Clean Up Well Quotes

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You're so easy to tease. And yes, your friend is just fine. Well, except that he keeps putting all my things away and trying to clean up. Now I can't find anything. He's compulsive.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness. We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things. We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less. These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete... Remember, to spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent. Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person might not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.
Bob Moorehead (Words Aptly Spoken)
Well", Fang said, mimicking a thick Southern drawl. "I must say its mighty nice of them Daimons to clean up after themselves when you kill them" He held his hands up to them. "Look Ma, no mess." "Does Fang have an off switch?" Talon asked Vane.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Embrace (Dark-Hunter #2))
But as I have noticed on more than one occaision, life itself is unfair, and there is no complaint department, so we might as well accept things the way they happen, clean up the mess, and move on.
Jeff Lindsay (Dexter in the Dark (Dexter, #3))
Hello, hello.” Magnus swept toward them..."Alec, my darling, Clary. And rat-boy." He swept a bow toward Simon, who looked annoyed. "To what do I owe the pleasure?" "We came to see Jace," Clary said. "Is he all right?" "I don’t know," Magnus said. "Does he normally just lie on the floor like that without moving?" "What –," Alec began, and broke off as Magnus laughed. "That’s not funny." "You’re so easy to tease. And yes, your friend is just fine. Well, except that he keeps putting all my things away and trying to clean up. Now I can’t find anything. He’s compulsive.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
I didn’t care what humans were doing to each other as long as I didn’t have to a) stop it or b) clean up after it.
Martha Wells (Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2))
Are you trying to weasel out of showing us any of this stuff?' said Zacharias Smith. 'Here's an idea,' said Ron loudly, 'why don't you shut your mouth?' 'Well, we've all turned up to learn from him, and now he's telling us he can't really do any of it,' he said. 'That's not what he said,' said Fred Weasley. 'Would you like us to clean out your ears for you?' inquired George, pulling a long and lethal-looking metal instrument from inside one of the Zonko's bags. 'Or any part of your body, really, we're not fussy where we stick this,' said Fred.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Who knows? If there is in fact, a heaven and a hell, all we know for sure is that hell will be a viciously overcrowded version of Phoenix — a clean well lighted place full of sunshine and bromides and fast cars where almost everybody seems vaguely happy, except those who know in their hearts what is missing... And being driven slowly and quietly into the kind of terminal craziness that comes with finally understanding that the one thing you want is not there. Missing. Back-ordered. No tengo. Vaya con dios. Grow up! Small is better. Take what you can get...
Hunter S. Thompson (Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the '80's)
I know what you're thinking," Grandma said into the silence. "Do I have anymore bullets in this here gun? Well, with all the confusion, what with being locked up in a refrigerator, I plumb forgot what was in here to start with. But being that this is a 45 magnum, the most powerful handgun in existence, and it could blow your head clean off, you just got to ask yourself one question. Do you feel lucky today? Well, do you, punk?" Christ," Spiro whispered. "She thinks she's f**king Clint Eastwood.
Janet Evanovich (Two for the Dough (Stephanie Plum, #2))
But you are crazy.” “I know.” She lifted a small box from the basket. “Do you know how I know?” Scarlet didn't answer. “Because the palace walls have been bleeding for years, and no one else sees it.” She shrugged, as if this were a perfectly normal thing to say. “No one believes me, but in some corridors, the blood has gotten so thick there's nowhere safe to step. When I have to pass through those places, I leave a trail of bloody footprints for the rest of the day, and then I worry that the queen's soldiers will follow the scent and eat me up while I'm sleeping. Some nights I don't sleep very well.” Her voice dropped to a haunted whisper, her eyes taking on a brittle luminescence. “But if the blood was real, the servants would clean it up. Don't you think?
Marissa Meyer (Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3))
When they bombed Hiroshima, the explosion formed a mini-supernova, so every living animal, human or plant that received direct contact with the rays from that sun was instantly turned to ash. And what was left of the city soon followed. The long-lasting damage of nuclear radiation caused an entire city and its population to turn into powder. When I was born, my mom says I looked around the whole hospital room with a stare that said, "This? I've done this before." She says I have old eyes. When my Grandpa Genji died, I was only five years old, but I took my mom by the hand and told her, "Don't worry, he'll come back as a baby." And yet, for someone who's apparently done this already, I still haven't figured anything out yet. My knees still buckle every time I get on a stage. My self-confidence can be measured out in teaspoons mixed into my poetry, and it still always tastes funny in my mouth. But in Hiroshima, some people were wiped clean away, leaving only a wristwatch or a diary page. So no matter that I have inhibitions to fill all my pockets, I keep trying, hoping that one day I'll write a poem I can be proud to let sit in a museum exhibit as the only proof I existed. My parents named me Sarah, which is a biblical name. In the original story God told Sarah she could do something impossible and she laughed, because the first Sarah, she didn't know what to do with impossible. And me? Well, neither do I, but I see the impossible every day. Impossible is trying to connect in this world, trying to hold onto others while things are blowing up around you, knowing that while you're speaking, they aren't just waiting for their turn to talk -- they hear you. They feel exactly what you feel at the same time that you feel it. It's what I strive for every time I open my mouth -- that impossible connection. There's this piece of wall in Hiroshima that was completely burnt black by the radiation. But on the front step, a person who was sitting there blocked the rays from hitting the stone. The only thing left now is a permanent shadow of positive light. After the A bomb, specialists said it would take 75 years for the radiation damaged soil of Hiroshima City to ever grow anything again. But that spring, there were new buds popping up from the earth. When I meet you, in that moment, I'm no longer a part of your future. I start quickly becoming part of your past. But in that instant, I get to share your present. And you, you get to share mine. And that is the greatest present of all. So if you tell me I can do the impossible, I'll probably laugh at you. I don't know if I can change the world yet, because I don't know that much about it -- and I don't know that much about reincarnation either, but if you make me laugh hard enough, sometimes I forget what century I'm in. This isn't my first time here. This isn't my last time here. These aren't the last words I'll share. But just in case, I'm trying my hardest to get it right this time around.
Sarah Kay
We came to see Jace,” Clary said. “Is he all right?” “I don’t know,” Magnus said. “Does he normally just lie on the floor like that without moving?” “What-” Alec began, and broke off as Magnus laughed. “That’s not funny.” “You‘re so easy to tease. And yes, your friend is just fine. Well, except that he keeps putting all my things away and trying to clean up. Now I cant find anything. He‘s compulsive.” “Jace does like things neat,” Clary said… “Well I don’t.
Cassandra Clare (City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2))
It was time to expect more of myself. Yet as I thought about happiness, I kept running up against paradoxes. I wanted to change myself but accept myself. I wanted to take myself less seriously -- and also more seriously. I wanted to use my time well, but I also wanted to wander, to play, to read at whim. I wanted to think about myself so I could forget myself. I was always on the edge of agitation; I wanted to let go of envy and anxiety about the future, yet keep my energy and ambition.
Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun)
We'll earn it all back today," I say, and we both plow into our plates. Even cold, it's one of the things I've ever tasted. I abandon my fork and scrape up the last dabs of gravy with my fingers. "I can feel Effie trinket shuddering at my manners." "Hey, Effie, watch this!" says Peeta. He tosses his fork over his shoulder and literally licks his plate his plate clean with his tongue making loud, satisfied sounds. Then he blows a kiss to her in general, and calls, "We miss you, Effie!" I cover his hand with my mouth. But I am laughing. "Stop! Cato could be right outside our cave." He grabs my hand away."What do I care. I've got you to protect me now," says Peeta, pulling me to him. "Come on," I say in exasperation, extricating myself from his grasp but not before he gets another kiss.
Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1))
Yes, well we're all clean as whistles my darling until men like him come along and dirty us right up
Samantha Towle (The Mighty Storm (The Storm, #1))
You cannot trade the courage needed to live every moment for immunity from life's sorrows. We may say we know this but ours is the culture of the deal-making mind. From infancy, we have breathed in the belief that there is always a deal to be made, a bargain to be struck. Eventually, we believe, if we do the right thing, if we are good enough, clever enough, sincere enough, work hard enough, we will be rewarded. There are different verses to this song - if you are sorry for your sins and try hard not to sin again, you will go to heaven; if you do your daily practise, clean up your diet, heal your inner child, ferret out all your emotional issue's, focus your intent, come into alignment with the world around you, hone your affirmations, find and listen to the voice of your higher self, you will be rewarded with vibrant health, abundant prosperity, loving relations and inner peace - in other words, heaven! We know that what we do and how we think affects the quality of our lives. Many things are clearly up to us. And many others are not. I can see no evidence that the universe works on a simple meritocratic system of cause and effect. Bad things happen to good people - all the time. Monetary success does come to some who do not do what they love, as well as to some who are unwilling or unable to see the harm they do to the planet or others. Illness and misfortune come to some who follow their soul's desire. Many great artist's have been poor. Great teachers have lived in obscurity. My invitation, my challenge to you here, is to journey into a deeper intimacy with the world and your life without any promise of safety or guarantee of reward beyond the intrinsic value of full participation.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer (The Invitation)
Suddenly his expression turned to alarm. He sprinted toward us. For a moment I had an absurd vision of myself on the cover of one of Gran’s old romance novels, where the damsel wilts into the arms of one half-dressed beefy guy while another stands by,casting her longing looks. Oh, the horrible choices a girl must make! I wished I’d had a moment to clean up. I was still covered in dried river muck, twine, and grass, like I’d been tarred and feathered. Then Anubis pushed past me and gripped Walt’s shoulders. Well…that was unexpected.
Rick Riordan (The Serpent's Shadow (The Kane Chronicles, #3))
Peter: Where are you two going? Tris: Why aren't you with your attack group eating dinner? Peter: I don't have one. I'm injured. Christina: Yeah right, you are! Peter: Well, I don't want to go to battle with a bunch of factionless. So I'm going to stay here. Christina: Like a coward. Let everyone else clean up the mess for you. Peter: Yep! Have fun dying.
Veronica Roth (Insurgent (Divergent, #2))
I am one of those who like to stay late at the cafe," the older waiter said. "With all those who do not want to go to bed. With all those who need a light for the night." "I want to go home and into bed." "We are of two different kinds," the older waiter said. He was now dressed to go home. "It is not only a question of youth and confidence although those things are very beautiful. Each night. I am reluctant to close up because there may be someone who needs the cafe.
Ernest Hemingway (A Clean Well Lighted Place)
-"Then what," Lededje asked, trying to keep her voice cold and not get caught up in the avatar´s obvious enthusiasm, "is making you smile about a disaster?" -"Well, first, I didn´t cause it! Nothing to do with me, hands clean. Always a bonus.
Iain Banks (Surface Detail (Culture #9))
Shepley walked out of his bedroom pulling a T-shirt over his head. His eyebrows pushed together. “Did they just leave?” “Yeah,” I said absently, rinsing my cereal bowl and dumping Abby’s leftover oatmeal in the sink. She’d barely touched it. “Well, what the hell? Mare didn’t even say goodbye.” “You knew she was going to class. Quit being a cry baby.” Shepley pointed to his chest. “I’m the cry baby? Do you remember last night?” “Shut up.” “That’s what I thought.” He sat on the couch and slipped on his sneakers. “Did you ask Abby about her birthday?” “She didn’t say much, except that she’s not into birthdays.” “So what are we doing?” “Throwing her a party.” Shepley nodded, waiting for me to explain. “I thought we’d surprise her. Invite some of our friends over and have America take her out for a while.” Shepley put on his white ball cap, pulling it down so low over his brows I couldn’t see his eyes. “She can manage that. Anything else?” “How do you feel about a puppy?” Shepley laughed once. “It’s not my birthday, bro.” I walked around the breakfast bar and leaned my hip against the stool. “I know, but she lives in the dorms. She can’t have a puppy.” “Keep it here? Seriously? What are we going to do with a dog?” “I found a Cairn Terrier online. It’s perfect.” “A what?” “Pidge is from Kansas. It’s the same kind of dog Dorothy had in the Wizard of Oz.” Shepley’s face was blank. “The Wizard of Oz.” “What? I liked the scarecrow when I was a little kid, shut the fuck up.” “It’s going to crap every where, Travis. It’ll bark and whine and … I don’t know.” “So does America … minus the crapping.” Shepley wasn’t amused. “I’ll take it out and clean up after it. I’ll keep it in my room. You won’t even know it’s here.” “You can’t keep it from barking.” “Think about it. You gotta admit it’ll win her over.” Shepley smiled. “Is that what this is all about? You’re trying to win over Abby?” My brows pulled together. “Quit it.” His smile widened. “You can get the damn dog…” I grinned with victory. “…if you admit you have feelings for Abby.” I frowned in defeat. “C’mon, man!” “Admit it,” Shepley said, crossing his arms. What a tool. He was actually going to make me say it. I looked to the floor, and everywhere else except Shepley’s smug ass smile. I fought it for a while, but the puppy was fucking brilliant. Abby would flip out (in a good way for once), and I could keep it at the apartment. She’d want to be there every day. “I like her,” I said through my teeth. Shepley held his hand to his ear. “What? I couldn’t quite hear you.” “You’re an asshole! Did you hear that?” Shepley crossed his arms. “Say it.” “I like her, okay?” “Not good enough.” “I have feelings for her. I care about her. A lot. I can’t stand it when she’s not around. Happy?” “For now,” he said, grabbing his backpack off the floor.
Jamie McGuire (Walking Disaster (Beautiful, #2))
So crosses don't do anything against your kind?" Sean asked. "No," Arland said. "There is no mystical force repelling us." "Then why?" "We're forbidden to kill a creature in a moment of prayer or invocation of their deity. Well, we can, technically, but you have to do penance and purify yourself and nobody wants to spend weeks praying and bathing themselves in the sacred cave springs. The water's only a fraction warmer than ice. When one of you holds up a cross, it's difficult to determine whether you're praying, invoking, or just waving it around. So the sane strategy is to back away.
Ilona Andrews (Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1))
Mace, you never read Smoky the Cowhorse,did you? No. Well,ol' Smoky, he had somebad things happen to him,had the heart knocked clean out of him.But he hung on and came out of it okay.I've been bashed up pretty good,Mason, but I'm going to make it.
S.E. Hinton (Tex)
Shigure: Perhaps I can offer some advice? ...You know, Tohru-kun, when you get anxiety about the future it's better not to think about it. And let's not wipe our faces with dishtowels... For example let's say, Tohru-kun, that you are surrounded with a mountain of laundry piled so high around your feet that you can't move. Are you with me? Now, let's assume you don't have a washing machine, so you have to wash everything individually by hand. You would be at a loss for what to do, right? You'd worry about if you could ever wash everything, if you could get it all clean, if you'd ever have time for anything but laundry ever again! The more you'd think about it, the more anxious you'd get. But the time keeps passing, and the laundry doesn't wash itself. So what do you do, Tohru-kun? It might be a good idea to start washing the laundry right at your feet. Of course it's important to think about what lies ahead, too, but if you only look at what's down the road you'll get tangled in the laundry at your feet and you'll fall, won't you? You see, it's also important to think about what you can do now, what you can do today. And if you keep washing things one at a time, you'll be done before you know it. Because fortune is looking out for you. Sometimes the anxiety will start to well up, but when it does, take a little break. Read a book, watch TV, or eat soumen with everyone. Oh my, I'm shocked! Wow! What a wonderful analogy! I really must treat myself to some soumen as a reward... Oh! I'd like some tea, too! Kyo: Why you... You just wanted to eat soumen, didn't you?!
Natsuki Takaya (Fruits Basket, Vol. 8)
His(Luc) eyes widened appreciatively as he took in my dress, heels, hair. “You look beautiful.” Ethan beat me to a response. “Thank you. But you should compliment Merit as well. She cleans up nicely.” Luc snorted, glanced at me. “And you don’t look half-bad yourself, Sentinel.” “Thank you, Luc. He’s just jealous. He prefers to be the arm candy.
Chloe Neill (Dark Debt (Chicagoland Vampires, #11))
All of them had been give a makeover. Leo was wearing pinstriped pants, black leather shoes, a white collarless shirt with suspenders, and his tool belt, Ray-Ban sunglasses, and a porkpie hat. “God, Leo.” Piper tried not to laugh. “I think my dad wore that to his last premiere, minus the tool belt.” “Hey, shut up!” “I think he looks good,” said Coach Hedge. “’Course, I look better.” The satyr was a pastel nightmare. Aphrodite had given him a baggy canary yellow zoot suit with two-tone shoes that fit over his hooves. He had a matching yellow broad-brimmed hat, a rose-colored shirt, a baby blue tie, and a blue carnation in his lapel, which Hedge sniffed and then ate. “Well,” Jason said, “at least your mom overlooked me.” Piper knew that wasn’t exactly true. Looking at him, her heart did a little tap dance. Jason was dressed simply in jeans and a clean purple T-shirt, like he’d worn at the Grand Canyon. He had new track shoes on, and his hair was newly trimmed. His eyes were the same color as the sky. Aphrodite’s message was clear: This one needs no improvement. And Piper agreed.
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
Do you play video games, Liv?’ he asked congenially. ‘Uh, yes.’ ‘Well, stop cleaning up the dishes and come play with us,’ he teased. I chuckled. ‘Are you asking me on a playdate?’ As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I regretted them. I wasn’t being flirty. I didn’t know how to be flirty! That was just my sense of humor, and now this guy was going to think I was coming on – Nate laughed, cutting me off. ‘Only because you got the Star Trek reference. Otherwise, girls aren’t allowed to play with us. They’re icky.’ Deadpan, I crossed my arms over my chest. ‘Well, boys are icky too.’ He grinned huge. ‘Ain’t that the truth.
Samantha Young (Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street, #3))
Well, I have to say it’s mighty nice of them Daimons to clean up after themselves when you kill them. It’s much better than slaying an Arcadian. (He held his hands up to them.) Look, Ma, no mess. (Fang) Does Fang have an off switch? (Talon) (Looking a bit apologetic, Vane shook his head no.)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Embrace (Dark-Hunter #2))
My name...my name is Mary. I'm here with a friend.' Rhage stopped breathing. His heart skipped a beat and then slowed. "Say that again,' he whispered. 'Ah, my name is Mary Luce. I'm a friend of Bella's...We came here with a boy, with John Matthew. We were invited.' Rhage shivered, a balmy rush blooming out all over his skin. The musical lilt of her voice, the rhythm of her speech, the sound of her words, it all spread through him, calming him, comforting him. Chaining him sweetly. He closed his eyes. 'Say something else.' 'What?' she asked, baffled. 'Talk. Talk to me. I want to hear your voice.' She was silent, and he was about to demand that she speak when she said, 'You don't look well. Do you need a doctor?' He found himself swaying. The words didn't matter. It was her sound: low, soft, a quiet brushing in his ears. He felt as if here being stroked on the inside of his skin. 'More,' he said, twisting his palm around to the front of her neck so he could feel the vibrations in her throat better. 'Could you... could you please let go of me?' 'No.' He brought his other arm up. She was wearing some kind of fleece, and he moved the collar aside, putting his hand on her shoulder so she couldn't get away from him. 'Talk.' She started to struggle. 'You're crowding me.' 'I know. Talk.' 'Oh for God's sake, what do you want me to say?' Even exasperated, her voice was beautiful. 'Anything.' 'Fine. Get your hand off my throat and let me go or I'm going to knee you where it counts.' He laughed. Then sank his lower body into her, trapping her with his thighs and hips. She stiffened against him, but he got an ample feel of her. She was built lean, though there was no doubt she was female. Her breasts hit his chest, her hips cushioned his, her stomach was soft. 'Keep talking,' he said in her ear. God, she smelled good. Clean. Fresh. Like lemon. When she pushed against him, he leaned his full weight into her. Her breath came out in a rush. 'Please,' he murmured. Her chest moved against his as if she were inhaling. 'I... er, I have nothing to say. Except get off of me.' He smiled, careful to keep his mouth closed. There was no sense showing off his fangs, especially if she didn't know what he was. 'So say that.' 'What?' 'Nothing. Say nothing. Over and over and over again. Do it.' She bristled, the scent of fear replaced by a sharp spice, like fresh, pungent mint from a garden. She was annoyed now. 'Say it.' "Fine. Nothing. Nothing.' Abruptly she laughed, and the sound shot right through to his spine, burning him. 'Nothing, nothing. No-thing. No-thing. Noooooothing. There, is that good enought for you? Will you let me go now?
J.R. Ward (Lover Eternal (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #2))
What are you doing?” Celaena lifted another piece of paper. “If His Pirateness can’t be bothered to clean for us, then I don’t see why I can’t have a look.” “He’ll be here any second,” Sam hissed. She picked up a flattened map, examining the dots and markings along the coastline of their continent. Something small and round gleamed beneath the map, and she slipped it into her pocket before Sam could notice. “Oh, hush,” she said, opening the hutch on the wall adjacent to the desk. “With these creaky floors, we’ll hear him a mile off.” The hutch was crammed with rolled scrolls, quills, the odd coin, and some very old, very expensive-looking brandy. She pulled out a bottle, swirling the amber liquid in the sunlight streaming through the tiny porthole window. “Care for a drink?
Sarah J. Maas (The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass, #0.1-0.5))
It was all very strange, Mr. Gray thought, as he wiped the coffee canister clean with a sponge. Very, very mysterious. You were born; you lived a whole life; and at the end, you wound up in a coffee canister. "Ah, well," he said out loud quietly. "That's just the way things are. Life's a funny business." Death, he supposed, was the punch line.
Lauren Oliver (Liesl & Po)
The first time I met you, I fell in love with you there and then, but you didn't notice me. Then you stood me up. And then I met you again and I hated you. Well, I tried to hated you, but then when you cleaned up after Welly... I fell in love with you all over again.
Alexandra Potter (Who's That Girl?)
It’s a very strange phenomenon, but when we reduce what we own and essentially “detox” our house, it has a detox effect on our bodies as well.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
Do you know about the spoons? Because you should. The Spoon Theory was created by a friend of mine, Christine Miserandino, to explain the limits you have when you live with chronic illness. Most healthy people have a seemingly infinite number of spoons at their disposal, each one representing the energy needed to do a task. You get up in the morning. That’s a spoon. You take a shower. That’s a spoon. You work, and play, and clean, and love, and hate, and that’s lots of damn spoons … but if you are young and healthy you still have spoons left over as you fall asleep and wait for the new supply of spoons to be delivered in the morning. But if you are sick or in pain, your exhaustion changes you and the number of spoons you have. Autoimmune disease or chronic pain like I have with my arthritis cuts down on your spoons. Depression or anxiety takes away even more. Maybe you only have six spoons to use that day. Sometimes you have even fewer. And you look at the things you need to do and realize that you don’t have enough spoons to do them all. If you clean the house you won’t have any spoons left to exercise. You can visit a friend but you won’t have enough spoons to drive yourself back home. You can accomplish everything a normal person does for hours but then you hit a wall and fall into bed thinking, “I wish I could stop breathing for an hour because it’s exhausting, all this inhaling and exhaling.” And then your husband sees you lying on the bed and raises his eyebrow seductively and you say, “No. I can’t have sex with you today because there aren’t enough spoons,” and he looks at you strangely because that sounds kinky, and not in a good way. And you know you should explain the Spoon Theory so he won’t get mad but you don’t have the energy to explain properly because you used your last spoon of the morning picking up his dry cleaning so instead you just defensively yell: “I SPENT ALL MY SPOONS ON YOUR LAUNDRY,” and he says, “What the … You can’t pay for dry cleaning with spoons. What is wrong with you?” Now you’re mad because this is his fault too but you’re too tired to fight out loud and so you have the argument in your mind, but it doesn’t go well because you’re too tired to defend yourself even in your head, and the critical internal voices take over and you’re too tired not to believe them. Then you get more depressed and the next day you wake up with even fewer spoons and so you try to make spoons out of caffeine and willpower but that never really works. The only thing that does work is realizing that your lack of spoons is not your fault, and to remind yourself of that fact over and over as you compare your fucked-up life to everyone else’s just-as-fucked-up-but-not-as-noticeably-to-outsiders lives. Really, the only people you should be comparing yourself to would be people who make you feel better by comparison. For instance, people who are in comas, because those people have no spoons at all and you don’t see anyone judging them. Personally, I always compare myself to Galileo because everyone knows he’s fantastic, but he has no spoons at all because he’s dead. So technically I’m better than Galileo because all I’ve done is take a shower and already I’ve accomplished more than him today. If we were having a competition I’d have beaten him in daily accomplishments every damn day of my life. But I’m not gloating because Galileo can’t control his current spoon supply any more than I can, and if Galileo couldn’t figure out how to keep his dwindling spoon supply I think it’s pretty unfair of me to judge myself for mine. I’ve learned to use my spoons wisely. To say no. To push myself, but not too hard. To try to enjoy the amazingness of life while teetering at the edge of terror and fatigue.
Jenny Lawson (Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things)
There are so many things we can’t do anything about if we think about generalities. Things won’t go well because there is a huge gap between the generalities and the particulars. If we see generalities from the top of a mountain or from a plane, we feel it’s hopeless, but if we go down, there is a nice road running about fifty meters, we feel this is a nice road, and if the weather is fine and shining, we feel we can go on… Since the people in the community are cleaning up the river in my neighborhood, I join them when I have the time. A human can often be satisfied with the particulars. That’s what I like best these days.
Hayao Miyazaki
I don't like cleaning or dusting or cooking or doing dishes, or any of those things," I explained to her. "And I don't usually do it. I find it boring, you see." "Everyone has to do those things," she said. "Rich people don't," I pointed out. Juniper laughed, as she often did at things I said in those early days, but at once became quite serious. "They miss a lot of fun," she said. "But quite apart from that--keeping yourself clean, preparing the food you are going to eat, clearing it away afterward--that's what life's about, Wise Child. When people forget that, or lose touch with it, then they lose touch with other important things as well." "Men don't do those things." "Exactly. Also, as you clean the house up, it gives you time to tidy yourself up inside--you'll see.
Monica Furlong (Wise Child (Doran #1))
Then there was Asshole Research Transport. ART’s official designation was deep space research vessel. At various points in our relationship, ART had threatened to kill me, watched my favorite shows with me, given me a body configuration change, provided excellent tactical support, talked me into pretending to be an augmented human security consultant, saved my clients’ lives, and had cleaned up after me when I had to murder some humans. (They were bad humans.)
Martha Wells (Rogue Protocol (The Murderbot Diaries, #3))
maybe you’re sleeping and I suppose I could just say this in the morning, but now I can’t sleep and I’m just lying here so I might as well get it over with, and well . . .I’m sorry about this afternoon, J.D. The first spill honestly was an accident, but the second . . . okay, that was completely uncalled for. I’m, um, happy to pay for the dry cleaning. And, well . . . I guess that’s it. Although you really might want to rethink leaving your jacket on your chair. I’m just saying. Okay, then. That’s what they make hangers for. Good. Fine. Good-bye.” J.D. heard the beep, signaling the end of the message, and he hung up the phone. He thought about what Payton had said—not so much her apology, which was question-ably mediocre at best—but something else. She thought about him while lying in bed. Interesting. Later that night, having been asleep for a few hours, J.D. shot up in bed He suddenly remembered—her shoe. Oops.
Julie James (Practice Makes Perfect)
She blow em clean over. She suck the grits off the candle and start eating. After while, she smile up at me, say, "How old are you?" "Aibileen's fifty-three." Her eyes get real wide. I might as well be a thousand.
Kathryn Stockett (The Help)
To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose. To get rid of what you no longer need is neither wasteful nor shameful. Can you truthfully say that you treasure something buried so deeply in a closet or drawer that you have forgotten its existence? If things had feelings, they would certainly not be happy. Free them from the prison to which you have relegated them. Help them leave that deserted isle to which you have exiled them. Let them go, with gratitude. Not only you, but your things as well, will feel clear and refreshed when you are done tidying.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out. So I was full of trouble, full as I could be; and didn't know what to do. At last I had an idea; and I says, I'll go and write the letter--and then see if I can pray. Why, it was astonishing, the way I felt as light as a feather right straight off, and my troubles all gone. So I got a piece of paper and a pencil, all glad and excited, and set down and wrote: Miss Watson, your runaway nigger Jim is down here two mile below Pikesville, and Mr. Phelps has got him and he will give him up for the reward if you send. HUCK FINN. I felt good and all washed clean of sin for the first time I had ever felt so in my life, and I knowed I could pray now. But I didn't do it straight off, but laid the paper down and set there thinking--thinking how good it was all this happened so, and how near I come to being lost and going to hell. And went on thinking. And got to thinking over our trip down the river; and I see Jim before me all the time: in the day and in the night-time, sometimes moonlight, sometimes storms, and we a-floating along, talking and singing and laughing. But somehow I couldn't seem to strike no places to harden me against him, but only the other kind. I'd see him standing my watch on top of his'n, 'stead of calling me, so I could go on sleeping; and see him how glad he was when I come back out of the fog; and when I come to him again in the swamp, up there where the feud was; and such-like times; and would always call me honey, and pet me and do everything he could think of for me, and how good he always was; and at last I struck the time I saved him by telling the men we had small-pox aboard, and he was so grateful, and said I was the best friend old Jim ever had in the world, and the ONLY one he's got now; and then I happened to look around and see that paper. It was a close place. I took it up, and held it in my hand. I was a-trembling, because I'd got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: "All right, then, I'll GO to hell"--and tore it up.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
I know what you think of me, O Great Acheron. I know how much you pity me and I don’t need it. Do you honestly think I could ever forget the way you looked at me the first night we met? You stood there with horror in your eyes as you tried not to show it to me. Well, you achieved your good deed. You cleaned up your little foundling and made him all pretty and healthy. But don’t even think that means I have to lick your boots or kiss your ass for it. My days of subjugation are over. (Zarek)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Night Embrace (Dark-Hunter #2))
Never trust a man who dresses too well or stays too clean. It ain't natural and whatever he's up to probably ain't legal.
