Item Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Item. Here they are! All 200 of them:

Always be wary of any helpful item that weighs less than its operating manual.
Terry Pratchett (Jingo (Discworld, #21; City Watch, #4))
You're naming your collector's-item, kick-ass sword that's made to maim and kill, specifically designed to bring your ginormous enemies to their knees and hear the lamentation of their women-Pooky Bear?" "Yeah, you like it?
Susan Ee (World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2))
Karma Repair Kit Items 1-4. 1.Get enough food to eat, and eat it. 2.Find a place to sleep where it is quiet, and sleep there. 3.Reduce intellectual and emotional noise until you arrive at the silence of yourself, and listen to it. 4.
Richard Brautigan
I like black for clothes, small items, and jewelry. It's a color that can't be violated by any other colors. A color that simply keeps being itself. A color that sinks more somberly than any other color, yet asserts itself more than all other colors. It's a passionate gallant color. Anything is wonderful if it transcends things rather than being halfway...
Yana Toboso (Black Butler, Vol. 1 (Black Butler, #1))
Emptiness and boredom: what an understatement. What I felt was complete desolation. Desolation, despair, and depression. Isn't there some other way to look at this? After all, angst of these dimensions is a luxury item. You need to be well fed, clothes, and housed to have time for this much self-pity.
Susanna Kaysen (Girl, Interrupted)
The essence of capitalism is to turn nature into commodities and commodities into capital. The live green earth is transformed into dead gold bricks, with luxury items for the few and toxic slag heaps for the many. The glittering mansion overlooks a vast sprawl of shanty towns, wherein a desperate, demoralized humanity is kept in line with drugs, television, and armed force.
Michael Parenti (Against Empire)
The bastard form of mass culture is humiliated repetition... always new books, new programs, new films, news items, but always the same meaning.
Roland Barthes
The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it. This is not only the simplest but also the most accurate yardstick by which to judge.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing)
Rules for Living by Olivia Joules 1. Never panic. Stop, breathe, think. 2. No one is thinking about you. They're thinking about themselves, just like you. 3. Never change haircut or color before an important event. 4. Nothing is either as bad or good as it seems. 5. Do as you would be done by, e.g. thou shalt not kill. 6. It is better to buy one expensive thing that you really like than several cheap ones that you only quite like. 7. Hardly anything matters: if you get upset, ask yourself, "Does it really matter?" 8. The key to success lies in how you pick yourself up from failure. 9. Be honest and kind. 10. Only buy clothes that make you feel like doing a small dance. 11. Trust your instincts, not your overactive imagination. 12. When overwhelmed by disaster, check if it's really a disaster by doing the following: (a) think, "Oh, fuck it," (b) look on the bright side, and if that doesn't work, look on the funny side. If neither of the above works then maybe it is a disaster so turn to items 1 and 4. 13. Don't expect the world to be safe or life to be fair.
Helen Fielding (Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination)
HARRY DRESDEN—WIZARD Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties, or Other Entertainment
Jim Butcher (Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1))
When people’s parallel truth collides with their real truth, they may have a hard time in subduing all the fanciful items and characters of their invented world. (“The day the mirror was talking back”)
Erik Pevernagie
The great Sufi poet and philosopher Rumi once advised his students to write down the three things they most wanted in life. If any item on the list clashes with any other item, Rumi warned, you are destined for unhappiness. Better to live a life of single-pointed focus, he taught. But what about the benefits of living harmoniously among extremes? What if you could somehow create an expansive enough life that you could synchronize seemingly incongruous opposites into a worldview that excludes nothing?
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
What do you want?" Jace shrugged. "Clothes mostly, some weapons." Sebastion shook his head. "Too dangerous. We need to get in and out fast. Only emergency items." "My favourite jacket is an emergency item," Jace said. It was so much like hearing him talk to Alec, to any of his friends. "Much like myself, it is both snuggly and fashionable.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
I've about decided that's the main thing that separates happy people from the other people: the feeling that you're a practical item, with a use, like a sweater or a socket wrench.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal Dreams)
Go to the Black Sea, meet new people, see beautiful places, get killed by a mutant carnivorous kangaroo goat. One item off my bucket list.
Ilona Andrews (Magic Rises (Kate Daniels, #6))
A squeegee is a sponge on a stick, and if there is a tangible item that’s more romantic, I don’t know what it is. Never go on a first date without one.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
Would I be as strong as that once I did that thing Christophe was talking about? Blooming? Would I smell like a bakery item? Or was that just him? Did he use pie filling for cologne?
Lilith Saintcrow (Strange Angels (Strange Angels, #1))
My theory on housework is, if the item doesn't multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?
Erma Bombeck
One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy.
Elisabeth Elliot (Secure in the Everlasting Arms)
Friends come and go, clothing is packed and unpacked, households are continually purged of unnecessary items, and as a result, not much sticks. it's hard at times but it makes a kid strongs in ways that most people can't understand. Teaches them that even though people are left behind, new ones will inevitably take their place; that every place has something good and bad to offer. It makes a kid grow up fast.
Nicholas Sparks (The Lucky One)
How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure but it is news when the stock market loses two points?
Pope Francis
There's four things a real man has to be able to do for a woman." "Exactly how many man-lists do you have?" He let my wrist go and ticked the items off on his fingers. "Fix her car. Grill her a steak. Kick the ass of any guy who makes her cry. And fuck her so hard she wakes up half-crippled." "Oh my God.
Cara McKenna (After Hours)
Sir, this lane is for ten items or less. I’m counting thirteen items in your cart, including that hemorrhoid cream. And while hemorrhoids might give you a reason to be nasty, they don’t give you a reason to be in this lane.
J.A. Konrath
He was like a freezer item that had thawed too quickly on the outside and was melting everywhere, while the inside was still frozen solid. Somehow he was expressing more emotion than at any time in his life before, while simultaneously feeling less, feeling nothing.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
That's the thing with handmade items. They still have the person's mark on them, and when you hold them, you feel less alone.
Aimee Bender (The Color Master: Stories)
What my wife desires--and what you should have guessed, had you paid attention--is bookcases. And books, of course, to fill them. Not more decorations or useless items. She wants books.
Cynthia Hand (My Lady Jane (The Lady Janies, #1))
I would rather insult you than lose you, he said, and before any of them could make a move to stop him, he cast both items into the fire.
Cassandra Clare (Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices, #3))
Toast was a pointless invention from the Dark Ages. Toast was an implement of torture that caused all those subjected to it to regurgitate in verbal form the sins and crimes of their past lives. Toast was a ritual item devoured by fetishists in the belief that it would enhance their kinetic and sexual powers. Toast cannot be explained by any rational means. Toast is me. I am toast.
Margaret Atwood (Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1))
Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime...Please, treat your garlic with respect...Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screwtop jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic.
Anthony Bourdain (Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly)
Off with you" is a phrase used by people who lack the curtesy to say something more polite, such as, "if there's nothing else you require I must be going" or "I'm sorry but I'm going to have to ask you to leave, please" or even "excuse me but I believe you have mistaken my home for your own and my valuable belongings for yours and I must ask you to return the items in question to me and leave my home after untying me from this chair, as I'm unable to do it myself, if it's not too much trouble.
Lemony Snicket (The Penultimate Peril (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #12))
What do you want?" "Clothes mostly, some weapons." Sebastian shook his head." Too dangerous. We need to get in and out fast. Only emergency items." "My favourite jacket is a emergency item," Jace said. It was so much like hearing him talk to Alec, to any of his friends. "Much like myself, it is both snuggly and fashionable.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
Would you like to cross another item off this list today?" "I should like that very much. Which do you propose?" "I think it's time to try riding astride". "You can't mean..." "Oh, but I do, indeed, mean, Empress.
Sarah MacLean (Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1))
It was on the to-do list, but you know to-do lists. They get longer and longer until you might as well just carve the last items on your tombstone. Do the dishes.
Catherynne M. Valente (Radiance)
Time is an absurdity. An abstraction. The only thing that matters is this moment. This moment a million times over. You have to trust me. If this moment is repeated enough, if you keep trying — and you have to keep trying — eventually you will come across the next item on your list.
Jonathan Nolan (Memento Mori)
There wasn't a single item of importance [in the newspaper]. A tower of illusion, all of it, made of illusory bricks and full of holes. If life were made up only of important things, it really would be a dangerous house of glass, scarcely to be handled carelessly. But everyday life was exactly like the headlines. And so everybody, knowing the meaninglessness of existence, sets the center of his compass at his own home.
Kōbō Abe (The Woman in the Dunes)
My favorite jacket is an emergency item. Much like myself, it is both snuggly and fashionable.
Cassandra Clare (City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments, #5))
But just now, he'd gotten on his knees and proposed marriage, like in a television commercial for a diamond ring. Except of course they had the roll of duct tape instead, which, when you came to think about it, was a far more practical item. Such a bad mistake it would be, to embark on marriage and adult life without a nice supply of duct tape.
Nancy Werlin (Impossible (Impossible, #1))
That’s nice of you, but it’s not necessary to loan me a car.” “I loan you cars all the time.” “And I almost always destroy them or lose them. I have terrible luck with cars.” “Working at Rangeman is a high-stress job, and you’re one of our few sources of comic relief. I give you a car and my men start a pool on how long it will take you to trash it. You’re a line item in my budget under entertainment.
Janet Evanovich (Smokin' Seventeen (Stephanie Plum, #17))
I'm the best kind of thief, the kind that leaves behind items equal in value to those he's stolen.
Holly Black (White Cat (Curse Workers, #1))
Despite how entertaining certain stories were, at the bottom of every item of gossip there was someone getting hurt.
Sherwood Smith (Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1))
For every item that carries the darkness of humanity there's one that holds the light. And that light is worth believing in. Not just in others, but in yourself as well.
C.M. Rayne (The Forbidden Land of Andara (Andara, #1))
Hermes's eyes twinkled. "Martha, may I have the first package, please?" Martha opened her mouth ... and kept opening it until it was as wide as my arm. She belched out a stainless steel canister-an old-fashioned lunch box thermos with a black plastic top. The sides of the thermos were enameled with red and yellow Ancient Greek scenes-a hero killing a lion; a hero lifting up Cerberus, the three-headed dog. "That's Hercules," I said. "But how-" "Never question a gift," Hermes chided. "This is a collector's item from Hercules Busts Heads. The first season." "Hercules Busts Heads?" "Great show." Hermes sighed. "Back before Hephaestus-TV was all reality programming. Of course, the thermos would be worth much more if I had the whole lunch box-
Rick Riordan (The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #2))
It would have been funny if I had been an observer and not a participant, an idea that gave me a disconcerting insight into gossip. As I walked beside the silent Tamara, I realized that despite how entertaining certain stories were, at the bottom of every item of gossip there was someone getting hurt.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind—without selective interest, experience is an utter chaos.
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
Margot winked at her. “Every so often, we gather together. We take a little time—a little cathartic time—to vent about those quirks that drive us crazy.” Elbows on the table, I leaned forward. “So, which of the quirks are we talking about?” “First item on the list—the raising of the eyebrow.” To demonstrate, she arched a carefully sculpted black brow of her own, then peered around at each of us.
Chloe Neill (Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires, #3))
If you have moved over vast territories and dared to love silly things, you will have learned even from the most primitive items collected and put aside in your life.
Ray Bradbury (Zen in the Art of Writing)
She should think about her own soul, what she was going to do with this funky tattered pond dank item. Dark and stained, a ruined thing.
Janet Fitch (Paint it Black)
When something needs to be ironed I put it in the ironing basket. If a year goes by and the item is still in the basket I throw the item away. This is a good system since eventually I end up only with clothes that don’t need ironing.
Janet Evanovich (Three to Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum, #3))
We share a bond. We do everything together. We have a piece of strong, invisible thread connecting us. It’s indestructible – it can never be broken. The thread is the key item that links us together. We understand each other.
Erica Sehyun Song
I like places like this," he announced. I like old places too," Josh said, "but what's to like about a place like this?" The king spread his arms wide. "What do you see?" Josh made a face. "Junk. Rusted tractor, broken plow, old bike." Ahh...but I see a tractor that was once used to till these fields. I see the plow it once pulled. I see a bicycle carefully placed out of harm's way under a table." Josh slowly turned again, looking at the items once more. And i see these things and I wonder at the life of the person who carefully stored the precious tractor and plow in the barn out of the weather, and placed their bike under a homemade table." Why do you wonder?" Josh asked. "Why is it even important?" Because someone has to remember," Gilgamesh snapped, suddenly irritated. "Some one has to remember the human who rode the bike and drove the tractor, the person who tilled the fields, who was born and lived and died, who loved and laughed and cried, the person who shivered in the cold and sweated in the sun." He walked around the barn again, touching each item, until his palm were red with rust." It is only when no one remembers, that you are truely lost. That is the true death.
Michael Scott (The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #3))
There is such solace in the mere sight of water. It clothes us delicately in its blowing salt and scent, gossamer items that medicate the poor soul
Sebastian Barry (On Canaan's Side (Dunne Family #4))
Big Brother is home. He is installed in the item you just dragged home from the Apple store.
Julian Assange
There's a type of person who thinks he's getting away with something by not believing in anything. But not believing in anything IS believing in something. It's active, not passive. To believe in nothing is to change nothing. It means you're endorsing the present, and the present is a horror[...] Irreverence is the ultimate luxury item.
Lindy West (The Witches Are Coming)
She sighed. Loudly. "Physical appearance is not what is important." Yeah right. Tell that to any girl who hasn't bothered to put on a presentable shirt or fix her hair because she's only running into the grocery store to get a quart of milk for her grandmother, and who does she see tending the 7-ITEMS-OR-LESS cash register but the guy of her dreams, except she can't even say hi—much less try to develop a meaningful relationship—since she looks like the poster child for the terminally geeky.
Vivian Vande Velde (Heir Apparent (Rasmussem Corporation, #2))
However," he continued when she remained silent, her throat a knot of emotion, "it seems Montgomery could not help himself when it came to this vase. I'm afraid he has a weakness for beautiful things and has been known to relocate an item if he feels it is not being accorded the proper appreciation. Once he 'relocated' an ancient sculpture from the home of another archangel.
Nalini Singh (Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3))
The average food item on a U.S. grocery shelf has traveled farther than most families go on their annual vacations.
