Holidays With Friends Quotes

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It is a miracle if you can find true friends, and it is a miracle if you have enough food to eat, and it is a miracle if you get to spend your days and evenings doing whatever it is you like to do, and the holiday season - like all the other seasons - is a good time not only to tell stories of miracles, but to think about the miracles in your own life, and to be grateful for them, and that's the end of this particular story.
Lemony Snicket (The Lump of Coal)
I stood under the awning for a moment, but finally I decided that being in a bad mood with your friends beats being in a bad mood without them.
John Green (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
You're lucky to have a friend who will kill for you." So. I once had a friend who died for me, and now one who killed for me. Why didn't I feel lucky?
Carrie Vaughn (Kitty Takes a Holiday (Kitty Norville, #3))
A cluster of giggling women sat nearby, tittering about how the Crown Prince was gone on holiday to the Sorian coast, and how they wished they could join the prince and his dashing friends, and on and on until Celaena contemplated chucking her spoon at them.
Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass (Throne of Glass, #1))
He was about to go home, about to return to the place where he had had a family. It was in Godric’s Hollow that, but for Voldemort, he would have grown up and spent every school holiday. He could have invited friends to his house. . . . He might even have had brothers and sisters. . . . It would have been his mother who had made his seventeenth birthday cake. The life he had lost had hardly ever seemed so real to him as at this moment, when he knew he was about to see the place where it had been taken from him.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7))
Snowflakes swirl down gently in the deep blue haze beyond the window. The outside world is a dream. Inside, the fireplace is brightly lit, and the Yule log crackles with orange and crimson sparks. There’s a steaming mug in your hands, warming your fingers. There’s a friend seated across from you in the cozy chair, warming your heart. There is mystery unfolding.
Vera Nazarian (The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration)
Noel was her very best friend - even if she wasn't his. Noel was her person.
Rainbow Rowell (My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories)
Of course not. No one is chosen. Not ever. Not in the real world. You chose to climb out of your window and ride on a leopard. You chose to get a witch’s Spoon back, and to make friends with a wyvern. You chose to trade your shadow for a child’s life. You chose not to let the Marquess hurt your friend--you chose to smash her cages! You chose to face your own Death, not to balk at a great sea to cross and no ship to cross it in. And twice now you have chosen not to go home when you might have, if only you abandoned your friends. You are not the chosen one, September. Fairyland did not choose you--you chose yourself. You could have had a lovely holiday in Fairyland and never met the Marquess, never worried yourself with local politics, had a romp with a few brownies and gone home with enough memories for a lifetime’s worth of novels. But you didn’t. You chose. You chose it all. Just like you chose your path on the beach: to lose your heart is not a path for the faint and fainting.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland, #1))
In the first place it's not true that people improve as you know them better: they don't. That's why one should only have acquaintances and never make friends. An acquaintance shows you only the best of himself, he's considerate and polite, he conceals his defects behind a mask of social convention; but we grow so intimate with him that he throws the mask aside, get to know him so well that he doesn't trouble any longer to pretend; then you'll discover a being of such meanness, of such trivial nature, of such weakness, of such corruption, that you'd be aghast if you didn't realize that that was his nature and it was just as stupid to condemn him as to condemn the wolf because he ravens or the cobra because he strikes.
W. Somerset Maugham (Christmas Holiday)
In this lifetime we are like Superman who must remain disguised as the nerdy newspaper journalist Clark Kent, or Harry Potter and his friends who are not allowed to do magic while they are on holiday, away from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry... but even Harry Potter and Clark Kent get to tap into their ‘special powers’ once in a while, especially when the going gets tough.
Anthon St. Maarten (Divine Living: The Essential Guide To Your True Destiny)
Well, Bud," he said, looking at me, "I'll be damned if you don't go to a lot of trouble to have your fun. Kidnapping, then fighting. What do you do on your holidays? Burn houses?
William Faulkner (The Sound and the Fury)
Kylie stormed into Holiday's office. She dropped down into the seat across from the desk and looked her friend and camp leader right in the eyes. "I hate boys. I'm seriously considering going lesbian." Holiday's expression was part grin, part groan. "If it was that easy, ninety percent of the women in the world would be gay." She made a funny little face and then asked, "So...boy problems?
C.C. Hunter (Awake at Dawn (Shadow Falls, #2))
Christmas Amnesty. You can fall out of contact with a friend, fail to return calls, ignore e-mails, avoid eye contact at the Thrifty-Mart, forget birthdays, anniversaries, and reunions, and if you show up at their house during the holidays (with a gift) they are socially bound to forgive you—act like nothing happened. Decorum dictates that the friendship move forward from that point, without guilt or recrimination. If you started a chess game ten years ago in October, you need only remember whose move it is—or why you sold the chessboard and bought an Xbox in the interim. (Look, Christmas Amnesty is a wonderful thing, but it’s not a dimensional shift. The laws of time and space continue to apply, even if you have been avoiding your friends. But don’t try using the expansion of the universe an as excuse—like you kept meaning to stop by, but their house kept getting farther away. That crap won’t wash. Just say, “Sorry I haven’t called. Merry Christmas” Then show the present. Christmas Amnesty protocol dictates that your friend say, “That’s okay,” and let you in without further comment. This is the way it has always been done.)
Christopher Moore (The Stupidest Angel: A Heartwarming Tale of Christmas Terror (Pine Cove, #3))
Death says a million words that the heart can't pen.
Shannon L. Alder
Halloween was the best holiday, in my opinion, because it was all about friends, monsters, and candy, rather than family and responsibility.
Margee Kerr
My friend the philosopher and martial artist Daniele Bolelli once gave me a helpful metaphor. He explained that training was like sweeping the floor. Just because we’ve done it once, doesn’t mean the floor is clean forever. Every day the dust comes back. Every day we must sweep.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
Death's Diary: 1942 - It was a year for the ages, like 79, like 1346, to just name a few. Forget the scythe, God damn it, I needed a broom or a mop. And I needed a holiday. (...) They say that war is death's best friend, but I must offer you a different point of view on that one. To me, war is like the new boss who expects the impossible. He stands over your shoulder repeating one thing, incessantly. 'Get it done, get it done'. So you work harder. You get the job done. The boss however, does not thank you. He asks for more.
Markus Zusak (The Book Thief)
I am progressing along the path of life in my ordinary contentedly fallen and godless condition, absorbed in a merry meeting with my friends for the morrow or a bit of work that tickles my vanity today, a holiday or a new book, when suddenly a stab of abdominal pain that threatens serious disease, or a headline in the newspapers that threatens us all with destruction, sends this whole pack of cards tumbling down. At first I am overwhelmed, and all my little happinesses look like broken toys. Then, slowly and reluctantly, bit by bit, I try to bring myself into the frame of mind that I should be in at all times. I remind myself that all these toys were never intended to possess my heart, that my true good is in another world, and my only real treasure is Christ. And perhaps, by God's grace, I succeed, and for a day or two become a creature consciously dependent on God and drawing its strength from the right sources.
C.S. Lewis
Wherever we travel to, the wonderful people we meet become our family.
Lailah Gifty Akita (Think Great: Be Great! (Beautiful Quotes, #1))
As in the old Irish blessing, may God give you, for every storm, a rainbow; for every tear, a smile. For every care, a promise; a blessing for every trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share; for every sigh, a sweet song, and an answer for every prayer.
Sandra D. Bricker (Merry Humbug Christmas: Two Tales of Holiday Romance)
And if we do speak out, we risk rejection and ridicule. I had a best friend once, the kind that you go shopping with and watch films with, the kind you go on holiday with and rescue when her car breaks down on the A1. Shortly after my diagnosis, I told her I had DID. I haven't seen her since. The stench and rankness of a socially unacceptable mental health disorder seems to have driven her away.
Carolyn Spring (Living with the Reality of Dissociative Identity Disorder: Campaigning Voices)
But hidden drawers, lockable diaries and cryptographic systems could not conceal from Briony the simple truth: she had no secrets. Her wish for a harmonious, organised world denied her the reckless possibilities of wrongdoing. Mayhem and destruction were too chaotic for her tastes, and she did not have it in her to be cruel. Her effective status as an only child, as well as the relative isolation of the Tallis house, kept her, at least during the long summer holidays, from girlish intrigues with friends. Nothing in her life was sufficiently interesting or shameful to merit hiding; no one knew about the squirrel's skull beneath her bed, but no one wanted to know.
Ian McEwan (Atonement)
The strange thing is, this truly horrifying experience planted a seed deep within my heart that germinated and grew into a desire that, I have to admit, I've never completely overcome.
Kathi Daley (Halloween Hijinks (Zoe Donovan Mystery #1))
Clara said that Billie Holiday woke up crying. Clara said that if you sing the blues, you know that if you can’t make friends with grief, you’ve got to at least make way for it.
Amy Bloom (Lucky Us)
It's funny. Friendships are Catch twenty-twos when you're single and in your thirties. Friends are your life rafts. You try to help each other meet people, you confide in each other, you spend Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, all those emotional land-mine holidays together. But sooner or later one of you is going to meet someone and be gone into the world of couples.
Will McIntosh (Love Minus Eighty)
The things we share with each other are deeply felt from within our hearts that neither of us will ever forget. For the gifts that are priceless are the ones that are heartfelt; their roots are within our soul. They are the greatest gifts, of all.
Ellen J. Barrier
most cherished desires of present-day Westerners are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, ‘Follow your heart.’ But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day, and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth-century Romantic myths and twentieth-century consumerist myths. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has marketed Diet Coke around the world under the slogan ‘Diet Coke. Do what feels good.’ Even what people take to be their most personal desires are usually programmed by the imagined order. Let’s consider, for example, the popular desire to take a holiday abroad. There is nothing natural or obvious about this. A chimpanzee alpha male would never think of using his power in order to go on holiday into the territory of a neighbouring chimpanzee band. The elite of ancient Egypt spent their fortunes building pyramids and having their corpses mummified, but none of them thought of going shopping in Babylon or taking a skiing holiday in Phoenicia. People today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism. Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better. 18. The Great Pyramid of Giza. The kind of thing rich people in ancient Egypt did with their money. Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite ‘market of experiences’, on which the modern tourism industry is founded. The tourism industry does not sell flight tickets and hotel bedrooms. It sells experiences. Paris is not a city, nor India a country – they are both experiences, the consumption of which is supposed to widen our horizons, fulfil our human potential, and make us happier. Consequently, when the relationship between a millionaire and his wife is going through a rocky patch, he takes her on an expensive trip to Paris. The trip is not a reflection of some independent desire, but rather of an ardent belief in the myths of romantic consumerism. A wealthy man in ancient Egypt would never have dreamed of solving a relationship crisis by taking his wife on holiday to Babylon. Instead, he might have built for her the sumptuous tomb she had always wanted. Like the elite of ancient Egypt, most people in most cultures dedicate their lives to building pyramids. Only the names, shapes and sizes of these pyramids change from one culture to the other. They may take the form, for example, of a suburban cottage with a swimming pool and an evergreen lawn, or a gleaming penthouse with an enviable view. Few question the myths that cause us to desire the pyramid in the first place.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
My path is the nice one. The one filled with friends who will smile when I buy their children books for their birthdays. Who will take me out, sometimes, when I call on a random night because I can't settle down. The path with peaceful holidays with my parents, and reasonable work promotions at reasonable times. The path with nice men, who take me on nice dates where I learn their last names the minute we shake hands at the bar. A path clear of a man with eyes that drift into some private sorrow. A path that will never lead to a man whose hands shake when he holds my face for a kiss that feels like falling.
Mary Ann Rivers (The Story Guy)
My laboratory is like a church because it is where I figure out what I believe. The machines drone a gathering hymn as I enter. I know whom I’ll probably see, and I know how they’ll probably act. I know there’ll be silence; I know there’ll be music, a time to greet my friends, and a time to leave others to their contemplation. There are rituals that I follow, some I understand and some I don’t. Elevated to my best self, I strive to do each task correctly. My lab is a place to go on sacred days, as is a church. On holidays, when the rest of the world is closed, my lab is open. My lab is a refuge and an asylum. It is my retreat from the professional battlefield; it is the place where I coolly examine my wounds and repair my armor. And, just like church, because I grew up in it, it is not something from which I can ever really walk away. My
Hope Jahren (Lab Girl)
One of the hardest things you will ever have to go through is the death of a child. The second hardest thing you will ever have to go through is having a child die at Christmas time. The third hardest thing you will ever have to go through is telling your child that their friend and family member has passed away. The bittersweet moment that pulls you through it all is when your child says, "Mom don't cry. They're okay because they are with God now and they promise not to leave until they help you get through this.
Shannon L. Alder
A going-away party. We dress things up with pretty words. My friend is not going on a pleasure jaunt, or a holiday upriver to see the ruling city of MallenIve. They are selling her off to some nameless man with arable land. They are selling her for caskets of wine.
Cat Hellisen (When the Sea Is Rising Red (Hobverse #1))
Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused—in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened—by the recurrence of Christmas. There are people who will tell you that Christmas is not to them what it used to be; that each succeeding Christmas has found some cherished hope, or happy prospect, of the year before, dimmed or passed away; that the present only serves to remind them of reduced circumstances and straitened incomes—of the feasts they once bestowed on hollow friends, and of the cold looks that meet them now, in adversity and misfortune. Never heed such dismal reminiscences. There are few men who have lived long enough in the world who cannot call up such thoughts any day of the year. Then do not select the merriest of the three hundred and sixty-five for your doleful recollections, but draw your chair nearer the blazing fire—fill the glass and send round the song—and if your room be smaller than it was a dozen years ago, or if your glass be filled with reeking punch, instead of sparkling wine, put a good face on the matter, and empty it offhand, and fill another, and troll off the old ditty you used to sing, and thank God it’s no worse.
Charles Dickens (Sketches by Boz)
On Christmas morning, Rebecca lost her moral virginity, her sense of humor - and her two best friends. But, other than that, it was a hell of a holiday.
Ellen Emerson White (The Road Home (Echo Company, #5))
Friends stick.
Jill Shalvis (The Trouble with Mistletoe (Heartbreaker Bay, #2))
It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend. —William Blake
T.M. Logan (The Holiday)
What is the spirit of Christmas, you ask?  Let me give you the answer in a true story... On a cold day in December, feeling especially warm in my heart for no other reason than it was the holiday season, I walked through the store sporting a big grin on my face.  Though most people were far too busy going about their business to notice me, one elderly gentleman in a wheelchair brought his eyes up to meet mine as we neared each other traveling opposite directions.  He slowed in passing just long enough to speak to me. "Now that's a Christmas smile if I ever saw one," he said. My lips stretched to their limit in response, and I thanked him for the compliment.  Then we went our separate ways. But, as I thought about the man and how sweetly he'd touched me, I realized something simply wonderful!  In that brief, passing interaction we'd exchanged heartfelt gifts! And that, my friend, is the spirit of Christ~mas. 
Richelle E. Goodrich (Smile Anyway: Quotes, Verse, and Grumblings for Every Day of the Year)
We enter that strange period between Christmas and New Year, when time seems to muddle, and we find ourselves asking again and again, What day is it? What date? I always mean to work on these days, or at least to write, but this year, like every other, I find myself unable to gather up the necessary intent. I used to think that these were wasted days, but I now realise that’s the point. I am doing nothing very much, not even actively being on holiday. I clear out my cupboards, ready for another year’s onslaught of cooking and eating. I take Bert out to play with friends. I go for cold walks that make my ears ache. I am not being lazy. I’m not slacking. I’m just letting my attention shift for a while, away from the direct ambitions of the rest of my year. It’s like revving my engines.
Katherine May (Wintering: The power of rest and retreat in difficult times)
We become too embarrassed to meet up with the friend we haven’t seen in years because we might have gained weight. We sabotage relationships by thinking we’re unworthy of physical affection. We hide our face when we have breakouts. We opt out of the dance class because we’re worried we’ll look ridiculous. We miss out on sex positions because we’re afraid we’ll crush our partner with our weight. We dread family holidays because someone might say something about how we look. We don’t approach potential friends or lovers because we assume they will immediately judge our appearance negatively. We try to shrink when walking in public spaces in order to take up as little room as possible. We build our lives around the belief that we are undeserving of attention, love, and amazing opportunities, when in reality this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Jes Baker (Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living)
Well, nobody wants to be alone, especially around Christmas. I’m sure you know that most suicides happen around the holidays. Besides, this isn’t a train this time of year. It’s a social club of strangers looking for a friend.
David Baldacci (The Christmas Train)
Thoughts turn to other's just a little more this time of year. Days grow shorter and memories grow longer. Families and friends gather in celebration or hope. Giving is a reflection of our love and caring for each other and those less fortunate. May your thoughts turn to gratitude this holiday season and carry on throughout the next year…
James A. Murphy (The Waves of Life Quotes and Daily Meditations)
Strays is what a writer I recently read calls those who, for one reason or another, and despite whatever they might have wanted earlier in life, never really become a part of life, not in the way most people do. They may have serious relationships, they may have friends, even a sizable circle, they may spend large portions of their time in the company of others. But they never marry and they never have children. On holidays, they join some family or other group. This goes on year after year, until they finally find it in themselves to admit that they'd really rather just stay home.
Sigrid Nunez (The Friend)
Happy Holidays Is it not this day to smile? Is it yet a time to give? Is this friend as old as good? Is my family so well? Santa is just on his way, Bringing gifts and love tonight, Have a prosperous New Year! And a happy day to last!
J.M.K. Walkow
I wanted to love the city. There is an electricity to the dullest day here that overpowers its clinging aroma. Friends have moved cityward, rarely seen again, each acting as though they relocated to Shangri-La, despite muggings and struggling.
Thomm Quackenbush (Holidays with Bigfoot)
Greek philosophers looked upon the past and the future as the primary evils weighing upon human life, and as the source of all the anxieties which blight the present. The present moment is the only dimension of existence worth inhabiting, because it is the only one available to us. The past is no longer and the future has yet to come, they liked to remind us; yet we live virtually all of our lives somewhere between memories and aspirations, nostalgia and expectation. We imagine we would be much happier with new shoes, a faster computer, a bigger house, more exotic holidays, different friends … But by regretting the past or guessing the future, we end up missing the only life worth living: the one which proceeds from the here and now and deserves to be savoured.
Luc Ferry (A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living)
Neither the Pilgrims nor the Indians new what they had begun. The Pilgrims called the celebration a Harvest Feast. The Indians thought of it as a Green Corn Dance. It was both and more than both. It was the first Thanksgiving. In the years that followed, President George Washington issued the first national Thanksgiving proclamation, and President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday in November a holiday of “thanksgiving and praise.” Today it is still a harvest festival and Green Corn Dance. Families feast with friends, give thanks and play games. Plymouth Rock did not fare as well. It has been cut in half, moved twice, dropped, split and trimmed to fit its present-day portico. It is a mere memento of its once magnificent self. Yet to Americans, Plymouth Rock is a symbol. It is larger than the mountains, wider than the prairies and stronger than all our rivers. It is the rock on which our nation began.
Jean Craighead George (The First Thanksgiving)
One of her dearest and handsomest friends was a sorcerer, and from him she had learned so much magic even her hairpins got up and started living serious-minded lives, writing hairpin-ballads, celebrating hairpin-holidays, and inventing several new schools of philosophy.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland - For a Little While (Fairyland, #0.5))
You know, I just love Grace Kelly. Not because she was a princess, not because she was an actress, not because she was my friend, but because she was just about the nicest lady I ever met. Grace brought into my life as she brought into yours, a soft, warm light every time I saw her, and every time I saw her was a holiday of its own. No question, I’ll miss her, we’ll all miss her, God bless you, Princess Grace.