Sue Merrell (One Shoe Off (A Jordan Daily News Mystery, #2))
Well I’m glad you want that job because I’m not cleaning up other people’s doodoo,” Yoongi replied in disgust.
Yllis Publishing (BTS Go to America & Work at McDonald's)
I guess that sometimes it just takes a long walk through the darkness, a long walk through the darkest shadows and corners of your soul to realize that those are a part of you as well, that you've created through your experiences and thoughts those parts within yourself and as much as you can choose to fear them and repress them, they will require your attention one day, they will need your care and acceptance before you can clean them away and turn the lights on. For you refuse to shine the light on something that is imperfect, because you fear judgement and rejection, but you can always choose to look towards the light as the only source of true beauty and love that can help you in the cleaning process. Healing, after a long time of struggle and mess is a complex process, but a necessary one nevertheless. We are so overwhelmed by the amount of work it requires that we so often choose to run away from the light, hide in our dark corner and hope that we will never be found, hope that we will never be seen, or desperately look outwards for that love and compassion that we can no longer find within ourselves, for our soul's light no longer shines as it used to. And sometimes we just find those people that can see the light beneath all that dust and darkness that's been pilled up, those kind of light workers that understand our broken souls and manage to pick us up and see the beauty within us, when we find it so hard to see it ourselves. Sometimes I get so tired of separation, of division, of groups and different religions and belief systems. Even if you do find the truth, once you've put it into words, books and rules it already becomes distorted by the mind into something that is no longer truth. So I no longer hope for understanding, no longer hope for the opinion of a judgemental mind, but I hope to find the words that touch the soul before the mind, I hope to find the touch that warms the heart from deep inside, and hope to find that far away abandoned part of me which I've left behind.
Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache
Abby: I could be a slave to your darkest desires. I can do things. Anything you want. Tommy: Well, that's terrific, because we have a lot of laundry piled up and the apartment is a wreck. Abby: Anything you desire, my lord. I can do laundry, clean, bring you small creatures to quench your thirst until I am worthy.
Christopher Moore (You Suck (A Love Story, #2))
A counsellor at the treatment centre where I got clean, herself a woman in recovery, surprised me when she said, ‘How clever of you to find drugs. Well done, you found a way to keep yourself alive.’ This made me feel quite tearful. I suppose because this woman, Jackie, didn’t judge me or tell me I was stupid or tubthumpingly declare that ‘drugs kill’. No, she told me that I had done well by finding something that made being me bearable… To be acknowledged as a person who was in pain and fighting to survive in my own muddled-up and misguided way made me feel optimistic and understood. It is an example of the compassion addicts need from one another in order to change.
Russell Brand (Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions)
All of you do this. Every organic sapient I’ve ever talked to, every book I’ve read, every piece of art I’ve studied. You are all desperate for purpose, even though you don’t have one. You’re animals, and animals don’t have a purpose. Animals just are. And there are a lot of intelligent – sentient, maybe – animals out there who don’t have a problem with that. They just go on breathing and mating and eating each other without a second thought. But the animals like you – the ones who make tools and build cities and itch to explore, you all share a need for purpose. For reason. That thinking worked well for you, once. When you climbed down out of the trees, up out of the ocean – knowing what things were for was what kept you alive. Fruit is for eating. Fire is for warmth. Water is for drinking. And then you made tools, which were for certain kinds of fruit, for making fire, cleaning water. Everything was for something, so obviously, you had to be for something too, right? All of your histories are the same, in essence. They’re all stories of animals warring and clashing because you can’t agree on what you’re for, or why you exist.
Becky Chambers (A Closed and Common Orbit (Wayfarers, #2))
Don't let out your true behaviour in the public, even if you were born nasty, make others feel you were well bred.
Michael Bassey Johnson
Some made the long drop from the apartment or the office window; some took it quietly in two-car garages with the motor running; some used the native tradition of the Colt or Smith and Wesson; those well-constructed implements that end insomnia, terminate remorse, cure cancer, avoid bankruptcy, and blast an exit from intolerable positions by the pressure of a finger; those admirable American instruments so easily carried, so sure of effect, so well designed to end the American dream when it becomes a nightmare, their only drawback the mess they leave for relatives to clean up.
Ernest Hemingway (To Have and Have Not)
And I am flawed but I am cleaning up so well.
Dashboard Confessional
You clean up quite well." "I wasn't dirty,
Karpov Kinrade (Vampire Girl (Vampire Girl, #1))
A little thing, like children putting flowers in my hair, can fill up the widening cracks in my self-assurance like soothing lanolin. I was sitting out on the steps today, uneasy with fear and discontent. Peter, (the little boy-across-the-street) with the pointed pale face, the grave blue eyes and the slow fragile smile came bringing his adorable sister Libby of the flaxen braids and the firm, lyrically-formed child-body. They stood shyly for a little, and then Peter picked a white petunia and put it in my hair. Thus began an enchanting game, where I sat very still, while Libby ran to and fro gathering petunias, and Peter stood by my side, arranging the blossoms. I closed my eyes to feel more keenly the lovely delicate-child-hands, gently tucking flower after flower into my curls. "And now a white one," the lisp was soft and tender. Pink, crimson, scarlet, white ... the faint pungent odor of the petunias was hushed and sweet. And all my hurts were smoothed away. Something about the frank, guileless blue eyes, the beautiful young bodies, the brief scent of the dying flowers smote me like the clean quick cut of a knife. And the blood of love welled up in my heart with a slow pain.
Sylvia Plath (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath)
Lesson number one: “Not my problem” is not a philosophy. It’s a mental illness. Right up there with pessimism. Other people’s problems are our problems. If your neighbor is laid off, you may feel as if you’ve dodged the bullet, but you haven’t. The bullet hit you as well. You just don’t feel the pain yet. Or as Ruut Veenhoven told me: “The quality of a society is more important than your place in that society.” In other words, better to be a small fish in a clean pond than a big fish in a polluted lake.
Eric Weiner (The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World)
We're a lukewarm people for all our feast days and hard work. Not much touches us, but we long to be touched. We lie awake at night willing the darkness to part and show us a vision. Our children frighten us in their intimacy, but we make sure they grow up like us. Lukewarm like us. On a night like this, hands and faces hot, we can believe that tomorrow will show us angels in jars and that the well-known woods will suddenly reveal another path. Last time we had a bonfire, a neighbour tried to pull down the boards of his house. [...] I sometimes wonder why none of us tried to stop him. I think we wanted him to do it, to do it for us. To tear down our long-houred lives and let us start again. Clean and simple with open hands.
Jeanette Winterson (The Passion)
In that case, it's good that you're a human Cuisinart," she said. "I'm sorry?" "A Cuisinart. It's an appliance from the Broken. You put vegetables into it, push a button, and it chops them into tiny pieces." Richard frowned. "Why would you need an appliance to chop vegetables? Wouldn't it be easier to chop them with a knife?" "It's meant to save time," she explained. "Does it?" "Well, cleaning it usually eats up most of the time you save on chopping." "So you're telling me that I'm useless." "It's a neat gadget!" "And I'm hard to clean, apparently." She checked his face. Tiny sparks danced in his eyes. He was pulling her leg. Well. If that's how it is... "Considering last night's argument, I think that you're remarkably difficult to clean." "There probably is a retort to this that's not off-color," he said. "But I can't think of one.
Ilona Andrews (Steel's Edge (The Edge, #4))
Reading for me, was like breathing. It was probably akin to masturbation for my brain. Getting off on the fantasy within the pages of a good novel felt necessary to my survival. If I wasn't asleep, knitting, or working, I was reading. This was for several reasons, all of them focused around the infititely superior and enviable lives of fictional heroines to real-life people. Take romans for instance. Fictional women in romance novels never get their period. They never have morning breath. They orgasm seventeen times a day. And they never seem to have jobs with bosses. These clean, well-satisfied, perm-minty-breathed women have fulfilling careers as florists, bakery owners, hair stylists or some other kind of adorable small business where they decorate all day. If they do have a boss, he's a cool guy (or gal) who's invested in the woman's love life. Or, he's a super hot billionaire trying to get in her pants. My boss cares about two things: Am I on time ? Are all my patients alive and well at the end of my shift? And the mend in the romance novels are too good to be true; but I love it, and I love them. Enter stage right the independently wealthy venture capitalist suffering from the ennui of perfection until a plucky interior decorator enters stage left and shakes up his life and his heart with perky catch phrases and a cute nose that wrinkles when she sneezes. I suck at decorating. The walls of my apartment are bare. I am allergic to most store-bought flowers. If I owned a bakery, I'd be broke and weigh seven hundred pounds, because I love cake.
Penny Reid (Beauty and the Mustache (Knitting in the City, #4; Winston Brothers, #0))
And that old “If you need anything, let me know,” is also a total crock. You hear people say it all the time, but then you never see anyone actually call up the person who said it and say, “Hey, remember when you said to let you know if I needed anything? Well, I’m feeling really overwhelmed. Could you please come clean my kitchen, because if I could have a clean kitchen, I’d feel like I had a bit of a head start.” You’ll never hear someone say that, because then the person asking the other person to clean their kitchen is seen as a helpless, incompetent dick. What would be so much better would be for the person who spouted the useless “if you need anything just ask” platitude to fucking go over to the person’s house and clean their goddamn kitchen without being asked. Go over and say, “Hey, you go take care of your kid or your work, or go take a fucking nap. And when you get done, you’ll have a clean kitchen. And, no, you don’t owe me a goddamn thing. Someday the shoe will be on the other foot, okay?
Diana Rowland (My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1))
People who don’t respect objects don’t respect people. For them, anything no longer needed is just rubbish. A child who grows up watching their parents act this way comes to perceive not just things but friends in the same way as well.
Shoukei Matsumoto (A Monk's Guide to a Clean House and Mind)
But mostly because the news was boring and I didn’t care what humans were doing to each other as long as I didn’t have to a) stop it or b) clean up after it.
Martha Wells (Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2))
Vadier (on Danton): “We’ll clean up the rest of them, and leave that great stuffed turbot till the end.” Danton (on Vadier): “Vadier? I’ll eat his brains and use his skull to shit in.
Hilary Mantel (A Place of Greater Safety)
You remember that Christmas when they got ill?" Mum says presently. "The year they were about two and three? Remember? And got poo all over their Christmas stockings, and it was everywhere, and we said, "It has to get easier than this"?" "I remember." "We were cleaning it all up and we kept saying to each other, "When they get older, it'll get easier." Remember?" "I do." Dad looks fondly at her. " Well bring back the poo." Mum begins to laugh, a bit hysterically. "I would do anything for a bit of poo right now." "I dream of poo," says Dad firmly, and Mum laughs even more, till she's wiping tears from her eyes.
Sophie Kinsella (Finding Audrey)
I feel like a house-elf," grumbled Ron [general cleaning of Black's house] "Well, now that you understand what dreadful lives they lead, perhaps you'll be a bit more active in S.P.E.W!" ... "You know, maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to show people exactly how horrible it is to clean all the time -- we could do a sponsored scrub of Gryffindor common room, all proceeds to S.P.E.W, it would raise awareness as well as funds --" "I'll sponsor you to shut up about spew," Ron muttered irritably.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
But as I have noticed on more than one occasion, life itself is unfair, and there is no complaint department, so we might as well accept things the way they happen, clean up the mess, and move on.
Jeff Lindsay (Dexter in the Dark (Dexter, #3))
Well, we’ve all turned up to learn from him, and now he’s telling us he can’t really do any of it,” he said. “That’s not what he said,” snarled Fred Weasley. “Would you like us to clean out your ears for you?” inquired George, pulling a long and lethal-looking metal instrument from inside one of the Zonko’s bags. “Or any part of your body, really, we’re not fussy where we stick this,” said Fred.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
Amy ran on sugar, caffeine, and pain pills, and would sacrifice an entire night of sleep to level up a character in one of her games. The people with health insurance get antidepressants and Adderall, the rich get cocaine, the clean-living Christians settle for mug after mug of coffee and all-you-can-eat buffets. The reality is that society had gotten too fast, noisy, and stressful for the human brain to process and everybody was ingesting something to either keep up or dull the shame of falling behind. For those few who truly live clean, well, it’s the self-righteousness that gets them high.
David Wong (What the Hell Did I Just Read (John Dies at the End, #3))
No,” I start, hesitantly. “Well, we have to end apartheid for one. And slow down the nuclear arms race, stop terrorism and world hunger. Ensure a strong national defense, prevent the spread of communism in Central America, work for a Middle East peace settlement, prevent U.S. military involvement overseas. We have to ensure that America is a respected world power. Now that’s not to belittle our domestic problems, which are equally important, if not more. Better and more affordable long-term care for the elderly, control and find a cure for the AIDS epidemic, clean up environmental damage from toxic waste and pollution, improve the quality of primary and secondary education, strengthen laws to crack down on crime and illegal drugs. We also have to ensure that college education is affordable for the middle class and protect Social Security for senior citizens plus conserve natural resources and wilderness areas and reduce the influence of political action committees.” The table stares at me uncomfortably, even Stash, but I’m on a roll.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
Looking at this stuff, hearing you describe it all, I’m starting to think that maybe we’ll destroy ourselves in the end. Infighting, stupidity, revenge, all of that. Humanity will clean up whatever members of humanity Scion leaves alive, or leave us too screwed up to bounce back.
Wildbow (Worm (Parahumans, #1))
Well, Betsy," he said, "your mother tells me that you are going to use Uncle Keith's trunk for a desk. That's fine. You need a desk. I've often noticed how much you like to write. The way you eat up those advertising tablets from the store! I never saw anything like it. I can't understand it though. I never write anything but checks myself. " "Bob!" said Mrs. Ray. "You wrote the most wonderful letters to me before we were married. I still have them, a big bundle of them. Every time I clean house I read them over and cry." "Cry, eh?" said Mr. Ray, grinning. "In spite of what your mother says, Betsy, if you have any talent for writing, it comes from family. Her brother Keith was mighty talented, and maybe you are too. Maybe you're going to be a writer." Betsy was silent, agreeably abashed. "But if you're going to be a writer," he went on, "you've got to read. Good books. Great books. The classics.
Maud Hart Lovelace (Betsy and Tacy Go Downtown (Betsy-Tacy, #4))
You remember I said before that Ackley was a slob in his personal habits? Well, so was Stradlater, but in a different way. Stradlater was more of a secret slob. He always looked all right, Stradlater, but for instance, you should've seen the razor he shaved himself with. It was always rusty as hell and full of lather and hairs and crap. He never cleaned it or anything. He always looked good when he was finished fixing himself up, but he was a secret slob anyway, if you knew him the way I did
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
It was the serene cheerfulness of a man who has no nightmares, who feels at peace with himself and everyone else. They [Americans] were almost all of them like that. And it definitely got Maigret’s back up. It made him think of clothing that was too neat, too clean, too well-pressed.
Georges Simenon (Maigret at the Coroner's)
If she had been a normal female, she would have swooned. But she was not normal, never had been. “Good grief, you are impossibly handsome,” she said breathlessly. “I vow, I have never experienced the like. For an instant, my brain stopped altogether. I must say, my lord, you do clean up well. But next time, I wish you would call out a warning before you come into view, and give me a chance to brace myself for the onslaught.” Something dark flickered in his eyes. Then a corner of his hard mouth quirked up. “Miss Adams, you have an interesting — a unique — way with a compliment.” The trace of a smile disoriented her further. “It is a unique experience,” she said. “I never knew my brain to shut off before, not while I was full awake. I wonder if the phenomenon has been scientifically documented and what physiological explanation has been proposed.
Loretta Chase (The Mad Earl's Bride (Scoundrels, #3.5))
But, if you've decided to go out on a limb and kill one, for goodness' sake, be prepared. We all read, with dismay, the sad story of a good woman wronged in south Mississippi who took that option and made a complete mess of the entire thing. See, first she shot him. Well, she saw right off the bat that that was a mistake because then she had this enormous dead body to deal with. He was every bit as much trouble to her dead as he ever had been alive, and was getting more so all the time. So then, she made another snap decision to cut him up in pieces and dispose of him a hunk at a time. More poor planning. First, she didn't have the proper carving utensils on hand and hacking him up proved to be just a major chore, plus it made just this colossal mess on her off-white shag living room carpet. It's getting to be like the Cat in the Hat now, only Thing Two ain't showing up to help with the clean-up. She finally gets him into portable-size portions, and wouldn't you know it? Cheap trash bags. Can anything else possible go wrong for this poor woman? So, the lesson here is obvious--for want of a small chain saw, a roll of Visqueen and some genuine Hefty bags, she is in Parchman Penitentiary today instead of New Orleans, where she'd planned to go with her new boyfriend. Preparation is everything.
Jill Conner Browne (The Sweet Potato Queens' Book of Love)
You have to keep on with a house, day after day, I think. Heating, cleaning, opening and closing windows, making sounds to fill the silence, cooking and washing up, laundering and polishing. As soon as you stop, there may as well never have been any life at all. A house dies as quickly as a body.
Helen Dunmore (A Spell of Winter)
I am sure they will make the road to recovery seem clean. They’ll use words to make healing seem pretty and pretend the bandages don’t feel heavy and still cause pain. Your sadness is never going to be near and tidy, and on some days you might even wonder how you’re going to pick up every shattered piece on the floor when burying your soul seems much easier. There will be moments where you have to convince yourself that feeling is better than being numb and that your aching bones are strong enough to carry on. There will be times things feel upside down and you are spinning on an axis that is never balanced. There will be days where you take steps backward and those new steps forward feel very far away. But even in the difficulty you are still taking steps, you are still making progress. And for every bump along the way, just remember you have come this far; might as well keep going.
Courtney Peppernell (Pillow Thoughts (Pillow Thoughts #1))
Tatiana fretted over him before he left as if he were a five-year-old on his first day of school. Shura, don't forget to wear your helmet wherever you go, even if it's just down the trail to the river. Don't forget to bring extra magazines. Look at this combat vest. You can fit more than five hundred rounds. It's unbelievable. Load yourself up with ammo. Bring a few extra cartridges. You don't want to run out. Don't forget to clean your M-16 every day. You don't want your rifle to jam." Tatia, this is the third generation of the M-16. It doesn't jam anymore. The gunpowder doesn't burn as much. The rifle is self-cleaning." When you attach the rocket bandolier, don't tighten it too close to your belt, the friction from bending will chafe you, and then irritation follows, and then infection... ...Bring at least two warning flares for the helicopters. Maybe a smoke bomb, too?" Gee, I hadn't thought of that." Bring your Colt - that's your lucky weapon - bring it, as well as the standard -issue Ruger. Oh, and I have personally organized your medical supplies: lots of bandages, four complete emergency kits, two QuickClots - no I decided three. They're light. I got Helena at PMH to write a prescription for morphine, for penicillin, for -" Alexander put his hand over her mouth. "Tania," he said, "do you want to just go yourself?" When he took the hand away, she said, "Yes." He kissed her. She said, "Spam. Three cans. And keep your canteen always filled with water, in case you can't get to the plasma. It'll help." Yes, Tania" And this cross, right around your neck. Do you remember the prayer of the heart?" Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Good. And the wedding band. Right around your finger. Do you remember the wedding prayer?" Gloria in Excelsis, please just a little more." Very good. Never take off the steel helmet, ever. Promise?" You said that already. But yes, Tania." Do you remember what the most important thing is?" To always wear a condom." She smacked his chest. To stop the bleeding," he said, hugging her. Yes. To stop the bleeding. Everything else they can fix." Yes, Tania.
Paullina Simons (The Summer Garden (The Bronze Horseman, #3))
Here.' Miles unzipped the backpack and pulled out the container of IcyHot. 'Go to the dresser. Should be one of the top drawers--smear this in the crotch of every pair of underwear you find.' 'I--what?' I took the container. 'That's disgusting.' 'I'm paying you fifty dollars for this,' Miles hissed, turning toward the bed. I went to the dresser and yanked open the top drawer on the left. Empty. Crisp white underwear and boxers filled the one on the right. Well... at least they were clean.
Francesca Zappia (Made You Up)
If the devil ain't messin with you, he's already got you. If you is waitin to clean up your own life before you get out and help somebody else, you may as well take off your shoes and crawl back in the bed 'cause it ain't never gon' happen. Jesus don't need no help from no perfect saints. If He did, He wouldn't a' gone up yonder and left us down here in charge.
Ron Hall
We can only afford two children' really means, 'We only like clean, well-disciplined middle-class children who go to good schools and grow up to be professionals', for children manage to use up all the capital that is made available for the purpose, whatever proportion it may be of the family's whole income, just as housework expands to fill the time available.
Germaine Greer (The Female Eunuch)
Well, get the coffer out," said Tobie roundly. "You find his clean clothes and I'll cut his hair round his cap and wash his ears out. Then, when we get to the Palazzo Medici, you imitate his voice and I'll sit him on my knee and move his arms up and down. Where is the problem?
Dorothy Dunnett (The Spring of the Ram (The House of Niccolo, #2))
Yesterday it was sun outside. The sky was blue and people were lying under blooming cherry trees in the park. It was Friday, so records were released, that people have been working on for years. Friends around me find success and level up, do fancy photo shoots and get featured on big, white, movie screens. There were parties and lovers, hand in hand, laughing perfectly loud, but I walked numbly through the park, round and round, 40 times for 4 hours just wanting to make it through the day. There's a weight that inhabits my chest some times. Like a lock in my throat, making it hard to breathe. A little less air got through and the sky was so blue I couldn’t look at it because it made me sad, swelling tears in my eyes and they dripped quietly on the floor as I got on with my day. I tried to keep my focus, ticked off the to-do list, did my chores. Packed orders, wrote emails, paid bills and rewrote stories, but the panic kept growing, exploding in my chest. Tears falling on the desk tick tick tick me not making a sound and some days I just don't know what to do. Where to go or who to see and I try to be gentle, soft and kind, but anxiety eats you up and I just want to be fine. This is not beautiful. This is not useful. You can not do anything with it and it tries to control you, throw you off your balance and lovely ways but you can not let it. I cleaned up. Took myself for a walk. Tried to keep my eyes on the sky. Stayed away from the alcohol, stayed away from the destructive tools we learn to use. the smoking and the starving, the running, the madness, thinking it will help but it only feeds the fire and I don't want to hurt myself anymore. I made it through and today I woke up, lighter and proud because I'm still here. There are flowers growing outside my window. The coffee is warm, the air is pure. In a few hours I'll be on a train on my way to sing for people who invited me to come, to sing, for them. My own songs, that I created. Me—little me. From nowhere at all. And I have people around that I like and can laugh with, and it's spring again. It will always be spring again. And there will always be a new day.
Charlotte Eriksson
Narcissists are precisely that: careless. They barrel through life, using relationships and people as objects, tools, and folly. While they often seem as if they are cruel or harsh, that is in fact giving them too much credit. They are simply careless. And they do expect other people to clean up their messes. But carelessness is cruel. Frankly, the motivation for their behavior does not matter; what matters is the outcome. And that outcome is damage to other people’s well-being, hopes, aspirations, and lives. Carelessness captures it, but it is not an excuse.
Ramani Durvasula (Should I Stay or Should I Go?: Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist)
It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn't try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn't come. Why wouldn't they? It warn't no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn't come. It was because my heart warn't right; it was because I warn't square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger's owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can't pray a lie--I found that out.
Mark Twain (The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)
Healthy wolves and healthy women share certain psychic characteristics: keen sensing, playful spirit, and a heightened capacity for devotion. Wolves and women are relational by nature, inquiring, possessed of great endurance and strength. They are deeply intuitive, intensely concerned with their young, their mates, and their pack. They are experienced in adapting to constantly changing circumstances; they are fiercely stalwart and very brave. Yet both have been hounded, harassed, and falsely imputed to be devouring and devious, overly aggressive, of less value than those who are their detractors. They have been the targets of those who would clean up the wilds as well as the wildish environs of the psyche, extincting the instinctual, and leaving no trace of it behind.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés (Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype)
She'd barely stepped in, taken that first breath of cool, clean air, when Summerset, Roarke's majordomo, appeared in the foyer like an unwelcome vision. "Yes, I missed the dinner," she said before he could open his mouth. "Yes, I'm a miserable failure as a wife and a poor example of a human being. I have no class, no courtesy, and no sense of decorum. I should be dragged naked into the streets and stoned for my sins." Summerset raised one steel gray eyebrow. "Well, that seems to cover it." "Good, saves time." She started up the stairs. "Is he back?" "Just." A little annoyed she'd given him no opportunity to criticize, he frowned after her. He'd have to be quicker next time.
J.D. Robb (Purity in Death (In Death, #15))
By the 1920s if you wanted to work behind a lunch counter you needed to know that 'Noah's boy' was a slice of ham (since Ham was one of Noah’s sons) and that 'burn one' or 'grease spot' designated a hamburger. 'He'll take a chance' or 'clean the kitchen' meant an order of hash, 'Adam and Eve on a raft' was two poached eggs on toast, 'cats' eyes' was tapioca pudding, 'bird seed' was cereal, 'whistleberries' were baked beans, and 'dough well done with cow to cover' was the somewhat labored way of calling for an order of toast and butter. Food that had been waiting too long was said to be 'growing a beard'. Many of these shorthand terms have since entered the mainstream, notably BLT for a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich, 'over easy' and 'sunny side up' in respect of eggs, and 'hold' as in 'hold the mayo'.
Bill Bryson (Made in America: An Informal History of the English Language in the United States)
You have heard, of course, of those tiny fish in the rivers of Brazil that attack the unwary swimmer by thousands and with swift little nibbles clean him up in a few minutes, leaving only an immaculate skeleton? Well, that's what their organization is. "Do you want a good clean life? Like everybody else?" You say yes, of course. How can one say no? "O.K. You'll be cleaned up. Here's a job, a family, and organized leisure activities." And the little teeth attack the flesh, right down to the bone. But I am unjust. I shouldn't say their organization. It is ours, after all: it's a question of which will clean up the other.
Albert Camus (The Fall)
It’s taken a lot of work for Sam and me to get here as well—for us to find our footing as a couple, to trust each other, and for me to fight off the persistent voice that tells me I’m not good enough, that I don’t deserve him or my happiness. We’ve snapped at each other, we’ve flung accusations around, and we’ve yelled, but we’ve both stuck around and cleaned up the mess. We’ve also been friends. And that’s the part that’s been easy—laughing, teasing, rooting for each other. We can still speak to each other without speaking.
Carley Fortune (Every Summer After)
If the scandal of Jesus was that He was always touching the wrong people and inviting the wrong people to the table—how on earth can we think the Communion meal now is for the extra holy or the super spiritual? To say we need to be completely cleaned up before Communion is like saying we need to get well so we can take our medication.
Jonathan Martin (Prototype: What Happens When You Discover You're More Like Jesus Than You Think?)
One day on a ranging we brought down a fine big elk. We were skinning it when the smell of blood drew a shadowcat out of its lair. I drove it off, but not before it shredded my cloak to ribbons. Do you see? Here, here, and here?” He chuckled. “It shredded my arm and back as well, and I bled worse than the elk. My brothers feared I might die before they got me back to Maester Mullin at the Shadow Tower, so they carried me to a wildling village where we knew an old wisewoman did some healing. She was dead, as it happened, but her daughter saw to me. Cleaned my wounds, sewed me up, and fed me porridge and potions until I was strong enough to ride again. And she sewed up the rents in my cloak as well, with some scarlet silk from Asshai that her grandmother had pulled from the wreck of a cog washed up on the Frozen Shore. It was the greatest treasure she had, and her gift to me.” He swept the cloak back over his shoulders. “But at the Shadow Tower, I was given a new wool cloak from stores, black and black, and trimmed with black, to go with my black breeches and black boots, my black doublet and black mail. The new cloak had no frays nor rips nor tears … and most of all, no red. The men of the Night’s Watch dressed in black, Ser Denys Mallister reminded me sternly, as if I had forgotten. My old cloak was fit for burning now, he said. “I left the next morning … for a place where a kiss was not a crime, and a man could wear any cloak he chose.
