Do Something Fun Quotes

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If you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong.
Groucho Marx
If people make fun of you, that probably means you're doing something right.
Evanescence
Every once in a while you just have to decide to do something very crazy and very right--just to dare yourself to live. I don't mean doing something stupid and destructive--just something fun and good and beautiful.
Regina Doman (The Shadow of the Bear (A Fairy Tale Retold #1))
When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important: A stodgy parent is not fun at all! What a child wants - and DESERVES - is a parent who is SPARKY!
Roald Dahl
Do the other kids make fun of you? For how you talk?' 'Sometimes.' 'So why don't you do something about it? You could learn to talk differently, you know.' But this is my voice. How would you be able to tell when I was talking?
Lauren Oliver (Before I Fall)
In terms of days and moments lived, you’ll never again be as young as you are right now, so spend this day, the youth of your future, in a way that deflects regret. Invest in yourself. Have some fun. Do something important. Love somebody extra. In one sense, you’re just a kid, but a kid with enough years on her to know that every day is priceless. (418)
Victoria Moran (Younger by the Day: 365 Ways to Rejuvenate Your Body and Revitalize Your Spirit)
It's sometimes funny to watch some people doing something the wrong way but doing it confidently. Even more funny, they succeeded.
Toba Beta (Betelgeuse Incident: Insiden Bait Al-Jauza)
…there’s nothing in the world more fun than doing something you’re good at.
Clive Barker (Galilee)
I'm so bored I could do something, but can't be arsed. I'm unmotivated as well as bored. It's a killer combination.
Gillibran Brown (Fun With Dick and Shane (Memoirs of a Houseboy, #1))
But if you have so much fun, then why don't you get together more than once a month?' She looked at me like a wise old owl and winked. 'Do something too often and it stops being special.
Beth Hoffman (Saving CeeCee Honeycutt)
Procrastinating is number three on my Stupid List. You still end up exactly where you didn't want to be, doing exactly what you didn't want to do, withe the only difference being that you lost all that time in between, during which you could have been doing something fun. Even worse, you probably stayed in a stressed-out, crappy mood the whole time you were avoiding it. If you know something is inevitable, do it and get it over with. Move on. Life is short.
Karen Marie Moning (Iced (Fever, #6))
As soon as something stops being fun, I think it’s time to move on. Life is too short to be unhappy. Waking up stressed and miserable is not a good way to live.
Richard Branson (Screw It, Let's Do It: Lessons In Life (Quick Reads))
The fun comes in telling them yourself—something I warmly encourage you to do, you person reading this. Read the stories in this book, then make them your own,
Neil Gaiman (Norse Mythology)
I enjoy the fun of failure. It's fun to fail, I kept repeating. It's part of being ambitious; it's part of being creative. If something is worth doing, it's worth doing badly
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)
The whole time I pretend I have mental telepathy. And with my mind only, I’ll say — or think? — to the target, 'Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you’ve never even heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose—allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to thatmiserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want. That’s what they tell us at school, but if you keep getting on that train and going to the place you hate I’m going to start thinking the people at school are liars like the Nazis who told the Jews they were just being relocated to work factories. Don’t do that to us. Tell us the truth. If adulthood is working some death-camp job you hate for the rest of your life, divorcing your secretly criminal husband, being disappointed in your son, being stressed and miserable, and dating a poser and pretending he’s a hero when he’s really a lousy person and anyone can tell that just by shaking his slimy hand — if it doesn’t get any better, I need to know right now. Just tell me. Spare me from some awful fucking fate. Please.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
If people make fun fun of you, you must be doing something right
Evanescence
Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you've never even heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose — allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to that miserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
Karrin." She looked up at me. She looked very young somehow. "Remember what I said yesterday," I said. "You're hurt. But you'll get through it. You'll be okay." She closed her eyes tightly. "I'm scared. So scared I'm sick." "You'll get through it." "What if I don't?" I squeezed her fingers. "Then I will personally make fun of you every day for the rest of your life," I said. "I will call you a sissy girl in front of everyone you know, tie frilly aprons on your car, and lurk in the parking lot at CPD and whistle and tell you to shake it, baby. Every. Single. Day." Murphy's breath escaped in something like a hiccup. She opened her eyes, a mix of anger and wary amusement easing into them in place of fear. "You do realize I'm holding a gun, right?
Jim Butcher (Summer Knight (The Dresden Files, #4))
The prospects were depressing: Adulthood meant that I'd have to stop having fun and do something I didn't really want to do for the rest of my life – which was apparently a considerable chunk of time.
Bruce Campbell (If Chins Could Kill: Confessions of a B Movie Actor)
Could you penetrate this palace, Prince Kheldar?" King Anheg challenged. "I already have, your Majesty," Silk said modestly, "a dozen times or more." Anheg looked at Rhodar with one raised eyebrow. Rhodar coughed slightly. "It was some time ago, Anheg. Nothing serious. I was just curious about something, that's all." "All you had to do was ask," Anheg said in a slightly injured tone. "I didn't want to bother you," Rhodar said with a shrug. "Besides, it's more fun to do it the other way.
David Eddings (Pawn of Prophecy (The Belgariad, #1))
Straight guys only feel three ways about girls . . . First, either they love you, and they show it by writing a song about you, like Gabriel, and asking you out, and everything is nice and fun like it should be. Second, they love you, but they’re scared of their passion for you because it’s so strong, like your boy Christopher, so they stuff it way, way down and ignore you, or do stupid things like make fun of you because they don’t know how to express it any other way, because they’re immature little babies and are too shy to, say, write a song about you. Or third, there’s something wrong with them, and they start out nice and loving and then turn around and do stupid things like sleep with other girls behind your back, like Justin Bay. But we’ll never figure out what went wrong with them, and neither will they, so it’s not worth thinking about. Okay? That’s it. The end.” Lulu Collins
Meg Cabot (Airhead (Airhead, #1))
Yeah,” said Iggy. “But what now? Let’s do something fun.” I guess being on the run from bloodthirsty Erasers and insane scientists wasn’t enough fun for him. Kids today are so spoiled.
James Patterson
The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children's games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up. And one of the games to which it is most attached is called "Keep to-morrow dark," and which is also named (by the rustics in Shropshire, I have no doubt) "Cheat the Prophet." The players listen very carefully and respectfully to all that the clever men have to say about what is to happen in the next generation. The players then wait until all the clever men are dead, and bury them nicely. They then go and do something else. That is all. For a race of simple tastes, however, it is great fun.
G.K. Chesterton (The Napoleon of Notting Hill)
Sometimes the man who looks happiest in town, with the biggest smile, is the one carrying the biggest load of sin. There are smiles & smiles; learn to tell the dark variety from the light. The seal-barker, the laugh-shouter, half the time he's covering up. He's had his fun & he's guilty. And all men do love sin, Will, oh how they love it, never doubt, in all shapes, sizes, colors & smells. Times come when troughs, not tables, suit appetites. Hear a man too loudly praising others & look to wonder if he didn't just get up from the sty. On the other hand, that unhappy, pale, put-upon man walking by, who looks all guilt & sin, why, often that's your good man with a capital G, Will. For being good is a fearful occupation; men strain at it & sometimes break in two. I've known a few. You work twice as hard to be a farmer as to be his hog. I suppose it's thinking about trying to be good makes the crack run up the wall one night. A man with high standards, too, the least hair falls on him sometimes wilts his spine. He can't let himself alone, won't let himself off the hook if he falls just a breath from grace.
Ray Bradbury (Something Wicked This Way Comes (Green Town, #2))
You are mine. I can do what I want with you. I can dress you. Fuck you. Send you away. Loan you to others. You belong to me. And you've finally realized it isn't romantic, it isn't sexy, or fun. It's something no one should want or desire. You're a captive.
Pepper Winters (Tears of Tess (Monsters in the Dark, #1))
Write poorly. Suck. Write Awful. Terribly. Frightfully. Don’t care. Turn off the inner editor. Let yourself write. Let it flow. Let yourself fail. Do something crazy. Write 50,000 words in the month of November. I did it. It was fun. It was insane. It was 1,667 words per day. It was possible, but you have to turn off the inner critic off completely. Just write. Quickly. In bursts. With joy. If you can’t write, run away. Come back. Write again. Writing is like anything else. You won’t get good at it immediately. It’s a craft. You have to keep getting better. You don’t get to Juilliard unless you practice. You want to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Practice. Practice ..or give them a lot of money. Like anything else it takes 10,000 hours to get to mastery. Just like Malcolm Gladwell says. So write. Fail. Get your thoughts down. Let it rest. Let is marinate. Then edit, but don’t edit as you type. That just slows the brain down. Find a daily practice. For me it’s blogging. It’s fun. The more you write the easier it gets. The more it is a flow, the less a worry. It’s not for school, it’s not for a grade, it’s just to get your thoughts out there. You know they want to come out. So keep at it. Make it a practice. Write poorly. Write awfully. Write with abandon and it may end up being really really good.
Colleen Hoover
There's always something to do if you don't have to work or consider the cost. It's no real fun but the rich don't know that. They never had any. They never want anything very hard except maybe somebody else's wife and that's a pretty pale desire compared with the way a plumber's wife wants new curtains for the living room.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
While Owen and Miles talk sports, I people watch. And this is what I see: teenagers trying to act like adults. Or how they think adults act. But mostly they look ridiculous, and I wonder what they don't want to do something that's more fun than drinking, smoking, flirting, and making out. Why are those activities considered to be fun?
Melody Carlson (Just Another Girl)
But you lose the opportunity to share the good things when you do something bad.
Courtney Maum (I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You)
Raffe looks over at the bloody knife in my hand. “If I still had any doubts that it was you, that would do it.” He gestures toward my opponent rolling on the ground with his hands cradling his package. “He should have been polite and just let us by,” I say. “Way to teach him some respect. I always wanted to meet a girl who fights dirty,” says Raffe. “There’s no such thing as dirty fighting in self-defense.” He huffs. “I don’t know whether to make fun of him or to respect you.” “Come on, that one’s easy.” He grins at me. There’s something in his eyes that makes my insides melt a little, like something deep inside us is communicating without me being fully aware of it.
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
Can you "choose" something when you are forcefully and enthusiastically immersed in it at an age when the resources and information necessary for choosing are not yet yours?
David Foster Wallace (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments)
If you want to be all like smart and adult about this shit then do the right thing. But if you want to do something fun and take a chance, then screw what anyone else thinks. Rock and roll, man!
Karina Halle (Darkhouse (Experiment in Terror, #1))
If, by the virtue of charity or the circumstance of desperation, you ever chance to spend a little time around a Substance-recovery halfway facility like Enfield MA’s state-funded Ennet House, you will acquire many exotic new facts… That certain persons simply will not like you no matter what you do. That sleeping can be a form of emotional escape and can with sustained effort be abused. That purposeful sleep-deprivation can also be an abusable escape. That you do not have to like a person in order to learn from him/her/it. That loneliness is not a function of solitude. That logical validity is not a guarantee of truth. That it takes effort to pay attention to any one stimulus for more than a few seconds. That boring activities become, perversely, much less boring if you concentrate intently on them. That if enough people in a silent room are drinking coffee it is possible to make out the sound of steam coming off the coffee. That sometimes human beings have to just sit in one place and, like, hurt. That you will become way less concerned with what other people think of you when you realize how seldom they do. That there is such a thing as raw, unalloyed, agendaless kindness. That it is possible to fall asleep during an anxiety attack. That concentrating intently on anything is very hard work. That 99% of compulsive thinkers’ thinking is about themselves; that 99% of this self-directed thinking consists of imagining and then getting ready for things that are going to happen to them; and then, weirdly, that if they stop to think about it, that 100% of the things they spend 99% of their time and energy imagining and trying to prepare for all the contingencies and consequences of are never good. In short that 99% of the head’s thinking activity consists of trying to scare the everliving shit out of itself. That it is possible to make rather tasty poached eggs in a microwave oven. That some people’s moms never taught them to cover up or turn away when they sneeze. That the people to be the most frightened of are the people who are the most frightened. That it takes great personal courage to let yourself appear weak. That no single, individual moment is in and of itself unendurable. That other people can often see things about you that you yourself cannot see, even if those people are stupid. That having a lot of money does not immunize people from suffering or fear. That trying to dance sober is a whole different kettle of fish. That different people have radically different ideas of basic personal hygiene. That, perversely, it is often more fun to want something than to have it. That if you do something nice for somebody in secret, anonymously, without letting the person you did it for know it was you or anybody else know what it was you did or in any way or form trying to get credit for it, it’s almost its own form of intoxicating buzz. That anonymous generosity, too, can be abused. That it is permissible to want. That everybody is identical in their unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else. That this isn’t necessarily perverse. That there might not be angels, but there are people who might as well be angels.
David Foster Wallace (Infinite Jest)
Sometimes the idea of doing something is the most fun part, and after you go through with it, you feel deflated because you realize you’re back to looking for the next thrill.
Lauren Graham (Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls, and Everything in Between)
Hey, I’ve been alive for a very, very long time. Boring,” she sang out. “Gotta do something for kicks, and a good apocalypse every now and then fills the cracks. It’s like the Super Bowl for us gods…but without the beer and everyone could die. Fun, right?
Mimi Jean Pamfiloff (Accidentally Married to...a Vampire? (Accidentally Yours, #2))
A message To the children who have read this book. When you grow up and have children of your own, do please remember something important. A stodgy parent is no fun at all! What a child wants -and DESERVES- is a parent who is SPARKY!" - Danny, the champion of the world.
Roald Dahl (Danny the Champion of the World)
Hobbes: What are you doing? Calvin: Being "cool." Hobbes: You look more like you're being bored. Calvin: The world bores you when you're cool. Hobbes: Look, I brought a sombrero! Now we can both be "cool." Calvin: A sombrero?! Are you crazy?! Cool people don't wear sombreros! Hobbes: What fun is it being cool if you can't wear a sombrero?
Bill Watterson (Something Under the Bed is Drooling (Calvin and Hobbes #2))
The easiest thing to do with something that was bothering you was always to make fun of it.
Michael Northrop (Gentlemen)
It's fun to do something dumb. Not something really dumb, like my second marriage. That was really really dumb.
Lisa Scottoline (Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog: The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman)
He squeezed my shoulder and smiled at me. I realized that I hadn't kissed him hello, I always kissed him hello. Of course, I was still covered in blood and other bodily fluids, and none of them were his, but he might not understand that that was why I hadn't wanted to get too close. Some of my confusion must have shown on my face, because his smile widened. He turned me around by the shoulders, gave me a little push towards the bathroom, and slapped me on the ass. "Get cleaned up, I'll take care of things here." "I can't believe that you just did that," I said. "Did what?" he said, and he was grinning at me. I could probably count on one hand the number of times Micah had grinned at me. His eyes were sparkling with laughter as if it were all he could do not to let it out. I was happy to see him having a good time, really I was. But I wasn't sure what was funny, and I didn't have the courage to ask. It was probably something that would be at my expense, or something I'd just done that he found cute. I was not cute. Confused, fucked-up, bruised, but not cute. Nathaniel and Damian knew better, but as I passed Gregory, I had to say, "If you touch my ass, I will rip you a new one." I said it as I moved past him, not even pausing. "You're no fun," he growled. I looked back just before I turned out of sight of him. "Oh, I'm a lot of fun, just not around you." He snarled at me. "Bitch." "Woof, woof," I said, and finally made it into the bathroom.
Laurell K. Hamilton (Incubus Dreams (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter, #12))
When did they stop putting toys in cereal boxes? When I was little, I remember wandering the cereal aisle (which surely is as American a phenomenon as fireworks on the Fourth of July) and picking my breakfast food based on what the reward was: a Frisbee with the Trix rabbit's face emblazoned on the front. Holographic stickers with the Lucky Charms leprechaun. A mystery decoder wheel. I could suffer through raisin bran for a month if it meant I got a magic ring at the end. I cannot admit this out loud. In the first place, we are expected to be supermoms these days, instead of admitting that we have flaws. It is tempting to believe that all mothers wake up feeling fresh every morning, never raise their voices, only cook with organic food, and are equally at ease with the CEO and the PTA. Here's a secret: those mothers don't exist. Most of us-even if we'd never confess-are suffering through the raisin bran in the hopes of a glimpse of that magic ring. I look very good on paper. I have a family, and I write a newspaper column. In real life, I have to pick superglue out of the carpet, rarely remember to defrost for dinner, and plan to have BECAUSE I SAID SO engraved on my tombstone. Real mothers wonder why experts who write for Parents and Good Housekeeping-and, dare I say it, the Burlington Free Press-seem to have their acts together all the time when they themselves can barely keep their heads above the stormy seas of parenthood. Real mothers don't just listen with humble embarrassment to the elderly lady who offers unsolicited advice in the checkout line when a child is throwing a tantrum. We take the child, dump him in the lady's car, and say, "Great. Maybe YOU can do a better job." Real mothers know that it's okay to eat cold pizza for breakfast. Real mothers admit it is easier to fail at this job than to succeed. If parenting is the box of raisin bran, then real mothers know the ratio of flakes to fun is severely imbalanced. For every moment that your child confides in you, or tells you he loves you, or does something unprompted to protect his brother that you happen to witness, there are many more moments of chaos, error, and self-doubt. Real mothers may not speak the heresy, but they sometimes secretly wish they'd chosen something for breakfast other than this endless cereal. Real mothers worry that other mothers will find that magic ring, whereas they'll be looking and looking for ages. Rest easy, real mothers. The very fact that you worry about being a good mom means that you already are one.
Jodi Picoult (House Rules)
I know it's hard to not do well at something, and I know it's hard to need help.
Katherine Hannigan (Ida B. . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World)
Procrastinating is number one of my Stupid List. You still end up exactly where you didn't want to be, doing exactly what you didn't want to do, with the only difference being you lost all that time in between, during which you could have been doing something fun. Even worse, you probably stayed in a stressed-out, scrappy mood the whole time you were avoiding it.
Karen Marie Moning (Iced (Fever, #6))
If you haven't said 'I love you' to someone today, do it. You won't always be happy, but you should try to be. Don't be too afraid of germs. Those people have no fun. Remember to look around sometimes. You might see something you haven't seen before or at the very least avoid being hit by a flying object. Speaking of flying objects, don't spend your life looking for extraterrestrial life, unless you work for NASA. Remember that you always have to cooperate with someone. Life is an endless negotiation. Play fair. Stay out of jail. Don't live in the past. Eat breakfast. It really is the most important meal of the day. Try to make new friends, even when you think you're too old to do that. ...And finally, remember this" 'Yes' is always a better work than 'no'. Unless, of course, someone has just asked you to commit a felony.
Lisa Lutz
Do what you think is interesting, do something that you think is fun and worthwhile, because otherwise you won’t do it well anyway.
Brian W. Kernighan
You can't start over. There's no such thing as starting over. There's only history. And right now you're making tomorrow's history. So go out, and do something that will be fun to remember.
Jill Davis (Girls' Poker Night)
Margaret: Can I - can I just say something for the future? Leo: Yeah. Margaret: I can sign the President's name. I have his signature down pretty good. Leo: You can sign the President's name? Margaret: Yeah. Leo: On a document removing him from power and handing it to someone else? Margaret: Yeah! Or... do you think the White House Counsel would say that was a bad idea? Leo: I think the White House Counsel would say it was a coup d'etat! Margaret: Well. I'd probably end up doing some time for that. Leo: I would think. And what the hell were you doing practicing the President's signature? Margaret: It was just for fun.
Aaron Sorkin
The new cultural belief that everything should be fun, fast, and easy is inconsistent with hopeful thinking. It also sets us up for hopelessness. When we experience something that is difficult and requires significant time and effort, we are quick to think, This is supposed to be easy; it’s not worth the effort, or, This should be easier: it’s only hard and slow because I’m not good at it. Hopeful self-talk sounds more like, This is tough, but I can do it.
Brené Brown (The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You're Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are)
something is malignantly addictive if (1) it causes real problems for the addict, and (2) it offers itself as a relief from the very problems it causes.
David Foster Wallace (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments)
Once again St. Nicholas Day Has even come to our hideaway; It won't be quite as fun, I fear, As the happy day we had last year. Then we were hopeful, no reason to doubt That optimism would win the bout, And by the time this year came round, We'd all be free, and safe and sound. Still, let's not forget it's St. Nicholas Day, Though we've nothing left to give away. We'll have to find something else to do: So everyone please look in their shoe!
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
It wasn't school that I dreaded at all. School was not half bad. In many ways, this year had been downright fun. No, what I hated most about school was the fact that I had to come here all by myself. Simon and Peter went to their classes and did their own things, and I had to do my own thing. The thing I loved about summer was that I shared it with my brothers. Sure, my brothers and I often fought, but the best times in my life came when I was with them. School was a time when I had to go and do something without a brother at my side.
Matthew Buckley (Chickens in the Headlights)
just because a person says something is true doesn't mean it is, and anyone who tells you otherwise is probably trying to keep you from doing something fun.
Katie Henry (Heretics Anonymous)
Good bosses shouldn't make you happy in a job that they wouldn't want to do themselves," she said. "It's my job to make you so miserable that you're forced into finding something that brings you joy, and then I help you seal the deal.
Kiley Reid (Such a Fun Age)
Writing is not a serious business. It’s a joy and a celebration. You should be having fun with it. Ignore the authors who say ‘Oh, my God, what word? Oh, Jesus Christ…’, you know. Now, to hell with that. It’s not work. If it’s work, stop and do something else.
Ray Bradbury
His mind’s always on something else. He’d live in a ratty cardigan, and he’s always worrying holes in the pockets of his pants. He can never seem to find his wallet or anything in the refrigerator. And just when you think he’s not paying any attention to what you’re saying or doing, he comes up with exactly the right answer or solution.”", [J.D. Robb, Celebrity In Death"“People""who expect perfection in a mate miss a lot of fun—and sweetness.", [J.D. Robb, Celebrity In Death]
J.D. Robb (Celebrity in Death (In Death, #34))
Are you enjoying your company so far?" "Yes! It's been a pleasure getting to know these ladies." "Are they all the sweet, gentle ladies they appear to be?" Gavril asked. Before Maxon replied, the answer brought a smile to my face. Because I knew that it was yes...sort of. "Umm..." Maxon looked past Gavril at me. "Almost." "Almost?" Gavril asked, surprised. He turned to us. "Is someone over there being naughty?" Mercifully, all the girls let out light giggles, so I blended in. The little traitor! "What exactly did these girls do that isn't so sweet?" Gavril asked Maxon. "Oh, well, let me tell you." Maxon crossed his legs and got very comfortable in his chair. It was probably the most relaxed I'd ever seen him, sitting there poking fun at me. I liked this side of him. I wished it would come out more often. "One of them had the nerve to yell at me rather forcefully the first time we met. I was given a very severe scolding." Above Maxon's head, the king and queen exchanged a glance. It seemed they were hearing this story for the first time, too. Beside me the girls were looking at one another, confused. I didn't get it until Marlee said something. "I don't remember anyone yelling at him in the Great Room. Do you?" Maxon seemed to have forgotten that our first meeting was meant to be a secret. "I think he's talking it up to make it funnier. I did say some serious things to him. I think he might mean me." "A scolding, you say? Whatever for?" Gavril continued. "Honestly, I wasn't really sure. I think it was a bout of homesickness. Which is why I forgave her, of course." Maxon was loose and easy now, talking to Gavril as if he were the only person in the room. I'd have to tell him later how wonderful he did. "So she's still with us, then?" Gavril looked over at the collection of girls, grinning widely, and then returned to face his prince. "Oh, yes. She's still here," Maxon said, not letting his eyes wander from Gavril's face. "And I plan on keeping her here for quite a while.
