Blank Check Quotes

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And [Asimov]'ll sign anything, hardbacks, softbacks, other people's books, scraps of paper. Inevitably someone handed him a blank check on the occasion when I was there, and he signed that without as much as a waver to his smile — except that he signed: 'Harlan Ellison.
Isaac Asimov (Murder at the Aba)
I look at the blanked-out faces of the other passengers--hoisting their briefcases, their backpacks, shuffling to disembark--and I think of what Hobie said: beauty alters the grain of reality. And I keep thinking too of the more conventional wisdom: namely, that the pursuit of pure beauty is a trap, a fast track to bitterness and sorrow, that beauty has to be wedded to something more meaningful. Only what is that thing? Why am I made the way I am? Why do I care about all the wrong things, and nothing at all for the right ones? Or, to tip it another way: how can I see so clearly that everything I love or care about is illusion, and yet--for me, anyway--all that's worth living for lies in that charm? A great sorrow, and one that I am only beginning to understand: we don't get to choose our own hearts. We can't make ourselves want what's good for us or what's good for other people. We don't get to choose the people we are. Because--isn't it drilled into us constantly, from childhood on, an unquestioned platitude in the culture--? From William Blake to Lady Gaga, from Rousseau to Rumi to Tosca to Mister Rogers, it's a curiously uniform message, accepted from high to low: when in doubt, what to do? How do we know what's right for us? Every shrink, every career counselor, every Disney princess knows the answer: "Be yourself." "Follow your heart." Only here's what I really, really want someone to explain to me. What if one happens to be possessed of a heart that can't be trusted--? What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?...If your deepest self is singing and coaxing you straight toward the bonfire, is it better to turn away? Stop your ears with wax? Ignore all the perverse glory your heart is screaming at you? Set yourself on the course that will lead you dutifully towards the norm, reasonable hours and regular medical check-ups, stable relationships and steady career advancement the New York Times and brunch on Sunday, all with the promise of being somehow a better person? Or...is it better to throw yourself head first and laughing into the holy rage calling your name?
Donna Tartt (The Goldfinch)
I am a Veteran, as are most of my personal friends. A Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life. Regardless of personal or political views, there are way too many people in this country who no longer remember that fact...
José N. Harris (MI VIDA: A Story of Faith, Hope and Love)
I flipped down the visor so I could check myself in the mirror, and something small and heavy dropped into my lap. I froze, my breath stuck in my throat. What—? Gingerly, I looked down. It wasn’t a grenade. It was a key ring. One key was for this van. I looked at it blankly. “Well, that’ll simplify things,” Fang said.
James Patterson (The Angel Experiment (Maximum Ride, #1))
I don't like people who speak or think in terms of gaining anybody's confidence. If one's actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception. The person who craves a moral blank check of that kind, has dishonest intentions, whether he admits it to himself or not.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Sitting down on the bed, my mind went blank again. I laid my head on the pillow and closed my eyes. Dad is dead. My father is dead and I will never be able to talk to him again. I opened my eyes and checked the time. Almost 6am.
Behcet Kaya (Body In The Woods (Jack Ludefance, #2))
Your talent is a blank check.
Matshona Dhliwayo
A state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens.
Sandra Day O'Connor
The precept: “Judge not, that ye be not judged” . . . is an abdication of moral responsibility: it is a moral blank check one gives to others in exchange for a moral blank check one expects for oneself. There is no escape from the fact that men have to make choices; so long as men have to make choices, there is no escape from moral values; so long as moral values are at stake, no moral neutrality is possible. To abstain from condemning a torturer, is to become an accessory to the torture and murder of his victims. The moral principle to adopt in this issue, is: “Judge, and be prepared to be judged.
Ayn Rand (The Virtue of Selfishness: A New Concept of Egoism)
Annabeth and I were relaxing on the Great Lawn in Central Park when she ambushed me with a question. “You forgot, didn’t you?” I went into red-alert mode. It’s easy to panic when you’re a new boyfriend. Sure, I’d fought monsters with Annabeth for years. Together we’d faced the wrath of the gods. We’d battled Titans and calmly faced death a dozen times. But now that we were dating, one frown from her and I freaked. What had I done wrong? I mentally reviewed the picnic list: Comfy blanket? Check. Annabeth’s favorite pizza with extra olives? Check. Chocolate toffee from La Maison du Chocolat? Check. Chilled sparkling water with twist of lemon? Check. Weapons in case of sudden Greek mythological apocalypse? Check. So what had I forgotten? I was tempted (briefly) to bluff my way through. Two things stopped me. First, I didn’t want to lie to Annabeth. Second, she was too smart. She’d see right through me. So I did what I do best. I stared at her blankly and acted dumb.
Rick Riordan (The Demigod Diaries (The Heroes of Olympus))
How to start new novel: stare at blank doc, get coffee, stare, check facebook, stare, crack knuckles, stare, tweet, you get the idea...
Mary C. Moore
Listen, now, you're going to die, Ray-mond K. K. K. Hessel, tonight. You might die in one second or in one hour, you decide. So lie to me. Tell me the first thing off the top of your head. Make something up. I don't give a shit. I have a gun. Finally, you were listening and coming out of the little tragedy in your head. Fill in the blank. What does Raymond Hessel want to be when he grows up? Go home, you said you just wanted to go home, please. No shit, I said. But after that, how did you want to spend your life? If you could do anything in the world. Make something up. You didn't know. Then you're dead right now, I said. I said, now turn your head. Death to commence in ten, in nine, in eight. A vet, you said. You want to be a vet, a veterinarian. You could be in school working your ass off, Raymond Hessel, or you could be dead. You choose. I stuffed your wallet into the back of your jeans. So you really wanted to be an animal doctor. I took the saltwater muzzle of the gun off one cheek and pressed it against another. Is that what you've always wanted to be, Dr. Raymond K. K. K. K. Hessel, a veterinarian?... So, I said, go back to school. If you wake up tomorrow morning, you find a way to get back into school. I have your license. I know who you are. I know where you live. I'm keeping your license, and I'm going to check on you, mister Raymond K. Hessel. In three months, and then six months, and then a year, and if you aren't back in school on your way to being a veterinarian, you will be dead... Raymond K. K. Hessel, your dinner is going to taste better than any meal you've ever eaten, and tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of your life.
Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club)
Every GI signs a blank check, payable to the United States, drawn in an amount up to and including his life.
G.E. Nolly (Hamfist Over The Trail: The Air Combat Adventures of Hamilton "Hamfist" Hancock)
Frankly, the people who whine the most about how hard their lives are have very rarely experienced much to be disappointed about. They seem to find solace in their most negative memories, using these as a blank check that abdicates them from all personal responsibility. “I am how I am because of the pain of my past. If you had experienced what I have experienced, you would understand my bitterness, my anger, my paralysis, my despair.
Erwin Raphael McManus (The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art)
Shopping for clothes is a Boyfriend Thing. You stand around and look blankly at a bunch of pieces of fabric and you look at the price tags and you wonder how something that'd barely cover your right nut can cost the price of a kidney and you watch the shop assistants check you out and wonder what you're doing with her because she's cute and you're kind of funny-looking and she tries clothes on and you look at her ass in a dozen different items that all look exactly the same and let's face it you're just looking at her ass anyway and it all blurs together and then someone sticks a vacuum cleaner in your wallet and vacuums out all the cash and you leave the store with one bag so small that mice couldn't fuck in it. Repeat a dozen times or until the front of your brain dies.
Warren Ellis (Crooked Little Vein)
I find myself laughing a lot. Every time I remember that I’m forgiven and loved (that I have unlimited free sins and blank checks), I get the giggles. In fact, Christians are the only people on earth who have something significant to laugh about.
Steve Brown (Three Free Sins: God's Not Mad at You)
Christians are notorious for acting like used car salesmen, treating non-Christians as if they’re standing there holding a blank check and sporting a hard-on for unreliable vehicles.
Orlando Winters (Stop Being a F***ing Idiot)
It was a gift. What did I do with it? Life didn't accumulate as I'd once imagined. I graduated from boarding school, two years of college. Persisted through the blank decade in Los Angeles. I buried first my mother, then my father. His hair gone wispy as a child's. I paid bills and bought groceries and got my eyes checked while the days crumbled away like debris from a cliff face. Life a continuous backing away from the edge.
Emma Cline (The Girls)
No. I don’t like people who speak or think in terms of gaining anybody’s confidence. If one’s actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception. The person who craves a moral blank check of that kind, has dishonest intentions, whether he admits it to himself or not.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Absolutely pathetic.” I make a Jeopardy! buzzer sound. “Who is Joshua Templeman?” “Lucinda flirting with couriers. Pathetic.” Joshua is hammering away on his keyboard. He certainly is an impressive touch typist. I stroll past his desk and am gratified by his frustrated backspacing. “I’m nice to him.” “You? Nice?” I’m surprised by how hurt I feel. “I’m lovely. Ask anyone.” “Okay. Josh, is she lovely?” he asks himself aloud. “Hmm, let me think.” He picks up his tin of mints, opens the lid, checks them, closes it, and looks at me. I open my mouth and lift my tongue like a mental patient at the medication window. “She’s got a few lovely things about her, I suppose.” I raise a finger and enunciate the words crisply: “Human resources.” He sits up straighter but the corner of his mouth moves. I wish I could use my thumbs to pull his mouth into a huge deranged grin. As the police drag me out in handcuffs I’ll be screeching, Smile, goddamn you. We need to get even, because it’s not fair. He’s gotten one of my smiles, and seen me smile at countless other people. I have never seen him smile, nor have I seen his face look anything but blank, bored, surly, suspicious, watchful, resentful. Occasionally he has another look on his face, after we’ve been arguing. His Serial Killer expression.
