Monthly Birthday Quotes

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I hear laughter and someone asks if I need help, not in a nice way. I snarl, 'What I need is for your mother to have thought a little harder nine months before your birthday.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. an alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.
Mitch Albom (The Time Keeper)
There should be a statute of limitation on grief. A rulebook that says it is all right to wake up crying, but only for a month. That after 42 days you will no longer turn with your heart racing, certain you have heard her call out your name. That there will be no fine imposed if you feel the need to clean out her desk; take down her artwork from the refrigerator; turn over a school portrait as you pass - if only because it cuts you fresh again to see it. That it's okay to measure the time she has been gone, the way we once measured her birthdays.
Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
This girl (Stephanie) is but a few months away from her seventeenth birthday and already she has saved the world and killed a god. What have you done?
Derek Landy (Death Bringer (Skulduggery Pleasant, #6))
What I need is for your mother to have thought a little harder nine months before your birthday.
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races)
[T.J.] I pulled my arms out from underneath her body and tucked her hair behind her ears. “I love you, Anna.” The surprised look on her face told me she hadn’t seen that coming. “You weren’t supposed to fall in love,” she whispered. “Well, I did,” I said, looking into her eyes. “I’ve been in love with you for months. I’m telling you now because I think you love me too, Anna. You just don’t think you’re supposed to. You’ll tell me when you’re ready. I can wait.” I pulled her mouth down to mine and kissed her and when it ended, I smiled and said, “Happy birthday.
Tracey Garvis Graves (On the Island (On the Island, #1))
When's your birthday?" I was taken aback by the question. "I don't like presents,"I said quickly, in case he got any ideas. "Who said anything about presents? I'm just asking for your date of birth." "Thirtieth of February," I said, throwing out the first date that came to mind. Xavier raised an eyebrow. "Are you sure about that?" I panicked. What had I said wrong? I ran through the months in my head and realised my mistake. OOPS--there were only twenty-eight days in February! "I mean thirtieth of April," I corrected and grinned sheepishly. Xavier laughed. "You're the first person I've ever known to forget her own birthday.
Alexandra Adornetto (Halo (Halo, #1))
Man, first I’m shot, now I’m going to be a friggin’ zombie. At this rate, I’ll never live to have my first date or a driver’s license. Ah, gah! I’ve come too far to die a predestrian virgin. Bubba, you can’t let me die…I only have seventeen more months and three days to my sixteenth birthday! (Nick)
Sherrilyn Kenyon (Infinity (Chronicles of Nick, #1))
You tell me I'm beautiful,and that you like my hair and you like my smile. You rest your leg against mine in darkened theaters,and then you act as if nothing happened when the lights go up.You slept in my bed for three nights straight,and then you just...blew me off for the next month.What am I supposed to do with that,St. Clair? You said on my birthday that you were afraid of being alone,but I've been here this whole time.This whole time.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
My 30th birthday will be arriving in a few months. It’s not arriving unexpectedly, I just wish it would have given me more of an advance notice, say another 30 years.
Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
Her blog was doing well, with thousands of unique visitors each month, and she was earning good speaking fees, and she had a fellowship at Princeton and a relationship with Blaine - "You are the absolute love of my life," he'd written in her last birthday card - and yet there was cement in her soul. It had been there for a while, an early morning disease of fatigue, shapeless desires, brief imaginary glints of other lives she could be living, that over the months melded into a piercing homesickness.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Americanah)
I was nine minutes late for my last birthday party. And I was nine months on time for my first birthday.
Jarod Kintz (Seriously delirious, but not at all serious)
Raphael calls me every month,” said Ragnor. “Raphael knows that it is important to preserve good relations and maintain regular communication between the different Downworlder factions. I might add, Raphael always remembers important occasions in my life.” “I forgot your birthday one time sixty years ago!” said Magnus. “You need to let that go.” “It was fifty-eight years ago, for the record. And Raphael knows we need to maintain a united front against the Nephilim and not, for instance, sneak around with their underage sons,” Ragnor continued. “Alec is eighteen!” “Whatever,” said Ragnor. “Raphael would never date a Shadowhunter.” “Of course, why would he, when you two are in loooove?” Magnus asked. “‘Oooh, Raphael is always so professional.’ ‘Oooh, Raphael brought up the most interesting points in that meeting you forgot to attend.’ ‘Oooh, Raphael and I are planning a June wedding.’ Besides, Raphael would never date a Shadowhunter because Raphael has a policy of never doing anything that is awesome.
Cassandra Clare (What to Buy the Shadowhunter Who Has Everything (The Bane Chronicles, #8))
She shivered, then shook her head and closed her eyes. She had to pray before bed. It was her duty to pray. Only, after tomorrow, it wouldn’t be her duty anymore. Her father, Lord Vlad Dracula, the prince—or voivode—of Wallachia was coming for her on her eighteenth birthday. He had sent word two months before. Assuming he still lives.
John Patrick Kennedy (Princess Dracula (Princess Dracula #1))
On January 1, 1919, all the yearlings in the big stable celebrated their second birthday. It didn’t matter that all of them had some months to go before they were actually two years of age. Officially, in the eyes of the Thoroughbred Racing Association, they were two-year-olds, grown up and old enough to begin their racing careers the following spring.
Walter Farley (Man O'War (Black Stallion))
But Jules will not give up. Not even if it is the queens' sixteenth birthday, and Beltane is in four months' time, falling like a shadow.
Kendare Blake (Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1))
I took a steadying breath. “Listen, I know we have a full night ahead of us, but I wanted to give you your birthday present.” “Oh, darling, you didn’t need to get me anything. Every day with you is a gift.” He leaned in and kissed me. “Well, I hadn’t planned on getting you a gift, but then something presented itself, so here we are.” “All right then,” he said, placing his glass on the ground. “I’m ready. Where is it?” “That’s the only problem,” I started. I felt my hands begin to shake. “It won’t actually arrive for another seven or eight months.” He smiled but squinted. “Eight months? What in the world could take . . .” As his words drifted away, so did his eyes, leaving my face and making their way to my stomach. He seemed to expect me to look different, for me to be as big as a house already. But I’d done my best to hide everything: the tiredness, the nausea, the sudden distaste for foods. He stared on and on, and I waited for him to smile or laugh or jump up and down. But he sat there, frozen to the point that it started to frighten me. “Maxon?” I reached out and touched his leg. “Maxon, are you all right?” He nodded, still watching my stomach.
Kiera Cass (The One (The Selection, #3))
I broke up with Ren a year and nine months ago. Soon it will be two springs. My 20th birthday is in march. I'm working hard to buy myself a present. A one-way ticket to Tokyo. I will just carry my guitar and cigarettes.
Ai Yazawa
It was nice to be in such close physical proximity, even though they hadn't spoken in months, and only via cursory birthday cards and the like. In the end, it didn't matter. Sisters were sisters.
Emma Straub (Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures)
I found a Bill Evans record in the bookcase and was listening to it while drying my hair when I realized that it was the record I had played in Naoko's room on the night of her birthday, the night she cried and I took her in my arms. That had happened only six months earlier, but it felt like something from a much remoter past. Maybe it felt that way because I had thought about it so often-too often, to the point where it had distorted my sense of time.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
Suddenly I remembered something Daddy told me once when I was angry at my mother. “You know how Mom arranges orange slices on a plate for your soccer team and has activities planned for your birthday parties two months in advance?” he’d asked me. “That’s the way she shows her love, Gracie.” Why was I thinking about that now? I could hear his voice so clearly, like he was talking to me from the backseat of the car. That’s the way she shows her love, Gracie.
Diane Chamberlain (The Midwife's Confession)
[M]y mother read a horror novel every night. She had read every one in the library. When birthdays and Christmas would come, I would consider buying her a new one, the latest Dean R. Koontz or Stephen King or whatever, but I couldn't. I didn't want to encourage her. I couldn't touch my father's cigarettes, couldn't look at the Pall Mall cartons in the pantry. I was the sort of child who couldn't even watch commercials for horror movies - the ad for Magic, the movie where marionette kills people. sent me into a six-month nightmare frenzy. So I couldn't look at her books, would turn them over so their covers wouldn't show, the raised lettering and splotches of blood - especially the V.C. Andrews oeuvre, those turgid pictures of those terrible kids, standing so still, all lit in blue.
Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius)
By the time my fortieth birthday came around I’d been dry for almost six months. I was sober as a judge and just about as boring.
Claudia Christian (Babylon Confidential: A Memoir of Love, Sex, and Addiction)
I was in the fifth grade the first time I thought about turning thirty. My best friend Darcy and I came across a perpetual calendar in the back of the phone book, where you could look up any date in the future, and by using this little grid, determine what the day of the week would be. So we located our birthdays in the following year, mine in May and hers in September. I got Wednesday, a school night. She got a Friday. A small victory, but typical. Darcy was always the lucky one. Her skin tanned more quickly, her hair feathered more easily, and she didn't need braces. Her moonwalk was superior, as were her cart-wheels and her front handsprings (I couldn't handspring at all). She had a better sticker collection. More Michael Jackson pins. Forenze sweaters in turquoise, red, and peach (my mother allowed me none- said they were too trendy and expensive). And a pair of fifty-dollar Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles (ditto). Darcy had double-pierced ears and a sibling- even if it was just a brother, it was better than being an only child as I was. But at least I was a few months older and she would never quite catch up. That's when I decided to check out my thirtieth birthday- in a year so far away that it sounded like science fiction. It fell on a Sunday, which meant that my dashing husband and I would secure a responsible baby-sitter for our two (possibly three) children on that Saturday evening, dine at a fancy French restaurant with cloth napkins, and stay out past midnight, so technically we would be celebrating on my actual birthday. I would have just won a big case- somehow proven that an innocent man didn't do it. And my husband would toast me: "To Rachel, my beautiful wife, the mother of my chidren and the finest lawyer in Indy." I shared my fantasy with Darcy as we discovered that her thirtieth birthday fell on a Monday. Bummer for her. I watched her purse her lips as she processed this information. "You know, Rachel, who cares what day of the week we turn thirty?" she said, shrugging a smooth, olive shoulder. "We'll be old by then. Birthdays don't matter when you get that old." I thought of my parents, who were in their thirties, and their lackluster approach to their own birthdays. My dad had just given my mom a toaster for her birthday because ours broke the week before. The new one toasted four slices at a time instead of just two. It wasn't much of a gift. But my mom had seemed pleased enough with her new appliance; nowhere did I detect the disappointment that I felt when my Christmas stash didn't quite meet expectations. So Darcy was probably right. Fun stuff like birthdays wouldn't matter as much by the time we reached thirty. The next time I really thought about being thirty was our senior year in high school, when Darcy and I started watching ths show Thirty Something together. It wasn't our favorite- we preferred cheerful sit-coms like Who's the Boss? and Growing Pains- but we watched it anyway. My big problem with Thirty Something was the whiny characters and their depressing issues that they seemed to bring upon themselves. I remember thinking that they should grow up, suck it up. Stop pondering the meaning of life and start making grocery lists. That was back when I thought my teenage years were dragging and my twenties would surealy last forever. Then I reached my twenties. And the early twenties did seem to last forever. When I heard acquaintances a few years older lament the end of their youth, I felt smug, not yet in the danger zone myself. I had plenty of time..
Emily Giffin (Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel, #1))
MOTHER – By Ted Kooser Mid April already, and the wild plums bloom at the roadside, a lacy white against the exuberant, jubilant green of new grass and the dusty, fading black of burned-out ditches. No leaves, not yet, only the delicate, star-petaled blossoms, sweet with their timeless perfume. You have been gone a month today and have missed three rains and one nightlong watch for tornadoes. I sat in the cellar from six to eight while fat spring clouds went somersaulting, rumbling east. Then it poured, a storm that walked on legs of lightning, dragging its shaggy belly over the fields. The meadowlarks are back, and the finches are turning from green to gold. Those same two geese have come to the pond again this year, honking in over the trees and splashing down. They never nest, but stay a week or two then leave. The peonies are up, the red sprouts, burning in circles like birthday candles, for this is the month of my birth, as you know, the best month to be born in, thanks to you, everything ready to burst with living. There will be no more new flannel nightshirts sewn on your old black Singer, no birthday card addressed in a shaky but businesslike hand. You asked me if I would be sad when it happened and I am sad. But the iris I moved from your house now hold in the dusty dry fists of their roots green knives and forks as if waiting for dinner, as if spring were a feast. I thank you for that. Were it not for the way you taught me to look at the world, to see the life at play in everything, I would have to be lonely forever.
Ted Kooser (Delights and Shadows)
So this book is a sidewalk strewn with junk, trash which I throw over my shoulders as I travel in time back to November eleventh, nineteen hundred and twenty-two. I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, and when Dwayne Hoover was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month. It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the Voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Breakfast of Champions)
Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. Man alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.
Mitch Albom (The Time Keeper)
Halfway through April Naoko turned twenty. She was seven months older than I was, my own birthday being in November. There was something strange about Naoko's becoming twenty. I felt as if the only thing that made sense, whether for Naoko or for me, was to keep going back and forth between eighteen and nineteen. After eighteen would come nineteen, and after nineteen, eighteen. Of course. But she turned twenty. And in the fall, I would do the same. Only the dead stay seventeen forever.
Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood)
On every birthday, when I wake, I now take out the old Nagan, load it with one bullet, spin the chamber and pull the trigger with the barrel in my mouth. I've cheated death nine times. It is my greatest achievement. And three months to go to my next birthday. I can't wait.
Eddy Shah (Second World)
My father then said, ‘Mike, I’ve told you how dinosaurs went extinct. An asteroid crashed into the Earth. The world first became a sea of fire, and then sank into a prolonged period of darkness and coldness.… One night, you woke from a nightmare, saying that you had dreamt that you were back in that terrifying age. Let me tell you now what I wanted to tell you that night: If you really lived during the Cretaceous Period, you’d be fortunate. The period we live in now is far more frightening. Right now, species on Earth are going extinct far faster than during the late Cretaceous. Now is truly the age of mass extinctions! So, my child, what you’re seeing is nothing. This is only an insignificant episode in a much vaster process. We can have no sea birds, but we can’t be without oil. Can you imagine life without oil? Your last birthday, I gave you that lovely Ferrari and promised you that you could drive it after you turned fifteen. But without oil, it would be a pile of junk metal and you’d never drive it. Right now, if you want to visit your grandfather, you can get there on my personal jet and cross the ocean in a dozen hours or so. But without oil, you’d have to tumble in a sailboat for more than a month.… These are the rules of the game of civilization: The first priority is to guarantee the existence of the human race and their comfortable life. Everything else is secondary.
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
Nothing in the world has tentacles or fins or paws or claws. Nothing in the world soars. Nothing swims. Nothing purrs, barks, growls, roars, chitters, trills, or cries repeatedly two notes, a descending fourth, for three months of the year. There are no months of the year. There is no moon. There is no year.
Ursula K. Le Guin (The Birthday of the World and Other Stories (Hainish Cycle, #9))
For many years, February was a difficult month for me after the death of my parents. My father died in February, just a week before my mother's birthday. For years their loss cast a pall over the month. I missed them terribly. But time has changed things. I see my father often in the face of my son and I run into my mother daily each time I pass the hall mirror.
Mary Morrell (Things My Father Taught Me About Love)
Besides that, Sebastian liked books —all kinds. He loved fiction, non-fiction, big picture art books, the smell, the feel, and the potential to sit down with a book, become lost within it and only surface hours later when you needed to pee. Books were the bestest of best friends —and they never bitched if you forgot their birthdays or decided not to call them for a month.
Amy Lane (Bewitched by Bella's Brother)
Cheerios One bright morning in a restaurant in Chicago as I waited for my eggs and toast, I opened the Tribune only to discover that I was the same age as Cheerios. Indeed, I was a few months older than Cheerios for today, the newspaper announced, was the seventieth birthday of Cheerios whereas mine had occurred earlier in the year. Already I could hear them whispering behind my stooped and threadbare back, Why that dude's older than Cheerios the way they used to say Why that's as old as the hills, only the hills are much older than Cheerios or any American breakfast cereal, and more noble and enduring are the hills, I surmised as a bar of sunlight illuminated my orange juice.
Billy Collins
As Mama once told me, “We called him Boy for the first two months of his life, but when his third-month birthday came around and we saw that sweet smile—especially when you were close to him, reaching out for him—we realized that he had chosen life. So we named him Chaim after your zaide, your grandfather, but also because ‘chaim’ in Hebrew means ‘life.’” I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without my twin.
Jane Yolen (Mapping the Bones)
My birthday is in March, and that year it fell during an especially bright spring week, vivid and clear in the narrow residential streets where we lived just a handful of blocks south of Sunset. The night-blooming jasmine that crawled up our neighborhood's front gate released its heady scent at dusk, and to the north, the hills rolled charmingly over the horizon, houses tucked into the brown. Soon, daylight savings time would arrive, and even at early nine, I associated my birthday with the first hint of summer, with the feeling in classrooms of open windows and lighter clothing and in a few months no more homework. My hair got lighter in spring, from light brown to nearly blond, almost like my mother's ponytail tassel. In the neighborhood gardens, the agapanthus plants started to push out their long green robot stems to open up to soft purples and blues.
Aimee Bender (The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake)
People do whatever the hell they want to do at any age they fancy. Last month you were thirty-five. That means you're five years from forty. Do you think that the day you reach forty you will be any different than you were at thirty-nine or forty-one for that matter? People create little ideas about ages so they can write silly self-help books, stick stupid comments in birthday cards, create names for internet chat rooms and look for excuses for crisis that are happening in their life.
Cecelia Ahern (Love, Rosie)
Since my earliest memory, I imagined I would be a chef one day. When other kids were watching Saturday morning cartoons or music videos on YouTube, I was watching Iron Chef,The Great British Baking Show, and old Anthony Bourdain shows and taking notes. Like, actual notes in the Notes app on my phone. I have long lists of ideas for recipes that I can modify or make my own. This self-appointed class is the only one I've ever studied well for. I started playing around with the staples of the house: rice, beans, plantains, and chicken. But 'Buela let me expand to the different things I saw on TV. Soufflés, shepherd's pie, gizzards. When other kids were saving up their lunch money to buy the latest Jordans, I was saving up mine so I could buy the best ingredients. Fish we'd never heard of that I had to get from a special market down by Penn's Landing. Sausages that I watched Italian abuelitas in South Philly make by hand. I even saved up a whole month's worth of allowance when I was in seventh grade so I could make 'Buela a special birthday dinner of filet mignon.
Elizabeth Acevedo (With the Fire on High)
Marry her if she hasn't announced her birthday 2 months in advance to the whole society & going all rangeelo mharo dholna about it.
Nitya Prakash
That's why I have birthday parties—to celebrate making it through another twelve months of dealing with assholes and not killing any of them. I
Emma Hart (Being Brooke (Barley Cross, #1))
The Hollywood comedienne Gracie Allen was so secretive about her age that even her husband, the fellow performer George Burns, didn't know her real date of birth. Various sources claim that Allen was born on July 26 in 1894, 1895, 1897, 1902, or 1906. Throughout her life, Allen claimed that her birth certificate was destroyed in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, even though the earthquake occurred a few months before her alleged birthday. When asked about the discrepancy, Allen allegedly remarked, 'Well, it was an awfully big earthquake.
Richard Wiseman (Quirkology: How We Discover the Big Truths in Small Things)
But if I’m being totally honest, I wouldn’t be riding my bike to school at dusk, with nefarious deeds ahead, if that telegram hadn’t arrived last month. The goat came a little later.
Wendy Mass (13 Gifts (11 Birthdays, #3))
The second simultaneous thing Reacher was doing was playing around with a little mental arithmetic. He was multiplying big numbers in his head. He was thirty-seven years and eight months old, just about to the day. Thirty-seven multiplied by three hundred and sixty-five was thirteen thousand five hundred and five. Plus twelve days for twelve leap years was thirteen thousand five hundred and seventeen. Eight months counting from his birthday in October forward to this date in June was two hundred and forty-three days. Total of thirteen thousand seven hundred and sixty days since he was born. Thirteen thousand seven hundred and sixty days, thirteen thousand seven hundred and sixty nights. He was trying to place this particular night somewhere on that endless scale. In terms of how bad it was. Truth was, it wasn’t the best night he had ever passed, but it was a long way from being the worst. A very long way.
Lee Child (Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2))
Mom promised me she’d only activate the tracker if I went missing, but when I stopped to buy gum after school last month, she texted me to get a quart of milk. Coincidence? I think not.
Wendy Mass (13 Gifts (11 Birthdays, #3))
His old man, who'd smoked like he did, had spent the last five years of his life in a little cart sucking on a tank, until he'd done the big face-plant just a month before his sixtieth birthday.
