Gear Up Quotes

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Anyone who knew Violet well could tell she was thinking hard, because her long hair was tied up in a ribbon to keep it out of her eyes. Violet had a real knack for inventing and building strange devices, so her brain was often filled with images of pulleys, levers, and gears, and she never wanted to be distracted by something as trivial as her hair.
Lemony Snicket (The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1))
Unnerved, Summerset moved quickly to the communication center. "Roarke, the lieutenant has just come in from outside. She wore no outer gear. She looks very bad." "Where is she?" "She's heading up. Roarke, I insulted her and...she apologized to me. Something must be done.
J.D. Robb (Conspiracy in Death (In Death, #8))
It wasn't aliens that first made us gear up for war; it was our fellow humans.
Rick Yancey (The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1))
Glass shattered, vampires roared, humans screamed. The noise battered at me, just as the tidal wave of scores of brains at high gear washed over me. When it began to taper off, I looked up into Eric's eyes. Incredibly, he was excited. He smiled at me. "I knew I'd get on top of you somehow," he said. Are you trying to make me mad so I'll forget how scared I am?" No, I'm just opportunistic." I wiggled, trying to get out from under him, and he said, "Oh, do that again. It felt great.
Charlaine Harris (Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse, #2))
As a bio major, I figured "free will" meant chemicals in your brain telling you what to do, the molecules bouncing around in a way that felt like choosing but was actually the dance of little gears--neurons and hormones bubbling up into decisions like clockwork. You don't use your body; it uses you.
Scott Westerfeld (Peeps (Peeps, #1))
If we take the time or courage to find out what people feel and think, and to listen to the heart of their story, we are capable of losing the narrowness of our preconceptions and the nitpicking manipulations in our brain, making us geared up to view the world, openly and with confidence. ("With confidence »)
Erik Pevernagie
The raft finally got here," he said. Calypso snorted. Her eyes might have been red, but it was hard to tell in the moonlight. "You just noticed?" "But if it only shows up for guys you like-" "Don't push your luck, Leo Valdez," she said. "I still hate you." "Okay." "And you are not coming back here," she insisted. "So don't give me any empty promises." "How about a full promise?" he said. "Because I'm definitely-" She grabbed his face and pulled him into a kiss, which effectively shut him up. For all his joking and flirting, Leo had never kissed a girl before. Well, sisterly pecks on the cheeck from Piper, but that didn't count. This was a real, full-contact kiss. If Leo had had gears and wires in his brain, they would've short-circuited. Calypso pushed him away. "That didn't happen." "Okay." His voice sounded an octave higher than usual.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (The Heroes of Olympus, #4))
Do you know what the name Astrid means?" He switched gears again and I was helpless to follow. "No." It means 'star'. That's what I think of you as, Abbey. One day I looked up, and there you were. A fiery spot of light surrounded by darkness. You make me feel like anything is possible.
Jessica Verday (The Hollow (The Hollow, #1))
But Harry . . . even if we had met and married three years ago, you’d still say it wasn’t enough time.” “You’re right. I can’t think of a single day of my life that wouldn’t have been improved with you in it.” “Darling,” she whispered, her fingertips coming up to stroke his jaw, “that’s lovely. Even more romantic than comparing me to watch parts.” Harry nipped at her finger. “Are you mocking me?” “Not at all,” Poppy said, smiling. “I know how you feel about gears and mechanisms.
Lisa Kleypas (Tempt Me at Twilight (The Hathaways, #3))
Crouched on the roof between BEx and Liz, I wasn't a girl who had just broken up with her boyfriend; I looked at my watch and check my gear instead of crying. I had a mission objective and not a broken heart.
Ally Carter (I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1))
What's the Nephilim motto again?" "'We are dust and shadows,'" said Ty, not looking up from his book. "Some of us are very handsome dust," Jace added, as the door flew open and Clary stuck her head in. "Come to the library," she announced. "The tentacle is starting to dissolve." "You drive me wild with your sexy talk," said Jace, pulling on his gear jacket. "Adults," said Kit, with some disgust, and stalked out of the room. To Emma's amusement, Ty and Livvy were instantly on their feet, following him.
Cassandra Clare (Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices, #2))
The mechanic had laid out two suits of their Martian-made light combat armour, a number of rifles and shotguns, and stacks of ammunition and explosives. “What,” Holden said, “is all this?” “You said to gear up for the drop.” “I meant, like, underwear and toothbrushes.
James S.A. Corey (Cibola Burn (The Expanse, #4))
I stomp toward her and point. I've SO had it with her. "That is SO not nice." You don't even talk like a queen." She glares at me. Nick raises an eyebrow at me. "You're a QUEEN?" I walk to the edge of the bed, stand just a few inches away from her. Power rolls off of her. "Okay, please refrain from your insidious comments, which are obviously geared to inflict harm upon my psyche. I do not appreciate it." Nick cracks up. "Well, you ARE the same Zara.
Carrie Jones (Entice (Need, #3))
We are the third world not because the sun rises on the West and sets in the East but because we have engaged the reverse gear and we are moving with jet like speed in the wrong direction -we must change this by rolling up our sleeves and working for the growth of our country.
Patrick L.O. Lumumba
Good. Now the first thing you do is press in the clutch and slide the gear into reverse." She placed his hand on the gear shift in the center of her car, and showed him how to move it up and down. "You know, you really shouldn't fondle that in front of me, Grace. It's cruel." "Julian! Do you mind? I'm only trying to show you how to shift my gears." He snorted. "I wish you'd shift my gears like that.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Fantasy Lover (Hunter Legends, #1))
Butch was quiet for a time. Then he said, "I think that's why I like Jane." "huh?" "When you look at her? You actually see her, and when's the last time that's happened for you?" V geared himself up, then stared hard into Butch's eyes. "I saw you. even though it was wrong. I saw you." Shit, he sounded sad. Sad and...lonely. Which made him want to change the subject.
J.R. Ward (Lover Unbound (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #5))
Listen up,” I said urgently. “It’s time to round up your gear. I’m gonna check in with Patrick, and then we’re getting the flock out of here.” Ha-ha.
James Patterson (Max (Maximum Ride, #5))
Nothing is therefore more dangerous than solitude. Our imagination, forced by its very nature to unfold, nourished by the fantastic visions of poetry, gives shape to a whole order of creatures of which we are the lowliest, and everything around us seems to be more glorious, everyone else more perfect...If, on the other hand, we can make up our minds to go about our daily tasks, resigned to our feelings, and hardships, we often find that, in spite of our meanderings and procrastinations, we have gone farther than quite a few others have gone with their sails unfurled and steering gear functioning.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I finally tracked down Derek. He was alone in the library, thumbing through a book. "Found you." I said on a sigh of relief. He turned. His lips curved in a quarter smile, gaze softening in a way that did something to my insides, made me pull up short, momentarily forgetting why I was there. "I-Is Simon around?" He blinked, then turned back to the shelf. "He's upstairs. He's really pissed about Andrew so that's probably that safest place for him until we're ready to go, or he'll say something to him we don't want said. You need him?" "Actually, m-maybe I should show you first." He glanced over his shoulder, frowning. "We found something." " Oh." He paused, like he was mentally shifting gears, then nodded and followed me out.
Kelley Armstrong (The Reckoning (Darkest Powers, #3))
Algebra applies to the clouds, the radiance of the star benefits the rose--no thinker would dare to say that the perfume of the hawthorn is useless to the constellations. Who could ever calculate the path of a molecule? How do we know that the creations of worlds are not determined by falling grains of sand? Who can understand the reciprocal ebb and flow of the infinitely great and the infinitely small, the echoing of causes in the abyss of being and the avalanches of creation? A mite has value; the small is great, the great is small. All is balanced in necessity; frightening vision for the mind. There are marvelous relations between beings and things, in this inexhaustible whole, from sun to grub, there is no scorn, each needs the other. Light does not carry terrestrial perfumes into the azure depths without knowing what it does with them; night distributes the stellar essence to the sleeping plants. Every bird that flies has the thread of the infinite in its claw. Germination includes the hatching of a meteor and the tap of a swallow's beak breaking the egg, and it guides the birth of the earthworm, and the advent of Socrates. Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has a greater view? Choose. A bit of mold is a pleiad of flowers; a nebula is an anthill of stars. The same promiscuity, and still more wonderful, between the things of the intellect and material things. Elements and principles are mingled, combined, espoused, multiplied one by another, to the point that the material world, and the moral world are brought into the same light. Phenomena are perpetually folded back on themselves. In the vast cosmic changes, universal life comes and goes in unknown quantities, rolling everything up in the invisible mystery of the emanations, using everything, losing no dream from any single sleep, sowing a microscopic animal here, crumbling a star there, oscillating and gyrating, making a force of light, and an element of thought, disseminated and indivisible dissolving all, that geometric point, the self; reducing everything to the soul-atom; making everything blossom into God; entangling from the highest to the lowest, all activities in the obscurity of a dizzying mechanism, linking the flight of an insect to the movement of the earth, subordinating--who knows, if only by the identity of the law--the evolutions of the comet in the firmament to the circling of the protozoa in the drop of water. A machine made of mind. Enormous gearing, whose first motor is the gnat, and whose last is the zodiac.
Victor Hugo (Les Misérables)
i mean talk about decadence," he declared, "how decadent can a society get? Look at it this way. This country's probably the psychiatric, psychoanalytical capital of the world. Old Freud himself could never've dreamed up a more devoted bunch of disciples than the population of the United States - isn't that right? Our whole damn culture is geared to it; it's the new religion; it's everybody's intellectual and spiritual sugar-tit. And for all that, look what happens when a man really does blow his top. Call the Troopers, get him out of sight quick, hustle him off and lock him up before he wakes the neighbors. Christ's sake, when it comes to any kind of showdown we're still in the Middle Ages. It's as if everybody'd made this tacit agreement to live in a state of total self-deception. The hell with reality! Let's have a whole bunch of cute little winding roads and cute little houses painted white and pink and baby blue; let's all be good consumers and have a lot of Togetherness and bring our children up in a bath of sentimentality -- and if old reality ever does pop out and say Boo we'll all get busy and pretend it never happened.
Richard Yates (Revolutionary Road)
Watching you two frustrate each other cracks me up," he snorted, putting the car into gear. "Don't do it and I'm guaranteed lots of laughs! How crazy is it: a werewolfrevving high and the human who wants him watches him date her friend!" ~ Max
Shannon Delany
Gear up, Warrior Princess. We've got some adventuring to do.
Rachel Caine (Bitter Blood (The Morganville Vampires, #13))
Destiny was a machine built over time, each choice that you made in life adding another gear, another conveyor belt, another assemblyman. Where you ended up was the product that was spit out at the end—and there was no going back for a redo. You couldn‟t take a peek at what you‟d manufactured and decide, Oh, wait, I wanted to make sewing machines instead of machine guns; let me go back to the beginning and start again. One shot. That was all you got.
J.R. Ward (Crave (Fallen Angels, #2))
Why is it so important to have fun? Because if you love your work (or your activism or your family time), then you’ll want to do more of it. You’ll think about it before you go to sleep and as soon as you wake up; your mind is always in gear. When you’re that engaged, you’ll run circles around other people even if they are more naturally talented. From what we’ve seen personally, the best predictor of success among young economists and journalists is whether they absolutely love what they do. If they approach their job like—well, a job—they aren’t likely to thrive. But if they’ve somehow convinced themselves that running regressions or interviewing strangers is the funnest thing in the world, you know they have a shot.
Steven D. Levitt (Think Like a Freak)
You didn't wake up, your dreams just changed gear.
Ben Elton (Blast from the Past)
...the Beatles were hard men too. Brian Epstein cleaned them up for mass consumption, but they were anything but sissies. They were from Liverpool, which is like Hamburg or Norfolk, Virginia--a hard, sea-farin' town, all these dockers and sailors around all the time who would beat the piss out of you if you so much as winked at them. Ringo's from the Dingle, which is like the f***ing Bronx. The Rolling Stones were the mummy's boys--they were all college students from the outskirts of London. They went to starve in London, but it was by choice, to give themselves some sort of aura of disrespectability. I did like the Stones, but they were never anywhere near the Beatles--not for humour, not for originality, not for songs, not for presentation. All they had was Mick Jagger dancing about. Fair enough, the Stones made great records, but they were always s**t on stage, whereas the Beatles were the gear.
Lemmy Kilmister (White Line Fever: The Autobiography)
A big seizure just kind of grabs the inside of your skull and squeezes. It feels as if it's twisting and turning your brain all up and down and inside out. Have you ever heard a washing machine suddenly flip into that bang-bang-bang sound when it gets out of balance, or a chain saw when the chain breaks and gets caught up in the gears, or an animal like a cat, screeching in pain? Those are what seizures felt like when I was little.
Terry Trueman (Stuck in Neutral)
We were young and thought we were invincible and we threw ourselves into the gears of history and it ground us up.
Ian McDonald (The Dervish House)
It adds up, but I deem it all necessary, even the camera gear. I enjoy photographing the otherworldly colors and shapes presented in the convoluted depths of slot canyons and the prehistoric artwork preserved in their alcoves.
Aron Ralston (Between a Rock and a Hard Place)
Children woke up at six-thirty in the morning and shifted directly into fourth gear. Fourteen hours later they rushed straight into sleep at more than a hundred miles an hour without decelerating.
Peter Høeg (The Quiet Girl)
To those who hadn't been around Violet long, nothing would have seemed unusual, but those who knew her well knew that when she tied her hair up in a ribbon to keep it out of her eyes, it meant that the gears and levers of her inventing brain were whirring at top speed.
Lemony Snicket (The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1))
I should have written you a letter, it was too late to make the deaths of my brothers an excuse. Since they died, I wrote a book; why not a letter? A mysterious but truthful answer is that while I can gear myself up to do a novel, letters, real-life communications, are too much for me. I used to rattle them off easily enough; why is the challenge of writing to friends and acquaintances too much for me now? Because I have become such a solitary, and not in the Aristotelian sense: not a beast, not a god. Rather, a loner troubled by longings, incapable of finding a suitable language and despairing at the impossibility of composing messages in a playable key--as if I no longer understood the codes used by the estimable people who wanted to hear from me and would have so much to reply if only the impediments were taken away.
Saul Bellow
Of course, even when you see the world as a trap and posit a fundamental separation between liberation of self and transformation of society, you can still feel a compassionate impulse to help its suffering beings. In that case you tend to view the personal and the political in a sequential fashion. "I'll get enlightened first, and then I'll engage in social action." Those who are not engaged in spiritual pursuits put it differently: "I'll get my head straight first, I'll get psychoanalyzed, I'll overcome my inhibitions or neuroses or my hang-ups (whatever description you give to samsara) and then I'll wade into the fray." Presupposing that world and self are essentially separate, they imagine they can heal one before healing the other. This stance conveys the impression that human consciousness inhabits some haven, or locker-room, independent of the collective situation -- and then trots onto the playing field when it is geared up and ready. It is my experience that the world itself has a role to play in our liberation. Its very pressures, pains, and risks can wake us up -- release us from the bonds of ego and guide us home to our vast, true nature. For some of us, our love of the world is so passionate that we cannot ask it to wait until we are enlightened.
Joanna Macy (World as Lover, World as Self)
C’mon, Devyn, move already. You’re like watching ice freeze. You keep this pace up and my grandkids will be able to finish the game for you. (Young Adron) Shut the fuck up, Adron, I’m thinking. (Young Devyn) Yeah, I can see the smoke coming out of your ears. What? You strip a gear or something trying to think? Want me to call Vik over to take your turn for you? (Young Adron)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (In Other Worlds (The League: Nemesis Rising, #3.5; Were-Hunter, #0.5; The League: Nemesis Legacy, #2))
Minnesotans who bought scenic art usually avoided winter scenes. Hannah didn't find that surprising. Minnesota winters were long. Why would they want to buy a painting that would constantly remind them of the bone-chilling cold, the heavy snow that had to be shoveled, and the necessity of dressing up in survival gear to do nothing more than take out the garbage?
Joanne Fluke (Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #1))
Someone should write an erudite essay on the moral, physical, and esthetic effect of the Model T Ford on the American nation. Two generations of Americans knew more about the Ford coil than the clitoris, about the planetary system of gears than the solar system of stars. With the Model T, part of the concept of private property disappeared. Pliers ceased to be privately owned and a tire pump belonged to the last man who had picked it up. Most of the babies of the period were conceived in Model T Fords and not a few were born in them. The theory of the Anglo Saxon home became so warped that it never quite recovered.
John Steinbeck
Emma whirled and looked up. Someone stood at the top of the stairs: a young Shadowhunter with dark hair, a gleaming chakhram still in his right hand. Several others were hooked to his weapons belt. In the red light of the demon towers he seemed to glow- a tall, thin figure in dark gear against the darker black of night, the Accords Hall rising like a pale moon behind him. “Brother Zachariah?” said Helen in amazement.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
And there are certain moments in your life when something becomes clear, and other things in the past - things that your mind, unbeknownst to you, had earmarked because they didn't quite add up - suddenly all click into place, like small gears in a watch.
Bridget Asher (The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted)
Hamlet's Cat's Soliloquy "To go outside, and there perchance to stay Or to remain within: that is the question: Whether 'tis better for a cat to suffer The cuffs and buffets of inclement weather That Nature rains on those who roam abroad, Or take a nap upon a scrap of carpet, And so by dozing melt the solid hours That clog the clock's bright gears with sullen time And stall the dinner bell. To sit, to stare Outdoors, and by a stare to seem to state A wish to venture forth without delay, Then when the portal's opened up, to stand As if transfixed by doubt. To prowl; to sleep; To choose not knowing when we may once more Our readmittance gain: aye, there's the hairball; For if a paw were shaped to turn a knob, Or work a lock or slip a window-catch, And going out and coming in were made As simple as the breaking of a bowl, What cat would bear the houselhold's petty plagues, The cook's well-practiced kicks, the butler's broom, The infant's careless pokes, the tickled ears, The trampled tail, and all the daily shocks That fur is heir to, when, of his own will, He might his exodus or entrance make With a mere mitten? Who would spaniels fear, Or strays trespassing from a neighbor's yard, But that the dread of our unheeded cries And scraches at a barricaded door No claw can open up, dispels our nerve And makes us rather bear our humans' faults Than run away to unguessed miseries? Thus caution doth make house cats of us all; And thus the bristling hair of resolution Is softened up with the pale brush of thought, And since our choices hinge on weighty things, We pause upon the threshold of decision.
Henry N. Beard (Poetry for Cats: The Definitive Anthology of Distinguished Feline Verse)
Hi there...Let me ask you a question...How would you find a needle in a haystack?" The first-grader pauses, pensive, tugging on the green yarn around her neck. She's really thinking this over. Tiny gears are turning; she's twisting her fingers together, pondering. It's cute. Finally she looks up and says gravely, "I would ask the hays to find it." ... Yes, of course. She's a genius! ... It's so simple. Of course, of course. The first-grader is right. It's easy to find a needle in a haystack! Ask the hays to find it!
Robin Sloan (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore (Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, #1))
A ring-whorled prow rode in the harbour, ice-clad, outbound, a craft for a prince. They stretched their beloved lord in his boat, laid out by the mast, amidships, the great ring-giver. Far fetched treasures were piled upon him, and precious gear. I have never heard before of a ship so well furbished with battle tackle, bladed weapons and coats of mail. The massed treasure was loaded on top of him: it would travel far on out into the ocean's sway. They decked his body no less bountifully with offerings than those first ones did who cast him away when he was a child and launched him alone over the waves. And they set a gold standard up high above his head and let him drift to wind and tide, bewailing him and mourning their loss. No man can tell, no wise man in hall or weathered veteran knows for certain who salvaged that load.
Seamus Heaney (Beowulf)
As they prepared themselves to go ashore no one doubted in theory that at least a certain percentage of them would remain on the island dead, once they set foot on it. But no one expected to be one of these. Still it was an awesome thought and as the first contingents came struggling up on deck in full gear to form up, all eyes instinctively sought out immediately this island where they were to be put, and left, and which might possibly turn out to be a friend's grave.
James Jones (The Thin Red Line)
SCENE: Apollo jogs along the beachfront, shooting arrows backwards from his golden bow. He's followed by campers dressed in combat gear, jogging in military formation. APOLLO: I don't know but I've been told! CAMPERS: We don't know but we've been told! APOLLO: The sun god's got a bow of gold! CAMPERS: The sun god's got a bow of gold! APOLLO: He's the best shot in the land! CAMPERS: He's the best shot in the land! APOLLO: Augh! [Apollo trips and lands on his backside] I've fallen in the sand! CAMPERS [jogging circles around him]: Augh! He's fallen in the sand! APOLLO: I meant to do that, so don't laugh! CAMPERS: He meant to do that, so don't laugh! APOLLO [tries to get up but falls back again]: Ow! I hurt my godly calf! CAMPERS: Ow! He hurt his godly calf! APOLLO [glowering and starting to glow]: If you want to live another day ... CAMPERS: If we want to live another day ... APOLLO [radiating brighter]: STOP REPEATING WHAT I SAY! CAMPERS: STOP - um... - Military cadence written, chanted and abruptly ended by Apollo Best. Scene. Ever. - P. J.
Rick Riordan (Camp Half-Blood Confidential (The Trials of Apollo, #2.5))
Like a bee in a flower bed, the human brain naturally flits from one thought to the next. In the high-speed workplace, where data and headlines come thick and fast, we are all under pressure to think quickly. Reaction, rather than reflection, is the order of the day. To make the most of our time, and to avoid boredom, we fill up every spare moment with mental stimulation…Keeping the mind active makes poor use of our most precious resource. True, the brain can work wonders in high gear. But it will do so much more if given the chance to slow down from time to time. Shifting the mind into lower gear can bring better health, inner calm, enhanced concentration and the ability to think more creatively.
Carl Honoré (In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed)
This, of course, is the big dance of capitalism: how to keep morality from gumming up the gears of profit, how to convince people to make bad decisions without seeing them as bad.