Kiera Cass (The Selection (The Selection, #1))
A refurbished Star Wars is on somewhere or everywhere. I have no intention of revisiting any galaxy. I shrivel inside each time it is mentioned. Twenty years ago, when the film was first shown, it had a freshness, also a sense of moral good and fun. Then I began to be uneasy at the influence it might be having. The first bad penny dropped in San Francisco when a sweet-faced boy of twelve told me proudly that he had seen Star Wars over a hundred times. His elegant mother nodded with approval. Looking into the boy's eyes I thought I detected little star-shells of madness beginning to form and I guessed that one day they would explode. 'I would love you to do something for me,' I said. 'Anything! Anything!' the boy said rapturously. 'You won't like what I'm going to ask you to do,' I said. 'Anything, sir, anything!' 'Well,' I said, 'do you think you could promise never to see Star Wars again?' He burst into tears. His mother drew herself up to an immense height. 'What a dreadful thing to say to a child!' she barked, and dragged the poor kid away. Maybe she was right but I just hope the lad, now in his thirties, is not living in a fantasy world of secondhand, childish banalities.
Alec Guinness (A Positively Final Appearance)
What nobody tells you is that spending an entire day being paid to do something you love is sometimes a lot less fun than spending an entire day doing something you love for free.
Allison K. Williams (Get Published in Literary Magazines: The Indispensable Guide to Preparing, Submitting and Writing Better)
I feel bad for her. It's not a lot of fun, you know." "What?" "Being in love with you. I've been with a lot of bad guys who made me feel lousy about myself, Jude, but you're something special. Because I knew none of them really cared about me, but you do, and you make me feel like your shitty hooker anyway.
Joe Hill (Heart-Shaped Box)
What kind of guy was I? My idea of fun was Dez. My eyes found hers. Spending time with her, holding her…. kissing her. Just being close to her. These were the things I enjoyed. The things that made me feel most alive. I believed without a doubt that my heart began to truly beat the day I met her. She cleared her throat and looked away, blushing. It took a moment for me to realize why. She'd been thinking of kissing. I 'd told her just last week kissing her was my second favourite thing to do. The first – well, she told me that was something we should keep between us. I didn't understand why exactly. Everyone should know about something so amazing, but I took her word on it.
Jus Accardo (Untouched (Denazen, #1.5))
You learned several forms of martial arts." "yes, and for the most part, because I was doing something physical and most of my instructors enjoyed what they were doing, it was fun. Later, as I got older and they were serious about training me, I was faster than the instructors, and some of them would get angry." "Honey, that's entirely understandable. You're barely five feet tall, and you can't weigh a hundred pounds. To make matters worse, you're a girl. Kicking some man's butt is not ladylike.
Christine Feehan (Mind Game (GhostWalkers, #2))
She pivoted on one foot, turning her sword. Fast. Her head snapped toward me. Dark eyes stared straight at me. I detected no fear. Instead it was a look of challenge. So not a mouse after all, but something more. This could be interesting. I'd let her dance in the dirt a bit more. She was fun to watch. She crouched with her hand out. What the hell was she doing... "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty." Oh my God, she was retarded and I was going to kill Jim.
Ilona Andrews
Maybe exercise and sport can be something we do for ourselves. For fun! For Happiness! For clear thinking! Because physical activity should be something integral to our being alive. And it is the essential part that really concerns us here, not the bit about how many millimetres it might shave off your inside thigh measurements.
Anna Kessel (Eat Sweat Play: How Sport Can Change Our Lives)
To have output you must have input. It helps to go on a period of creative nourishment, or dolce far niente, clearing the brain. Go to bed with the cat, some flouffy pillows, tea and a book which could not in any sense be called improving. Read for fun for a change: superior Chicklit is good, or children’s classics. You are not allowed to try and analyse what the author is doing. After a good sleep, go and do something new, or that you haven’t done for a while....
Lucy Sussex
Come on." He jumped up and grabbed my hand. "Let's do something fun." "I can't! I have to work, and then I have a date." "Frying-pan boy again? I thought you guys broke up." "No! Why would we break up?
Kiersten White (Supernaturally (Paranormalcy, #2))
This guy is different. I see him once in a while and we have fun and theres no pressure. We just have a good time. And he still writes for tranks and downers. A couple of weeks ago we flew down to the Virgin Islands for a weekend. It was a ball. Hey, crazy. Sounds great. Yeah. So your folks are still footin the bills, tilting his head toward the rest of the apartment, for the pad and so forth? Yeah. She laughed out loud again, Plus the fifty a week for the shrink. And sometimes I do a little freelance editing for a few publishers. And the rest of the time you just lay up and get high, eh? She smiled, Something like that.
Hubert Selby Jr. (Requiem for a Dream)
The rest of the place was ransacked, a word for something that is fun to do to someone else's room, but no fun to have done to yours.
Lemony Snicket (Who Could That Be at This Hour? (All the Wrong Questions, #1))
Make exercise necessary and fun. Do mostly cardio, but also some weights. Some is better than none. Keep it up as you age.
Daniel E. Lieberman (Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding)
It was no place for a Kabra, not even a poor one living in exile with a psychopathic cat. He approached the counter and rand the bell with authority. The clerk turned around. Evan Tolliver. "You're Amy's cousin!" "Yes, I am," Ian confirmed. "I have here a list of items–" "Have you heard from her?" Evan interrupted. "Is she okay?" "Her health is excellent." "No, I mean–" Ian sighed. "Why should you care? She promises to phone you, and she doesn't. You were nearly arrested, thanks to her. There's a message in there somewhere, don't you agree?" Evan nodded sadly. "I kind of think so, too. But we were awesome together. She's smart, fun to be with, and not immature like most of the girls in our school. It's as if she has an automatic switch for when it's time to be serious–she can almost be old beyond her years at times. Where do you learn something like that?" "I have no earthly idea," Ian lied.
Gordon Korman (The Medusa Plot (39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #1))
She gave him a happy look as he followed her out on the water-soaked wooden walk. "This could be fun," she said, then turned, took a running step, and did a couple of back flips—like a middle-school kid at recess. He stopped where he was, lust and love and fear rising up in a surge of emotion he did not, for all his years, have any idea how to deal with. "What?" she asked, a little breathless from her gymnastics. She brushed her wavy hair out of her face and gave him a serious look. "Is there something wrong?" He could hardly tell her that he was afraid because he didn’t know what he’d do if something happened to her. That his sudden, unexpected reaction had brought Brother Wolf to the fore. She threw his balance off; his control—which had become almost effortless over the years—was erratic at best.
Patricia Briggs (Hunting Ground (Alpha & Omega, #2))
Hard fun is, of course, the idea that we take pleasure in accomplishing something difficult: the joy in meeting and mastering a challenge. As a result, when someone is doing something that is hard fun, moment by moment it looks more like "work" than "fun," but the net effect is pleasurable overall.
David Williamson Shaffer
Darling, don't be silly, your whole future is ahead of you. All you have to do is go out there and ask for a part- something small and reasonable just to start with. From there, no one can stop you. Don't feel bad about anything you've done, and for God's sake, have fun.
Anna Godbersen
Looking back at those early days in the band house, we can all see how important they were in helping us bond as a band. It could have gone so wrong. Danny and I had picked Harry and Dougie after, literally, two days of knowing them. We could have all hated each other. We could have found that we had nothing in common, or that we resented the time we spent with each other. In fact, we had such a lot of fun. We weren’t yet famous or successful, but already we were having the time of our lives. Even when we hit the big time, we didn’t want to go out to clubs or celebrity haunts. Not our scene. For us, the best thing about being in a band was being in a band, doing band stuff - not all the trappings that went with it. We liked working on our music, and we liked hanging out together. All this meant we gelled more than most bands ever have the opportunity or inclination to do. Within a couple of months of moving into the band house, I had three new best friends. Their names were Danny, Harry and Dougie. No matter what the future held for us, our friendship was something we now know we could always rely on.
Tom Fletcher (McFly: Unsaid Things... Our Story)
We don’t like checklists. They can be painstaking. They’re not much fun. But I don’t think the issue here is mere laziness. There’s something deeper, more visceral going on when people walk away not only from saving lives but from making money. It somehow feels beneath us to use a checklist, an embarrassment. It runs counter to deeply held beliefs about how the truly great among us—those we aspire to be—handle situations of high stakes and complexity. The truly great are daring. They improvise. They do not have protocols and checklists. Maybe our idea of heroism needs updating.
Atul Gawande (The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right)
Every once in awhile you just have to go out and do something, very crazy and very right, just to dare yourself to live. I don't mean something stupid and destructive, just something fun and good and beautiful.
Regina Doman (The Shadow of the Bear (A Fairy Tale Retold #1))
There is something about a mass-market Luxury Cruise that's unbearably sad. Like most unbearably sad things, it seems incredibly elusive and complex in its causes and simple in its effect: on board the Nadir—especially at night—I felt despair. The wor's overused and banalified now, despair, but it's a serious word, and I'm using it seriously.
David Foster Wallace (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments)
Yeah. He looked like a cat who'd found his favorite mouse wounded or something. It was eerie. And he started to make fun of her, like all cruel and stuff. The things he said to her were horrible and he was only playing with her. She didn't try to defend herself. I guess Mason Kade really hates that girl, and the way he ripped into her. It was something else." "He enjoyed it." Adam's voice was quiet. I looked over and held his gaze. Something dark was in their depths. He spoke again, "It was like an animal that was playing with its kill before they fully killed it. That's what he was doing with her. I've never seen anything like it before.
Tijan (Fallen Crest High (Fallen Crest High, #1))
I find it’s more fun to write about something that you don’t know completely and that you will discover on route. A dear friend of mine...once said: 'The only time I know anything is when it comes to me at the point of my pen.' So I think that if you start to write about things that you know half well, that you’re fascinated by, that you sense you have an appreciation of that others might not have, but you do have to acquire the knowledge as you go, you discover a great many things at the point of a pen. And it keeps the writing alive in itself in a way. (in an interview with Martin Amis, 1991, see YouTube)
Norman Mailer
If you really want to do something, you will find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse.
Jim Rohn
Dancing wasn't quite the same as running . . . or any sport, for that matter. I didn't feel like I had a purpose, a goal. But after a while I let my mind relax and realized not everything had to have a point. Some things could just be for the fun of it. I looked over at Amber dancing next to me. She smiled, then hooked her arm in mine and twirled me around. My surroundings blurred and I soaked the moment in, deciding this night was something I could do again.
Kasie West (On the Fence (Old Town Shops, #2))
I hated Sundays as a kid. From the moment I woke up, I could feel Monday looming, could feel another school week all piled up and ready to smother me. How was I supposed to enjoy a day of freedom while drowning in dread like that? It was impossible. A pit would form in my chest and gut - this indescribably emptiness that I knew should be filled with fun, but instead left me casting about for something to do. Knowing I should be having fun was a huge part of the problem. knowing that this was a rare day off, a welcome reprieve, and here I was miserable and fighting against it. Maybe this was why Fridays at school were better than Sundays not in school. I was happier doing what I hated, knowing a Saturday was coming, than I was on a perfectly free Sunday with a Monday right around the corner.
Hugh Howey (Visitor (Beacon 23, #5))
.” the Noween bellows with furious force: “Nooo! IT HAS TO BE DONE NOOOW!” The Noween hates children, because children refuse to accept the Noween’s lie that time is linear. Children know that time is just an emotion, so “now” is a meaningless word to them, just as it was for Granny. George used to say that Granny wasn’t a time-optimist, she was a time-atheist, and the only religion she believed in was Do-It-Later-Buddhism. The Noween brought the fears to the Land-of-Almost-Awake to catch children, because when a Noween gets hold of a child it engulfs the child’s future, leaving the victim helpless where it is, facing an entire life of eating now and sleeping now and tidying up right away. Never again can the child postpone something boring till later and do something fun in the meantime. All that’s left is now. A fate far worse than death,
Fredrik Backman (My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry)
i'm beginning to feel like this. caught the incredible sunshine just in the nick of time today on my walk. the wall of rain approaching from the west desert was pretty spectacular, too. along with being gorgeous, it was sooo muddy. which made driving home in no shoes so very fun :) if only i could post photos here! a picture is worth a thousand words, yes? If a day goes by without my doing something related to photography, it's as though I've neglected something essential to my existence, as though I had forgotten to wake up.
Richard Avedon
If the only side effect of the criticism is that you will feel bad about the criticism, then you have to compare that bad feeling with the benefits you’ll get from actually doing something worth doing. Being remarkable is exciting, fun, profitable, and great for your career. Feeling bad wears off.
Seth Godin (Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us)
What could I do to feel happier living here? … 1. Walk more. 2. Buy local. 3. Get to know my neighbors. 4. Do fun stuff. 5. Explore nature. 6. Volunteer. 7. Eat local. 8. Become more political. 9. Create something new. 10. Stay loyal through hard times.
Melody Warnick (This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live)
When the Time Is Right: December 7 There are times when we simply do not know what to do, or where to go, next. Sometimes these periods are brief, sometimes lingering. We can get through these times. We can rely on our program and the disciplines of recovery. We can cope by using our faith, other people, and our resources. Accept uncertainty. We do not always have to know what to do or where to go next. We do not always have clear direction. Refusing to accept the inaction and limbo makes things worse. It is okay to temporarily be without direction. Say “I don’t know,” and be comfortable with that. We do not have to try to force wisdom, knowledge, or clarity when there is none. While waiting for direction, we do not have to put our life on hold. Let go of anxiety and enjoy life. Relax. Do something fun. Enjoy the love and beauty in your life. Accomplish small tasks. They may have nothing to do with solving the problem, or finding direction, but this is what we can do in the interim. Clarity will come. The next step will present itself. Indecision, inactivity, and lack of direction will not last forever. Today, I will accept my circumstances even if I lack direction and insight. I will remember to do things that make myself and others feel good during those times. I will trust that clarity will come of its own accord.
Melody Beattie (The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency (Hazelden Meditation Series))
Love, it seems to me, is that condition in which one is most contentedly oneself. If this sounds paradoxical, remember Rilke’s admonition: love consists in leaving the loved one space to be themselves while providing the security within which the self may flourish. As a child, I always felt uneasy and a little constrained around people, my family in particular. Solitude was bliss, but not easily obtained. Being always felt stressful- wherever I was there was something to do, someone to please, a duty to be completed, a role inadequately fulfilled: something amiss. Becoming, on the other hand, was relief. I was never so happy as when I was going somewhere on my own, and the longer it took to get there, the better. Walking was pleasurable, cycling enjoyable, bus journeys fun. But the train was very heaven.
Tony Judt (The Memory Chalet)
People don't read anymore. And, when they do, they don't read books like this one, but instead read books that depress them, because those books are seen as important. Somehow, the Librarians have successfully managed to convince most people in the Hushlands that they shouldn't read anything that isn't boring. It comes down to Biblioden the Scrivener's great vision for the world — a vision in which people never do anything abnormal, never dream, and never experience anything strange. His minions teach people to stop reading fun books, and instead focus on fantasy novels. That's what I call them, because these books keep people trapped. Keep them inside the nice little fantasy that they consider to be the 'real' world. A fantasy that tells them they don't need to try something new. After all, trying new things can be difficult.
Brandon Sanderson (Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones (Alcatraz, #2))
O: You’re quite a writer. You’ve a gift for language, you’re a deft hand at plotting, and your books seem to have an enormous amount of attention to detail put into them. You’re so good you could write anything. Why write fantasy? Pratchett: I had a decent lunch, and I’m feeling quite amiable. That’s why you’re still alive. I think you’d have to explain to me why you’ve asked that question. O: It’s a rather ghettoized genre. P: This is true. I cannot speak for the US, where I merely sort of sell okay. But in the UK I think every book— I think I’ve done twenty in the series— since the fourth book, every one has been one the top ten national bestsellers, either as hardcover or paperback, and quite often as both. Twelve or thirteen have been number one. I’ve done six juveniles, all of those have nevertheless crossed over to the adult bestseller list. On one occasion I had the adult best seller, the paperback best-seller in a different title, and a third book on the juvenile bestseller list. Now tell me again that this is a ghettoized genre. O: It’s certainly regarded as less than serious fiction. P: (Sighs) Without a shadow of a doubt, the first fiction ever recounted was fantasy. Guys sitting around the campfire— Was it you who wrote the review? I thought I recognized it— Guys sitting around the campfire telling each other stories about the gods who made lightning, and stuff like that. They did not tell one another literary stories. They did not complain about difficulties of male menopause while being a junior lecturer on some midwestern college campus. Fantasy is without a shadow of a doubt the ur-literature, the spring from which all other literature has flown. Up to a few hundred years ago no one would have disagreed with this, because most stories were, in some sense, fantasy. Back in the middle ages, people wouldn’t have thought twice about bringing in Death as a character who would have a role to play in the story. Echoes of this can be seen in Pilgrim’s Progress, for example, which hark back to a much earlier type of storytelling. The epic of Gilgamesh is one of the earliest works of literature, and by the standard we would apply now— a big muscular guys with swords and certain godlike connections— That’s fantasy. The national literature of Finland, the Kalevala. Beowulf in England. I cannot pronounce Bahaghvad-Gita but the Indian one, you know what I mean. The national literature, the one that underpins everything else, is by the standards that we apply now, a work of fantasy. Now I don’t know what you’d consider the national literature of America, but if the words Moby Dick are inching their way towards this conversation, whatever else it was, it was also a work of fantasy. Fantasy is kind of a plasma in which other things can be carried. I don’t think this is a ghetto. This is, fantasy is, almost a sea in which other genres swim. Now it may be that there has developed in the last couple of hundred years a subset of fantasy which merely uses a different icongraphy, and that is, if you like, the serious literature, the Booker Prize contender. Fantasy can be serious literature. Fantasy has often been serious literature. You have to fairly dense to think that Gulliver’s Travels is only a story about a guy having a real fun time among big people and little people and horses and stuff like that. What the book was about was something else. Fantasy can carry quite a serious burden, and so can humor. So what you’re saying is, strip away the trolls and the dwarves and things and put everyone into modern dress, get them to agonize a bit, mention Virginia Woolf a few times, and there! Hey! I’ve got a serious novel. But you don’t actually have to do that. (Pauses) That was a bloody good answer, though I say it myself.
Terry Pratchett
An ad that pretends to be art is—at absolute best—like somebody who smiles warmly at you only because he wants something from you. This
David Foster Wallace (A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments)
If you don't do anything stupid when you're young, you won't remember something funny when you're old.
Oscar Auliq-Ice
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go... Oh, the places you'll go! There is fun to be done! There are points to be scored. There are games to be won. And the magical things you can do with that ball will make you the winning-est winner of all. Fame! You'll be as famous as famous can be, with the whole wide world watching you win on TV. Except when they don't Because, sometimes they won't. I'm afraid that some times you'll play lonely games too. Games you can't win 'cause you'll play against you. All Alone! Whether you like it or not, Alone will be something you'll be quite a lot. And when you're alone, there's a very good chance you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants. There are some, down the road between hither and yon, that can scare you so much you won't want to go on... You'll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You'll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life's a Great Balancing Act. Just never foget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left. And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.) KID, YOU'LL MOVE MOUNTAINS! So... be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea, You're off the Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So...get on your way!
Dr. Seuss (Oh, the Places You'll Go!)
I’m kind of hoping it will end like this. You made me happy. Very happy. But…you deserve everything. Wife, kids, a white picket fence.” “And I’ll have all of it. With you.” “You know that can’t happen with me.” “Then it can’t happen with anyone. There won’t be a next Rosie. And there won’t be another story like ours. This is it, Rose LeBlanc. And this is us. If there is no you, then there is no me.” “You know, I always hated Romeo and Juliet . The play. The movie. The very idea. It was tragic, all right. Tragically stupid. I mean, they were what? Thirteen? Sixteen? What a waste of life, to kill yourself because your family wouldn’t let you get hitched. But Romeo and Juliet were right. I was the next eleven years killing myself slowly while I grieved for you. Then you came back, and I still thought it was just a fascination. But now that I know…” “Now that I know that it can only ever be you, you’re going to get better for me so Earth won’t explode. Can you do that, Sirius? I promise not to leave this room until you get out. Not even for a shower. Not even to get you your chocolate chip cookies. I’ll get someone to drive all the way to New York and bring them for you.” “I love you.” Rosie’s tears curtained her vision. “I love you, Baby LeBlanc,” I said. “So fucking much. You taught me how to love. How well did I do?” “A-plus,” she whispered. “You aced it. Can you promise me something?” “Anything.” “ Live .” “Not without you.” “And have kids. Lots of them. They’re fun.” “Rosie…” “I’m not afraid. I got what I wanted from this life. You .” “Rosie.” “I love you, Earth. You were good to me.” “Rose!” Her eyes closed, the door opened, the sound on her monitor went off, and my heart disintegrated. Piece. By piece. By piece.
L.J. Shen (Ruckus (Sinners of Saint, #2))
And so I would like to thank you. You taught me, again and again again and again and again, not to dream of you. And I listened. I am silent. These words are not words of love, but of the silence that will remain when I walk away when this letter is done. I have listened and I do not continue to imagine our love, for it was not love. You were too busy walking a flowered path, and it was my misstep that I thought we had something more than an hour’s fun for you. Thank you, for clarifying for me what love is not. Love is no thing, and nothing is a gift, space is a playground, and time and distance are merely peaks and valleys in the topography of real love. And I would remind you: I am not one of your fans. For I know what I deserve, and it is one who is not afraid of fear. Love does not require this map: it makes its way across the miles. Love does not heed the time; it is not rooted in the months of one or two moons. Love is not bothered by obstacles—they form the high sides to the left and right of this rocky path. This path does not depend upon external signs: love will find its own way.