Justin Cronin (The Passage (The Passage, #1))
I used to date an older obese woman named Ten, but everyone just called her "X". Now I just call her ex X. She'll be XXXIV next month, and I think I'll get her an XXL sweatshirt for her birthday.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
Speech therapy is an art that deserves to be more widely known. You cannot imagine the acrobatics your tongue mechanically performs in order to produce all the sounds of a language. Just now I am struggling with the letter l, a pitiful admission for an editor in chief who cannot even pronounce the name of his own magazine! On good days, between coughing fits, I muster enough energy and wind to be able to puff out one or two phonemes. On my birthday, Sandrine managed to get me to pronounce the whole alphabet more or less intelligibly. I could not have had a better present. It was as if those twenty-six letters and been wrenched from the void; my own hoarse voice seemed to emanate from a far-off country. The exhausting exercise left me feeling like a caveman discovering language for the first time. Sometimes the phone interrupts our work, and I take advantage of Sandrine's presence to be in touch with loved ones, to intercept and catch passing fragments of life, the way you catch a butterfly. My daughter, Celeste, tells me of her adventures with her pony. In five months she will be nine. My father tells me how hard it is to stay on his feet. He is fighting undaunted through his ninety-third year. These two are the outer links of the chain of love that surrounds and protects me. I often wonder about the effect of these one-way conversations on those at the other end of the line. I am overwhelmed by them. How dearly I would love to be able to respond with something other than silence to these tender calls. I know that some of them find it unbearable. Sweet Florence refuses to speak to me unless I first breathe noisily into the receiver that Sandrine holds glued to my ear. "Are you there, Jean-Do?" she asks anxiously over the air. And I have to admit that at times I do not know anymore.
Jean-Dominique Bauby (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly)
The small Japanese immortal sat cross-legged, his two swords resting flat on the ground before him. He folded his hands in his lap, closed his eyes and breathing through his nose, forcing the chill night air deep into his chest. He held it for a count of five, then shaped his lips into an O and blew it out again, puncturing a tiny hole in the swirling fog before his face. Even though he would never admit it to anyone, Niten loved this moment. He had no affection for what was to come, but this brief time, when all preparations for battle were made and there was nothing left to do but wait, when the world felt still, as if it was holding its breath, was special. This moment, when he was facing death, was when he felt completely, fully alive. He’d still been called Miyamoto Musashi and had been a teenager when he’d first discovered the genuine beauty of the quiet moment before a fight. Every breath suddenly tasted like the finest food, every sound was distinct and divine, and even on the foulest battlefields, his eyes would be drawn to something simple and elegant: a flower, the shape of a branch, the curl of a cloud. A hundred years ago, Aoife had given him a book as a birthday present. He hadn’t had the heart to tell her that she’d missed his birthday by a month, but he had treasured the book, the first edition of The Professor by Charlotte Bronte. It included a line he had never forgotten: In the midst of life we are in death. Years later, he’d heard Ghandi take the same words and shift them around to create something that resonated deeply within him: In the midst of death life persists.
Michael Scott (The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, #6))
Six express tracks and twelve locals pass through Palimpsest. The six Greater Lines are: Stylus, Sgraffito, Decretal, Foolscap, Bookhand, and Missal. Collectively, in the prayers of those gathered prostrate in the brass turnstiles of its hidden, voluptuous shrines, these are referred to as the Marginalia Line. They do not run on time: rather, the commuters of Palimpsest have learned their habits, the times of day and night when they prefer to eat and drink, their mating seasons, their gathering places. In days of old, great safaris were held to catch the great trains in their inexorable passage from place to place, and women grappled with them with hooks and tridents in order to arrive punctually at a desk in the depth, of the city. As if to impress a distracted parent on their birthday, the folk of Palimpsest built great edifices where the trains liked to congregate to drink oil from the earth and exchange gossip. They laid black track along the carriages’ migratory patterns. Trains are creatures of routine, though they are also peevish and curmudgeonly. Thus the transit system of Palimpsest was raised up around the huffing behemoths that traversed its heart, and the trains have not yet expressed displeasure. To ride them is still an exercise in hunterly passion and exactitude, for they are unpredictable, and must be observed for many weeks before patterns can be discerned. The sport of commuting is attempted by only the bravest and the wildest of Palimpsest. Many have achieved such a level of aptitude that they are able to catch a train more mornings than they do not. The wise arrive early with a neat coil of hooked rope at their waist, so that if a train is in a very great hurry, they may catch it still, and ride behind on the pauper’s terrace with the rest of those who were not favored, or fast enough, or precise in their calculations. Woe betide them in the infrequent mating seasons! No train may be asked to make its regular stops when she is in heat! A man was once caught on board when an express caught the scent of a local. The poor banker was released to a platform only eight months later, when the two white leviathans had relinquished each other with regret and tears.
Catherynne M. Valente (Palimpsest)
Every birthday, every winter, had been completely chaotic since he'd joined the Agency. It seemed like ever since he'd met Sin, Boyd couldn't last through the month of November without at least something going to complete hell.
Ais (Afterimage (In the Company of Shadows, #2))
Happy birthday. Your thirteenth is important. Maybe your first really public day. Your thirteenth is the chance for people to recognize that important things are happening to you. Things have been happening to you for the past half year. You have seven hairs in your left armpit now. Twelve in your right. Hard dangerous spirals of brittle black hair. Crunchy, animal hair. There are now more of the hard curled hairs around your privates than you can count without losing track. Other things. Your voice is rich and scratchy and moves between octaves without any warning. Your face has begun to get shiny when you don’t wash it. And two weeks of a deep and frightening ache this past spring left you with something dropped down from inside: your sack is now full and vulnerable, a commodity to be protected. Hefted and strapped in tight supporters that stripe your buttocks red. You have grown into a new fragility. And dreams. For months there have been dreams like nothing before: moist and busy and distant, full of unyielding curves, frantic pistons, warmth and a great falling; and you have awakened through fluttering lids to a rush and a gush and a toe-curling scalp-snapping jolt of feeling from an inside deeper than you knew you had, spasms of a deep sweet hurt, the streetlights through your window blinds crackling into sharp stars against the black bedroom ceiling, and on you a dense white jam that lisps between legs, trickles and sticks, cools on you, hardens and clears until there is nothing but gnarled knots of pale solid animal hair in the morning shower, and in the wet tangle a clean sweet smell you can’t believe comes from anything you made inside you.
David Foster Wallace (Consider the Lobster and Other Essays)
I’m not sure, though, what “for later” means anymore. Something changed in the world. Not too long ago, it changed, and we know it. We don’t know how to explain it yet, but I think we all can feel it, somewhere deep in our gut or in our brain circuits. We feel time differently. No one has quite been able to capture what is happening or say why. Perhaps it’s just that we sense an absence of future, because the present has become too overwhelming, so the future has become unimaginable. And without future, time feels like only an accumulation. An accumulation of months, days, natural disasters, television series, terrorist attacks, divorces, mass migrations, birthdays, photographs, sunrises. We haven’t understood the exact way we are now experiencing time. And maybe the boy’s frustration at not knowing what to take a picture of, or how to frame and focus the things he sees as we all sit inside the car, driving across this strange, beautiful, dark country, is simply a sign of how our ways of documenting the world have fallen short. Perhaps if we found a new way to document it, we might begin to understand this new way we experience space and time. Novels and movies don’t quite capture it; journalism doesn’t; photography, dance, painting, and theater don’t; molecular biology and quantum physics certainly don’t either. We haven’t understood how space and time exist now, how we really experience them. And until we find a way to document them, we will not understand them.
Valeria Luiselli (Lost Children Archive)
When I write that my own situation in those months of pain and decision can be described as prayer, I do not only recall that during that time I sometimes read the Psalms and they became my psalms, or that, as I have also mentioned, I occasionally cried “Jesus” and that name was my prayer, but I mean that I also at times would shout “Fuck!” and that was no obscenity, but a most earnest prayerful utterance. In the final analysis, no matter what the vocabulary of prayer, or where muteness displaces words in prayer, the content—what is communicated by a person in the world before God—in prayer is in each and every circumstance the same and it can be put plainly in one word: Help! That is the word of Gethsemane’s prayer; that is the word of the Lord’s Prayer; that is the prayer when Christ repeats the Twenty-second Psalm from the cross. It is the prayer of Christ interceding for all people, and it is the prayer of a human creature acknowledging God’s vocation in affirming the life which God has called into being.
William Stringfellow (A second birthday)
The effect of the weather on the inhabitants of Provence is immediate and obvious. They expect every day to be sunny, and their disposition suffers when it isn't. Rain they take as a personal affront, shaking their heads and commiserating with each other in the cafes, looking with profound suspicion at the sky as though a plague of locusts is about to descend, and picking their way with distaste through the puddles on the pavement. If anything worse than a rainy day should come along, such as this sub-zero snap, the result is startling: most the population disappears... But what did everyone else do? The earth was frozen, the vines were clipped and dormant, it was too cold to hunt. Had they all gone on holiday?...It was a puzzle, until we realized how many of the local people had their birthdays in September or October, and then a possible but unverifiable answer suggested itself: they were busy indoors making babies. There is a season for everything in Provence, and the first two months of the year must be devoted to procreation. We have never dared to ask.
Peter Mayle
When I woke the next morning, gray light suffused the bedroom curtains. Tom was still asleep, so I moved through my yoga routine, then tiptoed to the kitchen. A mountain breeze moved languidly through the pines and aspens surrounding our house. I opened the back door for Scout the cat and Jake the bloodhound, and reminded myself that today we were celebrating my only son’s seventeenth birthday. Okay, we were two months late. But, so what? I smiled and reflected that it was probably a good thing that I’d stayed up past midnight to frost the cake.
Diane Mott Davidson (The Whole Enchilada (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery #17))
It is a curious thing that at my age — fifty-five last birthday — I should find myself taking up a pen to try to write a history. I wonder what sort of a history it will be when I have finished it, if ever I come to the end of the trip! I have done a good many things in my life, which seems a long one to me, owing to my having begun work so young, perhaps. At an age when other boys are at school I was earning my living as a trader in the old Colony. I have been trading, hunting, fighting, or mining ever since. And yet it is only eight months ago that I made my pile. It is a big pile now that I have got it — I don't yet know how big — but I do not think I would go through the last fifteen or sixteen months again for it; no, not if I knew that I should come out safe at the end, pile and all. But then I am a timid man, and dislike violence; moreover, I am almost sick of adventure. I wonder why I am going to write this book: it is not in my line. I am not a literary man, though very devoted to the Old Testament and also to the "Ingoldsby Legends." Let me try to set down my reasons, just to see if I have any.
H. Rider Haggard (King Solomon's Mines (Allan Quatermain, #1))
It felt to me like I was making more of an effort than he was, and when I sensed that, I pulled back, not returning his calls or texts because I felt hurt. But none of that mattered, because I knew the truth, which is if someone really wants to see you, they always find a way. Always. That hurt my heart, but I realized, unlike in past relationships when I was younger, it didn’t need to be dramatic. Will and I didn’t know each other that well; I couldn’t even remember if he had any siblings, or what month his birthday was. I knew I had the power to make this a big deal if I wanted to, but the truth is, I wasn’t in my twenties anymore—in a good way! Obviously there’s a part of all of us who wants to pull a full Courtney Love about every breakup—it’s so dramatic and makes you feel like: See?! You’ll remember me one way or another, dammit! But spending a lot of time and energy nursing a breakup is just not a good use of my time now. Which is too bad, because if you heard my haunting rendition of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” while I wept in the shower during a breakup, you would be moved as hell. Sometimes
Mindy Kaling (Why Not Me?)
They say that February is the shortest month, but you know they could be wrong. Compared, calendar page against calendar page, it looks to be the shortest, all right. Spread between January and March like lard on bread, it fails to reach the crust on either slice. In its galoshes it's a full head shorter than December, although in leap years, when it has growth spurts, it comes up to April's nose. However more abbreviated than it's cousins it may look, February feels longer than any of them. It is the meanest moon of winter, all the more cruel because it will masquerade as spring, occasionally for hours at a time, only to rip off its mask with a sadistic laugh and spit icicles into every gullible face, behavior that grows quickly old. February is pitiless, and it's boring. That parade of red numerals on its page adds up to zero: birthdays of politicians, a holiday reserved for rodents, what kind of celebrations are those? The only bubble in the flat champagne of February is Valentine's Day. It was no accident that our ancestors pinned Valentine's day on February's shirt: he or she lucky enough to have a lover in frigid, antsy February has cause for celebration, indeed. Except to the extent that it "tints the buds and swells the leaves within" February is as useless as the extra r in its name. It behaves like an obstacle, a wedge of slush and mud and ennui holding both progress and contentment at bay. If February is the color of lard on rye, its aroma is that of wet wool trousers. As for sound, it is an abstract melody played on a squeaky violin, the petty whine of a shrew with cabin fever. O February, you may be little but you're small! Where you twice your tiresome length, few of us would survive to greet the merry month of May.
Tom Robbins
The day she was going to tell her aunts about the boy she had met. She had come home, having forgotten it was her birthday. Time was both important and irrelevant in the woods; stars marked seasonal changes, the moon waxed and waned, the solstices were strictly observed... but normal days and weeks and months weren't.
Liz Braswell (Once Upon a Dream)
I hope you’ll take the next right step today and choose just one way to be kind. Then another. Then another. Then another. Here’s a few ideas to get you started. Write a thank-you note. Extend an invitation. Bring muffins to the office. Offer someone a ride to the airport. Donate blood. Challenge yourself to go a day without saying anything negative. Call your grandmother. Look at the month ahead for birthdays and plan something special for a friend or family member. Send a care package. Send congrats flowers for a friend who reached a new milestone. Make a double batch of soup and bring half to someone who just moved. Wave at kids on a school bus.
Candace Cameron Bure (Kind Is the New Classy: The Power of Living Graciously)
Only twice in my nearly fifty years of friendship with David Belasco did he ever disappoint me; and I am glad that experience came early. When I was perhaps seven or eight years old, he promised me, many months before my birthday, that he would give me a pony. What boy would nurse that promise to his bosom for any number of months? When the 12th of August dawned, I was downstairs early, I think before anyone else was up. I looked out at the barnyard. No pony. I waited all day. No pony. I said nothing. No pony. There were other presents, of course, and all the other excitement of a small boy’s birthday: but underneath it I was having my very first experience of a forgotten promise.
Cecil B. DeMille (The Autobiography of Cecil B. Demille)
The incident made her remember the story she had heard about the girl who was raised in a room with no horizontal lines. She couldn't recall whether the story was true or simply a thought experiment, but the room, as she remembered it, was decorated with a series of black verticle stripes on the walls, and the floor and ceiling were curved to give the illusion that the verticle stripes were continuous. On the child's first birthday, the story went, she was taken out of the room. She had learned how to recognize verticle forms, but not horizontal ones, so that if she was situated on a table, say, or a platform, she would crawl right off the edge, but she would never run into the corner of a wall or the leg of a chair. Her condition lasted for about a month before her visual sense finally corrected itself.
Kevin Brockmeier (The Brief History of the Dead)
After many years of knowing her, she died. Instead of leaving me with a heartbreak, she left behind wonderful memories. Memories of teasing me and pretending to fall asleep when I walk into her room. There are no tears to be shed. Instead, I celebrated our friendship. Twenty-two years of smiles and laughter. Unhurried narration of her life stories and hugs. Rewarding me with birthday cards and Christmas greetings. Scolding me with a smile before each departure, and winks by the door before she left my office. Each time, I stood and watched her struggle to get into her car. Even with all her physical struggles, she never missed the chance to visit me every three months until she was taken away from me permanently. Her death. Her departure from earth. As much as I struggle with the event, I would not call it untimely. I said my farewell, but I still cherish what we had. A sempiternal friendship
Fidelis O. Mkparu
I turn to Peter and say, “I can’t believe you did this.” “I baked that cake myself,” he brags. “Box, but still.” He takes off his jacket and pulls a lighter out of his jacket pocket and starts lighting the candles. Gabe pulls out a lit candle and helps him. Then Peter hops his butt on the table and sits down, his legs hanging off the edge. “Come on.” I look around. “Um…” That’s when I hear the opening notes of “If You Were Here” by the Thompson Twins. My hands fly to my cheeks. I can’t believe it. Peter’s recreating the end scene from Sixteen Candles, when Molly Ringwald and Jake Ryan sit on a table with a birthday cake in between them. When we watched the movie a few months ago, I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen. And now he’s doing it for me. “Hurry up and get up there before all the candles melt, Lara Jean,” Chris calls out. Darrell and Gabe help hoist me onto the table, careful not to set my dress on fire. Peter says, “Okay, now you look at me adoringly, and I lean forward like this.” Chris comes forward and puffs out my skirt a bit. “Roll up your sleeve a little higher,” she instructs Peter, looking from her phone to us. Peter obeys, and she nods. “Looks good, looks good.” Then she runs back to her spot and starts to snap. It takes no effort on my part at all to look at Peter adoringly tonight. When I blow out the candles and make my wish, I wish that I will always feel for Peter the way I do right now.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
In the restaurant kitchen, August meant lobsters, blackberries, silver queen corn, and tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes. In honor of the last year of the restaurant, Fiona was creating a different tomato special for each day of the month. The first of August (two hundred and fifty covers on the book, eleven reservation wait list) was a roasted yellow tomato soup. The second of August (two hundred and fifty covers, seven reservation wait list) was tomato pie with a Gruyère crust. On the third of August, Ernie Otemeyer came in with his wife to celebrate his birthday and since Ernie liked food that went with his Bud Light, Fiona made a Sicilian pizza- a thick, doughy crust, a layer of fresh buffalo mozzarella, topped with a voluptuous tomato-basil sauce. One morning when she was working the phone, Adrienne stepped into the kitchen hoping to get a few minutes with Mario, and she found Fiona taking a bite out of red ripe tomato like it was an apple. Fiona held the tomato out. "I'd put this on the menu," she said. "But few would understand.
Elin Hilderbrand (The Blue Bistro)
Months later… I try my best to enjoy summer vacation, knowing that in a few weeks I’ll be heading into the last semester of my senior year. I should’ve graduated in June, but because Robbie and I moved around during my freshman year, I fell behind a semester. Even though I won’t graduate and walk across the stage until December, my eighteenth birthday is only a few weeks away. That’s when I’ll be forced to leave the house. After the fallout with Cain back in January, I haven’t heard from him other than the few times he came by with gifts and tried to see me.
Lane Hart (Cain (Out of the Cage #1))
Timeless Days without rhythm Without bottom or top In the arms of my lover Time seems to stop. Days become months Which flow into years Love’s hourglass measures Just two kinds of tears. The first kind is cheery, It sweetens the cheek; The other burns bleary It’s black and it’s bleak. This Sunday or Friday, I’m not quite sure when, I’m going to turn thirty, Or twenty, or ten? It’ll be my love’s birthday Or was it just mine? I doesn’t much matter There’s plenty of wine. Should she go to heaven, I dread to know when, I’ll count every second Till we meet again.
Beryl Dov
Try to imagine a life without timekeeping. You probably can’t. You know the month, the year, the day of the week. There is a clock on your wall or the dashboard of your car. You have a schedule, a calendar, a time for dinner or a movie. Yet all around you, timekeeping is ignored. Birds are not late. A dog does not check its watch. Deer do not fret over passing birthdays. an alone measures time. Man alone chimes the hour. And, because of this, man alone suffers a paralyzing fear that no other creature endures. A fear of time running out.” ― Mitch Albom, The Time Keeper
Mitch Albom (The Time Keeper)
Maybe that’s too big of a question. Let’s back up. May Ling has been with you for fourteen months now? What have you done, in the time she’s been with you, to connect her to her Chinese culture?” “Well.” Another pause, a very long one this time. Mr. Richardson willed Mrs. McCullough to say something, anything. “Pearl of the Orient is one of our very favorite restaurants. We try to take her there once a month. I think it’s good for her to hear some Chinese, to get it into her ears. To grow up feeling this is natural. And of course I’m sure she’ll love the food once she’s older.” Yawning silence in the courtroom. Mrs. McCullough felt the need to fill it. “Perhaps we could take a Chinese cooking class at the rec center and learn together. When she’s older.” Ed Lim said nothing, and Mrs. McCullough prattled nervously on. “We try to be very sensitive to these issues wherever we can.” Inspiration arrived. “Like for her first birthday, we wanted to get her a teddy bear. One she could keep as an heirloom. There was a brown bear, a polar bear, and a panda, and we thought about it and decided on the panda. We thought perhaps she’d feel more of a connection to it.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
By three months old, 40 percent of infants watch screen media regularly; by two years, 90 percent do. By her third birthday, the average American child recognizes one hundred brand logos. The typical child is exposed to forty thousand screen ads per year. Children know the names of more branded characters than of real animals. By her tenth birthday, the average American child knows three hundred to four hundred brands. Research shows over and over that preschoolers will overwhelmingly think advertised products, branded products, are superior even when the actual contents are identical.
Robert W. McChesney (Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism Is Turning the Internet Against Democracy)
Being a glacier, I remember birth, The waves of stars falling over the years, White, six-pointed stars descending to form My soul. On my birthday, it always snows. Being the sea, you wait for everything With motherly love. You eat continents Of land, continents of ice. Your blue tongue Catches snow. You taste like salt. You make sand. I’m inland now, grinding the path that ends At your door. I’ll pause for weeks on the shore Before I let go. You will let me in Then begin to melt me down as I float. Months later you’ll ask me, “Do you love me?” I’ll answer you, “Does the sea love the sea?