Sally Thorne (The Hating Game)
On Loyalty: Loyalty is warranted only when it's been earned. Misplacing loyalty is like signing blank checks.
Kalifer Deil
When someone offers you a blank check, you must never, ever cash it. That wasn't a thing I thought out. Sometimes understanding bypasses the brain and proceeds directly from the heart.
Stephen King (Duma Key)
I stared blankly at Rhys for what felt like about three days. “Me?” I finally sputtered. He nodded. “You’re kidding, right?” “Not kidding.” I laughed then, and it sounded slightly hysterical. “I’m not going to marry you.” “I’m not asking you to.” “Good.” He eyed me. “And you can wipe that horrified look off your face because it’s obviously not true.” “Do I look horrified?” “Yes, you do.” I grimaced. “Nothing personal, Rhys, but—” He held up a hand. “Say nothing else. I shouldn’t have even mentioned it to you. I’ll find another dragon to help me.” “Second opinions are really important,” I said. He just glowered at that. We rode the rest of the way back to Erin Heights in silence. Now I had even more information crowding my already full brain. Maybe that Irena chick should go see a shrink, herself. She was one crazy dragon lady.
Michelle Rowen (Reign Check (Demon Princess, #2))
If every time new data comes along we have to add complexity to our model in order to accommodate it, this should be a hint that the model is fundamentally a failure. It becomes a blob of ‘silly putty’ that is malleable enough to fit any new data. This sort of model is not a proper basis for a hypothesis; it is merely a blank check to claim we understand something when we really do not.
Donald E. Scott (The Electric Sky)
the map they are using does not indicate the village of Orce, how very inconsiderate on the part of the cartographers, I’ll bet they didn’t forget to indicate their own hometowns, in future they should remember how vexing it is for someone to check out his birthplace on a map only to find a blank space, this has given rise to the gravest of problems for those trying to establish personal and national identities.
José Saramago
I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was “meant” to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, assurances, tools, maps, guides, codebooks, passports, visas, clothes, compass, emergency gear, and blank checks.2 White privilege describes the unearned advantages that are granted because of one’s whiteness or ability to “pass” as white.
Layla F. Saad (Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor)
But the word “change” is not a blank check for self-indulgence— least of all self-indulgence in the notion that disparities imply villainy, which in turn implies a crusade on the side of the angels against the forces of evil, despite how self-flattering such a vision of the world might be.
Thomas Sowell (Wealth, Poverty and Politics)
If our hearts are full of our own wretched 'I ams' we will have no ears to hear His glorious, soul-satisfying 'I am'. We say, 'Alas, I am such a poor week creature,' or 'I am so foolish,' or 'I am so good-for-nothing,' or 'I am so helpless' and we give these pitiful 'I ams' of ours as the reason of the wretchedness and discomfort of our religious lives, and even feel that we are very much to be pitied that things are so hard for us. While all the time we entirely ignore the blank check of God's magnificent 'I am,' which authorizes us to draw upon Him for an abundant supply for every need.
Hannah Whitall Smith
Progressives did not like the antiquated thinking that saw the Constitution as a barrier to government expansion. The "living Constitution" was born. That benign-sounding phrase (coined later) was conjured up to justify changing the Constitution, without formal amendment, from a limit on power to a blank check. What was impermissible to the federal government by an earlier interpretation became permissible once the Constitution was construed as a evolving document. But by that philosophy, the Constitution is no limit on government power at all. A constitutional government that defines its own powers is a contradiction in terms.
Sheldon Richman (Your Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax)
There is a Yiddish expression offered as a reality check to malcontents and conspiracy theorists: The whole world isn’t crazy.
Steven Pinker (The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature)
Do I need to check up on you guys later? You know the rules.No sleeping in opposite-sex rooms." My face flames,and St. Clair's cheeks grow blotchy. It's true.It's a rule. One that my brain-my rule-loving, rule-abiding brain-conveniently blocked last night. It's also one notoriously ignored by the staff. "No,Nate," we say. He shakes his shaved head and goes back in his apartment. But the door opens quickly again,and a handful of something is thrown at us before it's slammed back shut. Condoms.Oh my God, how humiliating. St. Clair's entire face is now bright red as he picks the tiny silver squares off the floor and stuffs them into his coat pockets. We don't speak,don't even look at each other,as we climb the stairs to my floor. My pulse quickens with each step.Will he follow me to my room,or has Nate ruined any chance of that? We reach the landing,and St. Clair scratches his head. "Er..." "So..." "I'm going to get dressed for bed. Is that all right?" His voice is serious,and he watches my reaction carefully. "Yeah.Me too.I'm going to...get ready for bed,too." "See you in a minute?" I swell with relief. "Up there or down here?" "Trust me,you don't want to sleep in my bed." He laughs,and I have to turn my face away,because I do,holy crap do I ever. But I know what he means.It's true my bed is cleaner. I hurry to my room and throw on the strawberry pajamas and an Atlanta Film Festival shirt. It's not like I plan on seducing him. Like I'd even know how. St. Clair knocks a few minutes later, and he's wearing his white bottoms with the blue stripes again and a black T-shirt with a logo I recognize as the French band he was listening to earlier. I'm having trouble breathing. "Room service," he says. My mind goes...blank. "Ha ha," I say weakly. He smiles and turns off the light. We climb into bed,and it's absolutely positively completely awkward. As usual. I roll over to my edge of the bed. Both of us are stiff and straight, careful not to touch the other person. I must be a masochist to keep putting myself in these situations. I need help. I need to see a shrink or be locked in a padded cell or straitjacketed or something. After what feels like an eternity,St. Clair exhales loudly and shifts. His leg bumps into mine, and I flinch. "Sorry," he says. "It's okay." "..." "..." "Anna?" "Yeah?" "Thanks for letting me sleep here again. Last night..." The pressure inside my chest is torturous. What? What what what? "I haven't slept that well in ages." The room is silent.After a moment, I roll back over. I slowly, slowly stretch out my leg until my foot brushes his ankle. His intake of breath is sharp. And then I smile,because I know he can't see my expression through the darkness.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Shirt off.” Neil stared at her. “Why?” “I can’t check track marks through cotton, Neil.” “I don’t do drugs.” “Good on you,” Abby said. “Keep it that way. Now take it off.” […] “I want to make this as painless as possible, but I can’t help you if you can’t help me. Tell me why you won’t take off your shirt.” Neil looked for a delicate way to say it. The best he managed was, “I’m not okay.” She put a finger to his chin and turned his face back toward her. “Neil, I work for the Foxes. None of you are okay. Chances are I’ve seen a lot worse than whatever it is you’re trying to hide from me.” Neil’s smile was humorless. “I hope not. “Trust me,” Abby said. “I’m not going to judge you. I’m here to help, remember? I’m your nurse now. That door is closed, and it comes with a lock. What happens in here stays in here.” […] “You can’t ask me about them,” he said at last. “I won’t talk to you about it. Okay?” “Okay,” Abby agreed easily. “But know that when you want to, I’m here, and so is Betsy.” Neil wasn’t going to tell that psychiatrist a thing, but he nodded. Abby dropped her hand and Neil pulled his shirt over his head before he could lose his nerve. Abby thought she was ready. Neil knew she wouldn’t be, and he was right. Her mouth parted on a silent breath and her expression went blank. She wasn’t fast enough to hide her flinch, and Neil saw her shoulders go rigid with tension. He stared at her face as she stared at him, watching her gaze sweep over the brutal marks of a hideous childhood. It started at the base of his throat, a looping scar curving down over his collarbone. A pucker with jagged edges was a finger-width away, courtesy of a bullet that hit him right on the edge of his Kevlar vest. A shapeless patch of pale skin from his left shoulder to his navel marked where he’d jumped out of a moving car and torn himself raw on the asphalt. Faded scars crisscrossed here and there from his life on the run, either from stupid accidents, desperate escapes, or conflicts with local lowlifes. Along his abdomen were larger overlapping lines from confrontations with his father’s people while on the run. His father wasn’t called the butcher for nothing; his weapon of choice was a cleaver. All of his men were well-versed in knife-fighting, and more than one of them had tried to stick Neil like a pig. And there on his right shoulder was the perfect outline of half a hot iron. Neil didn’t remember what he’s said or done to irritate his father so much.
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
The military actively encouraged, when it did not finance directly, the giant cyclotrons, betatrons, synchrotrons, and synchrocyclotrons, any one of which consumed more steel and electricity than a prewar experimentalist could have imagined. These were not so much crumbs from the weapons-development table as they were blank checks from officials persuaded that physics worked miracles. Who could say what was impossible? Free energy? Time travel? Antigravity? In 1954 the secretary of the army invited Feynman to serve as a paid consultant on an army scientific advisory panel, and he agreed, traveling to Washington for several days in November. At a cocktail party after one session, a general confided that what the army really needed was a tank that could use sand as fuel.