Steve Almond (Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto)
Time can play all sorts of tricks on you. In the blink of an eye, babies appear in carriages, coffins disappear into the ground, wars are won and lost, and children transform, like butterflies, into adults. That's what happened to me. Once upon a time, I was a boy named Hugo Cabret, and I desperately believed that a broken automaton would save my life. Now that my cocoon has fallen away and I have emerged as a magician named Professor Alcofrisbas, I can look back and see that I was right. The automaton my father discovered did save me. But now I have built a new automaton. I spent countless hours designing it. I made every gear myself, carefully cut every brass disk, and fashioned every bt of machinery with my own hands. When you wind it up, it can do something I'm sure no other automaton in the world can do. It can tel you the incredible story of Georges Melies, his wife, their goddaughter, and a beloved clock maker whose son grew up to be a magician. The complicated machinery inside my automaton can produce one-hundred and fifty-eight different pictures, and it can wrote, letter, by letter, an entire book, twenty-six thousand one hundred and fifty-nine words. These words. THE END
Brian Selznick (The Invention of Hugo Cabret)
Where is the happiness, the sunshine, where are those thick skittles of wood which crashed and bounced so nicely, where is my bicycle with the low handlebars and the big gear? It seems there's a law which says that nothing ever vanishes, that matter is indestructible; therefore the chips from my skittles and the spokes of my bicycle still exist somewhere to this day. The pity of it is that I'll never find them again - never.
Vladimir Nabokov (Mary)
I like having plans. I like keeping them. Even if said plan is to spend an uninterrupted hour watching Friday Night Lights. If I pass the day excited about solo time on the couch with a glass of wine, pad thai, and Tim Riggins, it's hard to shift gears and muster up enthusiasm for an invitation when it comes my way.
Rachel Bertsche (MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search For A New Best Friend)
I knew exactly what was about to happen. It was part of this pathetic cycle my dad was caught in. He'd get really passionate about some project, talk about ir nonstop for months. Then, inevitably, some tiny problem would crop up and throw sand in the gears and instead of dealing with it he'd let it completely overwhelm it.
Ransom Riggs (Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children, #1))
The door opened a crack, and then Lassiter, in his game gear, stepped inside the room. As he held something out, Mary couldn’t see what it was— Wait a minute, was that a Snickers bar? “What are you doing?” she blurted as he cautiously approached. The beast snapped to attention, its jowls curling up in a snarl at the angel. But Lassiter was undaunted—so not a shocker. “Here,” he said. “Have a Snickers. You’re not yourself when you’re hangry.” There was a heartbeat of a pause. And then she couldn’t help it. She had to start laughing. “Really. Really?
J.R. Ward (Blood Vow (Black Dagger Legacy, #2))
The raft finally got here,” he said. Calypso snorted. Her eyes might have been red, but it was hard to tell in the moonlight. “You just noticed?” “But if it only shows up for guys you like—” “Don’t push your luck, Leo Valdez,” she said. “I still hate you.” “Okay.” “And you are not coming back here,” she insisted. “So don’t give me any empty promises.” “How about a full promise?” he said. “Because I’m definitely—” She grabbed his face and pulled him into a kiss, which effectively shut him up. For all his joking and flirting, Leo had never kissed a girl before. Well, sisterly pecks on the cheek from Piper, but that didn’t count. This was a real, full-contact kiss. If Leo had had gears and wires in his brain, they would’ve short-circuited. Calypso pushed him away. “That didn’t happen.” “Okay.” His voice sounded an octave higher than usual. “Get out of here.” “Okay.” She turned, wiping her eyes furiously, and stormed up the beach, the breeze tousling her hair. Leo wanted to call to her, but the sail caught the full force of the wind, and the raft cleared the beach. He struggled to align the guidance console. By the time Leo looked back, the island of Ogygia was a dark line in the distance, their campfire pulsing like a tiny orange heart. His lips still tingled from the kiss. That didn’t happen, he told himself. I can’t be in love with an immortal girl. She definitely can’t be in love with me. Not possible. As his raft skimmed over the water, taking him back to the mortal world, he understood a line from the Prophecy better—an oath to keep with a final breath. He understood how dangerous oaths could be. But Leo didn’t care. “I’m coming back for you, Calypso,” he said to the night wind. “I swear it on the River Styx.
Rick Riordan (The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, #4))
A cask of whisky slipped from the hoisting gear, broke on the roof of a transit shed, and poured all over MacRae. He's ready to murder someone - which is why I brought him up here to you." Despite her concern, Merritt let out a snort of laughter. "Luke Marsden, are you planning to hide behind my skirts while I confront the big, mean Scotsman?" "Absolutely," he said without hesitation. "You like them big and mean.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Disguise (The Ravenels, #7))
The door opened a crack, and then Lassiter, in his game gear, stepped inside the room. As he held something out, Mary couldn’t see what it was— Wait a minute, was that a Snickers bar? “What are you doing?” she blurted as he cautiously approached. The beast snapped to attention, its jowls curling up in a snarl at the angel. But Lassiter was undaunted—so not a shocker. “Here,” he said. “Have a Snickers. You’re not yourself when you’re hangry.
J.R. Ward (Blood Vow (Black Dagger Legacy, #2))
They were both lean and blond and weather-beaten, and one evening, as they were portaging gear from their respective Zodiacs, Libby unzipped her survival suit and tied the sleeves around her waist so she could move more freely. Nate said, "You look good in that." No one, absolutely no one, looks good in a survival suit (unless a Day-Glo orange marshmallow man is your idea of a hot date), but Libby didn't even make the effort to roll her eyes. "I have vodka and a shower in my cabin," she said. "I have a shower in my cabin, too," Nate said. Libby just shook her head and trudged up the path to the lodge. Over her shoulder she called, "In five minutes, there's going to be a naked woman in my shower. You got one of those?" "Oh," said Nate.
Christopher Moore (Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings)
To this day, when I hear people judge students on the basis of their test scores, I think of my sleep-deprived African-American classmates as we geared up to take English or math tests together. We may have been equal before God, but I had three more hours of sleep, vastly more time to prepare, and many more resources at my disposal than those who were part of the busing program.
Samantha Power (The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir)
It's the strangest feeling at the end of pregnancy: you look down at this huge belly and try to imagine how some little person, whom you haven't even met, is going to emerge from it any day and completely change your lives. First, you wonder how this pregnancy, to which you've grown so accustomed over much of the last year, can, with barely any notice, come to an abrupt end. Then you try to fathom how this baby is ever going to come out; your bowling ball stomach seems misproportioned for what lies between it and the outside world. And only then do you realize what it all means-that the easy part, pregnancy, is almost over, and it's time to gear up for the tough stuff: childbirth!
Lise Eliot (What's Going On in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life)
Gopnik has tested this hypothesis on children in her lab and has found that there are learning problems that four-year-olds are better at solving than adults. These are precisely the kinds of problems that require thinking outside the box, those times when experience hobbles rather than greases the gears of problem solving, often because the problem is so novel. In one experiment, she presented children with a toy box that lights up and plays music when a certain kind of block is placed on top of it. Normally, this “blicket detector” is set to respond to a single block of a certain color or shape, but when the experimenter reprograms the machine so that it responds only when two blocks are placed on it, four-year-olds figure it out much faster than adults do.
Michael Pollan (How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence)
The Legions have a long tradition, boys. You march hard and fast and show up in places where no one expects you—and then you go to work.” He grinned. “And you do it all carrying a hundred pounds of gear made by whoever did it for the least coin—but every one of those slives gets paid better than you! It’s tradition!
Jim Butcher (First Lord's Fury (Codex Alera, #6))
So, you take no prisoners, huh?’ Flynn leaned in close. Her pulse clicked up a gear at the deliberate invasion of her personal space. ‘No, sweetie. We take prisoners, of the short, female variety. We just don’t fight fair when we catch ‘em.
Fiona Archer (Chloe's Double Draw (King's Bluff, Wyoming #1))
I peer through the spectral, polluted, nicotine-sodden windows of my sock at these old lollopers in their kiddie gear. Go home, I say. Go home, lie down, and eat lots of potatoes. I had three handjobs yesterday. None was easy. Sometimes you really have to buckle down to it, as you do with all forms of exercise. It's simply a question of willpower. Anyone who's got the balls to stand there and tell me that a handjob isn't exercise just doesn't know what he's talking about. I almost had a heart-attack during number three. I take all kinds of other exercise too. I walk up and down the stairs. I climb into cabs and restaurant booths. I hike to the Butcher's Arms and the London Apprentice. I cough a lot. I throw up pretty frequently, which really takes it out of you. I sneeze, and hit the tub and the can. I get in and out of bed, often several times a day.
Martin Amis (Money)
One of the reasons clutter eats away at us is because we have to search for something just to find out whether it’s even there, and many times, no matter how much we search, we cannot seem to find what we are looking for. When we have reduced the amount we own and store our documents all in the same place, we can tell at a glance whether we have it or not. If it’s gone, we can shift gears immediately and start thinking about what to do.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing (Magic Cleaning #1))
Is growin' up always miserable?" Sonny asked. "Nobody seems to enjoy it much." "Oh, it ain't necessarily misearble," Sam replied. "About eighty percent of the time, I guess." They were silent again, Sam the Lion thinking of the lovely, spritely girl he had once led into the water, right there, where they were sitting. "We ought to go to a real fishin' tank next year," Sam said finally. "It don't do to think about things like that too much. If she were here now I'd probably be crazy again in about five minutes. Ain't that ridiculous?" A half-hour later, when they had gathered up the gear and were on the way to town, he answered his own question. "It ain't really, " he said. "Being crazy about a woman like her's always the right thing to do. Being a decrepit old bag of bones is what's ridiculous.
Larry McMurtry (The Last Picture Show)
Everything tends towards catastrophe and collapse. I am interested, geared up and happy. Is it not horrible to be built like that?
Winston S. Churchill
The best fiction is geared toward conflict. We learn most about our characters through tension, when they are put up against insurmountable obstacles. This is true in real life.
Sufjan Stevens
When I was in London in 2008, I spent a couple hours hanging out at a pub with a couple of blokes who were drinking away the afternoon in preparation for going to that evening's Arsenal game/riot. Take away their Cockney accents, and these working-class guys might as well have been a couple of Bubbas gearing up for the Alabama-Auburn game. They were, in a phrase, British rednecks. And this is who soccer fans are, everywhere in the world except among the college-educated American elite. In Rio or Rome, the soccer fan is a Regular José or a Regular Giuseppe. [...] By contrast, if an American is that kind of Regular Joe, he doesn't watch soccer. He watches the NFL or bass fishing tournaments or Ultimate Fighting. In an American context, avid soccer fandom is almost exclusively located among two groups of people (a) foreigners—God bless 'em—and (b) pretentious yuppie snobs. Which is to say, conservatives don't hate soccer because we hate brown people. We hate soccer because we hate liberals.
Robert Stacy McCain
I also hate cyclists posing in sunglasses and all the pro gear, thinking they’re cool when they couldn’t even pedal up the modest slope of Yang-teh Boulevard. You know the type: guy with a bulging gut who parks his expensive bike by the side of the road to show it off. Whenever I see a guy like that, I hope his chain falls off. Or that he gets a flat or a broken spoke.
Wu Ming-Yi (The Stolen Bicycle)
He reaches for a few strands of my hair, twining them around his finger. “You busy later?” “I was supposed to go to a meet-and-greet in Fairport with Mom, but I told her I needed to study for SATs.” “She believed this? It’s summer, Sam.” “Nan’s got me signed up for this crazy prep simulation. And . . . I might have told Mom when she was a little distracted.” “But not intentionally, of course.” “Of course not,” I say. “So if I were to come see you after eight, you’d be studying.” “Absolutely. But I might want a . . . study buddy. Because I might be grappling with some really tough problems.” “Grappling, huh?” “Tussling with,” I say. “Wrestling. Handling.” “Gotcha. Sounds like I should bring protective gear to study with you.” Jase grins at me. “You’re pretty tough. You’ll be fine.
Huntley Fitzpatrick (My Life Next Door)
Clear night, thumb-top of a moon, a back-lit sky. Moon-fingers lay down their same routine On the side deck and the threshold, the white keys and the black keys. Bird hush and bird song. A cassia flower falls. I want to be bruised by God. I want to be strung up in a strong light and singled out. I want to be stretched, like music wrung from a dropped seed. I want to be entered and picked clean. And the wind says “What?” to me. And the castor beans, with their little earrings of death, say “What?” to me. And the stars start out on their cold slide through the dark. And the gears notch and the engines wheel.
Charles Wright
In a world where anybody can find anything with just a few keystrokes, intermediaries like salespeople are superfluous. They merely muck up the gears of commerce and make transactions slower and more expensive.
Daniel H. Pink (To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Persuading, Convincing, and Influencing Others)
As I walked up toward the band kids, Ben shouted, ''Jacobsen, was I dreaming or did you-'' I gave him the slightest shake of my head and he changed gears mid sentence- ''and me go on a wild adventure to French Polynesia last night, traveling in a sailboat made of bananas?'' ''That was one delicious sailboat,'' I answered.
John Green (Paper Towns)
And then the two-second gaps started. If you don't understand how tragic and annoying this is, seriously, start singing along to "Sun King." Toward the end, you're singing all sleepy in Spanish, gearing up to start grooving to "Mean Mr. Mustard," because what makes the end of "Sun King" so great is you're drifting along, but at the same time you're anticipating Ringo's drums, which kick in on "Mean Mr. Mustard," and it turns funky. But if you don't uncheck the box on iTunes, you get to the end of "Sun King" and then -- HARSH DIGITAL TWO-SECOND SILENCE.
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
We live stitch by stitch, when we’re lucky. If you fixate on the big picture, the whole shebang, the overview, you miss the stitching. And maybe the stitching is crude, or it is unraveling, but if it were precise, we’d pretend that life was just fine and running like a Swiss watch. This is not helpful if on the inside our understanding is that life is more often a cuckoo clock with rusty gears. In the aftermath of loss, we do what we’ve always done, although we are changed, maybe more afraid. We do what we can, as well as we can. My pastor, Veronica, one Sunday told the story of a sparrow lying in the street with its legs straight up in the air, sweating a little under its feathery arms. A warhorse walks up to the bird and asks, “What on earth are you doing?” The sparrow replies, “I heard the sky was falling, and I wanted to help.” The horse laughs a big, loud, sneering horse laugh, and says, “Do you really think you’re going to hold back the sky, with those scrawny little legs?” And the sparrow says, “One does what one can.
Anne Lamott (Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope and Repair)
Some sample lyrics I think I catch: "My engine races up to seventh gear; wrap your legs around my engine, dear . . . . The tunnel's dark, but the ground is wet; I lubricate it with my dripping sweat!" Or, something vaguely disturbing and gross like that; it's hard to tell with the wailing guitars and the front man screaming through his ravaged vocal chords.
Rusty Fischer (Becca Bloom and the Drumsticks of Doom: A Heavy Metal Love Story)
Asking someone else to drive your sports car is like asking someone else to kiss your girlfriend.
Amit Kalantri (Wealth of Words)
God, I can't get rid of you." Exasperation had her throwing up her arms. "I specialize in pain in the ass, darlin'." He smiled, forcing himself to gear down the intensity. "Well, congratulations, because you clearly graduated with honors.
Laura Kaye (Hard as You Can (Hard Ink, #2))
You realize that running is something I only do on the treadmill while wearing my sneaks and running gear, correct?” She trots next to me, trying to keep up on feet that are clad in expensive suede boots with a heel as tall as my hand. I walk even faster. “Can’t hear you. Embarrassment is short-circuiting my nervous system.” “If embarrassment is causing your malfunction now, I’d love to know what it was that caused you to run across the quad.” As if she doesn’t know. Before I can respond, though, Tucker shows up on my right. “Where’s the fire?” he drawls. Hope grinds to a halt. “Thank God you caught up with us.” She runs a hand across her forehead in an exaggerated motion. “I’m not cut out for outdoor exertions.
Elle Kennedy (The Goal (Off-Campus, #4))
As she stood on the deck of the ferry at Circular Quay, Evie was conscious of storing up things for future recollection. Here was the lustily gleaming harbour, the absurdly golden midday, and the bridge, swinging away like a door on brass hinges as the ferry executed a slow turn. Above was an infinity of blue-becoming-black reaching far into space, almost shocking after the grey security of Melbourne. The scale of things was all wrong, too lavish, too sunny, too geared to applause. Nevertheless.
Gail Jones (The Death of Noah Glass)
You mistake me, Alexandra. There is no crime in wanting these things. Only people who have never lived without comfort deride it as bourgeois.” She winked. “The purest Marxists are always men. Calamity comes too easily to women. Our lives can come apart in a single gesture, a rogue wave. And money? Money is the rock we cling to when the current would seize us.” “Yes,” said Alex, leaning forward. This was what Alex’s mother had never managed to grasp. Mira loved art and truth and freedom. She didn’t want to be a part of the machine. But the machine didn’t care. The machine went on grinding and catching her up in its gears.
Leigh Bardugo (Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1))
The attempts to try to represent the electric field as the motion of some kind of gear wheels, or in terms of lines, or of stresses in some kind of material have used up more effort of physicists than it would have taken simply to get the right answers about electrodynamics. It is interesting that the correct equations for the behavior of light were worked out by MacCullagh in 1839. But people said to him: 'Yes, but there is no real material whose mechanical properties could possibly satisfy those equations, and since light is an oscillation that must vibrate in something, we cannot believe this abstract equation business'.
Richard P. Feynman (The Feynman Lectures on Physics Vol 2)
To make his way, the Negro must have firm resolve, persistence, tenacity. He must gear himself to hard work all the way. He can never let up. He can never have too much preparation and training. He must be a strong competitor. He must adhere staunchly to the basic principle that anything less than full equality is not enough. If he compromises on that principle his soul is dead.
Ralph J. Bunche
In Reagan's world, we have to be geared up to fight a foe that could barely feed its own people. And meanwhile, our real troubles have to be mocked. Global warming. Nuclear proliferation. Corrupt governments supported by my tax dollars and everyone's complacency.
Robert Reed (Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 108 (Clarkesworld Magazine, #108))
It's interesting that penny-pinching is an accepted defense for toxic food habits, when frugality so rarely rules other consumer domains. The majority of Americans buy bottled drinking water, for example, even though water runs from the faucets at home for a fraction of the cost, and government quality standards are stricter for tap water than for bottled. At any income level, we can be relied upon for categorically unnecessary purchases: portable-earplug music instead of the radio; extra-fast Internet for leisure use; heavy vehicles to transport light loads; name-brand clothing instead of plainer gear. "Economizing," as applied to clothing, generally means looking for discount name brands instead of wearing last year's clothes again. The dread of rearing unfashionable children is understandable. But as a priority, "makes me look cool" has passed up "keeps arteries functional" and left the kids huffing and puffing (fashionably) in the dust.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
Hipster (n.): Yes, you ride a fixed-gear bike and drink single-origin chai from a local specially abled artist’s hand-thrown ceramic mug. Your bi-friend only listens to cassettes, and you just love vintage flats, and your rescue dog is named Cobain. Please just wear your hat and glasses and turned-up pants and defy categorizing. Remember: you will one day be driving a Volvo with toys thrown willy-nilly and Burger King wrappers on the floor, listening to Sade and digging it unironically. Even the freshest kale can go brown and wilt. Cave futurum.
Greg Proops (The Smartest Book in the World: A Lexicon of Literacy, A Rancorous Reportage, A Concise Curriculum of Cool)
Since the lunchroom does no significant harm to the caverns' ecology, I'd like to believe that this is one of those lucky places where we don't have to choose between doing the right thing and enjoying a goof. I look up at the ceiling of the lunchroom, which is, of course, the ceiling of the cave. It looks so lunar I can't help but think of a certain astronaut. In 1971, Apollo 14's Alan Shepard hit golf balls on the moon. Gearing up to face the profundity of the universe, this man brought sporting goods with him into space. Who can blame him? That's what we Americans do when we find a place that's really special. We go there and act exactly like ourselves. And we are a bunch of fun-loving dopes.
Sarah Vowell (The Partly Cloudy Patriot)
Here’s how to get started: 1. Sit still and stay put . Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, or sit cross-legged on a cushion. Sit up straight and rest your hands in your lap. It’s important not to fidget when you meditate—that’s the physical foundation of self-control. If you notice the instinct to scratch an itch, adjust your arms, or cross and uncross your legs, see if you can feel the urge but not follow it. This simple act of staying still is part of what makes meditation willpower training effective. You’re learning not to automatically follow every single impulse that your brain and body produce. 2. Turn your attention to the breath. Close your eyes or, if you are worried about falling asleep, focus your gaze at a single spot (like a blank wall, not the Home Shopping Network). Begin to notice your breathing. Silently say in your mind “inhale” as you breathe in and “exhale” as you breathe out. When you notice your mind wandering (and it will), just bring it back to the breath. This practice of coming back to the breath, again and again, kicks the prefrontal cortex into high gear and quiets the stress and craving centers of your brain . 3. Notice how it feels to breathe, and notice how the mind wanders. After a few minutes, drop the labels “inhale/exhale.” Try focusing on just the feeling of breathing. You might notice the sensations of the breath flowing in and out of your nose and mouth. You might sense the belly or chest expanding as you breathe in, and deflating as you breathe out. Your mind might wander a bit more without the labeling. Just as before, when you notice yourself thinking about something else, bring your attention back to the breath. If you need help refocusing, bring yourself back to the breath by saying “inhale” and “exhale” for a few rounds. This part of the practice trains self-awareness along with self-control. Start with five minutes a day. When this becomes a habit, try ten to fifteen minutes a day. If that starts to feel like a burden, bring it back down to five. A short practice that you do every day is better than a long practice you keep putting off to tomorrow. It may help you to pick a specific time that you will meditate every day, like right before your morning shower. If this is impossible, staying flexible will help you fit it in when you can.
Kelly McGonigal (The Willpower Instinct: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do To Get More of It)
But the engine started, eventually, after a bunch of popping and churning, and then it idled, wet and lumpy. The transmission was slower than the postal service. She rattled the selector into reverse, and all the mechanical parts inside called the roll and counted a quorum and set about deciding what to do. Which required a lengthy debate, apparently, because it was whole seconds before the truck lurched backward. She turned the wheel, which looked like hard work, and then she jammed the selector into a forward gear, and first of all the reversing committee wound up its business and approved its minutes and exited the room, and then the forward crew signed on and got comfortable, and a motion was tabled and seconded and discussed. More whole seconds passed, and then the truck slouched forward, slow and stuttering at first, before picking up its pace and rolling implacably toward the exit gate.