James Stewart
This is your life. This is yours. You can establish an exact inventory of your meager fortune, the precise balance sheet of your first quarter-century. You are twenty-five years old, you have twenty-nine teeth, three shirts and eight socks, a few books you no longer read, a few records you no longer play. You do not want to remember anything else, be it your family or your studies, your friends and lovers, or your holidays and plans. You traveled and you brought nothing back from your travels. Here you sit, and you want only to wait, just to wait until there is nothing left to wait for: for night to fall and the passing hours to chime, for the days to slip away and the memories to fade.
Georges Perec (Un homme qui dort)
I’ve had enough I’m sick of seeing and touching Both sides of things Sick of being the damn bridge for everybody Nobody Can talk to anybody Without me Right? I explain my mother to my father my father to my little sister My little sister to my brother my brother to the white feminists The white feminists to the Black church folks the Black church folks to the ex-hippies the ex-hippies to the Black separatists the Black separatists to the artists the artists to my friends’ parents… Then I’ve got to explain myself To everybody I do more translating Than the Gawdamn U.N. Forget it I’m sick of it. I’m sick of filling in your gaps Sick of being your insurance against the isolation of your self-imposed limitations Sick of being the crazy at your holiday dinners Sick of being the odd one at your Sunday Brunches Sick of being the sole Black friend to 34 individual white people Find another connection to the rest of the world Find something else to make you legitimate Find some other way to be political and hip I will not be the bridge to your womanhood Your manhood Your humanness I’m sick of reminding you not to Close off too tight for too long I’m sick of mediating with your worst self On behalf of your better selves I am sick Of having to remind you To breathe Before you suffocate Your own fool self Forget it Stretch or drown Evolve or die The bridge I must be Is the bridge to my own power I must translate My own fears Mediate My own weaknesses I must be the bridge to nowhere But my true self And then I will be useful
Kate Rushin (The Black Back-Ups: Poetry)
And she just takes it, drinking me down, sucking my cock with sharp tugs that have me babbling demands. “God, honey, promise you’ll marry me one day. I have to have this for the rest of our lives. Forever. Always. Fuck.” She releases me with a long pull, her finger sliding away. My skin prickles. I feel vaguely empty, my body sore in places I don’t want to think about. And as she slowly kisses her way up my stomach, I’m still babbling. “Give it to me on Christmas. Birthdays.” Her tongue flicks in my belly button. I grunt, my hips twitching. “My days off. Major holidays. Midnight surprises…” Mac licks my nipple, and I shiver, my voice going raspy. “Twice on Tuesdays.
Kristen Callihan (The Friend Zone (Game On, #2))
If I am to believe everything that I see in the media, happiness is to be six foot tall or more and to have bleached teeth and a firm abdomen, all the latest clothes, accessories, and electronics, a picture-perfect partner of the opposite sex who is both a great lover and a terrific friend, an assortment of healthy and happy children, a pet that is neither a stray nor a mongrel, a large house in the right sort of postcode, a second property in an idyllic holiday location, a top-of-the-range car to shuttle back and forth from the one to the other, a clique of ‘friends’ with whom to have fabulous dinner parties, three or four foreign holidays a year, and a high-impact job that does not distract from any of the above. There are at least three major problems that I can see with this ideal of happiness. (1) It represents a state of affairs that is impossible to attain to and that is in itself an important source of unhappiness. (2) It is situated in an idealised and hypothetical future rather than in an imperfect but actual present in which true happiness is much more likely to be found, albeit with great difficulty. (3) It has largely been defined by commercial interests that have absolutely nothing to do with true happiness, which has far more to do with the practice of reason and the peace of mind that this eventually brings. In short, it is not only that the bar for happiness is set too high, but also that it is set in the wrong place, and that it is, in fact, the wrong bar. Jump and you’ll only break your back.
Neel Burton (The Art of Failure: The Anti Self-Help Guide)
Good friends, good meat. Good God, let’s eat!
Debbie Macomber (Alaskan Holiday)
Paul Graham explains, “The best way to increase a startup’s growth rate is to make the product so good people recommend it to their friends.
Ryan Holiday (Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts)
What kind of friend spanks another?!" "The kind that knows the other one needs it.
Annalise Delaney (A Twisted Little Christmas)
The expression is: a boy's best friend is his mother. It's not: a boy's best pimp is his mother. It is that way for a reason.
Maureen Johnson (Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances)
That was real love − a man you were so excited to see that you didn’t even glance in a mirror to check your hair or make-up before you threw yourself on him.
Lindsey Kelk (Jenny Lopez Saves Christmas (I Heart 6.5))
If hardship came, she wouldn’t shatter into a million useless pieces. To the lucky gentleman who won her, she’d be a friend. A partner.
Mimi Matthews (A Holiday By Gaslight)
Nick had sent me an email that day containing a link to a Joanna Newsom song. I sent back a link to the Billie Holiday recording of ‘I’m a Fool to Want You’, but he didn’t reply.
Sally Rooney (Conversations with Friends)
Ah, my dear friend, cheer up... After all, we have peace! And because there is peace, the occupiers can't behave so abominably anymore. All right, we're not free. But we are used to that, Mr. Kujawski. After all we were both born into slavery, and we will die in it. Oh yes, at first they'll exploit us ruthlessly. Fourteen hours of slave labor a day. A bowl of watery soup. Whippings, beatings... But that will pass with time. Because there is peace, they won't have a chance to get any new slaves. They'll have to take good care of those have already. Cheer up, dear Mr. Kujawski... [...] Arbeit macht frei, work makes man free, and it makes him especially so in the sunshine of European peace. We will lack only one thing. Only one! The right of dissent. The right to say out loud that we want a free and independent Poland, that we want to brush our teeth and go on holiday in our own way, conceive children and work our own way, think in our own way, live and die. This is the one thing you will find missing in the sunshine of European peace, which you, my friend, hold to be the highest good.
Andrzej Szczypiorski (The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman)
Thrilled about my giveaway winners! Book will be mailed Tuesday (after the holiday! Hope you enjoy Libby's Journey and come back for more! Share with friends and I'd appreciate reviews!
DiDi Hendley (Whirlwind Love Libby's Journey)
So imagine two scenarios. Let’s say it’s the holidays, and two different neighbors invite you to their parties in the same week. You accept both invitations. In one case, you do the irrational thing and give Neighbor X a bottle of Bordeaux; for the second party you adopt the rational approach and give Neighbor Z $50 in cash. The following week, you need some help moving a sofa. How comfortable would you be approaching each of your neighbors, and how do you think each would react to your request for a favor? The odds are that Neighbor X will step in to help. And Neighbor Z? Since you have already paid him once (to make and share dinner with you), his logical response to your request for help might be, “Fine. How much will you pay me this time?” Again, the prospect of acting rationally, financially speaking, sounds deeply irrational in terms of social norms. The point is that while gifts are financially inefficient, they are an important social lubricant. They help us make friends and create long-term relationships that can sustain us through the ups and downs of life. Sometimes, it turns out, a waste of money can be worth a lot.
Dan Ariely (Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions)
Workplaces like to celebrate holidays. Not only hospitals. Law firms, city government offices, banks. The opportunity to see your boss sing, to eat something, to pretend we’re all one big family. And if not, then at least friends. Acquaintances. It can’t be that we’re just a group of people closed up together between cement walls, under artificial lighting, from morning until night.
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen (Waking Lions)
I looked across at Alex and a wicked twinkle appeared in his eyes. “How is it that you’re still so sexy after all this time?” he mused. I shrugged my shoulders and raised an eyebrow but remained silent, a lascivious smile creeping across my features. I teased the strap of my dress slightly off the shoulder and he growled. He dipped a hand underneath the table and reached for my knee, pushing my dress up as far as he could. It appeared he had just remembered that I had chosen not to wear any underwear. I quickly devoured the last of the Champagne as the waitress appeared and ushered us to our table.
Kitty Mulholland (Fierce & Fabulous Volume One)
But of course I know I am merely an aphrodisiac in their game of Domestic Bliss – I know when I leave they’ll rip each other’s clothes off, having got all revved up on an extended joint discourse about their holiday in the Philippines, particularly when they both said the same island when I asked them what their favourite bit was. I am just a reluctant audience member. But I sit and watch all these shows anyway because the alternative – losing my friends – is not an option. And when Farly and Scott weren’t doing Their Bit on me, I discovered, to my utter shock, that Scott and I got on rather well. In fact, I resented that I hadn’t realized this sooner as I would have enjoyed his company when he was round when Farly and I lived together, instead of just grunting at him. He was funny and smart. He read
Dolly Alderton (Everything I Know About Love)
He looks up. Our eyes lock,and he breaks into a slow smile. My heart beats faster and faster. Almost there.He sets down his book and stands.And then this-the moment he calls my name-is the real moment everything changes. He is no longer St. Clair, everyone's pal, everyone's friend. He is Etienne. Etienne,like the night we met. He is Etienne,he is my friend. He is so much more. Etienne.My feet trip in three syllables. E-ti-enne. E-ti-enne, E-ti-enne. His name coats my tongue like melting chocolate. He is so beautiful, so perfect. My throat catches as he opens his arms and wraps me in a hug.My heart pounds furiously,and I'm embarrassed,because I know he feels it. We break apart, and I stagger backward. He catches me before I fall down the stairs. "Whoa," he says. But I don't think he means me falling. I blush and blame it on clumsiness. "Yeesh,that could've been bad." Phew.A steady voice. He looks dazed. "Are you all right?" I realize his hands are still on my shoulders,and my entire body stiffens underneath his touch. "Yeah.Great. Super!" "Hey,Anna. How was your break?" John.I forget he was here.Etienne lets go of me carefully as I acknowledge Josh,but the whole time we're chatting, I wish he'd return to drawing and leave us alone. After a minute, he glances behind me-to where Etienne is standing-and gets a funny expression on hs face. His speech trails off,and he buries his nose in his sketchbook. I look back, but Etienne's own face has been wiped blank. We sit on the steps together. I haven't been this nervous around him since the first week of school. My mind is tangled, my tongue tied,my stomach in knots. "Well," he says, after an excruciating minute. "Did we use up all our conversation over the holiday?" The pressure inside me eases enough to speak. "Guess I'll go back to the dorm." I pretend to stand, and he laughs. "I have something for you." He pulls me back down by my sleeve. "A late Christmas present." "For me? But I didn't get you anything!" He reaches into a coat pocket and brings out his hand in a fist, closed around something very small. "It's not much,so don't get excited." "Ooo,what is it?" "I saw it when I was out with Mum, and it made me think of you-" "Etienne! Come on!" He blinks at hearing his first name. My face turns red, and I'm filled with the overwhelming sensation that he knows exactly what I'm thinking. His expression turns to amazement as he says, "Close your eyes and hold out your hand." Still blushing,I hold one out. His fingers brush against my palm, and my hand jerks back as if he were electrified. Something goes flying and lands with a faith dink behind us. I open my eyes. He's staring at me, equally stunned. "Whoops," I say. He tilts his head at me. "I think...I think it landed back here." I scramble to my feet, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. I never felt what he placed in my hands. I only felt him. "I don't see anything! Just pebbles and pigeon droppings," I add,trying to act normal. Where is it? What is it? "Here." He plucks something tiny and yellow from the steps above him. I fumble back and hold out my hand again, bracing myself for the contact. Etienne pauses and then drops it from a few inches above my hand.As if he's avoiding me,too. It's a glass bead.A banana. He clears his throat. "I know you said Bridgette was the only one who could call you "Banana," but Mum was feeling better last weekend,so I took her to her favorite bead shop. I saw that and thought of you.I hope you don't mind someone else adding to your collection. Especially since you and know..." I close my hand around the bead. "Thank you." "Mum wondered why I wanted it." "What did you tell her?" "That it was for you,of course." He says this like, duh. I beam.The bead is so lightweight I hardly feel it, except for the teeny cold patch it leaves in my palm.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
The tourists come here to stay put in their hotels, with their holiday-friendly staff, private beaches, private bars and private sunshine. And yet still, when they get back home, they'll claim they've been to Egypt.
Harry Whitewolf (The Road To Purification: Hustlers, Hassles & Hash)
God Bless The Child" Them that's got shall have Them that's not shall lose So the Bible says and it still is news Mama may have, Papa may have But God bless the child that's got his own, that's got his own Yes the strong get smart While the weak ones fade Empty pockets don't ever make the grade Mama may have, Papa may have But God bless the child that's got his own, that's got his own Money, you've got lots of friends They're crowding around your door But when you're gone and spending ends They don't come no more Rich relations give crusts of bread and such You can help yourself, but don't take too much Mama may have, Papa may have But God bless the child that's got his own, that's got his own Money you've got lots of friends They're crowding around your door But when you're gone and spending ends They don't come no more Rich relations give crusts of bread and such You can help yourself, but don't take too much Mama may have, Papa may have But God bless the child that's got his own, that's got his own Here just don't worry about nothing cause he's got his own Yes, he's got his own
Billie Holiday
But God's the reason for everything noble and fine and heroic. If you had a God …" "My dear young friend," said Mustapha Mond, "civilization has absolutely no need of nobility or heroism. These things are symptoms of political inefficiency. In a properly organized society like ours, nobody has any opportunities for being noble or heroic. Conditions have got to be thoroughly unstable before the occasion can arise. Where there are wars, where there are divided allegiances, where there are temptations to be resisted, objects of love to be fought for or defended–there, obviously, nobility and heroism have some sense. But there aren't any wars nowadays. The greatest care is taken to prevent you from loving any one too much. There's no such thing as a divided allegiance; you're so conditioned that you can't help doing what you ought to do. And what you ought to do is on the whole so pleasant, so many of the natural impulses are allowed free play, that there really aren't any temptations to resist. And if ever, by some unlucky chance, anything unpleasant should somehow happen, why, there's always soma to give you a holiday from the facts. And there's always soma to calm your anger, to reconcile you to your enemies, to make you patient and long-suffering. In the past you could only accomplish these things by making a great effort and after years of hard moral training. Now, you swallow two or three half-gramme tablets, and there you are. Anybody can be virtuous now. You can carry at least half your morality about in a bottle. Christianity without tears–that's what soma is.
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
Jewellery need not be valuable in monetary terms to be precious to the owner. Jewellery can be 'valuable' for sentimental reasons i.e. your friend made it, it reminds you of a happy occasion or holiday or perhaps it just makes you happy to wear it.
Isaac du Toit (Children’s Guide to Lisa Walker)
Is this his first year teaching?" She nodded toward the window. "How did you guess?" Holiday sighed. "He was recommended by a friend of a friend. He's not so bad when it's one on one. I hope you guys don't chew him up and spit him out." Kylie grinned. "Perry might consider it." Holiday frowned. "Promise me you'll not let that happen. He really seems like a nice guy and I think he'll make an excellent teacher. I'd appreciate it if you'd sort of take him under your wing." Kylie chuckled. "Again, Perry might do that.
C.C. Hunter (Whispers at Moonrise (Shadow Falls, #4))
The thing about having friends who are as close as blood, as true as your own heart, as the twins had been to her, is you don't bother much with other people. And if you have the misfortune to get left behind, well, you've made yourself a lonely nest to live in.
Laini Taylor (My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories)
It is our single friends who keep us in our marriages. They remind us that being single is sad. Dating, is sad. Online dating is sad. Attending holidays and weddings alone is sad. Marriage, too, is sad. But love, lust, infatuation - for a few moments, I was not sad.
Melissa Broder (So Sad Today: Personal Essays)
When she returned to the office, she found that Mr Jasper Cohen had gone abruptly on holiday. His son had been killed in Spain—he had been shot, near Madrid, rather more than a year before; a friend of his had written, on returning safe to England, to tell his father so.
Doris Lessing (Martha Quest)
She and her family hadn't invited me in order to make a point about xenophobia, or anything like that. They knew that I was alone on the holiday, and i was their friend; nothing else mattered. They were simply big-hearted people and that was the best meal I ever had in China.
Peter Hessler (River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze)
At the end of the afternoon she tore herself away from the story to go and buy some tobacco. This would be tricky on a holiday, but never mind, it was mainly a pretext so the story could settle and she'd have the pleasure of meeting up with her new friend again a bit later on.
Anna Gavalda (Hunting and Gathering)
When I was around 19 years old, working in the college library, I was talking to a friend of mine and this older woman interrupted and said "You're too young to know about Billie Holiday." My response was "I'm too young to know about Shakespeare, too ... should I not read him?
Wanda Lea Brayton (The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton)
A dead man passed us in a hearse heaped with blooms, followed by two carriages with drawn blinds and by more cheerful carriages for friends. The friends looked out at us with the tragic eyes and short upper lips of south-eastern Europe, and I was glad that the sight of Gatsby’s splendid car was included in their somber holiday. As we crossed Blackwell’s Island a limousine passed us, driven by a white chauffeur, in which sat three modish Negroes, two bucks and a girl. I laughed aloud as the yolks of their eyeballs rolled toward us in haughty rivalry.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
And thus they form a perfect group; he walks back two or three paces, selects his point of sight, and begins to sketch a hurried outline. He has finished it before they move; he hears their voices, though he cannot hear their words, and wonders what they can be talking of. Presently he walks on, and joins them. 'You have a corpse there, my friends?' he says. 'Yes; a corpse washed ashore an hour ago.' 'Drowned?' 'Yes, drowned; - a young girl, very handsome.' 'Suicides are always handsome,' he says; and then he stands for a little while idly smoking and meditating, looking at the sharp outline of the corpse and the stiff folds of the rough canvas covering. Life is such a golden holiday to him young, ambitious, clever - that it seems as though sorrow and death could have no part in his destiny. ("The Cold Embrace")
Mary Elizabeth Braddon (Reign of Terror Volume 2: Great Victorian Horror Stories)
Bradley Headstone, in his decent black coat and waistcoat, and decent white shirt, and decent formal black tie, and decent pantaloons of pepper and salt, with his decent silver watch in his pocket and its decent hair-guard round his neck, looked a thoroughly decent young man of six-and-twenty. He was never seen in any other dress, and yet there was a certain stiffness in his manner of wearing this, as if there were a want of adaptation between him and it, recalling some mechanics in their holiday clothes. He had acquired mechanically a great store of teacher's knowledge. He could do mental arithmetic mechanically, sing at sight mechanically, blow various wind instruments mechanically, even play the great church organ mechanically. From his early childhood up, his mind had been a place of mechanical stowage. The arrangement of his wholesale warehouse, so that it might be always ready to meet the demands of retail dealers history here, geography there, astronomy to the right, political economy to the left—natural history, the physical sciences, figures, music, the lower mathematics, and what not, all in their several places—this care had imparted to his countenance a look of care; while the habit of questioning and being questioned had given him a suspicious manner, or a manner that would be better described as one of lying in wait. There was a kind of settled trouble in the face. It was the face belonging to a naturally slow or inattentive intellect that had toiled hard to get what it had won, and that had to hold it now that it was gotten. He always seemed to be uneasy lest anything should be missing from his mental warehouse, and taking stock to assure himself.