Douglas Woodsum
give a credit. Or whatever else we think is best.” Like 140 or so of her fellow employees, Michelle was an owner of ECCO. She was a member of the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) that controlled 58 percent of the company’s stock. When I met her, her stake was worth $12,000. More important, she felt like an owner and believed she was treated like one. She had a lot of direct contact with the CEO, Ed Zimmer. Among other things, he held a regular monthly lunch with all the people who had a birthday that month, and they talked about themselves and the company and whatever else they wanted to discuss.
Bo Burlingham (Small Giants: Companies That Choose to Be Great Instead of Big)
All the girls joined in. 'I was thirteen last April and it rained on my birthday and I didn't even get to wear anything special -' 'We turned ten - just two months ago -' 'I usually get a book for my birthday - but - this year -' 'You forgot my birthday, too.' 'And mine.' The girls looked miserable. The King opened his mouth, then shut it. 'Sir!' whined Lord Teddie. 'You forgot my birthday, too!' Bramble gave a surprised laugh, then slapped her hand over her mouth, as though shocked at letting it out. The tension broke. The girls laughed sheepishly, and Lord Teddie beamed. He probably did not have many ladies think him funny.
Heather Dixon Wallwork
There was a small public library on Ninety-third and Hooper. Mrs. Stella Keaton was the librarian. We’d known each other for years. She was a white lady from Wisconsin. Her husband had a fatal heart attack in ’34 and her two children died in a fire the year after that. Her only living relative had been an older brother who was stationed in San Diego with the navy for ten years. After his discharge he moved to L.A. When Mrs. Keaton had her tragedies he invited her to live with him. One year after that her brother, Horton, took ill, and after three months he died spitting up blood, in her arms. All Mrs. Keaton had was the Ninety-third Street branch. She treated the people who came in there like her siblings and she treated the children like her own. If you were a regular at the library she’d bake you a cake on your birthday and save the books you loved under the front desk. We were on a first-name basis, Stella and I, but I was unhappy that she held that job. I was unhappy because even though Stella was nice, she was still a white woman. A white woman from a place where there were only white Christians. To her Shakespeare was a god. I didn’t mind that, but what did she know about the folk tales and riddles and stories colored folks had been telling for centuries? What did she know about the language we spoke? I always heard her correcting children’s speech. “Not ‘I is,’ she’d say. “It’s ‘I am.’” And, of course, she was right. It’s just that little colored children listening to that proper white woman would never hear their own cadence in her words. They’d come to believe that they would have to abandon their own language and stories to become a part of her educated world. They would have to forfeit Waller for Mozart and Remus for Puck. They would enter a world where only white people spoke. And no matter how articulate Dickens and Voltaire were, those children wouldn’t have their own examples in the house of learning—the library.
Walter Mosley (White Butterfly (Easy Rawlins #3))
I hadn’t seen him in quite a while and he’d grown at least four inches in the months between our visits. With his perfect teeth and constant huge smile I found myself looking at him in a whole new way. Gone was the skinny kid whose birthday was the day before my own and loved saying we were the same age for that twenty four hour period before I officially turned a year older than him. He wasn’t that twelve year old who’d yanked on my hair and put baby oil in the sunblock so I got a nasty burn when we visited a theme park together. Suddenly I saw Jim wasn’t a little kid anymore. He was a guy—a hot guy at that. A hot guy who spent the entire day glued to my side.
Melissa Simmons (Best Thing I Never Had (Anthology))
Emily My sneakers hit the pavement and my heart slams like the truck door behind me. "Watch it!" My cousin and best friend Erick hops out of the drivers' side, reprimanding me at the same time. Sensitive about his truck. "Sorry," I mutter. The dim, enclosed parking garage puts me on edge. It's a perfect place for vampires. But it's early afternoon, not their prime hunting time. The upscale Austin, Texas, mall parking lot is packed with sedans and trucks. I sling a motorcycle helmet into the bed of the truck, where it joins the massive four-wheeler we just spent an exhilarating morning breaking in. A gift for his eighteenth birthday a couple of months ago. For my eighteenth, I'm getting a night
Lacy Yager (Rival (Unholy Alliance #2))
We walk inside, and I stop short. Our booth, the one we always sit in, has pale pink balloons tied around it. There’s a round cake in the center of the table, tons of candles, pink frosting with sprinkles and Happy Birthday, Lara Jean scrawled in white frosting. Suddenly I see people’s heads pop up from under the booths and from behind menus--all of our friends, still in their prom finery: Lucas, Gabe, Gabe’s date Keisha, Darrell, Pammy, Chris. “Surprise!” everyone screams. I spin around. “Oh my God, Peter!” He’s still grinning. He looks at his watch. “It’s midnight. Happy birthday, Lara Jean.” I leap up and hug him. “This is just exactly what I wanted to do on my prom night birthday and I didn’t even know it.” Then I let go of him and run over to the booth. Everyone gets out and hugs me. “I didn’t even know people knew it was my birthday tomorrow! I mean today!” I say. “Of course we knew it was your birthday,” Lucas says. Darrell says, “My boy’s been planning this for weeks.” “It was so endearing,” Pammy says. “We called me to ask what kind of pan he should use for the cake.” Chris says, “He called me, too. I was like, how the hell should I know?” “And you!” I hit Chris on the arm. “I thought you were leaving to go clubbing!” “I still might after I steal some fries. My night’s just getting started, babe.” She pulls me in for a hug and gives me a kiss on the cheek. “Happy birthday, girl.” I turn to Peter and say, “I can’t believe you did this.” “I baked that cake myself,” he brags. “Box, but still.” He takes off his jacket and pulls a lighter out of his jacket pocket and starts lighting the candles. Gabe pulls out a lit candle and helps him. Then Peter hops his butt on the table and sits down, his legs hanging off the edge. “Come on.” I look around. “Um…” That’s when I hear the opening notes of “If You Were Here” by the Thompson Twins. My hands fly to my cheeks. I can’t believe it. Peter’s recreating the end scene from Sixteen Candles, when Molly Ringwald and Jake Ryan sit on a table with a birthday cake in between them. When we watched the movie a few months ago, I said it was the most romantic thing I’d ever seen. And now he’s doing it for me.
Jenny Han (Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3))
The car came opposite her, and she curtsied so low that recovery was impossible, and she sat down in the road. Her parasol flew out of her hand and out of her parasol flew the Union Jack. She saw a young man looking out of the window, dressed in khaki, grinning broadly, but not, so she thought, graciously, and it suddenly struck her that there was something, beside her own part in the affair, which was not as it should be. As he put his head in again there was loud laughter from the inside of the car. Mr. Wootten helped her up and the entire assembly of her friends crowded round her, hoping she was not hurt. "No, dear Major, dear Padre, not at all, thanks," she said. "So stupid: my ankle turned. Oh, yes, the Union Jack I bought for my nephew, it's his birthday to-morrow. Thank you. I just came to see about my coke: of course I thought the Prince had arrived when you all went down to meet the 4.15. Fancy my running straight into it all! How well he looked." This was all rather lame, and Miss Mapp hailed Mrs. Poppit's appearance from the station as a welcome diversion. . . . Mrs. Poppit was looking vexed. "I hope you saw him well, Mrs. Poppit," said Miss Mapp, "after meeting two trains, and taking all that trouble." "Saw who?" said Mrs. Poppit with a deplorable lack both of manner and grammar. "Why"--light seemed to break on her odious countenance. "Why, you don't think that was the Prince, do you, Miss Mapp? He arrived here at one, so the station-master has just told me, and has been playing golf all afternoon." The Major looked at the Captain, and the Captain at the Major. It was months and months since they had missed their Saturday afternoon's golf. "It was the Prince of Wales who looked out of that car-window," said Miss Mapp firmly. "Such a pleasant smile. I should know it anywhere." "The young man who got into the car at the station was no more the Prince of Wales than you are," said Mrs. Poppit shrilly. "I was close to him as he came out: I curtsied to him before I saw." Miss Mapp instantly changed her attack: she could hardly hold her smile on to her face for rage. "How very awkward for you," she said. "What a laugh they will all have over it this evening! Delicious!" Mrs. Poppit's face suddenly took on an expression of the tenderest solicitude. "I hope, Miss Mapp, you didn't jar yourself when you sat down in the road just now," she said. "Not at all, thank you so much," said Miss Mapp, hearing her heart beat in her throat. . . .
E.F. Benson (Miss Mapp (Lucia, #2))
You don’t have to be here,” William offered with his trademark quiet solemnity. I shook my head but kept my eyes fixed on the closed doors at the end of the hall. “No. I wouldn’t miss it.” Would rather be home in my slippers watching Judge Judy, sure, but duty calls. That was my style of party these days. Throw in a slice of Battenberg and some Werther’s Originals and I could go wild on a sugar high. But no, today was William’s birthday, so I was going to try and keep my grumpy old man behavior to a minimum. Try being the operative word. No promises. My teammate, and the guest of honor for this particular party, tugged on the sleeve of my suit jacket and brought us to a stop. “Hey. Seriously. You’re eighteen months sober.” “Has it been eighteen months already?” I stroked the stubble on my chin and cracked a grin. “Time flies when you’re killing house plants.
L.H. Cosway (The Cad and the Co-Ed (Rugby, #3))
Zenosyne. It's actually just after you're born that life flashes before your eyes. Entire aeons are lived in those first few months when you feel inseparable from the world itself, with nothing to do but watch it passing by. At first, time is only felt vicariously, as something that happens to other people. You get used to living in the moment, because there's nowhere else to go. But soon enough, life begins to move, and you learn to move with it. And you take it for granted that you're a different person every year, Upgraded with a different body...a different future. You run around so fast, the world around you seems to stand still. Until a summer vacation can stretch on for an eternity. You feel time moving forward, learning its rhythm, but now and then it skips a beat, as if your birthday arrives one day earlier every year. We should consider the idea that youth is not actually wasted on the young. That their dramas are no more grand than they should be. That their emotions make perfect sense, once you adjust for inflation. For someone going through adolescence, life feels epic and tragic simply because it is: every kink in your day could easily warp the arc of your story. Because each year is worth a little less than the last. And with each birthday we circle back, and cross the same point around the sun. We wish each other many happy returns. But soon you feel the circle begin to tighten, and you realize it's a spiral, and you're already halfway through. As more of your day repeats itself, you begin to cast off deadweight, and feel the steady pull toward your center of gravity, the ballast of memories you hold onto, until it all seems to move under its own inertia. So even when you sit still, it feels like you're running somewhere. And even if tomorrow you will run a little faster, and stretch your arms a little farther, you'll still feel the seconds slipping away as you drift around the bend. Life is short. And life is long. But not in that order.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
It felt to me like I was making more of an effort than he was, and when I sensed that, I pulled back, not returning his calls or texts because I felt hurt. But none of that mattered, because I knew the truth, which is if someone really wants to see you, they always find a way. Always. That hurt my heart, but I realized, unlike in past relationships when I was younger, it didn’t need to be dramatic. Will and I didn’t know each other that well; I couldn’t even remember if he had any siblings, or what month his birthday was. I knew I had the power to make this a big deal if I wanted to, but the truth is, I wasn’t in my twenties anymore—in a good way! Obviously there’s a part of all of us who wants to pull a full Courtney Love about every breakup—it’s so dramatic and makes you feel like: See?! You’ll remember me one way or another, dammit! But spending a lot of time and energy nursing a breakup is just not a good use of my time now. Which is too bad, because if you heard my haunting rendition of “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow” while I wept in the shower during a breakup, you would be moved as hell.
Mindy Kaling (Why Not Me?)
Anna: Right. I can only imagine. Etienne: And what, exactly, ist hat supposed to mean? Anna: Forget it. Etienne: No. Let’s not forget it. I’m sick and tired of forgetting it, Anna. Anna: You’re tired of forgetting it? I’ve had to do nothing BUT forget it. Do you think it’s easy sitting in my room every night, thinking about you and Ellie? Do you think any of this has been easy for me? Etienne: I’m sorry. Anna: You tell me I’m beautiful, and that you like my hair and you like my smile. You rest your leg against mine in darkened theatres, and then you acta s if nothing happened when the lights go up. You slept in my bed for three nights straight, and then you jsut … blew me off for the next month. What am I supposed to do with that, St. Clair? You said on my birthday that you were afraid of being alone, but I’ve been here this whole time. This whole time. Etienne: Anna. I am so sorry that I’ve hur you. I’ve made terrible decisions. And I realize it’s possible that I don’t deserve your forgiveness, because it’s taken me this long to get here. But I don’t understand why you’re not giving me the chance. You didn’t even let me explain myself lad weekend. You just tore into me, expected the worst of me. But the only truth I know is what i feel when we’re together. I thought you trusted those feelings, too. I thought you trusted me, I thought you knew me … Anna: But that’s just it! I don’t know you. I tell you everything, St. Clair. About my dad, about Bridgette and Toph, about Matt and Cherrie. I told you about being a virgin. And what have you told me? Nothing! I know nothing about you. Not about your father, not about Ellie … Etienne: You know me better than anyone. Andi f you ever bothered to pay attention, you’d understand that things with my father are beyond shite right now. And I can’t believe you think so poorly of me that you’d assume I’d wait the entire year to kiss you, and then the moment it happened, I’d … I’d be done with you. OF COURSE I was with Ellie that night. I WAS BLODDY BREAKING UP WITH HER! You say that I’m afraid of being alone, and it’s true. I am And I’m not proud o fit. But you need to take a good look at yourself, Anna, because I am not the only one in this room who suffers this problem.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
The biggest fear for homeschooled children is that they will be unable to relate to their peers, will not have friends, or that they will otherwise be unable to interact with people in a normal way. Consider this: How many of your daily interactions with people are solely with people of your own birth year?  We’re not considering interactions with people who are a year or two older or a year or two younger, but specifically people who were born within a few months of your birthday. In society, it would be very odd to section people at work by their birth year and allow you to interact only with persons your same age. This artificial constraint would limit your understanding of people and society across a broader range of ages. In traditional schools, children are placed in grades artificially constrained by the child’s birth date and an arbitrary cut-off day on a school calendar. Every student is taught the same thing as everyone else of the same age primarily because it is a convenient way to manage a large number of students. Students are not grouped that way because there is any inherent special socialization that occurs when grouping children in such a manner. Sectioning off children into narrow bands of same-age peers does not make them better able to interact with society at large. In fact, sectioning off children in this way does just the opposite—it restricts their ability to practice interacting with a wide variety of people. So why do we worry about homeschooled children’s socialization?  The erroneous assumption is that the child will be homeschooled and will be at home, schooling in the house, all day every day, with no interactions with other people. Unless a family is remotely located in a desolate place away from any form of civilization, social isolation is highly unlikely. Every homeschooling family I know involves their children in daily life—going to the grocery store or the bank, running errands, volunteering in the community, or participating in sports, arts, or community classes. Within the homeschooled community, sports, arts, drama, co-op classes, etc., are usually sectioned by elementary, pre-teen, and teen groupings. This allows students to interact with a wider range of children, and the interactions usually enhance a child’s ability to interact well with a wider age-range of students. Additionally, being out in the community provides many opportunities for children to interact with people of all ages. When homeschooling groups plan field trips, there are sometimes constraints on the age range, depending upon the destination, but many times the trip is open to children of all ages. As an example, when our group went on a field trip to the Federal Reserve Bank, all ages of children attended. The tour and information were of interest to all of the children in one way or another. After the tour, our group dined at a nearby food court. The parents sat together to chat and the children all sat with each other, with kids of all ages talking and having fun with each other. When interacting with society, exposure to a wider variety of people makes for better overall socialization. Many homeschooling groups also have park days, game days, or play days that allow all of the children in the homeschooled community to come together and play. Usually such social opportunities last for two, three, or four hours. Our group used to have Friday afternoon “Park Day.”  After our morning studies, we would pack a picnic lunch, drive to the park, and spend the rest of the afternoon letting the kids run and play. Older kids would organize games and play with younger kids, which let them practice great leadership skills. The younger kids truly looked up to and enjoyed being included in games with the older kids.
Sandra K. Cook (Overcome Your Fear of Homeschooling with Insider Information)
One of the things I loved about Chris was his sense of humor, which seemed perfectly matched with mine, even at its most offbeat. April Fools’ Day was always a major highlight. A month before our daughter was due, I woke him up in the middle of the night. “Don’t panic,” I told him, “but I think I’m going into labor.” “Do we have a bag?” he asked, jumping up immediately. “No, no, don’t worry.” I slipped out of bed and went to take a shower. Chris immediately got dressed and, calmly but very quickly, gathered my clothes and packed a suitcase. “I’m ready!” he announced, barging into the bathroom. “Babe, do you know what day it is?” I asked sweetly. It was two A.M., April 1. “Are you kidding me?” he said, disbelieving. I laughed and plunged back into the shower. He quickly got revenge by flushing the toilet, sending a burst of cold water across my body. In retrospect, maybe I’d been a little cruel, but we did love teasing each other. At our wedding, we’d smooshed cake into each other’s faces. That began a tradition that continued at each birthday--whether it was ours or not. The routine never seemed to get old. We’d giggle and laugh, chasing each other as if we were crazy people. Our friends and neighbors got used to it--and learned to stay out of the line of fire.
Taya Kyle (American Wife: Love, War, Faith, and Renewal)
There were four ways out of Nickel. One: serve your time. A typical sentence fell between six months and two years, but the administration had the power to confer a legal discharge before then at its discretion. Good behavior was a trigger for a legal discharge, if a careful boy gathered enough merits for promotion to Ace. Whereupon he was released into the bosom of his family, who were very glad to have him back or else winced at the sight of his face bobbing up the walk, the start of another countdown to the next calamity. If you had family. If not, the state of Florida's child-welfare apparatus had assorted custodial remedies, some more pleasant than others. You could also serve time by aging out. The schools showed boys the door on their eighteenth birthday, quick hand-shake and pocket change...Boys arrived banged up in different ways before they got to Nickel and picked up more dents and damage during their term. Often graver missteps and more fierce institutions waited. Nickel boys were f***** before, during, and after their time at the school, if one were to characterize the general trajectory... Three: You could die. Of 'natural causes' even, if abetted by unhealthy conditions, malnutrition, and the pitiless constellation of negligence. In the summer of 1945, one young by died of heart failure while locked in a sweatbox, a popular corrective at that time, and the medical examiner called it natural causes.
Colson Whitehead (The Nickel Boys)
Tatiana thought Deda was the smartest man on earth. Ever since Poland was trampled over in 1939, Deda had been saying that Hitler was coming to the Soviet Union. A few months ago in the spring, he suddenly started bringing home canned goods. Too many canned goods for Babushka’s liking. Babushka had no interest in spending part of Deda’s monthly pay on an intangible such as just in case. She would scoff at him. What are you talking about, war? she would say, glaring at the canned ham. Who is going to eat this, ever? I will never eat this garbage, why do you spend good money on garbage? Why can’t you get marinated mushrooms, or tomatoes? And Deda, who loved Babushka more than a woman deserved to be loved by a man, would bow his head, let her vent her feelings, say nothing, but the following month be back carrying more cans of ham. He also bought sugar and he bought coffee and he bought tobacco, and he bought some vodka, too. He had less luck with keeping these items stocked because for every birthday, anniversary, May Day, the vodka was broken open and the tobacco smoked and the coffee drunk and the sugar put into bread and pie dough and tea. Deda was a man unable to deny his family anything, but he denied himself. So on his own birthday he refused to open the vodka. But Babushka still opened the bag of sugar to make him blueberry pie. The one thing that remained constant and grew by a can or two each month was the ham, which everyone hated and no one ate.
Paullina Simons (The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman, #1))
Child psychologists Betty Hart and Todd Risley learned the same thing when they recorded hundreds of hours of interactions between children and adults in forty-two families from across a wide socioeconomic spectrum and assessed the children’s development from nine months to three years. Children in well-to-do families, whose parents were typically college-educated professionals, heard an average of 2,153 words an hour spoken to them. In contrast, the children of low-income families heard an average only 616 words per hour. By their third birthday, the children in well-to-do families heard 30 million more words than economically deprived children and the amount of conversation parents had with their infants was directly proportional to IQ test scores assessed at three years of age and the performance in school of these children at ages nine and ten. (Hart and Risley 2003) The exciting part is that Hart and Risley’s research has spawned conscious parenting initiatives thanks to technology in the form of LENA (Language Environment Analysis) devices. LENA devices work like pedometers except they keep track of words rather than steps. The Thirty Million Words Initiative in Chicago is making LENA devices available to parents so they can track the numbers of words they expose their children to. After six weeks, researchers in Chicago found a 32 percent increase in the number of words the children heard. Says Dr. Dana Suskind, Director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative: “Every parent has the ability to grow their children’s brain and impact their future.” (Suskind 2013)
Bruce H. Lipton (The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles)
But then they hand you your beautiful baby, and the baby gazes up at you and says hello, and your heart just melts.” “It talks?” Sophie asked, then remembered Alden telling her months earlier that elvin babies spoke from birth. It sounded even stranger now that she could picture it. “Your speaking caused quite the uproar,” Mr. Forkle told her. “Though luckily no one could understand the Enlightened Language, so they thought you were babbling. I spent the majority of your infancy inventing excuses for the elvin things you did.” “Okay,” Sophie said, wishing he’d stop with the weird-info overload. “But what I mean is . . . I’ve been counting my age from my birthday.” Mr. Forkle didn’t look surprised. “Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked. “How could I? Humans built everything around their birthdays. As long as you were living with them I had to let you do the same. And since you’ve been in the Lost Cities, we’ve had so little contact. I assumed someone would notice, since your proper ID is on your Foxfire record—and in the registry. But I don’t think anyone realized you were counting differently.” “Alden wouldn’t have thought to check,” Della agreed. “Neither of us knew humans didn’t count inception.” “So wait,” Biana jumped in, “does that mean that by our rules Sophie is—” “Thirty-nine weeks older than she’s been saying,” Mr. Forkle finished for her. Fitz cocked his head as he stared at Sophie, like everything had turned sideways. “So then you’re not thirteen . . .” “Not according to the way we count,” Mr. Forkle agreed. “Going by Sophie’s ID, she’s fourteen and a little more than five months old.” Keefe laughed. “Only Foster would find a way to age nine months in a day. Also, welcome to the cool fourteen-year-olds club!” He held out his hand for a high five.