George R.R. Martin (A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3))
Linsey pulled away, smiling in a way that would have made him look almost angelic if it wasn’t for the blood smeared around his mouth. When he licked his lips clean, the angelic image became clearer. Blood welled up from two small cuts on his bottom lip, pooling in the full sweep his skin. I knew it wasn’t just my blood that I’d tasted.
Cyrese Covelli (Bloodcharm (Witchlock #4))
So what's your doll's name?" Boo asked me. "Barbie," I said. "All their names are Barbie." "I see," she said. "Well, I'd think that would get boring, everyone having the same name." I thought about this, then said, "Okay, then her name is Sabrina." "Well, that's a very nice name," Boo said. I remember she was baking bread, kneading the dough between her thick fingers. "What does she do?" "Do?" I said. "Yes." She flipped the dough over and started in on it from the other side. "What does she do?" "She goes out with Ken," I said. "And what else?" "She goes to parties," I said slowly. "And shopping." "Oh," Boo said, nodding. "She can't work?" "She doesn't have to work," I said. "Why not?" "Because she's Barbie." "I hate to tell you, Caitlin, but somebody has to make payments on that town house and the Corvette," Boo said cheerfully. "Unless Barbie has a lot of family money." I considered this while I put on Ken's pants. Boo started pushing the dough into a pan, smoothing it with her hand over the top. "You know what I think, Caitlin?" Her voice was soft and nice, the way she always spoke to me. "What?" "I think your Barbie can go shopping, and go out with Ken, and also have a productive and satisfying career of her own." She opened the oven and slid in the bread pan, adjusting its position on the rack. "But what can she do?" My mother didn't work and spent her time cleaning the house and going to PTA. I couldn't imagine Barbie, whose most casual outfit had sequins and go-go boots, doing s.uch things. Boo came over and plopped right down beside me. I always remember her being on my level; she'd sit on the edge of the sandbox, or lie across her bed with me and Cass as we listened to the radio. "Well," she said thoughtfully, picking up Ken and examining his perfect physique. "What do you want to do when you grow up?" I remember this moment so well; I can still see Boo sitting there on the floor, cross- legged, holding my Ken and watching my face as she tried to make me see that between my mother's PTA and Boo's strange ways there was a middle ground that began here with my Barbie, Sab-rina, and led right to me. "Well," I said abruptly, "I want to be in advertising." I have no idea where this came from. "Advertising," Boo repeated, nodding. "Okay. Advertising it is. So Sabrina has to go to work every day, coming up with ideas for commercials and things like that." "She works in an office," I went on. "Sometimes she has to work late." "Sure she does," Boo said. "It's hard to get ahead. Even if you're Barbie." "Because she wants to get promoted," I added. "So she can pay off the town house. And the Corvette." "Very responsible of her," Boo said. "Can she be divorced?" I asked. "And famous for her commercials and ideas?" "She can be anything," Boo told me, and this is what I remember most, her freckled face so solemn, as if she knew she was the first to tell me. "And so can you.
Sarah Dessen (Dreamland)
Falling for him would be like cliff diving. It would be either the most exhilarating thing that ever happened to me or the stupidest mistake I’d ever make. It would make my life worth living or it would crush me against stony rocks and break me utterly. Perhaps the wise thing to do would be to slow things down. Being friends would be so much simpler. Ren came back, picked up my empty dinner packet, and stowed it in the backpack. Sitting down across from me, he asked, “What are you thinking about?” I kept staring glassily at the fire. “Nothing much.” He tilted his head and considered me for a moment. He didn’t press me, for which I was grateful-another characteristic I could add to the pro relationship side of my mental list. Pressing his hands together palm to palm, he rubbed them slowly, mechanically, as if cleaning them of dust. I watched them move, mesmerized. “I’ll take the first watch, even though I really don’t think it’ll be necessary. I still have my tiger senses, you know. I’ll be able to hear or smell the Kappa if they decide to emerge from the water. “Fine.” “Are you alright?” I mentally shook myself. Sheesh! I needed a cold shower! He was like a drug, and what did you do with drugs? You pushed them as far away as possible. “I’m fine,” I said brusquely, then got up to dig through the backpack. “You let me know when your spidey-senses start to tingle.” “What?” I put my hand on my hip. “Can you also leap tall buildings in a single bound?” “Well, I still have my tiger strength, if that’s what you mean.” I grunted, “Fabulous. I’ll add superhero to your list of pros.” He frowned. “I’m no superhero, Kells. The most important consideration right now is that you get some rest. I’ll keep an eye out for a few hours. Then, if nothing happens,” he said with a grin, “I’ll join you.” I froze and suddenly became very nervous. Surely, he didn’t mean what that sounded like. I searched his face for a clue, but he didn’t seem to have any hidden agenda or be planning anything.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
Well," he said, quite seriously, "it's this way: you work because you're afraid not to. You work becuase you have to drive yourself to such a fury to begin. That part's just plain hell! It's so hard to get started that once you do you're afraid of slipping back. You'd rather do anything than go through all that agony again--so you keep going--you keep going faster all the time--you keep going till you couldn't stop even if you wanted to. You forget to eat, to shave, to put on a clean shirt when you have one. You almost forget to sleep, and when you do try to you can't--because the avalanche has started, and it keeps going night and day. And people say: 'Why don't you stop sometime? Why don't you forget about it now and then? Why don't you take a few days off?' And you don't do it because you can't--you can't stop yourself--and even if you could you'd be afraid to because there'd be all that hell to go through getting started up again. Then people say you're a glutton for work, but it isn't so. It's laziness--just plain, damned, simple laziness, that's all...Napoleon--and--and Balzac--and Thomas Edison--these fellows who never sleep more than an hour or two at a time, and can keep going night and day--why that's not because they love to work! It's because they're really lazy--and afraid not to work because they know they're lazy! Why, hell yes!..I'll bet you anything you like if you could really find out what's going on in old Edison's mind, you'd find that he wished he could stay in bed every day until two o'clock in the afternoon! And then get up and scratch himself! And then lie around in the sun for awhile! And hang around with the boys down at the village store, talking about politics, and who's going to win the World Series next fall!
Thomas Wolfe (You Can't Go Home Again)
This was the hidden machinery of life, not a clean, clinical well-oiled engine, monitored by a thousand meticulous dials, but a crazy, stumbling contraption made up of strange things roughly fitted together – things like a huge water tap, the dogleg stairs, cheese in the soap dish, and a crocheted tea cosy stiff with dirt and topped by a doll’s broken face.
Margaret Mahy (Memory)
The men digging in on both sides of me cursed the stench and the mud. I began moving the heavy, sticky clay mud with my entrenching shovel to shape out the extent of the foxhole before digging deeper. Each shovelful had to be knocked off the spade, because it stuck like glue. I was thoroughly exhausted and thought my strength wouldn’t last from one sticky shovelful to the next. Kneeling on the mud, I had dug the hole no more than six or eight inches deep when the odor of rotting flesh got worse. There was nothing to do but continue to dig, so I closed up my mouth and inhaled with short shallow breaths. Another spadeful of soil out of the hole released a mass of wriggling maggots that came welling up as though those beneath were pushing them out. I cursed and told the NCO as he came by what a mess I was digging into. ‘You heard him, he said put the holes five yards apart.’ In disgust, I drove the spade into the soil, scooped out the insects, and threw them down the front of the ridge. The next stroke of the spade unearthed buttons and scraps of cloth from a Japanese army jacket in the mud—and another mass of maggots. I kept on doggedly. With the next thrust, metal hit the breastbone of a rotting Japanese corpse. I gazed down in horror and disbelief as the metal scraped a clean track through the mud along the dirty whitish bone and cartilage with ribs attached. The shoved skidded into the rotting abdomen with a squishing sound. The odor nearly overwhelmed me as I rocked back on my heels. I began choking and gagging as I yelled in desperation, ‘I can’t dig in here! There’s a dead Nip here!’ The NCO came over, looked down at my problem and at me, and growled, ‘You heard him; he said put the holes five yards apart.
Eugene B. Sledge (With the Old Breed: At Peleliu and Okinawa)
The most infuriating thing is the idea that ethnic food isn't already good enough because it goddamn is. We were fine before you came to visit and we'll be fine after. If you like our food, great, but don't come tell me you're gonna clean it up, refine it, or elevate it because it's not necessary or possible. We don't need fucking food missionaries to cleanse our palates.
Eddie Huang (Fresh Off the Boat)
My head hasn’t been very clear these last few days. I suppose that’s why sunflowers made me think of heads. I wish mine could be as clean as they are. I was thinking on the train—if only there were some way to get your head cleaned and refinished. Just chop it off—well, maybe that would be a little violent. Just detach it and hand it over to some university hospital as if you were handing over a bundle of laundry. ‘Do this up for me, please,’ you’d say. And the rest of you would be quietly asleep for three or four days or a week while the hospital was busy cleaning your head and getting rid of the garbage. No tossing and no dreaming.
Yasunari Kawabata (The Sound of the Mountain)
Clell, Gillman and I are joined by the wee chinky bird with the toff's English-Yank accent. It keeps fuckin well changing. Probably been tae posh schools all over the world. I hate those privileged cunts. They think that you're fuck all, that they can use you tae clean up their shite, and in fact, most of the time they are spot-on. What they don't know though, is that you're always lurking in the shadows. The opportunity to pounce usually never comes along but you're always lurking, always ready. Just in case.
Irvine Welsh (Filth)
I don’t know what to . . . to think.” There was a horrifying burn of tears crawling up my throat. “This is all overwhelming for you, I imagine. The whole world as you know it is on the brink of great change, and you’re here and don’t even know my name.” The man smiled so broadly, I wondered if it hurt. “You can call me Rolland.” Then he extended a hand. My gaze dropped to it and I made no attempt to take it. Rolland chuckled as he turned and strolled back to the desk. “So, you’re a hybrid? Mutated and linked to him on such an intense level that if one of you dies, so does the other?” His question caught me off guard, but I kept quiet. He sat on the edge of the desk. “You’re actually the first hybrid I’ve seen.” “She really isn’t anything special.” The redhead sneered. “Frankly, she’s rather filthy, like an unclean animal.” As stupid as it was, my cheeks heated, because I was filthy, and Daemon had just physically removed me from him. My pride—my everything—was officially wounded. Rolland chuckled. “She’s had a rough day, Sadi.” At her name, every muscle in my body locked up, and my gaze swung back to her. That was Sadi? The one Dee said was trying to molest Daemon—my Daemon? Anger punched through the confusion and hurt. Of course it would have to be a freaking walking and talking model and not a hag. “Rough day or not, I can’t imagine she cleans up well.” Sadi looked at Daemon as she placed a hand on his chest. “I’m kind of disappointed.” “Are you?” Daemon replied.
 Every hair on my body rose as my arms unfolded.
 “Yes,” she purred. “I really think you can do better. Lots better.” As she spoke, she trailed red-painted fingers down the center of his chest, over his abdomen, heading straight for the button on his jeans. And oh, hell to the no. “Get your hands off him.”
 Sadi’s head snapped in my direction. “Excuse me?”
 “I don’t think I stuttered.” I took a step forward. “But it looks like you need me to repeat it. Get your freaking hands off him.” One side of her plump red lips curled up. “You want to make me?”
 In the back of my head, I was aware that Sadi didn’t move or speak like the other Luxen. Her mannerisms were too human, but then that thought was quickly chased away when Daemon reached down and pulled her hand away. “Stop it,” he murmured, voice dropped low in that teasing way of his. I saw red. The pictures on the wall rattled and the papers on the desk started to lift up. Static charged over my skin. I was about to pull a Beth right here, seconds away from floating to the ceiling and ripping out every strand of red— “And you stop it,” Daemon said, but the teasing quality was gone from his words. There was a warning in them that took the wind right out of my pissed-off sails. The pictures settled as I gaped at him. Being slapped in the face would’ve been better.
Jennifer L. Armentrout (Opposition (Lux, #5))
Apart from the peace and emptiness of the landscape, there is a special smell about winter in Provence which is accentuated by the wind and the clean, dry air. Walking in the hills, I was often able to smell a house before I could see it, because of the scent of woodsmoke coming from an invisible chimney. It is one of the most primitive smells in life, and consequently extinct in most cities, where fire regulations and interior decorators have combined to turn fireplaces into blocked-up holes or self-consciously lit "architectural features." The fireplace in Provence is still used - to cook on, to sit around, to warm the toes, and to please the eye - and fires are laid in the early morning and fed throughout the day with scrub oak from the Luberon or beech from the foothills of Mont Ventoux. Coming home with the dogs as dusk fell, I always stopped to look from the top of the valley at the long zigzag of smoke ribbons drifting up from the farms that are scattered along the Bonnieux road. It was a sight that made me think of warm kitchens and well-seasoned stews, and it never failed to make me ravenous.
Peter Mayle (A Year in Provence)
The following obituary appeared in the Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph of Sept. 16, 1958: A GREAT POET died last week in Lancieux, France, at the age of 84. He was not a poet's poet. Fancy-Dan dilletantes will dispute the description "great." He was a people's poet. To the people he was great. They understood him, and knew that any verse carrying the by-line of Robert W. Service would be a lilting thing, clear, clean and power-packed, beating out a story with a dramatic intensity that made the nerves tingle. And he was no poor, garret-type poet, either. His stuff made money hand over fist. One piece alone, The Shooting of Dan McGrew, rolled up half a million dollars for him. He lived it up well and also gave a great deal to help others. "The only society I like," he once said, "is that which is rough and tough - and the tougher the better. That's where you get down to bedrock and meet human people." He found that kind of society in the Yukon gold rush, and he immortalized it.
Robert W. Service
Listen carefully: you do not need to have a "productive" homeschool day to please the Savior. You do not need to have a clean house to please the Savior. You do not even need to have well-behaved kids to please Him. It doesn't matter if you hit every math problem, get through an entire spelling lesson, or whether your child loves learning the way you want him to. It doesn't matter! What matters is that we seek to imitate Christ. That we order our loves so that our hearts better reflect His.  Many days, checklists will go untouched, books will go unread, ducks will not line up in a row, no matter how much we strive. So cease striving. "It is our part to offer what we can, His to finish what we cannot." —— St. Jerome
Sarah Mackenzie (Teaching from Rest: A Homeschooler's Guide to Unshakable Peace)
My vagina’s angry. It is. It’s pissed off. My vagina’s furious and it needs to talk. It needs to talk about all this shit. It needs to talk to you. I mean what’s the deal — an army of people out there thinking up ways to torture my poor-ass, gentle, loving vagina. Spending their days constructing psycho products, and nasty ideas to undermine my pussy. Vagina Motherfuckers. All this shit they’re constantly trying to shove up us, clean us up — stuff us up, make it go away. Well, my vagina’s not going away. It’s pissed off and it’s staying right here. Like tampons — what the hell is that?
Eve Ensler (The Vagina Monologues)
Open Letter to Neil Armstrong" Dear Neil Armstrong, I write this to you as she sleeps down the hall. I need answers I think only you might have. When you were a boy, and space was simple science fiction, when flying was merely a daydream between periods of History and Physics, when gifts of moon dust to the one you loved could only be wrapped in your imagination.. Before the world knew your name; before it was a destination in the sky.. What was the moon like from your back yard? Your arm, strong warm and wrapped under her hair both of you gazing up from your back porch summers before your distant journey. But upon landing on the moon, as the earth rose over the sea of tranquility, did you look for her? What was it like to see our planet, and know that everything, all you could be, all you could ever love and long for.. was just floating before you. Did you write her name in the dirt when the cameras weren't looking? Surrounding both your initials with a heart for alien life to study millions of years from now? What was it like to love something so distant? What words did you use to bring the moon back to her? And what did you promise in the moons ear, about that girl back home? Can you, teach me, how to fall from the sky? I ask you this, not because I doubt your feat, I just want to know what it's like to go somewhere no man had ever been, just to find that she wasn't there. To realize your moon walk could never compare to the steps that led to her. I now know that the flight home means more. Every July I think of you. I imagine the summer of 1969, how lonely she must have felt while you were gone.. You never went back to the moon. And I believe that's because it dosen't take rockets to get you where you belong. I see that in this woman down the hall, sometimes she seems so much further. But I'm ready for whatever steps I must take to get to her.I have seem SO MANY skies.. but the moon, well, it always looks the same. So I gotta say, Neil, that rock you landed on, has got NOTHING on the rock she's landed on. You walked around, took samples and left.. She's built a fire cleaned up the place and I hope she decides to stay.. because on this rock.. we can breath. Mr. Armstrong, I don't have much, many times have I been upside down with trauma, but with these empty hands, comes a heart that is often more full than the moon. She's becoming my world, pulling me into orbit, and I now know that I may never find life outside of hers. I want to give her EVERYTHING I don't have yet.. So YES, for her, I would go to the moon and back.... But not without her. We'd claim the moon for each other, with flags made from sheets down the hall. And I'd risk it ALL to kiss her under the light of the earth, the brightness of home... but I can do all of that and more right here, where she is..And when we gaze up, her arms around ME, I will NOT promise her gifts of moon dust, or flights of fancy. Instead I will gladly give her all the earth she wants, in return for all the earth she is. The sound of her heart beat and laughter, and all the time it takes to return to fall from the sky,down the hall, and right into love. God, I'd do it every day, if I could just land next to her. One small step for man, but she's one giant leap for my kind.
Mike McGee
The season of the world before us will be like no other in the history of mankind. Satan has unleashed every evil, every scheme, every blatant, vile perversion ever known to man in any generation. Just as this is the dispensation of the fullness of times, so it is also the dispensation of the fullness of evil. We and our wives and husbands, our children, and our members must find safety. There is no safety in the world: wealth cannot provide it, enforcement agencies cannot assure it, membership in this Church alone cannot bring it. As the evil night darkens upon this generation, we must come to the temple for light and safety. In our temples we find quiet, sacred havens where the storm cannot penetrate to us. There are hosts of unseen sentinels watching over and guarding our temples. Angels attend every door. As it was in the days of Elisha, so it will be for us: “Those that be with us are more than they that be against us.” Before the Savior comes the world will darken. There will come a period of time where even the elect will lose hope if they do not come to the temples. The world will be so filled with evil that the righteous will only feel secure within these walls. The saints will come here not only to do vicarious work, but to find a haven of peace. They will long to bring their children here for safety’s sake. I believe we may well have living on the earth now or very soon the boy or babe who will be the prophet of the Church when the Savior comes. Those who will sit in the Quorum of Twelve Apostles are here. There are many in our homes and communities who will have apostolic callings. We must keep them clean, sweet and pure in an oh so wicked world. There will be greater hosts of unseen beings in the temple. Prophets of old as well as those in this dispensation will visit the temples. Those who attend will feel their strength and feel their companionship. We will not be alone in our temples. Our garments worn as instructed will clothe us in a manner as protective as temple walls. The covenants and ordinances will fill us with faith as a living fire. In a day of desolating sickness, scorched earth, barren wastes, sickening plagues, disease, destruction, and death, we as a people will rest in the shade of trees, we will drink from the cooling fountains. We will abide in places of refuge from the storm, we will mount up as on eagle’s wings, we will be lifted out of an insane and evil world. We will be as fair as the sun and clear as the moon. The Savior will come and will honor his people. Those who are spared and prepared will be a temple-loving people. They will know Him. They will cry out, “Blessed be the name of He that cometh in the name of the Lord; thou are my God and I will bless thee; thou are my God and I will exalt thee.” Our children will bow down at His feet and worship Him as the Lord of Lords, the King of Kings. They will bathe His feet with their tears and He will weep and bless them for having suffered through the greatest trials ever known to man. His bowels will be filled with compassion and His heart will swell wide as eternity and He will love them. He will bring peace that will last a thousand years and they will receive their reward to dwell with Him. Let us prepare them with faith to surmount every trial and every condition. We will do it in these holy, sacred temples. Come, come, oh come up to the temples of the Lord and abide in His presence.
Vaughn J. Featherstone
Let me make a clean breast of it here, and frankly admit that I kept but sorry guard. With the problem of the universe revolving in me, how could I- being left completely to myself at such a thought-engendering altitude- how could I but lightly hold my obligations to observe all whaleships' standing orders, "Keep your weather eye open, and sing out every time." And let me in this place movingly admonish you, ye ship-owners of Nantucket! Beware of enlisting in your vigilant fisheries any lad with lean brow and hollow eye; given to unseasonable meditativeness...: your whales must be seen before they can be killed; and this sunken-eyed young Platonist will tow you ten wakes round the world, and never make you one pint of sperm the richer. Nor are these monitions at all unneeded. For nowadays, the whale-fishery furnishes an asylum for many romantic, melancholy, and absent-minded young men, disgusted with the corking care of earth, and seeking sentiment in tar and blubber. Childe Harold not unfrequently perches himself upon the mast-head of some luckless disappointed whale-ship, and in moody phrase ejaculates:- "Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean, roll! Ten thousand blubber-hunters sweep over thee in vain. " ... "Why, thou monkey," said a harpooneer to one of these lads, "we've been cruising now hard upon three years, and thou hast not raised a whale yet. Whales are scarce as hen's teeth whenever thou art up here." Perhaps they were; or perhaps there might have been shoals of them in the far horizon; but lulled into such an opium-like listlessness of vacant, unconscious reverie is this absent-minded youth by the blending cadence of waves with thoughts, that at last he loses his identity; takes the mystic ocean at his feet for the visible image of that deep, blue, bottomless soul, pervading mankind and nature; and every strange, half-seen, gliding, beautiful thing that eludes him; every dimly-discovered, uprising fin of some undiscernible form, seems to him the embodiment of those elusive thoughts that only people the soul by continually flitting through it. In this enchanted mood, thy spirit ebbs away to whence it came; becomes diffused through time and space; like Crammer's sprinkled Pantheistic ashes, forming at last a part of every shore the round globe over. There is no life in thee, now, except that rocking life imparted by a gentle rolling ship; by her, borrowed from the sea; by the sea, from the inscrutable tides of God. But while this sleep, this dream is on ye, move your foot or hand an inch; slip your hold at all; and your identity comes back in horror. Over Descartian vortices you hover. And perhaps, at midday, in the fairest weather, with one half-throttled shriek you drop through that transparent air into the summer sea, no more to rise for ever. Heed it well, ye Pantheists!
Herman Melville (Moby Dick)
I mean, when a man reaches…a certain age,” he tried again, “he knows the world is never going to be perfect. He’s got used to it being a bit, a bit…” “Manky?” Nobby suggested. Tucked behind his ear, in the place usually reserved for his cigarette, was another wilting lilac flower. “Exactly,” said Colon. “Like, it’s never going to be perfect, so you just do the best you can, right? But when there’s a kid on the way, well, suddenly a man sees it different. He thinks: my kid’s going to have to grow up in this mess. Time to clean it up. Time to make it a Better World. He gets a bit…keen. Full of ginger.
Terry Pratchett (Night Watch (Discworld, #29))
Well, then what the federal government should have done was accept the assistance of foreign countries, of entrepreneurial Americans who have had solutions that they wanted presented. They can't even get a phone call returned, Bill. The Dutch—they are known, and the Norwegians—they are known for dikes and for cleaning up water and for dealing with spills. They offered to help and yet, no, they too, with the proverbial, can't even get a phone call back.
Sarah Palin
Now, anyway, we knew who was which blood type. In addition to the beating he'd received from Chloe, Max was also starting to blister up (type A). The McKinley twins were hiding from us - they clearly had the paranoia (type AB). Ulysses was chattering to himself in Spanish, a rapid-fire monologue that made me pretty sure he had the paranoia type - type AB - as well as the twins. Batiste had type B, the blood type that exhibited no symptoms, as did Alex, Jake, and Sahalia (sterility and reproductive failure - hooray!). "We have to get them clean," Brayden said. "You think?" I sort of shouted at him (type O).
Emmy Laybourne (Monument 14 (Monument 14, #1))
Under the mellowing influence of good food and good music, Adam relaxed, and I discovered that underneath that overbearing, hot-tempered Alpha disguise he usually wore was a charming, over-bearing, hot-tempered man. He seemed to enjoy finding out that I was as stubborn and disrespectful of authority as he’d always suspected. He ordered dessert without consulting me. I’d have been angrier, but it was something I could never have ordered for myself: chocolate, caramel, nuts, ice cream, real whipped cream, and cake so rich it might as well have been a brownie. “So,” he said, as I finished the last bit, “I’m forgiven?” “You are arrogant and overstep your bounds,” I told him, pointing my clean fork at him. “I try,” he said with false modesty. Then his eyes darkened and he reached across the table and ran his thumb over my bottom lip. He watched me as he licked the caramel from his skin. I thumped my hands down on the table and leaned forward. “That is not fair. I’ll eat your dessert and like it—but you can’t use sex to keep me from getting mad.” He laughed, one of those soft laughs that start in the belly and rise up through the chest: a relaxed, happy sort of laugh. To change the subject, because matters were heating up faster than I was comfortable with, I said, “So Bran tells me that he ordered you to keep an eye out for me.” He stopped laughing and raised both eyebrows. “Yes. Now ask me if I was watching you for Bran.” It was a trick question. I could see the amusement in his eyes. I hesitated, but decided I wanted to know anyway. “Okay, I’ll bite. Were you watching me for Bran?” “Honey,” he drawled, pulling on his Southern roots. “When a wolf watches a lamb, he’s not thinking of the lamb’s mommy.” I grinned. I couldn’t help it. The idea of Bran as a lamb’s mommy was too funny. “I’m not much of a lamb,” I said. He just smiled.
Patricia Briggs (Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1))
Ethanol is a volatile, flammable, colourless liquid with a slight chemical odour. It is used as an antiseptic, a solvent, in medical wipes and antibacterial formulas because it kills organisms by denaturing their proteins. Ethanol is an important industrial ingredient. Ethanol is a good general purpose solvent and is found in paints, tinctures, markers and personal care products such as perfumes and deodorants. The largest single use of ethanol is as an engine fuel and fuel additive. In other words, we drink, for fun, the same thing we use to make rocket fuel, house paint, anti-septics, solvents, perfumes, and deodorants and to denature, i.e. to take away the natural properties of, or kill, living organisms. Which might make sense on some level if we weren’t a generation of green minded, organic, health-conscious, truth seeking individuals. But we are. We read labels, we shun gluten, dairy, processed foods, and refined sugars. We buy organic, we use natural sunscreen and beauty products. We worry about fluoride in our water, smog in our air, hydrogenated oils in our food, and we debate whether plastic bottles are safe to drink from. We replace toxic cleaning products with Mrs. Myers and homemade vinegar concoctions. We do yoga, we run, we SoulCycle and Fitbit, we go paleo and keto, we juice, we cleanse. We do coffee enemas and steam our yonis, and drink clay and charcoal, and shoot up vitamins, and sit in infrared foil boxes, and hire naturopaths, and shamans, and functional doctors, and we take nootropics and we stress about our telomeres. These are all real words. We are hyper-vigilant about everything we put into our body, everything we do to our body, and we are proud of this. We Instagram how proud we are of this, and we follow Goop and Well+Good, and we drop 40 bucks on an exercise class because there are healing crystals in the floor. The global wellness economy is estimated to be worth $4 trillion. $4 TRILLION DOLLARS. We are on an endless and expensive quest for wellness and vitality and youth. And we drink fucking rocket fuel.
Holly Whitaker (Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol)
Will you pour out tea, Miss Brent?' The el­der wom­an replied: 'No, you do it, dear. That tea-​pot is so heavy. And I have lost two skeins of my grey knitting-​wool. So an­noy­ing.' Ve­ra moved to the tea-​ta­ble. There was a cheer­ful rat­tle and clink of chi­na. Nor­mal­ity returned. Tea! Blessed or­di­nary everyday af­ter­noon tea! Philip Lom­bard made a cheery re­mark. Blore re­spond­ed. Dr. Arm­strong told a hu­mor­ous sto­ry. Mr. Jus­tice War­grave, who or­di­nar­ily hat­ed tea, sipped ap­prov­ing­ly. In­to this re­laxed at­mo­sphere came Rogers. And Rogers was up­set. He said ner­vous­ly and at ran­dom: 'Ex­cuse me, sir, but does any one know what's become of the bath­room cur­tain?' Lom­bard's head went up with a jerk. 'The bath­room cur­tain? What the dev­il do you mean, Rogers?' 'It's gone, sir, clean van­ished. I was go­ing round draw­ing all the cur­tai­ns and the one in the lav -​ bath­room wasn't there any longer.' Mr. Jus­tice War­grave asked: 'Was it there this morn­ing?' 'Oh, yes, sir.' Blore said: 'What kind of a cur­tain was it?' 'Scar­let oil­silk, sir. It went with the scar­let tiles.' Lom­bard said: 'And it's gone?' 'Gone, Sir.' They stared at each oth­er. Blore said heav­ily: 'Well - af­ter all-​what of it? It's mad - ​but so's everything else. Any­way, it doesn't matter. You can't kill any­body with an oil­silk cur­tain. For­get about it.' Rogers said: 'Yes, sir, thank you, sir.' He went out, shut­ting the door.