James Gleick (Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman)
Good,” and Judge Robertson began to ramble on about the benefits and drawbacks of living with either parent. Penny’s attention wandered, she had stopped pretending the judge’s eyebrow’s had metamorphosis into butterflies and began to wonder if any adult actually read the books on these walls, and if she flipped through would she find blank pages after a while, or a joke page, just to surprise someone who actually sat through the book. That’s what she would do if she had to write something so awful, and who would want to check? -Child of Fire
Vanessa Wolf (Child of Fire: A Collection of Short Stories and Poetry)
I don't mean to smear our people, but honestly, sometimes I thought the Jews were the worst. Not all, but you know the ones I'm talking about - they weren't like the kids in Oxford Circle, that’s for sure. You sent me off totally fucking unprepared, brother. Not a word of warning. Their doctor and dentist parents worked their way through school, but now they want their babies to go in style. They send them stereos and cars and blank checks. And those were the hippies! Running around in their flowing clothes, their noses surgically tilted in the air! Talking about oppression and the common man, and running off to volunteer at some job, calling it righteous because they don’t have to earn money. Or my favorite, going to summer camp until they’re like forty-five. You’re not a socialist because you sleep in a log cabin and dance in a circle! And who are they angry at, really angry at? Not the Man – they wouldn’t know the Man if he froze their Bloomingdale’s charge cards. No, they’re angry at their parents! The people who fund all this in the first place. If they don’t want their parents, send them my way. I’ve been looking all my life for someone to wipe my ass and pay my bills.
Sharon Pomerantz (Rich Boy)
I didn’t answer, occupied in dissolving the penicillin tablets in the vial of sterile water. I selected a glass barrel, fitted a needle, and pressed the tip through the rubber covering the mouth of the bottle. Holding it up to the light, I pulled back slowly on the plunger, watching the thick white liquid fill the barrel, checking for bubbles. Then pulling the needle free, I depressed the plunger slightly until a drop of liquid pearled from the point and rolled slowly down the length of the spike. “Roll onto your good side,” I said, turning to Jamie, “and pull up your shirt.” He eyed the needle in my hand with keen suspicion, but reluctantly obeyed. I surveyed the terrain with approval. “Your bottom hasn’t changed a bit in twenty years,” I remarked, admiring the muscular curves. “Neither has yours,” he replied courteously, “but I’m no insisting you expose it. Are ye suffering a sudden attack of lustfulness?” “Not just at present,” I said evenly, swabbing a patch of skin with a cloth soaked in brandy. “That’s a verra nice make of brandy,” he said, peering back over his shoulder, “but I’m more accustomed to apply it at the other end.” “It’s also the best source of alcohol available. Hold still now, and relax.” I jabbed deftly and pressed the plunger slowly in. “Ouch!” Jamie rubbed his posterior resentfully. “It’ll stop stinging in a minute.” I poured an inch of brandy into the cup. “Now you can have a bit to drink—a very little bit.” He drained the cup without comment, watching me roll up the collection of syringes. Finally he said, “I thought ye stuck pins in ill-wish dolls when ye meant to witch someone; not in the people themselves.” “It’s not a pin, it’s a hypodermic syringe.” “I dinna care what ye call it; it felt like a bloody horseshoe nail. Would ye care to tell me why jabbing pins in my arse is going to help my arm?” I took a deep breath. “Well, do you remember my once telling you about germs?” He looked quite blank. “Little beasts too small to see,” I elaborated. “They can get into your body through bad food or water, or through open wounds, and if they do, they can make you ill.” He stared at his arm with interest. “I’ve germs in my arm, have I?” “You very definitely have.” I tapped a finger on the small flat box. “The medicine I just shot into your backside kills germs, though. You get another shot every four hours ’til this time tomorrow, and then we’ll see how you’re doing.” I paused. Jamie was staring at me, shaking his head. “Do you understand?” I asked. He nodded slowly. “Aye, I do. I should ha’ let them burn ye, twenty years ago.
Diana Gabaldon (Voyager (Outlander, #3))
I didn’t practice, I didn’t bother, I could’ve stopped myself having those dreams, Hermione kept telling me to do it, if I had he’d never have been able to show me where to go, and — Sirius wouldn’t — Sirius wouldn’t —” Something was erupting inside Harry’s head: a need to justify himself, to explain — “I tried to check he’d really taken Sirius, I went to Umbridge’s office, I spoke to Kreacher in the fire, and he said Sirius wasn’t there, he said he’d gone!” “Kreacher lied,” said Dumbledore calmly. “You are not his master, he could lie to you without even needing to punish himself. Kreacher intended you to go to the Ministry of Magic.” “He — he sent me on purpose?” “Oh yes. Kreacher, I am afraid, has been serving more than one master for months.” “How?” said Harry blankly. “He hasn’t been out of Grimmauld Place for years.” “Kreacher seized his opportunity shortly before Christmas,” said Dumbledore, “when Sirius, apparently, shouted at him to ‘get out.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Yep. I just had a question for you. Your name is what, again?” “J.J., you know my name,” the guy said, now speaking more slowly. “You called me, remember?” “I know, I just needed to check something. If you could just tell me your name. Your full name.” I met Danny’s eye two seats down from me. He shook his head and then gave me a half shrug and eye roll combo, a series of tiny, quick gestures that I could nonetheless understand perfectly: No, I have no idea what he’s doing. But really, what did we expect? “Uh,” the guy on the other end said. “It’s Billiam. Billiam Kirby.” “Billiam!” J.J. said triumphantly, raising the phone above his head. “See? Did I tell you? Did I tell you?” Most of the guests just stared blankly back at him while my dad gave him the hand-across-the-throat gesture that in our family had always meant shut it down. “No way,” Rodney muttered, reaching for his wallet. “Dammit.” Danny sighed, tossing his napkin onto the table. “I owe him twenty-five bucks.” “He got me for fifty,” Rodney said, shaking his head.
Morgan Matson (Save the Date)
You haven’t said what happened with you and Kavinsky that night after I left.” “Oh. We broke up.” “You broke up,” he repeats, his face blank. That’s when I notice Kitty lurking in the doorway like a little spy. “What do you want, Kitty?” “Um…is there any red pepper hummus left?” she asks. “I don’t know--go check.” John is wide-eyed. “This is your little sister?” To Kitty he says, “The last time I saw you, you were still a little kid.” “Yeah, I grew up,” she says, not even a little bit nicely. I throw her a look. “Be polite to our guest.” Kitty turns on her heels and runs upstairs. “Sorry about my sister. She’s really close with Peter and she gets crazy ideas…” “Crazy ideas?” John repeats. I could slap myself. “Yeah, I mean, she thinks that something’s going on with us. But obviously there isn’t, and you don’t, like, like me like that, so, yeah, it’s crazy.” Like, why do I speak? Why did God give me a mouth if I’m just going to say dumb stuff with it? It’s so quiet I open my mouth to say more dumb stuff, but then he says, “Well…it’s not that crazy.” “Right! I mean, I didn’t mean crazy--” My mouth snaps shut, and I stare straight ahead.
Jenny Han (P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2))
Have you done anything that’s like that?” he asked. So I had to tell him. “You’re not going to like it. But I was very lonely and very desperate. I was doing a magic for protection against my mother, because she kept sending me terrible dreams all the time. And while I was at it, I did a magic to find me a karass.” He looked blank. “What’s a karass?” “You haven’t read Vonnegut? Oh well, you’d like him I think. Start with Cat’s Cradle. But anyway, a karass is a group of people who are genuinely connected together. And the opposite is a granfalloon, a group that has a fake kind of connection, like all being in school together. I did a magic to find me friends.” He actually recoiled, almost knocking his chair over. “And you think it worked?” “The day after, Greg invited me to the book group.” I let that hang there while he filled in the implications for himself. “But we’d been meeting for months already. You just … found us.” “I hope so,” I said. “But I didn’t know anything about it before. I’d never seen any indication of it, or of fandom either.” I looked at him. He was rarer than a unicorn, a beautiful boy in a red-checked shirt who read and thought and talked about books. How much of his life had my magic touched, to make him what he was? Had he even existed before? Or what had he been? There’s no knowing, no way to know. He was here now, and I was, and that was all. “But I was there,” he said. “I was going to it. I know it was there. I was at Seacon in Brighton last summer.” “Er’ perrhenne,” I said, with my best guess at pronunciation. I am used to people being afraid of me, but I don’t really like it. I don’t suppose even Tiberius really liked it. But after a horrible instant his face softened. “It must have just found us for you. You couldn’t have changed all that,” he said, and picking up his Vimto, drained the bottle.