Shannon Messenger (Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities, #4))
Then at last, when he could stand it no longer, he would peel back a tiny bit of the paper wrapping at one corner to expose a tiny bit of chocolate, and then he would take a tiny nibble – just enough to allow the lovely sweet taste to spread out slowly over his tongue. The next day, he would take another tiny nibble, and so on, and so on. And in this way, Charlie would make his sixpenny bar of birthday chocolate last him for more than a month. But I haven’t yet told you about the one awful thing that tortured little Charlie, the lover of chocolate, more than anything else. This thing, for him, was far, far worse than seeing slabs of chocolate in the shop windows or watching other children munching bars of creamy chocolate right in front of him. It was the most terrible torturing thing you could imagine, and it was this: In the town itself, actually within sight of the house in which Charlie lived, there was an ENORMOUS CHOCOLATE FACTORY! Just imagine that! And it wasn’t simply an ordinary enormous chocolate factory, either. It was the largest and most famous in the whole world! It was WONKA’S FACTORY, owned by a man called Mr Willy Wonka, the greatest inventor and maker of chocolates that there has ever been. And what a tremendous, marvellous place it was! It had huge iron gates leading into it, and a high wall surrounding it, and smoke belching from its chimneys, and strange whizzing sounds coming from deep inside it. And outside the walls, for half a mile around in every direction, the air was scented with the heavy rich smell of melting chocolate! Twice a day, on his way to and from school, little Charlie Bucket had to walk right past the gates of the factory. And every time he went by, he would begin to walk very, very slowly, and he would hold his nose high in the air and take long deep sniffs of the gorgeous chocolatey smell all around him. Oh, how he loved that smell! And oh, how he wished he could go inside the factory and see what it was like!
Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket #1))
July I watch eagerly a certain country graveyard that I pass in driving to and from my farm. It is time for a prairie birthday, and in one corner of this graveyard lives a surviving celebrant of that once important event. It is an ordinary graveyard, bordered by the usual spruces, and studded with the usual pink granite or white marble headstones, each with the usual Sunday bouquet of red or pink geraniums. It is extraordinary only in being triangular instead of square, and in harboring, within the sharp angle of its fence, a pin-point remnant of the native prairie on which the graveyard was established in the 1840’s. Heretofore unreachable by scythe or mower, this yard-square relic of original Wisconsin gives birth, each July, to a man-high stalk of compass plant or cutleaf Silphium, spangled with saucer-sized yellow blooms resembling sunflowers. It is the sole remnant of this plant along this highway, and perhaps the sole remnant in the western half of our county. What a thousand acres of Silphiums looked like when they tickled the bellies of the buffalo is a question never again to be answered, and perhaps not even asked. This year I found the Silphium in first bloom on 24 July, a week later than usual; during the last six years the average date was 15 July. When I passed the graveyard again on 3 August, the fence had been removed by a road crew, and the Silphium cut. It is easy now to predict the future; for a few years my Silphium will try in vain to rise above the mowing machine, and then it will die. With it will die the prairie epoch. The Highway Department says that 100,000 cars pass yearly over this route during the three summer months when the Silphium is in bloom. In them must ride at least 100,000 people who have ‘taken’ what is called history, and perhaps 25,000 who have ‘taken’ what is called botany. Yet I doubt whether a dozen have seen the Silphium, and of these hardly one will notice its demise. If I were to tell a preacher of the adjoining church that the road crew has been burning history books in his cemetery, under the guise of mowing weeds, he would be amazed and uncomprehending. How could a weed be a book? This is one little episode in the funeral of the native flora, which in turn is one episode in the funeral of the floras of the world. Mechanized man, oblivious of floras, is proud of his progress in cleaning up the landscape on which, willy-nilly, he must live out his days. It might be wise to prohibit at once all teaching of real botany and real history, lest some future citizen suffer qualms about the floristic price of his good life. * * *
Aldo Leopold (Aldo Leopold: A Sand County Almanac & Other Writings on Conservation and Ecology: (Library of America #238))
Jamie guessed he wasn’t sure if calling it a homeless shelter when it was filled with homeless people was somehow offensive. He’d had two complaints lodged against him in the last twelve months alone for the use of ‘inappropriate’ language. Roper was a fossil, stuck in a by-gone age, struggling to stay afloat. He of course wouldn’t have this problem if he bothered to read any of the sensitivity emails HR pinged out. But he didn’t. And now he was on his final warning. Jamie left him to flounder and scanned the crowd and the room for anything amiss.  People were watching them. But not maliciously. Mostly out of a lack of anything else to do. They’d been there overnight by the look of it. Places like this popped up all over the city to let them stay inside on cold nights. The problem was finding a space that would house them. ‘No, not the owner,’ Mary said, sighing. ‘I just rent the space from the council. The ceiling is asbestos, and they can’t use it for anything, won’t get it replaced.’ She shrugged her shoulders so high that they touched the earrings. ‘But these people don’t mind. We’re not eating the stuff, so…’ She laughed a little. Jamie thought it sounded sad. It sort of was. The council wouldn’t let children play in there, wouldn’t let groups rent it, but they were happy to take payment and let the homeless in. It was safe enough for them. She pushed her teeth together and started studying the faded posters on the walls that encouraged conversations about domestic abuse, about drug addiction. From when this place was used. They looked like they were at least a decade old, maybe two. Bits of tape clung to the paint around them, scraps of coloured paper frozen in time, preserving images of long-past birthday parties. There was a meagre stage behind the coffee dispenser, and to the right, a door led into another room. ‘Do you know this boy?’ Roper asked, holding up his phone, showing Mary a photo of Oliver Hammond taken that morning. The officers who arrived on scene had taken it and attached it to the central case file. Roper was just accessing it from there. It showed Oliver’s face at an angle, greyed and bloated from the water.  ‘My God,’ Mary said, throwing a weathered hand to her mouth. It wasn’t easy for people who weren’t exposed to death regularly to stomach seeing something like that.  ‘Ms Cartwright,’ Roper said, leaning a little to his left to look in her eyes as she turned away. ‘Can you identify this person? I know it’s hard—’ ‘Oliver — Ollie, he preferred. Hammond, I think. I can check my files…’ She turned and pointed towards the back room Jamie had spotted. ‘If you want—’ Roper put the phone away.
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson #1))
Look at that ship. That clipper cost me a queen’s ransom, even with the Kestrel thrown in the bargain. But it was the fastest ship to be had.” He took her hands in his. “Forget money. Forget society. Forget expectations. We’ve no talent for following rules, remember? We have to follow our hearts. You taught me that.” He gathered her to him, drawing her hands to his chest. “God, sweet, don’t you know? You’ve had my heart in your pocket since the day we met. Following my heart means following you. I’ll follow you to the ends of the earth if I have to.” He shot an amused glance at the captain. “Though I’d expect your good captain would prefer I didn’t. In fact, I think he’d gladly marry us today, just to be rid of me.” “Today? But we couldn’t.” His eyebrows lifted. “Oh, but we could.” He pulled her to the other side of the ship, slightly away from the gaping crowd. Wrapping his arms around her, he leaned close to whisper in her ear, “Happy birthday, love.” Sophia melted in his embrace. It was her birthday, wasn’t it? The day she’d been anticipating for months, and here she’d forgotten it completely. Until Gray had appeared on the horizon, she hadn’t been looking forward to anything. But now she did. She looked forward to marriage, and children, and love and grand adventure. Real life and true passion. All of it with this man. “Oh, Gray.” “Please say yes,” he whispered. “Sophia.” The name was a caress against her ear. “I love you.” He kissed her cheek and pulled away. “I’ve been remiss in not telling you. You can’t know how I’ve regretted it. But I love you, Sophia Jane Hathaway. I love you as no man ever loved a woman. I love you so much, I fear I’ll burst with it. In fact, I think I shall burst if I go another minute without kissing you, so if you’ve any mind to say yes, I’d thank you to-“ Sophia flung her arms around his neck and kissed him. Hard at first, to quiet the fool man; then gently, to savor him. oh, how she loved the taste of him, like freshly baked bread and rum. Warm and wholesome and comforting, with just a hint of spice and danger. “Yes,” she sighed against his lips. She pulled back and looked into his eyes. “Yes, I will marry you.” His arms tightened about her waist. “Today?” “Today. But you must let me change my gown first.” Smiling, she stroked his smooth cheek. “You even shaved.” “Every day since we left Tortola.” He gave her a rueful smile. “I’ve a few new scars to show for it.” “Good.” She kissed him. “I’m glad. And I don’t care if society casts us out for the pirates we are, just as long as I’m with you.” “Oh, I don’t know that we’ll be cast out, exactly. We’re definitely not pirates. After your stirring testimony”-he chucked her under the chin-“Fitzhugh decided to make the best of an untenable situation. Or an unhangable pirate, as it were. If he couldn’t advance on his career by convicting me, he figured he’d advance it by commending me. Awarded me the Kestrel as salvage and recommended me to the governor for a special citation of valor. There’s talk of knighthood.” He grinned. “Can you believe it? Me, a hero.” “Of course I believe it.” She laced her fingers at the back of his neck. “I’ve always known it, although I should curse that judge and his ‘citation of valor.’ As if you needed a fresh supply of arrogance. Just remember, whatever they deem you-gentleman or scoundrel, hero or pirate-you are mine.” “So I am.” He kissed her soundly, passionately. “And which would you prefer tonight?” At the seductive grown in his voice, shivers of arousal swept down to her toes. “Your gentleman? Your scoundrel? Your hero or your pirate?” She laughed. “I imagine I’ll enjoy all four on occasion. But tonight, I believe I shall find tremendous joy in simply calling you my husband.” He rested his forehead against hers. “My love.” “That, too.
Tessa Dare (Surrender of a Siren (The Wanton Dairymaid Trilogy, #2))
Rumours in the city: The statue galloped last night!'... 'And the stars are unfavourable!'... But despite these signs of ill-omen, the city was poised, with a new myth glinting in the corners of its eyes. August in Bombay: a month of festivals, the month of Krishna's birthday and Coconut Day; and this year - fourteen hours to go, thirteen, twelve -there was an extra festival on the calendar, a new myth to celebrate, because a nation which had never previously existed was about to win its freedom, catapulting us into a world which, although it had five thousand years of history, although it had invented the game of chess and traded with Middle Kingdom Egypt, was nevertheless quite imaginary; into a mythical land, a country which would never exist except by the efforts of a phenomenal collective will - except in a dream we all agreed to dream; it was a mass fantasy shared in varying degrees by Bengali and Punjabi, Madrasi and Jat, and would periodically need the sanctification and renewal which can only be provided by rituals of blood. India, the new myth - a collective fiction in which anything was possible, a fable rivalled only by the two other mighty fantasies: money and God.
Salman Rushdie (Midnight's Children)
MINIMIZING TOXINS: YOUR PERSONAL PALEO CODE •  Avoid gluten completely during the Step 1 Reset and for at least two months afterward (for a total of ninety days). Then reintroduce and see how your body reacts. •  If you feel better without gluten and worse when you reintroduce it, you are gluten-intolerant and should strictly avoid it. If you don’t react adversely, I still recommend avoiding or minimizing gluten, but you may choose to have it occasionally as part of your 80/20 rule (a slice of birthday cake, Mom’s lasagna, or a piece of bread when you’re dining out). •  Avoid industrial seed oils and refined sugar. They are high in calories, low in nutrients, and may contribute to inflammation and other health problems. As with gluten (assuming you’re not gluten-intolerant), you may choose to have small amounts of them infrequently as part of your 80/20 rule.
Chris Kresser (Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life)
In the morning, as we're enjoying a shower together, Cash asks Mikey how long he's been working here. "Since I was fourteen." "How OLD are you now?" "Eighteen." "Nice. Are there any other hot guys working here besides you?" "I'm not a prostitute. I'm a ranch hand." "Sorry- I didn't mean-" "It's okay." As they kiss and make up, I inform Cash that I was Mikey's first. "Really?" Cash laughed. "You were?" "Yeah-" Mikey answered. "He was." "I was his birthday present last month..." Cash laughed, "How much did that set you back-?
Giorge Leedy (Uninhibited From Lust To Love)
During the months after a child’s first birthday, I recommend doing time-outs several times a week. That helps your tot learn your I’m not kidding! signal. Your serious tone of voice, disapproving frown, and counting to three will make him remember, Uh-oh … when my mom counts like that I always get grounded.… I better stop!
Harvey Karp (The Happiest Toddler on the Block: How to Eliminate Tantrums and Raise a Patient, Respectful and Cooperative One- to Four-Year-Old)
I hate it when Penny does this. Honestly, it can be so annoying. She lives it though. She didn't buy clothes for an entire year, her senior year at Reed, because she felt like she was irresponsible with money. She always looked very beautiful anyway, and for her birthday I bought her some mittens at Saturday Market for seven dollars. She wore them like they were from Tiffany's or something. She always talked about them. They weren't that big of a deal, but she hadn't had any new clothes for a year so I think she wore them while she was sleeping or something. Penny is right about spending money though. Penny is right about everything. Penny said if I were to save about twenty dollars a month and give it to Northwest Medical Teams or Amnesty International, I would literally be saving lives. Literally. But that stupid pleasure center goes off in my brain, and it feels like there is nothing I can do about it. I told Penny about the pleasure center and how I needed the remote control car to make the pleasure center light up, and she just took the phone away from her ear and beat it against her chair.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
You’re officially twenty-one," Sam observes. "I won’t be twenty-one for another few months. That makes you older than me.” “Yes. Birthdays are tricky that way,” I reply, wondering where he’s going with this. “Melissa Parker, you’re a cougar!” Sam exclaims, sounding absolutely giddy. I can feel my jaw drop. “I am not!” “You’re an older woman dating a younger man. That is the definition of a cougar!” “No, it is not!” “It is. Look it up.
Jacqueline E. Smith (Backstage (Boy Band #2))
Now, as I said, I am all for your Second Amendment rights. I think you should be able to have guns. It’s in your constitution. What I am not for is bullshit arguments and lies. There is one argument and one argument alone for having a gun, and this is the argument… “Fuck off. I like guns.” It’s not the best argument, but it’s all you’ve got. And there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s nothing wrong with saying, “I like something. Don’t take it away from me.” But don’t give me this other bullshit. The main one is, [In American accent] “I need it for protection. I need to protect me. I need to protect my family.” Really? Is that why they’re called “assault rifles”? Is it? I’ve never heard of these fucking “protection rifles” you speak of. Protection? What the fuck are you talking about? You have a gun in your house, you’re 80% more likely to use that gun on yourself, than to shoot someone else. And people think, “Well, that’d never happen to me.” You don’t know that, because you know what? ♪ From time to time We all get sad ♪ ♪ One day you’re happy Then you’re sad ♪ ♪ And then, uh-oh ♪ Protection. I had a break-in in Manchester, England, where I was tied up, I had my head cut. They threatened to rape my girlfriend. They came through the window with a machete and a hammer, and Americans always go, [In American accent] “Well, imagine if you had a gun.” And I’m like, “All right. I was naked at the time. I wasn’t wearing my holster. I wasn’t staring at the window waiting for cunts with machetes to come through.” What world do you live in where you’re constantly fucking ready? You have guns ’cause you like guns! That’s why you go to gun conventions! That’s why you read gun magazines! None of you give a shit about home security. None of you go to home security conventions. None of you read Padlock Monthly. None of you have a Facebook picture of you behind a secure door going, “Fucking yeah!” Like you’re going to be ready if someone comes into your house. You have it at all fucking times. By the way, most people who are breaking into your house just want your fucking TV! You think that people are coming to murder your family? How many fucking enemies do you have? Jeez, you think a lot of yourself if you think everyone’s coming to murder you. See, if you have it readily available, it becomes unsafe. You have it in your bedside table, one of your kids picks it up, thinks it’s a toy, shoots another one of your kids. Happens every fucking day, but people go, “That’d never happen in my house ’cause I’m a responsible gun owner. I keep my guns locked in a safe.” Then they’re no fucking protection! Someone comes into the house, you’re like, “Wait there, fuck-face! Oh! You’ve come to the wrong house here, buddy boy. I tell you what. I’m gonna fuck you up! Okay. Is it 32 to the left or 32 to the right? Your mother’s birthday? Why the fuck would I know your fucking mother’s birthday? Maybe if you didn’t leave the window open [In whining voice] ‘because it’s too hot in here,’ we wouldn’t be getting fucking murdered, right?
Jim Jefferies
Sometimes people’s diets take on a religiosity of their own. I remember a man once telling me that he could never “go plant based” because he could never give up his grandma’s chicken soup. Huh? Then don’t! After I asked him to say hello to his bubby for me, I told him that enjoying her soup shouldn’t keep him from making healthier choices the rest of the time. The problem with all-or-nothing thinking is that it keeps people from even taking the first steps. The thought of never having pepperoni pizza again somehow turns into an excuse to keep ordering it every week. Why not scale down to once a month or reserve it for special occasions? We cannot let the “perfect” be the enemy of the good. It’s really the day-to-day stuff that matters most. What you eat on special occasions is insignificant compared to what you eat day in and day out. So don’t beat yourself up if you really want to put edible bacon-flavored candles on your birthday cake. (I’m not making those up!40) Your body has a remarkable ability to recover from sporadic insults as long as you’re not habitually poking it with a fork.
Michael Greger (How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease)
but for the most part, their friendship was guilt-free. Voice mails sometimes went unanswered. A birthday present might arrive two months late, or not at all. There were no hurt feelings on either side.
J. Courtney Sullivan (Friends and Strangers)
Then a month after Bernard’s sixteenth birthday, Sir Aubrey came down to breakfast, and so did Dudley and so did Joan. They helped themselves to kedgeree and scrambled eggs and kidneys and bacon. Then Sir Aubrey rang for the footman to bring fresh coffee and said, “Where’s Bernard? The wretched boy is late again.” But Bernard wasn’t late--he was gone, and nobody from Westwood ever set eyes on him again.
Eva Ibbotson (Journey to the River Sea)
Have you got a birthday?” Aurelius asked. “Yes. I’ve got a birthday.” All my unsaid words went back to wherever they had been all these years. “I’ll make a note of it, shall I?” he said brightly. “Then I can send you a card.” I feigned a smile. “It’s coming up soon, actually. “ Aurelius opened a little blue notebook divided into months. “The nineteenth,” I told him, and he wrote it down with a pencil so small it looked like a toothpick in his huge hand.
Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale)
Raymond sent me an electronic mail message at work the next week—it was very odd, seeing his name in my in-box. As I’d expected, he was semiliterate. Hi E, hope all good with u. Got a wee favor to ask. Sammy’s son Keith has invited me to his 40th this Saturday (ended up staying late at that party BTW, it was a rite laugh). Fancy being my plus one? It’s at the golf club, there’s a buffet? No worries if not—let me no. R A buffet. In a golf club. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. And two parties in a month! More parties than I had been to in two decades. I hit reply: Dear Raymond, I should be delighted to accompany you to the birthday celebration. Kind regards, Eleanor Oliphant (Ms.) Moments later, I received a response: Twenty-first-century communication. I fear for our nation’s standards of literacy.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
Dinnertime brought a big announcement from Mom and Dad. “How would you like to have a new baby brother or sister in six months?” I didn’t have to think twice. I got off my chair and started laughing and jumping up and down, dancing with my little sister, Linda, who didn’t understand, but it sure made me happy so that had to be a good thing. Janet Elise, (named for my Grandma whose name is Elisa), arrived on a cold day in February on the 25th, 1954. I had just turned six years old two days before Christmas and she was like a birthday present that arrived two months late. I was too young to remember Linda being born, so this was a brand new fantastic experience for a little girl who loved every one of her dolls and put them all to bed with great care every night.