Lee Child (Personal (Jack Reacher, #19))
--Thing is though, Spud, whin yir intae skag, that's it. That's aw yuv goat tae worry aboot. Ken Billy, ma brar, likes? He's jist signed up tae go back intae the fuckin army. He's gaun tae fucking Belfast, the stupid cunt. Ah always knew that the fucker wis tapped. Fuckin imperialist lackey. Ken whit the daft cunt turned roond n sais tae us? He goes: Ah cannae fuckin stick civvy street. Bein in the army, it's like being a junky. The only difference is thit ye dinnae git shot at sae often bein a junky. Besides, it's usually you that does the shootin. --That, eh, likesay, seems a bit eh, fucked up like man. Ken? --Naw but, listen the now. You jist think aboot it. In the army they dae everything fir they daft cunts. Feed thum, gie the cunts cheap bevvy in scabby camp clubs tae keep thum fae gaun intae toon n lowerin the fuckin tone, upsetting the locals n that. Whin they git intae civvy street, thuv goat tae dae it aw fir thumsells. --Yeah, but likesay, it's different though, cause . . . Spud tries to cut in, but Renton is in full flight. A bottle in the face is the only thing that could shut him up at this point; even then only for a few seconds. --Uh, uh . . . wait a minute, mate. Hear us oot. Listen tae whit ah've goat tae say here . . . what the fuck wis ah sayin . . . aye! Right. Whin yir oan junk, aw ye worry aboot is scorin. Oaf the gear, ye worry aboot loads ay things. Nae money, cannae git pished. Goat money, drinkin too much. Cannae git a burd, nae chance ay a ride. Git a burd, too much hassle, cannae breathe withoot her gittin oan yir case. Either that, or ye blow it, and feel aw guilty. Ye worry aboot bills, food, bailiffs, these Jambo Nazi scum beatin us, aw the things that ye couldnae gie a fuck aboot whin yuv goat a real junk habit. Yuv just goat one thing tae worry aboot. The simplicity ay it aw. Ken whit ah mean?
Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting)
I walked to the windows and pulled the shades up and opened the windows wide. The night air came drifting in with a kind of stale sweetness that still remembered automobile exhausts and the streets of the city. I reached for my drink and drank it slowly. The apartment house door closed itself down below me. Steps tinkled on the quiet sidewalk. A car started up not far away. It rushed off into the night with a rough clashing of gears. I went back to the bed and looked down at it. The imprint of her head was still in the pillow, of her small corrupt body still on the sheets. I put my empty glass down and tore the bed to pieces savagely.
Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe, #1))
[The skeet tournament] It's a competition that I've entered – and won – every year since I was thirteen. And here's the thing – it really pisses them off. All these hunting boys and their daddies show up decked out in camo gear, determined to beat the girl who has the audacity to challenge their masculinity. And, okay, I'll admit it … I like to needle 'em just a bit. I purposely wear the girliest outfit possible – little flowery sundresses with cowboy boots, most years. Drives 'em nuts. If they're going to be beaten by a girl, they'd rather it be some tomboy wearing overalls and a flannel shirt, you know? Stupid sexist pigs.---(Jenna Cafferty)
Kristi Cook (Magnolia (Magnolia Branch, #1))
I restrained the urge to slam my door. On the right stood a teenage guy with thick chestnut hair, chocolatey brown eyes, and the kind of perfectly square jaw I thought only existed on models. He wore khaki pants and a white shirt - classic preppy gear, though on him it looked incredibly hot. The man on the left had black hair with wings of pure white at the temples, and unbelievable blue eyes the color of the Caribbean. Not that I've ever seen the Caribbean, but I swear you could have cut and pasted his eyes right into an ad for the Bahamas. Meanwhile, I looked like I didn't know how to operate a washing machine. My shorts had a glob of strawberry jelly on them from breakfast, my wrinkled gray T-shirt looked like it had been slept in (which it had), and my Seattle Mariners baseball hat had a dark ring around the brim. Grandma practically winced as her gaze traveled up and down my outfit. Her taste runs toward matching velour tracksuits, so I don't usually worry about her opinion much. Still, this time I think she was right.
Inara Scott (The Candidates (Delcroix Academy, #1))
7:50 a.m. Core Power Yoga Lot, Berkeley. I’m in my Prius finishing up a phone call before class. Suddenly a large black SUV whisks into the space next to me, so achingly close I can no longer open my door. I roll down my window, giggling. “You’re kidding, right?” I say to the girl, pointing at the almost empty lot. “I mean, really? Why here? Why me? Did ya just want to get to know me better?” She looks at me blankly, shrugs her shoulders, gets out of the car, and strolls upstairs. 7:52 a.m. Wow. Wedged behind wheel, momentarily fuming. 7:53 a.m. Wondering: Do I want to be mad and waste the morning with this? Does my body need the assault of even momentary resentment while on the way to yoga of all places? Or . . . do I want to feel compassion, plus a dose of good-humored astonishment, by just rolling with it all? 7:54 a.m. I spend a full minute contemplating how to twist myself like a true yogini over the gear shift to slither out the other door. But then, I have the Life-Changing Realization: I can MOVE THE CAR. 7:55 a.m. I move.
Tosha Silver (Change Me Prayers: The Hidden Power of Spiritual Surrender)
trying to cook over the fire, plugging in the lamp before attempting to flip it on, or cranking up the engine before trying to put the car into gear. We
Stephen Kendrick (The Battle Plan for Prayer: From Basic Training to Targeted Strategies)
Owen nodded. “Then let’s gear up and get out there.” And, please God, let them all come home safe, he said silently to himself.
Elaine Levine (Forsaken Duty (Red Team #9))
My desire to live a meaningful life was getting forestalled by the petty, day-to-day demands of all my stuff. As I stood in my garage, I realized that it was not just that all the stuff created a mess, requiring valuable time to clean up. That was true, but that wasn't the worst of it. I realized it was not the clutter, the over accumulation of things, but rather the things themselves that were taking my attention away from what mattered in my life. Camping gear was getting my attention, not being outside. Tools were taking up my time, not using them to be creative. Toys were distracting me from the fun of playing. My things were not doing what they were meant to do: serve a greater purpose than possession alone.
Dave Bruno (The 100 Thing Challenge: How I Got Rid of Almost Everything, Remade My Life, and Regained My Soul)
The kiss wasn’t just any kiss. No, it was a tricky little bastard, because it started out soft and gentle, but shifted gears in a matter of seconds. The moment her response went from surprise to surrender, the kiss turned hard and hungry, launching us into a frenzy of movement. Her arms were around my neck, my hands were moving all over her body, and somehow, in a span of about five seconds, she climbed up me like a tree, her legs wrapped tightly around my waist. We spun and bumped into the counter. I reached behind my back with one hand to tighten the cross of her ankles. And then I had her sitting on the edge of the stovetop, my hands exploring the tops of her thighs. I pushed the ruffled skirt hem up and clasped on to her bare, silky skin. Her tongue dove to the back of my throat, sliding over mine like wet, slick velvet. Holy mother fuck, I couldn’t breathe. I was drowning in this girl.
Rachael Wade (Declaration (Preservation, #3))
We set up our gear for the tune-up and Tony [Iommi] launched into the opening riff of ‘Black Sabbath’ – doh, doh, doooohnnnn – but before I’d got through the first line of lyrics the manager had run on to the stage, red in the face, and was shouting, ‘STOP, STOP, STOP! Are you f**king serious? This isn’t Top-Forty pop covers! Who are you people?’ ‘Earth,’ said Tony, shrugging. ‘You booked us, remember?’ ‘I didn’t book this. I thought you were going to play “Mellow Yellow” and “California Dream-in’”.’ ‘Who – us?’ laughed Tony. ‘That’s what your manager told me!’ ‘Jim Simpson told you that?’ ‘Who the hell’s Jim Simpson?’ ‘Ah,’ said Tony, finally working out what had happened. He turned to us and said, ‘Lads, I think we might not be the only band called Earth.’ He was right: there was another Earth on the C-list gig circuit. But they didn’t play satanic music. They played pop and Motown covers.
Ozzy Osbourne (I Am Ozzy)
To master the virtual equation and make all the elements work together, you have to become the connector. In fact, your greatest role as a virtual manager is to link the various parts of his/her team to accomplish the goals that lead to its formation in the first place. You may need to shift gears, perform ream tune-ups, realign, and refuel your team's energy along the way.
Yael Zofi (A Manager's Guide to Virtual Teams)
Project Princess Teeny feet rock layered double socks Popping side piping of many colored loose lace ups Racing toe keeps up with fancy free gear slick slide and just pressed recently weaved hair Jeans oversized belie her hips, back, thighs that have made guys sigh for milleni year Topped by an attractive jacket her suit’s not for flacking, flunkies, junkies or punk homies on the stroll. Her hands mobile thrones of today’s urban goddess Clinking rings link dragon fingers no need to be modest. One or two gap teeth coolin’ sport gold initials Doubt you get to her name just check from the side please chill. Multidimensional shrimp earrings frame her cinnamon face Crimson with a compliment if a comment hits the right place Don’t step to the plate with datelines from ‘88 Spare your simple, fragile feelings with the same sense that you came Color woman variation reworks the french twist with crinkle cut platinum frosted bangs from a spray can’s mist Never dissed, she insists: “No you can’t touch this.” And, if pissed, bedecked fists stop boys who must persist. She’s the one. Give her some. Under fire. Smoking gun. Of which songs are sung, raps are spun, bells are rung, rocked, pistols cocked, unwanted advances blocked, well stacked she’s jock. It’s all about you girl. You go on. Don’t you dare stop.
Tracie Morris (Intermission)
in the words of psychologists John Brebner and Chris Cooper, who have shown that extroverts think less and act faster on such tasks: introverts are “geared to inspect” and extroverts “geared to respond.” But the more interesting aspect of this puzzling behavior is not what the extroverts do before they’ve hit the wrong button, but what they do after. When introverts hit the number nine button and find they’ve lost a point, they slow down before moving on to the next number, as if to reflect on what went wrong. But extroverts not only fail to slow down, they actually speed up.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
I made decaf,” he said. “Caffeine isn’t good for you.” “Thank you, Mama Lane.” He made a face at her. “Tate and I used to share everything. Let him go off in a snit. I’ll share his baby. If he doesn’t come back, I’ll appropriate it, and you.” “That’s one area where all your commando skills will fail, dear man,” she said affectionately. “I like you very much, and you can be baby’s godfather. But I’m raising this child myself.” “Godfather.” He was savoring the word when the toast popped up. “Bad choice of words,” she murmured. “I wouldn’t want to give you any bad ideas. I don’t want my child outfitted in a fedora and a machine gun.” “Commando godfathers are a different breed.” “Black bags and camo gear aren’t much better,” she informed him. “Spoilsport. Where’s your sense of adventure?” “Hanging in the shower trying to dry out.
Diana Palmer (Paper Rose (Hutton & Co. #2))
For a moment I am jealous: He has grown up here, fearless, happy. Perhaps he will never even know about the world on the other side of the fence, the real world. For him there will be no such thing. But there will also be no medicine for him when he is sick, and never enough food to go around, and winters so cold the mornings are like a punch in the gut. And someday-unless the resistance succeeds and takes the country back-the planes and the fires will find him. Someday the eye will turn in this direction, like a laser beam, consuming everything in its path. Someday all the Wilds will be razed, and we will be left with a concrete landscape, a land of pretty houses and trim gardens and planned parks and forests, and a world that works as smoothly as a clock, neatly wound: a world of metal and gears, and people going tick-tick-tick to their deaths.
Lauren Oliver (Pandemonium (Delirium, #2))
Without the inhibitory interneurons, we would end up processing the same information all over again—wasting time and effort, grinding our gears, becoming disoriented and, perhaps, anxious and paranoid and even delusional.
Robert Kolker (Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family)
None of the dead can rise up and answer our questions. But from all they have left behind, their imperishable and dissolving gear, we may perhaps hear voices, which are only now able to whisper, when everything else has become silent.
Björn Kurtén
After a moment or two a man in brown crimplene looked in at us, did not at all like the look of us and asked us if we were transit passengers. We said we were. He shook his head with infinite weariness and told us that if we were transit passengers then we were supposed to be in the other of the two rooms. We were obviously very crazy and stupid not to have realized this. He stayed there slumped against the door jamb, raising his eyebrows pointedly at us until we eventually gathered our gear together and dragged it off down the corridor to the other room. He watched us go past him shaking his head in wonder and sorrow at the stupid futility of the human condition in general and ours in particular, and then closed the door behind us. The second room was identical to the first. Identical in all respects other than one, which was that it had a hatchway let into one wall. A large vacant-looking girl was leaning through it with her elbows on the counter and her fists jammed up into her cheekbones. She was watching some flies crawling up the wall, not with any great interest because they were not doing anything unexpected, but at least they were doing something. Behind her was a table stacked with biscuits, chocolate bars, cola, and a pot of coffee, and we headed straight towards this like a pack of stoats. Just before we reached it, however, we were suddenly headed off by a man in blue crimplene, who asked us what we thought we were doing in there. We explained that we were transit passengers on our way to Zaire, and he looked at us as if we had completely taken leave of our senses. 'Transit passengers? he said. 'It is not allowed for transit passengers to be in here.' He waved us magnificently away from the snack counter, made us pick up all our gear again, and herded us back through the door and away into the first room where, a minute later, the man in the brown crimplene found us again. He looked at us. Slow incomprehension engulfed him, followed by sadness, anger, deep frustration and a sense that the world had been created specifically to cause him vexation. He leaned back against the wall, frowned, closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. 'You are in the wrong room,' he said simply. `You are transit passengers. Please go to the other room.' There is a wonderful calm that comes over you in such situations, particularly when there is a refreshment kiosk involved. We nodded, picked up our gear in a Zen-like manner and made our way back down the corridor to the second room. Here the man in blue crimplene accosted us once more but we patiently explained to him that he could fuck off.
Douglas Adams (Last Chance to See)
Have you ever wondered what makes a duck tick? Well, if you were to open one up, you'd discover that the ticking sound is made by tiny gears that wind around with precision and really make this waterproof bird a wonder of German engineering.
Jarod Kintz (Music is fluid, and my saxophone overflows when my ducks slosh in the sounds I make in elevators.)
When at last a cab arrived and pulled up directly in front of me, I was astonished to discover that seventeen grown men and women believed they had a perfect right to try to get in ahead of me. A middle-aged man in a cashmere coat who was obviously wealthy and well-educated actually laid hands on me. I maintained possession by making a series of aggrieved Gallic honking noises—“Mais, non! Mais, non!”—and using my bulk to block the door. I leaped in, resisting the chance to catch the pushy man’s tie in the door and let him trot along with us to the Gare du Nord, and told the driver to get me the hell out of there. He looked at me as if I were a large, imperfectly formed turd, and with a disgusted sigh engaged first gear.
Bill Bryson (Neither Here Nor There: Travels in Europe)
writing is an act of chemistry—precisely because you must conjure it up yourself. A column doesn’t write itself the way a breaking news story does. A column has to be created. This act of chemistry usually involves mixing three basic ingredients: your own values, priorities, and aspirations; how you think the biggest forces, the world’s biggest gears and pulleys, are shaping events; and what you’ve learned about people and culture—how they react or don’t—when the big forces impact them.
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
column writing is an act of chemistry—precisely because you must conjure it up yourself. A column doesn’t write itself the way a breaking news story does. A column has to be created. This act of chemistry usually involves mixing three basic ingredients: your own values, priorities, and aspirations; how you think the biggest forces, the world’s biggest gears and pulleys, are shaping events; and what you’ve learned about people and culture—how they react or don’t—when the big forces impact them. When
Thomas L. Friedman (Thank You for Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations)
As a kid in the ’90s, I fought goblins and demons. I learned new magic spells and traded in old gear for shiny weapons. Raised rebellions, traveled through time, and rode a whale into space. I became the Dragonmaster and the Hero of Light. Didn’t we all?
Aidan Moher (Fight, Magic, Items: The History of Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and the Rise of Japanese RPGs in the West)
That’s right, I am the unenthusiastic girl people avoid making eye contact with when they buy their spank mags and twelve-inch rubber cocks. I’m the one in full HAZMAT gear cleaning up the “accidental” shot spots they leave behind in one of our twenty-five cent porn booths. For what it’s worth, there’s a reason I don’t fill in the glory holes, they all think they’re so sneaky, getting their dick sucked by some anonymous stranger on the other side. I see it as less clean up, let the cock sucking stranger slurp up their spunk. It saves me running a disinfectant wipe along the wall, hoping that none of it touches any part of me. So keep up the good work anonymous strangers, keep gobbling cock and making my life easier. If you want, leave your address at the store and I’ll add you to my fucking Christmas card list.
Jaden Wilkes (Dirty Little Freaks)
My timing is perfect, and I wind up in a traffic jam. The cars around me are driven by fat cows and bellowing bulls. We roll along, six mph. I can run faster than this. We brake. They chew their cud and moo into their phones until the herd shifts gears and rolls forward again.
Laurie Halse Anderson (Wintergirls)
It's her! Selene! Your Majesty!" Cinder took a step back and felt her serenity slough away, leaving behind the same tension she'd lived with for two long years. That feeling of being in the spotlight, of having responsibilities, of needing to meet expectations... "Why did you abdicate the throne?" someone yelled. And another: "How does it feel to be back on Earth?" And "Will you attend the Commonwealth ball again this year?" And "Is the upcoming Lunar-Earthen wedding a political statement? Do you want to say anything about the union? A loud gunshot blared across the gravel driveway. The journalists screamed and dispersed, some cowering behind the Rampion's landing gear, others rushing back to the safety of their own hovers. "I'll give you a statement," said Scarlet, reloading the shotgun in her arms as she marched toward them. She sent a piercing glare at the journalists who dared to peek out at her. "And the statement is, Leave my guests alone, you pitiful, news-starved vultures." With a frustrated huff, she looked up at Cinder, who had been joined by the others at the top of the ramp. Scarlet looked much the same as Cinder remembered her, only more frenzied. Her eyes had an annoyed, bewildered look to them as she gestured haplessly at the farmland behind her. "Welcome to France. Let's get you inside before they send out the android journalists -they're not as easy to scare off.
Marissa Meyer (Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles, #4.5))
So it's actually way easier just to humor these men who grew up watching movies where the girl doesn't like the hero until he's been persistent enough to make her like him. This is the grease that keeps the gears of the heteronormativity machine spinning, obviously, but it's just easier to slip out of an awkward situation with an awkward guy than it is to call out the misogyny inherent in what he's doing. It's a tough spot to be in, but also this is coming from an angry dyke who's also trans and who, at one point, had society try to use her as a vessel for that kinda of misogyny.
Imogen Binnie (Nevada)
To build up your speed and create momentum, do you need to be pushed or pulled? Successfully shifting gears requires synchronization, coordination, and a sense of speed, whether fast or slow. Sometimes it is simply a matter of shaking up your routine to get things rolling in the right direction.
Susan C. Young
The life expectancy at the turn of the century was forty-five; now it is eighty. Living into one’s eighties, nineties, and even past one hundred is a real possibility today, one that makes your fifties and sixties a time not for winding down but for gearing up—though for what, we may not be sure.
Lewis Richmond (Aging as a Spiritual Practice: A Contemplative Guide to Growing Older and Wiser)
Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale” Measure the walls. Count the ribs. Notch the long days. Look up for blue sky through the spout. Make small fires with the broken hulls of fishing boats. Practice smoke signals. Call old friends, and listen for echoes of distant voices. Organize your calendar. Dream of the beach. Look each way for the dim glow of light. Work on your reports. Review each of your life’s ten million choices. Endure moments of self-loathing. Find the evidence of those before you. Destroy it. Try to be very quiet, and listen for the sound of gears and moving water. Listen for the sound of your heart. Be thankful that you are here, swallowed with all hope, where you can rest and wait. Be nostalgic. Think of all the things you did and could have done. Remember treading water in the center of the still night sea, your toes pointing again and again down, down into the black depths.
Dan Albergotti (The Boatloads (New Poets of America Series))
It was nice to meet you,” I say loudly in a more formal tone than I used when we were alone. And then I surprise myself, lean closer to him and whisper something I know I shouldn’t. “You know, my family’s assigned to the next supply run into town this Saturday.” I can’t quite look at him afterward. What am I doing? He shoots me a sidelong glance and a slow smile spreads across his face, lighting up his gray-green eyes. “Maybe we’ll run into each other. Could happen . . . especially if I have a general idea of where you’re going to be.” My breath quickens. I can feel his smile becoming contagious and I return it with one of my own. “We’ll probably be at Walmart for most of the morning.” “I happen to love that store. Where else can you get a haircut, goldfish, and camping gear all at the same time?” He winks at me and I have to clamp my mouth shut to keep from laughing. I’ve never felt so reckless. It’s terrifying, but exhilarating too.
Amy Christine Parker (Gated (Gated, #1))
One time during Indoc while we were out on night run, one of the instructors actually climbed up the outside of a building, came through an open window, and absolutely trashed a guy’s room, threw everything everywhere, emptied detergent over his bed gear. He went back out the way he’d come in, waited for everyone to return, and then tapped on the poor guy’s door and demanded a room inspection. The guy couldn’t work out whether to be furious or heartbroken, but he spent most of the night cleaning up and still had to be in the showers at 0430 with the rest of us. I asked Reno about this weeks later, and he told me, “Marcus, the body can take damn near anything. It’s the mind that needs training. The question that guy was being asked involved mental strength. Can you handle such injustice? Can you cope with that kind of unfairness, that much of a setback? And still come back with your jaw set, still determined, swearing to God you will never quit? That’s what we’re looking for.