Agatha Christie (And Then There Were None)
Anna?" Someone knocks on my door, and it startles me out of my seat. No.Not someone. St. Clair. I'm wearing an old Mayfield Dairy T-shirt, complete with yellow-and-brown cow logo,and hot pink flannel pajama bottoms covered in giant strawberries. I am not even wearing a bra. "Anna,I know you're in there. I can see your light." "Hold on a sec!" I blurt. "I'll be right there." I grab my black hoodie and zip it up over the cow's face before wrenching open the door. "Hisorryaboutthat. Come in." I open the door wide but he stands there for a moment, just staring at me. I can't read the expression on his face. Then he breaks into a mischievous smile and brushes past me. "Nice strawberries." "Shut up." "No,I mean it. Cute." And even though he doesn't mean it like I-want-to-leave-my-girlfriend-and-start-dating-you cute,something flickers inside of me. The "force of strength and destruction" Tita de la Garza knew so well.St. Clair stands in the center of my room.He scratches his head, and his T-shirt lifts up on one side, exposing a slice of bare stomach. Foomp! My inner fire ignites. "It's really...er...clean," he says. Fizz. Flames extinguished.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
I turned my head and saw the big lamps, and I knew it was Violet Atwater. When I turned back around Mack had slowed because of the fog. Through the mist I couldn’t see Greyson Manor any longer. Violet almost caught up to us in her big Packard and then she was enveloped in the fog as well. It was the change in the air I noticed first. Fresh and clean, with something sweet like honeysuckle or jasmine drifting on the evening breeze. Mack smelled it too, because he sniffed and glanced over at me.
Bobby Underwood (City of Angels)
Colonel Shoup, who wore a mask of dust and dirt like every other marine on the island, summed up the situation that afternoon: “Well, I think we’re winning, but the bastards have got a lot of bullets left. I think we’ll clean up tomorrow.”57 He was plainly exhausted, having slept not at all the previous night. He was still bleeding through his bandage. His report to General Julian Smith would enter Marine Corps lore: “Casualties many; percentage of dead not known; combat efficiency: We are winning.
Ian W. Toll (The Conquering Tide: War in the Pacific Islands, 1942–1944)
Think about it: If you have saved just enough to have your own house, your own car, a modicum of income to pay for food, clothes, and a few conveniences, and your everyday responsibilities start and end only with yourself… You can afford not to do anything outside of breathing, eating, and sleeping. Time would be an endless, white blanket. Without folds and pleats or sudden rips. Monday would look like Sunday, going sans adrenaline, slow, so slow and so unnoticed. Flowing, flowing, time is flowing in phrases, in sentences, in talk exchanges of people that come as pictures and videos, appearing, disappearing, in the safe, distant walls of Facebook. Dial fast food for a pizza, pasta, a burger or a salad. Cooking is for those with entire families to feed. The sala is well appointed. A day-maid comes to clean. Quietly, quietly she dusts a glass figurine here, the flat TV there. No words, just a ho-hum and then she leaves as silently as she came. Press the shower knob and water comes as rain. A TV remote conjures news and movies and soaps. And always, always, there’s the internet for uncomplaining company. Outside, little boys and girls trudge along barefoot. Their tinny, whiny voices climb up your windowsill asking for food. You see them. They don’t see you. The same way the vote-hungry politicians, the power-mad rich, the hey-did-you-know people from newsrooms, and the perpetually angry activists don’t see you. Safely ensconced in your tower of concrete, you retreat. Uncaring and old./HOW EASY IT IS NOT TO CARE
Psyche Roxas-Mendoza
That old if you 'need anything, let me know,' is a total crock. You hear people say it all the time, but you never see anyone actually call up the person who said it and say, "Hey, remember when you said to let you know if i needed anything? Well, I'm feeling really overwhelmed. Could you please come clean my kitchen, I'd feel like I had a bit of a head start." You will never hear someone say that, because then the person asking the other person to clean their kitchen is seen as a helpless, incompetent dick. -Diana Rowland (My life as a white trash zombie)
Diana Rowland (My Life as a White Trash Zombie (White Trash Zombie, #1))
As regularly as the new moon searched for the tide, Hagar looked for a weapon and then slipped out of her house and went to find the man for whom she believed she had been born into the world. Being five years older than he was and his cousin as well did nothing to dim her passion. In fact her maturity and blood kinship converted her passion to fever, so it was more affliction than affection. It literally knocked her down at night, and raised her up in the morning, for when she dragged herself off to bed, having spent another day without his presence, her heart beat like a gloved fist against her ribs. And in the morning, long before she was fully awake, she felt a longing so bitter and tight it yanked her out of a sleep swept clean of dreams.
Toni Morrison (Song of Solomon)
What's the point of talking about philosophical questions? Because we're going to be doing a fair bit of it here – I mean, of philosophical bullshitting. Well, there's a standard answer, and it's that philosophy is an intellectual clean-up job – the janitors who come in after the scientists have made a mess, to try and pick up the pieces. So in this view, philosophers sit in their armchairs waiting for something surprising to happen in science – like quantum mechanics, like the Bell inequality, like Gödel's Theorem – and then (to switch metaphors) swoop in like vultures and say, ah, this is what it really meant. Well, on its face, that seems sort of boring. But as you get more accustomed to this sort of work, I think what you'll find is...it's still boring!
Scott Aaronson (Quantum Computing since Democritus)
Love is a house with many rooms, this room to feed the love, this one to entertain it, this one to clean it, this one to dress it, this one to allow it to rest, and each of these rooms can also just as well be the room for laughing or the room for listening or the room for telling one’s secrets or the room for sulking or the room for apologizing or the room for intimate togetherness, and, of course, there are the rooms for the new members of the household. Love is a house in which plumbing brings bubbly new emotions every morning, and sewers flush out disputes, and bright windows open up to admit the fresh air of renewed goodwill. Love is a house with an unshakable foundation and an indestructible roof. He had a house like that once, until it was demolished.
Yann Martel (The High Mountains of Portugal)
Well-being of body is like a mountain. A lot happens on a mountain. It hails, and the winds come up, and it rains and snows. The sun gets very hot, clouds cross over, animals shit and piss on the mountain, and so do people. People leave their trash, and other people clean it up. Many things come and go on this mountain, but it just sits there. When we’ve seen ourselves completely, there’s a stillness of body that is like a mountain. We no longer get jumpy and have to scratch our noses, pull our ears, punch somebody, go running from the room, or drink ourselves into oblivion.
Pema Chödrön (When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times (Shambhala Classics))
I’d like to see how long an Aroostook County man can stand Florida. The trouble is that with his savings moved and invested there, he can’t very well go back. His dice are rolled and can’t be picked up again. But I do wonder if a down-Easter, sitting on a nylon-and-aluminum chair out on a changelessly green lawn slapping mosquitoes in the evening of a Florida October—I do wonder if the stab of memory doesn’t strike him high in the stomach just below the ribs where it hurts. And in the humid ever-summer I dare his picturing mind not to go back to the shout of color, to the clean rasp of frosty air, to the smell of pine wood burning and the caressing warmth of kitchens. For how can one know color in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?
John Steinbeck (Travels with Charley: In Search of America)
To most people today, the name Snow White evokes visions of dwarfs whistling as they work, and a wide–eyed, fluttery princess singing, "Some day my prince will come." (A friend of mine claims this song is responsible for the problems of a whole generation of American women.) Yet the Snow White theme is one of the darkest and strangest to be found in the fairy tale canon — a chilling tale of murderous rivalry, adolescent sexual ripening, poisoned gifts, blood on snow, witchcraft, and ritual cannibalism. . .in short, not a tale originally intended for children's tender ears. Disney's well–known film version of the story, released in 1937, was ostensibly based on the German tale popularized by the Brothers Grimm. Originally titled "Snow–drop" and published in Kinder–und Hausmarchen in 1812, the Grimms' "Snow White" is a darker, chillier story than the musical Disney cartoon, yet it too had been cleaned up for publication, edited to emphasize the good Protestant values held by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. (...) Variants of Snow White were popular around the world long before the Grimms claimed it for Germany, but their version of the story (along with Walt Disney's) is the one that most people know today. Elements from the story can be traced back to the oldest oral tales of antiquity, but the earliest known written version was published in Italy in 1634.
Terri Windling (White as Snow)
I'm really looking forward to being clean again. It's this weird thing with smack. First off it makes you feel so good. But after a bit, after your body gets used to it, it stops working like that. You start needing it just to stay normal... Then you get sick of it and give it up for a few days. And that's the really nasty thing because then, when you're clean, that's when it works so well.
Melvin Burgess
We walked into my mother's house at 10:30 in the morning at the end of February 1992. I had been gone for three weeks. She had been so desperate about us - she, too, looked thin and haggard. She was stunned to see me walk in, filthy and crawling with lice, with a huge crowd of starving people. We ate and drank clean water; then, before we even washed, I put Marian in a taxi with me and told the driver to go to Nairobi Hospital. We had no money left and I knew Nairobi Hospital was expensive; it was where I had been operated on when the ma'alim broke my skull. But I also knew that there they would help us first and ask to pay later. Saving the baby's life had become the only thing that mattered to me. At the reception desk I announced, "This baby is going to die," and the nurse's eyes went wide with horror. She took him and put a drip in his arm, and very slowly, this tiny shape seemed to uncrumple slightly. After a little while, his eyes opened. The nurse said, "The child will live," and told us to deal with the bill at the cash desk. I asked her who her director was, and found him, and told this middle-aged Indian doctor the whole story. I said I couldn't pay the bill. He took it and tore it up. He said it didn't matter. Then he told me how to look after the baby, and where to get rehydration salts, and we took a taxi home. Ma paid for the taxi and looked at me, her eyes round with respect. "Well done," she said. It was a rare compliment. In the next few days the baby began filling out, growing from a crumpled horror-movie image into a real baby, watchful, alive.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel)
Now, over the years I've been forced to conclude that most celebrations don't work. The more carefully planned a signal occasion, the more likely it will trickle by on a pale tide of dilute well-meaningness. Christmases, birthdays, award ceremonies, and weddings are swallowed by planning and preparation on the one side and cleaning up on the other, and almost never seem to have actually happened.
Lionel Shriver (Big Brother)
you see, my whole life is tied up to unhappiness it's father cooking breakfast and me getting fat as a hog or having no food at all and father proving his incompetence again i wish i knew how it would feel to be free it's having a job they won't let you work or no work at all castrating me (yes it happens to women too) it's a sex object if you're pretty and no love or love and no sex if you're fat get back fat black woman be a mother grandmother strong thing but not woman gameswoman romantic woman love needer man seeker dick eater sweat getter fuck needing love seeking woman it's a hole in your shoe and buying lil sis a dress and her saying you shouldn't when you know all too well that you shouldn't but smiles are only something we give to properly dressed social workers not each other only smiles of i know your game sister which isn't really a smile joy is finding a pregnant roach and squashing it not finding someone to hold let go get off get back don't turn me on you black dog how dare you care about me you ain't go no good sense cause i ain't shit you must be lower than that to care it's a filthy house with yesterday's watermelon and monday's tears cause true ladies don't know how to clean it's intellectual devastation of everybody to avoid emotional commitment "yeah honey i would've married him but he didn't have no degree" it's knock-kneed mini skirted wig wearing died blond mamma's scar born dead my scorn your whore rough heeeled broken nailed powdered face me whose whole life is tied up to unhappiness cause it's the only for real thing i know
Nikki Giovanni
This time I shall not lead you into a new corner of the house of the world. We know it so well by now, after all. We know where the Fairies live and where the shadows fall, where the cobwebs really ought to be cleaned up if anyone ever gets around to it, where a window is loose, where a door creaks. We are annoyed by the stove that will not light, by the weeds in the garden, by that ungodly mess in the closet. A thing too familiar becomes invisible. It is time for us to Go Out. But do not fear, even if it is colder outside than you might prefer, if Spring has once again been rudely tardy, if the trees only have a breath of green at their tips like a fine lady's jade rings, if the sun is pale and high and makes you squint, if the wind, for there is always wind, bites and pierces deep. Tug up your best coat round your neck and tie your longest scarf tight. You may hold my hand if you like. I promise, it is good for your health to step outside the house of the world. After all, we are not going far. Only so far as the mailbox.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Boy Who Lost Fairyland (Fairyland, #4))
RECIPE: TAN’S HOMEMADE FACE MASK Half cup yogurt—I use FAGE 2% fat Greek yogurt Contents of one green tea bag (steep for one minute in hot water before emptying the leaves into the yogurt) Mix well, then apply generously to a clean face. Leave on for 10 to 12 minutes, then scrape off. Wash face thoroughly with warm water to remove completely, then rinse with cold water to close pores. Follow up with your regular moisturizer.
Tan France (Naturally Tan)
A few months ago on a school morning, as I attempted to etch a straight midline part on the back of my wiggling daughter's soon-to-be-ponytailed blond head, I reminded her that it was chilly outside and she needed to grab a sweater. "No, mama." "Excuse me?" "No, I don't want to wear that sweater, it makes me look fat." "What?!" My comb clattered to the bathroom floor. "Fat?! What do you know about fat? You're 5 years old! You are definitely not fat. God made you just right. Now get your sweater." She scampered off, and I wearily leaned against the counter and let out a long, sad sigh. It has begun. I thought I had a few more years before my twin daughters picked up the modern day f-word. I have admittedly had my own seasons of unwarranted, psychotic Slim-Fasting and have looked erroneously to the scale to give me a measurement of myself. But these departures from my character were in my 20s, before the balancing hand of motherhood met the grounding grip of running. Once I learned what it meant to push myself, I lost all taste for depriving myself. I want to grow into more of a woman, not find ways to whittle myself down to less. The way I see it, the only way to run counter to our toxic image-centric society is to literally run by example. I can't tell my daughters that beauty is an incidental side effect of living your passion rather than an adherence to socially prescribed standards. I can't tell my son how to recognize and appreciate this kind of beauty in a woman. I have to show them, over and over again, mile after mile, until they feel the power of their own legs beneath them and catch the rhythm of their own strides. Which is why my parents wake my kids early on race-day mornings. It matters to me that my children see me out there, slogging through difficult miles. I want my girls to grow up recognizing the beauty of strength, the exuberance of endurance, and the core confidence residing in a well-tended body and spirit. I want them to be more interested in what they are doing than how they look doing it. I want them to enjoy food that is delicious, feed their bodies with wisdom and intent, and give themselves the freedom to indulge. I want them to compete in healthy ways that honor the cultivation of skill, the expenditure of effort, and the courage of the attempt. Grace and Bella, will you have any idea how lovely you are when you try? Recently we ran the Chuy's Hot to Trot Kids K together as a family in Austin, and I ran the 5-K immediately afterward. Post?race, my kids asked me where my medal was. I explained that not everyone gets a medal, so they must have run really well (all kids got a medal, shhh!). As I picked up Grace, she said, "You are so sweaty Mommy, all wet." Luke smiled and said, "Mommy's sweaty 'cause she's fast. And she looks pretty. All clean." My PRs will never garner attention or generate awards. But when I run, I am 100 percent me--my strengths and weaknesses play out like a cracked-open diary, my emotions often as raw as the chafing from my jog bra. In my ultimate moments of vulnerability, I am twice the woman I was when I thought I was meant to look pretty on the sidelines. Sweaty and smiling, breathless and beautiful: Running helps us all shine. A lesson worth passing along.
Kristin Armstrong
It had been a fix-up, a blind date set up by a well-meaning skinny coworker who had no clue that most men in Southern California placed overweight women in the same category as serial killers and believed them worthy of the same punishment - the death penalty. I finally had given in to her assurances that this man and I had a lot in common. Which, sadly, we did. But I saw the look of disappointment on his face when he entered the restaurant and realized that I was his date. I had seen that look before. It was unmistakable disgust encased in civility. Like a dead fish wrapped in clean white butcher paper, the covering kept your hands from being soiled but could not stop the stink.
Sue Ann Jaffarian (Too Big to Miss (An Odelia Grey Mystery, #1))
What the hell happened to your leg?" Ang asked him. Matt looked down at his shin, which was scraped and oozing and seemed to be caked in mud. "Crashed." "Crashed what?" Ang asked. "My mountain bike. We just got back." "You crashed, then what? Rolled in dirt?" He laughed. "Something like that actually. It's not a successful ride if you don't bleed." He must not have noticed the look of horror on my face, because he asked, suddenly enthusiastic, "You guys ride?"Angelo and I just looked at each other, and he seemed to realize that was a "no." "Too bad. Well, make yourselves at home. Beer's in the fridge. I have to get cleaned up. Kickoff's in ten minutes." "Football?" Angelo asked. Matt looked at his as if he had just asked if the sky was really blue. "Yeah! First game of the regular season!" We just stared blankly at him, and he just laughed and disappeared down the hall. Angelo looked at me with a smile on his face. "Four fags watchin' football. Must be pretty fuckin' cold in hell right now.
Marie Sexton (A to Z (Coda Books, #2))
Jenks walked around the bench, standing where Ashby could see him. “Hi,” he said. Ashby turned his head. “Hi.” Jenks upturned the tub. The bolts clattered to the floor like heavy rain. “These are several hundred bolts. They are all different shapes and sizes, and Kizzy always keeps them in one communal tub. It drives me crazy.” Ashby blinked. “Why are they on the floor?” “Because we are going to sort them. We are going to sort them into nice, neat little piles. And then we’re going to take those piles and put them in smaller tubs, so that when I need a bolt, I don’t have to go digging.” “I see.” Ashby blinked again. “Why are we doing this?” “Because she jackass dumped them all over the floor, and they have to be cleaned up. And if they have to be cleaned up, we might as well sort them while we’re at it.” Jenks sat down, leaning comfortably against a planter. He began to pick through the bolts. “See, my best friend in the whole galaxy is currently on another ship, holed up in a wall, disarming hackjob explosives. … I want to do something, and it’s driving me…crazy that I can’t. I can’t even smoke because there are Aeluons around. So, fine. I’m going to sort bolts.” He swung his eyes up to Ashby. “And I think anybody who has similar feelings should join me.
Becky Chambers (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1))
I was dead. That was really the only explanation I had for the sensation that I was lying in a comfy bed, cool, clean-smelling sheets pulled up to my chin, and a soft hand stroking my hair. That was nice. Being dead seemed pretty sweet, all things considered. Especially if ti meant I got to nap for all eternity. I snuggled deeper into the covers. The hand on my hair moved to my back, and I realized someone was singing softly. The voice was familiar, and something about it made my chest ache. Well, that was to be expected. Angels’ songs would be awfully poignant. “’I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar, when I met you…’” the voice crooned. I frowned. Was that really an appropriate song for the Heavenly Host to be- Realization crashed into me. “Mom!
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
He could tell when the bullying, the relentless sarcasm, the constant, all-encompassing vigilance had become too exhausting. When one of his people was fed up with staying awake at night anticipating his likes and dislikes, was sick of charting his mood swings, was tired of feeling demeaned and beaten down after being asked, for instance, to clean out the grease trap, was ready to burst into tears and quit, then suddenly Bigfoot would appear with court side seats for a play-off game, a restaurant warm-up jacket (given out only to Most Honored Veterans), or a present for the wife or girlfriend — something thoughtful like a Movado watch. He always waited until the last possible second, when you were ready to shave your head, climb a tower and start gunning down strangers, when you were ready to strip off your clothes and run barking into the street, to scream to the world that you'd never never never again work for that manipulative, Machiavellian psychopath. And he'd get you back on the team, often with a gesture as simple and inexpensive as a baseball cap or a T-shirt. The timing was what did it, that he knew. He knew just when to apply that well-timed pat on the back, the strangled and difficult-for-him 'Thank you for your good work' appreciation of your labors.
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
Is that dog shit on the bottom of your shoe?’ I sat up a fraction. ‘What?’ ‘Is that dog shit on the bottom of your shoe?’ ‘I don’t know, the lab report’s not back yet,’ I replied drily. ‘I’m serious, is that dog shit?’ ‘How should I know?’ Katz leaned far enough forward to give it a good look and a cautious sniff. ‘It is dog shit,’ he announced with an odd tone of satisfaction. ‘Well, keep quiet about it or everybody’ll want some.’ ‘Go and clean it off, will ya? It’s making me nauseous.’ And here the bickering started, in intense little whispers. ‘You go and clean it off.’ ‘It’s your shoes.’ ‘Well, I kind of like it. Besides, it kills the smell of this guy next to me.’ ‘Well, it’s making me nauseous.’ ‘Well, I don’t give a shit.’ ‘Well, I think you’re a fuck-head.’ ‘Oh, you do, do you?’ ‘Yes, as a matter of fact. You’ve been a fuck-head since Austria.’ ‘Well, you’ve been a fuck-head since birth.’ ‘Me?’ A wounded look. ‘That’s rich. You were a fuck-head in the womb, Bryson. You’ve got three kinds of chromosomes: X, Y and fuck-head.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here nor There: Travels in Europe)
I'm sorry, I don't understand. Could you tell me more about this 'profanity'?" Mrs. Miller nodded at my dictionary. "I'll assume you don't need a definition. Perhaps you'd prefer an example?" "That would be so helpful, thank you very much." Without missing a beat, Mrs. Miller rattled off a stream of obscenities so fully and completely unexpected that I fell off my chair. Mothers were defiled, their male and female children, as well as any and all offspring who just happened to be born out of wedlock. AS for the sacred union that produced these innocent babes, the pertinent bodily appendages were catalogued by a list of names so profoundly scurrilous that a grizzled marine, conceived in a brothel and dying of a disease he contracted in one, would've wished he'd been born as smooth as a Ken doll. The act itself was invoked with such a verity of incestuous, scatological, bestial, and just plain bizarre variations that that same marine would've given up on the Ken doll fantasy, and wished instead that all life had been confined to a single-cell stage, forever free of taint of mitosis, let alone procreation. Somewhere during the course of all this I noticed I'd snapped my pencil in half, and now I used the two ends to gouge out my brain. "Guhhhhhh guhhhhh guhhhhhh guhhhhh guhhhhh," I said, by which I meant: "You have shattered whatever tattered remnants of pedagogical propriety I still possessed, and my tender young mind has broken beneath the strain." Nervously, I climbed back into my chair, the two halves of my pencil sticking out of ears like an arrow that had shot clean through my head. Mrs. Miller allowed herself a small self-congratulatory smile.
Dale Peck (Sprout)
Eminent, eminent people, one and all, members of the Society for the Prevention of Fantasy, advocators of the banishment of Halloween and Guy Fawkes, killers of bats, burners of books, bearers of torches; good clean citizens, every one, who had waited until the rough men had come up and buried the Martians and cleansed the cities and built the towns and repaired the highways and made everything safe. And then, with everything well on its way to Safety, the Spoil-Funs, the people with mercurochrome for blood and iodine-colored eyes, came now to set up their Moral Climates and dole out goodness to everyone.
Ray Bradbury (The Martian Chronicles)
When white people envision their perfect home, it always has hardwood floors. In fact, most white people would prefer a dirt floor over wall-to-wall carpeting, because to them it would have the same level of cleanliness and probably fewer germs. White people are petrified of germs, and when they look at a carpet all they can see is everything that has ever been spilled, tracked in, or shaken loose into the carpet fibers. But more disgusting to white people is that wall-to-wall carpeting reminds them of suburban homes, motel rooms, and the horrible apartments that they have visited or lived in over the years. It has no soul. Only germs. Hardwood floors, on the other hand, are easily cleaned and give a sense of character to a place, since they are often the original flooring in older buildings. It is a well-known white fantasy to purchase a home or apartment that has disgusting carpet and then to pull it up to reveal a beautiful hardwood floor underneath.
Christian Lander (Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions)
It seems a simple task. We all know what water looks like, feels like in our mouth. Water is ubiquitous. Describing a cup of water feels a little like doing a still life painting. As a child I used to wonder: Why do people spend so much time painting bowls of fruit, when they could be painting dragons? Why learn to describe a cup of water, when the story is about cool magic and (well) dragons? It’s a thing I had trouble with as a teenage writer—I’d try to rush through the “boring” parts to get to the interesting parts, instead of learning how to make the boring parts into the interesting parts. And a cup of water is vital to this. Robert Jordan showed me that a cup of water can be a cultural dividing line–the difference between someone who grew up between two rivers, and someone who’d never seen a river before a few weeks ago. A cup of water can be an offhand show of wealth, in the shape of an ornamented cup. It can be a mark of traveling hard, with nothing better to drink. It can be a symbol of better times, when you had something clean and pure. A cup of water isn’t just a cup of water, it’s a means of expressing character. Because stories aren’t about cups of water, or even magic and dragons. They’re about the people painted, illuminated, and changed by magic and dragons.
Brandon Sanderson
Ildiko shuddered.  Her hope to never again see or eat the Kai’s most beloved and revolting delicacy had been in vain.  When Brishen informed her that the dish was one of Serovek’s favorites, she resigned herself to another culinary battle with her food and put the scarpatine on the menu.  She ordered roasted potatoes as well, much to the head cook’s disgust. When servants brought out the food and set it on the table, Brishen leaned close and whispered in her ear.  “Revenge, wife?” “Hardly,” she replied, keeping a wary eye on the pie closest to her.  The golden top crust, with its sprinkle of sparkling salt, pitched in a lazy undulation.  “But I’m starving, and I have no intention of filling up on that abomination.” Their guest of honor didn’t share their dislike of either food.  As deft as any Kai, Serovek made short work of the scarpatine and its whipping tail, cleaved open the shell with his knife and took a generous bite of the steaming gray meat. Ildiko’s stomach heaved.  She forgot her nausea when Serovek complimented her.  “An excellent choice to pair the scarpatine with the potato, Your Highness.  They are better together than apart.” Beside her, Brishen choked into his goblet.  He wiped his mouth with his sanap.  “What a waste of good scarpatine,” he muttered under his breath. What a waste of a nice potato, she thought.  However, the more she thought on Serovek’s remark, the more her amusement grew. “And what has you smiling so brightly?”  Brishen stared at her, his lambent eyes glowing nearly white in the hall’s torchlight. She glanced at Serovek, happily cleaning his plate and shooting the occasional glance at Anhuset nearby.  Brishen’s cousin refused to meet his gaze, but Ildiko had caught the woman watching the Beladine lord more than a few times during dinner. “That’s us, you know,” she said. “What is us?” “The scarpatine and the potato.  Better together than alone.  At least I think so.” One of Brishen’s eyebrows slid upward.  “I thought we were hag and dead eel.  I think I like those comparisons more.”  He shoved his barely-touched potato to the edge of his plate with his knife tip, upper lip curled in revulsion to reveal a gleaming white fang. Ildiko laughed and stabbed a piece of the potato off his plate.  She popped it into her mouth and chewed with gusto, eager to blunt the taste of scarpatine still lingering on her tongue.
Grace Draven (Radiance (Wraith Kings, #1))
The desert frightens me, I think. It looks too much like the seventh circle of hell. I'm afraid of damnation." "Why?" "Why?" Evelyn repeated, peering at Ann from behind her hand. She lay back again and closed her eyes. "I don't know. I've always supposed everyone is." "Well, they're not. I, for instance, am a hell of a lot more frightened of being saved." Evelyn chuckled. "I'm serious," Ann protested. "Virtue smells to me of rotting vegetation. Here you burn or freeze. Either way it's clean." "Sterile," Evelyn said and felt the word a laceration of her own flesh. "I wonder. It's fertility that's a dirty word for me." "Is it?" "Yes, I'm terrified of giving in, of justifying my own existence by means of simple reproduction. So many people do or try to. And there are the children, so unfulfilling after all. And they grow up to do nothing but reproduce children who will reproduce, everyone so busy reproducing that there's no time to produce anything. But it's such a temptation. It seems so natural — another dirty word for me. What's the point?" "You'd have the human race die out?" "No. We'll multiply in spite of ourselves always. We'll populate the desert. One day there will be little houses and docks all along this shore, signs of our salvation." "What would you have us do instead?" Evelyn asked. "Accept damnation," Ann said. "It has its power and its charm. And it's real." "So we should all get jobs in gambling casinos." "We all do," Ann said, her voice amused. "What do you think the University of California is? It's just a minor branch of the Establishment. The only difference is that it has to be subsidized." "Are you talking nonsense on purpose?" "No, I'm serious." "You think nothing has any value?" "No, I think everything has value, absolute value, a child, a house, a day's work, the sky. But nothing will save us. We were never meant to be saved." "What were we meant for then?" "To love the whole damned world," Ann said… "I live in the desert of the heart," Evelyn said quietly, "I can't love the whole damned world." 'Love me, Evelyn.' 'I do.