Waylon H. Lewis (Things I Would Like To Do With You)
Something as superfluous as "play" is also an essential feature of our consciousness. If you ask children why they like to play, they will say, "Because it's fun." But that invites the next question: What is fun? Actually, when children play, they are often trying to reenact complex human interactions in simplified form. Human society is extremely sophisticated, much too involved for the developing brains of young children, so children run simplified simulations of adult society, playing games such as doctor, cops and robber, and school. Each game is a model that allows children to experiment with a small segment of adult behavior and then run simulations into the future. (Similarly, when adults engage in play, such as a game of poker, the brain constantly creates a model of what cards the various players possess, and then projects that model into the future, using previous data about people's personality, ability to bluff, etc. The key to games like chess, cards, and gambling is the ability to simulate the future. Animals, which live largely in the present, are not as good at games as humans are, especially if they involve planning. Infant mammals do engage in a form of play, but this is more for exercise, testing one another, practicing future battles, and establishing the coming social pecking order rather than simulating the future.)
Michio Kaku (The Future of the Mind: The Scientific Quest to Understand, Enhance, and Empower the Mind)
That’s why I don’t like making fun of people for admitting they don’t know something or never learned how to do something. Because if you do that, all it does is teach them not to tell you when they’re learning something . . . and you miss out on the fun.
Randall Munroe (How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems)
Write poorly. Suck Write awful Terribly Frightfully Don't care Turn off the inner editor Let yourself write Let it flow Let yourself fail Do something crazy Write fifty thousand words in the month of November. I did it. It was fun , it was insane , it was one thousand six hundred and sixty-seven words a day. It was possible. But you have to turn off your inner critic. Off completely. Just write. Quickly. In bursts. With joy. If you can't write, run away for a few. Come back. Write again. Writing is like anything else. You won't get good at it immediately. It's a craft, you have to keep getting better. You don't get to Juilliard unless you practice. If you want to get to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice, practice. ...Or give them a lot of money. Like anything else, it takes ten thousand hours to master. Just like Malcolm Gladwell says. So write. Fail. Get your thoughts down. Let it rest. Let it marinate. Then edit. But don't edit as you type, that just slows the brain down. Find a daily practice, for me it's blogging every day. And it's fun. The more you write, the easier it gets. The more it is a flow, the less a worry. It's not for school, it's not for a grade, it's just to get your thoughts out there. You know they want to come out. So keep at it. Make it a practice. And write poorly, write awfully, write with abandon and it may end up being really really good.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
I was in the fifth grade the first time I thought about turning thirty. My best friend Darcy and I came across a perpetual calendar in the back of the phone book, where you could look up any date in the future, and by using this little grid, determine what the day of the week would be. So we located our birthdays in the following year, mine in May and hers in September. I got Wednesday, a school night. She got a Friday. A small victory, but typical. Darcy was always the lucky one. Her skin tanned more quickly, her hair feathered more easily, and she didn't need braces. Her moonwalk was superior, as were her cart-wheels and her front handsprings (I couldn't handspring at all). She had a better sticker collection. More Michael Jackson pins. Forenze sweaters in turquoise, red, and peach (my mother allowed me none- said they were too trendy and expensive). And a pair of fifty-dollar Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles (ditto). Darcy had double-pierced ears and a sibling- even if it was just a brother, it was better than being an only child as I was. But at least I was a few months older and she would never quite catch up. That's when I decided to check out my thirtieth birthday- in a year so far away that it sounded like science fiction. It fell on a Sunday, which meant that my dashing husband and I would secure a responsible baby-sitter for our two (possibly three) children on that Saturday evening, dine at a fancy French restaurant with cloth napkins, and stay out past midnight, so technically we would be celebrating on my actual birthday. I would have just won a big case- somehow proven that an innocent man didn't do it. And my husband would toast me: "To Rachel, my beautiful wife, the mother of my chidren and the finest lawyer in Indy." I shared my fantasy with Darcy as we discovered that her thirtieth birthday fell on a Monday. Bummer for her. I watched her purse her lips as she processed this information. "You know, Rachel, who cares what day of the week we turn thirty?" she said, shrugging a smooth, olive shoulder. "We'll be old by then. Birthdays don't matter when you get that old." I thought of my parents, who were in their thirties, and their lackluster approach to their own birthdays. My dad had just given my mom a toaster for her birthday because ours broke the week before. The new one toasted four slices at a time instead of just two. It wasn't much of a gift. But my mom had seemed pleased enough with her new appliance; nowhere did I detect the disappointment that I felt when my Christmas stash didn't quite meet expectations. So Darcy was probably right. Fun stuff like birthdays wouldn't matter as much by the time we reached thirty. The next time I really thought about being thirty was our senior year in high school, when Darcy and I started watching ths show Thirty Something together. It wasn't our favorite- we preferred cheerful sit-coms like Who's the Boss? and Growing Pains- but we watched it anyway. My big problem with Thirty Something was the whiny characters and their depressing issues that they seemed to bring upon themselves. I remember thinking that they should grow up, suck it up. Stop pondering the meaning of life and start making grocery lists. That was back when I thought my teenage years were dragging and my twenties would surealy last forever. Then I reached my twenties. And the early twenties did seem to last forever. When I heard acquaintances a few years older lament the end of their youth, I felt smug, not yet in the danger zone myself. I had plenty of time..
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
There is all the more reason for startups to write Web-based software now, because writing desktop software has become a lot less fun. If you want to write desktop software now you do it on Microsoft's terms, calling their APIs and working around their buggy OS. And if you manage to write something that takes off, you may find that you were merely doing market research for Microsoft.
Paul Graham
I don’t want to be the person who ever has to compete with Elon. You might as well leave the business and find something else fun to do. He will outmaneuver you, outthink you, and out-execute you.
Ashlee Vance (Elon Musk: Inventing the Future)
The universality of reason is a momentous realization, because it defines a place for morality. If I appeal to you do do something that affects me—to get off my foot, or not to stab me for the fun of it, or to save my child from drowning—then I can't do it in a way that privileges my interests of yours if I want you to take me seriously (say, by retaining my right to stand on your foot, or to stab you, or to let your children drown). I have to state my case in a way that would force me to treat you in kind. I can't act as if my interests are special just because I'm me and you're not, any more than I can persuade you that the spot I am standing on is a special place in the universe just because I happen to be standing on it. You and I ought to reach this moral understanding not just so we can have a logically consistent conversation but because mutual unselfishness is the only way we can simultaneously pursue our interests. You and I are both better off if we share our surpluses, rescue each other's children when they get into trouble, and refrain from knifing each other than we would be if we hoarded our surpluses while they rotted, let each other's children drown, and feuded incessantly. Granted, I might be a bit better off if I acted selfishly at your expense and you played the sucker, but the same is true for you with me, so if each of us tried for these advantages, we'd both end up worse off. Any neutral observer, and you and I if we could talk it over rationally, would have to conclude that the state we should aim for is the one where we both are unselfish. Morality, then, is not a set of arbitrary regulations dictated by a vengeful deity and written down in a book; nor is it the custom of a particular culture or tribe. It is a consequence of the interchangeability of perspectives and the opportunity the world provides for positive-sum games.
Steven Pinker (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined)
The truth of the matter is, these mundane tasks must be done. There is no getting around them. Almost everyone has to do a task on a daily basis that is less than fun. The key is to find pleasure in the task and to not wish you were doing something else while doing it.
Jennifer L. Scott (Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris)
So this is one of those times when life is just handing you something, telling you what to do, which way to go. So enjoy it. It'll be fun. I guarantee. I can't guarantee we'll find the goddamn thing, but it'll be interesting. Then if we do find it - if we do- the payoff's huge.
Nicole Mones (Lost in Translation)
We can take my van,” I offered. “Thank you,” said Adam, “but you are staying here.” I raised my chin, and he patted my cheek—the patronizing bastard. He laughed at my expression, not like he was making fun of me, but like he was really enjoying something . . . me. “You are not expendable, Mercedes—and you are not up to facing a pack war.” By the time he’d finished speaking the smile had left his face, and he was watching the people in the room. “Listen, buddy,” I said. “I killed two werewolves—that makes my kill sheet as high as yours this week—and I didn’t do so badly getting that address from the vampires, either.” “You got the address from the vampires?” said Adam, in a dangerously soft voice.
Patricia Briggs (Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1))
Join the bold, the brazen, the unintimidated. Join not having excuses. Join the idea that fun is the source of all joy. Join the unwillingness to give up. Join doing things your way. Join not joining. Join that purpose is stronger than outcome. Join your gut. Join the constant challenge of seeking greatness. Join play. Join the hunger to find what makes you happy. Join karma and nature and the effect you have on your world. Join your philosophy. Join something bigger than you. Join what you believe.
Bode Miller
I do feel that literature should be demystified. What I object to is what is happening in our era: literature is only something you get at school as an assignment. No one reads for fun, or to be subversive or to get turned on to something. It's just like doing math at school. I mean, how often do we sit down and do trigonometry for fun, to relax. I've thought about this, the domination of the literary arts by theory over the past 25 years -- which I detest -- and it's as if you have to be a critic to mediate between the author and the reader and that's utter crap. Literature can be great in all ways, but it's just entertainment like rock'n'roll or a film. It is entertainment. If it doesn't capture you on that level, as entertainment, movement of plot, then it doesn't work. Nothing else will come out of it. The beauty of the language, the characterisation, the structure, all that's irrelevant if you're not getting the reader on that level -- moving a story. If that's friendly to readers, I cop to it.
T. Coraghessan Boyle
1If it frightens you, do it.   2Don't settle. Every time you settle, you get exactly what you settled for.   3Put yourself first.   4No matter what happens, you will handle it.   5Whatever you do, do it 100%.   6If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always got.   7You are the only person on this planet responsible for your needs, wants, and happiness.   8Ask for what you want.   9If what you are doing isn't working, try something different. 10Be clear and direct. 11Learn to say "no." 12Don't make excuses. 13If you are an adult, you are old enough to make your own rules. 14Let people help you. 15Be honest with yourself. 16Do not let anyone treat you badly. No one. Ever. 17Remove yourself from a bad situation instead of waiting for the situation to change. 18Don't tolerate the intolerable — ever. 19Stop blaming. Victims never succeed. 20Live with integrity. Decide what feels right to you, then do it. 21Accept the consequences of your actions. 22Be good to yourself. 23Think "abundance." 24Face difficult situations and conflict head on. 25Don't do anything in secret. 26Do it now. 27Be willing to let go of what you have so you can get what you want. 28Have fun. If you are not having fun, something is wrong. 29Give yourself room to fail. There are no mistakes, only learning experiences. 30Control is an illusion. Let go; let life happen. It
Robert A. Glover (No More Mr. Nice Guy)
Knowledge is of no real value if all you can tell me is what happened yesterday. It is necessary to tell what will happen tomorrow if you do something—not only necessary, but fun. Only you must be willing to stick your neck out.
Richard P. Feynman (The Meaning of It All: Thoughts of a Citizen-Scientist)
Rather than be encouraged to learn about ourselves and our interests, we are more often taught how to make decisions about what to do with our lives as early as possible so we won't waste time achieving our goals. Pick an academic major, choose a career, and start a family. Whether our interests are squelched isn't important. What's important is to "make something of yourself," "be able to support yourself," and "realize that life is more than just having fun.
Todd Kashdan (Curious?: Discover the Missing Ingredient to a Fulfilling Life)
You’ve been here the whole time!” I could see it clearly.    The calm, glowing One smiled, and all of a sudden, I knew. It hadn’t been fear telling me not to get on the boat, scaring me away from the fun. It was Jesus trying to spare me the agony of this trip because . . . because He loves me? Yes, He loves me!    And there I’d stood, as if I’d had my hand on His chest, pushing Him away. What was I doing? Seeing Him now, I realized we’d been stuck in this pose a long time. I hadn’t wanted Him to go in case I needed Him, but I hadn’t wanted Him to come inside and control me.    Ever so patiently—suspended in time, but oh-so-very present—Jesus held out His hand and invited me to dance.    “Yes,” I yielded, and something so much more peaceful than peace settled inside even though the storm still raged, and the circumstances hadn’t budged. “Let’s dance.”    Embraced in His arms, I fell asleep—even in the midst of those crazy waves. 
Elizabeth Bristol (Mary Me: One Woman’s Incredible Adventure with God)
Strangely, I’ve been craving something sweet lately. Do you want to eat?” Han Sooyoung didn't wait for my answer and shoved the candy she was holding into my mouth. It had a lemon flavour. I ate the candy and Han Sooyoung looked at me quietly. “By the way, that’s what i was eating.” ”So?” “...You are really no fun.
Singshong (Omniscient Reader's Viewpoint Volume 3)
Is it fair to call The Princess Bride a classic? The storybook story about pirates and princesses, giants and wizards, Cliffs of Insanity and Rodents of Unusual Size? It's certainly one of the most often quoted films in cinema history, with lines like: "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die." "Inconceivable?" "Anybody want a peanut?" "Have fun storming the castle." "Never get involved in a land war in Asia." "Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something." "Rest well, and dream of large women." "I hate for people to die embarrassed." "Please consider me as an alternative to suicide." "This is true love. You think this happens every day?" "Get used to disappointment." "I'm not a witch. I'm your wife." "Mawidege. That bwessed awangement." "You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you."... You seem a decent fellow. I hate to die." "Death cannot stop true love. All it can do is delay it for a while." "Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!" "There's a shortage of perfect breasts in this world. It would be a pity to damage yours." And of course... "As you wish.
Cary Elwes (As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride)
You have an affair because you are not getting what you want from your loved one. You want more: more love, more sex, more attention, more fun. You want someone to look at you with lust - after years of laundry - transforming you into something radiant. You want it, you need it, you owe it yourself to get it. To live any other way is to be muffled and gray and marching meaninglessly toward death. You want what she gave you at the start (but what you had hoped would expand and intensify instead of shrinking until you find yourself so sad, so resentful, you can barely stand to be you). You have an affair to get for yourself what you wish would come from the person you love the most. And then you have broken her heart and she can never give you any of it ever again.
Ariel Levy (The Rules Do Not Apply)
Here are some suggestions. Do not bite, kick or hit, except in self-defence. Do not torture and bully other children, so you don’t end up in jail. Eat in a civilized and thankful manner, so that people are happy to have you at their house, and pleased to feed you. Learn to share, so other kids will play with you. Pay attention when spoken to by adults, so they don’t hate you and might therefore deign to teach you something. Go to sleep properly, and peaceably, so that your parents can have a private life and not resent your existence. Take care of your belongings, because you need to learn how and because you’re lucky to have them. Be good company when something fun is happening, so that you’re invited for the fun. Act so that other people are happy you’re around, so that people will want you around. A child who knows these rules will be welcome everywhere.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
True love makes a person reckless, makes them take risks and make sacrifices. True love tests the boundaries of our person, makes us yearn to be better and fight for the ground we stand on. I will fight for this love. Lie for it. Steal for it. It is worthy of that. On paper, we are a horrible match. I have no light; she brims with it. I am serious; she is fun. But off paper, that is where our magic occurs. I want to be more like her. I want to listen to her laugh and have had something to do with it. I love her completely. She returns the love wildly. This love is worth the unsaid truths. The hidden lies.
Alessandra Torre (Black Lies)
So we ran the experiment. For a period of time, in our control groups of Googlers, people who were nominated for cash awards continued to receive them. In our experimental groups, nominated winners received trips, team parties, and gifts of the same value as the cash awards they would have received. Instead of making public stock awards, we sent teams to Hawaii. Instead of smaller awards, we provided trips to health resorts, blowout team dinners, or Google TVs for the home. The result was astounding. Despite telling us they would prefer cash over experiences, the experimental group was happier. Much happier. They thought their awards were 28 percent more fun, 28 percent more memorable, and 15 percent more thoughtful. This was true whether the experience was a team trip to Disneyland (it turns out most adults are still kids on the inside) or individual vouchers to do something on their own. And they stayed happier for a longer period of time than Googlers who received money. When resurveyed five months later, the cash recipients’ levels of happiness with their awards had dropped by about 25 percent. The experimental group was even happier about the award than when they received it. The joy of money is fleeting, but memories last forever.
Laszlo Bock (Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead)
There is something incredibly relaxing about Africa to me. Americans are always moving, always going somewhere, even if they have nothing important to do when they get there. In Africa, you’re generally home with your family, telling stories, making fun of one another, laughing.
Sandra Uwiringiyimana (How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child)
Adults are not idiots often in books such as this one, the opposite impression is given. Adults in those stories will either (a) get captured, (b) disappear conspicuously when there is trouble, or (c) refuse to help. ( im not sure what authors have against adults, but everyone seems to hate them to an extent usually reserved for dogs and mothers. Why else make them out to make such idiots? "Ah look, the dark lord of evil has come to attack the castle! Annnd. ther's my lunch break. Have fun saving the word on your own kids") In the real world adults tend to get involved in everything whether you want them to or not. They won't disappear when the dark lord appears, though they may try to sue them. This discrepancy is yet another proof that most books are fantasies while this book is utterly true and invaluable. you see in this book, I will make it completely clear that adults are not idiots. they are however hairy Adults are like hairy kids who like to tell other what to do. Dispite what other books may claim they do have their uses, they can reach things on high shelves for instance... Regardless, i often wish that the two groups-adults and kids- could find a way to get along better. Some sort of treaty or something. The biggest problem is the adults have one of the most effective recruitment stratagies in the world. Give them enough time and they'll turn any kid into one of them.
Brandon Sanderson (Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener's Bones (Alcatraz, #2))
John Adair had little liking for the simple life; he said it was not simple, but the most damnably complicated method of wasting time that had every existed. He liked a constant supply of hot water, a refrigerator, an elevator, an electric toaster, a telephone beside his bed, central heating and electric fires, and anything whatever that reduced the time spent upon the practical side of living to a minimum and left him free to paint. But Sally [his daughter] did not want to be set free for anything, for it was living itself that she enjoyed. She liked lighting a real fire of logs and fir cones, and toasting bread on an old-fashioned toaster. And she liked the lovely curve of an old staircase and the fun of running up and down it. And she vastly preferred writing a letter and walking with it to the post to using the telephone and hearing with horror her voice committing itself to things she would never have dreamed of doing if she'd had the time to think. "It's my stupid brain," she said to herself. "I like the leisurely things, and taking my time about them. That's partly why I like children so much, I think. They're never in a hurry to get on to something else.
Elizabeth Goudge (Pilgrim's Inn (Eliots of Damerosehay, #2))
That’s the joy of myths. The fun comes in telling them yourself—something I warmly encourage you to do, you person reading this. Read the stories in this book, then make them your own, and on some dark and icy winter’s evening, or on a summer night when the sun will not set, tell your friends what happened when Thor’s hammer was stolen, or how Odin obtained the mead of poetry for the gods . . .
Neil Gaiman (Norse Mythology)
I’ve never found anywhere I wanted to stay either, until now. And I still feel trapped sometimes, in my head. Like, even when I’m with my friends, and I’m having fun, and I’m doing all the dumb, small life things, sometimes it still feels like something’s wrong. Like something’s wrong with me. Even people who aren’t stuck on a train feel that way. Which I realize sounds … bleak. But what I’ve figured out is, I’m never as alone as I think I am.” Jane’s quiet, considering. “That does help,” she says.
Casey McQuiston (One Last Stop)
And there were times when I wanted to go off and leave, to find something better. But you know what? It doesn’t get better. If you really love her, if you really, really love her, it won’t get any better than this. But just try to remember that you do love her, you know, because it gets so easy to forget.
Courtney Maum (I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You)
Superior, do you understand me? These are white people. They are not like you, or me or us. They have the power to hurt you ... and sometimes it's fun to them when they do. Their power is not because they are smart ... it's because ... something happened sometime ... started somewhere and they got on top of the world. They got the power. The only power you got is to learn to live with them, learn to read their minds ... til you can do better. They don't treat each other right ... so don't you look to be treated right. You hear me? Sometimes there's good white people ... but don't you act like that til you know that.
J. California Cooper (Some Soul to Keep)
I'm going to tell you something that no magazine or novel or television show will ever let on. Love wears you down. We think of it as hearts and flowers and happily ever after but in real life, the things you have to do in the name of love kill you... You end up doing a thousand things in a day in the name of love that you wouldn't ask a dog to do. Sex is the most powerful weapon in your arsenal innocence is attractive in children, but it makes brittle, disappointed adults. Someone liking you is just the beginning; it always starts nicely but before you know it it's like Persephone being dragged into the Underworld. Romantic love is an illusion Hughie,. It can be manupulated, twisted, piled up like a bunch of fun-house mirrors. The very nature of it is deceptive. It promises closeness but the only thing is ever really reveals is the dreams and fears of the person with the obsessions. That's why it's so easy to control
Kathleen Tessaro (The Flirt)
You know, house-elves get a very raw deal!” said Hermione indignantly. “It’s slavery, that’s what it is! That Mr. Crouch made her go up to the top of the stadium, and she was terrified, and he’s got her bewitched so she can’t even run when they start trampling tents! Why doesn’t anyone do something about it?” “Well, the elves are happy, aren’t they?” Ron said. “You heard old Winky back at the match . . . ‘House-elves is not supposed to have fun’ . . . that’s what she likes, being bossed around. . . .” “It’s people like you, Ron,” Hermione began hotly, “who prop up rotten and unjust systems, just because they’re too lazy to —
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4))
Her violet-rimmed-grey eyes began to plead when she realized she had my full attention. "I want to see some lights, food, men! Let's get crazy enough to get arrested, but be so cute that they won't want to arrest us! These boobs don't look like this without HELP and effort, chicky! Do you know how long it took me to get ready? Let's DO something, and have fun while we are here, Lexi! Don't waste all of my primping time! Puh-leaseeeeee??
C.L. Foster (Bluffing the Devil (Nuhra Saga, #1))
Hello?” “Hey.” She sounded pissed. “What the hell happened to you tonight? Jess said the three of us were meeting for Valentine’s Day, but you never showed.” “Sorry,” I said. “Something came up.” “Bianca, you’ve been saying that a lot lately. Something is always coming up or you have plans or…” Suddenly, I felt Wesley’s breath hit the back of my neck. He’d gotten up from the floor and slid up behind me without me realizing it. His arms slid around my waist from behind, his fingers undoing the button of my jeans before I could stop him. “… and Jess had her hopes up that we’d do something fun…” I couldn’t focus on a word Casey was saying as Wesley’s hand slid beneath the waistband of my pants, his fingers moving lower and lower. I couldn’t say a word. I couldn’t tell him to stop or show any reaction at all. If I did, Casey would know I wasn’t alone. But, God, I could feel my whole body turning into a ball of fire. Wesley was laughing against my neck, knowing he was driving me crazy. “… I just don’t understand what’s up with you.” I bit my lip to keep from gasping as Wesley’s fingers slipped to places that made my knees shake. I could feel the smirk on his lips as they moved to my ear. Asshole. He was trying to torture me. I couldn’t handle it much longer. “Bianca, are you there?” Wesley bit my earlobe and pushed my jeans even lower with his free hand as the other continued to make me shiver.