Marcus Luttrell (Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10)
Don’t the stars make you feel so small?” Bastien said, and there was a slight roughness around his words from where his lip was already swollen. “People always say that,” Ott said. “I don’t understand it. The stars make me feel . . .” I could hear the gears turning, the struggle as Ott tried to cram the whole huge tapestry of his thoughts into the meager words of his vocabulary. “They make me feel big. A giant cosmic accident. Like—what are the chances that I would even happen? You know? If my parents hadn’t met, if the dinosaurs never died out . . . we might not be here. But here we are. And we get to look up at the stars at night. Who would appreciate them if we didn’t?
Sam J. Miller (The Art of Starving)
Political indoctrination was geared towards producing activists. The propaganda image of the ideal child was a precocious political orator mouthing agitprop. Communism could not be taught from books, educational thinkers maintained. It had to be instilled through the whole life of the school, which was in turn to be connected to the broader world of politics through extra-curricular activities, such as celebrating Soviet holidays, joining public marches, reading newspapers and organizing school debates and trials. The idea was to initiate the children into the practices, cults and rituals of the Soviet system so that they would grow up to become loyal and active Communists.
Orlando Figes (The Whisperers: Private Life in Stalin's Russia)
In her remorse, she was also willing to admit that she was sad for another reason. She no longer had a reason to see or spend time with Wesley. She would lose her dream house to him and him to the house. It seemed almost tragic how everything had panned out and it made her consider more strongly than she had before that maybe it was a sign that she should take Jerry back. She’d lost her dream and was realizing quickly that in the end that’s all it had ever been and maybe it was time that she finally woke up.
Shawn Maravel (Shifting Gears)
When we entered a classroom we always tossed our caps on the floor, to free our hands; as soon as we crossed the threshold we would throw them under the bench so hard that they struck the wall and raised a cloud of dust; this was "the way it should be done." But the new boy either failed to notice this maneuver or was too shy to perform it himself, for he was still holding his cap on his lap at the end of the prayer. It was a head-gear of composite nature, combining elements of the busby, the lancer cap, the round hat, the otter-skin cap and the cotton nightcap--one of those wretched things whose mute ugliness has great depths of expression, like an idiot's face. Egg-shaped and stiffened by whalebone, it began with three rounded bands, followed by alternating diamond-shaped patches of velvet and rabbit fur separated by a red stripe, and finally there was a kind of bag terminating in a cardboard-lined polygon covered with complicated braid. A network of gold wire was attached to the top of this polygon by a long, extremely thin cord, forming a kind of tassel. The cap was new; its visor was shiny. "Stand up," said the teacher. He stood up; his cap fell. The whole class began to laugh. He bent down and picked it up. A boy beside him knocked it down again with his elbow; he picked it up once again. "Will you please put your helmet away?" said the teacher, a witty man.
Gustave Flaubert (Madame Bovary)
Where I lived at Pencey, I lived in the Ossenburger Memorial Wing of the new dorms. It was only for juniors and seniors. I was a junior. My roommate was a senior. It was named after this guy Ossenburger that went to Pencey. He made a pot of dough in the undertaking business after he got out of Pencey. What he did, he started these undertaking parlors all over the country that you could get members of your family buried for about five bucks apiece. You should see old Ossenburger. He probably just shoves them in a sack and dumps them in the river. Anyway, he gave Pencey a pile of dough, and they named our wing alter him. The first football game of the year, he came up to school in this big goddam Cadillac, and we all had to stand up in the grandstand and give him a locomotive—that's a cheer. Then, the next morning, in chapel, he made a speech that lasted about ten hours. He started off with about fifty corny jokes, just to show us what a regular guy he was. Very big deal. Then he started telling us how he was never ashamed, when he was in some kind of trouble or something, to get right down his knees and pray to God. He told us we should always pray to God—talk to Him and all—wherever we were. He told us we ought to think of Jesus as our buddy and all. He said he talked to Jesus all the time. Even when he was driving his car. That killed me. I can just see the big phony bastard shifting into first gear and asking Jesus to send him a few more stiffs. The only good part of his speech was right in the middle of it. He was telling us all about what a swell guy he was, what a hotshot and all, then all of a sudden this guy sitting in the row in front of me, Edgar Marsalla, laid this terrific fart. It was a very crude thing to do, in chapel and all, but it was also quite amusing. Old Marsalla. He damn near blew the roof off. Hardly anybody laughed out loud, and old Ossenburger made out like he didn't even hear it, but old Thurmer, the headmaster, was sitting right next to him on the rostrum and all, and you could tell he heard it. Boy, was he sore. He didn't say anything then, but the next night he made us have compulsory study hall in the academic building and he came up and made a speech. He said that the boy that had created the disturbance in chapel wasn't fit to go to Pencey. We tried to get old Marsalla to rip off another one, right while old Thurmer was making his speech, but be wasn't in the right mood.
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye)
Then someone knocks on the door, very clearly, four times. I pull away from Lena quickly. "What's that?" I say, dragging my forearm across my eyes, trying to get control of myself. Lena tries to pass it off as though she hadn't heard. Her face has gone white, her eyes wide and terrified. When the knocking starts up again, she doesn't move, just stays frozen where she is. "I thought nobody comes in this way." I cross my arms, watching Lena narrowly. There's a suspicious needling, pricking at some corner of my mind, but I can't quite focus on it. "They don't. I mean—sometimes—I mean, the delivery guys—" As she stammers excuses, the door opens, and he pokes his head in—the boy from the day Lena and I jumped the gate at the lab complex, just after we had our evaluations. His eyes land on me and he, too, freezes. At first I think there must be a mistake. He must have knocked on the wrong door. Lena will yell at him now, tell him to clear off. But then my mind grinds slowly into gear and I realize that no, he has just called Lena's name. This was obviously planned.
Lauren Oliver (Hana (Delirium, #1.5))
You broke up with me. I don’t break up with you.
Cambria Hebert (#Rev (GearShark, #2))
Bruce had me up to three miles a day, really at a good pace. We’d run the three miles in twenty-one or twenty-two minutes. Just under eight minutes a mile [Note: when running on his own in 1968, Lee would get his time down to six-and-a-half minutes per mile]. So this morning he said to me “We’re going to go five.” I said, “Bruce, I can’t go five. I’m a helluva lot older than you are, and I can’t do five.” He said, “When we get to three, we’ll shift gears and it’s only two more and you’ll do it. ” I said “Okay, hell, I’ll go for it.” So we get to three, we go into the fourth mile and I’m okay for three or four minutes, and then I really begin to give out. I’m tired, my heart’s pounding, I can’t go any more and so I say to him, “Bruce if I run any more,”—and we’re still running—“if I run any more I’m liable to have a heart attack and die.” He said, “Then die.” It made me so mad that I went the full five miles. Afterward I went to the shower and then I wanted to talk to him about it. I said, you know, ‘“Why did you say that?” He said, “Because you might as well be dead. Seriously, if you always put limits on what you can do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread over into the rest of your life. It’ll spread into your work, into your morality, into your entire being. There are no limits. There are plateaus, but you must not stay there, you must go beyond them. If it kills you, it kills you. A man must constantly exceed his level.
Bruce Lee (Bruce Lee: The Art of Expressing the Human Body (Bruce Lee Library))
Yay, Old Uns' Smart mastered sicks, miles, seeds an' made miracles ord'nary, but it din't master one thing, nay, a hunger in the hearts o' humans, yay, a hunger for more. More what? I asked. Old Uns'd got ev'rythin'. Oh, more gear, more food, faster speeds, longer lifes, easier lifes, more power, yay. Now the Hole World is big, but it weren't big 'nuff for that hunger what made Old Uns rip out the skies an' boil up the seas an' poison soil with crazed atoms an' donkey 'bout with rotted seeds so new plagues was borned an' babbits was freak-birthed. Fin'ly, bit'ly, then quicksharp, states busted into bar'bric tribes an' the Civ'lize Days ended, 'cept for a few folds'n'pockets here'n'there, where its last embers glimmer.
David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas)
Maybe you should stop tagging," Castor says. Ajax's face tilts down, his expression echoing a difficult thought. "I can't. Not yet." "Jax," Pallas begins, like he's gearing up to give his brother a lecture. "I will-," Ajax interrupts. "But not just yet. There's one more thing I have to do." "What's that?" Castor asks. Ajax smiles. "I promised someone I'd paint the sky.
Josephine Angelini (Scions (Starcrossed, #4))
The cracks grew over him like vines, faster and faster. At first he bucked, whinnying metallic screeches. Then he gradually stilled, looking up at me with frightened glass eyes. He was growing. New, molten glass leeched out between his fissures, cooled and hardened only to crack again and make room for more liquid glass. The gears inside him moaned and creaked, and metal filings gathered at the base of his transparent stomach, only to fly up again and form more joints and chains and gears. Black smoke poured from his nostrils. Soon he was the size of a large dog, then a man, and still he grew and grew until he towered over my bed, as big as any plow horse I’d ever seen. Glass dripped down his flanks like sweat, a few rivulets still glowing with molten heat.
Betsy Cornwell (Mechanica (Mechanica, #1))
I think about her as she is in front of me, in her weird overalls and woolen socks and fancy leather slippers. I wonder if she still wears that Indian shawl around the house, if she still drinks hot water with a spoonful of some honey that she claims has miraculous, antiviral, immortality-giving properties, whether she still plays the piano late at night and insists on cooking pasta in not-quite-boiling water because she’s too impatient to wait. I wonder whether she still crashes the gears on the car as she’s driving but denies all knowledge of this. I wonder if there is anything of mine that she’s kept, any shirts, any books, any letters. I wonder if she still walks in her sleep and whether there is anybody there to get up, follow her, and lead her back to bed.
Maggie O'Farrell (This Must Be the Place)
To make matters worse," Luke continued, "there was an accident." Her eyes widened. "What kind of accident?" "A cask of whisky slipped from the hoisting gear, broke on the roof of a transit shed, and poured all over MacRae. He's ready to murder someone - which is why I brought him up here to you." Despite her concern, Merritt let out a snort of laughter. "Luke Marsden, are you planning to hide behind my skirts while I confront the big, mean Scotsman?" "Absolutely," he said without hesitation. "You like them big and mean.” Her brows lifted. "What in heaven's name are you talking about?" "You love soothing difficult people. You're the human equivalent of table syrup." Amused, Merritt leaned her chin on her hand. "Show him in, then, and I'll start pouring." It wasn't that she loved soothing difficult people. But she definitely liked to smooth things over when she could. As the oldest of six children, she'd always been the one to settle quarrels among her brothers and sisters, or come up with indoor games on rainy days. More than once, she'd orchestrated midnight raids on the kitchen pantry or told them stories when they'd sneaked to her room after bedtime.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil in Disguise (The Ravenels, #7))
Under the horizon, under the bowl of the earth, giant wheels have started turning, monstrous conveyer belts are winding, toothed gears are pulling the sun down and the moon up. The day is tired, it has folded its white wings, flies west-ward, big, in loose clothes, it waves a sleeve, releases stars, blesses the people walking on the chilling earth: good-bye, good-bye, I'll come again tomorrow.
Tatyana Tolstoya
The Jesus Prayer Having had my fill of listening, without acquiring any understanding of how to pray unceasingly, I gave up on such sermons that were geared to the general public. I then resolved, with the help of God, to seek an experienced and knowledgeable guide who would explain unceasing prayer to me, for I now found myself so irresistibly drawn to learning about it.38 —Anonymous, The Way of a Pilgrim
Heather King (Holy Desperation: Praying as If Your Life Depends on It)
I really identify with being a bookworm. I love reading, learning and books. I mean, I have 1000 books, all catalogued, already in my specially made library my dad made me. Books are my friends. I live in sweat pants and workout gear or t-shirt and jeans. I dress more for comfort than for fashion. I dress up if I have to go out but I can’t wait to come home and take off the makeup, heels and scratchy clothing.
Tania Marshall (I am AspienWoman: The Unique Characteristics, Traits, and Gifts of Adult Females on the Autism Spectrum)
Entrepreneurs are everywhere. You don’t have to work in a garage to be in a startup. The concept of entrepreneurship includes anyone who works within my definition of a startup: a human institution designed to create new products and services under conditions of extreme uncertainty. That means entrepreneurs are everywhere and the Lean Startup approach can work in any size company, even a very large enterprise, in any sector or industry. 2. Entrepreneurship is management. A startup is an institution, not just a product, and so it requires a new kind of management specifically geared to its context of extreme uncertainty. In fact, as I will argue later, I believe “entrepreneur” should be considered a job title in all modern companies that depend on innovation for their future growth. 3. Validated learning. Startups exist not just to make stuff, make money, or even serve customers. They exist to learn how to build a sustainable business. This learning can be validated scientifically by running frequent experiments that allow entrepreneurs to test each element of their vision. 4. Build-Measure-Learn. The fundamental activity of a startup is to turn ideas into products, measure how customers respond, and then learn whether to pivot or persevere. All successful startup processes should be geared to accelerate that feedback loop. 5. Innovation accounting. To improve entrepreneurial outcomes and hold innovators accountable, we need to focus on the boring stuff: how to measure progress, how to set up milestones, and how to prioritize work. This requires a new kind of accounting designed for startups—and the people who hold them accountable.
Eric Ries (The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses)
The cities will be part of the country; I shall live 30 miles from my office in one direction, under a pine tree; my secretary will live 30 miles away from it too, in the other direction, under another pine tree. We shall both have our own car. We shall use up tires, wear out road surfaces and gears, consume oil and gasoline. All of which will necessitate a great deal of work … enough for all. —LE CORBUSIER, THE RADIANT CITY (1967)
Andrés Duany (Suburban Nation: The Rise of Sprawl and the Decline of the American Dream)
At first Alexander could not believe it was his Tania. He blinked and tried to refocus his eyes. She was walking around the table, gesturing, showing, leaning forward, bending over. At one point she straightened out and wiped her forehead. She was wearing a short-sleeved yellow peasant dress. She was barefoot, and her slender legs were exposed above her knee. Her bare arms were lightly tanned. Her blonde hair looked bleached by the sun and was parted into two shoulder-length braids tucked behind her ears. Even from a distance he could see the summer freckles on her nose. She was achingly beautiful. And alive. Alexander closed his eyes, then opened them again. She was still there, bending over the boy’s work. She said something, everyone laughed loudly, and Alexander watched as the boy’s arm touched Tatiana’s back. Tatiana smiled. Her white teeth sparkled like the rest of her. Alexander didn’t know what to do. She was alive, that was obvious. Then why hadn’t she written him? And where was Dasha? Alexander couldn’t very well continue to stand under a lilac tree. He went back out onto the main road, took a deep breath, stubbed out his cigarette, and walked toward the square, never taking his eyes off her braids. His heart was thundering in his chest, as if he were going into battle. Tatiana looked up, saw him, and covered her face with her hands. Alexander watched everyone get up and rush to her, the old ladies showing unexpected agility and speed. She pushed them all away, pushed the table away, pushed the bench away, and ran to him. Alexander was paralyzed by his emotion. He wanted to smile, but he thought any second he was going to fall to his knees and cry. He dropped all his gear, including his rifle. God, he thought, in a second I’m going to feel her. And that’s when he smiled. Tatiana sprang into his open arms, and Alexander, lifting her off her feet with the force of his embrace, couldn’t hug her tight enough, couldn’t breathe in enough of her. She flung her arms around his neck, burying her face in his bearded cheek. Dry sobs racked her entire body. She was heavier than the last time he felt her in all her clothes as he lifted her into the Lake Ladoga truck. She, with her boots, her clothes, coats, and coverings, had not weighed what she weighed now. She smelled incredible. She smelled of soap and sunshine and caramelized sugar. She felt incredible. Holding her to him, Alexander rubbed his face into her braids, murmuring a few pointless words. “Shh, shh…come on, now, shh, Tatia. Please…” His voice broke. “Oh, Alexander,” Tatiana said softly into his neck. She was clutching the back of his head. “You’re alive. Thank God.” “Oh, Tatiana,” Alexander said, hugging her tighter, if that were possible, his arms swaddling her summer body. “You’re alive. Thank God.” His hands ran up to her neck and down to the small of her back. Her dress was made of very thin cotton. He could almost feel her skin through it. She felt very soft. Finally he let her feet touch the ground. Tatiana looked up at him. His hands remained around her little waist. He wasn’t letting go of her. Was she always this tiny, standing barefoot in front of him? “I like your beard,” Tatiana said, smiling shyly and touching his face. “I love your hair,” Alexander said, pulling on a braid and smiling back. “You’re messy…” He looked her over. “And you’re stunning.” He could not take his eyes off her glorious, eager, vivid lips. They were the color of July tomatoes— He bent to her—
Paullina Simons
What, in fact, do we know about the peak experience? Well, to begin with, we know one thing that puts us several steps ahead of the most penetrating thinkers of the 19th century: that P.E’.s are not a matter of pure good luck or grace. They don’t come and go as they please, leaving ‘this dim, vast vale of tears vacant and desolate’. Like rainbows, peak experiences are governed by definite laws. They are ‘intentional’. And that statement suddenly gains in significance when we remember Thorndike’s discovery that the effect of positive stimuli is far more powerful and far reaching than that of negative stimuli. His first statement of the law of effect was simply that situations that elicit positive reactions tend to produce continuance of positive reactions, while situations that elicit negative or avoidance reactions tend to produce continuance of these. It was later that he came to realise that positive reactions build-up stronger response patterns than negative ones. In other words, positive responses are more intentional than negative ones. Which is another way of saying that if you want a positive reaction (or a peak experience), your best chance of obtaining it is by putting yourself into an active, purposive frame of mind. The opposite of the peak experience—sudden depression, fatigue, even the ‘panic fear’ that swept William James to the edge of insanity—is the outcome of passivity. This cannot be overemphasised. Depression—or neurosis—need not have a positive cause (childhood traumas, etc.). It is the natural outcome of negative passivity. The peak experience is the outcome of an intentional attitude. ‘Feedback’ from my activities depends upon the degree of deliberately calculated purpose I put into them, not upon some occult law connected with the activity itself. . . . A healthy, perfectly adjusted human being would slide smoothly into gear, perform whatever has to be done with perfect economy of energy, then recover lost energy in a state of serene relaxation. Most human beings are not healthy or well adjusted. Their activity is full of strain and nervous tension, and their relaxation hovers on the edge of anxiety. They fail to put enough effort—enough seriousness—into their activity, and they fail to withdraw enough effort from their relaxation. Moods of serenity descend upon them—if at all—by chance; perhaps after some crisis, or in peaceful surroundings with pleasant associations. Their main trouble is that they have no idea of what can be achieved by a certain kind of mental effort. And this is perhaps the place to point out that although mystical contemplation is as old as religion, it is only in the past two centuries that it has played a major role in European culture. It was the group of writers we call the romantics who discovered that a man contemplating a waterfall or a mountain peak can suddenly feel ‘godlike’, as if the soul had expanded. The world is seen from a ‘bird’s eye view’ instead of a worm’s eye view: there is a sense of power, detachment, serenity. The romantics—Blake, Wordsworth, Byron, Goethe, Schiller—were the first to raise the question of whether there are ‘higher ceilings of human nature’. But, lacking the concepts for analysing the problem, they left it unsolved. And the romantics in general accepted that the ‘godlike moments’ cannot be sustained, and certainly cannot be re-created at will. This produced the climate of despair that has continued down to our own time. (The major writers of the 20th century—Proust, Eliot, Joyce, Musil—are direct descendants of the romantics, as Edmund Wilson pointed out in Axel’s Castle.) Thus it can be seen that Maslow’s importance extends far beyond the field of psychology. William James had asserted that ‘mystical’ experiences are not mystical at all, but are a perfectly normal potential of human consciousness; but there is no mention of such experiences in Principles of Psychology (or only in passing).
Colin Wilson (New Pathways in Psychology: Maslow & the Post-Freudian Revolution)
Listening to the radio, I heard the story behind rocker David Lee Roth’s notorious insistence that Van Halen’s contracts with concert promoters contain a clause specifying that a bowl of M&M’s has to be provided backstage, but with every single brown candy removed, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation to the band. And at least once, Van Halen followed through, peremptorily canceling a show in Colorado when Roth found some brown M&M’s in his dressing room. This turned out to be, however, not another example of the insane demands of power-mad celebrities but an ingenious ruse. As Roth explained in his memoir, Crazy from the Heat, “Van Halen was the first band to take huge productions into tertiary, third-level markets. We’d pull up with nine eighteen-wheeler trucks, full of gear, where the standard was three trucks, max. And there were many, many technical errors—whether it was the girders couldn’t support the weight, or the flooring would sink in, or the doors weren’t big enough to move the gear through. The contract rider read like a version of the Chinese Yellow Pages because there was so much equipment, and so many human beings to make it function.” So just as a little test, buried somewhere in the middle of the rider, would be article 126, the no-brown-M&M’s clause. “When I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl,” he wrote, “well, we’d line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error.… Guaranteed you’d run into a problem.” These weren’t trifles, the radio story pointed out. The mistakes could be life-threatening. In Colorado, the band found the local promoters had failed to read the weight requirements and the staging would have fallen through the arena floor.
Atul Gawande (The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right)
The “Muslim speech,” as we took to calling the second major address, was trickier. Beyond the negative portrayals of terrorists and oil sheikhs found on news broadcasts or in the movies, most Americans knew little about Islam. Meanwhile, surveys showed that Muslims around the world believed the United States was hostile toward their religion, and that our Middle East policy was based not on an interest in improving people’s lives but rather on maintaining oil supplies, killing terrorists, and protecting Israel. Given this divide, I told Ben that the focus of our speech had to be less about outlining new policies and more geared toward helping the two sides understand each other. That meant recognizing the extraordinary contributions of Islamic civilizations in the advancement of mathematics, science, and art and acknowledging the role colonialism had played in some of the Middle East’s ongoing struggles. It meant admitting past U.S. indifference toward corruption and repression in the region, and our complicity in the overthrow of Iran’s democratically elected government during the Cold War, as well as acknowledging the searing humiliations endured by Palestinians living in occupied territory. Hearing such basic history from the mouth of a U.S. president would catch many people off guard, I figured, and perhaps open their minds to other hard truths: that the Islamic fundamentalism that had come to dominate so much of the Muslim world was incompatible with the openness and tolerance that fueled modern progress; that too often Muslim leaders ginned up grievances against the West in order to distract from their own failures; that a Palestinian state would be delivered only through negotiation and compromise rather than incitements to violence and anti-Semitism; and that no society could truly succeed while systematically repressing its women. —
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Of course, Kafka doesn't see himself as a sort of party. He doesn't even pretend to be revolutionary, whatever his socialist sympathies may be. He knows that all the lines link him to a literary machine of expression for which he is simultaneously the gears, the mechanic, the operator, and the victim. So how will he proceed in this bachelor machine that doesn't make use of, and can't make use of, social critique? How will he make a revolution? He will act on the German language such as it is in Czechoslovakia. Since it is a deterritorialized language in many ways, he will push the deterritorialization farther, not through intensities, reversals and thickenings of the language but through a sobriety that makes language take flight on a straight line, anticipates or produces its segmentations. Expression must sweep up content; the same process must happen to form... It is not a politics of pessimism, nor a literary caricature or a form of science fiction.