Jane Rule (Desert of the Heart)
Don't you think our society is designed to kill in that way? Of course, you've surely heard about those tiny fish in the rivers of Brazil which attack the swimmer by the thousands, eat him up in a few moments in quick little mouthfuls and leave only a perfectly clean skeleton behind? So, that's the way they're constituted. 'Do you want a clean life, like everyone else?' Of course the answer is yes. How could you not? 'Fine. We'll clean you up. Here's a job, here's a family, here's some organized leisure.' And the little teeth bite into the flesh, right down to the bone. But i'm being unfair. I shouldn't have said, 'the way they're constituted', because after all, it's our way, too: it's a case of who strips whom.
Albert Camus
I’m Steve, and I’m an addict,” Steve said after raising his hand to share. Steve was in his seventies and always shared first. It was as if he prepared an amazing speech every morning to present to all of us and his words always had a way of putting everything into perspective for me. “I look at these young girls over here, man,” he said pointing to our row, “and I can’t help but feel a bit envious. I’m 71 years old. I’ve got five years clean. I used for fifty years. I missed so damn much. I missed everything.” His voice broke and I could tell he was getting emotional. “I lost my wife once she finally got sick enough of my shit. My kids are adults and haven’t spoken to me in over twenty years—hell—I got grandbabies I ain’t even met.” He stared down at the table for a moment, you could hear a pin drop in that room. When he finally looked up, he looked straight at me and stared into my eyes. “Man, I’ll tell you what…. I would give anything in this world, to go back in time, and enter these rooms when I was your fucking age. Then I might actually have something to look back on and be proud of. You girls are young enough now to get it right, to have a life and make something of yourself. Don’t do what I did. Get it now so that you aren’t my age looking back on your life and thinking damn…I wasted all of it.” It felt like I’d suddenly been struck by lightning. Tears began welling in my eyes as I processed what he’d just said. I imagined what it would be like to have waited until I was an old woman to get clean – if I made it that long. I imagined my children being adults and never speaking to me. The loneliness, the guilt… for what? A momentary high? Never in my life had anyone’s words saturated my skin and seeped into my soul like his just did. I could hear other members voices mumbling as they shared their own bits of wisdom, but all I could do was replay in my head what Steve had said. That was it. That was the moment. Steve’s words changed my life that day. The universe had carefully devised a grand plan to align our paths so we both ended up in the same room that day. Whatever higher power was out there, knew that I needed to hear what that man had just said.
Tiffany Jenkins (High Achiever: The Shocking True Story of One Addict's Double Life)
In the great snowfall before the bomb" In the great snowfall before the bomb colored yule tree lights windows, the only glow for contemplation along this road I worked the print shop right down among em the folk from whom all poetry flows and dreadfully much else. I was Blondie I carried my bundles of hog feeder price lists down by Larry the Lug, I'd never get anywhere because I'd never had suction, pull, you know, favor, drag, well-oiled protection. I heard their rehashed radio barbs— more barbarous among hirelings as higher-ups grow more corrupt. But what vitality! The women hold jobs— clean house, cook, raise children, bowl and go to church. What would they say if they knew I sit for two months on six lines of poetry?
Lorine Niedecker
Brushing through my hair was usually bad enough after a shower. Letting it dry without brushing it was a terrible mistake. It was full of painful tangles, and I hadn’t made much progress when the door at the end of the veranda opened and Ren walked out. I squeaked in alarm and hid behind my hair. Perfect, Kells. He was still barefoot, but had on khaki pants and a sky-blue button-down shirt that matched his eyes. The effect was magnetic, and here I was in flannel pajamas with giant tumbleweed hair. He sat across from me and said, “Good evening, Kells. Did you sleep well?” “Uh, yes. Did you?” He grinned a dazzling white smile and nodded his head slightly. “Are you having trouble?” he asked and watched my detangling progress with an amused expression. “Nope. I’ve got it all under control.” I wanted to divert his attention away from my hair, so I said, “How’s your back and your, um, arm, I guess it would be?” He smiled. “They’re completely fine. Thank you for asking.” “Ren, why aren’t you wearing white? That’s all I’ve ever seen you wear. Is it because your white shirt was torn?” He responded, “No, I just wanted to wear something different. Actually, when I change to a tiger and back, my white clothes reappear. If I changed to a tiger now and then switch back to a man again, my current clothes would be replaced with my old white ones.” “Would they still be torn and bloody?” “No. When I reappear, they’re clean and whole again.” “Hah. Lucky for you. It would be pretty awkward if you ended up naked every time you changed.” I bit my tongue as soon as the words came out and blushed a brilliant shade of red. Nice, Kells. Way to go. I covered up my verbal blunder by tugging my hair in front of my face and yanking through the tangles. He grinned. “Yes. Lucky for me.” I tugged the brush through my hair and winced. “That brings up another question.” Ren rose and took the brush out of my hand. “What…what are you doing?” I stammered. “Relax. You’re too edgy.” He had no idea. Moving behind me, Ren picked up a section of my hair and started gently brushing through it. I was nervous at first, but his hands in my hair were so warm and soothing that I soon relaxed in the chair, closed my eyes, and leaned my head back. After a minute of brushing, he pulled a lock away from my neck, leaned down by my ear, and whispered, “What was it you wanted to ask me?” I jumped. “Umm…what?” I mumbled disconcertingly. “You wanted to ask me a question.” “Oh, right. It was, uh-that feels nice.” Did I say that out loud? Ren laughed softly. “That’s not a question.” Apparently, I did. “Was it something about me changing into a tiger?” “Oh, yes. I remember now. You can change back a forth several times per day, right? Is there a limit?” “No. There’s no limit as long as I don’t remain human for more than a total of twenty-four minutes in a twenty-four hour day.” He moved to another section of hair. “Do you have any more questions, sundari?
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
It kind of freaked me out. Because I don’t know if I’m ready for that kind of thing yet.” Or maybe the problem was that I wasn’t prepared for how ready I was… “Ready for-?” He broke off, and then frowned as if it had all become clear. “Wait.” He dropped his arms from around my waist and took a step away from me. “You think I spent the night wit you?” “Didn’t you?” I blinked back at him. “There’s only the one bed. And…well, you were in it when I woke up.” Thunder boomed overhead. It wasn’t as loud as the violent cracks that had occurred in my dream. Although the rumbles were long enough-and intense enough-that the silverware on the table began to make an eerie tinkling sound. And my bird, who’d been calmly cleaning herself on the back of my chair, suddenly took off, seeing shelter on the highest bookshelf against the far wall. I realized I’d just insulted my host, and no joke was going to get me out of it this time. “For your information, Pierce,” John said, his tone almost disturbingly calm-but his eyes flashed the same shade as the stone around my neck, which had gone the color of the metal studs at his wrists-“I spent most of last night on the couch. Until one point early this morning, when I heard you call my name. You were crying in your sleep.” The salt water I’d tasted on my lips. Not due to rain from a violent hurricane, but from the tears I’d shed, watching him die in front of me. “Oh,” I said uncomfortably. “John, I’m so-“ It turned out he wasn’t finished. “I put my arms around you to try to comfort you, because I know what this place can be like, at least at first. It’s not exactly hell, but it’s the next closest place to it. You wouldn’t let go of me. You held on to me like you were drowning, and I was your only lifeline.” I swallowed, astonished at how close he’d come to describing my dream…except it had been the other way around. I’d been his lifeline; only he’d let go of me, sacrificing himself so that I could live. “Right,” I said. “Of course. I’m sorry.” I couldn’t believe how stupid I’d been, especially since my mother had always worried so much about my talking in my sleep. On the other hand, I had been upfront with him about my lack of experience when it came to men. “But this is good, see?” I reached out to take his hand. “I told you I could never hate you-“ He pulled his hand away, exactly like in my dream. Well, not exactly, because he wasn’t being sucked from my grasp by a giant ocean swell. Instead, he’d dropped my fingers because he was leaving to go sort the souls of the dead. “You will,” he assured me, bitterly. “You’re already regretting your decision to-what was it you called it? Oh, right-cohabitate with me.” “No,” I insisted. “I’m not. All I said was that I want to take things more slowly-“ That had nothing to do with him-it had to do with me and my fear of not being able to control myself when he was kissing me. It was too humiliating to admit that out loud, however.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
Rose of Sharon Chapter 16 Me an’ Connie don’t want to live in the country no more. We got it all planned up what we gonna do. Well, we talked about it, me an’ Connie. Ma, we want to live in a town. Connie gonna get a job in a store or maybe a factory. An’ he’s gonna study at home, maybe radios, so he can get to be a expert an’ maybe later have his own store. An’ we’ll go to pitchers whenever. An’ Connie says I’m gonna have a doctor when the baby’s born; an’ he says we’ll see how times is, an’ maybe I’ll go to a hospiddle. An’ we’ll have a car, a little car. An’ when he gets done studying at night, why – it’ll be nice, an’ he tore a page out of Western Love Stories, an’ he’s gonna send off for a course ‘cause it don’t cost nothin’ to send off. Says right on that clipping. I seen it. An’, why- they even get you a job when you take that course-radios, it is—nice clean work, and a future. An’ we’ll live in town an’ go to pitchers whenever, an’ – well. I’m gonna have an ‘lectric iron! an’, the baby’ll have all new stuff-“white an’- Well, you seen in the catalogue all the stuff they got for a baby. Maybe right at first while Connie’s studying’ at home it wou’t be so easy, but-well, when the baby comes, maybe he’ll be all done studyin’ an’ we’ll have a place, little bit of a place. We don’t want nothin’ fancy, but we want it nice for the baby-“An’ I thougt-well, I thought maybe we could all go in town, an’ when Connie gets his store – maybe Al could work for him.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)
Okay, someone’s been smoking the wacky tobacky. And keep your hands to yourself!” She smacked at his roving fingers, fighting the shivers following his touch. "I agreed to let you accompany me because, well...maybe you're right. We should try and put the animosity between our families-stop that!" She gripped his fingers and tried to twist them, but he easily pulled out of her grip. Alessandro laughed. “Darling, I haven’t laughed in ages like I do when I’m with you. I propose a clean slate, eh?” He sighed and sat back against the seat. “Brianna. I’m not going to give up until you are mine. You could make this so much easier if you just accept the inevitable.” He lifted his hand to cup the side of her face. “We belong to each other, and you know it.
E. Jamie (The Vendetta (Blood Vows, #1))
Vi, are you all right?” Jay asked, right beside her now, pulling her off the ground. Tears burned her eyes, and it wasn’t just from the painful sting radiating up through her hands and knees. Humiliation threatened to overcome the hurt. Jay hauled her up. She could smell his musky scent in his sweatshirt, and she tried to hold her breath against it. This was bad . . . this was a bad, bad place for her to be. “Are you hurt?” He pulled her away just enough so he could look down at her. She bit her lip, trying to will the tears away. She blinked and looked back at him. “I’m okay,” she responded, but her voice broke, making her words sound puny, pathetic even. He cringed as he bent down and looked at the angry red scrapes on both her knees. He reached out to lightly brush away some of the dirt from them, but she knew that he was afraid of hurting her, so he barely touched them. “We’d better get you back so we can clean those up.” He straightened, and then surprised her by picking her up as he started to carry her along the trail. She struggled against him. “I can walk!” she protested, feeling even more like a baby as he held her in his arms. He looked down at her in disbelief. “Are you sure? ‘Cause I think I just saw you trying, and it didn’t work out so well for you.” He didn’t seem inclined to let her down just yet; he just kept walking. She laughed but insisted again through her teary giggles, “Seriously, put me down! I feel stupid enough already—I don’t need you treating me like an invalid.” He slowed down unsurely before setting Violet on her own two feet. Internally she cursed herself for being so stubborn, and she wished that he’d put up more of a fight. Why couldn’t he have insisted on carrying her all the way home? Instead, he reached out and grabbed her hand. “If it’s all right with you, I think I’ll keep ahold of you anyway. I don’t want to be responsible for letting you fall again.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
FATHER FORGETS W. Livingston Larned Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, “Goodbye, Daddy!” and I frowned, and said in reply, “Hold your shoulders back!” Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive—and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. “What is it you want?” I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding—this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years. And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: “He is nothing but a boy—a little boy!” I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends & Influence People)
That done, I sank into an uneasy sleep wherein I dreamed of an assembly line of pale, bloodless girls walking down an endless dark street and moaning softly for help. Somewhere, toward the edge of my inner vision, a shadowy figure pursued them with long, beckoning arms. Goddamn booze! Somewhere in the midst of this ghoulish girl parade Cairncross materialized and hung a garland of garlic around my neck, glaring at me with his good eye and intoning, 'Go and sin no more.' Vincenzo appeared at Cairncross' side and together they laughed insanely, then vanished in a puff of sulphurous smoke. I made several high-minded resolutions, muttered half-heard but sincere-sounding prayers to all the recently deposed saints, thrashed and rolled clean off the bed. I might just as well have stayed up.
Jeff Rice (The Night Stalker)
The Sun King had dinner each night alone. He chose from forty dishes, served on gold and silver plate. It took a staggering 498 people to prepare each meal. He was rich because he consumed the work of other people, mainly in the form of their services. He was rich because other people did things for him. At that time, the average French family would have prepared and consumed its own meals as well as paid tax to support his servants in the palace. So it is not hard to conclude that Louis XIV was rich because others were poor. But what about today? Consider that you are an average person, say a woman of 35, living in, for the sake of argument, Paris and earning the median wage, with a working husband and two children. You are far from poor, but in relative terms, you are immeasurably poorer than Louis was. Where he was the richest of the rich in the world’s richest city, you have no servants, no palace, no carriage, no kingdom. As you toil home from work on the crowded Metro, stopping at the shop on the way to buy a ready meal for four, you might be thinking that Louis XIV’s dining arrangements were way beyond your reach. And yet consider this. The cornucopia that greets you as you enter the supermarket dwarfs anything that Louis XIV ever experienced (and it is probably less likely to contain salmonella). You can buy a fresh, frozen, tinned, smoked or pre-prepared meal made with beef, chicken, pork, lamb, fish, prawns, scallops, eggs, potatoes, beans, carrots, cabbage, aubergine, kumquats, celeriac, okra, seven kinds of lettuce, cooked in olive, walnut, sunflower or peanut oil and flavoured with cilantro, turmeric, basil or rosemary … You may have no chefs, but you can decide on a whim to choose between scores of nearby bistros, or Italian, Chinese, Japanese or Indian restaurants, in each of which a team of skilled chefs is waiting to serve your family at less than an hour’s notice. Think of this: never before this generation has the average person been able to afford to have somebody else prepare his meals. You employ no tailor, but you can browse the internet and instantly order from an almost infinite range of excellent, affordable clothes of cotton, silk, linen, wool and nylon made up for you in factories all over Asia. You have no carriage, but you can buy a ticket which will summon the services of a skilled pilot of a budget airline to fly you to one of hundreds of destinations that Louis never dreamed of seeing. You have no woodcutters to bring you logs for the fire, but the operators of gas rigs in Russia are clamouring to bring you clean central heating. You have no wick-trimming footman, but your light switch gives you the instant and brilliant produce of hardworking people at a grid of distant nuclear power stations. You have no runner to send messages, but even now a repairman is climbing a mobile-phone mast somewhere in the world to make sure it is working properly just in case you need to call that cell. You have no private apothecary, but your local pharmacy supplies you with the handiwork of many thousands of chemists, engineers and logistics experts. You have no government ministers, but diligent reporters are even now standing ready to tell you about a film star’s divorce if you will only switch to their channel or log on to their blogs. My point is that you have far, far more than 498 servants at your immediate beck and call. Of course, unlike the Sun King’s servants, these people work for many other people too, but from your perspective what is the difference? That is the magic that exchange and specialisation have wrought for the human species.
Matt Ridley (The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves)
Endovier must have been terrible,” Chaol said. Nothing malicious or mocking lay beneath his words. Did she dare call it sympathy? “Yes,” she said slowly. “It was.” He gave her a look that asked for more. Well, what did she care if she told him? “When I arrived, they cut my hair, gave me rags, and put a pickax in my hand as if I knew what to do with it. They chained me to the others, and I endured my whippings with the rest of them. But the overseers had been instructed to treat me with extra care, and took the liberty of rubbing salt into my wounds—salt I mined—and whipped me often enough so that some of the gashes never really closed. It was through the kindness of a few prisoners from Eyllwe that my wounds didn’t become infected. Every night, one of them stayed up the hours it took to clean my back.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
The radio truck has driven up to us in the forest. Already an hour earlier – hardly that we had received the news the Führer would speak – we shaved (lacking water, one can very well use coffee) and cleaned the uniform. We now have war with England and France as well! It will become a difficult struggle and we in no way surrender to cheap optimism. But the faith in the Führer's genius is unshakeable. Our enemies have no leader and hence no political faith. We cannot imagine that they over there, our enemies, know at all for what they fight for. Hence they are soldiers without passion. We will – simply because the Führer has taught us the style of a political existence – fight more persevering, more fanatically and more ruthlessly than our opponents. We have taken a great pledge: Either Europe will belong to us – the purified, hardened in itself, Germanic stamped Europe – or we will disappear from the stage of world history, such as the enemies of German freedom hope. That the future belongs to us, is certain to us. Certainty that we owe our Führer. To fight in such certainty, is for us soldiers of 1939 the highest, manliest, most warlike happiness, for which our sons and grandchildren will one day envy us! What a difference to 1914!
Kurt Eggers
She narrowed her eyes at him. She wanted to tell him that it was his fault, that she would never have tripped if he’d just stayed the same old Jay he’d always been, gangly and childlike. But she knew that she was being irrational. He was bound to grow up eventually; she’d just never imagined that he’d grow up so well. Instead she accused him: “Well, maybe if you hadn’t pushed me I wouldn’t have fallen.” She made the outlandish accusation with a completely straight face. He shook his head. “You’ll never be able to prove it. There were no witnesses—it’s just your word against mine.” She giggled and hopped down. “Yeah, well, who’s gonna believe you over me? Weren’t you the one who shoplifted a candy bar from the Safeway?” She limped over to the sink while she taunted him with her words, and she washed the dirt from the minor scrapes on her palms. “Whatever! I was seven. And I believe you were the one who handed it to me and told me to hide it in my sleeve. Technically that makes you the mastermind of that little operation, doesn’t it?” He came up behind her, and reaching around her, he poured some of the antibacterial wash onto her hands. She was taken completely off guard by the intimate gesture. She froze as she felt his chest pressing against her back until that was all she could think about for the moment and the temporarily forgot how to speak. She watched as the red scrapes fizzed with white bubbles from the disinfectant. He leaned over her shoulder, setting the bottle down and pulling her hands up toward him. He blew on them too. Violet didn’t even notice the sting this time. And then it was over. He released her hands, and as she stood there, dazed, he handed her a clean towel to dry them on. When she turned around to face him, she realized that she had been the only one affected by the moment, that his touch had been completely innocent. He was looking at her like he was waiting for her to say something, and she was suddenly aware that her mouth was still open. She finally gathered her wits enough to speak again. “Yeah, well, maybe if you hadn’t done it right in front of the cashier, we might have gotten away with it. Instead, you got both of us grounded for stealing.” He didn’t miss a beat, and he seemed unaware of her temporary lapse. “And some might say that our grounding saved us from a life of crime.” She hung the towel over the oven’s door handle. “Maybe it saved me, but the jury’s still out on you. I always thought you were kind of a bad seed.” He gave her a questioning look. “Seriously, a ‘bad seed’, Vi? When did you turn ninety and start saying things like ‘bad seed’?” She pushed him as she walked by, even though he really wasn’t in her way. He gave her a playful shove from behind and teased her, “Don’t make me trip you again.” Now more than ever, Violet hoped that this crush of hers passed soon, so she could get back to the business of being just friends. Otherwise, this was going to be a long—and painful—year.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
We had exhausted all the common manners of distraction as well as some less common ones. No matter what ecstasy we might have achieved, a moment later the same old routine of eating, excreting and emoting demanded its right. Nature, mindlessly bestowing millennia of mayhem in her vast theater of wriggling decay, did not care, of course, yet seemed to mock us with every crooked tree, each one a megalomaniac weed, and every shrill cry of some idiot bird (is “Nevermore!” really that hard to get right?), with the deformed, torn clouds adding a distinct sense of clumsy kindergarten-level artistry to the scene. The impudence of a sickly moon I would be willing to forgive, perhaps even to enjoy as a sardonic quirk, but who could not take umbrage with the utterly random distributions of stars? How often must I tell you to clean up that mess in the sky?
Andre Solnikkar (Post Mortem Diversions)
The gross domestic product (GDP) was created in the 1930s to measure the value of the sum total of economic goods and services generated over a single year. The problem with the index is that it counts negative as well as positive economic activity. If a country invests large sums of money in armaments, builds prisons, expands police security, and has to clean up polluted environments and the like, it’s included in the GDP. Simon Kuznets, an American who invented the GDP measurement tool, pointed out early on that “[t]he welfare of a nation can . . . scarcely be inferred from a measurement of national income.”28 Later in life, Kuznets became even more emphatic about the drawbacks of relying on the GDP as a gauge of economic prosperity. He warned that “[d]istinctions must be kept in mind between quantity and quality of growth . . . . Goals for ‘more’ growth should specify more growth of what and for what.”29
Jeremy Rifkin (The The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World)
Hey. Know what happened to me today?" He sits back and crosses his arms, smiles. "No. What happened to you today?" "Well, I decided to take the bus to work instead of driving? And I got on and I sat behind this woman who started crying. She was very quiet about it, just every now and then she would reach up and wipe away a tear. She had this kerchief on her head, this ratty old flowered kerchief, but it was clean and it was tied very neatly, you know. And she had her purse on her lap and she was holding on to it like it was hands. At first nobody else seemed to notice she was crying, but then everybody around her did. And it got very quiet. And then finally this man got up from the back of the bus, and he came up and sat next to her and put his arm around her, and he didn't say a word, but just stared straight ahead with his arm around her and she kept crying, but it was better now, you could tell, she kind of had a little smile even though she was still crying. And I don't know if he even knew her! I think everybody was wondering the same thing: Does he even know her? I guess he must have known her; otherwise she probably would have leaped up and started screaming or something, but you never know! You just never know, it might have been someone whose heart went out to her because she was crying. And he decided he would comfort her. And she let him. And I think it was a kind of miracle. A living parable or something.
Elizabeth Berg (Once Upon a Time, There Was You)
Hollin was still sitting with Levitas’s head in his lap, a bucket now beside him; he was squeezing water from a clean cloth into the dragon’s open mouth. He looked at Rankin without bothering to hide his contempt, but then he bent over and said, “Levitas, come along now; look who’s come.” Levitas’s eyes opened, but they were milky and blind. “My captain?” he said uncertainly. Laurence thrust Rankin forward and down onto his knees, none too gently; Rankin gasped and clutched at his thigh, but he said, “Yes, I am here.” He looked up at Laurence and swallowed, then added awkwardly, “You have been very brave.” There was nothing natural or sincere in the tone; it was as ungraceful as could be imagined. But Levitas only said, very softly, “You came.” He licked at a few drops of water at the corner of his mouth. The blood was still welling sluggishly from beneath the dressing, thick enough to slightly part the bandages one from the other, glistening and black. Rankin shifted uneasily; his breeches and stockings were being soaked through, but he looked up at Laurence and did not try to move away. Levitas gave a low sigh, and then the shallow movement of his sides ceased. Hollin closed his eyes with one rough hand. Laurence’s hand was still heavy on the back of Rankin’s neck; now he lifted it away, rage gone, and only tight-lipped disgust left. “Go,” he said. “We who valued him will make the arrangements, not you.” He did not even look at the man as Rankin left the clearing.
Naomi Novik (His Majesty's Dragon (Temeraire, #1))
His breath fell in a warm, even rhythm on the curve of her cheek. “Some people think of the bee as a sacred insect,” he said. “It’s a symbol of reincarnation.” “I don’t believe in reincarnation,” she muttered. There was a smile in his voice. “What a surprise. At the very least, the bees’ presence in your home is a sign of good things to come.” Her voice was buried in the fine wool of his coat. “Wh-what does it mean if there are thousands of bees in one’s home?” He shifted her higher in his arms, his lips curving gently against the cold rim of her ear. “Probably that we’ll have plenty of honey for teatime. We’re going through the doorway now. In a moment I’m going to set you on your feet.” Amelia kept her face against him, her fingertips digging into the layers of his clothes. “Are they following?” “No. They want to stay near the hive. Their main concern is to protect the queen from predators.” “She has nothing to fear from me!” Laughter rustled in his throat. With extreme care, he lowered Amelia’s feet to the floor. Keeping one arm around her, he reached with the other to close the door. “There. We’re out of the room. You’re safe.” His hand passed over her hair. “You can open your eyes now.” Clutching the lapels of his coat, Amelia stood and waited for a feeling of relief that didn’t come. Her heart was racing too hard, too fast. Her chest ached from the strain of her breathing. Her lashes lifted, but all she could see was a shower of sparks. “Amelia … easy. You’re all right.” His hands chased the shivers that ran up and down her back. “Slow down, sweetheart.” She couldn’t. Her lungs were about to burst. No matter how hard she worked, she couldn’t get enough air. Bees … the sound of buzzing was still in her ears. She heard his voice as if from a great distance, and she felt his arms go around her again as she sank into layers of gray softness. After what could have been a minute or an hour, pleasant sensations filtered through the haze. A tender pressure moved over her forehead. The gentle brushes touched her eyelids, slid to her cheeks. Strong arms held her against a comfortingly hard surface, while a clean, salt-edged scent filled her nostrils. Her lashes fluttered, and she turned into the warmth with confused pleasure. “There you are,” came a low murmur. Opening her eyes, Amelia saw Cam Rohan’s face above her. They were on the hallway floor—he was holding her in his lap. As if the situation weren’t mortifying enough, the front of her bodice was gaping, and her corset was unhooked. Only her crumpled chemise was left to cover her chest. Amelia stiffened. Until that moment she had never known there was a feeling beyond embarrassment, that made one wish one could crumble into a pile of ashes. “My … my dress…” “You weren’t breathing well. I thought it best to loosen your corset.” “I’ve never fainted before,” she said groggily, struggling to sit up. “You were frightened.” His hand came to the center of her chest, gently pressing her back down. “Rest another minute.” His gaze moved over her wan features. “I think we can conclude you’re not fond of bees.
Lisa Kleypas (Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1))
You’re so bright, Trav, and so intuitive about people. And you have … the gift of tenderness. And sympathy. You could be almost anything.” “Of course!” I said, springing to my feet and beginning to pace back and forth through the lounge. “Why didn’t I think of that! Here I am, wasting the golden years on this lousy barge, getting all mixed up with lame-duck women when I could be out there seeking and striving. Who am I to keep from putting my shoulder to the wheel? Why am I not thinking about an estate and how to protect it? Gad, woman, I could be writing a million dollars a year in life insurance. I should be pulling a big oar in the flagship of life. Maybe it isn’t too late yet! Find the little woman, and go for the whole bit. Kiwanis, P.T.A., fund drives, cookouts, a clean desk, and vote the straight ticket, yessiree bob. Then when I become a senior citizen, I can look back upon …” I stopped when I heard the small sound she was making. She sat with her head bowed. I went over and put my fingertips under her chin. I tilted her head up and looked down into her streaming eyes. “Please, don’t,” she whispered. “You’re beginning to bring out the worst in me, woman.” “It was none of my business.” “I will not dispute you.” “But … who did this to you?” “I’ll never know you well enough to try to tell you, Lois.” She tried to smile. “I guess it can’t be any plainer than that.” “And I’m not a tragic figure, no matter how hard you try to make me into one. I’m delighted with myself, woman.” “And you wouldn’t say it that way if you were.” “Spare me the cute insights.