Charles Dickens (Our Mutual Friend)
The work I do is not exactly respectable. But I want to explain how it works without any of the negatives associated with my infamous clients. I’ll show how I manipulated the media for a good cause. A friend of mine recently used some of my advice on trading up the chain for the benefit of the charity he runs. This friend needed to raise money to cover the costs of a community art project, and chose to do it through Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fund-raising platform. With just a few days’ work, he turned an obscure cause into a popular Internet meme and raised nearly ten thousand dollars to expand the charity internationally. Following my instructions, he made a YouTube video for the Kickstarter page showing off his charity’s work. Not a video of the charity’s best work, or even its most important work, but the work that exaggerated certain elements aimed at helping the video spread. (In this case, two or three examples in exotic locations that actually had the least amount of community benefit.) Next, he wrote a short article for a small local blog in Brooklyn and embedded the video. This site was chosen because its stories were often used or picked up by the New York section of the Huffington Post. As expected, the Huffington Post did bite, and ultimately featured the story as local news in both New York City and Los Angeles. Following my advice, he sent an e-mail from a fake address with these links to a reporter at CBS in Los Angeles, who then did a television piece on it—using mostly clips from my friend’s heavily edited video. In anticipation of all of this he’d been active on a channel of the social news site Reddit (where users vote on stories and topics they like) during the weeks leading up to his campaign launch in order to build up some connections on the site. When the CBS News piece came out and the video was up, he was ready to post it all on Reddit. It made the front page almost immediately. This score on Reddit (now bolstered by other press as well) put the story on the radar of what I call the major “cool stuff” blogs—sites like BoingBoing, Laughing Squid, FFFFOUND!, and others—since they get post ideas from Reddit. From this final burst of coverage, money began pouring in, as did volunteers, recognition, and new ideas. With no advertising budget, no publicist, and no experience, his little video did nearly a half million views, and funded his project for the next two years. It went from nothing to something. This may have all been for charity, but it still raises a critical question: What exactly happened? How was it so easy for him to manipulate the media, even for a good cause? He turned one exaggerated amateur video into a news story that was written about independently by dozens of outlets in dozens of markets and did millions of media impressions. It even registered nationally. He had created and then manipulated this attention entirely by himself.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
You can pay for influence the way you can pay for sex, but from what I understand neither is quite the same as when you get it the old-fashioned way. Just as earned media is always better than paid media, cultivating real influence and relationships is far better than paying for eyeballs and fake friends.
Ryan Holiday (Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts)
To draw me out, the therapist asks what I did for the holidays. When I tell him he says gently (he says everything gently), Sounds like that's one of the ways your loss has affected you: not wanting to be with other people. Hating to be with other people, I don't say. Terrified of being with other people.
Sigrid Nunez (The Friend)
think about how impossible it is to explain to the young what happens when you know you’re not immune from death. Everything changes. You look at the world differently. When you’re young, you have no perspective. You think life lasts forever—days and months and years stretching out to infinity. You think you don’t have to choose. You think you can waste time doing drugs and alcohol. You think time will always be on your side. But time, once your friend, becomes your enemy. It gallops by as you get older. Holidays come faster and faster. Years fly off the calendar as in old movies. All you long for is to go back and do it all over, correct the mistakes,
Erica Jong (Fear of Dying)
Strays is what a writer I recently read calls those who, for one reason or another, and despite whatever they might have wanted earlier in life, never really become a part of life, not in the way most people do. They may have serious relationships, they may have friends, even a sizable circle, they may spend large portions of their time in the company of others. But they never marry and they never have children. On holidays, they join some family or other group. This goes on year after year, until they finally find it in themselves to admit that they'd really rather just stay home. But you must see a lot of people like that, I say to the therapist. Actually, he says, I don't.
Sigrid Nunez (The Friend)
We are gathered here, friends,” he said, “to honor lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya, children dead, all dead, all murdered in war. It is customary on days like this to call such lost children men. I am unable to call them men for this simple reason: that in the same war in which lo Hoon-yera Mora-toorz tut Zamoo-cratz-ya died, my own son died. “My soul insists that I mourn not a man but a child. “I do not say that children at war do not die like men, if they have to die. To their everlasting honor and our everlasting shame, they do die like men, thus making possible the manly jubilation of patriotic holidays. “But they are murdered children all the same. “And I propose to you that if we are to pay our sincere respects to the hundred lost children of San Lorenzo, that we might best spend the day despising what killed them; which is to say, the stupidity and viciousness of all mankind. “Perhaps, when we remember wars, we should take off our clothes and paint ourselves blue and go on all fours all day long and grunt like pigs. That would surely be more appropriate than noble oratory and shows of flags and well-oiled guns. “I do not mean to be ungrateful for the fine, martial show we are about to see—and a thrilling show it really will be . . .” He looked each of us in the eye, and then he commented very softly, throwing it away, “And hooray say I for thrilling shows.” We had to strain our ears to hear what Minton said next. “But if today is really in honor of a hundred children murdered in war,” he said, “is today a day for a thrilling show? “The answer is yes, on one condition: that we, the celebrants, are working consciously and tirelessly to reduce the stupidity and viciousness of ourselves and of all mankind.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Cat's Cradle)
People believe lives, as if they're the truth of a person rather than the window dressing. You only have to look at Facebook. All those miserable people trying to outshine each other with holiday photos and humble brags and #feelingblessed. Adding people they've never met and thinking they somehow know them from the shit they share. One friend in common.
Sarah Pinborough (Cross Her Heart)
What Louisa wants for Christmas, Get kissed Find some good books make peace between prior best friends convince the polite world of her charm and finally, get kissed some more; "You're blushing, my girl," Lady Irving said, "Not thinking of something you shouldn't, are you?" "I'm so pure-minded that I can't imagine what you're talking about." Louisa lied.
Theresa Romain (Season for Surrender (Holiday Pleasures, #2))
One also, in our milieu, simply didn't meet enough Americans to form an opinion. And when one did—this was in the days of crew-cuts and short-legged pants—they, too, often really did sport crew-cuts and trousers that mysteriously ended several inches short of the instep. Why was that? It obviously wasn't poverty. A colleague of my father's had a daughter who got herself married and found that an American friend she had met on holiday had offered to pay the whole cost of the nuptial feast. I forget the name of this paladin, but he had a crew-cut and amputated trouser-bottoms and a cigar stub and he came from a place called Yonkers, which seemed to me a ridiculous name to give to a suburb. (I, who had survived Crapstone… ) Anyway, once again one received a Henry Jamesian impression of brash generosity without overmuch refinement. There was a boy at my boarding school called Warren Powers Laird Myers, the son of an officer stationed at one of the many U.S. Air Force bases in Cambridgeshire. Trousers at The Leys School were uniform and regulation, but he still managed to show a bit of shin and to buzz-cut his hair. 'I am not a Yankee,' he informed me (he was from Norfolk, Virginia). 'I am a CON-federate.' From what I was then gleaning of the news from Dixie, this was unpromising. In our ranks we also had Jamie Auchincloss, a sprig of the Kennedy-Bouvier family that was then occupying the White House. His trousers managed to avoid covering his ankles also, though the fact that he shared a parent with Jackie Kennedy meant that anything he did was accepted as fashionable by definition. The pants of a man I'll call Mr. 'Miller,' a visiting American master who skillfully introduced me to J.D. Salinger, were also falling short of their mark. Mr. Miller's great teacher-feature was that he saw sexual imagery absolutely everywhere and was slightly too fond of pointing it out [...]. Meanwhile, and as I mentioned much earlier, the dominant images projected from the United States were of the attack-dog-and-firehose kind, with swag-bellied cops lying about themselves and the political succession changed as much by bullets as by ballots.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
When they find out what I do for a living, many people tell me they love music listening, but their music lessons 'didn't take.' I think they're being too hard on themselves. The chasm between musical experts and everyday musicians that has grown so wide in our culture makes people feel discouraged, and for some reason this is uniquely so with music. Even though most of us can't play basketball like Shaquille O'Neal, or cook like Julia Child, we can still enjoy playing a friendly backyard game of hoops, or cooking a holiday meal for our friends and family. This performance chasm does seem to be cultural, specific to contemporary Western society. And although many people say that music lessons didn't take, cognitive neuroscientists have found otherwise in their laboratories. Even just a small exposure to music lessons as a child creates neural circuits for music processing that are enhanced and more efficient than for those who lack training. Music lessons teach us to listen better, and they accelerate our ability to discern structure and form in music, making it easier for us to tell what music we like and what we don't like.
Daniel J. Levitin (This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession)
Charm is essential. In the last two years I’ve got to know a good many prominent politicians and they’ve all got it. Some more and some less. But they can’t all have it by nature. That shows it can be acquired. It means nothing, but it arouses the devotion of their followers so that they’ll do blindly all they’re bidden and be satisfied with the reward of a kind word. I’ve examined them at work. They can turn it on like water from a tap. The quick, friendly smile; the hand that’s so ready to clasp yours. The warmth in the voice that seems to promise favours, the show of interest that leads you to think your concerns are your leader’s chief preoccupation, the intimate manner which tells you nothing, but deludes you into thinking you are in your master’s confidence.
W. Somerset Maugham (Christmas Holiday)
Character is a powerful defense in a world that would love to be able to seduce you, buy you, tempt you, and change you. If you know what you believe and why you believe it, you’ll avoid poisonous relationships, toxic jobs, fair-weather friends, and any number of ills that afflict people who haven’t thought through their deepest concerns. That’s your education. That’s why you do this work.
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
Girls aside, the other thing I found in the last few years of being at school, was a quiet, but strong Christian faith – and this touched me profoundly, setting up a relationship or faith that has followed me ever since. I am so grateful for this. It has provided me with a real anchor to my life and has been the secret strength to so many great adventures since. But it came to me very simply one day at school, aged only sixteen. As a young kid, I had always found that a faith in God was so natural. It was a simple comfort to me: unquestioning and personal. But once I went to school and was forced to sit through somewhere in the region of nine hundred dry, Latin-liturgical, chapel services, listening to stereotypical churchy people droning on, I just thought that I had got the whole faith deal wrong. Maybe God wasn’t intimate and personal but was much more like chapel was … tedious, judgemental, boring and irrelevant. The irony was that if chapel was all of those things, a real faith is the opposite. But somehow, and without much thought, I had thrown the beautiful out with the boring. If church stinks, then faith must do, too. The precious, natural, instinctive faith I had known when I was younger was tossed out with this newly found delusion that because I was growing up, it was time to ‘believe’ like a grown-up. I mean, what does a child know about faith? It took a low point at school, when my godfather, Stephen, died, to shake me into searching a bit harder to re-find this faith I had once known. Life is like that. Sometimes it takes a jolt to make us sit and remember who and what we are really about. Stephen had been my father’s best friend in the world. And he was like a second father to me. He came on all our family holidays, and spent almost every weekend down with us in the Isle of Wight in the summer, sailing with Dad and me. He died very suddenly and without warning, of a heart attack in Johannesburg. I was devastated. I remember sitting up a tree one night at school on my own, and praying the simplest, most heartfelt prayer of my life. ‘Please, God, comfort me.’ Blow me down … He did. My journey ever since has been trying to make sure I don’t let life or vicars or church over-complicate that simple faith I had found. And the more of the Christian faith I discover, the more I realize that, at heart, it is simple. (What a relief it has been in later life to find that there are some great church communities out there, with honest, loving friendships that help me with all of this stuff.) To me, my Christian faith is all about being held, comforted, forgiven, strengthened and loved – yet somehow that message gets lost on most of us, and we tend only to remember the religious nutters or the God of endless school assemblies. This is no one’s fault, it is just life. Our job is to stay open and gentle, so we can hear the knocking on the door of our heart when it comes. The irony is that I never meet anyone who doesn’t want to be loved or held or forgiven. Yet I meet a lot of folk who hate religion. And I so sympathize. But so did Jesus. In fact, He didn’t just sympathize, He went much further. It seems more like this Jesus came to destroy religion and to bring life. This really is the heart of what I found as a young teenager: Christ comes to make us free, to bring us life in all its fullness. He is there to forgive us where we have messed up (and who hasn’t), and to be the backbone in our being. Faith in Christ has been the great empowering presence in my life, helping me walk strong when so often I feel so weak. It is no wonder I felt I had stumbled on something remarkable that night up that tree. I had found a calling for my life.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
So... Dell had been a good boy with bad friends. I knew this – I used to be one of them. I’d always known Dell would disappear one day; he was too decent, too golden. This place never tainted that, and I don’t know why. He made me feel dirty. Dark and corrupt. It hadn’t always that way, and I don’t know when it changed... but I felt it now. I only knew I couldn’t hold onto him tight enough to stop those long legs carrying him away somewhere better. A day’ll come when everybody’s had you and nobody wants you anymore... As Dell drove Erin away in their rent-a-car from the Holiday Inn into the early evening traffic, I felt the walls closing in, the world swelling around me, and I knew that day had finally come. Tomorrow, I leave Paradise. It’s true. Shanise was right. I turned away as the car disappeared up the slushy street. That was the last time I saw them alive.
H. Alazhar (City of Paradise)
It's a sad fact that most people can't even spot a story when they see one. Most people don't know that stories aren't confined by the covers of books or by half-hour slots on TV. The world is made of stories. The world is driven by stories. When a sunburned-friend tells you about their holiday, it's not a straight list of everything that happened to them - it's a story, an anecdote with a plot, a beginning, a middle and an end. Each one of their holiday snaps is a story too. When you're making a decision, and you imagine the possible outcomes - what are you doing if not telling yourself a story? History is a story. Society is a story. Countries are stories. Your plans are stories. Your desires are stories. Your own memories are stories - narratives selected, trimmed and packaged by the hidden machinery in your mind. Human beings are story engines. We have to be - to understand stories is to understand the world.
Steven Hall (The Unwritten, Vol. 3: Dead Man's Knock)
one of the greatest gifts we all possess is the ability to give. Wealth isn’t a prerequisite; compassion and a kind heart are all you need. What better way to honor our loved ones, past and present, than to reach out and change a life for the better? And, the holidays are a perfect time to look outside of ourselves and be a true friend. A legacy of generosity can create memories that reverberate beyond the moment and outshine the brightest of heirloom ornaments.
Joanne Huist Smith (The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle)
Suppose for a moment that you were allowed to enter heaven without holiness. What would you do? What possible enjoyment could you feel there? To which of all the saints would you join yourself, and by whose side would you sit down? Their pleasures are not your pleasures, their tastes not your tastes, their character not your character. How could you possibly be happy, if you had not been holy on earth? Now perhaps you love the company of the light and the careless, the worldly-minded and the covetous, the reveller and the pleasure-seeker, the ungodly and the profane. There will be none such in heaven. Now perhaps you think the saints of God too strict and particular, and serious. You rather avoid them. You have no delight in their society. There will be no other company in heaven. Now perhaps you think praying, and Scripture-reading, and hymn singing, dull and melancholy, and stupid work—a thing to be tolerated now and then, but not enjoyed. You reckon the Sabbath a burden and a weariness; you could not possibly spend more than a small part of it in worshipping God. But remember, heaven is a never-ending Sabbath. The inhabitants thereof rest not day or night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty” and singing the praise of the Lamb. How could an unholy man find pleasure in occupation such as this? Think you that such an one would delight to meet David, and Paul, and John, after a life spent in doing the very things they spoke against? Would he take sweet counsel with them, and find that he and they had much in common?—Think you, above all, that he would rejoice to meet Jesus, the Crucified One, face to face, after cleaving to the sins for which He died, after loving His enemies and despising His friends? Would he stand before Him with confidence, and join in the cry, “This is our God; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation”? (Isa. xxv. 9.) Think you not rather that the tongue of an unholy man would cleave to the roof of his mouth with shame, and his only desire would be to be cast out! He would feel a stranger in a land he knew not, a black sheep amidst Christ’s holy flock. The voice of Cherubim and Seraphim, the song of Angels and Archangels and all the company of heaven, would be a language he could not understand. The very air would seem an air he could not breathe. I know not what others may think, but to me it does seem clear that heaven would be a miserable place to an unholy man. It cannot be otherwise. People may say, in a vague way, “they hope to go to heaven;” but they do not consider what they say. There must be a certain “meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light.” Our hearts must be somewhat in tune. To reach the holiday of glory, we must pass through the training school of grace. We must be heavenly-minded, and have heavenly tastes, in the life that now is, or else we shall never find ourselves in heaven, in the life to come.
J.C. Ryle (Holiness)
Now I see in that laughter a good deal of desperation and sadness. About to leave the haven of our separate universities and be thrown out onto the brutal free-spinning of the world, as we walked arm in arm through the snow, we carried with us, if only unconsciously, the knowledge that it would be our last holiday together; and we drank and laughed and sneered with the resolute sadness of men who knew that tomorrow we'd be trying to free our own mortgaged Buicks from our own snowlocked drives. That is what most of us ended up doing. I didn't; but I don't question that my friends were right and I wrong, that they were happy and I not, that theirs was the hard and mine the easy way. What always saddened me on confronting them was the surety that had I been foolish enough to bring up "old times," none would have allowed himself a memory of sticking his finger into the vaporous and flaky air and shouting, "Shovel, you f*cking dummies!" A self-destructively romantic man, I accepted our jeering defiance as a pact; forever.
Frederick Exley (A Fan's Notes)
Roque, darling,” Victra calls up to the cameras in the ceiling as Holiday and her team set up the drill on the door. “How I have pined for you since the garden. Are you there?” She sighs. “I’ll just assume you are. Listen, I understand. You think we must be wroth with you, what with the murder of my mother, the execution of our friends, the bullets in the spine, the poison, and a year of torture for dear Reaper and I, but that’s not so. We just want to put you in a box. Maybe several. Would you like that? It’s very poetic.” Holiday
Pierce Brown (Morning Star (Red Rising, #3))
She was happy, in a bubble, and the only reason to pop it was on the grounds that bubbles were not real life. But bubbles made life tolerable, and the trick was to blow as many as possible. There were new-baby bubbles, and honeymoon bubbles, and success-at-work bubbles, and new-friends bubbles, and great-holiday bubbles, and even tiny TV-series bubbles, dinner bubbles, party bubbles. They all burst without intervention, and then it was a matter of getting through to the next one. Life hadn’t been fizzy for a while. It had been hard.
Nick Hornby (Just Like You)
I’ve enjoyed the comicbook writings of Warren Ellis since a friend introduced me to Transmetropolitan via the “holiday special” in collected volume three. Ah yes, Scott and Edé’s housewarming, I had passed out in a chair, our friend Aeric on the couch, and I woke up to the sound of Edé’s girlfriend coming downstairs and asking Aeric, “what’cha got there?” and Aeric replied, “I’m not sure, but it’s psychotic. Ru, are you up yet? You have to see this when I’m done.” Everyone else should be so lucky to have such an introduction to Ellis.
Ruadhán J. McElroy
My dear nephew was only in his sixth year when I came to be detached from the family circle. But this did not hinder John and I from remaining the most affectionate friends, and many a half or whole holiday he was allowed to spend with me, was dedicated to making experiments in chemistry, where generally all boxes, tops of tea-canisters, pepper-boxes, teacups, &c., served for the necessary vessels, and the sand-tub furnished the matter to be analysed. I only had to take care to exclude water, which would have produced havoc on my carpet.
Caroline Herschel (Memoir and Correspondence of Caroline Herschel)
We all have choices to make that affect our likelihood of contracting infectious disease: whether to holiday in exotic countries; whom to let our children play with; whether we travel on crowded public transport. When we are ill, other choices we make affect our likelihood of transmitting disease to others: whether we cancel the much-anticipated catch-up with our friends; whether we keep our children home from school; whether we cover our mouths when we cough. The crucial decision on whether we vaccinate ourselves and our dependents can only be taken ahead of time. It affects our chances not only of catching but also of transmitting diseases. Some of these decisions are inexpensive, making their adoption straightforward. It costs nothing to sneeze into a tissue or a handkerchief. Simply washing your hands frequently and carefully has been shown to reduce the effective reproduction numbers of respiratory illnesses such as flu by as much as three-quarters. For some diseases, this might be enough to take us below the threshold value of R0, so that an infectious disease cannot break out.