Gilles Deleuze (Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature)
Can you drive it?" "No. I can't drive a stick at all. It's why I took Andy's car and not one of yours." "Oh people, for goodness' sake...move over." Choo Co La Tah pushed past Jess to take the driver's seat. Curious about that, she slid over to make room for the ancient. Jess hesitated. "Do you know what you're doing?" Choo Co La Tah gave him a withering glare. "Not at all. But I figured smoeone needed to learn and no on else was volunteering. Step in and get situated. Time is of the essence." Abigail's heart pounded. "I hope he's joking about that." If not, it would be a very short trip. Ren changed into his crow form before he took flight. Jess and Sasha climbed in, then moved to the compartment behind the seat. A pall hung over all of them while Choo Co La Tah adjusted the seat and mirrors. By all means, please take your time. Not like they were all about to die or anything... She couldn't speak as she watched their enemies rapidly closing the distance between them. This was by far the scariest thing she'd seen. Unlike the wasps and scorpions, this horde could think and adapt. They even had opposable thumbs. Whole different ball game. Choo Co La Tah shifted into gear. Or at least he tried. The truck made a fierce grinding sound that caused jess to screw his face up as it lurched violently and shook like a dog coming in from the rain. "You sure you odn't want me to try?" Jess offered. Choo Co La Tah waved him away. "I'm a little rusty. Just give me a second to get used to it again." Abigail swallowed hard. "How long has it been?" Choo Co La Tah eashed off the clutch and they shuddred forward at the most impressive speed of two whole miles an hour. About the same speed as a limping turtle. "Hmm, probably sometime around nineteen hundred and..." They all waited with bated breath while he ground his way through more gears. With every shift, the engine audibly protested his skills. Silently, so did she. The truck was really moving along now. They reached a staggering fifteen miles an hour. At this rate, they might be able to overtake a loaded school bus... by tomorrow. Or at the very least, the day after that. "...must have been the summer of...hmm...let me think a moment. Fifty-three. Yes, that was it. 1953. The year they came out with color teles. It was a good year as I recall. Same year Bill Gates was born." The look on Jess's and Sasha's faces would have made her laugh if she wasn't every bit as horrified. Oh my God, who put him behind the wheel? Sasha visibly cringed as he saw how close their pursuers were to their bumper. "Should I get out and push?" Jess cursed under his breath as he saw them, too. "I'd get out and run at this point. I think you'd go faster." Choo Co La Tah took their comments in stride. "Now, now, gentlemen. All is well. See, I'm getting better." He finally made a gear without the truck spazzing or the gears grinding.
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Retribution (Dark-Hunter, #19))
I began, I remember, because I felt I had to. I'd reached that modest height in my career, that gentle rise, from which I could coast out of gear to a soft stop. Now I wonder why not. Why not? But then duty drove me forward like a soldier. I said it was time for "the Big Book," the long monument to my mind I repeatedly dreamed I had to have: a pyramid, a column tall enough to satisfy the sky. Duty drove me the way it drives men into marriage. Begetting is expected of us, and in those days of heavy men in helmets the seed was certain, and wanted only the wind for a womb, or any slit; yet what sprang up out of those foxholes we fucked with our fists but our own frightened selves? with a shout of pure terror, too. That too—that too was expected; it was expected even of flabby maleless men like me. And now, here, where I am writing still, still in this chair, hammering type like tacks into the page, speaking without a listening ear, whose eye do I hope to catch and charm and fill with tears and understanding, if not my own, my own ordinary, unforgiving and unfeeling eye?...my eye. So sentences circle me like a toy train. What could I have said about the Boche, about bigotry, barbarism, butchery, Bach, that hasn't been said as repeatedly as I dreamed by dream of glory, unless it was what I've said? What could I have explained where no reason exists and no cause is adequate; what body burned to a crisp could I have rebelieved was bacon, if I had not taken the tack I took?
William H. Gass (The Tunnel)
When he found out his wife was unfaithful, Hector Castillo told his son to get in the car because they were going fishing. It was after midnight but this was nothing unusual. The Rickenbacker Bridge suspended across Biscayne Bay was full of night fishermen leaning on the railings, avoiding going home to their wives. Except Hector didn't bring any fishing gear with him. He led his son, Carlito, who'd just turned three, by the hand to the concrete wall, picked him up by his waist, and held him so that the boy grinned and stretched his arms out like a bird, telling his papi he was flying, flying, and Hector said, "Si, Carlito, tienes alas, you have wings." Then Hector pushed little Carlito up into the air, spun him around, and the boy giggled, kicking up his legs up and about, telling his father, "Higher, Papi! Higher!" before Hector took a step back and with all his might hoisted the boy as high in the sky as he'd go, told him he loved him, and threw his son over the railing into the sea.
Patricia Engel (The Veins of the Ocean)
fad is a wave in the ocean, and a trend is the tide. A fad gets a lot of hype, and a trend gets very little. Like a wave, a fad is very visible, but it goes up and down in a big hurry. Like the tide, a trend is almost invisible, but it’s very powerful over the long term. A fad is a short-term phenomenon that might be profitable, but a fad doesn’t last long enough to do a company much good. Furthermore, a company often tends to gear up as if a fad were a trend. As a result, the company is often stuck with a lot of staff, expensive manufacturing facilities, and distribution networks. (A fashion, on the other hand, is a fad that repeats itself. Examples: short skirts for women and double-breasted suits for men. Halley’s Comet is a fashion because it comes back every 75 years or so.) When the fad disappears, a company often goes into a deep financial shock. What happened to Atari is typical in this respect. And look how Coleco Industries handled the Cabbage Patch Kids. Those homely dolls hit the market in 1983 and started to take off. Coleco’s strategy was to milk the kids for all they were worth. Hundreds of Cabbage Patch novelties flooded the toy stores. Pens, pencils, crayon boxes, games, clothing. Two years later, Coleco racked up sales of $776 million and profits of $83 million. Then the bottom dropped out of the Cabbage Patch Kids. By 1988 Coleco went into Chapter 11. Coleco died, but the kids live on. Acquired by Hasbro in 1989, the Cabbage Patch Kids are now being handled conservatively. Today they’re doing quite well.
Al Ries (The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing)
In a town in Liberia, a young woman named Fatu Kekula, who was a nursing student, ended up caring for four of her family members at home when there was no room for them in a hospital—her parents, her sister, and a cousin. She didn’t have any protective gear, so she created a bio-hazmat suit out of plastic garbage bags. She tied garbage bags over her feet and legs, put on rubber boots over the bags, and then put more bags over her boots. She put on a raincoat, a surgical mask, and multiple rubber gloves, and she covered her head with pantyhose and a garbage bag. Dressed this way, Fatu Kekula set up IV lines for her family members, giving them saline solution to keep them from becoming dehydrated. Her parents and sister survived; her cousin died. And she herself remained uninfected. Local medical workers called Fatu Kekula’s measures the Trash Bag Method. All you needed were garbage bags, a raincoat, and no small amount of love and courage. Medical workers taught the Trash Bag Method, or variants of it, to people who couldn’t get to hospitals
Richard Preston (Crisis in the Red Zone: The Story of the Deadliest Ebola Outbreak in History, and of the Outbreaks to Come)
Where is he?” Leo sat up, but his head felt like it was floating. They’d landed inside the compound. Something had happened on the way in—gunfire? “Seriously, Leo,” Jason said. “You could be hurt. You shouldn’t—” Leo pushed himself to his feet. Then he saw the wreckage. Festus must have dropped the big canary cages as he came over the fence, because they’d rolled in different directions and landed on their sides, perfectly undamaged. Festus hadn’t been so lucky. The dragon had disintegrated. His limbs were scattered across the lawn. His tail hung on the fence. The main section of his body had plowed a trench twenty feet wide and fifty feet long across the mansion’s yard before breaking apart. What remained of his hide was a charred, smoking pile of scraps. Only his neck and head were somewhat intact, resting across a row of frozen rosebushes like a pillow. “No,” Leo sobbed. He ran to the dragon’s head and stroked its snout. The dragon’s eyes flickered weakly. Oil leaked out of his ear. “You can’t go,” Leo pleaded. “You’re the best thing I ever fixed.” The dragon’s head whirred its gears, as if it were purring. Jason and Piper stood next to him, but Leo kept his eyes fixed on the dragon. He remembered what Hephaestus had said: That isn’t your fault, Leo. Nothing lasts forever, not even the best machines. His dad had been trying to warn him. “It’s not fair,” he said. The dragon clicked. Long creak. Two short clicks. Creak. Creak. Almost like a pattern…triggering an old memory in Leo’s mind. Leo realized Festus was trying to say something. He was using Morse code—just like Leo’s mom had taught him years ago. Leo
Rick Riordan (The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1))
...[M]ost of us have figured out that we have to do what's in front of us and keep doing it. We clean up beaches after oil spills. We rebuild whole towns after hurricanes and tornadoes. We return calls and library books. We get people water. Some of us even pray. Every time we choose the good action or response, the decent, the valuable, it builds, incrementally, to renewal, resurrection, the place of newness, freedom, justice. The equation is: life, death, resurrection, hope. The horror is real, and so you make casseroles for your neighbor, organize an overseas clothing drive, and do your laundry. You can also offer to do other people's laundry if they have recently had any random babies or surgeries. We live stitch by stitch, when we're lucky. If you fixate on the big picture, the whole shebang, the overview, you miss the stitching. And maybe the stitching is crude, or it is unraveling, but if it were precise, we'd pretend that life was just fine and running like a Swiss watch. That's not helpful if on the inside our understanding is that life is more often a cuckoo clock with rusty gears.
Anne Lamott (Stitches: A Handbook on Meaning, Hope, and Repair)
He leaned back against the Jeep and smiled. “More orders for your CEO, Madam President?” Her eyes were huge and solemn with concern. “I want you to be very careful tonight.” “I will,” he promised. “Joel, I love you. You know that, don't you?” For an instant he was stunned at the admission. Then elation soared in him. For the moment, at least, it blotted out all the other things he had been feeling since he'd walked into his apartment and seen the evidence of Victor Copeland's ungovernable rage. He reached for Letty. “Damn, Letty,” he muttered thickly, “you've picked a fine time to tell me.” He pulled her into his arms, fumbling for the feel of her through the plump layers of her Thornquist Gear down coat. “You know I love you, too, don't you?” “Well, you hadn't actually said so,” she reminded him. The comment was tart, but her eyes were brimming with delight. “However, I have been extremely optimistic.” “Don't ever forget it.” He kissed her mouth, the only part of her that was not swallowed up by her voluminous jacket. Her lips were warm in spite of the cold air. Joel groaned and pulled her closer.
Jayne Ann Krentz (Perfect Partners)
Can you do it again tonight?" "The Catamounts were a wretched team," Andrew said. "They brought that ridicule on themselves." "Can you or can't you?" "I don't see why I should." Neil heard the click of a lock coming undone and knew the referees were opening the door. Andrew wasn't moving yet, but Neil still put an arm in his path to keep him where he was. He pressed his gloved hand to the wall and leaned in as close to Andrew as he could with all of his bulky gear on. "I'm asking you to help us," Neil said. "Will you?" Andrew considered it a moment. "Not for free." "Anything," Neil promised, and stepped back to take his place in line again. Neil didn't know what he'd gotten himself into, but he honestly didn't care, because Andrew delivered exactly what Neil wanted him to. Andrew closed the goal like his life depended on it and smashed away every shot. The Bearcat strikers took that challenge head-on. They feinted and swerved and threw every trick shot they had at Andrew. More than once Andrew used his glove or body to block a ball he couldn't get his racquet to in time. That might have been enough, except Andrew didn't stop there. For the first time ever he started talking to the defense line. Neil only understood him in snatches, since there was too much space and movement between them, but what he caught was enough. Andrew was chewing out the backliners for letting the strikers past them so many times and ordering them to pick up the pace. Neil worried for a moment what they'd do with Andrew's rude brand of teamwork at their backs, but the next time he got a good look at Matt, Matt was grinning like this was the most fun he'd had in years.
Nora Sakavic
The film libraries on some of these channels." Elmina said. "I swear. There was one on last night. I couldn't sleep. After I saw, it, I was afraid ro sleep. Have you seen Black Narcissus, 1947?" Eddie, who was enrolled in the graduate film program at SC, let out a scream of recognition. He's been working on his doctoral dissertation, "Deadpasn to Demoniac - Subtextual Uses of Eyeliner in the Cinema," and had just in fact arrived at moment in Black Narcissus where Kathleen Byron, as a demented nun, shows up in civilian gear, including eye makeup good for a year's worth of nighmares.
Thomas Pynchon (Inherent Vice)
It’s time to pack your gear, Kicker,” her father announced, forcing a boisterous grin. “We’re moving to South Korea!” Yup. There it was. Megan went into free fall. Her internal organs turned weightless and started floating around inside her body cavity. She clutched the arms on the chair so tightly her knuckles turned white, just to keep from throwing up. “What?” Megan blurted. Her voice sounded very far away. “It’s been a while since we were transferred, hasn’t it?” her father said matter-of-factly. “This should be exciting.” Exciting? Had he been testing gas masks over at the base today?
Kate Brian (Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys)
The Sinsar Dubh popped up on my radar, and it was moving straight toward us. At an extremely high rate of speed. I whipped the Viper around, tires smoking on the pavement. There was nothing else I could do. Barrons looked at me sharply. “What? Do you sense it?” Oh, how ironic, he thought I’d turned us toward it. “No,” I lied, “I just realized I forgot my spear tonight. I left it back at the bookstore. Can you believe it? I never forget my spear. I can’t imagine what I was thinking. I guess I wasn’t. I was talking to my dad while I was getting dressed and I totally spaced it.” I worked the pedals, ripping through the gears. He didn’t even try to pat me down. He just said, “Liar.” I sped up, pasting a blushing, uncomfortable look on my face. “All right, Barrons. You got me. But I do need to go back to the bookstore. It’s . . . well . . . it’s personal.” The bloody, stupid Sinsar Dubh was gaining on me. I was being chased by the thing I was supposed to be chasing. There was something very wrong with that. “It’s . . . a woman thing . . . you know.” “No, I don’t know, Ms. Lane. Why don’t you enlighten me?” A stream of pubs whizzed by. I was grateful it was too cold for much pedestrian traffic. If I had to slow down, the Book would gain on me, and I already had a headache the size of Texas that was threatening to absorb New Mexico and Oklahoma. “It’s that time. You know. Of the month.” I swallowed a moan of pain. “That time?” he echoed softly. “You mean time to stop at one of the multiple convenience stores we just whizzed past so you can buy tampons? Is that what you’re telling me?” I was going to throw up. It was too close. Saliva was pooling in my mouth. How far behind me was it? Two blocks? Less? “Yes,” I cried. “That’s it! But I use a special kind and they don’t carry it.” “I can smell you, Ms. Lane,” he said, even more softly. “The only blood on you is from your veins, not your womb.” My head whipped to the left and I stared at him. Okay, that was one of the more disturbing things he’d ever said to me. “Ahhh!” I cried, letting go of both the wheel and the gearshift to clutch my head. The Viper ran up on the sidewalk and took out two newspaper stands and a streetlamp before crashing to a stop against a fire hydrant. And the blasted, idiotic Book was still coming. I began foaming at the mouth, wondering what would happen if it passed within a few feet of me. Would I die? Would my head really explode?
Karen Marie Moning (Faefever (Fever, #3))
Mr. Kangana was swimming in mud, scooping up marimbas. Gwen Goodyear was in the foyer, trying to keep a brave face as she handed out Galer Street gear. Ollie-O was in a semicatatonic state, uttering nonsensical phrases like “This is not biodegradable—the downstream implications are enormous—the optics make for rough sledding—going forward—” before getting stuck on the words “epic fail,” which he kept repeating. Most incredible, perhaps, Audrey Griffin was running down the street, away from her home. I called after her, but she had turned the corner. I alone was left to care for thirty traumatized kindergarteners.
Maria Semple (Where'd You Go, Bernadette)
It isn't just the idea of a woman in a truck. At this point, they're everywhere. The statisticians tell us today's woman is as likely to buy a truck as a minivan. One cheers the suffrage, but the effect is dilutive. My head doesn't snap around the way it used to. Ignoring for the moment that my head (or the gray hairs upon it) may be the problem, I think it's not about women in trucks, it's about certain women in certain trucks. Not so long ago I was fueling my lame tan sedan at the Gas-N-Go when a woman roared across the lot in a dusty pickup and pulled up to park by the yellow cage in which they lock up the LP bottles. She dismounted wearing scuffed boots and dirty jeans and a T-shirt that was overwashed and faded, and at the very sight of her I made an involuntary noise that went, approximately, ohf...! I suppose ohf...! reflects as poorly on my character as wolf whistle, but I swear it escaped without premeditation. Strictly a spinal reflex. [...] The woman plucking her eyebrows in the vanity mirror of her waxed F-150 Lariat does not elicit the reflex. Even less so if her payload includes soccer gear or nothing at all. That woman at the Gas-N-Go? I checked the back of her truck. Hay bales and a coon dog crate. Ohf...!
Michael Perry
When it passes us, the driver tips his cap our way, eying us as if he thinks we're up to no good-the kind of no good he might call the cops on. I wave to him and smile, wondering if I look as guilty as I feel. Better make this the quickest lesson in driving history. It's not like she needs to pass the state exam. If she can keep the car straight for ten seconds in a row, I've upheld my end of the deal. I turn off the ignition and look at her. "So, how are you and Toraf doing?" She cocks her head at me. "What does that have to do with driving?" Aside from delaying it? "Nothing," I say, shrugging. "Just wondering." She pulls down the visor and flips open the mirror. Using her index finger, she unsmudges the mascara Rachel put on her. "Not that it's your business, but we're fine. We were always fine." "He didn't seem to think so." She shoots me a look. "He can be oversensitive sometimes. I explained that to him." Oversensitive? No way. She's not getting off that easy. "He's a good kisser," I tell her, bracing myself. She turns in her seat, eyes narrowed to slits. "You might as well forget about that kiss, Emma. He's mine, and if you put your nasty Half-Breed lips on him again-" "Now who's being oversensitive?" I say, grinning. She does love him. "Switch places with me," she snarls. But I'm too happy for Toraf to return the animosity. Once she's in the driver's seat, her attitude changes. She bounces up and down like she's mattress shopping, getting so much air that she'd puncture the top if I hadn't put it down already. She reaches for the keys in the ignition. I grab her hand. "Nope. Buckle up first." It's almost cliché for her to roll her eyes now, but she does. When she's finished dramatizing the act of buckling her seat belt-complete with tugging on it to make sure it won't unclick-she turns to me in pouty expectation. I nod. She wrenches the key and the engine fires up. The distant look in her eyes makes me nervous. Or maybe it's the guilt swirling around in my stomach. Galen might not like this car, but it still feels like sacrilege to put the fate of a BMW in Rayna's novice hands. As she grips the gear stick so hard her knuckles turn white, I thank God this is an automatic. "D is for drive, right?" she says. "Yes. The right pedal is to go. The left pedal is to stop. You have to step on the left one to change into drive." "I know. I saw you do it." She mashes down on the brake, then throws us into drive. But we don't move. "Okay, now you'll want to step on the right pedal, which is the gas-" The tires start spinning-and so do we. Rayna stares at me wide-eyed and mouth ajar, which isn't a good thing since her hands are on the wheel. It occurs to me that she's screaming, but I can't hear her over my own screeching. The dust wall we've created whirls around us, blocking our view of the trees and the road and life as we knew it. "Take your foot off the right one!" I yell. We stop so hard my teeth feel rattled. "Are you trying to get us killed?" she howls, holding her hand to her cheek as if I've slapped her. Her eyes are wild and glassy; she just might cry. "Are you freaking kidding me? You're the one driving!
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The earth shook under their tread as their strong feet sank into the wet turf. A tiny haze and a sweet smell went up where they had crushed the grass and scattered the dew. Some were naked, some robed. But the naked ones did not seem less adorned, and the robes did not disguise in those who wore them the massive grandeur of muscle and the radiant smoothness of flesh. Some were geared but no no one in that company struck me as being of any particular age. One gets glimpses, even in our country, of that which is ageless--heavy thought in the face of an infant, and frolic childhood in that of a very old man. Here it was all like that.
C.S. Lewis (The Great Divorce)
Zane turned his attention to the bus. Phoebe got a bad feeling when she caught sight of the worn sandals, tie-dyed T-shirts and woven hats on the next couple to disembark. “Hey,” the man said. “I’m Martin Lagarde and this is my wife, Andrea.” The woman, a thirtysomething brunette with freckles and glasses, shook hands with Zane. “We’re so excited to be here. Martin and I just love being in the outdoors. We’ve hiked all over, and last year we did a week at a meditation retreat in Hawaii, but we’ve never done anything like this.” She continued to pump his hand as her expression turned earnest. “We really want this opportunity to be one with the land. To experience a different kind of life. The Old West.” She finally released Zane’s hand. “We’re vegetarians. I hope that won’t be a problem.” Zane considered them for a moment, then said, “Not for me.” He jerked his head toward the compartment beneath the bus that the driver had opened. “Collect your gear and head inside. Chase will show you where you’ll bunk tonight.” “Sure thing,” Martin said. He held up his hand for a high five. When Zane simply stared at him, Martin grabbed Zane’s wrist and pulled it until it was level with his shoulder, then slapped his hand against Zane’s. When he walked away, Zane turned to look at her. “Two starving kids and tree-hugging vegetarians. I’m going to kill Chase.