John D. MacDonald (The Deep Blue Good-By)
In a private room down the hall, a tired but delighted Cecily was watching her husband with his brand-new son. Cecily had thought that the expression on Tate’s face at their wedding would never be duplicated. But when they placed the tiny little boy in his father’s gowned arms in the delivery room, and he saw his child for the first time, the look on his face was indescribable. Tears welled in his eyes. He’d taken the tiny little fist in his big, dark hand and smoothed over the perfect little fingers and then the tiny little face, seeking resemblances. “Generations of our families,” he said softly, “all there, in that face.” He’d looked down at his wife with unashamedly wet eyes. “In our son’s face.” She wiped her own tears away with a corner of the sheet and coaxed Tate’s head down so that she could do the same for him where they were, temporarily, by themselves. Now she was cleaned up, like their baby, and drowsy as she lay on clean white sheets and watched her husband get acquainted with his firstborn. “Isn’t he beautiful?” he murmured, still awed by the child. “Next time, we have to have a little girl,” he said with a tender smile, “so that she can look like you.” Her heart felt near to bursting as she stared up at that beloved face, above the equally beloved face of their firstborn. “My heart is happy when I see you,” she whispered in Lakota. He chuckled, having momentarily forgotten that he’d taught her how to say it. “Mine is equally happy when I see you,” he replied in English. She reached out and clasped his big hand with her small one. On the table beside her was a bouquet of roses, red and crisp with a delightful soft perfume. Her eyes traced them, and she remembered the first rose he’d ever given her, when she was seventeen: a beautiful red paper rose that he’d brought her from Japan. Now the roses were real, not imitation. Just as her love for him, and his for her, had become real enough to touch. He frowned slightly at her expression. “What is it?” he asked softly. “I was remembering the paper rose you brought me from Japan, just after I went to live with Leta.” She shrugged and smiled self-consciously. He smiled back. “And now you’re covered in real ones,” he discerned. She nodded, delighted to see that he understood exactly what she was talking about. But, then, they always had seemed to read each others’ thoughts-never more than now, with the baby who was a living, breathing manifestation of their love. “Yes,” she said contentedly. “The roses are real, now.” Outside the window, rain was coming down in torrents, silver droplets shattering on the bright green leaves of the bushes. In the room, no one noticed. The baby was sleeping and his parents were watching him, their eyes full of warm, soft dreams.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
SHRIMP LOUIE SPREAD Hannah’s Note: This is best served well chilled with a basket of crackers on the side. 8 ounces softened cream cheese ½ cup mayonnaise ¼ cup chili sauce (I used Heinz) 1 Tablespoon horseradish (I used Silver Springs) 1/8 teaspoon pepper 6 green onions 2 cups finely chopped cooked salad shrimp*** (measure AFTER chopping) Salt to taste Mix the cream cheese with the mayonnaise. Add the chili sauce, horseradish, and pepper. Mix it up into a smooth sauce.   Clean the green onions and cut off the bottoms. Use all of the white part and up to an inch of the green part. Throw the tops away.   Mince the onions as finely as you can and add them to the sauce. Stir them in well.   Chop the salad shrimp into fine bits. You can do this with a sharp knife, or in the food processor using the steel blade and an on-and-off motion.   Mix in the shrimp and check to see how salty the spread is. Add salt if needed.   Chill the spread in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. You can make it in the morning if you plan to serve it that night.   Yield: Makes approximately 3 cups.
Joanne Fluke (Plum Pudding Murder (Hannah Swensen, #12))
When she finally opened them and took in the sight of the two men, a burble of silvery laughter spilled from her dusty lips. "You-you look like bandito snowmen from hell," she choked mirthfully. "And very old ones at that!" Rider yanked his bandanna from his face, and she laughed even harder at his two-toned complexion. Winking at Juan, Rider commented, "This is the thanks we get for coming to her rescue." Juan chuckled. "Si, I think she deserves to have to gaze at herself in the mirror. She looks the bruja pequena, hey, compadre?" "Little witch!" Willow blustered. "Well,none of you are sitting on the furniture until you've cleaned up," Miriam interjected sternly. Willow hurried to the sitting-room window, gasping at the sight of swirling, brownish-gray dirt and debris. "We might as well break out a deck of cards and take a seat on the floor because I think it's going to be awhile before we can get to the water pump and wash ourselves." As if to confirm her words, a loud boom of thunder reverberated above the house. Seconds later, rain pelted the windowpane, and a jagged spear of lightning knifed through the riotus gloom. Willow automatically jumped back from the window, surprised when she stumbled over Rider's toes. He steadied her and she gave an embarrassed smile. "Sorry. I know darn well that lightning can't get to me in here, but it never fails to make me blink and jump." Rider grinned down at her. "It's a natural reaction.If I'd been paying attention to the sky instead of you, I'd have jumped,too." Willow flushed and glanced at Miriam, hoping her friend hadn't heard his candid remark. To her dismay, Miriam winked and smiled knowingly.
Charlotte McPherren (Song of the Willow)
So,” Will begins, “do you play ball as well as you run?” I laugh a little. I can’t help it. He’s sweet and disarming and my nerves are racing. “Not even close.” The conversation goes no further as we move up in our lines. Catherine looks over her shoulder at me, her wide sea eyes assessing. Like she can’t quite figure me out. My smile fades and I look away. She can never figure me out. I can never let her. Never let anyone here. She faces me with her arms crossed. “You make friends fast. Since freshman year, I’ve spoken to like . . .” She paused and looks upward as though mentally counting. “Three, no—four people. And you’re number four.” I shrug. “He’s just a guy.” Catherine squares up at the free-throw line, dribbles a few times, and shoots. The ball swished cleanly through the net. She catches it and tosses it back to me. I try copying her moves, but my ball flies low, glides beneath the backboard. I head to the end of the line again. Will’s already waiting it half-court, letting others go before him. My face warms at his obvious stall. “You weren’t kidding,” he teases over the thunder of basketballs. “Did you make it?” I ask, wishing I had looked while he shot. “Yeah.” “Of course,” I mock. He lets another kid go before him. I do the same. Catherine is several ahead of me now. His gaze scans me, sweeping over my face and hair with deep intensity, like he’s memorizing my features. “Yeah, well. I can’t run like you.” I move up in line, but when I sneak a look behind me, he’s looking back, too. “Wow,” Catherine murmurs in her smoky low voice as she falls into line beside me. “I never knew it happened like that.” I snap my gaze to her. “What?” “You know. Romeo and Juliet stuff. Love at first sight and all that.” “It’s not like that,” I say quickly. “You could have fooled me.” We’re up again. Catherine takes her shot. It swishes cleanly through the hoop. When I shoot, the ball bounces hard off the backboard and flies wildly through the air, knocking the coach in the head. I slap a hand over my mouth. The coach barely catches herself from falling. Several students laugh. She glares at me and readjusts her cap. With a small wave of apology, I head back to the end of the line. Will’s there, fighting laughter. “Nice,” he says. “Glad I’m downcourt of you.” I cross my arms and resist smiling, resist letting myself feel good around him. But he makes it hard. I want to smile. I want to like him, to be around him, to know him. “Happy to amuse you.” His smile slips then, and he’s looking at me with that strange intensity again. Only I understand. I know why. He must remember . . . must recognize me on some level even though he can’t understand it. “You want to go out?” he asks suddenly. I blink. “As in a date?” “Yes. That’s what a guy usually means when he asks that question.
Sophie Jordan (Firelight (Firelight, #1))
Ostap Bender lay in the dvornik's room, which was warm to the point of reeking, and mentally put the finishing touches on two possible career plans. He could become a polygamist and move peacefully from town to town, dragging behind him a new suitcase full of valuable items he'd picked up from the latest wife. Or he could go the very next day to the Stargorod Children's Commission and offer them the chance to distribute the as-yet unpainted but brilliantly conceived canvas The Bolsheviks Writing a Letter to Chamberlain, based on the artist Repin's popular painting The Zaporozhian Cossacks Writing a Letter to the Turkish Sultan. If it worked out, this option could bring in something along the line of four hundred rubles. Ostap had thought up both options during his last stay in Moscow. The polygamy option had been born under the influence of the court report from the evening papers, where it was clearly indicated that some polygamist had only gotten two years without strict isolation. Option number two had taken shape in Bender's mind when he was going through the AARR exhibit on a free ticket. However, both options had their downsides. It was impossible to begin a career as a polygamist without a wondrous, dapple-gray suit. In addition, he needed at least ten rubles for hospitality expenses and seduction. Of course, he could get married in his green campaign uniform as well, because Bender's masculine power and attraction were absolutely irresistible to provincial, marriage-ready Margaritas; but that would be, as Bender liked to say, "Poor-quality goods. Not clean work." It wasn't all smooth sailing for the painting, either. Purely technical difficulties could arise. Would it be proper to paint Comrade Kalinin in a papakha and a white burka, or Comrade Chicherin naked to the waist?
Ilya Ilf (The Twelve Chairs)
Benefits of the Master Cleanse Detox Diet and How to Conserve a Healthy Cleansing The Master Detox in 14 days , also referred to as lemonade diet regime, is not new and has been known for decades. It demands drinking only lemonade made from fresh squeezed lemons and normal water, maple syrup, along with cayenne pepper. So there is no strong food during the detoxification course of action. Typically, any lemonade diet regime will last for 10 to 14 times and is known to be very efffective regarding colon cleansing. It's good in dissolving built-up wastes in our intestinal tracts. Besides colon detox, master cleanse diet plan can also be used for rapid weight loss. In 2007, the gifted singer/actress Beyonce Knowles used soda and pop diet pertaining to 14 days and lost Twenty-two lb or 9 kilograms. She made it happen for her part in the video Dreamgirls. As a result, this diet plan received huge advertising attention. Remember that weight loss utilizing master cleanse detox diet is not a long term remedy. After the clean, you should return to a healthy as well as well-balanced diet which consists of plenty of fruits and also fresh vegetables and occasional in included fats as well as sweets. That is how you have a long-lasting and healthful detox. Hence the key to long-term wholesome detoxification is always to focus on receiving plenty of exercise and having a well-balanced eating habits high in fruit and vegetables and low throughout added fatty acids and sugars. Some of the great things about Master Cleanse Detoxification Diet are usually: - Waste food, plague and phlegm that developed and caught up in our digestive tract tracts might be expelled. : Can result in weight loss but should followed healthy way of life after detox otherwise you're sure to gain it back in time.
bdx
FATHER FORGETS W. Livingston Larned Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, ‘Goodbye, Daddy!’ and I frowned, and said in reply, ‘Hold your shoulders back!’ Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive – and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. ‘What is it you want?’ I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding – this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years. And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: ‘He is nothing but a boy – a little boy!’ I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much. Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. ‘To know all is to forgive
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
That was the moment Anna felt something inside her trip and fall, something come clean away from all the snares and traps and tangles of the propriety in which she’d been steeped all these years. And as he began to move, she pressed into him as he had shown her, looked up at him from beneath her lashes as he’d directed, and said, in a purring voice, “My, my, sir, how well you move us about the dance floor! One can’t help but wonder if you move as well in other, more intimate circumstances,” she said, and let her lips stretch into a soft smile. It worked. Grif’s grin faded; he slowed his step a little and blinked down at her for a moment. But that dangerous smile slowly appeared again, starting in his eyes and casually reaching his lips. “If ye were to pose such a question to me, lass, I’d say, ‘As fast or as slow, as soft or as hard as ye’d want, leannan. Pray tell, how would ye want?’” The tingling in her groin was a signal that she was on perilous ground. Anna looked into his green eyes, so dark and so deep that she couldn’t quite determine if this was a game they were playing or something far more dangerous. And her good sense, shaped and controlled from years of living among high society, quietly shut down, allowing the real Anna, the Anna who yearned to be loved, to be held and caressed and adored and know all manner of physical pleasure, to slide deeper into the circle of his arms. “I don’t rightly know how I’d want, sir, other than to say…” Her voice trailed away as she let her gaze roam his face, the perfectly tied neckcloth, the breadth of his shoulders, his thick arms. And then she lifted her gaze to his, saw something smoldering there, and recklessly whispered, “… that I’d most definitely want.” He said nothing. The muscles in his jaw bulged as if he refrained from speaking, and she realized that they had come to a halt. But then his hand spread beneath hers, his palm pressed to her palm, and he laced his fingers between hers, one by one, and with the last one, he closed his hand, gripping hers tightly. “Tha sin glè mhath,” he whispered hoarsely. Anna smiled, lifted a curious brow. “I said, that’s very good, lass. Very good indeed
Julia London (Highlander in Disguise (Lockhart Family #2))
Katie stood alone... 'They think this is so good,' he thought. 'They think it's good- the tree they got for nothing and their father playing up to them and the singing and the way the neighbors are happy. They think they're mighty lucky that they're living and it's Christmas again. They can't see that we live on a dirty street in a dirty house among people who aren't much good. Johnny and the children can't see how pitiful it is that our neighbors have to make happiness out of this filth and dirt. My children must get out of this. They must come to more than Johnnny or me or all thse people around us. But how is this to come about? Reading a page from those books every day and saving pennies in the tin-can bank isn't enough. Money! Would that make it better for them? Yes, it would make it easy. But no, the money wouldn't be enough. McGarrity owns the saloon standing on the corner and he has a lot of money. His wife wears diamond earrings. But her children are not as good and smart as my children. They are mean and greedy towards others...Ah no, it isn't the money alone... That means there must be something bigger than money. Miss Jackson teaches... and she has no money. She works for charity. She lives in a little room there on the top floor. She only has the one dress but she keeps it clean and pressed. Her eyes look straight into yours when you talk to her... She understands about things. She can live in the middle of a dirty neighborhood and be fine and clean like an actress in a play; someone you can look at but is too fine to touch... So what is this difference between her and this Miss Jackson who has no money?... Education! That was it!...Education would pull them out of the grime and dirt. Proof? Miss Jackson was educated, the McGarrity wasn't. Ah! That's what Mary Rommely, her mother, had been telling her all those years. Only her mother did not have the one clear word: education!... 'Francie is smart...She's a learner and she'll be somebody someday. But when she gets educated, she will grow away from me. Why, she's growing away from me now. She does not love me the way the boy loves me. I feel her turn away from me now. She does not understand me. All she understands is that I don't understand her. Maybe when she gets education, she will be ashamed of me- the way I talk. but she will have too much character to show it. Instead she will try to make me different. She will come to see me and try to make me live in a better way and I will be mean to her because I'll know she's above me. She will figure out too much about things as she grows older; she'll get to know too much for her own happiness. She'll find out that I don't love her as much as I love the boy. I cannot help that this is so. But she won't understand that. Somethimes I think she knows that now. Already she is growing away from me; she will fight to get away soon. Changing over to that far-away school was the first step in her getting away from me. But Neeley will never leave me, that is why I love him best. He will cling to me and understand me... There is music in him. He got that from his father. He has gone further on the piano than Francie or me. Yes, his father has the music in him but it does him no good. It is ruining him... With the boy, it will be different. He'll be educated. I must think out ways. We'll not have Johnnny with us long. Dear God, I loved him so much once- and sometimes I still do. But he's worthless...worthless. And God forgive me for ever finding out.' Thus Katie figured out everything in the moments it took them to climb the stairs. People looking up at her- at her smooth pretty vivacious face- had no way of knowing about the painfully articulated resolves formulating hin her mind.
Betty Smith
I pulled Slayer from its sheath and pushed the door open with my fingertips. It swung soundlessly on well-greased hinges. Through the hallway, I saw the living room lamp glowing with soothing yellow light. I smelled coffee. Who breaks into a house, turns on the lights, and makes coffee? I padded into the living room on soft feet, Slayer ready. “Loud and clumsy, like a baby rhino,” said a familiar voice. I stepped into the living room. Curran sat on my couch, reading my favorite paperback. His hair was back to its normal short length. His face was clean shaven. He looked nothing like the dark, demonic figure who shook a would-be god’s head on a field a month ago. I thought he had forgotten about me. I had been quite happy to stay forgotten. “The Princess Bride?” he said, flipping the book over. “What are you doing in my house?” Let himself in, had he? Made himself comfortable, as if he owned the place. “Did everything go well with Julie?” “Yes. She didn’t want to stay, but she’ll make friends quickly, and the staff seems sensible.” I watched him, not quite sure where we stood. “I meant to tell you but haven’t gotten a chance. Sorry about Bran. I didn’t like him, but he died well.” “Yes, he did. I’m sorry about your people. Many losses?” A shadow darkened his face. “A third.” He had taken a hundred with him. At least thirty people had never come back. The weight of their deaths pressed on both of us. Curran turned the book over in his hands. “You own words of power.” He knew what a word of power was. Lovely. I shrugged. “Picked up a couple here and there. What happened in the Gap was a one shot deal. I won’t be that powerful again.” At least not until the next flare. “You’re an interesting woman,” he said. “Your interest has been duly noted.” I pointed to the door. He put the book down. “As you wish.” He rose and walked past me. I lowered my sword, expecting him to pass, but suddenly he stepped in dangerously close. “Welcome home. I’m glad you made it. There is coffee in the kitchen for you.” My mouth gaped open. He inhaled my scent, bent close, about to kiss me . . . I just stood there like an idiot. Curran smirked and whispered in my ear instead. “Psych.” And just like that, he was out the door and gone. Oh boy.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
Ignoring me, she looked up at the pigeons sitting on the windowsills, which this year were so caked with droppings that they looked quite disgusting. The pigeons were a big problem at Wolfsegg; year in, year out, they sat on the buildings in their hundreds and ruined them with their droppings. I have always detested pigeons. Looking up at the pigeons on the windowsills, I told Caecilia that I had a good mind to poison them, as these filthy creatures were ruining the buildings, and moreover there was hardly anything I found as unpleasant as their cooing. Even as a child I had hated the cooing of pigeons. The pigeon problem had been with us for centuries and never been solved; it had been discussed at length and the pigeons had constantly been cursed, but no solution had been found. [i]I've always hated pigeons[/i], I told Caecilia, and started to count them. On one windowsill there were thirteen sitting close together in their own filth. The maids ought at least to clean the droppings off the windowsills, I told Caecilia, amazed that they had not been removed before the wedding. Everything else had been cleaned, but not the windowsills. This had not struck me a week earlier. Caecilia did not respond to my remarks about the pigeons. The gardeners had let some tramps spend the night in the Children's Villa, she said after a long pause, during which I began to wonder whether I had given Gambetti the right books, whether it would not have been a good idea to give him Fontane's [i]Effi Briest[/i] as well.
Thomas Bernhard (Extinction)
Pham Nuwen spent years learning to program/explore. Programming went back to the beginning of time. It was a little like the midden out back of his father’s castle. Where the creek had worn that away, ten meters down, there were the crumpled hulks of machines—flying machines, the peasants said—from the great days of Canberra’s original colonial era. But the castle midden was clean and fresh compared to what lay within the Reprise’s local net. There were programs here that had been written five thousand years ago, before Humankind ever left Earth. The wonder of it—the horror of it, Sura said—was that unlike the useless wrecks of Canberra’s past, these programs still worked! And via a million million circuitous threads of inheritance, many of the oldest programs still ran in the bowels of the Qeng Ho system. Take the Traders’ method of timekeeping. The frame corrections were incredibly complex—and down at the very bottom of it was a little program that ran a counter. Second by second, the Qeng Ho counted from the instant that a human had first set foot on Old Earth’s moon. But if you looked at it still more closely. . .the starting instant was actually some hundred million seconds later, the 0-second of one of Humankind’s first computer operating systems. So behind all the top-level interfaces was layer under layer of support. Some of that software had been designed for wildly different situations. Every so often, the inconsistencies caused fatal accidents. Despite the romance of spaceflight, the most common accidents were simply caused by ancient, misused programs finally getting their revenge. “We should rewrite it all,” said Pham. “It’s been done,” said Sura, not looking up. She was preparing to go off-Watch, and had spent the last four days trying to root a problem out of the coldsleep automation. “It’s been tried,” corrected Bret, just back from the freezers. “But even the top levels of fleet system code are enormous. You and a thousand of your friends would have to work for a century or so to reproduce it.” Trinli grinned evilly. “And guess what—even if you did, by the time you finished, you’d have your own set of inconsistencies. And you still wouldn’t be consistent with all the applications that might be needed now and then.” Sura gave up on her debugging for the moment. “The word for all this is ‘mature programming environment.’ Basically, when hardware performance has been pushed to its final limit, and programmers have had several centuries to code, you reach a point where there is far more signicant code than can be rationalized. The best you can do is understand the overall layering, and know how to search for the oddball tool that may come in handy—take the situation I have here.” She waved at the dependency chart she had been working on. “We are low on working fluid for the coffins. Like a million other things, there was none for sale on dear old Canberra. Well, the obvious thing is to move the coffins near the aft hull, and cool by direct radiation. We don’t have the proper equipment to support this—so lately, I’ve been doing my share of archeology. It seems that five hundred years ago, a similar thing happened after an in-system war at Torma. They hacked together a temperature maintenance package that is precisely what we need.” “Almost precisely.
Vernor Vinge (A Deepness in the Sky (Zones of Thought, #2))
I should know; perfectionism has always been a weakness of mine. Brene' Bown captures the motive in the mindset of the perfectionist in her book Daring Greatly: "If I look perfect and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame." This is the game, and I'm the player. Perfectionism for me comes from the feelings that I don't know enough. I'm not smart enough. Not hardworking enough. Perfectionism spikes for me if I'm going into a meeting with people who disagree with me, or if I'm giving a talk to experts to know more about the topic I do … when I start to feel inadequate and my perfectionism hits, one of the things I do is start gathering facts. I'm not talking about basic prep; I'm talking about obsessive fact-gathering driven by the vision that there shouldn't be anything I don't know. If I tell myself I shouldn't overprepare, then another voice tells me I'm being lazy. Boom. Ultimately, for me, perfectionism means hiding who I am. It's dressing myself up so the people I want to impress don't come away thinking I'm not as smart or interesting as I thought. It comes from a desperate need to not disappoint others. So I over-prepare. And one of the curious things I've discovered is that what I'm over-prepared, I don't listen as well; I go ahead and say whatever I prepared, whether it responds to the moment or not. I miss the opportunity to improvise or respond well to a surprise. I'm not really there. I'm not my authentic self… If you know how much I am not perfect. I am messy and sloppy in so many places in my life. But I try to clean myself up and bring my best self to work so I can help others bring their best selves to work. I guess what I need to role model a little more is the ability to be open about the mess. Maybe I should just show that to other people. That's what I said in the moment. When I reflected later I realized that my best self is not my polished self. Maybe my best self is when I'm open enough to say more about my doubts or anxieties, admit my mistakes, confess when I'm feeling down. The people can feel more comfortable with their own mess and that's needs your culture to live in that. That was certainly the employees' point. I want to create a workplace where everyone can bring the most human, most authentic selves where we all expect and respect each other's quirks and flaws and all the energy wasted in the pursuit of perfection is saved and channeled into the creativity we need for the work that is a cultural release impossible burdens and lift everyone up.
Melinda French Gates (The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World)
John Isidore said, “I found a spider.” The three androids glanced up, momentarily moving their attention from the TV screen to him. “Let’s see it,” Pris said. She held out her hand. Roy Baty said, “Don’t talk while Buster is on.” “I’ve never seen a spider,” Pris said. She cupped the medicine bottle in her palms, surveying the creature within. “All those legs. Why’s it need so many legs, J. R.?” “That’s the way spiders are,” Isidore said, his heart pounding; he had difficulty breathing. “Eight legs.” Rising to her feet, Pris said, “You know what I think, J. R.? I think it doesn’t need all those legs.” “Eight?” Irmgard Baty said. “Why couldn’t it get by on four? Cut four off and see.” Impulsively opening her purse, she produced a pair of clean, sharp cuticle scissors, which she passed to Pris. A weird terror struck at J. R. Isidore. Carrying the medicine bottle into the kitchen, Pris seated herself at J. R. Isidore’s breakfast table. She removed the lid from the bottle and dumped the spider out. “It probably won’t be able to run as fast,” she said, “but there’s nothing for it to catch around here anyhow. It’ll die anyway.” She reached for the scissors. “Please,” Isidore said. Pris glanced up inquiringly. “Is it worth something?” “Don’t mutilate it,” he said wheezingly. Imploringly. With the scissors, Pris snipped off one of the spider’s legs. In the living room Buster Friendly on the TV screen said, “Take a look at this enlargement of a section of background. This is the sky you usually see. Wait, I’ll have Earl Parameter, head of my research staff, explain their virtually world-shaking discovery to you.” Pris clipped off another leg, restraining the spider with the edge of her hand. She was smiling. “Blowups of the video pictures,” a new voice from the TV said, “when subjected to rigorous laboratory scrutiny, reveal that the gray backdrop of sky and daytime moon against which Mercer moves is not only not Terran—it is artificial.” “You’re missing it!” Irmgard called anxiously to Pris; she rushed to the kitchen door, saw what Pris had begun doing. “Oh, do that afterward,” she said coaxingly. “This is so important, what they’re saying; it proves that everything we believed—” “Be quiet,” Roy Baty said. “—is true,” Irmgard finished. The TV set continued, “The ‘moon’ is painted; in the enlargements, one of which you see now on your screen, brush strokes show. And there is even some evidence that the scraggly weeds and dismal, sterile soil—perhaps even the stones hurled at Mercer by unseen alleged parties—are equally faked. It is quite possible in fact that the ‘stones’ are made of soft plastic, causing no authentic wounds.” “In other words,” Buster Friendly broke in, “Wilbur Mercer is not suffering at all.” The research chief said, “We at last managed, Mr. Friendly, to track down a former Hollywood special-effects man, a Mr. Wade Cortot, who flatly states, from his years of experience, that the figure of ‘Mercer’ could well be merely some bit player marching across a sound stage. Cortot has gone so far as to declare that he recognizes the stage as one used by a now out-of-business minor moviemaker with whom Cortot had various dealings several decades ago.” “So according to Cortot,” Buster Friendly said, “there can be virtually no doubt.” Pris had now cut three legs from the spider, which crept about miserably on the kitchen table, seeking a way out, a path to freedom. It found none.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
VIII 'Farewell to barn and stack and tree, Farewell to Severn shore. Terence, look your last at me, For I come home no more. 'The sun burns on the half-mown hill, By now the blood is dried; And Maurice amongst the hay lies still And my knife is in his side. 'My mother thinks us long away; 'Tis time the field were mown. She had two sons at rising day, To-night she'll be alone. 'And here's a bloody hand to shake, And oh, man, here's good-bye; We'll sweat no more on scythe and rake, My blood hands and I. 'I wish you strength to bring you pride, And a love to keep you clean, And I wish you luck, come Lammastide, At racing on the green. 'Long for me the rick will wait, And long will wait the fold, And long will stand the empty plate, And dinner will be cold.' IX On moonlit heath and lonesome bank The sheep beside me graze; And yon the gallows used to clank Fast by the four cross ways. A careless shepherd once would keep The flocks by moonlight there, And high amongst the glimmering sheep The dead man stood on air. They hang us now in Shrewsbury jail: The whistles blow forlorn. And trains all night groan on the rail To men that die at morn. There sleeps in Shrewsbury jail to-night, Or wakes, as may betide, A better lad, if things went right, Than most that sleep outside. And naked to the hangman's noose The morning clocks will ring A neck God made for other use Than strangling in a string. And sharp the link of life will snap, And dead on air will stand Heels that held up as straight a chap As treads upon the land. So here I'll watch the night and wait To see the morning shine, When he will hear the stroke of eight And not the stroke of nine; And wish my friend as sound a sleep As lads' I did not know, That shepherded the moonlit sheep A hundred years ago.
