to my notebook into my bag. “ what exactly do you want me to do about it?” Hector grinned as he glanced over at me and winked. “ I want you to take me out and feed me.” Rider snorted.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (The Problem with Forever)
FINISTERRE The road in the end taking the path the sun had taken, into the western sea, and the moon rising behind you as you stood where ground turned to ocean: no way to your future now but the way your shadow could take, walking before you across water, going where shadows go, no way to make sense of a world that wouldn't let you pass except to call an end to the way you had come, to take out each frayed letter you brought and light their illumined corners, and to read them as they drifted through the western light; to empty your bags; to sort this and to leave that; to promise what you needed to promise all along, and to abandon the shoes that had brought you here right at the water's edge, not because you had given up but because now, you would find a different way to tread, and because, through it all, part of you could still walk on, no matter how, over the waves.
David Whyte
As far as plans went, it was like facing the zombie apocalypse with a nail file and a bag of Skittles. It might work, but chances were good that I'd die a horrible, painful death. At least the end would be filled with fruity, candy goodness. And for my dramatic death scene I could whisper, in a creepy, quivery death rattle, taste the rainbow. Boy would those zombies be confused.
E.J. Stevens (The Pirate Curse (Spirit Guide, #5))
I am shocked to find that some people think a 2 star 'I liked it' rating is a bad rating. What? I liked it. I LIKED it! That means I read the whole thing, to the last page, in spite of my life raining comets on me. It's a good book that survives the reading process with me. If a book is so-so, it ends up under the bed somewhere, or maybe under a stinky judo bag in the back of the van. So a 2 star from me means,yes, I liked the book, and I'd loan it to a friend and it went everywhere in my jacket pocket or purse until I finished it. A 3 star means that I've ignored friends to finish it and my sink is full of dirty dishes. A 4 star means I'm probably in trouble with my editor for missing a deadline because I was reading this book. But I want you to know . . . I don't finish books I don't like. There's too many good ones out there waiting to be found. Robin Hobb, author
Robin Hobb
Eddie saw great things and near misses. Albert Einstein as a child, not quite struck by a run-away milk-wagon as he crossed a street. A teenage boy named Albert Schweitzer getting out of a bathtub and not quite stepping on the cake of soap lying beside the pulled plug. A Nazi Oberleutnant burning a piece of paper with the date and place of the D-Day Invasion written on it. He saw a man who intended to poison the entire water supply of Denver die of a heart attack in a roadside rest-stop on I-80 in Iowa with a bag of McDonald’s French fries on his lap. He saw a terrorist wired up with explosives suddenly turn away from a crowded restaurant in a city that might have been Jerusalem. The terrorist had been transfixed by nothing more than the sky, and the thought that it arced above the just and unjust alike. He saw four men rescue a little boy from a monster whose entire head seemed to consist of a single eye. But more important than any of these was the vast, accretive weight of small things, from planes which hadn’t crashed to men and women who had come to the correct place at the perfect time and thus founded generations. He saw kisses exchanged in doorways and wallets returned and men who had come to a splitting of the way and chosen the right fork. He saw a thousand random meetings that weren’t random, ten thousand right decisions, a hundred thousand right answers, a million acts of unacknowledged kindness. He saw the old people of River Crossing and Roland kneeling in the dust for Aunt Talitha’s blessing; again heard her giving it freely and gladly. Heard her telling him to lay the cross she had given him at the foot of the Dark Tower and speak the name of Talitha Unwin at the far end of the earth. He saw the Tower itself in the burning folds of the rose and for a moment understood its purpose: how it distributed its lines of force to all the worlds that were and held them steady in time’s great helix. For every brick that landed on the ground instead of some little kid’s head, for every tornado that missed the trailer park, for every missile that didn’t fly, for every hand stayed from violence, there was the Tower. And the quiet, singing voice of the rose. The song that promised all might be well, all might be well, that all manner of things might be well.
Stephen King (Wolves of the Calla)
I thought,” he said, “that if the world was going to end we were meant to lie down or put a paper bag over our head or something.” “If you like, yes,” said Ford. “That’s what they told us in the army,” said the man, and his eyes began the long trek back down to his whisky. “Will that help?” asked the barman. “No,” said Ford and gave him a friendly smile.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
...art is weaker than life - in the end I have a bag of letters to scrabble into order - rune tiles to cast my fate...
John Geddes (A Familiar Rain)
In December 2008, I had the book with me while we waited for Dr. O'Reilly. Mom had already finished it. Every time I put the book down to go grab some mocha, or check my email, or make a call, I returned to find Mom rereading it, sneakily wolfing down passages as though I'd left behind a bag of cookies, not a book, and she was scooping up crumbs behind my back.
Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club)
it’s a terrible feeling when you first fall in love. your mind gets completely taken over, you can’t function properly anymore. the world turns into a dream place, nothing seems real. you forget your keys, no one seems to be talking English and even if they are you don’t care as you can’t hear what they’re saying anyway, and it doesn’t matter since your not really there. things you cared about before don’t seem to matter anymore and things you didn’t think you cared about suddenly do. I must become a brilliant cook, I don’t want to waste time seeing my friends when I could be with him, I feel no sympathy for all those people in India killed by an earthquake last night; what is the matter with me? It’s a kind of hell, but you feel like your in heaven. even your body goes out of control, you can’t eat, you don’t sleep properly, your legs turn to jelly as your not sure where the floor is anymore. you have butterflies permanently, not only in your tummy but all over your body - your hands, your shoulders, your chest, your eyes everything’s just a jangling mess of nerve endings tingling with fire. it makes you feel so alive. and yet its like being suffocated, you don’t seem to be able to see or hear anything real anymore, its like people are speaking to you through treacle, and so you stay in your cosy place with him, the place that only you two understand. occasionally your forced to come up for air by your biggest enemy, Real Life, so you do the minimum then head back down under your love blanket for more, knowing it’s uncomfortable but compulsory. and then, once you think you’ve got him, the panic sets in. what if he goes off me? what if I blow it, say the wrong thing? what if he meets someone better than me? Prettier, thinner, funnier, more like him? who doesn’t bite there nails? perhaps he doesn’t feel the same, maybe this is all in my head and this is just a quick fling for him. why did I tell him that stupid story about not owning up that I knew who spilt the ink on the teachers bag and so everyone was punished for it? does he think I'm a liar? what if I'm not very good at that blow job thing and he’s just being patient with me? he says he loves me; yes, well, we can all say words, can’t we? perhaps he’s just being polite. of course you do your best to keep all this to yourself, you don’t want him to think you're a neurotic nutcase, but now when he’s away doing Real Life it’s agony, your mind won’t leave you alone, it tortures you and examines your every moment spent together, pointing out how stupid you’ve been to allow yourself to get this carried away, how insane you are to imagine someone would feel like that about you. dad did his best to reassure me, but nothing he said made a difference - it was like I wanted to see Simon, but didn’t want him to see me.
Annabel Giles (Birthday Girls)
This life is a hospital in which each patient is possessed by the desire to change beds. One wants to suffer in front of the stove and another believes that he will get well near the window. It always seems to me that I will be better off there where I am not, and this question of moving about is one that I discuss endlessly with my soul "Tell me, my soul, my poor chilled soul, what would you think about going to live in Lisbon? It must be warm there, and you'll be able to soak up the sun like a lizard there. That city is on the shore; they say that it is built all out of marble, and that the people there have such a hatred of the vegetable, that they tear down all the trees. There's a country after your own heart -- a landscape made out of light and mineral, and liquid to reflect them!" My soul does not reply. "Because you love rest so much, combined with the spectacle of movement, do you want to come and live in Holland, that beatifying land? Perhaps you will be entertained in that country whose image you have so often admired in museums. What do you think of Rotterdam, you who love forests of masts and ships anchored at the foot of houses?" My soul remains mute. "Does Batavia please you more, perhaps? There we would find, after all, the European spirit married to tropical beauty." Not a word. -- Is my soul dead? Have you then reached such a degree of torpor that you are only happy with your illness? If that's the case, let us flee toward lands that are the analogies of Death. -- I've got it, poor soul! We'll pack our bags for Torneo. Let's go even further, to the far end of the Baltic. Even further from life if that is possible: let's go live at the pole. There the sun only grazes the earth obliquely, and the slow alternation of light and darkness suppresses variety and augments monotony, that half of nothingness. There we could take long baths in the shadows, while, to entertain us, the aurora borealis send us from time to time its pink sheaf of sparkling light, like the reflection of fireworks in Hell!" Finally, my soul explodes, and wisely she shrieks at me: "It doesn't matter where! It doesn't matter where! As long as it's out of this world!
Charles Baudelaire (Paris Spleen)
Yeah? How's this?" Claire, in one smooth, fast motion, pulled an arrow from the bag on her shoulder, slotted it home on the string, and pulled the compound bow back to full extension. She was aiming the arrow straight at Morley's crossed hands, over his heart. He laughed. "You aren't serious--" She fired. The arrow went through both of Morley's hands, pinning them to his chest with the fletching at the end. He stared down in shock at the wood piercing his chest, stumbled, and went down to his knees. Then just down, face forward. The arrow stuck up out of his back, like an exclamation point. "I will," Claire said softly, and let the bow rock forward as she reached one-handed for another arrow and notched it home. "I'm not a really good shot, but this is a really small room, so let me make this very clear: the first vampire who tries to lay a hand on either of my friends gets a new piercing, just like Morley. Now, if you need food, I will figure it out. But you don't get to use my friends like vending machines. Are we clear?" Around the room, vampires nodded, casting disbelieving looks at Morley. Even Oliver was staring at her as if he'd never really seen her before. She didn't know why; he'd known she could do it--hadn't he? Or was she different, somehow?
Rachel Caine (Kiss of Death (The Morganville Vampires, #8))
On the first day of November last year, sacred to many religious calendars but especially the Celtic, I went for a walk among bare oaks and birch. Nothing much was going on. Scarlet sumac had passed and the bees were dead. The pond had slicked overnight into that shiny and deceptive glaze of delusion, first ice. It made me remember sakes and conjure a vision of myself skimming backward on one foot, the other extended; the arms become wings. Minnesota girls know that this is not a difficult maneuver if one's limber and practices even a little after school before the boys claim the rink for hockey. I think I can still do it - one thinks many foolish things when November's bright sun skips over the entrancing first freeze. A flock of sparrows reels through the air looking more like a flying net than seventy conscious birds, a black veil thrown on the wind. When one sparrow dodges, the whole net swerves, dips: one mind. Am I part of anything like that? Maybe not. The last few years of my life have been characterized by stripping away, one by one, loves and communities that sustain the soul. A young colleague, new to my English department, recently asked me who I hang around with at school. "Nobody," I had to say, feeling briefly ashamed. This solitude is one of the surprises of middle age, especially if one's youth has been rich in love and friendship and children. If you do your job right, children leave home; few communities can stand an individual's most pitiful, amateur truth telling. So the soul must stand in her own meager feathers and learn to fly - or simply take hopeful jumps into the wind. In the Christian calendar, November 1 is the Feast of All Saints, a day honoring not only those who are known and recognized as enlightened souls, but more especially the unknowns, saints who walk beside us unrecognized down the millennia. In Buddhism, we honor the bodhisattvas - saints - who refuse enlightenment and return willingly to the wheel of karma to help other beings. Similarly, in Judaism, anonymous holy men pray the world from its well-merited destruction. We never know who is walking beside us, who is our spiritual teacher. That one - who annoys you so - pretends for a day that he's the one, your personal Obi Wan Kenobi. The first of November is a splendid, subversive holiday. Imagine a hectic procession of revelers - the half-mad bag lady; a mumbling, scarred janitor whose ravaged face made the children turn away; the austere, unsmiling mother superior who seemed with great focus and clarity to do harm; a haunted music teacher, survivor of Auschwitz. I bring them before my mind's eye, these old firends of my soul, awakening to dance their day. Crazy saints; but who knows what was home in the heart? This is the feast of those who tried to take the path, so clumsily that no one knew or notice, the feast, indeed, of most of us. It's an ugly woods, I was saying to myself, padding along a trail where other walkers had broken ground before me. And then I found an extraordinary bouquet. Someone had bound an offering of dry seed pods, yew, lyme grass, red berries, and brown fern and laid it on the path: "nothing special," as Buddhists say, meaning "everything." Gathered to formality, each dry stalk proclaimed a slant, an attitude, infinite shades of neutral. All contemplative acts, silences, poems, honor the world this way. Brought together by the eye of love, a milkweed pod, a twig, allow us to see how things have been all along. A feast of being.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
I'm honored to assist", Reichen told Lucan and Tegan as the three men loaded the last of the bags and weaponry. "I've often wondered what it might be like to stand among the Order as one of your own." "Be careful what you wish for", Lucan drawled. "Depending how things go, theres a good chance we could end up knighting you on the field.
Lara Adrian (Midnight Awakening (Midnight Breed, #3))
[excerpt] The usual I say. Essence. Spirit. Medicine. A taste. I say top shelf. Straight up. A shot. A sip. A nip. I say another round. I say brace yourself. Lift a few. Hoist a few. Work the elbow. Bottoms up. Belly up. Set ‘em up. What’ll it be. Name your poison. I say same again. I say all around. I say my good man. I say my drinking buddy. I say git that in ya. Then a quick one. Then a nightcap. Then throw one back. Then knock one down. Fast & furious I say. Could savage a drink I say. Chug. Chug-a-lug. Gulp. Sauce. Mother’s milk. Everclear. Moonshine. White lightning. Firewater. Hootch. Relief. Now you’re talking I say. Live a little I say. Drain it I say. Kill it I say. Feeling it I say. Wobbly. Breakfast of champions I say. I say candy is dandy but liquor is quicker. I say Houston, we have a drinking problem. I say the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. I say god only knows what I’d be without you. I say thirsty. I say parched. I say wet my whistle. Dying of thirst. Lap it up. Hook me up. Watering hole. Knock a few back. Pound a few down. My office. Out with the boys I say. Unwind I say. Nurse one I say. Apply myself I say. Toasted. Glow. A cold one a tall one a frosty I say. One for the road I say. Two-fisted I say. Never trust a man who doesn’t drink I say. Drink any man under the table I say. Then a binge then a spree then a jag then a bout. Coming home on all fours. Could use a drink I say. A shot of confidence I say. Steady my nerves I say. Drown my sorrows. I say kill for a drink. I say keep ‘em comin’. I say a stiff one. Drink deep drink hard hit the bottle. Two sheets to the wind then. Knackered then. Under the influence then. Half in the bag then. Out of my skull I say. Liquored up. Rip-roaring. Slammed. Fucking jacked. The booze talking. The room spinning. Feeling no pain. Buzzed. Giddy. Silly. Impaired. Intoxicated. Stewed. Juiced. Plotzed. Inebriated. Laminated. Swimming. Elated. Exalted. Debauched. Rock on. Drunk on. Bring it on. Pissed. Then bleary. Then bloodshot. Glassy-eyed. Red-nosed. Dizzy then. Groggy. On a bender I say. On a spree. I say off the wagon. I say on a slip. I say the drink. I say the bottle. I say drinkie-poo. A drink a drunk a drunkard. Swill. Swig. Shitfaced. Fucked up. Stupefied. Incapacitated. Raging. Seeing double. Shitty. Take the edge off I say. That’s better I say. Loaded I say. Wasted. Off my ass. Befuddled. Reeling. Tanked. Punch-drunk. Mean drunk. Maintenance drunk. Sloppy drunk happy drunk weepy drunk blind drunk dead drunk. Serious drinker. Hard drinker. Lush. Drink like a fish. Boozer. Booze hound. Alkie. Sponge. Then muddled. Then woozy. Then clouded. What day is it? Do you know me? Have you seen me? When did I start? Did I ever stop? Slurring. Reeling. Staggering. Overserved they say. Drunk as a skunk they say. Falling down drunk. Crawling down drunk. Drunk & disorderly. I say high tolerance. I say high capacity. They say protective custody. Blitzed. Shattered. Zonked. Annihilated. Blotto. Smashed. Soaked. Screwed. Pickled. Bombed. Stiff. Frazzled. Blasted. Plastered. Hammered. Tore up. Ripped up. Destroyed. Whittled. Plowed. Overcome. Overtaken. Comatose. Dead to the world. The old K.O. The horrors I say. The heebie-jeebies I say. The beast I say. The dt’s. B’jesus & pink elephants. A mindbender. Hittin’ it kinda hard they say. Go easy they say. Last call they say. Quitting time they say. They say shut off. They say dry out. Pass out. Lights out. Blackout. The bottom. The walking wounded. Cross-eyed & painless. Gone to the world. Gone. Gonzo. Wrecked. Sleep it off. Wake up on the floor. End up in the gutter. Off the stuff. Dry. Dry heaves. Gag. White knuckle. Lightweight I say. Hair of the dog I say. Eye-opener I say. A drop I say. A slug. A taste. A swallow. Down the hatch I say. I wouldn’t say no I say. I say whatever he’s having. I say next one’s on me. I say bottoms up. Put it on my tab. I say one more. I say same again
Nick Flynn (Another Bullshit Night in Suck City)
And so it was settled. Sam Gamgee married Rose Cotton in the spring of 1420 (which was also famous for its weddings), and they came and lived at Bag End. And if Sam thought himself lucky, Frodo knew that he was more lucky himself; for there was not a hobbit in the Shire that was looked after with such care. When the labours or repair had all been planned and set going he took to a quiet life, writing a good deal and going through all his notes. He resigned the office of Deputy Mayor at the Free Fair that Midsummer, and dear old Will Whitfoot had another seven years of presiding at Banquets.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3))
When I was growing up, my mom used to tell my sister and me about a leprechaun with a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. But she never mentioned a Russian Neanderthal with a bag of diamonds at the end of a bloody trail in a train station
James Patterson (Kill Me If You Can)
I realize that people still read books now and some people actually love them, but in 1946 in the Village our feelings about books--I’m talking about my friends and myself--went beyond love. It was as if we didn’t know where we ended and books began. Books were our weather, our environment, our clothing. We didn’t simply read books; we became them. We took them into ourselves and made them into our histories. While it would be easy to say that we escaped into books, it might be truer to say that books escaped into us. Books were to us what drugs were to young men in the sixties. They showed us what was possible. We had been living with whatever was close at hand, whatever was given, and books took us great distances. We had known only domestic emotions and they showed us what happens to emotions when they are homeless. Books gave us balance--the young are so unbalanced that anything can make them fall. Books steadied us; it was as if we carried a heavy bag of them in each hand and they kept us level. They gave us gravity.
Anatole Broyard (Kafka Was the Rage: A Greenwich Village Memoir)
Ramona wasn't at home anywhere. She felt like a spy in life and the ending of every great book and each orgasm, and the sight of every homeless shopping bag lady infected her with a titanic yearning for the world to make an unscheduled stop.
Ann Druyan (A Famous Broken Heart: A Fantasy Novel)
Stitched into the bag’s side were several new lines of glowing red runic script. “What does it say?” Alex asked. “Oh, a few technical runes.” Blitz’s eyes crinkled with satisfaction. “Magic nuts and bolts, terms and conditions, the end-user agreement. But there at the bottom, it says: ‘EMPTYLEATHER, a bag completed by Blitzen, son of Freya. Jack helped.’” “I wrote that!” Jack said proudly. “I helped!
Rick Riordan (The Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, #2))
I kept saying her name and she would ask What? and I’d say her name again. I’m not afraid of how this sounds to you. I’m not embarrassed now. But if you could understand, had I—can you see why there’s no way I could let her just go away after this? Why I felt this apical sadness and fear at the thought of her getting her bag and sandals and New Age blanket and leaving and laughing when I clutched her hem and begged her not to leave and said I loved her and closing the door gently and going off barefoot down the hall and never seeing her again? Why it didn’t matter if she was fluffy or not terribly bright? Nothing else mattered. She had all my attention. I’d fallen in love with her. I believed she could save me. I know how this sounds, trust me. I know your type and I know what you’re bound to ask. Ask it now. This is your chance. I felt she could save me I said. Ask me now. Say it. I stand here naked before you. Judge me, you chilly cunt. You dyke, you bitch, cooze, cunt, slut, gash. Happy now? All borne out? Be happy. I don’t care. I knew she could. I knew I loved. End of story.
David Foster Wallace (Brief Interviews with Hideous Men)
An actor is no more than an assortment of odds and ends which barely add upp to a whole man. An actor is an interpreter of other men's words, often a soul which wishes to to reveal itself to the world but dare not, a craftsman, a bag of tricks, a vanity bag, a cool observer of mankind, a child, and at his best a kind of unfrocked priest who for an hour or two, can call on heacen and hell to mesmerise a group of innocents.
Alec Guinness
Let it all go, one foot in the grave and one bag packed. We shall go to our end in the warm glow of the past, burning up the memories, all the clutter given back.
Peter R. Pouncey (Rules for Old Men Waiting)
If we were to define a sleeping bag as a house, India would move swiftly towards ending her housing shortage. A shortage of nearly thirty-one million units. Accept this definition, and you could go in for mass production of sleeping bags. We could then have passionate debates about the drastic reduction in the magnitude of the housing problem. The cover stories could run headlines: ‘Is it for real?’ And straps: ‘Sounds too good to be true, but it is.’ The government could boast that it had not only stepped up production of sleeping bags but had piled up an all-time record surplus of them. Say, thirty-seven million. Conservatives could argue that we were doing so well, the time had come to export sleeping bags, at ‘world prices’. The bleeding hearts could moan that sleeping bags had not reached the poorest. Investigative muckrakers could scrutinise the contracts given to manufacturers. Were the bags overpriced? Were they of good quality? That ends the housing shortage. There’s only one problem. Those without houses at the start of the programme will still be without houses at the end of it. (True, some of them will have sleeping bags, probably at world prices.)