Carol Ann P. Cote (Downstairs ~ Upstairs: The Seamstress, The Butler, The "Nomad Diplomats" and Me -- A Dual Memoir)
In last month’s photo, a front tooth dangled over her bottom lip and Iris laughed out loud, wanting to reach into the picture and yank the loose tooth from her daughter’s mouth. She wondered about the conversations she missed with the child—the fights they must have had over Melody’s need to keep that tooth a day, a week, a month, longer. Why hadn’t Aubrey snuck into her room in the middle of the night and yanked it the way her own father had done—Iris waking in the morning with that new space in her mouth and a crisp dollar bill beneath her pillow. But now the tooth was gone. Had Melody gotten a dollar for it too? Iris studied the space—the pink half circle of gum beside a tiny front tooth that hung at a slight angle as though it too was loose now. Iris shivered. Ran her tongue along her own straight teeth. She had missed the child’s birthday but had called, only to have Melody say, It’s my birthday and it’s party day. Bye! Daddy got me a bicycle. Bye again. And when she reminded the child that the bicycle was from both of them, Melody said, But Daddy put it together. And Daddy’s gonna teach me to ride. Always the phone calls were Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, and TV shows she’d watched. When she tried to ask Melody what she was reading, the child laughed. Everything, she said. I read everything. Now, staring at the picture of her daughter, she remembered again how her own mother had said more than once that there was nothing at all maternal about Iris and wondered if the maternal gene kicked in later. Iris wondered if it would happen in her twenties or thirties. And if it did, would she want more children?
Jacqueline Woodson (Red at the Bone)
... he rushed to the calendar where he jotted everything from Mama's Birthday to Buy New Toothbrush so that each month became a solid ink-black block of accomplishment.
Yelena Akhtiorskaya (Panic in a Suitcase)
You’ll fall off the wagon. You’ll eat half of a birthday cake when no one is watching or scream at your husband or drink too much wine all month long. You’ll fall into ruts because this is life and that’s just how it goes. But once you understand that you are the one who is truly in control, you’ll get up and try again. And you’ll keep going until being in control feels more natural than being out of control. It’ll become a way of life, and you’ll become the person you are meant to be.
Rachel Hollis (Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be)
Clanton and, given the circumstances, seemed far too close to home. Stella was halfway through her sophomore year and eager to move on. She loved Hollins but longed for the anonymity of a big city. At college, everyone knew her and now knew about her father. She wanted strangers in her life, people who didn’t know or care where she was from. On the romantic front, there wasn’t much activity. Over the Thanksgiving break she’d met a boy in D.C. and they had gone dancing twice and to the movies once. He was a student at Georgetown, had a nice family and all, appeared to be well groomed and mannered, and he was writing her letters, but there was really no spark. She’d string him along for another month or so, then break his heart. Joel reported even more tepid progress. A few dates here and there but none worth talking about. He claimed he really wasn’t in the market, what with three years of law school on the horizon. He had always vowed to remain single until his thirtieth birthday.
John Grisham (The Reckoning)
He called after me, “How old am I, Maya?” I turned. “How the hell should I know? Whatever you’ve told the school, I’m sure it’s a lie anyway.” “I’m sixteen, just like you. Or like you will be tomorrow, from what I heard. My birthday was last month.” “Congratulations.” I started walking again. “I’ll send you a card next year, if you hang around that long, which I doubt.” “You don’t need to doubt it. I’ll be leaving for sure if you tell anyone about Annie.” I wheeled. “Are you threatening to take her--?” “Legally, I can’t take her anywhere. I’m sixteen, Maya. Barely sixteen. She’s nineteen. Who’s the guardian here?” I paused, then said, softly, “Oh.” “Yeah, oh. Annie and I never knew our dad. Our mom died last year when Annie was eighteen. Before the accident. So she got custody of me.” “Accident? It’s brain damage?” The look in Rafe’s eyes, the grief…It hurt just to see it, and he turned away fast, mumbling, “Yeah. It’s brain damage. Point is that if anyone finds out, I’m off to a foster home and she’s off to an institution. Which neither of us wants.” I stepped toward him. “I’m sorry. I just…” Jumped to conclusions. Big surprise. “I’m sorry.
Kelley Armstrong (The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1))
Andrew thought that it was strange that humans would choose the day of coming forth from the womb as the significant thing to commemorate. He knew something of human biology, and it seemed to him that it would be much more important to focus on the moment of the actual creation of the organism, when the sperm cell entered the ovum and the process of cell division began. Surely that was the real point of origin of any person! Certainly the new person was already alive - if not capable of independent functioning - during the nine months spent within the womb.
Isaac Asimov (The Positronic Man (Robot, #0.6))
Ned clamped down on his impatience and moved another few inches. He was tired of his social life revolving around his lab partner, Wayne, and his brother, Connor. Ever since he left NASA to dedicate his time to getting the private sector into space travel, his days had melded together in a long line of formulas and research. The weekly golf trips with his friends fell apart. His dating life, slow to begin with, ground to a big fat zero. Three months ago, he had celebrated his thirty-second birthday and realized he had no one to invite over. A small cake appeared in the lab and after Wayne hummed a few bars of Happy Birthday, they got back to work
Jennifer Probst (Searching for Perfect (Searching For, #2))
In the morning, I jumped out of bed with a burst of excitement, the song “Child of Mine” playing in my head. Happy birthday to me! I’d been wanting a baby for the past several years, and finding a donor I felt so comfortable with seemed like the best birthday present ever. Heading to the computer, I smiled at my good fortune—I was really going to do this. I typed in the sperm bank’s URL, found the donor’s profile, and read it all over again. I was just as certain as I’d been the night before that he was The One—the one that would make sense to my child when he or she asked why, of all the possible donors, I chose this guy. I placed the donor in my online shopping cart—just as I might with a book on Amazon—double-checked the order, then clicked Purchase Vials. I’m having a baby! I thought. The moment felt monumental. As the order processed, I planned what I had to do next: Make an appointment for the insemination, buy prenatal vitamins, put together a baby registry, get the baby’s room set up. Between thoughts, I noticed that my order was taking a while to complete. The rotating circle on my screen, known as the “spinning wheel of death,” seemed to be spinning for an unusually long time. I waited, waited some more, and finally tried using the back button in case my computer was crashing. But nothing happened. Finally, the spinning wheel of death disappeared and a message popped up: Out of stock. Out of stock? I figured there must be some computer glitch—maybe when I pressed the back button?—so I speed-dialed the sperm bank and asked for Kathleen, but she was out and I got transferred to a customer-service rep named Barb. Barb looked into the matter and determined that this was no glitch. I’d selected a very popular donor, she said. She went on to explain that popular donors went quickly and that, while the company tried to “restock” their “inventory” often, there was a six-month hold for it so it could get quarantined and tested. Even when the inventory was made available, she said, there still might be a long wait, because some people had placed it on back order. As Barb spoke, I thought of how Kathleen had called just yesterday. Now it occurred to me that maybe she’d suggested this donor to several women. Like me, maybe many women had bonded with Kathleen over her honest appraisals of semen.
Lori Gottlieb (Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed)
I’m just going to warn you that we’ve been looking for Abyssinia for almost seven months. Do you hear me? Seven months. And we haven’t found her, or the flying prison she’s commandeered, or any of her little anti-Sanctuary friends. We’re both extremely annoyed about this. Our patience has worn thin, Doctor. When we found out that she paid a visit to this charming castle no less than two days ago … Well, I’m not going to lie: I cried a little. Tears of happiness. And when we learned that you were working here? It was like all my birthdays had come at once. Not only do I get to see my old friend Doctor Nye, but Doctor Nye gets to help us in our search, and tell us where Abyssinia has gone.
Derek Landy (Midnight (Skulduggery Pleasant, #11))
D’aron the Daring, Derring, Derring-do, stealing base, christened D’aron Little May Davenport, DD to Nana, initials smothered in Southern-fried kisses, dat Wigga D who like Jay Z aw-ite, who’s down, Scots-Irish it is, D’aron because you’re brave says Dad, No, D’aron because you’re daddy’s daddy was David and then there was mines who was named Aaron, Doo-doo after cousin Quint blew thirty-six months in vo-tech on a straight-arm bid and they cruised out to Little Gorge glugging Green Grenades and read three years’ worth of birthday cards, Little Mays when he hit those three homers in the Pee Wee playoff, Dookie according to his aunt Boo (spiteful she was, misery indeed loves company), Mr. Hanky when they discovered he TIVOed ‘Battlestar Galactica,’ Faggot when he hugged John Meer in third grade, Faggot again when he drew hearts on everyone’s Valentine’s Day cards in fourth grade, Dim Dong-Dong when he undressed in the wrong dressing room because he daren’t venture into the dark end of the gym, Philadelphia Freedom when he was caught clicking heels to that song (Tony thought he was clever with that one), Mr. Davenport when he won the school’s debate contest in eighth grade, Faggot again when he won the school’s debate contest in eighth grade, Faggot again more times than he cared to remember, especially the summer he returned from Chicago sporting a new Midwest accent, harder on the vowels and consonants alike, but sociable, played well with others that accent did, Faggot again when he cried at the end of ‘WALL-E,’ Donut Hole when he started to swell in ninth grade, Donut Black Hole when he continued to put on weight in tenth grade (Tony thought he was really clever with that one), Buttercup when they caught him gardening, Hippie when he stopped hunting, Faggot again when he became a vegetarian and started wearing a MEAT IS MURDER pin (Oh yeah, why you craving mine then?), Faggot again when he broke down in class over being called Faggot, Sissy after that, whispered, smothered in sniggers almost hidden, Ron-Ron by the high school debate team coach because he danced like a cross between Morrissey and some fat old black guy (WTF?) in some old-ass show called ‘What’s Happening!!’, Brainiac when he aced the PSATs for his region, Turd Nerd when he hung with Jo-Jo and the Black Bruiser, D’ron Da’ron, D’aron, sweet simple Daron the first few minutes of the first class of the first day of college.
T. Geronimo Johnson (Welcome to Braggsville)
Steve loved showing off his new son. When we brought him home, all the zoo staff welcomed the new arrival. We have always had a good relationship with a group of Buddhist monks from Tibet. They had blessed Bindi when she was a newborn. As Robert celebrated his one-month birthday, we decided to hold a fund-raiser for a Buddhist nun’s convent where the well had dried up. A new well would cost forty thousand dollars. We felt that amount might be achievable in a series of fund-raising events. We invited the nuns to stay at Australia Zoo and planned to hold a fund-raiser at our brand-new Crocoseum, doing our part to help raise some money for the new well. The nuns wished to know if we wanted them to bless the animals while they were at the zoo. “Would you please bless Robert?” we asked. Bindi had been blessed along with the crocodiles when she was a month old. Now we would do the same for Robert. The nuns came into the Crocoseum for the ceremony. I brought a sleepy little Robert, adorned with his prayer flag and a scarf. We invited press to help publicize the plight of the nuns. Robert was very peaceful. The nuns sang, chanted, and gave him their special blessing. The ceremony was over, and the croc show was about to begin. Steve wanted to share Robert’s first crocodile show with everyone at the Crocoseum, as he was going to feed Murray the crocodile. Just as we had done with Bindi at this age, we brought Robert out for the show. Steve talked to the visitors about how proud he was of his son. He pointed out the crocodile to Baby Bob. Although Robert had been in with the crocodiles before, and would be again, this was an event where we could share the moment with everybody. When the croc show was over, Steve brought Robert back underneath the Crocoseum and I put him in his stroller. His eyes were big and he was waving his arms. This event would mark the beginning of a lifetime of working with his father as a wildlife warrior. Steve and Bindi were regulars during the croc shows, and now it looked as though Robert would be joining in as well.
Terri Irwin (Steve & Me)
Malcolm Gladwell book, Outliers. In it, he notes a well-documented Canadian study that shows kids born in January tend to make better grades and score more goals in sports than those born later in the year. The reason, he deduces, is that grade-school kids who were born just after the cut-off date for the school year (January) are always a year older than the kids who were born just before it (December), thus having a full year of mental and physical advantages.   The January kids aren’t naturally brighter and more physically capable than kids born in November and December. They’re just a year older. In elementary school, one year is a lot.   The school system doesn’t see that, so the January kids get labeled as gifted, while the December kids are called slow. Once established, those categories are hard to break out of. The gifted kids get enrolled in advanced classes, increasing the pace of their education and making the gap between them and the December kids bigger.   The physically larger January kids are recruited by better PeeWee teams, then better High Schools and colleges. That’s why, as shown in Gladwell’s book, professional sports leagues – and hockey leagues in particular – have an inordinately high percentage of athletes that were born in the first three months of the year and a much lower percentage of December birthdays.
Karl Vaters (The Grasshopper Myth: Big Churches, Small Churches and the Small Thinking that Divides Us)
1) I may lose something today, I may get anything else tomorrow. But, I can never lose and ever get one thing and thats ‘YOU’ So, be my friend forever! 2) I CARE For U Bcoz You Are MY $weet……… friend for ever. 3) Each day i meet some one new, But never find another u..The world is full of ppl its true, Yet no one ever equals a friend like you.. 4) A best friend is one who never get tired ,of listening to your pointless drama over and over again ! 5) Best friends have CONVERSATION impossible to UNDERSTAND for others. 6) A good friend knows all your story , and a best friend has lived them with you. 7) BEST FRIEND knows , how stupid you are, but still choose to be with you . 8) BEST FRIENDS are like stars, you don’t always see them , but they are always there. 9) You are my BEST FRIEND , my HUMAN DIARY and my OTHER HALF , you mean the WORLD for me. 10) Best friends ,make the good time better and the hard times easier !! 11) When destiny forget , to tie some people in relationship,it corrects its mistake by making them your best friends .. 12) Best FRIENDS are like diamond , when you hit them they don’t break, they just slip away from your life. 13) When I die, friends would come at my funeral, good friends would cry for me , but my BEST FRIEND would change my Whatsapp status ” Chilling WITH Jesus ” 14) Weekly One Day Holiday, Monthly One Day Salary Day, Yearly One Day Birthday, Lifely One Day Death Day, But Sharing FRIENDSHIP with BEST FRIEND Is Every Day
Francesco Fauda
Your team had to crunch for at least a month before each major milestone (E3, alpha, beta, etc.) and even though you bought them all dinners to make up for it, you still can’t stop thinking about the missed anniversaries, the lost birthday parties, and the evenings they didn’t get to spend with their kids because they were stuck in meetings about the best color schemes for your plumber’s overalls. Is there a way to make great video games without that sort of sacrifice? Is it possible to develop a game without putting in endless hours? Will there ever be a reliable formula for making games that allows for more predictable schedules?
Jason Schreier (Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made)
she was a bookkeeper for the Port Authority, one week shy of her sixtieth birthday. She had limped down about one thousand steps from the 73rd floor, hobbled by fallen arches, a bad leg from having been hit by a car several months earlier, and assorted maladies. An office manager and others had helped Josephine to get this far, but she could go no farther and had sent her helpers ahead to safety. Now she was alone.
Mitchell Zuckoff (Fall and Rise: The Story of 9/11)
next to things that you need to do. Draw an x over the dot to mark to-dos that are complete. Write the less-than symbol (<) over the dot to show that a task has been scheduled, or write the greater-than symbol (>) over it to show that the task has been migrated—aka you didn’t finish it today/ this week/ this month, so you moved it to another day’s/ week’s/ month’s list. You can migrate the same item over and over and over again until you finally complete it (or until you finally say, “Wow, this is never going to happen,” and let it go). Not that I’d know anything about that. P.S. Notice how you can easily turn either of these symbols into an x once the task is complete. Add a caret (^) over the dot when you’ve started a task. (Because even if you don’t finish it, it’s nice to feel like you accomplished something.) Use a dash for quick thoughts, notes, observations, or smaller events. Draw an open box to mark big events (appointments, birthdays, meetings, anniversaries, etc.).
Rachel Wilkerson Miller (Dot Journaling: A Practical Guide: How to Start and Keep the Planner, To-Do List, and Diary That’ll Actually Help You Get Your Life Together)
He called after me, “How old am I, Maya?” I turned. “How the hell should I know? Whatever you’ve told the school, I’m sure it’s a lie anyway.” “I’m sixteen, just like you. Or like you will be tomorrow, from what I heard. My birthday was last month.” “Congratulations.” I started walking again. “I’ll send you a card next year, if you hang around that long, which I doubt.
Kelley Armstrong (The Gathering (Darkness Rising, #1))
Unfortunately, some degree of this vastly inferior icing/stillness protocol is what most people undertake. They are told to ice and by the time that they move, it is far too late to ensure optimal healing. That reality is one of the things that I am truly hoping to change with this book, because such a protocol is a travesty. Remember, my body does not have some magical healing properties—indeed it is sixty years and tens-of-thousands of running miles old! But how did my treatment protocol work out in the long run? Well, I regained all of my strength within just a couple months, and, almost exactly five months post-injury, I ran my first marathon in more than thirty years, the day after my sixtieth birthday!
Gary Reinl (Iced! The Illusionary Treatment Option)
Three months before Cadel’s eleventh birthday, his French teacher left the classroom, briefly, to answer an urgent phone call. When she returned, she found the entire class in an uproar with everyone fighting and shouting - except Cadel. He satin the midst of this chaos, quietly finishing the exercise she had set for all of them.
Catherine Jinks (Evil Genius (Genius, #1))
my parents, Tully and Belinda Bloom. I haven’t seen them since police locked me up in juvenile detention as a tenth grader for helping myself to a pair of iPhones at the local Best Buy. I did it at their urging, palming items that could be pawned off to pay for their financial shortfalls. On parole themselves for a variety of offenses and fearful of what a “corrupting the morals of a minor” conviction might mean to their personal liberties, they swore to the court they had no prior knowledge of what I was doing, and I, too naive for my own good, said nothing to contradict their lies. It was my third offense in six months, a tipping point that landed me a three-month juvenile detention stint. Although I didn’t know it at the time, my parents’ own legal issues would make it unfeasible for me to be released back into their custody when I completed my initial sentence. So three months became six months. Which became a year. Which was extended until I reached my eighteenth birthday.
S.M. Thayer (I Will Never Leave You)
Eve taught me to look at the overall picture, to read the cards as art and intuition as much as a science. Women were more in touch with that innate sense than men. Women resonated with the cards. Rather than read the cards in order, I let the entire pattern seep in. I understood the 8 of Clubs and the Ace of Spades. The Queen of Diamonds, I sensed, would be a real person to provide the essentials of life. Then my heart sank when I saw the two Jacks, the Pretenders, the Liars who would upset my balance on the one hand, and try to exert power over me on the other. They framed the 2 of hearts. The Jacks would jeopardize my love life. I’d have to be wary in that domain. It had been quite a while since I had taken a lover. With this news, I would wait. I’d return to New York City, and meet two people who would be my Ace and my Queen. I took the calendar from the wall near the telephone, and sat down on Nestor’s chair. I stared at it, unbelieving; it had been six months since Nestor’s passing. I had spent half a year sorting through Nestor’s things, working, making no new friends, and taking no lovers. I had performed my duties, including marking the calendar mechanically. I operated in a daze. Several people had asked me if they could help. I didn’t understand, but now I knew. I had lost all sense of time and of myself, and I needed to rejoin life. My nineteenth birthday was just six months away. I would stay in Key West until then. In the interim, I would decide what I wanted to keep from Nestor’s legacy and, as he wished, place the rest.
Robin Ader (Lovers' Tarot)
At birth, your baby can distinguish between the sounds of every language that has ever been invented. Professor Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, discovered this phenomenon. She calls kids at this age “citizens of the world”. Chomsky puts it this way: We are not born with the capacity to speak a specific language. We are born with the capacity to speak any language. Unfortunately, things don’t stay that way. By their first birthday, Kuhl found, babies can no longer distinguish between the sounds of every language on the planet. They can distinguish only between those to which they have been exposed in the past six months. A Japanese baby not exposed to “rake” and “lake” during her second six months of life cannot distinguish between those two sounds by the time she is 1 year old.
John Medina (Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five)
having specific things to look forward to massively increases your enjoyment of them. “It extends the experience,” says Cassie Mogilner, a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, who specializes in happiness research. “The whole time you’re looking forward to it and anticipating it, you’re getting some of the benefits of the experience itself.” This is one of the reasons why people love vacation travel. You generally have to figure it out at least a few days ahead of time. Indeed, research published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life in 2010 found that vacation anticipation boosted happiness levels for eight weeks—an argument for planning more shorter trips rather than a few longer ones. Plan a four-day weekend every other month and the happiness boost could last all year. I know this anticipation factor is why I always have great birthday weeks. Not only do I think ahead of time about what I’d like to do—meeting up with friends, taking the kids somewhere fun, getting a massage—I plan these activities in advance and then enjoy seeing them on my calendar, knowing that tickets are purchased and babysitters are booked.
Laura Vanderkam (All the Money in the World)
In her first year of life, your baby's brain will double in size and by her first birthday it will be half the size of an adult brain.
aidie London: Seffie Wells, MSc (Your Baby's First Year: Month by month Developmental Milestones)
Today is Casanova’s seventy-third birthday, and he is already suffering from the debilitating painful bladder disorder which will claim his life in two months’ time. Considering how many deceived husbands and women must have wanted to kill him during the course of his long life it is ironic that he is destined to die of a urinary infection in the safety of his own bed.