A.E. Housman (A Shropshire Lad)
Fireheart sprang forward and burst through the curtain of lichen. Tigerclaw and Bluestar were writhing on the floor of the den. Bluestar’s claws scored again and again across Tigerclaw’s shoulder, but the deputy’s greater weight kept her pinned down in the soft sand. Tigerclaw’s fangs were buried in her throat, and his powerful claws raked her back. “Traitor!” Fireheart yowled. He flung himself at Tigerclaw, slashing at his eyes. The deputy reared back, forced to release his grip on Bluestar’s throat. Fireheart felt his claws rip through the deputy’s ear, spraying blood into the air. Bluestar scrambled to the side of the den, looking half stunned. Fireheart could not tell how badly hurt she was. Pain lanced through him as Tigerclaw gashed his side with a blow from his powerful hindpaws. Fireheart’s paws skidded in the sand and he lost his balance, hitting the ground with Tigerclaw on top of him. The deputy’s amber eyes blazed into his. “Mousedung!” he hissed. “I’ll flay you, Fireheart. I’ve waited a long time for this.” Fireheart summoned every scrap of skill and strength he possessed. He knew Tigerclaw could kill him, but in spite of that he felt strangely free. The lies and the need for deceit were over. The secrets—Bluestar’s and Tigerclaw’s—were all out in the open. There was only the clean danger of battle. He aimed a blow at Tigerclaw’s throat, but the deputy swung his head to one side and Fireheart’s claws scraped harmlessly through thick tabby fur. But the blow had loosened Tigerclaw’s grip on him. Fireheart rolled away, narrowly avoiding a killing bite to his neck. “Kittypet!” Tigerclaw taunted, flexing his haunches to pounce again. “Come and find out how a real warrior fights.” He threw himself at Fireheart, but at the last moment Fireheart darted aside. As Tigerclaw tried to turn in the narrow den, his paws slipped on a splash of blood and he crashed awkwardly onto one side. At once Fireheart saw his chance. His claws sliced down to open a gash in Tigerclaw’s belly. Blood welled up, soaking into the deputy’s fur. He let out a high-pitched caterwaul. Fireheart pounced on him, raking claws across his belly again, and fastening his teeth into Tigerclaw’s neck. The deputy struggled vainly to free himself, his thrashing growing weaker as the blood flowed. Fireheart let go of his neck, planting one paw on Tigerclaw’s outstretched foreleg, and the other on his chest. “Bluestar!” he called. “Help me hold him down!” Bluestar was crouching behind him in her moss-lined nest. Blood trickled down her forehead, but that did not alarm Fireheart as much as the look in her eyes. They were a vague, cloudy blue, and she stared horror-struck in front of her as if she was witnessing the destruction
Erin Hunter (Warriors Boxed Set (Books 1-3))
That City of yours is a morbid excrescence. Wall Street is a morbid excrescence. Plainly it's a thing that has grown out upon the social body rather like -- what do you call it? -- an embolism, thrombosis, something of that sort. A sort of heart in the wrong place, isn't it? Anyhow -- there it is. Everything seems obliged to go through it now; it can hold up things, stimulate things, give the world fever or pain, and yet all the same -- is it necessary, Irwell? Is it inevitable? Couldn't we function economically quite as well without it? Has the world got to carry that kind of thing for ever? "What real strength is there in a secondary system of that sort? It's secondary, it's parasitic. It's only a sort of hypertrophied, uncontrolled counting-house which has become dominant by falsifying the entries and intercepting payment. It's a growth that eats us up and rots everything like cancer. Financiers make nothing, they are not a productive department. They control nothing. They might do so, but they don't. They don't even control Westminster and Washington. They just watch things in order to make speculative anticipations. They've got minds that lie in wait like spiders, until the fly flies wrong. Then comes the debt entanglement. Which you can break, like the cobweb it is, if only you insist on playing the wasp. I ask you again what real strength has Finance if you tackle Finance? You can tax it, regulate its operations, print money over it without limit, cancel its claims. You can make moratoriums and jubilees. The little chaps will dodge and cheat and run about, but they won't fight. It is an artificial system upheld by the law and those who make the laws. It's an aristocracy of pickpocket area-sneaks. The Money Power isn't a Power. It's respectable as long as you respect it, and not a moment longer. If it struggles you can strangle it if you have the grip...You and I worked that out long ago, Chiffan... "When we're through with our revolution, there will be no money in the world but pay. Obviously. We'll pay the young to learn, the grown-ups to function, everybody for holidays, and the old to make remarks, and we'll have a deuce of a lot to pay them with. We'll own every real thing; we, the common men. We'll have the whole of the human output in the market. Earn what you will and buy what you like, we'll say, but don't try to use money to get power over your fellow-creatures. No squeeze. The better the economic machine, the less finance it will need. Profit and interest are nasty ideas, artificial ideas, perversions, all mixed up with betting and playing games for money. We'll clean all that up..." "It's been going on a long time," said Irwell. "All the more reason for a change," said Rud.
H.G. Wells (The Holy Terror)
They had shared much of their pasts, most of their fears, and all of their tenuous and fragile hopes, but Deborah had noticed over the years that whenever she mentioned her art, or something on which she was working, a subtle change would come over Carla. Her face would harden almost imperceptibly; her manner would edge toward coolness. Because it was a subtle emotion in a world of erratic oscillations of feeling, of violence, and of lies told by every sense of perception, Deborah had not noticed it in their sick times. But one day the world had cleared enough so that she realised that at any mention of her art, her friend drew back. In their new eagerness for experience and reality, the strange aloofness stood out clearly. [...] She had a dream. In the dream it was winter and night. The sky was thick blue-black and the stars were frozen in it, so that they glimmered. Over the clean white and windswept hills the shadows of snowdrifts drew long. She was walking on the crust of snow, watching the star-glimmer and the snow-glimmer and the cold tear-glimmer in her own eyes. A deep voice said to her, "You know, don't you, that the stars are sound as well as light?" She listened and heard a lullaby made by the voices of the stars, sounding so beautiful together that she began to cry with it. The voice said, "Look out there." She looked toward the horizon. "See, it is a sweep, a curve." Then the voice said, "This night is a curve of darkness and the space beyond it is a curve of human history, with every single life an arch from birth to death. The apex of all of these single curves determines the curve of history and, at last, of man." "I cannot show you yours," the voice said, "but I can show you Carla's. Dig here, deep in the snow. It is buried and frozen - Dig deep." Deborah pushed the snow aside with her hands. It was very cold, but she worked with a great intensity as if there were salvation in it. At last her hand struck something and she tore it up from burial. It was a piece of bone, thick and very strong and curved in a long, high, steady curve. "Is this Carla's life?" she asked. "Her creativity?" "It is bone-deep with her, though buried and frozen." The voice paused a moment and then said, "It's a fine one - a fine solid one!" [...] "Please don't be angry," she said, and then told Carla the dream. [...] She wiped her eyes. "It was only a dream, your dream..." "It's true anyway," Deborah said. "The one place I could never go..." Carla said musing, "...the one hunger I could never admit." When Deborah finished, Furii said, "You always took your art for granted, didn't you? I used to read in the ward reports all the time how you managed to do your drawing in spite of every sort of inconvenience and restriction.
Joanne Greenberg (I Never Promised You a Rose Garden)
A while back a young woman from another state came to live with some of her relatives in the Salt Lake City area for a few weeks. On her first Sunday she came to church dressed in a simple, nice blouse and knee-length skirt set off with a light, button-up sweater. She wore hose and dress shoes, and her hair was combed simply but with care. Her overall appearance created an impression of youthful grace. Unfortunately, she immediately felt out of place. It seemed like all the other young women her age or near her age were dressed in casual skirts, some rather distant from the knee; tight T-shirt-like tops that barely met the top of their skirts at the waist (some bare instead of barely); no socks or stockings; and clunky sneakers or flip-flops. One would have hoped that seeing the new girl, the other girls would have realized how inappropriate their manner of dress was for a chapel and for the Sabbath day and immediately changed for the better. Sad to say, however, they did not, and it was the visitor who, in order to fit in, adopted the fashion (if you can call it that) of her host ward. It is troubling to see this growing trend that is not limited to young women but extends to older women, to men, and to young men as well. . . . I was shocked to see what the people of this other congregation wore to church. There was not a suit or tie among the men. They appeared to have come from or to be on their way to the golf course. It was hard to spot a woman wearing a dress or anything other than very casual pants or even shorts. Had I not known that they were coming to the school for church meetings, I would have assumed that there was some kind of sporting event taking place. The dress of our ward members compared very favorably to this bad example, but I am beginning to think that we are no longer quite so different as more and more we seem to slide toward that lower standard. We used to use the phrase “Sunday best.” People understood that to mean the nicest clothes they had. The specific clothing would vary according to different cultures and economic circumstances, but it would be their best. It is an affront to God to come into His house, especially on His holy day, not groomed and dressed in the most careful and modest manner that our circumstances permit. Where a poor member from the hills of Peru must ford a river to get to church, the Lord surely will not be offended by the stain of muddy water on his white shirt. But how can God not be pained at the sight of one who, with all the clothes he needs and more and with easy access to the chapel, nevertheless appears in church in rumpled cargo pants and a T-shirt? Ironically, it has been my experience as I travel around the world that members of the Church with the least means somehow find a way to arrive at Sabbath meetings neatly dressed in clean, nice clothes, the best they have, while those who have more than enough are the ones who may appear in casual, even slovenly clothing. Some say dress and hair don’t matter—it’s what’s inside that counts. I believe that truly it is what’s inside a person that counts, but that’s what worries me. Casual dress at holy places and events is a message about what is inside a person. It may be pride or rebellion or something else, but at a minimum it says, “I don’t get it. I don’t understand the difference between the sacred and the profane.” In that condition they are easily drawn away from the Lord. They do not appreciate the value of what they have. I worry about them. Unless they can gain some understanding and capture some feeling for sacred things, they are at risk of eventually losing all that matters most. You are Saints of the great latter-day dispensation—look the part.
D. Todd Christofferson
told me more about what happened the other night?” she asked, deciding to air her worst fears. “Am I under suspicion or something?” “Everyone is.” “Especially ex-wives who are publicly humiliated on the day of the murder, right?” Something in Montoya’s expression changed. Hardened. “I’ll be back,” he promised, “and I’ll bring another detective with me, then we’ll interview you and you can ask all the questions you like.” “And you’ll answer them?” He offered a hint of a smile. “That I can’t promise. Just that I won’t lie to you.” “I wouldn’t expect you to, Detective.” He gave a quick nod. “In the meantime if you suddenly remember, or think of anything, give me a call.” “I will,” she promised, irritated, watching as he hurried down the two steps of the porch to his car. He was younger than she was by a couple of years, she guessed, though she couldn’t be certain, and there was something about him that exuded a natural brooding sexuality, as if he knew he was attractive to women, almost expected it to be so. Great. Just what she needed, a sexy-as-hell cop who probably had her pinned to the top of his murder suspect list. She whistled for the dog and Hershey bounded inside, dragging some mud and leaves with her. “Sit!” Abby commanded and the Lab dropped her rear end onto the floor just inside the door. Abby opened the door to the closet and found a towel hanging on a peg she kept for just such occasions, then, while Hershey whined in protest, she cleaned all four of her damp paws. “You’re gonna be a problem, aren’t you?” she teased, then dropped the towel over the dog’s head. Hershey shook herself, tossed off the towel, then bit at it, snagging one end in her mouth and pulling backward in a quick game of tug of war. Abby laughed as she played with the dog, the first real joy she’d felt since hearing the news about her ex-husband. The phone rang and she left the dog growling and shaking the tattered piece of terry cloth. “Hello?” she said, still chuckling at Hershey’s antics as she lifted the phone to her ear. “Abby Chastain?” “Yes.” “Beth Ann Wright with the New Orleans Sentinel.” Abby’s heart plummeted. The press. Just what she needed. “You were Luke Gierman’s wife, right?” “What’s this about?” Abby asked warily as Hershey padded into the kitchen and looked expectantly at the back door leading to her studio. “In a second,” she mouthed to the Lab. Hershey slowly wagged her tail. “Oh, I’m sorry,” Beth Ann said, sounding sincerely rueful. “I should have explained. The paper’s running a series of articles on Luke, as he was a local celebrity, and I’d like to interview you for the piece. I was thinking we could meet tomorrow morning?” “Luke and I were divorced.” “Yes, I know, but I would like to give some insight to the man behind the mike, you know. He had a certain public persona, but I’m sure my readers would like to know more about him, his history, his hopes, his dreams, you know, the human-interest angle.” “It’s kind of late for that,” Abby said, not bothering to keep the ice out of her voice. “But you knew him intimately. I thought you could come up with some anecdotes, let people see the real Luke Gierman.” “I don’t think so.” “I realize you and he had some unresolved issues.” “Pardon me?” “I caught his program the other day.” Abby tensed, her fingers holding the phone in a death grip. “So this is probably harder for you than most, but I still would like to ask you some questions.” “Maybe another time,” she hedged and Beth Ann didn’t miss a beat. “Anytime you’d like. You’re a native Louisianan, aren’t you?” Abby’s neck muscles tightened. “Born and raised, but you met Luke in Seattle when he was working for a radio station . . . what’s the call sign, I know I’ve got it somewhere.” “KCTY.” It was a matter of public record. “Oh, that’s right. Country in the City. But you grew up here and went to local schools, right? Your
Lisa Jackson (Lisa Jackson's Bentz & Montoya Bundle: Shiver, Absolute Fear, Lost Souls, Hot Blooded, Cold Blooded, Malice & Devious (A Bentz/Montoya Novel))
It was the ultimate sacrilege that Jesus Christ, the very Son of God, was rejected and even put to death. And it continues. In many parts of the world today we see a growing rejection of the Son of God. His divinity is questioned. His gospel is deemed irrelevant. In day-to-day life, His teachings are ignored. Those who legitimately speak in His name find little respect in secular society. If we ignore the Lord and His servants, we may just as well be atheists—the end result is practically the same. It is what Mormon described as typical after extended periods of peace and prosperity: “Then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One” (Helaman 12:2). And so we should ask ourselves, do we reverence the Holy One and those He has sent? Some years before he was called as an Apostle himself, Elder Robert D. Hales recounted an experience that demonstrated his father’s sense of that holy calling. Elder Hales said: "Some years ago Father, then over eighty years of age, was expecting a visit from a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on a snowy winter day. Father, an artist, had painted a picture of the home of the Apostle. Rather than have the painting delivered to him, this sweet Apostle wanted to go personally to pick the painting up and thank my father for it. Knowing that Father would be concerned that everything was in readiness for the forthcoming visit, I dropped by his home. Because of the depth of the snow, snowplows had caused a snowbank in front of the walkway to the front door. Father had shoveled the walks and then labored to remove the snowbank. He returned to the house exhausted and in pain. When I arrived, he was experiencing heart pain from overexertion and stressful anxiety. My first concern was to warn him of his unwise physical efforts. Didn’t he know what the result of his labor would be? "'Robert,' he said through interrupted short breaths, 'do you realize an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ is coming to my home? The walks must be clean. He should not have to come through a snowdrift.' He raised his hand, saying, 'Oh, Robert, don’t ever forget or take for granted the privilege it is to know and to serve with Apostles of the Lord.'" [In CR, April 1992, 89; or “Gratitude for the Goodness of God,” Ensign, May 1992, 64] I think it is more than coincidence that such a father would be blessed to have a son serve as an Apostle. You might ask yourself, “Do I see the calling of the prophets and apostles as sacred? Do I treat their counsel seriously, or is it a light thing with me?” President Gordon B. Hinckley, for instance, has counseled us to pursue education and vocational training; to avoid pornography as a plague; to respect women; to eliminate consumer debt; to be grateful, smart, clean, true, humble, and prayerful; and to do our best, our very best. Do your actions show that you want to know and do what he teaches? Do you actively study his words and the statements of the Brethren? Is this something you hunger and thirst for? If so, you have a sense of the sacredness of the calling of prophets as the witnesses and messengers of the Son of God.
D. Todd Christofferson
After wandering the world and living on the Continent I had long tired of well-behaved, fart-free gentlemen who opened the door and paid the bills but never had a story to tell and were either completely asexual or demanded skin-burning action until the morning light. Swiss watch salesmen who only knew of “sechs” as their wake-up hour, or hairy French apes who always required their twelve rounds of screwing after the six-course meal. I suppose I liked German men the best. They were a suitable mixture of belching northerner and cultivated southerner, of orderly westerner and crazy easterner, but in the post-war years they were of course broken men. There was little you could do with them except try to put them right first. And who had the time for that? Londoners are positive and jolly, but their famous irony struck me as mechanical and wearisome in the long run. As if that irony machine had eaten away their real essence. The French machine, on the other hand, is fuelled by seriousness alone, and the Frogs can drive you beyond the limit when they get going with their philosophical noun-dropping. The Italian worships every woman like a queen until he gets her home, when she suddenly turns into a slut. The Yank is one hell of a guy who thinks big: he always wants to take you the moon. At the same time, however, he is as smug and petty as the meanest seamstress, and has a fit if someone eats his peanut butter sandwich aboard the space shuttle. I found Russians interesting. In fact they were the most Icelandic of all: drank every glass to the bottom and threw themselves into any jollity, knew countless stories and never talked seriously unless at the bottom of the bottle, when they began to wail for their mother who lived a thousand miles away but came on foot to bring them their clean laundry once a month. They were completely crazy and were better athletes in bed than my dear countrymen, but in the end I had enough of all their pommel-horse routines. Nordic men are all as tactless as Icelanders. They get drunk over dinner, laugh loudly and fart, eventually start “singing” even in public restaurants where people have paid to escape the tumult of the world. But their wallets always waited cold sober in the cloakroom while the Icelandic purse lay open for all in the middle of the table. Our men were the greater Vikings in this regard. “Reputation is king, the rest is crap!” my Bæring from Bolungarvík used to say. Every evening had to be legendary, anything else was a defeat. But the morning after they turned into weak-willed doughboys. But all the same I did succeed in loving them, those Icelandic clodhoppers, at least down as far as their knees. Below there, things did not go as well. And when the feet of Jón Pre-Jón popped out of me in the maternity ward, it was enough. The resemblances were small and exact: Jón’s feet in bonsai form. I instantly acquired a physical intolerance for the father, and forbade him to come in and see the baby. All I heard was the note of surprise in the bass voice out in the corridor when the midwife told him she had ordered him a taxi. From that day on I made it a rule: I sacked my men by calling a car. ‘The taxi is here,’ became my favourite sentence.
Hallgrímur Helgason
Anyway, I should probably get going.” That big, beautiful man leaned forward in his chair, his eyes sweeping over my face and the hair that had gotten pretty wavy because of the humidity. I had almost forgotten I’d put a silver glitter clip into it that morning to keep it out of my face. “You’re gonna leave me here alone?” “You really want me to keep you company?” His response was a long, long look. For some reason, it made me feel oddly vulnerable. He thought I was pathetic. I knew it. But pathetic or not, well, he was kind of hinting he wanted me to keep him company. “I can stay if you want.” He didn’t say he wanted me to, but… he just kept right on looking at me. So I took it as a yes. “Okay, I’ll stay.” It was the right answer. He took a sip of his drink. “Good.” Well, it looked like I was staying a little longer now. With our conversation still nipping at the back of my head, I asked him again, “So, you’ve really never had a girlfriend? Not in forty-one years?” “Nope.” “Not even in high school?” He shook his head. “Not once?” “Nope.” He gave me this face that almost seemed like a challenge. Like a dare. “I’ve got two numbers on my phone that don’t belong to somebody who’s got a dick. One’s the lady that cleans my place once a week…” “Who’s the other?” I asked, trying to ignore the edge of jealousy waiting around the corner of his answer. That got me another snicker. “You, who the hell else?” “Me?” I leaned forward then. “Since when? You’ve never called my cell.” “Since always. Just ’cause I don’t call you doesn’t mean I don’t have it.” I couldn’t help raising my hands up to my heart and settling them there, this huge smile coming over my face. “Does this mean… Boss, are we friends? Outside of work, of course.” His face went totally serious for a moment before he tossed his head back and laughed. “Get the fuck outta here, Luna. Christ.” We were. We were so totally friends. He was my boss too, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t be friends when we weren’t at the shop. Or during lunch. Or when my life tried to fall apart on me a little. Me and Rip. Friends. I’d take it. I’d take it every day of the year, forever.
Mariana Zapata (Luna and the Lie)
Why can't we sit together? What's the point of seat reservations,anyway? The bored woman calls my section next,and I think terrible thoughts about her as she slides my ticket through her machine. At least I have a window seat. The middle and aisle are occupied with more businessmen. I'm reaching for my book again-it's going to be a long flight-when a polite English accent speaks to the man beside me. "Pardon me,but I wonder if you wouldn't mind switching seats.You see,that's my girlfriend there,and she's pregnant. And since she gets a bit ill on airplanes,I thought she might need someone to hold back her hair when...well..." St. Clair holds up the courtesy barf bag and shakes it around. The paper crinkles dramatically. The man sprints off the seat as my face flames. His pregnant girlfriend? "Thank you.I was in forty-five G." He slides into the vacated chair and waits for the man to disappear before speaking again. The guy onhis other side stares at us in horror,but St. Clair doesn't care. "They had me next to some horrible couple in matching Hawaiian shirts. There's no reason to suffer this flight alone when we can suffer it together." "That's flattering,thanks." But I laugh,and he looks pleased-until takeoff, when he claws the armrest and turns a color disturbingy similar to key lime pie. I distract him with a story about the time I broke my arm playing Peter Pan. It turned out there was more to flying than thinking happy thoughts and jumping out a window. St. Clair relaxes once we're above the clouds. Time passes quickly for an eight-hour flight. We don't talk about what waits on the other side of the ocean. Not his mother. Not Toph.Instead,we browse Skymall. We play the if-you-had-to-buy-one-thing-off-each-page game. He laughs when I choose the hot-dog toaster, and I tease him about the fogless shower mirror and the world's largest crossword puzzle. "At least they're practical," he says. "What are you gonna do with a giant crossword poster? 'Oh,I'm sorry Anna. I can't go to the movies tonight. I'm working on two thousand across, Norwegian Birdcall." "At least I'm not buying a Large Plastic Rock for hiding "unsightly utility posts.' You realize you have no lawn?" "I could hide other stuff.Like...failed French tests.Or illegal moonshining equipment." He doubles over with that wonderful boyish laughter, and I grin. "But what will you do with a motorized swimming-pool snack float?" "Use it in the bathtub." He wipes a tear from his cheek. "Ooo,look! A Mount Rushmore garden statue. Just what you need,Anna.And only forty dollars! A bargain!" We get stumped on the page of golfing accessories, so we switch to drawing rude pictures of the other people on the plane,followed by rude pictures of Euro Disney Guy. St. Clair's eyes glint as he sketches the man falling down the Pantheon's spiral staircase. There's a lot of blood. And Mickey Mouse ears. After a few hours,he grows sleepy.His head sinks against my shoulder. I don't dare move.The sun is coming up,and the sky is pink and orange and makes me think of sherbet.I siff his hair. Not out of weirdness.It's just...there. He must have woken earlier than I thought,because it smells shower-fresh. Clean. Healthy.Mmm.I doze in and out of a peaceful dream,and the next thing I know,the captain's voice is crackling over the airplane.We're here. I'm home.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Some think Grom felt the pull toward Nalia," Toraf says softly. "Maybe it's a family trait." "Well, there's where you're wrong, Toraf. I'm not supposed to feel the pull toward Emma. She belongs to Grom. He's firstborn, third generation Triton. And she's clearly of Poseidon." Galen runs his hand through his hair. "I think that if Grom were her mate, he would have found Emma somehow instead of you." "That's what you get for thinking. I didn't find Emma. Dr. Milligan did." "Okay, answer me this," Toraf says, shaking a finger at Galen. "You're twenty years old. Why haven't you sifted for a mate?" Galen blinks. He's never thought of it, actually. Not even when Toraf asked for Rayna. Shouldn't that have reminded him of his own single status? He shakes his head. He's letting Toraf's gossip get to him. He shrugs. "I've just been busy. It's not like I don't want to, if that's what you're saying." "With who?" "What?" "Name someone, Galen. The first female that comes to mind." He tries to block out her name, her face. But he doesn't stop it in time. Emma. He cringes. It's just that we've been talking about her so much, she's naturally the freshest on my mind, he tells himself. "There isn't anyone yet. But I'm sure there would be if I spent more time at home." "Right. And why is that you're always away? Maybe you're searching for something and don't even know it." "I'm away because I'm watching the humans, as is my responsibility, you might remember. You also might remember they're the real reason our kingdoms are divided. If they never set that mine, none of this would have happened. And we both know it will happen again." "Come on, Galen. If you can't tell me, who can you tell?" "I don't know what you're talking about. And I don't think you do either." "I understand if you don't want to talk about it. I wouldn't want to talk about it either. Finding my special mate and then turning her over to my own brother. Knowing that she's mating with him on the islands, holding him close-" Galen lands a clean hook to Toraf's nose and blood spurts on his bare chest. Toraf falls back and holds his nostrils shut. Then he laughs. "I guess I know who taught Rayna how to hit." Galen massages his temples. "Sorry. I don't know where that came from. I told you I was frustrated." Toraf laughs. "You're so blind, minnow. I just hope you open your eye before it's too late." Galen scoffs. "Stop vomiting superstition at me. I told you. I'm just frustrated. There's nothing more to it than that." Toraf cocks his head to the side, snorts some blood back into is nasal cavity. "So the humans followed you around, made you feel uncomfortable?" "That's what I just said, isn't it?" Toraf nods thoughtfully. Then he says, "Imagine how Emma must feel then." "What?" "Think about it. The humans followed you around a building and it made you uncomfortable. You followed Emma across the big land. Then Rachel makes sure you have every class with her. Then when she tries to get away, you chase her. Seems to me you're scaring her off." "Kind of like what you're doing to Rayna." "Huh. Didn't think of that." "Idiot," Galen mutters. But there is some truth to Toraf's observation. Maybe Emma feels smothered. And she's obviouisly still mourning Chloe. Maybe he has to take it slow with Emma. if he can earn her trust, maybe she'll open up to him about her gift, about her past. But the question is, how much time does she need? Grom's reluctance to mate will be overruled by his obligation to produce an heir. And that heir needs tom come from Emma.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Well, now, if we’d known we were going to have such…ah…gra…that is, illustrious company, we’d have-“ “Swept off the chairs?” Lucinda suggested acidly. “Shoveled off the floor?” “Lucinda!” Elizabeth whispered desperately. “They didn’t know we were coming.” “No respectable person would dwell in such a place even for a night,” she snapped, and Elizabeth watched in mingled distress and admiration as the redoubtable woman turned around and directed her attack on their unwilling host. “The responsibility for our being here is yours, whether it was a mistake or not! I shall expect you to rout your servants from their hiding places and have them bring clean linens up to us at once. I shall also expect them to have this squalor remedied by morning! It is obvious from your behavior that you are no gentleman; however, we are ladies, and we shall expect to be treated as such.” From the corner of her eye Elizabeth had been watching Ian Thornton, who was listening to all of this, his jaw rigid, a muscle beginning to twitch dangerously in the side of his neck. Lucinda, however, was either unaware of or unconcerned with his reaction, for, as she picked up her skirts and turned toward the stairs, she turned on Jake. “You may show us to our chambers. We wish to retire.” “Retire!” cried Jake, thunderstruck. “But-but what about supper?” he sputtered. “You may bring it up to us.” Elizabeth saw the blank look on Jake’s face, and she endeavored to translate, politely, what the irate woman was saying to the startled red-haired man. “What Miss Throckmorton-Jones means is that we’re rather exhausted from our trip and not very good company, sir, and so we prefer to dine in our rooms.” “You will dine,” Ian Thornton said in an awful voice that made Elizabeth freeze, “on what you cook for yourself, madam. If you want clean linens, you’ll get them yourself from the cabinet. If you want clean rooms, clean them! Am I making myself clear?” “Perfectly!” Elizabeth began furiously, but Lucinda interrupted in a voice shaking with ire: “Are you suggesting, sirrah, that we are to do the work of servants?” Ian’s experience with the ton and with Elizabeth had given him a lively contempt for ambitious, shallow, self-indulgent young women whose single goal in life was to acquire as many gowns and jewels as possible with the least amount of effort, and he aimed his attack at Elizabeth. “I am suggesting that you look after yourself for the first time in your silly, aimless life. In return for that, I am willing to give you a roof over your head and to share our food with you until I can get you to the village. If that is too overwhelming a task for you, then my original invitation still stands: There’s the door. Use it!” Elizabeth knew the man was irrational, and it wasn’t worth riling herself to reply to him, so she turned instead to Lucinda. “Lucinda,” she said with weary resignation, “do not upset yourself by trying to make Mr. Thornton understand that his mistake has inconvenienced us, not the other way around. You will only waste your time. A gentleman of breeding would be perfectly able to understand that he should be apologizing instead of ranting and raving. However, as I told you before we came here, Mr. Thornton is no gentleman. The simple fact is that he enjoys humiliating people, and he will continue trying to humiliate us for as long as we stand here.” Elizabeth cast a look of well-bred disdain over Ian and said, “Good night, Mr. Thornton.” Turning, she softened her voice a little and said, “Good evening, Mr. Wiley.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Tell me what you and my dad were talking about." Jay jerked away from her as if she'd just slapped him. And Violet realized that she might as well have. He sat up quickly, as if his mind had suddenly cleared from the sensuous haze, and abruptly the teasing grin was wiped clean from his face. "Never mind," she blurted, trying to backpedal. "Forget I said anything." She wanted to go back to where they just were. But it was too late. The determined set of his jaw told her that. "No," he said harshly. "I think we should talk about this, Violet." Even the way he said her name was suddenly hard and angry. "Your dad told me what happened today...out in the woods. He told me that you tracked down the guy who's been killing all the girls around here...that you put yourself in danger." Violet couldn't tell if he was angry or annoyed...or both. He ran his hand through his messy hair in an agitated gesture that indicated he was getting all worked up. "And it's not like it was the first time you've done that. Trouble seems to follow you wherever you go, and you're the only person I know who doesn't seem to care. I don't even want to think about what could have happened to you if I hadn't shown up last night while Grady was...assaulting you." He paused as if it really was too much to think about, and then he continued to rail at her. "You can't even go to the mall safely. I made a promise to your parents, and you just wandered off without even telling me where you were going." His voice was suddenly too abrasive, and it felt to Violet like he was scratching his nails across a chalkboard. She bristled against the accusation in his tone, and suddenly he wasn't the only one who was upset. "And you didn't speak to me for a week!" she lashed back at him. "What was that all about? I spent the entire week waiting for you to stop ignoring me. And all because I didn't bother to check in with you? You don't get to tell me what to do! You're not my father, you know." "Thanks for clarifying that, Violet," he said sardonically. "It would be creepy if you got your boyfriend and your father confused." Violet practically jumped when he said the word boyfriend. Obviously she'd noticed that they'd gone beyond just friendship, but she hadn't been entirely sure what that meant for them. Apparently Jay had it all figured out. But that didn't mean he could push her around.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
I always had trouble with the feet of Jón the First, or Pre-Jón, as I called him later. He would frequently put them in front of me in the evening and tell me to take off his socks and rub his toes, soles, heels and calves. It was quite impossible for me to love these Icelandic men's feet that were shaped like birch stumps, hard and chunky, and screaming white as the wood when the bark is stripped from it. Yes, and as cold and damp, too. The toes had horny nails that resembled dead buds in a frosty spring. Nor can I forget the smell, for malodorous feet were very common in the post-war years when men wore nylon socks and practically slept in their shoes. How was it possible to love these Icelandic men? Who belched at the meal table and farted constantly. After four Icelandic husbands and a whole load of casual lovers I had become a vrai connaisseur of flatulence, could describe its species and varieties in the way that a wine-taster knows his wines. The howling backfire, the load, the gas bomb and the Luftwaffe were names I used most. The coffee belch and the silencer were also well-known quantities, but the worst were the date farts, a speciality of Bæring of Westfjord. Icelandic men don’t know how to behave: they never have and never will, but they are generally good fun. At least, Icelandic women think so. They seem to come with this inner emergency box, filled with humour and irony, which they always carry around with them and can open for useful items if things get too rough, and it must be a hereditary gift of the generations. Anyone who loses their way in the mountains and gets snowed in or spends the whole weekend stuck in a lift can always open this special Icelandic emergency box and get out of the situation with a good story. After wandering the world and living on the Continent I had long tired of well-behaved, fart-free gentlemen who opened the door and paid the bills but never had a story to tell and were either completely asexual or demanded skin-burning action until the morning light. Swiss watch salesmen who only knew of “sechs” as their wake-up hour, or hairy French apes who always required their twelve rounds of screwing after the six-course meal. I suppose I liked German men the best. They were a suitable mixture of belching northerner and cultivated southerner, of orderly westerner and crazy easterner, but in the post-war years they were of course broken men. There was little you could do with them except try to put them right first. And who had the time for that? Londoners are positive and jolly, but their famous irony struck me as mechanical and wearisome in the long run. As if that irony machine had eaten away their real essence. The French machine, on the other hand, is fuelled by seriousness alone, and the Frogs can drive you beyond the limit when they get going with their philosophical noun-dropping. The Italian worships every woman like a queen until he gets her home, when she suddenly turns into a slut. The Yank is one hell of a guy who thinks big: he always wants to take you the moon. At the same time, however, he is as smug and petty as the meanest seamstress, and has a fit if someone eats his peanut butter sandwich aboard the space shuttle. I found Russians interesting. In fact they were the most Icelandic of all: drank every glass to the bottom and threw themselves into any jollity, knew countless stories and never talked seriously unless at the bottom of the bottle, when they began to wail for their mother who lived a thousand miles away but came on foot to bring them their clean laundry once a month. They were completely crazy and were better athletes in bed than my dear countrymen, but in the end I had enough of all their pommel-horse routines. Nordic men are all as tactless as Icelanders. They get drunk over dinner, laugh loudly and fart, eventually start “singing” even in public restaurants where people have paid to escape the tumult of
Hallgrímur Helgason
Until that moment Elizabeth wouldn’t have believed she could feel more humiliated than she already did. Robbed of even the defense of righteous indignation, she faced the fact that she was the unwanted gest of someone who’d made a fool of her not once but twice. “How did you get here? I didn’t hear any horses, and a carriage sure as well can’t make the climb.” “A wheeled conveyance brought us most of the way,” she prevaricated, seizing on Lucinda’s earlier explanation, “and it’s gone on now.” She saw his eyes narrow with angry disgust as he realized he was stuck with them unless he wanted to spend several days escorting them back to the inn. Terrified that the tears burning the backs of her eyes were going to fall, Elizabeth tipped her head back and turned it, pretending to be inspecting the ceiling, the staircase, the walls, anything. Through the haze of tears she noticed for the first time that the place looked as if it hadn’t been cleaned in a year. Beside her Lucinda glanced around through narrowed eyes and arrived at the same conclusion. Jake, anticipating that the old woman was about to make some disparaging comment about Ian’s house, leapt into the breach with forced joviality. “Well, now,” he burst out, rubbing his hands together and striding forward to the fire. “Now that’s all settled, shall we all be properly introduced? Then we’ll see about supper.” He looked expectantly at Ian, waiting for him to handle the introductions, but instead of doing the thing properly he merely nodded curtly to the beautiful blond girl and said, “Elizabeth Cameron-Jake Wiley.” “How do you do, Mr. Wiley,” Elizabeth said. “Call me Jake,” he said cheerfully, then he turned expectantly to the scowling duenna. “And you are?” Fearing that Lucinda was about to rip up at Ian for his cavalier handling of the introductions, Elizabeth hastily said, “This is my companion, Miss Lucinda Throckmorton-Jones.” “Good heavens! Two names. Well, no need to stand on formality, since we’re going to be cooped up together for at least a few days! Just call me Jake. What shall I call you?” “You may call me Miss Throckmorton-Jones,” she informed him, looking down the length of her beaklike nose. “Er-very well,” he replied, casting an anxious look of appeal to Ian, who seemed to be momentarily enjoying Jake’s futile efforts to create an atmosphere of conviviality. Disconcerted, Jake ran his hands through his disheveled hair and arranged a forced smile on her face. Nervously, he gestured about the untidy room. “Well, now, if we’d known we were going to have such…ah…gra…that is, illustrious company, we’d have-“ “Swept off the chairs?” Lucinda suggested acidly. “Shoveled off the floor?