Palagummi Sainath (Everybody loves a good drought)
But no matter what happens, the earth keeps turning. Monday always comes and eventually, sometimes excruciatingly slowly, that Monday is followed by a Friday. You take tests, hand in papers you wrote at two in the morning the day they were due, and your shoes get worn out, and the pollen in the air increases so that you go through an entire package of tissues during the SATs, and you wander through the crowds at parties looking for Natalie Banks because you came with her, and you watch her take off for the backyard with a senior who seems to be in the backyard with a different girl at every party, and you learn to play chess with your dad, and you eat too much ice cream, and your favorite television drama has its two-hour season finale, and then suddenly the school year ends and you pack your bags for Tennessee.
Dana Reinhardt (How to Build a House)
The things she wanted the baby to know seemed small, so small. How it felt to go to a grocery store on vacation; to wake at three a.m. and run your whole life through your fingertips; first library card; new lipstick; a toe going numb for two months because you wore borrowed shoes to a friend’s wedding; Thursday; October; “She’s Like the Wind” in a dentist’s office; driver’s license picture where you look like a killer; getting your bathing suit back on after you go to the bathroom; touching a cymbal for sound and then touching it again for silence; playing house in the refrigerator box; letting a match burn down to the fingerprints; one hand in the Scrabble bag and then I I I O U E A; eyes racing to the end of Villette (skip the parts about the crétin, sweetheart); hamburger wrappers on a road trip; the twist of a heavy red apple in an orchard; word on the tip of the tongue; the portal, but just for a minute.
Patricia Lockwood (No One Is Talking About This)
I need to leave something behind. Something that will stay. This room should be a historical landmark, the site of the beginning and end of Colby and Bev. Several minutes have passed, and I know that if I wait too long there will be a knock on the door and I'll have to go, but I need to leave a mark. It has to be significant enough to last, but subtle enough that the maid won't notice and wash it away. As I'm looking around I realize that I never noticed the print above the bed. It's another in the family series - a faded wedding portrait. Groom in tux. Bride with pearls. It comes off the wall easily.I set the print on the bedspread and wit eht dust on the wall with the sleeve of my hood. I take out a Sharpie from my bag. The wall has yellowed to create a perfect rectangle where the photograph must have been hanging, unremoved, for years. I fill the whiter space with this: I never got to tell you how beautiful you are. And then I return the frame to its place on the wall and go back out into the night.
Nina LaCour (The Disenchantments)
And suddenly first one and then another began to sing as they played, deep-throated singing of the dwarves in the deep places of their ancient homes; and this is like a fragment of their song, if it can be like their song without their music. [...]As they sang the hobbit felt the love of beautiful things made by hands and by cunning and by magic moving through him, a fierce and jealous love, the desire of the hearts of dwarves. Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick. He looked out of the window. The stars were out in a dark sky above the trees. He thought of the jewels of the dwarves shining in dark caverns. Suddenly in the wood beyond The Water a flame leapt up - probably somebody lighting a wood-fire-and he thought of plundering dragons settling on his quiet Hill and kindling it all to flames. He shuddered; and very quickly he was plain Mr. Baggins of Bag-End, Under-Hill, again. He got up trembling.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
It's funny, isn't it, what will make you break? Your lover moves to London and falls in love with a news reader for the BBC and you feel fine and then one day you raise your umbrella slightly to cross Fifty-seventh Street and stare into the Burberry shop and begin to sob. Or your baby dies at birth and five years later, in an antique store, a small battered silver rattle with teeth marks in one end engraved with the name Emily lies on a square of velvet, and the sobs escape from the genie's bottle somewhere deep in your gut where they've lain low until then. Or the garbage bag breaks.
Anna Quindlen (One True Thing)
I went back in and grabbed my running clothes, then changed in the bathroom. I opened the door to the bathroom, stopping when I saw Kaidan's toiletry bag on the sink. I was overcome with curiosity about his cologne or aftershave, because I'd never smelled it on anyone else before. Feeling sneaky, I prodded one finger into the bag and peeked. No cologne bottle. Only a razor, shaving cream, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. I picked up the deodorant, pulled off the lid, and smelled it. Nope, that wasn't it. The sound of Kaidan's deep chuckle close to the doorway made me scream and drop the deodorant into the sink with a clatter. I smacked one hand to my chest and grabbed the edge of the sink with the other. He laughed out loud now. “Okay, that must have looked really bad.” I spoke to his reflection in the mirror, then fumbled to pick up the deodorant. I put the lid on and dropped it in his bag. “But I was just trying to figure out what cologne you wear.” My face was on fire as Kaidan stepped into the small bathroom and leaned against the counter, crossing his arms over his chest. I stepped away. He seemed entertained by my predicament. “I haven't been wearing any cologne.” “Oh.” I cleared my throat. “Well, I didn't see any, so I thought it might be your deodorant, but that's not it either. Maybe it's your laundry detergent or something. Let's just forget about it.” “What is it you smell, exactly?” His voice took on a husky quality, and it felt like he was taking up a lot of room. I couldn't bring myself to look at him. Something strange was going on here. I stepped back, hitting the tub with my heel as I tried to put the scent into words. “I don't know. It's like citrus and the forest or something...leaves and tree sap. I can't explain it.” His eyes bored into mine while he wore that trademark sexy smirk, arms still crossed. “Citrus?” he asked. “Like lemons?” “Oranges mostly. And a little lime, too.” He nodded and flicked his head to the side to get hair out of his eyes. Then his smile disappeared and his badge throbbed. “What you smell are my pheromones, Anna.” A small, nervous laugh burst from my throat. “Oh, okay, then. Well...” I eyed the small space that was available to pass through the door. I made an awkward move toward it, but he shifted his body and I stepped back again. “People can't usually smell pheromones,” he told me. “You must be using your extra senses without realizing it. I've heard of Neph losing control of their senses with certain emotions. Fear, surprise...lust.” I rubbed my hands up and down my upper arms, wanting nothing more than to veer this conversation out of the danger zone. “Yeah, I do have a hard time reining in the scent sometimes,” I babbled. “It even gets away from me while I sleep now and then. I wake up thinking Patti's making cinnamon rolls and it ends up being from someone else's apartment. Then I'm just stuck with cereal. Anyway...” “Would you like to know your own scent?” he asked me. My heart swelled up big in my chest and squeezed small again. This whole scent thing was way too sensual to be discussed in this small space. Any second now my traitorous body would be emitting some of those pheromones and there'd be red in my aura. “Uh, not really,” I said, keeping my eyes averted. “I think I should probably go.” He made no attempt to move out of the doorway. “You smell like pears with freesia undertones.” “Wow, okay.” I cleared my throat, still refusing eye contact. I had to get out of there. “I think I'll just...” I pointed to the door and began to shuffle past him, doing my best not to brush up against him. He finally took a step back and put his hands up by his sides to show that he wouldn't touch me. I broke out of the confined bathroom and took a deep breath.
Wendy Higgins (Sweet Evil (Sweet, #1))
According to Q-Jo, the whole tarot deck, or at least the twenty-two trump cards of the Major Arcana, may be read as the Fool's journey. "On one important level," she explained, "the major cards are chapters in the story of a quest. I'm talking the universal human quest for understanding and divine reunion. And it doesn't matter whether the quest starts with the Fool or ends with him, because it's a loop anyhow, a cycle endlessly repeated. When the naive young Fool finally tumbles over the precipice, he falls into the world of experience. Now his journey has really begun. Along the way, he'll meet all the teachers and tempters - the tempters are teachers, too - and challenging situations that a person is likely to meet in the task of his or her growing. The Fool is potentially everybody, but not everybody has the wisdom or the guts to play the fool. A lot of folks don't know what's in that bag they're carrying. And they're all too willing to trade it for cash. Inside the bag, the have every tool they need to facilitate their life's journey, but they won't even open it up and glance inside. Subconsciously, the goal of all of us out-of-control primates is essentially the same, but let me assure you of this: the only ones who'll ever reach that goal are the ones who have the courage to make fools of themselves along the way.
Tom Robbins (Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas)
How late is it? How long have we been sitting here? I look at my watch – three thirty and the day is almost ending. It’s October. All those kids recently returned to classrooms with new bags and pencil cases will be looking forward to half term already. How quickly it goes. Halloween soon, then firework night. Christmas. Spring. Easter. Then there’s my birthday in May. I’ll be seventeen. How long can I stave it off? I don’t know. All I know is that I have two choices – stay wrapped in blankets and get on with dying, or get the list back together and get on with living.
Jenny Downham (Before I Die)
Lawless stood off to the side, one black boot resting to the wall, the same shade of long coat hanging down by his ankles, his shaved head and ink along his neck giving the only impression needed, he was a mean bastard when he had to be. He was flipping a silver coin along the backs of his knuckles like he was out for the day and enjoying himself. Crazy fucker was juiced just waiting for the call to the plate, his bag of tricks sitting at his feet as though he'd brought his gym clothes to work. There was nothing in that bag made for fun, not if you were on the receiving end anyway. Lawless always had a lot of fun using his tools.
V. Theia (Dirty Salvation (Renegade Souls MC Romance Saga #1))
There was so much unpleasantness in the workaday world. The last thing you ever wanted to do at night was go home and do the dishes. And just the idea that part of the weekend had to be dedicated to getting the oil changed and doing the laundry was enough to make those of us still full from lunch want to lie down in the hallway and force anyone dumb enough to remain committed to walk around us. It might not be so bad. They could drop food down to us, or if that was not possible, crumbs from their PowerBars and bags of microwave popcorn surely would end up within an arm's length sooner or later. The cleaning crews, needing to vacuum, would inevitably turn us on our sides, preventing bedsores, and we would make little toys out of runs in the carpet, which, in moments of extreme regression, we might suck on for comfort.
Joshua Ferris (Then We Came to the End)
Nick was waiting for him. Gabriel hesitated. He wished those text messages had come with some kind of sign, whether Nick was pissed or exasperated or just completely done with him. Hell, a freaking emoticon would have been helpful. His own room sat pitch-dark at the opposite end of the hallway. A black hole. Gabriel eased around the creaky spot in the floor and slid past his twin's room. Once in his own, he flung his duffel bag onto the ground and shut the door, closing the dark around himself. He sighed and kicked his shoes into the well of blackness under the bed. Maybe Nick hadn't heard him. Maybe he thought he was still out in the car. "You are so predictable." Gabriel swore and fumbled for the light switch. Nick was straddling his desk chair backward, his arms folded on the backrest. "What the hell is wrong with you?" Gabriel snapped. "Why are you sitting here in the dark?" His twin shrugged. Because I knew you'd walk right past my room.
Brigid Kemmerer (Spark (Elemental, #2))
In the end, age in numbers is no more than an empty bag. The only way to truly tell a person's years is by examing the contents they have filled it with.
Thurman P. Banks Jr. (Beyond John Dann)
If there is God, then the will is all his, and I cannot get out of his will. If not, the will is all mine, and it is my duty to proclaim self-will." "Self-will? And why is it your duty?" "Because the will has all become mine. Can it be that no one on the whole planet, having ended God and believed in self-will, dares to proclaim self-will to the fullest point? It's as if a poor man received an inheritance, got scared, and doesn't dare go near the bag, thinking he's too weak to own it. I want to proclaim self-will. I may be the only one, but I'll do it. "Do it, then." "It is my duty to shoot myself because the fullest point of my self-will is--for me to kill myself...to kill someone else would be the lowest point of my self-will, and there's the whole of you in that. I am not you: I want the highest point, and will kill myself...It is my duty to proclaim unbelief," Kirillow was pacing the room. "For me no idea is higher than that there is no God. The history of mankind is on my side. Man has done nothing but invent God, so as to live without killing himself; in that lies the whole of world history up to now. I alone for the first time in world history did not want to invent God. Let them know once and for all.
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Demons)
I had gone a-begging from door to door in the village path, when thy golden chariot appeared in the distance like a gorgeous dream and I wondered who was this King of all kings! My hopes rose high and methought my evil days were at an end, and I stood waiting for alms to be given unasked and for wealth scattered on all sides in the dust. The chariot stopped where I stood. Thy glance fell on me and thou camest down with a smile. I felt that the luck of my life had come at last. Then of a sudden thou didst hold out thy right hand and say `What hast thou to give to me?' Ah, what a kingly jest was it to open thy palm to a beggar to beg! I was confused and stood undecided, and then from my wallet I slowly took out the least little grain of corn and gave it to thee. But how great my surprise when at the day's end I emptied my bag on the floor to find a least little gram of gold among the poor heap. I bitterly wept and wished that I had had the heart to give thee my all.
Rabindranath Tagore (গীতাঞ্জলি | Gitanjali | Song Offering)
Diamonds were nothing more than carbon, but carbon in a crystal lattice that made it the hardest known mineral in nature. That was the way we all were headed. I was sure of it. We were destined to be diamonds! How exciting it was to think that, long after the world had ended, whatever was left of our bodies would be transformed into a dazzling blizzard of diamond dust, blowing out towards eternity in the red glow of a dying sun.
Alan Bradley (The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag (Flavia de Luce, #2))
I first read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit when I was eighteen. It felt as though the author had taken every element I'd ever want in a story and woven them into one huge, seamless narrative; but more important, for me, Tolkien had created a place, a vast, beautiful, awesome landscape, which remained a resource long after the protagonists had finished their battles and gone their separate ways. In illustrating The Lord of the Rings I allowed the landscapes to predominate. In some of the scenes the characters are so small they are barely discernible. This suited my own inclinations and my wish to avoid, as much as possible, interfering with the pictures being built up in the reader's mind, which tends to be more closely focussed on characters and their inter-relationships. I felt my task lay in shadowing the heroes on their epic quest, often at a distance, closing in on them at times of heightened emotion but avoiding trying to re-create the dramatic highpoints of the text. With The Hobbit, however, it didn't seem appropriate to keep such a distance, particularly from the hero himself. I don't think I've ever seen a drawing of a Hobbit which quite convinced me, and I don't know whether I've gotten any closer myself with my depictions of Bilbo. I'm fairly happy with the picture of him standing outside Bag End, before Gandalf arrives and turns his world upside-down, but I've come to the conclusion that one of the reasons Hobbits are so quiet and elusive is to avoid the prying eyes of illustrators.
Alan Lee
By not talking about death with our loved ones, not being clear through advanced directives, DNR (do not resuscitate) orders, and funeral plans, we are directly contributing to this future ... and a rather bleak present, at that. Rather than engage in larger societal discussions about dignified ways for the terminally ill to end their lives, we accept intolerable cases like that of Angelita, a widow in Oakland who covered her head with a plastic bag because the arthritic pain of her gnarled joints was too much to bear. Or that of Victor in Los Angeles, who hung himself from the rafters of his apartment after his third unsuccessful round of chemotherapy, leaving his son to discover his body. Or the countless bodies with decubitus ulcers, more painful for me to care for them even babies or suicides. When these bodies come into the funeral home, I can only offer my sympathy to their living relatives, and promise to work to ensure that more people are not robbed of a dignified death by a culture of silence.
Caitlin Doughty (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory)
At one point I was climbing off the bus and I bumped into a woman in a crisp black blazer and pointy, witchy shoes. She had a bulky cell phone pressed against her ear and a black bag with gold Prada lettering hooked around her wrist. I was a long ways off from worshiping at the Céline, Chloé, or Goyard thrones, but I certainly recognized Prada. “Sorry,” I said, and took a step away from her. She nodded at me briskly but never stopped speaking into her phone, “The samples need to be there by Friday.” As her heels snapped away on the pavement, I thought, There is no way that woman can ever get hurt. She had more important things to worry about than whether or not she would have to eat lunch alone. The samples had to arrive by Friday. And as I thought about all the other things that must make up her busy, important life, the cocktail parties and the sessions with the personal trainer and the shopping for crisp, Egyptian cotton sheets, there it started, my concrete and skyscraper wanderlust. I saw how there was a protection in success, and success was defined by threatening the minion on the other end of a cell phone, expensive pumps terrorizing the city, people stepping out of your way simply because you looked like you had more important places to be than they did. Somewhere along the way, a man got tangled up in this definition too. I just had to get to that, I decided, and no one could hurt me again.
Jessica Knoll (Luckiest Girl Alive)
...somewhere in that intersection of broken hearts and shattered souls... broken is not the end of things, but the beginning. Maybe broken is what happens before you become unbroken. What's more, maybe our broken pieces don't fit us... maybe my pieces are the very pieces needed to mend you and your pieces are the very pieces needed to mend me, but until we've been broken we don't have the pieces to mend each other. Maybe in the offering we discover the meaning, and value of being broken. Maybe...somewhere on the planet is another somebody standing around holding a bag of all the jagged, painful pieces of themselves and they can't get whole without you... Maybe love, the real kind, the kind only wished for in whispers and the kind our hearts are hardwired to want, is opening up the bag of you... And what's more, they don't cost you anything. They're free. I paid for them in the breaking... And because you're desperate, and you've tried most everything else, you empty my bag across the floor... and...find the one piece you've been missing... And when you insert that piece into the puzzle that had become you, it stops the hemorrhage, and for the first time in maybe your whole life, the wound starts to heal.
Charles Martin (Unwritten)
The year was 1987, but it might as well have been the Summer of Love: I was twenty, had hair down to my shoulders, and was dressed like an Indian rickshaw driver. For those charged with enforcing our nation’s drug laws, it would have been only prudent to subject my luggage to special scrutiny. Happily, I had nothing to hide. “Where are you coming from?” the officer asked, glancing skeptically at my backpack. “India, Nepal, Thailand…” I said. “Did you take any drugs while you were over there?” As it happens, I had. The temptation to lie was obvious—why speak to a customs officer about my recent drug use? But there was no real reason not to tell the truth, apart from the risk that it would lead to an even more thorough search of my luggage (and perhaps of my person) than had already commenced. “Yes,” I said. The officer stopped searching my bag and looked up. “Which drugs did you take? “I smoked pot a few times… And I tried opium in India.” “Opium?” “Yes.” “Opium or heroin? “It was opium.” “You don’t hear much about opium these days.” “I know. It was the first time I’d ever tried it.” “Are you carrying any drugs with you now?” “No.” The officer eyed me warily for a moment and then returned to searching my bag. Given the nature of our conversation, I reconciled myself to being there for a very long time. I was, therefore, as patient as a tree. Which was a good thing, because the officer was now examining my belongings as though any one item—a toothbrush, a book, a flashlight, a bit of nylon cord—might reveal the deepest secrets of the universe. “What is opium like?” he asked after a time. And I told him. In fact, over the next ten minutes, I told this lawman almost everything I knew about the use of mind-altering substances. Eventually he completed his search and closed my luggage. One thing was perfectly obvious at the end of our encounter: We both felt very good about it.
Sam Harris (Lying)
My conflicts of conscience are about the only battles I’m fighting these days, and I’m willing to fight until the end. There is something freeing about this life, about living out of a single backpack and disappearing into the night. About smelling terrible and never remembering people’s names. About never having to say you’re sorry. We exist outside of society. We stay up late and sleep even later. We are bandits, pirates, serial killers. The dregs. Someone should lock us up and never let us out again. But instead, they give us their money, they offer us their beds. We are not going to pay for the beer. We are not going to be back here for a good, long while. We have prior engagements. We have the money in a duffel bag. We have no shame. Fuck guilt. Back to life.
Pete Wentz (Gray)
Julia", I answered breathlessly. "Chloe, are you in the bathroom fucking that nice slice of man cake?" "I'll be there in a second, okay?" I ended the call and shoved the phone back into my bag. I looked up at him, feeling my rational side return after the small interruption. "I should go." "Look, I-" He was cut off as my phone rang again. I answered without bothering to look at the screen. "God, Julia! I’m not in here fucking the piece of man cake!" "Chloe?" Joel's confused voice sounded through the phone. "Oh... hi." Shit. This could not be happening to me.
Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard (Beautiful Bastard, #1))
For most of my life, I would have automatically said that I would opt for conscientious objector status, and in general, I still would. But the spirit of the question is would I ever, and there are instances where I might. If immediate intervention would have circumvented the genocide in Rwanda or stopped the Janjaweed in Darfur, would I choose pacifism? Of course not. Scott Simon, the reporter for National Public Radio and a committed lifelong Quaker, has written that it took looking into mass graves in former Yugoslavia to convince him that force is sometimes the only option to deter our species' murderous impulses. While we're on the subject of the horrors of war, and humanity's most poisonous and least charitable attributes, let me not forget to mention Barbara Bush (that would be former First Lady and presidential mother as opposed to W's liquor-swilling, Girl Gone Wild, human ashtray of a daughter. I'm sorry, that's not fair. I've no idea if she smokes.) When the administration censored images of the flag-draped coffins of the young men and women being killed in Iraq - purportedly to respect "the privacy of the families" and not to minimize and cover up the true nature and consequences of the war - the family matriarch expressed her support for what was ultimately her son's decision by saying on Good Morning America on March 18, 2003, "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? I mean it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?" Mrs. Bush is not getting any younger. When she eventually ceases to walk among us we will undoubtedly see photographs of her flag-draped coffin. Whatever obituaries that run will admiringly mention those wizened, dynastic loins of hers and praise her staunch refusal to color her hair or glamorize her image. But will they remember this particular statement of hers, this "Let them eat cake" for the twenty-first century? Unlikely, since it received far too little play and definitely insufficient outrage when she said it. So let us promise herewith to never forget her callous disregard for other parents' children while her own son was sending them to make the ultimate sacrifice, while asking of the rest of us little more than to promise to go shopping. Commit the quote to memory and say it whenever her name comes up. Remind others how she lacked even the bare minimum of human integrity, the most basic requirement of decency that says if you support a war, you should be willing, if not to join those nineteen-year-olds yourself, then at least, at the very least, to acknowledge that said war was actually going on. Stupid fucking cow.