Kody Keplinger (The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend (Hamilton High, #1))
You make out with a boy because he’s cute, but he has no substance, no words to offer you. His mouth tastes like stale beer and false promises. When he touches your chin, you offer your mouth up like a flower to to be plucked, all covered in red lipstick to attract his eye. When he reaches his hand down your shirt, he stops, hand on boob, and squeezes, like you’re a fruit he’s trying to juice. He doesn’t touch anything but skin, does not feel what’s within. In the morning, he texts you only to say, “I think I left the rest of my beer at your place, but it’s cool, you can drink it. Last night was fun.” You kiss a girl because she’s new. Because she’s different and you’re twenty two, trying something else out because it’s all failed before. After spending six weekends together, you call her, only to be answered by a harsh beep informing you that her number has been disconnected. You learn that success doesn’t come through experimenting with your sexuality, and you’re left with a mouth full of ruin and more evidence that you are out of tune. You fall for a boy who is so nice, you don’t think he can do any harm. When he mentions marriage and murder in the same sentence, you say, “Okay, okay, okay.” When you make a joke he does not laugh, but tilts his head and asks you how many drinks you’ve had in such a loving tone that you sober up immediately. He leaves bullet in your blood and disappears, saying, “Who wants a girl that’s filled with holes?” You find out that a med student does. He spots you reading in a bar and compliments you on the dust spilling from your mouth. When you see his black doctor’s bag posed loyally at his side, you ask him if he’s got the tools to fix a mangled nervous system. He smiles at you, all teeth, and tells you to come with him. In the back of his car, he covers you in teethmarks and says, “There, now don’t you feel whole again.” But all the incisions do is let more cold air into your bones. You wonder how many times you will collapse into ruins before you give up on rebuilding. You wonder if maybe you’d have more luck living amongst your rubble instead of looking for someone to repair it. The next time someone promises to flood you with light to erase your dark, you insist them you’re fine the way you are. They tell you there’s hope, that they had holes in their chest too, that they know how to patch them up. When they offer you a bottle in exchange for your mouth, you tell them you’re not looking for a way out. No, thank you, you tell them. Even though you are filled with ruins and rubble, you are as much your light as you are your dark.
Lora Mathis
If one takes meaning into consideration, happiness might best be described as “a zest for life in all its complexity,” as Sissela Bok writes in her book. To achieve it means to “attach our lives to something larger than ourselves.” To be happy, one must do. It could be something as simple as teaching Sunday school or as grand as leading nonviolent protests. It could be as cerebral as seeking the cure for cancer or as physical as climbing mountains. It could be creating art. And it could be raising a child—my “best piece of poetrie,” as Ben Jonson said in his elegy for his seven-year-old son.
Jennifer Senior (All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood)
Anything well done has the feeling of death to me, of being finished. I don't want to "master" anything. I want to spy, and sneak, and capture things just as they are . . . record all that comes before and after the song—jokes and fights and private moments. Having an unfillable hole inside is a great catalyst. You're always trying new things to fill it. People with holes look good! Look ready for action. But then sometimes you're home alone, and there's nothing new to try, and the hole's still there. "Hey," it growls, poking you from inside, "I'm hungry." I get tired of it! We are like two living cells inside a just-dead body—doomed, terrified. She argues herself out of anything she's working on, halfway through. As I stand there in the downpour and pull the mailbox open and drop my letter down the hole, I think about how Cindy is more beautiful, intelligent, and intricate than me, but still I have the winning point: whatever I do, even when I'm wrong, I go all the way. It's dark humor, but it's rooted in something real. What you present to the world is light humor. You keep it fun and fast-paced. No one can relate to that long-term. Struggle is what makes life rich—not success.
Lisa Crystal Carver (Drugs are Nice: A Post-Punk Memoir)
I fought against everything, but more and more I worry that I was never for anything... I can criticize and complain and judge everything, but what does that get me?... Griping isn't the same as creating something... Rebelling isn't rebuilding. Ridiculing isn't replacing... We've taken the world apart, but we have no idea what to do with the pieces... My generation, all of our making fun of things isn't making the world any better. We've spent so much time judging what other people created that we've created very, very little of our own... I used rebellion as a way to hide out. We use criticism as fake participation. It only looks as if we've accomplished something.
Chuck Palahniuk (Choke)
Being the only stranger at dinner with a group of girls who are already close friends doesn't sound appealing at all. I'll have to pretend to laugh at stories I don't get about people I don't know. I'll probably stuff my face just to have something to do while they all gab about their ninth-grade English teacher or some other inside joke that makes me feel like an outsider. It's hard to know how to behave in those situations. You can jump right in, asking "Who?" and "Where was this?" or you can sit back and let them have their laughs. I almost always opt for the latter, sometimes to my detriment. What I think is letting them have their fun, they might takes as she-thinks-she's-too-cool.
Rachel Bertsche (MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search For A New Best Friend)
When I was in third grade--the age of many of the boys here--my parents had debated whether or not to buy me a pair of [special soccer shoes]...Here in Bolivia most of the kids played in bare feet, and they had as much fun as we ever had. Alone, human beings can feel hunger. Alone, we can feel cold. Alone, we can feel pain. To feel poor, however, is something that we do only in comparison to others. I took off my shoes.
Eric Greitens (The Heart and the Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL)
If it makes you feel any better Tory, they were just as bad when Mia was born. At least you don’t have Sin, Kish, and Damien running around, trying to boil water for no other reason than that’s what someone had told Sin husbands are supposed to do and since Sin doesn’t know how to boil water, he had to micromanage the other two incompetents who’d never done it either. I’m amazed they didn’t band together to kill him during it or burn down the casino. And don’t get me started on my mother trying to murder my husband in the middle of it or her fighting with grandma over whose labors were more painful. Or, (she cast a meaningful glance to Simi,) someone setting my mother’s hair on fire and trying to barbecue her to celebrate the birth.” – Kat “That an old Charonte custom that go back forever ’cause we a really old race of demons who go back even before forever. When a new baby is born you kill off an old annoying family member who gets on everyone’s nerves which for all of us would be the heifer-goddess ’cause the only person who like her be you, Akra-Kat. I know she you mother and all, but sometimes you just gotta say no thank you. You a mean old heifer-goddess who need to go play in tragic and get run over by something big like a steamroller or bus or something else really painful that would hurt her a lot and make the rest of us laugh. Not to mention the Simi barbecue would have been fun too if someone, Akra-Kat, hadn’t stopped the Simi from it. I personally think it would have been a most magnificent gift for the baby. Barbecued heifer-goddess Artemis. Yum! No better meal. Oh then again baby got a delicate constitution and that might give the poor thing indigestion. Artemis definitely give the Simi indigestion and I ain’t even ate her yet.” – Simi
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
Don’t do it. Don’t go to that job you hate. Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Go to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot; even if it’s in the middle of the ocean you can go by boat. Eat some type of ethnic food you've never even heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being. Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose — allow smells to be your vision. Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreign film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take. Just don’t go back to that miserable place you go every day. Show me it’s possible to be an adult and also be happy. Please. This is a free country. You don’t have to keep doing this if you don’t want to. You can do anything you want. Be anyone you want.
Matthew Quick (Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock)
But Charlie and I have a very special relationship and I wanted to let her know I was home. Don't worry, I'm not one of those crazy cat ladies. I just like my favorite cat to know I'm home so we can talk, have dinner together, and watch Hoarders. I assumed she was in our master bathroom because that's where the cats like to hang out when we're not home. They record most of their "cute kitty with loofah" YouTube videos in there. Now, in order to let her know I was home I could have walked to the bathroom or yelled for her, which is what I usually do. But for some reason in that day I did something else. We have an intercom where I can push a button and talk to someone in another room. Sometimes it's fun to use when we have company. I'll get on it from a different part of the house and whisper stuff like, "Is there anything you ever really wanted to tell God? I'm listening." Oh, we have fun. Anyway, I got on the intercom and I said, "Charlie, I'm home! Charlie!" and I hung up and I waited for Charlie to come running. I didn't think anything of it until I looked over and Portia was staring at me. She said, "Did you just intercom the cat?" And I looked at her and I had no choice but to say, "Yes. I did just intercom the cat." In my defense, I was very tired and if I wanted to walk all the way to the bathroom to find Charlie I would have had to get on my Segway, ride it to the escalator, take the escalator to the third floor, cross the champagne fountain, get my retina scanned, and deactivate dozens of laser beams. Okay, that isn't true. I would have had to walk down the hall.
Ellen DeGeneres (Seriously... I'm Kidding)
I did it," she said. "Yup." "You made fun of me when i first got here," she said. "But I did it." "I was being friendly." "You were being a dick," she said. "Why do you think we like each other?" Stevie asked. "Does it matter?" "I don't know," she said. "I don't know how these things work." "Neither do I. Neither does anybody." "Some people seem to. I thin Janelle does." "Janelle," he said, "may know everything, but she doesn't know that. And I like you because . . ." He rolled up to his side and onto one elbow, gazing down into her face. He traced her jawline with one finger, sending such shivers down her body that she struggled not to squirm. ". . because you came to do something impossible and you did it. And you're smart. And you're really, really attractive." There, on the floor that had been scuffed by a thousand dance shoes, under the eyes of the masks on the wall that had seen decades go by, they kissed, over and over, each one renewing the last.
Maureen Johnson (The Hand on the Wall (Truly Devious, #3))
Big production, no story, as they say around the movie lots. I guess Sylvia is happy enough, though not necessarily with me. In our circle that's not too important. There's always something to do if you don't have to work or consider the cost. It's no real fun, but the rich don't know that. They never had any. They never want anything very hard except maybe somebody else's wife and that's a pretty pale desire compared to the way a plumber's wife wants new curtains for the living room.
Raymond Chandler
Her name is Hope?” John asked, the corners of his mouth beginning to tug upwards. “No.” I bristled, thinking he was making fun of me. Then I realized I’d been caught. “Well, all right…so what if it is? I’m not going to name her after some depressing aspect of the Underworld like you do all your pets. I looked up the name Alastor. That was the name of one of the death horses that drew Hades’s chariot. And Typhon?” I glanced at the dog, cavorting in and out of the waves, seemingly oblivious of the cold. “I can only imagine, but I’m sure it means something equally unpleasant.” “Typhon was the father of all monsters,” John said. He’d given up trying to suppress his grin. “The deadliest of all the creatures in Greek mythology.” “Nice,” I said sarcastically. “Well, I prefer to name my pets something that reminds me there’s-“ “Hope?” His grin broadened. “Very funny.” True, I’d admitted to him that I was inexperienced. But I didn’t have to prove it by acting like I was twelve.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
My father used to try to tell me to never say anything about anyone that I wouldn’t want them to overhear. “It will make you boring in conversation sometimes,” he said. “Maybe you know something private about someone that’s embarrassing and you could say it at a party, make everybody laugh. You’ll have to hold yourself back from doing it. Give up the fun of getting that laughter for yourself. But if you believe that you’re called to never cause pain to another human being, it won’t be a hard choice.
Duchess Goldblatt (Becoming Duchess Goldblatt)
This time, something different happens, though. It’s the daydreaming that does it. I’m doing the usual thing—imagining in tiny detail the entire course of the relationship, from first kiss, to bed, to moving in together, to getting married (in the past I have even organized the track listing of the party tapes), to how pretty she’ll look when she’s pregnant, to names of children—until suddenly I realize that there’s nothing left to actually, like, happen. I’ve done it all, lived through the whole relationship in my head. I’ve watched the film on fast-forward; I know the whole plot, the ending, all the good bit. Now I’ve got to rewind and watch it all over again in real time, and where’s the fun in that? And fucking … when’s it all going to fucking stop? I’m going to jump from rock to rock for the rest of my life until there aren’t any rocks left? I’m going to run each time I get itchy feet? Because I get them about once a quarter, along with the utilities bills. More than that, even, during British Summer Time. I’ve been thinking with my guts since I was fourteen years old, and frankly speaking, between you and me, I have come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains.
Nick Hornby (High Fidelity)
Do I get to choose what she commands you to do? Come on, let me, it’ll be fun.” Jai laughed humorlessly. “I said I don’t want her commanding me to do something asinine, kid.” Charlie’s grin disappeared as quickly as it had surfaced. “I told you not to call me, kid, Jinn boy. I’m what… two years younger than you, douchebag?” “Try five. And that’s only in physical years.” “What, you trying to say I’m not mature?” “Oh those socks you’re wearing definitely are. Have you heard of detergent? A shower? Hygiene?” “I shower, you militant, glorified fucking babysitter.” “Watch it, kid.” “Kid? I am this close to taking a swing at you, you overblown piece of-” “Oh for the love of God!” Ari cried, throwing her hands up, her head pounding. So much for their strained peace treaty. “Shut up. Shut up. Shut up!”Despite their matching glowers, both of them slammed their lips closed and glared at one another. Ari heaved a sigh of relief as she pulled a chilled can of soda out of the refrigerator. At least the soda still felt nice sliding down her throat. Not the same as an ice cold Coke on a blazing summer day but still nice. She took a refreshing swig and turned towards her male companions once again. Blasts of frost shot out from Jai’s eyes only to be met by the simmering black heat of Charlie’s angry gaze. Rolling her eyes and biting back the guilt that she was somehow responsible for the animosity between the only two people she could count on right now, Ari spilled into the chair between them and Jai slowly sunk back down into his. “So what will I command you?” she asked quietly, ignoring the way her fingers trembled as she played with the tab on her soda can. When she got no answer, she glanced up to see Jai’s face going red, the veins in his head throbbing. “Dude, what’s wrong?” Charlie asked quietly, looking at Ari in alarm. “Is he choking?” Ari’s heart flipped in her chest at the thought and she reached across the table to grab his arm. “Jai?” His eyes widened and he waved a large hand at his throat and mouth and then pointed at her. What the hell?! “Jesus Christ, he can’t talk?” Charlie asked incredulously. “Is this a joke?
Samantha Young (Smokeless Fire (Fire Spirits, #1))
A fun thing to do to let off steam after layoffs began was to go into someone's office and send an email from their computer addressed to the entire agency. It might say something simple like "My name is Shaw-NEE! You are captured, Ha! I poopie I poopie I poopie." People came in in the morning and their reaction was so varied. Jim Jackers read it and immediately sent out an email that we read, "Obviously someone come into my office last night and compossed an email in my name and sent it out to everyone. I apologise for any inconvenience or offence, although it wasn't my fault, and I would appreciate from whoever did this a public apology. I have read that email five times now and I still don't understand it.
Joshua Ferris (Then We Came to the End)
Busy’ is worn as a badge of honor these days; the busier we are, the more important we feel. But busy doesn’t mean important. Busy just means you are preoccupied. And often it means you’re distracted. It doesn’t mean you are esteemed, fun, smart, worthy, valued, loved, appreciated, excited, or happy. Busy likely means you are not paying attention to the current moment but instead are hustling around in a fog of things you ‘have’ to do. Busy isn’t special. We are all busy. So why label yourself something so common? You’re better than that.
Tara Schuster (Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies: And Other Rituals to Fix Your Life, from Someone Who's Been There)
TO MY MIND, THOUGH, there is a third development that has altered our parenting experience above all others, and that is the wholesale transformation of the child’s role, both in the home and in society. Since the end of World War II, childhood has been completely redefined. Today, we work hard to shield children from life’s hardships. But throughout most of our country’s history, we did not. Rather, kids worked. In the earliest days of our nation, they cared for their siblings or spent time in the fields; as the country industrialized, they worked in mines and textile mills, in factories and canneries, in street trades. Over time, reformers managed to outlaw child labor practices. Yet change was slow. It wasn’t until our soldiers returned from World War II that childhood, as we now know it, began. The family economy was no longer built on a system of reciprocity, with parents sheltering and feeding their children, and children, in return, kicking something back into the family till. The relationship became asymmetrical. Children stopped working, and parents worked twice as hard. Children went from being our employees to our bosses. The way most historians describe this transformation is to say that the child went from “useful” to “protected.” But the sociologist Viviana Zelizer came up with a far more pungent phrase. She characterized the modern child as “economically worthless but emotionally priceless.” Today parents pour more capital—both emotional and literal—into their children than ever before, and they’re spending longer, more concentrated hours with their children than they did when the workday ended at five o’clock and the majority of women still stayed home. Yet parents don’t know what it is they’re supposed to do, precisely, in their new jobs. “Parenting” may have become its own activity (its own profession, so to speak), but its goals are far from clear.
Jennifer Senior (All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood)
Perhaps too much is said in universities about how "exciting" it is to think. Thinking undoubtedly has its excitements and satisfactions, but these feelings do not disclose its general character, and there is something very much wrong with the idea they should. We do not think in order to have fun but because life is troubling and problematic. We think because we are compelled to. And while thinking occasionally brings exciting discoveries, the periods in between these discoveries are likely to place heavy demands not only on the thinker's energies but on his patience as well. When thinking, we should not need to tell ourselves that it is an exhilarating experience; it should be enough to realize that we are behaving with the seriousness, the rationality, and the self-discipline that the human situation requires of us.
Glenn Tinder
I don’t believe it can be taught as if it were a recipe. There aren’t ingredients and techniques that will guarantee success. Parameters exist that, if followed, will ensure a business can continue, but you cannot clearly define our business success and then bottle it as you would a perfume. It’s not that simple: to be successful, you have to be out there, you have to hit the ground running; and, if you have a good team round you and more than your fair share of luck, you might make something happen. But you certainly can’t guarantee it just by following someone else’s formula. Business is a fluid, changing substance.
Richard Branson (Losing My Virginity: How I've Survived, Had Fun, and Made a Fortune Doing Business My Way)
Everybody, one day will die, and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun, fuck a mundane predictable life working monday to friday with something you derive no pleasure from; just living life out till you grow old and wither away. Find a passion, form relationships, dont be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks, trust me its alot more fun that way. Dont ever pay people out or put people down. Instead just put yourself up and let the haters do their thing. Id rather be a person thats hated on, than a person that does the hating. A wise man one said.. Haters gonna hate!
Zyzz
You must look inside yourself and determine that from now on pain is not a problem. It is just a thing in the universe. Somebody can say something to you that can cause your heart to react and catch fire, but then it passes. It’s a temporary experience. Most people can hardly imagine what it would be like to be at peace with inner disturbance. But if you do not learn to be comfortable with it, you will devote your life to avoiding it. If you feel insecurity, it’s just a feeling. You can handle a feeling. If you feel embarrassed, it’s just a feeling. It’s just a part of creation. If you feel jealousy and your heart burns, just look at it objectively, like you would a mild bruise. It’s a thing in the universe that is passing through your system. Laugh at it, have fun with it, but don’t be afraid of it. It cannot touch you unless you touch it.
Michael A. Singer (The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself)
Just when I think you’ve hit bottom you continue to amaze me,” Kyle said. “Or, does this get worse? Nothing would surprise me after this. Are you sleeping with a married man whose wife is dying of cancer?” Elroy didn’t think he’d done anything wrong. “I know nothing about his wife, or his husband for that matter. I don’t ask and I’m not out to break up his home. Lighten up, man. Everybody does it. It’s not like I’m going to freaking marry this dude. I’m only having a little fun with him. You wanna come with me? We’ll have a three-way. You should see the way this guy moves. It will blow your mind.” With that remark Kyle shoved his hands into his pockets and walked faster. “No, thank you. That’s not something I’m interested in doing. Meeting nice, decent people is the only thing that blows my mind. I just hope you’re using condoms, you goddman asshole.
Ryan Field (The Ivy League Rake (Bad Boy Billionaires, #1))
A classmate from elementary school had married and divorced. Yamada was now raising two children on his own and going gray, which made her laugh. Kazumi, who had been living with a man, went home to her family. Yuusuke, who was trying to become a public servant, failed his test. Yamazaki, who was making erotic games, had all his dreams destroyed. "I'm testing my own talent. It doesn't have to be an erotic game, but I'll do. . . I'll do something!" When he proclaimed this, drunk from sake, his future already was set as a dairy farmer, chasing after cows. I no longer could see how he could escape it. At reunions and parties, everyone laughed and made a big fuss. Those events were fun, as was karaoke. Everyone had a good time and seemed sure that the future would be perfect: We could become anything! We could do anything! We could become happy! These things were true—but steadily, very steadily, at a speed so terribly slow we didn't even notice it, we were being run down. There was nothing we could do, even if we were in trouble, defeated, of crying. Every one of us eventually had some terrible experiences. The only difference was whether it would happen sooner or later; but in the end, we all would fall into some really unbearable situation. I was scared. I was scared of all sorts of things.
Tatsuhiko Takimoto (Welcome to the N.H.K.)
I got some funny reactions, a lot of irate reactions, as if I were somehow taking people's fun away from them. I have nothing against sports. I like to watch a good basketball game and that sort of thing. On the other hand, we have to recognise that the mass hysteria about spectator sports plays a significant role. First of all, spectator sports make people more passive, because you're not doing them; you're watching somebody doing them. Secondly, they engender jingoist and chauvinist attitudes, sometimes to quite an extreme degree. I saw something in the newspapers just a day or two ago about how high-school teams are now so antagonistic and passionately committed to winning at all costs that they had to abandon the standard handshake before or after the game. These kids can't even do civil things like greeting one another because they're ready to kill one another. It's spectator sports that engender those attitudes, particularly when they're designed to organise a community to be hysterically committed to their gladiators. That's very dangerous, and it has lots of deleterious effects.