Barbara Kingsolver (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)
Fletch then kisses me on the forehead before opening the cabinet under the coffeemaker to grab placemats and napkins. Retrieving these items is his job because I kind of don't like to bend. I also refuse to carry anything heavier than my purse.
Jen Lancaster
All you need to do is take the time to sit down and examine each item you own, decide whether you want to keep or discard it, and then choose where to put what you keep.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing)
The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women's rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that we should now define ourselves not only by what we are for but by what we are against. I would reverse that proposition, because in the present instance what we are against is a no brainer. Suicidist assassins ram wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Center and Pentagon and kill thousands of people: um, I'm against that. But what are we for? What will we risk our lives to defend? Can we unanimously concur that all the items in the preceding list -- yes, even the short skirts and the dancing -- are worth dying for? The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing. In his world-view, he has his absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences. To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong. We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world's resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, love. These will be our weapons. Not by making war but by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them. How to defeat terrorism? Don't be terrorized. Don't let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.
Salman Rushdie (Step Across This Line: Collected Nonfiction 1992-2002)
When we disperse storage of a particular item throughout the house and tidy one place at a time, we can never grasp the overall volume and therefore can never finish. To escape this negative spiral, tidy by category, not by place.
Marie Kondō (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing)
I don't think of the sky as any kind of heaven item. I think of it as a bunch of gases and faraway echoes of things that used to be on fire.
Maria Dahvana Headley (Magonia (Magonia, #1))
Most people, in my opinion, steal much of what they are. If they didn't what poor items they would be.
Julian Barnes (England, England)
You should not bring more items and hurdles to the obstacle course.
Anne Lamott (Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son's First Son)
I mostly want to remind her of the recipes of healing, and give her my own made-on-the spot remedy for the easing of her pain. I tell her, “Get a pen. Stop crying so you can write this down and start working on it tonight.” My remedy is long. But the last item on the list says: “When you wake up and find yourself living someplace where there is nobody you love and trust, no community, it is time to leave town – to pack up and go (you can even go tonight). And where you need to go is any place where there are arms that can hold you, that will not let you go.
bell hooks (Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery)
Bubble-gum angels swooped from top margins, or scraped their wings between teeming paragraphs. Maidens with golden hair dripped sea-blue tears into the books spine. Grape-colored whales spouted blood around a newspaper item (pasted in) listing arrivals to the endangered species list. Six hatchlings cried from shattered shells near an entry made on Easter. Cecilia had filled the pages with a profusion of colors and curlicues, Candyland ladders and striped shamrocks.
Jeffrey Eugenides (The Virgin Suicides)
But he’d found that imaginary things were often the only items of real substance in people’s lives.
Brandon Sanderson (Warbreaker (Warbreaker, #1))
Damn, he was good. I'd been professionally sullied without a single item of clothing removed.
Kylie Scott (Play (Stage Dive, #2))
The axiom of the empty set is the axiom of zero. It states that there must be a concept of nothingness, that there must be the concept of zero: zero value, zero items. . . . We can say that life is the axiom of the empty set. It begins in zero and ends in zero. We know that both states exist, but we will not be conscious of either experience: they are states that are necessary parts of life, even as they cannot be experienced as life. We assume the concept of nothingness, but we cannot prove it. But it must exist.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Love is a sacrificial item
Asa Don Brown
Lost really has two disparate meanings. Losing things is about the familiar falling away, getting lost is about the unfamiliar appearing. There are objects and people that disappear from your sight or knowledge or possession; you lose a bracelet, a friend, the key. You still know where you are. Everything is familiar except that there is one item less, one missing element. Or you get lost, in which case the world has become larger than your knowledge of it. Either way, there is a loss of control. Imagine yourself streaming through time shedding gloves, umbrellas, wrenches, books, friends, homes, names. This is what the view looks like if you take a rear-facing seat on the train. Looking forward you constantly acquire moments of arrival, moments of realization, moments of discovery. The wind blows your hair back and you are greeted by what you have never seen before. The material falls away in onrushing experience. It peels off like skin from a molting snake. Of course to forget the past is to lose the sense of loss that is also memory of an absent richness and a set of clues to navigate the present by; the art is not one of forgetting but letting go. And when everything else is gone, you can be rich in loss.
Rebecca Solnit (A Field Guide to Getting Lost)
I am a reader, a flashlight-under-the-covers, carries-a-book-everywhere-I-go​, don't-look-at-my-Amazon-bill. I choose purses based on whether I can cram a paperback into them, and my books are the first items I pack into a suitcase. I am the person who family and friends call when they need a book recommendation or cannot remember who wrote Heidi. My identity as a person is so entwined with my love of reading and books that I cannot separate the two.
Donalyn Miller (The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child)
Her body is just an item of property, and though it has been handed around and misused in various ways, it has somehow always belonged to him, and she feels like returning it to him now.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
The witch reached into the picnic basket and pulled out a light brown chamois bag about the size of a playing card. “Maybe this will help you. It’ll boost your self-esteem.” Now we’re getting somewhere. Riley took the bag and opened it. She looked to the bottom to find … nothing. “Ah, it’s empty.” “Of course,” Ayden replied. “It’s up to you to fill it. Find things that mean something to you, that represent times where you’ve overcome an obstacle, learned something important. Put those items in the bag and they’ll help you find your strength.
Jana Oliver (Forsaken (The Demon Trappers, #1))
His entired life bundled into wenty refuse sacks. His and her memories bundle away in Holly's mind. Each item unearthed dust, tears, laughter and memories. She bagged the items, cleared the dust, wiped her eyes and filed away the memories.
Cecelia Ahern (P.S. I Love You (P.S. I Love You, #1))
It's the silliness--the profligacy, and the silliness--that's so dizzying: a seven-year-old will run downstairs, kiss you hard, and then run back upstairs again, all in less than 30 seconds. It's as urgent an item on their daily agenda as eating or singing. It's like being mugged by Cupid.
Caitlin Moran (How to Be a Woman)
The road to powerful magical items is paved with good intentions and hideous deathtraps.
Jeff Mach (There and Never, Ever Back Again: Diary of a Dark Lord)
I drive him to school, then I break back into Barron's house. I'm the best kind of thief, the kind that leaves behind items equal in value to those he's stolen. Then I go home and shave until my skin is as slick as any slickster's.
Holly Black (White Cat (Curse Workers, #1))
The great Sufi poet and philosopher Rumi once advised his students to write down the three things they most wanted in life. If any item on the list clashes with any other item, Rumi warned, you are destined for unhappiness.
Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love)
I nodded, disappointed, but then I got an idea. "Hey, Grover. You want a magic item?" His eyes lit up. "Me?" Pretty soon we'd laced the sneakers over his fake feet, and the world's first flying goat boy was ready for launch. "Maia!" he shouted. He got off the ground okay, but then fell over sideways so his backpack dragged through the grass. The winged shoes kept bucking up and down like tiny broncos. "Practice," Chiron called after him. "You just need practice!" "Aaaaa!" Grover went flying sideways down the hill like a possessed lawn mower, heading toward the van.
Rick Riordan (The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1))
The second item in the liberal creed, after self-righteousness, is unaccountability. Liberals have invented whole college majors--psychology, sociology, women's studies--to prove that nothing is anybody's fault. No one is fond of taking responsibility for his actions, but consider how much you'd have to hate free will to come up with a political platform that advocates killing unborn babies but not convicted murderers. A callous pragmatist might favor abortion and capital punishment. A devout Christian would sanction neither. But it takes years of therapy to arrive at the liberal view.
P.J. O'Rourke (Give War a Chance: Eyewitness Accounts of Mankind's Struggle Against Tyranny, Injustice, and Alcohol-Free Beer)
Good. Item seven. The had had and that that problem. Lady Cavendish, weren’t you working on this?’ Lady Cavendish stood up and gathered her thoughts. ‘Indeed. The uses of had had and that that have to be strictly controlled; they can interrupt the imaginotransference quite dramatically, causing readers to go back over the sentence in confusion, something we try to avoid.’ ‘Go on.’ ‘It’s mostly an unlicensed-usage problem. At the last count David Copperfield alone had had had had sixty three times, all but ten unapproved. Pilgrim’s Progress may also be a problem due to its had had/that that ratio.’ ‘So what’s the problem in Progress?’ ‘That that had that that ten times but had had had had only thrice. Increased had had usage had had to be overlooked, but not if the number exceeds that that that usage.’ ‘Hmm,’ said the Bellman, ‘I thought had had had had TGC’s approval for use in Dickens? What’s the problem?’ ‘Take the first had had and that that in the book by way of example,’ said Lady Cavendish. ‘You would have thought that that first had had had had good occasion to be seen as had, had you not? Had had had approval but had had had not; equally it is true to say that that that that had had approval but that that other that that had not.’ ‘So the problem with that other that that was that…?’ ‘That that other-other that that had had approval.’ ‘Okay’ said the Bellman, whose head was in danger of falling apart like a chocolate orange, ‘let me get this straight: David Copperfield, unlike Pilgrim’s Progress, had had had, had had had had. Had had had had TGC’s approval?’ There was a very long pause. ‘Right,’ said the Bellman with a sigh, ‘that’s it for the moment. I’ll be giving out assignments in ten minutes. Session’s over – and let’s be careful out there.
Jasper Fforde (The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next #3))
Only the following items should be considered to be grave faults: not respecting another's rights; allowing oneself to be paralyzed by fear; feeling guilty; believing that one does not deserve the good or ill that happens in one's life; being a coward. We will love our enemies, but not make alliances with them. They were placed in our path in order to test our sword, and we should, out of respect for them, struggle against them. We will choose our enemies.
Paulo Coelho (Like the Flowing River)
All items listed above belong in the world In which all things are continuous, And are parts of the original dream which I am now trying to discover the logic of. This Is the process whereby pain of the past in its pastness May be converted into the future tense Of joy. I Am Dreaming of a White Christmas: The Natural History of a Vision (1974)
Robert Penn Warren
Honor was a luxury item, like hair pomade and snuff. Its only purpose was to show the world that you could afford to be impractical, that you had enough money to behave in a way that was compatible with some ludicrous code instead of acting out of self-preservation like the rest of humanity.
Cat Sebastian (The Soldier's Scoundrel (The Turners, #1))
I do not like postmodernism, postapocalyptic settings, postmortem narrators, or magic realism. I rarely respond to supposedly clever formal devices, multiple fonts, pictures where they shouldn't be—basically, gimmicks of any kind. I find literary fiction about the Holocaust or any other major world tragedy to be distasteful—nonfiction only, please. I do not like genre mash-ups à la the literary detective novel or the literary fantasy. Literary should be literary, and genre should be genre, and crossbreeding rarely results in anything satisfying. I do not like children's books, especially ones with orphans, and I prefer not to clutter my shelves with young adult. I do not like anything over four hundred pages or under one hundred fifty pages. I am repulsed by ghostwritten novels by reality television stars, celebrity picture books, sports memoirs, movie tie-in editions, novelty items, and—I imagine this goes without saying—vampires.
Gabrielle Zevin (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)
Cassandra watched him go, slumping a little as the distance between them grew. "He was so nice." "Yeah." "And look at that butt." I considered said item. "Definitely superior. But not for Cassandra hands?" She shook her head sadly. "Another person stands between us now. He'll meet her within the month." "Is she prettier than you?" Cassandra started to smile. "Well?" "No" "Ha!" "Jaz!" "Honey, we've got to take our victories where we can find them.
Jennifer Rardin (Another One Bites the Dust (Jaz Parks, #2))
The hazard of living in a place where you had so much history--so much pain and so much rage and so much love--was that every item could turn on you in a flash.
Rob Thomas (The Thousand-Dollar Tan Line (Veronica Mars, #1))
Time was not something then we thought of as an item that possessed an ending, but something that would go on forever, all rested and stopped in that moment. Hard to say what I mean by that. You look back at all the endless years when you never had that thought. I am doing that now as I write these words in Tennessee. I am thinking of the days without end of my life. And it is not like that now.
Sebastian Barry (Days Without End)
People are continually pointing out to me the wretchedness of white people in order to console me for the wretchedness of blacks. But an itemized account of the American failure does not console me and it should not console anyone else. That hundreds of thousands of white people are living, in effect, no better than the "niggers" is not a fact to be regarded with complacency. The social and moral bankruptcy suggested by this fact is of the bitterest, most terrifying kind.
James Baldwin (Nobody Knows My Name)
Did you really just invite Adrian to your room later?" asked Lissa. Avery shrugged. "I don't know. Maybe. Sometimes we hang out once you guys are all tucked into bed. You aren't going to get jealous, are you?" "No," laughed Lissa. "Just curious. Adrian's a good guy." "Oh?" asked Christian. "Define 'good'." Avery held up her hand and began ticking items off with each finger. "He's devastatingly handsome, funny, rich, related to the queen..." "You got your wedding colors picked out?" asked Lissa, still laughing. "Not yet," said Avery. "I'm still testing the waters. I figured he'd be an easy notch on the Avery Lazar belt, but he's kind of hard to read." "I really don't want to be hearing this," Christian said.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
The writer is the duelist who never fights at the stated hour, who gathers up an insult, like another curious object, a collector's item, spreads it out on his desk later, and then engages in a duel with it verbally. Some people call it weakness. I call it postponement. What is weakness in the man becomes a quality in the writer. For he preserves, collects what will explode later in his work. That is why the writer is the loneliest man in the world; because he lives, fights, dies, is reborn always alone; all his roles are played behind a curtain. In life he is an incongruous figure.
Anaïs Nin (The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934)
This was another item about growing up: you encountered all the cliches of love and loss and heartbreak.
Sylvia Brownrigg (Pages for You (Pages for You, #1))
Children were not pets, not furniture, not items put on earth to bring pleasure to people who owned them, she raged to herself.
C.J. Box (Winterkill (Joe Pickett, #3))
I peeled the skin off a grape in slippery little triangles, and I understood then that I would be undressing every item of food I could because my clothes would be staying on.
Aimee Bender
She had not made a lot of money, but she had not made a loss, and she had been happy and entertained. That counted for infinitely more than a vigorously healthy balance sheet. In fact, she thought, annual accounts should include an item specifically headed Happiness, alongside expenses and receipts and the like.