David Rakoff (Don't Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems)
Sorrow and loss are constant, but if we all had to go through our whole lives carrying them the whole time, we wouldn’t be able to stand it. The sadness would paralyse us. So in the end we just pack it into bags and find somewhere to leave it.
Fredrik Backman (My Grandmother Sends Her Regards and Apologises)
The rules about communion at Friday mass, for example, made absolutely no sense. We’d be in there for an hour of kneeling, standing, sitting, kneeling, standing, sitting, kneeling, standing, sitting, and by the end of it I’d be starving, but I was never allowed to take communion, because I wasn’t Catholic. The other kids could eat Jesus’s body and drink Jesus’s blood, but I couldn’t. And Jesus’s blood was grape juice. I loved grape juice. Grape juice and crackers—what more could a kid want? And they wouldn’t let me have any. I’d argue with the nuns and the priest all the time. “Only Catholics can eat Jesus’s body and drink Jesus’s blood, right?” “Yes.” “But Jesus wasn’t Catholic.” “No.” “Jesus was Jewish.” “Well, yes.” “So you’re telling me that if Jesus walked into your church right now, Jesus would not be allowed to have the body and blood of Jesus?” “Well…uh…um…” They never had a satisfactory reply. One morning before mass I decided, I’m going to get me some Jesus blood and Jesus body. I snuck behind the altar and I drank the entire bottle of grape juice and I ate the entire bag of Eucharist to make up for all the other times that I couldn’t. In
Trevor Noah (Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood)
You’re correct that I’ve never experienced poverty, but you’ve never experienced a man you’ve grown up with for 20 years, more brother than friend, try to assassinate you because another man wanted what was yours. You’ve never had your older sister gouge you in the leg with a throwing star and try to end your life. You’ve never had to live every day knowing the only thing between you and a body bag is a good bodyguard and the people who would kill you being too afraid of what you’d do if they failed.
Sam Mariano (Accidental Witness (Morelli Family, #1))
I had a chance to read Monte Christo in prison once, too, but not to the end. I observed that while Dumas tries to create a feeling of horror, he portrays the Château d'If as a rather benevolent prison. Not to mention his missing such nice details as the carrying of the latrine bucket from the cell daily, about which Dumas with the ignorance of a free person says nothing. You can figure out why Dantès could escape. For years no one searched the cell, whereas cells are supposed to be searched every week. So the tunnel was not discovered. And then they never changed the guard detail, whereas experience tells us that guards should be changed every two hours so one can check on the other. At the Château d'If they didn't enter the cells and look around for days at a time. They didn't even have any peepholes, so d'If wasn't a prison at all, it was a seaside resort. They even left a metal bowl in the cell, with which Dantès could dig through the floor. Then, finally, they trustingly sewed a dead man up in a bag without burning his flesh with a red-hot iron in the morgue and without running him through with a bayonet at the guardhouse. Dumas ought to have tightened up his premises instead of darkening the atmosphere.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The First Circle)
I hooked the condom out with the end of a spoon and dropped it into the bottom of a white bin-bag, where it lay, dried out and brown, as transparent as old human skin.
Mo Hayder (Pig Island)
There was a sound like a garbage bag of pudding dropped off a tall building onto a sidewalk. Robert had erupted, chunks slapping off the walls in every direction.
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
What came in the end was only a small war and a quick victory; when the farmers and the gentlemen finally did coalesce in politics, they produced only the genial reforms of Progressivism; and the man on the white horse turned out to be just a graduate of the Harvard boxing squad, equipped with an immense bag of platitudes, and quite willing to play the democratic game.
Richard Hofstadter (The Age of Reform)
Life is a cosmic grab-bag. At this moment, somewhere in the world, someone is losing a child, skiing down a mountain, having an orgasm, getting a haircut, lying on a bed of pain, singing on a stage, drowning, getting married, starving in a gutter. In the end, aren't we all that same person? An aeon is a thousand million years, and an aeon ago every atom in our bodies was a part of a star. Pay attention to me, God. We are all a part of your universe, and if we die, part of your universe dies with us.
Sidney Sheldon (Windmills of the Gods)
The knowledge a student seeks is already inside the school bag she carries. She goes to school to transfer that knowledge inside her mind. At the end of the year, the entire bag is supposed to become part of her mind. Your ideas and beliefs about God are like a school bag you carry around. They are supposed to burn and become an integral part of you. Don’t fall in love with the bag. It is supposed to go.
Shunya
Discouragement, fear, and depression— three villains who lurk in the dark. They slip inside souls with a blindfold and goals to shatter your dreams and extinguish your spark. Their tactics are highly effective. They crush a great many each day. And under their spell it is easy to dwell On fiascoes and failures that end in dismay. The heart and the mind are left heavy. The last speck of will is erased. And nothing stays on when these villains are gone but a mouthful of bile with the bitterest taste. Alas! You must conquer the scoundrels! Elude, dodge, and keep them at bay! To feel fear slink in, boring under your skin, is a sign that his brothers are well on their way. So reach for your weapons against them! Take hope and hard work in each hand! Strap faith on your hips and a prayer on your lips and show those debasers how firmly you stand! Discouragement, fear and depression— the truth should be known of these cads. They’re empty and weak; it is your strength they seek. Deny them and life is your wish in the bag.
Richelle E. Goodrich (Making Wishes: Quotes, Thoughts, & a Little Poetry for Every Day of the Year)
I opened the bag and pulled out a small box of chocolates. “Happy anniversary.” “Oh. Thanks.” She flashed me a huge smile that would have looked totally real … if I didn’t know her better. “Simon said that’s what I should get you. That or flowers. So you like it?” “Sure.” “Liar.” Her face went bright red now as she stammered, “N-no, really. It’s great. It’s—” “Completely and totally impersonal. Like something you’d buy in bulk for all your teachers.” “No, I like this kind. You know I do and—” She stopped as I held out the bag. “Your real gift,” I said. She looked in and let out a choking laugh. Then, still grinning, she reached in and pulled out a penlight, a Swiss army knife and a purse-sized can of mace. She sputtered another laugh. “This is …” “Practical?” I said. “In my life, it is definitely practical. But I was going to say thoughtful.” She smiled up at me. “The most thoughtful gift I’ve ever gotten.” “And the most completely unromantic? Simon almost had a heart attack when I showed him. He made me get the chocolates, as a backup.” “I’m sure he did. Which I suppose explains why I ended up with you instead.” She rose on tiptoes again and put her arms around my neck. “Because buying me gifts to keep me safe? That’s my idea of romantic.”
Kelley Armstrong (Belonging (Darkest Powers, #3.5))
Though she'd try to do otherwise, she had never been able to stop cluttering her present with her past. Now somebody she didn't know would pack her treasures into plastic bags and carry them away. A life, at its end, is a pile of cloth and paper, and goods that can be bagged and labelled. None of the best things - the voice and the laugh, the tilt of the head, the things seen and felt and spoken - are allowed to stay behind.
Sonya Hartnett
I wanted you to use me, you malign, double-crossing, corpse-obsessed bag of bones, you broken, used-up shithead! I wanted you to live and not die, you imaginary-girlfriend-having asshole! Fuck one flesh, one end, Harrow. I already gave mt flesh to you, and I already gave you my end. I gave you my sword. I gave you myself. I did it while knowing I'd do it all again, without hesitation, because all I ever wanted you to do was eat me.
Tamsyn Muir (Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2))
A true thing about seeds is that they don't always stay seeds. In addition, most seeds grow up to be something. Some become plants or trees that then go about producing more seeds. Some seeds get popped and eaten and...well, you probably have a pretty good idea of what happens to things after they get eaten. Some seeds are dried, some are pressed for oil, and some simply end up in bean bags or as the rattle in a baby's toy. It's probably fair to say that the life and times of a seed isn't necessarily the most exciting thing in the world, but what the seed lacks in excitement, it makes up for in miracles. It's a miracle that a tiny seed can change from a dot in your palm into a towering tree whose wood can be made into the home you live in or the paper books are printed on.
Obert Skye (Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo (Leven Thumps, #1))
I went to the kiosk and bought ten bags of popcorn. I scattered nine on the ground for the pigeons, and sat on a bench to eat the last bag myself. Enough pigeons descended upon the popcorn for a remake of the October Revolution.
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
This little bag I hope will prove To be not vainly made-- For, if you should a needle want It will afford you aid. And as we are about to part T'will serve another end, For when you look upon the Bag You'll recollect your friend
Jane Austen
...the people who find fault with society are too apt to regard it as an end and not a means, just as the people who despise money speak as if its only use were to be kept in bags and gloated over? Isn't it fairer to look at them both as opportunities, which may be used either stupidly or intelligently, according to the capacity of the user?
Edith Wharton
Rather than let author and environmentalist Edward Abbey be buried in a traditional cemetery, his friends stole his body, wrapped it in a sleeping bag, and hauled it in the back of his pickup truck to the Cabeza Prieta Desert in Arizona. They drove down a long dirt road and dug a hole when they reached the end of it, marking Abbey’s name on a nearby stone and pouring whiskey onto the grave. Fitting tribute for Abbey, who spent his career warning humanity of the harm in separating ourselves from nature. “If my decomposing carcass helps nourish the roots of a juniper tree or the wings of a vulture—that is immortality enough for me. And as much as anyone deserves,” he once said. Left
Caitlin Doughty (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory)
There are many, many things that are difficult in this life, but one thing that isn't difficult at all is figuring out whether someone is excited or not when they open a present. If someone is excited, they will often put exclamation points at the end of their sentences to indicate their excited tone of voice. If they say "Oh!" for instance, the exclamation point would indicate that the person is saying "Oh!" in an excited way, rather than simply saying "Oh," with a comma after it, which would indicate that the present is somewhat disappointing. "Oh," Violet said, as she opened her present. "Oh," Klaus said, as he opened his. "Oh," Sunny said, as she tore open her shopping bag with her teeth.
Lemony Snicket (The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6))
Among frail, elderly patients, C. diff can be fatal in approximately 5-10%. Some patients with severe C. diff end up losing their colon and have a permanent bag on their side to catch bodily waste, via a procedure known as an ileostomy.
J. Thomas LaMont
Igennem et helt liv har du gemt dig bag et forhærdet hjertes panser. Men hvad hjælper den skudsikre vest, når døden kommer inde fra? Og et hjerte, hvis indhold ikke får lov at strømme frit, vil på et tidspunkt ende med at slå dig ihjel.
Lars Muhl
Because at the end of the day, your fresh-snow-white skin means that you get to walk around without having some white woman cross the street to get away from you, clutching her bag a little tighter because she thinks you’re going to rob her,
Kasim Ali (Good Intentions)
They arrived home again to a most peculiar sight. The small garden at the front of the Banana House had been transformed. A tidal wave of cushions, beanbags, quilts, hearth rugs, and sleeping bags appeared to have swept up the lawn and broken at the wall. From Indigo's window a multicolored rope of knotted bedsheets came snaking out and ended among the cushions. As Micheal and Caddy watched, a mattress emerged and fell to the ground, followed by a rain of pillows. "Indigo!" shouted Caddy, jumping out of the car. Indigo's and Rose's heads appeared in the window above. "It's all right, Caddy!" Indigo called cheerfully. "We've been doing it all the time you've been gone." "We keep finding more stuff to land on!" added Rose. "Look!
Hilary McKay (Saffy's Angel (Casson Family, #1))
But she missed simple things, parents' birthdays, a rug underfoot, nights when she didn't have to sleep in a zipped bag. She began to think she was inadequate to the strict plain shapes of churchly faith. Head pains hit her at the end of the day. They came with a shining, an electrochemical sheen, light from out of nowhere, brain-made, the eerie gleam of who you are.
Don DeLillo (Mao II)
But even while Rome is burning, there’s somehow time for shopping at IKEA. Social imperatives are a merciless bitch. Everyone is attempting to buy what no one can sell.  See, when I moved out of the house earlier this week, trawling my many personal belongings in large bins and boxes and fifty-gallon garbage bags, my first inclination was, of course, to purchase the things I still “needed” for my new place. You know, the basics: food, hygiene products, a shower curtain, towels, a bed, and umm … oh, I need a couch and a matching leather chair and a love seat and a lamp and a desk and desk chair and another lamp for over there, and oh yeah don’t forget the sideboard that matches the desk and a dresser for the bedroom and oh I need a coffeetable and a couple end tables and a TV-stand for the TV I still need to buy, and don’t these look nice, whadda you call ’em, throat pillows? Oh, throw pillows. Well that makes more sense. And now that I think about it I’m going to want my apartment to be “my style,” you know: my own motif, so I need certain decoratives to spruce up the decor, but wait, what is my style exactly, and do these stainless-steel picture frames embody that particular style? Does this replica Matisse sketch accurately capture my edgy-but-professional vibe? Exactly how “edgy” am I? What espresso maker defines me as a man? Does the fact that I’m even asking these questions mean I lack the dangling brass pendulum that’d make me a “man’s man”? How many plates/cups/bowls/spoons should a man own? I guess I need a diningroom table too, right? And a rug for the entryway and bathroom rugs (bath mats?) and what about that one thing, that thing that’s like a rug but longer? Yeah, a runner; I need one of those, and I’m also going to need…
Joshua Fields Millburn (Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists)
What he did instead was clean his shelter. He had been sleeping on the foam pad that had come with the survival pack and he straightened everything up and hung his bag out in the sun to air-dry and then used the hatchet to cut the ends of new evergreen boughs and laid them like a carpet in the shelter. As soon as he brought the boughs inside and the heat from the fire warmed them they gave off the most wonderful smell, filled the whole shelter with the odor of spring, and he brought the bag back inside and spread the pad and bag and felt as if he were in a new home. The berries boiled first and he added snow water to them and kept them boiling until he had a kind of mush in the pan. By that time the meat had cooked and he set it off to the side and tasted the berry
Gary Paulsen (Brian's Winter (Hatchet, #3))
I liked his attention. But I also felt like there was something sick and wrong about it. Like it might make me sick later. I thought of my grandmother, my father's mother. How when I used to visit her in Georgia she would always let me eat all the cookies and frozen egg rolls I wanted. "Go ahead, sweetheart, there's more," she would say. And it seemed okay because she was a grown-up, and I wanted all the Chips Ahoy! cookies in the bag. But I always ended up feeling extremely sick afterward. I looked at book, his eyes swollen with emotion.
Augusten Burroughs (Running with Scissors)
I'm just sorry. Sorry that there won't be any more camping trips for kids or rock bands or even new books to read. No more movies or fresh bags of popcorn. It really sucks when you think about it. Of course, there is the possibility that we might be able to win this war, but not for a very long time. Probably longer than you and I will ever exist in this world." "I try not to think about it." "Sometimes it's all I ever think about.
Jeyn Roberts (Dark Inside (Dark Inside, #1))
leave WinCo I always end up paying far less than I thought I would and leave with so many bags. I can do a full month’s stock up shopping trip there with just $250, and I'm talking eight or more full bags and a full pantry and fridge. When I leave Walmart I scratch my head and feel cheated.
Kate Singh (The Frugal Life: How a Family Can Live Under $30,000 and Thrive)
The driver bumped his way through the door and plopped down Caitlyn’s “luggage.” Caitlyn watched Madame Snowe’s eyes go to it, widening as she took it in. Caitlyn’s cheeks heated. Her “luggage” was a Vietnam War-era army green duffel bag, bought for a dollar at a garage sale. Cloud-shaped moisture stains mottled its faded surface, and jagged stitches of black carpet thread sealed a rip on one end, Caitlyn’s clumsy needlework giving the mended hole the look of one of Frankenstein’s scars. “Is that all you brought?” Greta asked. Caitlyn nodded, wishing the floor would swallow her. “Very good. You will have no trouble unpacking, and then you can burn your bag, heh?” “Reduce, reuse, recycle!” Caitlyn said with false cheer. “We’re very big on living green in Oregon. Why buy a new suitcase when someone else’s old duffel bag will do?” “We’ll see that it gets … disposed of properly,
Lisa Cach (Wake Unto Me)
My mother started school when she was six and stopped the same term. She was unusual in the village, as she had a father and brothers who encouraged her to go to school. She was the only girl in a class of boys. She carried her bag of books proudly into school and claims she was brighter than the boys. But every day she would leave behind her girl cousins playing at home and she envied them. There seemed no point in going to school to just end up cooking, cleaning and bringing up children, so one day she sold her books for nine annas, spent the money on boiled sweets and never went back.
Malala Yousafzai (I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban)
What to wear on a Minnesota farm? The older farmers I know wear brown polyester jumpsuits, like factory workers. The younger ones wear jeans, but the forecast was for ninety-five degrees with heavy humidity. The wardrobe of Quaker ladies in their middle years runs to denim skirts and hiking boots. This outfit had worked fine for me in England. But one of my jobs in Minnesota will be to climb onto the industrial cuisinart in the hay barn and mix fifty-pound bags of nutritional supplement and corn into blades as big as my body. Getting a skirt caught in that thing would be bad news for Betty Crocker.
Mary Rose O'Reilley (The Barn at the End of the World: The Apprenticeship of a Quaker, Buddhist Shepherd)
Link followed me out into the hall. There was a white plastic bag covering the project. The sand and rocks made the box lid heavy. I picked up one end, and Link got the other end. We started toward the door. Then Link stopped. His face looked pale, and his lips looked blue. In a small voice he said, “I can’t do this. Reports. You know, talking to the whole class.” He gulped. And then very softly he said, “I can’t.” We were face-to-face, about two feet apart. I was looking up at him. No SuperBully in sight. Just a scared kid. And then I knew why Link had kept telling me that I had to give the report.
Andrew Clements (Jake Drake, Bully Buster)
It may be the first day of your life, the prime of youth or several decades in, when Medicine Woman calls you. Your name on her list. Her new initiate. She crept in whilst you were sleeping, when you over-exerted, when you kissed him, or ate that, or lived there or pushed too hard just one time too many. She crept in and curled up in your cells, your heart, waiting to meet you. Longing to know you. Longing for you to know her, at last. And what feels like the end is in fact a beginning, of a new road, an unknown path of pain and healing. She will show you how to slow down, she will run her fingers roughly through your life and help you sort the busyness from what matters, she will show you how to find support… and who you really are, beyond your roles and expectations… and even more beyond the System the world has forced you into. She transports you into the timelessness of big pains and tiny joys. Initiates you into your strength. Into your love. Into your courage. Into a world beyond your control. She has sent me an invitation. I see yours too, tucked in your bag, amongst all the receipts and bills, the pens and detritus of life. Take it out. It is time.
Lucy H. Pearce (Medicine Woman: Reclaiming the Soul of Healing)
One more item slipped out of the bag. It was the metal identification tag from Maureen's cremation, the one I had burned with her just a few weeks before. These tags say with the body through the whole cremation, and leave stuck in with the ashes, which is how sacks of cremated remains found in old storage lockers and attics can still be identified years later. The tag I found was identical (except for the ID number) to the one I was putting in with Matthew now. I imagined his hands sinking into the grey mulch of Maureen's bones and finding the tag. I imagined him pulling the tag out and brushing the dusty metal against his cheek. It was a bizarre honor to have been a part of their last private moment together, the last act of their love story. I cried (sobbed, if we're being honest) standing over Matthew's body, moments before it was loaded into the chamber. Even if all we love will die, I still ached for a love like theirs, to be adored so completely. Had not Disney guaranteed all of us such an ending?
Caitlin Doughty (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes & Other Lessons from the Crematory)
This year there will be an eclipse of the Moon on the fourth day of August.9 Saturn will be retrograde; Venus, direct; Mercury, variable. And a mass of other planets will not proceed as they used to.10 As a result, crabs this year will walk sideways, rope-makers work backwards, stools end up on benches, and pillows be found at the foot of the bed;11 many men’s bollocks will hang down for lack of a game-bag;12 the belly will go in front and the bum be the first to sit down; nobody will find the bean in their Twelfth Night cake; not one ace will turn up in a flush; the dice will never do what you want, however much you may flatter them;13 and the beasts will talk in sundry places.
François Rabelais (Gargantua and Pantagruel)
Elsa decides they should begin by taking the bus, like normal knights on normal quests in more or less normal fairytales when there aren’t any horses or cloud animals available. But when all the other people at the bus stop starts eyeing The Monster and the wurse and nervously shuffling as far away from them as it’s possible to be without ending up at the next bus stop, she realises it’s not going to be quite so straightforward. On boarding the bus it becomes immediately clear that wurses are not at all partial to travelling on public transport. After it had snuffled about and stepped on people’s toes and overturned bags with its tail and accidently dribbled a bit on a seat a little too close to The Monster for The Monster to feel entirely comfortable, Elsa decides to forget the whole thing, and then all three of them get off. Exactly one stop later
Fredrik Backman (My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry)
When we consider the major themes of Venezuelan socialism, we can see right away that every one of them parallels the themes of the American left. American leftists are wannabe Maduros pretending to take their cues from Sven. If we continue to move in the direction that the left is taking us, we are going to end up not where the Scandinavians are but where the Venezuelans are. Pack your bags, and make sure you label them correctly. It’s not “Stockholm, here we come” but “Caracas, here we come.” It won’t be pretty.