Judith Summers (Casanova's Women: The Great Seducer and the Women He Loved)
I sneak a look at my reflection when she isn’t paying attention—not for the sake of vanity, but out of curiosity. A lot can happen to a person’s appearance in three months. In my reflection, I see a narrow face, wide, round eyes, and a long, thin nose—I still look like a little girl, though sometime in the last few months I turned sixteen. The other factions celebrate birthdays, but we don’t. It would be self-indulgent.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
42 years 0 months 0 days; or 504 months 0 days; or 2191 weeks 3 days; or 15,340 days; or 368,160 hours; or 22,089,600 minutes; or 1,325,376,000 seconds; I had survived all these times, it's lonely because of all your love, wishes and blessings ... !!!
P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar
Outside the snapdragons, cords of light. Today is easy as weeds & winds & early. Green hills shift green. Cardinals peck at feeders—an air seed salted. A power line across the road blows blue bolts. Crickets make crickets in the grass. We are made & remade together. An ant circles the sugar cube. Our shadow’s a blown sail running blue over cracked tiles. Cool glistening pours from the tap, even on the edges. A red wire, a live red wire, a temperature. Time, in balanced soil, grows inside the snapdragons. In the sizzling cast iron, a cut skin, a sunny side runs yellow across the pan. Silver pots throw a blue shadow across the range. We must carry this the length of our lives. Tall stones lining the garden flower at once. Tin stars burst bold & celestial from the fridge; blue applause. Morning winds crash the columbines; the turf nods. Two reeling petal-whorls gleam & break. Cartoon sheep are wool & want. Happy birthday oak; perfect in another ring. Branch shadows fall across the window in perfect accident without weight. Orange sponge a thousand suds to a squeeze, know your water. School bus, may you never rust, always catching scraps of children’s laughter. Add a few phrases to the sunrise, and the pinks pop. Garlic, ginger, and mangoes hang in tiers in a cradle of red wire. That paw at the door is a soft complaint. Corolla of petals, lean a little toward the light. Everything the worms do for the hills is a secret & enough. Floating sheep turn to wonder. Cracking typewriter, send forth your fire. Watched too long, tin stars throw a tantrum. In the closet in the dust the untouched accordion grows unclean along the white bone of keys. Wrapped in a branch, a canvas balloon, a piece of punctuation signaling the end. Holy honeysuckle, stand in your favorite position, beside the sandbox. The stripes on the couch are running out of color. Perfect in their polished silver, knives in the drawer are still asleep. A May of buzz, a stinger of hot honey, a drip of candy building inside a hive & picking up the pace. Sweetness completes each cell. In the fridge, the juice of a plucked pear. In another month, another set of moths. A mosquito is a moment. Sketched sheep are rather invincible, a destiny trimmed with flouncy ribbon. A basset hound, a paw flick bitching at black fleas. Tonight, maybe we could circle the floodwaters, find some perfect stones to skip across the light or we can float in the swimming pool on our backs—the stars shooting cells of light at each other (cosmic tag)—and watch this little opera, faults & all.
Kevin Phan (How to Be Better by Being Worse)
Five months later, I received a text from Pointel. It was September 23. I remember it distinctly because it was my birthday. I was in the middle of celebrating the event as was appropriate, by drinking a six-pack of beer in bed watching Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now, when the message appeared on my phone.
Yannick Haenel (Hold Fast Your Crown)
I love Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. Her writing style is incredibly poetic and complex. She doesn’t “allow” any laziness in reading her work; so beyond the incredible story, I learned to take my time to absorb the characters, and to reread passages when there was so much to unpack. It was also the book I asked my late husband to read when he dropped his pickup line to get to know me better. Our first date was a book review—and clearly he passed with flying colors. Two months later, he presented me with a painting of his interpretation of the book as a birthday gift. I knew then that I wanted to marry him. Anyone who could take his time to read, comprehend, and interpret Toni Morrison’s work, based on my recommendation, was someone I wanted to spend significant time with. That experience taught me that when people care, they’ll go beyond the extra mile to understand you. So Toni Morrison helped me set a high bar.
Timothy Ferriss (Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World)
I will leave you if you ever do that again,” she said after the first time, and she was deadly serious, my God she was serious. She knew exactly how she was meant to behave in a situation like this. The boys were only eight months old. Perry cried. She cried. He promised. He swore on his children’s lives. He was heartbroken. He bought her the first piece of jewelry she would never wear. A week after the twins had their second birthday, it happened again. Worse than the first time.
Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies)
ROZ: My sister and I became guarded with each other in the weeks and months after our mother died. I don’t think either of us had a handle on what it was about, but I, in my characteristic way, was eager to roll up my sleeves and iron out some issues with her. She, less given to argument, preferred to keep her distance. Many is the time I drove through the streets of Boston presenting my case in the most cogent terms to a full courtroom just beyond the dashboard, while she was safely closeted a state away. My birthday came and went and still we had not managed to get together; of course I felt all the more put upon. Finally I had the grace to ask myself, “What’s happening here?” and I caught a glimpse of the in-between. All the energy I had been expending to shape a persuasive argument was actually propelling us apart. And I missed her—acutely. I thought that if I could just see her we surely could find some solutions. So I called her, and invited myself to her house for breakfast, and got up in the dark and was down in Connecticut by seven. There in the kitchen in her nightgown I found her, looking like my favorite sister in all the world. We talked gaily while we drank black Italian coffee, and then we took a long morning walk down the leafy dirt roads of Ashford, Connecticut, while her chocolate Lab, Chloe, ran ahead and came back, ran ahead and came back, in long arcs of perpetual motion. What did we talk about? The architecture, and the countryside, and the cats that Chloe was eager to visit at the farm ahead. We revisited scenes featuring our hilarious mother. We talked about my work, and about a paper she was about to present. My “case” never came up; it must have gotten lost somewhere along that wooded road because by the time I got in the car—my courtroom, my favorable jury—it was no longer on the docket. Did we resolve the issues? Obviously not, but the issues themselves are rarely what they seem, no matter what pains are taken to verify the scoreboard. We walked together, moved our arms, became joyous in the sunlight, and breathed in the morning. At that moment there were no barriers between us. And from that place, I felt our differences could easily be spoken. My disagreements with my sister were but blips on our screen compared to the hostilities individuals and nations are capable of when anger, fear, and the sense of injustice are allowed to develop unchecked. “Putting things aside” then becomes quite a different matter. At the apex of desperation and rage, we need a new invention to see us through.
Rosamund Stone Zander (The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life)
My stubborn reluctance to fly was further evidence to my father of my status as second-rate adventurer and thus second-rate child. This battle over flight raged for my entire childhood, but airplanes never played as prominent a role in my life as they did from the fourth birthday of my son, Fred, until three months before his fifth. For those nine months, I lived and breathed jets, helicopters and fighter planes. I called my son Orville at his demand. I stalked appliance stores for refrigerator boxes that could stand in for crude, wobbly airplanes—cardboard boxes that Fred ate in, played in and slept in when I was simply too worn-out to fight him. As you can imagine, my father, Captain Lance “the Silver Eagle” Whitman, was thrilled with my son’s obsession. For those nine months, I was elevated to the first-class status I had craved my entire life.
Rebecca L. Brown (Flying at Night)
How many troops do we embark?' inquired Philip. 'Two hundred and forty-five rank and file, and six officers. Poor fellows! There are but few of them will ever return; nay, more than one-half will not see another birthday. It is a dreadful climate. I have landed three hundred men at that horrid hole, and in six months, even before I had sailed, there were not one hundred left alive.' 'It is almost murder to send them there,' observed Philip. 'Pshaw! They must die somewhere, and if they die a little sooner, what matter? Life is a commodity to be bought and sold like any other. We send out so much manufactured goods and so much money to barter for Indian commodities. We also send out so much life, and it gives a good return to the Company.' 'But not to the poor soldiers, I am afraid.' 'No; the Company buy it cheap and sell it dear,' replied the captain, who walked forward. True, thought Philip, they do purchase human life cheap, and make a rare profit of it, for without these poor fellows how could they hold their possessions in spite of native and foreign enemies? For what a paltry and cheap annuity do these men sell their lives? For what a miserable pittance do they dare all the horrors of a most deadly climate, without a chance, a hope of return to their native land, where they might happily repair their exhausted energies, and take a new lease of life!
Frederick Marryat (The Phantom Ship)
My mother buys a handful of wishing beans, which just seem to be white, dry beans with no specific magickal import. She will parse these out over the months when she feels her family members most need a wish. She can believe in wishes, since it is the familiar magic of wells, birthdays, and first stars.
Thomm Quackenbush (Pagan Standard Times: Essays on the Craft)
I’d already been an orphan, a wife, and a mother. Now I was a widow. I was only three months past my sixteenth birthday.
Donna Foley Mabry (Maude)
Nathaniel said, “Allow me to help.” She kept pacing. “What can you do?” “I can marry you.” She whirled, incredulous. “Marry me?” He flinched as though she’d slapped him. “I know it was Lewis you wanted. If that is still the case, I will do everything in my power to convince him. In fact, he may be more amenable, now he knows of your inheritance.” She frowned. “I don’t want to marry Lewis. How would marrying anybody help my sister?” “If Marcus has proposed to your sister to force you from hiding . . . and still hopes to marry you for your inheritance . . .” “My birthday is only two weeks away. If I can remain unwed until I receive my inheritance I will grant Caroline a generous dowry and she can marry someone worthy of her. And I can marry, or not, as I wish.” He shook his head. “You have been living under our roof for months now, Margaret. A gentleman in such a situation, unusual as this one is, has a certain duty, a certain obligation.” A chill ran through her. She lifted her chin. “I assure you there is no obligation, Mr. Upchurch. You and your brother did not know I was here, though I suspect your sister knew all along. You need not worry. You are under no compunction to uphold my honor, such as it is after all this.” “It would be no burden, Miss Macy, I promise you.” He took a step nearer, a grin touching his mouth. “In fact, I can think of no other woman I would rather be shackled to.” She stiffened, anger flaring. “I don’t want you to be shackled to me. I don’t want anyone to have to marry me. Not Marcus Benton, not Lewis, and not you.” “Margaret, I was only joking. Don’t—” She whipped opened the door and whispered harshly, “Now I must ask you to leave, sir, this very moment.” Nathaniel hesitated. Then, with a look of pained regret, he complied.
Julie Klassen (The Maid of Fairbourne Hall)
want to be someone who really celebrates the gift of the people God has given me to love. Here are a few simple ways to celebrate friends. Hold a special tea for your friends and their mothers. Celebrate with a tea for graduates, Mother's Day, or the first day of spring. Put on a birthday tea with special attention on the "big 0" ones. The anniversary of a special event or even a cup of tea to celebrate the end of a bad week or month are also good reasons to commune together. oday why not do a spontaneous act of kindness? Write a note to someone who would never expect it. Put a rose in your hubby's briefcase. Return a shopping cart for someone. Let someone merge into traffic and give him or her a big wave and smile. A thank you note out of the blue to someone who's said something nice about you will bless his or her day. Give another driver your parking spot. Leave a gift of money for someone anonymously. Call your mom or dad for no special reason. Send a letter to a teacher and thank him or her for all they do. Ask an older person to tell you his or her life story. Hebrews 13:2 reminds us to "entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.
Emilie Barnes (365 Things Every Woman Should Know)
What happens on the morning of the first birthday?
Heidi Murkoff (What to Expect: The Second Year: For the 13th to 24th Month, this Step-by-Step Guide Explains Everything You Need to Know About Your Toddler)
Where were you on the night of March 7?" Typical detective stuff you hear on television all the time. It's so phony. I hate it. Most people can't remember where they were three nights ago much less on a particular date. I know I can't. The times you remember are the ones you're supposed to: Christmas Day, the Fourth of July, your birthday. As you get older and occasionally look back, even those days drift together into one small blob of memories. But you always remember the first time and the last. You remember your first day of school and the last. You remember the first time you went to the show by yourself and the last time you saw your grandfather. The first time you made love. Most of the nights of my life have passed by barely noticed, like the black squares of rosary beads slipping through the wrinkled fingers in the last pew. But later, when I've looked back, I've realized that a few ink colored seeds have taken root in my mind and have grown into oaken strength. My dreams drift back and nestle in their branches. If those nights were suddenly not to be, I, who had come to lean on them, to relish those few surviving leaves of a young autumn that has passed and will not come again, would not know where I'd been. And I'd wonder, even more so, if there was anywhere to go. Every Chicago winter delivers four gray weeks, with rare spots of sunshine that are apparently the flipside of hell. Teeth bared, the wind comes snarling off the lake with every intention of shredding the skin off your face. Numb since November, hands can no longer tell or care if they are wearing gloves. Snowmen, offsprings of childhood enthusiasm, are rarely born during these weeks. Along with the human spirit, the temperature continues to plummet. The ground is smothered by aging layers of ice and snow. Looking at a magazine ad, you see a vaguely familiar blanket of green. Squinting back through months of brown snow, salt-marked shoes, running noses, icy railings, slippery sidewalks, and smoking sewers, you try to recall the feeling of grass. February is four weeks of hanging onto the ropes, waiting to be saved from a knockout by the bell of spring. One year, I was invited to Engrim University's President's Ball, which was to be held on the first Saturday in February. I don't know why I was invited. Most of the students who received invitations were involved in a number of extracurricular activities; they participated in student government, belonged to various clubs, were presidents of fraternities or sororities, were doing extremely well academically or were, in some other way, pleasing the gods. I was never late with my tuition payments. Maybe that was it. Regardless, the President's Ball was to be held in the main ballroom of one of Chicago's swankiest hotels. I thought it was an excellent opportunity to impress Sarah with my importance. A light snowfall was dotting the night air when
John R. Powers (The Unoriginal Sinner and the Ice-Cream God (Loyola Classics))
His name had been Jason Kenneth Rickard, and he had finished his earthly sojourn a month shy of his twenty-ninth birthday.
Lee Child (Never Go Back (Jack Reacher, #18))
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. —Matthew 5:6 (KJV) Hey, old man.” It was my sister Keri on the line. “I can’t believe you are about to turn forty.” Hearing those words rang hard in my head. How could I be forty? It was time for a reality check. I was passionate about my career. My son Harrison was a wellspring of joy, and six-month-old Mary Katherine had forever changed Corinne’s and my life for the better. Yet, I couldn’t help but think about my shortcomings. Did I reach out to others or was I too self-centered? Was I giving back in proportion to what had been given to me? Was I mindful enough of the teachings of Jesus? Was I His defender? I tortured myself remembering that Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. achieved greatness before age forty. How could my life ever measure up to theirs? My big day started with birthday calls, but by lunch I was feeling disappointed. How anticlimactic it seemed. In the afternoon, Corinne suggested we take a drive to a friend’s farm. She led me to a converted barn and swung open the door. “Surprise!” The room was filled with family and friends. Toasts followed. One friend spoke of our work in Africa; another thanked me for helping his parents through a hard financial time; another mentioned my work in the inner city. Small steps, I thought. Tiny acts far from greatness. But wait! Why am I treating forty as a deadline? What better age to begin again to make the world right, to reach out, to give, to defend God’s rightness? Everything old turned new in that moment, and I was on my way. Father, I want to do more than long for a better world. Come with me. Help me make it happen. —Brock Kidd Digging Deeper: Gal 6:9; Eph 2:10
Guideposts (Daily Guideposts 2014)
On the other hand, Andrea had decided last month, on the occasion of her twelfth birthday and for no discernible reason (at least, none that an adult could discern), that from then on her given name would be Fitzwinkle. And then
Alan Dean Foster (Drowning World (Founding of the Commonwealth, #4))
Therefore, if you want your child to eat healthy foods, you must stop giving him “treats”. Limit milk and dairy products to no more than 500 ml (17 oz) or less a day for children older than twelve months, don’t offer anything but water to drink (no more milk, juice, and never any fizzy drinks), and save the treats for special occasions such as holidays or birthdays.
Carlos González (My Child Won't Eat!: How to enjoy mealtimes without worry)
Having seen her endure nine months of discomfort during pregnancy and the horrendous pain of childbirth, I could hardly believe my ears when she told me she wanted to have a second child. Now a seasoned pro, I was thrilled to help her again. And together we went through it all once more. As her children grew from infants in cribs to toddlers in nursery school, I picked them up from school, helped with birthday parties, and babysat, to give my friend much-needed afternoon breaks.
Aralyn Hughes (Kid Me Not: An anthology by child-free women of the '60s now in their 60s)
Once upon a time, there lived a man who had a terrible passion for baked beans. He loved them, but they always had an embarrassing and somewhat lively reaction on him. One day he met a girl and fell in love. When it was apparent that they would marry, he thought to himself 'She'll never go for me carrying on like that,' so he made the supreme sacrifice and gave up beans, and shortly after that they got married.      A few months later, on the way home from work, his car broke down and since they lived in the country, he called his wife and told her he would be late because he had to walk. On his way home, he passed a small cafe and the wonderful aroma of baked beans overwhelmed him. Since he still had several miles to walk he figured he could walk off any ill affects before he got home. So he went in and ordered, and before leaving had three extra-large helpings of baked beans. All the way home he farted. He 'putted' down one hill and 'putt-putted' up the next. By the time he arrived home he felt reasonably safe.      His wife met him at the door and seemed somewhat excited. She exclaimed, 'Darling, I have the most wonderful surprise for you for dinner tonight!' She put a blindfold on him, and led him to his chair at the head of the table and made him promise not to peek. At this point he was beginning to feel another one coming on. Just as she was about to remove the blindfold, the telephone rang. She again made him promise not to peek until she returned, and she went to answer the phone.       While she was gone, he seized the opportunity. He shifted his weight to one leg and let go. It was not only loud, but *ripe* as a rotten egg.        He had a hard time breathing, so he felt for his napkin and fanned the air about him. He had just started to feel better, when another urge came on. He raised his leg and 'rrriiiipppp!' It sounded like a diesel engine revving, and smelled worse. To keep from gagging, he tried fanning his arms a while, hoping the smell would dissipate. Things had just about returned to normal when he felt another urge coming. He shifted his weight to his other leg and let go. This was a real blue ribbon winner; the windows rattled, the dishes on the table shook and a minute later the flowers on the table were dead. While keeping an ear tuned in on the conversation in the hallway, and keeping his promise of staying blindfolded, he carried on like this for the next ten minutes, farting and fanning them each time with his napkin.      When he heard the 'phone farewells' (indicating the end of his loneliness and freedom) he neatly laid his napkin on his lap and folded his hands on top of it. Smiling contentedly, he was the picture of innocence when his wife walked in. Apologizing for taking so long, she asked if he had peeked at the dinner. After assuring her he had not, she removed the blindfold and yelled, 'Surprise!'      To his shock and horror, there were twelve dinner guests seated around the table for his surprise birthday party.
E. King (Best Adult Jokes Ever)
twelve plus three. Steve also reminded me that fifteen-month tours brought to bear the “law of twos”—soldiers would now potentially miss two Christmases, two anniversaries, two birthdays. Still,
Robert M. Gates (Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War)
But despite these signs of ill-omen, the city was poised, with a new myth glinting in the corners of its eyes. August in Bombay: a month of festivals, the month of Krishna's birthday and Coconut Day; and this year - fourteen hours to go, thirteen, twelve - there was an extra festival on the calendar because a nation which had never previously existed was about to win its freedom, catapulting into a world which, although it had five thousand years of history, although it had invented the game of chess and traded with Middle Kingdom Egypt, was nevertheless quite imaginary; into a mythical land, a country which would never exist except by the efforts of phenomenal collective will - except in a dream we all agreed to dream; it was a mass fantasy shared in varying degrees by Bengali and Punjabi, Madrasi and Jat, and would periodically need the satisfaction and renewal which can only be provided by rituals of blood. India, the new myth - a collective fiction in which everything was possible, a fable rivaled only by the two other mighty fantasies: money and God.