Noam Chomsky (The Quotable Chomsky)
They had found out. Before I could panic, I made myself stretch my fingers wide and take a calming breath. You already knew this was bound to happen. At least that’s what I told myself. The more I thought about it, the more I should have been appreciative that the people at the chapel in Las Vegas hadn’t recognized him. Or that people on the street had been oblivious and hadn’t seen us going in and out of there. Or that the receptionist at the acupuncturist hadn’t snapped a picture on her phone and posted it online. Because I might not understand all people, much less most of them, but I understood nosey folks. And nosey folks would do something like that without a second thought. Yet, I reminded myself that there was nothing to be embarrassed about. It would be fine. So, one gossip site posted about us getting married. Whoop-de-do. There was probably a thousand sites just like it. I briefly thought about Diana hearing about it, but I’d deal with that later. There was no use in getting scared now. She was the only one whose reaction I cared about. My mom and sisters’ opinions and feelings weren’t exactly registering at the top of my list now… or ever. I made myself shove them to the back of my thoughts. I was tired of being mad and upset; it affected my work. Plus, they’d made me sad and mad enough times in my life. I wasn’t going to let them ruin another day. Picking my phone up again, I quickly texted Aiden back, swallowing my nausea at the same time. Me: Who told you? Not even two minutes passed before my phone dinged with a response. Miranda: Trevor’s blowing up my phone. Eww. Trevor. Me: We knew it was going to happen eventually, right? Good luck with Trev. I’m glad he doesn’t have my number. And I was even gladder there wasn’t a home phone; otherwise, I’m positive he would have been blowing it up too. I managed to get back to looking at images on the screen for a few more minutes—a bit more distracted than usual—when the phone beeped again. It was Aiden/Miranda. I should really change his contact name. Miranda: Good luck? I’m not answering his calls. What? Me: That psycho will come visit if you don’t. Was that me being selfish? Yes. Did I care? No. Aiden: I know. Uh. Me: You’re always at practice… Aiden: Have fun. This asshole! I almost laughed, but before I could, he sent me another message. Aiden: I’ll get back to him in a couple days. Don’t worry. Snorting, I texted back. Me: I’m not worried. If he drops by, I’ll set him up in your room. Aiden: You genuinely scare me. Me: You don’t know how many times you barely made it through the day alive, for the record. He didn’t text me back after that
Mariana Zapata (The Wall of Winnipeg and Me)
We long for experiences “of profound connection with others,” he writes, “of deep understanding of natural phenomena, of love, of being profoundly moved by music or tragedy, or doing something new and innovative.” Just as important, we long for esteem and pride, “a self that happiness is a fitting response to.” Implicit in Nozick’s experiment is the idea that happiness should be a by-product, not a goal. Many of the ancient Greeks believed the same. To Aristotle, eudaimonia (roughly translated as “flourishing”) meant doing something productive. Happiness could only be achieved through exploiting our strengths and our potential. To be happy, one must do, not just feel.
Jennifer Senior (All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood)
Ms. Navarro,” Mr. Mohr said, and Allie stopped and turned to look at him. “Can I ask you one more thing?” “Sure.” “Why didn’t you just shut your game down when you first realized something was wrong?” It was a good question. She started to give him all the reasons she’d been telling herself all week. That people were having fun. That she needed big numbers for Saturday. That she needed good stories to prove that Click’d was doing good in the world. But as all those answers passed through in her mind, she knew that none of them had anything to do with the real reason she didn’t shut it down. She locked her eyes on Mr. Mohr and told him the truth. “Everyone knew who I was.
Tamara Ireland Stone (Click'd (Click'd, #1))
I’m not sure how the ponies happened, though I have an inkling: “Can I get you anything?” I’ll say, getting up from a dinner table, “Coffee, tea, a pony?” People rarely laugh at this, especially if they’ve heard it before. “This party’s ‘sposed to be fun,” a friend will say. “Really? Will there be pony rides?” It’s a nervous tic and a cheap joke, cheapened further by the frequency with which I use it. For that same reason, it’s hard to weed it out of my speech – most of the time I don’t even realize I’m saying it. There are little elements in a person’s life, minor fibers that become unintentionally tangled with your personality. Sometimes it’s a patent phrase, sometimes it’s a perfume, sometimes it’s a wristwatch. For me, it is the constant referencing of ponies. I don’t even like ponies. If I made one of my throwaway equine requests and someone produced an actual pony, Juan-Valdez-style, I would run very fast in the other direction. During a few summers at camp, I rode a chronically dehydrated pony named Brandy who would jolt down without notice to lick the grass outside the corral and I would careen forward, my helmet tipping to cover my eyes. I do, however, like ponies on the abstract. Who doesn’t? It’s like those movies with the animated insects. Sure, the baby cockroach seems cute with CGI eyelashes, but how would you feel about fifty of her real-life counterparts living in your oven? And that’s precisely the manner in which the ponies clomped their way into my regular speech: abstractly. “I have something for you,” a guy will say on our first date. “Is it a pony?” No. It’s usually a movie ticket or his cell phone number. But on our second date, if I ask again, I’m pretty sure I’m getting a pony. And thus the Pony drawer came to be. It’s uncomfortable to admit, but almost every guy I have ever dated has unwittingly made a contribution to the stable. The retro pony from the ‘50s was from the most thoughtful guy I have ever known. The one with the glitter horseshoes was from a boy who would later turn out to be straight somehow, not gay. The one with the rainbow haunches was from a librarian, whom I broke up with because I felt the chemistry just wasn’t right, and the one with the price tag stuck on the back was given to me by a narcissist who was so impressed with his gift he forgot to remover the sticker. Each one of them marks the beginning of a new relationship. I don’t mean to hint. It’s not a hint, actually, it’s a flat out demand: I. Want. A. Pony. I think what happens is that young relationships are eager to build up a romantic repertoire of private jokes, especially in the city where there’s not always a great “how we met” story behind every great love affair. People meet at bars, through mutual friends, on dating sites, or because they work in the same industry. Just once a coworker of mine, asked me out between two stops on the N train. We were holding the same pole and he said, “I know this sounds completely insane, bean sprout, but would you like to go to a very public place with me and have a drink or something...?” I looked into his seemingly non-psycho-killing, rent-paying, Sunday Times-subscribing eyes and said, “Sure, why the hell not?” He never bought me a pony. But he didn’t have to, if you know what I mean.
Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays)
He cannot do anything deliberate now. The strain of his whole weight on his outstretched arms hurts too much. The pain fills him up, displaces thought, as much for him as it has for everyone else who has ever been stuck to one of these horrible contrivances, or for anyone else who dies in pain from any of the world’s grim arsenal of possibilities. And yet he goes on taking in. It is not what he does, it is what he is. He is all open door: to sorrow, suffering, guilt, despair, horror, everything that cannot be escaped, and he does not even try to escape it, he turns to meet it, and claims it all as his own. This is mine now, he is saying; and he embraces it with all that is left in him, each dark act, each dripping memory, as if it were something precious, as if it were itself the loved child tottering homeward on the road. But there is so much of it. So many injured children; so many locked rooms; so much lonely anger; so many bombs in public places; so much vicious zeal; so many bored teenagers at roadblocks; so many drunk girls at parties someone thought they could have a little fun with; so many jokes that go too far; so much ruining greed; so much sick ingenuity; so much burned skin. The world he claims, claims him. It burns and stings, it splinters and gouges, it locks him round and drags him down… All day long, the next day, the city is quiet. The air above the city lacks the usual thousand little trails of smoke from cookfires. Hymns rise from the temple. Families are indoors. The soldiers are back in barracks. The Chief Priest grows hoarse with singing. The governor plays chess with his secretary and dictates letters. The free bread the temple distributed to the poor has gone stale by midday, but tastes all right dipped in water or broth. Death has interrupted life only as much as it ever does. We die one at a time and disappear, but the life of the living continues. The earth turns. The sun makes its way towards the western horizon no slower or faster than it usually does. Early Sunday morning, one of the friends comes back with rags and a jug of water and a box of the grave spices that are supposed to cut down on the smell. She’s braced for the task. But when she comes to the grave she finds that the linen’s been thrown into the corner and the body is gone. Evidently anonymous burial isn’t quite anonymous enough, after all. She sits outside in the sun. The insects have woken up, here at the edge of the desert, and a bee is nosing about in a lily like silk thinly tucked over itself, but much more perishable. It won’t last long. She takes no notice of the feet that appear at the edge of her vision. That’s enough now, she thinks. That’s more than enough. Don’t be afraid, says Yeshua. Far more can be mended than you know. She is weeping. The executee helps her to stand up.
Francis Spufford (Unapologetic: Why, Despite Everything, Christianity Can Still Make Surprising Emotional Sense)
Logan reached to tip her chin up with his finger. "Bullshit," he said softly. "Those are just examples. You put other people first. Without even thinking about it." He paused. Then added, "I'll be honest--" He brushed his thumb over her chin. " I probably didn't put all of that into actual thought before all of this with the baby and everything. It was just a general impression of you. Something about you drew me in. But I do know what it is now. You think I'm fun and the life of the party and make people comfortable and happy. But so do you. Not with the same techniques, but being with you is easier on people than being without you." [Dana] sucked in a little breath. That was, by far, no question, the best thing anyone had ever said to her.
Erin Nicholas (Taking It Easy (Boys of the Big Easy, #2))
So the challenge, as you contemplate your next opportunity to be boring or remarkable, is to answer these two questions: (1) "If I get criticized for this, will I suffer any measurable impact? Will I lose my job, get hit upside the head with a softball bat, or lose important friendships?" If the only side effect of the criticism is that you will feel bad about the criticism, then you have to compare that bad feeling with the benefits you'll get from actually doing something worth doing. Being remarkable is exciting, fun, profitable, and great for your career. Feeling bad wears off. And then, once you've compared the bad feeling and the benefits, and you've sold yourself on taking the remarkable path, answer this one: (2) How can I create something that critics will criticize?
Seth Godin (Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us)
And two years ago this morning I woke wondering what delightful gift the new day would give me. These are the two years I thought would be filled with fun.' 'Would you exchange them - now - for two years filled with fun?' 'No,' said Rilla slowly. 'I wouldn't. It's strange - isn't it? - They have been two terrible years - and yet I have a queer feeling of thankfulness for them - as if they had brought me something very precious with all their pain. I wouldn't want to go back and be the girl I was two years ago, not even if I could. Not that I think I've made any wonderful progress - but I'm not quite the selfish, frivolous little doll I was then. I suppose I had a soul then Miss Oliver - but I didn't know it. I know it now - and that is worth a great deal - worth all the suffering of the past few years. And still' - Rilla gave a little apologetic laugh, 'I don't want to suffer anymore - not even for the sake of more soul growth. At the end of two more years I might look back and be thankful for the development they had brought me, too; but I don't want it now.' 'We never do,' said Miss Oliver. "That is why we are not left to choose our own means and measure of development, I suppose. No matter how much we value what our lessons have brought us we don't want to go on with the bitter schooling.
L.M. Montgomery (Rilla of Ingleside (Anne of Green Gables, #8))
Why do you hate this game so much?" Andrew sighed as if Neil was being purposefully obtuse. "I don't care enough about Exy to hate it. It's just slightly less boring than living is, so I put up with it for now." "I don't understand." "That's not my problem." "Isn't it fun?" Neil asked. "Someone else asked me that same thing two years ago. Should I tell you what I told him? I said no. Something as pointless as this game is can never be fun." "Pointless," Neil echoed. "But you have real talent." "Flattery is uninteresting and gets you nowhere." "I'm just stating facts. You're selling yourself short. You could be something if only you'd try." Andrew's smile was small and cold. "You be something. Kevin says you'll be a champion. Four years and you'll go pro. Five years and you'll be Court. He promised Coach. He promised the school board. He argued until they signed off on you. [...] Then Kevin finally got the okay to sign you and you hit the ground running," Andrew said. "Curious that a man with so much potential, who has so much fun, who could be something wouldn't want any of it. Why is that?" [...] "You're lying," Neil said at last, because he needed that to be the truth. "Kevin hates me." "Or you hate him," Andrew said. "I can't decide. Your loose ends aren't adding up." "I'm not a math problem." "But I'll still solve you.
Nora Sakavic (The Foxhole Court (All for the Game, #1))
I am on a lonely road and I am traveling Traveling, traveling, traveling Looking for something, what can it be Oh I hate you some, I hate you some, I love you some Oh I love you when I forget about me I want to be strong I want to laugh along I want to belong to the living Alive, alive, I want to get up and jive I want to wreck my stockings in some juke box dive Do you want - do you want - do you want to dance with me baby Do you want to take a chance On maybe finding some sweet romance with me baby Well, come on All I really really want our love to do Is to bring out the best in me and in you too All I really really want our love to do Is to bring out the best in me and in you I want to talk to you, I want to shampoo you I want to renew you again and again Applause, applause - Life is our cause When I think of your kisses my mind see-saws Do you see - do you see - do you see how you hurt me baby So I hurt you too Then we both get so blue. I am on a lonely road and I am traveling Looking for the key to set me free Oh the jealousy, the greed is the unraveling It's the unraveling And it undoes all the joy that could be I want to have fun, I want to shine like the sun I want to be the one that you want to see I want to knit you a sweater Want to write you a love letter I want to make you feel better I want to make you feel free I want to make you feel free
Joni Mitchell (Blue)
THE VOICE I know you can’t see me, But you are a part of me. Like that finger on your hand, Only bigger. Through you and with you, I am living and growing, Learning, Expanding, And having fun. If you think you’re alone, You’re wrong. I’m here in your eyes reading this with you. I’m there, Sitting in your seat with you, Experiencing your surroundings. You’re not alone. I’m not alone. Together we are one, Yet we’re separate and complete in ourselves. With me, We will continue to live together, Apart, And united. When you need something, I need it. When you fear something, I’ll fear it. When you dream of something, I’ll dream it. When you make something, I’ll make it. Because I’m connected to everything else there is, I can orchestrate great things for you without your knowledge. You call this coincidence or fate when you see it. It is neither. It is simply me making things as you and I want them to be. You think the future is already determined. It is not. It is how ever you and I make it. If it were already determined- I would be like a tape recorder, A hologram. I assure you I am neither. I am as real as the oxygen you’re breathing. You don’t have to believe me. I’ll still be here. You don’t have to say hi either. But it would be cool if you did. I love it actually when you do. We’re much like parent and child, Only closer, Because you are an actual piece of me. I can do anything through you- If only you will let me. If you are unwilling, Then I will simply work my magic through someone else. As long as you’re willing though and doing your part, I’ll work through you- And together we’ll live and excel in ways that will not only amaze you, But me as well. Let’s create!
Giorge Leedy (Uninhibited From Lust To Love)
Was I trying too hard to make this mean something? I asked Leah. Was that just buying into the industry's own narratives about itself? I tried to summarize the frantic, self-important work culture in Silicon Valley, how everyone was optimizing their bodies for longer lives, which would then be spent productively; how it was frowned upon to acknowledge that a tech job was a transaction rather than a noble mission or a seat on a rocket ship. In this respect, it was not unlike book publishing: talking about doing work for money felt like screaming the safe word. While perhaps not unique to tech--it may even have been endemic to a generation--the expectation was overbearing. Why did it feel so taboo, I asked, to approach work the way most people did, as a trade of my time and labor for money? Why did we have to pretend it was all so fun? Leah nodded, curls bobbing. "That's real," she said. "but I wonder if you're forcing things. Your job can be in service of the rest of your life." She reached out to squeeze my wrist, then leaned her head against the window. "You're allowed to enjoy your life," she said. The city streaked past, the bridge cables flickering like a delay, or a glitch.
Anna Wiener (Uncanny Valley: A Memoir)
New York or California? Chicago or D.C.? I could go now, too, I thought. I had a car just as much as she did. I could go to the five spots on the map, and even if I didn't find her, it would be more fun than another boiling summer in Orlando. But no. It's like breaking into SeaWorld. It takes an immaculate plan, and then you execute it brilliantly, and then—­nothing. And then it's just SeaWorld, except darker. She'd told me: the pleasure isn't in doing the thing; the pleasure is in planning it. And that's what I thought about as I stood beneath the showerhead: the planning. She sits in the minimall with her notebook, planning. Maybe she's planning a road trip, using the map to imagine routes. She reads the Whitman and highlights "I tramp a perpetual journey," because that's the kind of thing she likes to imagine herself doing, the kind of thing she likes to plan. But is it the kind of thing she likes to actually do? No. Because Margo knows the secret of leaving, the secret I have only just now learned: leaving feels good and pure only when you leave something important, something that mattered to you. Pulling life out by the roots. But you can't do that until your life has grown roots.
John Green (Paper Towns)
It’s normally agreed that the question “How are you?” doesn’t put you on your oath to give a full or honest answer. So when asked these days, I tend to say something cryptic like, “A bit early to say.” (If it’s the wonderful staff at my oncology clinic who inquire, I sometimes go so far as to respond, “I seem to have cancer today.”) Nobody wants to be told about the countless minor horrors and humiliations that become facts of “life” when your body turns from being a friend to being a foe: the boring switch from chronic constipation to its sudden dramatic opposite; the equally nasty double cross of feeling acute hunger while fearing even the scent of food; the absolute misery of gut–wringing nausea on an utterly empty stomach; or the pathetic discovery that hair loss extends to the disappearance of the follicles in your nostrils, and thus to the childish and irritating phenomenon of a permanently runny nose. Sorry, but you did ask... It’s no fun to appreciate to the full the truth of the materialist proposition that I don’t have a body, I am a body. But it’s not really possible to adopt a stance of “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” either. Like its original, this is a prescription for hypocrisy and double standards. Friends and relatives, obviously, don’t really have the option of not making kind inquiries. One way of trying to put them at their ease is to be as candid as possible and not to adopt any sort of euphemism or denial. The swiftest way of doing this is to note that the thing about Stage Four is that there is no such thing as Stage Five. Quite rightly, some take me up on it. I recently had to accept that I wasn’t going to be able to attend my niece’s wedding, in my old hometown and former university in Oxford. This depressed me for more than one reason, and an especially close friend inquired, “Is it that you’re afraid you’ll never see England again?” As it happens he was exactly right to ask, and it had been precisely that which had been bothering me, but I was unreasonably shocked by his bluntness. I’ll do the facing of hard facts, thanks. Don’t you be doing it too. And yet I had absolutely invited the question. Telling someone else, with deliberate realism, that once I’d had a few more scans and treatments I might be told by the doctors that things from now on could be mainly a matter of “management,” I again had the wind knocked out of me when she said, “Yes, I suppose a time comes when you have to consider letting go.” How true, and how crisp a summary of what I had just said myself. But again there was the unreasonable urge to have a kind of monopoly on, or a sort of veto over, what was actually sayable. Cancer victimhood contains a permanent temptation to be self–centered and even solipsistic.
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
It happened to me. And I'll never forget it. Back when I was in the sixth grade, my whole family went out to go watch a baseball game at the stadium. I didn't really care about baseball, but I was surprised by what I saw when we got there. Everywhere I looked, I saw people. On the other side of the stadium, the people looked so small, like little moving grains of rice. It was so crowded. I thought that everyone in Japan had to be packed in there. So I turned to my dad and asked him, "Do you know how many people are here right now"? He said since the stadium was full, probably fifty thousand. After the game, the street was filled with people and I was really shocked to see that, too. To me, it seemed like there was a ton of people there. But then, I realized it could only be a tiny fraction of all the people in Japan. When I got home, I pulled out my calculator. In social studies, I'd learned that the population of Japan was a hundred some odd million. So I divided that by fifty thousand. The answer was one two-thousandth. That shocked me even more. I was only one little person in that big crowded stadium filled with people, and believe me, there were so many people there, but it was just a handful of the entire population. Up till then, I always thought that I was, I don't know, kind of a special person. It was fun to be with my family. I had fun with my classmates. And the school that I was going to, it had just about the most interesting people anywhere. But that night, I realized it wasn't true. All the stuff we did during class that I thought was so fun and cool, was probably happening just like that in classes in other schools all over Japan. There was nothing special about my school at all. When I realized that, it suddenly felt like the whole world around me started to fade into a dull gray void. Brushing my teeth and going to sleep at night, waking up and eating breakfast in the morning, that stuff happened all over the place. They were everyday things that everybody was doing. When I thought about it like that, everything became boring. If there's really that many people in the world, then there had to be someone who wasn't ordinary. There had to be someone who was living an interesting life. There just had to be. But why wasn't I that person? So, that's how I felt till I finished elementary school. And then I had another realization. I realized fun things wouldn't come my way just by waiting for them. I thought when I got into junior high, it was time for me to make a change. I'd let the world know I wasn't a girl who was happy sitting around waiting. And I've done my best to become that person. But in the end, nothing happened. More time went by and before I knew it, I was in high school. I thought that something would change.
Nagaru Tanigawa
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that, in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto: "Anyone can cook." But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.
Anton Ego, from Disney Pixar's 'Ratatouille'
In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the *new*. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends. Last night, I experienced something new: an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. To say that both the meal and its maker have challenged my preconceptions about fine cooking is a gross understatement. They have rocked me to my core. In the past, I have made no secret of my disdain for Chef Gusteau's famous motto, "Anyone can cook." But I realize, only now do I truly understand what he meant. Not everyone can become a great artist; but a great artist *can* come from *anywhere*. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Gusteau's, who is, in this critic's opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in France. I will be returning to Gusteau's soon, hungry for more.
Walt Disney Company
This regiment was formed last fall, back in Maine. There were a thousand of us then. There’s not three hundred of us now.” He glanced up briefly. “But what is left is choice.” He was embarrassed. He spoke very slowly, staring at the ground. “Some of us volunteered to fight for Union. Some came in mainly because we were bored at home and this looked like it might be fun. Some came because we were ashamed not to. Many of us came … because it was the right thing to do. All of us have seen men die. Most of us never saw a black man back home. We think on that, too. But freedom … is not just a word.” He looked up into the sky, over silent faces. “This is a different kind of army. If you look at history you’ll see men fight for pay, or women, or some other kind of loot. They fight for land, or because a king makes them, or just because they like killing. But we’re here for something new. I don’t … this hasn’t happened much in the history of the world. We’re an army going out to set other men free.” He bent down, scratched the black dirt into his fingers. He was beginning to warm to it; the words were beginning to flow. No one in front of him was moving. He said, “This is free ground. All the way from here to the Pacific Ocean. No man has to bow. No man born to royalty. Here we judge you by what you do, not by what your father was. Here you can be something. Here’s a place to build a home. It isn’t the land—there’s always more land. It’s the idea that we all have value, you and me, we’re worth something more than the dirt. I never saw dirt I’d die for, but I’m not asking you to come join us and fight for dirt. What we’re all fighting for, in the end, is each other.