Jo Walton (Among Others)
I need to check your vitals, hon,” she explained. It had been several hours since I’d given birth. I guess this was the routine. She felt my pulse, palpated my legs, asked if I had pain anywhere, and lightly pressed on my abdomen, the whole while making sure I wasn’t showing signs of a blockage or a blood clot, a fever or a hemorrhage. I stared dreamily at Marlboro Man, who gave me a wink or two. I hoped he would, in time, be able to see past the vomit. The nurse then began a battery of questions. “So, no pain?” “Nope. I feel fine now.” “No chills?” “Not at all.” “Have you been able to pass gas in the past few hours?” *Insert awkward ten-second pause* I couldn’t have heard her right. “What?” I asked, staring at her. “Have you been able to pass gas lightly?” *Another awkward pause* What kind of question is this? “Wait…,” I asked. “What?” “Sweetie, have you been able to pass gas today?” I stared at her blankly. “I don’t…” “…Pass gas? You? Today?” She was unrelenting. I continued my blank, desperate stare, completely incapable of registering her question. Throughout the entire course of my pregnancy, I’d gone to great lengths to maintain a certain level of glamour and vanity. Even during labor, I’d attempted to remain the ever-fresh and vibrant new wife, going so far as to reapply tinted lip balm before the epidural so I wouldn’t look pale. I’d also restrained myself during the pushing stage, afraid I’d lose control of my bowels, which would have been the kiss of death upon my pride and my marriage; I would have had to just divorce my husband and start fresh with someone else. I had never once so much as passed gas in front of Marlboro Man. As far as he was concerned, my body lacked this function altogether. So why was I being forced to answer these questions now? I hadn’t done anything wrong. “I’m sorry…,” I stammered. “I don’t understand the question…” The nurse began again, seemingly unconcerned with my lack of comprehension skills. “Have you…” Marlboro Man, lovingly holding our baby and patiently listening all this time from across the room, couldn’t take it anymore. “Honey! She wants to know if you’ve been able to fart today!” The nurse giggled. “Okay, well maybe that’s a little more clear.” I pulled the covers over my head. I was not having this discussion.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
HER HUSBAND’S ALMOST HOME. He’ll catch her this time. There isn’t a scrap of curtain, not a blade of blind, in number 212—the rust-red townhome that once housed the newlywed Motts, until recently, until they un-wed. I never met either Mott, but occasionally I check in online: his LinkedIn profile, her Facebook page. Their wedding registry lives on at Macy’s. I could still buy them flatware. As I was saying: not even a window dressing. So number 212 gazes blankly across the street, ruddy and raw, and I gaze right back, watching the mistress of the manor lead her contractor into the guest bedroom. What is it about that house? It’s where love goes to die. She’s lovely, a genuine redhead, with grass-green eyes and an archipelago of tiny moles trailing across her back. Much prettier than her husband, a Dr. John Miller, psychotherapist—yes, he offers couples counseling—and one of 436,000 John Millers online. This particular specimen works near Gramercy Park and does not accept insurance. According to the deed of sale, he paid $3.6 million for his house. Business must be good. I know both more and less about the wife. Not much of a homemaker, clearly; the Millers moved in eight weeks ago, yet still those windows are bare, tsk-tsk. She practices yoga three times a week, tripping down the steps with her magic-carpet mat rolled beneath one arm, legs shrink-wrapped in Lululemon. And she must volunteer someplace—she leaves the house a little past eleven on Mondays and Fridays, around the time I get up, and returns between five and five thirty, just as I’m settling in for my nightly film. (This evening’s selection: The Man Who Knew Too Much, for the umpteenth time. I am the woman who viewed too much.) I’ve noticed she likes a drink in the afternoon, as do I. Does she also like a drink in the morning? As do I? But her age is a mystery, although she’s certainly younger than Dr. Miller, and younger than me (nimbler, too); her name I can only guess at. I think of her as Rita, because she looks like Hayworth in Gilda. “I’m not in the least interested”—love that line. I myself am very much interested. Not in her body—the pale ridge of her spine, her shoulder blades like stunted wings, the baby-blue bra clasping her breasts: whenever these loom within my lens, any of them, I look away—but in the life she leads. The lives. Two more than I’ve got.
A.J. Finn (The Woman in the Window)
That’s right, isn’t it?” Harry urged him. “You died, but I’m talking to you. . . . You can walk around Hogwarts and everything, can’t you?” “Yes,” said Nearly Headless Nick quietly, “I walk and talk, yes.” “So you came back, didn’t you?” said Harry urgently. “People can come back, right? As ghosts. They don’t have to disappear completely. Well?” he added impatiently, when Nick continued to say nothing. Nearly Headless Nick hesitated, then said, “Not everyone can come back as a ghost.” “What d’you mean?” said Harry quickly. “Only . . . only wizards.” “Oh,” said Harry, and he almost laughed with relief. “Well, that’s okay then, the person I’m asking about is a wizard. So he can come back, right?” Nick turned away from the window and looked mournfully at Harry. “He won’t come back.” “Who?” “Sirius Black.” said Nick. “But you did!” said Harry angrily. “You came back — you’re dead and you didn’t disappear —” “Wizards can leave an imprint of themselves upon the earth, to walk palely where their living selves once trod,” said Nick miserably. “But very few wizards choose that path.” “Why not?” said Harry. “Anyway — it doesn’t matter — Sirius won’t care if it’s unusual, he’ll come back, I know he will!” And so strong was his belief that Harry actually turned his head to check the door, sure, for a split second, that he was going to see Sirius, pearly white and transparent but beaming, walking through it toward him. “He will not come back,” repeated Nick quietly. “He will have . . . gone on.” “What d’you mean, ‘gone on’?” said Harry quickly. “Gone on where? Listen — what happens when you die, anyway? Where do you go? Why doesn’t everyone come back? Why isn’t this place full of ghosts? Why — ?” “I cannot answer,” said Nick. “You’re dead, aren’t you?” said Harry exasperatedly. “Who can answer better than you?” “I was afraid of death,” said Nick. “I chose to remain behind. I sometimes wonder whether I oughtn’t to have . . . Well, that is neither here nor there. . . . In fact, I am neither here nor there. . . .” He gave a small sad chuckle. “I know nothing of the secrets of death, Harry, for I choose my feeble imitation of life instead. I believe learned wizards study the matter in the Department of Mysteries —” “Don’t talk to me about that place!” said Harry fiercely. “I am sorry not to have been more help,” said Nick gently. “Well . . . well, do excuse me . . . the feast, you know . . .” And he left the room, leaving Harry there alone, gazing blankly at the wall through which Nick had disappeared. Harry felt almost as though he had lost his godfather all over again in losing the hope that he might be able to see or speak to him once more. He walked slowly and miserably back up through the empty castle, wondering whether he would ever feel cheerful again.
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Dr. Hobson (with Dr. Robert McCarley) made history by proposing the first serious challenge to Freud’s theory of dreams, called the “activation synthesis theory.” In 1977, they proposed the idea that dreams originate from random neural firings in the brain stem, which travel up to the cortex, which then tries to make sense of these random signals. The key to dreams lies in nodes found in the brain stem, the oldest part of the brain, which squirts out special chemicals, called adrenergics, that keep us alert. As we go to sleep, the brain stem activates another system, the cholinergic, which emits chemicals that put us in a dream state. As we dream, cholinergic neurons in the brain stem begin to fire, setting off erratic pulses of electrical energy called PGO (pontine-geniculate-occipital) waves. These waves travel up the brain stem into the visual cortex, stimulating it to create dreams. Cells in the visual cortex begin to resonate hundreds of times per second in an irregular fashion, which is perhaps responsible for the sometimes incoherent nature of dreams. This system also emits chemicals that decouple parts of the brain involved with reason and logic. The lack of checks coming from the prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortices, along with the brain becoming extremely sensitive to stray thoughts, may account for the bizarre, erratic nature of dreams. Studies have shown that it is possible to enter the cholinergic state without sleep. Dr. Edgar Garcia-Rill of the University of Arkansas claims that meditation, worrying, or being placed in an isolation tank can induce this cholinergic state. Pilots and drivers facing the monotony of a blank windshield for many hours may also enter this state. In his research, he has found that schizophrenics have an unusually large number of cholinergic neurons in their brain stem, which may explain some of their hallucinations. To make his studies more efficient, Dr. Allan Hobson had his subjects put on a special nightcap that can automatically record data during a dream. One sensor connected to the nightcap registers the movements of a person’s head (because head movements usually occur when dreams end). Another sensor measures movements of the eyelids (because REM sleep causes eyelids to move). When his subjects wake up, they immediately record what they dreamed about, and the information from the nightcap is fed into a computer. In this way, Dr. Hobson has accumulated a vast amount of information about dreams. So what is the meaning of dreams? I asked him. He dismisses what he calls the “mystique of fortune-cookie dream interpretation.” He does not see any hidden message from the cosmos in dreams. Instead, he believes that after the PGO waves surge from the brain stem into the cortical areas, the cortex is trying to make sense of these erratic signals and winds up creating a narrative out of them: a dream.
Michio Kaku (The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind)
I am like James and John Lord, I size up other people in terms of what they can do for me; how they can further my program, feed my ego, satisfy my needs, give me strategic advantage. I exploit people, ostensibly for your sake, but really for my own sake. Lord, I turn to you to get the inside track and obtain special favors, your direction for my schemes, your power for my projects, your sanction for my ambitions, your blank checks for whatever I want. I am like James and John.3
Anonymous
The structure of de Prony’s computing office cannot be easily seen in Smith’s example. His computing staff had two distinct classes of workers. The larger of these was a staff of nearly ninety computers. These workers were quite different from Smith’s pin makers or even from the computers at the British Nautical Almanac and the Connaissance des Temps. Many of de Prony’s computers were former servants or wig dressers, who had lost their jobs when the Revolution rendered the elegant styles of Louis XVI unfashionable or even treasonous.35 They were not trained in mathematics and held no special interest in science. De Prony reported that most of them “had no knowledge of arithmetic beyond the two first rules [of addition and subtraction].”36 They were little different from manual workers and could not discern whether they were computing trigonometric functions, logarithms, or the orbit of Halley’s comet. One labor historian has described them as intellectual machines, “grasping and releasing a single piece of ‘data’ over and over again.”37 The second class of workers prepared instructions for the computation and oversaw the actual calculations. De Prony had no special title for this group of workers, but subsequent computing organizations came to use the term “planning committee” or merely “planners,” as they were the ones who actually planned the calculations. There were eight planners in de Prony’s organization. Most of them were experienced computers who had worked for either the Bureau du Cadastre or the Paris Observatory. A few had made interesting contributions to mathematical theory, but the majority had dealt only with the problems of practical mathematics.38 They took the basic equations for the trigonometric functions and reduced them to the fundamental operations of addition and subtraction. From this reduction, they prepared worksheets for the computers. Unlike Nevil Maskelyne’s worksheets, which gave general equations to the computers, these sheets identified every operation of the calculation and left nothing for the workers to interpret. Each step of the calculation was followed by a blank space for the computers to fill with a number. Each table required hundreds of these sheets, all identical except for a single unique starting value at the top of the page. Once the computers had completed their sheets, they returned their results to the planners. The planners assembled the tables and checked the final values. The task of checking the results was a substantial burden in itself. The group did not double-compute, as that would have obviously doubled the workload. Instead the planners checked the final values by taking differences between adjacent values in order to identify miscalculated numbers. This procedure, known as “differencing,” was an important innovation for human computers. As one observer noted, differencing removed the “necessity of repeating, or even of examining, the whole of the work done by the [computing] section.”39 The entire operation was overseen by a handful of accomplished scientists, who “had little or nothing to do with the actual numerical work.” This group included some of France’s most accomplished mathematicians, such as Adrien-Marie Legendre (1752–1833) and Lazare-Nicolas-Marguerite Carnot (1753–1823).40 These scientists researched the appropriate formulas for the calculations and identified potential problems. Each formula was an approximation, as no trigonometric function can be written as an exact combination of additions and subtractions. The mathematicians analyzed the quality of the approximations and verified that all the formulas produced values adequately close to the true values of the trigonometric functions.