Susan Mallery (Kiss Me (Fool's Gold, #17))
2. Weaken and Break the Cycle of Addiction Instead of quitting cold turkey (or hyperfocusing on abstinence), we focus on understanding, weakening, and eventually breaking the cycle of addiction. This means we engage with and reevaluate our concepts of will, work with our willpower, manage our energy, and develop new habits, routines, and rituals. Breaking the cycle of addiction also means facing cravings head on and learning to ride them out and eventually burn through them. Some of the things we do to weaken the addiction will be the same as what we do to weaken the root causes (such as meditation), while other practices are specifically geared toward breaking up the addiction (developing new rituals and habits).
Holly Whitaker (Quit Like a Woman: The Radical Choice to Not Drink in a Culture Obsessed with Alcohol)
The new and needed apologetics will differ from previous apologetic models geared at convincing people solely or even mainly from a rationalistic perspective or that begin with biblical authority. People want to see spiritual power demonstrated by transformed lives expressed in community. This is the hope people harbor. They will respond to a spiritual belief system that delivers at this point. Jesus said that the proof f discipleship to the world would be his followers’ love for one another (John 13:35). Early observers were drawn to the Christian movement exactly for this reason (Acts 2: 44-47). Love expressed through community still transforms people and creates an attractive and compelling invitation for others to join up.
Reggie McNeal (A Work of Heart: Understanding How God Shapes Spiritual Leaders)
Is that a plane?" Marilee awoke with a start,surprised to find the sun already high. Wyatt shaded the sun from his eyes to scan the sky. As the sound grew louder they both sat up at the same moment. "A truck." Wyatt pointed. "Coming from that direction.Probably Jesse and Zane with that flatbed they promised." "Oh,no.Look at me.What was I thinking?" With a cry Marilee grabbed up her discarded clothes and started dressing. When she finished she tossed Wyatt's clothing at him. "Aren't you going to put these on?" "Yeah.No rush." "No rush?" She was already climbing into the cockpit of the plane to retrieve her gear. Men, she thought. If they were standing naked in Grand Central Station, they would probably take their sweet time finding something with which to cover themselves.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
My hair floated out around me with the evening breeze, and Romeo caught a strand of it before he opened the door to the car. “You really do look beautiful,” he murmured, dipping his head low. “Thanks,” I said against his lips. His kiss ignited instant desire inside me. Even though I spent last night with him, and the night before, I missed him terribly. I felt like we hadn’t had enough alone time. I wanted more. I wanted so much more. He groaned and pulled back. “Let’s get this dinner over with,” he said grumpily. “I want to spend some time alone with you.” “You read my mind.” “Now that the season is over, we’ll have more time together.” “Want to just go to Taco Bell and hide at your place?” I asked when he slid into the driver’s seat. He laughed. The sound filled the interior of the car. “Why, Rimmel,”— he pressed a hand to his chest like he was scandalized—“ are you suggesting we stand up my mother?” I giggled. “I knew it,” he drawled. “Underneath that sweet exterior lies the heart of a baddie baddie.” I laughed out loud. “A baddie baddie?” “Like totally,” he said in a valley girl voice and pretended to flip the long hair he didn’t have. God, I loved him. “So what do you say?” I taunted as I smiled. “Want to play hookie?” He groaned. “I’d love to, baby, but we can’t.” I stuck out my tongue. “Watch what you do with that thing, baby girl.” “Yeah? Or what?” I challenged. “Or we might be late and I might mess up the perfect hair and makeup you got going on.” His eyes twinkled and he fake gasped as he put the car in gear. “Just what would mother say?
Cambria Hebert (#Hater (Hashtag, #2))
The dead did not call to me from the underworlds, but spoke to me from the rustling pine needles. They did not gaze down upon me from the skyworlds, but smiled up at me from a bead of dew trembling precariously upon a blade of grass. They told me I have never been alone. Not for one instant. Every soul is a thread in the fabric of the world. All I must do to see my relatives is gaze into the shining water that sleeps,
Kathleen O'Neal Gear (People of the Silence (North America's Forgotten Past, #8))
A great diving scene. Worth the read just for that: “Randy! You have the best eyes for bubbles. Find my missing diver.” Paul leaned over the boat and yelled at the people waiting in the water. “Hey! Where’s . . .” He examined the faces. It didn’t take long to figure out who was missing. His heart spiraled to his feet. “Oh, no, no, no!” He didn’t hesitate to jump to action. He yelled out orders as he put his gear on in record time. “Get back on the boat. Now!” “I see bubbles! Over there, ‘bout fifteen meters,” Randy called before anyone had a chance to do anything. Paul stood on the back of the boat, all geared up and holding an extra tank with a regulator already attached. He looked to see where Randy pointed and took a giant stride into the water. He didn’t bother to surface before starting the fastest descent he’d ever made.
S. Jackson Rivera
For two nights we had shelters to ourselves, and on the third we were just exchanging congratulations on this remarkable string of luck when we heard a cacophony of voices approaching through the woods. We peeked around the corner and found a Boy Scout troop marching into the clearing. They said hello and we said hello, and then we sat with our legs dangling from the sleeping platform and watched them fill the clearing with their tents and abundant gear, pleased to have something to look at other than each other. There were three adult supervisors and seventeen Boy Scouts, all charmingly incompetent. Tents went up, then swiftly collapsed or keeled over. One of the adults went off to filter water and fell in the creek. Even Katz agreed that this was better than TV. For the first time since we had left New Hampshire, we felt like masters of the trail.
Bill Bryson
How Evolution Came to Indiana In Indianapolis they drive five hundred miles and end up where they started: survival of the fittest. In the swamps of Auburn and Elkhart, in the jungles of South Bend, one-cylinder chain-driven runabouts fall to air-cooled V-4’s, a-speed gearboxes, 16-horse flat-twin midships engines— carcasses left behind by monobloc motors, electric starters, 3-speed gears, six cylinders, 2-chain drive, overhead cams, supercharged to 88 miles an hour in second gear, the age of Leviathan ... There is grandeur in this view of life, as endless forms most beautiful and wonderful are being evolved. And then the drying up, the panic, the monsters dying: Elcar, Cord, Auburn, Duesenberg, Stutz—somewhere out there, the chassis of Studebakers, Marmons, Lafayettes, Bendixes, all rusting in high-octane smog, ashes to ashes, they end up where they started.
Philip Appleman
There is yet another reason why peer-oriented kids are insatiable. In order to reach the turning point, a child must not only be fulfilled, but this fulfillment must sink in. It has to register somehow in the child's brain that the longing for closeness and connectedness is being met. This registration is not cognitive or even conscious, but deeply emotional. It is emotion that moves the child and shifts the energy from one developmental agenda to another, from attachment to individuation. The problem is that, for fulfillment to sink in, the child must be able to feel deeply and vulnerably — an experience most peer-oriented kids will be defended against. Peer-oriented children cannot permit themselves to feel their vulnerability. It may seem strange that feelings of fulfillment would require openness to feelings of vulnerability. There is no hurt or pain in fulfillment — quite the opposite. Yet there is an underlying emotional logic to this phenomenon. For the child to feel full he must first feel empty, to feel helped the child must first feel in need of help, to feel complete he must have felt incomplete. To experience the joy of reunion one must first experience the ache of loss, to be comforted one must first have felt hurt. Satiation may be a very pleasant experience, but the prerequisite is to be able to feel vulnerability. When a child loses the ability to feel her attachment voids, the child also loses the ability to feel nurtured and fulfilled. One of the first things I check for in my assessment of children is the existence of feelings of missing and loss. It is indicative of emotional health for children to be able to sense what is missing and to know what the emptiness is about. As soon as they are able to articulate, they should be able to say things like “I miss daddy,” “It hurt me that grandma didn't notice me,” “It didn't seem like you were interested in my story,” “I don't think so and so likes me.” Many children today are too defended, too emotionally closed, to experience such vulnerable emotions. Children are affected by what is missing whether they feel it or not, but only when they can feel and know what is missing can they be released from their pursuit of attachment. Parents of such children are not able to take them to the turning point or bring them to a place of rest. If a child becomes defended against vulnerability as a result of peer orientation, he is made insatiable in relation to the parents as well. That is the tragedy of peer orientation — it renders our love and affection so useless and unfulfilling. For children who are insatiable, nothing is ever enough. No matter what one does, how much one tries to make things work, how much attention and approval is given, the turning point is never reached. For parents this is extremely discouraging and exhausting. Nothing is as satisfying to a parent as the sense of being the source of fulfillment for a child. Millions of parents are cheated of such an experience because their children are either looking elsewhere for nurturance or are too defended against vulnerability to be capable of satiation. Insatiability keeps our children stuck in first gear developmentally, stuck in immaturity, unable to transcend basic instincts. They are thwarted from ever finding rest and remain ever dependent on someone or something outside themselves for satisfaction. Neither the discipline imposed by parents nor the love felt by them can cure this condition. The only hope is to bring children back into the attachment fold where they belong and then soften them up to where our love can actually penetrate and nurture.
Gabor Maté (Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers)
And across the trench he drove the purebred team with a rough exultant laugh as comrades cheered, crowding in his wake. And once they reached Tydides' sturdy lodge they tethered the horses there with well-cut reins, hitching them by the trough where Diomedes' stallions pawed the ground, champing their sweet barley. Then away in his ship's stem Odysseus stowed the bloody gear of Dolon, in pledge of the gift they'd sworn to give Athena. The men themselves, wading into the sea, washed off the crusted sweat from shins and necks and thighs. And once the surf had scoured the thick caked sweat from their limbs and the two fighters cooled, their hearts revived and into the polished tubs they climbed and bathed. And rinsing off, their skin sleek with an olive oil rub, they sat down to their meal and dipping up their cups from an overflowing bowl, they poured them forth - honeyed, mellow wine to the great goddess Athena.
Homer (The Iliad of Homer)
BEACH BALLS AND LONG SHOTS I WAS WATCHING FROM THE ROOF ONE AFTERNOON WHEN A group of roughly sixteen fully armed insurgents emerged from cover. They were wearing full body armor and were heavily geared. (We found out later that they were Tunisians, apparently recruited by one of the militant groups to fight against Americans in Iraq.) Not unusual at all, except for the fact that they were also carrying four very large and colorful beach balls. I couldn’t really believe what I was seeing—they split up into groups and got into the water, four men per beach ball. Then, using the beach balls to keep them afloat, they began paddling across. It was my job not to let that happen, but that didn’t necessarily mean I had to shoot each one of them. Hell, I had to conserve ammo for future engagements. I shot the first beach ball. The four men began flailing for the other three balls. Snap. I shot beach ball number two. It was kind of fun.
Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History)
On 28 June 1914 the heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, was assassinated in Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia, a heartland of the South Slavs. Philosophers refer to ‘the inevitable accident’, and this was a very accidental one. Some young Serb terrorists had planned to murder him as he paid a state visit. They had bungled the job, throwing a bomb that missed, and one of them had repaired to a café in a side street to sort himself out. The Archduke drove to the headquarters of the governor-general, Potiorek (where he was met by little girls performing folklore), and berated him (the two men were old enemies, as the Archduke had prevented the neurasthenic Potiorek from succeeding an elderly admirer as Chief of the General Staff). The Archduke went off in a rage, to visit in hospital an officer wounded by the earlier bomb. His automobile moved off again, a Count Harrach standing on the running board. Its driver turned left after crossing a bridge over Sarajevo’s river. It was the wrong street, and the driver was told to stop and reverse. In reverse gear such automobiles sometimes stalled, and this one did so - Count Harrach on the wrong side, away from the café where one of the assassination team was calming his nerves. Now, slowly, his target drove up and stopped. The murderer, Gavrilo Princip, fired. He was seventeen, a romantic schooled in nationalism and terrorism, and part of a team that stretches from the Russian Nihilists of the middle of the nineteenth century, exemplified especially in Dostoyevsky’s prophetic The Possessed and Joseph Conrad’s Under Western Eyes. Austria did not execute adolescents and Princip was young enough to survive. He was imprisoned and died in April 1918. Before he died, a prison psychiatrist asked him if he had any regrets that his deed had caused a world war and the death of millions. He answered: if I had not done it, the Germans would have found another excuse.
Norman Stone (World War One: A Short History)
Patriotism comes from the same Latin word as father. Blind patriotism is collective transference. In it the state becomes a parent and we citizens submit our loyalty to ensure its protection. We may have been encouraged to make that bargain from our public school education, our family home, religion, or culture in general. We associate safety with obedience to authority, for example, going along with government policies. We then make duty, as it is defined by the nation, our unquestioned course. Our motivation is usually not love of country but fear of being without a country that will defend us and our property. Connection is all-important to us; excommunication is the equivalent of death, the finality we can’t dispute. Healthy adult loyalty is a virtue that does not become blind obedience for fear of losing connection, nor total devotion so that we lose our boundaries. Our civil obedience can be so firm that it may take precedence over our concern for those we love, even our children. Here is an example: A young mother is told by the doctor that her toddler is allergic to peanuts and peanut oil. She lets the school know of her son’s allergy when he goes to kindergarten. Throughout his childhood, she is vigilant and makes sure he is safe from peanuts in any form. Eighteen years later, there is a war and he is drafted. The same mother, who was so scrupulously careful about her child’s safety, now waves goodbye to him with a tear but without protest. Mother’s own training in public school and throughout her life has made her believe that her son’s life is expendable whether or not the war in question is just. “Patriotism” is so deeply ingrained in her that she does not even imagine an alternative, even when her son’s life is at stake. It is of course also true that, biologically, parents are ready to let children go just as the state is ready to draft them. What a cunning synchronic-ity. In addition, old men who decide on war take advantage of the timing too. The warrior archetype is lively in eighteen-year-olds, who are willing to fight. Those in their mid-thirties, whose archetype is being a householder and making a mark in their chosen field, will not show an interest in battlefields of blood. The chiefs count on the fact that young braves will take the warrior myth literally rather than as a metaphor for interior battles. They will be willing to put their lives on the line to live out the collective myth of societies that have not found the path of nonviolence. Our collective nature thus seems geared to making war a workable enterprise. In some people, peacemaking is the archetype most in evidence. Nature seems to have made that population smaller, unfortunately. Our culture has trained us to endure and tolerate, not to protest and rebel. Every cell of our bodies learned that lesson. It may not be virtue; it may be fear. We may believe that showing anger is dangerous, because it opposes the authority we are obliged to appease and placate if we are to survive. This explains why we so admire someone who dares to say no and to stand up or even to die for what he believes. That person did not fall prey to the collective seduction. Watching Jeopardy on television, I notice that the audience applauds with special force when a contestant risks everything on a double-jeopardy question. The healthy part of us ardently admires daring. In our positive shadow, our admiration reflects our own disavowed or hidden potential. We, too, have it in us to dare. We can stand up for our truth, putting every comfort on the line, if only we can calm our long-scared ego and open to the part of us that wants to live free. Joseph Campbell says encouragingly, “The part of us that wants to become is fearless.” Religion and Transference Transference is not simply horizontal, from person to person, but vertical from person to a higher power, usually personified as God. When
David Richo (When the Past Is Present: Healing the Emotional Wounds That Sabotage Our Relationships)
During those last few months, the writer Patrick Weekes would take builds of Inquisition home and let his nine-year-old son play around with the game. His son was obsessed with mounting and dismounting the horse, which Weekes found amusing. One night, Weekes’ son came up and said he’d been killed by a bunch of spiders, which seemed strange—his son’s characters were too high a level to be dying to spiders. Confused, Weekes loaded up the game, and sure enough, a group of spiders had annihilated his son’s party. After some poking around, Weekes figured out the problem: if you dismounted the horse in the wrong place, all your companions’ gear would disappear. “It was because my son liked the horse so much more than anyone else had ever or will ever like the horse,” Weekes said. “I doubt we would’ve seen it, because it takes spamming the button to figure out there’s a one-in-one-thousand chance that if you’re in the right place, it’s going to wipe out your party members.
Jason Schreier (Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made)
Side by side with the limitless possibilities opened up by the new technologies, reflection about international order must include the internal dangers of societies driven by mass consensus, deprived of the context and foresight needed on terms compatible with their historical character. In every other era, this has been considered the essence of leadership; in our own, it risks being reduced to a series of slogans designed to capture immediate short-term approbation. Foreign policy is in danger of turning into a subdivision of domestic politics instead of an exercise in shaping the future. If the major countries conduct their policies in this manner internally, their relations on the international stage will suffer concomitant distortions. The search for perspective may well be replaced by a hardening of differences, statesmanship by posturing. As diplomacy is transformed into gestures geared toward passions, the search for equilibrium risks giving way to a testing of limits.
Henry Kissinger (World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History)
It was one of those rare moments where one has a vision of the scope of the wild ocean. Not just small cylinders firing to keep a tiny engine running, but rather the giant, massive gears of nature, each one with its own reasoning, its own meta-logic, spinning in its particular circle in competition or in confluence with the gear below it. We zeroed in on the school, but our progress was painfully slow, It would have been foolish to speed into the tumult-we would have ruined our baits in the process and doomed our chances of hooking a tuna. But luckily, the commotion did not subside. If anything it only grew more frantic and exhuberant on our approach. Beneath the birds, beneath the dolphins, beneath the menhaden, there should have been an equally vast school of giant bluefin tuna, collaborating with vertebrates of the so-called higher orders of life to form the floor of the prey trap, sealing the baitfish in from below, while the dolphins and birds made up the trap's walls and ceiling. A strike from a giant tuna seemed inevitable.....as the boat moved forward, I saw seabirds gathering up ahead into a cloud, the size and violence of which I had never seen before. Gannets - big, albatross-like pelagic birds - flew hundreds of feet above the churning surface of the water. In a flock of many thousands, they whirled in unison and then, as if on command from some brigadier general of bird life, dropped in an arc, bird after bird, into the water beneath. The gyre of gannets turned in a clockwise direction, and down below, spinning counterclockwise, was the largest school of dolphins I'd ever seen. There in the angry blue-green sea, the dolphins had corralled a vast school of menhaden-small herringlike creatures that, when bitten, release globules of oil that float on the surface. Oil slicks flattened the water everywhere as the dolphins swirled around, using their exceptional intelligence and wolf-pack cooperation to befuddle and surround the fish, which in turn whirled in a clockwise direction.
Paul Greenberg (Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food)
You said to step on the brake to put us into drive, then to step on the right one to-" "Not at the same time!" "Well, you should have told me that. How was I supposed to know?" I snort. "You acted like the freaking Dalai Lama when I tried to tell you how to shift gears. I told you, one was for go and one was for stop. You can't stop and go at the same time! You have to make up your mind." From the expression on her face, she's either about to punch me or call me something really bad. She opens her mouth, but the really bad something doesn't come out; she shuts it again. Then she giggles. Now I've seen everything. "Galen tells me that all the time," she chortles. "That I can never make up my mind." Then she bursts out laughing so hard she spits all over the steering wheel. She keeps laughing until I'm convinced an unknown force is tickling her senseless. What? As far as I can tell, her indecisiveness almost got us killed. Killed isn't funny. "You should have seen your face," she says, between gulps of breaths. "You were all, like-" And she makes the face of a drunk clown. "I bet you wet yourself, didn't you?" She cracks herself up so much she clutches her side as if she's holding in her own guts. I feel my lips fracture into a smile before I can stop them. "You were more scared than me. You swallowed like ten flies while you were screaming." She spits all over the steering wheel again. And I spew laughter onto the dash. It takes a good five minutes for us to sober up enough for another driving lesson. My throat is dry, and my eyes are wet when I say, "Okay, now. Let's concentrate. The sun is going down. These woods probably get pretty creepy at night." She clears her throat, still giggling a little. "Okay. Concentrate. Right." "So, this time, when you take your foot off the brake, the car will go on its own. There, see?" We slink along the road at an idle two miles per hour. She huffs up at her bangs. "This is boring. I want to go faster." I start to say, "Not too fast," but she squashes the gas under her foot, and my words are snatched away by the wind. She gives a startled shout, which I find hypocritical because after all, I'm the one helpless in the passenger seat, and she's the one screaming like a teapot, turning the wheel back and forth like the road isn't straight as a pencil. "Brake, brake, brake!" I shout, hoping repetition will somehow penetrate the small part of her brain that actually thinks. Everything happens fast. We stop. There's a crunching sound. My face slams into the dash. No wait, the dash becomes an airbag. Rayna's scream is cut off by her airbag. I open my eyes. A tree. A freaking tree. The metal frame groans, and something under the hood lets out a mechanical hiss. Smoke billows up from the front, the universal symbol for "you're screwed." I turn to the rustling sound beside me. Rayna is wrestling with the airbag like it has attacked her instead of saved her life. "What is this thing?" she wails, pushing it out of her way and opening the door. One Mississippi...two Mississippi... "Well, are you just going to sit there? We have a long walk home. You're not hurt are you? Because I can't carry you." Three Mississippi...four Mississippi... "What are those flashing blue lights down there?
Anna Banks (Of Poseidon (The Syrena Legacy, #1))
The most widely cited figure for the number of women suffering from Female Sexual Dysfunction comes from 1999: according to this, some 43 per cent of all women have a medical problem around their sex drive.27 This survey was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), one of the most influential journals in the world. It looked at questionnaire data asking about things like lack of desire for sex, poor lubrication, anxiety over sexual performance, and so on. If you answered ‘yes’ to any one of these questions, you were labelled as having Female Sexual Dysfunction. For the avoidance of any doubt about the influence of this paper, it has – as of a sunny evening in March 2012 – been cited 1,691 times. That is a spectacular number of citations. At the time, no financial interest was declared by the study’s authors. Six months later, after criticism in the New York Times, two of the three authors declared consulting and advisory work for Pfizer.28 The company was gearing up to launch Viagra for the female market at this time, and had lots to gain from more women being labelled as having a medical sexual problem.