Jeff Shaara (The Killer Angels (The Civil War Trilogy, #2))
the reactions were generally the same. As a rule, most people seem to appreciate being rescued by dashing strangers. Most people, perhaps, but not Sophie Quire. “Are you insane?” she shouted, her voice hoarse from screaming at him. “You nearly killed those men!” Peter almost fell over as she wrenched a book out from under his boot. He listened as she riffled through the pages, as though inspecting the book for damage. “And what were you doing up on that lamppost, anyway?” she demanded. “Were you following me?” Peter stepped back, caught off guard. “I . . . um . . .” Obviously he had been following her. People didn’t just spend their mornings climbing lampposts for the fun of it. But to hear her describe the activity, you would think it was the worst thing in the world. “In case you forgot,” he said finally, “I just rescued you.” “Rescued me?” The girl got right in his face. She was radiating indignation like a furnace. “I was going to have to pay a fine . . . Now I’m party to attempted murder. Who knows what they will do to me, or my father? One word from the Inquisitor and we’ll be on the street or worse—and it will all be thanks to you!” Peter opened his mouth but closed it again. He could feel his whole face flushing with anger, or perhaps embarrassment—he wasn’t sure which. All he knew was this was not what he had planned. “I . . . I was only trying to help,” he said, inching back. “Next time, resist the urge.” The girl yanked her cloak over her shoulders with a dramatic flap. “And if you’re going to throw something into the river,” she added, “why not start with that ridiculous hat? You look like an ostrich in mourning.” With a dramatic heel, she turned away and ran toward the road.
Jonathan Auxier (Sophie Quire and the Last Storyguard: A Peter Nimble Adventure)
I know you,” he added, helping to arrange the blanket over my shoulders. “You won’t drop the subject until I agree to check on your cousin, so I’ll do it. But only under one condition.” “John,” I said, whirling around to clutch his arm again. “Don’t get too excited,” he warned. “You haven’t heard the condition.” “Oh,” I said, eagerly. “Whatever it is, I’ll do it. Thank you. Alex has never had a very good life-his mother ran away when he was a baby, and his dad spent most of his life in jail…But, John, what is all this?” I swept my free hand out to indicate the people remaining on the dock, waiting for the boat John had said was arriving soon. I’d noticed some of them had blankets like the one he’d wrapped around me. “A new customer service initiative?” John looked surprised at my change of topic…then uncomfortable. He stooped to reach for the driftwood Typhon had dashed up to drop at his feet. “I don’t know what you mean,” he said, stiffly. “You’re giving blankets away to keep them warm while they wait. When did this start happening?” “You mentioned some things when you were here the last time….” He avoided meeting my gaze by tossing the stick for his dog. “They stayed with me.” My eyes widened. “Things I said?” “About how I should treat the people who end up here.” He paused at the approach of a wave-though it was yards off-and made quite a production of moving me, and my delicate slippers, out of its path. “So I decided to make a few changes.” It felt as if one of the kind of flowers I liked-a wild daisy, perhaps-had suddenly blossomed inside my heart. “Oh, John,” I said, and rose onto my toes to kiss his cheek. He looked more than a little surprised by the kiss. I thought I might actually have seen some color come into his cheeks. “What was that for?” he asked. “Henry said nothing was the same after I left. I assumed he meant everything was much worse. I couldn’t imagine it was the opposite, that things were better.” John’s discomfort at having been caught doing something kind-instead of reckless or violet-was sweet. “Henry talks too much,” he muttered. “But I’m glad you like it. Not that it hasn’t been a lot of added work. I’ll admit it’s cut down on the complaints, though, and even the fighting amongst our rowdier passengers. So you were right. Your suggestions helped.” I beamed up at him. Keeper of the dead. That’s how Mr. Smith, the cemetery sexton, had referred to John once, and that’s what he was. Although the title “protector of the dead” seemed more applicable. It was totally silly how much hope I was filled with by the fact that he’d remembered something I’d said so long ago-like maybe this whole consort thing might work out after all. I gasped a moment later when there was a sudden rush of white feathers, and the bird he’d given me emerged from the grizzly gray fog seeming to engulf the whole beach, plopping down onto the sand beside us with a disgruntled little humph. “Oh, Hope,” I said, dashing tears of laughter from my eyes. Apparently I had only to feel the emotion, and she showed up. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to leave you behind. It was his fault, you know.” I pointed at John. The bird ignored us both, poking around in the flotsam washed ashore by the waves, looking, as always, for something to eat. “Her name is Hope?” John asked, the corners of his mouth beginning to tug upwards. “No.” I bristled, thinking he was making fun of me. Then I realized I’d been caught. “Well, all right…so what if it is? I’m not going to name her after some depressing aspect of the Underworld like you do all your pets. I looked up the name Alastor. That was the name of one of the death horses that drew Hades’s chariot. And Typhon?” I glanced at the dog, cavorting in and out of the waves, seemingly oblivious of the cold. “I can only imagine, but I’m sure it means something equally unpleasant.
Meg Cabot (Underworld (Abandon, #2))
It’s no one’s fault really,” he continued. “A big city cannot afford to have its attention distracted from the important job of being a big city by such a tiny, unimportant item as your happiness or mine.” This came out of him easily, assuredly, and I was suddenly interested. On closer inspection there was something aesthetic and scholarly about him, something faintly professorial. He knew I was with him, listening, and his grey eyes were kind with offered friendliness. He continued: “Those tall buildings there are more than monuments to the industry, thought and effort which have made this a great city; they also occasionally serve as springboards to eternity for misfits who cannot cope with the city and their own loneliness in it.” He paused and said something about one of the ducks which was quite unintelligible to me. “A great city is a battlefield,” he continued. “You need to be a fighter to live in it, not exist, mark you, live. Anybody can exist, dragging his soul around behind him like a worn-out coat; but living is different. It can be hard, but it can also be fun; there’s so much going on all the time that’s new and exciting.” I could not, nor wished to, ignore his pleasant voice, but I was in no mood for his philosophising. “If you were a negro you’d find that even existing would provide more excitement than you’d care for.” He looked at me and suddenly laughed; a laugh abandoned and gay, a laugh rich and young and indescribably infectious. I laughed with him, although I failed to see anything funny in my remark. “I wondered how long it would be before you broke down and talked to me,” he said, when his amusement had quietened down. “Talking helps, you know; if you can talk with someone you’re not lonely any more, don’t you think?” As simple as that. Soon we were chatting away unreservedly, like old friends, and I had told him everything. “Teaching,” he said presently. “That’s the thing. Why not get a job as a teacher?” “That’s rather unlikely,” I replied. “I have had no training as a teacher.” “Oh, that’s not absolutely necessary. Your degrees would be considered in lieu of training, and I feel sure that with your experience and obvious ability you could do well.” “Look here, Sir, if these people would not let me near ordinary inanimate equipment about which I understand quite a bit, is it reasonable to expect them to entrust the education of their children to me?” “Why not? They need teachers desperately.” “It is said that they also need technicians desperately.” “Ah, but that’s different. I don’t suppose educational authorities can be bothered about the colour of people’s skins, and I do believe that in that respect the London County Council is rather outstanding. Anyway, there would be no need to mention it; let it wait until they see you at the interview.” “I’ve tried that method before. It didn’t work.” “Try it again, you’ve nothing to lose. I know for a fact that there are many vacancies for teachers in the East End of London.” “Why especially the East End of London?” “From all accounts it is rather a tough area, and most teachers prefer to seek jobs elsewhere.” “And you think it would be just right for a negro, I suppose.” The vicious bitterness was creeping back; the suspicion was not so easily forgotten. “Now, just a moment, young man.” He was wonderfully patient with me, much more so than I deserved. “Don’t ever underrate the people of the East End; from those very slums and alleyways are emerging many of the new breed of professional and scientific men and quite a few of our politicians. Be careful lest you be a worse snob than the rest of us. Was this the kind of spirit in which you sought the other jobs?
E.R. Braithwaite (To Sir, With Love)
Playing and fun are not the same thing, though when we grow up we may forget that and find ourselves mixing up playing with happiness. There can be a kind of amnesia about the seriousness of playing, especially when we played by ourselves or looked like we were playing by ourselves. I believe a kid who is playing is not alone. There is something brought alive during play, and this something, when played, seems to play back. If playing isn't happiness or fun, if it is something which may lead to those things or to something else entirely, not being able to play is a misery. No one stopped me from playing when I was alone, but there were times when I wasn't able to, though I wanted to--there were times when nothing played back. Writers call it 'writer's block'. For kids there are other names for that feeling, though kids don't usually know them. Fairy tales and myths are often about this very thing. They begin sometimes with this very situation: a dead kingdom. Its residents all turned to stone. It's a good way to say it, that something alive is gone. The television eased the problem by presenting channels to an ever-lively world I could watch, though it couldn't watch me back, not that it would see much if it could. A girl made of stone facing a flickering light, 45 years later a woman made of stone doing the same thing. In a myth or a fairy tale one doesn't restore the kingdom by passivity, nor can it be done by force. It can't be done by logic or thought. It can't be done by logic or thought. So how can it be done? Monsters and dangerous tasks seem to be part of it. Courage and terror and failure or what seems like failure, and then hopelessness and the approach of death convincingly. The happy ending is hardly important, though we may be glad it's there. The real joy is knowing that if you felt the trouble in the story, your kingdom isn't dead.
Lynda Barry (What It Is)
She needs to think you're still a couple. And you'll need to be convincing about it, too. Lots of kissing and stuff in case your mother tries to spy on you." Emma stops chewing. Galen drops his fork. "Uh, I don't think we need to take it that far-" Emma starts. "Oh, no? Teenagers don't kiss their sweethearts anymore?" Rachel crosses her arms, wagging the spatula to the beat of her tapping foot. "They do, but-" "No buts. Come on, sweetie. You think your mom's going to believe you keep your hands off Galen?" "Probably not, but-" "I said no buts. Look at you two. You're not even sitting next to each other! You need some practice, I'd say. Galen, go sit beside her. Hold her hand." "Rachel," he says, shaking his head, "this can wait-" "Fine," Emma grinds out. They both turn to her. Still frowning, she nods. "We'll make it a point to kiss and hold hands when she's around." Galen almost drops his fork again. No way. Kissing Emma is the last thing I need to do. Especially when her lips turn that red. "Emma, we don't have to kiss. She already knows I want to sleep with you." He cringes as soon as he says it. He doesn't have to look up to know the sizzling sound in the kitchen is from Rachel spitting her pineapple juice into the hot skillet. "What I mean is, I already told her I want to sleep with you. I mean, I told her I wanted to sleep with you because she already thinks I do. Want to, I mean-" If a Syrena could drown, this is what it would feel like. Emma holds up her hand. "I get it, Galen. It's fine. I told her the same thing." Rachel plops down beside Emma, wiping the juice spittle from her face with a napkin. "So you're telling me your mom thinks you two want to sleep with each other, but you don't think she'll be expecting you to kiss." Emma shakes her head and shovels a forkful of omelet into her mouth, then chases it with some juice. She says, "You're right, Rachel. We'll let her catch us making out or something." Rachel nods. "That should work." "What does that mean? Making out?" Galen says between bites. Emma puts her fork down. "It means, Galen, that you'll need to force yourself to kiss me. Like you mean it. For a long time. Think you can do that? Do Syrena kiss?" He tries to swallow the bite he forgot to chew. Force myself? I'll be lucky if I can stop myself. It had never occurred to him to kiss anyone-before he met Emma. These days, it's all he can think about, her lips on his. He decides it was better for both of them when Emma kept rejecting him. Now she's ordering him to kiss her-for a long time. Great. "Yes, they kiss. I mean, we kiss. I mean, I can force myself, if I have to." He doesn't meet Rachel's eyes as she plunks more fish onto his plate, but he can almost feel her smirking down at him. "We'll just have to plan it, that's all. Give you time to prepare," Emma tells him. "Prepare for what?" Rachel scoffs. "Kissing isn't supposed to be planned. That's why it's so fun." "Yeah, but this isn't for fun, remember?" Emma says. "This is just for show." "You don't think kissing Galen would be fun?" Emma sighs, putting her hands on her cheeks. "You know, I appreciate that you're trying to help us, Rachel. But I can't talk about this anymore. Seriously, I'm going to break out into hives. We'll make it work when the time comes." Rachel laughs and removes Emma's plate after she declines a second helping. "If you say so. But I still think you should practice.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Silver mining in the United States didn’t start, like hard-core, until the mid-1850s,” Louis said. “And only really got big when the Comstock Lode was discovered in 1859 in California.” “It was bad work. Dangerous. Like any mining. But silver also lets out fumes when it’s mined. Even Pliny the Elder wrote about how harmful the fumes were, especially to animals. You know Pliny the Elder?” “The problem with the silver fumes,” Louis continued, “is that, over time, they gave the miners delusions. Bad enough that they had to stop mining. Their health deteriorated. And a bunch of them even died.” Hard to make fun of something like that, so Pepper didn’t. “Do you know what people would say, in these mining towns, when they saw one of these miners falling apart? Walking through town muttering and swinging at phantoms? They said the Devil in Silver got them. It became shorthand. Like someone might say, ‘What happened to Mike?’ And the answer was always the same. ‘The Devil in Silver got him.’ ” Louis sat straight and crossed his arms and surveyed the table. “Do you understand what I’m trying to tell you?” “You’re saying we’re just making this thing up,” Pepper said quietly. Louis seemed disappointed. He dropped his hands into his lap and folded them there. He looked at his sister and Pepper. He turned his head to take in the other patients gathered with their family members there in the hospital. “I’m saying they were dying,” Louis said. “They definitely weren’t making that up. But it wasn’t a monster that was killing them. It was the mine.
Victor LaValle (The Devil in Silver)
Charlie sat beside Spider on the edge of the cliff, in the moonlight, his legs dangling over the side. "You know," he said, "you used to be a part of me. When we were kids." Spider put his head on one side. "Really?" "I think so." "Well, that would explain a few things." He held out his hand: a seven-legged clay spider sat on the back of his fingers, tasting the air. "So what now? Are you going to take me back or something?" Charlie's brow crinkled. "I think you've turned out better than you would have done if you were part of me. And you've had a lot more fun." Spider said, "Rosie. Tiger knows about Rosie. We have to do something." "Of course we do," said Charlie. It was like bookkeeping, he thought: you put entries in one column, deduct them from another, and if you've done it correctly, everything should come out right at the bottom of the page. He took his brother's hand. They stood up and took a step forward, off the cliff – –and everything was bright– A cold wind blew between the worlds. Charlie said, "You're not the magical bit of me, you know." "I'm not?" Spider took another step. Stars were falling now by the dozen, streaking their way across the dark sky. Someone, somewhere, was playing high sweet music on a flute. Another step, and now distant sirens were blaring. "No," said Charlie. "You're not. Mrs. Dunwiddy thought you were, I think. She split us apart, but she never really understood what she was doing. We're more like two halves of a starfish. You grew up into a whole person. And so," he said, realizing it was true as he said it, "did I.
Neil Gaiman (Anansi Boys (American Gods, #2))
Other people's houses are right on top of this one," he said. "I think they could take one step and be in our living room." "You haven't seen the courtyard yet, Gregori. The house opens up to a courtyard in the back, and it's immense and in quite good shape." Savannah began heading up the stairs, ignoring his grousing. "I hate to think what you would call bad shape," he muttered as he followed her upstairs. "I wonder why everything is so dusty," Savannah said. "I had the real estate people come in and clean and get things ready for our arrival." "Do not touch anything," Gregori hissed softly, and very gently caught her shoulders to put her behind him. "What is it?" Instinctively she lowered her voice and looked around, trying to see if there was some danger she had been unable to sense. "If people came and made up the bed and prepared the house for your arrival, then they would have removed the dust too." "Maybe they're incredibly incompetent," she suggested hopefully. Gregori glanced at her and found the hard edge of his mouth softening. She was making him want to smile all the time, even in the most serious of situations. "I am certain any company would work overtime trying to make you happy, ma petite. I know I do." She blushed at the memory of how he did so. "So why all the dust?" she asked, deliberately distracting him. "I think Julian left us a message. You have remained with humans so long, you see only with your eyes." Savannah rolled her eyes at the reprimand. "And you've lived in the hills so long,you've forgotten how to have fun." The pale eyes slid over her, wrapping her in heat. "I have my own ideas of fun, cherie. I would be willing to show you if you like," he offered wickedly. Her chin lifted, blue eyes challenging. "If you think you're scaring me with your big-bad-wolf routine,you're not," she said. He could hear her heart beat. Smell her scent calling to him. "Perhaps I will think of something to change that," he cautioned her.
Christine Feehan (Dark Magic (Dark, #4))
Dating yes. But she thinks we're, uh, more than dating." "Oh," he says, thoughtful. Then he grins. "Oh." The reason her lips are turning his favorite color is because Emma's mom thinks they've been dating and mating. The blush extends down her neck and disappears into her T-shirt. He should probably say something to make her feel more comfortable. But teasing her seems so much more fun. "Well then, the least she could do is give us some privacy-" "Ohmysweetgoodness!" She snatches her backpack from the seat and marches around her car to the driver's side. Before she can get the door unlocked, he plucks the key from her fingers and tucks it into his jeans' pocket. She moves to retrieve it, but stops when she realizes where she's about to go fishing. He's never seen her this red. He laughs. "Calm down, Emma. I'm just kidding. Don't leave." "Yeah, well, it's not funny. You should have seen her this morning. She almost cried. my mom doesn't cry." She crosses her arms again but relaxes against her door. "She cried? That's pretty insulting." She cracks a tiny grin. "Yeah, it's an insult to me. She thinks I would...would..." "More than date me?" She nods. He steps toward her and puts his hand beside her on the car, leaning in. A live current seems to shimmy up his spine. What are you doing? "But she should know that you don't even think of me like that. That it would never even cross your mind," he murmurs. She looks away, satisfying his unspoken question-it has crossed her mind. The same way it crosses his. How often? Does she feel the voltage between them, too? Who cares, idiot? She belongs to Grom. Or are you going to let a few sparks keep you from uniting the kingdoms? He pulls back, clenching his teeth. His pockets are the only safe place for his hands at the moment. "Why don't I meet her then? You think that would make her feel better?" "Um." She swipes her hair to the other side of her face. Her expression falls somewhere between shock and expectation. And she had every right to expect it-he's been entertaining the idea of kissing her for over two weeks now. She fidgets the door handle. "Yeah, it might. She won't let me go anywhere-especially with you-if she doesn't meet you first." "Should I be afraid?" She sighs. "Normally I would say no. But after this morning..." She shrugs. "How about I follow you to your house so you can drop off your car? Then she can interrogate me. When she sees how charming I am, she'll let you ride to the beach with me." She rolls her eyes. "Just don't be too charming. If you're too smooth, she'll never believe-just don't overdue it, okay?" "This is getting complicated," he says, unlocking her car. "Just remember, this is your idea and your fault. Now would be the time to back out." He chuckles and opens the door for her. "Don't lose me on the road.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The silky swirl of his tongue in the hollow of her navel sent fire licking through her veins. Hazily aware of the area his mouth was traversing, she stirred beneath him. Not seeming to realize just where he was kissing her, Matthew persisted, sliding lower until Daisy let out a muffled yelp and pushed hard at his encroaching head. “What is it?” he asked, rising to his elbows. Crimson with mortification, Daisy could hardly bring herself to explain. “You were too close to my…well, you accidentally…” As her voice faded, understanding dawned in Matthew’s eyes. Quickly he bent his head to hide his expression, and a tremor ran through his shoulders. He replied with great care, still looking away from her. “It wasn’t accidental. I meant to do that.” Daisy was astonished. “But you were going to kiss me right on my—” She broke off as his gaze met hers, laughter dancing in his blue eyes. He wasn’t embarrassed at all—he was amused. “You’re not shocked, are you?” he asked. “I thought you were well read.” “Well, no one would ever write about something like that.” He shrugged, his eyes glowing. “You’re the literary authority.” “You’re making fun of me,” she said. “Just a little,” he whispered, and kissed her stomach again. Her legs jerked against his restraining hands.
Lisa Kleypas (Scandal in Spring (Wallflowers, #4))
A few days later, I found myself back in the cellar. But this time, I was involved in an activity way more fun than cataloging magic junk. “What happened to the promise of making out in castles?” I asked as Archer and I pulled back for a breather. I was leaning back against one of the shelves, my hands clutching Archer’s waist. Over his shoulder, there was a jar of eyeballs staring at me, and I nodded toward it. “Because, see, things like that? Kind of a mood killer.” He glanced at the jar and then turned back to me, waggling his eyebrows. “Really? I find it has the opposite effect.” Giggling, I elbowed him in the stomach and pushed myself off the shelf. “You’re sick.” He smiled and ducked his head to kiss me again, but I skirted around him. “Come on, Cross, we came down here for a reason, and it wasn’t fooling around.” Smirking, Archer folded his arms over his chest. “May not have been your reason, but-“ I cut him off. “No. Don’t distract me with your sexy talk. We need to search this place, and that spell Elodie did will only last so long.” Elodie had swooped into my body at the cellar door, doing a quick spell to unlock it. She hadn’t even looked at Archer, much less said anything. And the second the lock clicked open, she’d vanished. The smirk disappeared from Archer’s face, and he actually looked kind of sullen. “Are you honestly that bummed about not hooking up right now?” I teased. But he was deadly serious when he shook his head and said, “It’s not that. It’s Elodie.” “What about her?” Archer rolled his eyes. “I don’t know, Mercer. Maybe it’s that I’m not completely crazy about the ghost of my ex-girlfriend occasionally inhabiting the body of my current girlfriend.” I backed up another step and ran into another shelf. Something fell off and thunked against the dirt floor. “Whoa, I’m your girlfriend now?” Archer shrugged. “We’ve tried to kill each other, fought ghouls, and kissed a lot. I’m pretty sure we’re married in some cultures.” Now it was my turn to roll my eyes. “Whatever. Look, the fact of the matter is, I don’t have any magic right now. Elodie does. If her occasionally using me as her puppet means that I have powers again, then I’m fine with it. And you should be, too. My body, my ghost, and all that.
Rachel Hawkins (Spell Bound (Hex Hall, #3))
I really doubt my parents are going to let me stay the night in a remote cabin with a bunch of boys.” “Oh, please, Snow White, Mike’s dad’ll be there. He’s actually kinda funny…you know, in a weird dad kind of way. Don’t worry, your purity will remain intact. Scout’s honor.” She made some sort of gesture with her fingers that Violet assumed was supposed to be an oath, but since Chelsea had never actually been a Girl Scout, it ended up looking more like a peace sign. Or something. Violet maintained her dubious expression. But Chelsea wasn’t about to be discouraged, and she tried to be the voice of reason. “Come on, I think Jay’s checking to see if he can get the time off work. The least you can do is ask your parents. If they say no, then no harm, no foul, right? If they say yes, then we’ll have a kick-ass time. We’ll go hiking in the snow and hang out in front of the fireplace in the evening. We’ll sleep in sleeping bags and maybe even roast some marshmallows. It’ll be like we’re camping.” She beamed a superfake smile at Violet and clasped her hands together like she was begging. “Do it for me. Ple-eease.” Jules came back with their milk shake. It was strawberry, and Chelsea flashed Violet an I-told-you-so grin. Violet finished her tea, mulling over the idea of spending the weekend in a snowy cabin with Jay and Chelsea. Away from town. Away from whoever was leaving her dead animals and creepy notes. It did sound fun, and Violet did love the snow. And the woods. And Jay. She could at least ask. Like Chelsea said, No harm, no foul.