Dinesh D'Souza (United States of Socialism: Who's Behind It. Why It's Evil. How to Stop It.)
[...] the people who find fault with society are too apt to regard it as an end and not a means, just as the people who despise money speak as if its only use were to be kept in bags and gloated over? Isn't it fairer to look at them both as opportunities, which may be used either stupidly or intelligently, according to the capacity of the user?
Edith Wharton (The House of Mirth)
When we entered a classroom we always tossed our caps on the floor, to free our hands; as soon as we crossed the threshold we would throw them under the bench so hard that they struck the wall and raised a cloud of dust; this was "the way it should be done." But the new boy either failed to notice this maneuver or was too shy to perform it himself, for he was still holding his cap on his lap at the end of the prayer. It was a head-gear of composite nature, combining elements of the busby, the lancer cap, the round hat, the otter-skin cap and the cotton nightcap--one of those wretched things whose mute ugliness has great depths of expression, like an idiot's face. Egg-shaped and stiffened by whalebone, it began with three rounded bands, followed by alternating diamond-shaped patches of velvet and rabbit fur separated by a red stripe, and finally there was a kind of bag terminating in a cardboard-lined polygon covered with complicated braid. A network of gold wire was attached to the top of this polygon by a long, extremely thin cord, forming a kind of tassel. The cap was new; its visor was shiny. "Stand up," said the teacher. He stood up; his cap fell. The whole class began to laugh. He bent down and picked it up. A boy beside him knocked it down again with his elbow; he picked it up once again. "Will you please put your helmet away?" said the teacher, a witty man.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
There are many, many things that are difficult in this life, but one thing that isn't difficult at all is figuring out whether someone is excited or not when they open a present. If someone is excited, they will often put exclamation points at the end of their sentences to indicate their excited tone of voice. If they say "Oh!" for instance, the exclamation point would indicate that the person is saying "Oh!" in sn rxcited way, rather than simply saying "Oh," with a comma after it, which would indicate that the present is somewhat disappointing. "Oh," Violet said, as she opened her present. "Oh," Klaus said, as he opened his. "Oh," Sunny said, as she tore open her shopping bag with her teeth.
Lemony Snicket (The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #6))
You know what I love? The spaces between I love you. The tap of your fork against the plate and how my cup of wine clicks against our table. The scratchy voice coming from the radio in the other room. The quiet sound of your hand reaching across the table and whispering over mine. How your voice sounds like your mouth on the back of my neck. The soft murmur of our easy conversation. Between these quiet Tuesday night routines, following every comma and right after every pause for breath, is I, love, and you. In the middle of every I love you is a sink full of dishes, whisper of socked feet tangled in white sheets, and gentle kisses against curved cheeks. We lyric ourselves into the laundry that needs to be finished, into the ends of every smile that follows me repeating your name. We write ourselves into the grocery bags we need to carry, the cracks running up our rented walls, the sides of the bed we choose to drag up the sails of heavy eyed dreams. Like the spaces between our fingers, in the spaces between I, love, and you, we wait. The in-betweens have always been my favorite.
Marlen Komar (Ugly People Beautiful Hearts)
She kept herself busy for a moment, pouring hot water into a mug and giving Jay a chance to absorb what she’d just asked of him, letting him consider her request. Before the dance and before they were a couple, there would have been nothing to think about; he would never have told on her. They’d kept each other’s secrets. No matter what. But now everything—everything—had changed, and Violet was sometimes surprised by how far he would go to keep her out of harm’s way. She knew that, for him anyway, it meant that he would even betray her secrets if it meant she’d be safer in the end. She carried her steaming mug, with the tea bag steeping inside, and set it on the table as she sat down. Jay reluctantly sat too. He leaned forward and rested his elbows on his knees, watching her warily. Finally he sighed, “I won’t tell . . . if you make me one promise.” She met his eyes, hesitating at the look she saw on his face. The unusual mixture of tenderness and fear were at odds, but it made Violet feel warm and soft inside. He reached out his hand to her, and she took it, letting him pull her toward him. She settled onto his lap as he wrapped his arms around her. He nuzzled her neck, inhaling deeply as if the scent of her was somehow reassuring. “Next time . . .” he insisted in a voice quieter than before, “you call me.” She nodded, satisfied that he would keep her safe . . . secrets and all. It was completely astonishing to her—even after all these months—being in love with her best friend.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
There’s not a stone or leaf or life that men won’t put a name to. It gives them a nice safe box to collect things in. They get in the habit of collecting things and end up surprised at the weight they’re carrying. A dream they thought might fit someday, something bright and sweet like a woman, picked up for her shine and somehow never left or at least never forgotten. Or an ambition! There’s a fine item in any man’s bag. A great, glowing ambition. They never fade, never wear even when you’ve outgrown them. Always there to look at and remember and play might-have-been.
Parke Godwin (Firelord (Firelord, #1))
Liam tossed the top half of the sleeping bag aside and snagged the end of her shirt and jacket. Her jeans were next, the moonlight bright enough he could see the masses of freckles on her pale skin and the starkness of Carly’s matching black lace underwear. “Do you always wear things like that?” “They make me feel sexy.” She didn’t need anything to be sexy. “Any sexier and I’d keel over now.
Kay Stockham (The Sheriff's Daughter (North Star, Montana #3))
He leaned in toward her, and as he gave her a hug said Give Cora a kiss from me. He said it the same way he gave her the hug, like it wasn't his sister he was hugging, like it wasn't his mother he was sending a kiss to, but just a polite platitude. Like he was ripping out her heart, like he was cleanly extracting it and placing it in a plastic bag and storing it in the refrigerator to eat later.
Yuri Herrera (Signs Preceding the End of the World)
It took a day to dismantle Lily's existence . . .striking the set of a play, humble, one-handed domestic drama, without permission from the cast. . . But her life, all lives, seemed tenuous when he saw how quickly, with what ease, all the trappings, all the fine details of a lifetime could be packed and scattered, or junked. . . Objects became junk as soon as they were separated from their owner and their pasts . . . As the shelves and drawers emptied, and the boxes and bags filled, he saw that no one owned anything really. It's all rented, or borrowed. Our possessions will outlast us, we'll desert them in the end.
Ian McEwan
So this summer, this first summer when he was allowed to have “visitation rights” with his father, with the divorce only one month old, Brian was heading north. His father was a mechanical engineer who had designed or invented a new drill bit for oil drilling, a self-cleaning, self-sharpening bit. He was working in the oil fields of Canada, up on the tree line where the tundra started and the forests ended. Brian was riding up from New York with some drilling equipment—it was lashed down in the rear of the plane next to a fabric bag the pilot had called a survival pack, which had emergency supplies in case they had to make an emergency landing—that had to be specially made in the city, riding in the bushplane with the pilot named Jim or Jake or something who had turned out to be an all right guy, letting him fly and all.
Gary Paulsen (Hatchet (Hatchet, #1))
to Russell Vernon Hunter New York Spring 1932 My dear Vernon Hunter Your letter gives me such a vivid picture of some thing I love in space — love almost as passionately as I can love a person — that I am almost tempted to pack my little bag and go — but I will not go to it right this morning — No matter how much I love it — There is some thing in me that must finish jobs once started — when I can —. So I am here — and what you write of me is there The cockscomb is here too — I put it in much cold water and it came to life from a kind of flatness it had in the box when I opened it — tho it was very beautiful as it lay in the box a bit wilted when I opened it —. I love it — Thank you. I must confess to you — that I even have the desire to go into old Mexico — that I would have gone — undoubtedly — if it were only myself that I considered — You are wise — so wise — in staying in your own country that you know and love — I am divided between my man and a life with him — and some thing of the outdoors — of your world — that is in my blood — and that I know I will never get rid of — I have to get along with my divided self the best way I can —. So give my greetings to the sun and the sky — and the wind — and the dry never ending land —Sincerely Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia O'Keeffe
Remember my experiments with the RTG and having a hot bath? Same principle, but I came up with an improvement: submerge the RTG. No heat will be wasted that way. I started with a large rigid sample container (or “plastic box” to people who don’t work at NASA). I ran a tube through the open top and down the inside wall. Then I coiled it in the bottom to make a spiral. I glued it in place like that and sealed the end. Using my smallest drill bit, I put dozens of little holes in the coil. The idea is for the freezing return air from the regulator to pass through the water as a bunch of little bubbles. The increased surface area will get the heat into the air better. Then I got a medium flexible sample container (“Ziploc bag”) and tried to seal the RTG in it. But the RTG has an irregular shape, and I couldn’t get all the air out of the bag. I can’t allow any air in there.
Andy Weir (The Martian)
It doesn’t matter if you don’t burn. Protect your skin so you don’t end up looking like an old leather bag.” That’s what Stormy used to tell me. Kitty giggles at “old leather bag.” “Like Mrs. Letty. Her skin is hot dog-colored.” “Well, I wasn’t talking about any one person in particular. But yeah. She should’ve worn sunscreen in her younger days. Let that be a lesson to you, my sister.” Mrs. Letty is our neighbor, and her skin hangs on her like crepe. Peter puts on his sunglasses. “You guys are mean.” “Says the guy who once toilet-papered her lawn!” Kitty giggles and steals a sip of my Coke. “You did that?” “All lies and propaganda,” Peter says blithely.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
He surveyed what remained of his crew. Rotty still hovered by the wreckage of the longboat. Jesper sat with elbows on knees, head in hands, Wylan beside him wearing the face of a near-stranger; Matthias stood gazing across the water in the direction of Hellgate like a stone sentinel. If Kaz was their leader, then Inej had been their lodestone, pulling them together when they seemed most likely to drift apart. Nina had disguised Kaz’s crow-and-cup tattoo before they’d entered the Ice Court, but he hadn’t let her near the R on his bicep. Now he touched his gloved fingers to where the sleeve of his coat covered that mark. Without meaning to, he’d let Kaz Rietveld return. He didn’t know if it had begun with Inej’s injury or that hideous ride in the prison wagon, but somehow he’d let it happen and it had cost him dearly. That didn’t mean he was going to let himself be bested by some thieving merch. Kaz looked south toward Ketterdam’s harbors. The beginnings of an idea scratched at the back of his skull, an itch, the barest inkling. It wasn’t a plan, but it might be the start of one. He could see the shape it would take—impossible, absurd, and requiring a serious chunk of cash. “Scheming face,” murmured Jesper. “Definitely,” agreed Wylan. Matthias folded his arms. “Digging in your bag of tricks, demjin?” Kaz flexed his fingers in his gloves. How did you survive the Barrel? When they took everything from you, you found a way to make something from nothing. “I’m going to invent a new trick,” Kaz said. “One Van Eck will never forget.” He turned to the others. If he could have gone after Inej alone, he would have, but not even he could pull that off. “I’ll need the right crew.” Wylan got to his feet. “For the Wraith.” Jesper followed, still not meeting Kaz’s eyes. “For Inej,” he said quietly. Matthias gave a single sharp nod. Inej had wanted Kaz to become someone else, a better person, a gentler thief. But that boy had no place here. That boy ended up starving in an alley. He ended up dead. That boy couldn’t get her back. I’m going to get my money, Kaz vowed. And I’m going to get my girl. Inej could never be his, not really, but he would find a way to give her the freedom he’d promised her so long ago. Dirtyhands had come to see the rough work done.
Leigh Bardugo (Six of Crows (Six of Crows, #1))
When we’d all settled down from that first night, Julie found a bag on the porch, which we thought must have been left by the same three girls who had brought me to them. Just like the clues on my skin, I’d only been left with two worldly possessions. The first was a wad of cash that I immediately handed to Ben and Julie as compensation for giving me a home. Most of it went to pay for Akinli’s medical bills, which was fine with me. I didn’t know if there was a word bigger than soul mates, something that meant the feeling of being so connected that it was hard to tell where one person ended and the other began. If there was, that word belonged to Akinli and me. The second thing was a bottle of water. It was so peculiar, this water, a blue that was both dark and brilliant, too thick to see through but still carrying light. No matter the season, it was always cold, and there were tiny shells in it that never settled. Sometimes I slept with it, even though it was cold enough to wake me up if I rolled on it the wrong way. It was the only clue I had to tell me who I had been before the night I was left on the porch, and I loved it second only to Akinli. Somehow, I knew that this love was important, as if treasuring the water meant I treasured myself. And I did. I loved my recovering body, I loved my blue-eyed soul mate, I loved my adopted family. I held the water to my chest, and I loved.
Kiera Cass (The Siren)
My energy and curiosity may be renewed but the larder isn’t. There is probably less food in the house than there has ever been. I trudge out to buy a few chicken pieces and a bag of winter greens to make a soup with the spices and noodles I have in the cupboard. What ends up as dinner is clear, bright and life-enhancing. It has vitality (that’s the greens), warmth (ginger, cinnamon) and it is economical and sustaining too. I suddenly feel ready for anything the New Year might throw at me.
Nigel Slater (Notes from the Larder: A Kitchen Diary with Recipes)
Ian shoved the door open and strode inside. “Where is she?” The butler shrank back. “Out. May I inquire who is calling?” Cameron caught the door before the butler could shut it, and Curry followed with the bags. “This is her husband,” Cameron said. “Where is she out?” The old man had to crank his head back to gaze up at them. “I heard her say the East End. There’s thieves and murderers there, my lord, and she only took the lad with her.” “Daniel?” Cameron barked a laugh. “Poor woman. We’d best find her.
Jennifer Ashley (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Mackenzies & McBrides, #1))
In a town in Liberia, a young woman named Fatu Kekula, who was a nursing student, ended up caring for four of her family members at home when there was no room for them in a hospital—her parents, her sister, and a cousin. She didn’t have any protective gear, so she created a bio-hazmat suit out of plastic garbage bags. She tied garbage bags over her feet and legs, put on rubber boots over the bags, and then put more bags over her boots. She put on a raincoat, a surgical mask, and multiple rubber gloves, and she covered her head with pantyhose and a garbage bag. Dressed this way, Fatu Kekula set up IV lines for her family members, giving them saline solution to keep them from becoming dehydrated. Her parents and sister survived; her cousin died. And she herself remained uninfected. Local medical workers called Fatu Kekula’s measures the Trash Bag Method. All you needed were garbage bags, a raincoat, and no small amount of love and courage. Medical workers taught the Trash Bag Method, or variants of it, to people who couldn’t get to hospitals
Richard Preston (Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come)
Nature, who has played so many queer tricks upon us, making us so unequally of clay and diamonds, of rainbow and granite, and stuffed them into a case, often of the most incongruous, for the poet has a butcher’s face and the butcher a poet’s; nature, who delights in muddle and mystery, so that even now (the first of November 1927) we know not why we go upstairs, or why we come down again, our most daily movements are like the passage of a ship on an unknown sea, and the sailors at the mast-head ask, pointing their glasses to the horizon; Is there land or is there none? to which, if we are prophets, we make answer ‘Yes’; if we are truthful we say ‘No’; nature, who has so much to answer for besides the perhaps unwieldy length of this sentence, has further complicated her task and added to our confusion by providing not only a perfect rag-bag of odds and ends within us — a piece of a policeman’s trousers lying cheek by jowl with Queen Alexandra’s wedding veil — but has contrived that the whole assortment shall be lightly stitched together by a single thread.
Virginia Woolf (Orlando)
You may indeed! I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air. I am he that walks unseen.' 'So I can well believe, ' said Smaug, 'but that is hardly your usual name.' 'I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number.' 'Lovely titles!' sneered the dragon. 'But lucky numbers don't always come off.' 'I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from water. I came from the end of a bag, but no bag went over me.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit)
I liked his attention. But I also felt like there was something sick and wrong about it. Like it might make me sick later. I thought of my grandmother, my father's mother. How when I used to visit her in Georgia she would always let me eat all the cookies and frozen egg rolls I wanted. "Go ahead, sweetheart, there's more," she would say. And it seemed okay because she was a grown-up, and I wanted all the Chips Ahoy! cookies in the bag. But I always ended up feeling extremely sick afterward. I looked at Bookman, his eyes swollen with emotion.
Augusten Burroughs
I make my way back whistling. Gerry nods towards Mrs Brady who is standing beside the trolleys. Morning, Mrs Brady, I say cheerfully. I push her provisions out to the car. Things are something terrible, she says. You can't trust anybody. No. It's come to a sorry pass. It has. There's hormones in the beef and tranquillizers in the bacon. There's men with breasts and women with mickeys. All from eating meat. Now. I steer a path between a crowd of people while she keeps step alongside. Can you believe it - they're feeding the pigs Valium. If you boil a bit of bacon you have to lie down afterwards. Dear oh dear. Yes, I nod. The thought of food makes me ill. The pigs are getting depressed in those sheds. If they get depressed they lose weight. So they tranquillize them. Where will it end? I don't know, Mrs Brady, I say. I begin filling the boot. That's why I started buying lamb. Then along came Chernobyl. Now you can't even have lamb stew or you'll light up at night! I swear. And when they've left you with nothing safe to eat, next thing they come along and tell you you can't live in your own house. I haven't heard of that one, Mrs Brady. Listen to me. She took my elbow. It could all happen that you're in your own house and the next thing is there's radiation bubbling under the floorboards. What? It comes right at you through the foundations. Watch the yogurts. Did you hear of that? No. I saw it in the Champion. Did you not see it in the Champion? I might have. No wonder we're not right. I brought the lid of the boot down. She sits into the car very decorously and snaps her bag open on her lap. She winds down the window and gives me 50p for myself and £1 for the trolley.
Dermot Healy (Sudden Times)
People in the real world always say, when something terrible happens, that the sadness and loss and aching pain of the heart will “lessen as time passes,” but it isn’t true. Sorrow and loss are constant, but if we all had to go through our whole lives carrying them the whole time, we wouldn’t be able to stand it. The sadness would paralyze us. So in the end we just pack it into bags and find somewhere to leave it. That is what Miploris is: a kingdom where lone storytelling travelers come slowly wandering from all directions, dragging unwieldy luggage full of sorrow. A place where they can put it down and go back to life. And when the travelers turn back, they do so with lighter steps, because Miploris is constructed in such a way that irrespective of what direction you leave it, you always have the sun up ahead and the wind at your back.
Fredrik Backman
So many people are gone that I can’t even mourn them properly. It would take every hour of every day to do it. I want to hold on to them, to think of them, but I would never get any living done if I gave them all the time they deserve. Especially now, when we’re barely living as it is—barely surviving. I hug Ana’s bag to my chest and sob. I cry over the things in my dead friend’s bag and for all the things we’ve lost so far. I don’t know why I thought saving my tears for Alaska was a good idea. It was stupid as fuck. There’s no point in saving things for later if later never comes.
Sarah Lyons Fleming (All the Stars in the Sky (Until the End of the World, #3))
I was eager to try these delicacies, and was thrilled when Bugnard instructed me on where to buy a proper haunch of venison and how to prepare it. I picked a good-looking piece, then marinated it in red wine, aromatic vegetables, and herbs, and hung the lot for several days in a big bag out the kitchen window. When I judged it ready, by smell, I roasted it for a good long while. The venison made a splendid dinner, with a rich, deep, gamy-tasting sauce, and for days afterward Paul and I feasted on its very special cold meat. When the deer had given us its all, I offered the big leg-bone structure to Minette. “Would you like to try this, poussiequette?” I asked her, laying the platter on the floor. She approached tentatively and sniffed. Then the wild-game signals must have hit her central nervous system, for she suddenly arched her back and, with hair standing on end, let out a snarling groowwwwllll! She lunged at the bone and, grabbing it with her sharp teeth, dragged it out onto the living-room rug—luckily a well-worn Oriental—where she chewed at it for a good hour before stalking off. (Even in such intense circumstances, she rarely laid paw on bone, preferring to use her teeth.)
Julia Child (My Life in France)
never so happy in my whole life. Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines he wrote a poem And he called it “Chops” because that was the name of his dog And that’s what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and a gold star And his mother hung it on the kitchen door and read it to his aunts That was the year Father Tracy took all the kids to the zoo And he let them sing on the bus And his little sister was born with tiny toenails and no hair And his mother and father kissed a lot And the girl around the corner sent him a Valentine signed with a row of X’s and he had to ask his father what the X’s meant And his father always tucked him in bed at night And was always there to do it Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines he wrote a poem And he called it “Autumn” because that was the name of the season And that’s what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and asked him to write more clearly And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because of its new paint And the kids told him that Father Tracy smoked cigars And left butts on the pews And sometimes they would burn holes That was the year his sister got glasses with thick lenses and black frames And the girl around the corner laughed when he asked her to go see Santa Claus And the kids told him why his mother and father kissed a lot And his father never tucked him in bed at night And his father got mad when he cried for him to do it. Once on a paper torn from his notebook he wrote a poem And he called it “Innocence: A Question” because that was the question about his girl And that’s what it was all about And his professor gave him an A and a strange steady look And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because he never showed her That was the year that Father Tracy died And he forgot how the end of the Apostle’s Creed went And he caught his sister making out on the back porch And his mother and father never kissed or even talked And the girl around the corner wore too much makeup That made him cough when he kissed her but he kissed her anyway because that was the thing to do And at three A.M. he tucked himself into bed his father snoring soundly That’s why on the back of a brown paper bag he tried another poem And he called it “Absolutely Nothing” Because that’s what it was really all about And he gave himself an A and a slash on each damned wrist And he hung it on the bathroom door because this time he didn’t think he could reach the kitchen.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
Mom was often asked to give speeches about why she felt so committed to the cause of refugees. She would say, “Just imagine that you are awakened tonight by someone in your family who says to you, ‘Put the things you treasure most in one small bag that you can carry. And be ready in a few minutes. We have to leave our home and we will have to make it to the nearest border.’ What mountains would you need to cross? How would you feel? How would you manage? Especially if across the border was a land where they didn’t speak your language, where they didn’t want you, where there was no work, and where you were confined to camps for months or years.” And
Will Schwalbe (The End of Your Life Book Club)
We're buying curtains, babe, that activity hardly requires a cart," he noted. "We're in a home store, Tate," I replied, thinking my answer said all. "And?" he returned, stating plainly my answer did not say all. "A mega home store," I added. "And?" "And, I came here a few days ago to buy you sheets. I ended up buying you two sets of sheets, six new pillows, a down comforter, a comforter cover and shams. That happens in a home store," I educated him. "You come in needing a spatula and you go out with a spatula, new kitchen towels, candles, candle holders, cool things to seal open chip bags, a variety of frames, a soap dispenser and a new vacuum cleaner.