David Alan Grier (When Computers Were Human)
I’d like us to remember the suffering of those Americans who were injured serving this country before we dole out millions to slackers and moochers. Look at the homeless: a lot are vets. I think we owe them more than just our gratitude. They were willing to sign a blank check for America, with the cost right up to their life.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)
I think it is one thing to protest the war and quite another to criticize the soldiers who are sent to fight it. The soldiers are simply doing a job we’ve assigned to them. They’ve given their country a blank check on their lives and the lives of their loved ones; we should at least show our sympathy. Protest Congress or the president, the people who are actually making the decision to go to war; support the troops, no matter what.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: A Memoir of Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
Whiting, Fred L., Roswell Revisited. 1990, Fund for UFO Research, POB 277, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712 Send SASE for free summary and list of publications. Stringfield, Leonard, Roswell and X-15: UFO Basics, MUFON Journal, #259, Nov. 1989, pp. 3-7. Friedman, S.T., 1991 Update on Crashed Saucers. MUFON Conference Proceedings, July 1991, Chicago, IL. Available from MUFON, 103 Oldtowne Road, Seguin, TX 78155. Send SASE for info. O'Brien, Mike, Springfield, MO, News Leader, Sunday, Dec. 9, 1990, pp. F 1-4. Randle, Kevin and Schmitt, Donald, UFO Crash at Roswell. Avon, NY, (pb), July 1991. Friedman, S.T., MJ 12 articles in International UFO Reporter, Sept./Oct. 1987, pp. 13-10; Jan./Feb. 1988, pp. 20-24; May/June 1988, pp. 12-17; March/April 1990, pp. 13-16; MUFON J. 9/89. p. 16, MUFON Conf. Proc. 1989. Friedman, S.T., Flying Saucers, Noisy Negativists and Truth, MUFON Conf. 1985, UFORI, see item #3. Keel, John, FATE, March 1990, January 1991. Weiner, Tim. Blank Check: The Pentagon's Black Budget, Warner Books, 1990, p. 273. Extremely well referenced, researched and indexed. Copyright, 1991. Stanton T. Friedman COMMENT Stanton Friedman, a true blue scientist, lets it be known that he seeks only bottom-line, verifiable information from his sources -- names of witnesses, place names, dates, old records -- anything evidential that would convince a hard-nosed skeptic. If
Leonard H. Stringfield (UFO Crash Retrievals: The Inner Sanctum - Status Report VI)
Friedman, S.T., MJ 12 articles in International UFO Reporter, Sept./Oct. 1987, pp. 13-10; Jan./Feb. 1988, pp. 20-24; May/June 1988, pp. 12-17; March/April 1990, pp. 13-16; MUFON J. 9/89. p. 16, MUFON Conf. Proc. 1989. Friedman, S.T., Flying Saucers, Noisy Negativists and Truth, MUFON Conf. 1985, UFORI, see item #3. Keel, John, FATE, March 1990, January 1991. Weiner, Tim. Blank Check: The Pentagon's Black Budget, Warner Books, 1990, p. 273. Extremely well referenced, researched and indexed. Copyright, 1991. Stanton T. Friedman COMMENT
Leonard H. Stringfield (UFO Crash Retrievals: The Inner Sanctum - Status Report VI)
She stared up at him for a long while, silent, her expression blank. Then, slowly, she walked to the wet bar and poured herself a drink. He followed her, willing to tie her down and force her to listen to him. “I don’t know why she’s here or how—” Splash. He blinked, wiped a hand down his dripping face, and realized she’d just tossed her drink at him. “Oh, Dane! You should see your face,” she said with a hearty laugh, shocking him. “And seriously, that was so freaking fun. I don’t know whether I should thank you for the opportunity to check another item off my list, or do it again.
Gena Showalter (The One You Want (The Original Heartbreakers, #0.5))
Surrendering to Christ is like signing your name to a blank check and letting the Lord put in the amount.
Billy Graham (Billy Graham in Quotes)
We have long since made it clear that a state of war is not a blank check for the President when it comes to the rights of the Nation's citizens.
Sandra Day O'Connor
The freedom to decide what is my own good is enshrined in Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992): “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”3 Freedom means, “Hands off, I’ve got this. I know what I want.” I’ll know I’m free when I get to decide what’s good for me, when every choice is a blank check of opportunity and possibility.
James K.A. Smith (On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts)
If we are going to teach children in the 21st Century, we need to see it through a different lens. -Blank Check: What Would You Do If You Were Asked to Reinvent Public Schools?
Aaron L. Smith
I refuse to accept failure. If we are going to succeed in education, we must do more than everyone else. -Blank Check: What Would You Do If You Were Asked to Reinvent Public Schools?
Aaron L. Smith, Ph.D.
Unfortunately, every year thousands of students end up in one or more of these categories: jail, pregnant, dropping out, gangs, or dead where this vicious cycle will only get worse unless someone else changes this irreplaceable system. - -Blank Check: What Would You Do If You Were Asked to Reinvent Public Schools?
Aaron L. Smith, Ph.D.
Adults have led education for eons and don't let students have any say. If this is going to work, we need a different approach. -Blank Check: What Would You Do If You Were Asked to Reinvent Public Schools?
Aaron L. Smith, Ph.D.
There is certainly something to the thought that certain classic papers of Putnam and Quine offer perhaps the closest thing to be found in twentieth-century philosophy to an attempt to rehabilitate Descartes's claim that it would be hubris for us to assert of an omnipotent God that He would be inexorably bound by the laws of logic - those laws which happen to bind our finite minds. In a move which is characteristic of much of contemporary naturalistic thought (both in and out of the academy), science is substituted for God. Cartesianism in the philosophy of logic, freed of its theological trappings, becomes the view that it would be hubris for us to assert of the ongoing activity of scientific inquiry that it will be forever bound by the laws of classical logic - those principles which happen to be most fundamental to our present conceptual scheme. The contrast is now no longer, as in Descartes, between the infinite powers of man and the infinite powers of God, but rather between the limits of present scientific thought and the infinite possibilities latent in the future of science as such ... If Descartes is led by a sense of theological piety to insist that God can do anything - no matter how inconceivably it may be to us - the contemporary ultra-empiricist is led by an equally fervent sense of naturalistic piety to insist that the science of the future might require a revision of any of our present axioms of thought - no matter how unacceptable such a revision might seem by our present lights. The exploration of the contours of possibility belongs to the business of the physicists. In this regard, we philosophers must issue them a blank check - it would compromise our standing as underlaborers to put a ceiling on how much they can spend. To paraphrase Descartes on God: we must not conclude that there is a positive limit to the power of science on the basis of the limits of our own (present) powers of conception. All of its hostility to theology notwithstanding, this contemporary form of piety is, in a sense, no less religious (in its unconditional deference to a higher authority) than Descartes's - it has simply exchanged one Godhead for another. But, unlike Descartes, precisely because it is overly hostile to theology, it is able easily to blind itself to the fact that it is a form of piety.
James Ferguson Conant (The Logical Alien: Conant and His Critics)
Mark said, ‘I’m totally happy to raise the blind, if that’s really what you want. But I’m worried you won’t enjoy it as much the second time around. It would help me ethically if I could double-check your positive consent.’ Patty stood up. Put her hands to her shoes. Mark said, ‘You don’t need to get on the bed. I can hear you from there. The microphone is not in the light.’ ‘Why are you keeping us here?’ ‘We’ll discuss that very soon. Before the end of the day, certainly.’ ‘What do you want from us?’ ‘Right now all I need is your positive consent to raise the window blind.’ ‘Why wouldn’t we want that?’ ‘Is that a yes?’ ‘What is going to happen to us?’ ‘We’ll discuss that very soon. Before the end of the day, certainly. All we need right now is a decision on the window blind. Up or down?’ ‘Up,’ Patty said. The TV turned itself off. The screen went blank, and the circuitry rustled, and a tiny standby light glowed red. Then inside the window unit the motor whirred and the blind came up, slow and steady, with warm sunlight pouring in underneath. The view was the same. The Honda, the lot, the grass, the wall of trees. But it was beautiful. The way it was lit.
Lee Child (Past Tense (Jack Reacher, #23))
White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, assurances, tools, maps, guides, codebooks, passports, visas, clothes, compass, emergency gear, and blank checks.
Layla F. Saad (Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor)
As much as I enjoyed thinking all kinds of horrible possibilities about your whereabouts, do you think the next time you disappear, you could leave me a note?” Kade asked. “We can even make up a form. I’m gone because of A, Tricky, or B, Devlen, or C, fill in the blank. You can just circle a reason and leave it for me.” “Wow. That’s some impressive sarcasm,” Heli said. “I’m glad I’m not on the receiving end this time.” Considering all that had happened to me since I’d known Kade, I couldn’t blame him for being upset. “I’m sorry. I’ll try not to do it again.” An eyebrow spiked. “Try?” “Since your suggestion of making up a form actually is a good idea, I’d say try is the best I can do. I have no control over a whole list of things, but what I can control, I’ll make sure to let you know.” His anger dissipated as he conceded the point. “You liked my form idea?” A hint of a smile played at the corners of his mouth. “It could use a little work. I think we should put check boxes next to the list—circling the reason might take too long. With a box, I can just check and go.” “I’ll get right on it.
Maria V. Snyder (Sea Glass (Glass, #2))
God is infinitely creative—that means His creativity has no end. And God shows His creativity in you. You began as a blank page in His book, and He began writing your story before you were even born. It’s going to be a great one! Don’t believe it? Just check out some of the amazing stories He’s already written for “ordinary” people just like you—David knocking out Goliath, Daniel napping with lions, and Esther saving her people. God’s got an amazing story in the works for you—just wait and see!
Louie Giglio (Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God and Science (Indescribable Kids))
With one minute to spare, Madison arrived at the Space Needle. Her rose was hastily clipped into her short dark hair. Her cheeks were red from all of the mad rushing around. But she had made it on time. So had Jeremy. Once again he was waiting by the elevator that rode up to the top of the Space Needle. A somewhat faded blue carnation was pinned to the lapel of his jacket. Madison, who usually overplanned everything, hadn’t taken one second to plan what she would say when she finally met “Blue” face-to-face. A man with a bouquet of balloons passed by, and she ducked out of sight behind them. As she ran alongside the vendor, she hastily tried to collect her thoughts. So much was riding on this meeting, and she didn’t want to blow it. When the balloon man got close to the elevator tower, Madison jumped out from behind the balloons and hid by a corner of the tower. Her mind was still a complete blank. But she couldn’t leave Jeremy standing there for another minute. So she inched her way along the wall until she was safely hidden behind the post he was leaning against. Madison checked the TechnoMarine watch she’d borrowed from Piper. It was nearly five minutes after four. Time was running out! She had to say something. But what? Barely a foot away, she heard Jeremy exhale in frustration, and her heart sank. When he made a move to leave, her hand shot out from behind the pillar and caught hold of his. “Blue?” she whispered. “Please don’t turn around.” Jeremy didn’t move. “Okay,” he said warily. “I’m trying to find the words to tell you what our letters have meant to me,” she whispered. “And how much your friendship means to me.” Jeremy nodded. “It’s been important to me, too.” He started to turn around, but Madison tugged his arm, hard. “Don’t look, yet. Please!” Jeremy quickly turned his head away. “All right, but--” Madison didn’t let him finish. She squeezed her eyes shut and started babbling. “I didn’t know who you were until last Friday--which, incidentally, turned out to be about the most important day of my life. And when I knew it was you, I just didn’t know how to tell you that I was me. You once told me I was cold and heartless, and I just couldn’t bear it if you said it again. Everything has been so perfect, I just don’t want to blow it, and now that we’re standing here holding hands, I don’t want to let go--” “So don’t,” a voice whispered, very close to her cheek.
Jahnna N. Malcolm (Perfect Strangers (Love Letters, #1))
The U.S. civilian leadership was shirking its responsibility to develop a high-level strategic approach to the most significant political and diplomatic challenge of this conflict. It was yet another example of America’s almost instinctive reflex to lead with the military in moments of international crisis. Civilian officials, as much as they may mistrust the Pentagon, are often the first to succumb. They seem remarkably adverse to exploring the panoply of tools they could bring to bear—let alone to putting in the work to develop a comprehensive strategic framework within which military action would be a component, interlocking with others. What is it, I found myself wondering, that keeps a country as powerful as the United States from employing the vast and varied nonmilitary leverage at its disposal? Why is it so easily cowed by the tantrums of weaker and often dependent allies? Why won’t it ever posture effectively itself? Bluff? Deny visas? Slow down deliveries of spare parts? Choose not to build a bridge or a hospital? Why is nuance so irretrievably beyond American officials’ grasp, leaving them a binary choice between all and nothing—between writing officials a blank check and breaking off relations? If the obstacle preventing more meaningful action against abusive corruption wasn’t active U.S. complicity, it sure looked like it.
Sarah Chayes (Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security)
When men plead for forgiveness, for the nameless, cosmic forgiveness of an unconfessed evil, when they react with instantaneous compassion to any guilt, to the perpetrators of any atrocity, while turning away indifferently from the bleeding bodies of the victims and the innocent—one may see the actual purpose, motive and psychological appeal of the altruist code. When these same compassionate men turn with snarling hatred upon anyone who pronounces moral judgments, when they scream that the only evil is the determination to fight against evil—one may see the kind of moral blank check that the altruist morality hands out.
Ayn Rand (For the New Intellectual: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (50th Anniversary Edition))
Hey.” A lopsided smirk offers chagrin as he turns my way. “Sorry about that,” he says, and I’m struck by how much I’ve missed his voice. He opens the door and unfolds himself from the tiny car, and then I realize how much I’ve missed him. “You made it.” It’s tough to keep my emotions in check, but I know I need to. “You look tired.” “I took the long way home.” And just like that, he reaches out and pulls me into a hug. Not a shoulder hug, but the real thing, the kind you give to someone you thought of while you were away. I’m surprised at first. I wasn’t expecting…well…that. I was prepared for more of the uncertain off-and-on awkward dance we usually do. Friends…or two people who want something more? We’re never quite sure. But this feels different. I slip my arms under his and hang on. “Tough few days?” I whisper, and he rests his chin on my head. I listen to his heartbeat, feel the sultry warmth of skin against skin. My gaze lingers on the tangle of wisteria vines and crape myrtle branches hiding the ancient structures of Goswood Grove’s once spectacular gardens, concealing whatever secrets they know. “Tough few days all around, it sounds like,” Nathan says finally. “We should go in.” But he hangs on a minute longer. We part slowly, and the next step suddenly seems uncharted. I don’t know how to catalog it. One moment, we’re as natural as breathing. The next, we’re at arm’s length—or retreating to our separate safety zones. He stops halfway across the porch, turns, widens his stance a little like he’s about to pick up something heavy. Crossing his arms, he tilts his head and looks at me, one eye squeezing almost shut. “What are we to each other?” I stand there a moment with my mouth agape before words dribble out in a halting string. “In…in…what way?” I’m terrified, that’s why I don’t give a straight answer. Relationships require truth telling, and that requires risk. An old, insecure part of me says, You’re damaged goods, Benny Silva. Someone like Nathan would never understand. He’ll never see you in the same way again. “Just like it sounds,” he says. “I missed you, Benny, and I promised myself I’d just put it out there this time. Because…well…you’re hard to read.” “I’m hard to read?” Nathan has been largely a mystery I’ve pieced together in fragments. “Me?” He doesn’t fall for the turnabout, or he ignores it. “So, Benny Silva, are we…friends or are we…” The sentence shifts in the wind, unfinished—a fill-in-the-blank question. Those are harder than multiple-choice. “Friends…” I search for the right answer, one not too presumptuous, but accurate. “Going somewhere…at our own pace? I hope.” I feel naked standing there. Scared. Vulnerable. And potentially unworthy of his investment in me. I can’t make the same mistake I’ve made before. There are things he needs to know. It’s only fair, but this isn’t the right moment for it, or the right place. He braces his hands on his hips, lets his head rock forward, exhales a breath he seems to have been holding. “Okay,” he says with a note of approval. His cheek twitches, one corner of his mouth rising. I think he might be blushing a little. “I’ll take that.” “Me, too,” I agree.
Lisa Wingate (The Book of Lost Friends)
After twelve months of going nowhere, the investment committee loses patience and takes over the deal more directly. Organic is sold to a special-purpose acquisition company (or SPAC) listed on local stock exchanges. A SPAC is a cash box with a blank check raised from investors to buy a business within a set timeframe as determined by the executives who run the vehicle. Often, as the vehicle is publicly listed, a SPAC can strike a deal at a higher purchase price than a private equity firm would be willing to pay. Its investors will accept a lower return than they would from a private equity fund, often because the investment is marketed to them as a safer or more straightforward bet. In this case, the SPAC is run by a former senior executive of a French food retail chain and a major hedge fund seeking to expand into the private equity industry. Their joint sector and finance experience is convincing enough for the SPAC’s investors to agree that the transaction is likely to be worthwhile. The
Sachin Khajuria (Two and Twenty: How the Masters of Private Equity Always Win)
Keep score—leave blank space around each idea. This is the key to making your vision board work! Every time you take a step toward one of the ideas on this board, put a dot, check mark, heart, sticker, stamp, or whatever next to that idea.
Stephanie Ewing (The Shower Habit: 10 Steps to Increase Energy, Boost Confidence, and Achieve Your Goals Without Waking Up Earlier (Optimize Your Life Series, #1))
No. I don’t like people who speak or think in terms of gaining anybody’s confidence. If one’s actions are honest, one does not need the predated confidence of others, only their rational perception. The person who craves a moral blank check of that kind, has dishonest intentions, whether he admits it to himself or not.” Rearden’s startled glance at him was like the
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
By the spring of 1891, Rockefeller began to develop the queasy sense that Harper regarded his money as a blank check to cover annual deficits.
Ron Chernow (Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.)
Check boxes, drop-down menus, fill in the blanks, are all important in their own way and for their own reasons, but they are not the lifeblood of your patient care report (PCR/ePCR). Ultimately, it is the narrative documentation that is going to refresh your recollection. Your recollection will never be refreshed, and your life is never going to be saved or ruined by a drop-down box or a menu choice or a fill-in-the-blank. Your legal exposure – and your actual care for the patient – lives or dies in your narrative documentation. That’s what we’re talking about.
David Givot (Sirens, Lights, and Lawyers: The Law & Other Really Important Stuff EMS Providers Never Learned in School)
Son of a bitch. Blake probably knew something like this would happen. He set me up. He did it on purpose. “I don’t have to negotiate in good faith,” I tell his father. “You brought money into this in the first place. That was a dick move. Why should I play fair?” “You’ve admitted that you’d sell him out,” he snaps. “That at some point, money is more important than he is.” “You’ve admitted the same thing. If I’m a faithless whore because I’ll take a check to break up with Blake, you’re the asshole who values his company and lifestyle more than your son.” “That’s not just my company. That’s my life. It’s his life. It’s—” “Oh, and you think it’s just money for me?” I glare at him. “You think that you’d give me fifty thousand dollars and I’d spend it all on shoes and diamond-studded cat collars? Fifty thousand dollars would pay for the rest of my college tuition. It would buy my dad a lawyer so that the next time his knee acted up, he could finally get disability instead of scrambling to find some job he can manage. It would make it so I didn’t have to work for the next year and could concentrate on my schoolwork. That’s a really ugly double standard, Mr. Reynolds. When money exists to make your life more pleasant, it’s not just money. But when it’s my family and my dreams at stake, it’s just pieces of green paper.” Blake smiles softly. His father reaches across the table and flicks Blake’s forehead. “Stop grinning.” “No way.” Blake is smiling harder. “She’s kicking your ass. This is the best day ever.” His father grunts. “The day I first went to lunch with Blake, I had less than twenty dollars in my possession. Total,” I tell his father. “I would completely sell Blake out for fifty thousand dollars. Some days I’d do it for ten. Dollars. Not thousands. None of this makes me a gold digger. It just means that I’m poor. When times get desperate, I’ll pawn anything of value to survive. I might cry when I do it, but I’m going to be realistic about it. So take your stupid does-she-love-Blake test and shove it.” Mr. Reynolds looks at me. He looks at Blake. And then, very slowly, he holds out his hands, palms up. “Well. Fuck me twice on Sundays,” he says. From the expression on his face, I take it that this is intended to be a good thing. “First time I talked to her,” Blake says with a nod that could only be described as prideful. “Before I asked her out. I knew I had to introduce her to you.” “Shit,” Mr. Reynolds says. He holds up a fist, and Blake fist bumps him in return. Now they’re both being dicks. “Smile,” Blake’s dad says to me. “You pass the test.” “Oh, thank goodness.” I put on a brilliant smile. “Do you really mean it? Do you mean that you, the one, the only, the incomparable Adam Reynolds, has deigned to recognize me as a human being? My life is changed forever.” Mr. Reynolds’s expression goes completely blank. “Why is she being sarcastic, Blake?” “Why is he talking to you like I’m not here, Blake?” Mr. Reynolds turns to me. “Fine. Why are you being sarcastic?” “You don’t get to test me,” I tell him. “You’re not my teacher. You don’t get to act like you’re the only one with a choice, and I have to be grateful if you accept me. I don’t have any illusions about me and Blake. Fitting our lives together is like trying to finish a thousand-piece puzzle with Lego bricks. But you know what? Bullshit like this is what’s going to break us up. You had a test, too. You could have treated me like a human being. You failed.” Blake reaches out and twines his fingers with mine.
Courtney Milan
For such a small town, it was always busy. He checked his watch. The grand opening of Brooke’s store had started half an hour ago. On the flight to New York City, he’d rearranged his week, pushing a few appointments into the evening so that he could be back home for Friday afternoon. His agent hadn’t been impressed, but after everything that had happened over the last few weeks, Eric was ready to cut him a break. A knock on the driver’s window scared the living daylights out of him. Caleb’s grinning face didn’t make it any better. He opened the door, scowling at his friend. “Are you trying to give me a heart attack?” “It’s called living dangerously. Welcome home.” Gabe had done his fair share of living dangerously and he wasn’t going back there in a hurry. “I thought your flight wasn’t arriving until ten o’clock tonight.” “I moved my appointments around. I wanted to be here for the opening of Brooke’s store.” “I’m heading there, too. Does Natalie know you’re here?” Gabe shook his head. “It’s a surprise.” So were the two bottles of champagne sitting on his back seat. He grabbed one of them before locking the truck. “Did you get your project finished?” Caleb’s smile disappeared. “Not yet. Something’s not working and I can’t figure out what’s wrong. Instead of staring at a blank computer screen, I thought I’d get out of the house and support Brooke. How was the Big Apple?” “Busy, noisy, and productive. My book’s scheduled to be released in early December.” “You’ll be hitting the Christmas market. Well done. Did they give you a pay raise?” Gabe rubbed his leg. Caleb’s grin took the sting out of the cramp making him limp. “You’ve been talking to Natalie’s mom.” “I saw them on Wednesday. Kathleen couldn’t stop raving about your book. But don’t worry, she didn’t give anything away.” “It doesn’t matter. It will be in the stores soon enough.” They turned the corner. Gabe stared at the number of people standing on the street. “All these people can’t be waiting to go into Brooke’s store.” “You wanna bet? The local paper ran an article about the store on Monday. Since then, social media has been going crazy. Mabel has been adding Facebook updates all week. She even snapped a picture of Natalie and her mom helping to wrap candy. I’m telling you, Brooke’s onto something.” Gabe wasn’t surprised. Her candy already sold well. The store
Leeanna Morgan (Falling for You (Sapphire Bay #1))
Anyone who believes that Romans 13 offers a blank check to tyrants is someone who simply has not read it carefully and is not comparing Scripture with Scripture (Isa. 5:20; Ps. 11:3).
Douglas Wilson (Mere Christendom)
EXERCISE: Building a Better You Find a blank page in a journal or use a sheet of paper and write out the days of the week. Alternatively, you could open up your calendar or diary to the following week. Choose seven qualities that are attractive to you and fit your definition of self-worth. Examples of such qualities include mindful, patient, generous, spiritual, strong, loyal, etc. Assign each quality to a day of the week. Every morning check which quality you will focus on that day and try to express that quality in as many of your activities for that day as possible. If you repeat this exercise every week, you will make these qualities feel natural and emphasize their presence in your personality.
Daniel S. Lobel (When Your Mother Has Borderline Personality Disorder: A Guide for Adult Children)
As there can be no causeless wealth, so there can be no causeless love or any sort of causeless emotion. An emotion is a response to a fact of reality, an estimate dictated by your standards. To love is to value. The man who tells you that it is possible to value without values, to love those whom you appraise as worthless, is the man who tells you that it is possible to grow rich by consuming without producing and that paper money is as valuable as gold. “Observe that he does not expect you to feel a causeless fear. When his kind get into power, they are expert at contriving means of terror, at giving you ample cause to feel the fear by which they desire to rule you. But when it comes to love, the highest of emotions, you permit them to shriek at you accusingly that you are a moral delinquent if you’re incapable of feeling causeless love. When a man feels fear without reason, you call him to the attention of a psychiatrist; you are not so careful to protect the meaning, the nature and the dignity of love. “Love is the expression of one’s values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person, the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another. Your morality demands that you divorce your love from values and hand it down to any vagrant; not as response to his worth, but as response to his need, not as reward, but as alms, not as a payment for virtues, but as a blank check on vices. Your morality tells you that the purpose of love is to set you free of the bonds of morality, that love is superior to moral judgment; that true love transcends, forgives and survives every manner of evil in its object, and the greater the love the greater the depravity it permits to the loved. To love a man for his virtues is paltry and human, it tells you; to love him for his flaws is divine. To love those who are worthy of it is self-interest; to love the unworthy is sacrifice. You owe your love to those who don’t deserve it, and the less they deserve it, the more love you owe them—the more loathsome the object, the nobler your love—the more unfastidious your love, the greater the virtue—and if you can bring your soul to the state of a dump heap that welcomes anything on equal terms, if you can cease to value moral values, you have achieved the state of moral perfection.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
Love is the expression of one’s values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person, the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another. Your morality demands that you divorce your love from values and hand it down to any vagrant; not as response to his worth, but as response to his need, not as reward, but as alms, not as a payment for virtues, but as a blank check on vices. Your morality tells you that the purpose of love is to set you free of the bonds of morality, that love is superior to moral judgment; that true love transcends, forgives and survives every manner of evil in its object, and the greater the love the greater the depravity it permits to the loved. To love a man for his virtues is paltry and human, it tells you; to love him for his flaws is divine. To love those who are worthy of it is self-interest; to love the unworthy is sacrifice. You owe your love to those who don’t deserve it, and the less they deserve it, the more love you owe them—the more loathsome the object, the nobler your love—the more unfastidious your love, the greater the virtue—and if you can bring your soul to the state of a dump heap that welcomes anything on equal terms, if you can cease to value moral values, you have achieved the state of moral perfection. “Such is your morality of sacrifice and such are the twin ideals it offers: to refashion the life of your body in the image of a human stockyard, and the life of your spirit in the image of a dump. “Such was your goal—and you’ve reached it. Why do you now moan complaints about man’s impotence and the futility of human aspirations? Because you were unable to prosper by seeking destruction? Because you were unable to find joy by worshipping pain? Because you were unable to live by holding death as your standard of value? “The degree of your ability to live was the degree to which you broke your moral code, yet you believe that those who preach it are friends of humanity, you damn yourself and dare not question their motives or their goals. Take a look at them now, when you face your last choice—and if you choose to perish, do so with full knowledge of how cheaply so small an enemy has claimed your life.
Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)
For too many years, I’d taken for granted so many aspects of my life while on a quest to check off the few boxes I’d yet to complete. It was like that scattering of blank squares had left a blankness in me. It wasn’t until I began to chase them down that I realized that I could still have a full life, even if they remained empty. That I could be content, yet still have dreams. You have a damn good life, Olivia Strauss. That I could simultaneously exist in both those spaces and be happy.
Angela Brown (Olivia Strauss Is Running Out of Time)
A blank check. A woman is blank until you fuck her. Everything is blank until you fuck it. Us and Vietnam, fucking and being fucked, blood is wisdom.
John Updike (Rabbit Redux (Rabbit Angstrom, #2))
leather on the sap and the key ring had stiffened up some. Other than that, no damage. I put the gun back together and loaded it. Left it on the kitchen table. Cocked and locked. Then I checked Joe’s computer printout for the confirmation I thought was there. But there was a problem. A major problem. The paper was bone dry and crisp, but the writing had gone. The paper was completely blank. The swimming pool water had washed all the ink off. There were very faint blurred smudges, but I couldn’t make out the words. I shrugged to myself. I’d read it through a hundred times. I’d rely on my memory of what it had said.
Lee Child (Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1))
Train like a scientist. Even though it may be possible that anyone can make a new scientific discovery, and anyone can win a fight against a professional fighter, the truth of the matter is the odds are against you. In fact, the odds are so unfavorably stacked against you, if you don’t train efficiently and push yourself to the very limits of what the human body and mind can endure, your chances of success are slim at best. While there is nothing new about pushing limits and training hard when it comes to fighting, successful modern fighters are starting to train with skepticism. I still remember the first day of one of my undergraduate physics classes, when the professor said, “Don’t trust me. If you don’t question everything I say here in class, if you don’t go home and check it yourself because you’re skeptical and refuse to take my word for it, then you don’t belong here, and you’re going to have a hard time making it in physics.” I remember it because at first it seemed like the opposite of what a professor should say, but once it sunk in, I realized he was right. Real mastery of physics does not come from memorization and repetition. Real mastery comes from understanding how well the laws of physics hold up when you try your best to break them. The same thing is true in fighting. You will never really master a choke until you have tried to choke out someone who does not want you to succeed at it. During an actual fight, on the street or in the ring, there is far too much chaos for anyone to succeed just by listening in class and repeating techniques. Everyone needs to have some rough personal failures to learn from. Everyone should have that awkward moment when your opponent’s only reaction to your attempted wristlock is a blank stare, and everyone needs to get knocked over once or twice because an opponent kicked right through the perfect block. Of course, sometimes there are techniques we do not have the luxury of testing out, either because they are too dangerous or the opportunities to use them in sparring may not come very often. You can’t learn everything the hard way, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be a skeptic.
Jason Thalken (Fight Like a Physicist: The Incredible Science Behind Martial Arts (Martial Science))
Appreciate the comfortable (responsibly). Producing in the evening can be an experience like no other. With the comfortable, ongoing hum of the engine and the nights your atmosphere, generating can be almost like traveling through place. Producing in the evening seems unusual, fun, and even exciting — for some people, it’s one of life’s simplest yet most excessive entertainment. It’s definitely outstanding have fun with a evening produce, but don’t neglect to focus on what’s most important of all — your security and the security of other drivers. Always keep in ideas that getting sent straight while generating can be dangerous (especially at night), so keep your interest on the road. If you’re confident in your secured generating workouts, you’ll be able to successfully relax, notice in, and revel in your ride! Put your returning viewpoint reflection in its “flipped down” or “night” strategy to reduce returning front aspect part aspect lighting glare. Check all your car lighting constantly, especially if upcoming winter year time mean that you will be doing more generating after dark. To make the process simpler, you can take changes with a friend working the lighting and watching to see that they all come on, or you can notice your own reflection in the ms ms ms ms windows of a glass-fronted developing. You have purchased some car parts and accessories. Block out interruptions while generating, but don’t focus definitely on the road. Doing so may put you in a situation of hypnosis and you may even mentally “blank” for a few a few several weeks. Keep your viewpoint moving around the car and landscapes. Some car gadgets should be set progressively. Always use a car car car car seatbelt and encourage your guests to do the same.Do not produce drunk. Never produce without a legal drivers’ certification approved in your name. Don’t believe the town story that sunglasses with yellow-colored or bright orange sketchy connections help you see better in the evening. Wearing them in the evening may make aspects seem less heavy. Always carry around your drivers’ certification to prevent police from getting suspicious of a situation that isn’t there. Do not produce when you are tired. In some countries, generating while feeling sleepy issues as impacted generating. Regardless of the law, it’s dangerous.
angeladong
As Jim Lawrence, a black labor activist at a GM plant in Dayton, Ohio, describes it, during the 1960s 'the union gave foremen a blank check to mistreat blacks and keep them out of the high-rate machine jobs and the skilled trades.' 
David T. Hardy (Michael Moore Is a Big Fat Stupid White Man)
It’s time,” Jack said. “Breeze? Count the kids,” Sam said. Brianna was back in twenty seconds. “Eighty-two, boss.” “About a third,” Jack observed. “A third of what’s left.” “Wait. Make that eighty-eight,” Brianna said. “And a dog.” Lana, looking deeply irritated—a fairly usual expression for her—and Sanjit, looking happy—a fairly usual expression for him—and Sanjit’s siblings were trotting along to catch up. “I don’t know if we’re staying up there or not,” Lana said without preamble. “I want to check it out. And my room smells like crap.” Just before the time was up, Sam heard a stir. Kids were making a lane for someone, murmuring. His heart leaped. “Hey, Sam.” He swallowed the lump in his throat. “Diana?” “Not expecting me, huh?” She made a wry face. “Where’s blondie? I didn’t see her at the big pep rally.” “Are you coming with us?” Brianna demanded, obviously not happy about it. “Is Caine okay with this?” Sam asked Diana. “It’s your choice, but I need to know if he’s going to come after us to take you back.” “Caine has what he wants,” Diana said. “Maybe I should call Toto over,” Sam said. The truth teller was having a conversation with Spidey. “I could ask you whether you’re coming along to spy for Caine, and see what Toto has to say.” Diana sighed. “Sam, I have bigger problems than Caine. And so do you, I guess. Because the FAYZ is going to do something it’s never done before: grow by one.” “What’s that mean?” “You are going to be an uncle.” Sam stared blankly. Brianna said a very rude word. And even Dekka looked up. “You’re having a baby?” Dekka asked. “Let’s hope so,” Diana said bleakly. “Let’s hope that’s all it is.
Michael Grant (Plague (Gone, #4))
There were the sweet old men and women you inevitably become close to – you saw them almost every day, sometimes for years on end. And then you might check your rota one day and, where previously there was a familiar name, there was blank space. Death was blank sheet of people and you were moved on.
James Bloodworth (Hired: Six Months Undercover in Low-Wage Britain)
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Awe stimulates the greatest joys and deepest sorrows in us all. Here’s a simple way to do a personal awe check. Where do you experience your biggest moments of happiness and your darkest moments of sadness? What angers you or crushes you with disappointment? What motivates you to continue or makes you feel like quitting? What do you tend to envy in the lives of others, or where does jealousy make you bitter? What makes you think your life is worth living or causes you to feel like your life is a waste? When you say, “If only I had _______,” how do you fill in the blank? What are you willing to make sacrifices for, and what in your life just doesn’t seem worth the effort? Look at your highest joys and deepest sorrows, and you will find where you reach for awe.
Paul David Tripp (Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say, and Do)
Her beak was open, her hackles raised; her wild eyes were the colour of sun on white paper, and they stared because the whole world had fallen into them at once. One, two, three. I tucked the hood over her head. There was a brief intimation of a thin, angular skull under her feathers, of an alien brain fizzing and fusing with terror, then I drew the braces closed. We checked the ring numbers against the form. It was the wrong bird. This was the younger one. The smaller one. This was not my hawk. Oh. So we put her back and opened the other box, which was meant to hold the larger, older bird. And dear God, it did. Everything about this second hawk was different. She came out like a Victorian melodrama: a sort of madwoman in the attack. She was smokier and darker and much, much bigger, and instead of twittering, she wailed; great, awful gouts of sound like a thing in pain, and the sound was unbearable. This is my hawk, I was telling myself and it was all I could do to breathe. She too was bareheaded, and I grabbed the hood from the box as before. But as I brought it up to her face I looked into her eyes and saw something blank and crazy in her stare. Some madness from a distant country. I didn’t recognise her. This isn’t my hawk. The hood was on, the ring numbers checked, the bird back in the box, the yellow form folded, the money exchanged, and all I could think was, But this isn’t my hawk. Slow panic. I knew what I had to say, and it was a monstrous breach of etiquette. ‘This
Helen Macdonald (H is for Hawk)
They take seats across the head end of the table, which is wide enough for a Last Supper tableau. In the Jesus position is a really big chair. It is the kind of thing you’d get if you went to a Finnish designer with a shaved head, rimless glasses, and twin Ph.D.s in semiotics and civil engineering, wrote him a blank check, and asked him to design a throne.
Neal Stephenson (Cryptonomicon)
Some people fear to consecrate themselves to God for the same reason they fear to write a blank check.
Wyatt Allen
Does this verse mean God gives us a blank check (so to speak) when we pray? Does He promise to give us anything we want, if we just keep asking? No. God loves us too much to answer prayers that are foolish or might harm us. But the closer we get to Him—the more we abide in Him and His word abides in us—the more we will desire what He desires, and the more our prayers will reflect His will.
Billy Graham (Hope for Each Day: Words of Wisdom and Faith)