Alexander McCall Smith (Tears of the Giraffe (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, #2))
Diana gave her a measured look and ducked down behind the counter. She came up a moment later with a sword about the length of Clary's forearm. "What do you think of this?" Clary stared at the weapon. It was undoubtedly beautiful. The cross-guard, grip and pommel were gold chased with obsidian, the blade a silver so dark it was nearly black. "It's a shortsword. You might want to look at the other side," said Diana, and she flipped the sword over. On the opposite side of the blade, down the center ridge, ran a pattern of black stars. "Oh." Clary's heart thumped painfully; she took a step away and nearly bumped into Jace, who had come up behind her, frowning. "That's a Morgenstern sword." "Yes, it is." The sword-seller's eyes were shrewd. "Long ago the Morgensterns commissioned two blades from Wayland the Smith-a matched set. You have doubtless seen the the larger sword already, for Valentine Morgenstern carried it, and now his son carries it after him." "You know who we are," Jace said. It wasn't a question. "Who Clary is." "The Shadowhunter world is small," said Diana, and she looked from one of them to the other. "I'm on the Council. I've seen you give testimony, Valentine's daughter." Clary looked doubtfully at the blade. "I've seen two men bear the larger version of that sword, and I hated them both. There are no Morgensterns in this world now who are dedicated to anything but evil." Jace said, "There's you." "I'll give it to you," said Diana. "You're right that people hate the Morgensterns; it's not the sort of item I could sell elsewhere. Or would necessarily want to. It should go to good hands." "I don't want it," Clary said. "If you flinch from it, you give it power over you," said Diana. "Take it, and cut your brother's throat with it, and reclaim the honor of your blood.
Cassandra Clare (City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6))
Now, before you make a movie, you have to have a script, and before you have a script, you have to have a story; though some avant-garde directors have tried to dispense with the latter item, you'll find their work only at art theaters.
Arthur C. Clarke (2001: A Space Odyssey (Space Odyssey, #1))
But love, honest love, requires empathy. It is a sharing—of joy, of pain, of laughter, and of tears. Honest love makes one’s soul a reflection of the partner’s moods. And as a room seems larger when it is lined with mirrors, so do the joys become amplified. And as the individual items within the mirrored room seem less acute, so does pain diminish and fade, stretched thin by the sharing. That is the beauty of love, whether in passion or friendship. A sharing that multiplies the joys and thins the pains.
R.A. Salvatore (The Silent Blade (Forgotten Realms: Paths of Darkness, #1; Legend of Drizzt, #11))
Zest. Gusto. How rarely one hears these words used. How rarely do we see people living, or for that matter, creating, by them. Yet if I were asked to name the most important items in a writer's make-up, the things that shape his material and rush him along the road he wants to go. I would only warn him to look to his zest, see to his gusto.
Ray Bradbury
It’s up to you to fill it. Find things that mean something to you, that represent times where you’ve overcome an obstacle, learned something important. Put those items in the bag and they’ll help you find your strength.’ ‘I’m not sure if that’s going to help much.’ Unless I put a brick in it and nail Brandy between the eyes.
Jana Oliver (Forsaken (The Demon Trappers, #1))
I am certain that over the course of your own life, you have noticed that people's rooms reflect their personalities. In my room, for instance, I have gathered a collection of objects that are important to me, including a dusty accordion on which I can play a few sad songs, a large bundle of notes on the activities of the Baudelaire orphans, and a blurry photograph, taken a very long time ago, of a woman whose name is Beatrice. These are items that are very precious and dear to me.
Lemony Snicket (The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #1))
The three months I'd spend with Eddie had taught me many things, and the top two items were (1) A Cat's Purr Makes Everything Okay and (2) The Cat Always Wins.
Laurie Cass
I knew something as I watched: almost everyone was saying goodbye to me. I was becoming one of the many little-girl-losts. They would go back to their homes and put me to rest, a letter from the past never to be reopened or reread. And I could say goodbye to them, wish them well, bless them somehow for their good thoughts. A handshake in the street, a dropped item picked up and retrieved and handed back, or a friendly wave from the distant window, a nod, a smile, a moment when the eyes lock over the antics of a child.
Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)
Janey was planning a short engagement, she'd simpered, and so, of course, the inevitable collection for the wedding present would soon follow. Of all the compulsory financial contributions, that is the one that irks me most. Two people wander around John Lewis picking out lovely items for themselves, and then they make other people pay for them. It's bare-faced effrontery. They choose things like plates, bowls and cutlery—I mean, what are they doing at the moment: shoveling food from packets into their mouths with their bare hands? I simply fail to see how the act of legally formalizing a human relationship necessitates friends, family and coworkers upgrading the contents of their kitchen for them.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
That's the thing with handmade items. They still have the person's mark on them, and when you hold them, you feel less alone. This is why everyone who eats a Whopper leaves a little more depressed than they were when they came in. Nobody cooked that burger.
Aimee Bender
Far more powerful than religion, far more powerful than money, or even land or violence, are symbols. Symbols are stories. Symbols are pictures, or items, or ideas that represent something else. Human beings attach such meaning and importance to symbols that they can inspire hope, stand in for gods, or convince someone that he or she is dying. These symbols are everywhere around you.
Lia Habel (Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1))
There was tartle, a Scottish word for the panicked pause you experience when you have to introduce someone, but you don’t remember their name. There was backpafeifengesicht, a German term for a face you’d love to punch. There was gigil, a Filipino word for the urge to squeeze an item because it is unbearably cute.
Ilona Andrews (Sapphire Flames (Hidden Legacy, #4))
Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.
George Orwell (1984)
Yet each country had items that the other needed. The Arridi had reserves of red gold and iron in their deserts that the Toscans required to finance and equip their large armies. Even more important, Toscans had become inordinately fond of kafay, the rich coffee grown by the Arridi.
John Flanagan (The Emperor of Nihon-Ja (Ranger's Apprentice, #10))
As a writing man, or secretary, I have always felt charged with the safekeeping of all unexpected items of worldly and unworldly enchantment, as though I might be held personally responsible if even a small one were to be lost.
E.B. White
If the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is eat a live frog, then nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day!" Brian Tracy says that your "frog" should be the most difficult item on your things-to-do list, the one you're most likely to procrastinate on; because, if you eat that first, it'll give you energy and momentum for the rest of the day. But, if you don't...if you let him sit there on the plate and stare at you while you do a hundred unimportant things, it can drain your energy and you won't even know it.
Brian Tracy
Practice calling people by their names. Every year shrewd manufacturers sell more briefcases, pencils, Bibles, and hundreds of other items just by putting the buyer’s name on the product. People like to be called by name. It gives everyone a boost to be addressed by name.
David J. Schwartz (The Magic of Thinking Big)
I'm sorry. I can't serve him that item," the waitress said, only somewhat surprising her since she had a pretty good idea why. "Why not?" she found herself asking anyway out of curiosity to see if she was right. *** "Because he's a Bradford," the woman explained with a shrug.
R.L. Mathewson (Perfection (Neighbor from Hell, #2))
Memory is like fiction; or else it's fiction that's like memory. This really came home to me once I started writing fiction, that memory seemed a kind of fiction, or vice versa. Either way, no matter how hard you try to put everything neatly into shape, the context wanders this way and that, until finally the context isn't even there anymore. You're left with this pile of kittens lolling all over one another. Warm with life, hopelessly unstable. And then to put these things out as saleable items, you call them finished products - at times it's downright embarrassing just to think of it. Honestly, it can make me blush.
Haruki Murakami (The Elephant Vanishes)
John F Kennedy (President Elect) was at the White house in order to confer with his predecessor Dwight Eisenhower. He was told to wait while the President of the United States of America attended to some necessary items. After a time, John was escorted into the Oval Office, and he found himself directly in front of the out-going president. So it was that the conversation between two of the most powerful men on earth began.
Michael G. Kramer (A Gracious Enemy & After the War Volume One)
Breathing in, I’m aware of the painful feeling in me. Breathing out, I’m aware of the painful feeling in me.” This is an art. We have to learn it, because most of us don’t like to be with our pain. We’re afraid of being overwhelmed by the pain, so we always seek to run away from it. There’s loneliness, fear, anger, and despair in us. Mostly we try to cover it up by consuming. There are those of us who go and look for something to eat. Others turn on the television. In fact, many people do both at the same time. And even if the TV program isn’t interesting at all, we don’t have the courage to turn it off, because if we turn it off, we have to go back to ourselves and encounter the pain inside. The marketplace provides us with many items to help us in our effort to avoid the suffering inside.
Thich Nhat Hanh (No Mud, No Lotus: The Art of Transforming Suffering)
Towards the end of your life you have something like a pain schedule to fill out—a long schedule like a federal document, only it's your pain schedule. Endless categories. First, physical causes—like arthritis, gallstones, menstrual cramps. New category, injured vanity, betrayal, swindle, injustice. But the hardest items of all have to do with love. The question then is: So why does everybody persist? If love cuts them up so much....
Saul Bellow (More Die of Heartbreak)
Things happened to him, like the crying fits, the panic attacks, but they seemed to descend on him from outside, rather than emanating from somewhere inside himself. Internally he felt nothing. He was like a freezer item that had thawed too quickly on the outside and was melting everywhere, while the inside was still frozen solid.
Sally Rooney (Normal People)
Fine. You win. I quit. You two deal with this. I’m going home. Packing up all my personal items, and when you, Caleb, end up dead because the coach has your jockstrap or something else I didn’t steal but someone else did, don’t call me. I’m done and I’m going to hide in a bunker until all of this is over with.” – Nick “I hate you, Nick.” – Caleb “Feels mutual, Demon.” – Nick
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Invincible (Chronicles of Nick, #2))
I hate to think how many minutes of my life I've spent on goddamn hold. I want those minutes back. When death comes for me, I want back every minute I was on hold in traffic jams, and behind people with eleven items in the ten items or less line.
Laura Lippman (In Big Trouble (Tess Monaghan #4))
The writer's object should be to hold the reader's attention. I want the reader to turn the page and keep on turning until the end. This is accomplished only when the narrative moves steadily ahead, not when it comes to a weary standstill, overloaded with every item uncovered in the research.
Barbara W. Tuchman
My name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. Conjure by it at your own risk. I'm a wizard. I work out of an office in midtown Chicago. As far as I know, I'm the only openly practicing professional wizard in the country. You can find me in the yellow pages, under "Wizards." Believe it or not, I'm the only one there. My ad looks like this: HARRY DRESDEN — WIZARD Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, Parties, or Other Entertainment You'd be surprised how many people call just to ask me if I'm serious.
Jim Butcher (Storm Front (The Dresden Files, #1))
We did make use, from time to time, of candles, neckties, scarves, shoelaces, a little water-color paintbrush, her hairbrush, butter, whipped cream, strawberry jam, Johnson’s Baby Oil, my Swedish hand vibrator, a fascinating bead necklace she had, miscellaneous common household items, and every molecule of flesh that was exposed to air or could be located with strenuous search.
Spider Robinson (User Friendly)
...Chanel didn't start out with a mission statement, nor a corporate vision, nor a roadmap for success, nor timeline for achieving her goals, nor an action item list, nor any of those other high-falutin' concepts we associate with mega modern multinational success stories.
Karen Karbo (Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons From The World's Most Elegant Woman)
. . . then life began, and since then we remember each dumpster, abandoned house, and foot-chase by retail security. At night, after running around, plotting and scheming, our checklist items all crossed out, we paused to think — 'What to do tomorrow?' and the answer was always, 'As we please . . .
CrimethInc. (Evasion)
How could you do that to me?" I repeat. I don´t have to itemize. He knows what I speak of. Eventually N produces three answers, in this order: 1. "Because I am a complete rotter." I silently agree, but it´s a cop-out: I have maggots, therefore I am dead. 2. "I was stressed at work and unhappy and we were always fighting...and you know I was just crazy..." I cut him off, saying, "You don´t get to be crazy. You did exactly what you chose to do." Which is true, he did. It is what he has always done. He therefore seems slightly puzzled at the need for further diagnosis, which may explain his third response: 3. "I don´t know." This, I feel instinctively, is the correct answer. How can I stay angry with him for being what he is? I was, after all, his wife, and I chose him. No coincidences, that´s what Freud said. None. Ever. I wipe my eyes on my sleeve and walk toward the truck, saying to his general direction, "Fine. At least now I know: You don´t know." I stop and turn around and fire one more question: a bullet demanding attention in the moment it enters the skin and spreads outward, an important bullet that must be acknowledged. "What did you feel?" After a lengthy pause, he answers. "I felt nothing." And that, I realize too late, was not the whole truth, but was a valid part of the truth. Oh, and welcome to the Serengeti. That too.
Suzanne Finnamore (Split: A Memoir of Divorce)
Hermes tilted his head. “Percy, that almost sounded like sarcasm. You know very well the gods can’t go around busting heads and ripping up mortal cities looking for our lost items. If we did that, New York would be destroyed every time Aphrodite lost her hairbrush, and believe me, that happens a lot. We need heroes for that sort of errand.
Rick Riordan (The Heroes of Olympus: The Demigod Diaries)
I tore open one side and reached in. My hand closed around something cold and metallic. I knew before I even pulled it out what it was. It was a silver stake. "Oh God," I said. I rolled the stake around, running my finger over the engraved geometric pattern at its base. There was no question. One-of-a-kind. This was the stake I'd taken from the vault in Galina's house. The one I'd- "Why would someone send you a stake?"asked Lissa. I didn't answer and instead pulled out the envelope's next item:a small note card. There, in handwriting I knew all too well, was: 'You forgot another lesson:Never turn your back until you know your enemy is dead. Looks like we'll have to go over the lesson the next time I see you-which will be soon. Love, D.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
Everyone wears clothing, yes? Society divides these clothing up into Men & Women’s, Boys & Girls’, Jr. & Miss. But society cannot decide who wears what. While the fabric may be cut to suit a traditionally male or female body (boy or girls body), the second the buyer purchases the item, that clothing no longer becomes 'boys' or 'girls' clothes, but rather, the buyers clothes. This is an example of the individual defining the identity term vs. the identity term defining the individual.
Kent Marrero
One could say, in fact, that no story really has a beginning, and that no story really has an end, as all of the world's stories are as jumbled as the items in the arboretum, with their details and secrets all heaped together so that the whole story, from beginning to end, depends on how you look at it.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
Our favourite item was the balcony that overlooked the sea because it had an awning that you lowered by pressing an electric switch. The switch had two settings. You could either turn it to AUTO, in which case the awning lowered itself whenever the sun came out, or you could set it to MANUEL [sic], in which case, we assumed, a small, incompetent Spanish waiter came and did it for you.
Douglas Adams
There'd be no forgiveness this time. It was one thing to destroy a person, but to destroy their work was a sacrilege Aster couldn't easily forget. All that was left of a person's life was recorded on paper, in annals, in almanacs, in the physical items they produced. To end that was to end their history, their present, their future.
Rivers Solomon (An Unkindness of Ghosts)
Dear Son, I would call you by name, but I’m waiting for your mother to decide. I only hope she is joking when she calls you Albert Dalbert. For weeks now I have watched your mother zealously gather her tokens for this box. She’s so afraid of you not knowing anything about her, and it bothers me greatly that you’ll never know her strength firsthand. I’m sure by the time you read this, you’ll know everything I do about her. But you’ll never know her for yourself and that pains me most of all. I wish you could see the look on her face whenever she talks to you. The sadness she tries so hard to hide. Every time I see it, it cuts through me. She love you so much. You’re all she talks about. I have so many orders from her for you. I’m not allowed to make you crazy the way I do your Uncle Chris. I’m not allowed to call the doctors every time you sneeze and you are to be allowed to tussle with your friends without me having a conniption that someone might bruise you. Nor am I to bully you about getting married or having kids. Ever. Most of all, you are allowed to pick your own car at sixteen. I’m not supposed to put you in a tank. We’ll see about that one. I refuse to promise her this last item until I know more about you. Not to mention, I’ve seen how other people drive on the roads. So if you have a tank, sorry. There’s only so much changing man my age can do. I don’t know what our futures will hold. I only hope that when all is said and done, you are more like your mother than you are like me. She’s a good woman. A kind woman. Full of love and compassion even though her life has been hard and full of grief. She bears her scars with a grace, dignity, and humor that I lack. Most of all, she has courage the likes of which I haven’t witnessed in centuries. I hope with every part of me that you inherit all her best traits and none of my bad ones. I don’t really know what more to say. I just thought you should have something of me in here too. Love, Your father (Wulf)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Kiss of the Night (Dark-Hunter, #4))
When he concentrated, a miniature tornado swirled around its three points, getting faster and larger the more he focused. When he planted the spear on the ground, the floor of the pit began to shake and crak. "Best weapon,"he announced." Right here." Brontes tossed them a third item. Hades caught this one-a gleaming bronze war helmet decorated with scenes of death and destruction. "You get weapons" Hades grumbled. "i get a hat
Rick Riordan (Percy Jackson's Greek Gods)
If we accept that there will always be sides, it’s a nontrivial to-do list item to always be on the side of angels. Distrust essentialism. Keep in mind that what seems like rationality is often just rationalization, playing catch-up with subterranean forces that we never suspect. Focus on the larger, shared goals. Practice perspective taking. Individuate, individuate, individuate. Recall the historical lessons of how often the truly malignant Thems keep themselves hidden and make third parties the fall guy. And in the meantime, give the right-of-way to people driving cars with the “Mean people suck” bumper sticker, and remind everyone that we’re all in it together against Lord Voldemort and the House Slytherin.
Robert M. Sapolsky (Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst)
When our freedom to have something is limited, the item becomes less available, and we experience an increased desire for it. However, we rarely recognize that psychological reactance has caused us to want the item more; all we know is that we want it. Still, we need to make sense of our desire for the item, so we begin to assign it positive qualities to justify the desire.
Robert B. Cialdini (Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials))
There's something about sober living and sober thinking, about facing long afternoons without the numbing distraction of anesthesia that disabuses you of the belief in the externals, shows you that strength and hope come not from circumstances or the acquisition of things, but from the simple accumulation of active experience, from gritting the teeth and checking the items off the list, one by one, even if it's painful and you're afraid.
Caroline Knapp
The glory of acquisition starts to dim with use, eventually changing to boredom as the item no longer elicits even a bit of excitement. This is the pattern of everything in our lives. No matter how much we wish for something, over time it becomes a normal part of our lives, and then a tired old item that bores us, even though we did actually get our wish. And we end up being unhappy.
Fumio Sasaki (Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism)
There are moments in every relationship that define when two people start to fall in love. A first glance A first smile A first kiss A first fall… (I remove the Darth Vader house shoes from my satchel and look down at them.) You were wearing these during one of those moments. One of the moments I first started to fall in love with you. The way you gave me butterflies that morning Had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else, and everything to do with you. I was falling in love with you that morning because of you. (I take the next item out of the satchel. When I pull it out and look up, she brings her hands to her mouth in shock.) This ugly little gnome With his smug little grin… He's the reason I had an excuse to invite you into my house. Into my life. You took a lot of aggression out on him over those next few months. I would watch from my window as you would kick him over every time you walked by him. Poor little guy. You were so tenacious. That feisty, aggressive, strong-willed side of you…. The side of you that refused to take crap from this concrete gnome? The side of you that refused to take crap from me? I fell in love with that side of you because of you. (I set the gnome down on the stage and grab the CD) This is your favorite CD ‘Layken’s shit.’ Although now I know you intended for shit to be possessive, rather than descriptive. The banjo started playing through the speakers of your car and I immediately recognized my favorite band. Then when I realized it was your favorite band, too? The fact that these same lyrics inspired both of us? I fell in love with that about you. That had absolutely nothing to do with anyone else. I fell in love with that about you because of you. (I take a slip of paper out of the satchel and hold it up. When I look at her, I see Eddie slide her a napkin. I can’t tell from up here, but that can only mean she’s crying.) This is a receipt I kept. Only because the item I purchased that night was on the verge of ridiculous. Chocolate milk on the rocks? Who orders that? You were different, and you didn’t care. You were being you. A piece of me fell in love with you at that moment, because of you. This? (I hold up another sheet of paper.) This I didn’t really like so much. It’s the poem you wrote about me. The one you titled 'mean?' I don’t think I ever told you… but you made a zero. And then I kept it to remind myself of all the things I never want to be to you. (I pull her shirt from my bag. When I hold it into the light, I sigh into the microphone.) This is that ugly shirt you wear. It doesn’t really have anything to do with why I fell in love with you. I just saw it at your house and thought I’d steal it.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
Once she'd loved my filet mignon, my carnivore inklings, but now she was a vegan princess, living off of beans. She'd given up the cheese and bacon, sworn off Burger King, and when I wouldn't do the same she gave me back my ring. I stood there by the romaine lettuce, feeling my heart pine. Wishing that this meatless beauty still would be all mine. She turned around to go to checkout, fifteen items or less. And I knew this was the last go-round, so this is what I said. ... "Don't you ever give me no rotten tomato, 'cause all I ever wanted was your sweet potato.
Sarah Dessen (This Lullaby)
The world did not have me in mind; it had no mind. It was a coincidental collection of things and people, of items, an I myself was one such item...the things in the world did not necessarily cause my overwhelming feelings; the feelings were inside me, beneath my skin, behind my ribs, withing my skull. They were even, to some extent, under my control.
Annie Dillard (An American Childhood)
A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. Partly it has great practical value - you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to- hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can't see it, it can't see you - daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough. More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have "lost". What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1))
A group of winged monkeys threw it at me.” Ariella crossed her arms and glared, and I had an odd moment of déjà vu. “On my last watch, we passed an orchard on the banks, and there were at least a dozen monkeys living there, staring down at us. I threw a rock at them and they...threw things back. And not just food items, either.” She blushed with embarrassment and glowered, daring me to laugh. “So you'd better eat that before I stuff something else down your throat, and it won't be a banana.
Julie Kagawa (The Iron Knight (The Iron Fey, #4))
The decision-making part of the brain of an individual who has been using crystal meth is very interesting. When Carly and Andy were in their apartment, they ran out of drugs. They sold every single thing they had except two things: a couch and a blow torch. They had to make a decision because something had to be sold to buy more drugs. A normal person would automatically think, Sell the blow torch. But Andy and Carly sat on the couch, looking at the couch and looking at the blow torch, and the choice brought intense confusion. The couch? The blow torch? I mean, we may not need the blow torch today, but what about tomorrow? If we sell the couch, we can still sit wherever we want. But the blow torch? A blow torch is a very specific item. If you’re doing a project and you need a blow torch, you can’t substitute something else for it. You would have to have a blow torch, right? In the end, they sold the couch.
Dina Kucera (Everything I Never Wanted to Be)
But not everything is normal. After all, there's no indictation that religion exits here. Granted, I've only been at camp for a day, so maybe I just need to be patient. However, so far there have been no calls for prayer and no public sermons. I haven't seen anything that indicates which god — if any— these people believe in. The only signs of religion that I have seen are the few religious items that people wear on themselves. Other than that, it's as though God doesn't exist.
Laura Thalassa (War (The Four Horsemen, #2))
Shopping for clothes is a Boyfriend Thing. You stand around and look blankly at a bunch of pieces of fabric and you look at the price tags and you wonder how something that'd barely cover your right nut can cost the price of a kidney and you watch the shop assistants check you out and wonder what you're doing with her because she's cute and you're kind of funny-looking and she tries clothes on and you look at her ass in a dozen different items that all look exactly the same and let's face it you're just looking at her ass anyway and it all blurs together and then someone sticks a vacuum cleaner in your wallet and vacuums out all the cash and you leave the store with one bag so small that mice couldn't fuck in it. Repeat a dozen times or until the front of your brain dies.
Warren Ellis (Crooked Little Vein)
Unpopular ideas can be silenced, and inconvenient facts kept dark, without the need for any official ban. Anyone who has lived long in a foreign country will know of instances of sensational items of news — things which on their own merits would get the big headlines-being kept right out of the British press, not because the Government intervened but because of a general tacit agreement that ‘it wouldn’t do’ to mention that particular fact. So far as the daily newspapers go, this is easy to understand. The British press is extremely centralised, and most of it is owned by wealthy men who have every motive to be dishonest on certain important topics. But the same kind of veiled censorship also operates in books and periodicals, as well as in plays, films and radio. At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to say this, that or the other, but it is ‘not done’ to say it, just as in mid-Victorian times it was ‘not done’ to mention trousers in the presence of a lady. Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals.
George Orwell (Animal Farm)
It was no place for a Kabra, not even a poor one living in exile with a psychopathic cat. He approached the counter and rand the bell with authority. The clerk turned around. Evan Tolliver. "You're Amy's cousin!" "Yes, I am," Ian confirmed. "I have here a list of items–" "Have you heard from her?" Evan interrupted. "Is she okay?" "Her health is excellent." "No, I mean–" Ian sighed. "Why should you care? She promises to phone you, and she doesn't. You were nearly arrested, thanks to her. There's a message in there somewhere, don't you agree?" Evan nodded sadly. "I kind of think so, too. But we were awesome together. She's smart, fun to be with, and not immature like most of the girls in our school. It's as if she has an automatic switch for when it's time to be serious–she can almost be old beyond her years at times. Where do you learn something like that?" "I have no earthly idea," Ian lied.
Gordon Korman (The Medusa Plot (39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers, #1))
Two uniformed trolls were standing in front of Sergeant Colon's high desk, with a slightly smaller troll between them. This troll was wearing a slightly downcast expression. It was also wearing a tutu and had a small pair of gauzed wings glued to its back. " - happen to know that trolls don't have any tradition of a Tooth Fairy," Colon was saying. "Especially not one called' - he looked down - "Clinkerbell. So how about we just call it breaking and entering without a Thieves' Guild license?" "Is racial prejudice, not letting trolls have a Tooth Fairy," Clinkerbell muttered. One of the troll guards upended a sack on the desk. Various items of silverwear cascaded over the paperwork. "And this is what you found under their pillows, was it?" said Colon. "Bless dere little hearts," said Clinkerbell.
Terry Pratchett (Feet of Clay (Discworld, #19; City Watch, #3))
Wait long enough, and what was once mainstream will fall into obscurity. When that happens, it will become valuable again to those looking for authenticity or irony or cleverness. The value, then, is not intrinsic. The thing itself doesn’t have as much value as the perception of how it was obtained or why it is possessed. Once enough people join in, like with oversized glasses frames or slap bracelets, the status gained from owning the item or being a fan of the band is lost, and the search begins again. You would compete like this no matter how society was constructed. Competition for status is built into the human experience at the biological level. Poor people compete with resources. The middle class competes with selection. The wealthy compete with possessions. You sold out long ago in one way or another. The specifics of who you sell to and how much you make—those are only details.
David McRaney (You Are Not So Smart: Why You Have Too Many Friends on Facebook, Why Your Memory Is Mostly Fiction, and 46 Other Ways You're Deluding Yourself)
During the heat of the space race in the 1960s, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration decided it needed a ballpoint pen to write in the zero gravity confines of its space capsules. After considerable research and development, the Astronaut Pen was developed at a cost of approximately $1 million US. The pen worked and also enjoyed some modest success as a novelty item back here on earth. The Soviet Union, faced with the same problem, used a pencil.
Neil deGrasse Tyson (Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier)
The supermarket shelves have been rearranged. It happened one day without warning. There is agitation and panic in the aisles, dismay in the faces of older shoppers.[…]They scrutinize the small print on packages, wary of a second level of betrayal. The men scan for stamped dates, the women for ingredients. Many have trouble making out the words. Smeared print, ghost images. In the altered shelves, the ambient roar, in the plain and heartless fact of their decline, they try to work their way through confusion. But in the end it doesn’t matter what they see or think they see. The terminals are equipped with holographic scanners, which decode the binary secret of every item, infallibly. This is the language of waves and radiation, or how the dead speak to the living. And this is where we wait together, regardless of our age, our carts stocked with brightly colored goods. A slowly moving line, satisfying, giving us time to glance at the tabloids in the racks. Everything we need that is not food or love is here in the tabloid racks. The tales of the supernatural and the extraterrestrial. The miracle vitamins, the cures for cancer, the remedies for obesity. The cults of the famous and the dead.
Don DeLillo (White Noise)
When I walk into [the studio] I am alone, but I am alone with my body, ambition, ideas, passions, needs, memories, goals, prejudices, distractions, fears. These ten items are at the heart of who I am. Whatever I am going to create will be a reflection of how these have shaped my life, and how I've learned to channel my experiences into them. The last two -- distractions and fears -- are the dangerous ones. They're the habitual demons that invade the launch of any project. No one starts a creative endeavor without a certain amount of fear; the key is to learn how to keep free-floating fears from paralyzing you before you've begun. When I feel that sense of dread, I try to make it as specific as possible. Let me tell you my five big fears: 1. People will laugh at me. 2. Someone has done it before. 3. I have nothing to say. 4. I will upset someone I love. 5. Once executed, the idea will never be as good as it is in my mind. "There are mighty demons, but they're hardly unique to me. You probably share some. If I let them, they'll shut down my impulses ('No, you can't do that') and perhaps turn off the spigots of creativity altogether. So I combat my fears with a staring-down ritual, like a boxer looking his opponent right in the eye before a bout. 1. People will laugh at me? Not the people I respect; they haven't yet, and they're not going to start now.... 2. Someone has done it before? Honey, it's all been done before. Nothing's original. Not Homer or Shakespeare and certainly not you. Get over yourself. 3. I have nothing to say? An irrelevant fear. We all have something to say. 4. I will upset someone I love? A serious worry that is not easily exorcised or stared down because you never know how loved ones will respond to your creation. The best you can do is remind yourself that you're a good person with good intentions. You're trying to create unity, not discord. 5. Once executed, the idea will never be as good as it is in my mind? Toughen up. Leon Battista Alberti, the 15th century architectural theorist, said, 'Errors accumulate in the sketch and compound in the model.' But better an imperfect dome in Florence than cathedrals in the clouds.
Twyla Tharp (The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life)
The air in my home is heavy with my mom's unhappiness. And her exhaustion. And her sheer dissatisfaction with her life. And I hate it. I can be up in my room when she's in the kitchen below and I feel her despair seeping up through the floorboards. You can hear her banging pots and pans or cursing the vacuum cleaner
Laura Buzo (Love and Other Perishable Items)
Clothing was magic. Casey believed this. She would never admit this to her classmates in any of her women's studies courses, but she felt that an article of clothing could change a person... Each skirt, blouse, necklace, or humble shoe said something - certain pieces screamed, and others whispered seductively, but no matter, she experienced each item's expression keenly, and she loved this world. every article suggested an image, a life, a kind of woman, and Casey felt drawn to them." (Free Food For Millionaires, p.41).
Min Jin Lee (Free Food for Millionaires)
Have a fake ID.” I snatched it from his hands and smiled. “Where the heck did you get this?!” His eyes shifted back to Avery. “I know people who know people.” “Burt Summerstone?” I asked, reading his name off the card. He took it back from me and slid it into his pocket. “It’s not about the name, baby girl. It’s about the date. I am officially a twenty-one-year-old high school student. And we are officially getting drunk and crossing that item off of your bucket list. Bow down, bitches.” He pulled out a fake ID for me and I grinned. Summer Burtstone. How creative.
Brittainy C. Cherry (Loving Mr. Daniels)
With managing a business, you need to Invest in good software and or good data mining systems. Run your numbers routinely. Take a look at your revenues - when is the money typically coming in, from where, can you identify any patterns in your revenues? Then take a look at your expenses - analyze the numbers and identify patterns. Why? Because Identifying patterns and extracting actionable items from your revenue and expense data will result in the clarity you need to make good business decisions.
Hendrith Vanlon Smith Jr (The Wealth Reference Guide: An American Classic)
When you break something, is your first impulse to throw it away? Or do you repair it but feel a sadness because it is no longer "perfect"? Whatever the case, you might want to consider the way the Japanese treated the items used in their tea ceremony. Even though they were made from the simplest materials... these teacups and bowls were revered for their plain lines and spiritual qualities. There were treated with the utmost care, integrity and respect. For this reason, a cup from the tea ceremony was almost never broken. When an accident did occur and a cup was broken, there were certain instances in which the cup was repaired with gold. Rather than trying to restore it in a what they would cover the gace that it ahad been broken, the cracks were celebrated in a bold and spirited way. The thin paths of shining gold completely encircled the ceramic cup, announcing to the world that the cup was broken and repaired and vulnerable to change. And in this way, its value was even further enhanced.
Gary Thorp (Sweeping Changes: Discovering the Joy of Zen in Everyday Tasks)
(I pull the second to last item out of my bag. Her purple hair clip. She told me once how much it meant to her, and why she always keeps it.) This purple hair clip? It really is magic…just like your dad told you it was. It’s magic because, no matter how many times it lets you down…you keep having hope in it. You keep trusting it. No matter how many times it fails you, You never fail it. Just like you never fail me. I love that about you, because of you. (I set it back down and pull out a strip of paper and unfold it.) Your mother. (I sigh) Your mother was an amazing woman, Lake. I'm blessed that I got to know her, And that she was a part of my life, too. I came to love her as my own mom…just as she came to love Caulder and I as her own. I didn’t love her because of you, Lake. I loved her because of her. So, thank you for sharing her with us. She had more advice about Life and love and happiness and heartache than anyone I've ever known. But the best advice she ever gave me? The best advice she ever gave us? (I read the quote in my hands) "Sometimes two people have to fall apart, to realize how much they need to fall back together." (She’s definitely crying now. I place the slip back inside the satchel and take a step closer to the edge of the stage as I hold her gaze.) The last item I have wouldn’t fit, because you’re actually sitting in it. That booth. You’re sitting in the exact same spot you sat in when you watched your first performance on this stage. The way you watched this stage with passion in your eyes…I'll never forget that moment. It's the moment I knew it was too late. I was too far gone by then. I was in love with you. I was in love with you because of you. (I back up and sit down on the stool behind me, still holding her stare.) I could go on all night, Lake. I could go on and on and on about all the reasons I'm in love with you. And you know what? Some of them are the things that life has thrown our way. I do love you because you're the only other person I know that understands my situation. I do love you because both of us know what it's like to lose your mom and your dad. I do love you because you're raising your little brother, just like I am. I love you because of what you went through with your mother. I love you because of what we went through with your mother. I love the way you love Kel. I love the way you love Caulder. And I love the way I love Kel. So I'm not about to apologize for loving all these things about you, no matter the reasons or the circumstances behind them. And no, I don’t need days, or weeks, or months to think about why I love you. It’s an easy answer for me. I love you because of you. Because of every single thing about you.
Colleen Hoover (Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2))
They convinced our mothers that if a food item came in a bottle -- or a can or a box or a cellophane bag -- then it was somehow better for you than when it came to you free of charge via Mother Nature....An entire generation of us were introduced in our very first week to the concept that phony was better than real, that something manufactured was better than something that was right there in the room. (Later in life, this explained the popularity of the fast food breakfast burrito, neocons, Kardashians, and why we think reading this book on a tiny screen with only three minutes of battery life left is enjoyable.
Michael Moore (Here Comes Trouble)
It seemed there was an announcement every five minutes from the mythical conductor, imparting sagacious gems such as "large items should be placed in the overhead luggage racks", or that "passengers should report any unattended items to the train crew as soon as possible". I wondered at whom these pearls of wisdom were aimed; some passing extraterrestrial, perhaps, or a yak herder from Ulan Bator who had trekked across the steppes, sailed the North Sea, and found himself on the Glasgow-Edinburgh service with literally no prior experience of mechanized transport to call upon?
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
Any man who stands for progress has to criticize, disbelieve and challenge every item of the old faith. Item by item he has to reason out every nook and corner of the prevailing faith. If after considerable reasoning one is led to believe in any theory or philosophy, his faith is welcomed. His reasoning can be mistaken, wrong, misled and sometimes fallacious. But he is liable to correction because reason is the guiding star of his life. But mere faith and blind faith is dangerous: it dulls the brain, and makes a man reactionary.
Bhagat Singh (Why I am an Atheist)
Connor pockets his cell. “Lily,” he says. “If I wanted to date for a last name, I’d have a girl on my arm every single day. I would never be single.” He leans forward. “I promise you, that my intentions are pure. And I think it’s sweet you’re looking out for Rose, but she’s more than capable of taking care of herself, which is one of the many reasons why I want to pursue her.” “What’s another reason?” I test him. He smiles. “I won’t have to taxingly explain to her menu items in a real French restaurant.” He knows she’s fluent? “I won’t have to explain financial statements or dividends. I’ll be able to discuss anything and everything in the world, and she’ll have an answer.
Krista Ritchie (Addicted to You (Addicted, #1))
Operating by trial and error mostly, we've evolved a tacitly agreed upon list of the elements that make for a good fantasy. The first decision the aspiring fantasist must make is theological. King Arthur and Charlemagne were Christians. Siegfried and Sigurd the Volsung were pagans. My personal view is that pagans write better stories. When a writer is having fun, it shows, and pagans have more fun than Christians. Let's scrape Horace's Dulche et utile off the plate before we even start the banquet. We're writing for fun, not to provide moral instruction. I had much more fun with the Belgariad/Malloreon than you did, because I know where all the jokes are. All right, then, for item number one, I chose paganism. (Note that Papa Tolkien, a devout Anglo-Catholic, took the same route.)
David Eddings (The Rivan Codex: Ancient Texts of the Belgariad and the Malloreon)
...DAMNATION!' No device of the printer's art, not even capital letters, can indicate the intensity of that shriek of rage. Emerson is known to his Egyptian workers by the admiring sobriquet of Father of Curses. The volume as well as the content of his remarks earned him the title; but this shout was extraordinary even by Emerson's standards, so much so that the cat Bastet, who had become more or less accustomed to him, started violently, and fell with a splash into the bathtub. The scene that followed is best not described in detail. My efforts to rescue the thrashing feline were met with hysterical resistance; water surged over the edge of the tub and onto the floor; Emerson rushed to the rescue; Bastet emerged in one mighty leap, like a whale broaching, and fled -- cursing, spitting, and streaming water. She and Emerson met in the doorway of the bathroom. The ensuing silence was broken by the quavering voice of the safragi, the servant on duty outside our room, inquiring if we required his assistance. Emerson, seated on the floor in a puddle of soapy water, took a long breath. Two of the buttons popped off his shirt and splashed into the water. In a voice of exquisite calm he reassured the servant, and then transferred his bulging stare to me. I trust you are not injured, Peabody. Those scratches...' The bleeding has almost stopped, Emerson. It was not Bastet's fault.' It was mine, I suppose,' Emerson said mildly. Now, my dear, I did not say that. Are you going to get up from the floor?' No,' said Emerson. He was still holding the newspaper. Slowly and deliberately he separated the soggy pages, searching for the item that had occasioned his outburst. In the silence I heard Bastet, who had retreated under the bed, carrying on a mumbling, profane monologue. (If you ask how I knew it was profane, I presume you have never owned a cat.)
Elizabeth Peters (The Deeds of the Disturber (Amelia Peabody, #5))
Consider how challenging it is to negotiate or compromise with a man who operates on the following tenets (whether or not he ever says them aloud): 1. “An argument should only last as long as my patience does. Once I’ve had enough, the discussion is over and it’s time for you to shut up.” 2. “If the issue we’re struggling over is important to me, I should get what I want. If you don’t back off, you’re wronging me.” 3. “I know what is best for you and for our relationship. If you continue disagreeing with me after I’ve made it clear which path is the right one, you’re acting stupid.” 4. “If my control and authority seem to be slipping, I have the right to take steps to reestablish the rule of my will, including abuse if necessary.” The last item on this list is the one that most distinguishes the abuser from other people: Perhaps any of us can slip into having feelings like the ones in numbers one through three, but the abuser gives himself permission to take action on the basis of his beliefs. With him, the foregoing statements aren’t feelings; they are closely held convictions that he uses to guide his actions. That is why they lead to so much bullying behavior.
Lundy Bancroft (Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men)
Perhaps the greatest strike against philosophical pessimism is that its only theme is human suffering. This is the last item on the list of our species’ obsessions and detracts from everything that matters to us, such as the Good, the Beautiful, and a Sparking Clean Toilet Bowl. For the pessimist, everything considered in isolation from human suffering or any cognition that does not have as its motive the origins, nature, and elimination of human suffering is at base recreational, whether it takes the form of conceptual probing or physical action in the world—for example, delving into game theory or traveling in outer space, respectively. And by “human suffering,” the pessimist is not thinking of particular sufferings and their relief, but of suffering itself. Remedies may be discovered for certain diseases and sociopolitical barbarities may be amended. But those are only stopgaps. Human suffering will remain insoluble as long as human beings exist. The one truly effective solution for suffering is that spoken of in Zapffe’s “Last Messiah.” It may not be a welcome solution for a stopgap world, but it would forever put an end to suffering, should we ever care to do so. The pessimist’s credo, or one of them, is that nonexistence never hurt anyone and existence hurts everyone. Although our selves may be illusory creations of consciousness, our pain is nonetheless real.
Thomas Ligotti (The Conspiracy Against the Human Race)
...As she grew older, she was aware of her changing position on mortality. In her youth, the topic of death was philosophical; in her thirties it was unbearable and in her forties unavoidable. In her fifties, she had dealt with it in more rational terms, arranging her last testament, itemizing assets and heirlooms, spelling out the organ donation, detailing the exact words for her living will. Now, in her sixties, she was back to being philosophical. Death was not a loss of life, but the culmination of a series of releases. It was devolving into less and less. You had to release yourself from vanity, desire, ambition, suffering, and frustration - all the accoutrements of the I, the ego. And if you die, you would disappear, leave no trace, evaporate into nothingness...
Amy Tan (Saving Fish from Drowning)
Knock it off, you two.’ Annabeth handed her scroll to Sadie. ‘Carter, let’s trade. I’ll try your khopesh ; you try my Yankees cap.’ She tossed him the hat. ‘I’m usually more of a basketball guy, but …’ Carter put on the cap and disappeared. ‘Wow, okay. I’m invisible, aren’t I?’ Sadie applauded. ‘You’ve never looked better, brother dear.’ ‘Very funny.’ ‘If you can sneak up on Setne,’ Annabeth suggested, ‘you might be able to take him by surprise, get the crown away from him.’ ‘But you told us Setne saw right through your invisibility,’ Carter said. ‘That was me ,’ Annabeth said, ‘a Greek using a Greek magic item. For you, maybe it’ll work better – or differently, at least.’ ‘Carter, give it a shot,’ I said. ‘The only thing better than a giant chicken man is a giant invisible chicken man.
Rick Riordan (The Crown of Ptolemy (Percy Jackson & Kane Chronicles Crossover, #3))
There’s something about sober living and sober thinking, about facing long afternoons without the numbing distraction of anesthesia, that disabuses you of the belief in externals, shows you that strength and hope come not from circumstances or the acquisition of things but from the simple accumulation of active experience, from gritting the teeth and checking the items off the list, one by one, even though it’s painful and you’re afraid. When you drink, you can’t do that. You can’t make the distinction between getting through painful feelings and getting away from them. All you can do is just sit there, numb and sipping, numb and drunk.
Caroline Knapp (Drinking: A Love Story)
Într-adevăr, lumea cum o vedem nu există decât în crierul nostru. Nimeni nu va tăgădui că este deosebire între gânsac şi câne . Privirea cânelui e inteligentă , el pricepe din lumea această o porţie mult mai bună decât gânsacul ; cu toate acestea amândouă aceste fiinţe au ochi şi crieri. Lumea nu-i cumu-i, ci cum o vedem; pentru gânsac, cum o vede el, pentru câne item , pentru membru de la primărie — pentru Kant item. Totuşi câtă deosebire între ochii de porc a susînţelesului membru şi privirea adâncă a înţeleptului de la Königsberg.
Mihai Eminescu
The ideas that the whole human race is, in a sense, one thing- one huge organism, like a tree-must not be confused with the idea that individual difference is not important or that real people, Tom and Nobby and Kate, are some how less important than collective things like classes, races and so forth. Indeed the two ideas are opposites. Things which are parts of a single organism may be very different form one another: things which are not, may be very alike. Six pennies are quite separate and very alike: my nose and my lungs are very different but they are only alive at all because they are parts of my body and share its common life. Christianity thinks of individuals not as mere members of a group or items in a list, but as organs in a body- different from one another and each contributing what no other could.
C.S. Lewis
The aim of philosophy, abstractly formulated, is to understand how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term. Under 'things in the broadest possible sense' I include such radically different items as not only 'cabbages and kings', but numbers and duties, possibilities and finger snaps, aesthetic experience and death. To achieve success in philosophy would be, to use a contemporary turn of phrase, to 'know one's way around' with respect to all these things, not in that unreflective way in which the centipede of the story knew its way around before it faced the question, 'how do I walk?', but in that reflective way which means that no intellectual holds are barred.
Wilfrid Sellars
People who don't like math always accuse mathematicians of trying to make math complicated. (...) But anyone who does love math knows it's really the opposite: math rewards simplicity, and mathematicians value it above all else. So it's no surprise that Walter's favourite axiom was also the most simple in the realm of mathematics: the axiom of the empty set. The axiom of the empty set is the axiom of zero. it states that there must be a concept of nothingness, that there must be the concept of zero: zero value, zero items. Math assumes there's a concept of nothingness, but is it proven? No. But it must exist. And if we're being philosophical—which we today are—we can say that life itself is the axiom of the empty set. It begins in zero and ends in zero. We know that both states exist, but we will not be conscious of either experience: they are states that are necessary parts of life, even as they cannot be experienced as life. We assume the concept of nothingness, but we cannot prove it. But it must exist. So I prefer to think that Walter has not died but has instead proven for himself the axiom of the empty set, that he has proven the concept of zero. I know nothing else would have made him happier. An elegant mind wants elegant endings, and Walter had the most elegant mind. So I wish him goodbye; I wish him the answer to the axiom he so loved.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime. Old garlic, burnt garlic, garlic cut too long ago and garlic that has been tragically smashed through one of those abominations, the garlic press, are all disgusting. Please treat your garlic with respect. Sliver it for pasta, like you saw in Goodfellas; don't burn it. Smash it, with the flat of your knife blade if you like, but don't put it through a press. I don't know what that junk is that squeezes out the end of those things, but it ain't garlic. And try roasting garlic. It gets mellower and sweeter if you roast it whole, still on the clove, to be squeezed out later when it's soft and brown. Nothing will permeate your food more irrevocably and irreparably than burnt or rancid garlic. Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screw-top jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don't deserve to eat garlic.
Anthony Bourdain
There's no use in denying it: this has been a bad week. I've started drinking my own urine. I laugh spontaneously at nothing. Sometimes I sleep under my futon. I'm flossing my teeth constantly until my gums are aching and my mouth tastes like blood. Before dinner last night at 1500 with Reed Goodrich and Jason Rust I was almost caught at a Federal Express in Times Square trying to send the mother of one of the girls I killed last week what might be a dried-up, brown heart. And to Evelyn I successfully Federal Expressed, through the office, a small box of flies along with a note, typed by Jean, saying that I never, ever wanted to see her face again and, though she doesn't really need one, to go on a fucking diet. But there are also things that the average person would think are nice that I've done to celebrate the holiday, items I've bought Jean and had delivered to her apartment this morning: Castellini cotton napkins from Bendel's, a wicker chair from Jenny B. Goode, a taffeta table throw from Barney's, a vintage chain-mail-vent purse and a vintage sterling silver dresser set from Macy's, a white pine whatnot from Conran's, an Edwardian nine-carat-gold "gate" bracelet from Bergdorfs and hundreds upon hundreds of pink and white roses.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
...when my sons were the ages of those two leaping boys, they were so intimate it would have been hard to disentangle their separate natures. They used to play together without pause from the moment they opened their eyes in the morning to the moment they closed them again. Their play was a kind of shared trance in which they created whole imaginary worlds, and they were forever involved in games and projects whose planning and execution were as real to them as they were invisible to everyone else: sometimes I would move or throw away some apparently inconsequential item, only to be told that it was a sacred prop in the ongoing make-believe, a narrative which seemed to run like a magic river through our household, inexhaustible, and which they could exit and re-enter at will, moving over that threshold which no one else could see into another element. And then one day the river dried up: their shared world of imagination ceased, and the reason was that one of them - I can't even recall which one it was - stopped believing in it. In other words, it was nobody's fault; but all the same it was brought home to me how much of what was beautiful in their lives was the result of a shared vision of things that strictly speaking could not have been said to exist.
Rachel Cusk (Outline)
Why do you not believe you’re the father?” “Because elves and humans can no’ procreate.” As an afterthought, in the interest of clarity, he added, “With each other. It’s a biological fact not up to interpretation. The chromosomes do no’ line up.” Monq barked out a laugh that clearly offended Ram. “And what could you be findin’ amusin’ about this… situation?” “She’s an elf, you idiot! Her DNA is 99.9% the same as yours. The .01% difference is that her ears are not pointed.” While Ram stood there with his mouth open, trying to absorb that astonishing news, Elora turned to Monq with a hint of menace. “And you didn’t think this was information you should pass along?” “First, is it my job to keep up on gossip and know that the two of you are an item? No. Second, aren’t elves supposed to recognize each other as mates? That didn’t happen in your case?” Slowly a grin spread over his face. “Aye. ‘Tis exactly what did happen. Great Paddy! We’re havin’ a baby. I need to call my mother.
Victoria Danann (My Familiar Stranger (Knights of Black Swan, #1))
Alright. Let's get realistic now. You know and I know that the function of that number was just to provide some sort of warm-up trash before we do something HEAVY. Something a little bit harder to listen to, but which is probably better for you in the LONG RUN. The item in this instance, which will be better for you in the LONG RUN, and if we only had a little more space up here we could make it visual for you, is "Some Ballet Music," which we've played at most of our concert series in Europe. Generally in halls where we had a little bit more space and Motorhead and Kansas could actually fling themselves across the stage, and give you their teenage interpretation of the art of The Ballet. I don't think it's too safe to do it here, maybe they can just hug each other a little bit and do some calisthenics in the middle of the stage.
Frank Zappa
So long as we have wage slavery," answered Schliemann, "it matters not in the least how debasing and repulsive a task may be, it is easy to find people to perform it. But just as soon as labor is set free, then the price of such work will begin to rise. So one by one the old, dingy, and unsanitary factories will come down— it will be cheaper to build new; and so the steamships will be provided with stoking machinery , and so the dangerous trades will be made safe, or substitutes will be found for their products. In exactly the same way, as the citizens of our Industrial Republic become refined, year by year the cost of slaughterhouse products will increase; until eventually those who want to eat meat will have to do their own killing— and how long do you think the custom would survive then?— To go on to another item— one of the necessary accompaniments of capitalism in a democracy is political corruption; and one of the consequences of civic administration by ignorant and vicious politicians, is that preventable diseases kill off half our population. And even if science were allowed to try, it could do little, because the majority of human beings are not yet human beings at all, but simply machines for the creating of wealth for others. They are penned up in filthy houses and left to rot and stew in misery, and the conditions of their life make them ill faster than all the doctors in the world could heal them; and so, of course, they remain as centers of contagion , poisoning the lives of all of us, and making happiness impossible for even the most selfish. For this reason I would seriously maintain that all the medical and surgical discoveries that science can make in the future will be of less importance than the application of the knowledge we already possess, when the disinherited of the earth have established their right to a human existence.
Upton Sinclair (The Jungle)
here’s my 8-step process for maximizing efficacy (doing the right things): Wake up at least 1 hour before you have to be at a computer screen. Email is the mind-killer. Make a cup of tea (I like pu-erh) and sit down with a pen/pencil and paper. Write down the 3 to 5 things—and no more—that are making you the most anxious or uncomfortable. They’re often things that have been punted from one day’s to-do list to the next, to the next, to the next, and so on. Most important usually equals most uncomfortable, with some chance of rejection or conflict. For each item, ask yourself: “If this were the only thing I accomplished today, would I be satisfied with my day?” “Will moving this forward make all the other to-dos unimportant or easier to knock off later?” Put another way: “What, if done, will make all of the rest easier or irrelevant?” Look only at the items you’ve answered “yes” to for at least one of these questions. Block out at 2 to 3 hours to focus on ONE of them for today. Let the rest of the urgent but less important stuff slide. It will still be there tomorrow. TO BE CLEAR: Block out at 2 to 3 HOURS to focus on ONE of them for today. This is ONE BLOCK OF TIME. Cobbling together 10 minutes here and there to add up to 120 minutes does not work. No phone calls or social media allowed. If you get distracted or start procrastinating, don’t freak out and downward-spiral; just gently come back to your ONE to-do.
Timothy Ferriss (Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers)
In contrast, investing time and energy in your relationship with your spouse and children typically doesn’t offer that same immediate sense of achievement. Kids misbehave every day. It’s really not until 20 years down the road that you can put your hands on your hips and say, “I raised a good son or a good daughter.” You can neglect your relationship with your spouse, and on a day-to-day basis, it doesn’t seem as if things are deteriorating. People who are driven to excel have this unconscious propensity to underinvest in their families and overinvest in their careers—even though intimate and loving relationships with their families are the most powerful and enduring source of happiness.
Clayton M. Christensen (The Innovator's Dilemma with Award-Winning Harvard Business Review Article ?how Will You Measure Your Life (2 Items))
They are beautiful, heart-rendingly beautiful, those wilds, with a quality of wide-eyed, unsung, innocent surrender that my lacquered, toy-bright Swiss villages and exhaustively lauded Alps no longer possess. Innumerable lovers have clipped and kissed on the trim turf of old-world mountainsides, on the innerspring moss, by a handy, hygienic rill, on rustic benches under the initialed oaks, and in so many cabanes in so so many beech forests. But in the Wilds of America the open-air lover will not find it easy to indulge in the most ancient of all crimes and pastimes. Poisonous plants burn his sweetheart's buttocks, nameless insects sting his; sharp items of the forest floor prick his knees, insects hers; and all around there abides a sustained rustle of potential snakes--que dis-je,of semi-extinct dragons!--while the crablike seeds of ferocious flowers cling, in a hideous green crust, to gartered black sock and sloppy white sock alike.
Vladimir Nabokov (Lolita)
5. Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking, and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society, and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger, and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and for the transformation of society.
Thich Nhat Hanh (Living Buddha, Living Christ)
Most peasants did not miss the school. "What's the point?" they would say. "You pay fees and read for years, and in the end you are still a peasant, earning your food with your sweat. You don't get a grain of rice more for being able to read books. Why waste time and money? Might as well start earning your work points right away." The virtual absence of any chance of a better future and the near total immobility for anyone born a peasant took the incentive out of the pursuit of knowledge. Children of school age would stay at home to help their families with their work or look after younger brothers and sisters. They would be out in the fields when they were barely in their teens. As for girls, the peasants considered it a complete waste of time for them to go to school. "They get married and belong to other people. It's like pouring water on the ground." The Cultural Revolution was trumpeted as having brought education to the peasants through 'evening classes." One day my production team announced it was starting evening classes and asked Nana and me to be the teachers. I was delighted. However, as soon as the first 'class' began, I realized that this was no education. The classes invariably started with Nana and me being asked by the production team leader to read out articles by Mao or other items from the People's Daily. Then he would make an hour-long speech consisting of all the latest political jargon strung together in undigested and largely unintelligible hunks. Now and then he would give special orders, all solemnly delivered in the name of Mao.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
If you have read this far in the chronicle of the Baudelaire orphans - and I certainly hope you have not - then you know we have reached the thirteenth chapter of the thirteenth volume in this sad history, and so you know the end is near, even though this chapter is so lengthy that you might never reach the end of it. But perhaps you do not yet know what the end really means. "The end" is a phrase which refers to the completion of a story, or the final moment of some accomplishment, such as a secret errand, or a great deal of research, and indeed this thirteenth volume marks the completion of my investigation into the Baudelaire case, which required much research, a great many secret errands, and the accomplishments of a number of my comrades, from a trolley driver to a botanical hybridization expert, with many, many typewriter repairpeople in between. But it cannot be said that The End contains the end of the Baudelaires' story, any more than The Bad Beginning contained its beginning. The children's story began long before that terrible day on Briny Beach, but there would have to be another volume to chronicle when the Baudelaires were born, and when their parents married, and who was playing the violin in the candlelit restaurant when the Baudelaire parents first laid eyes on one another, and what was hidden inside that violin, and the childhood of the man who orphaned the girl who put it there, and even then it could not be said that the Baudelaires' story had not begun, because you would still need to know about a certain tea party held in a penthouse suite, and the baker who made the scones served at the tea party, and the baker's assistant who smuggled the secret ingredient into the scone batter through a very narrow drainpipe, and how a crafty volunteer created the illusion of a fire in the kitchen simply by wearing a certain dress and jumping around, and even then the beginning of the story would be as far away as the shipwreck that leftthe Baudelaire parents as castaways on the coastal shelf is far away from the outrigger on which the islanders would depart. One could say, in fact, that no story really has a beginning, and that no story really has an end, as all of the world's stories are as jumbled as the items in the arboretum, with their details and secrets all heaped together so that the whole story, from beginning to end, depends on how you look at it. We might even say that the world is always in medias res - a Latin phrase which means "in the midst of things" or "in the middle of a narrative" - and that it is impossible to solve any mystery, or find the root of any trouble, and so The End is really the middle of the story, as many people in this history will live long past the close of Chapter Thirteen, or even the beginning of the story, as a new child arrives in the world at the chapter's close. But one cannot sit in the midst of things forever. Eventually one must face that the end is near, and the end of The End is quite near indeed, so if I were you I would not read the end of The End, as it contains the end of a notorious villain but also the end of a brave and noble sibling, and the end of the colonists' stay on the island, as they sail off the end of the coastal shelf. The end of The End contains all these ends, and that does not depend on how you look at it, so it might be best for you to stop looking at The End before the end of The End arrives, and to stop reading The End before you read the end, as the stories that end in The End that began in The Bad Beginning are beginning to end now.