Ben Goldacre (Bad Pharma: How Drug Companies Mislead Doctors and Harm Patients)
PANOTII LOOKS PUT OUT ABOUT BEING LEFT BEHIND AND dogs my steps as I stow his tack under the deep overhang on the south side of the wizard’s hovel. There’s plenty of grass here, water at the lake, and it’s not that cold yet, despite the shift in seasons. If the rains start before we get back, the horses can take shelter under the overhang. I’m not worried about them wandering off. Not one of them has stepped outside of the large makeshift corral of God Bolt pits since we got here. “You can’t come with us,” I tell him. “It’ll be cold and slippery. And big monsters will want to eat you.” He tosses his head, snorting. “Really big monsters. There might be Dragons. And the Hydra. And I can’t vouch for the friendliness of the Ipotane toward regular horses.” I blow gently into his nose. Panotii chuffs back. “You’ll be safe here, and if anyone tries to steal you, Grandpa Zeus will throw down a thunderbolt. Boom! No more horse thief.” “Zeus may have better things to do than babysit our horses,” Flynn says, stowing his own equine gear next to mine. I glance northward toward the Gods’ mountain home and speak loudly. “In that case, I’m announcing right now that I’ll make an Olympian stink if anything happens to my horse.” Flynn looks nervous and moves away from me like he’s expecting a God Bolt to come thundering down. “She’s not kidding.” Sunlight glints off Griffin’s windblown hair. Thick black stubble darkens his jaw. He flashes me a smile that brings out the slight hook in his nose, and something tightens in my belly. I turn back to Panotii and scratch under his jaw. “You’re in charge here.” His enormous ears flick my way. “You keep the others in line.” Panotii nods. I swear to the Gods, my horse nods. Brown Horse raises his head and pins me with a gimlet stare. I roll my eyes. “Fine. You can help. You’re both in charge.” Apparently satisfied, Griffin’s horse goes back to grazing, shearing the grass around him with neat, organized efficiency. Griffin and Brown Horse were made for each other. Panotii shoves his nose into my shoulder, knocking me back a step. Taking a handful of his chestnut mane, I stretch up on my toes to whisper into one of his donkey ears. “Seriously, you’re in charge. I’ll bet you can even rhyme.” Carver and Kato chuckle as they walk past. Griffin bands his arms around my waist from behind, surprising me. “I heard that.
Amanda Bouchet (Breath of Fire (Kingmaker Chronicles, #2))
Before I knew it, the first animal had entered the chute. Various cowboys were at different positions around the animal and began carrying out their respective duties. Tim looked at me and yelled, “Stick it in!” With utter trepidation, I slid the wand deep into the steer’s rectum. This wasn’t natural. This wasn’t normal. At least it wasn’t for me. This was definitely against God’s plan. I was supposed to check the monitor and announce if the temperature was above ninety-degrees. The first one was fine. But before I had a chance to remove the probe, Tim set the hot branding iron against the steer’s left hip. The animal let out a guttural Mooooooooooooo!, and as he did, the contents of its large intestine emptied all over my hand and forearm. Tim said, “Okay, Ree, you can take it out now.” I did. I didn’t know what to do. My arm was covered in runny, stinky cow crap. Was this supposed to happen? Should I say anything? I glanced at my sister, who was looking at me, completely horrified. The second animal entered the chute. The routine began again. I stuck it in. Tim branded. The steer bellowed. The crap squirted out. I was amazed at how consistent and predictable the whole nasty process was, and how nonchalant everyone--excluding my sister--was acting. But then slowly…surely…I began to notice something. On about the twentieth animal, I began inserting the thermometer. Tim removed his branding iron from the fire and brought it toward the steer’s hip. At the last second, however, I fumbled with my device and had to stop for a moment. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that when I paused, Tim did, too. It appeared he was actually waiting until I had the thermometer fully inserted before he branded the animal, ensuring that I’d be right in the line of fire when everything came pouring out. He had planned this all along, the dirty dog. Seventy-eight steers later, we were finished. I was a sight. Layer upon layer of manure covered my arm. I’m sure I was pale and in shock. The cowboys grinned politely. Tim directed me to an outdoor faucet where I could clean my arm. Marlboro Man watched as he gathered up the tools and the gear…and he chuckled. As my sister and I pulled away in the car later that day, she could only say, “Oh. My. God.” She made me promise never to return to that awful place. I didn’t know it at the time, but I’d found out later that this, from Tim’s perspective, was my initiation. It was his sick, twisted way of measuring my worth.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Old Hubert must have had a premonition of his squalid demise. In October he said to me, ‘Forty-two years I’ve had this place. I’d really like to go back home, but I ain’t got the energy since my old girl died. And I can’t sell it the way it is now. But anyway before I hang my hat up I’d be curious to know what’s in that third cellar of mine.’ The third cellar has been walled up by order of the civil defence authorities after the floods of 1910. A double barrier of cemented bricks prevents the rising waters from invading the upper floors when flooding occurs. In the event of storms or blocked drains, the cellar acts as a regulatory overflow. The weather was fine: no risk of drowning or any sudden emergency. There were five of us: Hubert, Gerard the painter, two regulars and myself. Old Marteau, the local builder, was upstairs with his gear, ready to repair the damage. We made a hole. Our exploration took us sixty metres down a laboriously-faced vaulted corridor (it must have been an old thoroughfare). We were wading through a disgusting sludge. At the far end, an impassable barrier of iron bars. The corridor continued beyond it, plunging downwards. In short, it was a kind of drain-trap. That’s all. Nothing else. Disappointed, we retraced our steps. Old Hubert scanned the walls with his electric torch. Look! An opening. No, an alcove, with some wooden object that looks like a black statuette. I pick the thing up: it’s easily removable. I stick it under my arm. I told Hubert, ‘It’s of no interest. . .’ and kept this treasure for myself. I gazed at it for hours on end, in private. So my deductions, my hunches were not mistaken: the Bièvre-Seine confluence was once the site where sorcerers and satanists must surely have gathered. And this kind of primitive magic, which the blacks of Central Africa practise today, was known here several centuries ago. The statuette had miraculously survived the onslaught of time: the well-known virtues of the waters of the Bièvre, so rich in tannin, had protected the wood from rotting, actually hardened, almost fossilized it. The object answered a purpose that was anything but aesthetic. Crudely carved, probably from heart of oak. The legs were slightly set apart, the arms detached from the body. No indication of gender. Four nails set in a triangle were planted in its chest. Two of them, corroded with rust, broke off at the wood’s surface all on their own. There was a spike sunk in each eye. The skull, like a salt cellar, had twenty-four holes in which little tufts of brown hair had been planted, fixed in place with wax, of which there were still some vestiges. I’ve kept quiet about my find. I’m biding my time.
Jacques Yonnet (Paris Noir: The Secret History of a City)
With the north, however, came cold. Since Fenris had no gear, he had no blankets, either. They slept in barns when they could, but that was not always possible. Marra woke one morning to find frost on the ground and Fenris crouched so close to the fire that his beard was in danger of going up in flame. “Uh,” she said that night. “It’s cold. If you’d like to share my blanket…” The dust-wife snorted. Fenris’s eyebrows went up. Marra wondered if that was a euphemism in Hardack, too. “Not like that,” she said hastily. “I mean, if you’re cold. It’s cold. That is to say, you can have part of mine. I’m not suggesting anything more than that.” The dust-wife was having a coughing fit. Fenris, however, bowed his head gravely to her and said, “It is probably not the path of honor to deprive a young woman of half her blanket, but my bones are old enough that I thank you.” “I’m not that young,” said Marra. “And don’t even talk to me about old bones until you’re over seventy, youngster,” said the dust-wife. Fenris gave her a mild look. “That’s about thirty years hence, at which point you will undoubtedly tell me that I cannot complain until I am over a hundred.” The brown hen cackled and the dust-wife thumped the staff until the bird flapped. “Don’t get smart,” she muttered, although whether she meant the hen or Fenris, she didn’t say, and no one tried to find out.
T. Kingfisher (Nettle & Bone)
DAYS ONE THROUGH SIX, ETC. You keep on asking me that – “Which day was the hardest?” Blockheads! They were all hard – And of course, since I’m omnipotent, they were all easy. It was Chaos, to begin with. Can you imagine Primeval Chaos? Of course you can’t. How long had it been swirling around out there? Forever. How long had I been there? Longer than that. It was a mess, that’s what it was. Chaos is Rocky. Fuzzy. Slippery. Prickly. As scraggly and obstreperous as the endless behind of an infinite jackass. Shove on it anywhere, it gives, then slips in behind you, like smog, like lava, like slag. I’m telling you, chaos is – chaotic. You see what I was up against. Who could make a world out of that muck? I could, that’s who – land from water, light from dark, and so on. It might seem like a piece of cake now that it’s done, but back then, without a blueprint, without a set of instructions, without a committee, could you have created a firmament? Of course there were bugs in the process, grit in the gears, blips, bloopers – bringing forth grass and trees on Day Three and not making sunlight until Day Four, that, I must say, wasn’t my best move. And making the animals and vegetables before there was any rain whatsoever – well, anyone can have a bad day. Even Adam, as it turned out, wasn’t such a great idea – those shifty eyes, the alibis, blaming things on his wife – I mean, it set a bad example. How could he expect that little toddler, Cain, to learn correct family values with a role model like him? And then there was the nasty squabble Over the beasts and birds. OK, I admit I told Adam to name them, but – Platypus? Aardvark? Hippopotamus? Let me make one thing perfectly clear – he didn’t get that gibberish from Me. No, I don’t need a planet to fall on Me, I know something about subtext. He did it to irritate Me, just plain spite – and did I need the aggravation? Well, as you know, things went from bad to worse, from begat to begat, father to son, the evil fruit of all that early bile. So next there was narcissism, then bigotry, then jealousy, rage, vengeance! And finally I realized, the spawn of Adam had become exactly like – Me. No Deity with any self-respect would tolerate that kind of competition, so what could I do? I killed them all, that’s what! Just as the Good Book says, I drowned man, woman, and child, like so many cats. Oh, I saved a few for restocking, Noah and his crew, the best of the lot, I thought. But now you’re back to your old tricks again, just about due for another good ducking, or maybe a giant barbecue. And I’m warning you, if I have to do it again, there won’t be any survivors, not even a cockroach! Then, for the first time since it was Primeval Chaos, the world will be perfect – nobody in it but Me.
Philip Appleman
The book of Proverbs says, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”17 This is not (despite what we wish) a warranty for a boy’s happiness. It does not mean, “If you do all the right things as a parent, your son will be happy when he grows up.” It does not mean that there is a simple formula for success. Because every boy is different, each one requires that we take a unique approach toward guiding him. Any great teacher will tell you that it’s foolish to instruct a quiet, reserved, or shy boy the same way you would discipline an outgoing, rambunctious, or aggressive boy. To nurture and discipline a boy effectively, we must see his unique heart and adapt our approach. Nurturing boys requires that our discipline be geared toward lovingly unveiling their strength and courage, according to how these characteristics are uniquely present. Whenever we discipline boys, we must do so in a way that addresses them as the unique, noble creatures they truly are—in ways that honor them and their masculinity. By disciplining our boys in ways that do not shame them, we honor their desire for strength, reinforce their sensitivity, and encourage them toward valor. If our boys are to stand a fair chance at life, they need to enter manhood believing that they are good men. If they don’t, they will be starting out behind the eight ball.
Stephen James (Wild Things: The Art of Nurturing Boys)
Ok, this farmer is driving down the road in his truck and he comes to a state cop in the middle of the road with the blue flashing and everything, and the farmer asks, What's the problem, Officer? The cop looks worried and nods on ahead where this pig is sitting right in the middle of the road-big damn pig- and the cop says, Got a problem with this pig in the road. So the farmer says, Hmmm. And the cop says, Hey I got an idea, Why don't we load this pig into your truck and then you take him to the zoo? And the farmer says, Well, I reckon we could do that. So they load they pig into the farmer's truck and off the farmer drives and that's that. So the next day the cop is out there on the road again because that is his usual speed trap, and who do you think drives by? The farmer--and sitting right next to him in the cab is the pig. And the pig's wearing a baseball hat! The farmer and the pig just go cruising by. So the cop shakes off the unreality of the whole situation, fires up the blue flashing light and sirens and gets scratch in 3 gears tearing out after the farmer, and caught up pretty soon and pulls the farmer over and walks up to the truck. The farmer looks real casual and says, Yessir. The cop says, Hey, I thought I told you to take that pig to the zoo! And the farmer says, I did! We had a good time, too, so today I thought we'd go to the ball game. HA! HA! HA!
Robert Wintner (Snorkel Bob's Reality (& Get Down) Guide to Hawaii)
Yes, that. Would you care to explain where the money is going, Madam President?” Letty laughed up at him with warm, loving eyes. “Certainly, Mr. Blackstone. Do you want to hear the explanation before or after I tell you that I have every reason to believe I'm pregnant?” That very morning Joel had decided that it was probably not possible for him to be any happier than he was already. Now he realized he was wrong. He forgot about the little matter of a fifty thousand dollar cost overrun and started to grin like an idiot. “You're pregnant?” Joel ignored the embarrassed expression on the face of the blond Adonis. “You're going to have our baby?” “It would appear so.” Letty pushed her glasses up onto her nose and smiled demurely. “What do you say to that, Mr. Blackstone?” Joel tossed the file over his left shoulder. The data on the ad budget was sent flying into the air. Eyes gleaming, he walked over to Letty and lifted her carefully into his arms. “I say the hell with the fifty thousand dollars. What's a few bucks between a president and her CEO?” “I knew you'd be reasonable about it, Joel.” Joel carried her out the door and down the hall. “Let's go back to my office, Mrs. Blackstone, and discuss something far more important than ad budget overruns.” “Yes, of course, Mr. Blackstone.” Letty glowed up at him. “And this time we must remember to lock the door before we start our discussions.” Joel's laughter echoed down the halls of Thornquist Gear. Life was very good.
Jayne Ann Krentz (Perfect Partners)
And that unfortunate loss? Was that really an accident,or did you lose deliberately so I wouldn't have to pay the bill?" He shrugged. "My lips are sealed." "I should have known." Once on the open highway he turned on the radio,and they both sang along with Garth as he lamented his papa being a rolling stone. When the song ended,Marilee looked over. "I'll consider that a sermon. According to Garth, a woman would be a fool to lose her heart to a man who'd rather drive a truck than be home with her." Wyatt winked,and in his best imitation of Daffy's smoky voice he said, "Honey, a man may love the open road,but any female with half a brain can figure out how to compete with a truck.Just bat those pretty little red-tipped lashes at any male over the age of twelve, and his brain turns to mush.Next thing you know, instead of revving up his engine, he's on his hands and knees, carrying a toddler on his back around a living room full of toys and baby gear." Though the image was a surprisingly pretty one,Marilee had to wipe tears from her eyes,she was laughing so hard. When she caught her breath she managed to say, "You've got Daffy down so perfectly,you could probably answer the phone at the Fortune Saloon and no one would believe it wasn't her." "She's easy." He chuckled. "I think she's the only female with a voice that's deeper than mine." She looked out the window at the full moon above Treasure Chest Mountain in the distance. "It's a shame to waste such a pretty night.Maybe you ought to pull over and park.We can make out like teenagers." "Not a bad idea." At his arched brow she added, "It would give me a chance to see if I could turn your brain to mush." "Believe it.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
In the EPJ results, there were two statistically distinguishable groups of experts. The first failed to do better than random guessing, and in their longer-range forecasts even managed to lose to the chimp. The second group beat the chimp, though not by a wide margin, and they still had plenty of reason to be humble. Indeed, they only barely beat simple algorithms like “always predict no change” or “predict the recent rate of change.” Still, however modest their foresight was, they had some. So why did one group do better than the other? It wasn’t whether they had PhDs or access to classified information. Nor was it what they thought—whether they were liberals or conservatives, optimists or pessimists. The critical factor was how they thought. One group tended to organize their thinking around Big Ideas, although they didn’t agree on which Big Ideas were true or false. Some were environmental doomsters (“We’re running out of everything”); others were cornucopian boomsters (“We can find cost-effective substitutes for everything”). Some were socialists (who favored state control of the commanding heights of the economy); others were free-market fundamentalists (who wanted to minimize regulation). As ideologically diverse as they were, they were united by the fact that their thinking was so ideological. They sought to squeeze complex problems into the preferred cause-effect templates and treated what did not fit as irrelevant distractions. Allergic to wishy-washy answers, they kept pushing their analyses to the limit (and then some), using terms like “furthermore” and “moreover” while piling up reasons why they were right and others wrong. As a result, they were unusually confident and likelier to declare things “impossible” or “certain.” Committed to their conclusions, they were reluctant to change their minds even when their predictions clearly failed. They would tell us, “Just wait.” The other group consisted of more pragmatic experts who drew on many analytical tools, with the choice of tool hinging on the particular problem they faced. These experts gathered as much information from as many sources as they could. When thinking, they often shifted mental gears, sprinkling their speech with transition markers such as “however,” “but,” “although,” and “on the other hand.” They talked about possibilities and probabilities, not certainties. And while no one likes to say “I was wrong,” these experts more readily admitted it and changed their minds. Decades ago, the philosopher Isaiah Berlin wrote a much-acclaimed but rarely read essay that compared the styles of thinking of great authors through the ages. To organize his observations, he drew on a scrap of 2,500-year-old Greek poetry attributed to the warrior-poet Archilochus: “The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” No one will ever know whether Archilochus was on the side of the fox or the hedgehog but Berlin favored foxes. I felt no need to take sides. I just liked the metaphor because it captured something deep in my data. I dubbed the Big Idea experts “hedgehogs” and the more eclectic experts “foxes.” Foxes beat hedgehogs. And the foxes didn’t just win by acting like chickens, playing it safe with 60% and 70% forecasts where hedgehogs boldly went with 90% and 100%. Foxes beat hedgehogs on both calibration and resolution. Foxes had real foresight. Hedgehogs didn’t.
Philip E. Tetlock (Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction)
Clingmans Dome in the middle of the park. Then, it’s downhill to Virginia, and people have told me Virginia is a cakewalk. I’ll learn soon enough that “easy” trail beyond the Smoky Mountains is as much a fantasy as my dream lunch with pizza…uh, I mean Juli, but for now I’ve convinced myself all will be well once I get through the Smokies. I leave Tray Mountain Shelter at 1:00 with ten miles to go. I’ve eaten the remainder of my food. I’ve been hiking roughly two miles per hour. Downhill is slower due to my sore knee. I need to get to Hiawassee by 6:00 p.m., the check-in deadline at Blueberry Patch Hostel, where my mail drop is waiting.5 I have little margin, so I decide to push for a while. I down a couple of Advil and “open it up” for the first time this trip. In the next hour I cover 3.5 miles. Another 1.5 miles and I am out of water, since I skipped all the side trails leading to streams. Five miles to go, and I’m running out of steam. Half the strands of muscle in my legs have taken the rest of the day off, leaving the other half to do all the work. My throat is dry. Less than a mile to go, a widening stream parallels the trail. It is nearing 6:00, but I can handle the thirst no longer. There is a five-foot drop down an embankment to the stream. Hurriedly I drop my pack and camera case, which I have clipped over the belt of my pack. The camera starts rolling down the embankment, headed for the stream. I lunge for it and miss. It stops on its own in the nook of a tree root. I have to be more careful. I’m already paranoid about losing or breaking gear. Every time I resume hiking after a rest, I stop a few steps down the trail and look back for anything I may have left behind. There’s nothing in my pack that I don’t need. Finally, I’m
David Miller (AWOL on the Appalachian Trail)
The men standing on deck now were not surprised by the order to abandon ship. They had been called up and assembled for it. There were only about twenty-five Terrors present this morning; the rest were at Terror Camp two miles south of Victory Point or sledging materials to the camp or out hunting or reconnoitering near Terror Camp. An equal number of Erebuses waited below on the ice, standing near sledges and piles of gear where the Erebus gear-and-supply tents had been pitched since the first of April when that ship had been abandoned. Crozier watched his men file down the ice ramp, leaving the ship forever. Finally only he and Little were left standing on the canted deck. The fifty-some men on the ice below looked up at them with eyes almost made invisible under low-pulled Welsh wigs and above wool comforters, all squinting in the cold morning light. “Go ahead, Edward,” Crozier said softly. “Over the side with you.” The lieutenant saluted, lifted his heavy pack of personal possessions, and went down first the ladder and then the ice ramp to join the men below. Crozier looked around. The thin April sunlight illuminated a world of tortured ice, looming pressure ridges, countless seracs, and blowing snow. Tugging the bill of his cap lower and squinting toward the east, he tried to record his feelings at the moment. Abandoning ship was the lowest point in any captain’s life. It was an admission of total failure. It was, in most cases, the end of a long Naval career. To most captains, many of Francis Crozier’s personal acquaintance, it was a blow from which they would never recover. Crozier felt none of that despair. Not yet. More important to him at the moment was the blue flame of determination that still burned small but hot in his breast—I will live.
Dan Simmons (The Terror)
I'd read the section in my guidebook about the trail's history the winter before, but it wasn't until now—a couple of miles out of Burney Falls, as I walked in my flimsy sandals in the early evening heat—that the realization of what that story meant picked up force and hit me squarely in the chest: preposterous as it was, when Catherine Montgomery and Clinton Clarke and Warren Rogers and the hundreds of others who'd created the PCT had imagined the people who would walk that high trail that wound down the heights of our western mountains, they'd been imagining me. It didn't matter that everything from my cheap knockoff sandals to my high-tech-by-1995-standards boots and backpack would have been foreign to them, because what mattered was utterly timeless. It was the thing that compelled them to fight for the trail against all the odds, and it was the thing that drove me and every other long-distance hiker onward on the most miserable days. It had nothing to do with gear or footwear or the backpacking fads or philosophies of any particular era or even with getting from point A to point B. It had only to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles for no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets. The experience was powerful and fundamental. It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way. That's what Montgomery knew, I supposed. And what Clarke knew and Rogers and what thousands of people who preceded and followed them knew. It was what I knew before I even really did, before I could have known how truly hard and glorious the PCT would be, how profoundly the trail would both shatter and shelter me.