Kimberly Derting (Desires of the Dead (The Body Finder, #2))
But you know, the longer you listen to this abortion debate, the more you hear this phrase “sanctity of life”. You’ve heard that. Sanctity of life. You believe in it? Personally, I think it’s a bunch of shit. Well, I mean, life is sacred? Who said so? God? Hey, if you read history, you realize that God is one of the leading causes of death. Has been for thousands of years. Hindus, Muslims, Jews, Christians all taking turns killing each other ‘cause God told them it was a good idea. The sword of God, the blood of the land, vengeance is mine. Millions of dead motherfuckers. Millions of dead motherfuckers all because they gave the wrong answer to the God question. “You believe in God?” “No.” Boom. Dead. “You believe in God?” “Yes.” “You believe in my God? “No.” Boom. Dead. “My God has a bigger dick than your God!” Thousands of years. Thousands of years, and all the best wars, too. The bloodiest, most brutal wars fought, all based on religious hatred. Which is fine with me. Hey, any time a bunch of holy people want to kill each other I’m a happy guy. But don’t be giving me all this shit about the sanctity of life. I mean, even if there were such a thing, I don’t think it’s something you can blame on God. No, you know where the sanctity of life came from? We made it up. You know why? ‘Cause we’re alive. Self-interest. Living people have a strong interest in promoting the idea that somehow life is sacred. You don’t see Abbott and Costello running around, talking about this shit, do you? We’re not hearing a whole lot from Mussolini on the subject. What’s the latest from JFK? Not a goddamn thing. ‘Cause JFK, Mussolini and Abbott and Costello are fucking dead. They’re fucking dead. And dead people give less than a shit about the sanctity of life. Only living people care about it so the whole thing grows out of a completely biased point of view. It’s a self serving, man-made bullshit story. It’s one of these things we tell ourselves so we’ll feel noble. Life is sacred. Makes you feel noble. Well let me ask you this: if everything that ever lived is dead, and everything alive is gonna die, where does the sacred part come in? I’m having trouble with that. ‘Cuz, I mean, even with all this stuff we preach about the sanctity of life, we don’t practice it. We don’t practice it. Look at what we’d kill: Mosquitoes and flies. ‘Cause they’re pests. Lions and tigers. ‘Cause it’s fun! Chickens and pigs. ‘Cause we’re hungry. Pheasants and quails. ‘Cause it’s fun. And we’re hungry. And people. We kill people… ‘Cause they’re pests. And it’s fun! And you might have noticed something else. The sanctity of life doesn’t seem to apply to cancer cells, does it? You rarely see a bumper sticker that says “Save the tumors.”. Or “I brake for advanced melanoma.”. No, viruses, mold, mildew, maggots, fungus, weeds, E. Coli bacteria, the crabs. Nothing sacred about those things. So at best the sanctity of life is kind of a selective thing. We get to choose which forms of life we feel are sacred, and we get to kill the rest. Pretty neat deal, huh? You know how we got it? We made the whole fucking thing up! Made it up!
George Carlin (More Napalm and Silly Putty)
My God,” she says. “I feel like I’ve gone through a car wash.” I laugh, or force myself to, because it’s not something I’d normally laugh at. “What about you?” she says to Scottie. “How did you make out?” “I’m a boy,” Scottie says. “Look at me.” Sand has gotten into the bottom of her suit, creating a huge bulge. She scratches at the bulge. “I’m going to go to work now,” she says. I think she’s impersonating me and that Mrs. Speer is getting an unrealistic, humiliating glimpse. “Scottie,” I say. “Take that out.” “It must be fun to have girls,” Mrs. Speer says. She looks at the ocean, and I see that she’s looking at Alex sunbathing on the floating raft. Sid leans over Alex and puts his mouth to hers. She raises a hand to his head, and for a moment I forget it’s my daughter out there and think of how long it has been since I’ve been kissed or kissed like that. “Or maybe you have your hands full,” Mrs. Speer says. “No, no,” I say. “It’s great,” and it is, I suppose, though I feel like I’ve just acquired them and don’t know yet. “They’ve been together for ages.” I gesture to Alex and Sid. I don’t understand if they’re a couple or if this is how all kids in high school act these days. Mrs. Speer looks at me curiously, as if she’s about to say something, but she doesn’t. “And boys.” I gesture to her little dorks. “They must keep you busy.” “They’re a handful. But they’re at such a fun age. It’s such a joy.” She gazes out at her boys. Her expression does little to convince me that they’re such a joy. I wonder how many times parents have these dull conversations with one another and how much they must hide. They’re so goddamn hyper, I’d do anything to inject them with a horse tranquilizer. They keep insisting that I watch what they can do, but I truly don’t give a fuck. How hard is it to jump off a diving board? My girls are messed up, I want to say. One talks dirty to her own reflection. Did you do that when you were growing up? “Your girls seem great, too,” she says. “How old are they?” “Ten and eighteen. And yours?” “Ten and twelve.” “Oh,” I say. “Great.” “Your younger one sure is funny,” she says. “I mean, not funny. I meant entertaining.” “Oh, yeah. That’s Scottie. She’s a riot.
Kaui Hart Hemmings (The Descendants)
A lot of her songs were to do with Blake, which did not escape Mark’s attention. She told Mark that writing songs about him was cathartic and that ‘Back to Black’ summed up what had happened when their relationship had ended: Blake had gone back to his ex and Amy to black, or drinking and hard times. It was some of her most inspired writing because, for better or worse, she’d lived it. Mark and Amy inspired each other musically, each bringing out fresh ideas in the other. One day they decided to take a quick stroll around the neighbourhood because Amy wanted to buy Alex Clare a present. On the way back Amy began telling Mark about being with Blake, then not being with Blake and being with Alex instead. She told him about the time at my house after she’d been in hospital when everyone had been going on at her about her drinking. ‘You know they tried to make me go to rehab, and I told them, no, no, no.’ ‘That’s quite gimmicky,’ Mark replied. ‘It sounds hooky. You should go back to the studio and we should turn that into a song.’ Of course, Amy had written that line in one of her books ages ago. She’d told me before she was planning to write a song about what had happened that day, but that was the moment ‘Rehab’ came to life. Amy had also been working on a tune for the ‘hook’, but when she played it to Mark later that day it started out as a slow blues shuffle – it was like a twelve-bar blues progression. Mark suggested that she should think about doing a sixties girl-group sound, as she liked them so much. He also thought it would be fun to put in the Beatles-style E minor and A minor chords, which would give it a jangly feel. Amy was unaccustomed to this style – most of the songs she was writing were based around jazz chords – but it worked and that day she wrote ‘Rehab’ in just three hours. If you had sat Amy down with a pen and paper every day, she wouldn’t have written a song. But every now and then, something or someone turned the light on in her head and she wrote something brilliant. During that time it happened over and over again. The sessions in the studio became very intense and tiring, especially for Mark, who would sometimes work a double shift and then fall asleep. He would wake up with his head in Amy’s lap and she would be stroking his hair, as if he was a four-year-old. Mark was a few years older than Amy, but he told me he found her very motherly and kind.
Mitch Winehouse
Scared?” Terrified. “Of you? Nah. If you grow claws, I might get my sword, but I’ve fought you in your human shape.” It took all my will to shrug. “You aren’t that impressive.” He cleared the distance between us in a single leap. I barely had time to jump to my feet. Steel fingers grasped my left wrist. His left arm clasped my waist. I fought, but he outmuscled me with ridiculous ease, pulling me close as if to tango. “Curran! Let . . . “ I recognized the angle of his hip but I could do nothing about it. He pulled me forward and flipped me in a classic hip-toss throw. Textbook perfect. I flew through the air, guided by his hands, and landed on my back. The air burst from my lungs in a startled gasp. Ow. “Impressed yet?” he asked with a big smile. Playing. He was playing. Not a real fight. He could’ve slammed me down hard enough to break my neck. Instead he had held me to the end, to make sure I landed right. He leaned forward a little. “Big bad merc, down with a basic hip toss. In your place I’d be blushing.” I gasped, trying to draw air into my lungs. “I could kill you right now. It wouldn’t take much. I think I’m actually embarrassed on your behalf. At least do some magic or something.” As you wish. I gasped and spat my new power word. “Osanda.” Kneel, Your Majesty. He grunted like a man trying to lift a crushing weight that fell on his shoulders. His face shook with strain. Ha-ha. He wasn’t the only one who got a boost from a flare. I got up to my feet with some leisure. Curran stood locked, the muscles of his legs bulging his sweatpants. He didn’t kneel. He wouldn’t kneel. I hit him with a power word in the middle of a bloody flare and it didn’t work. When he snapped out of it, he would probably kill me. All sorts of alarms blared in my head. My good sense screamed, Get out of the room, stupid! Instead I stepped close to him and whispered in his ear, “Still not impressed.” His eyebrows came together, as a grimace claimed his face. He strained, the muscles on his hard frame trembling with effort. With a guttural sigh, he straightened. I beat a hasty retreat to the rear of the room, passing Slayer on the way. I wanted to swipe it so bad, my palm itched. But the rules of the game were clear: no claws, no saber. The second I picked up the sword, I’d have signed my own death warrant. He squared his shoulders. “Shall we continue?” “It would be my pleasure.” He started toward me. I waited, light on my feet, ready to leap aside. He was stronger than a pair of oxen, and he’d try to grapple. If he got ahold of me, it would be over. If all else failed, I could always try the window. A forty-foot drop was a small price to pay to get away from him. Curran grabbed at me. I twisted past him and kicked his knee from the side. It was a good solid kick; I’d turned into it. It would’ve broken the leg of any normal human. “Cute,” Curran said, grabbed my arm, and casually threw me across the room. I went airborne for a second, fell, rolled, and came to my feet to be greeted by Curran’s smug face. “You’re fun to play with. You make a good mouse.” Mouse? “I was always kind of partial to toy mice.” He smiled. “Sometimes they’re filled with catnip. It’s a nice bonus.” “I’m not filled with catnip.” “Let’s find out.” He squared his shoulders and headed in my direction. Houston, we have a problem. Judging by the look in his eyes, a kick to the face simply wouldn’t faze him. “I can stop you with one word,” I said. He swiped me into a bear hug and I got an intimate insight into how a nut feels just before the nutcracker crushes it to pieces. “Do,” he said. “Wedding.” All humor fled his eyes. He let go and just like that, the game was over.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Burns (Kate Daniels, #2))
Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert talks about this phenomenon in his 2006 book, Stumbling on Happiness. “The greatest achievement of the human brain is its ability to imagine objects and episodes that do not exist in the realm of the real,” he writes. “The frontal lobe—the last part of the human brain to evolve, the slowest to mature, and the first to deteriorate in old age—is a time machine that allows each of us to vacate the present and experience the future before it happens.” This time travel into the future—otherwise known as anticipation—accounts for a big chunk of the happiness gleaned from any event. As you look forward to something good that is about to happen, you experience some of the same joy you would in the moment. The major difference is that the joy can last much longer. Consider that ritual of opening presents on Christmas morning. The reality of it seldom takes more than an hour, but the anticipation of seeing the presents under the tree can stretch out the joy for weeks. One study by several Dutch researchers, published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life in 2010, found that vacationers were happier than people who didn’t take holiday trips. That finding is hardly surprising. What is surprising is the timing of the happiness boost. It didn’t come after the vacations, with tourists bathing in their post-trip glow. It didn’t even come through that strongly during the trips, as the joy of travel mingled with the stress of travel: jet lag, stomach woes, and train conductors giving garbled instructions over the loudspeaker. The happiness boost came before the trips, stretching out for as much as two months beforehand as the holiday goers imagined their excursions. A vision of little umbrella-sporting drinks can create the happiness rush of a mini vacation even in the midst of a rainy commute. On some level, people instinctively know this. In one study that Gilbert writes about, people were told they’d won a free dinner at a fancy French restaurant. When asked when they’d like to schedule the dinner, most people didn’t want to head over right then. They wanted to wait, on average, over a week—to savor the anticipation of their fine fare and to optimize their pleasure. The experiencing self seldom encounters pure bliss, but the anticipating self never has to go to the bathroom in the middle of a favorite band’s concert and is never cold from too much air conditioning in that theater showing the sequel to a favorite flick. Planning a few anchor events for a weekend guarantees you pleasure because—even if all goes wrong in the moment—you still will have derived some pleasure from the anticipation. I love spontaneity and embrace it when it happens, but I cannot bank my pleasure solely on it. If you wait until Saturday morning to make your plans for the weekend, you will spend a chunk of your Saturday working on such plans, rather than anticipating your fun. Hitting the weekend without a plan means you may not get to do what you want. You’ll use up energy in negotiations with other family members. You’ll start late and the museum will close when you’ve only been there an hour. Your favorite restaurant will be booked up—and even if, miraculously, you score a table, think of how much more you would have enjoyed the last few days knowing that you’d be eating those seared scallops on Saturday night!
Laura Vanderkam (What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off (A Penguin Special from Portfo lio))
Hey, Large,” Gabe says, flicking me with his towel. “Where you been all day?” “I’ve been around.” I look over at Peter, but he won’t meet my eyes. “I saw you guys on the slopes.” Darrell says, “Then why didn’t you holler at us? I wanted to show off my ollies for you.” Teasingly I say, “Well, I called Peter’s name, but I guess he didn’t hear me.” Peter finally looks me in the eyes. “Nope. I didn’t hear you.” His voice is cold and indifferent and so un-Peterlike, the smile fades from my face. Gabe and Darrell exchange looks like oooh and Gabe says to Peter, “We’re gonna head out to the hot tub,” and they trot off. Peter and I are left standing in the lobby, neither of us saying anything. I finally ask, “Are you mad at me or something?” “Why would I be mad?” And then it’s back to quiet again. I say, “You know, you’re the one who talked me into coming on this trip. The least you could do is talk to me.” “The least you could do was sit next to me on the bus!” he bursts out. My mouth hangs open. “Are you really that mad that I didn’t sit next to you on the bus?” Peter lets out an impatient breath of air. “Lara Jean, when you’re dating someone, there are just…certain things you do, okay? Like sit next to each other on a school trip. That’s pretty much expected.” “I just don’t see what the big deal is,” I say. How can he be this mad over such a tiny thing? “Forget it.” He turns like he’s going to leave, and I grab his sweatshirt sleeve. I don’t want to be in a fight with him; I just want it to be fun and light the way it always is with us. I want him to at least still be my friend. Especially now that we’re at the end. I say, “Come on, don’t be mad. I didn’t realize it was that big of a deal. I swear I’ll sit next to you on the way home, okay?” He purses his lips. “But do you get why I was pissed?” I nod back. “Mm-hmm.” “All right then, you should know that you missed out on mocha sugar donuts.” My mouth falls open. “How’d you get those? I thought the shop didn’t open that early!” “I went out and got them last night specifically for the bus ride,” Peter says. “For you and me.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
For example, there was a book that started out with four pictures: first there was a wind-up toy; then there was an automobile; then there was a boy riding a bicycle; then there was something else. And underneath each picture, it said "What makes it go?" I thought, I know what it is: They're going to talk about mechanics, how the springs work inside the toy; about chemistry, how the engine of an automobile works; and biology, about how the muscles work. It was the kind of thing my father would have talked about: "What makes it go? Everything goes because the sun is shining." And then we would have fun discussing it: "No, the toy goes becaues the spring is wound up, I would say. "How did the spring get would up" he would ask. "I wound it up" "And how did you get moving?" "From eating" "And food grows only because the sun is shining. So it's because the sun is shining that all these things are moving" That would get the concept across that motion is simply the transformation of the sun's power. I turned the page. The answer was, for the wind-up toy, "Energy makes it go." And for the boy on the bicycle, "Energy makes it go." For everything "Energy makes it go." Now that doesn't mean anything. Suppose it's "Wakalixes." That's the general principle: "Wakalixes makes it go." There is no knowledge coming in. The child doesn't learn anything; it's just a word What the should have done is to look at the wind-up toy, see that there are springs inside, learn about springs, learn about wheels, and never mind "energy". Later on, when the children know something about how the toy actually works, they can discuss the more general principles of energy. It is also not even true that "energy makes it go", because if it stops, you could say, "energy makes it stop" just as well. What they're talking about is concentrated energy being transformed into more dilute forms, which is a very subtle aspect of energy. Energy is neither increased nor decreased in these examples; it's just changed from one form to another. And when the things stop, the energy is changed into heat, into general chaos.
Richard P. Feynman (Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman/What Do You Care What Other People Think?)
It is often said that what most immediately sets English apart from other languages is the richness of its vocabulary. Webster’s Third New International Dictionary lists 450,000 words, and the revised Oxford English Dictionary has 615,000, but that is only part of the total. Technical and scientific terms would add millions more. Altogether, about 200,000 English words are in common use, more than in German (184,000) and far more than in French (a mere 100,000). The richness of the English vocabulary, and the wealth of available synonyms, means that English speakers can often draw shades of distinction unavailable to non-English speakers. The French, for instance, cannot distinguish between house and home, between mind and brain, between man and gentleman, between “I wrote” and “I have written.” The Spanish cannot differentiate a chairman from a president, and the Italians have no equivalent of wishful thinking. In Russia there are no native words for efficiency, challenge, engagement ring, have fun, or take care [all cited in The New York Times, June 18, 1989]. English, as Charlton Laird has noted, is the only language that has, or needs, books of synonyms like Roget’s Thesaurus. “Most speakers of other languages are not aware that such books exist” [The Miracle of Language, page 54]. On the other hand, other languages have facilities we lack. Both French and German can distinguish between knowledge that results from recognition (respectively connaître and kennen) and knowledge that results from understanding (savoir and wissen). Portuguese has words that differentiate between an interior angle and an exterior one. All the Romance languages can distinguish between something that leaks into and something that leaks out of. The Italians even have a word for the mark left on a table by a moist glass (culacino) while the Gaelic speakers of Scotland, not to be outdone, have a word for the itchiness that overcomes the upper lip just before taking a sip of whiskey. (Wouldn’t they just?) It’s sgriob. And we have nothing in English to match the Danish hygge (meaning “instantly satisfying and cozy”), the French sang-froid, the Russian glasnost, or the Spanish macho, so we must borrow the term from them or do without the sentiment. At the same time, some languages have words that we may be pleased to do without. The existence in German of a word like schadenfreude (taking delight in the misfortune of others) perhaps tells us as much about Teutonic sensitivity as it does about their neologistic versatility. Much the same could be said about the curious and monumentally unpronounceable Highland Scottish word sgiomlaireachd, which means “the habit of dropping in at mealtimes.” That surely conveys a world of information about the hazards of Highland life—not to mention the hazards of Highland orthography. Of
Bill Bryson (The Mother Tongue: English and How it Got that Way)
We're all so happy you're feeling better, Miss McIntosh. Looks like you still have a good bump on your noggin, though," she says in her childlike voice. Since there is no bump on my noggin, I take a little offense but decide to drop it. "Thanks, Mrs. Poindexter. It looks worse than it feels. Just a little tender." "Yeah, I'd say the door got the worst of it," he says beside me. Galen signs himself in on the unexcused tardy sheet below my name. When his arm brushes against mine, it feels like my blood's turned into boiling water. I turn to face him. My dreams really do not do him justice. Long black lashes, flawless olive skin, cut jaw like an Italian model, lips like-for the love of God, have some dignity, nitwit. He just made fun of you. I cross my arms and lift my chin. "You would know," I say. He grins, yanks my backpack from me, and walks out. Trying to ignore the waft of his scent as the door shuts, I look to Mrs. Poindexter, who giggles, shrugs, and pretends to sort some papers. The message is clear: He's your problem, but what a great problem to have. Has he charmed he sense out of the staff here, too? If he started stealing kids' lunch money, would they also giggle at that? I growl through clenched teeth and stomp out of the office. Galen is waiting for me right outside the door, and I almost barrel into him. He chuckles and catches my arm. "This is becoming a habit for you, I think." After I'm steady-after Galen steadies me, that is-I poke my finger into his chest and back him against the wall, which only makes him grin wider. "You...are...irritating...me," I tell him. "I noticed. I'll work on it." "You can start by giving me my backpack." "Nope." "Nope?" "Right-nope. I'm carrying it for you. It's the least I can do." "Well, can't argue with that, can I?" I reach around for it, but he moves to block me. "Galen, I don't want you to carry it. Now knock it off. I'm late for class." "I'm late for it too, remember?" Oh, that's right. I've let him distract me from my agenda. "Actually, I need to go back to the office." "No problem. I'll wait for you here, then I'll walk you to class." I pinch the bridge of my nose. "That's the thing. I'm changing my schedule. I won't be in your class anymore, so you really should just go. You're seriously violating Rule Numero Uno." He crosses his arms. "Why are you changing your schedule? Is it because of me?" "No." "Liar." "Sort of." "Emma-" "Look, I don't want you to take this personally. It's just that...well, something bad happens every time I'm around you." He raises a brow. "Are you sure it's me? I mean, from where I stood, it looked like your flip-flops-" "What were we arguing about anyway? We were arguing, right?" "You...you don't remember?" I shake my head. "Dr. Morton said I might have some short-term memory loss. I do remember being mad at you, though." He looks at me like I'm a criminal. "You're saying you don't remember anything I said. Anything you said." The way I cross my arms reminds me of my mother. "That's what I'm saying, yes." "You swear?" "If you're not going to tell me, then give me my backpack. I have a concussion, not broken arms. I'm not helpless." His smile could land him a cover shoot for any magazine in the country. "We were arguing about which beach you wanted me to take you to. We were going swimming after school." "Liar." With a capital L. Swimming-drowning-falls on my to-do list somewhere below giving birth to porcupines. "Oh, wait. You're right. We were arguing about when the Titanic actually sank. We had already agreed to go to my house to swim.