Kit Yates (The Math of Life and Death: 7 Mathematical Principles That Shape Our Lives)
It is always revealing to see how a person responds to those situations where he’s told: “There’s nothing you can do about it. This is the way of the world.” Peter Thiel’s friend, the mathematician and economist Eric Weinstein, has a category of individual he defines as a “high-agency person.” How do you respond when told something is impossible? Is that the end of the conversation or the start of one? What’s the reaction to being told you can’t—that no one can? One type accepts it, wallows in it even. The other questions it, fights it, rejects it.
Ryan Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue)
They’d made love in that lake, near that lake, and around that lake countless times. He still remembered a time where a fish got a little too friendly… Honor threw her head back and laughed, catching the attention of the diner again. “You’re remembering the fish, aren’t you?” Jackson rested his face in his hands. “God, that damn fish.” “You always get this little line between your brows when you remember that frisky fish.” Thankfully, the waitress stopped by and took their order before he had to talk about the fish that knew a little too much about certain parts of his anatomy.
Carrie Ann Ryan (Dreams of Ivory (Holiday, Montana, #5))
Mr. Mitchell should stop worrying and put Steph in charge. She will be good at this; she has the party planning gene in her family. I swear, they always have the entire familia over for every occasion. All her tias, tios, cousins, friends, ninas, and ninos go to her house for practically anything. Every day is a holiday at Casa Ayala. Anyway, we’re placed into committees, which totally sucks, because the fab four get split up. Keesha and I get selected for Activities, while Amy and Steph are slated for Rally committee. All the upperclassmen say these are the best committees, and we should feel lucky.
Julie Prestsater (So I'm a Double Threat (Double Threat, #1))
I would expect such behavior from the children,not from their mother." She tsked at him, not even a little daunted. "Aren't you the least bit curious?" "Certainly,but I can wait until-" "But I can't wait," she cut in passionately. "Come with me, Warren. I'll be careful with it. And if it's nothing more'n a simple gift, albeit a mysterious one, then I'll have the box wrapped up again perfectly, so no one will know we tampered with it." "You're serious about this?" he asked. "You're actually going to sneak downstairs in the middle of the night like an errant schoolgirl-" "No,no,we are, like two perfectly sensible adults making a reasonable effort to solve a mystery that has been around far too long." He chuckled at that point, used to his wife's strange logic, and used to her ignoring any of his attempts at sternness.But then that was the magic of Amy.She was unlike any other woman he'd ever known. He gave in gracefully with a smile. "Very well,fetch our robes and some shoes.I would imagine the fire has been banked in the parlor, so it will be a mite chilly." It wasn't that long before they were standing next to The Present, Warren merely curious, Amy finding it hard to contain her excitement, considering what she expected to find beneath the pretty cloth wrapping.The parlor wasn't chilly at all,since whoever had lef the room last had closed the doors to contain the earlier warmth, and Warren had closed them again before he lit several of the lamps. But the doors opened once more, giving Amy quite a start since she was just reaching for The Present when it happened, and Jeremy said as he entered the room, "Caught in the act,eh? Amy,for shame." Amy,noticeably embarrassed despite the fact that Jeremy wasn't just her cousin, but one of her closest friends, said stiffly, "And what,pray tell, are you doing down here at this hour?" He winked at her and said dryly, "Same thing you are, I would imagine." She chuckled then. "Scamp. Close the door while you're at it." He started to,but stepped out of the way instead as Reggie sauntered in, barefoot and still in the process of tying her bed robe. When everyone else there just stared at her, she huffed indignantly, "I did not come down here to open The Present-well, maybe I did, but I would have chickened out before actually doing so." "What a whopper, Reggie," Derek said as he came in right behind her. "Nice try, though. Mind if I borrow that lame excuse? Better than having none a'tall.
Johanna Lindsey (The Holiday Present)
We celebrate the dedication of Olympic athletes who diet and train and exercise daily for years in order to prepare for the games. They give up not only physical comfort but also any hope of a normal social and family life. When police officers or firefighters die, often thousands turn out for their funerals. We honor our children who die in military service in much the same way—often arranging public ceremonies and holidays. We expect television celebrities such as actors, news correspondents and musicians to sacrifice any kind of normal life in order to entertain us around the clock—and they are paid millions of dollars to do so. The names of astronauts become household words because they risk their lives in order to forward the conquest of space. But the minute a Christian young person starts to fast and pray, consider the mission field or give up career or romance for Christ—concerned counselors, family and friends will spend hours trying to keep him or her from “going off the deep end on this religious stuff.” Even devout Christian parents will oppose Christian service when their own son or daughter is about to give up all for Christ. Discipline, pain, sacrifice and suffering are rewarded with fame and fortune in the world. Why then do we refuse to accept it as a normal part of giving spiritual birth in the kingdom of our Lord?
K.P. Yohannan (The Road to Reality: Coming Home to Jesus from the Unreal World)
Her hand shot out, gripped his arm. "M.J. and Bailey?" "Your friends are fine." He felt her grip go limp. "They've had an eventful holiday weekend, all of which could have been avoided if they'd contacted and cooperated with the police. And it's cooperation I'll have from you now, one way or the other." She tossed her hair back. "Where are they? What did you do,toss them in a cell? My lawyer will have them out and your butt in a sling before you can finish reciting the Miranda." She started toward the phone, saw it wasn't on the Queen Anne table. "No,they're not in a cell." It goaded him, the way she snapped into gear, ready to buck the rules. "I imagine they're planning your funeral right about now.
Nora Roberts (Treasures: Secret Star\Treasures Lost, Treasures Found (Stars of Mithra, #3))
You’ve encountered it, I’m sure: friends who are obsessed by the need to get their children’s (or their own) teeth straightened, their thighs sculpted, their breasts or their backyards professionally redesigned … They want the perfect career trajectory, the perfect holiday, the perfect pesto, the perfect latte, the perfect eyebrow, the perfect orgasm … They yearn for perfect politicians (ha!), perfect banks, perfect cars, perfect shoes, perfect kitchens … our new angst springs from the discovery that our lives are falling short of some crazy ideal of perfection clogging our minds like a cancer … Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes are uncertain. People are irrational.12
John Smith (Beyond the Myth of Self-Esteem: Finding Fulfilment)
I'll be all over your business. I'd expect to be told where you're going and when, and I'll want to meet your friends." Sam cleared his throat and rolled his shoulders. "Being a couple means holidays and vacations together. It means I can count on you to be supportive when my work gets to be too much, and that you'll always be nice to my mother. That you'll have dinner with me, and we'll go to bed together as often as we can. It means I demand to be a priority, and not an option for when nothing else is going on in your life." He cleared his throat again. "Couples nowadays tend to live separate lives, but that would never fly with me. I've been told I can be overbearing, and I know there's a chance you'll feel suffocated and—
Taylor V. Donovan (Six Degrees of Separation (By Degrees, #2))
millions—often more than the budget of the movie itself—studios regularly write off major releases as complete washes. And when they do succeed, no one has any idea why or which of the ingredients were responsible for it. As screenwriter William Goldman famously put it, nobody knows anything—even the people in charge. It’s all a big gamble. Which is fine, because their system is designed to absorb these losses. The hits pay for the mistakes many times over. But there is a big difference between them and everyone else in the world. You can’t really afford for your start-up to fail; your friend has sunk everything into her new business; and I can’t allow my book to flop. We don’t have ten other projects coming down the pike. This is it.
Ryan Holiday (Growth Hacker Marketing: A Primer on the Future of PR, Marketing, and Advertising)
About a block away from them there lived another Lithuanian family, consisting of an elderly widow and one grown son; their name was Majauszkis, and our friends struck up an acquaintance with them before long. One evening they came over for a visit, and naturally the first subject upon which the conversation turned was the neighborhood and its history; and then Grandmother Majauszkiene, as the old lady was called, proceeded to recite to them a string of horrors that fairly froze their blood. She was a wrinkled-up and wizened personage--she must have been eighty--and as she mumbled the grim story through her toothless gums, she seemed a very old witch to them. Grandmother Majauszkiene had lived in the midst of misfortune so long that it had come to be her element, and she talked about starvation, sickness, and death as other people might about weddings and holidays. The thing came gradually. In the first place as to the house they had bought, it was not new at all, as they had supposed; it was about fifteen years old, and there was nothing new upon it but the paint, which was so bad that it needed to be put on new every year or two. The house was one of a whole row that was built by a company which existed to make money by swindling poor people. The family had paid fifteen hundred dollars for it, and it had not cost the builders five hundred, when it was new. Grandmother Majauszkiene knew that because her son belonged to a political organization with a contractor who put up exactly such houses. They used the very flimsiest and cheapest material; they built the houses a dozen at a time, and they cared about nothing at all except the outside shine. The family could take her word as to the trouble they would have, for she had been through it all--she and her son had bought their house in exactly the same way. They had fooled the company, however, for her son was a skilled man, who made as high as a hundred dollars a month, and as he had had sense enough not to marry, they had been able to pay for the house. Grandmother Majauszkiene saw that her friends were puzzled at this remark; they did not quite see how paying for the house was "fooling the company." Evidently they were very inexperienced. Cheap as the houses were, they were sold with the idea that the people who bought them would not be able to pay for them. When they failed--if it were only by a single month--they would lose the house and all that they had paid on it, and then the company would sell it over again. And did they often get a chance to do that? Dieve! (Grandmother Majauszkiene raised her hands.) They did it--how often no one could say, but certainly more than half of the time. They might ask any one who knew anything at all about Packingtown as to that; she had been living here ever since this house was built, and she could tell them all about it. And had it ever been sold before? Susimilkie! Why, since it had been built, no less than four families that their informant could name had tried to buy it and failed.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
Bernard's other victim-friend was Helmholtz. When, discomfited, he came and asked once more for the friendship to preserve, Helmholtz gave it; and give it without a reproach, without a comment, as though he had forgotten that there had been a quarrel. Touched, Bernard felt himself at the same time humiliated by this magnanimity - a magnanimity the more extraordinary and therefore the more humiliating in that it owed nothing to soma and everything to Helmholtz's character. It was the Helmholtz of daily life who forgot and forgave, not the Helmholtz of a half-gramme holiday. Bernard was duly grateful (it was an enormous comfort to have his friend again) and also duly resentful (it would be a pleasure to take some revenge on Helmholtz for his generosity).
Aldous Huxley (Brave New World)
Her parents and Seraphina were there to keep her company, as were Lord and Lady Westcliff, whom she and her siblings had always called "Uncle Marcus" and "Aunt Lillian." Lord Westcliff's hunting estate, Stony Cross Park, was located in Hampshire, not far from Eversby Priory. The earl and his wife, who had originally been an American heiress from New York, had raised three sons and three daughters. Although Aunt Lillian had teasingly invited Phoebe to have her pick of any of her robust and handsome sons, Phoebe had answered- quite truthfully- that such a union would have felt positively incestuous. The Marsden and the Challons had spent too many family holidays together and had known each other for too long for any romantic sparks to fly between their offspring.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
Your Eve was wise, John. She knew that Paradise would make her mad, if she were to live forever with Adam and know no other thing but strawberries and tigers and rivers of milk. She knew they would tire of these things, and each other. They would grow to hate every fruit, every stone, every creature they touched. Yet where could they go to find any new thing? It takes strength to live in Paradise and not collapse under the weight of it. It is every day a trial. And so Eve gave her lover the gift of time, time to the timeless, so that they could grasp at happiness. ... And this is what Queen Abir gave to us, her apple in the garden, her wisdom--without which we might all have leapt into the Rimal in a century. The rite bears her name still. For she knew the alchemy of demarcation far better than any clock, and decreed that every third century husbands and wives should separate, customs should shift and parchmenters become architects, architects farmers of geese and monkeys, Kings should become fishermen, and fishermen become players of scenes. Mothers and fathers should leave their children and go forth to get other sons and daughters, or to get none if that was their wish. On the roads of Pentexore folk might meet who were once famous lovers, or a mother and child of uncommon devotion--and they would laugh, and remember, but call each other by new names, and begin again as friends, or sisters, or lovers, or enemies. And some time hence all things would be tossed up into the air once more and land in some other pattern. If not for this, how fastened, how frozen we would be, bound to one self, forever a mother, forever a child. We anticipate this refurbishing of the world like children at a holiday. We never know what we will be, who we will love in our new, brave life, how deeply we will wish and yearn and hope for who knows what impossible thing! Well, we anticipate it. There is fear too, and grief. There is shaking, and a worry deep in the bone. Only the Oinokha remains herself for all time--that is her sacrifice for us. There is sadness in all this, of course--and poets with long elegant noses have sung ballads full of tears that break at one blow the hearts of a flock of passing crows! But even the most ardent lover or doting father has only two hundred years to wait until he may try again at the wheel of the world, and perhaps the wheel will return his wife or his son to him. Perhaps not. Wheels, and worlds, are cruel. Time to the timeless, apples to those who live without hunger. There is nothing so sweet and so bitter, nothing so fine and so sharp.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Habitation of the Blessed (A Dirge for Prester John, #1))
When Camilla and her husband joined Prince Charles on a holiday in Turkey shortly before his polo accident, she didn’t complain just as she bore, through gritted teeth, Camilla’s regular invitations to Balmoral and Sandringham. When Charles flew to Italy last year on a sketching holiday, Diana’s friends noted that Camilla was staying at another villa a short drive away. On her return Mrs Parker-Bowles made it quite clear that any suggestion of impropriety was absurd. Her protestations of innocence brought a tight smile from the Princess. That changed to scarcely controlled anger during their summer holiday on board a Greek tycoon’s yacht. She quietly simmered as she heard her husband holding forth to dinner-party guests about the virtues of mistresses. Her mood was scarcely helped when, later that evening, she heard him chatting on the telephone to Camilla. They meet socially on occasion but, there is no love lost between these two women locked into an eternal triangle of rivalry. Diana calls her rival “the rotweiller” while Camilla refers to the Princess as that “ridiculous creature”. At social engagements they are at pains to avoid each other. Diana has developed a technique in public of locating Camilla as quickly as possible and then, depending on her mood, she watches Charles when he looks in her direction or simply evades her gaze. “It is a morbid game,” says a friend. Days before the Salisbury Cathedral spire appeal concert Diana knew that Camilla was going. She vented her frustration in conversations with friends so that on the day of the event the Princess was able to watch the eye contact between her husband and Camilla with quiet amusement. Last December all those years of pent-up emotion came flooding out at a memorial service for Leonora Knatchbull, the six-year-old daughter of Lord and Lady Romsey, who tragically died of cancer. As Diana left the service, held at St James’s Palace, she was photographed in tears. She was weeping in sorrow but also in anger. Diana was upset that Camilla Parker Bowles who had only known the Romseys for a short time was also present at such an intimate family service. It was a point she made vigorously to her husband as they travelled back to Kensington Palace in their chauffeur-driven limousine. When they arrived at Kensington Palace the Princess felt so distressed that she ignored the staff Christmas party, which was then in full swing, and went to her sitting-room to recover her composure. Diplomatically, Peter Westmacott, the Wales’s deputy private secretary, sent her avuncular detective Ken Wharfe to help calm her.
Andrew Morton (Diana: Her True Story in Her Own Words)
To Phoebe's relief, the gathering in the drawing room turned out to be far less intimidating than she'd expected. Her parents and Seraphina were there to keep her company, as were Lord and Lady Westcliff, whom she and her siblings had always called "Uncle Marcus" and "Aunt Lillian." Lord Westcliff's hunting estate, Stony Cross Park, was located in Hampshire, not far from Eversby Priory. The earl and his wife, who had originally been an American heiress from New York, had raised three sons and three daughters. Although Aunt Lillian had teasingly invited Phoebe to have her pick of any of her robust and handsome sons, Phoebe had answered- quite truthfully- that such a union would have felt positively incestuous. The Marsdens and the Challons had spent too many family holidays together and had known each other for too long for any romantic sparks to fly between their offspring.
Lisa Kleypas (Devil's Daughter (The Ravenels, #5))
Rolf Ekeus came round to my apartment one day and showed me the name of the Iraqi diplomat who had visited the little West African country of Niger: a statelet famous only for its production of yellowcake uranium. The name was Wissam Zahawi. He was the brother of my louche gay part-Kurdish friend, the by-now late Mazen. He was also, or had been at the time of his trip to Niger, Saddam Hussein's ambassador to the Vatican. I expressed incomprehension. What was an envoy to the Holy See doing in Niger? Obviously he was not taking a vacation. Rolf then explained two things to me. The first was that Wissam Zahawi had, when Rolf was at the United Nations, been one of Saddam Hussein's chief envoys for discussions on nuclear matters (this at a time when the Iraqis had functioning reactors). The second was that, during the period of sanctions that followed the Kuwait war, no Western European country had full diplomatic relations with Baghdad. TheVatican was the sole exception, so it was sent a very senior Iraqi envoy to act as a listening post. And this man, a specialist in nuclear matters, had made a discreet side trip to Niger. This was to suggest exactly what most right-thinking people were convinced was not the case: namely that British intelligence was on to something when it said that Saddam had not ceased seeking nuclear materials in Africa. I published a few columns on this, drawing at one point an angry email from Ambassador Zahawi that very satisfyingly blustered and bluffed on what he'd really been up to. I also received—this is what sometimes makes journalism worthwhile—a letter from a BBC correspondent named Gordon Correa who had been writing a book about A.Q. Khan. This was the Pakistani proprietor of the nuclear black market that had supplied fissile material to Libya, North Korea, very probably to Syria, and was open for business with any member of the 'rogue states' club. (Saddam's people, we already knew for sure, had been meeting North Korean missile salesmen in Damascus until just before the invasion, when Kim Jong Il's mercenary bargainers took fright and went home.) It turned out, said the highly interested Mr. Correa, that his man Khan had also been in Niger, and at about the same time that Zahawi had. The likelihood of the senior Iraqi diplomat in Europe and the senior Pakistani nuclear black-marketeer both choosing an off-season holiday in chic little uranium-rich Niger… well, you have to admit that it makes an affecting picture. But you must be ready to credit something as ridiculous as that if your touching belief is that Saddam Hussein was already 'contained,' and that Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair were acting on panic reports, fabricated in turn by self-interested provocateurs.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
I now pronounce you husband and wife. I hadn’t considered the kiss. Not once. I suppose I’d assumed it would be the way a wedding kiss should be. Restrained. Appropriate. Mild. A nice peck. Save the real kisses for later, when you’re deliciously alone. Country club girls don’t make out in front of others. Like gum chewing, it should always be done in private, where no one else can see. But Marlboro Man wasn’t a country club boy. He’d missed the memo outlining the rules and regulations of proper ways to kiss in public. I found this out when the kiss began--when he wrapped his loving, protective arms around me and kissed me like he meant it right there in my Episcopal church. Right there in front of my family, and his, in front of Father Johnson and Ms. Altar Guild and our wedding party and the entire congregation, half of whom were meeting me for the first time that night. But Marlboro Man didn’t seem to care. He kissed me exactly the way he’d kissed me the night of our first date--the night my high-heeled boot had gotten wedged in a crack in my parents’ sidewalk and had caused me to stumble. The night he’d caught me with his lips. We were making out in church--there was no way around it. And I felt every bit as swept away as I had that first night. The kiss lasted hours, days, weeks…probably ten to twelve seconds in real time, which, in a wedding ceremony setting, is a pretty long kiss. And it might have been longer had the passionate moment not been interrupted by the sudden sound of a person clapping his hands. “Woohoo! All right!” the person shouted. “Yes!” It was Mike. The congregation broke out in laughter as Marlboro Man and I touched our foreheads together, cementing the moment forever in our memory. We were one; this was tangible to me now. It wasn’t just an empty word, a theological concept, wishful thinking. It was an official, you-and-me-against-the-world designation. We’d both left our separateness behind. From that moment forward, nothing either of us did or said or planned would be in a vacuum apart from the other. No holiday would involve our celebrating separately at our respective family homes. No last-minute trips to Mexico with friends, not that either of us was prone to last-minute trips to Mexico with friends. But still. The kiss had sealed the deal in so many ways. I walked proudly out of the church, the new wife of Marlboro Man. When we exited the same doors through which my dad and I had walked thirty minutes earlier, Marlboro Man’s arm wriggled loose from my grasp and instinctively wrapped around my waist, where it belonged. The other arm followed, and before I knew it we were locked in a sweet, solidifying embrace, relishing the instant of solitude before our wedding party--sisters, cousins, brothers, friends--followed closely behind. We were married. I drew a deep, life-giving breath and exhaled. The sweating had finally stopped. And the robust air-conditioning of the church had almost completely dried my lily-white Vera.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
Any relationship beyond acquaintanceship is composed of one to three qualities: passion, intimacy, and commitment. Simple friendship has one: intimacy. You can have other friends and you do not feel passionately about one another, or we are dealing with another animal. Most romantic relationships begin with a dollop of passion, often to the exclusion of anything else. The person in your arms is the best in the world, though you barely know him or her. You have never felt this way. Any gaps or deficits are temporarily puttied over by passion. When most people envision romantic love, this is where they stop. Romantic comedies but only rarely deal with washing your lover's dishes because they must be up early for work. No one wants to see the mundane when they can flip the channel to a desperate, emotionally-stunted frottage. The passion of infatuation triggers the release of addictive chemicals. We would rather get another hit than cope with the relative dullness of intimacy and commitment.