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
When we pull back into the castle courtyard, James is waiting. And he does not look happy. Actually he looks like a blond Hulk . . . right before he goes smash. Sarah sees it too. “He’s miffed.” “Yep.” We get out of the car and she turns so fast there’s a breeze. “I should go find Penny. ’Bye.” I call after her. “Chicken!” She just waves her hand over her shoulder. Slowly, I approach him. Like an explorer, deep in the jungles of the Amazon, making first contact with a tribe that has never seen the outside world. And I hold out my peace offering. It’s a Mega Pounder with cheese. “I got you a burger.” James snatches it from my hand angrily. But . . . he doesn’t throw it away. He turns to one of the men behind him. “Mick, bring it here.” Mick—a big, truck-size bloke—brings him a brown paper bag. And James’s cold blue eyes turn back to me. “After speaking with your former security team, I had an audience with Her Majesty the Queen last year when you were named heir. Given your history of slipping your detail, I asked her permission to ensure your safety by any means necessary, including this.” He reaches into the bag and pulls out a children’s leash—the type you see on ankle-biters at amusement parks, with a deranged-looking monkey sticking its head out of a backpack, his mouth wide and gaping, like he’s about to eat whoever’s wearing it. And James smiles. “Queen Lenora said yes.” I suspected Granny didn’t like me anymore; now I’m certain of it. “If I have to,” James warns, “I’ll connect this to you and the other end to old Mick here.” Mick doesn’t look any happier about the fucking prospect than I am. “I don’t want to do that, but . . .” He shrugs, no further explanation needed. “So the next time you feel like ditching? Remember the monkey, Your Grace.” He puts the revolting thing back in its bag. And I wonder if fire would kill it. “Are we good, Prince Henry?” James asks. I respect a man willing to go balls-to-the-wall for his job. I don’t like the monkey . . . but I respect it. I flash him the okay sign with my fingers. “Golden.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))
This is my emergency kit. It contained a roll of duct tape, a spare pair of pants, an envelope with two hundred dollars, two bags of dried fruit, two packages of beef jerky, three bottles of water, a roll of thick shop towels you see mechanics use, a small metal pipe - just right for cracking a skull with - and a fake beard. Look, you never know.
David Wong (John Dies at the End (John Dies at the End, #1))
Just as they reached the door to the accommodation section, it opened, and a small boy towing a travel bag along the floor behind him came through. A small dog poked his head out of one end of this bag—the pup had been zipped up inside. “Out of the way, son,” Harper said. The child stopped, and gaped up at the battle-archon. Behind him, his trapped pup growled. The rear end of the leather and cloth satchel oscillated wildly. “I wanted to see the angel,” the boy said. “Aunt Edith promised I could watch it kill something.” Hasp halted, still reeling, and looked down at the boy and his pet. “You want to see me kill?” he muttered. “Then order me to do so. You’re all Menoa’s fucking people on this train.” The boy brightened. “Do it!” he said. “Kill something now.” “As you wish.” Hasp kicked the dog with all of the strength he could muster. Had the animal been made of tougher stuff than flesh and bone, or had its bag been composed of something more substantial than woven thread, it might have made an impact hard enough to shatter the glass wall at the end of the corridor sixty feet away. Instead, the creature and the torn remains of its embroidered travel bag spattered against the opposite end of the passage in a series of wet smacks, more like a shower of red rain than anything resembling the corpse of a dog. The boy screamed. Hasp cricked his neck, then shoved the child aside and stomped away, his transparent armour swimming with rainbows.
Alan Campbell (Iron Angel (Deepgate Codex, #2))
I am in my old room once more, for a little, and I am caught in musing - - how life is a swift motion, a continuous flowing, changing, and how one is always saying goodbye and going places, seeing people, doing things. Only in the rain, sometimes, only when the rain comes, closing in your pitifully small radius of activity, only when you sit and listen by the window, as the cold wet air blows thinly by the back of your neck - only then do you think and feel sick. You feel the days slipping by, elusive as slippery pink worms, through your fingers, and you wonder what you have for your eighteen years, and you think about how, with difficulty and concentration, you could bring back a day, a day of sun, blue skies and watercoloring by the sea. You could remember the sensual observations that made that day reality, and you could delude yourself into thinking - almost - that you could return to the past, and relive the days and hours in a quick space of time. But no, the quest of time past is more difficult than you think, and time present is eaten up by such plaintive searchings. The film of your days and nights is wound up tight in you, never to be re-run - and the occasional flashbacks are faint, blurred, unreal, as if seen through falling snow. Now, you begin to get scared. You don't believe in God, or a life-after-death, so you can't hope for sugar plums when your non-existent soul rises. You believe that whatever there is has got to come from man, and man is pretty creative in his good moments - pretty mature, pretty perceptive for his age - how many years is it, now? How many thousands? Yet, yet in this era of specialization, of infinite variety and complexity and myriad choices, what do you pick for yourself out of the grab-bag? Cats have nine lives, the saying goes. You have one; and somewhere along the thin, tenuous thread of your existence there is the black knot, the blood clot, the stopped heartbeat that spells the end of this particular individual which is spelled "I" and "You" and "Sylvia." So you wonder how to act, and how to be - and you wonder about values and attitudes. In the relativism and despair, in the waiting for the bombs to begin, for the blood (now spurting in Korea, in Germany, in Russia) to flow and trickle before your own eyes, you wonder with a quick sick fear how to cling to earth, to the seeds of grass and life. You wonder about your eighteen years, ricocheting between a stubborn determination that you've done well for your own capabilities and opportunities... that you're competing now with girls from all over America, and not just from the hometown: and a fear that you haven't done well enough - You wonder if you've got what it takes to keep building up obstacle courses for your self, and to keep leaping through them, sprained ankle or not. Again the refrain, what have you for your eighteen years? And you know that whatever tangible things you do have, they cannot be held, but, too, will decompose and slip away through your coarse-skinned and death-rigid fingers. So you will rot in the ground, and so you say, what the hell? Who cares? But you care, and somehow you don't want to live just one life, which could be typed, which could be tossed off in a thumbnail sketch = "She was the sort of girl.... And end in 25 words or less.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
How old is she now?” “Oh, she’s twenty now.” She hesitated. She was obligated to end our little chat with a stylized flourish. The way it’s done in serial television. So she wet her little bunny mouth, sleepied her eyes, widened her nostrils, patted her hair, arched her back, stood canted and hip-shot, huskied her voice and said, “See you aroun’, huh?” “Sure, Marianne. Sure.” Bless them all, the forlorn little rabbits. They are the displaced persons of our emotional culture. They are ravenous for romance, yet settle for what they call making out. Their futile, acne-pitted men drift out of high school into a world so surfeited with unskilled labor there is competition for bag-boy jobs in the supermarkets. They yearn for security, but all they can have is what they make for themselves, chittering little flocks of them in the restaurants and stores, talking of style and adornment, dreaming of the terribly sincere stranger who will come along and lift them out of the gypsy life of the two-bit tip and the unemployment, cut a tall cake with them, swell them up with sassy babies, and guide them masterfully into the shoal water of the electrified house where everybody brushes after every meal. But most of the wistful rabbits marry their unskilled men, and keep right on working. And discover the end of the dream. They have been taught that if you are sunny, cheery, sincere, group-adjusted, popular, the world is yours, including barbecue pits, charge plates, diaper service, percale sheets, friends for dinner, washer-dryer combinations, color slides of the kiddies on the home projector, and eternal whimsical romance—with crinkly smiles and Rock Hudson dialogue. So they all come smiling and confident and unskilled into a technician’s world, and in a few years they learn that it is all going to be grinding and brutal and hateful and precarious. These are the slums of the heart. Bless the bunnies. These are the new people, and we are making no place for them. We hold the dream in front of them like a carrot, and finally say sorry you can’t have any. And the schools where we teach them non-survival are gloriously architectured. They will never live in places so fine, unless they contract something incurable.
John D. MacDonald (The Deep Blue Good-By)
Margot went through the metal detector first. She cleared it and went to the end of the conveyor belt to grab her stuff. Quinn walked through next without a problem. He was just grabbing his laptop bag when a TSA member approached him. “Sir, we need you to step aside for a random pat down,” said the man who looked like freaking Stone Cold Steve Austin. Quinn stared at him. At least they were about the same height. Stone Cold had probably about fifty more pounds of muscle over Quinn, though, and Quinn wasn’t a small guy by any means. He was a bit of a fitness and health nut and liked to keep his body in shape. “Seriously? Do I look like a terrorist to you?” Quinn snapped before he could think better of it. Stone Cold’s eyes narrowed threateningly. “Sir, come with me please,” he said firmly.
Andria Large (Quinn (The Beck Brothers, #3))
I came here a few days ago to buy you sheets. I ended up buying you two sets of sheets, six new pillows, a down comforter, a comforter cover and shams. That happens in a home store,” I educated him. “You come in needing a spatula and you go out with a spatula, new kitchen towels, candles, candle holders, cool things to seal open chip bags, a variety of frames, a soap dispenser and a new vacuum cleaner.
Kristen Ashley (Sweet Dreams (Colorado Mountain, #2))
When, shortly afterward, I stopped at the top of the hill and saw the town beneath me, my feeling of happiness was so ecstatic that I didn’t know how I would be able to make it home, sit there and write, eat, or sleep. But the world is constructed in such a way that it meets you halfway in moments precisely like these, your inner joy seeks an outer counterpart and finds it, it always does, even in the bleakest regions of the world, for nothing is as relative as beauty. Had the world been different, in my opinion, without mountains and oceans, plains and seas, deserts and forests, and consisted of something else, inconceivable to us, as we don’t know anything other than this, we would also have found it beautiful. A world with gloes and raies, evanbillits and conulames, for example, or ibitera, proluffs, and lopsits, whatever they might be, we would have sung their praises because that is the way we are, we extol the world and love it although it’s not necessary, the world is the world, it’s all we have. So as I walked down the steps toward the town center on this Wednesday at the end of August I had a place in my heart for everything I beheld. A slab of stone worn smooth in a flight of steps: fantastic. A swaybacked roof side by side with an austere perpendicular brick building: so beautiful. A limp hot-dog wrapper on a drain grille, which the wind lifts a couple of meters and then drops again, this time on the pavement flecked with white stepped-on chewing gum: incredible. A lean old man hobbling along in a shabby suit carrying a bag bulging with bottles in one hand: what a sight. The world extended its hand, and I took it.
Karl Ove Knausgaard
He unlocked the safe and pulled out three guns and several magazines, as well as his FIB badge, an extra harness, and an extra pair of knives. Some of these disappeared to various concealed locations under his clothes and the rest went in his duffel bag. I blinked at the haul. “Are you planning to go to war? Sure you don’t want to pack an assault rifle as well?” He looked up from the bag. “You have met yourself, right?” He zipped the bag closed. “So should I get a gun too?” “I’d fear the day.” He grabbed a blazer and pulled it over his shoulder rig. “You do have a good blade,” he said, nodding toward the dagger concealed in my boot. “It was a gift.” “I never doubted as much. If you’re going to carry a dagger, you need to learn to use it.” I frowned at him. “I know how to use it. I stick the pointy end in things I don’t like.
Kalayna Price
Thus it was we entered a low eating-house on the lamplit shores of the river in a Moslem neighbourhood, a modest boxwood shanty having no walls at all, but sufficiently screened with hanging bags. There were several benches and three tables, and upon each table were oil-lamps which cast soft shadows on the haze of airborne cooking-fats and wood-smoke, and gently illuminating a dozen Africans at food; on the floor at the farther end were cooking-fires, and a fine diversity of smells arose from bubbling pots and sizzling pans. The chef was a robust ogre of glistening dark bronze with an incense pastille smouldering in his hair, a swearing, sweating Panta-gruel naked to the waist and stoking fires, lifting lids, and scooping out great globs of meat and manioc and fish: he might have been cooking skulls on the shores of River Styx.
Peter Pinney (Anywhere But Here)
I push my ragged mouth against the mirror. A thousand bleeding, crusted lips push back. What does it feel like to walk in a new skin? Was she completely sensitive like a baby, or numb, without nerve endings, just walking in a skin bag? I exhale and my mouth disappears in a fog. I feel like my skin has been burned off. I stumble from thornbush to thornbush—my mother and father who hate each other, Rachel who hates me, a school that gags on me like I’m a hairball. And Heather.   I just need to hang on long enough for my new skin to graft. Mr. Freeman thinks I need to find my feelings. How can I not find them? They are chewing me alive like an infestation of thoughts, shame, mistakes. I squeeze my eyes shut. Jeans that fit, that’s a good start. I have to stay away from the closet, go to all my classes. I will make myself normal. Forget the rest of it.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak)
In my parents’ house, nothing was ever thrown away. Clothes piled up, formed drifts that grew into mountains Philip, Baron, and I would climb and leap from. The heaps of garments filled the hallway and chased my parents out of their own bedroom, so that they eventually slept in the room that was once Dad’s office. Empty bags and boxes filled gaps in the clutter, boxes that once held rings and sneakers and clothes. A trumpet that my mother wanted to make into a lamp rested atop a stack of tattered magazines filled with articles Dad planned to read, near the heads and feet and arms of dolls Mom promised she would stitch together for a kid from Carney, all beside an endless heap of replacement buttons, some still in their individual glassine bags. A coffeemaker rested on a tower of plates, propped up on one end to keep coffee from flooding the counters.
Holly Black (White Cat (Curse Workers, #1))
Margo Brinker always thought summer would never end. It always felt like an annual celebration that thankfully stayed alive long day after long day, and warm night after warm night. And DC was the best place for it. Every year, spring would vanish with an explosion of cherry blossoms that let forth the confetti of silky little pink petals, giving way to the joys of summer. Farmer's markets popped up on every roadside. Vendors sold fresh, shining fruits, vegetables and herbs, wine from family vineyards, and handed over warm loaves of bread. Anyone with enough money and enough to do on a Sunday morning would peruse the tents, trying slices of crisp peaches and bites of juicy smoked sausage, and fill their fisherman net bags with weekly wares. Of all the summer months, Margo liked June the best. The sun-drunk beginning, when the days were long, long, long with the promise that summer would last forever. Sleeping late, waking only to catch the best tanning hours. It was the time when the last school year felt like a lifetime ago, and there were ages to go until the next one. Weekend cookouts smelled like the backyard- basil, tomatoes on the vine, and freshly cut grass. That familiar backyard scent was then smoked by the rich addition of burgers, hot dogs, and buttered buns sizzling over charcoal.
Beth Harbison (The Cookbook Club: A Novel of Food and Friendship)
In a crisis, do not remain calm, do not look for the nearest exit, do not stick your head in the sand; do agitate, do make things worse, do run screaming through the street, and do refuse to return to business as usual. Business as usual is what created this mess in the first place. Business as usual has meant that businesspeople and corporate fat cats run/ruin the world and artists are out of luck; it has meant that education, spirituality, sexuality all must function on a business model and every attempt to make changes is greeted with a pragmatic question about whether changing things will also mean making money. Making money cannot be the goal of the new feminism. Putting women in positions of power is not what gaga feminism wants. What gaga feminism wants cannot be easily summarized, but it is not an independent bank account, not a profitable nonprofit; mama does not want a brand new bag. Mama wants revolution.
J. Jack Halberstam (Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal)
You're young, though; you'll make a go of it. Just look at her across the road." It was true, Vivien's life had come up roses in the end, but there were a few marked differences between them. "She had a wealthy uncle who took her in," said Dolly quietly. "She's an heiress, married to a famous writer. And I'm..." She bit her bottom lip, anxious not to start crying again. "I'm..." "Well, you're not entirely alone, are you, silly girl?" Lady Gwendolyn had held out her bag of sweets then and for the first time ever offered one to Dolly. It had taken a moment to realize what the old woman was suggesting, but when she did, Dolly had reached tentatively inside the bag to withdraw a red and green gobstopper. She'd held it in her hand, fingers closed around it, aware that it was melting against her warm palm. Dolly had answered solemnly: "I have you." Lady Gwendolyn had sniffed and looked away. "We have each other, I suppose," she'd said, in a voice made fluty by unexpected emotion.
Kate Morton (The Secret Keeper)
It is the grimmest os times. Marilyn's death is now visible on the horizon, growing ever closer and permeating every decision, large and small. She drinks Earl Grey breakfast tea, and when I see there are only two tea bags remaining, I go the grocery store to buy some more. But how many? No one else in the house drinks tea. There are twenty bags in each box. I fear she shan't be alive for more than a few more days, yet I purchase two boxes - forty tea bags - a magical plea to keep her with me a bit longer.
Irvin D. Yalom (A Matter of Death and Life: Love, Loss and What Matters in the End (Language Acts and Worldmaking))
I really doubt my parents are going to let me stay the night in a remote cabin with a bunch of boys.” “Oh, please, Snow White, Mike’s dad’ll be there. He’s actually kinda funny…you know, in a weird dad kind of way. Don’t worry, your purity will remain intact. Scout’s honor.” She made some sort of gesture with her fingers that Violet assumed was supposed to be an oath, but since Chelsea had never actually been a Girl Scout, it ended up looking more like a peace sign. Or something. Violet maintained her dubious expression. But Chelsea wasn’t about to be discouraged, and she tried to be the voice of reason. “Come on, I think Jay’s checking to see if he can get the time off work. The least you can do is ask your parents. If they say no, then no harm, no foul, right? If they say yes, then we’ll have a kick-ass time. We’ll go hiking in the snow and hang out in front of the fireplace in the evening. We’ll sleep in sleeping bags and maybe even roast some marshmallows. It’ll be like we’re camping.” She beamed a superfake smile at Violet and clasped her hands together like she was begging. “Do it for me. Ple-eease.” Jules came back with their milk shake. It was strawberry, and Chelsea flashed Violet an I-told-you-so grin. Violet finished her tea, mulling over the idea of spending the weekend in a snowy cabin with Jay and Chelsea. Away from town. Away from whoever was leaving her dead animals and creepy notes. It did sound fun, and Violet did love the snow. And the woods. And Jay. She could at least ask. Like Chelsea said, No harm, no foul.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
Reina sounds awesome,” Sid says. “I’m digging her more and more.” “Were you there?” I ask. “Have you seen one of these movies?” “No,” Scottie says. “Scottie,” Alex says, kicking Sid in the ribs. “Reina is a fuckedup ho bag, and you need to stay away from her. I’ve already told you that. Do you want to end up like me?” “Yes,” Scottie says. “I mean the earlier me, when I was yelling at Mom.” “No,” Scottie says. “Well, Reina is going to be a crackhead, and she’s going to get used. She’s a twat. Say it.” “Twat,” Scottie says. She gets up and runs across the room, saying, “Twat twat twat twat twat.” “Holy shit,” Sid says. “This is some messed-up parenting. Isn’t it?” Alex shrugs. “Maybe. I guess we’ll see.” “I don’t get it,” I say. “I don’t know what to do. These things she does, they keep happening.” “It will go away,” Alex says. “Will it? I mean, look at how you kids talk. In front of me, especially. It’s like you don’t respect authority.” The kids stare at the television. I tell them to get out. I’m going to bed.
Kaui Hart Hemmings (The Descendants)
Some addictions are clear. The homeless woman with the fresh track marks over years of scars. The man who loses his home and car to gambling debts and now is hiding from dangerous creditors. Some addictions are softer, easier to engage in and still get up and function every day. Those of us who take out a bag of chips or tray of muffins after a tough day. Or go shoe shopping for our 8th pair of black sandals that we are never going to wear. There are addictions that excuse us from society altogether, those that keep us barely afloat within it, and those that become a barrier between us and the rest of the world. It’s only a matter of degree, in the end. How do we define when we cross over into addiction territory? As a relationally-trained therapist, my answer is a simple one. When our addiction becomes our primary relationship. Maybe not in our hearts and heads. But in our behaviors, definitely. When we don’t have control over our addictions, we are spending time, resources, and energy on the addiction instead of the people we love. And instead of, let’s face it…ourselves.
Faith G. Harper (Unfuck Your Brain: Using Science to Get Over Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Freak-Outs, and Triggers (Five Minute Therapy Book 1))
But I can cite ten other reasons for not being a father." "First of all, I don't like motherhood," said Jakub, and he broke off pensively. "Our century has already unmasked all myths. Childhood has long ceased to be an age of innocence. Freud discovered infant sexuality and told us all about Oedipus. Only Jocasta remains untouchable; no one dares tear off her veil. Motherhood is the last and greatest taboo, the one that harbors the most grievous curse. There is no stronger bond than the one that shackles mother to child. This bond cripples the child's soul forever and prepares for the mother, when her son has grown up, the most cruel of all the griefs of love. I say that motherhood is a curse, and I refuse to contribute to it." "Another reason I don't want to add to the number of mothers," said Jakub with some embarrassment, "is that I love the female body, and I am disgusted by the thought of my beloved's breast becoming a milk-bag." "The doctor here will certainly confirm that physicians and nurses treat women hospitalized after an aborted pregnancy more harshly than those who have given birth, and show some contempt toward them even though they themselves will, at least once in their lives, need a similar operation. But for them it's a reflex stronger than any kind of thought, because the cult of procreation is an imperative of nature. That's why it's useless to look for the slightest rational argument in natalist propaganda. Do you perhaps think it's the voice of Jesus you're hearing in the natalist morality of the church? Do you think it's the voice of Marx you're hearing in the natalist propaganda of the Communist state? Impelled merely by the desire to perpetuate the species, mankind will end up smothering itself on its small planet. But the natalist propaganda mill grinds on, and the public is moved to tears by pictures of nursing mothers and infants making faces. It disgusts me. It chills me to think that, along with millions of other enthusiasts, I could be bending over a cradle with a silly smile." "And of course I also have to ask myself what sort of world I'd be sending my child into. School soon takes him away to stuff his head with the falsehoods I've fought in vain against all my life. Should I see my son become a conformist fool? Or should I instill my own ideas into him and see him suffer because he'll be dragged into the same conflicts I was?" "And of course I also have to think of myself. In this country children pay for their parents' disobedience, and parents for their children's disobedience. How many young people have been denied education because their parents fell into disgrace? And how many parents have chosen permanent cowardice for the sole purpose of preventing harm to their children? Anyone who wants to preserve at least some freedom here shouldn't have children," Jakub said, and fell into silence. "The last reason carries so much weight that it counts for five," said Jakub. "Having a child is to show an absolute accord with mankind. If I have a child, it's as though I'm saying: I was born and have tasted life and declare it so good that it merits being duplicated." "And you have not found life to be good?" asked Bertlef. Jakub tried to be precise, and said cautiously: "All I know is that I could never say with complete conviction: Man is a wonderful being and I want to reproduce him.
Milan Kundera (Farewell Waltz)
You see, the penis, it's so graceless, wouldn't you agree? When it's cold and shrivelled up, it looks like W.H. Auden in his old age; when it's hot, it flops and dangles about in a ridiculous way; when it's excited, it looks so pained and earnest you'd think it was going to burst into tears. And the scrotum! To think that something so vital to the survival of the species, fully responsible for 50 per cent of the ingredients--though none of the work--should hang freely from the body in a tiny, defenceless bag of skin. One whack, one bite, one paw-scratch--and it's just the right level, too, for your average animal, a dog, a lion, a sabre-tooth tiger--and that's it, end of story. Don't you think it should get better protection? Behind some bone, for example, like us? What could be better than our nicely tapered entrance? It's discreet and stylish, everything is cleverly and compactly encased in the body, with nothing hanging out within easy reach of a closing subway door, there's a neat triangle of hair above it, like a road sign, should you lose your way--it's perfect. The penis is just such a lousy design. It's pre-Scandinavian. Pre-Bauhaus, even.
Yann Martel (Self)
They were striking the set of a play, humble, one-handed domestic drama, without permission from the cast. They started in what she called her sewing room—his old room. She was never coming back, she no longer knew what knitting was, but wrapping up her scores of needles, her thousand patterns, a baby’s half-finished yellow shawl, to give them all away to strangers was to banish her from the living. They worked quickly, almost in a frenzy. She’s not dead, Henry kept telling himself. But her life, all lives, seemed tenuous when he saw how quickly, with what ease, all the trappings, all the fine details of a lifetime could be packed and scattered, or junked. Objects became junk as soon as they were separated from their owner and their pasts—without her, her old tea cosy was repellent, with its faded farmhouse motif and pale brown stains on cheap fabric, and stuffing that was pathetically thin. As the shelves and drawers emptied, and the boxes and bags filled, he saw that no one owned anything really. It’s all rented, or borrowed. Our possessions will outlast us, we’ll desert them in the end. They worked all day, and put out twenty-three bags for the dustmen.
Ian McEwan (Saturday)
The rock came loose, but Jake’s satisfied grunt turned into a howl of outraged pain as a set of huge teeth in the next stall clamped into Jake’s ample rear end. “You vicious bag of bones,” he shouted, jumping to his feet and throwing himself half over the rail in an attempt to land a punch on Attila’s body. As if the horse anticipated retribution, he sidled to the edge of his stall and regarded Jake from the corner of his eye with an expression that looked to Jake like complacent satisfaction. “I’ll get you for that,” Jake promised, and he started to shake his fist when he realized how absurd it was to threaten a dumb beast. Rubbing his offended backside, he turned to Mayhem and carefully put his own rump against the outside wall of the barn. He checked the hoof to make certain it was clean, but the moment his fingers touched the place where the rock had been lodged the chestnut jerked in pain. “Bruised you, did it?” Jake said sympathetically. “It’s not surprisin’, considering the size and shape of the rock. But you never gave a sign yesterday that you were hurtin’,” he continued. Raising his voice and infusing it with a wealth of exaggerated admiration, the patted the chestnut’s flank and glanced disdainfully at Attila while he spoke to Mayhem. “That’s because you’re a true aristocrat and a fine, brave animal-not a miserable, sneaky mule who’s not fit to be your stallmate!” If Attila cared one way or another for Jake’s opinion, he was disappointingly careful not to show it, which only made Jake’s mood more stormy when he stomped into the cottage. Ian was sitting at the table, a cup of steaming coffee cradled between his palms. “Good morning,” he said to Jake, studying the older man’s thunderous frown. “Mebbe you think so, but I can’t see it. Course, I’ve spent the night freezin’ out there, bedded down next to a horse that wants to make a meal of me, and who broke his fast with a bit of my arse already this mornin’. And,” he finished irately as he poured coffee from the tin pot into an earthenware mug and cast a quelling look at his amused friend, “your horse is lame!” Flinging himself into the chair beside Ian, he gulped down the scalding coffee without thinking what he was doing; his eyes bulged, and sweat popped out on his forehead. Ian’s grin faded. “He’s what?” “Picked up a rock, and he’s favoring his left foreleg.” Ian’s chair legs scraped against the wooden floor as he shoved his chair back and started to go to the barn. “There’s no need. It’s just a bruise.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Fresh Pasta Dough Recipe INGREDIENTS: 1 ½ cups flour ½ cup semolina flour (pasta flour) 2 whole eggs, at room temperature 3 egg yolks, at room temperature DIRECTIONS: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and the semolina. Create a well in the center and add the eggs and egg yolks. Using a fork, break up the eggs then gradually start to draw flour from the edges of the well into the mixture. If the dough gets too firm to mix with the fork switch to mixing with your hands. Continue to work in flour until the dough no longer sticks to your hands; you may not need to incorporate all of the flour. (I used a bit more than what the recipe called for.) Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 8 to 10 minutes or until it is smooth and pliable. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. If using a pasta roller: Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Starting with the machine set to the widest setting, pass the dough through the rollers. Fold the dough into thirds and pass it through again 2 more times. Continue passing the pasta through the machine, reducing the setting a few notches each time. You may need to dust a bit with flour if the dough sticks to the rollers at all. Once you reach your desired thickness, use the cutting attachment to cut the pasta sheet into fettuccine. Dust the cut pasta with more flour to prevent sticking and repeat with the remaining dough. If using a rolling pin: Divide the dough in half. Dust your surface with flour and sprinkle generously on your rolling pin. *Roll out the dough as thin and as evenly possible, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking. Use a paring knife (a pizza cutter works great!) to cut your dough into even ribbons, then set aside, dusting the cut pasta with more flour. Repeat with the remaining dough. (At this point, the pasta can be transferred to a sealable plastic bag and frozen for up to 3 months; do not defrost before cooking.) Cook the pasta in a large pot of generously salted boiling water, checking for doneness after just 1 minute; fresh pasta cooks very quickly. As soon as it is al dente, no more than 3 or 4 minutes, drain, reserving some of the cooking water if desired for saucing the pasta. Toss with your sauce, loosen with some of the reserved cooking water as needed and serve immediately. *Note:  You must get the dough as thin as possible and cut them into small strips, otherwise, it will be too thick and end up having the texture of dumplings.
Hope Callaghan (Made in Savannah Mysteries Box Set: Books 1-10 (Made in Savannah Mysteries Deluxe Box Set Book 1))
It could snow We don’t take care. The end of November came without coldness, with haunting and limp rains, pretty much leaves still laying anywhere on the sidewalks. It comes a morning with another grey, compact, closed, air changes its texture. Under the pharmacy green cross the thermometer sticks, in red, two degrees. The number, a bit blurred thins down in the space. We didn’t expect it, but it grows, far inside us, the little sentence. It comes to the lips like a forgotten song: “It could snow …” We should not dare to mention it in loud voice, it is still so much autumn, all could finish in a stupid freezing sudden shower, in a fog of boredom. But the idea of a possible snow came back, it’s what matters. No downhill in a sledge-trash-bag, no snowman, no children shouting,no pictures of landscape metamorphosis. Largely best then all that, because the essential snow is inside the unformulated. Before. Something we didn’t know we knew. Before snow, before love, the same lack, the same dimmed grey which days’ triteness creates pretending to suffocate. We shall cross somebody: - This time it’s almost winter! - Yes we start to be crestfallen! Workers hang pieces of tinsel. We didn’t say too much. Especially do not frighten away the slight shade of the idea. The red thermometer went down, one degree. It could snow.
Philippe Delerm (Ma grand-mère avait les mêmes: les dessous affriolants des petites phrases)
her room now?” They were led down the hall by Beth. Before she turned away she took a last drag on her smoke and said, “However this comes out, there is no way my baby would have had anything to do with something like this, drawing of this asshole or not. No way. Do you hear me? Both of you?” “Loud and clear,” said Decker. But he thought if Debbie were involved she had already paid the ultimate price anyway. The state couldn’t exactly kill her again. Beth casually flicked the cigarette down the hall, where it sparked and then died out on the faded runner. Then she walked off. They opened the door and went into Debbie’s room. Decker stood in the middle of the tiny space and looked around. Lancaster said, “We’ll have the tech guys go through her online stuff. Photos on her phone, her laptop over there, the cloud, whatever. Instagram. Twitter. Facebook. Tumblr. Wherever else the kids do their electronic preening. Keeps changing. But our guys will know where to look.” Decker didn’t answer her. He just kept looking around, taking the room in, fitting things in little niches in his memory and then pulling them back out if something didn’t seem right as weighed against something else. “I just see a typical teenage girl’s room. But what do you see?” asked Lancaster finally. He didn’t look at her but said, “Same things you’re seeing. Give me a minute.” Decker walked around the small space, looked under piles of papers, in the young woman’s closet, knelt down to see under her bed, scrutinized the wall art that hung everywhere, including a whole section of People magazine covers. She also had chalkboard squares affixed to one wall. On them was a musical score and short snatches of poetry and personal messages to herself: Deb, Wake up each day with something to prove. “Pretty busy room,” noted Lancaster, who had perched on the edge of the girl’s desk. “We’ll have forensics come and bag it all.” She looked at Decker, obviously waiting for him to react to this, but instead he walked out of the room. “Decker!” “I’ll be back,” he called over his shoulder. She watched him go and then muttered, “Of all the partners I could have had, I got Rain Man, only giant size.” She pulled a stick of gum out of her bag, unwrapped it, and popped it into her mouth. Over the next several minutes she strolled the room and then came to the mirror on the back of the closet door. She appraised her appearance and ended it with the resigned sigh of a person who knows their best days physically are well in the past. She automatically reached for her smokes but then decided against it. Debbie’s room could be part of a criminal investigation. Her ash and smoke could only taint that investigation.
David Baldacci (Memory Man (Amos Decker, #1))
Asking for Directions We could have been mistaken for a married couple riding on the train from Manhattan to Chicago that last time we were together. I remember looking out the window and praising the beauty of the ordinary: the in-between places, the world with its back turned to us, the small neglected stations of our history. I slept across your chest and stomach without asking permission because they were the last hours. There was a smell to the sheepskin lining of your new Chinese vest that I didn’t recognize. I felt it deliberately. I woke early and asked you to come with me for coffee. You said, sleep more, and I said we only had one hour and you came. We didn’t say much after that. In the station, you took your things and handed me the vest, then left as we had planned. So you would have ten minutes to meet your family and leave. I stood by the seat dazed by exhaustion and the absoluteness of the end, so still I was aware of myself breathing. I put on the vest and my coat, got my bag and, turning, saw you through the dirty window standing outside looking up at me. We looked at each other without any expression at all. Invisible, unnoticed, still. That moment is what I will tell of as proof that you loved me permanently. After that I was a woman alone carrying her bag, asking a worker which direction to walk to find a taxi.
Linda Gregg
Elderly people are not always craggy, wrinkled, stooped over, forgetful, or wise. Teenagers are not necessarily rebellious, querulous, or pimple-faced. Babies aren’t always angelic, or even cute. Drunks don’t always slur their words. Characters aren’t types. When creating a character, it’s essential to avoid the predictable. Just as in language we must beware of clichés. When it comes to character, we are looking for what is true, what is not always so, what makes a character unique, nuanced, indelible. This specificity applies, obviously, to our main characters, but it is equally important when creating our minor characters: the man at the end of the bar, the receptionist in the doctor’s office, the woman with the shopping bag on the street. They don’t exist simply to advance our protagonist from point A to point B. They are not filler—you know, simply there to supply some local color. There is no such thing as filler or local color in life, nor can there be on the page. Ask of yourself: How does this character walk? How does she smell? What is she wearing? What underwear is she wearing? What are the traces of her accent? Is she hungry? Thirsty? Horny? What’s the last book she read? What did she have for dinner last night? Is she a good dancer? Does she do the crossword puzzle in pen? Did she have a childhood pet? Is she a dog person or a cat person?
Dani Shapiro (Still Writing: The Pleasures and Perils of a Creative Life)
I remember the time I went to my first rare-book fair and saw how the first editions of Thoreau and Whitman and Crane had been carefully packaged in heat-shrunk plastic with the price tags on the inside. Somehow the simple addition of air-tight plastic bags had transformed the books from vehicles of liveliness into commodities, like bread made with chemicals to keep it from perishing. In commodity exchange it’s as if the buyer and the seller where both in plastic bags; there’s none of the contact of a gift exchange. There is neither motion nor emotion because the whole point is to keep the balance, to make sure the exchange itself doesn’t consume anything or involve one person with another. Consumer goods are consumed by their owners, not by their exchange. The desire to consume is a kind of lust. We long to have the world flow through us like air or food. We are thirsty and hungry for something that can only be carried inside bodies. But consumer goods merely bait this lust, they do not satisfy it. The consumer of commodities is invited to a meal without passion, a consumption that leads to neither satiation nor fire. He is a stranger seduced into feeding on the drippings of someone else’s capital without benefit of its inner nourishment, and he is hungry at the end of the meal, depressed and weary as we all feel when lust has dragged us from the house and led us to nothing.
Lewis Hyde (The Gift)
Come on. Let’s go get coffee, get your mind off it,” Silas says soothingly as I begin to take my frustration out on the bag of bread, violently twisting the end of the plastic into a knot. “I don’t like coffee,” I grumble without looking at him. Silas reaches forward and puts his hands over mine. Goose bumps erupt on my arms. He raises his eyebrows, voice gentle. “You can get chocolate milk, then. But let’s get out of here before you bend the entire loaf in half.” I sigh and look at him. Funny how he can go from being “just Silas” to Silas in a matter of seconds. I release the bread and follow him out the door, my frustration and the flutter feeling fighting for control of me. The diner Silas takes me to is just a few blocks away, a dingy but classic-looking place with black and white tile and red neon signs blinking things such as “Apple Pie!” and “Specialty Hash Browns!” We slide into a booth, and a waitress who is missing several teeth grins at us and asks us for our order. “Just a cup of coffee for me. You, Rosie?” “Chocolate milk,” I reply with a snide look at Silas. He laughs and the waitress hurries away. Then, silence. Silas rearranges the salt and pepper shakers, and I pretend to read a piece of paper outlining the history of the diner. Right. “So,” I blurt out, a little louder than I meant to, “I guess you didn’t get much time at home, did you? Back from California and now stuck here with us?” Is my voice shaking? I think my voice is shaking.
Jackson Pearce (Sisters Red (Fairytale Retellings, #1))
from Labor Day through Halloween, the place is almost unbearably beautiful. The air during these weeks seems less like ether and more like a semisolid, clear and yet dense somehow, as if it were filled with the finest imaginable golden pollen. The sky tends toward brilliant ice-blue, and every thing and being is invested with a soft, gold-ish glow. Tin cans look good in this light; discarded shopping bags do. I’m not poet enough to tell you what the salt marsh looks like at high tide. I confess that when I lived year-round in Provincetown, I tended to become irritable toward the end of October, when one supernal day after another seemed to imply that the only reasonable human act was to abandon your foolish errands and plans, go outside, and fall to your knees.
Michael Cunningham (Land's End: A Walk in Provincetown (Crown Journeys))
They had a very pleasant evening out together in Shrewsbury – she was lovely to him, they chatted to mutual acquaintances, laughed, drank quite a bit of wine. They settled into a relaxed mood together – Jason wondering why it couldn’t always be that way; and, in fact, she had closed down again by the time they were walking back to his flat, with a bag of chips shared between them. Something sparked the subject of family once more. He joked about one day being invited to meet her parents. ‘There you go again!’ she snapped. ‘It’s not as if you’re a serious boyfriend, or anything.’ He stopped dead, other revellers had to swerve around them. ‘Why do you say that? I know I’m serious about this. I just don’t get you at all.’ Her expression told him that she was not willing to discuss it. He threw the remnants of the chips into a plastic bin. ‘Adelaide, we’re so good together. We are, aren’t we? Admit it.’ ‘All right, I admit it. I do want you, Jason. Just not in the way you want.’ ‘I know I don’t pressure you. God, I put up with so much crap from you. Just spell it out to me. What is your problem?’ By some miracle of logistics, two police officers happened to be passing along the pedestrianised road. Adelaide used their presence as a way of ending the discussion, ‘Jason, you’re making a scene. I’m going home alone.’ ‘Adelaide!’ ‘Let’s leave it for now, Jason.’ ‘Adelaide!’ She skipped away into groups of passers-by. Infuriated beyond belief by her once more, Jason punched the plastic bin, causing a huge dent. The policemen looked over their shoulders briefly, but then continued on.
HB Morris
O you mad, you superbly drunk! If you kick open your doors and play the fool in public; If you empty your bag in a night, and snap your fingers at prudence; If you walk in curious paths and play with useless things; Reck not rhyme or reason; If you break the rudder in two unfurling your sails before the storm: Then I will follow you, comrade, and be drunken and go to the dogs. I have wasted my days and nights in the company of steady wise neighbors. Much knowing has turned my hair grey, and much watching has made my sight dim. For years I have gathered and heaped all scraps and fragments of things; Crush them and dance upon them, and scatter them all to the winds! For I know ’tis the height of wisdom to be drunken and go to the dogs. Let all crooked scruples vanish, let me hopelessly lose my way. Let a gust of wild giddiness come and sweep me away from my anchors. The world is peopled with worthies, and workers useful and clever; There are men who are easily the first, and men who come decently next: Let them be happy and prosperous, and let me be foolishly futile. For I know ’tis the end of all works to be drunken and go to the dogs. I swear to surrender this moment all claim to the ranks of the sensible. I let go my pride of learning and judgment of right and of wrong. I’ll shatter the vessel of memory, scattering the last drop of tears; With the foam of the ruby red wine, I’ll bathe and brighten my laughter. The badge of the proper and prim I’ll tear into shreds for the nonce. I’ll take the holy vow of being worthless, and be drunken and go to the dogs.