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
Now that is a sword,” Freddy said in awe as he went to look at an impressive saber hanging from the hat rack near the door. “Stay away from it,” she cautioned. “I’m sure it’s sharper than yours.” As usual, Freddy ignored her. “Just think what I could do with this,” he said as he lifted it off its hook. “So far I haven’t seen you do anything with a sword, my boy,” Oliver remarked dryly. “Though I shudder to think what your cousin would attempt.” Maria glared at Oliver, which only made him laugh. Meanwhile, Freddy unsheathed the saber with a flourish. “Curse it, Freddy, put it back,” Maria ordered. “What a fine piece of steel.” Freddy swished it through the air. “Even the one Uncle Adam gave me isn’t near so impressive.” Maria appealed to Oliver. “Do something, for pity’s sake. Make him stop.” “And get myself skewered for the effort? No, thank you. Let the pup have his fun.” Freddy cast him a belligerent glance. “You wouldn’t call me a pup if I came at you with this.” “No, I’d call you insane,” Oliver drawled. “But you’re welcome to try and see what happens.” Don’t encourage him,” Maria told Oliver. The door opened suddenly, and Freddy whirled with the sword in hand, knocking a lamp off the desk. As the glass chimney shattered, spilling oil in a wide arc, the wick lit the lot, and fire sprang to life. Maria jumped back with a cry of alarm while Oliver leaped out of his chair to stamp it out, first with his boots and then with his coat. A string of curses filled the air, most of them Oliver’s, though Freddy got in a few choice ones as the fire licked at his favorite trousers. When at last Oliver put the flames out and nothing was left but a charred circle on the wood floor, dotted with shards of glass, the three of them turned to the door to find a dark-haired man observing the scene with an expression that gave nothing away. “If you hoped to catch my attention,” he remarked, “you’ve succeeded.” “Mr. Pinter, I presume?” Oliver said, tossing his now ruined coat and singed gloves into a nearby rubbish pail. “I hope you’ll forgive us for the dramatic intrusion. I’m Stonevi-“ “I know who you are, my lord,” he interrupted. “It’s what you’re doing here setting fire to my office that I’m not certain of.
Sabrina Jeffries (The Truth About Lord Stoneville (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #1))
I’m okay. I think all this isolation, and all the extra security stuff, is just starting to wear on me. I’m going a little stir-crazy being cooped up all the time.” She tried to explain her sulky mood. “Especially with Homecoming this weekend. The idea of sitting around here, while everyone else is out having fun, just sucks.” He didn’t react the way she’d expected him to react. She’d expected some more sympathy, and maybe even some suggestive comments about the two of them being left alone together. What she didn’t expect was for him to smile at her. But he did. And it was his sideways smile, which told Violet that he knew something she didn’t. “What?” she demanded adamantly. He grinned. He was definitely keeping something from her. “Tell me!” she insisted, glowering at him. “I don’t know . . .” he teased her. “I’m not sure you deserve it.” She punched him in the arm for making her beg. “Please, just tell me.” He laughed at her. “Fine. I give up. Bully.” He pretended to rub his arm where she’d hit him. “What if I were to tell you that . . .”—he dragged it out, making her lean closer in anticipation, his crooked smile lighting up his face—“. . . we’re still going to the dance?” Violet was speechless. That wasn’t at all what she’d expected him to say. “Yeah, right,” she retorted cynically. “My parents barely let me go to school, let alone go to the dance.” “You’re right, they didn’t want you to go, but we talked about it, and even your uncle Stephen helped out. The football game was definitely out of the question; there are just too many people coming and going, and there’re no restrictions for getting in. But the dance is at school, in the gym. Only students and their dates can get in, and your uncle said he was already planning to have extra security there. So, as long as I promise to keep a close eye on you . . . which I do”—his voice suggested that the last part had nothing to do with keeping her safe, and Violet felt her cheeks flushing in response—“your parents have agreed to let you go.” She glanced down at her ankle, double-wrapped in Ace bandages, and completely useless. “But I can’t dance.” She felt crestfallen. He slid his finger beneath her shin and lifted it up so that she was staring into his eyes. “I don’t care at all if we dance. I just want to take my girlfriend”—his emphasis on the word gave her goose bumps, and she smiled—“to Homecoming.” They stayed there like that, with their eyes locked and unspoken meaning passing between them, for several long, electrifying moments. Violet was the first to break the spell. “Lissie’ll be there,” she stated in a voice that was devoid of any real jealousy. Jay shook his head, still gazing at her intently. “I won’t even notice her. I won’t be able to take my eyes off you.” Violet was glad she was already sitting, because his words made her feel weak and fluttery. The corner of her mouth twitched upward with satisfaction. “Not if I have any say in it, you won’t,” she answered.
Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1))
We're in her bedroom,and she's helping me write an essay about my guniea pig for French class. She's wearing soccer shorts with a cashmere sweater, and even though it's silly-looking, it's endearingly Meredith-appropriate. She's also doing crunches. For fun. "Good,but that's present tense," she says. "You aren't feeding Captain Jack carrot sticks right now." "Oh. Right." I jot something down, but I'm not thinking about verbs. I'm trying to figure out how to casually bring up Etienne. "Read it to me again. Ooo,and do your funny voice! That faux-French one your ordered cafe creme in the other day, at that new place with St. Clair." My bad French accent wasn't on purpose, but I jump on the opening. "You know, there's something,um,I've been wondering." I'm conscious of the illuminated sign above my head, flashing the obvious-I! LOVE! ETIENNE!-but push ahead anyway. "Why are he and Ellie still together? I mean they hardly see each other anymore. Right?" Mer pauses, mid-crunch,and...I'm caught. She knows I'm in love with him, too. But then I see her struggling to reply, and I realize she's as trapped in the drama as I am. She didn't even notice my odd tone of voice. "Yeah." She lowers herself slwoly back to the floor. "But it's not that simple. They've been together forever. They're practically an old married couple. And besides,they're both really...cautious." "Cautious?" "Yeah.You know.St. Clair doesn't rock the boat. And Ellie's the same way. It took her ages to choose a university, and then she still picked one that's only a few neighborhoods away. I mean, Parsons is a prestigious school and everything,but she chose it because it was familiar.And now with St. Clair's mom,I think he's afraid to lose anyone else.Meanwhile,she's not gonna break up with him,not while his mom has cancer. Even if it isn't a healthy relationship anymore." I click the clicky-button on top of my pen. Clickclickclickclick. "So you think they're unhappy?" She sighs. "Not unhappy,but...not happy either. Happy enough,I guess. Does that make sense?" And it does.Which I hate. Clickclickclickclick. It means I can't say anything to him, because I'd be risking our friendship. I have to keep acting like nothing has changed,that I don't feel anything ore for him than I feel for Josh.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
My, my,” Chloe murmured, studying the chocolate she held. “I do believe this one’s gone off. It stinks like a cesspit.” Her eyes lifted. “Oh, wait. It’s only the guttersnipe.” “Or perhaps it’s your perfume,” I said cordially. “You always smell like a whore.” “It’s French,” retorted Runny-Nose, before Chloe could speak. “Then she smells like a French whore.” “Aren’t you the eloquent young miss.” Chloe’s gaze cut to Sophia, standing close behind me. “Slumming, little sister? I can’t confess I’m surprised.” “I’m merely here for the show,” Sophia said breezily. “Something tells me it’s going to be good.” I took the brooch from my pocket and let it slide down my index finger, giving it a playful twirl. “A fine try. But, alas, no winner’s prize for you, Chloe. I’m sure you’ve been waiting here for Westcliffe to raise the alarm about her missing ring, ready with some well-rehearsed story about how you saw me sneaking into her office and sneaking out again, and oh, look isn’t that Eleanore’s brooch there on the floor? But I’ve news for you, dearie. You’re sloppy. You’re stupid. And the next time you go into my room and steal from me, I’ll make certain you regret it for the rest of your days.” “How dare you threaten me, you little tart!” “I’m not threatening. You have no idea how easy it would be to, say, pour glue on your hair while you sleep. Cut up all your pretty dresses into ribbons.” Chloe dropped her half-eaten chocolate back into its box, turning to her toadies. “You heard her! You all head her! When Westcliffe finds out about this-“ “I didn’t hear a thing,” piped up Sophia. “In fact, I do believe that Eleanore and I aren’t even here right now. We’re both off in my room, diligently studying.” She sauntered to my side, smiling. “And I’ll swear to that, sister. Without hesitation. I have no misgivings about calling you all liars right to Westcliffe’s face.” “What fun,” I said softly, into the hush. “Shall we give it a go? What d’you say, girls? Up for a bit of blood sport?” Chloe pushed to her feet, kicking the chocolates out of her way. All the toadies cringed. “You,” she sneered, her gaze scouring me. “You with your ridiculous clothing and that preposterous bracelet, acting as if you actually belong here! Really, Eleanore, I wonder that you’ve learned nothing of real use yet. Allow me to explain matters to you. You may have duped Sophia into vouching for you, but your word means nothing. You’re no one. No matter what you do here or who you may somehow manage to impress, you’ll always be no one. How perfectly sad that you’re allowed to pretend otherwise.” “I’m the one he wants,” I said evenly. “No one’s pretending that.” I didn’t have to say who. She stared at me, silent, her color high. I saw with interest that real tears began to well in her eyes. “That’s right.” I gave the barest smile. “Me, not you. Think about that tomorrow, when I’m with him on the yacht. Think about how he watches me. How he listens to me. Another stunt like this”-I held up the circlet-“and you’ll be shocked at what I’m able to convince him about you.” “As if you could,” she scoffed, but there was apprehension behind those tears. “Try me.” I brought my foot down on one of the chocolates, grinding it into a deep, greasy smear along the rug. “Cheerio,” I said to them all, and turned around and left.
Shana Abe (The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1))
WHEN I DESCRIBED THE TUMOR IN MY ESOPHAGUS as a “blind, emotionless alien,” I suppose that even I couldn’t help awarding it some of the qualities of a living thing. This at least I know to be a mistake: an instance of the pathetic fallacy (angry cloud, proud mountain, presumptuous little Beaujolais) by which we ascribe animate qualities to inanimate phenomena. To exist, a cancer needs a living organism, but it cannot ever become a living organism. Its whole malice—there I go again—lies in the fact that the “best” it can do is to die with its host. Either that or its host will find the measures with which to extirpate and outlive it. But, as I knew before I became ill, there are some people for whom this explanation is unsatisfying. To them, a rodent carcinoma really is a dedicated, conscious agent—a slow–acting suicide–murderer—on a consecrated mission from heaven. You haven’t lived, if I can put it like this, until you have read contributions such as this on the websites of the faithful: Who else feels Christopher Hitchens getting terminal throat cancer [sic] was God’s revenge for him using his voice to blaspheme him? Atheists like to ignore FACTS. They like to act like everything is a “coincidence.” Really? It’s just a “coincidence” [that] out of any part of his body, Christopher Hitchens got cancer in the one part of his body he used for blasphemy? Yeah, keep believing that, Atheists. He’s going to writhe in agony and pain and wither away to nothing and then die a horrible agonizing death, and THEN comes the real fun, when he’s sent to HELLFIRE forever to be tortured and set afire. There are numerous passages in holy scripture and religious tradition that for centuries made this kind of gloating into a mainstream belief. Long before it concerned me particularly I had understood the obvious objections. First, which mere primate is so damn sure that he can know the mind of god? Second, would this anonymous author want his views to be read by my unoffending children, who are also being given a hard time in their way, and by the same god? Third, why not a thunderbolt for yours truly, or something similarly awe–inspiring? The vengeful deity has a sadly depleted arsenal if all he can think of is exactly the cancer that my age and former “lifestyle” would suggest that I got. Fourth, why cancer at all? Almost all men get cancer of the prostate if they live long enough: It’s an undignified thing but quite evenly distributed among saints and sinners, believers and unbelievers. If you maintain that god awards the appropriate cancers, you must also account for the numbers of infants who contract leukemia. Devout persons have died young and in pain. Betrand Russell and Voltaire, by contrast, remained spry until the end, as many psychopathic criminals and tyrants have also done. These visitations, then, seem awfully random. My so far uncancerous throat, let me rush to assure my Christian correspondent above, is not at all the only organ with which I have blasphemed. And even if my voice goes before I do, I shall continue to write polemics against religious delusions, at least until it’s hello darkness my old friend. In which case, why not cancer of the brain? As a terrified, half–aware imbecile, I might even scream for a priest at the close of business, though I hereby state while I am still lucid that the entity thus humiliating itself would not in fact be “me.” (Bear this in mind, in case of any later rumors or fabrications.)
Christopher Hitchens (Mortality)
SPIEGEL: You have a lot of respect for the Dalai Lama, you even rewrote some Buddhist writings for him. Are you a religious person? Cleese: I certainly don't think much of organized religion. I am not committed to anything except the vague feeling that there is something more going on than the materialist reductionist people think. I think you can reduce suffering a little bit, like the Buddhists say, that is one of the few things I take seriously. But the idea that you can run this planet in a rational and kind way -- I think it's not possible. There will always be these sociopaths at the top -- selfish people, power-seekers who want to spend their whole lives seeking it. Robin Skynner, the psychiatrist that I wrote two books with, said to me that you could begin to enjoy life when you realized how bad the planet is, how hopeless everything is. I reached that point these last two or three years when I saw that our existence here is absolutely hopeless. I see the rich people have got a stranglehold on us. If somebody had said that to me when I was 20, I would have regarded him as a left-wing loony. SPIEGEL: You may not have been a left-wing loony, but you were happy to attack and ridicule the church. The "Life of Brian," the story of a young man in Judea who isn't Jesus Christ, but is nevertheless followed like a savior and crucified afterwards, was regarded as blasphemy when it was released in 1979. Cleese: Well there was a small number of people in country towns, all very conservative, who got upset and said, "You can't show the film." So people hired a coach and drove 15 miles to the next town and went to see the film there. But a lot of Christians said, "We got it, we know that the joke is not about religion, but about the way people follow religion." If Jesus saw the Spanish Inquisition I think he would have said, "What are you doing there?" SPIEGEL: These days Muslims and Islam are risky subjects. Do you think they are good issues for satire? Cleese: For sure. In 1982, Graham Chapman and I wrote a number of scenes for "The Meaning of Life" movie which had an ayatollah in them. This ayatollah was raging against all the evil inventions of the West, you know, like toilet paper. These scenes were never included in the film, although I thought they were much better than many other scenes that were included. And that's why I didn't do any more Python films: I didn't want to be outvoted any longer. But I wouldn't have made fun of the prophet. SPIEGEL: Why not? Cleese: How could you? How could you make fun of Jesus or Saint Francis of Assisi? They were wonderful human beings. People are only funny when they behave inappropriately, when they've been taken over by some egotistical emotion which they can't control and they become less human. SPIEGEL: Is there a difference between making fun of our side, so to speak, the Western, Christian side, and Islam? Cleese: There shouldn't be a difference. [SPIEGEL Interview with John Cleese: 'Satire Makes People Think' - 2015]
John Cleese
I’m really enjoying my solitude after feeling trapped by my family, friends and boyfriend. Just then I feel like making a resolution. A new year began six months ago but I feel like the time for change is now. No more whining about my pathetic life. I am going to change my life this very minute. Feeling as empowered as I felt when I read The Secret, I turn to reenter the hall. I know what I’ll do! Instead of listing all the things I’m going to do from this moment on, I’m going to list all the things I’m never going to do! I’ve always been unconventional (too unconventional if you ask my parents but I’ll save that account for later). I mentally begin to make my list of nevers. -I am never going to marry for money like Natasha just did. -I am never going to doubt my abilities again. -I am never going to… as I try to decide exactly what to resolve I spot an older lady wearing a bright red velvet churidar kurta. Yuck! I immediately know what my next resolution will be; I will never wear velvet. Even if it does become the most fashionable fabric ever (a highly unlikely phenomenon) I am quite enjoying my resolution making and am deciding what to resolve next when I notice Az and Raghav holding hands and smiling at each other. In that moment I know what my biggest resolve should be. -I will never have feelings for my best friend’s boyfriend. Or for any friend’s boyfriend, for that matter. That’s four resolutions down. Six more to go? Why not? It is 2012, after all. If the world really does end this year, at least I’ll go down knowing I completed ten resolutions. I don’t need to look too far to find my next resolution. Standing a few centimetres away, looking extremely uncomfortable as Rags and Az get more oblivious of his existence, is Deepak. -I will never stay in a relationship with someone I don’t love, I vow. Looking for inspiration for my next five resolutions, I try to observe everyone in the room. What catches my eye next is my cousin Mishka giggling uncontrollably while failing miserably at walking in a straight line. Why do people get completely trashed in public? It’s just so embarrassing and totally not worth it when you’re nursing a hangover the next day. I recoil as memories of a not so long ago night come rushing back to me. I still don’t know exactly what happened that night but the fragments that I do remember go something like this; dropping my Blackberry in the loo, picking it up and wiping it with my new Mango dress, falling flat on my face in the middle of the club twice, breaking my Nine West heels, kissing an ugly stranger (Az insists he was a drug dealer but I think she just says that to freak me out) at the bar and throwing up on the Bandra-Worli sea link from Az’s car. -I will never put myself in an embarrassing situation like that again. Ever. I usually vow to never drink so much when I’m lying in bed with a hangover the next day (just like 99% of the world) but this time I’m going to stick to my resolution. What should my next resolution be?
Anjali Kirpalani (Never Say Never)
Okay, so I shouldn't have fucked with her on the introduction thing. Writing nothing except, Saturday night. You and me. Driving lessons and hot sex ... in her notebook probably wasn't the smartest move. But I was itching to make Little Miss Perfecta stumble in her introduction of me. And stumbling she is. "Miss Ellis?" I watch in amusement as Perfection herself looks up at Peterson. Oh, she's good. This partner of mine knows how to hide her true emotions, something I recognize because I do it all the time. "Yes?" Brittany says, tilting her head and smiling like a beauty queen. I wonder if that smile has ever gotten her out of a speeding ticket. "It's your turn. Introduce Alex to the class." I lean an elbow on the lab table, waiting for an introduction she has to either make up or fess up she knows less than crap about me. She glances at my comfortable position and I can tell from her deer-in-the-headlights look I've stumped her. "This is Alejandro Fuentes," she starts, her voice hitching the slightest bit. My temper flares at the mention of my given name, but I keep a cool facade as she continues with a made-up introduction. "When he wasn't hanging out on street corners and harassing innocent people this summer, he toured the inside of jails around the city, if you know what I mean. And he has a secret desire nobody would ever guess." The room suddenly becomes quiet. Even Peterson straightens to attention. Hell, even I'm listening like the words coming out of Brittany's lying, pink-frosted lips are gospel. "His secret desire," she continues, "is to go to college and become a chemistry teacher, like you, Mrs. Peterson." Yeah, right. I look over at my friend Isa, who seems amused that a white girl isn't afraid of giving me smack in front of the entire class. Brittany flashes me a triumphant smile, thinking she's won this round. Guess again, gringa. I sit up in my chair while the class remains silent. "This is Brittany Ellis," I say, all eyes now focused on me. "This summer she went to the mall, bought new clothes so she could expand her wardrobe, and spent her daddy's money on plastic surgery to enhance her, ahem, assets." It might not be what she wrote, but it's probably close enough to the truth. Unlike her introduction of me. Chuckles come from mis cuates in the back of the class, and Brittany is as stiff as a board beside me, as if my words hurt her precious ego. Brittany Ellis is used to people fawning all over her and she could use a little wake-up call. I'm actually doing her a favor. Little does she know I'm not finished with her intro. "Her secret desire," I add, getting the same reaction as she did during her introduction, "is to date a Mexicano before she graduates." As expected, my words are met by comments and low whistles from the back of the room. "Way to go, Fuentes," my friend Lucky barks out. "I'll date you, mamacita, " another says. I give a high five to another Latino Blood named Marcus sitting behind me just as I catch Isa shaking her head as if I did something wrong. What? I'm just having a little fun with a rich girl from the north side. Brittany's gaze shifts from Colin to me. I take one look at Colin and with my eyes tell him game on. Colin's face instantly turns bright red, resembling a chile pepper. I have definitely invaded his territory.
Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry (Perfect Chemistry, #1))
Mr. Haverstrom closes the door, leaving Patrick and me alone in the hallway. Pat smiles slickly, leaning in toward me. I step back until I press against the wall. It’s uncomfortable—but not threatening. Mostly because in addition to racquetball I’ve practiced aikido for years. So if Patrick tries anything funny, he’s in for a very painful surprise. “Let’s be honest, Sarah: you know and I know the last thing you want to do is give a presentation in front of hundreds of people—your colleagues.” My heart tries to crawl into my throat. “So, how about this? You do the research portion, slides and such that I don’t really have time for, and I’ll take care of the presentation, giving you half the credit of course.” Of course. I’ve heard this song before—in school “group projects” where I, the quiet girl, did all the work, but the smoothest, loudest talker took all the glory. “I’ll get Haverstrom to agree on Saturday—I’m like a son to him,” Pat explains before leaning close enough that I can smell the garlic on his breath. “Let Big Pat take care of it. What do you say?” I say there’s a special place in hell for people who refer to themselves in the third person. But before I can respond, Willard’s firm, sure voice travels down the hall. “I think you should back off, Nolan. Sarah’s not just ‘up for it,’ she’ll be fantastic at it.” Pat waves his hand. “Quiet, midge—the adults are talking.” And the adrenaline comes rushing back, but this time it’s not anxiety-induced—it’s anger. Indignation. I push off the wall. “Don’t call him that.” “He doesn’t mind.” “I mind.” He stares at me with something akin to surprise. Then scoffs and turns to Willard. “You always let a woman fight your battles?” I take another step forward, forcing him to move back. “You think I can’t fight a battle because I’m a woman?” “No, I think you can’t fight a battle because you’re a woman who can barely string three words together if more than two people are in the room.” I’m not hurt by the observation. For the most part, it’s true. But not this time. I smile slowly, devilishly. Suddenly, I’m Cathy Linton come to life—headstrong and proud. “There are more than two people standing here right now. And I’ve got more than three words for you: fuck off, you arrogant, self-righteous swamp donkey.” His expression is almost funny. Like he can’t decide if he’s more shocked that I know the word fuck or that I said it out loud to him—and not in the good way. Then his face hardens and he points at me. “That’s what I get for trying to help your mute arse? Have fun making a fool of yourself.” I don’t blink until he’s down the stairs and gone. Willard slow-claps as he walks down the hall to me. “Swamp donkey?” I shrug. “It just came to me.” “Impressive.” Then he bows and kisses the back of my hand. “You were magnificent.” “Not half bad, right? It felt good.” “And you didn’t blush once.” I push my dark hair out of my face, laughing self-consciously. “Seems like I forget all about being nervous when I’m defending someone else.” Willard nods. “Good. And though I hate to be the twat who points it out, there’s something else you should probably start thinking about straight away.” “What’s that?” “The presentation in front of hundreds of people.” And just like that, the tight, sickly feeling washes back over me. So this is what doomed feels like. I lean against the wall. “Oh, broccoli balls.
Emma Chase (Royally Matched (Royally, #2))