Thomm Quackenbush (Holidays with Bigfoot)
Socrates could enjoy a banquet now and again, and must have derived considerable satisfaction from his conversations while the hemlock was taking effect, but most of his life he lived quietly with Xanthippe, taking a constitutional in the afternoon, and perhaps meeting with a few friends by the way. Kant is said never to have been more than ten miles from Konigsberg in all his life. Darwin, after going round the world, spent the whole rest of his life in his own house. Marx, after stirring up a few revolutions, decided to spend the remainder of his days in the British Museum. Altogether it will be found that a quiet life is characteristic of great men, and that their pleasures have not been of the sort that would look exciting to the outward eye. No great achievement is possible without persistent work, so absorbing and so difficult that little energy is left over for the more strenuous kinds of amusement, except such as serve to recuperate physical energy during holidays, of which Alpine climbing may serve as the best example.
Bertrand Russell
No, no, my friend Jonathan, you go take the lock off a hundred empty houses in this your London, or of any city in the world, and if you do it as such things are rightly done, and at the time such things are rightly done, no one will interfere. I have read of a gentleman who owned a so fine house in London, and when he went for months of summer to Switzerland and lock up his house, some burglar come and broke window at back and got in. Then he went and made open the shutters in front and walk out and in through the door, before the very eyes of the police. Then he have an auction in that house, and advertise it, and put up big notice. And when the day come he sell off by a great auctioneer all the goods of that other man who own them. Then he go to a builder, and he sell him that house, making an agreement that he pull it down and take all away within a certain time. And your police and other authority help him all they can. And when that owner come back from his holiday in Switzerland he find only an empty hole where his house had been.
Bram Stoker (Dracula)
It is always revealing to see how a person responds to those situations where he’s told: “There’s nothing you can do about it. This is the way of the world.” Peter Thiel’s friend, the mathematician and economist Eric Weinstein, has a category of individual he defines as a “high-agency person.” How do you respond when told something is impossible? Is that the end of the conversation or the start of one? What’s the reaction to being told you can’t—that no one can? One type accepts it, wallows in it even. The other questions it, fights it, rejects it. This choice defines us. Puts us at a crossroads with ourselves and what we think about the kind of person we are. “Anyone who is threatened and is forced by necessity either to act or to suffer,” writes Machiavelli, “becomes a very dangerous man to the prince.” And Peter Thiel was driven into a desperate position, of and not of his own making, that had started with a matter of his identity and become about a deeper identity. Now he had not only decided to act against Gawker, but he would conspire to destroy them.
Ryan Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue)
To speak of a communication failure implies a breakdown of some sort. Yet this does not accurately portray what occurs. In truth, communication difficulties arise not from breakdown but from the characteristics of the system itself. Despite promising beginnings in our intimate relationships, we tend over time to evolve a system of communication that suppresses rather than reveals information. Life is complicated, and confirming or disconfirming the well-being of a relationship takes effort. Once we are comfortably coupled, the intense, energy-consuming monitoring of courtship days is replaced by a simpler, more efficient method. Unable to witness our partners’ every activity or verify every nuance of meaning, we evolve a communication system based on trust. We gradually cease our attentive probing, relying instead on familiar cues and signals to stand as testament to the strength of the bond: the words “I love you,” holidays with the family, good sex, special times with shared friends, the routine exchange, “How was your day?” We take these signals as representative of the relationship and turn our monitoring energies elsewhere. ... Not only do the initiator’s negative signals tend to become incorporated into the existing routine, but, paradoxically, the initiator actively contributes to the impression that life goes on as usual. Even as they express their unhappiness, initiators work at emphasizing and maintaining the routine aspects of life with the other person, simultaneously giving signals that all is well. Unwilling to leave the relationship yet, they need to privately explore and evaluate the situation. The initiator thus contrives an appearance of participation,7 creating a protective cover that allows them to “return” if their alternative resources do not work out. Our ability to do this—to perform a role we are no longer enthusiastically committed to—is one of our acquired talents. In all our encounters, we present ourselves to others in much the same way as actors do, tailoring our performance to the role we are assigned in a particular setting.8 Thus, communication is always distorted. We only give up fragments of what really occurs within us during that specific moment of communication.9 Such fragments are always selected and arranged so that there is seldom a faithful presentation of our inner reality. It is transformed, reduced, redirected, recomposed.10 Once we get the role perfected, we are able to play it whether we are in the mood to go on stage or not, simply by reproducing the signals. What is true of all our encounters is, of course, true of intimate relationships. The nature of the intimate bond is especially hard to confirm or disconfirm.11 The signals produced by each partner, while acting out the partner role, tend to be interpreted by the other as the relationship.12 Because the costs of constantly checking out what the other person is feeling and doing are high, each partner is in a position to be duped and misled by the other.13 Thus, the initiator is able to keep up appearances that all is well by falsifying, tailoring, and manipulating signals to that effect. The normal routine can be used to attest to the presence of something that is not there. For example, initiators can continue the habit of saying, “I love you,” though the passion is gone. They can say, “I love you” and cover the fact that they feel disappointment or anger, or that they feel nothing at all. Or, they can say, “I love you” and mean, “I like you,” or, “We have been through a lot together,” or even “Today was a good day.
Diane Vaughan (Uncoupling: Turning Points in Intimate Relationships)
Survival Spanish: Your uncle's hotel sounds very nice, but I have reservations at the Holiday Inn. El hotel de su tio debe de ser muy lindo, pero tengo reservacions en el Holiday Inn. I would like your least expensive room. Quisiera su habitacion menos cara. I would like a better room. Quisiera una habitacion mejor. I would like any room not damaged by the recent earthquake. Quisiera cualquier habitacion que no sufrio danos en el temblor reciente. The local women do WHAT to cause fermentation? Las mujures aqui hacen QUE para causar la fermentacion? I don't question your abilities, but I am already married. No dudo sus habilidades, pero estoy botin. My friend is drunk and I am lost. Mi amigo esta borracho y estoy perdido. My friend is lost and I am drunk. Mi amigo esta perdido y estoy borracho. My apologies. I thought you asked me to dance. Disculpeme. Pense que me invito a bailar. Have I broken a law? He violado un ley? May I offer you the gift of money? Puedo ofrecerle un regalito de dinero? Did I say twenty dollars? I meant fifty. Dije veinte dolares? Queria decir CINCUENTA! You can have our women, but leave the plane tickets. Pueden llevarse a nuestras majeres, pero dejen nuestros boletos de avion.
Randy Wayne White (Last Flight Out: True Tales of Adventure, Travel, and Fishing)
I remember, one week, we all started playing strip poker. This is more like it, I thought. It wasn’t really even poker, but was more like: pick an ace and lose an item of clothing. I tried one night to rig the cards so that I could end up naked with Stephie, this girl I really fancied. I carefully counted out the cards and the aces, and rather unsubtly made sure I was sitting next to her, when we started playing. Annoyingly, she then swapped places when someone else came to join us and I ended naked next to Mick, embarrassed and self-conscious. (That will teach me to cheat.) Most of the time my attempts to get a girl fell pretty flat. In fact, whenever I really liked a girl I would always end up losing her to someone else, mainly because I found it so hard to make my feelings known and to pluck up the courage just to ask her out. I remember a friend coming down to the island to stay at the end of one summer, and within twenty-four hours he was in bed with the girl I had been chasing all holidays! I couldn’t believe it. What the hell did he have that I didn’t? I noticed that he wore these brown suede cowboy boots, so I went out and bought a secondhand pair, but I just looked stupid in them. To make matters worse, this friend then went on to describe to me in great detail what they had got up to in that bed. Aarrgh. It kind of summed up my attempts at womanizing.
Bear Grylls (Mud, Sweat and Tears)
A reply dated 13 May finally arrived from the town clerk. Mr Mottershead could open the zoo subject to: 1) the type of animals being limited to those already described in previous correspondence; 2) the estate should not be used as an amusement park, racing track or public dance hall; and 3) no animals were to be kept within a distance of a hundred feet from the existing road. This necessitated the purchase of an additional strip of land between the road and the estate, which would have to be securely enclosed, but which couldn't be used for animals. (First it was used as a children's playground and later became a self-service cafe.) Somehow my dad managed to get a further mortgage of £350 to pay for the land and fencing. Of all the conditions, the most damaging in the long term was the last: the zoo was allowed 'no advertisement, sign or noticeboard which can be seen from the road above-mentioned'. Only a small sign at the entrance to the estate would be permitted, which meant the lodge, which was a good twenty-five yards from the road was completely invisible to any passing car. This would remain a problem for a very long time. For many years, the night before bank holidays, Dad and his friends would have to go out and hang temporary posters under the official road signs on the Chester bypass. The police turned a blind eye as long as they were taken down shortly afterwards.
June Mottershead (Our Zoo)
Images of people in the Middle East dressing like Westerners, spending like Westerners, that is what the voters watching TV here at home want to see. That is a visible sign that we really are winning the war of ideas—the struggle between consumption and economic growth, and religious tradition and economic stagnation. I thought, why are those children coming onto the streets more and more often? It’s not anything we have done, is it? It’s not any speeches we have made, or countries we have invaded, or new constitutions we have written, or sweets we have handed out to children, or football matches between soldiers and the locals. It’s because they, too, watch TV. They watch TV and see how we live here in the West. They see children their own age driving sports cars. They see teenagers like them, instead of living in monastic frustration until someone arranges their marriages, going out with lots of different girls, or boys. They see them in bed with lots of different girls and boys. They watch them in noisy bars, bottles of lager upended over their mouths, getting happy, enjoying the privilege of getting drunk. They watch them roaring out support or abuse at football matches. They see them getting on and off planes, flying from here to there without restriction and without fear, going on endless holidays, shopping, lying in the sun. Especially, they see them shopping: buying clothes and PlayStations, buying iPods, video phones, laptops, watches, digital cameras, shoes, trainers, baseball caps. Spending money, of which there is always an unlimited supply, in bars and restaurants, hotels and cinemas. These children of the West are always spending. They are always restless, happy and with unlimited access to cash. I realised, with a flash of insight, that this was what was bringing these Middle Eastern children out on the streets. I realised that they just wanted to be like us. Those children don’t want to have to go to the mosque five times a day when they could be hanging out with their friends by a bus shelter, by a phone booth or in a bar. They don’t want their families to tell them who they can and can’t marry. They might very well not want to marry at all and just have a series of partners. I mean, that’s what a lot of people do. It is no secret, after that serial in the Daily Mail, that that is what I do. I don’t necessarily need the commitment. Why should they not have the same choices as me? They want the freedom to fly off for their holidays on easy Jet. I know some will say that what a lot of them want is just one square meal a day or the chance of a drink of clean water, but on the whole the poor aren’t the ones on the street and would not be my target audience. They aren’t going to change anything, otherwise why are they so poor? The ones who come out on the streets are the ones who have TVs. They’ve seen how we live, and they want to spend.
Paul Torday (Salmon Fishing in the Yemen)
Years later I saw a film - poignantly sad, and for me unbearably so - about a scientist who had invented a kind of total sense recorder, not just video but audio and smellio and touchio and the rest, which he set to play every afternoon in a given place a given time, for as long as the mechanism lasted. The scene he projected was that of a dozen or so young couples dancing on a terrace in the same holiday house, on the same island, where the recorder itself was kept. Then this young man comes across it while it is playing and at first is convinced he is watching a real occurrence: he sees this beautiful girl, in her slinky 1930s outfit, dancing and laughing and chattering with her friends, and he falls in love with her on the spot. Second day, same time around, he comes to the island at a slightly different time so he sees a slightly different excerpt, and still doesn't twig and falls deeper in love. And so on and so forth for various days until he happens on a duplicate bit and realises something is wrong. But by then, of course, he is irretrievably hooked. So what does he do? He digs out the machine, fiddles with its insides until he has grasped its workings, and then sets it up in recording mode and records himself into the scene in a desperate last-ditch attempt to join the dancers. Which works, and there he stays: trapped there amongst them in a virtual dimension, forever young, forever re-enacting the same little loop of life, over and over.
A.P. . (Sabine)
A new wife is not a matter. She is my family. Their Graces have had thirty years to spend holidays with us, and this my first—” Westhaven sighed, took a sip of punch, and glanced over at Val. “It doesn’t get easier the longer you’re married. You still fret, more in fact, once the babies start coming.” Val’s head cocked, as if he’d just recalled his brother was also his friend. “Well, as to that…” Val smiled at his punch. Baby Brother sported a devastating smile when he wanted to, but this expression was… St. Just lifted his mug. “Congratulations, then. How’s Ellen faring?” “She’s in fine spirits, in glowing good health, and I’m a wreck. I think she sent me off to Peterborough with something like relief in her eye.” Westhaven was staring morosely at his grog. “Anna isn’t subtle about it anymore. She tells me to get on my horse and not come back until I’ve worked the fidgets out of us both. She’s quite glad to see me when I return, though. Quite glad.” For Westhaven, that was the equivalent of singing a bawdy song in the common. St. Just propped his mug on his stomach. “Emmie says I’m an old campaigner, and I get twitchy if I’m confined to headquarters too long. Winnie says I need to go on scouting patrol. The reunions are nice, though. You’re right about that.” Val took a considering sip of his drink then speared St. Just with a look. “I wouldn’t know about those reunions, but I intend to find out soon. Dev, you are the only one of us experienced at managing a marching army, and I’m not in any fit condition to be making decisions, or I’d be on my way back to Oxfordshire right now.” “Wouldn’t advise that,” Westhaven said, still looking glum. “Your wife will welcome you sweetly into her home and her bed, but you’ll know you didn’t quite follow orders—our wives are in sympathy with Her Grace—and they have their ways of expressing their…” Both brothers chimed in, “Disappointment.” A
Grace Burrowes (Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish (The Duke's Daughters, #1; Windham, #4))
One of my most vivid memories is of coming back West from prep school and later from college at Christmas time. Those who went farther than Chicago would gather in the old dim Union Station at six o’clock of a December evening, with a few Chicago friends, already caught up into their own holiday gayeties, to bid them a hasty good-by. I remember the fur coats of the girls returning from Miss This-or-that’s and the chatter of frozen breath and the hands waving overhead as we caught sight of old acquaintances, and the matchings of invitations: “Are you going to the Ordways’? the Herseys’? the Schultzes’?” and the long green tickets clasped tight in our gloved hands. And last the murky yellow cars of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railroad looking cheerful as Christmas itself on the tracks beside the gate. When we pulled out into the winter night and the real snow, our snow, began to stretch out beside us and twinkle against the windows, and the dim lights of small Wisconsin stations moved by, a sharp wild brace came suddenly into the air. We drew in deep breaths of it as we walked back from dinner through the cold vestibules, unutterably aware of our identity with this country for one strange hour, before we melted indistinguishably into it again. That’s my Middle West — not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns, but the thrilling returning trains of my youth, and the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow. I am part of that, a little solemn with the feel of those long winters, a little complacent from growing up in the Carraway house in a city where dwellings are still called through decades by a family’s name. I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all — Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
How did the name misfit even come about?" Sam asked. "It's so... dumb." Willo laughed. "Well, it's really not," she said. "We used to call them all sorts of slang terms: kooks, greasers, killjoys, chumps, and we had to keep changing the name as times changed. We used nerds for a long time, and then we started calling them dweebs." Willo hesitated. "And then a group of kids wasn't so nice to your mom." "I had braces," Deana said. "I had pimples. I had a perm. You do the math." She smiled briefly, but Sam could tell the pain was still there. Deana continued: "And I worked here most of the time so I really didn't get a chance to do a lot with friends after school. It was hard." This time, Willo reached out to rub her daughter's leg. "Your mom was pretty down one Christmas," she said. "All of the kids were going on a ski trip to a resort in Boyne City, but she had to stay here and work during the holiday rush. She was moping around one night, lying on the couch and watching TV..." "... stuffing holiday cookies in my mouth," Deana added. "... and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer came on. She was about to change the channel, but I made her sit back down and watch it with me. Remember the part about the Island of Misfit Toys?" Sam nodded. Willo continued. "All of those toys that were tossed away and didn't have a home because they were different: the Charlie-in-the-Box, the spotted elephant, the train with square wheels, the cowboy who rides an ostrich..." "... the swimming bird," Sam added with a laugh. "And I told your mom that all of those toys were magical and perfect because they were different," Willo said. "What made them different is what made them unique." Sam looked at her mom, who gave her a timid smile. "I walked in early the next morning to open the pie pantry, and your mom was already in there making donuts," Willo said. "She had a big plate of donuts that didn't turn out perfectly and she looked up at me and said, very quietly, 'I want to start calling them misfits.' When I asked her why, she said, 'They're as good as all the others, even if they look a bit different.' We haven't changed the name since.
Viola Shipman (The Recipe Box)
But even in Gavle I went on digging into the case." "I don't suppose that Henrik would ever let up." "That's true, but that's not the reason. The puzzle about Harriet still fascinates me to this day. I mean... it's like this: every police officer has his own unsolved mystery. I remember from my days in Hedestad how older colleagues would talk in the canteen about the case of Rebecka. There was one officer in particular, a man named Torstensson - he's been dead for years - who year after year kept returning to that case. In his free time and when he was on holiday. Whenever there was a period of calm among the local hooligans he would take out those folders and study them." "Was that also a case about a missing girl?" Morell looked surprised. Then he smiled when he realised that Blomkvist was looking for some sort of connection. "No, that's not why I mentioned it. I'm talking about the soul of a policeman. The Rebecka case was something that happened before Harriet Vanger was even born, and the statute of limitations has long since run out. Sometime in the forties a woman was assaulted in Hedestad, raped, and murdered. That's not altogether uncommon. Every officer, at some point in his career, has to investigate that kind of crime, but what I'm talking about are those cases that stay with you and get under your skin during the investigation. This girl was killed in the most brutal way. The killer tied her up and stuck her head into the smouldering embers of a fireplace. One can only guess how long it took for the poor girl to die, or what torment she must have endured." "Christ Almighty." "Exactly. It was so sadistic. Poor Torstensson was the first detective on the scene after she was found. And the murder remained unsolved, even though experts were called in from Stockholm. He could never let go of that case." "I can understand that." "My Rebecka case was Harriet. In this instance we don't even know how she died. We can't even prove that a murder was committed. But I have never been able to let it go." He paused to think for a moment. "Being a homicide detective can be the loneliest job in the world. The friends of the victim are upset and in despair, but sooner or later - after weeks or months - they go back to their everyday lives. For the closest family it takes longer, but for the most part, to some degree, they too get over their grieving and despair. Life has to go on; it does go on. But the unsolved murders keep gnawing away and in the end there's only one person left who thinks night and day about the victim: it's the officer who's left with the investigation.