Rabindranath Tagore
Condom,” she gasped. A movement stopped. “What?” Phoebe felt the earth open up in preparation of swallowing her. How could she have not mentioned this before? “I’m not on anything right now,” she whispered. “Birth control. I’m not on the Pill.” She gestured helplessly. “Shit, fuck, damn.” Disappointment tied her in knots. “I was really only interested in that middle part,” she joked. There was a second of silence, followed by a low chuckle. “You’re never predictable, Phoebe. I’ll give you that. Cross your fingers.” “What?” “Cross your fingers. I might have a condom in my shaving kit.” There was movement and rustling, then the sound of a zipper being opened. “I’m going to have to put on the light.” She briefly debated being polite and closing her eyes, but who was she kidding? She wanted to see Zane naked. In preparation, she raised up on one elbow and stared in his general direction. When the light came on, she saw all she wanted and more. He was kneeling at the end of the sleeping bag. Naked, aroused and more physically perfect than any man had a right to be. She saw the definition in his arms, the broad strength of his chest and his flat stomach before lowering her attention to his large, hard penis. The physical proof of his desire for her made her so happy, she nearly cried. Her other instinct was to part her legs, tell him never mind with birth control and protection and demand he take her right there. As that last bit was only ever going to happen in her fantasies, she contended herself with stretching out her arm and lightly grazing the tip of him with her fingers. He stiffened instantly, then turned to look at her. If she’d had any doubts about his willingness to participate, they were put to rest by the fire in his eyes and the tightness of his expression. He was a man on the sexual edge, and she couldn’t wait to push him over. He shook his head and forced his attention back to the shaving kit. At first he set the various items on the foot of the sleeping bag, but after a couple of seconds, he simply turned the container over and dumped out the contents. “Be here, be here, be here,” he muttered as he pawed through everything. Then he grabbed a square packet in triumph. “Got one.” She couldn’t help smiling. “Only one?” He grinned. “We’ll have to be creative after that.” He handed her the condom, then clicked off the light. “Where was I?” he asked. “You can pretty much be anywhere you want to be,” she told him. “Good. Then I want to be here.” He pulled off her panties in one smooth move. Then there was nothing.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
We've taken it away too much, the funeral people take over. No. Let people bury their own." "Do you think it helps people to go through the process and be intimately involved?" "Yes of course, of course!" It's the most emphatic Steve has been about anything. "Keep the body at home, put it on the dining table, let the kids sleep under the table, paint the coffin, decorate it, eat. When my brother died we had fights over the coffin drinking whiskey. I remember one brother pounding Bill's coffin 'Oh you bastard!' It was our lives. We carried the coffin, we filled in the hole. I used to work in the garden as a boy with my father. And I dug the hole to put his plants in and filled in the hole. In the end we put Dad into the ground and I helped my brothers fill in the hole. We need to do it ourselves." "Why do you think it helps to have that involvement?" "It's our responsibility, it's not to help, it's enabling us to grieve, it's enabling us to go through it together. Otherwise it's taken away and whoosh - it's gone. And you can't grieve. You've got to feel, you've got to touch, you've got to be there." Steve is passionate. He reaches into his bag to pull out something to show me. It's an old yellowing newspaper clipping. The caption reads 'Devastation: a woman in despair at the site of the blasts near the Turkey-Syrian border'. The photograph is a woman, she has her arms open to the sky and she is wailing, her head thrown back. "I pray in front of that" Steve tells me as I look at it. "That's a wonderful photo of the pain of our world. I don't know if she's lost relatives or what's blown up. You have a substance to your life if you've felt pain, you've got understanding, that's where compassion is, it makes you a deeper richer human being.
Leigh Sales (Any Ordinary Day: Blindsides, Resilience and What Happens After the Worst Day of Your Life)
I had a strange dream. I was carrying a bookbag on my back, and it had a lot of tools in it. However, for some reason, I couldn’t take off the backpack. In the dream, I had to continue to start over from where I started. I was so tired and frustrated. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. All I knew was that I was walking in the desert with a backpack on. Again, the dream kept repeating itself. I didn’t want to keep starting over because it was hard. However, every single time the dream started over, it was more challenging because I was hungry and thirsty. I saw a tree in the desert, but I couldn’t get any water. It started to snow, but I didn’t have shelter. I was cold, and I didn’t know how to get warm. I looked around, and there wasn’t anyone in sight. I realized that I had to walk down the path that was my own. I never had anyone to hold my hand. However, some people want people to walk in front of them, beside them, beneath, or above them. I was tired of walking the never-ending path of heavy burdens. However, my path of burdens wasn’t by choice. I was given this path, but in my dream, I had to change the direction. I was giving permission to take off my backpack. I needed water, and I noticed I had a cup in my backpack. I also had a spile (spout) that I could use to get water out of a tree. It was getting colder and colder. I needed shelter. I looked in my bag, and there were tools to make a tent. I put my tent together after I gathered some water. I dug in my bag, and I saw some sticks. I built a fire to warm up. My dream was very interesting. It brought clarity into my life. I had all of the tools I needed to start over. However, I had to make the choice to use them. I had to put my mom’s choices behind me because I cannot change what happened.
Charlena E. Jackson (Pinwheels and Dandelions)
Here’s the second way a conversation with an MS employee ends. (MS—oh, God, they’ve got me doing it now!) Let’s say I’m at the playground with my daughter. I’m bleary-eyed, pushing her on the swings, and one swing over there’s an outdoorsy father—because fathers only come in one style here, and that’s outdoorsy. He has seen a diaper bag I’m carrying which isn’t a diaper bag at all, but one of the endless “ship gifts” with the Microsoft logo Elgie brings home. OUTDOORSY DAD: You work at Microsoft? ME: Oh, no, my husband does. (Heading off his next question at the pass) He’s in robotics. OUTDOORSY DAD: I’m at Microsoft, too. ME: (Feigning interest, because really, I could give a shit, but wow, is this guy chatty) Oh? What do you do? OUTDOORSY DAD: I work for Messenger. ME: What’s that? OUTDOORSY DAD: You know Windows Live? ME: Ummm… OUTDOORSY DAD: You know the MSN home page? ME: Kind of… OUTDOORSY DAD: (Losing patience) When you turn on your computer, what comes up? ME: The New York Times. OUTDOORSY DAD: Well, there’s a Windows home page that usually comes up. ME: You mean the thing that’s preloaded when you buy a PC? I’m sorry, I have a Mac. OUTDOORSY DAD: (Getting defensive because everyone there is lusting for an iPhone, but there’s a rumor that if Ballmer sees you with one, you’ll get shitcanned. Even though this hasn’t been proven, it hasn’t been disproven either.) I’m talking about Windows Live. It’s the most-visited home page in the world. ME: I believe you. OUTDOORSY DAD: What’s your search engine? ME: Google. OUTDOORSY DAD: Bing’s better. ME: No one said it wasn’t. OUTDOORSY DAD: If you ever, once, went to Hotmail, Windows Live, Bing, or MSN, you’d see a tab at the top of the page that says “Messenger.” That’s my team. ME: Cool! What do you do for Messenger? OUTDOORSY DAD: My team is working on an end-user, C Sharp interface for HTML5…
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
One article on reproductive strategies was titled "Sneaky Fuckers." Kya laughed. As is well known, the article began, in nature, usually the males with the most prominent secondary sexual characteristics, such as the biggest antlers, deepest voices, broadest chests, and superior knowledge secure the best territories because they have fended off weaker males. The females choose to mate with these imposing alphas and are thereby inseminated with the best DNA around, which is passed on to the female's offspring- one of the most powerful phenomena in the adaptation and continuance of life. Plus, the females get the best territory for their young. However, some stunted males, not strong, adorned, or smart enough to hold good territories, possess bags of tricks to fool the females. They parade their smaller forms around in pumped-up postures or shout frequently- even if in shrill voices. By relying on pretense and false signals, they manage to grab a copulation here or there. Pint-sized male bullfrogs, the author wrote, hunker down in the grass and hide near an alpha male who is croaking with great gusto to call in mates. When several females are attracted to his strong vocals at the same time, and the alpha is busy copulating with one, the weaker male leaps in and mates one of the others. The imposter males were referred to as "sneaky fuckers." Kya remembered, those many years ago, Ma warning her older sisters about young men who overrevved their rusted-out pickups or drove jalopies around with radios blaring. "Unworthy boys make a lot of noise," Ma had said. She read a consolation for females. Nature is audacious enough to ensure that the males who send out dishonest signals or go from one female to the next almost always end up alone. Another article delved into the wild rivalries between sperm. Across most life-forms, males compete to inseminate females. Male lions occasionally fight to the death; rival bull elephants lock tusks and demolish the ground beneath their feet as they tear at each other's flesh. Though very ritualized, the conflicts can still end in mutilations. To avoid such injuries, inseminators of some species compete in less violent, more creative methods. Insects, the most imaginative. The penis of the male damselfly is equipped with a small scoop, which removes sperm ejected by a previous opponent before he supplies his own. Kya dropped the journal on her lap, her mind drifting with the clouds. Some female insects eat their mates, overstressed mammal mothers abandon their young, many males design risky or shifty ways to outsperm their competitors. Nothing seemed too indecorous as long as the tick and the tock of life carried on. She knew this was not a dark side to Nature, just inventive ways to endure against all odds. Surely for humans there was more.
Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)
Some incidents of facial profiling have been more inconvenient than others. I’ll never forget walking through airport security when I was flying to give a speech to a Christian men’s group in Montana. The Department of Homeland Security screeners obviously didn’t recognize me as “Jase the Duckman” from Duck Dynasty, and I felt like I was one wrong answer away from being led to an interrogation room in a pair of handcuffs! Hunting season had recently ended, so my hair and beard were in full bloom! The security screeners saw a Bible in my bag, and I guess they figured I was a Christian nut because of my long hair and bushy beard. Somehow, I made it through the metal detector and an additional pat-down, and I guess they couldn’t find a justifiable reason to detain me. But as I was getting my belongings back together, I accidentally bumped into a woman. She screamed! It must have been an involuntary reflex. It was a natural response, because she thought I was going to attack her. Once she finally settled down, I made my way to the gate and sat down to compose myself. After a few minutes, a young boy walked up and asked me for my autograph. Finally, I thought to myself. Somebody recognizes me from Duck Dynasty. Not everyone here believes I’m the Unabomber! Man, I could have used the kid about twenty minutes earlier, when I was trying to get through security! I looked over at the boy’s mother, and she was smiling from ear to ear. I realized they were very big fans. I signed my name on a piece of paper and handed it to the kid. “Can I ask you a question?” he said. “Sure, buddy,” I said. “Ask me anything you want.” “How much does Geico pay y’all?” he asked. My jaw dropped as I looked at the kid. “Wait a minute, man,” I said. “I’m not a caveman!” “What do you mean?” the boy asked. “I’m Jase the Duckman,” I said. “You know--from Duck Dynasty? Quack, quack?” It didn’t take me long to realize the boy had no idea what I was talking about. In a matter of minutes, I went from being a potential terrorist to being a caveman selling insurance.
Jase Robertson (Good Call: Reflections on Faith, Family, and Fowl)
Two days later, I started my job. My job involved typing friendly letters full of happy lies to dying children. I wasn't allowed to touch my computer keyboard. I had to press the keys with a pair of Q-tips held by tweezers -- one pair of tweezers in each hand. I’m sorry -- that was a metaphor. My job involved using one of those photo booths to take strips of four photographs of myself. The idea was to take one picture good enough to put on a driver’s license, and to be completely satisfied with it, knowing I had infinite retries and all the time in the world, and that I was getting paid for it. I’d take the photos and show them to the boss, and he would help me think of reasons the photos weren't good enough. I’d fill out detailed reports between retakes. We weren't permitted to recycle the outtakes, so I had to scan them, put them on eBay, arrange a sale, and then ship them out to the buyer via FedEx. FedEx came once every three days, at either ten minutes till noon or five minutes after six. I’m sorry -- that was a metaphor, too. My job involved blowing ping-pong balls across long, narrow tables using three-foot-long bendy straws. At the far end of the table was a little wastebasket. My job was to get the ping-pong ball into that wastebasket, using only the bendy straw and my lungs. Touching the straw to the ping-pong ball was grounds for a talking-to. If the ping-pong ball fell off the side of the table, or if it missed the wastebasket, I had to get on my computer and send a formal request to commit suicide to Buddha himself. I would then wait patiently for his reply, which was invariably typed while very stoned, and incredibly forgiving. Every Friday, an hour before Quitting Time, I'd put on a radiation suit. I'd lift the wastebaskets full of ping-pong balls, one at a time, and deposit them into drawstring garbage bags. I'd tie the bags up, stack them all on a pallet, take them down to the incinerator in the basement, and watch them all burn. Then I'd fill out, by hand, a one-page form re: how the flames made me feel. "Sad" was an acceptable response; "Very Sad" was not.
Tim Rogers
HERE ARE MY TEN BEEF NOODLE SOUP COMMANDMENTS: 1. Throw out the first: always flash-boil your bones and beef to get the “musk” out. I’ve gone back and forth on this a lot. I would sometimes brown the meat as opposed to boil, but decided in the end that for this soup, you gotta boil. If you brown, it’s overpowering. The lesson that beef noodle soup teaches you is restraint. Sometimes less is more if you want all the flavors in the dish to speak to you. 2. Make sure the oil is medium-high when the aromatics go down and get a slight caramelization. It’s a fine line. Too much caramelization and it becomes too heavy, but no caramelization and your stock is weak. 3. Rice wine can be tricky. Most people like to vaporize it so that all the alcohol is cooked off. I like to leave a little of the alcohol flavor ’cause it tends to cut through the grease a bit. 4. Absolutely no butter, lard, or duck fat. I’ve seen people in America try to “kick it up a notch” with animal fats and it ruins the soup. Peanut oil or die. 5. Don’t burn the chilis and peppercorns, not even a little bit. You want the spice and the numbness, but not the smokiness. 6. After sautéing the chilis/peppercorns, turn off the heat and let them sit in the oil to steep. This is another reason you want to turn the heat off early. 7. Strain your chilis/peppercorns out of the oil, put them in a muslin bag, and set them aside. Then add ginger/garlic/scallions to the oil in that order. Stage them. 8. I use tomatoes in my beef noodle soup, but I add them after the soup is finished and everything is strained. I let them hang out in the soup as it sits on the stove over the course of the day. I cut the tomatoes thin so they give off flavor without having to cook too long and so you can serve them still intact. 9. Always use either shank or chuck flap. Brisket is too tough. If you want to make it interesting, add pig’s foot or oxtail. 10. Do you. I don’t give you measurements with this because I gave you all the ingredients and the technique. The best part about beef noodle soup is that there are no rules. It just has to have beef, noodle, and soup. There are people that do clear broth beef noodle soup. Beef noodle soup with dairy. Beef noodle soup with pig’s blood. It would suck if you looked at my recipe and never made your own, ’cause everyone has a beef noodle soup in them. Show it to me.
Eddie Huang (Fresh Off the Boat)
With one final flip the quarter flew high into the air and came down on the mattress with a light bounce. It jumped several inches off the bed, high enough for the instructor to catch it in his hand. Swinging around to face me, the instructor looked me in the eye and nodded. He never said a word. Making my bed correctly was not going to be an opportunity for praise. It was expected of me. It was my first task of the day, and doing it right was important. It demonstrated my discipline. It showed my attention to detail, and at the end of the day it would be a reminder that I had done something well, something to be proud of, no matter how small the task. Throughout my life in the Navy, making my bed was the one constant that I could count on every day. As a young SEAL ensign aboard the USS Grayback, a special operation submarine, I was berthed in sick bay, where the beds were stacked four high. The salty old doctor who ran sick bay insisted that I make my rack every morning. He often remarked that if the beds were not made and the room was not clean, how could the sailors expect the best medical care? As I later found out, this sentiment of cleanliness and order applied to every aspect of military life. Thirty years later, the Twin Towers came down in New York City. The Pentagon was struck, and brave Americans died in an airplane over Pennsylvania. At the time of the attacks, I was recuperating in my home from a serious parachute accident. A hospital bed had been wheeled into my government quarters, and I spent most of the day lying on my back, trying to recover. I wanted out of that bed more than anything else. Like every SEAL I longed to be with my fellow warriors in the fight. When I was finally well enough to lift myself unaided from the bed, the first thing I did was pull the sheets up tight, adjust the pillow, and make sure the hospital bed looked presentable to all those who entered my home. It was my way of showing that I had conquered the injury and was moving forward with my life. Within four weeks of 9/11, I was transferred to the White House, where I spent the next two years in the newly formed Office of Combatting Terrorism. By October 2003, I was in Iraq at our makeshift headquarters on the Baghdad airfield. For the first few months we slept on Army cots. Nevertheless, I would wake every morning, roll up my sleeping bag, place the pillow at the head of the cot, and get ready for the day.
William H. McRaven (Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World)
Once on a yellow piece of paper with green lines he wrote a poem And he called it “Chops” because that was the name of his dog And that’s what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and a gold star And his mother hung it on the kitchen door and read it to his aunts That was the year Father Tracy took all the kids to the zoo And he let them sing on the bus And his little sister was born with tiny toenails and no hair And his mother and father kissed a lot And the girl around the corner sent him a Valentine signed with a row of X’s and he had to ask his father what the X’s meant And his father always tucked him in bed at night And was always there to do it Once on a piece of white paper with blue lines he wrote a poem And he called it “Autumn” because that was the name of the season And that’s what it was all about And his teacher gave him an A and asked him to write more clearly And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because of its new paint And the kids told him that Father Tracy smoked cigars And left butts on the pews And sometimes they would burn holes That was the year his sister got glasses with thick lenses and black frames And the girl around the corner laughed when he asked her to go see Santa Claus And the kids told him why his mother and father kissed a lot And his father never tucked him in bed at night And his father got mad when he cried for him to do it. Once on a paper torn from his notebook he wrote a poem And he called it “Innocence: A Question” because that was the question about his girl And that’s what it was all about And his professor gave him an A and a strange steady look And his mother never hung it on the kitchen door because he never showed her That was the year that Father Tracy died And he forgot how the end of the Apostle’s Creed went And he caught his sister making out on the back porch And his mother and father never kissed or even talked And the girl around the corner wore too much makeup That made him cough when he kissed her but he kissed her anyway because that was the thing to do And at three A.M. he tucked himself into bed his father snoring soundly That’s why on the back of a brown paper bag he tried another poem And he called it “Absolutely Nothing” Because that’s what it was really all about And he gave himself an A and a slash on each damned wrist And he hung it on the bathroom door because this time he didn’t think he could reach the kitchen.
Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower)
There is no fault that can’t be corrected [in natural wine] with one powder or another; no feature that can’t be engineered from a bottle, box, or bag. Wine too tannic? Fine it with Ovo-Pure (powdered egg whites), isinglass (granulate from fish bladders), gelatin (often derived from cow bones and pigskins), or if it’s a white, strip out pesky proteins that cause haziness with Puri-Bent (bentonite clay, the ingredient in kitty litter). Not tannic enough? Replace $1,000 barrels with a bag of oak chips (small wood nuggets toasted for flavor), “tank planks” (long oak staves), oak dust (what it sounds like), or a few drops of liquid oak tannin (pick between “mocha” and “vanilla”). Or simulate the texture of barrel-aged wines with powdered tannin, then double what you charge. (““Typically, the $8 to $12 bottle can be brought up to $15 to $20 per bottle because it gives you more of a barrel quality. . . . You’re dressing it up,” a sales rep explained.) Wine too thin? Build fullness in the mouth with gum arabic (an ingredient also found in frosting and watercolor paint). Too frothy? Add a few drops of antifoaming agent (food-grade silicone oil). Cut acidity with potassium carbonate (a white salt) or calcium carbonate (chalk). Crank it up again with a bag of tartaric acid (aka cream of tartar). Increase alcohol by mixing the pressed grape must with sugary grape concentrate, or just add sugar. Decrease alcohol with ConeTech’s spinning cone, or Vinovation’s reverse-osmosis machine, or water. Fake an aged Bordeaux with Lesaffre’s yeast and yeast derivative. Boost “fresh butter” and “honey” aromas by ordering the CY3079 designer yeast from a catalog, or go for “cherry-cola” with the Rhône 2226. Or just ask the “Yeast Whisperer,” a man with thick sideburns at the Lallemand stand, for the best yeast to meet your “stylistic goals.” (For a Sauvignon Blanc with citrus aromas, use the Uvaferm SVG. For pear and melon, do Lalvin Ba11. For passion fruit, add Vitilevure Elixir.) Kill off microbes with Velcorin (just be careful, because it’s toxic). And preserve the whole thing with sulfur dioxide. When it’s all over, if you still don’t like the wine, just add a few drops of Mega Purple—thick grape-juice concentrate that’s been called a “magical potion.” It can plump up a wine, make it sweeter on the finish, add richer color, cover up greenness, mask the horsey stink of Brett, and make fruit flavors pop. No one will admit to using it, but it ends up in an estimated 25 million bottles of red each year. “Virtually everyone is using it,” the president of a Monterey County winery confided to Wines and Vines magazine. “In just about every wine up to $20 a bottle anyway, but maybe not as much over that.
Bianca Bosker (Cork Dork: A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste)
Dear One Million and Two Dreams, I never knew my life was precious until a selfless human being saved it. I was so used to being caught in the tides, but the moon always untangled me. The moon has always been here with me, and I am forever grateful. The stars left a trail as I follow it to a selfless soul. The night sky was darker than the deep blue sea, but I was granted a night light from the shooting stars. I made one million and one wishes on dandelions, and one of those millions of wishes came true. The never-ending sky seemed like it was falling on me. However, now the endless skies had been lifted and are filled with unlimited opportunities. My wings were clipped, but they grew back. However, they have been clipped again, and the process will continue until I free myself from my past. I made a million wishes, but none of them were on my side. I was exposed to a cut-throat life that spoke a language of hate. The emptiness in my life had more than one million questions. However, I was immune to abandon answers. Although I had one million questions, I received two million answers that were one lie after another. I walked around with one million and one brown paper bags with words written on them in different shades of ink and a dull pencil lead. I have a heavy rush in my heart because I’ve been fighting for so long, and now I can rest. When I think about it, I do not need a million wishes to come true. I feel my lips curving as they form a smile. Once upon a time, I made a million and two wishes, and two of them came true. I have my brother and Nurse Hope in my life—Ember; how much better can life get than this? So much better.