Lemony Snicket (The End (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #13))
First item in the crew roster is given name, so I'll input 'Skippy'. Second item is surname-" "The Magnificent." "Really?" "It is entirely appropriate, Joe." "Oh, uh huh, because that's what everyone calls you," I retorted sarcastically, rolling my eyes. Not wanting to argue with him, I typed in 'TheMagnificent'. "Next question is your rank, this file is designed for military personnel." "I'd like 'Grand Exalted Field Marshall El Supremo'." "Right, I'll type in 'Cub Scout'. Next question-" "Hey! You jerk-" "-is occupational specialty." "Oh, clearly that should be Lord God Controller of All Things." "I'll give you that one, that is spelled A, S, S, H, O, L, E. Next-" "Hey! You shithead, I should-" "Age?" I asked. "A couple million, at least. I think." "Mentally, you're a six year old, so that's what I typed in." "Joe, I just changed your rank in the personnel file to 'Big Poopyhead'." Skippy laughed. "Five year old. You're a five year old." "I guess that's fair," he admitted. "Sex? I'm going to select 'n/a' on that one for you," I said. "Joe, in your personnel file, I just updated Sex to 'Unlikely'." "This is not going well, Skippy." "You started it!" "That was mature. Four year old, then. Maybe Terrible Twos." "I give up," Skippy snorted. "Save the damned file and we'll call it even, Ok?" "No problem. We should do this more often, huh?" "Oh, shut up.
Craig Alanson (SpecOps (Expeditionary Force, #2))
Rapture I can feel she has got out of bed. That means it is seven a.m. I have been lying with eyes shut, thinking, or possibly dreaming, of how she might look if, at breakfast, I spoke about the hidden place in her which, to me, is like a soprano’s tremolo, and right then, over toast and bramble jelly, if such things are possible, she came. I imagine she would show it while trying to conceal it. I imagine her hair would fall about her face and she would become apparently downcast, as she does at a concert when she is moved. The hypnopompic play passes, and I open my eyes and there she is, next to the bed, bending to a low drawer, picking over various small smooth black, white, and pink items of underwear. She bends so low her back runs parallel to the earth, but there is no sway in it, there is little burden, the day has hardly begun. The two mounds of muscles for walking, leaping, lovemaking, lift toward the east—what can I say? Simile is useless; there is nothing like them on earth. Her breasts fall full; the nipples are deep pink in the glare shining up through the iron bars of the gate under the earth where those who could not love press, wanting to be born again. I reach out and take her wrist and she falls back into bed and at once starts unbuttoning my pajamas. Later, when I open my eyes, there she is again, rummaging in the same low drawer. The clock shows eight. Hmmm. With huge, silent effort of great, mounded muscles the earth has been turning. She takes a piece of silken cloth from the drawer and stands up. Under the falls of hair her face has become quiet and downcast, as if she will be, all day among strangers, looking down inside herself at our rapture.
Galway Kinnell (A New Selected Poems)
Sometime the witch hunting takes on atrocious dimensions — the Nazi persecution of Jews, the Salem witch trials, the Ku Klux Klan scapegoating of blacks. Notice, however, that in all such cases the persecutor hates the persecuted for precisely those traits that the persecutor displays with a glaringly uncivilized fury. At other times, the witch hunt appears in less terrifying proportions—the cold war fear of a "Commie under every bed," for instance. And often, it appears in comic form—the interminable gossip about everybody else that tells you much more about the gossiper than about the object of gossip. But all of these are instances of individuals desperate to prove that their own shadows belong to other people. Many men and women will launch into tirades about how disgusting homosexuals are. Despite how decent and rational they otherwise try to behave, they find themselves seized with a loathing of any homosexual, and in an emotional outrage will advocate such things as suspending gay civil rights (or worse). But why does such an individual hate homosexuals so passionately? Oddly, he doesn’t hate the homosexual because he is homosexual; he hates him because he sees in the homosexual what he secretly fears he himself might become. He is most uncomfortable with his own natural, unavoidable, but minor homosexual tendencies, and so projects them. He thus comes to hate the homosexual inclinations in other people—but only because he first hates them in himself. And so, in one form or another, the witch hunt goes. We hate people "because," we say, they are dirty, stupid, perverted, immoral.... They might be exactly what we say they are. Or they might not. That is totally irrelevent, however, because we hate them only if we ourselves unknowingly possess the despised traits ascribed to them. We hate them because they are a constant reminder of aspects of ourselves that we are loathe to admit. We are starting to see an important indicator of projection. Those items in the environment (people or things) that strongly affect us instead of just informing us are usually our own projections. Items that bother us, upset us, repulse us, or at the other extreme, attract us, compel us, obsess us—these are usually reflections of the shadow. As an old proverb has it, I looked, and looked, and this I came to see: That what I thought was you and you, Was really me and me.
Ken Wilber (No Boundary: Eastern and Western Approaches to Personal Growth)
Tired of his lack of understanding, she asked him for an unusual birthday gift: that for one day he would take care of the domestic chores. He accepted in amusement, and indeed took charge of the house at dawn. He served a splendid breakfast, but he forgot that fried eggs did not agree with her and that she did not drink café con leche. Then he ordered a birthday luncheon for eight guests and gave instructions for tidying the house, and he tried so hard to manage better than she did that before noon he had to capitulate without a trace of embarrassment. From the first moment he realized he did not have the slightest idea where anything was, above all in the kitchen, and the servants let him upset everything to find each item, for they were playing the game too. At ten o’clock no decisions had been made regarding lunch because the housecleaning was not finished yet, the bedroom was not straightened, the bathroom was not scrubbed; he forgot to replace the toilet paper, change the sheets, and send the coachmen for the children, and he confused the servants’ duties: he told the cook to make the beds and set the chambermaids to cooking. At eleven o’clock, when the guests were about to arrive, the chaos in the house was such that Fermina Daza resumed command, laughing out loud, not with the triumphant attitude she would have liked but shaken instead with compassion for the domestic helplessness of her husband. He was bitter and offered the argument he always used: “Things did not go as badly for me as they would for you if you tried to cure the sick.” But it was a useful lesson, and not for him alone. Over the years they both reached the same wise conclusion by different paths: it was not possible to live together in any way, or love in any other way, and nothing in this world was more difficult than love.
Gabriel García Márquez (Love in the Time of Cholera)
When it first emerged, Twitter was widely derided as a frivolous distraction that was mostly good for telling your friends what you had for breakfast. Now it is being used to organize and share news about the Iranian political protests, to provide customer support for large corporations, to share interesting news items, and a thousand other applications that did not occur to the founders when they dreamed up the service in 2006. This is not just a case of cultural exaptation: people finding a new use for a tool designed to do something else. In Twitter's case, the users have been redesigning the tool itself. The convention of replying to another user with the @ symbol was spontaneously invented by the Twitter user base. Early Twitter users ported over a convention from the IRC messaging platform and began grouping a topic or event by the "hash-tag" as in "#30Rock" or "inauguration." The ability to search a live stream of tweets - which is likely to prove crucial to Twitter's ultimate business model, thanks to its advertising potential - was developed by another start-up altogether. Thanks to these innovations, following a live feed of tweets about an event - political debates or Lost episodes - has become a central part of the Twitter experience. But for the first year of Twitter's existence, that mode of interaction would have been technically impossible using Twitter. It's like inventing a toaster oven and then looking around a year later and discovering that all your customers have, on their own, figured out a way to turn it into a microwave.
Steven Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation)
The only acceptable hobby, throughout all stages of life, is cookery. As a child: adorable baked items. Twenties: much appreciated spag bol and fry-ups. Thirties and forties: lovely stuff with butternut squash and chorizo from the Guardian food section. Fifties and sixties: beef wellington from the Sunday Telegraph magazine. Seventies and eighties: back to the adorable baked items. Perfect. The only teeny tiny downside of this hobby is that I HATE COOKING. Don't get me wrong; I absolutely adore the eating of the food. It's just the awful boring, frightening putting together of it that makes me want to shove my own fists in my mouth. It's a lovely idea: follow the recipe and you'll end up with something exactly like the pretty picture in the book, only even more delicious. But the reality's rather different. Within fifteen minutes of embarking on a dish I generally find myself in tears in the middle of what appears to be a bombsite, looking like a mentally unstable art teacher in a butter-splattered apron, wondering a) just how I am supposed to get hold of a thimble and a half of FairTrade hazelnut oil (why is there always the one impossible-to-find recipe ingredient? Sesame paste, anyone?) and b) just how I managed to get flour through two closed doors onto the living-room curtains, when I don't recall having used any flour and oh-this-is-terrible-let's-just-go-out-and-get-a-Wagamama's-and-to-hell-with-the-cost, dammit.
Miranda Hart (Is It Just Me?)
Many people in this room have an Etsy store where they create unique, unreplicable artifacts or useful items to be sold on a small scale, in a common marketplace where their friends meet and barter. I and many of my friends own more than one spinning wheel. We grow our food again. We make pickles and jams on private, individual scales, when many of our mothers forgot those skills if they ever knew them. We come to conventions, we create small communities of support and distributed skills--when one of us needs help, our village steps in. It’s only that our village is no longer physical, but connected by DSL instead of roads. But look at how we organize our tribes--bloggers preside over large estates, kings and queens whose spouses’ virtues are oft-lauded but whose faces are rarely seen. They have moderators to protect them, to be their knights, a nobility of active commenters and big name fans, a peasantry of regular readers, and vandals starting the occasional flame war just to watch the fields burn. Other villages are more commune-like, sharing out resources on forums or aggregate sites, providing wise women to be consulted, rabbis or priests to explain the world, makers and smiths to fashion magical objects. Groups of performers, acrobats and actors and singers of songs are traveling the roads once more, entertaining for a brief evening in a living room or a wheatfield, known by word of mouth and secret signal. Separate from official government, we create our own hierarchies, laws, and mores, as well as our own folklore and secret history. Even my own guilt about having failed as an academic is quite the crisis of filial piety--you see, my mother is a professor. I have not carried on the family trade. We dwell within a system so large and widespread, so disorganized and unconcerned for anyone but its most privileged and luxurious members, that our powerlessness, when we can summon up the courage to actually face it, is staggering. So we do not face it. We tell ourselves we are Achilles when we have much more in common with the cathedral-worker, laboring anonymously so that the next generation can see some incremental progress. We lack, of course, a Great Work to point to and say: my grandmother made that window; I worked upon the door. Though, I would submit that perhaps the Internet, as an object, as an aggregate entity, is the cathedral we build word by word and image by image, window by window and portal by portal, to stand taller for our children, if only by a little, than it does for us. For most of us are Lancelots, not Galahads. We may see the Grail of a good Classical life, but never touch it. That is for our sons, or their daughters, or further off. And if our villages are online, the real world becomes that dark wood on the edge of civilization, a place of danger and experience, of magic and blood, a place to make one’s name or find death by bear. And here, there be monsters.
Catherynne M. Valente
The year was 1987, but it might as well have been the Summer of Love: I was twenty, had hair down to my shoulders, and was dressed like an Indian rickshaw driver. For those charged with enforcing our nation’s drug laws, it would have been only prudent to subject my luggage to special scrutiny. Happily, I had nothing to hide. “Where are you coming from?” the officer asked, glancing skeptically at my backpack. “India, Nepal, Thailand…” I said. “Did you take any drugs while you were over there?” As it happens, I had. The temptation to lie was obvious—why speak to a customs officer about my recent drug use? But there was no real reason not to tell the truth, apart from the risk that it would lead to an even more thorough search of my luggage (and perhaps of my person) than had already commenced. “Yes,” I said. The officer stopped searching my bag and looked up. “Which drugs did you take? “I smoked pot a few times… And I tried opium in India.” “Opium?” “Yes.” “Opium or heroin? “It was opium.” “You don’t hear much about opium these days.” “I know. It was the first time I’d ever tried it.” “Are you carrying any drugs with you now?” “No.” The officer eyed me warily for a moment and then returned to searching my bag. Given the nature of our conversation, I reconciled myself to being there for a very long time. I was, therefore, as patient as a tree. Which was a good thing, because the officer was now examining my belongings as though any one item—a toothbrush, a book, a flashlight, a bit of nylon cord—might reveal the deepest secrets of the universe. “What is opium like?” he asked after a time. And I told him. In fact, over the next ten minutes, I told this lawman almost everything I knew about the use of mind-altering substances. Eventually he completed his search and closed my luggage. One thing was perfectly obvious at the end of our encounter: We both felt very good about it.
Sam Harris (Lying)
Sir Bird preens next to me, tucking feathers into place with a low noise in his throat almost like he’s talking to himself. A slow smile spreads across Finn’s face as he rubs his knuckles—black and blue with several bruises from Sir Bird’s beak. “Let’s see,” he says, flipping through his father’s book. “Here! I’ll need some water in a shallow bowl . . . ink . . . yes, I think this is everything.” He gathers the items, then reads over the entry several times, eyebrows knit in concentration. Dipping his pen in the ink, he whispers strange words while writing on the surface of the water. The ink drips down, elongating the form of the symbols that still hover where he wrote them. I recognize one—change. But the rest I haven’t learned yet. Then, without warning, he lifts up the bowl and dumps the whole thing onto Sir Bird. Only instead of getting wet, as the water washes over his body, Sir Bird’s feathers turn . . . blue. Bright, brilliant, shimmering blue. Squawking in outrage, Sir Bird hops and flies around the room, frantically shaking his feathers. He lands on the desk with a scrabble of clawed feet, then begins trying to bite off the color. “Ha!” Finn says, pointing at his knuckles. “Now you’re black and blue, too!” I can’t help but laugh at my poor, panicking bird. Not to mention the ridiculous pettiness of Finn’s magic show. Picking up Sir Bird, I stroke his feathers and speak softly to him. “Hush now. I’ll make him fix you. You’re still very handsome, but blue isn’t your color, is it?” He caws mournfully, still pulling at his own feathers. “Finn.” He puts his hands behind his back, trying to look innocent. “What? He deserved it.” “He’s a bird. You can’t really find this much satisfaction in revenge against a bird, can you?” His voice comes out just a tad petulant. “He started it.