Stieg Larsson (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium, #1))
SOCIAL/GENERAL ICEBREAKERS 1. What do you think of the movie/restaurant/party? 2. Tell me about the best vacation you’ve ever taken. 3. What’s your favorite thing to do on a rainy day? 4. If you could replay any moment in your life, what would it be? 5. What one thing would you really like to own? Why? 6. Tell me about one of your favorite relatives. 7. What was it like in the town where you grew up? 8. What would you like to come back as in your next life? 9. Tell me about your kids. 10. What do you think is the perfect age? Why? 11. What is a typical day like for you? 12. Of all the places you’ve lived, tell me about the one you like the best. 13. What’s your favorite holiday? What do you enjoy about it? 14. What are some of your family traditions that you particularly enjoy? 15. Tell me about the first car you ever bought. 16. How has the Internet affected your life? 17. Who were your idols as a kid? Have they changed? 18. Describe a memorable teacher you had. 19. Tell me about a movie/book you’ve seen or read more than once. 20. What’s your favorite restaurant? Why? 21. Tell me why you were named ______. What is the origin of your last name? 22. Tell me about a place you’ve visited that you hope never to return to. get over your mom’s good intentions. 23. What’s the best surprise you’ve ever received? 24. What’s the neatest surprise you’ve ever planned and pulled off for someone else? 25. Skiing here is always challenging. What are some of your favorite places to ski? 26. Who would star as you in a movie about your life? Why that person? 27. Who is the most famous person you’ve met? 28. Tell me about some of your New Year’s resolutions. 29. What’s the most antiestablishment thing you’ve ever done? 30. Describe a costume that you wore to a party. 31. Tell me about a political position you’d like to hold. 32. What song reminds you of an incident in your life? 33. What’s the most memorable meal you’ve eaten? 34. What’s the most unforgettable coincidence you’ve experienced or heard about? 35. How are you able to tell if that melon is ripe? 36. What motion picture star would you like to interview? Why? 37. Tell me about your family. 38. What aroma brings forth a special memory? 39. Describe the scariest person you ever met. 40. What’s your favorite thing to do alone? 41. Tell me about a childhood friend who used to get you in trouble. 42. Tell me about a time when you had too much to eat or drink. 43. Describe your first away-from-home living quarters or experience. 44. Tell me about a time that you lost a job. 45. Share a memory of one of your grandparents. 46. Describe an embarrassing moment you’ve had. 47. Tell me something most people would never guess about you. 48. What would you do if you won a million dollars? 49. Describe your ideal weather and why. 50. How did you learn to ski/hang drywall/play piano?
Debra Fine (The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills and Leave a Positive Impression!)
Blast. This day had not gone as planned. By this time, he was supposed to be well on his way to the Brighton Barracks, preparing to leave for Portugal and rejoin the war. Instead, he was…an earl, suddenly. Stuck at this ruined castle, having pledged to undertake the military equivalent of teaching nursery school. And to make it all worse, he was plagued with lust for a woman he couldn’t have. Couldn’t even touch, if he ever wanted his command back. As if he sensed Bram’s predicament, Colin started to laugh. “What’s so amusing?” “Only that you’ve been played for a greater fool than you realize. Didn’t you hear them earlier? This is Spindle Cove, Bram. Spindle. Cove.” “You keep saying that like I should know the name. I don’t.” “You really must get around to the clubs. Allow me to enlighten you. Spindle Cove-or Spinster Cove, as we call it-is a seaside holiday village. Good families send their fragile-flower daughters here for the restorative sea air. Or whenever they don’t know what else to do with them. My friend. Carstairs sent his sister here last summer, when she grew too fond of the stable boy.” “And so…?” “And so, your little militia plan? Doomed before it even starts. Families send their daughters and wards here because it’s safe. It’s safe because there are no men. That’s why they call it Spinster Cove.” “There have to be men. There’s no such thing as a village with no men.” “Well, there may be a few servants and tradesmen. An odd soul or two down there with a shriveled twig and a couple of currants dangling between his legs. But there aren’t any real men. Carstairs told us all about it. He couldn’t believe what he found when he came to fetch his sister. The women here are man-eaters.” Bram was scarcely paying attention. He focused his gaze to catch the last glimpses of Miss Finch as her figure receded into the distance. She was like a sunset all to herself, her molten bronze hair aglow as she sank beneath the bluff’s horizon. Fiery. Brilliant. When she disappeared, he felt instantly cooler. And then, only then, did he turn to his yammering cousin. “What were you saying?” “We have to get out of here, Bram. Before they take our bollocks and use them for pincushions.” Bram made his way to the nearest wall and propped one shoulder against it, resting his knee. Damn, that climb had been steep. “Let me understand this,” he said, discreetly rubbing his aching thigh under the guise of brushing off loose dirt. “You’re suggesting we leave because the village is full of spinsters? Since when do you complain about an excess of women?” “These are not your normal spinsters. They’re…they’re unbiddable. And excessively educated.” “Oh. Frightening, indeed. I’ll stand my ground when facing a French cavalry charge, but an educated spinster is something different entirely.” “You mock me now. Just you wait. You’ll see, these women are a breed unto themselves.” “These women aren’t my concern.” Save for one woman, and she didn’t live in the village. She lived at Summerfield, and she was Sir Lewis Finch’s daughter, and she was absolutely off limits-no matter how he suspected Miss Finch would become Miss Vixen in bed.
Tessa Dare (A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1))
Unless you are rich, and can con vales center in a sanatorium estate (where visitors came down a tiered, oceanside lawn to found you ato your easel) you have to keep going when you're depressed. That means phone calls, appointments errands, holidays, family, friends, and colleagues.
Virginia Heffernan
Unless you are rich and can convalesce in a sanatorium estate (where visitors came down a tiered, oceanside lawn to found you at your easel) you have to keep going when you're depressed. That means phone calls, appointments errands, holidays, family, friends, and colleagues.
Virginia Heffernan
Unless you are rich and can convalesce in a sanatorium estate (where visitors came down a tiered, oceanside lawn to find you at your easel) you have to keep going when you're depressed. That means phone calls, appointments, errands, holidays, family, friends, and colleagues.
Virginia Heffernan
not as something long dreamt of and seen at last, but as a familiar friend to whom they were returning home for the holidays.
HAVING NEVER taken a decent holiday before, I decided on a trip to Thailand, booked a flight and flew out the following week. Mate, I loved it. The friendly people, the food, the females!
Simon Palmer
Two different lives, held together by the bonds of many years and a shared daily routine. Friendly interaction without physical closeness. Shared plans for holidays and purchases as a way of proving to yourself that you have a future. Day by day, year by year, the same old routine.
Dora Heldt (Life After Forty)
Now there’s always a chance that if you find acid hidden underneath a mattress in a Holiday Inn, left there by two guys you’ve never met, who were hiding it from the police and who are now in jail, it might be spiked with strychnine or something worse. But there was also a chance that it might not be spiked with strychnine or something worse, and Abby preferred to look on the bright side.
Grady Hendrix (My Best Friend's Exorcism)
A moose can and will murder the unwary in ways obvious to improbable. They can trample you, the pressure of tons of muscle and bone turning your own into jelly. Their antlers pose an understandable risk not merely of goring at thirty-five miles an hour but picking up your limp body and tossing it over a cliff. As though this was an insufficient threat, their nostrils may house bumblebee-like Cephenemyia ulrichii, flies unable to distinguish between moose nasal cavities and human eye sockets when spraying their larvae. You wouldn’t die, but you would need immediate medical attention to prevent significant injury and certain embarrassment when your friends found out.
Thomm Quackenbush (Holidays with Bigfoot)
This is a journey that, for me, began many years ago and continues still. It involves faith, love, hope. It includes travel, food, naked people, courage, real life, holidays, new friends, and new traditions. It’s about work and play, community, daily rhythms; it’s about the moments that make up a life. It’s a journey to presence. To going off the grid and living life with intentionality. To choosing peace over chaos, little by little turning down the noise, one discovery at a time. It’s a journey to quickening the desperation for contentment and inviting the good, true, and beautiful. Let’s walk in this together. Lay down the chaos and be prepared to get your breath back.
Kate Merrick (Here, Now: Unearthing Peace and Presence in an Overconnected World)
Almost as though this thought had fluttered through the open window, Vernon Dursley, Harry’s uncle, suddenly spoke. “Glad to see the boy’s stopped trying to butt in. Where is he anyway?” “I don’t know,” said Aunt Petunia unconcernedly. “Not in the house.” Uncle Vernon grunted. “Watching the news . . .” he said scathingly. “I’d like to know what he’s really up to. As if a normal boy cares what’s on the news — Dudley hasn’t got a clue what’s going on, doubt he knows who the Prime Minister is! Anyway, it’s not as if there’d be anything about his lot on our news —” “Vernon, shh!” said Aunt Petunia. “The window’s open!” “Oh — yes — sorry, dear . . .” The Dursleys fell silent. Harry listened to a jingle about Fruit ’N Bran breakfast cereal while he watched Mrs. Figg, a batty, cat-loving old lady from nearby Wisteria Walk, amble slowly past. She was frowning and muttering to herself. Harry was very pleased that he was concealed behind the bush; Mrs. Figg had recently taken to asking him around for tea whenever she met him in the street. She had rounded the corner and vanished from view before Uncle Vernon’s voice floated out of the window again. “Dudders out for tea?” “At the Polkisses’,” said Aunt Petunia fondly. “He’s got so many little friends, he’s so popular . . .” Harry repressed a snort with difficulty. The Dursleys really were astonishingly stupid about their son, Dudley; they had swallowed all his dim-witted lies about having tea with a different member of his gang every night of the summer holidays. Harry knew perfectly well that Dudley had not been to tea anywhere; he and his gang spent every evening vandalizing the play park, smoking on street corners, and throwing stones at passing cars and children. Harry had seen them at it during his evening walks around Little Whinging; he had spent most of the holidays wandering the streets, scavenging newspapers from bins along the way. The opening notes of the music that heralded the seven o’clock news reached Harry’s ears and his stomach turned over. Perhaps tonight — after a month of waiting — would be the night — “Record numbers of stranded holidaymakers fill airports as the Spanish baggage-handlers’ strike reaches its second week —” “Give ’em a lifelong siesta, I would,” snarled Uncle Vernon over the end of the newsreader’s sentence, but no matter: Outside in the flower bed, Harry’s stomach seemed to unclench.
J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5))
I did not understand that I was 'championing' multiculturalism simply by depicting it, or by describing it as anything other than incipient tragedy. At the same time I don't think I ever was quite naive enough to believe, even at twenty-one, that racially homogeneous societies were necessarily happier or more peaceful than ours simply by virtue of their homogeneity. After all, even a kid half my age knew what the ancient Greeks did to each other, and the Romans, and the seventeenth-century British, and the nineteenth-century Americans. My best friend during my youth--now my husband--is himself from Northern Ireland, an area where people who look absolutely identical to each other, eat the same food, pray to the same God, read the same holy book, wear the same clothes and celebrate the same holidays have yet spent four hundred years at war over a relatively minor doctrinal difference they later allowed to morph into an all-encompassing argument over land, government and national identity. Racial homogeneity is no guarantor of peace, any more than racial heterogeneity is fated to fail.
Zadie Smith (Feel Free: Essays)
I wondered if I could ever be one of those people you see in magazines. You know, the people who have stuff that they do. And they have things like a long jar for spaghetti, and some friends that they can stand to be around. They do things like, I dunno, roller skating.
Jenny Morrill (Crap Holiday)
We have found your relatives,” Miss Banks went on. “And will they…” Maia began but she could not finish. Mr. Murray now took over. “They are willing to give you a home.” Maia took a deep breath. A home. She had spent her holidays for the past two years at the school. Everyone was friendly and kind, but a home… “Not only that,” said Miss Emily, “but it turns out that the Carters have twin daughters about your age.” She smiled broadly and nodded as though she herself had arranged the birth of twins for Maia’s benefit.
Eva Ibbotson (Journey to the River Sea)
Caroline has laid out a beautiful spread, which is a combination of some of my favorite things that she has cooked, and traditional Sikh wedding dishes provided by Jag's friends. There is a whole roasted beef tenderloin, sliced up with beautiful brioche rolls for those who want to make sandwiches, crispy brussels sprouts, potato gratin, and tomato pudding from Gemma's journal. The savory pudding was one of the dishes from Martha's wedding, which gave me the idea for this insanity to begin with, so it seemed appropriate. I actually think Gemma would strongly approve of this whole thing. And she certainly would have appreciated the exoticism of the wonderful Indian vegetarian dishes, lentils, fried pakoras, and a spicy chickpea stew. From what I can tell, Gemma was thrilled anytime she could get introduced in a completely new cuisine, whether it was the Polish stonemason introducing her to pierogi and borsht, or the Chinese laundress bringing her tender dumplings, or the German butcher sharing his recipe for sauerbraten. She loved to experiment in the kitchen, and the Rabins encouraged her, gifting her cookbooks and letting her surprise them with new delicacies. Her favorite was 'With a Saucepan Over the Sea: Quaint and Delicious Recipes from the Kitchens of Foreign Countries,' a book of recipes from around the world that Gemma seemed to refer to frequently, enjoying most when she could alter one of the recipes to better fit the palate of the Rabins. Mrs. Rabin taught her all of the traditional Jewish dishes they needed for holiday celebrations, and was, by Gemma's account, a superlative cook in her own right. Off to the side of the buffet is a lovely dessert table, swagged with white linen and topped with a small wedding cake, surrounded by dishes of fried dough balls soaked in rosewater syrup and decorated with pistachios and rose petals, and other Indian sweets.
Stacey Ballis (Recipe for Disaster)
Part 2: After that, he’d turned to fighting, and not the good kind either. Finn, physically older by seven years, mentally older by about a hundred, had single-handedly saved Sean from just about every situation he’d ever landed himself in. Thanks to Finn, there’d been a lot fewer situations than there should’ve been and it hadn’t been for lack of trying. Fact was, everyone knew Sean had taken the slowest possible route on his way to growing up, complete with plenty of detours, but he’d hit his stride now. Or at least he hoped so because Finn was counting on him in a big way over the next week and Sean had let him down enough for a lifetime. He wouldn’t let him down now. Sean pulled into the B&B’s parking lot and turned to face the crowd he’d driven from San Francisco to Napa. And he did mean crowd. They’d had to rent a fourteen-seat passenger van to fit everyone, and he was the weekend’s designated driver. Oh, how times had changed. “Ready?” he asked. Finn nodded. Pru was bouncing up and down in her seat with excitement. Willa, her BFF, was doing the same. Keane, Willa’s boyfriend, opened the door for everyone to tumble out. It was two weeks before Christmas and the rolling hills of Napa Valley were lined with grape vines for as far as the eye could see, not that they could actually see them right now. It was late, pitch dark, and rain had been pouring down steadily all day, which didn’t detract from the beauty of the Victorian B&B in front of them. It did, however, detract from Sean’s eagerness to go out in the rain to get to it though. Not Pru and Willa. The two raced through the downpour laughing and holding hands with Elle, Colbie, Kylie, and Tina—the rest of Pru’s posse—moving more cautiously in deference to the preservation of their heels. Sean, Finn, and Finn’s posse—Archer, Keane, Spence, and Joe—followed. They all tumbled in the front door of the B&B and stopped short in awe of the place decorated with what had to be miles of garland and lights, along with a huge Christmas tree done up in all the bells and whistles. This place could’ve passed for Santa’s own house. Collectively the group “oohed” and “ahhhed” before turning expectedly to Sean. This was because he was actually in charge of the weekend’s activities that would lead up to the final countdown to the wedding happening next week at a winery about twenty minutes up the road. This was what a best man did apparently, take care of stuff. All the stuff. And that Finn had asked Sean to be his best man in the first place over any of the close friends with them this weekend had the pride overcoming his anxiety of screwing it all up. But the anxiety was making a real strong bid right at the moment. He shook off some of the raindrops and started to head over to the greeting desk and twelve people began to follow. He stopped and was nearly plowed over by the parade. “Wait here,” he instructed, pausing until his very excited group nodded in unison. Jesus. He shouldn’t have poured them that champagne to pre-game before they’d left O’Riley’s, the pub he and Finn owned and operated in San Francisco. And that he was the voice of reason right now was truly the irony of the century. “Stay,” he said firmly and then made his way past the towering Christmas tree lit to within an inch of its life, past the raging fire in the fireplace with candles lining the mantel . . . to the small, quaint check-in desk that had a plate with some amazing looking cookies and a sign that said: yes, these are for you—welcome! “Yum,” Pru said and took one for each hand.
Jill Shalvis (Holiday Wishes (Heartbreaker Bay, #4.5))
When you want to be creative, take a walk. When you need to get some air, take a walk. When you have a phone call to make, take a walk. When you need some exercise, take a long walk. When you have a meeting or a friend over, take a walk together. Nourish yourself and your mind and solve your problems along the way.
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
I put other people down. I hurt them and made them feel bad. Because I thought other people would admire me. It made me feel better. And more important. What a stupid thing to do. Did other kids admire me, or, were they so scared of me that they went along with my pranks? I was no better than any of them. I was no prettier, smarter, nicer. I certainly wasn’t a better friend.
Katrina Kahler (WILD CHILD - Book 4 - Holidays)
Lennon’s behaviour became ever more unpredictable. In the first week of May, with Cynthia on holiday abroad, he spent an evening with Shotton in his music room at Kenwood. Both took LSD, smoked cannabis and made some experimental recordings. Shortly before dawn they fell into silence, which was eventually punctuated by Lennon’s solemn announcement: ‘Pete, I think I’m Jesus Christ.’ Shotton was more than familiar with his friend’s bizarre flights of fancy, but this was a revelation too far. He attempted to pour cold water on Lennon’s sudden eagerness to tell the world of his new identity, perhaps mindful of the ‘More popular than Jesus’ controversy of 1966. ‘They’ll fucking kill you,’ he told Lennon. ‘They won’t accept that, John.’ Lennon grew agitated, telling Shotton that it was his destiny, and that he would inform the other Beatles at Apple. A board meeting was hastily convened that day, attended by the Beatles, Shotton, Taylor and Aspinall. Lennon opened the meeting by solemnly telling the others that he was the second coming of Jesus. ‘Paul, George, Ringo and their closest aides stared back, stunned,’ Shotton said. ‘Even after regaining their powers of speech, nobody presumed to cross-examine John Lennon, or to make light of his announcement. On the other hand, no specific plans were made for the new Messiah, as all agreed that they would need some time to ponder John’s announcement, and to decide upon appropriate further steps.’ The meeting came to an abrupt close, and all agreed to go to a restaurant. As they waited to be seated, a fellow diner recognised Lennon and exchanged pleasantries. ‘Actually,’ Lennon told him, ‘I’m Jesus Christ.’ ‘Oh, really,’ the man replied, seemingly unfazed by the news. ‘Well, I loved your last record. Thought it was great.’328
Joe Goodden (Riding So High: The Beatles and Drugs)
The art of taking feedback is such a crucial skill in life, particularly harsh and critical feedback. We not only need to take this harsh feedback, but actively solicit it, labor to seek out the negative precisely when our friends and family and brain are telling us that we’re doing great. The ego avoids such feedback at all costs, however. Who wants to remand themselves to remedial training? It thinks it already knows how and who we are—that is, it thinks we are spectacular, perfect, genius, truly innovative. It dislikes reality and prefers its own assessment.