Salman Rushdie (Midnight's Children)
How much does this thing cost?” Travis says, walking closer to it. Honestly, Travis is always like this. A negative nelly is what my mother would call him. He always has to ask the questions that nobody wants to answer because it ruins all the fun. “Well, that’s a hard question. Are you talking about the rental price or the price of all the smiles on everyone’s faces as they are having the time of their lives?” “The rental price.” “Well, here’s the thing−” I start, but he holds his hand up and looks to Tina. “$1599.00 plus deposit and taxes,” she says. “WHAT?” Travis exclaims. “No way! Forget it. This is a veto.” “You can’t use a veto for this!” I argue. “Well, I just did,” he says, shrugging. I can see he has already put the idea out of his mind, which is completely ridiculous. I mean, I know it is pretty expensive, but then I think of all the fun memories everyone will make together− and can you really put a price on that? “Travis, you’re not seeing the bigger picture here!” I argue. “We said a small party. A couple of friends, some food and wine. This,” he says, pointing to the obstacle course, “is not small.” “Who wants small for a thirtieth birthday party? I mean, you only turn thirty once−” From the look on Travis’ face I decide to switch tactics. “What about if we charge people?” “You’re crazy,” he says. “Not our guests, but the neighbours and stuff. Kind of like a carnival.” Actually, I just thought of that idea right here and now, but it’s not a bad one. Plus, it might be easier to have the neighbours agree to have it on the street if I let them join in the fun. “Or we could just stick to the regular plan,” Travis says and turns to Tina. “I’m sorry we wasted your time.” I already know the next part of this conversation is not going to go well. “I kind of already put the deposit down,” I say, trying to get an imaginary piece of dirt off my sweater. No one says anything and I am starting to feel pretty sorry for Tina because she looks beyond uncomfortable with the conversation. “What kind of deposit?” Travis says in a low tone. “The non-refundable kind,” I say, biting my lip. “How much was the deposit?” he asks, looking from me to Tina. Tina’s eyes are wide and she looks to me desperately, asking me to rescue her from this awkwardness. Honestly, if anyone needs a life jacket right now− it’s me. “Nimfy perfin,” I mumble. “What?” “Ninety percent,” I say, meeting his eyes. “The remaining ten percent is due on delivery.” “You really are crazy,” he says, shaking his head. “I don’t know what you are getting all worked up about,” I say. “I’m paying for it!” “Etty, this… thing… is your rent for the month!” “I’ll take extra shifts,” I say, shrugging. “I wanted to make sure Scott’s day was really special.” “It’s going to be special because he’s with his friends and family. You don’t need to do these things.” “Yes, I do!” I say. “It’s how I show people that I care about them.” “Write them a nice card,” Travis says slowly. “I knew you wouldn’t understand. You’re always the storm cloud that rains on my parade!” “No, I’m the voice of reason in a land of eternal sunshine and daisies,” he says, and turns to Tina. “Is there any way we can get her deposit back?” Tina is now fidgeting with her skirt. “No, I’m sorry, but−” “Don’t worry Tina, I don’t want my deposit back. What I want is my brother to have the best day ever with his friends and family on a hundred foot inflatable obstacle course,” I narrow my eyes at Travis while lifting my purse further up my shoulder. “Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go and start my first of twenty overtime shifts to pay for the best day of all of our lives.
Emily Harper (My Sort-of, Kind-of Hero)
I’d already been an orphan, a wife, and a mother. Now I was a widow. I was only three months past my sixteenth birthday.  
Donna Foley Mabry (Maude)
a family will visit constantly, daily or even twice a day. Then maybe every other day. Then just weekends. After months or years, the visits taper off, until it’s just, say, birthdays and Christmas. Eventually, most families move away, as far as they can get.
Paul Kalanithi (When Breath Becomes Air)
When we reached the restaurant, a good looking German man by the name of Oberon was already seated at our table. He was a newly appointed Law professor, celebrating his thirtieth birthday by accompanying Ludwig to Dubai. The two had become lovers a few months previously.
Young (Initiation (A Harem Boy's Saga Book 1))
It was not by accident that Miles’s thirtieth birthday came up the week following, while he lingered in quiet ennui by the lakeside. It was the best place to ignore the event, unlike the capital where he was likely to be plagued with acquaintances and relatives, or at least Ivan, ragging him on the topic, or worse, inflicting a party on him. Though Ivan would doubtless be restrained by the knowledge that his turn would be next, in a couple of months. Anyway, Miles would really only be one day older, just like any other day. Right? The
Lois McMaster Bujold (Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10))
Must buy me flours every day. Must say I’m beatifull minnamum five times a day but must say it in diffarant ways and be convinsing. Must buy ten thoussend dollars of joowelry minnemam every month exseppt my birthday and Chrismiss and other holladays then must buy more. My cloathng alloence fifty thouzend a month. He takes care of the cubs I doant chang diapers we get three nannees for kids.
Georgette St. Clair (A Grizzly Kind Of Love (The Mating Game, #3))
I only had time for twenty-four people(tops) in my life, and I already had six siblings. Twenty-four people was an average of two birthdays a month. Ain't nobody got time for more than two birthday celebrations a month.
Penny Reid (Beard Science (Winston Brothers, #3))
I'm not saying our daughter shouldn't have a birthday party. I'm just saying I could organize one in an hour. I'd order some pizzas, get a cake at the supermarket, organize some fun party games for little girls - 'Run Around Shrieking,' 'Run Around Shrieking Some More,' etc. - and boom, there's your party. I'm not saying it would be the greatest birthday celebration ever. For one thing, it would be roughly a month after my daughter's actual birthday, because I am not good with dates. But it would get the job done. My wife, on the other hand, believes the party should be along the lines of the Super Bowl halftime show, only more elaborate.
Dave Barry (I'll Mature When I'm Dead: Dave Barry's Amazing Tales of Adulthood)
Chase - ‘You look beautiful today.’ Me - ‘Were you watching me?’ Chase - ‘Maybe. I finally got to give you your lilies.’ Me - ‘You already gave me my lilies a few months ago, remember?’ Chase - ‘I couldn’t forget that day even if I tried.’ Me - ‘Well you could have given these to me yourself you know. I would have liked to see you.’ Chase - ‘It was worth it to see that smile on your face’ Me - ‘:) Thank you for my flowers. I love them’ Chase - ‘What are you doing for your Birthday?’ Me - ‘Dinner with your fam tonight, movies at the house after. You’re invited.’ Chase - ‘I’ll see what I can do.’ Once
Molly McAdams (Taking Chances (Taking Chances, #1))
From The Bridge” by Captain Hank Bracker Mundane Happenings Life is just packed with “Mundane Happenings!” It’s the mundane happenings that usually take the most time and they always seem to interfere, just about when you want to do something really important. Let’s start with mundane things that are routine, like doing the dishes and taking out the garbage. The list for a single person might be a little less involved or complicated but it would be every bit as important as that of a married couple or people with lots of children or even pets. Oh yes, for some the list of mundane responsibilities would include washing clothes and taking the children to their activities. You know what I mean… school, sports, hobbies, their intellectual endeavors and the like. For most of us beds have to be made, the house has to be kept clean, grass has to be cut and the flowers have to be pruned. Then there are the seasonal things, such as going trick or treating, buying the children everything they need before school starts or before going to summer camp. Let’s not forget Christmas shopping as well as birthdays and anniversaries. This list is just an outline of mundane happenings! I’m certain that you can fill in any of these broad topics with a detailed account of just how time consuming these little things can be. Of course we could continue to fill in our calendar with how our jobs consume our precious time. For some of us our jobs are plural, meaning we have more than one job or sometimes even more than that. I guess you get the point… it’s the mundane happenings that eat up our precious time ferociously. Blink once and the week is gone, blink twice and it’s the month and then the year and all you have to show for it, is a long list of the mundane things you have accomplished. Would you believe me, if I said that it doesn’t have to be this way? Really, it doesn’t have to, and here is what you can do about it. First ask yourself if you deserve to recapture any of the time you are so freely using for mundane things. Of course the answer should be a resounding yes! The next question you might want to ask yourself is what would you do with the time you are carving out for yourself? This is where we could part company, however, whatever it is it should be something personal and something that is fulfilling to you! For me, it became a passion to write about things that are important to me! I came to realize that there were stories that needed to be told! You may not agree, however I love sharing my time with others. I’m interested in hearing their stories, which I sometimes even incorporate into my writings. I also love to tell my stories because I led an exciting life and love to share my adventures with my friends and family, as well as you and future generations. I do this by establishing, specifically set, quiet time, and have a cave, where I can work; and to me work is fun! This is how and where I wrote The Exciting Story of Cuba, Suppressed I Rise, now soon to be published as a “Revised Edition” and Seawater One…. Going to Sea! Yes, it takes discipline but to me it’s worth the time and effort! I love doing this and I love meeting new friends in the process. Of course I still have mundane things to do…. I believe it was the astronaut Allen Shepard, who upon returning to Earth from the Moon, was taking out the garbage and looking up saw a beautifully clear full Moon and thought to himself, “Damn, I was up there!” It’s the accomplishment that makes the difference. The mundane will always be with us, however you can make a difference with the precious moments you set aside for yourself. I feel proud about the awards I have received and most of all I’m happy to have recorded history as I witnessed it. My life is, gratefully, not mundane, and yours doesn’t have to be either.” Captain Hank Bracker, author of the award winning book “The Exciting Story of Cuba.
Hank Bracker (The Exciting Story of Cuba: Understanding Cuba's Present by Knowing Its Past)
My grand baby is growing so fast, I can't believe she's already celebrating her first birthday in this month of October 2016. Happy Birthday Norah Grace, grandma loves you.
Euginia Herlihy
There were dozens of theories about what it was, that dome. Every scientist in the world, it seemed, had made a pilgrimage to the site. Tests had been conducted, measurements taken. They had tried drilling through it. Under it. Had flown over it. Had dug beneath it. Had approached it by submarine. Nothing worked. Every species of doomsayer from Luddite to End Times nut had had his say. It was a judgment. On America’s technological obsession, on America’s moral failure. This. That. Something else. Then the twins had popped out. Just like that. First Emma. Then, a few minutes later, Anna. Alive and well at the exact moment of their fifteenth birthday. They told tales of life inside the bowl. What they called the FAYZ. Connie Temple’s heart had swelled with pride for what she had learned of her son, Sam. And crashed into despair with tales of her other son, her unacknowledged child, Caine. Then, nothing. No other kids arrived for a while. Black despair settled over the families as they realized that it would be only these two. Months passed. Many lost faith. How could kids survive alone? But then, the Prophetess had reached into their dreams. One night Connie Temple had a lurid, incredible dream. She’d never had such a detailed dream. It was terrifying. The power of it took her breath away. There was a girl in that dream. This girl spoke to her in the dream. It’s a dream, the girl said. Yes, just a dream, Connie had answered. Not just a dream. Never say “just” a dream, the girl had corrected. A dream is a window to another reality. Who are you? Connie had asked. My name is Orsay. I know your son. Connie had been about to say, Which one? But some instinct stopped her. The girl did not look dangerous. She looked hungry. Do you have a message for Sam? the girl asked. Yes, Connie said. Tell him to let them go. Let them go. Let them go off into the red sunset.
Michael Grant (Lies (Gone, #3))
Settling into prison life, Hitler was at a crossroads. At a classic midpoint in life—his thirty-fifth birthday was just days away—he faced six months of empty time and an uncertain future.
Peter Ross Range (1924: The Year That Made Hitler)
He would have been forty-two years old in two months. His forty-first had been his very last birthday, as it turned out.
David Baldacci (The Last Mile (Amos Decker, #2))
Origin stories are like birthday parties: very exciting and colorful and noisy; but in the end, they’re all the same. Anticipation sizzles around for weeks before the Big Day, but when it comes, your shindig looks pretty much like the little one Peter had last month. That’s an order of operations: take off your coats, pin the tail on the donkey, infection, singing, cake, mutation, balloon, gifts, branding, maybe a magician or a clown, exhaustion, and a bag of toys to take home. You’re the same person today as yesterday. You just got a really big present and a shiny new hat to wear.
Catherynne M. Valente (The Refrigerator Monologues)
I kept myself to myself in the early years. I walked around and around the playground pretending to scale great mountain ranges or horizontal marshlands. In the summer months I sat beneath a sycamore tree on the edge of the school field. I collected insects in my hands only to release them at the end of playtime or lunch hour. Daddy asked me if I wanted an insect collecting set for my birthday or some jars to put them in to and take them home but I said I did not. I liked having them in my hands for that certain amount of time then letting them go off again into the undergrowth, back to their homes and to their lives. I would think about them living those lives while I sat back in my chair in the classroom and gazed blankly at times-tables.
Fiona Mozley (Elmet)
Daniel.” “Ma.” “Are you well?” She was angry. If the straight-to-voicemail treatment for the last week hadn’t tipped me off, her tone now was a dead giveaway. “I’m great,” I lied. “And how are you?” “Fine.” I laughed, silently. If she heard me laugh, she’d have my balls. “Did you get my messages?” “Yes. Thank you for calling.” I waited for a minute, for her to say more. She didn’t. “I leave you twenty-one messages, three calls a day, and that’s all you got for me?” “I’m not going to apologize for needing some time to cool off and I’m not going to sugarcoat it. Who do you think I am? Willy Wonka? You missed my birthday.” She sniffed. And these weren’t crocodile tears either. I’d hurt her feelings. Ahh, there it is. The acrid taste of guilt. “Ma . . .” “I don’t ask for a lot. I love you. I love my children. I want you to call me on my birthday.” “I know.” I was clutching my chest so my heart didn’t fall out and bleed all over the grass. “What could have been so important that you couldn’t spare a few minutes for your mother? I was so worried.” “I did call you—” “Don’t shit on a plate and tell me it’s fudge, Daniel. You called after midnight.” I hadn’t come up with a plausible lie for why I hadn’t called on her birthday, because I wasn’t a liar. I hated lying. Premeditated lying, coming up with a story ahead of time, crafting it, was Seamus’s game. If I absolutely had to lie, I subscribed to spur-of-the-moment lying; it made me less of a soulless maggot. “That’s true, Ma. But I swear I—” “Don’t you fucking swear, Daniel. Don’t you fucking do that. I raised you kids better.” “Sorry, sorry.” “What was so important, huh?” She heaved a watery sigh. “I thought you were in a ditch, dying somewhere. I had Father Matthew on standby to give you your last rights. Was your phone broken?” “No.” “Did you forget?” Her voice broke on the last word and it was like being stabbed. The worst. “No, I sw—ah, I mean, I didn’t forget.” Lie. Lying lie. Lying liar. “Then what?” I grimaced, shutting my eyes, taking a deep breath and said, “I’m married.” Silence. Complete fucking silence. I thought maybe she wasn’t even breathing. Meanwhile, in my brain: Oh. Shit. What. The. Fuck. Have. I. Done. . . . However. However, on the other hand, I was married. I am married. Not a lie. Yeah, we hadn’t had the ceremony yet, but the paperwork was filed, and legally speaking, Kat and I were married. I listened as my mom took a breath, said nothing, and then took another. “Are you pulling my leg with this?” On the plus side, she didn’t sound sad anymore. “No, no. I promise. I’m married. I—uh—was getting married.” “Wait a minute, you got married on my birthday?” Uh . . . “Uh . . .” “Daniel?” “No. We didn’t get married on your birthday.” Shit. Fuck. “We’ve been married for a month, and Kat had an emergency on Wednesday.” Technically, not lies. “That’s her name? Cat?” “Kathleen. Her name is Kathleen.” “Like your great aunt Kathleen?” Kat wasn’t a thing like my great aunt. “Yeah, the name is spelled the same.” “Last month? You got married last month?” She sounded bewildered, like she was having trouble keeping up. “Is she—is she Irish?” “No.” “Oh. That’s okay. Catholic?” Oh jeez, I really hadn’t thought this through. Maybe it was time for me to reconsider my spur-of-the-moment approach to lying and just surrender to being a soulless maggot. “No. She’s not Catholic.” “Oh.” My mom didn’t sound disappointed, just a little surprised and maybe a little worried. “Daniel, I—you were married last month and I’m only hearing about it now? How long have you known this woman?” I winced. “Two and a half years.” “Two and a half years?” she screeched...
Penny Reid (Marriage of Inconvenience (Knitting in the City, #7))
THERE IS ONE mirror in my house. It is behind a sliding panel in the hallway upstairs. Our faction allows me to stand in front of it on the second day of every third month, the day my mother cuts my hair. I sit on the stool and my mother stands behind me with the scissors, trimming. The strands fall on the floor in a dull, blond ring. When she finishes, she pulls my hair away from my face and twists it into a knot. I note how calm she looks and how focused she is. She is well-practiced in the art of losing herself. I can’t say the same of myself. I sneak a look at my reflection when she isn’t paying attention—not for the sake of vanity, but out of curiosity. A lot can happen to a person’s appearance in three months. In my reflection, I see a narrow face, wide, round eyes, and a long, thin nose—I still look like a little girl, though sometime in the last few months I turned sixteen. The other factions celebrate birthdays, but we don’t. It would be self-indulgent. “There,” she says when she pins the knot in place. Her eyes catch mine in the mirror. It is too late to look away, but instead of scolding me, she smiles at our reflection. I frown a little. Why doesn’t she reprimand me for staring at myself? “So today is the day,” she says. “Yes,” I reply. “Are you nervous?” I stare into my own eyes for a moment. Today is the day of the aptitude test that will show me which of the five factions I belong in. And tomorrow, at the Choosing Ceremony, I will decide on a faction; I will decide the rest of my life; I will decide to stay with my family or abandon them. “No,” I say. “The tests don’t have to change our choices.” “Right.” She smiles. “Let’s go eat breakfast.” “Thank you. For cutting my hair.” She kisses my cheek and slides the panel over the mirror. I think my mother could be beautiful, in a different world.
Veronica Roth (Divergent (Divergent, #1))
As much as we hate them, tantrums are very much a part of almost every child’s development. As soon as children are old enough to hold an idea in their head, that is, to remember what it was they wanted, they are old enough to have a tantrum about not getting it. Tantrums can begin as early as six months, but you don’t usually see the classic tantrum until the child is around fifteen to eighteen months old. When they end is a bit less predictable, as that variable has to do with your child’s development and with you, but they usually begin to ease up after three or three and a half years, and they certainly diminish in frequency. What causes a tantrum? Usually it is due to frustration or anger. In their mission to learn about the world, test limits, try out their autonomy, and be in control, young children will be thwarted at every turn. Their frustration level is certainly exacerbated by their lack of language skills and their inability to make things work the way they want. Tantrums are completely normal. And they really do make sense when you keep the young child’s agenda in mind: I know what I want. Yesterday at the birthday party I had ice cream. It was great. I want it again…now. You explain why ice cream is not a choice, and he has a screaming fit. But he hasn’t forgotten, and an hour later he tries again. Yes. Ice cream. That’s what I want. And each time he asks, you thwart his desire, over and over again, until he is exhausted and totally frustrated. Here comes the tantrum. It is universally accepted that the worst time of day is from around 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. or so. Many a parent complains about her child’s behavior being particularly challenging then. Your house becomes a “whinery.” I call it the “Piranha Hour”—that’s when mothers want to eat their young! At the end of the day, everyone in the family is at his worst. Your children have held it together all day, either at school or home, accepting various limits and basically doing what is expected of them. But this can only go on for so long, and there comes a boiling point. The limit testing, the sibling fighting, the back talk has to come out sometime. At the end of the day, it’s game over. Get ready, here it comes. You too have held it together all day long.
Betsy Brown Braun (Just Tell Me What to Say)
He underwent spontaneous viral amplification two months and six days after his ninth birthday. Posthumous examination of his corpse displayed a final body weight of sixty-two pounds, six ounces. Lisa took her own life. And me? I found a new career. One where I’m still allowed to tell the truth.   —From Another Point of True, the blog of Richard Cousins, April 21, 2040
Mira Grant (Feed (Newsflesh Trilogy, #1))
Aunt Laura had called my dad and asked if I could come over to celebrate my cousins’ birthdays. Kiley and Josh were born the same month and often had a combined “family” party. It was clear to both Dad and me that my aunt had pretty much invited just me. Not my dad. But I didn’t want to go in there alone. And Dad knew that.
Erin Fry (Losing It)
Mick required far less hand-holding than Michael. Signing the Stones, though, had required a full frontal assault worthy of General Patton, one of my heroes. The final battle exploded at the Ritz Hotel in Paris back in ’83. After months of relentless pursuit, I had them. All they had to do was sign when suddenly at 3 A.M. Mick goes mental and calls me a “stupid motherfuckin’ record executive.” I lose it. I reach for his throat. I have a vision of punching out all ninety-eight pounds of him. I stop myself, envisioning tomorrow’s headline—“Yetnikoff Kills Jagger.” Jagger relents, signs and from then on it’s wine and roses. It was Mick—wily and witty Mick—who later that year plotted with my girlfriend, the one called Boom Boom, to throw me a surprise fiftieth birthday bash where Henny Youngman emceed and Jon Peters, Barbra
Walter Yetnikoff (Howling at the Moon: The Odyssey of a Monstrous Music Mogul in an Age of Excess)
You know what you were and it wasn’t a job.” His words taunted me, offering a glimmer of hope. Yet, his words on the driveway less than two months ago lingered in my thoughts. “Why are you bothering me?” “You’re not to go around Mac again. Do you understand?” “I don’t have to listen to you.” Judd narrowed his eyes at me. “Fine. I’ll tell him to stay away from you. He’ll listen if he wants to keep both eyes.” “Whatever. He’s one guy and the college is full of them. Bailey and I are going to a frat party this weekend. Can’t take all of those guys’ eyes.” “Is that a challenge?” “You got me here safe,” I said, trying to look away, but unable to. “You did your job and I’m sure you got paid. What more do you want?” Judd glanced at approaching Harleys then focused on me. When he erased the space between us again, I shivered at the feel of his breath on my cheek. “You know what I want.” “To fuck me because I’m hot.” Judd stared in my eyes and I saw the walls come down. Even staring into those pained baby blues, I remembered how coldly he discarded me. Over a month passed with no word from him. Yet, one guy sniffed around me and Judd was suddenly interested. “Is your birthday present to me to make me a woman?” I whispered, holding his gaze. “You have to know I’m not a virgin and you’d do nothing someone hasn’t done before. There’s no prize between my legs. Maybe you outta stop threatening random men and go find yourself a real woman.” Judd opened his mouth to speak until he heard Cooper’s voice from inside the house. When the arriving guests called back to their boss, Judd stepped away from me. Sighing, he shoved his hands into the pockets of his brown leather jacket. “I see a prize when I look at you,” he said softly as he walked past, “but it’s not between your legs.” He pressed a little wrapped box into my hand. “Happy birthday, angel.” Appearing on the porch, Cooper lost his smile when he saw Judd and me. The men gave each other a little nod before Judd stepped off the porch and past the men who also did their male hello gestures. The men disappeared inside, but Cooper remained next to me as I watched Judd drive away on a black Harley.