Kiersten White (Illusions of Fate)
What rhymes with insensitive?” I tap my pen on the kitchen table, beyond frustrated with my current task. Who knew rhyming was so fucking difficult? Garrett, who’s dicing onions at the counter, glances over. “Sensitive,” he says helpfully. “Yes, G, I’ll be sure to rhyme insensitive with sensitive. Gold star for you.” On the other side of the kitchen, Tucker finishes loading the dishwasher and turns to frown at me. “What the hell are you doing over there, anyway? You’ve been scribbling on that notepad for the past hour.” “I’m writing a love poem,” I answer without thinking. Then I slam my lips together, realizing what I’ve done. Dead silence crashes over the kitchen. Garrett and Tucker exchange a look. An extremely long look. Then, perfectly synchronized, their heads shift in my direction, and they stare at me as if I’ve just escaped from a mental institution. I may as well have. There’s no other reason for why I’m voluntarily writing poetry right now. And that’s not even the craziest item on Grace’s list. That’s right. I said it. List. The little brat texted me not one, not two, but six tasks to complete before she agrees to a date. Or maybe gestures is a better way to phrase it... “I just have one question,” Garrett starts. “Really?” Tuck says. “Because I have many.” Sighing, I put my pen down. “Go ahead. Get it out of your systems.” Garrett crosses his arms. “This is for a chick, right? Because if you’re doing it for funsies, then that’s just plain weird.” “It’s for Grace,” I reply through clenched teeth. My best friend nods solemnly. Then he keels over. Asshole. I scowl as he clutches his side, his broad back shuddering with each bellowing laugh. And even while racked with laughter, he manages to pull his phone from his pocket and start typing. “What are you doing?” I demand. “Texting Wellsy. She needs to know this.” “I hate you.” I’m so busy glaring at Garrett that I don’t notice what Tucker’s up to until it’s too late. He snatches the notepad from the table, studies it, and hoots loudly. “Holy shit. G, he rhymed jackass with Cutlass.” “Cutlass?” Garrett wheezes. “Like the sword?” “The car,” I mutter. “I was comparing her lips to this cherry-red Cutlass I fixed up when I was a kid. Drawing on my own experience, that kind of thing.” Tucker shakes his head in exasperation. “You should have compared them to cherries, dumbass.” He’s right. I should have. I’m a terrible poet and I do know it. “Hey,” I say as inspiration strikes. “What if I steal the words to “Amazing Grace”? I can change it to…um…Terrific Grace.” “Yup,” Garrett cracks. “Pure gold right there. Terrific Grace.” I ponder the next line. “How sweet…” “Your ass,” Tucker supplies. Garrett snorts. “Brilliant minds at work. Terrific Grace, how sweet your ass.” He types on his phone again. “Jesus Christ, will you quit dictating this conversation to Hannah?” I grumble. “Bros before hos, dude.” “Call my girlfriend a ho one more time and you won’t have a bro.” Tucker chuckles. “Seriously, why are you writing poetry for this chick?” “Because I’m trying to win her back. This is one of her requirements.” That gets Garrett’s attention. He perks up, phone poised in hand as he asks, “What are the other ones?” “None of your fucking business.” “Golly gee, if you do half as good a job on those as you’re doing with this epic poem, then you’ll get her back in no time!” I give him the finger. “Sarcasm not appreciated.” Then I swipe the notepad from Tuck’s hand and head for the doorway. “PS? Next time either of you need to score points with your ladies? Don’t ask me for help. Jackasses.” Their wild laughter follows me all the way upstairs. I duck into my room and kick the door shut, then spend the next hour typing up the sorriest excuse for poetry on my laptop. Jesus. I’m putting more effort into this damn poem than for my actual classes.
Elle Kennedy (The Mistake (Off-Campus, #2))
To the extent that propaganda is based on current news, it cannot permit time for thought or reflection. A man caught up in the news must remain on the surface of the event; he is carried along in the current, and can at no time take a respite to judge and appreciate; he can never stop to reflect. There is never any awareness -- of himself, of his condition, of his society -- for the man who lives by current events. Such a man never stops to investigate any one point, any more than he will tie together a series of news events. We already have mentioned man's inability to consider several facts or events simultaneously and to make a synthesis of them in order to face or to oppose them. One thought drives away another; old facts are chased by new ones. Under these conditions there can be no thought. And, in fact, modern man does not think about current problems; he feels them. He reacts, but be does not understand them any more than he takes responsibility for them. He is even less capable of spotting any inconsistency between successive facts; man's capacity to forget is unlimited. This is one of the most important and useful points for the propagandist, who can always be sure that a particular propaganda theme, statement, or event will be forgotten within a few weeks. Moreover, there is a spontaneous defensive reaction in the individual against an excess of information and -- to the extent that he clings (unconsciously) to the unity of his own person -- against inconsistencies. The best defense here is to forget the preceding event. In so doing, man denies his own continuity; to the same extent that he lives on the surface of events and makes today's events his life by obliterating yesterday's news, he refuses to see the contradictions in his own life and condemns himself to a life of successive moments, discontinuous and fragmented. This situation makes the "current-events man" a ready target for propaganda. Indeed, such a man is highly sensitive to the influence of present-day currents; lacking landmarks, he follows all currents. He is unstable because he runs after what happened today; he relates to the event, and therefore cannot resist any impulse coming from that event. Because he is immersed in current affairs, this man has a psychological weakness that puts him at the mercy of the propagandist. No confrontation ever occurs between the event and the truth; no relationship ever exists between the event and the person. Real information never concerns such a person. What could be more striking, more distressing, more decisive than the splitting of the atom, apart from the bomb itself? And yet this great development is kept in the background, behind the fleeting and spectacular result of some catastrophe or sports event because that is the superficial news the average man wants. Propaganda addresses itself to that man; like him, it can relate only to the most superficial aspect of a spectacular event, which alone can interest man and lead him to make a certain decision or adopt a certain attitude. But here we must make an important qualification. The news event may be a real fact, existing objectively, or it may be only an item of information, the dissemination of a supposed fact. What makes it news is its dissemination, not its objective reality.
Jacques Ellul (Propaganda: The Formation of Men's Attitudes)
It seems right now that all I’ve ever done in my life is making my way here to you.’ I could see that Rosie could not place the line from The Bridges of Madison County that had produced such a powerful emotional reaction on the plane. She looked confused. ‘Don, what are you…what have you done to yourself?’ ‘I’ve made some changes.’ ‘Big changes.’ ‘Whatever behavioural modifications you require from me are a trivial price to pay for having you as my partner.’ Rosie made a downwards movement with her hand, which I could not interpret. Then she looked around the room and I followed her eyes. Everyone was watching. Nick had stopped partway to our table. I realised that in my intensity I had raised my voice. I didn’t care. ‘You are the world’s most perfect woman. All other women are irrelevant. Permanently. No Botox or implants will be required. ‘I need a minute to think,’ she said. I automatically started the timer on my watch. Suddenly Rosie started laughing. I looked at her, understandably puzzled at this outburst in the middle of a critical life decision. ‘The watch,’ she said. ‘I say “I need a minute” and you start timing. Don is not dead. 'Don, you don’t feel love, do you?’ said Rosie. ‘You can’t really love me.’ ‘Gene diagnosed love.’ I knew now that he had been wrong. I had watched thirteen romantic movies and felt nothing. That was not strictly true. I had felt suspense, curiosity and amusement. But I had not for one moment felt engaged in the love between the protagonists. I had cried no tears for Meg Ryan or Meryl Streep or Deborah Kerr or Vivien Leigh or Julia Roberts. I could not lie about so important a matter. ‘According to your definition, no.’ Rosie looked extremely unhappy. The evening had turned into a disaster. 'I thought my behaviour would make you happy, and instead it’s made you sad.’ ‘I’m upset because you can’t love me. Okay?’ This was worse! She wanted me to love her. And I was incapable. Gene and Claudia offered me a lift home, but I did not want to continue the conversation. I started walking, then accelerated to a jog. It made sense to get home before it rained. It also made sense to exercise hard and put the restaurant behind me as quickly as possible. The new shoes were workable, but the coat and tie were uncomfortable even on a cold night. I pulled off the jacket, the item that had made me temporarily acceptable in a world to which I did not belong, and threw it in a rubbish bin. The tie followed. On an impulse I retrieved the Daphne from the jacket and carried it in my hand for the remainder of the journey. There was rain in the air and my face was wet as I reached the safety of my apartment.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Project (Don Tillman, #1))
I was extremely curious about the alternatives to the kind of life I had been leading, and my friends and I exchanged rumors and scraps of information we dug from official publications. I was struck less by the West's technological developments and high living standards than by the absence of political witch-hunts, the lack of consuming suspicion, the dignity of the individual, and the incredible amount of liberty. To me, the ultimate proof of freedom in the West was that there seemed to be so many people there attacking the West and praising China. Almost every other day the front page of Reference, the newspaper which carded foreign press items, would feature some eulogy of Mao and the Cultural Revolution. At first I was angered by these, but they soon made me see how tolerant another society could be. I realized that this was the kind of society I wanted to live in: where people were allowed to hold different, even outrageous views. I began to see that it was the very tolerance of oppositions, of protesters, that kept the West progressing. Still, I could not help being irritated by some observations. Once I read an article by a Westerner who came to China to see some old friends, university professors, who told him cheerfully how they had enjoyed being denounced and sent to the back end of beyond, and how much they had relished being reformed. The author concluded that Mao had indeed made the Chinese into 'new people' who would regard what was misery to a Westerner as pleasure. I was aghast. Did he not know that repression was at its worst when there was no complaint? A hundred times more so when the victim actually presented a smiling face? Could he not see to what a pathetic condition these professors had been reduced, and what horror must have been involved to degrade them so? I did not realize that the acting that the Chinese were putting on was something to which Westerners were unaccustomed, and which they could not always decode. I did not appreciate either that information about China was not easily available, or was largely misunderstood, in the West, and that people with no experience of a regime like China's could take its propaganda and rhetoric at face value. As a result, I assumed that these eulogies were dishonest. My friends and I would joke that they had been bought by our government's 'hospitality." When foreigners were allowed into certain restricted places in China following Nixon's visit, wherever they went the authorities immediately cordoned off enclaves even within these enclaves. The best transport facilities, shops, restaurants, guest houses and scenic spots were reserved for them, with signs reading "For Foreign Guests Only." Mao-tai, the most sought-after liquor, was totally unavailable to ordinary Chinese, but freely available to foreigners. The best food was saved for foreigners. The newspapers proudly reported that Henry Kissinger had said his waistline had expanded as a result of the many twelve-course banquets he enjoyed during his visits to China. This was at a time when in Sichuan, "Heaven's Granary," our meat ration was half a pound per month, and the streets of Chengdu were full of homeless peasants who had fled there from famine in the north, and were living as beggars. There was great resentment among the population about how the foreigners were treated like lords. My friends and I began saying among ourselves: "Why do we attack the Kuomintang for allowing signs saying "No Chinese or Dogs" aren't we doing the same? Getting hold of information became an obsession. I benefited enormously from my ability to read English, as although the university library had been looted during the Cultural Revolution, most of the books it had lost had been in Chinese. Its extensive English-language collection had been turned upside down, but was still largely intact.
Jung Chang (Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China)
For now, the Simple Daily Practice means doing ONE thing every day. Try any one of these things each day: A) Sleep eight hours. B) Eat two meals instead of three. C) No TV. D) No junk food. E) No complaining for one whole day. F) No gossip. G) Return an e-mail from five years ago. H) Express thanks to a friend. I) Watch a funny movie or a stand-up comic. J) Write down a list of ideas. The ideas can be about anything. K) Read a spiritual text. Any one that is inspirational to you. The Bible, The Tao te Ching, anything you want. L) Say to yourself when you wake up, “I’m going to save a life today.” Keep an eye out for that life you can save. M) Take up a hobby. Don’t say you don’t have time. Learn the piano. Take chess lessons. Do stand-up comedy. Write a novel. Do something that takes you out of your current rhythm. N) Write down your entire schedule. The schedule you do every day. Cross out one item and don’t do that anymore. O) Surprise someone. P) Think of ten people you are grateful for. Q) Forgive someone. You don’t have to tell them. Just write it down on a piece of paper and burn the paper. It turns out this has the same effect in terms of releasing oxytocin in the brain as actually forgiving them in person. R) Take the stairs instead of the elevator. S) I’m going to steal this next one from the 1970s pop psychology book Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No: when you find yourself thinking of that special someone who is causing you grief, think very quietly, “No.” If you think of him and (or?) her again, think loudly, “No!” Again? Whisper, “No!” Again, say it. Louder. Yell it. Louder. And so on. T) Tell someone every day that you love them. U) Don’t have sex with someone you don’t love. V) Shower. Scrub. Clean the toxins off your body. W) Read a chapter in a biography about someone who is an inspiration to you. X) Make plans to spend time with a friend. Y) If you think, “Everything would be better off if I were dead,” then think, “That’s really cool. Now I can do anything I want and I can postpone this thought for a while, maybe even a few months.” Because what does it matter now? The planet might not even be around in a few months. Who knows what could happen with all these solar flares. You know the ones I’m talking about. Z) Deep breathing. When the vagus nerve is inflamed, your breathing becomes shallower. Your breath becomes quick. It’s fight-or-flight time! You are panicking. Stop it! Breathe deep. Let me tell you something: most people think “yoga” is all those exercises where people are standing upside down and doing weird things. In the Yoga Sutras, written in 300 B.C., there are 196 lines divided into four chapters. In all those lines, ONLY THREE OF THEM refer to physical exercise. It basically reads, “Be able to sit up straight.” That’s it. That’s the only reference in the Yoga Sutras to physical exercise. Claudia always tells me that yogis measure their lives in breaths, not years. Deep breathing is what keeps those breaths going.
James Altucher (Choose Yourself)