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Madrid. It was that time, the story of Don Zana 'The Marionette,' he with the hair of cream-colored string, he with the large and empty laugh like a slice of watermelon, the one of the Tra-kay, tra-kay, tra-kay, tra-kay, tra-kay, tra on the tables, on the coffins. It was when there were geraniums on the balconies, sunflower-seed stands in the Moncloa, herds of yearling sheep in the vacant lots of the Guindalera. They were dragging their heavy wool, eating the grass among the rubbish, bleating to the neighborhood. Sometimes they stole into the patios; they ate up the parsley, a little green sprig of parsley, in the summer, in the watered shade of the patios, in the cool windows of the basements at foot level. Or they stepped on the spread-out sheets, undershirts, or pink chemises clinging to the ground like the gay shadow of a handsome young girl. Then, then was the story of Don Zana 'The Marionette.' Don Zana was a good-looking, smiling man, thin, with wide angular shoulders. His chest was a trapezoid. He wore a white shirt, a jacket of green flannel, a bow tie, light trousers, and shoes of Corinthian red on his little dancing feet. This was Don Zana 'The Marionette,' the one who used to dance on the tables and the coffins. He awoke one morning, hanging in the dusty storeroom of a theater, next to a lady of the eighteenth century, with many white ringlets and a cornucopia of a face. Don Zana broke the flower pots with his hand and he laughed at everything. He had a disagreeable voice, like the breaking of dry reeds; he talked more than anyone, and he got drunk at the little tables in the taverns. He would throw the cards into the air when he lost, and he didn't stoop over to pick them up. Many felt his dry, wooden slap; many listened to his odious songs, and all saw him dance on the tables. He liked to argue, to go visiting in houses. He would dance in the elevators and on the landings, spill ink wells, beat on pianos with his rigid little gloved hands. The fruitseller's daughter fell in love with him and gave him apricots and plums. Don Zana kept the pits to make her believe he loved her. The girl cried when days passed without Don Zana's going by her street. One day he took her out for a walk. The fruitseller's daughter, with her quince-lips, still bloodless, ingenuously kissed that slice-of-watermelon laugh. She returned home crying and, without saying anything to anyone, died of bitterness. Don Zana used to walk through the outskirts of Madrid and catch small dirty fish in the Manzanares. Then he would light a fire of dry leaves and fry them. He slept in a pension where no one else stayed. Every morning he would put on his bright red shoes and have them cleaned. He would breakfast on a large cup of chocolate and he would not return until night or dawn.
Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio (Adventures of the Ingenious Alfanhui)
There," he said, admiring his own handiwork. "Good as new." Violet glanced at the ridiculously huge Band-Aids on her knees and looked at him doubtfully. "You really think so? 'Good as new'?" He smiled. "I think I did pretty good. It's not my fault you can't walk." She narrowed her eyes at him. She wanted to tell him that it was his fault, that she would never have tripped if he'd just stayed the same old Jay he'd always been, gangly and childlike. But she knew that she was being irrational. He was bound to grow up eventually; she'd just never imagined that he'd grow up so well. Instead she accused him: "Well, maybe if you hadn't pushed me I wouldn't have fallen." She made the outlandish accusation with a completely straight face. He shook his head. "You'll never be able to prove it. There were no witnesses-it's just your word against mine." She giggled and hopped down. "Yeah, well, who's gonna believe you over me? Weren't you the one who shoplifted a candy bar from the Safeway?" She limped over to the sink while she taunted him with her words, and she washed the dirt from the minor scrapes on her palms. "Whatever! I was seven. And I believe you were the one who handed it to me and told me to hide it in my sleeve. Technically that makes you the mastermind of that little operation, doesn't it?" He came up behind her, and reaching around her, he poured some of the antibacterial wash onto her hands. She was taken completely off guard by the intimate gesture. She froze as she felt his chest pressing against her back until that was all she could think about for the moment and she temporarily forgot how to speak. She watched as the red scrapes fizzed with white bubble from the disinfectant. He leaned over her shoulder, setting the bottle down and pulling her hands up toward him. He blew on them too. Violet didn't even notice the sting this time. And then it was over. He released her hands, and as she stood there, dazed, he handed her a clean towel to dry them on. When she turned around to face him, she realized that she had been the only one affected by the moment, that his touch had been completely innocent. He was looking at her like he was waiting for her to say something, and she was suddenly aware that her mouth was still open. She finally gathered her wits enough to speak again. "Yeah, well, maybe if you hadn't done it right in front of the cashier, we might have gotten away with it. Instead, you go both of us grounded for stealing." He didn't miss a beat, and he seemed unaware of her temporary lapse. "And some might say that our grounding saved us from a life of crime." She hung the towel over the oven's door handle. "Maybe it saved me, but the jury's still out on you. I always though you were kind of a bad seed." He gave her a questioning look. "Seriously, a 'bad seed,' Vi? When did you turn ninety and start saying things like 'bad seed'?" She pushed him as she walked by, even though he really wasn't in her way. He gave her a playful shove from behind and teased her, "Don't make me trip you again." Now more than ever, Violet hoped that this crush of hers passed soon, so she could get back to the business of being just fiends. Otherwise, this was going to be a long-and painful-year.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
STUFFIN’ MUFFINS Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., rack in the middle position. 4 ounces salted butter (1 stick, 8 Tablespoons, ¼ pound) ½ cup finely chopped onion (you can buy this chopped or chop it yourself) ½ cup finely chopped celery ½ cup chopped apple (core, but do not peel before chopping) 1 teaspoon powdered sage 1 teaspoon powdered thyme 1 teaspoon ground oregano 8 cups herb stuffing (the kind in cubes that you buy in the grocery store—you can also use plain bread cubes and add a quarter-teaspoon more of ground sage, thyme, and oregano) 3 eggs, beaten (just whip them up in a glass with a fork) 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper (freshly ground is best) 2 ounces (½ stick, 4 Tablespoons, pound) melted butter ¼ to ½ cup chicken broth (I used Swanson’s) Hannah’s 1st Note: I used a Fuji apple this time. I’ve also used Granny Smith apples, or Gala apples. Before you start, find a 12-cup muffin pan. Spray the inside of the cups with Pam or another nonstick cooking spray OR line them with cupcake papers. Get out a 10-inch or larger frying pan. Cut the stick of butter in 4 to 8 pieces and drop them inside. Put the pan over MEDIUM heat on the stovetop to melt the butter. Once the butter has melted, add the chopped onions. Give them a stir. Add the chopped celery. Stir it in. Add the chopped apple and stir that in. Sprinkle in the ground sage, thyme, and oregano. Sauté this mixture for 5 minutes. Then pull the frying pan off the heat and onto a cold burner. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 8 cups of herb stuffing. (If the boxed stuffing you bought has a separate herb packet, just sprinkle it over the top of the mixture in your frying pan. That way you’ll be sure to put it in!) Pour the beaten eggs over the top of the herb stuffing and mix them in. Sprinkle on the salt and the pepper. Mix them in. Pour the melted butter over the top and mix it in. Add the mixture from your frying pan on top of that. Stir it all up together. Measure out ¼ cup of chicken broth. Wash your hands. (Mixing the stuffing is going to be a lot easier if you use your impeccably clean hands to mix it.) Pour the ¼ cup of chicken broth over the top of your bowl. Mix everything with your hands. Feel the resulting mixture. It should be softened, but not wet. If you think it’s so dry that your muffins might fall apart after you bake them, mix in another ¼ cup of chicken broth. Once your Stuffin’ Muffin mixture is thoroughly combined, move the bowl close to the muffin pan you’ve prepared, and go wash your hands again. Use an ice cream scoop to fill your muffin cups. If you don’t have an ice cream scoop, use a large spoon. Mound the tops of the muffins by hand. (Your hands are still impeccably clean, aren’t they?) Bake the Stuffin’ Muffins at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes. Yield: One dozen standard-sized muffins that can be served hot, warm, or at room temperature. Hannah’s 2nd Note: These muffins are a great accompaniment to pork, ham, chicken, turkey, duck, beef, or . . . well . . . practically anything! If there are any left over, you can reheat them in the microwave to serve the next day. Hannah’s 3rd Note: I’m beginning to think that Andrea can actually make Stuffin’ Muffins. It’s only April now, so she’s got seven months to practice.
Joanne Fluke (Cinnamon Roll Murder (Hannah Swensen, #15))
Listen, son: I am saying this as you lie asleep, one little paw crumpled under your cheek and the blond curls stickily wet on your damp forehead. I have stolen into your room alone. Just a few minutes ago, as I sat reading my paper in the library, a stifling wave of remorse swept over me. Guiltily I came to your bedside. There are the things I was thinking, son: I had been cross to you. I scolded you as you were dressing for school because you gave your face merely a dab with a towel. I took you to task for not cleaning your shoes. I called out angrily when you threw some of your things on the floor. At breakfast I found fault, too. You spilled things. You gulped down your food. You put your elbows on the table. You spread butter too thick on your bread. And as you started off to play and I made for my train, you turned and waved a hand and called, ‘Goodbye, Daddy!’ and I frowned, and said in reply, ‘Hold your shoulders back!’ Then it began all over again in the late afternoon. As I came up the road I spied you, down on your knees, playing marbles. There were holes in your stockings. I humiliated you before your boyfriends by marching you ahead of me to the house. Stockings were expensive – and if you had to buy them you would be more careful! Imagine that, son, from a father! Do you remember, later, when I was reading in the library, how you came in timidly, with a sort of hurt look in your eyes? When I glanced up over my paper, impatient at the interruption, you hesitated at the door. ‘What is it you want?’ I snapped. You said nothing, but ran across in one tempestuous plunge, and threw your arms around my neck and kissed me, and your small arms tightened with an affection that God had set blooming in your heart and which even neglect could not wither. And then you were gone, pattering up the stairs. Well, son, it was shortly afterwards that my paper slipped from my hands and a terrible sickening fear came over me. What has habit been doing to me? The habit of finding fault, of reprimanding – this was my reward to you for being a boy. It was not that I did not love you; it was that I expected too much of youth. I was measuring you by the yardstick of my own years. And there was so much that was good and fine and true in your character. The little heart of you was as big as the dawn itself over the wide hills. This was shown by your spontaneous impulse to rush in and kiss me good night. Nothing else matters tonight, son. I have come to your bedside in the darkness, and I have knelt there, ashamed! It is a feeble atonement; I know you would not understand these things if I told them to you during your waking hours. But tomorrow I will be a real daddy! I will chum with you, and suffer when you suffer, and laugh when you laugh. I will bite my tongue when impatient words come. I will keep saying as if it were a ritual: ‘He is nothing but a boy – a little boy!’ I am afraid I have visualized you as a man. Yet as I see you now, son, crumpled and weary in your cot, I see that you are still a baby. Yesterday you were in your mother’s arms, your head on her shoulder. I have asked too much, too much. Instead of condemning people, let’s try to understand them. Let’s try to figure out why they do what they do. That’s a lot more profitable and intriguing than criticism; and it breeds sympathy, tolerance and kindness. ‘To know all is to forgive all.
Dale Carnegie (How to Win Friends and Influence People)
I struggle with an embarrassing affliction, one that as far as I know doesn’t have a website or support group despite its disabling effects on the lives of those of us who’ve somehow contracted it. I can’t remember exactly when I started noticing the symptoms—it’s just one of those things you learn to live with, I guess. You make adjustments. You hope people don’t notice. The irony, obviously, is having gone into a line of work in which this particular infirmity is most likely to stand out, like being a gimpy tango instructor or an acrophobic flight attendant. The affliction I’m speaking of is moral relativism, and you can imagine the catastrophic effects on a critic’s career if the thing were left to run its course unfettered or I had to rely on my own inner compass alone. To be honest, calling it moral relativism may dignify it too much; it’s more like moral wishy-washiness. Critics are supposed to have deeply felt moral outrage about things, be ready to pronounce on or condemn other people’s foibles and failures at a moment’s notice whenever an editor emails requesting twelve hundred words by the day after tomorrow. The severity of your condemnation is the measure of your intellectual seriousness (especially when it comes to other people’s literary or aesthetic failures, which, for our best critics, register as nothing short of moral turpitude in itself). That’s how critics make their reputations: having take-no-prisoners convictions and expressing them in brutal mots justes. You’d better be right there with that verdict or you’d better just shut the fuck up. But when it comes to moral turpitude and ethical lapses (which happen to be subjects I’ve written on frequently, perversely drawn to the topics likely to expose me at my most irresolute)—it’s like I’m shooting outrage blanks. There I sit, fingers poised on keyboard, one part of me (the ambitious, careerist part) itching to strike, but in my truest soul limply equivocal, particularly when it comes to the many lapses I suspect I’m capable of committing myself, from bad prose to adultery. Every once in a while I succeed in landing a feeble blow or two, but for the most part it’s the limp equivocator who rules the roost—contextualizing, identifying, dithering. And here’s another confession while I’m at it—wow, it feels good to finally come clean about it all. It’s that … once in a while, when I’m feeling especially jellylike, I’ve found myself loitering on the Internet in hopes of—this is embarrassing—cadging a bit of other people’s moral outrage (not exactly in short supply online) concerning whatever subject I’m supposed to be addressing. Sometimes you just need a little shot in the arm, you know? It’s not like I’d crib anyone’s actual sentences (though frankly I have a tough time getting as worked up about plagiarism as other people seem to get—that’s how deep this horrible affliction runs). No, it’s the tranquillity of their moral authority I’m hoping will rub off on me. I confess to having a bit of an online “thing,” for this reason, about New Republic editor-columnist Leon Wieseltier—as everyone knows, one of our leading critical voices and always in high dudgeon about something or other: never fearing to lambaste anyone no matter how far beneath him in the pecking order, never fearing for a moment, when he calls someone out for being preening or self-congratulatory, as he frequently does, that it might be true of himself as well. When I’m in the depths of soft-heartedness, a little dose of Leon is all I need to feel like clambering back on the horse of critical judgment and denouncing someone for something.
Laura Kipnis (Men: Notes from an Ongoing Investigation)
He opened the door after letting me pound on it for almost five minutes. His truck was in the carport. I knew he was here. He pulled the door open and walked back inside without looking at me or saying a word. I followed him in, and he dropped onto a sofa I’d never seen before. His face was scruffy. I’d never seen him anything but clean-shaven. Not even in pictures. He had bags under his eyes. He’d aged ten years in three days. The apartment was a mess. The boxes were gone. It looked like he had finally unpacked. But laundry was piled up in a basket so full it spilled out onto the floor. Empty food containers littered the kitchen countertops. The coffee table was full of empty beer bottles. His bed was unmade. The place smelled stagnant and dank. A vicious urge to take care of him took hold. The velociraptor tapped its talon on the floor. Josh wasn’t okay. Nobody was okay. And that was what made me not okay. “Hey,” I said, standing in front of him. He didn’t look at me. “Oh, so you’re talking to me now,” he said bitterly, taking a long pull on a beer. “Great. What do you want?” The coldness of his tone took me aback, but I kept my face still. “You haven’t been to the hospital.” His bloodshot eyes dragged up to mine. “Why would I? He’s not there. He’s fucking gone.” I stared at him. He shook his head and looked away from me. “So what do you want? You wanted to see if I’m okay? I’m not fucking okay. My best friend is brain-dead. The woman I love won’t even fucking speak to me.” He picked up a beer cap from the coffee table and threw it hard across the room. My OCD winced. “I’m doing this for you,” I whispered. “Well, don’t,” he snapped. “None of this is for me. Not any of it. I need you, and you abandoned me. Just go. Get out.” I wanted to climb into his lap. Tell him how much I missed him and that I wouldn’t leave him again. I wanted to make love to him and never be away from him ever again in my life—and clean his fucking apartment. But instead, I just stood there. “No. I’m not leaving. We need to talk about what’s happening at the hospital.” He glared up at me. “There’s only one thing I want to talk about. I want to talk about how you and I can be in love with each other and you won’t be with me. Or how you can stand not seeing me or speaking to me for weeks. That’s what I want to talk about, Kristen.” My chin quivered. I turned and went to the kitchen and grabbed a trash bag from under the sink. I started tossing take-out containers and beer bottles. I spoke over my shoulder. “Get up. Go take a shower. Shave. Or don’t if that’s the look you’re going for. But I need you to get your shit together.” My hands were shaking. I wasn’t feeling well. I’d been light-headed and slightly overheated since I went to Josh’s fire station looking for him. But I focused on my task, shoving trash into my bag. “If Brandon is going to be able to donate his organs, he needs to come off life support within the next few days. His parents won’t do it, and Sloan doesn’t get a say. You need to go talk to them.” Hands came up under my elbows, and his touch radiated through me. “Kristen, stop.” I spun on him. “Fuck you, Josh! You need help, and I need to help you!” And then as fast as the anger surged, the sorrow took over. The chains on my mood swing snapped, and feelings broke through my walls like water breaching a crevice in a dam. I began to cry. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. The strength that drove me through my days just wasn’t available to me when it came to Josh. I dropped the trash bag at his feet and put my hands over my face and sobbed. He wrapped his arms around me, and I completely lost it.
Abby Jimenez (The Friend Zone (The Friend Zone, #1))
For most people moving is a tiring experience. When on the verge of moving out to a new home or into a new office, it's only natural to focus on your new place and forget about the one you’re leaving. Actually, the last thing you would even think about is embarking on a heavy duty move out clean. However, you can be certain that agents, landlords and all the potential renters or buyers of your old home will most definitely notice if it's being cleaned, therefore getting the place cleaned up is something that you need to consider. The process of cleaning will basically depend to things; how dirty your property and the size of the home. If you leave the property in good condition, you'll have a higher the chance of getting back your bond deposit or if you're selling, attracting a potential buyer. Below are the steps you need to consider before moving out. You should start with cleaning. Remove all screws and nails from the walls and the ceilings, fill up all holes and dust all ledges. Large holes should be patched and the entire wall checked the major marks. Remove all the cobwebs from the walls and ceilings, taking care to wash or vacuum the vents. They can get quite dusty. Clean all doors and door knobs, wipe down all the switches, electrical outlets, vacuum/wipe down the drapes, clean the blinds and remove all the light covers from light fixtures and clean them thoroughly as they may contain dead insects. Also, replace all the burnt out light bulbs and empty all cupboards when you clean them. Clean all windows, window sills and tracks. Vacuum all carpets or get them professionally cleaned which quite often is stipulated in the rental agreement. After you've finished the general cleaning, you can now embark on the more specific areas. When cleaning the bathroom, wash off the soap scum and remove mould (if any) from the bathroom tiles. This can be done by pre-spraying the tile grout with bleach and letting it sit for at least half an hour. Clean all the inside drawers and vanity units thoroughly. Clean the toilet/sink, vanity unit and replace anything that you've damaged. Wash all shower curtains and shower doors plus all other enclosures. Polish the mirrors and make sure the exhaust fan is free of dust. You can generally vacuum these quite easily. Finally, clean the bathroom floors by vacuuming and mopping. In the kitchen, clean all the cabinets and liners and wash the cupboards inside out. Clean the counter-tops and shine the facet and sink. If the fridge is staying give it a good clean. You can do this by removing all shelves and wash them individually. Thoroughly degrease the oven inside and out. It's best to use and oven cleaner from your supermarket, just take care to use gloves and a mask as they can be quite toxic. Clean the kitchen floor well by giving it a good vacuum and mop . Sometimes the kitchen floor may need to be degreased. Dust the bedrooms and living room, vacuum throughout then mop. If you have a garage give it a good sweep. Also cut the grass, pull out all weeds and remove all items that may be lying or hanging around. Remember to put your garbage bins out for collection even if collection is a week away as in our experience the bins will be full to the brim from all the rubbish during the moving process. If this all looks too hard then you can always hire a bond cleaner to tackle the job for you or if you're on a tight budget you can download an end of lease cleaning checklist or have one sent to you from your local agent. Just make sure you give yourself at least a day or to take on the job. Its best not to rush through the job, just make sure everything is cleaned thoroughly, so it passes the inspection in order for you to get your bond back in full.
Tanya Smith
The chorus of criticism culminated in a May 27 White House press conference that had me fielding tough questions on the oil spill for about an hour. I methodically listed everything we'd done since the Deepwater had exploded, and I described the technical intricacies of the various strategies being employed to cap the well. I acknowledged problems with MMS, as well as my own excessive confidence in the ability of companies like BP to safeguard against risk. I announced the formation of a national commission to review the disaster and figure out how such accidents could be prevented in the future, and I reemphasized the need for a long-term response that would make America less reliant on dirty fossil fuels. Reading the transcript now, a decade later, I'm struck by how calm and cogent I sound. Maybe I'm surprised because the transcript doesn't register what I remember feeling at the time or come close to capturing what I really wanted to say before the assembled White House press corps: That MMS wasn't fully equipped to do its job, in large part because for the past thirty years a big chunk of American voters had bought into the Republican idea that government was the problem and that business always knew better, and had elected leaders who made it their mission to gut environmental regulations, starve agency budgets, denigrate civil servants, and allow industrial polluters do whatever the hell they wanted to do. That the government didn't have better technology than BP did to quickly plug the hole because it would be expensive to have such technology on hand, and we Americans didn't like paying higher taxes - especially when it was to prepare for problems that hadn't happened yet. That it was hard to take seriously any criticism from a character like Bobby Jindal, who'd done Big Oil's bidding throughout his career and would go on to support an oil industry lawsuit trying to get a federal court to lift our temporary drilling moratorium; and that if he and other Gulf-elected officials were truly concerned about the well-being of their constituents, they'd be urging their party to stop denying the effects of climate change, since it was precisely the people of the Gulf who were the most likely to lose homes or jobs as a result of rising global temperatures. And that the only way to truly guarantee that we didn't have another catastrophic oil spill in the future was to stop drilling entirely; but that wasn't going to happen because at the end of the day we Americans loved our cheap gas and big cars more than we cared about the environment, except when a complete disaster was staring us in the face; and in the absence of such a disaster, the media rarely covered efforts to shift America off fossil fuels or pass climate legislation, since actually educating the public on long-term energy policy would be boring and bad for ratings; and the one thing I could be certain of was that for all the outrage being expressed at the moment about wetlands and sea turtles and pelicans, what the majority of us were really interested in was having the problem go away, for me to clean up yet one more mess decades in the making with some quick and easy fix, so that we could all go back to our carbon-spewing, energy-wasting ways without having to feel guilty about it. I didn't say any of that. Instead I somberly took responsibility and said it was my job to "get this fixed." Afterward, I scolded my press team, suggesting that if they'd done better work telling the story of everything we were doing to clean up the spill, I wouldn't have had to tap-dance for an hour while getting the crap kicked out of me. My press folks looked wounded. Sitting alone in the Treaty Room later that night, I felt bad about what I had said, knowing I'd misdirected my anger and frustration. It was those damned plumes of oil that I really wanted to curse out.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)