Cheryl Strayed (Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail)
THIS IS A BOOK ABOUT FRENCH CINEMA, specifically the women of today’s French cinema—a subject as vital as life and as irresistible as movies. Yet many Americans, unfamiliar with French film, will hear “women of today’s French cinema” and immediately imagine something forbidding or austere. Other more refined cineastes may know and appreciate the French movies that play at art houses and arrive on DVD in this country, but they can’t know the full story. They are not in a position to know that what they are seeing is just a hint of something vast and extraordinary. The full story is that for the last two decades France has been in the midst of an explosion of female talent. What is happening in France today is a blossoming of female brilliance and originality of a kind that has never happened anywhere or at any period of film history, with but one glorious exception—in the Hollywood of the 1930s. Indeed, today’s Hepburns, Davises, Crawfords, Garbos, and Stanwycks are not American. They’re French. They are working constantly, appearing up to three or four times each year in films geared to their star personalities and moral meaning. These films, often intelligent, personal, and insightful investigations into what it means to be human in the twenty-first century, are the kinds of films that many Americans want to see. And they wonder why no one is making them. But people are making them, just not in the United States. Moreover, women are not only working in front of the camera in France but behind it, too. Important actresses are writing and directing films, and many of the country’s biggest and most acclaimed directors are women. Truly, this is a halcyon period, happening as we speak, and to miss this moment would be like living in 1920 and never seeing a silent comedy, or like living in 1950 and never seeing a film noir. It would be to miss one of the most enriching cinematic movements of your time. Yet most Americans, virtually all Americans, have been missing it.
Mick LaSalle (The Beauty of the Real: What Hollywood Can Learn from Contemporary French Actresses)
It was a sort of car that seemed to have a faculty for motion with an absolute lack of any accompanying sound whatsoever. This was probably illusory; it must have been, internal combustion engines being what they are, tires being what they are, brakes and gears being what they are, even raspy street-surfacing being what it is. Yet the illusion outside the hotel entrance was a complete one. Just as there are silencers that, when affixed to automatic hand-weapons, deaden their reports, so it was as if this whole massive car body were encased in something of that sort. For, first, there was nothing out there, nothing in sight there. Then, as though the street-bed were water and this bulky black shape were a grotesque gondola, it came floating up out of the darkness from nowhere. And then suddenly, still with no sound whatsoever, there it was at a halt, in position. It was like a ghost-car in every attribute but the visual one. In its trancelike approach and halt, in its lightlessness, in its enshrouded interior, which made it impossible to determine (at least without lowering one's head directly outside the windows and peering in at nose-tip range) if it were even occupied at all, and if so by whom and by how many. You could visualize it scuttling fleetly along some overshadowed country lane at dead of night, lightless, inscrutable, unidentifiable, to halt perhaps beside some inky grove of trees, linger there awhile undetected, then glide on again, its unaccountable errand accomplished without witness, without aftermath. A goblin-car that in an earlier age would have fed folklore and rural legend. Or, in the city, you could visualize it sliding stealthily along some warehouse-blacked back alley, curving and squirming in its terrible silence, then, as it neared the mouth and would have emerged, creeping to a stop and lying there in wait, unguessed in the gloom. Lying here in wait for long hours, like some huge metal-cased predatory animal, waiting to pounce on its prey. Sudden, sharp yellow spurts of fangs, and then to whirl and slink back into anonymity the way it came, leaving the carcass of its prey huddled there and dead. Who was there to know? Who was there to tell? ("The Number's Up")
Cornell Woolrich
Question 2: How Do You Want to Grow? When you watch how young children soak up information, you realize how deeply wired we are to learn and grow. Personal growth can and should happen throughout life, not just when we’re children. In this section, you’re essentially asking yourself: In order to have the experiences above, how do I have to grow? What sort of man or woman do I need to evolve into? Notice how this question ties to the previous one? Now, consider these four categories from the Twelve Areas of Balance: 5.​YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS. Describe how you want to feel and look every day. What about five, ten, or twenty years from now? What eating and fitness systems would you like to have? What health or fitness systems would you like to explore, not because you think you ought to but because you’re curious and want to? Are there fitness goals you’d like to achieve purely for the thrill of knowing you accomplished them (whether it’s hiking a mountain, learning to tap dance, or getting in a routine of going to the gym)? 6.​YOUR INTELLECTUAL LIFE. What do you need to learn in order to have the experiences you listed above? What would you love to learn? What books and movies would stretch your mind and tastes? What kinds of art, music, or theater would you like to know more about? Are there languages you want to master? Remember to focus on end goals—choosing learning opportunities where the joy is in the learning itself, and the learning is not merely a means to an end, such as a diploma. 7.​YOUR SKILLS. What skills would help you thrive at your job and would you enjoy mastering? If you’d love to switch gears professionally, what skills would it take to do that? What are some skills you want to learn just for fun? What would make you happy and proud to know how to do? If you could go back to school to learn anything you wanted just for the joy of it, what would that be? 8.​YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE. Where are you now spiritually, and where would you like to be? Would you like to move deeper into the spiritual practice you already have or try out others? What is your highest aspiration for your spiritual practice? Would you like to learn things like lucid dreaming, deep states of meditation, or ways to overcome fear, worry, or stress?
Vishen Lakhiani (The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms)
Looks like everybody's asleep. Don't they keep a light on for you?" "They probably figured I wouldn't be needing it." "Sorry to disappoint your cousins." "Not to mention me.I'm gravely disappointed at the way this evening has ended.You're going to ruin my reputation as a lady-killer." He flashed her one of his famous smiles. He opened the door and climbed down.When he rounded the front of the truck, he paused beside her open window. "Good night,Marilee. I appreciate the ride home. I just wish you didn't have to make that long drive back to town all alone." "I'll be fine.I've got my radio to keep me company." "You could always coe inside and bunk in my room." "What a generous offer.But once again, I'm afraid I'll have to decline,though I have to admit that I've had more fun in a few hours with you than I've had in years." The minute the words were out of her mouth,she wanted to call them back. What was it about Wyatt that had her trusting him enough to reveal such a thing? Though she barely knew him,he'd uncovered an inherent goodness in him that was rare and wonderful. This had been one of the best nights of her life. Still,he'd gone very quiet.As though digesting her words and searching for hidden meanings. As he turned away she called boldly, "What? No kiss good night? Just because I refused to spend the night with you?" He turned back with a smile, but it wasn't his usual silly grin.Instead, she noted,there was a hint of danger in that smile. He studied her intently before reaching out as though to touch her face. Then he seemed to think better of it and withdrew his hand as if he'd been burned. His eyes locked on hers. "I've already decided that I'll never be able to just kiss you and walk away.So a word of warning,pretty little Marilee. When I kiss you,and I fully intend to kiss you breathless,be prepared to go the distance. There's a powerful storm building up inside me,and when it's unleashed,it's going to be one hell of an earth-shattering explosion.For both of us." He walked away then and didn't look back until he'd reached the back door. Startled by the unexpected intensity of his words,Marilee put the truck in gear and started along the gravel lane. As her vehicle ate up the miles back to town,she couldn't put aside the look she'd seen in his eyes.The carefully banked passion she'd taken such pains to hide had left her more shaken than she cared to admit. In truth,she was still trembling. And he hadn't even touched her.
R.C. Ryan (Montana Destiny)
The man sitting in the iron seat did not look like a man; gloved, goggled, rubber dust mask over nose and mouth, he was part of the monster, a robot in the seat. The thunder of the cylinders sounded through the country, became one with the air and the earth, so that earth and air muttered in sympathetic vibration. The driver could not control it–straight across country it went, cutting through a dozen farms and straight back. A twitch at the controls could swerve the cat’, but the driver’s hands could not twitch because the monster that built the tractor, the monster that sent that tractor out, had somehow got into the driver’s hands, into his brain and muscle, had goggled him and muzzled him–goggled his mind, muzzled his speech, goggled his perception, muzzled his protest. He could not see the land as it was, he could not smell the power of the earth. He sat in an iron seat and stepped on iron pedals. He could not cheer or beat or curse or encourage the extension of his power, and because of this he could not cheer or whip or curse or encourage himself. He did now know or own or trust or beseech the land. If a seed dropped did not germinate, it was no skin off his ass. If the young thrusting plant withered in drought or drowned in a flood of rain, it was no more to the driver than to the tractor. He loved the land no more than the bank loved the land. He could admire the tractor–its machined surfaces, its surge of power, the roar of its detonating cylinders; but it was not his tractor. Behind the tractor rolled the shining disks, cutting the earth with its blades–not plowing but surgery, pushing the cut earth to the right where the second row of disks cut it and pushed it to the left; slicing blades shining, polished by the cut earth. And behind the disks, the harrows combing with iron teeth so that the little clods broke up and the earth lay smooth. Behind the harrows, the long seeders–twelve curved iron penes erected in the foundry, orgasms set by gear, raping methodically, raping without passion. The driver sat in his iron seat and he was proud of the straight lines he did not will, proud of the tractor he did not own or love, proud of the power he could not control. And when that crop grew, and was harvested, no man had crumbled a hot clod in his fingers and let the earth sift past his fingertips. No man had touched the seed, or lusted for the growth. Men ate what they had not raised, and had no connection to the bread. The land bore under iron, and under iron gradually died; for it was not love or hated, it had no prayers or curses.
John Steinbeck (Grapes of Wrath, The)
Come on, show me what you got” Shelby said throwing a set of gear to wing before pulling on a pair of gloves herself “I'll try not to hurt you too badly” “how reassuring” Wing said pulling on his gloves he had been giving Shelby hand-to-hand combat training for some time back at H.I.V.E And what she lacked in technique she made up for in speed and cunning. “Bring it” Shelby said with a grin raising both gloves in a defensive stance and beckoning him towards her “It will be brought” Wing replied. He feinted to her left and she went to block as he simultaneously swung a low blow into her other side, carefully pulling his punch so that he just tapped her. “Two perhaps three broken ribs” Wing said matter of factly “maintain your guard” Shelby nodded and took a quick jab at his jaw which wing blocked effortlessly “Try not to look where you are striking you betray your intentions” They went on like that for a couple more minutes just as in their previous sparring sessions Wing noticed that once they began Shelby became totally focused. There were none of this smart comments or sarcasm that she'd normally used - she was suddenly deadly serious. “Broken job possible unconsciousness” Wing said calmly as he struck her passed her guard stopping his fist millimetres from her chin. “Oh my God” Shelby gasped suddenly, staring in shock at something over wings shoulder. He spun around, his guard raised. Shelby dropped low swinging her leg out, sweeping Wing's feet out from under him and sending him crashing to the floor. “Wounded pride, possible humiliation” Shelby said with a grin offering her hand to Wing and pulling him up off the floor. “and so ends today's lesson” she said pulling off her head guard. “an unconventional tactic” Wing said with a nod, taking off his own helmet. “but a successful one none the less” “ I kinda like unconventional tactics” Shelby said stepping towards him. “never underestimate the power of surprise” She grabbed the back of his neck and kissed him for a few long seconds. “what was that about maintaining your guard?” she said with a smile as she pulled away from him. “sometimes one should let ones guard down” Wing said staring at her for a moment before drawing her towards him and kissed her back. “Er...guys?” a familiar voice said causing Wing and Shelby to spring apart. “Dr Nero wants you to report to the briefing room” Wing winced slightly as he saw Nigel and Franz standing in the doorway. Nigel was looking pointedly at the floor and Franz was staring at him and Shelby, his mouth hanging open in surprise. “come on big guy - no rest for the wicked” Shelby said to Wing with a grin, taking his hand and dragging him out of the room past Nigel and the stunned looking Franz.
Mark Walden (Zero Hour (H.I.V.E, #6))
I started blasting my gun. Letting loose a stream of words like I'd never used before. True to form, Misty didn't stay put and stood at my side. Tears stained her cheeks. Her gun firing wildly. It was a blur. The next thing I knew, no zombies were left standing and we knelt at Kali's side. I took out a rag and wiped the feathers from his face. We could tell he was still alive. His chest rising and falling in jerks. "Kali, how bad are you hurt?" I asked with an unsteady voice. "I'm okay, guys. Did we get all of them?" he whispered. "Nate, he's been bit all over!" I looked down at his body, covered in white feathers, speckled with splotches of deep red. "Yep. You got 'em, even those freak chickens." "Nate, I'm thirsty," his voice shaky and cracking. "Okay, buddy. We've got water in the truck." "No, not water. How about a glass of lemonade?" "Kali, what are you saying?" Misty's voice was tense as a piano string. "Hurry, Nate. I'm getting weak—the lemonade." I think running into the crowd of zombies would have been easier than this. Maybe that's why Kali chucked a rock at my head—he knew he could count on me for this. I ripped off a small water gun I had taped on my suit and tore off the cap. "Oh, Nate, don't. Maybe there's something we can do. Maybe—" she stopped. I put my hand behind Kali's neck and felt a slight burn, probably zombie snot. Misty took one of his hands and held it to her chest. "You were so brave, Kali, so brave." My hands didn't shake anymore; they were numb, as if they didn't belong to me. I manipulated them the best I could—like using chopsticks. Lifting Kali's head, I poured the juice into his mouth until it was gone. He was burning up; his skin felt like it was on fire. "I never thought I'd have friends, real friends—thank you, guys." He closed his eyes and I felt the muscles in his neck go limp. Gently, I put his head down and cleaned my blistering hand with the rag. Misty wiped her tears as I put the rag over Kali's face. "No, thank you, kid." We sat there still, silent except for the small cries that we both let slip out. Misty, still holding his hand. Me, staring down at my hands, soaked in tears. I don't know how much time passed. It could have been five minutes; it might have been an hour. Suddenly, the feathers moved, flying in every direction. Looking up, I saw a helicopter coming down in front of us—one of those big black military ones. It landed and three men stepped out. They wore protective gear like you see in those alien movies. I worried a little about what they might have planned for us. I've seen enough movies to know those government types can't be trusted—especially when they're in those protective suits. "What happened here? How did you manage to negate the virus?" one of the hooded figures asked. "Zombie juice," I replied. "Zombie juice?" "Actually it was the Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb," Misty added as she stood and took my hand.
M.J. Ware (Super Zombie Juice Mega Bomb)
But Dave Wain that lean rangy red head Welchman with his penchant for going off in Willie to fish in the Rogue River up in Oregon where he knows an abandoned mining camp, or for blattin around the desert roads, for suddenly reappearing in town to get drunk, and a marvelous poet himself, has that certain something that young hip teenagers probably wanta imitate–For one thing is one of the world's best talkers, and funny too–As I'll show–It was he and George Baso who hit on the fantastically simple truth that everybody in America was walking around with a dirty behind, but everybody, because the ancient ritual of washing with water after the toilet had not occurred in all the modern antisepticism–Says Dave "People in America have all these racks of drycleaned clothes like you say on their trips, they spatter Eau de Cologne all over themselves, they wear Ban and Aid or whatever it is under their armpits, they get aghast to see a spot on a shirt or a dress, they probably change underwear and socks maybe even twice a day, they go around all puffed up and insolent thinking themselves the cleanest people on earth and they're walkin around with dirty azzoles–Isnt that amazing?give me a little nip on that tit" he says reaching for my drink so I order two more, I've been engrossed, Dave can order all the drinks he wants anytime, "The President of the United States, the big ministers of state, the great bishops and shmishops and big shots everywhere, down to the lowest factory worker with all his fierce pride, movie stars, executives and great engineers and presidents of law firms and advertising firms with silk shirts and neckties and great expensive traveling cases in which they place these various expensive English imported hair brushes and shaving gear and pomades and perfumes are all walkin around with dirty azzoles! All you gotta do is simply wash yourself with soap and water! it hasn't occurred to anybody in America at all! it's one of the funniest things I've ever heard of! dont you think it's marvelous that we're being called filthy unwashed beatniks but we're the only ones walkin around with clean azzoles?"–The whole azzole shot in fact had spread swiftly and everybody I knew and Dave knew from coast to coast had embarked on this great crusade which I must say is a good one–In fact in Big Sur I'd instituted a shelf in Monsanto's outhouse where the soap must be kept and everyone had to bring a can of water there on each trip–Monsanto hadnt heard about it yet, "Do you realize that until we tell poor Lorenzo Monsanto the famous writer that he is walking around with a dirty azzole he will be doing just that?"–"Let's go tell him right now!"–"Why of course if we wait another minute...and besides do you know what it does to people to walk around with a dirty azzole? it leaves a great yawning guilt that they cant understand all day, they go to work all cleaned up in the morning and you can smell all that freshly laundered clothes and Eau de Cologne in the commute train yet there's something gnawing at them, something's wrong, they know something's wrong they dont know just what!"–We rush to tell Monsanto at once in the book store around the corner. (Big Sur, Chap. 11)
Jack Kerouac (Big Sur)
Steve was a warrior in every sense of the word, but battling wildlife perpetrators just wasn’t the same as old-fashioned combat. Because Steve’s knees continued to deteriorate, his surfing ability was severely compromised. Instead of giving up in despair, Steve sought another outlet for all his pent-up energy. Through our head of security, Dan Higgins, Steve discovered mixed martial arts (or MMA) fighting. Steve was a natural at sparring. His build was unbelievable, like a gorilla’s, with his thick chest, long arms, and outrageous strength for hugging things (like crocs). Once he grabbed hold of something, there was no getting away. He had a punch equivalent to the kick of a Clydesdale, he could just about lift somebody off the ground with an uppercut, and he took to grappling as a wonderful release. Steve never did anything by halves. I remember one time the guys were telling him that a good body shot could really wind someone. Steve suddenly said, “No one’s given me a good body shot. Try to drop me with a good one so I know what it feels like.” Steve opened up his arms and Dan just pile drove him. Steve said, in between gasps, “Thanks, mate. That was great, I get your point.” I would join in and spar or work the pads, or roll around until I was absolutely exhausted. Steve would go until he threw up. I’ve never seen anything like it. Some MMA athletes are able to seek that dark place, that point of total exhaustion--they can see it, stare at it, and sometimes get past it. Steve ran to it every day. He wasn’t afraid of it. He tried to get himself to that point of exhaustion so that maybe the next day he could get a little bit further. Soon we were recruiting the crew, anyone who had any experience grappling. Guys from the tiger department or construction were lining up to have a go, and Steve would go through the blokes one after another, grappling away. And all the while I loved it too. Here was something else that Steve and I could do together, and he was hilarious. Sometimes he would be cooking dinner, and I’d come into the kitchen and pat him on the bum with a flirtatious look. The next thing I knew he had me in underhooks and I was on the floor. We’d be rolling around, laughing, trying to grapple each other. It’s like the old adage when you’re watching a wildlife documentary: Are they fighting or mating? It seems odd that this no-holds-barred fighting really brought us closer, but we had so much fun with it. Steve finally built his own dojo on a raised concrete pad with a cage, shade cloth, fans, mats, bags, and all that great gear. Six days a week, he would start grappling at daylight, as soon as the guys would get into work. He had his own set of techniques and was a great brawler in his own right, having stood up for himself in some of the roughest, toughest, most remote outback areas. Steve wasn’t intimidated by anyone. Dan Higgins brought a bunch of guys over from the States, including Keith Jardine and other pros, and Steve couldn’t wait to tear into them. He held his own against some of the best MMA fighters in the world. I always thought that if he’d wanted to be a fighter as a profession, he would have been dangerous. All the guys heartily agreed.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
The children crowded about the women in the houses. What we going to do Ma? Where we going to go? The women said, We don’t know, yet. Go out and play. But don’t go near your father. He might whale you if you go near him. And the women went on with the work, but all the time they watched the men squatting in the dust–perplexed and figuring. ... The tractors came over the roads and into the fields, great crawlers moving like insects, having the incredible strength of insects. They crawled over the ground, laying the track and rolling on it and picking it up. Diesel tractors, puttering while they stood idle; they thundered when they moved, and then settled down to a droning roar. Snub-nosed monsters, raising the dust and sticking their snouts into it, straight down the country, across the country, through fences, through dooryards, in and out of gullies in straight lines. They did not run on the ground, but on their own roadbeds. They ignored hills and gulches, water courses, fences, houses. The man sitting in the iron seat did not look like a man; gloved, goggled, rubber dust mask over nose and mouth, he was part of the monster, a robot in the seat. The thunder of the cylinders sounded through the country, became one with the air and the earth, so that earth and air muttered in sympathetic vibration. The driver could not control it–straight across country it went, cutting through a dozen farms and straight back. A twitch at the controls could swerve the cat’, but the driver’s hands could not twitch because the monster that built the tractor, the monster that sent that tractor out, had somehow got into the driver’s hands, into his brain and muscle, had goggled him and muzzled him–goggled his mind, muzzled his speech, goggled his perception, muzzled his protest. He could not see the land as it was, he could not smell the power of the earth. He sat in an iron seat and stepped on iron pedals. He could not cheer or beat or curse or encourage the extension of his power, and because of this he could not cheer or whip or curse or encourage himself. He did now know or own or trust or beseech the land. If a seed dropped did not germinate, it was no skin off his ass. If the young thrusting plant withered in drought or drowned in a flood of rain, it was no more to the driver than to the tractor. He loved the land no more than the bank loved the land. He could admire the tractor–its machined surfaces, its surge of power, the roar of its detonating cylinders; but it was not his tractor. Behind the tractor rolled the shining disks, cutting the earth with its blades–not plowing but surgery, pushing the cut earth to the right where the second row of disks cut it and pushed it to the left; slicing blades shining, polished by the cut earth. And behind the disks, the harrows combing with iron teeth so that the little clods broke up and the earth lay smooth. Behind the harrows, the long seeders–twelve curved iron penes erected in the foundry, orgasms set by gear, raping methodically, raping without passion. The driver sat in his iron seat and he was proud of the straight lines he did not will, proud of the tractor he did not own or love, proud of the power he could not control. And when that crop grew, and was harvested, no man had crumbled a hot clod in his fingers and let the earth sift past his fingertips. No man had touched the seed, or lusted for the growth. Men ate what they had not raised, and had no connection to the bread. The land bore under iron, and under iron gradually died; for it was not love or hated, it had no prayers or curses.
John Steinbeck (The Grapes of Wrath)