Charlena E. Jackson (Pinwheels and Dandelions)
Are you Hilary Westfield?” She sounded like she hoped it wasn’t the case. Hilary nodded. “Oh. Well, I’m Philomena. I have to show you to your room.” Hilary looked wildly at Miss Greyson. “I’m Miss Westfield’s governess,” Miss Greyson said, to Hilary’s relief. Maybe talking politely to people like Philomena was something you learned at Miss Pimm’s, or maybe getting past Philomena was a sort of entrance exam. “Is there any chance we could see Miss Pimm? We’re old acquaintances. I used to go to school here, you see.” Miss Greyson smiled for the second time that day—the world was getting stranger and stranger by the minute—but Philomena didn’t smile back. “I’m terribly sorry,” said Philomena, “but Miss Pimm doesn’t receive visitors. You can leave Miss Westfield with me, and the porter will collect Miss Westfield’s bags.” She raised her eyebrows as the carriage driver deposited the golden traveling trunk on the doorstep. “I hope you have another pair of stockings in there.” “I do.” Hilary met Philomena’s stare. “I have nineteen pairs, in fact. And a sword.” Miss Greyson groaned and put her hand to her forehead. “Excuse me?” said Philomena. “I’m afraid Miss Westfield is prone to fits of imagination,” Miss Greyson said quickly. Philomena’s eyebrows retreated. “I understand completely,” she said. “Well, you have nothing to worry about. Miss Pimm’s will cure her of that nasty habit soon enough. Now, Miss Westfield, please come along with me.” Hilary and Miss Greyson started to follow Philomena inside. “Only students and instructors are permitted inside the school building,” said Philomena to Miss Greyson. “With all the thefts breaking out in the kingdom these days, one really can’t be too careful. But you’re perfectly welcome to say your good-byes outside.” Miss Greyson agreed and knelt down in front of Hilary. “A sword?” she whispered. “I’m sorry, Miss Greyson.” “All I ask is that you take care not to carve up your classmates. If I were not a governess, however, I might mention that the lovely Philomena is in need of a haircut.” Hilary nearly laughed, but she suspected it might be against the rules to laugh on the grounds of Miss Pimm’s, so she gave Miss Greyson her most solemn nod instead. “Now,” said Miss Greyson, “you must promise to write. You must keep up with the news of the day and tell me all about it in your letters. And you’ll come and visit me in my bookshop at the end of the term, won’t you?” “Of course.” Hilary’s stomach was starting to feel very strange, and she didn’t trust herself to say more than a few words at a time. This couldn’t be right; pirates were hardly ever sentimental. Then again, neither was Miss Greyson. Yet here she was, leaning forward to hug Hilary, and Hilary found herself hugging Miss Greyson back. “Please don’t tell me to be a good little girl,” she said. Miss Greyson sniffed and stood up. “My dear,” she said, “I would never dream of it.” She gave Hilary’s canvas bag an affectionate pat, nodded politely to Philomena, and walked down the steps and through the gate, back to the waiting carriage. “Come along,” said Philomena, picking up the lightest of Hilary’s bags. “And please don’t dawdle. I have lessons to finish.” HILARY FOLLOWED PHILOMENA through a maze of dark stone walls and high archways. From the inside, the building seemed more like a fortress
Caroline Carlson (Magic Marks the Spot (The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, #1))
In other words, you need to be a bureaucracy in order to survive one. This is the overwhelming narrative of modern American economics, that the individual, particularly the individual without a lot of money, is inherently overmatched. He’s a loser. And if he falls into any part of the machine, he goes straight to the bottom. And then there’s the most disturbing truth of all. People assume that a system that favors the rich likes rich people. This isn’t true. Our bureaucracies respond to the money rich people have, and they bend to the legal might the rich can hire, but they don’t give a damn about rich people. You can be rich and still fall into any one of a dozen financial/legal meat grinders, from an erroneously collapsed credit score to a robo-signed foreclosure to a stolen identity to a retirement account vaporized by institutional theft and fraud. The system eats up rich people, too, because it’s not concerned with protecting any individuals, even the rich ones. These bureaucracies accomplish just two things: they make small piles of money smaller and big piles of money bigger. It’s a system that doesn’t care whose hands end up holding the bag, or how long those hands get to hold the bag. It just relentlessly creates and punishes losers, who get to sit beneath an ever-narrowing group of winners, who may or may not stay on top for long. What does get preserved, in all cases, is a small constellation of sprawling, interconnected financial companies, whose names and managements may change (Bear becomes Chase, Wachovia becomes Wells Fargo, etc.), but whose entrenched influence remains the same. In other words, this is a machine that loves and protects money but somehow hates all people.
Matt Taibbi (The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap)
Geraldine nodded and headed for Mrs. Armstrong's lawn. I felt sorry for her in her carrot pajamas, having no idea what was really going on. I followed the other girls and stood behind the shrubs. Mrs. Armstrong's house was ginormous. Her house was even bigger than Aunt Jeanie's. There was one light on upstairs. I figured that was the bedroom. The rest of the house was dark. Geraldine went to the far end of the yard and removed a can of spray paint from the bag. She shook it and began to spray. "She's such an idiot," Ava said, taking out her phone to record Geraldine's act of vandalism. "You guys are going to get her into so much trouble," I said. "So what?" Hannah replied. "She got us in trouble at the soup kitchen, it's not like she's ever going to become a Silver Rose anyway. She's totally wasting her time." Geraldine slowly made her way up and down the huge yard carefully spraying the grass. It would take her forever to complete it and there wasn't nearly enough spray paint. "Hey, guys!" Geraldine yelled from across the lawn. "How about I spray a rose in the grass? That would be cool, right?" I cringed. The light on upstairs meant the Armstrongs were still awake. Geraldine was about to get us all caught. "O-M-G," Hannah moaned. "Shhhh," Summer hissed, but Geraldine kept screaming at the top of her lungs. "Well, what do you guys think?" My heart dropped into my stomach as a light from downstairs clicked on. We ducked behind the hedges and froze. "Who's out there?" called a man's voice. I couldn't see him and I couldn't see Geraldine. I heard the door close and I peeked over the hedges. "He went back inside," I whispered, ducking back down. At that moment something went shk-shk-shk and Geraldine screamed. We all stood to see what was happening. Someone had turned the sprinklers on and Geraldine was getting soaked. The door flew open and I heard Mrs. Armstrong's voice followed by a dog's vicious barking. "Get 'em, Killer!" "Killer!" Ava screamed and we all took off running down the street with a soggy Geraldine trailing behind us. I was faster than all the other girls. I had no intentions of being gobbled up by a dog named Killer. We stopped running when we got to Ava's street and Killer was nowhere in sight. We walked back to the house at a normal pace. "So, did I prove myself to the sisterhood?" Geraldine asked. Hannah turned to her. "Are you kidding me? Your yelling woke them up, you moron. We got chased down the street by a dog because of you." Geraldine frowned and looked down at the ground. Hopefully what I had told her before about the girls not being her friends was starting to settle in. Inside all the other girls wanted to know what had happened. Ava was giving them the gory details when a knock on the door interrupted her. It was Mrs. Armstrong. She had on a black bathrobe and her hair was in curlers. I chuckled to myself because I was used to seeing her look absolutely perfect. We all sat on our sleeping bags looking as innocent as possible except for Geraldine who still stood awkwardly by the door, dripping wet. Mrs. Armstrong cleared her throat. "Someone has just vandalized my lawn with spray paint. Silver spray paint. Since I know it's a tradition for the Silver Roses to pull a prank on me on the night of the retreat, I'm going to assume it was one of you. More specifically, the one who's soaking wet right now." All eyes went to Geraldine. She looked at the ground and said nothing. What could she possibly say to defend herself? She even had silver spray paint on her fingers. Mrs. Armstrong looked her up and down. "Young lady, this is your second strike and that's two strikes too many. Your bid to become a Junior Silver Rose is for the second time hereby revoked." Geraldine's shoulders drooped, but most of the girls were smirking. This had been their plan all along and they had accomplished it.
Tiffany Nicole Smith (Bex Carter 1: Aunt Jeanie's Revenge (The Bex Carter Series))
I threw my binder of materials down on our apartment’s floral couch. “Seriously, pink is a neutral color! And what’s elegant about navy blue? No one ever says, ‘Hey, you know what’s elegant? The Navy!’” Arianna rolled her dead guys. “There is nothing neutral about pink. They need a color that looks good as a background to any shade of dress.” “What color clashes with pink?” “Orange?” “Well, if anyone shows up in an orange dress, she deserves to clash. Yuck.” “Chill out. You can do a lot with navy.” I sank down into the couch next to her. “I guess. I could do navy with silver accents. Stars?” “Yawn.” “Snowflakes?” “Gee, now you’re getting creative for a winter formal.” I ignored her tone, as usual. I was just glad she was here. She’d been gone a lot lately. “Hmm . . . maybe something softer. Like a water and mist theme?” I asked. “I . . . actually kind of like that.” “Wanna help me with the sketches?” She leaned forward and turned on Easton Heights. “Decorating a stupid dance is all yours. You’re the one who decided to be more involved in your ‘normal life.’ I’d prefer to be sleeping six feet under.” “This is probably a bad time to mention I also might have signed up to help with costumes for the spring play. And since I know nothing about sewing, I kind of maybe signed you up as a volunteer aide.” She sighed, running one glamoured corpse hand through her spiky red and black hair. “I am going to kill you in your sleep.” “As long as it doesn’t hurt.” We hummed along to the opening theme, which ended when the door banged open and my boyfriend walked through, shrugging out of his coat and beaming as he dropped a duffel bag. “Free! What did I miss?” Lend asked, his cheeks rosy from the cold and his smile lighting up his watery eyes beneath his dark glamour ones. “I lost the vote on color schemes for the dance, the last episode of Easton Heights before they go into reruns is back on in three minutes, and Arianna is going to murder me in my sleep.” “As long as it doesn’t hurt.” “That’s what I said!
Kiersten White (Endlessly (Paranormalcy, #3))
From: Bernadette Fox To: Manjula Kapoor Oh! Could you make dinner reservations for us on Thanksgiving? You can call up the Washington Athletic Club and get us something for 7 PM for three. You are able to place calls, aren’t you? Of course, what am I thinking? That’s all you people do now. I recognize it’s slightly odd to ask you to call from India to make a reservation for a place I can see out my window, but here’s the thing: there’s always this one guy who answers the phone, “Washington Athletic Club, how may I direct your call?” And he always says it in this friendly, flat… Canadian way. One of the main reasons I don’t like leaving the house is because I might find myself face-to-face with a Canadian. Seattle is crawling with them. You probably think, U.S./Canada, they’re interchangeable because they’re both filled with English-speaking, morbidly obese white people. Well, Manjula, you couldn’t be more mistaken. Americans are pushy, obnoxious, neurotic, crass—anything and everything—the full catastrophe as our friend Zorba might say. Canadians are none of that. The way you might fear a cow sitting down in the middle of the street during rush hour, that’s how I fear Canadians. To Canadians, everyone is equal. Joni Mitchell is interchangeable with a secretary at open-mic night. Frank Gehry is no greater than a hack pumping out McMansions on AutoCAD. John Candy is no funnier than Uncle Lou when he gets a couple of beers in him. No wonder the only Canadians anyone’s ever heard of are the ones who have gotten the hell out. Anyone with talent who stayed would be flattened under an avalanche of equality. The thing Canadians don’t understand is that some people are extraordinary and should be treated as such. Yes, I’m done. If the WAC can’t take us, which may be the case, because Thanksgiving is only two days away, you can find someplace else on the magical Internet. * I was wondering how we ended up at Daniel’s Broiler for Thanksgiving dinner. That morning, I slept late and came downstairs in my pajamas. I knew it was going to rain because on my way to the kitchen I passed a patchwork of plastic bags and towels. It was a system Mom had invented for when the house leaks.
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
I am going to end up alone," he moaned. "Not in any conceivable universe!" One of Sadie's best qualities is the ability to say "Are you effing insane?" with such sweet conviction and nicer words. "I am going to end up alone in a one-room apartment over a dry cleaner." "A dry cleaner?" "He could have said a bar," I offered. "True," he conceded. Frankie was on a roll. "I am going to end up alone in a one-room apartment over a dry cleaner with a cat. Who bites me." "Oh,Frankie-" "I am going to end up alone in a one-room apartment over a dry cleaner with a cat who bites me and pees in my closet full of moth-eaten sweaters." "Well,maybe," Sadie said, reaching around to hug both of us. "But the sweaters will be Dolce & Gabbana." One of her other fabulous qualities is that underneath the sweet conviction, she does have a sense of humor. Frankie did laugh. Then he gave a sigh that I could feel all the way through me. I knew Sadie did,too. "I liked him," he said, very quietly. "I really did. And I thought he felt the same way. I bent and twisted and distorted everything that happened between us to fit my pretty little picture. God, I believed my own hype. How stupid, how incredibly stupid was that?" "Not stupid." Sadie squeezed. "Hopeful. And if we're not that, what's the point? El? Help me out here." I wanted to.I really did. But all I could think of was the fact that at home, exactly where I'd put it in my bag, which was still exactly where I'd dumped it on the floor, was the evidence that Edward had let me down. I was keeping that to myself, at least for the moment. Twisted it to fit my pretty little picture. I didn't think I could take Frankie's complete lack of surprise that a guy (even a dead one) had let me down-or Sadie's sympathy. Not on top of my own anger. Because,plain and simple,it wasn't okay to look at another woman like that, not when you met the love of your life and gave a big flipped finger to the people around you so you could be with her. Not okay even if she was dead, because I, Ella, really really want to believe that sometimes love does conquer all, and sometimes some things do last foever. Truth: Yes,I really am that naive. "You're perfect," I said to Frankie. And I meant it.
Melissa Jensen (The Fine Art of Truth or Dare)
FASCIA: THE TIES THAT BIND Imagine a collagen-rich, stretchy slipcover for every organ, nerve, bone, and muscle in our bodies, and you start to get a sense of how fundamental connective tissue—specifically fascia—is to the entire body. Suspending our organs inside our torso, connecting our head to our back to our feet, fascia protects, supports, and literally binds our body together. Fascia can be gossamer-thin and translucent, like a spider web, or thick and tough like rope. Ounce for ounce, fascia is stronger than steel. Other specialized types of connective tissue include bones, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and fat (adipose) tissue. Even blood, strictly speaking, is considered connective tissue. But to me, the most exciting aspect of the latest research on connective tissue relates to fascia. Fascia is the stretchy tissue that forms an uninterrupted, three-dimensional web within our body. Our body has sheets, bags, and strings of fascia of varying thickness and size, some superficial and some deep. Fascia envelops both individual microscopic muscle filaments as well as whole muscle groups, such as the trapezius, pectorals, and quadriceps. For example, one of the largest fascia configurations in the body is known as the “trousers,” a massive sheet of fascia that crosses over the knees and ends near the waist, giving the appearance of short leggings. This fascia trouser is thicker around the knees and thinner as it continues up the legs and over the hips, thickening again near the waist. When the fascia trouser is healthy, supple, and resilient, it acts like a girdle, giving the body a firm shape. Fascia helps muscles transmit their force so we can convert that force into movement. The system of fascia is bound by tensile links (think of the structure of a geodesic dome, like the one at Epcot in Disney World), with space and fluid between the links that can help absorb external pressure and more evenly distribute force across the fascial structure. This allows our bodies to withstand tremendous force instead of absorbing it in one local area, which would lead to increased pain and injury. Fascia is also a second nervous system in and of itself, with almost 10 times the number of sensory nerve endings as muscle. Helene Langevin, director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has done landmark studies on the function and importance of connective tissue and its impact on pain. One of the leading researchers in the field today, Langevin describes fascia as a “living matrix” whose health is essential to our well-being.
Miranda Esmonde-White (Aging Backwards: Reverse the Aging Process and Look 10 Years Younger in 30 Minutes a Day)
MONKEY BREAD   Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. 1 and ¼ cups white (granulated) sugar 1 and ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon 4 cans (7.5 ounce tube) unbaked refrigerated biscuits (I used Pillsbury) 1 cup chopped nuts of your choice (optional) 1 cup chocolate chips (optional) (that’s a 6-ounce size bag) ½ cup salted butter (1 stick, 4 ounces, ¼ pound) Hannah’s 1st Note: If you prefer, you can use 16.3 ounce tubes of Pillsbury Grands. If you do this, buy only 2 tubes. They are larger—you will use half a tube for each layer. Tony’s Note: If you use chocolate chips and/or nuts, place them between each biscuit layer. Spray the inside of a Bundt pan with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray. Set your prepared pan on a drip pan just in case the butter overflows. Then you won’t have to clean your oven. Mix the white sugar and cinnamon together in a mixing bowl. (I used a fork to mix it up so that the cinnamon was evenly distributed.) Open 1 can of biscuits at a time and break or cut them into quarters. You want bite-size pieces. Roll the pieces in the cinnamon and sugar mixture, and place them in the bottom of the Bundt pan. Sprinkle one-third of the chopped nuts and one-third of the chocolate chips on top of the layer, if you decided to use them. Open the second can of biscuits, quarter them, roll them in the cinnamon and sugar, and place them on top of the first layer. (If you used Pillsbury Grands, you’ll do this with the remainder of the first tube.) Sprinkle on half of the remaining nuts and chocolate chips, if you decided to use them. Repeat with the third can of biscuits (or the first half of the second tube of Grands). Sprinkle on the remainder of the nuts and chocolate chips, if you decided to use them. Repeat with the fourth can of biscuits (or the rest of the Grands) to make a top layer in your Bundt pan. Melt the butter and the remaining cinnamon and sugar mixture in a microwave safe bowl on HIGH for 45 seconds. Give it a final stir and pour it over the top of your Bundt pan. Bake your Monkey Bread at 350 degrees F. for 40 to 45 minutes, or until nice and golden on top. Take the Bundt pan out of the oven and let it cool on a cold burner or a wire rack for 10 minutes while you find a plate that will fit over the top of the Bundt pan. Using potholders or oven mitts invert the plate over the top of the Bundt pan and turn it upside down to unmold your delicious Monkey Bread. To serve, you can cut this into slices like Bundt cake, but it’s more fun to just let people pull off pieces with their fingers. Hannah’s 2nd Note: If you’d like to make Caramel Monkey Bread, use only ¾ cup of white sugar. Mix it with the cinnamon the way you’d do if it was the full amount of white sugar. At the very end when you melt the butter with the leftover cinnamon and sugar mixture, add ¾ cup of brown sugar to the bowl before you put it in the microwave. Pour that hot mixture over the top of your Bundt pan before baking and it will form a luscious caramel topping when you unmold your Monkey Bread. Hannah’s 3rd Note: I don’t know why this is called “Monkey Bread”. Norman thinks it has something to do with the old story about the monkey that couldn’t get his hand out of the hole in the tree because he wouldn’t let go of the nut he was holding in his fist. Mike thinks it’s because monkeys eat with their hands and you can pull this bread apart and eat it with your hands. Mother says it’s because monkeys are social animals and you can put this bread in the center of the table and everyone can sit around it and eat. Tracey says it’s because it’s a cute name. Bethie doesn’t care. She just wants to eat it.
Joanne Fluke (Red Velvet Cupcake Murder (A Hannah Swensen Mystery))
I am speaking of the evenings when the sun sets early, of the fathers under the streetlamps in the back streets returning home carrying plastic bags. Of the old Bosphorus ferries moored to deserted stations in the middle of winter, where sleepy sailors scrub the decks, pail in hand and one eye on the black-and-white television in the distance; of the old booksellers who lurch from one ϧnancial crisis to the next and then wait shivering all day for a customer to appear; of the barbers who complain that men don’t shave as much after an economic crisis; of the children who play ball between the cars on cobblestoned streets; of the covered women who stand at remote bus stops clutching plastic shopping bags and speak to no one as they wait for the bus that never arrives; of the empty boathouses of the old Bosphorus villas; of the teahouses packed to the rafters with unemployed men; of the patient pimps striding up and down the city’s greatest square on summer evenings in search of one last drunken tourist; of the broken seesaws in empty parks; of ship horns booming through the fog; of the wooden buildings whose every board creaked even when they were pashas’ mansions, all the more now that they have become municipal headquarters; of the women peeking through their curtains as they wait for husbands who never manage to come home in the evening; of the old men selling thin religious treatises, prayer beads, and pilgrimage oils in the courtyards of mosques; of the tens of thousands of identical apartment house entrances, their facades discolored by dirt, rust, soot, and dust; of the crowds rushing to catch ferries on winter evenings; of the city walls, ruins since the end of the Byzantine Empire; of the markets that empty in the evenings; of the dervish lodges, the tekkes, that have crumbled; of the seagulls perched on rusty barges caked with moss and mussels, unϩinching under the pelting rain; of the tiny ribbons of smoke rising from the single chimney of a hundred-yearold mansion on the coldest day of the year; of the crowds of men ϧshing from the sides of the Galata Bridge; of the cold reading rooms of libraries; of the street photographers; of the smell of exhaled breath in the movie theaters, once glittering aϱairs with gilded ceilings, now porn cinemas frequented by shamefaced men; of the avenues where you never see a woman alone after sunset; of the crowds gathering around the doors of the state-controlled brothels on one of those hot blustery days when the wind is coming from the south; of the young girls who queue at the doors of establishments selling cut-rate meat; of the holy messages spelled out in lights between the minarets of mosques on holidays that are missing letters where the bulbs have burned out; of the walls covered with frayed and blackened posters; of the tired old dolmuşes, ϧfties Chevrolets that would be museum pieces in any western city but serve here as shared taxis, huϫng and puϫng up the city’s narrow alleys and dirty thoroughfares; of the buses packed with passengers; of the mosques whose lead plates and rain gutters are forever being stolen; of the city cemeteries, which seem like gateways to a second world, and of their cypress trees; of the dim lights that you see of an evening on the boats crossing from Kadıköy to Karaköy; of the little children in the streets who try to sell the same packet of tissues to every passerby; of the clock towers no one ever notices; of the history books in which children read about the victories of the Ottoman Empire and of the beatings these same children receive at home; of the days when everyone has to stay home so the electoral roll can be compiled or the census can be taken; of the days when a sudden curfew is announced to facilitate the search for terrorists and everyone sits at home fearfully awaiting “the oϫcials”; CONTINUED IN SECOND PART OF THE QUOTE
Orhan Pamuk (Istanbul: Memories and the City)