Ryan Holiday (Ego Is the Enemy)
He is my Savior. He is my friend. He was born in a manger. And died for my sins. He still lives in heaven above, Looking down on us. He loves us so much, Even if sometimes we’re dumb. And so, we celebrate Christmas every year, Loving God and bringing holiday cheer. But we often get so mixed up in the spirit, We don’t realize what makes Christmas. It’s not about the eggnog, presents, Reindeer, or even elves. It’s about God who sent His One and only Son, Jesus for us. So, whatever you do this year, Remember Christmas is about Jesus, Not Santa Claus and Reindeer. Merry Christmas, Dear!
Rachel Nicole Wagner (Yesterday's Coffee)
We have to screen and interview all the Doctor’s known associates—we can’t have information about the Doctor and the TARDIS falling into the wrong hands. Public knowledge about him can have disastrous consequences.’ I pointed to the two movie posters on the wall, and saw her eyes widen. ‘Peter Cushing played the Doctor? The guy from Star Wars?’ ‘Oh, yes. Twice. We did try to suppress the films, but they kept showing up on bank holidays.’ ‘Has the Doctor seen them?’ ‘Seen them? He loves them. He loaned Peter Cushing a waistcoat for the second one, they were great friends. Though we only realised that when Cushing starting showing up in movies made long after his death.
Steven Moffat (Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor)
They lean into each other, entwine arms and legs, innocently, affectionately, and I look at them, their identical eyes and smiles, and try to imagine the divergence of their lives. Mitra marrying at fourteen, while her cousin begins life in England. Mitra leaving school to have children while Farah studies, learns English, grows up in London, maybe goes on to university. I stare into the soft faces of those girls and try to imagine them meeting again, ten years from now. Farah will return for a visit. She will wear fashionable clothes and will wear a chaador with disdain. She will speak a refined English and will fit awkwardly into her mother tongue; it will no longer hold her. She will have developed a taste for philosophy over coffee, will have grown used to speaking her mind, will have had many friendships and a heartbreak that will have left her unsettled but independent, will have become successful, enviable. She and Mitra will gasp when they see each other after all these years. They will hug and separate and hug and separate and kiss each other on the cheek again and again. Then they will sit across from each other staring, wondering how the other one got so old. Mitra will have four children; no, five; and will wear this, them, in her face. Her arms will be thick, strong, her hands calloused, and she will cry easily, not because she is sad, but because her emotions will not live behind her mind. Farah will be shocked to see her old friend and will think it pathetic, her life, all these children, this cooking and praying and serving; this waste. The visit will be pleasant but awkward, forced in a way neither of them expected. Farah will find an excuse to spend the rest of her holiday in Tehran and will return to England without seeing Mitra again. They will be cousins always but never friends, because each will have a wisdom the other cannot understand. The girls stare at me, waiting for an answer. "Yes," I say, "You will both be happy.
Alison Wearing (Honeymoon in Purdah: An Iranian Journey)
Kalli felt a jolt of Her friends have holiday homes in Europe; my friends have porn site subscriptions and the occasional STI, but she pushed it aside. “Bet that was peaceful.
H.L. Logan (Come Home (Reunited, #2))
Usually, it is a simple hustle. Someone pays me, I manufacture a story for them, and we trade it up the chain—from a tiny blog to Gawker to a website of a local news network to the Huffington Post to the major newspapers to cable news and back again, until the unreal becomes real.* Sometimes I start by planting a story. Sometimes I put out a press release or ask a friend to break a story on their blog. Sometimes I “leak” a document. Sometimes I fabricate a document and leak that. Really, it can be anything, from vandalizing a Wikipedia page to producing an expensive viral video. However the play starts, the end is the same: The economics of the Internet are exploited to change public perception—and sell product.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
Later in the election, Politico moved the goalposts again to stay on top. Speed stopped working so well, so they turned to scandal to upend the race once more. Remember Herman Cain, the preposterous, media-created candidate who came after Pawlenty? After surging ahead as the lead contender for the Republican nomination, and becoming the subject of an exhausting number of traffic-friendly blog posts, Cain’s candidacy was utterly decimated by a sensational but still strongly denied scandal reported by…you guessed it: Politico. I’m sure there were powerful political interests that could not allow Cain to become anything more than a sideshow. So his narrative was changed, and some suspect it was done by a person just like me, hired by another candidate’s campaign—and the story spread, whether it was true or not. If true, from the looks of it whoever delivered the fatal blow did it exactly the way I would have: painfully, untraceably, and impossible to recover from. And so another noncandidate was created, made real, and then taken out. Another one bit the dust so that blogs could fill their cycle.  
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
Dear friends and enemies, Season’s greetings! It’s me, Serge! Don’t you just hate these form letters people stuff in Christmas cards? Nothing screams “you’re close to my heart” like a once-a-year Xerox. Plus, all the lame jazz that’s going on in their lives. “Had a great time in Memphis.” “Bobby lost his retainer down a storm drain.” “I think the neighbors are dealing drugs.” But this letter is different. You are special to me. I’m just forced to use a copy machine and gloves because of advancements in forensics. I love those TV shows! Has a whole year already flown by? Much to report! Let’s get to it! Number one: I ended a war. You guessed correct, the War on Christmas! When I first heard about it, I said to Coleman, “That’s just not right! We must enlist!” I rushed to the front lines, running downtown yelling “Merry Christmas” at everyone I saw. And they’re all saying “Merry Christmas” back. Hmmm. That’s odd: Nobody’s stopping us from saying “Merry Christmas.” Then I did some research, and it turns out the real war is against people saying “Happy holidays.” The nerve: trying to be inclusive. So, everyone … Merry Christmas! Happy Hannukah! Good times! Soul Train! Purple mountain majesties! The Pompatus of Love! There. War over. And just before it became a quagmire. Next: Decline of Florida Roundup. —They tore down the Big Bamboo Lounge near Orlando. Where was everybody on that one? —Remember the old “Big Daddy’s” lounges around Florida with the logo of that bearded guy? They’re now Flannery’s or something. —They closed 20,000 Leagues. And opened Buzz Lightyear. I offered to bring my own submarine. Okay, actually threatened, but they only wanted to discuss it in the security office. I’ve been doing a lot of running lately at theme parks. —Here’s a warm-and-fuzzy. Anyone who grew up down here knows this one, and everyone else won’t have any idea what I’m talking about: that schoolyard rumor of the girl bitten by a rattlesnake on the Steeplechase at Pirate’s World (now condos). I’ve started dropping it into all conversations with mixed results. —In John Mellencamp’s megahit “Pink Houses,” the guy compliments his wife’s beauty by saying her face could “stop a clock.” Doesn’t that mean she was butt ugly? Nothing to do with Florida. Just been bugging me. Good news alert! I’ve decided to become a children’s author! Instilling state pride in the youngest residents may be the only way to save the future. The book’s almost finished. I’ve only completed the first page, but the rest just flows after that. It’s called Shrimp Boat Surprise. Coleman asked what the title meant, and I said life is like sailing on one big, happy shrimp boat. He asked what the surprise was, and I said you grow up and learn that life bones you up the ass ten ways to Tuesday. He started reading and asked if a children’s book should have the word “motherfucker” eight times on the first page. I say, absolutely. They’re little kids, after all. If you want a lesson to stick, you have to hammer it home through repetition…In advance: Happy New Year! (Unlike 2008—ouch!)
Tim Dorsey (Gator A-Go-Go (Serge Storms Mystery, #12))
The full essence of Americanism in the Canal Zone is too overwhelming a contrast to the Spanish-American city. And that is a violent way to taste a new country. You might as well get your first impression of the British from the Gezireh Club in Cairo. Clean, self-consciously bright, admirably ordered for the consumption of ice-cream in friendly surroundings—that was my melancholy impression. The result to this day is that when I think of the United States, its aspect as a respectable middle-class holiday camp dominates all others. And that is unfair. If I had entered by New York, I should have found the stronger living and coarser laughter to which I was accustomed translated across the Atlantic into a city of exquisite beauty, with green and peaceful farming country easily to be reached at need. But there it is. My emotions insist that every American lives in a well-ordered suburb, whereas statistics, let alone observation, prove he does nothing of the sort. I am closer, perhaps, to a spiritual truth—for it is undeniable that the nearer any foreign community approaches the ideal of a garden city run by a council of advertising managers, the more Americans are at home in it.
Geoffrey Household (Against the Wind: An Autobiography)
him. He grinned as he remembered the events of the last few days. Although he had enjoyed spending his summer holidays at the seaside village of Smugglers Cove, he’d been thrilled when his parents had asked him and his sisters if they’d like to spend a week in Scotland with their grandparents. Knowing how downhearted their best friend would be if they weren’t spending the
Paul Moxham (The Mystery of Claw Mountain (The Mystery Series #4))
Even if one is doing nothing more than eating Chinese food with one's Muslim and Jewish friends (don't order the pork lo mein), being together on the longest nights of the year, as the cold sets into the ground and makes it crunch, the warmth inside is infectious and transcendent.
Thomm Quackenbush (A Creature Was Stirring)
Recently Michael had encountered Salman Rushdie at a party given by Geoffrey Robertson, the lawyer who had secured Michael’s libel judgment against Rupert Murdoch’s Times. Jill and Michael had installed a new kitchen with the damages. Spotting Rushdie, Michael approached and said, “Salman, let’s have a meeting sometime soon without any kind of reference to Elizabeth [Rushdie’s estranged wife who remained Michael’s friend].” Rushdie agreed. “That was just before Christmas,” Michael noted. Rushdie said he would call Michael. But no call had come. Michael rationalised by saying Rushdie might have rung up while Michael was away for the holidays (Michael had no answering machine or fax). “What I’d like to do—if it’s okay with you—is you should have a talk with him.” Of course I was agreeable. I wrote to Rushdie, mentioning Michael’s fond memories of him. I never received a reply.
Carl Rollyson (A Private Life of Michael Foot)
So, what are you doing here?” She couldn’t help it if her tone sounded a little tired. This was becoming farcical. “I came to tell you that I--” he rushed to speak, then composed himself, looked around, and stepped closer to her so he did not need to raise his voice to be heard. The brunette leaned forward just a tad. “I apologize for having to tell you here, in this busy, dirty…this is not the scene I would set, but you must know that I…” He took off his cap and rubbed his hair ragged. “I’ve been working at Pembrook Park for nearly four years. All the women I see, week after week, they’re the same. Nearly from the first, that morning when we were alone in the park, I guessed that you might be different. You were sincere.” He reached for her hand. He seemed to gain confidence, his lips started to smile, and he looked at her as though he never wished to look away. Zing, she thought, out of habit mostly, because she wasn’t buying any of it. Martin groaned at the silliness. Nobley immediately stuck his cap back on and stepped back, and he seemed unsure if he’d been too forward, if he should still play by the rules. “I know you have no reason to believe me, but I wish you would. Last night in the library, I wanted to tell you how I felt. I should have. But I wasn’t sure how you…I let myself speak the same tired sort of proposal I used on everyone. You were right to reject me. It was a proper slap in the face. No one had ever said no before. You made me sit up and think. Well, I didn’t want to think much, at first. But after you left this morning, I asked myself, are you going to let her go just because you met her while acting a part?” Nobley paused as if waiting for the answer. “Oh, come on, Jane,” Martin said. “You’re not going to buy this from him.” “Don’t talk to me like we’re friends,” Jane said. “You…you were paid to kiss me! And it was a game, a joke on me, you disgusting lurch. You’ve got no right to call me Jane. I’m Miss Erstwhile to you.” “Don’t give me that,” Martin said. His patience was fraying. “All of Pembrook Park is one big drama, you’d have to be dense not to see that. You were acting too, just like the rest of us, having a fling on holiday, weren’t you? And it’s not as though kissing you was odious.” “Odious?” “I’m saying it wasn’t.” Martin paused and appeared to be putting back on his romancing-the-woman persona. “I enjoyed it, all of it. Well, except for the root beer. And if you’re going to write that article, you should know that I believe what we had was real.” The brunette sighed. Jane just rolled her eyes. “We had something real,” Nobley said, starting to sound a little desperate. “You must have felt it, seeping through the costumes and pretenses.” The brunette nodded. “Seeping through the pretenses? Listen to him, he’s still acting.” Martin turned to the brunette in search of an ally. “Do I detect any jealousy there, my flagpole-like friend?” Nobley said. “Still upset that you weren’t cast as a gentleman? You do make a very good gardener.” Martin took a swing. Nobley ducked and rammed into his body, pushing them both to the ground. The brunette squealed and bounced on the balls of her feet.
Shannon Hale (Austenland (Austenland, #1))
Now you are laughing aren't you?? You just came from holiday (AS for me I don't really give a shit from holiday, from walk with friends or whatever..) You are thinking about the one fat guy and you think that you are perfect. - If you are perfect you won't be here transcend people don't have what to achieve they know and they will continue to know everything, it's useless! You have health problems, am I right? You have some buds on places which nobody wants to talk, you think that you are a bigger as a personality - but you smoke (Don't you?? You try to stop it, but again the cigarettes say "Smoke one you will be better, smoke another one you will go to heaven..." - this goes to endless does it?? You drink Alcohol - don't ya? I don't have words take a look at yourself you drink for what??? For confidence... oh my god you are fuck fagot aren't you?? You smoke, but why I know that chimneys smoke, but you?? Are you chimney, it's a joke! :D :D
Deyth Banger
Imagine a drug that can intoxicate us, can infuse us with energy, and can do so when taken by mouth. It doesn’t have to be injected, smoked, or snorted for us to experience its sublime and soothing effects. Imagine that it mixes well with virtually every food and particularly liquids, and that when given to infants it provokes a feeling of pleasure so profound and intense that its pursuit becomes a driving force throughout their lives. Overconsumption of this drug may have long-term side effects, but there are none in the short term—no staggering or dizziness, no slurring of speech, no passing out or drifting away, no heart palpitations or respiratory distress. When it is given to children, its effects may be only more extreme variations on the apparently natural emotional roller coaster of childhood, from the initial intoxication to the tantrums and whining of what may or may not be withdrawal a few hours later. More than anything, our imaginary drug makes children happy, at least for the period during which they’re consuming it. It calms their distress, eases their pain, focuses their attention, and then leaves them excited and full of joy until the dose wears off. The only downside is that children will come to expect another dose, perhaps to demand it, on a regular basis. How long would it be before parents took to using our imaginary drug to calm their children when necessary, to alleviate pain, to prevent outbursts of unhappiness, or to distract attention? And once the drug became identified with pleasure, how long before it was used to celebrate birthdays, a soccer game, good grades at school? How long before it became a way to communicate love and celebrate happiness? How long before no gathering of family and friends was complete without it, before major holidays and celebrations were defined in part by the use of this drug to assure pleasure? How long would it be before the underprivileged of the world would happily spend what little money they had on this drug rather than on nutritious meals for their families?
Gary Taubes (The Case Against Sugar)
It is our single friends who keep us in our marriages. They remind us that being single is sad. Dating is sad. Online dating is sad. Attending holidays and weddings is sad. Marriage, too, is sad.
Melissa Broder (So Sad Today: Personal Essays)
Manufacturers deliberately design short-term goods and invent new and unnecessary models of perfectly satisfactory products that we must purchase in order to stay ‘in’. Shopping has become a favourite pastime, and consumer goods have become essential mediators in relationships between family members, spouses and friends. Religious holidays such as Christmas have become shopping festivals. In the United States, even Memorial Day – originally a solemn day for remembering fallen soldiers – is now an occasion for special sales. Most people mark this day by going shopping, perhaps to prove that the defenders of freedom did not die in vain.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
hospital. You know they gave me male nurses on purpose.” “Of course they did. They didn’t want any of their female nurses shirking their duties to the other patients to take care of you.” Levi Spencer was one of the most, if not the most, eligible bachelors in Las Vegas. He was rich, for one thing, and couldn’t help being charming any more than he could help his gorgeous—according to Joe’s own wife—blue eyes, dark hair or I’m-trouble-and-you’ll-love-every-minute-of-it grin. “You’re mostly bored,” Joe said. “None of my friends came to visit me in the hospital.” Joe sighed. He wasn’t sure that Levi actually
Erin Nicholas (Getting Wrapped Up: A Sapphire Falls Holiday Bundle (Sapphire Falls, #3.5, 3.6, 3.75))
I know that the smallest, most inconsequential things can set me off: a well-meaning friend or family member who says, “Come on, just this once.” Off-limit foods served at special occasions like birthday parties, weddings, and holidays. A perceived insult, a bad day, or lousy weather. If there has been an excuse to eat, I have used it to always find my way to food—and the price I paid was staying fat. Those days are over.
Tory Johnson (The Shift: How I Finally Lost Weight and Discovered a Happier Life)
Thomas reminded himself that Lisette just wanted a friend with benefits. She’d made it clear she wasn’t looking for a relationship. And why should she? He wasn’t a human anymore. He was a half-thing that couldn’t go out places with her, or meet her friends, or spend holidays with her. He was a dead end relationship, because he was just plain dead.
Chessela Helm (Life and Then Love)
Paul thanked God for the Corinthian believers. During the Thanksgiving holiday, we focus on our blessings and express our gratitude to God for them. But thanks should be expressed every day. We can never say thank you enough to parents, friends, leaders, and especially to God. When thanksgiving becomes an integral part of your life, you will find that your attitude toward life will change. You will become more positive, gracious, loving, and humble. Whom do you need to thank today?
Anonymous (Chronological Life Application Study Bible NLT)
I now pronounce you husband and wife. I hadn’t considered the kiss. Not once. I suppose I’d assumed it would be the way a wedding kiss should be. Restrained. Appropriate. Mild. A nice peck. Save the real kisses for later, when you’re deliciously alone. Country club girls don’t make out in front of others. Like gum chewing, it should always be done in private, where no one else can see. But Marlboro Man wasn’t a country club boy. He’d missed the memo outlining the rules and regulations of proper ways to kiss in public. I found this out when the kiss began--when he wrapped his loving, protective arms around me and kissed me like he meant it right there in my Episcopal church. Right there in front of my family, and his, in front of Father Johnson and Ms. Altar Guild and our wedding party and the entire congregation, half of whom were meeting me for the first time that night. But Marlboro Man didn’t seem to care. He kissed me exactly the way he’d kissed me the night of our first date--the night my high-heeled boot had gotten wedged in a crack in my parents’ sidewalk and had caused me to stumble. The night he’d caught me with his lips. We were making out in church--there was no way around it. And I felt every bit as swept away as I had that first night. The kiss lasted hours, days, weeks…probably ten to twelve seconds in real time, which, in a wedding ceremony setting, is a pretty long kiss. And it might have been longer had the passionate moment not been interrupted by the sudden sound of a person clapping his hands. “Woohoo! All right!” the person shouted. “Yes!” It was Mike. The congregation broke out in laughter as Marlboro Man and I touched our foreheads together, cementing the moment forever in our memory. We were one; this was tangible to me now. It wasn’t just an empty word, a theological concept, wishful thinking. It was an official, you-and-me-against-the-world designation. We’d both left our separateness behind. From that moment forward, nothing either of us did or said or planned would be in a vacuum apart from the other. No holiday would involve our celebrating separately at our respective family homes. No last-minute trips to Mexico with friends, not that either of us was prone to last-minute trips to Mexico with friends. But still. The kiss had sealed the deal in so many ways.
Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels)
1) I may lose something today, I may get anything else tomorrow. But, I can never lose and ever get one thing and thats ‘YOU’ So, be my friend forever! 2) I CARE For U Bcoz You Are MY $weet……… friend for ever. 3) Each day i meet some one new, But never find another u..The world is full of ppl its true, Yet no one ever equals a friend like you.. 4) A best friend is one who never get tired ,of listening to your pointless drama over and over again ! 5) Best friends have CONVERSATION impossible to UNDERSTAND for others. 6) A good friend knows all your story , and a best friend has lived them with you. 7) BEST FRIEND knows , how stupid you are, but still choose to be with you . 8) BEST FRIENDS are like stars, you don’t always see them , but they are always there. 9) You are my BEST FRIEND , my HUMAN DIARY and my OTHER HALF , you mean the WORLD for me. 10) Best friends ,make the good time better and the hard times easier !! 11) When destiny forget , to tie some people in relationship,it corrects its mistake by making them your best friends .. 12) Best FRIENDS are like diamond , when you hit them they don’t break, they just slip away from your life. 13) When I die, friends would come at my funeral, good friends would cry for me , but my BEST FRIEND would change my Whatsapp status ” Chilling WITH Jesus ” 14) Weekly One Day Holiday, Monthly One Day Salary Day, Yearly One Day Birthday, Lifely One Day Death Day, But Sharing FRIENDSHIP with BEST FRIEND Is Every Day
Francesco Fauda
True grief never goes away. We learn to live with it. After a while our friends stop asking and we stop discussing our sorrows. It doesn't help us that much and we realize that almost everyone who we have confided in carries grief deep in their hearts too. We often decide that once again, our job is to cheer others up. Grief isn't just something to endure; it is also a reflection of our capacity to love. It allows us to understand the most profound human experience at the most intimate level. Facing our grief requires openness and courage. We must explore it with curiosity and patience and we must allow it to stay in our hearts until it is ready to leave. Over time, by simply abiding with our sorrows, they will lessen. Yet as poet Linda Pastan wrote, "Grief is a circular staircase," We feelin better and then we feel worse. Holidays...trigger grief reactions. we may have a rather good Year Two and then be felled by Year Three. With intention and skills, we move forward on our journey, but not without spiraling in the waters.
Mary Pipher (Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age)
True grief never goes away. We learn to live with it. After a while our friends stop asking and we stop discussing our sorrows. It doesn't help us that much and we realize that almost everyone who we have confided in carries grief deep in their hearts too. We often decide that once again, our job is to cheer others up. Grief isn't just something to endure; it is also a reflection of our capacity to love. It allows us to understand the most profound human experience at the most intimate level. Facing our grief requires openness and courage. We must explore it with curiosity and patience and we must allow it to stay in our hearts until it is ready to leave. Over time, by simply abiding with our sorrows, they will lessen. Yet as poet Linda Pastan wrote, "Grief is a circular staircase," We feel better and then we feel worse. Holidays...trigger grief reactions. we may have a rather good Year Two and then be felled by Year Three. With intention and skills, we move forward on our journey, but not without spiraling in the waters.
Mary Pipher (Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age)
How do you usually celebrate Christmas, cousin?” He hesitated before replying, seeming to ponder whether to answer truthfully. Honesty won out. “On Christmas Day I visit friends in a parasitical fashion, going from house to house and drinking until I finally fall unconscious in someone’s parlor. Then someone pours me into a carriage and sends me home, and my servants put me to bed.” “That doesn’t sound very merry,” Cassandra said. “Beginning this year,” Devon said, “I intend for us all to do the holiday justice. In fact, I’ve invited a friend to share Christmas with us at Eversby Priory.” The table fell silent, everyone staring at him in collective surprise. “Who?” Kathleen asked suspiciously. For his sake, she hoped it wasn’t one of those railway men plotting to destroy tenant farms. “Mr. Winterborne himself.” Amid the girls’ gasping and squealing, Kathleen scowled at Devon. Damn him, he knew it wasn’t right to invite a stranger to a house of mourning. “The owner of a department store?” she asked. “No doubt accompanied by a crowd of fashionable friends and hangers-on? My lord, surely you haven’t forgotten that we’re all in mourning!” “How could I?” he parried with a pointed glance that incensed her. “Winterborne will come alone, as a matter of fact. I doubt it will burden my household unduly to set one extra plate at the table on Christmas Eve.” “A gentleman of Mr. Winterborne’s influence must already have a thousand invitations for the holiday. Why must he come here?” Devon’s eyes glinted with enjoyment at her barely contained fury. “Winterborne is a private man. I suppose the idea of a quiet holiday in the country appeals to him. For his sake, I would like to have a proper Christmas feast. And perhaps a few carols could be sung.” The girls chimed in at once. “Oh, do say yes, Kathleen!” “That would be splendicious!” Even Helen murmured something to the effect that she couldn’t see how it would do any harm. “Why stop there?” Kathleen asked sarcastically, giving Devon a look of open animosity. “Why not have musicians and dancing, and a great tall tree lit with candles?” “What excellent suggestions,” came Devon’s silky reply. “Yes, let’s have all of that.” Infuriated to the point of speechlessness, Kathleen glared at him while Helen discreetly pried the butter knife from her clenched fingers.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Then what makes a beautiful human being? Isn’t it the presence of human excellence? Young friend, if you wish to be beautiful, then work diligently at human excellence. And what is that? Observe those whom you praise without prejudice. The just or the unjust? The just. The even-tempered or the undisciplined? The even-tempered. The self-controlled or the uncontrolled? The self-controlled. In making yourself that kind of person, you will become beautiful—but to the extent you ignore these qualities, you’ll be ugly, even if you use every trick in the book to appear beautiful.” —EPICTETUS, DISCOURSES, 3.1.6b–9
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living: Featuring new translations of Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius)
It’s not how much money you have that matters, it’s what you do with it. That’s how to become really rich. Let me give you an example of someone who is ridiculously rich, in every sense of the word. Let me introduce you to Dave. This is how Dave works: whenever he comes across great, everyday people, whoever they are - whether it’s a shy 17-year-old just leaving school with a longing to visit his absent father who now lives in Canada; or a plumber who has worked beyond the call of duty, been respectful and diligent, but who rarely gets to see his kids as he works so hard; or a single mother, a friend of a friend, who is struggling to balance a million things and multiple jobs and wishes she could treat her kids to something nice - Dave steps in. A bit like Superman! You see, Dave has worked hard in his life, and been rewarded with great wealth, but through it all he has learnt something far greater: that great wealth doesn’t make you rich unless you do great things with it. So Dave will secretly help people out in some special way. Maybe he pays for the young man’s plane fare to Canada to see his dad, or for the plumber to take his family on holiday, or the single mum to get a car. Anything that is beyond the norm, out of the ordinary - he does it. And you know what? It blows people away! Not only does Dave have the most loyal army of everyday people who would go to the ends of the Earth for him (and it is not because of the money he gave them, by the way, it is because he did something so far beyond the norm for them), but Dave is also the happiest man I have ever met. Why? Because it is impossible to live like this and not be ridiculously happy! It is in the giving that a person becomes rich. And that can start today, whatever point we are along the road of our goals. So don’t waste a chance to get rich quick by getting busy giving. Then stand back and watch the happiness unfold…
Bear Grylls (A Survival Guide for Life: How to Achieve Your Goals, Thrive in Adversity, and Grow in Character)
Beginning this year,” Devon said, “I intend for us all to do the holiday justice. In fact, I’ve invited a friend to share Christmas with us at Eversby Priory.” The table fell silent, everyone staring at him in collective surprise. “Who?” Kathleen asked suspiciously. For his sake, she hoped it wasn’t one of those railway men plotting to destroy tenant farms. “Mr. Winterborne himself.” Amid the girls’ gasping and squealing, Kathleen scowled at Devon. Damn him, he knew it wasn’t right to invite a stranger to a house of mourning. “The owner of a department store?” she asked. “No doubt accompanied by a crowd of fashionable friends and hangers-on? My lord, surely you haven’t forgotten that we’re all in mourning!” “How could I?” he parried with a pointed glance that incensed her.
Lisa Kleypas (Cold-Hearted Rake (The Ravenels, #1))
Florida Scott-Maxwell’s Stoic diary during her terminal illness, The Measure of My Days, is one. Seneca’s famous words to his family and friends, who had broken down and begged with his executioners, is another.
Ryan Holiday (The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living)
Alice had been instructed by her mother and I by my grandmother to make friends with our fellow scholars. Conscientiously we did our best. By careful questioning during the holidays, it was usually found that we had managed to make friends with the wrong people. The right people, of course, were those whose parents were going to give dances for them when they came out.
Elizabeth Eliot (Alice)
Friends kept telling me that I’d get over him as soon as I met someone else, but I always compared every guy I dated to Sterling. When he used to look at me, it was as if I was the only person who existed to him. When he hugged me, I felt completely warm, secure and cared for. It was hard being sent back out into the cold after that.
Harper Lin (Killer Christmas (An Emma Wild Holiday Mystery #1))
There is a scene in the movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. At the beginning, in the woods, Robert Ford, played by Casey Affleck, illustrates this phenomenon. He thinks the outlaw Jesse James is a great man. He thinks that he, himself, is a great man, too. He wants someone to recognize that in him. He wants someone to give him an opportunity—a project through which he can prove his worth. It just happens that Frank James would size the delusional, awkward boy up in the woods outside Blue Cut, Missouri: “You don’t have the ingredients, son.” In contrast, Mr. A is ambitious, but it’s paired with self-confidence, social adeptness, and a clear sense of what Thiel wanted. Even so, the prospect of meeting with Thiel is intimidating: his stomach churning, every nerve and synapse alive and flowing. He’s twenty-six years old. He’s sitting down for a one-on-one evening with a man worth, by 2011, some $ 1.5 billion and who owns a significant chunk of the biggest social network in the world, on whose board of directors he also sits. Even if Thiel were just an ordinary investor, dinner with him would make anyone nervous. One quickly finds that he is a man notoriously averse to small talk, or what a friend once deemed “casual bar talk.” Even the most perfunctory comment to Thiel can elicit long, deep pauses of consideration in response—so long you wonder if you’ve said something monumentally stupid. The tiny assumptions that grease the wheels of conversation find no quarter with Thiel. There is no chatting with Peter about the weather or about politics in general. It’s got to be, “I’ve been studying opening moves in chess, and I think king’s pawn might be the best one.” Or, “What do you think of the bubble in higher education?” And then you have to be prepared to talk about it at the expert level for hours on end. You can’t talk about television or music or pop culture because the person you’re sitting across from doesn’t care about these things and he couldn’t pretend to be familiar with them if he wanted to.
Ryan Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue)
In the three years, she and Noel had been friends, she'd spent a lot of time pretending she didn't need anything more than what he was already giving her. She'd told herself there was a difference between wanting something and needing it...
Rainbow Rowell (My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories)
Celebrate the holiday to cherish with friends and family, not for only seeking gifts. Settle for long talks and share memories that can entertain everyone in a holiday gathering.
Saaif Alam
Mary was stretched out on the lounge by the pool reading Agatha Christie’s new book, Dumb Witness, which a friend had sent her from England. I was reading Erich Maria Remarque’s sadly beautiful, Three Comrades. MGM had purchased it and were making a film adaptation starring Margaret Sullavan, who I happened to adore. We’d be here all week so I’d also brought Erle Stanley Gardner’s new Perry Mason novel, The Case of the Dangerous Dowager.
Bobby Underwood (No Holiday From Murder)
joyful family holiday gatherings and outings, as well as experiences with siblings and friends. With time, however, many of the details of the life review have faded, but what remains with me to this day is that the life review was filled with happy events and human interactions shrouded in love. Back in the emergency room with all its
John Tourangeau (To Heaven and Back: The Journey of a Roman Catholic Priest)
Every conspiracy is a story of people. The protagonists of this one are two of the most distinctly unique personalities of their time, Nick Denton and Peter Thiel. Two characters who, not unlike the cowboys in your cliché western, found that the town—whether it was Silicon Valley or New York City or the world’s stage—was not big enough for them to coexist. The gravitational pull of the two figures would bring dozens of other people into their orbit over their ten-year cold war along with the FBI, the First and Fourth Amendments, and soon enough, the president of the United States. It somehow dragged me in, too. In 2016, I would find myself the recipient of unsolicited emails from both Peter Thiel and Nick Denton. Both wanted to talk, both were intrigued to hear I had spoken to the other. Both gave me questions to ask the other. And so for more than a year, I spent hundreds of hours researching, writing about, and speaking to nearly everyone involved. I would read more than twenty thousand pages of legal documents and pore through the history of media, of feuds, of warfare, and of strategy not only to make sense of what happened here, but to make something more than just some work of contemporary long-form journalism or some chronological retelling of events by a disinterested observer (which I am not). The result is a different kind of book from my other work, but given this extraordinary story, I had little choice. What follows then are both the facts and the lessons from this conflict—an extended meditation on what it means to successfully conspire, on the one hand, and how to be caught defenseless against a conspiracy and be its victim, on the other. So that we can see what power and conviction look like in real terms, as well as the costs of hubris, and recklessness. And because winning is typically preferable to losing, this book is about how one man came to experience what Genghis Khan supposedly called the greatest of life’s pleasures: to overcome your enemies, to drive them before you, to see their friends and allies bathed in tears, to take their possessions as your own. The question of justice is beside the point; every conqueror believes their cause just and righteous—a thought that makes the fruits taste sweeter.
Ryan Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue)
There is a moment in The Great Gatsby when Jay Gatsby introduces Nick Carraway to Meyer Wolfsheim, mentioning offhandedly that he is the man who fixed the 1919 World Series. The idea staggers Gatsby’s idealistic young friend. Of course, Carraway knew the series had been thrown. But “if I had thought of it at all,” he says, “I would have thought of it as a thing that merely happened, the end of some inevitable chain.” It was unbelievable to him then, as it is to us now, that a single person could have been responsible for changing the outcome of an event watched by some fifty million people. In real life, the 1919 World Series was fixed not by Wolfsheim, but with great skill and audacity by Arnold Rothstein, a Jewish gangster. A young lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army named Dwight Eisenhower eagerly followed the game as the scores came in via telegram, and like everyone else, never suspected a thing. He would remark years later that the revelation of the conspiracy that had thrown the series produced a profound change in his perspective about the world; it taught him never to trust in first appearances.
Ryan Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue)
His path was in some ways traditional—Stanford to Stanford Law to judicial clerkship to high-powered law firm—but it was also marked by bouts of rebellion. At Stanford he created and published a radical conservative journal called The Stanford Review, then he wrote a book that railed against multiculturalism and “militant homosexuals” on campus, despite being both gay and foreign born. His friends thought he might become a political pundit. Instead he became a lawyer. Then one day, surprising even himself, he walked out of one of the most prestigious securities law firms in the world, Sullivan & Cromwell, after seven months and three days on the job. Within a few short years, Thiel formed and then sold PayPal, an online payments company, to eBay for $ 1.5 billion in July 2002, the month that Nick Denton registered the domain for his first site, Gizmodo. With proceeds of some $ 55 million, Thiel assembled an empire. He retooled a hedge fund called Clarium into a vehicle to make large, counterintuitive bets on global macro trends, seeding it with $ 10 million of his own money. In 2003, Thiel registered a company called Palantir with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 2004, he would found it in earnest. The company would take antifraud technology from PayPal and apply it to intelligence gathering—fighting terrorism, predicting crime, providing military insights. It would take money from the venture capital arm of the CIA and soon take on almost every other arm of the government as clients.
Ryan Holiday (Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue)
A good friend reminded me today, that the Holidays are not always happy for everyone. For those friends and family who are feeling down or alone, please know I am praying for you and hope you know, there is so much love coming your way. If you need someone to talk to, reach out to people who care about you or speak to your Higher Power. And remember, everything happens for a reason. You are here for a reason. You are loved, for many reasons. Bless and Release.
Liz Faublas
The only real official in the Shire at this date was the Mayor of Michel Delving (or of the Shire), who was elected every seven years at the Free Fair on the White Downs at the Lithe, that is at Midsummer. As mayor almost his only duty was to preside at banquets, given on the Shire-holidays, which occurred at frequent intervals. But the offices of Postmaster and First Shirriff were attached to the mayoralty, so that he managed both the Messenger Service and the Watch. These were the only Shire-services, and the Messengers were the most numerous, and much the busier of the two. By no means all Hobbits were lettered, but those who were wrote constantly to all their friends (and a selection of their relations) who lived further off than an afternoon’s walk. The Shirriffs was the name that the Hobbits gave to their police, or the nearest equivalent that they possessed. They had, of course, no uniforms (such things being quite unknown), only a feather in their caps; and they were in practice rather haywards than policemen, more concerned with the strayings of beasts than of people. There were in all the Shire only twelve of them, three in each Farthing, for Inside Work. A rather larger body, varying at need, was employed to ‘beat the bounds’, and to see that Outsiders of any kind, great or small, did not make themselves a nuisance.
J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
First Date Small Talk •It’s great to see you again. I’m so glad you were able to ______with me tonight. •So tell me a little bit about yourself: who was your best friend growing up, how do you celebrate your favorite holiday, what do you eat for lunch? •Did you go away to college? •Where does your family live? •I have five brothers and six sisters. How about you, do you have any siblings? •What brought you to this city? •Do you have any pets? Hobbies? Favorite activities during this season of the year?
Debra Fine (The Fine Art of Small Talk: How to Start a Conversation, Keep It Going, Build Networking Skills and Leave a Positive Impression!)
Our true friends gave us kindness, unsolicited, but desperately needed. Their gifts were a sign that even our shattered home could be put back together—with community, with family, and with love. They had given us back Christmas, and each other. Our true friends had broken the hold grief had on us and gave us an extraordinary experience during a holiday season that otherwise would have been bleak. They had given us our own Christmas legend, as Nick had called it, a modern-day miracle. That’s a lot to accomplish in twelve days. Was this precious lesson the twelfth gift?
Joanne Huist Smith (The 13th Gift: A True Story of a Christmas Miracle)
140. Spectacle The Blake-De Angelises started work early and tended to finish late, and in the gaps treated each other with an exaggerated tenderness, as if the slightest applied pressure would blow the whole thing to pieces. Sometimes in the mornings their commutes aligned, briefly, until Natalie changed at Finchley Road. More often Natalie left half an hour to an hour before her husband. She liked to meet early with the pupil with whom she shared a room, Melanie, to get the jump on all the business of the day. In the evenings the couple watched television, or went online to plan future holidays, itself an example of bad faith, for Natalie hated holidays, preferring to work. They only truly came together at weekends, in front of friends, for whom they appeared fresh and vibrant (they were only thirty years old), and full of the old good humour, like a double act who only speak to each other when they are on stage.
Zadie Smith (NW)
Yet it is certain that the power to produce this delight, does not reside in nature, but in man, or in a harmony of both. It is necessary to use these pleasures with great temperance. For, nature is not always tricked in holiday attire, but the same scene which yesterday breathed perfume and glittered as for the frolic of the nymphs, is overspread with melancholy today. Nature always wears the colors of the spirit. To a man laboring under calamity, the heat of his own fire hath sadness in it. Then, there is a kind of contempt of the landscape felt by him who has just lost by death a dear friend. The sky is less grand as it shuts down over less worth in the population.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (Nature)
We should not judge by appearances,” thought Stella. “Time shows us who we can trust. Then, folks show us their true natures. There’s nothing worse than false friends who lead us by the hand into all kinds of dangers. They have two sides—one light, one dark. Nothing’s unusual about that. But false friends take us from our true paths. I’d rather have honest enemies or rivals. They challenge us and shape us. They help us more than they know. They give us courage—something to go against.
Suzy Davies (The Girl in The Red Cape)