Bijou Hunter (Damaged and the Knight (Damaged, #2))
Dear Kitty, Another birthday has gone by, so now I’m fifteen. I received quite a lot of presents. All five parts of Sprenger’s History of Art, a set of underwear, a handkerchief, two bottles of yoghurt, a pot of jam, a spiced gingerbread cake, and a book on botany from Mummy and Daddy, a double bracelet from Margot, a book from the Van Daans, sweet peas from Dussel, sweets and exercise books from Miep and Elli and, the high spot of all, the book Maria Theresa and three slices of full-cream cheese from Kraler. A lovely bunch of peonies from Peter, the poor boy took a lot of trouble to try and find something, but didn’t have any luck. There’s still excellent news of the invasion, in spite of the wretched weather, countless gales, heavy rains, and high seas. Yesterday Churchill, Smuts, Eisenhower, and Arnold visited French villages which have been conquered and liberated. The torpedo boat that Churchill was in shelled the coast. He appears, like so many men, not to know what fear is—makes me envious! It’s difficult for us to judge from our secret redoubt how people outside have reacted to the news. Undoubtedly people are pleased that the idle (?) English have rolled up their sleeves and are doing something at last. Any Dutch people who still look down on the English, scoff at England and her government of old gentlemen, call the English cowards, and yet hate the Germans deserve a good shaking. Perhaps it would put some sense into their woolly brains. I hadn’t had a period for over two months, but it finally started again on Saturday. Still, in spite of all the unpleasantness and bother, I’m glad it hasn’t failed me any longer. Yours, Anne
Anne Frank (The Diary of a Young Girl)
Shawn rested his head against the seat then turned to talk to Sarah. "It's your birthday tomorrow." "Ruby Tuesday's thought it was three months ago." "Ruby Tuesday's has a touch of dementia.
Nina Post (Danger Returns in Pairs (Shawn Danger Mysteries Book 2))
Kristen and I always have a lot to celebrate at the end of June. First there’s Father’s Day, followed by our wedding anniversary and my birthday. But prior to the Best Practices this two-week season of parties didn’t inspire much of a celebratory mood. It always felt strange celebrating Father’s Day, given that my parenting skills had been something of a disappointment for the first three years, and the tears that Kristen had shed on our third wedding anniversary spoke rather poignantly to the fact that our marriage hadn’t been much to celebrate, either. That left my birthday, a day that was all about toasting the birth of the very person who had made Kristen’s life miserable. But after fifteen months of hard work and soul-searching, Kristen and I were finally able to look forward to this season with real anticipation. We were communicating again, and I was beginning to hit my stride as a father and as a husband. I was folding laundry, Kristen was taking her first uninterrupted showers in years, and when America’s Next Top Model wasn’t on during its regularly scheduled hour, I stayed cool as a cucumber. And that gave us plenty of reason to break out the streamers and party hats. Heck, we could have made a layer cake. In light of all this, I decided that June would be the best time to embark on my most ambitious Best Practice yet: being fun.
David Finch (The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man's Quest to Be a Better Husband)
I cried out for everything that had happened in the past month: the murder of my father at my sixteenth birthday party, the kidnapping of my mother, the imprisonment of my brothers, the rape from his best friend, and the loss of my own best friend.
Porscha Sterling (Us Against the World: Finding Love in the Trap)
That doesn’t last. By their first birthday, Kuhl found, babies can no longer distinguish between the sounds of every language on the planet. They can distinguish only between those to which they have been exposed in the past six months.
John Medina (Brain Rules for Baby: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five: How to Raise a Smart and Happy Child from Zero to Five)
It’s cliché, but you know sorry doesn’t actually do anything, right? It’s like a birthday card a month after the day has passed. It’s just a, a, a… a token, a word that makes you feel like you did something but that doesn’t do anything to fill the hole inside of me.
Chuck Wendig (The Hellsblood Bride (Mookie Pearl, #2))
How old are you?” He gave her an odd look, almost as if the question embarrassed him. “Are you certain you wish to know?” “Of course.” Angelica frowned in confusion at his reluctance. She knew he was older than she was, but he couldn’t be much more than thirty. Avoiding her gaze, the duke replied, “I just had my two hundred and seventy-sixth birthday a few months back.” All the breath fled from her body. He was two hundred and seventy-six years old? “H-how long do vampires usually live?” He sat on the stone bench by the lilac bush and sighed. “We live for centuries. In fact, rumor has it that the oldest of us has been around since before Christ was born. Is this to be an interrogation?” He looked up at her sharply. Angelica was reeling from the information, so she almost didn’t notice the flicker of warmth in his eyes when she sat down next to him. “No—yes… perhaps. I am merely curious.” His
Brooklyn Ann (Bite Me, Your Grace (Scandals with Bite, #1))
This is the central barrier to understanding evolution. We understand time through the experience of our own short lives. To truly imagine three and a half billion years is virtually impossible. Imagine yourself living to seventy-I mean really imagine seventy years: being born, a decade and a half of education, many more decades of employment, wars, elections, scientific discoveries, parents lost, middle age, old age-innumerable memories marked off by seventy birthdays and seventy summers and winters. Now try to imagine fifty million of those lifetimes-fifty million of them! Because that is how long life has been developing on earth. But how can you begin to conceive of such an expanse of time? Try this. If, at a modest clip-which I'd recommend, given what I'm proposing-it takes you a minute to count out loud to a hundred, it will take you almost a week of nonstop counting to reach a million. That is, counting without a single break and no sleep. If you could keep counting for twenty-four hours a day for 350 days, you'd reach fifty million. But these are not just meaningless numbers-each one of them represents a lifetime. But almost a year without sleep is inconceivable, so let's try and make it "doable", as Behe would say. Put in eight hours of counting a day, seven days a week. Take a two-week vacation each year. Under these still-harsh working conditions (no weekends off), it will now take you three years to count out these fifty million lifetimes. (You will reach, incidentally, the birth of Christ within the first half minute, and the oldest age of the earth, according to believers in a literal Genesis, within the first two minutes.) But to really comprehend this expanse of time, you would still have to be capable of imagining-as each of those numbers came tripping off your tongue, hour after hour, week after week, month after month, year after year, for three years-that each of those numbers signified a lifetime. Even if you chose to do this, and even if you were capable of the extraordinary effort of will and imagination needed to conceive of what you were actually doing, I suspect that at the end of it you would still be only a little closer to comprehending the vast amount of time involved. In all probability, you would give up long before you finished, overwhelmed by depression at your own insignificance. It is offensive to one's sense of self to imagine this huge expanse of time that came before you and within which you had no relevance. No, it is more than offensive; it is terrifying. How much easier-and how much more comforting-to just put in those first two minutes and imagine, in one way or another, a designer who placed you at the center of it all.
Matthew Chapman
In 1891 Ade discovered a tiled archway in the shadows of the Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, and returned with great golden disks she claimed were dragon scales. She visited Santiago and the Falklands, contracted malaria from Léopoldville, and disappeared for several months in the northeast corner of Maine. She accumulated the dust of other worlds on her skin like ten thousand perfumes, and left constellations of wistful men and impossible tales in her wake. But she never lingered anywhere for long. Most observers told me she was simply a wanderer, driven to move from place to place by the same unknowable pressures that make swallows fly south, but I believe she was something closer to a knight on a quest. I believe she was looking for one particular door and one particular world. In 1893, in the high, snowcapped spring of her twenty-seventh birthday, she found it.
Alix E. Harrow (The Ten Thousand Doors of January)
When my firstborn turned six months old, I decided that this milestone was definitely worth celebrating. And what started as a one-off event quickly became a family tradition: For my kids' half birthdays I make half a cake (it looks like someone just cut a cake down the middle and made the other half disappear), and we sing every other syllable of the "Happy Birthday" song (I'm really good at complicating things, and singing only the first half of the song seemed unfair to the second half). We don't do gifts or a big bash, and we don't blow out candles and make wishes, because wishes should be made only full throttle. We just end the day with a little celebration after dinner, something kind of silly and fun. And cake. Because everything in life should end with sugar.
Kristina Kuzmic (Hold On, But Don't Hold Still)
I hate it when Penny does this. Honestly, it can be so annoying. She lives it though. She didn't buy clothes for an entire year, her senior year at Reed, because she felt like she was irresponsible with money. She always looked very beautiful anyway, and for her birthday I bought her some mittens at Saturday Market for seven dollars. She wore them like they were from Tiffany's or something. She always talked about them. They weren't that big of a deal, but she hadn't had any new clothes for a year so I think she wore them while she was sleeping or something. Penny is right about spending money though. Penny is right about everything. Penny said if I were to save about twenty dollars a month and give it to Northwest Medical Teams or Amnesty International, I would literally be saving lives. Literally. But that stupid pleasure center goes off in my brain, and it feels like there is nothing I can do about it. I told Penny about the pleasure center and how I needed the remote control car to make the pleasure center light up, and she just took the phone away from her car and beat it against her chair.
Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality)
She’d kissed Jamie on the cheek and cried when, at last, he was out of sight. Months later, off at Denison, she sat with classmates and watched the draft lottery live on the grainy common-room television. Jamie’s birthday—March 7—had come up on the second pick. So he would be among the first to be called to fight, she thought, and she wondered where he had gone, if he knew what awaited him, if he would report, or if he would run. Beside her, Billy Richardson squeezed her hand. His birthday was one of the last drawn, and anyway, as an undergraduate, he had been granted a deferral. He was safe. By the time they graduated, the war would be over and they would marry, buy a house, settle down. She had no regrets, she told herself. She’d been crazy to have considered it even for a moment.
Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)
I’d turned fifteen four months ago. My birthday had felt like a huge step toward my future, and I’d been excited. Silly me. My life was already over before it even began. Everything was decided for me.
Cora Reilly (Bound by Honor (Born in Blood Mafia Chronicles, #1))
We can have no sea birds, but we can’t be without oil. Can you imagine life without oil? Your last birthday, I gave you that lovely Ferrari and promised you that you could drive it after you turned fifteen. But without oil, it would be a pile of junk metal and you’d never drive it. Right now, if you want to visit your grandfather, you can get there on my personal jet and cross the ocean in a dozen hours or so. But without oil, you’d have to tumble in a sailboat for more than a month.… These are the rules of the game of civilization: The first priority is to guarantee the existence of the human race and their comfortable life. Everything else is secondary.
Liu Cixin (The Three-Body Problem (Remembrance of Earth’s Past, #1))
Beatrice. I just like B and that’s all. I was named after the month of Junie. ’Cause Junie is the month I was born in, of course! And wait till you hear this! Yesterday, I finally had my birthday!
Barbara Park (Junie B. Jones Is a Graduation Girl (Junie B. Jones, #17))
P.S. Jagadeesh Kumar
Who was I? I played so many roles: daughter, friend, babysitter, runner, girlfriend. I'd been proud when I was elected team captain, but now I wondered who my teammates had thought they'd voted for. And who my classmates had thought they'd elected Homecoming Queen. Sam had said that I was someone who smiled at people in the hallways. In my birthday card just a month ago, Vee had thanked me for always being there to listen. My junior yearbook had been full of notes using words like nice and sweet. But if that was who I was, how had people turned on me so quickly? Take away the people around me and who was I? Just another smiling face? There had to be more.
I.W. Gregorio
I waited for her outside her house and saw her approaching in the aqua-blue dress I had gifted her on her last birthday. She obviously remembered my love for that colour on her and how I always told her that it complimented her skin beautifully. My heartbeat increased just a little as she sat in my car and the scent of her signature perfume- Chanel No 5- diffused in the air of my car. Her sleek-straight hair fell on her face. "Hi Neel. How have you been?" I thought about the first month of sleepless nights, crying, sulking and overthinking and said, "I've been okay.
Insha Juneja (Imperfect Mortals : A Collection of Short Stories)
It took me a couple of years after I woke up in that cold sweat to figure out what flag I was going to plant, and then how to do something with it. Using the process in Step 1, I found the things that I wanted to be known for and the work that I was passionate about. And then I started telling my story all the time to anyone who would actually listen. For me, this story was around Lean UX because of who I was at the time. I created a pitch based on design for designers, by designers, to change the way that they were working. And I honed that voice and that tone and that dialogue by telling the story over and over and over again using blog posts and articles and eventually in-person talks. The first talk I ever gave as a part of my new professional trajectory was on August 12, 2010. I told the story about how we solved the problem of integrating UX into Agile at TheLadders. And then the timeline started to accelerate from there. A month later, on September 24, I gave my first talk about Lean UX and it was in Paris. I was communicating about this topic publicly, and people were saying, “Hey, come give us a talk about it.” And I was writing about the topic in any publication that would actually listen to this kind of thing. I kept speaking and writing and making presentations, and as I got my ideas out into the world and put them into play in any way I could, on March 7, 2011, I finally hit the jackpot. This was three years after I had my 35th-birthday epiphany and the pressure was on—I knew I had just two years left before I was going to become obsolete, an also-ran. I hit the jackpot when I managed to get an article published in Smashing magazine. At the time, Smashing had a million readers online, and so the scale of my conversation was growing and growing because I was becoming known as the guy who had some answers to this question. That was a massive break for me because the article provided me with a global audience for the first time. Obviously, anything you publish on the internet is global and distributed, but the bottom line is that, if the platform you choose or that chooses you has a built-in audience, you stand a much bigger chance. Smashing magazine had an audience. The article, titled “Lean UX: Getting Out of the Deliverables Business” became very successful, and that’s where I planted my flag—providing solutions to the Agile and design problem with a real-world tested solution nicely packaged and labeled as Lean UX.
Jeff Gothelf (Forever Employable: How to Stop Looking for Work and Let Your Next Job Find You)
They both laughed, and then Maude surprised herself by saying, "You've been a good friend, Brien, for longer than I can remember. You helped me get through the worst time of my life, and I never thanked you . . . not until now." She did not need to elaborate; he understood. Their memories were suddenly functioning as one, taking them back more than thirteen years. She had been twenty-five, and no longer able to resist her father's will, agreeing at last to wed Geoffrey of Anjou. On her betrothal journey from England to Normandy, the old king had entrusted her to the custody of his eldest son, Robert, and his foster son, Brien. They had carried out the king's charge, escorted Maude to Rouen for the plight troth, and the following year she and Geoffrey had been wed at Le Mans. "Why should you thank me? I did as the king bade, turned you over to Geoffrey of Anjou, when I ought to have hidden you away where he never could have found you." Maude was started. "You did what you could, Brien, you made me feel--without a word being said-- that you understood, that you were on my side. That may not sound like much, but it was." "If I had it to do over again . . ." His smile held no humor, just a disarming flash of self-mockery. "I suppose I'd do the same, however much I'd like to think I would not. But my regrets would be so much greater, knowing as I do now how miserable he'd make you. I never forgave your father for that, for forcing you to wed a man so unworthy of you--" He stopped abruptly, and a tense, strained silence followed, which neither of them seemed able to break. Maude was staring at Brien, a man she'd known all her life, and seeing a stranger. Had she lost her wits altogether? How could she have confided him him like this ? She'd long ago learned to keep her fears private, her pain secret, all others at a safe distance, yet here in a barren winter garden, she'd lowered her defenses, allowing Brien to get a glimpse into her very soul. Even worse, she'd seen into his soul, too, discovered what she ought never to have known. She felt suddenly as flustered as a raw, green girl, she who was a widow, wife, and a mother, a woman just a month shy of her thirty-ninth birthday, a woman who could be queen.
Sharon Kay Penman (When Christ and His Saints Slept (Plantagenets #1; Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, #1))
said, ‘I don’t know what she expects to find out — we haven’t seen him in ten months.’ The word haven’t stuck out to her. As if they would again. It was always difficult to wrap your head around news like that. He’d sounded calm on the phone, as though he’d come to terms with this eventuality already, even before the news came in. Though when the reality of it all hit home the emotion couldn’t be denied.  She knew from personal experience. She’d felt indifferent when her mum told her that her dad was dead. It was only three days later that the realisation set in, when she came downstairs and the birthday decorations were still up. Her mother was slumped on the sofa, an empty bottle of red wine lying on its side next to her, the contents soaked into the fabric.  She remembered pausing at the bottom of the stairs and looking at her mother, passed out drunk. She’d always hated her father for looking like that.
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson #1))
Jamie held it all back, headed to school, and then broke down during her first class and ran out of the room.  At the time, she’d despised her father for killing himself on her eighteenth birthday. Now, she saw it with more clarity. Her mum had denied him the chance to talk to her, to see her, to be a part of her life during those last months. And he couldn’t take it.  The post-mortem report said that his blood-alcohol level was high enough to give an average male alcohol poisoning and possibly brain damage, and ruled that an investigation be launched to determine whether he had shot himself, or whether it had been staged, as they weren’t sure that anyone could even stay conscious, let alone lift a gun with any conviction, after drinking that much. Several character reports testified that he wasn’t an average male, and he was very well-practised at both while being shit-faced drunk. It was deemed suicide and never contested.  Her
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson #1))
The crescent kick is one of the most difficult kicks to master in Tae Kwon Do, but when executed properly, it is one of the most dangerous.  Detective Sergeant Jamie Johansson had been practising it for nearly six years, and despite being only five-foot-six, she could comfortably slam her heel into the ear of someone that was over six feet. And now she had it down to a science. She knew she couldn’t do enough damage with a punch to put someone down if she had to, but a well-executed crescent kick would do the job. Especially from her lightweight trail boots. Her partner made fun of her for wearing them — said that detectives shouldn’t be wearing hiking boots, especially not in the city, but they were tough and she was as fast in them as she was in her trainers. Which she thought made them a lot more suited to tracking down scumbags than Roper’s black leather Chelsea boots.  He disagreed. She didn’t really care.  Smoking thirty a day meant that he wasn’t going to be doing much running anyway. ‘Come on,’ Cake said, jerking the pad. ‘Again. Like you mean it.’ She flicked her head, throwing sweat onto the matt, wound up, lifted her leg, snapped her knee back, and then lashed out. Her shin smashed into the training pad with a dull thwap and she sank into her knees, panting.  Cake clapped them together and grinned with wide, crooked teeth. ‘Good job,’ he said. ‘You’re really getting some power into those, now. But make sure to ice that foot, yeah?’ She caught her breath quickly and stood up, nodding, strands of ash-blonde hair sticking to her forehead, the thick plait running between her lithe shoulders coming loose. ‘Sure,’ she said, measuring her trainer. Cake was six-two and twice her weight. He was Windrush, in his fifties, and ran a mixed martial arts gym just near Duckett’s Green. He was a retired boxer turned trainer that scored his nickname after winning a fight in the late nineties on his birthday. When the commentator asked what he was going to do to celebrate, he said that he was going to eat a birthday cake. Everyone thought that was funny, and it stuck. He had a pretty bad concussion at the time, which probably contributed to the answer. But there was no getting away from it now.  He pulled the pads off his forearms and rubbed his eyes. ‘Coffee?’ he asked, looking over at the clock on the wall. It was just before seven.  He yawned and stretched, cracking his spine. The gym wouldn’t open until midday to the public, but he lived upstairs in a tiny studio, and he and Jamie had an arrangement. It kept him fit and active, and she could train one-on-one. Just how she liked it. She paid her dues of course, slid him extra on top of the monthly for his time. But he said that
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson #1))
Each year Hamilton’s largest public events—Confederate Memorial Day, General Robert E. Lee’s birthday, and numerous gatherings of the United Confederate Veterans’ Williams Camp Meeting, made up of every old veteran still living in the county—drove home these messages, at the heart of which was the eternal crusade for white superiority. With whites unwilling to face up to the wrong their leaders had wrought by starting and continuing a hopeless war, or to bring their economy in line with reality, or to democratize their system after the war to welcome blacks and poor whites alike, the main thrust of southern life became the preservation of its traditions and the creation of myths. For fifty years they’d carried their propaganda north, laced with lurid tales of black inferiority, disease, and criminality. They’d been enormously successful in this. Since the early 1900s, mainstream, even liberal, magazines like Harpers, the Atlantic Monthly, and Good Housekeeping often played their tune.
Karen Branan (The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, a Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth)